A Shady Education


kendall_icon.gif melissa3_icon.giftony_icon.gif

Scene Title A Shady Education
Synopsis Tony comes over to check on Melissa, and ends up giving Kendall an odd education.
Date May 11, 2010

Little Green House

Despite it being FREEZING and there being more snow than anything else, Melissa is outside. And cursing every second of it. But she has a half-grown dog who demands a few minutes every few hours, so she's out, leash in hand, bundled up so thoroughly that only her eyes are visible.

"C'mon Jerry. Hurry up. I want to go inside. Where there's fire and heat. And mounds of blankets. And no fucking snow," she mutters to the dog, who is wandering around and sniffing at snowdrifts.

Tony is stumbling through the snow, wrapped up like a yeti and like such a beast, caked in a fine layer of snow. Still, he keeps going, with the dogged air of one who has set himself a mission, and intends to see it through, come hell or high weather. He heads towards Mel's house, grunting, "Bloody country. Bloody weather. I am never going to complain in a drought. Ever. Ever. Again."

Hearing a voice that isn't Kendall's and coming from inside has Melissa looking up and over, and she frowns, not immediately recognizing the mummy. "Uh…hi?"

Tony pulls the scarf down, a little, so his face can be seen. It's a bit more stubbled than previously. "You're still alive, then? Need any help?"

Melissa looks a little surprised to see Tony here, but she smiles a bit and shakes her head. "Not unless you can make the snow go away, give me electricity, or remove the dog's urge to go outside and subject me to the freezing fucking cold."

Tony chuckles, although it's a bit forced, "Just… you know… trying to make sure everyone I know about is okay. Make sure nobody needs moved. That sort of thing."

Melissa looks a little amused. "How would you move 'em? And c'mon. Let's get inside where it's warm. Er," she says, inclining her head in that direction, then heading that way herself, Jerry following along.

Tony grins, faintly, "Mostly effort. But if anyone wanted it, I'd be getting to steal a snowmobile." And he follows after.

Melissa laughs and nods, waiting until he's inside before she shuts the door. Inside looks like it still needs some repair work, but it's clean, and it's a hell of a lot warmer than it is outside. Probably because of the fire that's cheerfully burning in the fireplace. "Welcome to the casa de Mel and Kendall. Make yourself at home. Want some coffee?" she asks, taking the leash off the dog and letting him bound off. Probably to hunt down Kendall.

Tony says, "Oh, hell yeah. And shove some whiskey in it, huh, doll?" He starts divesting himself of scarf, hat, gloves, outer coat, inner coat. And stopping looking quite so much like a Michelin man. "This is nice, at least."

Melissa laughs and takes her scarf and gloves off as she heads towards the kitchen, where she's set up one of those camp stoves, where she's already made coffee. A cup is poured for each of them, and she grabs whiskey from a cabinet to add to his, and brings both back into the living room, offering one to him. "It's getting that way. I'm just happy it's warm."

Tony says, "Yeah… yeah. Now. What the fuck is causing this? Because sorry… I'm not buying this as natural. Not even in this Godforsaken country."

Melissa shakes her head. "It's not natural. It's an evolved girl who's missing her sister. Surprised you don't know. Most of the Ferry does," she says, plopping herself down. There's no furniture, since she can't exactly get to her old place to move her stuff over, but there are sleeping bags!

Tony grunts, "Well, I kind of keep my mind on business. But I reckon this is becoming my business. Her sister, you say?"

Melissa nods. "Mmhmm. Liette's sister. And I don't even know what's going on there anymore. Haven't heard from Brennan, and since I quit, no one else has bothered to tell me jack."

Tony rubs his chin thoughtfully, and takes a seat on the floor, and his coffee, "Thanks. And hrm. She's missing her sister, eh? Well… I can think of two solutions. Three, technically, but lets not go there."

