Experimenting With A Man

VenusMan emerged from the sky as a red beam of light with a green beam coiling around it, materializing himself once the beams hit the floor. "Beach Net..." he muttered to himself and looked around before looking at his own clothes. "Maybe I should've worn something better," he continued, "Something to swim with... But..." He then turned his eyes to the red area on his bodysuit and raised an eyebrow. "Might work. Don't know if Alexis has something in the works," he said as he finished talking.

He crossed his arms and waited for the Navi of Dharma to make its entrance to the network. Hopefully this Navi wouldn't show up in a swimming outfit or else he'd have to rely on Alexis for making a quick decision on his outfit.
A purple fog rolled across the beach, slowly bringing into light the figure of Phero. As the navi manifested, Dharma quickly punched in the code for her new swimsuit, which garbed the girlish navi fittingly. "I didn't know you'd made me a new outfit, Lady President. It's quite flattering. I'm a little surprised," Phero responded in gratitude, turning her head briefly to each side and modeling the suit to herself.

"Surprised? I am a genius, you know," Dharma replied, feeling slightly insulted.

"Well, I know, I just thought that anything you'd come up with would be... black," Phero replied factually; she'd never seen Dharma wear anything that wasn't completely black from head to toe.

Sighing, Dharma leaned her head on one fist. "To be honest, black would look much better. On the other hand, I don't think everyone's tastes are so sophisticated as mine. The ultimate swimsuit for garnering love isn't necessarily the best swimsuit, you understand," she explained, sounding like a schoolteacher. Suddenly, she remembered Alexis might be listening and shut up. It was hard for her to avoid lapsing in to megalomaniac chatter.

Fingering the flower in her hair with a curious and childish smile, Phero finally thought to take a look at her surroundings. That's when she saw the first other humanoid on the net she'd ever set eyes upon; "humanoid" being the key word, because the giant tendrils trailing out of his shoulders weren't exactly human. Then again, she recalled that most humans couldn't excrete pheromones either. On that note, she looked down at her hands and noticed the two bottles of spray sunblock strapped around her wrists where her usual plungers would be. Ordinarily she'd think that was pretty silly, but she was too busy concentrating on her new ally.

Somewhat nervously, she stepped forward, not knowing how she ought to greet him. Phillip and the other researchers always bowed or something equally servantile when meeting Dharma, but Dharma was Dharma; that couldn't be the right greeting for everyone. The researchers typically shook hands. Smiling, she decided that's what she would go with. Phero extended out one hand to greet her new ally, not remembering that there was a squeeze-spray capsule of sunblock in it. "It's good to meet you; my name's Phero," she introduced herself. "I'm glad you've decided to help us in our experiment."
He had noticed his ally since the moment she had entered the network, but VenusMan decided to just silently ogle her at first. Noticing she was in conversation with her Operator, VenusMan tilted his head from left to right to get a more detailed look at Phero but quickly put his head in a neutral stance when he saw her looking his way. He listened silently to Phero's greeting and introduction, his arms crossed, and eventually saw her extending her hand towards him. Once again she mentioned the 'experiment' that VenusMan, on second thought, didn't know anything about. "I'm called VenusMan," he answered her but didn't shake her hand.

"Excuse me for a moment," he said to Phero, turned away from her, took a few steps away and then opened a video conversation with Alexis. As if he were a gang leader ordering around his henchman, he grabbed the video screen by its figurative collar and pulled it towards him. "You didn't tell me the Navi was this cute and sweet," VenusMan whispered through his teeth at Alexis.

"Not even I had seen her, VenusMan," Alexis explained, getting a look at Phero through the window. She was indeed cute, causing the team to be a parody of Beauty and the Beast. But wait, Phero had a swimming outfit. "Hey, maybe I can whip somethnig up for you," Alexis whispered to VenusMan, a smile across her face.

"Just... Make it cool," VenusMan whispered back, "I'd like to impress her." He then turned the video conversation off and waited for data input from Alexis. While Alexis was working on a quick design, VenusMan walked back to Phero and looked at her face. "Keep it cool, Venus. She's just beautiful looking," he told himself in the back of his head. "My Operator is working on something, so if you could wait a moment," he told her, keeping a vacant look in his face. But he had to say something about her. VenusMan turned his eyes away from Phero, not wanting eye contact, and spoke to her with a lowered volume, "You look good."

