Rania Hits the Beach

Stepping off of the metroline and onto Beach Street, Rania stretched her arms above her head, lifting her t-shirt just high enough to show the bottom of her bikini. "Ah, this place is great, don't you think? I come by here all the time to do my work service at the hospital, so it seems strange that I don't stop by the beach more often. I should have called up my friends and seen if they wanted to come," she considered, crossing her arms across her chest.

"Ha. You make it sound like all of this is some leisure outing. I'm the only companion you're getting for this outing, so you'd better learn to like me. You can think of me as a friend if helps you," her navi grumbled, keeping a stern frown. "But the important part here is my training, got that? I want to fight one hundred viruses before you hit that water."

"By then I'll be so exhausted I doubt I'll even want to swim," she laughed, moving out onto the beach. "Don't worry, there are all sorts of little stands set up here where you can jack in. PETs have been water-proofed and basically nature-proofed in every way imaginable, so I can operate you safely from the comfort of the beach's sand," she explained with an optimistic smile.

"Uh, whatever. Just so long as we get to the fighting sooner rather than later," he coughed, not finding anything especially attractive about the beach.

"I'm just going to put on some sunscreen real quick while you jack in, okay? We'll move you from Beach Street to another area, I don't care which. Why don't you pick?" she offered, stripping off the t-shirt to reveal, once again, her laughable swimsuit selection.

Declining the laughs for a second round, MeleeMan gave a slight smirk. "Ah, leaving it up to me are you? Then I guess I'll pick some place you'd never let me go ordinarily. This is a time for adventure, I say," he chuckled to himself, heading through the roads of the net to reach the NetVegas network.

As Rania began to apply sunscreen to her face, leaving a white streak straight down her nose, she looked around for any of her school buddies she might recognize or, fingers-crossed, somebody that might have taken an interest in her and her new "eighteen but not seventeen" self.
Erin simply sat at the beach, pouting a bit. She really didn't trust that nurse woman with Seraphim, but had no real choice. She wasn't well enough to travel that far just yet. Going out to the beach was nice, though. Just looking at the waves. She yawned.

"I really hope she hasn't done anything stupid. She looked kind of stupid." Despite her carelessly cruel words, Erin's face was pensive. She really wanted her navi back. And the automatic wheelchair was being annoying again.

"Ugh. I hope she comes back soon. I need seraphim to clear this thing of viruses." Glancing around, Erin tried to push the joystick for the wheelchair again. Spinning around wildly, the wheelchair unceremoniously flipped onto its side, causing her to groan in annoyance. "It'll take weeks to get all the sand off the chair now. Stupid viruses."

"Hey, can anyone help me get this wheelchair up?" She called out, careful not to strain her voice too much after what happened last time.
Rania's ears perked as she heard a nearby girl calling for help with her wheel chair. Having a general sense of duty and a lot of experience working with faulty electronic wheelchairs from her time doing work service at the hospital, Rania decided that she ought to be the one to oblige. Walking over quickly, she responded with the efficiency of a practiced attendee, setting up the chair. She started feeding out the old tired line about "Oh, this happens sometimes if you're overbearing on the joystick or try to use your wheelchair to access areas not equipped for the handicapped," but something about the girl's distracted appearance made her think that she wouldn't care.

"Hey Junior Nurse of the Year, we don't have time to do YOU stuff. It's time for ME stuff," MeleeMan barked, loudly enough for Erin to hear him.

"You seriously would have wanted me to ignore a cry for help from a handicapped person?" Rania asked, raising one eyebrow critically.

MeleeMan grunted, realizing that he was griping just for the sake of griping and that he couldn't honestly say he would have preferred she had. "All of these hot babes on the beach and I end up hanging around with the dipstick and a little girl in a wheelchair..." he grumbled under his breath, this time quietly enough so nobody would hear.