"Oh, I've thought of solutions. I even suggested one to the Ferry. But they're being holier than thou and making everyone on the east coast suffer for their morals," Melissa says with a shake of her head and a disgusted look. "I told them to give Liette back to her father and sister. They refused, clearly, or we'd be having May weather. Hell, if they don't wanna give her to her dad, then snag her sister and reunite 'em that way."

Tony says, "Yeah. That's one. Two is we make her _think_ her sister is back. Three is keep her unconscious until things have settled down."

Melissa shakes her head. "Problem there, dear. Liette isn't the one causing the weather, it's her sister. And I have no idea where her sister is. Second problem, the girls seem to be linked somehow. They can transfer abilities back and forth or something. So I think they'd know. Third…you hear about the raid on the Armory? That was probably Liette's father's people."

Tony lets out a little groan, "Okay. Damn. Life just _has_ to be difficult, doesn't it?" He gives a wry smile, "How'd you fancy Texas, babe?"

Melissa laughs. "I actually just got back from a week in Vegas. Lemme tell you, the weather was nice. I was even able to hit the pool and not freeze my ass off."

Tony takes a swig of coffee, before risking dismemberment, by noting, "That'd be a major loss to mankind as a whole." A beat. "Why the hell did you come back?"

"I don't know," Melissa admits with a shrug. Seems she doesn't mind his other comment. "I contemplated just taking Kendall down to the Caribbean where we'd be nice and warm but…" There's a long pause and she says again, "I don't know."

Tony takes another hot swig, "Couldn't bear to be away from me, huh?" He gives that lazy grin, "So. How's the kid doing? He been practicing card tricks?"

Melissa groans and falls back into the mound of sleeping bags. "Card tricks…that's one way of puttin' it. He made himself look older and went gambling in Vegas."

Tony rubs his chin, "Okay, now _that_ is risky." A pause, "Remind me to have a chat with him about what risks to run? Those casinos are _way_ too organised for powers to be a good idea in 'em."

Melissa is laying on a pile of sleeping bags in front of hte fire, and her and Tony both have cups of coffee. "What's wrong with now?" She tilts her head back and yells, "Kendall! Get your ass down here!"

Tony says, "Well, I guess not. Although telling trade secrets in front of you, Babe… I mean… who knows what you'd do with that sort of power?"

"Only if you're both dressed." Kendall shouts back down.

"Yes, because I'm going to be able to do illusions just knowing how you guys do 'em," Melissa says dryly, setting her cup down and getting comfy. And again she shouts, "You don't even know who's down here, dammit. And of course I'm dressed!" And in a mutter, "Little twerp."

Tony gives a lazy grin, "Now later on, who knows? I mean, we gotta keep warm, right, babe?" And he shakes his head slightly, "Thing is, illusion's not the big part of the deal." He taps the side of his head, "It's up here, how you work a con. The power just makes it easier. The thing is to know how people think. To show them what they expect. Whether that's by palming cards…. by distracting and pickpocketing… or by taking them to Bondi beach." And there is a flash of a warm, tropical beach, with rolling surf. Then it's back to the cold apartment, "It's just details."

Kendall comes clomping down the stairs. It's amazing how just one young person could make so much noise, and do it without bringing down said stairs. He peeks around the door frame, then sees who it is. He darts a glance at Melissa, then comes forward.

"Dude. Bring the warm beach back!" Melissa complains when it goes away. Then she looks over at Kendall and grins. "Someone wants to give you pointers on risk and illusion." Pause. "And keep dreamin' Tony," she says, shooting him a grin as well.

Tony says, "You want the beach, babe? Now, what's it worth?" And yes, it returns. Along with a black (and rather slight) bikini for Melissa, and speedos for Tony. Kendall's appearance is unchanged. "Yeah, son. Now you're feeling better, I figured we ought to talk about stuff like that. Tell me… you practiced your magic tricks?"

"Well, I earned a thousand dollars or so before I was arrested?" Kendall replies, looking around. Tony in a speedo received a wrinkled nose from the teenager. Well, at least Tony isn't old, fat, or wrinkly, or a combination of such.

