Deis is swimming, and meets Serenity. Doommuffin stops by and chatting happens.
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The mollusc mottled in turquoise and safety orange meanders from the street and over the hill with a slow undulation of alarmingly aquamarine 'wings', undulating in the mass of water suspended over the black disc of the forcefield generator. The decorated cuff on one rhinophore is leaking a faint strain of cumbia rhythm, with which Ren's swimming seems to synchronize.
There's not a whole lot going on this afternoon on the beach, it seems. it's just as quiet as it usually is, no-one's there. At least, that's what it seems. But as Serenity nears the beach, there is a disturbance out in the water. Churning, roiling turbulence just off the shore. Suddenly the water rises up, the thing underneath the surface rising and erupting from under the surface...
...With a loud, joyous call of "Whoo-hooo~!"
It's a blue-haired woman in a burgundy-colored bikini. It's maybe a bit chilly for such activities, but she seems quite all right with it. As she settles in the water again, the blue-haired woman waves in the mollusc's direction.
Serenity pauses and frowns in concern at the disturbed water, perhaps on account of having seen a few too many people-eating creatures appearing of late. When it turns out to be a woman, though, Ren's expression looks briefly puzzled before clearing to an amiable smile. Well, an amiable grin, being without teeth. Ren returns the wave, raising a 'wing' with some lines and wrinkles folded into the sheet of muscle to vaguely suggest a human arm within a loose sleeve. Rather than continue toward the end of the dock, Ren diverts course for Deis. (Ren, incidentally, is wearing a clothing patch leopard-spotted in lime and grape colors.)
Deis heads for the dock as well, pulling herself up to sit on it, and flicks her hair back over her shoulder. "Whoo~! Been a while since I was able to go swimming!" She turns a little, to regard Serenity. "Well, hi there~! Hope I didn't scare you too much popping out of the water like that."
"Hello," Ren rasps in reply, flowing around to the end of the dock to join Deis there. "Perhaps I was a bit worried that unpleasant things might be making their way into the water too," Ren sasys, motioning the edge of a fin toward the sea. Serenity slides over next to Deis, 'kneeling' (with tail end bent horizontal) to match her seated height. "But that's certainly no fault of yours." Ren inclines the rhinophores toward her and inquires curiously, "May I ask what was keeping you from the water before?"
"From what I hear they have been, but I haven't seen anything yet," Deis replies, wringing the water out of her hair and then letting the blue mass fall down her back again. As for what has been keeping her from the water? Here Deis crosses her arms and taps her chin thoughtfully. "Well, let's see... first my sister was lavishing attention and gifts all over her followers, then she was telling a new group I was the ultimate evil in her world, then she locked me up for -waaaaaaay- too long, then I had to hide because her followers were all over the place. But now I'm here~!"
Serenity frowns at the initial bit of news, then seems to listen attentively but with an uncertain expression as Deis recounts her situation. The blue-green eyes regard her hair for a moment before returning to her face. Glossing over the bit about 'ultimate evil' for the moment, Ren motions to Deis with the horizontally-turned edge of a pair of fins. "Your sister is a ruler who imprisoned you?" Ren surmises. "And by 'here' you mean that you just arrived in this world?"
Deis nods. "It's been a few weeks, but still relatively recently," she confirms. "I have an apartment now, so there's that." She waits until assuring Serenity of this before she addresses the subject of her sister. "More or less," she confirms. "Someone knocked her down out of power, though, so the world will get to evolve naturally now."
"My condolences on both the loss of home and the departure on bad terms with family," Ren offers, motioning to Deis. "I said my goodbyes before leaving home, though I expected my communication with parents and sibling to be delayed no more than a week." Ren adds, "In addition to the apartment, do you feel as though you're finding a place here?"
"Ah well... what can you do?" Deis replies, with a shrug. "It was inevitable, I think, given the circumstances." As for finding a place here? "That'll come in time," she replies. "I have to find my 'center' first. And I can't do that yet. But once I do, I'll definitely be able to find a place here, I'm sure of that."
