OUI: Net Edition

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"Rass.EXE! Battle... Routine...Ecks-cute!"

What... the... hell?

A column of black light tore through the television circuitry and slammed into the unstable network, forming a humanoid mass of matter. One after another, four multicolored balls of energy crashed into the protoplasmic black form. A burst of light later, there stood Rass.EXE looking rather bewildered at his sudden entry into the Electown network. The fusion navi blinked his pink eyes in confusion as he fiddled with his scarf with one hand and called up a communication window to the real world with the other. "S-Suien?" he asked, as his netOp appeared on the other side of the window, "Wh...What's g-going on?"

"Hey Rass! What's cracka-lackin'!" shouted Suien, loud enough to cause Rass to cringe, "The television's broken, so we're gonna fix it! Don't you worry abouts a thing! It'll be a piece of sugary, fluffy confectionary, and by that I mean... cay....cake!"

Rass stared at the grinning, red-faced netOp with a mixture of shock and horror. My god, muttered Tem, spinning into existence on Rass' chest and staring at him with widened eyes, Are you... intoxicated? Where on earth did you get the notion that this could ever be considered a good idea? I mean, isn't OUI against the law?

You're such a killjoy, Tem, snickered Argo, who had since sidled up alongside the patch of blue on Rass' chest, Suien's been through a lot these past few days, and deserves a break — especially taking care of an annoying little twerp like Rasshole! Rass sighed and looked sadly toward the ground as the Melee subsystem continued. Just visualize all the fun we could be havin' with a drunk operator!

Tem bristled, shifting her attention to the green newcomer. Maybe YOU should visualize Suien detained in jail and us being deleted as accomplices to the fact! she shouted, I'm assuming I'm the only one that peruses the news? If so, it's only natural that you haven't heard about what they're saying about the NetPolice nowadays. Listen to me, the LAST thing we want is those brutes to get involved. With that, the tactical subsystem turned her attention to Suien and shot him a withering look from her crystal-blue eyes. Suien, you understand that the consequences for OUI's have been increasing lately, haven't you? Even though nobody in that... that... establishment looks like they'd care to report you, the risk associated with operating in your condition is extremely high! I wouldn't recommend proceeding with this course of action unless...

"Hah... you know what, blue girl? You sound pretty. You'd probably be pretty cute if you weren't a blue... blob... thing!" Suien laughed, attempting to adjust his glasses awkwardly with his hand, but missing completely and knocking them askew.

Tem froze, and Rass decided to close the window before the inevitable storm struck. Cringing as Tem's shrill voice rang throughout the network, the pink navi shook his head and walked into the network, searching for the source of the disturbance.

((Battle 1))
Rass encounters viruses! And they're not all pushovers!

BillyA: 50
BillyB: 50
MetoolEXA: 70
MetoolEXB: 70
MetoolEXC: 70
HoneyBomber: 110

Rass: 100

Battle 1! GO!
"Ah! S-Suien! I... I... I think I f-found something!" cried Rass, instinctively covering his face and drawing back from the oncoming viruses. As the fusion navi cowered and backpedaled, his right arm extended toward the viruses independent of his will. A single yellow eye appeared on the palm of his hand as Ishamel's mechanical voice rang through his skull. CORE SYSTEM, ENEMY UNIT STRENGTH IS MUCH LOWER THAN PREVIOUS ADVERSARIAL CONFIGURATIONS! WHY ARE YOU RETREATING? OUR BATTLE PROWESS WILL UNITE WITH OPERATOR SUIEN'S TACTICAL PROCESSING ABILITIES TO EMERGE VICTORIOUS WITH A 95% CONFIDENCE INTERVAL! he cried, pulling the reluctant Rass forward, RETREAT WOULD BE FALLACIOUS! BATTLE IS LOGICAL!

Have you been asleep this entire time, computer-brain? snipped Tem angrily, If you were paying attention, you'd know that there's no way we can fight at our full strength because our absent-minded programmer up there decided to get himself completely drunk...

"Hey! Hey! I'm not drunk!" shouted Suien over the intercom as his bright-red visage appeared in an overhead window, I'm totally alright! Like... here, watch! The inebriated netOp clumsily flipped through his chip folder and withdrew a handful of battlechips. "Yeah, see? I can totally do this whole operating thing even though I'm so totally... HAH! You thought I was going to say 'wasted,' didn't you?! I sure fooled you... and me..." Suien's face fell out of focus as he began to move across the bar, and a few seconds later, a loud crash could be heard across the network, followed by several angry shouts from the other patrons.

...Like I was SAYING, Suien's way over the legal operating limit. scowled Tem, transferring her presence into Rass' left hand, Needless to say, that loser isn't going to be much help. Psh, it's such shameful behavior for a netOp, isn't it? He should be more responsible for those under his command. After all, he has the easy job, just sitting there and slotting in battlechips and flirting with the other operators.


Feh, I guess that's how it turned out, Ishy said Argo, growling, I was sayin' we could have some fun while ol' Suien got plastered, but the fact is, we're gonna be fightin' this one alone. Count the boss as a non-factor, because he's busy pissin' the night away.


Rass sniffled, his pink eyes welling up with tears. "Argo's right, you know. It's... It's my fault that he's like this." All three subsystems immediately stopped chattering as Rass stopped his retreat and assumed a defensive stance. "I know that... that... I know it's my fault that MeleeMan got hurt back there, and I know th-that it's my fault that S-Suien's plan didn't work," he said, balling his hands into little black fists, "and th-that's why I have to m-make sure he's okay though this. He n-needs us now, you know! Y-You guys can g-go if you want, b-but stay out of my way!"

