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Mistborn Alterna

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Ash was falling from the sky on the morning when the Obligators came to Lord Aradel’s plantation in the Northern Dominance. As was typical during these visits, Lord Aradel had sent his children away on a day trip so as not to bother the Obligators. Lord Fenris Aradel stood surveying the fields around his stately home, where frail-looking workers, skin stained grey from the ash, toiled at the crops. He was a short man who had grown quite stout over the last couple of years. His dark brown hair was thinning on the top and combed to the side. The sky above was a wash of grey ash as it always was, and through that ash a burning, red sun shone overhead. The skaa workers harvested grey plants in fields that stretched on for about half a mile, with patrolling taskmasters monitoring them closely, whips in hand.

Beyond was the distant city of Urteau, and the single Ashmount of the Northern Dominance, Kalling, a black mountain that spewed forth soot and ash into the atmosphere. Below the ashmount were miles and miles of untamed forests and valleys, and due to the mountainous areas of the region, it was one of the few places in the world where wild sheep could be found. Aradel did not trade in sheep, however. He cast his eyes over the skaa Workers, in his eyes they were a shuffling, lazy lot. The only real advantage to them was the shear amount of them, and they tended to work faster for a brief period after receiving a few lashes of the whip.

They were slaves, but they were not his slaves. They were, of course, the property of the Lord Ruler. The nobility were simply loaned the skaa by their almighty leader, but they were given a great deal of liberties. They could beat them, and even kill them if they so desired. They could even take them to their beds, as long as they took certain precautions afterwards. Lord Aradel watched the skaa for what seemed like hours, until finally a voice snapped him out of his trance.

“Lord Aradel…” The voice had a pompous, nasal quality to it. Lord Aradel turned to find the an Obligator standing behind him to his right, with a companion stood next to him.
“Obligator Marwin.” Lord Aradel replied with a polite smile, “You have concluded your audit?”
“Indeed.” Marwin replied. The man was average height and slim, and entirely bald. Like all Obligators he had a series of tattoos around his eyes, mostly black but some parts red, the significance and meaning both unknown to Lord Aradel. He was dressed in dark robes with pointed shoulders and wide sleeves, with gold filagery on the collar and sleeves. “My inspection on behalf of the Canton of Resource finds nothing of concern within your holdings, Lord Aradel…” For a moment Lord Aradel felt a wash of relief fall over him, but the Obligator continued talking. “However…my colleague from the Canton of Inquisition has voiced…concerns.”

Lord Aradel turned his attention to the Obligator’s companion. The man behind him was tall and dressed in black robes, much more loose fitting and plain than the Obligator, with a dark hood over his head. The man raised his head slightly to reveal a similarly bald face with tattoos and markings around the eyes, however, this man did not have eyes. In place was two flat discs of metal. Lord Aradel knew that they were actually the flat ends of two spikes that had been speared through the head of the man, and the points stuck out the back of his head. He was a Steel Inquisitor, a terror of the Steel Ministry that made Obligators look like cute puppies.

“Concerns…yes.” The Inquisitor said, his voice was raspy and cold, “Tell me Lord Aradel…how old are your children?”
“My children?” Aradel replied, trying to hold back the nervousness in his voice, “Seta is 18 and her brother Venrin is only 12.”
“Yes…and you have had how many wives?” The Inquisitor asked, his expressionless face causing Lord Aradel to shiver.
“…Just one, she died last year.” Aradel explained.
“Lady Marewen Aradel, previously of House Tekiel. Died of a sickness if I recall, a weakness in the blood. It is a hereditary disease that only affects women. It has other known symptoms…including infertility. Did you know this?”
“I…I did not.” Aradel lied. “But it can’t always be the case, we have two children after all.”

