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title: bibliophile [OPEN]
Topic Started: Mar 7 2016, 04:37 AM (641 Views)
Good Ol' Lastdesire
The cooling tea moistened his lips, and he frowned at his stared at the red liquid and the black contents swirling within it. He could've sworned his cup was scalding hot a moment ago.

The young man peeking into the early stages of adulthood placed the teacup back down on the saucer. He briefly contemplated ordering a new cup, and then played with the idea of a piece of mental sophistography that such delicious red tea could only be so palatable while fresh out of the pot, yet taste like water dipped in day-long worn socks once the very heat that deterred one from slurping it down in its peak stage. He discarded both ideas and returned his attention to the paperback.

Yes, a paperback. A plain, old, traditional turnpaper. Such outdated forms of literature were rarely found saved in museums and archived libraries nowadays, in this age of electronic material, but there were a few diehard fans of the classics, and they were hard to stomp out entirely.

The piece of print this young man was currently engrossed in was an anthology of written pieces all harbouring one same theme- the fine, thin line of dark comedy found in tragedy. Such satirical and controversial works begged the mind to think, and the snark snort to be found in the vestiges of fridge humor appealed his tastes. Which may or may not suggest what kind of shallow, malcontent, base and critical person he was, but judge a man for his private delights.

Taking another sip of (horrid!) tea, Kirihiko Kyo licked his thumb and turned a page.
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He weaved towards the tables, threaded through the various groups and swarms of individuals that streamed through the building. His eyes behind rectangular silver frames, his hair neatly parted in the center, his pristine black slacks and black t-shirt only accentuated his out-of-placeness. Wait. No. It was the "Pespi" button pinned to his shirt and the textbook under his arm. He was a- gasp! - honest to god student of the old-fashioned way of dead trees and dye printed variety.

His name was Null, or at least, that was the name he chose. Though early 20th century philosophers argued that choice and will were but illusions, Null was not a name his environment would have chosen for him. Screw Bernays, screw Skinner. Choice - while not always rational - was a thing he knew people possessed. And even he.

The sight of somebody reading actual paper piqued his interest, as adduced by the slight lifting of an eyebrow and a refocus of his attention. He changed direction, halting at the periphery of the reader's vision. And then, after a moment, he continued. Wordlessly, he sat at the table beside the reader's table and opened his textbook.

What kind of textbook? It was so bland as to be utterly forgettable. Still, Null dutifully plodded through the prose, the sidebars, the illustrations, at the pace of a trotting poodle.

He would summon the courage to speak to the fellow reader, but not now. Null had all the time in the world and not a responsibility at all.
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Gaia
Ken walked down the main hall of the Spica Mall, his traditional Murian uniform contoured to his form as usual. He had a small list of things with him - written on good old fashioned notebook paper - on what he needed to get from here. He'd make the Sages proud.

As he passed into the largest section of the mall, he first noticed a secluded dining area, with tables and chairs set up right outside an open cafe. Now that he thought about it, it had been a pretty long ride over, and he couldn't remember the last time he ate out. . .he promptly ordered a cup of tea and a simple sandwich, sitting down at a table by some other man.

As he respectfully dug into his meal - a decency he rarely saw in other teenagers in Electopia - he instinctively studied his surroundings. The mall was slightly crowded, and, for a second, it looked like all of the people passing by were gawking at him.

Then, he got a better look at the man in front of him. Utterly unremarkable, save for the book rested in his grasp. He periodically turned the page, and, Ken realized, was the focus of everyone else's attention.

. . .They were gawking at a man reading a book? He didn't think they were that out of date. His tribe kept all of their records on scrolls and books made from animal hide; he was accustomed to the presence of paperback - or, in his case, leatherback - literature because it was all he knew.

Becoming a little self-conscious of the fact he was staring, he suddenly averted his gaze from the man across from him. Heh, he thought. Just how long has it been since I've had a normal outing, with normal problems, that I've come to miss them?

He decided to test his pretty rusty social skills. He hadn't gotten to sate his desire for talking in quite a while - the Indie Waves made sure that, despite the fact that he didn't hate everyone (he just didn't want their help!), everyone felt the need to ignore or avoid him. "Whazzap! What are you reading?"
Edited by Gaia, Mar 26 2016, 01:46 AM.
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Good Ol' Lastdesire
"Whazzap! What are you reading?"

The youth registered the question as noise, not a question posed towards him initially. He lifted his eyes off the lines for a moment, meeting the eyeline of the source of the sound, before promptly returning his attention to the book. Then it quickly clicked that he was, in fact, being addressed to, and performed a double take as he made awkward eye contact once again.

