The Pirate-Infested Wanderlust Cruise Ship

Lyn might be exhilarated or perhaps anxious, thinking about her upcoming work aboard a cruise-ship for lovebirds. Unfortunately for her, she'd have an entirely different reason to be exhilarated or perhaps anxious soon enough, as it would become apparent that the ship was not occupied by its usual inhabitants. Instead of bun-sunners and beach bums, the primary occupants of the ship were some sort of dangerous looking robots, giant men with flesh like gray rubber, covering them from their toes to their heads. They wore no clothes but had no distinct features either, thankfully, and each had either an electric rod sticking out of its head and electric outlet slots where its face ought to be. Their navi emblems all showed matching electric outlets as well.

The navis were entirely silent as they shuffled across the cruise ship, but the sky was not. A dark cloud covered the sky, a very bad omen for a day aboard a cruise ship, and lightning was, predictably, flashing. Many of the bolts were being drawn towards the ship, hitting the various gray men; each time a lightning rod was hit, the corresponding navi glowed yellow for a few moments, before fading back to gray. It seemed like a bad idea to get close to them, let alone talk to them, but unfortunately for Lyn, she'd beam down right in the middle of them on deck, nearby the pool. The navis would shamble around here and there like zombies, occasionally tilting their heads up to look at the sky, but otherwise only shuffling their feet lethargically.

The only non-gray-rubber-zombie around was a single white arm, belonging to some person or another, that was extending out from a door leading into a cabin. As she watched it, clothing would suddenly appear around it, in the form of a puffy red navisuit, ending in a black band at the wrist with matching, finger-less gloves. The fingers were either very tanned or belonging to someone with a naturally brown complexion, but whoever it was, they beckoned Lyn quickly into the area. Unless she intended to stay out there on the deck with all of the weirdos, her only options would be to either go into the large cabin at the back-center of the ship, or go down one of the staircases at either the left or right. There was a drink bar at the back as well, but it was entirely unmanned with no one seated. The gray men seemed to want to avoid roofs, so none of them were standing in that shade... nor was there any sun to shield oneself against, although it appeared it could rain at any moment.
((Lyntael Jacking in, from => Electown))

As was common whenever Lyntael had to secretly activate the link by herself, without being properly jacked in, the light beam that delivered her to the deck of the ship was flickering slightly, and looked a bit unsteady. Despite her best efforts, the form that appeared in the light was a small girl hunched over on herself, wincing through the discomfort of the unstable transit. When the glow faded, she stood straight, doing her best to shake it off in favour of the excitement she was feeling, but her features dropped to uncertainty as soon as she caught sight of the situation. This didn't look right at all...

Her first instinct was to announce herself in some way, but turning about in place, she realised that, at best, it would be pointless to do so to the frightful figures surrounding her. Her back step caught an edge and Lyntael gasped suddenly, one foot slipping as she flailed. One hand grabbed the pool ladder just in time to stop her from falling in, but as she righted herself Lyntael backed off to the rail of the ship instead, hands clasping together against her chest as she looked at the mass of strange zombies and the dark skies overhead. The first bolt of lightning that struck down to hit one of the grey creatures made her flinch, and an involuntary squeak escaped her throat as she took an extra step away from where it had landed. This wasn't right, surely. This couldn't be the way things were meant to be. As much as she'd known she would be working, a part of her was really looking forward to some time, however brief, on a nice ship with clear skies and warm sun, with a friendly atmosphere... not... this. She didn't even know how to react to the situation; there was no-one she could talk to, no-one to ask for help... what was she supposed...

As soon as Lyntael's eyes landed on the hand beckoning to her from inside a cabin door, she darted towards it, carefully ducking around the slow-moving zombie creatures as nimbly as she could and doing her best not to touch any of them. At this point it really didn't matter who was on the other side of the door; it would be someone she could talk to, which was more than could be said for her current situation. Her eyes took in the lay of the ship as she moved, take at the least a very brief note of where she seemed able to go, but for now the small girl was mostly focused on getting away from the grey creatures and finishing someone who could tell her something about what had gone wrong. Clearly something must have gone wrong; this couldn't possibly be how the cruise ship was meant to be.

Whoever was on the other side of the door would find the navi that darted through to be quite quick about closing it behind her and leaning against it. Tiny snaps of static jumped between the strands of her hair, and she was breathing a bit more heavily than a simple dart across the deck would warrant. Add that to the slightly wide, searching eyes and it would be clear to whoever waited that Lyntael was at least a little bit shaken by the unexpected start to her assignment. She didn't say anything immediately, but instead looked to whoever had beckoned her for answers wordlessly.
The lumbering gray creatures seemed to turn their heads slowly to watch Lyntael as she darted between them, but didn't make any move to stop her. Electricity shot down in a bolt near Lyntael, but just around the corner of the cabin, as she managed to reach the door and shift inside. Inside was a room that at least looked a bit more festive than the outside, but still a little crummy... the lack of company had the most to do with it. The interior was a cream color with soft, pink banners draped here and there, along with deeper pink, leather seated chairs here and there around circular tables. A stage was set up near the left wall, though it was empty. A microphone stand near the center was the only decoration. Large "NT" branding could be seen here and there, on the banners, table-cloths, and chair-backs. The room looked to be in a decent state of repair, except for one place, where it looked like lightning had somehow struck inside; the floor was blackened and charred, with a half-broken chair slumped out of place at the table. The table-cloth had been removed from that table entirely.

Back to the one person occupying the room, she was immediately attentive to Lyntael, perhaps more-so than Lyn would want. The woman was dressed in a red navisuit with flared, puffy sleeves and a large, black frill running down from the chest to navel. The frill was partially open, revealing a provocative amount of cleavage. The shoulders was somewhat stuffed, giving her a bit of a top-heavy silhouette, with the navisuit fitting snuggly in black to the legs, ending in boots that were built into the suit. A white corsage was pinned to the chest of the suit and bounced a bit along with her bust when she moved. Her black hair was wavy and luxurious, falling free to about her shoulder-blades, heavy on conditioner or something else to give it shine. Her skin had a tan, brown color, making it look as though she was either from the outer part of Netopia or otherwise Whazzap. Most noteworthy was her expression: her dark eyes were shining and her red, painted lips framed a saucy grin that looked completely out of place given the scenario.

The navi immediately reached out for Lyn's hand and grabbed it, then recoiled in surprise as the static shocked her. "Aha ha," she laughed it off, before reaching out again to grab it, moving very quickly so that she'd manage even if Lyntael was trying to draw back now. Her intentions didn't seem nefarious... though, they did seem downright batty. With everything going on outside, she began to lead the little navi in a quick-stepping tango. If Lyn knew the dance, things might go with amusing gracefulness; if not, she'd be carried through it. "My wonderful little star employee! Lyntael, from the GNA, are you not? Finally, help is here when it is needed! Let me offer you this dance, to instill in you the passion we need to get through this dark, dismal situation!" she chuckled merrily, then spun Lyntael around and away.

She might spin or she might fall, but before she could do the latter, another navi stepped up from behind and grabbed hold of her hand. This one looked just like the other, only male; the open shirt revealed a bit of chest-hair and and a thin mustache lined his upper lip. Speaking now in a man's voice, but just as mirthful, the navi continued. Well, one could assume it was the same navi... given that the other navi had just become a completely still white mannequin, frozen in the position she'd been in when she released Lyn. "You may have noticed... I have a pirate problem! They may not look it, but oh, those are pirates out there. Crew-mates of Power, one of the pirates who has seen it necessary to... stow aboard my fine ship. You see, until recently, the good maid Jack-of-All-Trades took on most of the important functions of this ship: cleaning, cooking, greeting, navigating, bartending, and so forth. I, of course, am still here as the gracious host! But... I can hardly tend to the needs of all of my spirited partygoers with just my lonesome self! Even if I am nearly two people! So that's where you come in, my little yellow buttercup."

The navi tilted Lyn backwards down into a graceful curve, then forced her to hold there, as the navi jumped back over to its female form and other location. She'd thus be stuck watching the other navi dance about upside-down from her point of view. "On the upper deck, the Power Pirates, led by Power herself. She seems primarily interested in using my vessel as a deck to collect energy... which, fortunately for her, is now possible to the huge, dark cloud which persistently hovers above my ship! An ill omen, if there ever was one! The captain is a bit of a demanding person, but at least her crew is low maintenance. On the other hand they, er, don't offer much in the way of romance."

The navi switched back to male now and brought Lyn up to her feet, keeping her close to his chest. He tilted his nose into the air and smiled, dancing slowly with his hand to the small of her back as he explained further. "On the first deck down are Jolly's pirates. They're my favorite of the new pirate inhabitants! Full of life and vigor and with some very pretty girls besides. Only... well, they are pirates. They're convinced there's some sort of treasure here on my ship and they ransacked any possible hiding places when they first arrived. Their attempts have grown more and more desperate lately and they've started to... well, disassemble floors and the like. But nothing a little distraction won't stop! Together, the two or three of us will give them such a beautiful voyage that they'll forget all about that nonsense," he laughed.

The mannequin continued to hug Lyn as the other navi swapped into life again, the woman now coming over to place a red rose in Lyn's hair and stroke it delicately. Of course, as soon as she started that, the static shocked her again. She held an awkward grin while waving her hand, then polished off the briefing. "And on the bottom floor is Bomba's group. These pirates... um... I don't know what they're doing, but they never come down from there. They're sour, clammy sorts, almost as distasteful as the robot fellows all about the upper deck. I'd like to know what they're doing down there, but I haven't had the time to investigate closely or attend to their needs yet. To be honest, serving all of these pirates is quite impossible, and I am most suited to hosting, not common activities! That is why I'm eager to get you started helping."

