More of a description than a name, this road turns towards and into a massive cemetary. It's as if the collective worlds that cross Twisted have converged here to bury their dead. It seems to go on and on. Every so often, the odd pairing of a street lamp and a bench in front of the fence seem to be the only decorations. Even from here, a large cherry tree is visible within the gates of the cemetary. Somehow such a sign of life seems oddly inappropriate.
A high-pitched sound wave emits from the large black paneled scanner in Yoiko's hands. Her eyes glued to the device, the Commander makes her way down Park Road headed North. She's been walking like this for a while, ignoring everything else around her. She hasn't noticed the diminishing lack of cars and people or the approaching cemetery as she steps onto Cemetary Lane. She does notice the fence before she steps into it at least. Taking a moment to look around her new surroundings, the Commander sits down on the sidewalk, leaning against the fence as she opens a panel on the side of the device and begins to tinker with it.
The maze-mottled invertebrate appears, flowing slowly along from the direction of the cemetary, along with the black disc of the field generator, an amorphous mass of floating water, and a generally upbeat attitude. Still, Ren doesn't look particularly entranced by the surroundings- in the absence of people-watching potential on this lonely road, Ren appears to have taken up some typing to pass the time. The rhinophore-cuff computer is projecting a virtual screen and keyboard onto one fin, which Ren controls with a fin on the opposite side. (This is just on the ventral layer of fins, the ones on the dorsal side being busy with propulsion.) Ren doesn't seem to notice Yoiko right away, with attention split between writing, following a straight line, and not getting eaten by passing creatures. But the sound eventually does catch Serenity's attention, whereupon Ren lifts and flashes one of those alarmingly blue 'wings' to her.
The high-pitched, but now slightly lower, sound carried on until Yoiko shut the top panel. Finally taking a moment to take in her surroundings, the woman sees Serenity and gives her a brief wave and a smile. She doesn't really know her after her one brief encounter, but luckily she's the friendly type and isn't going to just ignore her - especially if no one else is around. However a brief moment later she bites her lip, nods her head, and rises to her feet. She doesn't bother to grab her Tricorder because of its strap, but she does push the screwdriver into her belt again as she jogs up to the aquatic with a much more concerned look on her face. "Hey! Hey! Have you got a moment? I've got a question or two for you if you do." What could this be about?
"Hello!" Ren rasps cheerfully, proceeding down the street toward Yoiko in no particular hurry. Ren crackles a command to shut off the computer, thereafter moving more smoothly with the fins in paired configuration. Ren watches the approach with forward-inclined rhinophores and expression of interest, which shifts to a less-cheerful look upon noting Yoiko's expression. "Hh? Certainly. I was just returning from a bit of exploration." Ren motions back toward the end of the road. "I should have guessed that 'Cemetary Lane' is not likely to be home to a dance club or something equally exciting."
At the comment about the street name, Yoiko glances around and briefly nods her head. "Yeah, I suppose not..." It's clear from her tone she's not being sarcastic, but she hardly knew the name of where she was anyways. Fighting off the momentary distraction, she shakes her head and tries to start again. "Sorry, um... Time! I wanted to ask you about time. Have you noticed anything particularly strange about the flow of time around here?" It takes her a breath or two to realize she needs to elaborate on that question. "Like days not being long enough or time passing faster or slower depending on what's going on around you?"
"Time?" Ren repeats with a puzzled expression. Rippling up next to Yoiko in a vertical posture, Ren seems to use a rather small conversational distance but not so small as to risk dampening Yoiko with the suspended water. "I have noticed all manner of particularly strange things around here," Ren answers, motioning towards her and out to the side, "but I have to admit that differences in time hadn't even crossed my mind. If something seems to be taking less time than expected, I only attribute that to my state of mind. Or in some cases, nanotechnology that might as well be magic- or supplemented with it." Ren returns a shake of the head. "So, no, I haven't. But now I have one more bit of madness to consider." Ren grins at the last.
The Trill woman shakes her head at the last statement. "I'm sorry, I probably shouldn't have said anything. Maybe it's me. Maybe I'm just having some kind of shell shock." She sighs and takes out a small pager-sized device from her belt. Clicking a button on the side makes a series of numbers flash up on a display. She frowns at it and puts it away again. "Either way I can double check when I catch up with Kenzie again." Crossing her arms she seems like she's about to walk away again. "I'm sorry I troubled you."
