Room 302: Charles Greene

Near the elevator on the 3rd floor of the Chauliac Memorial Hospital stands a door, it's pale green surface makes it stand out from the whitewashed walls of the hallway. A plain white oval-shaped placard with a black "302" is affixed to the door, above the frosted glass window. A metal container was hanging next to the door, containing the patient's medical files:

Name: Charles Greene
Incident: Vehicular trauma, motorcycle vs. bus
Ailment(s): Multiple fractured bones, including ribs, collarbone, left arm, and both legs, as well as assorted superficial wounds.
Doctor's Notes: Bones set/casted/braced. IV drip, painkillers down to bi-daily dose.

Inside, shielded by the noise of nurses, doctors, and medical techs moving about, the room was almost entirely white, save the flecks of gray on the linoleum floor. There was a large multi-paneled window looking out at the small garden out back, and the ocean further out, but the blinds were partially closed. A dark blue couch sat under the window, facing the bed. A flat-screen television was on the wall opposite the bed, silent and dark. Chuck's bed was pearl colored, with white sheets and a pale green blanket, bracketed by raised plastic bars to keep him from falling out of bed. A fold-out table was attached to the bed off to his right side, where a clear cup of water, a gray remote, and a shiny new PET sat quietly.

Chuck started to stir, wincing as he tried to stretch, reminding him of his broken, cast-covered legs and left arm. He couldn't even yawn properly without feeling an aching pain in his chest. He groggily opened his eyes, rubbing them with his right hand. He reached over to the table, grabbing the remote and pressing a small button, holding it as his bed whirred to life. Slowly his upper body started to tilt upwards, putting him slightly upright so he could properly drink from the cup on the table. At least drinking didn't hurt... He held the cup in his hand and looked down at his body, noting the cast on his left arm leading all the way up to his neck, and the ridges in the blankets where his almost comically large leg casts lay beneath. He sighed, he was a total mess, but he was thankful he wore that helmet. Otherwise, he likely wouldn't be here today.

He put the cup back down on the table. The two plastic surfaces clicked as they touched, prompting the screen on the PET to light up. There was a circular emblem on the screen, trimmed in silver with a red background. In the center was a thick black ring, like a motorcycle tire, with a silver exhaust pipe extending diagonally upwards from the center of the tire. The screen disappeared, revealing a Navi, standing on the 'floor' of the PET. He was covered in a black bodysuit, layered with angular red and silver armor on his chest, and 6 exhaust pipes protruding from his abdomen and wrapping around to his back, like abdominal muscles. His hands and feet were round and flat, looking more like tires than appendages. The Navi's fully concealed head and face looked outwards, the yellow eyepiece set in the center of his face glowed green through the nearly clear blue visor. The Navi spoke, his voice was confident and cheery, with an almost cliche'd protagonist flair.
[[i]Good morning, Charles![/i]]

Hm... good morning...uh..
There was a brief silence before the Navi moved his head closer to the screen.
[[i]Haha, don't tell me you've already forgotten! I'm RiderMan![/i]]

Chuck blinked groggily, before casually looking over at the PET.
...Right. Sorry 'bout that.
[[i]No problem, Charles! We've only just met, so it's okay. So, what are we gonna do today?[/i]]
[[i]You hungry? Want to watch TV? Listen to some tunes?[/i]]

The NetOp mumbled and shook is head slightly. He wanted to shrug, but he tried that before, and nearly fainted from the pain last time.
[[i]Alright, how about we go onto the net? C'mon, Charles, it'll be fun![/i]]
RiderMan rocked from side to side in anticipation, flexing his internal engine and making a loud, bold, superbike revving sound. Chuck blinked as his ears almost perked up, cueing into that familiar sound.
... that sounded... pretty good. ... almost like mine...

Chuck was reminded of his Kawasuki, it was red with silver trim, and it was definitely as fast as it looked. He smiled briefly before it became a scowl, knowing it was now a pile of wreckage sitting in some scrap heap now. RiderMan saw his NetOp's look of anguish and tried to cut in.
[[i]Yeah, but you haven't even seen me ride yet! Let's go out to the Net, and I'll show you what I can really do. You won't be disappointed, I assure ya![/i]]

Chuck sighed and gave in as he picked up the PET with his right hand. RiderMan pumped his fist quietly as he was picked up. Without warning, a small tab protruded from the side of the PET with a quiet *click*. RiderMan looked off to the side towards the tab as he spoke.
[[i]Alright, that's the spirit! See that tab on the right? That's my jack. Just pull it out and plug it into the port down to your right. See it?[/i]]
He put the PET down on his lap and pulled the small jack out, extending the retractable cable before plugging it into the net port set into the railing of his bed.
[[i]Now, just hit the connect button on the screen, and I'll log in![/i]]

He easily found the slowly flashing red connect button near the bottom of the screen, pressing it. It turned yellow and flashed as RiderMan started to fragment and disappear, then it turned green with a white "Connected" message.

