|Not so generous, but scientific... Rarity's arrival, and talk of dimensional merging theories!|
An exiting patron holds the door to the Usual for a marine mollusc colored in aquamarine and neon orange and turquoise mottling along (along with a large irregular column of water and the black disc of the forcefield generator supporting it all). Apparently the two are regulars, as Ren doesn't look particularly disturbed by a bipedal creatures wandering around places of business. Ren offers a polite nod before slipping inside.
Maybe he took a wrong turn somewhere, although he'd have thought that by now he'd know Akiba like the back of his hand. Then again, being actually -in- the world of an MMORPG is still quite different from just looking at it through a screen. Still, the samurai-class Adventurer is pretty sure he would have recognized the place at the very least. For stepping into unfamiliar territory, the guildmaster of the Westwind Brigade doesn't appear to be at all alarmed, much less bothered by the darker surroundings. His wide eyes look about in curiosity, his hands at the sides of the sky blue haori he wears, not once drifting towards either of the two katana swords at each side of his hip. "Huh..."
Rarity sighs, looking around as she trots through the town. She decides to head for the park, the quadrupedal creature levitating some small dandelions from a near grassy area and eating them. Maybe relaxing in the park will help her decide what to do...
The door to the apartment complex opens, and the yawning, rainbow haired form of Rayne steps out. Did she just wake up from a nap? Who knows, she keeps odd hours sometimes. Oversized clipboard slung under her arm, she ponders just where she might want to head out to today to find a new subject to draw. "Park is always good for some interesting scenery... But maybe I've overused it," she ponders aloud as she looks about. She gives the samurai a raised eyebrow as she spots him, not recognizing him. But then again, in a place like Twisted he doesn't stand out too much and she can't assume that she's just not seen him. It's when she looks back towards the park again that she really pauses, seeing the white pony. "Huh. Well, somehow, I can't say I'm surprised another one is here."
Rarity sighs softly, walking through the pathway into the park. She admires the trees, smiling a little wanly at them. "It really is beautiful here..."
Rayne's mind seems to have been made up about which direction to go to! The park it is! She walks along not too far behind the unicorn, not entirely certain about how to address her. Shrugging to herself, she decides on just more or less butting into Rarity's reverie. "It does have its moments and places. The park is in fact one of the better ones, I come here a lot myself."
Rarity squeaks, leaping into the air briefly. She whirls, seeing Rayne, and gulps nervously. "Oh... Hello, darling!" she said. "Forgive me, but you've not caught me at my best..."
Rayne holds up both her hands in a non-threatening manner. "Sorry, sorry. I'm going to go out on a limb here with a guess... You're new here, aren't you?"
Rarity nodded, sighing. "I... I found myself here quite suddenly. I was babysitting for my younger sister and her friends when I woke up in the shelter..." she shook her head. "Nothing looks familiar..." She paused, blinking. "Oh! Forgive me, darling. I'm Rarity, proprietor and owner of the Carosel Boutique, where all fashions are chiq, unique, and magnifique."
Rayne nods along as Rarity describes her situation, then raises an eyebrow as Rarity names herself. It's just a second before Rayne flat out facepalms. "Oh, of course. Well, I should have seen that coming." She sighs and shakes her head at something, then snaps her attention forward again. "Rayne Hurris, forgive the weaponry, but one can never be too careful, and I never know when I'm going to be called on duty. I'm kind of a part of the local police force... Welcome to Twisted. I regret to inform you that your stay may be a bit longer than you might like."
Rarity frowned. "...Rather unpleasant to hear," she said. "But... thank you for your honesty, darling." She sat down, idly levitating some loose flower petals over and eating them. "It's a pleasure to meet you, my dear Ms. Hurris... I don't suppose you have idea what I'm supposed to do now?"
Rayne says, "Weeeeeelll..." She looks up to the sky, then back down at the unicorn to see her eating the flower petals, which gets a bit of a surprised look on her face. "Wait, you eat plants straight like that? I... never saw Twilight doing that. Then again, I wasn't here yet when she first converged."
Rarity chuckled. "Well, I am a pony, darling. A unicorn, to be precise, if the horn wasn't a giveaway," she said. "I do enjoy the odd flower from time to time."
Rayne says, "Yes, I gathered, but the last one I saw also had wings. You said you were Rarity, right? I've heard the name before from said other unicorn pony. Do you know Twilight Sparkle, per chance?"
Rarity blinked, brightening. "Wait, Twilight's here as well? Oh thank heavens..."
Rarity then frowned. "Oh dear... That means she's stuck too..."
Rayne nods. "Yeah, her and, uh, Sunset. Sunset Shimmer, I think it was. And... Yes. Was she missing in your world? Ehh, you know what? I think this might all be easier for you to hear it... straight from the horse's mouth, so to speak." No. She could not resist herself. She had to say it. She then points over her shoulder with her thumb. "You want me to take you to her apartment?"
