The doors to the Usual Restaurant open, and through steps Rayne. Of course she spotted Serenity entering from the street, but she looks around the establishment well after spotting her aquatic friend. Whatever she was looking for, her sigh makes it seem it wasn't there, and she makes her way over to Ren with a smile and a wave. "Hey, Ren. How're you doing today?"
It's a few minutes later before Sunset Shimmer wanders into the restaurant, once again from the club section. Though with a quick glance one could guess she wasn't there for the dancing this time, as when she turns at the doorway to wave to whoever she left in there one can see the guitar slung across her back. She was probably hanging out with whatever musicians are in there for the evening.
Serenity arrives at the bar, but as Rayne speaks up pauses and twists to wave a 'wing' out of the water. "Hello," Ren rasps cheerily. "I'm doing quite well today. Yesterday, with Kotal promising to reattach any accidentally removed body parts was a bit more stressful." The session doesn't seem to have left any permanent marks of Ren, though. "But I should congratulate you on a successful first lesson. High five?" Ren raises a portion of fin for Rayne with the appropriate number of 'digits' extruded from the edges. As Sunset appears, Ren looks past Rayne for a moment and flashes the other 'wing' to Sunset.
Rayne waves a hand in a dismissive gesture. "Oh, it's not that big a deal. I've seen it thousands of times in holovids and games, not to mention using paint combat facsimiles. Honestly, I feel like you actually managing that flashbang was more impressive, what with not having the leverage of bones and joints." At the off of a high five, Rayne recoils ever so slightly before cautiously reaching forward to give Ren's fin a light tap with her hand, quickly pulling back after the content. To anyone that doesn't know Rayne, it'd probably look like she was iffy about touching a being as unusual as Ren... But those that know Rayne know that kind of contact with anyone is a slight step forward for the rainbow haired girl. Her gaze then follows Ren's to Sunset, and she grins briefly before waving. "Sunset and Serenity! Wow, just the two I wanted to talk to!"
Sunset turns back from the club just in time to catch Ren's wave. Really it's hard to miss, just because Ren herself is hard to miss. And Rayne too, whom she also waves back to as she walks over. Only to blink a bit at the rainbow haired woman's cheerful outburst. "Really? What did I do this time?" she jokes back.
Serenity grins at the mention of the flashbang. "It is gratifying to know that, provided there is some air to dampen the shockwave, I may avoid maiming myself with such a weapon." As Rayne hesitates with her hand, Ren holds the pose and Ren then offers an encouraging smile as she makes contact. Ren shifts to the side with a quick ripple as Sunset comes up. "Hello," Ren rasps to her before looking inquisitively to Rayne.
Rayne points at Sunset in an accusatory manner. "Oh, I'll tell you what you did! You told me you wanted to do something that I was planning on setting up! So now I want you to set it up instead of me!" She lowers her finger with a bit of a smile. "The good news is that means you get some help." She now points again, this time with her thumb at the nudibranch to her side. "And Ren is a part of that help I was going to get you, along with non-personnel resources."
"What you want to--oh." After staring for a moment Sunset's expression lightens to something more cheerful when it clicks together for her. "Oh! You mean about setting up operations to help newcomers accommodate to Twisted?"
Serenity regards the two with a bit of puzzlement at first, then nods as Rayne continues to explain. "Unfortunately, Rayne," Ren remarks with a note of amusement, when the committee a century hence is deciding on the commemorative name for their civics prize, you may have to share the name with Sunset."
Rayne winks at Sunset. "Bingo! Got it in one. It came up in conversation, and Kotal's okay with this being at least temporarily under TASK, with the intention of separating out once other plans come into play." She frowns slightly. "Actually, he seemed kinda shocked when I mentioned it being separate from TASK, but I pointed out that's kinda outside of TASK's mission. Buuuut, it works as a cludge to get it off the ground." She glances at Ren as she mentions the civics prize. "Oh, like I'll care who they name some award after. In a century I'll probably be off being a pirate or something. You never know what the future brings, after all. But last night kinda made me realize... I was probably wrong to discourage you from leaving TASK." She looks down at her hands with a frown. "It was selfish of me. I could just... feel the uncomfortableness rolling off you when Erron tried to hand you that grenade."
