Seli in the Square

Seli arrived safely in the square. There was no way denying that it was a popular place to hang out. In fact, there was no reason to even consider it. If there was one place people went online to meet others it was here; Internet City, home of the NetSquare.

As Seli began moving forward happily through the rustle and bustle she alerted her Operator of her arrival. "Nikki. I'm here."

"My god, took you long enough. What was with that?" Nikki questioned, sitting upright on her bed now.

"I ran into a little trouble." Seli said this casually, trying to downplay the importance of it.

"What kind of trouble?"

"Well, it was nothing really. A couple viruses showed up, you know."

This floored Nikki. Her navi had never been in a fight before. And that would have been so much more interesting to watch than the back of her eyelids. She almost groaned over the lost opportunity to squeeze some entertainment out of her life. "I take it you're ok then? Did you win?"

"Yes I am, thanks." Seli responded with a smile, and then rubbed the back of her head in an offhand awkward motion, "I didn't exactly win though. I escaped."

Nikki shrugged. Since she hadn't experienced it at all, she wasn't really fully comprehending how incapable Seli was in a fight. She was more worried about her boredom.

Nikki got up and wandered over to the windowsill. She stared lazily out through the window, looking at the street below. "Try the BBS. See if there's anything there."

"Will do." Seli obediently headed over to the BBS bulletin boards and started picking through them.
Nikki read over the posts with Seli, and eventually she realized there was nothing interesting among them.

"That's friggin lame..." she thought, as she continued to be bored. But Nikki was creative, and she had ways of making things more interesting.

"Alright then." she announced aloud, "Seli, we'll just have to start out own topic."

And with that she dictated basically what she wanted Seli to write and had her paste it on the board. Along with that, she had Seli attach a picture of herself. When Seli looked doubtful about her intentions with this, she explained, "It will help people know who you are. The NetSquare is a pretty big place. If someone wants to meet up with you they'd have an easier time if they knew what you looked like." Seli couldn't argue with the logic, so she reluctantly agreed. The picture attached showed a full body shot of her, smiling happily at the camera in front of the BBS.

Nikki was also using her Navi's looks to win over partners, as she figured Seli was attractive enough to gain more attention from her appearance. Seli wouldn't have agreed with her means though, so Nikki had her out ready and had used it.

And with that posted, Seli began to wander the NetSquare; she looked over some of the people there, stopped at some stalls, and generally made herself busy.

Both of the two waited, and hoped to get a response to their post soon.
"The NetSquare. I've never really stopped and looked around here," said ViralMan. He stepped off the warp he'd used to enter the area. There was a multitude of Navis moving around the area. "I wouldn't be surprised if there was more than one Navi around here dressed like a schoolgirl. I wouldn't even be surprised if one of those Navis was male..." He shuddered. "I'd be pretty disturbed, though.

He spent a few minutes wandering around. After four minutes of nothing, Zeo decided to step in. "You haven't found her yet? The place isn't that big." ViralMan scoffed. "Sure, why don't you go find her?" he challenged. Zeo tried to do so by panning his view of the Square around. As he did, ViralMan turned around to look the other way and spied a Navi similar to the picture he'd seen. "Zeo, I think I found her," he said. Now, to approach... He wasn't sure what to do. Walk up and say hello? That was too plain, he supposed. Then again, he didn't know what else to do.

In the end ViralMan decided to simply position himself about five yards away from Seli, make sure his helmet was off and wait for her to notice him. Maybe if she didn't he'd have an excuse to just leave. There were warps to other Net areas here...
Seli was having a pretty decent time in the NetSquare; after all, there was a lot to do. She had seen interesting people, watched performers, and even caught a glimpse of too odd Navis flying through the air, engaged in some sort of ball game.

At the moment she was busy checking out some of the stands. She had made her way over to one table that sold trinkets and bobbles to place on your Navi. She pointed out some of the more interesting ones and giggled at a few silly ones, making sure she uploaded the images to the PeT so Nikki could enjoy them too.

"These things are so fun," Seli thought, going through them, "No idea what kind of person would want to decorate their Navi with them, though." And, with that vision in mind, she giggled again.

She smiled at the salesman and excused herself, wishing him a nice day before making her way towards another stand, this one selling NetApples, and offering ineffectively small free samples.

Nikki, meanwhile, was almost beginning to alleviate some of her boredom. She enjoyed window shopping as much as anyone else. However, unlike Seli, she was also watching their thread. Break things? That was what the first reply had said. She wasn't sure if the responder was trying to be funny, or if he honestly meant it, but either way she made a mental note to be very wary of that one.

She noticed another response which had arrived not long after the first one. This one was far more normal. On the other hand, it was almost boringly normal; if someone could describe their own navi as boring, how would other people see it?

