|Preparing for a New Hobby!|
The sun shines off the irregular mass of suspended water as Ren crosses the parking lot. Ren ripples along with a mixture of forward, sideways, and backwards motions of the aquamarine fins, depending on the balance of attention between Rayne and the need to avoid submerging passersby or shopping carts. Ren's garment today shows a pattern of miniature zebra stripes in saturated red and yellow (that is, making orange in the most obnoxious way possible). "To be fair," Ren hisses cheerily, motioning out to the town with a pair of fins, "you have been rather busy at work." Ren then adds curiously, "I just happened to meet a new arrival of that name recently. I wonder if it was the same person."
Rayne says, "More than likely, I'd say. Tall, long purple hair, slightly creepy?" Well, she at least creeps Rayne out slightly. Not that Rayne could pinpoint exactly why. "Now where would I be looking for these supplies..."
"Blue hair, yes, and perhaps a bit oddly cheerful about some matters that would ruin my good cheer," Ren agrees. "She seemed friendly enough, though." Ren slips in behind Rayne and looks about. "I don't recall where it was, but I do remember seeing an odd selection of especially shiny and colorful items all shelved together under the category of 'crafts'," Ren offers. "Why those particular things constitute crafts and not 'hardware' or 'bathroom decor', though, is beyond me."
Rayne makes a fist with her right hand and collides it, pinky first, into her open left palm. "Right! That sounds as good a place as any to start!" She begins walking again, looking up at the section descriptor signs. "I'm actually getting a bit pumped to start up a new hobby again. I went back to fishing recently, but that was a return to an older hobby."
"Gathering your own food is certainly a good skill for uncertain times and places, not to mention connecting with ancestors," Ren remarks, glancing from side to side at the shelves while flowing along after her. "But fine arts are among the choices uniquely available to people..." Ren adds with a smile, "Which is not to say that I am particularly civilized or actually remember much from grade-school sketching, singing, or sculpting."
Rayne says, "Ren, you are probably the most civilized person I know." Spotting the right isle, she steps in to look around. "And I think it'll be a while before anything I make could be called 'fine arts'. Like all hobbies, I start at the bottom. I've done a little research into things, though. Charcoal sketching is apparently a thing."
"Unfortunately, it seems being suited to the life of a fully-developed city isn't such a great adaptation when there is no big city around," Ren responds with a grin. Ren backpedals and slides to the side to join Rayne on the crafts aisle. Poking a bit of fin at unpainted chunks of cut wood (presumably for use as plaques), Ren nods at Rayne's latter bit of information. "'Starting at the beginning' sounds like a good policy in general. 'Fine arts' is more of a category than a skill level. An observer isn't going to believe that you were failing at electrical circuit design, even if your sketch isn't terribly impressive."
Rayne says, "Unless it was so bad it looked like an electrical circuit, of course." She finds a pack of charcoal sticks and puts them in her basket. Next she moves on to paper. Easily spotted and of a higher quality than what's found in the office supplies. "I suppose I should probably start with still lifes, even if it's more boring than people."
Serenity nudges Rayne in the shoulder. "If you can make a sketch of a shelf full of pottery look like the plans for a radio, I will be thoroughly impressed," Ren says with a grin. Then, while examining some boxes of colored pencils, Ren offers thoughtfully, "I wonder if you could compromise by sketching sleeping people."
Rayne says, "Oh, yeah, I'm sure that'll go well. 'Hey, let me watch you sleep.' That wouldn't sound creepy at all." She finds a small, portable easel. "Hrm. I would need a hard surface, wouldn't I? Man, I guess I hadn't thought this through as much as I thought I did."
Rayne says, "Yeah, I guess some might not. It still seems creepy even to me, though. I'm not sure I could do that without breaking out laughing. Or that I really want to be friends with someone that wouldn't mind a stranger watching them sleep. That, too, sounds creepy." She looks over a series of different sized large clipboards. "These would do a little better, I think. Especially in case I want to go outside with it... Wind can be a doozy."
Serenity leans over for a look at the clipboards and offers a nod. "A convenient feature, that," Ren remarks, then motions to the paints, "It looks as though these are entirely separate categories of paint- spray, water, oil, acrylic. Don't they all accomplish the same thing?"
Rayne says, "Yyyeah.... That part I'll wait until I do more research into. I'll start with just the sketching, I think. Other than spray, I don't have a clue what the differences are between them." She continues looking through the isle, looking for anything else she thinks she might need."
"Starting there could just as easily transition into other arts, like dyeing or powder-gluing, as well as planning designs for any number of other things," Ren observes. "I notice that the sticks do not come with erasers, as pencils do. Are those sold separately, or is recovering gracefully from mistakes part of the skill?"
Rayne says, "I..... don't think they erase?" She looks into her basket at the charcoal sticks again, picking up the package. Apparently, there's no information on that sort of thing there. "I guess I'll find out."