As soon as those words came into the open, he felt a surge of data of the new GMO file entering his database. "OK, this is it," he thought and executed the GMO. Green light emerged from the ground, making only a silhouette of VenusMan visible to outsiders, and altered his appearance to the 'Swimming' GMO. Once the light faded away, VenusMan was not sure what to think of this change. This was the total reverse of cool, he had become the epitome of nerd. "Alexis..." he muttered, lifting a foot to notice the flippers.

"It wouldn't be good if you'd drown!" Alexis stated, which was very much the truth. But in all things, safety takes away the cool elements. "And... Those things had to be in the design, so this was the best choice," Alexis continued and with these words VenusMan noticed the beach ball by his feet.

Bending over and picking up the beach ball by its handle with one hand, he looked at Phero with a fairly annoyed look on his face and baring his fangs slightly. "Not cool," he muttered, looking over Phero's outfit again and realizing he stuck out like a sore thumb. VenusMan closed his mouth and stabilized the expression on his face, figuring to just go with this. He had probably lost any chance at impressing the beautiful girl, so he would just focus on helping with their experiments.

Before walking further to find viruses, however, he raised his left hand and reeled in the vine until the bud at the end was lying in his hand. "Bloom," he muttered to it and the bud opened to reveal an unique flower. Its center was colored like VenusMan's emblem and its petals were green with red borders and red spots. He plucked it out of the bud and walked to Phero in order to stand closer to her. "Here," he said as he took the flower that was in Phero's hair out while replacing it for the flower he had made, "A gift for you for our first meeting." Turning away from Phero, not wanting to make eye contact once again, he proceeded to walk past her while stuffing Phero's original flower into his mouth to eat it. After swallowing the flower, he turned around for a quick moment and looked at her. "Don't think I gave you that flower because you're special to me, OK?" he said stubbornly and turned away again, "Let's just go."

V. Team Subtype - One for All. Connected with Phero.

((Ready for modding after Aim posts))
Phero didn't really have the same stigma of awkwardness that most would interpret from a handshake left hanging, so she simply withdrew her hand to her side and continued to analyze VenusMan. She was very pleased to hear that he liked her appearance; she'd never been complimented outside of professional capacity before. "Thank you, VenusMan. You look good as well," she returned, grinning with genuine happiness.

Her operator was also grinning with genuine happiness. Dharma covered her mouth to hide the toothy, evil smile spreading across her face; it would be fairly unbecoming for a virtuous philanthropist. "It's worked! Love is so easy to obtain, why do these saps even need me to bottle it? Phero's appearance alone is enough to give plant boy a woodie," she cackled to herself, resisting the urge to rub her hands together in a cliche criminal gesture.

Dharma's smile disappeared as she saw VenusMan's new outfit take shape. "Maybe Alexis and I will get along better than I thought... She seems to have a bit of a mean streak as well when it comes to her navi," she joked to herself, trying to wonder what would inspire her new acquaintance to give her navi a beach ball, flippers, and floaties.

Contrary to her operator, Phero examined VenusMan's changes and tried to comprehend why her own operator wouldn't provide her with all of those neat things. If she was going to win people over, wouldn't she be better off having swimming devices as well, so that she didn't look so helpless in the water? Then again, maybe looking helpless was supposed to be part of her hook. "Your floatation devices look... good!" she assured VenusMan, going with the most positive attribute she could think of.

She was surprised and intrigued to find that he not only had a taste for plants, but also had a new flower for her. "It certainly is a unique color," she remarked, fixing it into her hair like she liked it. Unfortunately, however, it didn't appear that a new friendship was in the stars for her; just as she was becoming giddy at all of the neat things VenusMan had to show her, he revealed that "she wasn't special to him."

"I guess it's sort of like how Phillip and the other researchers were nice to me before they let me out of development to be with Dharma. He just wants to be on the right foot when we start our experiments," she reasoned, feeling sullen. She was no good at hiding her emotions, so her face instantly reflected her disappointment. VenusMan had already turned around, however, so he didn't catch sight of it.

Dharma frowned as she noticed Phero's expression change. "Come on, Phero. What do you have to be sad about?" she grumbled inwardly, trying to figure out what could have suddenly dampened her navi's mood. "Get in the game!"

