By Spark Man.exe
*We rejoin Pharon in the Den Airport Security Office, groggily regaining consciousness*
Pharon: *rubbing his head* ...Ugh...That SUCKED! Where the hell am I?
Security Guard 1: Oh he's coming around! *turns to Pharon* We found you unconscious by terminal B1, along with her. *points to Lilly*
Lilly: *sits up* Ohhhh...my freakin' head...God I need a drink...*reaches into her robe only to find nothing.*
Security Guard 2: Miss, we had to confiscate some items you had on your person. You'll get them back half-empty once we're finished our investigation.
Pharon: What's to investigate?! That drunk probably clocked me one and passed out right afterwards!
Lilly: ...Did I? God, it's all a blur to me...
Security Guard 2: Make sense. Besides, all the witnesses we questioned reported the same thing. It sounds pretty open-and-shut to me. *turns to guard 1* All right, you can bring him in.
Security Guard 1: You sure can handle her on your own?
Graham Jones: *enters the room* It won't be the first time.
Security Guard 2: Whatever you say. Our shift's just about over, so we should probably skedaddle on outta here. *leaves with guard 1*
Pharon: So what are you doing here? I thought Lilly and the church were through.
Graham Jones: What makes you think I'm here for her? No, it's you I'm here for. Thank goodness I was able to catch you before you left. As much as I hate to do this, I need to request your services once more.
Pharon: Heh. Well, look who's crawling back! What's the job?
*in response, Graham turns on a nearby TV to a news broadcast
Ribitta: Good afternoon, here's our top story! The violent windstorm that has gripped the Town network continues to rage fourth with no sign of stopping. Several Official navis have been sent to investigate the cause, but Officials quickly lost contact with them and have had no luck in locating the missing navis. Officials state that they haven't seen a storm on this scale since the big one that struck during the Eagle Tournament last year. We now go to Jon Stewart and his navi Kent Brockman.exe who's on the scene live for the details.
Lilly: ...Is Wind Man behind this?
Graham Jones: *switches off the TV* More than likely. Someone undoubtedly broke his seal. Why they did I don't know, but right now, no one knows that Wind Man's the cause of this. But it won't stay that way forever. If word gets out that our god was responsible for this, it'll put us in a very bad spotlight.
Pharon: Sounds like one helluva pickle. Alright, how's 20,000 zenny sound?
Graham Jones: How does going to sleep tonight and tomorrow night, knowing that the net will still be there when you wake up the next day sound?
Pharon: Great. But that mixed with 25,000 zenny makes it sound much better.
Graham Jones: I can't believe you, putting a price on your only chance to retrieve your navi.
Pharon: What the-? Hey pal, what makes you think Wind's my navi? I haven't the foggiest where he disappeared off to when-
Graham Jones: I saw you restoring his seal with the Grass Flute!
Pharon: Okay, you got me. But it's not like I kidnapped him. He came on to me!
Graham Jones: Now isn't the time for this. What's important now is bringing Wind Man back under control. *hands Pharon a program chip* Here, I was able to make a copy of the Grass Flute. Now that we have an agreement-
Pharon: -for 20,000 Zenny.
Graham Jones: *sigh* ...For 20,000 zenny AFTER the job, you can bring Wind Man to his senses.
Pharon: Great. But just one thing, I'm short a navi right now. I know where I can get another, but it's back in Oceopia, and I can't afford a plane ticket, so it's gonna be a few days before I can get to work on this.
Lilly: Let me worry about the tickets. I can't remember the whole thing, but I get the feeling that somehow, this was all my fault.
Graham Jones: Excellent! Also take this. *hands Pharon a Net Passport program chip* This'll save some time.
Pharon: I think we got ourselves a plan! Just one question though, why do you wanna hire me even though I don't have a navi?
Graham Jones: You're the lesser of three evils.
*earlier, at Scissors Island...*
Graham Jones: Thank you both for coming. Now, the job I need you two for is-
Nathan: Hold it. I'm gonna have to break our "no questions" policy just this once. You guys got rice wine for ceremonial purposes, right?
Graham Jones: Indeed.
Tom: Could you point us to some of that stuff? We'd...love to take part in one of your age-old traditions before we start.
Graham Jones: *pulls a bottle out from his desk* Why I'd be honored. The first thing is to-
*before Graham could finish, Nathan grabs the bottle and starts drinking out of it in increasingly large gulps*
Graham Jones: ...You're only supposed to sip it for taste...
