|A Twisted Tour|
Seems like a good day as ever to be over at the beach. Desmond doesn't use nearly as much alliteration but nevertheless walks the sandy shores with his hood covering his head to protect from the sun and his hands tucked in his pockets. As we walks past Serenity he gives the colorful mollusc a friendly hello. "Yo."
Dark. It was dark.
The sound of wailing filled his ears, the wailing of pyreflies. Not surprising, though. He was dead, after all. Wasn't he? He didn't feel dead. In fact, awareness is beginning to return to him. He's in water. Curled up, his hands clasped around his knees. He remembered Yuna thanking him... then watching himself fade away... and then seeing his father one last time before darkness.
His eyes open, and he looks around. Water. An ocean? Shiva's Fayth said she would 'dream a new sea' for him... is that where he is now? But it truly felt like waking up, as though he'd merely woken up from a short nap. He uncurls himself, stretching, and then begins to swim for the surface...
Out in the water, there's a ball floating on the surface. It's blue and white, like a volleyball, but it's got a bumpy surface. Nothing to really call interesting... until a figure breaks the surface of the water violently underneath the ball, launching it skyward. It's a human figure.
The figure spins several times, as the ball begins to drop from the air. And as it passes in front of the figure's foot, the person comes out of the spin and slams a foot into the ball, sending it towards the shore with a resounding *SMACK!*. The figure then drops back into the water with only a small splash.
On the dock sits Rayne. Wait, sits? Is she actually... bob fishing? This is a rare sight indeed, as Rayne usually prefers to fly or lure fish, but no, today she's lazily seated on a beach chair, shades and straw hat on to guard her from the sun, as her rod is held not in her hands, but in a stand that seems specifically made for this purpose. Is she asleep? It's hard to tell with the shades and wide brimmed hat... in fact it might even be difficult to tell that's Rayne to begin with! But for now she doesn't seem to be moving hardly at all.
Serenity shifts to fluttering backwards as Desmond speaks up. Ren offers him a friendly wave with one wing, folding lines into the muscular sheets to vaguely resemble a human arm in a sleeve. "Hello again. Desmond, yes?" Ren hisses amiably in reply. Ren doesn't seem to take note of the first splash out to sea, but at the concussive sound shrinks lengthwise a little and twists quickly to look.
"Yep, that's me. The Des." 'The Des' smiles at Serenity as she returns his friendly wave, but when the colorful mollusc shrinks and the splashing sound followed by a loud collision is heard behind further down the beach, the young man loses his smile and looks over his shoulder.
Be it due to enhanced senses or a familiarity with such things Desmond recognizes the object flying in his direction for what it is. That is no missile or projectile. It looks like a soccer ball!
Even before he himself knows what is happening, his body is falling backwards and he is doing a full backflip in order to kick the ball in mid-air and send it spiraling back where it came from. His hands are still tucked in his pockets.
As said ball is struck, it goes flying with the same amount of speed and makes a curving path around Rayne, giving a good ol' middle finger to physics once again is it flies in ways its not humanly possible.
After his backlip kick, Desmond simply lands on his feet and blinks. "What the hell was that?" Inwardly, that movement felt instinctive to Desmond. He didn't think about it, just acted, like if someone else had taken over his body. Although he feels utterly confused about everything, to the outsider, Desmond might appear like he's been a professional soccer player all along.
The figure in the water leaps up again as the ball comes back out over the water, and catches it. The momentum sends the person into a backflip and back into the water. The surface is quiet for a moment, but then a blond-haired head breaks the water in the shallows. A young man stands up out of the water and then heads towards where Desmond and Serenity are.
A couple things are notable (other than his weird outfit). The water doesn't seem to slow him down at all, and he's carrying the same ball that had been all but FIRED at them! He stops a little distance away from Serenity and Desmond. "Hey! I'm sorry about that, I didn't see anybody at first." A look to Desmond. "That was badass though!" He doesn' seem to have noticed Rayne yet. But as she's covered up, that might make sense.
Rayne suddenly bolts a slight more upright as the ball whistles around her. "Huh wha- who?" she says as she looks around. She seems to take in her surroundings as she blinks away the grogginess from the mid-afternoon nap. She glances around, noticing Ren and the vaguely familiar Desmond on the beach talking to someone that... she's sure she would remember if she'd seen him before, just based on his clothing alone. With a light yawn, she gets up out of her chair and stretches rather dramatically with a yawn. She takes her fishing rod into her hand and starts reeling it in, holding the end out over the sea as she walks towards the shore. She glances down at it as the hook finally emerges from the water. Of course, there's no bait left on it anymore. With a sigh, she looks back up, summoning a smile as she waves to Ren.
