The Gloria Scott Shopping Mall

Every day, before the vendors opened for business at the Gloria Scott, the mall security officer, Jocelyn, would already have arrived well beforehand to grab the day's instructions from her manager, Rodney. While one would expect the work of a mall cop to be fairly standard, her job actually varied a lot from day to day. Specifically, it was important that she learn what uniform she was supposed to wear before heading out.

Today, Rodney had given her a special mission: go to Belbedere's Secret and put together an outfit, for which he would cover the expenses. Whatever she put together would be her uniform for the day. Unfortunately, he'd given her a rather tight budget that didn't seem to leave room for many of the amenities. Double unfortunately, almost all of the items in the store were either underwear or intimate apparel. "I want to explain his master plan to you, but it feels like you ought to be able to puzzle this one out yourself, Jocelyn," the guard's navigator shrugged, tapping her cane impatiently against one slim leg of her slacks.

"It's like a game, I think. Have you ever watched that program where the shoppers have to buy as much as they can without going over a price limit? That's probably the goal," Jocelyn reasoned, her blond hair bobbing to and fro as she spun around to look at various articles. "After all, he's paying for this outfit out of pocket! It wouldn't do for him to have to spend too much."

"Why this specific store, then?" Sleuth led her partner along, rolling one hand slowly to imply their ought to be a logical connection.

"Because it has lots of cheap merchandise, I suppose," she murmured. "Except the things that would fit as a uniform aren't really cheap at all. Maybe I'm allowed to wear my regular uniform in conjunction with these?"

"If that is your reasoning," Sleuth continued with a smile, content to let her operator follow a ridiculous train of logic, so long as she was thinking, "why does he need you to wear a new uniform at all? Why not simply instruct you to use one of the many he's already purchased for you?"

"That's an easy one! He wants to keep my appearance fresh for the mall-goers. A lot of people come by consistently just to see what I'll be wearing, I understand," she answered.

"... And by that train of logic, you arrived at the proper conclusion. Although the paths of our reasoning diverged, they are bound to converge again at a certain point. It's an entertaining game to play," Sleuth laughed, placing both hands over the head of her cane and leaning forward. "Yes, I'd say that "fresh" is a word I'd associate with Mr. Rodney Kidman."

"I've never heard of a 'fresh' person. Although, it's a nice word, so I suppose it's fine to say that," Jocelyn replied, nodding in approval. "What do you think about these, Sleuth? They just fit inside the zenny budget," she inquired, holding up a racy black lingerie set, something that would be suspect to wear even underneath other clothing.

Raising both eyebrows, Sleuth covered her lips with her glove to hide a smirk. "It would certainly be interesting, but I feel it's my duty to make certain that you get the most for your purchase, as no detective or security guard should be without the proper equipment. Why don't we see if we can go cheaper and thereby fit more into the budget, hm?"


Jocelyn emerged from the store, dressed in a blue, silk pajama shirt and no pants. "It's very comfortable, Sleuth," she commented with an airy smile. "I wish we'd been able to afford the bottom to go with it, but I got some very nice knee-socks."

"Ah... yes, well, practicality is what's important and it does cover both bases," the navi coughed, feeling as if she wanted to disassociate the outcome from any of her own guidance. "At least we don't have to worry about any mall cops heckling you for indecent behavior, since you are the only mall cop on duty."

The few early morning mall-goers gawked as the bombshell mall cop, looking nothing like a mall cop, rolled around her patrol area on her segway, putting her shapely legs on display. So distracting was her activity that one of the food court servers, his eyes entirely elsewhere, dumped an entire tray of Net-Colas onto the floor, create a huge, sticky, bubbling, brown mess. He quickly ran away, so that his boss wouldn't be able to tie the accident to him or worse, realize what he'd been allowing himself to become distracted by. "Oh no!" Jocelyn exclaimed, slapping her hands to her cheeks. "The janitor for this area isn't even on duty yet! I've got to take responsibility for this and clean it myself-"

"Please, don't," Sleuth interjected. "Justice cannot be the end all assumption: sometimes, practicality is more important. Let's consider if you're really the one best suited for this job. Do you have proper equipment or, say, uniform for this sort of experience?" Her operator screwed up her eyebrows, as if genuinely trying to decide what someone properly equipped to clean up a spill ought to be dressed like. "Maybe someone else would be willing to help if you asked?"

"That's a wonderful idea! Hello, mall-goers. We have a spill here that's going to interrupt the proper flow of customers through the Gloria Scott. Would anyone be willing to contribute to the experience of mall-goers by helping me to clean the spill?" she asked, cupping both hands to her mouth to project her voice.

"While you're requesting help, you ought to ask for somebody who can assist me in my detective work," Sleuth murmured.

"You're doing detective work?" Jocelyn asked, looking surprised.

"Always," the navi replied with a smug grin. "Why, I am always completing my detective work with the same consistency that you demonstrate in your own ability to complete your duties as a mall cop!"

"That's impressive, Sleuth!" the operator gasped. "Er, oh! Right, can anyone help me clean this spill, please?"
((This looks like a mess OTL))

Today seemed like an average day for Oliver Celle. After nabbing a weeklong vacation from his job, the Electopian decided to walk idly within a mall in high spirit...During early morning, nonetheless.

"Okay, since it looks like you're in a mood to talk, let me ask you some questions."

Out of the blue, Oliver's navi appeared in front of him through a hologram, adjusting her shades as she crossed her arms over her partially exposed chest, looking right into the man's face with a cold expression.

"Flat as ever, Mata. Anyhow, shoot, what's the question." The operator replied in a nonchalant manner.

"F-flat?! It was you who desi...That's not the point! Stop putting things off topic!" Mata, the short, slightly underdeveloped navi of Oliver, blushed, completely breaking her stone cold, professional vibe she was giving off just few seconds ago. "Ahem...Back to the questions." The navi continued as she zipped up her suit a bit higher. "First...Why are you still in your uniform if you're in vacation?!"

Oliver paused and looked down to see that he was indeed in his uniform...a Janitor's uniform to be exact. Complete with his trusty key ring, his bright golden faculty ID with his mugshot and name, and his "utility" belt filled with cleaning tools, the Electopian stuck out like sore thumb within the mall. Though the other shoppers in the mall were already giving the man a funny look in the first place, Oliver simply smiled it off. "So what, I feel comfortable in these. I sometimes get in gear without realizing it, vacation or not!"

Mata sighed and shrugged as if she expected no less from her operator. "Second, I realized that you placed the PET in sleep mode for...14 hours, cutting me off from any access to the network or the physical world...What was your intention behind this action?" said Mata as her tone of voice became incriminating.

"Yeah, it was to save battery." Oliver instantly replied without much thought.

"O-Okay then. Final question...This bothered me the most, but according to the local network IP addresses...We're in Netopia.Mata slowly turned silent before continuing on as if she was taking time to prepare herself. "...I'm going to prepare for the worst, but I need to ask you straight on...Are we in Netopia?"


The navi fell silent, but through her preparation for the worst, she was able to recover as she slammed her face into her hands, all the while Oliver made his way to the food court. "This...This is...Probably the worst you have ever done so far. I'm not sure what to say, I'm literally speechless!......Why did you come here for anyways!"

"Well, you see, I found this le--Aahhtch!" Just as he was about to line up for his first out-of-country breakfast...By buying something off the fastfood electopian sushi stall, Oliver's pants got wet by a random soda spill. "Hey," As soon as he turned, the Electopian's eyes were quickly caught up by the half dressed woman.

While all the men might have ogled on the girl, Oliver was more curious than to be overwhelmed by his natural, male instinct. "Just why is she in her undergarments and walking around like that...Unless..." In a blink of an eye, Oliver's head was processing thousands of possibilities as to how and why this woman was dressed as such.

Could she have forgotten to change her clothes after sleeping? Nonsense!

Was she bullied into doing such disgraceful act? Preposterous!

Did she get tricked into dressing like this by her peers due to her unnatural innocence? Impossible!

While Oliver was deep in thought, Mata could already see where this was heading and popped out as a hologram to intervene. "No, there should be a clear explanation to this! Don't even think about making some convoluted, bull crap, nonexisting--"


As if a lightbulb lit up inside Oliver's mind, a strange, twisted lightbulb to be specific, the Electopian was able to cook up the meaning behind the woman's clothing. Quickly peeking side to side, Oliver stepped away from the crowd and found a small isolated place. "Don't you see, Mata? Early in the morning, in the middle of a public mall, a beautiful woman wearing nothing but her top pajama and her undies, I cannot think of anything that can explain this except for some conspiracy...Conspiracy against the Netopian males!!" The navi crossed her arms and stood silently, already knowing that she cannot stop the 'flood' now that the gate was open. "Someone is trying to corrupt the male populace with such lewd display, as pleasant as they may be, and bring down our male chivalry to the dirt! As our standards for woman increase to levels that can never be satisfied, it could only get worse! This isn't an act of one! No, it never is! I fear that all the other malls across Netopia is already under siege by half-naked beauties!"

