|Various Forms of Duplication|
You walk into a very large restaurant with high ceilings that leave the rafters exposed. Fluorescent lamps hang from the ceiling, adding light to the floor and tables. Windows adorn the sides of the place, looking out onto the chaos that is Twisted. On some of the walls are paintings, photographs, and holograms of different movies, and a number of people who tend to visit the UR - caught as they're singing karaoke. The hardwood bar rests at the back of the restaurant, surface polished and shiny and all-together spotless (most of the time). Behind the bar are the various beverages that are serveed, and a giant mirror. There seem to be an inordinate amount of different drinks. A large stage rests in one of the corners of the restaurant, with an amazing sound system and a few microphones strung around it. Multiple round wooden tables are in the room, and a swing door leads into the kitchen. Another door leads to the dance club, and another to the gym. And of course, there's an exit. A large fireplace nestles in one of the walls, with a beautiful stone chimney that flows up and out. A long spiral staircase rests near the entrance to the kitchen, leading to a second-floor balcony that overlooks the UR itself. The lights up there are a bit dimmer than those down below.
Westly grins a little more and wiggles his fingers. "Oh! Like a butterfly tastes with it's feet?" he asks, smiling. "I've got to smell something to taste it, otherwise, it's pretty basic just...sort of flavory. Salty, sweet...that kind of thing." He says. "So... tasting... Why can you taste with those?" He asks, putting his thumbs against his cheeks, and wiggling his fingers a bit. "I mean...um. Sorry, I sometimes don't stop to think about what I'm asking..."
"Smell?" Ren repeats curiously, continuing to stand between the tables with Westly. "Hh. Perhaps our senses of taste aren't so different after all. Sweetness excepted- I can't taste that." Ren nods to his question. "But yes, the antennae are good for tasting -or smelling if you prefer-" Ren leans in to wave the rhinophores toward Westly, "as well as expressing emotion." Serenity pats his arm. "As for the extent of your curiosity, I would surely say so if you asked something inappropriate."
The soft ding of the door chime signals it being opened once more. Stepping in and wearing a long black coat this time, Johnny glances around briefly and darts to the bar. Regardless of whomever is working tonight he asks, "Yo. Cherry soda please." As soon as he can he takes his drink and finds a table off to the side so he can kick his feet onto it and for the first time in years start doodling in the sketchbook he's carrying. Well someone is feeling artistic.
A rumbling sound seems to fill the restaurant, making the very air vibrate. With a cracking sound, there is suddenly a familiar redheaded dragon is standing in the midst of the restaurant, her eyes glimmering as if windows looking out at the stars of space. She appears faintly disoriented for a moment, before apparently recalling where she is. After a glance about, Sun moves over to the bar, waving to the bartender. "I will have a root beer float, please." Well, that was nonchalant, at least.
Westly tilts his head, watching as the newest person enters the restaurant. However it's the vibrating air that has him a bit tense. Sudden movements? He doesn't do well around that...he flinches a bit, but, points to him, he manages not to run and hide under the table! Good for him! His train of thought has derailed entirely and he looks momentarily helpless at Ren, getting his thoughts gathered, back into a language most people around here seem to speak, and back on track. He clears his throat, takes a deep breath, and looks to Ren again. "Sorry," he shakes his head. "Um...what was I saying?"
Serenity glances to the door as it chimes, eyes fixed warily on Johnny for a moment before ascertaining his destination. Sun's arrival, conversely, has Ren looking concerned before determining her identity and less after. "Antennae," Ren supplies with a smile. "Which are not inappropriate parts to be asking questions about." Ren raises a deep blue pair of right fins to flash a wave toward Sun.
Johnny just sorta ignores everyone for the moment as he puts a pencil to paper and starts drawing god-knows-what. The rumbling gets his attention, of course, but only slightly as he looks up at Sun and nods his head towards her. Whether or not she sees it is none of his concern. He does notice Westly and Serenity finally, however. A single eyebrow is raised and suddenly he starts doodling more feverishly. What is he up to now?
A nod is offered toward Serenity and Westly from the dragoness, her wings shifting slightly against her back. They look smaller today. Likely an experiment on her part, testing to see how well she can do it or something. Her rootbeer float is obtained, and then she sweeps over to Johnny's table, sitting down without an invitation. "Johnny," she murmurs, peering down at his sketch pad thoughtfully.