The navi switched back over and finally released Lyntael, backing to a respectful distance now, but still dancing by his lonesome. "So now you know the score. Of course, I can't imagine you can solve all of my problems, but at least if we put our heads together we can solve one or two! We're here to serve our clientelle of course... but also... if we could, er, subtly persuade them to leave the ship so that we can begin preparing for other customers, that would be all the dandier. I'll allow you to pick which floor you'd like to work! The top floor will mean serving Power alone, so it may be easy, but she's proven a handful to keep up with. The second floor will mean serving all of Jolly's pirates, who are many and rowdy, but perhaps the most cheerful and nice of the lot... as weird as that sounds, given they're tearing the place apart looking for treasure. And the bottom floor could be the most dangerous, but it's also untested. I've barely spoken to this Bomba woman at all. Where would you like to be assigned? I'll probably send you with drinks to start off and perhaps you can... guide yourself from there?" he suggested, flashing another grin as if to take the edge off what a difficult task he was assigning his one employee.
Inside the door, as Lyntael let her eyes dart around, it became clear that things had gone some measure of wrong everywhere; the room looked neat enough, except that in one place it had been thoroughly wrecked, and was otherwise deserted, save her host. That was still better than up on deck, though, and Lyntael swallowed, trying to calm herself and put on more of professional face as she watched the woman who had waved her in. This was, of course, immediately dispelled as the lady tried to reach for her hand, and Lyn pulled back, afraid. She was too slow, though, and the shock jumped, but before she could even start to stammer an apology, the strange lady had lunged forward again to take the hand, despite her best efforts. Lyntael winced, freezing up nervously as she forced some level of calm over herself and tried to keep her skin safe.

This was much harder than she had hoped, as the out-of-place woman pulled her forward, and before Lyntael could really register what was going on, her body was in motion. The gaze she turned up towards the other woman was mostly one of wide-eyed confusion, her lips parted ever so slightly on the verge of a question that never quite formed, but as the strange lady pulled her into the moves, she couldn't help but respond.

At first it was shaky, from the shock of what was going on, but she knew the steps, at least a little; she moved with the taller woman gracefully, unconsciously flicking her bare feet up at the appropriate twists and curling her own leg around her lead's during each extend. Something in her mind wondered about why a woman as, well, womanly as this lady was taking the male lead in the dance, but the concept of doing it the other way around was even more ludicrous to Lyntael, and in the midst of the sudden motion her thoughts didn't really have any time to process it.

Despite herself, she hadn't honestly danced in what seemed like a long, long time, to the young girl, and even amidst the sheer bizarre juxtaposition of the situation, something about it was making a small part of her quietly happy; everything was strange, and none of it made sense, but for a few moments she let herself move smoothly and freely with Tango's skilful lead. At least she assumed this must be Tango. It would be rather silly if she wasn't. The lady's words washed over her as they danced, and Lyntael couldn't help the small, albeit still uncertain, grin that brushed her features. She nodded, mid-step, unable to really answer properly. The complimenting praise, she realised, felt strangely alien to her, and her cheeks pinked.

The actions came naturally as she spun away, two short switch steps and up on the ball of one foot while her other leg curled and her arms lifted high. It was insane. The entire situation was insane. A small laugh started somewhere in her chest. She was just about to take stance, and put a foot down for the pose, but another pair of hands caught her unexpectedly, still with her arms up in the spin. She flinched, and her hair snapped; a sharp lurch from her heart as she opened her eyes to see a male navi holding her now, and suddenly the situation seemed lass innocent. A small gasp escaped as she froze up, but the new navi had taken one hand and her waist, and was still following a traditional form, and when he spoke there was little question in Lyntael's mind that it must actually still be the same person. The undercurrent of nerves rose higher again, but she kept silent, simply looking up at the other navi.

The dance continued, and Lyntael fell into it again, following the lead while he.. she? While they told her about the problem on the ship. It answered a few questions, but Lyntael was beginning to wonder how she was supposed to be any help at all, in such a hostile seeming situation. Tango — she was sure it must be Tango now, was a bigger confusion; they seemed to be treating the invading pirates just as if they were normal, if unruly, guests. That didn't seem sensible, all things considered. The steps and turns of the dance subtly worked to calm and relax Lyntael while the whole mess was explained. It seemed odd that the disappearance of a single crew member could open the ship up to such a problem, but Tango had also said that Jack had done pretty much everything, somehow.
Lyntael couldn't help but close her eyes as Tango stretched her into a graceful dip, and her right leg curled up to bring her foot close to her other knee as she rested across his arm and extended her arms above her head. A moment later, she felt the shift in her dance partner and opened her yes to see that the switch had happened again. She blinked a few times, but held the pose anyway, resting in the now artificial hold while Tango continued. It sounded like she was being asked to help serve a whole ship full of guests, all alone, which was worrying, but all she could do was her best, and it didn't sound like it would be anything too frightening... unless... Worry found another seed as Lyntael considered that the ship had, in essence, been captured by pirates, and the crew were gone. Tango might be treating them as guests, but they were still pirates — and it sounded like there was no-one to ensure her safety if things got difficult.

A moment later, her dance partner was back again, raising her up, and Lyntael let her face turn back. Even so, she flinched again as he drew her close and held her near; Tango would likely be able to feel that her steps were more hesitant, less graceful and generally less comfortable like this, though it wasn't anything deliberate on Lyntael's part, at least not consciously. Her hair cracked occasionally, and brave face or not, Tango would be able to feel intermittent contact spikes of static anywhere he touched her skin directly. Begin left held like that while the female Tango came in from behind didn't exactly help her relax, but at least while it was the lady Tango talking and moving, the scenario felt more playful, at least to Lyntael. She smiled back, a still more than a little bit uncertain as the other woman decorated her hair.

By the time Tango had switched around to the point of releasing her and stepping back, Lyntael was collecting her thoughts. All the same, she took a step back herself and tweaked the corners of her skirt is a slight curtsey, then unconsciously rubbed at her own upper arms as she gathered herself. she swallowed.

"I, um... thank you. Ah... I don't know how much help I can be, but I'll try my best." After another moment, she shook herself off and stood straighter, taking a longer breath. When she spoke next, she sounded much calmer. "I think I should probably start at the top. See what I can do for her, and then go from there. Where can I find her?" In her own mind, the thoughts that accompanied this were that, most of all, she wanted to stay away from the crew that sounded the most physically volatile, and just as strongly, she'd rather avoid having to face what sounded like a group of rowdy pirates and serve them, without anyone else to watch out for her safety. She'd read stories about pirates and their approach to 'serving wenches', and the thought of going onto that floor alone was every bit as terrifying as going to the floor down below. another question nudged at her, though, and she drew her eyes back to Tango from where they'd wandered to the side temporarily. "Oh! What happened, exactly, to Jack? Should... Should I be looking for him as well?" she bit her lip, then stopped and self-consciously straightened her vest and skirt, trying to make sure she was as presentable as possible.
"Ho ho ho! You're not a bad dance partner, my little chickadee," the male Tango laughed grinning beneath his pencil mustache. The comment might make one wonder if he or she had a habit of forcing unwilling dance partners into long sequences despite their lack of dancing skills. "To start? Oh yes, to start," he laughed, rubbing his chin thoughtfully with one hand. "Yes, Power is here on the upper floor; she is currently in the kitchen. Without staff to serve her, she simply helps herself." If that bothered him, he didn't show it, as he continued to shift from foot to foot while speaking. The next question brought a vacant frown to the navi's face, which was quickly replaced by the mirthful grin again. "Jack? Who's worried about Jack? No no, let's not. Jack left my service without a word, in a most inappropriate desertion of her duties. Believe you me, I searched the ship quite thoroughly! Once I realized she was truly gone, I started searching for staff to fill her position, but, well, she had many positions to fill. So far, you're the first to answer the call... well, not quite, but the first not to leave once I mentioned the guests I'm catering to. Perhaps I should have mentioned that in the job opening? But then you may not have come! Ha ha."

The female one appeared back now, both of them having backed up from Lyn. While the statue stayed in place, Tango danced this way and that, waving her arms gently to each side. "Bringing Power a drink would be a bit silly, considering that she's already in the kitchen, taking whatever she pleases. I'm sure she can think of something that you can fetch her, however. Just peek in and ask what she wants from you!" the lady encouraged Lyn, seeming quite content as she wiggled her body in an easy rhythm. "Now, go go! With any luck, others will soon answer my request, and you won't have to handle the whole ship yourself."

The only place to go from here that would still be on the top floor was through the doors at the back, to either side of the stage. One might think those went backstage, but it seemed that the stage was curtainless with no extra room for props or anything... probably intended for stand-up comedians, karaoke, or something else that wouldn't need a lot of preparation, rather than plays or anything of that sort. If Lyn took the opportunity to head into the kitchen, she'd find it a rather sterile, white-tiled room, which didn't seem as heavy on the branding as the rest of the ship did. Oddly, despite the vast number of pirates supposedly inhabiting the ship, it didn't seem as if anyone had touched most of the cooking equipment, nor even the drawers and shelves, in the kitchen area. Currently, a woman was pilfering the refrigerator and seemed to be the room's sole occupant.

