2007-05-24: Speaking In Code


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Ryan seeks out Enlightenment Books for a book about his powers. He gets a quick conversation with Cass and Elena. Double speak happens!

May 24th, 2007:

Speaking in Code

Enlightenment Books

Afternoon on a Saturday at Enlightenment Books is a normally a crowded affair. Customers browsing and buying and generally being chatty. Today is no different and it finds Cass flitting about from shelf to shelf, checking on customers, chatting with regulars and doing the things that a store owner does. Even though the store was closed for awhile, this is the sort of thing that doesn't go out of practice and Cass is certainly in her element when she can just be friendly and talkative.

Ryan comes walking into the store. He takes a moment or two to get the lay of the land and check out the customers before starting to browse.
As soon as the door opens, Cass' keenly attuned senses to such things draws her attention to Ryan. Newcomers deserve welcoming! Turning away from the shelf where she's rearranging an order of books that were placed back incorrectly, she smiles warmly at Ryan. "Hi there! Welcome to Enlightenment Books! If you've got any questions, feel free to ask!"

Ryan looks at Cass and smiles back. "Hey, thanks. I'm just kinda browsing right now. Killing a bit of time before heading out to JFK." He thinks for a while, trying to choose his next words carfully. "Ummm…you have a section on telepathy, ESP, that kind of thing?"

"A traveller, eh?" Cass steps closer to the counter and away from the shelves. "Don't get too many of those. Where are you from?" His choice of words or anything else doesn't seem to get a second thought from the store owner. "What kind of occult bookstore would I be if I didn't have telepathy books!" she laughs. "Of course. I actually just expanded the section. It's this way." Not one to just point to a certain bookshelf, she steps in the right direction to guide him over. "Is there are particular part of telepathy or ESP that you're interested in? It can be quite an extensive topic."

Ryan chuckles. "No, nothing in particular. Just wanted to check out the section. And I'm from San Francisco, or near enough. And if things go well, I'll be out here on a more permanent basis."

"It's a good section to browse," Cass grins. Pointing to the proper shelves in the bookcase, she indicates the little tags attached to the edge that list what is on each shelf. "Everything's alphabetical by author." That done, she lets her arm fall back down to her side. "San Francisco? My family went on vacation there when I was very young. I remember liking it, though I don't really remember anything in specific about it. I love New York, though, it's a good place to be on a permanent basis. Moving for a job? Girl? Yourself?"

Ryan chuckles at the rapid pace of the questions. "I'm working on transfering out here to NYU or Columbia. I did the paperwork this week, so I'll see what happens. I should get in, but even if I don't I kinda like it here. It's a nice change of pace. But right now, no apartment here, no jobe here, no girl here."

"Columbia?" Cass raises an eyebrow. "That's where I went to med school. It's a great school." Stepping to the side so that Ryan can browse more effectively, she doesn't seem to notice if she's asking rapid fire questions. It's just the way that she talks. "Finding an apartment in New York is like quest for the Holy Grail. Near impossible. So, I'd get started on that right away. I think Columbia offers rooms for students, though, so you should get that pretty easy. And once you move here, you can work on the other stuff." She grins. She's been through it before, so she can offer some advice.

Ryan chuckles. "Well, if I get into one fo the school, I won't have to worry about housing. Money tends to solve a lot of problems. And yeah, I know it's one foot in front of the other. It's just…" He gives a shrug. "I don't know. I just kind of feel free out here. Like there's no pressure on me. That's why I'm looking to come back here one way or another."

The statement gets a chuckle from Cass. "You feel like that when you first move here. But, New York is just like any other city. It's got it's own responsibilities and pressures." Absently, she takes a book off the shelf and folds her arms over it against her chest. It's where it didn't belong and she has to fix it. "So what are you hoping to go to school for? Is this grad or undergrad?" He looks like he's too old to be applying for undergrad school, but she's not one to judge. "Sorry, I don't mean to be nosey. I just like talking to my customers." She smiles and pushes some hair behind her ear.

Ryan smiles. "No worries. And my name's Ryan. Ryan Cochrane. And I'm trying to go into undergrad. Pre-med witha focus in genetics." He shrugs a bit. "Probably not what my dad wants from a pre-med degree, but hey…."

