McAllister pushed open the door to the coffee house and glanced around the moderate sized room. The lighting was dim, with shades purposely pulled over the windows and the electric lights set on a dimmer. Soft music was playing over the loudspeakers and most of the patrons were engaged in polite conversation with their companions while nursing steaming cups of various coffee beverages. It was a pleasant atmosphere, though not the kind of place that Mac frequented. Still, it had easy Net access along with beverages and pastries. It would serve his purposes.

He wandered over to the closest empty table and sat his laptop down on the smooth, brown surface. He slipped off his overcoat and draped it over the back of the chair closest to the one he had chosen for himself. He pulled the chair out and took a seat, lifting the screen of his laptop and switching it on. The screen flickered to life, casting a bluish glow over Mac's face. He took off his fedora and sat it in the chair next to his overcoat.

McAllister glanced up as a waitress sauntered over to him. She was a cute girl, most likely in her late teens, with curly brown hair and warm, chocolate eyes. She was wearing an outfit that made her look like a cross between a maid and a teeny-bopper, complete with white apron and short, frilly black skirt. It looked very becoming on her, but it caused Mac to wonder just what kind of coffee shoppe he had wandered into. He smiled back at the girl, a sort of half smirk, half lazy smile that transmitted his thoughts to all who could see.

"H-hello sir," The girl blushed as she stammered and looked down, staring at Mac through her eyelashes. "Welcome to Natalia's. What can I get you?"

"Huh..." Mac was stumped as he had no idea what kind of coffee this placed served. "A cup of joe with a shot of Irish cream and a blueberry muffin please."

He smiled at the girl once more and produced a ten dollar bill from his wallet. He placed it in the girl's hand, instructing her to keep the change with a sly wink and then turned back to the computer in front of him. A sharp dressed Navi in a black suit stood, staring at him disapprovingly. The Navi removed his fedora, setting it on a digital coat rack, and shook his head.

"Really, boss." The Navi smiled despite his disapproval. "Do you really think you should be seducing girls barely old enough to know better?"

"Hah, calm down Jon." Mac laughed. Both the NetOp and the Navi spoke with a distinct Netopian accent. "That girl is older than you think she is. Gotta be atleast eighteen."

"Sixteen actually." Jon said matter-of-factly.

"Oh? And you know this how?"

"This cafe's employment records. They were simple enough to acquire."

"Always the reporter."

"Same to you...If you get your mind off of the girls."

"Heh, alright. Alright....Still, sixteen? Why weren't there girl's like that when I was sixteen?"

"There were, but you didn't have the time to really take advantage of it."

"Like who?"

"Alexis D'Amato for example."

"Alexis? Yeah...She was a looker. Too bad she was so stuck up."

"What do expect in a prep school like that? Anyway, won't you supposed to be doing some work?"

"Sigh, yeah." Mac shook his head to clear it of his reminiscing and punched a few keys on the keyboard. "When's the deadline for this article?"

"Tomorrow. Three o'clock."

"Crap. Well, I'll get to work. However, there is no need for you to stay idle. Feel free to shine your valiant light upon the seedy underbelly of the Net."

"Not so loud, Mac. Secret identities are supposed to remain a secret. But yes...It would be good to take a jaunt through the local Network. Too bad we're stuck in ACDC. The petty criminals in this area are no longer a challenge for a her of my caliber."

"Heh, just jack in and have fun."

"Whatever you say, Mac."