5887/Even if it's just dancing in the park

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Even if it's just dancing in the park
Date of Scene: 08 April 2021
Location: Central Park
Synopsis: Raven goes meditating in Central Park, and meets someone interesting.
Cast of Characters: Natasha Cranston, Rachel Roth

Natasha Cranston has posed:
    Now that the weather is finally getting warmer again in the Big Apple, Central Park is starting to come alive again, with street artists and buskers alike plying their trade along the paths, and people running around, jogging, throwing frisbees, or just lying back and enjoying the afternoon sun. Over on the Great Lawn, a Capoeira troupe has formed a circle and is starting to warm up the music leading in to a proper roda. It's has every sign of being a lovely day...

Rachel Roth has posed:
    Normally, leaving the tower during the day simply isn't the thing for Raven to do. She is not at all prone to exist under the sun if she can help it, but today is not like any other day.

    Specifically, it is related to a new set of speakers purchased by Gar, and modified extensively by Vic. They have excellent bass. They can be heard from the roof.

    Raven, as a result, is in /Central Park./ She isn't necessarily doing all that much. Hood up, she has taken to wandering the environment, its comparative peacefulness perfect for her to keep centered lest the world lose two heroes.

Natasha Cranston has posed:
    "Quiet" is perhaps not the right word to describe Central Park even on a slow day, but there's a difference. The noise is made up of scattered sounds of different people, each doing their own thing; the resulting amalgam is somewhat similar to the sounds of a forest, or a babbling brook - a mostly random and indistinct rustle that's almost soothing, both to the ears and to her empathic senses, with the occasional larger groups of people standing out as warm glows of collective focus...

Rachel Roth has posed:
    Raven is a stark contrast tp the bright and sunny Central Park.

    Especially, too, is there a contrast between her and any other parkgoers. Most of the inhabitants have come for the sun, wearing pastels and exercise attire. Raven, in her jet black lower half, with deep night crafted into a hoodie festooned with a relief of her signature bird... Well, she stands out.

    Eventually, she arrives at where she means to, a small copse of trees off of the main path through the park, with just enough shade to blot out the sun. It is here that she stops, and calmly sits down, legs crossed under one another.

Natasha Cranston has posed:
    Raven's outfit gets a few curious stares, but not that many -- New Yorkers tend to value their privacy and respect others'.

    She's not the only person who has picked the Lawn for a meditation spot, but there's plenty of room to sit away from everyone else and find a spot of peace in the middle of the bustle...

Rachel Roth has posed:
    Raven's hands casually fold in her lap. She does not fully take the sterotypical pose associated with meditation, instead opting for comfort- this time.

    Slowly, the sensation of the world around her begins to oaradoxically fade away and strengthen simultaneously. Gone is most noise, replaced by the static of intermingling emotions coming into focus.

    It is then that she becomes aware of every soul within New York City, every individual consciousness experiencing the myriad of respinses to stimumus available to the human mind.

    She reads their emotions like open books, and if she wanted, she could mix them around into shifting shades, or perhaps even wipe the slate clean like a painting in sand.

    All of this is to strengthen her resolve- to open herself to the floodgates of the human condition, and to weather that storm on ever greater scales. With one deep, calming breath, she remains at the center of that maelstrom, her morning exercise now properly underway.

Natasha Cranston has posed:
    As her consciousness expands the number of minds she's aware of rises geometrically, threatening to overwhelm her until she finds her center, letting conflicting emotions canceling each other out like opposing sound waves, leaving only a gentle hubbub.

Nearest to her physical self the emotions skew more toward the positive ends - people enjoying a day off, people lazing in the sun, people in love, people having fun...

    ... And among that, one oddly dual note. Two - or not /quite/ two - minds in one, somehow... A possession? An overlay of some kind?

Rachel Roth has posed:
    Raven is not normally so intrusive. She typically leaves thoughts alone, and that is true even now. What is curious is that she is seeing a sort of dual mind- and close, too.

    She does not spend long pondering it, pulling her gaze into focus on a narrower area almost as soon as that unique- perhaps even dangerous- mind becomes known. The objective now is to pinpoint it, and then quite literally see the person to whom this double consciousness belongs.

Natasha Cranston has posed:
    And her focus narrows back down. Within the city, within Manhattan, within the park, on the Lawn... There. Hard to see even now that she's looking for it; among a group of excited, concerted activity, laughing, dancing, singing... The Capoeira troupe.

    The 'outer' mind is among them, just as happy and excited as the others, fully part of that natural not-quite-mesh that group activities form on the mental plane. The inner is... Not exactly asleep, but dozing, or close to it. Like an idle co-pilot, aware but content to let the outer persona do the 'flying'...

Rachel Roth has posed:
    Finally, now that Rachel has narrowed down the location of the indiviDual that has gained her interested, she begins to move, and open her eyes.

    Already they focus solely on the person she's looking for, and with silent determination, she lifts from her seated position off of the path, and starts to quietly walk toward. She is not yet going to interact- but more make note. Match a face to a concept, and perhaps following that, a name to a face.

    First, though, the gloomy woman needs to physically see who she's honed in on.

Natasha Cranston has posed:
    As she gets closer, it becomes more clear who her objective is -- one of the dancers currently waiting in the inner circle for her turn in the center. A young-looking woman with dyed-blue hair in a loose ponytail, wearing the same style of loose cotton pants and tank top as the other dancers.

    As Raven approaches, it's the girl's turn at bat and she moves into the dance, cutting between the two dancers and taking over for one of them without missing a single beat in the rhythm.

