Myth Busters


eve_icon.gif gillian_icon.gif lene_icon.gif

Scene Title Myth Busters
Synopsis Lene and Gillian escort Eve on a mission.
Date November 7, 2018

Brooklyn College

NYC Safe Zone

“I'm at an all time one I swear.” The promise comes from a sunglasses wearing Eve, the dark and big shades covering half of her face while she wears a white floppy hat, not exactly discreet.

It was afternoon at Brooklyn College and the students mill about as Eve stands nervously next to Gillian and Lene, fidgeting at something at her shoulder, “Stop that.” She whispers hotly to nothing in the air before she refocuses her attention on the campus in front of them. “You think there's a frat I can join here?” Peering over the students heads with curious eyes. Those guys threw wild parties, Eve remembers. “Have you joined one Chicken?”

“You make an interesting spy,” Gillian says quietly toward Eve as they continue onto the campus, though she imagines that just about everyone who knows her would immediately recognize her out of the crowd. The way the woman carries herself, the way she talks, the way she moves— everything about her screams who she is. But it’s one of the many reasons that she can’t help but love the woman, because she’s just so Eve.

But otherwise, she adds on, “Frats are for men, usually, though I imagine there are some co-ed ones. Young women typically join Sororities. Not that I ever did.” She had been fully in her goth phase in college, the closest she’d come to joining any groups had been “social clubs” that had definitely not been sanctioned by the school. And a book club. Which had definitely not been party central. “I don’t know if those are really running how they had been before the war.” Nor even before the bomb, she imagined. “But a club wouldn’t be a terrible idea.” The social support would do Lene some good, probably.

“No,” is Lene’s belated and monosyllabic response to all of that. As they move across the campus grounds, Lene keeps a firm grip on her crutches — employing both today — and remains steady on balance even with a backpack full of books slung over one shoulder. There's a surprising amount of students out for Fall semester in the crisp, autumn air. None of them seem to recognize Jolene, or even pay her any attention. Jolene doesn't seem to mind much, either.

The Brooklyn College Library is on the east side of the campus. The stately brick building rises up from an autumnal tree line, capped with a damaged gold dome atop a white steeple. Much of the campus remained surprisingly untouched during the war, save for glancing blows from passing artillery fire. It's hard to tell that even happened, today.

“My professor for Japanese history has an office in the library,” Jolene says as she ambles up the steps to the front door. “She works for the Yamagato Fellowship and teaches part time during the summer. I don't know what her fall semester work is, outside of that one class.”

As if on cue a group of passerby students looks at Eve, “Is that…?” One petite girl with dark hair asks aloud to which Eve looks over her shoulder at the two women with them, “Er let's go quick!” Before the meme jokes start.

“And maybe not a frat but a club oh Chicken you can even create your own club!” Jolene must be happy there isn't a parent/teacher day in college because Eve would embarrass her niece to no end and while she is trying to keep her mood level the anxiety of why they are even here in the first place hits her. “Hopefully Prof History doesn't mind a drop in.” Cuz Eve is at college.

If it wasn’t for the presence of Yamagato, Gillian would have been impressed that the college actually taught Japanese history. She’s pretty sure the closest that they’d had in hers was East Asian History, which had been a lot about China, but included many other countries and only subsections on Japanese. She’d only really been interested in anything involving Japanese because of her tattoo artist at the time, a fellow goth girl who’s name she only remembers as Lotus. Which she was fair sure had not been her real name.

Sometimes she wonders what happened to her, though she has doubts that the woman continued to go by that name. If she survived the war.

“I hope she doesn’t mind,” she echoes Eve, giving her a sidelong glance as they continue on. “But we’ll try not to take up too much of her time.” And she certainly didn’t want to put the teacher against her daughter at the same time by taking up what she imagines is her precious time.

For an off-hours visit, the library at Brooklyn College is quiet. A handful of students use the place as a quiet study space, seated at spacious tables with heads down, books open, and laptops at the ready. There’s no one at the reception area when Jolene leads the way inside, and she’s quick to amble past the front desk to the elevator.