"Right! Sorry. Cass Aldric. This is my store." Cass holds out a hand for Ryan to shake. "Premed? Columbia is great for that. I only went for actual med school, but all the premeds I had to TA were very able. Nice to meet you, Ryan." Tucking the buck underneath her arm, she thinks for a moment. "And you shouldn't have to worry about your focus yet. Most pre-meds just have to get their biology and lab credits in order. I'm sure you dad'll be just glad you're going for pre-med. A doctor is a doctor, no matter what speciality."

Ryan chuckles as he shakes Cass' hand. "Yeah, well, I think dear old dad had the 'cosmetic' specialty in mind when I said 'pre-med'. When it comes down to it, money and security are the only things that matter for him." He shrugs a bit then recovers with a smile. "Anyways, I didn't mean to lay my family issues on you. They're just…part of the stuff and changes I'm dealing with."

"Ah. Well. My dad is still pissed at me for not finishing med school, so we've got something in common." Cass wrinkles her nose at the thought. "And I think genetics is /much/ more helpful than a cosmetic specialty. And there's some money to be made in that, too. Lots of grants and companies who would love to get a good genetic scientist. It's the latest fad in science." Or maybe it's just because she's heard so much about it lately. "Don't worry about it. People talk to me about their problems all the time. It comes with the territory with people needing help from alternative sources. It's why I love working here. Plus, I was a psychology major. I can psychoanalyze you free of charge." Wry grin inserted here. It's a joke!

Ryan chuckles. "I thought the minimum charge was 5 cents. Anyways, yeah, there's money to be made in genetics. I mean, the Bay Area is becoming Biotech Boomtown. But I'm looking to be a bit more…altruistic, I guess. And I'm not sure if I really want to go into genetics. In 6 years at Stanford, I've gone from law to politics to business to pre-med. Genetics is just something….well, I recently got interested in the subject."

"Well, that's for people not about to major in genetics." Cass laughs and quickly moves to the desk for a moment so she can put the book she's carrying on the 'to be reshelved' pile she has. Then, she's right back to Telepathy and ESP. "That's good, then. I figure if you're going to be a doctor, you're not going to do it for the money. You're in it to help people." Arms no longer with anything to hold, she stuffs them back into her pockets. "Genetics is a very interesting topic. I just kinda got back into myself. If you're looking for recommendations, there's this really interesting book about theoretical genetics called Activating Evolution that came out a little while ago. It's very popular around here. It's out there, but certainly a great introduction into the topic."

Ryan blinks a bit, a curious look passing over his face before he goes back to normal. "Umm…yeah..I've read it. I did a paper on it in the fall. Kinda pop-sciency, but it was interesting. Got my interest int eh subject, at least."

Speaking of doctors.

The door swings open, the little bell chiming indicating someone else has stepped inside. Elena seems to be carrying books herself, tucked under one arm. While not certainly rich enough to buy her own books this summer, especially the sort of material she was carrying - hard science, bio and organic chemistry, and pharmaceutical sciences clutched in her fingers - she has a library card, and she knows how to use it. Her sunglasses are perched on her head, dressed today in a tanktop, jeans, sneakers, and a fitted, worn-looking black jacket. "Cass?" she calls out. The store doesn't look like it's too populated today. On her other hand is one of those egg-crate carriers with three hot chocolates on it, courtesy from the awesome cafe she knows about down the street. One for herself, one for the proprietor - and the other one was for Peter, who she had no idea whether he was working today, so she bought it just in case he was. "Hello?" she calls out again.

"Really?" Cass is a little surprised herself at that declaration. Not too many people have heard of it, let alone read it by the time they make it to her store. Maybe it's bigger news in San Francisco. "I definitely thought it was interesting. It's what made me think you might like it." The door opening again pulls Cass' attention away from Ryan and she tilts her head so she can see through the bookshelves. "Elena?" She knows her voice, at least. "We're by telepathy and ESP."

Ryan smiles a bit. "Uh, no. Not realy. I just chose it becasue I figured that a genetics book on superpowers would be an easy A and not make me think that much. It did get me interested in genetics, but the stuff that was described in the book? Come on…that stuff could never happen."

"Oh, yeah, that reminds me," Elena says, suddenly flashing back to what happened between herself and her father close to a week ago or so. "I need to talk to you about something….Papa was…" She walks around the counter (she either works here, or seems comfortable enough in the place to take certain liberties), and stows her bag and the books she is carrying underneath the desk that holds up the register and the ledgers. Straightening up, she hurriedly uses a claw clip to secure her hair messily in place and strides over to the telepathy/esp section….and what was she doing there anyway? Who's we? Man, she hoped to catch Cass alone today, maybe she ought to stop by after store hours, which she should've thought about already. When she hears another voice with her, she cuts off what she's about to say next and substitutes it for something else. "….being….Papa yesterday."

