Located deeper inside Netopia is the building that the navigators of the NIA use. As the members of the NIA are often times active, the upper level that they function on is nothing particularly special or spectacular to gaze upon. It looks more like a military base and is similar on the inside, having a few rooms for interrogation and even prisons to hold some. But too few cells given their job to gather problematic navis for this to be all the cells that they would possess. Instead their base is underneath the building instead for the rest of these things. But finding out about this is something that only those who work fully for the NIA know... and those taken in by them as well.
The room that they had arrived in was one of the interrogation rooms instead. Thrash and Daemon were both isolated from each other in their own confined spaces. These rooms, however, was different than the one that Vanguard had found himself in when he visited the location. When he had arrived he had been able to still utilize his functions, but both navis would quickly realize that their abilities were not functioning and their strength was diminished. A special sort of holding room for more rowdy customers, they would hear a feminine voice address them.
"Welcome to our humble abode. I'll be with you in a minute."
Post by Nightshade on Sept 18, 2017 0:57:50 GMT -8
Nightshade rolled his eyes. Like if he didn't know how they did stuff there. Still, he knew Thrash was impossible to read if she did not want to externate her emotions. Interrogating her would be useless unless she decided to tell things. As for him, he had nothing to hide in a sense. Besides, if they got to him just a few moments since his passage they would obviously already know things. Which begs the question: did Blues know he would get dragged into NIA's playground?
Either way, the half daemon would simply cross his legs on his chair and await the time to play around a little with the girl coming in to question him. If all went well he would be out there soon and back in the gelatinous claws of his beloved big sister.
Last Edit: Sept 18, 2017 13:19:16 GMT -8 by Nightshade
And so the wait begins. There would probably be some sort of irritating 'on-hold' muzak playing right now, except apparently the NIA don't even allow a simple music player through what is apparently a program-dampening quarantine. No doubt any authorized agents passing into the cell would not be affected - either through an equipped device, or an authorization protocol burned into the field itself. Both would require their own special methods to bypass and escape from this dingy little holding cell, if push came to shove. But hopefully, it won't. After all, if there's any shoving to be done, it'll be the NIA who initiate it. The gelatinous mass that now nonchalantly sticks to and stretches across the ceiling of the room has always taken a perverse pride in maintaining the moral and professional high ground over law enforcement. After all, most police forces were either brutally corrupt or thoroughly incompetent to a man, oftentimes both in some capacity or another. Sure, one or two officers would uphold the gold standard to protect and serve, but most of them were in it for the power trip, and a license to throw their weight around whenever their badge gives them the opportunity. And they're pretty easy to tell apart at a glance - Thrash is well aware of which of the officers present would have been pinned to the ground by no fewer than four man-sized crystal spikes through his torso and face if she didn't have the self-restraint to hold herself back. Having an idiot 'brother' to keep out of harm's way didn't help matters...
But alas, such is the burden to be borne by the elder Daemon. The NIA have been granted the opportunity to prove that they are capable of being civil and reasonable, at least more so then the savages who populate the rosters of the ONB. Thrash has already dispensed with all information relevant to this 'investigation', such as it is - the masked purple tentacle hanging from the ceiling expects a number of repeat queries, and hopefully to learn more about this apparent conflict that she's managed to stumble into...
Thrash's room would be the one that she entered first, pausing for a moment upon entry. It was a female secretary navi, wearing attire befitting that position and having chestnut brown hair and blue eyes. A rather unassuming appearance one could even say in this present day and age. Though after the brief pause she sat down, the door having closed automatically behind her after she entered in the first place.
"I apologize for the wait. What I was monitoring took a sudden turn again, but things should be fine there. Moving on to introductions, I'm Mistair."
She wasn't displaying any signs of hostility or being on edge like the previous two at the border. Instead she was rather calm, though her eyes were on the ceiling right now. Handling the introductions as a formality, she moved on instead. In her hand since she entered was a sort of checklist, though from inspection it was blank at the present time. So what was it actually for, then?
