Inflammatory Prose


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Scene Title Inflammatory Prose
Synopsis Savannah Burton's book signings usually draw fans, but this this time it also draws someone else.
Date November 15, 2010

Borders, NYC

Borders is surprisingly busy in the early evening. At least, this one is. Bigger bookstores tend to be the ones that snag Savannah Burton for book signings. Especially when there are rumors flying about a potential announcement about a new book series, and a controversial author combined with the need to bring in customers spelled a good business deal.

Rows of chairs are set up a short distance from a display featuring a newly repackaged boxed set of the The Amplified trilogy. Most likely the collectors edition or something of the like. Next to the display is a table with a few chairs behind it, a few different copies of the books on the table as well, likely for useful reference.

Standing behind the table is Savannah herself, glancing between customers filtering into the chairs and the manager who she seems to be chatting with at the moment. After a moment, another figure joins them—Kam Abbot, Savannah's agent complete with a water bottle which he offers the author and receives a smile in return. The manager glances to the chairs, deciding to give it a few minutes for people to filter in before offering up the floor for the author.

One of the people present is a teenager named Anna M. James. In most circumstances, the presence of a teenage kid would be considered reasonable… after all, some kids still read, right?

But that would be ignoring the girl's recent presence on the Advocate recently. To say that Anna disapproves of the author's works is a reasonable guess. But Anna is here, for one reason or another. She's silent as she watches, that same hateful smile on her face as she had during some of her more… negative comments about the Evolved during her presence on television.

A copy of the first book of The Amplified trilogy is in Anna's hands, and her backpack - located besides her chair - shows there's more books in there easily. The corner of the book that sticks out is easily recognised as the last book of the same trilogy, if you're familiar with the series, anyway.

Front row and left of center, one young woman in the crowd for the question and answer session has been attentively awaiting this book signing since fifteen minutes prior. Wavy dyed-red hair is parted to the side, candy-apple red framed eyeglasses perched on the bridge of her nose, white button-down shirt starched and pressed with a smart red tie popping out against the plain background. The pleated fabric of a knee-length skirt is beset upon by a leather planner, folded open to reveal a spiral-bound notebook inside tagged with all manner of post-it notes of a rainbow of colors used as bookmarks. Tapping one end of her pen on the paper, this young woman offers an eager smile to the author of the hour, looking practically unable to contain her enthusiasm.

One stocking-clad leg crossed over the other, Jolene Marlowe also can't contain the jittery bounce of one of her feet, bobbing up and down with the same rhythm of her waggling pen, eyes up and ahead, smile broad and brows lifted in an expression of overeager excitement. Bullet points jot down in her notebook, a row of itemized questions and followups.

Her expression clearly says; I've been waiting for this all day.

Skyler's copy of Revelation is a tattered thing, a tribute to her finding it in a Central Park trash can during her search for something else entirely. She remembers her initial reaction to the cover art, the models, the glowing eyes. And remembers being totally and completely absorbed once she parted the covers. It has endured countless nights sleeping outdoors, countless days stuffed in a gym bag full of broken electronic gizmos. And countless rereadings. So now she has a place to live and a paying job, and of course she's at a bookstore buying science fiction.

Skyler isn't quite comfortable indoors. Malls. Snow. BAD. The memory is never far from the back of her mind. But it's not snowing for the moment, and yeah, she's here with Evan, and aww. It's a date. A geek date. To a reading at a book store. Of course. "There are three of these books now? Crap ina hat, they're growing faster than Harry Potter.

Lexington's copies of the trilogy are brand spanking new. She's even got the receipt tucked in between a couple pages. She looks… nervous, being here, which is an odd emotional state for her, frankly. But she's been doing research lately. Evolved research. Savannah's name came up.
So here she is! Sitting next to her brother, who she dragged along because she just didn't want to go out alone this time. After all, last time, there was a riot and she got stuck on an island somewhere. Lame.

There's no way Kamber Abbot could steal the show from the acclaimed Savannah Burton, but even so he tries not to be too prominent a figure. Behind the scenes is really where he belongs, at least in his estimation, and after handing his golden haired golden goose her hydration canister (sci-fi/fantasy, baby!) he eases into the sidelines, apart even from the audience, hands in his dress pants pockets, tweedy coat covering shoulders and button up shirt, professional but extremely modest.

