A/N: Hi! This story will take place after the Yori's Story "chapter" Dreams and Connections. It's not a part of the collection, but I would like to continue it from this point in various ways! The name of Yori reborn will be Astraica, the name I use for most of my characters. I just can't seem to think of a better one! Forgive me! Ok! So! Without further ado, please enjoy!
"ENCOM..." A young woman breathed, staring up at the gleaming tower as the morning sun cast its radiance upon the glass. A smile on her lips, she gripped her bag strap tighter. Today was it. Today was the day that she was finally going to fulfil her dream and step into ENCOM, THE number one computer company in the World, as an official employee!
She'd worked hard for this moment… Four years as an A student in computer technology and security training, the sleepless nights running over networks and code, and providing her absolute best in everything she did. Sure, there were some who found various tasks easier than she, but that just made her rise to the challenge with all the more vigour, and she had succeeded!
Breathing in she headed towards the building doors with a smile and determination. The head of IT was waiting there for her. "Good morning!" He held out his hand. Masking her excitement, she took it and he shook her hand firmly.
"Great to have you with us! Alan should be by soon, he likes meeting all of the IT before they start." He laughed as he turned and headed in the direction of the IT room. "Don't let that gleam in his eye get to you either! He has a lot of pride for his security program Tron, likes to see everyone who'll be "working alongside him."" Chuckling he turned left and opened a door. "Weird way to address a program, I know." He shrugged. "But here, they mean a lot to us, you'll hear that terminology often."
He nodded towards the room as he held the door open in front of her. She took that as her cue to head on in. What a gentleman. She thought as she passed him and stepped into the room.
Looking around, her eyes widened in awe, a vast amount of networks filled the entire room! She had, had an idea of what she would be working with, but nothing could've prepared her for the sight before her! There -is- a reason ENCOM is known as the best computer company in the world…
"I see you've found your way around alright." A warm baritone voice sounded from behind her.
I know that voice! It had been on the news when Kevin Flynn disappeared, it was the voice of the ENCOM company! Whirling around revealed Alan, standing in the doorway just a few feet from her, a smirk upon his lips.
Her eyes grew wide with shock. "Sir!" She exclaimed as she walked towards him, recomposing herself with every step. She nearly shook her head. She was told she would meet him… But she supposed she didn't really think she would, or at least not this soon. "It's an honour! I…"
He raised a hand and shook his head while smiling. "Just call me Alan. So…" He smirked and tucked his hands into his pockets as he entered the room. "You're the new IT employee, Astraica…" He gave a knowing chuckle, eyes sparkling, as he held out a hand to her.
"Yes s-. Alan." She caught herself as she took his hand. This is going to take some getting used to. "It's a pleasure to meet you. I've been looking forward to working for ENCOM for quite a while now."
His grip was surprisingly strong yet gentle as he shook her hand. "Well, it's a pleasure to have you with us." Releasing her hand, he breathed in, a smile spreading across his lips, eyes sparkling with mischief and pride. "You're going to have fun working alongside our security program, Tron. He's the best to have ever been written, most of the IT crew complain about him making their lives boring."
As he chuckled, she knew that this was going to be both a challenge and interesting, without a doubt, this was the place she wanted to be.
As they walked, they talked. They were on their way to her new work station, a cubicle among many also filled with programmers and IT workers.
"So." Alan tilted his head slightly to look at her, a smile still present on his face. "What brought you to, ENCOM?" He paused for effect. He knew this business was top in technology in many areas, however, he wanted to hear it from her first.