"So to address your first concern, there have been no 'beasts' sightings in Netopia. If there were, they wouldn't exactly be quiet right now. That does, however, lead us back to your other concern on the matter..."
The foul play that Thrash had suspected for quite some time now. As is all it sounded like was that they were in fact sent on a mission that was entirely false along with the timely arrival of those at the border. So rather than repeat a lot of questions, Mistair moved on to more pressing matters with the War Daemon.
"So about your proposal from before. All I want you to answer is what the ONB thinks they know about the NIA, wild assumptions and accusations included. And with your cooperation, not only can we demolish the ONB's credibility for all of these violations, but also end your 'employment' with them along with letting you return to your Operators, notifying them of all that has occurred. I can also answer any questions you may have to the best of my ability."
In his own corner of the prison, Nightshade's empathic link suddenly relays the first sign of emotion that his sister has expressed since this whole debacle started. Intrigue, suspicion, curiosity... but under it all, a sensation of intense amusement. Back to the 'interrogation' in progress that has suddenly taken a most unexpected turn, the swaying tendril promptly lowers itself to a more ergonomic position, the silver draconian mask now hovering at eye level, utterly expressionless as a mask is oft to be...
<...It would appear that I have severely underestimated the NIA, if this is how they would conduct 'questioning'. Straight to the heart of the matter, and with a lure that I would be mad to not pounce upon... I do wonder if what meager theories and conjecture I can present would be sufficient for your needs, however?>
With the mask and the 'head' it sits upon remaining perfectly level, the rest of the Elder Daemon's gelatinous mass proceeds to casually slink to the floor, seemingly morphing and moulding into a vaguely humanoid shape bit by bit until a set of newly-formed reptillian feet touch upon the ground. The creature's long tail, the last bit of it still clinging to the ceiling by this point, releases its grip and now sways in a lazy double-circle behind it...
<I believe we should start by confirming a few things that I am not certain of, seeing as much of this situation does not match up with the account given by my disciple - which, I will admit, was the basis of my belief that the creatures you spoke of were present, the condition of the landscape and high concentrations of bug-code notwithstanding. To start things off, let's begin with my entry into the area from Electopia's network... namely, that my insurgence into the border-space was completely unhindered. At no point during my approach was there any sort of warning or security measure to deter my passage - in fact, I was completely unaware of the devastation of the area until after I had already entered... this contradicts what I was told by your field agents regarding the measures in place to lock down the network. I apologize if I am responding to questions with more questions here... but if this is indicative of some sort of flaw or vulnerability in border security, it may be quite relevant to the timing of the ONB's actions here.>
It looked like they could speak at eye level now at least, if one could call it that. It was as good as one could really get with a gelatinous mass anyway. It would even make sense that they were underestimated given what they could be compared with. The ONB and the NIA would have vastly different approaches. But when two zealots happened to be the first face you saw related to their organization it was pretty easy to gain a bad image of the intelligence agency as a whole. Mistair nodded at Thrash's choice of a starting place, as fixing your own misunderstandings that were formed because of someone else was the most ideal place to start things off at. So she in turn waited for Thrash to finish before addressing the first matter, one of importance at that. The way they entered in the first place. And another point of interest at that.
"Sometimes answering with a question is fine when that question reveals a flaw like this."
She looked concerned, her eyes glancing over to the checklist that started to fill in. It was a stream of information, this time related to the border-space in question. It had all flown by in the span of a second, but her eyes had visibly gone over the information. And she frowned a bit at this result as well. It did indeed appear that it was something that was missed... and another thing that wasn't even visible when you were looking at the source of information as a whole, her eyes going back to meeting the mask.