"You'll have to excuse my navi, MeleeMan, he's a little... er... very rude some times," she laughed, giving the same speech that she often gave to many of the others she helped out when MeleeMan inevitably started shooting his mouth off.
"My wheelchair just has viruses or something to it. Should've known, they probably brought it from the cheapest manufacturer anyway. Probably Yumland made or something." She complained as she was helped up, not giving anything but a slight nod as thanks for the assistance.

As she spoke, Jamie walked up, talking amicably with a friend. "Oh, hey, this is Erin Nagasaki, a patient at the beach hospital." She introduced her friend to Erin, who in turn put on a smile that looked so sarcastic it could have caused even the most cynical of people to stop in their tracks to admire it.

"Nice to meet you, may I have my navi back?" Erin replied. She was obviously not in the best of moods, especially after having to be helped up. She hated relying on people, and was already doing it twice today.

Jamie frowned, then handed Seraphim over, a grin widening on her face as she did so. "There you go. All upgraded." She walked off with her friend, giving Rania a look of pity and shrugging before doing so.

"Well. Thank you for getting me up. I'll get to my room now, I guess." Erin looked at her PET, where Seraphim was motioning.

"Seraphim..?" Erin spoke, slightly confused. Usually her navi was somewhat more vocal than this. "...I knew it! She did something to Seraphim! What's wrong, Seraphim?"

Seraphim gestured toward his mouth, mouthing the words 'Silence spell or something'. Unfortunately, Erin couldn't read lips. Fortunately, she could connect one and two. "Oh, she muted you. Can't say I haven't been tempted to do that once or twice... Or five or six... Er, I don't know how to undo that."
"Ah, muting the navi... I'd forgotten it was possible to do that. That sounds like it'd be pretty useful," Rania laughed, showing an uncharacteristically malicious smile into her PET's monitor. "How do you go about accessing that function again?"

MeleeMan coughed into his fist, his expression keeping stern and calm despite her realization. "Er, I disabled that function a long time ago. More importantly, didn't you hear her say Seraphim? It's been a long time since I've gotten to fight alongside any of my real warrior brethren. This'd be a great time for us to team up and trash NetVegas together," he explained.

Rania snapped her fingers, suddenly recalling the image of Seraphim back into her mind. "Ah, right! That cool looking navi from earlier. If we bust with him, there's a chance you might even unlock your SeraphimCross again," she exclaimed, her eyebrows arching excitedly.

"What? Why do you care?" MeleeMan asked, crossing his arms across his chest disapprovingly. "What a spoiled girl. The operator with a perfect navi wishes for something greater than perfection. Anyways, we're doing this. Pitch the idea to wheelchair-girl so we can go ahead and get on with it."

Placing her hands on her Erlenmeyer-flask-reminiscent hips, Rania turned back to the girl and smiled. "Well what a coincidence, the two of us meeting here! Our navis have fought together a lot, you may remember. My navi is MeleeMan; big guy, black jacket, helmet that covers up his eyes. You remember him?" she asked, holding up the PET so that she could see. MeleeMan gave a slight sigh, holding his same expression. "My navi's jacked into NetVegas net right now, do you have enough time to send Seraphim on a busting run with him? It's fine if you need to get back up to your room though, I understand if you have other things to do," she finished, thinking to herself that hospital patients who were given leave rarely had anything they'd rather be doing in their room.
"Uh, if you know Seraphim, I guess you could. " She shrugged, looking somewhat puzzled before finally plugging in her navi through her wheelchair. "Want to go somewhere less uh, sandy? I don't think that the stuff is good for the chips."

"And for me," Erin added in a dry tone. Seraphim apparently had no comment on the matter, other than trying to cure the 'silence'.

"Why are we here, again?" asked Mill, suddenly in his cheap green swim trunks and a loose white T-shirt standing at the exit of Beach Street's MetroLine station. He had gone shopping, then back home to unload and given Anyis her upgrades, then... Beach? Huh?

