“Don’t you worry about food; once we go to our first break I’ll order something for you.” Julian reassured the hungry dragon. “But before that I’ve got some questions for you. I want you to tell me...about the world you came from.”
“...home is gone.” There was a sad tone on her voice in that statement. “All that’s left is fallen and corroded buildings and the crystals that used to be other Champion NetMonsters like myself.” A small sniffle came through the speakers of the device she was in after this was shared.
Most people would likely end it there, seeing the reaction, and in fact had Tesability been talking to Gabby the topic would have changed. However Julian is very much not Gabby. “Did someone destroy it? Who? What would you do if you could meet them?”
“Someone did Collapse my home,” she responded, tail wagging slowly in the digital space she was in. “A Phantom Mage NetMonster by the name of Nemesis that possessed another of the same Attribute and Species named Shade. And…” A heavy pause emerged in the middle of her sentence as she thought. ”...there’s nothing I can do because Nemesis erased itself when it exploded.”
“So the one who destroyed your home is gone...does that make it better or worse do you think?” Julian seemed not at all confused by the multiple odd words the dragon had spoken.
Tesability literally poked her snout out of the machine, though her voice came through the speakers still. “I’ve been alones for almost 20 years, and asleeps for almost all that time after the Collapse.” Pulling the snout back in completely, she continued on. “Until my floppy disk was found by strange people calling themselves ‘The Divine’ in search of something called the ‘Pathway to Origin’, I could have been sleeps for...probably ever.”
A sudden hum entered her voice, one normally from thinking before she continued with an out-of-place question that sounded like she was more asking herself than Julian. “Dat reminds, how dids I get out of that place?”
Julian gave a small, satisfied, smile that she quickly replaced with her normal one. “Well that was Mauvache of course. She brought you here with her magic. It’s quite incredible isn’t it? Do you like it here, Tesability?”
“...how can she remove someone from something that’s supposed to be locked once in it, especially without the Key?” This was an honest question of curiosity, not one that was meant to be insulting. If anything, the listeners would probably feel even more impressed by the lady in charge. “If you be erased in there, you’re undone from all of existence...and I remember feeling my crystal being smashed by something…I think that big Avatar thing that I’m not gonna try the name of.”
Julian would hear a slight scratching sound as the dragon scratched the top of her head with one of her forepaws.
“Well that’s our Mauvache for you.” Julian said as her smile widened. “Does the impossible. Why do you think her Wish is so expensive?...Oops.” Julian laughed. “Forgot that only fighters are supposed to know about the rewards. Well too late for that, mistakes were made!” She winked in the direction of Tes’s voice. “So what would you do if you could wish for anything you wanted?”
“...I dunno if it’s possible to bring the Internet I knew back to how it was before Nemesis Collapsed it, even if that meant bringing back the Boss NetMonsters. I also miss my Hunter and my old friends...” A slight whine came from the speakers from this. “...I thinks Talen’s still around, but I dunno. She and the other Hunters seemed to have disappeared a few days before the Collapse.”
“Well I wouldn’t be surprised Mauvy could find a way. She’s quite incredible you know.” If Tesability were very perceptive, as in almost impossibly so, she might hear a hint of sarcasm in Julian’s voice. The smile Julian gave certainly could be described as impish. “Well I think that’s enough for now, let’s take a bit of a lunch break before going back on the air. Sorry to go, listeners, but the stomach is king as you all well know!” Julian held up three fingers and counted down 3, 2, 1, and then sighed happily. “You’re doing well Tesability.”
A few moments of silence passed before an utterly-random question was asked. “When ‘back on the air’, thinks I can says ‘hi’ to some of the listeners? As in pop out and give them a grins? I wanna sees who all listens.” After this question was asked, the NetMonster literally hopped out of the electronics, landing on all her paws before her stomach gave a loud grumble that had her folding in her wings. “...ngh…”
“Not sure they’d appreciate that, some of my listeners are older, don’t want to give anyone a heart attack do we? Heh….” Julian’s stomach growled and she winced. “Oh God food…” She activated her watch and, after dialing a number, started speaking. “Yeah, Space Subs, I got an order for you...yep, it’s Julian again. I’d like a 36 incher, lettuce, onions, tomatoes, olives, green and black, jalapenos, banana peppers, and salt it up…” She covered the watch and looked towards Tesability. “Watchu want?”
