|What Usual Table?|
Serenity slides into the restaurant with an easygoing undulation, first glancing to the sides in a cursory check for mortal combat in progress and then rippling over to peer in the direction of Rayne's usual table. Not spotting her there, Ren wanders over to the counter to exchange an empty jar of scavenger delights for a full one (both well-wrapped in bags).
Sunset had once again been spending part of the evening over in the club, sampling whatever array of multiversal musical offerings was on the schedule tonight. But at the moment she had wandered back into the actual restaurant to get herself a snack. The funny part is that she walks right past where Rayne is sitting, but doesn't even notice it's Rayne because that's totally not her usual table. In fact, it's not until she's several steps past that she stops, blinking. "... Huh?"
Rayne glances up from the laptop screen as she hears Sunset. "Eh?" She tilts her head, wondering at Sunset's reaction. "Uh, what's up, Sunset?" She grabs a bit of bread from her plate to pop into her mouth as she glances around, now that her attention is away from that report. Spotting Ren, she waves to her, as well.
Serenity thanks the kitchen staff for their thoughtful collection of normally non-compostable scraps and folds in half to set the jar into the storage box on the field generator. Afterwards, Ren flows backwards from the bar and twists to look behind. It's only then that Ren spots Rayne and Sunset and extends a 'wing' to flash them a wave before rippling over to Rayne's table.
Sunset turns her head just enough to look back and confirm she wasn't just imagining that. Huh. "That," she points at Rayne briefly, then turns to point in the other direction. "Is not where you usually sit. I have -never- seen you not sitting in that spot, unless it was because others had sat there first."
Rayne blinks, and tilts to get a better look at where Sunset points out. "I sit all over the place!" she protests. "Why do I suddenly have a perceived usual spot?" She sits back normally with a raised eyebrow. It really doesn't look like she's joking around. She doesn't seem to realize this. With a huff out of air, she glances at Ren again. "Do I have a usual spot?"
"Hello," Ren rasps amiably, sliding to a stop by the end of the table with a forward flick of the fin edges. Ren looks mildly amused at Sunset's observation, then stops smiling upon noticing Rayne'a lack of amusement. "Hh... I'm sure that I've seen you sitting elsewhere before," Ren supplies helpfully if not quite definitively. "Not recently, mind you." Ren adds quickly, "In any case, I'm glad to see the two of you about. Is there something particularly new on your mind, Rayne?"
"Well it's the spot I've always seen you sitting in," Sunset replies, shrugging her shoulders. Not really important, anyways. Not when she can wander over and instead peer over Rayne's shoulder at the laptop. "Yeah, what are you working on?"
Rayne says, "Oh... TASK business. Reading over some reports of an incident in the park yesterday. It was dealt with without officers being involved, but I'm having trouble reconciling conflicting reports. The one thing I am certain of is a giant scorpion attacked, but was killed. It may or may not have killed someone that was trying to fight it off." She sighs, shaking her head. "You know, sometimes I miss just being an officer instead of being in the command line... I wouldn't have to deal with crap like this."
Serenity frowns at Rayne's explanation. "I would take the troubles of a reporter over the troubles of a giant bug killer any day, myself. But then, I'm not the one who is called for such." Ren suggests, "Perhaps the victim was more durable than the witness expected and the witness didn't feel durable enough to stay and find out for sure?" Ren adds, "By the way, you wouldn't happen to have a list of people who don't work for the clinic but nevertheless have healing magic, would you?"
Sunset must be reading a bit over Rayne's shoulder because she makes a rather confused expression. "How did a fight even happen in someplace like the park and there were no officers to respond to it? That would be pretty hard to miss." Pause. Then she uhms softly, rubbing the back of her head. "Then again, most of the city back 'home' didn't seem to see the magic rainbow shooting into the sky when Twilight and the other girls defeated my 'raging she-demon' instance."
Rayne frowns down at her laptop's screen. "Well, I just need to try to piece together these reports into something that makes sense." She glances up at Ren again, "List of healing magic users? No, we don't have any sort of registration system for powers, so I don't have anything of the sort." She then sighs and shakes her head at Sunset. "Unfortunately, we just still don't have the manpower to always have someone everywhere and still allow our officers time off. But it doesn't seem to have been a terribly long encounter, anyway. Scorpion shows up, blond kid and homeless guy fight it, homeless guy gets killed or not, blonde guy nearly gets killed, bug guy shows up, scorpion gets flipped, bug guy kills scorpion, scorpion evaporates. That seems to be the jist of it."
Serenity nods in reply to Rayne's answer. "I didn't think anything so organized existed," Ren acknowledges. The account of the events gets a puzzled frown from Ren. "Bug guy? A pest-control expert or a bug-like person?" Ren inquires. "And I suppose someone matching the homeless person's description was seen later, but not in need of medical care?"