((Ready for battle 1))
La la la, Beach traveling...but there wasn't much of it, as it didn't take long for Phero and VenusMan to find some viruses on nice, waterfront property. SandWorms were happily playing along the shore, while a few RainGear bobbed along the nearby water, relaxing. In the distance, a long Tuby was busy practicing its music...not very well, either. But the relatively peaceful scene didn't last, as they all happened to notice the Navis, and, well...you know what happens when viruses see Navis. You do, don't you? Of course you do.

(They get angry and attack with reckless abandon.)

SnakeArmA: 120 HP (Sand)
SnakeArmB: 120 HP (Sand)
RainGearA: 80 HP (Sea)
RainGearB: 80 HP (Sea)
RainGearC: 80 HP (Sea)
Tuby: 90 HP (Sand) (far behind SnakeArms)

50% Sand, 50% Sea

VenusMan.EXE: 100 HP
Phero.EXE: 100 HP
"This is more like it," VenusMan growled through his teeth, not wanting to have his first Netbattle against viruses at ACDC Net and glad he was actually here now. But mostly he wanted to drown out the words Phero had told him. "How does she think... This looks good... Is she just being nice?" he thought, trying to figure out what Phero's actual intentions were, "Maybe she's just trying to act nice so I cooperate with these experiments." Out of nowhere VenusMan just sighed out loud before focusing on the battle.

But then he turned around and pointed at Phero, "That flower..." He wasn't really sure what to say after that though without sounding like he was willingly and/or romantically defending her life with his own. However he acted this way because of his preferences, so what was wrong with him admitting to wanting to protect Phero. "As long as you have that we'll be linked together..." he said then quickly turned away, "So don't worry. I won't let you get hurt."

VenusMan extended his vines again and prepared for combat, figuring Phero would do the same. He was completely prepared for any damage he would receive through Phero, but was also glad he could protect her without making it too obvious. With his vine still extended, he brought the right bud into his hand and whispered at it. "Bloom," and the bud opened to reveal a conical flower that looked rather strange. It was a red conical flower, with a groove that made it seem like a drill, with green leaves across its base. Plucking the flower out of its bud, VenusMan dropped it flower-first towards the ground which dug itself into the ground while keeping the leaves above the surface. Grass panels immediately started to spread from its point of impact. He figured that at this point Alexis would make a decision for the chips, so he looked at the beachball he had held in his left hand. "Don't think I'll be using you just yet," he said and dropped it on the ground.

Alexis had been looking at her four chips over and over. There was the new one and those she already knew of. "Let's see what this does," she said while clumsily pushing the newly received chip into the PET, followed by the Cannon chip since she knew what it did.

The bud VenusMan had just used closed again while he swung the other bud high into the air. "Bloom!" he exclaimed after which the bud bursted open to reveal a green flower that looked like it was copying the head of a hammer. With a great swing he brought the flower to the earth from which a shockwave was sent forth at impact. The hammer flower vanished and the bud closed, but remained latched onto the earth. VenusMan reeled in the bud, pulling himself towards it instead of pulling the bud towards him, and came to a stop once the bud was in his hand. Fusing vine, bud and hand, he formed his buster on his right hand and quickly aimed at the one of the SnakeArm viruses. He fired a green beam, with a red one curving around it, from his buster and just remained in a defensive position. "I'm hoping Phero has more firepower than I do..." he thought, knowing that his two attacks weren't actually the strongest.

V = VenusMan.EXE [Wood/Team] [3 Actions] [One For All Link: Phero.EXE]

V. NaviCust [SetGrass] centered on VenusMan and Phero.
V1. Shockwave [40 DMG; Line Attack; Ground; C Accuracy; Ranged] @ SnakeArmA/B/Tuby.
V2. Dodge.
V3. Cannon [40 DMG; Knockback; A Accuracy; Ranged] @ SnakeArmA.
Phero began to second guess herself, allowing herself to ponder whether or not VenusMan was being genuinely friendly or professionally so. His whole business of linking the two of them certainly seemed intimate. She decided that she would allow herself to treat him like a friend for now, if for no other reason than to experience a new outlook. "Thank you for protecting me," she replied, loading her pheromones into her plungers.