Up on the second floor, Jolene leads Eve and her mother down a winding series of corridors past private offices with frosted glass windows and stenciled names, to one that is perhaps a bit less prestigious as the others simply listed as ADJUNCT OFFICE. Jolene notices the door isn’t closed all the way and gently eases it open with a delicate brush of the back of one hand, adding a faint knock afterward.

Right on the other side in the cramped office space filled with filing cabinets and overstuffed bookshelves is a middle-aged woman with wavy red hair and wire-framed glasses, looking up from a stack of papers. “Jolene,” she says with some surprise, then turning her attention to Eve and absolutely recognizing her, though the presence of Gillian takes away any vocalized reaction she may have had.

Miss Childs,” sounds so much more formal when Jolene’s teacher says it. She rises up to stand and offer her hand out across the desk rather abruptly. “Karen Chamberlin,” she introduces before Jolene can so much as get a word in. “It’s an absolute honor to meet you in person.” She seems to have forgotten about the papers she was reviewing.

With her back straight and her hand half raised in an innocent wave with a sly smile on her lips, as the teacher comes forward and gets distracted by Gillian. The Mischievous Imp tip toes around the room. "Mmmm I see." Leaning forward to stare closely at a picture on the wall, her nose all but pressed up against the surface. "You've been learnin' Chicken." Slipping into a faux southern accent and winking over at Jolene before catching herself and clapping her chest as she "coughs".

"She is a shining star our Gilly." She's trying to stay at a two.

Being recognized by those who are involved in anything book-like doesn’t actually surprise Gillian. After all she was chairperson of the Library Association, had spent much of her stay in the Safe Zone working on opening old Libraries. Someone connected to a library would certainly have known her. Not to mention her own books. She hadn’t done an international tour or anything, but the safe zone and some parts of the States had seen her. And that didn’t even include her role in Operation Apollo, now publicly known, and her televised testimonies during the Trials.

“It’s an honor to meet you as well, Ms. Chamberlin,” she steps forward to politely shake the woman’s hand, using both of her own. At least under this circumstance her hands aren’t shaking at all. She was not entirely sure if this was who they came to talk to, but she knows how to be polite. “I hope we’re not interrupting anything,” she adds, glancing apologetically toward the abandoned papers.

Eve also gets a grateful look for keeping her usual 11 toned down.

“Nothing that cant wait,” Karen quietly admits, covering the paperwork with an errant folder. “Is… this about Jolene or?”

“Eve,” Jolene chimes in, “and my— aunt— Gillian.” Awkward, tense pause. “Have. They have questions about…” Karen watches Jolene flounder awkwardly, but then glances down as Jolene ambles forward on one crutch and pulls a copy of Kensei and the Dragon from her bag. “They wanted to talk to you about this.”

Karen’s brows raise slowly, then she flicks a wide-eyed look over to Gillian. “Oh, Miss Childs, I wasn't aware you— oh absolutely I'd be glad to talk about my work. Please ah,” she motions to folding chairs around the small office, “take up a — grab a seat.”

“Did you— was this— ” It's Karen’s turn to be flustered. “Have you read my book?” There's almost stars in her eyes.

A light wiggle of her fingers and dip of her head at the introduction from Jolene and Eve is walking over to follow the other three ladies, settling in the chair the furthest back. The ebb and flow of the echoes and whispers nudge her and she shrugs her shoulder up in answer to the phantom call, no no she will not indulge. Not today.

"Yes, the dragon and Kensei, you are well.. versed on the subject of that warrior?" She looks like she's ready for a story, that look of anticipation, she could almost shout. But she doesn't.

The raven haired woman settles back in her chair and crosses her legs at the ankles, placing her hands underneath her butt. She's feeling fidgety, eyes to the book she doesn't answer if she's read it, it was directed to Gillian but instead, "It has such a great cover, truly."

The mention of Aunt makes Gillian glance away for a moment. Having a time travelled daughter would always be slightly awkward when explaining to those who didn’t know of or even likely believe in time travel. Even if she wrote a fictional book about it, she never expected most people to actually believe what she wrote was possible.

And besides time travel in her book had been different.

