|A Chat Over Fondue|
Serenity slides inside the restaurant, slightly dampening the door and with the TASK emblem still affixed to the side of the storage bin. Spotting Rayne, Ren ripples over directly to join her, just avoiding a few tables along the way. "Hello," Ren calls to her with a faintly worried expression before shifting to a lower height at the end of the table. "I heard that Silencia woke yesterday..."
Rayne looks up at Ren enters and waves with a smile. "Yup! She's back up, awake, and with butterfly wings now." Yes, she's just taking that in stride now, because Twisted. She then frowns slightly, noticing the expression on Serenity. "What's wrong? Sil going through that... metamorphosis is a good thing. It's what she's meant to be. I didn't exactly talk to her much before Kotal carried her away, but she still seemed like Sil to me."
Serenity seems to relax somewhat as Rayne explains. "I am relived to hear that," Ren replies with a nod. "She didn't look well when I last saw her awake, and we had only the word of a mysterious stranger about what was transpiring. Silencia seemed to be in good health, then?"
Rayne nods to Ren, but keeps an eye on the meat she has currently in the fondue pot. "She seemed perfectly fine to me, like that was in fact the perfectly natural stage of her growing up that the... tree woman said." She tilts her head, pulling the frying meat momentarily out of the oil before putting it back in. "Though I suppose it wouldn't hurt her to get a checkup to make sure everything's okay."
"Indeed, I was just thinking that myself," Ren agrees. The pot gets an inquisitive forward-leaning look before Ren returns eyes to Rayne. "Even if it is a perfectly normal growth process, growth usually involves many years where parents can fret and ask family and doctor about every little change."
Rayne frowns, and nods. "A valid point. But now that Sil is a....Fairy? ...Does Johann's knowledge really apply to her anymore?" She pulls the meat from the small pot and, satisfied with it, uses another fork to pull it off the skewer and onto a plate before stabbing another chunk of meat to begin cooking in the oil. "That's the weird thing about magic. We don't know how much has changed on her insides... I know that demi-beings in my universe are still almost entirely their base species from a physiological standpoint, such as myself, but with other universe? Who knows?"
"A fair point," Ren says. "I'm certainly not any better qualified to answer that question. As for the doctors, they are surely struggling to adapt their experience. But I'm confident that Johann and the others know enough of the fundamental principles that they are not at a complete loss even when faced with an unfamiliar species. And perhaps Anne can add some more relevant previous experience." Ren grins and motions out to the sides. "If all they discover is that her liver has been replaced with a tree, even that would be good to know before it became an issue."
Rayne laughs and shakes her head. "Nooo, somehow, with Sil, I'd expect it to be some little flowers rather than a tree." She then tilts her head, pondering. "One of Anne-Marie's scans probably would be better... I think it involves magic somehow?" She nods, though still not entirely certain. "That would be a better way to scan a... magical creature, for lack of a better term."
Serenity nods in reply. "I just wanted to ensure that Silencia was doing well and would be taking some steps to ensure that. She will likely be making more difficult discoveries yet, if her guardian hasn't been so kind as to provide a guidebook to a healthy lifestyle and its changes." Ren adds, motioning to Rayne, "And how are you doing? You seemed a bit stressed even before the events of this last week."
Rayne groans and lowers her head somewhat before answering. "It's those... Xeno things... The little ones... When that thing jumped onto my face, shoved its... whatever it was down my throat..." She shivers visibly. "...I've never felt so violated in my life. I've just been... completely on the edge of my nerves ever since."
Serenity frowns in concern and reaches over with a pair of fins to lay the edges on the table beside Rayne. "Perhaps you should speak with a professional?" Ren suggests after a moment of silence. "I would offer a hug, but I'm not sure that you would appreciate that. I can of, course, listen if you would like to talk, even though I haven't had any similar experience."
Rayne sighs and leans her head back against the wall, looking up into the rafters. "Professional? What professionals do we have around here?" She then frowns for a moment. "Well, I guess I might find someone in Neo-Edo." She groans slightly, leaning forward to hang her head, now. "But how is that gonna look? Second in command of TASK, future council member, going off to a shrink to deal with one little incident."
"Yes, surely there is someone available in the city," Ren agrees. "I don't see any reason why anyone would speak openly about your medical care. But even if were public knowledge, surely people would respect your judgement if you decided to seek out help." Ren adds, "Now, if you really are doing well enough on your own, I can support you in that, too."
Rayne sighs, looking back up at the rafters again. "I dunno..." She holds up a hand, looking at the bracer adorning her forearm and wrist. "...I can't seem to go out without armor again. Every time I try to, I get tense, and... go back to the armor." She shakes her head. "I really don't know if I'm doing well enough on my own or not. Maybe it's my upbringing talking, but the thought of people knowing I had to seek psychological help really makes that feel like a bad option to me."
Serenity frowns as she provides details. "I suppose that I can understand the privacy worry," Ren remarks. "You wouldn't want to look overly sensitive about your health, worrying over nothing. But it could also reflect poorly on you if you failed to seek help when you needed it." Ren gestures toward her and offers, "Perhaps we could try something empowering for you - a workout or repair job? - in a safe place to see if you can relieve that tension on your own."
Rayne groans and fully lowers her face to the table. "Great. Now I'm gonna second guess everything. Maybe... Maybe I should get a motorcycle, like I've been thinkin'. See what I can do to customize it myself." She then bolts upright to check on her frying meat cube. Pulling the skewer out, she frowns as she sniffs it... "Damnit, I think I overcooked this one."
Serenity'blinks' as she straightens to check on the meat, then relaxes again. "As you said, you are second in command and nominated for the prospective council position," Ren points out with an encouraging smile. "You can delegate most of your second-guessing to the rest of us." Ren continues, "As for the motorcycle, building or rebuilding a vehicle sounds like a fine idea."
