Kat and Scarlet - Park Meeting

"Mmm-hmm," murmured Scarlet as she walked out into the park outside the Navi Shop, holding the PET in her hands and tapping some buttons. After some time, she pocketed the personal terminal, and tapped her watch. The holograph of Terra appeared beside her, looking down with her hands at her sides. Blinking for a bit, she looked to Scarlet, saying, "... Is the upgrade complete?"

"Yeah. I added a recovery sub-function to your terraforming powers, so you can extract some life from the ground and heal a few injuries," the operator replied, sticking her hands into her jacket pockets as she looked around the park. It was mostly just some lab workers having their breakfast, which looked to consist mainly of coffee and a bun. She herself had opted for a simple Yoka roadside stall-made riceball, which was enough to keep her going as a light eater.

"Hrm, we're a bit early," she said to herself, looking at the watch, which read 8:55am. "I guess we can kill time walking around." She and Terra did just that, with the Navi testing out small samples of her new functions.

[Waiting on Zan]
Katherine arrived at the park with little trouble. The trip had been uneventful, though the bagel she had purchased to eat along the way had been delicious. She wandered toward the park entrance, emerald green eyes scanning the area for signs of the woman she was supposed to meet. The park really was a quaint place, complete with a few benches and a children's play area.

Katherine was dressed in a simple pair of black jeans with a white t-shit slashed with a single red strip and red sleeves. Over this was a red zip-up sweat jacket to fight off the morning chill. Her shoes were a pair of white and red tennis shoes and she wore a white baseball cap on her hair, her twin braids hanging down over her shoulders.

Katherine used one hand to push her glasses up the brim over her nose and wondered how she was supposed to know who she was supposed to meet. She look around, noticing a few lab workers sitting around on their breaks. Katherine doubted Scarlet would be dressed in a lab coat and so dismissed the lab workers from her search. Katherine spotted a tall young woman moving away from her. The woman wasn't dressed like the others, not did she look like she was from around there.

"That has to be her." Katherine said.

The young woman hurried over to the other and held up a hand in a gesture to wait.

"Excuse me," Katherine said. "You wouldn't happen to be Scarlet, would you?"
At the mention of her name, Scarlet turned around to find a woman in a sweat jacket greeting her. "Ah, hello. Yes, I'm Scarlet. You must be Kat, then," said Scarlet, smiling and offering a hand to shake. She turned to her Navi, who was crouching quietly on her shoulder, not particularly paying attention. Scarlet waved around her hand at her shoulder, which made her do just that. "Terra, this is Kat. Say hi," she prodded.

Terra looked up from her playing around with wide open eyes, blinking for a moment. "..... Oh." The Navi stayed in her position, staring quietly at the new stranger. Due to Scarlet being slightly taller than Kat, she didn't have to look up much. She stood up, dusted off her shorts, and slowly executed a bow. ".... Good morning, Kat. My name is Terra. It is a pleasure to to meet you," she said slowly.

"Okay, Terra, that's good," said Scarlet, as the Navi went back to sitting and playing by herself. She turned back to her companion and said, "You said in your e-mail about a Navi named Durandal? I'd like to meet him, and though Terra doesn't look like it, she's probably curious too."
"Yes," Katherine said. "It is a pleasure to meet you both."

The young woman reached for her belt and unclipped the palm-sized PET. She pressed a button on the device, activating its hologram mode, and an armored Navi materialized in her palm. Katherine took the Navi and presented him to Scarlet and Terra.

"Tis a pleasure to meet thee, ladies." Durandal said as he bowed low. "I am the knight known as Durandal. Milady Katherine is my liege."

"So," Katherine waited for Durandal to finish before continuing. "Did you have any questions for me? Os should we just get down to it? I am not used to having anyone other than Durandal aid my creativity, so I am unsure as to how to proceed."
"Ah, I was thinking of something before we team-bust," said Scarlet. "I think you mentioned that you were having trouble writing certain scenes... I'm sure we can cooperate better if we both knew what scene it was, and work something out. Right, Terra?" The operator turned to her Navi perched on her shoulder.

".... Mmn," murmured Terra with just enough volume to be heard, as she wordlessly nodded. The Navi had not returned to her usual actions, but had been staring towards the armored fellow in Kat's palm. She stood back up again, and shot off from Scarlet's shoulder, landing near Durandal's position. Terra landed gracefully, tossing her hair to the side as she stood again. Tilting her head left and right, she appeared to examine the knight with apparent meticulousness. She then abruptly stuck out her gloved hand, offering a handshake.

