Up atop the cliff overlooking the rose colored moonlit lake, a navi clad in dark armor shining against the moonlight sat on a rock. His back turned to the pathway leading up to his perch, helmeted eyes look outward sternly to the horizon over the lake. All around him, the vibrant grasses of a fallen paradise sway in a slight breeze.
The navi perks up ever so slightly, turning behind him for a moment to observe the pathway he had taken, the light of the moon illuminating what he knew the sun would if he would walk back. The rapid change of light between the two spots was a very interesting aspect of this old yet new network, its significance still unclear to this one. Further down overlooking the town, small red eyes scuttled around, only small flashes appearing occasionally throughout the town. The navi turns back, his eyes once more on the lake and its reflection of the rose moon.
As the helmeted navi had turned to look away behind him, he haze of an afterimage would vanish. There had been a navi standing between the moonlight and the shadows. As the silent, sitting navi faced back out to the rose colored lake below, another navi had taken his place on the underside of the cliff, also staring out over the lake. His feet planted against the cliff, standing upside down. The two navi's stared out at the lake, almost mirroring of each other, had anyone been down far enough away on the lake to see the navis on both sides of the cliff. The rose moon's light reflected enough off the lake and the floating navi's armor to reveal the light of three auras. They were invisible to the naked eye, but those with heightened senses might be able to feel it. One malicious, One loving, and one fighting to exist. After a few minutes of silence, the navi speaks, just loud enough for his presence to be heard by the navi above him.
The navi jumped internally ever so slightly, he wasn't actually expecting anyone to show up or to have been there, though he was never really one to sense another nearby save for a few people. Still, someone to talk to was nice... sorta. Still, this place was interesting maybe, the quick change in the sun and the moon, the rose reflection. People say its Juno's Influence, but its a wonder this place popped up in only six months. The lake seemed so calm, despite this one knowing what lie below the surface. A cesspool of bugged data, worse even than the Undernet. It was there that he lost to Gospel, One of only a few humiliating losses. Sure most navis might think "you fought Gospel and survived!" but it wasn't enough. Plus everything that happened after... it was a feeling he had not really experienced. The weakness and dread that comes with being so powerless before another. It was a sickening feeling, yet one he couldn't shake. Even now, a self unlike himself beat within for control. He looked down at a chip in his hand, considering it as he sat silently still. His silence might seem rude to the one below him, though minutes of silence soon broke with a response.
"Fascinating? Maybe how quickly this all came around again, but this lake is just a graveyard of failures. The ones who live here think something dwells beneath the surface, like some great beast. What a load of superstitious nonsense."
The navi waited in silence, staring out at the lake. The silence didn't disturb him in the slightest. He was surprised to have run into someone up here, himself. As the navi responded, his own thoughts of his own failures bubbled to the surface. He was quiet for a moment, flashbacks to his own faults and failures... And the lives lost or destroyed because of them.
"That's right... You failed them. All of them..."
Without displaying any of that however, he responded to the navi above him.
"Exactly. The resilience of those who call this place their home, the mixture of the flowing energy. I'll admit it is mysterious. The energy here seems calming, and yet, erratic. It doesn't all make sense, even with how the sun rises and sets."
He shifted his feet.
"So that's part of the local folklore, eh? I have not visited much of the town. I usually come around here to meditate. I've only visited this lake a handful of times, but something about it draws me back here."
The pitch armored navi knew of what was drawing him back at least. Another Loss, aggressive as he may have been he almost always picked his fights carefully. Perhaps a remnant of a previous life. That new one against the great bug beast, and the subsequent servitude to both Forte, as a messenger, and of that being of Chaotic energy who looked the same. Still the hold the being implanted wracked him at every turn, every time he drew on his dark soul's power its influence was there, giving him even greater power but tugging away at his control of it. Perhaps others feel something else at the lake, perhaps just remnants of the powers that were there, perhaps just Forte being in the network changed it, or perhaps it is the cause of the one named Juno.
The Juno apparently had tried to destroy the net and the earth, only to leave behind the remnants in this town and the influence on the net. Even if he took part in the final battles, taking out the satellite network and causing it to crash into the earth. It was almost as he wasn't part of it. Before he knew it, travel got harder, and the Undernet closed off. He was stuck in Netopia, at least for the time being.
His mind was wandering, as it often did here. It was one of his preferred places to wait. Waiting was mostly what he did, Netopia wasn't an area he was familiar with. Keeping a lower profile than normal in the past six months. Likely here in the enclosed Netopia his name might not be known, for better or worse. He passed through town to get to the cliff, so the chatter came, as did those spiders still scuttling about.
A legend or just a popular topic, this place isn't very old as it turns out, though its looks wouldn't tell you that. The lake has been here far longer... and whats beneath, longer still.
This place's energy I know well, though it's not what draws me here. I only know what they say since I pass through here commonly, travel has been pretty tight and even less governed methods became less common.
Merrill nodded. Since the Juno incident, security had stepped up, travelling had been difficult indeed. He had come to Netopia on business, but since the meeting had been cancelled, he decided to spend time visiting the various networks. He had always come back to this place, each day though. The twilight stigma was always something he was drawn towards.
"Really? That's interesting. The place looks older. But again, what do I know?"
He stood quiet for a moment, staring out over the lake. His energy humming slightly. The tattoos over his eyes flashed, enhancing his his eyesight to where it could see and experience the glow of energy, emanating off the top of the lake, naked to the average eye. He looked down, sensing the navi he was conversing with much more clearly than before. They were almost in mirrored positions of the other.
If what his conversationalist had spoken true, and this place was a place of failures, he'd be visiting more often. Botched rescue attempts, decreased morale and a handful of failed missions had stressed the young navi out. He could relate, having known more defeat than victory lately.
He continued to stand quietly, looking out over the lake. Finally curious enough, Merrill asked more about the lake.
"Do you happen to know of this.. "Legend" beneath this lake?"
"Not really, only the bits and pieces I picked up. Navis here seem afraid of some creature beneath the lake, or something else. It is hard to say.
The navi also stood up from his seat on the rock overlooking the lake. Arms crossed, he had gotten tired of talking. Tired of waiting, tired of Netopia really. So what if the Netopian government was guarding the connections, they were still active. All he had to do was bust through and he could finally start doing things again, rather than just waiting around for the humans to decide navis aren't going to just collapse their society, least not yet.
"Either way, I'm going to go break out of this prison of a country. See you around stranger."
The armor clad navi began its walk back through the distorted time, though did so slowly. A casual pace would allow the stranger to follow if he desired, or not, the decision was up to the one beneath.