Shimizu, Gesundheit

Ugh. What a boring day. The first thing Naomi did upon entering her house was make a beeline for the living room, and flopped back into a recliner. "Ugh, why is doing nothing so draining...?"

"Oh, I wouldn't say that. ...Hey, that tickles!"

"Huh? Oh right, so what's that 'research' you were talking about?" The paralegal whipped her PET out, and stared at the screen. Her Navi was holding something. It looked like a...shrimp? No, wait, a shrimp virus. With most of its head covered. ...Wait, what? "...Wait, don't tell me you-"

"That's precisely what I did. I took that virus core I found the other day, and combined it with the SP base I acquired as a mission reward. And then, just for kicks, I added a tiny bit of my own data, to give it that ninja feel. So, here it is...the Shurimpy! Isn't it cute?"

"......." That was just...she couldn't even find the right words to describe it. "...That's really the name you went with?"

"What, you don't like it? I think it rolls off the tongue quite nicely."

"Sure..." Come to think of it, wasn't reviving something that was permanently deleted illegal? Though, if the core was intact, that would probably mean that technically it wasn't permanently deleted. So Shuri was probably safe from a legal perspective. Ethically, however, was another story entirely. Not that she was entirely off guard by her doing something like that, but it'd be nice if she played fast and loose with such things less often. "I do like the bandana covering its head, though. That's a nice touch!"

"Thanks, I like that, too! Say, you're home now, right?"

"Yeah, why?"

"Because it means I'm safe in doing this!" Shifting her creation to one arm, the Navi did something she almost never did: removed her hood and mask. Her operator was the one person she was comfortable with doing so around. "I like being a ninja and all, but sometimes I wish I didn't have to wear that face mask so often. But then, what good is a ninja that everyone knows the face of?"

"Whatever works, I guess. So, now we're home. Guess what that means?"

What that meant...oh, crap. She just HAD to do that mission to pass the time earlier. At least it'd be a profitable day..."Right...I'll go make the request."

"And while you do that, I'll go whip up some supper!"

In a flash, Shuri unvanished, now safe within the confines of her PET, and not within the confines of that battle. "Well, that mission was...interesting. Wouldn't you agree, Naomi?" Her operator was content to just sit there, staring at the PET's screen. She'd actually been doing it for some time, it was just the first time her Navi had noticed. "...Okay, where should I start?"

"No, it's not that...well, I guess some of it is. Do NetPolice do things like...that, a lot?"

"Not a lot, but it's not the first time I've had a mission that overall went like that. NetPolice officer has a problem, I come in and fix it in as discreetly as possible."

"...A giant brawl between the NetPolice and NetMafia is discreet?"

"That was out of my hands. My objective was to make sure Bayonet didn't get caught, and I did that by disabling the remote control element. And based on the sounds of it, it worked."

"...She went by on a giant ship!"

"And how many would actually believe that was her? Hiding something in plain sight, and all that." Shuri suddenly looked down, something clearly drawing her attention. "...Naomi."


"Are you, by any chance, going out again, or expecting company tonight?"

"No, I was just going to watch a little TV and go to bed. Why?"

"Good." The ninja Navi snapped her fingers...causing every single bit of clothing, including the strips underneath her outfit, to vanish, leaving only the human-like Navi in full display. "I can do that, then."

Perhaps understandably, her operator was a tad freaked. "W-What the hell?! Why are you naked?! And, that's the other thing. Do you really like that? The making out and all?"

In a rare moment, Shuri looked genuinely surprised. "I never told you? I never made any effort to hide it from you...but I suppose looking back, I didn't come right out and say it. So I will now. Man, woman...if I find them attractive, I don't care which one someone is."

"I guess the obvious question is you think of me in that way?"

"No, I don't."

"That was kind of a quick answer..."

"Even if I did, what's the point? It's not like we'd ever be able to do anything. Besides, you're not really my type."

"I'm not?"

"Don't get me wrong, you're adorable. But let's just say we're not emotionally compatible in that way. You're a good friend, and nothing more."

