Air support enroute

((From Sharo))

ResQ materialized on a log in pad, quickly uploading the Navi and her suit into the network. Her amber eyes glanced around coolly, it had been a long time since she'd been back in the net (outside of a private, locked network), but that was no excuse to let her guard down. She absentmindedly moved the suit forward, it appeared her body was remembering how it felt to pilot a suit again, and it started to feel natural once more. She looked around before pulling up a map of the square, she didn't remember exactly where the ACDC Net portal was located. ["Proceed heading 255 for 1.5 klicks,"] Alexander chimed in. "Hmph, I know where it is, sir," she said condescendingly in an attempt to cover up her memory lapse. She huffed a bit as she walked on the directed heading. Needless to say, the sight of her walking around in a 12' tall mechanical suit turned some heads. She occasionally glanced around, but she payed the nosy passersby no heed. Besides, most of them were just boringly default NormalNavis and progs, there appeared to be a lack of significantly customized Navis in sight. She slowly made her way towards the portal, she didn't see the need to rush through the area.
[[From Dentech]]

Dullahan made sure to make his first entry into Netsquare as uneventful as possible. Making minor adjustments to the position of his slung bow, he trudged past the horde of programmes littering the packed square. "There's quite a crowd isn't there? And behind each of these are human operators, just like myself? It's a difficult imagery to summon," the Navigator heard Birkenhead speak, his tone a mix of childish wonder and academically-trained curiosity. "I don't think any of the tiny progs are manned," he remarked, instinctively looking for road signs to lead him towards a map or a directory.

Dullahan paused. He was a program; he didn't need directions if he has a built-in map.

Meekly scratching his head, he waved an arm in front of him, bringing up the Netsquare map-- a default feature in every modern Navigator. Several refreshes later, the map appeared. ... There was a ridiculously huge update on the layout since he was last here.

When did he last come here, anyway?

"... Well, Netsquare is sort of like the interchange for connecting between different networks. We came from Dentech Net, and from here, we can access to any other network in public domain," Dullahan quickly continued, not wanting his uncertainty to be filtered to Birkenhead.

Audio feed transmitting scribbling of a pencil on paper confirmed that his diligent Operator was taking down notes. The Navigator visibly relaxed and put a satisfied smirk on his face. The calm, however, did not last long before he realised there was some sort of commotion beyond, near one of the other Network portals. A quick check with the updated map told Dullahan that it was the portal for ACDC Net. Eyes rising from the map, even though not within close proximity-- he could tell what was the problem.

Someone placed too much affection into their creation, and gave a girl model Navigator a huge mechanised suit to play with.

"Oh, that design looks pretty neat, actually-- something mechanised, with a touch of sensuality. The mark of any boy's dreams, really," he heard Birkenhead sigh in satisfaction. "Do you think we can take a closer look?" Oddly enough, despite how Dullahan wanted to empathise with his ideas, the Navigator could not seem to grasp as to what he meant by 'every little boy's dream'. Dullahan shrugged; sure, why not?

As the Navigator closed the gap between himself and the mech-girl (as how Birkenhead had named it), it became increasingly apparent that the lady was not walking in a quick pace, and was basically being an attention magnet to all the other programs. ... And she does not seem to care. Dullahan folded his arms, slightly perplexed as to what was the other's intention.

An eyebrow raised both within the Network and behind the monitor in the Birkenhead residence, they silently admired and assessed the trudging mech-girl, albeit with a different perspective that was not shared between Dullahan and Birkenhead.
ResQ continued to walk towards the ACDC Net Portal, occasionally glancing around the crowds, and attempting not to squish any progs that got in her path. She did notice one seemingly out of place Navi, so customized he didn't exactly blend in... though she was one to talk, the only way she could see him was from her vantage point atop her robot exoskeleton. She noticed glances from him going in her direction, but since he seemed passive she didn't see a need to react and continued on. Once she approached the portal, a small window popped up over her control panel. [[color=darkgreen]Hold position here, ResQ,[/color]] the NetOp said from his window. [While you're still in the viral free zone, pull up the busting checklist and give it a once-over before proceeding. Take note of the warnings, cautions, and notes as well.] ResQ's head rocked back, looking skyward as she groaned. Really? I wasn't programmed yesterday, you know. Alexander raised an eyebrow and his face got slightly larger in the window, [Want me to go back into my "she's as much mine as she is yours" speech? I can do that.]

