“Mm,” Nico replied, obviously not impressed. He knew Kelsier, and he knew Hades. It wasn’t necessarily Kelsier’s fault that there was no situation in which they would get along, but… he was almost positive that there was absolutely no world in which Hades would like Kelsier. Kelsier was simply too antagonistic. It was part of what Nico liked about him, that he was passionate about what he believed in, and that he would never, ever back down from those beliefs. Even if the intensity of his passion was the root of at least half of the problems they’d faced in the past. Although it had led to possibly the worst experience Nico had ever had… he also knew that Kelsier would never have ended up caring as much for him if Kelsier didn’t care that intensely. Nico was just lucky to be on the right side of it. “Oh, I’m sure,” he added, rolling his eyes just a little bit. “But more challenging than Zeus anticipates just means the fight will last a bit longer. Doesn’t mean you have a chance of surviving it.” It wasn’t that he doubted Kelsier’s abilities, it was just that… well, it was Zeus. And metal and lightning really didn’t seem like a good combination. In fact, it seemed like a very, very good way for Kelsier to get himself killed. Hopefully, Kelsier would never meet Zeus. And if he did, hopefully it wouldn’t come to a fight like that. The differences between Kelsier and Hades were numerous, but Nico found he noticed every last one. He had never expected to have a dad. Hades had never really been there. He tried. Nico knew he tried, knew that he was trying to make up for the mistakes he had made. But Hades was a god, and Nico was just a mortal, and there were differences that couldn’t be overcome. Nico had never felt like he had to grapple for Kelsier’s care. It had been given to him before he’d even been ready for it, but once he had it… he hadn’t let go. And he didn’t need to doubt whether it would be there when he needed it. “Yeah, you’re a bit like Hook,” Nico mumbled, shaking his head a little. “But you care about people more.” He frowned, wondering if that was part of the point Kelsier was trying to make. Nico wasn’t too bothered by his similarity to his father, but… it did feel a little bit nice to hear it refuted. “Fine,” he said, crossing his arms over his chest. “You know I won’t go back on my word.”
Post by ®Hawkpath® on Mar 19, 2021 14:04:37 GMT -5
“Don’t ‘mm’ me,” Kelsier protested, shooting Nico a playfully insulted look. “Have you ever challenged me and had it turn out in your favor? Ever?” He was, perhaps, proving Nico’s point, but if you wanted Kel’s attention, the best way to get it was to tell him he couldn’t do something. Chances were he wouldn’t even bother seeing what you were talking about before he accepted the challenge. He cared. He cared so much, and Nico was at the heart of it. True, his passion had gotten him into awful situations before, but it was a part of him and he wouldn’t change that. “Okay that’s just one, not true, and two, that just makes me want to do it even more. You realize that telling me I can’t do it makes me want to do it more, right?” He was already thinking about how he might defeat Zeus in a fight. He was positive there was a way to do it, just like there always was. Anyone could be defeated. Even gods. You just needed to figure out their weakness, and exploit it. It was all about strategy. Kelsier was determined to be nothing like Hades. He hated Hades, hated the things he’d done, and continued to do. Mostly he hated that he’d used Nico for himself, when he should have been protecting him. He swore to himself that he’d never, ever do that to Nico, he’d never use him, he’d always be there for him. Hades wasn’t there. Hades wasn’t the one Nico called for when he needed someone he could count on. Hades wasn’t the one he had texted when he’d gotten himself trapped in Italy, even though technically Hades had been the one who could actually help. It was Kel’s suggestion that had gotten him to finally call for his father’s help. “Hey!” He protested immediately. “I am not anything like Hook. The point is that you aren’t like Hades, and I won’t say you are.” He shook his head a little, leaning back against the soft seat. “Excellent,” he said cheerfully, smiling at the thought. “And then after I break his nose, we can get hot chocolate and superior pasta.”
“I distinctly remember,” Nico began, brows raising, “that when I challenged you in the pit fight room, I won. So yeah. I’ve challenged you plenty of times before and it worked out just fine.” A small smile crept on his face as he said that, gently nudging Kelsier with his elbow. “Besides, the fact that you couldn’t be liked by Hades at this point means you’ve succeeded, because as far as I’m aware you’ve made it your goal to be hated by him. You can’t have it both ways.” He leaned his head back against Kelsier, shifting so he could watch the city race by over the side of the bus. They were probably going to get somewhere exciting soon, at which point he would remind Kelsier to put his earbuds back in and listen to the tour guide. For now, though, he was much more willing to talk with Kelsier and just… enjoy spending time with him. “This is why nobody can ever talk you out of things,” Nico grumbled softly, but he didn’t really think it would be an issue. If Nico managed it, they wouldn’t be going to Olympus, and Kelsier wouldn’t even have a chance to fight Zeus. If he did… the issue was whether or not Zeus would survive the fight, if Kelsier found a way to win. The entire idea of fight between them was… stupid. One of them was going to die, and even though it was likely going to be Kelsier, a lot of bad things could happen if Zeus died. Nico had fought two wars trying to keep Zeus alive. If Kelsier was an option, Nico was never going to turn to Hades. It wasn’t so much that he was upset with Hades or anything, just that Kelsier was the one who would actually try to help. Who would never hold having to help against Nico. “Not anything like Hook, huh?” Nico asked, rolling his eyes just a bit. “Infamous thief who thinks he’s a little bit more charismatic than he actually is and is a little too quick to kill the people he doesn’t like and tries to make his outfits as dramatic as possible.” He shifted, looking up to see Kelsier’s reaction. “Obviously you’re better than he is, but you’re lying to yourself if you think you aren’t similar.”
Post by ®Hawkpath® on Mar 19, 2021 16:07:57 GMT -5
“Okay, that doesn’t count,” Kelsier shook his head firmly, dismissing that. “You threw me off. I was about to win.” He considered Nico’s next point, then gave a reluctant nod. Even he couldn’t deny the logic there. “Fine. I’m just saying, if I wanted him to like me, he’d like me. I just don’t want him to, so he doesn’t.” He glanced out the window again, smiling a little as it hit him once again where he was, and where they were going. And, most importantly, who he was with. “This is why you really need to stop trying,” he added cheerfully. “And since I’m going to win the bet, we might get to find out who’s right after all.” He knew Nico didn’t want Zeus dead. They’d talked about that before, and Kelsier had given his word. But...Nico had given Kelsier his permission to punch him. And he fully planned on making the most of that. Zeus deserved to die, and the only reason Kel wasn’t going to make sure he got what was coming was that Nico had asked him not to. Much like the House, actually. He shook his head a little. As long as Nico knew he could always rely on his dad for anything, he was happy. As long as he knew he had someone to turn to no matter what, Kel had done his job well. He stared at Nico for a long moment as the kid spoke, then let out a laugh, raising a finger. “First of all, I’m a much better thief than he’ll ever be. And if anything, I’m even more charismatic than I give myself credit for, while no one even likes him except his girlfriend. One person, Nico. One person can stand him.” He paused, then continued in the most dignified voice possible. “And mistcloaks are infinitely better than leather. He’s a rip off version of me.”
