Homeland Security, Anyone?

Dallas Public Library

The library is a rather large building that extends two levels. Security gates at the entrance lead past a long rectangular circulation desk where patrons may check out or return books. Across from the circulation desk is large, archaic looking card catalogue beside which is a computer that is set up to locate books. Following the typical Dewey Decimal Classification System, the rows of shelves are laid out systematically, with large signs overhead so that patrons can find precisely what they are looking for. Study carols and tables line the walls, and one corner of the library is set aside for two separate lecture rooms that can booked for meetings.

It's around 4:30PM — a tad late for Mischa to be on the clock, but one of the old library cronies seems to have been sick today. He steps into the library and plunks down a few of his own returns on the counter, intending to put them back in their right spots as he steps behind the front desk and starts to write down his hours. The man surveys the library quietly for a moment before he pushes his glasses up on his nose with his index finger. Mischa looks over the desk for a moment to see if any notes have been left for him — perhaps expecting one from the woman he's filling in for, or from another certain librarian. When he doesn't find one, he takes his glasses off and begins to polish the lenses delicately on his blue sweater vest. One mustn't scratch the surface, after all.

Just before four-thirty, and Hope finds herself at the library. It's dangerously close to being dark, but she's got to check for the books she needs here. They won't have them at the campus library. So in she comes, backpack slung over her shoulder, looking a bit more like a perky high school cheerleader than a university student. It's the mixture of pink and ponytail that causes her to look younger than she is.

"Hey," she says as she wanders right up to the desk. "I called earlier about some marketing books, and information in regards to patents?"

Mischa probably really shouldn't be terribly jumpy. But for some reason he is. Perhaps it's the initial jitters of having to work his first evening shift since Chloe has told him about the friendly vampires who come in every so often. Whatever the case may be, he gives quite the start as Hope approaches the desk. He attempts to laugh it off, but there's a ferocious blush spreading through his cheeks. "Right. Did we put them on hold for you, Miss, or were you just checking to make sure that we have some available?" One hand moves towards the keyboard of the reference computer, while the rest of his body turns towards the entrance of the desk, ready to spring into super librarian mode and help her find those books.

"Ah… oh." Hope gnaws on her lip for a second or two, then shrugs. "I don't know? If you have them on hold, it'll be under Tyler." Not that her name is Tyler, but it's her surname, and that's generally how they do these things, right? "Are you alright? I didn't mean to scare you, and I know that it's getting late…" She shifts her eyes toward the door and gives a little bit of a shiver.

"Heh, it's not your fault, Miss. I just fear I had a late night and not enough sleep…" Mischa trails off and starts to type the name into computer. Naturally, multiple Tylers come up — but none of them have books held, nor have checked out books about permits or marketing. He shakes his head at her. "Sorry, Miss. No books have been held for you, but if you'll come right this way, I can get you set up." He puts his glasses back on his face and moves out from behind the desk, making a 'follow me' motion towards Hope. He's already leading her right back towards the reference section, a place he knows well. "If you requested the books, someone on the last shift must have forgot to mark them down. Nevertheless, I'm quite efficient."

"I was in a hurry," Hope says, waving off the fact that no books have been held. "Might not have asked for them to be kept for me." Then he's on his way through the library, so she follows him. "Maybe you can help me find a book on how mace works as well?" Odd requests, marketing, patents, and mace. "Sorry, I know it seems weird, but it's for my end of term project. We have to come up with a marketable item, but I figure if I'm going to put that much effort into it, I should try to get a patent too."

Mace, marketing, and…patents? Mischa looks incredibly perplexed for a moment before he lets a chuckle. "Oh, I see. Well, that's very admirable of you." He nods to Hope before he leads her down into the business section of the reference materials, taking a few rather popular books from the shelves and offering them to Hope. They're not specifically /just/ about patents or marketing, but there are long chapters about the subjects. "As for mace…" Mischa ponders for a long moment before turning his back to that shelf and tilting his head. He starts to exit the aisle, moving off towards the law section instead.

Books are cradled carefully, because they're library books and she'd hate to get in trouble for one getting marked up. That, and Hope's a teensy bit of a perfectionist. "Thanks, and it's not so much admirable as not wanting to do the work for free." Even if nothing comes over it, having the patent will get her a great deal of money in the long run. Enough to help pay her sister's medical costs. "Mace is under law?" Who knew she'd find it there?

"Granted, Miss, I don't know much about mace. At least I can proudly say I've never had it used on me." Mischa eyes the various law books before shaking his head and smiling at Hope. "As long as I've been here, sometimes you still forget where things are. To the self-help section, I do believe." Mischa starts to step that way, looking over his shoulder at Hope. Before he goes out of the aisle, he picks a book up about police narrative and puts it on Hope's stack. "That might offer some insight. Now, if I remember correctly, there are self-defense books over here…"

The book on police narrative is given an odd look, but hey! It's not as though Hope is purchasing the books, and every little bit of information is going to help with this project. "I've never had it used on me, but I've had to use it." She wrinkles her nose, then adjusts her backpack so that she can slip the books under her arm. "Then again, I've taken to carrying a few different methods of self-defense with me these days. It's not exactly /safe/ out there at night anymore."