"I can confirm that on our end we did notice you, hence our swift response among other reasons. But for you to go unhindered on your own end appears to have something to do with another recent problem of ours. We recently had two others do exactly the same after we had cut the connection and initiated the lockdown on our end as a way to also prevent Genesis from committing further damage, an action also reflected on the Electopian side. We were only able to identify one by the name they offered: Magnolia, as the other simply crossed right back through the border-space to Electopia unhindered, something we also haven't figured out yet unfortunately. This presents several obvious problems, but the one that stands out now is it had lasting effects. Effects like allowing others to come in but still not leave. So entry into Netopia is still being allowed, which in itself is a big issue given the present state of Netopia. An issue that also began to occur around the same time, in fact."
Because they were being so strict about that because of what they had learned at the border. They were trying to discern what was causing the environment's most serious threat at the given moment and were trying to minimize any chances of it spreading, perhaps because they let a Netopian simply waltz on over to another network. They had no clue the inner workings of what was happening here so were investigating thoroughly on that matter as it were. But if it allowed others to enter at will thanks to what happened at the border before, especially given the connection, it was more than likely not entirely inaccurate to assume it had a way of spreading.
"The source of this permanent deletion we mentioned is also unconfirmed which, I know, is starting to become more annoying than not. But the results themselves have already been confirmed at least. Vanguard's own recovery in both natural regeneration or outside recovery sources has been stymied, agents that were lost in the attack on the border cannot be recovered at all, and repairing the border's state of disrepair is also not possible. We would have to build up from scratch instead of using any pre-existing data. This 'wave' that spread across Netopia happened around the time Magnolia entered and managed to get away from Vanguard, the one in charge of the border that you met there."
They probably didn't go through introductions, so it was better to let it be known the difference between Vanguard and Rosso. Vanguard was the first to chat, Rosso was the first that wanted to act. Was pretty much the usual with him, but had he acted they wouldn't have spotted this instead so the restraint shown was appreciated that things hadn't escalated into a fight.
It is somewhere during this interesting bit of chatter that the creature at the other side of the room begins to piece together a theory that the NIA no doubt already suspect. Of course, there isn't enough confirmed information to back it yet - only conjecture that needs to be placed into context appropriately...
<Curious... so, this 'Magnolia' person is a subject of interest in this matter, and for a good number of reasons at that. If I had access to the ONB's duty roster, I would be checking now to see if there was a connection... but it probably wouldn't be so easy anyway. Alas...>
It would've been a quick and simple answer to deduce that this entity was in some way responsible for, or at least connected to, the current state of affairs in Netopia Net. But things are never that easy, and one must be careful not to jump to conclusions without all relevant information...
<And that brings us to the answer of your original question, I suppose - I personally suspect that our presence here was meant to be a distraction, to take attention off of a more sensitive area of the border perimeter for a few seconds. Though if that was the case, I don't understand why we weren't sent across together. I had departed before my disciple crossed over, judging from his account - I had simply stumbled upon the scene returning home from Electopia, while he was given orders straight from an ONB commander by the name of "Blues" to investigate this area. Something about 'a powerful beast'... though I now have to wonder if the boy hadn't simply come to such a conclusion on his own. In any case, this suggests that we were not intended to collaborate on the matter.>
If they were going to be used as a distraction it would've worked in a way. Those who were present on the border had been watching them outside of herself, though she was an exception to that sort of rule. However, there were others who were also exceptions to being seen, like Magnolia. If the ONB had operatives like that and wanted to do something, they would be the most ideal to send through. On top of this, the only way they were really spotted was if you had an actual visual of them in person. Though hearing the commander of the ONB's name didn't deter her, it instead made her a bit curious as well about one of her own conjectures.
"We'll have to do another thorough search to see if anything else has changed around the border in the meantime. Though by we, I probably mean just Vanguard."
He had a habit of doing it all himself thanks to trust issues with them. If that was how it was going to be until he called in his own resources, who would also be under the same conditions as himself, then that was just how it would have to be for now until they were told otherwise. If one were to look at a bright side to that, it was that their other operatives could do other things and not be at risk there. Outside of that possible distraction that they both ran, especially the conditions behind them doing so separately...
