This Calamari Smells Funny

A cloud of pink mist swept across the net, depositing the nervously standing form of Phero as it rolled by and then vanished into the distance. Phero was understandably tense: this would be the second navi she'd ever encountered outside of the research facility. On the other hand, VenusMan had been very nice to her; much nicer than Dharma and more genuine than the scientists she'd grown to know. She could therefore only look forward to making a new acquaintance; her tension stemmed from the worry that she'd mess something up speaking to her ally.

A discrete message met Phero; Dharma wouldn't risk speaking into her PET while at such a close range to Liliana. The message was therefore text-based and delivered over a private channel. "You know the drill, right, Phero? Do not grow attached, but do be lovable. The success of our testing hinges on this," she instructed.

"I feel like part of being lovable is a willingness to develop two-sided relationships," Phero offered. Seeing that her operator wasn't entertaining the observation, she raised a question. "What's this navi like? Is it another man?"

"I have no idea. It's not like it really matters," Dharma typed in response, flipping her hair over one shoulder in a haughty fashion, even while keeping her fake-out empathetic smile.

((Waiting for Medic))
A beam of light came from the sky and impacted the ground, and from there Cala Mary appeared on the network. She stretched her arms and took note of the network. Of course she spotted the strange navi near by. Probably the navi of that Dharma person... Cala thought, looking at the navi. "I take it you are the one I am suppose to meet?" She asked, moving towards the navi to get a closer look.

"So... who are you?" Cala asked, sliding around Pheoro, sizing her up. "And what exactly are you testing? Your netop didn't seem to bother telling us any specifics." She asked, backing off a bit, forming an opinion about this new navi.

"Aw, I had forgotten to introduce myself, sorry about that. I am DeepSea.dec, but if you don't feel like calling me that you can just call me Cala Mary or just Cala." Cala said, extending a hand out towards this other navi.

The two Navis' trek into the network started them on a fairly long stretch of road, with a group of viruses blocking the way further in. Bunched up together were a trio of Boomers as well as a similar quantity of Champu viruses. The latter were riding the former, holding them with some reins and being generally silly-looking. They tried to stop being silly when they saw the Navis come in, but that was a bit hard.

Boomer A: 60 HP [Rang-Guard]
Boomer B: 60 HP [Rang-Guard]
Boomer C: 60 HP [Rang-Guard]
Champu A: 60 HP [Riding Boomer A]
Champu B: 60 HP [Riding Boomer B]
Champu C: 60 HP [Riding Boomer C]

-- ALLIES --
Phero.EXE: 100 HP
DeepSea.DEC: 120 HP

80% Metal
20% Missing (Either side of road)

Phero stared curiously at her new acquaintance, taking in all of the details just as Deepsea was taking in hers, although perhaps with a greater sense of purpose. Cala was the second navi that Phero had ever encountered outside of the lab, so Phero was inevitably both curious and quick to draw many conclusions. "Judging by her design compared to VenusMan's, I'd say it's pretty ordinary for navis to have tentacle-like appendages... I'll have to ask Dharma why I do not have any..." Phero mused to herself.

"It's very good to meet you... Cala," she responded with a smile, deciding that she'd enjoy using as informal of a name as she was allowed. "My name is Phero, but you can call me... er," the pink-haired navi murmured, then realized that she had no particularly nice ways to shorten her name. "Ero?"

After shooting her navi a brief glower, Dharma managed to fix her face and chuckle. "No, I think Phero is fine," she laughed.

"Phero is fine, of course," Phero replied. "It looks like our time for introductions is over, however. Enemies have arrived. I assume you're already familiar with the experiments that my operator plans to conduct, right? I'll be subjecting you to a few invisible, gaseous compounds as we continue. I hope you'll be alright with that."

With no further allowance for chatting, Phero prepared to fight the viruses facing her. "Do you have some chips prepared, Ms. President? I feel as though I ought to be prepared for the attacks those fire-headed ones will use..."

