Planeswalker Test Arena A

The arena was blank, featureless, and gloomy. A lone Navi (wearing a distant expression) stood off to one side. Fairly bland in appearence for a custom Navi, he simply waited for the participants to make themselves ready for the battle to come.

Admin Navi (???): "When all participants have arrived and declared themselves ready, we will begin the first round of the test."
((Imma posting from research. : D))

"Ah, the scent of battle! It's all over the colosseum, and I love it!" MeleeMan sighed, breathing in the air around him. "I'm not exactly certain whether it's the roar of the fans, the sweat on the brow of every combatant, or the droppings of the viruses we're about to smoke. Whatever it is, however, it culminates into a wafting odor that smells of nothing but victory!"

"Cheering fans? Where'd you get that from?" Rania asked, playing with her bangs casually as she waited for the others to come in. "There's nobody around the arena. I'm pretty certain that anyone who's here is watching for the Planeswalker Test. It's supposedly to study some kind of phenomena involving never before seen conditions that will require navis to alter their strategies so as to fight strategically in different elements. Are you ready to start thinking about what you do for a change?"

"I thought once, Rania. Right at that moment," MeleeMan smiled dramatically, "I decided that my fists would do all of my thinking for me. I still live by that principle today."

"So that's why you're such a knucklehead?" she chuckled.

"Absolutely," MeleeMan answered, not understanding the insult. "We could go on talking about how cool I am forever, I'm sure, but let's try to quiet down until the others get here. I wonder what kind of navi gramps is toting, eh? PruneMan? ReclinerMan? Day-Time-Soaps-Man?"

"If you don't shut up, I have a feeling you're going to be sorry, MeleeMan," Rania told her navi, happy that at least he seemed to have moved on from constantly pestering her about their nonexistent relationship.

"Sorry, I know you care about me with all of your heart and soul, but I've lived long enough to know that I can say absolutely anything I want all the time while expecting no sort of negative outcome," MeleeMan smiled, fingering under his ear-piece with one of his enormous metal digits.

Rania just sighed and laid her head back on the table, nearly moaning at her navi's regression.
A black bolt of light burst brilliantly from the sky, crashing into the ground and shaping itself into a rough, humanoid form. A split-second later, the four familiar colored orbs streaked downward, smashing into the protoplasmic body one after another. A burst of light later, a disoriented-looking Rass stepped outward, rattling his helmet and muttering under his breath, "I'm never going to get used to that."

Catching a glimpse of his familiar ally perked Rass up for a moment. The pink-and-black navi started to wave to MeleeMan when he remembered the previous topic of conversation. The mental image of MeleeMan in a tight black thong with an unseen female moaning sensually forced the poor fusion navi to blanch, step backward, and avert his eyes. Rass would have been happy to have left it at that, but the shared consciousness of the R.A.S.S. ensured that all three subsystems experienced the same disturbing vision.

Just a man-thong? whispered Tem, I would have thought MeleeMan was more of a... shall we say... PHYSICAL lover. That little fireball operator of his is probably into that sort of thing too. I know her type. She needs someone she can beat into submission before banging. That's obviously why she favors her netNavi, correct? By exhibiting that measure of control over him, she is fully capable of stimulating that desire. Tem snickered as she eyed MeleeMan out of the corner of her field of vision. It's probably a result of her upbringing. I bet her father's pretty much a wuss. That's why she likes being domineering

Rania? Domineering? No way, Tem! laughed Argo, swirling on the chest of a rather horrified-looking Rass, If I know Rania like I know women, then she's totally wanting to be beaten. That whole feisty tough-girl routine is just an act to make it all the more sensual when you tie her up, strip her down, and...

"I can't leave you guys alone for a minute, can I?" whispered Suien, having removed his PET from his coat pocket, "Look, I'd appreciate it if you didn't speculate on Rania's love life. If we're going to pass this test, we're going to need to operate at our maximum capacity. Rania's been looking a bit stressed by the whole ordeal, so we don't want to add to that. We need to be supportive, right?"


Suien responded by turning red and shoving his PET into his pocket once more.


"Um..." began Suien, moving up alongside Rania and placing his hand carefully on her shoulder, "Don't stress too much about it. I'm sure there are lots of people who won't judge who you are based on your navi... I mean, I don't." Clearing his throat, he looked upward toward the colosseum ceiling and attempted to comfort her, "I know it's tough, but keep trying. Eventually, you'll come to accept your navi and who he is inside... and once you're comfortable with your relationship with your navi, then then the world will slowly fall into place. For now though, we'll just take it one step at a time. All of us. Together."


"Romance is confusing," sighed Rass, listening to his three systems ignore Suien's order and bicker about sex, love, marriage, and everything in between.
The Devil took himself a breath; a hell pause long enough for the Western Wind to broach this unhallowed ground, harboring its dust that reminisced of purgatory. A tattered poncho appeared amidst the desert gale's edge, and with it Triggerman's sombre hat-clad likeness. A tumbleweed remarked upon the desolate scene, a silent tribute to the arrival; with it, the hint of some ghost whistle could be heard.

Habitually, the slinger lowered his hat, mouth firm and expression unflinching. His brim shadowed eyes surveyed the duet of navis that had preceded his arrival. He knew the faces; he'd seen them before. The one with muscle and too much to prove, and the other with the crazy eyes.

Net Square... Rocky had been in the same little party as him at Sharo, and the other one had been milling around the drama in the Square that day.
Just no names to put to the mugs.

" are things over on your end, Sherlock?" he quipped detachedly.

Marlowe gave the semblance of a weather-worn snicker. "Well, I've deduced that more than one fella has figured I'm an old fogey. I don't look buttercup fresh but I ain't deaf yet."

" shit," the Slinger retorted sharply. "Hell, I sometimes wonder how the NetPolice gets along these days without you."

"I figure those bastards are saving some green on the coffee without me around. I'll tell you something else, though..." Marlowe's eyes darted over to Suien as he put what was supposed to be a comforting hand onto Rania's shoulder. "It looks like Bond over there's looking to win more than a few battles today."


"...well, Tex, you know what I say about young love-- it's a little like playing poker without money."

Triggerman threw the semblance of his dark gruff. "...and how do you figure?"

"...Fun for awhile, until you realize its a waste of time." He chewed some more on the toothpick between his lips, before suddenly raising his voice above a growl. "...Howdy," he called to the pair of operators, bemused.
The administrator Navi looked as if he were about to speak to the group when he seemed to become distracted for a moment... It became obvious that he was listening to someone else speak to him when he nodded and responded to something only he could hear... "I see..." He paused a moment, looking thoughtfully at Meleeman before continuing his conversation with whoever it was... "I must say... I disagree with this decision." After a moment, he closed his eyes and looked worried as he said "Yes Milady." The white robed Navi raised his arms to his side, opened his hands, then swung them together with a resounding CLAP!

Then, their reality went mad....

Thunder crashed... The world suddenly, and without warning, heaved migtily as a wave of water slammed into, then up and over the edge of the platform, drenching the trio of Navis as a lighting bolt struck the water's surface in the distance. The entire platform kicked sideways and backwards, the bow rising with the waves, and falling again... It was pouring down rain and... The water hit the trio again, almost washing them clear off of the... ship?? They found themselves in the middle of hell's own storm on a massive steel cargo ship that was being tossed round like a toy in the roiling sea. The ship was huge, easily larger than a couple of football fields, and fitted with everything a cargo ship should have, including a bridge tower, cranes, ralings, and... The ship lurched yet again, dumping a third wave of water over the group....

The group was protected from the elements by an Aqua Aura for the moment, while the administrator sent the test data to each of the participants. He declined to comment.

Quote ()

Sea (ocean)
-Causes Fire Navis to lose HP when standing on them
-Allows Aqua Navis to Submerge
-Deals Aqua Damage when used w/ Panel Shot.
-Changes to Ice when an Ice type Aqua attack is used on it.
-Increases Elec Damage by +1x.

Metal (ship hull)
-Cannot be Broken or Cracked
-Has the Break Attribute when used w/ Panel Shot.
-Increases Fire Damage by +1x. (conducts heat)
-Increases Elec Damage by +1x (conducts electricity)

Geyser (waves)
-Occasionally causes a jet of water to burst from the ground, causing Aqua Damage, and creating Sea Panels.
-Reverts to Sea Panel after 3rd jet.
-Panel Shot treats this as a Normal Panel.

Spark (lightning strikes)
-Occasionally electrifies the floor, dealing Elec Damage, and creating Magnetic Panels.
-Reverts to Magnetic Panel after 3rd charge.
-Panel Shot treats this as a Normal Panel.

