The Blunter Side


kiyoshi_icon.gif richard_icon.gif

Scene Title The Blunter Side
Synopsis Ironically, Kiyoshi seeks some enlightenment.
Date November 19, 2008

Battery Park

It's a nice day. It's even a dry day, if cold, and having been privliged enough to see the weather forecast upon setting a time and place to meet, Richard waits for his company at a park bench within Battery Park, the sky a little overcast but thinly so, giving off a very fall-like ambience. The psychologist is dressed in a warm looking brown coat of some sort of woolen blend, dressed casually but smartly, dress shirt buttoned up to his throat to protect against the mild cold. He's seated, legs set out a little stiffly in front of him and his customary black cane resting against one. In his hands, a book, a fictional paperback, and his glasses rest right down on his nose for the purposes of reading while he waits. Next to Richard, on the bench, two papercups of some warm beverage, fixed in place by a cardboard tray. People walk by, no one bothers him, and he seems perturbed by no one in return.

Dressed in a lightweight coat over jeans and a casual button up, Kiyoshi is carrying the ever-present camera bag slung over his shoulder, though he seems uninterested in his surroundings, instead looking around for someone in particular. When he sees the teacher he heads that way, giving the man a faint smile. "Professor Kenneth, thanks for meeting with me." Motioning towards the bench, he asks, "May I join you?"

A voice breaks the silence Richard had been enjoying, and he looks up from his book when Kiyoshi enters his little circle of imposed silence. It's a subtle change - traffic is completely muted, and the sounds of conversation, birds, passersby - muffled. "Only if you call me Richard," he says, and closes his book, using it to point towards the bench. "Sit down. Do you like coffee? All students like coffee."

Kiyoshi is a little taken aback by the sudden quiet, but isn't quite sure if it's his imagination or something Richard is doing. The poor guy's distracted by his own 'oh my god what the hell is going on with me?' stuff. "Coffee? Yes, thank you. Richard, it is. Please call me Kiyoshi, or Ki if you want. I sat in on one of your lectures not too long ago, though I only audited the course." He takes the coffee and holds it for now, warming his hands. "I'm glad that you could meet with me, though… I'm not sure exactly how to explain what's going on." Their phone call was rather vague.

"I'd call you 'Ki' but then you might feel moved to call me 'Dick', and we wouldn't want that," Richard says, extracting his own (by now half-finished) cup of coffee from the tray, having set his book aside. As for the nature of their meeting, it's true that Richard doesn't have a clue - he barely remembers this young man too, but remembers enough, it seems, to acquiesce to the meeting. The vagueness, it seems, doesn't bother Richard as he pulls the plastic cap off his double-shot latte, takes a sip. "That's fine. I could start," he offers, rather cheerily. And he does start, whether Kiyoshi likes it or not. "Do you, ah, do you like reading, Kiyoshi?"

"Reading?" Kiyoshi sips the coffee and sighs a little with the bliss of a true coffee addict. "Actually not much, I only read what I have to for classes. I'm more visual," He taps the camera bag. "Media student and all. Do you like photography?" Now that he's sitting, the silence is more noticeable and glances at the birds that are just outside Richard's range.

Richard relaxes back against the bench, long legs outstretched and an ankle crossing over the other, although he doesn't bend one leg when he probably should be. Still, he seems comfortable. "I got a, uh, a picture of a tree in my apartment," he says, glancing towards Kiyoshi. "But it came with the apartment." Shrug. "Here's a book, anyway, that you're probably never gonna read," and he taps the paperback, the somewhat iconic title 'A Canticle of Leibowitz' printed in red over a watercolour image of a monk. "Science fiction. Not bad. Only book the man published."

"Is it good?" Kiyoshi asks, more out of politeness than interest. "The book, not the picture. When I do read it's usually philosophy…" He's distracted by the damned birds, and decides to just ask. "Are the birds being especially quiet or is it just me?"

Good question, one Richard doesn't answer immediately, seemingly on his own tangent. "It is good. It's about a, a post-apocalyptic world, thousands of years after our time." He gestures a little, with mock adamancy. "Scientific knowledge is discovered and then hidden for a later time for when the world is ready to understand it," he says. "Our good Senator Petrelli took an opposite approach, it seems, when it comes to knowledge the world is ready for. Like it or lump it, I guess." He peers now at Kiyoshi over the rims of his glasses. "The birds are quiet because I'm making them be quiet. I'm a card carrying all American Evolved, but you knew that already."

Kiyoshi nods slowly, and takes another sip of coffee. "It sounds like an interesting book, maybe I'll look it up." He studies Richard for a moment. "You're right, I know you're Evolved, that was why I called you. If you don't mind me asking, which do you fall in to? The like it or the lump it group?"

