Machman & Aera: Flying to Yoka!

((Continued from Mazer's House {possibly important Mod information inside}))

Machman and Aera beam down to the floor of the Airline's network. Machman in a blue beam, Aera in a smaller cyan beam. They both emerge from the fading light and look around the somewhat small area. It's probably twice the size of a NetSquare to accomidate one or two NetBattles at a time. There are several Navis already logged in and milling about; some chatting with others while others look around for Navis they deem suitable to challenge. Machman and Aera can easily see the other side of the network space; the chance of a virus in the area is quite low, since the network is cut off from the main Yoka network and just came online in the past 5 minutes. Machman and Aera start walking together at a slow pace, hoping to interact with some other Navis; whether it be a conversation or a NetBattle.

((Requesting Battle 1 and/or Navi interaction))
((Bump. Requesting Moderation))
<(Gah, sorry for the wait, I was trying to think of something good.

In other news, softlocked.)>

As Machman and Aera pace the plane's Network, they immediately hear commotion. In a smaller corner near the back of the area (the Net equivilant of the plane's kitchen), several Navis are present. Most are simply NormalNavis with huge, comical chef's hats on, but the final one was Custom-class, a massive, beefy meat tank of a Navi with a massive hat, an apron, and a metal cooking spoon about as long as Machman was tall strapped to his back.

They're a little too far away to really know what was going on, but the argument looked pretty heated and besides, they looked silly. Nothing much else to do, right?
((I'm just happy someone was actually looking at my thread. Thanks for taking the time to prepare an interesting situation!))

Machman and Aera continue to walk down towards one end of the net area. Aera reaches down and grabs Machman's hand. His eyes widen and look down to see her fingers intertwined with his. He blushes a little, but manages to use his slight height advantage to hid it from Aera. They both turn towards a sound of shouting, their acoustic sensors are essentially identical and have the same hearing capabilities. They manage to make out several voices, one of which being much deeper than the others; but all of them sounding angered or irritated. Machman and Aera turn to investigate and catch the sight of the obsurdly large chef's caps resting on some of the Navi's heads.

Wow! Those are really big hats! Are they arguing because one of their hats is bigger than the others?

I don't know. Lets find out. Stay close, those Navis are borderline hostile.

Aera scoots closer to Machman, pressing up against his right shoulder and diverting his path slightly to the left. Machman chuckles, causing Aera to look up and grin widely at him. They approach the group of Navis, still yelling at each other for some odd reason. One of the Navis was almost twice as wide as the rest of the Navis and easily double their height; he looked like a massive chef! He's likely one of the aircraft staff, or a well-to-do chef taking this flight. Machman and Aera stop a few feet away from the crowd of Navis, the noise already becoming almost too loud to handle. Machman attempts to get the Navi's attention.

Excuse me, ladies and gentlemen. What's the problem here?

Machman is completely ignored...

Excuse me. Hello? Excuse me! ...guess they're not willing to be interrupted.

Aera looks up at Machman and stares at the crowd with a frown. She then places the tips of her index finger and thumb of her right hand in her mouth and blows, creating an almost deafening whistle that echoes through the rather small net area. Her whistle could even be heard throughout the plane through the speakers on passengers' PETs. Quite a few NetOps scrambled to pop their headphones out of their ears for fear of deafness. Mazer sits there, half stunned and half impressed. The Navis' attention was finally shifted towards the pair of blue and orange Navis. Machman reactivates his acoustic sensors housed in the fin-like projections on the sides of his head, and looks over to Aera.

Machman wants to talk to you! Listen to him, please!

Yes, um... Thanks, Aera. Aera looks back with a cute smile. Machman recomposes himself and takes a firm tone. As I was saying, is there a problem here? You all are making an awful ruckus in here.
All the Navis in the group cringe and cover their ears as Aera performed her whistle. "SOMEONE TAKE THAT KETTLE OFF!" one yelled. The massive meaty French chef-Navi turned to glare at the source of the problem, his imperious gaze beaming down on the Support Program.

Once Aera had finished her part, a wave of complaining broke out among the NormalNavis, but the head chef bellowed, "SILENCE, MY SUBORDINATES!" The group was instantly silent, cowering before the massive Navi as he turned to face Machman, staring down at him.