"Yes, you should; you should also avoid putting up your flowers for that reason," Dharma answered with a quick nod, slotting through a few chips. "I've got a trade under way to swap this cannonball out for something a little more elegant, but for now, please use it to attack the Boomers. Once you've done that, I'd suggest focusing on defense. It won't do any good to attack them while they're guarded. Once they open up, you can get them with your heatshot."

Phero silently hoped that the cannonball would indeed be launched from a cannon; she'd had enough embarrassment with having to chuck icecubes at her opponents earlier. She'd definitely humiliate herself if she had to lift and toss something like a cannonball with any degree of force. Thankfully, the weight of her perfume plungers told her that a compound had been loaded.

Squeezing down on both plungers, Phero rapidly accumulated a ball of pink goop, which she molded into a tremendous orb with both hands. Once that was taken care of, she held it above her head with a lack of grace, then flung it towards one of the Boomers that the Champus had come in on. "In the end, I just hurled it at them anyways," she remarked quietly, shrugging her slender, naked shoulders with a bit of indifference. She was mostly interested to see what Cala would do in the fight (and to continue her conversation once the battle was done).

With that one attack out of the way, all Phero could do was put up a shield of gunk for herself and wait out the enemy attacks. She didn't feel as though she could dodge around the Champu's punches, so she decided she wouldn't try. Momentarily, the navi pondered announcing that she was about to release her pheromones, but decided against it, as she didn't particularly want Cala watching her expression as she did so.

With a small frown, Phero slowly released a cloud of her sweet-smelling chemicals, sending them in Cala's direction. Her internal systems were getting to the point that she wouldn't be caused any discomfort from a few releases of simple, infrequent compounds. "If you need additional support, just let me know," Phero called out from behind her pinkish-purple, liquid shield.

If attacks still bothered her, she could always try to run out of the way of them. Regardless, the important part was keeping safe until Cala took care of the Champus (hopefully, she would) and the Boomers opened their mouths. Despite the danger, all she could really think about was a collection of nagging questions that she wanted to ask Cala about.

1) Cannonball @ BoomerA [150 damage bomb, C accuracy + break + panel break]
2) Guard1 set [1 hit shield + reflect up to 60 null in piercing, line, S accuracy attack]
*) Bug subtype Hack @ Cala [glitch]
3) Dodge
"No, she failed to mention anything about it Phero." Cala said, before turning to look at the viruses up ahead. "As long as they don't impeded us in this match up, I guess I would be fine with that. Although I would rather know what they are supposed to do, I don't think we have the time for that." The navi answered Phero, analyzing her opponents.

Six viruses that can easily bypass her objects and an ally of unknown strength could easily make things harder for Cala. Of course, Cala just found this a little bit interesting. She had already faced both of those viruses before, and knew ways to deal with both. Best for me to work my way down. Cala thought, before she addressed her netop. "Liliana, I'm going to take care of the champus first. Send me whatever you think I need to achieve that." An unloaded harpoon gun appeared in her hands.

"Alright Cala, use these to take care of them." Liliana said, grabbing and then slotting in two chips. She grabbed one more and slotted that in afterwards. "And use this to take care of survivors." She added.

"Good selection Liliana." Cala commented once all three chips had been downloaded. She aimed her empty gun at the riders. Next to the navi appeared a satellite with a Gatling gun mounted on the end. The object turned its gun towards one of the champus. The barrel began to spin, and soon it released a volley of bullets at the virus.

While it was firing upon the virus, a shimmering blue harpoon materialized in the barrel of her gun. She shifted her aim a bit, focusing towards the ones her object didn't fire upon. With a barely noticeable smile on her face, she fired the projectile at the champus. While that should finish them with no real problem, there was always the chance that one of them could survive. Cala used her third chip, a trainarrow1. While this chip doesn't take effect immediately, it would allow her to take out the surviving champus with a single Buster shot.

And then for some inexplicable reason, things started to smell fruity.

