Log:A Meeting of Dragon and Bat
|A Meeting of Dragon and Bat
8 August, 2017
A Dragon and a Bat walk into a workers collective.
Ziv has, at some point, found her way to the Cat-22 Collective in order to dine on the delicious food - of which she has a fair array set on a plate in her lap. She's sunk down deep into one of the overstuffed chairs, her feet tucked up underneath of her bottom, and a light reading novel splayed open (pages down) on the chair's arm.
It's mostly the food, though, that seems to have her attention - she's picking through an array of custard tarts, along with two croissants with fruit filling. Apparently not *quite* to her taste, but everything so far has been nibbled as she seems to figure out what she likes the best and start whole-heartedly on that.
While Iris isn't above coming someplace to partake of the food, dragons are carnivores and her tastes tend to run differently than the purely vegetarian options available here, which helps considerably with resisting the temptation to stuff her face. Yet, despite the fact that she doesn't intend to take, she does give, and when she comes in she's carrying a box under one arm with a variet of bottles in it, the kind of brown re-usable bottles that home-brewers tend to use (and re-use).
When she steps into the room her glittering, pearlescent eyes -- with irises that fill the whole of her sockets, and serpentine vertical slits -- scan the room until they fall on Ziv, to whom she flashes a sharp-toothed reptilian smile, and the crest of brightly colored feathers that crowns her head blossoms a bit wider as she speaks in an enthrallingly sibilant voice. "Hello, stranger. I'm glad I didn't show up to meet people only to find nobody here. I'm Iris Drake." She heads toward the mini-bar to casually heft the box onto it, then turns to head toward Ziv with a hand extended. A hand tipped with razor sharp, rainbow-hued claws.
Ziv had just recently stuffed one of the custard tarts into her mouth (one of the options more suited to an omnivore) when Iris came up the stairs. She looks up, fuzzy cheeks currently full of food, and stares at the pearlescent and rainbow feathered dragoness. Her expression is very much agog at that point, eyes flickering over the Fairest as she looks at all the colors. THE COLORS.
Then as the batling seems to regain something of her composure, she chews quickly and swallows to get her mouth free. Her lips are, at first, covered with the webbed wing-hand as she tries to properly clear them. "Oh! Hello. You're really... um. Well, that's a good name," she says after a pause, perking her ears forward.
Iris, at least, seems to take the nonplussed staring as a matter of course, not a matter of offense, and essentially gives it no heed, and the time she took putting the bottles on the bar meant that Ziv had time to recover. "Prismatic? Vibrant? Psychadelic? Gaudy?" Iris suggests with a tone full of amusement. "I've heard it all, don't worry, and..." she laughs, and a dragon's laughter is apparently not as unnerving as might be expected, instead as cheerful and bright as her coloration. "The name is pretty apt, isn't it? No beating around the bush. And you are?"
The dragoness is wearing a long, flowing loose dress in a fairly plain pale blue, with only the thinnest of straps and almost nowhere that it clings to her, and sandals on her taloned feet. Given the short tail that occasionally twitches under the back of the dress and the wings on her back, it's probably more comfortable than most other things she might wear. Though it's also quite obvious that despite a decidedly feminine figure in most respects, and a voice to match, she seems to have no breasts to speak of under the front of the dress. Who ever heard of a snake or a lizard with tits? Apparently the same holds true of dragons.
Ziv's ears flick forwards and back as Iris lifts off the words - it doesn't seem as if she's fully comprehending all of them, at least from the slightly glassy-eyed look that takes her. But when Iris finishes, she says, "Um. Bright. Pretty," there's a light shrug of her wing-arms, sending a light tremor through the webbing. "Ziv Allendale. Just Ziv is fine."
There's a light, fanged grin that the Beast gives. She herself is wearing a tank-top and what appears to be cut-off shorts at present, a flannel shirt draped over the back of the chair. Curious eyes turn downwards to the dragoness's twitching tail, but then she looks back up at current company's face. "I've never seen someone like you before!" she chirps out, then offers up the plate with a remaining tart on it and the fruit-filled croissants. "Want any?"
