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Part 6: Scrubbing Bubbles
The next day, Lan is so excited by the fact that it's the weekend that he's forgotten that he promised to help Mayl with her new dishwasher. Fortunately, MegaMan reminds him of the fact.
Yuichiro has also gone out of town for a while.
It's a shame, but at least it didn't happen during the aftermath of FlashMan's attack, otherwise there would've been real trouble.
Before we go to see Mayl, let's go make the usual rounds by talking to NPCs.
Seems like everyone is excited about this new brand of dishwaster. Is it really that exciting?
Speaking of washing, this kid probably needs to clean out the inside of his desk.
Well, that's probably because there's no reason for civilians to come to SciLab most of the time.
This guy in Yuichiro's lab finds the idea of compressing Navis to be quite interesting, though he notes that such a procedure is only able to be accomplished by himself or Yuichiro due to the amount of difficulty involved.
Finally, let's get a proper view of Yoka Area.
For some reason, it's covered in pathways too small for Navis to traverse.
I feel deeply unsettled looking at them.
There's also this hot water heating program for the hot springs at the Ura Inn.
That's kind of weird.
This guy would be excellent at
Back to the plot, though.
As it turns out, Ms. Mari is here to see Mayl's Bubble Wash, because dishwashers are very exciting.
Cool. Does it also load dishes from the sink into the dishwasher? Because otherwise, you're still putting them in there yourself, which means you could just set it while you're at home.
As it turns out, Higsby is also coming to visit. I don't believe he's at his shop if you drop by earlier.
Lan initially thinks that Higsby is here to see the dishwasher, but he's actually around because he has a thing for Ms. Mari, a character trait that I believe originated from the anime.
Speaking of which, I guess Ms. Mari doesn't hold any grudges about Higsby tying her up, almost brainwashing her students and fellow faculty members into serving Wily, and quite possibly planning to pin the blame on her.
I guess that's the power of selling people rare chips.
Anyway, as it turns out, Mayl owes Higsby for a chip that she bought.
Mayl tries to weasel out of it, but Higsby isn't having it.
You better do what he says, Mayl. We just shook down a guy for money not that long ago.
Mayl contemplates the best way to get out of this situation.
And then her gaze fixes on Lan.
Needless to say, Lan is saddled with paying off Mayl's debt while Ms. Mari and Higsby are okay with this.
I wonder if I should keep a rolling tally of how many times we need to do things for Mayl.
Anyway, here's why I picked one up last time. Since the store that sold them in Battle Network 2 isn't this game, you have to go earn them the hard way by busting viruses.
The Windbox viruses are pretty generous about dropping them, though. I think I've even gotten one at a 6 rank.
Mayl also points you in the right direction if you talk to her, which makes sense given that she'd need to know where to get Higsby's payment.
I hope your tea can wash away the taste of betrayal.
Since I already have it, but the game still kicks you out of Mayl's house either way, I just walk back inside to talk to Higsby.
And with that, the debt has been settled. And all without anyone's kneecaps getting broken.
Mayl gets ready to serve the tea, but the Bubble Wash arrives.
I'm seriously contemplating that tally, by the way.
Once the Bubble Wash is set up, Lan inspects it and finds that it can't be jacked into like most things that are tied to the Net.
Makes sense. The only way to jack into things is by sticking in a PET jack like a USB.
That said, you'd think they could just have a cover for it or something.
Sometime later, Mayl has indeed made tea for everyone with her absurdly pink tea set. Served in her absurdly pink house with absurdly pink wallpaper.
I think there's a limit to how much you can like pink, Mayl.
As Mayl and Ms. Mari go to put the tea set in the dishwasher, Lan mumbles about the fact that he still doesn't get what's so exciting about a dishwasher.
MegaMan and Higsby try to explain that it's like getting a rare chip, but Lan isn't impressed.
To the surprise of no one, something bad happens that we need to save Mayl from.
But it's okay, because Higsby is here.
Higsby prepares to unleash an All-Out Attack, but suddenly Mayl's absurdly pink PET begins to ring.
Mayl's absurdly pink Navi reads off the email, thanking her for purchasing the WWW's new Bubble Wash. The bubbles start blue, but then turn yellow, and then red before exploding.
We're not told how damaging the blast radius is, but I'm assuming it's probably big enough that Lan's house would be caught up in this explosion as well. Especially if the dishwasher is packing more of whatever explosive material makes these things.
