Phero and Boil, as well as...?

Jacking onto the net, Phero's belief was that she was being sent straight to the GNA board to pick up another mission. Doubtless, Dharma would be supervising this one more closely, as she'd barely managed to do anything related to product testing in the previous one. To her surprise, that was not the case; instead, she ended up in the NetSquare, with orders to wait. "Hum. That's unusual. Maybe HunterWoman is coming with me again?" she asked out loud, albeit quietly. Shortly after, a burst of steam and a loud, annoying whistle revealed her new partner, who was... most definitely not HunterWoman, judging by her short, somewhat portly shape, even before the steam cleared. "Wait, I know you! You're Boil, aren't you?" she asked, tilting her head slightly. "We haven't spoken much, but it's good to work with you! Does that mean Dharma and Agnis want to do a mission together?"

Boil adjusted her heavy, thick-rimmed glasses and wiped steam from them as Phero spoke to her. Sweat was still rolling down the side of her cheek, and not just from her entrance. She was desperate to make a good impression, but she was just as confused about the situation as Phero was. "Phero, you can call me a supervisor," she finished, deciding on the answer that made her sound the most impressive. "I've lost a bit of my strength, but it seems Dharma thinks my expertise will be useful for assisting you and guiding you, to an extent, in your missions. From what I've heard and observed, it seems important that we get back on track to helping you fulfill your potential as a prototype. Namely," she continued, lowering her voice slightly and then tilting her glasses down, looking from side to side, her eyes shadowed by her thick bangs. She raised one eyebrow with a conspiring expression. "We must return to product testing. It is essential, for all the investment put into you, that we make progress on these grounds." For Boil, talking as though she'd been sent to instruct Phero instead of just to be held for ransom by Dharma against Agnis made her feel a lot more sane.

Phero was trying to listen hard and make a good impression as well, but Boil's stodgy business-lady talk was already wearing on her a bit. She reminded herself of one thing: at least Boil wasn't Dharma. Although, Boil had been complicit in a lot of Dharma's plans... that was always worth remembering. "Of course! I'm happy to get back to it, so long as we aren't hurting anyone," Phero agreed. Boil returned a frown, as though to remind her that whether others were hurt was really secondary to whether they managed to make progress. "U-Um... Anyway... I guess I should call you 'Mom!'" she giggled, intending to be kind.

Boil recoiled as though struck, then began shooting steam from her ears and waving her fists in the air, lacking the composure she'd shown earlier. "No! No, you may certainly not call me 'Mom!'" she insisted, huffing and then pressing two fingers to her glasses to make sure they stayed in place (although there wasn't much need, since they connected to her earpieces). "L-Listen, Phero... I was involved in your design, but only so far. In reality, my purpose is much as your own: to assist in my operator's goals, but also, to dispense experimental chemicals. I can do so in the form of vapors and gas, but really, our functions aren't so far apart. So... call me 'Sister' if anything..." she sighed. The two of them might both be chemical dispersing navis dressed in silver, but they really didn't look a thing like sisters... Although their apparent ages were only supposed to be about 10 years apart, even that looked way far off.

"Sister... Um... How about I just call you ma'am?" Phero asked, crossing both hands behind her back sheepishly. She wanted to be friends with Boil, but even she thought that seemed like a stretch. Reading the anger on Boil's quivering lower lip, she revised her statement. "L-Let's just stay on a first name basis for now! Boil!" she finished, smiling awkwardly. "So um, Boil, I like to give people hugs when I first meet them-"

"Stooop!" Boil insisted, immediately raising one hand and causing Phero to jump. "We're stopping that right now! A representative of Dharma Heart-Payne can't hug everyone she meets! A handshake is appropriate with business acquaintances. No physical touching at all is appropriate, in many situations. You must learn to read the atmosphere..."

"Hm... Well, all our products are safe for the atmosphere, or it says so in our documentation," Phero murmured absently, not wanting to give up her ritual of hugging everyone but admitting it might be best not to do so where Boil was concerned.

"Let's refocus. Testing! For testing, we need a test subject. As you are thinking about a GNA sponsored mission, then I propose that test subject should be your ally in said mission. Find someone promising looking... that is, someone who doesn't look hard to work with... introduce yourself, and then go from there. There ought to be plenty of others in the NetSquare who are looking. I'd recommend searching in the old way..."

"The old way? Oh, because you're..."

"N-No! Not because I'm old! Because I'm not old! I mean, because it works!" Boil scowled, stomping her feet so hard her glasses bobbed up and down. "Don't make a scene!" she snapped, though she really needed that advice more than Phero, as steam shot from her earpieces. "I mean, 'looking for group'! You just find promising looking people who appear to be looking for partners and tell them you're interested!"

Phero brightened up, clutching both hands into fists at her chest. "That's it! I know how to do that," she agreed, then went over to the nearest person she could find, regardless of whether they looked a little scary to the average navi in any particular way. "Hello there! My name's Phero. I'm looking for a partner to come on a GNA mission! Are you available?" she began, barely restraining herself from the immediate hug. She probably at least ought to make sure she wasn't going to get blown off first. Boil approached behind Phero silently, her face seeming to hold a disapproving frown even though she had no particular thoughts just yet, being mostly preoccupied with how to adapt to the new situation of being Dharma's hostage and Phero's caretaker.