"All that tension from the tournament is still wrapped around our minds. I know I still feel tense, at least." explained Anyis, who too was also in her swimsuit. "And what better way to relieve some stress is there than by going to the beach? You need to get out more, anyway."

"Hey, you haven't even been my Navi for a month! How would you know what my schedule was like? And I get out plenty often, thank you." scoffed Mill in his defense.

"... Well, yeah, now I remember that you said something about having a job. I guess that would get you up off your butt once in a while." nodded Anyis after some thought.

"... Damnit, my job!" swore Mill as Anyis's words made him remember that tiny parts shop buried in the mass of Electown stores. "I totally forgot about it! Bilst said I could go off for the tournament, but oh man..."

"Jeez, calm down Mill." sighed Anyis. "What's one more day off going to do? Call it jetlag from the flight and you'll be fine."

"You're... a very sly Navi, you know that?" noted Mill suspiciously.

Anyis only grinned at Mill's... "compliment" of sorts. "Anyways, we're here at the beach now. Let's go to the shoreline for a while."

"Yeah, alright." nodded Mill. "I guess it couldn't to just lay back and relax like this every once in a while." As his bare feet traveled across the pavement leading to the beach itself, Mill took notice of his surroundings. Souvenir shops, restaurants, tourists and locals bustling around... Off in the distance he could make out the top of the nearby hospital, too. It was probably Electopia's biggest hospital, and there were almost always people coming and going from its doors. Mill could only guess it was located along the beach to give the long-term patients a calming environment...

... And that was probably one of the patients, noted Mill as he crossed the street to stand over the flood wall marking the back end of the beach. Down on the shoreline, he could see an electric wheelchair, presumably from the hospital. The back of a girl's head was poking out from over the back of the wheelchair, and another girl, who was clearly older from how little her bikini left to imagination. He blinked, realized there wasn't much to imagine in the first place, and then noticed another thing... They had their PETs out. Were they... busting? On the beach? What the hell...? Mild curiosity got the better of him, and down the stairway Mill went to the shoreline to get a better look.

Not being one to let a good prank opportunity go, though, Anyis decided to go one step further. From within the safety of Mill's pocket, Anyis flipped on the speakers and turned up the volume. "HEY!" she shouted in a mediocre imitation of Mill's voice, although it was so sudden that no one would likely notice a difference.

Mill jumped, immediately knew what happened, and swore in the back of his mind to get revenge on his Navi later...
Rania sighed, feeling a little gloomy that she'd failed to garner any of the attention she'd been wanting. She was glad that at least MeleeMan was happy busting with his old pal Seraphim, since that would likely hold him off nagging for at least a little while. "Maybe it isn't what I wear at all... I shouldn't think it," she thought, giving a wary glance towards Erin, "but boys probably won't approach me so long as I'm hanging around with her..." As if scoffing at her, a male figure seemed to be heading towards her directly following that thought. He even gave a cheery (though almost laughably feminine, somehow) greeting in their direction. She turned around and waved, hoping, in spite of her good nature, that it wasn't any friend of Erin's.

"Who's that guy, Rania? I don't remember seeing anyone like him around your house or school before. Looks like a real chump," MeleeMan commented offhandedly, frowning and looking vaguely disapproving. "At least it's another regular looking dude for a while. Although if he's checking out Rania I can't say I respect his tastes... Wait, what the hell-!" the navi exclaimed as Rania swung the PET around behind her back, snuggling it to her and covering it with her hands as if to hide it. Clearly she was just as aware of how geeky operating a navi at the beach looked as he was.

