Experimenting with a Cat

Phero arrived at BeachNet, taking in the familiar scenery. This area of the net seemed a little cleaner and more populated than Alexis' store had, probably due to traffic through the area of the harbor's net. Still, she felt fairly sure that if she ventured just a little off the beaten path, she might find viruses as well as some solitude. "Not that I need to be alone with Cheshire," she reminded herself. "... Not that I could be anyways, with Dharma around..."

She made her way across the sandy dunes and little streams, until she finally came to an open area. "I'm actually a little overdressed," she murmured, speaking a line that she'd never expected to hear herself say, given the skimpiness of her natural outfit. "I should probably wear my swimsuit."

"That you should," Dharma chuckled, swapping her navi's armor out for the Swimsuit.GMO. "Let's keep things fresh."

"Indeed," Phero responded with a nod, then paused for a moment to feel the knot where her hair had been tied. "Now all we can do is wait."



"Did you wear good perfume?"

"Madam President, I have no need for perfume. As you know, my natural odor is attuned towards the scent of perfume- wait! Why should I care how I smell?!"

"Hm hm hm..."

((Waiting for Cheshire))
Over in the shadow of a small structure off to the side a pair of brilliant yellow eyes blinked into existence, with Cheshire herself fading in shortly after. Slitted pupils scanned the horizon as the girl stepped out onto the sand. "She should be somewhere around here, right...? Oh!" With a quick wave she set off toward the familiar pink-haired figure in a jog, kicking up plumes of sand behind her.

"Hey! Kept you waiting, huh?" Her heels dug a furrow into the sand as she skidded to a stop, nearly losing her balance in the process. She straightened up and dipped into a quick bow. "Hm...?" For the first time, she noticed Phero's change in outfit. From a distance it hadn't seemed all that different from her usual armour, but up close she had to admit: she liked this outfit a lot more than the old one.

Of course, if she was going to wear a swimsuit, following around in a silk dress wouldn't make a lot of sense, would it? She hated to bid it farewell again so soon, but... "Good idea. Gimme just a sec, will you?" She turned away from her new partner, her fingers busying themselves with the knot at the dress' collar. Not that this was particularly modest any way she turned, but with what had taken place not half an hour ago she was more comfortable stripping down without Phero in her immediate view. The dress slid to the sandy ground, revealing a complex wrap of black ribbons extending from her thighs to the small of her back, where they held an enormous brass watch in place. As she began to re-wrap these ribbons right-handed, she took the cast-off black dress in her left, her silken hand abruptly bursting into a mess of ribbon-like tendrils that engulfed it in short order.

With both hands now free, it only took her a short time to finish making her adjustments. "There!" she called, turning back toward Phero. This improvised swimsuit was a good deal less refined in appearance than Phero's; they looked more like a short tank top and boyshorts than anything else. Not to mention the clock still at her back, or the bizarre number of bands and anklets that remained on her legs. Still, it was much better as beachwear was concerned.

"Ready to go when you are!" She chimed, grinning broadly.

Phero had just started raising one finger to comment that Cheshire's dress looked pretty when her feline friend promptly threw it aside, revealing her ribbons again. "That's fine... They're also pretty," she thought with a smile, then raised both eyebrows as Cheshire stripped off some of her ribbons. It didn't have a sexual connotation to her, but it did pique her curiosity. She found watching the ribbons come off almost as interesting, possibly more so, than the navi's hand turning into twists of data. After all, she saw navis with tendrils all the time, but she'd never seen a navi take off her clothes before.

Beginning to breath more heavily, Phero gave an enthusiastic nod. "I see! If it's appropriate, than I will also shed my-" she murmured, grasping hold of her bikini bottom and pulling it down ever so slightly before Dharma stopped her with a harsh whistle. "Did I make a mistake?"

"Cheshire was just evening the playing field, so to speak," Dharma spoke over the private channel, allowing a mean-spirited grin to spread over her face in the wake of Phero's awkwardness. "Don't you see that you two are dressed the same now? Or did you want the two of you to be naked?"

Phero shyly pulled the bikini back to its regular height, blushing in spite of herself. "I'm sorry. Why don't we go find some viruses to assist in the experiments?" she asked, raising one hand to just above her eyes as a shield against the sun's glare. She moved her head left to right stiffly, waiting for viruses to emerge out of the sand or sea.

