|The Pixie and the Legatus|
Its the weekend and that means no school. For reason though, Korra has decided to wear her sailor fuku uniform anyway simply because she enjoys the feeling it gives her. She feels she belongs somewhere at last in a place where no one expects her to save the day every time. Its very relaxing to focus on common activities for a change. So common that today she's sitting in a corner of the UR with books and papers spread around her doing some homework. Maybe that's the reason why Rayne doesn't recognize her, she looks like an average highschool student rather than the firebrand Avatar from before. Naga is by her side though since no one has complained about letting animals inside. How could they in a place like this? Some of those said animals may very well be citizens themselves. Looking up from her paperwork, Korra smiles and waves at the rainbow haired woman.
Sunset Shimmer has been running more of her survey of interests in between helping the others get the Welcome Center organized. This time she was asking about different sports and other recreational activities people are interested. Which would be why she walks out of the UR's gym, abiet looking a bit puzzled at her notes. How do you even play soccer on three dimensions -inside- a giant ball of water?? Some of these people come from very strange worlds.
Serenity slips into the Usual with a slow flow of deep blue fins and brighter body. Ren wanders over in the direction of the dance floor, apparently failing to take note of the large animal lurking. Ren does, however spot Sunset in passing. "Hello," Ren rasps cheerily, twisting to greet her. Ren then also notices Rayne behind her computer and lifts a pair of fins from the water to greet her. "There's Rayne. If one or both of you have a moment, perhaps we can speak of something related to the Welcome Center?"
Rayne blinks as Korra waves to her. Indeed, she completely doesn't recognize the high school student waving at her. As such, she returns the wave with a somewhat confused look on her face as she tries to place Korra's face. If her view of Naga weren't blocked by a table or four, the polar bear dog would have been a dead givaway, but Rayne has managed not to see her. She glances down at her computer again just in time for Sunset and Serenity to enter. It's Ren's greeting that pulls her attention back up, and she blinks in surprise as suddenly the former pony is there as well. "Uhhhh, y-yeah, sure. What's up, Ren?"
Sunset glances up from her notes when she hears a familiar greet. "Oh hello Serenity, what's up?" She also waves in Rayne's direction when Ren points out that she's here. "Hi 'boss'." She's not met Korra before... but that giant dog-bear-thing is hard to miss, and does get a bit of a look from her. That... almost looks like the sort of weird algama of critters you could see in Equestria. Weird.
Serenity starts over toward Rayne. "Yesterday, I encountered a problem of my own. I'm afraid finding a solution will be less straightforward than simple defense against an attacker," Ren relates. "Speaking of which," Ren asks, motioning the edge of a fin toward Rayne, "is everyone on the team in good health now?"
Korra purses her lips at the gathering. It looks like an official meeting that she should very well leave alone. Though Korra may look like a regular high schooler right now she's still the Avatar and a lot of that brashness remains. Korra is definitely not a shy girl by any means. Deciding she needs a break from homework anyway, she puts her things in her back pack and walks towards Rayne and her friends, Naga in tow greeting them all cheerfully. "Hey girls!"
Rayne nods as Sunset greets her, offering a slight wave in return, but frowns at the announcement of a new problem. "I'm... Yeah, I'm healthy as far as I know. What's going on, Ren?" The intesity of her look gives the impression that Rayne assuming this problem may well be a life or death situation. As the unidentified(to her anyway) highschooler approaches the group with a greeting, Rayne looks over again with a start. And of course now recognizes her, what with the added clue of her voice. Oh, and Naga being plainly visable to her, as well. "Oh... Hello, Korra. How are you doing?"
Sunset glances aside for a moment as the unfamiliar person approaches with her... is that a pet? But apparently Rayne is familiar with her so it isn't a problem. And for a moment her attention turns back to Serenity more so. "What have you got your fins full with this time?" Oh geez, that was a horrible attempt at a clever turn of phrase, isn't it?
"It seems that Flandre is making some new friends in addition to joining the high school and a part time job. Of course, that much is all very encouraging," Ren explains. As Korra calls out, Ren waves an aquamarine 'wing' in return. "Unfortnately, it seems that she still puts other sorts of people in a different moral category than her own species. We had an unproductive talk about why people 'voluntarily' selling themselves into slavery was unacceptable. I don't know if a rule against such is enforceable here." Ren 'kneels' beside Rayne's table to match her height. "But I'm particularly worried about her getting blood donations from live people. I don't know what coercion might be involved, nor whether 'eating people, but only a little bit' can ever be a safe thing."
"I'm doing pretty good." Korra flaunts her new school uniform and pulls on the straps of her book bag, clearly enjoying the look perhaps a bit too much. "Settling in with the classes. I heard a lot of horror stories before about schools in the Fire Nation and the Earth Kingdom back home, but the school here is pretty relaxed." She smirks softly and takes a moment to pay close attention to Rayne's expression and her demeanor. "What about you? No offense but you look like crap, girl. Has work been kicking your butt that bad?" Korra helps herself to a chair and sits with the chair facing in the other direction, arms resting on what is supposed to be the backside of the chair. She's got the cool trendy style of a higschooler down so far. "Are you guys having a meeting? Mind if I join?" She's kind of inviting herself already so.. "Hey there, I'm Korra. Nice to meet'cha!" The girl waves to Sunset. "Man, everyone's hair here is so pretty. I'm jealous." The Avatar goes quiet when Serenity starts talking about serious business. That definitely sounds important. The giant polar bear-dog Naga lays next to Korra and yawns lazily.
