|Master? Or Friend?|
From the entrance of the park, slow, note by note whistling can be heard. Rayne, looking down as she walks, is stepping a little oddly, and it's not due only to the oversized clipboard she's holding behind her back with both hands. She seems to be balancing at the very edge of the sidewalk leading into the park, one foot placed directly in front of the other. Nearly at the fountain plaza, she stops whistling and looks up as she hears the cry in front of her at the fountain, wobbling slightly as her focus on balance is broken. "Hrn?" She blinks, seeing a familiar sight in the light of the street lamps of the park. "Decoration, mostly? Fountains are kind of a human decoration staple that I've seen in pretty much every culture. Is that you, Casdy?" The rainbow haired woman now approaches the fountain in a much more normal mode of walk. "I was getting worried about you!"
Casdy mews as she hears the familiar tone. A smile spreads upon her features, and a slow nod of her head is given in return. For now, she wipes her hand off on her skirt, and keeps her eyes upon the fountain, glaring at it accusingly. How dare it get her hand wet!! Yes!! It is the fountain's fault...and none of her own, despite how she /may/ have slipped her hand under the water. "I...am not used to seeing such things." she says as she finally looks away. Her ears turn forward as golden eyes fall upon you. In the shadows of the night, you can see clearly that her golden eyes are glowing.... ....Never the less, she seems taken by your final words... Her eyes and features look puzzled as her ears twitch, "....worried, about me??" she questions, "....why?" she then asks, "I am a cat-kin....humans do not worry about servants." she whispers as she looks back at the fountain. "I have been wondering the city." she says aloud. "Listening....looking....deciding." Her eyes turn, and look upon you gently as she slips her hands behind her back, and twines her fingers together. "This world... ...the spiritual energy from it is... ...bright." she then adds.
Rayne says, "Why would I not worry? There was a chance for a lot of bad things to happen to you, and as far as I'm concerned, you're just as deserving of worry as anyone else." She looks a bit confused. "So... what have you decided, then?" Not knowing much on spiritual energy, she lets that part go for the moment."
Casdy turns her eyes back on the fountain. She draws in a deep breath of air, and shakes her head. "To learn. Either until I find a master, or..." and she leaves the rest unstated. She looks upwards at the stars above, and as she does, she sways her tail side to side, "..." She becomes silent for a second, and then looks back at the fountain. "Culture..." she quotes you from before. "In my world, there is only one culture. War. But, the wars have ended....for now." She shakes her head, and then returns her eyes to you, and offers a smile, "...it's nice of you to say. But, someone worrying about me...?? That will take time to get used too." She then giggles a small bit, and once more, looks at the fountain... She pokes at it again, this time avoiding the water. She runs her hand along its solid surface, noting every single notch, "...stone..." she whispers. She is quick to shake her head, and dismiss her inspection of the odd thing she found... ...She is more focused on why someone would worry.... ...this is not normal human behavior... ...well....not for her world, anyway. "Have you been okay??" she questions. "...I haven't picked up your scent in my travels... ..." she then adds. Was she....looking, in a way??
Rayne says, "I... um... More or less I've been okay? I've... been around a lot. I mean, I patrol a lot, so I kinda go everywhere from time to time. I'm surprised you didn't, uh, pick up my scent." She tilts her head. "But I suppose Twisted could mess with that, somehow. It's a strange place, after all. Or maybe it was just luck. Casdy, you're not actually considering..." She struggles to find the words, trying to remember the way Casdy herself had put it the last time they met. "...letting your brain melt, are you?" There's almost a look of horror on Rayne's face at the thought."
Casdy shakes her head no. "I have many unanswered questions." she says then as she offers a small smile. "But, you don't exactly walk around and shop for a master at a market place..." Her eyes then blink as she twitches her ears, "....I haven't actually seen one of those..." she then mutters. She shakes her head harshly to rid herself of the thought, certain she has more to learn. "Time is a spiral." she says softly as she finally walks away from the fountain. She walks then towards a tree, and takes one of its leaves into her hand, "...magic is a force that can change which way the spiral goes... ...and it can stop it short of what someone may have thought was supposed to happen." Her eyes examine the leaf, and she then says, "...plants like this are usually close to death on Theozia. Here, they thrive. I can see their spirits shine. I can feel their presence... ...just as I feel yours." She giggles a small bit....perhaps....nervously. Afterwards, she says gently, "It is how I see..." She leaves the rest to interpretation. "It is that sight...that I believe will help me pick a good master. One who wont turn me against the two friends I have made..."
