Overheated Family Reunion.

Mark pulled at the collar of his shirt, and readjusted his black vest. He dusted of his pants and paid special attention to his shoes. Looking from from his task to look around, caused him to fall deeper into his dismay and annoyance by his current surroundings. "A family reunion," Mark said while rolling his eyes and leaning back on the bench. "I hate these things so much. Just because my family lives out here in ACDC, doesn't mean I need to care about them. I only live across the ocean!" He pulled up his PET to view the screen, seeing his Navi quietly training in his combat maneuvers and attacks.

Mark watched him train for another few moments before putting the PET back in his pocket. He knew that Trent was listening, just not responding as usual. Training was a standard point for this, direct to the point Navi. Trent was put into this PET for the purpose of data defense. To him, wasting training time was lowering his effectiveness.

Mark relaxed deeper into the bench, off to the side from the rest of the gathering, and thought of what the Navi programmer said to him when he purchased Trent. The words rang through his head, about the Navi being too unstable as a trained solider. He stands out too much from the rest of the squad, and the defects in the programming had become embedded." Trent let a faint smile cross his face as he remembered his thoughts. He even said them quietly to himself as he relaxed. "So, he was discharged for having a personality?" Mark chuckled to himself before standing up and going back into the reunion social space. Mark wasn't a people person, he didn't enjoy spending time around this many people, and often found himself annoyed by hearing old stories of the family, or of himself.

He moved quickly and quietly over to the table with the food, and rapidly grabbed a plate from the stack, and piled his favorite foods on, before quickly ducking back out of the area. That was the plan at least.

"It is sad indeed, Bard was such a good Navi for battling, I'm definitely going to miss that." This perked Mark's interest. He never knew that another member of his family was a netbattler, let along even used their navi for anything more than mindless pointless clean up tasks they were too lazy or computer illiterate to figure out themselves. He walked towards the source of the voice, seeing a very tall a wide boy come into his view. He wasn't really a boy, merely a good number of years younger than himself in age. The boy was holding a white PET with musical notes across it.

"I'm going to just sell the parts for battling on the internet, and gain some extra cash that way, help get me back into college."

Mark sat down next to the much larger man, and held out his hand to introduce himself. "I'm Mark Kerf, I think we're cousins. I haven't see you at the reunions before," He started before the other boy cut him off with an abrupt and rough hand shake, his giant hand easily consuming Mark's.

"Leo," He responded simply. The conversation stood stale for a moment, with an awkward silence around the table before Mark pulled out Trent's PET. Leo's eyes lit up from the encounter and quickly excused himself from the conversation he was engaged in. The two moved away from the reunion and sat back down on the bench that Mark was on earlier. Leo held out his hand and asked quietly for the PET. Mark handed it over and watched as the overweight, oversized boy started to check everything about the PET. The Navi, the programming, the history of the device. "Why do you have a military Navi?" Leo asked quickly upon inspection.

"He is considered, by the military, to have a defect in his programming. He has a personality, and is considered to unstable to be used for squad combat. Basically, he won't take orders from the same operator as the rest of the army."

Leo nodded in agreement and then pulled out his own PET. The pattern on it was simple, but beautiful, and Mark felt almost as though he were looking upon a very important and carefully crafted device. Leo gripped the PET firmly, yet gentle. "This is my Navi, Bard."

Leo started into a long story about his college days, and about how he lost his chances as a netbattler and as a computer programmed due to various events over the course of his college career. All the while, Mark was thinking to himself about the upgrades, and about his opinions on the boy. At the end of the story, Leo held out a small package of chips and disks and told Mark to take them. They were Bard's upgrades. His jaw dropped. "Why are you giving all these upgrades and chips to me?"

"I need someone to put them to good use, and I get the feeling that you will do that very well." He placed the package in Marks lap and said, "I would be happy to upgrade your Navi." Mark quickly agreed. Leo disappeared for a moment, to return with a small compact computer. He hooked up Trent to the computer and asked Mark about his battling experience.

