1964-07-18 - Intellectual Stimulation
Summary: Lucian and Lindon meet at Lux. Later, Bane joins them.
Related: If there are no related logs, put 'None', — please don't leave blank!
Theme Song: None
lucian lindon bane 

Fourth of July brings fireworks and one too many drunken louts insisting that yes, their rifles and bayonets are totally acceptable Mr. Police Officer. Crowds more likely gather somewhere away from East Village, but the city has plenty of active corners. Pyrotechnics fill the street from the lines of sparklers carried by youths and there's probably some barrel on fire nearby.

Lucian is certainly not enjoying ice cream, apple pie, and founding of a nation myths. Things might have been particularly different in outcome if he'd shown up during the Revolutionary War. Nothing like aerial bombardment of hellfire and the odd backsmack of a wing to knock someone off their horse. He is certainly not brooding on that.

A pretty Swedish girl sits on a stool, with two Swedish gents who have unusually long hair, the lot of them terribly young and overwhelmed. "Anni," whispers one of them. "Look, it's a Steinway…"

Indeed, it is. And there Lucian is not, doing a job to put together something incredibly toxic and delicious.

Lindon sits at the end of the bar. He's usually with Lamont Cranston when he's here at all, but tonight he's alone. Dressed in a suit that doesn't fit exactly right. He's so long in the body and narrow of build that in order to fit his torso, the sleeves come up a bit short. Nothing off the rack is a good fit for this man. It's a pity. He could be a lot more handsome with some tailoring.

He keeps mostly to himself, drinking a Waters of the Lethe, and though he keeps a sidelong eye on his barmates, he's not one for prompting conversation. Just a fleeting smile for glances his way. His attention strays to the Steinway and lingers there with a little longing. He hasn't played for ages, and never on a piano as fine as that.

Lamont Cranston has his own special tab here, it seems. Lindon might be on the list. Mazikeen knows each and every last person that comes through to make their order. Lucian hasn't any reason to doubt since those who never bother to pay up sometimes vanish. Or their businesses are erased. Sentiments of debt and reflection belong to the day of Independence for a nation that carved out its history in blood and dollars. Lucian considers the chunks of mango in a bowl, the strawberries, and dismisses them both. A few small vials end up dumped into a tall metal shaker, as though they might be prone to giving off radioactive mists. There, sadly, won't be any sort of mutagenic effect.

"Looking for anything in particular?" The question invariably goes to those who are too silent, too thoughtful in a place that invites all, but needn't be constricted by quiet.

Lindon looks up from his drink, and his half-smile is rather doe-eyed and shy. How does Cranston ever let this one out of his sight? He has no predatory grace about him whatsoever, but rather the vibe of the antelope at the watering hole. The vials are regarded curiously, and he takes another sip from his own drink. Stronger than he's used to, but he's nursing it along wisely.

"Contemplation," he says in reply, and that shy smile broadens tentatively, "and proving to myself I can go out and have a good time without someone there to hold my hand."

The antelope might have other zebras around, lions, and one space shark run on rocket fuel to be concerned about. The master of the watering hole can watch with amusement to see who happens to show up, and separate them accordingly. He tips his concoctions in generous motions. A dip of the spoon, an application of the muddler to stir it up and he takes a sniff. Not quite to the alchemist's pleasure; he adds a few grains of something not quite illicit. Exotic, yes. Wormwood isn't applied carelessly given it's a poison to most of the population at a certain intensity. Just the right jot.

It's left to steep. Lucian ought not to be so damn smug with himself, but he is, for reasons all of his own. "The lone drinker has an unfortunate overtone nowadays. Pity, because there's nothing at all wrong with enjoying something in silence."

Lindon watches the process, and those doe eyes can come off rather calculating when he's thinking. What is being added? To what end? He recognizes a lot of drink recipes, but not all of them, and certainly not recent originals. When the concoction is left to steep, Lindon's gaze goes from it to Lucian's face. Once there, he finds it hard to look away.

