“Eeeh?! There’s nothing here!” Netto exclaimed, to everyone else’s surprise. None of them believed him, and rushed to catch up, to see for themselves.
“Don’t try to trick us like that!” Yaito exclaimed. “Glide has the best calculation programs that money can afford installed into him! There’s no way he’d get it…wrong?”
But Glide was wrong, and Netto was correct. The forest clearing was completely empty. There wasn’t even any dust, or lingering heat, or a burning smell, or the smallest crater. It was as if nothing had fallen.
“Hey, Glide, what’s the big idea?!” Yaito screeched. “You shouldn’t have gotten that wrong!” Glide merely bowed.
“I apologize, Yaito-sama, but as you know, my calculating equipment is not made for projecting the movements of astral bodies. That data is restricted to the highest scientific departments and beyond your money’s reach. The best I could give was the best estimate civilians could afford.”
This only prompted a frustrated scream from Yaito. It was up to Meiru to try and talk some sense into her as Netto and Dekao huddled together. Dekao spoke first.
“You saw it fall around here, though, didn’t ya?”
“Of course! We all did!”
“Then we can’t be too far off, right? We should look around nearby for a bit!”
“That’s just what I was thinking! Right!” The last word was yelled out loud, startling everyone else. “We’ll all look around for a bit nearby here! Anyone got any problems with that?”
“I don’t know, Netto-kun…We’re already pretty far in…” Leave it to Meiru to be the reasonable one.
“No problem! We don’t need to go that far; I bet that it’s close by! We can all meet up back here in ten minutes! Everyone ready?”
It took a few minutes to decide where everyone would be going. When they all split up, Netto and Rockman were left alone.
“This is so exciting, Rockman! A shooting star, landing here!”
“Aah, Netto-kun! But…be careful, alright? I felt something…”
“I don’t know…it just feels like there’s a lingering trace of something. It made me feel a little…off…”
As Rockman said that, the screen of the PET flickered on and off, and was temporarily distorted by static.
“Rockman?! Are you alright?”
“A…ah…yes…I think there’s something interfering with the PET’s functions…”
“What is it? Can you tell?” Rockman shook his head.
“No, not really. It’s the same thing I felt before, from just when the meteor hit-or should have hit-the ground…maybe it was made up of something weird, Netto-kun?”
“Maybe…?” They continued walking around the site, before a scream came from the PET. “Rockman?!”
Rockman was facing against some small round figures, shooting at them with his Rock Buster. They looked distracted, and fell quickly, but there was a lot of them.
“Viruses, inside the PET! I need a Battle Chip quickly, Netto-kun!”
“R-right! Battle Chip, Cannon!”
Luckily, the viruses were quite weak, and a few Cannon blasts easily dispatched them.
“Ne, Rockman…that was kind of strange, wasn’t it?”
“Mm, it was. Viruses need some kind of internet connection to get into devices, they can’t just randomly jack into a device unless somebody purposefully put them in…”
“And there wasn’t anything like that at all, was there?”
“No, not at all. It was like they just suddenly…jumped in. And they looked strange…”
“I mean…they looked like Mettaurs, Netto-kun. But there were a few small differences; they didn’t look completely like the Mettaurs we’ve seen. They had some strange antenna on their head, and they looked like they were lost…it was like they didn’t know how to get around the PET…”
“But isn’t that what viruses were made to do? Invade things? Surely they’d get around quickly…”
“That’s what I thought, Netto-kun, but, they spent more time wandering around than fighting me. Maybe I wasn’t their target?”
“Lost viruses? That’s just strange, Rockman…”
“Mmm, it is. This place is weird, Netto-kun, perhaps we should meet up with the others…”
“Ah, maybe we should…”
Meeting up with the other three only led to more confusion, as they had all run into the strange rogue viruses as well. Nobody was hurt, but Roll did admit to feeling a little tired. The strange event was strange enough to motivate them to leave (albeit reluctantly in Netto’s and Dekao’s case). One case of “lost” viruses was strange enough. Four encounters all in the same area pretty much confirmed that something strange was going on.
“But where could they have come from?” Rockman wondered aloud after he and Netto had said good-bye to the others and regaled their parents with the strange story.
“Maybe the meteor?” Netto responded. It was an absentminded suggestion that sounded rather muffled due to his head being halfway in his shirt (he was changing into pajamas for the night).
“Netto-kun, we don’t even know if the meteor even hit there or not! For all we know, it could have disintegrated before it hit the ground…”
“Even Glide admitted that the size of the meteor meant that it should have left something, Rockman! Besides, it’s not like we haven’t fought viruses on a meteor before!”
“Yeah, but that asteroid was…unique. You know that…”
“Hmph, I guess. But still, that doesn’t mean there couldn’t be others, you know!”
“I guess, Netto-kun. But that doesn’t explain how they got in the PET…it wasn’t like there was any infrared signals or direct links into the PET’s port that they could use to get in…those must have been some very strange viruses, if they could get into such things on their own…”
“Sounds pretty dangerous too, Rockman. You sure you got them all, right?”
“Mmhm, I did. Do you think that was all of them, whatever jumped into ours and the other’s PET’s?”
“Not sure. Maybe we should go back there tomorrow, Rockman?”
“Only if you promise to be careful, Netto-kun!”
“I got it, I got it!”
[A/N]: Jeez, writing flat characters is hard. I want to get to the plot already, but I really am having issues linking them together. Anyways, I've only gotten one response to the boss poll so far, so feel free to PM me or whatever telling me which Water, Elec, and Wood element Battle Network boss you want to show up!]