As used as she was to making friendships, Rania had absolutely no idea how to go about hitting on a guy. Her mind went into overtime as she considered all of the factors that would come into play. She couldn't simply run over and leave Erin, that would be an inconsiderate thing to do. On the other hand, however, she couldn't stand there and make her come to them, as that would make her look uninterested. Finally, as much as she hated to do it, she realized that to avoid any messes, she would have to draw Erin's attention to him and affirm that he wasn't just a friend of her's. Tapping her acquaintance on the shoulder somewhat hesitantly, she continued to wave with her other hand while leaning down to speak to Erin. "Is that guy someone you know?" she asked Erin quietly, keeping her sharp, warrior's eyes trained fiercely upon Mill in a deadlock that was far more alarming than she intended.
"No, I don't know him. Probably some sort of creep trying to hit on us. Don't worry, I'll get rid of him." Erin left the PET in her lap, reaching down to the side of her wheelchair, picking up some wet sand and clumping it into a ball. Despite her various weaknesses, she was a fairly good shot.

"Maybe he's a lock-on or item aid like a fairy or something! That 'hey' sounded like he wanted you to look at something!" Seraphim commented as he brushed himself off, holding out his gauntleted hand to Meleeman for a handshake on a job well done.

"I sincerely doubt that." Erin's xenophobia, added with the fact that Mill didn't exactly look in tip-top shape to her hostility. She took aim with the sand-ball that was already starting to slightly crumble in her hands-

and let fly with it, sending sand flying all over in Mill's direction- but a particularly large and cohesive clump soaring right at his face and hair.

"That'll lower his accuracy, but I doubt it'll do much damage, Erin. Do you have any plans for a follow-up attack?" Seraphim spoke with a slight frown as he raised an eyebrow.

Okay, wait, we skipped some steps somewhere. As Mill started coughing in response to the sand attack to his face, his mind rewound a bit to add things up: Anyis faked his voice, the girls muttered something... he blinked, and... boom, ocean dirt. All his reflexes managed in response was what many would call a "flinch", making him step back enough to only lower the shot enough to miss his forehand hit him square in the nose. Sand sprayed outward, engulfing eyes, mouth, and everything in between in a wave of sand. His eyes took a particularly heavy blow as Mill had opted to spare his glasses the plight of sea air, and as a result his unprotected optics got a very fine dusting. Apparently the wheelchair girl had a deceptively good arm...

Mill tried to speak, wanting to call off the demonic artillery child, but his first attempt to open his mouth just got it filled with sand, making him cough even more so. Having learned a lesson the hard way, Mill grabbed the end of his shirt and pulled it over his face, rubbing the sand vigorously until it started to come off. When he was sufficiently de-sanded, he shouted, "Truce! Truce! That wasn't me!".

Anyis, who had broken down into a fit of laughter as soon as the sand started flying, didn't even care where the blame went at this point. That... was far, far better than she ever could have even wished for. She wasn't sure what to make of the girl in the bikini, but that crazy girl in the wheelchair was a godsend as far as that prank was concerned. Life was good.

Mill, who clearly disagreed, took his PET out, using a deft thumb to lower the volume of Anyis's manic laughter as he grabbed it. He lifted up so the screen faced his assailants and said, "That was my Navi, not me. I'm sorry if she startled you two, so please, no more flying sand...". Yeah, Mill still had particles of sand speckled all across his face.
Rania's first impression upon seeing the ball of sand hit Mill was to look into her PET and set her eyebrows stern to scold MeleeMan. As she saw him staring back up obliviously, however, she managed to connect the dots and realize that her navi had not, in fact, thrown a ball of sand at the newcomer from the confines of his PET. With a slow turn of her head, betraying more of her disgust than she would like to, Rania stared at Erin blankly. Suddenly, her eyebrows arched much as they would in criticizing her own navi's behavior.

"A demon!" she thought frantically. Her peaceful introduction had been interrupted by what was essentially a MeleeMan who was not only there in real life and therefore impossible to hide, but also confined to a wheelchair and thereby impossible to deal severely with. Sweat trickled down the side of her face with the combination of anxiety and heat. "I'm sorry that my nav-, er, uh, friend here mistook you for some kind of creep!" she apologized frantically, executing the sort of mock bow that her grandfather had taught her several times in succession.