Satisfied, the Navi continued in a heavy French accent. "A problem, you ask? 'Zere ees no problem, merely a debate between moi and my faithful zuboidinates."

"You zee, 'zis plane's network, eet ees frightfully... boring, non? So I had an idea, 'zat us ChefNavis would, what ees zee word, spice eet up somewhat. We would hold a... tournament, oui? All NetNavis here could participate, and eet would be great fun. Do you two not agree with mon proposition?" the Navi explained.

"A whole load of fun that would be!" one ChefNavi exclaimed sarcastically. "This whole thing reeks of unnessecary violence!"

"Oh, but you must admit it sounds like fun, doesn't it? I mean, what else is there to do in this Network? No viruses, no BBS', no nothing," another nebutted.

"I say we let an outside source decide; a Navi that's not one of us. Like these two, for example. Whaddaya say, you two? Boring-arsed cooking and cleaning, or Netbattling other potentially tough foes for sport. With rewards!" an obviously pro-tourney NormalNavi asked Machman and Aera.
The Chef Navi glares at Aera, who just glares back, but certainly doesn't look as intimidating as the large French chef. The Navi then explains why everyone was yelling like a bunch of maniacs.

That's one loud debate.

Machman and Aera continued to listen to the Chef and the other Navis as they explained how they wanted to cut the boredom with a cooking contest. But many others wanted to stick to NetBattling. Now they expect them to decide on what they should do! Machman ponders the situation, and tries to consider the situation. The decision is split about 50-50, and both sides seem adamant about doing the activity they want.

Machman goes over the situation before giving his idea. Alright. I know many of you want to hold a NetBattling tournament. I also know just as many of you would prefer to hold a cooking tournament. I say we combine the two! Two Navis or pairs of Navis will face each other in a battle of culinary arts. If there is a tie when it comes to taste, the match will then be decided by a NetBattle. For the Semi Finals and the Final match, the Navis or Navi pairs will be scored by their performance in both a cooking showdown and a NetBattle. What do you think?

Aera seems to like the idea, and tugs on Machman's arm.

Hey, Mach. I can be a judge for the cooking portions! I really want to try out some of these delicious dishes these Navis can make.

I would also compete. To make it fair, my meals would be judged by a different Navi. So, any takers?
<(I'd had a massive modpost ready, then pushed CTRL + Backspace by mistake and erased it all. Apologies if this seems rushed.)>

The Chef Navi tweaks his mustache subconsciously, deep in thought. After a few seconds, he looks up and lets out a deep belly laugh. "You make good points, err, Machman and Aera, was eet not?" he booms, confirming their names for himself. "I support your idea! Who else ees wiz' me?" he asks his subordinates. A roar of approval rang out; everyone was happy.

"Well, no sense in waiting! Let's start it!" a Navi exclaimed, then whipped out a piece of paper from out of nowhere. "Now, it'll be a ladder-based tourney naturally; all, err..." he made a quick headcount, "Seventeen, sixteen if Aera's judging, will start at the bottom in 1-on-1 battles; eight battles total. The winners advance into four more 1-on-1 fights, then two semi-finals, then a final match between the two best," he explained. All the ChefNavis nodded in approval.

"So, 'zen, shall we construct 'ze ladder?" Chefman asked. The digitheaded ChefNavi nodded and quickly withdrew what appeared to be a random number generator. "Everyone, pick a number. Machman, you first," he said to the CustomNavi.
((That sucks. Sometimes that happens after I make a long post, then my internet dies or something and my post is deleted.))

Mazer nods to confirm the Navi's pronunciation of their names, and watches as the Custom Navi constructs the ladder for the tournament. He then pulls out a random number generator to determine everyone's slot in the tournament. Machman goes up first and activates the program. A bright number 5 shows up on the display of the generator.

I guess I'm number 5 then.

Mazer, who previously remained silent throughout the entire exchange, finally spoke up.
[Hey Mach, do you want me to get some ideas for what dishes you should make?]

That would be appreciated. I will likely need your guidance on the cooking procedure, I haven't made a meal in quite a long time.

[I don't think we need to worry until later on in the tournament. Thanks to my mother teaching us her excellent recipes and cooking styles, I think we could probably get at least up to the semi-finals. I know we can mop the floor with any of these Navis in a NetBattle, but that Custom Navi looks like a pro when it comes to digital delicacies. Hopefully we won't encounter him until later on in the tournament.]