She decided to respond to the thread, but didn't decide to inform her navi of the posts. "She's having fun," Nikki thought, with a shrug, "And I'd rather know more about these people and not go out of my way to find them."

And so as ViralMan stood 5 metres away from Seli, she failed to notice him. Instead she graciously accepted a free sample and popped it into her mouth.

And with that knowledge in mind, Nikki went to post on the BBS, manually.
Oh, right. He wasn't the only gray Navi in the NetSquare, she wouldn't be able to tell even if she wanted to. Time for a new plan. "Zeo?" the Navi called out to his operator. A few seconds passed. Nothing. He was on his own, then. He supposed that there wasn't much to it, just walk up and tap on her shoulder or something. Say hello. For what was likely the first time ever, ViralMan ran a hand through his hair in a way reminiscent of Zeo, though the Navi's hair wasn't nearly as long. Sure, maybe he was going to end up spending the day with some girly girl Navi, but that wasn't definitely the case.

Thinking positive, ViralMan approached the female Navi who was currently indulging herself in the Square's wonders. Once he was within range of being heard by her, he half called out a greeting over the background noise of the NetSquare.

"Hello, are you Seli?" he asked the girl. It was kind of a rhetorical question since she looked exactly like the photo, but he figured it would be polite. He gave her a moment to answer before continuing with his greeting. "I'm ViralMan. It's a pleasure to meet you."
Seli had just finished swallowing a slice of NetApple when she heard her name called. She turned to face the direction of the source, and noticed a gray navi who seemed to be calling her.

"Oh, you must have seen my thread." She said with a smile.He introduced himself from a good distance away. "It's a pleasure to meet you, too."Seli looked at her feet and then traced a line from them to ViralMan, making a mental note of the distance. It was far too much of a distance for a friendship to be made; no one ever got to be close by staying far away.

Nikki, meanwhile, spent this time observing these two while casually watching the BBS to see if they got any more responses. However, she wasn't getting much there at the moment, so the interaction between her navi and the new one was far more interesting. She wondered how they would click.

"These NetApples are delicious." Seli commented, so that the vendor could hear but mainly directed at her gray friend. "You should try one." She gave her partner a quick smile, waved him over to where she was standing, and then took a step back, placing her further from him, so that he'd have to stand in front of the apples to be next to her.

She gave off a charming smile and said "Come on, try a bite."
Try a bite? Come to think of it, had he ever even ate anything? ViralMan couldn't remember ever doing so; he was designed for combat. So what was an apple supposed to taste like (and as an aside, who the hell kept tacking 'net' onto everything?) and how was he supposed to show it? Copying Seli would work, as long as he wasn't too obvious about it. Of course, standing there thinking about it was kind of odd too. ViralMan was quickly realizing that he was much better on the battlefield. Oh well, it was now or never.

Almost cautiously walking over to the apples, ViralMan looked down at them. They looked okay. Then again, how was he to judge? Ugh, just shut up, mind! the Navi shouted at himself mentally. Hoping that he actually had some kind of taste receptors or whatever they were called, ViralMan reached down, picked up one of the apples and bit off a small piece. Thankfully he also remembered that he was supposed to chew it. Hey, this isn't half bad, he thought. He took another bite of the apple before turning to her with what he hoped was a happy smile and responded. "You're right, they're really good. I haven't really eaten anything for a while though, so I'm not sure that means much," he said sheepishly. Well, it was sort of true. He hoped. This being happy and socializing stuff seemed pretty out of character for him. Then again, he wouldn't be being very polite by refusing the offer.

It was at this point that ViralMan realized he was standing much closer to Seli than he had been intending to, but by now there wasn't much he could do about it without being rude.
ViralMan seemed like an uncomfortable kind of guy, from what she had seen so far; he had uncomfortably walked up to the vendor, uncomfortably tried eating an apple, and had squirmed after that (probably because he was standing with a closeness that many would find, surprise surprise, uncomfortable).

Seli decided to glance over this fact. He seemed nice enough, and had been willing to try the apple which meant he wasn't a jerk, paranoid, or crazily rebellious or antisocial. She shrugged at his comment. "It shouldn't really matter when the last time you ate was," she said, glancing him over, "if something's good it's good."

Then she put her hands behind her back and leaned towards him, "And of course I'm right, did you doubt me?" She said with a playful tone, a wink, and then a giggle. Coming out of this lean, she took a step back, placing a more comfortable space between them, which may or may not have been her intention all along. Either way, it left them comfortably spaced.

However, all they had done together so far was eat an apple. And worse yet, they were standing in front of the free-samples-man and not offering any business. As a result of this, Seli decided that they would be better off moving; so she did.