But then she’s asked about the book and she glances quickly at it with a grimace of surprise. When Gillian looks back at the woman she shakes her head, but smiles, “I haven’t had the time to do more than glance over it yet. Though I do intend to. The topic greatly interests me.” Even if Japanese culture had only ever been of passing interest to her in the past, now it might threaten her daughter. She would read it. But now she’s wishing she would have snatched the copy and read it thoroughly beforehand.

“My good friend Eve is the one with the specific questions right now, though. And I hope you will forgive me if I take notes? My memory isn’t as good as it once was.” She’ll wait for a nod, before pulling out a small notepad she brought for that specific purpose.

Karen smiles, earnestly, to Gillian before turning to address Eve. All the while, Jolene has slinked back behind and to the side of her mother, trying to stay out of the focus of the conversation in the event that Eve dials things up. “I’m one of the world’s most preeminent scholars on the mythology of Takezo Kensei, yes. I spent the majority of my life studying the historic figure, and trying to separate the accomplishments of the very real man, from the more fantastic elements of his narrative.”

Then, with something of a grimace, Karen adds. “You must be able to imagine my surprise after the Evolved — er — Expressives were revealed to the world. I had to revisit all of my studies with a newfound perspective.” Fidgeting a bit, Karen looks from Eve to Jolene and back again. “If… you’re interested, the Yamagato Fellowship has a lovely historic display of artifacts from Kensei’s life on display. I helped curate most of their collection.”

Another wiggle of her fingers, "Hiii." the last bit drawn out an extra second with a snort. "He is very much real yes." Eve wonders how much of his legends were myth or actual fact. How much of any legend really. "I've always loved fables.. the mythology of different cultures. It's deliciously fascinating." A chef's kiss to the sky, to all of the deities above as well as below.

The mention of Yamagato and the Fellowship makes her smile, "My friend works there! They are sweet people right? I've had the absolute honor of meeting Miss Kam, she's so nice!" There's a bright smile on Eve's face, hard white teeth, hello. I love everyone at Yamagato and they love me. "I'd love to see those artifacts!" There's no sweat on her brow but she's straining to stay.. down. Gillian would recognize her counting in her head, down Girl, keep it together. "Is there a tale of where he first landed? In Japan? I'm pretty interested in his hometown too. His lineage. His father must have had strong jaws. And been poor." That's the only way to explain him being as cheap as to leave HALF A BOTTLE OF SAKE AND NOT A WHOLE.

When Karen isn't looking, Eve crosses her eyes and tips her head back towards the ceiling before snapping back to attention with a fling of hair as the professor would turn her attention back to the pale woman.

“Eve is very excited about the topic,” Gillian offers as a quiet apology, showing a dimple when she smiles as if that might settle them both. Or at least keep things from escalating. Cause often it did where Eve was concerned. “We are very interested in learning more about… Kensei. How did your research change when Expressives became known? Did it just make the Legend seem more like it might have been factual, or was there more?” It was an academic question. After all, Gillian had written about a novel that included Expressive characters, though she’s read all the forum posts about how that particular ability would be unlike.

Most people did not believe time travel to be doable. And in many ways she was glad they did not.

Even if she wrote about it in her book. Her book had been presented as fiction. Even though more than a few parts had been based on some personal experiences. The main character meeting her long dead parents in the past, for example.

Eve’s demeanor elicits a raise of Karen’s brow, but then an amused smile. “I must say, Miss Mas, I didn’t expect you to be so much like how you were on the television.” At the trials. In that goddamn horse meme. “But ah,” she flicks a look over to Gillian, then back to Eve, “my research changed because we could test for things we never could before.”

Karen settles in back at her desk, going through a drawer in search of something. “I’m primarily interested in anthropology, but I corresponded with a number of archaeologists and other scientists interested in the history of SLC-Expressive humans. Researching the myth of Takezo Kensei became a less fringe interest after 2006.”