"So, when I'm stripping down for a shower..."

"I might look, but I'm not going to ogle or anything. I'm not interested in an ass I can't reach over and smack."

"Well, that's a relief...that would've been super awkward if you did! Say, your outfit hasn't refreshed yet. Everything all right?"

"I'm putting them through the cyberwasher, to get the smell of snake out of them. I'll probably head into the house's network and take a nice hot bath while I'm waiting, so I'll feel clean on every possible level afterward. I think I deserve it after having to kiss that disgusting woman."

"No kidding! I think my skin wriggled when you did that..."

"Care to know something? On the inside, so did I. But it was the fastest and easiest way to get her to quit playing that flute...and on that note, I just want to be clear about something. What happened on that mission does not leave this room. Since you know exactly what happened the entire time, it's imperative that you never speak of it to anyone other than me. If you did, it'd hurt my reputation as someone that handles problems quickly and efficiently, and without asking unnecessary questions."

"Don't worry, I understand..."

"You don't exactly sound like it."

"I do, it's's kinda hard to take you all that seriously when you're totally naked like that."

Shuri gave her operator a glare and an exasperated sigh. " long as you know that. I'm out. Call me if you need me for whatever reason. ...Wait, one more thing. Where'd Shurimpy go? Did he go into sleep mode early?"

"He got bored, so I sent him into the house's cyberworld. Actually, I think he's in the bath area, so you'll get to see him while you take your bath!"

"Oh, really?" The not-so-invisible Navi visibly perked as she learned her SP's location. "Then, what am I doing here? In case my clothes aren't dry by the time you're in bed, good night." And she was off.

"Finally...she's a great Navi, but Shuri can be really weird sometimes. I really think she'd be more comfortable walking out in public with nothing but her ninja mask, than everything other than it! It takes all kinds, but yeesh...I don't wanna see that!" All right, time to take her mind off of the recent mental images of naked ninjas. Now, what came on TV this day of the week?


The next morning was like many others, as Naomi was racing around the house, getting ready for another exciting day of legal desk work. Unlike many of those days, however, it was frequently peppered with her Navi calling her name. If she even noticed that, she was ignoring it, as she raced between getting dressed, eating breakfast, and all the other essential morning tasks. But with each attempt to get her operator's attention, Shuri grew more and more annoyed, until she finally lowered her mask, placed two of her fingers in her mouth, and...


This finally got the lawyer-in-training's attention, who grabbed her PET and annoyedly stared at it. "What?! I'm gonna be late!"

"I doubt that. I think you're forgetting that the law firm is closed on Saturdays."

"It's not Saturday! Yesterday morning I filed the weekly report on all the cases we're handling, and I do that on Wednesdays!"

"Normally, yes. But Mr. King was out on Wednesday and Thursday as he recovered from minor surgery, Mrs. Queen's been in Netopia all week to provide legal counsel on a foreign contract, and Jack's been out since Tuesday with the flu. So you waited until King returned Friday to file it, remember?"

Naomi froze, as she realized her Navi was right, and not her own groggy brain. "...Well, I'm officially an idiot for forgetting that. Sigh...well, anything we need to do that involves leaving the house? If nothing else, I'm at least all set to go out."

"You are, and you are. So, with that settled, it occurs to me that there's plenty of zenny sitting in the 'make Shuri a competant fighter' fund. I say we solve that problem before doing anything else."

"Right, between your missions and my work, we haven't gotten a chance to spend the money you've gotten, have we? Okay, so...I'm still new to the whole NetBattling thing, so I think you should be the one to decide what to get. You'll be the one making use of them, anyway!"

"Fair enough. I guess we can check out the local chip shop first, since it's not far. I've never been there, anyway."

"Oh, Soryu's? I've been there a couple of times, but I don't think I've ever actually bought anything. It's small, but I think it's got a good selection!"

"I'll be the judge of that." The ninja Navi looked up at her operator, noting that something "...Is there a reason you're staring at me?"

