Difference between revisions of "Logs:Booking Passage"

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Latest revision as of 13:26, 14 August 2019

Booking Passage
Dramatis Personae

Clont, Wendy


"Can't be worse than this." (Set in the Blackburn Prometheus facility.)


<PRO> Wreck Room - Blackburn Research Facility

The sign by the door says "Rec Room", but someone with a permanent marker bookended the first word with "W" and "k" at some point, and the subsequent effort to undo the vandalism was lackluster. Inside it is not usually that much of a wreck, though it might be more interesting if it were. One corner is dedicated to the reasonably sized flatscreen television mounted on the wall, with several rows of folding chairs arrayed before it. Another is centered around a set of tacky vinyl sofas bracketed by two bookshelves largely stocked with supermarket checkout paperbacks (about half James Patterson by volume, with Danielle Steel heavily represented, and there are at least six copies of Fifty Shades of Gray at any given time). The rest of the space is more modular, but usually plays host to several card tables ringed with folding chairs, supplied by a shelf of games, from playing cards to chess (with a couple of improvised pieces) to three different flavors of Monopoly.

Half of the books have been removed from the shelves and stacked on the coffee table in the reading area, and Clint is up on a step ladder, wiping down the upper shelves. He's dressed in the same shapeless overalls as the rest of the custodial staff, and his ID badge says 'DANIEL M. JOHNSON' beside a truly awful photograph of him. Wielding a spray bottle in one hand and a rag in the other, he works his way steadily down the shelves, glancing up every time someone enters the room or leaves it.

Just entering the room right now is Wendy, a little disheveled in wrinkled scrubs, currently tying her mussed hair back in a lazy ponytail. There's a trio of other plain black ponytail holders around her wrist, and she idly plucks at one after putting her hair up. She stops by the pile of unshelved books, picking up a copy of Nicholas Sparks' Safe Haven. She carries it with her as she goes to lean against a side of the bookshelf, over out of the way of where Clint is currently cleaning. "I have no idea who stocks these," she has lifted the book in indication, "but they need to learn about the existence of bookstores. I don't go to Barnes and Noble to pick up vegetables and it shouldn't work in reverse, either."

Clint raises his eyebrows at her from behind his thick-framed glasses. "I don't know. Sometimes people bring in book they don't want. Not sure where else they get these. Why?" This with a nod at Safe Haven. "That one no good?" He steps down to the ground and sprays down the next shelf. "Some book you want? I'll bring it if it's cheap on Amazon."

"Oh, no, you don't have to --" Wendy starts immediately, straightening, her eyes opening slightly wider when Clint steps down off the stepladder. She relaxes back against the shelves once he just starts spraying down the next one, flushing very faintly. "They're all no good. I'll survive, but it's a really nice offer. Flicker says you brought him a Book of Mormon."

Clint watches Wendy as he wipes the shelf down, and nods. "That one was easy. Hardly anyone wants it except Mormons, and they print a lot." He unfolds his rag and re-folds it to expose a cleaner surface. "I told him I can do harder. I meant it."

"It was really nice. He's been --" Wendy's eyes flick briefly to the stocky guard at the door. She leans a little harder against the shelves, her lips pursing momentarily. "-- having a rough time." She thumps the book against her opposite palm lightly. "Offering one book to Flicker is one thing. Can you --" Her finger taps, restless, absent, at the raised letters of the book's title "-- actually provide enough for all of us?"

The ghost of a smile flashes across Clint's usually stoic face, there and gone. "Well, I'm a big reader," he replies with a shrug. "Give me a day, I can scrounge up 25 books." He re-folds the rag again. "Not sure I can make too many promises about what kind, but..." He gestures at the stacks of books beside him. "Can't be worse than this."

"Thanks. Weekends are usually slower around here. Less -- active torture, more downtime for reading. It'd make this Friday night a lot more interesting if you came through with those." Wendy nods toward the stack of books on the table. Her head tips back against a shelf, and she taps the spine of the book lightly against a thigh. "We're all really tired of the lack of options here. I'm looking forward to something new."