The audience is given a careful inspection from this vantage. In the wake of catastrophic violence, under the auspices of marshal law, and all with the Evolved pointed to as culprits, who can blame Mr. Abbot for being just the slightest bit worried about the safety of his authoress?

"Better that than the one with the vampires," muses Evan, a neater trio of paperbacks tucked under one arm. No, he isn't specifying which other series he's ragging on; quite possibly all of them at once. "You think the flying man will get a romantic subplot in the fourth one? That worked last time he tried it."

His talking around Savannah's series rather than about it is partly a mundane dodge - he's only had so much time lately for casual reading, and is only halfway through the third book so far - and partly a weightier one. He avoided registering his ability on principle, and with government scrutiny having gotten that much worse this month, he's sure as hell not going to drop any hints about it now if he can help it.

Seamus is both feeling and looking quite out of place, drumming his fingers against his knees and looking around. He hadn't really heard anything about this book before today, aside from seeing it on the coffee table. But he's here, being supportive. And trying not to make a fool of himself or his sister. If only these folding chairs didn't feel so small.

Seamus shifts awkwardly in his chair before leaning over to Lexi and whispering quietly, "So what's this book about again?

With the seats quickly filling up and people settling down, Savannah gives a small nod to the manager before she takes her own seat at the table and gazes fully on the audience. The manager moves from behind the table and steps up in front of the table.

"If I could get everyone to quiet down and take your seats, we'll begin. Savannah Burton is our visiting author today, who has graciously given her time to be here with all of you. For those of you unfamiliar with Ms. Burton's work, she is the author of the hit series, The Amplified, consisting of three books: Revelation, Reaper, and Remnant. While the books are classified as science fiction, I think a lot of people are picking them up due to the fact that the main characters are Evolved and the fact that it addresses many issues about the Evolved in our own world."

The manager glances back towards the audience. "I'd like to give you all an opportunity to ask Ms. Burton questions, and following that we'll have the opportunity for you to have your copies of the trilogy signed. Ms. Burton?"

Savannah smiles politely at the manager. "Thank you, Mr. Kent," she says, before turning to the audience with a grin. "So… who's first?"

As the time for questions comes, Anna gives another hateful smile as she opens up her book and raises her hand, "Miss Burton." She starts, "If you don't mind me asking, isn't the purpose of literature to show what could be?"

Without waiting for an answer, Anna explains why she is asking this question, "If so, then why are your Evolved main characters not behaving like Evolved. You portray them as people, which is naive at best and outright deception at worst."

A pause before Anna follows it up with another statement, "I suppose they could be considered people if you consider psychopaths people, personally, I don't consider those people either. Nor do psychopaths consider us people. Nor do the Evolved. We are, to them, lambs, ripe for the slaughter. And we must restrain the wolves."

Savannah can't help but smile a bit at the question. "I think the purpose of literature is not only to show what could be, but also to show what is." She pauses. "My characters aren't written with the attempt of deception, but I'm writing them first and foremost as people—and they just happen to be Evolved. In regards to your definition of people, though, I would certainly say my characters are human and that they're just as human as the real villains in the story. Psychopaths, regardless of how demented they are, are still humans, the same as you and I. We cannot change that simply because we think they're wrong." Another pause. "But you also have to remember that this is fiction. While I have Evolved characters, I don't claim that this is reality, take that as you will." She glances towards the audience. "Next question?"

There's an exasperated look at Anna at her question, eyes wide and stunned in the way that someone in the modern-era might be by a skinhead spewing racial epithets at a group of minorities. Anger comes next, nostrils flaring, vein in her forehead more visible and a red flush of color to her face. But Savannah's response helps calm Jolene down, even if just enough to exhale a snort of breath out her nose and stomp one foot on the floor.

Excitedly, Lene offers up one hand into the air, the other planted down atop her notebook, back straight and eyes lit up with anticipation. "Miss Burton!" She practically chirps the name out, proudly, her raised hand curling fingers towards her palm before her hand comes to rest over her chest. "I— I've been an avid reader of your work since I was a little girl," which given that she's probably somewhere in her early twenties is likely an exaggeration.

She did, though, have a question in there somewhere. "Is there any truth to the rumor that you're a clairsentient?" Both of Lene's brows raise slowly, a smile forming on her lips. It's— admittedly not a rumor that Savannah is familiar with. "Someone who views present events remotely! That you may have used visions as inspirations to your writing?"

It's also something of a naive question to ask, answering it in any affirmative would be a scandal.

