|Another Early Evening in the Usual|
Serenity pours in through a door opened just enough to admit the hovering disc of the field generator. Ren peers to one side and the other with horizontally-slited turquoise eyes, then wanders over toward the bar, leaving just a bit of dampness on the door. Along that general path between the tables, Ren traces a looping epicycle of a few vertical-axis turns before sliding in between a couple seats at the bar.
Himet says, "Oh, back for more, are we?" Her usual smirk comes up as she sees Serenity approaching. "Have you at least tried some drinks? I only ever see you getting the same..." She struggles a moment for the best word. "...product. Or would the logistics of it be too challenging?"
"Hello," Ren rasps cheerily. "Some cheese would be nice, thank you. I think that my electric pot is coming along just fine with the current additions," Ren relates. "The microbes seem to be keeping steady with no whiff of alcohol." Ren motions with the edges of a pair of fins toward the massive collection of drinks. "Alcohol being one reason I haven't been experimenting with the bottles here. In addition to the issue of liquids, of course." Ren adds curiously, "How has you time here been coming, if I may ask?"
Himet says, "Oh, it's been coming and going, here and there. Really, I can't say I've actually seen much excitement. I saw the fog roll in once, but I was able to stay out of the way." She nearly turns away, but hides a slight wince by focusing on Serenity again. "Did you have a specific cheese in mind?""
"Hh. I see," Ren remarks with a frown, nodding in reply. "I am glad that you were able to avoid that particular sort of excitement. I missed it myself on account of some paperwork down by the 'town hall'." Ren answers, "I'd like some that is solid, not sweet, and reasonably-priced. Anything of that sort will be just fine." Ren then asks, "I take it that you are accustomed to a fairly cosmopolitan sort of town?"
Himet says, "Cheddar it is then! And yes. I've done a fair bit of travelling through the galaxy, and I can assure you some areas, especially in the Sidra arm, are quite diverse." She nods and turns to walk back to the kitchen window to place the order. It's quickly enough filled that she just waits there for it, and returns fairly quickly. As she walks, however, it's evident that she's limping ever so slightly, spending more time with her right foot on the ground than her left."
Serenity just briefly glances down at her feet as Himet returns, apparently taking note of something in her motion but without making comment upon it. "A whole galactic arm?" Ren remarks thoughtfully, adding a "Thank you" as she returns to the bar. "My world has only reached one neighbor so far. The money from heavy industry and already existing trade have, thus far, made a persuasive argument for where energy production should be directed instead of exploration."
Himet places a plate with several slices of sharp cheddar on it on the bar in front of Serenity. "Sure, why not? There are, I think, three? Four different technologies for getting around that whole light-speed-limit thing?" She shrugs. "It's not that difficult to do some more exploration at that point, so why not do full exploration?" She shrugs. "Though most tended to stick to just one arm each. There's a lot of worlds in each arm, afterall. Oh... I suppose I should have asked if you wanted that to go or not. I don't think I've ever actually seen you eat here."
"Here is quite all right. Now that I think about it, though, I suppose that for the most part, I've only ever eaten cheese or gelatin here. My gut is apparently exempt from the journey of self-discovery." Ren grins and picks up a cheese slice. "I'm afraid that I don't know much about interstellar travel technologies, nor the utility bills for them. Perhaps the government support for exploration is insufficient? Perhaps we've just been terribly unlucky at meeting neighbors?"
Himet shrugs. "I can't say. The grand ages of exploration are all in the past for me. The first pushes have gotten so muddled with time that it's practically speculation at this point. Of course, there could just be more inhabited worlds where I'm from. And it can be quite the shame to be limited by one's physiology, can't it?"
"That long?" Ren remarks, putting the cheese slice into the mass of water to give it a few licks with the iridescent white woodworking file. "I wouldn't make too much of physiological limitations. Yes, it certainly cuts down on tourism and immigration." Ren stirs the cheese though the air-water boundary before taking another lick. "But exploration wouldn't be quite so exciting if everywhere were equally accommodating."
Himet says, "But even when a close match but not quite planet is found, they often try to terraform it to live on. It is interesting, now that I think of it, that almost every intelligent species I know of can inhabit the same type of planet. That most could walk in here with no trouble breathing, or not be threatened with freezing or burning to death in this room's temperature." She shrugs again. "You're actually an exception to that rule. I don't know of any other aquatic species with our level of intelligence. Do you suppose there's just something advantageous to being an oxygen breather on a world with liquid water?"
Serenity nods and continues to 'nibble' as Himet explains. "You certainly had a wider range of examples to draw from than I." Ren motions to the sides (extruding separate portions of the occupied fin). "Twisted seems a biased sample, on account of apparently non-random processes making the selection." Ren continues, "As a fellow oxygen-breather from a world with liquid water, my first guess is that chemistry is simply more dull under other circumstances." Ren smiles and adds, "Perhaps, though, your people did encounter some other sorts of life and simply failed to recognize each other as alive?"
Himet says, "Hrm." She seems to ponder this. "Well, there's the Khadran Crystals from Diamondus. They're... sort of alive? But it's still a planet we could exist on without a space suit. And if there's another species out there other than the Myssyrians that are on those super cold planets, but don't have space flight, they might not be easily found. I mean, who really looks into those types of places that heavily?"
"Crystals?" Ren remarks with a puzzled note. "Yes, I suppose there could be some bias in where one looks for life. I should hope that professional scientists on the job would be on the lookout for the interesting-yet-unexpected, but they can't be expected to catch everything right away." Ren nods at her latter observation. "A planet with melting rocks all about would certainly not be my choice for a visit. I don't usually look to lava for interesting forms of expression."
Himet says, "But there's plenty of lava inspired expression out there. Have you seen a 'Lava Lamp'?" The way she said that suggests that she's not very familiar with the concept herself. "And I've seen a lot of photos and holos taken of lava that feel artistic."
"Lava Lamp..." Ren seems to think a moment while licking the cheese (somewhat the worse for wear on account of being underwater). "Hh, indeed! Similar decorations were invented on my world as well." Ren considers before continuing, "I don't doubt your photos, but I suspect that the artistry is in the photographer and not in the rock."