In which Deis expositions the hell out of some poor newcomer!
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Slowly, the door to the Usual Restaurant opens up and Edward... 'stalks' would not quite be the right word, but he's not being loud enough to stomp, really. Nevertheless, his mood looks dark and dour.
The Usual is not deserted! Far from it. Amongst the other patrons, there's a woman seated at one of the tables there. From the looks of the table in front of her, she's had quite a bit to drink. She wobbles a bit in her chair, laughing loudly at something a patron has to say. This woman isn't normal, though. She has blue hair! And she's actually uh... visibly not human. Though you'd have to look under the table to see that clearly. What's down there? About fifteen feet of snake, attached to her waist.
Edward, with a quick glance around the restaurant, almost looks like he's about to turn and leave when he double-takes, pinning the blue haired... snake woman... in his gaze. Perfectly, utterly still, he simply stares at the woman.
Deis isn't completely unaware. She's drunk, but not THAT drunk! She's well aware she's being stared at. So she turns a slightly bleary look to the direction she senses it from. And then immediately smiles. "Hey there, handsome!" she calls out. "You new? Haven't seen you around here before. C'mon and take a seat if you wanna!" She moves her tail enough to push the chair to her right out so it can be sat in.
Edward shakes his head just a touch, as though clearing his senses. He practically glides through the restaurant, moving gracefully as he closes the distance between himself and Deis' table. "I'm sorry, that was rude of me. But you're right, I am new here, and I've not had the opportunity to meet anyone quite like you before."
"There's no one else like me in the world, my dear boy~," Deis replies in a singsong voice. Then she pauses, thinking about it. "Well, not that I know of, anyway. Always possible though! There IS that Kotal guy, he's close. But not exactly! Anyway. Name's Deis! Pleased to meetcha!" She smiles broadly. "And you are?"
Edward, after a moment or two of silence, as though he were expecting something else, replies smoothly, "My name is Edward. It's nice to meet you, Deis." He glances around a little, as though taking in the sight of the restaurant. "So you've been here for a while then?"
Deis nods. "Not quite a year," she replies. "About seven months, I think. This place tends to be like a multiversal sink trap-- tends to really only go one way. But it's not so bad. Can be a fun place! Just watch out for the giant black bugs with the two mouths and acidic blood. Though I think they've been dealt with, so you're probably safe." Pause. "...Probably." It's clearly an attempt to tease him, since she giggles right after it.
Edward quirks an eyebrow a little bit at that, a clearly puzzled - and somewhat frustrated - expression on his face. "Giant bugs? What are they supposed to be, some kind of giant alien?" He smirks lightly, as though he's just made a clever joke.
"Think so," Deis confirms. "They were calling 'em 'xenomorphs'. Nasty buggers. I ended up having to pull one off of a friend of mine's face. Apparently that's how they reproduce. She was fine, thank the spirits. Got it before it started doing its thing." She slides a copy of the latest Twisted Gazette over to Edward. "Story's in there."
Edward really wasn't expecting to be right. Taking the other seat at the table, he picks up the copy of the Gazette, quickly scans his eyes over the copy on the page. He still looks somewhat frustrated. "These things do sound dangerous... I'll make sure to keep an eye out for them." Setting the paper down, he looks back at Deis. "So... can I ask you a few questions about this place?"
"Fortunately I think they're gone," Deis replies. "Kotal Kahn vaporized the place." As for questions? She nods. "Sure! Want a drink in the meantime? Something to eat?" she offers. "Pretty sure whatever you can think of, they'll have."
Edward shakes his head a little at that, closing his topaz eyes, and smiles politely. "I'm not hungry, but thank you." Taking a slow breath, he asks, "I'm mostly curious about this place... In the..." He's quiet for a moment, apparently searching for the right word. "...world, that I'm from, the sorts of creatures and magical powers that seem commonplace didn't really seem to exist. Where do they all come from?"
"Ah-ha! Very new, then," Deis decides. "This is Twisted. As in, that's the name of this place. It's appropriate, let me say that." She chuckles. "They come from all over. There's normal people, too. Even not-so-normal people that are perfectly normal to them, but not to others. I just got done having a chat with my friends, the phoenix and the Fsst. The latter? A giant seaslug. Completely mundane, except she's the size of a human being and can talk. Completely sapient. We were later joined by a god of war and the sun, and a completely sapient being who I think may or may not actually be the cutest owl in the world." She giggles. "So yeah-- 'normal' is relative here."
Edward shakes his head a little bit at that. "So it would seem... and no one knows how to leave?" If anything, this line of questioning just seems to make him more frustrated, although he's still doing a good job of controlling himself. "Relative is right, I suppose... I suppose it would follow that most people are well aware of everything strange that goes on here. There doesn't seem to be much in the way of stability here."
