Steve's Pad

Steve came into his new appartment, looked around, and sighed. All of his stuff was already there, but unpacking was going to be a pain, no matter how he went about it.

"Well, I think I'll set up my PC first, so that I check out the net here. What do you think, Druidman?"

Steve's PET screen lit up, and a fierce, but friendly, face appeared in it. Bright green text flashed across Steve's sunglasses as the speaker crackled to life.

"Sure thing, dude! Maybe we can try to meets some of the neighbors in the Netsquare!" came Druidman's laid back response.

Remembering a magazine he had read on the plane, he reminded himself that all of the Net area's Netsquares were interconnected through a place called Internet City, Steve set the destination drive for there, and hit the Transmit Button.

"Jack In! DruidMan.EXE, Execute!" Steve said, not able to shake a strong feeling of deja vu...
Druidman paused after he returned to his PET. "What a bunch of strong dudes." he said to Steve.

"Yeah. I'm glad that we're already starting to make some friends. I was afraid I'd end up a loner here." Steve said, happily.

"YOU are still a loner man. I'm the one who made friends." Druidman replied dryly.

"Oh..." Steve said. "Well, Looks like I'm pretty well unpacked, maybe we should spend some of that money we found at the chip shop?"

"Groovy, dude."
Steve stumbled back into his appartment. "Man, I hate not knowing my way around... I should have taken a right at that fork back there." he groaned as he collapsed into his computer chair. He took his shades off and was holding his face gingerly.

Druidman's voice came from somewhere in his coat pocket; "Hey, dude? Maybe if you jack me into the local net, I can find you a map or something?" he said helpfully.

Steve, moving slowly, pulled out his PET and Chip Binder. "Yeah, that sounds like a good idea. And you can get a lay of the land, so to speak, as well." he commented as he connected his PET to his PC. "Jack In! DruidMan.EXE, Execute!"
"Well, that trip was kinda more or less sucsessful." Steve sighed as Druidman returned to his PET. "I'd have liked to bust around and get some more stuff, though." He said.

DRUIDMAN.EXE: Hey, dude, we can't win 'em all.

"True." He said. "Well, while you were healing, I finished up on moving in. All of my junk is where it needs to be now, and..." Steve was cut off by the swift sound of a letter being forced through his mail slot. Walking over and picking up a large manilia envelope, Steve tore it open, and pulled out a flyer. "Navi Supply Store?" he said to himself, reading over the flyer. "Under New Ownership! Suitachi..." Steve paused, feeling a massive wave of deja vu. Reading onward, he stopped at a line that caught his eye. "Signature attack contest! You may have already won!" Picking up a peice of paper that fell out of the envelope, Steve glanced at it, and did a double take. "CONGRADULATIONS! The bearer of this certificate is entitled to a FREE Level One Processor Upgrade, AND a Level Two Processor Upgrade!"

"Hey, cool!" Steve commented. "Let's go check out Scilabs!" He said, stuffing the certificate into his pocket, and grabbing his PET and binder on the way out of the door.
Steve slided back into his appartment, threw his backpack in the corner, and set his binder and PET on his computer desk. Flopping down on the couch, he pulled out of his pocket something else: A bright red chip with a picture of Drachen's scale on it. He had already tried sending the chip data to Druidman, it didn't do anything that he could detect. What was it for? Fingering the chip around in his hand, and scratching his chin, Steve sighed. "I wish I knew what this means..." he pouted.

The PET speaker poped on: "I doubt any of these old research files will do much good for now, dude." Druidman added. "Searching the Net won't produce much help either, man. Best not to worry." A small beep signified that Druidman had completed his heal cycle, and his HP Memory was installed. "Meh, we've got time to kill, let's check the BBSes for trades or rumors or something."
Steve jumped up, pulled his trenchcoat on, slipped on his sunglasses, grabbed his PET as was out the door, bound for the Coloseum.
As Steve blazed back into the door, he sat down, somewhat pissed. That Area girl had come at him like he was out to get her and Divinity. Steve didn't like being introduced to someone with them accusing you of something that not only he wouldn't do, he wasn't even capable of it. Worse, she seemed thoroughly convinced of it.

Two beeps indicated that Druidman's HP Memory had finished installing, and that he had new mail. Reading over the mail carefully, twice, he collapsed back into his chair and held his face. "Oohhh, MAN." he said. Great. He had just made things worse.

Gathering up his courage, he began to type up his reply. When he was done, his finger hovered over the 'Send' button. finally just pushing it, Steve sighed, then set his destination driver to Electown, and jacked Druidman in. He needed to blow off some steam.
Steve wiped the sweat from his brow. They had triumphed again, but at what cost?

Druidman was still unconscious, and recovering in his PET. Steve rubbed his chin.

His PET had told him something about 'possession.' And he saw how Drauchen's last remnants has flew into him... He had one single theory, but he hadn't heard of a case of it for several years.

Then again, the Beasts had been inactive for years, too...

Switching his PET to diagnostic mode, Steve gathered up his stuff. He had a little time before he was to meet DNR's operator at Yoka, and he was gonna stop by Suitachi's for some serious upgrades.
Steve came back into his appartment and half collapsed into his chair. He was exhausted. He figured he'd rest his eyes for a bit...


...Steve snapped awake. He must have slept through the night, as the early rays of light of a new day were creeping in through his blinds. He groaned. He fell asleep in his chair again, he back would be killing him later.

Stretching, and hearing his back pop in several places, and wiping a bit of semidry drool from the corner of his mouth, he rubbed his stubbly chin. He rather liked having a bit of scruff there, so maybe he'd keep it for awhile.

Reaching over to his backpack where it had landed when he dropped it, he drug out his PET and binder.