That question warrants quite the laugh from Savannah. It's a good thing she wasn't sipping from the water bottle in front of her at the time. Still, the blond author smiles broadly at Lene before she proceeds to broach the topic. "Clairsentient. Well, that's not a rumor I've heard before. I'm afraid that it's not true, however. I'm not Evolved, so unless there's something out there causing abilities that isn't the SLC gene… I can't say I've got anything spectacular up my sleeve other than good writing. I do, however, do a lot of research and interviews from many, many different subjects. My agent, Kam Abbot, arranges most of them so he can attest to the fact that I get a lot of ideas from people's personal stories."

This just couldn't get better, could it? First we have an Evo-hater, then right off the bat we have someone attesting to Savannah's being SLC-Expressive. Kam winces visibly at this one-two punch to his overdeveloped worry-organ, already inflamed by the events only recently passed. He moves discreetly over to the manager, tapping him on the shoulder and imparting in a small whisper:

"Um… the young lady with the… vehement opinion," Kam nods as discreetly as possible towards Anna, "if there's trouble, I hope you'll back me if we need to, you know, escort her off the premises. Do you… have any security?" At a book store? Not likely.

Skyler laughs softly. "Oh come on, of course the flying man's going to get the girl. I think. I mean, he could be gay. He's got that whole androgynously safe heartthrob thing going. And don't get me started on vampires. I got my blood suckers from Lost Boys on cable. Even Anne Rice was downhill from there." Sky quiets down as Savannah starts to speak. A good moment to try to relax again, let the siren songs of every digital device in the room - phones, watches, cash registers - go through her without grabbing her attention. A trick she owes Suresh Center for, large. She tries to ignore Anna's question. Hey, bigots come in every flavor, right? Though it is food for thought. Are there now two kinds of people in the world? Or one kind, plus the animals that came before them? Certainly the Evolved have fewer sins to answer for, but clearly some of them are working on that. And where does she, Skyler, want to be in that spectrum? Where will evolution force her to be? Sky moves a little closer to her date, and considers him a moment. What if he's not evolved? Does it matter? Does Sky want to be the same kind of racist that little twit is? Much to think about. And since it is a signing, and the author is dispensing wisdom, Sky bends it into a question for Savannah.

"Ms. Burton, I was wondering. Assuming there are more books down the road, looking into the future is part of your job. In your work, how do you plan to resolve the conflict between humans and Evolved, and will that based more on your hopes for the real world, or what you think will really happen, or what makes better stories?

"Well, in regards to your question, I can say for certain that there are more books down the road." The author smiles brightly. "I am currently working on a new one, not focusing on the characters from the trilogy, but set in the same world around the same time." She studies Skyler for a quiet moment before answering.

"Resolving the conflict between those who are Evolved and those who are not, even in fiction, is quite the task," Savannah explains, uncapping her water bottle. "I don't have all the answers, but I can tell you that however it turns out, I'm doing it for the story that I feel needs to be told. I'm not doing it in order to sell more books or get more attention, and what I wish would happen in the real world is something that does color my work, but when it comes down to it… it's about these characters, and their stories, and sometimes it doesn't resolve in a happy ending, or even if there is more of a 'happy' ending, it doesn't mean it's a clean one."

"Alright, I have somethin' like a thousand questions for ya, Ms. Burton, but I'll rein it in, promise," Lexington says in her lilting Irish accent as she stands to her feet. She's not sure that's how things work at book discussions, but… whatever! "Ya sorta… I mean, you're a voice f'r the SLC-Expressive. Going so far as wikipedia, at least, claimin' there's anti-registration sentiments in one've the books. I haven't got that far yet, myself but… ya know. Anyways. And like ya said, ya do this… not e'en bein' one yourself. It's such a tetchy subject, I can imagine ya get met with bigotry and, well, stupidity on a regular basis." Which one of the younger girls she means there is anyone's guess. "It's somethin' I can admire, stickin' yourself in the line've fire t'make your point… but what made ya want to do it in the first place? I mean… why?"

Savannah takes a sip of her water before continuing. "I'm flattered that I'm considered a voice for SLC-Expressive, I think there needs to be a bit more of a voice in regards to that… but I feel like I started this for two reasons. One, I'm in it for the story. I love storytelling and getting the story of a character out there. I like writing, so I write, and these characters speak loudly to me."