“It absolutely counts!” Nico retorted, shaking his head. “I won, and you admitted I won, and it’s not the only battle I’ve won against you!” He looked around, blushing a little bit as he realized that others were very clearly listening to their conversation, even if they couldn’t understand a word of it. Luckily, they just seemed to be annoyed by the volume of it. Their reactions would have been much, much worse had they actually been able to understand what was being said. He breathed out, trying to reign himself in. “I’m just saying I’ve challenged you before and won.” Nico couldn’t help but wonder how strange it must be for Kelsier to be on a bus. He knew his world had horses, but a horse and carriage was a lot different from a car that could more or less drive itself. It wasn’t as though they could actually see the driver or anything, so it probably looked like the vehicle was moving of its own accord. Nico was lucky that automobiles had been popular when he was little – otherwise he would have been a lot more confused when he’d stepped out of the Lotus Casino. If Nico thought Kelsier were actually going to try to kill Zeus, he would have put up a bit more of a fight. Still… it wasn’t a battle he wanted to see, no matter how much Kelsier was itching for it. “I’ve never seen him steal anything,” Nico admitted, shrugging a little bit. “And the only time I’ve seen you steal something was from that museum room. So I have no idea which of you is a better thief. And he’s not that bad. Other than the killing me thing he’s… tolerable.” This wasn’t an argument he was going to win. Kelsier was better than Hook. “Look, I’m not saying he’s better than you or anything, I’m just saying you’re similar, even if he’s the dollar store version.”
Post by ®Hawkpath® on Mar 20, 2021 19:44:57 GMT -5
Kelsier didn’t mind the attention they were drawing, even if all the people giving that attention were dressed incredibly oddly to him. They all looked rather like noblemen in their bright clothes...he did his best not to let that get to him. It was easier than it would have been if he hadn’t been blinking for as long as he had. He was used to other worlds, used to reality not being the same in some places as it was in others. “Alright, alright.” He raised his hands in surrender, laughing. “Congratulations on my defeat. You and you alone can claim that title.” It was true that the bus was...very odd to Kel. He was trying to pretend there were horses pulling at the front. It wasn’t completely working, but it was helping. Though they were going...very fast for horses. Not that he was complaining about the speed, it was just that this was very unlike much he had ever experienced before. There had been the plane, but he was trying hard not to think about that. It had crashed and he’d nearly drowned. He looked at Nico again. “Damn,” he commented, shaking his head. “Too bad. If you’d seen him steal, I’d be insulting him right about now. Ah, well. I have complete confidence he’s as poor a theif as he is a fighter. And he’s a coward, too.” In case Kel’s feelings weren’t known, his expression cleared it up. His lip curled in distaste. “Dollar store?” He asked after a moment, the unfamiliar English in his mouth coming out with an accent. He needed to practice his English more...he wasn’t nearly as good at learning languages as Nico was. He’d never needed to. Not that that was going to stop him from becoming even closer to fluent.
“Ha,” Nico replied, a thin smile curving his lips up. He knew Kelsier was practically unbeatable, but the two of them were fairly evenly matched (even if he knew that Kelsier was technically pulling his punches when they fought. In a real fight, Kelsier would win every time). He didn’t mention that. The one weapon that could ensure Nico’s defeat was the weapon that Kelsier had promised him he’d never use again. Nico trusted him on that, was more than willing to take his word and believe he wouldn’t use it against Nico. Nico probably knew better than most people what Kelsier’s experience seeing his world for the first time was like, but that didn’t mean he really understood. Coming from the late 1930s was entirely different from coming from a different world entirely. The world was already starting to change when Nico was little, and Kelsier’s world… if it was ever going to look like Nico’s it had a very, very long way to go. Still, he was willing to be a little more understanding about how different everything must seem to Kelsier, because he had experienced the difference as well. It probably helped that Nico wasn’t entirely well versed in technology. Other than the House phones, there wasn’t much technology available that Nico could use without drawing the attention of any monsters nearby. “You’re not wrong,” he murmured, peering at the map for another long moment to make sure they weren’t getting close to anything interesting enough to draw Kelsier’s attention to it. They were getting close. “Dollar store,” he repeated, folding the map back up and sitting up straight. “We use paper money for larger denominations, and a dollar is the smallest of that paper money. At a dollar store, everything costs either a dollar or even less than that, but it’s often lower quality than the same thing would be if you bought a more expensive version from a different store. I mean it’s passable, but it’s usually not as good.”
Post by ®Hawkpath® on Mar 21, 2021 19:35:40 GMT -5
Truthfully, Kelsier didn’t mind losing to Nico. Well, no, that was a flat out lie, but he didn’t mind as much as he would with anyone else. Nico was more than a worthy opponent, Nico was just as capable of doing the impossible as Kel was, and Nico had proven countless times that he was not to be underestimated under any circumstances. The one weapon that could defeat Nico...it was an ability Kelsier hadn’t even realized he had, one that he could have no way of knowing about in a world where he’d never blinked in. And more importantly, it was one Kelsier would have removed if it were at all possible. He’d tried, too. He’d refused to burn bronze for a long time, no matter the consequences of that decision. It had nearly killed him, he’d had people trying to intervene, even Marsh had tried to talk to him about it. Tried, and succeeded. Kel had told him everything. The horror on his brother’s face had said it all. He’d given Nico a promise. He’d given his word that no matter what he would never again use the weapon he had discovered. And he would keep that promise, even if it killed him. Everything here was strange to him. Not necessarily as strange as it would have been if he hadn’t been blinking as long as he had, but strange nonetheless. Everything was bright and loud, and there were no people half dead in the streets, starving or dying of other things. Ash didn’t choke the sky and cover the ground in a blanket of dull gray. People chattered, faster than he could understand them sometimes, but he did pick up enough to have a general idea of what they were talking about...the topics seemed to be often things he had no concept of. He glanced ar Nico again, torn from his musings, by the explanation. “Paper money?” He questioned curiously. “That sounds like a pain. Do you just...lose all your life savings if it rains?” He gave a quiet laugh at the strange concept, shaking his head a little. “Sounds easy to destroy, too. You could just rip it up.” He considered for a long moment, head tilted to one side and eyes resting on the window as strange things flew by too fast for him to study them. “Can you get food at a dollar store?” He asked finally, expression thoughtful as he looked at Nico again.