"Just wanted to make sure you had clothes on!"

"...I have the common sense to not go around in public naked, you know." And so, the day began, full of...whatever had just happened was.
With a folder that was now completely filled out, Naomi meandered into her rental house. "Well, that was fun! And now, I get to relax for the rest of the day!"

"That's right. ...Can you do me a favor?"

"Sure, what?"

"Can you jack me in? Er, let me elaborate. Can you jack me in somewhere that isn't closed off from the main Net?"

"Uhh...oh, the TV should be good for that."

"Right. Thanks in advance." At that point, Shuri could feel a tiny pinch on her leg. Looking down, she saw a Shrimpy looking up at her with big, sad eyes. "Sorry, Shurimpy, but this business is strictly for me. I'll play with you when I get back." After all, it'd been a while. It wasn't like she cut off the PET's audiovisuals and rubbed her SP's belly while talking to him like a baby on the train ride back to ACDC. That would be utterly ridiculous for a ninja mercenary to do. But regardless, it backed off, allowing its master to head off alone. It wasn't overly happy, but it did.

"All right, I'll jack you in, then I'll go put on something more comfortable. All set?"

"Yes. Jack in at will." It was actually kinda odd...Naomi wasn't asking a single question about why she wanted to go in the Net. Did she already know she took up a mission?

"All right, then!" Point PET at jack in point, recite traditional jack-in statement."Jack in! Shuri, Execute!"

It was about an hour after Shuri had returned from her last mission. Her SP was stuffed from all the BugFrags it got to enjoy, and the Navi was content to sit back and relax, back in her usual ninja outfit. She had to admit, it felt so much better than that bikini. Especially the part with her face being covered. She just was NOT used to not having her mask in front of other people. It made her feel...naked.

"Oh, shoot!" Her train of thought was interrupted by the shout of her operator, who ran over to her PET. "Shuri! Need your help!"

"What's the problem?"

"I forgot to pay the rent! And the landlady only handles face to face business..."

"I'm guessing that includes Navi face to face, or else I wouldn't be needed."

"Right! At least they're both based in ElecTown, though, so it shouldn't be too big a pain!"

"We've discussed this before. I'm your Navi. It's my duty to help you however I can. It doesn't matter if it's a pain or not." The ninja Navi hopped up, ready to go. Though, she silently cursed her luck...Shurimpy's first action since getting powered up, and it was in an area with plenty of viruses he was weak to. Figured. "Luckily, I know where the bank homepage is. Just jack me in, and I'll be off."

"You're a lifesaver, Shuri!" Point, click, shout. "Jack in! Shuri, Execute!"

About an hour after Shuri finished her errand running, Naomi took a seat on her couch, and sat back as she took out her PET and set it on the table in front of her. "Shuri?"

A larger than usual hologram appeared of the ninja Navi, nearly two feet in height. She was sitting cross legged, and notably, her head was fully uncovered. "...Naomi. going to be a long story. Are you sure you're all set to hear it?"

"I am...but I could ask you the same thing. You look more apprehensive about it than I feel."

"...Makes sense. Well then, make yourself comfortable."

"Um, one question before we start. Why do you have your mask off?"

"This is a face to face conversation. Nothing will be held back. ...And no mask for me to hide behind."

"I...see. All right, then. Let's start, from the very beginning."

"...The very beginning..."


While I don't know exactly who created me, I can trace myself back to a woman by the name of Akame Honda...a mercenary that did everything from theft, to espionage, to even assassinations. Her ability to strike from the shadows made her quite infamous as a sort of modern-day ninja for hire. But she was woefully lacking in computer ability, to the point where almost any technology could stop her dead in her tracks. She quickly caught onto this, and decided to get a Navi to deal with this. But not just any Navi would do...she needed one as stealthy and agile as herself. So she comissioned someone to create one to her exact specifications. They were signified as three S's: speed, subterfuge, and seduction. She felt that with those three attributes, a Navi could achieve any and all goals she asked it to do. So, the contractor made a skilled ninja...who was more than capable - and willing - to jump anyone's bones to further their goals. Me, naturally.


