2007-02-10: Heart Condition


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Summary: Eliana and Sydney meet to discuss Dr. Blut, but conversation quickly turns to Activating Evolution by Dr. Chandra Suresh.

Date It Happened: February 10th, 2007

Log Title: Heart Condition


Waiting for Sydney to show up has been rather trying for Eliana. She's on her second cup of coffee, and the crumbs of a lemon loaf still grace the plate on the table where she sits in the back of the busy shop. She holds her chin in one hand, and the fingers of the other drum impatiently on the table. It really hasn't been that long, but Eliana got here early, and it doesn't take much to make her start to fidget. As a result of the cup and a half of black coffee coursing through her system, the euphoric gas that seeps out of her pores has slowly filled the air around her, but due to the high traffic and the windy weather outside, it's not a very high concentration.

Coffee isn't on Sydney's mind when she steps inside the Starbucks, but as soon as she inhales deeply, filling her nostrils with the consoling scent of freshly ground beans, she's glad that Eliana chose this particular place to meet. Before joining the other woman at the table, she puts in an order for a drink of her own and leaves the barista a five dollar note to cover the cost. As she departs from the counter, she leaves a small handful of change in the tip cup. "Hey," she greets, pulling out a chair, "why so twitchy?"

"A heart condition," Eliana answers flatly, though she does sit up a bit when she's addressed. "Like I said on the phone, I'm glad you're okay. Was that creep your…sponsor?" From what he said, Eliana can only assume that the man in the bookshop was evolved, but he could have easily been misleading her.

It takes a few seconds for Sydney to make the connection and figure out who Eliana is referring to. When she does, she arches both her dark brows. "Dr. Blut?" Now that she stops to think about it, he is kind of a creep - even when he's not trying to be. "No, he's the guy who was flirting with that chick at DnA's. The one sitting next to us? I bumped into him in Central Park a few days ago, and then again where I work. He's a therapist. Offered me a free session for the trouble."

Eliana narrows her eyes at the explanation, her lips pursing as if she just put something sour into her mouth. "Does that doctor-patient confidentiality extend to anywhere outside his office?" Specifically, bookshops? Eliana drops the hand holding her chin to pick up her coffee and take a long drink, doing her best to keep her heart rate down despite the beverage and her nervousness.

"Don't know, don't care." The severity of the situation isn't quite as apparent to Sydney as it is to Eliana, but that might have something to do with the traces of gas in the air. She smirks a lazy smirk. "I don't plan on making a follow-up appointment, if you know what I mean."

"If you were able to tell him all your dirty secrets," Eliana starts in with a whisper, leaning slightly toward the other young woman. But she lets her voice trail off, and a worried look falls heavily onto her features. "And if he knows where you shop, I don't see how he couldn't find you, if he made an effort. Like the woman said, she never carried many copies of that book."

"What? Activating Evolution?" If Eliana didn't have Sydney's attention before, she sure has it now. "That doesn't surprise me, really. I skipped out on my shift and started reading it last night. No scientific foundation worth its salt would fund this Dr. Suresh asshole." She momentarily glances away, raising her hand when she hears the barista call out her order. Over here! "I have it in my bag if you're curious."

Eliana's eyes snap to slits at the offer, and she shakes her head furiously. "I'm not enough of an idiot to read a book like that out in the open." Anything that could possibly give her away as anything but average is something Eliana would rather Not Do. After all, she takes great pains when she conducts her 'experiments' to make sure that it can't get pinned on her. Corners of coffee shops, clubs, bars, raves, office holiday parties, etc.

Something about Eliana's tone strikes Sydney as peculiar, but she lets it slide, depositing her bag in lap as the barista drops off a caramel macchiato at the their table. "Why?" she asks. "It's not any different than being caught with a backdated issue of the Weekly World News." She uses her finger to catch some of the whipped cream that's spilling over the rim of the disposable cup, and then sticks it in her mouth. "Mm. Damn that's good."

Eliana leans back in her chair once the barista is gone and lets out a soft snort of contempt. "I think you could do with a dose of paranoia, Amber. I mean, I know your psychological plate is a bit full now, but damn."

"Here's the way I look at it." Sydney wipes off her finger on her jeans. "With a title like 'Activating Evolution,' most people are just gonna assume that I'm a college student stuck with some really tedious class readings. It's not a big deal."

"If it weren't such a big deal," the other woman starts, a new, offended sort of edge to her tone and a new batch of gas rising in the air around her as her heart pumps with fury, "then that Blut guy wouldn't have seen it necessary to approach you in that shop, now would he?"

This is an angle from which Sydney hadn't approached her encounter with Dr. Blut at Enlightenment Books. She scrunches her face into a frown, though she has a hard time keeping it that way; the gas is beginning to make her feel strangely lightheaded. "The thing you have to understand about Job— about Dr. Bluth, I mean… The thing you have to understand— okay, is it getting hot in here, or is it just me?"

"It's not you," Eliana breaths with a sigh. "It's me." She shakes her head, then rises and pulls on her coat quickly. "If you need something, don't hesitate to call. But don't be stupid and rope me into something nasty, either." Stuffing her hands into her pockets, Eliana nods and walks out, taking the gas with her. When she opens the door, a gust of wind tousles her hair and blows the fading substance back into the shop before they close again, and the pink-haired woman disappears on the busy sidewalk.

By the time Sydney has gathered her wits about her, Eliana is already gone. She sucks down a deep breath of clean air to clear her head, wondering what the hell just happened. "It's me?" Her lips form the words, but no sound comes out of her mouth. Although she doesn't know what Eliana was trying to get it, she strongly suspects that it has something to do with the book in her bag. Deciding to stick it out (at least until she's finished her coffee), she unzips the pouch containing Dr. Suresh's opus, plops it down on the table, and tries to figure out where she left off. She won't rope Eliana into something nasty. Not intentionally, anyway….

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