|AIR DATE 11.08.24|
|Location:||Hollywood - Universal City|
|Synopsis: Austin is laying low outside at Hollywood Universal City when Seth happens to walk by and recognize the once forgotten childhood actor.|
It's a hot, late summer afternoon on the City Walk. It's a school day, so a lot of the usually summer busyness has abated. A few tourist families still dwell, but it's mostly returned to a local hang, as it does this time of year. A fire juggler is performing in one of the midway open areas, and sitting on a bench not too far from there is Austin. He's not famous enough anymore to really be recognized by most, so it's safe for him to take a break from show prep up here. He takes a drag off his cigarette and slings his head to shake some of his hair from his eyes.
It might be a school day, but Seth can be seen strolling down the walkway of the eye catching tourist central. His face clearly wide-eyed as he looks around the place seeming practically stunned by everything he's seen. You would have thought he would have taken even a day away from the university to explore, but it doesn't look like it by the way he's looking around this place.
Seth passes close by Austin sitting on the bench when suddenly he stops and does a double-take. His head tilts to one side and his eyes narrow as though he's trying to place the man's face somewhere. His mouth opens for a split second and shut soon after as he shakes his head. He then whispers, "No, that would be absurd…"
Austin glances up at the man as he passes, and he smirks, "What?" he asks, a little amused. He takes another pull from his smoke, exhales, and tilts his head a bit, studying the man. "You're in LA, tourist. Nothin's really absurd, man." He smiles.
Seth stops in his tracks as his eyes actually nearly bug out of his head when Austin starts to speak to him. "Wait… it couldn't be. I mean it's LA, but I can't say I've ever… I mean I didn't expect…" He then suddenly falls silent as he walks a bit closer to Austin looking as though he doesn't want to get too close in case of danger. "I'm sorry, I'm just a bit… star struck?"
Austin lifts his brow a little, "Star struck? Really?" He seems amused, "Heh. Wow." He grins, "I haven't been a star in a long time, joker." He rolls his head to the side, shrugging. "I'm kind of amused you even remember it, really."
"Are you kidding?! I love your work." Seth says with an edge of excitement in his voice. "I mean sure I almost didn't recognize you from your last work. Though surely you must still have some die-hard fans that still hound you for an autograph. I mean you're Austin Wellingham!"
Austin laughs, and rolls his eyes a little, looking off at the fire juggler. "Boom. That's me." He smiles, "Don't… You know, don't like, shout and tell everyone," he says, waving his cigarette hand away towards people walking by. "Honestly, it's usually the girls that remember. My whole early teenage years were spent on posters plastered all over walls." He shrugs, "It happens." He smiles again, "Who are you, oh biggest fan of mine?"
Seth chuckles a bit nervous as he continues to look at the actor. "That you are." He then looks confused himself before looking around the crowd slowly. "Wait, I am missing something here. Sure, you're a star and stuff. Though why would I run around announcing it to the people around?" He motions around himself slowly falling in what seems to be a fake calm. "I'd hate to start mass panic or burden you. That'd look quite horrible for a sociologist to be blamed for…" He then extends his hand slowly toward Austin, "I'm Seth Greene, newest Assistant Professor at Cal State."
Austin nods, and he stands, taking the last drag off the smoke and then tossing it into the gravel behind the bench. He turns back to Seth, and shakes his hand. "Seth Greene. Like the werewolf on Buffy, huh?" He smiles, "Tell me, newest Assistant Professor at Cal State. What do you profess?"
Seth looks down as Austin shakes his hand and begins to blush when the man comments on his name. "Yeah, it's really just an accident. My parents were bloody bonkers…" Seth's accent soon comes out still notable; he's certainly from the UK! "I'm one of the Sociology professors. Actually, my specialty is in Social Injustice and Inequality. Which as you can imagine…" He motions around looking over at the fire juggler before saying, "Well let’s just say my studies and the recent discovery of A-Positives is quite curious."
Austin nods, "Yeah. They're dangerous. It's kind of… intimidating, I guess." He shrugs, one hand shoving into his jean pocket. "What's that all mean, to a sociologist, anyway? Are you like, fighting for their rights an' stuff?"
Seth retracts his hand looks a bit upset at the actor's sudden proclaim of his opinion. "Oh really…Is that what you think?" He then looks utterly shocked as Austin seriously doesn't seem the oppression. "Um, yeah!" He looks clearly offended as he looks the opposite way as the fire juggler now. "Clearly you haven't been watching and listening to the media. They're making them out to be such tortured and dangerous foe. Seriously, this society is beginning to show signs of a potential hysteria from the way A-Positive is portrayed in modern media."
Austin lifts his brow, "You're, I think, applying maybe too much to what I said, joker." He shrugs, "To give anyone a loaded weapon and let them always walk around with it is dangerous. And to someone without a gun, it's intimidating. I'm not sayin' they shouldn't get to vote, or freakin' need to be in concentration camps or nothing." He smiles, "I'm just saying, if I'm standing next to a guy who can light things on fire with his mind, I'd like to know that I probably shouldn't piss him off, right?" He laughs.
Seth looks back at Austin crossing his arms over his chest tightly. "Am I now? And what did you mean to say." He then nods slowly narrowing his eyes. "I see, so you suspect that all A-Positives are essentially carrying around weapons for the mere fact that their biology allows them to do extraordinary things not typical of others of our culture?" He then chuckles by Austin's admittance he just doesn't want to piss off the wrong person. "Alright, if you put it that way. Surely you'd like some kind of idea that you might not want to get into a bar fight with someone with super strength." Seth then falls quiet tapping the ground idly with one foot. "What would you say if I told you that you are talking to one such person?"
