2009-10-04: Morning Chat About Genes



Date: October 4, 2009


Sydney visits the Oldcastle Pub and Restaurant for breakfast and discusses gene mutation with Charlotte as per Chandra Suresh's "Activating Evolution".

"Morning Chat About Genes"

Oldcastle Pub and Restaurant

Another morning at the Old Castle, and Charlotte is just getting into work, tying on her apron. There's one old drunk left over from the 70's hanging onto the bar, and a couple eating eggs and bacon in the back. The tender is starting to carry his worn, tired form out. "Oh, good night, Robbie," Charlotte says, patting his shoulder. He looks tired, poor thing.

With little else to do at this time, Charlotte begins to wipe down the bar, organizing the glasses just so. Everything's clean, kitchen is doing prep, and Robbie was rolling silverware all night in order to stay awake, so there's little else for the brunette to work on.

It's a crisp morning, but the sun is shining and Sydney feels just about as warm as it, and it seems like everyone else around her feels the same. In fact, on her way to the Old Castle all she saw was smiles. Smiles from the few souls on the subway. Smiles from the homeless people on the corners. Smiles. She shouldn't feel so happy, but she does, despite herself. She opens the door and pads into the pub with a small skip in her step and one sole notebook in hand. She walks up to the bar and selects a stool on which to perch. "Good morning!" she almost sings to both Robbie and Charlotte.

"Oh, hello!" Charlotte greets cheerfully as the girl (almost a regular) walks in. "Wow, you're up early. And so happy to be up, too!" She giggles, not particularly a fan of cold or mornings per say, but enough that she's able to appreciate a fellow smiler. "So I guess you won't be needing an ounce of coffee this morning, hmm?" She asks, teasingly. Everyone needs coffee.

A slight chuckle is given to Charlotte as Sydney smiles, and states matter-of-factly, "Must have coffee everyday, or I'll crash and walk around saying, 'Can't brain today; have the dumb.'" She nods again at this and places her notebook on the bar. "How are you today? Haven't been pulling a double shift again, I hope."

"Oh, no," Charlotte says, shaking her head as she pours the coffee and brings it over. "Though I did have a late night last night. Unfortunately when a house guest opts for coffee I am not very apt to decline, so I was up half the night doing step-aerobics. Caffeine and alcohol both hit me kind of hard," she confesses, with a blush tinting her dimples. "But when I finally crashed, I crashed good, so I'm fully rested! What are we working on today, more kidnappings?"

"Wow, I'm impressed you rested so well," Sydney smirks as stretches. She shakes her head a bit, "No, no kidnappings today. I spent the last day or two looking through personality profiles, and now i'm just doing some research for my own sake." She shrugs. "Not even dissertation related." She wrinkles her nose and exposes a toothy grin. "It's on genes. I stayed up late last night reading this book by…" Furrowing her eyebrows, Sydney looks up at the ceiling in an effort to remember. "… Suresh! Chandra Suresh! It's extraordinary what could be theoretically possible."

Chandra. Not Mohinder. But what are the odds? Then again, coincidences happen every day. "Chandra Suresh, you say? On genes?" She giggles, shaking her head as she lays the coffee out. "Probably a shade too difficult for the likes of me, then. People say 'genes' and the first thing I think of is a lovely pair of denim. Bacon again for you this morning?" She asks, pulling out her note pad and pen.

"Yes, please. And pancakes." It is a pancake kind of day. Sydney smiles and the nods emphatically, "The things that could be possible are unreal. They're essentially limitless." She purses her lips together. "Sorry, I don't mean to bore you, I just spent a bit of time at the university library doing some research." She shrugs. "Honestly, the things that Dr. Suresh says are possible are… unreal, but so cool." She flips open her notebook to find the list, but it automatically flips to her doodle page filled with juvenile doodles: hearts, letters, Gene's name. Sydney's face flushes as she frantically flips to the list she'd written down, "Some examples are rapid tissue regeneration, teleportation, telepathy… the list goes on and on." She frowns a bit as she looks up at Charlotte, "I just wish I was in genetics instead of the Behavioral sciences now…"

"Woah, who is 'Gene'?" She asks, giggling girlishly. More important than all of the rest of it to be sure, though she does blink at it. "He wrote a book about all of that sort of stuff? That's impressive, but…do you really think it's possible?" Charlotte knows it's possible, but that's beyond the point.