Magnetic (referenced for effect)
-Causes all Non-Elec Elementals to move in random directions, reducing number of actions by 1.
-Wood Attacks change panels to Normal.
-Seeks Nearest Target when used w/ Panel Shot.

Quote ()

Special Condition: Rain
-Fire elementals suffer 5HP damage per turn.

The Admin Navi gave them time to review the data before he spoke to them for the first time, his voice mild, yet clearly heard by all in spite of the tempest raging round them... "This was not my idea. Just try to survive however you can. And... if you have any quesions or concernes, feel free to ask. I can comunicate with you as if none of this is happening. Good luck." The Navi then turned and hopped right off of the side of the ship and disappeared from view.

Yet another wave crashed into the bow of the ship... The wall of water crashed harmlessly over the still-protected Navis, but left something menacing in it's wake... A quartet of what looked like Volgears hovered on the deck, riding jets of blue flame, yet they seemed completely unfazed by the water. But before anyone could ponder it's meaning, lighting struck the ship, again, and again. One, two, four... six bolts rained doen, leaving BillyEX's wherever they met the deck... The elec viruses immediately marched forward, their spikes charging up with electricity... Behind them, a pair of strange shapes floated out of the sky, electricity arcing across a power coil that protruded from their undersides...

The Aqua Auras dissipated suddenly, exposing the Navis to the elements as the battle began....


Volgear? A: 80
Volgear? B: 80
Volgear? C: 80
Volgear? D: 80
BillyEX A: 120
BillyEX B: 120
BillyEX C: 120
BillyEX D: 120
BillyEX E: 120
BillyEX F: 120
Unknown A: 80
Unknown B: 80

Meleeman: 180
Triggerman: 140
Rass: 100


MeleeMan looked around him wildly as the battlefield materialized. Not only was the fire-elemental navi now stranded on a ship in the middle of a body of water so limitless that he couldn't see land anywhere in sight, but the water was also extremely choppy and storm-whipped. The lightning didn't help matters, but the water was what really seemed to be throwing him off.

"MeleeMan, are you okay?" Rania asked, raising one eyebrow. "You don't look like your usual self. Is there something that's upsetting you?" The operator leaned in closer to her PET, acting far more maternal than the navi cared for her to.

MeleeMan shook his head, snapped back into his usual self by his anger at her parental attitude. "Yes, Mom, I'm fine. I've just... never been on a ship before, that's all. Doesn't help at all that this one's full of viruses drifting through a lightning barrage." The navi repositioned himself so that he felt like he had a better baring on the ship, smiling as he regained some of the confidence he'd lost. He quickly fell over once more, however, the ship was rocked by a blast of lightning and crashing waves. His teeth chattered as he desperately grasped around for something to cling on to, thinking that the boat could capsize at any time. "Now it's raining too! It's raining, damn it! The whole ship will be underwater in a matter of minutes!" he shouted, holding his face against the boat for traction and panting heavily.

Rania's mouth fell at the look of her gigantic navi making a general fool out of himself by motioning like he was making a snow angel on the deck of the ship while the other navis were probably busy strategizing, or at least standing upright. "M-MeleeMan!" she stuttered, her face reddening as she thought of how much of a clown he made himself earlier when he was busting with Rass. "Calm down! There is literally no chance that the boat will flood with water from the rain during the span of this netbattle!"

MeleeMan blubbered trying to regain his composure but failing miserably. "But look! There are enormous waves! There could be a typhoon at any moment! It's like being smack dab in the middle of El Nino!" he shouted, managing to rise back to his knees. "It's also really, really hard to talk over the crack of this lightning!" he bellowed, trying hard to project his voice over the storm. He forgot completely the fact that Rania could hear his voice perfectly clearly due to the abilities of the PET, no matter what kind of background noise was present, simply by blocking it out with menu functions.

"Nevermind, just try to get to your feet if you can," Rania muttered, rummaging through the pocket at her left breast for chips. "I'm sending you your boomerang, since that should be highly effective against the billies that you're up against." Removing all of the chips and spreading them out on the table, she pondered over how many they'd gained in such a short time. "Wow... I wonder if I am getting a little obsessive over this whole netbattling thing," she thought, though her expression showed no change.

"Rania, hurry it up! This rain is going to kill me!" MeleeMan roared, neglecting to think of the silliness of such a statement.

"Oh... sorry," she muttered, staring back over the arrangement vacantly. With a smile, she found the bubble star chip that they had just acquired at the far left of the set-up she'd spread out. "There we go! This aqua chip can hit multiple opponents at once, MeleeMan. I'm not sure if it will actually destroy those enemies, but it might be worth a shot, at least. I'll also send you a guard to help out if you're still scared," she smiled, trying to be helpful.

MeleeMan's head jerked up at Rania's unintentional accusal. "Scared? Me?" MeleeMan responded in an offended tone, rising back up to his knees to escape the ridicule he would likely immediately receive for lying on the deck and quivering like a baby. "Never! Now what's this I hear about a bubble weapon? I have to say, Rania," he grumbled, rising shakily back to his full height, "that's about the pansiest sounding weapon I've ever heard of."

"Please just use it, MeleeMan, and try to keep your guard up," she urged him, dropping her shoulders and sighing impatiently.

MeleeMan nodded reluctantly, arming his gauntlet first with the boomerang weapon. He spread his fingers wide, then clenched them tightly around a green, metal blade. "This is it guys!" MeleeMan roared, trying to beat the sounds of the furious storm. "There's a ton of wierd looking Billies here, and we're not getting off of this damn boat until we destroy all of them!" he shouted, although in reality, he was probably the one who needed to realize the impact of that information himself. Twisting his torso slightly, MeleeMan hurled off the weapon with a slight grunt, panicking as he felt himself move forward unintentionally. Despite his hectic movements, he managed to regain a footing.

With a frown, he brought out the bubbler. "These guys are already covered with water," the navi laughed in a low voice. "If water was going to kill anyone, it already would have," he mumbled irritably, pointing it towards the Billies and releasing several large, round projectiles towards his opponents. The translucent surface of each bubble was slightly less attractive and smooth than it would have normally, seeing as each of the spheres was constantly being pelted by rain. "Bah. Sissy weapon," he muttered again under his breath, putting up a guard and huddling behind it. "Man, I wish I could get this thing over me! The rain's a real pain in the-!"

"Come to think of it, I thought you said real men didn't use shields?" Rania reminded MeleeMan, smiling teasingly as she watched him scrunch his massive muscles behind the human-sized shield.

MeleeMan's frown deepened and his nostrils flared with annoyance. "Well, hey, minds can change," MeleeMan grumbled, moving in closer and watching the viruses around him. "That nancy ref in the white dress is going to pay for pushing this ship on me, I swear it!" Despite his bold claims, MeleeMan stayed madly alert, watching his sides for anything that could potentially pose a threat and preparing to evade. He was especially ready to evade any large splash of water that came onto the deck from the waves around his allies and himself, staying very close to the center of the solid battlefield. The navi pulled up his black collar high around his head to try to block out the rain that was pouring down constantly upon him.

"Ha... It's a little funny that with all of these lightningbolts he's still afraid of the water," Rania muttered aloud, resting her head as she propped her elbows up on the counter-top where she sat.

1) Boomerang to BillyEX A, B, and ,C [60 x 2 elemental damage]
2) Bubblestar to BillyEX D, E, and F [20]
3) Guard 1 [Reflect 60]
4) Dodge
Rass didn't notice the torrential rain that soaked through his helmet or the brilliant lightning that crashed and rumbled across the aquatic arena.

Rass didn't notice the large expanse of water that had quickly spread further than the eye could see, nor the ominously dark storm clouds that blackened the sky.

Rass didn't even notice the multitude of viruses that slowly advanced upon him and his comrades, murderous intent shining in their eyes.

In fact, the only thing that Rass noticed was how horribly seasick he felt.

The fusion navi lurched over the side of the ship, looking down into the watery abyss that awaited any unlucky enough to fall overboard. Though technically speaking, Rass wouldn't have anything to throw up even if he wanted to, the destabilizing effect of the rocking boat caused the poor fusion navi's balance routines to all but collapse. A particularly nasty wave slammed into the side of the ship, sending Rass tumbling across the deck, slamming into a nearby crane with a sickening crunch. As the pink navi shook away the stars from his vision, he grasped the wire mesh surrounding the crane and hauled himself up painfully. Sure, the stomach pain was gone, but it was replaced by a terrible throbbing headache. Almost as if on cue, the subsystems came out once more to bicker and banter, adding to the migrane.

Gyahahahaha! Looks like Rasshole's looking a little under the weather, eh? eh? jeered Argo, I knew the little guy couldn't stand a wee little bit of rain. Why, in Mother Sharo, we would...