"What we can do is plan for a future with public libraries, theaters, and museums," Ren offers with an encouraging note and a gesture toward the city, "Not to mention, rule of law. Personally, I can't do much more than setting seeds of that, but some of my more martial friends are working on the security aspect." Ren adds, "How will you know when you've recovered your inner peace?"
Deis giggles. "Oh I mean about the past," she notes. "Nothing can really be done about that, so just gotta go with the flow, right?" She smirks. The smirk widens a bit when Serenity mentions 'finding inner peace'. "Oh I'll know~," she replies. "It's one of those things you just 'know'." Deis winks.
Serenity nods at her initial observation. "I see. That's true enough." Ren then remarks, "But perhaps you just have more self-awareness that I. My centered moments seem to be of the fleeting sort, before a chat with a friend, a dance, or other moment is brought to an end by time or emergency." Ren then smiles and adds, "But I suppose it would be polite to introduce myself before unloading faux philosophy on a new acquaintance." Ren extends a pair of fins from the water towards Deis, extruding and scalloping the edge to approximate fingers. "You may call me Serenity."
"That happens something," Deis replies. Meaning the centered moments ending quickly. "You have to push your comfort zome sometimes. And sometimes you end up wobbling pretty far from your center. Or sometimes you get lifted up and pulled away from your center entirely." Which is the case for her? She's not saying. She doesn't seem too disinclined to unload with the philosophy herself, though. But she does move to shake the fin extended towards her. "Pleased to meet you Serenity! I'm Deis."
The slightly damp appendage is only a little cooler than human body temperature and formed of boneless muscle, something like a human tongue, albeit rather more socially acceptable to offer for a handshake. The grip is predictably not a strong one. Ren offers a nod and a smile in return. "I'm not researching dance, but attempting to document logistics for a security organization. I am indeed getting a bit of practice with flexibility."
"Is that so?" Deis inquires. "What sort of security organization are you researching for?" she wonders, leaning forward a bit and propping an elbow on a knee.
"The organization is TASK, which as far as I know doesn't have much competition in this town," Ren explains. "As for research, that's purely on my own time. Documentation and minor administrative tasks are what I do for TASK. "
"Oh!" Deis exclaims. "I keep hearing a lot about them. The peacekeeping force around these parts, if I recall? I met your leader, I think. Kotal Kahn? He has such cute curly hair~!" she replies with a giggle. "Just makes me want to grab him and noogie him."
Serenity nods in reply to her question, but looks puzzled by the latter remark. "'Noogie'?" Ren repeats. "While I can certainly see the appeal in human looks, hair included, I can't say that I ever looked at Kotal that way. I have yet to see him looking 'cuddly'."
Serenity wears purple- and lime-spotted clothing of the usual sort and is 'kneeling' just above the dock, while the slightly less-damp Deis in a burgandy bikini is sitting on the side of it. Ren grins at the description. "While I don't plan to try this with Kotal, I would like to have pictures of this. It sounds both undignified and harmless," Ren remarks. "I will also have to try this on someone I know."
"That's the best part," Deis replies. "A noogie, especially when done on someone that has that 'chest always out' thing going on, is a great way to bring 'em down a peg, while not hurting him. And it expresses that you feel close enough to that person to do something like that, because you'd never do that to a stranger. That's just too close of physical contact."
In the distance, some odd humming can be heard. It's not the tune itself that is odd, in fact it sounds a bit upbeat. No, the odd part is the voice. Quite high pitched into rather cute sounding tones, it still sounds just a bit... creepy. The humming almost seems to start slightly before it is quite so solid, then echoes a bit even after the next note has started. Soon the one doing the humming steps around the church. Yes, it's Doommuffin, everyone's favorite gnome in Twisted. Okay, the only gnome in Twisted. Thank god. Her sword is drawn, but it's held in one hand, slung over her shoulder in a non-threatening way. Something looks a bit odd about her side where her chest armor meets her armored girdle. It seems there are some extra straps added in a slapdash way that suggests they're there for temporary support rather than for any armoring purpose. Still humming, she makes her way towards the beach.
