Chapter Two: Introductions
Sachiko tore down the sidewalk on her roller-blades, "Oh man, Yuriko-sensei's going to kill me"
"Are you always this late, Sachiko?"
The op spun and rolled backwards so she could look at her PET without the wind in her eyes, "No! Never! Maybe. Look, since my last Navi was injured and wasn't waking me up, Yuriko-sensei has been getting a lot more annoyed when I'm late."
"In other words, yes."
"I'm not! I mean, I spent the night virus-busting with you, then you don't wake me up... whatever, I need to hurry." She turned back again before Megami could object to this placement of blame. Unfortunately, she turned just in time to reach a corner and run into a boy running across her path. They both fell toward the ground, although she put out her hands to stop herself above him. He had odd, white-on-black hair, and a red jacket. For a moment, they were perfectly still on the ground, although his expression seemed to be abject terror. She blushed, "oh, are you okay?" His face relaxed immediately, and then became annoyed - what was with him? "What is it?"
"Could you get off me?"
She blushed again, and got up, "Well, excuse me. I just-"
Before she could even finish, he tore off in the direction he was going before, "Watch where you're going next time!" There was a thunder of feet drawing near, and Sachiko looked in the opposite direction to be greeted by the sight of several girls (at least four or five) stampeding after him, screaming with excitement.
At first she was confused, but then the girl in the lead screamed, "what do you think you were doing to our Enzan-sama?" Sachiko turned and skated as fast as she could toward her school, trying to escape the faction of the mob that had split off to chase her.
"...so I have no idea what that was all about, and of course I was still late."
Ms. Yuriko's stern voice cut off the conversation. "Sachiko-chan, while I'm sure Meiru is much more interested in your current discussion than classic literature, I don't believe you're in a position to be trying my patience any more. If you wish, jack your navi into the system, then start taking notes and be quiet." With a sigh, she turned back to the board and highlighted a portion of the text on the large touch-screen, resuming her lecture. Sachiko, reminded that she had even bigger news, happily complied.
While the students in the real word listened attentively to their teacher (or so she wished), the navis in the net were greeting their new friend. Megami bowed to Gutsman, Rollman, and Glyde, "Hello, I am Megami.exe. It's a pleaure to finally meet all of you."
Glyde, obviously the oldest of the navis present, stepped forward first and returned the bow. She was an adult navi, and had the professional air of an office lady, even despite the slightly fanciful wings - like those of a geometric, angular dragonfly - sticking out of her back. Helping the air of professionalism was the pair of half-rim glasses, which she pushed smartly back in place as she straightened, "It is a pleasure to meet you, Megami-san. I am Glyde.exe. I used to be Yaito-sama's father's navi, but she was placed in my charge after she official took over a branch of Ayano-Corp. Although she is a genius for her age, I do most of the management for her, as it is never good to be burdened with such great responsibility at so young an age."
As Glyde returned to monitoring Yaito's note-taking, Rollman eagerly stepped in to introduce himself. "The pleasure, I assure you, is all mine." He took Megami's hand and kissed it, making her blush and giggle. "Of course, I look forward to getting to know you much better." She looked him up and down; he was slightly shorter than her, a smooth helmet with yellow stripes hid his hair, and there were yellow stripes on the sides of his red vest and boots. His hands and forearms were also red, but the rest of the helmet and his outfit, however...
She could barely keep her giggling from breaking into laughter, "You do know you're, um... completely pink, right?"
He sighed, "Yes. Yes, I am perfectly aware that I, a ten-year-old girl's navi, am pink. I am perfectly aware of that, as every other kid's navi points out to me every day, it's not very common for a male navi to wear so much pink, and that it makes me look like a girl, okay?"
"I-I'm sorry, I didn't mean it like that." Just then, Rollman was abruptly shoved aside by a massive yellow fist. A similarly large head came down to stare at Megami. Now she was definately nervous again, as he just looked her up and down without saying a word. "Yes?"
"Hmph. You don't look so tough, gutsu."
He grinned a huge grin, and gave her a thumbs-up, "I know Sachiko's going to challenge to Dex again soon, but don't worry, I'll go easy on you."
Now she was genuinely insulted, "Oh, that's how it is? You're going to go easy on me?"
Rollman was just recovering from being shoved aside, and tried to break them up, "Okay, come on now. Gutsman, you have to be more polite to a lady-"
She just smiled, "No no, I don't need you to defend me. Let's make that challenge right now - we'll battle today, after school. We'll just see how easy you have to go on me." There was beep through the network, signifying that the students were beginning an assignment they'd need their navis for. A text note appeared silently on Sachiko's PET, and she had the same confident smirk as her partner.
"Aaaaaw, she's adorable!" Now Megami was blushing again from Meiru's reaction. Once they got to the arcade and claimed a netbattling station, she was introduced to the rest of the group 'in person.' Of course, while Yaito curtsied and Meiru fawned over the new navi, Dex just scoffed.
