A Space Reserved, and Forgotten.

Lyntael has recently acquired the right permissions to make edits of her own to her home space, and after a few cautious edits to test things, she has taken the time to begin fully redesigning the place to actually resemble something of a home. If this is a first visit, or if you're following her story from the beginning, the space which she had no choice but to call home looked like this:

Lyntael's Original Homepage
A homepage would be the wrong word to describe the space that Lyntael spent much of her time these days. The data-space, served directly by Rogan's PET, far more resembled something automatically reserved and registered, but then forgotten about completely, if he had even been aware of it in the first place.

The area was large enough, really, visually perhaps the size of a small one-bedroom apartment, but any amount of size only made the lack of, well, anything, all the more apparent. It was barely eight feet from cool metallic floor to the equally featureless blue metal ceiling, and the walls that enclosed the rectangular space were no better; cold steel, and blank. All the surfaces bore the tell-tale electronic patterning of an unformed, undecorated and unloved data-space. One end of the room held a slight partition; walls that cut in to a doorless entry-way, shoeboxing off a tiny part of the space and making the rest of the room perfectly square. It may have been intended to be a separate, private space, or bedroom possibly, but just as no attention had been paid to anything else in the space, so too was this nothing more than a blank template.

If that had been all, it might have simply been unremarkable, forgotten data, tucked away in the possession of someone with no use for it, unneeded and unmaintained. As it was, however, the space bore some very slight, tragic, signs of actually being lived in. In one corner of the not-really bedroom, squared tight and neat into the corner itself on the ground, a simple terminal rested, blue interface screen glowing with its normal passive constancy. Just beside it, in a small, neat pile were several data sheaves, each containing saved data for what appear to be concepts for .GMOs, partially worked on but as yet unfinished. Working at the terminal itself would be uncomfortably difficult for anyone much larger than a child, without seats or other furniture to speak of, and even a child would probably need to sit hunched, or else lie out flat to work comfortably.

Opposite the terminal, at the other end of the tiny partition, the visible outline of a rectangle could be seen on the floor. Two sides formed by the wall itself, the outline was maybe two feet across and perhaps five long, with the outer two sides being formed by what appeared to be a long, pale yellow ribbon. Text scrolled along the ribbon's length in a light blue script, and the object looked to be a message of some sort, converted to its current form by Lyntael herself. The text reads, from one end to the other: "Good luck with Rogan, and take good care of yourself as well. Wherever you go, remember, you are loved. -Caminus, Servare and Eric."

The main room of the space, if it could really be called so, had nothing at all to remark it, save a view-panel that served as interface to the the PETs actual screen. A small panel with several controls, on the wall just beside the screen, likely allowed Lyn, or potentially any guest she might have, to alter the levels of input and feedback the screen would display, but upon closer inspection most of them, save absolute on or off, are currently not activated for use.

Now, however, the space is much changed and far more hospitable to a young girl.

Guests arrive in a moderately sized living space, by way of a link pad on one side of the room. It is set on a platform that is raised a few short steps from the floor, leading up to a large view screen that still serves as the interface between the internal home page and the outside of the PET. The room itself seems subtly more spacious now, despite more decoration. A pale yellow plush carpet covers the floor in patterns vaguely reminiscent of curling wind, and the majority of the central floor space is open and clear.

Viewed from the screen, the left wall houses a number of small book cases, most of which seem to be lined with collections of freely acquired e-books in physical format. A door part way along is closed over, but it made of a warm-coloured wood with a silver handle, and bears more of the wind-curl motifs around the edges.

Further along the wall, a second doorway, in the corner, opens into a smaller second room just large enough for a two-person couch on one wall, a small side table next to it, and a single armchair in the next corner, with the remaining wall holding another book case. Only a small amount of carpet space remains in this square room, but it feels quite cosy. The doorway itself has no door, but a rolled up cloth drape rests above the frame, and when it is let down it appears to completely block all sound in both directions. The wall space contains two posters; prints of a coupe of ancient renaissance-era abstract artworks.

The main living area also holds a long, comfortable couch, easily enough for three or possibly four people at a squeeze, against the back wall and with a low coffee table set just in front of it. The coffee table is the same wood as the other visible fixtures, but it also has a neat table cloth running the central length of it, as well as a small stack of circular coasters on one corner. The rack beneath the table serves as storage for what looks like a number of board and party games, including a selection from mental and puzzle games, to chance games, to some of the more physical games involving mats and spinners. Most of these things wouldn't normally come in full physical versions, but Lyntael seems to have searched more specifically for them in this manner, whether conscious or not.

To the right, another open doorway with its own sound cloth screen, leads into a sleek, modern kitchen space with smooth counter-tops, an in-built stove and oven and a food preparation space with a selection of in-built self-cleaning controls set above the splash-back. A switch near the door frame controls lights and extractors, while further along, one part of the counter is dedicated to an electric kettle and a selection of mugs. One, large and blue with a series of storm clouds rolling around the sides, sits slightly apart from the rest and seems to be the more commonly used one. The cupboard above this area contains mostly different teas, though the majority of them are herbal in nature. Opposite, a silver-panelled refrigerator is set into the wall, alongside the entry way into a small, many-shelved pantry space.

A further door leading off from the living room, also on the right wall, is closed currently, and featureless, but it leads into a room that is slightly longer than it is broad, and contains a laundry area. As well as both a sleek and efficient-looking washer and dryer, a folded up airing rack and a sink with a few lines stretched above it for drip drying comprise the left wall, while the right is blank save for a second door, directly inside the first, leading into a surprisingly fancy bathroom. Controls near the door handle both heat-lights and steam extractors, as well as the heated flooring — aside from two small circular rugs, the floor of the bathroom is white-tiled. A bath takes up one corner of the room, seemingly complete with spa and bubble settings, while a frosted-glass-walled walk-in shower occupies the opposite corner. Near the door, a wash basin and mirror are devoid of the expected cosmetic supplies, but a manicure set rests to one side of the sink, and the drawers below contain other self-care products. The back right corner of the bathroom is sectioned off to provide further privacy for other amenities.

The other closed door in the living area leads into Lyntael's own bedroom. It is much the same size as it was, but the extra decorations make it much more of a cosy, safe space. The same carpet covers the floor here, and the walls have a few posters with scenic shots of different networks. The space where the rectangular ribbon had previously been laid out now holds a proper, though still small, single bed with a wooden frame and four solid posts. Whites and yellows dominate the sheets and quilts, and both pillows. The ribbon itself is now set above the bed, on the side wall, where its message is easy to read for someone lying in the bed, if they wish.

A small bedside table near the head of the bed holds a book, and on a small shelf below it, the few small mementos that Lyntael has kept as personal treasures from her outings. The far wall has a writing desk now. Though it is long enough for two separate working spaces, one is clearly for writing and other manual works, while the other supports her access terminal in a much more user-friendly situation now. The room also holds another, much smaller book case, and a shelf that, as yet, doesn't have much on it, but seems like it might be intended to hold niceties for visual display at some point. A full length mirror is fitted to the wall alongside a tall dresser, which now seems to contain the permanently actualised renders of all of Lyntael's clothing and outfits. A single drawer set into a shelving section of the wardrobe contains several sets of smallclothes, and one very fancy, set of tastefully suggestive lingerie tailored to flatter her slight frame, folded up right at the bottom.

A new door in the back right corner of the room is shut, but leads into a smaller, though no less luxurious en suite bathroom, complete with a shower of its own, necessary amenities, as well as a medicine cabinet affixed to the wall alongside the wash basin and mirror.

Lyntael does not appear to be home at the moment, but her bed is neatly made, and the kitchen shows signs of recent use, though it's all been neatly cleaned up — a plate is in the drying rack by the sink and the blue tea mug is upside down beside it.
((Lyntael returning from => Sharo Net))

Lyntael herself staggered forward a few steps, groaning roughly and shaking herself out as the unstable light beam deposited her in the middle of the the blank space that served as the main open area of her home PET. If she had been mentally fogged up and detached from extreme cold before, the rough and uncomfortable trip of the emulated transit was more than enough to bring all of her senses screaming back to life. Most notably, she was cold, wet, freezing, uncomfortable, and more cold. She had stumbled a few steps towards the doorway to her 'room' before she realised that she'd brought friends with her. She spun around properly once she noticed, hands coming up to her face. Her mittens really were sodden... she ignored it for now.