Tom: Come on, man! Don't hog it all!
*Nathan sets down the bottle for a moment, flips Graham and Tom off, and goes back to guzzling it again*
*back in the now...*
Pharon: Geez, Nathan's a mean enough sober, I don't even want to think what he's like when he's tanked. But I guess I'll be shoving off then!
Lilly: Wait, I'm going with you. I need the time to clear my head, and I wouldn't mind having someone fill me in on what I was up to for the past few days.
*the next day, at Pharon's kicking grounds in Oceopia...*
Lilly: ...I can't believe it...I really tried to kill Graham...?
Pharon: Don't worry, you'll be tried for attempted murder later. First things first. *starts rummaging through a pile of research papers*
Lilly: So who is this navi anyway?
Pharon: *continues rummaging* On my off-time, I've been researching how a PET works so, I can make custom navis without having to make a brand new frame among other things. Long story short, I was able to do it, actually long before I joined Darklight Mercenaries. But there's one problem. *spots a PET underneath a stack of papers and switches it on.*
Navi: Oh it's you. You got a lot of nerve to pull the plug on me like that! It's not like I did anything wrong! Haven't you heard the expression, "In order to make an omellete, you'll have to break a few babies,"?
Pharon: Problem is, Pharon.exe here maybe a breakthrough in navi research, powerful as all get out, but I can't control him. He does as he wishes. *turns to Pharon.exe* Okay, I don't like you, and you don't like me. But if you play by my rules, we could be both be rolling around in big pile of cash.
Pharon.exe: Now yer talking! What's the job?
Pharon: *jacks Pharon.exe in and downloads the Netpassport chip* You'll see when we get there. It's in the Town network.
*with the Net Passport in tow, Pharon.exe easily makes his way to the Town network. Upon arriving*
Pharon.exe: *struggles to stand up in the direction of the winds* I see what you need me for! You want me to tackle the jackass controlling these winds, right?
Pharon: That's the jist of it. You won't have to delete him, just use this. *downloads the Grass Flute program chip*
Pharon.exe: Well, that's no fun. C'mon, can't I maim him just a little?
Wind Man.exe: Bwuuuuuu... *hovers toward Pharon.exe and pelts him with propeller bombs*
Pharon.exe: *picks himself up* Ooohh...this means war!
*Pharon.exe lets himself be pulled in by Wind Man's vacuum fan. When he's in close enough range, he starts slugging Wind Man repeatedly, though none of his pnuches seem to be having much effect.*
Pharon: What are you doing? We need him alive!
Pharon.exe: No, YOU need him alive. I got a rule, you try to kill me, I try to kill you back! Now download some chips!
Pharon: No! Just use the Grass Flute!
Pharon.exe: *uppercuts Wind Man and dodges another propeller bomb* Get something straight, this my first real taste of action since you shut me down months ago. And I'm not gonna waste it by playing some stupid flute! I'm gonna fight this asshole to the last man standing, whether you download my chips or not! Kapeesh?!
Pharon: *to himself* Sigh. He's not gonna back off, and he'll just get himself deleted just fighting with his bare hands...*to Pharon.exe* All right, suit yourself. *downloads chips*
Pharon.exe: There you go! See how easy that was?
*Pharon.exe fires off two M-cannons straight at Wind Man. Both cannons hit Wind Man, but he doesn't even flinch from either shot*
Wind Man.exe: Bwuuuuuu... *releases a barrage of birds that tear into Pharon*
Pharon.exe: ARGGH! *clutches his chest* You're gonna have to try harder than that! AntiDmg, Muramasa! P. A. Bodygaurd!
*the Muramasa hits Wind Man dead on, and Wind Man tries to hit Wind Man with a wind storm and sets off the antidamage trap. However, none of these have any effect on Wind Man.
Pharon.exe: Okay. Where I come from, those typically kill your average navi.
Lilly: They probably do. But with his seal broken, Wind Man is becoming stronger by the minute. Now that his seal's been broken for this long, he's gained the power to regenerate. He's probably healed almost all the damage you've done to him by now.
Pharon: She's right. The PET's sensors are showing him at almost full already! This isn't working! Just use the Grass Flute already!
Pharon.exe: *uses a recover 300* Nah, I just have to hit him harder that's all. Send some more chips my way!
*Pharon.exe uses a +40 Super Vulcan that hits Wind Man dead on. Wind Man counters with a barrage of birds, but Pharon slashes them with a herosword.*
Pharon.exe: See? This asshole may just go down after all!