(( Lock-on has 1 free tactical move
1 lock-on1: HP: 80
Properties: Omnishoes, Mobile: Special: RP quality does not boost or reduce this chip's accuracy. - This chip's accuracy cannot be boosted or reduced by any means.
-Lock-On shoot ChampuA: 10 Null + Lock-On x 6 shots: A accuracy
2 bubbler ChampuB: 55 aqua+spread1(ChampuC): A accuracy
3 Trainarrow))
Throwing a large orb of goop at one of the Boomers proved effective, as it crushed the metal head with ease. Cala summoned up a satellite with a gun mounted to it, which proceeded to harass one of the Champu with some bullets, nearly deleting it. After that, Phero put up some defenses before releasing her experimental compounds towards Cala. As the latter equipped the harpoon to shoot at the Champus, she felt that her tentacled lower half was beginning to feel rather frisky and heated. Without her realizing it, the tentacles began to extend from behind her, looking like they were going to grab at anything that they met with.

The enemies started to launch a counterattack, with the Boomers focusing on Phero, and the lone Champu on Cala. The Boomers were kind of distracted with the tentacles being rather overbearing and scary, and the Champu nearly missed its punches, landing one on a short bit of luck before springing away. (10)

Boomer B: 60 HP
Boomer C: 60 HP
Champu A: 20 HP

Lock-On1: 80 HP [Flying]

-- ALLIES --
Phero.EXE: 100 HP [Guard1]
DeepSea.DEC: 110 HP [TrainArrow1] [Glitch: Squid in Heat/1 Turn]

80% Metal
20% Missing (Either side of road)
Phero was happy that the damage the two had taken appeared minimal, but she did notice that Cala's tentacles were acting up. While VenusMan had been very much in control of his own, it seemed like Cala wasn't even watching what hers were doing... and they seemed to be trying to grab her partner. Gulping, Phero huddled closer up to the back of her shield. "I think we can call that one a failed experiment..." she murmured.

"I don't know. Actually, speaking honestly, this is the most successful compound we've tested! See the way that they're making that fierce, grasping motion, crackling with energy? It's clear that at least the squid part of her has become enthusiastic towards you in some fashion! My my, how interesting..." Dharma chuckled, raising one hand to hide her evil smile while speaking over their private link.

"Cala, I hope you don't mind another dose of chemicals. If it gets to be too much, just speak up," Phero called out, still slightly mesmerized by the tentacles. The way they were cracking up and down and trying to wrap around anything close by made her feel nervous, but she still couldn't break her line of sight with them. She felt as though if she stopped watching them for even a moment, they'd try to pull her inward... Inward? She couldn't imagine what would happen then.

"Snap out of it, Phero," Dharma sighed, pressing her stylus pen against her forehead as she temporarily broke away from jotting notes on her PET. "We need you in the game to finish this up."

"Right! Yes, ma'am," she reaffirmed, turning her attention back to the clothespin viruses. Now that the Boomers had opened their mouths, they were vulnerable to a hit from her heatshot. Pointing her hand outward, she released another burst of flammable chemicals, lighting them on fire mid-air. The result was a sort of miniature bomb of burning liquids, which would splash upon contact and burn others nearby.

Seeing as she still had her guard up, she requested a shotgun as well. "I can afford to be a little aggressive," she muttered, pausing to line up another blast of flammable goop (this time without the flame). After releasing it, she decided that the last step would be to watch and wait... And maybe while she waited, she could keep an eye on those whip-like appendages sprouting from Cala's lower body...

*) Bug subtype Hack @ Cala [glitch]
1) Heatshot @ BoomerB [40 fire shot, A accuracy + spread to other Boomer]
2) Shotgun @ BoomerB [50 damage shot, A accuracy + spread to other Boomer]
3) Watch those tentacles
The Lock On stayed at it's location, still aiming towards the Champu if had fired upon earlier. The object's barrel begun to spin once more, firing another volley of shoots at the fire virus.

