5MD Medical Plaza

Hyde would find herself in a meeting room once she jacked in, assuming she used the right coordinates, standing at the center of a table arrangement ominously similar to the one made famous by The Last Supper. The room was a sterile hospital white with green trim to the lower walls and carpet, the only furniture being a large whiteboard, numerous plastic chairs centered around the table, and the white plastic, foldup tables placed side by side in the center.

The whiteboard had six different colors of markers: red, blue, pink, black, purple, and... another black. The board looked as though it had recently been full of writing before someone had done a sloppy, possibly agitated job of wiping away everything on its surface. A poster, newly pasted beside the board, read: "AIM FOR PROFIT" in desperate bold letters, and was signed by Pharmaceuti, as though such a thing needed a signature.

Only one navi was currently seated in the room. Her hair was long, bright red, and straight, ending in a purposefully cut, triangular-toothed spikey shape at the ends where it reached her lower back. White, plus-shaped marks appeared across its surface, like shine marks moving along with the light, but holding that same shape. She was dressed in a white doctor's smock over a pink undersuit, with a white nurse's cap atop her head that didn't scream "doctor" so much as "nurse." Something shaped like a gun, but bright red and shiny, was holstered in a thick, white apron she wore over her smock. A small heart shape was printed onto the breast of the apron which, combined with her rather pleasing college cutie body shape, made her look like she might be in another profession besides doctor. She wore red, round-toed pumps on both feet and white, short gloves on each hand.

Her eyes were bright blue and currently focused on the seat at the center of the table, as though she was expecting Hyde to appear seated there rather than standing. Her leg was kicking in an antsy expression of either impatience or anxiety and her hands were bearing down on the table like she was planning to push up to her feet. Whoever her medical associates were, they hadn't made an appearance yet.
Hyde appeared in a flash of light, relatively plain for a custom Navi entrance, and still shrouded in her cloak, pulled all around. She quickly rose to something approximating straight and cast her eyes around, taking in the sparse details of the room with a broad smile and trying to hide the excitement in her eyes. The idea of having an entire staff of medical professionals in the palm of her twisted hands was making her giddy. Of course, she realized she might not be written a blank check like she was with the career fair she attended in the past… that said, she intended to have as much fun as she could with what she had. Even if she only managed to get thrown out of the clinic, she’d probably be satisfied.
Fortunately for her, she had much more to look forward to than just her own mischief. She grinned at the cute greeter, seemingly unphased by her tension as she slid past the center chairs that were likely meant for her to face everyone, instead taking a seat directly next to the room’s only other occupant. She made srure to keep her cloak drawn as well as possible as she did, so as to preserve the surprise. “Hello hello hello! I’m Hyde, and it’s a pleasure to make your acquaintance. I’m supposed to be performing an emergency procedure on this complex’s tight wallet, a cash-flow-plasty if you will. Although I’m surprised to hear there isn’t an absolute torrent of patients looking to get their boo-boos kissed by an adorable nurse like you! Well, are we waiting for the doctors?” Hyde gave her a wide, friendly, and deceptively oblivious smile, as she was ninety-percent certain she was already speaking to one.
The nurse-like navi looked up with excitement in her eyes as Hyde jacked in; perhaps surprisingly, something about the shady doctor's appearance seemed to be making her optimistic. She was barely able to contain her own introduction as she waited for Hyde's to finish. Even as Hyde was sitting down, she was standing back up, and then not just standing, stretching, by bowing her legs out one at a time, placing her hands upon her knees, and bending her torso down in time.

Once she'd finished that, almost exactly coinciding with the end of Hyde's intro, she placed her hands on her hips and started her own. "Good to meet you, Hyde," she began, rocking back and forth on her feet as though standing still was just impossible for her. "Ha ha, thank you, but if looking like this was enough to get patients, the 5MD Medical Plaza would have been in the green from the very start! It used to be that all of my sisters looked just like me. Those were the days," she sighed wistfully. "My name is Calestheti, although you can call me Cally or whatever you prefer. I always thought our names have us a kind of unintentional mafia connotation..."

She began stretching again, this time extending one fist out, placing the other hand upon her wrist, and twisting her torso. "The floor is going to be open for you to share all of your expertise, but we all thought it'd be best to start here, in the meeting room, and begin with a brainstorming session. We have had a lot of those ourselves, but we're hoping you'll bring some fresh perspective," she clarified, gesturing to the well-used board at the front of the room. "Honestly, I wanted to meet you first to prepare you, because my sisters- and my brother- are all a little weird," she cautioned Hyde, pausing to bend and do a few remarkably adept toe touches, as was normal during conversation.

"To give you the run-down, our wallet has been suffering from that money hemmorage for a long time, since we started. In the beginning, we called ourselves all purpose care... then over time we each found our specialties and tried different things. When we had disagreements, we separated into five different offices, with the specialties you saw listed in the job posting. None of us... um, except for Bonesaw... are profitable, to varying degrees of failure. We're all hoping you'll be able to point out where we are going wrong and maybe pitch in some new ideas too. Each of us have cleared our schedules, with the exception that we have each told one of our patients to remain on call for a routine appointment in case you need to see how we handle those in real time."

Alarmingly, the door to the meeting room flew open, interrupting whatever she planned to say next. Another navi, wearing a full labcoat in place of the apron Calestheti wore, entered the room with an authoritative clap of shoes on tile... until hitting the carpet, at which point that stopped. She wore a smock, undersuit, and pumps like Calestheti's, with the major differences being the coat, wide oval glasses with narrow rims, and a white doctor's kerchief covering her hair, which seemed to be mostly tucked inside it. The little bit escaping from it made it look as though she had a shorter version of her sister's red hair, riddled with plus symbols.

"Calestheti! Did I not tell you that I was to make the introductions? You've probably contaminated her already with your unprofessionalism," the coat-wearing sister scoffed. With a sense of urgency, she moved to extend her hand for a shake. As she moved, without the sound of her shoes, a new one could be heard: the rattling of bottles of pills stored in the inside lining of her jacket. "Pharmeceuti. I'm so sorry my sister ambushed you like that. She is too hyper for her own good," she complained, adjusting her glasses with one hand and giving her sister a glare. Calistheti rolled her eyes. "Now, let me give you a proper intro to what we've called you here to do. We were thinking we would start with a brainstorming session-"

As she began, another navi entered quietly behind her, this one dressed unlike the others. Her hair was silver in color with no pluses, done into a short ponytail. She wore large, round glasses with heavier frames, along with a brown blazer and skirt, with a black undersuit benesth. Her brown pumps resembled her sisters' red ones. If one looked hard enough, they'd see the family resistance in the lady's face and body shape, but otherwise, it would be hard to connect this one with her sisters.

"PARDON my sisters here," she interjected, with a voice that started out oppressively loud to gain attention, then tapered to almost frustratingly quiet. "They have a bad habit of making things all about them. I'm Psychologi. Now..." she paused, raising one arm and revealing a clipboard underneath, which she brought to bear along with a black ink pen from her blazer's chest pocket. There was a pregnant pause that the others were respectful enough not to interrupt, despite their annoyance. "... Tell me about yourself, Hyde," she requested, tensing her eyebrows and already starting to take notes, even before Hyde said anything.

Hyde would only get a little while to talk before the next sister made her appearance... only, this one wasn't a sister. The next to enter was a man, dressed in a white smock over a pink bodysuit, with a nurse's cap similar to Calistheti's and a mask hiding his lower face. His hair was red, slightly spiked, and fashionable, with long bangs nearly covering one eye. He was wearing round-toed red shoes, although they weren't pumps. He was a little taller than the others with longer legs, a wider back, and obviously masculine features. Seeing Hyde, he lowered his mask, revealing a dazzling smile with perfect teeth.

"Yo, doctor!" the man introduced himself, raising one hand as though shielding his eyes from some sunlight that wasn't there. It turned out to be an excuse to flip his hair with the back of his hand. "Excuse my sisters' appearance. They're doing the best they can without my cosmetic surgery. Ah, I should have introduced myself first... I'm Cosmo, our cosmetic surgery specialist. Charmed to meet you." At this point, he would reach out for her hand, but instead of a handshake, he would kiss the top of it, if she allowed.

At this point, Hyde might very well be watching the door for the fifth member of the crew to appear. The others seemed to be, with the exception of Cosmo, who was still enjoying an uninterrupted introduction. Surprisingly, Bonesaw did not appear.

Calistheti spoke up after a bit, smiling awkwardly. "I- I'm sure Bonesaw will be here on her own time. Anyway, Hyde, we want to hear a bit about you before we start! Please, let us know some of your history as a medical professional," she encouraged their acquaintance, then began stretching her arms over her head.

