|Boxes of Books|
|Location||Wycked Grounds, Pasadena|
|Time & Date||7/17/2015 / Time|
It's still fairly early in the morning and Wyck is busy stacking boxes of things in the center of the old coffee house. Still in the process of transferring ownership, the shop isn't open for business but it is open. Parked out front is an old Winibago and a young man of maybe fifteen years old is helping him haul the boxes inside.
Katy enters the shop, looking a tired, even though it's early morning. She looks confused as she notices that there's boxes everywhere. "Um...is there a chance to get a cup of coffee?" she asks quietly.
The white-haired teen glances up from lifting one of the heavier boxes and setting it on one of the tables so that his friend can haul it out. There seems to be a bit of a process whereby Wyck is hauling boxes of ... something... out from a pile up by the old book shelves to a table in the front and then his friend continues the journey out to the winibago. A coffee urn is still kept on the old counter - though much of the other bits of coffee house ephemera have been removed. "Sure," he comments and dabs the sweat from his brow, "help yourself. We're not really open though."
Katy smiles at the teen and nods, "Thank you. When will you be open officially?" She moves over to the urn and pours herself a strong cup, adding a touch of sugar. She leans back against the counter as she blows on the contents, watching.
And the shirt comes off. The pale-skinned teen has sweated through the near, thread-bare t-shirt and its no longer doing anything useful. That being said, you'd swear that someone should look at him, his pale and nearly luminescent flesh, and scream 'The Beacons of Gondor are lit!' and charge off to warn Rohan. Has he -ever- seen daylight? Stuffing the shirt into the back pocket of a pair of oft-patched cargo shorts, he walks back to the pile and starts hauling another box. "Oh - we're closed for good. I'm moving my stuff out so that a friend of mine can take the place over..."
Katy blinks at that, his words, not his pale flesh. She never judges a book by its cover and she's not about to now. She takes a sip of the hot liquid in her cup and says softly, "I'm sorry to hear that. I was hoping I had found a quaint place to come for a good cup of coffee and a really good book to read."
"Well," the young man answers while walking back with a box in his arms, "...you probably still can. My friend is opening her shop only a few doors down. She had her own space and I'm keeping this as sort of a fall back spot and things." The box is planted on the table but another box, one that has yet to be hauled outside, accidentally spills onto the floor. The top of the box is filled with books but below them are packages of emergency rations, field aid kits, chem packs - things you'd need to survive in the Redlands or worse.
Katy puts her cup aside and moves to help him repack the box. She notices the contents and her brow furrows a little, "This isn't the type of thing you normally sold here, is it?" She looks up into his eyes as she continues to repack the box. He might hear a trace of an accent as she speaks, certain words give her away that she's not from around here, more like, New York, maybe.
Wyck ughs and quickly moves to collect the spilt materials and repackage them so that they're concealed within the old box of 'books'. "No - and you didn't see any of this. Aegis security don't like it if you move things around without their knowledge, ya know?" The younger boy comes in as they're putting things back in the box and scrambles to help - as though the material were some kind of stolen goods or contraband. "We got about twenty minutes before the next sweep..." he tells Wyck.
Katy notices how he's concealing them and makes sure to cover them well with a few books. "Didn't see what? I have no idea what you're talking about." She keeps a totally straight face as she says it. She closes the flaps as it's repacked and says, "Packing tape?" She holds the edges shut for him.
The pale-skinned youth - wait... this kid is no older than seventeen or -maybe- eighteen. How is he owning a business or a building for that matter? Is he even Bright - a citizen of the Consortium? Wyck reaches over to the counter to grab a roll of tape to secure the box and takes it out to the vehicle while his friend, who is probably closer to fifteen grabs the last one in their stack. Knowing that 'someone' is coming, they lock up the winibago and head back inside the coffee house to lay low for a while.
"So you're a 'book person..." he asks of the woman, "...thought all of the Brights liked their tablets and readers and stuff?" The younger of the pair wanders off to hit the bathroom quickly while they rest.
Katy says, "Maybe I was born in the wrong time, but I've always preferred books to the gadgets. The feel of a book in your hands, the smell of it, especially if it's really old or really new, nothing can compare." She figures maybe he had an inheritance or something, or maybe he's older than he seems. Again, she doesn't judge a book by the cover, when the contents can be so much more interesting. "One should never assume by looking at another person what they are like. You could ask my ex that one, if he were still around. He never thought a tiny thing like me could kick his ass time and time again in martial arts. I had four brothers to train with."
