Googling The Government


savannah_icon.gif warren_icon.gif

Scene Title Googling the Government
Synopsis Savannah teaches Warren how to use search engines, while Savannah learns much more from Warren than she could from Google.
Date October 4, 2010

Brooklyn Public Library

The central branch of the Brooklyn Public Library was designed to resemble an open book, two wings stretching out along the bordering streets, with the main entrance located at their hinge. Inside is the heart of one of the nation's largest public library systems; the Central Library alone contains over 1.5 million books, magazines, and other materials. It also contains the Brooklyn Collection, an assortment of references and ephemera that chronicle the history of the borough, and a Multilingual Center for non-English speakers and linguistic scholars. A cafe on the first floor sells coffee and snacks, while a restaurant on the third floor (open weekdays only) sells cafeteria-style meals. Internet access is freely available throughout the building.

Early in this particular afternoon, Warren's been in the library for about an hour, reading a book on drawing blue prints and diagrams. He usually does them in his own way, but if he's going to make them at least half readable, he'll need to know a bit more about traditional concepts. It's all just parts to him, even on paper, it's the same parts, just 2D. He's watching people on computers while he reads, leaning against a bookcase just outside of an aisle. He'll need to ask someone to help him eventually, but it's a matter of finding someone who at least looks approachable for this sort of thing.

Today, Savannah's after research materials. And while she could buy some of them, libraries also contained harder-to-find books… which was what she was after. Instead of asking for assistance from a librarian, the blonde author traipses off on her own to see if she can find what she's looking for, and perhaps find some other research material in the process.

Warren regularly shovels massive amounts of books, and three of those books happened to be Savannah Burton's. When he sees her walking by, he suddenly reaches out to gently stop her by the shoulder. "Are you Savannah Burton?" he asks in mostly casual disbelief, since surely she wouldn't just be walking around in a random library.

There's a broad grin. She gets that sometimes. "You caught me," Savannah admits. "I am." She looks over at Warren for a moment. "Are you a fan? I'm more than happy to sign something, so long as it's not the library's copy. They tend to frown on such things, even if it'd increase the book's value."

"Oh, I don't own anything, but I have read all of your books. I haven't had a chance to do much book shopping in the past few months, so I do most of my reading in the library." Warren smiles and holds up the blueprint book. "I know this is a bit… strange to ask a famous author, but I'm not very good at using a computer, and I need to do a lot of internet research. Is there a chance you could show me?"

What? A guy who uses a library to read as opposed to using the computer? Now this is a rarity, but Savannah's not about to pass up a chance like this. She misses the days when people would read more than use the internet. "Hey, that's no problem. I've got some time to kill anyways." She gestures towards an empty computer, moving that way herself. "Alright… how much do you know and what would you like me to teach you?" She scoots a chair towards Warren and pulls one up for herself, huddling the two around the computer.

Warren slips into his chair, staring at the computer as if it's strange alien technology. "Well, I know a lot about engineering and fixing things, you could say it's my calling. But I don't even know the first thing about searching on the internet, which is kind of embarassing at my age."

"Well, it's not too hard. I can show you how." Savannah takes a moment to point out the browser, pulling up google. "Google's your friend. Really, the easiest thing is just getting your browser, pulling it up, and going to google. There are other search engines, but this is just the easiest to remember."

"Then what? We just… put the search in?" Warren asks as he looks down at the keyboard, his eyes flashing silvery for a brief moment, before they return to their natural blue. "This would be so much easier if I spent more time around computers than books as a teen."

"It's simple like that. You put the search in, you get results, and you use the summary to figure out which one is most what you need. Sometimes you might need to click on a few and try again to find what you want, but you can always hit the 'back' button there on the screen to go back to your search and find another one." Savannah smiles warmly. "Honestly, there's nothing wrong with books. Good on you for getting by without the internet for a while."