At first, all that was visible was the girl's butt, poking out from behind the fridge door. She was clad in gray, thigh-high boots, made out of a similar rubber-like material to that of the navis outside, but otherwise in a one-piece swimsuit. A cape hung from her shoulders, darker gray in color, but it was hanging over her side rather than her back. At the end of the cape, on either corner, hung two long, black cables, ending in metallic, copper-colored clamps, one with a red grip, the other blue. As she drew out of the fridge, carrying an obscene amount of food in her arms, it became apparent that the girl was not a lot taller than Lyn. Her arms were clad in material similar to the boots, but with one red knuckle-guard and one blue one. Her hair was bright blond, close to white, and done into a style such that two pigtails stood like bolts on either side. Her eyes were a deeper yellow color and her skin was fairly pale, indicating she hadn't spent a lot of time sunning in Beach Net, despite being a pirate native to the area.

The navi was busy stuffing some of the food into her mouth, starting with what appeared to be a can of shredded beef, judging by the label, before noticing Lyn. With momentary alarm on her face, she offloaded her cargo onto the nearest counter and grabbed up a wide-brimmed pirate cap from the opposite one. She placed that on her head, while also grabbing up her cape and quickly clamping each of her cape-ends onto the refrigerator. Suddenly, her body began to transform... her eyes lit up bright white, the pupils vanishing entirely, while sparks crackled around her. More notably, her physical form actually changed, starting with her height, then continuing to her proportions, which ballooned out till she'd gone from skinny child to voluptuous adult. "You there! This cruise ship is no place for children," she smirked, ironic considering she'd just been a child moments ago.

The navi moved towards Lyn (but only as far as her cables would stretch), while sneering. "A little girl like you has probably never been in the presence of a pirate captain, huh? You're looking at Captain Power! This sea is mine, this cruise ship is mine, and since your on my cruise ship in my sea, well, I'd say that makes you mine as well," she chuckled, crossing her arms beneath her powerfully enhanced bust. "What are you doing here, huh? Get lost on your way to the pool? Not that it's very safe to swim right now, snrk..." While she awaited an answer, she picked back up the can of shredded beef and went back to eating it gracelessly, cold and right out of the can, as if she didn't care about the taste.
Under any other circumstance, Lyntael might have thought of her host's reaction to a valued crew member disappearing without word, and during a pirate siege no less, to be strange... but there was very little, at this point, that wasn't strange about the scenario. Mentally, though she noted the mistake she'd made about Jack's gender, and corrected her thoughts even as she realised that doing so might well be a futile effort any way, given Tango's own... disposition. Maybe the whole crew had been people like Tango, swapping bodies as convenient. It was a an odd thought. Despite tango's assurance, she made a note to keep her eyes open for anyone that looked like they might be a captive or otherwise in trouble, though she scarcely had any idea what she'd be able to do about it if she found anyone.

For now, she unconsciously fidgeted, straightening her vest and her skirt neatly while Tango finished giving her some more details about Power, then nodded and bowed her head politely to the dancing... woman now. It seemed clear enough that she'd been dismissed for now, so Lyntael made her way swiftly for one of the back exits to the room, with a brief gesture to her direction and a questioning look towards Tango as she went, to be sure she was heading in the right direction.

She didn't exactly hesitate, once she was out of the room, but she didn't rush immediately either, walking at a slower pace while she headed for the kitchen, and giving herself some time to think. Her initial shock over the unexpected situation had faded by now, but the more she'd learned the less relaxed she'd felt about it; her hair continued to snap and crack softly as she fretted, hands clutched together nervously in front of her as she headed towards the kitchen she'd been directed to.

Tango didn't seem to realise that the whole ship had essentially been attacked... but at the same time, she spoke as though she'd been tyring to serve the pirates like guests, and it sounded like they'd been letting her, without any problems. Tango seemed to have free run of her ship still, and hadn't been taken captive, or anything worse. If they really were just here to ransack the place, then capturing Tango would make sense, for information if nothing else, but they hadn't. she also had to remember that it was, apparently, three separate groups of pirates, and that they were keeping themselves apart, so so Tango said... so maybe not entirely allies. There was some bigger picture going on here, and Tango wanted her... serving drinks. The woman... man... had to be insane. So much for a fun luxury get-away. Lyntael drew a longer breath, letting it out slowly as she tried to calm herself down.

The other concern, of course, was that Tango had said that Jack had 'left', when the pirates attacked, and that Lyntael herself wasn't the first one to show up... that other would be hired hands had also 'left' after they found out they were dealing with pirates. Tango had said she'd searched, but how exactly could one person search an entire ship full of hostile pirates? the implications of the train of thought made Lyntael's hair snap more fiercely as sparks jumps, no matter how she focused on breathing deeply. She resolved to make a break for the deck of the ship, so she could escape, if that line of thought looked like it was becoming more likely; certainly there was not going to be anyone else to look out for her if things got... nasty.

By the time she'd followed whatever signage there was to locating the ship's kitchen, Lyntael still hadn't managed to think about what exactly she was going to say, but she wasn't prepared for her first sight of the reportedly fearsome and power-hungry pirate captain to be a woman not much greater in stature than herself, rooting around in a fridge like she was at home. The relatively simple design of the room was no surprise to her, though it did confirm that the area was the sort of place normally off limits to guests. Given how un-scavenged it looked, too, that was probably further proof that Power herself was the only actual pirate present for this band, aside from the... things, outside. At least, Lyntael had to assume that the figure in the fridge was Power. She was about to clear her throat, if the nervous snap and crack of the sparks in her hair didn't give her away first, when the girl straightened, noticed her, and... hooked herself up to the fridge?

The moment of outright puzzlement quickly gave way to an expression of shock and worry as the woman in front of her changed. Within moments, she was a much more physically intimidating woman, though even underneath her overt intimidation, there was a very subtle, underlying threat of thought that envied the apparent ease with which she'd acquired such... proportions. Even so, the intimidation was the lead sensation, and Lyntael drew back into the doorway, shrinking away from the unexpected transformation.

The first greeting made her frown despite the situation; it was a bit rich, when it looked as though the captain navi's natural form, without something extra added, was not too far removed from her own. Even so, though, she tried to answer, blinking as she grappled with her words.

"I ,um.... I'm Lyntael, I'm working for, that is, Tango sent—" Unconsciously, one of her hands had risen slightly to trace a nervous circle around her emblem, while the other stayed at her waist. Her attempt was cut off as Power continued, proclaiming herself, and more worrisomely, her ownership of everything she surveyed. That made Lyntael shrink back further, though by now the snapping of electricity in her hair was quite visible, and the rest of her skin tingled well beyond the point where she would be safe to touch.

"You shouldn't speak like that, about other people..." Nerves or not, that thought won its way forward ahead of the rest, accompanied by a small frown. the hand at her waist had tightened into a smaller fist when she spoke, but it was only a very minor display of firmness, barely noticeable at all. The statement was a sentiment that she found herself feeling very strongly, in the face of Power's claimed ownership, but it was undermined by the simple fact that, in this particular case, she was, actually, here to see how she could serve the other woman. She hung her head for a moment and glanced away, shuffling one foot before she caught herself and stopped it. Unnoticed, her other nervous tic continued, as one finger tapped a couple of times on her emblem, then circled the edge of it again.

"I... um, I mean... Tango asked me to come and see if there was anything you needed, and check if I could be of any assistance to you." For the time began, Lyntael had mostly forgotten that Tango had also subtly asked her to try and get them to leave, but maybe that issue was better to tackle later anyway.

Power listened to Lyn's protests with a cocked eyebrow, then smirked. "Ha! What's this? Listen, we electric navis are a superior race... but don't think that makes us all equals! I, the dread pirate Power, am suuuuper far above you and I have no qualms with calling you property if I want to. I invade, I conquer, I do whatever I like! No one ejects me from the ship. It's in my very name! No, opposing me is stupid and I'll have no more of it, especially from someone who is apparently here to serve me," the formerly little, now rather big girl chuckled arrogantly. "You don't feel especially threatened? What, because I'm in here alone, rather than surrounded by dumb crewmates? Don't be naive! The essence of the Power Pirates is that they all serve only to empower me!"

Grinning with self-satisfaction, she crossed her arms and leaned forward, casting her shadow over Lyn a bit. Lyn could feel free to back up and she'd probably get back out of it, given that Power had already used up all of the slack in her cables walking forward. "Well, part of my power is my power of observation! And I observe that you've got a decent electric charge running through you. That gives me a great idea! You see, I've been spending a lot of time out on deck, because it gives me a good way to draw power straight out of my subordinates. However, I'm a girl who draws power from many places, not just electricity! I also need to carbo-load! Most navis neglect the power that comes from food, and that's why they're so weak, but I'm not most navis! Anyway, point being, my goons have to stay outside to keep sucking up that sweet, sweet lightning for me to suck up later."

"Buuut... like all good visionaries, I exploit every resource! And you are that, little girl: a resource," she chortled. "I'll use you as a go-between! You look plenty sparky already, but I need you charged up further. To get there, I need you to go rub up all over one of my Frankensteins out there, the plug-face guys. Sure, it's a little dangerous, given the lightning, but it's not so tough. Anyways, just rub all over one of them and then come back to me, I'll give you a hit with these clamps, and we'll share charge for a bit. You'll go back to normal and I'll become stronger, so I don't have to hook myself to the dang fridge." This was likely a thoroughly unappealing role for Lyn, for several reasons, but Power didn't seem like the type to entertain argument. "You gonna do it? Trust me, you don't want to get on my bad side, squirt! Didja know, I'm the strongest pirate on this whole ship? Besides just the obvious reasons, there's one very good one: my arch-nemesis, Clipper, isn't even here! I guess she's scared since I've got the strength advantage, what with the freaky good fortune of this huge lightning cloud. Point being, without her stupid wood to counteract my awesome lightning, I'm more powerful than ever before!"

