Early birds gets the wave

In the empty, serene Beach Street, everything is silent and dark as the sun has yet to shine. A lone girl walked into the beach, wearing nothing but a wetsuit and a bright orange shirt over her body to ward off the frigid morning. Her misty breath hung in the air as she dropped a suitcase into the sand, landing with an audible soft thud, and took in a big breath of the salty air.

She dropped down to the sand on her bottom and quickly opened the suitcase to reveal an old electronic equipment safely covered in a salt-caked plastic cover. The girl scrambled through equipment to find a microphone and cleared her voice with a cough, quickly turning a knob to turn the whole thing on.

"...Good morning, everyone. This is 88.7 AM, the KWAVE, brought to you by yours truly, and your host, Kat Slater."

Kat's voice echoed throughout the street and the beach, and at that instant, the sun began to rise up from the horizon. "It is now 6 in the morning, Friday the 27th, and I can see the beautiful sunshine as usual. The weather is going to turn up for the best for you early birds...but let's check up on the waves. " The lone girl stuck her pinky into her mouth and held it up into the air, closing her eyes as she began to measure the wind with only her wet finger.

"...Ahh, I'm sorry. Today's weather is fine, but for you surfers out there, it won't be any good. The max I could think of is 2 feet...maybe higher depending on how fierce the wind becomes."

She sighed, but only after covering the mic with her palm, and resumed her forecast. "That's it for today. I actually need to cut this short, listeners...If...If there are people listening to this. I can't tell you why, but it's actually a pretty important day today." Kat's eyes drifted towards the sea, silently listening to the waves coming in and out to the shore. "W-well, thanks for your support, and don't forget to visit my website for any questions. Enjoy the rest of your day~"


Kat sighed once more, wrapping up her radio equipment into the suitcase and eventually using the said suitcase as a pillow. She laid down onto the cold sand with her eyes watching the sky slowly brighten up by the sunshine. "...Here's to your 8th anniversary, mom and pops." Her eyes tightly closed, jerking out a single drop of tear the dripped down to the sand.

However, with a big smile on her face, she reached down into a orange bag beside her waist and took out a PET. With a press of a button, a holographic screen popped out from the top, revealing a percent gauge showing "Current Update: 40% / # of Updates: 109/112." "Just a little longer..."

Determined to wait until the update was complete, Kat simply sat on top of her valuable suitcase and hummed a cheerful tune to her self...
In the empty, serene Beach Street... Things stopped being so empty and serene. A large white van labeled "ElecTown Energy" rolled up along the side of the street overlooking the beach, came to a slow but nonetheless screeching halt, and from the vehicle emerged a large and angry looking man, armed with a rubber gloves, a belt full of gadgets, a cigarette, and a 5-o'clock shadow despite it being closer to 5 AM than 5 PM. He lazily stomped over to the nearby electrical pole, took something off his belt and hooked up to the control box as a second vehicle, this time a truck with a cherry picker, came up to park behind the van. Two more men, each dressed in heavy gray jumpsuits similar to the first man, came out from the truck and walked over to the electrical pole before one of them spoke up, "Damnit... Why is ElecTown Energy out at the crack of dawn on Beach Street?"

A large puff of smoke rose up from the first man's cigarette as the question was asked before he grumbled back, "Stupid question... We're running the plants powering the whole damn country..." A beep from the device in his hand signaled it was done doing its... whatever, prompting the superior-sounding man to turn towards his companions. "... Whatever. Like the report said, the power draw and output around here is out of sync. We're here now because Beach Street will probably be in the dark by the afternoon if we don't fix the problem. Bo, get over to the hospital area and clean out the system there. Jerry, get your whiny ass over to the shopping district and do the same. I'll fix up the beach side."

"Got it, Chief Gollind." saluted Bo before running off to his assigned job. Jerry just sneered under his breath before trudging off. With his flunkies now gone, section electrical engineering chief Turner Gollind glanced around the area before grabbed some cones and warning tape out of his van so he could mark off his work area to toil in peace.