...What is that smell, and why do I feel... Cala was asking herself mentally, she felt... odd, down there. She felt kind of... hot, or something down there... She looked down, and watched the movement of her tentacles... And then she turned her upper body and head a bit to look behind her, and saw that some of them were trying to reach for Phero.... and at least one or two tried to grab onto the lockon...

And then Phero said something about Chemicals... Which explained a lot...

"...Where you trying to test an aphrodisiac..." Cala asked, looking at Phero. "...Only if you want to risk it." She responded, before looking back down at her appendages.

I better do something to keep these things busy, I guess. Cala thought, looking watching the movement a bit more closely. It was either aphrodisiac, or it just made them want to grab something... [i]If they just want to go towards the nearest thing... using Spawning pool might just...[i] Cala thought, before she looked down and... Accidentally used Spawning pool...


Cala was now submerged to the waist in a pool of water that suddenly appeared under her, with a rather large card right underneath her. Her tentacles quickly wrapped themselves around the card. They messed around with the object, shaking and moving it around, pressing it against Cala's underside (Which was just skin, but still wasn't conformable being poked there).

Two little white squids popped out of the water, and floated around Cala for a bit. One of the squids floated over towards Phero, and then promptly landed on her head. It kind of just, sat there... maybe moved one of it's appendages trough the hair... Otherwise, it just sat there. The other squid got closer to Cala, and rubbed up against her side. Cala watched as Phero launched her attacks against the viruses. If one of them survived her partner's onslaught, then Cala would at least be ready for cleanup with her blue harpoons.

((Passive: Spawning pool has 1 time tactical move
Squid Token A and B have 1 time tactical move
-Lockon: Shoot ChampuA
1 Spawning Pool:Small sea terrain created near Deepsea
"SpawningPoolCard" placed submerged in the sea terrain with following properties
HP 20
Passive: 2 Squid Tokens created each turn in the panels next to the Card
light property
-Spawning Pool: spawn two squid tokens with the following properties:HP 5
Light property
-Token A: Move to Phero
-Token B: Move to Deepsea
2 Bustershot surviving Virus: 39 aqua: A accuracy
3 Bustershot surviving Virus: 39 aqua: A accuracy))
As Cala's tentacles settle down, she gets slapped with MORE GLITCHES! You can almost swear you hear a dice rolling...


Suddenly, Cala's tentacles begin to seize up and flail about, flinging thick clumps of viscous black ink everywhere! It gets on her uniform, in her hair, on the viruses, on Phero-- And inflicts further glitches on all of them!

Both Phero and Cala feel sort of... strange... Hey, was Cala that cute a minute ago? Was Phero's armor THAT revealing? Plus, the way they're kind of slick with all that ink...

Either way, in the middle of it all, the viruses end up dead.

Boomer B: DEAD
Boomer C: DEAD
Champu A: DEAD

Lock-On1: 80 HP [Flying] [SAUCY... not that it really matters] [OBJECTS DON'T HAVE FEELINGS]

-- ALLIES --
Phero.EXE: 100 HP [Guard1] [SAUCY]
DeepSea.DEC: 110 HP [SAUCY]

80% Metal
20% Missing (Either side of road)

Phero: Firehit1, 635z
DeepSea: QuickBoomerang1, 635z
Meanwhile, the duo's victory hadn't gone entirely unobserved. Cheshire watched from her hidden place atop a nearby structure, resting comfortably on her front with her arms folded under her chin. It had been pretty fun to watch; or, at least, their unusual fighting styles had been interesting. She had no idea why the one in the armour had been blowing pink mist at the squid the whole time... Healing, maybe? It was the right colour. That conclusion seemed satisfying enough, until something happened to raise even further questions.

Her slitted eyes widened as she watched the squid cover her surroundings (including her ally and even herself) in thick black ink. Why on earth...?