Mata nodded her head without much thought, but finally spoke out. "Okay then. Talk to her, see if she's really a part of this big conspiracy." All hope was already lost by this time for Mata. Even if the woman was to tell Oliver the truth, the poor man wouldn't be able to accept it and simply substitute his own 'truth" with it. "Good idea! Let's get on with it!"

Oliver had whipped out a rag and a spray out from his belt in a flash, walking straight through the crowd and right to the big, cola mess. "Hello...'Miss', let me clean that up for you." said with caution in his voice. With a quick wipe, spray, and wipe, Oliver cleaned up the soda so effectively that it looked like there was never a spill in the first place. "There, good as new, Miss." If he wanted to know more about the conspiracy (the one HE fabricated), Oliver needed to get closer to this woman. By taking small, friendly steps, he wouldn't raise any unnecessary suspicion (If there ever was one.) And the first step was introduction...

"Just in case you need my help some more, My name is Oliver."
"Why, thank you! What a nice and reliable person you are, Mr. Oliver," Jocelyn beamed, slapping her hands together into a tight clasp and resting them at her chin. "You were right, Sleuth! It's great how if I just go with the flow, things fall right into my lap."

"... That wasn't the intended lesson at all," Sleuth laughed dryly. Fortunately, she had something new to place her interest on: the newcomer janitor who'd helped Jocelyn out. Could it be that he was only helping her because she was an attractive, skimpily dressed woman with tremendous breasts, calling for help over an easily fixable dilemma? That's what the common man would assume, but Sleuth had all of the faculties of abductive reasoning to draw from.

"No, I've seen my share of lustful expressions. If he was trying to take advantage of her, it would be written all over his face by now... not because he'd be drooling, but because of what was missing from his expression. Still, what's key here is that he's looking at Jocelyn like he thinks she's hiding something... Rather than leading her on, he believes that he himself is being led on and is acting counter to it, nearly playing into her 'ploy' but staying just out of reach! Impressive, Mr. Oliver," she reasoned, giving him some mental applause for engaging in a game of wits where she knew there was none to be had. But what fun would it be if one never tried?

"Please, you can call me Jocelyn," the operator encouraged him. "You've got some of the soda on your pants! Here, let me clean it with my shirt-"

Sleuth interjected to stop her operator cold. "I'd love to see that play out, my gentle companion, but we're veering into some ridiculous territory," she warned Jocelyn. In reality, she didn't want to see a potential opportunity scared away by Jocelyn making him look like a sexual predator. "Instead, how about we help him another way: he seems like the type of person who would enjoy rigorous mental stimulation. Perhaps he'd like to help me with my task?"

"Certainly!" Jocelyn replied with no particular thought. If Sleuth said it was a good idea, that was good enough for her. "My navi's a detective, Mr. Oliver, and she's embarking on a detective mission shortly. Do you have a navi? She'd really like a friend to help her out. We could use my segway as a jack-in port for the mall's net, then bounce from there to Internet City. That way, we could do the mission while I make my rounds."
"No, not a problem. I was just doing my...job"

Oliver nodded to Jocelyn's thanks, all the while having a shrewd smirk on his face. In his little schizophrenic head, Oliver thought the things were going just as he planned. He was able to become acquainted with the "conspirator" and get on her good side, and it was simply a matter of time before she would spill the bean about the nation-wide bottomless conquest...Till it was revealed that she had a navi with her.

Drat! Oliver thought to himself. Two heads are better than one, and always tougher to break through...This won't be resolved over few minutes of talking!

As the crazy theorist went on moaning and groaning over the change in "plan", Mata appeared before Jocelyn and Sleuth while her arms were tightly crossed over her chest as if she was hiding something. "Hello. I'm Mata...And I'm not so sure if Oliver would like to do that." With a quick look over the should, Mata went on and tried to stop the meeting between the two. "You see, my operator here is actually pretty crazy about cons-""CONS-CIOUS...GIRLS. I do love girls that are active...and CONSCIOUS...Y-yeah!! Anyhow, I would love to do that, Jocelyn, not because I like you because you're a con...well, drop that for now, but I would gladly agree to that!"


Mata lost her chance to stop Oliver's rampaging imagination, and it was going to be a slippery slope from now on. With an annoyed sigh, the navi pushed back her shades and unwillingly nodded her head. "Okay...Fine...Whatever."
Sleuth's smile widened as she tried to puzzle out the meaning of Oliver's words. "Conscious girls? What a suspicious thing to say... It's becoming hard to tell what sort of motivation he's hiding. Ordinarily, that sort of statement is inherently apt for inversion, which would lead one to reason that he is dangerous and prefers his girls in a state of unconscious submission... But that would be too easy, wouldn't it? But my, how quickly he jumped to what sort of girls he likes. He must think that Jocelyn has some sort of flirtatious intention. That would be a perfectly reasonable conclusion to have arrived at, given her wardrobe and behavior. He may also simply be interested in courting her himself..."

"With that, I have two alternate Olivers: a perverted, possibly dangerous, but easy to read one, or an enigmatic one who approached her for reasons entirely unconnected. Intriguing..."

With all of that wondering over Oliver, Sleuth hadn't given much thought to his navi yet. "Pleasant to meet you, Mata. I look forward to sharing my thoughts with you," she answered, nodding her approval at the one-sided agreement. "Well well! And what of his navi? She seems to know a lot about him and she's desirous to talk about it. I'll have to discretely pull information from her if possible..."

"Well, I am conscious," Jocelyn agreed, not seeing any possible threat or worry connected with a guy going on about how much he likes women conscious. "Perhaps we'll enjoy the company of one another!" Despite saying this, she gave no indication of what kind of guys she preferred. "Now, if you like, you can ride on my segway with me."

That offer appeared a little suspect, because there would be no way to securely hitch a ride on her mode of transportation without mashing their bodies together. "Given the speed of your segway, he could probably walk alongside you just as well. But I'm interested to see what his reaction will be," Sleuth mused, rubbing her chin thoughtfully with one glove.

Interestingly, the hand Jocelyn offered Oliver was also gloved, although with dainty white silk, as opposed to the tan leather of Sleuth's. "Sleuth put up a mission request a little while ago. Ms. Mana ought to go on and join her," she suggested.

"I thought maybe you were on a lucky streak with names today. Is there a reason you can remember Oliver and not Mata? Curious...!" the detective navi chuckled, crossing her arms and theory-crafting incessantly.
Oliver pondered about Jocelyn's offer to hitch a ride on her segway as his eyes slowly drifted downwards towards the girl's lower body. ...No! Get it together! This is just one of her ploy, and I mustn't lose myself to it! Biting on to lip, the janitor shook his head. "No thanks, I'm fine with just walking...Mata, lets get going."

"Fine, lets get things over and done." Mata seemed unenthusiastic about the whole mission, since it was all Oliver's idea, but she was more interested in Sleuth than any of the hocus-pocus conspiracy her operator had spewed out. A detective and an espionage-special agent, a pair that no one could have imagined it to be, and here it was. With a small smile with her petite lip, Mata pushed up her shades once more and readied herself.

With the push of a button, the hologram of the navi disappeared before Oliver pointed his PET at Jocelyn's PET, sending Mata into the net world.

While Sleuth had finished her mission with almost no input (nor even attention) from her operator, Jocelyn had been busy whimsically parading Oliver all throughout the mall. The order in which she'd introduced shops and areas had been random, without regard for convenience or any rules of organization, and they had thus gone up and down each escalator either four or five times; it was getting hard to keep count. She just kept smiling and saying the store's name, which was usually already apparent, without describing any of what the store's function was. "And finally, we're at the guard station, where Ronnie is probably preparing me some new duties for the day. He and I are both hard workers," she finished proudly. "Whew... Patrolling has made me a might thirsty," Jocelyn complained, despite the fact that she'd been on the segway all this time. "Sleuth, please keep them company while I fetch some bottled waters."

"Absolutely!" Sleuth responded, realizing that Jocelyn had just left her segway and PET outside with Oliver. She would just have to hope Oliver really wasn't planning anything shady. More than that, she was preoccupied with another thought. Abruptly,she called to her virtual companion. "Mata! We must withdraw from the NP investigation for now," she announced, sounding as though she had given it a lot of thought already and was prepared for the consequences. "I've got a letter from the Lord of the house of Yard, who believes that crossing the NP so bravely will actually besmirch my credibility as a detective and also place his beloved daughter under the threat of harm, or at the very least, social awkwardness. He is rather overprotective of her. Regardless, for now, an NP investigation, no matter how discreet or crafty, severely jeapordizes my employment... and future employment, based on the clout of that man. I do apologize."