"No, no. We want to hear..." Psychologi added, drawing in breath for another excruciating pause, and never seeming to exhale it. "... a lot about your history."
Hyde enjoyed the free show, following the eyes of her new acquaintance for only a polite second before casting them instead on the energetic exercise routine. “I wonder if all of your sisters were as fantastically fit as you, Cally? I simply can’t imagine you’d be left alone…!” The cloaked Navi put a finger to her lower lip, looking hungry. “Yes, yes, we must hurry to it. I can’t wait for you and I to have all sorts of fresh perspectives with each other, shall I start on the bottom on the table?" she rambled, muttering the last part to herself under her breath. “Yes, by all means, I’d love to have your weird brothers and sisters join us…!”
Hyde realized she was getting dangerously close to tipping her hand before she had a chance to have any fun. Unless it turned out Cally was shopping at the same market she was, she might do better to lay low. With the fitness-focused Navi still in the midst of her explanations and exercises, Hyde carefully set her hat onto the table before her, calming down as the manic sparkle left her eyes. Even without the special interest in the motion, Hyde’s calmer half continued to watch Cally’s movements with the curiosity it warranted. She tried to find her place in the explanation in progress. “Mm hmm, separated into five…” she started, looking momentarily vexed before she caught up. “Aah, mm hmm,” she nodded, listening attentively now with her hands folded in her lap. ‘Well, I’m sure the five of you are quite busy, so I hope I’ll be able to meet your expectat-“
The humble doctor jumped in her seat at the sudden arrival, reaching up to steady a hat that wasn’t on her head as another doctor made her arrival known. Perhaps ironically, Hyde didn’t see anything strange about this professional at all, in contrast to her perpetually stretching sister. She reached out one of her gloved hands to shake, barely managing it before she was bombarded with another introduction…
… And another was waiting in the wings. Hyde had missed her entrance entirely until she spoke up, wincing and jumping again as she was addressed. Her face settled into a bland frown. “Er… myself? Well, Calestheti and Pharmeceuti were actually giving me background at the moment.” She raised an eyebrow, noting Psychologi’s note-taking in spite of the fact that she was still only asking questions.
She stifled a small sigh as yet another entrant sibling arrived, not wanting to seem rude. “Ah, not at all… Hyde,” the Navi introduced herself, flushing a bit from some mixture of heart-skipping and garden variety embarrassment at Cosmo’s overly polite gesture. “Charmed, I’m sure…” She looked past him to the door, finally prepared for the fifth doctor to arrive… Certain that one more must be about to burst in, she even scanned the room for alternate entrances as if expecting Bonesaw to climb in through a window.
“My history…” she spoke, realizing she might finally be given reigns of the conversation. “Very well. As I’ve said, my name is Hyde. I’m a cutting-edge medical technology Navi with what I believe to be an up-to-date encyclopedic knowledge of afflictions, techniques, medicines, and other knowhow relative to the professional. I am capable of interfacing with real-world medical technology programs and systems to perform bleeding edge operations, and I also have a rudimentary knowledge of basic Navi programming that allows me to perform operations on other Net entities.” Hyde delivered this so evenly and matter-of-factly that it would be difficult to interpret it as bragging unless one were actively searching for offense.
Hyde somehow felt this wasn’t what the doctors gathered around her were primarily interested in. Her brows tilted in a slight expression of apology. “I know you are primarily interested in how I might increase the profitability of your complex… Unfortunately, I should mention two points on that front. First, my medical software and programming is granted to me by a particular foundation and my experience may not be particularly helpful with marketing your specific practices. Second, I am… I regret to say, not currently licensed for practice. That is to say, my license was temporarily suspended due to… due… to… A temporary reprieve. A vacation,” she finished, raising an eyebrow as if surprised by her own words. “That is to say, I should warn you that at the moment I am very… not… practicing. If you rely on me for… helping you, I’m sure you… find me… helpful.” She concluded this statement staring at the floor intently, but finally settled with a friendly smile. “But, please, I think that’s enough about me…?” Her statement ended as a question she briefly glanced at Psychologi, who had emphasized how much history she wanted. “I’d like to hear your briefing and know how I can help.” The Navi had grabbed her hat off the table and held it idly on her lap, clutching the rim as her eyes as she waited with some nervousness to see if the five doctors would manage to speak in turn.
"I like to think I'm pretty fit. Especially compared to my sisters- and brother- who, frankly, care so much about their fields of specialty that they neglect proper exercise," Calistheti responded while working out, although it would later occur to Hyde that Calistheti seemed to have almost the exact same body shape as her sisters, despite all her effort. "Unfortunately, my heart-healthy lifestyle doesn't seem to have many navis lining up to take advantage of my expertise..."

Soon enough, Hyde would be assailed by a barrage of introductions, given by increasingly less similar looking figures. When the time came for her own, they all nodded approvingly, looking between one another with hopeful smiles. "Did you hear that? Cutting edge medical technology!" Pharmeceuti spoke quietly to the others, adjusting her glasses and crossing her arms with a sharp smile, as though begging the others to compliment her on Hyde's standing somehow. "Medicines!"

"Techniques!" Calistheti agreed.

"Afflictions," Psychologi added, still scribbling in her notebook eagerly.

"Operations!" Cosmo finished, running his fingers down his own cheek in a way that was slightly unsettling.

If Bonesaw was around, she might get additional comments on "bleeding," but she still hadn't made her appearance. Unfortunately, all of them were made to cool their expectations a little as Hyde explained that she might not be the cure-all they were hoping she would be. Calistheti looked between the others, then cleared her throat. "Ahem, well, er... Bonesaw is the most profitable of all of us and she's not... 'officially' licensed either... so I guess it's fine if you aren't licensed right now," she added quietly.

"Perhaps that kind of recklessness is just what we need," Psychologi posited, speaking what she thought of Hyde's self-description rather bluntly. 

Pharmaceuti had adopted a frown, obviously not taking that piece of news as well as the others. "I don't know if I like putting my work in the hands of a navi who doesn't do things by the books," she sighed, her coat rattling with the sound of shifting pills as she shifted on her feet and crossed her arms. "But I'll give you the briefing all the same. You may have other ideas of how to proceed, but I thought it would be best if we started with a brainstorming session. Firstly, we sisters- and brother- will write upon the blackboard our own starting observations. We'd like some general commentary from you on each of our opening statements, of course... and we'll write yours below those. If there are any you think should be thrown right out, we'll do that too. Or if you have others, we'll write those in your own column. No need to worry about our feelings... please, show us the bleeding edge of medical critique!"

The others nodded along, as she stepped up and wrote each of their names onto the blackboard, including Bonesaw's and Hyde's. She wrote her own before Calistheti's, which seemed to be throwing out the group dynamic a bit. "I'll go first. Ahem... My own observation is that our problem is thus: my sector, medicine, the field that unlike cosmetic surgery, calisthetics, or psychology, has a proven and measurable effect on navis, requires significant staffing and cash to upkeep. My sisters have not pulled their weight in this regard. If they were to shut down their operations and move into mine, allowing me to act as the chief of staff, we would pull in a far greater profit than what Bonesaw is managing!" she proclaimed, pointing one hand out dramatically to accuse her sisters. Whatever tone of teamwork had been achieved was shattered instantly, as she furiously wrote her own idea onto the board.

"Boooo," Calistheti protested, giving a thumbs down. The others joined in, prompting her to grumpily relinquish the marker to Calistheti next. "Okay, so my thinking is... The problem we're having is we all strayed too far from our original program. We all need to go back to being sisters... work together in one office, forget about focusing so much on our specialties, and be 5MD again! Not a medical plaza, a medical office, where people can ask for general medical advice..." She wrote "back to basics" in cute handwriting on the board.

Psychologi sighed deeply in an annoying way, shook her head, then grasped twice, indicating to hand her the marker. Calistheti made a grumpy frown, then handed it over. "That's not right... What we all need... is group therapy, led by me. I've asked- repeatedly- for all of the sisters to get together in bi-daily group therapy sessions with me, so that we can get to the root of our problems. I can easily suss out what has us in the red if I can get access to their thoughts and minds... all problems are mental, you see. There is nothing I cannot fix with a thorough knowledge of thoughts and feelings that allows me to form hypotheses on root cause and-" she prattled on, writing every word in its full length on the board under her column so that it was rapidly becoming crowded with just one suggestion.

"Ah... allow me, sister. A bit of cosmetic surgery~!" Cosmo laughed, somehow charming even as he rose to his feet, grabbed an eraser, and cleared away every word from the description except for two: group therapy. "My own solution is not so different from hers. You see, what we really need is a full cosmetic makeover! As you can see, I have already completed my own, transforming me into the person I was always meant to be. However, Hyde, my sisters are stubborn... they cling to their old forms. Even my own profitability is affected... My patients all certainly appreciate my new aesthetic beauty, but they can't be around my imperfect sisters! No, nothing will be fixed until we all undergo cosmetic surgery to reach our ideal selves," he finished, writing 'cosmetic surgery' onto the board in red marker, allowing Psychologi to continue holding the black one. 