Finding the book she was looking for, Karen produces a battered and dog-eared copy of Activating Evolutions. Chandra Suresh’s face stares out from the back cover, and this particular copy has colored tabs all throughout it. As Karen opens the book, it’s clear she’s also stuck correspondence in between the pages like some sort of esoteric filing system. “I reached out to the Yamagato Foundation in 2009, not long after Kaito Nakamura’s passing. I had been partnering with a Japan-based anthropological society that was interested in the Kensei myth as well. We asked Yamagato if we could test the Kensei relics they had in exchange for additional donations of artifacts we’d found over the years.”

Karen takes out a piece of paper and lays it down on the desk, a photocopy of something showing blurry black rectangles and a grayscale bar. “We found hair and skin cell samples in Kensei’s armor, and tested those against what identifiers we knew to look for with regards to SLC-Expressives at the time. It took months, but by Christmas we’d nailed down a high probability that Kensei himself was special.”

Karen’s eyes light up as she discusses this. “A year later I was approached by a young woman named Adrienne Allen who was researching a genetic history of SLC-Expressives across the world and had wound up in Japan following the trail of Kensei himself.” Closing her book, Karen leans back in her chair. “We fell out of touch when the war started, and based on what I heard from the Albany Trials, I suppose she was working for the Commonwealth Institute. So, I’m not sure whether her intentions were exactly good or not, but…” Karen smiles sadly, “she seemed nice.”

"I get so.. happy when stories are told. Especially ones about us, motioning to herself and Gillian. "I'm real, mmm no trickery here." A light wink as she leans forward listening to Karen speak.

Adrienne Allen. The days when she would scout out information for Cameron kick her skills in as she files that name for later and further snooping. Working for the Institute meant you were either a monster or forced. Eve had killed both types of people when they raided the Ark all those years ago. "Are there any notes left from her? Anything at all, her research.. what's inside that massive brainpan of hers might be the ticket." A too wide grin crosses Eve's face and she nods, "The First…" She whispers softly, Japan. It was looking more likely.

"What if I told you that Kensei is special, gifted and alive." Tapping her fingers on the sides of her chair she tilts her head to the side, "I know he was a soldier, he has faked his death many times. His gift allows him that, everlasting life. He regenerates, doesn't age. No cracks, no matter what.. immortal."

A half lidded gaze stays fixed on the Professor, "I hate to make this sound like an Anne Rice novel Doctor Karen," her tone slightly rushed because she knows even though they have people flying as if it's nothing that people still found ways to debunk the extraordinary. "But you seemed to be fascinated by this man who I know as Adam Monroe and it doesn't seem right to let you wander through life clueless as a turkey on Thanksgiving, he is real. He is alive. I have spoken to him many times.. I need Dr. Allen's notes, I have to find him and I think your brain, your past experience with the missing doctor can help."

Doe brown eyes stare unwaveringly ahead at Karen, an arch of her eyebrow. A student and member of the Safe Zone back her, its all Eve can hope for that uttering the truth of Kensei won’t scare Karen away or make her laugh.

The topic of Adam Monroe is not one of Gillian’s favorites, if only because it seems like Eve pulls something crazy when they were supposed to be in a less crazy world every time the man was even mentioned. And she was often the one mentioning him!

And not only that her daughter might be in danger because of everything she kept trying to do with him. But Gillian doesn’t really know enough to interject with her own so much as offer Karen an apologetic smile and tell her, “Eve’s telling the truth.” Or so she hopes. Again, she doesn’t know a lot about Adam Monroe and all these things he’s supposedly done, but… Eve seems to. Somehow. “He seems to have been involved in the incident at the Ark as well, and probably many things besides that.” That’s the only incident she knows for sure. Mostly from Eve’s rantings.

Karen is just silent, brows pinched into a worried furrow, clutching her copy of Activating Evolutions like a bible. “I’m not…” she shakes her head, “I mean that’s— fascinating if it could be proven, empirically. But I— I’m— ” She turns a look to Jolene who shrinks in on herself, shoulders hunched and head down.

“What do you want?” Karen asks Eve, seeing as she’s leading this line of questioning. “I can’t— I can’t just publish that. Not without years of research and interviews. I mean it’s— why are you telling me all this?” She’s suspicious and nervous. It wouldn’t be the first time someone tried to feed her false information for a laugh, but that was years ago.