((Ready for battle 1))
A small walk along the beach led the swimsuit duo to a small pool, in which some viruses were residing. A few Piranha chased each other madly as some Raingears sat in the pool and soaked up some sun on their metallic exterior. The 'gears were also decked out in sunglasses for some reason. That didn't stop them from spotting Phero and Cheshire, though, and they readied themselves for a battle!

Piranha A: 60 HP (Sea)
Piranha B: 60 HP (Sea)
Piranha C: 60 HP (Sea)
Raingear A: 80 HP (Sea)
Raingear B: 80 HP (Sea)
Raingear C: 80 HP (Sea)

-- ALLIES --
Cheshire.EXE: 160 HP (Sand)
Phero.EXE: 100 HP (Sand)

60% Sea (Pool + sea)
20% Normal (Rocks around pool)
20% Sand (Everywhere else)

"Huh? Hey, there's no need for that!" There was no way she could still be... Well, the suit had said the compound would have worn off by now, hadn't she? She inwardly gave a sigh of relief when she saw that her partner wasn't going to strip naked right where she stood; the Phero she'd met back in Scilabs would be a handful to bust with, to say the least.

The sounds of frantic splashing nearby distracted her before she could reminisce too much. For all the time she'd spent watching viruses, she still didn't think she'd ever understand them. One thing she'd managed to identify, though: they really knew how to hog the best spots. Her eyes flew wide open as they settled upon one particular facet of the strange scene: "Those sunglasses..." A greedy grin crept across her face. "Hey, Phero! Just try and keep up!" Flashing her partner a radiant smile, she kicked off toward the pool where the viruses lounged, raising a plume of sand in her wake.

She touched down with somewhat less flair, landing clumsily in the center of the pool with an enormous splash that left her (and probably everything else in the water) soaked from head to toe. "Ack!"

"Hm? If you'd wanted to take a bath, Sister, the water's much warmer back here," Iris noted dryly as she selected her chips.

"Pfuh... Shut up..." The chilly water had come as a bit of a shock after so much sun. She did her best to suppress her shivering, though, and smoothly raised both arms above her head. It was frigid, sure, but she had an idea of how to fix that. Both arms plunged down toward the water's surface in a quick stroke, flames suddenly bursting up from the rock at the pool's floor. Though the fire flickered and hissed, it managed to raise an immense gout of steam. She didn't envy anything that had been swimming around her when she'd used that chip.

"N-now... As for you three!" The chill slowly fading from her skin amid all the steam, she turned to face the three big, round shapes relaxing at the pool's rim. Or, more accurately, the sunglasses they were wearing... Claws of bright green energy burst from her silken fingers with a faint shink. Her eyes narrowed, settled firmly on her prize. "Gimme those!" Without further warning she pushed off from the rock wall opposite them, viciously cutting through the veil of steam that separated them. Her claws flashed through the air in an arc, reducing whatever they might pass through to fine slices.

And then she did something rather odd; right when she might have impacted against the pool's stony rim, she twisted suddenly in midair, reaching slowly down toward her prey and calmly trying to pluck the sunglasses off the virus' face. She came to a rest against the rock wall surrounding the pool, clutching her prize tightly in her hand -- or, at least, that's what she thought it was.

    High Gear - 10% Evasion Bonus!
    Tick - Movement to pool
    [li]FlameLine1 - PirahnaA, PirahnaB, PirahnaC [70 Fire | Ground | Wide | A]
    Tick - Take Aim at the Raingear group
    [li]BambooSword - RainGearA, RainGearB, RainGearC [80+10 Wood | Slashing | Wide | [color=#E62020]A[/color]]
    [li]Try to snatch the sunglasses off of RainGearA's face
  • Dodge
    Little Shadow - Self [Heal 15]
Although Cheshire had told Phero to "try to keep up," the pink-haired navi felt a bit intimidated by Cheshire's speed and chip variety. It seemed like the nimble navi had done a lot of busting before. "I'm not entirely certain I can keep up, Madam President," Phero reported to her operator regretfully, unhappy that she was unable to fulfill even the very first expectation of her partner.

"Nor am I," Dharma agreed. "Well, she's a navi made for battle, you're a navi made for spraying other navis with hazardous chemicals and trying to get them to fall in love with you. It takes all types," she yawned, slotting in a few chips lazily with her left hand. "Go ahead and pour the chemicals on, Phero. We've got work to do."

