Rania and Mill's Scilab Meeting

Rania left the shop, having just sent an e-mail to Mill indicating for him to meet her nearby. Receiving her new SP had left her feeling somewhat downtrodden, as her situation had nearly changed to putting up with two MeleeMen. However, with the recent turn of events (Mill having contacted her over e-mail for their meeting), her feelings had improved dramatically. Joy and spunkiness that had eluded her since meeting her new navi had flooded back into her with the seemingly unbelievable turn of events in her favor. "I knew it! The sexy look worked just like I thought it would! Mill came up with a kind of silly excuse to meet up, but it's cute that he's dancing around it!" she thought to herself, springing merrily along to the park bench she'd busted at before. She was determined to scrape Mill's attraction to her out of the e-mail, no matter how basic his intentions really were.

"Heh. Looks like Rania's just as happy to try you on for size as I am... As a weapon or whatever," MeleeMan coughed into his fists. His fragmented knowledge of his SP was making him somewhat anxious to see how she performed.

Damascus shook her head remorsefully, turning her sharp eyes to him. "I'm afraid you will be sorely disappointed. Reforming my programming to that of an SP, combined with my time apart from virus busting, has left me in an extremely weakened state. I am somewhat disgusted with it myself," she apologized, letting open a small window to what seemed to be a hidden but terribly powerful emotion regarding the loss of her power.

MeleeMan coughed and looked away dismissively, deciding that he didn't want to spoil his own mood any further. "Anyways, just get the knuckle form as fast as you can. Then no matter how weak you are you'll be behind the fists of the most powerful navi on the net. That ought to cheer you up," he resolved, turning back with a grin.

His SP was utterly unamused. "I'll look forward to that," she lied, her characteristic frown making fairly obvious that her words were false. "I also look forward to meeting your ally. I understand she's a woman of great power. I would have liked a small taste of her blood, if my form were unaltered."

"Psh, I dunno. I'm still undecided. She's okay I guess," MeleeMan grunted, crossing his arms in front of him. In truth, he'd decided a long time ago that she was a worthy fighter, but admitting a woman could fight to another woman would be quite difficult for him.
Mill stepped off the Metroline, having arrived her at SciLabs solely intent on sorting out Anyis's friction with MeleeMan before it chose to blow up in his face at the worst possible moment. Unfortunately for Rania, having lived alone with his sister for several years caused Mill to develop a very indiscriminant eye towards gender, which meant that flirt attempts tended to bounce off of him like rubber. This was equally unfortunate for Mill, though, as he wasn't the type of guy to get many attempts in the first place.

"I think MeleeMan might cry when he sees an SP bigger than he is. I have the PET's video recorder on standby, ready and waiting." laughed Anyis cruelly, what with teasing MeleeMan seeming to have become her favorite hobby since she met him.

"As Mother Unit's SP, I will do my best to meet your expectations. I am also interested in seeing Unit MeleeMan's SP, as my experience as a non-Navi entity is... lacking, and I might be able to learn some things from other SPs." responded Magna formally.

"How many times to I need to tell you to stop calling me that?!" yelled Anyis, having to tilt her head up a good 60 or 70 degrees to even get a view of Magna's face.

Mill had spotted Rania waiting for him, but hearing that made a grin crack on his face. He was still probably going to be finding that funny for a long time to come. He needed a moment to shake that off before approaching her and saying, "Hey Rania. How's it going?".
Rania turned, trying to look as casual as she could. If Mill saw an expression of her full joy at the situation, he'd likely think it was kind of creepy. "I'm not playing hard to get, but still, if you act too easy you lose the value of the relationship," she told herself mentally. However, her eyebrows were not arched in their usual peak and her huge smile looked nothing like her world-weary, MeleeMan-given frown, so all of her emotions were betrayed regardless. "Hello Mill! I'm doing okay I guess," she laughed, underplaying her feelings entirely.

"Alright! Let's get into the net so I can meet Anyis' twerpy new SP," MeleeMan laughed, cracking his knuckles as if he was intending to use physical violence somehow. "You, Damascus: try to look as much like a pair of knuckles as you can. Even if it's not ready yet, you can kind of sort of do it, right?"

"No, I can't," she answered simply. One eyebrow was twitching but other than that her face looked the same as always, though that showed plenty of anger in itself.

MeleeMan sighed, rubbing his chin with one hand. "Geez. You'd better make up for this period of uselessness in the future, or I'm gonna be ticked," he grumbled. "Anyways, I'm going onto the net, tell Anyis to follow me. We're not staying here, though, because Netfrica is way more awesome."

