|Worries and Models|
Rayne sits waiting on the couch. As she's at home, she's much more casually dressed than usual. In other words, she's wearing normal clothes instead of her armor. A simple loose T-shirt and knee-length jeans skirt combination, with black tights underneath the skirt. Being at home, she has no shoes on at the moment. She is currently working on something on her laptop.
After calling earlier, Ren wanders on up to Rayne's apartment. A mellow marine mollusk folds over to detach the storage box from the field generator, uses it as a door knocker in lieu of knuckles, then replaces it and straightens back up. Ren doesn't happen to be wearing anything special today, just a violet clothing patch spotted with irregular green polygon.
Rayne jumps up to her feet and walks to the door to open it. "Hey, Ren! To what do I owe the pleasure of your visit?" She steps aside to let Ren into the room. "Sorry the place isn't particularly well suited to your, uh, suit." There are a number of sketches of various places around Twisted scattered throughout the apartment, but they have all been pushed against the walls to be out of the way of Ren's environment.
"Hello, Rayne," Ren replies amiably, pouring inside with a ripple of aquamarine fins. Nudging the door closed, Ren turns and glances about. "It's not trouble. I see you have it even more personally decorated in here since I saw it last," Ren remarks approvingly, then looks back to Rayne. "Well, I thought perhaps you'd like someone to listen as a friend, and, if you wouldn't rather leave that out there," Ren motions to the door, "I might catch you for a bit of chat about wider events, too."
"Huueh?" Rayne steps away from the doorway, taking care to avoid Ren's field as she steps around back towards the couch area. "I'd not really call it 'decoration' so much as me just plopping my sketches everywhere. Not like I've framed them or anything." As she reaches the table, she closes her laptop and sets it off further to the side. That is NOT something she wants to get accidentally dunked. "Though as far as needing someone to listen... You know I've never had a problem yakking my head off out in public." She smirks slightly at her statement. "Was there something on your mind?"
"Call it the 'lived in' look for artists," Ren remarks with a grin and gestures to the sides. After Rayne moves the laptop to safety, Ren 'kneels down' by the table to a seated height. "Certainly, I've things on my mind." Ren looks thoughtful and mentions, "One of them being whether I would do more good settling in an already-civilized place or helping make one."
Rayne flops down onto her couch and grabs a stick of pocky from a cup on the table. "You mean you're thinking of moving to Neo-Edo? My personal opinion on the place is that it's nice to visit, but I'd not like to live there." She takes a bite off the end of the pocky stick. "But then again, they probably do have the theaters and museums you crave more than I do. Maybe a library? It honestly does sound much more your kind of place than here.
Serenity nods. "I hardly know anything about it yet, but it is looking rather attractive for all those reasons you mention." Ren settles with a curved to the upper body to somewhat match her posture. "Aside from being farther from friends, though, I have other reservations about known risks set against unknown." Ren grins and motions toward Rayne, "What if they suffer from periodic plagues of stuffed animals, or something equally improbable, that they somehow neglected to mention?"
Thankfully, Rayne was eating, not drinking, so there's no spit-take at the mention of stuffed animal plagues. "Like I said, perhaps it'd be better to visit rather than live there? We do have a directive to protect Twisted over Neo-Edo. We'd just be too spread thin if we tried to cover both fully, after all. Maybe actually invest in some higher speed personal transportation? I suppose the logistics of it would be bad for you. I took a bus when I got to the other side of the bridge... But I'm considering getting a motorcycle. It seems... Efficient in space, and I rarely pick up anything large enough to require a car.
"You have a point about personal transportation. That was actually a sticking point in some of my plans for visiting Earth. Some countries have laws requiring wheelchair-accessible mass transportation, while others do not, and furthermore have as much of a tradition of packing people in as my home country," Ren relates. "I suppose I can be on the lookout for something of the sort for each of us." Ren continues, "Still, I'm not as sure about my ability to provide support for TASK when there are presumably many potential applicants who studied something more relevant than dance and its cultural context."