Nico didn’t know how much Kelsier had done to try to get rid of the weapon. He didn’t know how much Kelsier had been through after that room. They had talked, reached an agreement, but… they didn’t talk about the aftermath in their own worlds. It was easier to just try to move on together, to not dwell on it. It was in the past, and if Nico woke up sweating after nightmares of it happening again, it wasn’t Kelsier’s fault. And he knew they wouldn’t have a repeat. He trusted Kelsier enough for that. Trusted that he may even be able to defeat the House if it tried to make him use bronze against him again. Still… it meant that their battles weren’t true battles. Because they both knew that Kelsier could take Nico down in a second, if he really wanted to. That fact didn’t bother Nico, however much it invalidated his wins against the Mistborn. Their sparring matches were as much for practice and learning to fight people with different styles of fighting as it was for the thrill of competition. Although… they were plenty competitive when they wanted to be, which was almost all the time. Both of their fighting styles had shifted since that first match. They were both now a combination of the best fighters of two worlds. Unbeatable. In theory. Nico had never seen Scadrial. He only had Kelsier’s world to go on, and that wasn’t much. Still… he got the sense that his world was more different than he could even begin to imagine. He hoped it lived up to Kelsier’s expectations. “I guess it’s easier to rip?” Nico replied, giving a small shrug. “It’s more of like… cloth mixed with paper than actual flimsy paper, so it doesn’t get wrecked when it rains. And it’s harder to tear than normal paper, but bills do get ripped up pretty often. But I guess it’s cheaper to produce than coins are. I think… money is more complicated here. Do you even have banks on Scadrial?” That was another thing Nico didn’t know very much about – how money worked. He had gotten most of his meals for cheap or for free the year he’d been alone, and Camp provided his meals the rest of the time. He had never really had to worry about saving money, because anything he found went immediately towards surviving. “Yeah, snacks and stuff,” he said, grateful for the change in subject towards something he could actually speak on. “It’s pretty good, if you want to try to find a dollar store while we’re here.”
Post by ®Hawkpath® on Mar 30, 2021 13:40:51 GMT -5
It was much easier not to talk about what had happened in their own worlds, afterwards. At least...it was for Kelsier. He had made it as clear as he could that Nico could talk if he wanted to, but neither of them seemed to want to dwell on it. He suspected they may have gone through very similar things, which...felt unfair to him. Nico shouldn’t have gone through anything. It was Kelsier who had deserved the pain he’d gotten. Who had deserved to feel the guilt burn with all the rage of a wildfire inside of him. The weapon he’d discovered...it didn’t count. So what if he could technically win any battle by taking control of it? So what if he could cripple Nico without even twitching a finger? He wasn’t going to, so for all practical purposes, he couldn’t. That power was nonexistent as far as he was concerned. Their fights were still valid, and Nico had still won more than once. He had promised he would never use it again, and he didn’t break his promises. Not to Nico. This world...it just kept on surprising Kelsier, and it wasn’t only the green grass and the clear skies and the people with clean clothes and enough food. The smiles that seemed to come without a fight. Or maybe they didn’t come as easily as they seemed to...he couldn’t say for sure, he didn’t know their owners. Still...to him...this world was a miracle. “I see,” he mused, considering the idea of cloth-paper money. It seemed a very strange concept, to him. Money was, for the most part, not relevant to him anyway. He was both Mistborn and a thief, he rarely needed money, and when he did, he stole it. Coins were weapons and tools to him. Paper money, therefore, struck him as incredibly useless. “Banks?” He repeated the English word carefully, mostly getting it right in the first try, though it was a little off and pretty accented. “What are those? I don’t think you’ve mentioned them before.” He nodded a little, a pleased smile touching his expression as Nico confirmed it. “I wouldn’t mind, but I mostly asked because that’s one more way your world is just a touch better than mine. If a dollar is the smallest form of paper money, then someone with very little can still get a bit of food. I’m glad.”
Nico didn’t like dwelling on bronze. Didn’t like thinking about what it had done, or what it could do. It was a weapon that he knew Kelsier had, but one that he trusted him never to use again. Kelsier may have been a thief, a king of deception, but he wasn’t the kind of person who would break a promise to Nico. And Nico was more grateful for that than he had the words to express. He shook his head slightly, instead focusing on answering Kelsier’s questions. He needed to stop bringing things up that he didn’t really understand. It was just going to make things more confusing for Kelsier. “You pronounced it right first try,” he said, pride shining through his voice. Kelsier was learning fast, and English was a terrible, terrible language. It was Nico’s least favorite of all the ones he knew, which was unfortunate, seeing as it was also the most widely used. If he could have gotten away with teaching Kelsier Greek or Italian, he would have. But that would mean Kelsier would be even more overwhelmed here than he already was. “Banks store money for you,” he exclaimed, trying to use his incredibly basic understanding of economics to explain it to someone from a world that was very, very different. “You can put your money in the bank for safe keeping and withdraw it later. And some accounts have this thing called interest, which means that the longer it sits in the account, the more money you have in the account. Banks also supply loans, so if you need to borrow money for something, you can go to the bank. Of course… that doesn’t always end well. I guess a lot of people don’t really remember the Great Depression, but the banks in the United States crashed so badly that the economy in Italy wasn’t very good either. People took too much money from the banks, and there wasn’t enough money to go around, so people… ended up taking out loans, and when they couldn’t pay them back, the banks took their houses and cars and… banks are good in theory, but not always in practice.” “Oh.” Nico’s voice was soft as Kelsier explained why he had asked about the dollar store. “Yes… it’s not always the healthiest food. McDonalds is nice ‘cause it’s affordable, and it’s actually protein, too. Except some people don’t trust it anymore cause there are lots of rumors about the food not being good. But I ate there for like… two years straight and I didn’t die, so…”
Kelsier beamed, pleased that he’d managed to pronounce the unfamiliar word right. He usually needed a couple tries to get it, but he was always very happy when he did it on the first try. He put bronze out of his mind as best he could. It didn’t do any good, dwelling on it, even if he wanted to. He tended to never let anything go, he needed to make it right, and at the same time, he knew he couldn’t. Not really. It had happened, he could never, ever take that back. It had happened, and though Nico insisted he wasn’t to blame… But there was no need to consider that now. They were far from the House, and far from the room that had nearly torn them apart. They were in Nico’s world, and Kel intended to enjoy every minute. Even if it was all a bit overwhelming...he was sure he’d get used to it quickly. “Well that sounds overly complicated,” he noted, raising an eyebrow at the description of banks. “And foolish, keeping all your money in one place like that, along with everyone else’s. First off, that’s a huge amount of trust for a lot of people you don’t know and have probably never met. Second, speaking as a thief, that had to be a very tempting prize. I’m surprised people actually go for this.” He shook his head. He didn’t, truthfully, understand how the justice system in Nico’s world worked, his own lacking such things as detectives and fair trials and the knowledge of fingerprints. That may have had something to do with his opinion on the validity of banks. It was also probably good that he was speaking Scadrial and not admitting to being a thief in public. He was, perhaps, too used to the House. “I want to try McDonald’s,” he decided. “You’ve mentioned it before. I don’t think I’d be using my time very well if I didn’t try any French fries...I want to see first hand whether it’s good or not. Not that I don’t believe you, of course, but you don’t like powder hot chocolate so you’ll forgive my wanting to see for myself.” He smiled a little, looking out the window. The tour was exciting so far, but he had to admit, he was looking forward to Nico’s tour even more. He wanted to see the places important to him specifically.