Serenity seems to lose track of the ball but does turn back to watch Desmond, backing up from him with a rapid rippling while looking on in confusion. "I have no idea," Ren eventually answers, "but it might be wise not to engage with something when you do not know what it is." Sliding back in closer to Desmond, Ren glances down at his feet. "It didn't injure you, did it?" Ren has hardly finished asking when there is another splash, to which Ren definitely does pay attention this time. "Hhh... Hello," Ren rasps uncertainly to Tidus as he exits the water and speaks up. Ren slides sideways so as not to be between him and Desmond. With the dramatic arrival of the other, Ren almost doesn't notice Rayne, but then returns her wave with a flash of the right fins out of the suspended water.
"I did know what it was. Somehow." Desmond says uncertainly. Even if his words of choice would imply he is sure of himself, his tone implies otherwise. "No.. I'm fine." He assures Serenity when she asks if he's hurt and glances up when the strange fellow on the half lederhosen looking outfit approaches.
As Desmond is staring intently to the amicable looking fellow, he is taken off guard when Tidus compliments him on his technique. "Uhh.." Better take this in stride thinks Desmond and quickly follows along. "Uh, yeah! But not as badass as you, man." He grins and snaps his fingers at Tidus before raising his hand up to offer a high five. "Nice shot, bro." For some reason, Desmond isn't doing his usual eye flash thing that he does when he meets someone new. He feels that he doesn't need it.
Rayne is noted as well, though it seems Des is a bit too focused with the new guy to greet properly just yet.
The blond-haired youth that came from water water offers a smile to Rayne, greeting her with a wave and a bright, "Hey there!" Serenity speaks, Tidus turns in her direction... and his eyes go wide! "Whoa...! ...Uh... hi!" He tries not to let the fact that he's talking to a large... actually he's not sure what she is! But she hasn't tried to eat him, so he assumes she's not a fiend.
Desmond's words draw his attention, and he grins. The high-five is returned. "Thanks! I had lots of practice!" He raises a hand to rub at the back of his neck. "So uh. Where is this? Doesn't look like Besaid. Definitely not Zanarkand."
Rayne arrives at the group with her rod slung over her shoulder. Overhearing the blonde questioning where he is, she gives Ren a knowing glance.
Time to get to work.
"You're in Twisted," she tells him in response. "More than likely, you're not on the same plane of existence that you were before you arrived at this beach." She offers him a nod of her head rather than a hand to shake as she introduces herself. "I'm Rayne Hurris, I actually more or less run the Welcome Center here, and Serenity here-" She motions towards the floating invertebrate. "-also works with me in the Center, so you're a bit in luck in that we can help you out a little more readily than others."
Serenity nods in reply to Desmond's assurance. Ren offers Tidus as much of a smile as one can without teeth before slipping over to Rayne's side to give Tidus and Desmond some room. Ren frowns at Tidus' question, glancing to Rayne for that one. Ren does offer him a hand to shake, in a manner of speaking. With an encouraging smile, Ren extends a pair of fin edges toward Tidus, extruding a portion, deeply scalloping the edges, and folding in some wrinkles for an imaginary sleeve. It might look like a human hand if one squints and uses sufficient imagination. "I hope that we can reassure you and answer at least some of your questions."
Oh, a new guy, huh? That explains some things. Desmond tucks his hands back in his pockets when Rayne approaches and clarifies things. It is indeed very thankful that Rayne and Serenity are here when all this is occurring, Desmond wouldn't have known what to do at all. He can, at least, introduce himself though. "I'm Desmond." He points to himself with his thumb. "And just like you, I'm from a different plane of existence." Whoa, it feels so weird to say that, but its the truth.
"...Twisted?" The blond teen blinks at Rayne's words. The mention of a welcome center gets a tilted head. "so, uh. This happens a lot? People showing up, I mean." Otherwise why would they need a welcome center, right? Ren extends fins for what looks like a handshake and Tidus tries to return said handshake. Carefully, mind, since he's not sure how delicate those fins are. He nods to her remark. "I hope so too. Thanks." Desmond confirms that he's also from another plane of existence, and the young man nods. "Huh. Well, I was expecting to not be where I was. And where I came from doesn't exist anymore. I just didn't expect to be... y'know, HERE."