Just then, a burst of chip data streamed down from the sky, integrating itself into Rass' memory banks. Despite his good intentions, the fusion navi couldn't help but groan at the haphazard menagerie of chips that Suien had sent.

"Although... we might have our work cut out for us," said Rass, sighing, "After all, he IS a bit drunk."


Outside, Suien wasn't faring much better. In an effort to move closer to the TV to improve the connection, he managed to stumble and fall, pressing a small dial on the side of his PET. Instantly, the high-tech television roared to life, displaying Rass' confrontation with the viruses to each and every bar patron. As the pink navi argued with himself on screen, the establishment went deathly silent before erupting in chatter in response to the display. The critical response was, predictably, overwhelmingly negative.

"You stupid nerd! Why do we have to watch your dumb pink navi!"

"You probably broke it even more!"

"Dumbass lightweight! He can't even stand! Look at him!"

"What sort of dork programs a schizophrenic netNavi?"


Rass gulped as Tem brought his arms ahead of him, loading the airshot data into his palmbuster units and causing his normally-black hands to shimmer in the seedy artificial light. "Are you sure this is going to work?" he asked, uncertainty building within him with each passing moment.

Tem sighed. You know Rass, if I had a zenny for every time you asked me that, I'd have enough money to afford my own body and the research to detach myself from this one. she said sarcastically, running a few last-minute calculations through her electronic brain, If your precious little operator had sent us some decent chips, we wouldn't have to deal with this madness. Ishamel, you're going to need to charge the 3L3M system into Rass' left leg and right arm. Argo, we're all counting on you to take care of the melee-range battle routines.

"Hey, Tem? Wh-What am I s-supposed to doooaaAUGH!"

Rass felt his body pulled forward with the force of all three subsystems, each carrying out their designated task with grace and efficiency. Although none of them would admit it, each of the three subsystems was affected by the thought that "Operator Unit Suien" was in some way disappointed in them... and that fear drove them to a level of precision that transcended their personal problems with one another. The lithe form of the fusion navi entered an acrobatic series of cartwheels and flips as he quickly closed the distance between himself and the viral attackers. At the last instant, Rass felt his body twist around in mid-air, curling over itself into an elegant backflip. As his palms touched the ground lightly mid-rotation, his shimmering hands glowed bright white, and Rass' eyes widened with realization as he prepared his body for what came next.


The recoil from Rass' airshot battlechip propelled the fusion navi skyward at a sickening rate. As he continued to flip in the air, he felt a sudden weight in his left leg as the appendage was brought downward in a neat arc that followed his rotational momentum. At the last possible instant, Ishamel released the projectiles from Rass' leg — two explosive ears of corn — and sent them spiraling down to earth. The agricultural assault ended with a pair of explosions, sending up clouds of smoke and obscuring the effectiveness of the attack. Unperturbed, Rass landed his elegant maneuver behind the trio of metools and twirled a small metal cylinder in his hand. A brief tingling sensation erupted through his right arm as several thousand volts arced through the conduit, forming a blade of neon-blue electricity. Argo, viridian eyes shining through the knuckles of Rass' right hand, brought the ElecSword around in a luminous arc that lit up the area. The humming blade sliced through the air with a satisfying crackle, and was disengaged as swiftly as it had come — leaving Rass to square off against the final honeycombed opponent. With a shrill emission that sounded something like a battle cry, Rass charged the final adversary, his left hand glowing with a brilliant crimson aura and his body working in perfect synergy with his subsystems. Tem pressed off the ground, Ishamel calculated the trajectory, Argo forced the 3L3M system into overdrive...

...and Rass, the small, pink, scarf-clad navi, fired off a flaming punch that would have made MeleeMan proud.

1: Airshot-assisted handspring-dodge to melee-range
2: Cornshot1 (50, 100 Element) BillyA and BillyB
3: ElecSword (80) MetoolEXA, MetoolEXB, MetoolEXC
4: FireHit1 (60, 120 Element) Honeybomber
Rass, Tem, Argo, and Ishamel's Teamwork seems to have taken out all of the viruses.

reward: 750 zenny
"Good Job Rassh!" slurred Suien's voice over the PET microphone, "I always knew you ha-had it in you t-to take them... all down! Now you're gonna have to fix the television with your... fusion skillz! Yeah! Fuse with the computer and recover it to full health!"

Rass sighed momentarily as his still-smoking hand retrieved the zenny data from the defeated viruses. Ignoring his netOp's questionable commands, he slowly traversed the interior of the TV, searching for any clues as to the source of the breakdown.

You know, Suien he thought, frowning as he traced his finger over a slightly sparking portion of the network, Contrary to what you may believe, you're not helping much at all.

((Battle 2))
Looks like everything became magnetic, except for some small patches, and your staring down at some elec viruses.

MagneakerA:70(On normal panel)
CattyA:70(On normal panel)

Rass: 100
Terrain: All magnetic, with five normal panels scattered in it. (You are not on a normal panel at this moment, and two of them are taken up by viruses)
A sharp ripple pulsed through the ground as Rass felt his diminutive frame suddenly triple in weight. The pink-and-black navi staggered, and nearly keeled over as he struggled to maintain a defensive stance. A small burst of sparks erupted from the ground around his feet, and tiny coils of electricity bonded to the soles of his boots, thoroughly binding them to the electrified floor. Rass' eyes widened in horror as he grabbed his right leg and tugged with all his might, attempting to disengage himself from his magnetic prison. The idea of maneuvering normally under these conditions was, naturally, out of the question, so when several electric-type viruses emerged from the shadowy network, Rass could barely contain his panic.

