(2018-11-09) A Real Odyssey
A Real Odyssey
Summary: Bryce tries to help Shades with English homework, and Callisto provides a valuable clue
Date: 2018-11-09
Related: None
NPCs: None
Scene Runner: None



The School's library is one of the largest buildings in the school. Five stories tall and the size of a 747 hangar, plus a basement, its built in a long line of square clusters of of dark polished hardwood shelves, with desks and reading chairs of the same wood. At the center of each cluster, surrounded by a wrought iron and polished brass railing, is an opening extending from the ground floor to the skylights above, that sunlight (albeit carefully filtered to protect the books) might reach the inside of the library.
And what a collection: thousands upon thousands of books, some quite ancient, on every topic imaginable.
There are more. Around the perimeter of each cluster are robot dumbwaiters (stocker robots) and the ubiquitous brass robot tracks run around each floor of the library well above head height. Students can request books from the archives in the basement, and the stockers, along with the tracked robots overhead, will see that the book reaches the stocker closest to the student.
Theres still more. A battery of desks with ultra-thin computers and keyboards provide access to a vast electronic library, stored below in vaults that could weather a nuclear detonation, and checked out to student iPads.
Physical books are as easy. Pick up a book and carry it out. The RFID embedded in the book is paired with the RFID in a students ID tag. Best have the book back on time. Students who fail to often serve detention shelving books by hand.
It is a fall night. The weather is cool and raining.


"This is just freaking pointless," Shades grouses. Despite having been the one to have asked for the help. "Why do I even need to know this stuff about Odyssey-us or whatever anyways. It's a freaking poem from like, two thousand years ago, we get it, dude got Gilliganed or whatever, no one gives a crap anymore." He's leaning back in his chair, staring at the ceiling of the library. A pile of flashcards are laid out near to hand. "No superhero ever has to stop and go 'Oh wait, what was the name of the crazy witch that some ancient poem dude banged' when they're stopping a bad guy, ya'know?"

Bryce is sitting next to Shades at the table though Bryce doesn't have the book in front of him. "Odysseus is a, a classic of literature." He sounds a bit surprised that someone doesn't want to read it. "It, uh, it is an easy read. Only took me a … oh, nenever mind." He sometimes forgets that people don't tend to read as quickly as he does. "I thought, well, of all the, uh, people to like myth mythologies that you would, uh, well, like them considering, er, how much like superhero comics they are."

Shades pffts, waving a dismissive hand. "Odysseus isn't anything like a superhero; he's a punk. The whole thing is basically a big long 'And how does Odysseus get his ass kicked this chapter' montage. Plus, it's a /poem/. And it goes on for/ever/. Like-" He pauses, flipping the book to a random page.
"Encouraged all, addressing thus my crew.
We meet not, now, my friends, our first distress.
This evil is not greater than we found
When the huge Cyclops in his hollow den
Imprisond us, yet even thence we scaped,
My intrepidity and fertile thought
Opening the way; and we shall recollect-"
He chunks the book back down. "That's a lot of words to say not very much."

"Yes," Bryce says closing his eyes so that he can follow along in his mind. Blinking his eyes open he says, "I can, uh, clearly see why a a story about a man fighting against monsters and, well, uh, supernatural beings would, uh, be boring. Here is a m-man lying to his, uh, crew because he knows, he knows they are too scared to, well, face the monster, but he is willing to, well, he must face it." Bryce then turned to look at Shades and says, "But, it is, uh, true that this wasn't given for, well, pure enjoyment purposes. There are, uh, many benefits to such reading."

There's someone else here, and it's clear that Callisto doesn't have hard feelings re: the library. Even after being possessed there and sentenced to detention…? Yeah. But when you've seen a great many things in your 170 years alive.. you don't scare easily. She's hunkered down at the computers, typing something up… a report? Email? Callisto had been so focused upon her work, with one bud (playing some sort of classical music) nestled into a tapered ear, that she hasn't been very responsive to the two younger students studying closeby. It's Shades' voice, coupled with the sound of a book being dropped back down onto the table, that breaks the faerie out of her reverie.

Leaning back in her seat, Callisto stretches out her willowy body, arms lifting and hands balling into fists as she holds them over her white-haired head. She's looking casual in a cream-colored blouse and a swishy, flowing lavender skirt. She pauses her ipod, tilts her head just so, and hones in briefly upon the boys' conversation. Whatever has she missed? Seeing fit to take a break she saves her progress and stands upright to stretch in earnest.

