Mid-campus, between library and science buildings
Trenn morosely looked down at the hard drive in his hands, muttering to himself as he walked. The thing looked oddly like a gravestone to him, black and heavy as it was, and he could feel an entirely different weight from it than the one pressing down on his hands.
In this hard drive was most of what remained of Soundman; his process upgrades, his modules, his buster ups... everything that could be salvaged off of the old program. Everything that hadn't been ruined by a child's mistake.
Trenn sighed. Now wasn't the time to beat up on himself, anyway; he had somewhere to be. He lifted his head, forcibly prying his eyes away from the hard drive, and continued onward. The slight gait that emerged in his walk-- a slowing shuffle, as if he was terrified-- was the only evidence that remained of his inner turmoil.
Trennzaku: So there you have it. That's why Soundman's gone.
TooBrighton: thats a shaem trenn
TooBrighton: why give the parts way tho? cud repair soundman kater, rgith?
Trennzaku: ...You really need to turn on your spellchecker, Thomas.
TooBrighton: dont wana
Trennzaku: Regardless, repairing Soundman would take me... a long time, even by the most optimistic of estimates, and even then it's not exact; if I misplace one line of code, even if it's still working, the same problem could happen all over again, or the personality could corrupt, or the memory files could glitch.
TooBrighton: so its 2 hard is what u mean
Trennzaku: Basically. Plus there's no guarantee it'll work, so he figured the parts should at least go to someone who can use them... and to be honest, I don't think I'm ever going to get back into the Netbattling "scene". ...I couldn't risk him again.
TooBrighton: u wre prety good u kno
Trennzaku: Yeah. Anyway, where should we meet?
TooBrighton: can u dome 2 denteh sciece bild?
Trennzaku: Only if you turn on your spellchecker.
TooBrighton: for you, sure
Trenn approached the front of the Science Building in silence, his feet plodding against the brick pathways, and checked his location again on the PET; a little map popped up on the PET screen, confirming his location. This was the right place. Trenn moved to put the PET away-- and paused, gazing at the default navi's icon in the upper-right. Ah yes, the default navi. More a shell or a husk than a real personality, the things were stiff and lifeless compared to customs, which is why most people preferred customs to begin with. You couldn't be mistaken that they were inefficient navis, though, no; they were very efficient in their tasks. Very calculating and quick.
Just like a machine.
Which was ironic, to put it bluntly, that humans would need human traits so much that they would have to apply them to programs. But... after the time Trenn had spent with Soundman, could he really say they were wrong? Soundman was as much a person as any human... perhaps moreso. He laughed. He cried. He experienced the thrill of victory, and the frustration of defeat. He experienced the hardships of life, and also the ease that comes from having friends to get through them with. He lived, and he loved. And then, so very much like every human... he got sick, and he died.
And now he's donating his organs. Trenn thought bitterly.
At that moment, the main doors to the Science Building opened, and Thomas walked out. "I was wondering why you were standing out here!" He grinned, walking over to Trenn. "Hoooh, is that the stuff there on the HDD?"
"...Yeah." Trenn replied, nodding and doing his best to hide his uncertainty. "It's all here." He held it out.
"Eh? You don't want me to just download the stuff?" Thomas asked, holding his PET up.
"I'd prefer it if you took the hard drive too, to be honest." Trenn managed to smile. "Think of it as an extra gift!"
"Well, alright." Thomas relented, taking the hard drive in hand. "I suppose if there's any viruses on here, Regalia could bust 'em up anyway."
Regalia, huh... So that was the name of Thomas' navi. He had heard him talking about him before, but he had never mentioned his name. Trenn's features darkened as he thought about it, and so he turned away quickly to hide his expression. "I'm certain he can... though there's not any viruses on there. I checked." He said, beginning to walk away. "Anyway... enjoy."
He took a step. His heart crackled.
He took another step. His lungs were out of breath.
He took a third step. His stomach was churning.
He took a fourth step. His mind was screaming.
He took a fifth step. His soul shattered.
He took a sixth step--
"Hey, Trenn!" Thomas called from behind him. Trenn turned his head to look.
"You'll fix Soundman! And then, when I've gotten stronger, me and Regalia, we're gonna beat you two!" Thomas shouted, waving. "Right?"
Trenn paused, thinking for a moment, and then smiled back at him. "Don't joke about that, Thomas..." He replied, walking away. "...we both know we'll win!"
Trenn thrust his fist high into the air as he walked off, looking a little less depressed. Thomas watched him go.
"Well, time to get this stuff installed..." Thomas said to no-one in particular, heading back inside.