Log:Time and Change
With the performance day done, there's some time to at least pretend to unwind in the midst of the strange circumstances here in Nowhere. The moon overhead means Urania doesn't need to piggyback along on one of her cultists, and she seems to be taking the rare opportunity to enjoy the night air, such as it is. And coffee, not that she needs it to stay awake. In her true skin, the scattered nature of the muse is all the more apparent. Her attention straggles along after those coming and going from the makeshift dining pavillion, though she herself remains coiled up in a chair, limbs tucked in around herself. There's no excess of jewels at this hour, just a simple blue dress dappled with the remains of painted silvery stars. It's more last decade than this, but it suits her.
Soon enough, the evening's real entertainment will begin, and the cooch tent will be home to even more visitors, but while evening preperations are being made before the shows truly begin, Lorraine is out and about. She's not one to really eat 'normal' food, but she often comes out when people are coming and going, to catch up with various people. She sort of drifts amongst people here and there, before finding her way towards Urania in her chair, with her coffee. She's not quite dressed up (or down, as the case may be) for her dance tonight, but all that remains to be done is a change of clothes. "Ah," she says by way of greeting for the woman coiled in the chair. "It seems so rare that I actually see you, dear, and not one of your own on the outside."
The muse tilts up her head, and a warm smile brightens her features. The freckles sparkle in the dark, seeming to glow briefly. It's a nice trick; it's a pity only the carnies can ever catch a glimpse of it, or the way the colors shift with her moods. "Evening, Lorraine," she calls over with a lift of her hand away from the tin coffee cup to wave in a beckoning greeting. "It seems rare I get the chance to get away from everyone," she says with a tiny shrug. "Often enough I'm rattling around in the trailer during the day, when it's more quiet. Early hours of morning, before anyone's stirring." It isn't likely the coffee keeping her up, then, but it can't help. "How has business been, in Nowhere?" she asks; some of the uncertainty regarding the strangeness with Radio in town has her attention pricked up for trouble. It isn't even subtle, no matter how spacey she seems.
One corner of her mouth lifts in a crooked smile and Lorraine spreads her hands. "I am usually too busy in the evenings my self. More's the pity, I suppose. Business has been well enough. Lots of miners, though many a young fellow not quite sure what to do with a woman," she gives a roll of her eyes and something of a frustrated sort of smile before simply shrugging her shoulders. Lorraine's sense of 'business' itself leaves something to be desired, she only seems to vaguely understand the real concept of money. Or at least, only vaguely cares about it. "Truth is, I only recently heard about the strange goings on, and I have not noticed anything out of the ordinary before then."
"After the last show, sometimes, there is quite the line for a reading, but not tonight," Urania replies with a slight shrug, and a glance down into the coffee mug. "I suspect there isn't much mystery left by now. Seems to be a set number of folk of a mind to come looking for the future or their fortunes, but-" A hint of a smile curves her lips, and it blossoms to a grin as she glances up to Lorraine. "I suppose once you know the future, it's not inclined to bring about repeat business, if you've done the job right. Quite the reverse a circumstance, no?" There's genuine warmth in that -- and no shame, apparently -- in her mind as to the job itself and what it entails. Maybe a hint of envy, considering.
"I guess doing such a good job for you is not the best way of ensuring repeat customers. Then again not doing a good job would not seem to help with that either. Thankfully, I do not have that problem." Lorraine agrees with an easy nod and a brief grin of her own. "But despite a few repeat customers in my evenings, no one in a place like Nowhere s really able to push me to my limits. Not that I expected anyone to, but sometimes a girl just has hope, you know?" Her shoulders lift in another shrug and her hands then rest at her sides afterwards. "Did you come across any startling fortunes for the unlikely people of Nowhere?"
"Other than our own collective luck -- or the lack thereof-" Urania replies with a quiet laugh, "-of finding my father here, nothing out of the ordinary. Save for the warning about potential danger with this Radio business. Even that isn't terribly clear, but-" There is a pause, and she offers, "You could always talk to him, if you wanted a push, though... " The wince is visible, and awkward. "I can't say I'd call it a good idea?" She takes another sip of the coffee, and rolls her shoulders in a shrug that leaves her all the more nestled into the chair than when she began. "He's bound to be trouble, sooner or later, though I suppose the same could be said for all of us."
"What danger did you see?" Lorraine wonders now, considering Urania at length, and then shaking her head. "As for Sky, I do not know. It hardly seems worth the push to really make something happen with that. I do not even know what I would want the something to be, truth is. And I guess it depends on your measure for 'trouble'. As you said, all of us can be from time to time." There's something pensive and just oh so sad in Lorraine's gaze there; not that she seems especially sad, but a creature like the Weeping Woman just gets overtaken by these looks and feelings now and again. It's simply a part of who she is.
