Yacht Under Surveillance

The sight of a large, luxury yacht, filled with diamond-crusted decor and of a size almost matching a small cruise ship, would be a pretty remarkable spotting by itself. When coupled with a small task force full of people wearing bulky gold clothing, the scene became even more extraordinary. Even though Lyntael had been told not to approach directly, it looked like a good number of the task force members were occupied keeping people out of the area. Some had slipped by and were standing toe to toe with the squaddies.

Each squad member wore a sort of gold, hanging cape over black overalls, along with gold-colored gloves and boots. Most of them also wore rounded, gold, whole-head masks with smiling faces on the front. Lyntael could only imagine how hot the unfortunate members who chose to remain fully armored must be. Most of them had seen fit to lose the helmets, if not also the capes. Very few were actually watching the ship or the boardwalk where it was docked.

Basically two guards were keeping up their station: an Electopian male with black, unstylishly bowl-cut hair and a woman with ludicrous, body-length white hair. The man was watching the yacht with his binoculars, stripped down to just the overalls which he wore off the chest (his physique was not bad itself). He was seated upon a life-guard's chair near the front of the boardwalk; the unused pieces of his costume were draped over the side-rail of his station. The woman was dressed in the full gear except for the helmet and was accordingly drenched in sweat. She stood at the entering point of the dock, watching with cold blue eyes. She might be the gatekeeper in this situation.

To the right, the beach spanned endlessly onward. To the left, an overgrown patch of jungle and large rocks might provide some cover (and some cuts if she didn't watch her feet). The only ways to approach the boat would be frontward through the dock or by swimming around... but then she'd have to think up how to get on.
((From => Twin's Room))

Lyntael opened her eyes to the sight of a seemingly endless perfect blue sea. A light breeze ruffled at her hair as she took a moment to look about. Her back was to a large rock, but a brief glance around it became a more prolonged stare as she took in the rather... unusual scene close by. Twin had said the boat would be easy to spot, and she had certainly been telling the truth about that, at least. The girl ducked back behind her rock, thinking again. The gold-clad guards almost looked more like some sort of overly ornate honour guard for the yacht, rather than a containment squad, moving about as they were and keeping others away. At least none of them seemed to have noticed her arrival.

Still, first things first... she had no intention of getting caught but, if things went ill, she still had to do her best to make sure her message wasn't discovered. On her wrist it was too easy to see, even as a data string, but... she bit her lip, thinking for a moment, then brightened. Lifting her skirt up, she caressed one thigh with a fingertip, causing the sting of data to slide across smoothly from her hand to settle instead in a slow circle right at the top of her thigh. Smoothing her skirt down again she looked herself over. Even if she was caught, they'd have to be pushing indecently far to search her to that extent. Not a perfect hiding spot, perhaps, but certainly the best she could do simply. Now, back to getting in....

Another quick glance around the rock let her get a more critical view of the situation. From here, most of them probably wouldn't see her at all if she approached the board-walk calmly... but that one woman at the head of the dock seemed much more focused on her duty and the man watching the boat itself, however dressed down he might seem, was little better. Under the dock might be safe though, at least somewhat. The woman guarding the dock seemed far more eyes-forward, and certainly hadn't seemed to have glanced downward at all since she'd arrived. Getting from here to there would be the problem, really. Covered behind the rock for now, there didn't seem to be any way to get cleanly from her hiding spot to the dock's pylons without risking detection by the shirtless man. A distraction was what she needed, hopefully something to draw both sets of eyes, even if only for a few moments. Her eyes lit on the casually discarded pieces of the man's uniform and she nodded to herself, taking a deep breath.

At the edge of her cover, just enough to keep one eye on what she was doing while still staying out of sight, reached out a hand gently to guide what she was doing. The light breeze eddied around her then grew. She sent it out along the board-walk, gently at first, and off down the length of the beach opposite. It needed to feel natural, smooth enough so that no-one would suspect it as anything more than an errant gust of wind, rather than something directed, but strong enough to... It took more finesse than she usually used, but she concentrated on keeping the pulse of air controlled until she could direct enough of it in a solid gust dragging the man's cloak off its railing and into him, while the gloves beside it were carried off down the beach opposite, away from them, by the wind.

A couple of moments was all she needed, just a few seconds of distraction to glide from her rock to the cover of the dock's pylons, out of sight, delicate air currents guiding and speeding her feet over the hazardous rocks. She planned to dash the moment their attention was diverted, if it was.
With Lyntael's input, the gloves swirled into the air and off the platform, while the cape plastered itself onto the sweaty back of its owner. The white-haired girl sighed, then shouted up towards the man with the bowl-cut hair. "Would it kill you to put on your uniform? WallMan, this is an operation! Your stupid gloves are headed for the other end of the beach!" she shouted; she seemed like the type who was quick to anger.

He looked down at her, raised his eyebrows, then turned his binoculars back towards the ship. "Could you grab those, Swat? If I try to get down from here and chase them, it's just going to be a mess," he explained, arranging the cape so that he was sitting on it.

