2010-03-23: Library Meeting



Date: March 23, 2010


KeLyssa and Sydney meet up in the library.

"Library Meeting"

NYU Library — NYC

It's a cool March day in New York city. Sydney hasn't been at Hallis' much over the last few days, even though that's technically where she's living. She's stayed away during the day, citing her research as the reason, but it's mostly so she can suppress her emotions later — when around the kids. All in all, managing them has turned into a full-time job the last week or so. Emotion manipulation definitely has its ills.

Instead, she's sharing her feelings with the quiet of the NYU library, hidden among the many many stacks of bookcases. It's not her usual library; it's bigger, easier to get lost, and students in the library generally already feel some measure of despondence. She's tucked away behind a giant bookshelf, sitting on the floor and leaning against one of the library's back walls, her hugged to her chest. While a year ago, many students might have recognized her, she's made herself somewhat unrecognizable now — dark hair, a white painted face, black fishnets, a short black mini-skirt, and a black shirt all make her look — and feel — like a different person.

Whether it's wise for her to leave the safe house or not, KeLyssa has been getting a bit antsy staying inside all the time. She's already spent so much time inside under the watchful, imprisoned eye of the AP. She needs to get out. She needs to go somewhere. Anywhere. Just as long as she's not confined. She chooses one of the more natural places for her. The library. She hasn't been to this one much, having preferred smaller ones in the past, reminding her of the libraries back home. Today, however, he feet draw her to this one. Slowly and quietly she makes her way through the library, not looking at any books in particular, nor any people in particular. It's just nice to be somewhere so calming and comforting. At least that's how the library affects her.

With a heavy sigh, Sydney stands from her spot and tugs down on her skirt before glancing through the stacks of old newspapers — backdated issues from the last year. Sad or not, she's trying to get somewhere on her investigation, even if it feels like it's going nowhere. She smacks her lips, making an audible popping sound before pressing them together. Her shoulders slump downwards as she trudges along the bookcase somewhat aimlessly. Her purpose feels off-put. Even her resolve seems to be failing some.

At first, KeLyssa doesn't notice the person who was once her teacher. This proves to be a big mistake on her part, as it causes her to bump into the woman, quite by accident. She blinks and takes a few steps back, murmuring her apologies. "M'awfully sorry, ma'am. Didn't see ya there." She mutters in her southern twang.

"Uh… it's… fine…" the brunette's voice is also a murmur. Sydney recognizes KeLyssa almost instantly, but that's the thing about trying to be a fugitive, it's better to not draw attention to yourself. Plus, after the encounter with Amy and her unbelieving-ness, Syd isn't exactly anxious to relive that experience.

KeLyssa blinks once more and gives Sydney a strange look. "'Scuse me, ma'am. But…don't I know ya from somewhere?" Of course, KeLyssa doesn't exactly want to draw attention to herself either. In fact, she's probably in the same boat as Sydney for the most part. Who would believe little, blonde KeLyssa that there were people with abilities out there? Had she not experienced them first had, from herself and others, she certainly wouldn't believe. "Ya jus' seem so very…familiar ta me."

Sydney refuses to face KeLyssa head-on. Not yet, anyways. Instead, her face flushes as she stares at the bookshelves. Her feelings are still all too accessible to other people around, fortunately there are few of them at this moment to convey Sydney's nervousness to the outside world. One, however, appears to be displaying a measure of anxiety. "Uh… uh… no… just one of those faces…" she tries to explain.

KeLyssa's hands and fingers start to wiggle around in a nervousness that she's can't quite explain. She clasps her hands together, with them fidgeting ever so slightly. "I…I…guess? I don't know. Sorry ta've bin a bother ta ya some. It's like m'grandmama always says, 'A familiar face is like a 'gator tooth, it may be dangerous ta know too many people. But ifin a face b'comes familiar enough, like that there 'gator tooth…well, it's somethin' ta be cherished.' I suppose ya jus' look like someone who was real familiar ta me or somethin'."

