Author's note:

When I wrote the first draft of this story years ago, I was still in middle school. I didn't know left from right, up from down, or cliché from goodness. Now that I am a senior in High School, and have taken more English classes, I think I am ready to begin anew. This time, I'll keep up with ALL my stories, rewriting them bit by bit, maybe deleting a couple and starting over. This is but the first step. I hope I'll be able to bring joy to all, with my new and improved writing style! Enjoy the new and improved version of !

He remembered little of his past, and what little he remembered, made no sense at all. Names, terms, information of the very basic kind were all that was available to him. Some names, such as Cossack, brought him mixed feelings, some of attachment, betrayal, love? Others, such as Hikari, brought forth respect, admiration, and also betrayal? Why was there so much betrayal in his past? There was one name, however, that brought nothing but rage.


He was supposedly a doctor, but with the hatred he felt at the name, he believed he was undeserving of that title. Why, however, would go unanswered, until he regained his memory. Out of all the names that brought him negative memories, however, there was one name that brought him great joy: his own name.

Bass. His name was - no, IS Bass. He is a NetNavi, and currently, he was nothing but data streams. How he was still self-aware, he did not know. What that he did know, was that he was alone, so frighteningly alone. And cold. Terribly cold. He wanted company, someone to talk to, someone to help him.

No! screamed a part of his mind. I am strong. I am the strongest! I NEED NO ONE!

But if that were true, another part said, then why are we in this state? If we were truly strong, would we be simple data streams at the moment?

The proud part of his mind tched at the statement. It does not matter. We will reform, and we will be more powerful than we could possibly imagine!

No, said the calm, more intellectual part of him. We can't go on like this anymore. The burden is too much, the pain is too much, the loneliness is too much. The cold, is too much.

Then what would you have us do? The prideful part sneered. Bend our knees to HUMANS!? It's THEIR fault we're in this mess to begin with! They betrayed us... even our own creator turned on us! What hope is left in that cowardly, selfish race!? He roared. Don't tell me you've forgotten what happened, that day... twenty years ago.

The calm part paused. I do remember. I know all too well what happened that day, the day we were wrongfully accused of a crime we did not commit, and were sentenced to deletion. But please! Cossack, what little we remember of him, was a kind man, whose genius brought forth us! Created Bass! And what's more, he was a kind man, who sought to end the childhood of humanity! Look at us now, all but forgotten, covered up so that we no longer exist. Is this what his legacy will become? Naught but dust in the wind? I say... we continue. I say, we give humanity one last chance to redeem itself. Let us do what Dr. Cossack would have done, for once in our lives.

The prideful part considered the calm part's words. And if humanity is undeserving? He asked, after a long moment.

Then... we shall witness them swallowed by their own mistakes. The calm part answered.

The prideful part nodded. That is good enough for me. You hear that, ego?

Bass shifted a little, realizing his mind was talking to him. Alright, this is the plan, the calm part began. We're not going to last much longer in this state. Soon, we will be absorbed into the net and die a pitiful death. NetNavis like you can rebuild themselves in a device known as a PET, or Personal Terminal. I'm going to do a random search and upload us into the first PET I can find. With luck, the PET will belong to a human, the human I've been waiting for.

The calm one stopped speaking, and the prideful one began. You created us alter-egos to deal with your loneliness. We're gonna give up our data, and merge with you, make you whole again. But don't count on getting your memories back that quickly! We were data streams for too damn long, so you'll have to get them back one by one.

The calm one spoke again. Upload complete. Good luck, Bass...

That was the last time Bass ever spoke to his mind.

Nel was sitting at her computer again, and nothing would tear her away from it, not even her stupid homework Ms. Rubi assigned her! She never really liked math anyway. A-anyway, today was the big day! The day she would receive her very own, custom made NetNavi! Oh man, she was so excited!

She was at the ripe old age of 17, almost entering adulthood, and the only one in her class without an awesome NetNavi. Yes, while everyone had their own customs, she only had the most basic one, a stupid, pale turquoise Navi that really couldn't do anything. It was so bad, it didn't even have its own personality! Then, that morning, she had gotten a letter from none other than the famous doctor Yuichiro Hikari! His father, Tadashi Hikari, or Dr. Light, worked with her own grandfather, Dr. Cossack, and in honor of his grandfather's memory, he sent her data for her to build her own custom NetNavi!

She loaded the disk containing the program onto her computer and was just about to start it up, when a voice called from downstairs.

"Nel! Time for you to get to bed! You don't want to oversleep for the big day tomorrow!"

Nel groaned. "But mom!"

"Don't you 'but mom' me, young lady! Haven't I told you to just call me Haruka?"

Nel sighed. "Yes, Haruka." She grumbled. It was too informal for her! After all, she was the wife of the great Yuichiro Hikari! And now, her adopted mother.

Nel's mother died in childbirth, and her father was murdered. The killer was still at large, but Nel had a hunch that it was none other than that bastard, Wily. Hell, he left his calling card, the symbol of World Three, at the scene of the crime! One day, she swore, she would have revenge!

The door to her room creaked open, and Haruka Hikari walked into the room. She smiled at her, that warm, motherly smile that always brightened Nel's day.

"Playing with the data Yuichiro sent you? Lan was doing the same thing earlier. You should have seen the look on his face, he was so excited!" She giggled.

