RPLog-Two Girls and a Bookstore

Log Info

Title: Two Girls and a Bookstore
Emitter: -
Characters: Alessandra Job, Sullivan Prieto
NPCs: -
Place: Borders Books Etc. Etc. Etc.
Time: April, 21, 2010
Summary: Two Institute students make their way through a bookstore speaking of assignments, literature and philosophy.

Liv enters the Borders walking backwards, her skirt fluttering in the early evening breeze. She does this, of course, so she can speak to Sandra. "So I'm just looking for an extra credit novel and books on -" she hesitates, then decides on "- stuff, neither of which will take long. Then maybe we could grab coffee? Or something decaffeinated - nah, coffee. Sleep is overrated."

"Mmmm, only if your bed is lumpy," notes Sandra in a rare attempt at humor. There is a look of … trepidation as she peers at the books beyond Liv. "What sort of novel did you have in mind? I … should probably do something as well, but I swear the teacher wishes to annoy me. She suggested the Iliad. I detest Greek myths and legends." There is a faint pause, "Greatly. I do not want to read about a bunch of egotystical beings being cruel and ruthless to mortals because they -could-. And never showing a lick of remorse, mind you!"

Liv pivots on her heel, absently picking up a glitzy thriller, reading maybe half a line of the cover blurb, and then dropping it with a disgusted snort. "The beds the Institute sets up aren't exactly the Ritz," she says. "I don't know, I'm trying to find something they define as classic I might actually enjoy. And that I haven't read." She snickers, then. "Oh, come on, the Iliad is hilarious. Ultra-powerful human beings acting like spoiled brats and aping silly poses at each other. … reminds me a lot of school, honestly." She considers, surveying her surroundings, "I could always lie."

"I find the arrogance and self-entitlements of the Deities repulsive," notes Sandra with a roll of her shoulders. "Time and time again man made obiesance after 'faltering' somehow, and did the Gods forgive? NO. Then let us speak of the torment of those who had done nothing wrong … They were just … bored," she offers with a roll of her shoulders.

Blue eyes wander the long shelves and Sandra hesitantly pulls out something on … scrapbooking on an endcap. She peers at it for a long moment then puts it away. "Well, if they do not know you have read it before, and you have not done a report on it before, I do not really see the crime if there is nothing else that interests you."

"Eh, my mother is an actress," Liv says with a shrug. "I grew up with arrogance and self-entitlement. It's kind of like its own form of jewelry." The way Liv says this is peculiar - it's so casual, yet there's a spark of genuine acid underneath it. "But then you get people like Sisyphus, who … all right, Sisyphus is pretty cool, actually. I'd like to buy that man a drink." She sighs. "It's not
like they're going to let me read Terry Pratchett. Isn't the saying, 'Dying is easy, comedy is hard?'" A smirk, then. "I might just do that. Hey, can you believe this garbage?" She picks up a clearance-marked bodice-ripper and offers it over.

Sandra peers at the cover, blinking. "Why are her clothes torn, and why does she look so happy about it?" asks the young woman before shaking her head and handing the book back. "I .. have not read Terry Pratchett," notes the young woman as she rolls her shoulders. "I tend to … read only what is needed in school."

"Because the handsome lunk with the flowing hair is going to do various and sundry X-rated things to her," Liv rattles off. "And then, to top it off, he's going to pay for her tailoring bill." She sets it down. "Oh? You should. Skewers modern conventions in a fantasy setting …" she trails off, staring at Sandra hard for a minute. "On the other hand, maybe you wouldn't like it." She has noticed the oddities. "Oh, well, sorry for dragging you to a bookstore, in that case. But they do have good beverages, and it's not as packed as the coffee shops."

A hand is raised, and Sandra makes a dismissive gesture. "Think no more of it," she says with
a shake of her head. "I am … well, never have been … used to books. Paper seems so … flimsy,
I do not understand why you would want to print anything that might be a lasting document on it," she notes with a roll of her shoulder. "And the larger the book, the more flimsy the paper, have you noticed?"