".... Terra."
Durandal took Terra's hand and bent low once more, offering a soft kiss to the back of the gloved hand.

"Tis a pleasure," he said once more as he straightened. "It is rare that I have the opportunity to meet another Navi. For the most part, I serve as my liege's liaison with her peers."

"Ahem," Katherine interrupted. "As for the scenario at hand, its quite simple. The main character of my manuscript, Roland, is beset on all sides by a group of rogue knights. A lone warrior would have no chance against such odds. All is lost, but suddenly his savior appears. A mysterious warrior appears and aids Roland in battle, allowing him to overcome his aggressors and fight his way to freedom."

"I generally portray Roland, though the nature of our roles don't particularly matter." Durandal said.

"Correct," Katherine continued. "What I am really looking for is to witness Navi teamwork in battle. I want to see how two people work together to overcome an enemy bent on destroying them both. A large scale battle would probably be best, if possible for our Navi. However, a few smaller fights would also be most helpful."
".... Ah," murmured Terra, not expecting the kiss on the hand. She turned to her Operator, who only replied with a small, unhelpful smile. She shrugged it off, bowed again slowly, and shot back to her original position, standing now instead of sitting.

"I see, I see. Well, that sounds like a fine idea to me," Scarlet said, crossing her arms and looking satisfied. She turned to Terra, and said, "Terra, could you please run an access scan for the area? I haven't been here before, so I don't know where we can jack in." The Navi gave a curt nod, and closed her eyes for a moment. Then, she spoke quietly, "... The nearest access point is approximately 30 degrees east of north to our position, distance 7.4 meters."

Scarlet turned her head slightly, and it seemed that the place mentioned was a small phone booth next to a park bench, a convenient place. "Ah, the nearest is that phone booth," she said aloud. She started walking, motioning for Kat to come along. "Come on, let's get started," she said, as she tapped her watch to bring out the tactile holographic display in front of her. As she sat down on the bench next to the booth, she pressed the largest button on her floating screen lightly and announced the usual.

"Jack in, Terra.EXE, transmission."

[Destination: SciLab Net]
"Ah," Katherine said as Scarlet motioned toward the phone booth. "That works perfectly."

The young woman followed her new acquaintance toward the bench near the phone booth and settled down. She glanced at the PET in her hand, checking its wireless signal and making sure she was close enough to the phone booth for her Navi to be able to connect. Satisfied, she thumbed one of the buttons located along the side of the device.

"Jack in, Durandal.Exe, transmission." She murmured.

[Off to SciLabs!]
"So, Kat, I was wondering," Scarlet suddenly spoke. Propping her head up with her arms, she looked around the park, watching the lab workers leave one by one, carrying what was left of their meals with them. "I was wondering, what kind of books do you write other than fantasy? Do you write other things too, like drama, non-fiction or something? I'd really like to see your books and see what they're like sometime."

Stretching her arms out, Scarlet relaxed on the bench, placing her arms behind the bench. The translucent PET holoscreen followed her gaze as she looked up into the sky, lazily tapping the screen every now and then to operate Terra.
Katherine tapped a few buttons on the screen, transferring the share of the rewards that Durandal had sent her to her account. It was a surprisingly large sum. If they could continue on like this, Katherine would soon have enough Zenny available to purchase a few upgrades from SciLabs before she headed back home.

"Well," Katherine turned to look at Scarlet, idly toying with one of her braids. "I generally stick to fantasy and science fiction, but I have tried my hand at mysteries and I wrote a few dramatic short stories a couple of years back. I think they are still available in a few online anthologies. In 'The Netopian', I believe. I have a few of my novels on my computer back home. I can send you one if you like."

Katherine paused, checking on Durandal's progress. There would more than likely be another battle soon enough. She made sure her PET was still recording. She would need to reference the battles to keep them fresh in her mind when she went to work.

"So, what do you do, Scarlet?"
"Ooh, that sounds exciting. I like mystery. They keep me at the edge of my seat, and I usually can't stop reading," chuckled Scarlet, reminiscing about the times when she used to read thick paperback novels end-to-end every day. Now, with her work, she had little to no time for the tomes of her childhood, only managing to sneak in a thin one every now and again.

"Oh, I'd be happy to read one of your novels," she replied to Kat's offer, smiling graciously. "You could send me one of your mystery ones, I'd very much like that."

