"Where am I…?"
Netto looked around the area, confused. There was absolutely nothing…literally! He was floating in an area of space, not moving out of confusion. All he saw was white; above, below, and everywhere within his sight. He frowned; how did he get here?
'I brought you here.'
Netto head shot up and started to look around frantically. "Who said that!"
The voice chuckled. 'I did.'
"That doesn't help much if I can't see where you are!" Netto growled out.
'True,' the voice remarked, 'but you can't see me because I'm already around you in the first place.'
Netto held his head in his hands. "You're not making any sense!" he shouted, exasperated. "Just tell me why you've brought me here so I can wake up from this nightmare!"
'Oh, so you think this is all a dream, don't you Hikari Netto?" The voice teased, but to Netto it sounded like it was jeering at him. 'No matter…I am merely curious about the bond between you and your partner.'
"My partner…?" he repeated in a daze. "You mean Rockman! Why are you so curious about him?" he asked nervously. Not many people knew about the bond between him and Saito. But he was willing to bet that this voice knew several things that shouldn't have been known.
'Exactly. The bond between you and…what do you humans call them…? Ah yes, your Net Navi has piqued my interest. I have rarely seen a human bond with something that is intangible.' The voice remarked casually. Netto looked confused for a moment.
"Intangible…? What does that…" He was interrupted by the voice.
'It means that it isn't real. Your Net Navi isn't an intelligent life form, so I naturally assumed it is an object.' The voice explained condescendingly.
Netto was enraged. "Don't you dare call Rockman unintelligent! And he isn't just an object either! He's my brother!" he yelled, not noticing his slip of the tongue.
'Your brother?' The voice sounded surprised. Netto immediately cursed himself for saying something without thinking. 'It seems that the human race has progressed far more than I expected…perhaps, too much so…' It remarked, mostly to itself.
"What do you mean?" Netto had heard what the voice said; and it unnerved him to hear that from something he couldn't see. Was this thing good or evil? And why was he talking to it in the first place?
'Hmm…this has given me a great idea…' The voice said a bit maliciously. Netto stiffened upon hearing that.
"What are you planning? This better not involve the destruction of the Net Society!" he growled out. Saving the world several times has given him an instinct about stuff people said. That instinct of his was screaming at him to not trust the voice. He frowned; his so-called instinct only deepened his distrust of the voice.
'Oh no, it doesn't involve that…destroying society right now would lead to unimaginable chaos, and that is something that I tend to avoid.' the voice answered, amused at the boy's suspicions. Netto let out a sigh of relief. 'No, this idea of mine involves you.' He immediately stiffened again.
"Me? What would you want with me?" he questioned again, getting nervous. Sure, he made plenty of enemies out there; but what would an invisible being, one that he had never even met before or done nothing to, want with him?
'I wonder…' the voice started. 'You and your Net Navi are the only ones that share a special bond. Yet…' the voice trailed off, as if it were unsure, before resuming. 'I want to see if you can bond with another net navi; one that is…how should I put this…different than your brother. I want to see what makes you so special.'
"What makes me so special?" Netto repeated, nervously looking around the white expanse. "It's because Rockman and I have gone through everything together, that's why!"
'Heh.' The voice snorted. 'Is that so? Then its all the more reason for me to see if I am right.'
"And what makes you think that I'll go along with this?" Netto growled out. This thing was insane if it thought he would be all cooperative!
The voice gave out a shrill laugh that hurt his ears. 'Silly little one…' The voice said in a mocking tone, 'What makes you think I'm giving you a choice in the matter?'
"You coward!" he yelled out, angry. "Show yourself!" There was another shrill laugh, and Netto saw that the white expanse was growing brighter. It was starting to grow so bright that he had to close his eyes. This proved to be a bad idea as he suddenly felt an overwhelming desire to sleep. 'Rockman…' was his last coherent thought before he knew no more.
Elsewhere, a certain blue navi was coming out of sleep mode, ready to start another ordinary day...well, as ordinary as it could get for both him and his operator, as the past year and a half had been nothing but chaos. Rockman was counting on today to be at least a normal day. All virus attacks on the net were practically non-existent, and there were no crime syndicates with their insane leaders out there. No, today was going to be a normal day, and Rockman was thankful for it.
But now, he had to overcome his first challenge of the day; waking his operator up.