"Druidman, you up?" he said groggily.

"It's about time, dude. You should probably get that snoring looked at, I bet the neighbors called in complaints." Druidman teased in his laid back voice.

Steve smiled. After all of the craziness that the two of them had expienced in the last week, they were still the same, regular guys teasing each other and talking about movies and music and stuff. It was almost surreal.

"Say, Druidman, you want to go busting in just a normal setting on your own for a bit?" Steve said suddenly.

"And then she said, that's not popcorn, that's my clitoris! HA HA HA hurk?" Druidman sputtered as he finished his joke. "Uh, yeah, sure, dude." he said.

"Well, let's try and get back to a nice, normal routine, okay? Jack in, Druidman.EXE, Execute!"
Druidman came back into his PET, fit as a fiddle, and began to take a drink, signifying his was in a heal cycle.

Steve looked at the several chips he had won in the new Rogue Net. All of them were powerful, and most were rarer in today's economy, as well. He had also gotten a modest pile of Zenny. He suddenly smiled. A few months ago, this much Zenny would have been a fortune, but now with Druidman as powerful as he was, it comparatively did little. Steve began to shuffle through his chips in his binder and pocket, re-arranging his folder.

"Oh, hey dude, looks like the brackets are posted for that tournament thing tomorrow." Druidman said, idly thumbing through his mailbox, looking at spare bits of parchment.

"Really? Who are we fighting?" Steve asked, not looking up.

"Hrm, some Navi named Karmaria.APP." Druid replied, scratching his head. "An APP Navi? Those are uncommon."

"Yeah, they are." Steve said, looking up at last, finishing his folder. "I've never heard of this one, either."

"Thats not really that surprising, man." Druidman replied as he finished downing what he was drinking, "We really only know a few other Navis, and of a few more."

"I suppose you're right." was Steve's reply. "Oh well, I guess we'll met this Karmaria when we go to the tournament."
Steve got back into his pad and sat down at his computer, surprisingly alert for once after a big day out and about.

"What now, dude?" Druidman asked from his PET.

"Actually, I think it's time we relax hardcore. I heard that NetVegas is open again. Could be fun." Steve replied. "I wonder if that net goes as deep as the others?"

"Only one way to find out, dude." Druidman said excitedly, as he tore a hole into the fabric of the Net and jumped into the darkened Rouge Net.
Steve got up, and went to the bathroom, where he took a fourteen month long shit.


After he came back, he picked up his PET. "Okay Druidman, where to now?"

"I don't have a preference, dude. Let's just go with the flow." his Navi replied lazily.

Steve nodded, and after a moment or two's thought, jacked into Electown's Rouge Net.
Steve stretched, and was shocked to discover that some cobwebs had somehow formed around his legs. "What the?" he said as he pulled them off. "How did it get so dusty in here?"

Wading through the inch thick layer of said dust, Steve made it out of the door and caught the bus to Scilab.
Steve came back into his apartment... and nearly died from the allergic reaction he had to all the dust bunnies and cobwebs that had mysteriously accumulated over the course of a few minutes.

"I have got to clean this place up, Druidman, okay?" he said through his sleeve as he grabbed a mop and rag.

"Duuuude, you can NOT just tell me that you unlocked two more of my domain seals and then just tell me that you're leaving me on a shelf, man. That's just too bogus." Druidman complained.

"Fine." Steve grumped. "But I'm not stopping my cleaning, understand? I'll only pop in to check on you, I won't be watching the whole time."

"Whatever, man." Druidman said smugly.

Steve set the location to random, and jacked Druidman into the net, Druidman supplied his own entrance to it's deeper reaches.
Steve got up, realized he had grown a full beard, shaved, and then grabbed his bag and hopped onto the shuttle to SciLabs.
Returning from the store, Steve pulled off his bag and tossed it into a nearby chair, and dug into his pocket and fished out his PET. "Okay, Druidman. I got some upgrades. How'd things go on your end?"

"Uh, well, man, I got this bounty paper thing." Druidman mumbled in reply and he retrieved the slightly crumpled file from his belt pouch. "I gotta hunt these Void-things, man."

"Voids? Never heard of them." Steve replied, doing a quick online search. "Ugh, they kinda look like goopy, blobby guys." he added after he found a result. "Says here they are in NAXA and Sharo nets."

"NAXA? Never heard of it, dude." Druidman replied idly. "What's it like?"

"It's a relatively newer net, or at least, more recently open to the public. It's based in our satellite system in orbit." Steve explained.

"Whoa, far out, man. Sounds like fun?"

"Actually... yeah. Seems like you'd be at an advantage there. Most of the viruses would be weak to your magic." Steve was now looking at a net threat summary. "Let's go there! Jack in, Druidman."

But as he moved to go sit in his chair, Steve stepped on something he had missed in his previous clean sweep, and rolled his ankle and began to fall. "Oh, piss!" he exclaimed as his PET went careening into the wall and bounced down to the floor. "Sorry, pal!" he replied as he scooped it back up, flipping it over to check for damage.

He didn't see flashing on the screen, "JACK IN COORDINATE ERROR"
"Well, may as well make the most of this moment's reprieve, I guess." Steve sighed as he gathered his stuff and once more made a trip to the shuttle bound for the Scilab.
Steve got back to his place, went into his office, and flopped into his chair, perhaps a bit too forcefully, because the chair fell over when he did so. "Ohpissmyfatass!" he yelped as he stood up and righted his furniture. Perhaps updating some of his old and battered possessions would be in order soon?

He shook the thought from his mind, and pulled out his PET and chip binder. "Okay, Druidman, jack in, let's not keep Sylk waiting."