"Well, that explains why you are who you are...I always wondered if there was a reason behind making a Navi like you her fancy stricken as much as you do sometimes. Honestly, I'm sorta relieved it wasn't just for fanservice."

"Oh, that was definitely a reason. See, she also had me designed so I was exactly her type."

"H-Her type? So, this Akame was a lesbian?"

"...Keep that question on the backburner. I'll get to it later."

"Okay then...well, at least I assume you two got along?"


In a manner of speaking, we were great together. Professionally, I more than met her expectations, aiding her in her But beyond that, we didn't really talk much. She very much saw me more as a means to an end, than an actual sentient being. And the only ends she felt I was good for were her contracts, and the occasional orgasm. Other than that, I may as well have not even existed in her eyes.


"How awful...using you like you were little more than a tool."

"It was the only thing I'd ever known, so I figured that's what being a Navi meant. If nothing else, she reciprocated, in that she'd take special Net only contracts, and when she was getting off, I was too-"

"I do NOT need to know those details!"

"Sorry. Anyway..."


This went on for a couple of years, until one fateful mission. It was a highly dangerous espionage mission, which Akame jumped headlong into...she'd just had a nasty breakup with her ex-girlfriend, so she was probably a bit risk happy at the time. I'm not going to go into any details obviously, except for one point, she ended up alone in a Sharoan prison cell with an Netopian spy by the name of Connor Daniels and his NormalNavi. That's right, so sure they were in their security, that they even let them keep their PETs. The two of them tried to be friendly, but considering we were international criminals, we weren't exactly warm towards any sort of government agents. We soon managed to escape and get back to our home countries, but to our surprise, they kept in touch with us. 'The next time we're in Electopia, we should go out!' They'd keep saying stuff like that. Akame wasn't into men, and I trusted a spy as far as I could throw him, so we ignored them for a time...but eventually, we caved, just so we could get some peace and quiet. A couple of weeks later, they showed up and collected...and their idea for a date spot? End City. Yeah, they saw the Gargoyle Castle and went 'we'd all have fun if we went there'. As it turned out, we all had a bit of a soft spot for Electopian history...before we knew it, all four of us were laughing and enjoying ourselves. I don't think I'd ever really seen Akame do that before.


"Oh, so that's why you didn't answer my question right away..."

"Yeah. The answer is basically 'yes, unless you were Connor Daniels'."


"...You seem a bit apprehensive."

"Well, it's just...well, here we are, and...never mind, I'll keep quiet for now. Go on."


Over time, Connor and Norm became our best friends. Norm was the name I gave his NormalNavi...just calling someone NormalNavi gets really old after a while, so I needed some sort of pet name. And eventually...that friendship became something more. I don't know exactly when, but at some point, we...fell in love. It was an amazing feeling, something I had never experienced before. I got the feeling that the same was true for Akame. And before we knew it, we were engaged. Three months from then, we'd have a big wedding in the Gargoyle Castle, where we'd first truly bonded.


"Hold on a sec. The way you're telling this, it's like this all happened in a week..."

"No, it was over a year, engagement included."

"So, let me ask you something. What was it about Norm that made you fall for him? And what do you think it was about you that made him fall for you? I'm kinda curious..."


For me, that's easy. After that first trip to End City, Norm and I started to take missions together. That he was willing to do this, even though he already had a job as a spy Navi, impressed me...though at first I just thought he had an immense work ethic. But as we took more missions, I realized why he was going at it so hard. He liked to help people. Especially those completely unable to help themselves. Those were the missions he gravitated towards. I went along with it, since a paycheck was a paycheck, but over time, I started to actually enjoy myself a bit, even when I wasn't getting paid like the highly skilled ninja mercenary I was. He...was a good man. He wanted to help everyone. Everyone. Even a woman that had treated him like dirt, and didn't move a muscle if she didn't get paid for it. It was like he knew there was a better person in me from the start, and tried to draw her out of me. And...I think he ended up succeeding, to be completely honest...

