2019-11-05 - I Heard A Rumor Part 1


Mystique takes an interest in Caden for some reason. What could it be?

Log Info:

Storyteller: None
Date: Tue Nov 5 03:46:57 2019
Location: Queens

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Sweet Earl's Shop of Mystical Wonders is a fraud. It's a place that proclaims the knowledge of the mystical world is located within its walls, and it has likely never had an actual magical artifact in its inventory since the day it was opened by Earl Klein, famous stage magician. And, likely, if someone held a gun to Earl's head he'd admit he has no idea about real magic. But illusions and tricks? He's your man.
Which is why Caden had gone there. Not so much to learn illusions, but to perhaps get the easiest procured set of 'For Dummies' magical texts that he could find. Texts that won't sit up and bite his hand as he reads them, or texts that will rightly assume he knows relatively nothing of actual magic. And explain concepts to him that he's still trying to get a handle on.
Things like dolmens, and ley lines, and all sorts of craziness he's had to deal with somewhat recently.
So it is outside that store, perhaps a block down the way from it in the nearby dog park, that Caden sits in his grey pea coat and blue jeans, looking nice and cozy as he reads one of the books he bought from that store. The bag of the other books rests at his side on the benchseat next to him while he peruses the mysteries of the universe.


The voice might sound familiar. A moment after the word was spoken, the person speaking was standing in front of him. She was about his age, perhaps a year or two younger. Her hair was red and short, cut in an almost masculine style but it suited her. She had a slim build with modest proportions, a tone to her musculature that was befitting those who often ran track and the like.

"I thought that was you! Remember me? Buffy from Computer Theory class at ESU?" When she was in class, she usually had her glasses on but today they were hanging on the collar of her blue t-shirt, the color of the shirt matching her eyes. There were a few freckles across her nose and cheeks. "I haven't seen you in ages! How've you been?"

Looking up from his book, Caden's eyes have that slight haze over the with a furrow to the brow that marks of puzzlement or a lack of understanding. But then she clarifies as he smiles a little. "Buffy?" He straightens up a little, closing the book that was in his lap and setting it to the side on the plastic bag next to him, causing it to crinkle faintly.
"Oh wait, we worked on that… multi-thread sequencing project thing, right? Professor Keith." He brightens a little at that as he recalls, then gives her a once over as he adds, "It's good to see you. I've been good, umm, out of the country got back a month ago. S'why I've been scarce."
That and other reasons of course. "What have you been up to?"

She invites herself to sit down next to him, on the opposite side of the books on the bench so that she isn't crowding. Nice little mini wall that makes it less intrusive when sharing space. "You remember! If not for you, I would've failed that assignment." Not really true but quite magnanimous of her to suggest otherwise. Her smile was more like a pixie, happy and friendly.

"Still working to finish up my Master's. Two more semesters and I should be done finally. My own fault for not paying enough attention to my classes when I first enrolled." Her freshman year, she had gotten a tad too adventurous and not focused on grades. Thus have to make up ground.

"Hope to get on with one of the big firms once I get out." She glances down at the books between them and now her brow furrowed. "Dummies Guide to Magic (The Real Kind)." She looked at him with a smirk. "Seriously?"

"Yeah, I was thinking about going back this semester but then I had this trip thing…" Caden smiles easily, perhaps a little self-deprecatingly as he knows that it makes him sound like a slacker. "But I will probably go back next year. Once I get a few things taken care of."
That said he smiles a little at the way she reads the title of the book, "Sorta?" He answers her question of 'seriously?' and he tilts the text up and on its side, as if just now seeing the title of it himself. "I have a friend…" A pause then he adds, "Well, really several of them, who are heavy into it. I figured I should take a small crash course so I at least have a frame of reference to operate from."
He then stuffs the book back into the plastic bag, making it rustle as he does so. "But my eyes just glaze over. Not sure why."

"I know way. Cause it's bullshit," Buffy says with a soft laugh as she puts a hand down, palm flat, on the seat beside her. "No such thing as real magic. Sleight of hand, misdirection, stuff like that? Super impressive but still completely fake."

What she doesn't know about the world? A lot. What she thinks she knows? Everything.

"Wanna grab a cup of coffee or something to eat? I'm famished." So it's his fault now if she starves to death, should he say no. That's how these things worked. "And you can tell me about your trip. Or was it to Vegas? I know the rules where that place is concerned."

"Well," Caden smiles a little, "I mean there is real magic out there, right? Like Thor still runs around with a big hammer that he throws to fly. So it's like, out there." He crinkles his nose and draws a leg up into his lap, resting his hands on it as he turns to the side a little to face her. "I think it's more that it's just not quite as prevalent as some people hope it is? Right?"
At that Caden smiles a little as he looks past her, then he looks at her, "Sure, can go grab something to eat if you like." Though he's not particularly hungry. "But no it was to Japan." His lip twists downward a little, "And ugh, it was not fun. Just don't ask."
There that might put a kibosh on that line of inquiry as he gathers the bag back to himself and starts to rise. "Wanna hit up that Starbuck's? Their sandwiches aren't entirely horrible."

"Only partially horrible. Starbuck's it is then." Buffy hops back up to her feet and starts that direction. There is a tone from her front pocket and she pulls out a phone in a blue and white case with winged unicorns frolicking in the clouds. There is also a pop on the back with an image of Iron Man, completely at odds with the girly case. She types something in with both thumbs, rapid fire, then tucks it back into her pocket.