Taking a step backwards, and another, she moved toward the center of the aisle formed by the various vendors. She began speaking, hoping her conversational partner would move to follow her. It was a loud and crowded plaza, and if he didn't follow, it would look an awful lot like she was speaking to herself. "Well that was fun. Have any suggestions for our next fun-filled adventure?"

She rocked onto her heels, and then back onto flat feet, hands clenched behind her back, as she awaited an answer. It was a somewhat immature habit she had, one that Nikki wouldn't be caught dead doing; but that was just one of the many differences between the two that didn't get in the way of their relationship.
Keeping up with Seli was turning out to be a challenge. She was quite energetic and playful, neither of which he himself was. So to decide on what to do...he had no idea. It didn't help that he didn't even know what there was to do in the NetSquare anyway. He wished Zeo was here to help him out. Then again, would Zeo even know anything?

I could probably ask her to go busting, but would she really be able to do anything? Would she even agree? ViralMan was reminded of the tournament champion, Red. Of course, not every Navi that looked harmless was actually dangerous. She might even find the concept offensive. I need to be careful about how I go about this. Ugh, this is more complicated than it should be.

That gave him an idea. If they found something else to do, he could probably learn more about her without directly prying into her own abilities. But that still left one problem; ViralMan didn't know what they could do in the NetSquare. He figured it wouldn't hurt to ask her own opinion, but he had to make sure it sounded casual. Maybe if I didn't think about it so much, I wouldn't have to worry about being casual...

Well, that settled it. He was clueless, she seemed knowledgeable about fun things to do. ViralMan had automatically started walking when Seli had moved farther away, so he sped up a bit to make sure he was heard and replied. "There's too much to choose from. What do you want to do?" he asked.
"I guess that's a no." The other man hadn't suggested anything in all. This meant the decision was left all up the her, which was alright with her. Polite as she was, she had no issue making decisions.

"Hm. . . " making a noise aloud to clue her ally in to the fact that she was thinking. She had had plenty of things to do while alone, but now she had others to consider; she needed something that all parties would enjoy. "But," she turned to her friend, with a sudden smile on her face, "who doesn't like a game?"

"I know. We should play a game." She smiled and closed her eyes as she said this, imagining them in her head. She quickly pointed in a direction. "There are a few that way. Want to try them?"
A game? Great, an opportunity for me to make a fool of myself, ViralMan thought. Then again, it was better than trying to make random conversation with the girl. Maybe it would even be fun. He sincerely hoped so. But what kind of game would he be good at? ...what kinds of games were there in the first place?

This would have been a great time for Zeo to appear and help, but the teen was currently busy with a medical emergency. ViralMan didn't know that, but it didn't make a big difference. Swallowing his fear of screwing up, the Navi responded in the affirmative.

"A game? Sure, that would be great," said ViralMan, only semi-lying. He ran a hand through his hair and took a step forward, ready to go with Seli (or more likely follow her) wherever the games were.
"Alright then." Seli said, smiling, and trying to ignore the tone of reservation her friend gave off.

She then began walking towards the area she had pointed out before, assuming her friend would follow her. It wouldn't be a long walk, but it was a walk, so it did take some time.

Nikki could feel herself growing more bored. So she surfed the BBS while hoping her Navi would start doing something soon.

Seli made it to the aisle and pointed out a few games. "Here we are. There's a bunch of them. A water gun race, a shooting ally, ring toss, milk bottle toss; even fishing and basketball shooting games."

She pointed to them in turn, and then turned back to ViralMan. "So, what do you want to play?" she asked.

Alright, let's see. Which game am I least likely to fail at?

ViralMan banished more negative thoughts from his head and surveyed the games before him. He wasn't made for this kind of thing; of that he was sure. Ring toss and milk bottle toss? ViralMan only threw bombs, and he barely even did that. Next. Fishing and basketball? He barely knew what basketball was, but it was just another throwing game and so it was out. Fishing was a viable option; perhaps being bad at that would actually be entertaining.

Water gun race and shooting alley? That was more his style. He fired guns for what was practically a living. Then again, these little fake weapons paled in comparison to what he normally used, and that could potentially throw him off. However, of all the available games the shooting ones seemed to suit ViralMan the best. With that resolution, the indecisive Navi focused on the water gun game and made an effort to smile. "I guess that water gun game looks pretty fun," said ViralMan, actually sounding somewhat interested.

He started towards the game in question before a thought struck him. "Hmm..." he wondered. "Do these games cost money? I'm...not sure I can access any right now." ViralMan hoped Seli didn't interpret that as 'I forgot my wallet'.
Upon reaching a decision, the girl clapped her hands together and was about ready to play. It was then, however, that her friend added his addendum to his previous statement.

She thought back before answering the question. When she had been through earlier she could swear that she played a game for free. However, she definately remembered there being a sign with a fee on it. Realizing that it had probably been a gender related perk activating, she also realized that this meant they likely wouldn't be playing a game right now.