Serenity leans over to look curiously at the gadgetry, then back up at Yoiko. "You've no need to apologize for the universe," Ren optimistically remarks, flaring fins out to the sides for a moment. "A mere inconvenience is a disaster combined with forewarning." Ren adds, gesturing towards her, "Speaking of mitigating, I was impressed by your thoughtful handling of the new arrival when we met. However shocked you might be, that was a graceful bit of reassurance."
It takes Yoiko a moment to realize she's referring to Kenzie which puts a smile on the woman's lips. "Um, thank you! I appreciate that. It's not every day that someone just falls out of the sky like that. I do have a bit of training when it comes to problem solving and mediating. I can't say I ever imagined I'd have to apply it to a situation like that, though." Is she blushing a little? Her mind races for something else to focus on and suddenly the earlier conversation clicks. "Hey, wait a moment. How long ago would you say that was? A day? Two?"
Serenity smiles and nods at Yoiko's explanation. "A quick adaptation of the skill, then!" Ren hisses. Ren then considers Yoiko's question with a frown. "Two days? I know that I have been lax with timekeeping, on account of my lack of regular employment and a rather uneven mix of pleasant calm and terror..." Ren looks up thoughtfully before returning eyes to Yoiko. "Surely twenty days would be closer."
The Commander nearly collapses as her eyes double in size, "Tw-twenty?" She starts searching her belt and her pockets. "Clearly I need to find a new universal translator. You couldn't have just said twenty!" She's obviously distraught about the response. The woman shakes a little and crosses her arms again to hide it. "...twenty. Imagine that." Uh oh.
Serenity looks back at Yoiko with a puzzled and somewhat concerned expression. That must take some effort when one doesn't have eyebrows. Ren extends a pair of fins from the suspended water to offer her a slightly damp pat on the arm with the muscular sheet. "While I'm rather accustomed to accurate timekeeping and scheduling, myself, surely it can't be as alarming as that?" Ren says. "Or is there some sort of time-sensitive obligation involved?"
Time-sensitive? That makes her snap out of it. That Academy training comes flooding back temporarily. Her mood calms and she seems like she's shrugging off that very obvious moment of worry. "Um, no. No. Just realizing how badly I've lost track of things. It's nothing to worry about." Her voice sounds a little too calm. "I clearly just need to stop spending so much time tinkering in the apartment I picked up with whatever technology I can get my hands on." It's about that time she starts to question why she's bothering to act calm about it. She might have locked herself in her apartment with Kenzie for an evening or two, but certainly that couldn't have been it for the past month. Suddenly thinking of her worries Yoiko even more. What if such a time discrepancy happened now?
"If you have been trying to lose yourself, that is hardly shocking under the circumstances," Ren offers with a note of encouragement. "The thought of spending an indefinite amount of time here is still alarming to me, and I was already fully prepared to spend at least several years on another planet." Ren motions toward Yoiko. "Still, you should add some socialization to that tinkering. Troubles are easier to bear when they're shared, for one thing. And making friends in such a diverse mix of cultures is nothing short of an adventure."
Well that breaks her train of thought again as that blush returns on her cheeks. "Oh. Um. Yeah. Well, I'm not exactly alone I suppose. I've been letting Kenzie, that person who fell on us that day, stay at my apartment." She shrugs, "I-I don't really need the space for anything. Too many years of treating my cabin as a workshop, I guess." She forces a laugh but her mind stays on the subject of Kenzie. What would she do if she suddenly found out a month had passed since she took this stroll?
Serenity watcher Yoiko's eyes curiously with her reaction. "You and Kenzie are living in the same apartment? Given the reconfigurating abilities of the Integra Arms apartments, it's hardly space that's at a premium," Ren remarks. "That said, I wouldn't mind a having roommate myself, to come to some friendly conversation." Serenity then grins and waves the antennae towards Yoiko, adding playfully, "Or is Kenzie not a roommate?"
That blush deepens just as it was starting to fade. "I-um... I mean..." She abruptly takes out that pager-looking device and clicks it on again, reading the display. Yes. Good distraction. "So-uh-um.. back on topic. Y-you said twenty days right? How long have you been here yourself then?" Excellent. That couldn't have gone smoother.
Serenity continues watching Yoiko with an amused expression until she changes the subject. "Hh. Of course. Not my business," Ren remarks, reigning in that line of thought. Ren considers the question. "Ordinarily, I would just check my computer's clock," Ren says, motioning an extruded portion of fin edge toward the device, "but you have me questioning that now. It certainly seems like several months since I've arrived-- as well as enough excitement to make up for the rest of my life before that."