Rayne says, "Ugh... I forgot how bad things were on your homeworld... But um, the main marketplaces are all indoors... There's a place called S-Mart, it has pretty much everything that one would typically look in a market for, eheheh... So no..." She winces slightly at where her own ramblings led her. "-masters there. I'm sorry, I kinda hate using that word like that." She scratches at the side of her head, aware of her own awkwardness. She sighs as she walks up to the fountain. Setting the clipboard down so it leans against its base, she sits on the side wall of the fountain. Now settled, she looks back over to Casdy again with a not-quite-so-confident smile. "So you... see differently?"
"Not by choice." Casdy responds. Coming to trust you as a friend, she turns her eyes from the tree, and she blinks her eyes. Suddenly, and without warning, her eyes loose their golden glow, and their golden coloring...leaving only blind white eyes. "I am blind." she then adds. "A spell I use allows me to see through spiritual energy. Non living objects are grey shapes... I don't know what they are...not until I touch them." She then lifts her hand, and snaps her fingers beside her head, and once again, the golden shine returns to her eyes. "I was born blind... ...and I can perform my duties, and life needs without the spell. But, having it active is helpful." With her sight restored, she walks over and sits beside Rayne, and then tells her, "...I can sense you have a hard time accepting this 'master' business.... But, in the eyes of the humans who created me, I am no different than a mere pet. It is how things are, Lady Rayne." She then looks up at the sky, "I was once told, 'A human's life is already a hard lot. It is the job of the cat-kin to better the day of their owner... ...and their friends. Our friends will make us strong. ...and our magic will keep them safe." Casdy smiles as she turns her golden gaze at Rayne, "...think of me needing a master as you would a normal cat. The difference is...cat-kin keep their master safe with their magic.
Rayne says, "Oh... well, at least you have a way to see... some." She then frowns. "Cats don't talk, cats don't have the same level of intelligence as... well, any sapient species. It just feels wrong to think of you as a... stray pet." She shakes her head. "I'm with Ren on this one, it just doesn't feel right." She sighs, placing a few fingers on her forehead. "It's... too one-sided. Unlike an actual cat, you shouldn't have trouble making your own living." She looks up with a bit more of a smile than before. "You can figure out how to use a can opener on your own, to boot. And please, just call me Rayne. I kicked myself out of the whole nobility thing."
Casdy stands herself up, and walks a few paces away. "...it is because our magic is stronger than that of our creators that we need a master. It is to keep us in check. So we can not attack our creators." she explains. Her eyes then look over her shoulder, and she shakes her head, "...what is a 'can opener'...??" She giggles then as she turns to face the girl she has come to know and trust. A shadow force gathers behind her, a mere thought is all it took, and she sits upon this gathering of dark energy as she twitches her tail, "...things are the way that they are. And, one day, I will have a owner. Someone who I can protect, and who will scritch me behind the ears..." she comments with a wide grin, "...there are many advantages of having an alterationist around." she then comments as she lifts up a finger. "....a necromancer, I should say.... ...to be honest. I studied it first, and after I mastered it...I studied alteration. But, the idea of necromancy is a bit....well....scary for some. So, I am careful who I tell the truth too." Her smile stays upon her features, and she gestures at the dark energies holding her up... ...but, for now, awaits how her friend will react. In her mind, which is showing many SD images of a scared Rayne running way, or cringing in her seat... ...she doubts it will be well received. However, she has accepted you as a friend...and wishes honesty above all else.
