Don't Get Complacent


huruma_icon.gif magnes_icon.gif

Scene Title Don't Get Complacent
Synopsis Huruma gets around to starting some lessons with Magnes.
Date March 3, 2010

It's almost midnight, Panucci's is closed, but Magnes still has access to his old apartment when he needs it. He moved out and back in before, when his old roommate Elvis vanished.

He's wearing a long-sleeved white shirt with a yellow tri-force in the middle of the chest, some blue jeans, and black sneakers. Huruma unfortunately never got to see the original state of this room, it's just three doors, two windows behind him with thin white curtains, and a dark-blue carpet. He brought the sword with him, and two kendo sticks, simply waiting for his guest to arrive now.

Unfortunate, or just fortunate? She had her doubts when he asked to meet her above a pizza shop, so perhaps she expects exactly what used to be there. Who knows. Huruma only knocks twice before nudging open the door to the upstairs apartment, sidestepping inside. It looks like she brought something herself, judging by the rather dull looking scabbard slung over an arm. It seems to be the same shape as the one he gave him. Her breath from between the open door still comes as an icy puff before she closes it behind her, eyes on the young man she came to meet.

"Hey, Huruma!" Magnes excitedly greets, then nods to the kendo sticks. "I brought these, I didn't know how exactly this training would work, so I wanted to be prepared. This is where I used to live, but I have a new job and a new place now, which I guess is thanks to you, since you made me talk to Melissa."

Huruma does not immediately remark, raising the corner of one eyebrow at him before putting the second sword and scabbard to lean against the inside wall. It is warm enough above a pizza shop, so she drapes her coat in a length beside the door. "It's only your own doing-" "I am not th'one tha'paid you t'save th'world." She runs her palms over the span of her arms, only half bare because of the mid-length sleeves of her black shirt. Simple black cotton, no less. And the only shiny thing aside from a couple of buttons on the pockets of her pants is a relatively small gold pendant on her neckline. The piece is as familiar as it is disconcerting.

Huruma is normal today. Magnes hasn't really seen that, though others have. There's a good chance there is a reason, but whatever it was isn't something obvious.

"But Melissa is the one who really told me I should do something with my life, instead of worrying about girls. That's why I decided to move, and get my job. I'm Tracy Strauss' intern." Magnes grabs both kendo sticks, then floats one over to her. "You're very dressed down today. Is it a special occasion?" he teases, smiling.

Huruma takes the kendo stick from the air without a sound. If she knew who Strauss is, she doesn't specify that either. Ever so much the ghost. "Not exactly. Things to do, earlier." She does have some sort of life outside of prowling around at the bar; but he doesn't know much about that either, really. "I may stick out, but I can always stick out less." Her hand finds a better grip on the kendo stick, though she holds the sword-shaped weapon with only one hand, her wrist testing the weight.

"Do you remember when we first met?" Magnes asks out of the blue, doing his kendo drills, raising the stick up and down. The only difference is that he's doing it in one hand instead of two. His sword is one-handed, afterall.

When Magnes notices the symbol around her neck, because his eyes inevitably go to every woman's chest at some point, he looks up at her with a raised eyebrow. He has an entire portion of his journal dedicated to the symbol. Hokuto's cards, documentaries, office logos, random bowls of soup. "And where did you get that pendant?"

"Not off hand. A samshir is not a katana, Magnes. Keep th'force in your upper arm and shoulder. It will make it easier t'move fluidly." Huruma brings the wooden weapon up with a tensing of her own arm and a flick of her wrist. The sword is held at a diagonal parallel to her, instead of the kendo way where it aims slightly outward. Only the stance is different, technically. She moves beside him to show him this grip as he asks something else so soon.

"I could make you guess- but why are you interested?" Huruma peers sidelong at him with a small setting of her jaw.

Magnes has had a few teachers by now, so he certainly knows how to take instruction. Though as he's learning the stance, he's still trying to think of how he'll shift the force to his upper arm and shoulder. This will take some getting used to! "That symbol, it appears everywhere, and no one can tell me why. It's on a fortune teller's cards, Hiro's sword, business logos, the 9th Wonders comic. I hear it called the helix symbol, like RNA I think. It's all in my journal. I want to find the origin."

When Huruma exhales again, it is with a sound similar to a scoff. Her arm sways like a ponderous bird before the kendo sword arcs out in a sweep, coming to a point in line with her shoulder. She has to work shorter in action, but for Magnes it is a normal height. The movement is almost like using a whip, only …sideways, really. She does it a second time, slower. "…It was Adam's sword b'fore it was Hiro's." The woman does not offer any answers to origins- so she may know something, or she may not.

