|A New Path for the Avatar?|
The door to the nearby convenience store is pushed open from the inside, and, to no surprise to anyone due to the transparent nature of said door, Rayne steps out, a canned beverage residing in her hand. It would take a closer look and familiarity to the brand name to know just what kind of beverage this is, but from the light yawn she expresses as she pulls the tab on the top to open the can, it's likely caffeinated... possibly heavily. She pauses along her way as she takes a swig of said drink, then looks around as the can is lowered. Of course she notices Naga, and thus Korra. It's hard to miss a giant polar bear dog walking down the street, even in Twisted. She gives a light wave to Korra, but doesn't vocalize a greeting: Rayne still isn't quite sure of Korra's attitude towards her, as the Avatar has shown some animosity towards TASK in the past.
The Avatar and her dog both glance sideways as a door opens next to them. This place is also surprisingly small and a person and a giant polar bear dog can't walk on the sidewalk without having some problems navigating. Naga and Korra both side-step to give Rayne some room to maneuver. The girl then tilts her head in recognition at Rayne as she sleepily waves at her. Its all so surreal still that everyone acts so non-chalant about being around her. Korra guesses that it's because everyone here is so jaded about the strangeness of everything that they just don't care. Everything feels so dreary and glum, even the cops looked bored out of their mind. Korra does have some animosity to TASK. She just plain doesn't like their warmongering leader. That's not to say she holds every policeman in a bad light though. She smiles and returns Rayne wave. "Good afternoon, officer. Slow day?"
Rayne says, "Nngg? Yeah, sure. Most are. 'Long hours of boredom punctuated by brief moments of terror,' as they say. Fog monsters seem quieter of late, and I've not seen the demons from Dorian's universe show up since they last cracked a hole in reality a month ago." She takes a swig of the drink. "And so I'm working on that welcome center thing, which isn't exactly exciting work, even if it's for the better good later on." She shrugs. "How've you been? Find where you want to be yet?" She then covers her mouth for another yawn. "Sorry, I'm not exactly at my best at the moment."
Fog monsters and demons? Now this is something that piques Korra's interests. She almost makes a disappointed pout when Rayne says that she hasn't seen those things in a while. The Avatar understands though that a world that doesn't need the Avatar is one that is full and peace and harmony, so its probably for the best. She wouldn't go as far to say that Twisted is such a place though, only less chaotic than she first gave it credit for. "Sounds like you're more a soldier than a cop." Korra smiles with furrowed eyebrows. "Is it always feast or famine around here?" Korra didn't need to fight horrors from the X dimension to keep herself entertained, a shop lifter or some gang members would do. "No, not really." The Avatar shrugs as she's asked if she's found her lot in life here. "I've been wandering and brushing on my forms for the most part." Its depressing, she's had purpose and a destiny all her life as the Avatar and here she finds that she's just another brick in the wall. "Sorry, would you rather I leave you alone?"
Rayne shakes her head. "No, no... I could use the pull away from the paperwork side of things. But... Yeah. With the fog demons being much more quiet of late, we do have pretty long periods without much happening recently. Honestly, it's kinda nice. I wiped myself out the last time we had something like that happen." She takes another swig of her drink before she finally responds to the soldier comment with a bit of a frown, looking down at her drink. "I suppose TASK is a bit militaristic at the moment. I'd like to change that perception... well, reality, really. But I don't have police experience prior to Twisted, so I don't really know how it's supposed to be, other than we should have a proper court system and detectives and stuff." She looks back up to Korra with a sigh and a shrug. "But hopefully we can do something about that in the future."
Korra supposes she can't judge. Normally she'd be up in arms about a place that has such oppressive form of keeping the law but she truly doesn't know what Twisted faces in a regular basis. She's never fought against these fog monsters or demons and so she must take Rayne's information at face value. Its not like she doesn't trust the rainbow haired police officer anyway. In fact, she has to wonder how Rayne ended up there to begin with. "What drove you to work for TASK anyway? You seem far too level headed to work for someone like Kotal."
