((From => A Familiar Park))

An arching walkway between two high-rise structures formed a small outlook over the grounds below, somewhere in the sprawling tech-dense scilab networks. It was evening here, and the light hadn't quite faded yet, but already the other network lights were taking over the task of illumination as night approached. Scilab was another network that never really slept, but it did slow down a bit at night and the overlook was otherwise empty as a slim beam of yellow light found its mark near the railing and delivered a pulse of energy that soon coalesced into the form of a young girl before fading.

Lyntael let out a soft breath and looked around as her vision cleared, then stepped forward other railing, casting hr eyes over the maze-like sprawl below. The walkway she'd arrived at was high up, but plenty of network structures rose even further above as well, and Lyntael began to wander as her mind drifted. Why had she come here? This was where she'd met Martia. A memory of the other woman flitted through her thoughts; confident, capable and strong. It had been the first time she'd ever ended up in serious combat, with someone else with her. A small shake of her head came unconsciously as Lyntael turned off the walkway and began to climb a winding ramp that tracked along the side of one building, heading up to some larger structure above.

Martia had been friendly and kind, and she'd more or less protected her entirely on that first encounter. She'd wanted to be more like her; she'd been so useless herself, chasing after Rogan's net dive in a panic and barely able to defend herself along the way. Martia had shown her just how big the difference was between herself and other navigators, but she'd tried to hard to be supportive about it all the same.

As she walked, the path led up to what looked like some sort of air-cycling plant, or substation – the rooftop of the building housed a dozen large, slowly turning spiral turbines that seemed to draw the air rapidly between the nearby buildings and push it onward in other directions. At the base of the massive structures, the breeze was strong, and Lyntael closed her eyes for a moment, letting it ruffle her clothes and her hair.

Martia had even stayed when she'd admitted the nature of what they'd been doing, and together they'd found what Rogan was looking for. The memories felt vague, and a little fuzzy at the edges. Mostly, she remembered Martia doing all the fighting while she cowered and tried not to get hurt... and ultimately failing very badly at that, while they tried to save the poor navi that they'd managed to rescue from the sealed data space. Six, she thought his name had been. She hoped he was doing alright now too. The girl opened her eyes then lifted one hand to look at it. She embraced her charge and let it build, rising up through her body until her skin hummed, and watched as sparks crackled between her fingers for a few moments. She was stronger now; more sure. More dangerous. Would Martia be proud of her, maybe? She hoped so. After another moment, Lyntael took a breath and held it, riding the pulse of her charge and letting it fade again until the crackling stopped. It would be nice, to show her how far she'd come.

Lyntael crossed the deck of wind turbines and found a slim escalator on the far side, running back toward ground level. With a small jump, she skipped up onto on of the side rails, standing on one foot and leaving the other to drift free while she spread her arms out to each side; the far side of the rail was drop of a dozen floors of more, and she watched the distance slowly decrease as the escalator moved her downward. What was Martia doing these days, her mind wondered. They'd had such an adventure, and she'd felt like they'd made really very fast friends by the end of it... but...

The escalator ended at another short landing and walkways that crossed over to another lab-building, still a few floors off the ground and Lyntael crossed it to find a security-locked door that was closed off. It blinked red lights at her when she pushed on the bar, and didn't yield. Lyntael sighed and returned to lean on the rail halfway across the walk, looking out at the thick clouds gathering in the evening sky.

But... she hadn't been able to keep that friend, it seemed. They'd emailed a few times, but then... the messages had just stopped. Martia stopped writing back, and she'd never gotten another answer. People always said that navigators bonded quickly, compared to humans, but no-one ever mentioned that hey seemed to move on just as quickly too. Maybe that was normal... or maybe it was just her? It wasn't like she wasn't doing her best. Her eyes traced upwards, to where numerous beads of light zipped back and forth between different parts of the network and she watched the flow of information rushing back and forth in silence for a few more minutes.

In her mind, she felt the sensation as though other unpleasant things had happened here, but nothing came to mind directly and she put the sensation down to the lingering melancholy that now pervaded the evening she'd intended for fun. There was nothing important for her here either, any more. After another moment, she began the climb back towards her entry point.

((To => Further Wandering))