Melissa glances downward at her new clothing and sighs. But no point in arguing, it'll just encourage him. "It's true, he did. Gotta give him credit for that," she says, and oddly enough, she sounds proud of that fact.

Tony sighs, and produces a pack of cards, from somewhere. And offers them to the youth, "You use your powers to get that? Or did you use sleight of hand? That's the question, ain't it?" He ponders, "Last I recall, you said you could make anything appear as long as you drew it first, right?"

"I didn't use my powers to get it, not really. I used my powers to look older than 21." Kendall explains. "It worked, too, except they must've noticed I was cheating. And yeah, I have to draw it first." he hesitates at that, then shakes his head.

Melissa tilts her head and stares at Kendall at that hesitation. "What is it?"

Tony also spots it, based on his slight pause, but doesn't jump on it. Instead he goes for, "So, how were you cheating, then?"

Kendall shakes his head at Melissa. "Nothing." he tells her quickly, then shrugs at Tony. "I kept track of what cards were played, it wasn't hard to figure out when I lost a few times." aka, he counted cards. "It was easy to guess which card would come next."

Melissa's eyes narrow slightly at what she thinks is an obvious lie. "Kendall…" is said warningly.

Tony mhmms. "Counting. It's obvious. It's also cheating, technically." He gives a faint smile, "Look, don't play games with casinos. They're very well run business. Do you know how to win lots of cash, reliably, in a Casino?"

"No, how?" Kendall asks Tony, pretending he didn't see or hear Melissa's, uh… momming. He's not lying! Honestly! What happened was a fluke.

Melissa slowly sits up, eyes still on her foster son type person. "Hold that thought, Tony. Kendall, what happened?"

Tony quietens down, and lazes back on the sand to ogle Mel, whilst keeping half an ear on the conversation.

"Well… one time something appeared and I didn't draw it first." Kendall admits to Melissa, and blushes for some reason. "I tried many times afterwards, but couldn't get anything else to show up."

There's silence for a moment, then Melissa rolls her eyes. "Is that all? You were makin' it sound like something bad! What'd you get to show up? What were you doing when it did? Maybe Tony could help you do it again."

Tony stretches, letting his eyes close, "It may be to do with visualisation, you know? The drawing is a way of making the details clear in your mind. If you believe in the details well enough, you can make it appear. I mean, check out that mole on Mel's left thigh." He pauses, and then hurries on, before the pain begins, "So, who was it that appeared without you drawing her?"

Kendall blinks and looks at Melissa's legs. "What mole?" he asks, completely innocently and unaware of the dangers. Then he shakes his head. "No one showed up, it wasn't a girl. It was… something else."

Melissa's gaze shoots down to her thigh and she frowns, then she glares at Tony. But just a moment later, his question penetrates her irritation and she looks at Kendall, brow arching. "Hey! You don't need to be lookin' at my legs!" she says when she catches him looking, and she gives Tony another glare for good measure. "And what something else? Just spill it. I'm gonna harass you until you do, you know."

Tony says, "Hey, teenage kids have changed since I was young! I assumed it'd be some hottie or other." He yawns, eyes still closed, and thus utterly oblivious to the glarefest, "So, yeah. What did appear?"

"Well, uh, I don't think you'd know… ever play the computer game The Sims?" Kendall hedges. "If not, you wouldn't know what I was talking about."

Melissa's head tilts, and a brow lifts. "Try to explain anyway."

"Well, uh, you know how icons appear over their heads?" well ok, they probably don't. "Well I was talking to Delilah, and um… something showed up over my head." Kendall eyeshifts at both of them.

Blink. Head tilt. Peer. "What showed up over your head?" Melissa asks.

"Can't you guess?" Kendall whines. Are you really trying to make him say it?

Blink blink. "Jesus fuckin' Christ. She's not even that hot! How does she have so many fucking guys drooling over her?" Melissa mutters with a shake of her head, flopping back against the sleeping bag. "I really wouldn't bother, Kendall. She's got Teo, Alex and Magnes. Just that I know of."