"Oh light, I'm sorry! I wasn't thinking! I didn't realise you were all still, um... I- I wasn't really focused and I didn't think about whether you were clear of me." Some part of the trip back, and the more normalised temperature of the space had let her regain normal control of her voice, somewhat, and for now she was just freezing cold in unpleasant frosty clothes, rather than actually in shock. She glanced back to the smaller cut off space and then back to her accidentally kidnapped friends.

"I'm really sorry. I just have to change and get dry. I won't take long, I promise!" For the moment she seemed torn between staying to appease the impromptu guests, and darting away to change. As it was, she'd be lucky to actually get much in the way of privacy; the space consisted of a single large, featureless and unadorned blank space, with a partition at one end, cutting off a smaller, equally blank section, with an open doorway where a door would probably go, if the space were more than a template.
While Lyntael stumbled out of the transfer, Eternalis and friends weren't as fortunate in making their way through the emulated uplink, and ended up on the floor, barely able to move after the sudden transfer. Eternalis and Aurora were attempting to get back up on their feet as their bodies twitched from the area shift. Sparky fared a lot worse, laying in Aurora's lap and whimpering softly.

"Nnnngh... What was that...? I think I hurt all over," grumbled Eternalis. It was an odd kind of pain--not the type that he sustained from battle damage, but something that raked at his internals. Memories resurfaced of his glitched incident, and he shivered slightly. At that moment, Lyntael had realized her error, apologizing profusely and promptly running off before he could get a word in edgewise. "Ah, wai--never mind," he muttered, watching the sodden-looking girl scamper away. He turned towards the other members of his party, concerned for them as well. "You two all right?"

Sparky answered with a faint whine, while Aurora returned the question with a pained grunt. Eventually, the girl managed to squeak out an actual reply. "I'm alright, but... ow... That should've just been a network transfer, but I feel like I just got dragged through a tunnel of glass shards," said Aurora, through pained breaths. What kind of botched transfer did Lyntael just initiate, and did she go through the experience they'd just gone through every time she went into the network? It seemed like the more she learned about Lyntael, the more pitiable she found her, despite the poor girl's insistence towards the contrary. She reached down to cradle the pup in her lap, which responded in kind, nuzzling against her hand as she tried to console it from what had just occurred.

A brief look around the area only served to amplify the notion. True to her words from before, she had nothing that could be called a proper living space, with nothing but a blank space that consisted of metallic surfaces. A partition cordoned off a small section of the area, where Lyntael had secluded herself in, but other than that, there was absolutely nothing to make the space look vaguely livable. "It's worse than a prison cell..." she mused. She made a mental note to send over a few shelves of books that they had already read after the excursion was over.

Though she was still barely sitting up, Eternalis was already on his feet. She noticed something odd about the Navi--he hadn't yet shifted back to his normal form. She observed before that usually, when battle routines were over, Crosses were automatically disengaged. Perhaps it had something to do with how they had been forcefully transported. Eternalis himself didn't seem to have noticed anything, and was currently looking around at... nothing in particular, due to the scarcity of things to look at. His eyes naturally were drawn to the one item in the room, which was the partition, and even that was relatively featureless. Now, there was nothing to do but to wait.
As the others collected themselves and bemoaned the rough ride, Lyntael hovered, caught between wanting to apologise more and explain, and needing to get out of her wet things. In the end she tried to do a little of both, ducking away into the divided section and hurriedly beginning to peel off her outfit.

"I'm so sorry! Um... I don't, really have, ah, anything to..." there was a pause amidst a couple of sounds of effort. "Anything to offer you. I've, um, I've never brought anyone else here, I didn't mean to!" Which would be an easy enough sentiment to believe, all things considered. In the still space, the sounds of wet clothing shifting and dropping to the ground was clear enough, but she kept mostly out of sight while she attempted to reassure them both with hurried words.

Getting the boots and mittens off had been the first hurdle; her limbs were still a little clumsy from the cold and the gloves weren't meant for dexterity to begin with. Eventually, with some tugging, she managed to get the gloves off, and from there it was much quicker and easier to pull off her scarf and hat, and drop them in a small pile along with the ear muffs. Getting her boots off took an extra few moments, but revealed just how thoroughly the water had penetrated through to soak her socks. She felt a little more like herself once they were off and she could wiggle her toes again, and make sure nothing was frozen. Time in the controlled neutral environment was quickly getting her back to something of a normal temperature; it was a relief to unfasten the belt and pull herself out of the main robe part of her winter gear, and it too joined the pile of shed things.

Not wanting to leave her accidental guests too long in the empty space with nothing at all to do, Lyntael ducked across the partition quickly and crouched down, doing something at the terminal on the ground for a moment that caused it to materialised a thick towel for her to begin drying off with. the terminal itself, while still inside the smaller 'room', was still in a position that she wouldn't be able to use it without being visible from the main room as well, but when she stood and turned back, hanging in the door frame briefly and scrubbing at her hair, the others would see that she was still decent under the robe that she'd discarded.

Rather, the girl looked to be wearing a cut down and simplified version of the clothes that they had first encountered her wearing. The vest was a bit smaller and thinner, and it clung to her chest from being wet; the buckles were just small snaps on this version and one of them had already come undone just from the tugging of her pulling other clothes off. In between towelling her hair, Lyntael was also pulling off a white shrug that had previously covered her arms down to the wrists, connecting over the back of her shoulders. Aside the vest, she was just in the thermal under leggings that had peeked out between the robe and her boots before. They had the same skin-tight dampness problem, and defined her legs and lower body very clearly. Now that she was safe, however, Lyntael seemed to be collecting herself a bit more. She dried her hair and worked at pulling the shrug off her arms while she tried to play host at the same time, lingering in the door frame.

"I'm really sorry about the transfer... are you all alright? It's, um... it's a bit rough, when I have to do it myself like that." A second snap on her vest tugged open as she stretched her arms out, getting the shrug off her wrists and throwing it back to the growing pile of wet clothes. Lyntael, still with the towel over part of her head, didn't really notice.

"It's only an emulated link, when I do it that way... it's not a proper connection at all, really. The first few times it took me minutes to pull myself together, after it. It's smoother when Rogan is modulating it from the other side, but it's still pretty uncomfortable." There was a moment where she pouted briefly, looking over the trio of others unexpectedly in her sorry excuse for a home.

"I wish I could offer you hot drinks, or something... but I just don't have anything here." After a moment, she brightened. "But I'll be able to fix that soon, right?" Still drying herself off, Lyntael cast an eye over the group for a brief moment, seeming to consider, then swiftly, and without any real fuss, began peeling off her thermal leggings as well. There was still a pair of equally frost-soaked underwear beneath them, and her eye had lingered an extra moment on Etneralis, unsure, but she didn't seem uncomfortable now, and was more interested in getting herself dry an out of her wet things, while still tyring to maintain conversation with them. She kept making small attempts at conversation while she bent to dry her legs.

"It's like you said, Aurora... I have actually got a few more permissions now, just recently, so, I think you're right, and I'll be able to do something here, too, so maybe this space will look better soon. That would be nice..." By the time she stood straight again, the last snap on her under vest had come open, but thanks to the way the garment was clinging wetly to her chest it didn't exactly shift or fall open at all and just continued to sit against her skin, highlighting the modest swell of her chest. She reached for it next, but hesitated and turned her back before pulling it off and starting to dry her torso.

"I... I should probably explain a bit more, shouldn't I? It's kinda to do with Rogan's work though..." the tone of her musing sounded like she very much wanted to justify her actions and explain what had happened more clearly to them, especially since they'd ended up going through the pain of the transfer without warning, but she was a bit hesitant to launch right into it. The PET wasn't playing any of the sounds of Rogan's conversation with Harke and Karen to them, and she knew that it wasn't relaying either, so they could talk safely, but if Rogan looked this way now, he'd see they were misbehaving and she didn't want to add "talking about things she shouldn't" to that as well, at least not until she was somewhere she knew he couldn't hear.