... What? Believe it or not, Turner graduated from college with high marks, and worked his way into a respectable position in Electopia's largest energy firm. Being an ass doesn't mean he can't be productive. No, Shiri wasn't with him. He was at work, it was damn early in the morning, and it was a school day. Kidnapping his daughter from mandated education to enlighten her to the wonders of electrical engineering wasn't high on Turner's to-do list.

After fiddling with the control box of the electrical pole for a few minutes, Turner became confident that there wasn't any problem with the circuitry or hardware. This was... yeah, a virus problem. "Mrgh..." grunted Turner through another puff of smoke. Stupid viruses. They always made his job more complicated than it needed to be. "PaperMan, looks like you're on the clock today too." sighed the irritable Operator, who never had much faith in his Navi to do the work Turner himself couldn't.

Unconcerned with that, PaperMan flexed his nonexistent muscles, signaling his readiness to fight off some troublesome viruses. That alone made Turner nervous, causing him to glance around the area for civilians in case PaperMan made accidently made a streetlight explode or something. PaperMan killed time and excess energy by jogging in place.

"Ah crap..." said Turner, biting down on his cigarette as he spotted a lone girl down on the sandy beach. Better be a responsible worker and get her out of there for her own safety, Turner. "Hey!" grunted Turner as he stomped down the stairs and onto the sand, his boots leaving large and distinctive footprints with every step he took. "You going to be here long? I've got electrical work to do, and civilians probably need to clear out of the immediate area." How much damage were you expecting PaperMan to do, Turner...?
Current Update: 93%
# of Updates: 111/112

The PET's update was nearing its completion, and Kat couldn't wait to see the end result. "So...Her name was Luna, right?" she softly spoke to herself with a cheery smile on her face, rocking back and forth on her suitcase. Despite the fact that she was so anxious about her PET, Kat looked over at her watch to find that it was almost turning 7, turning her excited expression to a rather gloomy one. "...Better get moving before people starts coming."

However, just as Kat was about to stand up, a man shouted from the far end of the beach trying to catch her attention. After listening to his little warning, the girl nodded her head and waved back at the electrician. "Don't fret, dude. I was just about to head on out!" The way she talked was completely different from how she normally talks when she was alone or operating her radio show. From the tone of voice to the choice of words, it was almost like she was a different person.

She quickly lifted the heavy suitcase up and began to head out, but she held it with only one arm as she closely held the PET with the other. Kat was having a difficult time handling the equipment with only one arm, dragging it across the sand and leaving a straight trail behind. With two arms, no problem, but she wanted to see the new navi so badly her eyes were tightly locked onto the screen. And before she knew it...


The suitcase's lock opened by itself after being dragged through the sand this whole time, much to Kat's surprise. The old equipment and its plastic cover all spilled onto the sand into a messy pile, quickly prompting the poor girl to squeal and immediately try to clean things up. "A-ah! What do I do! I can't believe this happened!"

Ignoring the electrician's warning about leaving the premise, Kat was freaking out as she tried to get all her equipment back to the suitcase while trying to keep her eyes on the PET.

"No! This can't be happening!"
A wisp of smoke curled upwards from Turner's cigarette as he watched this girl's suitcase exploded, baffled and irritated that this inanimate object was stalling her leaving and his job. Now, there were three ways he could deal with this. One, forget the girl, get to work, and pray that PaperMan doesn't ruin anything. Two, gather up this girl's stuff for her and get her on her way. Three, forget the stuff, pick up the girl, sling her over his shoulder, and drag her off the beach.