Bonesaw's column would remain empty for now, but Hyde's didn't have to: Psychologi approached and handed over the black marker. "What do you think, Hyde? Please tell us all..." she continued, stopping for another pretentious moment of silence, before crossing her hands behind her back. "... How much you like my group therapy idea."
Hyde looked a little defensive (especially at the idea she didn’t do things by the books, funnily enough) clutching the rim of her hat more tightly. “Well, to reiterate, my lack of licensure is far from a permanent state, and is truly more of a self-imposed limitation for my own peace of mind during my leave. Please, don’t allow that to color your impression or diminish your hopes. By all means, let’s get to brainstorming. The doctor crossed one leg over the other, still draped by her cloak as she sat, and placed her hat on her head, folding her hands in her lap and smiling.
She listened to Pharmaceuti first, nodding along performatively, and tilting her head as she listened, smirking as if to say “well, that’s obvious” when she hit her conclusion. When she finished, she clapped lightly, grinning and looking at the others before finally calming down when the idea apparently wasn’t being well received.
She listened to Calistheni with equally rapt attention, her smile growing before she finally nodded with satisfaction.
She listened to Psychologi, audibly muttering a little “of course!” when she heard the crux of the concept, beginning to rise out of her seat before calmly taking it again when Cosmo interrupted.
Finally, she giddily clapped when Cosmo mentioned his idea, smiling and pressing her hand to her heart to indicate what a profound effect it had on her. She turned her gaze on Psychologi and swiped the marker hastily, rising to her feet and walking to the blackboard myself. “My, my, my! What an astounding array of ideas you have already, any one a powder keg just waiting to be lit and blow your whole problem sky-high. Splendid, simply splendid. However, we are not here to find a good idea. Our task is to determine the very best, a fool-proof solution to be implemented post haste. As such, I will consider each and offer fair criticism, that we might reach the cream of the crop.”
With her same humongous smile pasted across her face, Hyde used her black marker to draw a strike through not only Cosmo’s idea, but his name, as well. “First, this is preposterous. All of your sisters are perfectly adorable in their own quirky way, with the possible exception of Bonesaw. True, you’re an exceptionally luscious specimen who I’d like to see even more of if the opportunity presents itself, and I enjoy extreme operations as much as the next doctor. However, I hardly believe this is the course that will bring your mall into profitability.”
Still smiling, Hyde uncapped her marker again and tapped her forearm, considering the other ideas. She began scribbling something (nothing at all) and erased it before anyone could see. After this, she took the eraser and swiftly scrubbed off Psychologi’s idea and name. “That won’t do. It’s not that I don’t have faith in your psychiatric ability, it’s just… you live right next door to these people, and they’re all your siblings! If you were going to have some amazing breakthrough that would right the course of your ship, I believe you’d very well be there by now. No, I have a feeling that a prolonged psychology session on the matter would not be the best use of our limited time.”
Before she’d even finished speaking on that matter, Hyde had picked up the eraser again, crossing out Pharmaceuti’s line in uneven strokes that left bits of the letters still visible. “This one doesn’t make sense either. Pharmacology is hardly, excuse the pun, a proven wonder drug for Navis. Why, there are many, many operators who, unfortunately, only see Navis as bits of data, and are much more likely to seek out a recovery chip or subchip to cure their Navis ailments as medicine. Yes, medicine is great, but no, nobody knows that and it won’t bring in money. Why, you’re just as likely to go out of business simply training your sisters for a task they can’t or won’t commit to! Ha ha…” Hyde muttered, winding down and surveying her work. Wordlessly, she erased Bonesaw’s name in spite of it having no idea next to it.
She put the eraser down and smiled back at Calistheti. “Don’t you all see? There’s only one person who’s considering each of your strengths and how you can all work best together, maximizing your ability and increasing your profitability!” Still smiling, keeping her eyes locked with Calistheti if she’d made the unfortunate decision to look straight into them, Hyde grabbed the eraser again and began erasing Calistheti’s name and idea. “Of course, that isn’t this one,” she remarked thoughtfully, erasing with a gleeful smile she was just barely hiding. “It would be lovely if you could all work together, but this brainstorming session alone seems to reinforce that each of you has dramatically different ideas of what sort of service to offer. I’m afraid this would be the path of most resistance, and the payoff could take time that you simply don’t have.”
“No,” Hyde said, turning to them again and uncapping her marker. “Luckily for you, the one who has a winning and fool-proof idea is actually…” She turned around and wrote another name on the board in horrifyingly chicken-scratchy cursive that might not be readable at all… anyone who got lucky would read it as “Showbiz.” “This one!” she announced unhelpfully. “And the winning and fool-proof idea she has is… this!” she announced, writing “Sex appeal” in the same unreadable nonsense hand, and “Advertising” slightly more legibly below it. With these dramatic flourishes, Hyde allowed her cape to fly open, revealing her unconventional garb below in full.
“How fortunate you all were to meet me! For you see, your medical practice will only succeed with advertising. Each of you are living proof of your own success: Calistheti with your beautiful, supple muscles; Pharmaceuti with your little, jiggling bottle of wonderous wonderdrugs; Pharmacologi, with your… very lovely, obviously well-adjusted personality; Cosmo, with your sexy body that I don’t immediately sense anything particularly interesting about the origins of. You already have all the tools. You don’t need to spend money reinventing your practice: all you need to do is re-invent your image and get yourselves out there!”
Looking unreasonably confident she’d have their confidence, Hyde crossed her arms and continued. “Not only that, but I have connections that can help us in our endeavor. Why, I just so happen to know a cameraman who has a truly unique eye for innovative shooting techniques that will definitely leave a lasting impression on your audience. In fact, I’m sure I could convince him to take our job pro-bono. How does that sound? We’ll put together an advertising spot, or perhaps a set of them. As long as you’re willing to follow his unorthodox direction, I’m certain you’ll rake in new business.”
Hyde softened her smile, winding down a little bit. “Of course, this is a group discussion. If anyone has any other suggestions, please feel free to write them on the board,” she insisted, standing in front of the board and not offering anyone else a marker. “And of course, if you’re not comfortable with it, there’s no reason you have to participate. When new customers are lining up at the doors of your sisters, I’m sure your sister will be happy to pass along your name, you know, as the chance arises. Sure, you might miss the chance to grab this initiative, but you’ll have your own chance to turn it around later, probably. So please, don’t feel pressured.”
Each navi in turn seemed pleased with Hyde's assessment of their proposal, not seeming to catch that she'd just given the one before them a similarly glowing report of her first impressions. As such, each was equally dismayed as she revealed her real opinion that the ideas were all just rubbish. "While I appreciate your flirtatious tone, you must know that I have arrived at this decision after thorough evaluation of my sisters' appearances! You can't truly believe they're all everything they could be, can you?" Cosmo whined.

Psychologi tapped her pen up and down pensively a few times, then shook her head. "My advice is no good if they don't take it. I need a forum where they're..." she murmured, pausing at length. "Forced to take it."

Pharmaceuti was already biting her lip, waiting for a chance to protest her own idea being erased before Hyde could do it, but Psychologi's words had stolen her chance. She flinched back and finally took a seat as her own idea was struck through. Pathetically, she whimpered out an agreement and nodded. "You're right... you're right! People just don't understand the value of pharmaceuticals! How can we make them understand?!" she cried passionately, holding out her hands with her palms toward the roof.

Unfortunately for Hyde, Calistheti didn't seem quite naive enough to believe that her answer was going to be the one to be chosen after all of the others were dismissed. "No good, huh?" she sighed, busily stretching her leg out on one chair as she watched the board. "Then do you have a good idea?" As it turned out, Hyde was cribbing some notes from someone... but who? None of the navis could read what she'd written. "Who...?" Calistheti asked, squinting at the board. "Advertising...?" she read, as the sound of Pharmaceuti popping a pill into her mouth could be heard in the background.

"Sex appeal?!" Pharmaceuti added.

"W-What? Why did you suggest that?" Calistheti cried, turning red.

"I-I didn't! I just read it!" Pharmaceuti protested, pointing at Hyde. Just then, she saw Hyde's clothing underneath the now opened cape, and seemed to withdraw further back into her chair. She popped another pill nervously. Psychologi's pen could be heard burning into her notebook nearby. Everyone shut up to let Hyde explain. 

Once she'd spoken a while, the silver-haired sister nodded, sighing and smiling slightly. "It makes sense. Everyone wants to screw their sisters," she spoke matter-of-factly. The others stared at her a while, providing a pause of their own. "Screw us sisters. That's what I said," she added, just as matter-of-factly, showing no shame over the words that came before.

"For free...?" Pharmaceuti asked, sounding terribly skeptical, but perking up at the idea of pro bono work. "Yes... Yes, we should try it! We should try anything that's free," she resolved, though she was having a hard time looking straight at Hyde ever since the other girl had opened up her cape.

"My picture on advertisements? A fantastic idea! Let's blow this face up as large as we can and bring people through the doors!" Cosmo agreed in his narcissistic way. "And as I mentioned, my cosmetic surgery was very thorough. How risque a shoot do you think we'll be taking? I'm willing to put it all out there..." he announced, a dirty smile on his face as he stood up to his feet. He didn't seem to share his sister's modesty or repulsion by Hyde's revelation.

Calistheti still looked like she was on the fence, but nodded all the same. "I'll send Bonesaw a message and ask if she's interested... Let's go ahead and talk to that cameraman," she agreed, seeming hopeful that Hyde could produce him at a moment's notice. "How do you think we should meet him? Here in the meeting room, or somewhere else? All of the offices are clear if you'd rather go to one of those. And are these clothes okay?" she asked, tugging at the hem of her pink scrubs. "It's not very photogenic, if we're being honest. I've got some casual clothes if that'd be better..."

"She wants us to bear everything, right? We'll take it all off for the cameraman when he asks," Cosmo asked, winking to Hyde.

"We should let the cameraman decide," Psychologi added, surprisingly reasonable in this situation.

"Y-Y-Yes... He's a professional cameraman, he'll know what we need to do," Pharmaceuti stuttered, popping another pill at a rate that was seeming increasingly unhealthy. "We shouldn't make fools of ourselves. Just stay in your regular clothes until he gets here," she ordered the others.
“Yes, that’s quite right,” Hyde agreed with Psychologi, nodding sagely. “Why, I almost want to screw you all myself, and I’m both your hired help and a respected medical professional, so that should tell you just how imminently attractive each of you is. I’m certain advertising is the salve this particular bum rash requires. Hmhm…”
She listened to all the chatter for a while, with each sibling seeming to have different opinions even regarding this splinter of an idea. Finally, she held up a hand. “I agree, I think it’s best to have our cameraman’s input before we get too far in the wrong creative direction. I’ll contact him: in the meantime, would you all mind getting together for a quick photo? I can send it to him to show him what beautiful people he’ll be working with.” Assuming the four would take an unreasonably long time to get into a reasonable frame, Hyde began composing her message:


Hey Photoboy! Sorry to interrupt you jerking it to that video we made

Hyde quickly backspaced, still grinning as she put a bit more thought into it. ”Photoboy was good for a raunchy time when we last met, but he kind of had to be convinced of it. Like he takes artistic pride in it, funnily enough. If I can’t get him on board, this one’s going to be D.O.A.” With a more careful touch, Hyde erased her previous message and began anew:


Dear PhotoMan,
This is HYDE! I hope you remember me from our previous video together. I happen to have just made the acquaintance of four lovely creatures who are interested in having a video advertisement (or advertisements) shot for their medical complex, something emphasizing their sex appeal. They’re quite desperate for the help, and willing to do whatever it takes (or whatever they’re told it takes) to pull it off. I found myself thinking of you… you and your unique qualifications. That steady hand of yours… I was hoping I might convince you to immediately join us? The four won’t be able to pay you, but I’ll ensure they handle the costs of actually publishing the video themselves.
And if the chance to perform videography with four lovely people isn’t enough incentive for you, maybe I could offer some form of reward myself…? Something I could offer you that you could get behind? We're at 5MD Medical Plaza in ACDC Net. I've attached coordinates.