“Lord Aradel…let us not play games.” The Inquisitor said, “Bedding skaa is not a crime. Your business is otherwise in order here, you will not receive any personal punishment for this incident.” The Inquisitor cast his eyes behind Aradel, who immediately turned to see a horse-drawn carriage returning to the manor. “Your children, however….they should never have been allowed to be born in the first place. We will have to rectify that.”
“No…wait, my wife, she desperately wanted children! But she knew! She knew she couldn’t conceive, what else were we to do?” Aradel looked pained.
“Lord Aradel…” The Inquisitor took a step forward and Aradel recoiled in fear. “Step aside, or I will execute you for interfering with the responsibilities of The Canton of Inquisition.”

Aradel hesitated. He loved his children, and he had loved his wife. He turned back to the approaching carriage, and he knew that he could not hope to stop a Steel Inquisitor. His children, he began to realize, were already dead. In that sense, was there really any need to sacrifice himself too? He winced at the thought, but then without another word, he stepped aside. The Steel Inquisitor smirked, and then stepped past him, slowly making his way through the fields towards the carriage.

--- --- --- ---

Venrin barely noticed the rocking of the carriage, he was so immersed in his book. The young boy was dressed in a white shirt with brown waistcoat and black trousers and shoes. His dark brown hair was combed neatly in a side parting and his keen blue eyes were transfixed to the page. His sister, Seta, sat next to him staring out of the window. She was a thin, beautiful young woman with dark hair like his own, tied back in a complex braid that was hanged over her shoulder. She was dressed in a simple, dark gown that wasn’t very fashionable, but she had insisted on wearing these sorts of things, something that was more fitting and easier to move around in. Where other young ladies wore heels and slips, Seta wore boots.

“The ashfalls are quite beautiful at times.” She said, “Perhaps you would notice this too if you ever paid attention to your surroundings, Ven.”
“Hm?” Venrin gave her a half glance and then went back to his book. “We’re almost home, I can look around here any time. This book is at a good part though, the hero just killed the leader of the skaa rebels and saved the damsel.”
“Skaa rebels? How silly, Ven. Skaa aren’t organized enough to properly rebel, and they wouldn’t dare kidnap a noble lady.”
“It’s really exciting though…the hero is a Coinshot, he’s so daring-“
“What is…” Seta interrupted him as she looked out of the window of the carriage. The horses stopped as they had reached the manor. Seta got out and Venrin closed his book and followed her. As they stepped outside Venrin gasped, spotting the Steel Inquisitor walking towards them. Venrin felt a chill as he stared into those cold discs of metal. “Seta…” He said worriedly.

“Ven…get back in the carriage,” Seta said, her tone becoming serious. She was holding a small vial in her hands. Where had she been hiding that? As he wondered that, she uncorked the vial and swallowed the liquid contents of it. “I mean it, get back in the carriage, now.” Then Seta suddenly shot forward with immense speed. She closed the gap between them and the Inquisitor and let out a primal scream as she attacked him with a flurry of punches and kicks.

Venrin gasped, watching his petite framed sister flying like a legendary warrior, showing power and speed that didn’t match her frame. The Inquisitor didn’t seem phased by this, however, and he matched her speed with relative ease, dodging her blows and expertly countering with powerful blows. Despite taking blows to her ribs and face, Seta kept going. Apparently, her resilience was otherworldly too.
“Seta…you’re an allomancer.” He whispered in revelation to himself. The Steel Inquisitor apparently grew tired of the dance, and he suddenly stretched out his robed arms and coins flew through the air, cutting at Seta like little knives. She gasped in pain but kept at him, stopping only to call back to Venrin; “Run!”

Venrin was shocked into movement, and he suddenly turned and ran away from the fields, back towards the open road. The Inquisitor knocked Seta to the side and then he sprinted for Venrin, moving at an incredible speed. With a thrust of his arms he had drawn his coins back to his hands, and then he pushed them towards Venrin. He felt objects whizz past him like arrows, and then he felt a cutting, sharp pain in his arm, and then in his leg as the coins cut into him. He cried out in pain, terror dominating his mind. He kept running and running but he could not outrun the Inquisitor. The monster reached him and grabbed hold of him by the back of his shirt, and picked him up as if he weighed no more than a loaf of bread.