He smiles broadly. "Well, it's nice to meet you guys! Name's Tidus. Used to be star player of the Zanarkand Abes." He pauses, looking back out to the water. "Wonder if this was what Shiva meant when she said 'a new sea'...?" he mutters under his breath.
Rayne smiles a bit as the other two back her up some, and nods to Tidus. "Exactly. This is a world where almost no one is actually from here. Almost everyone is a transplant from some other universe. Ren, myself, Desmond, everyone, even deities are here. I'm afraid I can't help you return to where you came from, but we can help you settle in here." She tilts her head as Tidus mentions Shiva talking about a 'new sea'. "I don't think anyone knew they were coming before they got here, so... unlikely, I'm guessing."
Serenity's grip of boneless muscle is not especially firm but offers a light squeeze. Ren regards Tidus with a puzzled expression as he mentions his origins but nods as he introduces himself. "I'm pleased to meet you." Ren remains watching intently as Rayne explains, particularly the part about return. To her supposition Ren adds, "I suppose that ending up in any sea is marginally more likely than ending up in a particular one." To Tidus, Ren offers, "While Twisted is considerably more difficult to live in than where I am from, I assure you that you can make yourself a fulfilling home here. Perhaps we can answer some questions for you about your needs?" Ren asks, then motions toward the shore. "Also, would you be more comfortable sitting indoors?"
Desmond watches as Rayne and Serenity relate most of the details of what Tidus should expect here in Twisted. Its Tidus' reaction that draws an arched eyebrow from Desmond. Approval? Even with the few people that Desmond has seen converge here, he's always seen other convergences react with terror, denial and despair. How could they not? After being kidnapped from their universe and deposited here in this half prison, half zoo of a universe.
As far as he knew, Desmond was the only one that had ever been happy to now be in Twisted, so its a refreshing sight to see a somewhat similar reaction from this Tidus guy. "Yeah, best that can be done is give you a welcome. But adding to what Serenity said, I can tell you its not so bad around here, I've personally grown to like it." Seeing that he did say the best they could do is give him a welcome, Desmond goes and gives Tidus his own greeting. "Safety and Peace." No matter where he goes, he knows those words tend to put people at ease, and thus he endeavors to use them.
Tidus listens as Rayne explains a bit more about the place. His eyes go a bit wide as she mentions deities here. "Whoa, really? It's even pulling in gods?" he marvels. "Wow. No wonder. I bet the Fayth aimed me elsewhere and I got pulled in here." He shrugs. "Ah well. It's 'a new sea', even if it wasn't the one they were talking about."
Serenity's offer gets a tilt of his head. "Long as there's food and a place to sleep," he says with a grin, and spins the ball on his finger. "There's a place to swim, so I'm cool." As for sitting indoors? "I'm cool here or inside. Might be a good idea for me to dry off a little more, though." His clothes don't hold the water very well, it's true, but he's still somewhat damp.
Desmond's words get a nod. "As long as it beats bein' dead, I'll get used to it." He says this with surprising cheer. Maybe Tidus has more in common with Desmond than either of them know! The 'safety and peace' gets a blink. "I hope there's plenty of that here!"
Rayne tilts her head slightly, but nods at what Serenity and Desmond say. "Yes," she finally adds of her own as Tidus speaks of the gods she mentioned. "The leader of the local police force is actually a god of war." She then smiles at the mention of food and shelter. "You can in fact get that here, and you're not going to have to worry too much about it all. Apartments are actually free of charge and the Usual Restaurant offers free food as well. Of course, it's always encouraged to tip." She frowns, however, at Tidus' hope. "I'm afraid it's a dangerous place at times. Our police force is honestly a bit militaristic, and unfortunately, I can't really say that's not called for." She suddenly crouches down and reaches under the skirt of her sundress, pulling out a weapon that unfolds into a shortsword. "I tend not to go anywhere completely unarmed, myself."
Serenity nods as Rayne mentions the food and shelter and also frowns as she mentions the dangers. "Yes life here is entirely less peaceful than being dead." Ren still adds with a smile. "Incorporated team sports are... somewhat lacking, as are the fine arts on display and a number of other aspects of civilization that I'm rather fond of." Ren motions toward Tidus, "That said, the diverse array of cultures here has enormous potential for growth. I very much hope that you'll be working to make it a better place to live."
"Wow. I guess that's an appropriate job, though," he surmises. "Who'd know how to fight better than a god of war?" Pause. "...His name's not Yojimbo, is it? Because that would be incredibly cool but incredibly freaky." Probably someone he knows. The war god from his world? When his concern via food and shelter is put to rest, he nods. "All I'm gonna ask for. I can sleep underwater, but it gets tedious having to wake up every couple hours to surface for breath." Yes, he did say 'every couple hours'.