Phero nodded, although she felt like a bit of a mooch, letting Cheshire do all of the hard work while she used her partner's body for science. Still, she put up a wall of goopy, purple, quick-drying defense from her sunblock dispensers, then huddled behind it. Pressing her face against the surface momentarily to hide it, she strained her muscles to release more of the pheromone towards Cheshire. "I hope she's fine with being used for experimentation... No, I'm going to be open about it this time! I don't want her to think I've been lying..."

"I'm pretty sure she already knows what we're planning to do. Surely her operator told her," Dharma pitched in. "I wasn't very discrete about it earlier."

"True," her navi admitted, still unable to hide the worry from her face. Although her remaining chips were a lot less impressive than Cheshire's, she still feeled compelled to do some of the work, and thus set to lobbing balls of gunk through the miniature flamethrowers of her hands. The corrosive goop would set fire quickly and turn into a handy barrage of fireballs on its way toward its targets.

"Why does she want those shades, anyways? She's an oddball," Dharma murmured, resting her head on her fist.

"Perhaps for the sun? It certainly seems like it would be convenient right now," Phero answered realistically, staying huddled behind her wall.

1) Guard1 up [1 hit shield + reflect up to 60 null in piercing, line, S accuracy attack]
*) Bug subtype Hack @ Cheshire [glitch]
2) FireHit1 @ PiranhaA [60 fire melee, B accuracy + impact]
3) FireHit1 second use @ PiranhaB [60 fire melee, B accuracy + impact]
Steamed Piranha was on the menu, thanks to Cheshire's fiery techniques. Phero put up a Guard, afraid of matching Cheshire's speed. The latter didn't really seem to mind Phero much as she then clawed two of the Raingears into deletion, leaving the last one to be toasted by Phero's goop-fireballs.

Phero's glitching didn't seem to have much effect at first, though Cheshire looked like she'd be pretty cool with those shades. Maybe a bit too cool; her body was emitting an aura that decreased the temperature around her!

Piranha A: DELETED
Piranha B: DELETED
Piranha C: DELETED
Raingear A: DELETED
Raingear B: DELETED
Raingear C: DELETED

-- ALLIES --
Cheshire.EXE: 160 HP (Sea)
Phero.EXE: 100 HP (Sand) (Guard1) (Glitch: Aura of Cool)

60% Sea (Pool + sea)
20% Normal (Rocks around pool)
20% Sand (Everywhere else)

-- BATTLE 01, VICTORY!! --


Cheshire: 480z, 3 FXP, some awesome shades
Phero: 480z, 3 FXP
Cheshire vaulted out of the water onto the pool's stony rim and smoothly slipped her new acquisitions onto her face, barely able to hide her look of pure pride. The dark glasses certainly helped with the bright sunlight, but that wasn't the point -- they were spoils of battle! Stolen right off of an enemy's face, too! She made a quick mental note to brag about this to Iris later on.

"So," the bright-eyed girl began, peering over the rim of her shades at her new partner, "I thought you were going to be experimenting on me or something like that. I don't feel a thing!" She found herself trying to hide a shiver as she spoke. Okay, so that wasn't quite true; the water in the pool had cooled off a lot faster than she'd expected, leaving her covered in goosebumps. The cold, wet silk clinging to her skin wasn't exactly comfortable, either... But really, all that didn't seem like the sort of thing Phero and her operator were experimenting with. She was almost disappointed that they hadn't wound up covered in ink, though she'd never say so.

She leaned back and crossed her legs, trying to appear nonchalant. "I guess that means we just need to keep trying, huh? For science, or whatever it is researchers say." With the same feigned attitude she slipped to her feet and gave a lazy stretch, trying to ignore the cold, clinging fabric that had her in its grip. In all honesty, she was eager to move on and dry off a bit; between cold water and warm sunlight, there was absolutely no question as to which she liked better.

"That was amazing," Phero remarked, having never seen a navi fight at Cheshire's level, nor steal and wear a virus' shades before. "Perhaps I should take a Lark's swirly glasses some time, so that I will have a pair of my own? It seems like it must be hard to get them off before the virus disappears, though..."

Dharma held her head, shaking it violently as she recorded her research notes. She thought for sure that after the past couple of results, her batches must be getting closer to the end product she desired. "No, Phero, I think you should consider this a special case and forget about it entirely," she suggested, pausing to press her stylus pen to her lower lip thoughtfully.