"I've been called those things before as well," Iris admits, coming over to take a seat on a chair near Ziv's. She slips her sandals off of her feet as she sits, then folds her legs under her because sitting on her tail isn't very comfortable, but on the whole make herself at home. "They're fairly accurate words, I suppose. And thank you, Ziv. It's a pleasure to meet you." She tilts her head slightly and regards the chiropteran stranger with eyes that never seem to blink. "I have seen others somewhat like you before, but I'm old and I've been around for a long time. Still, none of us are quite the same, are they? I'm sure there's quite a bit that makes you truly unique. Like your name. I don't think I've met a Ziv before." She holds up a hand in polite refusal, then. "I'll pass on the treats. Sweets don't agree with me like they used to."
With the polite decline of the treats on the plate, Ziv draws it back to herself and places it in her lap, curling her wings partially around it. "I've seen others like me before, too; and the name isn't really mine. I, er, took it when I came back to Earth," she admits, flipping her ears down and back temporarily. They're soon pricked towards Iris again, however, with obvious interest. A slight squirm is given under the unblinking, reptilian eyes. "A pleasure to meet you as well. Have you been here, long?"
"A reasonable thing to do," Iris agrees, leaning against the arm of her chair, toward Ziv, as if interested in the other and their thoughts. Her eyes still don't blink, exactly, but thin and translucent nictitating membrances briefly slide across them and back, with her gaze never breaking. "I changed my last name, but not my first. It's not as if the Iris I used to be would still even be alive, let alone looking as young as I do. And here? In this area? I just got into town yesterday, actually. What about you?"
"A few days ago," Ziv answers the question first, flicking one ear back again but keeping one oriented on Iris. At least for now - they're ever in motion, even when held oriented a certain way with small twitches as she listens to the sounds around them - such as the clink of dishes. Chatter from downstairs. It's faint up here, though, by comparison to the main dining area. "I... gave up my old life, it's no longer me. I'd probably still be alive, but it hardly matters." Then, nosily and perhaps a bit rudely, she wonders, "When are you from?"
Between the two, Ziv and Iris probably average out to ears of normal size. Ziv's are larger, and Iris's are nothing but holes in the side of her head, not even really visible withthe polychromatic plumage that covers where they are, though the feathers there seem to be smaller and softer. She certainly doesn't have the same cue about her auditory attention shifting to pick up details, though, and as a result all of the intensity of her focus seems to be where her eyes are pointed, unblinkingly; at Ziv.
"I don't remember exactly," she admits. "But near enough as I can tell, some time in the late 19th century. I think I was born somewhere in the area around here, too." Her slim shoulders roll ever so slightly. "At least, when I heard there was a Freehold here it brought up a pang of something that I think might have been homesickness. The details are all rather hazy. What about you? What brought you here?"
Ziv isn't nearly as still and focused as Iris seems to be. She stretches momentarily, putting the plate aside on a nearby table, and pulling herself up so that she can rest on the balls of her clawed feet rather than keeping them tucked under her - more of a perching stance.
"I wanted somewhere out of the way, where I could get back to... well, where I could try to be human," she explains, partially wrapping her wing-arms around herself and tilting her head to the side in regard of Iris. "Think I'm probably about as old as I should be, but it's kind of hard to tell. My family never even noticed I was missing, out west, and they have lives of their own now... Sooo..." A faint, tremulous shrug as before, and her eyes briefly avert to the floor but they don't linger there long. "It's a small place, here, and even if people notice oddness they're not likely to let it go beyond here."
"Is that what you want?" Iris asks, head tilting slightly. "To try to be human?" She smiles at Ziv and says, "it's fine if it is, of course. As long as someone isn't hurting others, I support them being themselves in whatever way they feel they're supposed to be. I don't know what I might be able to do to help you, but if there's something, I hope you'll let me know." She smiles, which bears sharp teeth even though it's probably meant to be reassuring, then the smile mostly fades and she nods her head. "It is a small place. I'm not that's really waht I would have wanted most, but I felt like I had to come back anyway, at least for a while."
