Day on the Town

A long happy sigh came from Joan as she folded her arms behind her head, ignoring the looks she go t from other people as she ascended the steps into sunlight. She'd bought a subway ticket after reading the "It's so nice to get somewhere with trees and space."

"Preeeetty sure DenCity has trees." Rayner drawled, his voice rising from the PET that shifted against Joan's chest as she walked. Rayner was perfectly fine with his position, even though the PET was facing outwards.

"Hush, those are little trees, barely shrubs. What's the point of planting trees if they get chopped off at ten feet? That's hardly productive." Joan was strolling down the street in her lazy day jeans and a rather colorful t-shirt. It was, for what felt like the first time in forever, her day off from both class and work and she was very content to spend the day outdoors doing nothing at all.

"No tangled power lines for one." Rayner frowned a bit in his PET. He was well aware Joan had been feeling stressed about work and school and general adapting to the city blues, but she had things she needed to get up to speed on. Net things involving virus busting and making a homepage and general operating skills that were almost second nature for anyone in this day and age. Maybe he could...aha. A quick search brought up the perfect tool and a devious grin spread across his face. "Hey, there's a park with a picturesque squirrel statue up ahead, you should go check it out."

"Oh? Where'm I walking? " Joan perked up immediately. Parks still weren't acres and acres of pasture, but they were better than alleyways and yards she couldn't go into anyways. She had faith in Rayner as a Navigator, in both senses of the word, so she didn't argue. He'd found her some neat picture spots to send back home before. "Why would a squirrel statue be notable?"

"Go straight three intersections and turn left from there." Rayner sounded slightly distracted as he pulled up a small virtual screen to go next to the map he already had in front of him. He began typing away on his little virtual keyboard and pulled up the information on the statue. "Its famous among residents for being pink and...apparently super cute? It'll show you're getting around just fine at least. You haven't sent home a new photo yet. Also it looks like it has a jack in port, what good fortune!

"Oh, I see." Joan's voice sounded pretty short to her Navi as she dropped her arms to her sides. She knew why he was directing her this way. "This is one of the few full days off I get and you want me to waste it on the Net."

"Don't get mad now, you always grump that being hooked into the Net normally necessitates being inside. Well its a beautiful day and the weather should hold steady. You can hang out outside and learn about the Net at the same time. You can even hook up those headphones in your purse to the PET. Win-win!" He declared with a far too optimistic tone for his operator's liking. Joan still had a rather stormy look on her face but she bounced the purse on her hip.

"Alright, we're almost there might as well do it."

"Good! About time you got some real experience under your belt. The ACDC Net is super easy, no sweat. Plus there's a chip shop where we can spend our winnings." A loud cackling arose from the PET as the skull-masked Navi rubbed his hands together, his eyes gaining an almost evilish tint. Joan blushed and dropped her gaze a bit, noticing some people were eyeing her. Granted, most of the looks seemed to be amused but still.

"Shh, you're embarrassing me." She dug in her purse as she walked across the park to the statue and finally pulled out a pair of ear buds she swiftly connected to the PET before slipping it into her own ears.

"Pfft, you're not fun in public." There was a grin of encouragement as Joan lifted the PET to deliver a quick scowl. Still, she'd go along with this scheme. No point putting it off much longer. She glanced around and seemed satisfied that for the moment no one was really in her vicinity then turned back to the statue.

"Jack in! Rayner.EXE!"

(To Ze Net!)
Joan yawned and stretched out as Rayner reappeared in the PET. She placed her hands on her lower back and allowed the PET to flop onto her chest as she bent back, grimacing as she stretched. With a couple blinks and quick shake of her head she straightened up and lifted the PET so the screen was visible again. "Alright, keep an eye on that board and I'll walk around for a bit, okay?"

"Aye aye captain." Rayner gave a sarcastic salute and pulled up a little holographic window in front of him. He paused upon noticing the chip data he'd recovered from the fight was still hanging about in the PET. "Hey are you planning to use a blank chip for this new Cannon or what?"