Rayne blinks, and leans back a bit as the mention of necromancy. Her own limited magic skill didn't let her recognize it until the word was said. "N-Necromancy? Death magic? Uuuhhhh... I can... You can understand why it would be scary... yeah?" She's attempting to hide the fearful look, but it's not going all that well. Still, she's not running. She seems to trust that Casdy won't attack her, at the very least. She then sighs and again puts a hand to her own face. "Yeah... we definitely need to make sure you don't get the wrong master, all right. The potential for catastrophic abuse is pretty high."
Casdy giggles as she leans into the darkened mass of energy holding her up, "...Death magic?" she questions. "...it is just as much about life as it is death." she then states as she closes her eyes. "...it can heal a broken body. ...and return life to someone who has passed, /if/ they wish it, of course. It's not right to force a spirit back into a body..." She then closes her eyes, and lowers her head, "...it can be use to save lives." But as her eyes open, she looks to the left side of her person, and then nods her head, "...or it can animate the dead, create blood golems, freeze the living... ...and worse." She then looks at Rayne, and lifts a finger, wagging it side to side, "We are but mere servants to our own fears, and agendas. My dream of helping people is what keeps me at bay with how I use my magic. Have faith that I will find a master who will share those ideas."
Rayne grimaces ever so slightly as the darker side of necromancy is described. "Yeah... Yeah, I know. I'm just a little... Pannicky is all. I kinda have to think for the whole city is all. It's... I... Well, I go promoted and it's stressing me out. I'm thinking larger than myself and my friends and it can get rough on my psyche. I keep looking a the larger picture, and it's just... not something I'm used to doing, to be honest. I'm jumping at shadows, looking for threats." She blinks, realizing too late how that could sound. "I'm... I'm sorry. I'm rambling again. Well, don't worry about bringing me back from the dead, I can do it myself once a month! Ha!" Once again she tries to insert levity into the conversation, but it just sounds grim still. She winces at her own attempt at a joke.
Casdy nods her head, and offers up a smile, all the same. "Where there is light...there is dark." she states kindly as she closes her eyes. The darkened energies lower her to the ground, and she stands on her own power. "A promotion?" she questions. She nods her head as she walks back towards her, and sits once more on the fountain, "You deserve it... I can sense care in you... ...and your spirit is bright." she says softly, "...the shadows will not hurt you." she then states with a confident smile, "I can see to that. ...be yourself. It is what you do that got you the promotion." she then states as she rests her hands against her fur covered legs. She then gestures at the shadows, and states, "...the shadows often hide good things... ...most wont see them because of their own fears." Her eyes flicker, and then the shadows of the trees are pushed away... Within the shadows, a couple of rabbits lifts their heads, realizing they have been exposed, and move quickly to get away. Casdy lets the shadows return to their normal state, and then turns her eyes upon Rayne, "...Within the world of twilight, beauty its self hides. ...I see it all of the time. The shadows are friendlier than most will believe."
Rayne says, "Ehhhh... Sometimes I wonder just how much I can stay sane trying to care for a whole city, though... small as Twisted is." She sighs, shaking her head. "We're still really short handed in TASK. That's got as much to do with it as my actions. I've already told Kotal I'm fine stepping down as second as soon as someone more qualified in a leadership role shows up. I'm no leader, I just go with the flow." She pays rapt attention to Casdy's shadow manipulations. And then she laughs. "Yeah... yeah, that's kinda odd, but it's sorta why I came here tonight. I wanted to get a look at the fountain with the deeper shadows at night with the street lights, to see how it would be different to draw from my usual tree. To, in a way, bring out the beauty in the darkness." She actually smirks at this parallel. "I can't quite get the words as dramatic sounding as you can, though."
