The Pioneer by Proxy

((Connecting from They Who Art Not In Heaven...))


[GMO: Blackland Vagabond Activated]

Outside the Global Network Administration building, a red, glowing crack appeared in the ground and began to spread. It broke apart, tearing the floor data in two. Out of this chasm rose a red-hot panel of metal, cooling into solidity. On top of this panel stood the ominously cloaked figure of Fissure. As the panel reached ground level, Fissure stepped off it, and the ground collapsed back to normality. A large group of spherical, gaggling navis tottered passed, heading in the direction of the GNA's entrance. Fissure surreptitiously fell in behind, making sure to draw attention to himself through hiding.

Jim didn't understand why Fissure did this. He didn't understand a lot of what the smiling, snake-like navi did. He recalled the incident with the 70 foot metool and the box of extremely volatile ice-cream. ACDC, he mused, wouldn't be too happy to see Fissure there anytime soon.

Inside, the expansive dome was nearly packed. Navis of every colour, size, shape and nationality were played host to by several hundred GNA employees. Jim had never seen so many in one place, and wondered about the amount of bandwidth needed to keep the area stable.

He watched Fissure have a brief discussion with an orderly who had just finished helping a jetpack-wearing dinosaur. The orderly pointed Fissure toward the center of the dome, a large, tiered, cake-shaped structure dotted with stairs and registry windows.

As Fissure made his way there, he headed through a line of GNA security navi's keeping watch on the oncoming crowds. It passed unhindered, but paused, turning to look at a navi with a large, rounded, tong-shaped sword strapped to it's side. Edging through the crowd, Fissure tapped the navy-coloured navi on the shoulder with an extended talon. "Midknight! You're not dead yet!"[b][/b] greeted Fissure with mock surprise.

The blue-armoured navi grunted first in suspicion then, looking over the blacksmith's cloaked figure, again in recognition. His dark blue helmet had a large crescent shape protruding from each side, and the front had no covering, revealing the navi's pitch-black body. A single, white circle, for what had to be an eye, was the only facial feature he had. The navi was dressed in blue-black samurai armour. A black cape with a silver underside hung from the navi's helmet. "And I see you're still lurking around at rock bottom, Sir Fissure.", he spoke with a strong, accent, polite yet with mirth. "Ah, but what's this? You've found another operator?", Midknight remarked at Jim's viewscreen, who was trying his best not to look as though he was eavesdropping, "It's good to meet you, Young Sir."

<<Er, yeah, you too.>>, Jim said, blanched at getting caught out.

Midknight turned back to Fissure. "The last time we met you were in the company of an artist with an afro."

"Jones, yes. Genius with a pencil, but asked far too many questions for his own good. This one, however, is... special."[b][/b]

"He's tolerated you for more than five minutes?"

"Hah!"[b][/b], Fissure cackled, which sounded like someone had stood on a bag of cats. "How about yours, then? Still at law school, no doubt?"[b][/b]

"Actually, Sir Oscar has achieved a junior apprenticeship at a law firm, WayForward. Heard of it?"

"Can't say I have."[b][/b] mused Fissure. He changed the subject, and to Jim, the conversation became considerably frostier.

"And what about his brother? What's he up to?"[b][/b]

The knight bristled at this mention. "As far as I know, he's still in that abysmal network..." As the two navis were jostled by the crowd, something clicked in Midknight's head.

"You're not still thinking of..."

Fissure leaned in close, his smile sickiningly wide. "That's The Plan"[b][/b].

The samurai considered this for a moment. "Well, then, I bid you good luck." he said, coldy. "I'm afraid I must return to my duties."

The knight moved away, leaving Fissure lost in the crowd.

"Heh. Good man, that guy."[b][/b]

Jim felt the need to speak. <<Who was that?>>

"An old friend."[b][/b], said Fissure, nostalgically, "We fought against each other in the last Net War."[b][/b] Fissure turned to make his way towards the centre structure. However, something still niggled in Jim's brain.

<<He mentioned The Plan? Does he know what it is?>>, Jim asked. Although The Plan was the reason for him to work with Fissure, he still didn't know exactly what it was.

"That's a long and boring story."[b][/b], replied Fissure, "I'll tell you some other time."[b][/b]

Fissure had found an empty registry window and gained the attention of it's occupant.

"Hello Sir and/or Madam."[b][/b], Fissure's blatant cheerfulness grated against the ears, drawing inquisitive looks from nearby navis, "My name is Fissure.EXE, and I would like to apply for a position in the Teksqp Mafia Family, if you would be so kind."[b][/b]
"Very well, Fissure, we'll look for the first available Teksqp recruitment request. Please wait while we prepare the information..."

After a little bit of thumb-twiddling time, Fissure was presented with his super private request info. The mission request instructed him to head to a remote location where he would be provided with the actual mission request. Apparently, this wasn't a standard affair, as navis were not normally asked to meet with their employers for these entry missions. The employer had simply stated that he wished to meet whoever was working for him in person.

It could be some form of officious politeness or even lingering mafia suspicion. Fissure had no way to be certain, but it seemed unlikely that it would be a trap, at least. It seemed like the GNA were running a very clean and dominant operation that would not take such attempts by either side lightly.

"Have a nice day," the broker finished, waving forward the next participant. "Remember not to pass on any of this info to those you do not trust."


Mission: For Teksqp Recruits

Description: The employer has requested to meet with the one who takes this mission. Report to Teksqp employer in coordinates given for mission details. The location is in Yoka net.

Reward: Teksqp family employment

*Coordinates attached*
"Aha, thank you, indeed, yes."[b][/b] Fissure smiled at the broker navi, gingerly taking the super-private request data packet within two large talons.

Jim peered over Fissure's shoulder. <<So? What's it say?>>, he inquired eagerly as Fissure swept away from the registry platforms.

The cloaked navi perused the minuscule contents of the file as he pressed his way through the crowd and out of the domed building.

He downloaded the coordinates to the PET, tossed the package onto the ground and shot it with his buster, disintegrating the data.

"It says we need two tickets for Yoka Net.", Fissure replied with a spotless, revitalized grin.


((Connecting to Favour The Road, Travel In Style...))