"I-It's fine, really, we'll just be here for a little bit, after all," said Eternalis, while their impromptu host scrambling about hesitantly before choosing to leave the room to make herself more presentable. It made no real difference to him, but the room was a lot warmer than Sharo, now that his senses were clearer after surviving the harrowing transfer. At least Aurora and Sparky would be recovering a little from the cold weather they had gone through, he thought, looking over towards the two, who were currently still in the middle of recovering.

He busied himself with looking around the room for a moment once again, trying to find the slightest interesting tidbit to focus on; anything to distract himself from the thought of looking over towards the open doorway with all of the noise made by the shuffling clothes. After about the second time staring up at the featureless ceiling, he sighed quietly to himself and glanced over to see if Lyntael was done.

Unfortunately, the moment he chose to look over was when Lyntael started talking again, when Lyntael was drying her hair off. His normally golden-colored face carried a slight hint of red, and he hesitated about covering his eyes for a moment. Thankfully, he didn't have to answer to her for the moment, as someone else picked up the torch. "We're fine now, I think, just need a bit to recoup," answered Aurora from the side with a grimacing smile, with a weaker bark from Sparky. Massaging her temple slightly, she commented, "An emulated link--I see, I don't think I've seen one in action before, but I can see why now."

As soon as she began to take off the lower parts of her garments, however, both Aurora and Eternalis were definitely taken by surprise. The latter in particular didn't really know where to look, eventually opting to simply direct his sight towards Aurora with a bewildered expression, who matched it with a similar look of her own. Words were unneeded in the exchange of thoughts as they were synchronized in complete bafflement as to what to do. A small hand gesture conveyed from Aurora told Eternalis all that was needed, and he sat back down with his eyes turned away, while Aurora shot up to attention, ignoring the pain that it brought her that was akin to pins and needles from a numbed limb.

"We won't need anything like that! It's okay! Not thirsty!" she blurted out, walking over to the doorway to block off what could be seen by the other two in the hallway. Sparky seemed to have other ideas, however, running up to the doorway after Aurora and barking in glee, wondering if there was something fun beyond it. Aurora's expression scrunched up slightly as the pup slipped in between her feet, but she couldn't quite do anything about it for now. "Y-Yeah, an explanation would be nice, but um, let's just finish up with getting you out of those, alright? I can help. Come on, wouldn't want your operator to notice," she said, trying to usher Lyntael further into the room partition where she wouldn't be able to be seen.
Half split between trying to maintain conversation and still get herself dry and change,d Lyntael jumped slightly, startled, when Aurora moved up behind her and began chaperoning her into what passed for her bedroom to help with changing. She wasn't uncomfortable with the idea or the offer of help, but Aurora would still notice that she flinched away any time she actually reached out to touch her directly, even if it was just a guiding hand or two to move her along.

"Ah, y-yeah... Sure. She moved through more completely back into the smaller space, with Aurora following. She didn't really feel like she minded at all, but it was only once she was properly out of sight from the small girl that Eternalis currently was that Lyntael realised she would have felt uncomfortable changing the rest of the way, in away that she wasn't feeling with just Aurora with her. Sparky didn't count, of course. Without meaning to, she relaxed a little bit. It was very confusing.

Upon stepping through the gap, Aurora would be able to see that the small shoe-box section was a bedroom in theoretical name only. It lacked features or details in the same way that the larger space did, save for the single terminal, and, in the far back corner, what looked like a strip of ribbon on the ground. It had been placed and folded carefully at a right angle, to form a rectangular shape with walls as the other two sides, about two feet across and a little over five long. There was writing on the ribbon that Aurora would be able to read if she looked a little closer.

Lyntael herself didn't pay any direct heed to it, though it was obvious that it had been deliberately placed and set out. Instead, the girl turned back to Aurora and let her have half the towel to assist with drying, like she'd offered. There was no hesitation this time when she turned back around; it seemed like her hesitation had been focused mostly on Eternalis. Without her vest or any other covering on, albeit momentarily obscured by towel, her proportions weren't as entirely flat as it had looked in her winter clothes but it would still be a reach to call what she had breasts; definitely feminine, and with a clear softness and growth to them as she dried off, but Aurora had probably met guys with larger pecs. Lyntael moved down, quckly slipping out of her soaked underwear as well and tossing them to the other wet things as she started to dry her more personal areas — that much she definitely made sure to do herself, despite her comfort with Aurora's presence.

"I didn't really want to leave her... um... him... ah... Eternalis, there alone, but..." her voice was a quiet whisper that only Aurora, and possibly Sparky, were likely to hear. "I mean... is he, um, as woman now, or... I'm just really confused... I'm sorry." As she finished drying, and gave her hair and shoulders a last once over, Aurora would also get a glance at her likely unexpected grooming downstairs, though Lyntael herself was more focused on looking across tot he console, which would require stepping in front of the partition again. She wrapped the towel about herself then darted across to it, kneeling down to begin going through a few options. Eternalis would be able to see the girl in profile as she sorted things out, towel covering her from armpit to thigh decently.

"Won't be long," She spoke at normal volume again this time. "Just getting some proper clothes..." As she did this, the pile of wet things dispersed, then reformed next to the console, now dry and neatly folded, then disintegrated away. A few moments later they were replaced by other garments, as well as a shoulder bag and a few other accessories. She stood carefully, picking them up with one hand while holding her towel with the other, and glanced out to give Eternalis an apologetic smile, then darted back again. She let the used towel go and tossed it off towards the terminal, where it promptly dissolved, then handed some of her armful of things to Aurora.

"Could you just pack those things while I get dressed quickly?" The bundle that Aurora was handed consisted of a short-handled shoulder bag, and two towels — one thick and fluffy for drying, and one larger and flatter, for lying out. There was also a water bottle, a bottle of sunscreen, some rub-on insect repellent and a pair of tinted sun shades in the bag already, but along with the towels was a fresh change of Lyntael's default outfit, which was in reality just her skirt, vest and a clean pair of underwear, as well as a bathing suit, which looked like a fairly simple two-piece bikini with string ties, both of which were presumable meant to be packed in as well. It looked like there'd be ample room though. Lyntael filled up some more of the silence as she quickly started pulling on the clothes she intended to wear, starting with a set of cute, pale yellow underwear.

"The link is just because... well, sometimes when Rogan needs to jack me in somewhere, it's... you know..." she was speaking loud enough for Eternalis to hear as well now, though there was a secretive tone to her voice. "It's some place where I shouldn't be, or where he doesn't want any record of me being there... Or it's a network that's closed and doesn't normally accept foreign jack-in signals, or isn't set up to receive them, or things like that. Places where he can't just jack me in normally for whatever reason." She held up the other part of her new outfit in front of herself, looking it over once, then shook it out and flipped it around, bunching it up so she could put her arms in and pull the breezy-looking dress over her head. The dress and underpants seemed to be all that the outfit was comprised of, with no bra in sight, but given the lack of any such garment in any of her other clothing, Aurora could probably guess that Lyntael simply didn't need one most of the time.

"So, he uses that instead. It's not a real connection... without a proper jack-in signal, it's like I'm not really connected at all, not properly. Audio and visual tracks with me, and I can do jamming, masking or tracing work for whatever Rogan is doing, and he can see my details and things like that, but I think most of the other functions don't work, because I'm not really 'in' properly, you know?" That explanation might answer at least in part why Rogan never bothered with support for his navi, but the way Lyntael has said it might suggest to Aurora that other important things, like the emergency system, probably weren't online in those cases either. Lyntael looked to be a little uncomfortable with the explanation, but not from any sense of danger — she looked more upset by the admission that Rogan's activities, and by extension hers, were often not strictly legal.

"How do I look?" She was just smoothing down the dress and was holding a broad-brimmed sun hat in one hand now as well, though she hadn't put it on yet. Her feet were bare, and the dress looked light and breezy, and possibly a little bit on the thin side. Aurora would be able to see the shape of the girl's figure through it, but it was still decent and was suitably opaque, more or less. It was a very simple cut that lacked advanced tailoring, but was mostly just supported by its shoulder straps. The neck came down low enough to show her emblem, but no further.