"Says the man browsing through telepathy and ESP books," Cass teases gently. "And you're talking to a woman who owns a shop about the occult. I wouldn't be so quick to dismiss the supernatural. The shop next door is supposed to be haunted." And yes, the we was said specifically so that Elena might not start talking about sensitive information without knowing other people were present. "Really? Now that is something else," she laughs quietly. They'll talk soon, but during store hours isn't the best time. "How's he doing? I still need to talk to him and apologize about Jaden's party."

Ryan pauses for a while before going on. "You really think the stuff Dr. Suresh wrote about is possible? I mean, belief isn't exactly scientific proof, you know. It's what you go on when there's no logical reason to think how you do." He looks at Elena and gives her a smile and a nod. "Hey, if you two need to talk, I can take care of myself here."

She groans when she mentions Jaden. And a party. "Speaking of the boss and parties, he's throwing a Pseudo-Halloween Costume Ball next week," Elena grumbles. "And after the -last- time's costume fiasco I'm thinking of feigning illness so I don't have to go. But I kind of have to considering I work for his company's Spin Room." When she finally arrives, she blinks at the other guy near Cass, and she gives him a friendly smile, crossing her arms over her chest and leaning against one of the shelves. To Cass, she continues. "He's doing okay, I'm still a little concerned about his cholesterol levels, I'm wondering if I shouldn't knock him out and see a doctor," she jokes. "See if I can't get him a prescription for Lipitor or something." To Ryan, she tilts her head at him curiously. "Dr. Suresh?" By the context of what he was saying, it sounds like he was talking about…

Cass shrugs. "Once again, you're talking to a woman who makes her living selling books about telepathy, alien conspiracies and time travel. I'm just saying that there's a lot of stuff out there that's unexplainable. Anything is possible." There's a small smile there, because she certainly knows from experience. "He's having /another/ party? After that last fiasco?" Batman's falling through ceilings, Lachlan and Ramon nearly getting into a fist fight…did she mention /Batman/ coming through the ceiling? "Well, if you're going, I guess I'll come for moral support. Though I have no idea what costume I'd wear." A pause to think that over, before moving on. "I'm glad. I've been worried about him and haven't gotten the chance to talk to him properly in awhile. Oh, I was just recommending a book to Mr. …." she's forgotten his last name, but she remembers his first! "Ryan. But he'd already read it and doesn't think very highly of it other than easy A," she grins. "I think you've read it, right, Elena? Activating Evolution."

Ryan laughs a bit nervously at the conversation. He hadn't expected The Book to come up. "Yeah. Just a bunch of comic-book fantasy stuff, right? I mean, you're not gonna see Spiderman swinging through the Lower East Side or Superman busting up a meteor heading to earth. I mean, don't Star Trek fans have some kind of fake science to 'prove' how that stuff is supposed to work?"

"If you could come with me, that would be awesome," the young latina groans. "I'd rather have people I know there than…you know. Schmooze with total strangers." Granted talking to strangers was never a problem for her. When Cass mentions Activating Evolution to her, she understands, and turns to look at the taller college student. "Hi," Elena tells Ryan with a smile when his name is mentioned. "Yeah, I did. We covered it in Theoretical Genetics in NYU last semester." Really? Really. "My other professor in Genetics…Professor MacFarlane, he doesn't think much of it either so I can't really blame him for thinking so."

As she /did/ major in psychology, it doesn't take Cass very long to realize that the topic of conversation is making Ryan uncomfortable. She's not exactly sure why, but he's a customer and she'll let the topic drift away from that. "Funny you should mention comics, my good friend owns the Secret Lair down the block. Great comic shop." Might as well plug in Nima's shop, too. "I promise. I'll go dressed as a bunny or something. And I'll drag Lach along, too. That way you'll have someone to make fun of just as much as me." Then, realization. "Oh, sorry, this is my friend Elena." There, now he knows everyone.

Ryan gives Elena a smile. "Hey there. Ryan Cochrane. Just visiting from the West Coast, but like I was telling Cass here, I hope that I'll be transfering out here soon."

