Posted by Vineman.exe
Name: Reggie Monroe
Region: Electopia - DenCity
Offered Price: 50,000 Z
Job Description: I work for DenValley National Park south of town and part of our system has become infected with high-level Aqua Viruses. The system controls all the electrical devices in the area and because the area is so isolated it has become quite the hazard. Need a lot of help cleansing the system and recovering the lost data.
Personnel Requested: Sparkman.exe

Meet Reggie at north gate of park any time tomorrow if interested.

*we find Nathan asleep at the keyboard as Spark Man drudges his way to the DLM homepage*

Spark Man: *reads over the request* Sweet merciful crap! Talk about easy money! Nathan, you seeing this?

Nathan: *snore*

Spark Man: Ugh. You stayed up all night studying for this morning's animal ecology test, didn't you? Fuck, I hate the human race so damn much. WAKE UP YOU LAZY BASTARD!

Nathan: Ahhh!!! You scared the shit out of me, man! What was that for?

Spark Man: You may want to take a look at this.

Nathan: *reads request* Holy fuck! That's as much as Moe offered for taking down that WWW splinter cell! And it's all ours for a little target practice? I can't believe our luck.

Spark Man: I'm accepting it right now. You wanna meet him at three? Or do you want cut botany class tomorrow and meet him at noon? Personally, the last one's got my vote. *sends the reply to the request* Guess where you're going to be at noon, pal.

*the next day at 11:59 at the north gate of DenValley Park*

Nathan: *leaning against the wall, smoking a cigarette* Ah, I must've done something good in my life! Can't think as to what it was though.

*A man drives up to the gate in a cart.*

Reggie: Ah, you must be Nathan. Excellent. The server is in a shed a little off road. I will take you there.

Nathan: *hopping into the cart* Hey, you look familiar. Have we met before?

Reggie: *looking a little nervous* I do not believe we have, sir. Come along now. The mission awaits.

*after a long drive through some old hiking paths, the cart eventually comes to a stop outside a shed set up next to the river.*

Nathan: Everything in the park is controlled from here? Isn't it a little out of the way?

Reggie: Actually, this is the center of the park, so it is the most strategic position for an electronics network. The proximity to the river has caused some wear on the cables. They've been repaired physically, but the Aqua viruses already spawned from the malfunctions are still running rampant.

*Both enter the shed where the walls are lined with old servers and generators. Reggie takes out a green PET and points to a computer in the center.*

Reggie: Right here please. We should be quick. There are enough viruses in there right now to make it hard to move. Slimey Viruses are so compact in there they have merged into a single viscous mass covering the ground. Your navi should find himself knee-deep in other types of viruses as well. Most navis would be overwhelmed in such an environment instantly, but if Sparkman opens with SparkWave, it should clear enough ground for us to hold as long as we don't let up.

Nathan: Alright, thanks for the briefing, but I planned on starting with Sparkwave anyway. You sure seem to have done your homework on my navi, anyway.

Reggie: Mere sir, quite.

Nathan: Well it's kinda odd that you know what ol' Spark can do. It's not advertised anywhere on our fliers. *shrugs and jacks Sparkman* Guess our reputation's proceeding us for once in our damn lives.

*Sparkman teleports into the system's network and finds that the pathway covered by the mass of slimy viruses*

Sparkman: *thinking* Reputation proceeding us, my ass. There's no way that milk guzzler oughta know about my bag of tricks. And I know we've seen him somewhere, and it's pissing me off.....Fuck it. Let's just do this job already.

*the mass quickly oozes towards Sparkman and surrounds him. However, Sparkman uses an aluminium stage chip and fires off a blinding spark wave. The mass pops like a tick, sending charred droplets, some still crackling with electricity, flying in every direction. The lower level slimey viruses from the mass were now nothing more than smoking jet-black spatters dotting the pathway and Sparkman's armor. The higher-up viruses reformed into their individual selves and leapt foward to attack. But, since they were all blind, they either miss by a longshot, or end up deleting each other. The commotion attracts several TarkEX and Shrimpy3Ex viruses, but several of them get blasted by a barrage of spark mines*

Sparkman: *thinking* Man, I really don't like this. This is too damn easy. This putz could've easily just gone to Higby's backwater Ma & Pa stand, bought some thunder 3s, elecswords and other crap like that and wax these punching bags himself.

