5437/Library Police: Amnesty Hours

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Library Police: Amnesty Hours
Date of Scene: 05 March 2021
Location: Library
Synopsis: The Library Police successfully retrieve several books, including an interestingly enchanted one from Julio. A fugitive is identified for later apprehension. There are donuts.
Cast of Characters: Xi'An Coy Manh, Rahne Sinclair, Emma Frost, Julio Richter, Henry McCoy

Xi'An Coy Manh has posed:
The event was foretold by internal postings... but it is not a certain thing, a real thing, before -

A tray is set down. On this tray: A vacuum flask labelled coffee, another one labelled hot water: the tea bag caddy; the pot of half and half, the sugar container, the stack of cups... and most important of all, the plate of mini-donuts.

The tray's carrier walks round the table, situated within easy eyeshot of the main entrance. She places down a tablet computer and stylus. She leans forwards and sets up the folding sign, a novelty thing made by someone or other in woodshop. Upon it, a stern short phrase: LIBRARY POLICE - STATION #3

"Let us begin," says Xi'an Coy Manh.

(The internal notice said that Shan would be on hand to receive overdue books without fines or judgment, as well as to discuss other library business or anything having to do with, like, literature and stuff. The coffee and mini-donuts are bait.)

Rahne Sinclair has posed:
At the door, someone has to break the ice and you have to know it's the worst possible offender. Eyes wide, the little redhead with the military hairstyle stands in the doorway, trying to make sure she doesn't draw attention while at the same time trying to get the attention of the LibPol.

She has a book clasped to her chest, her lip being chewed anxiously. For all her worry, there's only the one book and even that looks like it's Shakespeare. So, probably not the most racy option but one you can count on in a pinch, for ..words and stuff.

Don't judge me.

She comes in quietly, but puts the book where it belongs, and stands there with head hung. Then she starts to look around, wondering something in her little head. If only the words would come out of her mouth it would so very much help.

Emma Frost has posed:
    The White Queen takes a step into the library with a folder full of papers tucked under her arm and a custom white yeti tumbler in her free hand. The woman has her hair caught into what might be considered an impromptu bun, but the way her hair fans out perfectly despite the two number two pencils in the bun belies the fact that she did this on purpose and it's sheek trash look she's going for with her hair.

    Emma Frost steps in behind Rahne and eyes the not so subtle display put on, the woman in the charcoal colored double breasted suit with a cimson deep red blouse beneath pauses with a confused look on her face.


    With the one word, the heiress turns on her pumps and starts to make her way back out of the still open library doors.

Julio Richter has posed:
Julio Richter has been scarce around Xavier's lately, and noticeably out of sorts when he has been spotted. It might surprise some to spot him coming into the library, wearing an oversized green sweater, bleached jeans, and dark boots, with an overstuffed charcoal messenger bag slung under one arm. He dodges around Emma as she enters, then exits, giving her little more than a glance and a one-shouldered shrug. As he spots Rahne looking guilty, his mouth turns in a little frown, and as he passes, he reaches out gives her bright red buzz a gentle ruffle. "Hey there," he greets her in a subdued, encouraging tone.

If she's feeling awkward about addressing the literary fuzz, maybe he can at least serve to break the ice a little bit with by confessing his own crime, which is almost certainly worse. So he strides right up to Xi'an's table, pops open his bag, and reveals... what appears to be a little leafy canopy.

"So, just how little judgment are we talking, here?" he asks her in his accented voice, dipping a hand between the leaves and pulling out what appears to be a history textbook. The book has sprouted tiny branches and leaves, as though the binding suddenly remembered it had once been a tree.

Xi'An Coy Manh has posed:
Shan's eyes rest upon Rahne as she presents herself for judging. She accepts the book and opens it up. The stylus is swiped over the little sticker thingy. Shan looks at the tablet, then back up with a raise of her eyebrows.

She leans forwards to speak confidentially. "No profit grows, where is no pleasure taken. Thank you for the return. Please, Rahne, help yourself."