Austin shrugs, "I'd say, 'cool, what can you do?'" He laughs, "Look, as much as it's scary, it's also kind of bitchin'. I mean, I wish I could start fires with my mind." He mumbles, rolling his eyes, "It would make lighting my cigarettes a heluva lot more convenient…" Looking back at Seth, he raises his brows, "You may want to be careful that your sociological objectivity isn't like, compromised or whatever by the fact that nature's put you on the special side of the issues." He shrugs, "Just sayin'."
"Yeah, well if you know how frightening it is having the power. You might not completely agree with that statement." Seth chuckles before looking around idly before grabbing up a nearby cup off the ground. "Yes, I am sorry for my outburst. I just get really passionate about equality issues…" He then smiles at Austin before saying, "Have you ever met an A-Positive in person? I don't want to frighten you, just tell me if I do. Though I'd be willing to show you something quite spectacular if you have another moment."
Austin smiles, and he digs his pack of smokes out of his pocket. A quick flick and he pulls out a cigarette, popping it into his mouth, and pulling out his lighter. He nods, lighting it, puffs a few, and shoves the pack back into his pocket. "I have. It's not fear. It's intimidation, for me." He smiles, "And like I said, maybe jealousy. I just think, as much as you have the right to do cool stuff, the rest of us who can't should have the right to know so we can act accordingly." He grins, "Let's see what you do, joker."
Seth nods slowly seeming to quite taken by Austin's honesty. "Well thanks for being honest. I do agree that the world needs to adjust to suddenly finding out about people like myself. Though I also suspect that some might like to eliminate the threats even sacrificing the benign like this…" He then motions slowly toward the cup as the cup begins to float off his hand a couple inches before he retracts his hand leaving the cup suspended in what only could be described as mid-air. "So, what do you think?"
Austin laughs, and claps his hands together. "Boom! That's awesome!" He nods, and pulls another drag, blowing the smoke away, and then laughing again. "See, I'd never have to leave the couch to make a sandwich. That's awesome! The dilemma is, the next fella who can do that decides he wants to use it to derail a train carrying some political guy." He shrugs, smiling, "It's a lot to balance, ya know? I'm just glad I'm not the sociology professor that has to work it out."
"Wow, I never thought about that. Though surely you should know that people like myself still have their limits." He waves a hand at the cup and it drops back to the ground bouncing a few times. "I can't lift anything too heavy, sure I might be able to levitate and move very basic objects, but nothing like a train." He then sighs before saying, "I guess there are reasons for being a bit intimidated after that explanation. I mean I've dedicated my life to doing 'the right thing' so it wouldn't have occured to me to use my power for dangerous intention. … Alright, maybe if in self-defense. Though typically that's just by accident."
Austin nods, "Sure, but you know, not everyone's a nice fella like you," he offers. He smiles, and shrugs once more, "If nothing else, registering makes solving crimes involving powers easier, right?" Another pull from the cigarette, "Still, it's cool to see that stuff in action. When I was a kid it was just the stuff of comic books, ya know? One day, somebody who can do something REALLY amazin's gonna throw on some spandex and we'll see REAL heroes."
Waving at the air, Seth begins to grow a deep red color in his face. "Oh please, I might be alright. Though I'm nothing extremely special." He then chuckles again beginning to get nervous. "I guess so, I'd just hate to see registration become something like the Nazi's of the SS wanted it to be like with Jews and the Gays." He then shakes his head at the comic book reference. "See that's where society is silly. Heroes that fight crime are nice, but the real heroes that need to be denoted should be the regular Joes that are on the police force, fire department, and our justice system."
Austin smirks, "What? Not actors? We're TOTALLY heroes!" He laughs, just kidding, obviously. He drops a few ashes from the cigarette, pulls another breath from it, and shrugs, "You just levitated a cup. Nothing special, he says." He rolls his eyes, "Nice." He chuckles, "Look, you're the first person to recognize me from that stupid TV show from 8 years ago." He points his cigarette at Seth, "You're MY hero." He smiles.
Seth nods slowly agreeing with Austin. "True, you all do inspire the common folk to do some amazing things too." It's clear Seth at least half means what he says. "Well there isn't anything inherently special in floating things. I barely have the motor skills to control things in the air. It's like… well it's like controlling things in a space shuttle in space." He then chuckles nervously again before saying, "Well you were quite the charming bloke. If I may venture a compliment, I don't think it was just the ladies that you caught the eye of back then."
Austin nods at the first, "I suppose you spill a lot of coffee practicin' in your kitchen." He smiles, and he starts to inhale from his cigarette when Seth admits the last. His brow lifts, and he pauses. A long moment passes, and then he exhales, and he smiles. "I um…" He shrugs, "Thanks. I think. Right?" He laughs, "Sorry. I just, I suppose that's really true. I never thought about it. No one's told me that before." He smiles, "I'm flattered, man." He laughs, "You like, want an autograph or somethin' joker? If you have a pen or whatever…"
Seth nods and laughs at Austin's question. "Yes, many a coffee has been lost upon the floor." He then beams a smile as Austin thanks him for the compliment. "It's a total compliment, trust me." He then tilts his head curiously, "Really? I would have thought many a boy wanted to at least be your best friend." He then nods reaching into a messenger bag that has been hanging from his torso the whole time revealing a pad of paper and a pen. "Sure, I'd love one!"
Austin laughs, "You assume I was around other kids. Child stars don't really get out much." He takes the pad of paper, and he grasps the pen. He's a leftie. He scribbles, "Seth, you lifted up my day, Best Wishes, Austin Wellingham." He hands it back, tosses the cigarette off into the gravel, and smiles, "It was cool to meet you, Professor." He gives the man a slap on the shoulder, a friendly wink, and begins heading back towards the studios.