As for why he liked me? I guess my looks were the initial draw, because it wasn't my personality. But, I remember one story he liked to tease me with...we had just finished making love for the first time, and - don't give me that look, I'm actually going somewhere with this - and we were kinda just staring at each other's face. He leaned in a bit, and said something along the lines of 'You know, a guy could really fall for a cute girl like you'. Naturally, I had been wearing my mask during, but apparently at some point it fell off without me noticing...I realized this, and my face probably turned beet red as I put it back on. But after that, he went 'See? You're so cute when you're like that.' Make of that what you will, but I'm guessing he saw a soft side within my battle hardened stoic exterior, and that soft side really made his heart go pitter patter.



"...What's wrong? You're getting a bit misty eyed."

"I'm not an idiot, Shuri. The fact you're here with me...the fact you were so reluctant to tell this story...that you keep talking about everyone in the past tense...I know this story doesn't have a happy ending..."



About a month into the engagement, Connor got an e-mail. A work contact in Sharo told him about some top secret government files, and where he could find them. He took it, but at the time, Akame's passport had expired, and everyone agreed it was too much of a hassle to get it redone in time. So, he and Norm went off by themselves. ......The contact was a double agent...they were betrayed...arrested as spies...and...and...


"'s okay. I'll say it so you don't have to...they were...executed, weren't they?"


"It's all right, let it all think you've kept that all to yourself for who knows how long...

"'s just...sure, he was a spy, were actually getting out of the business after we said yes...they'd have no reason to even ever return to Sharo...why...why did they h-have to do it to them, of all people...?"

"I'm sorry...I wish I knew..."

"It''s something I've never understood. Why did the Sharoan goverment so far out of their way to kill a human and his Navi that weren't a threat to them?! WHY?!?!"

"...If only I knew..."

"...I'm sorry...I wasn't yelling at's just...remembering all this..."

"Don't worry. I can only imagine how painful this is for you...take your time, I'm not going anywhere."

"Just...give me a moment. Deep breath.......okay, I can continue."


...But that wasn't the end of my trouble. Akame and I had lost the loves of our say we took it hard was an understatement. But, as much as it tore me up, Akame completely lost it. She resented me, even started to blame me for them going to Sharo...and then she did it. I should've seen it coming...compared to how she'd been, she was suddenly calm, more like her old stuff. She said she'd signed up for a mission in the Net, so she jacked me in...and once I was in, I heard a crunching noise. And then, complete communication silence. She...destroyed her PET. And left me to fend for myself in the Net.


"Sh-she what?!"

"That's right. She abandoned me and left me to die."

"...You weren't only heartbroken...your operator threw you away, like a used piece of paper...all alone..."

"But you surely expected something along those lines, right? You got me from a PET store, not from her directly."

"Oh...that's true..."

"I suppose you're now wondering how I ended up there. Well..."


My skills as a ninja proved invaluable, allowing me to hide from viruses and seedy Navis, and if I was forced into battle, I was able to keep myself mostly unscathed. But without a PET to call home, it was only a matter of time before I wore down. I don't know how long I had managed to survive, but eventually, I found myself trapped, with a pack of viruses closing in. In a way, I was pretty relieved...I'd get to see Norm again, if the whole afterlife concept was true. I closed my eyes, and awaited death...but instead, I felt a breeze on my face, followed by nothing. When I opened them, I saw an elderly HeelNavi. There was no way he wasn't...he had dings all over his armor, and he even was using a cane to stand up properly. I thanked him, and started to move on...but he stopped me. He wanted to know what kind of operator let me end up in that situation. After I informed him about how I was abandoned, he simply shook his head, and invited me to his homepage. I was hesitant, but I wasn't in much of a position to refuse. If I'd said no, I either would've promptly gotten myself killed by viruses, or he would've made me come along wasn't like I was in any state to fight back. So we transferred to his place, which was for a small PET repair shop, run by a kind elderly man. Without asking for anything more than my name, he fixed me up in the blink of an eye. He then said that, if I had no place to go, I was welcome to stay as long as I wished.