I'm really excited! I wish I could try some of your cooking, but I understand. I'll still be rooting for you!

Machman looks back to Aera, and looks like he's smiling under his blue mask.
I'll be sure to make extra for you, even though you won't be judging it. If you really like it, I'll make it for you whenever you like; or teach you how to make it yourself!

Aera smiles at Mazer, excited for what lies ahead. {I don't care if he wins or loses. I'm just glad to see him happy. He was still so serious, still in pain from what happened in the past. Keep smiling Machman. Please, keep smiling!} Aera hugs him tight and doesn't let go until hearing the Custom Navi announcing the ladder for the tournament.
The rest of the Navis drew their numbers, and eventually everyone was marked down. "Alright then, let's spin the wheel," the ChefNavi muttered, pulling a lever and sending the random number generator into a frenzy.

Numbers flashed on it, and every time one did the Navi marked it down on his paper. "Alright, then, the numbers are in. The first pair to face off are numbers 9 and 5. Could both of you step up?" he asked.

Machman's opponent, a ChefNavi casually tossing a (normal-sized) cooking knife into the air and catching it, stepped up, eyeing the CustomNavi curiously. "Gee, who would've thought?" he asked.
Huh, seems like I'm up first. Machman faces his opponent, and extends his right hand for a handshake. I'm Machman.EXE. I'm hoping for an exciting competition.

Machman turns to the large French ChefNavi.

Will there be a theme for this round? Or a certain ingredient? Just let me know and I'll be ready to go as soon as my opponent is.

Aera watches from the sidelines, hoping for the best!
Chefman tweaked his mustache once more, deep in thought. "We are headed to Yoka, are we not?" he asked his crew. Nods of assent went throughout. "'Zen, why not make Yoka's most famous of deeshes? CURRY!"

Roars of approval rang out through the crowd as Chefman turned to Machman and the unknown ChefNavi. "Your theme, Jason, Machman, ees to make a curry dish. Eet can be stand-alone, on rice, a curried product, any'zing so long as it is curry," he explained.

Then, he pointed to what appeared to be a large, wrap-around kitchen counter. "Your ingredients will be provided by moi. Ask for any'zing in any quantity, and you shall receive," he explained once more.

Meanwhile, 'Jason' as he'd been called had suddenly stopped flipping his knife and had suddenly produced a rather large variety of other knives, all of different shapes and sizes and held between his fingers like ninja weapons. He started rattling off a list of ingredients, as well as a host of different pots and pans to use.

"DONE!" Chefman boomed, and smashed his massive spoon onto Jason's countertop. Pretty much everything he'd desired materialized in front of him; he set to work immediately, playing his assorted knives like piano keys. "And you, Machman?"

<(Requirement: find a site with any sort of curry recipe and a step-by-step instruction on how to make it; it shouldn't be too hard. Put the URL for the page at the top of your post, and RP as Machman following the recipe and making the curry.)>
((Curry Udon Recipe))

Curry huh? I have just the recipe!

[Curry Udon, right?]

Machman nods, and Mazer starts to upload the different ingredients from the recipe.

I should be good; thanks though! My Netop still has an old cooking program from when he tried to teach me to cook. I bet your materials are top notch, but I'm more used to my old set of cookware. If I find I need some more unconventional utensils or ingredients, I will let you know!

A table and oven top with multiple burners rise from the ground, each with doors underneath the counters/burner tops. He pulls out a saute pan, a normal pan, 2 large pots, measuring spoons, knifes, a wooden spoon, a thin wooden spatula, and pot lids from underneath the stove top. He then pulls salt, Japanese Curry Roux, soy sauce, potato starch, canned Dashi soup, and Udon noodles from the counter doors. He then reaches into a minifridge as it slides up from the ground and pulls out 2 chicken thighs, an onion, a carrot, green onions, and some filtered water. He then places them in order on the counter and readies to begin.

Alright, Mazer. I have everything here. I still remember this recipe, but please jump in if I start to do something wrong.

[Will do, Machman. We're rooting for you!]

Machman looks over to the crowd of Navis gathered near him and sees Aera in the front of the group. She smiles and waves at Machman when she sees him look over to her.