Liv quirks an eyebrow. "Who says we want it to be lasting documents? Would you want half these books to be memorialized for all time?" She waves a hand at the bestseller display. "Transience isn't necessarily a bad thing. Anyhow, I can't think of what else you would print on where you'd be able to match the sheer quantity of … stuff." She chuckles. "Yeah, that's so they can fit more pages into it. It's an economics thing."

"Would not certain metals withstand the tests of time, so to speak?" asks Sandra. "Not to
mention it would crack less than stone would." Sandra consiers for a long, quiet moment, before she glances around. "Pick a book for me, will you?"

"Except that would be expensive," Liv says, then frowns thoughtfully. "Though I suppose you could theoretically make pages out of aluminum without costing an arm and a leg … I wonder how thin it can get?" She's lost in space. "Hmm? You mean for this assignment, or just in general?"

"In general. I am reading … mmm, Tess of the D'Urbervilles for the assignment," offers Sandra with a roll of her shoulders. "The hypocracy of men's actions and the need for a woman to remain virtuous is rediculous so far. Offensive, really. Was society really like that in the era the book was set in?"

"It was," Liv says. "Not that I was alive back then, but. I'd like to say humanity has made progress, but I think it's just that we're finding more intricate and subtle ways to be stupid. Hmm, what do you like? Something set in the real world? Romance or mystery? Invented realms?" She gestures for Sandra to follow her, threading in the direction of the cafe for now.

While she walks along, Sandra considers softly, looking at the shelves and random spines of books. "Perhaps historical," notes Sandra. "After all, learning where things began helps things progress away from the … stupid, right?" Sandra smiles faintly and shakes her head. "I am afraid I am not much of a dreamer. I am … tactically minded."

"I'm not much for non-fiction, but I can point you that way," Liv says. "I've read some historical

mysteries, focusing on a female Irish priest … you might like them. She's an old school

feminist." She smiles wryly. "Sometimes, dreams are the best things you get. They keep you going."

She laughs, then holds out a book. "The Idiot's Guide to ESP. What the hell."

"… so what if you don't want to be tactical?" There's prickle in Liv's voice. "Do you like it? Did you get a choice in it?" She crosses her arms, the book bent against her elbow. She realizes she's mangling it and quickly puts it back. "I don't think it has anything to do with real ESP. Because you can't learn it. You either have it or you don't." She peeks at the cover again. "No, someone with too many Zs and Ys in their name."

"Ah! Some one from the Republic of Congo then!" notes Sandra, again that rare attempt at
humor. There is a pause as the blonde woman considers for a long moment. "It is good to be tactically minded where I am from. My family is a … well a military family - leaders in the military, really. And choice or no choice, that is how to advance for me. The … differences between peoples, how they react to one another, and even how they resolve conflict is interesting."

Liv rolls her eyes and allows a snicker at Sandra's joke. She considers the rest, exhaling a slow sigh. "Fair enough," she says. "I just … I don't know. The whole nature - nurture debate." Maybe when Liv is uncomfortable, she deflects into an abstract. She clears her throat, an aggressive rasp. "Here," she says, waving a Sister Fidelma novel at Sandra. "Now do you want something to drink? … they've got brownies and stuff, too." She pauses, then backtracks. "Have you read Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus?" It's a joke - but then again …

Sandra offers her warmest and most friendly smile to date, "Sometimes it is more complicated than even nature vs. nurture. Add in culture and … " A peer at the book curiously, handling it like some delicate object of great historical and educational value. "Is it good?" she asks, before looking back at Liv. "Sometimes one does something for the betterment of their culture, even if that is what they were expected to do in the first place, I guess. And I know I have a tactical mind, and thus it is also a singularly focusing mind. But we all have flaws, don't we?"
Sandra then peers at Liv in disbelief. "Someone wrote a book with that title?" she asks frowning. "I know that the Romans called Ares Mars, and I can see how men would consider him the
ideal. And Venus is the Roman version of Aphrodite, and men pretty much consider her the ideal for a beautiful woman. So, first of all, it must be a male author. And secondly, why would I want to read something with such a rediculous title? Men and Women did /NOT/ come from Ares and Aphrodite. Really!" … After all, everyone knows they came from the clay-turned-flesh Prometheus!