It almost seemed cruel, now, to go from thanking him to subjecting him to secretly untested, probably not-safe chemical compounds. Even understanding this, however, she realized it was her duty to spray her ally with her pheromones. Still, she decided that she'd start on an easier task. Focusing at their enemies, she extended forth her hands and caused a field of flowers to bloom up from beneath them, transforming the landscape so that it was barely recognizable as a beach. "Now my swimsuit's out of place, though," she remarked quietly.

"Phero, why don't we release a compound now?" Dharma suggested, trying to mask the impatience she felt by adopting a calm and professional voice.

"Right," she gulped, turning to VenusMan. What if she released a compound that turned her first friend into a moustachioed, dancing, pogo-stick-using maniac? She couldn't imagine anything more unsettling. Still realizing her duties, she placed one finger horizontally across her lips and bit down to hide her voice. Closing her eyes, she shivered and released a cloud of pheromones from her body, which engulfed her unsuspecting partner.

Phero now began holding her breath warily, wishing she could instruct her partner to do the same but finding herself unable for the sake of science. She realized that VenusMan might be new to virus busting, based on his attacks, but she wasn't exactly a pro herself. In fact, just recently she'd fallen over on her face while trying to attack some enemies with her rageclaw. With that in mind, she decided not to use the rageclaw for now in favor of some easier maneuvers.

Again sighing at the unfortunate irony of creating pretty flowers only to burn them, Phero loaded oil into her dispensers and flicked one thumb, creating a small flame. With no hesitation, she released a stream of oil towards one of the Raingears and then lit it ablaze, creating a stream of fire that arced impressively through the air towards their foes. She hoped that VenusMan wouldn't be taken back by it; fire was sort of inherently dangerous to both of them, so she wouldn't be surprised if he thought she was crazy.

Next, Phero decided that she'd back up her friend's attack on the enemy Sandworms. Pointing her dispensers out again, she released another batch of goop; this goop, however, solidified midair and cracked, creating a cloud of dangerous makeshift buckshot. As a final measure of defense, she sprayed another batch of the slop in front of herself in a broad arc, forming an outward-curved, hardened shield of chemical product.

*) SetGrass under enemy group
*) Bug subtype Hack @ VenusMan [Glitch]
1) Heatshot @ RaingearA [40 fire shot, A accuracy + spread]
2) Shotgun @ SnakeArmA [50 damage shot, A accuracy + spread]
3) Guard1 [prepare 1-hit shield + reflect (up to 60)]
Spreading the grassy love everywhere, Phero and VenusMan got to work, putting some hurt on the viruses. The SnakeArms received the better part of a Shockwave flower, courtesy of VenusMan, though he didn't exactly catch the Tuby way out in the back. Phero, meanwhile, released one of her experimental compounds towards her unsuspecting partner. The compound made VenusMan's head spin around for a bit, and suddenly, his vision began to take on a rather strange tint. A kind of... pink tint. Oh, and his plant-like structures began to augment themselves, giving him a regenerative property. Not very strong, but still pretty good.

That property helped when the SnakeArms started attacking, dealing a good amount of damage to him. (10 Venus/10 Phero) Two of the Raingears received a Heatshot, courtesy of Phero, immediately deleting them. Afterwards, Phero assisted her partner with a well-placed Shotgun just as the SnakeArms attacked, dealing a further amount of damage to them.

The Raingear didn't quite like this, and caused a torrent of water to spring forth from the ground, intending to hit the Navis with it. However, it was slow and not very accurate, and the Navis were able to sidestep it from a mile away. The Tuby just sorta sat around, preparing to play something else while VenusMan's wounds patched. (+10) Phero's injuries also disappeared, thanks to the grass under their feet. (+10)

SnakeArmA: 30 HP
SnakeArmB: 30 HP
RainGearC: 80 HP
Tuby: 90 HP

90% Grass, 10% Normal

[One for All: VenusMan/Phero]
VenusMan.EXE: 100 HP [Regen7/3turn, Everything looks pink/2turn]
Phero.EXE: 100 HP [Equip: Guard1 1/1]
As he was designed in the image of a hunter, VenusMan curiously sniffed the air as he noticed something was different than before. There were two smells. One he could not identify clearly and the other was the smell of wounded prey. But before he could focus on this 'wounded prey', he had to talk to Alexis. "I think something's up with my visuals," VenusMan stated, tapping the side of his goggles. He was used to seeing the world tinted red, but pink was abnormal.