Westly's been sneaking glances at the dragoness. He dips his head, there's a lot of fear in this boy. He swallows again, before he shakes his head some, and slides his hands into his pockets, his head down a bit, but looking up at Ren. "Oh, uh...sorry. I didn't know antenna were a...thing." He said, his voice soft, his mind taking that and running off wildly with it. He shakes his head and smiles a bit, his same awkward smile. "Interesting people here, huh?" he says, sure, he's aware of who and what he's making this observation TO...
"So they are!" Ren agrees, reaching out a pair of damp fins to give Westly's shoulder a squeeze. "Sun is a good person, a dragon wearing the look of a human, mostly. Johnny is... seems to be having a good day. Johnny looks human, but I have reason to wonder about that and not enough reason to go ask."
The maniac flails a bit as Sun joins his table, mostly because she tried to look at his sketchbook. "Hey now! What I sketch is private until such time as I should choose to present it to the world!" He'd dropped a backpack off on the floor when he sat down and removes from it a beaten and worn looking one that seems like it belongs in a museum more than his backpack simply from its age, but then he has been around awhile. Tossing it on the table before her causes a small cloud of dust to rise from the cover which Johnny grins at. If she looks it'll start with horrible stick figure comics of the same character dying over and over again and end with elaborate portraits of Samantha, Crux, and Terry as well as Sun's old apartment done from his memory. They are... less than accurate. "Look at that one. I'm almost done with this." Briefly he remembers he had a drink and gulps part of it down before resuming whatever he's up to. Just to make Westly nervous he looks over a few more times and snickers, probably only adding to Serenity's assessment of him.
Eyes, which have now faded to blue, turn to peer at Serenity and Westly. "I don't eat people...most of the time. Unless I want to look like them." Well, then, that sounds not-so-happy. Then, she glances to Johnny and his sketch book, head tilting to one side. "Those aren't right. Samantha had smaller eyes, and longer hair. Crux has a longer nose. Terry has a more blocky chin. And you got the apartment entirely wrong." She points at the coffee table. "This was the old one, before it got destroyed the first time." Well, she seems to remember things with surprising clarity. "Also, I'm not the Sun you know, despite remembering everything she did. I watched it all."
Westly sort of dips a little. "Did she says she doesn't eat people...unless?" he asked, his eyebrows coming up a bit. He makes a little noise in the back of his throat. One easy trait to find from this kid is that he's a coward. Very cowardly. He looks around, before he slides into a booth a little further away from Sun, and tries to stay out of her line of sight. He looks up at Ren. "What do you mean he 'looks human'?" He asks, glancing back at the snickerer.
Serenity makes a puzzled frown at the words Sun calls back to Ren and Wes, glancing between Sun and Wes for a moment before rippling along to follow the latter. Ren comes to a stop by the end of the table, taking up a curving shape that matches Westly's seated height. "Johnny performed some rather impressive magic once to enter and leave the area," Ren explains. "I'm afraid that I have trouble defining Johnny's personality, though."
Johnny hmm's at the eating people comment as he missed the original statement. Once Sun carries on he just ignores it but keeps an eyebrow raised at the criticism. "Do you know how hard it was to remember people after a few hundred years of not having seen them? Fuck, I'm surprised the sketchbook is still in one piece." He huffs and starts erasing something. "...besides the statues in the cave where waaay cooler." It should be worth noting that he yells frequently and his words tend to carry across the UR surprisingly well. Sun's final statement makes him pause and look at her with amusement. "You -do- realize from my perspective everyone shuffles around each time I sleep into someone else? Do you have any idea how fucking annoying it is to wake up and it's a new world that looks exactly like the old one? Why do you think I refuse to sleep?!?" He grumbles briefly but then shrugs it off. "Well, at least you acknowledge it now. It'll be less weird if I have to try and kill you or corrupt you again." Funny he can say that so casually and not be exaggerating.
The dragoness allows a shrug to roll over her shoulders. "I saw them recently, so it is a bit more fresh in my mind." She watches Johnny thoughtfully. "You won't kill me. Or corrupt me. Your daggers are a nuisance, by the way." She smiles faintly, sipping at her rootbeer float. "Interesting, though." She sounds pretty casual herself. A glance is cast toward Westly, even as he tries to stay out of sight. "Don't worry, I don't want to look like you, you're safe." Many people seem to think she likes to eat humans. She was just joking...
