Once one of the most developed and vacation-worthy spots in all of Electopia, Seaside Time has become far more humble in recent years.
The city, once a shining resort, is now a humble city along the coast of Electopia. A reasonable population makes their homes here, creating a nice but not extravagant location. The scenery is still as beautiful as ever, with wonderous views of the ocean and the now abandoned Hades Island, though the more secluded area has made it harder for net-society to prosper here, making it much more natural than other areas. While most individuals do have network access, very little happens here to draw in tourists. Most businesses have closed, making Seaside Town a very quiet place to live, if somewhat boring, with a strong sense of community and natural beauty.
The wooden walkways of Seaside Town bustle as busily as ever; tourists and local alike walk the border of natural beauty and commerce with the white sand beach and indigo expanse beyond to one hand, and a thriving cascade of business to the other. This is one of Electopia's greatest cities for a reason!
Among the many stories unfolding all at once, the story of one boy in particular plays out. Perhaps not the most interesting story on the beach, but one worthy of a mention regardless. A young boy of roughly 16, he walks with a confident though reserved stride as he looks down to his PET with deep blue eyes, holding his blonde hair in place against the warm sea breeze as he walks.
?: Torrent, can you please tell me which way I need to go now?
On the PET screen is a Navi with an eyepatch and obviously naval-inspired themes stands aboard a boat in what appears to be a hurricane. He gances to his operator with his lone eye and shoots a wry, excited smile.
Torrent: SORRY REX, MY HANDS ARE A BIT TIED HERE, ASK ME AGAIN IN ABOUT AN HOUR!
At that moment the PET screen goes dark, leaving Rex staring at it in silence, yet not surprise. With a composed nod, he puts the PET away and looks out to the ocean expanse.
Rex: Well, I suppose that it just can't be helped then...
A day at the beach was a literal statement for Chie, but she was by far not having fun. Wearing her casual attire, she only adjusted it by replacing shoes with grey flip-flops as she walked along the beach after spending an hour going through every device connected to the net. Walking along the beach, she approached an old siren, scanning it she found a plug-in port for an old wired model of PET, checking that it still has power, she reached inside her jacket as she pulled out her PET and adaptor from a inner pocket.
Attaching the small black device she aimed her PET at it as the red light hit the adaptor, she looks at her PET screen masking her anxiety with a calm and collected gaze even when disappointed she read the text "Navi not found"
Swiping the adaptor out of the old machine she returned it to her inner pocket as she stared at the empty PET, feeling dread at the memories,Guardian meant more than a tool to her, and she was far from giving up on her. " Where are you?"
Unaware where she was walking, she bumped into a tall man in front of her dropping her PET in the process, stepping back she she quickly eyed the man in front of her. "Oh, I'm sorry, I wasn't looking, I was a bit lost in thought."
Looking upon the man as he returned her PET, she almost froze at the word "undamaged" recalling the last few moments with her Navi before her previous PET was broken. Taking it and holding it in her hand, her gaze back to the man who couldn't be more than 7 years older.
"Thanks, already broke one not too long ago, although that was an extreme circumstance."
Soon her gaze fixed around checking for points the local net could be accessed from, and as few were present she returned to the matter at hand.
"My name is Chie Kira, I should have been watching where I was going, but you know, business and all.
Tapping a button she opened her PET as she soon scrolled through options to open a holographic screen featuring a map, checking her location.
"Opening anything on a PET let alone holoscreen gets tedious at times,darn, way off course, I skipped a lot of network area."
Putting it away, she sighed as she closed her eyes, no closer to her goals then yesterday. "Sorry, you don't need to trouble yourself with my problem."
Recalling the empty PET she began to feel reality weigh upon her as she recalled how checking an entire net of an area let alone country is near impossible alone, especially without the help of a Navi. Inside she was choking as she was morally questioning what would be correct to do, but it all came back to if she wanted to see Guardian again.
Letting a gentle sigh pass through her lips as the wind blew from the side while her eyes slowly opened, focusing back on the young man.
"I'm looking for my estranged Navi, Guardian. exe, in an unfortunate incident she was on a network while my PET was destroyed and unable to be found after."
Looking towards the ocean, she continued to reminisce of what happened after the incident.
"She's not a rogue, she can't be, but the Navi link was transferred to my new PET, but communication is impossible until I can link to the same network as her and jack her out. I've been connecting all over the net where I can, I need to find her... She's not a typical Navi."
Looking into the sparking reminiscing eyes of the nice man, Chie also reminisced, to what she said a few moments ago.
"It does, but that only works when communication is working, and I believed I just said I can't communicate until I connect to the same network."
As for the network Guardian could be on, Chie closed her eyes and sighed as that was the million dollar question, as where she could have gone was the bit that needed explaining, an unfortunate situation indeed as Chie brushed back strands of hair from her face.
"My parents are scientists who do a lot of research and consultations, sometimes from home so the home net links to various places over the country,seaside was on that list. Given that even after restoring the network and finding the stolen data, it would only be logical if she was deleted hers would be left behind as well. My apologies, getting a bit off topic here."
At the back of her mind, she knew Guardian was in trouble, but was unable to do much more than search, recalling the limitations of what she can do. Looking down embarrassed, her fist clenching at the realization of how few options she had left to search.
"Besides here,there's only two places I haven't checked and that's because only a Navi can get to either as plug-in ports are scarce for them... Forest and ... I hate to think it but under net."
Rex nods his head; finding a Navi without a Navi would be extremely difficult...
Rex: Hmm... I can see your issue. It seems likely that you need a bit of help in finding her... here, let me call up a friend.
