Magna.exe: World's Biggest Bait

Magna emerged onto Netopia Net, and being his first excursion to a foreign Net, he couldn't help but be a little curious. "Should I explore the area, Operator?" asked Manga, looking to his operator for permission.

"... Yeah, I guess. Normally, I'd say not to let your guard down, but this is an exception. Disable battle routines and don't get yourself deleted." responded Mill, who found his own orders a little strange.

Magna nodded before proceeding to explore Netopia Net, leaving himself as open as a giant metal golem could.

(Mission Start?)
Magna comes across a few viruses... though they don't really notice 'him', so 'he' simply continues along. A few more groups like this pass 'him' by, until eventually 'he' spots a lone navi, strolling along...
Opening up a private channel, Magna asked Mill, "Is this the target?"

Mill thought for a moment before answering, "Possibly... Try talking to him and see what happens." Since wasn't sure what would happen either, Mill opened up his chip folder and readied himself.

Magna increased his pace to catch up before slowing back down and getting the Navi's attention. "Excuse me," said Magna, "I've never been to this area before, and seem to have become lost. Would you help me?"
((...You gotta remind me to mod you, Bomber. I forget things... >>;))

The navi turns to face Magna. "Sure! Where are you off to?"
Magna paused at the question as Mill, who decided that Magna wasn't a smooth talker, hastily typed in some new lines for his Navi to repeat:

"Since I was only exploring... I guess the Netsquare access hub would be the best place to go?" said Magna, trying to emphasize the question so the other Navi could take him elsewhere if need be.
The navi frowns. "I was hoping not to go back there yet... why not explore a bit more?" At this, the navi gestures toward a random direction, grinning innocently.
Magna nodded, saying, "Understood. My knowledge of this area is limited... Further exploration could prove beneficial. Lead the way."
The navi promptly trots off in a random direction.

As they walk, Magna gets a better look at the navi-- he looks... normal. Just an ordinary, non-custom normalnavi.

...Could this really be the thief?
As they leisurely moved across the Net, Magna took a better look at the back of his "guide". On his PET's private channel, Magna reported, "No anomalies detected, Operator."

"He does look pretty normal..." muttered Mill, "... although a thief could take advantage of that. Him wanting to stay away from populated areas is fairly suspicious, in any case."

"Should I proceed to attack?" questioned Magna.

"... Did you forget? We're supposed to let the thief take the money. Besides, on the off chance he's not the thief, then we'd become the criminals." sighed Mill. Taking the point, Magna continued to innocently follow the other Navi...
As Magna and his navi companion stroll along, the normalnavi notices they're being tailed by a few viruses... The navi turns to look, and the viruses simply duck out of view.

Intelligent little things, they are.

The navi stops Magna, and points at a few scattered rocks and bits of rubble all around them.

"There's viruses hiding all behind them. We just walked right into the middle of a trap." the navi explains. "Get ready. They'll attack at any moment, now..."

Rock A: 100 (Behind Magna)
Rock B: 120 (To the left of Magna)
Rock C: 60 (To the right of Magna)
Rock D: 140 (In front of Magna)

Magna: 120
Normalnavi: ???
"Magna, did you see what kind of viruses we're dealing with?" asked Mill, looking to formulate some sort of strategy.

"Negative. My apologies, Operator." responded Magna.

Mill sighed, then said, "How am I supposed to know what chips to send if they're hiding behind those rocks? Wait... those rocks... Maybe one of these new chips will help..." Mill then began rustling through his chip folder until he pulled out something he and Magna picked up back in the Electown Net and slotted it in. With that, a swarm of data descended on Magna's arm, encasing it in bulky yellow armor.

"I went ahead and lowered the damage output on it so you don't destroy the rocks. You know what to do?" questioned Mill, looking to make sure his Navi knew the plan.

"Affirmative. Commencing attack," answered Magna. On a late thought, Magna continued, "... I recommend you take cover." giving a warning to the other Navi. With that out of the way, Magna launched forward at the nearest rock... Only to find himself already there and swinging at the rock.

"W-wow..." stuttered Mill. "I guess that speed upgrade really paid off. Keep it up, Magna!"

The purple Navi merely nodded in return, then rushed forward to the other three rocks, trying to use his Gutpunch to shove the rocks into whatever was hiding behind them and crushing them flat.

1-4. Gutpunch Rush (Minimal damage, Impact + Knockback) Rocks A, B, C, and D at viruses hiding behind them
The rocks, as Magna quickly discovers-

...have no viruses behind them.

Four Craggers, however, hop out of holes that the rocks were blocking! The one closest to Magna takes a swing at him, but misses. The others, too far away to really cause any damage at the moment, take long, pensive looks at the rocks they popped out next to. The holes simply seal up.