*Sparkman shakes his head and push his nagging thoughts out of his head and goes back to shooting off several small spark shocks that paralyze a few TarkExs, and delete some of the Shrimpy3EXs. A TarkEx retaliates with a wideshot, slicing into Sparkman, but he remains undaunted. Back in the real world...*

Nathan: Well, aren't you gonna join in the fun, Reg? *lights a cigarrette*

Reggie: Uhh...Vineman and I-I'll be along shortly. I j-just...uh need you to the path.

Nathan: Fine. More for me. Say, ya should get that stammer looked at. You sound like a shmuck.

*somebody speaks to Reg through an earpiece*

???: Why haven't you jacked in yet moron? I'm amazed he's not onto you yet.

Reg: Er...Jack in!

*Vineman, a plant-like navi with several tentacle-like vines appears near Sparkman.*

Vineman: Sorry I'm late, I needed you to clear the path first so I would have somewhere to stand. Now! TreeBomb3!

*Vineman throws a seed in the opposite direction Sparkman is facing where several more viruses were approaching from behind. The seed is powered up by all the water and dozens of Wood Towers spring up beneath all the viruses, deleting them.*

???: Finally. Now that both navis are in, just drive away and leave that baboon out in the middle of nowhere.

Nathan: Did you say something?

Reg: Me? No, nothing.

Nathan: Thought I heard whispering.

Reg: That would just be the sound of the machines. Um...I'll be right back. I left some of my battlechips in the cart.

Vineman: Don't worry about us. I can hold them off on my own for a few seconds. *begins spreading vines accross the front line of viruses, tangling them up and preventing the viruses behind them from advancing.

Reg: I'll only be a second. *takes his PET and dashes out the door to the shed.*

Nathan: Huh...that was pretty suspicious.

*Nathan hears the sound of the cart's engine starting.*

Nathan: Hey! *Nathan leaves his PET on the table while Sparkman keeps fighting and runs out the door just as Reg starts driving away.*

Reg: eep!

Nathan: *chasing after the cart* Where are you going? Did you leave your chips at home or something? *Nathan said this sarcastically, since he was already aware there was something fishy going on*

Reg: *pressing a button on a remote* The shed will explode in twenty seconds!

Nathan: *skidding to a halt* @!#$! My PET!

*Nathan decides to let the prick get away and runs back into the shed to grab his PET, then run out. Surely enough, the shed exploded before Nathan got ten feet away and the force of the blast threw him into the brush.*

Nathan: A trap. This is just great. And I just remember where I saw "Reg" before.

Sparkman: The guy that was pushing around Terry in his wheelchair.

Nathan: Yeah, so I guess...huh? *looks at his PET screen and sees the network now virus-free, and Sparkman is tied up in several vines from Vineman, who is laughing maniacally.

Vineman: Bwahhah! Now to take you back to Master Jomon. Your operator can't help you because there's nowhere else to Jack-in for miles.

Sparkman:*not at all worried* I can handle this peon on my own, even if he's got me a bit tied up at the moment. You just catch that lying asshole and give him the beating he deserves.

Nathan: I'm on it. I don't think Terry will be completely happy until he's completely paralyzed. Same goes for "Reggie".

*Nathan sprints along the path, fueled by his ever burgeoning, slow-burning, festering hatred for Terry. However, between the distance he's ran and the jacket he always wears, Nathan runs out of breath before he's even halfway back at the gate. As Nathan stops to catch his breath, a cart with a ranger and an old couple pulls to a stop nearby*

Ranger: *gets out of the cart* Alright, the Showy Lady's Slippers are right around here. If you'd just follow me...

