Southern Kotobuki Bats' Turf

Kotobuki is a city of relative wealth, where well-to-do folks live happily without a lot of socioeconomic concerns. The civilized parts of Kotobuki Net are similar; they are, indeed, quite civilized. With that in mind, Kotobuki Net wouldn't be the first place most navis would think to look for a street gang, such as the Kotobuki Bats. Sure enough, though, Kotobuki Net houses any number of rival gangs... Their intents are somewhat obscure, therefore, anyone entering in is unlikely to know firsthand what they're getting into. In fact, in many cases, their influence goes unknown altogether... except for those who mingle amongst that circle. The circle itself is quite large. To the "south" (the directions were all decided arbitrarily, as there isn't much of a compass to go by when it comes to the net, given that there is no standard sun), the Kotobuki Bats reign.

Many visitors and regular inhabitants of Kotobuki Net would never notice the Bats in their daily lives. That said, it wouldn't be hard to find them if one was looking for them. Anyis would realize this when she ported down near a wide, single-story structure, with thin, decrepit looking walls of alternating concrete and glass, and a similarly crumbly looking roof. A bat (the animal) had been crafted from bent, black metal and placed above the entrance. That entrance would be dark, unassuming, and hardly noticeable as a way into the structure, if it wasn't for the presence of two navis. Two identical looking women, each with purple-black hair done with braids in an "M" shape, rising behind their head to form miniature wings, were standing outside the door. Each was dressed in a black navisuit with purple additions over it, including a uniform skirt, sailor top, boots, and short gloves. Each girl wore a hostile looking expression, with eerie, sunken eyes that were completely yellow, almost like a heelnavis, but without the associated helmet. Their mouths were covered by black flu masks, to give them that classic delinquent look. Both girls carried their own long, silver bat, wielding it over their shoulders and holding it in only one hand, with their other resting at their respective right hip. The bat was probably made out of something tougher than aluminum. It was becoming hard to tell whether this crew was associated with the animal "bat" or the sports equipment "bat..."

The inside of the building was so dark that there was no telling who or what was inside. Anyis would probably want to ask the girls at the front, rather than trying to sneak in unnoticed or barge in past them.
(YankeeGirl.GMO Locked)

Anyis's eyes settled in on the Bats' base, and the two girls posing as batty gargoyles at its entrance, as she made her first touchdown onto Kotobuki Net. The sight begged the question of why the Bats were squatting an abandoned warehouse of all things, and for that matter why an upper-class area like this even HAD an abandoned warehouse, but... judging from the, ahem, aesthetic choices of the two door guards Anyis figured the chances were just as good that the Bats put this place up themselves and simply wanted it to look like a piece of crap. The lollipop in Anyis's mouth rolled around from one cheek to the other as she mulled what to do about the hostile-looking guards, ultimately deciding to just stir a reaction and see if they'll let her through.

Magna landed not long after and not far behind Anyis, arriving with a loud thump as his heavy metallic feet struck the ground. His knees straightened after absorbing the landing blow, allowing the golem to assume his full 11 foot stature. This... this would do nicely, thought Anyis.

"Magna, stay behind me and don't talk." ordered Anyis, pointing her aluminum bat at her SP as she spoke through the lollipop in her cheek.

"Understood, Mother Unit." Nope, no questions.

With her 1-golem posse organized, Anyis lowered the bat to her side and walked up to the two guards. "Oi, let me through. I've got business inside."
The two girls glared at Anyis as she approached, but didn't make any motions, other than slight tilts of their heads. They didn't appear to have much reaction to her. That changed when she brought out a giant, purple robot, as few people would ignore that sort of thing. "Who're you? One of the other gangs?" the one on the left demanded. "I don't recognize your gear. You're carrying a bat... You hear to join the Bats?" she further questioned. By that time, Anyis had ordered Magna to stay back and was pressing forward herself. "You know anybody's free to come and go in here whenever they want," she affirmed, stepping aside and letting Anyis through. Probably the most anticlimactic gang stare-down Anyis had ever heard of or been a part of. "Go on in." Anyis could be walking into a trap, but then, the girls hadn't even moved their bats when she'd lowered hers, nor even when Magna appeared. They didn't seem to be much use as guard-women.