Rayne groans and leans her face into her hands, her elbows planted firmly on the table. "That little vampire is going to be the freaking death of me, I swear. If she doesn't kill me directly, it'll be by the stress of her exsistance giving me multiple heart attacks." She sighs and tilts her head upward enough to show her eyes, but her nose and mouth are still covered by her hands. "I told her that if Sae said it was okay, she could drink her blood. If she had adult supervision. We can't really deny anyone their prime source of sustinance if it can be gotten consentually. But it seems that Flandre doesn't quite comprehend... anything whatsoever about living among people without making herself a threat. We need to find her a 'guardian' that can actually deal with her."
Rayne then sighs at Korra's observation. "I've had a bad week. A very bad week." She pauses before adding more, about to say it was official business... but they're in about the most public place of all. She can't really exclude anyone. So instead she shrugs.
"That's great!" And then Ren finishes the rest of the story. "And that's not so great. But I can sympathize with how hard it can be for one to change from what they've always considered was okay to do. The best you can do for her is to keep trying. It's also a really good example of how we need to be as ready as we can to deal with what could be very different ethical and social beliefs."
With 'business' handled for the moment Sunset turns her attention elsewhere at the off-hand introduction, offering one of her hands to Korra. "Sorry, I didn't mean to ignore you while we were sorting out matters. My name is Sunset Shimmer, pleased to meet you, Korra." That's maybe a bit of an odd name. But other than the name and her blonde-streaked-crimson hair, she doesn't look anything more than an older teenager with a really thorough tan.
Serenity offers Korra a smile as she sits. "That is gills rather than hair for me," Ren corrects with a note of amusement. The seawater-soaked slug then turns a symapthetic frown to Rayne. "Have we actually medically confirmed her dietary needs? It would be easier if we could avoid the entire issue." Ren motions to Sunset with her remark on ethics. "That still doesn't solve the issues of conflicting ethical systems, though. We'll not avoid dealing with that eventually." Ren continues, "On a more practical level, perhaps it would be safer for Sae and everyone else if blood-drinkers drank from containers rather than people? Flandre has not impressed me with her abilities of self-control so far."
Korra winces at all that's going on. "Sounds rough." To both Rayne having a bad week and Serenity explaining that someone named Flandre has been running around trying enslave people. Never a dull moment in Twisted apparently. "Don't worry about it, you all are clearly busy." Korra smiles at the other pretty haired girl that isn't Rayne and shakes hands with Sunset. "Pleasure is all mine." Korra doesn't think the name is weird, she's certainly seen stranger things here so far. Korra is also far better at the hands on approach when it comes to solving things. If its beating up bad guys you can count her in. The same can't be said for fixing ethical and social issues that require critical thinking. Thus, she stays quiet while Serenity explains what the problems are. "So, this vampire person is basically like a hyped up bloodbender?" It doesn't help she doesn't know what a vampire is. They haven't gone over that in school yet.
Rayne groans again. "Flandre doesn't have an ethical system, I don't think. Maybe we should have Anne-Marie see if she can scan her and tell what exactly Flandre needs in order to survive... If we can just plain tell her 'drinking blood is bad and will get you punished' then that might stop her entirely. I can't control her the way Silencia can." She tilts her head in her hands at Korra's question. "I don't know what a bloodbender is, but Flandre is a vampire... which means she feeds on the blood of mortals and whatnot. And possibly immortals. I don't know. But she's incredibly dangerous. She's in your school, though... Have you seen a blonde girl with wings made of rainbow colored crystals and red eyes?"
Sunset hmms, rubbing her chin with one hand thoughtfully. "Does Twisted have a blood bank? Or something similar at the medical facility. Somewhere she could get blood without, y'know, biting people for it and causing harm." Even Sunset looks a wee bit squicked out by the notion of vampirism.
Serenity looks less than encouraged by Rayne's assessment of Flandre but perks up again at the mention of Silencia. "Silencia can control her? Interesting. She does have some experience with children. Education and caring, I think, would have a more lasting impact than that of simple punishment and can be supported by everyone rather than only the most powerful people." Ren nods to Sunset. "A medical setting would be a good way to distribute containers of blood, ensuring that they went only to those in need. It might also put further distance between the concepts of 'food' and 'person'." Ren motions toward Rayne. "Perhaps Anne-Marie even knows something about blood-drinkers from on-the-job experience?" Ren looks to Korra. "Do you know something that might help, too?"
"I don't think I have." Korra bites her thumb pensively. "I definitely would remember someone with that description in any of my classes. Although we do have some weird kinds at the school." Like herself for instance! Even though she doesn't look like much she can still bend all the elements and that must count for something. "A Bloodbender is a Water Bender that can control the flow of blood from others, essentially controlling all their movements. Like a puppeteer except the puppets are people." Korra grins as Ren asks her for advice. This may be her time to finally shine. "Have you tried beating her up?" She cracks her knuckles. "Nothing scares bullies like a good trashing." Because even though it didn't work when she tried to fight Kotal it still left him with a lasting impression of what she's capable. "In my experience, bullies don't go seeking fights, they want prey. If you show them that people are willing to fight back they'll leave you alone."
Rayne shrugs. "If we have a blood bank, it's at the clinic. I've not seen any posters for blood drives, though, so I can't say." She then nods to Serenity. "Flandre might be five hundred years old, but she acts very much like a child, and Silencia... has a way with children. She knows how to deal with them, where as I have always had difficulty and a lack of patience for dealing with other peoples' children. If we can get that disassociation between people and food for Flandre, that would make everything better. But we'd still need to seperate people from pets for her." She frowns, unconsciously flexing her right hand for some reason. A fast eye might even catch what looks like a leash momentarily in her hand, but it's less than a split second. She blinks as a voice coms from her communicator. "Uhh, hold on a second." She picks up the device and almost shouts into it, "No, I do not want any skulls decorating the welcome center!" She sighs, looking back to Korra. "Definitely not the same thing, Korra... and that's kind of the tactic we're trying to avoid."