The aptly named Usual Restaurant is a common stopping spot for many people wanting something to eat or drink, and it's no different in Sunset Shimmer's case. So to see the red-and-blonde haired girl wander in is hardly an unusual site. See, there she is right now.
Rayne says, "Yeah, I'll have to look into seeing if I can get access to a machine shop or something. Not sure if it'd be okay to draw from TASK motorpool resources to work on a personal vehicle, but.... eh. Might be the only option." She waves to Sunset as her fellow multihue haired person walks in, then eats the two peices of meat she now has on her plate... one a bit room temperature, the other a bit overcooked."
"Borrowing or renting private equipment would be easier to justify," Ren agrees. Ren continues to 'kneel' by the end of Rayne's table, rippling fin edges in the water just enough to maintain the position. "Still, I could see using TASK resources with the understanding that you were practicing skills that might turn out to be important for the organization." Ren twists to look toward the entrance as Rayne waves, then offers her a lifted 'wing' as well.
Sunset notices the two at Rayne's usual spot and waves back, but it's not until after she's been to the counter to make an order before she strolls over. "Hi Rayne, Serenity. What are you two up t--" She pauses, sniffing faintly at the aroma of what's melting in the pot. "--is that fondue?"
Rayne grins to Serenity. "Ooh, yeah, we could BS that line up a bit, eh?" It's... kind of hard to tell if she's joking or not. At Sunset's question, she nods. "Yup! Kinda hard to get a single person order of the stuff, so pull up a chair and have some, if ya want!" She was able to hide her worries again pretty quickly there.
"hh... I was referring to justifying that with a factual evidence and plausible speculation," Ren tries to clarify for Rayne. "Hello," Ren hisses amiably, offering a damp pat on the arm as Sunset comes closer. "Rayne was reassuring me of Silencia's good health and pondering that motorcycle again," Ren relates. Ren then motions toward the pot of hot oil and remarks with a smile, "But I'm afraid this meat is a bit too close to walking around and grazing for me to help her with the dish."
Sunset laughs softly as she slides into a chair. "I know my fair share about fondue." She skewers a piece of meat and dips it in. "Rarity would insist on it on occasion because it was the only 'cultured party snack'.... and then it turned into a disaster when Pinkie Pie realized you could fondue with melting -chocolate-." She laughs some more at the memory. Then ohs softly. "Did Silencia finally finish" her expression scrunches in confusion trying to think of how to classify it, "coccooning?"
Rayne says, "Well, sure, if you can figure out how me working on my motorcycle benefits TASK as well as just me, then I'm all ears for the justification." She tilts her head at Sunset's experience with Fondue. "Well, I'm not in a dessert mood quite yet, wanted more a main course... and I think the term is pupating... Or metamorphosis."
Serenity looks curiously from Sunset to Rayne at the mention of a chocolatey disaster. "Rayne was present for Silencia's emergence," Ren mentions. "I must say, the notion of a person experiencing a developmental change in such a short span of time is a strange one to me. Puberty, for example, already seems quite fast enough."
"Pupating, that's it." Sunset shrugs a little. "I wasn't as good at natural sciences as I am math and such. Nature is more Fluttershy's thing. Sounds about right though." Once the meat is cooled just enough to be safe to touch she plucks it off and flicks it in her mouth. She's been a human for so long that the thought of eating meat doesn't bother her in the least. That and this body is perfectly capable of handling it. "As for a motorcycle, well, it'd allow you to respond quickly to calls? Considering we've had -tanks- rolling around the city."
Rayne pouts slightly. "I don't want a work motorcycle, I wanted a personal machine! I don't want all my stuff to be work related here!" She sighs and pokes another piece of meat into the fondue pot. "Well, it's what we humans have to deal with, Ren. Do you not go through anything like puberty?"
Serenity nods in reply to Sunset's suggestion, then grins at the complaint from Rayne. "Now that Sunset mentions it, a work vehicle, something more maneuverable and personable than the teleporter, does sound like a good idea. And it doesn't seem likely that the boundary between work and personal life will become any better-defined until you take some vacation time." With the latter question, Ren explains, "Yes, my kind does go through puberty over a few years, but growing new limbs is rather strange in comparison."
Sunset blinks a couple of times at Rayne's little outburst. "Oh, I thought we were talking about work." She did miss the first part of the conversation, after all. "I guess gaining your Cutie Mark is similar for Equestria." She forks another piece of meat and dips it in the pot. "It's not just discovering your special talents, it's discovering how you can use them to find your place in the world. It's not such a drastic change but it's similar to the.. pupating." She ahurms softly and just doesn't comment on the actual puberty part of the discussion. That was a lesson hard enough to learn as part of being human the first time.
Rayne says, "Well, it'd be good for going to places not directly linked at with the transporter. I mean, I don't exactly trust our 'engineer' with programming in new locations..." She's referring to the guy that stands there and hits buttons for presets, not Yoiko. "Okay, yeah, growing new limbs is a bit extreme," she has to agree. She tilts her head at Sunset's mention of Cutie Marks. "I still wonder what mine would have been."
The remark upon the transporter operator gets a nod of agreement from Ren. "While Rayne was speaking about getting a personal motorcycle for the opportunity to modify it," Ren relates, "I think it might end up being a work tool as well." Ren gives Sunset an inquisitive look about the cutie marks. "Perhaps I can ask about the -right of passage?- later on, but I'm afraid that I need to be returning to the Welcome Center shortly."
Sunset nods her head a bit. "Sure thing, Serenity. See you later." Oh hey, when did the waitress deliver her smoothie? Must of not noticed between the fondue and the conversation. Sunset picks the cup up and takes a few sips of it.