Sunset shrugs her shoulders a little. "I wouldn't say it's entirely outside TASK's mission, since in a way it is helping protect Twisted by helping reduce the uncomfortable nature of integration which would potentially lead to trouble. But it's not something the people that have to focus on fighting off things like the mist monsters or those not wishing to reform need to be worrying about as well. But that's besides the point," Sunset finishes with a smile. "I would be more than happy to pool our efforts into the project instead of trying to do it individually. Really, working together makes it even more of an example of what we're trying to accomplish!"
"Hh... I forgot for a moment. Naming an organization after a living person is poor form," Ren acknowledges. Ren motions out to the sides as Rayne remarks on the training, then nods as Sunset clarifies. "To be precise," Ren points out to Rayne after Sunset finishes, "you were not so much convincing me to remain in TASK as convincing me to remain in this job that makes use of my diplomatic skills... as opposed to, say, giving ballet lessons to preschool children." Ren motions toward Sunset and continues, "As Sunset pointed out, it's not entirely illogical to have such a job position in TASK." Ren adds for Sunset, "Mind you, I'm not terribly happy about the lack of separation of powers in theory. But integration is something that needs to happen somehow, and I'm pleased to help with it."
Rayne taps a finger on her chin as Sunset and Ren make their points. "Hrm. Well, I'd not thought about it that way, I'll admit. But I'm glad you're not slighted by it... and that we're forming at least a branch that's decidedly in need of diplomatic abilities far over being in need of fighting abilities." She breathes out a sigh of relief, hunching over briefly before straightening up again. "So it sounds to me like you're in then, Sunny?" She offers the former pony a bit of a grin. "Then I suppose we can actually get this particular ball rolling soon!"
Sunset holds out her arms. "I am so in if I didn't know it would make you uncomfortable I would give you a big hug right now~"
Serenity dips the snout to Rayne and smiles enthusiastically. "Excellent!" Ren glances to Sunset and the Rayne at the latter remark, then extends a damp pair of fins from the forcefield, aiming to pat Sunset on the back and arm. "I'll take that," Ren adds cheerfully, "while Rayne can take some of the credit." Ren then adds, "Now, I suppose we should start trying to figure out who is going to require the most convincing to contribute to this plan."
Rayne recoils ever so slightly as her smile gets a little weaker. "Ehhh.. And I thank you for your holding back... no offense." She's always worried that people might take her social anxiety personally. She breathes out a sigh, calming her nerves back to normal. "Um, Yeah! So now we need to... um, plan... and stuff." She's clearly not thought this through as much as she should have. "Well, uh, we don't need to convince Kotal. He seemed on board with the plan... including pulling you into this from your current TASK work, Ren." Finally, Rayne takes a seat at the bar, and puts a hand to her forehead. "Okay, I'll admit it... I was kind of hoping you'd already been making some plans that we could more or less use, Sunset. Because I'm really bad with the detail work."
Sunset smiles a bit at Rayne as she gives the portion of Ren extended from her water pillar a gentle hug with her arm. "It's okay. I'm use to dealing with Fluttershy's timidness, I can handle you wanting your personal space." Then she lets go of Ren's 'limb' and shrugs the guitar off her back to let it rest against the bar, so she can get at her bag. "Well not fully fleshed out plans per say, but I've got a few ideas based of previous and current experience." Eventually she pulls out a notebook. "If nothing else I know what I did wrong with my first dimensional hop and things that would of made the transition easier."
Serenity slides in between the seats as Rayne seats herself. Ren kneels a bit to match her height. With her assurance about Kotal, Ren nods, then looks curiously to Sunset. "I think that 'what not to do' is an excellent place to start. I'm sure that if we went about surveying residents, we'd find no shortage of material for that." Ren motions toward her. "But what do you have for yourself?"
Rayne looks over her shoulder and orders a plate of chicken tenders and a plate of cheese sticks from the bartender. "I guess that's something we can have in a handout or something... a list of dos and don'ts, so to speak. Hrm." She ponders for a moment, tapping the side of her chin with a finger. "I suppose we should probably conduct some interviews or something? Ask people what was difficult to adapt to in Twisted, what was easy? Maybe different guides for different technology levels that people come from? Like... People from worlds like Casdy or Dorian, they're not familiar with electricity, even." She groans and puts a hand to her head again. "Oh, man. What did I get myself into?"
"Customs. Social conventions." Sunset runs a hand back through her hair idly. "Good grief, the stories I could tell about having to learn about being human. Granted, I was trying to do it by myself and not reveal that I was from a different dimension, but the general idea is the same. Social differences is probably one of the biggest and most different obstacles people are going to directly face. Especially if they come from a world where certain things considered 'right' or 'wrong' could be vastly different." She waggles a finger a finger at Rayne. "No, no, that's a good one! I was in a similar boat for a while too, Equestria doesn't have things like computers and telephones that fit in your pocket and such."