Sunset holds her hands out in a sort of hapless shrug. "That sounds more like you're describing a short edit of a monster movie.... So par for the course for Twisted, huh?" She means more how ridiculous it sounded than anything else. "At least it wasn't a bugbear. Those things are nothing but bad news."
Rayne says, "Bug guy as in a guy with bug-like characteristics, yes. And yeah, the homeless guy was seen walking around just fine later on, so... I really have no clue how to reconcile a report of him getting impaled with him being just fine later on." She blinks, then laughs. "Now, if there was a ton of fire reported, I'd know exactly what happened." As her chuckle dies off, it turns into a sigh. "Yeah... just another day, really..." She then looks up at Sunset. "What's a bugbear?"
"'Impaled' seems to refute the notion of extraordinary toughness, though perhaps not extraordinary healing," Ren observes. "I'm not sure that even Dante's liver heals that much." Ren, too, then regards Sunset's observation with curiosity.
"Imagine if a bear had six legs, wings like a bee and a stinger like a hornet. At the size of a bear." And bears are pretty damn big in general. Sunset, after a moment, adds, "Or at least, that's what Equestria's bugbear is like. Fortunately there's not many of them roaming free. They're locked up in Tartarus."
Rayne says, "I'll have to assume he has extraordinary healing, then... Because one witness claimed he was ripped in half. " She pauses as she listens to Sunset's description. "Well, this scorpion was apparently much bigger than a bear. It was able to pick people up with a single claw. But it was still just a scorpion, not a conglomeration of different animals."
"Not many?" Ren repeats. "I would be upset to know that any underworld creatures at all were roaming the mortal realms." But Rayne's mention of the actually present creature seems to worry Ren more. "Was there any indication of where the scorpion came from and whether it was alone?"
Sunset makes another face when Rayne describes more of what the scorpion actually did. "... Yeah, I'm gonna have to go with some sort of healing ability as well. Only way for him to not be dead. That or he has no internal organs to be damaged in such a manner."
Rayne says, "Ehhhh, underworld creatures roaming around sounds like a Tuesday here, to be honest....But the only indication was that it came from the ground... But the officers I sent to inspect the area found no evidence of a tunnel leading up to the crater of where it came out, so I've no clue. For all I know it just converged there." She sighs and shrugs, going for the last of her pasta dish. "I'll have to put that in, yeah. Ridiculous healing ability suspected on the unidentified apparently homeless man. Really, why he doesn't get a place at Integra, I don't know."
Serenity nods to Sunset. "hhh... I very much hope that you are correct about this being a chance meeting," Ren says, motioning toward Rayne. "Perhaps the still-homeless person had not found a room in the Integra Arms for the same reason that this scorpion had not- difficulty getting along with neighbors."
"Could be a lot of reasons, really." Sunset.. looks almost like she's going to say something else but decides against it. "Certainly someone to keep an eye out for though. Particularly in actually finding out what happened."
Rayne says, "Well, the reports didn't suggest anything above animalistic intelligence on the scorpion." She stands up and closes her laptop. "So I'm going to go with it was hunting prey. I'll see you two later, okay? I'm gonna go relieve whatever officer we have watching the Welcome Center, now." She reaches up with a hand to talk into her comm, and soon vanishes from sight from the teleporter."
Serenity nods thoughtfully at the further information from Rayne, then waves in reply with an extruded edge of the right fins. Ren doesn't look particularly pleased with the teleporter use, but already wasn't looking too cheery after the talk of potentially fatal monster attacks. "Well..." Ren then addresses Sunset more optimistically, "Are you working on any interesting additions to the Welcome Center activities?"
Sunset chuckles a bit. "I didn't have to remind her she's on duty this time." Sunset's amused at this for some reason, even as she grabs a chair for herself. "Been more of the usual on my head... though can't say I really miss missing stuff like giant scorpions and such. My ability in a fight is still really dependent on my emotions still."
"You found something to distract Rayne from duty?" Ren inquires, canting rhinophores toward her curiously. Ren shifts with a sideways ripple as Sunset sits, though doesn't attempt to use a seat too. "It's my hope," Ren says, motioning out to the sides, "that the Welcome Center will contribute to a town where, outside of a few chance arrivals, residents are well integrated enough not to feel a need to fight."
Sunset laughs softly. "I wish! But there's been a few times she's gotten so wrapped up in working on something that she's forgotten she's suppose to be on duty at the office. It's nice to be dedicated and all. But that's a bit too much workaholic even for me." She holds her hands up. "Don't get me wrong Serenity, I would be perfectly happy not having to worry about fighting. But it isn't something that can just be pushed aside around here, either. Your idea sounds nice though. Maybe some day." Besides it's always good to have goals.