"Friend? What the hell are you talking about, Rania, you just met her. I said before that this is not a time to hang out with your friends, this is a time to seriously focus on training. Look, I just checked the tournament brackets while you were fiddling around. A girl made it all the way to the finals! Three out of four navis in the semifinals were girls! This is an injury that can be directly related to you goofing off and wasting the potential of the ultimate navi as he sits in his PET, waiting for you to turn your attention back where it belongs!" he ranted as Rania continued to babble apologies, paying no attention to him.

Rania paused momentarily to listen to Mill's explanation of the situation, her sharp eyes inspecting the navi in the PET discerningly but without ridicule (she'd placed the entire blame upon Erin at this point). "She looks vaguely familiar," the operator muttered, looking up at Mill with one eyebrow raised as she tried to match his face to anyone she could remember.

"Dammit! I know her. Look, Rania. That woman is one of the semifinalists!" MeleeMan bellowed angrily, snarling with disgust. "I could have easily been in her place if you'd entered me in the damn tournament after a period of solid training. See, Rania? See the sorts of opportunities that other people take while you sit on your chubby ass?"

"My ass is not chubby!" Rania responded furiously, clapping her hands over her chubby ass. "But more importantly, this is amazing! One of the semifinalist navis, right here at the beach, and we run into her operator! How lucky can you get?" she exclaimed, clasping her hands together excitedly and beaming with pleasure.

MeleeMan nodded, keeping a gruff frown. "Yes, lucky indeed. Lucky because we're going to take the time to see what you're really made of," he growled, establishing a one-way audio link with the opposite PET. "Listen, Anyis, if you think that you're up to it, Seraphim and I are going to go sign up for a mission to test our skills as warriors. Why don't you come along and prove that you really deserved that spot in the finals?" he asked with a smirk, crossing his arms across his chest. He had not actually gotten any kind of indication from Seraphim yet as to whether that was their plan or not, but he gave a nod to Seraphim, apparently anticipating his full agreement. "Come on, Seraphim. Let's see if this little girl can keep up with men like us." With that, he opened up a portal to internet city and moved out of Beach Net.

"We're suddenly involved in some kind of life-threatening, manhood-testing mission now? I have to apologize again, my navi tends to be pretty brash in imposing his policies on others," Rania sighed, turning back to Mill. Her eyebrows were peaked again, however, and despite her apparent disapproval of her navi's ideas, she saw a unique opportunity presented to her. "You know, if you're not busy, why don't you let Anyis come along with us? I mean, it's fine if you don't want to, but the offer's out there. We are a pretty effective busting group, so we might all get something out of it," she proposed with a confident smile, thinking of Seraphim and MeleeMan in her mind's eye and trying to push her new-found hatred of Erin as far from the center stage of her mind as she could. "My name's Rania, by the way, and this is er...." she introduced herself, gesturing towards Erin but blanking on the name, as she had yet to receive it.
"...I thought you didn't know him..?" Erin spoke with a skeptical expression with one eye squinted at Rania somewhat suspiciously. "How do you know him..? A navi tournament semifinalist? Wouldn't that just make him some kind of glorified nerd?"

All this, of course, was said in a sufficiently loud enough voice for Mill to overhear. Although she had absolutely no right or moral high ground to stand on--... She continued. "And--"

"Wait, you didn't enter me into a tournament? That could have been a once in a lifetime thing! I could have gotten some kind of boost or powerup! Maybe even some kind of ultimate weapon or skill!" Seraphim interrupted as he looked up from something he was doing.

"Er, excuse me a moment." Erin looked back at her PET. "You're done with those viruses already?"

"Of course, little things like those couldn't stop me for long." Seraphim whispered in what really sounded like a stage whisper at Erin. "I could always use some more link ups. Plus, this guy's navi could be a contender for a party member. Semifinalist beaten and wanting revenge! It's my duty as the main character to help this character to come to terms with the loss and everything!"