"Netto-kun, it's time to get up!" he said softly, knowing his first attempt would be futile. It was a routine that he and his operator would go through every single morning. It usually took him three tries to get Netto up, so his first attempt was always done half-heartedly. As usual, there was no response. Rockman sighed.
"Netto-kun, you have to get up now!" he said again, this time a little louder. Most of the time, it would draw some sort of response from the sleeping boy, letting Rockman know that his attempts to wake him were almost successful. However, there was still no response, which puzzled Rockman. Shrugging, he decided to give it one last try.
"Netto-kun, get up now!" he all but yelled, expecting to hear some sort of crash or a flustered boy waking up. When there was still no response, Rockman finally took a closer look at the bed. He was surprised when Netto wasn't in it. Rockman was shocked. "Did he actually get up before I did?" Just the thought of that made him shiver. Heck, he was half-expecting the world to end…or have Blues admit that he was inferior to him.
'So much for a normal day.' he mentally sighed.
Still, Rockman was wary; this was not a normal occurrence. If Netto had gotten up early, then why didn't he take him with him? Unless he was at the bathroom or something…Rockman shrugged, and decided to wait. However, 10 minutes passed by and Netto was nowhere to be seen. Either he was taking a long time in the bathroom or something happened. It was that moment that Haruka came into the room. "Mama," he started with a worried expression on his face, "I can't find Netto anywhere. Is he anywhere else in the house?"
Haruka smiled at him, although Rockman could see a trace of worry etched on her face. "I don't know, Rockman. You want to go check?" Seeing the blue navi nod, she took the PET from the charger and walked through the house. Unfortunately, the search proved fruitless as they checked all the bedrooms, the bathrooms, and even the closets. Haruka's smile disappeared as they couldn't find Netto anywhere inside or outside the house.
"Why don't you try calling Meiru to see if he's over there?" Rockman suggested. She nodded and went off to call the Sakurai residence.
Minutes later, she reappeared looking even more worried. "She said Netto wasn't there, though she sounded surprised that he was up early…Should I try his other friends?" She didn't have to ask twice as Rockman immediately gave her the numbers for Dekao's and Yaito's houses. Unfortunately, they hadn't seen Netto either. Rockman was worried. He spied Haruka with her face in her hands, in the same state as himself.
"Mama…I think you should phone the police. Netto-kun is obiously missing…" he said softly, as if he didn't want to believe it either. Haruka shakily nodded and went back to the phone. "What's going on? Where are you, Netto?" he asked himself as he could do nothing but watch Haruka frantically call the police.
Netto awoke with a start, gasping for air. He was sweating profusely, trying to get all the images out of his mind. Calming himself down, he tried to think over what just happened. 'Was it a dream after all? It sure didn't feel like one.' He thought, still shaking from the images. 'What was up with that voice, though? That laugh was very creepy…' Sighing, he made a move to get up before he noticed two things.
One, he was lying on the floor, and two, he wasn't in his room.
Panicking, he jumped up off the floor and looked around. The dull grey color of the walls met his eyes as he quickly surmised that all of the walls were made of stone. He then spied a steel door at the far end of the room. Quickly going over to it, he tried to open it, but to no avail. However, he kept trying out of panic.
"Stupid…door! Open already!" he grunted as he kept tugging. Eventually, he gave up and sat back down on the floor. He then noted that he was already dressed in his usual clothes, which confused him. 'What's going on? I could've sworn that I was wearing my night-clothes when I went to bed!' Netto then sighed in frustration. 'I don't even have Rockman with me! How much worse can this get?'
However, something lying on the floor piqued his interest. He walked over and picked it up to examine it. To his amazement, it was a PET. Curiously, he looked over it. It was the same as Rockmans; same slot-in port, same screen, same everything! Except for the symbol, it was like Rockman's pet.
Netto gazed curiously at the symbol, trying to figure out what Navi this was. He had the odd feeling that he saw this symbol somewhere before. It was a black symbol with a purple elongated 'f' in it. The symbol also had a white slash through it, like it was a scar or something like that…He couldn't figure out whose symbol that was-
'Wait a minute!' His mind screamed. 'I know that symbol! It's…it's…!' He looked down at the PET in his now shaking hands.
It was Forte's.
A/N: My first major story in a long time…Really, I need to write more.
Anyway, many thanks go out to Quatre Winner for beta-ing for me. Thanks!
Next chapter may come up in a week, or a few days. I don't know…
Anyways, constructive criticism needed and appreciated. I'm still evolving as a writer, so any advice is very much appreciated.