Casdy returns her hands to rest on her fur covered legs. Her eyes close, and she looks then at the fountain, "...Linka, my sister, once asked, 'What is happiness??'" Casdy then starts, "...I responded, 'A good cook, and a good digestion.'" Casdy then laughs as the memory fills her mind, "...I realize now, perhaps more than then, that happiness is doing what you love to do. I bet," she starts as she looks upon Rayne, "...that is part of what got you promoted, in the beginning. The fact that you set examples based on what you feel is the right thing to do. Following the orders that are given by a commanding officer, handed down to you, and entrusted that you will execute the command." Casdy giggles as she lifts her finger up, and tries to touch the digit to Rayne's nose, "...what better leader for a group, than someone who knows the art of following an order...?? ...and I know, someone who can question it, if she feels it is worth it." Casdy's eyes become gentle, looking at Rayne as if she could see right into the soul of the girl before her, and she adds, "...Lady Rayne, this TASK, you mention, must be something of great value to this Twisted place. Look inside of your own heart and soul, and you will see why they chose you." If unstopped, her index finger will tap at Rayne's nose as she tells her, "...Body, skill, and spirit know no limits to a trained mind. Any real leader knows that... ...and you have trained yourself to care. To appreciate life. ...and that makes you a great leader. If I can see it in the small time I have known you.... ....this TASK leader can see it clearer than I.
Rayne winces slightly at the nose touch, but doesn't pull away. It's the deeper look into her eyes that seems to make Rayne more uncomfortable. "Yyyeah, following orders... I've had a lot of trouble with that for most of the time before I came here, to be honest. But... Yeah. I can't say Kotal doesn't know what he's doing in passing out a promotion. Guy's a god of war, after all. I guess..." She breaks eye contact, looking up towards the sky. "...I guess as long as I've lived, I can't say I've ever gotten a handle on spiritual thoughts like you have. 'Looking inside my heart and soul' isn't something that comes naturally to me."
Following your eyes upwards, Casdy takes in a deep breath, "...spirituality is all I have..." she whispers. "I live in the shadows... ...and I can never see the light..." Her eyes then look back at Rayne, and she smiles warmly, "...except the light of others." Casdy looks at her hand, and then turns it palm up. She focuses her magic, and within her palm an illusion appears. One that is about the size of a vehicle's headlight... It shows a dark place...red lightning streaking over the sky... ...still ocean waters... ....crumbled buildings....blood stained soil....broken weapons being recovered by people, who are represented as shadows, since she can't see detail... "...this is the result of people giving in to hate...to fear..." the image now swirls into a new one... ...one that shows a mom hugging her daughter, while a kid plays before them... ...a guard walking the street, whistling as he watches the scene... ...a boy with a balloon.... ...a girl holding her lover under a shade tree.... "I was here earlier today... ...and this is what I saw. Amazing at the difference." Just as odd as the illusion appeared, it vanishes as Casdy lays her hand back on her knee, "...This Kotal... He's your Warlord?? I'd say that he chose well. You have a good heart... ...one that can keep these people safe. Believe in yourself. ...It seems he does.
Rayne looks back down from the sky to Casdy again as she shows the illusions. "...A pity I can't show you any of the worlds I've been to before here. I would show you worlds that didn't work to begin with that have been made to hold onto life. Ships among the stars." She shakes her head. "Er, yeah. Kotal's the head of TASK. I'm... not sure how well the two of you would get along, though. He's also a sun god." She frowns. "I think he's mentioned not being fond of sorcerers, now that I think about it. Which I find odd, because he's got Twilight Sparkle under him, too. And she's a magical powerhouse." She sighs. "So what have you figured out of what you want to do, Casdy? Like you saw, Twisted is a very different place from your world."
Casdy mews, and twitches her tail for a second as she looks up in thought. ".... ....the right thing." she says as she looks back at the fountain. After dispelling her illusion, she makes a few gestures, and some of the water from the fountain turns away from where gravity is taking it... It goes, instead, to Casdy's hand. There, the water forms into a small ice cube, and then a few seconds later, the ice shapes into a fully animated (all be it tiny) cat made of ice. The cat wonders in circles, and suddenly leaps back at the collection of water in the fountain, and becomes normal water once again, "...I knew what I wanted to do when I met humanoids who weren't out to kill a masterless cat-kin. ...when I saw two spirits that shined brighter than any I have ever seen... ...I want to find a master who will let me protect it. ... ...and give me hugs, and fish, and more fish, and scritch me behind the ears, and give me hugs, and fish....wait... I said that already..." Her features frown as she flattens out her ears, and her tail lifts up behind her, only to twitch, "...I like fish! ...and hugs!!" she says then in protest to herself. "...even nekomancers need a good owner." She then nods her head, as if that matter had been settled. Yes, the playfulness in her shows its head...