"...Well, I guess." Erin stared at Mill in a somewhat barely slightly different light. She twitched the joystick forward with her sand-covered hand. "Sorry for throwing that sand out at you, but you should have better control of your navi if she's going to startle people like that. I mean, what if I had a gun? I'd get convicted for manslaughter or something and it'd be your fault!" Completely disregarding the crux of that particular example being that she wouldn't be carrying a gun ever due to obvious issues with her possibly shooting everyone within the immediate radius who irritated her, and the fact that she would be somewhat at fault for killing Mill. Either way, the makeshift apology for her actions was out in the open.
"Well, I'm Mill. It's... memorable to meet you both, I guess?" said Mill as he introduced himself, while simultaneously glossing over Erin's name as she had still failed to give it out. "At least, I won't be forgetting this anytime soon..." He tried to force a laugh, but man... Mill wasn't aware where his luck with girls was placed on the karmic scale before today, but now he could only assume he had violated an ancient taboo in a past life and was still repenting for it to this day.

"Ahaha... Okay, okay, I'm good now... Yeah, okay..." gasped Anyis as her laughing fit finally subsided. She took a deep breath, then restarted, "Okay. You all seem to already know my name for one reason or another, but because I'm so nice... My name's Anyis." She had returned herself to her original clothes before presenting herself, and in perhaps a bit of a mocking motion, she performed a small curtsy with the edges of her robe to her new, impromptu compadres. "And I'd be happy to join you both on a mission. I hope I won't be a burden."

Mill pulled his PET a little closer and whispered to his Navi, "... Why are you playing so nice?"

"It just makes showing them up later all that much more sweet~" snickered Anyis under her breath.

Devilish woman... thought Mill with good reason, but there wasn't much to be done about that. "Er, anyways... Thanks for the apology," said Mill as he turned to Erin, "and I'll keep in mind to watch for people packing heat in the future." He honestly found it hard to believe there was actually reason to string all those words together in the same sentence, but this violent girl had managed to make him do it. What a terrifying person...

"Anyis seems fine with joining your Navis, but as you can probably see... I'm not jacked in. Can we move up off the beach for this? I can't imagine the sand and salty air doing our PETs much good, and those wheelchairs probably aren't made for riding across sand to begin with..." said Mill, directing his speech to Rania while pointing towards Erin's wheelchair. It looked like Mill was making some new friends, for better or worse. Unfortunetly for Rania, though, Mill hadn't thought a thing about her appearance as the bloodlust of the demon child was pretty effectively curbing any excitement he'd get from chatting it up with a bikini-clad girl.
Rania coughed and tried to ignore the nerd comment as best she could. She quickly thought up a way to connect the dots and save her athlete ethos. "Well, I don't know about you, but I got my PET specially made for hiking and outdoor activities, so the sand and water aren't going to do much to it. I do a lot of outdoor exercise, you see, and-" the operator began to ramble off before being interrupted by her navi.

"Hey, Rania. Hate to interrupt you apparently trying to impress a boy by bragging about how much you spent to waterproof your PET, but I'm sitting here by myself. Give everyone else the damn coordinates," MeleeMan called out to her, interrupting her train of thought.

Rania slapped one hand to her head, digger her fingers into her vibrant red hair. "Darn, that was sort of like bragging. That's not a good way to do this," she thought irritatedly. "A-Alright, let's move on up off the beach then. It'd probably be better for um... her if we don't spend too much time down here on the beach anyways, right?" she asked Erin with a slightly crooked forced smile, further infuriated that she still couldn't seem to be able to place a name with the girl's face. "I'm sending the coordinates for the mission to everyone's PET now. Thank you both for going along with this sudden change in plans."

"Heh, a brilliant idea I had if I may say so," MeleeMan grinned smugly, standing still in Hades to give the others time to catch up to him.