"No, the like, actual monster fighting's cool! Like, when he was fighting the Cyclops and was all, 'My name is No-Man' and then the Cyclops was all 'No man has blinded me!' and the other cyclopses were like 'Oh man, that's so sad, Alexa play Despacito', that was kinda badass. It just takes *soooo* long for anything to happen, and it's so freaking like going on and on. That would've been like, one issue of a decent comic, instead of like, a freaking graphic novel!" He makes a face, sticking out his tongue. "And if there's other benefits to studying old dead guy poems, the teacher's aren't super enlightening as to why. I think they're more used to like, people smarter than me that just, ya'know, get it."

Bryce listens to Shades' re-enactment of the blinding of the Cyclops. "There are, well, several benefits to studying, uh, 'old dead guy poems.'" Bryce explains. He seems to be slipping almost into a junior teacher role here. Perhaps more of a tutor. He tried last year several times to offering tutoring so it was nice to finally have someone take him up on it. "One, it, well, expands your horizons. You, you gain experiences through others and can, well, evaluate and use their successes and failures to to learn by. The smart man learns, learns from his own mistakes but, well, the wise man learns from the, the mistakes of others. Good literature d-does that. Two, learning can often be, well, seen sort of like exercise for for your brain. During physical th … er … exercise, you do actions over and, uh, over again in order to make yourself stronger. Mental and brain excerises, often called, uh, studying, has a a similar effect."

The fey girl was listening, though not so much as to truly eavesdrop. Sometimes just listening to the cadence of voices is enough. Callisto emerges from a deeper echelon of the library, cerulean eyes fixed upon Shades and Bryce as they converse. "My, but this is an intense conversation, yes?" She asks in her smooth way, though her tone is pleasant. She does not supply her own take on literature because her poor player is yet a bit derpy tonight. Instead she looks every bit the part of a curious observer. Her long-legged gait carries her near-soundlessly to the boys' table. "Forgiveness for intruding. I could not help but overhear."

Shades turns towards Callisto when she comes over, breaking into a grin. "Hey! And, ya'know, no problem. Bryce is just trying to help me not fail out, cause he's a sucker." He pffts, standing and shaking his head. "And if studying is like, good, why not study stuff that's, I don't know, useful?! Or at least *interesting*. If old poems and stuff are like old comics, why not study *new* comics instead? The writing's way better, and the art's freaking killer."

Bryce looks up at Callisto as she walks up. He is clearly pleased to see her, as he always is, though he doesn't smile (which is normal for him). "N-never an, uh, intrusion." Especially consider how she helped him after the 'event' that almost broke him. Speaking to Shades but referencing Callisto, he says, "Did you know, uh, she works at a a book store." Talk about a wondering thing for Bryce. Speaking back to Callisto know, he says, "I'm trying to to tell Shades the, uh, benefit of reading the classics." He takes a breath and says, "Well, Shades, I, I can break down one, uh, major reason for reading the the book. I know you aren't, uh, wanting to do so, but, uh, there will be many times when, uh, you will, er, need to things you don't like as a a hero in order to either, well, perfect your powers or rescue people."

The tall girl does look much friendlier these days, though she's not outright with it. It's just more a softness of her eyes and not quite so much of a serious moue to her lips. Her hair is no longer kept in such a severe braid, too, as it had been back at Winbarry. Shades earns a furthering of her slight smile, for Callisto has since treated the boy with more of a degree of fondness since the unfortunate events in the library. At first it was due to guilt but now, Callisto rather likes his enthusiasm. "Ah, the classics all the way. Poetry, plays.." A gentle sigh, "I regret that I am of no help this evening. I have spent a duration understanding these.. new systems," A gesture over a lithe shoulder in the direction of the computers. "And updating my curriculum vitae." A hand lifts and she bites back a yawn before—-oh crap, she didn't tell Bryce!

She watches him, "I regret to inform that I no longer work at Silver Fable, friend," Said gently. "For it hadn't suited my schedule here. T'was a lovely job while it lasted."

