1962-07-02 - Educated Guess
Summary: Armando and Louis have a quiet, but pointed, conversation.
Related: None
Theme Song: None
louis darwin 

Columbia University is usually quiet on the weekends. Usually it's only the first year students that are around on a Saturday, the dining hall and the dorms open for them, but older students or grad students tend to commute or live off campus. For some students they hang out on the quad, for others they go into the city, and for some they go to the library.

Inside the Starr Library the ceilings are several stories high, acoustically curved to muffle sound, and the book stacks climb up some fifteen feet with sliding ladders along each aisle. The study areas are mainly large oak tables with many comfortable padded chairs for people to sit as well as a few 'conversation pits' set between each section.

Today the library is fairly quiet, only a handful of students within and a few members of the faculty. One of those professors is the man currently known as Louis King. He's standing at a microfiche reader, one hand upon the knob and casually flipping through the older issues of the Daily Bugle for some reason, his attention on the articles as they flicker by at a speedy clip. His back is to the large bank of double doors as well as the reception area where the current librarian on duty sits.

Armando steps into the library, pausing near the reception desk to smile to the librarian and engage in a quiet bit of small-talk. Just a little go-between from the grey-skinned man. They seem familiar with one another. After that small bit of small talk, Armando continues on into the stacks- passing by Louis on his way. He pauses, only a moment, by a particular shelf. He reaches up and takes a book- some rather serious looking scientific tome.

Book now in hand, Armando turns to sit at a table that's not easily seen from the door- out of the way. He does pass a smile onto Louis should he look his way… few others can see Armando from where they sit- Louis, though can see the strange man just fine.

For a moment Louis perhaps doesn't see Armando. He flips through a few more headlines, but then he catches the young grey'skinned man out of the corner of his eye. He gives an initial glance, then another. With a thoughtful pause he smiles back towards the young man, then turns back to the microfiche machine and casually flicks it off. He retrieves the film archive and slips it back into its envelope. Taking it in hand he steps away from the display and walks over towards Armando's chosen seat.

"Hello, you were the young man speaking with Professor Kunz the other day, were you not?" His voice is polite, controlled, an English upper class accent as he rests a hand light upon the chair opposite him and then gestures with the manila envelope in his hand. "Might I join you?" He smiles openly, seemingly at ease with his appearance.

"Yes. I thought the Professor might be having trouble with Mister Fury. I'm not so sure that's the case now, but at the time." Armando offers with an easy smile as he closes his book, and puts it to the side. "Please." he returns when the request comes to sit. "Go right ahead."

Armando smiles easily to Louis- he seems comfortable with himself, at least. Its the eyes, though, that are most odd- white things without iris or pupil. Strange. Impossible to read.

The professor's eyes, on the other hand, are bright and green and rather amiable as he takes that seat. He sets the small envelope to the side and then rests his hands before him, fingers interlacing. "My name's Louis King." He smiles again, and it remains there faintly as he speaks. "I'm a professor of archaeology here, and I was curious if you were a student here? Or currently attending a program of some sort?"

As he finishes those last words he tilts his head to the side curiously, watching Armando's expression openly but perhaps not as easily reading him as he reads other people.

If anyone has a poker face- its Armando. Although its clear he's comfortable from the smile- his face is oddly inhuman, while remaining easily identified as human. A strange mix. "A pleasure to meet you, Professor King." Armando says, "Oh, no. I've got permission from the administration to make use of the library. " Armando explains, "I could never afford the tuition here- and honestly, I make some of the other students uncomfortable. However, they've given me permission to make use of the fine library, as long as I keep to myself." he says, with a quiet smile still on his face. "It was Doctor MacTaggert who convinced them to let me self-study and a few professors have allowed me to audit their classes. I find academia to be far more open to someone like me than most other places- the open mind of those who wish to learn and teach is a truly blessed thing."

"Hm," It's all Louis says at first as he looks to Armando, one fingertip resting upon the tabletop and tapping out a short rhythm as he considers. "They're allowing you to study, but are they going to allow you to test out to perhaps gain a degree of some kind?" He glances casually at the book he'd chosen, but then looks back up towards Armando. "I've met a handful of other gifted individuals and had been considering the idea of some presence being a positive on campus. Would you be interested in pursuing a degree?"

"I would like to pursue a degree. Absolutely." Armando says, "But I'd have to mix it between my job, and my duties elsewhere, but I think I could manage. Really, the question is what degree would I want to pursue." he says with a quiet shrug. "I've got really no idea what I'd want to study- because I want to study everything." he says with a chuckle. "That might be difficult, though. Tell me, Professor King, what is it you teach?"

"Archaeology, primarily on the Roman invasion of Britain in 43 AD." Louis says this lightly, as if he had gotten used to telling people… which is natural for a university really. He then leans forward slightly, holding up a finger as if silently telling Armando to hold on for a moment. "But it depends on what you'd be looking to do in the future."