Rock A: 99 (2 actions behind Magna)
Cragger A: 120 (2 actions behind Magna)
Rock B: 119 (1 action to the left of Magna)
Cragger B: 120 (1 action to the left of Magna)
Rock C: 59 (1 action to the right of Magna)
Cragger C: 120 (1 action to the right of Magna)
Rock D: 139 (In front of Magna)
Cragger D: 120 (Melee range with Magna)

Terrain: STILL NORMAL, LOL (All rocks are behind the Craggers of the corresponding letters, from Magna's perspective.)

Magna: 120
Normalnavi: ??? (1 action behind Magna)
"That... wasn't a good idea, was it?" sighed Mill.

Instead of answering, Magna chose to examine his changed surroundings and that little matter of being surrounded by viruses. Big, rocky viruses... fellow golems, even. Rather than greet its thematic cousin, the nearest Cragger took a hard swing at Magna, who barely manages to shift out of the way of the powerful fist. "The enemy attacked, Operator. What should I do?" asked Magna.

"Well... In the end, they're just rocks. I would think that it's only a matter of smashing them into pieces." answered Mill.

Magna nodded and returned the favor of the Cragger's fist with his own as the purple Navi thrust his Gutpunch forward, applying extra force as he tried to fell the virus in one swing. As soon as he swung, though, a thought dawned on Magna... "We're still surrounded, Operator."

Taking a chance on Magna's attack being successful, Mill replied, "Try and rush forward and create some distance. It'd be better if we could face them all on a single side."

Magna extended his normal left hand towards the fellow Navi, saying, "Grab hold. We will try to escape." Magna hoped that the Navi had quick reflexes, because he wasn't ready to wait very long. Soon enough, Magna sprung forward (hopefully with ally in tow), trying to force his way through the ring of Craggers and past Rock D. Assuming that the viruses would give chase, Magna turned around and prepared to dodge. On an afterthought, Magna asked the other Navi, "... Can you fight? I would not want to do this alone if I did not have to."

--Smash (Add Break to following:)
1. Gutpunch (70 damage, Break, Impact, Knockback) @ CraggerD
2. Grab NormalNavi
3. Escape encirclement forwards, moving past Rock D (Movement)
4. Dodge
The net begins to shake, pieces of it starting to break off and float up into the air and fragmenting. The viruses begin to panic as their cover disintegrates. Magna scores a hit on one of the Craggers, causing it to vibrate for a moment then its data to spiral upward in the cataclysmic event that's occurring.
The navi looks at the scattering ground and backs away.

"What- what's happening?!" he yells as he continues to stumble away. Dark purplish holes are revealing themselves where the fragmented terrain is falling apart, seeming to spread to the rest of the terrain. The rocks have all disappeared, and the rocky viruses are beginning to vibrate in the same manner of the Cragger that Magna hit with the gutpunch. Magna twists around the opening portals, managing to grab the normalnavi right before he falls into one.

"You've got to get us out of he-" The craggers begin to explode, beginning with the ones closest to the opening rifts. Not really explode as much as deconstruct, very very noisily. They drown out all possible conversation as the panicked navi holds tightly to Magna's arm. Although he may be apparently a thief-- he's also apparently not fit to deal with this particular instance.

This might be something that duct tape can't fix.

Cragger B: 85 (1 tactical action to the right of Magna) [1 Tactical Action away from opening rifts]
Cragger C: 25 (4 tactical actions to the right of Magna) [Standing 3 tactical actions into the opening rifts] (Sinking into opening rifts)
Cragger D: DELETED

Terrain: 30% FUBAR'd Rifts, 70% Normal Terrain

Magna: 120
Normalnavi: 160 (Holding on to Magna)
"Wha... What is this?!" shouted Mill. They were supposed to be baiting that Navi into stealing from them... and now the ground is trying eat them?! "How am I supposed to deal with this?!" Mill clutched his forehead in his hand, trying desperately to come to terms with what was occuring around his Navi. There was one thing that was painfully clear, though:

"Magna. Get the hell away from there." commanded Mill with a stern look on his face, his point only reinforced when one of the Craggers exploded near the rift. "Now."

The purple giant just stared at the dark chasm forming, at an even bigger loss for words than his Operator. It took him a few moments to just realize that the NormalNavi was clinging desperately to his arm, trembling like a (rightfully) scared child. That having snapped him back to reality, Magna looked forward a little to the surviving Craggers, one of which was already pretty deep into the rift. Locking eyes with it, Magna saw... fear? Could it be? He had already learned from previous events that not all viruses are bad... but he was just fighting these ones! And they're about to be eaten by this mysterious darkness, which could very well be a fate worse than deletion.