Nel smiled. "Yeah, I bet he was. The two of us were waiting for that custom NetNavi data for AGES. And I'll admit, it's the best birthday present a beautiful young woman like me could receive!" She said, running her hands down here well-developed sides.

Haruka shook her head playfully. "Who knows, maybe now you'll get yourself a nice, cute boyfriend? Oh, I've always wanted grandchildren!" She said jokingly.

Nel face turned scarlet. "Harukaaa! I'm not even an adult yet! Stop joking like that!" She said, covering her face with a pillow.

Haruka's giggle evolved into a full laugh. "Oh Nel, you're just too fun sometimes... now then, why don't you go take your shower. You can play with your custom NetNavi program afterwards."

Nel smiled. "Okay, Haruka. I'll see you in the morning!" She called, as she walked to the bathroom.

Bass awoke to a soft surface, warm and comfortable. It called him to sleep, to rest more to stay there forever, but he would not have any of that. With great difficulty, he lifted himself off of the warm surface, and came face to face with a mirror.

His reflection startled him. After all, he did not remember what he looked like. And he liked what he saw.

He was dressed in a black, skintight jumpsuit, with golden boots and knee guards. His arms were covered in black and gold vambraces, topped with golden shoulder guards. His head was covered with a large, fin-shaped helmet, with a blue cross in the middle. On his chest was a blank emblem, marked with a white gash running across it. Around his neck and shoulders was a brown, slightly tattered cloak reaching to his ankles. He raised an eyebrow, and adjusted his cloak so that it covered the front of his body, making him look more mysterious and intimidating. He honestly liked the look, though he was slightly annoyed at the size of the fins on his helmet. Whose idea was it to make them so huge?

He ran a self diagnostic, checking to see whether the voices in his head lived up to their word. The test came back green; he was operating at a hundred percent efficiency. Now then, to examine his surroundings!

He was in a green and yellow room, much like a human bedroom. In the top left corner sat a bed, in the left middle, a computer. A door leading into a hallway was placed into the bottom right hand corner, and a closet in the top right. A window was placed into the top wall of the room, and through it, Bass could see the beginnings of a massive city composed of computer data. He walked over to the computer and looked through the screen into a lit room, a copy of the one he was in, but less... data-ey. He concluded that he was in a PET, and this was the human who owned the PET's room. He wondered what this human looked like, and what kind of personality to expect.

"LAAAAAN! OUTOUTOUTOUTOUTOUTOUT!" A female voice shrieked.

"GAH! SORRY SIS!" A younger, male voice shouted. Bass stifled a snort. The classic walking-in-on-someone-in-the-shower. He shook his head and sighed. What had he gotten himself in to?

The door of the human's room opened and in walked in a human female. She was near the end of her maturing years, though she still had a bit of room to grow. Her hair was dark blond, almost brown, and her eyes were an alluring emerald green. She sported a very flattering figure, with almost perfect proportions, and there was not a single bag, bulge, or blemish on her skin. She takes good care of herself. Bass thought, admiring her figure.

Then, her towel came off, and he saw her in all her glory. His head immediately turned scarlet, and his eyes bugged out of his head. He tried and tried to look away, but he couldn't!

"Honestly, what's UP with that kid? Can't he hear the sound of running water? Jeez!" She said, as she bent over, giving Bass a front row seat of her delicious behind as she put on a pair of clean underwear.

"Uh, miss?" Bass stuttered, trying to keep himself under control.

"Then again, he's still just a kid. It's not like I can truly blame him..." She continued on, turning around again, this time giving him a show of her magnificent chest!

"H-hello!" He called, a little more forcefully, hoping to get her attention. Needless to say, it didn't work.

Damn it! Even with the undergarments, it leaves nothing to the imagination! I'm a NetNavi, a being composed of computer data, right? Why am I reacting like this!?

"He may be my little bro, but if he walks in on me again I'm gonna-"


Nel turned in the direction of the voice. It came from her PET.


Nel straddled the desk chair in front of her PET, trying not to stare at her new Navi. She could tell he was trying to do the same, after what just happened three minutes ago. The tension surrounding the two of them was so thick you could cut it with a knife, and the awkwardness only amplified the feelings.

"W-well... I guess I should introduce myself!" Nel stuttered, putting on a smile. "My name's Nel. Nel Cossack. What's yours?"

Bass raised his head, his cheeks still a little scarlet from seeing his NetOp in the nude. "My name is Bass. It's a pleasure to meet you."

"Bass, huh?" Nel said, examining his appearance. "You sure look intimidating..."

Bass tched at the statement. "It's not like I asked to be intimidating or anything..." He said under his breath.

As Nel's eyes roamed over Bass's body, she started to like him more and more. The awesome helmet, the awesome, colors, the awesome emblem, eye color, everything about him was PERFECT! Of course it was, she would only expect the most awesome NetNavi as her own!

She picked up the PET and held it in her hands for a few seconds, her hair covering her eyes. She began to shake, and Bass wondered if she were scared of him. Figures. Bass was a scary Navi, it would only be natural to-

"You're so AWESOME!" She declared, hugging the PET to her well developed chest, and rolled around in her bed like a hyperactive puppy. Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on your point of view) for Bass, the low-cut purple shirt she was wearing gave him yet another look at her... tracts of land.

Bass didn't know whether to count this as a blessing or a curse.