Smiling, she hit the send button. If she’d had the good fortune to get the four in a decent frame, she’d take the shot. Frankly, she’d take it even if they were all blinking or had their backs to the camera, just as long as she could fit all of them in one frame. With that done, she took a quick swig of her drink, then continued waiting for the response for the cameramen the four had desperately requested she contact. She had her misgivings about him after his disgraceful performance in the past, but if he could be of service, he was probably their best shot…
This talk about healing salve didn't cause Pharmaeuti's eyes to light up like previous medicine analogy had, perhaps because nobody could really smile at a metaphor that also included a bum rash. "Alright, alright... everyone, gather together," she encouraged the others, taking charge again while standing up to her feet, not wanting to be the only one seated in the picture. Calistheti, as the most baseline looking among them, probably should have taken the center, but instead, Pharmaceuti and Cosmo ended up fighting over it while the other two took the sides, waiting idly for a cohesive arrangement to form. 

PhotoMan's response was quick enough to show that he was more interested than his usual monotone would imply, if he had been there in person already:

Quote ("PhotoMan")

Of course. I'm very pleased that you're thinking of me for positions like this and I'm free at the moment. I'll join you right away.

Either he had a day off or he was dropping whatever work he'd currently been assigned by his employer. Either way, by the time the navis had finally settled into photo position in a left-to-right arrangement of stretching Calistheti, arms-crossed Pharmaceuti, a vogue-posing Cosmo, and a seated Psychologi, he flashed in to the right of the room; Hyde might accidentally catch him in the photo if she was too hasty. Not realizing what the four of them were doing, the man approached Hyde and extended his hand for a shake. "Good to see you again. I don't believe I addressed it before, but I am very happy to do the camera-work here 'pro-bono' for the sake of our business relationship and also because, as you know, I've been working to reclaim some of my artistic inspiration. This sounds like an interesting opportunity," PhotoMan began. He was dressed in his usual get-up: gray armor, a freaky optical lens extending off from the helmet's visor, and a boring black undersuit beneath, although Hyde knew there was something more interesting under that.

At this point, the others began to swarm around him, each of them eager to get in good with him and be the one to get a great photoshoot out of the deal. Pharmaceuti was first, then Cosmo, then Calistheti, and finally, Psychologi. His reactions were varied, but Hyde would see subtle tells that he was looking them up and down to sum up their most inspiring features... even Cosmo, although gears inside his head were clicking as he did so. "Yes, I should be able to help them as far as advertising goes. I have some advice in that regard," he continued, crossing his hands behind his back and turning so that he was facing Hyde instead of all of them. He had a stoic frown on his face, but that noise was still periodically emitting from his helmet or head. "There are two options we can go for here. The first: I can attempt to take photos and capture video displaying you at work. We would overlay this with captions advertising your business... businesses? Is it four businesses? At any rate, that, I believe, would be the most professional approach," he began, his face and voice showing no emotion.

"Perfect. I can picture it clearly," Pharmaceuti applauded, clapping loudly with a rattle of pill bottles. 

"Or, we could go with option 2. My specialty goes beyond professional shots... rather, I find that most navis have hidden charm points that only come out in unconventional photography. These photographs and video would not directly advertise your business, but would instead be 'viral marketing.' By this I mean your first goal would be to advertise yourself, and from that, business would flow from interested parties who want to meet you in person. To that end, I would be taking photographs to best emphasize your charm points and distributing them through my traditional channels: digital magazines and catalogues. Gravure, specifically," he explained, turning now to face them again with no hint of shame in his voice.

"Viral marketing... That idea is so repulsive, I want to bust it like a virus," Pharmaceuti murmured, popping a quick pill. "Let's four sisters take a vote and quash this idea immediately." She motioned for them to come over, swiping the air with one arm, but none of the three did. "What... what are you saying?" she stammered, already forcing down another pill.

"Well, we've already kind of tried the professional way, haven't we? If his expertise is pulling out people's charm points, I think we should go for it. He wouldn't have suggested something weird like that if he didn't think it had a good shot," Calistheti pointed out. Psychologi nodded from her seat.

Cosmo stepped forward and pressed one hand to his chest, the other palm-first against his hip. "It's a fabulous idea! We should use the best tool available to us: namely, this gorgeous bod of mine," he agreed in an airy laugh, pulling his scrub out across his collarbone to give them all a peek of flesh. "So what do you say? How do you pick a charm point on one so thoroughly, perfectly charming?"

"Very good. Hold that thought and please excuse me for just a moment," he encouraged the four of them, before stepping quickly over to Hyde for a close huddle, one that was maybe a little closer than Hyde would find professional, as if he was making certain assumptions about her character not minding such intimate distance. His face was very close and emitting gear-like scraping noises. "Calistheti's best point is her calves. Pharmaceuti's is her eyes. However, I cannot yet ascertain what the best features of Cosmo and Psychologi would be. Perhaps you have some pointers? Do you have any guesses what would be the charm points of those two?" he asked, lowering his one exposed eyebrow seriously. Hyde might be wondering what her own charm point would be, now that he'd spelled out his methodology for model photography so clearly. "I will handle talking them into wardrobes more conducive to this photoshoot, if you can give me a hint where to focus on those two."
Hyde frowned, somehow unable to be pleased that PhotoMan had shown up so quickly, picturing it as a little suspicious that he had such a light work load he could arrive on a dime. That, and she was a bit thrown off from not getting to send the photo, not that it seemed to matter. She took his hand for a shake, still bewildered by his energy. She actually had no recollection of his mission for artistic inspiration at all, but she was glad to hear he was fully on-board to help them out, so she tried on a smile. “Thank you for your swift attention.”
She watched PhotoMan observing the others, shifting nervously on her feet, then smiling again as PhotoMan agreed to work with them. She crossed her arms pensively as PhotoMan gave his first option, nodding along (a gesture which was here genuine, but the other doctors might now be suspicious of). “They’re four separate businesses, each a particular medical practice… Actually, there’s a fifth, a Ms. Bonesaw, but she isn’t present, possibly because her business is apparently in less danger…”
Her face slowly fell to a more distraught frown as he got deeper into his second option, which sounded more and more like the one he was actually trying to sell. She started to protest before it quickly dawned on her that, obviously, this was the one PhotoMan intended to do. Sheepishly, she kept her arm down (assuming she had a vote) when the time came. Sad as she was to admit it, she felt a little better, at least, that she wouldn’t be forced to help sell them on it. An even darker part of her was similarly pleased that it seemed she might get out of any personal embarrassment this time… Not the very deepest, very darkest part, of course, but that one wasn’t communicating with her.
With her mind so distracted, she was caught off guard by PhotoMan shuffling her over to a mini meeting, flushing a bit as she considered how calm and rational he appeared in spite of what he was proposing. “H-her calves? Her- oh,” Hyde trailed off, finally realizing what PhotoMan was asking. Her own thick eyebrows tensed as if mimicking his seriousness. “Well, I’d suggest Cosmo’s is probably his smile, although that could be hard to work with. For Psychologi it’s… um…” she thought, rubbing her arms and glancing downward, devoting a large amount of energy to divine the answer. ”What could it possibly be…? Her hair is distinct, but I’m not certain it’s charming… And most of the other features are exactly the same as her sisters.”

Hyde chewed her lower lip subconsciously, tapping her foot. “Um… Her… Heeeerrrrr belly…?” she offered, trailing off to the point of being inaudible. “Mm, I don’t know. To be honest, I don’t share your artistic eye, and I don’t see these charm points you’re speaking of. I can hardly even imagine the… gravure shoots… you’re picturing.” She thought harder about charm points, trying to think if she could even pin down her own. “Maybe we can do mine first?” she suggested, smiling awkwardly and blushing a bit, intending to suggest he reveal her own charm point so she could understand.
"No no, you are probably the best judge of a male subject. If you say that his smile is his charm point, you probably have a better eye for it than I do. I do not photograph many... male subjects," PhotoMan murmured in response, rubbing his chin pensively as if wondering how he was going to make that one work. On the next suggestion, he stayed silent for a moment, then blinked a few times. "Her... belly? You can tell by looking at her, even with that blazer on? You may have a rare talent for this," he nodded. If he had a suggestion of his own, he wasn't sharing it just yet. 

He watched her face as she tried to encourage him into sharing more of his artistic insight, questioning if they could "do hers first." The intensity of gears clicking seemed to intensify, while his stoic frown remained the same. "Yours first? Certainly, we can, if you feel so inclined. It may help the others get a clearer image of what we have in mind," he suggested, nodding along. "Are we... going to do the shots here? It's not exactly scenic... if you don't mind my saying. Is there an office we could move to instead-?"

"Yes," Psychologi interjected, appearing with her own face equally disruptively close to those of the other two. "We should use my office. I have a body-length leather reclining cushion, an over-sized red velvet love-seat, a fireplace, a bearskin rug, a statue of two nude wrestling bodybuilders, a skeleton, an aquarium where the only things inside are specifically eight-inch long moray eels with bulbous heads-"

"I-I think we can cut off the description," PhotoMan agreed, seeming as though he wished it had been cut off earlier. "It sounds like it will serve well... so long as we point the camera in the right direction."

Assuming Hyde agreed that Psychologi's wacked out room sounded like a good enough place for the shoot, she could follow the lady herself to one of the doors outside of the room. Rather than a hallway, what waited outside was a teleportation pad. "Before you step on, we will select the office you wish to visit. Mine, of course," Psychologi explained, pointing to a knob on the side wall in front of the teleporter. "Now, follow me."


Psychologi's office was as described, but so much worse. Among the decor she'd already described was another plush, red carpet underneath the bear-skin rug, a collection of mirrors that seemed like they had been arranged around the room to allow every navi she treated to stare at their own disturbed expressions constantly, a second skeleton hanging next to the first as though they were to be used for demonstrative purposes, a set of narrow swords and round shields arranged disturbingly to look like male and female symbols above the fireplace, portraits of navis making terribly unphotogenic faces, and countless doodads that seemed to serve no purpose other than to each be shaped like a phallus, from the pens on her desk to the candle-holders on the wall. Besides awkward, it was really just very cluttered.