"Uh. It's… it's fine…" Sydney's cheeks redden even further. "I…" she finally turns to face KeLyssa, her nose wrinkles. "I… Maybe you know me?" Her eyebrows furrow. The dark black make-up around her eyes and her her lips. She issues KeLyssa a still-nervous yet sympathetic smile. The sympathy derives from the fact, the gal's body language is likely coming from Syd's emotions, not KeLyssa's.

KeLyssa looks at Sydney, studying her face when suddenly full recognition hits her. "Professor Falkland?" She says rather loudly. She clears her throat, and in a rather hushed voice she says, "Wh…what're ya doin' here? An'…an'…why're ya dressed like this? Ya look so different!" Not that she exactly has a problem with people who dress like that, but it caught her off guard. "M'sorry…I jus'…I didn' mean ta overreact none. Jus'…this caught me…well, I wasn' expectin' it!"

"Shhhhh!" comes out in a chorus from other library patrons. Strangely, this makes Sydney's lips crack into a broad grin. There's something hilarious about the chorus of shushers when so often the library isn't as quiet as it ought.

"No, it's okay," Sydney whispers back as the weariness sets in again. "I… I'm hiding, I guess? Or researching?" she flinches just a little as she glances down at her clothes — not exactly befitting an instructor. "Both. I'm doing both," she decides with a nod, the smile now replaced by just a slight frown. "I'm sorry I didn't say hello sooner. Greetings aren't conducive to hiding…"

KeLyssa shoots a glance in the direction of the shushers before turning back to Sydney. "What're ya hidin' from, Professor? An'…what're ya researchin'? I mean, I wouldn't imagine someone wantin' ta research an' hide at the same time. 'Specially not some place so open as a library none. But really…what've ya got ta hide from? Wouldn't imagine ya've got no enemies or nothin' horribly horrible like that."

Sydney stares at KeLyssa a few moments, somewhat unsure. Amy thought she was crazy. Fred believed her, but already knew. And now, a student wants to know what the former-instructor, former-therapist is hiding from. "It sounds crazy, buuuuut…." she presses her lips together and narrows her eyes. "The government. And no, I don't really have enemies."

KeLyssa takes a step back. "The…the government." She furrows her brow. Her first thought is the AP, naturally. You can spend weeks in there and NOT think of the AP. "Wh…what's the government want with you? I mean…yer a psychologist…a teacher…ya…ya ain't…ya ain't…" She can't bring herself to say 'evolved' or 'special' or something of that like. "Yer not a terrorist, are ya?"

Sydney's face crunches into a kind of scowl, "No. Not a terrorist. Just a fugitive. Harbouring a fugitive." She presses her lips together into a tight thin line. Her voice is still a whisper. "Things aren't always as they seem. The government labels people who don't deserve it…"
KeLyssa scoffs. "Ya don't need ta tell me none 'bout how the government labels people. They mislabelled me 'cause I was different. I jus' think they were 'fraid." Her eyes go wide. Did she really just say that? "They think I'm a terrorist! But I ain't! I ain't never done nothin' wrong ta hurt nobody. I ain't never even thought 'bout it!" She frowns. "What kinda fugitive ya hidin', Professor?"

Sydney's face pales, washing her out further underneath her dark hair, and black makeup. KeLyssa is like her, like Jamie. "The kind that can turn into water." She sighs heavily as her own despondence grows. Randomly, a seemingly frustrated student tosses a chair into one of the nearby bookshelves. Sydney rolls her eyes. "Annnnd, I… influence other people…"

KeLyssa kinda looks shocked. She wasn't quite expecting that admission. Though in a way, she did admit herself as well. "Ya know someone who kin turn inta water? An'…yer an' evolved too?!" She whispers, almost in disbelief. "Ya don't wanna be caught by 'em, professor! Ya don' wanna risk it! Not even by goin' ta a large library like this!" Though she's one to talk, really. "Ya don' know what they do ta you in there. It's horrible! They pump ya up with drugs, some've which dampen yer ability!" She says in a somewhat frightened voice. "M'able to create and manipulate ice. An' part've m'ability causes m'body temperature ta be colder than a normal person's. So when the used the power dampenin' drugs, my body was eventually not able ta function properly. I overheated…bad. Like I had a horrible flu or somethin'. Or like I was sittin' directly under a hot sun."

