Aelieth vs Bruce

Bruce entered the relatively small regular arena room and waved at the Colosseum Official as he walked past. He made his way to the console, whistling to himself as he went. Once he got there, he prepared to jack his Navi Gunther in when it occurred to him that he didn't see anyone else in the room. Wondering if it was just him, he looked up and glanced around the room. Sure enough, the only other soul in the room was the Official. "Huh."

"Wassup?" Gunther asked, curious.

"I'm in the netbattle arena, but my opponent isn't." He said as he stroked his chin for a moment. Then he shrugged. "Ehh, whatever. Let's do this."

Bruce jacked Gunther into the arena console....
Aelieth entered the room, his head hung in embarrassment as the Official who had "kindly corrected" his use of the main Colosseum network to jack into the arena wheeled him into the room. He stood there for a moment, shamefaced, before noticing that someone was standing next to the arena console, which he realized looked much more the part than the console him and Jay had used for their match. "Sorry about this..." he apologized, an abashed smile playing lightly across his face. "The being late, I mean. I went to the same general area where I competed in my last match, and jacked in over there, and it happened to actually be a restricted area and I had to explain why I was there the officials and..."

Aelieth stopped, realizing that he was both rambling and explaining way more than he needed to. He took a deep breath, attempting to regain his composure. "Sorry, let me just start over... Hi, my name's Aelieth. My Navi--" He checked to make sure that Holoß hadn't disconnected from the Network when he was frogmarched over here. "-- is Holoß. Nice to meet you." He said, extending a hand to Bruce.
Bruce stood there and listened to Aelieth's explanation; a smile creeping across his face as the Op related his 'could happen to anyone' tale to Bruce. At the end of it, the big man laughed, stepped away from the console, and shook Aelieth's hand (without crushing it). "Name's Bruce. Pleased ta meet you, Aeliieth. And..." Brice smiled. "Seriously, don't sweat it. I got lost trying to get here--"

"--Twice--" Gunther added from the console speakers.

"--myself, thanks Gunther."

"Anytime, Bruce. Anytime." The Navi replied dryly through the speakers.

Bruce jerked a thumb up over his shoulder, indicating the PET and netbattle terminal he'd stepped away from. "Speaking of introductions, the wiseass over there is my partner, Gunther.EXE."

Gunther's miniature holographic image appeared over the PET, and gave a lazy wave as the Navi said: "Yo." The image then vanished.

"Anyway, good luck to ya, an' lets enjoy ourselves, eh?" Bruce said finally before he turned and walked back to the terminal.
"Yeah" Aelieth grinned, nodding. "Same to you." Following Bruce's example, he walked to the console and took his place at the end of the arena terminal. There was something about Bruce's easygoing nature that struck the Operator. Being around such an amiable person almost made him feel like he had when he was younger, before he did his time in High School, before he had built an emotional wall to hide behind, before he had become constantly anxious around others. It seemed that with each step he progressed through the tournament, his goal became just a little more realized.

Brick by brick, the wall was coming down.

Aelieth laid his chips out before him, his grin becoming a genuine smile.
Aelieth grabbed his chips and holstered his PET before starting around the terminal to talk with Bruce face-to-face, to find out what had happened. Unfortunately, he was cut off almost immediately by a rather imposing Tournament Official. He tried to circumvent him when a heavy hand was placed upon his shoulder, holding him back. "Tournament participants are to wait in the Spectator's Lounge between fights," rumbled the gruff voiced Official. "Please proceed to the lounge until your name is called for round three." No hint of aggression was evident in his words, nor did the pressure the hand was exerting increase. Still, Aelieth knew that he had no choice but to do as he was told.

Utterly at a loss, and no more informed on what had happened than before, Aelieth was escorted out of the room, leaving Bruce behind.