The group stood in silence for a while. "I apologize," Calistheti whispered.

PhotoMan stared at a book upon a nearby bookshelf, entitled "Women Distilled," from which hung a bookmark in the design of a naked man holding a spear, the lower half of his body thankfully hidden inside the book. "... Well, for those of you who didn't overhear earlier, Hyde has volunteered herself to take the first photograph. I have an idea forming, but we will need a flat surface for reclining. In this room, I see... the aforementioned cushion... that over-sized oak desk, if we moved the pens out of the way... and the bearskin rug... also a few spots on the non-bearskin rug... Please, take your pick," he offered Hyde, while the others stared. Psychologi was scribbling excitedly, Cosmo was watching Hyde excitedly, Calistheti was doing cramp-preventing exercises by pushing against the wall, and Pharmaceuti was shivering and popping pills like they were delicious candies, all par for the course.
PhotoMan’s compliment of her prodigious skill in identifying charm points only made Hyde more embarrassed to be engaging with the topic. As such, she was pleased when the conversation moved on to the more straightforward discussion of her own charm point. She started nodding along, then shifted to vigorously shaking her head “no” as she realized how PhotoMan had interpreted it. The vigorous shaking sent her hat tilting, and instead of straightening it, she let it fall off, catching it deftly with a free hand. “Absolutely not! Doing it here is right out,” she agreed, nodding with a smile. “Let’s relocate post-haste, shall we?”
She turned that disconcerting grin on Psychologi, as if determined not to lose in a contest of comfort in inappropriately close quarters. She continued to hold that sunny disposition as Psychologi described her office decoration. “Well! I should have you decorate my office when I move back in, hmhm. Yes, I think as long as we can get one of those wonderful eye-catchers in the shot, it’ll be the perfect backdrop. After all, we do want to get people talking…”
Hyde followed Psychologi to her pad, which would take her to Psychologi’s office. Another time, she’d probably fiddle with the knob just to frustrate everyone, but she did really want to see the décor she’d just had described to her. Upon arriving, she soaked in the wonder, casting her eyes around at all of the terrible decorations like a kid in a candy store. She paused at the bookshelf, beaming as her eyes traveled over titles. “This looks like a great place to bone up on the practice. You know, all of this reminds me of something… But it just isn’t coming together. Well, hopefully I’ll get it in the end,” she finished (for now), turning to the others.
She gave the others a thumbs up and a cheesy wink as PhotoMan explained her agreed-upon demonstration. As PhotoMan was listing options, she made her way to the desk, carelessly shoving things off it until there was enough room for a person, leaving any items that didn’t fall after the first shove. She dropped her cloak to the ground with equal carelessness to the carpet, along with the hat she’d been holding, then scooted her butt onto the edge of the desk, crossing her pale legs and smiling at PhotoMan. “So, any bright ideas forming? Do I need another costume, or is this ‘gravure’ enough for you? Should I… undo a button?” she teased, fingering the sole button on her jacket that kept it together. “How are we going to get my best reclining to show off my charm point? Is it… like this?” she spoke, spinning on the desk and knocking pens to the floor as she scooted forward, leaving her lying with the back of her head against the wood, hair splayed out as she grinned wildly up at her cameraman. “Or, were you thinking of some charm point other than my pretty… pretty face…?” she cooed, rolling over onto her stomach and smiling contentedly, propping her head up with her elbows on the surface below her and kicking her legs behind her. “Decisions, decisions! Hat on? Hat off? Jacket on? Jerket off?” she muttered, stretching over the edge of the desk to pick up her hat and turn it over idly in her hands.
"Yes, the intention of all of these decorations is to get people talking; to encourage free discussion, as it were," Psychologi agreed, looking at a particularly artful framed picture, an inkblot that included two large lower blotches and one lengthy, slightly curved, oblong blotch consuming the rest of the negative space. "I'd hope you at least know enough about medicine to decorate your office constructively, like I have. If you're a true medical professional who knows a thing or two about mental health, I'm sure your office is just as purposefully designed to help your patients."

This office was more likely to drive a patient mad than help them cope with mental disorders. The rest of the navis were somewhat discouraged that Hyde (nor PhotoMan) was willing to abandon the idea of using this office as the venue for their photoshoot, but said nothing in protest. PhotoMan's face was unreadable even in the face of Hyde's many antics. Psychologi spoke occassionally with a dry "stop that" or "pick those up" or "I had those intentionally arranged in the shape of... nevermind," as Hyde knocked various pens and pieces off the desk. With a somehow menacing air, the photographer stepped forward towards the desk, with an almost robotic stiffness.

"Hat off, please, you'll be lying down for this. As you alluded to, I believe that the more you're willing to show, the better off we'll be. However, unlike Showbizz, I don't want you naked; I'd have to cover you up with censorship, which, while that serves her well enough, I find it cheapens my vision a bit. I've had several ideas, but I'm not sure if any of them are quite right..." he murmured, rubbing his chin thoughtfully. "I thought you might take off your top and keep only the suspenders covering you. I also thought it might look inspiring if you cover your breasts with your hat. You could even lose all your upper body and just use your hands... There might be a better idea I'm missing. As for your lower, do what you think is best. The camera will mostly be on your torso. On that note, lie down on your back, please," he encouraged her, gesturing by flicking one wrist so that it went from palm-down to palm-up.

"Really?! Taking that much off?!" Pharmaceuti commented through her teeth.

"And her charm point isn't her butt?" Psychologi added, narrowing her eyes behind her spectacles.

"I've pursued that avenue already, but it's not the right way to go in this case," PhotoMan informed them. With no further fanfare, he suddenly dismissed almost all of his clothing, leaving him wearing only a close-fitting pair of black, cotton boxers and his helmet. His body was still pretty pale, but it looked as if he'd been making a token effort of buffing up a bit so he wasn't quite so scrawny. 

The sound of pills being swallowed in the background was drowned out by Cosmo's scoffing. "Good gracious... You're going to ruin the photo if you're taking any pictures of that body. Cosmetic surgery can't fix negligence towards one's physical fitness. On that note, Hyde, I think we should discuss-"

"Please, allow me to focus," PhotoMan interrupted, his lens twisting and whirring as if he meant that literally. "Once you've finished dressing down, please lie still for a bit," he encouraged her. He'd watch, his face amazingly passive, as she did whatever she meant to do, then approached closer... then climbed onto the table, as if he planned to crawl on top of her. He halfway did, in that he took up a position crouching over her, so that his underwear-clad nether-region was nearly atop her belly. As he scooted forward, she'd see its impressive size, which was growing more impressive as it approached, like a lance aiming for a knight's visor. "In a sense, this environment may be perfect," he continued, stopping once he was resting at about her chest-height, so that it would still be visible beneath him. A red light was flashing on his helmet, indicating he had started recording. "Because I do need you to talk. Hyde, I want you to say whatever's on your mind right now."

"W-What else could be on her mind right now?! Do you really expect us all to do this?" Pharmaceuti asked.

"Wait until you see the results," PhotoMan encouraged. "Now, keep talking..." he directed her. "And don't worry about my voice. I can edit that out easily." If she did as he asked, he'd let her go for a while, then seemingly push his luck further, advancing slightly further up and now grabbing both hands into either side of her head, sinking them into the black bush of her hair... it seemed like he was really drawing her forward towards his piece.

"Fascinating," Psychologi noted, while jotting furiously onto her clipboard.

"Disgusting!" Pharmaceuti groaned, covering her eyes with her hands.

"Pasty..." Cosmo added, looking mildly upset himself.

Calistheti watched with no commentary, but an intense expression on her face. "Isn't it... just porn? What's so special about it?" she'd ask.

Gears were clicking audibly inside PhotoMan's head as Calistheti's words came out and he fell silent. This would be a chance for Hyde to propose her own theory as to what had possessed PhotoMan to go this route, but it would also allow her to break the increasingly awkward situation she found herself in, if she was so inclined, or perhaps surprise PhotoMan, if that was more her speed.
“Well, hats off to you, then!” Hyde agreed, tossing the hat onto the floor and pushing herself back up into a sitting position. Quickly, she began unbuttoning her jacket, pulling her arms out with effort, but with practice. A bright grin remained on her face as she kept her eyes on PhotoMan, unzipping her undershirt at a middle point between teasing slowness and down-to-business swiftness. She briefly regretted not practicing removing the shirt without taking the suspenders off first, but not for long: this version of Hyde didn’t tend to dwell on a regret.

Turning from PhotoMan briefly, she pulled down her suspenders, then quickly unwrapped herself from her shirt. The belt she was wearing kept her shorts up while she pulled the suspenders back into place. It wasn’t exactly comfortable, and the straps were barely wide enough to cover what needed to be covered, but she liked the way she looked. “Very good! I’m going to use a tactical application of suspenders and hands, that ought to protect your artistic integrity.”

Hyde kicked back on the desk and took her flask off her belt, propping her head up with her free arm and her elbow on the surface of the wood. “Just ooone more moment, gotta have a little bit of liquid courage…” She took a big glug, then flopped onto her back, leaving the flask upright on the desk where it would likely get knocked over in the action about to happen.

The Navi lay there for a moment, a strange, peaceful smile crossing her face as her eyes dulled, her arms lying at her sides and her modesty barely protected by her suspenders, before she turned her eyes to PhotoMan, who quickly became hard to ignore. A clear expression of shock crossed over her face, her eyes wide and laser focused on the offending article. “Good lord,” Hyde muttered, moving her eyes to his face with some effort as she realized with alarm he was recording. She heard his voice distantly in spite of his proximity.

“Talk? My mind…?” she muttered in a quiet squeak, her face flushing suddenly and rapidly. “Oh. Oh! This is, um, some idea for the gravure photo shoot. I don’t know if you’re expecting me to d-do something with my breasts, here, but I’m afraid that’s quite impossible, as my current state of dress- ah!” she gasped as her hair was grabbed, pulling her closer and closer to a more compromising position. “Ah, no, I, um… I’m afraid I… I can’t just s-s-suck it like-“ she stammered, her voice growing more and more quiet before Calistheti’s concern seemed to land in the room like a thud. She gulped, not wanting to interrupt PhotoMan if he was in the middle of a thought process. The last thing she wanted was to force some sort of re-shoot.