Will you shut up! This is serious! shouted Tem, And for the record, we're ALL from Sharo, remember? The blue presence swirled across to Rass' chest as a pair of feminine eyes appeared on his chest, Look, let's just get this silly test over with so we... ah... er...

The tactical subsystem trailed off as her blue eyes settled on the newly-arrived navi. The tall, poncho-clad gunman's serape flowed ever-so-gracefully in the storm, and when Rass looked down at his chest to see what was amis, he was surprised to see the sides of Tem's blue splotch tinted a slight shade of red. Poking his protoplasmic chest with a thin black finger, Rass cocked his head to the side, sending small droplets of rain off the side of his helmet. "Uh... T-Tem," he stammered, "D-Don't you think m-maybe we should um... T-Tem?" Rass delivered a particularly hard poke to his chest...

..which turned out to be a rather large mistake.

Bending his body in a way he cold barely comprehend, the furious tactical system forced a chunk of protoplasm upward from Rass' chest, creating an odd-looking balloon-sized lump of blue skin. Turning her new "head" around to glare into Rass' frightened eyes, Tem shouted at the hapless navi. You think we should WHAT, huh Rass? she huffed, her cheeks still slightly red, Maybe I... I don't want to be disturbed sometimes! Maybe, maybe you could just LEAVE ME ALONE once in a while instead of pestering me with your... ah... incessent... foolishness! With that, the lump slammed straight back into Rass' chest, causing him to stumble and slip on the wet deck. Tem, meanwhile, zoomed back into her gemstone with enough force to spin Rass around, winding the poor, confused fusion navi in his own scarf.

And that, smirked Argo, Is why women should never be in charge of anything.


Suien was just as bewildered by Tem's sudden surge of estrogen as the male subsystems, and stepped back from Rania to gaze confusedly into his PET and scratch the back of his head. While the tactical system's outburst worried him more than the mounting viral horde, however, the latter seemed to be the more dire concern. Shrugging his shoulders and withdrawing his chip folder, he quickly called up the battlefield schematics on the bottom screen of his PET. Green wireframes reflected on the lenses of his glasses as he closely examined the composition of the cargo ship and the rather daunting weather conditions.

Suien was quickly distracted by his noticing of their team's third member. Out of the corner of his eye, he stole a glance at the newly-arrived netOp. Having been so absorbed in his conversation with Rania, Suien had failed to hear Marlowe's initial greeting, so the dark-haired netOp's first impression of the man was a strange old fellow with a bemused smile on his face. Though the three of them were supposed to work as a cohesive unit, the man didn't give off a very outgoing persona. To make things worse, from where Suien was standing, the smoking senior citizen was staring straight at him looking as though he were expecting some response. The dark-haired netOp shuddered as he nervously edged away from the older man. What... what sort of old guy hangs out and partakes in a hobby commonly enjoyed by adolescents? he thought, I mean, sure, it's becoming more and more common nowadays, but... the Colosseum of all places? That's like going to the playground and playing... oh... he's one of THOSE...

Sweating, Suien turned back to his PET, feeling rather conflicted over the entire situation. While the thought of an old pedophile definitely creeped him out, the dark-haired netOp was forced to acknowledge the irony of the situation. Turning slightly red as he remembered his own feelings for Rania, he forced himself to concentrate on the task at hand. Looks like with Rania ignoring everything I say to her and old, gray and creepy over here doing his... old gray and creepy things, it's up to us to play support once again.... but how? Think, Suien Think! All right, it's Raniaing.... RAIN! RAINING! That's what's happening. Shit, it was all going so well until that old windbag decided to...


Perking up and withdrawing a neat quartet of battlechips from his folder, Suien drew his PET microphone close to his face and began speaking. "Rass, intialize Ishamel's calculation routines. We've got some physics to do!"



"Okay, one, I'm NOT trying to hit on Rania, so cut it out, will you?" whispered Suien into his PET, "Two, that's why I didn't send you a *single* wind battlechip! If you create a wind shear by positioning the fan at a perpendicular angle, the resultant movement of air will likely result in..."


The dark-haired netOp sighed, and leaned on one of his hands propped up on the countertop alongside Rania.. Well, at least he understood that first part, he thought.

As Ishamel uploaded the calculations to his central processor, Rass blinked twice in confusion. "D-Does that actually work?" he asked, downloading the two wind battlechips into his circuitry, "I... I mean, I d-don't really understand the physics of how it'd work, but... I mean..."


As Ishamel's presence flowed into Rass' two hands, turning them a deep shade of crimson, the fusion navi nervously looked at the rapidly-approaching viruses. "I... well... if you say so," he muttered, extending both arms and allowing Ishamel to adjust the angles accordingly, "I'll let you do the thinking for me."

Story of your life, eh Rass? muttered Tem from behind his back.

Before Rass could respond, two beams of light shot from his palms, arcing neatly in opposite directions. As the luminous projectiles reached their intended targets, they quickly coalesced into the familiar shape of a windbox battlechip. One pointed skyward, its blades slowly accelerating at a 90 degree angle from the ground. The other lay at the top of the ship's mast, it's direction perpendicular to the first. As the blades began to spin, several green lines of code flashed across Rass' pupils as Ishamel adjusted the velocity of the coming windstorm. The mast-centered windbox began blasting a large rotating force of wind parallel to the ship deck, generating a wind shear high above the combatants' heads. As the second windbox sent an updraft cutting through the first stream, the drafts synergized and built upon each other. Then, it hit. The vertical windstream roared to life as the clouds themselves seemed to spiral around in an eerie effect. Shutting his eyes tightly as he strained from the intense processing power required to remotely maintain the proper windflow, Rass was barely able to channel the remaining battlechip data into his trembling hands.

Bracing himself against the steel deck to shield himself from the raging winds, Rass felt the cool metal hilt of the ElecSword battlechip materialize in his hands. The fusion navi nearly dropped the small device in surprise, and proceeded to fiddle with it frantically. As the ElecSword threatened to slip through his fingers, the fusion navi shook his head to clear the water from his field of vision, squared his legs as best the slippery deck would allow, and poured all the electrical energy from the two battlechips into the weapon. Light blue bolts of electricity snaked from his fingertips, illuminating the immediate area and causing the fusion navi to wince in pain. The ElecReel energy overloaded the Elecsword's energy as the small device began to sputter and spark, sending the acrid smell of burnt circuitry into the air. Wasting no time, Rass pushed himself off of the giant crane, moving perpendicular to the wind funnel that he had created. With great effort, the pink navi leaped forward, tossing the overloaded ElecSword into the eye of the storm. As the glowing, sparking weapon disappeared into the rain, Rass fell face-first onto the ground, hands still smoking and exhausted from the ordeal.

A split-second later, a great explosion could be heard from within the newly-created tornado. A pulse of light could be seen through the inky blackness, but as to the success of the endeavor... well, that was anyone's guess.

1-2: Wind Tornado, using the physics explained by Ishamel, suck up Volgears and Unknowns into water-tornado
3: Throw ElecSword into the whirling storm toward Volgear?D, UnknownA, and UnknownB (80 Damage, Elec, possible 2x damage for water panels)
4: ElecReel into the eye of the storm toward Volgear?A, Volgear?B, Volgear?C (100 Damage, Elec, possible 3x damage for element and damage for water panels)
((Aim, as of this very moment, you are an honorary Z force member, so that we may officially lead a full trifecta of Z-force generated triumph. Welcome to the club, Zaim. ))

It was a hell of a good thing that Death didn't mind getting wet; a little lightning didn't do much to scare the hooded bastard either. It was something he and Triggerman had in common, and they were both now a pair of raindrenched vagabonds on the same boat. He could hear Death playing conductor again, as he'd done so many times. He could hear the whistle against the squall, and now that his locomotive had departed, Triggerman knew the felling would come hard and fast.

The buzzards were in that understanding the same; wherever there was a body to drop and the prospective carcass, they would accompany him, even to dampest parts of the damned places.

Triggerman lowered his soaked hand as he contemplated the tides of the falling. He and the Hooded Bastard could agree on one thing; as far as they were concerned, there was only the Quick and The Dead.

His had snapped up, as he sensed a disturbance in the wind's pattern. Crazy Eyes had gone done his mother proud, packing heat in the form of a science bred tornado.


And at an instant, that dangerous thing called inspiration threw itself; the Slinger brewed himself a notion, cold off the tap with barely the time for fermenting. Moonshine, devil brew; whatever it was, he resolved himself to drink it. The slinger had himself an idea; as he watched Rass's vortex, it became clearer with every scarce moment what he'd do.