"Uh," he says, his thoughts catching up a beat behind his voice, "People think if you're alone in a bar you can't possibly want to be. It's like going out to eat. You can't just go to a place because you like the food without people looking at you like you're a sad sack."

"You prefer to be alone?" It's the oldest question in a publican's arsenal. The reason they are, after all, the great disseminators of human culture and dispensers of wisdom. Theirs is a special balance to allow for conversation without becoming overbearing, even if the one in question might set fire to the universe to watch what happens, and unleash the shadows for the pleasure of mayhem upon the unsuspecting. Not all his business is driven by happiness, by hope.

"So give them something to look at." A cigarette is procured from somewhere and Lucian lights it, the slick silver case snapped open until a long tongue of golden flame consumes the end.

Lindon shakes his head and says, "Not all the time, but I'm one of those people who can be alone. I try not to let being alone stop me from doing what I want to do, like having a drink here tonight." He smiles as he says, "It's led to me meeting someone interesting to talk to." He pauses, then adds, "But sometimes, yeah. It's nice to have the company of one's thoughts.

As for giving them something to look at, Lindon glances down at himself and says, "Oh, I don't know that I get a whole lot of notice." Not in that suit. If only he had a tailor instead of bought off the rack. It's not that he's bad-looking. He's just too long and slender for that jacket.

Company of thoughts, company of flesh. It all boils down to truths in the end. He flicks his cigarette into a glass ashtray, capturing a stream of fine ash with a dab. Blowing out a stream of bluish smoke draws undulating, sinuous curves to the sky. The scent isn't normal tobacco or even marijuana, but a complex blend unto himself.

"The two aren't necessarily mutually exclusive. You are alone, and get attention. You don't have to stand out with flaming hair," or being Johnny Torch, for that matter, "so it's all relative."

Lindon's gaze follows the bluish smoke, then drifts to Lucian's face. His regard is mild, though behind those dark eyes the gears are turning, analyzing the smoke's scent, breaking it down into its likeliest components. If it's a blend that has existed before, its identity is somewhere in the vastness of that overtaxed brain.

His lips tic at another smile. Long-fingered hands wrap around his glass, though he toys with it rather than drinks, at least for now. "I guess people might get curious. I wish there was more of a mystery to reveal. I'm just a librarian, and I like the drinks they serve here."

The club's dark glamour remains intact considering the relatively limited visible clientele, though there could be a dozen different parties in the side rooms or mezzanine. Who would ever know? Yet there's Lucian himself at the bar, along with the strawberry blonde Ana, who does most of the preparation and delivery of drinks.

The blond smokes, taking his time to savour the cancer stick at leisure. Lindon holds down a spot at the marble and granite bar. The cigarette contains components not found on earth, one or two probably lost during the Cretaceous a little further along. Don't ask how he obtained that, for there are answers not to be found easily enough. "You curate the sum of human knowledge and you claim not to be mysterious. When half the people in this city would be hard put to string three words together of two or more syllables, and have it mean anything." It's a question fraught in a bit of disbelief. Easy, when you're the god-damn Devil.

Lindon's brows lift, and he considers Lucian anew. He wants to ask, but he doesn't. He inclines his head to Lucian and says, "Not many people appreciate the importance of preserving knowledge. They're short-sighted." He glances aside, self-conscious but not displeased. "I do work in the archives. It's not glamorous, but I can honestly say I would never want to do anything else."

Lindon is dressed in a suit that doesn't fit him quite so well. He's too long and slender to find a fit off the rack, alas. He finally takes a sip of the drink he's been toying with, and his eyes lid with pleasure.

Making his way through the bar is a newcomer to the city. The man dispassionately surveys the interior with dark eyes set in a head that towers over most, his opinions unbetrayed by stoic facial features of mildly uncertain descent.

