May 21, 2022 3:39 PM
someone should just STAB chris parker
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Jing Yi has received an Assignment from his contact in the police. Specifically, the assignment is that a rumor says that Oscar Latz is selling some manner of illegal French pornography, and it is Jing Yi's job to investigate this and see if they can use it as an excuse to shut down the bookshop which is selling anarchist propaganda that is "not" "technically" "illegal."

He is also interested in getting Evie some book recommendations.

Assuming Oscar will let him in, of course. He ends up standing awkwardly on the doormat. "I'm very aware that you don't want me to darken your doorstep, but someone else has a problem that you'd be in a better position to help solve."

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"Such as?"

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"I'm assuming you have books you'd recommend to people who spent most of their lives tragically deprived of books?"

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William Jing is getting into literature?

"That's a tricky one. I have a list of our most popular titles if you'd like?" He gestures towards a thing of pamphlets on the counter. They are noticeably yellowed.

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He thumbs through the pamphlet. (It's really unlikely the pornography is listed in the pamphlet, but you never know--). "There's nothing you'd say 'everybody should read this once in their lives, otherwise they'd be very deprived?'"

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"Sure but that's different from what I'd recommend a customer who hasn't been exposed to much literature... No offense, but is this really what you're here to talk about it?"

Thus far banning William Jing from the Progressive has been a strict formality.

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"I am literally here to buy a gift for a friend!" Also to snoop on your pornography if I run into it.

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"Okay. Well, let me know if you need help finding any of those titles." Oscar pointedly turns back to his book.

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He will look around the shelves for those titles, and also anything illicit, then. (Oscar, if you are selling banned books, don't turn your back on your customers, at the very least. Really.)

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Hannah has in fact stashed the illicit French pornography art up on a high shelf so that Charlie won't get it.

When it is supposed to be in the backroom and only available upon request.

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Oscaaaar, why have you put this out in the open? Do you have a store-death wish? It makes his job easier, but whyyyyyyyy?

He picks up the three of the most popular books in the pamphlet that seem like Evie would like (serious, intelligent books, that aren't 'gee I bet this is what a Girl would like.) ...he should probably get some more than that, seeing as the Progressive may not be long for this world. He picks up A Christmas Carol (Dickens is good, right?) and Dracula (...maybe Evie likes horror? Or at least he'll get points for introducing her to it.) He sets them on the counter. "Thank you for your help."

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Dickens and Stoker, huh? Yeah, pretty much. "Sure. Hope your friend enjoys the books," Oscar says and calculates the total. On principle, he resists the urge to add a William Jing tax.

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"...I know you have no reason to trust me, but you do know I went to boarding school, right? And have thus read English Literature?"

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Oscar should create a tax for public school students. "I hope you enjoyed Tennyson," he says.

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"I plan to leave the epic poetry to the poets, thank you."

He pays. It's high enough to sting, but definitely worth it for Evie. (Drat, maybe he should grab some Tennyson for her? ...but from a different bookshop.)

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Oh well, at least William Jing is a paying customer.

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It was such a good idea to let him in!

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A few hours later--

"Hello?"

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"I have something for you." He holds out a pile of books. He's aiming for suave, but is probably coming across as hilariously nervous. "You may have read some of them already, but I thought you might like them."

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"Thank you! Would you like to come inside?"

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"If you'll let me in."

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"Of course. My house is going to be your house soon, isn't it?"

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"I won't have to deal with eccentric academics, it'll be lovely."

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"I'm sure Terrence is wonderful." She makes him a cup of tea.

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"He honestly is! He just can be a bit Interesting To Live With, at times. Research notes covering everything, dust covering the research notes, that sort of thing."

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"You'd think he'd have to read them more often. So what did you bring me?"

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