Myriad Hunters [Mission for ScorchMan]

When ScorchMan returned to the scene of his latest battle, he found that the network had already more or less repaired itself; the deep furrow in the ground had sealed over and the surrounding terrain looked like unremarkable patch of a similar landscape. Normalised panels made up the majority, with the odd strip of metal or magnetised panels forming lines and divisions; far off he could see the now repaired fields that he had trekked through before, with newly repaired measuring instruments poking up amongst them, where previously there had been scarecrows for him to dispatch. The air remained hot and dry, however, almost uncharacteristically so, for Electown's outer nets.

The location was as deserted as he'd left it, except for a single entity, standing more or less on the spot where the dangerous spider virus had burrowed into the ground and fled. Though ScorchMan's own senses were more limited, if Griffin was watching on, the screen showed him a small figure; a petite, feminine build that stood three feet tall at most, including the laid back rabbit ears that added several inches on their own. Along with the ears, she was covered in a short coat of pure white fur.

Dress-wise, the woman was attired quite minimally; she was barefoot, with a denim skirt, divided into individual strips of an inch or two across for ease of movement, that ended at her mid thighs, and wore a slim chest band that was made in the same denim style and looked as though it didn't really have too much restraining or supporting work to do, other than covering decency. A pair of stylised red wings were printed on the back of it, either side of the back hitching, and small rabbit tail poked out between the pleats of her skirt. This, along with the ears, probably made it no surprise that there were clear signs of other lapin features defining her face as she turned around to face ScorchMan's arrival. She grinned and waved a hand.

“Heya! ScorchMan, right? I'd be surprised if you weren't, hehe.” The voice was small and high-pictched, but not enough to sound squeaky or shrill; rather, she sounded playful and upbeat. The bunny-girl painted a fairly innocuous image on Griffin's screen as she waved his navi over. To ScorchMan's way of reading creatures, as he got closer, the figure positively glowed with the weight of code and energy output concentrated inside her form. The small figure was an almost uncomfortable beacon on his senses. The reading for her showed up as 'Prosopopoeia.lapin', but her program integrity was masked.

“Nice to meet you! I'm Prosopopoeia, but you can call me Prose. Sorry for Shanghai-ing your thread, but this is kinda an anomaly and it'd be bad for any other under-prepared navigators to get mixed up in it. It's pretty lucky that you...” For a moment her voice trailed off; Griffin might notice her looking ScorchMan over and leaning in with a tilt of her head, peeking up at his visor, before wincing and drawing away again. “Are you okay? I hope none of that came from the Myriad. Lasting damage of some sort? Sorry...” she cleared her throat and looked down at her feet, embarrassed for a moment.
His awareness was a bloom of reds.

Compared to the soothing yellow cradle of the PET, the Net was always a bit cold when ScorchMan first touched down, typically a blur of deep shadows and little else to his heat sense. He didn't know when he started noticing that, but touching down to ElecTown Net and already feeling warm and comfortable was a feeling he wasn't the slightest bit used to. All around him was a swirling crimson gradient, the energy that had seared into the ground still diffusing into the Net. The pride he took in his growing power - that, too, was something new.

He wasn't alone. Nearby was a point bright enough that facing it felt almost like standing before the Myriad's jaws. Was this his patron? "Hello? Is someone there?" ScorchMan called out, relieved when the presence spoke up. Walking over, he realized the voice was coming from somewhere near his waist: a child? A small smile came unbidden, even when Prose's introduction faltered. "Old injuries, nothing to worry about. It's good to meet you, Prose, thanks for coming," he waved off her concern; it was easy to guess what she'd noticed.

"Speaking of being prepared, I should get my Operator on board." As ScorchMan gestured, a window popped open roughly eye-level to Prose. The room beyond was dark, with a deeply suggestive view of a man's bare torso amidst tangled sheets. Griffin Reim enjoyed his gym time, and it showed on every inch of visible skin, from his shoulders to the deep V of his hips where his boxers had ridden low. A gentle snoring came from just off-screen - utterly oblivious to the view, ScorchMan keyed the PET's alarm, calling, "Griffin, time to get up!"

"Whuzzah?" A symphony of abs flexed as Griffin levered himself upright, holding the PET up to his face. His cheeks dimpled around a sleepy grin as he noticed ScorchMan's company, "Awww, who's your friend? Hey lil' bun, how's it going?" He seemed utterly unconcerned with his state of undress, making no move to correct it as he set the PET on his nightstand, stretching and sighing explosively.

"My seeing-eye human," ScorchMan deadpanned to Prose. Turning to the window, he summed up the last few minutes for Griffin's benefit, "This is Prose, I met her on the mission BBS last night. She's gonna help me track down that spider-beast we fought, so I'll probably be yelling for Battlechips in a little bit." While Griffin hummed his understanding (and stretched a little more), ScorchMan turned back to not-quite-face Prose. "On that note, how did you want to go about this? The Myriad virus melted its way underground, so I was thinking I'd open the floor up and see if its escape route is still there. That's, uh, assuming you're fireproof; otherwise, I'm open to suggestions." It was hard to tell from the impression he got of Prose what element she might be, but the way she shone he wouldn't be surprised if she turned out to be a Fire-element like him. His furnace flared a little in anticipation, flames flickering across his chest.
Unseen by ScorchMan, a slight grin flickered across his patron's expression as the view screen came up; her eyebrows arched and she tilted her head a little, taking in the view.

“Hellloooo Sailor...” Her tongue played briefly over the tip of one of her small, pointed teeth before she caught herself. A short giggle escaped her before Prose cleared her throat softly, though she was still grinning.

“Ah... ahem... aaaanyway... I've been doing a quick reconstruction...” she made a gesture with one hand, moving fingertips to the centre of her chest before casting them out in a circle that threw slim blue tracers and wire-frames over the surrounding space; a red dot marked as the Myriad virus ScorchMan had fought moved thought the fight swiftly, before crawling away to burrow into the ground near her feet, as it had before. She looked up to him, thinking, then traced her fingertips through the air in front of her again, subtly changing the reconstruction. “I'm guessing if Mr. February there is your eyes, then you can't see normally like that? I can change this up if you use something else... If you can read the data space, I can do it in ray trace... or... Infra-red? Straight up therm-optic? What d'you need?” If ScorchMan had a preference, that worked, the bunny girl was quick to reconfigure her reconstruction to one he could read, but else-wise it was still easy enough for Griffin to make sense of and relay. She stood back, looking at the spot where the virus had vanished again then back to ScorchMan with hand on her hip and her head tilted.

“We can talk about how we're going to take care of this in a minute... First, I need you to fill me in. What actually happened, because, you know, these things don't come up to the normal nets on their own. So come on... What were you really doing?” She swayed back and forth with a playful smirk and a teasing cadence to her question. “Like I said, you're not in trouble, and I don't work for the GNA or any of the post net-war factions or anything like that. I'm not even really supposed to spend a lot of time around individual net navigators directly, but this needs cleaning up... and I've got holiday deliveries to get to soon enough, so the quicker we sort it out, the better.” She folded her arms, awaiting an answer, but despite the seriousness of the words, she still seemed upbeat and friendly – there wasn't any hint of recrimination or threat in her questioning, just curiosity, it seemed.

Around them the recovered network went on unperturbed and peaceful; a warm breeze whistling through the nearby fields, tall structures in the distance, glittering slightly in the sun, and a clear sky overhead; it was vaguely at odds with ScorchMan's way of seeing things – and thus the extreme readings the woman's small form was displaying – not actual heat, but simply density of code and volume of raw energy circling within. Prose bounced on her toes, letting her hands slip behind her back instead.