...but somehow, he did. Shutting his mouth before his terrified scream could further embarrass his intoxicated netOp, Rass redoubled his effort into removing his immobilized feet from the magnetized trap. As the magnetic waves shifted the fusion navi to and fro, he took a few panicked, hyperventilating breaths, disengaged his hands from his foot, and awkwardly tapped the side of his helmet, establishing communications to the outside world. "S...Suien?" he whispered, clearly terrified but managing to keep his voice relatively steady, "I... I th-think we're g-going to have s-some problems... the g-ground's magnetic."

"Magnetic?! Just like my... my personality!" was the obnoxious reply, the poorly-conceived pun eliciting several groans from the other bar patrons, "At least, I wish my personality were more magnetic, cause then I'd totally... attract more chicks and stuff! That'd be totally rockin' cool, wouldn't it Rass?!"

Stupid drunk horny netOp, cursed Tem under her breath as she darted toward Rass' legs, giving them both a distinct blue color and an unsettling eye on each kneecap, I just hope he doesn't start talking about his little infatuation with Rania in his intoxication. Otherwise, he'll be beaten up for sure. Tem paused as though to consider her words, then quickly added, Well, more than he's going to be anyways, at least. One way or another, it looks like we're going to have to do the strategizing for this silly little endeavor.


Tem looked completely confused as she sought to comprehend Ishamel's latest outburst. Finally, she spoke, slowly and deliberately.

Ishamel, I was referring to the battle, not Suien's sexual frustration.


Suien Matsumoto was wondering why his body suddenly seemed so heavy. Suien Matsumoto was confused as to why each step felt like he was on the deck of some storm-swept ship. Suien Matsumoto had no idea why the lights suddenly seemed so harsh or why his throat was suddenly so parched.

Suien Matsumoto was, beyond a shadow of a doubt, a horrible lightweight.

The dark-haired netOp's stupor was not without consciousness, however, and his befuddled mind quickly processed the battle information as best it could. With a great deal of effort, the drunken netOp grabbed a few battlechips that roughly corresponded to the broad characteristics of "wood, movement, and defense" and roughly slotted them in with a trio of decidedly unsatisfying clicks. The sound caused Suien to wince in pain as it reverberated through his skull, and the dark-haired netOp steadied himself against the bar counter, clutching his skull with his free hand. "Gee," he muttered good-naturedly, "life sure could use a volume switch."


Rass' mood brightened slightly when he saw the substantially more-useful assortment of battlechips that Suien had sent through the PET channel. It quickly dropped down again, however, as his body was jerked to the side by the magnetic field. The electric-type viruses moved in for the kill, apparently unaffected by the magnetic storm as Rass was pinballed from one side of the arena and back again in a sickening display of electronic physics. Taking advantage of a brief respite, the pink-and-black navi quickly materialized a long, curved, viridian blade in his hand as Ishamel scanned the patterns of the magnetic panels underfoot. A COMPOSITIONAL ANALYSIS OF THE BOOMERANG REVEALS AN EQUIVALENT OF APPROXIMATELY 40% METAL PRESENT. said Ishamel, apparently unperturbed by the erratic movements Rass was being subjected to, CALCULATING FOR MAGNETIC INTERFERENCE, THE OPTIMAL POINT OF RELEASE WILL OCCUR IN APPROXIMATELY SIX-POINT-THREE-FOUR SECONDS AT AN ANGLE OF THIRTY-EIGHT DEGREES TO THE NORTH!

Rass' bewildered look turned to shock as Ishamel took control of his right arm and hurled the glimmering weapon exactly 6.34 seconds later, sending the 40% metal boomerang spiraling across the battlefield toward the hub of the electronic panels. "Wow..." muttered Rass, clearly impressed by the winding arc of the boomerang, "nice shot IshaAAAAUUGHH!"

Not wanting to stick around for the inevitable counterattack, however, Tem had initialized the teleportation energies of the areagrab battlechip. Propelling Rass across space and time in a burst of light, the fusion navi was cast from the electronic field to a point several meters above one of the few patches of ground free of the magnetic lensing. Without skipping a beat, Rass held both his hands out toward the ground, materializing a long, flutelike tuby virus from the surrounding air. As Rass and the silver virus fell to the ground, the fusion navi covered the sides of his helmet, in preparation for the inevitable audio assault...

1: Magnet penalty to movement.
2: Boomerang (60, 120 Wood) to MagneakerA, B, and C
3: Areagrab-assisted dodge toward MagneakerA's panel
4: Discord (100 HP, Confuses all Enemies), place between self and other viruses
The 40% metal wooden projectile flew true, taking out most of the bug like viruses. Rass managed to get on one of the five normal panels. His Discord chip managed to confuse some of the viruses, causing the cacty to almost take out one of the billies. The two billies fired their own thunder balls, one of them hitting the Magneaker, and the other missing you by inches... seems that one wasn't as confused as you hoped. The Magneaker... did nothing...Smart move virus.