She shrugged and made light of the situation, calling out to Oliver this time. "But I have a new case! Something about virus ghosts... and there are also apparently curious treasures to be had. It sounds like a fun little diversion, don't you think? I would be honored if Mata would lend me the charm of a spy again," she inquired, already assuming they would be in agreement. "Ordinarily I scoff at the supernatural, but the supernatural on the net is, er, often quite natural! It will be interesting to learn of the forces behind it."
Oliver walked along with Jocelyn with a big fat smile on his face, constantly nodding his head with the occasional "Is that so?" mixed in. But deep down inside, he could not decode the great mystery, the great conspiracy this half-naked girl had prepared, and it made his quite frustrated. I don't understand, I can't think this through! Just what is this girl planning to do! The initial theory was debunked hours ago, but the all the others I thought of...I-It just doesn't stick! Just as when Oliver was about to give up, Mata returned to the PET with a loud beep. "I'm back from the mission...Even if it wasn't as successful as I hoped it would've been." said the navi as she appeared as a hologram. "Yeah, sure, good job, keep at it, have fun...." Oliver shrugged and mumbled to himself, more concerned about his own problem than his navi. "...Let me guess." said Mata as a sly grin slowly appeared on her tanned lip. "Things not going as 'planned'? Lose interest in the mall security girl already?" The navi relished this chance to actually tease her operator, her body almost trembling to keep herself from bursting out in laughter. "Shhh, I'm thinking!" Deep in thought, Oliver didn't even realize that Jocelyn was off her segway and into her office, more or less hear anything other than his own thoughts...Mostly leaving Mata and Sleuth to their own business.

"...What?!" Mata yelled when Sleuth said they weren't going after the NetPolice Officer anymore. "B-But...The conspiracy...All those things we could have uncovered! Real, actual things to use my skills on!" Almost like a child who couldn't get what she wanted, the spy seemed utterly disheartened by the news, sulking and avoiding eye contact from Sleuth altogether. Even with the offer of investigating some ghostly viruses, Mata was under the weather and took a while before she gave her answer. "Fine...Whatever, it's gonna be better than staying him for now." She looked up at her operator, who was staring blankly across the shiny, mall floor as he was deep DEEP in thought. "This better be exciting, Sleuth! It's mostly your fault we can't go spying and snooping around!"
Sleuth and Mata had patched up (sort of) their relationship as intrepid investigators while Jocelyn was away. She returned carrying bottled water for both herself and Oliver. "I was going to share my bottle with you, but Ronnie said he had more in the refrigerator that we could have! Isn't that nice?" she greeted her companion with a smile, extending him a beverage. "Anyway, he doesn't have more work for me right now, so I'm free to take a break. It will be nice to rest a while and see how Sleuth is doing." Not that she'd been doing anything strenuous that might necessitate rest.
Partway into Sleuth's adventures with her partner, the two had been separated by some unknown presence. Before Jocelyn had a chance to do anything about it, her PET began beeping a subdued series of rings, like a soft alarm clock. It didn't have anything to do with Mata's disappearance; rather, it signified a work-related summons. "That's my queue! Sorry, Mr. Oliver, but we will have to meet again some other time," she concluded, spinning her segway on its wheels in a 180 degree turn. With that, she drifted through the employees-only area where a short hall and a few maintenance rooms led into another shopping plaza on the other side of the mall.

"We're not going to retrieve Mata? Whatever you're being called for, I can hardly surmise it has any significance which outweighs the importance of my mission, nor the importance of Mata to completing my mission," Sleuth complained.

"I'm afraid not. Someone is stealing stir fried vegetables from the Choina Wok in the south-side food court!" Jocelyn announced with a sense of urgency, pressing one gloves hand to her considerable bosom.

"... Stealing stir fried vegetables? And you're really outfitted to stop a criminal like that? May I remind you that you're lacking pantaloons of any sort," the detective murmured, aggravated that her mission was being jeapordized by a mall food bandit.

"My undergarments are still covered by the shirt, so I should be fine," her operator answered confidently. "Besides, it isn't his crime that's our problem... according to Ronnie, the perpetrator is suffering from burn wounds and needs medical attention. I'm to administer cool water until a medical professional arrives."

"So... he stuck his hand into a wok... to steal stir fried vegetables... and burned it? Or did he use his face, perhaps? Just stuck his doggy mug right into the pan and now he's burnt his cheek! What an unbelievably stupid criminal... even a dog would have more sense than that," Sleuth groaned, now even further frustrated about the stupidity of her situation. She nearly bent her cane, holding it horizontally in both hands. "Well, tend to his wounds and I will try to finish my spelunking. Although I suspect it will be considerably worsened by the absence of my friend."
Jacky was, as subtly as she could manage, tailing a person she had first expected to be part of an obscene promotional stunt for either Belbedere's Secret or the mall itself. As she'd watched more closely, her keen mind had gradually begun to come to the conclusion that the woman was, impossibly, a security guard for the mall itself.

The young woman had entered the mall intending to find a new social acquaintance for Hyde to interact with. She knew it would be a challenge for her, but she thought it best to avoid introducing the Navi to her own small circle of acquaintances when she had no idea what the Navi would do. On the walk over, Hyde had seemed to be a kind and responsible Net Navigator who was very interested in learning about Jacky, as well. Jacky had seemed to be a kind and responsible operator who was very interested in becoming friends with her Navi, seeing her as more than just a research subject. Jacky thought she'd done pretty well, and was wondering just how well Hyde had done. For the moment, the two of them were feeling like very strange acquaintances, indeed. It was very difficult for Jacky to get past Hyde's strange attire to see her as a supposed medical genius.

Now, however, as she had begun making her way to the food court, something so curious it trumped even a brand new Navi was developing in front of her. Jacky had no explanation at all for what she was seeing. She had held up her PET to show it to Hyde, who had a similar dumb-founded slack-jawed look on her normally intelligent face. "That woman isn't wearing any pants?" she asked pointlessly, starting off their conversation.

"No. What's more, I believe she's a law enforcement officer at this mall. Could this be a promotional event for the mall, or a lingerie chain? Is this... some sort of adult-oriented establishment?" Jacky had actually never gone to this particular mall, tending to shop in one place and stay there, and never feeling the need to socialize.

"It certainly doesn't appear to have that motif, but I can understand your line of reasoning," Hyde responded, rubbing her chin thoughtfully. "I was entertaining a thought... is it possible she's in some sort of trouble? Either... a sudden, dramatic mental lapse, or the influence of a criminal element that is forcing her to operate so... er... disposed?"

Jacky became aware that both of them were blushing and slapped herself lightly on the cheeks. "C-criminal element? I hardly think so!"

"Regardless, you agree she must be in some sort of trouble? Or, at the very least, causing trouble to the other patrons! I imagine they must all be... terribly ashamed, being forced to avert their eyes!"

"No," Jacky stated matter-of-factly, "It doesn't appear so. Regardless, I feel compelled to help."

"Certainly, that's good of you," Hyde responded. "And if she's causing trouble for others, acting unbecoming of an officer, maybe give her a swat on that cute patootie for me?"

Jacky raised her eyebrows, but said nothing. She had come to realize in her brief time talking to Hyde, so far, that these sorts of things slipped into her conversation, were not remembered, and were best ignored. She'd had a very difficult time consoling Hyde earlier after informing Hyde that the Navi had just called her new operator a Four-Eyed Freakazoid.

Hyde gave an awkward smile, seeming to realize there was some awkwardness in the air. "You'll set her straight, if she's up to no good? Disturbing others?"

"Ah, yes," Jacky responded, straightening the glasses on her face. "I see that as my responsibility as a concerned mall patron."

The mall cop appeared to be busy conversing with her segway. While it was be easy and humorous to attribute that to some brand of insanity, which would allow Jacky to draw a simple conclusion, Jacky was fully aware that in this day and age, it probably meant she was conversing with a Navi. She walked up, a bit more stealthily than she meant to, and reached up to give the blonde cop a tap on her shoulder. "Excuse me, ma'am... are you, um, an officer here...?"
Jocelyn had managed to locate the rogue stir-fry thief, a thin, Electopian man with shaggy black hair and a lot of stubble, looking and smelling as though he hadn't showered in a long time. He was dressed in a long, black t-shirt and blue jeans, that, while homely, didn't really scream 'I'm so senseless I stick my hand into a stir-fry pan to try to steal its contents while they're cooking.' Their conversation hadn't been much to write home about and certainly nothing to stimulate Sleuth's interest:

"Sir! Are you aware that it is illegal to take possession of or consume the merchandise of any store in this mall? I'm afraid I'm going to have to take you in for double charges of disturbing the peace and petty theft."