Yoiko frowns; partly because the business statement makes her feel bad, and partly because she doesn't want to cause panic - even while she's trying not to herself. She forces herself to take the road in between. "I... I just don't know. It's too early to tell.." She blushes more. "...maybe." Yes distract from the doomsday scenario by embarrassing yourself. What better distraction can you have? Suddenly she feels the need to find a hole in crawl into and whips out the Tricorder again, opening the flaps on the sides and pressing random buttons while she hides her face with it.
Serenity asks with a puzzled expression, "You mean that you need more time to interpret the apparent disagreement about time?" Ren gestures outwards and grins. "If you have any notion at all how to go about such a thing, that just shows your mental flexibility to be far superior to mine. I still can't even look at my apartment without upending my limited knowledge of science." Ren ripples sideways (seemingly an effortless extension of the usual slight station-keeping motions) to peer at the tricorder. "Is that a computer, if I may ask?" Ren says, motioning to it.
The woman almost breathes a sigh of relief as the subject changes onto something she's more comfortable talking about. "No, actually." She holds it out so it can be seen better. "Although if I had contact with my ship it could act as a remote terminal." The top compartment has a large screen and a series of button next to it. Yoiko opens the middle one revealing a glowing light and some visible wiring behind glass tubing. "This is a standard Starfeet Tricorder. It's basically like a mobile research station capable of some elaborately high-end data recording." She taps on the light. "The top section is for readouts and general information, the second compartment handles data disk recording and storage." She closes the second panel and opens the larger bottom one. "And it has storage and a hand held scanner for tighter scanning." She closes the bottom panel and offers it over, assuming Serenity has any means of handling it. "The older models where more like a portable computer, but as humans especially have a habit of 'personalizing' things a bit too heavily they came out with this for the standard issue. The most it can do for personal interactions is record and transmit logs. I've been trying to scan the environment for oddities but nothing seems unusual except for a large amount of chroniton particles." She ponders that statement a moment. "...actually that could account for quite a bit now I think about it."
Serenity listens with the air (so to speak) of someone attending to, but not entirely comprehending, the explanation. Ren continues 'standing' next to Yoiko with just a slight ripple of the fins (and consequent waving of the gills within the water) with rusty-copper eyes moving between Yoiko and the device. As it's offered over, Ren takes it with both pairs of fins, holding it outside the forcefield while turning it over for inspection. "This is a rather different aesthetic than I'm accustomed to, either from my world or from the Earth products I've seen advertised," Ren remarks thoughtfully. "Then again, I'm hardly familiar with any sort of military hardware." Ren looks up at Yoiko again and smiles. "Now, a research station that fails to find very much odd about this place-- that is in itself odd to me."
Yoiko nods her head at Serenity's words. "The more I've learned, the more I've found that strange myself." Off topic she adds, "It's waterproof by the way. Just don't open the middle panel." She turns temporarily and glances around. "Most of what I've seen here is 21st century technology. I come from the 23rd century..." She frowns as her training screams at her for breaking rules about possible time travel. "Chroniton particles tend to wreak havoc with scanning devices, so I tried to ignore it... but they also build around temporal disturbances. This might be the clue I was looking for to figuring this out. I'd have to build some new scanning equipment though. I don't really think I'm going to be able to just walk into S-Mart and find what I need."
Serenity holds up the tricorder in the edges of both pairs of fins and turns it over once more before passing it back to Yoiko. "I wouldn't rule out the possibility that S-mart has components for analyzing 'temporal disturbances'," Ren says with an amused tone before continuing, "I've learned that the year a visitor from Earth arrived from doesn't always correlate well with my knowledge of history, nor sometimes even with any Earth history that I've heard of." Ren motions toward Yoiko. "If you're in need of technology, I would ask around with the end goals in mind and few preconceptions about how to meet them. That is a lesson I learned rather belatedly."
Taking the Tricorder back, the woman's eyes seem distant a moment as she takes those words to heart. "I... I will do that. Thank you." She ponders a moment and holds out her hand to shake, "I'm not sure if we ever properly introduced ourselves outside of trying to calm our mutual friend. Yoiko Hax." If she's wrong, no worries. It's nearly been a month for Serenity after all. Maybe she forgot?