Rania was ignoring MeleeMan while trying her best to think of something to say to Mill. She'd completely forgotten about the fact that both of them had new SPs to discuss. Searching for a conversation topic that would be good to start out, she looked around the table for something to talk about. Her PET was all that was there, so she was quickly reminded of what he'd supposedly come here to do. "O-Oh, right, looks like MeleeMan's on his way from Scilab Net to Netfrica Net. You should bring get Anyis to bring your new SP an join him!" she finally exclaimed, clapping her hands together once with a big smile.

"Rania's acting weird," MeleeMan noted, looking over his shoulder as he proceeded through the net.

"Do you not understand her emotions? It is not beyond my comprehension," Damascus responded, moving with her upper-half still bound by her sheath.

"Hm? I guess not. Must be one of those things that I block out from my mind because they're simply too unmanly," he laughed, proceeding faster.

((Jacking into Scilabs, moving to Netfrica))
"Netfrica, is it? Alright, Scilab should have a portal link nearby Anyis can use catch up." acknowledged Mill. He kinda wanted to ask why they were going to be virus busting in the park outside of Scilab, but ultimately decided that it was easier to just assume that, between this and the mission at the beach, Rania just had some sort of thing for outdoor busting. That wasn't really bad, per say, and Mill wasn't about to judge.

"Unit Rania has been identified and cataloged for future reference. She has female designations, though I require additional information to make further assessments." reported Magna as he and Anyis warped through the PET to open Net space.

"That was really informative, Magna, thanks." muttered Anyis sarcastically as she patted her SP on the back, which ended up involving her extending her hand to its maximum height to even get close. "Rania and MeleeMan are very... straightforward, so you'll get your impressions soon enough."

"Understood, Mother Unit. I am presently establishing a theory on Unit Rania's relation to Operator based on her voice tone and movements, but I will observe more for confirmation." replied Magna.

Anyis's eyebrow twitched as Magna said that accursed name again, causing her to stomp off towards the portal link without another word.

(Jacking into Scilabs, moving to Netfrica)
"Ehehe, yeah, MeleeMan just loves Netfrica for some reason. I think it's because of some jungle commando movie poster he saw once or something," MeleeMan's operator explained. Although Rania had found her own SP's navi appearance to be a little daunting, it wasn't much compared to having a giant mechanical golem following your navi as their SP. "Woah, Mill... Is that your SP? He's huge!" she exclaimed, looking over at his PET to make sure. "And apparently he was a navi in the past as well? I guess it's more common than I thought," she mused.

Thinking that she'd rather leave the navi talk to the navis and explore something more personal instead, she paused and tried to think up a good conversation topic. Since Mill was about her same age, he might even have a job. Maybe that'd be a good place to start. "So Mill, are you in school somewhere or maybe you're working?" she asked, looking as pleasant and calm as she was humanly possible and feeling more at ease by blocking out everything that her navi was doing. MeleeMan even began to grow frustrated as he occasionally directed conversation towards her and was deflected.

Rania found herself shifting on the seat uncomfortably. Topics like this weren't interesting in the least, she knew, but hopefully she could break some ice and maybe even branch off into a new subject once she knew a little more about him. Every step was an essential part to her secret relationship snagging operation.
"Yeah, Magna was my old Navi, and the only thing I've programmed from scratch. I doubt I could ever recreate him..." explained Mill, fiddling with his PET as he spoke. That sounded modest and somewhat impressive, but Mill didn't want to admit that he really couldn't reproduce anything due to his lack of advanced programming skill.

Sensing that Rania wanted to change topics, Mill went along before he embarrassed himself. "Me? I've gone in and out of jobs since finishing high school. My sister was only in middle school at the time, so I couldn't really go off to college somewhere and leave her alone." answered Mill, giving no sign of disappointment or frustration with his life's circumstances. "Right now I'm working at a parts shop in Electown, but the nature of the job makes me think it won't be a long term thing."

... That was kinda personal, thought Mill in retrospect. "So what about you?" he asked of Rania, expecting her to also share. He figured she was in school since she just automatically suggested it, but there wasn't much harm in asking anyway.
Rania had not expected Mill's situation to be as hard as he made it sound. Figuring he'd given a pretty thorough answer, she nodded receptively and attempted to respond just as completely. "I'm just doing some part-time work while I attend college at Dentech. I do a little bit over at the hospital and some odd jobs for my grandfather's friends... Other than that it's mostly volunteer work, which I don't really get paid for," she explained, keeping her attention on Mill. "I haven't really decided on a major. I guess I'm as flighty with that as I am with my hobbies, ha ha," she laughed.

