Mirage.EXE VS Pianissimo.EXE

As the Navis jack in, their Net Operators are shown a 3-D model of the arena their Navis will be fighting in with various features labeled and highlighted as the presentation runs. At the end of the presentation, the environmental statistics for this arena are displayed for reference.

Quote (Crumble Hill)

A ring of hard bedrock, 5 feet from side to side, encapsulates something not so hard: Crumble Hill. This precariously assembled mound of pebbles and rocks is stacked a tremendous 30 feet high with a colossal 100 foot diameter to match. Its massive size makes the hill's incline fairly shallow, around 15 degrees, but scaling it is no less daunting since the ground under your feet could give way with any step. Should you fall and be swallowed up by Crumble Hill, you'll soon be surprised to discover that the hill's core is completely hollow. Inside lies nothing but a flat plane that reaches all 100 feet from one side of Crumble Hill's walls to the other. Should the hole you fell through reassemble before you get out, you'll have to figure a way to dig yourself out.

It didn't take long for Crumble Hill's designers to realize scaling it unassisted was insane, and they remedied the situation thusly: 4 sturdy stone bridges arch up and over the sides of the hill, and come to a nexus right at its peak. There, where all 4 bridges meet, lies the crown of Crumble Hill: the Holy panel. It stands there alone in its majesty as it waits for combatants to bask in its glory, and is perhaps what allows the hollow hill it presides over to stand and regenerate so quickly. Outside Crumble Hill lies a lovely green landscape and blue, cloudless sky, but any who would try to reach for it would discover that tournament officials have placed an invisible area around Crumble Hill's circumference, making the otherwise far more appealing field mere eye candy to competitors. Entrants are initially set on the outer bedrock ring, with each fighter facing an opposite bridge.

Terrain: 38% Normal (Bridges, Arena Border, Inside Crumble Hill), 61% Cracked (Hill), 1% Holy (Bridge Nexus)
Special Effect: Re-Crumble (Cracked Terrain regenerates after only 1 turn)


Arena Barrier (Immortal, Stationary, Invisible)
There are absolutely no signs that tell you this barrier is in place, other than the bleeding nose you might get from running into it.

Satellite Camera x3 (10 HP, Moving, Flying)
Cameras designed by SciLabs to record the events of the ONB Tournament for the entertainment of spectators. They are compact and fast, but fragile, although they were made with an expectation that some would get destroyed in the cross-fire. There are 3 cameras on-field at any one time, and a new one will be substituted if any get destroyed (at each modding).

Once the information is relayed to the Operators, they are given a few moments to strategize with their Navis before the match begins...
A beam of light shot from the sky. As it struck the ground, a billowing cloud of smoke burst into being. When the smoke cleared, the shadowy form of Void.EXE stood at the base of Crumble Hill. Void took a moment to scan the environment, and made sure he was alone. When Void saw that he was indeed alone, he looked up at the sky at the group of floating cameras, and smirked.

"I'm in." The shadowy figure of Void whispered in a most un-Void-like voice as it turned towards the nearest bridge access and began running towards it.

"Good. This is the last pickup." An adult female voice replied. "Get what we came for, and get out. We'll go home after this."

"I'm all for that." Void replied in a happy whisper as he started up the bridge's staircase at a brisk pace. He made it up the stairs in short order, and hurried across to the spot where the lone Holy Panel resided. A moment later, the dusky Navi stood at the edge of the bridge as he looked down upon the glowing panel and muttered: "Pretty thing."

"Focus." The female voice said as Void crouched down next to the Holy Panel, and reached into his midnight shade cape with his right hand. He produced the gunmetal gray sphere of a Wrecker from inside, held it up before his face, and looked at it thoughtfully for a moment. He then allowed his gaze to wander down and to the right at the top of the hill as he focused on the Cracked Panel adjacent to the Holy Panel. His smoky gray eyebrows rose slightly as a wry smirk crossed his face. Void then tilted his hand a bit and deliberately allowed the Wrecker to roll out of his hand to smash the panel as he muttered a quietly amused and sarcastic: "Oops." Then added: "My bad~"

"Vandal...." The female voice observed in a dust dry tone of mock accusation.

Void then reached quickly into his cape with right hand again, and drew out a slim single-edged knife. He scooted back a little bit, gripped the edge of the Holy Panel with his left hand, and then leaned forward. He reached under the Holy Panel with the hand holding the knife, and felt around for something until his hand brushed against cloth. "Found it."

Void stabbed the knife into the underside of the glowing panel; pinning the cloth bag in place. He quickly sat back and lifted the panel up by the edge until he could see the small unremarkable cloth bag hanging from the bottom of the panel. He grabbed the knife and quickly, yet carefully, collected it with the bag still hanging from the blade. He carefully set the panel back down, and then put the bag and the knife away just in time for the Cracked Panel to regenerate in the adjacent space a moment later.