"If I'm being honest," the muse says with a brief flick of her gaze in either direction, as if to ensure she isn't being overheard, "I can't say I don't empathize. A little bit of trouble goes a long way toward keeping life more interesting than it might be otherwise, though it depends on the nature of the trouble, I suppose." She is known to spend more than a little free time with Loki, after all. Universal Cosmic Order, meet Chaos. "Though I tend to prefer trouble that doesn't come with a vengeful wife lurking somewhere in the vicinity, ready to smite at a moment's notice. It's a small miracle I'm not a tree, or a river, or a particularly sparkly rock, just for having been born." Her nose wrinkles thoughtfully, and she shakes her head with a rustle of bobbed white hair. "Not the fun sort of trouble at all."
"Neither is the sort with the Radio. There wasn't much, nothing specific -- only that the trio that aimed to head out were in notable danger if they went. That something very risky lingered in that storefront, though the nature of the risk remains unclear. It had choice words regarding Management I can't say I care for."
"Well, speaking as a demoness, I miss being able to freely induldge in all aspects of my nature. Creeping around like we do now is not quite ... right." There's a little sigh there, but she forces on a smile anyway. "But yes, the vengeful wife is something of a problem I can relate to. That is where it all began, I suppose." Her gaze flickers across the way and over the dining pavillion, considering it at length with a thoughtful gaze.
"It seemed no harm was done to them. I was thinking of speaking to the thing again. Nikki did mention it seemed rather unfond of Management however, though I am not sure what those choice words were?"
"The creeping around makes it all seem so... " She swallows a breath, only to lose the thought for a moment as she watches one of the roustabouts dash from one tent to the next, having fetched up fresh linens and a bucket. That rarely bodes well, but the distraction doesn't linger long. "...tawdry. As if what we're doing, who we are, is simply wrong, when it isn't so at all." Tugging on the corners of the crocheted blanket serving as a shawl wound around her shoulders, she burrows into the chair ever further. "First, it suggested that Management is-" Whatever she's about to relate has the corners of her lips turning up toward an impish smile again. That look sits well on her, curiously enough. "-a woman." As if she'd known all along. As if the idea of the place could ever have come from a man? "Said she was foolish, that her notion of this place continuing to abide would never work. That she was a fool to stand against them, had no chance at all." It has her rankling, lips twisting uncomfortably.
Lorraine's gaze is likewise drawn to the dashing roustie, inclining her head in thought as she nods slowly. "And yet, here we are all the same. With a need to hide some of our darker impulses. Oh well. It is what it is, I suppose." There's a slight nod though, for the following words and her gaze shifts back towards the muse. There's a brief smile there too, echoing the impish one that she spies, sharing in that moment. "Nothing lasts forever, I suppose, though. And whatever this Radio is connected to, this 'association'? Nikki said something about that. What I do not understand is why they would want to really stand against us. It smacks of finality."
"...or the fact that we glow in the dark," the muse says with a sudden, awkward sort of laugh. "I'm sure I could have made a fortune on Broadway, sparkling. Mood lighting: it will be a notion, some day. Soon, even. It just won't mean the same thing." That tangent aside, Urania shakes her head slowly, the humor in her features fading to leave her eyes too old for the remainder of her face by far. "The 'Association of American Avatars', I believe it was. Pretentious and utterly empty at the very same time. I didn't even think that at all possible until I heard that claptrap title." Snorting delicately, she takes another quick swig to empty her coffee, and set the tin cup down with a hollow clank on the arm of the chair. "They want to blaze a new path. A different one. Something new. I suppose they imagine we are in the way of it, not unlike a stray cow wandering in the middle of the highway, when all the trucks grind to a halt and we grouse about the heat, or the rain."
"I don't much care to think of myself as part of a herd, or a cow, sacred or otherwise, and yet that was very much the feeling I got from Kamilla's recounting of events. The way it spoke of our chances of survival if we didn't join its cause were insulting at best." But worrying, and she makes no effort to hide that truth. "That we were no real concern, but a hassle to deal with, and wouldn't we just come along and join the fold and be good little children?"
