Roger's Cabin

The long awaited day had finally arrived. Roger Goldman's package, the one he had been expecting since one month ago had been dropped off in his mailbox at the SciLab main office. He eagerly began to unwrap the non-descript brown box while hurrying back to his janitor's closet; his home away from home. As the box top opened, a loose cardboard flap fell to the floor. Roger was quick to collect it and looked around to make sure no one saw him. What good was a messy janitor?

He entered his closet and locked the door behind him, the smell of cleaning products lingering in the small room. He was clearly excited as he pulled his new PET from the box and dusted off the cardboard dust from the frame. It was covered in a genuine oak finish, not one that was simply painted on. He could feel the difference in his hands as he held it up to the light, noticing its pristine condition. He had to admire it considering how much it cost, but if things went well, it would pay for itself. Other than the PET, the box contained a trio of battlechips, a recharging station and a basic instruction manual. It couldn't be too complicated to handle if kids could use it.

He skimmed over the manual and noticed the pre-requisite 3 hour charge time. The last thing Roger wanted was to break it or void the warranty and he quickly plugged the device into a socket. He hoped the specifications for his customized navi were followed to the letter as he waited and continued to read over the instructions.

He stayed in his small 'office' for the duration of the charge time before finally deciding it was enough and turning on the PET. The boot-up screen flashed, lighting up the otherwise dim room before the face of his new navi appeared on the small screen. It looked exactly as he had imagined, except this one moved and talked with its own will. He couldn't have been happier with how it came out.

The two eyed each other in silence before the navi broke the ice with a loud, "YAR!"

Roger flinched and smiled at the fact that it wasn't defective and decided to turn down the volume down a notch.

"Ye be my shipmate, Roger then?" The navi continued, "DubloonMan's me name and piracy be the game! Har har har!"

"Hahaha, yeah, I guess I am your new shipmate." Roger said, slightly embarassed to be talking to a computer program. But artificial intelligence had come a long way and he had seen the leaps and bounds of progress working at SciLabs. It might as well be a real person talking to him.

"Tell me, Roger," Dubloonman asked, narrowing his gaze, "Are ye a man of adventure?"

Roger's grin widened and he nodded, "...Absolutely!"

His navi's voice boomed, despite the lowered volume setting, "THEN LET'S SET SAIL!"

"YES SIR!" Roger shouted as he forgot himself for a brief moment, caught up in the moment.

((SciLab Net))
Roger had spent far more time on the net than he expected and his shift had ended a little over two hours ago. He yawned and stretched as he considered what to do next. He had promised his navi a visit to Beach Street to look for the sea. That would probably eat up a fair amount of time in itself but he had free time and it was a while since he had last been there.

As he put on his jacket and got ready to leave, the PET sounded, "YARR! Put yer back into it, lad! The sea, she calls!"

Roger couldn't contain his happiness at the idea of having a purpose to his day and nodded, "Aye aye."

If the navi shop that he always passed by on his way to work was still open, he considered browsing their stock since he now had a reason to go in.

((Navi Shop))
The door rattled open as Roger stepped in from the cold outdoors to an only slightly less cold indoors. He shut the door behind him and turned up the thermostat, huddling in front of the vent to try and warm some feeling back into his hands. His eyelids were already dropping and his bed, though small and lumpy, was starting to look like the most comfortable place in the world.

"Yarr... It's been a long day." DubloonMan said with a yawn, "I'll be grabbin' some shut eye."

Without changing out of his clothes or washing up, Roger slipped off his shoes, placed the PET on his bedside table and curled up into bed. DubloonMan lowered the brim of his hat to cover his face and joined his operator in a deep, restful sleep.

* * *


Roger spasmed at the alarming voice and smacked the PET by reflex. Yesterday's events began to seep into his conscious thoughts as he recalled getting his navi and going on online excursions. He also remembered today was his day off and he had no plans.

"Glad t' see ye finally decided t' wake up." DubloonMan scoffed.

Roger rolled over with half his face still buried in his pillow. With his one unobscured eye peering up from bed, he spotted a red light on the PET that wasn't there before. Curious, he lifted it up and tapped open a status menu to find that the battery life was down to sixteen percent. In his rush to leave work yesterday, he had left the PET charger in his closet. As the number dropped to fifteen, the red light began to blink, creating a sense of urgency. Roger finished crawling out of bed, still fully dressed and put his shoes back on. Rubbing some gunk from his eyes, he made a tentative plan to grab some food, collect his charger and make another pitstop at the navi shop again. He had come into some considerable wealth though his mission and since it was all obtained by his navi, he was fine with using it on his navi.

((Navi Shop))
It was weird to walk around the Scilab on his day off. Normally, he'd stay home and watch tv or sleep in. Ever since he got his new PET, Roger felt as if life was changing for him and it wasn't necessarily bad. He strolled casually around the grounds, on the lookout for an outlet for his PET that was close enough to something he could jack-in from. He had already installed the second speed upgrade he had just purchased but hadn't dealt with the support program at all.

"What be th' hold-up, lad?" DubloonMan asked, restless as ever, "Th' call o' treasure beckons. Can ye not hear it?"

Roger was surprised with how few outlets there were for one of the most technologically advanced institutions on earth and had to settle for a small coffee shop. There were already a few people inside tapping away on their own PETs so he didn't feel completely out of place. Roger could see the battery was now down to four percent power so he quickly took a seat at a booth and plugged in his charger.

"Alright, let's test out the upgrade." Roger said.

((SciLab Net))
"Wait. What happened?" Roger said as static filled his PET screen. It quickly swapped to DubloonMan's image on the default background with a message about data being successfully saved.

"A booby trap!" DubloonMan exclaimed, his fist clenched in anger, "A dirty, low-down trick THAT I SHOULD'VE COME UP WITH FIRST."

"I was going to get you out of there soon anyways." Roger said, "At least you and Cannonball are alright. Speaking of which, I got my hands on a new Cannonball chip, er- a cannonball for you to use so that'll be something, right?"

"Aye, lad! Ye sure know how t' bring me spirits back up!" DubloonMan said, crossing his arms, "Where to?"

Roger yawned, "I wanted to go home, but we made quite a bit exploring just now so let's take another visit to the shop. There was some stuff I didn't get last time."

"Back t' th' tradin' post then before sailing t' port - a grand plan!" DubloonMan agreed, "Set sail!"

Roger gathered his belongings and unplugged the PET from the wall socket, noting the full charge on the battery, "Aye aye."

((Navi Shop))