"... Mrgh." grunted Turner as he picked up what looked like a transmitter of some sort off the sand. Good choice, Turner. The first and third options probably would've ended up with lawsuits, anyway. As he kneeled down to pick up a second piece of equipment, Turner noticed that the girl keep frantically looking back to her PET every few seconds, and that pattern was severely slowing down her cleanup process. "Look... You take care of that whatever on your PET. I got this." explained Turner as he lifted up the two pieces of equipment he had collected in one hand. "You can deal with your stuff, I can get my work zone clear... and we can both be on our merry ways." It sounded like a pretty good proposal as far as Turner was concerned, but he never could calculate for how grizzly and intimidating his voice always sounded.
"Crap crap crap..."

Kat shuffled back and forth from cleaning the equipment to checking the PET, which was now starting up its last update, and didn't realize the electrician was approaching her from behind. It was until she saw an unfamiliar hand reaching out for one of the radio equipment that she finally snapped back to reality. "Eek!" She couldn't help but to squeal at the sight of a rugged-looking stranger appearing behind her all of a sudden. However, she quickly realized that this was the same electrician from before from the suit he was wearing. "O-oh! It was you, dude. Sorry, I got my hands all tangled up and all."

With a nervous chuckle, Kat simply nodded her head to say she's sorry, but her attention was still locked onto the PET. She only caught half of what the electrician had to say, but was able to understand the important part, "I got this." Now kat was shaking her head up and down to say she's thankful, and devoted her fullest attention at the PET.

Current Update: 98%
# of Updates: 112/112

Before she realized, the PET's update was nearing its completion, and Kat couldn't have been more excited. "Mom and Pops' navi..." She stood with both her hands tightly clenching the PET, swallowing down her anxiety as the bar reached he 100%. There was no flash of light, nor a bright firework of color, but a single notification window popped up on the screen.

NET NAVI FIRMWARE: 1.21 -> 12.01
PET FIRMWARE: 2.03 -> 7.09

A torrent of information came running down the screen with poor Kat unable to follow prompt. Fortunately, the window shut down by itself and finally began revealing the updated navi. Everything was cleared out and a human figure began to appear little by little starting from the feet. "..." Kat watched in awe, completely ignoring the cold weather, the unfortunate electrician helping her out, and everything else. A female navi dressed in a white dress appeared before Kat, her eyes slowly opening to reveal a dark blue hue that matched with the sea.


Luna seemed to recognize Kat the moment she saw her, but gave off a rather cold gaze before she turned away. "You're Kevin and Katie's daughter, right? You've grown." The girl was stood silent as she heard the navi speak, but at least gave a nod to confirm the question. "Aren't you silent...And where's your parents? It's been 8 years since they packed me away." Kat's eyes widened and she couldn't speak a word, memories of what happened 8 years ago still haunting her. "They're...They're not here right now. So I'm looking after you for a while." She had no choice but to put up a brave smile, not showing an ounce of what she was truly feeling.

"...Is that so."

Luna lifted her hands and a pair of silk gloves and a parasol began materializing on its own. "That was quicker than before, 8 years of progress sure meant something." The navi opened her parasol and held it against her bare left shoulders, slowly walking away step by step. "If that's the case, little Katherine, I'll be heading out. I'm curious of how much this world changed in almost a decade." Luna had a small smile towards Kat, but wiped it off the moment she turned around.

"W-wait! Where are you going?!" Kat started to hesitate, surprised by how the navi wanted to explore the net before they started to know each other. "Hmm..." Luna began to spin the parasol around and around before she abruptly stopped it and closed it back. "The nearest jack-in point is over there, so that's where I'm heading." The navi pointed towards the same electric pole the electrician was working just a moment ago and disappeared in a blink of an eye. "I won't be taking my time too long..."


"...Ah..." Kat didn't know what to do, honestly, as she silently stood with her PET barely hanging from her fingers.
As Turner picked up the last piece of radio equipment and placed it the girl's suitcase, he couldn't help but notice that she was just... standing there, frozen and staring at her PET. A few specks of ash dribbled down from Turner's cigarette onto the sand, working as a sort of hourglass as he just sat there on his knee and waited for the girl to do something. Soon enough, the gristly electrician realized this wasn't going anywhere, and got up to see what the hell was going on with that girl's PET to leave her so stunned. He didn't really have to try very hard to get a glance at the PET's screen, since his roughly 6.5-foot body dwarfed the young lady and gave Turner an easy view over her shoulder. What he saw...

