|Mr. Tall and Turquoise|
"By the Elder Gods."
This was moments earlier when Kotal Kahn, the newfound Emperor of Outworld, found himself transported to a downright chaotically twisted place. One moment he was traveling back to Outworld after Shinnok had been vanquished, and the next he was in an entirely unfamiliar land.
This wasn't Earthrealm as far as he could tell, even if it had long been since the time where he treaded the soils of Aztlan in Earth, Ko'atal is certain that he is familiar enough with his adopted home to always be able to recognize it, no matter how much time had passed. This place was just..
"Where am I!!?"
"Greetings!" The Cuachic speaks and his natural booming, deep voice makes tables and chairs tremble around him, too used to be channeling chi constantly.
Kotal had briefly consider changing to his more human like appearance of a tall Aztec man. Earthrealm had changed much over the years when he was in Outworld, and a 7 foot tall, turquoise skinned man, with glowing eyes and glowing lines going across his body didn't blend in as well as it used to! However, as it was previously mentioned, this wasn't Earthrealm, a fact made clearly evident by the giant colorful mollusc like creature that apparently waves at him with with a amorphous appendage. Yes, he thinks there is no need to hide his true nature here.
Serenity 'blinks' eyes inward at the greeting, though the bartender doesn't bat an eye. Ren looks over the knife and obsidian-edged sword as well as their owner's physique and stature before turning turquoise eyes up to his face. "Hh... Hello. And thank you," Ren stage-whispers uncertainly. Ren motions toward a nearby seat with a blue 'wing' extended from the water. "Would you have a seat?" Ren ventures, continuing to watch the newcomer's face.
Kotal notices the bartender's lack of reaction. It's just as he suspected, there's so many bizarre things that even his presence seems like nothing out of the ordinary. What a strange place.. could it be that he's in Chaosrealm? He doubts it though, as he wouldn't have been able to take three steps without crazed lunatics engaging him in Kombat.
But he is the Emperor and he keeps his composure. "What kind of food does this establishment offer?" Asks Kotal Kahn as he leans on the counter and peers curiously to the bar's walls and see if he can find any menus. He's certain that if he pretends he knows what's he's doing, people ought to believe him!
Though definitely interested, Kotal doesn't want to make it entirely too obvious he has no idea where he is. Rather than continuing pressing for answers, he turns on his stool to face Serenity. "Forgive my rudeness. I am Kotal Kahn, it is a pleasure to meet you." He looks up and down to Serenity and archs an eyebrow. "Do you shake hands?" He stretches his out tentatively, still unsure of the social norms here.
"Truly??" Kotal Kahn seems rather surprised by this revelation, his glowing eyes widening as he leans even further on the counter to try and see if there might be some kind of gimmick behind it. "How positively progressive." As an Emperor and ruler of the people, he is quite interested to hear of a self sufficient society that can offer limitless supplies to its citizens without payment. Maybe there's something here that isn't evident to the naked eye.
"While I've been here a while now, the economics of magic or-" Ren pats the countertop "advanced nanotechnology- still elude me." Ren smiles at the question (close-mouthed, on account of not having teeth to show) and offers Kotal an appendage. "If you shake fins," Ren replies. Serenity scallops the edge of a pair of fins into 'fingers' and reaches through the forcefield-suspended water to take his hand with the damp fin. The grip is not especially strong and suggests muscles without bones, something like a human tongue.
"I do." Kotal Kahn answers without missing a beat. It is safe to assume that while he is completely at a loss of where he is, he is a man of the world, or more accurately Realms, and has seen many a strange sight. He extends his hand down to Serenity's find and grasps it with a strong grip. The Cuachic does not the lack of muscles and bones however, and does not try to squeeze as he normally would to assert a close bond. Should Serenity be tactile enough through the forcefield, it will be fairly easy to tell that Kotal's palms are tremendously hard and yet smooth, like well polished stone. Judging by his own turquoise skin pigmentation, he might very well be carved of stone.
"Hmm.." He muses in thought at Serenity's information. "I am not familiar with this nanotechnology either. Although I have heard of it." Something the Special Forces of Earthrealm are notorious for. Kotal knows his enemies well at least.
"Pardon, I did not get your name.."
"Call me Serenity, if you please," Ren hisses cheerfully. Ren motions to the barkeep again. "Hello. I believe there's a jar for me next to the stove- triple-bagged? I won't open it in here, I promise." Turning back to Kotal, Ren looks upward again and inclines rhinophores toward him. "I think that I'd remember seeing an imposing fellow such as yourself in here. I take it that you don't frequent this place for dance or drink?"