"And a baby on the way." Kendall tells her, drooping. "She is too." he adds, averting his gaze and blushing again.

Melissa shoots right back up to a sitting position. "She what? No. Nuh uh. I refuse to believe it. And no, she isn't. Pretty, yes. Hot, no. And I now declare this a Delilah free-zone," she mutters, sounding…irritated? Depressed? Jealous? Who knows. Maybe not even Melissa!

Kendall blinkblinks at Melissa. "You're, uh, awfully vehement about that. Do you feel threatened or something?" oh snap.

Ooooh. Wrong thing to say, Kendall my dear. Melissa's eyes narrow, and a throbbing pain begins in both Tony and Kendall's heads. Oops. "I am not threatened by a girl who isn't the least bit picky about who she fucks and gets herself knocked up. I'll be shocked if she has any idea who the father is." Gotta love when temper takes over and words spew out. Even if Mel doesn't mean all of them. "Change the subject. Now."

"You're the one who insisted I tell you." Kendall grumps, but subsides. As for a change of subject, well, he can't really think of anything so he just sort of fidgets in place.

The beach scene vanishes. Totally. "Ow! Sonofabitch! MEL! Control yourself, okay?"

The grumping only has the pain spiking for a moment, before Tony's words break through her temper tantrum. Mel's eyes close and she takes several deep breaths, controlling herself as asked, and the throbbing slowly subsides, then disappears. "Sorry Tony."

Kendall looks over at Tony gratefully, reaching a hand up to rub his temple as the pain goes away. "Er, so why are you here anyway?" Kendall asks Tony.

Tony says, "Mostly to see if you guys needed any help. But also to check up on you." He gives a lazy grin, "The way to make money in a Casino is to run it. So… have you been doing magic tricks from that book?"

Melissa mutters something about needing stupidity to be painful, then she pauses, blinks, and busts out laughing. It's one of those tear-causing, belly hugging laughs that takes her out of commission for a minute.

"Well… not really." the book in question kinda got left at the Den, sorry. "I, uh… don't have it anymore. Sorry." Kendall winces.

Tony glances towards Mel, and then pauses, looking back to Kendall, "It's okay. Wasn't technically my book, anyway." He grins, and opens the pack of cards, "Okay. So. We need to start with the basics. Palming, directing, distracting. Right?"

Melissa wipes at her tear-soaked face as she slowly stops laughing. "This…this is not a good thing to…Oh fuck it. I was part of an illegal organization that fought the government in wussy ways and have a false identity. Why shouldn't you learn how to con people?"

"Really?" Kendall brightens at that. He can actually learn how to cheat people out of their money, and Melissa's okay with it? "Er, ok." he goes to sit next to Tony, willing to learn.

Tony gives a wicked grin, "This is just the basic stuff. So…" He starts shuffling the cards, "First thing you need to understand is the distract, right? It's the basis to everything we do. And that includes illusions. But I'm not gonna use them. This is just old school." He looks over to Melissa, and grins once more, "Don't you think?" And once Kendall's gaze joins his, his hands will do a little movement mid shuffle.

Melissa shrugs at Kendall's question and rises to her feet. "Why not? Just be careful. You've been in handcuffs once. Let's make it the last time too." Tony gets a shrug as well as she heads into the kitchen for a non-coffee drink. "I don't know about whatever you're doin', so don't ask me."

Kendall is canny enough to catch the little movement, and his eyes flicker up questioningly towards Tony. Was that it? "So… what just happened, then?" he asks, tilting his head.

Tony chuckles, slightly, "Okay. That was a distract. But it didn't work completely. If that happened in reality, I'd shuffle out of it. But assuming I _had_ got you looking at gorgeous over there, then I'd have dealt." He deals out two cards. One to Kendall. A mid value one. And an ace to himself. "I shifted a card from the bottom, where I could see its identity, into second place."

Melissa disappears into the kitchen, grabbing something from one of the cabinets, and perching on the counter. Her head leans back against the cabinets, and her eyes close, just listening to the two illusionists in the other room.

