Sharo Research (EVENT!)

Swift currents and large pools of standing water cover the landscape. The obstructions make processing speeds slower. Evidence of strong viral activity are apparent, chunks of ice litter the area.
Pianissimo had only barely reached the Netsquare when he saw the flashing Special Mission BBS, indicating an important message.

So I got assigned to Sharo after all. No need to worry about not being able to explore the other net areas, then. He said to himself. Wrapping his blood-red scarf back around the lower, exposed half of his face, he stepped back through the portal he had just came from...

...into a completely different environment. The blizzard from before was all but gone. Much of the snow and ice had melted, leaving massive pools of water and deadly-looking torrents. Destruction from what could only be incredibly powerful viruses left chunks of ice all over what land was left.

"Duke...have you ever seen anything like this?" he asked Rigel, gazing speechless at the ruined tundra.

"Only once..." muttered Rigel, lost in memories. Seven years ago, after Swing and several others had finished battling Drauchen in Netfrica, he came to Sharo to try and help out, after hearing that the other teams weren't faring so well. Though they were unable to get close enough to fight Squalo...Rigel wouldn't forget what the shark-like beast had caused, a massive lake in the middle of the net, with swift currents running throughout.

Now, the anomalies were repeating themselves. And somehow, this time, they seemed even worse.
Stryder materializes herself and steps forward from her portal. As she walks forward slowly, Stryder takes a look at her surroundings. "Sooo...this is Sharo Net?....Seems ok, I guess." Stryder folded her arms, as she stood still, looking at the numerous ice chunks scattered about. "Mmm, I dunno Alexia. According to the internet City BBS strong virii have been through here, Electown, Yumland, and Netfrica Nets. I believe what the NetPolice say about these areas, but I don't know..." Stryder begins to stare mindlessly into one of the gigantic ice chunks. "I have a feeling theres more to this than just strong virii."
Voltman jacked in, and looked down.
OhshitohshitohshitohshitohSHIT! He muttered to himself. I can't be seen like this! I'm supposed to be the little kid! No one is supposed to see me! He didn't know why this was true, but something was trying to worm its way through his memories. Images flashed behind his eyes...
Four navis look up at him, their eyes showing hope in Voltman. But why? What could they possibly be hoping for? Suddenly, electricity surges through Voltman's body. But unlike the empowering energy electricity usually provides him, this energy is harsh and intrusive. It bonds itself to his programming, and the scene begins to darken. As the darkness claimed him, he looked upon the other navis once more, and noticed that they looked a little... like him.
The image went away, to be replaced by another one.
The same navis were standing by him, but they had their backs to him this time. They were muttering among themselves, and it was clear that two of the navis were fighting with the other two. They occasionally gestured wildly at Voltman, and they all seemed very tired. The tired nature of the navis seemed to spread beyond physical exhaustion, though. They all seemed defeated, but by what Voltman did not know. Finally, a consensus seemed to be reached, and one of the females walked over to a control panel, and pressed a button. The table Voltman was on tilted, and he was dumped into a black abyss. Darkness pressed in from all sides, and he gave up the fight to remain conscious.

Voltman shuddered as if a wave of cold air had washed over him, and rubbed his head again. He didn't have time for this. He woke up MiniVolt, and went into sleep mode.
MiniVolt looked around with the sort of undivided attention to anything but a higher authority that only a child can produce, wonder shining in his eyes.
Then, he spotted the other navis. He grinned, and jumped from puddle to puddle until he reached them. He walked over to Pianissimo, and started talking.
Hi! I'm Volt! Are you here for the... his forehead wrinkled as he concentrated on a difficult word ...readseaches inbestikation? It looks bad here... I wonder what could have done it? It's all just ice blockies and rivers and puddles. His face brightened. Do you want to go puddle jumping? It's fun!
Voltman, woken from his sleep mode by MiniVolt's incessant talking, decided that it was time to take a little action in the intelligent direction.
Volt stopped in the act of running towards a puddle, and attempted to turn and jump at the same time. The result was a soggy bottom, and a rather embarassing fall. But he didn't even care, simply walking back over to Pianissimo.
So, what's your name, mister?
Pianissimo watched as two others jacked into the net near his position. The first seemed okay, the second...Great, the annoying kid navi from the NetSquare event. Even as the kid talked to him, he only half heard what he was saying, due to trying to shut out his shrill voice. Naturally, he was surprised when his actions took even the slightest turn towards intelligence.

"The name's...Pianissimo," he said when the kid asked. He spoke it in his usual voice which, though unusually quiet, could be heard by anyone he was trying to talk to.
A portal opened and a young, serious looking navi stepped out, "Good, the linnk worked." He then noticed the other navis and nodded to them, "So, we just need one more, eh? My name's Junior and my netop should be along shortly." As his eyes fell upon Stryder, he adjusted his glasses a bit with his hand, "And, uh... how might you all be?" He addressed them all with this question, but it was obvious that he mainly was interested in the girl's answer. He stepped a bit closer to her.
Rushing out from a NetSquare portal in the distance, Nac made his way through the net, quickly spotting the navi group and heading up to them...
Volt looked up at the navi, his eyes watery.
*sniff* You don't like me, do you?
He didn't allow Pianissimo time to answer before breaking out in tears.
Waaah! I'm getting my big brother!
He started to run, before being enveloped in a cocoon of light as Adult.GMO activated and adult Volt took control. He knew he couldn't be seen, but what harm could it do in such a remote location? The light faded, and he stepped forward.
Sorry about that. Volt Jr. can be a little tempermental at times. Emphasis on mental.
He chuckled.
I'm Voltman. Or, as I'm sometimes referred to because of the younger me, Volt Senior. It's Pianissimo, right? He extended a hand. Nice to meet you.
But Voltman was almost running on automatic now. He was really scolding his little self...