Serenity adds an order of the uncooked and unbreaded sort of cheese stick after Rayne's order. "I expect that the form of the orientation will itself need to vary based on the person," Ren remarks to Rayne. "For example, I don't suppose -though I could be mistaken- that new residents who were illiterate in their native language can automatically read. But I agree about the interviews." Ren nods at Sunset's addition. "We can't so much teach specific social customs, since they vary, but teach a method for dealing with unfamiliar customs. Coming from a relatively homogeneous society myself, I can attest to the difficulty of picking up 'sociological imagination' for the first time." Ren then offers to Rayne, "Perhaps the first order of business is to find someone who thinks organizing educational research is a fun hobby?"
Rayne nods to Sunset as the food arrives. "Exactly." She motions to the plates, inviting her to have some appetizers. "We need to explain some of the most basic of what we consider social norms. While organized duels to the death are... legal here, they're kind of looked down on, and just attacking someone without warning is gonna get you in trouble." She munches on a chicken finger for a moment before adding, "We also need to make sure people know that there are a lot of people here that are much more dangerous than they look. Sure, Kotal looks almost as dangerous as he is, but Flandre..." She shudders slightly.
"Thanks" Sunset takes one of the tenders and takes a few bites out of it. Might look odd to those than know she was once a very vegetarian pony, but with how long she's spent in a human body in a human world that doesn't even occur to her anymore. That or maybe she's making a visual reference to how well a little adaptation can work out. "Things like that yes. Ren's right about not being able to cover every little nuance, but we can cover the generals and things that are universally specific to Twisted to make the integration process more smooth."
Serenity nods thoughtfully at Rayne's observation about social norms. Ren reaches over with a pair of fin edges to take the delivered plastic-wrapped cheese stick and offer thanks to the server. "You make a good point about norms. I wouldn't want to oversell the diversity by suggesting that there is no hope of agreeing with one's neighbor on right and wrong behavior. The very fact that this is a town and is not a monoculture will clearly rule out some customs." Ren frowns at the mention of Flandre. "Flandre offers a good test case for the methods that we are developing," Ren offers optimistically.
Rayne says, "Well, yeah. The generals we can cover with documentation, but the specifics, that's what we'd need counselors for. I'm not going to pretend we can automate this." She sighs as Ren keeps Flandre in the conversation. "I suppose you're right. She hasn't actually tried to kill me since the first time we met. But I'd still rather not be the one to deal with her... I don't do well with children. I get headaches way too easily around them."
Sunset flips a few pages and then jots in her notebook, leaving the half eaten tender cocked out the corner of her mouth while her hands are free. While she's not the excessive organizer either of the Twilights she's known are, she knows well enough to take notes and keep her information straight. Politely she waits until she's done writing and reclaims the remains of the tender from her mouth before speaking. "That would be the best way to go about it during and after the 'first contact' as many sci-fi shows put it. Documentation for the general ins and outs, and cover topics more specific to the individual or individuals on a case to case basis from there. Easier to find and deal with specifics with the general needs dealt with quickly."
"I'll not invite you to my preschool ballet class after we're all replaced by professionals," Ren remarks to Rayne with an amused tone. Ren nods to Sunset's summary. "Speaking of professionals, however, I think that we are in dire need of suitably-trained mental health professionals. The alternative? " Ren motions to Rayne. "I'm reminded of the 'treatment' that Morgana received. While it may have succeeded that time, it could have ended very badly. And more importantly, the solution was not a civilized one."
Rayne says, "Well, I'm glad we've gotten this up and running!" She pops a cheese stick in her mouth, munches for a bit, and swallows. "So now I just need to talk to Kotal about having an office set up for this... And we're gonna need a name."
Sunset nods her head. "Finding an actual professional or two in that field would be a good idea. If we can find one that can take all the weirdness that would go with the job... I hadn't even gotten to considering names." Having finished the tender between comments she helps herself to a cheese stick as well. Then picks up the guitar from next to the bar. "I should go return this to the music shop I rented it from before it gets too late. See you gals later?"
"A temporary name and temporary office," Ren suggests. "Let's not be distracted by the choice of paint color from making the important decisions." As Sunset excuses herself, Ren gives an inquisitive look to the instrument before saluting with the still-unopened package. "Certainly!"