She rolled her eyes and moved her head back down to the control panel, opening up the checklist. "Fine... jeez. You know not everything is in a checklist." [Oh believe me, there's a checklist for everything. If anything, the military is quite thorough when it comes to paperwork,] the NetOp replied, eliciting a sigh from the Navi. She stood by next to the portal, scrolling through the checklist, glancing up and around every now and then to see if any one was nosy enough to approach.
Dullahan already intended to head to ACDC Net, being the area he was most familiar with. So it was merely coincidence when he realised that he could've been interpreted as following the mech-girl as she approached towards the portal.

"Oh, hello, guess they're heading over to ACDC as well," Birkenhead remarked. "So does this mean that from here on out, it'll be something akin to a video game? Guns blazing, fireworks, dramatic camera angles and whatnot? That'll be interesting." Dullahan shrugged. "That really depends on the Operator's tastes. It's technically possible, though I really do not want to entertain your curiosity by trying it out," the Navigator started, but paused right next to the mech-girl, immediately before the portal. He noticed how the girl was busy doing some read-ups, despite not having seen her doing intense reading on her way here. Is this her first time heading into an unsecured network?

Taking care not to sound like a stalker, Dullahan picked the safest conversation option to go with: "Is this your first time venturing into ACDC? Do you need any help?"

The Navigator can barely hear Birkenhead commenting on his attempts at being smooth.
ResQ continued looking through the checklist as the Navi approached. She expected the Navi to pass her towards the portal, but he stopped next to her, causing her to pause and glance down towards him. She went back to the checklist, but she was prepared to swat the navi away with one of the ANGEL's large slave arms. Alexander also noticed the Navi's presence, but he didn't appear suspicious, curious if anything. ResQ closed the list as the Navi spoke up. [[i]Great, now I have other Navis pestering me.[/i]] She looked down at him, giving him a cold look with an equally frigid faint smile, "No, go away." Alexander sighed as he opened a window. "No need to be rude," he said quietly, before turning the window towards the Navi. "It's been a while, so we're a bit rusty. I'm Alex, by the way.

ResQ managed to stifle a groan or sigh and looked back towards the portal. [Idiot...]
"Not exactly welcoming response," Dullahan mused at the mech-girl's anti-social tendencies, turning and ready to head off into the network. He paused, however, when he heard someone else addressing him. Dullahan eyed the window, raising a hand to scratch at his head. "Greetings, sir Alex." Much to his surprise, a window popped up next to him, taking the need of an introduction out of the Navigator's hands. "Alex, eh? Pleased to meet you --I'm Richard Birkenhead, and this here is Dullahan."

Much to Dullahan's amusement, the other Navigator seemed not to revel too much in her Operator's decision to interact.

"If I'm not asking for too much, Alex, it's my first time heading out into the network with Dullahan. It'll be great help if you could accompany us with your.. er... trusty... lady," Birkenhead began, but eventually became slightly unsure of whether the other Navigator will be co-operative. Dullahan's eyebrow raised, but decided to close the distance slightly and raised his hand for a handshake; even if it looked slightly out of reach between the lady, her exoskeletal machinery, and himself. "Pleasure to meet you, lady of metal," he offered, but looked ready to be turned down-- or worse-- get smacked. "Pleased to make your acquaintance."
The Navi responded with a polite greeting, seemingly fitting from his appearance. His NetOp also chimed in through a similar window to Alexander's, introducing himself and the Navi. Alexander looked at the pair as he spoke, instinctively giving a slight bow of his head. "Pleased to meet you too, Mr. Birkenhead, Dullahan." The man, looking similar to Alexander's own age, explained it was their first time venturing out into the net, both interesting similarities. However, their respective Navis' personalities seemed to be anything but similar.