The woman groaned and slumped her shoulders, then went down the beach after the gloves. The good news was that this had accomplished getting Swat away from her post. The bad news was, in a "so bad it's good" sort of way, the guy was apparently too lazy to stop being vigilant. The good news was, now that she took a look at him, it was pretty clear he had his eyes glued on one part of the ship: the deck, which seemed to feature a pool (again, making it look like a cruise ship). If she could somehow approach in a way that wouldn't show her from that side while the guard was out of the way, she'd be good. The only problem: going through the side that had a ramp extended out would put her in view. She'd have to either distract him as well or otherwise find a way up the ship on the front or right side. The back of the ship facing her didn't seem to offer any opportunities.
Not the result she had expected, but something all the same. Lyntael grit her teeth, watching as the exchange took place between the two, waiting for an opportunity. An opportunity that didn't quite present itself yet. She bit her lip, looking up at WallMan, then darted eyes down again to the retreating back of Swat, chasing after his clothes. She wouldn't stay out of the way for very long. What to do...

A second glance at the vigilant sentry made her pause for just a moment. Looking through his binoculars, the navi did seem exceptionally intent on whatever he was watching on the ship's pool deck. Given his level of focus, her mind suggested exactly why he was so intent upon his duty, and she was half surprised he wasn't sporting a lewd grin as he watched. Still, with his eyes on the lenses, he probably couldn't see anything at all, nearer than the gangway and end of the dock. Maybe. No time to wait on being sure though, it was a risk she had to take, one way or the other. Silence was important, then, and speed.

Bracing herself, Lyntael took a last quick glance at WallMan to make sure he was... focused, then another down to beach to be sure Swat still chased the gloves, then darted out from her cover quickly towards the dock. Her strides were long and smooth, the tips of her toes barely brushing the ground as she glided, tiny currents of air assisting her. Silent was every bit as important as fast, now, and she was careful not to let even something as small as the sound of her movement escape.

At the edge of the dock she paused, eyes darting quickly. No easy way on that wasn't watched... the young girl winced. She'd been hoping to avoid this, but, there was no choice now. As delicately as she could, Lyntael slipped into the water by the dock, a smooth entry that barely made a ripple beyond the natural lap of the tide. The water felt like ice, despite the sun, and she grit her teeth determined not to make a sound. Her skin prickled with initial shivers but he fought it down and released her last hold on on of the piers pylons, taking a breath before she submerged herself completely.

Strangely enough, under the water, it didn't seem so bad, though it was still cold. She opened her eyes, orienting herself to the slightly blurry shape of the yacht, then kicked away from the pylon, swimming as swiftly as she could under the water and arcing around until she reached the far side of the boat. She was a decent swimmer, but certainly no aqua navi, and by the time she was treading water, just below the surface on the far side her lungs were demanding air.

Even so, she surfaced slowly, forcing herself to breath out and in again with a long calm breath, rather than gasping. How much longer before Swat would be heading back. Probably not much. She'd probably be watching the beach, and WallMan's post, when she was, but it wasn't a risk she wanted to take, if possible. Another small shiver trembled through her body. Quickly, she looked over the side of the ship for some way on board. A open porthole window would do... anything... she tried to gauge the distance, looking up. If there was nothing at all, she could probably make it as high as the deck, just, and from here end up behind the ships castle, out of sight of PervMan WallMan's surveillance... but if she made a commotion on deck, that would be just as bad as being discovered beforehand. She spared a last furtive glance in the other direction, to see where Swat was. If she was really out of time, she'd probably have to duck under again and hope to hold out long enough for the other woman to return all the way to her post.

((Forgive the terrible post, I hate rewriting))

Lyn managed to get beneath the water, undiscovered by Swat or WallMan. While underwater she spotted a wide window on the back of the ship, just above its underside, that seemed to provide a view out of a bedroom;the curtains were open. She would have to dive deeper to look in, but it couldn't provide a way in regardless; even if she could break whatever kind if pressurized glass sealed it, she would likely flood the ship doing so.

She got around to the hidden side of the ship and saw a lifeboat and a rope ladder... unfortunately, both were suspended on-level with the deck, which was very high up. She spotted a few circular windows she may be able to reach if she had something to stand on. At the front of the bow, she saw some fancy engraved ornementation that would serve as a decent point from which to climb up the ship. She also, however,heard a woman humming quietly on the deck, as well as the footsteps of someone walking. around the front deck.
((No worries, I understand; rewriting lost work bites.))

Surfacing again, Lyntael breathed a small sigh of relief and rubbed at her arms under the water. Safe, for now at least, but the sooner she could get out of the water, the better. A part of her was sorely tempted to take another look in the submerged window below, but the rest of her wanted a dry towel more, and it would probably better not to risk any sort of commotion until she was well on board. If there was anyone in the bedroom, she'd be seen for sure, that probably wasn't a good idea until she was in a better position.

