The Beginning

Alexia was sitting in her beanbag chair, listening to her mp3 player. She stared out the window and looked toward the dark greyish layer clouds in the sky. She skipped forward at random on her player, until she reached 'For Miles' by Thrice. "Ahh," Alexia said to herself, "The perfect song for the perfect mood." It was about 7:30pm, and the sun was setting behind the hills. The sun gave a strange vibrant red glow at the very top of the hill. Alexia stared at the hill as if it were a alien or something. Not taking her eyes off it for a second. "Wow....," she whispered.

"Hey, Stryder. Check out the sunset." A faint voice was heard, but was muffled. It then became louder. "Well, it's kind of hard to see a sunset from between your hands," Stryder said. Alexia snapped back to reality from the sunset. "Ohh my, I'm sorry. Here, let me sit you up in my window." Alexia reached down, grabbed her PET, and placed it in her window leaning against the edge. "Wow, it's really pretty," Stryder said. Soon, Stryder found herself staring at the sunset, just as Alexia was. It seemed like they were staring for hours. The song suddenly became louder, as the sun slowly sank behind the hills. "Wow....," they both whispered in unison, not noticing the other had said the same thing....
*About 20 songs later*

The sun was just barely visible beyond the horizon. The whole sky changed to a mix of dark red, purple and orange. The clouds became darkened, and appeared to be black. "This reminds me of a dream I had once," Alexia said. "Dream? What's a dream?" Stryder asked. "Well Stryder, a dream is something you see in your sleep, or resting for a while," Alexia replied, with a small chuckle. "Ohh," Styder answered in amazement, "Like when you put me into Standby or Sleep mode. But I've never had a dream before. Could you help me have a dream of my own Alexia?" Alexia got out of her beanbag chair, and picked up her PET. "Sure, ok," Alexia said, as shut her window and headed towards her front door. She put on her visor and grabbed her keys. "I'll tell you all about dreams too. Lets go for a walk." Alexia looked at Stryder as she opened the door. Stryders eyes were gleaming with happiness, eager to have her first dream. Alexia shut her eyes, and gave Stryder a big smile as she shut the door.
Alexia stepped inside her house, feeling extremely exhausted. Without hesitation, she immediately headed for her bed and threw herself onto it. Just before falling asleep, she propped her PET up on a nearby table. "*sigh* Stryder...You can rest now...finally."
The next day, Alexia was awakened by a bright light. The sun was beaming through hr window shining directly in her face. "Mmmm...4 hours of sleep. Heh, never felt better," Alexia says in a sort of groggy tone. She looked around her room, as if she were lost and had never been here before. ]"Alexia!! Alexia!! I have to tell you something!!," Stryder shouts. Alexia becomes startled and nearly falls off of her bed. "Ahhh!! Ohh, it's you Stryder. What is it?"

"Ok. Remember yesterday when you were talking to me about....ummm...what was it called? A 'dream' I think?""Yes! That's right. Hmm, so you think you had a dream?" "Mmhmm. I had no idea what it was at first. Then I thought about what you said yesterday. Thats when I remembered." Stryders' eyes were as wide as pools from all the excitement. Alexia was overjoyed to hear that Stryder had experienced her first dream. She reached over with her arm, grabbed her PET, and held it close to her while laying on her bed. "Well, out with it. What exactly did you dream about?"

"Ok. Do you remember that anime we watched a few days ago? Ghost in the Shell:2nd Gig? "Yeah." "That's what my dream was all about. Kusanagi had just recruited you to the team, because you had a special 'gadget'. That gadget was your PET, only it didn't really have a name in my dream." Alexia sat herself up suddenly, sitting on the very edge of her bed. "Ahhh, I see. Ghost in the Shell huh? I guess you like that show a lot." "Yup. It's one of my favorites." "Haha. I figured so. As long as theres action in it somewhere, you'll watch it no matter what." "Hahahaha, thats me all right."