... Sure, he's never been the most eloquent Navi out there, but damnit, Magna had a conscience.

"... I am unable to fulfill those orders, Operator." stated Magna matter-of-factly.

Mill scoffed a bit before responding, "Excuse me? I'm your Operator! I'm giving you the best orders! Just what would you do otherwise?!"

"..." Magna didn't answer, instead only continuing to watch the sinking Cragger.

"Damnit Magna, answer me!" yelled Mill at the moniter.

"I recommend you hold on tight," announced Magna, turning towards his cowardly bracelet of a partner.

"... Wait... You're not goi-" Before Mill could even finish that thought, Magna rocketed forward... back towards the rift.

"MAGNA!" roared Mill, downright infuriated with his Navi.

Still silent, though, Magna skidded into the dark muck and streched his free hand towards the sinking Cragger. Despite having just thrown his entire existance into fate's hands, Magna had only one thought on his mind: virus, Navi, program... It didn't matter what. NO ONE deserved this fate.

1-3. Charge into the rift (Not-So-Tactical Movement)
4. Reach out for CraggerC, try to pull out.
Magna feels his body sinking into the rift, and beginning to fall apart, the pieces floating into the sky as he charges in, and the continuation of the rifts only gets worse as the Cragger explosively derezzes just as Magna reaches it. In a matter of seconds, Magna's form seems to be going the way of the dodo, and the rift looks like it's spreading too far for comfort, too.

The navi Magna suspects to be the thief panics as he sees his savior plunge into the rifts to rescue a virus, of all things. He backs away, turning to run-- but then turns back around. He hauls out a cable with a grappling hook on it, throwing it to Magna.

"Quick, grab on! Get out of there!" he yells, panicked by holding firmly onto the cable and edging backward as the rift continues to spread--- increasingly quick.

Cragger B: 85 (2 tactical action to the left of Magna) [On the edge of the rifts]
Cragger D: DELETED

Terrain: 45% FUBAR'd Rifts, 55% Normal Terrain

Magna: 45 [3 Tactical Movements away from edge of rift]
Normalnavi: 160 (Edge of the rifts, throwing out a cable to Magna) [4 Tactical Movements away from Magna]
You know you're having a bad day when you risk your life to save someone, and then they just up and explode in your face. Magna just sat there stunned as the dark much slowly dragged him towards the rift, his hand still extended to where the Cragger once stood. If his static face could display emotion, it would be the most raw contortion of anger, frustration, and sadness. He couldn't even feel the dark rift eating away his energy and construction, despite how quickly it was happening. The only thing that snapped Magna out of this trance was being knocked on the head with the end of a cable.

"Quick, grab on! Get out of there!" shouted the NormalNavi as he tossed the line. Magna picked the end up in his hand and just stared at it for a moment. The thief was trying to save him? That's... suprising. Well, there wasn't anything more to lose, so Magna closed his fist on the line and held on tight, not that he expected a single NormalNavi to pull out someone of his size. As he looked back towards the rift, however, Magna realized that he wasn't about to leave anyway. He already failed once, so he had to make sure that at least the last Cragger got out of this mess alive.

Seeing where his Navi was looking, Mill said, "Magna. I will activate the emergency jack-out protocol if you keep this up." His voice was just about the sternest it had ever been. "Why are you doing this? They're viruses. One you were just fighting, no less."

Magna paused for a moment before answering... "They're golems. Even if they're my enemy, I can't just let a fellow golem suffer ruin like this."

"... They're golems?!" scoffed Mill. "This is all a matter of relation?! You've got to be kidding me! You're a Navi! Your identity is only what I make it!" To prove his point, Mill hunched over the keyboard and began furiously typing before moving to his PET and hitting a few buttons. Soon enough, Magna felt an entire shift in his being (or what was left of it, anyway), and then, all of a sudden, things seemed... shorter. He looked at his hand, and saw that he could barely get his grip around the cable any more. With his free hand, Magna felt his face... and touched skin. If he had a mirror, Magna would have seen a slightly modified purple GuardNavi. One thing was for sure... He wasn't a golem any more.

"... There." announced Mill, removing his hands from the PET. "You're no longer a golem. Now you have no reason to continue this stupid stunt."

"No." disagreed Magna assertively, having tone in his voice for the first time. Fine, he wasn't a golem. His Operator was right in that regard. Still... He failed to save the first Cragger. All he can do to repent is save the other. With a fair amount of effort, Magna forced his new leg forward, facing great resistance from the dark muck. One step at a time, one leg after the other, Magna waded deeper into the darkness and towards the Cragger. Making sure to hang onto the line at all times, he forced his way all the way to the edge of the rift and to the Cragger. This was getting close, as the muck had reached all the way up to Magna's new lower chest at this point. Regardless, with a quick thought, Magna reactivated the Gutpunch on his free hand, making it big enough for the large virus to grab.