He threw his torn poncho behind him, as if for nothing else but the dampness. It was storming, but there was another one brewing already.

He could feel the dame's intention in every raindrop, uninviting him to unshackle Them. But she'd been too late to change his mind. Too late to spin the story; Death's train was ever on its one way track... not even an exception for his old flame.

Their time drew near; even if he'd seen them perform too many times before, he knew they'd make good on this theatre as any other.

Triggerman cracked his first bullet into the bleak sky. His shot blitzed into the false ether, audible even against the cacophony that the present storm wrought.It's ghost echo searched, defying the elements with a wailing resonance. And as it fell silent, it threw an unflinching message; it had found Them.

The ship seemed to waver as their quake made good on the fanfare. Their parade threw the elements into disarray; for a moment, the thrashing of the ocean waves seemed to intensify, as if in disapproval of the dawning arrival. The rain's pattern was nigh horizontal.

From the embittered air stepped the first rider of the Magnificent Seven; his being was aflame with the fire of his sinful condemnation, shackled to the horse he rode. His sextet of companions followed ; And then their bitter companion, the Western Wind, followed close by. Even amidst the orchestra of sparks, its presence could be distinguished against the maelstrom of elements. Within moments, that which had been a cacophony had evolved into the realm of Their Hell. Their sandstorm battled the storm that was, and soon it won; their world enveloped the sombre ship in the Cocytus of sand.

"...hey Sherlock. Do me a favor and send over a BambooBlade," Triggerman barked, amidst the wails of the Seven.

"You playing copycat now, Tex?" Marlowe jaunted darkly.

"I ain't copying... I fancy I'm doing him a favor."

With a flick of the wrist, the viridian blade made itself known at the end of Triggerman's right hand.

...Showtime, Tex.

Death was egging him on to give the finger to Lady Luck. Triggerman rushed at the imprisoned Billies like the lone desert wolf with his single fang. He leapt as he drew his drenched poncho followed close by. Rocky had made the job easier; he'd fixed them in his own prison, and set them up for the falling.

I'm the shark... and you don't even know how to swim. At an instant, the hand that held the blade, and the body that wore the poncho was gone. His ghost garments clung to the gale-

The Seven had caught on quickly; too well they knew what their part was. The Western Wind and its sands began to swirl, as the spectre of Triggerman drifted on the wind towards the Fallers that lay. From the sand he suddenly emerged from behind, delivering a clean slash from the desert shadows that cloaked him.

As he held the freshly christianed blade by his side, he paused for that interlude between the deed and thought.

He could taste the steel of conviction in his mouth, amidst the desert grit. And as he waited, he witnessed the culmination of Their will; a vortex had come to fruition, and it was keen on the dying. Harboring Their relentless conscience, the desert hurricane swept over the entourage of Billies that Rocky had made his mark on.
The Magnificent Seven lead their creation by harness as if drawing the chariot of the Hooded Bastard himself. They dared anyone to stand in the way as they led their charge for the tornado Rass had wrought. And as they brought themselves to the other beast, they saw to the confluence of the two fronts.

At an instant, Triggerman took a cue from Crazy Eyes and forcibly introduced his BambooSword to the sole hurricane with an overhand toss. But the hilt had scarcely departed the Slinger's grip before he put himself through the motions; creativity was abound, and The Seven had provided the canvas. His hands outpaced his eyes by instinct; they rushed to the holster to make amends with the six-chambered companion,

They blitzed to the hammer, and his finger to the trigger. From it was a flash of poncho that gave way to a silent shot. A plume of flame emerged from the barrel and met its mark on the aloft blade. The sword bled the shot's flame as the hurricane rotated its edge to pass execution onto those whom the tornados had claimed.

"It's... the perfect storm," Marlowe quipped gravelly.

Triggerman wallowed in the awkward lack of dialogue following Marlowe's comment. "You know... that sounded like something out of a lame A-movie. It's almost like some asshole's scripting your lines or something, old man."



i) The Magnificent Seven, create vortex that captures Billies, and converges with Rass's tornado [turn 1/3, 10 damage to enemies, massive blind, disorient, deafen, immobilize]
ii) BambooSword BillyEX D, E, F, trapped in Meleeman's bubbles, before vortex consumes [160 wood damage, after bonus]
iii-iv) As vortex converges with Rass's tornado, throw BambooSword into combined vortex and PhoenixShot to set aflame [80+100 to enemies within the combined vortex]

Ishamel's proposed idea was sound, and probably would have worked.... had the forces of entropy and luck not come into play...The idea might have worked had the ship not been tossing violently... had the waves not been crashing over the deck, threatening to wash all overboard with each swell and crash... had the wind not already been strong enough to produce horizontal rain... Each of these factors separately could have done the plan in, but old man Murphy was to have his laugh as all of them were present and working to undo Rass' machinations at the same time...

And, with the inevitability of a train wreck, events soon took their course.

The first Windbox was set without issue. It powered on and produced its gust of wind, nothing more. It did start to blow the viruses away from the Navis though, except for the two unknowns, who seemed completely unaffected. Meleeman tossed a boomerang into the gale, and got to watch as the projectile wobbled, then was blown off course... It managed to hit the first of the Billies before becoming too unbalanced to maintain it's course, and was blown into an untargeted Billy and a RainGear on it's way into a wave that washed it out if sight... Meleman followed up this attack with a BubbleStar, but got the same skewed results as the bubbles were blown into the wrong targets again, one actually popping as a wave crashed over it... It did manage to capture two Billies though, just not the ones he'd aimed at...

Then Rass used the second windbox, and the situation became chaotic. The box started to rise from the deck as Ishamel had predicted, but that's where the similarities to a plan gone right ended. The first windbox started punish the second across the deck the moment it lifted off, and the ever changing wind present within the tempest raging about them changed direction for the uncountable-eth time, suddenly began blowing across from starboard and pushed the box towards the port-side edge of the ship's deck... The strong cross-winds helped kick-start the tornado much sooner than predicted... And a raging F-2 soon tore its way across the field...

Then Triggerman used the magnificent seven, and all bets were off.

The sandstorm blew in (an improbable feat considering this was happening in the middle of a hurricane) and promptly started trying to form a second tornado.... and failed. The first out of control twister simply sucked in the second, and grew larger and more violent... And went completely rogue... The F-3 tornado soon sucked up every virus on the field, leaving triggerman with no targets to swing his sword at while Rass threw his into the vortex... Triggerman, at a loss, followed suit while Meleeman huddled behind a Guatd1...

The test administrator could only stand and watch in wonder (from a safe distance of course) as events took an unexpected turn...

He got to watch as the wind shifted yet again... and suddenly things went from merely chaotic to total havoc as the tornado changed direction and ate the windbox on its way towards the trio of Navis... Rass was the first to get yanked into the funnel, completely vanishing from sight. Triggerman had enough time to realize running was pointless before it scooped him up as well... Then finally Meeleman, staring in horror as the cyclone roared towards him, was hurled bodily into the air like a child's toy, and vanished from view as well...

The trio now found themselves flying in circles at varying speeds through the air, along with their swords, windboxes, and boomerangs.... and their foes... at over 140 miles per hour. The windboxes were still going, creating currents and shears within the steadily worsening cyclone. But if that weren't bad enough, those shears turned out to be as deadly as the swords and other debris flying about as one Billy soon proved... It was carried around into the windstream of one of the windboxes, and launched from the tornado, into the ship's bridge-tower with such force, it was deleted upon impact... The remaining Billies all launched their thunder ball attacks to add to the chaos...

Dangerous wasn't the word...


WARNING: All characters, unless otherwise specified, are trapped in the cyclone, and are airborne. All are subject to the effects of Magnificent Seven for the next 3 turns. Wind attacks deal extra damage as well.

--Debris and hazards--
Bamboo Sword
Elec Sword
WindBox A: 90
WindBox B: 90
Thunderball (x4)

RainGear A: 80
RainGear B: Deleted
RainGear C: 80
RainGear D: 80
BillyEX A: Deleted
BillyEX B: Deleted
BillyEX C: 100
BillyEX D: 120
BillyEX E: 120
BillyEX F: 120
Unknown A: 80 (unaffected)
Unknown B: 80 (unaffected)

Meleeman: 175 (Life Drain)
Triggerman: 140
Rass: 100



MeleeMan's good arm grasped frantically at the ship as he felt himself being lifted into the air by his ally's own strategy. The navi flung curses insanely as the bandage unwound itself from his arm, leaving his burning, aching arm dangling in the wind. His jaw dropped as he watched rolling thunder, hostile viruses, and even the group's own blade weapons fly by at breakneck speeds. His helmet was flung out to the wind, leaving his flaming eyes exposed, trailing blazes behind his own head as he spun through the air. MeleeMan's usual weight and presence could do nothing for him; he was just like all of the other random debris that was whipping through the air now. "Damn those two! Damn Rass! Damn that new guy! Damn Rania!" he shouted, his roar inaudible against the tumultuous hurricane around him. Normally, he wouldn't have considered such brash words, but as he stared down at his inevitable fate against the crashing waves that overtook even the ship they'd been on just moments earlier, he found himself unable to think of anything but his own rage against the one he'd considered friends who had now doomed him to death against the water. "Useless! A man can rely only on himself! If I'd run out and killed those guys myself... If only Rass hadn't been here, I'd be safe and sound there on that deck, not flying around several feet above it!" MeleeMan shuddered and swore through his teeth as a windbox hit his arm, causing a surge of pain to rush through his body.