“I mean bank robberies happen sometimes,” Nico replied, shrugging a bit. “There were some folk heroes back when I was really little that were really famous because they robbed banks when the banks were taking people’s houses away from them cause they couldn’t pay for them. I don’t actually know if they redistributed the money or anything, just that they were really popular because of it. I guess… people like having someone to look up to who stands against society, even if they can’t do it themselves. But… you know that already.” Kelsier was an awful lot like a folk hero, but Nico didn’t give voice to that thought. Kelsier already knew he was a hero. He already knew Nico thought he was a hero. Telling him again now wouldn’t make any difference – it meant more when it was said in times of stress. “They don’t get robbed much now, though. They have really good security, and if you rob a bank you’re almost guaranteed to get caught on security cameras and stuff, and they’ll track you down and put you in jail. Even your style of theft wouldn’t work, and you’re a lot classier than most bank robbers I’ve heard about.” Nico knew they were going to have to be a lot more careful about what they said if they were to start speaking English, so he was more than happy to continue on in Scadrial. Unless they found a world-class linguist, nobody was even going to notice that the language didn’t belong on this world. That was one nice thing about New York City. He doubted they’d be as inconspicuous in Scadrial if they had decided to speak English. “French fries are delicious, thank you very much,” Nico retorted, playing up the indignancy in his tone. He didn’t actually care whether Kelsier liked them or not, but… he wanted to make it possible for him to try them. “Oh!” he exclaimed, practically launching himself to his feet. “Good timing! There’s one right there, you can see the golden arches!” He glanced at the map, considering their options. “We should… probably get you some new clothes before we bring you to a McDonald’s, though… so we should still stop at Times Square first. I’m pretty sure there’s one somewhere around there. Oh… mmm… next stop is Central Park. You’re gonna wanna listen to the tour guide for that bit. It was meant to bring a bit of nature and… and flowers and stuff to the people who didn’t see much of it because they live in the city.”
Post by ®Hawkpath® on May 12, 2021 11:17:14 GMT -5
“I think I like folk heroes,” Kelsier commented, smiling a little at the thought. He knew perfectly well that he was incredibly like one, and he could tell Nico thought so, too. Which meant more to him than he knew how to express, but...he wasn’t going to say that, just now. They knew each other well enough by now to know that much. Besides, there were plenty of other things to concentrate on here. “I guess they aren’t around anymore?” He added, glancing at Nico with one eyebrow arched. “Too bad. I’m sure there are still some banks out there that deserve to be robbed. Maybe they’re still out there, somewhere, just...in secret. With all the inventions this world has, that’s not too surprising, even if it is just a little disappointing. He shook his head a little. “So...it’s a little harder,” he clarified cheerfully. “Security cameras…?” His accent came through on the word, and he was pretty sure he wasn’t quite pronouncing it right, but he thought it was probably understandable. Probably. Eh, Nico had context. He’d figure it out. “Well, whatever those are, I’m sure they aren’t impossible to get around. I’ve robbed the highest of noble houses before, I can certainly handle a bank.” There was something incredibly fun about talking about theft in broad daylight and having no one so much as bat an eye. Maybe he would start speaking English when he went back. He could teach his crew, they could use it as a code. And annoy Marsh by not teaching him. “Oh, I’m sure, I’m sure,” he replied, laughing a little at Nico’s tone. “I repeat. You don’t like powder hot chocolate. Your tastes are not completely valid. Or maybe I’m just not as picky as you are...I guess we’ll find out, won’t we?” He looked up as Nico bounced up, and he stood up too, scanning his surroundings for whatever Nico was trying to show him. Golden arches…”that’s it?” He questioned, pointing at the arches as they passed. “It’s not what I was picturing. Not quite as impressive as the actual gold I was thinking...that’s not even gold, it’s just...yellow.” He snorted lightly, sitting down again. “And what’s wrong with what I’m wearing right now? It’s…” he looked down, remembering. “Covered in blood. Right. That might raise a couple unfortunate questions. New clothes it is.” At the mention of flowers, the Mistborn practically glowed, his whole face lighting up. “Are there a lot of different kinds of flowers?” He asked brightly, looking out the window and scanning for any sign of them.
“The thing with folk heroes,” Nico murmured, pulling his knees up to his chest as he watched the scenery pass by, “is that you need an entire group of people to be upset with the government, and someone who stands up against it being put into the public spotlight. Things are… well, I don’t think the world is set up for folk heroes anymore. If someone does something against the government, they’re vilified. People are taught to think that the government does nothing but support them, and when they start to believe otherwise, they’re ostracized and isolated. And… well, I’d say that the president of the United States is a lot better than the Lord Ruler, certain people are still silenced and hurt for things they can’t control. I guess it’s not as bad as it was when the bank could just take your house, but… all I’m saying is that it’s not perfect. You know that, though. The thing is… a lot of people who live here don’t know it.” Nico fell silent for a few moments, searching Kelsier’s expression as he tried to figure out exactly what he was saying. “In your world, the skaa don’t want to fight back because it’s dangerous. In my world, a lot of people don’t want to fight for their rights or the rights of their neighbors because they think the government is infallible. I… well, I lived in Italy at a perfect enough time to prove that it’s not, even if everyone believes it is.” He blushed a little bit, realizing he’d probably been rambling for longer than Kelsier had anticipated. It wasn’t his fault he had strong feelings about it – he had plenty of reasons to have strong feelings. “Security cameras,” he repeated, gently hitting the syllable Kelsier had gotten wrong. “They put them in corners and stuff so they can see what’s happening even when there’s nobody around watching. They can see what happened hours after the fact, and they have systems that can recognize someone’s face, so they know who committed the crime. If you really want to rob a bank, you have to disable the security system.” McDonald’s was an excellent distraction – although Nico would have loved to help Kelsier figure out how to rob a bank. It wasn’t like he needed the money, it just sounded… fun. “It’s not supposed to be impressive, it’s a fast-food restaurant that’s notorious for being cheap as hell. But good. Really good,” he added, looking up at Kelsier. “We’ll go as soon as you’re not blood soaked. And you’ll see plenty of flowers after we eat – maybe we can find a bench in Central Park, but I don’t know how many flowers are actually there. If there aren’t very many, then I’m dragging you to the botanic gardens.”
