The drout of work

Mid day in the outskirts of Electopia, within a small 2 Bedroom home, things begin within a modestly sized master bedroom. Within the room papers depicting various images of people, objects, and scenes are strewn all across the room, a lazy pile stacked on top of a brown plain nightstand off to the corner, a few piled beside a patched up green beanbag chair with an emptied cup of ramen on the side. But in the part of the room where the least amount of paper clutter was present, was occupied with a different amount of clutter.

A huge classic wooden drawing board complete with a black lamp on the top serving as the rooms only useable light source, on both sides of the marvelous drawing board were folding tables, one on each side, The Left table being inhabited by plastic pull out drawers above and below it, The contents of each ranging from tools to blank papers of various sizes and types. The right most tables however, gave home to a scanner, a Tablet, a router, speakers, and a textbook sized Laptop with a black PET resting on the keyboard.
The wires from all these devices however, lead towards and above the drawing board, where an ancient looking computer screen sits on a downward slanting wooden shelf made of rather grainy looking plywood.

But at the center of this, was Lawrence himself, resting on a computer chair with the right arm rest broken off and revealing the iron bar that before supported the far more comfortable cushion. Leaned forward and staring intently at a half finished piece with several individual panels portraying scenes and spaces for text within them; all held together with ink on top of faint blue pencil marks.

A capped Technical pen rests on top of his ear, in his hand an orange marker with the wide tip exposed, and on the drawing board were more markers of various colors and a pencil, some markers are even on the floor, temporary forgotten as they time of need has yet to come.

Even with marker in hand, he is in no stance to use it, but instead leans against the drawing board, his arm keeping his face from leaning on the picture he stared at constantly.

"Another art block Lawrence? You've been out of your game for a week now"

At that moment Lawrence broke from his meditative state to turn and look at the source of that voice, the laptop. On the laptop a painting program was open, and within it, a digital rendering of a rather marvelous scene being brought together in simulated oils, the scene itself depicting a dark green figure in flashy attire that makes no hold towards sharing the subjects finely chiseled Body to the viewer, Said figure being portrayed Battling a massive Robotic looking wolf like creature laced in purple fire, all within a Hellish environment with a sky that looked as if it was reduced to demonic television static. The piece was close to completion as small amount of shading detail was added here and there in real time, the mouse cursor remained motionless as the piece came together.

Impressive as though it may be, Lawrence's response was just to roll his eyes and set his focus back on his own creation.

"I saw that Lawrence, you know there's a camera on this laptop right?"

"Yes, and so? Do you ever get tired of drawing the same subject over and over? That is your thirty-sixth one this month"

"Well, I AM the best."

"You are the best at what you were designed to do, and that didn't include Battling Giant monsters"

The activity on the painting program halted.

"You were customized for above average combat ability for busting virii and hagglers, on the event that we get a client somewhere dangerous, we would have to be capable of fending for ourselves to avoid data loss or worst, deletion"

"If that's the case, then I should have been perfectly capable of going to the Undernet to meet with that client who wanted a new look for the bulletin board down there, but you denied that job anyway, and it was the first job offered to us this month"

"Even you should know how lethal the Undernet is, more so how common it is for scammers to try and bait fools down there to get deleted and looted. There's a good reason the few Undernet requests put up are left unanswered."

The painting program saves the progress of the file and closes itself

"Well we haven't gotten mail for any clients, and Bamboobrush hasn't sent anything still, I say we head to scilabs to see if any jobs are available there"

Lawrence yawn

"Well it could give us something, and I think I'm due for a break anyways, Return to your PET Gait, we are heading to ACDC NET"

"ACDC...? I know for sure I said Scilab NET"

"I..Just think a brief net battling warm up would help"

"Against mere metools? I know we can do better than that now can we?"

"Let's just play it safe aright, I still have to operate so if I'm slacking you will suffer too"

Lawrence rises from his seat and grabs the PET laying on top of the laptop. Staring at the Computer screen above him, he jacks gait into cyberspace

Jack in! Gait.EXE, Transmit!
Minutes after Gait's return, The two have resumed their original tasks, Gait continued his piece on the laptop and Lawrence continued his own on the drawing board. their progress was the same up until...


"Lawrence, it sounds like you've got mail."[b][/b]

Lawrence get's back up from his drawing table to retrieve his PET, Gait soon returned to it through infrared to open the mail.

