Apr. 11th, 2016

a1enzo: (ENCOM)
"Well," said Yori, straightening up from her examinations, "bearing in mind that I've never seen any code like this before in my entire runtime, and this is really just an educated guess, I would have to say that..."

"Yes?"

"It's a camera."

There was a brief silence.

"Huh."

"I did say," mumbled Enzo. "Can I have it back now?"

"You're sure it's not a weapon?" Tron asked Yori.

"As sure as I can be. I told you, it's unlike any language I've seen. Whether or not he's lying about the camera, it looks like he's telling the truth about being from the future."

"Hmm."

"Doesn't that mean he's probably telling the truth about the rest?" Mur put in. "If I was from the future, and I was going to lie, that's the first thing I'd want to cover up. At least I think so."

Mur was a smallish girl, not yet 11*, with short hair and lime-green circuitry. She had arrived on the scene with Yori and was now skating circles around them while Tron questioned Enzo, Yori examined his belongings, and Enzo stroked Minus' shell and did breathing exercises to keep from freaking out. Her skates were similar to inlines or ice skates, but rested on cushions of green light.

Tron had dispersed the crowd of onlookers, save for a few roaming bits and bytes, but apparently Yori and he had business with Mur, or she with them, so she waited and skated. As far as Enzo could tell, she wasn't actually impatient, she just had trouble sitting still.

The rest of them had no such trouble, although Tron was standing still, the better to react if Enzo tried anything. Enzo had relinquished his weaponry and emptied his compression algorithm as a gesture of good faith, but retained his forcefield generator, on the grounds that he was not stupid. Tron was forced to respect this position.

"Thank you," Enzo told Mur. "I'm already worried about telling you that, but I didn't really have much choice. I hope you don't mind if I'm careful with details, though. I'd rather not crash the space-time continuum."

"We certainly don't want that," said Yori, moving on to inspect Enzo's sword. Enzo wasn't sure whether or not she was being sarcastic. She seemed sincere, however, when she looked at the blade and said, "This is nice."

Yori was a CAD program, as famous for her artistry as for her technical skill. Despite his situation, Enzo felt gratified.

A bit drifted over—no, a byte, it was larger and more layered. It wandered between them, then trailed after Mur for a few circuits. "!," it said. This was less than informative, and after a while it left again.

"But what if you being here causes the future?" Mur suggested. "Then not telling us enough might crash things.

Enzo considered this. "I feel like if I'm gonna cause my present, it's gonna happen no matter what. I think I'd better stick to caution, so it'll work out either way."

"Awww."

Minus, having by now calmed down a bit, squirmed a little in Enzo's grasp. He seemed interested in a few more bytes which had floated their way. "Minus, I know you want to make friends, but let's be careful, okay?"

"R," declared a byte. "Y," its companions agreed.

"Does this kind of thing happen to you a lot?" Tron demanded.

"Not exactly this kind of thing, no. But my life is pretty ridiculous."

Yori, working her way through Enzo's things, had found the little album of family JPEGs. "Oh, my. Tron, have a look at..."

"Ow!" cried Mur. One of the gathering bytes—really quite a lot of them now—had assumed its stellated form and dove at her, jabbing her with the nearest point. As the others turned to stare, more of them started to do the same.

Tron immediately drew his disk, but seemed at a loss for how to use it against a swarm of small, erratically-moving enemies surrounding an ally. "Mur, move!"

"Ouch! Right!" She put on speed and broke away from the group, the bytes trailing after her.

"D"

"I"

"E"

Tron cast, and his link to the identity disk gave him enough control to keep it from hitting Mur, but it only knocked two or three bytes out of the air, and more were still arriving. Yori, frantic, started shuffling among Enzo's belongings.

"The little rod, there!" Enzo told her urgently.

Yori hesitated only a fraction of an instant, then nodded decisively and tossed it to him.

"Yori..." Tron was still unsure.

"Let him!"

Enzo spun the rod's angle control. "Mur!" he called. "This way, bring them past me! Yori, keep Minus out of the way!"

Mur swung around and led her glowing, stinging entourage back the way they had come. Enzo let her make three passes around him, gauging the timing, then pointed the rod and let loose a cone of energy.

Mur stumbled slightly and slowed. The bytes, on the other hand, dropped en masse, stunned.

"You'll probably feel sluggish for a few nanos," Enzo said, getting to his feet and taking care of a few stragglers. "Sorry, I tried to get you as little as possible, but since they're so much smaller than you..."

"Yeah, no, that's... that's fine," said a groggy Mur. "Ow. Also, ow."

Tron stepped slowly forward, careful of the bytes that littered the ground like caltrops. He eyed Enzo for a moment, then holstered his disk and extended his hand. "Welcome to ENCOM."


*Three, that is. In User terms, in her early teens.

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