Once Lyntael began to comply more with a bit of basic decency once more, Aurora visibly relaxed, and took the other end of the towel that was offered to her with a wry sigh. Her tenseness began to melt away as Lyntael's did, and she set about wiping off the smaller girl's shoulders and arms that had been soaked through from the cold. The skin felt delicate and cool to the touch, but she could still feel the undercurrent of electrical activity crackling actively underneath. It hit her again as to how uncontrollable the energy was to her, and how easy things were for her in comparison.

"A bit of misplaced politeness there, ahaha. We'll be fine," said Aurora, having finished what little she could with helping Lyntael dry off. She then proceeded to give Lyntael a rough pat on the head; with the slight height difference between them, she was at least able to do so to try and reassure the rather jumpy girl. In the meantime, with the space that she had harded them into being so small, her eyes couldn't help but linger about the smaller boxed in space. At first glance, it seemed like a smaller closet-like area, but it looked more like something of a work area, now that she looked at it again. A tiny nook in the already small space, she saw the little strip of ribbon that was set up. She was a bit unsure as to whether she was meant to read it as she parsed what was written on it.

She was glad she did, however, as a small bit of relief washed over her. At the very least, she knew now that Lyntael wasn't some stolen property or the like, and that she had been transferred over to her current operator with knowledge of her previous caretakers, by the looks of it. With how he treated her, however, he wondered whether it had been a willing transfer on either end. It was hard to stifle her curiosity, but she supposed she could ask about it later if they had time. Right now, they were going off somewhere a little less gloomy and cold, and she didn't want to dampen anyone's spirits in transit.

A little whisper from Lyntael brought her to attention, in the form of a half-hearted query. At least, it sounded like it. The question of whether Eternalis really did turn into a female--it was hard to answer that when he didn't look like an actual man in the first place. She stole a glance at Eternalis, whose diminutive form was huddled in a corner with his hands over his eyes, which didn't help matters in the least, due to the translucent nature of his body. It didn't really matter in the end, since any chance at a view of any incriminating bits were sufficiently blocked off, but it still made her giggle. "To be honest, I don't know what he is myself now... Oh, why don't you ask him and we can find out together?" she said in amusement.

After being handed a few things to pack, she gave them a quick once-over. Nothing much outside of the usual beach fare, along with a change of clothes and some beach wear. Packing them in as she was requested to, she idly watched Lyntael change out of the corner of her eye. The concept of physically changing clothes seemed odd to her, considering that the way Model Overrides worked. Glancing at the pair of undergarments that she was packing into the bag, it occurred to her that she had been wearing her suit for as long as she had been restored from deep freeze, and she never really bothered with them before. After all, neither the suit she was wearing nor any of the outfits Tail had provided her thus far needed them. Her mind drifted slightly to the thought of finding some herself--perhaps she could show them off to a certain someone... But where exactly? Asking Tail for the outfit she had earlier had already been embarrassing enough, especially when she had to explain what exactly she needed it for. ... In the first place, did Eternalis even have "normal" tastes?

The explanation Lyntael gave rather quickly went over her head, with a blank expression taking over her face as she continued to think about this and that. Meanwhile, at the other end of the room Eternalis heard it rather clearly, with his face still hidden behind his hands (again, rather ineffectually, but it was the thought that counted...) and his brow creasing as she continued the explanation. "I-I'd guess the bumpy ride is because the signal is so restricted... I guess that makes sense. W-We have to go through the link again to go back out to the net, right?" he asked rather timidly. If they were going through again, he wanted to at least be ready to brace for it. A pitter of tiny steps came up to him and pawed at his side. He withdrew the "cover" of his hands from his face and turned to see Sparky at his side, looking a little concerned. Perhaps the way he was curled up in the corner made the pup think something was wrong. Eternalis patted the pup to reassure him, though he also wondered how Sparky was going to handle the trip back as well.

On the other end of the room, Aurora was quickly brought out of her fugue by Lyntael's question about her opinion on her outfit. "Huh? Oh!" she said, being greeted by the girl in what appeared to be a simple yellow sundress. She clapped her hands together with a joyful smile. "My, that looks nice!" she said, turning around to prevent herself from obstructing the doorway any longer. "Eternalis, it's all clear now," she said. Eternalis perked up at the mention of his name, and turned from giving Sparky his attention for the moment.

He reacted with similar joyful surprise. "A-Ah, alright. Oh, that does look nice! But... you're not going to change yet, Aurora?" said Eternalis, tilting his head.

"I'm going to change at the beach later. I could say the same about you--you've been in that form for a while now," replied Aurora.

Eternalis looked down at himself, and jumped. "Oh! Y-You're right," said Eternalis, who was then immediately covered in a shining light. However, when the light receded, his form didn't change--it still took on the shape of a girl made of golden slime. "H-Huh? That's weird, I can't disengage it... Um," he mumbled, before trying again, this time clamping his eyes shut and seeming to focus quite hard. The second time his body was enveloped in light, it enlarged back to his normal blue form. He examined himself, and exhaled in relief. "Alright, got it. Whew."

"Don't scare me like that," laughed Aurora nervously.
Properly dry and mostly warmed up and dressed again, the general atmosphere in the space had tangibly improved for Lyntael, despite the featureless and unfriendly setting. Aurora's confession of equal uncertainty brought a small, stifled giggle in return, and the smaller woman covered her mouth. Hearing the compliment to her outfit made her positively beam for a moment or two, eyes twinkling as she bounced on her toes. It was so rarely that she really got a chance to show off any of the costumes that she designed, and rarer still that she ever really heard any feed back from other people on them, so hearing even a simple approval from Aurora washed away most of her lingering concerns.

"Thank you! I make all my own clothes, or, um I design them at least and code them up. I don't know how to do actual tailoring, but I do put a lot of work into them!" She accepted the bag back from Aurora once everything was packed in and slipped the handles over one shoulder as she moved quickly back into the main chamber. Seeing Eternalis brighten with enthusiasm almost made her as happy as hearing the second appraisal for her outfit and she grinned, neat white teeth flashing for a few moments while everyone else sorted themselves out.

She was just thinking about asking if either of them had intended to change for the beach as well, when Eternalis asked the same question. It occurred to Lyntael only a few moments later that it would likely be a much simpler task for each of them anyway, with no worries about privacy or changing spaces. She doubled checked her things while the pair discussed it, though her grin faltered briefly while it looked like her friend was having trouble reverting his form, and a part of Lyntael was also a bit sad to see it go, since she'd wanted to inspect her properly, when she wasn't half frost-bitten, but it did seem as though Eternalis was more comfortable in his normal body, which, she supposed, mostly answered her earlier uncertainties about him. It was still very strange though.

"Alright..." She took along breath then let it out again. "I'm feeling much better now, really. I'm sorry about all this. I wasn't expecting to get so cold, so quickly. I'm better now." Her eyes darted between them and lingered on Eternalis for a moment before dropping to Sparky, which made her bite her lip.

"I do have to use the same link to get back out, if I don't want Rogan to know. He'd know already if he actually looked at the PET..." this was followed by a brief pout and a flick of her eyes to the large screen panel on one side of the living space; it was clearly the interface between the internal page and the exterior of the Physical PET itself, but currently it just showed what looked like the ceiling of the bar, and a little of the table underside, from where it had been left on a seat next to Rogan. The audio channel was clearly muted. She looked back to the others. "And if he knew he'd alredy be scolding me for not doing as I was told... I'm sorry there isn't an easier way... I know it hurts a lot, and I'm really sorry for dragging you through it the first time. I don't want to put any of you through that again, and I don't even really know what following me would have done to your own connections. I hope Harke isn't worried... It should all be back to normal though, once you're back net side." She found it hard to keep eye contact with either of them, and the latter part of her explanation and apology was directed more at Sparky than the other two. In truth she was worried that the good-natured creature hadn't handled the trip well the first time, and probably didn't understand where the pain had come from in the first place. It was making her incredibly hesitant to even consider doing it again, now, but anything else would alert Rogan, and then it would be back to the snow.

"If you're all ready? I'll count in so you can brace." She waited until everyone was prepared to go — Lyntael herself wanted to spend as little time with her friends seeing her poor excuse for a living space as possible — then prepared the link and counted in the transit for everyone. A couple of small lights on the panel by the screen changed colour. As before, the wash of light was shaky and flickering.