"I'm good with engineering, I can even program commands into a machine with pure hardware to some extent. But when it comes to computers, anything with software and real programming… I'm just lost." Warren laughs, placing his hands on to the keyboard in the exact position that one would be taught in school, then starts looking up microwave generators. "That was easy. What's Wikipedia? I heard about it before."

"Oh, good. That's another good thing to cover. You just put the address in, which is usually the name of the website and a .com at the end. If it doesn't come up, you can always do a search on google for it and just click on it through there. But it's kind of like an encyclopedia that people put everything in. You can look up famous people, books, movies, concepts, math formulas, historical events… you just put a search in the box on Wikipedia's page and… you're set." Savannah states, looking back over at him. "So, say, if you looked up microwave generators on Wikipedia, it would tell you what a microwave generator is, some details about it, and it might give you a few links to click on."

"Electromagnetic pulse, that's what I'm looking for." Warren says as he clicks on the entry, then nods. "How do I look up the Evolved registry?" He reaches into his jacket, then pulls out his registration card.

Warren Ray
Tier 0
Mechanical Intuition.

He slips it back into his jacket, then finds his way back to Google, waiting for her to show him.

"Well, you go to the government website… let see, don't know it off the top of my head so we'll google it. There we go… and then you just have to click here and you can take a look at it. You can put in a search or click a region or whatnot." Savannah demonstrates, pulling up the New York City region and sorting it alphabetically.

"I thought this would be more complicated." Warren smiles over at her, then looks down to the screen. "I think I've learned everything I needed to do this on my own. You're very helpful." He starts to stand after that, then offers her a gloved hand, white leather, trying to help her up as his black tie and open jacket to his suit dangle a bit from his bent position. "So, Miss Burton, what are you doing here?"

Savannah accepts the hand up, smiling warmly over towards Warren. "Doing some research. I find I'm always drawing inspiration from weird sources… looking up 18th century castles for architectural ideas for buildings in my novels… weird things like that. I like to put good details in."

"I think I have a particularly unique perspective, but it's nothing I could tell you here in public." Warren starts walking, but looks back while expecting her to follow. "Fortunately, I'm very interested in a writer knowing a story like mine. I know you don't give up your inspirations or reprint life stories, but if my story inspires you at all, maybe it'll help someone else."

"I'm always interested in life stories," Savannah admits, grinning a little as she moves to follow him. "Don't have to spill the beans on everything in your life, but… my agent, Kam, usually sets up interviews and things for me. Schedules in times, places… sometimes, if I'm lucky, we can weasel a meal out as a business expense. For 'research' purposes, of course. You never know what I'll find inspiring, after all."

"I don't remember my past, I don't remember anything from before I was eventeen, and most of the stuff after that is pretty choppy, some of it downright out of context." Warren leads her to a particularly secluded spot of the library, just taking a seat at the long empty table and keeping his voice down. "I'd rather not tell everything, but I'll tell you the important parts. Do you know that organization, the one on the news, the Company?"

Oh, now this is interesting. This is political. Savannah eagerly sits at the table. "Yeah, I heard mention of it. A conspiracy theorist's dream. Replacing government officials, plots to take over the country… a lot to that."

"Well, my mother tried to drown me in a bathtub when I was around six or seven, and I was put into child protective services. She killed herself two years later. The Company realized something was strange about me, so they took me away from foster care and put me with two Company agent parents, and we stayed in London for a few years. Both parents died in duty when I was eight, and my memory was erased by a man named Charles Deveaux so I could start a new life. That was my first clean slate." Warren shakes his head, leaning in a little before continuing.

"When I was eleven, I had more control over my ability. They took me to the Primatech building in Odessa, Texas, that's a Company facility. They taught me for years, but my ability, the ability to intuitively understand things, made my mind rebound from the memory loss and I had a psychotic break when the memories came back." He reaches into his jacket, pulling out a miniature circular Rubix cube-like object, except for the cube part, which seems to have a hell of a lot more sections and colors than a normal one. His eyes turn that solid reflective silvery color, making it difficult to tell what he's focusing on once he begins trying to solve the sphere.

