Andrew's Apartment

Andrew pushed his way back into his room after returning from the navi shop, managing to move about five feet before having to navigate a path of junk for the rest of the way to his computer. Some of it he wasn't sure why he had other than attempting to take everything he might by some slight chance need when he moved out of his parents' house, without any regard for whether or not his apartment could fit it all. Some of it he had bought since then and brought back to an already full two rooms. The rest, he actually did need in some way or other, but in the midst of everything else taking up all the space in his room had also gotten lost in the junk.

Other than the doorways, the only empty space in his room was a single table next to hiss desk. He made his way there and laid his PET across one end, activating its holoprojector program. The idle form of Eidolon displayed herself from it, laid across the table. Andrew installed the just-purchased upgrades, then brought her out of sleep mode.

"How're you doing?" he asked.

"Same as always," his navi answered. Andrew had come to expect this answer. Eidolon was never particularly vocal about her condition, but it meant she hadn't gone too far to either extreme. Still falling apart and in constant need of patches, even with her latest few upgrades, but at least she was as stable as she ever got.

"Really though, you need to stop using so much core data in fights. I gave you other weapon options for a reason."

"Options I'm not used to and have to learn on my own, you mean," Eidolon remarked bitterly.

"Yeah, I noticed. Sorry about that. Whoever deleted this Pianissimo guy really did a number on him. I had to splice together what was left of his weapon programs with what you already had. I...thought it would be a bit more seamless than it was, honestly. You'll have to pick the rest up on your own." Andrew turned back to his computer, bringing up a data file on his navi. He scrolled down to the latest set of errors, most of which were localized to Eidolon's left arm. That had been another problem. Eidolon's previous upgrades had provided solid protection for her core program. The weakest points in her body, the arms, neck, and eyes, were all effectively patched with pieces of Preon and the red wire navi. The remains of Pianissimo's scarf hid the neck wound effectively enough, as long as Eidolon didn't mess with it. But the armored gloves left a gaping hole on the back of the left hand, where Pianissimo's shattered navi emblem was. Rather than channeling core energy with relative safety through wires or "spectral energy" as she had before, Eidolon had made heavy use of that hole to fight in their last mission. That had to be the cause of her most recent problems.

"Anyway, I'm going to patch up the hole in your left hand," he said, getting to work as he spoke. "You'll still be able to use it as you have been, but you won't be leaking core data constantly. That said, I can't guarantee you won't still bleed out if you overdo it."

"Your bedside manner is terrible," Eidolon remarked.

"Sorry," Andrew said. He brought up a visual model of Eidolon, fitting the "cap" which was really just a copy of her own navi emblem over it. Satisfied with the size, he highlighted the fragments of Pianissimo's navi emblem. He hesitated for a moment with his finger over the delete key, then instead decided to simply salvage them in case they had some use later. "Now, this might hurt a little," he said as he installed the new cover. Eidolon's hand instinctively clenched into a fist, but otherwise the navi made no indication of being in pain.

"Well that solves one mystery. You do still feel pain on some level," he said after finishing, trying to sound casual."

"That was so important to figure out, I'm sure," Eidolon responded sarcastically.

"Well if it had anything to do with why you were so reckless, it would be important, yes," Andrew countered. "Anyway, that just leaves one more matter. Icaro." He said the last word as a command, activating the recently completed support program. The green outline of a woman appeared hovering over the PET, looking like a drawing that was never filled in.

"Are you the one who summoned me?" she asked, then laid eyes on Eidolon. "Oh...oh my. Are you okay?" she asked, rushing over to Eidolon to the best of her projection's capabilities.

"I'm fine," Eidolon said flatly.

"It's okay, I just had her like that so I could patch her up. As for you, I want you to monitor her condition. She gets hurt too bad, or starts bleeding core data, I want you to patch her up, knock her out, whatever you have to do. Understood?"

"Got it." She turned to Eidolon. "So you'll be my mistress for now, then? Just sing my name and I'll be there."

"I don't sing."

"Well...fine. Say it, then," she huffed.