"...No, not really, but I'm here now," Ziv says, almost thoughtfully, as her ears droop a touch and then she flicks them back. She reaches up with one elongated, webbed hand, to scratch at the tip of her nose. "I figure if I'm here, I should learn how again, right? Or... find a balance, or something. I can't go back, but it's hard to tell how to go forward." That draws a frown from the batling, and she drops down the webbed hand from her face. The fangs, at least, don't seem to bother her too much - save for a slight flinch. "That's hard to say. I'm kind of... new to this. I was a kid, before everything. What about you?"
"If you want my advice, which I'm certain you do because it's very good advice," Iris says without any hint of irony in her voice, just a smile on her reptilian lips. "I think that you should decide what you do want to be, and then be that. Human? Something else? It doesn't particularly matter what's right for you, as long as it is right for you." She shifts around a little, working her wings free of her dress in the back, and then leans forward to unfurl them, expanding the brilliantly colored feathers behind her. The wings are definitely not big enough to fly, no wider than the expanse of her arms, but they're certainly beautiful. "I'm not particularly human any more myself, and I'm quite happy that way, even living among them, and even as fond as I am of many of them." She folds her wings up again and, with a shiver that fluffs out her plumage from head to tow in a rippling wave, she settles them back against her body, but with the back of her dress beneath them instead of over the top. "I'm a dragon, and that works well for me. So do what feels right, and if something doesn't make you happy, then try to change it." She pauses, thinks about the question, and then shakes her head. "I don't remember how old I was at the the time, but a teenager at least. I think." She puts clawed hands over her flat chest. "I remember having boobs once upon a time, anyway, and I have to presume my Keeper wouldn't have gone out of her way to give me some and then remove them again later, so I was probably old enough for that." But she doesn't sound like she minds that they're gone now.
Ziv watches the movements of the vibrant, feathered dragoness with clear interest writ on her features. From the fluffing of the plummage, to the expanding of the wings, to the motions of her clawed hand - all unabashed, like no one ever properly taught her manners. Or, if they did, like she's probably forgotten most of them. Which is highly likely. "...I don't really want to be human, I just want to... hmmm..." she knits her brow, twitching her ears back, then forwards again. "...Be able to blend in, honestly, so that if I'm going to live on Earth it'll be harder to find me. Or... I guess for the most part humans don't really believe in us. Which makes that easier, at least." A momentary pause, and then she admits, "I do wish I could fly again."
Iris just accepts the unabashed staring like it's her due. A dragon deserves to be admired, doesn't it? "Ah, well," she says, settling into her seat once more after she's done with the display of her glory. "There's certainly sense to that, and even I make efforts to blend in. Even if I sometimes do it by standing out. The world thinks of me as human, just as a rather eccentric one, and that's fine with me." Then she gives Ziv about as sympathetic a look as a reptile can manage and a solemn nod of her head. "That loss is one I feel as well. I do miss the freedom of flight. I thought about trying to learn to be a bird, but it just wouldn't be the same."
"Maybe someone could make something for you?" Ziv wonders, stirring out of her perch to lean over and snatch up a glass of water from nearby her plate. She takes a sip as she settles herself again, tucking her feet back underneath of her while being careful of the claws. "And... what do you do? What would a dragon do?" Her head tilts to the side once more in a gesture of curiosity. "Do you make things? Collect things? Sell things?"