Kendall looks at Melissa, then blinks at Tony. She's like his mom, he can't think of her that way! "So… now what?" he asks, looking at the card he was dealt.

Tony says, "Well, what you _do_ with the distract is up to you. We'll go through that later. But for now, the trick is in doing things that get people to look away, even for a second. Talking is good, because the natural thing is to look at people you're talking to. Which is why it's a _lot_ easier, and safer, to have helpers when you're running scams. Teamwork beats solo heroics, nine times out of ten."

"So, like… have a hot lady as a partner and have her hit on your opponent? That seems kinda… obvious. Not to mention cliche." Kendall shakes his head. "So what else?"

Tony says, "As you say, obvious. But the jostle is good. Or sudden noise. It's all good. The trick is to know when to take advantage of it."

Kendall nods, filing this information away. "So when should you take advantage of it? As soon as the person looks away?" he stares down at the card he has again. "I imagine you can't cheat all the time though, I mean, it'd be obvious if you always get the good cards."

Tony smiles faintly, "If you're going to, yes. But leave yourself an 'out', if they look back too soon. It's a judgment call. And you don't do it every time. But the probabilities in most gambling games are so finely balanced that even the slightest edge will make you a net winner."

"Ok, I'll keep that in mind for the next time." Kendall nods at Tony. "So… any idea how they figured out I wasn't old enough? No one said a word when I came in, I even made sure I had an illusory ID that wasn't fake." now how does THAT make sense?

Tony says, "Did they pick up you not being old enough first? Or did they pick up you counting. I'd bet on the counting. Because it's something they watch for in Casinos"

"Yeah, they did, but how did they figure it out, still?" the teenager thought he was flawless in his execution of his illusion. "I thought I drew everything perfectly, thought of everything. But they still figured I wasn't old enough."

Tony says, "May have been your body language. Your voice? There's lots of gives." A pause, "Or you may have the same issues with technology that I do."

"Oh… a guy did take a picture of me with his cell phone, that's probably it. There were probably security cameras everywhere too." Kendall seems satisfied with this explanation, if not too thrilled. "Any way around that?"

Tony shrugs, "If I'm scamming banks or somewhere I reckon will have good security, I wear theatrical makeup to make me look kind of like how I'm pretending to be. You should see my collection of false noses." He grins, wryly, "Aside from that, no. Not really. Not that I've found, anyway. Mostly the trick is to avoid the locations which will have them."

"So you have real disguises as well as illusion ones?" Kendall asks, sounding surprised. Beat. "You're a bank robber?"

Tony says, "Well, not _very_ often. But if you want a whole lot of cash in a hurry, you _can_ just wander into a bank with a fat cheque from some business who deserves it, made out to some fake name, and ID for that name. ENRON used to be a favorite. I guess I'll need to find some new sleazebag to target." He pauses, "But it's risky. It's for when you really need cash in quantity. Otherwise it's easier doing small scale."

"How about Cyberdyne?" Kendall sniggers. "So, uh… that'd work until after you leave, but then what?"

Tony shrugs a bit, "Then they're left working out how a decent, but unexceptional forgery got through their systems. I can do that a bit too, or can usually find people who can." He grins, "People will assume screw up, rather than talent, if you make it easy for them. Distraction, too, you see? Distract them from looking for a talented con man."

"So if it's a kid who looks like he couldn't con his way out of a 3-page essay, they wouldn't be likely to suspect him, huh?" Kendall is thoughtful about this, as if he's actually considering it.

Tony wavers his hand, "Probably. But you still need something to make it explainable. That's why, in some cases, this is a better trick to pull." He reaches into his pocket, and produces a small card. Advertising a pizza takeaway. He flashes it towards Ken. "Of course, I make a believable NYPD detective. I'm not sure you should try this one yet."

Kendall eyes the card dubiously. "Well I certainly couldn't pass for one. I don't even know the Miranda rights aside from you can be quiet if you want." as in, the right to remain silent.