Alright, so the pink mist wasn't necessarily good news. She found herself laughing, simply at how bizarre the whole situation was... Oh. Whoops. Her hand flew to her mouth to stifle the sound, but too late -- the sound would have easily carried down to where her entertainment stood.
Dharma slapped one palm to her face, but continued watching the screen through one eye and wrote notes with her free hand. She couldn't hold out much hope that her allied operator was going to let that mishap slide without asking about it. Spewing that much ink just seemed downright uncomfortable, if not also harmful in some fashion. "Then again, I already know Phero actually enjoys the feeling of releasing her chemicals, so maybe that octopus girl is the same way," Dharma thought to herself. "But even if she is, doesn't really affect much. That bitch operator's going to get on me about it."

In the mean time, Phero noticed she was having a pretty darn difficult time focusing on any of the questions she'd hoped to ask her ally. For starters, she wasn't particularly fond of ink, as both the slick viscosity of it and the deep black color displeased her somewhat. But that was somewhat offset by an entirely new curiosity towards her partner; one she wasn't terribly familiar with (and interestingly, her operator wasn't either). "I feel curious about her," Phero muttered, trying to make sense of her thoughts. "It could be a result of the glitch, but I think I want to know as much about her as possible."

"That's not so unusual. You're a scientist's navi, after all. Scientific pursuit is one of life's greatest joys," Dharma chuckled. "You should know everything about that which you intend to control."

"I'd like to know more about the way... that she feels and smells," Phero muttered, her skin growing red as she started to approach her ally. "I don't remember feeling this way towards VenusMan. Why is that? But still, I feel like I want to see every inch of her..."

"Perhaps you should be less quick to speak your thoughts, Phero," Dharma coughed, unsure of where all of this was suddenly coming from.

"I-" Phero continued, then suddenly looked into the distance, where another navi had given off a soft chuckle. "Her too! I want to know everything about her," Phero gasped, running girlishly to meet her new acquaintance.

Dharma sighed, secretly relieved. "If it turned out that my test navi had some kind of seafood fetish, I'd have to scrap her right now," the operator thought to herself.

"Who are you? I wasn't aware that anyone was watching us before now," Phero asked, but her curiosity wasn't really staying where it ought to. "I-I feel like I want to learn more about you... Can I t-t... touch you, just a little?" she inquired clumsily, reaching out both hands eagerly. She had no idea what arousal felt like or meant, so it was all very troubling and awkward.
Well, that was it. Cover blown... She hoped Iris wasn't watching. She already knew her story: Oh, yeah, she'd meant to do that! Totally! The battle looked so fun, she felt like joining right in, you know? Except her sister was probably the one person in the world who'd instantly recognize that as a big lie. Still, though, there was something about the pink-haired navi's cheerful greeting that made it tough to stay annoyed. She easily hopped down from the structure's roof, smiling despite her embarrassment as the ink-covered figure rushed toward her.

Cheshire quirked her head to the side as this newcomer drew near. She was a lot... cuter than she'd expected. Minus the weird armour and the liberal coating of ink, of course, but who was Cheshire to make fun of what people were wearing? Especially since at the moment her own sole article of clothing was a broad black ribbon, tied off at the base of the neck and tightly wrapped around her hips and torso in the vague semblance of a leotard or a one-piece swimsuit. Just, er, with a not-insignificant amount of skin visible through the gaps...

She met the sudden onslaught of questions with an offhanded shrug. She'd been caught in the act enough times that explaining herself was practically rote by now. As a result, the full impact of the pink-haired navi's statement didn't sink in until... "It's just something I do some -- Wh-what did you say?" Here was this innocent-looking navi, reaching out like she was about to... Maybe it was just her way of saying hello? There were definitely some weirdos out there, Cheshire most likely among them.

"Um, a-anyway, my name's Cheshire! Sorry about the whole spying... thing..." She faltered. There was definitely no mistaking the look in the other girl's eyes. And (her golden eyes quickly darted over the ink-slick navi's figure) she really was cute... Ugh, what was she thinking!? But all the same...