Rayne says, "What got me to work there?" She sighs and leans against the side of the building, pondering the question and how to answer it. She taps at the masonry with her free hand for a moment as she collects her thoughts. "Well, let's see. My first experience with Kotal was significantly less violent than yours. I'd just been punched through to Twisted... and I mean that more or less literally, as one moment I was in the woods on Cevernal fighting a crazed Tuuk and when he punched me in side of the head I was here... I was in a bit of a daze. Like, possibly concussed. Morgana- that would be the siren woman you met, by the way- took me to Devil May Cry to get me help."
The rainbow haired girl smiles lightly, recalling what she was able to of her brief concussion. "Kotal healed me and gave me a fresh cooked meal." She then frowns. "And set me up on a fight to the death with the crazed Tuuk in a week's time." She then shrugs. "So... I saw his kinder side when I first met him... But he's less the reason I joined than Serenity. In that week or so before the duel, I'd made friends... and enough worked there that I wanted to join up as well to help them." She scratches at the side of her head, recalling something else. "When I first showed up, Kotal wasn't the Director. It was some other guy... Dante, I think? I thought I was going to be talking to him when I went in to talk about a job, but he had to go or something and Kotal had taken his place." She tilts her head, looking back up to Korra again. "So... long story short... Ren worked there. I kinda wanted to work where she did."
That leaves Korra with a lot of unanswered questions. What's a Tuuk? What's the Devil May Cry agency? And who is Dante? Korra frowns and struggles to keep up with that unrelenting stream of information that she unleashed from Rayne. She shouldn't be surprised though since a question like that would involve a lengthy answer that from the sound of it dates back to the very first day when Rayne arrived to Twisted. "Why did this Dante guy leave?" Korra asks and scratches the back of her head. "It sounds me like the classic tale of a level headed guy leaving and letting his power hungry assistant take control of everything." She does recall Kotal trying to heal her after their fight- but there's just no way around it, Korra simply doesn't like that war god at all. He rubs her in all the wrong ways. "Ren is that jelly fish person that walks around in a water bubble right?" She attempts to remember that meeting by the beach. "How did she ended up working there!? The more I learn about TASK the less sense it makes."
Rayne deadpans, "While I never met Dante, by all evidence I saw, Kotal is actually the more level headed one. Really, the amount of pizza boxes... we didn't clear them out for a week." She shakes her head. "I don't know the details, but I've heard he's around again and... doesn't particularly care? I dunno. Something tells me he never wanted the job to begin with." A shrug comes next. "Honestly, I've never asked Ren why she first started... Huh." This is apparently a new revelation to her, as well. It's just not something she'd thought about. "I don't know where you get this idea that Kotal is power hungry from, though. He just wants to fight things, really."
The Avatar arches a bewildered eyebrow when Rayne tells her all that. Guess she could put her theory to rest that Kotal had secretly assassinated the previous TASK director to raise to power. She can only assume how the last director was if Kotal can be considered sensible in comparison to him. From what Rayne is telling her she's guessing that this Dante must have been some kind of slob. "Okay." She sighs sounding disappointed for some reason. She really wanted to have a legitimate reason to don't like Kotal and liking to fight wasn't nearly enough for her. The Avatar knows that she's been guilty of partaking in violence far too much for her to judge other people that like doing that. "I don't know, I guess.. I feel like I'm assuming a lot." Korra brushes her face. "There's just so many things I don't know and I feel utterly lost."
Rayne says, "Well... That's... Something we're trying to work on, actually. For now it's going to be a branch of TASK, but we're working on an agency to help people like you. That feel lost... I'm lucky, I suppose, in that I'm able to adapt to things remarkably fast... But everyone recognizes that not everyone's like that. Some people need help, so we're trying to create a place to get that help." She then frowns, hanging her head apologetically. "Unfortunately, we're really not ready yet, so we'll... be a little late for your needs, I'm afraid." She frowns, looking up and down the street, clearly not seeing what... or who she would like to see. "Ren or Sunset might be able to help you more naturally than me. I'm kinda in over my head, I sometimes think."