CattyA:70(On normal panel)

Rass: 100(On normal panel)
Discord: 100HP(Gone in three turns)
Terrain: All magnetic, with five normal panels scattered in it.
Despite the initial success of his maneuver, Rass quickly realized that he was between a rock and a hard place. As the viral horde sent a volley of deadly electric energy coursing across the network, the fusion navi could do little more than contort his body in hopes of deriving some evasive benefit. Trapped within a small panel's worth of space and surrounded by dangerous magnetic fields Rass found himself nearly defenseless against the inevitable second onslaught of electric energy. Doing his best to clamor to his feet without stepping outside his designated workspace, the pink-and-black navi breathed heavily and attempted to assess the situation. Alright Rass, think! You can figure this out! he thought, mentally pumping himself up, Four viruses left, two of them damaged, and one screeching tuby on our side. Turning to the sky, Rass allowed several lines of green code to traverse his pupils, transferring the battle data upward to the real world and praying that the newest set of chips would include something useful... like the BambooLance, or the ElecReel, or even the...

*Data download complete*

A Shotgun, a MarkCannon, a Cactiball and a Cannon. muttered Argo sarcastically, Nice, Suien. Real nice.

Tem exploded upward toward the sky. My GOD! Can you POSSIBLY get any more USELESS? she shrieked, darting across Rass' body like an azure firefly, Would it kill you to just... use chips that are actually useful?! I mean... what on earth makes you THINK that a FREAKING CANNON could possibly have any bearing on a meaningful battle? And another thing...


...what on earth are you so DEPRESSED about? Rass thinks it's because you're ashamed of us, but that's absolutely ridiculous. My processor ALONE makes us more powerful than most other navis! You should be... hey! Are you SLEEPING?! At least have the courtesy to LISTEN when I'm talking to you! HEY!

As it turned out, Tem's outburst was largely ignored by one Suien Matsumoto, although the tactical subsystem was anything but unnoticed. Several of the bar patrons looked at each other with confusion, then peered over the sleeping netOp's shoulder at his PET.

"Is that his girlfriend or something?" asked a young man.

"I think it's his navi, though they sure seem to act like it, don't they," muttered the pretty young woman that Suien had made a pass on earlier, "Wouldn't surprise me if that were the case. I hear that sort of thing is becoming more popular with the nerdy crowd."

"Makes sense," nodded the bartender in response, "I hear there are these places in the red light district of Electown that cater to those sorts of interests."


To Rass' relief, Tem's verbal onslaught died down as suddenly as it had come as a high-voltage burst from one of the Billy viruses narrowly skirted by his diminutive frame. Realizing at once the gravity of the situation, Tem once again forcefully took command. Well, all is not lost, it seems. A preliminary scan reveals that our rather... lacking array of battlechips contain a sufficient damage output to eliminate all opponents. she said in a matter-of-factly tone of voice, Argo, divert all nonessential system resources to the buster's propulsion system. We're going to need all the accuracy we can get on this little round. Dodging is out of the question, so we're going to rely on sheer firepower to see us through to the end. The azure subsystem retracted into the center of Rass' chest, and the tiny fusion navi could feel the expert micromanager sending a series of commands to the rest of his body. Instantly, Tem's shoulder perch was claimed by Argo as a green flash situated himself on the upper-body appendage.

Yeah, yeah, I gotcha Tem. No need to tell me twice, grumbled Argo, directing several packets of data to Rass' palmbuster unit, Though if you ask me, the best course of action would be to just buck up and charge into the heat of things. Magnets be damned, real men fight up close and personal! Least that's what MeleeMan would say if he were around. The melee subsystem's eyes drooped ever so slightly as he made a gruff, displeased noise. Man, I wish he were still around. Kept things interesting, y'know?

Aww... you miss your little meatheaded playmate? cooed Tem, a serious edge leaking into her taunt, Well forget it. We're on our own here. Ishamel! Prepare the calculations and initializing firing routines! As she retreated back into her gemstone, Tem muttered to Rass, Brace for impact, Rass, this isn't going to be easy. Dodging isn't really going to be an option.

Rass gulped and nodded in response as he kneeled down toward the ground. As his fingers grazed the shimmering panel underfoot, three small plantlike viruses sprouted, quickly growing into a trio of pumpkin-sized growths. Their beady black eyes glinted in the dank network as they stared down the line of viruses, prepared to attack at a moment's notice. For a while, time appeared to stand still for the fusion navi as Rass stood his ground, arms extended outward toward the surviving viruses, palms glowing ever so slightly with deadly buster energy. The red crosshairs of Ishamel's targeting system, augmented by the complex MarkCannon data, aligned themselves on his viewfinder. Rass took a final gulp out of nervousness before uttering a command from his now-dry mouth.


Rass was bowled over by the recoil of the blast as three separate gunshots spread out in three separate trajectories. The blinding light forced the fusion navi to squint as the deadly beams of energy lanced toward their respective targets, kicking up a vast amount of smoke as they struck the surrounding network. As the tuby continued to blare at the top of its mechanical lungs, the three small cacti soldiers began their slow roll toward the opposing forces. The fusion navi squinted into the smoke, anticipating a counterattack by any surviving viruses yet unable to do anything to evade in the event that such an attack came. He breathed a deep breath and held it, scanning the dusky battlefield for signs of movement...

Tuby: Confuse viruses further
1: Cactiball (20x3, 40x3 Wood) MagneakerD
2: Shotgun (50, Splash) BillyA, BillyB
3: MarkCannon1 (70) CactyA
4: Cannon (40) any survivors
Rass managed to finish off the viruses.