Rania tried to reestablish a visual lock on MeleeMan, but her effort was futile, obstructed by the unbelievable torrent of wind and debris. "MeleeMan, I can still hear you. I know this looks like a fatal situation, but don't blame Rass for trying to give you guys some kind of strategy to work with instead of swinging blindly in the dark. Furthermore, given the proper logic, there's still a way to pull yourself out of this!" she said, not masking her voice and thereby allowing Suien to hear everything she was saying to her navi.

"Proper logic! Hah! I'd backhand you across the face if I was out there next to you and didn't have my pride!" the navi growled, trying desperately to cling onto something as the wind carried him. "What do you think got us into this mess? If we'd just minded our damn beeswax and gone into this with our fists, nothing bad would have happened. This is entirely that little pink smudge's fault, and you can't convince me otherwise. I've always relied on my fists, and they've never failed me. Now you want me to betray them and give my trust to that windbag with his overblown ideas and his special strategies? I'm beginning to wonder if you've ever helped me yourself, Rania!"

The operator slammed her fist down upon the desk, looking infuriated, but not at all comical. "I can't believe you're so full of yourself! Boundlessly arrogant!" she insulted her navi with a scowl. Calming down, she continued her cold stare at the navi, maintaining her frown as she held her PET tightly in her slim, gloved fingers. "Do you remember the Cybeast battle, Rania? You were at your peak of camaraderie then, and do you know why? It was only because Rass's strategy worked then. As soon as your allies make one mistake, you turn and dump the entirety of it on them, turning your back on them as if they never helped you at all. How would that have felt to you?" she asked, keeping her gaze focused on her screen, despite the fact that she couldn't see her navi's face. Regardless, she knew he could see her and that the intensity of her comments could not be overlooked.

MeleeMan sneered, receiving the comment with utter spite. "What the hell? Where do you get off telling me I've done something this bad before? I've never endangered my allies like he has!" the navi spat, still trying to get a grasp on something to relieve his helplessness. He withdrew his hand as he felt a sword skim by it, wincing in pain as he realized he'd tried to use his still heavily bruised and tense arm to reach out.

"Let's say your allies had shunned you when you let R-Kid die for your sake. You could have survived that shot," she pointed out. "If you'd been looking out for him, he probably would have lived through that and even further aided your battle against Cybeast Riccio. Instead, you thought only of yourself and didn't pay any attention whatsoever to your allies. As a result, you strayed behind the young navi and he was struck with the lightning blast, which, in addition to the weight of the windbox and further lightning attacks, crushed him," Rania concluded, tilting her head cynically. "Now can you really say Rass made a mistake in light of that?" MeleeMan's teeth were clenched tightly as he listened to her explanation. He wanted more than anything to counter, but couldn't think of any way in the hectic storm of battle. "Do you understand why I'm telling you all of this?" she asked, raising one eyebrow. "I'm not saying you're not useless, not by a long-shot. Thanks to you, I've finally found something other than boxing that really, genuinely interests me, and you've also helped help navis net-wide by destroying an urgent threat to the net. But thinking that you're solely responsible for those victories? That's obviously foolishness. Rass has always been behind you; I thought you'd finally learned to respect his help," she sighed.

A deep grimace spread across the navi's face as Rania finished her assault. MeleeMan's frown vanished, however as he saw Rass' scarf blow past him, carried on the wind. He smacked himself on the head, angry with his own foolishness. Rass never put himself above me! What was I thinking? I can't recall a single time that the little guy's put me down. Where's my head? This blasted tornado must be messing with me! I can't believe that Rania's actually right for once, the navi thought to himself, his burning eyes widening as revelations rushed through his heads. Despite the fact that he was still being swung madly through a hurricane, his head now felt clear. "Ha ha ha... Yeah, Rania, you're right this once. That was a dumb mistake of me, the first mistake of my life. I won't let it happen again," he muttered, smiling as he tried to pick out the tiny pink ally from among the debris flying through the wind.

Rania smiled, glad that her navi finally seemed to have gained some sort of real sense. "Good. Now can you erase that thought of our little love interest from your head too?" she pleaded, clutching both hands together and bowing respectfully as she had to Suien earlier.

"Ha ha! Not a chance, with you flattering me and sucking up to me like that. You want it bad," he guffawed, but then grit his teeth together in pain as his arm flailed against his body. With another laugh, he shook his hand as best as he could to relieve it, giving an awkward grin. "Perfectly understandable, don't be embarrassed."

Rania smiled briefly, then suddenly blushed and shook her head frantically. "Wait, no! T-That's still not the way it is! Get it out of your head, you idiot!" she shouted, banging the PET against the desk a few more times. Her navi simply laughed more as she did, however, so she stopped and gave a small laugh herself. "Alright, because I like you so much, I'm going to help you get out of this little mess. Remember that magbolt battle chip? I think it's time to give it another run," she grinned confidently, slotting in the chip.

"What the-?" MeleeMan grumbled, looking at the magnet on his arm and frowning deeply. "Rania, I know I just agreed to forgive a little mistake every now and then, but you realize that this thing isn't as powerful as my elecsword, right? Why don't I just use that instead?" he asked, confused.

"I understand that full well. I'm confident that Suien's got a strategy to aid Rass though and abate the winds; he wouldn't have gone in to this without a backup," she smiled at Suien, giving him her full confidence. "He's probably already thinking up a way to calm the winds. For now, we're going to aid his strategy. Can you spot Rass in the storm, MeleeMan?" she asked, returning a serious expression to her face.

MeleeMan squinted as he tried to see through the torrent. He'd been moving for far too long now, and he figured it was only a matter of time before karma kicked in and he was hit by some stray lightning bolt or another hazard of equally disastrous caliber. "There we go! I'd recommend that little pink son of a gun anywhere!" he laughed, seeing Rass flying towards him.

"Great, MeleeMan! Reach out and embrace him, quickly!" Rania called out, embarrassingly loud enough so that the entire room could hear. MeleeMan's jaw dropped and his eyebrows twitched, leaving him looking thoroughly disgusted by the idea. "N-No! Not like that!" she defended, waving her hands abashedly as traces of heat swept across her face. "I-I mean grab him so that you can use the magbolt to hook the two of you onto the deck of the ship. Just point your weapon towards the ship, and we'll trust in Suien's keen sense of strategy to do the rest!" She gulped, hoping she'd sounded convincing enough to erase MeleeMan's earlier thoughts of her intention.

Grunting, the navi used his still-injured arm to point the magbolt on his right hand towards the deck as well as he could with the interference of the tornado. "Okay, Rania, but we're not making this a regular thing," MeleeMan growled, focusing his stare on Rass's figure moving rapidly toward him. A smile curved back onto his face as he recalled the aid that he now recognized and respected that the navi had given him in the past. "Thanks, buddy. Thanks for everything. Now it's time for me to return the favor the only way I know how; with a solid grappling submission hold!" he roared, extending out his hand out to grab for Rass' body, intending to hook his fully functional left arm around the navi's waist. "If you try to squirm free, I'm never forgiving you for putting us in this mess!"

1. Grab hold of Rass
2. Aim magbolt toward the metallic surface of the deck
3. ------------
4. ------------

((Turn splice FTW!))
As the towering tornado tore across the battlefield, sucking up everything in its path, Rass could only stare dumbfoundedly in horror as their collective plan went horribly awry. The high-speed winds of Rass' windbox gambit and the newcomer's strange horseback technique combined to form a natural phenomenon the likes of which had never been seen, and the fusion navi could form no words to describe or comment upon the monstrosity he had unleashed.

It was indeed the perfect storm, for better or for worse.