She caps the bottle. "Secondly, I feel there's more to it than just looking at with the perspective of someone who can randomly catch on fire or control lightning. There's a genetic component and there have been genetic anomalies throughout the ages… we have people who think differently because of mental disorders, people who end up gifted in areas that 'normal' people might not have been otherwise. I find it all fascinating, and it just calls to me, really. I met a few SLC-Expressive people before it was revealed that there were people with these abilities, and I feel like these stories needed to be told, and people weren't doing it the way that I thought they should."

It takes Evan a while to come up with a question of his own, not least because he first has to beat down the instinct to go stomp over and verbally rip Anna a new one. Hateful bitch, but not a stupid one, he tells himself, after a minute. Might have lost someone close. Hope she grows out of it.

"The government's declared martial law through March," he says when his turn comes around, "following the violence last week. You've had a closer eye on the Evolved than most— do you think it will end up doing more harm than good? And if so, do you think they'll lift it early, or will the hawks and their own egos box them in?"

"I can understand martial law to regain order when there was rioting. However, keeping it through until March is going to have a profound impact, and I don't see it as being a good one. I can already smell people distrusting the government after this, especially the SLC-Expressive." Savanna replies, pursing her lips. "I don't think they'll lift it early. The government wants to feel that they have control over the situation, and this is certainly a measure of control, but it's bound to have lasting negative effects."

Seamus looks up as Lexington stands, seeming utterly baffled as she throws out all this new vocabulary. Where'd she been getting all this? He's been really out of touch, lately. Still, she asks a good question, and the Irishman looks to Savannah curiously. He's finally starting to get a good grasp of what the book is about!

As the questions go on, Seamus starts to look thoughtful and raises a hand, finally thinking of a question. "So…um… if you could have any Ability, what would it be?"

There's a broad grin at the question, and Savannah actually has to think about that for a moment. "Mm… decreased need for sleep?" She laughs. "In all seriousness, I'd want something I'd be able to use to help people, or help my writing. Clairsentience like was suggested is actually a brilliant idea. It'd help me with research, for sure, and I'm sure there are a number of other uses that I could apply with it."

"The ability to flawlessly meet deadlines," Kam offers in counterpoint to Savannah's suggestion, slipping briefly into 'peanut gallery' mode.

Anna listens to the answer, to the other questions, as well as the other answers. She smiles faintly, hatred still seething inside her… visibly. She clasps her hands together as she prepares her next question, "Tell me, miss Burton? Have you ever lost a loved one?"

Again she does not wait for an answer before continuing, "Like a parent, or both of them? Let's say when you were around the age of eleven, due to a terrorist attack." Even though she purposefully recalls it, she can't help but shed a few tears.

"Do you have any idea what it's like to be an orphan at eleven? To lose everything at that age?" Anna inhales sharply, "I have nothing left of my family but a single photograph and my last name. All thanks to your monstrous little friends."

Savannah's gaze briefly slips over towards Kam and she chuckles. "What are you talking about, Kam? I've already got flawless deadline-meeting abilities. I didn't know I needed to have a gene for that." Her gaze, however, quickly flits back to Anna.

"I can't say I know what it's like to lose parents and end up as an orphan, miss, but I can say I know what it's like to have things so overwhelmingly against you that it doesn't seem like there's a lot of hope. Me saying I'm sorry that your parents died isn't going to make you feel better or improve your life or mean something to you, and I am sorry, but you're speaking from a place of hate. When someone's hurt, it's easy to lash out at what seems like it might be the solution. But all of your anger and your hatred won't bring them back, and I can guarantee you that it's not going to make you a happy little 11-year-old again. I know it hurts and you want to lash out on others, but the only person you're really going to hurt is yourself."

Having had another question but noe even sure how to ask it after Anna's outburst, Lene slouches down into her seat, teeth worrying at her bottom lip as she wrings her hands in her lap worriedly. Green eyes flick around the bookstore, considering the other people here for the signing, then settle back on Anna again, breathing in deeply and exhaling a calming breath as if trying to talk herself out of something.

Averting her eyes she stares down at the list in her notebook, swallowing anxiously. Anna's questions have a visible affect on Lene, causing the young woman to lift one hand up to push her glasses up the brush of her nose so that she can rub thumb and forefingers at her eyes.

Silence replaces her earlier exhuberance, the topic hits close to home.