"I think..." began Alexis, looking over some screens with data about VenusMan, "I don't know where to look for errors." This was not a lie, as Alexis had honestly no idea what made VenusMan tick. The numbers and letters that made up the status screens said nothing to Alexis, so she just shrugged her shoulders. "Maybe you could try taking your goggles off, VenusMan."

It couldn't have hurt to try, but VenusMan was kind of touchy on the eyes business. He also had not realized that Phero was the blame for all this pink business. "I'll try..." he muttered under his breath and took his goggles off, revealing his pitch black eyes to the outer world. Everything, however, was still pink. "...Great," VenusMan remarked and turned to look at Phero, not realizing he was not wearing his goggles due to the pink vision being unaltered with or without goggles. "There's something strange in the air that makes you see everything in pink," VenusMan commented, "It seems harmless, but be careful regardless."

Now that was sorted out, he could focus on the enemies again. He took a few steps backwards in order to pick up his beachball, but then realized he already had something in his hands. His goggles. "Oh... Snappers," VenusMan thought and quickly put his goggles back on and quickly snatched the beachball off of the ground. "She saw my eyes, didn't she..." he thought as he held the beachball by its two handles, "[i]But maybe... It won't be that bad. She didn't seem to think my outfit was horrible.[i]"

"Phero," VenusMan said out loud to his companion, "The two snakes are mine." And with those words VenusMan started to pull fiercely on the beachball's handles until the middle part popped loose and flew at the SnakeArm viruses. Remaining in the beachball was a thick stem, connecting the two parts, which had a vine between itself and the part that had shot loose. From the front a wide line was visible, followed by the opening of a giant mouth which easily had the size of the ball itself. Razor sharp teeth were lined across the top and bottom, waiting to dig into their enemy.

"Oh, I remember that! Now you need a chip!" Alexis chimed and brought forth a chip from her minimalistic deck. After almost dropping the chip, she slotted it in and waited for its result.

The first attack had been launched but whether the Carnivore had gotten its prey or not, it would have gotten latched onto something even if it was the ground. VenusMan pulled himself forwards by means of the 'empty beachball' and extended his right hand to a side. The vine connected to his right arm swiveled around his hand and changed shape to form a strong botanical claw. Once VenusMan had stopped his movement near the Carnivore, he lashed out wish his claw at the other 'wounded prey' he had been eyeing.

V = VenusMan.EXE [Wood/Team] [3 Actions] [One For All Link: Phero.EXE]

V1. Carnivore [30 Shot WOOD Drain; 2 TCD] @ SnakeArmA.
V2. Dodge.
V3. RageClaw [40 DMG; Slashing; B Accuracy; Melee; Special: Throw] @ SnakeArmB.
"Pain's not so bad when it goes away quickly, right?" Dharma asked, giving a hidden, creepy grin into her PET. Coughing, she suddenly realized what she'd done and tried to put a non-sadistic spin on her words. "It's good to see that you and your partner have healed so quickly, Phero!"

"Yes, Dharma. Perhaps even more quickly than usual. Could that have been a positive effect of the pheromones, you think?" Phero asked her operator, noticing the change in her partner's goggles.

Dharma gave a quaint smile, betraying little of the belittling arrogance she actually felt. "That would be neat, wouldn't it? I'm calling it a dead-end, though," she sighed. "The only positive effect is love, Phero. Insane, brainwashed love! That's what we're trying to capture here..."

Phero wasn't thinking about those end results; instead, she tilted her head almost obtrusively to try to get a better look at VenusMan's eyes. She'd never seen a human with eyes like those before. They were almost like those of a virus, and yet, she felt no aversion. She only felt that her partner was further from a human than she imagined... and with the humans she knew, that was a plus.

While she was distracted thinking about her partner's eyes, he spoke up, apparently having already decided his new course of action. Nodding, Phero bit her lip and waited for him to turn around. With a bit of effort, she managed to keep another cry sealed in her throat as she spewed more gaseous pheromones; the pheromones seeped from her body as an invisible cloud, covering VenusMan yet again with a sweet, but unusual, aroma.

