A humbled beginning?

An announcement chime sounds.

Female Voice: "Now arriving at ACDC Metroline Station. Please...."

The words start to fade from Jared's hearing as he tuned them out and began to think about why he was here. A year ago, he had been given the opportunity to work as a technician for major corporation in Netopia, his home country. He had completed his assigned tasks, but found himself becoming bored.

(...the doors on the train open, and Jared steps out with his jacket slung over one shoulder like a cape, still lost in thought...)

The work was becoming too easy... It had gotten to the point that he was finishing a day's worth of work in a few hours using programs and protocols he'd designed and written himself to make his job easier. He eventually began to look for other things to do... something more satisfying than pushing paper and maintaining small network servers. That's when he found a job offer at Sci-Lab. And...


...now he was going {!!} *insert single vynl scratch noise here*

Jared's thoughts are suddenly halted as his jacket is ripped from his shoulder and carried off by the train. (He'd let the tip of the cuff of one of his jacket's sleeves get caught in the door without knowing it.)

Jared: (very surprised expression) "What the...?"

An audible crunch can be heard when his jacket hits the mouth of the tunnel the train is rapidly dissapearing into. That crunch was his PET being smashed into countless tiny pieces.

Jared, who is somewhat upset at this point, yells at the top of his lungs: "NO WAY!"

The train, of course, takes his jacket.

Jared closes his eyes, tilts his head forward, and sighs in resignation: "Unbeleivable."


Later, after purchasing an empty red PET and 2 matched Backup Data disks from a used PET shop with the last of his Zenny, Jared is sitting on a bench in ACDC Park booting up the PET for the 3rd time.... it had crashed twice already afterall.... This time he managed to get the system stabilized with some creative coding patches, some luck, and a good ol' fashioned whack.

Finally, the PET finished booting, and immediately displayed a prompt asking for new Navi Data. Jared inserted one of the Backups, and told it to load.... It finished the process, and the screen abruptly shifted to display his new Navi... Who happens to be a lady? Jared's facial expression quickly shifted to one of bemusement. All the new Navi did was stare right back at him and arch an eye-brow at him in a silent 'do you have a problem?'

Jared leans back and says: "Well, this is another unexpected turn of events."

The Navi simply stares back at him coldly, and declines to reply.

Jared, smiling now: "You were supposed to be a Normal Navi, but I guess the shop keeper made a major mistake in my favor."

The Navi crosses her arms and continues to stare at Jared coldly, but speaks up for the first time in a calm voice: "I wouldn't bet any Zenny on that."

Jared replies in a thoughtful tone: "Well, I don't much care one way or the other. I'd also guess you're just as happy to be gone from there as I am to have a Navi at all right now."

Her expression softens for a moment while she considers his words...

Jared continues: "Weeeeeell.... at any rate, I figure we'll be working together for a while, so I'll introduce myself. The name's Jared Travis Farnam and y--"

Jared is suddenly, and unexpectedly interrupted by the Navi, who replaies with but a single word: "--Winter."

This catches him off-guard for a second, but he recovers after registering that she'd said her name, and not just some random word. He smiles and continues speaking after a moment: "Pleased to make your acquaintance, Winter. So, I'm kinda new here, and I'll be needing to find my home in this unfamiliar city. Do you feel up for a quick run through to net to find me a map that will get us there?"

Winter.EXE: "If it will give me an excuse to get out of this old beat-up PET for a while, I'll be more than happy to find you your map."

Jared: "Well, that settles it then--"

He's interrupted by Winter.EXE once again: "You're going to have to jack-in the old fashioned way. The Link Drivers are too corrupted to allow for wireless data transmission."

Jared is completely unfazed by this news: "That's ok. So long as it works, I'm not too picky about how..."

His voice begins to trail off as he stands up and walks over to an old-fashioned jack-in port imbedded in one of the statues in the park. "Here goes."

Jared jacks Winter.EXE into the NET....
Jared jacks Winter out of the Net with a sigh of releif.

Jared begins walking away from the statue... "Well, I'd say you've earned a little rest." he says with a lazy grin.

Winter raised one eyebrow... "I didn't get the information you sent me for. So--"

Jared interrupts "--So, instead you blew away a half-dozen Netopian viruses and helped take down two Heel Navis... All the while you only acted to save your allies..." Winter makes as if to speak, but is quickly blocked by Jared, who starts to needle her about it... "Aaaaaaatt.... C'mon now, you've got to admint you need time to recharge."

Winter pretends to consider his words while she takes note of the fact that Jared was not simply walking aimlessly... Aye. If I may ask, where are we headed now? Jared responds in an easygoing tone "We're going to Sci-Lab.... I hear there's someone by the name of Suitachi that runs a Navi Shop there." Winter responds "When did you find this out?" "Ohh... right about the time you got medieval on the first Heel Navi." "What?" "I was serfing the net the old-fashioned way, with a crude browser program I slapped together.".....

The two continue chatting on their way to the metroline station that would take them to Sci-Lab, totally unaware that they were being shadowed...

((To Sci-Lab))