"You would be right." Says Kotal before going tight lipped, he really wants to say 'madam' apparently, but he's not even sure his partner /has/ a gender. The Aztec God of War simply decides to carry on the conversation. "It is my first time in this realm and have yet to see the sights. What can you tell me about this place?" He makes circling motions up to the ceiling. "And I do not mean just this fine establishment, but the realm as a whole." He is likely referring to Twisted City.
Serenity frowns briefly at the mention of his arrival before taking an encouraging tone. "I've come to know the city better during my time here, but it remains a bit mysterious still. The world outside the city seems reluctant to make up its mind about what 'reality' consists of, while the laws of physics inside the boundary seem better-behaved, if not exactly those I grew up with," Ren explains, fluttering a 'wing' outside the suspended mass of water toward the exit. "I would suggest the Integra Arms apartments as your next stop, as those are just as free and accommodating as here."
Kotal takes the glass that the bartender slides his way, sniffing the contents briefly just to make certain that it is in fact water, before drinking healthily from it. "I see." So even denizens of this place find it odd. The Aztec warrior is beginning to suspect that this world may not be unlike Outworld, a world that breaks bits and pieces of other realms and makes them part of itself. "I will have to be wary when exploring the outer reaches of the city." He stares at his glass thoughtfully and then glances at Serenity when she mentions looking accommodations in a nearby apartment complex. "Free lodging and free food.." He chuckles despite himself and sets his glass down. "What is there to do around here if there is no currency needed to trade for goods and services? Do people even have professions?" Suddenly, he's glancing at the bartender, wondering why he's even manning the bar if no one is paying him. Kotal is a big fan of Socialism, but this seems well beyond the scope that he can handle.
"Since when have people been happy with nothing more than food or lodging?" Ren replies with amused note, offering him Kotal a damp pat on the arm. "There are plenty of things here worth paying for, and even quite a variety, in my opinion, not worth paying for," Ren explains. "Myself, I am doing a bit of paperwork for a friend who handles... I suppose you could say 'animal control'- the sort that require large weapons. While it's not my chosen field, I can make myself useful there."
Fortunately, he does realize that he may be sounding a bit pushy with his ideals and lets Serenity guide the conversation along, listen carefully about the field that chose her rather than the other way around as its often the case. "Animal control that requires large weaponry?" The Cuachic sounds intrigued and leans closer to his conversation partner. "Tell me more."
Serenity nods in reply to Kotal's assertion, though doesn't elaborate on that thought. "Well," Ren replies, "you may have noticed the people brought from a diverse array of places." Ren motions about with the ripple of a pair of fins. "It seems that not everything brought here is a person or suited to living in a city. Now, I try to avoid interfering with Dante's business, but I did happen to see him at work one time. He was riding a large and unpleasant-looking beast through the sky and crashed it into the surface of the water at high speed."
"I happen to dabble extensively in the arts of kombat." He pronounces it differently interestingly enough, like putting more emphasis on the K. "Perhaps you could do me a great favor and introduce me to your employer. A blade such as I must stay sharp, even in a place like this.."
"I would of course ask for no compensation since all services are free here." Perhaps this may very well be /the/ reason why everything is free, but Kotal doesn't like jumping to conclusions.
"Hh... yes," Ren remarks, glancing down at the blades uncomfortably. "I did suppose from their sharpness and from your physique that perhaps those were not just for decoration." Ren returns eyes to Kotal's and nods. "I would be happy to introduce you to Dante. I'm sure that he could either find you something both purposeful and peace-keeping to do." Ren adds, motioning toward Kotal, "It wouldn't do him any harm to ask for money, though. You might want to busy something- a one-person home, jewelry, a latte...?"
"You do well to presume so." Kotal says with a devious smile, and though he seems to act like the perfect gentleman, there is something decidedly very dangerous about how he looks. That he seems to be armed to the teeth alludes clearly enough to his true nature. He places a hand on his broad naked chest and says proudly, "I hail from Tenochtitlan, capital of the Empire of the Sun, and its children the Mexica. There I was known by another name; Huitzilopotchtli." He says now properly introducing himself, in an attempt to let Serenity know that he is a proud warrior and not just some random bruiser. "I am a warrior by nature. Such is my way and that of my people." Granted that is not the /whole/ truth about Kotal's origins, but he feels that is all Serenity needs to know about him for now. "Mayhap you have heard of us."
He relaxes on his stool and offers a gentle smile next, easing up on the proud warrior theatrics. "You honor me with your assistance, my friend. It would be greatly appreciated it." Kotal chuckles shaking his head at the thought of him insisting on payment. "Needless material possessions, I assure you. Putting my skills to the betterment of society is more than enough reward for me." That much is the truth.