"Make something for me? What do you mean?" Iris slides out of her seat and strolls over to the bar, then digs through its contents until she finds a bottle of something that sounds good. "As far as what I do, currently I'm a magician. The sort that people think of as pulling rabbits out of hats, that kind of thing." She pours herself a couple of fingers from an unlabeled bottle of something that smells alcoholic to her, and is amber in color, and then takes a sip as sheeads back toward her chair. "I specialize in card control. Though, in truth, I do also make and collect things as well. The former because it's fun and the latter because... well, I'm a dragon. I do need somewhere to sleep, and a hoard is where I prefer to do it. Have you ever tried sleeping on a pile of treasure before? It's AWESOME."
"Something that would let you fly!" Ziv says, folding her two elongated thumbs together and making a flapping motion. The point would get across if she were human, but considering the webbing of small bat wings it's all the more awkwardly apt. "I... don't really know how that work," she frowns, but then continues with a bob of her head, briefly glancing to the amber-filled glass. "Oh! That's cool. I don't know anything about any of that stuff - but it's neat." The batling grins, almost in spite of herself, perhaps at the mental image... but then pauses. "...No, that sounds... really uncomfortable, actually. I don't even like the beds."
"You're missing out," Iris says as she sits back down with her drink, whatever it is. "Very little is as comfortable as a pile of gold." If you're insane, anyway. Or really like laying on cold, hard things that jab you in the ribs (and everywhere else). She does actually seem serious, though. "Would you like to see a trick, perhaps? They're easy enough, and when you're as awesome as I am you never mind showing off."
You could do one right here, right now?" Ziv wonders, reaching again for her own drink and having a bit more. She slips her tongue over her lips afterwards. "If you want to show off, I'd like that! Shows are always good." In fact, she sits a little straighter as she puts the glass aside, reaching for the plate and popping one of the remaining custard tarts into her mouth.
"Sure," Iris says, downing the contents of her glass and then leaning toward Ziv, extending the empty vessel. "Hold this for me a moment. I need to get a deck of cards out. Even if you're as good as I am, it's kind of hard to do card tricks without cards." The brightly colored dragoness seems to light up more in the moment, like she's glad for the chance to show off a bit. Even the pearlescent scales that cover all the areas where she's not feathered seem to start glowing with a bit of their own inner light.
A juggling of dishes happens as Ziv moves things around, making sure that she has enough space and 'hands' free to take the glass as well. She accepts it, though, tucking it down into the crook of an elbow held against her side. No verbal answer is forthcoming, while she's chewing on the tart - but it's with open admiration that she watches Iris seem to light up and glitter in the room. Shiny things are awesome.
Iris gets up from her seat as soon as Ziv takes the glass. "Now, I'm sure there's one stashed around here somewhere," she says, turning around and leaning to pull up the cushion on the chair where she'd been sitting, checking the cracks around it's edges. "There's almost always one tucked away..." she seems to not find anything, so she moves to where Ziv's sitting and gestures for her to lean to one side. "Scoot over a little, let me check here," she says, leaning into stick a hand into a crack at the edge of teh chair's cushion without really waiting. "Ah!" she stands up, holding a deck of cards. "There they are. Here," she reaches out to take back the glass. "Give me that stuff, you need free hands to shuffle these. I don't want you to think I'm cheating." She starts collecting other things Ziv was holding, and offers her the deck. Even stacking and balancing things with her left hand seems to give her no trouble, despite her right being dominant.
Ziv does scoot to the side, arms tucked down so that she doesn't dump the plate all over the floor or chair. Thankfully, she's small, so it's not terribly difficult to get around her and find the deck of cards. A slightly apprehensive look is given as she's told to shuffle the cards, but she passes the dishes over to Iris, reaching out to take the deck of cards while chewing through the remainder of the tart.
Shuffling takes some doing, certainly - she still really has wings for hands, afterall, even with what her human mask might suggest most times. It ends up being more of a slow mixture rather than any fancy shuffling. She manages a poor fluffing of the cards, sliding the corners into each other, with the use of her thumbs. A little longer and she seems satisfied, offering them back up to Iris.