Sunset just.. ahehs softly and takes a step back from Korra, rubbing the back of her head with one hand as she tends to do when she's gotten nervous or anxious. It was probably the mention of bullies and beating them up, considering her past. The OLD Sunset Shimmer as she puts it. "While that is an accurate description of most bullies' methods, I think this might be a bit more than just being a bully. Bullies do it just to make themselves feel better by making others feel worse."
"Five hundred..." Ren repeats worriedly, nodding then at Rayne's warning about the further problem. While she is dealing with Kotal, Ren answers Korra. "Hhh... using force is certainly an option, and one TASK is well equipped for already," Ren adds diplomatically to Sunset's message. "But as I was saying, I don't think it the most long-term solution. We are also quite short on people who are physically capable of 'beating up' someone of Flandre's strength." Ren looks to Rayne. "I worry about our ability to overcome many years of prior experience, though. Rayne makes a good point about the 'pet' issue being separate from the 'food' issue in some ways. Can we even forbid exploitative employment, without formally-made regulations against it? "
Korra is thankfully not very perceptive and she misses Sunset being uncomfortable by her statement. Its ironic, in another world, Korra and Sunset would have likely been enemies, particularly if we consider how the old Sunset used to be. Here though, Korra is just another girl trying to fit in the weirdness of it all and doesn't realize that her statement of bullies struck home for the humanized pony. "Okay." So beating up wasn't an option? Unless it was! Serenity seems to be at least considering it. A little surprising coming from the peaceful mollusc but Korra will take whatever opportunity she gets. "Come ooon, I can give it a go!" She flexes her surprisingly muscled biceps for a girl. The term 'young Amazon warrior' comes to mind when seeing Korra's physique. This girl is -built-. "If I stood up to Kotal I can stand up to anyone!"
The door opens casually as a pale young woman enters, floating just off the floor with one knee slightly raised. She glides in rather slowly, calmly but cautiously taking in the room. Her eyes alight on the small group within and she makes a small sound of surprise, then relief. The odd assortment of the group doesn't seem to faze her at all. "Oh, finally!" she says, her lilting voice highlighting her Irish upbringing. "Would someone be kind enough to tell me where in the hell I am?" Despite her word choice, she doesn't look anything but exasperated, floating there rather peacefully.
Honestly, Korra reminds Sunset a good deal of Rainbow Dash. Or maybe Rainbow Dash and Applejack together, considering she's got one's attitude and a physical looking build like the other. A little on the eager to fight side, but doesn't seem mean spirited in it. Sunset is just still a bit worried that her past is somehow going to come back and ruin things for her. But she does manage to get past the fluster quick enough. She was doing something el.. oh yeah, her notes. "It was nice meeting you Korra, but I should go over to the office and log my research for the night. I don't know how many of these recreational activities we can do around here, but it's a good idea of what people enjoy. I'll see you all later." With the quick excusing of herself Sunset leaves the table and walks out. Nearly bumping into someone else at the door. "Oh, excuse me!" She gives a polite apologetic nod to the girl and shuffles out the door, in too much of a hustle to notice that she was floating... or maybe she's just gotten that use to alternate locomotion means.
Rayne blinks and talks into her communicater again. "How about you change your laughter to be less evil, instead?" She then sighs and looks to the other again. "If you want to use force, then you should be consulting with Kotal. He's the force side of things, while the three of us are more the diplomatic side of things. Well, I bridge the gap, but in present company, my role is diplomatic side. If we're talking regulations..." She shakes her head. "Everything will go over my head. I do not do well with lawyering type stuff." As the floating woman enters and asks where she is, she sighs and looks to Sunset and Serenity. "Looks like it's time to work." Except no, Sunset has a need to leave. "Uh, bye, then." She shrugs and waves the floating woman over. "Come on over, we'll be glad to explain!"
Serenity frowns at Korra's suggestion but seems ready to let Rayne handle this one. As Sunset excuses herself, Ren perks rhinophores curiously at the topic of her research, then nods to her and lifts a pair of fin edges from the water to wave. The marine mollusc, mottled in alarmingly fluorescent colors, looks up again as Rayne offers an invitation. Ren has, if the rasped but cheery voice is anything to go by, quite a bit more remaining energy than the companion. Serenity lifts a 'wing' from the water to wave, folding a few lines in the pair of fins to give the vague impression of a human arm in a sleeve. "Hello," Ren calls, rippling sideways a bit to leave room between the chair and the irregular column of suspended water.
Still oblivious that she may have struck a cord or two with Sunset, Korra merely waves as the other girl with the pretty hair excuses herself. "Alright, see ya Sun!" Korra winces when Rayne mentions consulting Kotal though. She's still not exactly in good terms with him. "Um, I'll consideri it." She lies through her teeth having not intention to go talk to the Aztec any time soon. Guess she'll have to figure it out by herself. With any luck she'll run into this Flandre eventually and set her straight. We may be looking at an old fashioned school brawl if they are ever to meet. "Everything okay there, Rayne?" Korra asks as Rayne continues to yell at her very compact radio. Korra is familiar with radios but the ones she knew of where big bulky things, not things that you could put in your ear. Naga then raises her head as a floating person comes in and the Avatar follows her polar bear-dog gaze to spot the newcomer. "Hey there! Come in, take a load off."