And behind her -- immaculate beauty, of a sort. And, Shan thinks near-visibly as her eyes narrow, guilt. "Please, ma'am, you can't run forever," she calls after Emma. "But we will be receiving for the next hour, and nobody need know. There is time enough for absolution."

Julio approaches the bench. Shan reaches forwards to accept the incoming book. "All late fees are waived," she explains to Julio, "and we are gathering qualitative and quantitative data on how to encourage sharing the limited resource of, well, individual books, going forwards." She tilts the history book back and forth. "Is this House of Leaves?" Then she opens it to check the title, glancing up to Julio to add, "This book is ripe with a story. What happened?"

Rahne Sinclair has posed:
Rahne, easily distracted in her version of a confessional, fails to give the proper response. Sin has gone down in cost, she was given no less than five Hail Marys for the last book she damaged. Though to be fair, this is hardly church. And Xi'an is not her priest.

Thank the lord for that!

Her head ruffled, she glances at the rewards for proper returning, and then realizes that Emma was right behind her. She ducks to one side ending up by Julio, her eyes looking from Karma to Emma and back, not certain what exactly she's doing at this point. Not that this is a change from normal.

She has a moment to try and think of the quote offered by Xi'an, and pauses. Her face shows confusion alongside the other garbage going on in her head, and she falters. Then she suddenly leans over to the book she'd just returned, opens it, and desperately digs into the first act.

A moment later she's blinking at Xi'an, then opening and closing her mouth uncertainly. "Um...thank ye?"

Of course she does it from behind Julio, getting in the way of his explanation about Treebook 101.

Emma Frost has posed:
    "I'm already paying my penance and I assure you, I can run -" Emma trails off as she calls back into the library, not stopping in her exit as she's definitely not primed for this kind of situation.

    Emma is trying to figure out already if it would be worse if it was someone she knew that was acting as the book troll collecting tolls. Would Kitty standing where Xi'an stood be better or worse for Emma.

    The unknown face is less scary Emma decides but still, onward she moves away from the library unless stopped.

Julio Richter has posed:
Julio isn't in any special rush to explain; his explanation is only going to make things less clear anyway. "I was studying for the GED, and concentrating, and this was after I ate an evil squid god's heart in Hawaii, so my magic was kind of" -- he lifts his free hand in an ascending, wobbly gesture, indicating something intensifying in an uncontrolled, unpredictable manner -- "and I ruined it. Lo siento." Judging by his little grimace, he's at least sincere in the apology. Her question gets a puzzled look, and he goes on to clarify, "It's more of a //book// of leaves. I also did it to a door and some furniture, but I don't think you can give me amnesty for that."

Not a Danielewski reader, then, even if it does seem he might currently be a world-bending minotaur in the china shop of things once-living. If what's left of the label scans, Xi'an will find that the book isn't even late; he's just thinking this might be an opportune time to throw himself on the court's mercy. He looks back over his shoulder at Rahne with an exaggerated shrug: see! Whatever she did can't be more embarrassing than letting a book take root!

Henry McCoy has posed:
As Emma is stepping out, Hank is stepping in - book open as he finishes the last few sentances of his reading. Of course, this doesn't really prepare him for almost running into the White Queen. Well, literally running into her. Get it!?


A very startled Beast blinks, looking up at whom he was reckless enough to run into. "Oh dear... sorry for that Emma." He offers, apologizing with his earnest emotions. "Didn't see you there - was trying to finish this book before returning it." He offers a sheepish grin.

Xi'An Coy Manh has posed:
"You're very welcome. Please, though, do eat the donuts," Shan encourages Rahne. "They've got filling in them, somehow. I'm not supposed to touch them until the hour's up or it's police corruption." (More quietly, she adds, "I'm just having fun.")