Astraica smiled easily back and looked up at him, then started speaking, turning her head slowly away once she reached the middle, becoming lost in thought. "I guess it started when I was a little girl. At first I wanted to be a designer, and art is still a passion of mine, but after my Father read from Flynn's book The Digital Frontier, I became captured! It was as though Programs leapt to life for me with Flynn's ideas! It all seemed… Right, somehow, like it was a part of me… And, I understood! I understood every word! I cherished that book, and kept it with me at all times. I still have it." She laughs gently. "At home. But ever since then, I wanted to know more and more of computers and the computer world. That lead me to programming, and the hope, to work for ENCOM drove me forward as I wrote every line! I wanted to work alongside the famed Alan Bradley!" She blushed a bit at her praise of him. "I wanted to work for the company that brought it all together, the BEST in all the world! The place where Flynn worked!" She shook her head and closed her eyes with a smile. Opening them once more, she spoke. "I suppose it was a dream I've had my whole life, I just didn't realize it… I felt, drawn here."
She looks up at him now, and he holds a slightly surprised look upon his face, to which he chuckles a moment and clasps a hand onto her shoulder. "You'll fit in here better than I thought you would. To be honest, I thought your prowess was due to a more material reason." His eyes were warm now, and a bit distant, as though he were remembering something, something from the past. He shook his head as though to rid it of such thoughts, and opened the door now before them.
"Ah Trevon! I see you're harassing the programmers again." Alan chuckled as he walked up to a man about his height with similar features, though much younger, in fact, to Astraica, he looked just like Alan did in his youth… With the same brown hair and eyes, the same cut of hair even… And clasped his hand upon his left shoulder. She marvelled at him, an attraction welling within her.
"Only so that they can attempt a better percentage then last time at beating Tron to every bug in the system." Trevon's eyes lit as Alan's hand fell heavily upon his shoulder. He took it easily, not moving a millimetre. Astraica marvelled again at his strength.
Alan laughed and turned behind him. "I have someone I'd like you to meet." Swiping the hand that had been resting upon Trevon's shoulder out, he gestured to Astraica.
Astraica just stared as their eyes met, she thought she saw a glimmer of teasing in Trevon's eyes as he stared at her, a smile upon his lips, which turned into a laugh as Astra spoke first. "Are you related to Alan?" She said numbly.
Alan looked a bit shocked, again, at her comment, and then chuckled before he gave her, her answer. "He is. He's my nephew. Trevon, stop that and greet the girl properly." He glared at his nephew.
Trevon's laugh died down as he walked up to Astra and bent down, arm along his middle as he reached for her hand with the other.
She let him take it in surprise, and he kissed it lightly before standing straight, a military pose. "Welcome to ENCOM! I'm Trevon Bradley, nephew of Alan-One, and the head of security." His eyes twinkled with teasing as he dared her to put together why then, he was teasing the programmers.
Alan coughed at the kiss, Trevon had never done that before, but he could tell, with the slight twist to Trevon's pose, that he meant it as a "did that suffice?" teasing back at him.
Astra smiled back at Trevon, a teasing lop to it as she put her hands upon her hips and looked straight at him now. His words having knocked her out of her stupor. She knew a challenge when she heard one, and she loved challenges! "Astraica Devinlight. Pleasure to make your acquaintance." She nodded politely at him. "So, what are you doing harassing the programmers if you're security?" Her eyes twinkled.
Trevon's smile widened and his attention now focused upon her. "Oh, you know how boring my job can be." He wasn't about to tell her the real reason. He was going to keep that under wraps.
Astra's smile turned a mite grin-like and she sashayed up to him, poked him right on the centre of his chest, and looked up at him with a tilted head. "And what, do you know about programming? Or, the dangers in the System?" This was a challenge of her own, to match her own way of thinking. Since her childhood, she thought of Programs as people. Though she never usually let on, having been laughed at by her programmer father when she told him.
Trevon actually had a flash of surprise gleam across his eyes, but he didn't let on in any other way as he leaned over and spoke in a near whisper to her. "And what do you know of them?"
She smiled then, removed her hand, and stood up straight. "Enough." Her eyes gleamed in challenge.
It was then that Alan coughed and moved up to them, clasping Trevon's right shoulder. "Now that you two are acquainted, I would like to show the young lady around. Don't bug the programmers too much Trevon." He pointedly stared at him with a smile.
