"So why can't we just get those upgrades just yet?" A voice asked as a girl in glasses got off the metro.

"Because we don't have enough zenny to buy the ones I want to get you in a single swoop." Liliana informed her navi, taking her pet out of the hoister and looking at it. The navi in her coat looked back at her, arms crossed. "Besides, I managed to get you another nice summon chip. So getting the rest of the zenny shouldn't take that long." Liliana looked around for a place to sit, near a jackin port. She found a bench next to a soda machine. "Hun, I think you can jack into those... let's see if it has some viruses that need to be cleared out." Liliana told her navi, moving to the machine to jack her navi in. Once in, she sat down on the bench, and took out her chips and laid them on her lap
Dharma's sleek, black high-heels continued to clap against the very pavement as she left Suitachi's shop. She took in the sights of Scilab, which always seemed so stately and industrial with its stoic white skyscrapers. She knew that science was a beautiful thing, but sadly, there existed so many devoted to science who just didn't have their priorities in order. The company president stopped to shake her head briefly at the thought of so many bright-minded scientists wasting their lives in the toil of what others considered to be worthwhile: tiny, insignificant improvements to the wonders known as navis. "Wonderful, to be sure, but we can do a lot more with them than make our toasters blacken better. Don't these guys even want to play God?" she pondered to herself.

Speaking of geeky, "scientific-laborer" class folks, here was a woman who seemed to fit the bill perfectly. Found sitting on a park bench near Science Labs in her glasses and unflattering clothing, Liliana would instantly be filed under N for Nerd. "This could be an opportunity or a waste of time. On one hand, she might fall right in line and be interested in scientific experiments. On the other hand, she might be one of those people so fiercely devoted to her pet that she doesn't want to test a few hazardous chemicals on it. It's hard to tell with these bookish, lonely types," Dharma thought to herself judgmentally, turning her head to stare at Liliana with her fake, sympathetic smile.

In the way of a business-woman, she straightened her tie once again and walked over to where Liliana was sitting. The sun cast a shadow across her gleaming blue eyes as she looked down upon her new potential associate. "Greetings; I hope I've not disrupted your activity. My name is Dharma Heart-Payne; I'm the inheritor and president of Heart-Payne Pharmaceuticals Incorporated. We're currently performing late-stage product testing of safe, ethical net compounds. Would you and your navi be interested in helping me perform a test run for some of the batches?" she asked, grinning handsomely and trying to look like a connection or resource that a glasses-wearing, Scilab-lurking girl might want to get to know.
"Er..." Was all Liliana could say while this strange women started to chat with her, distracting her from what was happening to her navi. It sounded like she wanted to use her navi as a... test subject, or something.

It's probably some kind of scam... Liliana figured, partly because something about her expressions seemed a bit... off, to her. It might have been from the lack of information she had about this person, as she doesn't know of a pharmaceutical company by that name... Or why the head herself would personal be trying to get common folks off the street to have their navis be test subjects when there are companies that she could contact to gather volunteers. The fact that she didn't mention reimbursement didn't help her case in Liliana's mind...

Liliana decided to try and gather some more information first before saying yes or no...

"Er... maybe, but first... care to explain what is the purpose of these compounds of yours Miss Dharma?" Liliana asked, looking back at her PET to check on Cala. She wanted to make sure that green golem thing her navi was currently fighting didn't somehow turn the fight around and was winning...
Dharma's already upturned eyebrows turned even further upward, as if she was terribly, terribly sympathetic towards Liliana, who must have contracted some sort of terrible disease. Her smile didn't waver as she ran Liliana's words through her mental pawn-speak to usable information interpretation process. "A skeptic... I guess if I was going to find one, it would be outside of Scilab," she thought to herself. "Please, there's no need to be so formal," she told Liliana, despite the fact that anything less than "miss" in front of her name annoyed her terribly. It was a necessary sacrifice she often found herself forced to make in order to seem more personable.

