Inside the shop

There came Tatianna, almost skipping in. The freedom of an adult with the lifestyle of a teen, truly the embodiment of a college freshman. The young woman was eager to look about, only to notice there weren't many things to really look at save for browsing the netcola flavors for like, a minute straight. Finally, the small, short-cut blonde would approach the counter, squatting a little to look at the programs behind the glass. Oooh, these all looked so cool, but the price tags! She couldn't afford any of it! That just bummed the poor girl out, till she saw one that she couldn't live without, cheap, too! The binder also said that it was a must-have for navis just climbing the ranks for those on a budget.

"'scuse me, sir." She would ask, the five foot five lady having crested the counter's height far less than the average, grown operator, "I'mma get the Process Upgrade, please. They're like the old ones, too, right? Just pop in and set a new weapon-unlock?" She had... some idea, and her oversimplification belied her skill with writing these things for PurgeMan. Meanwhile, the Navi within her PeT remained quiet and steadfast, only piping up with his coarse, heavy and filtered tone. "They have videos online. I'm sure we can figure it out." She then fished out that PeT to give him that glance, and the eyebrow raise. PurgeMan backed off, it seemed. "Apologies." For such a small, young woman, Tatianna had quite the curious taste in PeT and navi. A seven foot bulk of white armor and virus death as her Navi, and black-steel and silver trimmed PeT filled with scratches and skull carvings, with one large dent on the back casing. A relic of a phase? Or perhaps, she still had interest in the socially 'edgy'. Even the screws had skulls! Enough lollygagging, she produces 100 zenny, seemed she had a starting navi.

"I.... owe a hundred zenny, right?" she asked, still counting some out in her hands after withdrawing them from the ATM on the way here. Those baby blue eyes weren't skimming the pictures, or the face of the store clerk. They were gazing across the certificates and the programs on display. She wasn't quite the socialite she seemed to be, that Tatianna.
Suitachi sat on a stool behind the counter, obscuring himself behind a newspaper. This in and of itself was noteworthy, as printed newspapers were long-obsolete in their trans-modern era. Yet the dates and events listed were all current, the letterhead neat and official. By all appearances he'd had it made to order as a convenient, anti-customer barrier. He was using it to full effect now, effective ly blind to the shop.

Until a voice called him to attention; his newspaper snapped shut to rest against the countertop. The customer looked to have torn apart the couch if the pocket change she was holding out was any indication. "Perfect, exact change even," he acquiesced, feeling rather like he was peddling pennycandy at the corner store as he made the exchange. It wasn't until he caught a glimpse of the imposing figure on the girl's PET that he made any sign of emoting. Glancing between PurgeMan and Baby's First Process Upgrade in his Operator's hand, he very carefully avoided saying 'Aww, how cute.' "Enjoy the rest of your day," she called instead, retreating back to the sanctity of his paper.

[Tatianna LOSE: 100z]
[Tatianna GET: Process Upgrade]
{EAX005}

[<<< From Science Labs: Small Steps <<<]

Stacey pulled up to the traffic island and parked the car in the middle division between both lanes at the end of the street.

"Are you sure about this Eric? Are you sure you're not... overdoing it?"

I've been saying that all day, but even I'M not listening to me right now, it seems. "No, I... I have to do this," he finally replied.

"...Okay. But remember, if you need me, I'll be right here."

Eric opened the passenger side door and got out. The buildings may have been painted new colours and the plants now fully grown, but this was still the scene that plagued more bad nights than any other.

Be strong. You can do this.

The Navi Shop was in the centre of the strip. For so long he'd wanted to visit this shop as a child. To explore its many bargain bins. To buy guide books and navigator customisation guides. To visit the celebrities that would visit occasionally. But most of all, to meet and mingle with other netbattlers like what he so badly wanted to be. And yet, after all this time, this was only the second time in his life he would enter the shop he so revered as a kid.

Stacey watched him enter the building. Although she had come to terms with the event so many years ago, watching him feel renewed pain was making her go through all the same emotions again.

"Is this the first time he's been back?" Crony enquired.