Kelsier listened, nodding a little as Nico spoke. He had a point...it was a different situation in many ways. Not least because it seemed, as far as he could tell, that the desperation was lacking. It was desperation that drove the Skaa. Those few who dared, anyway. “It’s not completely…not like that,” he replied thoughtfully. “I see the difference, and it’s definitely there, but it’s not as different as you might think. The Lord Ruler is considered a god by plenty of people. Immortal, infallible, unkillable. There are Skaa who work for him, there are Skaa who would rather I didn’t exist at all, who would believe anything as long as he told it to them.” He shook his head a little, looking out the window again. Watching it speed by faster than should have been possible. He fell silent, nodding a little as Nico continued. He was right, of course. The Skaa were afraid. They were too terrified, too beaten down to rise up on their own. He’d already learned that the hard way. They were close...so close to being inspired. If he could only get them to rise up, if he could inspire them...but that wasn’t happening here, in this strange, life-filled world. He could think about that later. “I’m not surprised. Never met a government I liked,” he replied, smiling a little. Never mind that he’d only ever met two in his life. He didn’t like either one. That was 100% of them. “Security cameras,” he repeated, coming a little closer to saying it right, even if it still wasn’t quite perfect. “Understood. We’ll need someone who can get rid of those things then, unless you know how?” He was operating under the assumption that stopping them required skill. He didn’t actually know that for sure, but the way Nico was talking about them seemed to suggest it. He glanced at the arches again as they faded, his expression loose and bright. “I hardly care if they’re impressive. I’m more impressed with them for being what they are, it just wasn’t what I was picturing,” he replied, looking out the window again. He wants to see the flowers. Very much so. He really, really didn’t want to miss anything Nico had to show him, no matter how mundane it might have been. Nothing here was going to bore him, not even close.
Nico didn’t like the Lord Ruler. No, that was an understatement. He hated him. He hated what he had done to the skaa, what his nobility had done. You didn’t get to be treated with dignity just because of who your parents were, especially not when thousands were humiliated and treated with the utmost disrespect because they weren’t ‘chosen.’ Frankly, he thought it was crap that the nobility was still seen as ‘chosen’ when they weren’t the ones who had done anything to deserve being chosen. It was their ancestors from a very, very long time ago. Of course, compared to that… America was a miracle. It was practically the promised land. Nico was grateful that Kelsier was able to recognize some of the problems, though. It was better than Scadrial, but that didn’t mean its problems could just be ignored. That would be dangerous. That was how progress moved backward instead of forward. “People believe what will keep them safe,” Nico murmured, shaking his head just a little bit. “Even if they’re wrong. Because… because sometimes stability seems safer than change, I think. Even if the stability is harmful.” Nico couldn’t relate to that – he just knew that was what a lot of people were like, from experience. While he wouldn’t say he welcomed change, he couldn’t keep in a stable environment for very long. He needed things to do. He had had questions that needed answers. A world (or, since Kelsier had managed to blink himself here, worlds, plural) to explore. “Some governments aren’t terrible,” Nico replied quietly, though he didn’t have any specifically in mind. “No government’s going to be perfect, though, so… I guess good enough has to be good enough. You can keep pushing for perfect, though. I think you actually have to push for perfect, otherwise they all just become complacent. And people get hurt.” He made a face at that. Bank robbery was a more pleasant topic of conversation, even if he thought it was a monumentally stupid idea for Kelsier to try. “I don’t know how technology works,” he replied, rolling his eyes a little bit. “If you want someone who can turn off the security system, you’re not going to find a demigod who can do it. Unless you want it blown up, and that’s… not particularly subtle.” Nico fell silent for a few moments, letting the city pass him by until he saw their stop coming up ahead. “Get ready to get off,” he told Kelsier quietly. “Just… the same way we got on. No jumping off the bus or anything that might draw that sort of attention… please.”
Post by ®Hawkpath® on May 15, 2021 22:03:25 GMT -5
If Kelsier had been prone to thinking about it, he might have wondered whether Nico’s perception of his world might have been different if he hadn’t seen it through Kelsier’s eyes. If he’d seen it through a different lense. Kelsier didn’t believe that for a moment. Things were terrible for the Skaa, he didn’t believe for a moment that his perception colored that. Nico would have hated the nobility regardless, hated the Lord Ruler as much as he did now. He could tell that Nico’s world was a lot better in a lot of ways, more ways than he probably actually knew about, but he wasn’t blind. He could see the problems, too, the things that weren’t at all perfect. He could see that even here, there were things wrong. The way Nico was treated for the people he loved was only one example of it. He gave a small nod, his expression turning a little more serious. “The Skaa and her nobility alike think that way. Some of them, at least,” he admitted. “Even if the stability isn’t safe. For the Skaa, anyway, I’m sure the nobility think they’re perfectly safe with the way things are.” He was carefully avoiding getting angry, even as he spoke about it, This wasn’t the time or place for that, and he was enjoying hearing about Nico’s world, even the less than savory parts of it. He wasn’t about to ruin it. “Name two governments that aren’t terrible,” he suggested, raising an eyebrow. He was almost certain Nico, even with his enjoyment of history, wouldn’t be able to do it. He doubted he could even think of one, actually, but two? No way. “And I agree. I’d hate for anyone to give up on a future just because it isn’t possible. I’d have given up a long time ago, if I thought that.” It was...probably for the best that they think of bank robberies, instead. “I’ll just have to enlist someone else, then,” he said cheerfully. ‘I’m sure I could find someone willing. Blowing something up is an excellent idea for a diversion, though.” And it would probably work, too. In all honesty he was at least 85% joking, but he was enjoying the discussion too much to bother mentioning that just now. “Jump off?” He repeated, a slightly devious smile appearing slowly on his face as he looked first at Nico, then eyes the bus, as though measuring it. “How could you even think I’d do anything like that? You’d have to be insane to try it.”
“I’ve heard Finland isn’t bad,” Nico replied after a long moment, trying to think it through. “But I don’t actually know anyone Finnish, I just know they have really, really good healthcare. Which probably sounds really stupid to you, because you don’t have to worry about good healthcare versus bad healthcare, do you? You don’t really get any healthcare at all…” he pursed his lips, considering that. His world was leaps and bounds ahead of Scadrial. “I think Finland is also the world’s happiest country, if I remember correctly. And a happy populace is probably a signifier of a not-terrible government. I’m not saying their government is perfect or anything, because it’s probably not, but… it’s better than here. And it’s better than Scadrial.” Nico thought for a few more seconds, running through all of the governments that he knew about from history (though in truth he cared less about the government side of history than he did about the people being people side of history). Most of the governments that went down in history did so because they were overthrown, somehow. Because the people who lived under them weren’t happy. You didn’t hear very much about the parts of history where people were happy. You heard about the Revolutionary War and the French Revolution and all sorts of uprisings where people decided their governments were terrible. “Give me some time to think of a second one. It might take a while, but that’s only because I don’t know very many governments here. I’ve only ever lived in two countries, and Italy was pretty terrible when I was there.” They weren’t here to think of the negatives, though. Nico couldn’t just ignore them, and he couldn’t let Kelsier think his world was perfect, but that didn’t mean they had to fixate on them. Somehow, bank robbery didn’t count as a negative. It was just… an option. That Nico was fairly certain Kelsier was kidding about, but he could never be sure. Kelsier was, after all, a thief by trade. He probably did it almost instinctively. “Good luck,” Nico replied, rolling his eyes just a little bit. “If you find a hacker or something let me know.” Honestly, he wouldn’t put it past Kelsier to find someone with that skillset, but he wasn’t sure he wanted to encourage it. “You and I both know you’re insane, you don’t have to prove it,” Nico murmured, shaking his head just a little bit. “I’m not saying don’t do it because I think you can’t do it – I know full well that you can – but we are not alone on this bus. Please don’t jump off.”