"Elena Gomez," Elena gives her name freely - this time around, and she quirks a small smile at Ryan. "And you're leaving the West Coast for here? You're insane. Hope you're ready for the winters." The small smile turns into a cheeky grin, and then she looks over at Cass and laughs. "You as the Easter Bunny? Awesome. I'm -not- wearing the pink chicken suit again though," she says, laughing a bit. "I'll leave you to the customers though, Cass. I can wait at the counter…over there." She gestures. "Need to catch up on some reading anyway." There's a je ne sais quois in the way she says this, something that Cass would pick up to mean something else.

"Well, San Francisco isn't really the balmiest weather," Cass laughs and tells Elena. "But she's not wrong. The winters here are insane. Snowy, windy, generally miserable." The mention of the chicken suit gets a mischievous grin from the storekeep. "Oh /really/. Well, what if I told your boss I had the /best/ costume for you to wear ever? I doubt he'd be able to refuse. And the bunny thing is not quite settled yet. I have to make sure I can find something just as embarrassing for Lach to wear, remember." The way she says her goodbye makes her frown for a moment, but it's gone in a second. "Feel free. If anyone comes over to try and buy anything, just call out." Because she doesn't quite work here yet. But, what with all the new people she's hiring, who knows!

"…..you -wouldn'— Augh, you're so MEAN TO ME!" Elena says with a laugh over her shoulder. "And I will. I won't touch anything, scout's honor." She even holds up her hand as she says this. "Nice meeting you, Ryan," she says, and with that she'll head to where she dropped her things.

Ryan watches Elena go to the counter before turning back to Cass. "Nice to meet you too, Elena." Looking at Cass he gives a bit of a sheepish smile. "Yeah, I've seen the pictures and news stories about New York winters. I think I'll be okay, though." Again he pauses a bit, thinking before asking, "Umm…you wouldn't happen to have any books that would…tie in to Activating Evolution, would you? Just for fun, I mean."

"Tie in?" Cass thinks about that and frowns a bit. "Not /really/ actually. I've got a few alternative medicine texts up where I keep Activating Evolution, but nothing that really deal with genetics. I've got a book that says that some people were descended from lizards instead of apes, but I don't think that's what you're talking about." As she's speaking, she moves for the right bookshelf, which is across the store. As she moves, she shoots Elena a large grin. "You love it, shush. And don't worry about it, I trust you."

Ryan thinks for a bit. He's still not sure about how to ask what he wants without arousing any(more) suspicion, so he decides to be a bit more direct. "Well…let's say that the stuff Dr. Suresh wrote about were possible. Do you think you have anything that could relate to those…evovled abilities? Like the telepathy books for telepathic abilities."

There's a pause for a moment while Cass thinks that over some more. She doesn't look suspicious, she looks curious. "If what Dr. Suresh said was true?" This is the right place to come for that. "Well, there are certain books that I sell here, that would tie in with it, but not others. Like, the telepathy books. And the time travel books. Is there a particular ability that you're interested in learning more about? Just telepathy?" She stops in her trek across the store. If they're just going to go back to the same place, well, why bother to keep walking? It's always best to speak frankly to get what you want, obviously.

Ryan puts up his hands as Cass starts walking back to the telepathy section. "No, no…not telepathy…I was just giving that out as an example." He almost looses couage at this point, but with a breath he keeps going. "Dr. Suresh theorized a lot of different abilities. Is there…maybe another example you can think of? Maybe something that you'd have a tie-in to here?"

Dragging out one of the books she borrowed from the library, Elena drops on a nearby chair, and starts reading, tapping her pen against the pages. As Cass and Ryan talk, she can't help but shift her eyes to the side slightly. Just slightly. The strain of the conversation that she could hear? Sounds extremely familiar. She already suspected anyway, she's been doing this for….what? Three months? Four? She had first learned about her gifts in February, and started training her father and studied her best friend shortly after that. If she hadn't caught the signs by now, she has the learning curve of a rock.

Cass stops when Ryan puts up a hand. "That's the one everyone uses as the first example," she laughs. "Well. Wow, there are a /lot/ of abilities that he talks about in his book. Telepathy, invisibility, healing…" she ticks them off on her fingers. "I'm…is there something /specifically/ you want to know?" Her smile is gentler. "I mean, I'm not about to make fun of you if you want to know something. You're here to buy a book and I'm here to help you with it. Believe me, I've heard it all." The nervousness is something that she can understand now. "And I'm not going to say anything to anyone."

Ryan scratches his chin for a while, thinking. "Well….there were a lot of abilities. Cellular Regeneration, Telekinesis, Flight…Weather Manipulation…."