If Lyn wasn't ready to leave to get to work, she'd probably still be ready to leave to stop hearing about how powerful Power was.
The somewhat worried and upset frown grew into a more serious pout as Power mocked Lyntael's objection to being claimed. The nervously tapping finger on her emblem drifted away until both her hands were clenched in small fists by her side, though she didn't interrupt as the 'guest' went on to explain her superior status... at length. The whole situation was seeming less and less pleasant the longer she remained in the kitchen and listened to the woman, but once she got to the part about taking some of Lyntael's own charge, the girl began to softly shake her head, biting her lip. she took a small step back away from the other woman, then looked away to the side. One hand reached up to rub in a distracted manner at her other arm.

"It's... It's bad, if I get too charged up..." As she spoke, her anxiety had kicked another gear, and the last time she had ended up at that breaking point was scaring her just to think about. Not to mention, though she kept these thoughts to herself, the idea of going back up amongst those strange, zombie-like creatures struck her as an exceptionally unpleasant request in its own right, as did 'rubbing herself' all over one of them. What if it tried to grab her, or worse? The dancing light pattern across the surface of her skin was growing more pronounced. A small gasp escaped her as her body tried to release a balancing pulse of energy and she suppressed it — though if Power had been watching her closely, she'd have seen the brief tightening of her body, as a reaction to something. "Please... It's hard enough to control as it is. I'm just here to try and serve you, um, like, like any other staff member... I..." After a moment, Lyntael hung her head, and the motion caused a small fall of sparks to spill forward and drop free of her hair.

"It's pointless, isn't it? Tango wants to act like you're all regular guests, but you're just pirates... you're not interested in being a proper guest of the ship, are you?" Her voice was much quieter as she mumbled this, though it would still be loud enough for Power to hear it, even with her head down. As much as Tango was her employer today, the woman had seemed unbalanced in some way; there was no mistaking this for anything other than a hostile take-over, but apparently Tango had managed to do exactly that. there wasn't going to be any appeasing these pirates, not in the way Tango wanted to. The best she could do, probably, was try to convince some of them to leave the ship and go elsewhere. After a moment she looked up again, trying hard to firm up her expression and get herself under control. The results were debatable; she could still feel the nervous buzz in her skin, and her body tried, again, to release a balancing wave of static, which she suppressed ruthlessly for the second time.

"What can I do that will actually convince you to leave the ship alone, and go somewhere else?" To her credit, she did manage to look Power directly in the eye as she asked this, though she was still standing back by the doorway, and holding onto her elbow with her opposite hand, in a very guarded and fearful stance. Internally, though, her mind was trying to work. It didn't seem like Power, at least, would entertain the idea at all, as long as the storm was above them. There probably wasn't anything she could do that would make them happy enough to leave... but maybe she could find some way to make it too much hassle or annoyance for them to stay? That might be a better option, all things considered. She tried to think of options while she waited for Power to give her an answer... and fervently hoped that the other woman would stay where she was, attached to the fridge and out of reach.

"Ha ha ha!" Power laughed, unsympathetic with Lyn's plight. "Listen to you. I guess some people have limitations! Me personally, the more juice I get, the stronger I become. There's no ceiling on how powerful I can get! Anyways, it's a huge disappointment to hear that you're not going to do what I asked you to. I hope you're planning to make that up to me pretty quickly?" She was still smiling, but it was clear that the more disrespect she perceived, the angrier she was becoming. "No, I'm not interested in being a proper guest of this ship! Even if I wasn't a pirate queen, I wouldn't be caught dead paying to stay at this tacky place."

She met Lyn's eyes with her own white ones and pursed her lips thoughtfully. "You don't give up, do you? Still, you're offering to do something for me, even if you don't know what that something is. That's good for you; otherwise, we'd see how much voltage you could take real fast when I knocked you full of lightning. You're so worried about making Tango happy, well, you'd be an ashy smudge all over her kitchen! He he he..." The pirate captain sounded so pleased with her threat that for a moment, it seemed like Lyn was about to get blasted regardless. Thankfully, that didn't happen; she seemed to have come up with some terms instead. "I've got it! I'm thinking big now... so, that big storm cloud I'm here for. If you think about that crazy thing, it's clear it's focused on this ship exclusively. Well, I don't want the damn ship, nor its crazy tango-dancer. All I want is that storm, and I want it portable! Let's make it that, okay? Find what on this ship is making that lovely lightning storm, tell me, and I won't have any reason to stick around any more. Easy as pie."

She paused, held up one finger, then turned around. She searched around through the fridge for a bit, then came back with a whole pie. She smiled, set it down on the counter next to Lyn, then opened a drawer, picking out two forks. "Here! A little snack for the road. It's lemon meringue! Full of sugar and all that good crap. Little energy for the road!" She poked at the pie a few times, before realizing it was hard due to refrigeration. Frowning, she crackled electricity out from her eyes again, then thrust down hard, smashing the fork through the pie, the tin, and the counter below, leaving a smoldering crater where half of it had been. That may have seemed like an intimidation method, but her grimace betrayed that assumption to be false. "Grrr... Well, your half is still good. And I even warmed it up for you a bit! Eat up! We elec navis have to stick together," she smirked, rubbing Lyn's head and creating a shower of sparks in the air as the two of them touched.

If Lyn lingered, even just to eat pie, she'd lower her eyebrows and frown a bit. "Well damn, I'm not going to draw you a map! If I knew where the stupid thing that's causing all this was, I wouldn't have you going to look for it, now would I? If I can offer a suggestion, it's probably not on the first deck down, seeing as Jolly's idiot pirates are dismantling the whole stupid place and haven't found it yet. Try the bottom-most level or... somewhere else! I can't think of where else, unless you can fly somehow and check out the cloud itself."
Still looking mostly down at herself, with a hand across her waist and holding tight to her other arm, Lyntael bore Power's condescension in silence. The boasts didn't really have much of an effect on a navi who already assumed that she was weaker than pretty much anyone else by default, and she even nodded mutely at the comparison between their limitations, and her rejection of any interest in being a well-behaved guest.

It was only when the pirate threatened to attack her more directly that Lyntael reacted properly, her eyes snapping back up as she prepared to flee immediately. The jolt of shock sent another ripple through her body, and she hunched over, hands gripping her arms tight as she hugged herself and fought to hold the reaction under control. Despite her efforts, her skin crackled all over, dancing with sparks as her more instinctive defence responded to her spike of panic.

"Don't.... I don't want to hurt anyone, please..." It was a small mumble, shrouded under a tight wince and spoken down to her chest; it would be debatable if Power even heard it. It took another moment before she recovered from the inward flinch, but she gradually got a hold of herself while the pirate began laying out her alternate plan. That sounded like something more practical, at least. If it was something she could do that would get Power to leave, that was a step forward. She began to nod to the instructions, trying to convince her body to relax. The best she managed was to put her arms down to her sides again. A part of her managed to wonder why she was having such a bad reaction in the first place; she'd been scared before, many times, and in fear of her life and worse, without her body having as strong a reaction as this. The pirate woman was scaring her, certainly, but her body was reacting far more aggressively than she was expecting. The thought was mostly lost amongst her other nerves; there wasn't really any time to pay attention to it right now. She nodded again. If Tango was running a cruise ship, then she'd probably be happy to have the storm gone as well, so pirate or not, finding a way to move it on to Power was probably for the best.

The next thing that happened surprised and puzzled the small girl, enough that it cut through at least a portion of her nerves and fear. After all her threats, now the pirate woman wanted to... feed her desert? The juxtaposition of this was enough to cause Lyntael to creep closer to the bench again, and despite everything, her eyes fell on the lemon treat that was presented. She'd never had a lemon meringue before...

Unfortunately, her guard had dropped enough that the sudden over-zealous pie-splitting tactic made her cry out aloud and jump back again, and worse, this time her body's natural response to being over-excited got away from her before she could try to hold it in; a small wave of excess static washed off her in a wave, uncontrolled. She gasped and covered her face in her hands, cringing as she stammered a series of apologies to the other woman.

"Ahh! I'm sorry, I'm sorry! I didn't mean... It's hard to stop it when... I- I... I'll go." Shocked as she was, Lyntael at least seemed to retain something of an idea that Power wouldn't actually be hurt by her brief discharge, but she was still frightened of a bad reaction regardless. The shock also left her too startled to move away from Power's attempt at hair ruffling, which, as expected, scattered another shower of sparks, and probably gave the woman a second, more minor jolt. Underneath this awkward situation, a slightly more practically minded train of through going through Lyntael's mind wasn't about to pass up on pie, though, and she used the fork that Power had given her to swiftly split a slice off the remaining pie — a normal sized piece, which might have been an eighth of the full circle, and a quarter of the half that remained, which she took with her as she darted from the room.

She fled down the hall for a few extra seconds, running, before stopping to lean on the wall and calm her nerves. The same part of her mind that had secured a slice of the offered pie now brought it to her lips and took a bite of the narrow end. Lyntael herself wasn't really aware of doing so until the taste hit her mouth, at which point her eyes fluttered and a softly hummed moan resonated in her throat. Alone or not, she kept her mouth closed politely, regardless, and lifted the finger tips of her free hand to her lips as well while she explored the flavour. Somewhere over the next few seconds several more bites of the slice disappeared without any further conscious thoughts being registered. Her toes curled in the plush carpeting of the hall and she kept her eyes closed as she ate the rest of the slice quickly, leaning her head back against the wall.