Post by ®Hawkpath® on May 17, 2021 11:15:50 GMT -5
“Healthcare?” Kelsier repeated, frowning a little. “I know both those words separately. Not sure what they mean together. We have doctors? But they’re for the nobility, mainly. I doubt, somehow, that that counts as healthcare, anyway.” He listened to the rest, nodding a little. Finland. He’d have to remember that. “I’m pleased to hear that somewhere people are decently happy with their government,” he replied, smiling a little. “Since we’ll be building our own after I kill the Lord Ruler. Gives me hope that it’ll be a good one.” He wasn’t too surprised that Nico hadn’t studied governments as much as he had other things. Of course not...why would he? They weren’t nearly as exciting, overall, or interesting. It wasn’t really Nico’s style, either. He’s always been much more interested in the human side of history, something Kelsier had discovered through listening to him talk about it. It was amazing what you could learn about someone without ever being told, if you just listened to them talk long enough. He wasn’t surprised to hear the ones Nico had experienced first hand were terrible. He could tell Nico wasn’t very fond of governments overall, at least not most of them. They’d probably get along a little less well if he’d loved governments and thought theft and murder was always wrong. Was it really murder if they were nobleman? He considered the bank problem instead. He’d need a diversion, and a crew would be good, people he could trust. Not the demigods, as tempting as it was. They may have been good at what they did and used to danger, but he wasn’t going to drag any of them into anything more than they’d already had to deal with. A hacker - whatever that was - couldn’t be a demigod, anyway. It was unfortunate that he couldn’t have any other Allomancers, but it was what it was. He could probably have pulled this off, if he’d been so inclined. He glanced at Nico, shaking his head a little at the boy’s slight desperation. “I’m insane, not stupid,” he reassured him, leaning back. “And I’ve been wanted for a long time now. I’m not about to get myself arrested or killed a day into another world, especially when they don’t even have any Hazekillers.”
Nico hesitated, frowning as he tried to figure out how best to explain healthcare. He didn’t know all the details – he wasn’t an adult, and the adults he knew were few and far between. They didn’t tend to have to worry about things like healthcare, and those who did didn’t tend to talk about it with fourteen-year-old kids who weren’t even part of their family. So all Nico knew was what he heard in the news, sometimes. Which was, unfortunately, not much. He just knew that healthcare wasn’t what it should have been. “Healthcare is sort of like… guaranteed access to doctors and stuff. It means that you get some of your medical expenses paid for by the place where you work, and that if you have to take time off of work because you’re sick or injured, you get paid for that time like you were working. It’s a really good thing, but other countries are doing it a lot better than the United States are. I guess… it wouldn’t really apply to Scadrial because I get the sense that most noblemen don’t really have jobs in the way we think of them here.” Of all the things Scadrial struggled with, at least Nico knew that capitalism wasn’t one of their issues. Or… if it was, it was very different from the way the United States handled capitalism. “I think your people will be happy with the government that you build,” Nico murmured, though he knew his vote of confidence didn’t really count for much. He didn’t live in Scadrial. “The nobility might not be, but you can’t please everyone, and honestly… I don’t think you should try to. But I’m not the one who has to plan your new government, so…” he gave a soft smile, still looking over Kelsier’s shoulder to see the city racing by. They were slowing down, pulling up to the stop… and Nico wasn’t as preoccupied by the bank robbery plan as he was by the fact that Kelsier jumping off the bus was a very, very real possibility. “Good,” Nico managed, the relief practically tangible in his words. “You can do all sorts of insane stuff when you’re a little less likely to be seen. And… bus jumping wouldn’t get you killed, probably. Maybe not even arrested, just… you’d have a lot of really concerned people and I don’t really want to have to explain Allomancy to a bunch of strangers…” He stood up as the bus stopped, leading the way off.
Post by ®Hawkpath® on May 20, 2021 16:26:10 GMT -5
Healthcare on Scadrial was nonexistent. You didn’t get guaranteed access to doctors, and you didn’t get anything paid for. In fact, if you were Skaa, you were far more likely to die than have anyone actually assist you, especially if you didn’t have a crew...and often enough, even if you did. It wasn't as though Kelsier’s crew was the norm. Most crews weren’t too worried about casualties as long as they still had enough people to pull off schemes. All that to say, he didn’t quite follow Nico, but it did sound like a relatively good thing to have, so he was pleased by its existence. “No, probably not,” he agreed, considering the concept. “Skaa have jobs, but they don’t come with any sort of guarantees. Noblemen...no, they didn’t really work. They go to balls and hurt people, mostly. They hardly need to do anything when they have the Skaa at their beck and call, after all.” He shook his head a little. “Still, healthcare sounds nice to have. Hopefully, it’ll be done better, if enough people speak up.” He smiled a little. Nico’s vote of confidence meant more than he seemed to realize, to Kelsier at least. He wouldn’t have wanted him to think Kel incapable of staring a new world on Scadrial...making a home for his people. “The nobility won’t be around to complain,” he replied, his smile deepening a little. “But I’d love to hear them try it. I’m sure they could come up with some excellent points on how people should be treated fairly.” He looked up as the bus pulled to a stop, his eyes searching the others, then his new surroundings. He’d managed to handle the ride pretty well, he decided, even if it had been a bit nerve wracking...well, it was hardly different from soaring from building to building, was it? The main difference was a matter of control. Kel was nervous when he wasn’t the one deciding where to go. He stood up, following Nico off the bus, eyes flicking eagerly ahead as he caught sight of more of the strange and fantastic place Nico called his home.