Reward:800 zenny, magbomb1
When Rass finally managed to stumble to his feet, he glanced around warily anticipating a sudden burst of energy tearing out of the shadows and catching him unawares. When no such onslaught came, however, the fusion navi breathed a sigh of relief and gingerly maneuvered through the magnetized network. Picking up a small orange piece of chip data along with the usual zenny fragments, the pink-and-black navi happily sent the data packets upwards...

...and stepped off once again into a magnetic current. Instantly, his foot was trapped and pulled with enough power to cause him to stumble and fall, leaving the fusion navi at the mercy of the network. All semblance of calm forgotten, Rass screaned as he was launched off into the distance by the force of the electromagnetic field.


Outside, the few patrons who had been watching the battle with mild interest turned back to their drinks, grumbling something about retarded netNavis. As the intoxicated Suien slumbered at the bar counter, the rest of the usuals regarded him with mild disinterest. It was by no means optimal, but it was definitely a step up from open hostility. Perhaps there was hope for the dark-haired netOp after all?

((Battle 3))

OldstoveA: 50 HP
OldstoveB: 50 HP
OldstoveC: 50 HP
OldstoveD: 50 HP
VolgearA: 80 HP
VolgearB: 80 HP
MetoolEXA: 70 HP
MetoolEXB: 70 HP
MetoolEXC: 70 HP
MetoolEXD: 70 HP

RASS: 100 HP

The sleepy netOp was jolted awake by a shrill scream emanating from his PET speakers. Suien! Viruses! Ten! Battlechips! Now! cried Rass' voice, startling several nearby patrons. The dark-haired netOp entered a groggy state of urgency as he picked up the PET awkwardly and squinted at the topmost monitor. "Wait, wha-?" he started, flipping through the different screens until he found the network radar function. Though his vision was rather blurry, Suien managed to make out ten or so distinct viral signatures surrounding the tiny pink dot in the middle of the network, "R...Rass? Wh-what are you doing in the... wait, what's going on?"

Once again, Tem's shrill voice exploded over the PET microphone. What HAPPENED? she demanded, aghast at his question, For your INFORMATION, you decided to jack-us into a TV to fix the localized viral infection! Then, you went ahead and, in an intoxicated stupor, left us for dead with a pile of useless battlechips against a menagerie of viruses that just DON'T LET UP!

"and yet," interrupted Suien, adjusting his glasses ill-temperedly, "you are not only still alive, but undamaged as well."

Tem immediately fell silent.

"Anyways," continued the netOp, his clumsy inebriated fingers fumbling with the chip folder, "I'll send you the... the ElecReel and... well... whatever else is on the table, just a second," he muttered, pulling the yellow battlechip out of its sleeve and picking a random grayish one from the table. In his intoxicated state, the chips felt half as large and at least twice as heavy as usual, and he squinted even more as he tried to slide the tiny electronic chip into the tray. "Damn..." he cursed as the ElecReel nicked the side of the tray slid out from the PET once again, "Who... who designed these stupid things anyways?"


Rass quickly realized that despite his netOp's somewhat sobered attitude, Suien was not going to be getting those battlechips to him on time. Trapped between a hot and an even hotter place with six very-fire-type viruses surrounding him, Rass wished he could just sink down, fuse with the network, and...

Fuse with the network? Fuse with the network!

Smiling suddenly as his subsystems were jarred into action, Rass extended both arms to his side, Argo's green presence leaking into his right hand as Ishamel possessed the left without hesitation. Instantly, packets of data began to stream into the palms, collecting raw materials from the surrounding network and assimilating them into usable combat routines. Both hands glowed a pearly white as wisplike strands of data leaked through the fusion navi's fingertips, and Rass took off like a pink bullet, lunging toward the group of Volgears with speed and determination. He cupped both hands together, allowing the two different data processes to fuse and mold together between his palms and bringing his arms to his side as he moved. At the last possible instant, Rass dove between the ironclad viruses and plunged both palms directly into the ground, sending the volatile data streaming into the network itself. The effect was nearly instantaneous, as the normally gray panel turned an earthy shade of brown and began to rise in elevation. Suddenly, the topmost panel burst upward, sending a plume of magma that spilled over the edges of the rocky structure. By the time Rass touched down onto the molten surface, he stood at the forefront of a miniature volcano — perfectly lifelike in every way.

...that is, if miniature volcanos had sleek, high-tech, silver chainguns mounted on the sides. The technological terrors looked strange mounted on the side of such a majestic structure, but it was an intimidating sight nonetheless. The fusion navi smiled at his handiwork and gave a rather self-satisfied smirk before he realized that his feet were on fire. Literally.

Fortunately, Tem had the presence of mind to load the newly-arrived ElecReel chip into the emergency data port on Rass' right shoulder before the small, pink navi began yelling in pain and hopping about across the ground. As several yellow sparklets were released from Rass' upper body and sent upward toward the heavens, the tactical subsystem sighed, whirled around to Rass' front, and glanced from side to side. As usual, she said gingerly, It looks like Rass' shortsighted little plan has landed us in a rather sticky situation. Her attention turned toward the molten floor, threatening to weld the pink navi's feet to the floor. No pun intended, of course.

Hey... Blue-Balls! shouted an exhausted-sounding Argo, As much we all enjoy makin' fun of Rasshole, it IS getting a little hot down here! Think you can put that famous processor of yours to use sometime in the next few...