Sydney flushes brighter, "Just a guy." She giggles equally girlishly, "He's pretty much the smartest guy I think I've ever met. Very sweet too." She shrugs semi-awkwardly and then she admits, "I wouldn't have thought it possible a couple of years ago." She sighs a bit and then smiles, "But the older I get, the more convinced I am that anything is possible. Besides, I think a piece of me wants to believe that people can do those things."
She'll grill the other girl about Gene later. Instead, for now, she stands over the table curiously, glancing at the list as it's been written out. "And what about most other scientists and stuff? What do they think of it it? Do they believe it?"

Wrinkling her nose, Sydney shakes her head, "No. Suresh has been largely discredited by his contemporaries." She frowns a bit and then adds, "But the problem with Academia is that we get so ingrained in our own theories that it becomes nearly impossible to really accept new information."
Ding! Pancakes and bacon are up! Charlotte turns and bustles off, bringing the food back to the girl and getting her all set up for a nice breakfast. "There you go. Well…I thought schools were the ones for finding out all of the new stuff. Especially scientists. Aren't they always testing, looking for new things?"

"Thank-you," she smiles at the plate of food. "Schools are supposed to be where we accept and understand new information," Sydney states with a nod, "but so often it's not that simple. Academics have their own ideas. They argue, they fight two different perspectives which are both semi-correct. It all boils down to dollar signs. If a scientist has their theory at the centre of 'what's popular' they get way more research money." She shrugs a bit. "It's not that they aren't testing, it's that they don't always accept information contrary to their own theories."

"Well, regeneration does sound a bit far-fetched," Charlotte says, stepping back and wiping her hands. Teleportation, on the other hand? Hmm. "Anyway, speaking of Genes, tell me about yours. I actually knew a Gene once, a long time ago. I should try to find him, I know he was very sick, I was…." A flush covers her face and she dips her head downward.

Sydney flushes further, "Well he's not … we're not… it would be a stretch to call him my Gene." She smiles weakly and then her lips curl downward with concern, "I'm so sorry. What was he sick with?" She reaches out her hand to pat CHarlotte's arm.

Charlotte raises her eyes, smiling a soft, sad smile. "Cancer," she explains "I was supposed to be helping him…" Heal. She knew she could but she'd needed Peter and…"Well I had some problems of my own, things didn't work out as I wish they had."

"I'm sorry," is all Sydney can muster with that same frown on her lips. "I hope your friend's okay," she soothes. "And I hope your problems worked out alright." The last sentence is tacked on as an afterthought.

Charlotte chuckles, stepping behind the bar and getting the coffeepot to refill Sydney's mug. "They did," she expresses easily. Of course, what kind of an explanation would that be without an enigmatic phrase to add to it? "Fire can be as cleansing as it can be destructive."

"True enough," Sydney nods slightly as her lips curl upwards. "It helps growth, too," she adds. And then changing the subject she observes, "I've come in here several times, and I don't even know your name… I'm Sydney. Falkland." She shrugs.

Charlotte nods with a smile. "Charlotte Corday. I'm sure you'll be seeing more of me if you come in here a lot - I'm in here like, all the time it feels like. I don't mind - I like working. So we'll get to see a lot of each other."

"I like it here. Quieter than the pubs near my apartment. And more mature," Sydney observes as she devours a slice of bacon. A smile of satisfaction creeps onto her lips. She adds as an afterthought, "I live near the university." She shrugs.

The scene fades.

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