Rarity nodded. "I've heard of Sunset Shimmer, but never met her. And don't worry about the pun, such things happen..." she said. She started to tear up, and said, "And... and I really need to see a familiar face..."
Rayne says, "Alright, alright, don't cry! I'll take you there!"
Rayne arrives into the hallway from the elevator, walking up to a door that clearly shows a symbol that should be quite familiar to Rarity... That of Twilight Sparkle's cutie mark. "Here we go." She knocks on the doorway, then immediately steps out of the way, leaving Rarity in front of the doorway.
Rarity watches the door in nervous anticipation, fidgeting.
After making sure her apartment's been tidied thoroughly, Twilight Sparkle is just resting on the couch, up until she hears someone knocking. Naturally, she's getting up to go see who it is - and in short order, she just stares through the peephole for a bit upon seeing one of her friends from Equestria on the other side of the door before finally opening it. "...what's Rarity doing here? I wasn't able to get any messages through to them..."
Rarity fidgeted for a moment more before saying. "T-Twilight? It's me... I..." she said, shivering. "Is it really you? You went missing, and then I suddenly found myself here and..." She sniffled softly. "Please... Please, be real..."
Rayne pokes her head around the corner again. "I saw her in the park. When she said she was Rarity, I couldn't help but remember you mentioning her once or twice. Or twelve times."
Sunset had been taking a short nap in the bedroom, but the knocking and chatter was enough to stir her out of the light slumber. As is she sticks her head out of the bedroom, rubbing back her hair with one hand to get it out of her face. "What's up Twilight? You sound unusually trepidatious."
Twilight steps forward to kneel and give her friend a hug with both arms. She does, however, make sure to hold the door open with one foot so as not to get locked out of her own apartment. "I do recall that, but I'd thought all those letters I tried sending back home didn't get through... And I can assure you I'm very real, Rarity."
Rarity tries to say something, but just leans into the embrace, weeping in relief at knowing she wouldn't be alone.
Rayne starts inching away towards the elevator, feeling like she might be intruding on a moment now.
Sunset disappears back into the bedroom for a moment, grabbing her jacket before wandering out fully. "Twilight, what's wrong?" She doesn't get a look at who Twilight is hugging until she gets partway around the side and stops to blink a couple of times, then scratch the side of her head with a soft huh. "That's what Rarity looks like as a pony, huh?" She never did really get a closer look at Twilight's friends at home, she was a tad bit busy running with the crown.
Twilight Sparkle glances back over her shoulder at her roommate and friend, while gently rubbing the unicorn's neck. She does give an apologetic smile to Rayne as she retreats, however. "I'm just surprised to see one of my friends from back home here now... And yes, this is how Rarity looks from where I'm from. Also, sorry about that, Rayne..."
Rarity finally manages to calm down, coughing a little. "Oh... oh, forgive me, darling..." she said. "It's been... rather stressful, since you've vanished." She turned to Rayne, smiling gratefully. "Thank you, my dear, for taking me to her..."
Rayne says, "Hey, hey, no problem! Always glad to help, you know?" She gives a quick salute, but it's clear she still feels a little out of place here. She then nods to Sunset in greeting.
Rarity smiled. "Nevertheless, you helped me reunite with someone precious to me. I owe you, Rayne. A kindness done deserves a kindness done in return," she said.
Twilight says, "Trust me, Rayne. She always insists on delivering when she says something like that. I know from plenty of personal experience."
Sunset smiles a bit. "Still appreciated you found her and got her here safely Rayne." She pauses, looking from Twilight to Rarity and back again, not really wanting to butt into the touching moment. That and she's not sure how much about her Twilight has told her friends, which is making a bit of her anxiety kick up again.
Rayne rubs the back of her neck with "Hahah... Well, we can worry about that later, yeah?" She then blinks at Sunset. "Eh? Really, it wasn't that much. It was practically a walk down the street."
Rarity grinned. "The smallest gesture can do the greatest good sometimes," she said, turning to Sunset. "And you... you are Sunset Shimmer?"
Twilight Sparkle stands back up, taking everything surprisingly well and just looking between all three of her present friends as they begin to talk. "I am, yes." Sunset gets down on one knee to get closer to the other two's level. "The one Twilight Sparkle helped reform."
Rarity nodded. "Well, from what I've heard you were nowhere near as unpleasant as some of the other louts Twilight has helped redeem," she said. Rarity looked thoughtful for a moment, "Well, Fluttershy was the one who reformed Discord by being irresistibly cute and adorable at him, but still..."
Sunset says, "I still find it hard to think of him not just being a statue out in the royal garden."
Rarity chuckled. "Oh, he's more than just a statue..." she said. "He's a pain in the cutie mark, really..." She looked at Twilight, and said, "May I come in and sit down, please? And perhaps have something to drink?"