Treading water, she looked over her options, but glanced towards the pool deck as the sound of humming caught her ears. Female. So, probably ConMan's "Associate" then. Another woman, alone on a private yacht with the man Twin was wanting to profess her love for. It occurred to her that she might be about to climb into something far more delicate than she had first thought.

Another small shiver brought her mind back to the more pressing matter, for now. Getting out of the water. If she could avoid going straight up on deck that would be ideal, at least as long as WallMan was still watching it from his post on the beach. She licked her lips as her eyes settled on the nearest porthole. She was small enough to get through, certainly. Maybe it might even give her a chance to dry off and make herself more presentable before making the delivery, if she was quiet. Now, just to get up there, and in.

Lyntael pushed herself back in the water a little and steadied herself. It would probably make a bit of splash, but she just couldn't think of any safer way up... and so long as she got in before any alarm was raised, that wouldn't be so bad. She took a deep breath and let it out again, her eyes drifting shut as she gathered the cool air currents around the area in closer to her. With no purchase save the surface of the water itself, she'd need more force than it would otherwise take, she knew that much, but how to judge it? No matter, more air.

It felt odd to draw air for a jump to her hands instead of around her feet; the sensation of wind coaxed into tight swirls at her palms was peculiar, even if it felt good, in a strange way. She grit her teeth after another moment; there was a sense of strain trying to control that much to so small a space, and she couldn't do it for much longer. It would have to be enough. Lifting her hands up, she kicked as high out of the water as she could and thrust her palms back down to her sides, flat towards the water's surface.

There was a dull, quiet thump of the air currents releasing, forced down against the surface, followed by a sharper splash as the force flung her up out of the water. Lyntael struck the side of the boat roughly, with more momentum than she'd planned, but clung on with determined fingers to the rim of the window she'd aimed for, biting back the sharp gasp of the impact. For a brief moment she found herself glad for how slight her body was; it was almost no effort to support her weight with just one hand and her feet pressed against the flat side of the ship. Her other hand was occupied trying to hurriedly pull the window open, hoping desperately that it wasn't locked or sealed. Logic told her it ought to be free to open, since the ship had been becalmed for a while, and wasn't going anywhere... but if the rest of the beach was any guide, logic was something in short supply right now.

The draw of air from before left an influx of current, cool airflow that felt even more chill against her wet skin and clothing, perched as she was out of the water now. She shivered more visibly. Provided she could get the window open, Lyntael planned to slip inside right away, without even taking the time to look at what lay within.

Having access to wind manipulation proved useful for Lyn as she managed to vault up to one of the elevated Windows on deck and get inside. Unfortunately, all was not entirely well: it turned out that the doors on deck opened up to metal staircases, which led down onto a dining area. The roof and windows were elevated such that they really took up about one and a half "floors," although it looked like one from the outside. What this amounted to was Lyn falling into a big plate of brisket and various hor devours. Thankfully, the table held under her, thanks to her light weight, but she did end up slathered in barbeque-gravy and tomato vegetable paste,as well as avocado.

In another turn of good fortune, the hall was basically empty. It looked like someone had set up for a banquet that wasn't occurring just yet. And just as silver lining has its dark cloud, someone had assuredly heard the crash; she could hear footsteps hurrying from behind a set of double doors at the other end of the room.

From here, she had several options: the first was to hide under a table, since each was covered with a white cloth. The second was to meet whoever it was and explain the situation. The third was to head through one of the doors at the back. The fourth would be to exit out onto the deck up the stairs. Finally, she could use the downward oriented stares to reach the area below deck.
A moment of relief was all she paused for as the window came open, before Lyntael slipped through feet first, tucking her arms in tight as she dropped... and dropped... and dropped. Another moment, this one for panic, followed by half an instant of trying to right herself desperately for landing, was all that remained before she crashed in a distinctly unprofessional manner into something that felt bad, and sounded worse. Her tiny shriek was most likely lost in the crash of disturbed crockery and tableware.

She rolled to the floor before stumbling up, still dripping water and now... she took a moment to look at herself gingerly as she stood... some sort of food sauce? Before her brain caught up with things she had put a finger to her mouth and tasted it. No, bad. This was gross, and also distinctly not good. A quiet moan threaded between teeth still determined to chatter. Why had the floor been so far away? A glance up confirmed that she'd have no hope of covering up her entry, as if the ruined setting wasn't bad enough. What to do. Ugh, she could feel the sauce marking her thighs and everywhere... ick. No chance to clean things up, not even herself, and with that sound, surely...

Lyntael froze as the sound of hurried footsteps confirmed the thought for her. Not good. Really, really not good with her looking like this. It was everywhere. The top catch on her vest had pulled open as well and it was just... Her fingers clenched into tiny fists, coincidentally squeezing dollops of gravy between the gaps and onto the floor, but she fought down the urge to utter one of the particularly vulgar words she'd heard Rogan mutter when things didn't go as planned. Calm. Calm was what she needed. If she started sparking up now, in a puddle of water and soaked as she was, that wouldn't be good for anyone. A commotion was alright, as long as it was here, below deck; that was what she'd told herself earlier. It would be alright. She took a breath and straightened up, flicking her fingers clean at least, and made sure her clothes were at least a little bit straight. One catch torn, slightly dishevelled, covered in food both over and under... but mostly straight, at least.