"...we got two messages, ones from dad, I'll read it..."[b][/b]

"... My boy, how have things been for you so far? your mother and I have been concerned about you financially, but even then we are proud of the progress you have made on your own, having your own successful business at such an early age, all the while making a living off of the one thing you love to do most.

What you are going through is natural in the tide of business, as society and technology moves on, positions and skills become endangered or even lost. I'm not sure of the fate of your line of business but just remember to be prepared for the worst when hard times arrive. If graphic designers lose all ground to the way of new technology what will you move on to? would you apply your skills in another way or would you start building new ones to go after greener pastures?

Take the time to think about it, it's vital that you do.

If I could send you some money with this message I would, however things hit a slow point for me and we are currently short on money as well. don't worry about us though, We can easily recover, and I will send something over in the future, but for now worry only about yourself and take care.

....~your loving father"


Lawrence rocked back and forth on his chair.

" what's the other message from?"[b][/b]

"That one...I'd rather read to myself, it's for me."[b][/b]

With that, the second unread message disappears from the inbox, and the navi with it moves back to the laptop.

"The only one that ever sends Gait himself mail would be My dad's navi, who technically is gait's father.

Gait was a composite navi developed off of the code from the backup data for dad's navi, and the source files for a standard graphic navi. the result was little difficult to stabilize but was made possible with the arranged help from a scilab professor who was a friend of my dad.

Dad is in fact a member of the Netpolice, though not super famous, he is a well respected net official for his contributions as well as his navi, Dad's navi was a powerful Elec/shadow navi who made his name for his professional infiltration and espionage, he's brought down many cases before they could even begin to grow out of hand, and to top it off, he's a rather dangerous fighter in combat, He's remember for how he can delete a navi in less than a minute thanks to his incredible speed, strategic abilities, and of course his operators operating talent.

As time went on, Dad got less involved with the net police and such, his navi participated in cases less frequently, this allowed other great members of the net police to overtake their fame over time, they never cared though as they were just doing their job, now if only gait could adopt that mentality..

Gait constantly wants to make a name for himself, much like his father. he wants to be the best, and if not the best then the best of all wood navis. He used to actually impress his dad with his abilities before "the sale". I don't know what they have been conversing about through mail though, but I can say that it's probably not far off from what my dad would say to me, my dad's navi is a lot like my dad himself."
I think I may have messed up somewhere in his programing, even if he doesn't protest against being a graphic navi, that's probably something he wants to abandon at some point so he can become a full on combat navi, but I'm not out of business yet, I still need a graphic navi.

Even then...should I be more proactive as a net battler? I mean I ought to start re upgrading gait again, it's only fair.

Gait returns to his PET, he still did not return the mail yet.

"hmm... gait, let's go and head over to the scilab's navi shop."[b][/b]

"We are? what can we even get there anyways?"[b][/b]

"We should have enough for a base level process upgrade, that would be good to start off with at least."[b][/b]

Grabbing his PET, laptop, and bag to put both in, Lawrence begins to leave his ragged apartment to head out to the Metro.
" are a F*cking moron gait! what did you get us involved in!!!"[b][/b]

"Tell me operator, how would putting another add in solve our problem? it hasn't worked before and it won't work now!

Face it, dad said if your job washes up you'd have to find a new talent."

"Bounty hunting!? item retrieval?!?! We don't even have experience in those fields, and how do you know that what we are up against won't be out of our league, huh?"[b][/b]

The duo go at it for quite some time, expressing a rare case of actual anger and frustration towards each other, Gait's decision to volunteer for a mission was far from what his operator Lawrence would have wanted. after a long bout of yelling and accusations, and an hour of absolute silence. calm discussion finally resumes with the two.

"...Look gait, your running headlong into trying to be like dad's navi, we can't just risk our lives like this. if you get deleted what am I going to do? I have no backup data of you, keep that in mind."[b][/b]

"Graphic design is dead Lawrence, and we are too broke to even get coffee, what I did was for the best as just putting in another add would just sink us into homelessness."[b][/b]

Lawrence pauses for a bit...

"...if it makes you feel better, I won't be doing this alone. much to my dismay."[b][/b]

Lawrence stops and thinks for a while....

"...aright, we'll do it, especially since we already made the obligation, get into your PET, we are heading to beach street."[b][/b]

"We can do this Lawrence, it shouldn't be that major."[b][/b]