Wyck hehs a little at the thought and pulls up a seat by hopping up on the back table - far enough away from the front of the store that if anyone just happened to walk by they'd have to purposefully look in to the store to see if anyone was there. Not that he's paranoid or anything but it's clear that the kid is used to keeping a low profile. His young friend, a sturdy boy of fifteen or so, walks out from the bathroom with an odd smile on his face - as though the concept of 'flush toilets' were a treat. Now cleaned up a little, he wanders over and grabs himself a mug of coffee and walks over to stand in front of and to the side of Wyck. After a sip or two he passes the cup up to the white-haired friend and it's passed back after a second. "Thanks..." he adds and pulls his shirt from his pocket to spread it out so that it might try a bit faster.
"Do you have a favorite?" he asks curiously - trying to keep the conversation on books and not the contents under them in the boxes.
Katy moves over to get her cup and finds a seat nearby and she chuckles, "Oh, I have many favorites, depends on what genre you're talking about. If it's science, anything to do with Richard Feynman, in fact, I'd say my favorite with him was 'Surely You're Joking, Mister Feynman' by Richard P. Feynman. If you're talking fiction, I'm more partial to Dean Koontz, Watchers, and the Odd Thomas series. If it's science fiction, the Enders Game series by Orson Scott Card. Fantasy, I'd say it would have to be Jim Butcher's Dresden Files for the win and Laurell K. Hamilton's Anita Blake series is a close second...though she does get a bit too much with the sex scenes after book five. Seriously, every chapter? That's a bit too much. It seems like she descended into pure porn." She takes a sip of her coffee. "And if you're talking romance, well, I've always liked Johanna Lindsey. I know they're formula books, but I still can't help read them from time to time. She was a very prolific author."
Wyck thought he knew books. Seriously - he really thought he knew books from the time before the Fall but some of those titles he's never heard before. "You can't have -all- of those books...in print?" he asks curiously and then shakes head at the thought. She must have them as a file or something. "Well, it sounds like you really like them. I can't say that we ever had a lot of fiction here; most of the stuff that was pre-fall were reference things. Though I did have a guy that was actually printing books from files. He had started up a business to make 'real' books for people." A faint sigh escapes his lips before he adds, "Damned shame what they did to his daughter..."
Katy says, "Actually, I do have them all in print. I've been trying to track down another Feynman book though and so far have come up empty. I know it's on the reading devices, but it's not the same as holding a book. You'd be surprised what you could find in New York. My brothers knew what I liked and tracked down my favorites. The New York Library was another good source to go to, people preserved as much as they could." She takes another sip from her mug, "Do I want to know what they did to his daughter?"
Wyck just shakes his head and the younger guy with him seems -very- interested in his booted feet suddenly. Tis a subject that shouldn't be discussed it seems. "You made it all the way out here - and through the Wastelands from New York? Oh - you're -definitel- Bright then..." he smiles, not having many 'chromies', as they're sometimes called, in his shop. "Glad to have you here. Do you live in..." and his voice drops off suddenly as an Aegis patrol wagon slowly drives by outside. You can almost feel the tension level jump up a few knotches as Wyck and the other guy watch the black patrol wagon drive past their winibago - only letting out breaths once they've moved on. "Yeah... so, do you live in Pasadena?"
Katy notices how they both are tense as the patrol wagon drives by. She looks back to them both and nods, "Yes, to both questions," she says quietly. "Look, you don't need to worry, I'm not going to turn you in. We all have our secrets, right?"
There's 'that look' between the two teen boys and Wyck subtly shakes his head back as though he were discouraging anything to be said or done. It's nothing more than a flick of his chin but those who are observant or trained to read people's body language, he clearly was telling his friend 'no' about something. "Well, it was nice to meet you and I hope that you enjoyed your coffee but we have to get back to packing and get back on the road." He offers and then reaches over to grab his shirt from where it might have dried a little and stuffs it back into his hip pocket.
Katy nods quietly, finishing her coffee. She pulls out some money and hands it to him, "For the coffee, and a tip for both of you. Thank you for letting me have a cup of coffee and company. I'm sorry to see you're moving out though. We all can use a friend. I'm Katy, by the by." She stands and starts to head for the door, the blonde with the purple highlights in her hair glances back, "I don't really have many that I can call my friends around here."
Hefting a box and hauling it just as he had before the patrol came by, the pale-skinned young man sets it down more carefully on the table and offers, "Most people call me Wyck... just like the thing you burn in a candle."