Between Science and History

Cast: date: '28 August 2012'
place: 'London Library'
participants: 'Benjamin, Gideon'
synopsis: 'Gideon, who is not a member of the Watch, explains a bit more about the organization to Benjamin, who is also not a member.'
log: "The library is a beautiful piece of multi-level architecture whose interior smells pleasantly of paper and musty bindings. It's a quiet, calm space with people moving through rows of shelves or sitting at desks reading or speaking in hushed tones with a librarian to get assistance.\n\nGideon Parish is not doing any of these things. Instead, he's up on one of the balconies. Rather than using it for its intended purpose of getting up to the next level for studious pursuits, the blond man is loitering, arms resting on the railing, as he peers down at the ground floor, below.\n\n\nScience and miscellany is on the top floor that overlooks the Lightwell Reading Room, with History taking up the two just below it. It's when Benjamin steps out of the miscellany section with a few small and ragged volumes that he recognizes Gideon. He would be so lucky, on a day like today. With only a moment's hesitation, Benjamin strides over.\n\nHe mirrors Gideon's own posture as best he can, leaning with his arms balanced on the rail, his stack of books held in the thin leather of his gloved hands so that the foredges face the ceiling. \"You neglected to mention the speed at which they operate,\" he says by way of greeting - not looking at Gideon, but letting his pale eyes take in the warmth of the scene below framed by the balconies.\n\n\nGideon only smiles a little as Benjamin appears and steps over to join him, books in hand. \"Did I?\" he asks, his tone hushed out of respect for the space they occupy. \"Been by already, have they? A single delegate, or did they send out a whole team?\"\n\n\n\"Three.\" Benjamin lifts his brows slightly, and his tone would imply he is impressed at the entourage, if a little confused by it. \"Two ladies and a gentlemen I can only assume was there to ensure my behavior. Incredibly…I believe the term you used was interesting.\"\n\nHe turns to look at the other man at that, but he is lacking the gentile smile that he had in plentiful supply the other day. \"I can only assume that they wanted you for the same reason they wanted me,\" Benjamin continues in an even lower tone. \"Though I must say, I'm not entirely sure what that reason is other than to…commiserate.\" The word is expelled, or let out over Ben's teeth and lips with a audible disgust for the concept.\n\n\nThere's a soft, wry laugh breathed out between Gideon's lips as Benjamin offers his thoughts on the reasons for which he was wanted. \"Three,\" he repeats. \"Well now, you did catch their interest, didn't you. They're not a gentlemen's club, Mr. Turner, they're…\" the younger man quiets to consider his choice of words, considering their location, \"…an organization,\" is what he settles on, \"and their focus is not on commiserating.\"\n\n\"The young lady made it out to be a support group,\" Benjamin mutters. He has a guess as to the real reason why they came, but thankfully he has no evidence to put any real weight behind the hypothesis. He sighs, then looks out across the interior chasm to the far balcony. \"Like it happened yesterday,\" he muses darkly, a thread of anger in the words. \"Helpful, you said. Well, Mister…\" but Benjamin is caught without a name for Gideon, and so squints before looking at him again, momentarily derailed.\n\n\n\"The young lady is full of bunk, though I expect some do find comfort in numbers,\" Gideon replies with a small shrug. \"They can be helpful, if you're helpful to them. And I'm sure they look after their own, so long as all the rules are followed.\" He turns to look at Benjamin, lifting one arm from the railing so he can offer his hand. \"Parish. Gideon.\"\n\n\nBenjamin straightens, shifting the books to one hand so he can use the other to take Gideon's. He offers a small smile. \"Benjamin Turner,\" is the practiced answer, followed by a chuckle. This is old information for the younger man. \"I have to admit, it would have been different all those years ago,\" he says with the small shrug of a man who has built up his own methods of coping. \"I can imagine they're a welcome cavalry to some.\" To others, they only bring reminders of horrors better left forgotten. Or locked away.