((Lyntael Jacking in, to => Beach Net))
[LynFXP > 50.]

"Hmm... Alright. Let's head over before he finds anything out," said Eternalis, looking down at Sparky. Sharing the same concerns as their host, he called out to him. "Sparky, come on, it's time to go," he said, with the pup running up to his outstretched arms. He drew the little animal closer to him before cranking up his healing processes directly to it. Looking across the room, Aurora also looked slightly concerned, and was about to say something to him before swallowing her words.

Bringing up a window in her heads-up display, Aurora scanned the details of their connection. It was tenuous, but they were still able to communicate with Harke's PET with a relatively stable connection. She exhaled in relief--there wasn't anything that indicated that it had been severed in any way, like their recent excursion away from the PET. "Doesn't look like there's anything wrong with our connection right now. Thank goodness. Let's head out now, though, I'd like to be on more stable ground," said Aurora. She let a little smile through. "Hope we can visit again, when you've spruced up the place a little more."

Soon after, the trio vanished along with Lyntael in the light.

[>> Beach Escape! - Beach Net.]
At Fera's request I have looked over the post between Lyntael and Eternalis for this topic.

Mutual FXP gained: 8 FXP
((Lyntael, returning from => An Unexpectedly Pleasant Outing))

By the time Lyntael returned to the cold, featureless walls of her home, the wave of tiredness was already catching up to her, combined with the comfortably full sensation that she hadn't felt... pretty much ever before, in truth. She looked around the barren walls and sight, stifling a yawn. Beach net had been a bright sunny morning, but the reality was that it was the middle of the night here, and she'd already been awake all day. Exhaustion was creeping up and as much as she was excited to get directly into re-decorating this space, now that she was sure she'd be able to... sleep called first, and one more night on the tiles wasn't going to do her nay harm. She stumbled through to her sleeping area and curled up with her back to the wall, inside the neatly laid out ribbon, and fell asleep within moments of closing her eyes.


Rogan was still working, when she awoke. A glance out showed the same hotel room, and as she pulled herself out of the PET and stretched, she could see Rogan working away at the desk without seeming to notice her. She didn't speak up to remind him to get food this time. There was no need when she could already imagine his answer in her mind, telling her that he would eat when it was convenient, and that he wasn't going to starve himself. No, not himself, just her. Her brow furrowed at the uncharitable thought and she brushed it away.

By the time Rogan noticed her watching and they spoke, the conversation went much as she'd expected, though she did her best to hold onto her resolve. Whether Rogan thought she'd done something wrong or not, it had been a break that she'd needed... though his remark about trusting her stung more than she'd expected. He wasn't wrong, exactly... she had disobeyed him... but not over something important.

Eventually, they were heading out again, and as Rogan went to his vehicle, he prepared a short list of tasks for her to tend to on the way; One note in particular gave her an unexpected surge of relief, since it involved visiting one of the local net fronts of the SciLab navi shop, and she wouldn't actually need to go to SciLab itself. Silently, she hoped that Rogan would always take this option from now on. Before long she found Rogan jacking her in and sending her on her way with a short-list of errands.

((Lyntael, travelling to => The Bounty Shop, and then other shopping errands, but eventually to Yoka Net))
((Lyntael, returning from => Eternalis' Home and Yoka Net))

Lyntael, Eternalis and Aurora arrived more or less together as the emulated beam returned the youngest member of the trio home and brought her two companions with her. The transition wasn't quite as rough as the first time Aurora and Eternalis had experienced it, but only by a small margin; the feeling of running through a mass of electrified glass shards over every inch of the body was likely never going to be something that was easy to ignore. Lyntael herself hunched slightly, gritting her teeth through a tight gasp as she hugged herself, then stood, swallowing and taking a longer breath.

Far different from their first visit, the room that Eternalis and Aurora arrived in was decorated in a much more homely and comfortable way. The blank template of cold floors and featureless walls had been replaced by a plush carpet covering the floor, pale yellow with swirling patterns reminiscent of curling winds. They were standing on a slightly raised platform, the link pad under their feet and a broad screen covering most of the wall behind them; on their previous visit, it had been showing the screen of the physical PET's view of the world outside, but now it seemed to be shut off from that, and instead displayed a panoramic view of a broad valley, lush and green, with heavy rain clouds sending heavy sheets of rain across it. A small line of text in one corner noted it as a live feed from a camera in the physical world, as part of an ambience channel.

Complimenting the carpet choice, the walls had been done up in a smooth white finish, with wooden skirting and a matching dado dividing the white from a neat yellow base colour on the lower third of the wall. Several pieces of artwork had been put up as prints without frames – most were landscapes from a variety of different locations.

The room itself seemed to be a living room or common space; Most of the floor was open and spacious, giving easily enough room to lie out on the carpet in the middle and towards the screen. A low coffee table rested towards the far side of the room, and just beyond it, against the back wall, a long, comfortable-looking couch with solid construction and pastel blue patterns across its body and cushions. It looked made to seat about three people comfortably or four a little more intimately. The coffee table was made of the same warm-toned wood as the other fixtures in the room, and it had a pale blue table cloth running across its length that matched the couch. A small stack of round blue and yellow coasters rested neatly on one corner, and an in-built rack beneath the table looked to hold a wide variety of boxes that might be board games or puzzles, at a glance.

The only other pieces of furniture in this main room were a number of small, flat-topped book cases, in the gaps between the various doors that led to other rooms. They each seemed to be filled with a selection of 'physical' e-books, on topics ranging from world history, philosophy and religion, through to mythology, and eventually to fantasy fiction. Aurora might notice the spines of a few she was already familiar with.

The lighting came primarily from a long, broad skylight that ran the width of the room from left to right; currently it was open, letting clear afternoon sunlight in, though its settings seem to have been tweaked to prevent any direct glare, creating a diffuse level of light that didn't feel overly like it came from anywhere. A series of six small lights were set into the ceiling, three to either side of the skylight, all off for the time begin, though presumably they'd be used when it was night time.

A number of doors led away from the main room; to the left corner, a wooden door that bore more of the wind-curl motifs along its border and a similarly curled silver handle was closed over without being full shut. This one lined up with the space that had previously led to Lyntael's 'bedroom'. A little further along the left wall, a second doorway now opened up. there was no door here, but a gauzy pastel blue cloth was draped over the archway, and the vague impression of a smaller room with furniture in could be seen beyond, though not clearly through the fabric. In the back left corner of the room, set into the far wall, a second wooden door boor a glass panel window that looked out into something that might be an external garden.

On the other side of the room, an open archway on the right led into what looked like it might be a more modern kitchen space; it too had a sound cloth, this one a pale yellow, draped across it that obscured most of the view. Finally, another wooden door without any obvious features was set into the right wall, in the near corner. It, too, was closed, and bore a round silver handle.

Lyntael moved forward as soon as she recovered and turned about in the middle of the living room floor to look towards her guests. She grinned and spread her hands, still showing obvious signs of nerves that the girl was doing her best to push aside.

“So, um... This is it, I guess. Ah, I can show you around the other rooms if you like, though there isn't too much to see, really. Um... can I get anyone anything to drink, now that we're here? I, I mean, make yourselves at home while I do, of course!” She backed off a little further, then began to move towards the arch with the yellow cloth.
Unpleasant as the trip was due to the side effects of the emulated link, it was mercifully brief as both Aurora and Eternalis landed on a link pad. Eternalis stumbled about for a moment, recovering a little faster through his healing process. Meanwhile, to his side, Aurora's eyes split open, and she clutched her chest as she recovered, looking rather out of breath. Suddenly, she experienced a soothingly cool energy radiating from her core, however, as well as Lyntael, thanks to both of them being linked to Eternalis's restorative processes. Thanks to that, she managed to regain her footing as well, and exhaled out the last of the shock.

"You guys all right?"

A voice came from the only one that hadn't suffered through the effects of traveling through the emulated link; Harke's tone was somewhat concerned. The signals that had been on his screen briefly spiked from the trip, but it had returned to a saner baseline rather quickly.

"All good. I think. Whew," said Eternalis, his tone of voice indicating that he might have been a bit more affected than his appearance let on.
"A little more bearable once you know it's coming," added Aurora, stretching out her limbs gingerly to make sure that they were actually not shredded to pieces.