It took Lyntael an extra moment or two to recover after she finished the small treat and cleaned her mouth thoroughly. The thought occurred to her that, until now, she'd never actually eaten anything substantial. She knew all about many different foods, and a good deal about cooking, and she'd read a lot on her own as well, but somehow she'd never consciously applied any of that to herself at anything more than an abstract level, and light knew Rogan never gave her anything. She would have to find an excuse to try more foods in the future.

Lyntael stood away from where she had been leaning on the wall and shook herself out, taking a few longer breaths. One thing was certain, at least — the unexpected distraction had pulled her mind away form the immediate panic enough to let her calm down substantially. Being away from the pirate woman also helped. for the first time in since she arrived on the ship, Lyntael took a calmer few seconds for herself and reviewed everything. Ok, so it wasn't going to be a fun and romantic cruise under a sunny sky, or anything nice like that... but she still had work to do. Power wanted some way to control the storm and keep it with her, and hoped it was somewhere on the ship. She suspected that if it had been on the middle deck, it would have been salvaged or broken by now, and recommended the lowest floor, but there was also the chance that it was somewhere up on the open deck of the ship itself, or on the outside.

She paced slightly back and forth in the corridor, thinking. She'd have to pass through the mid deck to get down to the bottom with the pirates that tango has said were... she'd forgotten the name, but it had been something about bombs, and they were surly and dangerous. The mid deck were the ones that were more like bad party guests, and were destroying things. Ok... so she'd go down first, see if she couldn't find out more about the middle deck and what they wanted on her way, then sneak below to look at the situation on the bottom level. They'd have leaders, just like Power, and if she could get a simple answer from any of them, that would make things easier. Even if she couldn't actually help, she could relay what they really wanted to Tango, at the very least. The girl nodded to herself and rolled her shoulders, then went looking for the nearest stairs down to the mid deck.

Power abruptly yanked her hand back this time. She was used to a little static and supposedly an enthusiast and master of the power of lightning, but Lyntael's tendency to release static waves was becoming more than even she wanted to deal with. "Hey, uh, anybody ever tell you that just cause you're an elec navi doesn't mean you have to carry, like, a laundromat's worth of static all over the place? Get your operator to do something about that," she complained, still a far cry from an amiable person even after the pie. Before she could offer any more elec-navi-to-elec-navi advice, Lyn split, taking some pie with her and enjoying it in the hallway. Power might have followed a bit, but she was still hooked to the fridge, so that was that.

As it turned out, the quickest and only visible way downstairs, unless there was another past the kitchen, was the set of downward staircases on either side of the upper deck's kitchen and party area. She'd have to go back outside- only briefly- to reach them. The scene out there was much as she'd seen it earlier: lots of gray men standing around absorbing electrical shocks, but no sign of whatever was causing the storm itself. As Tango had implied, there were two floors below deck, at least. She could see the stairs down leading to another very dark area, beyond the one she'd stopped on. First, though, she intended to resolve the pirate situation on this floor if possible, and for that to start she'd need to find some pirates.

Fortunately, they weren't hard to find. Unfortunately, they were all generic looking and it'd be hard to mistake any one of them as being a captain. The men were all dressed in black navi-suits and helmets designed like skulls, covering each one's entire face with a static, unmoving grin. That might be pretty eerie, if it weren't for the fact that they were all doing various, non-threatening things. The hall had been 'redecorated' by having various furniture pulled out of rooms, stacked around, propped against walls; mostly, each of these pieces provided a space for the pirates to lounge about, shooting the breeze. None of them really seemed actively involved searching for anything. A few snippets of conversation stood out to her:

"Well, if Clipper's off the sea, don't really affect us much one way or the other, does it? If ye think of the pirate captains as an element wheel, those two don't really interact with each other! Element wheel, ye know, like how the salty sea's good for pissin' out fires?"

"I thought if I dragged the love-seat out here it'd mean I'd get to stretch my feet up while I sleep, but naw, some other douchebag's always comin' up and sittin' next to me! It's like, aaarr, we got all this furniture! Get'cher own loveseat!"

"Listen, the whole thing went down inconclusive, but if we're really talkin' what's what, I think Capta- I mean, er, Miss Cutlass's got the best booty of all of 'em. But don't tell 'er I said that."

It didn't sound like any of them were even discussion treasure right now. On the bright side, Lyn could presumably easily slide into the middle of the conversation without interrupting anything. The pirates hadn't noticed her come downstairs, since her footsteps were light.
Despite her best hopes, a quick search on the interior of the top level didn't show any other routes between the deck levels, so Lyntael found herself back-tracing at a quick run towards the exterior of the cruise ship. The deck was... still as creepy as it had been, unfortunately, and the slow, shambling movements of the electric zombie plug things still unnerved her. Between that and the intermittent lightning strikes lancing to the deck, it made for a swift, uneasy dash around to the side stairs. Just before she went down, though, the girl stopped and looked back, one hand on the rail. She eyes up one of the nearest plug creatures and bit her lip. They did seem quite docile, after all, even if they looked creepy. If she couldn't find what Power was after, she might have to risk touching one and seeing if that was enough to satisfy the electric captain. One way or another, she was going to put that off until she absolutely had to. The captains parting words still echoed in her mind a bit; someone else who saw what what wrong with her and concluded that she was broken in some way. She was beginning to think that it didn't matter whether her problems were faults or not; the fact remained that, as she was, she just wasn't someone that anyone really wanted to have to deal with. She shook her head for now and turned back to the stairs. For now, searching the other floors, and checking in on the other captains.

She descended more cautiously, slowing her steps to a delicate transit as she climbed down; Power had recommended the bottom floor, but there was no sense passing through the middle level without checking on them. It did indeed look as torn apart as Tango had promised, but Lyntael paused and stood still for a moment as she caught sight of the first pirates on the deck. A small flinch passed through her heart as her earlier fears returned. Something about the way the others had spoken had left her thinking that all of Jolly's pirates were women as well, but now that she was here, the sight before her was much closer to what she'd originally feared; a horde of unscrupulous men, dressed like they meant to scare and accept no responsibility for their individual actions. That meant they'd do things, and try things, that someone showing their face might not... She hesitated a few seconds longer at the foot of the stair, half debating dashing down again and skipping the floor completely. She was alone, after all, and there was no-one to help her if things got uncomfortable.

Lyntael closed her eyes and took a deep breath, letting it out slowly. She still ought to try, and even if one of them did try to lay a hand on her, she could probably at least shock them enough to escape. Unless they all... the girl shook her head to herself again, pushing the thought away. She was right to be cautious of what-ifs, but she had to try not to be afraid of them, or let them determine her choices. She repeated the line of thinking in her mind again, then began to move quickly through the middle level.

She attempted to move in a way that was beneath notice, at least to her own mind, but the result was that she made small, quick steps through the halls, listening to the bits and pieces of pirates chatting to each other, with her head down and her hands clasped in front of her; though Lyntael herself wasn't aware of it, it was the kind of posture and movement that screamed 'frightened child' and 'somewhere she shouldn't be'. She didn't engage any of the pirates directly, at least as long as they let her be without calling out or confronting her presence, but listened instead as she searched through the halls and peeked into rooms, looking for something that looked like a commanding officer that she could speak to. amidst her poking around, she did hear another snippet that suggested a fourth pirate in the regular. The picture forming in her mind there was that the four groups must usually balance each other, and were never far apart... but something had happened to remove one of them from the picture, so now one of the other pirates was becoming more dominant.

As unpractised as she was with actual social interaction, Lyntael was still a quick study of social structures and a little bit of politics in her reading time, and she knew that that sort of situation was very bad news indeed, especially for any regular travellers that had to brave the pirates' territory. She began to wonder, in a back thread of her thoughts, if she really ought to be doing anything to further help the pirate group that seemed to be on top as a result of the break down. It might get her to leave the ship, and that was what Tango, her employer for the day, wanted... but it might be a really bad thing to do, on a larger scale. Her hands began to wring with each other as she walked; The pondering might be taking her mind off the horde of masked men all around her, but they weren't exactly setting her any more at ease either. The sooner she could find the leader of this group and ask about getting them to leave, the sooner she could get off this deck.

Lyntael made her way down the hall, looking for any sign of another pirate captain she might be able to help or, more importantly, convince to leave the cruise ship. Unfortunately, she didn't see one of those... what she did see were brief glimpses of ransacked rooms, brief glimpses of skull-helmeted pirates, and a lot of carpeted floor. Even more unfortunately, she wasn't about to get through a hallway of incredibly bored pirates unnoticed. She nearly walked into one of them as he stepped out from behind a tall, standing dresser and held out one hand to indicate she needed to stop. "Woooah there, Captain Power! Yer a long way from your part of the ship, ain't che? And not all buffed up like ye get! You're seriously gonna walk around here like that?" Apparently, he'd mistaken her identity.

"Welldee-well! What have we got 'ere?" another asked, leaning up on a couch; he'd been hidden, given that the back was facing towards Lyn. "You dumbass, that's not Captain Power! Uh... least, I don't think it is. But who else could it be, now that'cha mention it? Maybe she's doing some cosplay? Arr, looks pretty good!"

The same cabinet she'd just walked past opened up and a third one stumbled out. "Welldee-well-well! Ye lookin' for someone? Couldn't be that'cha came down here to spy on us and thought'cha wouldn't get caught, could it? Aarrrr, it could! What else could it be, ye wandered down here to serve us cocktails? Cause I don't see no cocktails!"