"Oh... That makes sense," Ren remarks thoughtfully, then adds curiously, "Do you know Kotal well already, then? He's never struck me as 'available' in my experience." Ren glances over toward the town as the sound becomes more noticible, then raises the vertical portion of a 'wing' to wave, upon spotting DM.
Deis pauses when she hears the hum, and looks in that direction. A blink, and then she raises her hand to wave at the approaching gnome. "Hi!" she calls out when Doommuffin gets within speaking distance. Serenity's question gets a chuckle. "No, I don't know him that well," she admits. "I just feel like I do. It's hard to explain."
Doommuffin says, "Salutations! Serenity, was it? And hello to you as well, miss!" She gives a hearty wave, then actually winces. "I am known as Doommuffin." Following a bit far behind the gnome is also a ghostly siamese cat.
"I suppose that I should ask him if he feels the same way about you," Ren hisses uncertainly in reply to Deis, motioning the edge of a fin toward her. "Perhaps I'll learn something more personal than I thought to ask before." Serenity doesn't need to raise any more portions vertical to match DM's height. Ren nods confirmation to DM.
Doommuffin says, "Hello, Deis!" She glances around behind her to make sure Deis is talking about her cat. "His name is Deathcake." The cat makes his way over to the group and mews in a creepy, echoy way. "Is this a discussion in which my input would be constructive? Or shall I continue on my way to the sea?"
"I was just making the acquaintance of Deis," Ren offers, motioning a turned leading edge of fin towards her, "who was speaking about acting overly familiar with a coworker of mine, among other things." Ren regards the spirit a bit uncertainly but gives DM a smile. "Do you have anything constructive to offer on the topic of friends, strangers, and noogies?"
"We're just talking about Kotal," Deis replies. "I actually was talking about how I like his hair, and then I explained a noogie." As she tells about the conversation, Deis puts out her hand for Deathcake, inviting him over for pets. Well, as best as she can, seeing as he's a ghostkitty. He may not be able to be physically petted. But she's gonna try! Serenity's question to DM gets a giggle from Deis. "it's all in good fun. Noogies are generally harmless unless you rub too hard or have something sharp on your hand."
Doommuffin holds up an indesx finger as she adds, "One must also take great care that the receiver of the noogie is not the kind that takes great pride in their hair. I have witnessed an orc give a noogie to a blood elf back on Acherus. The result wasn't pretty. That blood elf's hairdo was utterly destroyed, as was the orc's hand after the blood elf smashed it with a mace." The cat seems to react as if there were actual contact, despite Deis' hand going through him. The purr is echoed just like the meow was.
"I don't need to worry about either of those issues," Ren remarks to Deis with amusement, then frowns at DM's story. "I do hope that I don't run into anyone of that sort. While I've been restraining myself somewhat, I'm still not completely accustomed to leaving so much personal space when speaking with someone..." Ren then seems to think of something and motions an extruded 'digit' upwards and backwards. "In case you were contemplating anything," Ren notes to Deis, "I should mention that that my gills are living tissue and not hair."
Deis grins at DM's account. "That's just when you have to be really fast at running away," she replies. "Or really good at distraction. Women tend to be better at that. For some obvious reasons." She wink. Also pet cat. Because cat! Even if it's a ghost, it's cute. And the 'coldness' of the cat's aura should be able to tell Deis where petting should go. Serenity's concerns get a chuckle from Deis. "Aw, don't worry. I can't imagine anyone who knows you could want to hrut you for a noogie." And then the mention of the gills. "Oh no, I wasn't." She giggles. "I get the feeling you're an invertebrate, and you really have to watch your noobies with invertebrates. Fish too." Because Gobi!
Doommuffin says, "Well, I would just avoid touching those with overly elaborate hairdos and clothes. You should be fine if you follow that basic rule, but there will always be exceptions to any rule, I suppose. And being a woman didn't help that particular orc. That blood elf was quite angry about his destroyed hair. Of course, his death grip didn't help her any."
Serenity nods to Deis. "I'm neither fragile nor easily offended, but yes, I have no bones," Ren confirms. The continuing ghost-petting gets a puzzled look. "Hh..." Ren says with a frown. "I'll try particularly hard not to infringe on the space of those who are moe elaborately dressed. Considering the diversity in town, though, such rules may be less useful."