Shades seems jolted by that. "Wait, you worked at the bookstore in town?!" he asks, his grin slipping away. "I was- look, never mind, uh…" He reaches into his blazer's inner pocket and pulls out his phone, then begins rapidly cycling through pictures. "Did you ever see a book that had this in it?" he asks. "Like, a super old book or something."
On the phone is a printed drawing, obviously from an indeed, very old book. Rendered in surprising detail for the obvious age of the art and style, of the cliff near Coral Springs, and the lighthouse that stands upon it. There's a trio of people in front of the lighthouse; a man, a woman, and a young girl. What is especially arresting, however, is that the face of both the man and the young girl resemble Shades- the same nose, the same black hair streaked with white and silver- even their eyes have been blotted out, as if covered by sunglasses that had yet to be invented.
"Do you know what that's from?" Shades asks, all but thrusting the phone in Callisto's face.

Bryce looks a bit devastated when Callisto says that she doesn't work at the bookstore anymore. He places a hand on his chest and looks quite conflicted. He would want to keep shopping there if he ever needs to buy a book off campus but without her there that might be disloyal to her. His brain is clearly going a million miles an hour and finally he takes a breath and nods with a seeming decision. Loyalty was more important. "I, I'm sorry that you, uh, had to leave, but I hope that, uh, well, you are happy." He then looks at the phone though since he cannot see the screen he has no idea what they are talking about.

Callisto's startlingly blue gaze widens in her face, and she outright stares at the image. As the phone is held in front of her rather avidly, her lithe hand lifts to cup the back of the device and with a brief look at Shades — as if asking permission — she will take the phone for a few seconds if he shall allow it. There, she folds her body in against the table where the two previously conversed before she crashed it. She is so stunned by the photo that she doesn't console Bryce as she had intended to. Recalling that the nervous boy doesn't like touch, it would have been along the lines of how this library is 'just as good'.
Her heart begins to beat quickly in her breast, and she looks up and between both boys. "This book… it exists. I had clearance, once, to a moreso.. restricted.. section of Silver Fable. T'is not the case anymore, but I recall old.. old books." She watches Bryce next, turns her gaze back to Shades. Her hand carefully passes the phone back. "Mark the name Cedar Island. T'is all I can bring to mind at this time. Take that phone and it's image to Silver Fable and speak with the owner, Padric. Perhaps he can help you."
Callisto looks to have something else profound to say, but catches herself. One thing at a time. She's studying Shades' face.

Shades whuffs out a breath. "It just doesn't make sense," he says, as much to himself as to anyone else. "Mi Abuelo and Abuela came over in the 40s. And Mom…" He bites his lip. "She doesn't really talk about, ya'know… who Dad is, or- whatever. But I think she'd have noticed if he was… had… you know. Always wearing sunglasses too." He tucks the phone back into his jacket. "Cedar Isles. Thanks," he says, not grinning, but just smiling.

Bryce watches as the two talk about a book and what sounds like geneological concerns. Not really sure what they are talking about, Bryce slowly and carefully stands up. He doesn't have to support himself with the chairs or table anymore which is a good sign. Looking to Shades, he says, "Go ahead and, uh, read the next two ch-chapters. We can meet about it before, before the test if if you want." Of course he still remembers ever question on the test, he wouldn't ever reveal those questions to someone. "G-good night, Callisto. I should, uh, should get back to my room."

"The spirit, when she… for t'was a she… inhabited my mind for a time, beyond her heinous rage I surmised a mourning mother. There were implications of a lighthouse dwelling, a fire which killed mother and daughter both. Her vengeance was toward her husband… the child's father. There were two children." Said as she rehashes all that she could from the ghostly encounter. "THe woman's name was Celia and the girl, Abigail. Could those have anything to do with the people in that picture..?"
Then, she breaks out of her thoughts at the motion of a body rising and she turns to watch Bryce. She is immediately apologetic, "Forgiveness… I wished not to alienate you from the discussion that was initally yours, Bryce," She says to the boy with the circlet.
She, too, rises.. looking between the two. "I shall have to return to my own work shortly. I do hope that I have helped somewhat." Then the detention will be doubly worth it.

"Huh? Oh-" Shades nods towards Bryce, even as he makes a face. "Yeah, I know. Least it's getting towards the end." He adds a grin after. "Thanks for, ya'know, trying to help. Dunno how much good it'll do, but- thanks. And Callisto," He hesitates, and starts to fidget with his hands. "I mean, I don't know. But it seems pretty weird if it's not, right? And Quinn said that the same laughing ghost or… whatever dropped the book at the Silver Fable when he was there with Sydney. I just- I kinda wanted it to be, like, a joke or something." Puffing out a breath, he picks up the copy of the Odyssey, sliding it into a backpack and slinging it up. "Might as well head back too. Don't wanna get caught breaking curfew again."

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