"&#%^@#@#%!" Well, there he went. Turner couldn't bite his tongue this time, especially since that'd mean biting through his cigarette. Oh well, this girl seemed old enough that he didn't do any illegal. Scared the crap out of her, maybe, but Turner's conscience could live with that. As for what Turner was swearing about, it would seem that the girl's PET had a jack-in message displayed across its screen.

"Damnit... Oh... Uh, sorry about that." growled Turner amidst his frustration, remembering that he potentially scarred this girl for life. With that cleared up, Turner ran off in a lumbering sprint towards the stairs up to the street level, and before even starting up the steps pointed his PET towards the electrical control box. "PaperMan, find that crazy Navi! Get it out of there so I can do my damn job!" barked Turner angrily.

PaperMan saluted his Operator in response to the orders, then warped out onto the Net. Really, if he could react to Turner this way every day, it had to be wondered if this Navi had the patience of a saint... or maybe he was just too oblivious to be off-put by his Operator's bad attitude.

(Jack In, Beach Net)

Alot was going through Kat's mind right now, but most of all, she was in shock. Flashing back to her past, she remembered the time when she first saw Luna working with her parents. Elegant, beautiful, and intelligent, it was strange how Kat looked up to her as a child even though it was nothing more but a digital being.

Back to the present, Kat couldn't believe how rude that navi was, acting as if she knew everything and whatnot. "Oh that's it! I'm not gonna let that...that *beach* do whatever she wants!" However, just as Kat was about to march on over towards the electrical box Luna entered, a giant shadow loomed over her and an explosion of profanity rung in her ears.


The poor girl literally jumped up into the air and crash landed onto the sand on her knees. Kat turned to see that it was the rugged electrician, with his cigarette burning and his nose flaring from anger. She panicked and immediately blurted out the first thing in her mind. "I'M SORRY, I DIDN'T MEAN TO DO IT."

Mean to do what?

But before she could really calm her self down and explain the situation, Kat watched the giant electrician run towards the electrical pole and send in his own navi inside. With a slap against her forehead, she turned to see the radio equipment all packed and ready to go thanks to the swearing man. "Oh god, what a mess I've made..." Kat lifted the suitcase with both her hands and slowly made her way towards the pole and approached the electrician, despite the fact that he looked like he was gonna rip everything that was even gonna think of approaching him.

"...I'm sorry for making your work harder than it is, dude." said Kat with her voice shaking a little. "And thanks for helping me out...My name's Kat." Though she was being formal by introducing herself, it all came out automatically rather than thinking about the situation. There was just no way that man would give back a friendly hello back after making his crappy morning work into a complete sh*tstorm.
"Ergh... Don't worry about it. I figured something stupid was bound to happen during this job, and you ended up being it... Uh, no offense." sighed Turner, releasing a thick plume of smoke from his mouth as he said his piece. "You're going to be here until your Navi gets off the Net, I guess... Hold on a minute." Turner really was more worried about PaperMan being on this job than Kat's seemingly aloof Navi, and honestly, her presence could actually help his own Navi's sloppiness and bad luck. He just needed to clear out the local viruses for the time being anyway, and two Navis would get the job done faster than one. It was probably against regulation to get a non-worker involved in maintenance, but hell if Turner cared. He was the section chief here, and the rules were his to interpret.

Besides all that, safety was one thing Turner wasn't going to bypass, and had left Kat waiting while he dug around in his van for an extra pair of electrically-resistant gloves. "... Here, put these on. The control boxes spark sometimes if they're really infected with viruses." grunted Turner as he handed the girl the gloves, which were waaay too large and probably better fit to his giant hands than anything else. "Just try to keep your Navi under control. This control box exploding is the last thing I need..."

... Jinxed it, maybe?