Getting Magna inside would be tough, without some arrangements. The building was pretty low for anyone 11 feet tall to get in, especially if they weren't very flexible.

Unfortunately, inside was as dark as it looked from the outside. She only found two sources of illumination... a trail of flames, like candles only rising from the ground, forming a path through the building... and the eerie shapes of yellow eyes, peering out from the darkness. Some were coming from a height indicating they might be humanoid... others were coming from too high or too low to be a standing person. Soon enough, Anyis would discover the source: one of the Bats, with an appearance exactly mimicking the others, was hanging from the ceiling by her claw-like boots (interestingly, her skirt was defying gravity... it was hard to tell how, unless it was just designed to do that). "You're almost there," she informed Anyis helpfully.

After traversing a lot of featureless, flame-lit darkness, Anyis finally came to a wall, then shortly to a door. Opening the door revealed another small room, this one lit by a greater array of candles. There was still otherwise no decor, except for two mats on the floor, the kind that are designed to be knelt upon. On one of these mats, thus kneeling, was a tall woman who blessedly did not look just like all of the other Bats subordinates. She wore a black school uniform, only hers was a male uniform instead of a female one; the jacket was open, revealing a black bodysuit underneath the getup. The bodysuit was white up top with the majority black pattern further down, forming the abstract print of a bat (animal) on her expansive chest. It stopped at her breasts, forming a tube-top shaped, but appeared to go down beneath her uniform slacks. She was tall, tough-looking, and yet meaty in the favorable places; her arm definition was evident, as they were crossed in front of her and, in delinquent fashion, were not in her jacket sleeves. The woman's hair was an unnaturally light brown color, done into a huge updo and curled all over, so that ringlets spilled over her shoulders and down the back of her coat. Most notably, it was full of giant, gray, bent accessories that looked like nails, sticking out from her curls at random angles. They made quite the fashion statement, but probably were not overly comfortable to wear.

The woman's serious face, with menacing, silver-colored eyes, rose to face Anyis as she entered. While Anyis noticed she was not holding a weapon, the woman did have an instrument placed on the floor next to her... a terribly long, almost human-length black, metallic bat, covered in spikes, like something an ogre would use. "Welcome to the headquarters of the Southern Kotobuki Bats. I'm Bats, leader of the Bats," she announced, in a deep voice, which seemed almost smoldering with violent intent.... but not violent intentions revealed themselves, no matter how long the conversation continued. "You must be Anyis. I was told you were coming and most of my other meetings for the month are finished," she continued. "I want to get straight to the point, so you can tell me whether you're out or in. First, I'm going to tell you all about the gang structure in Kotobuki, cause you need to know..."

She sat up slightly and pressed the palms of her large, thuggish hands onto the knees of her slacks. "Although we Bats call ourselves a gang, we're really a group of social workers. See, there was a time where the gangs in Kotobuki were all about... raising hell, crapping all over the law, squatting people's homes just cause why the hell not, that kind of thing. But over time, and I won't tell you the whole story cause it'd bore you, we learned things are better when you get along with people. Nowadays, we run a turf war... a war to see who can be the most positive community influence," she explained, sounding more ridiculous by the second. "Right now, the two leaders are the Southern Kotobuki Bats, us, and the Northeastern Kotobuki Belts. All the other gangs gave up or were absorbed in... so despite our names, we basically have the public favor in half of these parts of Kotobuki Net, while the Belts hold favor in the other. We're just about exactly fifty-fifty. For now, I'm just concerned with maintaining the status quo. But I think that with your involvement, we can tip the scales in our favor and win some of the Belts' turf. Lemme explain what I mean..."