The woman slips to the side and around the departing Sunset, then makes her way further into the room, toward the table where the occupants are. Her arms trail behind her slightly as she moves, but cross comfortably beneath her small chest as she reaches her destination. "Hey," she responds cheerfully, returning the wave with a small flutter of her left hand and a grin, before refolding her arms. She remains floating, but crosses her legs at the knee and rests in the offered space as if sitting. "Sorry to barge in, seems like you were having a moment here."
Rayne sighs and nods to Korra. "Yes, yes. Kotal is just... being Kotal again. We've been having... incidents with something called 'xenomorphs' recently..." She shudders slightly. "...Uh, and Kotal has been collecting their skulls as they're killed. Because. You know. He's Kotal. It's kind of what he does." She then turns to the approaching woman with what she hopes if a friendly smile, but manages to look more nervous than friendly. "Oh, no worries at all! I'm guessing from your question and the fact that I don't recognize you that you're new to the area! Welcome to Twisted! I'm Rayne Hurris."
Serenity frowns at Rayne's explanation, but looks over inquisitively at the new arrival's choice of seating. Now, Ren and a large volume of brackish water are also suspended over the floor, but apparently this is a less common situation among the humanoids here. Ren offers her a 'wing', extruding a portion of the fin edges and scalloping the edge of the muscular sheet to make a vague approximation of a hand shape. "You can call me Serenity," Ren offers. "We can answer your questions and, if not alleviate all your concerns, at least make sure that you have the means to deal with them."
"No need to tell me about it." Korra rolls her eyes at the very mention of Kotal Kahn. The less she knows about him the better. The Avatar instead focuses on the flying girl that floats close to their table. Naga is already sitting up to sniff at her curiously while Korra also joins in on the greetings. "I'm Korra and this my polar bear-dog Naga." Said polar bear-dog barks in greetings. "Yeah, welcome to Twisted! I hope you're ready for a wild ride, sister."
Rayne nods to her co-worker. "Ren and I here represent Twisted's Welcome Center. We're a new operation, but we're getting ourselves off the ground. So we'd be glad to help you out in any way we can!" She tilts her head slightly at the mention of hellscape and fighting demons. "No, it's no hellscape... but if you're capable of fighting demons, then that is unfrortunately a plus here. People and things just kind of... show up here from time to time, and sometimes we get whole hordes of demons or other nasties." Indeed, as Korra suggests, Rayne doesn't feel a need to explain how odd Kotal is to the Avatar.
Serenity's slightly damp grip is not strong, being supported only by boneless muscle, but Ren offers a smile in reply. "Likewise pleased to meet you." Ren adds quickly to Rayne's introduction of the town, "We do have a security force in place, which Rayne is also a part of, to ensure that such threats are resolved quickly and the people of whatever sort are protected as much as possible." Ren motions out to the sides and continues, "Now, while Twisted may be lacking some important features of civilization, it does have some comforts to offer. You can find permanently free accommodations across the street and at least temporary employment here in the restaurant."
"Oh, I kick demon ass," she says, wearing a smug half-smile, leaning toward Rayne slightly. She starts to bounce her leg against the other gently, her heavy boot wiggling in the air. She sits back up straight. "Good, good. I'll definitely take a look at that. What's around for entertainment?" she asks, reclining slightly and moving her arms to fold across her stomach.
Rayne blinks and looks at Serenity, now wondering about that herself. She's always been one to find hobbies to entertain herself, afterall. "Well... I suppose that depends on what you consider entertaining. There's the dance club just over there," she motions with her head towards the door to the dance club, "There's a beach, a park, a city that includes a mall and a red light district across the river... There's an arena if you're into that kind of thing."
Serenity glances to Rayne with the mention of fighting, then returns eyes to Chloe. With her question, Ren looks mildly surprised. "That is not generally the first thing that people ask," Ren says amiably, "but certainly a welcome question." Ren gestures a pair of fins to the side and adds, "This establishment also has a gym. This side of the strait unfortunately lacks public support for the fine arts. Twisted City has no public museum, theater, or library- you may have better luck in Neo-Edo. This town does have a bookstore, though. Some people unfamiliar with the concept may also be interested by the combination supermarket-department store."
"Heh! Right on!" Its refreshing to see someone with a little cocky attitude. Korra finds that she instantly likes this new arrival as she can certainly relate to that desire to fight against something that would otherwise scare normal people. Naga sniffs at her closely as she smells all those sweets smells about the girl. Like Korra, Naga also decides that this Chloe person is alright. "Speaking as a relative newcomer. I can tell you that Twisted city and Neo-Edo have plenty to offer when it comes to fun things to do.. all ya gotta do is find them."
"Most of that sounds great," Chloe responds. "I haven't read a good book in years." She withdraws a small, oblong, ivory cylinder from thin air. The gold leaf on the sides glitters in the light. She flips it between her fingers, manipulating it with the ease of long practice, without even glancing down at it. She grins widely at Korra, obviously of the same opinion. "Hell yeah," she says, "Just lemme know when and lead on!" Momentarily asking stilling her knife, she holds up a hand toward the Avatar, palm out.
Rayne leans back in her chair, as seemingly all questions have been answered. It's nice to have a relatively easy one... Korra was much more difficult to deal with, afterall. She turns to look at Serenity. "You know... we've not actually used the office yet. We go through the trouble of setting up an office, decorating and furnishing... and we always seem to work from the Usual Restaurant." Not that they've had much of a chance to use the office yet... it's only been open a few days.