"My dear woman I'm telling you because you should know! And because I need your help as I have already stated!" Eve's smile remains fixed and bright, mustn't deviate. Usually she would go about wildly when asked about the blonde immortal but instead she stays on course. "Publish? Oh no no, of course I wouldn't ask that of you." Quite the opposite. I need," smoothing her shirt down with a brush of her fingertips, "To look over your notes, messages with Dr. Allen. Anything you know could help."

The seer tries to keep the noise in the back of her head down, so far so good. This was a lead though. To other paths but still..

"It could help save a lot of people if not for me then for my family here," spreading her hands to Gillian and Jolene. "They wouldn't be here if I wasn't onto something." At least Eve hopes so! Gillian is known to indulge her at times, what are good friends for? Reaching up to thread a heavy dark strand of hair behind her ears. Hoping this leads to something, wanting to take a look for herself but wanting to rely on good ol fashioned detective work and the good faith afforded by Gillian's name.

“I think I’m done doing non-fiction for a time,” Gillian assures after a moment, giving a small smile, though she knows she has no intention of writing anything involving this man named Adam in any future that she can perceive. Even if she could prove it through eye witness accounts. What little she knew of the man she didn’t want to know, and only had investigated it because of her friend’s interest. “I am sure you know about Eve’s ability. Finding answers about this will help her put them into context.”

She wasn’t intending to use that as a reason, but the dream that she’d had did involve her daughter.

So she wants her to put it into context as well. And hopefully keep Jolene out of it entirely, if possible. She has to hope that the appearance of her daughter was a metaphor too.

“How exactly am I supposed to help you?” Karen wonders aloud. “If— if you know who Takezo Kensei is, that he’s alive in the modern age and is immortal you already know more than I possibly ever could. I just don’t see how my research notes, how my correspondences with Doctor Allen— how any of that could help.”

Karen bites down on her bottom lip, about to say something more until Jolene speaks up. She steps up to her mother’s side, looking at Eve and then back to Karen. “It can’t hurt. I know this is all a little crazy sounding, and Eve— has an indelicate touch with information delivery. But— even if you don’t know how it could be helpful, it might be. We’re dealing with history that’s impacting us right now, and even if you don’t believe that… as a history professor, as someone who teaches about the weight of the past as it presses on the present, you have to see the possibility.

Karen makes a noise in the back of her throat, setting down her copy of Activating Evolutions and looking at Eve and Gillian for a moment, then back to Lene, and finally down to her desk, fingertips gently resting on the cover of Chandra Suresh’s life’s work. “Everything I’ve ever researched about Kensei is in my book,” Karen says with a slow shake of her head, turning her back on the three women as she moves to a filing cabinet to open a drawer and flip through documents.

“But… Doctor Allen corresponded with me when she was in Japan,” Karen says, retrieving a binder of loose papers. “I’d printed out most of our email correspondences, because the last decade’s taught me a lot about the impermanence of digital records. This is everything we talked about, the digs, the historic sites…” Karen returns, setting the folder down atop her desk.”You’re welcome to make photocopies of whatever seems important to you, and…” Karen laughs softly, as if in disbelief of herself. “If you find Takezo Kensei, I’d love to interview him.”

Eve is nothing but grateful for how her family stands by her side. She would get emotional if she weren't trying so hard to just be… normal.

And then… Karen bears fruit and Eve leans forward slowly the way someone does when unsure of what they will get. Digs, historic sites… bingo. "Oh Miss Karen… this will do. Wonderfully." Pale hands go to run over the pages and she pours over the pages, taking note of anything outwardly crazy before her head snaps up. "We'll definitely make copies." Of as much as they can. All of it?! The oracle makes a vow and sucks in her breath.

Giving Karen a pleasant smile, "I'll be sure to ask him if he's willing to do a sit down. World Exclusive.." Winkwink.

More likely the more professor would end up at the end of his sword by the end of that particular sort of interview but he did have his ego and Karen was clearly a fan. "If nothing else I'll bring you something. A present." For helping her now, maybe she can get him on video saying hello while he's tied up and answering Eve's many questions. That was surely a while away. He hadn't shown himself. Not to her, yet.

"Thank you so much."

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