Club Cybernetics

[[[OoC: This is an open RP thread. Players may post in it when the latest post indicates possible outsider interaction.]]]

<<< From Science Labs: UnderSub Apartments <<<

Steve ducked through the shadows of the city, holding his head down as he made his way through the crowds. He didn't understand how Nick could do this every day and not fear being recognised.

As he turned the corner, his destination came into view: Club Cybernetics. Relatively new to the scene of Science Labs, Nick had managed to secure a job as one of the bartenders. How he could do this without any references was something he'd asked before, but Nick managed to change the topic every time it came up. Maybe he could answer that question for himself.

From the front, the club's name was written in stylish green neon lights. Walking through the door, he was immersed in a whole new world: gaming machines to the left, a karaoke booth and netbattling booths to the right, and at the back, a fully licensed bar and bistro. Definitely not the lifestyle Steve was used to.

As he walked towards the bar at the back of the eating area, Steve recognised his friend's face pouring drinks to two large men. As Nick's eyes locked onto Steve's, he beckoned him to the bar.

What are you doing here? he hissed under his breath. You shouldn't have left the room.

We've gotta talk, Steve responded.

Later. Opening the bar, Nick pushed Steve through the back door and into a small supply room. Inside was wall-to-wall shelves filled with fancy liquor he'd never even heard of. What grabbed his attention though was the PC on a small table.

We've been having firewall troubles, Nick reported. I was gonna fix it myself after work, but since you're here, make yourself useful and fix it. You'll have to clear out some network virii on the area near the network connection before you can seal it properly.

Nick turned around and left Steve alone in the room. Geez, when did I become a technician... he cursed before pulling out his PET. I'm glad I brought my chip folder along, looks like I'll need it after all.. he muttered as he connected to the PC and sent Recon out onto the network. Sorry Recon, but we've been drafted. Training will have to wait.

*Jack In: Recon.EXE*

>>> To SciLab Net: Firewall Repairs >>>
<<< From Scilab Net: Firewall Repairs <<<

With Recon back in the PET, Steve leant back on the seat he'd found in a corner and relaxed. It had been an intense week; first Recon's appearance, then his own staged disappearance; a lot of fuss for nothing, he reasoned.

An aroma of alcohol and Mexitonian food wafted through the ventilation shaft and into Steve's nostrils. Breathing it in, he was suddenly hungry for beer and some nachos. I wonder if Nick can score me some freebies, he wondered as he groaned his body out of the chair and back into the club, opening the bar to sit on one of the barstools.

As he swivelled on the seat and scanned the restaurant tables, he noticed a female waitress moving between the busy mess of people, taking orders, delivering meals, and taking the used crockery and cultery back to the kitchen. She turned slightly from her current ordertaking to see Steve staring (mostly) at her. She turned back to her customer, a very tiny smile appearing on her face as she wrote down what was read to her.

Nick came back out from the cellar, carrying with him vintage wines of sorts. Placing them in their respective holes on the wall, Nick then grabbed Steve's shoulder from across the bar. Don't even think about it, Nick whispered in an undertone. She's out of your league.

What's her name? Steve asked, still staring at her.

Miss Owner's Daughter, he replied in the same fashion as before. You can't get mixed up with her kind; I think her dad has connections to one of the organizations behind the NetMafia faction in Electopia.

Oh, Steve mulled, disappointed. He was a sucker for medium-height short-haired brown types, and the lady ticked all his boxes. We can't give away who we are, can we Nick?

Nick stared at him wide-eyed, then quickly brought his left brow down to form a quizzical scowl. Don't call me that out loud. It's Neville now, he corrected.

Neville? Steve chuckled. Please tell me you didn't choose that yourself.

So what if I did? Nick huffed. What's your new name, Mister Creativity?

What new name? Steve questioned. I was a shadow my whole life. Nobody knows who I was back then, and nobody does now. The only people who could remember and recognise me only know my code name, so what's the big deal?

Nick went to respond to this allegation, but couldn't think of a good enough counter-argument. I.... guess.... he trailed off.

Exactly, Steve exclaimed. Now where can I get some decent clothes, this outfit of yours is a disgrace to the eyes, he said rather curtly.