A fourth sauntered seemed to appear out of nowhere, this one standing uncomfortably close behind Lyn. "Welldee-well-well-well! This one ain't Power! She's a little skinnier, ain't got the booty. But that don't matter to us, right boys? I'll bet she'd still make a might fine prize for the four of us, aaarrr-har-har-har," he chuckled eerily, beginning to reach out to grab the tip of her skirt. "Take one down, pass it around..."

The others suddenly pitched in, sounding indignant. "Woah woah woah there! That's just a kid, ye sicko! What're you plannin' to do? C'mon, cool it," the cabinet-dwelling skull-head protested, stepped around her to push the fourth one back.

Those two got into a shoving match, while the original two crossed their arms and regarded Lyn skeptically. The first tilted his head up menacingly and glared down at her with black, empty hole eyes. "Who are ye? Whatcha lookin' fer?" he asked simply. "Cause if ye think yer gonna find Tango's treasure before the rest of us do, yer sadly mistaken! See, there's a big treasure on this ship... We heard a tip, that Clipper was hidin' somethin' huge! Only she got ran off and I'm bettin' whatever it is, she didn't take it all with her. Just... er... if that weren't what you were here fer, then just forget I said all that, alright?"
No sign of the captain of this group, but it was clear that the was they were keeping apart was by some sort of mutual agreement. The longer she spent on the floor, though, the more Lyntael wanted to remove herself from it, and quickly. As much as she probably should have known better, she wasn't left alone for long, but was still startled when her attempts at subtle exploration were interrupted by a group of the pirates confronting her directly. Nearly bumping into the one that stepped in front of her elicited a short, sharp gasp of breath that just barely managed to vocalise itself under her breath as she jumped back, quickly, only to brush her back up against the other one stepping out behind her. Quite suddenly she felt uncomfortably surrounded by the skull-masked pirates. She started to turn, but only managed a brief look over her shoulder before her attention was taken by the other ones talking.

For now, she managed to keep her nerves under control; they hadn't been hostile yet, even if they were pirates, and they seemed to think she was Power, which was, she supposed, a little understandable. She tried to look at all of them at once, twisting about, but they were more or less on all sides, unless she wanted to hide in the furniture. Instead, she swallowed and tried to formulate a more professional answer. Her fingers clenched tighter, but she forced them down from the tight clasp in the middle of her chest, to a more formal position at her waist. It was ok, they just wanted to know who she was and why she was there... that was ok... The internal reassurance, only partially believed, didn't stop a small snap or two jumping between the strands of her hair.

"I, um... Ah, Tango sent me to—" She started not quite sure on whether to begin with Tango's request to keep them happy, or just to ask for their captain directly, but all sense of calm evaporated when the fourth one made his own remark and his fingers brushed the back of her skirt. If he actually managed to get a grip on the end of it, he'd get a brief glimpse of white cotton underneath, as the girl bit off a small shriek and jumped forward and to the side, spinning to face him and putting her hands up. Her feet attempted to navigate to somewhere where she could see all four of the pirates at once, but the wrecked debris of the room proved treacherous while her eyes were fixed on the pirate and not where she was stepping. She stumbled and tripped back, falling, but without a direct hand interfering the innate coding of her skirt managed to cover the fall with decency. She landed with one hand supporting behind her and her knees pressed together and drawn up, while her other hand reached outwards in a slightly shaky halting gesture.

"D-Don't! Don't touch me!" Outside of her control, her skin crackled for a moment, and the snaps in her hair spiked for a second or two. Under normal circumstances, she might have scolded herself inwardly for the poor control, but at this particular moment she welcomed it, and even embraced it to a certain extent; soft glows began to form about the strikers in her wrists and ankles.

"I- I just need to talk to your captain. Please don't come any closer..." The words came out in a quick rush, and she realised that at least a couple of them probably wouldn't have heard or noticed anyway, as a small fight broke out. She looked to the pirate actually addressing her and tried again, unconsciously shuffling back a little more, even if this put her further into the room and away from the door.

"Tango... she, um, he... Tango wanted me to check on everyone, and make sure you're all happy guests... but... um... I don't think... I don't think she uh... She doesn't seem to know that you're all pirates. Or, ah, she doesn't understand what that means. I wanted to find your captain, so I could..." she swallowed again, her eyes sliding to the side where she could see the creep-pirate and another one still scuffling, before snapping her focus back to the one that was more serious. "So I could..." She began to realise how silly her words sounded as she tried to say them. It was very foolish really, but she pressed on hopelessly. "So I could see if I could convince you to leave the ship alone." Her head dropped down and she let her warding hand fall to to her lap as she pushed herself up into a slightly more decent position, resting on her knees now with them tight together.
"Please, I just... just let me speak to whoever is in charge of your crew, then I'll go, I promise." With the initial shock of being grabbed at passed, and the self-doubt about what she was trying to do settling in instead, the rapid hammer of her heart was beginning to subside quickly, but it had still managed to have an effect on her breathing while she negotiated, and it would be easy for anyone watching her to see that she was taking small, short breaths that moved her shoulders subtly.

It was hard for Lyn to tell what the pirate behind her had seen, or if he'd been the recipient for a shock for his efforts, because he and the other skull-headed navi that had intervened had moved pretty quickly to exchanging headlocks with one another. The other two ignored those two, instead leering through the black, eyeless holes of their bone helmets... or faces. It was hard to tell which. One of them tilted his chin up slightly and crossed his arms as he listened to Lyn stammer. "Doesn't know we're pirates?! Knew that freak was batty, but not that batty," one pirate scoffed, chuckling and elbowing the fellow to his right. "You need to speak to the cap'n? Fine, I'll get her. S'gonna be hard to get us to leave as it stands, though! Jolly's pretty sure there's some big treasure hidden on the ship somewhere, somethin' real powerful! We ain't stoppin' till we uprooted it. Only problem is... we're restricted to just this floor. I guess there's an ideeyer, eh? All you gotta do is check those other floors and bring us whatever treasure we're lookin' for! As for what that is... er... well, it's gotta be a weapon, right? So just find a weapon and bring it to us!"

"I'll go get the captain, she'll tell ya better," the first one began, before shoving off from his seat to go find the leader. As if in answer, a woman stepped out from another room nearby. She looked like she very well might be the captain, but didn't look at all jolly, if that was indeed her namesake. The woman was very tall with a regal air, painting a different picture than the other pirates that had shown up so far. Her hair was long, orange-blond with a neat french-braided tail. Her eyes were steel gray and very cold, making her look somehow more dangerous than the skull-headed ones. Her outfit consisted of a leather ensemble, including a gold-colored chest protector, gloves, boots, and belt over a brown navi-suit, covering her from neck to toes. Perhaps most importantly, two oversized swords hung from scabbards at hips, which were connected to the belt.

The woman's boots clopped against the floor as she walked through the hall; the pirate stood to one side. if she was Captain Jolly, the name was certainly ironic. "I heard what you said just now. You're looking for a way to make us leave the ship, I understand? You already know more or less what we're doing here, if you didn't already, thanks to my loose-lipped crewmate here... So I'll tell you the rest. We want to leave just as much as you want us to," she sighed, crossing her arms below her breasts, which were large enough to be a bit apparent even despite the breastplate. "We're not looking for a weapon, as I've reminded you goons many times before. We're looking for a person... a navi named Jack, who used to work on this ship. Unfortunately, she's not been seen for quite some time. I don't think that she's still here, but we should be able to find clues. I want to find her and make her an offer... and also see if she has any dirt on Clipper, who I notice mysteriously disappeared right after whatever incident set Jack off of this ship," the woman spoke plainly.

She frowned contemplatively, looking Lyn over again. "Speaking of coincidences... here's another young lady working for Tango in Jack's place. But perhaps this coincidence is just that and nothing more," she murmured. "At any rate. There's no point in speaking to our Captain, Jolly. If you really must bother her, I'll bring her here, but I've told you what you need to know. And if I've yet to introduce myself... my name is Cutlass. I'm the first mate," she finished. If the dangerous-looking one was only the first-mate, once might imagine the captain herself would be quite a fearsome person. The skull-headed crew seemed to have vanished somewhere when Cutlass appeared; if Lyn took a look around, she'd find they were nowhere in sight. "If you want us to leave, we need information on Jack. Even Tango ought to be able to provide that," she sighed again, still glaring straight at Lyn despite apparent discomfort. "Why don't you get your boss to talk? Tell her to stop playing dumb about Jack... If she'll just tell us where that navi went, we'll follow the lead and be out of her hair right away."

Lyn could wonder about Tango's motives for keeping the circumstances of Jack's disappearance hidden, but then, she'd met Tango as well... it was likely there would be a fair bit of delusional fancy with whatever story Lyn or the pirates managed to get from her.
Her breath continued to come in short, nervous pants while her eyes jumps back and forth between the two pirates who had remained engaged on her. They spoke about their captain, in between chattering away about what they did know in a rather more amiable and loose-lipped manner than she'd been expecting of the frightful-looking skulls. It mostly matched up with what she'd heard so far, and Lyntael was beginning to suspect that whatever Power wanted was probably the same thing that these pirates wanted too. It was political, that was for certain, but she still had to consider exactly which requests she would be in the right to fulfil, if any. The balance between the crews was already out of order, from what they were saying, and any choice she made cold end up upsetting it further if she was indelicate... Her eyes continued to turn back and forth, but the more analytical series of thoughts turning over in her mind were enough of a distraction to calm her down gradually.