"A kind elderly don't mean-"

"That's right. We're nearing the end of this story."


I accepted, of course, and took to doing maintenace and other menial tasks around the page. I even went outside the homepage a few times to do errands, though he strongly disapproved. But I always returned, and in decent condition, so in the end he couldn't object too much. This went on for a month or two, when he got an idea. He felt I was squandering my talents on just helping out an old man, and offered to see if any customers would be interested in having me as a Navi. At first I said no, because I hadn't felt I'd paid him back for saving me. But, much as I went out on deliveries against his will, he spread word about me behind my back. And a couple of days after that...a young woman entered the store. I remember my first impression of her...'she really needs to get that giant stick out of her ass...although, I have to admit, that's a pretty cute ass either way'.


"Th-that was NOT your first impression of me!"

"No, it definitely was. Lucky for you I don't put a ton of stock into first impressions."


I had just finished up cleaning up the shop's homepage when I noticed this woman talking to the old man. She was interested in having me as a Navi, so she could 'make a difference in the Net'. That's what gave me my first impression. And yet, I saw something in her eyes...a light. One I had only ever seen in one other human...Connor Daniels. If I hadn't noticed that, I probably would've refused to go with you.


"So, we were this close to never being a team?"

"That's right. If I'd had an objection, the old man wouldn't have given me to you. ...Though I have to say, my first impressions of you were completely right."

"So, you think I have a light in my eyes?"

"Not literally, of course. But Connor, and Norm for that matter, both had a strong sense of justice, always going out of their way to help people. that too."

"I'm not really sure what to say...except thank you."

"And I was right about the stick in your ass, too. I swear, sometimes when you yawn, I think I can see the top of it in your throat."

"H-Hey! Just because I've never done anything shady for a living-"

"But over time, I think that's become a bit endearing."


"Even compared to them, that simple earnesty in your heart to do good, to bring light where there is none...sometimes I can feel it even here in the cyberworld. You even acquired me me to help spread it...though, especially at first, I was more interested in what was in it for me."

"Wait, what are you saying? Are you not going to care about rewards anymore? Because I think that's won-"

"Nice try, but no. At heart, I'm a mercenary, and that will never change. But...there are virtuous mercenaries, you know. As long as I'm with you, I imagine I'll be stuck as one whether I like it or not. ...But don't worry. I'm not ice on the inside...I understands that some of the best rewards can't come from a BBS."

"...Wow, I can't believe you said that..."

"Helping people does feel good. I've known that since long before you and I met. But...especially after being thrown away, I think I forgot it for a while. But telling you all this reminded me about it. Honestly, it wasn't as hard as I'd been dreading it would be. And now, I a huge weight's off my chest."

"I'm glad you feel better for it."

" thing has changed. Something that can't be undone."

"What's that?"

"From hereon out, I'm no longer your Navi."


"You heard me. I'm not your Navi...I...I'm your friend."

"Oh, I want to be the one to cry! I could just hug you, if you were a solid presence in this world!"

"Heh, go ahead. Let it all out."


A slurp disrupted the silence in the Shimizu house, as its sole human occupant started working on getting some coffee down her gullet. "And just like that, I'm already feeling more awake!...Ugh, maybe not THAT awake, yet..."

"Mornin'." Her Navi, on the other hand, was wide awake. "I assume it's safe to come out now, since you've got that mug in your hand."

"Huh? Shuri?" Naomi looked over at her side, and noted her PET was, for whatever reason, inside one of her pajama pockets. "...How long have you been in my pocket?"

"Not long. Don't worry, you charged the PET last just grabbed it as soon as you woke up."

"Huh." She sipped as she pulled out her device...and immediately looked puzzled by what she saw on the screen. "Uh, Shuri? You look a little...different."

