|Their Pain Feeds Me. No, Really.|
Serenity wanders down the street from the Devil May Cry office toward the Usual restaurant. Ren's computer is faintly playing a tango from the rhinophore cuff and, while Ren isn't hogging the whole sidewalk with an actual dance, Ren does trace something of a zigzag pattern to the beat as the gaps between other pedestrians allow and add some twists when they don't. It's on account of the swerving that Ren happens to be paying enough attention to the ground to catch sight of DM and her activity. Ren pauses to 'stand' a short distance behind her to likewise peer into the alley.
An eerie glow comes from behind the dumpster as a ghostly cat rounds the corner with what looks like a freshly caught rat held in its teeth. The rat itself doesn't appear to be dead yet, however, as it is twitching every once in a while. In fact, from a visual inspection, it appears completely unharmed. The ghostly cat, however, trots proudly up to its owner and lays the twitching rat at the gnome's feet. "Good boy, Deathcake."
Serenity'blinks' eyes inward at the feline phantom. "Hhh... that's an interesting method of animal control," Ren comments uncertainly from behind DM, shifting to a 'kneeling' posture (but still not flattening enough to stand three feet tall). "I don't suppose it works on larger undesirable beasts?"
Doommuffin says, "Well, DC would have difficulty in dispatching beasts much larger than this, but that would be why I have a rune blade." Without even looking at Serenity, she taps the hilt of the sword on her back. "But the current situation calls for a blade with a more diminutive size." That said, she pulls out a small blade and begins to very carefully flay the still breathing rat. "Oh, please do forgive me, I am known as Doommuffin, or DM for short if you have a compulsion against using my chosen name." It isn't until now that she looks up to Serenity. "My, aren't you an interesting species?""
"I see. I've yet to see any truly permanent solutions to the town's recent problem, so anything new is worth asking about," Ren remarks. At the vivisection, Ren frowns but doesn't comment... or approach more closely. Ren does make a bow (bending halfway up the still-vertical portion) to DM as she turns. "Interesting, perhaps. But you yourself appear rather different from other residents in some ways, no?" Ren adds amiably, "You may call me Serenity, as I haven't succeeded in getting anyone to use my name untranslated."
Doommuffin says, "Oh, yes, I am, as far as I have been able to ascertain, the only gnome as well as the only death knight here in Twisted." She smiles cheerfully. "It's a pleasure to meet you, Serenity." Not watching her hands on the rat, she doesn't seem to notice when it squirms and manages to get itself impaled more thoroughly on the blade. DM's glowing eyes pale slightly and she looks down at the creature. "Oh, bother, I killed it too quickly. DC, can you be a dear and get me another one?" She makes a clicking noise to get the cat's attention and points back at the dumpster. Somehow, the cat seems to know what she wants now and it runs off into the dumpster. Right through the solid side. "And I'm going to presume that by recent problem you are in fact referring to the ongoing seemingly random batches of fog from which various undead appearing humanoids seemingly coalesce from the air itself? If so, I have in fact already encountered said problem and I very much wish to re-encounter it so that I may have a better showing in it as opposed to my first attempt where I had a truely horrible showing of my abilities."
"Likewise," Ren replies. Ren regards the rat with a puzzled expression as DM mentions it, then leans over to peer at the cat's departure the a no-less puzzled expression before returning eyes to her. "Yes, I am referring to that," Ren agrees, shifting to 'kneel' parallel with the wall as as not to occupy so much sidewalk. "If you can make any attempt at all, I'm grateful for that." Ren motions the edge of a pair of fins toward her through the forcefield. "I suppose that you weren't satisfied with your initial performance because nothing of the sort is in the job description of a 'death knight'?"
Doommuffin says, "Oh, I simply was having a bad day, and it put me off my game, so to speak. I made a poor showing for Death Knights, Gnomekind, and if it weren't for the fact that another former denizen of my world were also there, for all of Azeroth, as well. Truely, one must have pride in one's work, wouldn't you agree?" Meanwhile, the cat has found another rat and is exiting the dumpster with it. Again, the rat looks like it's still alive, just... haunted, somehow. Well, it was just caught by a cat that's a ghost, so that probably has something to do with it."
To DM's rhetorical question, Ren offers, "One must have the sort of work to take pride in." Ren seems to consider her account of the fight for a moment before inquiring curiously, "Then disposing of supernatural beasts like that was part of your job description?" Ren motions to the newly-delivered rat and adds, "The kitchen next door might have a better selection of tools for preparing food..."