"From the beginning I was running on the assumption that you weren't supposed to be involved in this as much as he was. You just happened to meet him along the way and ended up caught up with him, though this was a good thing. Had he gone on without you being there, Vanguard wouldn't have had the time to intercept you both."
Because he paused to have a discussion and explain things to Thrash, he was held up long enough for the guard to return after he left. Had he just arrived, concluded his investigation there, and then kept going, he probably would have just met the other agent who he could have asked questions of, but likely wouldn't have been found out that he was up to things he shouldn't be. So this was a good turn of events one way or another, despite how much they thought otherwise.
"This does mean that I have two questions to ask him rather than none given what I know already. So..."
She tapped a part of the checklist she was holding and the room flickered for a second. After the flicker ended, Nightshade would notice that he could see and hear them, and vice versa for them as well. Ideally a straight answer was all that was required here, but now was the time to see about that.
"We never put anyone in the same room together here really, so I apologize if you find it uncomfortable. I'm Mistair and have managed to confirm a few important things with Thrash here, but needed you to answer a question or two as well. Namely, what were the exact words Commander Blues used for your assignment here? Also, during the battle at the Electopian Border, did he arrive rather late on the scene?"
Post by Nightshade on Sept 20, 2017 15:54:45 GMT -8
"He did arrive incredibly late at the border, after all the destruction happened. As for his exact words: 'We've been getting some reports about Netopia. Some network disturbances that are abnormal have been popping up. We have reason to suspect there might be a creature of incredible power being held there. We need someone who can go check it out, make sure it's not going to be a threat, and if necessary, neutralize it.'
I have reason to believe that a Cybeast is involved. Of the two,Cybeast Gregar or Greiga is the most likely candidate. As a Multibug organism of immense power, even his presence in remote corners of the net can create problems. Or, at least, it is the most plausible deduction."
Nightshade calming stated, nodding at the lady and showing his appreciation in her efforts to let him see that his sister was fine. Be could feel it through their link, but it was still a good sign. "I would like to be reunited with my big sister as fast as possible, if you please."
Just as Thrash suspected - the involvement of the Cybeasts was Nightshade's own spin on his orders, though who could blame him for coming to that conclusion? Even the elder sister had experienced a wave of familiarity and nostalgia upon surveying the destruction, a familiar chant rising to the fore of her thoughts unbidden. That said...
<...What this tells me is that the ONB were aware of the condition of the area before handing down their orders. Whether the specific possibility of the Cybeasts' presence occurred to them or not, they were confident that the details of the devastation would match up with reports of some savage monster on a rampage. I wonder when they would have had the opportunity to carry out such reconnaissance? Or why they would have sent only a single agent to deal with the menace, without any form of official support... in fact, it is simply bizarre that they did not attempt to coordinate with the NIA to deal with such a threat. Surely, you would have had no problem in joining forces to engage it?>
While the liquid entity's masked visage betrays no emotion or expression, it's pretty easy to see what direction this is going. Hopefully, Nightshade hasn't grown too attached to his affiliations with the ONB by now... otherwise, this might come as a heavy blow to his ideals. Which would be an unfortunate casualty in this matter, a necessary sacrifice for this master stroke, the reversal of a web of coercion and blackmail...
<Assuming they were not simply playing off of my disciple's personal interests which they may have already been aware of, perhaps the ONB suspected Netopia of harboring some sort of 'creature' as a weapon? That would certainly explain why they did not attempt to collaborate with the NIA, though it does not factor in why the force they sent to investigate the matter was so inadequate for the task... unless, as has been suggested before, we were simply fodder to test the waters and leave a noisy ripple to investigate while somebody else made their own silent entrance.>
So her suspicions were correct on the border incident on the Electopian side? That was interesting to have confirmed, depending on what conclusion would be reached because of it. And his orders were pretty cut and dry. They believed that Netopia had something of incredible power walking around, and given the abnormalities lately, it was even a somewhat logical conclusion. But on the other hand, given the assignment and how they approached it, they had another hidden belief as well.