The big man makes his way to the bar, heavy footsteps accompanied by the light and rhythmic tapping of his redwood cane. The instrument is gripped in a powerful looking hand by a smokey quartz head, clearly meant as an ornament to his appearance more than any practical function. As he nears the bar, the man known to scant few as Bane speaks in a surprisingly smooth voice deep as the earthbones themselves,"Might I trouble you for a menu?"

"Let that be your guide." Lucian once again dashes a stream of tumbling dark ashes into the glass dish. They smolder a moment, then melt away into nothing. His exhalation is measured. It's all for the pleasure of taking in the heat and flavour of the fumes he's dragged through the filter. The cigarette remains in the corner of his mouth when another person darkens the doorstep of Lux, on high. Any newcomer has to navigate the stairs down from street level into the sunken main level and the green glass auroral undulation does a good job blotting out their features. Just a silhouette; a predator or prey in the coastal sea.

The cane earns a nod of approval. One of the staff ghosts through, minding ever the neutral nature of the place is secured. It's one thing to be a shark or an eel, but there are predators here older than many. Some are positively terrible. Like the strawberry blonde of unlikely Persian extraction. Ana squeezes past Lucian and comes up with a handwritten menu, of all things, printed in absolutely perfect calligraphy. "Here you are. Good manners on you. Consider that a point in your favour."

Lindon watches the newcomer when he's little more than a shadow behind glass, but as the intimidating figure is made flesh, Lindon's gaze casts to the bar, landing on the ash smoldering out in the ashtray. "Knowledge is my life," he says with an almost grim sort of certainty. Bane's politeness to Ana gets him a second glance of consideration, and Lindon offers him an awkward smile. Shy fellow, poised to crawl back into the shell Lucian's so artfully coaxed him out of.

Bane accepts the menu with a slight nod, dark eyes scanning over the impeccable script. He'll comment idly,"There is never justification for loss of propriety in business. Seldom in life, either."

The big man will nod once more at the variety, then hmm to himself. He runs a hand along the coat of his silk three piece suit, smoothing out a perceived annoyance before he offers,"I would like to start simple, a Manhattan."

Ana cracks a chuckle like ancient veneer on wood, smooth and amber soft to the ear. She gets to turning and reaching for the particulars, which aren't much like anything else in the world as far as Manhattans go. Oh, it's a Manhattan. It also carries an undercurrent that could be anything from pear to the dreams of a lost autumn night when the wet towers shone with a particular iridescent light and the smoky revels of a good jazz club moved the soul. Drinks can be poignant. They can also punch a person in the gut, and they don't usually pour light when given to say thanks for anything.

Lucian tsks. "Wise man. Try the familiar, then walk into climes unknown. You'll have to excuse me as I've got a particular bit of business to see to. And she's not patient for all her hair makes her six feet tall." A musing smirk touches his mouth and he stubs out the unfortunate cigarette. From there, it's a short walk but not before gracing Lindon with a given chestnut. "Knowledge is all there truly is. So if you're the richest of them all, show it."

Lindon watches Lucian leave, and a small smile plays upon his lips. He radiates awkwardness, and the set of his shoulders is drawn inward. "I'm not exactly sure how to show it," he says to no one in particular. "No one likes a know-it-all." He offers Bane another sheepish smile. It's the kind of look that apologizes for taking up space.

Bane glances down at Lindon from the corner of his eyes while sipping at the Manhattan. A slight raising of his brows shows approval at the drink. He'll set the glass down, then comment,"Noone has to like you. All that is truly important is that they respect you. That's the most anyone should strive for in life. Anything beyond this is gratis."

Lindon laughs a little and shakes his head. At least he has an honest assessment of himself about the kind of figure he cuts, or doesn't. He does have height on his side, but he's so thin he's about as intimidating as a sapling. "I'm respected for my work," he says. "I'm good at what I do. My colleagues know it. Outside the library…" He shakes his head again. "I don't mind, though."

