1965-07-12 - History
Summary: Morbius, Amber, and Kai have a quiet chat at the library.
Related: None
Theme Song: None
morbius amber kai 

Central Library, NYC, 9:30 PM (EST)
Amber sits at one of the reading tables with a notebook on one hand and a very cumbersome history book of British medieval history at the other. As she scratches out notes in her decidedly workman-like script, she mutters, very quietly, mind, to herself. Things like, "Why am I having to study this?", and "We won the damn Revolution, didn't we?", and even, "Damn Plantagenets' been dead nigh on four hun'red years. Ain't come up in a single job interview I ever had."

Timing is everything. Kai passes by Amber's table, catches one of her mutters, and says breezily in his English accent, "We let you win." Oh, hey! Kai's here! He's got an armload of books, and he dumps them on the table beside Amber. He's not the quietest of patrons, and he gets a 'shh!' from one of the ladies at a help desk.

Libraries are supposed to be sanctuaries. Give it fourty years and the image will shift drastically from dusty stacks of silence so something more vibrant, but that one law perseveres— sanctuary for those who need it most.

See: Doctor Michael Morbius.

Dead or not, he still haunts this place and has need for the knowledge gathered here. Or so says the gathering of books he carries under his arm. A satchel hanging across his chest and to his hip. Hat positioned rudely still atop his head with his elongated ears tucked up under it. His chin dipped just so to bring the brim of said hat over his eyes, the click of his hard-soled shoes light on the floor as he passes the table.

And hesitates. Hearing Kai's voice.


Stopping in place mid-step, he turns to look directly in the English-sounding alien's direction. A soft pulse of glowing red enveloping the light shade over his eyes.

Like a beagle who just scented something interesting, he comes to a dead stop. Stilled for an uncomfortable three seconds before reminding himself to breathe and whisper in his delicate accented voice, "The famous words of a sore loser. Mister Kai." Fingers grip his books tighter, fingernails extending like a cat's.

Amber fixes Kai with a brief but withering look before returning to her studies. "More like y'all's hearts weren't really in it t' start with.", she scoffs quietly. "How's it goin', Kai?", she smiles to her dusty tome of British historical obscura. "Besides, I understan' things correctly, you ain't exactly English.", she snerks.
Morbius' arrival brings her up short for a moment. Yes, there is a bit of a gasp, a bit of a 'deer in headlights' kind of expression, but, to her credit, she recovers quickly.
"Evenin' sir.", she says, nodding politely. "How's your world?"

Kai grins broadly, so much so there are dimples visible beneath his trim beard. His eyes are bright and mirthful, though a cool thread of caution enters his gaze when he spies Morbius. He stands poised to spring, like a stag in a clearing. He remains, though, easygoing as he says, "Would you believe I fought with the Americans?" He sits, though he ignores the books he's brought over. The common theme seems to be mythology, Norse and Greek in particular.

To Amber, he says, "I'm technically English. I was born in London. It's just that my mum and da aren't from around here." Though he is looking fairly human today. There are minor illusions in place to bring those surreal elfin features down to earth.

Don't worry, Amber. Morbius didn't notice. His attention is firmly attached to Kai. "Yes…" His tone drifts gently, lingering lightly just past his lips as they move rather minimistically to cover the too many teeth in his mouth. "I would believe that. You seem to be the sort to prefer underdogs, if nothing else than simply for the fact that you get to be contrarian. That seems like your 'bag'." A minute twist of his pursed lips while he tries on that bit of Americanized hipster slang. "It is nice to see you again."

Morbius blinks at long last, that hovering light beneath his hat bounces slightly as his attention turns to Amber. "Good evening. My world is quite warm at the moment, but not so different than I imagine your own might be. You…are familiar. Are you here often?"

"Um, what he said.", Amber chuckles to Kai, nodding in Morbius' direction. "Did Washington really have wooden teeth?", she ask the elf. "'Cause that sounds a lot like nonsense t' me.", she notes. "Not t' mention really bad for his health, germs and whatnot.", she adds.
"We met t'other night, sir, at Mister Lambert's place.", she says to Morbius. "Don't believe we was formally introduced.", she says, rising and offering her hand. "Name's Ember. Pleased t'meetcha."

Kai inclines his head to Morbius. "You've got my number, Doctor," he says. "Yet I always seem to end up on the winning side. I'm sure it's just coincidence." He flips his hair from his eyes and adds, "It's good to see you, too." He then leans in toward Amber to say in a stage whisper, "The General had teeth, just not his own." Then he sits up straighter and quiets down as introductions are being made.

"You do seem to have the devil's luck," Morbius sums up nicely, shifting his stack of books from beneath one arm to the other and extending the hand across the table towards Amber. "Ah, yes. The restaurant, of course." Mind you, the gesture has all the cordial earmarks of a gentile gesture, but the limb itself is as startling as the rest of him. Corpse-white skin seems slightly papery, stretched over elongated digits with large knuckles. Talons are still slightly extended, curling over the tips of each finger wickedly. "Michael." His accent trips around the English version of a name clearly not built for whatever his mother tongue is, but well-practiced. He hesitates a moment, then carefully takes the woman's hand if she doesn't flee. His hand engulfs hers, nails resting lightly against her skin like tiny pinpricks of a lizard's clawed feet. But he's not cold. Tepid. But not the gross chill of dead meat. "Ember. I quite like that."

