Sparks wants to join the NS

This is where Joseph is.

Sparks traversed the net until he came to Internet City. Traffic was booming in every direction. Just like the last time he had made his way over here. "Hmmm, I wonder how my friends are doing?" Sparks wondered, thinking about the last mission he was on. He looked around trying to locate a specific stall. There were a lot of different stands, most of them were advertised as being part of the NetPolice, or the NetMafia. Different branches, or families for both of those groups. That wasn't what the digital samurai was looking for though. "Neo Shogun...... hmmmmm.... Neo Shogun." He glanced at many different stands, but couldn't find anything in particular that resembled anything like a shogunate. Stumped he grabbed the attention of a passerby and asked them, "Hey could you point me in the direction of the Neo Shogunate stand"

The nameless stock navi responded, "Sure... I think I seen a stall back that ways a little bit." It guided Sparks behind him with his finger.

"Okay thanks." Joe's navi headed back in that direction. It was to no avail though, because Sparks still didn't see anything. The other navi was either in a hurry and didn't know what they were talking about. That, or they were a liar and just didn't want to deal with it. Sparks decided just to stand by, and wait on Drago to show up, seeing as he was an actual member, he could point them in the right direction.
A portal opens up and throws three navis into the area near the recruitment kiosk. "What the heck just happened?" DragonierMan asked as he picked himself up from the ground, rubbing his temple. Aya was sitting on her knees rubbing her butt, having landed squarely on it. "Ow, ow, ow," she repeated through gritted teeth. Suzume was flopped onto her back, staring at the sky. A moment later she turned to one side and noticed Sparks heading over to a nearby booth. She leaned on her side and waved at him, "HEY SIR SPARKS! OVER HERE! WHOOHOO!" Aya looked over to Suzume at the noise, then over towards Sparks, then all around her. "I gather we are somewhere in Internet City." DragonierMan nodded as he dusted himself off, "I'm gathering that. I guess we got another mission, and since we couldn't hear commands, Our Lord just sent us here himself."
Sparks, still wandering aimlessly through the busy stalls looking for any trace of the Neo Shoguante. Then the portals open and his friends came crashing down. "Perfect timing." The samurai chuckled, noticing that it looked like Drago and company didn't expect to be flung here out of now where. As the Navi and SP gathered themselves, Sparks headed over to greet them. "It's good to see you my friends." He spoke energetically, giving a respectful bow to unsuspecting group.
DragonierMan nodded his head at Sparks before reaching down to retrieve his helmet. "So what is the mission today Sparks?" Aya flapped her wings a bit and pushed off the ground with her hands to stand back up, while Suzume rolled onto her stomach and pushed herself to her feet. The twins began dusting themselves off as Drago put his helmet back on and began to re-fasten the straps. "Are we going to bust special viruses, or go into someones' dreams, or recruit more for the Neo-Shogunate?" Suzume asked Sparks, listing off events from their previous team-ups. She almost leapt at him as she was talking a mile a minute, almost clinging to him like an excited child.

