The Pagoda, Room 901

The cab from Den Airport pulled to a screeching halt outside the aptly named Pagoda. The place had been contructed not by any local corporations, though, but a global corporation based back in America. Even though she was half-gaijin herself, the hipocracy made her hackles rise. It didn't help that the place was situated so deeply in the neon forest she had hoped to escape. But, it was the only place she could find a decent suite. She slid her credit card through the seat-mounted reader and climbed out of the tiny yellow vehicle. The cabbie politely carried her suitcase to the door with her then double-timed back to his cab. She didn't really blame him; the way she was dressed, it looked like she was going to bust out a couple of uzis at any moment.

But she was out of that; not that she'd ever been in. Since her teens, she had found the business detestable, andd worse than that, bound for ruin. Her fears hadn't been unfounded, either... With a sigh, she stepped through the ornate double doors. A smiling receptionist checked over her ID and produced a key card from beneath her desk. The place was oddly similar to a hotel, although in truth residence within was all but permanent. She slipped into the elevator and keyed the highest number on the board; nine, oddly enough. She expected someplace this deep in the city to be taller. However, this was not a sign of disuse; the place was lavish, and the relatively low reach might be considered charming. The chrome doors slid open silently, admitting Arco to a single door. The penthouse suite, then; there had been no mistake. Such tastes might be considered silly, especially since she wasn't on a Yakuza payroll like her late family, but she found that it did no harm to aim a little higher. The keycard unlocked the door with a faint buzz. The room was well-decorated, no doubt about that. Arco didn't believe she would have any trouble living here for a while.

She set her suitcase down by the wall for now and slid a rather important piece from her inside chest pocket. It was a PET, the little piece of electronics that had become all but a standby for life and made various scientists so very rich. She settled down on the queen-sized bed as she regarded the little device. The covers sunk deliciously under her weight, but her mind was elsewhere. She had inherited the thing from her late brother, along with some zenny and a few battlechips, some of which were fairly rare. She had only ever had a passing interest in the Net, investing only in a secondhand second-generation PET and a truly ancient navi devoid of customization. This thing baffled her; it had been given with a typically vague Frederick statement about giving and receiving protection, but there was nothing within to protect. These things still came with a navi attached, she supposed. But its mysteries would have to wait; it was late, and she was tired. She rose from the snug little depression she had made in the down covers, setting the PET down beside it, where it soon made its own small dint. Maybe a bath would clear her mind.

"Nice place, huh?"

Arco's eyes widened as she spun to find the source of the voice. As it turned out, the speaker was a girl in the strangest clothes she had ever seen, reclining on the bed. And were those...Cat ears?"How did you...?" Surely no one could have snuck in. No one would have reason, either.
"Figure it out yet? You look like you've seen a ghost!" the girl giggled. "You could use some help, I guess. I'm Cheshire, and I've been hiding out with you."
"Wha... what?" Arco was mystified. With an overplayed roll of the eye, the girl sat up and leaned over, giving the PET a light pat. "Right here. Been stuck up against you in your raincoat pocket for the longest time. Not that I'm complaining, but it gets pretty boring. I needed to stretch my legs." To illustrate her point she stretched all limbs but one, toes pointed, falling back onto the duvet from the sudden loss of leverage.
"But, if you're a navi..."
"I suppose I am, aren't I? Man, have you been living in a box for the past twenty, thirty years? These things have the latest in hologram technology. Don't ask me how it works, I don't know."
"Oh..." That kind of explained things, but Arco had still been knocked for a loop. "This is too much for me right now... I'm taking a bath." Cheshire sat up with a miscevious smile. "No, no! Alone! You just go into the Net or whatever, okay?"
"Aww..." From Cheshire's tone, Arco guessed she was probably kidding. A relief, of sorts. "Fine." She fizzled for a moment before dissapearing completely. "Just do me a favor," she continued from the PET's speakers, "and jack me in?"
"Simple enough." Arco slid her laptop from its housing in her suitcase and set it on the nightstand. She ended up turning the thing around in her hands in confusion. "Uh... Cheshire, where's the jack?" The navi sighed.
"You really are hopeless. It's that red-looking thing."
"No, that's the camera."
"Oh, so..."
"Yeah, that one."
"So, I..."
"Point it at the computer, first."
"Now jack in."
"Ciao, Arco." The girl struck a cute pose before dissapearing from the screen. Arco sighed. Now she really needed a bath.
Cheshire slowly reappeared on Arco's PET screen to find herself situated once more in a coat pocket and on the move.

"To Yoka?" She murmured, her voice barely audible through the cloth. Arco thankfully slid the PET out of the pocket in question.

"No, not Yoka. You said something about navicust, right? And Suitachi's?" Arco wandered down into the Metro.

"Right... Good idea." With that last bit of encouragement, Arco and Cheshire became lost amid the midday crowd.