Julio has a more detailed explanation of what is going on. Shan's head bobs as she accepts Julio's assertion of magical intervention in the matter, even as she shifts in her chair. "Well, well," she says. "Part of this was so that people could just report their destroyed books as well - there's this entire argument over what late fees actually /do/ even if most of the arguments accept that paying to replace books is well and good -"

She turns the book over, pausing in case teensy birds fly out. "This seems as if it would be valuable... how long has it been like this? Does it need watering?"

"I think I should intercept the fugit-" Shan begins to say, before she sees an intersecting object. She immediately settles back down and does the fiddly stuff to check in Julio's book. "Never mind."

Rahne Sinclair has posed:
A second or two later, Rahne is hiding behind Emma instead. It might be something that Julio said, about eating evil squid hearts, or just eating squid in general, but she finds herself looking for the lesser scary and ends up with Emma Frost.

And this is a person we're training for war. Woo.

Her book was two days late. Girl needs to get in some real trouble, and soon. Or she's going to die because a really scary bunny invaded the greenhouse.

She looks at Dr McCoy and Ms Frost both, then seems to realize who she's bothering and backs away a step. Her eyes look to Xi'an and she starts going her direction instead. There was mention of donuts, and that tends to win over most things when a person is young. She'll be fine.

Emma Frost has posed:
    Emma had her head turned and was giving a hard enough discussion as to what the coppers can do to her when she doesn't turn her books in. But then the White Queen wasn't paying attention in front of her, nor to the psychic space around her. The woman is suddenly bumping into a large blue furred doctor and what is Newton's first law?

    Emma collides with Hank, her papers going up but still held onto when she's moving backwards, but finds a smaller Rahne at her feet and Emma is tumbling backwards, papers and tumbler be damned, she's going down!

Julio Richter has posed:
"Just a couple of days," Julio answers, nose wrinkling. He's not sure whether the quickening being recent is a good or a bad thing. "I guess you can plant it and water it, if you want." It sounds like this is the first time that option has dawned on him. A green aura does not necessarily entail a green thumb. "I thought you would just try to prune it back to being a normal book, but I'm not sure how well that would work."

It takes a mere moment's examination, with Xi'an's practiced eye, to determine that it wouldn't, at all. The book's covers are warped, and most of the pages have started growing into each other or shifted under the printer's ink. On the other hand, she could have some really thematic topiary. Reading: it grows on you! Let it take root!

Julio's about to make his own way toward the donuts when Emma goes into a full-on slapstick pratfall. He rotates mid-stride to watch, eyebrows shooting upward. He doesn't make a move to help, but it's not clear what he could do from this direction anyway. He just lifts his knuckles to his lips and snorts loudly, trying and failing to suppress his laughter.

Henry McCoy has posed:
Cat-like reflexes, has Henry. The book is shifted to the hand further away from the toppling Emma. The Beast moves quickly, an arm going under Emma to scoop catch her before she strikes the ground. "Awfully clumsy of me, Emma. I am so very sorry." He offers, helping her back into an upright position. "You're not hurt, are you?" The doctor asks, looking over Emma to be sure.

Glancing over to the others in the library, he offers a sheepish grin. "The dangers of reading and walking. Not quite as final as texting and driving, but you get the point. I should have been paying attention to my surroundings, as opposed to the book."

Xi'An Coy Manh has posed:
The donuts gleam with the promise of flavor. The chocolate-coated ones contain chocolate cake and buttercream. The white-chocolate-coated ones contain yellow cake and lingonberry jam. There are about a dozen of each; they are not large.

As Emma begins to pitch, Shan does rise upwards, brushing her slacks to sit right on her right leg as she does. She is still holding the Living Book, and murmurs to Julio, "Have a care." She closes the book and tells him, "I don't think it can go back at this point... and it is far more valuable this way as well. It is unique, even precious. You don't want to keep it?"

She then advances towards the group, asking as she does, "You are all alright?" Her eyes go to Rahne (with concern) then to Emma (with a slight lift of the eyebrows) before going up to the Beast. "Dr. McCoy, please be careful. Are you here to enjoy the amnesty?"