"We would have no problems joining forces to engage something like the Cybeasts. While we have our disagreements, ultimately it is far more important to deal with those threats than any sort of squabbles we would have going on with one another."
Those threats were things that threatened everyone when they were around. While they all had problems here and there, ultimately working together to be rid of a mutual threat was much wiser than simply trying to do it themselves and suffering avoidable losses because of it. Even still that was a terrible approach on the ONB's part if they planned for a single agent to be able to neutralize what Nightshade believed it to be on his own. Rather than call it unlikely, it was bordering more on impossible instead. Thrash was right in that it would have been inadequate, even if the NIA did so happen to be harboring the creature themselves to use as a weapon for whatever reason they could possibly come up with.
"Another thought crossed my mind as well. The reformed ONB only began to show such interests after their own commander was late in a response to their very border. On a mission he likely did not divulge, simply citing that it was of more importance than protecting their area. I wonder why that is?"
Rather than the NIA harboring a 'creature of incredible power' as a weapon, it was telling in a way why that would become a concern for them after someone like Ruin, even if non-hostile if undisturbed, would be allowed to go freely about his business after his appearance. Rather, it spoke of the fact that they didn't want to cause waves in Electopia, more likely at a city more than anywhere else. Which normally made sense, but also made it feel like they themselves were hiding something else too. But as they lacked any evidence of this as well, this too was simply conjecture that she rather firmly believed in.
"A bizarre assignment, a strange response to trouble in their own areas, and sudden concern that others might be harboring a weapon... an investigation of our own might be necessary soon to confirm something."
Because she imagined that it was a picture that one could draw pretty closely to her own with those sort of suspicions and actions all put together. On who was really carrying a weapon that they shouldn't have right now, and the distractions and methods they were using to cover that fact up.
Post by Nightshade on Sept 21, 2017 13:12:23 GMT -8
"Either way I am going to find out if it really is a Cybeast's doing. Seems like you already know everything about me, so you'd know I am not the guy who goes around doing crimes. I may be able to stir around the water and have some NSD agents deployed to help out your search, but that is everything I can do to help on this Magnolia problem.
If Greiga is really resurfacing from the deep net once again I am going to focus solely on its actions. Not only that, but I have read stories about him and Falzar..."
"Look, I am not going to dance around this subject. Imma be completely honest with you. I know what happens when you download a Cybeast's data into your system with a EXAMemory module like mine installed in your system. I want those powers. Reason? Just like you, I have... a special someone I wanna protect. But the navis around here...Genesis, this Magnolia person, they are obviously out of our league. That Vanguard guy seemed pretty strong, but I can tell that currently no one in the NIA, ONB nor even NSD has the power to truly stop them. Unless someone reawakens that legendary power from its 500 years slumber, that is.
I'd say that it's time for juukas to walk the net once again, but you'd probably think of me as crazy. I probably am, but I have been preparing for a chance like this for my whole life. If I survive and unlock the legenday Beast Form...well I would have no trouble in finding you Magnolia or stop Genesis from destroying public property. I do know how much that destruction paperwork is annoying. If I die...eh, no one will care for the meningless actions of a forgettable navi."
Last Edit: Sept 21, 2017 13:16:12 GMT -8 by Nightshade
She nodded in confirmation about knowing him. She had seen him when he first arrived, so taking on the disguise didn't do much when it came to her like it had with Vanguard. It also looked like he was adamant in his belief that they were going to surface here, though mostly because he wanted the powers associated with them rather than the actual problems that could cause. And it was true that Genesis and Magnolia both were problems and definitely were out of Vanguard's league, in her opinion. And while Rosso believed he could do so without any problems, it required an actual match between them to confirm that theory of his. But if there was anyone thst could, he was the likely choice to engage Genesis. Finding Magnolia was a totally different problem even before getting to the fact of fighting her. There was a lot of things she could discuss in his logic, but she had a feeling that wouldn't accomplish much either. Besides, his last point was wrong too.