It was difficult for Rania to keep her attention on Mill, however, when her PET wouldn't stop flashing with trades. "E-Excuse me," she mumbled, thumbing around with her PET to get rid of the blinking [INCOMING TRADE] message that was flashing on her screen.

Finishing that off, she continued to ignore MeleeMan, slotting some chips in absently. Turning back to Mill with a smile, she tapped her thumb on her PET absently. "These things sure get distracting, huh? It seems like ever since I got mine, I haven't done anything with my other hobbies. What sort of stuff do you do besides netbattling and virus busting, hm? Or maybe that is your hobby, considering you were a tourney semifinalist and all," she asked, leaning one elbow on the table and propping up her head with her hand.
"Yeah, I guess the tournament would give that impression." Mill chuckled. "But it's not, really. Anyis just really likes to fight, and situations keep forcing me to indulge her. What I like to do is work with electronics. Computers, appliances, wiring, things like that. Most of my work right now is repair jobs, which is giving me plenty of opportunities to do so. I've been using that experience and some spare parts from the store to build this PET I'm using, actually." he said, pointing at his PET on the table. Had he actually bothered to look at the screen, which was stupidly face-down the table, he'd have seen multiple warning messages about Anyis forcibly activating MeleeCross and that it was distorting her AI in several areas. Oops.

Well, on the bright side, at least Mill wasn't claiming to be a good Operator. "Yeah, though, I really know what you mean. Net life has just been pulling me away from one thing after another this year. It's the same with you?" asked Mill, continuing the conversation in total neglect of his Navi and SP.
Rania wasn't watching her PET still, despite the fact that some serious business was going down. Blissfully unaware, Rania tried to enumerate the many, many activities that she might refer to as hobbies. "Well, my navi likes sponging up as much of my time as he can get. I used to do... hrm... well, I started with kendou as a kid. Then I went on to archery, then soccer, then softball, then tennis, then basketball, then gymnastics, a brief period of lacrosse, some fencing, back to kendou, and now I guess I'm into boxing," she finished up, omitting cheer-leading and wrestling, which her friend Amelie had somehow muscled her into before. "Besides that there's volunteer work and exercise. I want to do more exercising, but my navi makes it hard to find the time."

She leaned on both hands now, looking wistfully into the distance and thinking that she didn't have the energy she used to back when she'd had so many activities to compete with her time. Despite that fact, she wondered if she was really less happy. Perhaps the lack of energy was a good thing, as she used to be ungodly impatient all the time as well. "Maybe I was over extending myself, in hindsight. Do you have any interest in exercising?" she asked, raising her eyebrows so intently that it revealed a little bit more of her anticipation than she'd have preferred. Her plan was still growing and stretching with new life. If Mill could be dragged into her nutty exercise routine, then she'd have as much time to build her relationship as she needed.

Before Mill could answer, however, Rania was distracted by her PET. It was hard to keep up with everything she was saying, but it sounded like Rania was divulging some information that she wouldn't have wanted to if she'd been in her right senses. Something had gravely agitated her and she was now involved with furiously plugging away at her PET's buttons, ostensibly customizing a .GMO...
Exercise... Crapcrapcrapcrapcrap. Mill really, really was not the exercising type. Even if he tried exercising, his scrawny body would refuse to accept any long-term improvement. Both he and his sister largely inherited traits from their fragile mother, which ended up pretty obvious in comparison as neither were 6 foot and inches giants like their father. How the heck was he supposed to answer a question like that? Just saying no would make things really awkward, and saying yes would book Mill a ticket for months of pain. Mill's eyes darted around the area, looking for something, anything, to provide a distraction through divine intervention...

*beep beep beep*

Oh thank god. Mill's PET went off, altering him to some minor issue, which he opted to address immediately. A dull and somewhat nerdy silence ensued as the only noise from either Operator was the clicking sound of buttons being hit as both Mill and Rania fiddled away at their PETs. Ulterior motives were abound, though, as within his mind Mill was counting every second, judging when it was safe to consider Rania's previous question a dead topic. Once a sufficient amount of time had elapsed, Mill engaged in diversionary tactics so he'd never have to bring up his inability to exercise. "So... How did you end up with MeleeMan, exactly? You two don't really strike me as an average Operator/Navi." asked Mill, inwardly acknowledging the hypocrisy of that last line.
Rania looked back up wearily. Luckily, she'd forgotten the exercise offer herself after watching her navi and SP get into all sorts of antics. Now MeleeMan had gotten into a fight with some sort of three headed serpent in the middle of the desert. How? She didn't know, but she was certain it was his fault.