Argo's sniping comment was interrupted by sheer pandemonium as the ElecReel chip resolved, striking down all around the pink-and-black navi in a glorious lightshow that kicked up billowing clouds of smoke. Simultaneously, Rass felt his body jerk upwards toward the sky, feeling his feet mercifully removed from the oppressive lava as he sailed upward, propelled by the freshly-arrived Areagrab battlechip. Feeling a rush of security and happiness, he savored the momentary respite from combat...

...until Argo pointed out the very obvious flaw in the plan.

Uh... hey guys? Hate to be a killjoy, but don't things that go up usually go DOWN?

1: Terraformer — Lava (60HP Magma Cannon, Deals 30 fire damage per turn. Few lava panels surrounding the Magma Cannon)
2: Modular Turrets — Shredder Vulcan to Magma Cannon (2 turrets, deal 5 hits of 2 to a target each turn. Lava Cannon gains +20 HP and undershirt.)
3: ElecReel1 (100 Elec) VolgearA, VolgearB, MetoolEXA
4: Areagrab/dodge high into the sky

*: MagmaCannon: 30 Fire to MetoolEXB
Magma Damage: 7 to self
(I'm thinking the 7 is to the cannon, right? If not, feel free to say so.)

Absolutely FRYING three of the viruses, and lighting another of fire (onoez!), Rass then dodges TO THE SKY!
Wait... Rass can't hover. Or fly. Or even remotely stay airborne for that matter. Uh-oh. He manages to dodge the attacks, but now he's rapidly falling to earth! He'll have to think of something creative to escape this. But think of it this way: it's not the fall that'll severely damage you're internal organs, it's when it ends.

OldstoveA: 50 HP
OldstoveB: 50 HP
OldstoveC: 50 HP
OldstoveD: 50 HP
MetoolEXB: 40 HP
MetoolEXC: 70 HP
MetoolEXD: 70 HP

Rass: 100 HP <Falling! RP out of it well to avoid damage!>
Magmacannon: 73 HP <Shredder Turrets active (Undershirt, 2x5 per turn)>
((The 7 damage is to Rass, since he stood on the Magma for a portion of the turn. Also, Modular Turrets creates my choice of two turrets, so it's actually 2 turrets doing 2 hits of 5))

Argo wasn't much of a thinker, as he subscribed to the paradigm that thinking was best done with one's fists, if at all. Still, his blunt observation about the nature of gravity proved to be one of the most insightful statements of the moment as, true to form, Rass began hurtling toward Earth like a pink-and-black meteor. The sickening plummet caused the poor fusion navi's stomach to churn as he picked up speed, and flapped his arms futilely in an effort to provide some degree of levitation. Argo, for his part, whirled around to Rass' back and stared at the lava-covered ground, eyes growing wide in terror. Tem! We're falling pretty freaking fast, Tem! Rasshole's not going to come out of this one without some pretty significant pain! he called, nervously buzzing from side to side as he surveyed the battlefield, I hope for ALL our sakes that you have some sort of plan

Rass, meanwhile, ceased his bird imitations and shielded his face with his hands, bracing his amorphous body for impact and shutting his eyes tightly in anticipation for pain. The wind resistance forced his scarf to billow behind him in a bright orange trail as the ground quickly rose up to meet him. Suddenly, Rass felt a burst of energy well up within his chest. A split-second later, dark tendrils of lightning snaked from his center and spiraled downward to earth. Rass opened his eyes in surprise as several objects began to rise up to meet him, pulled from the surface by the activation of his fusionist protoplasm.

And then, she spoke.

Relax, Argo. After all, I am Tem, the most powerful tactical processor in the world - when have I ever been without a plan?


Suien stared blankly at his PET screen, silently wishing that the world would stop spinning so he could concentrate, several bar patrons had begun watching the main TV unit in the bar with interest. As the small pink navi plummeted to earth, he began to emit a subtle glow, trailing long wispy strands of data behind them. Suddenly, the entire screen went white as a burst of light erupted from the tiny navi's body. A few short seconds later, the audience gasped in shock as they watched the navi emerge from the glow.

"That... that thing's an abomination! Those heads are just... UGH!"

"I don't know, I think it's rather stylish. The earth tones sort of kill it though."

"Yeesh, it looks like something out of one of those Electopian cartoons. What sort of dumbass otaku programmed his navi with something like this?"

Suien just smiled as he clutched the counter tightly with his hands — partially out of excitement and partially to keep from falling over. "Fuse with the network, huh?" he said to nobody in particular, "wonder who gave them that idea..."


Rass cringed in pain as he struck the ground with both feet, but surprisingly, his leg servomotors didn't appear to be broken. On the contrary, though the initial impact had stung, both legs felt perfectly fine and functional. Opening his eyes slowly and deliberately, he unfolded his body to his full towering height and looked down at the offending viral hor...


As Rass stepped out of the light, he took a few moments to look himself over. His entire body was draped in a tough, rocklike armor that draped down in plates from his neck to his feet. A pair of metal jaws covered his shoulders, and his arms extended from their "mouths," ending with a sleek Vulcan cannon mounted on the wrists of his sizable stone gauntlets. His brown-gray chestplate was separated into segments, that unfolded slowly to reveal a smooth crimson gemstone, glowing ever so slightly with volcanic energy. To complete the ensemble, Rass' normally pink headgear had folded upwards, taking on an appearance similar to a Metool's helmet. What surprised Rass most, however, was the startling increase in height and bulk. Standing the human equivalent of seven feet tall with at least a tripling of weight, things weren't exactly the way they used to be for the normally-diminutive Rass. "T...Tem? Do you m-mind explaining... well, explaining what just happened?" he asked as he stared at his arms in disbelief.