"You look cold... And as the learning materials I read during my lab-education period suggested, cats dislike water. Are you fine with being in this environment?" Phero inquired, staying close after Cheshire. "If you are a cat, perhaps you should take a moment to shake yourself off. You could also rub against something to get dry. Of course, all there is around here is sand, and that would have the adverse effect of getting you sandy..."

"She's not dying, she's just wet and cold, alright?" Dharma groaned. "Don't be a bleeding heart, Phero; it's insufferable."

"I feel like being responsive to the discomfort of others is also an important part of being lovable," the navi answered her operator, forgetting to use the private channel.
Cheshire arched an eyebrow as the two crossed the sand, suddenly getting the impression that she'd heard something she wasn't supposed to. The thought that she might not be able to trust Phero had never really occurred to here, but there was obviously more going on than she knew about. Still... The girl's concern seemed genuine. Sweet, even. "All that about cats, huh... But I'll be fine. I'm more Cheshire than Cat, you know?" She lifted her new shades up from her eyes, resting them atop her head. "Now, if I was covered in fur or something like that, that'd be unpleasant..." Her steps slowly began to take on a slower, more deliberate rhythm, the girl innocently changing position to walk at Phero's side rather than at the head of the line.

"You're wrong, anyway." With a triumphant smile she abruptly stepped behind Phero, her arms easily slipping around her shoulders and waist. "Sand isn't the only thing to rub up against here..." The girl smoothly pressed up against Phero's back, her skin and swimsuit still quite cold from the frigid water. "Revenge," she purred.

Of course, getting her back for her own grabbing back in Scilabs wasn't the point. There was something she had to know before the two went on much further. Trying to ignore the connections her mind was drawing between curiosity and cats, she smoothly began: "So, I've been curious: What are these experiments for? I hope it's something more interesting than 'The Effects of Pink Mist on Gorgeous Women' or anything like that." She rested her cheek calmly on Phero's shoulder. The plan had been to grab her and hold her like this so she wouldn't try and evade the question, but... Setting aside the distrust that she'd learned over the years, it was just kind of nice. Besides, Phero hadn't done anything to harm her, had she? And hadn't she told Iris she was done hiding and jumping at shadows?

Her lack of conviction made her typically strong grip a great deal softer than it might have been for someone else. The whole routine, in fact, was vastly less menacing than she'd intended when she first moved to grab her... Back in the real world, Iris knitted her brow, wondering exactly what her navi was up to.
"Wah!" Phero gasped, raising both arms as Cheshire grabbed her unexpectedly from behind and pressed her wet body against the soft palette of the pink-haired navi's back. The sensation of the coldness was somewhat foreign to her, as was the feel of so much skin contact. Her curiosity enjoyed it, but she instantly recognized that her partner had some questions that really ought to be directed at Dharma.

Unfortunately, the president wanted nothing to do with it. "Oh? She must really like you," Dharma mumbled noncommittally, doing her best to balance her stylus pen on her finger. "Really, what's with this girl? She's clingy, just like a cat," she thought to herself irritably.

Phero enjoyed the increasing warmth of her ally's embrace; the combination of their body heat was starting to fight off the coldness created by the glitch and water. Crossing both hands in front of herself, the tester navi tried to come up with a good answer that wouldn't put Dharma or herself in hot water. "I'm sorry, I assumed your operator had already told you. Our goal is field testing of a variety of chemicals that our president has created as possible lead-ins to a new wonder drug. I'm afraid that the exact details of that drug are classified, in the interests of Heart-Payne Industries," she answered.

Really, even that was a little bit more than Dharma wished she would have given. Indicating as much, the operator glared angrily into her PET, accidentally dropping her stylus pen as she did. The expressions Iris and Dharma were giving simultaneously were both amusingly similar.

"The variety of effects may seem somewhat alarming, but I assure you that these are all beta and not alpha tests that we are conducting," Phero reassured her ally, turning her head just slightly to look at the kitty ears of the head on her shoulder.

Cheshire found herself only half-listening to Phero's explanation, nestled so comfortably against her ally's back. Not that she was saying much she hadn't expected... She was curious about what the 'wonder drug' entailed, but she wasn't going to get that kind of secret out of anyone like this. She slowly lifted her cheek from the girl's shoulder, calmly meeting her eye. "Hmm? Is that all you can say?" Her breath reached Phero's neck in warm puffs as she spoke.