Mark was taken back by the question. "It has been a long while." Mark started sadly. "My last Navi was gaining local netbattling fame, and a enemy Navi used dirty underhand tactics to plant a track in my Navi. Later, I found my PET hacked, with the Navi Deleted, and the info gone. I had a shell of a PET after that."

Leo nodded in understanding and said, "That makes sense as to why you have the military Navi then. Protection." Mark nodded slowly.

Before Mark knew it, the PET was upgraded, the process attacks programmed, and the PET back safely in his hands. He still couldn't believe that this was true. A Random cousin from his family reunion, just gave him the leg up he needed to start netbattling for money again. He didn't know. He fumbled over "thank yous" and "I can't believe this". As he looked down to look at his PET Leo said to take good care of all the upgrades, and then quietly slipped away as Mark inspected Trent.
"How do you feel?" Mark asked excited.

"A lot better. A lot different. Stronger."

Mark nodded happily, and thought about the battle and defense tactics of Trent that he was given as he got him. "Lets go get you some proper upgrades for your battle style, then get you into the fray and test you out! We are in business buddy!" Mark skipped excitedly off to the nearby Science labs store, while Trent tested his new upgrades with training drills.
Mark headed back to the family reunion quickly, in order to catch up to Leo to get help with the programming side of the process upgrades, the powerUPs, and the Buster effect. Leo was more than happy to help him, calmly explaining the way things were done effectively and quickly. Trent was in standby mode as the upgrades were added, and Bard provided a nice calm musical background as the two spoke. "More often than not, the process upgrades simply need to be installed, and the Navi will have a faster processing speed, allowing strong attacks to be made throughout the battle. The two of you just need to talk it out over what combos or attack moves would be good. Operating, in my personal opinion, isn't something that just you are doing. The nevi is operating just as much as you are fighting." Leo never moved his eyes from the screen as he said this.

Mark thought about the words, and let them sink in, but he didn't fully understand. 'Must be something very deep to him.' Mark thought as he listened to Leo. During the final parts of the upgrade of Trent, Mark would ask questions, trying to make sure he had a full grasp on how to upgrade Trent. "I've operated before," Mark said calmly towards the end of the conversation and explanation or upgrades. "My other navi got infected, deleted, and the PET's info was stolen."

Leo paused and thought for a moment before saying, "This isn't shocking to me. Many Operators and Navi's out there are assholes. I've run into a few, befriended a few. They aren't a good thing."

Mark nodded in agreement. He lowered his head briefly and thought about his old Navi, his old bond, and his grudges. With Trent, he could get the people who did this back, along with stopping other people from being terrible in the netways. He raised his head and looked at the sky for a moment and finished his thought processing on the note of, would he be able to develop a strong enough bond with his new navi. He looked back to Leo, whose eyes had never left the screen, and said, "Yeah they aren't." Mark paid close attention to the final updates, but mostly has his eyes locked on the gray screen of his navi, waiting for Trent to be ready for the netways. "Bard provides a very smooth musical background to this all. Much better than the chatter of the older people of our family."

Leo laughed and said, "She enjoy the compliments, no doubt." Just as the song Bard was playing finished, Trent's PET dinged and the screen lit up. The upgrades were installed. Leo unplugged the PET and handed it back to Mark. "I put a notepad file on the PET with my email info and the passcode to Bard's home page. Talk to me if you need help or advice or anything of the sort. It's Named, Leo and Bard's info." Bard was no longer playing a simple melody, but the song coming from her now was a complex sound of sad music. Leo smiled and walked back into the party.

Mark turned on the PET and Trent was sitting in a large blank space. "Leo also installed a different homepage config system than the one that the PET was setup with before. We have so much more custom options now, we should design a page soon." Trent said in his simple and blunt voice. "I agree with you," Mark said. "We should do that. Leo gave us his email in a notepad file, will you add that to my contacts for me while I get the PET connected to the network to get you in. What do you say we try out this new upgrades and battle tactics?"

"Sounds great. I haven't felt like this before, I want to see what I can do now on the netways. Also, I need something other than the basic training programs If I'm to be a defender of your PET," Trent said while opening the file.