*Pharon.exe throws a +60 ultrabomb PA at Wind Man. However at the last minute, Wind Man blows the bomb the other way and it ends up hitting Pharon.exe instead. Before he can recover, Wind Man hoists Pharon.exe off the ground and slashes him with a fujin racket, knocking him into a nearby torando that sends him flying to another part of the net.*
Pharon.exe: *staggers to his feet* That smarts! I guess it would be suicide to go after him again. You got that Grass Flute ready?
Pharon: It's been ready ever since you started fighting him.
Pharon.exe: Awesome! Here goes!
*Pharon.exe plays the Grass Flute just as Wind Man catches up to where Pharon.exe is. The melody stops Wind Man in his tracks and a peaceful expression appears on his face...which is quickly replaced by a menacing glare*
Wind Man.exe: Bwuuuuuu... *spawns a wind storm tornado*
Pharon.exe: *runs out of the way, barely dodging the tornado* This isn't working either! We gotta put this mad dog out of his misery before it's too late!
Lilly: If this flute won't pacify him, then it is too late!
Pharon.exe and Pharon: What's that?!
Lilly: Sigh. Wind Man might have gained enough power that he can resist the flute's effect. But it seemed a brief affect him if only briefly, so there still might be time. Try it again.
*Pharon.exe blows on the Grass Flute once more. This time, the winds seem to die down and Wind Man collapses on the floor, exhausted*
Wind Man.exe: ...Where...Where am I?
Pharon.exe: At Death's door pal! *points an M-Canon at Wind Man's head*
Pharon: That's enough!
*Pharon downloads an escape chip, forcing Pharon.exe out of the battle. Pharon then quickly jacks Pharon.exe out and jacks Wind Man's empty PET in*
Pharon: Hey, man. You doing alright?
Wind Man.exe: ...I can't believe it...I was nearly consumed by my power again...How humiliating...Pharon, I don't know what I'd do without you.
Pharon: Probably something like this. But it's all taken care of now. I got yer PET hooked up. All ya gotta do is download yerself into it, and everything will be right as rain.
Pharon: Wha-What's wrong? What are you doing?
*without saying a word, Wind Man jacks out of the net. Shortly after he does, Pharon's PET rings.*
Pharon: *answers the PET* Who is it?
Graham Jones: Excellent work, Pharon. I didn't doubt your abilities for a second! The windstorm's subsided, and Wind Man's back home, where he should be!
Pharon: What did you do to him?!
Graham Jones: I added a little extra something to that Grass Flute that made Wind Man...see the error in staying with miscreants as you.
Pharon: You dirty bastard! Don't go back on your word! Wind's sided with me, fair and square!
Graham Jones: Now Pharon, I don't recall our arrangement specifically saying that Wind Man stays with you. If anything, I should've seen to it that you pay for abducting Wind Man. But you've paid what you owed, and we do have a deal that I intend to honor. Your money's at your homepage whenever you want to collect it. May Wind Man's blessing be with you.*hangs up*
Pharon: Oh, this ain't over pal! Just you see!
Lilly: What happened?
Pharon: Graham freakin' sold me out and stole Wind Man.exe!
Lilly: Maybe it's for the best. It was awfully selfish of you hold our god captive when several of his children depended on him, especially since you already have a navi.
Pharon: Don't you start!! The reason why he left is because he was sick of your drinking habits! *goes to his PC and starts feverishly typing on his keyboard.*
Lilly: What are you doing?
Pharon: I'm gonna see if I can't get any help busting into Scissors Island to get him back! If you have any sense in ya, you'll tag along!
*the next day, outside of Scissors Island...*
Pharon: Thanks for showing up. I'm gonna need all the help I can with this. I also want to give a shout out to Nathan for covering my airfare coming here. I'm glad I could convince you to pay me back.
Nathan: Yeah, well don't get used to this. I'm willing to make an exception this time since Wind's your navi, and nobody makes fools out of any of us and gets away with it.
Tom: Yeah, and I wouldn't mind a refill of that rice wine. Nathan chugged it all before I could get a drop!
Pharon: Tom, you're how old and you drink?! Anyway, according to my sources, *points to Lilly* Graham is preparing for a "Renewal of the Wind Ceremony". They've been putting it off ever since they lost Wind Man, but now that they got him back, it's on again. If we're quick enough, we can grab Wind and get out of here before it gets too ugly and before they finish the ritual. Once we've hightailed it outta here, I can bring Wind back to his senses with a Grass Flute chip Lilly helped me create.
