"Watch out, Nep-Nep!"

A sharp swing of her hip sent Neptune hurtling to the side. A moment later, Compa began rapidly pumping the end of a truly massive syringe. Bullets of bizarre medical fluid shot out and slammed into the slimy Dogoo monsters, quickly merging with their gelatinous bodies… and causing them to simply explode.

"Ouchies… come on, Compa, you could have asked!"

Neptune stood up again, then turned and slashed her sword through a monster that had been sneaking up on the two from behind.

"Hurry up, you two! This is going to take forever if we try to kill every single enemy!"

Said the girl whose bodycount was higher than the other two combined.

The problem had started two days before, when Planeptune's Guild had gotten a request for an emergency assault on a dungeon that was spawning far more monsters than it should have. Neptune, looking for any excuse to get out of work, had jumped at the opportunity and dragged her friends along to help.

The monsters weren't actually very strong. Considering all they'd gone through together, both Compa and IF could very reasonably be considered veteran adventurers, qualified enough to take on even high-level tasks… though Compa probably shouldn't have been let out on her own. Even so, the mooks were no individual threat to them, much less the CPU of Planeptune.

It was just that there were so freaking many of the things. It might take a thousand hits to bring any of the girls down, but there were more than enough of the little slimes to get the job done… if they'd had to take them out one at a time, anyway.


The CPU blurred out of sight for a moment; when it was done, a myriad of slash marks appeared throughout the crowd of minor monsters, and the entire group exploded. It was probably a good thing they didn't actually have blood or normal bodies, else the carnage would have been quite sufficient to traumatize Compa for life. There was just something about stuff that looked like blueberry jelly that was hard to take seriously, though.

After an obligatory victory pose, Neptune made her oversized weapon disappear into thin air and nodded in satisfaction.

Which might have explained why the sucker punch from the Killachine Mk. 3 literally sent her bouncing off the walls.



"I'm all right! It's just a flesh wound!"

With a loud pop, Neptune managed to pull her head out of the floor. Wasting no time, the CPU vaulted to her feet and pulled out her sword as a barrage of medical fluid from Compa's syringe impacted the Boss' tail and twisted it off-course as it attempted to pummel them. Hopping backwards, IF unleashed an assault of her own with two of the pistols hidden in her sleeves.

Neither attack did much of anything to the creature.

Acting with way too much speed for a monster its size, the Boss unleashed a quick barrage of punches, knocking the three girls across the room (and, in Compa's case, into a pile of Dogoo jelly) before a gem on its chest lit up and hammered each of them with a brutal shockwave.


"Urk… N-Neptune!"

"I know! Just gimme a sec!"

One foot came down onto the ground, forming a small crater, then the other. Two glowing symbols appeared in Neptune's eyes; a vertical line with a curved line beneath it, forming the character for 'power' used by the Console Patron Units of Gamindustri.


The Killachine Mk.3 split in half vertically and detonated.


Neptune darted forward, the glowing symbols fading from her eyes.

"Don't freaking kill-steal my boss! We fought hard to get to the bottom of this dungeon! I coulda handled that!"

Almost certainly a true statement. Neptune was known for her monstrous strength, after all, not her intelligence. In the Hard Drive Divinity form that counted as a Super Mode, there were very few foes who were truly a problem for her.

Standing at the other end of the room was a girl who looked to be about Neptune's physical age. A wide sword was carried in one hand, unusually thick and heavy-looking for such a weapon, with about the same ornamentation expected from one of Gamindustri's medium-level pieces of equipment. That is, ornate without being silly about it. It also looked rather old and well-used. Crimson hair flowed down to the girl's waist, while her outfit used a somewhat darker color when featuring both her upper garment and her relatively short skirt.

The intruder simply looked at Neptune for a moment, then dashed towards the exit.

"Get back here, you! Oh, I feel like doing some smiting!"

Compa and IF had to physically wrestle Neptune to the ground to stop her from going after the thief. They'd achieved what they'd set out to do, which was clearing the dungeon… unfortunately, having had the boss stolen from them, there was no way to actually get the reward from the Guild and show it to Histoire as proof that Neptune had been doing something useful.

After a three-hour lecture in the Basilicom, Neptune was finally allowed to crash onto her bed, cuddle up with her pillow (Compa), and try to get some sleep.

This being Neptune, she woke up several hours later, her stomach rumbling. She'd been so depressed about the lecture that she hadn't even eaten, and despite the darkness of the hour, she was planning to rectify that immediately.

"Huh? What's up, Nep Jr.? Isn't it a little latesies to be all cereal about doing work?"

Seated at the table in the kitchen at the back of the Basilicom was a girl younger than Neptune, dressed in a simple, fluffy bathrobe as she read through some of the reports that were piled up on the table.

"Ahaha… I couldn't really sleep."

The other girl awkwardly rubbed the back of her head.

"We just keep getting reports about little things all over Gamindustri. I hope it's nothing major, but… well, we'll handle it somehow."

Nepgear smiled at her sister, then giggled at the image of Neptune with the end of a big loaf of bread stuck in her mouth.

"Whash sho funi?"

"Come on, sis, let me heat that up for you…"

It was nearly an hour later that the light in the Basilicom finally turned off.

The Land of Purple Progress, Planeptune, never really slept. There were always people out and about, if less so at night than in the day, and the business of the land never truly stopped. A few vigilante heroes prowled the shadows to help keep citizens safe, the late-night workers at the Guild handed out assignments and rewards to nocturnal adventurers, and game developers worked feverishly to meet the deadlines for their new products.

This was a part of Gamindustri, ruled by the Console Patron Units. A land of happiness and violence, of adventure and buried riches, of magic and technology mingling to create a fantastic realm. The people believed in their Goddesses, and the Goddesses fought off any troubles that arose, each helping the other in a symbiotic relationship that enriched all of their lives. With the phenomenal amount of power they possessed, the CPU's could ultimately fight off just about any enemy.

Which made the obvious weakness in all of this all the more glaring when secretly installed chips went live all across Gamindustri the next morning and trapped close to ten percent of each nation's population in their own heads, magically linking each of them to a central server where they could appear in (and play) any game they wanted, but never leave. About half of them thought this was the greatest thing ever, having already been NEETs unused to so much as stepping outside. The other half were more sensible about it and began some light, multiplayer games to pass the time while they waited to be rescued.

An enormous projection flickered into existence above each nation, and a booming voice came down from on high.

"Attention, citizens! We have trapped your fellows within the ultimate virtual world… not just one game or one idea, but all of them! Experience the adventures you've always wanted to have with none of the danger! Oh, and you won't have a choice unless you deliver all of the CPUs and their Candidates to us in the Gamindustri Graveyard! Too long have the Goddesses stifled your fun with silly rules and restrictions, claiming that their power gives them the right to do anything they want! We, the- what were we, again?"

The audio and video cut out for a few moments.

"We, the Wonderful In Never-Never Elite Royal Squadron, will turn Gamindustri into a true paradise! No hunger! No danger! No need to ever stop playing games! You'll be with us sooner or later, but join now for Gold Placement in our system and better access to more features before all the traitors get them!"

The screen blinked out.

Then the screaming started.