As Piper piloted the barge into port, Lysana drowsed belowdecks. It was only because the odd noise caused by his careful storage of the ship that once hosted the chai shop in Cala Mondrago that she woke at all. Unfortunately, it wasn’t quite soon enough. A moving pole and her head tried to share space. She came out the worse for it, falling half-into the water in a daze.
By the time she woke up, Piper was long gone and the skirt of her dress was soaked. She dragged herself to a sitting position, looking out at the water with a vague hope of seeing something to help her situation.
To her relief, a well-wrapped bundle soon surfaced and landed near her feet. She scrambled to recover it. The struggle to move through yards of sopping wet velvet took their toll on the fabric. She managed to take the package in hand, then looked at her dress.
“Blast it all, I’m a scientist, not a tailor,” she muttered as she saw the tears and holes her exertions created. With a sigh, she opened the package, hoping it was what she thought it to be. The glitter of sequins and soft chime of coin belts confirmed her hopes. Her belly dancing attire had survived the trip.
And so, thanks to providence of trajectories, had the upper portion of her dress. She grinned with inspiration and looked about to see if anyone was visible. Finding herself alone, she stood up and tore the bottom half of her dress away, leaving it in a sad pile on the shore. Moving quickly lest her situation change, she pulled on a set of harem pants. Normally better suited for a night of gyrations, it was far better than risking a chill and walking in wet fabric. She kept the dress leather shoes she’d been wearing while swapping them for flat slippers. No sense abandoning what could be dried out.
After she dressed, she considered how she had one place to go to expect a familiar face. Fortunately, her outfit wouldn’t even raise an eyebrow there. So she turned to where she hoped the Brass Bottle was and set out toward it, dancing attire and shoes clutched to her hip.
As she walked, she realized she wasn’t supposed to be on the barge in the first place. How she got there was something she’d have to piece together once she was drier and warmer.