"More than just of the PET, but of the networks," Mark said quietly, but loud enough for Trent to hear. Trent had no reaction to this other than showing he was thinking on what Mark meant by those words. Trent was showing his analytical side here. As soon as He was done adding Bard and Leo's info to the PET, He was being connected to the Netways.

"Lets send you to Internet City. From there Hop into the Yumland Portal, Lets start there."

{Jack into Internet city. Portal to Yumland}
Mark waited for the jackout bar to finish crossing the screen before he removed the PET from his laptop and back it all up into his backpack. Throwing the PET over his shoulder, connecting his headphones to his PET and putting them in his ears, and turning on his music were the first steps to prepare him to leave. The headphones he choose had a microphone attached to them so he could talk to Trent while walking. He looked at the PET screen. Trent was currently wrapping some of his wounds and more heavily damaged areas, with the tactical belt lying on the ground beside him.

Mark let him be for the moment, as he walked over to Leo. Leo was one of the few people left, and he made eye contact with Mark the moment movement started to register from Mark's previously stationary location. Mark walked to Leo, and around his chest level when they were both standing. He looked up to match eyes with Leo and said, "Thanks for everything, man." He awkwardly shifted his weight and realigned everything to his left hand so he could extend his right for a handshake. Leo returned the gesture with a smile and said, "Don't lose your focus. Trent needs to be and extension of yourself. Learn him."

Mark wasn't fully sure what that meant, or how he and Trent could interact in that way. Unlike Bard, Trent wasn't made by the operator or made in a special way. "Trent and I will do well. I plan to have him be a protection force I couldn't be. Something strong that I can't be, something useful." The words said had a strong emotional and historical tie in to them, something that was hard for Leo to overlook. He let it slide as Mark slowly started to walk away. "I'll be in touch. Thanks for the email and the homepage password. I need to make a better one for Trent, maybe you could help me with that," Mark said as he was starting to leave. Leo nodded in agreement as he put his headphones in as well, to listen to the melodies and styling of Bard. A very happy smile passed over his face as the music entered his ears.

Mark was taken back by the strong connection the two had. He wondered how Trent and him could get to that level. He pulled out the PET again to look at Trent, who was done patching up his wounds and was laying, all bandaged up, on his cot. "How did that feel?" Mark asked.

"Outstanding!" Trent responded in a very strong voice. "I haven't done that in forever! That final fight with Runi, dat was good. Very good." He pulled his hands behind his head as he thought about it, and thought about all the data gathered. "However, I was rather effected by the terrain on the net. The training grounds and the other places I have been were all the same. Can we fix this?"

Mark thought for a second and said, "I'm pretty sure we can. I think I saw something like that in the Navi store, back in the labs. Lets head back there before we head back out to go home."

{to the store}
Mark stepped off the train, with his PET attached to his hip and a pair of headphones running from them. Earplugs in, and microphone connected to his shirt he spoke to Trent. "We don't really have enough for the upgrades that we want to buy. You're a very process upgrades short of what you can max at, maybe that would be something to look into, just as a small booster. You're doing good Trent, but upon seeing what some other custom Navi's are doing I feel you can be better. Understand?"

"Understood," Trent's voice rang out as a small projection of his floating at Mark's hip. He was walking, as if alongside Mark. He was walking with his arms crossed, in his normal GMO, with a hand resting on the hilt of a knife. "I want to go to another network. I need more training before we look into recruitment. I'm not ready."

Mark couldn't deny, even though he knew that Trent was getting ready and getting better quicker. He also knew however, that if he was ever to go after a navi like SINN, how would he even manage to take him? Mark thought hard on this. The process systems of others would be harsh, even more so when hunting rogue navis, who can only use their processes.

"Lets head over to the chip shop and drop some of these lower chips you never use. We don't need them. Then lets build up our library some, maybe work on getting your attack dog and training him some. We have a bit to go before we try the Netpolice." Mark said.

"Sounds good."

Mark walked towards the chip store, heading to the chip trader. A few simple glances were passed down to Trent, who was still walking next to him. He had come a way since he was a simple security navi, but he had a while before he was what either of them wanted.

{Chip Store}