Rayne gets a somewhat concerned look and chomps down the entire stick of pocky to clear her mouth. "You... are thinking of following Twilight's example and quitting." She doesn't look pleased by this, and sighs, breaking eye contact for the floor. "Of course."
"The thought has crossed my mind," Ren admits. "I haven't any complaint with TASK as an employer. Given the circumstances under which we operate, neither can I complain of its operations. Rather, I'd like to make sure that TASK has the best person for the job. Twilight, in fact, seems quite well suited to patrolling, in many respects."
Rayne sighs and leans forward, elbows on her knees, as she puts her face in her hands. "Ren, you're the best negotiator and diplomat we could hope for. No one comes close to you in ability to get people to open up. That's... hugely valuable. And... Do you remember a big part of why I joined to begin with?"
Serenity smiles and mimics Rayne's stance, sans hands and knees. "I'm not so sure that we can't find someone more skilled, but I am glad to hear that you value my abilities there. Getting people to open up shortly after meeting them is actually something that think myself fair at and hope to improve still more." Ren then pauses a moment before answering her question. "You joined something that was not so formal as positions of nobility, but which needed your help to avoid degenerating into vigilantism?"
Rayne shakes her head. "That was one part. The other part was that I was joining the workplace of my friends." She sighs and sits back, looking up at... the bottom of her bunk. "Okay, so it's pretty damn selfish of me, and it's not like friendships are broken because of it, but... Twilight's already gone. It... kinda scared me at first, but she clearly doesn't think any less of me." She motions towards her laptop for some reason. "I worry I might lose interest in TASK, like I've lost interest in so many things throughout my life. But I've begun to think TASK actually does need me there."
Serenity nods and offers an encouraging smile. "Friendship and work are two entirely separate parts of life," Ren says, "Or at least they can be. But I certainly appreciate being friends with my coworkers and I'm glad that Twilight hasn't distanced herself from you." Ren adds, motioning toward her, "As for losing interest, I think you can be forgiven for wanting to develop more than one set of skills over the years, given your number of years."
"Yeah, yeah, I know. Like I said, I'm being a bit selfish more than anything else. But it still feels like a part of the heart of the organization being pulled out from under my feet when I think about you leaving in addition to Twilight." Okay, so Rayne got her phrases a little mixed up. "I do worry about me losing interest, though. I'm just glad I'm only Second, because TASK is too important to trust to someone like me for the long term." At least she's no longer worried about being of little use to the organization. She sighs and shakes her head again.
"I can think of more selfish worries than friendship- and completely understand the desire for something stable in a very unstable world, besides." Ren slides over to the side of the table and, being careful of the couch, leans over to offer a pat on the arm with a pair of damp fin edges. "Now, I haven't known you long, but 'untrustworthy' is not a description that comes to mind. You said that you tried acting for some years despite discouragement. Not to mention you were trusted to keep people from becoming accidental meteorites."
Rayne blinks and looks down from the ceiling in confusion. "'Accidental meteorites'? OH! Starship repair. Yeah. Okay, okay, you've got a point. It's just a whole lot of me worrying over nothing. I probably should have waited a few years before locking in my body. I'm acting like a teenager again, worrying over this kinda stuff." She laughs at herself. "Besides, if I do 'lose interest' I'm sure I'll still be okay helping out if they really needed me."
Serenity cants rhinophores a bit inquisitively at her mention of 'locking in'. "A bit of worry is good motivation to ask for help rather than going it alone," Ren comments encouragingly. Her latter assurance gets a nod. "Another bit of generosity and reliability there." Then Ren adds curiously, "Speaking of acting like a teenager, was that what I saw recently with Silencia? I could tell that you needed saving from something, but wasn't sure if it was from compliments on your looks or from not enough personal space."