Deis giggles at DM's account. "I said 'tend to be'. Not always true. Like you said, exceptions~." Though she does nod. "But yes, people who spend a lot of time doing their hair or getting dressed tend to get more upset when they're messed up." She does look to point out something to Serenity though. "Well, the people you'd be comfortable noogie-ing would probably know you were just playing anyway, so you don't have to worry too much about it."
Doommuffin says, "Other key signs would be an overabundance of makeup and perfume." She pauses, looking at Serenity. "I would imagine in your case, you would be more likely to upset an individual, as many people also don't want to get dunked in water."
"Personal grooming of whatever sort- noted," Ren acknowledges. "Personally, I'm not likely to be rubbing adult strangers' hair, regardless of how 'adorable' they are," Ren notes with amusement. "That said, I do take need to care not to let anyone collide with the water," Ren waggles the edge of a fin at the boundary of the forcefield, then extends the fins outward toward Deis, "nor to pat anyone who might be offended by it."
"When in the water, though, that's not so bad," Deis points out. Looking to Serenity, "I assume you can swim, right?" Since like, she's accompanied by a floating sphere of water, that's probably a reasonable guess to make. "Also I'm already all wet, because I was swimming, so that's okay." She grins.
Doommuffin blinks as the conversation turns towards swimming. "I would be careful about swimming. There are dangerous creatures in these waters. Muradin, Morgana, and I ran into a bit of a naga infestation the other week."
"Indeed, that is about the extent of my locomotion," Ren agrees with Deis, then frowns at the news from DM. "I was just coming out to check a jar I tied to the dock for collecting fermentation culture," Ren mentions, motioning downward. "I didn't realize that there was anything more dangerous than fish... 'Naga infestation'? Are we speaking about animals or people?"
Deis blinks at the mention of a monster infestation. Though she almost giggles at the mention of nagas. "I'll be careful~," she promises. "Did you manage to pry the infestation out?" As for Serenity's question, "Hmm. That probably depends on the type of naga. They can't all be good, I suppose." Pity to see her people acting up. Even if they're probably not technically 'her' people, as in 'from her world'.
Doommuffin says, "I suppose if I had to pick one or the other, I would describe them as 'people.' They are decended from elves and can speak. And have weapons and armor. And some have significant magic." She holds up another finger for each point towards people rather than animals as she counts them off. "The infestation is definitely still there, though. I imagine it won't be long, though. Muradin's lady friend seems to be taking their presence rather personally... and we'll be a bit more prepared for them the next time we go diving, as opposed to being caught completely by surprise." She smiles broadly now. "So don't worry on the long run, but be cautious in the short term."
Serenity appears more uncomfortable as DM clarifies. "I would not describe the arrival of a group of people as an 'infestation'. 'Invasion', perhaps, under certain circumstances. But I certainly wouldn't assume that they have arrived by choice any more than we have," Ren remarks with a frown. "I'm also concerned about the possibility that Morgana may not be the best person to establish friendly relations if she is, as you said, 'taking it personally'." Ren glances out to sea and then back to the other two. Ren rubs at the beginnings of the mane of gill feathers with the edges of a pair of fins. "I doubt they would want to stay in the apartment building without decent transportation around town, but we'll need some videoconferencing equipment at a minimum..."
Deis nods. "Be careful with it. A pity I can't help you too much." Not yet anyway. But she's pretty sure her power won't be back to full in time to do much. Not that she's going to admit that. But it can't be helped. Serenity's words get a tilt of her head. "You do have a point. But I freely admit I don't really know the whole story."
Doommuffin looks slightly confused as Serenity suggests that the goal might be establishing friendly relations with the naga. "Aahhh, no, she seemed very capable of communicating with them in the only way they seem to understand with anyone but themselves. I admit I don't know how they would react to another aquatic creature like yourself, but my first guess would be domination. With land dwellers, they tend to be a bit less friendly than that."