Serenity smiles at Korra and Chloe's enthusiasm. Rayne's observation gets a nod. "It may see more use if we need to help a large number of people at once or to privately counsel someone who needs a quiet environment." Ren then 'blinks' eyes inward at the sudden appearance of the knife. "Given the wide diversity of universes from which people come," Ren mentions, recovering quickly, "do remember that some of the technologies or magics familiar to one person might surprise another. Likewise, what counts as threatening or friendly may vary, so I do advise tolerance and patience."
Of course, Korra realizes that she hadn't actually shaken Chloe's hand and goes to fix that post haste. The Avatar's grip is strong as one might expect from her physique. While she doesn't really play those dominance games of tightening the grip in a hand shake to show off how strong she is, Korra does give Chloe a firm one as a sign that she's open to new friendships. Still grinning she glances up at the knife that Chloe brings forth. "Nice!" The Avatar then glances at Rayne and Serenity. "Well, we could go there right now. Give the newbie a tour?"
Chloe shakes Korra's hand in the same manner as she did Ren's, though she pumps a few more times before letting her hand go. She turns back to Serenity and nods solemnly, showing she understands. "Thanks. Been told I'm a little, and I quote, so pardon my French - 'cavalier with that damn magic o' yers,'" she says in a bad impersonation of a thick-accented Irish man. "I'll keep it in mind." She waves her hand and the object vanishes again. "I'd be fine with going, though I know I'll have more questions later."
Rayne blinks, looking around between everyone around. "Um, sure. I guess a tour around Twisted wouldn't be bad. I've not done this exactly before... Have you, Ren?" She turns to look at her co-worker. "I guess it's something that we should have as a normal thing..."
Serenity smiles encouragingly to Chloe. With Korra's question, Ren glances to Rayne. "A tour of the Twisted City? No, I haven't tried to make a complete tour with anyone, though I have taken people to a specific spot on occasion." Ren adds with a grin, motioning to Rayne, "Now, it wouldn't be practical to tour everything, as you said that the offshore forest would be a bit cold for you at this time of year."
"I know how that can be." Adds Korra once she recognizes a fellow White Knight. No shame there! A place like this certainly needs all the vigilantes it can get and despite how friendly she is with Rayne and Serenity, Korra still keeps a lot skepticism whenever she has to deal with TASK. "Hey guys, let's take it easy. How about just the Welcome Center for now? Then we can let Chloe decide where else she'd like to go."
The half-pixie 'stands,' still hovering the barest inch off the floor. "I'm all for taking a look around, I wasn't very thorough before, and I didn't really see much before I found you guys," she says, jerking her head quickly and popping a few vertebrae in her neck. "Lead on whenever you're ready."
Rayne finally closes up her laptop and stands up. "Well, then... I guess we should be off, then, shouldn't we? If you'd follow me, I'll lead the way!" With that, she starts heading for the doorway.
Serenity nods in reply to Korra's suggestion, also shifting to a fully vertical stance. Ren ripples aquamarine fins gently in the water to flow around the table and hold the position for a moment while everyone heads out. "I should warn you that the TASK building is beyond the fighting arena, which the ruler has confusingly enough named City Hall." Ren regards Chloe a moment. "But you did say that you had some combat experience."
The doorway to the Welcome Center opens, and in it walks Rayne, followed by Serenity and Chloe; Korra had remembered that she unfortunately still had homework to do. Behind the receptionist counter is, oddly enough, what appears to be a soldier. Well, more accurately, it's a TASK officer. He blinks as the trio enter, and immediately lowers his feet from the desk. No one was supposed to be here for a few hours yet! "Ah, uh, Lieutennant Hurris! You're early!" he says, quickly getting back up to his feet. Well, at least he'd not fallen asleep on the job... but that was likely due to the fact that he was also watching the TV.
Rayne sighs and shakes her head. "No worries, Tom, we just have a new convergence that we came across." She steps into the center of the waiting room and turns around to face the other two. "Welcome to our Welcome Center." She blinks and frowns. "Damnit, that just sounds weird."
Chloe laughs quietly, and as much as it is a cliche, it's a musical sound. "Yeah," she agrees, "it does. But it's still appreciated." She looks around the room with approval. "Nice place," she says, bobbing her head appreciatively. "Can't say it's missing much."
Serenity flows into the lobby, sliding sideways and backwards from the entrance while continuing to face Rayne and Chloe. Ren gives the officer a wave of a 'wing' and continues the motion into a helical twisting and a single spin on a vertical axis. A spine shouldn't bend like that, but fortunately Ren doesn't have one. Serenity straightens out afterward to attentively watch Chloe's reaction to the office. "I take it, then, that you are accustomed to television and mass production?" Ren surmises, then motions a pair of fins toward her feet. "I meant to ask- Is the floating the result of technology, magic, or nature?"
Rayne says, "Thanks... It's kind of a work in progress, so we could use all the feedback we can get. Like I said, you're the first newcomer to actuall see the office." She frowns, looking away and shivering slightly. "...Unless you count the xenomorphs. Which I don't."
The half-pixie nods in answer to Ren's first question, then grins widely. She gets to show off. "Back up a smidge and I'll show you," she says, waiting for them to clear the area immediately around her person. "Not too far, I just don't wanna hit any of you nice people in the face with an arm." That done, she lets both her legs hang slack for a moment, allowing her arms to join them in dangling from her body. She then whips both arms up in semicircles to a raised position over her head, her jade-colored eyes glowing with a subtle light. At the same moment, wings appear on her back. Shaped like a butterfly, they are insubstantial; ethereal, iridescent things that look more like a gossamer decoration than actual flight-capable limbs. "A little of the last two," she says after the short light show. She shakes her shoulders, causing them to drift as if underwater. "Aren't the gorgeous?" she asks, flashing another grin.