Amber, raised on a strict diet of politeness, manages, albiet reluctantly, to grasp said hand and give it a proper shake. "Thankee, Michael.", she says, releasing it as quickly as good taste allows. "Seemed appropriate.", she shrugs, retaking her seat, if somewhat warily.
"You got better luck than my great-uncles, Kai.", she notes. "Antitem an' Vicksburg done for 'em.", she sighs.

"I do need all the help I can get," Kai says. Sure, he'll accept the devil's luck. He trails a fingertip along the spine of one of his books. It's a copy of the Eddas. "I never fought in the Civl War," he says. "Not in any official capacity. I was an abolishionist, though. Still am, I suppose." He glances to Michael. "Were you around for that war?" he asks. "I'm sorry, if that's rude to ask. The way time passes for mortals throws me off once in awhile."

There is no lingering or unseemly looming from the pale man. At least not over Amber. Michael's attention does keep pulling magnetically in Kai's direction and lingering a little too long. The pull palpable. Coiling his retrieved hand over the books to keep it still. "It's quite all right. No. I was not in the American Revolutionary War. I had only traveled here five years ago. I was present during my country's civil war and the last great war, but it is not hardly the same." Shaking his head dismissively, dark hair pulls itself over hi shoulder. Attention turning back to Amber, that glow still visible in the shade of his hat, but at least it remains dim. "Confederacy as well? Your accent. I assumed."

"Yessir.", Amber nods to Morbius. "1st Texas, un'er L'tenant Colonel Work at Antitem for my great uncle Gunnar, great uncle Ira at Vicksburg un'er Colonel Smith.", she replies with a nod. "Momma had letters collected from those days.", she adds, then sighs. "I don't bother much with what's passed. You learn or ya don't. Whole thing was a mistake.", she shrugs.

"It was a complicated time," Kai says. "They're all complicated, all times are." He glances Morbius' way, and though he remains poised to run if he has to, there's a warmth in the look. The Elf doesn't just flirt with danger, he goes home to it regularly. And brings baklava! "I think I'll sit the next war out," he says. "I've lost a taste for warfare. I never could get the hang of it."

Morbius' lips curve slightly, gently bemused as Amber recites all of her ancestor's credentials and then sighs with the weight of it. Sympathetic in a manner, the good doctor dips his head marginally, chuckling gently. "Though I recognize the value in understanding historic events, I much prefer learning from more recent mistakes. There are always so many to choose from." His poised hand slides back and forth over the spines of his books, stroking them in idle gesture as his attention draws back to Kai. Always back to Kai. "Agreed. I find I run into a number of soldiers, but I have never personally fit that mold. Ironically, perhaps. My survival strategy rests firmly in the realm of academia. Speaking of which, I. Should. Leave you to it." His words stall between them, haltingly, staring at Kai. The radiant red glow from his eyes amplifies, then abruptly falls dark as he snaps his eyes shut and turns his head away. Forcing that tearing away, painfully so. "Miss Ember, it is a pleasure. I hope to see you again. Kai. I. Am. Sure I will see you. Pardon me." With that, the doctor pulls away with an abrupt twist of his shoulders, leading the rest of his person away and back down the stacks.

"Again, a pleasure to meet you, sir.", Amber says as Morbius takes his leave.
The second he's gone, she's leaning in to Kai and whispering hotly. "Do not /ever/ be alone with that man. He's got a bit more wolf in him's than healthy for ya. An' it seems he reckons he's spied a sheep."

Kai nods solemnly to Amber. He doesn't take his eyes off Michael as the man leaves, and it's not until he's lost among the stacks that he turns his attention fully to Amber. In a low tone, he says, "Dr. Morbius is a fine gentleman, and unfailingly kind, but you're right. It wouldn't be safe." He smiles tightly, bowing his head. "I've got a curse on me. It makes me seem particularly, er, fleecy."

"Just watch your ass, Kai.", Amber replies firmly. "Th' really good predators, they circle an' circle before they attack.", she sighs. "An' he seems circle-y t' me, whatever that's worth.", she says flatly.

Kai nods slowly. "He feels really bad about it, though. He doesn't mean to predate. Just like I don't mean to fleece. It's a real pity because I think we'd be great friends if there wasn't this… this thing between us." He gestures vaguely back and forth. "Sometimes mystical forces are stronger than our will, that's all." He taps idly on the spine of the Eddas. Someone who's lived the myths now plans on reading them, just to see how much humans mucked up the truth. "I'm careful," he says, "and in his way, so is he."

