|A Returning Wanderer|
The mottled mollusc meanders off the dance floor as techno gives way to tango, though Serenity still sneaks in several simulated 'steps' with imaginary feet flaring the trailing edges of the fins. Ren ripples out of even vaguely mimicking human form (with inward pinches at neck and waist level) and instead maintains a more natural shape while flowing along. Rayne, if she is paying attention, gets a wave of a 'wing', but Ren actually aims first for Skeeve. "Pardon me..." Ren rasps amiably to him.
Skeeve, about halfway towards the bar, tips his hat to Rayne politely. "Miss." He may or may not have been planning on saying anything else - but we'll never know. He's a little taken aback by Serenity approaching him - he's still not entirely certain what to make of the being in its roughly humanoid-shaped forcefield. "Not at all... what can I do for you?"
Rayne waves to Ren without even looking up... Then glances up as Skeeve greets her. ".....Mister?" she responds before biting off half of a taquito. She watches Serenity's interation with the unknown, at least to her, man, with mild interest.
Serenity pauses near Skeeve, adjusting height to match his. "Skeeve, yes?" offers with either informality or selective memory, and regards him inquisitively. "You did suggest that you had been to Twisted City before, or at least its location," Ren mentions, motioning to him with a pair of fin edges. "But it later occurred to me that perhaps you were not, as I assumed, travelling from Neo Edo. I had to ask if that was the case."
Skeeve nods lightly at that, still not entirely certain where this is going. "Yeah, that's me." He's quiet for a moment as the... ...Ren, for lack of a better word, asks his question. "No, I'm not from Neo-Edo. To be honest, I'd never heard of Neo-Edo before last night." He glances over at Rayne for a moment, who seems to be watching with interest. No help there. Turning his attention back to Ren, he asks, "Why do you ask?"
Rayne says, "So.... An old resident, then.... Interesting." She closes her laptop and pops the second half of the taquito into her mouth. "So.... you've been in the wasteland this whole time, or...."
Serenity gestures toward Rayne with her supposition. "Yes, that 'or' caught my imagination," Ren explains. "If you happened to know a reliable way -or even an unreliable way-, many thousands of residents would be keenly interested in any ability to escape from this world to return to their own." Ren adds, "As it is, many residents do not come from worlds connected by stable portals at the TASK building. I am one of those residents."
Skeeve shakes his head a little bit at that. "No, not really a resident of the wasteland, either. I'm something of a..." He pauses to consider his phrasing for a moment. "...traveler. There was a particular portal, along the Twisted Road, that I was looking for, but it appears to have vanished." He shrugs a little bit. "I'm afraid I can't really suggest any kind of way out of here. Like you say, most of the links to other realms along this road are notoriously unreliable."
Rayne tilts her head. "Portals... on the road? The portals are all at TASK Headquarters. Take the stairs on the outside and you'll see them on the way up. I've.... never seen any portals on the street itself... well, none that weren't extremely temporary, at least." She does frown at the lack of any hopeful news, though.
Serenity also frowns at the news. "Rayne and I have come across a few people who arrived by deliberately-created portals, though haven't yet heard of a reliable way of returning." Ren offers Skeeve a slightly damp pat on the arm with a pair of right fin edges. "Still, if you are familiar with portals between universes, perhaps you could speak at some point with a magic-user who is looking for information on them."
Skeeve hmms a little bit, glancing down at the wet spot on his cloak. At least it's not dry-clean only. "Well, if they're all in TASK headquarters now, that'd explain where it went. Shame, really." He sighs, shakes his head, then looks over at Rayne. "I'm sorry, I didn't introduce myself. My name's Skeeve, Skeeve Plowse. It's nice to meet you."
Rayne shakes her head. "Not in. Around. Sort of. Rayne Hurris, TASK Second in command." She finishes off the last of her taquitos. "Well, you two keep up this line of conversation. Reptile said he wanted to talk to me about something after my break, so I'd better go see what he wants.... Sorry to greet and run, Skeeve, but...." She pauses a moment. "Plowse... I've heard that name before somewhere, but I can't place it... Um, at any rate, I really need to head back to...." She sighs, deflating slightly. "Reports and meetings. Later, folks." She scoots out from her seat and stands up, taking her laptop in hand before saying something into her communicator... and vanishing from sight via transporter.