"You're only making your disturbing the peace charge more severe! Please, calm down and I will administer cool water to relieve the pain and sanitize. We will both wait here while medical assistance-"


"That's another charge! Threat to harm. Please, refrain from talking unless you want to build up more charges. Is that what you're trying to do? Do you... Do you want more charges?"

"WHAAA- Wait, wha? Why would I want more charges?"

"Oh, I apologize. You were just acting as though you were deliberately trying to accumulate them. I can write you up for profanity as well, if you like?"

"Oh, sure! Yeah, please, just what I need... Wait, wait! Bitch, stop writing!"

And so on. Once the situation calmed down a bit, Jacky found a chance to come sate her curiosity. Jocelyn gave a sharp salute, although she didn't rise from sitting with the criminal. "Why, yes ma'am! I am Jocelyn Yard and I work security for the Gloria Scott shopping mall. This whole mall is my jurisdiction. As you can see, I'm currently under orders to tend to this known thief until medical help arrives. He's burnt his hand-"

"You don't have to say it," the man murmured, looking guilty now.

"Oh! I appreciate that. We won't go into depth about how you attempted to steal cooking stir-fried vegetables, then," Jocelyn reaffirmed with a polite nod. She stood up now, neatly holding the front flaps of her long(ish) pajama shirt down with her dainty white gloves while rising. She extended her hand for a handshake. "Who might you be?" she inquired. "Perhaps you're the medical professional I was waiting for? I confess, we don't have an on-site doctor, so we outsource from local services. This man has a rather intense burn that needs to be treated right away."

"No, really, on second thought, it's not that bad. I mean, it's not like I stuck my hand in there that long," the man grumbled, sounding like he wanted to defend himself.

"Please, reconsider! Such an action is very, very rarely done. I imagine that means it must hurt quite a lot to do so. Ordinary people, even beasts and animals, wouldn't consider it," the officer reminded him, causing his head to droop again in shame. "Are you qualified to treat the burn?" she asked Jacky again. "Or, perhaps your navi? You'll have to forgive me for not introducing mine, she's quite busy at the moment-"

The segway blasted out the harsh, sarcasm-laden scolding of Jocelyn's navi. "Oh, pay me no mind. Just facing off against the mythical LifeVirus. No reason to concern yourself," Sleuth huffed.

"Ha ha! Sleuth is quite capable, you see. She says she's having no trouble whatsoever with what I hear is quite a powerful foe," Jocelyn genuinely praised her navi, who really ought to learn that sarcasm should never be used in a conversation with her operator.
Jacky watched the scene ahead of her bemusedly. She let it play out a bit, partially out of growing hesitation and partially out of curiosity. She didn't feel like she'd received answers to her burning questions yet, but nonetheless, it was time to address Jocelyn directly. "Ah, no. I'm afraid I'm not a doctor, and I didn't come here to provide any medical assistance." Of course, that wasn't entirely true: she'd come here to confirm if Jocelyn herself required any medical assistance. "I've studied medicine, but I'm afraid I'm most likely ill-equipped to handle this particular development. My Navi..."

The student held her PET forward to reveal Hyde, who had drawn her cape around herself for the sake of modesty and first impressions. "My name is Hyde. It's a pleasure to make your acquaintance, Ms. Jocelyn. I don't mean to be nosy, but I feel that if the nature of this man's burn is, as he says, minor, we may be sufficiently qualified to advise on the treatment."

Jacky didn't respond to that, but raised her eyebrows behind her thick glasses at Sleuth's comment. "Did your Navi say LifeVirus? I'm hardly an expert on matters of NetBattling and Virus Busting, but... that sounds perilous. If you say she can handle it, I'll yield to your judgment as Sleuth's caretaker, but I should say I'm very impressed at her capability... battling without chips." The operator let a short silence punctuate that comment, during which she assumed Jocelyn would draw meaning from her statement. "In any case, I suppose it would be cruel of me not to at least offer a recommendation for the burn treatment."

Frowning a bit due to the strong smells of the man and the food mingling, Jacky knelt down before the supposed stir-fry thief and inspected his hand. "I don't see any second-degree burns, which, if you performed the actions I've been led to believe, is fortunate." It was impossible to tell if Jacky was glaring at him judgmentally or simply staring at his hands as she said this, due to dense frames. "For first degree burns, I recommend running the burn under cool water until the professionals arrive. Don't administer any ice. I'm assuming Jocelyn has access to a first-aid kit, from which we can obtain sterile bandages-"

Hyde cleared her throat loudly. Catching the meaning, Jacky stopped what she was doing and checked her PET. "Is something the matter?"

"Well, nothing's technically wrong with your solution, but I would like to remind you time is of the essence! And Jocelyn, bless her pure heart, but I'm certain she rarely deals with this magnitude of injury. She may not even be properly equipped to provide the bandages. We certainly wouldn't want anything getting infected."

Jacky felt so besieged by pseudoscience and bad vibes that she would have immediately requested anyone else stop talking immediately. She felt she had an obligation to hear Hyde through and let her speak, though, so she did exactly that. "Go on," she replied with a wide frown.

"I was simply going to offer that, being both a practicing doctor and researcher of several years, it might be appropriate for me to recommend an alternate treatment."

Hyde looked both confident and innocent, but from an earlier briefing, Jacky had already gotten several tips to bad intent. Hyde had been a practicing doctor, yes, but in light of her recent issues, that license was currently suspended. She held her tongue, against her better judgment. "Continue."

"Saliva, dear," Hyde said, with a benevolent, almost maternal grin. "You know what they say: just a lick will do the trick."

Jacky's face didn't know exactly what expression to make in response, so her eyebrows and lips merely twitched for a moment before she responded. "Saliva?"

"Yes. Widely touted as 'mama's method' in the world of family medicine, but a proven miracle worker through scientific research. Jocelyn will probably remember, I imagine, all of the cuts and boo-boos of her childhood which were 'kissed and made better!'"

Jacky kept a tight, measured frown as she continued. "And how are you proposing we administer... the saliva?"

"I think sucking on the hand should suffice, don't you?" Hyde said, a hint of mad orange gleaming in her eye that only Jacky would catch.

"Ah. But let me interject with my, ahem, limited expertise on the subject. I am assuming it cannot be his own saliva, but rather, it should be one of ours?"

"Naturally," Hyde responded evenly, as though it really was natural. "It is well documented that feminine saliva is a more potent restorative than that of male, and the effect of male saliva is further diluted if it is saliva native to that of the recipient. I believe yours would be a particularly potent genetic match, in this case."

"Mmm." Jacky humorlessly rose to her feet, adjusted her glasses, and cleared her throat. "Ms. Jocelyn, I apologize for my Navi's joking, and sir, I apologize for her making light of your injury. Now, I believe we should relocate to a location where we can run cold water-"

"Or we can perform saliva treatment right here, simply by having you suck on the poor gentleman's hand, at least for a short period until medical professionals arrive! Jocelyn, Jacky's saliva may be the best genetic match to that of the Electopian gentleman than that of anyone else in this mall. Won't you please consider using your authority in this issue, to make certain this poor man receives the finest possible treatment?"

Jacky glared at her PET, in which she could see her Navi trying to hide a twisted grin behind her hands. "Now I at least know what I'm going to be dealing with," she thought with a sigh. She was starting to see how serious Hyde's issue was. If this particular quirk was encountered during a serious medical operation, the results can be injurious or fatal. Luckily, it didn't look like anything particular tragic or obscene was going to be resulting from her interjection here, at least. "Ms. Jocelyn, if you would direct us."
Jocelyn's eyes fell as Jacky revealed that she wasn't a doctor. "Oh, that's a shame," she sighed. Just as quickly, she brightened up, once Hyde revealed that they were indeed qualified to administer the treatment. It stayed pretty much neutral (bright, but neutral) when Jacky mentioned the LifeVirus. "Yes, but she's got it well under control. She told me so herself! What's more important is that we address this man's burn with whatever technique you feel qualified to administer," Sleuth's operator continued. Sleuth either wasn't going to bother pointing out that she'd been using sarcasm, or otherwise, she simply didn't have the time to. Either possibility seemed pretty likely.

The man's hand had been treated with little more than bottled water at this point, so he was pleased enough to let Jacky look at it, given that she didn't appear to be insane, in stark contrast to Jocelyn. "Uff. Cool water," he responded, nodding but not showing much appreciation. He looked alarmed when Hyde began to speak up, given that he genuinely believed water was probably about the only stopgap solution here and was beginning to show an extreme distaste for bizarre, unexplainable things happening around him. "No," he grunted preemptively.