The two surveyed the area as they recovered. As they had been informed beforehand, the area seemed very homely, compared to the enormous spaces that they had created for themselves. While it was by no means cramped, the place had a more unified atmosphere, its space constrained within a defined area. Aurora walked along the walls, running her hands along the divider to inspect the finish. Meanwhile, Eternalis simply stood on the carpeting, looking up at the skylight that provided the lighting for the room. While it was not as spectacular as their own PET, the little details made them stop and appreciate them.

Lyntael's voice brought them both to attention, and Eternalis responded first. "This is pretty nice! If you want to show us around, I'm up for it," he said, turning to Aurora.

She nodded, and added, "Oh, you don't need to get us much if it's a bother. Just some water is fine," which Eternalis agreed to with a wordless nod. She then realized that she was holding something in her hands, and moved over to the coffee table to set it down and free her hands. Eternalis joined her as well, setting down the thankfully unmarred bottle next to the bundled-up towels. "Glad these held up through the trip," she murmured, being careful not to unravel the towels for the moment. She craned her head a little to glance at the boxes underneath the table, while Eternalis took up a seat on the couch itself to wait for whatever Lyntael was about to bring them.
Looking at the skylight and the diffused sun coming in, Eternalis might realise that the late afternoon light corresponded with the current time in Sharo, where they could presume Rogan still was. Meanwhile, Aurora could get a decent look at the assortment under the table; at one end, there were a number of boxes holding puzzle games, and a more academic or brain-focused selection of board games, and as she glanced along the shelf they transitioned in strategy board games, and then chance ones, and eventually into party and open floor games – the type that came with fold out mats and spinners. They were all in brand new boxes, and it might occur to her that, rather like the books lining many of Lyntael's book cases, these sorts of things were most commonly offered in simple digital file format to be accessed at will, without a standing physical model; Lyntael would have needed to have acquired these ones specifically.

As the others looked around, Lyntael paused to run her fingers down the side seam of the yellow cloth covering the right arch, and lingered in the door frame for a moment as it responded, quickly furling itself up into a roll that nestled above the archway neatly. She stepped through, then waved them towards what was, indeed, the kitchen space for the small home.

“Sure... Come thorough and have a look, I guess! This is the kitchen and pantry... I kept it pretty small, since I'm the only one here, usually, and I managed to find a lot of the necessities as freeware, and I edited the rest myself to make it all match and fit!” She stepped back in an effort to give them room to look in, busying herself with filling up a stand kettle and clicking it on beside the sink, and then turning back to another cupboard to retrieve glasses for the cold drinks.

The kitchen itself was compact and sleek, with a modern feel to it. A square floor space was lined by smooth stone counter-tops, starting at the left, near the arch with a space that was currently occupied by a nest of hanging mugs, one of which, a large blue one with storm clouds rolling around the sides, Lyntael picked up and moved over to sit beside a matching blue teapot. The glass front of the cupboard directly above this area showed boxes of various herbal and black teas, as well as a small lidded sugar bowl, and a matching sealed honey pot.

Next along the counter was the wet area, with a sink and a drying rack in chrome metal. A broad window looked out onto the same garden space that the door in the living room likely faced onto, and currently it let in more of the late afternoon light. The splash-back above the sink contained a series of touch panel symbols that looked like the kitchen's self-cleaning controls. The sound of the kettle beginning to heat quietly started to present a gentle ambience and Lyntael smiled.

More open counter space continued to the corner, where a cutting board rested against the wall, by a moderately fancy knife block. Rather than cupboards above this section, an extensive spice rack had been appointed, each small jar with neat, alphabetical labels. Further along, an in-built stove top and oven took centre on the back wall of the kitchen, and in the back right corner, a folding door was half open, showing the way into a small, many-shelved pantry that really only had standing room for one inside. Beside that, a silver-panelled refrigerator was set into the wall, completing the square room.

After starting the kettle, Lyntael pulled this open to extract a slender glass carafe of water, and carefully poured two glasses, handing them to each of her companions with a grin before putting the carafe back. She briefly scalded the teapot under the tap, then stood back, pushing herself back against the far counter until she had hopped up onto it, kicking her heels with a smile while she waited for the kettle to boil.

“It's not anything fancy, but I'm really happy with how it all came together. It suites me well enough, so far, though I might get a different kettle...” She glanced at the appliance and cast it a small frown, then down at the pinky finger of one of her hands.
Looking at the boxes stored underneath the table, Aurora wryly smiled at how Lyntael made physical space for all of the items that she had gathered up, even the ones that didn't need them. Rather like her own book collection, which she liked to have physically present, simply to play about with the pages every once in a while; there was no need to worry about wear and tear, after all. The cloth cover rolling up got the attention of both of them, and Aurora was the first to respond. "Oh, coming!" she said, sweeping over to the kitchen through the doorway, leaving Eternalis in the living area.

He stood up to join the girls, before stopping to look at the things that had been left on the table. It might be a good idea to bring the bottle with him to chill it again, he thought, since it had been some time after leaving the cooler fridge in their home. "Man, these took a trip and a half, though," he murmured, looking at the bundled up towels. He picked one up to quickly straighten it out and folded it up, placing it neatly on the coffee table. He then picked up the second and began to fold it up, before he realized that a small article of clothing had dropped out onto the floor.

Curiously, he picked it up. Seeing that it was some kind of cotton white underwear, he reddened a little--or would have, if he had the capacity to. Had Aurora accidentally mixed in some of her clothes with them when she brought them over? Despite living with her, he hadn't seen her undress, of course, it wasn't a necessity when they could just swap outfits at the drop of a hat. He hadn't a clue of what exactly to do with it. It didn't hurt to be discreet, though, as he placed it atop the first towel, and hid it with the second towel that he had folded up, before hurrying to the kitchen. In his haste, however, he forgot the bottle that he had wanted to bring over in the first place.

Earlier on, Aurora poked her head into the kitchen with her hands behind her back, absorbing the atmosphere as she let herself in. "It's beautiful," she breathed, marvelling at the various fittings that lined the kitchen. Everything was tucked into its place within a step and an arm's reach. "It's so different from my own place. I'd have to run over all the way to the other side of the room if I didn't lay everything out properly," she laughed. She peeked out of the window in the wet area at the garden, before turning back to Lyntael to see her pour out a glass of water.

"Oh! Thank you," she smiled.

It didn't take long for Eternalis to enter the kitchen as well, though he looked rather awkward about it. Eternalis was much less animated in his viewing of the area, as if he was afraid of disturbing anything, and his review was also much more brief. "Pretty cozy--oh, thanks," he remarked, taking the glass of water offered to him, before looking around the place for somewhere to sit down. Realizing that there didn't seem to be any such place in the square room, he instead tried to find something to comment on. The kettle caught his attention. "What's on the boil?" he asked.
For her own part, Lyntael beamed at the compliments from Aurora, her cheeks tinting ever so slightly. She glanced out the window herself then jumped down from the bench again. For the first few seconds she was too busy looking about her own handiwork as she showed it off to Aurora to notice that Eternalis had lingered an extra moment, though she looked his way again with a grin as he asked about what was on.

“Oh, just making some tea now that I'm home. I've been trying all sorts of teas since I set everything up. I'm really quite fond of the lemon and ginger type. It makes my chest feel all warm.” She moved her mug around on the counter for a moment, seeming to enjoy the sound and sensation of it sliding over the counter top, then refilled the teapot with hot water from the tap, leaving it to sit on the draining board while the kettle was still heating up, then pulled a small box out of the cupboard above it, selecting two sachets from an orange and yellow box and setting them aside.

“It'll take a few minutes, no need to wait on it, I can show you the other things, come on!” With her small preparations done, Lyntael slipped past them again, back out into the living area, and waved them along. “Let's see, what next...” Her eyes moved around the room and she shrugged, stepping across to the next door along and opening it.

“Laundry and the main bathroom is just through there. Not too much to see, really, just the necessities, but you wouldn't believe how hard it was to find actual functional laundry appliances!” She gestured inside the door for her companions to see the space, pushing open the second nearby door on the right wall as she did before stepping back for them to look.