While her ally focused on the two snakes, she watched the remaining enemies. Interestingly, her wall of goop had stayed untouched, so she continued to use it for cover as she prepared her next attack. Pressing down on her plungers, she formed another giant blob, which quickly solidified into a hard, nearly-cubical structure with a white, near translucent surface. "I suppose these bottles don't have actual conservation properties like real, physical containers, or else I probably couldn't have dispensed that much," she muttered.

Phero summoned her white, strength-enhancing claw to give her the boost necessary to lift such an object (rather silly, considering it had all supposedly just been inside her dispensers). "Hmm... hmph!" she grunted, squatting awkwardly and spreading her legs to both sides as she lifted the heavy object above her head. Once she finally made it, she attempted to toss the thing at the Tuby and crush the virus beneath its weight.

Huffing with exertion, the petite navi tried to remember what she had left in her arsenal that could be used without embarrassing herself. Her rageclaw was handy, but if she used it like she did last time, flailing around like a little child, it'd just be mortifying. Instead, she pressed down hard on her plungers and sent out more pheromones to assault the remaining Raingear. This time she couldn't suppress a small but sensual cry; she crossed both hands over her mouth, hoping VenusMan hadn't heard it.

*) Bug subtype Hack @ VenusMan [Glitch]
1) Summon IceCube [100 HP object]
2) Throw IceCube @ Tuby [100 aqua thrown, C accuracy + impact]
3) Crazy Gas @ Raingear [Confusion shot, A accuracy]
CHOMP went the SnakeArm, as it was consumed by VenusMan's Carnivore attack, delivering an excess of health to him. Phero, meanwhile, released yet more pheromones in VenusMan's direction. The experimental compound caused her partner's sense of hearing to increase noticeably, causing him to hear everything in a magnified sense. This, of course, included Phero's erratic squeaking and breathing. She then proceeded to launch an IceCube towards the Tuby, crushing it just as it was about to start its cacophony of music.

Meanwhile, VenusMan dealt with the SnakeArm, which had just plowed into his back for a good deal of hurt (20). Fortunately, he managed to catch the worm and slice it into tiny bits in retribution. The Raingear, meanwhile, caused a geyser to spring forth from the ground, bypassing Phero's shield entirely and hitting both of the Navis at the same time (22 Venus, 7 Phero). Phero then released one of her more tested compounds, causing the Raingear to stumble about in spasms. Afterwards, the regenerative effects of the grass beneath them healed them, with VenusMan's pheromone-accelerated healing recovering most of his damage, but not enough to completely make them all disappear (+36). Phero had her grass backing her up, and healed fully. (+7)

RainGearC: 80 HP (Confused!)

90% Grass, 10% Normal

[One for All: VenusMan/Phero]
VenusMan.EXE: 94 HP [Regen7/2turn, Everything looks pink/1turn, Hearing amplified/1turn]
Phero.EXE: 100 HP [Equip: Guard1 1/1]
No matter when it happened, it was still a strange experience for VenusMan. Partial damage from Phero was immediately directed to him. "It's a good thing that it's like this," he thought, earnestly wanting to protect Phero, "But what's up with my own wounds?" The SnakeArm and a geyser had attacked him, but why was the damage he had received only minimal? His vision was still incredibly pink, but it wasn't troublesome at all. Not like he could've gotten used to it though, pink was still way too feminine and not his type. But once again, even during the battle, something odd was going on with his body.

The crunching of data between the teeth of his Carnivore plant were as audible as if it was happening right in his face. It was true that the Carnivore was a part of his body, but even then the sounds weren't this obvious. He tried to shake his head, trying to get rid of the sounds but nothing could stop them. Eventually the Carnivore retreated back into its beachball shell and while the crunching stopped, the other sounds didn't stop. A strange collection of sounds were coming from Phero, causing VenusMan to glance at her at specific times. It was a strange view to see the Navi he had considered cute to be squatting and grunting like that in order to pick up the block of ice. But more important than that was the sight of her emitting pheromones and the sound she made with it, including the motions she had made to cover up her mouth. VenusMan made a guess that it wasn't a sound she wanted others to hear and decided not to bring it up. "I have some parts I'd rather not reveal either... In a way, I can understand it." It all looked very pink though.