Serenity frowns at Rayne's latter remark and glances about, but is then distracted from that thought by Chloe's demonstration. Ren reverses course as instructed, water and field generator moving away from Chloe as Ren ripples backwards. As she performs the change of appearance, Ren looks on attentively, then flows over for a closer look afterwards, peering at both the appendages and the interaction (or lack thereof) with her clothing. "Indeed they are," Ren agrees cheerily, extending a double-layered wing from the water to touch the butterfly wing (but moving slowly enough to stop if so instructed).
Rayne takes a step back as well and watches as the wings are summoned. "Well then... We have got to introduce you to Silencia." She glances at Serenity witha bit of a grin. "Don't you think?" She looks back to Chloe again. "There's someone else that works in TASK... not the Welcome Center, but the more police side, who... might as well be a fairy as well, we kinda joke." She tilts her head, looking upward. "She is known for summoning butterflies, among other abilties." She seems perfectly fine not inspecting the wings by touch, however.
Chloe does nothing to stop Serenity, watching with a small smile. The wings are ethereal in more than just look, things pass right through them as though they weren't there. There's a subtle heat felt where they should be, though. She turns to regard Rayne, the grin faltering for just a fraction of a second. "Interesting," she says, the hiccup not having bothered her cheer. "Though I'm not a fairy," she explains with an air of someone who has done this many times before. "Still Fae, but I'm a pixie. Well... half pixie. No offense taken, but I'd appreciate it if you knew." She smiles to show goodwill. "I'd still love to meet her!"
Serenity nods and smiles to Rayne. After waving the edge of a 'wing' a few times through the space occupied by Chloe's wing, Ren ripples back from her a bit. "By 'nature', I suppose you mean that your wings are indeed body parts. You can feel them, then?" Ren inquires curiously. As an aside, Ren remarks to Rayne with amusement, "If we need to take care not to confuse 'pixie' with 'fairy', we certainly shouldn't be calling Chloe an insect."
Rayne holds up her hands defensively. "Sorry, sorry. I'm not familiar with the terminology. Different cultures can have different words for the same thing, or can have horrible understanding of what is what, exactly. Fae don't exsist at all in the universe I'm from, as far as I'm aware of." She lowers her hands again. "Dragons, phoenixes, shapeshifters, sure. But I'm not aware of any fae. And I'm sure Sil would love to meet you as well, because she doesn't actually know much about fae, despite the fact that we think she kinda is fae." She then frowns. "Of course, it's probably different between your universes.
Chloe grins. "Nah, I can't feel them beyond knowing they're there, but yes they're part of me." She looks at Rayne again, waving off her apology. "I know you didn't know, I'm just tired of explaining. I bet it is different, but it'll be fun to discuss regardless. Don't feel like you have to be walking on eggshells with me," she says confidently.
One moment Gaius was being saved by a 'Primal' and a 'Kobold' in his mind's eye; Though that was far from the truth. Urus, Muradin, Morgana, and Doommuffin pulled him out of the ocean's depth and before he could get any explanation from them... he was back out again.
'Baelsar....' He could hear her voice. '... Lord Baelsar.... Father! Wake up! You are suppose to teach me today, remember? Or have you become lost in that book again?'
Gaius Van Baelsar's eye opened in the medical center, surrounded by odds and ends. Needless to say, the first moments of him waking up where probably some trying to calm him down as he brought took being in such a place as some type of lab. Some distant nation perhaps that the Garlean Empire had yet to bring under their banner; To study the Garlean people for a weakness.
This... could be a rough transition....
Eventually however, the fifty four year military leader would come to listen and at least cooperate for the moment. With clothing of choice given and what remained of his former, he took in a satchel bag, along with keeping at least his Gunblade at his back. His attire was rather common-folk of Victorian Era, not one to speak of his station back with Empire, but perhaps he liked it that way.
His steps however and even his gold eyes told another story entirely. That of a old soldier, a military leader. Every person he passed on his way to the Welcome Center he observed closely. From the arena, to the tower, anything he passed he made note of. Every word spoken by someone passing by, he gave a mental query to. This place was alien to him. All of it and he would find a means home... somehow.
Gaius pages, "There we go, while waiting on Dorian's pose added Gaius' abilities to his +finger, so that should make it easier for everyone. Including myself to remember." to you.
Quick steps echo in the hall as someone else seems to be joining the party. The man that enters is likely one of the most normal-looking sorts that's currently in the room. It's a reasonably well-built human male with tanned skin, gray eyes, and dark hair. He wears light-colored leather armor-- no, he hasn't given up that fashion; this is his 'work uniform'. His hair is immaculately brushed, with not a hair out of place, and the mustache he sports is similarly immaculately cared-for.
As he enters, he speaks aloud, "What's this I heard about an attack--?" He stops, though, when he notes that there is a handful of people here. Some of which he doesn't recognize. "Well. This is definitely an unexpected party. But you all didn't have to go to this trouble to welcome me back," he says, half-teasing. Truthfully, he knows this isn't a party for him, he's just messing with people.
Mind, he's no greeter. And it looks like there's conversation going on that would be rude to interrupt. So instead, he looks to Rayne first. "I do apologize that I wasn't here the other day," he offers. He means the attack on the welcome center, of course. "I was having an unfortunate difference of opinion with a giant nepenthe a little ways from the city. It thought I would make a wonderful snack. Can you imagine? Of course I had to decline the invitation to afternoon tea, and it was none too pleased. Naturally, this resulted in one less giant nepenthe." He waves a hand, as if this were a trivial concern. To Rayne he offers, in a more serious tone of voice, "But I'm relieved you pulled through all right."