The thought that flashed through her mind in the last instants before the door opened was that whoever it was was expecting a break in, or something else equally underhanded. She was meant to be here, even if they didn't know it yet. Be calm, professional, and smile... the last she did as best she could, doing her very best to seem relaxed, despite her condition.

It didn't matter who it was that came to look, impressions were important; when they arrived, she spared only a moment to find a pair of eyes before grinning and spreading her hands.

"The golden boys out front are making it really difficult to be a secret courier, you know. Sorry for the mess." The line would give her enough time to look over the arrival properly before the spread hands became a small shrug and she lowered her gaze for a moment in apology. She determinedly kept her good-humoured smile in place the whole time, even if she was quailing inside. Confidence was key; that was something Rogan had taught her.

The cook hustled out, a slightly overweight woman with neat but thin blond hair and a kind of square jaw. She was dressed in a chef's outfit, short-sleeved with an apron and slack, that made Lyn fairly certain she wasn't one of the guards. "Well, that's quite alright. I prepare ahead of time for just such an occasion! But my, you're filthy now, and your clothes are... er," she muttered, realizing they may have been a little skimpy even before the clasp broke. "Well, I can get you fresh clothes too if you like! I don't know why you're tangled up in secret business with that foul man, but you don't deserve to suffer for his sake!"

While it was a nice offer and a breath of fresh air, there was every possibility that while she was cleaning up here, somebody else would pop in... then again, were guards inside the ship too? If they weren't, she might be safe. There was also the vague possibility that the middle-aged woman was scheming something, but she sure didn't look it.
When she raised her head again, Lyntael's smile shifted ever so slightly, the composed demeanour cracking. She let out a small giggle and ducked her head gratefully to the chef, relieved at how easily she seemed to be taking the sudden intrusion. It was only as she relaxed that she noticed how on edge she'd been about meeting her client looking as she was. Twin had said they hadn't gone so far as to intrude on the ship itself, so that oughtn't be a worry, but even so... For a moment she was acutely aware of how badly the small amount of fabric that was her vest clung, wet as it was, and worse, slippery sensations that were definitely not water at all, mixed in.

She wiped at herself, trying to make as little extra mess as possible, but short of letting what she wiped off pool tot he floor along with the expanding puddle about her feet, there wasn't much she could do. Instead, she looked up to focus on the cook again. Professionalism gone completely for now, she nodded with a grin.

"I, um... A towel, or something, would be very nice, thankyou. I don't mean to cause a fuss, but I probably shouldn't deliver my message covered in dipping sauce, hehe. I didn't realise the porthole was so high, on the inside, only, I had to get below deck before any of the folks pinning this place down from the outside saw me. No-one knows I'm here, and I hope to keep it that way." Aanother shiver took her and she instinctively shook herself, sending another small shower of mostly water droplets to the floor around her.

"Don't worry about clothes, I'm sure I can get these at least a bit clean, and I can just restore them again once I get home... but... a towel, to dry off at least... that would be wonderful." It was probably a sign of how focused she had been on the external guards, that Lyntael had relaxed so unconsciously now that she was inside. She glanced around the empty hall, quiet again as it was, and made sure it was empty except for the other woman, then turned to the side a little, hands reaching to her vest. "I'd best wait here for now... do you mind if I...?" A quick glance down towards her fingers as she began to undo the still intact clasps on her vest finished the question, the young girl clearly intending to strip off the wet garments quickly, while she dried herself, at least.

"Woah there, child! We'll get you the towel, but you'd better come in to the kitchen first! Nobody bothers me back there, but if you stay out here in the dining room, the freeloader might walk in on you... and he's not likely to close his eyes and apologize like a gentleman," the cook warned Lyn, grabbing one arm before she could get her clasps loose and pulling her back into the kitchen. Once they were away from the possibility of intrusion, now occupying a surprisingly spacious kitchen with two stoves and chopping areas along with several refrigerators and countless cabinets, the navi released Lyn. "Now, feel free to undress if you need to. There should be a towel right up here."

The kindly woman hummed to herself as she reached up for one of the highest cabinets... but Lyn heard somebody moving in the dining room where they'd just been. From the voice, it actually sounded like her employer. She sounded very angry, but it was impossible to make out anything she was saying from such a distance. Lyn might be able to hear if she moved right to the door and creaked it open ever so slightly... but the movement might give her away. That and Lyn might be naked at the moment, due to her former plan of action.
The first clasp seemed almost to stall for time, clinging tightly thanks to the wet friction it had already been under, and resisted the young girl's initial tugs long enough for the cook to interrupt her. Lyntael paused, looking up as the hand touched her arm, but her eyes widened a moment later and an embarrassed squeak escaped her lips before she could stop it. As much as she bit back the gasp, she could do little about the bright blush that chased across her cheeks along with it, though her hands quickly darted from fiddling at ties, to surreptitiously covering her chest again.