Rayne pulls that sword out from under her SKIRT! Tidus looks away when Rayne reaches down like that, out of respect. He has no idea what she's doing. And then there's a sword in her hand when he looks back. He ducks his head a little, his face going a bit red from a thought that floats through his head, one he's NOT going to voice, because it's crude! "Well, I know my way around a... I mean, I can defend myself pretty well. You shoulda seen what I was doing before I came here. I was a Summoner's Guardian." He grins proudly.
Serenity mentions there's not a sports team, and Tidus frowns. Just for a few seconds though! Then that grin is back. "That's no problem! I can teach anybody who can hold their breath long enough how to Blitz!" A nod at her hope. "That's the aim, right? Not just me, anybody."
Rayne blinks at Tidus' response to her drawing the sword and facepalms. "I've got to get used to drawing these more... I actually have shorts on under the dress, you know, and the swords are in thigh sheathes. But no, his name is Kotal Kahn, or Huitzilopochli, depending on the culture worshipping him, I suppose." She shrugs, then blinks. "Wait, two hours? I don't think we have any aspiring athletes that can hold their breath that long."
Ren gives Tidus an inquisitive look, as if checking him over for gills, as he mentions sleeping underwater. Ren still nods in reply as he mentions his previous position, glancing over to Rayne for some thoughts on that, but it seems she had the same question as Ren. "Indeed we need the work of everyone, or at least a majority, to build a better society from Twisted. Nonviolent team sports would certainly be a move in that direction." Ren adds to Rayne's caution, "I don't know of any humans who can hold their breath that long, but we do have some people who do not need to hold their breath underwater. Perhaps you could attract the interest of some of them?"
"Wheat's a.... what?" Tidus asks, at the pronunciation of Kotal's other name. Apparently he can't quite pronounce it. As for holding breath two hours? "Well... Blitzball quarters are only five minutes each, really," he admits. "It's just easier if you can hold your breath longer." Tidus has no visible gills, not to the naked eye at least. his neck and a bit of his torso are uncovered, and neither seems to have any gill slits. Serenity's mention of people that don't need to hold their breath gets a nod. "Hey, that's right! You said there were a bunch of different kinds of people here, right? I bet there are some people running around here that can breathe underwater!" he surmises.
Rayne says a bit dryly, "Or, more accurately, don't need to breathe to begin with. We've a few undead around..." She tilts her head, thinking a moment before she starts speaking in a more normal tone. "Though if you really want to be in the water that much, I'd highly suggest acquainting yourself with Morgana. She's... More or less in charge of the sea here. See, she's a siren, so she's more at home in the water than on land... Just... don't mess with her. She can be incredibly vicious if you give her reason to be. She asaulted a next of armored creatures a month or so back, and that was while she was pregnant. Which she still is, for the record."
Serenity nods as Tidus explains the requirements then grins at his enthusiasm. "Indeed, Morgana can be somewhat aloof from the affairs of people living on land, which includes myself much of the time," Ren agrees. "I would certainly make certain that she is aware of your intentions before collecting any large teams together in the coastal waters. In addition to the security role that Rayne mentioned, one might say that she is responsible for environmental protection." Ren asks thoughtfully, "Does this sport also involve any teams of people with respiratory difficulties who need breathing masks?"
Tidus makes a bit of a face at the mention of undead. "Yeahno, let's skip that." Pause. "...One of 'em doesn't happen to be a swordsman in a red coat, does it?" After all, Tidus is here, why wouldn't Auron be? Then again, Tidus's situation's a bit more complicated than that. The mention of Morgana being 'in charge' of the sea around here gets a sheepish look. "...I hope she doesn't mind if I pop down there every so often. It's kinna in my blood." Serenity's confirmation gets a nod. "I'll go talk to her before any recruiting takes place," he promises. "Maybe she'll wanna join!" A grin. But then Serenity asks the question, and he rubs the back of his neck. "It hasn't so far. But I've only known two-legged people to play it. And I guess you'd have to be careful not to lose your mask during a tackle."
