1964-05-23 - Book Club
Summary: Starfire and Thor have a chat in the Queens Cultural Library.
Related: None
Theme Song: None
thor starfire 

New York boasts some of the largest libraries in America, and there are so many that some have unofficial designations. Medical research, historical archives, cultural anthropology.

It's to the Queens Cultural Library that Donald Blake has ventured, to find books on ancient mythological lore and religious practices of the Norse.

There's not a whole -lot-, but Donald has a pretty good pile set up on one of the study tables in the middle of the library. It's not terribly crowded, for a Monday afternoon, so there aren't librarians aggressively hushing people and no one's around to pester as he takes notes with a pencil on a heavily written-on yellow notepad.


Where better for an alien to go to learn about Earth than a cultural library? At least until someone can get around to inventing some form of electronic information storage system anyway. So that's where Starfire has decided to go. She's even got her perfectly normal mutant girl disguise on. Which largely consists of a white summer dress over the top of her regular alien clothing.

To fit the normal girl theme Kori typically takes special care to walk on the ground but there's some of the books she wants are just out of reach. And what harm could a little floating do? Which is why a few gaps appear on the very top shelf above Mister Blake and a face appears. "Oh! It is you. The man from the bank robbery with the hammer. Hello."


Donald looks up with a start at Kori's voice, which is a bit over-loud for the environment. In the distance, the sound of book-stamping pauses, ominously! Be wary, a wild librarian may appear!

"Ah! The fair orange maiden," Donald says, cheerily recovering his wits a second later. "I recall you well. You fought most valiantly, with a swift and strong arm. What brings you to the library today?" he inquires, rising from his chair politely to speak with Kori.


"I am learning about sociology and culture to better myself," Starfire says cheerfully, although a little less loudly. This wouldn't be the first time she's been told off in library. The face disappears from the gap and then she re-appears, still hovering a good foot or so above the floor. Hefting a huge pile of text books. "I was able to pass on your thanks to the quiet girl who vanished. Her name is Cassandra and she does not know much English. Which is why she did not reply. She did however apologise for sneaking away."

Starfire drifts over to the chairs. "Would you mind if I sit nearby?" She looks around. "My name is Koriand'r, but people often find it easier to call me Kory. I am.. not from New York originally."


"I do not mind if you sit," Donald says, shaking his head and pilling a chair out for Kori. "'tis well to meet you, Kory," Donald remarks, not unsettled much by her effortless levitation. However, a fellow crossing the stacks not far away goggles a little. As Kori can get close, she might observe a bag on the floor with something bulky and asymmetrical inside it.

"I appreciate you speaking to this… Cassandra. A small, but fierce little warrior!" Donald chuckles. "I cannot blame her from fleeing the scene, 'twas a most epic battle but the dwindling minutiae of dealing with the police can be tedious."

"So! Where is it you hail from, Kory?" Donald inquires, seating himself again.


Starfire gives the poor fellow an apologetic wave, then lands and sits down. "I have lived in many places," she explains, putting the stack of books down. "Most recently in Monaco. It has made me very good with languages, but I sometimes find local expressions confusing." The books have diverse titles and no real theme. One on the history of marriage, a travel guide, a cook book and a few other topics. "I recently visited China too. They have some very interesting foods."

"She seems to have made friends with some people I had met in the city," Kori explains. "And they have got her a place at a school. So hopefully she will be able to improve her vocabulary and confidence. May I ask what brings you to the library today? Are you a scholar perhaps?"


"I see! You are quite well traveled," Donald congratulates Kori, clearly taking her words at face value. "Monaco is a strange land— I hope to see it someday, myself. China, too, though I imagine men of my faith will find little recognition there."

He sets aside his book and listens to Kori, nodding along at her praise of Cassandra's socialization. He blinks at her question, grinning ruefully behind his short beard. "Me? Scholar? Hah!" he laughs. "Not hardly, fair one. Merely a penitent man with an idle curiousity," he tells her. "Learning more of Thor and the gods of the Norse— Odin, Baldur, and the trickster Loki. 'tis an interesting lot, full of drama and mischief."


"I am not familiar with those gods. Are they also in the Bible? I.. have never really studied relgion," Starfire asks earnestly, resting the book on marriage history & traditions on her lap. "Because of my appearance I did not fit in very well in China. But I got to have a look round and try some of the food. And yes, you could say I am well travelled. It is nice to experience many different things but sometimes I do miss my family and my home."


"The Bible? No," Donald tells Kori, shaking his head. "'tis of an ancient religion, a world away from the Christian faith— though I understand that the Christians finally converted the Pagan worship," he admits, a little saddened by the lesson.