Nico shook his head a little bit at that, distaste flooding him as he thought of the noblemen not even working while people they probably had a lot in common with starved and died on the streets. He was certain the nobility thought they had more in common with the Lord Ruler than they did with the Skaa, but how true was that, really? The Lord Ruler was a tyrant. He claimed to be a god, but Nico had dealt with gods. They weren’t terribly different from Kelsier’s description of the Lord Ruler, but they were different enough to matter. If the nobility stood with the Skaa… if they all fought together against the Lord Ruler… Nico shook his head a little bit, as though trying to clear the thought. The way the world was worked just fine for Kelsier’s nobility. They had no reason to believe they should fight the Lord Ruler, because they were “chosen” by him. He could ruin their lives any number of ways, he could make things difficult, make them live with ash and without flowers, but… but they would never know how much their lives were missing. That was how propaganda worked. It did strike Nico that Kelsier’s plan seemed to require a complete wiping out of the nobility. How many people was that? Were any of them innocent? Not in Kelsier’s eyes, it seemed. But surely they had children… were the children to die, too? Nico resisted the urge to rub at his cheek. Discomfort burned deep in his stomach as he remembered the dream the House had forced on Kelsier all those months ago… the dream where Nico had been Mistborn. Where Nico had been noble. Kelsier had killed Bianca in that dream… would he orphan any real noble children? The thought sent a shudder down Nico’s spine, so he pushed it away, making no effort to continue that particular conversation. It was good timing for the bus to stop. Nico ran down the steps, just managing to control himself before he tried to take them two at a time. Times Square stretched out before them, everything Nico loved and hated about the city jammed into one place. Jammed was a good word for it. Everywhere you looked there were hundreds of people, many stopping to take pictures, others performing, still more forcing their way through the crowds and very purposefully staring straight ahead like they couldn’t see anyone else.
The noblemen were, at heart, deeply selfish people. It was more than that, of course it was, but didn’t it come down to how they treated the people they considered beneath them? They didn’t care who they hurt, as long as there were no consequences. They’d probably hurt each other if they could get away with it...actually, that was exactly what they did. They pretended to be better. But Kelsier knew they weren’t. As long as the Lord Ruler was in charge, they’d continue as they were now, continue to be cruel and careless and hurt anyone they chanced to come across. And the truth was that Kelsier was angry. What he was doing…it was for justice. It was for freedom. Those weren’t lies. But it was for revenge, too. It was for Mare. Maybe it was for himself, too. Was there a difference between justice and revenge? They weren’t innocent. Not to Keliser. They were pathetic, they were cruel, and they deserved what they got. He felt no regret for killing them, for tearing their neatly arranged world to the ground and leaving it to the mists. If justice and vengeance were the same thing, then he would take both, for every child dead in the streets and every old soul too tired to rise another day. He’d seen enough. He’d seen more than enough. He thought, sometimes, that he shouldn’t have needed something bad to happen to him. Plenty of bad things had happened already, after all. He smiled wryly. He wasn’t the same man, after Hathsin, was he? A thief and a liar, determined to become a hero. He shook his head a little. The important thing was that he was here, and he didn’t need to get lost in thought just now. The present was far too enticing for that. And there was a lot to take in. He watched the crowd, the hundreds of people in bright colors, holding phones he only recognized because he owned one, walking, talking, buzzing like a thousand of those bees he’d seen in a room once… They were all clumped together, too. Not spread out the way the Skaa often were. They barely seemed to mind if they brushed arms. “Okay, I know why you said Luthadel doesn’t count as a city now,” he admitted, his awe clear in his tone. He’d never seen anything like this. Never.
Nico didn’t know what Luthadel was like, he just knew it didn’t count as a city, because… well, because New York was a city, and Nico was fairly confident there were more people in New York than Kelsier had ever seen in one place in his life. Maybe that was because people tended to hide in Luthadel. Maybe that was because there was no thriving tourist industry on Scadrial, which seemed odd to Nico. He wasn’t the biggest fan of tourists, but he couldn’t imagine a city without them. “Okay,” Nico said, pulling Kelsier off the bus and towards a garbage can. “Ground rules… which I know you don’t want to follow, but unless you’d like to be yelled at by a bunch of New Yorkers who actually know what they’re doing, you have to. If you want to stop and look at something, pull to the side and stand next to a garbage can or a streetlight or a fire hydrant… those bright colored things, like that. Otherwise you’re going to be in the way of people walking, and that’s not what you want. We… probably won’t take the subway, but if we do there are other rules for that…” he considered for a long moment, glancing around to see if there was anything else. “You can look up, but if you do, don’t stop walking to do it. They’ll see you as a tourist if you’re looking up, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. It’s a bad thing if you stop in the middle of the sidewalk. People will start trying to push past you and I don’t think either of us want that.” He shuddered a little bit at the thought, but tried to brush it off a few moments later. “For now…” he scanned the area, trying to find someplace for them to buy Kelsier some new clothes. “There,” he said, pointing at the Old Navy about a block away. “They’re reasonably priced, and they might have something dramatic enough to suit you. If not… then we’ll figure it out.”
Post by ®Hawkpath® on May 30, 2021 23:06:39 GMT -5
Kelsier allowed himself to be pulled to the side, though he couldn’t help the way he stared around at the others, the way his gaze caught on their bright clothes, the sky, the warmth of the sun on his skin, the faces of happy children who’d never gone hungry in their lives, the scents he didn’t have a name for, the noisy, in your face buildings...everything. Everything caught his eye, everything held his attention. It was hard to concentrate on any one thing, and though he wasn’t jumpy, he was...a bit on edge now that they were actually here, in the city and surrounded by tourists, as Nico had called them. It took him a moment to realize Nico was speaking, and then another moment to make his brain successfully pick out what he was saying from the rest of the noise. He looked at him. And was hit with a sudden rush of pride. Here he was, existing in his world. These odd, bright, loud streets, with their odd, bright, loud people...they belonged. It was Kelsier who was the outlier. Kelsier who didn’t match. And here Nico was, standing in front of him, explaining how to function in this ridiculous world of his, setting ground rules for a man who listened to no one and nothing, rules he probably expected to see broken before an hour had passed...and Kelsier loved him. He followed Nico’s finger to the building, narrowing his eyes at the unfamiliar writing. He really, really needed to learn to read… “Then that’s where we’ll go,” he replied, shooting Nico a quick smile before he turned to head for the building. “Probably best do that before someone happens to notice the rather unhealthy amount of blood.”
Logically, Nico knew that New York City was very different from Luthadel, but not having been to Luthadel, all he had to go on was Kelsier’s world. Seeing him now, though, attention thrown in at least five different places, Nico thought he had a sense of what Luthadel might be like. The key was what was drawing Kelsier’s attention. The children, alive and grinning (except the kid across the street who had dropped his ice cream and was now crying hysterically), the blue sky and the green plants growing on street corners and in little flower boxes. Nico highly doubted that Kelsier was willing to follow the ground rules… perhaps he shouldn’t have introduced them that way, but it was done now. If Kelsier wanted to make a menace of himself, then that was his prerogative. It was just that Nico was automatically going to get lumped in with him and yelled at by locals if Kelsier was going too slow or was walking in the wrong parts. “Exactly,” he said, a small smile working his way across his face as he followed a step behind Kelsier, keeping an eye on the Old Navy on the off chance that something was going to happen. Nothing happened. “The door is going to open automatically,” Nico whispered to Kelsier, trying to keep his voice down in spite of speaking Scadrial. He didn’t know the rules here… if there was even the off chance that someone might be able to understand his conversation with Kelsier, he needed to be careful. “Someone from the store is going to try to ask us if we need help with anything. I’ll… take it from there.” Going into a store with Kelsier was both nerve wracking and exciting…. It was to be Kelsier’s first “real” store. Nico just hoped there was still a store standing when they left.