"Mission accomplished." Void whispered in a satisfied (yet still most un-Void-like) tone as he stood up.

"Good work, 'Void'."

"Remind me to thank 'me' later, if I ever run into him." The dark Navi whispered as he turned around and prepared to leave....
From the opposite side of the arena, a patch of shadow accumulated on the ground. Out of it rose the form of a navi, which took the shape of Pianissimo. He scanned the area, taking in the shape of the arena and searching for a possible opponent, before his eyes landed on....Void?

"I thought you ran away," the assassin said, staring up at the other navi. "Decide to fight after all? Or are you planning to run off with whatever you just pulled out of the center there?" His eyes now rested on the holy panel in the center, which he had arrived just in time to notice being set back into place.

"Hm, typical," the assassin added, mostly to himself, wondering why anything would be hidden in the middle of a tournament arena like that, much less something worth breaking in and stealing. He placed a hand on the hilt of his katana, in case Void lashed out for being caught.
'Void' froze when Pianissimo first spoke, and immediately thought: Crud....

Over the private link with the Navi's operator, which neither Pianissimo nor Duke could hear a word of, 'Void' communicated with 'his' Net Op. 'He' spoke very quickly... Miriya. Void's rival's here!

Miriya, picking up on the clipped, hurried speech of her Navi, automatically replied in the same hurried manner: "Pianissimo?"

Yes! Thinks I'm Void.

"Wing it."

Plan to. The Navi that looked like Void added silently as 'he' turned to face Pianissimo. 'He' then spoke to Pianissimo in Void's voice... "Run away? I'd have to be afraid of you first."

The Void impostor completely regretted making that statement as Pianissimo continued speaking. There was now the possibility that the real Void had dropped out of the tourney instead of just left to take care of a quick errand... Which could be a problem. The Navi barely avoided blurting 'What?!' to Pianissimo, and instead contacted its Op privately again, just to make sure... Did Void drop out?

"I saw his Operator leave. No word on dropping."

While the Navi's operator was speaking, Pianissimo called 'him' out on the last few steps of 'his' mission. He saw me finish up.

"Stall. I'll jack you out once the transfer is complete."

The Navi did exactly that. "I'm here now, aren't I?" 'Void' said vaguely as 'he' shrugged... all the while thinking That sounded lame... to itself.

"He uhh...did say he was dropping out, right?" Pianissimo asked Duke.

"Give me a minute, I'll find the exact words he said again," Duke answered. The assassin heard footsteps over the comm as his netop walked back out to the main lobby. Meanwhile, he looked back up at Void as he responded. Something definitely didn't seem right about the navi, but it could have just been how incredibly lame he sounded.

"Sorry, but I always imagined a navi named Void as being somewhat imposing," he responded. Though any onlooker would have considered this statement a taunt, his tone was completely serious. "You've failed to give me that impression."

Seconds later, Duke's voice returned. "Got it," he said quickly. "And I quote...'I apologize, but due to problems beyond my control, I have to forfeit our fight. I must admit though, even then you'd still mop the floor with me. I hope you aren't too disappointed, but I figured you'd get a better challenge or have an easier time to prepare.' That's...definitely dropping out. So...who's this guy?"

Pianissimo didn't respond beyond a simple, almost inaudible "heh." He glanced back up at 'Void', his mouth twisting into a smirk. This would prove to be...interesting.

((Also ready.))
The Navi posing as Void heard Pianissimo voice his opinion of how non-threatening its current form seemed to be, and visibly winced. ....And with that burn, somewhere on the internet, a Navi named Void.EXE just burst into flame. When the Navi finished that thought, it couldn't resist the urge to double check its own appearance and ended up glancing at the various features that made up 'Void'. The Navi caught itself performing this check, and stopped. It then looked up with an inscrutable expression and thought to itself: You know what.... Even though this is pouring gas on the flames, I can only agree. I don't really find this form scary either.

At about this time, the camera satellites becomes more animated and the sounds of the audience could be heard. Which meant the arena was now live, and the time of the tourney battle was drawing nearer... The Navi tried contacting its Net Op over their private channel. Hey, Miriya? What's going on? When there was no response, the Navi began to worry.... Miriya? ..... Hey, Miriya! When there was still no answer, the Navi groaned and facepalmed. This is not good. I'm stuck in a tournament arena that's about to be televised, and there's going to be some serious explaining to do when the real Void shows up for his fight while I'm standing here.

---A few minutes later---

The Navi was standing there ignoring the cyber-world around it, listening for any sign o-- "Mirage?" Miriya's voice finally came over the comlink.