"Um... Nel? Could you please get me OFF YOUR CHEST!?" He yelled.

Nell raised an eyebrow and adopted a fox-like smirk. "What's the matter, Bass? See something you like?"

Bass's voice died in his throat. "Um, well... I... ah... that is-"

"I hope not. I mean, you're handsome and all, but..."

Bass palm met his forehead. THIS was the human he was partnered with? Cossack, she was terrible!

Wait a minute... didn't she say her name was Cossack? "Nel, what's your last name again?" Bass asked. If she was related at all to Dr. Cossack, his creator, then maybe... his answers weren't that far off!

"Yep! That's me! Nel Cossack, granddaughter to the famous Doctor Mikhail Sergeyevich Cossack! In case you didn't know, he's a famous scientist, and he worked alongside the equally famous Doctor Tadashi Hikari, and created the Net as we know it today! Pretty cool, huh?"

Bass smiled underneath his cloak, which covered half of his face. "Yes, that is, as you said, "pretty cool.""

Nel smirked. She stood tall and placed her hand over her heart in a haughty pose, reminiscent of an Italian Renaissance noble. "Yes, my grandfather's great alright! But enough about me, what about you? This evening, Yuichiro gave me a sweet program that would let me create my very own custom NetNavi! But I don't remember running the program... where'd you come from?" She asked, narrowing her eyes in suspicion.

Bass did not speak for a few seconds, using that time to figure out how to explain himself. "The truth is... I don't remember."

Nel's expression showed her she was not impressed at all with that statement. "You... don't remember. Wow, if that's not the worst excuse in the book, it definitely should be." She deadpanned.

Bass began to grow frustrated. "Please Nel, I'm telling the truth, I really don't remember! In fact, I hardly remember anything at all!"

Nel walked over to the computer desk and placed the PET on the charger. "Listen Bass, if you're not going to tell me the truth... then I have ways of making you talk." She said with a cat-like grin on her face. She started to run her hands down her body, and grasped the hem of her shirt.

Bass panicked. "W-wait a second! Let's not be hasty!" He pleaded.

"Heehee... I'm waiting~" She teased, slowly raising up the shirt to reveal her deliciously flat stomach.

Bass raised his hands in surrender. "Alright, alright, I'll tell you everything!"

Nel released her shirt, then patted the top of her PET like one would pat a dog's head. "That's a good boy!" She teased, giggling at the sight of Bass' reddening cheeks. "It's not funny..." He mumbled.

"...And that's when you walked into the room." Bass finished. Nel was sitting in a cross-legged yoga pose on her bed, eyes closed and breathing deeply in an attempt to calm herself, silently absorbing all the information Bass gave her.

"I see. So you remember being data streams? That takes an extremely high level of self-preservation, not to mention the will to live. Honestly, I'm surprised you're still around. And judging from the scar on your emblem, and the tattered cloak (which TOTALLY fits you), that wasn't the first time you've gotten into a situation similar to that. I wonder what happened to you..."

Bass nodded. "Dr. Cossack was my creator. I was hoping you'd be able to help me retrieve my memories... but I guess I was mistaken." He said, staring at the floor, depressed at the lack of progress.

"Now now, Bass. Don't give up hope yet! We may only have very little information, but when you think about it, we actually have a lot!"

Bass looked up. "What do you mean by that?" He asked.

"Let's start with the names you gave me. Cossack, the name of your creator, and my Grandfather. That's a no-brainer. Hikari, the name of my Grandfather's partner in his scientific endeavors. There's also Yuichiro Hikari, his son. Each one of them is famous for their work, so it shouldn't be too hard to link them together."

Bass' heart soared with joy at the news, yet he still had one last question. "What about the last name?"

Nel's face hardened and she began to shake with rage. "Wily... he's probably the most dangerous man in the world. He's the founder and leader of the criminal organization known as WWW, or World Three. He plans to rule over the Net by disrupting the peace we have for so long strived to preserve. He's also the man... who murdered my father." She said. Her hands tightened into fists, her grip so tight that she nearly cut her palms open.

Bass' expression also hardened at the news. The feelings of hatred Wily's name brought up threatened to boil over. "This man must be punished for his crimes. I swear, as your NetNavi, I will help you bring him to justice." He said.

Nel got up from the bed and sat in her chair in front of the desktop. She pulled up a police file she had stored on her computer. "My father was a detective in the Net Police before he died. In fact, at the height of his career, he was considered the best detective in the world!. I may not be an official detective, nor are the skills he taught me even close to the level he had, but I copied all the files he had on his last case: Catching Wily once and for all. The man's a nasty piece of work, that's for sure. But that day, the day my father died, he was one step ahead of him, and brought one of his secret bases down around his head. Three years have passed since then, and no one's seen any sign of him. As for Dr. Hikari, he died around ten years ago, and Dr. Cossack was in a tragic car accident. He survived, but he's in a coma, and has been in the hospital for years. With both my parents dead, Yuichiro and Haruka Hikari took me in as their own... I owe them so much..." She said, a single tear running down her cheek. She wiped it away and opened up a new file, this one she made herself.

"Recently, however, there's been a strange series of oven fires all over DenTech City, and guess what?" She said.

"You think World Three is behind this.." Bass stated.