((To BeachNet))
((From BeachNet))

RiderMan reappeared with a flash of light back in the PET, and Chuck disconnected the red jack from the port next to his bed. He gingerly pulled the cord slightly with a click, causing the internal spring to retract the cord and jack into its casing. He placed the PET down and tried to retrieve the battlechips sitting in a pile on the sheets over his lap. RiderMan stretched as he felt his body become re-energized, and the previous holes and scratches on his body disappeared, giving back his "straight from the showroom floor" gleam. [[i]"That was fun! Thank you for giving me the opportunity to break in my tires!"[/i]] the Navi exclaimed with gratitude. "No problem," Chuck replied. He had the pile of battlechips in his hand, and tried to reach over to put them on the little fold out table on his bed. However, he felt a sharp pain in his shoulder as he reached over, causing him to flinch and accidentally drop the chips.

The battlechips clattered onto the floor, and Chuck made a frustrated sigh as he tried to fight through the pain. Maybe it was a pinched nerve? Some injury that was previously hidden by painkillers? RiderMan heard the commotion, and tried to get a good look at his NetOp using the PET's camera. [[i]"Are you alright, Charles?"[/i]] the Navi inquired, with a noticeable tone of concern in his voice. [[i]"Want me to call for aid?"[/i]] With PETs being so prevalent, many of the patients' PETs had a new application installed, allowing them to alert the medical staff of an emergency. The Net Navis were also capable of using the app, which was especially useful if their Operator was unconscious or otherwise incapacitated.

"Ngh... No, I'm okay," Charles groaned, the pain lost some of its intensity, but it was still enough to give him discomfort. Instead of calling for an emergency, he touched a green call button on his bed, almost like the attendant button on an airplane. A minute or so later, a nurse entered the room. She asked what was wrong, and Chuck described what happened, as well as the pain in his shoulder. She understanding the situation, she quickly stepped out to grab some meds, before returning with a few painkillers in hand. After taking them, she quickly left, seemingly busy with other patients. A few minutes later, the pain started to subside. As he relaxed in the bed, there was a brief knock before the door opened. A hospital orderly, dressed in short-sleeved blue scrubs, walked in with a tray. Though it was somewhat hard to tell her exact height from his position, Chuck surmised she was about half way between 4 and 5 feet tall. She had a thin frame and a seemingly naturally tanned skin tone. She had dark brown, nearly black hair done up in a bun, and bright, brown eyes. "Um, hello Mr. Greene, time for lunch." she announced as she walked up to him. As she approached, Chuck could see her name tag: "Laelah." Her tray had a single water bottle and a covered plate next to a set of plastic utensils.

"Hi, uh... thanks." He nodded in response, still slightly in pain. She placed the tray down on the table next to his PET. RiderMan could finally get a good look at their visitor, and waved politely as he introduced himself. [[i]"Hello, Miss, I'm RiderMan.EXE, Charles' Navi. Thank you for the meal!"[/i]] She was slightly caught off guard and looked down at the Navi before giving a slight wave back. "Oh, hi there, RiderMan. I'm Laelah, nice to meet you both," she responded, giving Chuck a glance and a nod. Something caught her eye when she looked back at the PET, and tilted her head to get a better look at the chips strewn over the floor. "Did you drop these?" she asked as she reached down and picked a few of them up, showing the battlechips to Chuck. He nodded apologetically, "Yeah, sorry about that." She reached back down to pick the rest of them up, depositing them in a neat stack next to the PET.