"What do I do...?" Scarlet mulled over the question for a bit, bobbing her head to the side while she contemplated on the answer. "Well, right now, I'm on my final year at Whitesoil University in Yumland. My major right now is... Semi-Sentient Programming. I finished up Terra for my final year project, though I'd been working on her a little every once in a while since I was a kid." As she explained, she waved her hand around in a careless way. "After this I'm going to apply for a Science Labs internship, maybe for a year or so."

Looking back at her PET's display screen, she chuckled, commenting, "Those two seem to be getting along really well."
"Yes, yes they do." Katherine responded. "I'm glad. My work keeps me sequestered away for long periods of time, especially when I am getting close to my deadline. Durandal doesn't have much opportunity to interact with other Navi outside of a work environment."

Katherine paused, taking a moment to glance around the area. The park was quite pretty in the morning light. Sunlight reflected off dew in the grass and on the leaves of a few bushes near the bench where the duo sat. The dew would burn off in the afternoon sun, but for now it glistened. Kat caught the scent of fleshly cut grass on a gust of wind and turned to see a gardener carrying a sack of trimmings to a waiting truck. She would have to find the time to visit this park more often.

"...hesitate to see what is in store for us in the future," Durandal's voice brought Kat back to the action.

Katherine looked down at her PET and caught sight of the newest virus group. It was no larger than the last group, but the viruses looked ready for the two Navi and the terrain was once again a disadvantage. Katherine glanced over at the handful of BattleChips sitting to her left and wondered what would be the most effective opening move. Durandal and Terra were both wounded and, while Kat had a couple of restoration sub-chips, she had no way of healing Durandal in the midst of combat.

"It seems like these viruses are quickly growing to equal our combined combat abilities," Katherine mused aloud. "I shall have to invest in some more BattleChips or process upgrades for future incursions."
Scarlet looked up at the battle currently ongoing, and smiled confidently. Terra was handling the situation quite skillfully, despite having been compiled into existence not two days ago. All those long nights spent debugging had paid off. Her fingers brought up a floating holographic keyboard, and sent some communication through to Terra, along with some reinforcement.

She overheard Katherine's little muse, and thought about her own situation herself. Sure, she could probably get the chips and upgrades from her own estate, but where was the fun in that? Scarlet wanted her Navi to become stronger of her own accord, not because of her wealth.

"I'm admittedly a bit low on those resources myself, I think," Scarlet said in response to the statement. "I don't think we won't find any usable BattleChips on these sorts of trips, as viruses drop them at a fairly frequent rate. Upgrades are quite fairly priced for basic packages, though the advanced ones really do cost quite a bit of zenny."

A low voice from her PET's screen interrupted her. "Scarlet, the battle is over." She snapped to attention, looking at Terra's poker face stare back. "Yes?" Scarlet replied, not knowing what was needed of her. "Durandal and I have sustained some wounds. Should we continue?"

Scarlet turned to the holoscreen that displayed Terra's status. Checking her Navi's statistics one by one, she nodded. "Sure, I don't see any reason not to. We'll continue for a battle or two more," she said.
Confirming the successful return of Terra to her PET, Scarlet exhaled a sigh of relief, and continued to systematically run an analysis on her Navi's current status. While she waited for the results, she turned to Katherine and sighed with a smile. "Well, this was a fun exercise," she noted, chuckling slightly. "Looks like we both got good results out of it."

A beep from her holoscreen signified the end of the confirmatory Navigator testing, with all signs positive. Scarlet tapped a button on the screen, causing it to fizz out of existence. She stood up, stretching her limbs out. "Well, it was nice working with you. We should do this again sometime, I figure," she said. She then held out her hand to Katherine in offering of a handshake.
"Yes," Katherine said as she stood up. "Most enjoyable and profitable. We really must do this again some time. Besides, I believe that our Navi have gotten along quite famously. Perhaps we can meet sometime without all of the virus battling to serve as a distraction. Maybe for coffee? I'll be sure to bring a copy of that book."

Katherine took Scarlet's hand, offering a smile as they said goodbye to each other. The battles really had proven enlightening. She would need to watch her recordings and see if she had missed anything important, but otherwise she felt she had enough to meet her current deadline. Perhaps she would give Roland a sorceress companion, one who specialized in nature magic. She made a mental note of the possibility.

"Come on, Durandal." She called to her Navi. "Let's take a quick look in the store while we're here and then head home."
Parting with their farewells, Scarlet walked away from the park, satisfied with the experience of virus-busting in tandem. She walked a fair bit before realizing that she had not gone to the Navi Shop, which was her original intention. D'oh, she mentally reprimanded herself, before turning in the opposite direction and walking over to the upgrade store.
((7 FXP rewarded for Scarlet and Katherine))