Serenity looks a bit puzzled by Skeeve's remark on the portals. Rayne's departure gets a wave and a smile-- at least until she is transported. Ren doesn't appear to be a fan of this. Returning eyes to Skeeve, Ren then inquires curiously, "What sort of explanation? Something about one set of portals affecting another?" Ren adds, motioning out to the sides. "I'm afraid I haven't the faintest notion how such things work, but that doesn't dissuade me from being interested."
Skeeve quirks a little bit when Rayne says that his name is familiar, but shrugs it off, shaking his head slightly. Lots of people have met him before... or maybe she's heard of his father. "Your guess is as good as mine, Serenity. It is Serenity, right?" Assuming he's correct, he goes on. "To be honest, I don't know too much about the Twisted Street... or is it the Twisted City now? So difficult to keep straight. I don't know too much about the City, or the mechanics of how its portals work. Just that it seems to be a place where dimensional flotsam ends up."
Serenity nods to the name question. "Yes, this town is usually referred to as Twisted City to distinguish it from the more newly-appeared Neo-Edo. Previously, I didn't give much thought to distinguishing town from world, as the Wastelands outside the barrier are not a place that I'd care to visit." Ren motions toward Skeeve and adds, "However, I was under the impression that the arrival of people was more than accidental. For example, I have yet to hear of someone killed by the arrival, despite the plausibility of a new arrival who breathes only chocolate candies or who happens to be several hundred feet above the ground."
Skeeve strokes his chin at that. He's standing, not too far from the bar, with a damp patch on one shoulder, and not too far from him is Serenity, with whom he's having a conversation. "Well, I suppose you've got a point there, but ever consider that you never hear about the dead arrivals because they're dead? Although, granted, getting dumped up from a couple hundred feet would be pretty noticeable."
The spotted sea slug 'stands' by Skeeve within the cloak of suspended water at a height matching his. Ren wears a TASK badge on the storage bin by the ground (and a clothing patch with green and purple zebra stripes), but this might be less obvious than the natural skin coloration. Ren nods thoughtfully. "A fair point. It is also entirely possible that what seems like an utter lack of limits on possible arrivals is actually a result of natural laws I know nothing about. But I'm still inclined to imagine a kidnapping rather than an accident."
A small battering sound indicates that something is hitting the door into the UR. It teeters a bit under the push of each hit, then falls silent. One deep inhale and a rather long in the tooth goblin tumbles in as he rams into the door then uses his body to hold it open. "Mist..ress." the little one croaks. The young girl side steps over the goblin, bending over to right him. "Really now, must we? It was clearly too hea..." The goblin heaves and holds up a hand, "Always! We always must!" Lyra seems to shush the goblin a bit with a hand gesture before glancing around.
Skeeve blinks a few times. Clearly he's lost track of this conversation at some point. "Wait, are we talking about someone who's actually gone missing? I was just speaking hypothetic-" He trails off at the thumping sound, turns slowly to watch the two goblins (goblins?) open a door several times larger than they are. And all for the sake of a girl. Most curious.
Serenity doesn't seem to take much notice of the thumping until Skeeve does. Ren twists (in a manner that should not be attempted by untrained vertebrates) to look, glancing over inquisitively. Over and then down, rather. Ren doesn't looks terribly surprised by the people entering. "Indeed, I was speaking of those who have gone missing from where they belong- I and most other residents," Ren continues. "Is that overly dramatic?"
Lyra seems as though she doesn't prefer the dramatic entrance, or at least... not the failed attempts at them. She stands upright, hand on hip and look over towards the man and.. well, Serenity. Lyra offers a rather cocky smile before looking down at her own company. "Come now Signey, we mustn't be a barricade."
Skeeve blinks a few times. It's not every day that you meet a girl with a goblin entourage... even if it is just an entourage of one. Not wanting to be impolite, he tips his hat to the girl. "Miss." Glancing back at Serenity, he adds, "To be honest, I didn't know that was a problem around here. Like I said... haven't been here too long."
Serenity extends a pair of fins from the water to wave to the two arrivals, making folds in the surface of aquamarine muscle to vaguely suggest an arm in a sleeve. Ren nods to Skeeve. "Hence my interest in portals." Ren adds, "That said, while I am stuck here, it's my intention to take what small actions I can to make this a better place."