Rayne says, "Well, the people I'm thinking of are a vampire that looks like she's in her early teens and a... gnome. I'm not sure exactly what she is, but I've been told she's some sort of undead." She does raise an eyebrow. "She doesn't seem to mind people visiting her realm, as far as I've seen. But if you do it a lot, she's likely to get suspicious." She points towards Tidus. "That's why I'm saying you should talk with her if you're gonna be in the waters a lot, even if you're not having your games... And you'll definitely want to let her know if you're planning even one game, I'd think. Having whole teams of people? Yeah, that's gonna get her attention. Best talk to her first. As far as her wanting to join...." Rayne shrugs. "I'm guessing she won't right now on acocunt of her being with child, but maybe after that."
Serenity grins as Tidus speaks at the image of Morgana on a sports team, then nods with Rayne's caution. "I doubt that you will have any trouble if you ask first. The water near the shore seems free and open to casual swimming," Ren assures Tidus, "while the forest is open to the occasional respectful visitor as well. I would avoid the abyssal plain, though, so as not to stir up a previous territorial dispute with a settlement there." Apparently Ren is not underestimating Tidus' free-diving skills. Ren motions toward Tidus, "As for your sport, it may be that you need to develop some adaptations to the available players. The ability to decide between adaptation or determination seems to be a vital one for living in this world."
Tidus blinks a little at Rayne's description of the undead. "Nope. Can't say I know either of 'em," he says. He's actually not sure what a 'gnome' is, but he's not going to ask. But when Rayne mentions talking to Morgana, Tidus nods. "I get that. I'd probably get suspicious if there was some kid on my front lawn day after day," he agrees. As for Morgana being with child? Tidus winces. "Yeah... probably better if she waits, in that case. It's pretty rough." Tidus takes note of all the locations Serenity mentions. He actually seems to be considering it. "Wonder if there's any ruins there," he says thoughtfully. "Man. The Al Bhed would be all over that." He nods though. "But yeah. Definitely going to talk to her first." Tidus rubs his chin at the mention of adapting the game. "It's pretty simple as it is, I'm not sure how I could change it. 'Put ball in other team's goal' is about it."
Rayne laughs and shakes her head. "Maybe having the game near enough to the surface to allow people to come up to breath more often? Five minutes is an exceptional amount of time for most people to be holding their breath in this universe, but I can understand it being an issue if it's a rough sport." She then tilts her head, pondering. "Well, maybe a good solid helmet with a breathing device in it would work. Protects from head injuries and allows breathing at the same time? Not that I can help you out too much with the development, but I don't see that being particularly challenging, to be honest." She nods to Serenity. "Yeah, Ren and I went out to the forest a few days ago to test out some... not quite so hardy equipment she'd picked up. It was nice visiting out there, and if Morgana noticed us, she didn't care, since we didn't disturb much more than a few fish and crustaceans. Then again, I have trouble diving very deep without a pressure suit."
"I'll leave the advisability of helmets to those who can afford to be a bit more rough with their heads," Ren remarks with a note of amusement. Ren forms a 'digit' from a pair of fin edges to flatten the end of the snout and demonstrate that Ren isn't in that group. "But Rayne's idea of playing near the surface seems a wonderful one, provided the game doesn't suffer unduly from the lack of three free dimensions." Ren then reaches up to tap the device on the rhinophore cuff. "Pardon me," Ren says to Tidus and Rayne. "I may be needed in the Welcome Center."
Tidus nods. "Could do that," he agrees, to Rayne's suggestion of keeping the match near the surface. "I get the feeling sphere pools aren't exactly all over the place anyway." As for a helmet? "That might also be a good idea. When there are eight foot tall cat-people with horns on their foreheads tackling you, safety gear doesn't really help out as much as you'd think," he notes sheepishly. He winces a little at Serenity's flattening of her head. "Y-yeah, I can see that," he acknowledges. "It can, depending on how artsy the players get. The Goers were pretty good." Frown. "Much as I hate to say it, those stuck-up..." He trails off when Ren seems on her way out. And then he brightens up again, giving a wave. "Later! Was good to meetcha!"
Rayne offers a wave to Serenity as well. It was her day off, so she had the time to take a nap on the dock while fishing... But she can't completely turn it off when someone shows up out of the blue like this! "Well, like I said... the double use thing..." She shrugs. "I may not know what a sphere pool is from experience, but it sounds to me like something that we... really don't have here, yeah. You might need to rethink your sport a bit more than we thought initially..." She frowns, then shrugs.
Tidus nods. "Well... really I need to settle in first, and worry about that later," he decides. "I'd have to train people too, and that'd take a while. So there'll be time for the rest of that." He smiles broadly. "Not being dead is an improvement over about... oh, five minutes before I got here. So I have that."