“Um… PhotoMan… What are we doing here? Well, I’m… only speaking because you’ve asked me to, but really, I’d prefer to hear from you… exactly what it is you’re hoping to do here…” She trailed off, squirming a bit under his pressure and inadvertently pressing against him in a way more intimate than she intended.
PhotoMan's reactions to Hyde's strip tease, as well as her drinking on the job, were all stoic frowns and short nods, an expression that from him most likely meant things were proceeding roughly as he envisioned. The plan developed several kinks, pun not intended, as both Hyde and the peanut gallery began to question his methods. "This isn't right," he murmured, as gears whirred faster and noisier from inside his head.

"You think?!" Pharmaceuti jumped in, speaking through clenched teeth.

"No, I mean... This works to some degree..." he murmured, looking down at Hyde's bashful face which was now inched away from receiving a nudge from him. "But no, it's like... she isn't the same model any more. When you asked me to demonstrate, Hyde, I had a very clear image in my head that you would be speaking to me abusively, showing your unique teeth and I would be... using this to... dissuade you from talking badly... but now it doesn't seem like that makes any sense," he muttered, sounding increasingly awkward himself.

"You're the one abusing her, not the other way around!" Pharmaceuti pointed out, as she crunched up some sort of chewable tablets in her mouth.

"Yeah uh... I don't see the shoot that way at all. It looks like you're the bad guy, not her," Calistheti agreed.

Psychologi was busily writing in her notebook. "Hm? I liked it. I wanted to see what happened next," she supported PhotoMan, which seemed to make him frown even harder.

"While I respect your decision to put the most impressive part of your own physiology into frame, PhotoMan, I have to question why you would focus on Hyde's face. If you're going that route, how about I do some dental work first? It shouldn't take more than an hour. Two hours, tops!" Cosmo encouraged him.

"Nevermind, I... I need to think," PhotoMan murmured, as a blush began to run across his own ordinarily pale face. He climbed up off the table and stood in one corner, quietly muttering to himself.

Psychologi clapped her hands in a business-like manner, garnering everyone's attention. "Well, I believe we all know what's expected of us now. Only, we have to not complain like Hyde did, or else PhotoMan will become embarrassed like a child wilting from stage fright in a school play," she unintentionally antagonized their photographer. "I would like to go first, since I seem to be the only one with the proper mental state to appreciate what our photographer is trying to do here. Would you mind turning your tool my way, PhotoMan? Your camera, that is," she encouraged him.

"... Hyde, I would like you to take the next photographs, while I try to recover my wits," he murmured response, removing his helmet and handing it over to the doctor navi. "You can click the red button on the side to take a picture. Holding the button for a moment causes it to take video instead. That lever will turn it to auto mode, causing it to circle around a target and take photos or video automatically. Do not press the gray button on the side, or it will empty out our previous photoshoot. Not that... it matters," he finished, then turned and literally headbutted the wall behind him, creating a noisy sound of machinery jostling. "Be sure to capture Psychologi's charm point. Like you said, that's probably her belly. Maybe. And figure out some way to appeal to that point."

"Hm. The belly certainly makes sense. We all desire to return to the womb, after all. Do you have a pregnancy fetish? I'm not pregnant, just so you know. You must have known that," the other girl prattle on, still writing at a rapid pace upon her clipboard document. "I'm just finishing this here... there we are. Now, where would you like me to lie down?" Of course, Hyde probably hadn't even decided if she wanted Psychologi to lie down yet.
Hyde’s brow furrowed as PhotoMan explained his expectation versus reality. “If that’s really what you had intended, that’s one thing, but why would you simply assume I’d talk speak abusively without giving me that direction? And what’s strange about my teeth? Wait, what is it?” Hyde insisted, looking around at the gathered crowd with slight concern. She frowned, watching PhotoMan shrink off into a corner with a jumbled mixture of confusion, irritation, and sympathy.

She turned to give Psychologi her attention when it was demanded, propping herself up to sitting position on the desk. She frowned again more broadly when her actions were brought up as a negative example. The pendulum continued to swing between emotions, resting again on utter confusion as PhotoMan handed her his headgear. She wanted to apologize more, but she thought she should pay attention to PhotoMan’s instructions first. She tried to decide where to start, but immediately jolted off the desk in alarm when she saw PhotoMan bash his head on a wall. “No! No, I can’t let you- Please, calm down,” she reassured him, stepping over and resting a calming hand on his back, putting herself in probably inappropriately close proximity considering her current lack of a proper shirt. “PhotoMan, you can’t beat yourself up over my failure to understand your vision. I’m confident in your ability. Otherwise, why would I have sought you out? These are just growing pains in towards the unorthodox nature of the shoot. We simply need to communicate a bit more carefully. Psychologi has the right idea: we’ll all put aside our dignity as necessary for the shoot to proceed more smoothly. So, please, don’t hurt yourself again, okay?”

She’d said all the things she hoped he wanted to hear, but all the same, she had a hand on a needle and sedative she’d grabbed out of her pouch on the way over, hidden with both hands. If he looked like he wasn’t going to stop hurting himself (and she was indeed treating it as self-harm, not simply melodramatic penitence), she wouldn’t hesitate to inject him. “You relax for now, and I’ll… handle Psychologi’s shoot,” she reassured him, her confidence immediately faltering when she thought about how that was going to go down. Nonetheless, she kept a reassuring smile on for PhotoMan, looking accidentally apologetic when she turned to Psychologi. “Um… I did say ‘belly,’ didn’t I… I’m sure I can work with it… somehow,” she added under her breath, glancing around the room and gauging reactions. ”All of them are counting on me,” she reassured herself, which may not be the exact thought going through the heads of her audience members at the moment.

Her eyes came to rest on Pharmaceuti, who looked as nervous as she personally felt. She needed to do something about that, and she thought it would take a little more than just a kind reassurance she had what it takes. She looked around the crowd again… settling on Calistheti. She reached into the bag on her belt and produced a notepad, which she quickly began scribbling on. Finishing in a flash, she tore off the sheet and provided it to Calistheti. “Calistheti, you seem quick and dependable. Would you mind going from office to office and taking some pictures? I need to get some idea of what I’ll be working with for the other locales. They don’t need to be professional quality or anything, and a written description will suffice if you don’t have that functionality with your PET hardware. The list will tell you what I’m looking for in particular,” she said, casting her eyes to her list as she said it. Written on the sheet of paper, in handwriting far neater and more legible than what she’d presented earlier:


Don’t show this to Pharmaceuti

Go to the offices and get photos

While in Pharmaceuti’s office see if you can find a Navi medicine called EZDZAC and bring it. Also a medicine called ANTIDZ if she has it. Discretely bring them to me.

“All of you are going to have to go in to make this work, and I feel Pharmaceuti in particular might need some encouragement. Getting this step ahead should make her feel more at ease, and there shouldn’t be any irrelevant or negative side effects... In the meantime, I’ll work here with Psychologi, and if you don’t trust what we end up producing, obviously you don’t have to give me the photos,” she added, entreating the other woman with a serious expression.

Hoping Calistheti would help her out, Hyde turned to Psychologi thoughtfully, studying the other woman. ”The main questions here… first, is the belly actually Physcologi’s charm point? I truly have no idea… I don’t even know how to judge this in a less eccentric woman. For now, I’ll go ahead with it, and adjust something new comes to me. Second, is PhotoMan’s approach to the photos correct, or should I nudge it in a new direction? If he recommends gravure photography, I’ll trust him, but we also need to ensure that the resulting product actually drives new interest and business.” If someone could record and replay these thoughts from the ordinarily level-headed Hyde to the doctor herself, she’d likely have accused them of playing a cruel prank. Now, however, she devoted her complete focus.

The doctor began muttering aloud, but quietly, tapping her pen on her pad. “… To drive new viral interest that will actually bring new customers… we need to create a scenario that the view might fantasize could actually happen if they visit here… but hm… if we create a scenario that the new customer has reason to suspect may happen, but obviously doesn’t as they remain, they’ll simply leave again… furthermore, we don’t want to trap the doctors in a situation where they actually seem obligated to perform the service… therefore…”

Hyde had a “Eureka” moment, her desire to help giving her flashes of inspiration in apparent total contrast to her ordinary ways of thinking. She quickly scurried over to PhotoMan, carrying his helmet with her. “PhotoMan, I had an idea, but… I can’t say it,” she confessed, holding the helmet in front of her chest (probably not to guard it, as she seemed unaware of her current state of dress, having bounced wildly on her way towards him). “I’ll write it.” Oddly, considering what she was about to hand him, she didn’t look especially embarrassed; rather, she looked like she was about to hand him a prescription. In fact, she meant what she was saying: something in her program was definitely prohibiting her from delivering what she wanted to say vocally. In a clear-minded state, she might have paid more attention to that. Now, however, her mind was anything but clear, propelled forward with pure tunnel-focused adrenaline and no introspection at all. She set the helmet aside a moment and began scribbling again on the paper, shushing him and imploring him to hold on if he interrupted:


We need to make a product that can advertise the doctors without creating an expectation that any new customers they receive will encounter the illicit situation

Therefore, I’d like to propose we do some gravure shots under the guise of them being for some charity function. ‘Doctors Without Boundaries’ (name pending)’, proceeds go to charity. We distribute these photos under the guise of someone who bought the charity calendar/booklet/etc. This angle will drive in people who want to see the attractive doctors without necessarily creating the expectation they should be operating half-naked or having sex in their office.

Keeping them to photos instead of videos will cut down the need for acting ability. Also will keep you out of the shot as I am pretty sure Psychologi has some wild ideas of how your “equipment” would appear in it otherwise

If you think it is appropriate we can redo one for me to reset the concept. May also be useful to mix in with the others to suggest there were indeed other doctors taking part in this event.