He screamed in horror as he got a closer look at the Inquisitor’s face. His pale, sunken expression, his metal discs for eyes, and he wore a slight grimace, one that made it seem like the creature was in near constant pain or discomfort. “I admire your resolve, child.” The Inquisitor said, “But you cannot run from me.”
“NO!” Seta screamed as she reached them. She moved with more speed than she had before, and the Inquisitor seemed surprised by the sheer amount of power she had brought to this next altercation. Her desire to protect Venrin had sent Seta into a rage, and she lashed out at the Inquisitor, wrenching Venrin from his grasp, tearing the boy’s shirt in the process. The fighting became a blur as the fear gripped Venrin and he became dazed and confused.

Distant shouting from the plantation shook him from his confusion, as a drumming noise came closer and closer. Horse hooves hammered across the plains, and as Seta struggled with the Inquisitor, a skaa worker on a stolen horse came bounding towards Venrin, his arm outstretched to grab hold of the boy. Venrin reached up in desperation, and the skaa gripped his arm and hoisted him on to the back of the horse, riding away from the battle. “My sister!” Venrin screamed, “No we have to save her too!”
“Sorry boy.” The Skaa replied, his expression pained. “No one survives a Steel Inquisitor. Our only hope is to run…”
“No! We have to go back for her!” Venrin demanded. This man, what had spurred him to act? He was a slave, and Venrin’s father was their master. They were forced to work hard all day, they were beaten if they didn’t work fast enough, and yet this man had shown bravery, and had saved him. “I’m sorry…” The skaa said, his expression still pained but also resigned. “We can never go back…”

Venrin turned around to look back, and he saw his sister broken and beaten on the ground. The Steel Inquisitor had her by the hair, her face a bloody mess. Then with a final smash of his fist, he knocked Seta to the ground. She did not move again. Pain surged through Venrin, a great despair that seemed to rip his insides apart. He felt like something inside of him had been broken, like a snap of a branch from the rest of the tree.


Mistborn Alterna: Breaking An Empire

That was the day he had snapped. It had been over 20 years since that day, and Venrin Aradel was a ghost. In his place stood a man in his mid-30s. His dark brown hair was longer and swept back. His chubby child-like features had been replaced by sharp hawkish ones. His blue eyes were just as brilliant, but they seemed colder and less innocent. He was clean-shaven, and wore a single bronze stud in his right ear. He had become a lean, muscular man with a strong jaw and a confident posture. He was wearing a black shirt, black trousers and black boots under his cloak.

The cloak itself looked like it was made of ribbons of dark-grey cloth, with a dark hood which he pulled over his head. A Mistcloak; a signature attire of the rare and legendary allomancers known as Mistborn. The tassels of the cloak were about an inch to an inch and a half wide, all a dark grey, and perfectly fitted to reach the bottom of his feet, but not to drag along behind him. The cloak was designed to conceal him in the murky mists that covered the land every evening. It was also a sign to common folk and guards to stay out of their way, as Mistborn were above mere mortal men, above even other mistings.

The boy who had been rescued by the bravery and kindness of a single skaa had died the moment he had snapped. The two escapees had fled to the mountains where they had found other skaa who took them in. The skaa man, Mraine, had lied to the other skaa there. He couldn’t tell them that Venrin was a Nobleman, for they would have surely killed him on the spot. Instead Mraine had told the rebellion that Venrin was his son, and that his name was Raze. And since that day, he had become Raze. To all who knew him he was a half-skaa, his mother a noblewoman who had taken a skaa lover in Mraine, who had fled when the Steel Ministry had come for them.

Mraine, it had transpired, was himself a half-skaa. He was also an allomancer, one who burned copper, also known as a Smoker. His allomantic power had no use in a fight and so he couldn’t have helped Raze’s sister. Burning copper created an invisible cloud, called a coppercloud, within an area around a Smoker, and within that area allomantic abilities could not be detected. Of course only a Seeker, an allomancer who burned bronze could detect allomancy. However, as Raze had come to learn, all Steel Inquisitors could use every metal, and many Obligators were also Seekers.