Rayne laughs and nods. "All valid points I must concede. All right, then. Do you want to see the rest of the town, other than the beach now?" She motions off towards the not-so sandy part of the land, in the general direction of a tower rising up.
"Sounds good!" Tidus replies. "Does the town have another name? Or is it 'Twisted', too?" he asks. "Seems like a weird name. But if it's appropriate..."
Rayne shakes her head. "Nope. Just Twisted." She motions towards the bridge and the city on the other side. "That, however, is Neo-Edo. Give me a moment to collect my fishing gear?" She lifts up the side of the skirt of her dress to reveal, yes, she is wearing shorts underneath it. She folds the sword with a motion of her hand and stows it in a sheath there before she walks to the dock to collect a tackle box that has a cooler attached to the bottom. Lifting that, she reshoulders her rod and walks back onto the beach. "Alright, I'll give ya a basic tour."
Tidus looks in the direction of the bridge for a moment, and then Rane mentions her fishing gear. He nods, though again looks away when she flips her skirt up. Shorts or not, it's just rude to look up a girl's skirt! Once she's got everything together he agrees, "OK!" Pause. "Need me to carry something?" he offers.
Rayne glances down at her tacklebox. "Eh, I'm fine, thanks. Just gimme a moment when we get to where my apartment is to drop it off." She motions with her head towards the mainland and starts walking up a set of stairs built into the embankment.
The Twisted Street - One Way
Rayne steps off the stairs and onto the sidewalk and looks around before glancing back at Tidus. "Any questions yet?"
Tidus follows behind Rayne, off the beach and onto the street. He turns about a little as he walks, looking around. "So, it's got technology and all?" he asks. "I just came from a place that thought technology was a sin."
Rayne raises an eyebrow as she turns to face Tidus again. "I come from a place where I'm a licensed technician for personal starship repair. Most of the technology here is actually lower than what I'm used to, but a lot of it is also way beyond anything I was familiar with before I got here... Like the nanomachines that repair the buildings faster the closer you get to the center of town. That said, I've also got a little bit of training in spellcasting." She motions towards what looks like a Greek temple with a much less classical looking tower rising behind it. "That's what passes for Town Hall here, and the tower behind it is TASK Headquarters. TASK is the local police force I mentioned earlier, where I'm second in command as well as being in charge of the Welcome Center branch, which is at the base of the tower. That staircase spiraling around it is to access portals on the outside that link to the few worlds that are more permanently linked to here."
Tidus's eyes go a bit wide. "Starships? Like literal spaceships?" he asks. He seems impressed by this. "Beats Spira... a microwave was considered 'heretical'." He looks displeased by this. He goes quiet when she starts talking about the area, and looks around as she points things out. The town hall building, the TASK building, the welcome center inside it... Though he looks back at Rayne when she mentions portals. "Low chances of any of them being to Zanarkand, I guess?"
Rayne laughs, "Yes, literal space ships. In the universe I come from, owning your own spaceship is something that a lot of... upper middle class people do that like to if they like to travel a lot. I had one, and I based my apartment here on its deckplan. And if a place considers microwaves to be heretical, I'd never manage to cook anything there." She's exaggerating a bit there... one doesn't cook fish in the microwave. She then shakes her head to the question. "If you didn't come in through the portal, it's unlikely that there's one to your world there."
She points out the nearby clinic next. "That's the clinic, in case you get injured. Ren's boyfriend is a bit of a genius doctor that more or less runs the place." She glances around and points out a small store. "There's a convenience store... Not where I typically shop for anything, but they've got the best array of drinks for sale I've seen in all of Twisted."
Tidus nods. "Well, I've ridden a chocobo before, though I don't guess that counts." He's clearly just teasing, though. As for the lack of microwave? "You and me both," he agrees. "Lucky half the group knew how to cook over a fire, otherwise we'd all have starved on that trip." He goes quiet again when Rayne points out the clinic. Always a good place to know the location of! He nods. Though hearing 'Ren's boyfriend' conjures an image of a male... whatever she is. Would they look the same? And then Rayne points out a store. "Right. Gotcha."
Rayne continues on towards the middle of town.