"Hush, please," Jocelyn quieted him down, leaning in closer and giving Jacky a peek at her hugely distracting (and just huge) cleavage. "Do tell, Ms. Hyde!" What followed was a story that no one ought to believe, even one of the younger age that the navi had mentioned. Jocelyn bought into it immediately, as she bought into everything. "Of course! I do recall a kiss having such an effect. If it's as you say, then a lot of saliva ought to work well. The more the better, it sounds like."

"What are you talking about, my dear girl? Ah, nevermind, I'm far too busy at the moment to pry," Sleuth sighed from nearby. "Just remember that using or not using saliva is a matter of preference. Some men can enjoy all sorts of carnal pleasures while still being repulsed by the natural liquids which the body produces. You'll simply have to do some exploring."

"Well, I understand... but Hyde makes it sound appropriate, and I trust her implicitly," Jocelyn responded, handing out her unconditional trust all too easily. "According to Hyde, a woman's saliva is best. It's a shame I only ever had Papa to kiss me," she murmured, pressing one long shirt sleeve to her chin contemplatively. "This also explains why Rodney said that women make the best nurses. In the future, I should seek kisses from women. Definitely something to remember." The man nearby Jocelyn lowered his eyebrows with a dumb expression, not understanding what he was hearing. "However, I also recall Papa telling me not to suck my thumb... But then, he never mentioned anyone else's thumb. Medicine is quite complicated. I can see why students study so many years to become doctors!"

Hyde continued to complicate the issue while Jocelyn made it more and more clear that she was entirely trusting of the medical professional's diagnosis. "Your navi is right, Ma'am. However, if I've heard everything properly, then I believe it is my duty as a professional dedicated to the prompt and immediate treatment of any injured on mall grounds to insist that you and I both join in together to provide the maximum soothing effect. Don't worry, I've got a call in to a local medical team. We need only stabilize the situation until they arrive," she reassured Jacky. Sensing that the man was already repulsed by the idea, she stifled his resistance by grabbing hold of one arm quickly, then the wrist upward of his burned hand. She lifted one leg to bare down on his own, coming just shy of revealing her panties, and bent her head to begin licking the inside of his palm. With her eyes half closed and her pink lips pursing in and out, gliding her tongue across the man's wound and between each of his fingers, it was certainly a sight to behold. A lot of guys were certainly enjoying it, although it took a certain amount of freakiness to do so...

... Freakiness which, surprisingly, the foul-mouthed stir fry bandit hobo didn't share. He began protesting and kicking his legs violently; Jocelyn continued to hold onto him and administer the potent Mama's Method with admirable determination. "Ma'am, please assist me!" the mall cop requested around a mouthful of burnt flesh to her ally in modern medicine. "While we do this, I'll administer more water to keep moisture up, both for my own mouth and the patient's injury-!" That didn't go so well, as the kicking, combined with Jocelyn's ineffective groping around for the bottle, ended with her splashing water all over the place, elevating an already messy and ridiculous scene to one even more so. Water began to spill across Jocelyn's hair and the back of her shirt, some on to her chin and upper torso as well, revealing a few elements of the light-blue cotton undergarments she wore beneath. They ought not to be especially perverted to look at, having a fair swimsuit's worth of coverage, but given the combination of her body, the situation, and the moisture, even the staunchly resisting mall bum was starting to stare. If Jacky also engaged as Jocelyn requested, she'd surely begin getting wet too.
Jacky backed away to give Jocelyn's assets some room as the mall cop leaned in. She didn't say anything for the moment, and simply let Jocelyn say her piece, regarding her with the same fascination one might a car wreck on the side of the road. "I assure you," she finally spoke up, "it is a very dangerous idea to give this Navi your implicit trust."

"Hm? Are we talking about me?" Hyde had piped up from her PET, speaking in the voice of confusion Jacky typically associated with her having come back from a swing. "I'll admit that I may not be in the finest state of mind, but nevertheless, this is a minor injury! I believe with the two of us recommending aid in tandem, we should be more than qualified."

Jacky pinched the bridge of her nose, trying to decide whether or not to tell her Navi that she had basically talked over the proper medical recommendation perhaps a minute earlier. Besides, she was at a loss for words for much of anything at the moment. She had heard Jocelyn direct her to join in the bizarre treatment, and before her eyes, Jocelyn appeared to be... effectively administering it. Jacky frowned deeper for a moment, trying to even imagine herself doing the same thing. Her dignity and credibility could be in serious jeopardy here, if not her wellness. "You have no idea where that man has put his hand besides stir-fry..."

With that being as it was, Jacky's survival instinct told her she needed to get as far away as possible. That said, she couldn't simply abandon the man to his fate, and he also wasn't sure she could flat-out deny the authority of an official. It might be best if she could find a way to help, but in a different manner than... the thing Jocelyn was doing.

With that in mind, she set her PET nearby, propped on top of a table and facing Jocelyn and the man. Jocelyn was somehow making things even more preposterous by splashing water everywhere. Jacky thought about offering her lab coat, but... she really didn't want to get anywhere near the whirring gears of the disaster machine she saw in front of her. She didn't think the water would mess up her sweater the same way, but no reason to get wet if she didn't have to. "Jocelyn, I'm leaving Hyde here to watch and call the proper authorities if the situation becomes more critical. I'm going to go out front and see if the authorities are there for me to direct to our location. Please do your best to, um... well, keep doing this if you want. And please, don't listen to any new advice from Hyde. At all."

Jacky had already started backing up as she was talking, and now had begun a near-sprint away from Jocelyn. She wasn't very fast, normally, but she was plenty fast in this maneuver.


Hyde, meanwhile, was left with the scenario ahead of her. She didn't think anyone was paying that much attention who would matter, so she had let face fall into an unrestrained expression that fully conveyed her mirth. Her wide grin, fully showcasing horrific teeth, was on full display. Jacky seemed like she was having a hard time with Jocelyn, but Hyde liked her a lot.

"Well, first things first," she thought, clearing her throat. "Jocelyn! The situation is critical, so please ignore would Jacky said before and pay attention to what I'm about to tell you. I can see from the patient's violent reaction that the treatment has, up until this point, been ineffective. Furthermore, I worry that Jacky's obstinate confidence in her own medical opinions stands as a barrier to our properly addressing the situation."

Hoping she had Jocelyn's attention, Hyde continued, still not bothering to hide her grin. "In this case, I must recommend a drastic measure known as 'spit-swapping'. I believe you may have heard of it," she continued, not really caring at all whether Jocelyn had heard of it or not, feeling fully confident that Jocelyn would believe the description she was about to give. "If Jacky is unwilling to lend her precious saliva for this project, we simply need to extract it from her. Even if Jacky has reservations about administering the treatment herself, I'm certain she will be willing to simply aid in your administering it. Allow me to explain:"

The Navi held up a finger to indicate the first step. "First, when Jacky returns, I recommend you approaching her and wrapping your arms around her, so that she cannot escape."

"Following that, you should pay her a few compliments. This will help massage her pride and convince her that we aren't looking down on her medical credibility. Any kind of compliment would be appropriate, and I strongly recommend you think about compliments you have been paid in the past for reference."

"Following this is the most important part. You will need to lock your lips with Jacky," Hyde misinformed, making a point to purse her own lips as in a kiss. "And following that, you will attempt to lock Jacky's tongue with your own, like so." Hyde stuck her tongue out and lashed it about obscenely, pantomiming a fervent make-out, before continuing.

"I assure you, that while this might appear to be a 'make-out' gesture, as you typically see, it is in fact a documented medical procedure similar to CPR. Be sure not to inform Jacky of your intent, however, as she may attempt to break free to preserve her own ill-advised medical standpoint. In this case, it will be best to rely on the element of surprise. I recommend holding her tightly during the swap, as you most likely possess more physical strength. After you have the saliva, you can return to administering your original method and expect increased effectiveness, although it may be wise to continue directing Jacky to join in on the finger-sucking. I mean, the treatment."


