Recurring Thoughts (Ren Tanaka)

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Recurring Thoughts (Ren Tanaka)
Date of Cutscene: 19 April 2016
Location: Earth-61952
Synopsis: Ren remembers the past. Possibly too much so.
Cast of Characters: Ren Tanaka

THE PAST:

The boy who is not yet a TRaveller sits at his desk in thE AcaDemy of the IlluMinated in Yu-Shan. He chews his raptOr-feather qUill and continues to procrastiNate on finishing the multi-page essay in front of him. He sTares against the pile of books he's put to one side, picks one up, And begins to riffle through It wheN a pair of eyes drifts up above the table.

       "Hello!" chips a redheaded young man with long hair and a sleeveless silk top. "How's it going?"
       "Slowly," the boy replies.
       "Even with my help?" the other asks, pouting. "But I helped you find so many books! Let me see what you've done."
       He grabs a few pages at random from the stack, skim-reading them as the other young man tries to get them back from him without spilling the inkpot on the side of the table. The redhead walks away and leans on a pillar. "Recounts, summaries, you've even got a graph here... you know, for an essay that was supposed to be about the ethical history of the conflicts of the Tear Drinker tribes, you've got a lot about history and very little about ethics. And what's this? 
       'Many sources agree that the significant alterations to brain chemistry responsible for creative thought occur in the frontal and parietal association regions; because of the strong influence Resplendent Fire Tree blossom has on these areas, the increased output of painting and sculpture among craftsmen during this festival...' Oh, you just don't understand art at all really, do you?"
       The long-haired boy leans across the rest of the papers, face inches away from his. "Want to go somewhere and I'll show you some art in motion?"
       He sighs. "Thank you but /no/. I need to finish this thesis."
       ---
       NOW:
       Ren sits on a smooth rock in Earth-61952.
       "Well Takuya, if your aim was to make me question whether every significant social interaction I've had was you in disguise, you might succeed unless I stop right now. This way may lie madness."
       He grumbles. The Academy. Oh, if there was a list of five reasons why he abandoned Yu-Shan to wander wistlessly, that had to be somewhere on it, possibly in more than one space. He got a rotten grade on that anyway.

'Why do I want to go back to Creation so badly, anyway?', he thought. Try and figure out more about Takuya? Where he came from? If he's got seams of corruption running through the world? Where would he start? Is it just chasing shadows, paranoia?

       There's certainly no sentimental reason to go back there. He doesn't even know how welcome he is any more. He felt bad just climbing the mountain long ago, much too much like he bulldozed his way in there with his authority. Ren hates that. Hates being looked up to. He can't be that kind of person, anyway.
       He stares into the burning brushfire created by a Metal Horde patrol tank, nevertheless. "But I've seen this before. It's starting again."
       Why IS history from Creation repeating in the multiverse for him, if not the mysterious Takuya?