[[i]"Thank you, Miss Laelah, we appreciate the assistance,[/i]"] RiderMan exclaimed. "No problem at all," she responded with a smile. "How was it, your virus busting I mean?" she asked with seemingly genuine interest, the question being directed more towards Chuck. He still seemed a bit uncomfortable, he wasn't a fan of being seen all messed up like this. "G-good, thanks..." he managed to say. [[i]"Especially good for our first time,"[/i]] RiderMan added. Her eyes quickly seemed to light up at RiderMan's comment. "Really? You haven't done any virus busting until now?" [[i]"Yes, Ma'am. However, we managed to meet some very interesting programs during our adventure, and earned quite a few rewards,"[/i]] the Navi replied. [[i]"As a matter of fact, we have enough to possibly get some upgrades for my programming. Would you like me to text one of your classmates to do a shopping run, Charles?"[/i]]

RiderMan brought up a good point, albeit indirectly. With the shops being a fair distance from the hospital, and Chuck being all but incapacitated, he wouldn't be able to go out to buy any new stuff for his Navi. "Sure, I guess... I don't know there is to buy though," he admitted. Laelah listened quietly to the exchange, then an idea popped into her head. "I can go if you would like, my lunch break is coming up and I was planning to get some upgrades for Digi anyway," she chimed in, pulling a PET from the pants pocket of her scrubs. "I can get your Navi some upgrades while you eat lunch, and we'll be back by the time you're finished. Sound good to you?" Chuck raised an eyebrow, surprised at her willingness to help them. Guess it was part of the job, right? She didn't seem untrustworthy... "Well, if RiderMan is okay with it, he mumbled. Laelah looked down at the PET, awaiting RiderMan's response. He looked back up at her as he weighed his options. He had a similar opinion of their new acquaintance, and if need be he could contact others if something were to go wrong. Deciding to go for it, he raised a thumbs up as he nodded. [[i]"Sure!"[/i]]
Laelah smiled and swung the table over Chuck's lap and removed the cover. The food was typical hospital fare, some sort of meat with potatoes and steamed veggies. Historically he hasn't been a fan of the food, but it was better than nothing, and at least his injuries didn't prevent him from eating normally. She also picked up the remote, pointing at a red button on the side before placing it next to the tray. "We'll be right back, just press this button if you need anything, okay?" Chuck nodded before looking back down at his food, his appetite suddenly crept up on him and he was ready to eat. She picked up RiderMan's PET and walked out of the room, closing the door behind her. She passed through the halls of the hospital, occasionally engaging in brief chit chat with other coworkers on her way out. She talked to an admin person at the front desk, notifying them she'll be on her lunch break.

She exited the hospital and went to her car before driving off to SciLabs, with RiderMan in tow.
((To SciLabs))
((From SciLabs))

Laelah made her way back into the Hospital, waving to the people behind the front desk as she passed. She had RiderMan's PET out, and the Navi was actively conversing with her as she made her way up to Chuck's room. The conversation mostly consisted of RiderMan expressing thanks for Laelah's generosity. "Seriously, it's no problem at all," she insisted as they got to room 302. She quickly glanced through Chuck's file in the container next to the door. "Looks like Mr. Greene is going to be here a while, if you need to make another run to SciLabs or ACDC town, all you need to do is ask. If anything, it'll give me something different to do instead of being cooped up here." RiderMan nodded politely, and gratiously accepted her offer. [[i]"We are in your debt, Miss Laelah."[/i]] She smiled as she opened the door.

She was about to greet Chuck, but noticed his eyes were closed, and appeared asleep in front of a now empty plate. She raised a finger to her lips before turning the PET towards the bed, allowing RiderMan to see his slumbering Operator. He nodded in acknowledgement as she quietly closed the door behind her, and walked into the room. She placed the PET down on the fold out table before she picked up the tray and rotated the table back out to the side of the bed. She looked over Chuck to make sure nothing was amiss (though she didn't have the medical training to help if something were wrong), and turned to the door, waving down at RiderMan as she made her way out. RiderMan silently waved back at their new friend, then started to quietly browse data files, trying to figure out some new ways to utilize his new upgrades.

An hour or two later, after setting up his upgrades, RiderMan turned on the PET's camera to check up on his NetOp. He was still asleep, snoring softly. He didn't want to bother him, especially since he was told the young man was having issues sleeping due to pain/discomfort. However, he himself couldn't really stay idle for long, so he decided to take Dune's advice and browse some of the GNA boards for potential missions. He didn't expect Chuck to take the lead in going back out into the net, so he thought it would be best to coordinate something on his own.