"Why would Hiro have Adam's sword?" Magnes may have heard there was a connection between Adam and Hiro, but what that connection is, he was never quite sure. He mimics her movement, though with less skill and grace, still not very confident in the new style. "Do you know why Adam killed Hiro's father?" He knows Adam and Huruma have a connection too, one he knows even less about.

"Revenge." Huruma says, simply, as if they were talking about how much snow there was. The arcs that she makes with the sword seem to come much like the 'blade' is attached to her arm. Ideally something that all swordsmen would like, but it only takes practice with the right things. "Th'blade that I gave you is best used as an extension o'your arm, no'entirely as a blade in your hand. Hiro had Adam's sword b'cause he stole it." Hiro is a dirty stickyfingers! Or something like that.

"Oh yeah, that's right! Hiro steals Adam's sword from a museum in the comic…" That causes Magnes to raise an eyebrow, though he's still following her instructions. Trying hard not to cheat with his ability, he takes a deep breath, moving the sword in odd ways as if trying to feel it out as another section of his arm. "I don't get it, if it's Adam's sword, why would it be in a museum? Actually, wasn't the real one in Linderman's private collection? So why would Linderman have Adam's sword?" He may have read 9th Wonders in bits and pieces, but he certainly knows Hiro's origin story!

"But, in case you were wondering, I remember when we first met. It was in an alley, I think someone else was there, shooting. But I thought you were so terrifying I ran up a wall. Now I feel more safe with you than afraid." Of course he has no idea she used her ability on him that night.

Huruma does not seem all too concerned with how fast Magnes is changing trains of thought, instead tucking her wooden blade under one arm and reaching out with her hand to adjust the boy's grip on the sword, and nudge his arm into place. She is very mechanical about it. "They both only ever really had it because they both stole it." Well, that's one way to put it. "Shooting? I can'ardly recall. It was not th'sniper, you were wit'th'police during that…" And she knows the sniper was Danko- Magnes didn't. She knows because she followed him- because she knew him.

Where has he gone, anyway?

"An'I am terrifying, Magnes. Don'get complacent."

"I have no idea, I've been shot at so many times and ran from people up alley walls surprisingly frequently back then. I used to deliver packages for mob guys because they caught me using my ability, and they threatened Mister Panucci. Haven't heard from them in a while." Magnes gets two or three fluid swings out of the sword, though he loses his groove after a while, and takes a deep breath to reposition himself.

"I don't understand Adam. I only met him twice. Once in Central Park, and another time in Tokyo. He always seems to be up to no good, and all I ever hear is that he hurts people." He swings a bit too hard once, and winces at the slight tugging of muscle. "Why does he do it? What's this revenge?"

"Most people d'not understand him. If y'value your keenness, Magnes, I suggest tha'you b'come less concerned wit'Adam…" Huruma is a good woman to ping intelligence off of, but she will not go as far as to tell Magnes much more than he absolutely needs to now. She does a somewhat different arc with her own wooden sword now, arcing up, and coming back down along the same line. "These swords are about dexterity. You use it wit'your ability, I thought it might fit, given time."

"Well, alright…" Magnes lets the subject of Adam go, once more beginning to try and mimic her movements. He uses less strength and tries to focus on loosening up while also controlling his motions. He seems to have some success with it. "I've been trying to practice something with my ability, though I haven't been doing it with the actual blade, since I wouldn't want to destroy it. I'm trying to learn to condense a lot of gravity into it, so the blade can keep its shape and sharpness, but cut through stronger things. So far everything I try it with gets destroyed, so it'll probably be years before I figure it out."

"Practice with …kitchen knives." Smaller, easier. "An'keep t'what you know during a fight. They are not fields for testing, especially if you must win." Huruma seems slightly more distracted now, however, as her eyes do not follow his sword, and instead appear to bore into the wall. It's his fault- he was the one talking about people he doesn't know!

"In my last fight, I was trying not to kill anyone at first, then I realized I could die at any moment and suddenly started thinking about survival, and ended up shooting someone in the head." Magnes has had time to work out his own little therapy in his head, so it's clear he's only saying this because it's somewhat relevant to the situation at hand. "Are these for stabbing, or just slashing?" he remembers hearing some swords aren't for stabbing… probably from a D&D book. "And um, are you alright?"

"Slashing. Read up on your blood vessels." Huruma's lips press together, and she adjusts his arm again. Somehow between last time and this, her hands feel colder. "Thinking. I am fine." Her eyes draw back to him, eyes slightly narrowed.