Inside, the room was a bit longer than it was broad, and it had a polished wood floor that was slightly warm underfoot. The left wall of the room had sleek silver and white appliance that seemed to be a front-loading combination washer-dryer, raised on a bracket that put the door at what would be just below Lyntael's own chest height, with room for other laundry goods and cleaning tools in a well-ordered basket underneath it. Beside it, a standing sink with a wash board, and a drying rack folded away against the wall above it probably served for any more delicate washing operations. An airing rack was folded up and slotted in beside the sink, with space beyond to set it up.

The other wall was blank, though it bore a couple of frameless prints from an ancient post-impressionist artist; the designs features bold sweeps and curves in the brushwork, many depicting fantastical starry skies with bright contrasts of dark tones and beacons of light.

“Maybe you would... I guess when most people can just digitally switch their outfits in a blink, there's not much need. I don't actually need it as much myself either, I guess, since I can just reform my outfits from my terminal... but... I don't know. There's something about freshly cleaned and dried clothes that just feels so nice to put on, and it's not the same for something just digitised from a file, you know? I can't really explain it, but there's a difference...” She frowned softly, then shrugged and brightened again.

The door on the right wall, which Lyntael had just pushed open, led into a surprisingly fancy-looking bathroom, despite her own description to the contrary. A control panel near the door has an assortment of small switches nad dials, with little icons near them – they looked to control the lighting, heat lighting, stem extractors and the heated flooring. The floor inside the bathroom was white tiled and smooth, covered only by two small circular rugs, one blue and one yellow.

A large, vaguely square-shaped bath occupied one back corner of the room, with controls for spa and bubble settings, while the corner opposite it, nearer the door, was squared off with frosted glass for a walk-in shower; the screen was open, currently, showing a flat floor space, with a contoured ledge in the corner that one could be used as a seat or support and still direct the water towards easily. Further small shelves and racks were set into the wall of the shower, not far from controls that looked to handle a large variety of settings and options.

Immediately to the right of the door, a wash basin, mirror and three-drawered cabinet looked mostly devoid of any of the normal cosmetic supplies or self-care paraphernalia, though a partially opened manicure set had been left beside the sink. the top drawer was also open part way, and a glance in would show a handful of other products – cotton buds, a spare sponge, a spare wash cloth, a small hand mirror, a nail brush and a pack of hair bands.

The only other feature in the bathroom was a small sectioned-off area just beyond the mirror, which it might be safe enough to presume hid and gave privacy to the other essential amenities. Lyntael glanced in as she showed them around.

“I made this bathroom first, when I was designing the place, but then I wanted to put in an en suite set up for the bedroom as well, so this is sort of like a guest bathroom now, kind of. This one is a bit bigger and nicer though, so I'm kinda still using them both, hehe.” She giggled behind her hand then looked back around the living room while her friends had a look. Briefly, her eyes caught on the freshly folded towels, taken out of the roll she'd put hers in and redone. A mortified blush fought towards her cheeks and she pressed it down. She didn't think Aurora had done that, but there hadn't been any sign or comment from Eternalis yet, so maybe she'd just missed it. Once more she felt keenly her own lack and wondered how soon a good moment to slip away and grab a fresh pair would present itself. If Aurora was playing a game with it, would she count that as cheating? She wasn't sure, really, and glanced towards the other woman to see if she could read anything at all about the situation.
The sight of the boiling kettle made Aurora eye the teapot with a lingering gaze, wishing she hadn't tried to be polite and preemptively denied a taste of something new. Lemon and ginger sounded like it would taste nice, at least. Sipping some of the water, she contemplated asking for a cup herself. Next to her, Harke viewed the kitchen by proxy via the video feed, and offered a comment as well. "Really feels pretty homely. It's like a little cottage or something," he said, his viewport being attached to Aurora's point of view.

Lyntael didn't seem to be one for lingering in one place, however, and continued the tour of the house. Setting down her half-filled glass of water on a counter, Aurora followed Lyntael out of the room, with Harke's viewport in tow, with Eternalis feeling rather confused. "Whoa, hey, fast track much?" he said, looking down at his glass of water. He threw the entire contents into his mouth, set his glass down, and caught up with the other two, who were apparently now looking at a bathroom and laundry.

Eternalis mulled over the odd necessity of having both of them, but with Lyntael, everything that made up a human's life seemed more necessary to her than it was to him. Aurora, as always, seemed a lot more interested than he was, gingerly opening the combination washer and dryer to look inside, and inspecting the prints on the wall. Next to her, Harke's viewport was dragged about, with the operator himself, watching with his head propped up on an arm. "There's always the option of adding a setting to outfit generation to make it a little warmer, but I can kind of get the sentiment," quipped Harke in response to Lyntael's statement about her preferences in clothing.

As Lyntael opened up the bathroom, Aurora made her way inside to have a good look at everything first hand, while Eternalis was content with staying at the threshold. The bathroom's fittings made him raise a figurative eyebrow--this seemed a bit more extravagant than the kitchen was. He recalled Aurora insisting on having two bathing spaces in the PET, when he thought one had already sufficed. Maybe it was just something they shared, he figured with a dry smile, as he watched Aurora stand in front of the partitioned-off area with an indecisive look. Perhaps she was wondering whether she should open it up to take a look inside.

Whatever it was, he was more interested in the rest of the house now, and turned back to Lyntael, who seemed to be trying to look back inside the room, unfortunately blocked by his figure. He guessed that she was also waiting for Aurora to proceed with the tour, and glanced back towards Aurora, who appeared to still be a little busy with looking around. "She's looking around a little more, looks like. You're both really interested in this bathing stuff. I can't really understand having two rooms just for it," he laughed.

Aurora seemed to contemplate it for a few more moments, before she turned to the door to ask Lyntael if it was fine to look inside. Unfortunately, her view through the doorway was mostly blocked off by Eternalis peeking in. "Something up?" asked Harke, who was now thoroughly done with looking about what looked to be a very fancy-looking, but otherwise somewhat ordinary bathroom, at least in comparison to what he had seen in Eternalis's PET. Aurora paused briefly. "No, I was just wondering what was in there, but I think I can guess at what's inside," she shrugged, before heading back to the doorway.

"Okay, I'm done," she announced with a grin. "Sorry for the wait!"
She couldn't tell what Aurora's thoughts were about the undergarment situation; the other woman was busying herself looking at the features of the bathroom and appreciating them and so Lyntael waited back in the living area until she was done. She grinned at Eternalis instead.

“Yeah, I suppose it wouldn't really matter much to you, would it? I forget things like that... but you know, whether you feel properly clean or not has a huge impact on you entire day! It's really important, hehe... so you know, those of us who aren't all made of self-cleaning jelly have to think about it.” Despite her statement, some part of her was aware that most navigators did not, in fact, have to think about it other than as a pleasantry, but she felt like making the joke regardless.

“Besides... this way more than one person can shower or bathe at once if we need to, like if we go swimming in the river or something...” That might have been nice if it had been earlier in the day, but now as it was getting on towards dark, it didn't seem like it would be worth doing. Maybe another time. She had briefly leaned against the wall while talking to Eternalis, but pushed off it again as Aurora returned, tilting her head as she looked in the other woman's direction to gauge her reaction.

“What do you think? It's pretty nice, at least as much as I could make it, but it's not really anything like what you made, hehe... let's see, what else...” She crossed the living area at a slow pace, stretching again as she did and studiously not looking at the now folded towels. In truth, she was running out of home to show off, and the thought of the topic she'd promised to tell her friends about was looming larger in her mind. It would be good to get it out and tell someone properly, she reassured herself. It wasn't anything to be afraid of here, safe and with friends.

“So... there's the reading room, just through here...” She touched the blue cloth that hung over the other archway and, just like the first, it rolled up and drew away, giving proper view into another side room. “It's only little, but it's really cosy when you want to curl up with a book and shut everything else out for awhile.” After a second, she bit her lip, recognising how she'd phrased that sentence, and looked down at her toes in a moment of self-conscience.