Iris doesn't seem to be in much of a hurry, she juts holds onto Ziv's things and waits while the batling shuffles the cards however she feels is appropriate. When they're offered back, Iris takes them back and offers the plate and glass back. "Thanks," she says with a smile. "Now you know, at least, that these cards are not in some pre-set order that I know. Just to bve sure, though," she takes them and gives them a rapid riffle shuffle. "I'm going to mix them up even more," she continues. She riffles them again, then cuts the deck and turns half of them upside down. "In fact, I'm going to prove to you that I'm really shuffling these, really randomizing them," she says, mixing them together just like they are, half one way and half the other, and then she spreads them out in a faint. Sure enough, they're mixed together randomly, half of them facing up and half of them down. "That looks pretty well shuffled, right?" She asks.
Ziv does look a little suspicious - if only because she's a Winter and that's what Winters tend to do. The glass is put to the side, with her other, and then she finally says (with a clear mouth), "It looks pretty well shuffled." There's a small nod of her head in accordance with this, while she continues to watch Iris's hands. Or maybe she's just admiring the dragoness's overall vibrant colors. There's a lot to look at!
Iris is used to the skepticism, and probably used to the Lost assuming that she's doing something to cheat when she does these kinds of things, but there's no hint of her using using real magic, Changeling magic, because she's not. She nods when Ziv confirms that things look well shuffled. "And as you can see, there's an ace," she points one clawed finger at one of them, face up in the stack. "There's one," she points at another. "The other two must be face down." She flips the deck over, searches, then points at one and then the other. "So it's shuffled, there are four aces, they're randomly distributed."
She folds the cards all back together. "When I'm done shuffling, though, all four of them are going to be together. Do you know what the odds of the four aces all being in a row in the deck are? One in 270,725." She gives the cards another riffle shuffle, then a series of rapid cuts alternating sticking cards on the top and bottom. "Yet now they're all together in one place. And just to make it easy to see that..." she crouches down. "I put all the other cards face down, and the aces up, just so it's obvious." She spreads the cards deftly across the floor in front of Ziv, and sure enough, all the cards are face down except the four aces, in the middle of the deck, which are face up.
Ziv leeeans herself forward to get a better look at the cards Iris has spread out in front of her, craning lightly over the edge of the chair. She tilts her head first to one side, and the other, as she apparently tries to figure out how Iris has managed to do such a thing. Her eyes are wide, but then again they always look somewhat like that, and eventually she just breathes out a breath of, "Huh!" It's a little taxing, trying to clearly think through things when you're a Beast. "That is... pretty awesome. How did you do it?" Apparently no one's ever told her that a good magician never tells.
"I'm a magician," Iris says with a laugh. "It's magic!" She scoops the cards up and slides them back together, cuts the deck a few times, then squares the deck in her hands agian. She flips over the top card; the ace of spades. Then she cuts the deck in the middle flips over the card that's on top again; the ace of clubs. This is followed by pullign the card off of the bottom; the ace of diamonds. Then, another quick cut, a flip of the top card; ace of hearts. "Either that, or a good memory and nimble fingers," she admits, grinning. It's not much of an explanation, but it's also truth. "Also, lots of practice. There are actually people on the internet who explain how to do most of the techniques involved. Those of us who are really good can still manage to pull it off without people who know what they're looking for realizing when we did it."
"Oh... is that how most things are learned?" Ziv wonders, leaning back in the chair again and nestling herself into the cushions. Her footclaws flex against the edge of the cushion as she pops them out from under her, before leaning to set down the dishes once more. "At the old Freehold I was at, some started to teach me to really use the internet. And I remember some of it, too! But I'm not like... hmmm... how do you learn things from the internet? And that's really cool. I don't think my hands would be so good at it." Partially because they're freaking bat wings.