Twilight Sparkle eases the door she'd been holding ajar open with her hand, stepping out of the way to allow everyone back into her modest apartment. "Come in, everyone. And I'll get drinks worked on."
Rayne finds herself a bit at a loss as all the talk of Equestria goes on, and more or less wallflowers it up until they are directly invited in. "Oh, uhhh, thanks, yes," she says in a quick blurt as she steps through.
"That's okay Twilight, I'll get some." Sunset hops back to her feet and heads to the kitchen to get some drinks for everyone.
Rarity steps into the apartment, smiling gratefully. She looks around and forces herself not to comment on the decor, just glad to be among friends. "Thank you, Sunset..."
Twilight takes a seat on the couch once she's inside and the door's been closed, giving a brief and subtle smile at her girlfriend at the offer while absently rubbing one forearm with her right hand. "So, Rarity... How are the others back home doing?"
Rarity sighed, sitting next to her on the couch. "Worried. We haven't received any word from you about what's happened... Pinkie Pie is helping the rest of the girls cope, but she's hurting, we can tell... And Celestia... by the heavens, I've never seen her that mad before... A few days before I was brought here I swear she was ready to murder the entire House of Nobles, suspecting them to be behind your disappearance..."
Sunset lets them talk a few minutes before she finally walks back in with several glasses of water. Just in time to hear the end of the conversation and chew the corner of her lip briefly. "Trust me. Celestia mad is not a fun time for anyone. Just.. trust me on that. Personal experience." She quickly diverts from the topic again by holding out the tray for everyone to get a glass.
Rayne says, "Sounds like you guys... Have a lot of history. How long was Twilight missing from your world? I'm... kind of curious to see if the flow of time is the same or not." She graciously accepts the glass of water.
Twilight Sparkle cringes at Rarity's detailed explanation of events back home, even while taking a glass from the tray Sunset's holding with her right hand. "For things to get that bad... I've been trying to get word out to you from here, without Spike to help deliver messages... But for whatever reason, the magic here prevents transmissions outside of this plane of existence, even with mine being used."
Sunset shrugs a little. "And Twilight was already here, so I couldn't try using my book."
Rarity shivered. "It's been months," the unicorn said, levitating over a water and sipping delicately from it. "Thank heavens that there have been no major villain attacks. Trixie's picked up a lot of slack, and there seems to be a civil war amongst the changelings right now, but..." She shook her head.
Rayne sighs and shakes her head. "I've not thought about things from that angle before. When people are displaced, those left behind. I guess I didn't think too much about it since the people I left behind didn't rely on my quite so much."
"Well, as I might tell you... At this point, everyone from back home, Rarity included, are more like an extended family for me than close friends." Twilight, while sipping from her drink, looks between everyone else with a relaxed expression. "So I can understand why Celestia would be upset to that extent about having two former students disappear."
Sunset sets the tray aside once everyone has their water, and lacking a place to sit, assumes her usual stance of casually leaning against a wall. "So either the passage of time is different, or Rarity was transpositioned from later than you were, that has gone on longer without you already. Which really isn't any different."
Rarity's head droops. "And with me gone, things might destabilize even further... Two Elements of Harmony gone..."
Rayne wrings her hands slightly. In her past, she might have considered another dimension's problems to be just something that didn't concern her. But now, even without it involving the friends and family of her friends, her position within TASK is making her worry about everyone. "That... sounds horrible. If only... If only," is all she says, knowing full well that there's nothing she can do for the situation in Equestria.
Twilight nods in response to Sunset's theory, before reaching out to console her fashion-conscious friend. "Both of those scenarios are the most likely to explain why this is happening. And Rarity, let's hold out some sort of hope that our world and this one somehow merge before things get too critical."
Sunset says, "It's possible that more of us here will draw more from our worlds. I mean, it's just a random idea, but if Twisted attracts from where it already has connections to due to previous arrivals."
Rarity nodded. "It all sounds reasonable, I suppose..." she said. "Forgive me if I seem melancholy, I... I was babysitting my younger sister and her friends when I was taken..."
Rayne nods to Sunset. "That's actually a known phenomena. It's not always a constant, for instance no one from my universe is here, but it happens enough to be worth noting. You guys would not be the first to have this happen to."
Sunset ooohs at Rayne. Then rubs the back of her head with her free hand. "Though that kind of makes me wonder why I ended up here before any of Twilight's closer friends did..."
Twilight Sparkle looks off to one side, deep in thought, as she begins counting on her fingers. "Let's see... If my counterpart in Canterlot High arrives here, along with at least one of the other Rainbooms... Then that world might merge with this one. The same could be said for Equestria, if one of my other friends or the other Princesses somehow end up in this dimension. Even having my BBBFF appear might be enough of a catalyst to prompt a full merging."