"Phero!" he shouted at her, but right as he did this he dropped his beachball and slammed his hands onto his audio receivers. It was obvious that his hearing had improved radically, including hearing his own voice. "Phero," he whispered, which sounded just like normal talking to him but would've been hardly heard by Phero, "I'm going to attack now. He's weakened and alone, so it should be a sinch."

Alexis was familiar with the two chips she had picked for the attack. But she was still curious what made VenusMan 'different'. She could clearly see Phero getting close to VenusMan, but maybe it was to whisper to him? Or just to get close to him? Maybe figure out how VenusMan was attacking? Without questioning it out loud, she slotted in the two chips and awaited VenusMan's attacks.

With the beachball still by his feet, he pulled back his right vine until the bud was in his hand. It quickly fused together into a buster, with an opened red-petaled flower as opening, and loaded the chip data. A quick energy blast was released from the buster. A green beam with a red one circling around it headed for the virus, while another burst of energy was released shortly afterwards. This one was shaped like a red bulb with pollen flying after it. His buster still formed, he took on an evasive stance although it was not likely for him to get attacked.

V = VenusMan.EXE [Wood/Team] [3 Actions] [One For All Link: Phero.EXE]

V1. Cannon [40 DMG; Knockback; A Accuracy; Ranged] @ RaingearC
V2. Shotgun [50 DMG; Splash; A Accuracy; Ranged] @ RaingearC
V3. Dodge.
Without even thinking now, Phero closed her eyes, pressed up her lips, and released more of the pheromone. So long as they had the cover of battle, she knew it was her duty to continue testing all of the products she could for Dharma's satisfaction. She counted herself lucky, that nothing really obtrusive had yet happened to VenusMan, but how long would it take? Soon he'd learn what was going on; even Dharma would admit that once a test subject catches on to the fact that hazardous experiments are being performed without his knowledge, he'll rebel against the process.

Suddenly, Phero became aware of an even worse possibility, which flashed through her mind so subtly she barely caught it. "If he does catch on and protest, will Dharma simply give up? She definitely won't. Will she somehow force him to continue... possibly bribe the operator? No, she doesn't really even have to. Dharma's already got the operator on her word that the experiments are okay; the navi's consent isn't needed at all," she pondered with a shudder, thinking back to the net law books that she'd read from Dharma's PET at one point, in which such paragraphs had been '"highlighted" in stupidly dark purple. Not even Dharma's highlighter was allowed to be a pretty color like yellow. "For the average person, word of mouth is by no means binding. But I'm sure Dharma has her ways..."

Dharma, in the mean time, just kept smiling and looking personable. She wasn't contemplating anything like Phero was. In truth, if VenusMan wanted out, what did she care? The world was full of stooges. Although she may revel in profit and villainy where allowable, things like intimidating commoners and swindling them was beneath her. Those were the kinds of things villains would only do in comic books and movies; the kinds of slip-ups that followed a megalomaniac and took them down to the applause of the audience. Dharma would wordcraft until her tongue fell off to keep her public image up, even if it meant playing dumb.

Their internal thoughts aside, Phero was not doing nearly such a good job hiding the physiological stimulation of releasing the compounds as she had when she'd started. She could barely focus on what VenusMan was saying; never before had she released so many compounds in such a short period of time. Humans naturally react in panic when their bodies perform unnaturally and create unfamiliar stimulation, as if the body has a mind of its own. Phero was going through this distress herself, not knowing now if she could turn off her pheromones, even if she wanted to.

His shout brought her head back up, helping her to regain some of her focus. "Oh... oh, yes. We should be about done. I'll just let you finish this one off, if that's okay," she replied, hugging her arms around her shoulders. It wasn't pain that she felt, nor was it anything actually unhealthy. As such, she ought to be able to go accustomed to quick and rapid release of pheromones. All the same, it was so overwhelming at the moment that she couldn't stop holding herself.

"You're not feeling strange, are you Phero?" Dharma asked, raising one eyebrow. Her expression secretly asked many more questions, such as: "You're sure you're using them on him and not you, right, moron?" and "Is my team really so incompetent that they'd give me a navi who fails to exhibit any warning signs of defects until the defects are directly upon her?"