"Yes, I do. You see, this is how I originally looked. When that old man repaired me, he ended up making a few small changes since parts of my apperance data were badly corrupted. But last night, after you went to bed...I decided there's no sense in not being who I really am. So I went through and altered my outfit to this, what I looked like the day I was created."w

"Well, I think it's snazzy!"

"Glad you like it. And I also tweaked my abilities to be more like they were before the...incident. You might notice I'm not quite as lightning fast as before,'ll see. I have other abilities to more than make up for it."

"If you say so. Wanna try them out after I'm awake for real?"

"No need. I've actually got a mission lined up. It appears to not require you in any capacity, so you can just sit back and be as groggy as you want or need to."

"I see...well, I want to at least watch you in action, okay?"

"Suit yourself. I'd say that you should hope nothing...racy comes up, but given recent history, I wouldn't get my hopes up if I were you."

"Hmm...maybe I'll do something else in the meantime, then. Just, let me know if you need anything, all right?"

"Of course. Now, shall I begin?"

"Good thing I can do this one handed, huh?" Point. Click. "Jack in! Shuri, Execute!"

"...Mmm?" Once she was back in the PET, Shuri looked around, soon removing her hands from her head. "...The PET? So you jacked me out?"

"Of course I did! I don't want to hear anything about your reputation, were in agony!"

"I see..." The ninja Navi quickly brought up a screen, typed something on it, and sent it somewhere. As she completed the last step, she noticably flinched. "Damn's been a while since I truly 'failed' a mission."

"I'm sorry, but...actually, wait. You've been fine ever since I jacked you out. So, what was the problem?"

"I have a hunch, now that I can think straight. Do me a favor. Try to jack me in somewhere. Doesn't matter where, just do it."

"Um, okay...I guess I'll try the TV. Jack in! Shuri, Execute!" Click! ...But no beam of light? "...It's not working."

"As I thought. It's a problem with the transmission program. Naturally, since net communications are a two-way transmission through the PET, any connection with you would've wreaked havoc on my senses."

"I see. Though, to figure it out just from that...has this happened to you before?"

"Once, with my old operator. The fix...well, you don't need to buy anything, but it'll take several hours to debug and reboot. Guess your morning's free now."

"So, you don't need me?"

"Having one other helps the process, but Shurimpy can take care of that. Go. Enjoy your morning. We'll be fine."

"It's okay." Naomi sat down, turned on her TV, and muted it. "Unless I'd be a distraction, I'd kinda like to watch some of it. Wouldn't hurt me to learn a little more about PETs."

"...Have it your way." Shuri brought up a new screen, and took a look at it. "First, we need to figure out exactly where the code broke down..."


"...And, done."

"Phew! That was kinda fun! And really hard..."

"For an amateur, I guess. I still don't think it was really difficult, just time consuming."

"Tell me about it...when we started, I didn't think I'd have to make lunch while the PET rebooted."

"At any rate, we can jack in once more. Anything you'd like to do?"

"Yeah. I want you to take another mission. It's not fair that you didn't get to do anything just because of that one bug in the system!"

"...All right, if you're sure. A new one might require you to participate as well. Are you okay with that?"

"Of course! If I can help someone out, I'd be honored to!"

...Yeah, Naomi, hold that thought until someone put you in a maid outfit, or something, and see if you still thought that. "Bringing up the BBS now."


"...And there's our mission."

"Looks a bit risky...but you'll be fine. And I'm here if things get dicey!"

"A good way to look at it. And, I see Bayonet's involved here..."

"Bayonet? A friend of yours?"

"...More or less."

"...I'm not even going to guess what that means, exactly. Anyway, if you're ready to go, I'll send you in."

"Of course I'm ready."

"Then, let's get this showdown started! Jack in! Shuri, Execute!" Point PET at...wait, there wasn't really anything to jack into from here. "...Er, as soon as I head over to my computer!"

A couple of minutes later, everything was in place, with Naomi's PET aimed straight at her computer's port. "...For real this time! Jack in! Shuri, Execute!"