The Twisted Street
Rayne walks along the street, approaching the center of Twisted. "This is the core of the city, if you ask me," she says. She motions over to a prominent building that is clearly a restaurant. "That's the Usual Restaurant. It's a popular meeting place, hangout place, and eating place. They've got a dance club and a gym inside, so it's really popular around here. Also, you can actually get free food there... but it's highly encouraged to tip, since that's all most of the waitstaff works for. And they're very open to just about anyone walking in and putting on a uniform to help them out." She then points out Integra Arms. "That's the main apartment complex, there. They actually can get you a free apartment... don't ask why, I'm not entirely sure. But if you'd excuse me a minute, I'm gonna go drop this stuff off." With that said, she runs inside to put away her fishing gear.
Tidus turns his gaze to the Usual when Rayne indicates it, taking in the look of the place. Free food? Definitely a place Tidus will have to remember. Particularly if it has a gym. The dance club sounds pretty cool, too. But what Tidus has on his mind most of the time is training! Looking back to the Integra Arms as Rayne then points it out, he pauses at something she says. Looks to Rayne. "Free apartments?" Though he nods as Rayne mentions needing to go to drop off stuff. "I'll be here," he promises. Though when she gets back, she'll find him bouncing that ball off of a nearby wall. Well, 'bouncing' isn't quite accurate. He's kicking and PUNCHING the ball, getting it to bounce off the wall in weird ways that a simple sports ball isn't supposed to be capable of-- odd banked shots, upwards-curving trajectories and what have you.
Rayne soon returns without her fishing gear, then nods to him in greeting again. "Alright, where were we... Ah, yes, Devil May Cry... Basically a private detective agency what used to be linked to TASK. In fact, it used to be the unofficial headquarters of the organization, right up until it got bombed. After that, everything was moved into the actual tower." She seems to glance around, deciding where to go next. In the end, she continues down Twisted Street.
Twisted Street - Another Way
When Tidus sees Rayne again, he stops with the abuse of the sports ball. He catches the ball as it falls down, and smiles. Though he blinks at this bit of explanation. "'Devil May Cry'? What kinda name is that?" he asks. There's no trace of malice in the statement; it's pure confusion. Though he follows after her nonetheless.
Rayne shrugs at the question. "I guess you'll have to ask Dante that question if you see him. White hair, red coat, seems to have an inability to have any chair he sits in to have more than two feet on the floor at any given time, if even that many..."
She pauses as they get further down the street and she points out the various more permanent fixtures here. "Eat or Die is a Chinese food place that... I don't have a strong desire to try out myself. But right past it is the entrance to the main store around here, S-Mart. You can get just about anything there, but don't count on particularly high quality." She glances about a bit, then points out, "Coffee of Doom. They specialize in coffee and having rude staff. Apparently that is actually a selling point for them, but I pass on it, personally. There's the Occult book store there, you can find... odd books, mostly, there." She shrugs.
Tidus snickers at Rayne's description of Dante. "Right, I'll remember that." He follows on. "Chinese?" That seems like an unfamiliar word to him. Which might be a bit strange, because he looks like he might be a Japanese kid. The long-standing feud between the two nations should bring up something, right? Unless he's not Japanese. The mention of S-Mart? "If it's not high quality, why does everybody buy from the place?" And Coffee of Doom? "There's a place like that in Zanarkand. My dad used to eat there a lot. But he was kind of a dick too, so... yeah."
Rayne shrugs at the partially asked question of what Chinese food is. "It's... ethnic food, more or less. And we shop there because they have everything there, and it's inexpensive. You pay for convenience and price with a some of the items being not as high quality." She shrugs, then points further out, to where the road seems to almost vanish. "That... is the wastelands. Do not go there. I will repeat myself, because this is insanely important. Do. Not. Go. There." She looks at him with a look of deadly seriousness as she says this. "If you go there, we cannot help you. A few months back, Kotal Kahn, a war deity, had to be rescued from that place."
Tidus nods at the answers; they all make sense. A look then to the place the road disappears. He draws back a little at Rayne's intensity when she warns him about the wastelands. "Whoa. Uh, right, I gotcha." His eyes widen a bit at the mention of having to rescue a war god. "Oh wow. Yeah, not a place on my travel itinerary. Thanks for the warning."
Rayne relaxes a bit and nods. "Right, lemme take you to park road, now, then," she says before turning to head in the other direction.
As they turn around the corner and head up Park Road, Rayne points out the library in passing. "The Library recently opened up. A few friends of mine had talked about building one, but someone else beat them to it." She shrugs with a bit of a frown for some reason, and continues onward until they get closer to the end of the road. "Kohoku Academy is a public school that..." She gives Tidus a good look, trying to gauge his age. "...If you've not completed your education, I'd suggest you attend. They have dormatories there, as well, but some students live at Integra Arms." She then motions to the other side of the street. "Over there is Nowhereto Park. It's a fairly popular hangout spot, as well. And ahead is the Cemetery. I... don't ever really go there, to be honest."