"No worries, it'll be nice to have company. We'll both need quite a bit of practice, I think." He was about to introduce his Navi, but it appeared Dullahan was brave enough to make the first move and greeted her with a handshake. ResQ was glancing nonchalantly amongst the Navi and NetOps, but focused on Dullahan as he addressed her. ["Lady of Metal," hmm?"] ResQ thought. [Charming. Does have a nice sound to it though...] The Navi appeared respectful, and not exactly chatty, hopefully quiet enough to not be grating on her already strained nerve. She surmised not playing nice and giving the Navi a mecha back-hand would have a possible consequence of getting pulled from the network, and back in that cramped PET.

However, she wasn't going to hop out of her suit just to give the Navi a handshake. The ANGEL's right arm and shoulder smoothly eased forward, sliding its lower arm towards Dullahan. The suit's hand, though it easily dwarfed Dullahan's own, opened and benignly grasped his hand, giving a surprisingly gentle handshake. It would have to do, and if he protested, a nice vice-like squeeze would likely be in store for him. "ResQ.EXE. Nice to meet you too, Dullahan," she said calmly. Her tone wasn't as cold as before, but it was still fairly obvious she wasn't exactly thrilled about this new arrangement.
Dullahan nodded along the large mechanical arm's actions even as his gaze followed it, making a face mixed with curiosity and mild anxiety. Regardless, the handshake was done, and Dullahan hadn't needed to introduce himself to the floor yet.

His gaze returning to ResQ as she finally gave her name, he was amused at the sight of the other's attempts to contain her unexcitement. "Might as well make the best out of this, Lady ResQ."

"Oooh, I see, Res-Q! I see what you've done there, lovely," Birkenhead remarked, thoroughly enjoying the idea of a puntastic name. "Maybe I should rename Dullahan to something more witty, as well," the Operator teased.

"... Uh... No, I like my name just fine," Dullahan quickly interjected, making sure Birkenhead was no longer following that train of thought.

Birkenhead coughed, making a gesture towards the portal. "Well, I'm assuming we are ready to go? Do I have to prepare anything from my end?"
While not entirely expected, Dullahan appeared to have a similar level of excitement about this as his new partner. This was a welcome attitude to ResQ, she'd likely grow sick of being around a chatty, A+ personality Navi; she already had enough to deal with thanks to her authoritative NetOp. "For now...," the Navi responded. Dullahan's NetOp was amused by ResQ's name, nearly causing her to grimace as he brought it up. Luckily the subject was dropped fairly quickly, letting the Navi return to mental preparation for the excursion to come.

Birkenhead asked of their readiness to venture out on the net. "I'm ready, don't know about "Alex" though, she jabbed at her Operator, putting her right hand on her hip. The ANGEL mimicked her somewhat sassy pose, even going as far as canting its hips slightly to the side, shifting its weight primarily to its right leg. Alexander mostly ignored the verbal jab, spinning the window as he spoke. I'm all set here, ready when you are. His window turned towards ResQ, "Go ahead and proceed through the portal. Be prepared for possible viruses upon arrival," he cautioned before the window closed. ResQ gave an unmotivated nod before walking towards the portal. Stopping just short of its glowing circle, she glanced back towards Dullahan to see if he was following, then stepped into the portal and teleported out of the square.

((To ACDC Net))
Dullahan trailed the lady and mech towards the portal, running a palm across his nose as he anticipated for some excitement in a long while. Given how the NetSquare had changed significantly since his last visit, he was pretty sure that the viruses plaguing the unsecured networks would also have vastly different.

"Let our adventure begin," the Navigator said aloud, before stepping into the portal.

[[To ACDC Net]]