Serenity nods in return to the thanks, then smiles with her introduction. Ren extends a pair of fins from the water (stripping off all but a layer of dampness) and gives her hand a light squeeze between the edges of boneless muscular sheets. "Yes, I believe you did introduce yourself, but the circumstances were a bit hectic. You may call me Serenity." Ren adds with a smile, "I have neither experience with military negotiations nor the physics of different universes, myself. But I'm pleased to make the aquaintence of one who is."
The world seems to rumble slightly around the others, and then, suddenly, that dragon lady appears, leaning against the fence of the cemetary. She's wearing a dress today, for once, a simple sleeveless teal-colored thing, and she's got the wings and tail out. She seems to not even notice the pair standing there, staring up at the sky intently with a deeply thoughtful look on her face.
Yoiko ponders her words with a smile. "I wouldn't quite say military, but I understand what gives that impression. My ship is purely devoted to exploration and scientific study." She can't help but grin at Serenity suddenly, especially after having physical contact. "You and I have a lot in common physically believe it or not." She chuckles a moment at how ridiculous that must sound. "...but, Serenity, I may have to save that story for another time." She glances down the street that brought her here and frowns. "I really need to get back and start-" Her words drop off as whatever just happened happens. Yoiko flips open the Tricorder and glances around as that high pitched tone fills the air. Turning and facing Sun, the Trill raises an eyebrow and flicks the device closed again. "...huh."
Serenity listens attentively as Yoiko explains, though appears predictably skeptical with her remark on commonalities. Ren looks her up and down before returning eyes to her face. "I look forward to hearing it," Ren says before nodding to her attempt at taking leave. Ren 'blinks' eyes inward at the thunder, making an uncomfortable-looking twist in the process of trying to locate its source. "... and there we have Sun," Ren rasps uncertainly. "Or a least that was the name I was introduced to..." Ren lifts a 'wing' toward her in greeting.
Starry blue eyes turn to Yoiko and her tricorder, one brow raising to match Yoiko's raised brow. She sniffs once. "...huh." Maybe she just wants to unnerve the woman. That must be it, right? A glance is cast toward Serenity, and one of the Sun's large wings raises in a return greeting. "Sul Uv do faal Hez Lok, if you want to get technical about it." She peers back over at Yoiko with a hooded gaze, tail swishing as she seems to size the woman up.
"Commander Yoiko Hax, nice to meet you." Her words are as friendly as possible, but if the goal was to unnerve her, Sun has succeeded. At least until Yoiko sees the wings and curiosity comes washing over her. "Those are fantastic! I would love to..." The woman frowns. No time for sightseeing. "Right. No. I need to get back. What is it about this place and things distracting you at the last second?" That last part should have probably been said internally, but Yoiko's distracted by her own admission. "Maybe another time." She forces a smile at Serenity and a brief wave at Sun. "Take care. Hopefully the next time we cross paths will be considerably sooner than another month." With a nod of her head, she starts to walk away. It takes most of her will power not to break out into a jog...
Serenity follows Yoiko over to Sun in a ripple of undulatory fins and light swish of gills in the water, then remains by her as Yoiko takes off. "I hope so as well," Ren replies to her. Ren doesn't seem quite as uncomfortable with Sun as Yoiko does, but neither does Ren offer her a hug. For a moment, Serenity glances between the two uncertainly before turning attention to Sun. "You and she should meet again, too," Ren suggests, motioning toward Yoiko. "She is puzzling over a mystery of the nature of time, albeit from the inside."
The dragoness watches Yoiko thoughtfully as she muses to herself, a faint smirk appearing on her face. "Pleasure's all mine." She sniffs again, before turning her starry gaze toward Serenity. At the mention of time, Sun turns back to peer thoughtfully at Yoiko, nodding faintly, before turning back to Ren. "It's pretty interesting, that mystery. Kinda scary when you think about it, too." She smirks faintly again, shaking her head.
"Hh... Although you would know better than I, it seems to me that it's mainly you, and more generally the combination of intelligence and time travel, that is scary." Ren remarks with a philosophical note. "I hadn't forgotten your 'outside of time' remark," Ren says. "Though I hoped I misunderstood, I'm afraid that I didn't."
The dragoness smirks. "I'm not really all that scary. I just look at things, mostly, occasionally poke at a few things that doesn't really change a thing. Time itself, especially here, is scary as hell." She chuckles softly, adjusting her hair with a free hand. "You didn't misunderstand, though." Leaving it at that, Sun closes her eyes briefly, pulling her hair up into a loose bun with a few masterfully produced bobby pins and a hair tie. "You should LIKE me more than fear me. I'm a guardian of the time that is so damned frightening."