Raze’s sister, Seta, had been a Thug, an allomancer who burned pewter to become physically stronger, faster, and more resilient. They were just 3 abilities of a total of 10 allomantic metals; Iron, Steel, Bronze, Copper, Zinc, Brass, Tin, Pewter, Gold and Atium. The rules of allomancy were simple enough; only those with noble blood could become allomancers, which meant no skaa should be able to use alomancy, as the Lord Ruler had decreed that any noble who beds a skaa should kill them afterwards. Yet laws, of course, were often broken. Mistings were the most common allomancers, people who could only burn one metal. Skaa Mistings were more rare, but they did exist, although they kept their abilities secret. Rarer still were Mistborn, even among the nobility the likelihood of someone being able to use all the allomantic arts was exceptionally rare. As for skaa Mistborn, Raze was fairly certain that they did not exist. Of course, he was now living the life of a skaa, and so perhaps he was the first. Sort of.

Raze had learned quickly that the skaa were not as slow witted and dull as the Steel Ministry has led them to be believe. The Canton of Orthodoxy had taught religion to the nobility, but as far as Raze remembered, their teaching consisted of ‘we will handle the religion, you just do as we say and all will be well’. They had been taught some things though. They were taught that the Lord Ruler, the Immortal God Emperor, the Sliver of Infinity, had saved the world from The Deepness over a millennia ago. The Lord Ruler had gifted the nobility, the sons and daughters of his trusted allies, with the power of allomancy.

The skaa, on the other hand, were forbidden from having religion. They were forbidden from having much of a life at all really. Many skaa worked as slaves for noble houses, and perhaps a luckier few with specialist skills could have jobs as tradesman or merchants, but only as far as the Lord Ruler allowed. They were his property, no matter what, that fact was made abundantly clear. While the vast majority of skaa lived this life, a small few had managed to subvert the Lord Ruler’s law. First there was the thieving crews. Some skaa had managed to make themselves very rich through a series of cons, heists and burglaries. The others were the rebellion, men and women who had fled civilization to a secret location in the mountains, where they hid and plotted the unthinkable; to overthrow the Final Empire. It was considered a fantasy to most, but it was a fantasy that Raze had latched on to.

Spending time with the skaa had taught him that they were just like him. The nobility turned a blind eye to these people who thought and felt in precisely the same way as they did. And he had been saved by the kindness of a man who was a slave to his family. A man who Raze would not have blamed if he had simply watched him die with a smile on his face. He owed this man and his people. He didn’t know how, but he was going to find a way to do it. He would kill the Lord Ruler and bring the skaa their freedom.

“Daydreaming again?” Mraine asked. They were stood in a backroom of a skaa tavern in Urteau, the capital city of the Northern Dominance. Mraine no longer wore the rags he had when he had worked on the plantation. He had gained weight over the years, he wasn’t fat but he looked healthier and more well fed now. His hair had greyed and thinned, and was combed back over his liver-spotted head. Despite turning 60 this year the man was keen-eyed and confident. He was dressed in a brown longcoat, with a simple olive-coloured shirt underneath and some tan trousers with grey suspenders. He was smoking a pipe, the tobacco smelled spicy and a little sweet.

“Just visiting the past…I guess it's being here in the Northern Dominance again.” Raze replied, his voice was deeper and had a cool confidence in it. “When was the last time we were here?”
“8 years ago. We were recruiting for the rebellion, and you disappeared.” Mraine replied with a shrug, “Two days later you return, burnt out from pewter drag and ready to collapse.”
“Yes…” Raze replied, staring out of the window, “I went to see my father.”
“For the last time, apparently.” Mraine said with a nod, “The ministry discovered his corpse a few days later.”
“No great loss.” Raze replied coldly, and finally, he turned and locked eyes with Mraine. “Now his heir runs the plantation. New wife, new son. It was like what had happened to us was just a bad dream for him. Well, at least my half-brother treats the skaa better. Even pays them wages.”
“You know…those who knew the Aradel heir would say he experienced quite the change of heart after his father died. Apparently, he relished skaa suffering, would even lash them himself at times.”
“Well, sometimes a little brotherly love can go a long way…” Raze replied, and he went back to staring out of the window. “So why are we here, Mraine? You’ve got me all dressed up for the occasion, so what’s happening?”