Nathan: *hops into the driver's seat* Thanks for the lift!

Ranger: I'm sorry sir, but that's only for-

Nathan: *grabs a tire iron from the back of the cart* You want this to get ugly, pal? Now I kinda hate to do this, but I'm gonna have to ditch the dead weight on this thing. Time's a factor here.

*Nathan pushes the old couple out and drives off. He dumps out various sampling equipment and loose seats on the cart, desperatly trying to pick up some speed. Even though the cart moves slightly faster, Nathan could run faster if he could.*

Nathan: *smokes a cigarette angrily* I hope Terry realizes that he's still under contract. He'll cough up the 50,000 somollions, one way or another.

*Meanwhile on the net...*

Vineman: Heheheh, Master Jomon will be so pleased!

Sparkman: Cripes, you can't be this stupid.

Vineman: Oh? Why's that?

*Vineman reels Sparkman in with his vines, but as he does, Sparkman wrestles the tip of an electrode free and jabs Vineman with it, discharging some electricity. It doesn't injure Vineman much, but it causes him to loosen his grip on Sparkman, allowing him to slip free*

Sparkman: Now we fight on my terms, pal! *fires off a blinding Sparkwave before cloaking himself*

*Vineman takes the full brunt of the attack, but shakes it off. His element makes him immune to the blindness.*

Vineman: I hate to break it to you, but I was designed specifically to apprehend you, and my vines don't need eyes to find you!

*Vineman thrusts his vines in the ground, which begin undulating through the panels making a beeline for Sparkman, who's still invisible.*

Sparkman: *uncloaks out of futilty* Well, no point in hiding, I guess. That makes things more boring...almost.

*Sparkman launches a Spark Mine into the vines, which tangle around it. Sparkman then charges up to Vineman to stab him with his electrodes.*

Vineman: You don't get it do you? I have no other purpose but to counter!

*Vineman gets stabbed right through while he's struggling with something.*

Sparkman: What's the matter? Realized you've got nothing to hurt me with?

Vineman: But I do! It's that stupid Sparkmine of yours. *uses his vines to crush the Mine that was tangled up in them.* Stupid technicality that prevents traps from being placed while their triggers are already in effect! There, NOW I'm ready for whatever you throw at me!

Sparkman: Oh, so you were designed to set AntiElec whenever you want? Clever. I guess I'll just have to keep stabbing you then.

*Meanwhile, Jeeves has reached the front gate. He hops out of the cart and hides in the empty ranger booth where there happens to be a Jack-in port.*

Jeeves: Vineman! Haven't your restrained Sparkman yet? That dreadful neadrethal will catch up soon, we have to upload him to the PET now!

Vineman: I'm doing my best!....You may want to keep running to the next port!

*Jeeves hears a cart revving off in the distance. He looks up and spots Nathan in the cart, sort of slowly, but surely making his way to the gate*

Jeeves: On my way there now. *grabs Vineman's PET and runs into a visitor center*

Nathan: You can run, but you can't hide! *jumps out of the cart and sprints towards the visitor center*

*meanwhile, back in the net*

Sparkman: *stabs Vineman in the kneecaps* So how Terry had some idiot whip you up just to get me? Typically, I'd flattered.

Vineman: *recovers* Why do you make it this hard for yourself? Being servant of the Jomons is a privilege! *lashes out with a vine*

Sparkman: *ducks the vine* That's the problem right there, I ain't no fleshbag's servant, and much less that asshole, Terry's servant. *stabs Vineman in the back*

Vineman: But this Nathan is a savage! He kidnapped you from the Jomons! *ensnares Sparkman with a vine and starts reeling him in*

Sparkman: *wrestles free* No. Kidnapping implies I didn't want to go. I was all to happy to, and I know I made the right call. And Nathan's an asshole, but he's my kind of asshole!