When Ryan lists of the different abilities, Cass listens politely. But, she's pretty sure she's already figured him out. The pause in his list, and the fact that he said it last makes her raise an eyebrow. "You want me to find you a book about weather manipulation, Mr. Cochrane?"

Ryan smiles a bit sheepishly and nods, partially in relief of maybe finding someone else. "That sounds good. Unless you can recommend another subject? Maybe a book you've read a lot of?"

"Un/fortunately/ I don't have anything here at the moment." Cass frowns. She has nowhere else to move for the moment. "It's not really a topic that we have a lot of theory on, unfortunately. However, I do believe there's some books about Native American weather doctors that I could hunt down for you, if you don't mind coming back in a week or so." Smiling, she shrugs. "Just about every book in this store I've read at least once. But none of them carry the right kind of resonance, if you know what I mean."

Ryan nods. "Yeah, I think I can be back in a week. And I know what you mean. I guess it can be hard to find books on such narrow subjects. It's not all that common. I hope that you're doing okay without it, though." He checks his watch. "Ummm…what time do you close here? Becasue i can always delay m flight back home and…maybe we could talk more tonight?"

"Great." Cass makes for the counter, smiles at Elena and picks up a pad of paper along with a card with the store's address and number on it. Writing a few notes for herself about what she'll try to find for Ryan, she then holds out the card for him. "You don't have to do that. We can talk when you come in for the book. I've got plans for tonight, unfortunately. So, we'll put that on pause. Something more for you to look forward to coming back in the city for."

Ryan smiles a bit. "Okay, you can probably reach me easiest on my cell phone or e-mail." He proceeds to give Cass the information. "And do you mind if I put the store number in my contact list?"

"Not at all!" Cass smiles. "That's what I gave you the card for. No use in you having it, losing it, and then having to try and find the place the hard way again." With her notepad, she takes down Ryan's information, rips off the page and sticks it into her pocket. "Sounds great. I'll give you a call as soon as I find some of those books for you."

Ryan nods. "RIght. Like I said, I wanted to try and get back out here as quickly as possible. Not just for the transfer, but for learnign more about…things. Hopefully, I'll have an apartment out here soon and maybe even a job." He gives Cass a smile. "I'm glad to have met you, Cass. It's nice to meet someone with common…interests." He sticks his iPhone back into his pants and turns to leave. "Oh, one more thing. I met he son of Dr. Suresh and talked with him about his father's book. He's living here in New York and carrying on his father's research. I might be working with him as an intern when I come back. Just in case you didn't know about him being here. But I can understand if you're not really interested in meeting him."

Dr. -Mohinder- Suresh? Elena narrows her eyes just a bit from where she's sitting, her pen pausing from notes she's idly scribbling on a piece of paper. Nothing too major, really, just the more important points that she's reading at the present moment. She still doesn't say anything though. She's just reading her giant book on pharmaceutical sciences. Don't mind her. Nothing to see here.

"Mohinder?" Cass blinks when Ryan brings him up. And then she freezes for a moment when he mentions working for him as an intern. Company. It's a gut reaction that she quickly hides behind an awkward smile. "I. Yes. We've met before. It was awhile ago. I'm glad he's doing alright. The last I heard from him, he was in dire straits." In fact, Cass assumed he was dead for awhile. "I'd…be glad to talk to you when you get back in town. Travel safely. I'm glad to have met you, too."

Ryan looks at Cass and nods. "Well, nothing's set in stone yet. I'm still trying to find out who I am, so to speak. But anyways, if you get any info on the book or find something else you think I'd be interested in, call or e-mail me. I umm….really want to find out more. About…everything." He chuckles and shakes his head. He leans in closer to Cass and quietly says. "Just call me when you think it's okay to talk about stuff. I'm really not good at double-speak."

"Everything is a tall order, Ryan." Cass replies, seriously but with a bit of a smile on her face. The smile fades at the whisper, though. "And…I'll do that. Promise."

When Ryan steps out of the store, Elena gets up from where she is, walking over to stand next to Cass and watching Ryan's back as he disappears into the crowded streets of New York. "….he might start working for the Company if he interns for Dr. Suresh," she murmurs. "You think he might be a weather manipulator based on what he was saying?" He could've gone to the clinic, but with impending Company ties…. still, she slides her hands in her pockets, rocking back on her heels, taking a step back as Cass closes the door.

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