”Ai...dunno," Tesability remarked with a blank look on her overall face, an ungarbled version of her words showing up on the watch Julian was using. ”Ai’sh nawt ush tu ‘eatings’. Ai deed nawt needsh to ‘eats’." She brought a paw to her muzzle as she looked up towards the ceiling in thought. ”Ai nowsh Ai can eatsh ae hole ‘cheeken’ ats won taims.”
Julian flashed her a thumbs up. “Got it. GIVE ME YOUR LARGEST CHICKEN SUB ON THE DOUBLE!” Upon saying this she hung up and nodded at Tesability. “You holding out alright over there?”
”Ai...dinks sho?” She tilted her head slightly before asking another question. ”...wha’ happinsh aftew ‘eatings’? Ai sheesh awl deshe weewd shpotsh dat Ai no nows abawtsh...wike ‘weshtwumsh’. Ish dat shomepwace yu shweeps een?”
Julian’s eyes widened. “Oh God why. Okay, I...am going to send you a few books. I suggest you read them ASAP.” Julian fiddled around with her watch and soon Tesability’s watch was filled with various books revolving around the bodily function Tesability asked about. Including several versions of something called “Everybody Poops”.
She looked at her watch, which began quickly scrolling through the various titles despite the fact that she was not touching it at all before looking up and asking, ”Ish dewe ah computew awoundsh? Ai needsh five meenutes tu weeds awl dish.”
“Perfect that’s how long it should take for our food...and uhh.” Julian looked around at the various technology around them. “I dunno one of these is probably a computer.”
Tesability looked at her weirdly at not knowing what a computer is, but then again, she didn’t have much room to speak for not knowing what a ‘restroom’ is apparently, so she didn’t ask the question that formed in her head. Instead, she began to sniff around the room for anything that smelled to her like a computer, soon finding a tower with only one cord in the back of it, the power cord.
And it wasn’t plugged in.
”Pwug, pwug, whewe’sh ah pwug?” she asked as she wagged her tail, flapping up into the air a couple of times to see if there were any free plugs.
It took a couple of minutes to find an empty plug right behind quite a few precarious pieces of tech, which had her lowering her leafy ears against her head. “Eehhh…” Grabbing the plug end with her muzzle, she carefully finessed her way to the wall socket with it, a cheek winding up flush with the wall as she pushed it in. After carefully pulling her muzzle out of that mess, she hopped over to the computer tower before hitting the ‘on’ button , then hopping in after a few seconds.
She waited until the computer reached a stable point, seeing how relatively empty it was. A shelving of books manifested behind her in the digital space, pushed out from the watch she was wearing for the time being. A groan left her as she saw it instead of a digitized computer. “Time to reads, then…”
With a claw, she pulled a book out of the shelving before beginning to turn the pages to begin reading, laying down in a comfortable position as she did to read…
...she wasn’t done by the time she heard a ‘tap tap’ echo throughout the area, probably someone tapping on the computer tower. Tesability poked her head out through the top of the machine, looking up to see Julian tapping on the case. “Yesh?”
The radio host gestured at the table, which had been hastily cleared of anything else, and the two sandwiches that were on it. One, Julian’s, was a massive behemoth of bread and veggies. The other, meant for Tes, was shorter but stacked tall with several different types of chicken. “Time to feast, dig in!” Julian said; grabbing onto her own sub and biting down with a groan of pure happiness.
Tesability saw how Julian pulled layers off her food before ‘digging’ in, then tried to do the same. She managed, but she had difficulties in doing so. When she saw how Julian was holding her food, however, she looked down at her front paws. ”...nu dinksh Ai can du datsh…”
She did, however, have another idea. She pulled the outer wrappings closer to the edge of the table, causing a little bit of the food to appear to ‘float’ in the air before biting down into the sub.