I knew you were always a bit slow on the uptake, but honestly? I'm surprised you haven't already figured it out, Rass, said Tem haughtily, You understand that the Fusion Armor changes properties according to the absorbed materials, correct? This was simply the result of absorbing whatever was available for use. I correctly deduced that increasing the amount of armor would sufficiently cushion the blow while still protecting us from the harmful effects of the magma.

Rass protested, "By turning us INTO a volcano? That's crazy! This is madness, Tem!"

Argo meanwhile, laughed. Taking control of the new fusion armored bodyAre you kidding, Rass? Madness? This is empowering! This is uplifting! Squaring his legs and facing the damaged Metool, he aligned the twin barrels of the shredder vulcans with the small construction-hat virus. This. Is. MAGMAAAAAA!

Instantly, the chrome miniguns roared to life, casting light and shadows on the hellish armor and Rass' terrified face. Luminescent bullets surged forward toward the lone Metool as Argo's laughter rang out above the roar of the vulcans. Rass felt the metallic husks of the fallen Volgears shift on his shoulders, and from their gaping mouths spewed a barrage of flaming rocks, blasting toward the construction virus like a volley of missiles. As the vulcans roared to a halt, Argo howled with pure, unhidden joy at the newfound power granted by the armor's capabilities, and Rass, poor Rass, could only sigh and process the newest set of battlechips sent by Suien through the network. Retracting the vulcans into the stony armor, the fusion navi generated a pair of weapons from the chip data — the luminescent, electric-blue blade of the ElecSword replaced his right hand while the glimmering green boomerang took its place on his back. Stone-entombed boots clanged heavily on the molten network as Rass charged toward the remaining opponents independent of his own will. With apparent disregard for his host's safety, Argo had thrown caution to the winds, taking full control over Rass' new and improved form. Spiraling around in a luminous whirlwind of death, the melee subsystem brought the sparking blade crashing down to the network near the remaining Metools, sending a shower of sparks flying through the air. The blade sank deep into the ground before discharging its electric energy in a scything arc of energy. From his crouched position, Argo sent the boomerang spiraling toward the second group of enemies, launching it from his back with a resounding crack....

...and then fell to his knees, panting as the added weight of the fusion armor became extremely relevant extremely quickly. "Geez," gasped Rass, breathing heavily as he stabilized himself with the massive gauntlets, "Is it just me or is it hot in here?"

1: Fusion Force/Fusion Armor absorbtion: Absorb Vulcan-MagmaCannon (80 FP), VolgearA (40 FP), VolgearB (40 FP), and MetoolEXA (35 FP)
2: Fusion Armor (Creates 97 HP Fire-Element Barrier. Passively deals 30 Fire Damage and 10 hits of 2 to any target. Immune to northwind, Undershirt)
3: Boomerang1 (60, Wood) OldStoveA, OldStoveB, OldStoveC
4: ElecSword (80, Elec) MetoolEXC, MetoolEXD, OldStoveD
Fusion Armor: 50 (30 fire, 2x2x5 normal) to MetoolEXB
(0.o *Boggle*
Woah. Eh... Falling damage dodged. Was there ever any doubt?)

Turning into a volcanic behemoth saves Rass from the nasty fall he was in, and gives him a weapon with which he could take down the metool! Eh... yeah. A metool's dead. The others are forced to follow suit, however, at the deadly duo of attacks that came shortly afterwards.

OldstoveA: DELETED
OldstoveB: DELETED
OldstoveC: DELETED
OldstoveD: DELETED

Rass: 93 HP <Eh... barrier stats go here, but battle's over.>
Magmacannon: ABSORB'D

Prizes: Guard2, 800z
Yes! Yes! Yes! This is perfect! shouted Argo, thrusting Rass' armored fist into the air and discharging several rounds of vulcan ammunition into the sky, With this new body, we finally have the image to suit my badass persona! We're going straight to the top, baby! No sooner had Argo spoken these words, however, did the fusion navi's massive volcanic breastplate disengage from his chest and fall unceremoniously to the ground in a smoking heap. What?! Wait! Come back! No! No! NO! protested Argo as piece by piece, the armor crumbled into useless fragments of rock and steel, leaving only the small, familiar form of the pink-and-black navi with a spot of green on the chest. Sighing, Argo slowly made his way back to his gemstone as Rass adjusted his helmet awkwardly, flexed his fingers experimentally, and moved deeper into the network.


...and once he was sure Argo was gone, the diminutive navi allowed himself a small smile and extended his fingers in the shape of a gun. "Badabadabadabadabada" he whispered, gunning down imaginary viruses with his pretend machine guns.

((Battle 4))
...There are sure a lot of viruses in this Television, aren't there?

MetoolEXA: 70 HP
MetoolEXB: 70 HP
MetoolEXC: 70 HP
MetoolEXD: 70 HP
MetoolEXE: 70 HP
MetoolEXF: 70 HP
MetoolEXG: 70 HP
MetoolEXH: 70 HP
MetoolEXI: 70 HP

Rass:93 HP

Let the battle begin.
Argo's mood had not improved by the time nine construction hat-clad viruses marched up to battle. With a dispirited sigh, he retreated back into his gemstone, leaving Rass to deal with the diminutive threats. Bah, you'd think someone as badass as myself would have a badass body to match, he muttered, You go ahead and fight, Rasshole. I'm really not feeling this sort of thing at the moment.