With all of this, about the last thing she wanted to do was recount the happy days where she thought she was getting her perfect boxing navi. Resting her chin on her arms, which she folded across the table in front of herself, she moped quietly about her days of optimism. "Well, truth be told, I had never done netbattling or virus busting before. MeleeMan was my first navi, that is. My friend Amelie had gotten this awesome navi off of a generator; his name is GladiatorMan and she still uses him. I thought it would be a good idea to use the same generator and see how mine turned out," she answered, closing her eyes thoughtfully.

Suddenly, she reopened her bright eyes, arching her eyebrows and smiling at Mill with surprising cynicism. "Well, you've seen him. What kind of indicators do you think I put in? Chauvinistic? Meatheaded? No, the parameters were more like displaying masculinity, uses boxing mixed with martial arts, possessing fiery spirit... I thought I was going to get some kind of superhero and ended up with him. I'm still convinced to this day that whoever programmed the thing was making some kind of practical joke generator," she finished, flopping her head back down into the sleeves of her gray sweatshirt.

"Does that mean GladiatorMan has some kind of awful flaw as well? I should ask Amelie some time," she suddenly thought, raising one eyebrow quizzically.

Having finished her pity-party, Rania turned a smiling face back to Mill. "Well, how about Anyis?" she asked. She giggled inwardly at the idea that Mill might have created a figure like her for the same reason she'd made MeleeMan: to have a sort of heroic, romantic figure to traverse across the net and fight battles for his/her master.
Mill thought for a moment, then realized how backwards his entire history with Navis was. "Well, I, uh... didn't make Anyis. Magna's the only Navi I've made myself. I only found Anyis a few months ago, damaged and without an Operator. She hasn't really explained what the circumstances were with that." Mill then stared down at his PET for a moment to collect his thoughts. "I picked her up and began repairing her with Magna's spare resources, but now that I look back on it... taking a random Navi off the Net I knew nothing about was a pretty bad lapse in judgment on my part. Mm..." As he explained, Mill's mind only collected more thoughts as he came to terms with how many problems were the direct result of him taking in Anyis. Aside from the whole "Magna dying" thing, Anyis was just far too combative as a person for him to Operate effectively. And, along with the problems he had already experienced, there were many things he still didn't even know about her. Ugh...

"Honestly, I could probably answer more questions about Magna than I could Anyis." Mill admitted to Rania. "All she's told me so far is that she's been around for a long time and has had several Operators. I can only guess that her mish-mashed fighting style is a result of design changes from multiple people. I can't even imagine someone desiging a Navi like her from the get-go." Mill cracked a smile at this, with it dawning on him on just how bizarre a ghost-channeling, fist-fighting, ice-summoning Navi was.

"... Oh, and apparently Anyis has siblings." added Mill as a recent event crawled up from the dark recesses of his brain. "I've only met her younger brother, who through some cruel twist of fate is my father's Navi." It wasn't really necessary information, but this extra connection between him and his father was just something that he needed to vent when possible.
"Wow, that's an interesting history. I guess it's sort of like a benefit to adopting a navi, huh? Getting a sweet backstory like that, I mean," she laughed, enjoying the recount of Anyis' past. To her, it all sounded pretty neat- the idea of a navi with an unknown past and mysterious acquaintances, like something out of a novel. "That's pretty complicated. In addition to all of this... If I hear right earlier, you made Magna, but now he's your SP? That's a little odd."

Rania paused momentarily to settle some trades on her PET, then continued.

Lifting up her head to rest her chin on her palm, Rania thought over her recent development of receiving Damascus as an SP. "You know, my SP was originally a navi too. A really powerful one. She belonged to my grandfather and was his navi forty years ago or so," she continued. She thought about throwing in a disclaimer that warned Mill against being interested in the navi because of her age, but decided against it. Too cheesy. "Anyways, I tried to stop him from erasing all of her abilities to make her an SP, but he didn't let me. I think she's barely got a tenth of her former abilities now," she sighed, losing her energy and dropping her head back down onto the table.

Looking to the side with her red hair hanging over one side of her face, she raised an eyebrow to Mill. "So, what's the story about Magna? Got time to tell me yet?" she asked curiously.
Mill looked down at his PET to see Anyis combating giant worm-like creatures in a scene right out of a mythical epic. Yep... Eh, he had time to talk more. "Well, honestly, I'm a pretty lousy programmer. Magna was trial and error for over a year as I made him, and there were still some bugs to work out even after he went online. His AI is just a generic one I downloaded, so what you see of Magna now is almost entirely what his AI has developed over time. He used to just follow my orders without much thought to it, but I really have no idea where he developed some of his weird habits..." muttered Mill as he thought to Magna's compulsive need to refer to others by title, his odd sense of kinship with the golem-like Cragger viruses, his total disregard for the damage he incurs... Really, there were too many to list.