Mischa chuckles very quietly at Hope's words, nodding his head. "One could argue that it's never been safe at night, no matter how you want to look at it. But yes. It certainly doesn't help to be prepared in these times." He glances up and down at the self-help aisle, moving towards the self-defense books. A few of those books are aimed specifically at women, and he adds two of them to Hope's stack. "These usually have pretty extensive chapters about self-defense methods. I'm willing to bet mace will in be there somewhere. I don't think anyone has ever written a book specifically ON mace… but it's pretty straight forward, isn't it? You lift the lid, push the button, and aim for someone's eyes other than your own." Mischa grins teasingly at Hope.

"Nothing on how it's built?" Hope was… hopeful about that. She's not a scientific or mechanical genius, and the thought of breaking apart a mace device in order to see how it works frightens her. "At least it may tell me what's inside of it, which would help, I guess." She smiles at the man. "Thanks. I know it's a strange request, but at least you know I'm not trying to build a bomb or anything."

"Well, that hadn't occured to me, but I'm assuming you wouldn't need to know how to get a patent for a bomb. Generally people like to keep those things a secret." Mischa nods to Hope and smiles at her, starting to lead her back towards the desk so that she can check out. "Is there anything else I could help you with?" He pauses, considering her former words. "I suppose if you were to look it up online, you might gain some insight into how mace is made. Not necessarily 'built', but if you can figure out how to liquify the raw materials and put it into an aerosol can of your own…" Mischa lets out something of a nervous chuckle, wondering if he should be giving the young woman ideas.

Hope snickers softly, slipping the books around again before she drops them. "Stranger things have happened. I'm pretty certain that there's an actual patent for the atomic bomb, but I could be wrong." Again, she's not an uber-science major or anything. "Ah! Online. You know, I didn't even really think to get on the computer and do research." She looks a little bit embarrassed to admit that.

Mischa stops behind the counter and keys in the name Tyler again. "First name?" He asks, smiling at Hope. "You needn't be embarrassed. After all, when one is as determined as you seem to be, one can forget minor details." He gets out the good ol' stamp and inkpad that notifies the renter of due dates and adjusts it accordingly. "Two weeks should be enough, I hope. If not, you can always bring them back in and ask for an extension."

"Hope," she answers easily enough. The books are set on the counter for him to scan and stamp, all so that she can pull out her library card. "I'll know by the end of the weekend which ones I can use or not, and I'll definitely need to renew the ones I can use." At least once, just so she can get all the right information. "Thanks for all your help," she says, looking for the name tag most librarians wear.

The name tag that Mischa wears is strangely absent. When he realizes what the young woman is looking for, his hand flies to his chest and he eyes his clothing. "…My cat must have bat it under the couch again. My name is Mischa. Pleasure to meet you, Ms. Tyler." He doesn't offer his hand since they are in fact busy accepting her library card and keying in her ID number, then scanning the books and stamping them. "They're due back the twenty-third. I wouldn't sweat the late fee though… they're not incredibly substantial." He chuckles and does the books one by one, eventually sliding them over to Hope. The name 'Tyler' doesn't seem familiar to him, at least not right now.

She manages to make it through the library without a single person calling Hope by her sister's name, or assuming that she's there to research mental institutions. "Thanks, Mischa. I appreciate all the help. I know that it can't be all that exciting to drag a girl around the library to find her books when she could have just used the card catalog or something." Grin.

"Oh, I don't mind, really. The card catalogs and reference computers have always been a touch impersonal for my tastes." Mischa hands Hope back her library card, smiling at her. "Let me know if I was any help when you come back to return them, provided that I'm here. Now I have to say I'm a little interested in this project of yours. It's not every day that I have girls coming asking about mace." That brings a laugh from Mischa, although he does seem genuinely interested.

"It has to be an original product," Hope says, slipping the library card back into her backpack. "So I figured that a modification to the regular mace or pepper spray, to make people feel safer at night, would be a good place to start. It's small, it's marketable, and if I put up a little bit of money for a patent and a prototype, it could possibly be a viable product."

Mischa nods to Hope, pushing his glasses up on his nose once more before leaning over the counter. "Best of luck with your paper and the product then. I think you'll do well, as studious as you seem to be. If only all students showed as much initiative as you do." He reaches up to run his fingers through his hair, giving it that tousled look and thereby ruining the fact that he had just combed it before coming to work. With that he, smiles at Hope before grabbing the books he'd plopped down on the counter upon entering, hoisting them onto a cart, and going back to the stacks.

It could, just maybe be, from the glint in Hope's eye, that she has more than the reason of getting a good grade to complete this project to the best of her ability. "Thanks for the luck! I'm sure going to need it." After all, the only thing she's ever built came from a kit, and she screwed that up a great deal. She gives Mischa another look, then smiles brightly at him. "I'll be sure to leave a note if you're not in when I come to return them. Thanks so much for your help again!" As he starts to head back to the stacks, she offers a cutesy little fingerwave, then scoots to the door. With any luck she can make it back to her car before full dark descends upon the city.

"You do that!" Mischa cries out as quietly as he possibly can. And unlike most people who say things like 'you do that!' he doesn't seem to be sarcastic whatsoever. Then it's time to shelve books. The glamorous life of a librarian.

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