A round of nods. "I'll be getting Monica sometime tomorrow morning. What about you?" You asked.
"With luck, I should have an answer in a couple of hours, and the transaction made by tonight." Tomas stated. "The service says it'll have any purchased monstergirl here within hours tops, so I'm guessing monstergirl purchase has some form of priority mail."
"We should meet after lunch tomorrow, then." Mr Gabriel spoke.
"Let's exchange contact information just to be on the safe side." You say, to make sure everyone would be able to contact the other.
"Shame these things don't have a call function."
"Apparently they don't have much in the ways of signal emission." Tomas pointed out. "Because there are a lot of ferals that are attracted to radio waves and the like, so they'd definitely want to keep such functions deactivated in the dexes."
You frown at that. "Wait, how does long-distance communication work, then?"
The young man shook his head. "As far as I know it's likely with cables buried underground, but the alternative is that each city has a small comms tower somewhere and they developed something to make them more sensitive and to filter out the noise." He scratched his chin, seeming thoughtful. "Either that or the dexs work via signal bursts at set times of the day so they're not constantly emitting, but they could still passively receive."
You didn't want to think much of it since that aspect of the sciences had never quite been your strength. "Well, so long as it works." You stand up from the table. "Gentlemen, tomorrow after lunch then, in front of the medical centre."
"We'll be there." Mr Gabriel nodded, as did the other two. He paused for a second as he looked at you.
Kat caught the gaze. "You’re about to go tell the hot nurse, aren't you?" She smirked.
"We shall see what happens." You replied.
So after this very productive conversation and negotiation, you left the restaurant and considered your options.
Right now it was still several hours away from the agreed-upon date with Dia, but... hm... you DID have 50K in your account and an agreement with the doctor. But then again, maybe you'd want to do something else to spend the time...? No.
Time to buy Dia, no second doubts about that.
So you went straight towards the medical centre, feeling slightly giddy even though deep down you knew you shouldn't really feel this way about literally buying someone as if they were property. But you were 100% sure she'd love it when you revealed the surprise, and that alone was enough to heighten your mood by several notches.
Inside you went, and begin walking the corridors in search of the good Doctor after having asked at the reception desk. And you find her, talking to Dia about something on her paper, the both of them looking very serious as medical jargon was being exchanged, very few words ring a bell, but you knew technical speak when you heard it.
"Sir!" Dia spotted you before you could even think of hiding, waving at you happily. Doctor Hale besides her gives you an odd look but said nothing as you sheepishly approached, your cover now blown.
"One sec, Dia." You said, glancing at Doctor Hale. "Mind if we speak in private? I think I found what you were asking for."
Doctor Hale's eyes widen like plates for only a split second before she hides it behind a face of impassive indifference that could only have been managed through years of practice. "I see."
Dia glanced at the both of you curiously.
"Just some medical samples." The Doctor answered, shooting you a look.
"Yes, could we iron out the details in your, ah, office?" You agree.
"Of course." She nodded, then turned towards Dia, handing her the papers. "Please see to it that this is done by today."
"Yes ma'am." She nodded sternly, turning to beam at you. "I can't wait for tonight's date, sir."
"Me neither." You reply with a chuckle, leaning to kiss her. She blushed, hesitated, and ran off. Your gaze then turned as the Doctor took the lead down the corridors and out of the nurse's sights.
You don't make it into any office of any sort before Doctor Hale practically shoved you against a wall. "Talk, less than a day ago you were twenty thousand credits short, no starting tamer makes that kind of money without doing something they'll eventually regret."
"We pooled our funds together." You explained. "I'm an outlander, and I'm sure you're aware others came in with me. We talked things out and decided that having a healer that could help us all in our travels would be a better idea than having no healer."
She eyed you dubiously. "And ownership of Dia would go to...?"
This time it's you who pushed back, stepping towards her. "Me, exclusively and in every sense of the word." It takes you a second to realize you actually felt slightly insulted at her insinuation.
Another moment of hesitation.
But your concern of having potentially aggravated her was for nought, apparently, she found your response appropriate. "Very well, I honestly didn't expect you'd pull off something like this and..." A thoughtful look crossed her face. "I think I'll have my girls print out some posters to promote new tamers to move in groups rather than alone, maybe that way I'll have fewer idiots to patch up or bury."
"Yes, really." She replied.
"No, I mean..." You hesitated. "This has not been done before? Why wasn't 'move as a group' something to be promoted?"