Andrew sighed. "Well, you should be fine now, but I want to run a few tests before doing anything like that again." The hologram over the table vanished, and Andrew picked up the PET and jacked Eidolon and Icaro into his computer. "Electown's network should suffice. Don't go too far just yet."

As the navi and SP materialized in the net, he turned back to the remains of Pianissimo's navi emblem.

Just what kind of navi was capable of doing that?
((As a side note, I have decided to drop Eidolon's mission (Derrot Yard) due to activity reasons.))

"Eidolon...we need to talk."

It had been a long time now since the Titan incident. Long enough that Andrew was kicking himself for not broaching the subject sooner, especially after certain other incidents that had happened in between. Long enough, too, that he hoped that his navi had forgotten the reluctance that had marked his initial attempts to deal with it. This was something that had to be addressed. Not because of Eidolon's behavior, but because any clues to her past and the missing patches in her memory could potentially be used to help her. This was something Eidolon needed, more than Andrew.

The hologram of Eidolon materialized over the PET, miming a sitting position on top of Andrew's workbench. She folded her arms and fixed Andrew with what seemed like a wary look. Really, he couldn't quite tell.

Still remembered, then.

"About what?"

"If you're this cautious, I'm sure you know what. What you said during the Titan incident. What you did after. I need to know what's going on."

"It's a personal matter. Even as my Operator, it doesn't concern you."

Andrew shivered. Had Eidolon been this cold to him before? "If it can help me fix you at all, it does concern me."

"I'm fine as I am."

"No you're not. You're stable when you're not fighting, but you always come out of battle in terrible shape." Andrew took a deep breath. "Listen. I was thinking over what happened in that incident again. How Anyis and Grants...well, you know. If it were at all possible to do the same for you...listen, even if he's dead, I could...shit, that sounds pretty ghastly now that I think about it."

"Oh..." It was hard to tell through her visor, but it seemed like Eidolon's gaze had softened. "It's not what you think. I was never with anyone. Not like that."

"What was that reaction then?"

"Lingering memories," she said. "I figured a few things out. The wire navi's name was Redline. She was...married, a bit like Anyis was. I found her 'husband' when I was off on my own once. I doubt I ever will again, though. Scared him pretty badly and left him thinking I was some kind of navi-eating monster. ...Not intentionally, I promise."

"...Damn." So that wouldn't be helpful at all. Which meant that he was back to square one. "As much as I'd like to tell you to try and dispel that notion, it's probably lost on you. I don't suppose you have any other...lingering memories, you want to mention so they don't cause confusion later?"

"Hmm..." Eidolon turned her gaze to the ceiling as she thought. Andrew watched her processes spike, a clear indication that she was actually digging deep this time rather than just pretending to think it over. "Nothing of that sort. I found some very strong mentions of a 'Varia' and an angelic navi I couldn't find the name of, but nothing to the same degree. There was also a lot about a sword for some reason, but it wasn't that kind of relationship."

"...A sword?"

"The sword was a navi, apparently. And her owner was trying very hard to get her back when he was deleted."

"By who? That Metropolis guy?"

"Can't tell. I don't think he knew. Probably just found what was left, though."

"A literal sword navi, though. I wonder if there are any more..."

"...Andrew, what are you thinking?"

Andrew turned to his computer and pulled up his notes on Eidolon, talking as he added a new section to it. "There's two recurring issues I keep having to fix with you. One is that you keep leaking internal energy. If I can find a way to make that manifest safely, without putting you in danger every time, that would solve the problem of constantly trying to fix that. The other is that your weapon programs still contain too much corrupted data to fix on my own. Patching you with a navi like you mentioned, if we could find one that was deleted but left its 'weapon' body behind..."

"This sounds like a bad idea."

Andrew sighed. "It's the best I've got, Eidolon. Your programming is too archaic for me to do anything else. I can work with everything I've spliced onto you just fine. But Arsinoe's data is beyond me."

"...Fair point. Hades Net."

"What was that?"

"I found it in memory. There was a facility in Hades Net that might have what we were looking for. Although...."

Oh great. "What? What's the problem?"

"That was years ago."



Andrew let out a heavy sigh. "It's all we've got. I'm jacking you in. We can at least try to find the place."