Tony says, "Yeah. But you'll find your own handwriting eventually. However…." Here he smiles, "We're nowhere near letting you loose in the real world yet. I need to see you run distraction on some easy mark. Say Mel, for example. Over the next few weeks. And you need to practice sleight of hand. I want to see you palming objects, and dealing them back in. I want to see you dealing from the top and bottom and top of the pack on demand. Letting people cut the pack to a point you pre-select for them. And then we'll start with the most basic and beautiful of street cons. The pea and shell game."

Kendall lifts a finger to scratch the side of his face, looking a little troubled. "What, I'm supposed to learn all this stuff like that?" he asks nervously. "This seems kind of… hard. Can you at least show me how?"

Tony says, "Sure I can. And it won't be easy. The basics are part of Stage Magic. In fact, a lot of the Con is. Misdirection. Distraction. And the actual trick is secondary. So, we'll start simple, and move on. There _is_ a reason I'm doing it this way. I _know_ that the Talent makes it all easy. But you need something to fall back on. Some way to keep things running, if it all goes bad. If you get caught on camera. If you have to leave something behind with the Mark. If, heaven forbid, you meet a talent blocker. You rely on Talent alone, you get sloppy. And that means you get caught, if you're lucky, and killed if you're not."

"K-killed?" Kendall squeaks out, looking like he'd rather forget he just heard that. "I… I don't know about that." he stammers.

Tony gestures down to the cards already dealt, "What? You think all people you scam are nice people? You think, for example, you weren't lucky at that Casino? Back in the old days in that sort of place, you'd get your fingers broken for that sort of fun. Crime isn't a big adventure without risk, you know?" He grins, and leans back, against the wall, "Course, I kind of like the risk. Makes the benefits sweeter."

"But… it's not the old days anymore, that sort of thing is… illegal." so was what Kendall did, but that's beside the point. "I don't know about this… maybe I should wait a few years?"

Tony nods, "Might not be a bad idea. That said, it'll probably take you a couple years to get slick at the entirely legal magic tricks. Which gives you time to think."

"Yeah, there's no harm in actually learning this stuff. I could always decide not to use any of it if I really wanted." Kendall looks more relieved, and nods. "All right, I'll learn it then."
Tony says, "Right….. Palming. That's maybe what to start with. It's one of the basic skills. You've gotta just keep practicing until you can do it without thinking." He demonstrates, full speed. "See?" And then repeats the movements, much much slower. "Once you can swap one thing out, you can replace it with another."

Kendall watches carefully, brow furrowed. "Or just not replace it at all, like with that pea game?" he guesses. "Although if the person lifts up all of them and there's no pea at all, your game's over too."

Tony says, "Ah.. the pea and shell game is one application, but it's much _much_ more complex than that, you know?" He pauses, and then says, "How many people does it take to run pea and shell?"

"Uh…. I always thought it was just one, but I'm guessing that's not the right answer?" Kendall tilts his head thoughtfully, trying to figure it out. "A lot more complex, huh…"

Tony says, "At least three." He counts on his fingers, "The guy running the game." Another finger goes up. "The lookout." And a third. "At least one plant in the audience to encourage the marks."

"Well I guess that makes sense." Kendall nods thoughtfully, looking down at his hands. "Carnies have something like that too, right? I mean, the hustler, or hawker, or whatever that guy's called to bring people in."

Tony says, "Partly. But he's _not_ obviously part of the team. His job is to try and show how easy it is. You lose money to him, to show that it's a game which _is_ winnable."

"Oh, I see. That makes sense. That way people would be more likely to play the game, right?" now everything is starting to make sense to Kendall, and he eyes the pile of cards. "And the lookout is pretty self-explanatory, too."

Tony says, "Yeah. And it's a balance. More people makes it safer, and more efficient. You can crowd out the doubters, and encourage the gullible more, yeah? But you've also got to split the take more ways." He sniffs, "Me, I mostly work alone, so I don't work that particular scam much. It's too dangerous solo.""