Just as one of them was about to go and find 'Jolly', presumed namesake of the Jolly Pirates, his efforts were belayed by anther person entering the room. At first Lyntael guessed that the woman must be the captain in question; despite her intimidating looks, Lyntael herself actually felt ever so slightly more at ease once she showed up. It seemed as though the crew men might try anything with her while they were just amongst males, but in her own mind, the chances of anything of that nature being pressed while another woman who was also their superior, was present, was very remote. Even if she was wearing swords bigger than one of her own legs and likely knew her way about them. Lyntael swallowed and turned most of her attention to the woman.

There was a slightly menacing business-like tone and manner to the way she spoke, and Lyntael offered small, meek nods to confirm her question. The explanation made her eyebrows rise up for a moment in surprise, then furrow as she thought about what was being said.

"Jack...? But, she's gone..." It was more a murmur to herself in between the other woman's explanation. she quieted immediately as the woman continued, eventually identifying herself not as the captain, but the first mate. There was a moment when she considered asking after the captain properly but reconsidered without saying anything. Any first mate who acted against the intention of their captain didn't retain the position for long, so it was probably safest to trust Cutlass, rather than pressing it. More thoughts began to form in her mind as she struggled to assess everything at once and still keep focused on cutlass in front of her. Moving slowly, she pushed herself up to her feet, brushing off her skirt as she did. It still left her notably shorter than the first mate, but it was an improvement over kneeling on the ground at her feet. How to handle this... After a moment she set her shoulders and took a much longer breath, picking her words cautiously. when she spoke it was a carefully measured tone, and she hesitated a bit here and there as she searched for the right phrasing.

"I can tell you what I know first. Maybe it will help?" tango ha said that Jack did everything. If one person was capable of doing every single job of every single staff member for an entire cruise ship, then that would understandably be quite a treasure in itself. But it also wasn't a storm generator, and Jack was gone, apparently that meant they weren't looking for the same things after all. She continued, looking Cutlass in the eye, though she had to tilt her head up to do so.

"Tango believes that Jack is long gone. She seemed... as upset as it felt like she ever gets, about jack disappearing without no warning. I don't believe she knows any more than that; she barely knows you're all pirates. She wanted me to serve you drinks." Another long, slow breath while Lyntael marshalled her thoughts.

"I don't know much about these crews, but, it sounds like the four of you are never too far apart. But, you said one of them, Clipper, disappeared early, around when Jack did as well? Tango didn't seem to know anything at all, when I spoke to her. It sounds more like this clipper might have captured Jack ahead of you, and fled before anyone else could steal her back." Lyntael was biting her lip now, her eyes dropping as her expression grew more thoughtful; it became clear that she was processing the thoughts herself, like a puzzle, as much as she was trying to talk to Cutlass.

"Tango didn't know how to find Jack... I asked if I should look for her, when she said that she was gone, but Tango said there was no way to track her down now. But I'm thinking... If Clipper kidnapped her, you'd know how to track down Clipper easily enough, if your four crews are usually so in the habit of keeping tabs on one another. It seems like Clipper would be your best lead right now, at least he... um, or she, I don't know, sorry... um... they might at least know the most about what happened then." A moment of recollection reminded her that Power, earlier, had mentioned clipper as a female too, so she corrected herself again. As her thoughts moved on, she paused, frowning more deeply. "Though, I suppose... If Clipper actually bought Jack's service, or had commanded her service in some way, then confronting that crew on the matter might be difficult or dangerous, unless you also had an advantage to balance it... Hmm..."

By this point, Lyntael's actual anxiety had faded away in the face of her more problem-solving mentality, as she teased at the political situation like a complicated knot. She had raised one hand to her mouth and chin, before letting it drop lower to circle and tap distractedly on her emblem instead.

"Some of the other pirates I've passed, they were talking as though your four crews normally balance each other... so one of the three here must have the upper hand on Clipper most of the time, right? It's not Power, because she said... Oh, of course. But that works perfectly for you. You would have leverage on the crew down below, right? But they would be the ones with leverage on Clipper's crew. So maybe you could use them to make her tell you what she knows, or hand Jack over if she's really got her?" Now Lyntael had started to step back and forth slightly while she thought it all out, making small hand gestures as she hit upon various points, and nodding her head softly. The sparking in her hair had died down as she calmed, but there was still a faint sense of static about her, and the muted glow about her wrists and ankles. She paused and looked back to Cutlass as though rising from her own world of thoughts.

"Does that work..? Am I missing a detail there? What am I not seeing.... Oh! I still don't know why the other crew are here. What did tango say their name was? The ones on the lowest deck. I could plan better if I knew what their motive for staying here was as well... do you know?" She clicked her fingers softly. "Oh, and also... Power, up top, she wanted me to find out what was making the storm above, and bring it to her, but I'm not sure that's a good idea. I'd like to track it down though, and decide what to do with it. Do you know anything about that, too? If it's something simple, then it might give you some leverage back against Power, maybe?" She raised one eyebrow at the first mate; Lyntael had more or less forgotten the reality of her situation, and the fact that she was a small girl in the middle of a nest of pirates, now that she'd begun addressing it as a puzzle to be solved.

Cutlass stared down at Lyn, furrowing her brow slightly. Perhaps surprisingly, she moved index fingers of both hands to her temples, as if fighting off a migraine. "I believe you. Jack is most likely gone, as I'd suspected. The best we'll be able to find are any clues about her disappearance... but I'd hoped Tango was only withholding the information and we'd eventually get around to interrogating her for it. Still, if she sent you down here just to serve us drinks... she may really be as dumb as she looks," the first mate sighed, leaning one shoulder against the wall of the hallway. Her face became more passive as Lyn got to speculating about the power politics of the rival pirate crews inhabiting this part of Beach Net. "Clipper captured Jack? It does seem likelly, now that you mention it... I don't think tracing Clipper would be impossible. After all, unlike Jack, she didn't vanish without a trace... she just went back to her regular waters, I believe, almost as though she'd surrendered. She'd been guarding them so long, I figured she must have some interest in Jack and this boat... But it was only Jack after all. It all makes sense... hiding Jack on a boat full of women would be simplicity itself."

She tilted her head curiously as Lyn continued. "Hmph. I don't know whether to commend you for paying attention or to warn you for eavesdropping where you have no place doing so. You're right: those pirates below are the ones we are best equipped to fight. Bomba is a shrewd woman, but she's out of her element... her on the open sea is like an ice skater in quick-sand. The very elements of nature are against her... How she could hope to live out here as a fire element navi, attacking with fire bombs, is beyond me. She only holds an advantage over Clipper because, master craftsman that she is, she is the sentimental type and builds her ships only out of highly flammable materials. And she's a wood elemental captain, of course." Something about the first mate seemed oddly comfortable now, as though talking to Lyntael about all of this was calming her in some way. She even seemed to have softened her expression a bit. She even smiled. "Jolly would like that idea quite a lot... force Bomba to come with us to threaten Clipper. That would be quite something. Unfortunately, we don't have quite that much of an advantage over her. But perhaps we can think of something... in a pinch."

She raised an eyebrow at the mention of Power, then lifted her eyes up towards the ceiling, as though looking through it to watch Power raid the fridge. "Something's making that storm? I'd assumed it was because of her robotic monsters, but I'd mistaken cause for effect. So... there could be another interesting element somewhere on this ship, then. I have half a mind to find a way to search the other decks for the one causing that storm as well... Unless, of course, it's something that's not actually on the ship. If only we pirates could dive," she sighed, tapping her fingers against one of her cutlass hilts idly. "That Power... she's the most dangerous of our enemies. Her technology gives her quite an advantage against our more traditional tactics. And she's an elec element captain, of course."

Finally, she cast her eyes down towards the floor again. "As I mentioned briefly before, below are Bomba's forces. Their motivation... that is a good question. The rest of us all appear to be looking for a treasure of some kind... Perhaps they're also looking for the source of this lightning storm? I must say, if Bomba could use that machine against us, that could effectively cancel out our advantage. Personally, that's not something I want to see happen at all. In fact, I don't want Power to have it either... it actually sounds as though the best course of action would be to make sure that all of the pirates leave this ship without finding that electricity. Perhaps we can help each other, then," she mused, turning her eyes back over to Lyn. "Would you be willing to spread a rumor for us? I want you to tell first Bomba, then Power... or both at once, but not Power first... that our forces have captured the navi creating this lightning storm. At the same time, I will tell Jolly we must return to our ships and quickly sail for our native waters. That way, we can lead everyone away from this vessel. You get your wish, and we ensure that no one finds the source of that storm. Frankly, I don't care what it is... but I don't want anyone to have it. Even Jack seems relatively inconsequential compared to such a weapon as that."

The first mate quieted for a moment, to see how Lyn would respond. She may have finally found her ticket to ridding the ship of pirates, but on the other hand, it would require lying to some very temperamental pirate captains..
As Lyntael got caught up in her own thoughts, treating the situation like a puzzle to be solved, Cutlass also seemed to calm substantially, which only helped the smaller girl's mood. the light caution about listening in to things she shouldn't mostly passed her by while the worked on fitting the pieces of information together into a picture that made sense, and tried to plan separately in the back of her mind as well. It might have been a sign of how nervous she'd been before that she jumped onto the distraction with such determination, but either way it seemed like something of a workable plan was coming together. She honestly didn't know if Clipper really had Jack or not, but at this point it really did seem like the most probable explanation, and as much as she wasn't too pleased about the idea of a group of pirates commanding the services of someone who could effectively be a one-woman army, if she really had to pick, then she was probably best working for the pirate than immediately fled with her, rather than attempting to turn her on the other crews right away; that, at least, boded well.