But before Sparks could get in a word edgewise, Aya spoke up. "Let the man speak Suzume," Aya chastised, while also interrupting Sparks. "And get off of him. You are acting like a child," she said as she pried Suzume off of Sparks and dragged her, pouting, a few feet away. Suzume's booted heels dragged in the dirt as she was carried away by her younger sister, making twin trails in the ground. Drago adjusted his left-hand glove, pulling it tight to his arm. "Are you going to be working with the NS again today, or are you taking a mission from the GNA this time?" He took a good look at Sparks, up and down. "Looks like you got a little stronger since last we met." He flexed his left arm to show off his muscles. "Well I have too. And I'm ready for anything you can throw at us. So what do you want to do?"
Sparks smiled, the SP duo were always fun to be around. "Ah that means a lot coming from you Drago, You are a bar that one is always trying to meet." The samurai spoke to his friend and ally. It was true, they had both made gains since the last the duo had worked together. After soaking in the quick compliment he turned his attention to the matter at hand. "No GNA for me. The last two missions were a great experience." Joe's navigator explained. "My master and I both believe that us joining the NS would be beneficial to both parties." His words came confidently until, "Butttttttt... I don't remember where we helped set up the recruitment desk." Sparks ran his right hand across the back of his helmet, portraying a puzzled stance.
Aya spoke up after Sparks, "Oh, that. The kiosk for the NS is over there," she pointed toward a stylized booth that looked like an ancient Electopian castle. Still as matter-of-factly as ever. She still held onto the scruff of Suzume's neck as Suzume whimpered and reached out to Sparks. "Aaaaayaaa let me hug him. We haven't seen each other in foooreveeeer." Aya just rolled her eyes and tilted/nodded her head towards the NS kiosk to indicate that Sparks should go over there. Drago, seemingly ignoring the antics of his SPs, reached an arm around Sparks to clap him on the back in a friendly and manly manner. "Good to hear you decided to join the winning team," he said with pride. "Come on then, I'll get you signed up in no time," he said as he tried to direct Sparks towards the booth with all haste.
"Oh... it's over there." Sparks felt dumb that he had forgotten where it was. The samurai willingly followed the directions he had been given. "Your SPs are always so energetic, seems like they could be a handful." Pointing out that Aya and Suzume's energetic antics never bothered him. As the group headed for the kiosk, his membership to the NS drew ever closer.
"As spirited as ever," DragonierMan replied. "Although I don't normally use the word 'SP' to describe them. They are people first after all. I don't like it when we get labeled as just 'mere programs'," he stated matter-of-factly. "I don't think you would like it if I just called you 'navi' instead of your name right? So call them 'the twins', or 'the girls', or 'Suzume and Aya' instead of 'those SPs'. You feel me?" Drago asked Sparks with a hint of aggression in his eyes and a growl on his lips. Clearly he found the designations that operators used insulting.

Aya had let go of Suzume by this point, but was clearly holding an imaginary leash to her older twin, as Suzume just silently floated behind Sparks and Drago on the way to the booth. Aya also followed the two navis, walking close to her sister. "So what made you decide to join the NS now?" Suzume's face immediately brightened and took on a cat-like smirk. "Oh I know! Is it because you couldn't stay away from all us cute girls, right? I bet that's it, right? Right?"
The sudden aggression that Drago showed caught Sparks off guard. "Whoa there brother. No disrespect was intended." Their views on that subject were destined to be met with friction. He could have interjected more on the subject... but felt it was better to leave it with a quick apology. "Yes they are people, quite fine individuals at that. Sorry to have offended any of you." He said this, bowing once again.

The samurai turned to Aya, and Suzume with a slight flush due to Suzume's statement. "Well actually, I wanted to join because of y'all. Y'all have proven to be dependable comrades, so why not make it official." The thought of working with Vee and Lee again did however cross the navigator's mind many times.
Sparks, DragonierMan, Aya, and Suzume exchanged some quick greetings; with all of the hardship DragonierMan and crew had been through in recent times, between the insurgency they'd unwittingly had a hand in and the rest of the RoT attack, it was likely pleasant to meet someone whose view represented a simpler, positive expression towards themselves and the whole organization. Suzume inferred that Sparks may have be trying to secure a spot with the Empire in order to be around female fighters more. Of course, there was another girl who typified the Shogun's female fighters: the samurai, Lee, who greeted the group as they reached the recruitment booth.

For now, she was dressed in her battle armor... which mostly meant that she had her kabuto on. Rarely was she seen without the rest of the gear: red breastplate, skirt, gauntlets, boots, and a conspicuous lack of midriff protection. The unarmored spots showed of a lean midriff and toned musculature, though it was a far cry from the sort of muscle that Yasu or Escort packed on. "Well, well! If it isn't DragonierMan, the girls, and... hm... who was it again? Sparky?" she asked, seemingly not intending to tease but doing so anyway. She leaned on her spear and pressed a finger to her lip, staring at the sky for a moment as if searching for the answer. "Anyway, Sparky! You're welcome here too. Though I don't get why DragonierMan's here... Uh, you didn't get fired and now you have to rejoin, right?" Presumably, he'd answer that he was mostly here to assist Sparks, or otherwise, to take a mission.

"Whatever the case, you came at a great time! Rodeo's been mostly manning the booth here, and she'll be back a bit later, but I'm here for a bit looking for someone to help me with a special mission! Of course, it's up to you whether you wanna do it, but before you say no, you should know that I've come up with a special system to make sure that doing assignments with me is super fun! There's a lot of girls in the Neo-Shogun Empire, but I need everybody to know that I'm still the fun one!" she announced proudly, pressing one thumb against her breastplate proudly and beaming cheerfully. "So, if you guys are interested... uh, first things first... do you know about the Alexis?" she asked, leaning across the table and resting her spear across it, both hands over its shaft.