"Setting aside everything else, I would think that your guardian would care about your loss. They wouldn't go out of their way for you so often otherwise."
If Thrash hadn't cared it would have been simple to just let Nightshade go about on his own and let that be the end of it. But Thrash didn't do that. Instead it was something that they continued to do the opposite of and instead tough it out with Nightshade instead for better or worse. And operators could always just replace them with another if they ever lost them for good, so there was likely not the same level of attachment there. Some operators were different, but it made sense for humans to approach things that way.
"If you want to look around for them here, we have no reason to stop you. While it would be safer to stay at Thrash's residence until this situation blew over, just be aware of the present conditions here. If you get caught up in a battle, that's that. Aside from that, don't call your agents over here. Any that you lose will be permanent losses to your work force, so save them for attacks on your own grounds. Likewise, once you conclude your investigation with either success or failure, I would advise you both to not return to the ONB. Steer clear of them for a while. And I'll be sure to keep to my word with you, Thrash."
Because it should have been obvious that something wasn't right there as well. Whatever their intentions were happened to be unclear and as a result left things both suspicious and in a bad place for Thrash and Nightshade both. The doors to both of their rooms opened then, fairly certain she had all she needed now. The rest was just securing the rope around the necks of the ONB to end this feud that they had between each other once and for all. And if her suspicions were right, that would be all too easy as soon as they managed to take care of things in Netopia.
Post by Nightshade on Sept 22, 2017 1:09:07 GMT -8
Nightshade got up and walked next door. Stepping in and hurrying back to Thrash side, he finally got a good look of their interrogator.
"Either way we are all in this toghether. The NIA seems vastly more qualified for their job, but you guys need all the help you can get. If you don't mind giving us access to your comms, I am pretty sure that we could do our part. I have never been the guy to stand around and do nothing anyway, while big sis is an incredible asset when it comes to criminal investigation. She's been through alot."
Without a worry in the world the little navi would hop in Thrash's lap, looking up at the NIA operative.
"I really think that no navi can twist the fabric of the net this way. Not even Forte himself would be able to cause such wild changes on this wide scale. But I do have a plan. You see, I have done some research and found out that in the Undernet lies a beacon able to awaken the Cybeasts. If they are around and we use this artifact we might be able to to tell if either of them has really come back after all this time. And if we draw it out of its hiding hole it would be so much easier to deal with once we know its exact location."
<...I suggest waiting for the current crisis to resolve itself before you go digging up another. Better to know what it is we're dealing with first, or even if WE are dealing with it at all.>
Indeed, unlike her 'brother', Thrash understands the concept of sticking one's nose where it ought not to be at the moment. Too little information, and too little room for error when the NIA's own workforce is so on-edge. Such an investigation would require a concrete basis, an undeniable connection between the Cybeasts of old and whatever is happening here - otherwise, it is nothing but a waste of time and resources that are desperately needed elsewhere.
<It is correct that the ONB sought me out under the premise of employing my expertise in "criminal operations"> - A brief pause, as the elder considers whether the context of such expertise should be mentioned... an idea that is quickly discarded - <...However, while I am more than willing to lend my assistance where needed, I would rather not impose upon the investigation itself unless I have a proper role to fill. And besides - looking at all the damage on the border, one can only imagine how many networks are now in a state of disrepair, or how many Navis like ourselves are stranded or lost with no way to return home. The duty of the NIA is to protect and serve, after all...>
Something that the ONB are all too quick to forget at times - their work is not all cops-and-robbers heroics and action. How many among their ranks forgot the thankless but necessary work they used to take on from the old Job BBS System to get where they are today?
<If there is nothing more to discuss, then while we wait for this investigation to yield a more promising lead, I would like to extend my assistance - and his - to fringe duties such as repair or retrieval. My Operators own and maintain a fairly large netspace for their business needs; I would offer it as a sanctuary and temporary hub for those left stranded or disconnected by the disaster.>