"'tis a worship that surrounded Scandinavia and Norway, though it spread as far west as Scotland and eastwards to Russia. The Norse were shipbuilders, sailors, and warriors, so they spread the faith and worship of the pantheon wherever they travelled. Some claim to have seen Iceland or even America, though scholars laugh at such claims," he says, shaking his head. "The courage of sailing in such a small wooden ship across the ocean…"

He focuses back on Kori. "Your appearance is striking, but your expression and form is most fair," he reassures Kori. "I would think you rare and unusual, but I cannot imagine derision being my response," he says. "Your family, then— they are from Monaco, too?"


Starfire nods thoughtfully as Donald talks about the Norse religion. "So it is no longer a current religion? It seems strange that people could believe in something so much as to call it a god or goddess, then turn away from it in favor of another." She flicks a few pages and skins the table of contents. "I once had to take a very long journey into what, at the time, was the unknown. So I can understand a little of what they must have felt. It requires a lot of courage to set out into the uncharted places on a map."

She laughs. "Oh no. My family are not from there," Kori explains with a smile. "They.. are from a fairly remote.. jungle. I do not know the name in English." She flicks a few pages. "You flatter me though. I would not say I am rare or unusual, but I have always been like this. To me I am simply.. me."


"You may not be unique among your kin, but you are rare here," Donald says, grinning easily. "You cannot deny it! Though we are all 'unique' in our own way, I suppose— and while you may be more alike than others might believe, your tropical complexion certainly carries a weight about it. I meant no offense, of course— merely making the small talk," he assurs her.

"So tell me, friend Kori— what brings you to New York, then? Why did you leave your home?" he inquires, in that sonorous, deep baritone. "A thirst for the unknown, or a need for change…?"


"It is complicated… And yet I suppose it is also quite simple," Starfire says thoughtfully, gazing out the window and up at the sky. "My sister decided to pick a fight with me. My parents told me to leave to stop things from getting worse." She sighs. "I.. would rather not go into it any further, it still upsets me."

Her head tilts. "Do you not have your unusual lady friend with you today? I did not catch her name during the bank robbery. I would have liked to ask her some questions… about magic. Have you visited the park which is central? The dead walk there and I was told this is due to magic."


"The lady Amora," Donald corrects Kori, nodding. "She is not with me today— she rests at her house, entertaining herself with her own pursuits."

He frowns thoughtfully at Kori's question, trying to assemble what information he has. "Magic is… a unique practice, and one I am ill-suited to explain," he apologizes, finally. "I know but a little of what it can do, and most of that seems to fly in the face of the laws of nature as we understand them. Perhaps that is the best summary I can muster; to channel the will and focus of the wielder into rearranging the laws of the cosmos," he suggests. "I know little of the wild magic of the universe, but I am blessed by my patron, Thor, God of Lightning, and he at times gifts me with his blessing. You might call that magic; I am equally unable to explain how it works, save that it does."


Starfire considers this for a long moment. "That is most interesting. I was hoping to find someone who could identify and disable this strange death magic. As it makes the dead bite people who then die in turn. The cycle then repeats. So please be careful if you are approached by walking dead people."

A few more pages are quickly skim read, then she adds "Lady Amora? Is she a member of the nobility? I was not aware that Americans had such titles."


"She is… not of the Americas," Donald says, hesitantly. He seems unwilling— or embarassed— to correct Starfire more accurately. "But she styles herself as such, and it's a minor thing to most but a great deal to her sense of pride. So, I find no reason to argue the point."

He frowns deeply considering the zombie menace. "It may well be her magic might be of aid, if such walking monstrosities are allowed to life. I will speak with her of it most urgently," he promises Kori, rising to his feet. "We will both lend our aid, if welcomed. 'tis good to have met you again, Friend Kori," he tells the orange-skinned woman. "I dwell under the Lady Amora's roof, at the this address," he says, sketching down a few numbers. "And the .. switchboard operator, can connect you if you seek me on the phone," he promises her. "I shall hurry forth to ascertain what may be done. Until we meet again," he says, slinging his bag over his shoulder.


Starfire tucks the piece of paper into her belt. Which does require a little re-adjustment of the summer dress. Thankfully she's wearing clothing beneath and of course has an alien sense of modesty. "Thank you," she says brightly. "I shall keep this information in mind. I do not think you would be able to reach me as easily. But if I can help you in return I will try my best." She smiles. "Send my regards to Lady Amora. I shall be here for a while reading I expect!"

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