As Hyde had hoped, Jacky's conscience didn't allow her to stay gone long. With no sign of the medical professionals in sight (they probably weren't treating this as a very serious emergency), Jacky had turned right back around. First, she thought she might lend her coat to Jocelyn after all. Second, she didn't feel safe leaving Hyde there for an extended time: she didn't trust Jocelyn's ability to protect her PET, or Hyde's ability to go two seconds without putting a weird idea in Jocelyn's head. Most importantly, though, she thought that if she spoke with some authority, she ought to be able to override the nonsense Hyde was speaking and educate a number of civilized people about proper medical treatment for a minor injury that really should not be such a big deal. She approached the scene of the accident again, pleased to hear that her Navi was not speaking.
Pausing briefly with her tongue still sticking out, Jocelyn looked into Jacky's face with innocent green eyes. The mall cop gave a short salute. "I'll continue this course and disregard any new information from your navi!" she reassured her new acquaintance, then, despite the protests of the man in question, resumed licking his fingers and palm. Once the girl had left, carrying the only voice of reason with her, Hyde resumed her same antics under the sway of her alter ego. Jocelyn gasped when she learned that, despite her efforts, the treatment she'd administered so far had been useless. "It's honestly no wonder that so much formal training is required to become a medical professional. These techniques are both unintuitive and difficult to remember in their full sequence, if you don't mind my saying," she complained, pressing her hands into her lap and listening. "So, I should apprehend her... give her any sort of compliment... and then... try to lock down her tongue with my own? That sounds quite difficult..."

"My dear girl. I'm still somewhat preoccupied, but I must say that's quite something you're going on about. Perhaps you ought to refrain from any rash action until I have time to advise you on the matter?" Sleuth proposed, from the nearby segway.

"No, no, my friend. A man's health is at stake! I simply cannot wait while I have tools available to me that can help!" Jocelyn responded, showing a noble spirit paired with a supernatural vulnerability to exploitation. "Jacky may not understand, but in the end, she'll certainly be thankful once the-"

"Damn, stupid as hell!" the criminal sitting nearby Jocelyn interjected, beginning to look irritated again.

Jocelyn frowned and shook one finger. "I understand that you're not grateful, but that's no reason to insult poor Miss Jacky. Think of her wounded credibility as a doctor, now that Hyde has proposed treatments that she never knew to offer! You shouldn't be so unkind to strangers," she scolded the hapless man, who looked increasingly baffled by Jocelyn's misinterpretation. "Please, don't interfere. I'll handle the girl properly when she returns and acquire the saliva that you need."

"Oh, dear. I had best hurry up this interrogation," Sleuth murmured from nearby.


While Hyde thought that her operator was returning well in time to 'assist with the treatment,' Jocelyn had begun to wring her hands with worry, thinking that Jacky had left. Once the unfortunate victim of her own navi's prank was close enough, Jocelyn sprang to her feet with amazing speed, locking both arms around the shoulders of her prey and pressing her sizable bosom into that of the captured operator. She pulled them tighter into a hug, looking pleased with herself as their faces nearly met. "Jacky... That shirt looks great on you. I always like the way you look in a tie, you know? It makes you look like a real cop," she chuckled, saying words that didn't make any sense; she really had pulled out 'any sort of compliment.' "You shouldn't worry that you're not dressed like other mall cops. After all, it's only because you're so trusted that you get to wear whatever we collaborate on!" Hopefully, Jacky wasn't being tricked into thinking she was a mall cop yet, as she'd need her full rationality and collection of her senses to protect herself. "Now, hold still!" she instructed her captive, leaning in to try to lock their lips together in a kiss.

"D-Damn... I shoulda' just tricked her into lettin' me go," the nasty stir-fry thief remarked, flabbergasted at how easy Jocelyn was to trick into doing just about anything...

... And doing just about anything she was. If she managed to get their lips together, she would relentlessly pursue Jacky's tongue, attempting to wrap it with her own in the way the most intimate of couples might. In her case, however, the goal was to collect as much of Jacky's saliva as possible... something she wouldn't really accomplish this way, even if she managed to make a lot of tongue-to-tongue contact. Of course, there was no real technique to Jocelyn's method, either from the standpoint of making out or trying to collect saliva.

"Jocelyn? What are you doing over there? My dear, do remember that I can be fired for failing to watch over you properly! Think about my career, here!" Sleuth pleaded, becoming increasingly worried about what her operator might be getting into.
Knowing neither Jocelyn nor Jacky was looking now, as Jocelyn had already started walking towards Jacky, Hyde wrapped her arms around herself and fell to the floor, making muffled laughs and gasps in what appeared to be a mixed state of mirth and ecstasy. "Oh my! I haven't gotten anyone like this yet! It feels so gooood..." Her only regret was that with her PET turned the current way, she couldn't get a view of it herself. She could tell from the sounds and the man's disbelieving expression, however, that things were probably going close to how she hoped. Aaah... aah... hold on, I'm drooling, aah..." Realizing she was, in fact, drooling, and not just a little bit, she rose to her feet and carelessly wiped her wet mouth on the back of her cape. On the off chance the one man who could look at her saw her doing so, she even made a point of waving to him and grinning. "Ooh, Jocelyn's nice... I wonder if there's a way I can get her as my operator...?"


Jacky approached Jocelyn tentatively, and addressed her mere moments before she realized how well-founded that caution was. "Ms. Jocelyn... I didn't see the authorities, but-"

Like a bear trap, Jocelyn seemed to snap and enclose Jacky with mechanical speed. Jacky was helpless to defend herself, and was forced into silence as she listened to the strange compliments she was being paid. At first she was assuming Jocelyn had suddenly swung into a very affectionate state of mind, but when she started talking about a tie, Jacky immediately realized what must have happened. "In just the short time I was gone...? But when things stop making sense, she's normally the one to blame."

Luckily, Jocelyn's "now hold still" acted as a warning shot to Jacky. Her body wasn't strong, but her reflexes were sharp, and she had a feeling she understood what was coming next. "I have to put an end to this nonsense..." Even internally, she wouldn't admit to herself that it also had a lot to do with protecting her first kiss. That thought was based in far too much sentimentalism. It was much more appropriate to think of it as protecting her dignity.

With that in mind, Jacky made a point to move her face out of the way like a fussy child as Jocelyn ineffectually went for the lip lock. The end result caused her face to become covered in the mall cop's saliva, as Jocelyn could not manage to make a connect with her advances.

Jacky knew she'd have to find a way out of this in a moment, but for now, she had something more important to do. Her glasses lop-sided on her face from the misguided mall cop's attack, Jacky attempted to shout around Jocelyn and to the supposed thief. "Sir! Perhaps you should run now? Either run for the door and try to find the medical professionals, or... or if they're not coming, just go to a different establishment and use their s-" she sputtered, as Jocelyn's tongue threatened to invade her mouth momentarily. "Ms. Jocelyn, please! Didn't I tell you not to listen to- pfft pbt!"


Hyde was feeling so good now, but she had a feeling her fun was about to reach its climax. The man looked fed up with his quality of care at this medical facility, and it was quite likely he really would try to flee the coop. Was there anything left to still capitalize on...? Realizing the jig might well be up, Hyde decided to push her luck as far as it would go. "Ms. Jocelyn, I think I know why Jacky is resisting so much! I can't believe I didn't realize this earlier, but Jacky probably doesn't feel qualified to help not because she isn't a qualified medical professional, but because she isn't a mall professional! Why, it would look ridiculous if any random person off the street started sucking an injured man's hand! Perhaps people would recognize her as your ordained helper more easily if you were to help her into a uniform more similar to yours? One without pants?!" Hyde's voice rose a bit as she came right out and said it, but she couldn't help it. Too much fun...! "Then the two of you can treat the patient together...!"


Jacky heard Hyde's words, becoming even more humiliated as she realized that meant Hyde's voice must be carrying well enough for people in a good radius to hear. "Oh, no!" she gasped, hearing the end of Hyde's statement. She realized she need to address that in a way that couldn't be misinterpreted, and fast. "Ms. Jocelyn, please! The uniform is the farthest thing from my mind. I don't want to dress like, er..." Jacky couldn't come right out and say "you," thinking that would be a bit rude (it was commendable that she was thinking about Jocelyn's feelings at all at this point). "Dress like a mall cop! Please, cease and hear me out!" She wanted to have faith in her fellow human being and what she would have, until today, assumed were minimum faculties of reason... but that didn't stop her from putting her hands on her belt line and trying to keep it in her feeble grip.
"Whoops... That wasn't very good spit swapping at all, I'm afraid. I'm terribly sorry," Jocelyn apologized, still embracing her new acquaintance in a way that would have been uncomfortable even if they were a couple. "Well, I'm not medical professional and far be it from me to criticize your technique, but Miss Hyde informed me that I must have some of your saliva if we're to continue the operation. That means that we have to make mouth to mouth contact! It just seems to me that it would be... far easier... if you'd hold still!" she gasped as she continued making attempts at locking lips.