A smile appears, now, startling white teeth a contrast to reasonably tanned skin, and a warm chuckle emits from the very back of his throat. "I'd like to say that it was a bad idea, but you only have to walk outside in this city to realise the downside to keeping things a secret," Richard says. "Bad things start happening when you don't know any better. Worse things happen when you do, granted, but it's a double edged sword. But enough about me."

"Enough about you?" Kiyoshi smiles weakly. "Does that mean it's time to talk about me?" It's a rhetorical question. "I suppose you're wondering why I called this meeting…" It's a bad joke and falls flat. "Sorry. I just, I don't know any Evolved, except you. And I need advice and wasn't sure where exactly to go. I've had some odd things happen lately, and I'd like to end up on the blunter side of that sword, if that makes sense."

Richard turns in his seat, now, an arm casually folded and rest against the back of the bench, and if possible, the birds are muted all together. Eerie silence, but it doesn't bother Richard - it could almost be an unconscious reaction. If anyone passing by notices that the two men talked on the bench make not a sound, they don't indicate as such - although a woman walking by tosses a curious glance. "That sounds smart," Richard says. "What kind of odd things?"

Kiyoshi taps the camera bag unthinkingly. "It started with the photos, it took me a while to notice, but the lighting is always perfect when I shoot." He explains a bit more, setting his coffee to one side. "Lighting is always hard to get just right, and I'm good but I'm not perfect." He motions to the book, "May I borrow that for a moment? It's easier to show you than to explain… if it'll do it." The last is added in a mutter.

"You don't have to be quiet in here," Richard says, even as he picks up the book and passes it to Kiyoshi. It doesn't totally occur to him that 'in' might be confusing - while the pocket of deafness is something he can feel, it's devoid of sensation for anyone else save for its effects. "No one can hear us anymore than we can hear them." Although his brow does furrow a little bit, he seems willing to allow Ki to do what he wishes. Hard not to be intrigued, at least a little, and he laces his fingers together to watch.

"No one can hear us…? That makes this a little easier, I guess." The day -is- a little overcast, with spotty sunlight, and Ki opens the book and holds it in a spot that's decently lit. Then he shifts so the book is out of the sunlight, blocked by his body, and starts to read a few sentences at random, purposely not thinking about what he's trying to do. It only takes a moment before the light shifts unnaturally and lands on the pages. "There! That. Did you see it?" He's still pretty awed — or freaked out, or both— by the entire thing. "It moved. It shouldn't have, but it moved." The sunlight is still bending around his shoulders and lighting the pages of the book.

"…well look at us, we're our own production company," Richard says, not moving and just observing this display, the unnatural bend of light where shadow should be, almost haloing the young man. "Light, sound, all we need's a camera. That's remarkable. You can only make it happen," and he raises his hand and gestures in a see-saw movement to mean 'so-so', "involuntarily?"

Kiyoshi chuckles, "Should we go into business?" He hands back the book. "Involuntarily is the best word for it, if I try to do it, sometimes it happens, sometimes it doesn't." The sunlight fades back to where it naturally wants to fall now that Ki doesn't need it. "I haven't exactly been practicing; I don't even know really what I'm doing… or what to do know." He picks up the coffee again and takes a sip. "Which is why I called you."

Contemplative silence descends as Richard opts to take a sip of coffee when Kiyoshi does, finishing his off this time and pitching it in the approximate direction of the nearest trash can. "There's hope for the future," he says, seemingly out of the blue, but as always, it has to eventually relate to the topic at hand. "Hope that, uh, well, I voted for President-elect Rickham, personally. One day there'll be, there'll be training facilities, even, and scientists and doctors in a field devoted to public service in helping people like us - not just counter-terrorists forces, police branches. Understanding instead of fear."

Richard pauses, and glances across at Kiyoshi. "That day's not today, not yet, so I don't blame you for contacting me. If there's one thing I learned, it's not just in the DNA, the blood, it's all in the mind too. Handy that I'm a psychologist, I guess."

"I thought I was going crazy at first." Ki admits, "but it kept happening. With everything. Sunlight, prop lights, the lamps in my house." He rubs a hand over his face, "So… I guess my big question is what do I do now?"

Richard takes his cane in hand, thoughtfully using it to prod at the grass underfoot. "Well I suggest you practice," he says. "Become familiar with what you can do. Then save yourself some time and effort on lighting for your photography." Gripping the bench in one hand and his cane in the other, Richard gets to his feet. Slowly, ambient sound drifts back into their reality, the pocket of deafness disintegrating. From his pocket, a wallet is awkwardly extracted and flipped open, a card then held out. Contact details, along with the words 'Police Psychologist'. "And tell me how you progress. I'd like to help you."

Kiyoshi takes the card and stands as well. "I'll do that." He shakes his head slightly as the sound returns, bemused. "I'll contact you next week, and thanks, Richard. It was good to talk to someone who gets it."

November 19th: Subtle

Previously in this storyline…

Next in this storyline…

November 19th: Hypothetically
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