Concept for Psychologi – Knees on desk / low angle shot / completely bottomless / guarding with a suggestive ink blot (one that doesn’t look like a willy?) / stomach uncovered unguarded / biting or sucking pen

Concept for others - ??? Relative to their discipline will drive more relevant customers

I am trying to get some relaxation/aphrodisiac medicine for Pharmaceuti to secretly put in her pill supply when we are ready to shoot that may make her more receptive (safe – I’m a doctor)

A smiley face was penciled in at the end of the message. The doctor was wearing a smile herself, not a sexy come-hither smile or a wicked, devious one, but simply a good-natured one of a doctor trying to reassure her patient.
PhotoMan and Cosmo ended up speaking over each other trying to explain their teeth comments: "they are something of a niche charm point" layered over "Hyde, there isn't a mouth that couldn't use a little cosmetic dentistry." Both of them sounded like they were having a more scandalous thought than they verbalized, but the conversation soon moved on to other topics.

The photographer looked over his shoulder with a forlorn frown, although that was really just his natural expression, before turning his eyes forward. "It is unlike me to misjudge a photoshoot so thoroughly. My mental image strayed far from reality. It is humbling," he responded. "Put it out of your mind, though. We will refocus with new direction."

Calistheti didn't trust PhotoMan, it seemed, but she still trusted Hyde. "I'll be back in a jiffy," she reassured Hyde, while seeming impressively unfazed by the hidden message on the paper, so much so that Hyde might worry if she had read it fully. She flashed out of the area quickly after.

The others huddled around to hear Hyde's thought process, but Hyde ended up back with PhotoMan instead for a private conversation. His eyes clicked mechanically, seeming to zip towards either his helmet or her boobs, before resetting onto her face. His ordinarily expressionless face all the same managed to register emotions as he read over the note's contents. Something about the charity idea briefly caused him to scowl, which seemed like a potentially bad sign, but he regained his contemplative air as he continued.

By the time he was done, his gears were clicking, and he began rubbing his chin with one cupped hand. "That sounds like an inspired shoot, Hyde," he agreed. "I'm somewhat concerned about the... medication. You are a doctor, though...?" It sounded like he wanted that to be a statement of relief and it instead turned into a question of skepticism.

"I approve of your liberal use of notes, Hyde, but I am itching to get started. How should we start? There is an ultrasound in Calistheti's lab if we need to go there," Psychologi butted in with another suggestion, which bore, as always, terribly unpleasant implications.

"Yes, of course. Hyde's direction is sound," PhotoMan responded.

"Her direction is ultrasound?" Psychologi asked, her pen pausing on paper with a sharp *shik* noise as though she had just underlined something.

"... I think not," PhotoMan answered quietly. "Hyde has suggested we frame this as a teasing pinup calendar, for charity purposes. We can, of course, arrange to distribute some of the proceeds, such that there end up being, to the charity of your choice after the fact. We need two things from you for now. Firstly, we need cards from an inkblot test."

"Classic. Of course I have some. Mine are especially provocative, of course. I ruminate on them myself frequently, in private," she answered, walking around to the back of her desk and opening a draw.

"I'm sure you have studied them thoroughly," PhotoMan nodded, then tried to hurriedly speak out the next line, only to find himself interrupted.

"To pleasure myself sexually," Psychologi added, then leaned in and held her pen to her notepad, as though she planned to carefully note the details of his reaction.

"To... yes. How? No. Nevermind-" he retorted, which immediately engaged another session of struggling to talk over her in order not to hear the answer. "Drop the subject entirely. And also, I will need you to drop your pants, underwear, and whatever else necessary to expose yourself and your stomach. You may cover yourself with the flashcards, as that is the end goal of the shoot: you will pose on your knees on the desk, legs spread, with the card in the center."

"Fascinating," she responded, seeming unfazed even as the noise of pill-munching escalated. "Might I suggest this one?" she asked, holding up a flashcard that could be interpreted as a medieval sling laden with two large rocks if one squinted especially hard.

"I will curate them and find the best one," PhotoMan insisted, then immediately began dumping flashcards onto the floor as he tossed away one phallic image after another.

In the mean time, Psychologi was eagerly removing her lower garments, stepping out if her pumps and clothing until she was wearing something even more disturbing than the flashcards on the floor: a white, shapeless diaper, secured by a bobby-pin on the front. She paused to look at him again, tapping her pen up and down on the paper. "Well?"

"... Well what? Please keep going," he insisted, gulping back something.

"I wear this for one of my patients."

"... I would rather you not for the photoshoot."

"Hm. Diaper... removing... fetish."

"Don't write that."

"Would you like to remove it?"


Psychologi seemed satisfied with the answers she had received and finally set down her clipboard, scooting up onto the desk as she did. She spread her legs theatrically, grabbed the only remaining ink-blot in PhotoMan's hands, and held it between her legs as she unpinned her diaper and let it fall. The sweet, unthinkable smell of baby powder would hit Hyde's nose. "I'm prepared. Hyde, please take the shot. Maybe we should take several with different flashcards? You could make a full pinup calendar, with just that material," she mused.

"Please no," PhotoMan interjected, losing the pause that would have made that statement seem professional rather than desperate.

The one remaining flashcard had a shape a little like a hand raising two fingers. It didn't look much like a penis... but it did look a lot like a hand preparing two reach two fingers into a place best suited for the girls' long lost sister, Ginocologi.

"Obscene! I'm glad you dyed your hair so nobody thinks you're me," Pharmaceuti protested.

"Ahem. I'm ready," Psychologi reiterated.

"Please also bite onto a pen, lengthwise," PhotoMan added, trying to remember last minute details that might make the shot sexier... or perhaps just unable to stand the girl continuing to tall.

The psychiatrist placed one of her physically shaped pens into the corner of her mouth. A loud sucking noise accompanied, followed by immediately repositioning the pen with her lips so that it ended up pointing outward.

"... Why? Why are you doing this?" PhotoMan asked in a mumble, sounding defeated. "Please... just bite the pen."

"Likes... biting... Yes, I'm making a mental note here," Psychologi responded, tilting her chin up slightly. "Please take the pictures now, Hyde."

It would occur to Hyde that everyone else had moved to the front of the desk, but from her position, she had a side -view look at the girl's shapely legs and the profile of her bare bottom. It would be a delightfully erotic view, if not cursed with the context that Hyde now had to place with the woman. However, by the plan, Hyde would want to circle back around to the front and go low-angle to start taking photos.

Calistheti had said she would be back in a jiffy, but a jiffy was now over and she was nowhere to be found. Presumably, she was just taking her time making some nice, representative photos, or perhaps searching Pharmaceuti's office for the medicine.
“That’s right,” Hyde reassured PhotoMan, her brow creasing with worry at his words even as her smile remained. “Wait a moment. Do you not believe I’m actually a doctor? I-“

Hyde’s mounting concerns of the skepticism of her profession would have to wait, as Psychologi didn’t intend to wait any longer for her whatever was next, with apparently little regard as to what Hyde actually had in mind. She watched the woman’s comedy routine with PhotoMan bearing her same concerned smile. A part of her began to wonder if it was betraying her oath by plotting to earn these doctors more visitors… “H-how does one pleasure one’s self with inkblots…?” she muttered under her breath, scared to give it enough volume that she’d actually get an answer.

Her eyes widened, her smile twitching as though she were going to either scream or break into laughter at the sight of what Psychologi had been hiding. ”What… on earth… Just what is she doing with her patients? Do I need to intervene here?!” Hyde cleared her throat, composing herself, then spoke again in a forced upbeat tone. “How interesting! I think I really ought to review the techniques of each of you thoroughly before I’m done here today. How terrible. Terribly interesting.”

“Thank you, PhotoMan, truly,” she told the cameraman, wondering if she would have been able to ever get this arranged if she’d had to do it alone. “I… had assumed you would want to do the photos yourself,” she admitted. “Eh… The lens is part of the helmet, correct? I’ll only be able to really see what I’m shooting if I wear it…” Sighing, she put the device on her helmet and reminded herself of the functions, then focused on the woman before her, growing red as the nature of what she was doing seemed to fully dawn on her. Anyone with a mind to do so would probably be able to catch her gulping as she stared at Psychologi’s bare side profile. Shaking her head briefly before shutting her eyes and circling around to the front, Hyde addressed her focus without facing her. “Now, please hold that pose, if you would…”

Hyde didn’t have much of an eye for photography, so she’d just have to hope that PhotoMan’s equipment could compensate in volume of shots. She took as many as she could while moving from a low shot on her knees to a higher one with her head about level with the belly button. With that accomplished, she moved back a bit and tried the same from a greater distance. With all the shots taken she cared to, she removed the helmet and thrust it back to PhotoMan. “That’s… quite enough for me. Psychologi, please hold that pose until we’ve run the check. PhotoMan, see if we have anything usable, would you, please…?”

While leaving PhotoMan to that, Hyde began to consider how she would handle the next shoot. She couldn’t do Pharmaceuti yet, and, strangely, Calistheti wasn’t back yet. Hyde recalled back to the woman’s hastiness to sprint off to the task, a bad feeling growing in the pit of her stomach. ”Easy, now… for all I know, she’s simply taking her time with the task I gave her, making sure to do it right… but that isn’t what feels like it’s happening, is it…?” She glanced back at Psychologi’s bizarre performance and, seeming to come to a decision from that, turned to PhotoMan again. “Can I beg you to do a quick favor for me? I don’t think I have any choice but to do Cosmo’s shoot next, but I’m worried what’s become of Calistheti. If we got Pscyhologi okay, would you mind passing me the helmet and using the teleporter to go to Pharmaceuti’s? If you don’t see Calistheti there, just come to Cosmo’s. If you do, send me a message if there’s… anything I need to know,” she begged, unable to hide her creeping concern in the tone of her voice.