Rayne says, "BB...wha?" She shakes her head. "I really don't know how stable connections are formed. What I do know is that they usually have their connection point at TASK's tower. That's what all those portals are on the spiral staircase outside."
Rarity nodded. "Hopefully without damaging either dimension..." she said softly. She looked thoughtful for a moment, and asked, "Perhaps Discord could find a way to create a wormhole between this world and ours? I admit, this is a bit out of my level of study, but I can guess..."
Sunset gives a likewise confused look at the 'BBBFF'.
Twilight looks up long enough to catch sight of the confused expressions from two of her three friends, and promptly gives them a sheepish smile. "'Big Brother, Best Friend Forever', which is a term I use for my older brother, Prince Shining Armor."
Rarity just giggled, having heard the term before.
Rayne says, "Aaaah. I was a bit of an only child, so... yeah. Never had that kind of relationship." >.>
Sunset blinks a couple of times. "Wait, wait. The captain of the royal guard was your brother?" Then she starts to ponder. "... But that would mean that the Shining Armor that was Crystal Prep's star athelete was that Twilight's older brother... and y'know, now some of that pressure Finch kept putting on her in the name of reputation makes more sense..."
Twilight looks askance once more, though her expression quickly turns to one of flat acceptance. "Yes. And somehow I'm not surprised that so many parallels exist between my world and yours, Sunset. Back home, he's royalty, and in yours, he's not. Everything's relative, isn't it?"
Rarity just sipped at her water, seemingly lost in thought.
"They treat his reputation as royalty, so yes, entirely relative," Sunset replies. Shakes her head a little. "Sorry, I just never noticed the connection sooner."
Rayne seems a bit lost in thought as well, her mouth scrunched to the side. "I'm... Huh. I'm kinda torn." She looks up. "Should I be happy that another of your friends are here? Or should I be upset that another of your friends is stuck here?"
Twilight Sparkle raises an eyebrow slightly, glancing over at Rayne. "What reason would you have to be upset? It's not like I'm going to neglect the friendship you and I have in favor of either Sunset's or Rarity's, Rayne. The old me might've, but that's a bygone time now."
Rayne shakes her head. "No, no! I mean, upset for the sake of Rarity, that she's now stuck as well? It's always kinda sad when someone gets yanked out, but there's the joy of reunion mixed in with it this time. It's... a new experience."
Rarity, meanwhile, has finished her water, setting the glass down on a nearby table. She lays her head down, having had an emotionally exhausting day, and slowly drifts off to sleep...
Twilight Sparkle gets up, nodding in understanding as she gently picks up and carries the dozing Rarity into their bedroom before returning. "It sure does take a lot out of you, at first... Poor Rarity..."
"It is kind of bittersweet, yeah. But having friends to reunite with does make it easier to cope, too. At least it did for me." She picks up the empty glass and returns to the kitchen with it.
Rayne nods. "I still remember mine, even if it was a bit fuzzy. I think that crazed tuuk gave me a concussion in the process of my arrival."
Twilight responds with a brief wince at Rayne's statement, gripping her now-empty glass with one hand. "Ooh, that must've hurt..."
Rayne says, "Yyyyeah. That would be an understatement." She rubs the side of her head. "Luckily for me, Kotal happened after Morgana took us to DMC."
Sunset wanders out for a moment, only to return from the closet with an extra blanket. "Here Twilight, tuck her in so she's comfortable. The rest will help her."
Twilight takes the blanket, disappearing into their shared bedroom and tucking her sleeping guest and friend in once she's covered with that decently thick sheet. "Definitely. And I think we're finally coming up with some theories to test out... The only question is how."
Rayne nods to Sunset. "Well, if everything here is settled in well, I suppose I should get going." She almost turns to leave before stopping herself. "Oh. It's not something I'm interested doing right now, but I've been wanting to stop with the still lifes and move on to attempting portraits." She taps on the oversized clipboard she's been carrying the whole time, which she uses when drawing out around the town. "I don't suppose either of you would want to help me out with that sometime?" She gives a bit of a goofy smile at the end of that.
Sunset huhs. "Always a possibility. It's good to have a hobby or two like that I suppose."
Twilight Sparkle steps out right at that moment, though she nods in agreement once hearing Rayne's parting question. "I'd be more than happy to help. Besides, growing up in Canterlot does kind of mean I have an appreciation for art. Although not to the point I'm excessively snobbish about it..."
Rayne says, "Right! Good, because I'm still quite the newbie at it all, and I can't promise the end result will actually resemble you for my first few attempts." She gives a wink before turning back towards the door. "Well, I'll let you guys be in peace now." She gives a wave as she starts heading for the door.
"Night Rayne." Sunset waves after her. Then hmms softly. "I think tomorrow is going to need another grocery run to feed the three of us."