Nel nodded. "That's right. Wily's a slippery bastard, and I had my suspicions that he survived the destruction of his lab, but I don't have any proof. And like it or not, with Dr. Hikari dead and gramps in a coma, Wily's your only lead on your memories, as well as your missing data that was absorbed into the Net."

Bass grinned. "When do we start?" he asked.

Nel yawned. "Not tomorrow, that's for sure! I've got an important responsibility I have to take care of."

Bass frowned. "And that would be?" He asked.

Nel smiled. "Making a surprise appearance at Lan's school as the new teaching assistant, of course! I can't wait to see the look on his face when I publicly embarrass him in front of all his classmates! That's what he gets for walking in on me in the shower! Hehehe..." She laughed evilly.

Bass face palmed. This is gonna be a long partnership...

The Next Day

The bell rang, signaling the end of lunch at DenTown academy, and the students of class 5-A all filed into the room to start the rest of the school day. As each student took their seats, Ms. Mari walked in and took her spot at the podium in front of the class.

"Alright, class," Ms. Mari began. "Before we proceed with the rest of the lesson, I would like to introduce someone. She'll be taking the role as a teacher's assistant in order to gain experience for a future career, so I expect all of you to show her a warm welcome!"

The students began to talk among themselves wondering who the teacher assistant would be.

"Is it going to be a boy, or a girl?" One student wondered. "I hope it's a girl, we have WAY too many boys in this class," another stated.

Lan Hikari slumped in his seat at the news. He already knew who it was going to be, and he was dreading every passing second! Why, oh why did it have to be his adopted sister? Someone up there must really have it out for him.

"Alright, you can come on in now!" Ms. Mari called to the door. Lan tried his best to stifle a groan as in walked Nel, a smile on her face, and mischief in her eyes as she locked eyes with Lan.

"It's nice to meet you all!" Nel began, standing next to Ms. Mari. "My name's Nel Cossack." A dozen hand went up. "Yes, THAT Cossack, and he happens to be my grandfather. Any more questions?"

Maylu's hand went up. "Is it really true that you live with Lan?" She asked.

Nel smiled even wider. "Yep! I really do live with him. He's my little bro, alright!" She said. She walked over to Lan's desk and pinched his cheeks. "Isn't that right, my adorable little brother?" She said, in a sickeningly cute voice.

Another student, Dex, started laughing like he had never laughed before in his life. The laughter was infectious, and soon, the entire class was laughing. Poor Lan (not).

"Alright Nel, that's enough. Please stop torturing your little brother so we can get on with today's lesson." Ms. Mari called, mirth in her voice. Nel turned around and gave her a mock salute.

"Ma'am, yes ma'am!" She said, and took her place next to Ms. Mari.

"Now then class, can anyone tell me where we left off from yesterday?" Ms. Mari asked. Maylu's hand shot up immediately.

"We were talking about Macroworms, Ms. Mari." She answered. Ms. Mari nodded and smiled. "That's right, Maylu! As expected of the best student in this class. You provide and excellent example of what it means to be a good student, someone we should all strive to be."

Just then, Dex stood up and groaned. Yet another failed attempt to win Maylu's affection! He thought. He caught himself all too late.

"Settle down Dex, the bell hasn't rung yet!" Ms. Mari said sternly. "Jeez Dex, if you're going to be sending emails to Maylu trying to get her to go out with you, do it after school." Nel added. Dex opened his mouth to retaliate, but Nel cut him off. "And before you say anything, yes, it's THAT obvious. Jeez, even LAN's better at masking his feelings, and he's the most impulsive, outspoken guy I know!" She added, smirking.

Dex slumped in his seat, thoroughly embarrassed, and Lan swelled with pride at his sister's words. Sure, she teases him relentlessly, but she has her good points alright.

"Okay everybody, let's get back to the lesson! As I was saying earlier..."

Lan, actually wanting to impress his sister, tried his best to pay attention. He really did! It wasn't his fault school was so boring!

"Psst. Lan!" MegaMan whispered. Lan pulled out his PET and gave MegaMan his undivided attention. It had only been a few hours since he met MegaMan, and he already had a strong bond with him. He recalled the events this morning, how the oven caught on fire and how he jacked in MegaMan and proceeded to wipe he floor with all those viruses! MegaMan had to have been the best NetNavi ever!

"What's up, MegaMan?" Lan asked.

"Well, it's about this morning. After we deleted all the viruses in Mom's oven, I noticed a Cyber fire behind me. I could just barely make out a silhouette, and I swear it was a NetNavi!"

"What, like an evil NetNavi?"

"Yeah, that's what it looked like to me, and it was fully interlaced within the cyber fire!" MegaMan said.

"So that would mean the operator of that Navi-" "-Is the one responsible for all the fires, right?"

"GAH!" Lan shouted. Somehow, Nel appeared behind him and was listening to the entire conversation! "N-Nel! Don't do that!" He said.

"Lan, is there something you'd like to share with the class?" Ms. Mari asked, sternly. "Because if there isn't, I'm afraid I'll have to give you detention for disrupting the class... AGAIN."

Lan's eyes widened. He didn't want to go to detention AGAIN! What would is mother say?

"Well... I-I... that is-"

"I thought not..." She said. "Truly a shame, Lan. Sorry, but I have to assign you dete-"

"Lan," Nel interrupted. "Does this have anything to do with the oven fire this morning?" She asked.

The class began to talk among themselves.

"Oven fire? At Lan's place?"