The main thought on her mind had been about not traipsing the water and other stuff elsewhere, and not making any more of a mess than she already had; the room was empty for now and the thought of being further intruded upon than the one cook hadn't even occurred to her. She followed as quickly as she could.

Truthfully, the smaller space of the kitchen area really did feel much... safer, for cleaning herself up. She ducked her head and offered her kindly rescuer a grateful smile. Still trying to calm her blush, despite the chill, she turned away and pulled open the remaining two catches on her vest, slipping the poor excuse for a garment from her shoulders. It wasn't too hard to clean most of the mess from it with a cloth, though it was still far from completely clean. Once she'd gotten as much as she could off, she wrung the light fabric out and shook it once. Almost good as new. Pity about the top clasp. She set it on the counter top and glanced over her shoulder at the other woman as she began to wipe at her body, cleaning up the mess of sauces.

"Is... Is he really so crude? Tw- Ah, my client, she seemed quite, uhh... drawn to him, I guess. I agreed to deliver a message, you see, but... I don't really know..." She paused, accepting the towel and setting it on the counter by her top. Unhooking her skirt, it also received a wipe down with the cloth, a brief pressing for water, and a place spread out on the counter by her vest.

"Say... Can you tell me a bit about him? If you work for him, I mean. I'm just a messenger and all, I know, but, this whole situation it just seems really... well, serious." She sighed softly as her cleaning cloth wiped carefully at her middle and back, then moved onto her thighs. Her blush returned as her eyes lingered over her one remaining garment as she cleaned. Gauzy and thin as they were at the best of times, being wet completely robbed them of what little opacity they had; if not for the hems, there may as well have been nothing there at all. Her cheeks heated further. Rogan didn't approve, but he also didn't seem inclined to modify the underwear either.

At least they seemed to have escaped the dipping sauce crisis more or less untouched. With a rueful shake of her head she turned away from the other woman a little more and whisked them off as well, wringing the fabric out thoroughly and setting it with her other clothes before quickly towelling herself off properly. At least she was dry again now, and not feeling chilled to the bone any more. With a last flick of the towel through her hair, she turned it over and pressed it to the clothes, spread out on the counter top, making intermittent eye contact with the other woman, if she was talking.

Hmm... well, that was as dry as they were going to get any time soon, probably. Setting the towel aside, Lyntael grabbed her undergarments, meaning to slip them back on as quickly as she could, but hesitated as the sound of another voice caught her ear. That almost sounded like... Still holding the mostly forgotten pair of underwear, she darted back to the doorway, bending over to cock her ear to it gently. The voice sounded similar but surely it couldn't be. It must be coincidence, had to be. The other woman from up on deck, perhaps. She glanced back over her shoulder, naively unaware of the view she must surely be presenting and pointed to the doorway, whispering a quiet "Who...?" to the cook, eyebrows crooked and her features a picture of innocent puzzlement.

The navi didn't return Lyn's occassional glances, for reason of manners. She busied herself getting back to whatever dish she'd been making (it looked a little like a lava cake) before the crash. "Ha! He is crude indeed. It hardly seems fit to talk about him in the presence of a cute and innocent girl," the cook scoffed as she angrily worked an old fashioned hand mixer. "He and the ship's owner, Purloin, are smitten with each other. He is a talentless con artist who gets by on his good looks; she is a world-renowned master jewel thief who has somehow arranged amnesty for her crimes even as she commits them. It's a regular Lady and the Tramp story. Only problem is, while she tries to keep him on a short leash, he's a notorious womanizer, unfaithful at his core! She is beautiful and gives him so much, but I suppose he desires the spice of life in greater measure. He's a fool... one day, he'll get what is coming to him. For tonight, however..." she finished, powering down the mixer, "he is getting a chocolate cake."

From the sounds of the angry swearing, it seemed like he might be getting something worse than a cake tonight. Soon enough, the voice of a man joined in. "I know what you mean, Baby, but that place is just too hot! You know your boss is looking for any excuse to send his guys in and if I go back there, only way I'm blending in is with one of those giant gold heads on 24/7. You think he's not monitoring your room?" the voice reasoned.

The voice of Lyn's employer snapped in response. "Look at you, storming in there like a big man and then retreating when things get a little tough! Maybe you're more boring than I thought! You may be just as bad as ProsperMan."

"Ouch! Come on, it's not just a little tough! I can barely leave the beach, let alone waltz back into that mansion..."

"Then you were pretending to be someone you aren't, even once the disguise came off!" the voice replied. Apparently, everybody had problems with ConMan. The strange part was that Twin's employer had apparently come to do the work of delivering a message herself. One could imagine that maybe it was the sister, especially given the high possibility she was an identical twin, but wasn't that sister supposed to hate ConMan?