It was doubtful that Sparks would, but DragonierMan might recall the name of the organization that had terrorized Yasu and her people during the pre-Shogun days. "Basically, they're bad guys who serve a navi named Alex, trying to subjugate small groups of navis by, uh, threatening them, destroying all of their stuff, and in some cases, beating them up. Bad guys, not ones we see eye to eye with. It feels a little silly saying 'Alexis' since, although we know there's several of them, the only ones we actually know are Alex herself and her subordinate, Kama... Anyway! Kama is the one I'm interested in... She's this huge ninja, really strong! Kind of a waste for her to be a ninja if you ask me. But anyway, uh... it's pretty complicated, but we wanna talk it out with her, see if there's some way we can convince her to leave the Alexis and join us. Or, that failing, convince Alex not to attack us, since we're still regrouping after the ROT thing. Or that failing... Well, there's been some soldiers of ours spotted in the area, but we haven't ordered any soldiers to be there. We recently lost some to the ROT, I still don't quite get how... But anyway, we're worried they're going to try to assimilate Kama. If they did that, the ROT would have another big, big weapon to use against us! I don't want that to happen... I like a challenge, but my spear isn't the greatest weapon when it comes to fighting building-sized monster women."

Lee waited to see their reaction, but interjected before they could say much. "I know you're thinking this sounds kinda dangerous! Well, I have another incentive... it won't just be me going, I'm also taking Sake along with me! The drink and the navi; they kind of come together as a package. I haven't spent a lot of time around her yet, since she's more Dee's friend than mine, but I hear she is always drunk and it's hilarious to watch! Uh... I don't know how much alcoholism is gonna actually help in this mission, but she and I were both excused from the meeting with the Shogun and I figure, the more the merrier on this big mission of mine! What do you say? You guys in?" she asked, using 'guys' as a collective phrase to refer to the girls as well. "I can't tell you about my super secret fun plan unless you say yes! Oh... I should also ask what kind of reward you two are looking for, since I'll have to call Yasu to approve it."
"It's good to see you again Lee." As soon as Lee came into the picture, Sparks had a small smirk across his face. He wasn't to sure of some of the stuff she had spoken of. Two keywords were picked out though. "Mission" and "Reward". That is why the samurai navi had came here after all.

"So let me make sure I'm following." Sparks grabbed everyone's attention with an attempted summary of what would be happening. "Find this big ninja girl try and get her to switch to the NS side. If that doesn't work, we need to convince her boss not to attack us... and if that doesn't work, then we need to stop the NS soldier from joining them?"

Sparks looked to the group for approval from his summary, then stated, "As for rewards... You heard it earlier. I'm just looking to join the Neo Shogunate. Of course, any additional reward on top of that would be very welcome, it isn't requested, or necessary." He bowed to who would hopefully soon be one of his comrades. "I'm prepared to do what I can to benefit the NS."
"Oh! No need to apologize Sir. Sparks," Suzume piped up as DragonierMan moved away and Suzume took his place. "Though it is nice that you'll call me by my name from now on." She grinned as Sparks continued. "That is so nice of you to say. We really like you too, don't we?" she said as she looked at Aya. Aya nodded, "Most of the missions we have been on with you have been successful." Suzume patted Sparks on the back. "See? It is going to be a blast working with you in the Neo-Shogunate."

And without ever getting into the discussion of what the heck happened in the NS since their last mission, the four came upon the booth manned by General Lee. As the introductions came in Aya and Drago briefly interjected commentary. "His name is Sparks, not Sparky," Aya mentioned. "As far as I know I haven't been fired," Drago said. "I am just here to help Sparks join the Shogunate."

"It is SIR Sparks," Suzume interjected to their interjections.

General Lee continued, trying to bring lighthearted fun into the briefing. She asked if anyone knew about the Alexis faction. Then went on a spiel about who they were and what they represented. And included details about their current objective in the mission, trying to recruit a member named Kama. Or, failing that, convince the leader of the Alexis faction, Alex, to not attack the NS. Drago interrupted again. "I have met and battled both Alex and Kama. For Alex, I fought beside Yasu to avenge the burning down Yasu's village. We defeated her and drove her off, but she was tough and cruel. I don't think it will be easy to convince her not to attack us."