"Oh no! Is no one safe anymore?"

"Who the heck's behind this, anyway?"

"A-hem!" Ms. Mari called, silencing the class. "While the oven fires are relevant to current cyber attacks, they do not have any bearing on Macroworms. Usually I would give you detention and that would be the end of it... You're the student teacher, Nel. What do you think I should do?"

Nel looked over to Lan, then to Ms. Mari, then back to Lan again. "Macroworms are indeed a problem, but they haven't been used as a major form of cyber crime in a decade. Respectfully, Ms. Mari, I think the oven fires take precedence over Macroworms. Besides, if you let Lan talk about what he and MegaMan witnessed, I can submit it in a report and send it over to the Net Police."

Ms. Mari was confused. "Who's MegaMan?" She asked.

Lan stood up, his chest swelled with pride and a huge smile on his face. "Who's MegaMan? He's only the most awesome NetNavi in the world! He's a special, custom NetNavi my dad programmed for me! Truth is, we just met this morning, but I could already tell he's the best NetNavi ever!"

"WHAT!? A custom NetNavi? Impossible! There's no way a wimp like you could have gotten a custom NetNavi!" Dex protested. "Guts, he's right!" Added Dex's NetNavi, GutsMan.

Maylu rolled her eyes. "Of course it's possible that Lan got a custom NetNavi, Dex! His father is an extremely high ranking scientist at SciLab, Dr. Yuichiro Hikari, remember?"

Dex's slumped in his chair. "Oh, yeah... I forgot..."

"Sorry, Dex," said GutsMan. "I forgot too, guts."

"Y'know, people would take you a lot more seriously if you could remember things better, Dex." Said Roll, Maylu's NetNavi.

The class snickered at Dex's misfortune. "Alright guys, that's enough laughing!" Said Nel. "Now Lan, MegaMan, start from the beginning. Tell us what happened, and leave nothing out!" She ordered.

"Well," began Lan "I woke up this morning, because SOMEONE doesn't know how to use their inside voice!" He said, glaring at MegaMan.

"Hey, it's not my fault you're such a heavy sleeper!" MegaMan retorted.

"Well, if you would just-"

Nel hit him on the head, nearly smashing his face into his desk. "Focus, Lan! Or do I have to enact punishment for what happened last night on you right now!?" She growled.

Lan paled. "Eep! S-Sorry sis!" Nel took her hand off the back of Lan's head and let him sit up. "A-Anyway, after a little discussion, I started to smell something like smoke. Then MegaMan sad something was happening in the kitchen. I grabbed my PET and ran downstairs as fast as I could, and discovered the oven was on fire! I grabbed the nearby fire extinguisher and tried to put it out, but it didn't work! MegaMan then told me to jack him in to the oven's computer, where we found a bunch of viruses!"

Nel nodded. "I see..." she then looked over to the rest of the class, who really wasn't paying attention to Lan's story, with the exception of Maylu. A tick mark appeared on Nel's forehead. "HEY BRAT'S, PAY ATTENTION!" She yelled at the top of her lungs. The entire class immediately stopped whatever they were doing and stared at Nel, shivering in fear. "That's what I thought..." she muttered. "What happened next?"

"I'll take over from here, Lan." Said MegaMan. "Lan had his Battlechips on him, so it was pretty easy to dispose of the viruses. Most of them were fire viruses, like VolGear and Swordy2, but I saw a few Mettaurs in there as well. After they were rounded up, a huge Cyberfire materialized behind me, and I heard a voice saying 'Blazes! What have you done, meddling NetNavi?' and then it vanished. Before it died down completely, I swear I could make out the outline of a NetNavi." MegaMan said, finishing the story.

The class took a few seconds to absorb and digest this information. "Okay class, from the information Lan and MegaMan, gave us, what can we infer about this NetNavi MegaMan saw?"

"It's an evil Navi!" A girl answered.

"And it's probably a fire-type Navi, too!" Answered a boy.

"Very good class!" Said Ms. Mari. "Now then, class is almost over, so I want you to be safe when you're at home, and if you encounter this Navi, don't fight it! Let the Net Police handle it." The final bell rang. "Class dismissed! I'll send you an email with your homework for next class later, so be sure to do it! You to, Lan!"

"Ms. Maaariii!"

"You're fire viruses were destroyed by a wee blue bloke."

"Was it a do-gooder Net Agent that short-circuted my plans?"

"Nope, a NetNavi. I'll wager a cartful o' Kilts on it!"

"Mr. Match... If he shows up again... I want you..."


"...Aye, Mr. Wily."

Meanwhile, in study hall...

Dex and Lan stood on opposite sides of the Holo-arena they set up. Today, Lan would have his revenge!

"Here goes, Dex! Jack in, MegaMan, Execute!"

"In your dreams, Lan! Jack in, GutsMan, Execute!"

The two NetNavis met in the center of the arena. GutsMan was already using his superior size in an attempt to intimidate MegaMan. "Ha ha ha! Give me a break, Lan! You mean your personal NetNavi is that wimpy little guy? This'll be too easy!" Boasted Dex.

"Hey, he's not wimpy! He's MEGAMAN!" Lan retorted.

"You really think you're going to beat MY GutsMan, with that teeny, 'Gnat'Navi?"

"Y'know, you CAN give up now if you want, Dex." Lan said confidently.