"Sweetheart," Lexington says, this to Anna, not to Savannah, "I hate t'tell ya this? But Evolved aren't t'blame f'r your troubles. Terrorism, maybe, a bit accident, perhaps, but not Evolved. Ya don't need t'be Evolved t'cause terror. 'r t'take people from their families. November eight, I was helpin' out in a sort've makeshift field hospital. Patchin' people up from the riotin' and fires. And this group've people came in. Maybe… twelve'r so? Most've 'em hurt, some hurt bad. The US Military followed them. Shot two've 'em on sight f'r wearin' red." Those closest to her can see Lexington's hands ball up into fists, for all that her tone is fairly even. "And the rest? They plucked five from the group, lined 'em up against a wall and shot 'em. There was no arrest. No trial. Not e'en a question posed, just the luck've the draw. One've them was a young lady with a baby. A baby, sweetheart. How do you think that child is gonna feel? And that was your precious non-evolved. And this was last week. Don't dream f'r a second that either side is innocent in this. And this attitude ya got? I respect where it's comin' from, I really do. But all it's doin'? Is fuelin' the fires that're causin' hate and riots in your city. Ya might want t'take a step back and rethink where your life's goin'."

There's a slight pause from the Irish woman before she turns to look at Savannah. "Sorry, Ms. Burton. I ne'er have been able t'sit around and listen t'blindness much." And then she sits herself back down.

At the mention of 'terrorism', Seamus leans back, hiding a smirk behind a hand. When Lexington's temper starts to rise, he looks up at her in surprise. This is something he hadn't heard yet, and his expression darkens considerably. A glance is given to Anna, and he reaches out to squeeze Lexi's knee, leaning over to murmur under his breath to her, followed by a satisfied wink.

As the responses come, Anna drops that book back in her backpack. She gets out her lighter, and puts flame to the backpack. The fire lights… faster than would be expected. Which is because there was a small sack of gasoline accompanying the books.

As the fire comes out and starts to burn, the automated fire alert systems start to douse the area with their sprinklers. Not to mention the likely automated alerts to the New York Fire Department.

"This is what I think of your works." Anna says firmly, and starts to attempt to make a runner, considering there's plenty of people between her and the door… that might be a little difficult.

Lexington snaps out of what seems to be a little trance with a sudden gasp. That's a 'holy shit!' gasps, for the players at home. And just as Anna is pulling out her lighter, Lexington is hopping chairs to snag the girl by the arm before she can light the little surprise in her backpack. Hopefully!

"THIS IS EXACTLY WHAT I'M TALIN' ABOUT!" Lexington yells at the girl, her heart pumping and irish temper allll up in arms. "I can't fuckin' believe you'd come int'a place of business t'pull this shite, you rotten little monster! Thank you very much for provin' my god damned point!" Hey… hey Seamus? Your sister might need a little restraint right now.

Seamus is sitting back after that whisper when Lexi suddenly leaps up, and he blinks in sudden surprise, a bit slow on the reaction time. "Yeah, kick her ass!" is the first thing out of his mouth, even as he's rising to his feet (knocking his chair back) in the meantime. The Irish bruiser leaps over the fallen chair, and reaches for the upper arms of both girls, pulling them quickly apart. "Hold on jus' a sec now! Let's save th' cat fights for the after party, yeah?" Looking from Lexi, he gives Anna a narrowed eyed glare, and that lighter in her hand. "What's that you got there?"

Outbursts are kind of the norm for Savannah Burton's book signings, but they're usually slightly calmer. Slightly. As things get a little out of control, the blonde author takes a sip of her water and clears her throat to reassemble the group back into a cohesive bunch. Unfortunately, she doesn't have the chance to speak when suddenly there's more than just an outburst. She goes wide-eyed as Lexington jumps to snag Anna's arm, followed by Seamus leaping after her, and she shifts in her chair, raising a bit as if to get to her feet.

It's strange, out of everyone in the audience, Lene is the only one covering her head with a leather folio, as if she were expecting rain. There's a nervous look plastered across her face, brows furrowed and a tiny frown on her lips as she watches Anna, twisted in her seat so that she can follow both Lexington's response and Anna's reaction, scrutinizing them both.

Green eyes take on a sad expression, flick down to the floor and then back over to Savannah. Making a soft, uncertain noise in the back of her throat she lowers the leather planner from her head, folding it in her lap. Taking the initiative of the distraction that Lexington and Seamus provide, Lene offers a fleeting look of longing in Savannah's direction, then quietly begins to rise from her seat.