"Anyway," said Mill, returning from his thoughts to the conversation at hand, "you're probably more interested in why Magna's just an SP now. "Lessee... I already mentioned finding Anyis damaged and that I started repairing her, but I guess it's important to say how. Magna's big, but his simplistic design actually gives him a good amount of spare memory, so I installed him with a repair system that converted the excess data kicked up in virus battles to material to fix Anyis with, bit by bit." Mill paused here, taking a moment to think. "... Err, that probably sounds more impressive than it really was. I'm still not entirely sure what happened, but there's a good chance that shoddy repair program I made is part of why Anyis is my Navi and Magna her SP. I got a weird e-mail about near when Anyis was nearing full restoration, and... well, somehow, it made Magna go haywire. I had to get help from my boss's Navi to track down Magna, but he ended up disappearing, and I don't know what happened from there. Next thing I saw, Anyis was awake, and Magna was being deleted."

... After a few seconds, it clicked in Mill's mind how terrible that sounded. "Wait, wait. Magna was already hopelessly messed up at the beginning of all that, so it wasn't Anyis's fault. Heck, she recovered Magna's core data so I could eventually rebuild him as an SP. Though... I think Anyis still knows more about that whole situation than she's telling me. Magna doesn't seem to have any issue with Anyis, though, so I guess it's nothing to worry about." Mill let out a heavy sigh, having come to the end of his confusing tale. "Sorry if that didn't make much sense. I still don't know everything about what happened between Anyis and Magna that day."
Rania had been surprised by everything she'd learned about Anyis during her chat with Mill. The navi's history was pretty rich and interesting; she hoped that eventually she'd have stories like that to tell about MeleeMan...

Sighing, Rania withdrew her PET and looked back at Mill with unintentional puppy dog eyes. She couldn't figure out how to break off the meeting in a way that resulted in further future meetings as a certainty. Time for some small talk. "Well, I can certainly see now how you placed so highly in the tournament! You have a very impressive navi and she performs very well," she laughed, gathering up her things quickly. As her small talk ran out, however, she felt helpless again.

Turning her head back to him with shining eyes, she gave a small smile and tried to think of how to act maturely. The look had the opposite impact, making her look cute, but undeniably childish. She went for the simplest approach she could. "If you need a busting partner some time, just call me up. I'm free a lot of the time... I mean, I can make time... for busting," she managed sheepishly. She'd lied a bit; Rania's lifestyle was extremely busy and she really wasn't free very often. But she was not lying when she said she would make time, as she was still quite fixated on building her relationship with Mill. "And I know there won't be any objections from MeleeMan, of course. He likes having someone to fight with," she giggled.

"Sure, sure," MeleeMan sighed, more for appearances than actual displeasure.

"Okie dokie, bye Mill," she finished, tightening up her shoe laces on the bench. Waving back, she was all smile and cheer as she ran off to the metroline headed for her home in Electown.

((Leaving for Electopia))
"Well, she's certainly memorable..." Mill reluctantly admitted of his Navi. As far as he was concerned, there was at least one headache to go with everything that was good about Anyis.

"But yeah, we should definitely bust together again sometime. We had some pretty good teamwork, and Anyis and MeleeMan have some things in common. I'll make sure to send an e-mail next time I send Anyis out." Mill said this to be nice, but really, his problem was the polar opposite of Rania's. His schedule was written as it happened usually, and his busting runs typically happened in response to unexpected circumstances. Getting locked out of his apartment, finding his sister's lost Navi, repairing broken appliances... Mill rarely got the feeling of wanting to bust, since virus busting kept wanting to come to him. As such, it was awfully hard to buzz a friend while something was exploding in his face.

Still, having a Netbattling friend or two he could count on was never a bad thing. Mill waved off Rania as she left, leaving Mill to wonder what he could do next. He had accrued a fair amount of upgrade funds along the way with Rania, so maybe he should go shopping. "Hey Anyis, what time is it? I was thinking I should be some upgrades for you if it's not too lately."

Anyis was currently in nothing but her bodysuit, trying to neutralize the poison smell on both her clothes and herself. Being very focused on that, Anyis only gave a blunt response: "Early enough that you could just walk across the street."

Mill looked up, and yep, Suitachi's Navi shop was on the other side of this park. Preferring to cling to whatever dignity he had left after that stupid question, Mill wordlessly got up and walked over to the store.

(Moving to Navi Shop)
((MeleeMan/Anyis gained 8 FXP))