"You have that right," Liv says, returning the smile cautiously, but not closing up as she seems to

want to do. "How do you know that that's the right thing to do, though?" She sighs, drops her eyes,

and considers the book. "It's pretty good, yeah. I caught the killer a little ahead of time, but

that's part of the game." It's only the final statement that brings levity back to her expression,

and she laughs. "No, no, the planets - which are named after the gods. It's a metaphor for the

sexes not being able to understand each other." Then she squints at Sandra, a little incredulous.

She seems to consider asking if the other is for real again, but she's already established the

girl's veracity.

The young woman's head bobs from one shoulder to the other before she answers the first question. "Well, in my situation, while the … events leading up to where I am today are somewhat … complicated, the decision was obvious and easy to make. I have no doubt you would have made the same choice were you in my feet when it was presented."

Glancing at the cafe then back to Liv, Sandra purses her lips, "A fruit smoothie, that sounds good," she notes before adding. "Ahhh, well … that makes more sense then. An apt metaphor, unless you are a telepath."

"Don't be so sure," Liv says with a shake of her head. She shoves her hands into her pockets, subconsciously narrowing her body. "Complicated … yeah." She laughs and pops up to the counter. "Me, I'm going straight for a … chocolate-strawberry shake." She shudders. "I think telepaths get the short end of the stick. Can you imagine knowing what people are thinking, all the time? … ugh, he's ogling me … wow, he just cheated his mother out of money …"

"It would be miserable," notes Sandra with a nod. "I envy them not. Chocolate-strawberry shake… mmm, I do like chocolate… no, fruit is good, too," meanders Sandra's verbal thoughts. "I believe it is safe to say, however, that all of us have lead somewhat complicated lives and as such have complex problems facing us still. I just … well, it is likely a foolish idea, but I am trying to be as … understanding as I can while keeping my own … history … mmm … private. Secret is too nefarious. It won't always be, but I am not ready yet."

"Me, neither. There are powers I'd love to have, but that isn't one of them." Liv steps forward to order, adding a chocolate chip cookie to the mix. "You could get a cookie, too," she suggests. She nods slowly. "We all have our problems. Not all of us are torn between what we are and what we want …" She makes a face. "At least you *can* have a private history. Mine got plastered over the headlines." Not that that's entirely true, but far more than Liv wants it to be. "I guess I can understand. Though you need to Google more and let up on the Greek mythology."

"I did not see these headlines," notes Sandra with a deep underlying current to them - she is not judging Liv. "Ah, yes, the mighty Google," sighs Sandra after placing her order, and adding in a cookie at Liv's suggestion. "The computers here … do not like me," she says, before glancing around and leaning forward to whisper, "Professor Aingal let me borrow an … Em-Pee-Tres player and … it just stopped working. He was rather … perturbed."

Liv darts Sandra a startled look, and then a half smile. "You know … that doesn't surprise me." But though relaxed, she doesn't volunteer any information. She steps to one side, though staying within whisper range. "Huh, really? That's a strange problem to have …" A moment of mental calculation, as she dumps more trivia into her mental assessment of the other. No, still nothing definite. "Some people have odd magnetic fields, but I've never heard of it being that bad."

A sigh escapes Sandra as she nods, ambling after Liv. "I have learned how to use a typewriter just fine. You notice I have no cellular. And in my dorm, it is not a wireless phone, but attached
to the wall." Waiting for her order, Sandra looks around a bit more, "I suppose it could be worse,
I could speak another language and not know English," she offers. "That would be most difficult. Or unable to speak at all. Communication would be much slower, perhaps more efficient, but I have noticed much body speaking to convey meaning, so perhaps not."