Post by ®Hawkpath® on May 31, 2021 20:04:42 GMT -5
Nico was one of the few people who knew Survivor very well, by now. He knew his anger and his laughter, the fire in his heart that drove him both to end lives and save them. Hero. Monster. Terrible, incredible, impossible man. Nico knew Kelsier the Survivor of Hathsin, and Kelsier the trickster. He’d seen his fury and his love and sometimes both at once. But he was mistaken. Rules were made to be broken. The rich existed for the sole purpose of being stolen from. The whole world was his to break and his to mend. He was a god of his own making. But he was not a liar. Not to Nico. He had sworn he would never hurt his son again. If he’d been alone, he’d have done as he pleased, and escaped the consequences with a smile on his face. But he would not be the cause of someone shoving Nico or yelling in his face, or worse. This wasn’t Scadrial. This wasn’t Luthadel. He didn’t know what might happen here, but his head was full of too-small bodies, those he couldn’t save. He paused. The crying child had caught his attention, and his eyes focused on them, taking in the ruined substance he assumed was edible. It looked like food, even if he didn’t recognize it, or have a name for it. This was a different world, with different rules, and it wasn’t likely that the child was crying because there would be no more food for days, but… “Hm?” He asked, distracted as Nico spoke. He realized suddenly the boy had gotten several feet ahead of him and hurriedly skipped backwards a couple steps, making room on the sidewalk so no one would start yelling at Nico. There was probably nothing he could do. Was there? He turned a smile on Nico. “Give me a minute,” he assured him lightly, then turned, heading for the child. Making it across the street was...interesting...but he managed to avoid both death and Allomancy, by some miracle. Didn’t they ever stop these beasts? “Excuse me,” he managed in English politely, stopping a respectful distance from the child and offering a bright smile. “I couldn’t help but notice you lost your…” he paused, then gestured at the mess. “That. I can’t buy you another one, sadly.” He produced a coin and knelt to the kid’s level, offering it. “But I can offer what I have. It’s from another world. I promise you, you’ve never seen anything quite like it before.”
Nico was about to head into the store when Kelsier bounded away from him, heading towards the street to do… something. His brow furrowed, but he didn’t have time to argue before he threw himself into the crowd after Kelsier. Fortunately, Kelsier stuck out, even somewhere like Times Square, where everyone stuck out. “Dad!” he called, eyes wide as he watched Kelsier walk straight into the middle of the street. “You have to use the crosswalk!” He’d… have to teach Kelsier what a crosswalk was later. Fortunately, the cars were all stopped at a red light anyway, so Nico had no problem as he weaved after Kelsier, raising an apologetic hand to the drivers as he passed them. Of course Kelsier had located the one crying child in the entire block… of course he was doing something to help. It was very Kelsier, even if it took them out of their way. He was grateful that Kelsier was wearing his jacket… he couldn’t imagine the mother’s reaction if a bloodstained stranger had approached her child. As it was, the mother seemed about ready to yank her child out of Kelsier’s reach until she realized what he was doing. Her eyes narrowed a little bit as the small child turned their attention towards Kelsier, the anguished sobs stopping almost immediately once there was something more interesting to draw their attention. They rubbed the tears from their eyes, glancing up at their mother before daring to take a small step forward. “Another world?” they managed, chin still wobbling from the tragic loss of ice cream. “Like Germany? My pop-pop’s from Germany and they have cool coins, too.” The child held a pudgy hand out, eyes wide as they examined it. The ice cream was all but forgotten, and the child’s mother breathed a sigh of relief even as she stepped closer to make sure that the kid never left her sight. It was a big city, after all… she had no doubt that some people would be cruel enough to try to take advantage of a child. Still… the man in front of her seemed genuine, if a bit strange. It wasn’t often a stranger noticed when a child dropped some ice cream. She was fairly certain it was a common childhood occurrence. “Thank you,” she said after a moment, placing a protective hand on the child’s shoulder. “I don’t have enough cash on me to get another ice cream… I was headed for the currency exchange, but you know how that is… the rates are pretty bad right now for the pound, and I was hoping they would be better at our hotel. I don’t think we could have made it to the hotel without another meltdown, though, so… thank you.”
“Exactly,” Kelsier confirmed, smiling gently at the kid. He was, perhaps, more familiar than anyone present with the concept of dangerous strangers, besides Nico. He didn’t move forward, and he kept his muscles relaxed, any trace of danger in his eyes put aside. If the mother had known who he was, she’d probably have snatched the child away and threatened him. He couldn’t really blame her for that. This was probably a bad idea, but...this one, small thing, he could fix. His entire world depended on him, his people depended on him...it was nice to be able to just help a kid stop crying with no strings attached, for once. He wouldn’t be attacked for it, in this world. He had been breaking the rules as long as he’d been alive. But this was allowed. He released the coin into the child’s fingers, and looked up, expression gentle as he met the mother’s eyes. He was glad she’d allowed him this, even if it did come across as a tiny bit strange. “Ice cream,” he repeated as best he could, pleased to know what it was called. “It’s alright. I have too many of those coins as it is. I’m a dad, too.” He said the word ‘dad’ with a surprising lack of accent, the word coming almost as easily to him as anything he could have said in Scadrial. He straightened up, slowly, then took a step back before he turned, widening the distance between himself and the child in case she took the motion the wrong way. His hazel eyes found Nico, and he headed towards him. “Sorry,” he said, stopping. He wasn’t sure how to quite explain what had prompted him, if Nico didn’t already know. “I think your roads are terribly designed, by the way. Where are they all going? Are there really that many people?”
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Cloudy Sky: Seeing the name gave me flashbacks to certain events that happened about two weeks ago.
Jun 22, 2021 4:51:35 GMT -5
Violetsky: Her name is Tika. She's a Cymric, or long-haired Manx.
Jun 22, 2021 6:27:08 GMT -5
Violetsky: I left the gel pack in the freezer overnight and now it's a solid thick sheet of ice.
Jun 22, 2021 6:32:05 GMT -5
Violetsky: Cymric is the technical term for a Manx cat that has long hair.
Jun 22, 2021 13:48:50 GMT -5
Violetsky: Technically they are Manx's as well; they are not a separate breed but an alternative variety of traditional Manx's, which are short-haired. They're also called longhair Manx's.
Jun 22, 2021 13:50:11 GMT -5
Violetsky: It's okay, I thought she was a traditional Manx for a while
Jun 22, 2021 14:02:13 GMT -5
Violetsky: Well, she is. It's like if brown bears that lived further up North had thicker and longer fur than their southern counterparts. If that was true, then they would be the same species and "breed", they just have different adaptations.
Jun 22, 2021 14:02:52 GMT -5