The cook, a gossipy one herself, had come to place her ear to the wall as well. "A nasty dispute... It's not often that I feel sorry for that lout, but... My goodness, don't scamper around nudey-tudey! Put something on, he's likely to come this way for comfort after that kind of lashing," she encouraged Lyn. Looking back at the wet panties, she frowned with a lack of enthusiasm. "... Dear, you really ought not to dress that way."
A small smile touched the girl's lips when the other woman called her cute, though it faltered a bit over the 'innocent'. It was true enough, but she didn't like being reminded of it. There was already too much that she didn't know, and hadn't experienced, and that no amount or research or reading could ever give her. Lyntael's face grew bleaker as the description of the man she was supposed to meet unfolded. Twin had... sort of... warned her, but to hear it so much more plainly, from one who worked close hand to the man made it seem much worse.

Pressed close to the door, something said amidst the diatribe made her start as she tried to put pieces together. Her boss... clearly ProsperMan, monitoring her room; sounding like that, if it was not Twin herself, unlikely, then it had to be her sister... Also 'Twin', apparently seduced...captured... and then complicit in the scheming. And here, on a boat which was only meant to have ConMan and his diamond thief partner in crime aboard... things just weren't adding up, somehow. Another thought fought ahead: if her room was watched, then people might already know about the message... and her. That wasn't a good thought at all.

The argument seemed to be reaching its crescendo when the cook interjected on their mutual eavesdropping to remind the girl that she was still stark naked in a foreign setting. Unfortunately, the contrast between Lyntael's apparent comfort with being seen as she was by another woman, and the thought of being surprised so by, not only a man but one so lecherous and the target of her delivery to boot, was very stark indeed. She jumped upright again at the suggestion, the delicate blush on her cheeks flaring into a full panicked flush that blazed bright across her face as well as down her neck and a goodly portion of her chest. Worse, before she could stop herself she let out a small, terrified, cry, clapping hands to her mouth moments after the damage had already been done.

"Oh no! You think he would...? I can't be seen like..." In a fluster she darted back from the door, almost tripping herself up as she pulled her previously forgotten undergarments on and up. Not that they really succeeded in covering her modesty, damp as they still were. Nevertheless, she reached hurriedly for her skirt, tugging it around and beginning to do it up as quickly as she could. The cooks brief chastisement of her clothing did make her pause for a moment, enough to cringe knowingly at her. Her rush to dress didn't slow as she answered, still blushing bright enough to start a fire.

"I know, I know. It's not proper at all. But it's all I have... it was made for me, and Rogan hasn't given me permission to change it at all yet..." The short burst of words was delivered with as much chagrin as her blushing features implied.

All trace of her earlier attempts at professionalism and calm well and truly dashed now, all she could focus on was trying to pull what scant few clothes she had over herself... That she had mentioned her operator's name, rather than something more general, that her cry might well have drawn the attention of the two in the hall already, that she might end up being the messenger in a most unpleasant sandwich of conflict... none of these thoughts had even registered through her panic yet. The catch on her skirt wouldn't close, darn thing. The dampness in the fabric had made it belligerent as she fumbled with it desperately. A faint, tiny crackle of static in her hair marked the failing of her composure, along with her hands and fingers trembling. The later wasn't making getting the catch done up any easier.

"Well, whoever your operator is, tell them that this is no way for a young lady to dress! Especially not for swimming," the cook added, seeming more preoccupied with Lyn's problems than those of ConMan. "I don't know what's going through Rogan's head, but you deserve something more modest and sensible. There's no reason a lady on the net has to dress provacatively, even if the master thief chooses to." The cook winced as Lyn slid on the panties, uncomfortable at the thought of how slipping into wet lace like that must feel. "There, there, let me help you with-"

Before they could finish up, ConMan burst into the room. He was as advertised: a tan, rugged looking guy with lengthy sideburns and hair in a great mane behind around his head. He looked a little bit old for Twin, but the sculpted features of his face and body matched the Byronesque ideal figure that Twin had described. He was dressed in a white bathrobe, tied at the waist, but she couldn't tell if he was wearing anything underneath. "Picking on girls without me, Cheffy?" he asked, smiling at Lyntael and looking unpreturbed by his argument a moment ago. He also didn't seem to care for modesty, staring at her regardless of her condition. "What's she doing dressed that way? I can get her a robe!"

"And how about yourself, huh? Is that any way to walk around?" the cook asked in a confrontational tone of voice.

"You know you like it," ConMan chuckled, moving to the fridge to grab a drink. He turned his head to look at Lyntael again. "Besides, don't worry on my account! She's a little little for me..." His eyes fell to what little he could see of her panties and a smile played across his lips. "Maybe."

Once he'd gotten his beer, the navi leaned against the refrigerator lazily. "So what brings you here? And for that matter, why are you all wet?" he asked, although now really only her clothes were dripping. "If you wanted on the ship, I could have snuck you past ProsperMan's eggheads! I would do it in a heartbeat for a pretty girl, I assure you."

"Really now! Must you?" the cook asked, frowning in disapproval despite finally managing to close Lyn's clasp.