Bane is an oak compared to most, with broad shoulders and arms as round as his legs. He knits his brows a little in thought, giving a long moment's consideration of Lindon's situation, then offers,"It is my personal belief that a man's work goes far in defining who he is. You know his character by his dedication to that work, his passion. His interests very often are formed around this pursuit. It is often helpful then, if they choose their crowd based on this. If they disrespect learning, then they are the ones failing. There is no more noble pursuit."

Lindon inclines his head and says, "Thank you. The pursuit of knowledge is very important to me. I try to be kind, but frankly I find the intellectually uncurious tedious. I have nothing to say to them. There's literally nothing to talk about. I understand a lot of things, but I don't understand having something as miraculous and complex as a human mind and using it as little as possible. I work at a library. They give you books. There's no excuse." Seems the man has some passion after all, and something that gets under his skin.

Bane rightens himself in his seat and leans back after Lindon's response, weighing his own. He endeavors not to waste words. When the beat passes, he says,"Books are treasures indeed. Herman Melville, James Fenimoore Cooper, Tolstoy, Sartre, Emerson, Hobbes, I've endeavored to explore philosophies both east and west because the nature of human thought and how to apply it is my chief fascination. As you say, it is a flaw in character not to expand your awareness of the world. I do not associate with people who lack this component, the will to be more than they are."

"I avoid them when I can," Lindon says with a nod of agreement. "Luckily, my line of work doesn't bring me in contact with the public so much anymore. I don't know how the ladies at the desk do it. Even people coming to check out books aren't guaranteed to be overly intellectual." He takes another sip of his drink. It's a dark concoction, rich in color. "It's a good life," he says, "the ones I have. The only thing I want for is more shelves."

Bane sips at his Manhattan with this last point, holding the cup where he can appreciate the smell. He eventually admits with a whimsical tug at his cheek,"This could possibly be arranged."

Lindon grins as he says, "I should also say I want for space to put more shelves. I already have a large library, but can there really be enough books?" He looks up at Bane, not accustomed to have to look up to anyone. Offering his hand, he says, "My name is Lindon Mills. It's nice to meet you." Not so shy once he comes out of his shell.

Bane accepts Lindon's offered hand with a thick and powerful hand, though there's restraint in his grip so as not to hurt Lindon if he's as frail as he seems to him. He sets his cup down then and replies,"Dorrance. The pleasure is mine."

Lindon isn't so frail as to seem sickly, but yeah, he's not a strong or athletic man. His grip is firm for what it is, though. "Dorrance, a pleasure," he says. "It's always good to meet a fellow appreciator of knowledge. I've been blessed in this city finding people like this." He laughs a little as he adds, "Much easier than in Wichita." Come to think of it, his accent is pretty solidly Midwest.

Bane doesn't really have an accent, partly due to his annunciation. His features are some form of Central or South American and something else, however. He replies,"I must confess, this is my first time in the United States. Wichita, this is in Kansas?"

"Exactly so," Lindon says. "The Midwest isn't exactly a burgeoning oasis of intellectual curiosity. That's why I came to New York. This city is great. There are so many libraries and so much history. Everywhere you go, there's a story there." He sighs, wistful and pleased. "What do you think of it? The moment I set foot in it I felt like I was home for the first time."

Bane confesses with a squared jaw,"This is but my third time in a major city, and it is bigger than the other two but I cannot claim an appreciation of the culture. It is too fast." He takes a sip of his drink then, before continuing,"I have never been in a place with so much invested in dodging accountability, but there is much in the way of opportunity."

Lindon admits, "It gets fast, and you'll find all sorts here. Not that you're asking for my advice, but what I do is treat the quick flow like a stream and just try to float above the current. There are so many people here it's like they all become a singular entity you can maneuver around once you see how it moves." He finishes off his drink, and he says, "Dorrance, it was nice to meet you. I've got a train to catch if I want to get home on time. Maybe I'll see you around above the masses."

Bane quirks a brow as finishes off his drink before replying,"Likely at your library or here. I endeavor to avoid masses, though anything is possible. Again, a pleasure." He'll look contemplatively from there to the mirrors behind the bar, adopting a meditative air as the scene closes.

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