"Megami... goddess, huh? This is your new navi, that's supposed to wipe the floor with my Gutsman?"
"Guts! That's what I said!"
"Well, I hope you know that I would never go easy once the challenge is made."
Megami and Sachiko both nodded, "That's more like it."
"That's because you know I'd never forgive you. Alright, get in place Megami. Remember the stuff I told you last night while we were busting viruses."
Gutsman also took his place across the arena and laughed, "Netbattling is a lot different from busting viruses, gutsu." Without further warning, he ran forward, and swung his massive fist down at the, in comparison, tiny girl. She leaned to the side and dodged, but a moment later, the next punch came, and the next. She just kept dodging to the side and stepping back, until she reached the edge of the battling area. With the opponent pinned, Dex slotted in a battle chip, GutsHammer. As it swung down toward her... she didn't catch or block the blow in any way. In fact, there was nothing there for him to hit, as she grabbed the hammer, and did a flip over Gutsman's fused hands. With a regular Hammer chip appearing in her hands, she brought it down on his head, knocking him onto the ground.
She landed a few paces away, and immediately noticed the odd floor - it was cracked and uneven, and when she took a step back, the place where she stood before crumbled, leaving a hole. Sachiko chimed in, "Megami, he's cracked the panels with with his GutsHammer. I want you to hit and run. Sword, slot-in!"
"Wait, what? But it... oh! Right, I gotcha." Gutsman got to his feet shakily, just in time to block Megami's attack with a giant shield Dex provided with a MetGuard chip. She struck the shield hard, but the impact was absorbed and returned in full force. She took the damage from the retaliation, ran a distance away, and then came back again, following the edge of the empty line she had just created by running along the cracked ground. She attacked again even more quickly, Dex provided another shield, and she got the same result. She attacked again and again, from different angles, and got faster each time. Finally, she reached him just as the shield was forming, and sliced through, cutting a gash in his chest. Her sword chip finally used up, she retreated once more, and paused to catch her breath.
Dex whistled, "Wow, she's fast, I've got to admit. Worthy of a goddess, even. But you're really gonna have to do better than that - not only can Gutsman take melee attacks, but you just took a lot of damage just to get one hit in. Now we just have to finish you off." He held up a few Shockwave chips and smiled, slotting one in.
"Uh... Dex... there's nothing to hit with the Shockwave, gutsu..."
"What?" It was true - Gutsman was up to the edge of the free-floating arena already, and Megami's rushes had eliminated the cracked ground around him before he could even move from where he stood. Now he was standing on a small, floating island of floor, with more distance to the nearest panel than he could possibily hope to jump. But not so much that shooting chips couldn't reach him.
Sachiko shook her head, "Sorry, but it looks like there's nowhere for Gutsman to dodge, and most of your MetGuards are gone. Fortunately, I've got plenty of cannons, shotguns, and other chips left. Now we just have to finish you off. Cannon, Slot-In!" She took a handful of Cannon chips, and began slotting them into the PET over and over, as Megami fired them one by one at Gutsman, who was a sitting duck after using the only shield Dex had left. Soon he was forcibly logged out, and as the arena reset, Megami walked forward to pick up her spoils - a GutsPunch chip fell to the ground where Gutsman had been. As she picked it up, her op put a blank chip into the PET, which was overwritten and popped out, jumping into to the air. She caught it, slipped it into her pocket, and smiled, "Thank you very much." Their friends - and a few human and navi passers-by that had stopped to watch - either applauded softly or simply muttered in an impressed tone. Rollman held up one hand, and a virtual rose materialized between his fingers, which he tossed to the girl navi from the stands. Suddenly feeling embarassed, she blushed and jumped from the arena to the stands.
Dex looked very grave for a moment, then smiled and gave his opponent a thumbs-up. "Congratulations... just another few dozen and we'll be even."
"Bah, sore loser." She stuck out her tongue at him. Soon, though, she was approached by another kid who wanted to netbattle her after Megami had been fully restored in her pet and Sachiko's chips were recharged.
Meiru stepped up to Dex and kissed him on the cheek, catching him very much by surprise, "Well, I think you still did fine."
As he stood in stunned silence, she left to congratulate her best friend, and his PET beeped. He shook his head clear and held up Gutsman, who had nearly the same expression despite the wounds the PET software was still repairing. "Dex... that was amazing, gutsu! ...I think I'm in love."
End Chapter 2
Unless I change my current plan, which I might, coming up next: Hot Chick Fight
Chapter notes: It's occured to me that I was, as my father would say, too clever for my own good. So, in case I wasn't clear enough, Saaba is supposed to be server (as opposed to Saito or Hub), and Sachiko based on search (+ko to make it a female name). Speaking of them, yes, I copped out on their descriptions. If I can actually think of a good design for Megami.exe, I will probably edit it into this chapter. In the meantime, if you check my profile, there's a link to my (of course wholly original) Sachiko sprite, since I can't put it here.