"So what sort of things do you do?" Kendall asks, tilting his head, then shifts a glance towards the kitchen to make sure Melissa's not eavesdropping. Likely she won't appreciate the kind of lessons Tony is giving.

Tony wavers a hand, "All sorts of things. We'll leave it with the legal stuff for now in your education. The thing is, mostly small scams target the poor and helpless. And that's no fun." He gives a faint grin, "It's more _fun_ stealing from the rich. And better profits." Says the man who looks a bit like a hobo.

"Hah. Steal from the rich to give to the poor, huh? A regular Robin Hood. Minus the tights." really, who hasn't seen that movie? Kendall sure has, and Melissa would be soproud to hear him make another movie reference.

Tony chuckles, "Yeah. I do. But I'm not at all sure it's quite that simple." He gestures, and then picks up his coffee, "I mean… he probably had to pay for food… and equipment… and informers. All of those are poor folks. And only the rich are _worth_ stealing from. Just a thought."

"Wow, way to de-glamorize it all. What, people wouldn't do it out of the goodness of their hearts?" it's somewhat difficult to tell if Kendall is being facetious or not with how innocently he's saying that.

Tony shrugs, "Well, it's just a thought, is all. I mean, I tend not to keep much of _my_ profits. And not _that_ much of it goes on that stuff for me. But some of it does." He takes a swig of coffee, "No telling Mel that, okay? I wouldn't want her to think of me as some sorta good guy, alright?"

Kendall laughs at that, looking back to the kitchen. "Well according to her, she's not all that good guy either, so I think you're safe. I guess I can deal with not being a superhero myself." not that Kendall has any real desire to be one. He's seen The Incredibles, after all.

Tony grunts, and gestures to the coin he'd been showing palming with. "Your turn. Slow first. Then faster."

Kendall eyes the coin, chewing on his lip. "Ok…" he attempts to palm the coin, only he fumbles it instead and it drops to the floor.

Tony nods encouragingly, taking a swig of coffee, "That's fine. Everyone screws it up for the first few hundred times. Keep trying. Nice and slow. Smooth."

"Few hundred times? How many times do I have to practice this, then?" Kendall eyes the coin, picking it up. He sets it where it was, and tries again, failing once more. "This seems like a lot of work.

Tony says, "Hell yeah. Nothing worthwhile is ever easy. And it takes as long as it takes. But when you're earning millions as a TV magician, you can thank me. In negotiable funds."

"Well if it's on TV, I can't use my illusions." Kendall points out. "I mean, that's what the deal is with you too, right?"

Tony says, "Yeah. And that's _why_ you need to know this stuff. Besides, the theory is good. The misdirection, and stuff. Illusion helps with that. I mean, you use a lot of the same skills."

"How does it use the same skills to do this sort of thing as it does to use illusions?" Kendall asks, looking confused. "I think I figured out how my illusions work, and it's nothing physical at all."

Tony says, "Well… your illusions need to play to the same thoughts as a con. You need to show them what they _want_ to believe in. You see? And you need to misdirect people from the things which might…. upset their perceptions."

"I guess. You're talking utilization, now how it works, as how they're similar. Why didn't you say so?" Kendall smirks at Tony.

Tony shrugs, "They're useful life skills. Like lockpicking and pickpocketing. Nobody should be without knowing how to run a con. Even if you don't use it."

"Well if you put it that way." Kendall's not really convinced. "That's like saying everyone should learn astrophysics in case they'll ever need to, uh…." ok, that simile started out strong, but Kendall kinda lost his… 'momentum'.

Tony grins, "No. No, I don't reckon so. These are _useful_ skills to know about. Either to do them. Or to stop other people doing them to you."

"Well if you put it that way, I imagine the hardest person to con would be another con artist, huh? And who steals from thieves?" Kendall snickers a little. "Well I think I'm going to go back upstairs, nice seeing you again. Hope Melissa didn't yell at you too much for the beer." if she yelled at him at all.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License