"Ha ha! YOU'RE the one who's going to give up! Go, GutsMan, beat the snot out of that shrimp!" "Go get him, MegaMan!"

"Guts, guts, GutsMan! He the best!" Roared GutsMan.

"Bring it on, muscle-head!" Declared MegaMan.

It was the most intense NetBattle Lan had ever been in. His mass-production NetNavi couldn't hold a candle to MegaMan! He was matching GutsMan's every move! And best of all, GutsMan couldn't land a single hit on him, thanks to MegaMan's superior speed and agility! It seemed that MegaMan was about to win... until GutsMan was able to make a comeback, and forced MegaMan into a corner!

"MegaGuts Punch Battlechip in! Download!" Dex called, slapping his most coveted Battlechip into his PET. In an instant, GutsMan's fist grew to three times it's normal size! Oh, no! Dex has beaten me each time with that Battlechip! Thought Lan. "It's all over!" Dex said, a smug grin on his face. And indeed, it was 'all over'... for GutsMan! Megaman caught GutsMan's huge fist with one hand!

"WHAAAAT!?" Dex exclaimed. It was inconceivable! "You can't STOP GutsMan's MegaGuts punch! You're SQUASHED by it!"

Lan was shocked, but recovered instantly, a wide smile on his face. "Alright, MegaMan! Blast him!"

"With pleasure!" Said MegaMan, grinning all the while. He pushed GutsMan's huge fist away from him, making him stumble, and then erupted in a blast of punches so fast that no one except MegaMan could see them! With a mighty kick, MegaMan threw GutsMan to the floor. "Get up, GutsMan!" Dex screamed. "Don't let that little wimp beat you!"

"Wait 'til you see this, Dex! Cyber Sword, Battlechip in!" Just as Lan was about to insert the Battlechip into the PET, a voice rang out. "Someone, help!" A column of light appeared between MegaMan and GutsMan, and out of that column appeared Roll. "It's Maylu, she's in trouble!" She said. With a wave of her hand, she created a view screen, showing Maylu struggling to get out of her house, and her oven on fire! "The oven's on fire!, and she can't get out!" She declared.

"No way! This can't be happening!" Cried Dex. Lan frowned. "It IS happening. MegaMan, you gotta uplink to Maylu's through the internet! I'll be there shortly to give you support!" Said Lan, cutting the connection between his PET and the Holo-Arena. "Transmitting now!" Said MegaMan, and he and Roll dematerialized. "You go too, GutsMan!" Said Dex. "Guts!" GutsMan dematerialized.

While Lan and Dex hightailed it to Maylu's house, MegaMan, Roll, and GutsMan began deleting viruses. "Dang, there's a LOT of viruses in this computer!" Said MegaMan as he activated his Mega Buster.

In an unknown location, Mr. Match was watching the whole thing go down. "Hey, that's the NetNavi from this morning!" He realized. "TorchMan, delete this annoying NetNavi!" He ordered. "Consider him scorched!" he replied.

TSEW! TSEW! "That's the last two." MegaMan said, lowering his Buster. Roll looked starstruck. "Wow, MegaMan! That was an awesome job!" She said. MegaMan scratched his head, blushing. "Aw, it was nothing Roll- Look out!" he said, grabbing Roll and dodging a fireball that had appeared out of nowhere! In the middle of that fireball was the same silhouette that MegaMan saw that morning.

"Who are you!?" He demanded. The fire dissolved, revealing a red, armored NetNavi that reminded him of an evil version of a certain french candelabra.

"I am TorchMan, little NetNavi! And you are going to be deleted!" He declared, raising one of his arms and pointing it towards MegaMan.

Meanwhile, in a hidden part of the oven computer, Bass observed the fight between MegaMan and Torchman. Oh, GutsMan tried to fight him, but he was instantly taken out with a blast from TorchMan's arm furnaces.

That GutsMan could use a few lessons. He thought. He held up the recorder that Nel gave him and fixed it to the wall, enabling remote control so Nel could use it. "What exactly are we doing with this recorder again?" he asked Nel.

Nel smiled. She was sitting in her room at Lan's house, observing him and MegaMan slugging it out with TorchMan. "I did some digging into my dad's old files, and discovered some very crucial information. Apparently, though you don't remember it, you were blamed for a crime you didn't commit, and are considered a fugitive from the law. Now before you start asking more questions, there was black ink all over this report, so I can't answer them. Looks like Wily is still our only lead, and we can't really rely on anyone else but ourselves.

Bass' eyes narrowed. That explains my borderline hatred for humans in general, though now I know not all of them are like that.

"But don't worry, I thought of a way to repair your image. To gain the trust of the people, you have to fight against the people's enemies. This guy, TorchMan, is a nasty piece of work, along with his Operator, Mr. Match. According to dad's files, their both wanted by the Net Police... as founding members of World Three."

Bass' eyes widened. "World Three...

Nel's eyes narrowed, and her face darkened. "Yeah... World Three. They're active again, which means Wily's alive, and my father died for nothing..." The grip in her fist tightened, and this time, her sharp nails drew blood. "That recorder is part of Phase one of the plan..."