"Well..." She suddenly tightened her grip around Phero in a squeezing hug that, while not entirely comfortable for the poor navi being squeezed, had at least warmed up considerably. "I guess that's okay for now. I have my secrets and you have yours, you know?" She freed Phero from her rather tight embrace, her hands slipping down to the girl's hips before leaving her skin entirely.

She stepped back around to meet her face-to-face, grinning brightly. "So whatever this 'wonder drug' is, you've got my support! Just, uh..." She turned away, making quite a show of shielding her eyes and looking off down the beach to try and hide the growing blush on her cheeks. "Try not to do the ink thing, okay? I'm not sure what would... happen."

She started off down the beach again in a brisk walk, intent on not giving her new partner too much time to think on that last comment. "Come on! We need to find something stronger than those boring idiots in the pool, yeah?"

As Cheshire and Phero drifted off from the pool, they found themselves on the isolated part of the Beach Network. The ground became muddy with bit of vegetation, but at the very least, the trail the two navis took was still very dry. It wasn't till that they reached a dead end...at least, end of the trail where a large patch of mud cut them off with small patches of grass at the end of it. They could've easily turned back...but viruses suddenly emerged out from the panels like some undead beings and immediately attacked!

MudFeeshA: 60 HP (Mud)
MudFeeshB: 60 HP (Mud)
MudFeeshC: 60 HP (Mud)
MudFeeshD: 60 HP (Mud)
LarkA: 100 HP (Grass)
LarkB: 100 HP (Grass)
LarkC: 100 HP (Grass)

Terrain: 5% Normal, 55% Mud, 40% Grass

Cheshire.EXE: 160 HP
Phero.EXE: 100 HP

Phero watched Cheshire's face curiously, growing more excited by the minute. "Her own secrets?" she thought to herself; she'd questioned the motivation of her partners before, but never really thought about what the possibility that any of them might be hiding anything from her. After spending so much time around Dharma, Phero had come to believe that every secret must be some plainly obvious thing that other people didn't want to admit to themselves, if Dharma could still call her evil nature a secret.

"Thank you for your support. The ink was just one of many batches. I doubt we'll encounter its like again," Phero half reassured, half sighed. She wouldn't mind seeing the ink make an appearance again. The sort of bright-eyed, spunky, and warm feeling it had given her was something to be cherished, in her mind. Although, maybe it hadn't all been good... there was also some anxiety and helplessness, as she recalled.

Regardless, some new viruses had reared their heads and their path had unexpectedly come to a muddy end. Maybe there was a reason that no other navis populated the path they were traveling down... "Oh look! These are larks. Perhaps I can try to get some glasses of my own now," the pink-haired navi suggested, pointing seriously towards the swirly-eyed viruses.

"I wouldn't try it. You'd have a better chance of stealing Phillip's glasses than plucking that thing's eyes off... out... they're really not even glasses," Dharma pitched in. "I'm sending you a heatshot and a remote bit for now. I'm going to suggest you give Cheshire a dose of our new barrier compound... along with a generous dosage of chemicals."

For the first time, Phero realized that she had no negative reactions towards the idea of chemicals. Two at the same time? Even better! There was an increasingly good chance that spraying more chemicals on Cheshire might make her react in interesting ways. Curiosity was often Phero's driving force in a world where most other pleasures were denied her, so satisfying that curiosity was well within her own interests. Curiosity was also the only emotion she'd really managed to staple down and understand yet, so it was well within her comfort zone.

After accepting chips from Dharma, Phero caught her ally up on the situation. "I'll help out against both groups. The RemoteBit can take out Larks, but only one at a time. I will provide you with some defense so that you can approach for whichever attacks you like," she elaborated. Once that was done, she expanded a field of flowers out around her feet, then shot out another burst from her chemical flamethrower towards the fish.

"Now... how do I use a RemoteBit," she murmured to herself, setting down the chip. Instantly, a large, glass bottle appeared, filled with pink fluid. The black wrapper around the circumference read "Heart Payne Essential Scents." "I see you've already taken the liberty of applying your own aesthetic," Phero remarked to her operator without emotion.

"Yes, yes I have. One never passes down a free branding opportunity," Dharma chuckled. "I'm sure whoever Cheshire's operator is will remember us once she gets a look at this."