She pushed the thought away as best she could, greeting the navi with a cordial straight-backed bow instead. "It's, it's nice to meet you!" Despite Cheshire's efforts to put forward a bold and nonplussed face, there was no mistaking her deeply flushed cheeks and the way her eyes avoided Phero's, or the way she fiddled with her hands. "I, um... You're all covered in ink... It'd get us both dirty." She concluded lamely, finding herself strangely unable to articulate a reason why she shouldn't... Well. She really hoped Iris wasn't watching now...
Phero's eyes shimmered, as if she was wildly excited by every little pittance of information Cheshire offered about herself. While the other navi was having a hard time meeting her gaze, Phero found that she was unable to do anything but drink in every detail of her new acquaintance's appearance. "You're right, I'm covered in ink... Don't worry! I have a antibacterial shower function programmed in for my line of work! Well, it won't work against glitches, but I'll be clean," she explained, then lowered her visor.

A veil of pink mist washed over her, gleaning of any remnants of ink on her. Surely enough, as she'd predicted, the glitch stayed. Without giving Cheshire any further opportunity to resist, Phero clamped both hands onto the spy's shoulders, breathing heavily all the while with a bizarre look on her face, smiling awkwardly while her eyes glistened with delight. "Thank you! It's nice to touch you... and meet you," she continued. "I'm Phero! You can touch me too, if you want!"

Seeing that Phero was on the fast train to disaster, Dharma decided to step in, opening a visual link that allowed her to appear on a screen nearby Phero. "Hello, Cheshire. My name is Dharma Heart-Payne; I'm president of Heart-Payne Pharmaceuticals Incorporated. My navi is acting a little out of sorts right now because of the results of some of the new chemicals we were testing; please try to bear with us until the effects diminish," she offered, giving her most winning smile.

Unfortunately, she offered nothing like a solution. Bearing with it was going to become increasingly difficult, as Phero's gloved hands began to slowly glide from their position at the shoulders, one down to Cheshire's own hand and the other to the base of her neck. Phero's touch was delicate, but shivering with excitement, so that the rubber plungers attached to her palms seemed constantly in danger of being triggered.

Noticing the plunger accident waiting to happen, Dharma withdrew the chemical batch she'd loaded in earlier. "The last thing we need is another navi spewing their juices all over the place," she thought to herself, pressing one hand to her forehead to try to diminish her growing headache. All the while she kept her plastered smile on, but it was sort of difficult without anything more evil or scientific to focus on than Phero's lesbian-seeming, awkward tendencies being put on display.
A weak "Hey!" was all Cheshire managed before Phero surged forward and took her by the shoulders. She met Phero's gaze at last, her slitted eyes full of surprise. She wasn't kidding, was she. And what was that about glitches? It couldn't be. She didn't think she'd ever sustained a glitch that had made her... Well, 'horny' was the only word that seemed to fit. The funny thing was, she felt like she might enjoy this if it hadn't been so abrupt, and so strange...

Well, she'd set out to find something interesting, hadn't she? She didn't often find something that could take her by surprise the way this strange pink-haired navi had. The shock in her eyes softened into a faint smile. "Nice to meet you too... You're pretty weird, you know that?" She laid her right hand on Phero's shoulder in what she hoped the other navi would see as companionship.

Whatever she was about to say next, the dark-haired woman's sudden appearance distracted her. She responded to her various assurances with a mute nod -- Cheshire never had been any good at dealing with suits, that whole branch of work being her sister's job. She supposed the president's spiel explained why Phero was so awful at flirting, but part of her felt a little let down that just a weird reaction to some medicine... Not that she'd admit that.

Her body tensed as Phero began to explore unbidden. She found herself gripping the navi's hand absentmindedly as she traced the other's path... She wasn't sure whether it was simple curiosity that kept her from stopping the slender hand, or something else entirely. She felt her heart pounding in her chest as those fingers drew to a stop at the base of her neck. Why had she stopped there? W-wait, she couldn't be going for the knot that --

"Am I interrupting something?"