"Because of salvage probably." She replied. "Tamers couldn't really trust their 'buds' wouldn't challenge them most of the time." A pause, a derisive snort. "Also because teenagers that feel cocksure and want to fuck their monstergirls in private... philosophy for another time, I'll just look for some way to try and promote it again. Anyway..."
She extended her hand towards you, expecting something, but you only blinked as you looked at it.
"Your dex." She stated.
Oh. You give it over, unlocking it for her, and she grabs something that looks like a sturdier version of the dex from her pocket. Typing something into her dex she then touches it up against yours. There's a beep.
"Confirm the purchase."
Bringing up your dex you see Dia's information sheet, her breed was a Rapha, and it showed she had four years worth of medical experience in a medical centre. Purchase price of 50K SLC.
You hit agree.
Your dex beeps and Dia appears under your "team" tab, you change her status to non-combatant that very instant.
The doctor noticed and nodded at that.
"Come with me." Doctor Hale stated, and this time guided you to what was undoubtedly an office, albeit one that looked very run down, barely used at all. "This is Dia's sphere." She showed you a normal looking ball with Dia's name and a number put on it. "This ball is not permitted for tamers, I suggest you smash it and then catch her with one of your own. Thing is, if you smash this ball now she'd scan as 'open season' until caught on another capture sphere."
"That any tamer can ball her up. He'd get into trouble, but you could very well end up with a day or two with her in that person's harem for him to do anything he wants until she's finally handed over." Hale spoke drily.
"Hate it, but that's how things work here." She spoke firmly. "Don't forget, monstergirls are objects here."
"I'll... I'll keep that in mind." You nodded.
"Good." She said as you pocketed the red and white sphere. "And with that one great nurse will hit the road..." Doctor Hale sighed and then shot you a weary look. "Make sure to come here with her tomorrow, I have some words for her."
"Good." She declared. "Now shoo, I'll probably find something that needs to get done soon."
"Thank you." You nod at her as she returns the gesture and you leave.
Your steps take you to your room, and there's just something about it that feels different than the last time you'd been in it.
You felt like things weren't so out of hand or out of control for once. Or that you were now truly feeling as if this new life you were taking wasn't just bleak death and being cornered. It left you wanting to do anything BUT stay here cooped up and counting the minutes for the date with Dia.
You pondered, there was nothing immediately necessary, so that left with things you could do either out of curiosity or something new.
As far as you could think, there had got to be a library in here somewhere, right? You start walking around, leaving the medical centre, but asking over at the reception desk. The black-haired receptionist made a vague indication and added a vague direction, you couldn't quite trust it, but still. You stepped outside and started walking.
And walking. And dammit, where the fuck was this place? Had the girl at the receptionist desk misled you intentionally?
You eventually relent and ask someone for help.
They point you to a single lone house barely a block away, it had only one floor, and nothing else to it except a signpost that read "Library" next to the door. Was this the best that could be aspired for a town this small? Or was it that it was just this bad in the monstergirl world? You hoped it was only due to the town being too small for anything larger to be there.
"Aaaahhhh~!" A cry drew your attention, and you sharply turned to see someone as she stood near the left corner.
"Oh yes, tame that bitch ha-ahEEK!" The young woman noticed your presence and her hand abruptly pulled out of from inside her underwear. "Oh shit. I'm so sorry, we barely have any people and..."
"Don't. Just... erm, I'll give you a minute." You sighed, shaking your head.
You took the opportunity to look around, there was barely maybe a hundred or two books? Only half of the house was dedicated to books, the other half was behind a wall and a door with a sign of "authorized personnel only". This looked like a place that had been built out of a hobby more than anything else. There was also a computer near the corner, but it looked odd, the screen was completely flat and there was no keyboard, only a mouse. A modified television perhaps?
"Hello, sir." The girl bowed her head, blushing up a storm as you turned back to look at her once certain she'd adjusted herself back to normalcy.
"Is this the library? The town's library?"
"The one and only, sir." She nodded meekly.
"I'm looking for books that could help a new tamer; stuff about hunting and taming and general advice?" You ask politely.
"Uh... is it for your son perhaps?" She inquired. "Usually the Tamer's guide for dummies works best."
"...anything more advanced?" You wondered.
"Maybe? There are not many books on that." She gestured at the leftmost shelf. "You should be able to find something there."
"Thank you, miss." With a sigh, you head over to the wall and begin looking around for something useful.
Listlessly, your mind begins to look through the feeble wall of what you now realize are a lot of raunchy novels under the guise of "romance" and "training for tamers". It seemed what you were looking for would not be found amongst the papers on the wall. Looking about, you then glanced at the terminal and went to look at what it held.