Phero went ahead and pushed down on the plunger, half expecting another spray of glitching chemicals to spurt out. Instead, a pink mist shot out... then rose into the air, quickly fading into a cloud. Just as Phero had stopped watching, a bolt of lightning shot down from the sky and crashed into into the enemy crowd. "Wow! That's devious," she murmured, getting back up to her feet shakily.

"Isn't it?" the president cackled. "I like it a lot better than that clunky cannonball. Your enemies won't see this coming!"

"Indeed..." Phero agreed, wondering what her operator was hoping to turn the branding image of her perfume into. "Now, brace yourself Cheshire. I'm going to..." she murmured, really not giving much of a warning at all, before latching down on the giant perfume bottle strongly. With two compounds loaded at once, it wouldn't be so easy suppressing the sound. Both knees shook as she tightened her grip on the bottle, then buried her face into the giant plunger to hide her expression. Slowly, a now visible cloud of pink mist arose from the pores of her body, then rolled towards Cheshire ominously.

*)SetGrass beneath self
1) Heatshot @ MudFeeshA and B [50 fire shot, A accuracy + spread]
2) Summon RemoteBit [100 HP]
3) Compound A0016 @ Cheshire [20 HP barrier + glitch]
*) Bug subtype Hack @ Cheshire [glitch]

1) Attack LarkA [80 elec, B accuracy + panel break]
Cheshire met Phero's eyes, her head cocked quizzically to one side. "Mm? You almost sound disappointed." Could it be that Phero had... liked it? She regarded the girl quietly, obviously giving some matter a great deal of thought -- or at least trying to look that way. It wasn't long, though, before her enigmatic smile returned. Whatever conclusion she'd arrived at, it didn't seem like she was about to share it with Phero right then and there.

In truth, Cheshire was a little impressed. There weren't many other navis who could lose control like that and actually enjoy it. Phero was inexperienced, yeah. Clueless, even. For Cheshire, innocence was a weakness; if you didn't know where you stood, you were just prey for something or someone. Once upon a time, that 'someone' had been Cheshire herself, and in a lot of ways Phero was her ideal target. But in others... she almost reminded her of herself. She didn't think she'd mind helping her to become a little less clueless.

Before long, some more traditional prey presented itself. Cheshire puffed out her cheeks, glancing between Phero and the goofy-looking sea ray that had drawn the girl's attention. And while she couldn't hear Dharma's side of the conversation, Cheshire arrived at more or less the same conclusion, albeit for different reasons. "Uh... I'd probably pass on that. Don't they look way too goofy?" She settled her own sunglasses over her eyes with a cocky smile. "If your heart's set on it, maybe I'll let you borrow mine sometime."

The catlike navi dropped into a tense crouch, plotting a course with her eyes before launching herself into enemy lines with a powerful leap. She tried to land with the same grace, but her trajectory had placed her squarely in the center of the big puddle the smaller fish inhabited, and she found her hands and feet slipping out from under her and planting her face-first in the mud.

"Ugh... I meant to do that." The lie was practically a reflex by this point. She lifted herself up on her elbows, raising the now-useless lenses back onto her head. But maybe there was something to her boast after all; beneath the mud's surface, her silk arm unfurled itself, spreading its tendrils through the soil beneath. Without warning, the mud around her rose and reshaped itself into blades of grass, slowly transforming her immediate area into an island of wild grass. She climbed to her feet with a triumphant "See?"

As if on cue, the soft foliage shook as if driven by a strong wind. Tiny fragments of data arose, both from this tall grass and Phero's field of flowers, gathering to form a low cloud of corruption that meant trouble for anyone who might breathe it in. Her next act, a simple turn on the balls of her feet and a sweep with both arms, threw up a curtain of flame to finish off anything that might have tried to hold its breath. Then, when the fire had died down... she was gone.

It didn't take long for her presence to re-assert, though. The Larks might have noticed the glint of sharp teeth and yellow eyes moments before the ecstatic laughter and the flash of claws, and even the most oblivious observer would have to see the wave of hungry flame this mud-caked predator cast at the survivors with outstretched arms.

"What's that?" she called, hearing Phero speak beneath the roar of the fire. Whatever she'd expected to see, though, the immense perfume bottle hadn't been it. And the way Phero was tensed against the oversized plunger... Something about it made her ears burn.