"Yeah, well, not so brilliant there, Einstein, leaving the others without telling them where you're going," Rania muttered under her breath as she continued up the ramp off the sand to a suitable jack-in port, motioning for Erin to follow.
As Rania painted a picture of being the model of compassion and kindness, Erin sullenly followed, trundling along by pushing the joystick of her wheelchair forward. "So you're waterproofing your PET so you can do nerdy things while doing athletic things? I guess they cancel each other out or something." Erin was apparently not feeling very pleasant, half-covered with sand from the spill she took from her wheelchair.

"So we're going to hades area then? A nice test for my upgrade people. I don't think it's a really great place to get to know people, though. Yoka would have been better, I think. Maybe Netfrica, we could go on a virus safari or something."

"Well, both have fire virus, just view this as a terror-type mission, I guess." Erin replied quietly to her navi as she continued brushing sand off herself and her ride. She plugged Seraphim into her Wheelchair and let him play the 'minigame' of getting her to the indicated location.
Mill followed behind the girls at a snail's pace, as Erin's wheelchair in front of him wasn't exactly built for speed on any terrain, let alone soft sand. After hearing her snide remark about Rania's PET, Mill added, "Well, you never know what could happen. I can't say I was expecting to be pelted by sand balls today, and I'm just lucky that none of it got into my PET." He sounded fairly unconcerned about it, but this was too good of a shot to pass up. "It may seem weird for Rania to have waterproofed her PET, but there's no harm in preparing for the unknown." In effect Mill was lecturing Erin on the matter, and that probably would not prove to be a good idea in the near future...

"Showing off a knowledge of PETs is not how you impress the ladies, Mill." chided Anyis. "... Well, NetBattling isn't exactly high up on the scale either, but it's an improvement. Just jack me in already so we can get this started."

"Fine, fine..." sighed Mill as he pulled up the coordinates Rania had sent. "... Hades? Wasn't expecting to go back there so soon."

"Really? Ha! This is going to be good..." laughed Anyis at the revelation. Hades Net had already suffered through one campaign of the chilly spirit medium recently, and for Anyis to go back there so soon... Well, somehow, somewhere, someone is pitying the firey viruses who call that hellhole home. Mill jacked his Navi into the same port as Rania did, and just like that Anyis was off after her allies.

(Jack In, Hades Net)
"Y-Yes! That's exactly right. It never hurts to be prepared," Rania blubbered. Again, in spite of her natural attitude of caring, she was happy that she and Mill had managed to get a 2 versus 1 opinion of the non-nerdiness of a waterproofed PET established. "Anyways, let's see how our navis are doing," she muttered, staring down into her PET and resting her sizable buttocks upon a picnic table's hard, wooden bench.

She set her small, sporty exercise bag to the side (what was more assuring of her non-nerdiness than such a bag?) and tried not to stare at it. One corner of the black, dragon print shirt peaked out of the side at her, beckoning her to pull it out and again hide her body in its cozy defense. To her it was almost like a panic button. If operation flaunt-my-adult-body was really working against her, that shirt could provide her the protection she needed against the scorn of others with its universally agreeable coolness. Unfortunately, throwing it on now would be senseless, as a long black tee would not fit well with sitting unshaded in the healthy sun.

Rania decided to set aside her fears and wing it for a little while. "Maybe I've been being too aggressive... I should just be myself," she thought. "Besides, if he's really the guy for me, he'll accept me as I regularly am, right?" Her thoughts were largely fueled by romantic, fantasy-like ambition, but it certainly made them appear appealing to her. Even though she'd never managed to establish a real relationship with a guy before, perhaps this one would be different? He'd agreed with her over the waterproof PET, after all. That had to mean something!