"As for Kama... After I met you and the witch Trik, we then moved to meet up with General Vee, where I was grown to the size of a monster, and had a battle with Kama. And you remember how that went," Drago said to Lee, indicating that it embarrassed Kama greatly. "Not only that, but I promised to help her get to her original size. And as you noted, she still isn't shrunk back yet." Clearly this was going to be a doozy of a mission. "Oh and the whole, NS soldiers are not where they are supposed to be, that was ROT's thing. Their leader, BrainMan, found a way to implant mind-controlling technology on Yasu and a few of her closest soldiers. We freed Yasu, but we are still dealing with the fallout."

"It might be a matter of course to find Trik also, if for anything other than to help Kama get back to her original size," Aya piped up after. Suzume clapped her hands together, "Maybe we can even get Trik to join the NS along with Kama! Having a powerful witch like her would be a real boon. Especially since we need all the help we can get right now."

After a moment, Lee continued and added that Sake was going to join the expedition. "I don't know how much Sake can help us with this mission," Aya interjected. "But then again, we haven't really seen her in action yet." Suzume tapped her cheek with a finger in thought for a moment as Sparks talked, summarizing the mission. She seemed to be lost in thought until he was done speaking. "Oh I know! You can't have a diplomatic meeting without sitting around drinking sake. Er, or something," Suzume commented.

"As for rewards," DragonierMan commented, "The standard amounts of Faction Points, BugFrags, and Zenny will be sufficient. As Sparks said, our main goal is to recruit and grow the NS more than our own personal enrichment. If I needed to get stronger, faster, I would be spending my time fighting viruses."

"It is SIR Sparks," Suzume added, again.

"Yes, we are in," Aya confirmed.
Lee pressed a finger to her lip thoughtfully, then tilted her chin upward, making a show of thinking hard. "That's about right, Sparky... uh, Sir Sparky, I mean... but we aren't so much worried about the ones who left us trying to join the Alexis. The problem we're expecting to run into is that they'll put some kind of freaky crap in Kama that forces her to work for them. See, each of those guys is apparently controlled by some kind of internal device... they're thinking it's in the eye. We're worried they're going to try to put that into Kama too and turn her into a giant ROT weapon! Alexis are bad, but ROT's considered the bigger threat right now, since they're the ones who are attacking us recently. If Kama isn't infected by whatever the ROT's using, then we can still reason with her, but if that stuff gets in her and BrainMan gets direct control, there's not gonna be any chance."

She smiled again when Sparks mentioned rewards, then crossed her hands behind her back. "Recruitment, huh? It'll be nice for me to recruit somebody for once! Yasu and Dee usually do all of that," she giggled. "Of course, I've got a lot of other fun planned! I'm not stingy, you'll see that!" she reassured him. DragonierMan had more of the usual in mind. "Oh, sure! Premium stuff for you, like always, DragonierMan. Plus, my special secret fun reward!" It sounded like she was pretty enthusiastic about whatever secret she had in store, but she wasn't known for being the "planning" type...

"You made a promise like that?" Lee asked DragonierMan, raising her eyebrows. "Well, if it makes you feel any better, maybe she didn't take you too seriously? I know I wouldn't believe you if you told me that! Ha ha ha! But seriously, if I was a giant samurai, you wouldn't hear me complaining! Although I'd have to stop wearing skirts," she mused. She frowned at the mention of the previous ROT plot. "Yasu hasn't really told us everything about it yet, but we know it was bad. The Shoguns' preparing a PSA to let everyone know a bunch of stuff, and I know that part of it is to be suspicious of anybody who's hiding their eyes, since that seems to be how BrainMan's getting into people. That's part of the big meeting they're doing now. As for Trik, uh... hm... I don't have a clue where she is! Right now, we've only got eyes on Kama."