Brows creased together, Lene clutches her planner to her chest, retrieving her wool peacoat from the back of her chair, swinging it over one shoulder, hooked on two fingers, before starting to edge her way around the audience, trying to cut and run.

Oh dear God, what the hell is going on here? Is this one Kam's anxiety dreams? He'll know for sure when his teeth start falling out. He has to repress the urge to check, to prod at his choppers to make sure they aren't wobbly in their sockets. It's a delusion short lived, of course. Reality testing works pretty well when you're in reality, works pretty quickly. And this is a bridge too far - is that a lighter in Anna's hand.

"Call the police," Kam tells the manager, his order a shade away from command. He moves up behind Savannah and takes her shoulder, dipping down. "This could be marvelous for publicity," he murmurs, rapidly, "but I think we may need to cut this short."

Despite his vantage point further back toward the wall, Evan spots Anna's venture into pyromania a couple seconds ahead of most anyone else— not that he has the super reaction time to, y'know, actually do anything about it personally. Good thing someone else seems to have that front covered! Instead, anticipating a widespread panic response, he sweeps his gaze over the crowd - and steps forward with purpose, grabbing another onlooker's elbow and pulling him aside before he gets trampled. "Hey, what the hell, man?" the stranger snarls, and promptly stalks off toward the exit without waiting around for an answer.

As she is grabbed by her arm, Anna drops the lighter, and it falls to the floor harmlessly. "Damn…" The girl mutters, then somewhat louder, "I was just planning to leave this freakshow behind and get a fucking smoke."

As if to demonstrate that, Anna reaches for her pocket with her free hand, trying to get out her pack of smokes. She's lying, but she's not doing to poor a job of it. "Please call the police, yes. Someone needs to restrain this madwoman."

Yeah no. Lexington doesn't let go, but she nods to her brother. "Seamus. Open the fuckin' backpack, would ya. Please. And sweetheart, ya're damn right I'm mad. Because I'm apparently livin' in a world where mothers get shot and 15 year old girls who still have their fuckin' baby teeth are setting fires in bookstores." Nevermind what Lexi was doing at 15. Totally irrelevant.

It's like they'd planned this. Seamus is already letting go of Lexi to pluck the backpack out of Anna's hand, like it were petals off a flower. It just takes one glance…and his brown eyes go wide. "Fuckin' Miss Mary Patrick," he mutters, reaching into the backpack to pull out…that sack of gasoline. This gets held in front of Anna, accusingly. "Really? I mean, really? What were you gonna do with this? This here ain't any kind of proper incendiary device. It could take 20 seconds to catch, or .2 seconds. You'd be more likely to catch yourself on fire than anything else." He taps a thick finger at Anna's forehead. "See, y'gotta think about these things."

Savannah glances back towards Kam as he whispers, her gaze quickly settling back towards the group. She doesn't like to cut this sort of thing short, but given the fact that there was almost an act of miniature terrorism, she's deferring to Kam's judgement on this. "I apologize, ladies and gentlemen, but it appears we'll have to cut this little event short. I do appreciate you all coming out here this evening and I hope the rest of your evening is… less eventful." She gets to her feet.

While the manager is off calling the police, the crowd is already dispersing, lots of quick chattering as they trundle towards the exit, some of them looking more annoyed than others. Savannah would be sure to plan another signing in this store in hopes of bringing back the ones who missed out. She's feeling kind of guilty now. Now look what you've done, Anna!

When Lene is leaving, she lingers behind one book-case. head tilted to the side and brows furrowed as she listens to Savannah's voice. There's a tension in the back of her throat, an uncertainty, then a slowly exhaled sigh as her arms curl around the planned clutched to her chest. Green eyes avert down to the floor, hearing the sounds of chairs shuffling and moving.

"This isn't as easy as I thought," is said under Lene's breath as her teeth worry at her lower lip. A moment later, she finally finds her resolve, leaning her planner up on one of the book shelves, throwing on her jacket and retrieving the black leather folder from the shelf she'd left it on. "Sorry," is breathed out in apology, though to herself or someone else isn't clear.

On her way to the door, she regrets not doing something when she had the chance.

Still time yet, though.

Thoughts are racing through Anna's mind, some of escape, but all seem to involve the word fuck. This certainly did not go as planned. "Let me go!" She calls out, and then the bag is taken out of the bigger bag, and she gives up struggling. "Fuck…" She whispers even as she is poked on the head.