Rahne Sinclair has posed:
While all of this is going on, Miss Sinclair is not. Going on, as it were, nor interacting with the goings-on. She is staring at donuts, her eyes wide and diated. Her mouth is slightly open, and she dares to sniff. Her hands touch the table, not daring to go nearer, but she looks at the sinful pastries with her heart bright and all of the things going on in her head.

To look, but not to touch. But they're so close, so sweet and she can almost taste them. The scent...she licks her lips, and then bites her lower lip softly. With chocolate and drifting berry jam in her eyes..

Emma Frost has posed:
    Emma gasps as she gets ready to hit the ground and gasps again as ... nothing happens and there's tight muscle behind her back, keeping her from landing on Rahne again and the ground. Though her papers are everywhere and the drink is bubbling out onto the ground. Emma looks up to Hank as she stops squeezing her eyes.

    "Um. ... Thanks." She lifts her hand to brush a few strands of hair behind her ear and then coughs and blusters as she finds her feet again. "Thank you doctor. I'm- I'm fine." She says, bending at the knee to start to clean up her mess.

    A look is shot towards Julio, but then calms as she looks to Xi'an and finally Rahne before she refocuses on cleaning her problems again. This has not been her year thus far. Though she does speak again, "Just take a damn donut Rahne."

Henry McCoy has posed:
A glance is offered up to Xi'an Coy, apologetic. "Amnesty? I was returning a book - do I need amnesty?" The book looks to be in fine shape, all things considered. Perhaps a bit aged, but not damaged thankfully. Henry grins, making sure Emma is back to her feet with no issue. "Again, terribly sorry." The man offers over, again. As Emma drops to a knee to start picking up her paperwork, Henry does as well - tidying up the pages in a stack before handing them back over.

"Do we have many students who are in need of library amnesty, then?" Henry grins, looking to Karma with a nod. "Or are we trying to draw people in to read more? If it is the latter, I am all for the creativity..."

Julio Richter has posed:
Less of a show than he'd hoped, thanks to Hank, but Julio does have donuts to console him in his disappointment. "Verdad, Miss Manh, I've spent a couple of weeks with pinche flowers sprouting out of the pavement whenever I stop too long," Julio answers, describing this charmed storybook experience with the pointed derision only a college-aged boy can muster. "I'm sick of it. Please keep the treebook. With my blessing."

He's pouring himself a coffee, hands on autopilot, as he says this, but he pauses to make the sign of the cross at her. Sure, the boy casts spells that evoke heretical Aztec deities and defy the laws of God and man, but Catholic habits die hard. He has his coffee poured, and a couple of donuts clutched in a napkin, as he wanders over to check on Rahne. He offers her one, the chocolate, and asks, "You OK?"

Xi'An Coy Manh has posed:
Since Emma has not broken anything or otherwise detonated, Shan squats down with a faint machine whirr and adjusts the drink (to stop spilling) as well as aiding with the sweeping-up of papers. From this crouching posture she explains to Hank, "For overdue books, or for lost ones. This way we can mark them off and replace them if we have to, et cetera. There's also an entire economic question over what will motivate people more clearly - the risk of a small (very small) financial penalty, or the opportunity for a unique and designated time."

"Though, Doctor," she concludes as she begins rising upwards, "Julio was sharing this book he affected. It's really something, I think we could make it a little exhibit." ("If you're OK with that," Shan adds to Julio, along with a nod of approval at the proffering of the donut.)

Rahne Sinclair has posed:
Extending her hands for the donut offered her, Rahne touches it reverently. She isn't sure if chocolate is a sin, but her heart hammering in her chest tells her that it's going to be yummy and she can't stop staring at it. Not for all the world.

"...Get better books," she says softly, her eyes entirely for the donut, not for the conversation. Until they turn upward, looking to them all. "Thaur be no reason tae...to.." She trails off, lowering her head.