"That seems a harmless enough experiment," Ren remarks, then motions a pair of fins out to the side. "But let's not do that with items from the magic aisle," Ren suggests with amusement. "It might turn out that they require regular blood sacrifice, lest they eat your fingers." Ren then frowns slightly and glances down the aisle. "Actually, is there a magic aisle here?"
Rayne says, "Magic? Ha! er... uhhh... there might be, actually. You never know with this place? Hrm. I do wish I could somehow magic up a way to summon my armor onto me from a distance or something. I've gotten to the point where I don't feel safe leaving it at home." She sighs and shakes her head, now walking to exit the crafting aisle."
"It's a shame that you have a need for it," Ren remarks. "But perhaps it would be easier to make your armor less cumbersome? It seems to me that if we had a way to summon something from a distance, we might as well summon a criminal's weapon or a threatening animal's teeth." Ren adds, "Then again, that is certainly not my area of expertise."
Rayne says, "Well, I would figure it would be an enhancement of the armor itself that would make it possible. Kinda like how my swords form a bow. As far as making it less cumbersome, it's not really about that." She pats her chest armor, making a thud sound. "It's more about actually being able to wear other things. Back before I was on Cevernal, I could wear a different outfit every day. I didn't have to worry about the possibility of coming under attack all the time like I do here. And did on Cevernal."
"I see," Ren remarks, regarding the armor curiously while following alongside her. "That's not at all the reason that I expected you to have." Ren gestures to her upper-body armor. "Well, if fashion is your aim, could we have someone print some snap-on plastic panels in appealing designs?"
Rayne says, "Ehhhh.... no. I want more to let my skin breathe, that kind of thing. Be less bound up. I must be the palest I've ever been in my life right now." She sighs. "I come back to civilization again and I'm too scared to walk around without full armor still."
"I doubt many people would claim that you have an obligation to put yourself in the thick of the fighting," Ren offers with a frown. Certainly we are safer for your efforts, but you could still make a difference though reconnaissance and long-range attacks."
"It's..." Rayne stops walking as she tries to gather her thoughts. "I guess I'm stubborn like that. It's what I've made my decision to do, and now I've got to stick with it. Maybe if we had more dedicated fighters in TASK, it'd be different and I'd drop back behind the lines. But right now, Kotal's still short solid fighters. I might not be the best, but I'm a far cry better than nothing." She turns to look at Ren. "Does that make any sense?"
Serenity nods. "I'm certainly not suggesting that you drop out," Ren agrees, pausing and motioning the edges of a pair of fins toward her. "I think you do have an obligation to provide some sort of defense against violence, as your skills are indispensable in a way that mine are certainly not." Ren continues, "Still, you should let Kotal know if you're feeling anxious. If there is more than one way to make use of those skills, he would know it."
Rayne says, "Yeah, well... Still, that's gotten off topic a lot." She smirks slightly and starts walking towards the register again. "I still either need to start off with relatively dull still lifes or find someone willing to stand or sit still for way too long."
"Fair enough," Ren acknowledges, then flows along after her. "Perhaps you could pick up some plants and pottery while we are here?" Ren suggests. "I can't speak for my coworkers, but I am certainly no good at remaining still." Ren makes a quick roll about the lengthwise axis while folded into a 90-degree angle at waist height, then straightens back up.
"And the entranceway to your apartment doesn't give me enough room to watch you sleep." Rayne pauses, trying to remember the layout. "Would I even be able to see you? But yeah, maybe a plant or two. Maybe I can find an odd plant at the least."
"I don't turn off the curtains at night," Ren replies with a grin. "But if you were going to venture into creepiness, I'm sure that the need for a videocamera or breathing gear wouldn't stand in your way." Ren adds, "Call the plant an office decoration and you can surely get reimbursement. The TASK offices are in fact a bit sterile."
"Ha! No, I think I'll keep my hobbies above board on who pays for it. I don't get paid THAT poorly. Sure, I won't be expanding my wardrobe for a few weeks, but let's be honest, I wasn't going to anyway. But using a video feed just doesn't feel right for it. And breathing gear would have some fundamental flaws. Like the fact that I'm trying to sketch things out on paper." Now arrived at the small selection of plants, Rayne ponders what to get.
"Hh. I haven't tried sketching on paper myself, but I do know that it generally doesn't fare well out of the air," Ren remarks. Flowing around Rayne, Ren wanders on around to the other side of the table of plant flats. "I'm fairly sure that this constitutes an 'odd' one. It looks short on leaves... or perhaps on stem..." Ren indicates a barrel cactus.
"Ah, yes. I think that will do nicely." Rayne picks up the cactus (By the pot, of course) and puts it into her basket. "I think this will do for today. I'll have to get all this started up and on the way." She smirks lightly again for some reason as she says that and turns back towards the cash registers.