"I must! It's a compliment, not anything dirty. Do you think she isn't pretty?" he countered, grinning at the chance to irritate the cook. "You don't mind, do you? What's your name?"
If the thought of a man seeing her so undressed had sent Lyntael into a flustered panic, the result of his sudden entrance before she was decent was far worse. Worse still, her first startled glance told her that he was almost as barely-dressed as her, if not moreso. She barely heard what he had to say upon his arrival, a small cry of unbridled terror passing her lips at the same time.

Her arms darted up to her still very much exposed torso, hunching over slightly as she desperately covered herself. It was fortunate that the chef had decided to help her with her skirt, otherwise it would simply have been abandoned in her desperation to hide her upper body. A whimper was all she managed as his eyes fell on her directly, as well as backing off a step until she bumped the counter behind her. The hot flush of embarrassment from before was a blaze of crimson by now, covering her face, neck and across her chest too, made to look deeper still by paleness of her skin elsewhere.

As much as he was probably trying to be reassuring, the feeling of his eyes on her, so casually, made Lyntael hear lecherous leer in every word, and she shrank from the man more with each reassurance and vague compliment. Unconsciously, her fingers were gripping very hard as she covered her chest, and while she knew she didn't really have very much of anything there to grip, or indeed, to hide, her own fingertips pressed in almost painfully.

He'd have sneaked her in, for a pretty girl like her, would he? His eyes on her. She didn't mind, did she? Still trembling, her eyes darted to her vest, resting on the towel and closer now to ProsperMan than to her. She wanted desperately to be dressed properly again, but loathed the thought of having to cross the room or reach out for it in front of him, let alone the exposure that would necessarily come from putting it on. Instead, she wallowed, struggling vainly to order her thoughts. The slight crack and buzz of small electrical jolts in her hair didn't help. She would not spark up now. Would not. Control.

"I... I-I'm... It's... L-Lyntael. My name... I'm..." She was no longer cold, dried off and wearing clothes that were merely damp, rather than the dripping wet they had been before she wrung them out... Her trembling, shaking limbs, and her stutter came more from her embarrassment than anything else. She swallowed again and tried to master herself. "I have... I-I need to.. to..." She forced herself to stand straight, though she still covered what little of her breasts there was to cover with hands crossed over her chest. They were still shaking. Deep breath, control. "My name is Lyntael. I've been sent, in secret, to deliver a message to ProsperMan, and only to him alone, and... a-and in, in private, i-if possible." Her forced composure faltered again over that last part, the thought of being alone with the man making her quail internally.

ConMan's smile fell as he began to think that Lyn really was outside his age range, with the combination of her behavior and hee physique, which was barely hidden despite her efforts. Before he could say anything in his defense, the chef grabbed a frying pan and started to wallop him on the head with it. "What! Come on, Cheffy, I'm not doing a thing!" he defended, raising his arms to protect his face.

"I wonder how many hooks you've wriggled free from using that line! Forgive me if I don't trust the intentions of a navi named ConMan!" the cook railed, feeling overly protective of Lyn.

"Hrgh! Darn it! Uff! Cheffy, you're a lot cuter when you're cooking with that! Nrgh!"

"And you'd be a lot cuter if I shoved this into that pretty mouth of yours so you couldn't speak!"

Finally, ConMan managed to scamper around to the other side of the table. "Time out! She's here for a mission, right? You're just messing that up if you keep her away from me! She said it was a private message for just me. No Cheffy allowed!" he explained.

"If you think I'm leaving her with you, you're very mistaken! You'll not con me like one of your bimbos or your overloaded targets!" she retort. It didn't sound like she had any intention of letting Lyn deliver themessage alone.
The wash of embarrassment and fear was stopped with an unexpected suddenness as Lyntael blinked, momentary surprise and confusion on her features instead. No longer the focus of attention, she watched the two exchange blows, or rather, ConMan receive a battering, with growing bemusement. For a wonder, the crackling in her hair calmed again, distracted from her own plight by what was taking place before her.

In between the sudden violence, she darted a quick glance at both of them, then took a step across to the counter to reclaim her vest, before stepping away again to begin pulling it on swiftly. As much as she was exposed for the few seconds slipping it on took, for once she was fairly sure that ConMan probably wouldn't look her way. The top clasp was still broken. If she'd actually had any cleavage worth calling such, it would likely have been shown off considerably. Probably a good thing that she didn't.

Dressed again, as well as she could be, Lyntael used the few remaining seconds while they fought to take several deep breaths, doing what she could to calm herself down again. The discomfort was passed now, at least. The last shouts of their exchange caught her ears and her eyes flicked between the chef and ConMan.

"Excuse me..." She cleared her throat and spoke more clearly. "Excuse me! Please don't fight, I didn't mean to cause any trouble." Eyes darting between them, she intervened on the side of her rescuer... turned protector... and closed the gap between her and the chef in a few quick steps. When she spoke, it was quietly, almost as a whisper delivered to the other woman, and low enough that ConMan probably wouldn't hear from across the counter.