About thirty minutes later, Alexia got herself dressed, and grabbed her MP3 player. With her PET in hand, Alexia readjusted her white visor. Stryder couldn't help but notice Alexias' shiny silver earring.
"Hey Alexia. Whats that earring of yours for? I don't think I've ever seen you take it off ever." Alexia smiled at Stryder, closing her eyes and tilting her head a little. "This? It's a hierloom that I got from my Grandpa. He was in the military before he...died." "Ohhh, I'm sorry," Stryder said, in low tone. "No, its ok. It doesnt bother me. Anyway, he used to be in the military. A Special Ops Task Force to be exact. He'd always send me mail with a few of 'Murphy's Combat Laws' on them. The last time he spoke to me before he passed away, Grandpa handed me this earring and said,"

Alexia, I know that besides me, noone loves firearms more than you. Heh heh. But listen. If you ever need me and I can't be there with you, I want you to hold this in your hand, squeeze it tightly, and think of me. When I'm gone and your out on your own, Netbattling/Virus busting and whatnot, I want you to always remember these. Remember them, and you'll never go wrong:

1.'Friendly fire - isn't.
Recoilless rifles - aren't.
Suppressive fires - won't.'

2.'The enemy diversion you're ignoring is their main attack.'

All the while, Stryder thought about what her grandpa had said. Hmm, he sounds very wise in my opinion. Alexia nodded as she walked over to her computer, to jack in Stryder for some virus busting. She made a fist, and held it to her mouth as if she were posing. Indeed he was. Hey, how about some virus busting, Stryder? If you want, I'll tell you all about my grandpa and 'Muphy's Combat Laws'. "That'd be great, Alexia. Huh?! Wait a sec! You mean theres more to Muprhys Combat Laws? Ohh please say yes. They all sound like they'd make for some great tactics for virus busting too."

"Thats exactly what I was thinking Stryder. So how 'bout we give this a shot, huh? Stryder, jack-in!!"
They had only been in ACDC Net for about 20 minutes. Stryder had just jacked out Stryder only to hear her moaning in pain. "*gasp* Stryder!! Is something wrong?" "Ugghh....yeah. My hurts...and I keep...getting...thoughts...Ahhhh!!" "Thoughts? Thoughts of who? Thoughts of what?" "...Zeig...Hart........Uugghhh....."

Alexia's PET had shut off. All that she could tell, was that Stryder was in enormous pain and thinking about someone. Alexia spent all night trying to think who it could be that Stryder was thinking of. "Is it someone I've seen before? Voltman....Ohzo...Alexander...?! No, it can't be them, nothing seems 'strange' about them. Hmm..." Alexia threw herself backwards onto her bed, laying face up. She peered over at her PET to check if Stryder was ok. The screen was as dark as the night. As she lay on her bed, Alexia buried her face into her pillow, and silently wept. "Stryder....please...please be ok. Who or what ever it is your thinking of...don't let it get the better of you..."
(The next day)

It was around 11:37am. Sunlight could be seen piercing through the thick, grey clouds in the air, making their way into Alexia's window, and shining straight on Stryder. As time passed, the clouds began to move, and 'bend' the sunlight. Alexia was suddenly awakened by tiny beams of sunlight, rolling across her eyelids. "Mmmm....morning already? I wonder how-" "Alexia!!!!" Startled by Stryder's voice, Alexia rolls over her bed, and quickly grabs her PET.

"Alexia. I'm feeling better now." "Ohhh, Stryder. I was soo worried about you. Do you know what happened to you?" "Yeah, I think I remember everything." Stryder put her hands together on the screen in a particular manner, so that Alexia would notice her left arm. "!!!! Stryder!! Your SMG! Wha...What happened?" "A few years ago, before we first met, I befriended one of my navi friends' operator. His name was Zieghart. 'Zieg' was the person resonsible for me liking music in the first place. He had a real talent for playing guitar too. But anyway, one night, I wanted him to help build my own guitar. The reason I wanted a guitar, was because it's always been my dream to perform with him at local clubs as a duo. One night, we caught a chance to do just that. But, on that same night, Zieghart was murdered. The last thing I remember him saying was this:

'Always remember Stryder. Play from your heart, and you won't need lyrics. Play from your heart, and you'll always play a great song. Keep me in your heart, and I'll never leave your side. Remember...Stryder...'

"Ohhh, I see. Im sorry to hear that. It feels like he had strong feelings for you. And you had feeligns for him too." "Not only that, but I feel as if we were one in the same. We both wrote our own music. And once I learned to play guitar, I could play complicated pieces just as good as him. We shared a burning passion for music. Especially the guitar."