"Okay, fine…" She says, "I wasn't planning on hurting anyone, just those damn books. The fire sprinklers would take it out before it could spread, and my fucking point would have been made." Anna sighs, "Believe me, I didn't want to hurt anyone…"

"Seamus. What are ya doin'?" Lexington looks at him a bit like he's crazy, because he is. But her attention goes back to Anna a moment later, disapproving frown on her face. "Don't try t'sugarcoat it now, baby girl. If ya jump in the deep end, that's where ya are. Ya don't get t'say 'oh, but I meant t'jump in the kiddie pool'."

As Savannah heads out the door, Kam closely hovering near, the blonde author heaves out a sigh. Sure, there were naysayers and people who clearly didn't like her books, but this… this was extreme. At the very least, she's grateful nothing happened, although secretly it's mostly to save Kam any potential grey hairs. She peers back towards where Anna is with Lexington and Seamus, shaking her head before she heads out the door. She has books to write.

Seamus gives Lexington a look of injured innocence. What? He's just passing on knowledge to the younger generation. As mentions of the police reach his ears from the manager, the Irish bruiser looks suddenly worried. "Lexi, I'll bet the manager will be able to take care of her. We should be taking off." Lord knows that the two of them have a rap sheet longer than Anna could even dream of, so he's not eager to spend time around cops. Speaking of which… Seamus gives the high schooler a look and shakes that backpack at her, making it slosh. "This? I'm giving to the manager. You? Are stayin' right here, capisce? 'Til your parents come 'n' pick y' up."

"I don't have any parents!" Anna shouts out to Seamus, angry again. "They're dead, and your lot needs to be punished for their deaths." Her face turns a bright red because of the anger. "And I will have my revenge, just you wait. Just you fucking wait"

Anna just looks around, and then she reaches into her pants pockets, putting her hands inside and just waiting. "Fine, I'll wait for the surrogates to show up, I don't care what they think. They're not my parents, and they'll never be."

Lexington blinks at Seamus, and gestures to Anna like… but what about my catch? I can't throw the fish back! Are you crazy? But Anna's words get her attention and she literally reaches up and pats the girl on the head. "A lot've us don't have parents. Not all've us turn into what ya are right now. And those've us that do don't make such a shabby showin', luv." Patpat. "Don't worry, those baby teeth'll fall out any day now." And it's only after she sees the girl passed firmly to the manager's hands that she turns back to Seamus with a nod before letting him lead the way out.

It's one thing to see a slender, fiery redhead of a girl like Lexington get mad. It's another altogether when someone who's built for violence like Seamus towers over you, looking like he wants nothing more than to hit you with all his might.

"Y' don't know how close y' came jus' now, lass," he growls, jaw setting suddenly when Anna makes those complaints. Lexi says all he wants to say however, and he just snorts heavily before shoving Anna forcefully towards the manager, dropping the backpack (carefully!) off in his custody. Still, he glares at Anna for a moment more, before quietly heading towards the door with her, putting an arm around her shoulders, his hand gripping tightly to her far arm. He's worked up, all of a sudden, for sure.

It was supposed to be an ordinary book signing, a peaceful question and answer session that would lead in to discussion of Savannah Burton's upcoming fourth book, one steeped in the political climate of today's world. It may not be as precognitive as Aldous Huxley's most famous work is to the world of today, but to one of Savannah Barton's fans, it is just as important.

Out on the street, Jolene Marlowe stands with her back to the front of the Borders bookstore, looking out at the rainy parking lot, arms wrapped around herself and head tipped down, staring at the shadow she's casting on the sidewalk. Patrons of the book signing come and go, and as the wail of sirens in the distance from police cruisers draw closer, 'Lene realizes it's her time to move on as well.

But in a world where the extraordinary threatens to become more prevalent than the extraordinary, can there be something such as coincidence?


Perhaps not.

Manhattan, 13th Precinct

"'Ello?" A gruff and sandpapery voice quips in a coarse Irish accent. In the dim light of his office, Detective Montgomery Walsh lifts his cell phone to his ear, brows raised and head tilted to the side as he looks up to the clock ont he wall.

"She is?" Immediately, the red-haired homicide detective pushes his chair back with a roll of the wheels and comes to stand up. "No, stay with her. I'll be right down t'talk t'her. Don't you let that precious girl go nowhere, Officer Castilades."

"She an I need t'have words."

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