"You're here too!" Sydney quips back in a whisper. "Aww… KeLyssa… I'm sorry. I really am. No one should go through that." She nods at the story. There's really nothing to say to someone's story; it's enough to make her angry. "A woman named Agent Barker came to me and she… well, she tried to convince me to help them. I didn't. I wouldn't. Not like — not at all…" Her lips curl downwards into a prominent frown. "And I'm doing this for my charge… I know what they did to her. They took her once … but hiding is no way for a kid to live… Annnnnd…. I haven't been feeling like myself for purely selfish reasons. I… I manipulate people's emotions. I mean… I feel what people feel and they feel what I feel…" her cheeks flush. "When I'm feeling off, everyone around me is…" Her cheeks flush even further at the admission.

KeLyssa shakes her head. "I got out, thanks ta some people on the inside. But still…" There's a pause. "Agent Barker or Baker?" She asks cautiously. "Ifin it's Baker…she's part've a team that took me in! O'course…she's also one o' the ones who got me out, but that still don't fully forgive'er in my books." She says with a firm nod. "M'stayin' at a safe house now where ain't no one gonna find us." She says in a matter of fact tone. There's a pause as she listens to Sydney. Finally she says, "Is that why I'm feelin' what I'm feelin'? I was wonderin' why it came on so suddenly!"

"She said her name was Barker," Sydney says with a shrug. "She was dark-haired. Looked an awful lot like someone I knew… someone who had been taken by them before I really understood what was going on." She nods at the comment. "I'm likely influencing you. Whatever I feel, everyone else is subject to. And for my roommates' sanities, I thought it best to head somewhere semi-public. At least here I'm not adding to my charges' anxiety…"

KeLyssa nods slightly. "Well, dark haired could be any number o' people, I suppose." She frowns. "They're awful people. But I'm tellin' ya…save yerself. You may be tryin' ta help this other person. It's what I would've done b'fore I was captured. But now…save yerself. Do whatever ya kin to make sure you don't get caught." She nods. "Well, there're ways ya kin learn ta get more control o'er yer ability, ya know."

"I'd rather be caught than see her caught again. She's a kid. Not even a teen, annnnd she made a video of herself changing to water back in November… it's hard to keep her safe sometimes," Sydney explains with a slight smile. "And… I'm kind of attached to her. I'm not the maternal type, but…" she shrugs a little. "I seriously never imagined looking after kids, even if it's temporary." She tilts her head at KeLyssa, "How? How can I control it? It takes sooo much energy to suppress my emotions. I do it when I get home. Seriously, I think my roommates think I've turned into a robot…"

KeLyssa shakes her head. "No. Don't say that. Sure, ya don't wanna see her caught again, but don't ever say ya'd rather be caught!" She says in a quiet and adamant voice. "That ain't gonna do nobody no good. 'Specially not you." She sighs. "There're quite a few ways. I started off with meditation. If I hadn't, I'd've frozen things every time I felt an extreme emotion!"

"I tried meditation," with Eric. "Fail. Major fail." Of course, Sydney had tried meditating beside a guy she liked at the time. "And the problem is, I experience extreme emotion like… all of the time. And I don't know when this all started. I wish I did. Then maybe I'd be able to understand what was real and what was just me." She smiles weakly and shrugs as her thoughts turn to Fred. Regret fills the air, but Sydney tries to push passed it.

KeLyssa sighs. "Look. There's a book. 'Activating Evolution'. It might be able ta help ya out some more. It helped me a lot." She tries to put on a kind smile, despite the regret filling her emotions. "There's other ways, too, ta work through ta help with it something good. Like…oh, gosh. Let me see ifin I kin remember…it's not denyin' yer emotions or whatever causes yer ability ta be set off…but…ya need ta teach yerself ta kinda…turn yer ability on an' off. If ya can, ya kin still experience extreme emotion 'though worryin' 'bout yer power bein' set off." She shrugs. "Well, 'cept fer in cases when yer really caught off guard. My ability still kicks in unintentionally sometimes when I'm really surprised or caught off guard."