Lyra's head tilts to the side when she overhears that Skeeve is also rather new. Seeing others wearing the same TASK symbols around, she assumes that perhaps his current company is more well-established, which is then confirmed through Serenity's words. Regardless, her interest in joining the conversation becomes quite clear in action. Ignoring social norms and the generally accepted idea of invitations, Lyra walks over towards the two. The little goblin rushes ahead of her, raising a hand to gesture up at Lyra. "... Her liege, Mistress Lyra, " as a sort of heralding presentation. She shrugs a bit at her own introduction, adding, "He is a rather lively chap." Weird.
Skeeve nods lightly at Serenity's statements. "It's an admirable goal, to be sure." If he was about to add more, whatever he was going to say is lost when Lyra strides right up to the two of them. Looking slightly surprised - anyone who can command the allegiance of goblins, especially so casually, is definitely someone to be respected. Sweeping off his hat, he bows to Lyra. "Charmed, milady. My name is Skeeve, Skeeve Plowse."
Signey stares at Serenity, mimicking her reach out of a 'hand' but not in any way that shows he understands the gesture. Perhaps that's just how they say hello here. Lyra casually lifts up the little goblin known as Signey onto a seat, though he feigns a wiggle in resistance as this seems to be a common occurrence. Though once he hits the chair, the goblin keels to the side, asleep instantly. This appears to also be common, as Lyra continues on without any acknowledgment, "Skeeve, a pleasure." She turns, "Ahh, and Serenity, as well. I must admit that I have only just recently come to this dimen..." pauses, word change, ".. world. You seemed to be discussing such already. Have either of you seen something like this?" A quick flick of her wrist and a small red crystal appears in her outstretched palm. It's clouded, shaped like a puzzle piece, and clearly magical if one could assess such.
Serenity regards the already-sleeping Signey with a puzzled expression before also offering Lyra a bow (folding in approximately the right place and not by too much). "I'm afraid that I haven't seen anything of that shape," Ren admits after regarding the stone. "If you have only recently arrived, though, you might be interested in visiting the Welcome Center at some point. How to settle yourself in this town is something I do know how to help with."
Skeeve, as he straightens up and puts his hat back on, peers at the crystal. "I must say, I've not seen it's like before. Not precisely, anyway. I take it you're looking for another that fits together with it?" He smiles slightly, just a hint of a teasing tone to his voice. "And you think it might be in this dimen-world, then?"
Lyra flips the piece up like a coin, catching it quickly before sliding it away into a pouch at her side. While doing so, she responds to Serenity, "Well, settling is something I'd rather avoid, but the knowledge is appreciated." Signey's snores interrupt between sentences, as she continues, "... well considering I've found a few other pieces in di-men-tions, similar to this, I'd hope the luck would continue." She grins when exaggerating the word dimensions. "Though I'll just continue onto the next if need be." The girl seems very unconcerned with any restrictions to travel so far.
Serenity regards Skeeve and Lyra as he inspects the object. As Lyra speaks about travel, Ren frowns. "Unfortunately, the possibilities for travel from this universe are rather limited, to a small set of worlds." Ren adds, motioning to her with a pair of fin edges, "However, I can point out that the apartment building across the street has rooms available gratis and that the restaurant offers temporary employment opportunities."
Skeeve nods lightly, rather intrigued by the girl's response. "Well, if it's something lost you're after, this is a good place to look for it. This seems to be something of a dumping grounds, a natural focus point, if you will, for things that get lost between dimensions. One of, at any rate. It is somewhat uncharacteristically difficult to escape, however."
Lyra seems to nod along with both of their responses while she taps a finger to her lips, "True, there is a distinct lack of Doors around here." It does seem like she put a clear emphasis on the capital D there, "... though I'm sure I'll find one." As if on cue, or perhaps he was jostled in some way unknown, Signey pops his head up and declares, "Mistress has us, no need for anything else!" Lyra gestures a hand out for balance, which the goblin uses to hop down from his seat, "If you do happen to come upon something like my crystal, do let me know." Well, since she didn't wait for an invitation it is probably not as jarring that she doesn't really offer much of a goodbye, raising two fingers to her forehead in a salute wave with a smirk, turning to simply walk out. While at the door you can hear the hushed tones of the girl and goblin discussing the door again, the goblin conceding to Lyra finally as she pushes it open.
Skeeve, a little non-plussed, waves a hand towards the retreating Lyra. "It was... ah, nice to meet you. Have a good night."