Phero worked quickly to assure her operator that there were no defects. "It's nothing, just light-headed. I'm very new to battling, after all," she replied in a quiet mutter. At this point, she was just grateful for the kindness of strangers, so often lauded in writing that Dharma would never be caught dead reading. She just hoped that VenusMan and Alexis' common sense and decency (stooge traits, as Dharma would call them) wouldn't come back to bite them. In her idle time, she found herself trying to think of how in the world she could send messages to VenusMan that Dharma couldn't intercept...

*) Bug subtype Hack @ VenusMan [Glitch]
1) Dodge
2) Dodge
3) Dodge
It died. VenusMan healed a little bit. Congrats!


90% Grass, 10% Normal

[One for All: VenusMan/Phero]
VenusMan.EXE: 100 HP
Phero.EXE: 100 HP


VenusMan - Waterline1, 130z
Phero: 560z

FXP: 3
Collecting the chip data and zenny data, VenusMan found his vision returning to normal. Even if 'normal' was a dark shade of red. As he slid his thumb over the glass of his glasses to make sure his vision was back to normal, he turned to Phero and began to talk to her, "Looks like we got out of that without a scratch." He swung his arm towards his beachball, wrapped his vine around it and pulled it back into his hand. "Let's carry on, shall we? Those experiments won't do them by themselves," he said. His flippers flopped audibly against the floor as he walked on, his back turned to Phero.
Phero was at first alarmed and then immediately relieved as she realized that VenusMan was aware of the tests and had already decided to comply with them. Smiling, she followed him and watched the flippers on his feet as they flapped up and down. "If you don't mind my asking, VenusMan," she called after him, "What's your own incentive for continuing with the experiments? You ought to know, they are... well, experiments."

"Safe, ethically conducted experiments," Dharma added, clenching her teeth behind her plastered smile.

"It's just that my purposes in the experiment are so clearly stated and apparent; it's sort of like my job. While Alexis, your operator, may be receiving benefit, there's not much you have to gain from participating. Do you have anything you're hoping to achieve or would like to gain from complying with the testing?" she asked, now staring at his broad back while he walked in front of her.

She was hoping that these questions might give her some insight into the life of a navi who is not so fearfully bound to his/her own operator.
With that matter settled, Phero and VenusMan continued their trek down along the beach, where they found a sheer cliff, probably a good thirty feet up, in their path. Figuring they'd turn around, instead of a clear path, they found their return route blocked by a gaggle of viruses, which seemed to have snuck up on them as they walked!

Lark A: 100 HP (Sea)
Lark B: 100 HP (Sea)
Mushy A: 80 HP (Grass)
Mushy B: 80 HP (Grass)
Mushy C: 80 HP (Grass)
Piranha A: 60 HP (Sea)
Piranha B: 60 HP (Sea)
Piranha C: 60 HP (Sea)

-- ALLIES --
VenusMan.EXE: 100 HP (Sand)
Phero.EXE: 100 HP (Sand)

40% Sea
20% Grass
40% Sand

As VenusMan looked upon the group of viruses in front of him and his companion, he was certain of one thing. He did not like the looks of this at all. He and Phero were only beginners and this group was definitely a few too big for them to handle. Or so he thought. "Yo Phero," VenusMan started as he edged towards his partner, "Experiments are cool, but we really shouldn't experiment whether we can beat these guys or not. I suggest heading back right now." His words were followed by him wrapping one of his vines around Phero's waist and making a run for it while initiating his jack-out program.

V = VenusMan.EXE [Wood/Team] [3 Actions] [One For All Link: Phero.EXE]

V1-3. Flee.
"What, but-!" Phero cried out, yelping as he caught her with his tendril. The idea of backing out or refusing to do an experiment seemed sort of impossible to her, as she had never heard Dharma take no for an answer on much of anything before.

"VenusMan's right, Phero. You're vastly outnumbered here. The wisest course of action would be to escape and then put the order in for the flowers like we discussed," Dharma agreed, hoping to turn the subject towards something distracting and final. "Also, I've got to pay fro-head and get out of here before Phero becomes too attached to this guy. We're supposed to be inspiring love in OTHERS; being sappy ourselves accomplishes nothing!" she thought to herself, grimacing privately.

Phero nodded as VenusMan carried her along, hoping to escape the net.

1-3) Escape and jack out!
[Escape roll succeeded!]