"Typewriter? You can't get the internet on a typewriter," Liv says, not seeming to realize she's stating the obvious. "Maybe you could try one of those voice-activated systems? If you weren't touching it, maybe it wouldn't have the same effect?" She smirks a bit. "You could learn sign language. I've always thought that was sort of neat." She slouches against the side of the counter. "Just be careful, huh? School people will be used to the quirks - everyone has them - but not so much city folk."

"Indeed, I have made that observation, and my own parents did warn me about such," notes Sandra, taking the warning in seriousness. "Why do you think I carry currancy with me, instead of the plastic cards most of you at school carry?" she asks curious. "Hmmm, and I have not tried voice-activated software. I shall try that next. I am certain the Institute has such." Then Sandra laughs alittle and shrugs. "Internet … who needs it. It is nothing but a bunch of 1's and 0's, am I not correct?" she says in an attempt at a jest.

"How is that any safer?" Liv counters. She accepts her drink from the barrista and swirls her straw about in it before sipping. "Ah. Just what the doctor ordered." A brief chocolate-induced silence ensues, and then she releases a snicker. "The internet is a fount of every useless, obscure and incorrect piece of information known to man - and some that have yet to be discovered. It is a land of unlimited entertainment and labyrinthine links leading you unto the den of viruses."

"Then why would I ever want to venture there?" asks Sandra as she takes her own drink next, with a mound of whipped cream on top. The woman licks at the cream, then pops the cherry in her mouth. "It sounds outright … vile."

"Because there are some diamonds in the rough," Liv says. "It's a place where you can be anyone, without having to change." She nibbles at her cookie. "Also, it's the best place to learn about little things like … all the ludicrous uses those little cards can be put to. And why men really are from Mars. And who cloned Elvis."

Sandra frowns faintly, blinking. "El-vis? I thought human cloning was illegal," she notes with a roll of her eyes. "Men are from Mars because of testosterone poisoning," she offers before diving more into the whipped cream. "There is so much I cannot even stir it in… how silly."

"… you don't know about Elvis?" Liv arches a brow, having the unsettling sensation that Sandra is playing a joke on her. "Since when does something being illegal stop anyone?" She snorts at the whipped cream difficulties. "So just eat it off the top. There's no such thing as too much, you know."

Sandra peers at the whipped cream, before taking another bite. "No, you are right, it doesn't stop anyone. It should, of course, but there is a reason that Utopia is an unachievable figment. If I am not mistaken it means 'No Place'."

"In a real Utopia, there wouldn't be anything illegal," Liv says. "Restrictions and laws – confine people. In the real thing, you wouldn't need laws because no one would do those things in the first place." She puffs out a sigh, partway into her straw; it causes bubbles in the drink. "Which is even more impossible."

"We are inherently flawed, we mortal creatures, aren't we? P…" Sandra starts to say, before
she stops, offering a chagrined smile to Liv. "Blasted chemical imbalances known as emotions," she offers instead.

"Yeah, don't remind me." Liv offers a brittle smile. "Me, I'd like to pretend I have no flaws, but it doesn't work." She twitches the straw at Sandra. "As many wrong things were done in the name of pure logic as pure emotion … and this a depressing topic of conversation. Who's fault is it?"

"Mmmm, if blame must be assigned, I will take it," notes Sandra, sipping now at the actual fruity goodness beneath the whipped cream. "However, does is really matter who is at the fault?" she asks with a grin after a moment. "We could talk about boys, I suppose. After all, it's what is expected of us, right?"

"Very nice of you," Liv says with a chuckle. "Since I don't think there's anyone assigning fines for mood-killers, I don't suppose it matters." She arches a brow. "Not all girls sit around and talk about boys," she points out. "Did you have specific boys in mind, or did you just want to talk about the general concept?"

Sandra shakes her head as she looks at Liv. "No, I had no one in particular in mind, actually. We are just teen-aged young women, sitting together having an indepth conversation. I do believe the general stereotype is we are talking about some young man's ass."

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