Just as he received the notification of their new mission, RiderMan heard the nurse call tone coming from Chuck's bed. He quickly turned on the PET's camera to see what was going on. Chuck was awake, and didn't seem to be in pain, but he did indeed call for one of the nurses. [[i]"Hello Charles, is everything alright? Did you sleep well?[/i]"] the Navi asked. Chuck nodded slightly. "Yeah, guess I dozed off after lunch..." he replied as one of the nurses came in. "Excuse me, could I get some water please?" he asked quietly, he still felt ashamed that he still couldn't do even basic tasks in his bedridden state. The nurse responded with a polite "of course" and exited the room. In the mean time, RiderMan updated his NetOp on their new mission. [[i]Do you remember Officer Dune's suggestion about the GNA boards? While you were sleeping I put our names out there to help, and we already got a hit! We've been asked to deliver a package for a small anti-viral business in Netopia. Sound interested?"[/i]] Rider explained excitedly.

The nurse reentered the room, carrying a large water bottle, complete with an almost absurdly long straw. She slid the bottle into what appeared to be specifically fitted bracket on the side of his bed, and angled the straw towards him. "There you go, let us know when you need a refill, okay?" "Thank you, ma'am," he replied with a smile. When she left, he looked over to the PET, nodding. "Might as well, I don't have much else to do." Not exactly the motivation RiderMan was looking for, but he'll take it. [[i]"Alright! I'll send a quick note to our employer as you log me in.[/i]"]

((To Netopia Net))
((From NetopiaNet))

RiderMan beamed back in to the PET, and brushed himself off as the terminal's auto restore functions kicked in to repair the minor scrapes and dents he sustained during his mission. [[i]"Another job well done! That was certainly an interesting one, don't you think?"[/i]] RiderMan exclaimed through the PET's speakers. Chuck nodded slightly, then took a sip of water through the long straw. "Yeah, it's more complicated than I thought..."

RiderMan put his segmented hands on his hips and looked over to Chuck's window in the Navi's netspace. [[i]"Indeed! It's a whole new world to explore, and I look forward to learning and exploring even more with ya, Charles!"[/i]] the Navi exclaimed in his familiarly optimistic tone. A rare smile grew across Chuck's face, which further emboldened the Navi. Setting goals and working towards them was one of his directives in the greater project of enabling his NetOp's recovery, and nice distractions were always a good thing to have when working with someone who's (understandably) experiencing depression.

RiderMan was about to offer up a suggestion for another round out in the net, but he paused as he heard the room door open. Chuck looked up to see a white-jacketed man walk in and greet the young patient with a smile. "Hello Mr. Greene, I'm Dr. Bradley. We've met before, but you were under some pretty heavy-duty painkillers when we first met, so no worries if you don't recognize me, haha..." The doctor chuckled as he closed the door behind him. Chuck admittedly couldn't remember the man. "Nice to meet you... again, I guess."

The short-haired and square-jawed doc walked up to the side of his bed. "I'm overseeing your recovery, and we'd like to schedule a few X-rays tomorrow to make sure everything is healing up in their proper places. Sound good to you?" he asked. Chuck didn't have any commitments; not like he'd have any while being stuck in this bed, so he nodded in agreement. "Sure." Dr. Bradley smiled and exclaimed "Perfect, the plan will be to get you in sometime before lunch. In the meantime, has there been anything bothering you? Any new aches/pains? Lack of movement?"

Chuck furrowed his brow in contemplation, he wasn't one to complain, but he wasn't stubborn enough to not understand they likely needed to know that information to better his recovery. "I did have some pain in my shoulder, when I tried to reach to the table," he said and gestured to the fold-out table in question. "The nurse gave me some painkillers, and so far it's been fine, but don't want to do that again." Dr. Bradley nodded as he listened, then continued asking the type of pain, the duration, and location. The conversation then went to a description of the movement. He pulled out a notepad and scribbled down the details. Satisfied with the information, he put the notepad away. "Alright, its probably just stiff muscles, but I made a note to look at that shoulder when we do the X-rays to make sure there isn't something else going on. I'm going to go check up on my other patients, give us a ring if you need anything!"

"Thanks, Dr. Bradley," Chuck replied before the man left the room. A few moments after the door closed, RiderMan chimed in. [[i]"It's good he's checking up on you! Since tomorrow looks to be busier than usual, want to call it a day, or are you still up for some more virus busting?"[/i]] Chuck paused for a few moments, he'd recently had a nap, and the sun was still bright so it probably wasn't time for dinner yet, so he really just had time to kill. So far virus busting has been much more interesting than the shows on TV. "We can go again, if you want."

This was obviously music to the Navi's ears, causing him to slightly hop in place, as if he was loosening up for a footrace. [[i]"Alright! I'm ready when you are! We can head to the NetSquare and roll to a specific network from there."[/i]] Chuck gave a thumbs up, giving his Navi the cue to log himself in.

((Logged in))