He'd been fairly engrossed in the book- no, he wasn't the type that needed to finish everything in one reading, preferring to take up the book at his own leisure, exploring the world of words with a refreshed mind, but an interesting read tended to draw him deep into a world that existed within the palace of his imagination. Kirihiko realised even more time had passed, noting the presence of entirely different ensemble of customers at the cafe from when he remembered- an elderly couple, marriage newly renewed, a pair of transgender individuals well into their transition phases, who were either winding down after a night's out or prepping up for another night of pouring booze and entertaining, a pack of ravenous teenagers, indulging their hormones by pigging what appeared to be everything on the menu and off, the more unhealthy the better, and a lone, diligent student perusing an electronic textbook, though he seemed at best distracted.

And why was everyone giving him the sneaky eye? Kyo frowned, resisting an urge to put a hand to his face and feel for anything off or odd.

Kirihiko's gaze returned to the questioner. He was a young man of a number of years on the hand under him, as to be expected of the demographic age of the crowd that lounged around Spica Mall- but that was where anything relatively inconspicious about the teenager ended.

The attire, for one- tribal and religious, coming of as something that might be expected at a rite or something, yet something, perhaps the lack of robes, pronounced him as something of a guard or warrior. He was bronze, a natural tone of the skin, and if that didn't make him stand out from the masses his hair, a striking ghost white, certainly did, as did his eyes of the same color.

But while he stood out like a sore thumb, Kirihiko Kyo couldn't help but suspect that he wasn't the source of attention at the moment- there was something subtle about this person, that made people feel the need not to go out of the way to interact with, like a repelling pole of a magnet.

He recognized the accent- Wazzap was a dead giveaway, though there seemed to be something mixed or jumbled in, a different variation that lent a unique intonation to his words from the regular Wazzap tribesmen.

Kyo tried for a smile, and raised his paperback so the worn, crinkled cover could be seen. "El ingenioso hidalgo don Quijote de la Mancha." Kyo articulated. "Classic literature demands Shakespeare, but I is more hot for things funny and like. Ain't you issit?"

Oh, the curl. Kirihiko had moved into dialect territory of his own, a strong inflection of common, crass Miyazaki-ben tongue from the lower, marketplace districts. As informal and downmarket his words were, Kyo managed to preserve a somewhat retained sense of scholarism, creating a contrast between his serious appearance and light tone.
Edited by Lastdesire, Mar 27 2016, 11:46 AM.
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Null continued to trudge through the textbook, barely taking notice of the world around him. Well, that's how it appeared, anyroad. The mysterious foreigner and the young man reading a Netopian novel were the focus of his audio processing. The urge to suggest Jonathan Swift's works or the absurdist masterpiece by the foreign parson Lewis Carroll was real, as real as the Mission Impossible-inspired video camera contact lenses he wore. Sonar mapping of the world only did so much, after all.

Nothing requiring the old man's advice happened, and Null hoped that nothing would. Every last bit of processor power he wanted. The toll of running two full instances on the Hunter-VG effectively halved his abilities. And as appealing as switching to full alert mode was, it drained battery like an Instagram-obsessed teen on a family road trip.

EDIT:
So he remained, in a state of being awake but not present, there, but not at attention. He was but another set piece member in the great morality play the was the meeting of minds - a foreign envoy and a NEET.
Edited by Lash, Apr 9 2016, 11:09 PM.
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Gaia
Honestly, he was expecting a shy, cold eye and then promptly being ignored. It's the nicest response he'd ever gotten out of trying to talk to a complete stranger - the harsher end of that spectrum being a fierce dismissal followed by a brutish threat. Something along the lines of 'If you ever talk to me again, I'll [Insert Any Violent Act Here] you.'

The fact that he got any response out of the man was a shock in and of itself - the added marketplace dialogue to foil the scholarly look just added on to it. Other than the paperback in his hand, he was inexplicably forgettable. The guy looked like he could easily disappear into a crowd.

For that very reason, Ken wanted to memorize this man's face. His features, what made him who he was. He felt like there was something more to this man - something beyond the forgettable face, the scholarly visage and marketplace dialogue. His father had taught him to follow his instincts.

He locked eyes with the man, hoping to glean something from him while he was off-guard. "Ah. Most of my reading was on historical battles - both from my ancestors and other's - and just general history. Never had the leisure of choosing my own reading preferences; the Sages were very precise in their teachings, and, if they didn't deem it a necessity for survival, I wasn't taught it.

"My name is Ken, and I'm from Whazzap; although, I now live in the Echo Ridge area. And you?"




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Good Ol' Lastdesire
The young man wrinkled his nose, sides of his mouth turning down into a sullen pout when he heard that the selective reading assigned to this young man by his -elders, he assumed- was limited to nothing but fact and history lessons. True, history taught invaluable lessons - and no one knew that better than he- but there were much more to books than just recountings.

“Issit tho?" Kyo voiced, not bothering to hide the irate grate that had snuck into his voice. "That's taking a right piss, that's what that is. Blasphemy! Heresy! Wot sacrilege, reading, bully an' right is!"

"Reading's more than just facts!" He trailed on, now gesturing quite agitatedly, the paperback worriedly flung left and right. "Is about ideals, philosophy, n' inna end, fun wot, mate. Sides," He sniffed. "There be betta ways to learn you the past, oft."