Deis nods. "There's ways out of Twisted, yeah. Portals to other places and all. But they're probably not to where you came from," she notes. "It's not so bad. On the bright side, if you had any enemies? They're probably not here. And even if they do find their way here there's plenty of people that can punch 'em in the face if they get uppity. Plus, it's not unheard of for people from your world to end up here." As for stability? "Oh there's stability, just not the way you might think. It's... ordered chaos-- a method to the madness, basically. The inmates aren't running the asylum, even if it seems that way. Though granted, I have no idea what's going on behind the scenes. I'm a goddess of MY world, not so much here."
Edward mulls that over for a few moments, but what he finally chooses to say is, in something of a flat tone, "..a goddess?" After another moment's thought, he shrugs lightly, apparently accepting it at face value... or deciding it doesn't matter. "Inmates sounds like it might be a little too accurate a word."
Deis nods in confirmation with the question of her former station. "All that's relative, too," she replies. "I'm actually double-displaced, dimensionally speaking. In the world I came from, I was summoned from my REAL home, to serve as a goddess. So I'm not really even native to the world I came from." As for 'inmates' being accurate. "Maybe. But really, it's not really much different than being in your own world-- there's nothing stopping you from living to the fullest here. Unless your idea of 'living to the fullest' is something like mass murder. Then somebody might have something to say about it." She grins.
Edward's expression darkens, just a little at the mention of mass murder, but it's quickly replaced by a charming, if light smile. "Believe me, mass murder is not on the menu, so to speak."
"That's good," Deis replies. "You're a cute one. It'd be a real shame for TASK to try and smear your pretty face all over the ground~." Despite her words, her tone is actually bright and happy, and she giggles. Clearly she's used to violence. "OH right. TASK is the police force around here. That Kotal Kahn guy that I mentioned? He heads it up."
Edward chuckles a little bit, politely. Apparently he's used to girls hitting on him like that. "Well, I promise I'll stay out of trouble, for your sake if not for mine." Shaking his head a little, he adds, "So there are police then. Well, that's somewhat reassuring. Explains why there are still buildings standing, I suppose."
Deis nods. "There's a couple other reasons too," she adds. "I think there's some sort of nanomachines in this area that helps the buildings regenerate damage or something. I'm not sure. I know one of the buildings not far from here got blown up, and it was back together in a week I think. Wasn't too long. So you don't have to worry about that."
Edward laughs a little more, apparently somewhat incredulous at the idea. "Not that I'm capable of blowing up a building, even if I wanted to."
"I'm sure if you tried hard enough you could," Deis encourages. "Not that I'm encouraging you, mind." More seriously, she notes, "Those things are really miraculous, but they can't put people back together if they get blown up."
Edward's reply to that is a non-commital, "Mmm. Maybe something to try if I run out of things to do." He sighs a little bit at that. "...and you're sure no one's ever found a way back to their home?"
"Not that I'm aware," Deis confirms. "Doesn't mean there isn't one, just that no one's found it. And your world might be connected to one of the portals, you never know. And hey, maybe you'll be the one to find it, who knows? Maybe that's why you're here, to try to give hope to the people that haven't been able to get home?"
Edward smiles lightly at that, but there's just a tinge of sadness to it. "Somehow, I don't think that 'hope' is why I'm here. It's a nice thought, though."
"Exactly!" Deis counters. "And since I'm guessing you don't really know why you're here, why not think positive?" She smiles brightly. "Doesn't cost anything to think positive, and it makes things look so much brighter. Also it's more fun to get drunk if you're happy~."
Edward is actually fairly certain he knows why he's here, but he's also certain that's not a conversation he wants to have right now. Instead, he says, absentmindedly, "I don't get drunk, actually. Never found it appealing." Well, amongst other reasons.
Deis looks slightly disappointed. "Aww... well, to each his own," she decides, with a smile. "That's OK! We'll find something you like to do. There's a gym that way--" She points into the doorway to the gym "--And you can spar in there against a holographic opponent. If you're more the bookish type, there's been a library that recently opened, too. It's near the park. You'll probably see that mage with the fabulous facial hair there if you go. And there's an Academy out that way, too, if you're looking for an education."
Edward nods a little bit at that. "Well, it seems I have a lot of assimilating to do... I think maybe I better wander around a little, take the lay of land..." He stands up fluidly. "It was nice to meet you, though, Deis."
Deis nods! "I can go with you if you want," she offers. Pause. "I have legs, too, so don't worry about that. They're very nice legs, too, if I do say so myself~." Now she's just messing with him. It's pretty clear, too. She's not really actually flirting with him. More she's teasing him a little. Just a very confident person by nature, that's all."
Edward shakes his head a little bit at that, but it does draw just a hint of a genuine smile from him. "No, that's alright. I need some time to think. A lot of time to think. But I appreciate the offer, in the spirit in which it was intended."
Once more the serpent-goddess nods. "Oh I totally understand," she agrees. "Oh! Right. Totally slipped my mind, but the TASK headquarters has a welcome center. It's specifically for welcoming newcomers to Twisted. You might want to drop by there and all the ways how and places where to start."
Edward nods a little bit at that. "I think I will. Thanks for putting up with all of my questions, Deis." And with that, the teen practically glides right back to the door of the Usual, letting it shut behind him silently.