A small chuckle slips from Lorraine then, a brief tilt of her head towards the idea of Broadway. "Making a fortune is hardly what I really crave though." She considers, hands folding together before her as her eyes tilt away once again, gazing over the camp. "There will always be something new, and with the way things are dependant on the humans, I guess it is natural that they would be rather powerful. At least confident with those threats, anyway. And if we are truly destined to end up with them regardless. I am not sure what the best way to go about it all would be. We hang on, but do we do more than that, these days?"
"You aren't wrong," Urania murmurs, though her eyes have lost their focus again, chasing down some trivial twist or turn of reality only she seems able to see. "I've looked, if you want the truth." And she's still looking, if the way her gaze glides through and around the invisibles continues before she snaps more or less back into the moment. "And they may not be wrong. The human world has changed significantly, in a way that I daresay is not at all sustainable." Some of the color fades from her cheeks, visible even in the shadow as the glow of her freckles starts to diminish. "Not merely for us, but for the humans, too. There are cycles, patterns, essentials of nature. Things that forever take a certain measure of time, and while some can be improved upon or ignored, there are others that cannot be strained in such a fashion." Her lips purse, and she struggles to find a way to explain that makes at least a fraction of sense. It's effort enough to propel her to her feet to seek out a refill of the coffee, leaving the blanket-shawl behind like a cast-off shell as she crosses the small distance to the beverage table.
"It's as if they're trying to make a single second into something more than it is, and I don't know how better to explain it," she says as she fills the cup, half-heartedly spooning far too much sugar into it than would be healthy for any human, and stirs it with tinny clanks of the spoon. "There are ways to accomplish more in a second, of course, but it is still fixed. A second in time is always a second; no more or less."
"They have managed to find so many ways to make the very most out of that second, over the course of our existence, you know? What once took hours can oft be accomplished in minutes, now, and that comes at a cost," she says decisively. "Not in money, or even labor, but in the way they view the world, in how they see their place within it. These things, the tools and social mechanisms that permit them to squeeze so very much into that single tick of the clock, so many of them value that more than anything else, and to put it as plainly as I possibly can, that is simply not how things are supposed to be. It doesn't work."
"In time, the great machine of the universe strains against such things, and after a time? It will snap back, recoil, or... " She swallows hard. "Break."
"They will go on and on for a while yet, I should think," Lorraine muses idly even as Urania is looking through the threads. Her eyes shift to follow the muse as she stands and moves, stepping lightly along, frowning with something like puzzlement. Seconds are always seconds? Well, of course they are. Thoroughly confused she just gives a vague sort of smile and nods a long. She grasps some of what is being spoken of, certainly, but a lot of it is also well beyond her.
"Uh." Is about all she can get out for a moment. "I know the way that the mortals see things is changing -- has been changing -- for a long time now. It is why we are in this situation. If everything breaks, I guess it will be long after we are gone?" She blinks a few times in thought. "Or they simply destroy themselves before it all breaks, but either way."
"I would like to think they need us more than they do," Urania says quietly as she turns to pad silently back toward the chair. She's barefoot, and the dust sticks to the soles of her feet as though she were an utterly uncivilized child. "But they don't. Not truly. Not in the way we need them to need us."
"They need something, but it isn't us, necessarily." The thought raises an old concern, and it isn't easily voiced. "We fill that role for them, sometimes. Others, less so." And less and less so, with time's passing. "From what I gather, the 'Association' endeavors to find us all new places to fit within the grand new order that fill one of the needs of the masses, such as they are."
"It sounds too good to be true."
Now that is a truth that Lorraine understands, and she nods sadly about it all. "They do not. But people remain afraid, and sometimes it keeps me going. Even if they do not fear me, specifically, but fear the things I could represent." It's not quite good enough, and her shoulders slump in another sigh. "But whatever they offer, it sounds like we might not even be ourselves anymore. What should actually become of us? We suggest they produce Ishtar -- I do not know if they are capable of such a thing. Would you give up everything you are for the sake of a continued existence? I am not sure."
"I have been reimagined more than once," the muse murmurs, her voice thoughtful, even if her expression is partially hidden behind the rim of her cup. The steam continues to rise in pale whorls to briefly hide her expression as her focus scatters and coalesces once again. "It was always strange, that sense of... changing?" She knows enough to understand this is not a circumstance she is alone in, and she asks, earnestly curious: "Did it ever trouble you? That... sense that somehow, for all the power and control we might have over any given man, that we are somehow helpless clay in some regard, to be reshaped according to their will in such a way?"
"It is a strange experience, but one that I feel like I've come out better for each time." Lorraine says with a simple nod, shifting on the spot once again to face Urania proper. "I am not sure that it ever troubled me though, or that I ever thought about it overmuch. I simply am what I am. And I guess the differences were subtle enough until they all came together into something newish. To be totally reimagined -- I do not know. But no. I do not really think about these kinds of things, I'm afraid." She offers a simple little smile.