As he says that it's clear those green eyes are distant, a bit unfocused past the young man for a moment as if considering possibilities. But then he looks back to him. "I suggest you give it some thought, consider what you enjoy doing or enjoy studying. Then pursue that. But I was thinking your presence could help give some insight for people about the changes occurring in the world."

He then tilts his head the other way, as if trying to look on Armando from another angle. "However, I was wondering if I could perhaps ask you some questions about powered individuals."

"Ah. Very interesting topic. Claudius could be considered a visionary, but as often is the case it was his general who did the heavy lifting. Aulus Plautius was an unqualified genius, although not perhaps militarily- more socially. How he stopped the mutiny of his men in Gaul was particularly wise." Armando is a man who's read quite a bit, it seems.

"Powered individuals? I can't profess to be an expert, Professor King. I'm happy to answer what questions I can, though."

At that Louis' smile broadens a touch and he adds, "Indeed, Publius Scapula was not a worthy successor for the man." But then he looks to the side slightly before looking back and meeting Armando's gaze as he can. "I was, however, meaning mutants. Unless there is a more suitable term for reference to those who have genetically evolved abilities."

He straightens up a bit and relaces his fingers, thumbs pressing against each other thoughtfully as he goes on. "I am afraid my knowledge is rather thin on the ground regarding them. What their culture is like, if there is one that has developed and wow it managed to develop would all be interesting to know. If they've gained some measure of political representation… things along those lines. Does that make sense?"

"Mutants seems to be the nomenclature." Armando says, hairless brow ridges arching as he listens to Louis' questions. "Its only been recently that humanity, on a wide scale, has begun showing these evolutionary jumps- and even evolutionary scientists are finding it difficult to tell exactly what environmental factor has triggered this unusual change in the human genome." Armando begins. "The wide array of abilities I've heard about and seen among my people leaves everyone guessing as to why, exactly, this is happening. No one is really sure how long its been happening- although, I suspect that at least a small percentage of humanity has always been mutants. Now, though, its becoming more and more obvious- perhaps only recently have the environmental pressures that have caused these evolutions become strong enough to cause such an obvious affect." He pauses a moment, taking a slow breath.

"As for culture, you only need see Mutant Town to get a better idea of what's beginning to grow. I imagine that other such locations in major cities have begun the same sort of cultural evolution. As of now, its not so different from that of the rest of New York City. As for political representation- that we have none of."

"Mutant town?" Louis asks curiously, and it's perhaps clear he hasn't heard of the place. This is verified when he murmurs, "I had heard of the term but wasn't sure it was an actual place in the city." He looks to the side for a moment as if considering a few more options. Once he turns back he gives a slow nod. "Have any prominent figures come to the fore? Someone who is leading the effort for possibly gaining such representation?"

"Not in the political sense, no. We still represent an unknown factor when it comes to politics." Armando admits. He's not really sure where Xavier sits- he doesn't seem particularly interested in politics. "These are particularly pointed questions, Professor. Is there a particular reason why you're so interested?"

A hand lifts somewhat, gesturing to the side absently as if he were waving the concern away. But he answers the young man as he turns back to look at him. "I've met several powered individuals of late and in my experience I've found that when a group of people are in their political infancy… that tends to be the time when they are at their most exploited. I am not entirely altruistic in this matter, more that some of the individuals I've encountered deserve to not live in some form of repression of their selves."

But then the smile returns and he gestures again to the side, "And, of course, there is plain curiousity."

And yet, the concern remains. Armando does not seem so easily misdirected. "Repression is already happening, Professor." he notes simply. "People are scared. They're forcing people like me out of the work-force. Out of their regular lives. I was attacked on the subway, not more than a day or two ago." he offers, "I was forced to ruin a subway car to survive." he shakes his head. "I'm afraid something bad is coming." he admits, "And I'm coming to realize that while I can weather any storm- survive regardless of what happens." his voice falling, "My friends. They won't be so lucky. So, soon, I think , you'll see someone rise up."

A nod is given, "If you become aware of such an individual, I'd like to speak with them. I think this is an historic time period for us to witness such a thing. There hasn't been any equivalent that we know of in recorded history. So I am, indeed, terribly curious."

That having been said he takes up the manila envelope as he rises from his seat, the library chair making a faint wooden creak as his weight shifts. "But please, do take some time to consider your future. Look me up when you have made some decisions. I'm in the university directory."

"Of course, Professor King. Many thanks." Armando offers as he stands, and offers a hand over to Louis. His arms are oddly long- he easily reaches across the table. "Its been a pleasure."

The professor gives a small nod to Armando and then adds a smile as he takes that hand. "Indeed, and for me as well, Armando." He gives a firm handshake, not too firm nor aggressive, but stronger than Darwin might expect. That having been done he takes a step back and gives a small salute with the envelope before he turns back and starts to walk down the aisle, leaving the young man to his thoughts.

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