She regarded the could with mild interest as it drew near and quickly engulfed her. This was a great deal stronger than the pheromones her partner had cast last time, and now that she could feel the chemicals in earnest she couldn't deny that something about them seemed intimately familiar. The piercing smell of perfume masking the low burning of unstable data, combined, were nearly intoxicating. She shivered lightly as the cloud began to settle over her skin.

    Afterburner - 5 actions this turn! 3 next turn!
    High Gear - 10% Evasion Bonus!

    Tick - Move into the MudFeesh group
    SetGrass - Underfoot [Medium Grass]
    [li]Spice1 - All Grass [80 Wood | Confuse | Ground | A]
    [li]FlameLine1 - MudFeeshB, MudFeeshC, MudFeeshD [70[b]x2[/b] Fire | Wide | B]
    [li]Soft Shock - Teleport into Lark group
    LarkB [50 | Break]
    Tick - Take Aim
  • FlameLine1 - LarkA, LarkB, LarkC [70[b]x2[/b] Fire | Wide | A]
    Little Shadow - Self [Heal 15]
Soft Shock - [USED]
With liberal applications of fire on grass, as well as other miscellaneous destructive things, Phero and Cheshire wiped out the viruses easily with zero chance on the viruses' part for retribution. Meanwhile, Phero released some more chemicals towards Cheshire. The latter's body started feeling pretty warm and buzzed- the opposite of what she felt earlier. In fact, though she didn't feel like she was shaking, her feet vibrated against the ground. Cheshire thought she had to hold on to something to keep it in check.


Terrain: 100% Grass

Cheshire.EXE: 160 HP (20 HP Barrier) (Glitch: Hyperactive - Replaces Afterburner nerf with Off-Target nerf for next battle)
Phero.EXE: 100 HP



Cheshire: 800z, 4 FXP
Phero: 800z, 4 FXP
"Well, that was easy enough. All that's left to do now is simply observe the affect on Cheshire," Dharma noted, preparing her pen against the screen. "She's really not a bad fighter! A good navi to have along with us on these kind of experiments. Be sure not to screw things up too badly so we can keep relying on her cooperation, Phero," the president instructed her ally with a wide smile. "Then again, I'm sure that's already on your mind."

Phero cleared the dizziness from her head, having inhaled way too much perfume herself. She could only count herself lucky that her pheromones had no effect on her own physiology and behaviors, besides just smell, and that alone was becoming sort of overpowering. Pretty for a whiff, but a little much when inhaled directly. Speaking of people who'd probably gotten way too much of it, she realized it was important to see how her friend was doing. "Are you holding up alright?" she called out to Cheshire, walking forward as the giant perfume bottle vanished. "We should try to move to a prettier area of the beach! It's a little nasty here... Well, the flowers helped, but not much."

"I don't care where you two go, so long as you continue providing me results. Just don't try to go out into the water, okay? I've got this terrible image of you contaminating it all like a spilled oil drum... Or like discarded chemical waste! Both of these things mean hurt profits and image in my book. Stay on land, okay?" Dharma murmured, hiding a grin behind her hand. She was a lot less concerned than she was pleased to have the opportunity to demean her navi to the level of industrial trash.

"Absolutely. I doubt Cheshire would like to go out either... although it might be kind of fun. I've never been in the water," she thought to herself, briefly thinking up a few things she'd like to try in the ocean. None of it amounted to swimming, as she had no reference by which to dream the technique up; instead, she pictured herself moving around as if in space, unaware of the concepts of currents or waves. "It actually does sound very entertaining..."
Cheshire somehow managed to keep herself upright amid the charred flowers, the perfume's sharp scent filling her senses with each exhausted breath. She paused. Even as the rush of adrenaline faded from her body, she could feel a different sort of energy slowly building up inside her...

"How are you feeling?" Iris cut in amid the faint sound of draining water. Regardless of Dharma and Phero's assurances, it was disquieting to see Cheshire surrounded by this thick, corruptive fog. The last few years of her life had immersed her thoroughly enough in the world of duplicitous corporate executives and zealous underlings to prevent her from hearing those words as anything more than comforting noise.