"Yes. I'm so proud of him, but I'm kinda freaking out for him too. Too many nights I've had to hold him tight as he suffered from those ridiculous nightmares."

Crony remained unchanged in demeanor. "I know you said never to talk about the event, but I know for a fact you've since read the original report, now that you're an officer too."

"Yes, I know you do."

"Then you know what eyewitnesses at the time reported. Have you ever asked him the question?"

Stacey didn't respond. She knew what Crony was asking, and it was a question that had slowly gnawed away at her mind for the 6 years since reading that report. For so long she'd wanted to ask Eric the burning question, the one every orphaned child wants to know, but she simply couldn't bring herself to do it. She knew the potential psychological damage it could create; Eric was just not strong enough to bear that load again.

Yet.

A glimmer of hope entered Stacey's mind. Amy had gone into Eric's head and revealed a part of him that she'd never thought she'd understand.

With time... maybe...?

----------

Eric was surprised by the emptiness that surrounded him. He didn't remember everything from his first visit, but it was nothing like the scene that lay before him now, so empty and bare. He spotted the counter at which he needed to purchase the needed upgrades for his new partner. Their busting run through the bonding test had been somewhat successful, and Stacey felt that if they really were going to be partners, Amity could use a few minor upgrades with the funds they'd acquired.

{{{Remember, just ask for a HP Memory, a PowerUP, and four Process Upgrades. It'll cost you 3,000 zenny all up.}}} was what Stacey had told him on the car-ride over.

He approached the counter with money in hand, and placed it down in front of him. "Can I please have a HP Memory, a PowerUP, and four Process Upgrades, if that's okay?" he asked the assistant. "Is this the correct change?"
The near-empty store greeted Eric with the same air of nonchalance that greeted everybody. A few kids younger than him were clustered around the soda machine, hunched over their PETs and whispering fiercely to one another. Suitachi, the man himself, had his feet up and a magazine in hand, winding down the hours.

Hearing an interruption to his usual routine sent the magazine rather flying, literally tossed from his hands in his haste to Serve the Customer. "Well sure," the man nodded, squinting at Eric, "assuming it's your first of each upgrade, and I've never seen your face here before...so sure, 3000!" He opened three drawers behind the counter, and without once looking at his hands, had six datachips jangling in a small bag. The zenny had vanished before Eric's eyes; when had he taken it?

[Eric GET: HP Memory x1, PowerUP x1, Process Upgrade x4]
[Eric LOSE: 3000z]
After the items requested were placed into a bag and offered to him, Eric carefully took hold of said bag, thanked the assistant, and headed out of the store. It was upon leaving the store that he accidently gazed upon the one tree he'd tried so hard to avoid looking at during this little adventure (if you could call it that). This tree looked slightly different to the rest in the street in that it grew at a twenty degree angle, not straight up like the rest. It wasn't meant to look like that, but Eric knew why it did.

He quickly ran over to the squad car and got into the back. "Please. Get me out of here."

----------

Upgrades Acquired!
HP Memory x1, PowerUP x1, Process Upgrade x4
Zenny: -3000 (3220 >>> 220)

HP Memory: 0 >>> 1
Max HP Increase: 150 >>> 170

PowerUP: 0 >>> 1
PowerUP Applied to Attack: 1 >>> 2

Process Upgrade: 0 >>> 4
Signature Pool: 80 >>> 240

Level Up! HP Memory, PowerUP
Amity.EXE: Level 2 >>> 4

[>>> To Science Labs: Small Steps >>>]
Nighty here getting 3 HPmem for 1750+2000+2250 for a total of 6000!

TRIPLE LEVEL UP!
As the sliding door to the Navi Shop opened to admit another potential bundle of disposable income—that is to say, customer—Suitachi glanced up from a news feed he was watching behind the counter. The display that greeted him caused a raised eyebrow.

"Enthusiasm's great, young man, but this is a strictly In-Character shop." He flicked his eyes from Shane to the small sign below the counter that stated as much in small print. Had that sign been there a moment ago?