Lilly: Actually, I don't know about this anymore. I know I've been excommunicated, but I'm starting to have second thoughts about going against the will of the church...
Nathan: Ah, lighten up! This'll cure what ails ya! *hands Lilly a flask*
Pharon: Nathan, don't!
Lilly: *drinks the flask* Whad are we waidin' awound far! Let'sh go kick Gwaham's ash aweady!
Nathan: Now yer talkin' my lingo!
Pharon: Sigh...Nathan, you and Lilly go check Graham's office and see if Wind's still there. Tom and I will head towards the main chapel and try and stop the ceremony if it's started already.
*everyone heads off to their appointed areas. At the doors to the main chapel...
Pharon: *tries the doors* Locked. Tom you think you can-?
Tom: *already jacked into the door panel* Way ahead of you. Laser Man, how's it look in there?
*Meanwhile, in the cyberworld, Laser Man scans the terrain and spots a trio of normal navis guarding the lock program*
Laser Man.exe: Nothing I can't handle. *fires a star break laser into the sky, dropping debris onto the navis*
Navi 1: Infidel! We will not let you desicrate our holy sanctuary! *unleashes an unusually powerful boomerang 3 that leaves a deep gash in Laser Man*
Navi 2: Wind Man has blessed with programs that will destroy you!
*the second navi fires a powered up blizzard that Laser Man dodges. He counters with a custom ray that fries all three navis*
Navi 3: You can't defeat us, vile one! Wind Man will protect us no matter what! *fires a tornado*
Laser Man.exe: *sidesteps the tornado* Oh, I highly doubt that.
*Laser Man fires off a dark laser at the navis, deleting two of them on the spot.*
Navi 2: No...Come forth my minions!
*The navi summons a Vacuum Fan 3 and an Arachy EX. Laser Man tries to resist the winds, but gets sucked towards the navi, who beats him with a wind racket, knocking him into a white web that the Arachy spun*
Laser Man.exe: *picks himself up* Very tricky there...
*Laser Man obliterates the arachy with a cross laser and fires another star break laser into the sky. The other navi tries to avoid the falling debris, but ends up being deleted by another custom ray Laser Man fires off*
Laser Man.exe: *deactivates the lock program* There. Everything is set.
Tom: Nothing to it. C'mon Pharon! *jacks Laser Man out*
*the duo bust into the chapel and find Graham and several priests and priestesses kneeling down around a large, metal ornate statue resembling Wind Man. Graham takes notice and rises*
Graham Jones: Oh it's you. Here to abduct our god again?
Pharon: I didn't kidnap him! He left on his own will! Just ask him!
Graham Jones: *snort* I have a hard time believing Wind Man would cast away his loyal servants. But it matters not. You see this? *gestures to the statue* It is Wind Man's new home. Once Wind Man is inside it, no one can get him out.
Tom: Oh really?! How's that?
Graham Jones: Why don't you try jacking in and find out?
Tom: You got it!
*Tom tries to jack Laser Man in, but Laser Man won't transfer into the statue's computer*
Tom: What's the big idea?!
Graham Jones: I'm afraid the statue's jack-in port makes jacking your navis in quite impossible. You see, it is designed only to allow navis with Wind Man's blessing in.
Pharon: So what? All I have to do is take Wind Man back before you jack him in!
Graham Jones: That would be a rather neat trick, considering Wind Man's already been jacked into the statue!
Tom and Pharon: What?
Tom: But your "Renewal of the Wind" ceremony isn't finished yet!
Graham Jones: Did you honestly think I would wait this long to restore our god to grace and give you a chance to spoil it all? No, I jacked him into the statue yesterday, as soon as he blessed our navis with the programs to enter the statue! I'd say it took a twenty minutes, and rest assured, that's a generous estimate! I'm not going to say anything else on this matter. *turns to the masses* Come forth my brethren! Bring forth Wind Man's judgement onto these heathens!
Lilly: *bursts through the door with Nathan* Nawt sho fast! *BRAAAPP!*
Tom: Nathan! Lilly!
Graham Jones: You two are too late! But you're just in time for-
Lilly: *punches Graham in the face, knocking him prone* Dat's yer pwobwem! Ya talk too much!
Graham Jones: I...won't be touched by filth such as you all!