Rayne says, "With... uhhh." That gets a bit of a blank look followed by a slight blush. "A little from column A, a little of column B. If something like that happened in, say, one of the Christmas parties where I was wearing that dress, it probably wouldn't have caught me so off guard, but I was just... armored up as normal, next to no makeup. It really threw me for a loop. And yeah... I tend to get a bit... uncomfortable when people get into my personal space. Long issue, long figured out. Preeeeetty sure it was how I was raised for the first 14 years of my life, with very little physical contact." Her eyes narrow and she glances to the side. "Certainly hardly any from my mother." She then waves her hand in a dismissive gesture as she focuses on Ren again. "But yeah, old news."
"I see," Ren remarks, with a smile at the initial part of her explanation and more somber look at the latter part. "I wouldn't take the reaction as anything particularly meaningful to her until you have had a chance to speak about her culture or see how she treats others' personal space. We haven't so much of it, for example, in my home city." Ren adds with a grin and waggle of the rhinophores, "That said, I am glad that I once noticed the quite improbable fact of a human flirting with me." Adding in a more serious tone, Ren motions toward Rayne with an upturned fin edge, "By the way, do let me know if I'm too free with touch around you, yes?"
Rayne says, "Uffuh... At this point I think I might have hoped not to run into her after that whole thing, just to keep my life simpler. Buuuut, as she's apparently now the high priestess of a war god... Really, I just didn't see the whole war thing in her... and properly in TASK from the memo I read, I'm assuming that'll be pretty much a sure thing to happen. I hate not knowing some things, but I also just don't dare asking, sometimes." She then laughs lightly. "I do find it odd. I suppose Johann is a bit a better person than I am. I just can't see myself ever dating someone that doesn't look at least mostly human. I mean, the people with the cat ears and tail and whatnot I could see, that's close enough, but not a fully different facial structure, that would completely turn me off. And I'm attempting to get better with physical contact. I just don't think I can ever get used to it with strangers... or even surprise contact with someone I know well." She smirks slightly before adding, "You'll know if you're too free if I more or less jump."
Serenity returns a nod at her assessment of the 'war priestess' matter. The comments about Johann gets a grin. "Yes, I would like to think that he is a particularly good person. But disagreeing with him doesn't make you a worse person," Ren reassures. "In fact, I doubt that I would find anyone here physically attractive if it weren't for ample experience seeing human people in videos. Well, perhaps in an abstract sort of way, as with a beautiful animal or machine, but not in a sexual sense." Ren continues, motioning to the side, "However, it seems not everyone's attractions need such development, for which I am profoundly grateful." At the last, Ren smiles and looks down at the table.
Rayne claps her hands together. "Okay, I'm requesting a change of subject. I think I've had enough of still lifes for the time. I'm trying to figure out who would be best to attempt to draw. You have any thoughts on that subject?" She narrows her eyes and points to Serenity. "And no, not you. You can't seem to stay perfectly still long enough."
Serenity looks up at the clap with a grin and wave of the rhinophores, then nods. Ren pauses a moment after her admonition. "Hh... yes, that's true enough. Perhaps save drawing me for speed and memory practice." Ren looks up. "Now, I can imagine Kotal sitting still for a pose as long as necessary, though he would likely insist on choosing the dress and surrounding decor himself. That would not be an image to exhibit."
Rayne says, "eeeeeehhhh, yeah. Not really in the mood to draw his... office chair. And I'm pretty sure that's how he'd want me to draw him. And I'm not sure I want to start with someone with as... detailed a physique as his. And the thought of him wearing a T-shirt to simplify his lines is so absurd that he'd fire me for suggesting it." She smirks again, not actually believing she would be fired for that. "The same goes for his... Krew. I get the feeling if I tried to draw Reptile, he'd go invisible halfway through just to mess with me."
"I suppose that, for one reason or another, non of them would be the best subject for beginning practice on portraits," Ren agrees. "Now, Morgana might be agreeable to posing if you promised a copy to Muradin. Scheduling might be more difficult than for some, but not impossible." Ren then looks back to Rayne. "What about Twilight? I recall that her room was decorated with a stained-glass image of herself. She may have some experience with portraits already."