You'll wear that until the end of the night, Nick replied.

To hell with that, I'm heading home, he concluded. However, as the smell of foreign food floated past him, he quickly changed his mind and sat back down. How about some free food? he asked.

Oh hell no. You can have a basic meal, and I'll cover the tab, but that's it, Nick argued. Just stay out of my way, it's karaoke night tonight, and I don't want you bugging me while I'm trying to impress my boss.

Where's your bo... Steve began to say, but after thinking about how many people he'd seen in the establishment, there was only one logical choice of who was in charge, and she was still taking orders.

Choosing to remain at the bar rather than finding a seat, Steve watched as the remaining tables began to fill, the gaming machine seats began to host players, and the karaoke booth began pelting out perfect harmonic music mixed with hopeless voices trying to match the lyrics.

[[[Head to the bar and attempt to talk to the guy in the red shirt and brown pants.]]]
Steve watched as a couple left the table closest to him, hand in hand. His focus drifted away, caught up in a memory of long ago...


Wait up! a younger Steve yelled as he chased Michelle down a pathway alongside some of Science Labs' tall buildings.

Hurry up, I'm not slowing down! she yelled back, forcing Steve to run even faster.

'CHEL! he shouted, with anger in his voice.

Michelle slowed down a little, and then stopped completely. Not because she had finally listened, but because they had arrived at the place she'd been racing to. Standing in front of a large door, she used her fist to bang on it, expecting somebody to open it. Sure enough, the door opened, and Michelle ducked in, quickly followed by Steve.

Steve grabbed her by the shoulder. What the hell was that about? he growled at her, staring straight into her eyes, demanding an explanation.

If you wanna lead a team, you'd better get fit, she stirred, breaking away from his glare and pulling out a standard black PET. Establishing a connection to the PC in front of her, she placed the object on top of the monitor and turned back to Steve. So have you been going to the gym like you promised you would?

Steve's stare had broken off from Michelle and fixated at her PET. Please tell me you don't plan to keep it in that, he asked with a look of concern on his face.

Why not? Michelle replied. It's sturdy, it's reliable, and it doesn't have a million gadgets to get in my way, she reasoned.

I... guess... Steve responded, clearly not pleased with her explanation. You given it a name yet?

Yeah, I'm gonna call him Recon, Michelle informed him.

Recon? Steve was curious. Why that name?

Why not? Michelle turned to the computer again, and with a few clicks she brought up her new navi's stats. It's what he's best at, no? Gathering intel and using it against the enemy?

Why do I keep getting that nagging feeling having you on my team is going to be a bad thin-OW! he cried as Michelle threw her left fist into his right shoulder.

I'm not going to be a hindrance. I battle just as well as you, and you know it, she argued. Besides, he's a good addition to the team; he compliments Sous very well.

I am not too sure about that, a new voice perked up from within Steve's pocket. Steve reached into his pocket and pulled out a heavily customized red PET. The red navi that appeared on the screen continued. From what I have been able to analyse, this new navi could break the successful dynamic the three of us already have. Of most concern is how Chic keeps reacting around the black newcomer. I am unsure as to how Armadil feels about him, he finished.

Whatever, Michelle huffed. He'll do fine. Now it was her turn to lock eyes with Steve. Seeing as you had a hand in his construction and development, I'd think you would be the one responsible for anything lacking in the teamwork abilities of my Recon, yes? she remarked slyly with a large serving of sarcasm.

Can your attitue, sis, Steve commanded before establishing a connection to the PC himself. Do your thing, Sous, he stated before the navi headed out of his PET and onto the network.


Are you alright? the waitress asked him.

Hmm? Steve mumbled, breaking out of his daydreaming.

Do you need anything? she asked.

Steve went to say something, but Nick's words reminded him of his place. Just a few more drinks, he replied before turning back to the bar.
Steve continued to watch as he gazed at a society he no longer understood: people enjoying each other's company, children playing with their parents, it all seemed foreign to him now.

Steve, are you going to be this boring all night? Recon half-whined from Steve's pocket. Pulling out the PET, Steve frowned. I don't remember you ever being a complainer, he inferred. Who cares? I'm bored, Recon grumbled.