Kirihiko sighed, plopping down his read and making the mistake of taking another pull of his- ugh- tea again. He waved half-heartedly, inviting the other to take the seat opposite him.

"I'm from all sorts, mate, an' wherever I sleep, I call that rock home. I'm from Central Electopia, but not realleh- been bunking rocks all o'er the country since ah was a wee lad, as you might tell."
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It took an effort for Ken to understand what the man was saying; the dialect was alien to him. Still, he got the gist of the message: The guy was surprised at the fact that he might as well had been living under a rock.

Not far from the truth, actually.

"I agree whole heartedly. Since I left, I've not had too much time to myself," he admitted, deciding he wanted to tell a little of the truth. He'd have to pick his next words carefully, though. "I've had to do a lot of travelling, and a lot of . . . working . . . and am only just starting to getting my life back in order."

As he said that, the man made a gesture - a gesture for Ken to sit beside him. He shifted uneasily; he was already pushing the boundaries of the Indie Proof. He didn't trust the man enough for that, yet; simple talk was all he wanted, for now. He decided to play off the role of an ignorant foreigner; oblivious to the meaning of the man's gesture.

"Yes, your dialect is definitely unique," he said in response, still trying to place it. The only thing even remotely outstanding about this man, and its the way he speaks. Typical.
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Lash
As much as Null wanted to stay and observe, he knew he had to move - the battery was low and his spare battery packs empty. So he left, quietly tucking the book under his arm and passing the two.

"If you're looking for a good book. 1632."

He said it quietly, almost as an aside to be lost in the him and bustle of the crowd. He didn't bother looking back at the two strangers. Quietly ducked into a series of hallways, sat beside an outlet, produced a charger cord from pocket space, and plugged in.

[Exeunt]
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Good Ol' Lastdesire
Kyo was just about to interject with a response when a random stranger- one of the customers lounging at the cafe- just passed them by, not before dropping a random one-liner and an enigmatic... number... title? Bewildered, and rightfully so, Kyo shot a finger at the backing back, his expression weirded out by the confusing interruption. "...Wot he said?" He blurted with incredulity, mouth crooked and gaping. 16... what? Was that a passcode? Or a year? Or a title?

Didn't know, and that was going to bug him in the back of his mind for the rest of the days. Grumbling inwardsly, he mentally made a note for Hai to file that little piece of information away for further investigation.

" 'Nyways." The Electopian youth started up again. "Books. There's that all sorts, mate, if you look hard 'nuff. Granted, I be all sorts of caught up in me own self-imposed wallowing to be reading gray material 'lik dis, but hey, they say you find a good torches in the dark woods, don't cha?" He held up his book again. "Like this one story I'm reading right now. 'Bout this bloke who got all self-deluded and set out on a quest to knighthood an' all sorts, 'cept only his' on his own Arthurian world, an' the rest of the world ain't that way. Sort of a comic of sorts, bumbling adventures at the expense of a senile, mentally unstable old man. No problem wi' that, no sirree.

Be I like that trusty squire o' his, you know. Sancho, his name t'was. A gutful folk, always there to aide his master, and stringing along the whole theatric charade of his, letting his old man live his dream in a world where dreams don't exist. Loyal, that man was. An' that gives me hope."


There was something almost boyish, the sparkle in the young man's dark eyes. " 'Cos if someun's gone out the way that far to carry on a lie, even a beautiful one, then that there's hope that salvation the world may still in due be."
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Before they could continue, a stranger came up and made an ambiguous suggestion. Ken had noticed him as he was coming in, but, hadn't thought anything of him - he wondered how much the man heard of their conversation? He was definitely in a rush to get out of here.

The number meant nothing to him, but, it obviously bothered his fellow colloq. He shrugged it off, and went back to trying to understand what this guy was saying.

He was talking about a book, and it was an Arthurian book - whatever that meant. Other than that, well. . . "I'm really sorry, but, I truly have no idea what you're trying to say. Bits and pieces I understand," he bluntly stated, understand this man's passion and hope for salvation. "But, I missed your entire explanation of the story."
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Good Ol' Lastdesire
A flitting glimpse of brief frustration crossed the Electopian reader's expression, before leaving swiftly with a flairful wave of his hand. "Feh! No matter. 'Ere's another tale, how 'bout, then?"

The man flipped through the dog-earred pages of the weathered book with a familiar thumb, stopping at almost precisely where he had intended to. "How a-bouts a tale o' country luv, then? A young laddy leaves his land, abandoning his duty to take o'er the farm for a life of adventure and quest, only to find the outside world unrecognisable and unbelievably cruel. He grows to long for what he once had, and struggles to return to his home, on'y to find the farm sold and razed down 'er to the ground for land fer the city.

"N' what does one takes from this story?"
He waggled his finger in the air. "To treasure what you already have? That ignorance is bliss when spared the ugly truth? I say nay- for if the wee laddie hadn't ventured out to the true, big, world, he'd n'er have known the value of his home."
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