Good luck! Make enough for me!

Machman places the udon noodles in a pot and fills it with water. He then turns on one of the burners for the water to boil. While he waits, he places his saute pan on the burner and turns it up to high/med. He then grabs his knife with his right hand and starts to spin it on its side in the palm of his open hand. He grabs the handle of the knife and grabs the chicken thighs. He puts the thighs on the table, places the tip of the knife on the cutting board over the thighs, and pushes down in quick motions; like using a paper-cutter. He makes several cuts in the thighs, separating them into half-inch pieces and bunches them together with the knife. He then places the onion and carrot on the board and proceeds to slice them in long, thin pieces.

After he finished cutting the poultry and veggies, he tosses them into the saute pan; the ingredients hiss and spit as they are forcibly cooked. He uses the spatula to stir them around and fill up the entire bottom of the pan. The pot with the udon noodles begin to boil, so Machman activates a timer for 2 minutes to avoid overcooking the noodles. He then pushes the saute pan forward and tilts it upwards, throwing the ingredients a few inches in the air and back into the pan. He continues this a few times as the udon boils to stir the ingredients.

Machman switches gears and puts 7 cups of Dashi soup into the second pot. He flips the lightly browned ingredients in the saute pan one more time before sprinkling .5 tsp of salt over the ingredients and then pushes them into the second pan. He puts the heat to low to let the ingredients simmer and soften up. He puts 3 ounces of Curry Roux into the pot with the Dashi soup and brings it up to a boil.

[Machman, the noodles are done. They will become too soft if you overcook them.]

Got it. How does it look so far?

[It looks great! I'm getting hungry just watching you. I'll be lucky if this flight even serves us peanuts...]

He drains the pot, rinses the noodles with water, and leaves them in the pot until the dashi soup/roux mixture begins to boil. He then adds two tablespoons of potato starch and water each and mixes it all in with his spoon. After it is good and mixed, he lowers the temperature and slides in the noodles and eventually the chicken and veggies. He gently stirs the mixture and then adds 2 tablespoons of soy sauce to the soup.

He then pulls 4 bowls from under the stove top and pours an equal amount of soup in the bowls. He dices up a green onion into small pieces and sprinkles them on top of each bowl. He then pulls some curry spoons from the drawer under the counter and a serving tray from under the stove. He places the bowls and spoons on the tray and moves it over to the judging table. He has made 4 bowls for a reason: One for the judge, one for Aera, one for his opponent, and one for himself!

My dish, Curry Udon. I hope you like it.
<(So much to do, so much to see, today was my first day of work, so yippee!

Apologies if the actual judging seems a bit rushed, but I've been busy as hell today.)>

As Machman works away in front of his own countertop, Jason eyes him from across the 'arena.' Not to say that he wasn't working himself; he was busy conducting his own personal cutting symphony right on his countertop. A pot bubbled happily away to a burner on his right, while a large fish lay in front of him, already scaled, cleaned, and cut away to reveal the good parts, which were being mercilessly filleted by the deadly utensils in his right hand. In his left, he was weilding a variety of rather broad-surfaced knives to somehow accomplish anything else that might have required hands, such as popping a can, or opening a jar, or even stirring the curry. It was a truly wondrous act, but brought to mind the question of why the hell he used the knives so much anyway....

After a good while, the two were finished their separate dishes. "Well? What have you two created for us?" Chefman asked from behind his table. He had volunteered to judge in place of Aera for Machman's case; that could potentially be a good or a bad thing.

Machman announced his Curry Udon, and Jason, with a smirk and an upwards flick of his favorite knife, said, "Goan Fish Caldine, otherwise known as Yellow Fish Curry."

Chefman's fierce gaze sweeps over the two delicious-looking dishes, before he shifts Jason's Caldine in front of him. He produces a fork and spoon out of nowhere, then stabs a piece of the fish and chomps down on it, chewing thoughtfully. "Hmm... hmm... a ra'zer subtle, yet unor'zodox me'zod of preparation for 'zis particular recipe; 'ze fish was prepared and cooked entirely separate, non?" Chefman deducted, apparently able to tell that much from one bite. "A touch too much pepper, but sufficient and overall rather tasty," He concludes, moving on to the rest. He went on like this for a bit, pointing out everything he deemed worth mentioning, be it good or bad. There was a lot to talk about, it turned out.