Serenity listens attentively to the introduction, but doesn't show any sense of recognition for the names. Ren nods at his assertion about material possessions. "I can't say that my people are known for any one skill- it rather varies depending on the nationality of those you ask, while those from other worlds don't seem to distinguish much between out nationalities." Ren continues, motioning to the side, "I haven't heard of your country, which is unsurprising, given the number of worlds represented. The closest word that comes to mind is a country in the world I'd planned to visit, whose capital was rather uncreatively known as 'the federal district'."
He nods as Serenity relates an unfamiliarity with the Aztec empire. "You are right of course, mine is naught but one of the countless millions civilizations that exist in the realms. I do hope one day mayhap we can share more of our ways." When Serenity mentions planning to visit a country with an unimaginative name for a capital, the Aztec Cuachic leans back on his stool and looks at his partner thoughtfully. "I may know which country this is." He dares not elaborate any further though, as if he doesn't want, or maybe can't, talk about it.
"I am certain your people have plenty of accomplishments to be proud of." Again, Kotal goes tight lipped at the end of that sentence, he's really not used to not end a sentence with sir or madam, and the fact that Serenity doesn't appear to have a gender is confusing him! But he carries right along, more eager that learn more about other cultures than concentrating on technicalities.
"Well, I may have a more individualistic take on pride than you," Ren says with a smile, gesturing inward. "I am looking to make myself useful as an individual, and if I happen to make a name for myself in the process, it will be my name and not my country's or species'." Ren adds, "That said, it doesn't look so far as if there is much demand here for the study of dance. I don't suppose you have an interest there?"
"Dancing?" The Aztec looks at Serenity over, having not thought of his partner as a practitioner of the dancing arts. Looks can be very deceiving indeed. "Well.." He explains. "As a warrior, I am well versed in many a traditional dance. Of course, in my case these were more ritualistic battle drills than the actual folkloric dances of the civilians. It helps to know how to have rhythm when in battle." Kind of like how a football player benefits greatly from knowing ballet probably. "Admittedly.." He leans sideways as if confessing some terrible secret. "I have never excelled on them beyond a simple acceptable performance." He's the Aztec God of War after all! Not of Dancing!
Kotal makes a helpless shrugging gesture. "Not all need to be devoted to their flag." Just as they are a productive member of society is fine as far as Kotal Kahn is concerned. It makes much more sense here after all, no need to pay tribute to anyone or anything, so the work itself is what matters. It's a rather nice civilization, spoiled perhaps only slightly due to its little need for warriors. Though that may change depending on what this Dante fellow has to tell Kotal.
"I would certainly like to learn about *any* sort of traditional dance!" Ren enthusiastically replies, inclining rhinophores toward him. "Dances have their origins in all sorts of rituals- religious, wedding, farming, partying. I already know a number of them with a bit of martial flavor." Then Ren reaches over to pat him on the arm. "As for skill, it's not unlikely that you are the most skilled person on the planet at performing those dances."
Kotal reacts positively to the comforting pat on his muscled arm. He chuckles softly, finding the situation to be remarkably comical considering all that has happened lately. Here he is, in a bar, talking to a giant colorful sea amoeba like creature about dancing. If he weren't certain this is all true he'd swear he has gone mad.
"Yes, I'd love to learn what you know," Ren says with a smile, then gestures toward the doors to the club. "Perhaps you can put your rhythm to work on another culture's dance as well." Ren then frowns and adds, "I'm afraid I must mention something about this world, though."
Oh dear, Kotal looks slightly nervous when Serenity gestures to the club doors. Surely they aren't going to dance right now, right? While Kotal never backs down from a challenge, he'll be the first to admit this isn't exactly his forte! "And what is that?" Asks the Cuachic trying to hide his nervousness by pulling down on his Eagle Knight helmet.
"This world," Ren explains, "doesn't seem to have the means for interstellar travel, much less reliable travel between universes- timelines... I've been told that attempting to leave is impossibly dangerous, even for those with the means to do so." Ren reaches up to rub the beginnings of the gill-feathers on the head. "I'm still trying to determine whether it's possible to send a message home."
"Is alcohol freely served here too?" He asks all of the sudden. "I find myself in sudden, dire, need for pulque."
"Hhh... This would be my first time," Ren observes with a frown. "Perhaps you can teach me something in that as well." In reply to his question, Serenity motions toward the collection of bottles. "Indeed alcohol is served."