And mumbles, "Th' kids dinnae read now anyway. Not en print. Miss Tessa could...celphones.."

And she shuts up.

Emma Frost has posed:
    Emma looks to Hank and then to Shan, "Thank you both." Emma says, quickly gathering her things with the help and gives a nod to both as she stands up and smooths her skirt down a bit as she starts to walk away again.

    "You'll never catch me copper!" She smirks and winks towards Shan as she starts to walk away once more.

Julio Richter has posed:
Julio rolls his eyes and just puts the donut into Rahne's hand. There. If she's going to lapse into embarrassed silences, at least a face full of pastry will give her a nice, sociable excuse. "I honestly don't mind what you do with it," Julio answers Xi'an with a slight wince. "It's the school's book. I just messed it up." He starts to work on his own donut, then, interspersing bites with small sips of coffee.

Henry McCoy has posed:
Henry regards Emma's departure with a raised brow, the man curious. "Another time, Emma? I'll let you pick the next rec room movie, too." A grin. "Perhaps then people won't be so terribly inclined to interrupt it?" A laugh, the man straightening up and stretching. A look to Xi'an and a grin. "Well, I don't believe I am out of bounds on my return - but if I am, do let me know? I'd hate to be out of compliance or in arrears." A charming grin.

Just then he half-relizes what Emma responds to Shan with, grinning. "The long arm of the law is ever triumphant, Emma." He calls back. Julio's returned book gets a look and an oh of appreciation. "If he'd like, yes. I think it'd be lovely to have on display. Perhaps we could rustle up some other unique tomes like this?"

Xi'An Coy Manh has posed:
"We'll see," Shan answers Emma - she does not move to pursue the White Queen, although there is a silent psychic transmission -- not words, but an image: Shan spinning a pair of handcuffs on one fingertip. (Her mental image is slightly inaccurate.)

"Thank you very much," she then tells Julio. "I had been thinking we could use it on one of the bookshelves over that way. Does it need watering? Obviously we - though there ARE those solid cases... hm." She moves to settle back down, in order to check in Hank's book. The tablet beeps, and from her momentary confusion, it was not an entirely expected beep.

As she works through a user interface, Shan replies to Henry: "We do have some first editions... and not just the Professor's work, either." To Rahne, she asides, "Do you have an author or title you'd like us to have? Even if it's just to make it easier to share."

Rahne Sinclair has posed:
Rahne shakes her head softly. I don't think so, she thinks, but the words don't manage to make the way to her mouth. I'm okay, I've still got fifteen books out and wasn't sure which one to read first, she thinks, her donut melting in her fingers, making them dark and lickable, unnoticed.

But without the words coming out, she almost would have done better to try, to share, and not just stare up at Xi'an. Maybe next time she'll talk. She does, when it's important.

But then she turns toward the exit, her words kept inside. And her mind on something by Jane Lindskold, she found by accident. Perhaps she'll share...another day.

Julio Richter has posed:
It's a good thing the leafy bonsai branches growing from the textbook are a tangible physical phenomenon. Julio wouldn't relish explaining to the learned (if hirsute) biochemist that he brought a book back to life by an accident of earth magic. At least, not without some kind of evidence to back up such a ridiculous statement.

His own expertise in the life sciences is a bit lacking; he offers Xi'an a helpless shrug. "I mean, I think it's just trying to be a plant again, so... probably?" he answers. "I guess if you want to keep it, put it in a pot. I can come by from time to time and..." He lifts a hand, and a dazzling constellation of harshly bright green thorns appears, orbiting it. The moment he spots those points of light, though, his eyes widen and he thinks better of what he was about to do, and lets them wink out of existence one by one. "Er, I can, just... encourage it to grow. With my powers."

With a sheepish look, he explains, "Just thought it's probably not a good idea to be casting 'grow plant' spells in here while I'm still full of squid god power. Unless you want a whole forest of book trees and a lot less book //books//."