    It's quickly obvious that the purpose of this dance isn't to actually fight one another but to dance /together/, making the other look good as much as - if not more so than - showing off one's own skills, with acrobatic feints and dodges mixing in between kicks and sweeps...

Rachel Roth has posed:
    Raven is not a martial artist per se. She can't swing a sword, and what she can do is limited to an admittedly excellent defense barehanded: But she recognizes Capoeira. Often cited as less of a fighting art than one of dancing, she's quite certain that one misstep, one mistake, and a whipping flip-kick is going to break a jaw.

    Not that it's likely, but still. She's aware that after a certain point, you're not really able to limit the power you're putting into things with such an emphasis on acrobatics.

    However, looming is what she does- Raven lingers on the outskirts, just far enough away that she won't be called into the circle of practicing dancers. There she waits, to find out what she can- as limited as that is going to be- about this enigma she's discovered.

Natasha Cranston has posed:
    No one is being pulled into the circle if they don't want to - although it looks like a few members of the troupe are standing around outside it handing out fliers to people interested. They fairly quickly realize that Raven isn't, so she's left alone to observe.

    The blue-haired dancer seems to be staying in the ring for a fairly long time, with multiple opponents switching in and out. It becomes quickly clear that she's one of the better dancers (fighters?) in the troupe... And that against lower-ranking opponents she deliberately tones down her own moves to let them try to match her and improve as they dance.

    Against the higher ranking opponents the musicians deliberately speed up the rhythm to make both dancers break out their A-game, with jumps and flips that Nightwing might be proud to make.

    Eventually, there's an almost unnoticable nod from her, and the next person who jumps in takes over for her as she makes her way to the outer ring, clapping to keep up the rhythm.

Rachel Roth has posed:
    Like a specter upon this little gathering, Raven plays the part of a typical voyeur, just observing the dance until the person of interest has left her place in the center and is now on the outskirts. When that happens, Raven approaches. It is a simple thing, someone whom seems to have no place there makes her way forward, and with little ceremony, and little voice- but still enough to be heard- she speaks up.

    "We need to talk."

    Of course, the voice is more than a little unsettling. Monotonous and underpracticed, it holds so little emotion that it might betray how centered she keeps herself, and on first hearing may be more than some can handle without issue. Regardless, there she is, calling for a conversation with Natasha, without a care in the world.

Natasha Cranston has posed:
    Raven knows pretty well how most mortals react to hearing her voice when she isn't making an effort to be pleasant -- if nothing else, Gar has remarked upon it often enough.

    So it's notable when the girl doesn't seem to bat an eye, simply turning to look at the speaker and tilting her head for a moment as if trying to discern who just spoke to her and why.

    Blue eyes meet purple ones, narrow - and for the briefest of instants, so quick that if she hadn't been watching for it a different expression flickers over her face as the other personality is roused, assesses, comes to a decision... And the girl nods. "Somewhere more private than here, I take it?" she murmurs. "Lead on."

Rachel Roth has posed:
    The usual assessment for anyone inclined who has more than a small amount of sense is 'should probably run or kill, but neither is likely to end well,' so it's of no particular surprise that a different set of eyes advises to have the conversation.

    Raven, for her part, isn't surprised about anything. The lack of reaction, nor the sudden conscious presence of the Second.

    She turns and in silence leads Natasha away, hands still sheathed in the pockets of her hoodie. It's not difficult to find someplace secluded in central park. Though it may be impossible to find one where they'd be alone, it's easy enough not to be overheard. Magic will take care of that when practicality doesn't allow.

    When, finally, they reconvene at a park bench, conspicuous enough, Raven takes a seat.

    "You're not normal. It wouldn't matter save for what the other entity is teaching you. I don't think it has anything to do with dancing."

Natasha Cranston has posed:
    The girl blinks in surprise and a bit of what feels like earnest confusion at Raven's words, but then her eyes widen in understanding, and she smiles, exhales, closes her eyes...

     And as she opens them again her entire body language shifts subtly. "Acutely observed... But I'm afraid your conclusion is off. Well reasoned, but wrong nonetheless. I'm no teacher... And 'Jenny' isn't quite real."

Rachel Roth has posed:
    Raven shakes her head. "That's where your perception of yourself may be lacking." she offers, some level of condescension in her words yet not in her tone.

    Her head turns away from Natasha for a moment, as she looks out over the park. "You teach 'Jenny' in ways that maybe you don't understand. A facade is informed by its architect. I wasn't just talking about skills. I don't normally have these sorts of conversations, however an opportunity is an opportunity."

Natasha Cranston has posed:
    A chuckle. "You seem to know a great deal... But you're still mistaken. Jenny is who I am when I don't want to be anyone else for a while. And, I admit, her hobbies are useful skills in... /our/ line of work, wouldn't you agree?" the woman asks, meeting Raven's gaze dead on.

Rachel Roth has posed:
    Raven doesn't seem to ever blink, so that's- probably not a pleasant thing to be doing, meeting that stare. Plus, it pierces- beyond the veil of presentation into the whole of one's being. "And she was created whole cloth by /you/. As for our line of work, I'm sure they are useful. That is all I needed to ascertain."

Natasha Cranston has posed:
The woman holds Raven's gaze for a bit longer, as if to make a point, then leans back, a smirk playing over her lips. "If you're planning to lecture me on the risks, my Tulku already gave me a few earfuls. What's done is done."

    She rises and turns to leave. "Have a good day; it seems like you need one more than I do right now."

    With that she turns and walks off into the crowd. For a moment passers-by cross behind her, obscuring her from Raven's field of view -- and when they move on, she's gone. Completely.