Rayne can't help but laugh at the quick turn in the mood of talk. "Honestly, I think of those criteria, I think my biggest problem might actually be in the hugs department. Uh, I try not to telegraph it, but I kinda have personal space issues." She pauses, thinking. "And I lost a fishing lure the other week, too. I caught something other than a fish, long story." She sighs. "I may hate the connotations, Casdy, but maybe in the end I should."
Casdy twitches her tail as she hears the dislike of hugs. She seems unbothered, after all it is not everyone's cup of tea... ...More importantly, you didn't dismiss petting. She listens as you mention loosing a lure, and offers a smile. "...I should make you a 'true named lure'." she then states raising her ears upwards, "...if you lost it, all you would have to do is call it by name and....poof!! ...you regain the lure." Then the sigh, and the rest of your statement register. "Conno....ta...tion?? Is that like a condition??" She looks puzzled at the word, and while she caught on what you were suggesting, she seems stuck on the word... ...or, perhaps she is waiting to see if you will finish your line of thought. ...playing ignorant can sometimes be a good thing. ...especially since she would rather you be sure of your thought.
Rayne looks upwards to the sky again, hands out to her side as she seems to almost literally grasp for words. "No, it's more like... Heck, I might be using the word wrong, myself, but I mean, I don't like the way the words sound. The fact that it's a fact of life for you still doesn't mesh with the fact that it feels wrong to me on so many levels. The fact that despite the fact that I get the feeling you're smarter than me, it's you that'd..." She sighs and puts a hand to her own face again, clearly uncomfortable again. She takes a deep breath to prepare herself to say it. "It's you that would be the pet... while my relatively stupid self would be the master." She sighs again and slumps forward, eyes now on the ground. "It scares me. Everything about it scares me."
Casdy listens as Rayne speaks. She then stands up, and walks over towards a tree, "Smarter than you??" she questions, "I doubt that." she then states as she places her hand upon the tree. "...and you are a far cry from stupid. You just need to see that for yourself." she says with a smile as she looks along the tree. "...as for what I know, Linka taught me. Some of it is...well... ...the basis of magic, as she calls it." Casdy places her hand against the tree, and she draws in a deep breath, "...perhaps the fact that I require a master is wrong. I can see it is, at least in your heart... ...for me, it is natural. I was created, not born... Fashioned by the hands of men..." She then looks down at her chest, and says, "...we have a lot in common. We both have a heart... ...one that wants to do what is good and right with the world, and its people..." Her eyes then narrow, and her eyes turn a cold red in color... her hair and fur begin to weave about just by the pure magical force of her spell weaving. ...the nature of the spell is animating all of the water this time... The water lifts from the fountain, and quickly rushes up!! It moves to Casdy and forms a ring around her, "...even if I were freed from my leash... ...I think I would still look for a master... ....why?? Simple... To know when I am wrong. To have a second opinion... ...to have someone with me who cares for things as much as I do... ...to help me. ...So I wont get lost in all of the power that I have. ...and succumb to the darkness of being alone." The water freezes, and shatters into countless needle like shards. "...that is my fear. The dark art can be controlled. ...but, I would do it better with a good 'friend'. When you change the word to see the matter, as I do... ....it doesn't seem so....sinister." The needles rush above her, and form a solid sphere, and then turns back into water... ...Casdy then sends the water to the fountain, where the water appears in the air as kanji saying, "Careful And Sudden, Deadly Yet." Yet, the C A S D Y, all turn to ice, "....that is who I am." she says with a warm smile.
Rayne looks up as Casdy walks away to the tree and watches, listens. And returns the smile, but not as strongly. "Friend, huh? I could live with that. We pretty much already are, right? It would just be with an additional bond on top of it." She closes her eyes and takes a deep breath in again. She holds it for a few seconds before letting it go, then still does nothing for a few seconds after that. With a sharp breath in again, she opens her eyes as she hops off the side of the fountain. She takes a step forward and holds out a hand. "So do you wanna be my friend?"