*In Voltman's head*
Stop crying, please. For the love of God, STOP CRYING!!!
MiniVolt sniffed, as his high pitched wail ended with a whimper.
Now, what's wrong? Why did you drag me out?
He didn't like me!
He said that?
Well... no...
So you assumed.

MiniVolt had suddenly taken a distinct intrest in his shoes.
Sort of...
You know what happens when you assume?
Another problem like in Netopia...
Yeah. But don't worry about it too much. After all, the spear didn't go all the way through the navis chest.
He would have deserved it if it did...
MiniVolt muttered

Voltman shook his head, going back to reality. MiniVolt's logic could only be handled in small doses...
Taking her eyes off the ice chunks littered about, Stryder giggled happily, as she constantly shifted her eyes from Voltman, to Pianissimo, and Nachahmen, greeting each of them kindly. Suddenly, she made eye contact with Junior, staring deeply into his green hair. Stryders eyes widened with joy, as she slowly walked clulessly towards Junior, whispering something softly. "Zieghart....You''re here?!?" "Uhh, Stryder...Stryder, watch where your-...*gasp*" Stryder then hugs and embraces Junior as if she hadn't seen him in a very long time, not realizing that he isn't, who she thinks is, Zieghart. "Ohh, Zieghart. Is it true? Is it really you?" Stryder squeezes him tighter, not wanting to let go of him. "Stryder...Ummm, thats not...." She suddenly comes to her senses, and snaps back to reality. Shes stands merely inches away from Soulman, as if she were about to kiss him. *blushes* Umm.." She then calmy backs herself away a little, before shaking Soulmans hand, still giggling softly. "I'm Fine. Your...Junior, right?"
Pianissimo shook the more mature version of Voltman's hand, grateful that the incessant talking had stopped. "Yeah, the name's Pianissimo," he said, stepping back to look at the latest arrivals, a purple guy and...wait, wasn't that Soulman? But Soulman was... Suddenly he remembered seeing a lookalike in the NetSquare shortly before the real Soulman died. Pianissimo's eyes flashed a brilliant red.

Name: Soulman_Junior.EXE.

Of course, Pianissimo thought to himself. He really should've known that Junior would still be around.

Turning back to Voltman, he said, "Don't be too hard on the kid. I'll admit that I have a bad habit of giving people the wrong impression."

Upon examining the four navis, Nac took a particular interest in Voltman. It seemed that Nac was rather affixed to electrical navis and virii, perhaps because they naturally generate a greater electrical output more often than not. Either way, upon seeing the ever-changing Volt, Nac's form began to shift. First, his body seemed to change texture, shifting to what appeared to be spandex, electric in it's purple color.

Further, his hands an legs began to wobble around and reform, creating thick, dark purple gloves and boots, almost black in appearance. Details reminicent of a helmet began to form as well, still light in color, creating dark spaces for ears to fit (even though he had no ears), a hard plate on top, and a final decal piece, the same abyssal purple as the boots, treading through the center of the helm and ending off in a point sticking out in front of the forehead. Finally, his virtually blank face began to take on human-esque features: more detailed eyes, with pupils and all, as well as taking on an electric eye color; a mouth, equipped with teeth, a tongue, the works; a nose and a more defined chin.

Oddly though, this form wasn't quite finished. To Zanzo, it seemed well enough, but for Nac, it wasn't fully satisfying for his mood. The once smooth face began to wrinkle, his once brilliant eyes, as well as slightly defined form began to dull, the spandex sagging just slightly. He then slouched, and began to shake a bit, his body subtly vibrating. Upon hearing Volt's voice for a bit, he began to take on the tone as he spoke, though somewhat more gruff to the ear.

"Eh...No bingo? Feh..." He said, as he began to wander about, though still making sure to stay near the group. "Derned youngsters..."

".....Excuse me, Nac...." Zanzo said, "...But are you even aware of what you're saying?"

"Eh...Not really...I just seem to ache, and whatever spouts out the piehole...just sorta does." He replied, coughing a bit in between things...
Junior got very confused as the female navi embraced him. What should he do? Normally, to comfort a woman when she hugs you, you hug her back but she obviously had him confused for someone else. While it may be rude to ignore her advances, wouldn't it be even worse to take advantage of her error and pull her close? He wasn't a womanizing pig, so he couldn't be deceitful, but neither could he act coldly. What to do....