A library and a school! Neither of these are really that interesting to Tidus, mainly because he's not only the typical teen (who dislikes school) but a typical jock (who doesn't read much). But it's a good thing they're there! Tidus does look like he's in his late teens, though... pretty obviously so. He makes a face at the mention of going to school. "...Eh. Guess you can't be free of everything comin' here, huh?" he half-kids. Park and cemetery! He frowns a bit. "As long as everybody's not half-sticking out of walls there, I'm cool with it," he says. "Though I don't really have a need to go there, since I'm betting nobody I know is buried there."
Rayne shakes her head at the 'freedom from school' line of thought. "Sorry, but no. And.... We've had officers lost in the line of duty. I go to the funerals, but... that's all." She looks about the place and nods. "That's pretty much it for the tour, I guess. Across the bridge is Neo-Edo, but honestly, I stick to Twisted unless going to the mall, usually. And I just take the bus for that."
Tidus nods. "You have Sendings here?" he asks. "Or can they find their own way to the afterlife?" He'd never heard of Sendings until he went to Spira. But they're needed when deaths are violent and unexpected, right? And falling in the line of duty is most definitely a violent, unexpected death. "Neo-Edo... what all's there?" Pause. "I mean. I don't expect the same kind of tour as this-- and I really appreciate this one! Just, is it like this side of the bridge?"
Rayne blinks at the questioning about sendings and finding their own way to the afterlife and just... shrugs in response, then shakes her head at the question of Neo-Edo. "No, it's a larger and very much more heavily populated city than here. If you like urban style living, I'd suggest you head over there, not living on this side of the bridge. Anything else you want to know?"
Right, that is a 'what the hell are you talking about?' expression from Rayne. So Tidus takes that as a no, that they don't need Sendings here. Which is good. Her mention of the city being bigger and 'more urban' gets a perked-interest expression! Zanarkand was a pretty big city, and all the cities that size except for Bevelle (which was infected with Church, ew) had been reduced to ruin a thousand years ago. "That's something I do miss," he admits. As for anything else? Tidus tilts his head. "Anything else I need to know? Other places besides the wastelands to avoid, other people to avoid, things I shouldn't say, things I should run away from when I see 'em coming?"
Rayne blinks and puts a hand across her face. "Oh, right, gods, how could I forget about the fog! If you see fog roll in for apparently no reason, take cover. It's not a particularly common thing anymore, but it still happens from time to time. Monsters'll start showing up, and they can be pretty deadly. Also, there's some green skinned guys called 'orks' that are apparently starting to be a problem. They've been around for a while, but are only now becoming a real nuscence. And as another note, don't assume people aren't dangerous by their appearance."
Tidus blinks. "Monster-spewing fog? That definitely sounds bad." Sin's toxin didn't get out this far, did it? He hasn't seen anything to indicate Sin attacks, and a giant Aeon-whale eating coastal villages would probably be something Rayne would have mentioned if it was here. Also orks, and the explanation is appreciated, since Tidus has never heard that word before. As for not assuming people aren't dangerous, "Does that work both ways? Like, don't assume people ARE dangerous because of the way they look?"
Rayne nods. "There's a dragon that lives near the park. The worst I've heard out of her is noise complaints, but I'd still avoid pissing her off. She is still a dragon. Really, if you just try to be respectful to people, you'll usually get along just fine. Usually."
Tidus nods. Then he grins impishly. "'Just be respectful; anybody you come across that that doesn't work for would probably have caused problems and needed to be dealt with later anyway', right?" he posits.
Rayne shrugs. "Well, more or less. I mean, there's always going to be an ornery old coot or two that won't care how respectful you are, but those types typically just yell at ya. Same as in any universe, I expect, really."
This gets a very slow nod from Tidus, one that is commonly called a 'sagenod'. Apparently he has first hand experience with these sorts of ornery old coots. "Or swear that mopping the floors is some kind of endurance training," he adds.
Rayne nods back and smiles. "Right! Well, I guess this concludes the tour. If you need any more help, just go through the 'Town Hall' I showed you and ask at the TASK Tower for where the Welcome Center is!"
Tidus nods, offering a broad smile! "Thanks! That was useful!" He knows where everything is now. Well, not everything, but enough to get by. So there's that! As for the Welcome Center? "Good idea. I have a feeling I'll need to."