The screen came to life when you moved the mouse, and right away you had to blink, the interface was... it looked very sleek.
You notice the menus and begin to click about.
You were very quickly surprised.
It seemed to hold in its memory-banks copies of the entirety of what, to you, looked like the internet. You continued to click, blog posts, forums, government pages... everything had a "Last updated" detail next to it, copies? Did people download a whole copy of the internet every so often? Maybe it was only for certain pages and websites.
Still, it was A LOT of websites that had been stored up on the computer... or maybe not many at all, now that you thought about it.
There was also a timer "Time for next update" on the upper right corner. Currently, that was eight hours away.
You began to look a little more earnestly.
Your exploration took some hours, but eventually, your clicking about led you to a forum dedicated to feline monstergirls, one of many. Many many many. Because of course there would be, it was the internet, and it seemed some constants were present in all worlds.
There was one particular topic that specifically asked about the "rowdier" feline monstergirls and how to handle them. You had a bit of trouble deciphering the lingo and memes (what few there were, and they sucked), but eventually, you managed to get some tangible information that was of use for you.
For the most part, it boiled down to how feline monstergirls in general couldn't really be 'kept on a leash'. Over and over the pages and forums described how you could curve certain bad habits, but in the end it came down to which specifically you focused on.
This 'issue' was larger with feral-borns since they tended to have trouble understanding the desire or nature of orders in the first place. The page went into detail that though there were several approaches in varying degrees of... seriousness. The one that most had agreed on was to put their girl through a level 3 or 4, to then put them through their paces once they popped out and were in the 'stunned' phase, using food, attention, or even sex as a reward fo compliance.
"Results may vary" was plastered all over.
The page then continued on talking about the "animal feral state", and the memes were coming back and forth all over the place. You had to sigh inwardly as you leaned back on the chair, trying to think about this whole affair, about Monica... you had long passed the point of decision, you were going to take that interrogation tomorrow so you could get her back.
But what then?
As much as you knew the website was a forum and not some fountain of undeniable truth, you knew Monica was a risk. Irene's words had struck a chord, you could very well die if you entered a situation where Monica opted to take the lead in one direction and you aimed things another.
That... was something you'd have to address right away, even if not right now.
Sighing, you checked the clock, still an hour to go before the date, maybe you could do a bit more quick research... or maybe not. You figure that it's just better to head back now, take a good long shower, try to prepare as best you could given the feeble circumstances and limited (nill) funds.
Also the total lack of change of clothes.
You grimaced and went back to the medical centre.
By the time you had finished, and ten minutes earlier than the agreed-upon time, there was a knock at the door.
She looked like she'd tried to wrestle a typhoon and lost. "Sir, I am sorry for the delay, but please wait for me at the entrance. I will be as quick as I can." She proclaimed, emphatically trying to stress that she very-much expected to be slightly late.
"Don't worry." You said. "I can wait."
A nod and she rushed off.
Chuckling a little, you remembered a time when you'd been young, juggling several jobs and a love-life. You could guess more than once you'd looked exactly as desperate as Dia had seemed just seconds ago. You took the chance to try and look more presentable, even if you couldn't pick a different set of clothes.
At the entrance, you waited for maybe half an hour. That was when you noticed Dia stepping out of the sliding doors.
"Hello, sir." She declared, smiling albeit slightly nervously, blushing marginally as she tried to adjust her hair. "I am sorry for making you wait."
"Nonsense." You wave her worries away, making sure to nod in approval. "You look spectacular, the wait was worth it. Even if I'm... a bit not up to the task in clothing choices."
"Th-thank you, sir." She blushed. "I'd been saving it for a special occasion." She looked at you, reaching out and touching your shirt with a hand, appreciative. "If sir had anything fancier, I might have been too smitten to be able to speak."
You almost stumble at her clear use of flattery, a little nervousness wormed down your back as you looked at her. Was this normal here? "Thanks, how about we walk?" As you say this, you try not to push her little comment away and enjoy it as you toss and turn it inside your head for a moment longer.
"I like this." Dia whispered, wrapping her arms around your chest as you began heading down the road, seeming to just swell with pride whenever someone looked her way.
"I do too." You leaned to kiss on the crown of her head.
And inwardly, you began to wonder how you were going to tell her the good news.
Feeling her squeezing you in a hug as she walked, you decided you'd make sure it would be when it could get the biggest smile out of her.