The criminal who'd been Hyde's meal ticket to start all of her nonsense agreed with Jacky's assessment completely and stood up, then began tiptoeing away while Jocelyn's back was to him. The mall cop herself was distracted by Hyde's new advice, which, while mad, made sense in the warm, accepting, non-judgmental, and completely blank void of Jocelyn's reasoning. "I see what you're saying. You should know, however, that this isn't really a typical mall cop's uniform here. Still, if you think it would help her feel more attuned to the task at hand, I will do my best to assist!" she responded, quickly slapping both gloved hands onto the sides of Jacky's pants. After hearing the would-be mall cop's complaints about not really wanting to be a mall cop, however, Jocelyn was forced to pause. "Really? You don't want to be a mall cop? I must say, I'm surprised... It's quite nice! You meet all sorts of people and maintain a fair wage despite the relative lack of rigor in the work. My navi is a detective and I gather that she works much harder for far less pay!" It was probably a good thing Sleuth wasn't quite finished with her business yet to hear that. "I understand your complaints, but I have to think that you will enjoy life as a mall cop if you give it a try, not to mention that, as Miss Hyde said, you may be more efficient at administering medical treatment. Therefore, I have to...!"

Jocelyn bent her knees and squatted, sticking her tongue up from the side of her lip as she attempted to stick both thumbs into the upper hem of her new partner in cop-life's pants. She'd then attempt to yank them down hard, trying to ignore the belt entirely, which probably wouldn't work, at least not fully. Finally, a voice of reason came from an unlikely source: the segway-mounted PET that held Jocelyn's navi. "Woooah there, Frisky!"

Seemingly not hearing, Jocelyn persisted.

"... That's you, my dear Jocelyn," Sleuth clarified.

Now on her knees and still tugging, Jocelyn looked back over her shoulder. "Oh! What's the matter?" she asked, as if that wasn't obvious.

"I'm afraid you're being taken by a con-artist. Despite her relatable Creamland accent, that Hyde appears to be a mean-spirited sort, intent on using your naivety against you. Ordinarily, I'd tell her 'well done,' and 'that's quite amusing,' but in this case, you're my charge that I have sworn to protect from danger and, to some very limited extent, public humiliation. Therefore, I ask that you cease trying to pants this new acquaintance and, furthermore, cease giving blind heed to the words of our shady friend," the detective warned her operator. "I dearly apologize for any trouble that Jocelyn may have caused you, my good woman, but know that she means well."

Obeying her own navi's words above all others, Jocelyn dropped her grip on Jacky's pants and backed up, her face showing an expression of innocence and dismay, despite the heinous actions she'd just performed. "I'm sorry... Sometimes, I just feel so compelled to help that I don't really know how to proceed. That causes me to lend an ear to those I shouldn't. I hope I haven't inconvenienced you," she apologized, wiping her gloves across Jacky's cheeks to wipe some of the saliva off. If her pants were down, well, she wouldn't bother with those. After all, it was still socially acceptable not to wear pants, which she knew to be true by the fact that no one was instructing her to put some on.

"Yes, an apology owed. I pray that you'll consider accepting. However, that rot aside, I have something far more important to announce!" Sleuth continued, feeling proud of herself. "I have cleared all of the ghosts from the mansion to which I was assigned and received a sizable cash sum for my efforts! A mystery solved, a bundle earned, and now on to the next adventure," she chuckled.

"Wow! Just what do you suppose the next adventure will be?" Jocelyn reacted excitedly; apparently, her tone of regret was already forgotten.

"I was thinking we may start by heading towards Suitachi's Navi Shop. It's a bit of a trip, but, well, you need an excuse to get changed anyway. A bit of the skivvies are showing through the shirt, you naughty fox!" Jocelyn teased her operator.

Startled, Jocelyn began covering the wet spots, as though she had suddenly developed a sense of modesty. "Geez, Miss Hyde, Miss Jacky... I wish you would have informed me," she pouted, looking red in the cheeks, amazingly embarrassed for the first time this morning. "I'll go see Rodney and get changed... I don't suppose the two of you would tend to Sleuth and my segway while I'm gone, would you? It shan't be more than a moment," the mall cop requested. "Thank you very much for considering it."

"Why don't you just ride your segway?" Sleuth asked, although she didn't particularly care.

"Because it's so slow, silly Sleuth! This is a situation that requires some expediency," she finished, apparently placing the loss of her decency above responding to a reported theft and injury in terms of urgency. "Wait right here!"


"Wait, don't-!" Sleuth called out, but it was too late; her operator was already running to the office. The sight of Jocelyn running was something that was erotic no matter what she was wearing, thanks to her upper body baggage, but it was even worse when all she was wearing was high-end lingerie and a partially transparent silk night-shirt. The worse problem here was that Sleuth had been left alone before having the opportunity to request Jocelyn refresh her clothing, leaving her clad in only a strapless, leopard-print bra and matching thong underwear. It hadn't been so bad to wear around Mr. Prog, who was not only quite accommodating, but also certainly alone and relatively unopinionated. On the other hand, she was now left with two strangers, both of whom were likely to begin interacting with her and probably would eventually want to see who they were talking with. "Bloody hell... Well, who cares? I'm a woman of the world."

Crossing her arms and sinking her chin to her neck, she thought about the situation that had just transpired. She was doing a fair job of rebuilding her own arsenal, having just accumulated fifteen-thousand zenny and having tested out her excellent new CircleGun weapon. On the other hand, she was doing a miserable job of keeping Jocelyn in line or teaching her anything. It occurred to her that she ought to reallocate her efforts: she'd had a good adventure, solved a mystery, and increased her war chest, but now, it was time to refocus her efforts on her operator's well-being. "Say, Miss Jacky, Miss Hyde? I trust you're both thinking now that the otherwise adorable muppet is off her rocker and fruitier than a wild-berry tart, after that brief demonstration? Sadly, you're quite right. Jocelyn lived a very, very sheltered life and grew up, how shall I say... weird? No, that's not the right descriptor... Hopelessly naive, rather. A bit spoiled and more than a bit stupid, but worst of all, terribly, terribly naive. As is, I hardly see how she can protect herself in this world of ours, let alone learn to be a productive member of society. That is why, my good ladies, I was hoping I might convince you... rather, appeal to your instincts as good-hearted creatures... to help me civilize young Jocelyn. I'll be in the market for another task and, I was thinking, if Jocelyn participates with someone else to guide her, we might be able to make some real progress, especially now that she hopefully has seen that her blind trust can be a weakness. Assuming, of course, that your navi is really up for a humanitarian task like this. She seems a bit nutty herself, from the brief bit I've heard."

Truth be told, she was having a very hard time acting authoritative while standing around considerably-over-half-naked, even if nobody was really looking. She thought she'd risk one of them coming over before she'd ask for help and be exposed that way, though. "Well, we'll have to do a bit of shopping once Jocelyn returns, but after that, if you'd like to accompany us when we return from our travel,, I assure you'd be doing humanity at large a favor by helping to curve the poor girl's propensity for nonsense." Even now, Sleuth felt like she was forgetting something... "Oh, right. The Stir Fry Bandit. I'm no less concerned about him than I was when I first heard the story," she thought to herself. A good motto for detectives: let the harmless ones go, unless someone's paying you or it's keeping you up at night.
"I assure you, I'm not abject to criticism of my techniques!" Jacky retorted, still feeling compelled (for whatever reason) to try to keep up conversation and try to appeal to reason. "It's just-" she started again, before yielding to the need to protect her mouth again. Furthermore, it quickly became apparent she was about to enter round 2 of her skill test, and this was an area she felt she had a distinct disadvantage in.

"Wait stop!" she gasped pauselessly and fruitlessly. Jacky didn't normally entertain such thoughts, but then again, she wasn't in a normal situation: she found herself helplessly imagining Jocelyn as some sort of vampire who would, after sucessfully kissing her or exposing her, transform her into an air-headed pantsless mall cop as well. Would she be doomed to eschew her dignity and her future?

Spurred on by her thoughts of mad danger, Jacky felt a surge of strength that she thought she might be able to use to counter Jocelyn's next advance... until her breath suddenly hitched, as she realized something even more terrible. She wasn't sure if Jocelyn had realized it, seeing as she was wearing gloves, but her thumbs had gotten into more than just Jacky's pants, and had snagged one layer more than she had probably intended. "Aaaah... noooo..." Jacky began to cry.

Luckily for her, she quickly realized Jocelyn's assault wasn't going to be as big of a deal as she'd first imagined. Jacky didn't have nearly the strength to resist Jocelyn alone, but Jocelyn apparently wasn't going to make any attempt to remove Jacky's belt. With that in mind, locking her legs together and pulling her pants up as well as she could was a fairly effective counter-strategy. "Does... does she know how a belt works? Does she dress herself?" the operator found herself thinking.

Even with her defenses in place, Jacky understood that she was fighting a losing battle. Jocelyn seemed to have limitless energy and enthusiasm for her work. To her dismay, Jacky found that her garments were indeed starting to creep down very slightly in the back, where she wasn't holding up. Luckily, the labcoat she was still wearing would keep her crack from peeking out, as she was fearing might otherwise be the case.