"If there is some manner of overlap in the meanings of 'fae', perhaps you could help Silencia better understand her nature," Ren suggests, motioning toward Chloe. "For the moment, though, we are here to help you accomodate yourself to this town and discover what you would like to do for it." As Gaius enters, the supersized sea slug (along with forcefield supported water) backs up with a fluid ripple of the fins. Ren regards the intensity of his expression with a puzzled look for a moment before offering him as cheerful a smile as one can make without teeth. Then, to Dorian, too, Ren extends a pair of right fins from the water to offer him a wave. The expression fades a bit to concern as Dorian explains the events of the previous day, but Ren doesn't comment upon that after looking Dorian over and finding everything apparently still attached. Returning eyes to the newer of the new arrivals, Ren rasps amiably, "Welcome to the Welcome Center. You may call me Serenity."
Rayne nods with a bit of a weak smile. "All right, that's good to know. So did you have any other questions you'd like to ask about Twisted? Anything else that you-" She peeks over Chloe's shoulder as the door opens and an older man enters. "-that you wanted to know? Hold on a second..." She ponders a moment on how to deal with this. Two new arrivals at once? How best to deal with this? Right now they're just chatting in the middle of the waiting room, not even using the counselling rooms. She frowns for a breif moment before waving to the newcomer. "Hello! I'm Rayne Hurris, also with the Welcome Center." As Dorian enters and announces his presense, she raises an eyebrow, but pales slightly as he mentions the attack the other night. "A-and what exactly is a nepenthe?"
The TASK officer on duty, leaning against a wall, takes note of the fact that Gaius is armed, but doesn't seem too concerned about a weapon that's not in hand.
Chloe raises an eyebrow, turning to look at what caught Rayne's attention. She floats backward a bit as well, wings fluttering slightly, when she catches sight of the new newcomers. "Oh, well hi there," she says, flashing another bright smile. She doesn't say anything about the comments made by the man in leather, as they have been addressed already. She simply waves and waits for an answer, studying the two surreptitiously.
Gaius foot falls come to a slow stop as he peers at those in the center. The creatures here were odd and many, now there is an aquatic slug smiling at him and he just raises a brow to the actual sight. There was a long silence for that moment. Perhaps deciding how to address such an oddity or just what beast men infested society he somehow found himself in.
Then there was the feeling of magic possibly in the air, but it may have always been there since he has arrived. Something, he has more than likely, shoved aside. When, though, Rayne addresses him, he looks over to her with his gold eyes and they seem to take a slightly less cold look, and while the young man rambles to her, he waits to speak up in her direction after she addresses him. "Rayne Hurris was it? A pleasure to meet you and your...." His glances over to Serenity. "Friend."
"My name is Gaius Van Baelsar. Legatus of the Fourteenth Legion of the Garlean Empire..." There was a pause in his voice before he continued. "Where may this be, as I know not any nation like this one." Perhaps like Eorzea, but technologically speaking... they were far more improved over that backwater country. His eyes do look over to Chloe eventually and even over to Dorian; Who by chance is probably the closest thing to someone maybe of his nation... or Eorzea. He'll have to figure that part out, or learn that there is no equating anything around here.
Dorian offers a nod of greeting to Serenity as well, in response to her wave. Noticing her glance, he assures her, "Not to worry, I'm still one piece. Judicious application of fire saw to that." Rayne's question gets an answer, too. Leaning on the serpentine dragon-headed staff he carries, Dorian answers, "A very large plant with a flower that looks like a massive burlap sack in which it digests prey. It is indeed large enough to eat a man whole. Or, I should say, was large enough. It's dead now." He offers a confident smile.
He nods as well to Chloe and Gaius. "Ah. Forgive my manners, barging in like this without even an introduction." He bows to the pair, "Dorian Pavus, Altus mage of Tevinter. That last bit doesn't mean much here, but I like it anyway." A smirk.
Gaius's words draw Dorian's attention. "Ah." The single sound is laced with a knowing tone. "Brand new, then?" He smiles. "This--" He sweeps a hand around, indicating the room "--is the TASK welcome center. You've found yourself in a very strange realm, my friend. This place is called 'Twisted', and a fitting name it is. Something of a vortex where people get swept down the corridors of space and time when the worlds clear their collective throats of debris."
"Yes, I can likely answer your questions as well," Ren offers to Chloe as Rayne interrupts herself. Dorian's description of the beast gets a frown, but it takes only a moment Ren to find a spin for this. Gesturing a pair of fin edges toward Dorian, Ren explains to Chloe, "The town here is protected a barrier that blocks some of the surrounding chaos and ensures a relatively consistent reality within. The city across the strait seems to have some similar protection, though I don't know the nature of that. Occasionally TASK officers will go into the Wasteland to take preemptive action to protect us."
Rayne frowns ever so slightly at the fact that Gaius seems to be more or less ignoring Ren, but downright facepalms as Dorian effectively refers to people arriving in Twisted as 'debris.' And he was doing so well before he did that, he almost made her job easier. After all, she's better an answering questions, not getting the people to open up enough to voice their concerns. "Uhhh, anyway, yes, I'm afraid we're simply not on your world at all, or even your entire universe." She straightens herself up, attempting to look more official. "While there are worlds connected, and while it is possible, if dangerously unpredectible to get out if you have ways of jumping across universes, it is nonetheless likely that you will be stuck here like the rest of us. None of us are natives to this realm, but we are all unwilling immigrants." She offers Gaius a smile, trying to reassure him. "But this isn't the afterlife, or a prison. We have two entire cities. There are many places that you can find yourself across them."