Regardless of her hesitation, the room beyond was small; just barely large enough to hold a couch that was enough for two people to snuggle close together, or one to curl up on comfortably on one wall boxing in a side table in the corner along with a single armchair on the other side. The floor had the same plush carpet s the living room and the furniture was of the same set as the longer living room couch as well. The rest of the small side room held a bookcase that reached to the ceiling, with a mostly unnecessary sliding ladder on a smooth rail attached to its face – at best a navi of Lyntael's height would only need to step onto the bottom rung to reach the top shelf, but it still looked nice and added something of a 'library' feel to the space. The remaining wall space held two more night sky prints done in swirling, bold brush strokes. Lyntael glanced in and turned her eyes up tot eh small window that was positioned high on the right wall, above the armchair.

“When it rains, you can hear it really well from this room, and it's really comforting, and it gets the morning sunlight really well, too.” She paused long enough for the other two to have a peek before stepping back. There wasn't really too much to see after all. “Where to next? I can show you the garden, or my room.” She grinned and briefly rolled her shoulders. “Er, that's really about all that's left, actually...” Across in the kitchen, the growing rumble of the kettle grew subtly louder as it approached its boil, but it would probably still be another minute or so, she guessed from the sound.
"Heh, yeah, I guess not having to clean up after myself is more convenient than what I take it for," replied Eternalis with a bit of an embarrassed grin. In some ways, it made him slightly jealous that Lyntael was so in tune with "being a human", as it were, since he had been dealing with the dissonance of his own appearance compared to Aurora, who looked much more humanoid and closer to an actual human. The comment about the river made him recall the "outdoor" areas of his own PET, and made him ponder about the areas that he had seen of Lyntael's place thus far. Looking up at the skylight above him, as well as the broad screen that showed the rainy valley from some place, it occurred to him that Lyntael had only displays of outdoor areas. There was the garden area that he had briefly spotted in the kitchen, but he guessed that that was, at most, an indoor area, as well.

"I guess you could add a river area in here if you wanted, hm. Not sure if your operator's PET has that much space, though," he mused.

Aurora's re-entry made him shuffle over to make space, while she energetically responded to Lyntael's query. "No, no, not at all! Of course it's not as grand-looking, but--all the little details, and care, and love, all of it put into this is wonderful. It's a nice home. I insist," she said. Beside her, Harke's image in the viewport glanced over at Eternalis. They met each other's gaze with a knowing smile and a subtle shrug, out of sight of Lyntael, as she moved over to show them to the next room.

Aurora ducked into the reading room to look around. With how little there was to actually see in the room, Aurora was much more grounded this time around, opting to scope out the book selection instead, and this time, Eternalis moved in to join her as well. Most of the titles on the spines of the books that lined the shelves did little to interest him, though he paused on a book that detailed "Electopian Mythology", the serpentine dragon on its cover grabbing his interest.

"Some of these books look interesting, I might bother you to borrow some of them, if it's okay," she said, pulling one of the books out at random. Before she could pull it out completely, however, her eyes widened at the sight of the cover, and she covertly pushed it back in, a little red-faced. Lyntael peeking in made her turn towards the window that she was looking at, nodding in agreement.

"Listening to the rain really does make you feel like you're in another world," added Harke, turning to look off-screen at a window where the late afternoon sun was beginning to filter into the room, similar to Lyntael's place.

The growing whine of the boiling kettle in the background made Eternalis look up from browsing the book he was looking at, and he pushed it back into the shelf it was on. "Could go to your room next. The garden's near the kitchen, right? We can head there last before you take your tea off the boil," he said.
Lyntael felt the tour was going better than her initial worried expectations. aurora's continued praise of her efforts had helped the lingering tensions slip away and she was smiling in a softer, more free way as she showed them about. Seeing Aurora peeking at her collected books made her happy, but she flicked her attention back to Eternalis as she stepped away back into the living room to give them space to look.

“Oh, there is! It's not a huge space, you know, but it's something, and I've done my best to disguise the limits a bit so I don't notice them as much when I'm out there... but! Last room inside first, hehe...”

With a small laugh, she skipped quickly to the coffee table and scooped upt he folded bundle of towels with the intent to bring them through to her own en suite for safety, then moved over to the remaining closed door and turned the handle.

This room still bore the relatively small dimensions that it first had when Aurora and Eternalis had seen it the first time, but what had once been a featureless template partition of blank cold walls and floor was a very different space now. The carpet continued, covering the floor now, and the walls had a warmer finish to them, pale yellow, though it was hard to tell the exact material. A number of posters and prints were set about the walls; several were scenic panoramas of various networks, while one was a recreation print of a particularly famous starry night piece, from the same ancient post-impressionist artist.

Where the back left corner of the space had once held only a single strip of ribbon making the suggestion of a shape on the floor, there was a small single bed, neat but solid, with a frame made of the same warm-toned wood that she'd used elsewhere in the home. The sheets, quilt and two pillows were a combination of whites and yellows, some patterned, some plain, neatly made up, folded back and turned down. The original ribbon, Aurora would likely notice, was now pinned neatly across the side wall, above the bed, where its message could easily be read.

The other pieces of furniture in the room also included a small bedside stand near the head of her bed; a single book, the first in one of the series that Aurora herself had sent, rested on the top with a bookmark poking out from it part way in. the stand had a small shelf just below the flat top, which carried a few small trinkets; small pretty stones, unusual twists of wood, and a few other bits and pieces. One, a small, perfectly round white stone seemed to have pride of place amongst the collected items.

On the opposite wall, where the small access terminal had originally rested on the floor, a work desk now took up a section of the space. It was of a sleek design with thin silver legs and a wooden finished top, long enough for two separate work spaces, though there was only one chair. On the near end, the access terminal was set up in a much more user-friendly way, though the screen was currently off, while on the far end the desk was a writing and designing space, with room for other manual activities.

Beside the bedside stand, against the back wall, a much smaller bookshelf, low enough that it was only the same height as the stand itself, held a small collection of books, mostly fantasy novels, though if either of them passed eyes over the spines, they'd notice that the bottom shelf trended into books about sex and sexuality; titles that evoked mysticism and magic, others that seemed focused on the practical side of bedroom play and advice for the inexperienced, as well as a selection of the sorts of books designed and written for parents to give to or share with their teenage daughters when going through particular times in their lives.

There was a wardrobe just to the left of the door, with one door slightly ajar; it looked to contain carefully hung outfits for Lyntael in a fully actualised state. A pair of white sport sneakers was placed neatly in the back corner at the bottom of the wardrobe, almost out of sight. The drawers underneath likely held smallclothes and other folded garments, though those were closed properly for the moment. Beside the wardrobe, a full length mirror resided between it and the end of the bed.

Another new feature to the room was a new door in the back right corner, closed for now, though it didn't stay so for long. Lyntael stepped into the room and twirled about in the middle of the floor space for a moment, gesturing with one hand.

“And, my room! Hehe!” She skipped across to the door and pushed the handle, opening it up to reveal an en suite bathroom that was smaller than the first she'd shown off, though no less luxurious in its design. At a glance, it held a shower of its own, and the other necessary amenities, but the sink area was a lot more 'lived'; a face cloth was hung to dry on a small rack, a toothbrush and tube rested in a small cup to one side of the sink, while a hair brush, and the various pieces of a manicure set lay to the other side. Rather than a normal mirror, there was a medicine cabinet with mirrored slide doors set above the sink, closed for now.

Lyntael leaned in just far enough to place the folded towels on one side of the basin before returning. with a deep, contented sigh, the girl cast herself bodily onto her bed, hitting back and head first against the soft pillows with her limbs trailing freely behind in a briefly chaotic ragdoll of motion. Belatedly, she pushed her skirt down again as she settled; the garment's modesty coding had already taken care of ensuring that nothing had flashed during the dive. With another happy sigh, Lyntael shifted and stretched as she reclined on the bed, lifting her arms up and flexing her fingers and toes before falling back again with a luxuriant expression smoothing her features.

“This is so much nicer now. Even when everything else is horrible, just having this to come back to makes it a bit more bearable...” she closed her eyes for an extra few seconds, then sat up and crossed her legs, leaning against the wall as she looked at her friends. “It's only a little thing, I know, and it's not much, on the scale of things... but you know... just waking up warm and comfortable most mornings makes me feel like things could really get better.” She shrugged and grinned.