In the end, he just kind of waved his arms around all confused like until she realized her mistake and backed off a bit. Of course, she still stayed close enough to shake his hand, "Yeah, that's what I go by. Some people call me by what I suppose would be my first name, but I prefer not to live in my old man's shadow. And you are...?"
(I'm using the shortened marking for Pianissimo to refer to you from now on.)

Voltman nodded at pp's comment, before some other navis caught his eye.
Okaaay... One navi hugging a navi I saw at the Onsen briefly, and one navi who's... WHAT THE HELL?!?
Voltman pointed at the navi that had just taken the form of himself, albeit older.
Hey, P, do you have any idea what the hell that is? Some kind of copy navi?
Then, an idea slicing through the murk of MiniVolt's crying like a sunbeam on a cloudy day, he switched out of Adult.GMO, and MiniVolt took over. As he shrunk, he whispered to pp,
Don't worry. I'm just going to have a little fun with this imitator.
Transformation finished, Voltman let MiniVolt take over. He skipped over to Nac, and started circling him at speeds approaching those generally associated with bicycles, but not with two feet.
HIYA! You kinda look like me! Why do ya look like me? Am I that popular? Is it halloween? Oh! I know! Let's play a game!
He started running around Nac, chanting Game, game, game! while Voltman, inside his head, analyzed the newcomer. The programming was like NOTHING he had ever seen before...
"Eh?...Why you little..."
Nac coughed in a short fit, as though he were hocking up a lung. He swung an arm at the child as a feeble attempt to shoo him off.
"Wh.....Wh...Wh-Whippersnapper!" he exclaimed, a bit of a whistle coming through as he hit the 's' sound. It was clear that the frown on his face revealed more curiosity than anger...
Volt stopped as a hand was waved in front of him, then continued on his path, but stopped and stayed stopped as VoltNac began to cough. He quickly turned out pockets (which had conviniently appeared as he began looking for them), and pulled out a small yellow item, wrapped like a candy, but smelling of medicine attempted to be covered by sugar.
Do ya need a cough drop, mister? And what's a whippert-slacker? Is that a special kind of slacker? I don't slack at all! Or is it someting else?
His eye was caught by a small chunk of roughly bowl shaped ice floating along, and he grabbed it and dipped it into the water, filling it.
Do you need some water? I always need it, because the cough drop tastes nasty.
Eh, I should be fine...
He rubbed his back a bit; his opposite shoulder with his right, his lower spine, near his hip, with his left.
Meh...I could use some painkillers if you got any. My back is so worn these days...
Nac took a few steps ahead, maintaining a slow stride. He wheezed a little as he did so, but it didn't sound too heavy. He looked like he could use a cane, yet seemed to, as of late, refuse anything but painkillers...
Before he could get his answer, Junior was interupted by the return of his netop, "Hey, Junior, do me a favor and order me a pizza!"

The sudden return irritated Junior but he got a real shocker when he looked at the window Wes's face had appeared in. Though he could only see from the shoulder up, the lack of a shirt horrified him. He glanced at the other navi, his face red, as he stuttered out, "A-are you naked? I know no one's around but still! Have you no shame?"

"What? No, I'm not naked!" Wes protested.

"Well, I sure don't see no clothes!" Junior fumed.

"I'm wearing boxers, so don't get all bent out of shape." Junior started to say something but was interrupted, "Well, Things are more comfortable this way. Anyway, while you're waiting, I'm gonna start to organize the data here, okay?" Just before his moniter disappeared, Wes muttered, "Geez, you're the one who goes to the onsen in nothing but a Speedo, flirting with girls...."

Now Junior was really embarassed. He hoped the girl hadn't heard that last bit. He turned back to her, sweating nervously, "So, uh, what were we talking about?" He quickly typed a few commands on a screen that appeared, to order his netop's food. No way he needed Wes to bug him about that again.
In a confused look, still blushing and embarassed from a previous moment, Stryder overheard Junior and Wes's conversation somewhat, but couldn't really hear them clearly. It was as if she were daydreaming about...well...nothing, shutting all sounds out from her ears. Coming back to reality once more, Juniors last words to her, before the arguement with Wes, replayed through her head like a tape. "Uhh, I'm Stryder. And this is my net op, Alexia," Stryder says, holding her right arm with her left hand, just above her elbow, while digging her foot into the ground, as she glanced at Juniors beautiful hair again. "Nice to meet you Junior. You too, Wes. How's it going for you guys today?"
MiniVolt looked at his shoes.
Sorry, mister. No pain stoppers. Just cough drops, because sometimes I eat too much pie or something and then I cough on it and choke on it and then my throat hurts, and then...

*5 minutes later*

...and that's why Barney totally gets owned by Ninjas.
He yawned, tired from his long speech, wandered over to a nearby ice floe, and slept. And by the sounds of the snoring, he wouldn't be waking up for a while...

(Just gonna wait for the battle, now)
Three Wisps appear out of the mists, their silent grace oddly in contrast to the chaotic surroundings. Their image stands in contrast to two angry-looking Larks, with glowing red eyes and huge teeth, that emerge from the waters shortly thereafter.

WispA: 10
WispB: 10
WispC: 10
Carnivorous LarkA: 150
Carnivorous LarkB: 150