*Lilly grabs a candlestick off a nearby table and clobbers Graham with it, knocking him prone again*
Lilly: Dere! No touchin'! Happy?! Slauncha! *chugs Graham's flask of rice wine*
Nathan: Nice hit! *kicks a priest in the shins*
Lilly: *tosses Nathan another candlestick* Here! Don't say I didn'd ged ya nuthin'! *hic*
Nathan: *clubs a priest and turns to Pharon* What are you standing around for? Go get Wind Man already!
Pharon: I can't. We're too late.
Nathan: *clubs a priestess in the face* What, the statue? Lilly and I found blueprints for it in Graham's office. Don't worry, it's not as impenetrable as Graham likes to think it is. *slaps another priestess* Turns out there's an access panel on the side for maintainance crap. If you can crack it open, reach in and yank out the hard drive, you can yank out Windy with it. *kicks the second priestess in the stomach*
Pharon: *removes the access panel* Crap, it could anywhere in here!
Nathan: Do what you have to. We'll give ya all the cover you need. Tom? Care to join in?
*Tom grabs a candlestick and starts fending off the priests and priestesses with Nathan and Lilly as Pharon roots around in the statue for the hard drive. Eventually...*
Pharon: I think I found it!
Tom: Good, 'cause these guys just got their second wind!
Nathan and Lilly: *glare at Tom*
Tom: C'mon, I thought it was funny.
Pharon: *starts getting up* Okay, I got it! We got what we came for! Let's get outta here!
*before Pharon and the group can escape, Graham Jones and a group of priests cut them off*
Graham Jones: No! We won't let you leave! Seize him!
Graham Jones: Don't worry! We won't let infidels like you die! We can get them hold out for weeks, awake and aware before they finally succumb to the wounds we've inflicted on them!
*several priests grab Pharon and try to drag him away, but he to wrestle an arm free and fend off the fanatics*
Pharon: Good lord you guys! Look at yourselves! Do you have any damn idea how sad it is that you're willing to go this far for Wind Man?! He's not a god, he's a navi! You guys are dedicating your lives to worshiping what's basically a computer program! You might as well be worshipping Windows! It's pathetic! And you know what?! I think Wind Man feels the same way! ...Or at least he did.
*Pharon gazes toward the mass of fanatics, hoping that they're starting to see the cold hard truth about them. However they just stare back at him as if he's grown another head or that he's speaking another language. However, Nathan and Lilly use the opportunity to club Graham and the priests aside.*
Nathan: Forget it, pal. In all my years, I've learned that brute force is the only language people really understand.
Lilly: Ah'll toast to dat! Slauncha! *chugs a flask of rice wine*
Tom: On that note, let's get the fudge outta here!
*the quartet run out of the chapel and bar the doors behind them with their candlesticks while Tom jacks Laser Man in to restore the locks.
Laser Man.exe: All set here. Let's beat feet while we still have a chance.
*later, at Nathan's dorm, Pharon attaches the hard drive to Nathan's PC and Wind Man appears on-screen. As he does, Nathan jacks Spark Man in.*
Pharon: This is it. You ready?
Spark Man.exe: You bet! Let him out of his cage!
*Pharon enters some commands and breaks Wind Man's seal. But before the winds can pick up, Spark Man plays the Grass Flute and pacifies Wind Man.
Spark Man.exe: That does it for me! You're in the driver's seat now, pal! *jacks out*
Pharon: *downloads Wind Man back into his PET* That should do it. Thanks for helping me out guys. You too, Lilly.
Lilly: Don' ged too mushy on me! *BRAAPPP!*
*Lilly snatches Wind Man's PET out of Pharon's hand, but Tom grabs her by the arm.*
Lilly: Awlright! Awlright! Ya ged dis one fer free and onwy dis one! Slauncha!
*Lilly chugs the last of Nathan's rice wine and bolts out*
Wind Man.exe: Ugh...Pharon...? Is that you?
Pharon: Yepper. How do you feel?
Wind Man.exe: The last thing I remember was speaking to you in the Town network. But nothing else after that.
Pharon: Well, Graham Jones and the Church of the Wind tried to kidnap you right after that.
Wind Man.exe: Ugh. I wouldn't bear another minute being cooped up in that shrine with those lunatics. They need to get out more if they still think I'm a god. But thanks Pharon. Like I said, I don't know what I'd do without you.
Pharon: Well, I know I'd go out of business without you. C'mon, our plane leaves in a few hours.