Doommuffin says, "Oh, certainly! Armies of the undead or demons are sadly not that uncommon where I'm from. Why, it seems every year or so there's another dire threat to the world, be it Scourge, Legion, a bunch of purposefully temporally displaced orcs, or even just the Horde. And I wouldn't want to bother them with my own odd 'feeding' habits. After all, their instruments would be designed with the intention of cutting cleanly for enhanced visual representation to their clientelle. A dull blade like this inflicts far more pain." How can she look so cheerful as she says that? She again takes the newly retreived rat from the ghostly siamese and starts to basically torture the thing to death. "Besides, most larger races see rats as dirty creatures that would sully their equipment beyond what would be acceptable to the public. And to be fair, these did come from a refuse bin, so it in fact would be legitimately considered a bit dirty and disease ridden."
Serenity nods thoughtfully with the explanation of DM's home, presumably taking her word for the threat assessment of the unfamiliar creatures. Ren doesn't appear horrified by the remark about knives, but does frown. "Yes, that's a fair point about sanitation and taboos. Much of what I eat is either an actual or percieved threat to human health," Ren mentions. "But why exactly would you want to inflict pain on your food?"
Doommuffin waves her left hand as she finally finishes off the second rat, her eyes now glowing more brightly. "Oh, no no no. The rats themselves aren't food. I'm a death knight. Inflicting pain quite literally sustains me. I just choose to do so in ways that in the end benefit society in general. On Azeroth it was relatively simple. As I had previously mentioned, there always seems to be some force or another that threatens the world. Here I have noticed it tends not to be quite so easy to find something constructive to inflict pain upon on a daily basis, therefore I have turned to becoming a mere exterminator. As the saying goes, whatever puts food on the table."
As she explains, Ren looks from DM to the rat and back with a confused expression, reaching up with a pair of leading edges to rub the leading edge of the gill-feathers. "I've heard people argue from the moral netrality of inflicting pain on animals to justify some scientific goal or other... but I don't believe that I've heard any ending to that argument quite as convincing as 'it's my sole source of nutrition'." Ren then adds in a more comfortable tone, "I'm certainly glad that exterminating vermin is your occupation here."
Doommuffin says, "Well, truth be told, I'd rather I take actions against something that's a bit more of a threat than common vermin." She puts the smaller knife back into her boot and stands up with the rats held by their tails in one hand. "And what is it you eat that is considered a threat to human health?" she asks as she walks back towards the dumpster to dispose of the corpses."
"Perhaps you could request notifications from TASK of situations where larger animals need to be disposed of?" Ren suggests, motioning a wing though the suspended water towards the nearer office. "I believe coordination could help to avoid some misunderstandings." Ren doesn't follow DM into the alley, but leans around the corner while continuing to 'kneel' "My diet?" Ren then explains. "It's just that humans are not so dependent on food being fermented outside of the body and seem to be much less tolerant of microbes, or at least certain types or amounts of them."
Doommuffin returns from the dumpster with a dissapointed look on her face. "Oh. I was hoping it would be something more interesting, like irradiated flesh." She glances towards the indicated office. "While I may go so far as to succumb to that option eventually, I don't think I'll going so far as to simply offer my services to the militia just yet. I personally am not satisfied with what I know of the local areas and organizations, and I still have a desire to locate a significant source of 'junk' devices and such to support my tinkering habit."
Serenity frowns thoughtfully. "I certainly hope that no one here requires radioactive food and fails to realize that this could be a problem for others..." Ren observes, then nods to DM. "Still, offering services need not be entirely the same thing as coordinating activities that are already planned." Ren remarks, motioning to DM, "I might be interested in seeing the results of such tinkering. I can't say that I'm mechanically-inclined myself, but all this use of nano-assemblers and magical conjuration as left me rather short on opportunities to see creative design and assembly processes. Your mention of 'junk' also has me wondering if we ought to give up on finding the owner of some spare parts that have been languishing in our lost-and-found at TASK."
Doommuffin's eyes light up (literally) as she gets a slight too close to Serenity, her nose touching the containment field. "Oooooh! You have a source of scrap parts that I might be able to use? I'm so tired of finding all these devices whose components are too small for even me to really do much with, I want something with gears and pistons!" With effort, she calms herself down and steps back to a more appropriate distance. "I apologize. I've not been able to engage in tinkering in a bit too long. It's a hobby of mine, and I've really been itching to come up with something new. At the very least I would need a forge and a few basic tools to truely set myself up for a successful invention, however."
Serenity doesn't seem to mind the close approach, though does hold still enough to avoid dunking her. "You certainly sound enthusiastic," Ren remarks with amusement. "It may be that the tools need to be provided by more machines with too-small components," Ren says, gesturing toward the apartment building, "but that doesn't mean that you can't do the sort of work you had in mind." Ren continues, "I make no promises on that particular batch of scrap. I'll have to see if that is still in storage -it was, last I looked- and if the supervisor agrees to letting it go. But," Ren gestures 'wings' outward, "I have no doubt that gears and pistons can be found here; it seems everything else can be."