1-49: Aside 20: The Woman with the Fly traps

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1-49: Aside 20: The Woman with the Fly traps

Post by Kim »

Lucarin, Lorani Province
221A Baker St, Jenn's Office
3017 GSC, End of the year, Winter, 1300

From the street Jenn's office looked like any other building that made up the city- A glass and concrete tower. It wasn't an eyesore, but it certainly wasn't an architectural masterpiece by any means. Fortunately her office was also on the ground floor which meant that any potential visitors and or patients wouldn't have to scale any stairs or wait inside an elevator for a few seconds.

The morning had started sunny and clear but as the day progressed the sky had greyed and the flurries began once more. The ground was coated in ice encrusted snow and was newly dusted with a new layer of powdery white. Lukina made her way through the city, her ruby hair contrasting against the stark white. The other citizens of Lucarin were bundled up against the chill of the winter but the half-elf was dressed in what was considered rather light for the weather but fashionable in Kyoto, a light jacket zipped over a short pleated skirt and thigh highs with boots.

She stopped and looked up at 221A Baker Street. Lukina considered the building for a moment before she walked through the front door of the building. She tapped her boots at the threshold of the entrance and called out, "Doc, are you here?"

"Cooome in- Door's open!" A soft voice called out from within, just barely audible through the door. Upon entering the sheer amount of hanging and potted plants that populated Jenn's office would probably be the first thing anyone entering would notice. There was an entire shelf devoted to carnivorous plants, curiously enough, but a majority of the plants were flowering and aromatic. It was clear she had made an effort to make the space seem as 'outdoorsy' as possible'

The office also seemed to be entirely devoid of proper chairs, and in their place were a few bean bag chairs strewn about the room in seemingly random places. Even the Psychiatrist herself was standing behind her desk instead of sitting. The woman herself was dressed particularly comfortable- A simple black t-shirt and pair of those baggy harem-pants- grey and covered in little lilacs.

Lukina was offered a smile, but Jenn waited for her to speak to say anything else.

The half-elf admired the plants, recognizing each species in turn before her attention turned to the doctor herself. "Good afternoon. How have things been going for you? I just wanted to stop by to check up on you." She smiled softly as she unzipped her jacket. The snowflakes on her shoulders melted in the heat of the room. "Interesting choice in plants."

"Very well, I've enjoyed moving in and seeing new faces. It's nice to see yours again, it's nice being thought about." The older woman motioned towards her desk, "You can toss that on my desk if you'd like- make yourself at home, there's nothing important on there at the moment." The mention of her plants seemed to make her perk up, "Oh yes!- My plants, I do love my plants, and so does Shirley," She motioned towards a small goat sleeping in one of those cozy looking pet beds, "I'm not really one for being stuck inside, but I dislike cities even more." She added with a shrug.

"I completely understand how you feel. I dislike cities too." Lukina chuckled at the sight of the goat. "But I mostly stay outside of the city or hang out in the forest. I'm glad your plants are enduring the season, I can imagine getting them here was a bit of a trial." Her voice was soft but still carried through the office. She slid her jacket off and set it neatly on the desk. Her BFR was visible on her right hip with the jacket gone. " Where on Eden are you from?"

"New Chicago, can't you tell?" Jenn half-joked, "Getting them here was a little bit of a pain, yes, but it was certainly worth it. I don't know how well I'd do without my plants, "I imagine you're not exactly from Eden yourself, unless you are and I'm mistaken- but where are you from?" She asked curiously, "If you don't mind sharing, of course."

"Hóngsè de sēnlín on Liang. It's known for the Suicide Forest so you can imagine that there wasn't too much city for me growing up. I think my father was from Catalona but my mother was from Hóngsè de sēnlín," Lukina replied as she walked over to a gourd plant and admired it. "Stereotypical of a wood elf to grow up in a forest, I guess. I didn't get to see a city with all of their glass and steel monstrosities until I was about 12." The recollection didn't yield a smile, her expression was thoughtful.

"Well, you weren't missing out on too much." Jenn shrugged, seemingly content to lean up against her desk while she watched Lukina look at the various plants that took up a majority of the space in her office, "Stereotypical of a human to grow up in New Chicago, we're different sides of the same coin- as they say."

"It was jarring. It was a lot of firsts that mission. Oh! I heard Dallas complaining about a plant and muttering about a dog. Was that you then?" Lukina looked back to Jenn with a smile. "I haven't seen it so I fear for it. Was it a love fern or something? I remember the other marines in my unit complaining about them during the war."

"Oh yes!- Dallas. I gave him a Fly Trap. I figured it would be a good in-between for him, I'm obviously not going to share anymore than that. You seem like a smart girl, though, I'm sure you can infer why I gave him a plant over an animal." Jenn sounded somewhat amused with herself, perhaps pleased to hear that Dallas was complaining about her choice, "Perhaps he'll learn his lesson and I'll let him get a real pet. Perhaps."

"I think he really just needs someone to acknowledge him and validate him as a person. I think Dallas has driven everyone around him away and is using his job as an excuse." Lukina shrugged. "But yes, a carnivorous plant in winter is a challenge to care for... unless it is really some weird shape shifter or other alien species I haven't heard about yet."

"Nope, just a plant. I even made him name it." Jenn said, with some odd sense of pride in her voice, "I agree, but if he can't form proper, healthy connections with people- then he's going to take that validation and twist it into something it isn't. At least from what I've gathered asking around about him."