Nikki, still bored, was not planning on giving up her money for this escapade. She didn't have to say that though, as Seli knew her well enough to take that for granted.

"Yeah. They do." She said, a slightly less excited manner coming over her face and posture. She though for a moment, looking up. "Well, I guess we can't play these games." she said with a dismissive shrug. "What now?"

Her lesser level of happiness blew over and away as she considered their other options.
ViralMan was a little surprised when he himself was also disappointed in their lack of money. Just when he'd started getting interested, too. This is just typical. And Zeo isn't here to provide money... ViralMan sighed. What could they do now? It seemed like Seli had really wanted to play a game, and now she looked a lot less happy since they couldn't.

They could always go busting. One group of viruses would probably yield enough zenny to play a few games. Of course, going off by himself and leaving Seli there would be rude. He wondered whether she would mind coming. He didn't really want her to be hurt for the sake of a few games. Might as well try, I'm not going to get anywhere by doing nothing, he thought. Turning to Seli, ViralMan tried to present the proposition in the best way possible. He wasn't very good at that though, so in the end he just explained his idea.

"Well, if we need money, there's always virus busting. I'm sure one group of viruses would net us enough to play a few games," said the Navi. "Of course, it's fine if you don't want to. This could have all been avoided if my operator was paying attention to the PET..." ViralMan trailed off the last bit on a sour note. Another thought struck him then; he wouldn't be able to use chips without Zeo to send them. At the very least he'd be able to access his standard buster and other attacks. Those would just have to be enough if they decided to go.
"Virus Busting?" Seli echoed, hollow for a moment. She stood motionless for a moment, blankly staring past ViralMan as she remembered her last battle. She snapped out of it immediately, though.

Seli was aware that she hadn't quite done well in her last battle. And that she wasn't meant for battle. But she also had her friend's wants to consider. And she had lived through the last one.

She glanced up over her left shoulder before Nikki responded, seeing this cue. "Sure, it'd be better than all this boring standing you two've been doing," She said, flat and exhausted through boredom. This quote was portrayed directly too Seli, of course, on a private connection. It was because of this that Seli felt the need to explain.

"Sorry," she said, with an apologetic smile. "I was discussing it with my Operator." She sincerely hoped she hadn't looked too odd. "And sure we can do it, I'm sure it'll be," she paused briefly, looking for a word, "exciting!"

This time, though, Nikki would be there with her. And ViralMan would be too. It wuld be much better. She was sure of it. And with that, a wave of warm happiness rolled over her, replacing her worry. Once again her happiness and excitement radiated from her.

"I should warn you though, I've never been a very good fighter." she said. Nikki chuckled, to herself, at this comment. She would certainly enjoy anything more than this, and watching her helpless navi try and fight was something she couldn't even imagine. Too ridiculous.

"But if you'll put up with me, I'll do as many matches as you want." Seli continued. She meant it, too. Nikki agreed here. She wouldn't have minded the bonus cash at all. "It's like being paid. To watch a train crash. Or a sitcom. Or an action movie." she thought, unable to decide how the busting would go.

Half turning, she looked over the various portals to the other nets. She ran through the names and picked one. "Well, I can't think of a better place for trying to earn money in a fun way than a NetVegasNet." she suggested, pointing out the portal. "I mean, I've never been there. But I imagine it'd be like NetVegas, which is bright, fun, very interesting and exciting. Want to try there?"

Seli neglected to point out that the gambling theme would very much fit with what she was doing, but she did think it. She really did mean the other things she said; Neon lights and the thrill of gambling really were fun and interesting.
So she...agreed? That was a surprise. Maybe they'd be able to salvage this little gathering yet. ViralMan looked where Seli was pointing and examined the portal out of the NetSquare. NetVegas? He'd never been there, much less heard of it. Of course, it did sound more entertaining than a place like ACDC Net, so he was fine with it. He wondered if there would even be viruses in the area.

"Sure, let's go," ViralMan agreed. ViralMan had already guessed that Seli wouldn't be the best Navi to have around in a fight, but he was relatively sure it wouldn't be too much trouble to have her along. Besides, it wasn't like ViralMan intended to simply let her be attacked. With that, he began walking towards the NetVegas Net portal. A few steps into his short journey, he turned around to ensure he wasn't running off without her and made an attempt at a light smile. Being positive would help.

It'll be fine. I hope.
ViralMan had agreed that NetVegas sounded like fun. In fact, he was already walking away.

Seli smiled at him as he turned to smile to her, and jogged to quickly catch up with him. She matched his pace and followed him through the portal to NetVegas, wondering all the while what it would look like, and what lied in store for them.
((+12FXP for interaction))