Westly smiles a little at Ren. He's new, so he'll take people at their word. It's not the first time he's seen people that eat others! He settles in a bit, getting comfortable, making sure he has a way to run if need be. "Eesh, yeah, magic users have always been a little...twitchy." He says, keeping his voice pitched a little lower, trying to prevent it from carrying... "Um. No offense if you use magic!" he said, laughing quietly.
Serenity turns to regard the two at the bar and the expressions of the other patrons who happen to be looking in the direction of them. Ren turns back and smiles at Westly's apology. "I'm not magical, but perhaps a magic user if you count living in the apartment," Ren remarks. "But that's an interesting observation about magic users- a matter of self-preservation? And does it even still hold true here?"
Johnny mocks Sun's statement about seeing people recently. "Well, ain't we fancy Ms 'I didn't get imprisoned on a god dammed planet for a few million fucking years'!" He stands up at this point and gulps down the remainder of his soda before aggressively ripping the page out that he's been sketching on and holding it out to Sun momentarily. Even if she doesn't take it, he'll drop it on the table while he loads his sketchbooks up into his backpack. Notice how he doesn't comment about the daggers. Maybe he just doesn't care. Throwing the backpack over his shoulder he'll take back the sketch and goosestep over to Serenity and Westly's table, tossing the sketch on the table between them. On the page is a rather elaborate, and mostly accurate, sketch of the two sitting at the booth but with a stick figure person on the wall behind them screaming profanities. Johnny bows elaborately at the two of them and waits to hear their response.
Twitchy? "I'm a being of magic, not a magic user." Sun shrugs over to Westly, before turning back to peer at Johnny thoughtfully. "Time does not effect me, so I can not say that I know that feeling." She shrugs, raising to her feet and grabbing her root beer float. She follows after Johnny...and promptly slides into the booth next to Westly. Oh, she's sitting there, now.
Serenity appears mildly concerned as Johnny looks to be crossing the bar toward Ren and Wes, but just confused when he deposits the illustration. Ren looks down at it, then up at Johnny, and back to the paper. "Yes..." Ren answers Wes uncertainly. "That's certainly an interesting drawing. I've never seen quite that combination of realism and stylization before," Ren eventually manages to say to Johnny. Sun's arrival gets a smile, but then an inquisitive look. "Is there something different about you today, besides the smaller wings?"
Johnny glances back and forth between the two sides of the booth and shrugs. "Well, keep it. It'll be important someday." On an afterthought he leans over and scribbles the initials JC in the corner. "There. Now it'll be worth something." He looks to Sun as Serenity addresses her and waves. "I'm outta here. You kids have fun. Play nice. I've got a line of assholes waiting judgment in Hell I gotta get back to." Smiling and seeming somewhat content, Johnny spins on his heels and marches out the door - taking out his Dread Dagger and twirling it at his side along the way. As far as first impressions he's left with new people go - this one is probably one of the better ones. Consider yourself lucky, Westly.
Sun watches Johnny leave, one brow raising. Then, she glances to Westly. "Don't worry, dear, I'm not going to hurt you." She sniffs. "You smell rather dead." That's apparently all she's going to mention about that, her gaze turning toward Serenity. "Yes. I figured out what I am." She sips at her rootbeer float. "I am Sul Uv do faal Hez Lok, a Tiid Dovah. I do not exist within time or space." She shrugs. "I also discovered that the fellow I fought with planted false memories within my head." She shrugs, as if that's no big deal.
Westly bristles a little. "Well you're not flowers either." He growls, before he looks down at his hands, still sitting a little stiffly. He does look at the picture though...like someone who hasn't seen his own image in ... a while. He plays with the paper a little, reaching out hesitantly for it, turning it this way and that. "Westly." He says softly, before he actually has to take a breath to continue speaking. "I don't know what a Tiid Dovah" Imagine someone putting the worst midwestern accent on that, you've got his pronunciation... "what that is..." He says, keeping his eyes down. He looks to Ren again, as if trying to base his own reactions off of Serenity's...at least Sun seems familiar to the Fssk.
Serenity doesn't even attempt to question Johnny's leave-taking. "hhh... Thank you?" Ren replies to him, still looking confused. "I think that you had better hold onto this for us," Ren says to Westly, motioning the edge of a fin to the drawing. Ren looks from Westly to Sun at her remark. "I suppose that discovering yourself is a good thing. But not having a timeline sounds as though it might make it hard to relate to people who do..." Westly's attention to the illustration doesn't go unnoticed. Ren gives him a grin.