"Take it!" shouted Magna to the Cragger, stretching his arm out as far as he could. All he could do now is hope that the virus could reach and... then what? The supposed thief might be able to pull him up because of his new form, but forget towing the Cragger too. Magna looked to the piston now connected to his right arm... No. This dark... stuff was far too muddy for it to give them any propulsion. Was there nothing?


Apparently not. A swirl of data spun down into the darkness, teetering on the edge of the rift right behind the Cragger before condensing into the shape of a Windbox. As soon as it completed, the object roared to life, going into overdrive and blasting gale-force winds and the stranded pair. Sure, that thing was probably going to sink very fast, but maybe, just maybe, it will last long enough...

"Jeez..." sighed Mill, running his fingers through his hair. "He's lucky I can't afford a replacement Navi..."

1. Grab line.
*Activate Compressor.GMO
2. Wade towards CraggerB.
3. Reactivate Gutpunch/Reach for CraggerB.
4. Wind behind CraggerB/Magna. (100 HP Object, Wind effect, To-All-Clause)
The purple rifts continue to spread outward, increasing in size exponentially---

Magna's maneuver is pulled off perfectly, sending himself and the Cragger (still falling apart) into the air.

With a sudden snap, as if a rubber band had stretched too far, the panels suddenly shrunk and finally disappeared. They were gone, leaving only a couple glitchy panels there.

The cragger fell over, most of its bottom melted away. Gradually, it folded into a cubical shape.

Viruses in disguise, perhaps? Maybe Magna hoped to never have to incinerate this particular 'Companion'.

"Whoa! I've never heard of that happening... And I'd bet it'd sell well to the highest bidder..." The normal navi said, hinting at a smile with its 'expression' as it proceeded to offer a hand to Magna.

Cragger B: 200 [ROCKCUBE'D]
Cragger D: DELETED

Terrain: 90% Normal Terrain 10% Random flashing panels (somewhat glitchy)

Magna: 120 [Can take rockcube chip if he wishes]
Normalnavi: 160
Whoa... This was Magna's first thought as the Windbox blew him and the Cragger out of the muck. Not too suprising, seeing how this was the first time the purple Navi had ever been light enough to be blown away like that. Conversely, Magna's second thought was an "Ouch" as he crashed to the ground, landing just outside the darkness's perimeter before sliding back to the feet of the NormalNavi. The already damaged Cragger, on the other hand, was completely ripped apart by the winds, causing it to fall to the ground one stone at a time. Strangely, each stone linked up with another as they landed, eventually stacking up several feet upwards before squeezing itself into the shape of a Rockcube.

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"Whoa! I've never heard of that happening... And I'd bet it'd sell well to the highest bidder..." The normal navi said, hinting at a smile with its 'expression' as it proceeded to offer a hand to Magna.

Accepting the gesture, Magna nodded his head (another first for him) in thanks as he took the NormalNavi's hand and was pulled back up. Responding to his "ally's" comment, Magna slowly walked towards the object, watching for it to do something before every next step. Finally deciding that it wouldn't do anything, Magna placed his hand on it and began sending information back to the PET. "Recommendations, Operator?" queried Magna.

Mill traced his eyes over the incoming data a few times before making a surpised noise. "Huh... It's definitely just a Rockcube now... But there's this option on the PET to save it as a Battlechip. I didn't know it could do that..."

"Should I begin the data transfer, Operator?"

"Uhh... Yeah... Lemme see if I can find a blank chip in this thing..." muttered Mill as he began digging around his disorganized mess of a folder, picking out chips one by one until he eventually found one without a picture on it. Satisfied with the discovery, Mill slotted the empty chip into his PET and told Magna to begin the data transfer...

(Take Rockcube)
The other navi reaches out a hand, touching the rockcube a moment before Magna for a moment, then laughs nervously, raising his arms up as he backs away, letting it be downloaded into a chip.

There's not much to be said for a couple uncomfortable moments, but he tries to make some sort of conversation.

"So, uh, what are you doing here, anyway?" He asks airily, looking about as if he had come out on a simple stroll himself. There's a rather greedy glint in his 'eyes', as he begins walking, seemingly expecting Magna to chase after him.

"I'm only asking because usually, I don't see that many viruses in these areas of the net. Do you have something on you attracting them or something?" He asked politely, a tiny hint of a smirk on his face.

"...Hey, wanna get a cup of net-drivel data-caffeine? We can talk it over or something. I'll pay for it, too."