"If you say so.", Amber replies, turning back to her own studies. "But there's a reason I keep Becca in my boot.", she notes simply. "Some folk don't stay careful.", she shrugs.
"Okay, now, what in the name of…..does this man have again' the Welsh?", she grumbles. "They ain't no threat to him at'all…"

Kai folds his arms atop his books. "I'm like a roach," he says with a sunny smile. "I get into everything and I'm impossible to get rid of. When this world crumbles to dust, I'll still be around." Comfortable in his vermin status, he eyes the book Amber's reading and asks, "What are you studying?"

Amber snerks.

"Not a standard I'd be happy to bear, but I'll take your meaning.", she chuckles, wrinkling her nose slightly. "History, of the medieval period, mostly English. Edward Plantagenet.", she replies. "An' he seems like a real sumbitch, based on my readin' so far."

"Oh, gosh, that's before my time," Kai says. "I don't know much about him." He peeks at the book, though he doesn't try terribly hard to read what he sees. "What can you tell me about him? My parents didn't educate me in Earth's history. I've only sort of picked up what I've been around for."

Amber says, "Edward the First of England, otherwise known as Edward Longshanks.", Amber replies, studying both her book and her laborious notations. "Reckon the feller was tall fer his day.", she shrugs. "Anyhow, he conquered Wales. An' i do mean /conquered/, as in 'Sherman's march Southward'. Seems he built a bunch a' castles t' keep the Welsh in line.", she sighs. "Wow, does that sound familiar? Anyhow, he went on to play merry hob with th' Scots. Took th' Stone of Scoon….I think I'm readin' this rightly…""

Kai says in a low, reverent tone, "The Coronation Stone. I grew up in Scotland. Now that I've heard of. It got stolen, you know, not that long ago. They caught the blokes who did it, though." To which he sounds disappointed. Always one for the underdog. "So Edward the First was the bastard who took it."

Amber says, "Apparently.", Amber replies. "If this is accurate a'tall.", she says, flicking a finger at the relevant page. "But I get a little leery a' historical books.", she notes, sighing and slumping down in her seat a little. "I read some a' th' Roman histories, Tacitus an' all.", she adds. Then chuckles,"

"Apparently.", Amber replies. "If this is accurate a'tall.", she says, flicking a finger at the relevant page. "But I get a little leery a' historical books.", she notes, sighing and slumping down in her seat a little. "I read some a' th' Roman histories, Tacitus an' all.", she adds. Then chuckles, "Try not to faint, it was on sale at a used bookshop in Cheyenne.", she winks. "Anyhow, I read this article in a magazine, Life or Look or Natural Geographic, ain't sure which. Anyhow, it says that it's possible that a lot of our ancient histories ain't 'xactly accurate.", she says. "That maybe them as wrote 'em were maybe butterin' the bread of those were in power at the time."

"Oh sure," Kai says. He pats the Eddas and says, "these were history for a long time, but they got it wrong. Loki birthing Sleipnir? Never happened. Odin and Loki blood-brothers? Loki's his son! Then it all got called lies because some other belief system came along and said 'it never happened at all.'" He shrugs a shoulder. "History is always written by the winners. No one really knows for sure what happened without being there."

"Amen to that, brother.', Amber smiles to Kai, doffing an imaginary hat. Her own is on the seat next to her. Hats indoors? Please!
"Y'ever wonder what our history's gonna look like?", she ponders. "Sometimes I wonder..people like me…mutants or whatever ya want t' call us. Are we gonna have a history? We ever gonna get to write one?"

"You will," Kai says firmly. "Things are rough right now, but Mutants can't be stopped. It's the next wave of human evolution. Besides, it's being written even now. You should write it, too." His voice, it carries despite himself, and he gets another 'shh!' from the help desk. He pipes down and murmurs, "I should get going before I get us kicked out. It was good to see you again, though!"

"That kinda thinkin' worries me no end. Been lots a' folk thought they were th' next wave. We spent four years an' a ocean of blood t' stop th' last two.", Amber says somberly. "That ain't the kinda history I wanty any part of.". she says flatly. "But, maybe it won't come to that.", she smiles hopefully. "We just gotta mind ourselves more carefully.", she shrugs.
As Kai rises to leave, Amber reaches out to touch his hand. "Hey, you….wanna have supper with me sometime?", Amber inquires. "At my place? I ain't a master chef by any means, but I make a mean chili an' eggs….maybe a salad? Simple fare, but it's tasty.", she smiles.

"It's a delicate balancing act," Kai admits, "between defending your right to live and living at another's expense. Me, I'm an optimist. I believe that, overall, people are good." He gathers up his books, and he flashes Amber a broad grin. "I would like that," he says. "That would be great. Thank you so much."

Amber rises and offers her hand politely. "Tomorrow night, say 'bout seven?", she smiles, blushing faintly. "You bring the wine.", she winks.

Kai clasps Amber's hand. Then, rake that he is, he winks and presses her knuckles to his lips. "I'll steal something great from Lambert's collection," he promises. Poor Lambert. At least Kai works off his thefts.

Amber grins and blushes hotter. "Shiny, I'll be sure t'wash off my best china.", Amber replies. "Not that magical stuff, please. I'd like t' remember the evening.", she winks.

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