Literally two minutes later, the whole thing was gone before she let out a loud belch that could probably be heard from those outside the room, tip of tail wagging from her middle no longer hurting. ”Ai donesh.”
Julian looked up from the food she was eating and raised an eyebrow. “Next time you eat I suggest taking your time. Food is one of life’s great pleasures; it should be enjoyed. Not just inhaled….In any case give me a few minutes and we’ll get back to it.”
“...enjoyed?” She put a paw to the underside of her maw at this in thought, tilting her head slightly to one side. ”Wike ah veectowy againsht ah powewfulsh oppawnensh?”
“Mm, something like that I guess. But with less work.” Julian shook her head in amusement. “You really fit in here don’t you?” A brief pause followed before Julian got back into position, and urged Tesability to do the same.
“I was created to fight after all,” the dragon quipped after hopping back into the machinations.
3, 2, 1
“And we’re back folks, after a delicious meal from our sponsor, Space Subs, any time, any place, anything, they’ve got all your sandwich needs at Space Subs. We’re sitting with Tesability who had just finished regaling us with the story of her home. But now there’s something even juicier I have in mind. Miss Tesability do you perhaps know anything of love?”
“...I no knows. Champion NetMonsters were not made for that kind of thing,” she stated simply from inside the speakered machine she was in the first time. “Love...from what littles I understand, is difficult for a fleshie to understand, and it’s even less so for a data being like me.”
“A wise answer indeed. I’m sure a lot of our listeners can vouch for that one. Still...this is a whole new world now; so many possibilities, aren’t you a bit curious as to what you might find?”
“...there ish one thing I wanna know. Why do you need a ‘lishence’ to fly? I no needs anything but my wings to fly and I got brought down to someplace called ‘the station’ because they were unsure of what to do with me. Almost was late to match because of that.” An annoyed groan left her throat on that. “I just wanna flies, ish dat bads?”
“Oooh a fighter being arrested on their first day, scandalous indeed.” Julian’s eyes lit up. “I don’t know how the laws work for uh...wings. But without a license the police don’t know who are able to safely fly...But enough of that. What was your first experience in the slammer...er, the station, like?”
“Borings. They almost didn’t let me go to the Arena. Had to be a lightning bolt to make it to the match with how long they held me there. If anyone saw a lightning bolt moving horizontally and heading towards the Arena, that was probably me you saws.”
“So would that make you an escaped convi...oh sorry listeners one second.” Julian switched off her mic as her watch began to ring. “Yes? Oh, Grandmau, nice to hear your lovely voice...yes...yes….oh yes I know I wasn’t supposed to bring that up. Just couldn’t resist...oh, it’s that time is it? Well don’t bite my head off about it.”
Julian hung up and looked at Tesability apologetically. “Apparently we’re running out of time; you’ve got another match to get to. I suppose before we end this one more topic. Your opponent, Caleb……..He’s adorable isn’t he?”
“...he’s the Dog Not-NetMonster, yes?”
“The uh...yes, that one. The fluffy one.”
“...he thoughts I was someone he knew. Which ish...odds, because I’ve never seen him before nows.” A slight scratching sound, followed by a low rumble of ‘itchy, itchy’ comes through the speakers before she continued. “Um...I dunno. I gots called ‘cute’ a lot by Hunters before battle, so I dinks he might be cutes?”
“The listeners are gonna have a field day with that one.” Julian muttered with a grin. “Oh but wait, thought he knew you? I wonder…” A ringing from the watch interrupted Julian. “FINE I GET IT ALREADY. Sorry Tesability, the boss lady wants us to wrap it up. So with that, say goodbye to the listeners, this has been Julian and Tesability’s wonder hour.”
Tesability at least had the self-awareness to make sure she was out of the building completely before becoming a literal bolt of lightning across the city towards the Arena.