Rass didn't hear Suien's yell - he blocked out all sounds of the outside world as the terrifying prospect of spoiling the test for everyone involved weighed heavily on his shoulders. He didn't struggle at all as the torrential storm swept him up in its wake, sending him limply careening through the vortex like a rag doll. I... I can't believe it... he muttered, allowing the tornado to carry his tiny frame into the heavens, I thought... I trusted them! I thought Ishamel and Suien knew what they were doing so I didn't need to... Realization struck the small fusion navi as he shut his eyes tightly and surrendered himself completely to the natural disaster he had wrought. I can't hold them responsible though... I was the one who just went along with it. I was the one who didn't bother to check the details when they were proposed to me. I was the one who decided to defer my own thoughts and ideas without any semblence of protest whatsoever. Rass sniffled an inaudible sniffle, a sound lost in the deafening windstorm that engulfed the team.

I was the one...


...I was the one... who messed this up.

The same thought tore through the minds of both netOp and netNavi as Suien Matsumoto, college graduate, research student, and tactical otaku, failed the practical examination that he had been dealt. It wasn't as though he had never failed a test before - on the contrary, the lower-division philosophy course he had taken in his first year in college had all but ruined him - but this was the first time that people... and their navis were depending on him to pull through. The dark-haired netOp steadied himself against the colosseum counter, palms and face going pale as he struggled to maintain his composure. Unable to look at his PET screen, Suien turned to his chipfolder, frantically searching through its pages for something - anything that could be of use in this situation. Page after page of useless battlechips revealed to the panicking netOp that the small booklet held no answers, and Suien slammed his fist against the table in frustration. That's when he heard her.

Quote ()

"I understand that full well. I'm confident that Suien's got a strategy to aid Rass though and abate the winds; he wouldn't have gone in to this without a backup," she smiled at Suien, giving him her full confidence. "He's probably already thinking up a way to calm the winds. For now, we're going to aid his strategy. Can you spot Rass in the storm, MeleeMan?"

Suien paused, mouth slightly open as he straightened up visibly. Watching Rania's confident smile out of the corner of his eye, the dark-haired netOp's breathing pattern slowly returned to a managable rate. Color returned rather rapidly to Suien's face, even tinting it a slight shade of red. Rania... she's still fighting, he thought, allowing a small smile to cross his stark features, Even after all that... she still trying her best to make things work. Even if she doesn't grasp exactly what is going on at all times, she's still willing to give everything she has to achieve victory. That's what I love about her... wait, that's what I WHAT about her? No, No, No... I mean... Suien cut his impending trainwreck of an internal monologue short as he forced his attention back to his PET.

But... calming the winds? What does she think I am, some sort of genius? The nearly-perfect conditions necessary to pull something like that off is far beyond the normal bounds of possiblity! he thought, reading through green lines of code as he processed the situation at hand, I suppose it'd be *possible* if we had direct control of the windboxes and some sort of stabilization, but otherwise, it's a waste of time to try. The only way we could have the necessary control is if the windboxes were somehow *connected* to Rass, which of course is impossib...

...the Fusion Armor.

Suien's PET bolted upward as he placed the PET microphone close to his mouth. "Guys, I've got an idea," he said, "But you're going to have to find some way to anchor yourselves..."


"D...Don't worry about us being anchored, Suien," stammered Rass, unsure of what to make of his present situation, "I th-think MeleeMan's g-got that covered."

Having overheard MeleeMan's boisterous conversation with his netOp, Rass wasn't entirely caught off guard by the massive pugilist's submission hold. It wasn't until MeleeMan's threat "If you try to squirm free, I'm never forgiving you for putting us in this mess," however, that the fusion navi stopped struggling and began focusing on the task at hand. "T...Thanks M-MeleeMan," he muttered, turning briefly toward the larger navi and adjusting his helmet, "I... yeah... s-sorry about the uh... yeah, the tornado."


Unlike the previous round, Rass listened intently to his targeting subsystem's plan, and though it hurt his head to think about it, did his very best to follow along. Nodding slowly in affirmation, the fusion navi extended his arms toward the two windboxes. Instantly, the large viral fans began floating toward the fusion navi, their data signatures being traced and attracted to Rass' lithe form. Long coils of electricity bound the windboxes as they flew from their respective positions toward Rass. At the last instant before absorbing the data, however, the pink navi extended two fingers, sending a small bolt of crimson energy into the giant fans.

WHAT WAS THAT? WHY DID YOU DEVIATE FROM THE DESIGNATED PLAN, CORE SYSTEM?! demanded Ishamel as the newly absorbed material was integrated into Rass' central control system.

"W-Well, I thought that it'd be a g-good idea to boost the accuracy of th-the maneuver" said Rass simply, his body giving off a silver aura, "S-So I used y-your m-modular turrets to increase your calculating p-power."

Ishamel said nothing, perhaps impressed with Rass' foresight or frustrated that the core system could come up with something that he had neglected.

"S-Sorry MeleeMan," yelled Rass, sliding out of the larger navi's grip while clutching the massive pugilist's body at the same time, "But I can't get a good enough angle as it is from this position." Taking care to not lose his grip despite the scything winds, Rass wrapped his arms and legs around MeleeMan piggyback style, clutched the larger navi as tightly as he could, and activated the fusion armor protocols. Instantly, Rass' torso grew in size, with a pair of large fans protruding from his shoulder blades. The fusion navi's normally-plain helmet gained a small red visor, connected to a pair of tiny lasers that swept the contours of the tornado, and his body became a great deal more... well, metallic looking. A series of complex-looking calculations played across Rass' new visor as the pink-and-black navi shouted at the top of his lungs. "I... I don't know how long I can maintain this, so use this to your advantage! MeleeMan! Cowboy-newcomer! Let's... Let's GO!"

There was a thunderous sound as the laser-guided wind burst from Rass' back, aimed to reclaim control of the rogue tornado. Rass smiled to himself as he held onto MeleeMan's back with all his might — maybe this plan would work, and maybe it wouldn't, but at least this time, it was *his* plan to muck up... and he had done all he could to see it through to its conclusion..

1: Modular Turrets — 2x Targeting Laser (+10 HP, Undershirt Effect, Passive accuracy increase against one target), one on each Windbox
2: Fusion Force/Armor absorbtion — Absorb both windboxes for 200 FP
3: Fusion Armor — 200 HP+Undershirt Barrier, Immune to Northwind, Passively gains wind control x2 and accuracy increases against 2 targets each turn.
4: Targeting Laser-assisted wind control while anchored against MeleeMan such that no matter where MeleeMan, Rass, and Triggerman are tossed, they will always remain in the calmer eye of the storm. (Negate effect of Magnificent 7 for Rass, Triggerman, and MeleeMan, Negate "airborne" effect for Rass, Triggerman, and MeleeMan, High-accuracy technique due to modular turrets.)
The cat that had stalked the night street as king had turned down the unfriendly ally and found itself in the den of the ugly dice; that sorrowful realm of the lonely damned where the moon was too low and the scent of the dying hung like false noon. Now it was wet and the smell of the bottle was in the air.

The Hooded Bastard had been playing gondalier just fine until She'd unstilled the waters and dulled the scythe; jealous about being left off his boat ride. She'd made an unfriendly turn; made a mockery out of Rass's devices, and spat on Triggerman's effort to bolster the storm watch.

Maybe the Sinners didn't mean to, but they sure as hell had gone done and messed up Triggerman and the motley crew.
Something had gone bad on the wrong roll, and the Seven had the smoking gun now. He'd never been subject to their badside and the chase of the wild Western Wind. He squinted through the storm he had wrought so many times before with the trigger; it was different on the wild side. And here he was, adrift in their maelstrom with nothing but more bullets to show for it.

Get it together, Tex... this is just a test-- suits pressing buttons and doing plenty to mess with you.

"Hey old man, you smell that here?" Triggerman barked, vexed, barely audible against the static of the conditions he had birthed. The sensation of wet and sand was thick against his face in a twisted hybrid of the elements.

"Heh...I didn't do it," Marlowe jested blackly.

"No, I ain't meanin' your gas, old timer," the slinger snapped more cooly. "...It's bullshit; the strong stuff. Smeared all over this capsizing teaparty."

"...You'd think it was windy enough in there to get rid of the smell," the detective continued to jaunt, unabashedly. "Hell, I figure you fellas only need a damn iceberg to round things out." It took little reasoning to determine he was scarcely a fraction as put off as his damp companion. Triggerman knew full well that Dick Tracy probably gave more of a damn about that toothpick he was chewing on.

There wasn't the vernacular to keenly put the words for the Dame's turn; no damn eloquence to wipe the stain of the truth off the slate. No, the old man was right; had to stay with it. Be cool.

But he felt himself falling... couldn't see. Maybe it had come time and the Hooded Bastard was collecting on that debt he had skipped with an IOU too many times. He felt himself falling; maybe all the way this time, all the way to that land of the forever blind and the tormented. He swore he could hear the locomotive's whistle, stopping for him only to head to the final station; death's cold temperance belied that damn scythe that hung so low...