"Alright. I'll get this book. Maybe. Maybe I can find a way to shut it off. Or maybe this is reality for me. Lack of control… fortunately I have impulse-control. ANd no, it's not like I'm always giving off what I'm feeling. Just when I'm upset. Or angry. Or hurt. Or… overjoyed. All of the above influence everyone. So, can I just not feel any extreme emotion, ever?" SHe winces a little.

KeLyssa shrugs. "Ya kin control it when ya don't feel no extreme emotions, but the problems arise when ya let yer extreme emotions control it. That's what ya gotta learn ta control. Don't control yer emotions, control yer ability. I know it ain't easy, an' I kin only imagine how hard it kin get with an ability that has ta do with emotions, but when ya feel yer strong emotions comin' on, ya gotta make a conscious effort ta stop an' control yer ability. It's real hard ta do. I know, I had ta learn. But after a while, it jus' usually b'comes second nature ta ya. Like yer ability."

"Oy. I wish I was still in the dark about all of this. It made my life so much simpler…" Sydney says with a heavy sigh. "I'm sorry for bugging you with all of this. I'm still new to it. I didn't know about abilities until October… shortly thereafter I realized I had one… it's been… nuts…"

KeLyssa shakes her head. "Ain't no trouble, ma'am…more pleasant than talkin' 'bout the Protocol." She rolls her eyes. "Sometimes I feel like I know a li'l too much 'bout abilities. I would've been happy not ta know. But I found out when I was a teenager. Kinda hard not ta notice. For me OR my brother." She says with a soft smile. "It changed my life. I finally had ta come up 'round ta New York ta get away from the craziness o' home." She smiles. "M'grandmama tol' me somethin' though, before I left, an' it's stuck with me. She said: "Lyssa, ain't nobody gonna tell ya how ta live your life but you. An' ain't nobody how ta use yer gift. This's all stuff yer gonna have ta learn on yer own. 'Member this, though, an' 'member it well…the moment ya start cryin' gator tears o'er somethin' ya think ya can't control, then ya ain't NEVER gonna have no say in yer control o'er it. Ya got somethin' special, an' no matter what you say, it'll always be a part of you. If ya don't learn ta live with it in yerself, ya ain' never gonna be all ya kin be." An' that was all she had ta say 'bout that." KeLyssa smiles softly. "She's a wise lady, that grandmama o' mine. Sometimes her wisdom don't make perfect sense at first, but that one was as clear as day ta me."

"Your grandmother sounds like a wise-woman," Sydney smiles at the grandmother's advice before glancing at her wrist. "Shoot! I … I need to get home to… to the kiddies. I'm making dinner tonight if our… if our host lets me." Her cheeks flush a little. "Thanks for the advice though… I really do appreciate it…"

KeLyssa bows her head. "A real wise lady. Yep." She chuckles softly. "Looky here, Professor…" She looks around before saying, "Ifin ya got a piece o' paper, I made m'self a new e-mail. I could give it ta ya ifin ya wanted ta get in touch with me. I don't think the government's caught on ta it yet."

Reaching into her bag, Sydney takes out a piece of paper. "Yes. Please. Email…" she also takes out a pen. But before she passes it on to KeLyssa, she rips a small corner and scribbles down a phone number. "It's a disposable phone. My third one… I change each month instead of adding minutes…" she then hands the paper to Lyssa.

KeLyssa sticks the paper in her pocket before taking the other, bigger piece of paper and pen and writing her e-mail address. "I ain't got no phone number ta speak of. But ifin ya wanna e-mail me, send me a message ta this address, an' I'll try ta get back ta ya as soon as I kin." She says, while writing down her e-mail and passing the paper back to Sydney. "Here ya are. Keep yerself safe now, ya hear?"

Sydney pockets the piece of paper and issues KeLyssa a nod. "I'll watch my back. I will. You do the same okay." The therapist leans forward to give the girl's shoulder a squeeze. Smiling softly, she pads towards the entrance, breathing deeply to clear her head and attain some measure of stoicism before getting home.

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