Where have you been?! Mirage burst over the private channel.

"Something unexpected came up...." Miriya's voice trailed off into a sigh.

Nevermind that. Get me out of here, quick! Mirage demanded. She then started off on a rant at a good clip... The match is going to start soon, so Void's gonna show up any second! And--

"No." Miriya said flatly as she interrupted Mirage's rant. "Void wont be coming."

Did he really drop?

"Yes, and you're fighting in his place."

Wait, what? Mirage responded in a surprised tone, then fell silent for several seconds before adding an incredulous: You can't be serious?!

"I wish I wasn't." Miriya said in a wry tone, tinged with a hint of regret. "To make matters worse, our opponents knows for certain you're not Void."

Oh, Lovely. Mirage's voice went flat. I've been standing here borrowing trouble from an assassin. She sighed aloud, outside of the private channel, then asked: Good to know I can at least fight as myself.

"You also know the terrain's layout fairly well."

That's true.

"Good luck, Mirage."

With that, the figure of Void turned to face Pianissimo once again.... then began a process of transformation. The glow of the Navi's yellow eyes faded out, and then disappeared entirely. The short, almost skeletal shadow Navi started growing taller, and its figure started to fill out to something more normal. The process continued until the shadow now stood five and a half feet tall, and sported the feminine outline of a young adult woman clad in some form of martial garb. The image did not resolve any further, leaving the Navi looking like a female Navi in shadow form. And merely a silhouette at that, as the lighting within the arena did nothing to add depth or features to her form. Even more remarkable, this Navi did not cast a shadow upon the ground, at all. This was the form of Mirage's Nightshade.GMO, which had allowed her to assume the likeness of Void.EXE.

Mirage stood there for a moment, then finally spoke to her opponent in her own voice for the first time.... "I am the kunoichi, Mirage. And your opponent." She paused very briefly, then added: "We're both professionals.... Nothing personal." After she finished speaking, her silhouette faded out of existence atop the hill. She reappeared an instant later at the bottom of the hill, directly in front of the bridge access opposite Pianissimo's location.

Mirage's shadow form made a strange wrist-flick gesture, and a pair of black war fans unfolded within her grasp as she assumed a fighting stance....
"Professionals, are you? Now that sounds like a show!" shouted a loud voice from... nowhere in particular. Pianissimo and Mirage could search all they wanted for the source of the voice, but this tricky bastard rigged the Satellite Cameras to project his voice for him. He was set up to lord over this fight without ever revealing his identity... only to come bursting up through the hill itself. True to its design, the hill quickly repaired the gaping hole in its cap while its attacker nimbly landed on the nexus of the bridges above.

"Greetings, 'professionals' and audience alike. I am Referee #7, and I will be judging and commentating on today's match." announced the Navi as he took a proud stance. A NormalNavi by any stretch of the imagination, Referee #7 made his mark with his black and white-striped colors, and a long, sceptre-like microphone in his right hand. "An assassin on one end..." he mused, pointing the hilt of his microphone towards Pianissimo, "A ninja on the other," now pointing the hilt to Mirage, "And... This magnificient Holy panel in the middle. This has the makings of a brilliant battle, and both of you have an obligation to the viewers to make that true." These arrogrant ramblings were enough to annoy just about anyone, and only God knew how long he was going to do this. "So, the battle starts now!" Referee #7 shouted suddenly as he slammed his microphone against the ground and warped out of the battlefield, leaving behind two bewildered Navis and a waiting audience.

Mirage.exe: 200 HP (At foot of eastern bridge)

Pianissimo: 200 HP (At foot of western bridge)

Terrain: 38% Normal (Bridges, Arena Border, Inside Crumble Hill), 61% Cracked (Hill), 1% Holy (Bridge Nexus)
Special Effect: Re-Crumble (Cracked Terrain regenerates after only 1 turn)

Arena Barrier (Immortal, Stationary, Invisible)

Satellite CameraA (10 HP, Moving, Flying)
Satellite CameraB (10 HP, Moving, Flying)
Satellite CameraC (10 HP, Moving, Flying)

(Turn Summaries are due Friday, June 5th by 3:54 PM EST)
"Hm," Pianissimo said simply, watching Mirage revert too her own 'form' and introduce herself. Professional, eh? he thought, amused. This should be fun.

As an annoying echo of that thought, the roar of the announcer said....almost exactly the same thing. Pianissimo closed his eyes and sighed, hoping this one wouldn't talk as long as the last one. It's almost tempting to drop out so that I don't have to deal with three more rounds of this. Especially at the rate this is going." He added the last thought seeing the referee appear out of the hill and....draw unnecessary attention to himself.