"Guessing the trip was more work than leisure. That or you got sick. Getting sick on a trip is always the worst!"

She continues to babble as they work their way toward the coffee shop in question. "I went to Mexico once. They aren't kidding about don't drink the water, by the way. Just don't. Trust me."

For a moment Caden sort of looks back over his shoulder, eyebrows furrowing, almost forlorn at his lost privacy and solitude, but then he looks back toward Buffy and he gives a nod of understanding, "Oh yeah, I know. Sometimes urban legends or conventional wisdom are things for a reason." Which is a nice way of putting it perhaps.
That said he walks along with her toward that coffee shop and he pulls the door open for her, holding it long enough for her to pass inside. "Have you heard anything from any of the other guys?" The ones that were in on their project with them.
"Ash and Raghib?" He tilts his head to the side as they sidle up into line, standing there and waiting to be waited on. "To be honest I haven't even checked my school email in forever."

"Ash is in a couple of my current classes. Raghib I think already graduated. He was always working ahead of me, with like a double class load or something," Buffy says with a shrug. "Last I heard, he was out there trying to find a job now."

The line moved quickly but there were a lot of people so they were able to speak a bit, take a step, speak a bit. The Dance of the Coffee Shop, so to speak. "You probably should check it. I think if it is more than sixty days they purge it or something? Hate to see you lose something important."

"Ah, the real world." Caden smiles a little as he looks ahead, taking a glance at the display case that has all the sandwiches and the like, "Very different than academia. They expect results." He nods sagely, solemnly, as if he knew what it meant to hold down a career. Though most of the jobs he performed couldn't really be written on a resume.
"I'll take a look, if only to make sure they don't break in and steal all my fanfic." Ok he's never written any fanfic, but it makes him smile to suggest it. Yet as the line moves he takes a deep breath, grimaces a bit and then gives a nod to the cashier once he gets there. "Hey, large glass of orange juice?" He asks for that and starts to pull his wallet out, then turns to her, "Grab what you like, I'll get this round." Though it's unlikely there'll be more rounds to get.

"Oooo, now I need to order extra!" Buffy gives a mischievious grin but then looks to the cashier. "Cuban panini and a tall caramel machiatto."

Obviously she isn't shy about what she wants, despite the fact she's dipping into his wallet. "I'll go grab us a table!"

Off she goes, almost bounding off with way too much energy for someone before their coffee. She finds a seat in the corner just as a man is vacating it with his laptop tucked under his arm and a cup in his other hand. She scoots into the seat and props her feet on top of the chair on the opposite side so no one tries to snag it and pull it to their table for an extra.

A small smile flits over Caden's features as he shakes his head as he looks a little ruefully after Buffy, then he turns back to the cashier who might actually offer him a knowing sympathetic smirk in return. But with their orders placed he steps out of the way for the next person to place theirs, then it's on to the waiting at the counter.
He'll occasionally glance at Buffy's reflection in the glass behind the counter, not entirely remembering much about her when they did that project. She seemed very similar to how she was back then, but something seemed a little off. Maybe their social dynamic, maybe something else. He promptly forgets about it then with a small shrug as he waits for their order, then heads over to the table to set the tray before her.
"So what have you been keeping busy with since all of everything?" He asks as he claims his orange juice.

She's quite like the original version. She studied the woman for a bit before opting to play this role. Most of the information about her was available on social media, including the project they had worked on together. She was a member of the track team, competing in multiple events, in addition to being at the school originally on scholarship until that first year of partying had her grades slip too much and her parents ended up having to foot the cost of her education after all. She also had multiple student loans she would be paying off for a good many years after graduation.

The original was chipper and a bit hyper at times but had a good heart. So that is all this one was, for now.

As the food was delivered, she took a big bite of her panini. While chewing, she rolled her eyes back as though she had tasted the nectar of the gods. A quick swallow, a dab of mustard off her top lip and she was able to talk again. "School mainly along with keeping up on my track stuff. Got a personal best in the 50 yard hurdles two weeks ago." Her smile shows how proud she is of that. "Not going to break any world records but it was a full .8 seconds off my old best time. In track, that's a lot."

She the lid off her coffee so she could stir it a bit, letting steam escape so she wasn't burning her lips and tongue off sipping too soon. "What about you? Other than the Trip That Shall Not Be Discussed."

"Oh I've been working at that old school I mentioned. Doing some IT things to… you know, feel like I'm actually a contributing member to society." His lip twists a little as he frowns a touch but it eventually makes it to a smile, though perhaps one that's a little grumpy.
"That and helping out some friends with a few other things, seems like while I was gone the world got all shaken up and changed around and I'm still playing catch up." At that point, however, the phone in his inner pocket hums softly, vibrating against his chest as he digs inside and swipes it to life with the brush of a thumb. His brow knits as he reads it and then he frowns a little more pronounce.
"Speaking of…" He tilts his orange juice back and takes a big swig, "I'm gonna have to catch up later. Toss me a line at my old email? I'm gonna go in there and check it out and clean it out. We'll write." A nice departure, but also not exactly a welcoming one for another visit.
"Take care of yourself, Buff." That said he turns and moves to the door.

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