As Rahne turns to go, Julio leans to one side and peers after her. "Don't let that go to waste!" he calls out, making one last attempt. Maybe he can weaponize the guilt to the wound-up Scot's benefit, for once.

Henry McCoy has posed:
A chuckle from the Doctor, the man shrugging a bit. "Charles' books are dry, depending on the reader." He smirks. "But they are full of good information." Henry smiles, still curious about the plant-organic book. "So... this occured due to what, Julio?" He wonders, looking over to the other man.

"I think... the only person who might have books of a more odd nature would be Illyana." A shake of his head. "Will it outgrow the cover?" Henry wonders.

Xi'An Coy Manh has posed:
"Oh, I think - let's just see how this one grows," says Shan as Julio gathers the points of light. "Is that magic...? Be careful, you may be asked to help grow unauthorized crops." A moment passes, and she says, "That would actually be even more dramatic, if we did get a copy of the Professor's... hm. But that might come off as a little, eh, how you say, try-hard," Shan says, a French accent slipping in for a few phrases out of nowhere. (Or is it out of nowhere...)

"I doubt it will get past folio size, at least not quickly," Shan muses. She then goes back to record-keeping, taking the liberty of pouring herself a cup of coffee along the way.

Julio Richter has posed:
Julio winces at the doctor's question and answers, "I... ate a god's heart. To save Hawaii? It was in the news, but the stupid Avengers got all the credit, even though one of them was an idiot." He takes in a breath to continue, then stops screws his eyes shut as he remembers something germane about his conversation partner. "Er... not that //all// Avengers are idiots," he hastily adds, eyes wide. "I just meant, um." He doesn't know what he meant, so he just moves on. "It's making my magic powers kind of overcharged and it spills out in weird ways. I was studying for my GED and I guess I was thinking too hard and it just sort of reacted. Boom. Leaf book."

Henry McCoy has posed:
There's a pause from the Beast, his eyes fully on Julio for the moment. "You ate a what?" He frowns at that. "Do we need a class on not eating certain items, or licking things, or bleeding on altars?" He half-jests. There's no offense at the Avenger's comment. "Magic... I fear, I am no expert in such thing. We do have those on campus who might be a better ear to bend on it? Or others outside? Even an Avenger..." Henry chuckles.

Julio Richter has posed:
"Jesucristo, please don't say Dr. Druid," Julio groans. "Do you have any idea what a jodón that guy is?" But after a quick shake of his head, he continues, "It don't normally go around sticking stuff in my mouth like that, but it's how I finally banished it. I think it's a symbolic thing. The Aztec earth gods ate the hearts of sacrifices, and so when I did that to the monster, it sort of got absorbed into me and just faded into nothingness." He winces. "What I really don't understand is //how// I ate it. That thing's heart was as big as a boat." He offers a shrug and a roll of his eyes. "Magic is really stupid sometimes."

Henry McCoy has posed:
Henry clucks his tongue. "I was thinking Scarlet Witch, or perhaps talking to Dr. Strange." He shrugs, with a chuckle. "I would not disparage Dr. Druid, though - but everyone has a preference for mentorship." A smile. "Kudos to banishing such a thing, but we'll need you to focus on keeping your magic under control. I'd hate to see more drastic changes, or things that might affect another student. Understand?"

Julio Richter has posed:
Julio nods glumly. "So far the only accidents have been plants, and things that used to be plants, and only when I'm really focusing on something. Everybody else should be fine." He shrugs and adds, "Most of the stuff I need to use magic for is happening in the city, anyway, and when I'm here I spent a lot of my time outside or in caves. I can sleep in my room, at least -- it doesn't seem to do much while I'm sleeping." With a thoughtful look, he finishes, "I'll see if I can get in touch with them, yeah. I know Strange a little bit." He hefts his coffee and smiles. "Anyway, I'd better take this outside before the floorboards come to life. Thanks for understanding, Miss Manh."