<(As of now I am just writing Chefman with an ordinary accent, because it's way too tedious trying to write out his French accent and it's getting inconsistent with what he Frenchizes and what he doesn't. Just pretend he's got the accent.)>

After his examination of Jason's curry was over and the Navi himself had gone back to doing his knife tricks for himself, Chefman sets Machman's curry udon in front of him, takes the offered spoon and catches a few noodles, and deposits them in his mouth. The wheels in his head could almost be seen turning as he rolled the udon around in his mouth, testing it's flavour.

"Hmm..." the massive food expert rumbled, swallowing before he continued. "The noodles are spectacularly done; the seasoning is just and good, and the other ingredients support the noodles with their own flavouring," he begins, adding in an approving nod in Machman's direction. "Hmm, but how much there is to talk about! Family recipes always seem to add another tender wedge of flavour to the dish, would you not agree?" he booms.

He continues spooning bit of bit of curry udon in his mouth, commenting whenever his super-sensitive taste receptors picked up something fine that Machman managed to insert into the recipe.

"The outcome is obvious. Machman's curry udon is superior!" Chefman declares, raising the now-empty bowl to the heavens. Jason catches Machman's eye, and grins, flashing a thumbs-up as if to say 'Good job.' He then takes a bowl of his own curry and sticks a set of cutlery in it; though his voice was quiet, it could still be heard through the applause clearly. "Wanna swap tastes?" he asked, offering the bowl to Machman.

Aera jumps up and down and claps in front of the crowd as Machman's curry recipe was announced the victor. Machman bows his head slightly towards Chefman in a gesture of thanks and respect.

[Good work, Machman.]

Machman turns towards Jason as he gives Machman a thumbs up and approaches with his curry in hand. "Wanna swap tastes?"
Of course. I always wanted to try Yellow Fish Curry.

He accepts the bowl and utensils and takes a bowl of his own curry off the table. He then hands the bowl to Jason.

Machman takes a seat at a table outside of the competition area and tries the curry. He pauses to enjoy the taste of the delectable dish offered to him. Mazer's screen opens up next to him.
[How is it? Jason looks very skilled, especially in the way he handles his cutlery.]
It's delicious! He's certainly no amateur. I'm kind of surprised my curry was "superior." Aera, you should try this!

Aera walks over to Machman and samples Jason's curry. She takes a good spoonful and smiles after tasting it.
It's really good! Yummy!
It definitely is. As promised, I left a bowl just for you!
Thank you!

Aera slides her bowl in front of her and sips some of the soup from her spoon. She then tries some of the udon noodles and the chicken/veggies. She hums in pleasure as she continues to eat.
I love this! You gotta teach so I can make this for you all the time!

She and Machman finish their respective bowls and rest their spoons in the bowls with a clink.
That was great stuff! I could definitely tell your curry was better. The fish curry didn't have way too much pepper, but it kind of detracted from the overall flavor. As for yours, the lack of oil in the saute pan kept the flavor of the chicken and vegetables pure, a great quality, and you added just the right amount of potato starch to keep the consistency just right. You probably could have used a little less soy sauce, but it wasn't too obvious.

Machman couldn't help but stare as Aera broke down his recipe like that of a chemist with a complex aqueous solution. Aera noticed Machman's surprised look and made an embarassed giggle.
Oh yeah, I forgot to tell you I looked over a couple hundred files concerning the two dishes and used a digital "taste" synthesizer to experience what a perfect recipe for the two dishes would be like. I think I should have told you that before hand... Oops!

Machman and Aera heard Chefman's voice announcing the end of the competition between two other Navis that started after Machman and Jason's round.
Oh, I gotta go judge these two. Thank you so much for the curry!

She stands up and walks over to Machman. She gives him a little peck on the cheek and happily runs over to the crowd gathered around the competition area. Machman's expression didn't change much from the surprised look he had before.
{A couple hundred? I only spent 10 minutes making that curry!}
((Bump! Your bump will pierce the heavens!))
((バムップ!!)) Translated: Bump
<(Augh, I'm really sorry for making you wait like this, but I really didn't know what I was getting myself into when I shoved Chefman at you. My inspiration meter's pretty much completely empty; want to just try and zoom through this quickly so I can actually start having some fun with this?)>

Jason smiled as he saw Machman enjoy his curry, gradually munching away at his bowl of curry udon. "I'm glad you and your girlfriend could come along. For us ChefNavis, these plane rides are truly boring as hell; thanks for spicing up the place for us," he remarks, tipping his comical white hat to Machman and Aera, who was currently judging a face-off between ChefNavis.