Gettting up from the bar, Steve half-staggered away from the eating area and to an empty netbattler booth. Ignoring the "Battle" prompts, he tapped away some old commands and bypassed the battle arena entirely, creating a pathway to Scilab Net once again.

If you're so bored, go and find yourself some experience, he slurred as he bridged the connections. Recon, happy to have something to do and fully healed once more, prepared to jump from the device and onto the net. Be nice to anybody that passes by and actually tries to start a conversation, he requested before leaving.

Psh, anybody who pays for the next round is welcome to chat, he groggily argued.

*Jack-in: Recon.EXE*

>>> To Scilab Net: Stick to the Path >>>
<<< From Scilab Net: Stick to the Path <<<

Recon returned to the PET, still curious as to why his operator was still ignoring his requests. It didn't take him too long once inside to realise that Steve had passed out in the booth. From the looks of things, he'd had one too many drinks.

Most of the clubgoers had already left; only a few remained to talk to their colleages, and the rest looked to be couples doing things Recon would rather not dwell upon. Nick, no longer busy with the requests of a mass of people, walked up to the booth and gently pried the black device from Steve's hand.

So, Recon, how's Steve doing? Nick asked.

Recon was puzzled. Why are you asking me? I thought you knew him better than I did. All I remember are the last two days, he replied.

Nick let out a short, uncontrolled burst of laughter. Yeah, right. You've seen more of him in the last seven years than I have, he commented. But since the accident, he cut me out of his life. I'm surprised he even remembered where I worked.

Seven years? Accident? Recon was curious.

Wait, Steve hasn't told you? Nick looked shocked. Have you asked him about your past?

No, and every time I do, he either changes the subject or tells me it's nothing I need to know.

Nick looked perplexed as he turned to his friend. Steve was still out cold, but Nick wasn't sure what to do. He didn't agree with his comrade about what he'd done, but was it right to go behind his back and tell Recon about his past? Sighing in agreement to himself, he turned back to Recon. What I'm about to tell you stays between you and me until Steve tells you himself. Okay?

Finally, some answers. Recon nodded his head quickly, eagerly anticipating any knowledge to help him understand the visions.

Here's what you need to know, Nick explained. You used to be the 4th member of a team of navis organised by a military organisation known as the Electopian Defense Corps. Steve was the leader, but he didn't operate you, he had his own navi.

Wait, Recon interrupted. If that's the case, then how does he know me so well? And who really is my operator?

He helped design you as a gift to your operator. Her name was Michelle.


Nick paused. She's dead.

Recon took this in. Steve wasn't his operator, and his old operator was dead. Does this have something to do with what happened seven years ago?

Yes, Nick replied. I can't go into details, but yes, the incident seven years ago is why Michelle is de-

Nick was suddenly distracted by Steve's stirring from his slumber. Placing the PET back in Steve's hand, Nick picked up the bottles he'd left on the table. One more thing. Never ask about, or attempt to go to, Sharo or Sharo Net. Steve will not react very well, Nick warned him.'s this...Sharo? Steve slurred as he attempted to leave the booth.

Geez, Steve, you look shocking, Nick stated, eyeing his friend's half-collapsed face. I don't think I ever remember you looking this bad. Helping him onto his feet, Nick recoiled from Steve's breath. Dude, you need a mint. No, strike that; you need several mints.

Uhh... Steve groaned. He braced the edge of the table with his hand, but at least he was standing under his own strength again. I'll be fine, he quietly remarked, but if I don't get a coffee into me in the next fifteen minutes, my headache will move me into a murderous rage.

Nick's mouth shifted into a smirk. Sorry Steve, but the coffee machine's just been turned off for cleaning. If you want coffee, you'll have to get it elsewhere. In fact, you'll have to go anyway, we shut in five minutes.

Fine, he growled, letting loose a few cursive words under his breath. Shoving his PET into his right pocket, he staggered around the tables and out the main entrance. His memory, although very hazy at this point, reminded him of an all-night cafe only a few minutes walk away from the subway entrance. With his headache already starting to flare, Steve walked the concrete paths as he headed towards a hangover cure.

>>> To Science Labs: Pride and Glory[*] >>>