Chloe nods to Serenity, still looking at the newcomers. Not rudely, just paying attention. She's definitely paying attention to this conversation, as well. This sounds like keep-you-alive type of stuff. She smiles a little at Dorian's explanation, feeling like dimension-tossed debris, herself. She mostly keeps to herself, being the least qualified to answer anything at all.
The Garlean looks over to Dorian as his hand sweeps and he explains. He quirks a brow before they furrow as he looks away from the group, mulling around in his own thoughts over the information he was given. He also over hears the conversation between Serenity and the other 'Guest', or so he guesses. His attention though is drawn back to Rayne as she explains in further detail.
The man's face... It never changes. Part is disbelief, part in determination. Oh, he was listening, he was taking all the facts in, but the ideal, the concept he would not be able to contact home or even GO home, was not clicking in. Even though it was followed by a very calm. "I see."
He shifts his weight with his arms crossing over his chest, he decides to continue to amuse his inclinations for information really. After all, it was here, may as well make use of it. "So , there is a probability, that if someone has the right technology, they could say... return home or," he glances up for a moment, before looking back at her. "Oh, get in contact with their home?"
Dorian nods to Serenity's explanation of the town and the barrier. As for going into the Wastelands? "Sometimes it's necessary. I don't recommend it, mind you. The wastelands are aptly named, and it's a dreadful place for the unprepared." Though Rayne's facepalm gets a raised eyebrow. Apparently he doesn't see that he's done anything wrong. But he doesn't ask yet, Rayne is explaining further. And he nods to Rayne's assurances that this is neither afterlife nor prison.
The Altus keeps an eye on Chloe even though she remains silent. It's the quiet ones you have to watch, after all. But Gaius's words catch his attention soon enough. "To my knowledge, neither have been accomplished yet," he replies, regarding returning/contacting home. "That said, I don't know anyone who's tried. But when one comes here, it seems that others follow. So your friends, or your enemies, may end up following you here."
"Yes, that would be what newcomers usually ask before asking about entertainment spots," Ren responds to Gaius's question, looking to Chloe at the last. "To be precise, there are stabilized portals to some worlds already connected- connected to this building, in fact." Ren motions upward with an extruded portion of fin edge. "But I'm not aware of any safe travel or even communication outside of those existing connections." Ren indicates Dorian. "Still, there is a vast array of skills and knowledge in Twisted, and a number of people are researching solutions."
Rayne shakes her head to Dorian. "I've actually seen someone attempt to contact home across dimensions before... it wasn't an instant communications technique, but a teleportation of a letter method. When one of her friends she was trying to contact arrived, she'd not gotten that letter." She shrugs. "Another friend that I've seen had the ability to jump universes before she arrived doesn't have the ability to anymore, I don't think."
Chloe is quiet. Her cheer seems to have subsided during the talk of dimension changing, given way to a pensive, impassive expression. Her eyes drift from Ren, to Rayne, then Gaius, then drop by degrees to her boots. "It never occurred to me to ask... this was just another universe," she says quietly. "I assumed I'd leave when I pleased." She crosses her arms underneath her breasts, holding her elbows lightly.
"I shall keep that in mind." Gaius says with a mildly low rumble in his voice, his gold eyes getting a slightly dangerous look to them, but it was gone shortly after. "Though it would be an interesting project to see if such a thing could be done, hm?" There was a light hearted smile on his face with his words. "By the way, sir," He looks directly at Dorian. "I believe I did not catch your name and be horrible of me to not obtain it."
The Garlean then looks back over to Serenity as she adds her part as well. His eyes take a slightly more cold look as he stares at her, more on a subconscious level. "Could not the same connections made here... be applied outside or they some... Natural phenomenon that has yet to be explained?" Though Rayne brings up someone who could and those gold eyes look in her direction like a wolf. "Oh? Do they live around here?"
Stubborn, be thy name.
Yet, when Chloe shows some discomfort to the topic at hand, it causes his face to soften a little. Eve if she had wings, it was her face. It maybe add to his quiet determination, but it was quickly understood the topic was not a wise one to be have right now; Though he may not also have another chance either. With a soft tsk and a minor lowering of his head, he inhales deeply. "I suppose I should check in later for more inquiries on this subject... since it seems I may be here for.... A time. Where would be a good place to stay for now that is around these premises?"
Dorian smirks a little at the mention of entertainment spots. And the mention of safe portals, he nods. "Your world could be one of those connected," he notes. "I've not had the pleasure of going to any of them myself, mind." As for researching solutions? He adds, "I'd need to know how this world works to figure out safe and stable ways to leave it. Unfortunately, I'm afraid I have little information about Twisted in general."
Rayne mentions someone having tried to contact out, and he looks to her. "So it didn't work?" he inquires. "Mmn. I was afraid of that." He rubs his chin thoughtfully. But then he notes Chloe's suddenly discomfiture and sends a commiserating look her way. "I admit, I had the same reaction." His voice is softer than might have seemed possible for him. "There are people who need me back home. But perhaps they'll come here one day." He does look genuinely upset.
Gaius's words get a nod. "I'm wondering the same, if it could be done. Though I don't know if ripping open the fabric of space and time is a good idea. There's already a hole in the sky, in my world at least. So as you might imagine, I'd want to be extremely cautious." As for a place to live? "The Integra Arms Apartments in the city proper can find you permanent or temporary lodgings," he offers, to Gaius and Chloe both, actually. "Just ask at the front desk when you get there."
And the question of his name? "I imagine things have been overwhelming. And my overwhelming wit and charm have been known to have that effect on people." Arrogance! But there's a playful quality there, so he's probably kidding. "Dorian Pavus," he offers again, with a bow.