She picked up her bat with one hand, then swung it with a loud woosh towards what was seemingly a bare wall... hard to tell in the darkness. It seemed like this would be a good place in the explanation for a diagram or something. "The citizens of Kotobuki Network all have instructions from us. Basically, once a month, they vote on which gang in Kotobuki is the most helpful. I want them to vote Bats. Everybody only gets one vote... So, normally, they kind of hold their votes hostage. Like, we have to do things for them in order to get those votes. For the most part, it's not too bad... as you can see, I've got a lot of help from the other Bats and all. So we make out alright. But the problem is, every period, we've got a number of holdouts who ask for things that we just can't give them, for various reasons. That's where you come in... Acting as our mercenary, you can speak to those folks and persuade them to vote for us this time around, by doing whatever they ask, presumably. My incentive to you, then, is 1500z per vote you can sway. You'll carry around a bat, which you have- that's good- indicating that you're part of our gang. They'll give you their votes in the form of a data package. It's real simple."

"Just so you don't think I'm going to have you wandering all over the dang place looking for those guys, you should know that I'm holding a little get together for them... a "gang sponsored bruncheon," how do you like the sound of that? Anyway, that bruncheon's got the last holdouts. You can find them there, see what they want, and so long as you can swing two votes, you got yourself the money you were looking for. Or, if you get more, I'll pay you for those too. I'll put you in touch with Belts afterwards, of course. We're rivals, but we're not enemies..." Bats finished. "So, you got all that? Think you can handle it? You look tough, it ought to be easy. Or... any questions? If you don't, I'll lead you to the bruncheon."
Having met less resistance than expected... by which is meant no resistance whatsoever, Anyis shrugged her shoulders and walked in. Magna... Well, the clearance was questionable at best and making himself fit inside by whatever means necessary would probably be a good way to incite the sort of antagonism Anyis had initially expected out of the gang. Anyis had already walked a few steps into the darkness, but turned around when she realized her SP was having door issues again. "Am I going to have to transfer you in again...?" Anyis asked with a sigh as she scratched her head.

"That may be required, Mother Unit, unless I'm ordered to hold location or to create sufficient clearance." replied Magna, stating the options.

"Actually, I finished the solution to Magna's door problem the other day." announced Mill suddenly. "It didn't take too long after actually figuring out what to do for the GMO file."

"Well that would've been good to know. If you've got this, I'm just going to go on ahead and get the ball rolling with this dumb request." said Anyis as she waved the matter off and walked further inside.

"Her endless curiosity is amazing as always..." noted Mill, his voice full of sarcasm. "I'm going to upload the GMO now, Magna."

"Understood, Operator." replied Magna.

(MicroPack.GMO Equipped)

A rectangular purple container dropped itself on Magna's back, just a bit over 6 feet long by 3 feet wide. The additional equipment inside would serve to shrink Magna down a bit... as if that was possible. Instead of adding gear like his DrillPack, the MicroPack instead had replacement equipment. In this case is was quite literally a full replacement of Magna's entire body, as his orange core energy suddenly blacked out and the glow vanished from the golem's face and bracers. After a few seconds of silence, the large container opened up abruptly, releasing an orange steam onto the ground as a 6 foot tall purple android hopped out. Heavy armor plating kept true to Magna's style, though it was less integrated into his central body than in golem form, and his head was now a completely enclosed helmet with a large and overreaching orange visor acting as his face.

"Everything clear, Magna?" queried Mill, having not tested the GMO prior.

"No anomalies detected, Operator." answered Magna, his voice slightly more muffled by his new facial arrangement. His visor illuminated with orange core energy as he spoke, fluctuating in intensity as emphasis came and went in his syllables.

"Alright, go catch up to Anyis then." said Mill with a nod before relaying the new order. Magna heeded the command and went into the building, albeit a bit awkwardly as he hadn't walked at this height in quite some time.

By this point Anyis had listened to Bats' explanation of the situation, and was already covering her face with her hand in disbelief. "This is how gangs throw down in the rich town? Thank god Mill is a struggling member of the middle class..."