"Heart-Payne Pharmaceuticals produces many prescription medical products and non-prescription vitamins and painkillers. If you've never heard of us, then perhaps you should count it as a blessing! Our products help heal the afflicted, after all," Dharma chuckled. "Today, I'm testing a couple of new breakthrough products in my 'pharmacy for navis' program. Navis can make use of medicines just like we can, but there haven't been many products serialized for them yet. My corporation plans to change all of that," she explained, placing both hands into the pockets of her labcoat as she continued. "Your navi help us get our products ready for distribution. All of these products have been through initial testing already and are guaranteed to have no lasting side effects. So what do you say?"
That... still doesn't tell me what I needed to know. Liliana thought, listening to what she was saying. Infact, it raised a bit more warning flags. Of course, Liliana noticed that her navi had won, and that she had also jacked out of the machine next to her.

"Well, I'm going to check things over with my navi in private. So I'll get right back with you in a moment. Just, go on and jack into that in the meantime or something." Liliana informed Dharma, pointing at the machine before getting up off the bench. She headed to the navi shop, to consult her navi without being in hearing range of the lady.
"Oh, yes. Of course! Take your time then," Dharma replied, nodding briefly and smiling cordially. She turned her back to Liliana as she left, her smile smile staying constant while her eyebrows twitched uncontrollably. A nervous tick started to play with the corner of one of her eyes. "She thinks she can tell me to wait for her to do some shopping? Just jack in to any old thing while I wait for her to chat with her navi?" she thought to herself, her eyes searching frantically for something to lock on to that would calm her raging thoughts.

She settled on her PET, where Phero's pleasantly neutral face had begun to occupy the screen. "Dharma? Is something the matter?" she asked, noticing that her operator's face seemed even more unsettling than usual.

"Oh, nothing. I was just thinking that I'd like to pop a cap in something. Off something! I'd like to buy a canned drink and pop the cap off of it," the operator responded, heading over to the drink machine. She would not dignify the girl she'd met by following her suggestion to the letter; instead of jacking into the machine, she'd just buy a drink. "No coffee... Oh, it's a soda machine. You'd think the brilliant minds of SciLabs would run off of a little better than carbonation and sugar."

"I think I'd prefer something sugary to coffee, personally," Phero pitched in.

"I'll bet you would," Dharma answered noncommittally, pressing buttons on the machine until it unloaded a can of NetCola Vanilla. All she could do now, she figured, was sip her mediocre drink and wait for her mediocre partner to return.
Liliana moved from the store back to the bench she was at earlier. "Well, it looks like we are in..." Liliana said with a sigh, sitting down on the bench. She grabbed her PET and pointed it at the jackin port of the machine nearby. She remembered about something that she should check on first, before all of this starts. "Actually, before I jack in... is there anything I have to sign first?" She asks Dharma, turning to face her.
Placing her drink down on top of a nearby trash can and then instantly forgetting it (this was really a pawn's drink, after all), Dharma smiled at the return of her potential catch. Even so, she wouldn't take a seat; that'd be just a little too chummy. Instead, she resigned herself to sitting on the elevated concrete curb, running parallel to the staircase up to Suitachi's shop. "Very good! No, there's nothing you need to sign," she chuckled, realizing that she'd rather avoid the liabilities created by a signed document than seek the confidentiality and professionalism provided by one.

"I'll send my navi ahead, then. I'm sure she'll be pleased to meet a new face," the president continued, jacking her navi into the net. "Thank you again for agreeing to do this." She hoped that perhaps drawing the attention off of herself and to her naive, incompetent, pitiable (those seemed to her the best words to describe her navi) counterpart would ease the situation. People seemed to like those qualities in her, for whatever reason; perhaps because everyone else was similarly pathetic and thereby found Phero easy to relate to.

((Jacking in to Scilab Net))
Liliana jacked her navi into the network, sort of trying to tone out Dharma. She already was regretting this, especially when her... something, doesn't want a paper trail...
"Well, it's been a pleasure, Miss," Dharma smiled, getting up from her seat, "but I think it's time I took my leave. It's the corporate lifestyle, I'm afraid; sometimes, we live on our transportation. Thank you again for a most interesting experiment and please, send Cala my regards." Without even apologizing for what she'd done to Cala, Dharma flicked her hair back over her shoulders and left towards the metroline.

((Heading to Beach Street))