Lee nodded along with Suzume, then clapped her gauntlets. "Ha ha ha! You're right about that. I'm gonna get my party on!" she laughed, though it sure didn't sound like she was mission-focused right now. Then again, there was no telling how the mission would go just now... maybe a sake party would be part of it. "Okay, sounds like we're all ready to go! We can meet Sake at the mission point. Here's the coordinates, it's in Okuden Net, near a big dam. We're gonna start by talking to the owner of the dam! Oh, and when we get there, you'll also learn all about my super secret fun plan!" She handed over two data packets with coordinates, then gave a thumbs up rather than a bow or a salute, and disappeared in a flash of fire that was just a little too close for comfort.

*Coordinates.DAT obtained*

((Topic opening soon in Okuden Net))
Sparks sent the data packet to his operator, then watched in awe as the general quickly poofed away in flames. "That's a cool exit." Sparks spoke his thoughts aloud, as he often did. "Maybe Joe can tweak mine into an epic reverse lighting bolt."

Snapping back to the matters at hand. "It seems like we have another rather interesting mission on our hands, eh Drago?" The samurai placed his hand on his fellow navi's shoulder. "I really hope I'm able to draw my sword, and put it to use this time." Referring to his attempt at an exhibition of strength during the last mission, that was all but completely shut down by a GNA guard. "Speaking of battle, I know my operator reached out to Destin... but I thought I'd thank you in person. Somehow my body changed and adapted to use a power similar to yours in my last battle. I believe Destin called it a cross...?"
General Lee gave Sparks and DragonierMan their data packets with the coordinates to their mission, and then disappeared in a puff of flame and smoke. Sparks then placed a hand on Drago's shoulder and talked/asked about how he had activated his DragoCross by accident in the last battle he had. Drago turned to Sparks, "Yes they are called Crosses." He then stepped back from Sparks for a moment. "When we hangout with each other for a long enough time, we 'rub off' on each other. I see it like copying what we like about the other. And everyone can then tap into that power. Observe."

DragonierMan closed his eyes and concentrated. A few moments of silence later his hair began to change from his dull gray to a platinum blonde, growing a few inches longer. The ends sparked with electricity and became spikey, standing straight up from his head as if a statically-charged balloon was rubbed against it. His eye-color also changed from within his helmet. The gray of his eyes, that was ubiquitous throughout his profile, swirled with color and became a greenish-yellow pyre of life.

Even more startling was the change to his armor. His Netopian-style plate armor melted into a silvery slime and shifted across his body. Within a few moments it had shifted into an Electopian-style set of armor, similar to Sparks' current samurai attire. The color of the armor tinted into a dark green, trimmed in yellow. His helmet morphed towards more of a kabuto-style horned helmet, forming a crest of two long, yellow thunderbolt-like horns, and a yellow mempo mask. The demon-like visage terrifying to behold. His cloak also turned green like his armor and helmet, but only on the inner-side. The outside was as yellow as the trim on his armor, or the thunderbolt-like horns of his helmet.

His navi symbol also changed. It still bore the stone tower, but a dark green circle with crossing yellow thunderbolts appeared behind it. A stylized katana sheath emblazoned with a golden dragon on an emerald background appeared on his left side, attached to his belt. He opened his eyes and reached over with his right hand and grasped the hilt of the sheathed blade, unsheathing it. All that was actually sheathed was the empty hilt of the sword, so no blade actually appeared from the scabbard as he unsheathed the non-existent katana. He put his other hand on the hilt and a jolt of energy ran down from his body, through his arms, and into the hilt. A yellow blade of pure energy extended from the empty socket in the hilt, forming a sharp, single-edged katana blade.

"This is my SparksCross," Sparks!Drago said with a tinge of crackling in his voice. Of tiny bolts of electricity popping out of his mouth as he spoke. "Born of my friendship with you over the many missions we have endured. All I do to harness it is to think of you in times of trouble. Unfortunately, the duration of a Cross transformation is temporary and it takes some time to recover it. But the more friendships you have, the more Crosses you can transform into. Your allies, my allies, give us all sorts of strengths."

Suzume whistled from her position near Sparks. "Isn't that just the coolest thing? Although, it is unfortunate that I am just an underling. I don't get any cool transformations for being your friend..." she said wistfully. But then she grabbed at and tried to pull Sparks towards a portal that was opening up nearby. "Oh well. I guess I just have to cling to you when I can. Now let's get going on our mission before all the fun happens without us." Sparks!Drago and Aya followed after the two lovebirds.
Sparks was pulled through the portal by one of Dragoneirman's partners, as he and company were transported to their new location.

This is where they went.