"I was fine with it until the Christian poets had a go," Urania says with a pained sigh. "I haven't been to a proper orgy ever since." There's real chagrin there, too, and a slump into her chair over the still-steaming coffee mug. "Insufferable, sometimes. 'Love everyone, just like the Holy Spirit'. Pfft." She buries her grumbling in a sip. "It simply does not blend well with roving naked freely in the moonlight, and makes everything so... awkward." Her jumble of limbs resettles in a fresh tangle, and she gestures idly with the mug. "It makes conversations with the rest of the kin strange, now and then. In a way, it's flattering to be thought of, and yet?"
"Don't they have enough pure, virginal types?" It's simply not in her nature at all. She's one of the Greeks, dammit! "I should inspire them to read the Song of Solomon more often," she grumbles into her coffee.
"Well, perish the thought! I can not imagine so drastic a change." Lorraine says with a dry little laugh there, looking sympathetic. "Thankfully I remain a tempter of mortals and a stealer of children, and any changes I have gone through are -- as I said -- a collection of subtleties and nothing so drastic. New people explaining the same things in a different ways." She even reaches out to give the muse a light touch on the shoulder. "I guess the Christians can never have enough pure, virginal types. But they need something wicked to rally against, at least." Another smile, and a slight shrug of her shoulders, she's clearly uncertain of what to say in this context without seeming like she's just rubbing it in!
She can't help it, not entirely. "Truth?" Another quick look to either side to ensure they aren't overheard precedes the admission. "They aren't entirely wrong. It's hard to not have a generalized love of the world when you see things happen from-" Her eyes stray upward, and while there's the canvas awning immediately above them, she surely means to indicate the stars further up. "-up there. Everything is beautiful from that distance, even the terrible things."
"Distance makes the heart grow fonder?" There's humor to it, but a truism she can't entirely deny, too. "Though they'd still do with a proper reminder that love can be entirely pure and sticky at the same time. They demonize love, as it truly is, deep down, and wonder why there is so much misery after."
"I can not imagine the things you might see, and sometimes I think I am grateful for that," Lorraine murmurs quietly, tilting her head to follow that look to the stars, though she simply sees the canvas. She still stares as though it were something more. "Perhaps they do demonize it, but then there are some of us finding that a suitable thing. They are not the first to handle such things in this way, after all. Why not participate in these things anyway, if you miss them so?"
"I couldn't tell you what it is in me they changed that made it feel... different?" Urania replies, her expression lost for a moment in the consideration of it. "I have my flock of lost children, of a sort. It's hard to not love them, though it isn't in the role of lover at all. Sometimes I think that's the core of it, deep down, and I could flitter off and-" Her head shakes. "I sound like my father. That's never good." A sip of coffee washes those words right out of her mouth. "Though I suppose it explains Himself, the companion. He manages to keep me guessing all the time, and it takes my thoughts away from such things."
"I far preferred the world as something other than black and white, good and evil, light and dark. They simplified so much, and we lost something in it, or sometimes I fear as much. We were more complex than that, once. Still are, but I have to wonder if they have the eyes to see it still."
"I think I understand what you mean," Lorraine says softly, nodding slowly. "As our natures change, different experiences become ... different, harder to truly resonate with. I do not pretend to really understand how it all works." She shifts slightly on the spot, making an attempt at a reassuring smile, but as often comes with La Llorona, it's touched with a sorrow behind it.
"Times will always change, and if we do not change with them, we will wither and die. That is all I really know. We have always been able to coast along with them in the past. I do not know what might happen next." She glances down at herself. "It is about time I get properly ready for my show tonight. Perhaps some time you should come and see."
"Like the tides," the muse answers with a slow nod of her head. "They carry us, sometimes to shore, sometimes far out to sea." A long breath follows, and she takes a sip from her coffee, glancing back with a tiny, crooked smile. "There is always a cycle, somewhere," she murmurs, raising her cup. "And I think I will," she says with a tiny grin, once again bordering on impish. "I would bring Himself along, but that would doubtless end the night in someone starting a fistfight in the back row, which is only entertaining... for a while." Says the voice of experience.
"Oh, I am sure Cedric would find it rather entertaining." Lorraine says with a brief laugh, offering a flutter of a wave with her hand. "It certainly would not be the first spot of violence seen in the cooch tent." A sharper kind of smile is found there and with that, she's off.