\n\n\nGideon is careful to look down at his view of the lower floor as his hand and Mr. Turner's shake. Or, perhaps not. Perhaps something down there simply caught his eye at that very moment and releases his interest at the same time Benjamin releases his hand. Resettling into his lean on the railing, he looks back at his current companion. \"You seem to be under the misled impression, Mr. Turner, that this organization was designed to assist people such as you and I.\"\n\n\nApparently. Benjamin's smile washes away with a lift of his brow. He settles once more on the railing, scowling at the middle-distance. \"Then they should perhaps retrain their ambassadors. Or produce a leaflet.\" He lifts a hand to press at his sternum, then returns it to its mate and the books. \"Well, Mister Parish, you seem to have a more complete view of the situation - I'd welcome any information you care to divulge.\"\n\n\n\"Friendly. Helpful. Persistent,\" Gideon answers with a dry smile. \"I never said 'honest'. The purpose of their organization is to combat that place that made us so… unique. You weren't the first to be touched by it, certainly you're not the last. Things from there slip into here. Their organization puts them back. Well,\" a small shrug, \"or tries to. So you can see why they might consider people such as ourselves as desirable members.\"\n\n\nSome of the color drains from Benjamin's already pale face, but he nods, his lips pressed into a tight line. \"I see,\" he says, his voice soft and deadpan. \"Yes, I can imagine if they recruited elsewhere, their efforts would be laughed at.\" Benjamin nods, then stands straight once more. \"Thank you, Gideon Parish,\" he says as he extends his gloved hand once more. \"I would describe you as helpful. And I do hope that they are less…persistent than you have experienced. Bad for business, I imagine.\"\n\n\nPolitely, Gideon slips his own hand into Benjamin's for a quick shake. \"Well, if I can ever be of service to you…\" he doesn't finish the sentence, though a small quirk of his brow finishes it for him. \"A business like you have, I'm not sure their presence would cause any more distress than the goat, really.\"\n\n\nBenjamin snorts, and a thin smile slides onto his face. \"I've grown rather fond of Kozlov, over the years,\" he half-muses, half-subtly reprimands. Releasing the other man's hand, he adds, \"The real strange ones are the ones in jars.\"\n\n\n\"Oh?\" Gideon asks. \"And here I would have wagered the real strange ones would not be on display at all.\" He looks over at Benjamin, his expression bland and mild, grey-bue eyes blinking slowly.\n\n\nThere is a brief moment where Benjamin's resolve falters, and he stares at Gideon. It's a bad idea, really - as the prolonged moment of thinking about Exhibit 'A' and Looking at Persona 'B' means risking actually seeing something. Benjamin blinks, searching for a smile with a strained chuckle. \"Well, the ones with more than one head, I should say.\"\n\n\nGideon looks mostly the same. Tousled blond hair, annoyingly neutral expression, maybe slightly deeper shadows beneath his ey-… oh. Yeah. Those. Those are different in the moment Benjamin stares. The scleras are black, the irises a luminous and wholly unnatural silver, making the black pinprick pupils seem particularly dark and intent by comparison. And then there is the flicker of movement within the silver. Something darting through the tall corpses of a long-dead woods. But then Benjamin blinks and all is sane and normal, again. Or looks that way. \"I see,\" he replies. \"I can't say multiple heads are my especial interest, though I can understand the fascination.\"\n\n\n\"The usual clientele have a distinct interest schema,\" Benjamin agrees. \"But it isn't all mutations and conjoined twinning. I once had a lead on a chair that was supposed to be cursed, but I lost it to higher bidder.\" The memory, though strange, is related with nostalgia. \"Right then, Mister Parish. Though I wouldn't want to throw you to the wolves, know you're welcome in the Emporium.\" Whatever service Gideon was offering should be explored, of course. But on the other man's terms.\n\n\nThe corner of Gideon's mouth turns up in that small half-smirk he quite favors, but this time it causes his eyes to crinkle a little as well. \"I've been running alongside those wolves for some years, Mr. Turner. I shall manage. A pleasure speaking to you, again.\"\n\n\nBenjamin nods, and takes a step back away from the railing. \"A pleasure indeed, Mister Parish. And a good evening too you.\" With that he turns and walks toward the stairs, books tucked under one arm.\n\nThose dark clouds never really go away, but at least they have dispersed enough to see a bit more of the path."
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