"Wait! Argo! Don't!..." Rass trailed off as the Metools' murdurous intent shone through their gleaming little eyes. The fusion navi took a few nervous steps backward, drumming his fingers against each other. Ah... it's okay he told himself, a bead of sweat dripping down his sleek black skin, They're just Metools, after all. So long as we don't have to use any of the techniques that Argo specializes in, we won't have any trouble taking them down... of course, that means no melee-range chips and no powerhouse elemental chips, but Suien's pretty wasted right now, so the chances of him sending anything of that power are...

R.A.S.S. systemlink online. Battlechips downloaded. ElecSword and BambooLance systems have been initialized.

"...apparently pretty high," he completed out loud, shaking his head.


Suien smiled goofily as he slotted in the pair of battlechips — easily the two most powerful weapons in their arsenal. The powerful grass-type BambooLance that had served the group so well against that... er... that hedgehog thing. What was it called again? The dark-haired netOp cursed under his breath as he balled his hands into fists and delved into his memory. Crap! I can't believe this! This happened less than a few hours ago! he thought, his now-bloodshot eyes looking up above the rims of his glasses toward the ceiling, Ricky? Roscoe? Roger? Reginald? As Suien listed off all the recognizable "R" names in his mind, he failed to notice the plight of the small fusion navi. As he struggled with a pair of battlechips without the appropriate subsystem.


Rass gulped nervously as he looked at the metallic cylinder that sat in the palm of his hand. Sure, this wasn't the first time he had used a sword battlechip without Argo's help, but the melee subsystem was usually the one who took care of the power distribution and the technique behind the strikes. The fusion navi took a deep breath and poured electric energy from the 3L3M processors through his palm into the silver cylinder. Instantly, a blade of luminous, blue energy arced through the small device, causing the awkward navi to stumble backward and nearly drop the blade in surprise. The jolt appeared to have startled Tem into consciousness, and the azure tactician bolted onto his chest in a flash of blue. Rass! What do you think you're doing?! she scolded, a pair of eyes shifting toward the brilliant blue saber, Your power output is way off! I can't believe you! You know you have to control the amount of energy you channel into the saber, otherwise you'll just burn it out all the quicker!

"Ah... er... sorry Tem," muttered Rass as he experimentally swung the glowing blade from side to side, "It ah... it won't happen again."

The tactical subsystem didn't look convinced, and narrowed her eyes even more. Rass, tell me. How outdated are your melee routines? If you're running a program with an output of anything less than 3200 SCQ's, you might as well be wasting your time. Before Rass could respond, Tem had seeped into the core of his body, vanishing from view. You know what? I'll just check manually. It's no big dea... my god. she said, reappearing a few moments later, You are rather weak, aren't you?

Rass shrugged embarrassedly, but clutched the ElecSword tightly in his hands. "Er... I suppose," he mumbled, somewhat unsure of himself, "but it's something that I'm going to have to learn to do anyways, right? I mean... MeleeMan's stronger than Argo, right? That means that if I'm going to match up with him, I need to be strong. Then we'll be useful to Suien again!" The small fusion navi assumed a rather awkward combat pose, twirling the sword as he moved and clipping a portion of the network with its electric tip.

Tem sighed in response, but withdrew from Rass' chest in a single fluid motion. If that's what you want, that's fine with me. she said simply, Just don't let Argo know that you think Captain Meathead is stronger than him

Rass nodded solemnly before taking off toward the small metool battalion, the luminous weapon held tightly in his hand. The fusion navi quickly traversed the battlefield, pushing off of one foot after the other and propelling himself forward as quickly as his small frame would allow. At the last instant, he gave a mighty battle cry as he raised the deadly blade over his head, leaped upwards with all his might...

...and found himself sailing over the construction-hat viruses, having misjudged his leap and flagrantly overshot his would-be victims. Rass stumbled and nearly fell as he attempted to spin around in mid-air, and amid the chirping of the helmeted viruses, he swore he could hear Tem stifle a snicker. "It's... It's not funny!" he pouted, brandishing the electric-element sword toward the viruses, "I'll get this eventually! Just you watch!"

With that, Rass pivoted on his back foot and brought the ElecSword around in a wild upswing, sending the scent of ozone into the air as the flashing blade sliced across the network. The fusion navi winced visibly at the unclean maneuver, but proceeded toward the second group of Metools, flailing wildly with the dangerous weapon, losing control, and sending the charged blade hurtling toward the small viruses. The blade itself detonated on contact, discharging a wild array of energy toward the Metools. Rass gave an awkward, almost apologetic look toward the blackened and charred network before crossing his arms across his chest and squaring himself off against the final set of viruses. A viridian glow began to overtake the fusion navi's body as his normally-red eyes flashed emerald green, coursing with the overclocked workings of the 3L3M system. Instantly, the ground beneath Rass' feet began to crack as an excess of grass energy poured into it, and the pink-and-black navi allowed himself a small smile as the BambooLance battlechip prepared to erupt at his beck and call.

WHOA! shouted Argo, alarmed at the newest state of affairs, Rasshole! Careful with that! You don't know what you're-

A thousand green spikes interrupted Argo mid-sentence.

1: Stumble Awkwardly/Dodge
2: ElecSword (80) MetoolEXA, B, and C
3: ElecSword (80) MetoolEXD, E, and F
4: Bamboolance (130) MetoolEXG, H, and I