((Waiting for Fera))
[furl=9025556,1,10003783][>> Alternator Heights - Electown.][/furl]

Transported into the NetSquare directly from her jack-in, Eris hopped out of the transport pad with a happy skip in her step, looking around the bustling area with a gleam in her eyes. Unlike her first venture into the SciLab network, this area was much more populated, and her tail darted about as she observed the people coming to and fro with interest. Her walking pace being slower than the Navis around her didn't really bother them all too much, as the throughput of the entrance gates was far more than any regular day could fill up.

Bustling as per usual, the NetSquare held a myriad of varying Navis, with ample signboards depicting paths towards the different sections, such as the bulletin boards, the free areas, the commercial regions, and the recruitment area. For the moment, she wandered over to one of the free areas, when her ears picked up a particularly loud conversation near the entrance.

"No! No, you may certainly not call me 'Mom'!"

Turning towards the source of the exclamation showed that it had come from a rather short, yet curvy glasses-wearing Navi, notably expelling steam from a spout on her back, as well as generally from her body. She seemed to be talking to a taller Navi, who was about equally as busty, but seemed much more mellow. Their matching armor suggested that they were related somehow. With stomping and yelling from behind thick-rimmed fogged-up glasses, Eris stood fascinated by the scene between the belligerent-looking one and the mellow one seemed quite comical, as they continued talking about something relating to a test subject.

Then, the taller one seemed to brighten up at the notion, and suddenly turned to approach her. "Hello there! My name's Phero. I'm looking for a partner to come on a GNA mission! Are you available?" the girl Navi said, while the shorter one trailed behind with a sour look on her face.

"A partner? Sure! I'm okay with that. My name's Eris!" the red-skinned Navi said with a beaming smile on her face, practically radiating pure happiness in stark contrast to her demonic appearance. Her tail flicked about from behind her, its tip experimentally pointing up towards Phero, before disinterestedly locking onto Boil behind her instead. The SP would be able to hear a low-pitched growl before the tail flicked out of sight behind Eris once more.

"By the way, what's a G-and-A mission?" asked Eris innocently, still with a happy expression on her face.
Upon inspection, Boil seriously questioned Phero's definition of "harmless," if she went straight for the red-and-black-colored, demon looking navi as her choice for a test subject. Still, the girl seemed friendly and unassuming, which made her ideal for this purpose. Boil smirked and rubbed her hands for a moment, before realizing that someone (or rather, someone's tail) was pointed at her judgmentally. She fixed her glasses and glared forward, returning the apparent expression of the tail. "What was that? Some kind of pet?" she asked, not putting two and two together.

Phero was similarly curious, and circled around to Eris' back, to divine the source of that growling. She ended up kneeling down and staring at Eris' butt region to figure it out. "Hm..." she murmured. "It looks like it's a tail!" she finally announced. "I've never heard of them making growls before, though. Um, but anyway, you'd asked me a question... That's right! The G and A is the Global Network Administration," Phero answered, then held her metal skirt to her lap and rose back to her feet. "They hand out missions to anyone. I think there's also some way to place missions, but I don't know much about that..."

"Ahem," Boil coughed, ready to get back on track. "As it so happens, we're right nearby the board! Why don't we try to go and place one, hm?" she asked, smiling and trying to match their energy. The smile looked a little misplaced on her and her glasses had fogged back up.

"Sounds great! Follow me, Eris. I'll show you how it's done!" she announced, raising one fist in the air and then matching her new friend's springy steps, leading her towards a place where they could put in a request.

On the other side of the PET, Dharma watched quietly, having no opinions so far. It was unusual to see someone else with behavior so like Phero's own, but not really worthy of comment... the unique part of Phero wasn't the girl, after all, it was the prototype and project behind that sweet facade. Of course, Eris was hiding a few things behind what showed on the surface herself, but Dharma had no way of knowing that yet.
"Huh? Pet?" said Eris, following Phero and Boil's gazes behind her, trying to find something that might have been following her, which, of course, wasn't there. Her tail swished about without reacting, and that obviously wasn't any sort of pet. Even so, the two seemed to be examining it as if it was something new and strange to be inspected.

"? Is something wrong with my tail?" she said, as the tail lazily drooped down, while Phero and Boil explained the concepts of missions to her. "Global... Network Admi--Administration. Okay, okay. I think I got it!" she said, following Phero's lead with one fist raised into the air. "Let's go!"

Meanwhile, Charles found himself idling in his online game's entrance lobby, unconsciously transfixed onto the PET screen that he had propped up. It was not until they had stopped talking and went to the mission boards that he caught himself in the act, and shook his head. "What am I doing...?" he muttered to himself, as he navigated his avatar in the game to start his long-overdue game session.

[>> WAC Secure Labs - NPC Homepages.]
"Don't worry! We'll be with you every step of the way. I've done a couple of missions now, so we ought to be fine," Phero announced proudly, not realizing she was really a child leading a child in this scenario.

Boil was secretly thinking that two Pheros probably needed her supervision even more than one did, so she was glad she was tagging along on this one. She also found herself wondering how (or why) Dharma had managed to remain hands-off this whole time, given that Phero's naivety and over-enthusiasm seemed likely to get her into all sorts of trouble. The three would head together to meet their employer.

((Moving to NPC homepages))