"I heard that, you know." noted Mill bluntly.

Ignoring her Operator, Anyis put her hand down and responded to Bats. "Yeah, I have a few questions. One, why do you need to get me in touch with your rival to fix my problem? Your rival said in the other request that you could do the same. Two, what are these 'things we just can't give them' exactly, and what makes you think I can if you all can't? And three... a bruncheon? Seriously?"
The two door guards glared at Anyis as she walked past, leaving Magna to be helped out by Mill. The women outside watched in awkward silence as Magna made himself a more appropriate size for clearing the door, then managed to make it through. It was a tall door, seeing as the Bats members as well as the leader herself were all easily over 6 feet, but none of them had exactly planned for an eleven foot tall robot visiting. "Let us know if you need help finding your way," they called after him, but it wouldn't be difficult for a regular person, let alone a robot who was no doubt designed not to be particularly hampered by the dark.

Bats looked like she was getting as annoyed with her new acquaintance as said acquaintance was becoming with the request. She placed both hands on the handle of her bat and grit her teeth, suddenly looking much less civil and seeming to grind the black, worn surface with her hands. "You think you know how to lead a gang better than I do?" she asked, tilting her head up and tossing her nail-ridden curls. Suddenly, the leader gulped, then slouched her shoulders and looked to one side. "Er, sorry. Old habit. That's the old me! Won't happen again. Uh, yeah, I can introduce you to Belts any time, and I will, but only after you do what I've asked of you. That's how this whole 'mission' thing works. I'm a social worker, but that doesn't mean I do everything for free," she responded, shrugging her broad shoulders and then hoisting her bat expertly over behind both of them, somehow managing to avoid conking herself in the head or stabbing herself with the spikes. "As for things I can't give them... there's all kindsa reasons. Some of them are just undoable... usually people will drop those right off, but sometimes, they just keep requesting 'em forever, and that's what we call 'a clog;' there's just no way to do those. If you run into a guy like that, just keep going. In other cases, the things they're asking are things that we, as regular, patrolling members of the Bats can't do. I'm hoping that my willingness to bring in an outside party to do those things for them, at least, we'll endear us a bit to them. Like, 'yeah, I can't do that, but here's somebody who can.' See, as social workers, we Bats have a lot of things we can't do... violence, swearing, lewd behavior, etc. You will still be able to do all of those things and you'll be gone before anyone can pin them on you. That means you can clear a lot of these 'hard to reach spots' that we normally have to just ignore. You wouldn't think there'd be that many requests requiring that kind of thing, but there's a pretty sizable chunk of the voting population we miss entirely each poll. Sure, it might be playing dirty, but since the only folks at the bruncheon will be those we don't normally service, I doubt any of them are going to complain about it."

"As for why a bruncheon... Well, don't you get hungry? Like, I know navis don't have to eat... but it's kind of like how we got into social work. Once you do it for a while, you can't really remember not doin' it. So now, we just eat a nice brunch every day around this time, me and my gang. It gets us energized to go out and do good for the rest of the day. Maybe that's why other navis are so cranky and always battling all the time and everything, huh? Cause they don't enjoy a nice brunch from time to time... We'll have finger sandwiches, a little barbeque... coleslaw, which is good on the sandwiches... chili in little bowls with little spoons, lemonade, sweet tea... you know, that sort of thing," the boss murmured, keeping an amazingly straight face as she talked about all of it. "If you're ready to go, the bruncheon is just out back. You can use the back exit of the building to get their fastest. I'll show you out, but then I've got other stuff I've got to attend to."