"I used to think that I was surprisingly adaptable too." Korra sighs as she continues to spiral into what may very well be depression. She feels out of balance with nothing to do and it's starting to considerably affect her. After all, she used to be something not unlike a super-hero, and she's finding that she's only a dime a dozen around her. "I guess I never imagined I would end up in a place like this." Another depressed sigh and she leans on the warm side of her giant polar bear dog trying to find some means of comfort. "Too bad about your organization, I would have been your first client."
Rayne raises a hand slightly with a look of trepidation. Maybe she can overcome her anxiety to comfort the lost feeling new arrival? But no, alas. Rayne sighs again and hangs her head in self-defeat as her hand drops down to her side again. The end result of this is just Rayne feeling worse as well. Still, she needs to try at least verbally, right? "Okay, well... let me see what I can do to help? I'm not going to be as good as Ren or Sunny, but... I suppose I need to learn. I just have to apologize that you're going to end up a test subject for me, because no one really deserves that. Do you want to talk over a cup of coffee or something, see what I might be able to do?" Forget what she was going to do for work today... This is more important than reviewing regular patrol reports! This is training! Er... helping someone in need? Hopefully both!
Pity, Korra really looked like she could use a hug. Even Naga whined a little as she felt the Avatar's sadness at her own impotence and Korra sighed while she hugged her own arms defensively. If she weren't the Avatar and still felt like she had some shred of dignity left, Korra would probably flop on the ground and curl into a ball in that very moment. "Something is better than nothing, right?" Korra gives the rainbow haired officer a sad smile and stops leaning on Naga for support. "Sure, I could use some coffee. Do you have a place in mind?" She ran a hand over her hair and looked around with eyes full of dread. "All the places around here have really messed up names. Coffe of Doom, Eat or Die. I thought Kotal named them."
Rayne says, "Nnnnno, those were around here before Kotal, actually. I... usually avoid those places, myself. I was thinking the Usual Restaurant, actually. Nothing fancy, but it's doable." She smiles at the darker skinned woman. "Come on, it'll be my treat, and you can vent out your problems so I can attempt to... do something about them." She frowns again, her own words not exactly instilling herself with confidence. But then she straightens herself up, trying to look good and proper to a client! "Have you been there before?" she asks as she starts taking steps towards the place in question."
"No, I don't think I have." Korra frowns again and looks up with a more hopefully look in her eyes. A place like the Usual Restaurant doesn't sound too bad, its almost comforting in a way. It always conveys a heavy amount of irony which Korra is starting to learn is to be expected around here. This small amount of hope that lights within her seem to give her enough confidence to think that not everything is lost and she decides to take up Rayne's offer. "Sure, let's go. Lose nothing by trying right?" She gives a cynical laugh. "Worst case scenario I'll just be depressed again."
Rayne laughs a bit nervously. "Yyyy, no. Let's try to avoid that. Um... Pardon if I don't offer a hand to guide you, but, uh... It's my problem." She sighs, deflating a bit as she motions Korra onward.
Naga has no problem staying outside, that's what she usually does whenever Korra enters these sort of establishments anyway. Korra looks around and gives a shrug. "I've had no reason to be here." No friends and used to forage and hunt for food, Korra thought that her time was better spent roaming the streets looking for adventures that never came. Finally getting fend up with her own sadness the Avatar takes a deep breath and follows Rayne more closely towards the table and sitting down with a more determined look. "Okay, let's do this." She settles in on her seat and stares at Rayne. "Inspire me." No pressure, right?