Cheshire met both her partner and her operator's concerns with a casual smile as she stepped out of the thick pink cloud. "Oh, relax. I feel pretty good." She rose up on the balls of her feet, experimentally shifting her stance in short bounces. Her smile slowly split into a vivid grin, this bizarre dance of hers slowly picking up speed. With a cackle, she dropped into a low, wide stance, one hand firmly planted on the ground to steady herself. "I feel... Great! What was that!?" She gazed up at Phero with apparent interest, her slitted pupils wide and dark. She hunched down, her hips swaying restlessly from side to side.

Iris rolled her eyes as she pulled on an oversized terry-cloth robe. Was this all that the great and ambitious Heart-Payne Pharmaceuticals company was pursuing? If Dharma was after the secret of getting Cheshire to make a fool out of herself, she was welcome to it.

"Ha ha! Heads up!" With a gleeful shout, Cheshire pounced at her partner with the same zeal that had spelled the end for so many viruses not too long ago. Luckily for Phero, there were no claws; instead, her arms spread wide and caught the girl as Cheshire sailed through the air, the two of them tumbling to the ground gracelessly. She planted her arms and legs firmly to either side of the prone Phero, grinning down at her with the same wide-eyed excitement. "You didn't run or anything! Bo-ring!" she admonished softly, inches from the other girl's ear. She rubbed up intimately against her "prey," her body practically moving on its own from the pent-up energy.

"Man, you smell weird... Hold still, okay?" She wrinkled her nose for effect, bowing her head low over Phero's cheek. Without warning, Cheshire's bristled tongue slipped roughly along the other girl's jaw in quick, dutiful strokes. The energetic navi's eyes contently shut as she worked her way down along the neck and to the shoulders in a thorough progression. She murmured something with a low chuckle, but her words were muffled by her tongue too much to understand.


She paused with a sigh. "What is it? I'm busy, Sis!" Cheshire opened one eye, a petulant look on her face.

Iris acquiesced with practiced slowness. "Hm? You sure? Oh, never mind then. I just thought..." There was something a little off about her voice... It was as if she were reciting something, rather than simply speaking.

"H-huh? Thought what? You're keeping a secret, aren't you!?" The girl bolted upright, sparing Phero further embarrassment for the time being.

"If you insist... I was scouting around, and I think I saw something moving over to the right of where you're facing now." Iris was glad that the navi couldn't see her smirk. Turnabout was fair play, true, but she didn't feel like abandoning the girl to whatever this over-energetic Cheshire had in mind.

The excited navi climbed (or rather, leapt) off of Phero with surprising speed, gazing into the distance restlessly. "Ugh, you should have said something sooner! Phero's terrible at that game! She can hardly even run!" She cast a glance eagerly back at Phero, her golden irises barely visible around her dilated pupils. "I'll have to finish up later. Come on! If you kill a bunch of viruses, maybe you'll get less boring!" She started off at a heady pace, kicking up fountains of sand in her wake.

Eyeing Phero thoughtfully from the screen of her PET, Iris flipped on the public channel. "... Sorry about that."

As Cheshire and Phero moved towards the source of the movement on the field, they saw some Genin jumping about some gigantic sculpted heads, shaped by careful blowing and sculpting by the collective efforts of the ninja viruses and some SnowBlow viruses. Some Catack viruses popped open their tops to reveal tiny men with clipboards, which seemed to be evaluating the statues along with a taller Tuby virus.

They were built fairly far away from each other, with perhaps a good three leaps between them. One depicted a cool Raingear's metal maw with shades, another depicted a NormalNavi in a big sunhat that somehow stayed together, and the last was a baffled-looking Lark. However, just as the Tuby was about to pull out the blue ribbon, one of the Genin pointed out Cheshire's intrusion, and the others were quick to respond, getting into their respective positions!

Tuby: 90 HP [in front of everything]
Catack A: 120 HP [in front of everything]
Catack B: 120 HP [in front of everything]
SnowBlow A: 100 HP [in front of Statue A]
SnowBlow B: 100 HP [in front of Statue B]
SnowBlow C: 100 HP [in front of Statue C]
Genin A: 60 HP [behind Statue A]
Genin B: 60 HP [behind Statue B]
Genin C: 60 HP [behind Statue C]

Head Sand Statue A: 20 HP
Head Sand Statue B: 20 HP
Head Sand Statue C: 20 HP

-- ALLIES --
Cheshire.EXE: 160 HP (Off-Target)
Phero.EXE: 100 HP

80% Sand
20% Sea (A little behind statues)