"Aagh! N-no, it's nothing!" Such was Cheshire's surprise at Iris' sudden intrusion that she physically recoiled, drawing her hands protectively over her chest -- or at least, that would have been what happened if they weren't both occupied with Phero. The hand resting on her shoulder wound up pulling her close and hugging her tightly to Cheshire's body, Phero's armour pressing somewhat uncomfortably against the silk-clad navi's chest. "I-I, um..." She stammered over Phero's shoulder, her mind racing for a convincing lie.

"Right. Just keep it quiet unless you want to bust -- I'll be taking a bath... Oh, and Ms. Heart-Payne? Please see to it that you don't cause Cheshire undue harm. She is like a sister to me." The calm sound of her voice was all Iris was transmitting; even had she not been slipping into a tub of steaming water, she had never been one to show her face without a reason.

Meanwhile, Cheshire stifled a bemused laugh. Just how long had she been watching?
Dharma placed one hand to her mouth and watched Cheshire eerily, forgetting to turn off her monitor as she did so. "I think I see something developing here... It could be what they call 'love.' On Phero's part it's the aphrodesiac, but this other navi is buying into it quite nicely. It would be worth investigating all of this some more, I think," she considered, smiling maliciously behind the veil of her fingers. "Cheshire, why don't you pass on an offer to your operator?" she asked, retracting her evil face and putting back on her nice one.

In the mean time, Phero stopped moving her hands around, but instead rested her head on Cheshire's shoulder and smiled warmly. "I can feel your heart beating fast, just like mine is..." she murmured embarrassingly, radiating heat. "I guess I am weird though, for feeling like this."

"Ahem," Dharma coughed, trying to draw the focus of the conversation back to her offer. "To Cheshire's operator: I am going to return to my ship. If it interests you, know that Phero will be busting at these coordinates in BeachNet very soon. I will have her fixed by then, and we will be conducting more of our experiments. Should you choose to accept, Heart-Payne Pharmaceuticals and its president would be extremely pleased to see your navi make a showing," she offered.

"But what about Cala?" Phero asked, beginning to look sleepy.

"She's served her purpose well," Dharma chuckled, letting more of her evil show than she might should have. "That is, we've gotten some highly valuable results from these experiments already. I will be sure to thank her operator for her service. The two of you, however, are done."

Before Phero could protest any further, Dharma jacked her out of the net, just as she had during the meeting with VenusMan. "I look forward to talking again later, Cheshire," Dharma finished, then immediately cut the visual link.

*sent BeachNet coordinates to Cheshire's PET*

((Jacking out))
A contented look passed over Cheshire's face as she slowly relaxed in the other girl's soft grip. There wasn't anything about this situation that wasn't weird... But she did enjoy being this close with someone. "Mm...?" Her eyes fluttered, then widened as Dharma spoke; the dark-haired woman wasn't what Cheshire would call a pleasant awakening. Not with that strange look in her eyes.

"Beach Net, is it...? Sounds good to me." With some hesitation, she let her arm slip from Phero's back. She gave the navi's shoulder a gentle squeeze, just before she disappeared in the usual burst of light with Dharma's image following suit shortly after.

Cheshire leaned back against the building, absently folding her hands behind her head. "You hear that, Sister?"

Iris opened one eye. "I heard. She seemed awfully fond of you." She sunk deeper into the water until it was nearly up to her chin. "The other one, though... Miss Heart-Payne. I don't trust her."

"You don't trust anyone." Cheshire dismissed, rolling her eyes ever so slightly. "Besides, what's the worst she could do?"

It was a short while before Iris responded. As much as she hated the idea of letting someone mess around with Cheshire's code, particularly with what she'd just learned in mind, something told her that wouldn't quite dissuade her. So, choosing her words carefully, she began "You... know she probably won't be the same when you meet her again, right?"

"Huh? So what!?" Cheshire huffed. "I just want a busting partner. That was just..." Her voice fell. "Just a moment of weakness, you know?"