"Soo...what happened to your buster?" Stryder cleared her throat, and sighed. "I still have my buster...but its not an SMG anymore. In fact...It's..." Stryder pulls a long stringed object from her back. "No way...Is mean.....but that's..." Stryder began playing an impressively long piece of music on her guitar. "Yes. Its 'Zieghart'. The very same guitar that we built together." Alexia's jaw was wide open, and her eyes were as big as craters. "No way!! You mean 'the' Zieghart. Made by the insane guitar god Zieghart himself?!?"
Stryder continued to play her song, gradually getting quiter. "Yep. 'The' Zieghart. The Zieghart that constantly refused to join that retarded band, Xepher. I could sense it from the moment he told me about them. The only reason they wanted him to join was to build them their own guitars. They didn't even bother to listen to his incredible music. Zeig said himself, that he didn't want the kind of public attention that came with bands like that. All Zieghart wanted, were the fans he grew up with, and that looked up to him. With the majority of them being locals." Alexia absorbed all that Stryder said about Zieghart, and thought for a moment. "Wow. Seems to me, that Zieg saw right through that band. Thats really cool of him to play only for locals. Kind of interesting. I bet when he played, there were hundreds or even thousands of fans cheering him on." Stryder nodded, as she turned off the effects on the guitar. "Yeah...Zieghart was loved by everyone. Hated by none, except Xepher maybe...ahhh, enough of this history lesson. Anyway, thats pretty much all about my past life. Ya know, I've been dying to try this thing out, and see if I can still rip like I did back then."

Alexia, feeling a little worried about Stryders new 'power', picked up her PET and looked Stryder in the eyes. "Stryder...Im going to log you back into ACDC Net. But promise me, you'll remember something, ok?" "Uhh, sure. What is it?" Alexia clears her throat. "Play from your heart, and you won't need lyrics. Play from your heart, and you'll always play a great song. Keep, Zieghart and myself in your heart, and we'll never leave your side." Stryder glanced back at Alexia for a few moments before shutting her eyes tight, as she whispered, "From the heart....Alexia....Zieg....I understand. Lets go Alexia." Alexia gives Stryder a thumbs up, and winks, as she jacks into ACDC Net once again.
Alexia calmy walked inside her home, slowly making her way to her beanbag chair. Her facial expresion was that of a zombie...emotionless. Well, at least for the time being. As she threw herself into the beanbag chair, Alexia heard a voice, moaning in slight pain, sounding upset. "Ohhhh.....Owww....Those...wisps....there was just...too many of them..." The voice shook Alexia, snapping her out of her depressive, zombie-like state of mind. Suddenly, the recent event in Sharo had hit her. "Stryder?...Stryder? What....exactly....happened back there?" They were both still a bit shaken by the event. "I....I...I don't really know. Last I remember, myself,Junior,Pianissimo,Nachamen,and Volt were in Sharo...investigating reports of strange happenings and virii in the area....all fighting together. The next thing I know, those....wisps...Ughhh....were jumping from one navi to a game of hopskotch. There was just...too many I guess. I suddenly froze, and didn't know what to do."

Alexia sighed for a moment. "Yeah, I could kind of understand where your coming from. Those wisps began overwhelming the group. And now that you mention it, I froze up myself. I couldn't stand losing you, and didn't know what to do.....*sigh* least your here....and alright, aren't you?" Stryder laughed under her breath, trying to mask her pain. "Yeah, I'm alright. How about you, Alexia?" "I'm ok as well. Lets both rest for a while. And later, if you want, we can go virus busting some more. Ok?" "Agreed. We could both definitely use the rest right now."

As Alexia lay on her bed, snoring with the pillow over her face, Stryder could hear her mumbling something in her sleep. "....Cannon...chips...Vulcan...Got to.....find...others........" " tired as she is, Alexia just cant quit virus busting. Even in her sleep it seems." As Stryder put herself to sleep, a familiar voice constantly ran through her head. "You've got to concentrate on recovering....concntrate...concentrate.....Styder......Stryder!!!!"
About 5 hours later, after fully recovering, Stryder awakened with a slight ringing noise in her ears. "Rrrr....that voice.....I can't quite figure out whos it is...." "Ohh? Your awake now?" Alexia said, as she rolled out of her bed. "Yeah, I'm up.......up and ready for some action. How about you,Alexia?" Alexia sat herself up straight on her bed, running her fingers through her hair, and then fastening her boots. "You don't how long I've been waiting for you to say that, do you?" " But who cares, lets go. I feel a random spaz attack coming soon." Alexia laughed, as she picked up her PET. "A spaz attack!?!? Ohh, I've gotta see this. Lets go!" Alexia then logged into ACDC net.