Anyways, things were going to come to a halt if she could not manage to strike up some conversation. "So, while we're waiting on our navis to find this destination, why don't we talk about our navis a little? It'd probably help us coordinate a strategy," she suggested in a friendly way, leaning one elbow against the table and giving a cheery smile. A creeping sense of error had already begun to flash a warning light at the back of her mind, however. "Geez, stupid stupid stupid. If I have to explain or describe MeleeMan to these guys, how in the world am I going to do it?" she groaned within the confines of her mind. The thought nagged at her as she kept her face bright and sunny, waiting for the responses.
Ugh... She would have to ask that, of all things. "Well, uh... I don't really know Anyis all that well. I've only had her for a few weeks now." explained Mill reluctantly. "The ONB tournament was really the first battle experience I had with her, so that was all really... weird." In retrospect, Mill realized, it was a borderline miracle that they even got to the semifinals as a new Op/Navi pair.

"Her fighting style is pretty strange too, come to think of it." added Mill as an afterthought. "She fights with her fists, ice and water attacks, and... ghosts. I'm not really too sure how to explain the ghost thing, so that's probably better to just see for yourselves." Anyis had really only given him a proper explanation of the digital ghosts earlier today, so Mill was hardly in a position to repeat such a convoluted story to others.

"What about you two, though? I haven't really seen much of either of your Navis." said Mill, looking to Rania and Erin. He paused at the wheelchair-bound girl, though, then realized something: "Actually... I still don't even know your name." said Mill to Erin.
"Me? My name is Erin." The girl gave Mill another suspicious glance, as if he was attempting to discern her navi's secrets for some secret evil ulterior motive to later attack Seraphim later on and become his rival. "My navi's name is Seraphim." She said cautiously.

"He's an unusual navi." With that elaboration, Erin fell silent and clamped her mouth shut, looking at Rania. "How is Meleeman, Rania?" her lips pried open long enough for that short sentence, the small girl attempted to redirect the topic toward Rania and keep her nervous, suspicious silence around Mill.
Ordinarily Rania would have put on a very nice face and spewed out a very clever knitting of truths and lies to describe her navi in a positive light, but considering he'd just implied that he had more respect for someone he'd known for about 20 minutes than someone he'd known his entire lifetime, she didn't feel particularly gracious towards him. She was also feeling uncharacteristically brash and uncaring of the consequences of revealing what her navi was like. "Oh, you know... He's a meathead, good-for nothing neanderthal. All he does is fight. He degrades women in every way imaginable and also fails to accept men as equals most of the time. He regards his favorite moment of his life as fighting a mafia-produced clone of himself. He's terribly afraid of water so much that swimming in the sea or standing in the rain bothers him. He's also constantly insulting my br... brrr-" she rambled on and on, then slurred to a slow stop.

She stopped herself, realizing that she was about to bring self-insults into what was meant to be a tirade against her navi. "M-My brother. He's constantly insulting my poor little b-brother..." she muttered, looking down at her navi in defeat. He was completely distracted yet had somehow managed to ruin her socially without even opening his mouth.

Rania realized now that the only way to redeem herself by extension was to redeem her navi and make the previous statements seem like a joke. "He has some positive traits too. One time he worked to save a bunch of girls from a mafia attack. He uh... he's helped the Netpolice before by request. He's... very serious about his work and is, to his credit, very good at what he does. He's sort of the rebel that justifies his means by his end result, you know?" she laughed awkwardly, accidentally putting things into very cheesy terms. "B-But anyways, I think we all know plenty about each other's navis by now, right? We ought to move on to something else."

"Something else... Something else..." she thought seriously, her eyebrows perking as she struggled to come up with something. "Oh, I've got it! Did you guys hear about the tournament results? They say the winner was a little girl and that she won a rare chip called 'sanctuary!' That one's so rare that I've never even heard of it before! What do you suppose it does?" she asked Erin and Mill, her eyes shimmering with the thought of such a magnificent chip that they would award it to the winner of a large netbattle tournament.