The neon-marked mollusc (Yes, on this side of the bridge, it's a small enough city to have only one) meanders from the dance floor. Pouring through the opened door, Ren loses even the vague semblance of a human dancer maintained by wrapping up in the fins like loose clothing and by pinching inward at neck and waist level. Rather, Ren spills out fully-flared aquamarine undulatory fins and takes one last spin. No, a human shouldn't bend that way, nor have obliques in front, but a giant slug in a shifting column of suspended seawater isn't likely to be mistaken for one anyway. Apparently Ren's looking for a rest from the rumba (or whatever it is they're doing in there) and slips out into the restaurant floor. It's fairly soon thereafter, though, that Ren spots Rayne, and flashes a flared 'wing' from the water a tooth-free smile to her and her companion.
That determined look and demand to inspire makes Rayne's face pale slightly. Really, she was hoping to take to a more management system in this, hoping to have others be the actual counselors... but no, the plan was now to have everyone on that position at least part time. So she takes a deep breath to attempt to calm her nerves and steps around to the chair opposite Korra's, taking a seat there. "J-just to make sure you know, we're really not ready yet, and we've... I've had no real training in this... So I apologize in advance." Well, this is off to a great start.
Really, it's an absolute blessing in Rayne's mind when Serenity makes her appearance. "Ren!" she calls out as the dancer waves. The relief on Rayne's face is almost tangible as she motions her coworker over. "Hey, I've just been trying... I mean... We've not started the center up officially yet, but, uh, we still have a need to fill, right? So, I'm, uh, attempting... Can you help me out in helping Korra?" It's kinda sad... she's almost begging. The rainbow haired woman is so far out of her comfort zone that she looks on the edge of breaking down.
Yes, it looks like they're off to a great start already. Rayne's stuttering only causes Korra to stare at her even more fiercely. It's been so long since she's felt any reason to be alive that she was really hoping this counseling session would work out. She had half a mind to jump over the table and tackle Rayne to get a decent speech out of her right until the well timed entrance of Serenity. The Avatar glances sideways and sees the very colorful form of the talking sea slug, making her feel more at ease for some reason. Its hard to to explain why really, maybe just the sight of something so colorful and pretty calmed emotions. Like how classical music tames wild beasts. Korra exhales her frustration out and settles in her chair to give Serenity an expectant look.
Serenity regards Rayne with a puzzled expression in response to her plea. "Hello..." Ren rasps to the two while rippling over to the side of the table. Ren 'kneels' there in such a way to match heights with them, gill-feathers settling as the currents of fins are reduced. "I suppose that I'm not so fortunate as to find you in need of a symbolic analysis of some choreography?" Ren responds with a note of amusement, looking to Korra. "But what is it that I can do for you?"
Rayne actually skoots her chair back an inch in retreat as Korra's expression increases in fierceness. "U-uh... No, we, um... We have someone in need of help with... what we're trying to do. I just... I fear I'm not sure how to do this, still, so I need your help on this front." Give Rayne a breached hull or a pile of paperwork or a horde of monsters to deal with any day and she can do it professionally. Helping people in a more emotional way? Sure, she might be able to pull it off if she's not thinking about it it, but now that there's a real pressure, she's just feeling at a loss on it. "Just because we're not properly set up doesn't mean we can just ignore people, right?"
Korra wasn't exactly glaring daggers at Rayne, it just looked like she was very hopeful about her ability to help with her problem and in the event that didn't happen, the Avatar was probably going to resort to headbutting. Which perhaps mean she was staring daggers at her on second thought. Korra decides not to question why a police officer seems to be at such a complete loss of what to do when in a social setting. In fact, that's part of the reason why Korra asked Rayne earlier what motivated her to work at TASK. The Avatar felt that Rayne was very introverted and that didn't normally translate to policing. She lets that be for now, instead for once focusing on her own problems. "Hi there!" She waves to Serenity with a happy smile. She still couldn't explain why the sea slug's presence made her smile but she wasn't minding the sensation at all. "Basically, I feel like crap and I've been super depressed ever since I got stuck in Twisted." To give the Avatar some credit, she has a very direct way of communicating. "Rayne mentioned that talking about my problems would help me out."