"You aren't joking about that," the half-elf replied shaking her head. "Did they tell you who he attached to then?" Lukina moved a stray lock of hair behind her ear before she looked back over to Jenn.

"Within the first five minutes of asking around, if I'm to be entirely honest with you. Dallas managed to make a real mess of things for himself. If he's willing to open up a little more and listen to my advice, I'm willing to make it my mess too." Another shrug, there wasn't many other gestures to make when talking about the man, "That's entirely up to him, I'm not going to force him to improve. That's not how these things work."

"He has to decide for himself if he wants to get better," Lukina nodded in agreement. "No one truly wants to be alone but some of us are more okay with it than others." She looked back to the plants. "You know, I think there are a couple of indigenous species that might interest you for your collection. One is being called an 'angry molesting tree' but it's really a vine to a giant carnivorous flower. A small one shouldn't be dangerous, I would just keep it from a walkway. You might be able to train it."

"Oooh, that does sound lovely" Jenn noted, "And yes, yes that precisely- I do very much want him to grasp the point I'm trying to make, I think a dog would do wonders for him when he's ready for such a commitment. I'm afraid that he'd reflect too much on the dog and that'd just make things much, much worse for him and everyone around him."

"A neurotic dog would be dangerous," Lukina nodded. "I'll look into getting you one of the flowers then for your collection. They hibernate this time of year but it'll perk up in here. I was just keep Shirley away from it."

"Oh, I keep a sharp eye on her, and fortunately she won't be getting any bigger than that. There's a reason I invested in a pygmy goat as opposed to a regular one. Shirley's a spoiled little goat, but when your daughter is gone for long periods of time, you tend to have a little extra money to spend on other things." Jenn chuckled.

"Oh, I wouldn't know. My mom and I aren't... close," Lukina replied with a shrug and a polite smile as she walked over to the little goat. "I'm glad we aren't having a food problem right now. Shirley should be fine as long as you keep her with you." She knelt down and offered the little goat her hand to smell before trying to pet her. "This pet thing is also interesting, never was allowed to have one and never stayed in any place long enough to do it either."

"I wasn't with my mom either, though that was mostly my own fault- even so, I made a point to be as close with my daughter as I could without smothering her, she still went off and did her own thing regardless." Jenn shrugged, "No time like the present, you know." She reminded the elf- who had successfully managed to disturb the little goat's nap, however Shirley didn't seem to mind and after curiously sniffing at Lukina's hand for a few seconds she seemed to be satisfied enough to let the elf pet her.

Lukina gently pet the goat's nose. "My mom is on Uveg with her free company and the colonization mission with her new husband. We've started mending the bridge, but it's slow. Neither of us know how to act."

"Slow's the way to go, you'll learn over time. At least you're working at things, I know plenty of people that can't even begin to do that. You should feel proud of yourself for getting even that far." Jenn commended, "It's sometimes a little awkward when Ava comes home, but we work through it."

"Our line of work does not equal longevity. I almost died a week ago. I am physically whole again but it gives you a new perspective on how you want to live your life for certain. I think my mom is feeling the time run down too, but we'll try to figure it out as long as we are able." Lukina scratched between the little goat's ears, thoughtful. "She sees my vitals, it's a thing we did for our free company, we kept an eye on everyone else's vitals to make sure everyone was okay, no matter where we are. If they were in trouble, we could go to them."

"Ah, yes, of that I am very much aware. It's a third of the reasons that I'm here with Azalea in the first place. Big jump from couples counselling, you don't hear anything close to what you just said and I realized on my rather forceful move here that it was a bit of a waste."

"A waste?" Lukina looked up from the Shirley to Jenn, curious. "Couples counselling? I still think there is a need for that in the company."

"There's a difference between counselling couples in New Chicago and nothing but couples, and counselling couples here within Azalea as well as dealing with more pressing issues that are often a side-product of armed conflict."

"Ah I see. I don't know much about issues outside of a armed conflict, so I lack perspective on those matters... as an adult, anyway," Lukina contently scratched the goat's ears. "It's a strange life that I lead, I guess."

"There's nothing wrong with sticking with what you're good at, but perhaps you should look into branching out." Jenn suggested, "That's just some friendly advice, I promise I'm not trying to 'shrink' you, as they say.

"I don't have much else. I make maps, so I guess that's something but I there's not cause for physical maps these days with digital systems and scans, we'll see where the path goes," Lukina thoughtfully replied. "Hard to determine from where I am now. Is it wrong that I don't want to settle down with one person?"

Jenn shook her head, "Certainly not. The heart wants what the heart wants regardless of what other people might think. That might sound rather cliche, but it's true. As long as you're mindful of other people's feelings along the way." The older woman noted.

"I don't think they understand me very well or they are just playing along because they hope that I will change my mind. I'm not sure which... this is the first time in my life that I've had any sort of relationship outside of work. I just didn't expect people to be... doing whatever this is. The company is mostly women but... I don't get it. Do men really have a death wish?" Lukina asked looking back up at Jenn from Shirley.

"That's an age old question if I've ever heard one. You might even be better off asking them that yourself. A lot of people here seem to just not know better, hopefully with enough time they'll figure it out before they're /taught/." Jenn's tone seemed to harden and her brow furrowed for a good few seconds before her soft demeanor returned, "Or are you referring to a more specific, underlying problem?"

"These guys keep telling me that they love me. I really don't know what to do about it. I think I love one of them but I'm not sexually attracted to him. I'm not sure what to do, really," Lukina finally admitted. "You're already dealing with one of them. It's just weird to be used to being alone and then I'm not, ne?"
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