Cutlass's talk about the other factors was also an interesting titbit that she tucked away into her growing assortment of political facts. It wasn't just the strength of the different elemental bias of the crews, but their actual methods of practising their piracy also played into it heavily. It made sense, of course, but it was worth knowing. She nodded along as the other woman mulled over the idea of leveraging Bomba against Clipper, though it was slightly disappointing that the first mate didn't think they could pull quite that much swing. It was an idea planted, though, so she didn't push it.

A part of her was relieved to hear Cutlass begin to formulate ideas along with her; hat was good, especially once it began to sound like the first mate's idea of a best outcome was that none of the pirate crews got their hands on whatever was making the storms. That was something Lyntael cold agree with, though she'd have to be careful in how she let down Power. Her small amount of conspiratorial pacing had settled into soft, gentle steps back and forth on the balls of her feet, on arm folded across her middle while the other toyed slowly around her emblem. At last she turned back to Cutlass and nodded to her.

"I can help with that, I'll do it. You all seem quite firm about sticking to your own decks of the ship... I'm guessing that's kind of how you're all stopping this situation from breaking out into outright war, right? But, well, I'm not part of any crew, and as long as I'm not a threat to anyone, I can move about. Power didn't seem to mind me, once she'd had her fun scaring me a bit... do you think Bomba will let me talk to her too?" She paused and winced softly, some of her uncertainty creeping back in.

"I... I'm trying not to upset anyone here, because I'm not exactly connected properly right now. If anything actually happens to me... what I mean is, if I talk to the other captains and help you spread this story, do you think I'll be safe?" It was an odd question to be asking on of the four pirate captains, but somewhere along the way of their talking and planning, Lyntael had ended up feeling like Cutlass was one of the saner people here, and probably one of the more trustworthy that she'd met.

"I can go down, and try to talk to Bomba, and while I'm acting as Tango's helper, I can slip in overhearing that your crew were excited to have found what they were after at last. If you're already making preparations to leave, they'll have to believe it. Power thinks I'm searching the ship for her, so it makes sense that I'd check each deck before going back to her, right? I can do that, and... and I'll have to think of some way to tell Power I failed, without making her mad at me, but... Oh..." Lyntael bit her lip then stopped again, looking up at Cutlass.

"I will have to find the thing, whatever it is, anyway. If the storm is still going strong, and your crew are leaving, or you've left, then Power will know I'm lying. I'm going to have to find it and shut it down one way or the other, aren't I?" The fingers on her left hand were tapping absently at her emblem again as her mind worried at the details, but after another moment she nodded. "I'll be able to sort something out, I think. I'll go down and talk to Bomba and her crew now and see what else I can find out... but I..." She winced again, closing one eye as she peeked up at the other woman. "I don't want to do anything that's going to put my life in danger. I've got no emergency right now; the request just said I'd be working on a cruise ship!" She sighed and shook her head, then hugged herself despite everything.

Provided Cutlass didn't have anything else startling to add that would change their plans, Lyntael would eventually excuse herself from the room and head on, searching more directly now for the way down to the next level; the stairs she'd come down to begin with had seemed to lead down further, she thought, and short of finding another set somewhere else on this level, she'd have to head back to those. On the way, her movement and body language close din again, mostly lost in thought this time as she went.

If Cutlass and her crew had come across whatever was making the storm in their searching of this deck, she wouldn't have seemed so surprised about learning of it, she reasoned, and as much as Power had implied it might be anywhere, if it was on deck or on the first level, then she would surely have found it herself already. Whatever it was would have to be on Bomba's level, then, but if the fire captain knew about it, he hadn't shut it off or made it stop, and she'd have to know it was only being beneficial to one of her rivals. That made the puzzle something of a mess as she turned it over in her mind. The only way to untangle it properly would be to try and learn about Bomba's motives. either way, though, it sounded like the rough power balance would be mostly restored once all the pirates were off the ship and back to their won stomping grounds, except for the issue of Jack, so in the end she had to agree with Cutlass' opinion that no-one should have the power that the storm represented, especially not Power herself. That was a problem in itself... how was she going to manage that... Eventually, she put her other worries on hold and focused on her surroundings again, as she made her way down to the next captain's level.

Cutlass nodded along, seeming appreciative of Lyntael's attentiveness. "We're not straying from our floors... but it's less a formal agreement and more self preservation. We all know this cruise ship is not well suited for a battle between so many forces. Each of us is looking for something here and stands a good chance of destroying whatever that something is if this devolves into combat. Truth be told, we're all more comfortable on our ships... these arrangements have been foreign to us all," she explained, staying leaned against a wall. As she stood nearby one of the door-frames the skull-headed men had disappeared behind, it was evident she was so tall, she'd probably have to watch her head going through one of those. "Talking to Power is easy, she just wants an audience. Talking to Bomba... well, you'll need to be careful. She's got a hot temper and doesn't tolerate foolishness. She and her clan are close-knit, secretive, and fiercely loyal to one another... we're all loyal to our fellow crew-mates, of course, but with Bomba, it's a step further. She treats them like family and everyone else as outsiders. It won't be easy. But then, once she hears the news you have to give her, I think she'll have no reason to doubt you. The logic adds up well. Just put on a brave face."

She might be willing to talk, but she still had a severe attitude; that appeared to be as far as she was going to go with her understanding behavior. Lyn wasn't going to be protected. She'd be fending for herself down there, essentially. Still, she shook her head and crossed her arms, then offered a further response. "You won't have to locate the device. I'm confident neither of the other pirate groups has a hold of it already, considering how little intel we have on it. Because so little is known, at this point, we could just as easily say that the cloud was generated at some point and there is a 'recharge' period, or that it doesn't follow the user. You can even tell Power that I can't turn it off. We have the advantage of getting to write our own details here... just make sure to avoid any inconsistencies." She raised an eyebrow as Lyn continued. "No EJO function? What is your operator thinking? You do have an operator, don't you?" she asked, suddenly seeming worried. "We can't have you do this after all then. We'll think of another plan. I can't guarantee anything, after all."

This would likely halt Lyn's movement, while Cutlass held out one hand indicating she should stay. With her other, she cupped her fingers at her chin thoughtfully. "We'll revise the plan. I'll go down to tell Bomba that we've got the device. In the mean time, you find Jolly on this floor... she should be four rooms down on the right, but I can't promise she will be... and tell her the plan. She'll be able to notify the crew all at once. As soon as that's done, go straight to Power, quickly, and tell her we have the machine. I don't think Power would do anything to hurt you, but I can't be sure about Bomba... I don't want you crossing paths with her if you can't EJO. Really..." she murmured, shaking her head and sighing quietly. "Once you've told Power, that should be the end of your role. Just don't do anything that might otherwise jeopardize the plan. If you keep your end of the bargain, you should have us pirates out of your hair in no time. Now, please excuse me. We haven't a minute to spare," she finished, walking to the staircase. Her sword scabbards jingled as she walked, clanking against the round of her hips.

If Lyn had further objections, she'd have to run along and speak them quickly; otherwise, Cutlass would soon be out of sight. If she wanted to continue with the plan, she'd find a hitch right away: the fourth door down on the right was shut and, although there was an engraved doorknob, it didn't so much as jiggle. It appeared impossible to open. She might try knocking or announcing herself. To the left, another door was open; Lyn could see some skull-heads playing a game of cards that seemed to involve primarily shifting the positions of cards in one's hand and grumbling at how bad one's luck was. She might be able to ask one of them to introduce her to the captain. Alternatively, she might want to abandon the plan altogether if the whole thing seemed too dangerous.
Almost out of the room, it caught Lyntael by surprise when the strong, dangerous-looking pirate woman voiced an actual concern over her safety; it was a surprise large enough that when she turned back to face her, the smaller girl couldn't really mask her expression, looking back with a nervous smile and a small tilt of her head.

"I... I do, but... He doesn't know I'm here, and there's no proper connection. It's..." She winced and hung her head again, rubbing at one arm with her opposite hand. "Complicated. I'm sorry." Even so, Cutlass was quick to make some functional revisions, and Lyntael brightened a little when it became clear that her lack of protection hadn't thrown too much of a spanner in the works. Mostly she was surprised and strangely buoyed by the fact that, ruthless pirate or not, the other woman seemed genuinely concerned for her safety at the end of the day. She nodded in quick agreement to the revised plan and let Cutlass leave before following her out the door.

Her mind raced about filling in the gaps for what she herself would have to do to try and ensure that everything worked out for everyone, without anyone becoming a maritime super-power, but she felt like she had most of the details worked out in her mind as she reached the fourth door down. Dealing with Power was the bit that was scaring her, currently, but first, the captain of this floor. It had struck her as odd that Cutlass seemed to be making such important decisions without the captain, and Lyntael had begun to wonder if this captain was more of a in-name-only figurehead... Subconsciously, she'd dismissed the worry that Jolly would be even scarier than Cutlass, since, is she was, then the first mate would surely have needed to consult her.

Her train of thought was interrupted when she stood in front of the door and took a deep breath. She was tacitly ignoring the male pirates nearest the door, in the vague hope that they'd leave her be as well, but there was not really any way the group would miss the girl as she settled herself for a moment, then knocked on the door firmly, and called out.

"Captain Jolly?" Regardless of how much she'd sought to calm herself, there would be no missing the uncertainty in her voice, and she'd had to speak loud enough to be heard through the door, so there was little chance the group would miss her intention. She didn't try the handle at first; she'd wait at least a slow ten count for any response before reaching for it if there still wasn't one by then, and chances are she'd not escape the card-players' attention for that long anyway, but Lyntael simply watched the door until something else drew her attention, measuring her breathing and occasionally straightening her too-short-feeling skirt needlessly.