"Feed the seed of doubt." Bass recited. "Exactly." Nel said. "Everyone believes you went rogue that day, twenty years ago, and nearly destroyed the infant internet. However, there was so much of that incident covered up, and not enough information was relayed to the people about what happened, that some don't believe it. My grandfather had a huge hand in that, and that car crash he was in was supposed to silence him permanently. It silenced him, alright, but the job was half-assed, and he survived. Needless to say, it made the seed of doubt he planted sprout into a small sapling, and we are going to feed it until it grows into a towering Redwood, by turning you from a 'villain', into a 'hero'."

A lightbulb went on in Bass' head. "You're going to send this recording to the news, aren't you?" Nel smiled. "Yep! The media won't be able to resist the scandal I'm about to create, and you'll be the talk of the town! No, the talk of the entire world! I can see it now: 'Most notorious NetNavi defeats World Three's TorchMan in Battle!' The questions people will start asking will be too much for the government to ignore, and they'll have to issue a press conference."

"Something tells me it's going to take a lot more than that to earn the people's trust." Bass commented.

"And you'd be right." Nel confirmed. "The government has a twenty year head start on you, not to mention that gramps and almost all of his supporters are out the picture. It'll take multiple victories against World Thee before the Seed sprouts into a Tree. Watch this battle between TorchMan and MegaMan carefully. If my suspicions are correct, MegaMan, despite his advanced programming, had extremely little battle experience. When it looks like he's about to lose, jump in and attack TorchMan. World Three Navis, while strong, are a bunch of cowards; TorchMan will probably Log Out before you can delete him."

Bass sneered. "I'm looking forward to this." He snarled happily. Nel was almost put off by how hungry he sounded. It must come from being a fugitive for twenty long years... He'll have to overcome that if he want's to truly earn the people's trust. Truth is, I think he's guilty myself... but gramps believed in him til the end, and even bedridden and comatized, he still continues to believe in him. So I'm gonna believe in him too, gramps! Just watch me! I'll prove it to the entire world that Bass is innocent! She thought, fires of determination blazing in her eyes.

"... and then, out of nowhere, this mysterious NetNavi swoops in and cuts of TorchMan's arm with a sword, defeating TorchMan and saving MegaMan!" Lan exclaimed. He was telling his mother and sister of his totally awesome battle between himself and a member of World Three. "After the fire was put out, the Net Police showed up along with the News! They're showing the report now!" He exclaimed, turning on the TV. Indeed, the News was broadcasting the report for the entire world to see.

"In breaking news tonight, the perpetrator of the mysterious oven fires all over DenTech city has been identified!" Exclaimed the DNN News Reporter, Ribitta. "Information from an anonymous source has confirmed the criminals are none other than World Three NetNavi TorchMan and his NetOp, Mr. Match. In an earlier press release, Dr. Wily himself appeared and claimed responsibility for ordering the oven fires, and claiming that one day, World Three shall reign supreme. Here is a video taken of the fight between TorchMan and a NetNavi known as MegaMan. Before we show the video, please be informed that MegaMan is a customized NetNavi programmed by world-renowned scientist Dr. Yuichiro Hikari as a birthday present for his son, Lan Hikari. Both Lan and MegaMan received honors for their heroism, as well as a 5000 dollar check from the President of the United States himself. Be warned, viewer discretion is advised."

Behind the news reporter, on the big screen, the recording of the fight was displayed. It showed MegaMan and TorchMan battling in Maylu's flaming oven computer. "I'm back, MegaMan!" came Lan's voice. A view screen appeared beside MegaMan. "Let's turn this torch into ashes! Shotgun, Battlechip in! Download!" MegaMan's arm morphed into a buster, but instead of the usual purple blasts, a stream of yellow blasts burst out of the end. They impacted with TorchMan's shield, but the force of the impact drove him back. "Let's finish him off, MegaMan! AreaSteal, WideSword, Battlechips in! Download!" Lan cried. MegaMan became enveloped in a purplish aura and his right arm morphed into the Wide Sword. He used AreaSteal to teleport behind Torchman, and was about to cut him in two, but a tower of fire erupted right underneath him.

"Not bad there, laddie," a voice called. Suddenly, another view screen appeared beside TorchMan, showing the face of Mr. Match! "Yer a fast one, but ya 'aint fast enough for my FireTower Battlechip!" He taunted. "Oh no! A FireTower! That's an uncommon Battlechip!" Lan shouted.

"Ha ha! It sure is, laddie. TorchMan! Burn this meddler into cinders! Take this! HeatShot, Battlechip in! Download!" He declared. TorchMan's arm morphed from his usual furnace arm into a red buster similar to MegaMan's. "Looks like you couldn't stand the heat after all!" TorchMan declared. "HeatShot!" He shouted, and a huge stream of fire erupted from the buster, too fast for MegaMan to dodge!

"No! MegaMan!" Lan cried. It was too early for him to be deleted! They had just met! Just before MegaMan was about to be deleted, another voice cried out. It was a low, raspy voice, as if the person it belonged to hadn't used it in a long time.

"Hell's Rolling!" it declared. A large, dark purple disk flew out of nowhere and shielded MegaMan from the Heatshot! The attack faded, and both of the NetNavis were bewildered. "Where did that come from!? Who's there! I'll burn you to a crisp!" TorchMan declared.

"Right behind you..." the low, raspy voice announced. TorchMan turned around, only for a dark purple CyberSword to slash at him out of nowhere! TorchMan was able to avoid being deleted, but the attack took off his left arm. "Log out, TorchMan!" Mr. Match ordered. Without a word, TorchMan vanished into data streams, leaving the mysterious Navi exposed for all the world to see. The video paused, and the Hikari family watching in their living room heard the sound of a coffee mug breaking in the studio.