"Attention whore much?" Pianissimo muttered, knowing the announcer wouldn't be able to hear him over his own voice, but not caring either way. In the meantime, he opened a private channel and requested chips to open the battle with.

And still, the announcer talked. The assassin was about to tell him to shut up and leave before he finally said "So, the battle starts now!"

The instant the announcer warped out, Pianissimo regained his composure and quick-drew his katana, striking it against the ground in front of him and sending a wave of energy from it. The energy wave shot forward, traveling straight across the bridge at high speed. Pianissimo kicked off from the ground as it cleared the bridge nexus, dashing up the hill himself.

He stopped, however, as he gained enough ground to clearly see over the top. Giving a quick glance around to be sure of Mirage's location, he turned and dropped off the side of the bridge, fully expecting to fall right into the hill. As he did and the darkness of the hollow encompassed him, he dissolved into it until nothing was left where he had landed.

He reappeared, at first, as a dark spot against the scenery, positioned so that Mirage was between it and the nearest part of the cracked hill surface. The black katana shot out of the dark spot, attempting to impale Mirage and possibly hold her there as the dark spot expanded into the rest of Pianissimo's form.

As his left arm rematerialized, it became encased in the barrel of a compressed air gun. The assassin wasted no time aiming it at his enemy and fired, hoping the force of it would, at the very least, send her plowing into the hill. At best, he hoped it would trap her inside for a few seconds or more.

Falling to the ground, he dashed to the left, beginning a run to avoid any immediate counterattacks.


1. SonicWave Mirage - 80 + Line + Ground
*Tac Movement: Advance up bridge
2. Tac Movement: Advance up bridge until Pianissimo can see over the peak
3. Dodge
4. Cloak and Dagger: Teleport behind/slightly above Mirage, 100 slashing - attempt to keep Mirage in place with attack long enough to airshot
5. Airshot Mirage into hill - 20 + microburst
6. Dodge
Pianissimo's shockwave tore through the ground and up the bridge, just in time for... Referee #7 to reappear right in the path of the attack. "Oh, that's right, I forgot s- Whoa!" Having failed to check the conditions of the battlefield beforehand, the hapless announcer warped himself to one of the inclinded bridges just off Pianissimo's view, so neither Navi had any idea what was happening until it already did. The SonicWave crashed straight through Referee #7, causing the attack to veer off course and end its run into the bridge's side. Still, this was only a minor issue compared to what happened next.

"Arrrrrrrgh!" screamed Referee #7 as the attack struck its unintended target. As he recoiled from the impact, the announcer's mic-sceptre slipped out of his hand and off the bridge, falling into Crumble Hill and lodging itself between a group of rocks. Of course, that small patch of stone had to be a structural keypoint for the entire hill, and having it dislodged like that sent the entire hill off and created an avalanche... right towards Mirage. There wasn't a single Navi on the Net who knew what to do with this tidal wave of rock, and all the mysterious Navi could do was watch as the stones engulfed her and forced her safety features to jack her out. Referee #7, who had been clinging to the bridge for dear life, could only stare on in awe at what just happened... Until it occured to him that he did it. "Oh god, I'm so going to be fired when they see this..." he groaned before looking up at the cameras... which were all still trained on Pianissimo, since Referee #7 wasn't recognized as a competitor. The cameras... didn't catch that? At all? This is a lucky break!

Reinvigorated, Referee #7 pulled himself back up and walked to the bridge's nexus to be in full view. "What a brilliant show of strategy by Pianissimo! A single attack sends the entire hill into chaos and defeats his opponent! If I hadn't seen it with my own eyes, I'd have sworn it wasn't true! So, a big congratulations to Pianissimo and his Operator, Duke Rigel! Good luck in the next round!" he shouted into his microphone, lying through his teeth all the while. As soon as he finished, Referee #7 left the arena entirely, not wanting to take any chances on someone figuring out what he had done.

Mirage.exe: EJO...?

Pianissimo: 200 HP


Winner: Pianissimo.exe (Quarterfinals Pass GET)

Loser: Mirage.exe (3000z or 1 Elemental Knife GET)
Pianissimo stopped his run as soon as he heard the announcer yell, watching as...well...something happened. Though he saw the hill collapse into an avalanche, and the announcer hanging from the ledge, he still wasn't quite sure what he was looking at.

"Duke?" he asked.


"What the hell just happened." It wasn't a question. It was a statement of sheer disbelief at what he had seen, and the only real conclusion that could be drawn from it. As if trying to answer, though, the announcer spoke up and....bullshitted his way out of admitting to trying to draw more attention to himself and screwing up. "Whatever," he added, turning away and starting to walk back down toward the starting point. "That announcer dies if I see him again."

He jacked out.