"Oh yeah, that would probably be a good idea. I think most of what I remember about anatomy and combat are vital organs, tendons, and if you punch someone in the nose the right way, you can launch a piece of bone into their brain and kill them." Magnes demonstrates the thrust on the air, then goes back to his practiced swinging as she shows him. "I don't know a lot about you, Huruma. You're like a big mystery. I wanna know more."

When she is this close, her overall darkness of skin and clothing sort of looms behind him like a second shadow. Far less friendly than Peter Pan's. "It is probably best that I stay that way." Her low voice is obviously very clear on this. "I am a mystery to most, and I prefer it." There are very few people that know a great deal about Huruma on a personal level- and those that do not, far outnumber the former. "But-" She may prefer it, but she can play this game too, if she must. He is innocent enough for it.

"Quid pro quo, Magnes." They will have an exchange, if possibly short.

"Well…" Magnes doesn't stop her movements to give her what she asks for, he can multi-task. "My parents raised me to be a physicist, even though I've always been terrible at understanding physics. I wasn't allowed around other children because they didn't want me to be influenced, I never went to a real school and I had lots of tutors. When I was a teenager I started to sneak out and learned to skate, but I was still on a pretty tight leash until Midtown exploded. I'm told they abandoned me, but I haven't learned the full story yet."

"That would be about five different things, Magnes." Huruma's admonishment is soft, though icy. She moves away from him now, wandering over to pick up her own sword from against the wall. As she peeks the blade out, it is clearly not as finely made as Magnes', but it does the same job. "I'll let you have a few questions." Choose Wisely is implied.

Magnes sits his kendo stick down, then goes to get his sword as well, seemingly expecting some lesson. "What were you like when you were my age?" Who knows why he wants to know, but there are many ways to get insight into a person!

"How old are you? Seventeen?" Oops. Huruma unsheathes the sword, and it gleams polished in the light. It is somewhat more slender than Magnes' blade, but shaped the same. "M'life had a lot o'changes at short intervals."

"Twenty-two." Magnes quickly corrects, unsheathing his sword and looking over at her's, comparing the two. "I know a lot sure changed in my life after one year. I just wish Isabelle was still around, somehow I think everyone would be a lot happier if she were."

"Perhaps." Huruma was way off verbally, but maybe she actually did know. Testing him. "When I was twenty-two I was living along th'Gulf of Guinea. I was- indecisieve about what I had to do wit'm'life, an'it came out as violent frustration. All th'time." Frustration inherently makes her act out, but it sounds like it was much worse by her tone.

"I think we have something in common, though I was somewhat snapped out of it by my ex hitting me in the head with a shotgun, and a one night stand. A few weeks ago, I was so angry about everything in my life, I just went out and beat a gang member half to death. I'm not proud of it, but…" Magnes shakes his head, not making a move with his sword as he watches what she's doing. "Will you tell me why you're defensive of Adam? You don't have to give me any great details, but… I want to know if there's some piece of the puzzle I'm missing, something that'll make me understand. I want to understand." he sounds sincere about that, having come a long way from his black and white attitude.

"I would'ave died a long time ago if it were not for him. I may appear as bold as brass, but I fear death like any other human. Not as much th'getting there, however. Simply th'part where everything ends." Huruma picks up her wrist and the blade with it, sidestepping into a semicircle past Magnes. "He has saved me a few times, an'I don'forget it." In truth, this explanation is only partially honest; but Magnes does not have the experience to be able to pick up on the fact, so he may as well take her at face value. "That is two."

"I guess I can understand that. That's why I don't instantly go against Raith despite what he tried to do." Magnes doesn't say what he tried to do, and Huruma's semicircle causes him to go on edge a bit, grip tightening around his hilt. "I don't know what happens when we die, but what the lives we lead, I imagine it's not so crazy to think we'll figure it out before we get there. But, what's your goal in life? Other than survival itself, why exactly do you live?"

The shamsir whirls in the air as Huruma draws it in a circle with her fingers, second hand keeping it balanced. "It used t'be like that. Then it wasn't, so much, when I came t'th'city an'met th'people here. My goals changed, they did for a long time." Huruma runs her fingers along the base of the blade, ivory eyes wandering to observe Magnes more closely. "But then came Apollo."

"And, wit'Apollo, came m'son. M'family."

Huruma's eyebrows lift of their own accord, her face masking over with a thick layer of what may be disbelief. "Badrani is almost five." It takes the woman a few moments to decide how to field this, and eventually she settles for exuding some pride in the matter. "He calls me Nana." Her lips curl into a small smile, as if she were asking 'can you believe that?' at the same time.

Her hand takes the shamsir for a second circular sweep on its balance. "Now then. Show me what you know."

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