Clearing his throat, he continues, "So a man called the Haitian wiped my memory clean, but then the memories started to come back again…" His brows furrow a bit, some realization dawning on him. They do come back, and that's not good at all. "I've had sixteen, well, more by now, memory wipes on record. I had psychotic issues because of it, and a small tumor. For a while I had disassociative identity disorder, which is what kept me functional for so long. Daniel Linderman is one of the people who founded the Company, he oversaw everything that happened to me since they found me."

"He made a tape to create an entirely false past for me, that's the past I remember. It stuck this time, because my own mind created the memories, someone didn't write them into my head. Charles Deveaux died in 2006, and Author Petrelli, the man who authorized it all, died last year. From what I understand, he stole my ability once, but I have it back." He's finished the rubix sphere by now, slowly rolling it over to her, watching to see how she responds to everything."

It's only a half-second into Warren's story that the books Savannah was carrying are shoved aside in favor of a black notebook, which is almost flung open as she furiously scribbles down notes with almost wide-eyes. She waits, eyes flickering quickly between page (to make sure she's actually getting it on the lines!) and Warren, observing both his words as well as his actions with the rubix sphere. She waits entirely until he's finished talking, and the sphere is stopped near her with the fingertips of her left hand before she gazes at it for a long moment before looking back to Warren.

"Charles Deveaux. Like… the building, right? They mentioned Primatech in the news with the Company and stuff… I watched the coverage." She pauses, looking at the sphere. "So the Company realized you were Evolved, that you could do things like this," the sphere is lifted, "and took you. Lots of memory wipes, psychological disorders, and a tumor later… you're here. Fake past, stuff you don't remember. And you say Daniel Linderman was one of the founders? And Arthur Petrelli… Petrelli… like the President Petrelli? You're saying someone in the President's own family authorized this?" There's a pause. "Wait, wait, Petrelli… is that the President's father?"

"I don't know, on both accounts. I have no idea who Charles Deveaux or Author Petrelli really are, beyond what I've said here. A government official is who told me about my real past. There's more I wish I could tell you, about what the government is currently doing, especially what they're doing to me and other people, but I can't yet. It's too dangerous and it could get me disappeared. I only told you things that are safe to tell, but that not many people at all know. I'm sane now, but how I got here is a bit of a tragic story all on its own. I won't dictate what you do with this information, all I ask is that you be discreet." Warren reaches into his pocket and pulls out a business card with his name and number on it, since he was tired of writing things down, white with a metallic gear design in the upper right corner. "One day I'll tell you the rest of the story, that I promise, but I have to be very careful about how, what, and when I say things."

"So people are disappearing because of the government," Savannah muses, her voice low. "Believe me, I'm discreet, but this is some… extreme stuff. I'm… I'm certainly going to have to sort through all of it." Her own business card is pulled out, and she scrawls a number on the back. "That's my personal cell, if you need to reach me, and we can set up another time to talk if you feel you can tell me more." She purses her lips. "You've got a story that needs to come out, Warren. This is the kind of thing I can see people killing over, and the kind of thing that would sway the public's mind about things. About the government, about Evolved, about what the Company is…"

"Disappearing people, memory wipes, it's all par for course, especially with Evolved they think are dangerous. That's why I say be discreet. This kind of information could get you hurt if the wrong people know I told you." Warren reaches over with his gloved right hand, placing it on to the back of her's. "You're a voice. I have other things to focus on right now, but if I have different people working to better the world, we can do a lot more, a lot faster."

"I can completely understand." Savannah taps her notebook as she closes it carefully. She looks back at the gloved hand. "You've got a very good point, Warren. You do what you can, and I'll do what I can. I appreciate your honesty and your openness to me about… well, a very sensitive topic."

"Everyone has their part. Coming across you was just a very broad stroke of luck." Warren slides her number into his jacket, then stands up and starts heading away from the table. "It was nice talking to you, Miss Burton."

Savannah scoops up her pile of books, notebook carefully placed on top. "Believe me, the pleasure's all mine."

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