The dragoness smiles to Westly. "Most do not. We are rare. Many among the Dovah think we are nothing more than a legend." She shrugs, sipping at the root beer float. "The most literal translation is Time Dragon." She glances back to Serenity, nodding quietly. "It is, though it is rather irritating to discover that someone attempted to make me think I was another person." She shrugs, sipping that rootbeer float again.
Westly seems to slowly relax as he nods, time dragons probably don't breathe fire, right? He draws a long breath and then nods a few times. He then smiles faintly to Ren, he doesn't look quite like he's either going to bolt, or be sick. He takes the paper and sets it in front of himself, fascinated, apparently. "I'm kinda new here. Serenity here was showing me around some," he said, smiling a bit, though he doesn't look up to meet Sun's eyes.
The dragoness smiles over to Westly. "You will become accustomed to it eventually. There are creatures and people much more frightening than me running around here. Beware of Johnny. He can be okay, but he is a bit of a loose cannon." She speaks as if she knows him well. "I generally tend to favor those who have trouble defending themselves." That's an assumption on her part, it seems.
"I would like to think that we can defend ourselves with some prudent avoidance," Ren replies to Sun, extending a portion of the fins to pat Westly's hand. Ren looks from him back to Sun. "I do have a question of idle curiosity for you, though... Suppose you were imitating...hhh, someone wearing shoes, but you didn't know about toes. Would your form include proper toes? Or would it be limited to shoes and shoe-shaped feet?"
The dragoness blinks a few times. "I tend to look at visual representations, but I am unsure. For this form, I consumed a woman to ensure I got an accurate form." She says this with a rather nonplussed air, like it's no big deal that she ate someone and stole their body, essentially. "But I suppose if I was unsure of details, I could fill in fairly easily." She shrugs. "Generally, with enough study, I can get a form correct."
She sips down the last of her rootbeer float...then, she stands. The starry wings grow, and promptly seem to encase her in a cocoon of sorts. Said coccoon fades, becoming transparent...and suddenly, in Sun's place, there is a nearly exact replica of Serenity, down to the wintergreen-scented water. The only difference is the coloring, which resembles the starry pattern on Sun's wings.
Westly's nostrils flutter a bit, more like a wolf than a person's would. He tilts his head a bit, and looks between the two. "I...thought you had to eat people to get their form?" he asks. "You can just...take other forms?" He doesn't dare touch, because, seriously, who touches people without their permission? But he sits and stares openly. Maybe he just wasn't raised very well or...maybe he just lets his curiosity override his ability to be truly polite...
"Literally consumed?" Ren repeats a bit worriedly. "hhh... a behavior thoroughly in the past, I hope." Ren then 'blinks' eyes inward at Sun's transformation. Ren doesn't seem to have any problems with staring openly either, rippling over to touch the forcefield against the bubble of suspended water about Sun. This, in spite of the comment a moment ago. After twisting to look Sun over, Ren grins. "This is certainly an interesting perspective on myself." Ren adds, motioning downward, "And unlike with the initial appearance of your wings, I'm glad to see that you can simulate clothing too."
Sun, now nearly identical to Serenity, spreads her 'wings' experimentally. When she speaks, she even sounds similar to Ren. "I do not have to consume others to get their form. Consumption simply ensures a perfect copy. It was a bit of a kneejerk reaction, upon first arrival, to ensure my own safety." She turns her face down to her fins, apparently unsure of how to express emotions while she looks like this. "I am sure there are some mistakes I have made here, this is an imperfect transformation."
Westly wiggles his feet a little, before he looks back at the paper, trying to orient it perfectly, it looks like it takes a lot of concentration. "Safety?" he asks, his voice still soft. Yeesh, if he were any MORE paranoid the government would try to hire him. Wes looks up at Ren. "Is it like looking in a mirror?" he asked, bright green eyes flicking back and forth.
Serenity glances to Westly at Sun's initial remark. "Is it absurd to feel comforted when someone claims that homicide was a reflex rather than intentional? Because I do... somewhat." Keeping the vertical posture, Ren ripples slightly to circle around Sun, close but not touching. "No, it's not like a mirror," Ren replies to Westly with an inquisitive look over Sun still. "Because you can recognize a mirror image as yourself." Ren grins and adds with a waggle of the rhinophores toward her. "But this is like a mirror in that the image is too good to be attractive."