Serenity still looks a bit confused after Rayne's explanation, but does nod to her in confirmation. Ren then looks to Korra for further information. "Mind you, I'm not myself a counselor of any sort by training," Ren says, motioning an upturned fin edge and towards her. "But I would be happy to listen all the same." Ren says more somberly, "I happen to think that depression is a perfectly reasonable response to a possibly permanent kidnapping." Ren extends a pair of fins from the water to offer her a damp pat on the arm. "It's not true for many arrivals that this world is better than theirs. But let's work out a plan to improve what we can."
Rayne lets out a breath, trying to ease her own tension. "Yes... We aren't true therapists... it's not our place to help in that way..." It sounds more like she's talking to herself than to Korra. "But we can listen, and offer our own insights. And right now... we can order some coffee. How do you take yours, Korra?" She motions a Skutter over to their table, ordering a cappuccino for herself when it arrives. "If what's causing your depression is something we can help with, we'd love to try to solve the problem... But if it's a deeper problem, we'll have to find someone properly trained to help you."
All Korra really needed was someone she could vent anyway. Although a pat on the arm and a coffee helped. "I'll have mine black." No nonsense and straight to the problem as usual. Korra didn't usually dealt with emotional roller-coasters. She liked to think that she was a pretty level headed gall. After all, she's supposed to be the pinnacle of balance in all things. That's probably why whenever she actually did have emotional problems it hit her with the force of a ton of bricks to the face. It bears to keep in mind that despite being the Avatar, Korra is still a very young girl. "Well, let's see.." She leans her elbow on the table and rests her chin on her open palm. "I guess I've just felt useless lately. I don't have anything to do, and I really don't want to join TASK. No offense to you both but I think it would really cramp my style." Another sigh follows, this one sounding truly heartfelt. "I also really miss my friends. Especially Asami. I.. I think.." Korra looks down and twirls her finger on one of her side tails. "I think something was going to happen between us." She begins to blush. "You know what I mean. Um, do you know what I mean?"
Serenity nods at Rayne's explanation before looking attentively to Korra for explanation. Ren remains quiet while she speaks, fin edges just slightly rippling to maintain the position by the table. "Something like a romantic relationship?" Ren supposes in reply to her question. "I came here after saying my farewells for the long trip that I had actually intended to take. But it still upsets me that I can't even send a message to my family," Ren relates, motioning out to the sides. "I think that you have alluded to an important part of coping, though. Good cheer won't alleviate depression, but altruism might. We should find some way in which you can help the town, without regard for whether those helped will show you any gratitude."
Rayne says, "No offense taken, Korra. I understand completely that some people prefer to not have that kind of structure and rank and file and whatnot." She tilts her head at the mention of Asami, and Korra's physical reactions to bringing her up. "Yeah... Yeah, I think I do." She then blinks, snapping out of her own thoughts and nodding at what Ren says. "Or maybe you can turn this on its head... This is an opportunity to learn more about yourself. You've always been in that... Avatar role in your world, right? Now you have the chance to be something else. Something more."
The rainbow haired woman motions towards the door with a broad, sweeping gesture of her arm. "Out there is a world of endless new possibilities. You can take your time and look into brand new ways to find a purpose! The day before I was punched into Twisted, I would have laughed if someone told me I was going to be second in command of a city's police force in less than a year. That I was going to be considered for the city's council. But here I am, just that. I'm not the mechanic I used to be, I'm not the housewife I once was. Not the aimless wanderer running from her past I was on Cevernal, nor the wannabe bounty hunter I was as a child." As the small robot returns with their coffee orders, Rayne picks both cups up and places the cup of black coffee on the table in front of Korra. "If you pride yourself on your ability to fight, and want to help people that way... I can't give you a solution. I only fought to defend anyone but myself and my friends once before coming here... I don't know the best way to do it."