"Not everything, but many things," Iris says, giving the cards another few quick shuffles. She cuts the deck, taps the two halves together along their sides, and somehow makes one of the aces pop out so that it's sticking out from the rest of the cards, face up. She puts the two sets of cards together, flips the ace onto the top, cuts again, taps, and another ace pops out, face up. "The internet is pretty sweet, honestly. I might be a hundred something years old, but I'm a Dawn courtier, and like many of the Dawn I embrace change and try to keep up with the world as it undergoes it." She flips the ace over on top of the deck, cuts, taps, and a different ace pops out. "I manage to do this with claws that can cut through the cards if I'm not careful. There's a man named Richard Turner who is a card mechanic like I am, who is blind and almost as good as I am. He's also a black belt in karate. If he can figure out how to do this kind of thing." She cuts, taps, and the fourth ace pops out. "You probably can too."
Iris is a good showwoman, and Ziv is easily distracted or enchanted by the popping of the cards and the various tricks that the brightly-hued dragoness does. She listens though, ears perked forward and quivering at the explanation. "...Might be something to learn," she concedes, before too long, folding both of her clawed feet in together and leaning forwards. "...I want to get a singing act together. So um, maybe might be good to do something with my wings... hands... during that too. And learn the computer, of course!" Her voice sounds a little more excited on the tail end there, as if Iris has opened a door for her and shown the way.
"I used to be a singer," Iris says with a smile of encouragement. "It's not a bad gig, but I don't love it, so when it came time to change who I pretended to be in front of the world and take a new identity again, I decided to try something else. Like magic." She shuffles the cards in her hand, cuts the deck, then turns them over and fans them out. The card are all in order. "Do you love singing?"
Ziv's quiet for a while, then admits, "I like it. I'm very good at it, and I used to love it when I was a little girl." She falls quiet again momentarily though, continuing to watch what Iris is doing with those brightly luminescent claws of hers. "I think I could love it, maybe. I find myself singing when I'm alone, especially on long walks."
"Then you should make it happen," Iris says with a bright smile. She slides all the cards back together, slips the deck into the front of her dress as if tucking it into her cleavage -- if she had any -- and then makes a little bow. "Let me know if you think there's something I might be able to do to help," she says.
As Iris seems to finish what she's been doing, Ziv lifts her wing hands together and gives her a round of applause. It sounds more or less like someone taking out an old leather coat and shaking it, but the batling's smile is bright. "I will," she reassures the dragoness, returning her wing-hands to her lap afterwards. "Could I have your number? I'm trying to make friends here.
"Of course!" Iris says, and she makes a flourish and produces a pen from somewhere, then reaches into her dress again and pulls out a card. She scribbles something on it and offers it to Ziv. "I'd just offer to text my number to you, but I'm trying to respect this place's no tech rule."
"Oh! Oh. Oh right," Ziv says, and she might be blushing underneath of the velvety layer of black fur. It's hard to tell, considering that she appears to be a consistent, shadowy black all over when her mien can be seen. One webbed hand reaches out to take the card, and she nods politely as she withdraws it and tucks it into a pocket. Then, she hops up from the chair, taking this chance to stretch her wings and other limbs. "It's been really nice meeting you, Iris! I'll send you a text with mine, and you should tell me about any of your shows.
"I'll let you know," Iris says with a smile. "I do a lot of my work just going around and performing on ths street, though. I post videos to youtube, and make money off of that, and the audience I actually perform for doesn't have to pay. Kind of like you just now, except I didn't flim this." She lifts a hand and wiggles her taloned fingers in a wave. "I should get going, but I'm glad we met. I hope you have good luck finding everything you're looking for here in town."
"I hope you do, too. Don't be a stranger!" Ziv chirps cheerfully at Iris in farewell, waving a wing in response to the talon wiggle. That done, she turns and gathers up the empty glass, along with her own and the plate - apparently prepping to head back downstairs. The novel sits, forelorn and forgotten, on the arm of the chair.
"I'm never a stranger," Iris says with a laugh. "Take care, Ziv. Feel free to reach out if you need anything." She doesn't bother with bussing her own glass, like she totally forgot that she'd used one in the first place, and just heads down the stairs, leaving the drinks she had brought where she left them.