At this point, she felt she was delegating rather than asking, so she summoned Cosmo immediately. “Assuming we’re all good here, I think we’ll be going to your office. I’m going to have PhotoMan take care of something in the meantime, so I’ll handle your shoot personally. Would you be kind enough to lead the way to your office?” It might occur to anybody more anchored than Hyde herself currently was that she was about to leave a lion’s share of her clothing and equipment on the floor as she prepared to exit.
There was a moment of unnerving silence as Psychologi seemed to stare at Hyde, as I'd she somehow had understood the hidden question about inkblot masturbation and intended to answer it. The moment passed, and it was on to the rest of the objectively ridiculous business.

Thankfully for Hyde, when it came time to take the shots, PhotoMan's helmet was well suited to take a rapid flurry of consecutive photos, such that one had to imagine one must be good. For her part, Psychologi bit the pen as she had been instructed, but her eyes seemed to unnervingly follow Hyde wherever she maneuvered. As Hyde closely inspected the ink blot with her camera helmet, the other girl twitched restlessly. "Cnnf I mkf smt nmfts?" she asked through her clenched teeth.

"Please bear with us," PhotoMan encouraged her, then moved to join Hyde, still in his poor state of dress. He rubbed his chin thoughtfully as he inspected the photographs, making no gesture to indicate it was okay for the strangest of the sister's to remove the pen from her mouth and resume talking. "Yes, these will work well. Especially without the context of her voice. I believe that the mysteriousness of her personality is most inspiring," he spoke quickly, tapping his finger against his helmet as he found one he liked.

"Nn mrr frm bffnd? Mff hmf f'a nffblft fft nlcks nck-"

"Psychologi, why don't you take the time to dress back," PhotoMan instructed her. He turned to Hyde and received her request, lowering his eyebrows. "Very well. I'll go check on her," he agreed, then disappeared through the same portal. Hopefully, it was going to be easy for him to navigate the portals and reach the specific office he needed to be in.

"Well, with Psychologi busy here, Calistheti off there, and Bonesaw... wherever... I guess it's just me and Pharmaceuti now! And I can guess which of us you're dying to take the next picture of, hm hm," Cosmo chuckled, sounding offputtingly egotistic... but he had a point, as he was still all composure and charm after witnessing the last shoot, while his sister was grinding pills with her teeth and had seemingly forgotten how to chew with her mouth closed at some point. "Trust me, doctor, my office never disappoints. Not in decor and not in results," he winked.

For whatever reason, Psychologi was still holding her pose, but she nodded as if to say "I'll be fine here."

Cosmo led the way back to the portal, pausing to turn the knob that modified its destination. In a moment later, he, Hyde, and Pharmaceuti were whisked away to what looked like a much more normal doctor's office, featuring several curious looking machines that likely related to Cosmo's work. A few oddities stood out: a makeup kit, which seemed a little outside the realm of cosmetic surgery... a giant, dangerous-looking machine like a giant gun ending in a sci-fi, ringed laser pointer... and many, many posters all around, displaying before and after processes where he had improved patients... which generally meant making them look more like himself, apparently. Notably, one of the pictures showed a navi that at first glance appeared to be Calistheti, side by side with a photo of Cosmo.

"Taking pictures is actually a part of my daily routine, my pale beauty, so if you want me to use my tools instead of that frankly ancient-looking camera, say the word. Oh, and let me know where to strike a pose and what to wear! I'm down for anything, except wearing a diaper," he teased, striking a shameless pose by grabbing hold of his surgery table and bending over it slightly, which'd be embarrassing even without the context of what was coming next.

"I hate your office," Pharmaceuti pointed out around a mouth full of pills. "It's like a shrine to useless, overpriced surgery. The MD in 5MD stands for 'medicine!' This ridiculous workspace just makes it look like you need medicine," she scoffed, unloading harsh words.

"Now now, jealousy isn't a good look for you, sister. Though I know looks that would be better," he teased, switching to a sitting position atop the surgery bed with one knee cradled in his arms. "And if I really like it Hyde... I may even be willing to do some cosmetic surgery for free. You'd like that, right? Just a quick step through the x-ray, then the examination table, then we will take a quick mold of your current bite, after which we can compare it to several of my ideal sample sets, and once you pick, it'll be a simple matter to fix those-"

Hyde could listen to more of the rambling if she wanted, but she might have bigger concerns for the moment. Two messages of varying importance came in simultaneously.

Quote (Calistheti)

It took a bit but I finally found that medicine you were asking for! She has a bazillion bottles, so even with my speed, it took a while. I'm on my way back. Are you guys still in Psychologi's office?

Quote (PhotoMan)

I saw Calistheti covered in spatterings of navi data, carrying a saw in one hand. She was in a room full of exercise equipment. It didn't look like her own data she had gotten on her. Should we escape? Think they're all crazy
Hyde let out a sigh of relief as PhotoMan evidently found a shot or two he was pleased with. She thought momentarily of asking to see it, but decided she’d really seen quite enough. If PhotoMan was happy enough with it as a professional, that was fine for her.

She thanked PhotoMan as he left, then spent one more thought for Psychologi, coughing into her fist. “It would appear we’re finished, so, if you’re quite done, you can go ahead and dress once more. Thank you again… As for the rest of us, we can be off. Please lead the way, Cosmo.” The strange procession of doctors entered the portal…

… Which teleported them to another office, one which was largely what Hyde had been expecting from Cosmo. ”Well, except for that,” she admitted, staring at the enormous piece of unknown equipment, the only place the eye could really come to rest in the room without falling on Cosmo. ”My extensive database of medical equipment isn’t bringing up a quick match… I could search the entire database myself, but it really isn’t any business of mine… for now,” she reminded herself, still considering if she needed to explore the medical techniques being practiced before she left.

She allowed Pharmaceuti and Cosmo to trade banter for a bit, ignoring Cosmo’s posturing as she glanced along the walls. “Cosmo, are your patients typically… completely satisfied with their cosmetic surgery? Do you perhaps have some outpatient survey to confirm it?” she couldn’t help but ask. The man wasn’t hard on the eyes, but she found it hard to imagine all of the faces she saw on the wall would have volunteered (nonetheless paid for) the operation the spread implied. Her eyes stuck a moment on the photo of Cosmo and Calistheti’s apparent twin, but she didn’t say anything: this was more or less what she had figured, but she had no idea if the operation was a sensitive issue and no reason to pry, regardless.

Hyde was about to get into thinking of how to do a shoot for Cosmo, finding the strange muse she’d grabbed hold of to coordinate Psychologi’s now flown, before she saw she had a couple of messages. She ignored Cosmo’s rambling, having no interest in being subject to any operation of any kind at the current moment, as she first reviewed Calistheti’s. ”Thank goodness. I suppose there weren’t any problems after all...” Relieved, she composed a response:


Thank you kindly. We wrapped up your sister’s shoot and have moved on to Cosmo’s office, please rejoin us as soon as possible.

Hyde checked PhotoMan’s message next. If he’d met Calistheti, it would be funny for him to send a message right alongside her… More than likely, it was something else.

The doctor’s face fell to a frown that many would probably consider a measure short in response to what she’d just read. As a doctor, Hyde wasn’t the type to freak out under pressure, or especially gore. As such, she remained eerily calm as she reviewed the situation, ignoring what was happening in the room around her. ”I just received a message from Calistheti. Even an impostor of her would probably have a hard time forging the direct communication, so that scenario is unlikely… No, the more likely option…” she thought to herself…

The Navi felt a surge inside herself, a familiar feeling that seemed to want to break out but had no outlet. By this point, Hyde was aware from her breakthrough with Sleuth of some ailment, but she couldn’t recall ever having gotten any forewarning before. The doctor found herself thinking of Sleuth at the moment, oddly, but shook her head to clear it, focusing on the task at hand again.

”Bonesaw. PhotoMan is seeing Bonesaw now, that is the far more likely option. The problem now is that I have no idea if Bonesaw is dangerous or not. It sounds like she’s in Calistheti’s office, which would mean PhotoMan is also in the wrong location. He must have been unable to use the teleporter correctly, or else was confused by the directions. But what is she doing? With all of the things I’ve seen today, it would only be a small stretch to imagine she heard about the photo shoot and came unwashed from her work to participate…” Having considered, Hyde began composing her message. She didn’t think her recipient was actually in danger, but she’d be neglecting her oath if she didn’t take precautions:


Photoman, I believe the Navi you’re seeing is not Calistheti, but her sister, Bonesaw. I can’t explain more now, but please either rejoin us in Cosmo’s or return to Psychologi’s office if you’re able. If not, I’ll have to trust your judgment; please jack out if you believe you’re in danger.

There’d be time to explain more later, but Hyde sincerely hoped PhotoMan wouldn’t jack out. If he did, his camera would likely go with him, and Hyde still needed both the photographer’s eye and his lens to finish. ”I suppose I can use Cosmo’s camera as a backup if I need to…? I’d certainly rather not, though…”

Hyde finally finished sending her messages and returned to paying attention to her current surroundings and the two doctors she still had on hand. “I’m sorry, that was PhotoMan and Calistheti just now… Um, I apologize, but I actually need to step back to the previous office for a moment. I need to get my hat so I can… think…” Hyde said, slowing on the word unintentionally in a way that made it seem she might really mean it. “In the meantime, would you all mind telling me what you know of your absent sister, Bonesaw? Have you stayed in touch to remain familiar with her? And are you aware of anything unusual in her behavior?”

Hyde stepped towards the teleporter, clutching around the helmet she was wearing as though it fit her poorly. It might be a bit surprising that she wanted her hat specifically at all, considering in order to wear it now she’d have to actively switch between it and the photographer’s headgear. “Ah, I suppose I should send PhotoMan a message to update him…” Impatiently, she quickly composed a follow-up to what she sent before.


I’m going to get my hat back and tag out again. Meet us at the office with all the adorable willies! xoxo

Hyde read what she wrote aloud in a quick mumble, then deleted the whole thing and rewrote it.


I’m going to get my hat back again. Meet us at Psychologi’s office.

Yours truly,

Satisfied, Hyde sent the message and hoped she was already on her way.