Trevon took that as his que to leave and nodded. "I'll do my best." He teased and nodded to Astra. "Nice to meet you." He grinned.
"Likewise." Astra placed her hands upon her hips again and grinned right back at him.
Alan laughed. "You'd better be careful Trevon. She's going to cause you trouble!"
Trevon laughed as well and shook his head, intense eyes boring into hers. "We'll see." And with that, he walked past her and towards his station downstairs.
Astra watched him leave, then huffed when he was gone, finally laughing and turning to Alan. "If he's around I won't know much boredom at all!" She beamed up at him.
Alan chuckled and shook his head. "You haven't met Tron yet!" He smiled with a mischievous gleam in his eye and turned. "You'll meet him once you start trying to solve System bugs before he does!" He had a laugh in his voice as he walked through a lane between a row of cubicles. "This is where you will be stationed. It's not much, but I started out in one almost exactly like it when I first started. The technology has updated since then." He joked with her.
Astra smiled and nodded. "It's perfect." She placed her right hand on the top of the cubicle beside her and gently ran it over it's thin, 2 inch thick, top.
Alan smiled. She'll fit in here better than I thought! I'll have to tell Lora, she'll be pleased. He thought as he watched Astra get acquainted with her new workspace.
"If you need any help just let me or the programmers around you know. They're quick to help and ready to give advice." Alan smiled warmly at her.
She turned to him then, now almost seated in the small swivel chair in front of a new-looking flatscreen monitor. They really go all out to maintain the System… She thought before speaking. "Thank you. I'm sure I can find my way around." She smiled warmly back at him. "And." She reached out to touch his sleeve, she wasn't sure if she could, but when her hand landed on him and he didn't flinch, she relaxed. "Thank you, so much, for being here and showing me around. I know my choice was right now."
"As was mine." He nodded as she released his arm and he left her to her own devices.
"So! You're the new meat around here?" A high baritone sounded from beside her.
She looked over, surprised to see a younger man with curly red hair grinning at her, head upon crossed arms, leaning on the walls of their cubicles. "I guess I am." She laughed once, and smiled back at him.
"You're gonna have fun meeting Tron." He grinned at her and adjusted his glasses.
"Oh? I keep hearing that." She smiled teasingly back at him. "Do all of you follow Flynn's writings? The way you talk about Programs…" She trailed off, letting him get the hint to her question. Again, a test. She hoped they felt the same way she did about them.
He nodded. "Yeah, I guess, kind of? We've kind of… Evolved, with experience, over the years." He said carefully, not quite meeting her gaze. "I'm Riven." He reached over his hand.
She took it and shook. "Astraica. But you can call me Astra."
"Ahhh. The Guardian?" He quirked a brow.
"How did you know about that?" She laughed.
"We know a bit about those with the best scores in the universities across the country!" He said, but before he could say anything, another voice piped up beside him, a lower female voice revealed an older woman with short, asymmetrical black hair.
"You mean you know!" She didn't laugh, but it was seen in her look. "He makes it his business to see who "might be on the list of candidates for ENCOM"." She shook her head and gave him a noogie.
"Hey! It's good research!" He called back, he didn't sound happy.
"Sure, we're already enough of geeks to begin with. You make us look bad!" She again didn't sound more than monotone, but there was a gleam of mirth in her eyes. She looked at Astra then. "I'm Devon. Call me Dev. Nice to meet you." She nodded since there was so much space between them.
Astra smiled and nodded. "Likewise." I seem to be saying that a lot today… She thought wryly.
"Ok, I've got to get back to work. And so should you." Dev looked pointedly at Riven.
"Alright." Riven said sadly, rolling his eyes, and sitting back down.
Astra took that as her cue to start up her work on familiarizing herself with the System. She immediately understood the code and set to testing her knowledge with various small tasks. Today was for training. She knew she had to know the System inside and out before she could work.