*Sparkman impales Vineman through the chest with his electrode. It severly damages Vineman, but doesn't delete him. He then entangles Sparkman with countless vines which Sparkman tries to struggle out of, but their grip is too strong.*

Vineman: Now! Upload him into the PET now!

*Vineman waits expectantly for Sparkman to be uploaded, but nothing happens.*

Vineman: ...Well?

*Vineman keeps waiting as Sparkman wriggles to get free, but nothing happens. Meanwhile in the real world, Jeeves is already being pummeled by Nathan at the door to the visitor center. Some guests and staff are staring.*

Sparkman: Y'know, I'm getting tired of not using electricity. *summons a Sparkmine*

Vineman: Hah! Fool!...Oh wait no!

*The AntiElec trap activates and pumps Sparkman full of lightning damage, but because Vineman is snugly tethered right next to him, he gets pumped full of just as much electricity. Of course Vineman is more damaged than Sparkman, so...*

Vineman: Why...didn't...I...think...of...that...ugh...

*the charred black plant finally explodes in deletion.*

Sparkman: Simple. You're a dumbass. Nathan, have you gotten to a jack-in port YET?

Nathan: *hooking his PET to the jack-in port at the ranger post* Yeah, I wasn't done with "Reggie" yet, but security didn't care. Those bastards are way too uptight. But I'm sending some chips your way now so you can polish off Vineman.

Sparkman: Yeaaaahhh thanks. Vineman's deleted husk was looking really intimidating there. *impales some of Vineman's data remains on his electrode*

Nathan: Hey now, we've seen "deleted" navi husks get pretty ugly before. Anyway, I was too caught up with wailing the piss out of that guy to "negotiate" our pay. But we still got the all zenny from the lengthy ten seconds of virus busting. How much was that, anyway?

Sparkman: Not even close to what we were promised. I can't believe you forgot to nab our paycheck. What a freakin' waste this job was.

Nathan: Well, he's butler for crying out loud. I can't imagine that he had that much on him anyway. But it all ain't a complete waste. We still got Vineman's data remains, right? I guess those will have to do.

Sparkman: Whoa, whoa whoa. Who the hell knows where those remains could wind up once we sell them? For all we know, they could find their way back into Terry's hot little hands! This bastard can stay here and rot for all I care.

Nathan: Who said we're selling them? I've got other plans for them. Now just grab every piece you can. Trust me, the 50,000 zenny will be nothing if this goes well.

*meanwhile, in a backroom at the Visitor's Center...*

Terry: *feverishly typing away at a keyboard* Heh heh heh! You may have won the battles, but you'll lose the war, you simian!

Jeeves: *staggers in, badly bruised* Well, it looks like he won this battle too, sir.

Terry: Oh it's you. How'd it go?

Jeeves: How do you think...sir?

Terry: Oh well. I don't even care about that stupid scheme anymore.

Jeeves: With all due respect sir, not only did it fail, but it cost me my navi! Sparkman resisted detainment and deleted him! Unarmed! I can't even find his remains to repair him! So I'd appreciate it if you didn't blow this off like this! ...Sir.

Terry: Don't get too attached to Vineman. His only purpose in life was to get Sparkman back, and he couldn't have been that great at it if Sparkman deleted him unarmed.

Jeeves: ...Fine. But what are we going to do now? You can't let that Cro-magnum get away with this!

Terry: Well, I'm not going to bother trying to rescue Sparkman anymore. If he wants to live that low-life lifestyle with that 2-bit thug, then so be it. But I'll make them sorry they ever crossed me!

Jeeves: But how? *looks at Terry's monitor* Wh-What?! You're willing to...t-to

Terry: I'll admit, I didn't see myself doing this either, but whatever it takes to settle the score with Nathan.

Jeeves: But, if anyone finds out about this, the Jomon name will be-

Terry: -Fine as long as you keep your trap shut. Very few people know, and they're not going to say a word. You'll do the same. Got it?

Jeeves: ...Very good...sir...

The End...for now

But what exactly becomes of Vineman's remains now that they're in Nathan's hands?


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