Rayne says, "Huh... Definitely a possibility on either account, but they'd have to realize that it's still going to be pretty amature work, and probably just a line drawing at that. I certainly can't promise an end result to be gift worthy." She frowns at that. "I mean, we're talking a self-taught artist's first attempt at drawing a person. I expect to eventually get pretty good, but certainly not on my first try. Let's be realistic on that line."
Serenity nods. "Yes, that's a fair point. Perhaps not Morgana to begin with. I'm not sure how she would take an unsatisfactory picture," Ren observes. "Surely Twilight, though, would be good-natured about the process, however it turned out." Serenity then suggests, "I would post an advertisement in the Usual Restaurant with the word 'free' prominently located."
Rayne says, "And hope that the people reading don't realize that they're the one providing the free service? I'm basically asking for models, which is typically a paid gig. No, I'd definitely lean towards Twilight or someone else I know. Maybe a posting at TASK instead of the Usual asking for..." She then winces. "No, no, then it would be Kotal taking the bait. Perhaps Johann? I never did get you a Christmas present..." She then frowns again. "Not that I work in waterproof mediums..."
"Some people rather like being the center of attention, even without pay," Ren remarks with a smile and an undulating sweep of extended 'wings'. "Granted, I've never had a portrait, so it might become tiresome after a while." Ren then says, "Now, while I would love a sketch of Johann, I may have to settle for photos. He's unlikely to be sitting still for very long before someone needs him."
"Yeah, you've got a good point on Johann there, too. Something else the two of you have in common." Rayne winks at Ren. "And yes, it can be tiring to stand still that long," she deadpans. "Not to mention boring. Very boring." It sounds like she might be speaking from experience on that. Of course Rayne has dabbled in modeling. She's dabbled in just about everything else, hasn't she? "And people wanting to be the center of attention typically want that from more than just one person."
Serenity grins at her remark on commonality. "Yes, typically," Ren agrees, "and when I am devoting attention to one person," Ren motions a pair of fins to her, "is when I am not trying to be the center of attention, as that would make for terrible conversation." Ren adds curiously, "Did you have many portraits made as a child?"
Rayne says, "A couple. And a few more in later years. My mother thought it was appropriate, even if the rest of the family didn't seem to to care. But there was also picking up paychecks helping out classes of art students. And that month working as a 'muse' for a very self-absorbed artist. That job didn't end well." She grimaces at the thought."
Serenity nods thoughtfully as Rayne explains. "I can imagine commissioning artwork to promote the family image- something to decorate halls for tourists and diplomats. Sponsoring new artists could also be a not-entirely-altruistic sort of contribution to the public good." Ren then ventures, "What exactly does a muse-for-hire do?"
Rayne says, "Yeah, something along those lines, but I doubt any of paintings of me are in the House Hurris halls." She then laughs. "Stand around and look pretty as the fool keeps changing his mind about what exactly he wants to paint me as while rambling about how wonderful he is."
Serenity frowns at her initial remark, considering that quietly for a moment. "You did say that posing becomes dull quickly. I imagine that moving on command isn't enjoyable either. But one doesn't tune out inane rambling after a while?" Ren asks.
Rayne says, "You'd think so, but no. It kind of can become unavoidable, especially when he expects you to agree with him. And praise him." She rolls her eyes. "But yeah, that's why I don't expect to get many bites for me offering to draw people for free. I've been at the other end."
"I see. Interaction is, unfortunately in this case, harder to ignore," Ren remarks with a nod. Ren motions to Rayne, "You did give me an idea, though- someone who will work for you for free and do exactly as you wish." Ren grins.
Rayne says, "Someone who will... Huh?" She tilts her head. "You.... are slightly scaring me right now. Whaaaaaaat are you thinking of, Ren?"
"Scaring you? I think you give me too much credit, Ren replies with a bit of puzzlement. "No, the one who will do exactly as you wish is your own mirror image. Self-portraits are not rare, are they?"
Rayne says, "Oh, that's no fun at all!" She laughs. "Seriously, that just feels like cheating, almost. I could just find a photo of some random model and draw that, too." She shakes her head. "I wanna jump into this a little more gung-ho, ya know?"