Rex opens his pet and opens up his phone function. He then chooses from his contact list and attempts to place a call, opening up a larger screen so that Chie can also see.
The screen dials for a few seconds, awaiting an answer, before at last the image of an extremely human-like Navi with a gray headguard and similar form-fitting cloths appears with a smile.
Challenger.EXE: Rex! How've 'ya been, m'boy?! And how's 'ol Torrent? Th'lad still owes me 100 zenny!
Challenger laughs, showing that the banter is in good fun between friends.
Rex returns Challenger's smile, nodding as he does so.
Rex: Torrent and I have been well, Challenger. And how have you been?
Challenger nods back with a beaming smile.
Challenger: 'Been well, Rex. Working back towards m'champion title. Takes time though
Rex: I've no doubt that you'll make it Challenger. However, I do actually have some business that I wish to discuss.
Rex turns the screen more towards Chie, motioning to her as he does so.
Rex: Challenger, this is Chie. Chie, meet my friend Challenger.
Challenger beams with a smile as he waves a boxing-glove covered hand at Chie.
Challenger: Pleased t'meet 'ya Chie!
Rex: Yes, well I'm afraid that Chie is in a bit of trouble... or rather her Navi is, and I was hoping that yo would be willing to help her out. You see, her only Navi is currently disconnected and lost on the net, and, well... I'll allow her to explain the details.
Rex motions to Chie as Challenger looks on, his boyish smile still well intact.
Chie started to regret talking as Rex called the grey Navi, realizing that she may have to speak of "project Guardian" and what it could lead to. As she was properly introduced she politely waved and smiled slightly, as if an act perfected.
As Rex tried to explain what was going on, she found him to put it lightly, although Guardians programming was not technically illegal, it would not be advisable under these circumstances. Holding up her own PET to show the Navi crest of Guardian, she explained her situation calmly and gracefully as if this were a business meeting.
"After an unfortunate incident which I can't legally fully explain, my Navi, Guardian.exe is missing on the net somewhere, I suspect either seaside or forest. She is made from data that would be left behind even if her Navi form was deleted, and that's a certain type that would be sold to an unsavory audience if you understand. I don't have much to pay in zenny, and I don't have a time worth my name besides university applications, but I need her back, for more than just the Guardian.ai program, without her, life has become, difficult after accommodating her into it."
Not wanting to let others know she was emotional, she silently hoped that her diction let her point come across.
As the brief call ended, her calm expression still remained as she focused more on Challenger than Guardian, knowing very well all actions had a price. However she soon began to wonder how she herself would've found a lead on Guardian had it not been for the fact that she knew what networks shed could have gone too she'd be lost. Taking a seat on a nearby bench, hunched over as exhaustion caught up with her.
"Never asked for a Navi, but now."
Pulling out her PET she knew she had a million things to say to her Navi but was too exhausted to speak them, to search every day she had to overwork herself at school. Stretching her arms out upwards, she felt like getting a cup of tea and recalled that she surprisingly didn't memorize local shops. Before giving it much thought she spoke the words shed say under normal circumstances.
"Guardian, be a dear and find a nearby coffee shop."
As memCirclingled back over instinct of habit Chie didn't say a word as she opened the GPS holoscreen on her PET. Circling through options and not finding an option for local businesses for seaside, she turned it off putting away her PET in her inside pocket as she removed her jacket, folding it and resting on an elbow as she felt the cool breeze touch her skin. Looking forward towards the sea, able to hear the gentle crashing of waves in the distance.
"Guardian's not much of an outside Navi, but that's not because of combat ability, she can fight a mean battle, but because, she had a netOp that no need for her to be on the net. I only plugged in three times, but if she's deleted, that'll be all. "
Rex looks out over the sea as well, giving a half-shrug to Chi; partly in response, and partly due to his own memory.
Rex: ...my Navi's name is Torrent.EXE. Though at times he doesn't feel like he's my Navi. He's constantly off in search of some sort of mythical door that he claims moves around the net when it's found.
Rex shakes his head; he'd heard that story so many times....
Rex: When this all started, I was afraid to death. Torrent literally left my PET to go on adventures, and I'd constantly have my heart in my throat. Every adventure could have very well been his last, but in the end he always found his way home.
Rex shoots Chi a smile, nodding as he does so.
Rex: Right now, you just have to trust your Navi to be able to take care of herself until you can find her. If she's worthy of your feeling this way, then I'm sure that she'll pull through in the end.
Holding her PET in both hands, she looked up back at the man trying to comfort her, even though she still is putting up her elegant and strong front. She found it amusing that she was speaking with a polar opposite about navis entering the net, but she began to reminisce on the day after she was separated.
"The week she and I were sperated was exam week, my netbattling and virus busting course was broken into two parts over two days, you see where this goes. After day 1 that beast base to return home, as the next day, I was given a choice, take zero or use a rental Navi, only zero I took, my GPA went down 3 percent due to that."
Noting a small object falling out of her jacket she leaned down to pick upz for a brief moment forgetting how loose her dress is as cleavage exposed more for a brief moment before sitting up looking at the battle chip in her hand.
[font color="948b92"w"Air blade, hmm, been a while since I used this, can't even use it with a direct chip system."[/font]
As she was about to put it away, holding the chip and the PET in the heat reminded her as she hallucinated a holoscreen with her Navi and the fierce battle with the Guardian virus and she bit her lip looking at nothing with intense eyes as she slot in the chip,and snapped back to reality realizing she was not net battling the beast.
"right, not there..."
Looking down she expected an error message, but saw nothing of the sorts as it seems as though the chip was processes correctly.
"Thats odd, no rejec- where's the nearest plugin port?!"