Korra is glad that Serenity did get it and she nods quietly while she continues to avert her gaze. "Yeah.." She bites her lips and avoids looking at anyone's eyes or rhinofores. The girl briefly considers clarifying to the others that this Asami person is also a girl though she decides that is ultimately irrelevant in their situation. She also remembers that none of it may matter at all since she may never see her again and that really depresses her. "At least you got to say goodbye." She stares down sadly until her coffee is finally brought. It looks like Rayne also got quite inspired all of the sudden. She sips her coffee quietly and stares at the rainbow haired police officer and how she explains her raise to something else far greater that she was before. Korra eyes her expectantly as she seems about to suggest a new path for her "Yes?" Only to sigh when Rayne admits that she really has no idea. "Huh.." The Avatar, if she can even call herself that anymore, scratches the back of her head and chugs on her coffee. "Maybe.." She starts to say "Maybe I can just forget about everything. I embraced my duty as the Avatar because I didn't feel like I had a choice. Maybe here I can just be a normal girl for once." Yeah, this might work. "You know, I always wanted to go to a normal school. Is there one here?"
Serenity offers Rayne a smile at her dramatic gesture, then looks on intently as she speaks of herself. Ren then looks thoughtful as Korra responds. "And I am employed by TASK, but certainly not to analyze the security implications of someone choosing a waltz over a circle dance," Ren adds with a note of amusement. "Oddly enough," Ren replies, "Twisted City does in fact have a school, though I suspect that those in Neo-Edo would be better staffed." Ren motions toward Korra and says, "While you may not have a different job title and responsibilities, this doesn't mean that you need to give up your identity altogether. Make sure that reinvention is sustainable, of course."
Rayne shakes her head. "No one gets to say good bye to the people they left behind. As far as I'm aware, no one is aware that they're about to arrive here. I find myself lucky that I've been able to find friends here that rival those I left behind. If I had the opportunity to return to where I came from, knowing that I'd never be here again... I don't know if I'd go back anymore." She then offers a smile. "Though I can tell you that it is quite often that when one person arrives here... it's quite common that more from their universe arrive as well. Kotal's... underlings arrived long after he did, as an example." She raises a finger in warning, however. "But those coming through might not be friends, so be aware of that." She then nods at Serenity's points. "The school was actually where I first ran into you. Ikuto, the guy you two chased up that tree, is a student there."
To think that someone could be so at home here that they would have to consider having the opportunity to leave. Korra was not at that stage, nor could she imagine herself ever being at that stage, definitely not now. But it did give her hope. The hope of knowing that she's not the only one in this situation, and that there are others like her that were lost and found themselves here. If they could do it, surely she could do it as well. "Okay, let's give this a try." She gives a determined smile and clenches her fist. Maybe if she really started to make herself at home her friends would come too. Maybe she could see Asami again! Not everything was lost! "Oh, so that was the school?" Korra asks looking a little sheepish. "Well, now I definitely need to go there and apologize. Might any of you help me enroll? Or maybe telling me which one to enroll to? Um, Serenity says there's another one in Neo-Edo? Where is that?"
Serenity nods at some of Rayne's hopeful words, but seems less pleased about the thought of friends, much less enemies, arriving. Ren glances to Korra as Rayne mentions chasing Ikuto. "To be fair, that is a rather intimidating mount you have," Ren mentions. Ren glances to the exit as if wondering just where it might be. "As for schools, I certainly hope that Neo-Edo has a number of them, given its size. My experience with that city has so far been limited to a trip with Rayne and Silencia. It seems rather better-organized than here, but I may be inferring too much from my limited knowledge. In any case, you should be able to register without help from us. Of course, I would still be happy to accompany you if you like."
Rayne nods enthusiastically to Ren, her relief at Korra's turnaround quite evident. "Neo-Edo is the larger city across the bridge. The relation to the city of Twisted is something that gives me a headache... It might be under the planned council? I'm not entirely sure about it. When we have the welcome center up and running proper we should have ways of signing students up from there... but for now we don't have that kind of infra-structure connection... So yes, we can take you to the school offices to sign you up for now, I think."