But he felt himself hit the ground, and he didn't keep falling; no, Death still rejected him. He hadn't been turned into one of the firey shackled yet; he still had time. Triggerman snapped to his sense, glancing upwards sharply. Rass was looking like Jesus, back on the third day; he had strapped them pair of windboxes, and he was celebrating Easter by making things right. It was a hell of a trick-- enough to keep them floating.

...cheers, Crazy Eyes.

He felt his boots hit the deck, senses awash with the storm's foreign collaboration of grit and moisture.'re a saint. You're a congressman. He gave a firm tug on his rain drenched hat to reaffirm its security; with it came his habit of lowering it an angle. ...You're goddamn Mother Teresa.

"...Hey Tex-- wake the hell up, cowpoke," came an unflinchingly monochrome voice.

The deeply personal show of concern was touching. Triggerman spat on the ground to dispel the taste of dirt, and straightened himself up. Growling, he brushed off a patch of caked dirt from his soaked poncho.

"You going to start firing off bull about your feelings... or bullets?" Marlowe added coldy.

The old man was right-- even if he was just enjoying himself a damn toothpick.

...And here's cheers to you, Death. The Hooded Bastard had let him walk again, but only to do his bidding. Meleeman was enthralled in keeping Rass steady, while Crazy Eyes was working them windboxes to quell the madness the pair of them had wrought; keeping themselves busy. It became clear what the motley crew had intended; Rocky and Crazy Eyes had set the stage for him to deal the lickings. They had proven one thing; they were doing more than drawing fire. Maybe even Rocky had made a show of some brains.

Triggerman grit his teeth as he beheld the ceaseless roaring of the Seven-- His Seven. Loud-- louder than he had realized before he had been smitten himself with their game. Don't turn your backs on me now, you bastards... They were tearing at the heartstrings; trying the tempo because they'd missed a beat and were playing the wrong key. Rass was trying his damndest but it wasn't for much unless the Sinners got a hold of their own reigns.

He felt them listen to his silent command; a subtlety in the Western Wind, the faint contrast amidst the amalgamation of bitter chaos. The Rider Wrath reared his Sinning horse, and his saddled ghost bellowed its obedience like the other six equestrians. Their Hellfire dusters turned in the motion of the flailing squall; The Western Wind wouldn't disobey them. They wouldn't fail the one that did the freeing; they had a deal.

The question was how well they kept to it.

And then, Triggerman felt their Desert Cocytus come to pass amidst him... but it hadn't left. Rass had done good; The Seven had come to their senses. We ain't out yet-- hell, it's hardly started. Amidst them, the maelstrom of opposing fronts hadn't ceased; the pieces came together quick. They'd fell under the radar in the eye of the storm.

Their chaos had done one thing right; it had grabbed the virii along with them, and now there was a hell of a height to fall from. Plenty of uglies to shoot out of the sky but little time for aiming the sights.

...Hell of a shot... But Triggerman knew Crazy Eyes hadn't gone through the trouble of fusing a pair of windboxes onto himself so he could sit on his ass. They needed him to do what he did best--

He didn't hold his breath or delay the trigger; the pull came hard and fast like a brutal exclamation point at the end of some shattered prose, leaving the pieces dangling in some broken poetry.


The Colt's response seemed harsher; its wicked retort threw his arm into the remnants of the damp wind, but he could take it. Just recoil... just recoil.

...Come on Tex. Hardly a scratch, not even a flesh wound; nothing but a little wind around throwing a hissy fit. It was calm in the Eye of the Storm; nothing to deter his lead or to persuade it otherwise. Another trigger pull-- they're counting on you he told himself. There was plenty more bullets to dispense, and plenty more fellows to catch them Triggerman's eyes panned across the festival of the damned that still pervaded the environ; the Seven had regained their composure, And his eyes followed the train they made, his squint fell upon the next to fall in scarcely the fraction of a moment. Hands glided into position as by instinct, and the hammer was cocked in unison at that same splinter of a moment. A pair of raingears fell under his hawkeye and the barrel's intention.

That next crack came to commit to the falling what should've happened already; just another echo lost to the Sinners' perpetual cacophony. Volume too high to appreciate the noise of the gunshot, but it was irrelevant.

...three. Another shot, Tex, he told himself.

He span in a blitz as his gun harms deftly sought to do the same; from the corner of his eye, in another splice of an abrupt moment, he caught sight of another adrift RainGear.

The Eye of the Storm had revealed something; it was midnight in the garden of good and evil. Death wasn't feeling sorry for any of them; too focused on his own line of work now, and ready to reap any sorry cripple.


Hell, The Hooded Bastard was playing the world's smallest violin, but without much feeling.


-) The Good: BillyEX D is The Target (+10 stackable on gun attacks, superior attack speed)
i) Attempt to control Magnificent Seven, ontop of Rass's control of tornado
ii) Snipe + The Ugly: Ricochet- Vulcan 2 -> BillyEX D, E, F (25x5 + double splash)
-) RainGear C is The Target
iii) Vulcan2 -> RainGear C, D (25x5 + splash)
-) RainGear A is The Target
iv) MarkCannon1 -> RainGear A (80, may lock on, superior speed)

MeleeMan started to try and snatch Rass back when he felt him move behind him, but he decided that Rass must have a good reason and allowed him to latch onto his back. "Don't say anything about this, Rania," he grumbled, listening to something beginning to whir strongly behind him. "Sounds like the little guy's got a plan; I regret that I can't see it, but turning to look see a guy who's holding on to your upper body is kind of hard." Redirecting his attention, the navi watched his ally with one eyebrow raised, his fiery eyes gleaming visibly due to the lack of his helmet. The guy was putting up one amazing show of firepower; he wanted to rattle off his old "fight with your fists" motto to gather his machismo, but as he stood there with his Rass clinging tightly onto him, he couldn't help but wish that he was in TriggerMan's spot, firing the artillery instead of aiding the strategy. "Wait... Hold on. I've got my magbolt on my right arm; I can tell that because it's hurting like hell while the wind's trying to gobble me back up into the hurricane. That means I've got Rass clutched around my back now... which means my good arm is free! Aha! That means I'll be able to do some damage!" he laughed confidently, glaring back at his opponents with menace spreading rapidly across his face.

Rania had still been staring at Suien, noticing his odd expression, but she shook her head and got back to the battle. "You say you want to attack? That's potentially quite a dangerous move, you know. I'll remind you that you have some aqua based opponents; if that gunman navi fails to finish them off, I'm not sure what you're going to do to repel their attacks," she pointed out. "Say, now that I think about it, we've seen that guy before, right? In the netsquare before the Sharo battle, I remember you talking to him. Weren't any friendlier to him then, were you?"

"Ha ha... Rania? Can you do me a favor?" MeleeMan asked, putting on his friendliest grin. "Can you shut up for two seconds and send me something to fire, please? I can hardly go over and attack opponents with my fist, you know, considering the condition."

Rania frowned and sighed, running her finger across the chips she'd spread out across the table in an attempt to locate something that suited the condition. Whatever she picked out, it had to be usable at long range and it had to be accurate. There was no doubt that the current situation made it hard to aim anything that required a lot of accuracy, and bombs or projectiles that would face high wind alteration were also out of the question. She would need something that could fire off a round very quickly and with superior accuracy without relying too much on the aiming skills of the navi using it. As she looked for such a chip, her finger stopped on the markcannon; it seemed to fit the criteria perfectly. "Ah, here we go. MeleeMan, I'm sending you two Markcannon chips. They should be able to get an auto-lock-on, so long as you can get them in the general direction of your opponent," she explained, slotting the chips in quickly.

"Auto-lock on? That sounds good right about now. I'm damn ready for things to get easier instead of harder," he grumbled, pointing the heavy cannon towards his enemies. "I know Salty over there's got all grounds covered, so I should focus on the enemies that are still the most troublesome. I'd say those weird blue Volgears are definitely still the worst. I'll make certain you guys don't escape alive!" he shouted, hoping to make himself sound especially charged for battle, but instead just further revealing that he was very, very scared of the prospect of being hit by an opponent with an aqua attack. He listened for the click of the cannon, which usually gave him the clue that the lock-on had been achieved, but found himself unable to hear it over the roar of the storm. Sighing deeply, he simply pulled the trigger over and over again until it finally fired. He repeated the process, frowning very dully. "Man. This weapon might seem really cool, but it's almost like one of those things you buy off of the home-marketing channels. It's really pretty overblown," he muttered absent-mindedly.