"It was trained into me since I was young. When entering a new planet, consume one of the locals to gain their form. Dragons are not often well received in many societies, so we protect ourselves by blending in." She watches thoughtfully as Ren circles around her, waggling her own rhinophores in return. "I have only done this once before, and it was not for long. I am sure I could make it better." She stretches out one of her fins, poking it out of the water 'bubble'.
Westly can sympathize with that...he looks down at the paper a little more, his eyebrows coming down a little. His kind aren't exactly welcomed, any more than a tick. He knows all about trying to blend in, but...he doesn't say anything about that. Instead, he nods a few times. "Being in a form you're not used to isn't easy..." He says, before he realizes what he's saying. "Um. I'd imagine. Anyway."
Serenity nods slowly at Sun's explanation. "Still, I would appreciate it if you didn't take the faster method for perfecting your grasp of my form or anyone else's." Ren flows back to 'sit' at the end of the booth's table. Ren motions to Sun and Westly. "I would like to think that people here are respected for what they do and don't do more than for species."
The dragoness sniffs again, peering over at Westly with a thoughtful look on her face. "Predator?" She sniffs again, her gaze rolling up toward the ceiling as a look of attempted recollection. "Blood...are you a blood eater?" She tilts her head, peering at the man with a thoughtful expression. "What is the term...vampire?" She sniffs again, before promptly sitting down right next to Westly again. She doesn't seem to be worried whether or not her assessment is correct or not. A smile is cast back to Serenity. "I have a feeling you would not taste good."
Westly blinks a few times, before he draws a sharp breath. He then...cringes? "No." He says simply, his head bowed as he keeps playing with the paper, his hair shading his face as he tries to do his best to disappear into the booth. /Good going, genius, you're sitting on the inside of a booth...there's no going anywhere... and you've got no escape. She Knows. She's going to tell the rest of he world...you've been here a less than a month and you're going to have to run away again.../ his hands shake a little, where they hadn't been before. He pulls them back, stopping toying with the paper...don't panic, just...breathe... Great, now everyone's watching. Say something, anything. "I've never really been fond of fish." Oh good. Yeah, that's ... reassuring.
Serenity looks at Sun for a moment before grinning back at her. "Somehow, your reassurance is not phrased reassuringly." Ren then shifts attention to Westly's face and frowns. "If you /were/ feeding your blood to a vampire, it might be a good idea to look into some alternatives. Given the possibilities of magic and nanorobotics, there must be alteratives..."
The dragoness watches the young man's reaction, before smiling. "My mistake." She lies. She knows more than anyone would ever expect her to know, she is certain. "Sorry about that." She then grins to Serenity. "Don't worry, I have difficulty with social niceties. I am likely an entirely different Sun than the one you have come to know in the past."
Westly's shaken. But he's trying to follow the conversation, without totally flipping out. He has to do something with his shaking hands, so he goes back to straightening the picture against the tabletop again, it's something to focus on. "What happ-" He takes a breath, and tries again. "What happened to the original Sun?" he manages, trying to use his own voice to drown out the chorus in his head of shouting villagers at his apartment window, brandishing their torches and pitchforks...
"I'm sure that you'll pick up the culture again in short order," Ren remarks encouragingly before turning a concerned expression back to Westly. "Or to the Sun we knew, rather?" Ren adds.
The woman tilts her head toward Westly. "The original Sun was murdered by a woman, and had her soul imprisoned. That was the Sun whose memories Oblivion falsely planted within my head. Nor am I Sun the amnesiac, as I once was." She closes her eyes, leaning back. "I am Sul Uv, and I /know/." She shrugs, before raising to her feet once more. "I have urgent matters to attend to."
That rumbling noise vibrates through the air once more. Then, it's almost as if Sun was never there in the first place. If it weren't for the empty rootbeer float, one might wonder if she was even there in the first place.
Westly's not sure he can keep from having a panic attack. He's pretty sure that he manages to get a polite goodbye out to Ren, saying he has something to attend to himself, with a reassuring smile...but he's not entirely sure what language it is in. He holds his jacket tightly shut with both hands, maneuvering through the tables and chairs, as if he can physically hold himself together with the thick leather. He's shaking hard, his eyes narrowed so no one gets a good look at their color. He'd not been expecting this, and he didn't have the presence of mind to bring his glasses. /They know, they all know, everyone's going to know...they're going to turn on you./ He hisses through his teeth, before he shoulders the door open, and bolts for home!