"Oh my God!" Exclaimed Ribitta, the news reporter. "That NetNavi... it's impossible! That's Bass! Reportedly to be the strongest NetNavi ever created, he went rogue twenty years ago. But I though he was deleted!"

Sharp intakes of disbelieving breath echoed in the studio as the video started up again. "He got away... coward!" Bass growled. MegaMan and Roll, Maylu's NetNavi as explained by Ribitta, cautiously walked toward Bass. "You saved my life..." Said MegaMan, as Bass' sword morphed back into his arm. "Thank you." He said, sincerely. He held out his arm for a handshake, but Bass did not return it. "I'm Roll, and this is MegaMan. What's your name?" asked Roll, trying to break the uncomfortable silence. "You can call me Bass." He said, confirming the fears of people around the world. "Hey, if you're fighting World Three, how about we team up sometime?" Offered MegaMan.

Bass answered by turning around and vanishing into data streams. "Huh. Stuck up, isn't he?" commented Roll. "You got THAT right." replied MegaMan. The video ended there.

Ribitta came back on, looking frantic and nearly hyperventilating. "That's not possible! Everyone knows Bass was deleted! That couldn't have been the real Bass!" She declared, grabbing at her frog hat. She then raised her hand to her headset. "Hold on folks, I'm getting breaking news right now! According to the commissioner of the NetPolice, Seishin Kifune, they compared the data Bass left behind in the oven with data collected form Bass twenty years ago. Oh my God, that really is the rogue NetNavi, Bass! As you all know, Bass is a notorious criminal, wanted for the near destruction of the internet! He must be caught at all costs!" She declared.

"Wait a minute, Ribitta!" Called one of her fellow reporters. "We all know that Bass hates humans, but why did he come to the aid of a human's NetNavi? It's too out of character for him!" Ribitta looked flustered. "W-well, I guess it's not his usual M.O. but he's still a criminal!" She declared.

"How do we know that for sure?" Another reporter asked. "The government told us basically nothing about what really happened twenty years ago, and don't forget about Bass' creator, Dr. Cossack! He was in that "tragic" car accident, and nearly all of his supporters went missing one by one! That can't be a coincidence!"

"H-Hold on! I'm getting another update! This time it's from DenTech City General Hospital. No way! Dr. Cossack's awake!?" Ribitta declared.

The DNN station erupted into a chorus of 'WHAAAAAAAT!?' at the news. Silence reigned in the news studio as each reporter stared at the ground. A full minute passed, then Ribitta folded her hands together and her face grew more serious than ever before as she glared directly into the camera.

"This video has given us more questions than answers!" She declared. "We now know that World Three is back, and stronger than ever before, but now we have another factor in this ever confusing equation. Who is Bass? What is his goal? And what really happened that horrible day, twenty years ago? Keep in touch with us here at DNN. We'll bring you the truth, no matter how bad it hurts. This is Ribitta of DenTech News, signing off!"

With that, Lan turned off the TV.

"No way! That NetNavi, a convict? I refuse to believe it! No convict would risk their neck to save another's, right MegaMan?" Lan asked. MegaMan nodded. "This story gets more mysterious by the minute. But no matter what happens, we'll get to the bottom of this mystery! You can count on that!" Lan nodded, a smile on his face. "That's the spirit, MegaMan!" He turned to Nel, who was sitting next to him on the couch. "What do you think, sis?"

"What do I think?" Nel repeated. "I think that I'm going to bed! It's late, and I'm tired. See you in the morning Lan." She said as she stood up and walked upstairs.

Is was probably a trick of the light, but I think I saw her smile a bit. It was the smallest smile in the world, but she knows more than she's letting on! Lan thought, as he walked upstairs and into his bedroom.

Lan sighed deeply as he placed his PET on the charger. "I'm so relieved Maylu wasn't hurt. And I've gotta say, we've got you to thank for it, MegaMan!" He declared. MegaMan chuckled. "Hey, I didn't take on ol' smoke and choke all by myself. You came up with all the moves!"

Lan smirked. "So, you'll always help me in any situation no matter what, right?" MegaMan nodded. "Just ask!"

"Well, in that case, you can do my homework for tomorrow! And make it snappy." He said, smiling all the while.

MegaMan smirked back. "You'll never be an adventurer OR a scientist if you don't do it yourself!" He said. A tick mark appeared on Lan's head. "Hey, have you been talking to Mom or what? I don't have to take this from you! YOU CAN BE REPROGRAMMED!" Lan declared.

"Ha ha ha! Nice try, Lan. Better get started!" Laughed MegaMan.

Lan swore that he could hear Dex cry "GutsMan!" from clear across town.

Time's Corner. Welcome

WOOOOO! Rewrite completed! First things first, I'd like to apologize to anyone still reading my lame ass stories. I started all of them in middle school, and the really sucked. I mean, they were the most horrible things I have ever written. But now that I've gotten more writing experience under my belt (Thank you, high school AP classes!) I felt confident enough to take up the Microsoft Word and Keyboard once again. Please favorite the story below, and leave a review behind telling me what you liked, what you didn't like, and what you think could be improved on. Thanks again for reading!

Total Word Count: 8,685.