"And what's your basis for that?" Rania asked, raising one of her dark eyebrows confusedly, but MeleeMan never responded, intentionally or otherwise. Giving a disappointed sigh of her own, Rania checked back over the menus relevant to the battle. "Hey, check this out, MeleeMan. The sensors are still reading two more enemies somewhere, but I've only seen those weird Volgears and Billies since we started. Do you have any idea where the others could be?"

"Not a one," MeleeMan responded dryly, licking his lips. Water everywhere, but this tension's got my mouth feeling more parched then I can ever recall, he thought, trying to keep his eyes focused on his enemies. "You know, Rania, I can't wait till this battle's over. Maybe I'll take pity on you and we'll try to play with that relationship some more?"

Rania blushed, both out of embarrassment and disbelief. "You do realize that there are several things wrong with that plan, don't you? One: there's no way that you and I could ever have any kind of silly relationship so long as you're on that side of the screen. Two: there's still four whole battles left after this!" she grumbled moodily, holding a finger up to abbreviate each point.

"Y-You serious? What are they going to do next, I wonder? Hell, are they going to throw me into the middle of the ocean?! Plunge me to the bottom of the sea?!" he exclaimed, scratching at his hair furiously with his one unoccupied hand that he'd been using for a cannon earlier. "Gods! I've toned my body to please you, all of this in your name! Am I really such a bad person!?"

Rania looked off to the side, smiling sarcastically. "Toned your body in someone else's name? Please," she chuckled under her breath.

1. Grab hold of Rass
2. Aim magbolt toward the metallic surface of the deck
3. Markcannon to Raingear C [70]
4. Markcannon to Raingear D [70]
As the tornado rages on, Meleeman manages to pluck Rass from the air as the smaller Navi flew by. He then activates his Magbolt1, points it at the ship, and attempts to anchor the both of them to the hull of the ship... The two fly towards the surface of the ship, managing to evade the Bamboo Sword that would have struck Rass otherwise, and successfully anchors to the steel deck plates.

Once secured, Rass begins engineering his solution to their current dilemma... He begins by attaching turrets to the Windboxes, gaining control over them. Next, he uses his fusion abilities to break them apart and absorbs their fragmented data. Rass then uses his abilities to form the fragments into a strong form of powered body armor with many many useful capabilities... Which he immediately turns towards salvaging their current situation. And....

That's when the plan backfired....

Rass, with his metallic armor, together with Meleeman, and his electromagnetic attachment to the steel hull of the ship, and their soaked state... Became the perfect short-to-ground... A lightning rod. And it struck with a vengence as the one of the strange flying viruses charged up its coils and zapped Rass with a vengence... The jolt of electricity gave the little Navi a buzz, but was shunted aside by his armor for the most part.... Which was a good thing, because a thunderball creeped up on the small Navi, and struck the armor... Just as the other virus blasted him with a second bolt of lighting. Again, the armor deflected most of the punishment.

Meleeman wasn't as lucky. Rass's direct contact with him, coupled with his soaked state, magnetic arm, and attachement to the metal deck ensured that he got a charge out of the bolt. It did relatively little harm, but it did feed the magbolt's magnetic field, aiding the two in staying anchored to the ship's hull... But a second stroke of lightning, passing over Rass's armor, added to his problems.

Rass and Triggerman did successfully manage to dissipate the tornado, thanks to a sudden microburst through the center of the funnel that weakened the tornado greatly, which aided their efforts. Rass took yet another thunderball strike, destroying his armor, as Triggerman displayed his marksmanship skills. The gritty Navi unleashed a storm of lead at his foes, gunning them all down. He managed to finish them off before a thunderball struck Meleeman from behind, and a second struck Triggerman, himself, from above.

A broken elec sword landed at Triggerman's feet...


RainGear A: Deleted
RainGear B: Deleted
RainGear C: Deleted
RainGear D: Deleted
BillyEX A: Deleted
BillyEX B: Deleted
BillyEX C: M.I.A.
BillyEX D: Deleted
BillyEX E: Deleted
BillyEX F: Deleted
Unknown Elec Virus A: 80 (unaffected)
Unknown Elec Virus B: 80 (unaffected)

Meleeman: 50 (Stun 1 & Lifedrain)
Triggerman: 80 (Stun 1)
Rass: 100


The environment fades from view, leaving only the participants and the Administrator standing in the dull, lifeless gloom.

"Thank you for participating in the Planeswalker Field Test. Due to circumstances beyond our control, the test has been canceled. Here is your reward as promised."

--- Rewards ---

- Thunder1
- Lava Zone (Rare Chip)

- Thunder1
- Panel Return (Rare Chip)

- Thunder1
- Sea Zone (Rare Chip)
Rass' body twitched as the pink-and-black fusion navi slowly and painfully rejoined the waking world. A stray tendril of electricity snaked between his fingers as his pink eyes slowly slid into focus. The tempestuous environment was now a barren, nondescript room, with the slight sterile smell of antiseptic filling the air. With great effort, the fusion navi craned his head, glancing from side to side to take in his immediate surroundings. His once-proud mechanical "wings" now littered the ground surrounding him, reduced to little more than blackened shards and broken fanblades. Rass winced as his attempts to move his right arm were followed by the uncomfortable pins-and-needles numbness resulting from his internal motivators short-circuiting. With great effort, he rolled himself onto his back, crushing a stray piece of fusion armor as paused to catch his breath before finally bringing his hand to the side of his helmet. With a barely-noticeable tap and a pained cough, Rass glanced upward and muttered apologetically.

"S... Suien...? S... Sorry about that. I... messed that one up p-pretty badly... huh?"


Under normal circumstances, Suien probably would have instantly responded to his navi's self-deprecating tendencies. With a good-natured laugh and a soothing voice, he would have reassured him that it was nobody's fault, and that these things happen from time to time. But it's not true, is it? he thought, gulping as he tightened his knuckles against the Colosseum kiosk, It's not one of those things that just "happens" — this one really was someone's fault — my fault With a grimace, he attempted to rationalize his defeat, going through every step of his well-thought out strategies and trying to find the fatal flaw that had resulted in their failure.

...and could come up with nothing.

Suien didn't even notice the pair of battlechips that fell out from his PET — spoils from a skirmish that, for all intents and purposes, was lost. His thoughts soon turned to MeleeMan and Rania — the former of whom had taken a savage beating at his direction... and the latter of whom had placed her trust in his strategies. The painful realization that he had failed them too hit Suien like a punch to the gut, and the dark-haired netOp could do little more than mutter something apologetically to his two comrades, hastily scoop up his battlechips, and leave without saying anything further.
MeleeMan's whole body became numb for a moment during the lightning blast, then lit up with furious pain. His arm hurt worst of all; the nerves were still sensitive from his recovery, and he thought to himself madly that he would have given anything just to have the arm severed altogether at that moment. "D-D.... Damn it!" he cursed, falling to his knees and then back onto the deck, his dark hair greased with perspiration and his face looking beaten and worn out. "This test is too much. Even with Rass, we can't do it," he thought to himself, resolving himself to defeat as his eyes shut.

Rania's eyes remained focused on the fallen figure of her navi. His HP wasn't depleted, but some sort of shock from the pain that he'd just been dealt by the Colosseum program. Maybe he really wasn't ready for this again. I shouldn't have been so reckless! I keep assuming I know everything about managing a navi when it's been so short a time, she thought, her fist covering her mouth as her eyebrows remained acutely arched, watching her navi to see if he could still rise. His face, calm and relaxed as he lied against the deck, deprived of the usual sternness with which he met her, seemed strangely precious to her. Suddenly, snapping out of the state of fondness, she felt warmth spreading across her face as if she were guilty of something. In a way, I believe I should feel ashamed; what strange thoughts to be having at a time like this! I've got to jack out MeleeMan. The Colosseum administrator just ended the match, and he's definitely injured, she reminded herself, shaking her head and patting her face with both hands to remove the strange look of shame.

She looked at the image of her navi once more, her eyebrows rising again as she saw him lying peacefully. "Maybe..." she spoke quietly, "Maybe I'll remove that helmet from his program some time. But come on now, Rania, what are you thinking?" she asked herself again, shaking her head and jacking MeleeMan out of the battle computer.

Standing up, the young operator looked around for her allies with a smile across her face. To her dismay, she realized that Suien was nowhere to be found. He left without saying goodbye? Hmmm... she thought to herself. "Well, we'll cross paths again soon, I'm sure," she smiled, not realizing that Suien was incriminating himself for their unsuccessful battle and cheerily gathering back up her chips. "Ooooh man, I wonder what's for dinner?" she asked out loud, crossing her arms behind her back and leaving, absent-mindedly forgetting about the older man who had been with them for the battle.