Eventually, after Aera had sampled around fourteen different curry dishes - each one delicious and unique, she finally came to judging the final match of Round 1 between: a confident ChefNavi standing tall, and the mighty Chefman himself. The ChefNavi announced his dish first. "Bengali Zucchini Curry, the number one vegetarian curry on the Net, and prepared by your's truly. I should warn you, it is quite spicy," the Navi explains, setting a bowl, a napkin, cutlery, and a glass of milk in front of Aera, bowing out of the way.

The golden-brown potatoes and zucchini had been wonderfully marinated, a subtle hint of salt and tumeric powder lingering on them as Aera picked them from the bowl. A few bits of tomato swam around, adding a bit of flavour to the stock and giving it a wonderful colour. Over everything, stock, potatoes, zucchini and all, a spicy mix of chili, cumin, and ginger was blanketed, adding one final, hot burst of flavour to the curry. A masterfully-made recipe, all around.

Not that it was flawless, however. The blanket-taste that had been crafted was spread a little too thick, and the chili somewhat overpowered the taste of the cumin and ginger. Some of the potatoes and zucchini had also been slightly overcooked, but the overall taste was still extraordinary. Only the nitpickiest of the nitpickiest could say with a straight face that it was not a satisfactory curry.

Once Aera had been given enough time to rate the ChefNavi's curry, Chefman stepped up, a bowl cupped in his hands. Everyone waited in suspense to see what magnificent, unknown curry he'd managed to cook up....

"Chicken curry on rice, the most basic of all curry recipes," Chefman proclaims proudly, making several of the ChefNavis fall to the floor. Chefman waits patiently for them to get back up, then sets a place for Aera and bows. "Enjoy, madmoiselle," he rumbles, then paces backwards to watch her try his curry.

Unlike the anonymous ChefNavi's curry, which needed several bites to determine the overall flavour of, the taste Chefman had been aiming to create was crystal clear from the first bite. It was the exact same kind of curry that absolutely everyone on the plane had had at the very least once, yet Chefman's masterful cooking had transformed it into something completely different. Each ingredient, as far as Aera could tell, had been added with pinpoint precision for quantity, then cooked to the absolute perfect quality taste. Even the rice had been steamed for just the right amount of time to maximize it's taste-absorbing qualities.

It was, in short, the perfect curry. And it's maker was watching Aera with a proud, almost fatherly smile. "Well? What do you think?" he asked.
((It's alright. I was pretty busy anyway with packing, traveling, and more packing! You're the moderator, so you decide how this will turn out. I'm just along for the ride!))

Aera tasted both curry dishes, but her decision was quite clear.

First, the Bengali Zucchini Curry...
Aera gave all of her taste findings to the ChefNavi with an almost mechanical pace. She ended her findings with a "overall, it was very enjoyable," and smiled. She then changed focus to ChefMan's curry.

Now, the Chicken curry on rice. Though this curry recipe was very simple; an almost complete opposite to the excellent Bengali Zucchini Curry, but the amount of precision and attention to detail makes this dish truly stand above all the rest! ChefMan's Chicken curry on rice wins this round!

The crowd erupts with cheers and clapping, with Machman clapping along with the group. The ChefNavi, looking defeated, lowers his head and turns away. Aera's smile fades and she jogs over to the Navi from her table. She jogs past the Navi and turns in front of him.

I really liked your curry, and I bet Machman would really like it too. Could you make another bowl for him? Please?
The ChefNavi's eyes lit up with excitement, he had already seen Machman defeat a very good ChefNavi and liked his old-school cooking style; so cooking for him almost seemed like an honor. "Sure!" The Navi said happily. "I'll keep your tips in mind, and make the best Bengali Zucchini Curry I can!" The Navi runs off to prepare his ingredients and make a truly great curry dish. Aera smiles and turns back to the crowd towards the waiting Machman.