Serenity nods slowly to DM. "Communication can be a good start," Ren remarks. "And that is an interesting bit of information about land-dwellers. Morgana seems rather resistant to dominance behaviors as well as possibly violent ones, so she may have to play the diplomat while taking advice by radio." Ren glances toward town, then back to the other two. "Seeing only me by videoconference would be less than convincing in discouraging their prejudices, I imagine. But I don't know how many aquatic residents I can gather for a show of solidarity with the other townspeople."
Deis keeps quiet while DM and Srenity talk, until Serenity makes that last comment. "I think, what she means is, that these naga would probably try to dominate any aquatic residents they met. And possibly kill any land-dwellers they met, because 'land-dweller'," she ventures, looking at DM for confirmation. "Am I right? Particularly violent sort?"
Doommuffin nods to Deis, still looking as cheerful as ever. "Oh, yes, quite! This is a group that happily joined forces with a crazed night elf that turned himself into a demon, who later also took control of a fair amount of other demons. They also didn't seem to have any problem with sucking out the remaining water of what used to be an entire sea for their own use... Of course, that sea was mostly just a swamp by the time they got to it on account of that particular planet having shattered."
Serenity certainly does not look cheerful. "I certainly hope that the former elf in question is not still around. We have enough of a demon problem as it is. And while I'm no expert in diplomacy, I'm fairly sure that 'crazed' leadership is not conducive to productive negotiations."
Deis wrinkles her nose. "No, these don't sound like the sort that would get along with others of any type," she decides. "I certainly don't want them as neighbors. Can you imagine the noise a demon party must make?" Serenity's words get a giggle. "Oh I don't know. Depends on the particular breed of 'crazed'." She lazily flops onto her side on the dock, continuing to 'pet' Deathcake as long as he'll allow it. "That breed? Definitely not."
Considering he's by now rolled onto his back to allow belly rubs, the cat seems to be allowing it for a while longer yet. Doommuffin, however, nods to Serenity. "Don't worry, Illidan's quite dead by now." Then she stops and thinks. "Of course, Lady Vashj was supposed to be dead as well, but she was down there. I kind of keep forgetting that. Is there some sort of temporal displacement going on with Twisted, as well? That could explain why she's still alive."
Serenity looks from Deis to DM at the remarks from the former, apparently less amused than she. "Unfortunately, Twisted does not seem to always have an internally consistant flow of time," Ren answers, motioning out to the sides, "much less any consistency with particular outside universes." Ren adds, "'Lady Vashj' is another magic user in this group who we need to worry about?"
"Could be," Deis acknowledges. "Could be that they're being brought from a time when they're not dead." Though here she pauses. "Though that might mean that there could be more than one occurrence of them at any given time. Wouldn't THAT be messy?" Bellyrub ghostcat! She keeps quiet in response to Serenity's question, since she's really not sure. DM has the info there.
Doommuffin says, "Oh, yes. Most female naga are well trained in magical arts, from my experience. The males tend to be more physical combatants. Vashj is no exception to this rule on the magic side, though she also is well versed in the usage of a bow. I'm not certain how she's able to get effective use out of it underwater, but I'm assuming magic. Also, as unpleasant as dealing with Lady Vashj is, if some previously vanquished beings from Azeroth were to appear here... It would be bad. Very, very bad."
Serenity looks between Deis and DM. After listening to both, Ren rubs a pair of fin edges over the face (flattening eyes and snout a bit) and the beginning of the mane. There might have been some sighing involved if this weren't a nudibranch. "This is exactly the sort of problem that needs to be reported to TASK, preferably before it comes to war with possibly more-powerful new neighbors..." Ren observes. "I have no idea how Kotal will go about repairing the situation, but that is his area of expertise and not mine."
Now this... this is interesting. Maybe Deis isn't so different from these naga after all? Though that's not exactly encouraging, hearing just how much trouble these were causing. But aside from the interest, she's careful to keep this all hidden. Deis nods to DM's word, but to Serenity's seeming facepalm (as it were), she notes, "Don't let it bother you too much. It's one of those things where you can choose to worry yourself ill over what you can't change, or not. Besides, TASK is pretty powerful, so there shouldn't be too much to worry about~."