"I'm going to need you to behave properly if you want to get yourself served at all, alright?" continued Suitachi, looking increasingly annoyed as he narrowed his eyes. "In the first place, you don't look like you've got any money on hand."

((Frelia edit: More seriously, please RP properly from onwards when making purchases. If you'd like to purchase with Nightshade instead, there's the Navi Net-Shop to go to. Take care of your stats in your sig properly too, since it doesn't show that you have nearly enough at all. Took like a solid hour to back-audit you to check the actual total—you're 20 zenny off even considering the last 6000z.))
Spoiler

https://rockman-rogue.net/topic/8538/first-connection/8: +180z May 4th 2018
https://rockman-rogue.net/topic/8538/first-connection/16: +180z May 5th 2018
https://rockman-rogue.net/topic/9368/fishing-for-zennies/9: +150z May 11th 2018
https://rockman-rogue.net/topic/9368/fishing-for-zennies/28: +1200z May 18th 2018
https://rockman-rogue.net/topic/9368/fishing-for-zennies/42: +970z May 28th 2018
https://rockman-rogue.net/topic/7988/i-need-money/4: +4550z May 31st 2018
https://rockman-rogue.net/topic/6795/inside-the-shop/1848: -7100z May 31st 2018
https://rockman-rogue.net/topic/9368/fishing-for-zennies/61: +1125z July 9th 2018
https://rockman-rogue.net/topic/8033/the-monthly-netvegas-raffle-2/13: -500z Aug 3rd 2018
https://rockman-rogue.net/topic/9368/fishing-for-zennies/84: +640z Nov 7th 2018
https://rockman-rogue.net/topic/6795/inside-the-shop/1865: -1250z Nov 10th 2018
https://rockman-rogue.net/topic/8863/neo-shogunate-mission-request-hub/48: +6000z Apr 8th 2019
Final total: 6145z
When Mei got out of a small black car, the driver was notably stunned, as though she'd been smacked without warning. Unfazed by her driver's distress, she started to walk over to the Navi shop. "I told her it was a doozy."

"It was, but you probably could've left a few of the details out. Like what the other girls did to that machine. Or the part where I almost had to...well, you know..."

"Doozies don't hold back, Skye." The young woman opened the door, slightly relieved it was still open. "So, you need higher NaviCust capacity, right?"

"Yes. I did the pricing math on the way over. I'll need 4."

"Uh-huh." She walked over to the counter, and rested her arms on it. If Suitachi was paying attention, he'd see that she was also taking the chance to rest her breasts on it, as well. "Hey. I'll need 5 NaviCust expansions."

"Um, I said I only needed 4..."

"Call it a bonus. You did your part too, you know."

[Order of Purchase:
1-NaviCust Expansion #1 - 1000z
2-NaviCust Expansion #2 - 1250z
3-NaviCust Expansion #3 - 1500z
4-NaviCust Expansion #4 - 1750z
5-NaviCust Expansion #5 - 2000z
Total - 7500z
Cash on Hand - 7940z
Remaining Cash - 440z]
As Mei arrived, the shopkeeper looked up for a moment and offered a small smile and a wave from where he was moving a small stack of boxes from one shelf to a seemingly identical shelf about a foot away.

"With you in a moment!" It took a few more moments for Suitahi to complete the inscrutable product shifting, but eventually he stood upright and knuckled his back briefly, then came over. "What can I get you?" He nodded as she place her order, and ducked away into the back for a few moment,s returning with the requested upgrades.

"Quite sizable..." he cleared his throat briefly. "...upgrade space there. Sounds like someone's navi is looking forward to some new capabilities!" He hurriedly placed the purchases in a small bag and collected Mei's payment.

"Thanks for your purchase, do come again!"

--

Mei Get: NC Expansions 1-5
Mei Lose: 7500z
"Oh, yes she is. If you're quiet, you can probably hear the squeeing." Mei went silent for a moment, and one could, in fact, hear a scream of delight for a moment, before abruptly stopping, followed by a throat clearing. "Yup."

"But, I'd better not keep my ride waiting. Bye!" With that, she grabbed her stuff, and started to walk out.

(TO DENTECH)