Finally, someone came to her aid, and Jacky was allowed a moment to catch her breath. It took her a moment to register that the unknown voice was coming from the cop's own segway.


Hyde had come down off of her high after seeing the man run away. She supposed she was proud of the fact that she'd managed to control a human being to make a grown man run in fear, but she was a bit disappointed in the current situation she was left in. The man's expressions had been acting as a channel by which she could witness the results of her actions. With him gone, she was left audio-only.

That audio quickly turned sour as someone finally stepped in. Through a bit of peaked listening, Hyde quickly pieced together that the voice must belong to Jocelyn's Navi. "Why would she take so long to step in, though...? Well, no matter. I'll put a mental flag to get back at her later... for now..."


Jacky frowned, straightening her pants again, and figured she shouldn't object if Jocelyn wanted to clean her face. She suspected that the other operator probably lent ears to those she shouldn't a bit more often than "sometimes," but said nothing. She couldn't honestly respond with "Don't worry about it!" or "It's nothing!" or "I get that all the time!" to accept Jocelyn's apology. "I understand," she replied, although that was also a fib. Finally, she got around to straightening her glasses, and once again felt like a proper human being, having done so.

"I'd be curious to know what kind of mission your Navi was involved in that required both exterminating ghosts and a LifeVirus," Jacky wondered aloud, walking over to the PET to collect it. She found Hyde looking dazed and confused on the other side of the screen. She imagined any harsh words she had would either fall on deaf ears or innocent ignorance, so she decided to save it. She turned with her same sullen frown to Jocelyn as the operator expressed displeasure at having not been told she was dressed perhaps just slightly indecently. "Yes, please, go get changed. We'll watch the segway... both of us," she ended with a sigh, glancing back at her PET. It only occurred to her after Sleuth said something that it was odd Jocelyn wouldn't choose to take the segway with her, but she didn't really care either.

Jacky didn't have a lot of experience talking to Navis yet, but she thought it might be rude to simply leave Sleuth talking to thin air. Besides, the Navi sounded relatively sane compared to what she'd been dealing with in the past moments. With high hopes, Jacky made her way to the segway, beginning to hold her PET up...

As she came into view for Sleuth, the Navi could see Jacky's face fall as if disappointed upon seeing her in her current state of attire. The operator put the PET back up, deciding perhaps it was best if Hyde didn't meet Sleuth right now after all. She listened to Sleuth's explanation eagerly, as she was certainly interested in learning the origins of Jocelyn's current personality. She seemed receptive to the idea that she should help out, as well. In fact, to her, it seemed as though that was probably more important than exploring Hyde's condition. "Of course. We'd be happy to help," she responded. It might be surprising that Jacky would so willingly sign herself up for what she'd just been through, but she felt confident that now that she had experience with Hyde under her belt and could decide situations more on her own terms, she'd be able to stave off disaster. "I'd be fascinated to learn more about your circumstances as well."

"And I as well," Hyde finally piped up, sounding as though she was in a proper frame of mind again. "Am I going to meet Ms. Sleuth?"

"In due time," Jacky responded, pushing her glasses up on her nose with a finger. "I don't think it's necessary at the moment."

"Ah, I see," Hyde returned, sounding a bit dejected. "That's a shame."

Jacky remained pensive and taut a moment longer, looking like she expected a blow.

"It's just... when I don't get to meet new people, I tend to get soooo f*ckin' bored? You know? And my f*ckin' mind starts to go damn straight to the f*ckin' gutter and I just get f*ckin' carried away when I get bored. You know?"

Jacky, looking frustrated, began to contemplate turning down Hyde's volume in spite of her vow not to.

"Sl*t damn f*ck sh*t balls," Hyde continued, clearly just rattling them off now without really speaking in a proper sentence. The focus was clearly on projecting her voice.

"Sleuth," Jacky finally spoke, still wincing and shutting her eyes, "I should explain that Hyde has a condition which, in short, causes her to temporarily swing between personalities. Basically, she transforms between her regular persona, a respected medical professional and researcher, and-"

"BALLS. DAMN! F****CK. Oh. What was I... Jacky, did Jocelyn go somewhere?"

"That," Jacky finished, running a hand across her mouth. "Would you like to meet her?"
Realizing that Jacky was approaching the segway, Sleuth began to babble out a few words of warning. "Erm, hold there just a moment, my friend! I need to-!" she began, but it was pretty hard to get it out fast enough; she would have only had maybe a second to do so between when she realized the operator was moving and when the operator actually arrived. "Hey, don't give me that look! My clothing was sacrificed to that dangerous mission I just mentioned. An unfortunate, highly fashionable casualty. I always put the mission first," Sleuth lied, as running around half-naked had been mostly a whim of hers born out of a temporary fit of boredom. "But I'm happy to hear that you're willing to help! You'll be doing a lot of individuals a kindness here, I assure you: myself, Miss Jocelyn, Miss Jocelyn's father, the mall-goers, and the even the countless unseen bodyguards expertly hidden around the mall and behind surveillance equipment. Perhaps there could even be some good connections in it for you? Like me! My, you're getting quite a deal out of this!" It sounded like Sleuth was trying to sell a junker, even after Jacky had already agreed to go along with it. "And if you want to hear a story, my good lady, I have some crackerjack yarns that will knock you out of your slacks far more effectively than my operator so ineptly just attempted to!"

As Hyde rattled on some extremely colorful language, no better suited for polite company than Sleuth's current attire, Sleuth began to think that the pair she'd just met had quite a story to tell on their own. "Oh, I know what you mean, old girl! There's something about boredom that just brings out the worst in all of us professionals. I, for instance, tend to walk around in my underwear and try to frame the events of a mystery to pin complex criminal activities on unassuming house-workers. You attempt to converse in illegible sentences, utilizing the native tongue of swarthy sailors. Not so different, you and I," Sleuth chuckled. She really wanted to meet her new acquaintance now; her inquisitive nature had her itching for action. Jacky shed some more light on the situation, causing Sleuth to return a big, excited grin that was probably the opposite of what Jacky wanted. "What a splendid character! She'd throw a monkey wrench into any proper mystery, I imagine, with her unpredictable nastiness and love for mischief. Riveting!" Hyde continued swearing. "And she sounds like she enjoys male genitalia and a good shag almost as much as I do, based on her vocabulary!" the detective joked, although, truth be told, listening to Hyde's language, while a fascinating sample of character study, was becoming somewhat grating. "If it's all the same to you, my dear Jacky, let us wait until Jocelyn returns before exchanging cards in person. A first impression is important and clothes can make the woman, after all, therefore, I would like to give Hyde the mistaken impression that I am a high-class detective, rather than the nosy dick that I actually am."

Jocelyn returned with surprising swiftness, now dressed in an outfit much more befitting of a mall cop, if not extremely outdated: a small, bell-shaped hat sat upon her head, a short-sleeved blue t-shirt, and long, black slacks. Now that she was dressed for the part, she was all ready to... leave on her trip. "Sorry to keep you waiting, Miss Jacky! Rodney wasn't happy that the thief escaped and that I'd gone over budget with my wardrobe for the day, so I had to spend a short while explaining myself to him. I hope that you and Sleuth have gotten acquainted now," she reintroduced herself, looking hopefully to Jacky.

"Oh, yes! On that note, I could really use my usual clothing back. You know, for the sake of appearance," Sleuth reminded her operator.

"Of course, of course. I'd be embarrassed if people saw me wearing only my undergarments as well. Modesty is important," Jocelyn concurred in a flurry of unintentional hypocrisy. "Don't worry though. I don't think modesty is actually so important. What's important is that everyone is happy~" she finished, clapping her hands together. "If it makes other people happy when you walk around with most of your hiney showing, then by all means, my friend."

"Let's switch topics!" Sleuth interjected, clapping her own hands now to drown out her operator. Once her clothing had been refreshed, Sleuth straightened up her hat, cleared her throat, and continued. "Thank you for agreeing to spend some time with us, Miss Jacky, Miss Hyde. We're off to spend some of our cash. Let's reconvene here upon the morrow; it will be a bright new day, we can give the mall some time to calm down from the awful fright they must be experiencing after today's heinous crime wave, and we'll be better suited for our next mission thanks to some fancy new upgrades. Does that suit you? Splendid!" Jocelyn, as if on queue, mounted the segway, gaining a bit of height over Jacky. "But first... to the office again! Your charger must be rested and watered, by which I mean you can't take your segway out of the mall."

"Thank you, I was confused for a moment!" Jocelyn responded. And thus, Jacky was abruptly left alone with Hyde, an abrupt and somewhat unsatisfying conclusion to her offer to help out. She'd have to wait for "the morrow" before learning what Sleuth had in store.

((To navi shop))