Doommuffin says, "Yeah, really, don't worry. I'm sure we'll have this cleared up in a week or so!" Quite the optimistic one, she is. "I'm not that familiar with 'Task,' but I've a lot of experience fighting these things already. Really, I didn't say to NOT go into the water, only to be careful. They're actually quite deep, I don't really think they're this close to land."
"What I can change is to make report," Ren says. "I am not sure whether to be more worried /about/ the new arrivals or /for/ them. The fact that TASK is indeed powerful in town..." Ren frowns at DM, "and that 'clearing up' is going on beyond its usual reach... makes the latter seem more relevant."
Deis nods. "See? Nothing to worry about," she adds. "Besides that, you'd be safe on land anyway..." Though she trails off as Serenity seems intent upon lobbying for the rights of something that sounds, at least to Deis, like something that would probably eat the nudibranch at the first opportunity. A sigh. Looking to DM, she suggests, "Maybe a change of subject is in order?"
Doommuffin actually looks a little skeptical of Serenity and her concern for the Naga, but she seems to take Deis' suggestion as a good idea. "Of course! Hrm...." She seems to ponder a new subject without success.
Serenity nods to Deis, then looks helplessly to DM as if fishing for something suitable there. "Hhh..." Ren hisses uncertainly, then offers, "After Twisted manages to produce a decent government, what sort of public institution should come first? A library?"
Deis smiles as DM tries without success to find a new topic. Oh but Serenity's got one! Deis nods enthusiastically. "That'd be my vote, yeah," she agrees. "The sooner a repository of knowledge is established, the sooner it can start collecting knowledge. With the amount and diversity of people that show up here all the time, there'll be a lot there. Enough to deal with anything that might arise in the future. I might write a few things for it, even."
Doommuffin ponders this question. "Hrm. A library might be good, but I feel that perhaps that should merely be a part of an institute of higher learning. I happened by the 'high school' here, and it somehow felt a slight inadiquate to me."
"You are a writer?" Ren says, perking up and inclining rhinophores towards Deis a bit. "I've only a thesis and some articles to my name. I'm afraid I could mainly contribute a copy of an encyclopedia," Ren reaches up to touch the computer. "But one world's knowledge set in the context of another's would be even more useful." DM's suggestion, too, gets a nod. "Even better. If the students could be found, surely a few people with teaching experience could be convinced to give it a try."
Deis nods to DM's words. "Education needs to be a thing, too," she notes. "If there are children here, we cna't have them growing up to be stupid, can we? Not if they want to help make this realm prosper." And then Ren asks if she's a writer. Deis tilts her head. "Not exactly. There's just a lot of knowledge that I might be able to offer. At least, knowledge about my world. Besides, if I'm here, that means something not so pleasant from my world could end up here. And then if I could help and didn't, that would be horrible for everyone."
Doommuffin opens her mouth to say something, but apparently thinks better of it. Having changed her angle of conversation, she offers, "I suppose the best I could offer to teach would be in engineering. Though I'm not so certain I have the temperment for a career in education. It's certainly not within my general style of operation."
"Knowledge for the sake of safety is a fair reason," Ren remarks to Deis. "I like better your reason that children should not grow up stupid- and by extension adults should not grow stagnant. Otherwise, what is that safe life for?" Ren offers to DM with a smile and a gesture in her direction, "I wouldn't be surprised if some residents considered your general style to be the very model of how a teacher acts." Ren adds curiously, "But what exactly is your style?"
"Takes all kinds~," Deis remarks in an almost silly voice. And at DM's mention that she doesn't think she's cut out for teaching, "Oh, I don't know. I managed to have a handful of pretty successful students. Never know, maybe there's someone who can learn better your way." Serenity's mention of a 'safe life' gets an almost wistful, sad look from Deis, but it's gone right after it could be noticed. She doesn't comment, though.
Doommuffin says, "Oh, you know my style, Serenity. It's a bit..." Her eyes glow a little brighter. "...not suited for a peaceful life. Speaking of which, I'm getting a bit hungry, if you know what I mean. I think I'd best be on my way."