"Oh! Oh, um, let me see here..." Joan dug into one of the smaller sections of her purse with her free hand and felt around. "I was so stiff I didn't even think about it." An eyebrow appeared on Rayner's mask and promptly raised itself as the Operator slotted in the blank chip.

"Of coooourse not." Joan pouted at the screen before looking up as she wandered around the park some more.

"Hush you. Uh, by the way what was that whole scene with the Rageclaw chip? I thought we couldn't use other chips with it?" She asked, ducking around a tree before stepping onto the sidewalk outside of the park itself.

"Wha-oh, that." Rayner's mask went back to a rather blank expression. He apparently wasn't very thrilled about talking about this. "Its because of the arm. The way it interacts with chips and my buster is... strange. But hey look the mission sender messaged back! We should probably go jack back in and get started." Joan arched an eyebrow at Rayner's obvious reluctance of the subject but let it go, they had a mission to do!

"Alright, I'm jogging back to the statue and then we'll get rocking. I hope it isn't too difficult though."She added in a slightly worried voice. Rayner made a sound reminiscent of someone spraying water from their mouth and laughed.

"Hah! Okay Miss 'oh no my Navi's fallen down and might get attacked '! It was only a small scratch, it didn't even hurt that bad." Joan glowered down at the screen before looking at the path ahead of her again.

"Shut your face, I was...I was being dumb but you don't have to be a brat about it." Rayner just chuckled at the quiet grumbling. Abruptly the forward movement was gone and the pair were in front of the statue once more.

"Jack in, Rayner.EXE!"
Rayner materialized in the PET as a flurry of pixels that scrabbled around in a cloud before rearranging themselves appropriately into the Elec Navi's form. He stretched, reaching both hands above his head and then in front of him before carefully swiveling his head from side to side.The pet had repaired the ring of fluff around his neck, and no trace of soot or any other damage that he had taken could be found on his frame.

"So what are we late for? I thought you had the day off?" Joan sighed and straightened up, stretching out in a similar over head movement. She dropped her hands to the side and promptly began striding away from the statue as hastily as possible. There was a stressed look about her as she hurried to the station.

"I'm sorry, I'm sorry! I forgot I needed to fix the colors on the flyers for the upcoming events! Nalia saved in the wrong formats again. I needs to be done at five!" Rayner sighed crossed his arms over his chest.

"This is a constant thing with her, I don't see why you always have to mop up after her. Not just her either, it seems like half your squad is incapable of doing what they should. You need to get more people who can do their job." The Navigator shook his head and dropped his arm to his sides. "Speaking of I could have warned you that you were getting close on time if I, you know, knew about this." He hinted, one pixellated eyebrow raising for emphasis even though his Operator wasn't looking. Joan grit her teeth and paused impatiently at the crossroads, jogging in place as she waited for the chance to cross and wrote a quick message on the BBS. The station entrance was in sight and she had just enough time if she hurried.

Rayner sighed again, louder this time as he realized an answer wasn't coming. He added his two cents to the post and then sent it on to the BBS as Joan took off at a quick run. His normal hand rose to hold the bottom overhang of his mask. He had been enjoying his busting runs, and given Joan's schedule it might be a while before he got on the Net again. It had been fun meeting Pyre and Condor, even if one of them hadn't stayed for long. Tossing the Urn around had been fun too, and it gave him an idea for something else he'd like to try. Having an object to hide behind was useful, and if you could make one a trap he was sure you could make them do other things as well.

"Oh no..." The Navi was brought out of his plotting by Joan's terrified whisper as she stopped in front of the stairs to the terminal, PET raisedto her face. "I can't believe I forgot to pass over my email back then! How unprofessional!" Rayner snickered a little, then brought up the BBS response from GNA and began outright cackling as he added the email to the address book. He managed to bring him self under control, straightening up and facing the screen.

"Watch your behavior around your employer." He deadpanned in mimicry of her earlier words before promptly breaking into laughter. Joan shot him a glare and grumbled, then hurried down the steps. She had a train to catch, she could deal with the rest of it later.

[Transition -to be announce-]