|Painting the Town|
Serenity wanders up the road from the city with just a gentle undulation of the aquamarine sheets of muscle. While the hovering field generator could no doubt drive the large suspended mass of water uphill with no effort on Ren's part, the sea creature is at least getting a tiny bit of exercise this way. Ren doesn't happen to be dancing at the moment, but does look a little lost in thought. It's not until partway through the lot that Ren takes notice of Rayne and waves an outstretched 'wing' to her.
Rayne herself seems lost in thought as well, as she neither jots down a line nor responds to Ren for a few seconds. "Huh wha?" she asks, looking around a second before spotting Serenity. "Oh, uh, hey. What's up?"
"Hello," Ren calls cheerily, shifting course to join her. Sliding over to her side (with sufficient clearance from the forcefield-full of water), Ren shifts tail end horizontal with the ground to match Rayne's seated height. "I thought I might visit the store," Ren says, motioning toward it, "for some home decorations and perhaps to take a look at jewelry." Ren leans over to peer at the picture. "What have you been up to?"
Rayne says, "I... Well, I've been trying to deal with pent up work stress." She frowns, and adds another couple of lines. It's a landscape of the buildings out below, centered on the TASK tower, but it's definitely very far from complete. "I'm so far out of my element now that it's really starting to get to me. Before coming here, I never fought except in self defense and never was in any sort of authority position... And now look at where I am." She takes a deep breath in and sighs it out. She looks up to Ren again with a not-entirely convincing smile. "Looking to add more waterproof knick-knacks?"
"I was thinking of a wall hanging of some sort for the entryway of my home, something real rather than reproduced from the hotel room advertisement," Ren explains. Extending a 'wing' from the water, Ren offers a slightly damp pat on the back in reply. "Who could be immediately in one's element here?" Ren remarks. "I think that if we're to find any comfort, we have to carve it out of some terribly strange rock." Gesturing to the sketch, Ren inquires curiously, "What was it that you did to relax in your previous home?"
Rayne says, "Heh. Well, the real stuff is a bit more... rewarding, as you said those months ago." She doesn't seem to react much to the damp pat, though it's a little hard to feel the wetness through the leather armor. "Carve from a rock? I get the feeling there's a reference I don't get here... I'd do stuff like this, I suppose. Whatever hobby I happen to be into at the time. Or just bug out from whatever was stressing me entirely and go to a new planet. THAT one's not quite as easy to do right now."
Serenity nods and explains, "Stone carving is hard work but makes something special from what was already there." Ren adds with a smile, "That's a metaphor, mind you, and not necessarily a suggestion for your next artistic venture." Then Ren remarks thoughtfully, "A whole new planet seems a rather extreme way to escape stress. If a new city didn't work, I would start to wonder if the stress might be of my own making."
Rayne says, "Oh, oh, right. Yeah." She lightly raps her knuckles on her own forehead. "I've always been a bit of a flake, I suppose. Probably a whole 'don't want to be like my mother' thing... but really, when you happen to own your own starship, even if it is pretty small, jumping planets tends to not be as extreme as you might be thinking. At that point, what's the difference between city and planet other than a few days' travel time? I generally didn't keep enough stuff that I couldn't fit it in the Spectral Eagle for that very reason, to allow myself that mobility." She gets a bit more of a genuine smile next. "Don't worry, I'm going to try to get at least a decent hold on the two dimensional before attempting the three dimensional stuff."
"Hhh... I suppose the technology that I'm accustomed to even colors my notion of what 'getting away from it all' entails," Ren allows, then looks thoughtful. "I was going to remark on the fact that it's a shame to plan on leaving all your new acquaintances behind, but that was exactly what I intended to do during my travels around Earth." Ren motions the edge of a pair of fins towards Rayne. "Not to mention the fact that you have likely weighed that decision more than I ever will."
Rayne says, "Well, not every place that I've been I've been able to get friends so easily... Sometimes I can say that's been my own fault, others not so much. Oddly enough it was Cevernal that I felt I made the friends I'd not want to leave behind. Veluk, Kage, Jezirah." She laughs. "And then I do. But yeah. I've had a lot of time jumping planets over the past few centuries"
Serenity nods sympathetically. "What do you think made Cevernal special in that respect?" Ren inquires, leaning rhinophores forward inquisitively. Ren, not being one to sit still, shifts posture a bit. The tail end and clothing patch (yellow and green polka dot today) are still directed toward the ground, but a portion of one side is twisted down, too, like a human sitting on one hip. "Perhaps adversity, but not so much as to make self-preservation your foremost thought?"
Rayne looks thoughtful, tapping the eraser of her pencil against her cheek. "I guess that could be it. We kinda banded together to travel safely, but usually didn't really have much of a goal. Really, I think Veluk dragged us around most of the time... it was his home planet, afterall. I dunno. Maybe that much time with little to do other than talking with each other and a little foraging for food along the way can really bond a bunch of people together."
"That certainly makes sense," Ren remarks. "I don't know that I can properly imagine, though. I can't recall the last time I went hungry that did not involve forgetting to bring food along or forgetting to eat it." Ren adds, "Then again, I didn't leave behind so many close friends." Ren frowns and rubs a fin edge through the beginnings of the gills. "I wish that I could send mail, all the same."
Rayne says, "Heh... Yeah, I wish I could let them know I was fine, and know how they were doing, at least, but communication on Cevernal was iffy at best. That's kind of why a lot of people go there, though." She sighs and leans back, her hands on the ground to her sides and behind her as she looks up into the sky. "People go there to forget and be forgotten." She looks over towards Ren again and asks, "Why did you go to Earth?"
Serenity nods in agreement. As Rayne shifts posture, Ren does as well. Ren lies horizontally in a shallow C-shape, keeping tail end pointed down but otherwise lying on one side. The 'wing' on that side is retracted close to the body so as not to brush the grass. "I certainly was not trying to be forgotten, perhaps partly to be remembered, even. "My plan was to travel the planet, collecting dances and some notes on cultural context. I was sure that a few papers would come of it, maybe a book. And I had notions of creating some new fusion styles to show off." Ren adds, "And, of course, it was an exciting vacation among exotic people and places." After the last, Ren motions with a part of the higher fin edges toward the city.