Casdy looks at the water, and returns it to the fountain... Her eyes return to their golden state, and she relaxes. she nods, in response of the question... A part of her wants to do the whole cat thing...tackle-hug the hand, and purr... ...BUT, she recalls the whole prior discussion about that subject. So, instead, she approaches the outreached hand, and asks a question of her own, "...does that mean I get fish, and ear scritches...??" with a toothy grin. She then reaches for the offer hand with her own, but for her... ...it is to offer out the leash. While it is simply a illusion, really, you can see how the end that binds around her neck glows, as does part of the leash its self... ...but only about a hand or so from the neck-line shines... The rest appears as a transparent leather strap.
Rayne laughs. "Yes! I fish as much for hobby as for food, you're more than welcome to the majority of my catches. And I'll do my best to try to break down my whole physical contact thing around ya." She turns her hand slightly, perhaps she was about to reach out to Casdy's ear, but then the leash is offered. Rayne stares at it a few seconds, then shakes her head. No. That's what it meant to other people. That's not what it means here. That won't be what it means here. I won't let it. Slowly, tentatively, she reaches out to take the offered leash into her hand. She can't keep the pensive look off her face as she does so, however.
For her, she knows it is a decision you must make on your own... If it is taken, or not....she will see you as her dear friend. She can't see your emotions... ...she can sense them, however. When she looks upon you, she sees a blazing white figure, in your body shape... It tells her you are a living soul, nothing of how you look, or what you look like. Casdy mews, and keeps her smile, "...physical contact is, as Talrani would say, different to all of us. Personal space should be respected..." As if her grin could get any wider, she tries to do so as she thinks of her twin sister... "...until it comes to scritches. Those are a must..." She decides to stop quoting her sister there... ...why?? ...this is Talrani she is quoting....and when it comes to her twin, the discussion either ends in something getting blown up, or the fact Talrabi insists that all cat-kin get petted at least three times a day. Twins, yes... ...alike...no. So, you prolly wont hear her quote her sister too much.
Rayne says, "Still, friends take what their friends want and try to accommodate. Just just a part of friendship, right? I can... learn to deal with a hug every so often. In fact, I really should learn to deal with it." With that said, she finally firmly grasps the leash. "Because life is learning new things and gaining new experiences. And changing yourself because of them."
When the leash is grabbed, the whole of the leash lights up, ending the ticking time bomb. While holding it, you are quick to learn all that there is to know... ...at will, you can summon the leash, regardless of distance, to cast it aside and 'disown' Cas'. You can also use it to send her silent commands, or hold a conversation where no-one else can hear... ...a mental link. And that no-one can see the leash, now that she has an owner...except, you. A break appears in the leash... ...one end around Casdy's neck, and the other end in your hand... When you will it away, it will vanish, and when you wish it, it will appear. Tho, reading Casdy's mind....is a lot like looking at a chibi manga. 'What is this? Can I eat it? Should I poke it with a stick?? EEK!! I poked it and it wants to chase me!! Yaay!! Hide and seek!! While very wise, she is childish in some rights, since she can't see, and worries what touching something to 'see it' may result in. You are also quick to learn, she is still her own person, and just as you can cast her leash aside, so too can she reclaim it, and start the search a new. "Hmmm...Linka said the greatest thing about friendship is sacrifice. For every friend you have, you adapt a piece of yourself to that person..." Casdy offers with a smile.
Rayne takes a step backwards, clearly overwhelmed at first by what is thrust into her own mind. She almost lets it go in reflex, but she knows what that would do now and avoids it, instead willing it away. She looks down at her now empty hand, a bit still in a daze at the experience. "Uhhh.. y-yeah. She was right, I think." A few seconds later, she shakes her head again to try to focus herself again. "Yeah! I don't think I'd talk so much about cultures without knowing Ren, and Kotal definitely put more of a sense of duty into me than I had before. So, yeah. Here's, uh, looking forward to seeing how we change each other, right?" She smiles back, again not quite as strongly, but this has been a lot for her. "I think... I think I'm going to want a nap after this."