"It-it's alright. Thankyou for taking care of me... I'll be ok now; I'm dressed, see?" She spared a glance down at herself, unsure whether the other woman would truly accept her outfit as 'dressed', short skirt, tiny vest and all, but pressed on in a hurried whisper. "Only, I really do have to see that he gets this privately, and for his eyes only, it's part of my contract." She bit her lip. "I'm dressed now; he can't see me or leer at me any more than if it were in public, and I won't let him lay a finger on me. I'll be alright." She stood back again, glancing hopefully between the pair, hoping too, in the back of her mind, that their shouting wasn't going to draw even more unknown factors to the party. She really did feel much better with all her clothes on. For how little fabric the garments actually comprised of, the difference in her comfort level was remarkable. The blush had all but faded from her skin by now, even, with only the slight blooms of pink in her cheeks remaining.

"Trust me, this is no fight. So long as this lout walks the net he'll cause trouble and earn himself a whipping," the cook scoffed. She still seemed more than a little skeptical about the prospect of Lyn bring able to defend herself against her co-master's perversions. "If I have to leave for you to get paid, then so be it. But whatever this man asks you to do, forget it! Deliver your message and be on your way."

ConMan was listening in, peering his bushy head over the chef's shoulder. "That's not nice! Besides, she probably has to stick around to make sure I inspect the contents, right? Most people who hire couriers want proof of full delivery."

"Then keep a safe distance when he opens it! It could very well be an explosive or a poison, with the kind of relationships he fosters," she warned Lyn, still glaring at ConMan. Finally, she lay down her pan and left the room. Although, there was a chance she wouldn't go off very far, with her demonstrated protectiveness and possible propensity for gossip...

Once she'd left, ConMan leaned on the counter, making no attempt not to stare. "Alright! Now that she's out or our hair, I must admit that a man in my profession survives by looking bold while proceeding carefully. Thus, before I accept anything, I would like to know who you are and who sent this. Just in case I'm being made a patsy for some drug smuggling scheme it something," he joked. "Which would just be karma I suppose... and a good headline. 'Famous jewel thief's lover found smuggling narcotics with intent to sell.'"
A part of her almost wished that the kindly chef had insisted on staying regardless, but she did have her instructions after all. Lyntael took another deep breath and turned her attention back to the man across from her. Her own courage was returning now, and even his eyes on her no longer felt like the piercing leer they had a short while ago. After watching the chef beat on him, added to the telling off he sounded to have been getting before that, the image began to form in her mind that he really was probably quite harmless, underneath the show. Her own naivety prevented the thought from occurring to her that he likely wouldn't have the reputation he did without the tales of his insatiable womanising being at least partially true, and she managed a soft smile for him instead; just a gentle turn of the lips that revealed most of a set of perfect white teeth for a moment.

Alone now, she quickly tried to decide how to approach his question. It was probably futile to try and regain any sort of a professional bearing, given the last few minutes... even thinking about it brought a bright flush of colour back to her face, and she fought off the urge to fan her cheeks. In the end she just ducked her head, her embarrassment at the situation entirely genuine, and clasped her hands gently behind her back as she answered.

"My name is Lyntael. Today, I'm just a courier, nothing more than that." She could feel the torn clasp on her vest tickling her skin, and quickly reached up to tuck the strap away so that it wouldn't. She hesitated as she did, biting her lip. The man seemed on edge enough without mentioning that her employer was literally someone working for ProsperMan, technically. Still, he wanted an answer, and she couldn't well fib about it.

"I was employed to deliver a message and package to you, in private and alone, and to make sure it reached your hands, and was under no circumstance intercepted or detected at all by ProsperMan's... guards. The woman who contracted me gave her name as 'Twin', sister of 'Twin', and maid servant of ProsperMan." Just in case the man might interrupt her there she rushed on quickly with a further reassurance. "She was very secretive about the request, and seemed convinced that it would be very dire if either ProsperMan, or her sister, found out what she was doing."

Without pausing, Lyntael reached down to, with alarming casualness, lift her skirt up. Her other hand reached out to the data string that still circled around the very top of her thigh, causing it to rush across to looping around her wrist again. Once it was clear, she released the skirt, letting it settle back to a more decent position immediately, apparently unaware of what she had been showing off in the last few seconds. Whether it was simply because she was now caught up in delivering her message, or because she had calmed enough for thoughts of indecency to slip right out of her head, was hard to say. Unperturbed, she made a small gesture in front of herself with both hands, as though carrying the package in its original form, and the data string slipped out into her palms, reforming into the packet as it had first been given to her, shiny red bow and all. Lyntael glanced between it and ConMan for a moment.

"I don't know a lot about these things, but she did truly seem to have fallen for you, very much. She told me that the package contained a message for you, a gift, and, em..." Here Lyntael found herself blushing again, eyes dipping down. "Uh, a key to her room." She truly didn't know much about romance, more than she'd read about, but modern media told her all she needed to know about what that sort of gift implied. "She, em, said she would be waiting to... to receive you."

Doing her best to will the blush out of her cheeks, she held the package out towards ConMan instead, and though she still had trouble meeting his eyes and her cheeks were still pink, the rest of her face was nothing but well-meaning innocence now.