So before we delve into the WWW's latest attack, let's roll back time to before we first went to Mayl's house. Well before we had to get a Wind * for Higsby.
That's ridiculous, we're just palling around with the guys.
What could possibly go wrong?
Wait, if you don't know where it came from, then how did it get patented and sold? Wouldn't you need to inspect it to make sure it functioned properly?
Also, did any even look at the thing before they bought it? I mean, this is Wily. He probably put skulls on it somewhere. He can't help himself!
I think the most frustrating part about this dialogue is not only that you can see it well before you go to Mayl's house,
but that the NPCs see this message and think, "Eh, nothing suspicious about that."
Good job, guys; people are about to die because of your inaction. But please, enjoy your trip to the zoo.
Back in the present, MegaMan is exasperated with Wily's shenanigans.
At least you haven't gone through 11 games of them, Hub.
Naturally, Lan has to solve this problem. Higsby stays behind to watch over Mayl and Ms. Mari.
At this time, I also noticed that Mayl has a figurine of Roll Caskett and Data from MegaMan Legends.
After passing through Mayl's absurdly pink homepage, we find BubbleMan dancing just nearby her Security Cube while ranting about how he's so cool despite not having an operator.
Wily reaching out to (or maybe creating?) more discriminated Navis aside, I have so many questions.
How did he get past the Security Cube? Why is he here personally considering this isn't the only Bubble Wash? Did he have to personally activate each one? What if someone activates their Bubble Wash in Yoka Area while he's in ACDC? Does he have to run all the way over there to turn it on? Is this just narrative convenience that I shouldn't be thinking about?
At any rate, MegaMan is not impressed with BubbleMan's weird flailing.
BubbleMan's response is hardly intimidating. After a moment, though, he recognizes MegaMan and contemplates getting a reward from Wily by deleting him.
But after a few more moments of thought, he decides this isn't the best place to fight.
Lan and MegaMan are basically operating for the Officials, you know? That was the whole point of the licenses in the last game.
Continuing the trend of ridiculousness, BubbleMan basically points behind MegaMan and goes "Look over there! It's my minions!" before jumping over the Security Cube and running away.
What is even the point of Security Cubes if someone could just do that?
Seeing as MegaMan doesn't have nonsensical cutscene powers, Mayl sends Lan the code to her Security Cube and a Roll V2 chip and we're off after BubbleMan.
Fortunately, he's leaking bubbles. Apparently.
NPCs are now aware of the Bubble Wash's sinister nature. A bit late on that one, though.
Maybe, just maybe, the trail of bubbles could be followed to the perpetrator of the bubble themed incident?
OH MY GOD
Most characters in ACDC are saying some variant of "My operator has been trapped by bubbles", "Oh no, Net Crime is happening again", or something along those lines.
Navis in SciLab are a touch more cynical.
Okay, maybe a bit more than a touch.
The Officials and other Navis are at least working on counteracting the problem, though this guy says that the culprit is around here, which is not true at all.
This Navi by the Metroline even points it out.
And BubbleMan just said he wanted to avoid Official Navis, so there's no reason for him to come here.
Naturally, BubbleMan has gone to Yoka Area.
Why didn't you stop him!?
Maybe I should stop talking to Officials without an aspirin on-hand.
Alright, I guess I can somewhat understand this. Autonomous Navis aren't really common, meaning there might be an operator involved. MegaMan deleted StoneMan, BombMan, and CutMan before they gained any notoreity, and every other Navi involved in the WWW or Gospel was operated. I suppose the rationale is find the operator and you can maybe stop the attack?
Except you have no idea where the attack originated from. Or what this supposed operator looks like. Or where they are at present. Meanwhile, you DO have their Navi right in front of you leaving a trail that leads directly to him. And even if this supposed operator did exist, you'd still have to delete their Navi to stop the shenanigans anyway, as has been the case in every scenario up to this point!
When MegaMan finally catches up to BubbleMan, he's across one of those weird pathways from before.
BubbleMan taunts MegaMan that he's too heavy to get across the pathway, as opposed to his own body which is light as foam.
He then begins to dab on MegaMan again and proceeds to do so for the rest of this scene.
At any rate, we'll need to find someone who's good at compression before things get more out of hand.
Tune in next time for more bubble based madness.