Iris smiled faintly. "Alright. Come back for now; we should at least get you wearing proper clothes again. It should be easier for her not to throw herself at you once you're wearing more than a ribbon. Cheshire nodded, hoping Iris wasn't watching the screen to see the way her cheeks flushed. She began to simply fade out of sight as she returned to the PET. Only two guarded golden eyes could be seen, and then nothing at all.

((At that moment a man in a gray-toned suit walked out from behind a pillar that hadn't existed a moment ago, in a place on the battlefield that never was, and tut-tutted to himself as he shook his head.

"This is terrible!" He said. "Absolutely horrendous! Why, the forces of friendship and love are completely out of shape here!" His voice increased in volume until he was nearly shouting, then he politely cleared his throat.

"I'll have to fix it." He nodded to himself, conjuring up images of Phero and DeepSea.

"These two's bond I shall have to increase by about, oh let's say four points of my special amazing friendship power!" He waved his arms around and the image changed to one of them kissing. "Gah, too much, too much!" He waved his hand again, and the image changed to them shoulder-to-shoulder, walking into the sunset. "There."

"As for this other, stranger pair..." As he shrugged, the image changed to Phero and Cheshire staring at each other. "Two points. Chemically-induced friendship... and uh, ahem, other, more unscrupulous feelings, those aren't true friendship! But I feel a connection growing here."

"Right, well." He straightened his suit up. "That should take care of that."

With that, the strange man walked back behind the pillar he had emerged from, and it disappeared alongside its' owner.))

((TL;DR: Phero/DeepSea: 4 FXP. Phero/Cheshire: 2 FXP.))
Cala wandered off in a haze without anyone noticing, and probably ran into something else.

((Battle 1))
That "something else" happened to be a trio of Lark viruses, which were just sorta hanging around a crossroads. The middle of the crossroads had a floating hologram of an advertisement, which depicted some kind of new instant ramen noodle flavor. Of course, just as Cala approached, the hologram shifted to a man slurping some ramen which was advertised as "Seafloor Delights".

... The Larks chose that time to turn around, and find Cala standing there.

Lark A: 100 HP (Solar)
Lark B: 100 HP (Solar)
Lark C: 100 HP (Solar)

Advertisement Projector: 50 HP (Solar)

Deep Sea.DEC: 120 HP

20% Solar (Surrounding Projector)
80% Metal (Everywhere else)

"...Huh." Cala said, slowly snapping out of the haze and noticing the three larks that seem to be looking at her. ...I wonder where I am... Cala looked around a bit, getting her barrings before focusing more attention on the larks. It seemed that she had probably wandered somewhere, although she didn't know why. First she should get rid of these larks, and then figure out what to do.

"Cala, I'm going to send you some object chips. You want something else to go along with them?" Liliana asked her navi, pulling out two chips from her pack.

"Just send the objects for now Liliana. We'll weaken them first before using the other chips." Cala said, keeping her harpoon at the ready. Liliana sent her navi the Lock-On1 and Needler1 chips, which the navi promptly used.

The lockon appeared near Cala, it's solar panels rotating a bit as it turned to aim at one of the larks. The object's barrel began to turn, firing a round of shots at the lark. The locked moved between Cala Mary and the viruses after the attack.

Next the needler appeared by Cala's side, and was suddenly covered by coral. The object turned to face towards the viruses. The object hovered forward, and sat itself down between the Larks and it's fellow object. The needler fired a volley of needles at the three Larks. Cala decided to hang back behind the two objects she ha summoned, keeping an eye on the lark's movements. If they would fire an attack that could get past her objects and hit her, she should be able to avoid it as long as she keeps watching them.

((Passive: Lockon-1 and Needler gain one time free tactical move
1 Lock-On1: HP: 80: Omnishoes, Mobile
-Lock-On shoot at LarkC: 6 shots of 10: A accuracy
-Lock-On one time tactical move between Cala and Larks
2 Needler1: HP: 60: FloatShoes, Mobile
-Masterwork Needler1: +23hp
-Needler one time tactical move between Lock-On and Larks
-Needler Shoot at Lark A-C: 30 damage: A accuracy
3: dodge))