Once Anyis was ready, Bats would rise and let her out the back door, which hadn't been visible at all until this point due to the darkness. The light flooding into the room was both unwelcome at this point and also greatly clashed with the scenery inside the room. It was even more offensive that the gang leader, seemingly placed at the protected back of the building where one would have to fight through all of her gang before reaching her, had an unlocked back door that led directly into the innermost chamber. Outside the oppressive, dark structure, a sunny picnic part was set up. Despite what Bats had said, it looked relatively light on prospective votes. Only a few especially awkward/eerie looking guys had shown up, although they were enjoying all of the free food like they lived there. Unfortunately, it seemed like Anyis had been left a particularly unpleasant bunch of no-good types, which ought to be expected from the fact that the Bats had never managed to satisfy their requests. Anyis figured there might be about eight folks here total so far, though more might pour in later.

"Well, at this point, I'll let you do it whichever way you want. Either mingle and get some food and take it casually, or, if you want, shout out what you're here for and make everybody form a line. Either way's good. I mean, it's not the Bats way, mind you, but I don't really even particularly care what happens to these guys... cause, like, we've never had their votes before this point. So it's not like we really lose anything if they hate you or us after this. Just remember: you need at least two votes converted to make 3000z, though you can do more if you want. If you get me at least two, I'll also hook you up with Belts, who I'm sure has something else just like this but stupider planned for the end-of-voting period to try to round up votes," Bats scoffed. "So, go nuts." She left Anyis and her SP outside, then walked back inside and shut the door with an oppressive thud. After just a second, it creaked back open. "Oh, and knock if you need me," she added. "I always make time for others." With that last courtesy, she shut the door again.

The menagerie assembled was ignoring Anyis mostly, as their was food to focus on, as well as two of the Bats girls doing some kind of stand-up comedy routine that didn't sound even slightly worth listening to. The party-goers, listed:

1) A HeelNavi talking to a NormalNavi by the lemonade station.
2) Said NormalNavi talking to said HeelNavi by said lemonade station.
3) A small girl with blond hair and a gray, one-piece swimsuit that didn't do her lackluster, kiddy body any favors, busy loading up her plate with barbequed pork. She was standing next to...
4) A tall, gray, robotic figure of a man with few features, including the fact that he had no face. Giant lightning rods stuck up off his shoulders, though they wouldn't get any play with the weather as it was currently. He was holding two more plates of food, although, judging by his face (or lack thereof), they weren't for him.
5) A navi wearing a black, tuxedo-pattern bodysuit and carrying a fancy walking cane. He wore a bowler on top of his head, which sat over the hood of his navi suit. He was almost good-looking, with a face like an old crooner, except that he stood entirely on his tip-toes in a way that defied physics. When he walked, he did so by bending his knees and moving like a cartoon character, one leg after the other in a slinky sort of walk. He was moving around from person to person, talking until he offended them, then raising his gloved hands and leaving. His latest addressee was...
6) A navi with an old, Shakespeare-play-looking outfit on, including a fluffed green hat and trousers over a red bodysuit. His face was covered in a white mask, which had eyes, a mouth, and a single tear drawn into a weeping face atop of it. He was standing and watching the standup, seeming equal parts upset about it and upset about the slinky guy talking to him. He waved away the latter with a loud protest, projecting his voice like an actor.
7) Another large man, with hunched shoulders and crossed arms... he at first looked to be wearing a gray skinsuit with a red cape, but it was more like his body was made out of gray metal and had a red curtain hanging from the arms, which formed a sort of standing curtain beneath his hunched body. His grumpy looking face sat atop the curtain as he watched the stage and grumbled, apparently not enjoying the show either. His arms leaned on a cane, which formed a rod for the curtain to attach its length to. He definitely looked like a crochety old guy, on closer inspection. White hair formed a miniature curtain around only the back of his unusually flat head, the rest having receded too far.
8) A young, pretty looking girl dressed as a chef, complete with a toque and white garb. She wore an overly heavy red neckerchief that fell past her chest to nearly her waist. Her orange, curling, bobbed hair and friendly smile as she revealed a fresh tray of sandwiches made her look like the most relatable person at the party... but her wardrobe made her look more like catering than a person Anyis needed to please.

So, then, Anyis had her pick.