“Public executions are happening tonight.” Mraine replied, “All skaa who have defied their masters. One even killed a noble, apparently.”
“I like this man already.” Raze said with a smirk.
“Woman.” Mraine corrected. “Anyway…skaa with that rebellious spirit are rare. I’ve got our tineyes and seekers scouting the city. Reports indicate that there’s something going down at the Conventical of Seran, all the Inquisitors have been making their way there. The Obligators are dealing with the executions. Security is low, just the usual guards to keep the masses under control. No one really expects any noble mistings to act out against skaa executions.”
“So they definitely won’t be expecting a Mistborn, then.”
“Exactly,” Mraine said. “Just sit tight here and I’ll keep us hidden. Relax a little until the mists roll in, then you go do what you do best.”

“I hate waiting…” Raze grumbled. The streets of Urteau bustled with activity outside. It would be another few hours before nightfall came, and then the mists would roll in. Then he could be free again. Free to run, and soar, and to kill.

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Blinded by the light as the bag was yanked from her head. Voices everywhere. Hands reaching for her, grabbing her. She wanted to scream and kick and bite and lash out but realised her arms were bound behind her and her mouth had been gagged. She choked as she felt the moist fabric on her tongue and teared up. She looked out for a friendly face, but none seemed concerned. In fact, they were assessing her thoughtfully.
"I'll give you, say, 20 boxings for her?" One man asked. 
"She's worth 30!" Another responded. She tried to focus on what was happening but she felt like she had been drugged. Things moved in front of her, hands explored her body, she wanted to scream and bite and flee but she could do none of these things.
"...25... and not a boxing more." She felt the presence of a tall, muscular man, a shadow came over her. "You'll make up for that, won't you...?" Calloused hands gripped her chin and then thrust it aside, and darkness enveloped her once more.

"What's your name?"
She told him. He didn't like that. He had been asking ever since she'd arrived 2 weeks ago. There were lots of things the Master didn't like, though. If it wasn't this, it would be something else. So did it matter? He asked her again, and she told him. That made his anger all the more pure. The whip sliced across her flesh once again and she screamed out.
"What's your name?!" The Master was foaming at the mouth, it was rare he took the whip into his own hands, but his workers knew better than to question it.
She tried to open her mouth to speak, she felt spit pour out and splash onto her legs and the ground beneath her, only she looked down to see it was blood, not spit, that was now splattered across the barn. At last, through laboured breathing, she spoke her name.
"I'm... m-my... n-name..." She dared not look up at him, "... is... Galatea."
"T-That's right!" The Master beamed in disbelief, "I'm glad to see we're learning at last... Galatea." Then a sharp pain in her temple.

"You can't keep this up..." The old Skaa, a woman by the name of Tress, shook her head in disbelief and frustration. But Galatea refused to listen, as always. "The Master will kill you next time!"
"The Master likes my company, now are you going to help me or not?" Galatea gestured at her right leg, a thick, deep wound had sliced it open. It lay between dozens of other wounds, albeit they had healed and now shone white against her tan skin. Her arms and legs were covered in scars, as was her back, but never her face.
"You be careful he doesn't tire of it..." Tress muttered, reaching for a poultice.
"I learned to bite my tongue, didn't I?" Galatea retorted. 
"Oh yes, you've broken on the outside, sweetheart, but it's going to take years for you to understand you are never going to leave here."
"I'll get out one day..." Galatea growled, wincing as Tress applied a thick paste to her wound.

"Wake up! Galatea, wake up!!" 
The voice was immediately familiar. It was her best friend, Lariot. Galatea had been on this farm since she was 11. At 26, it was all she knew. 2 years after she arrived, Lariot came to the farm. She was smaller and scrawnier than Galatea. She was a little more boy-ish, and had to have been grateful for the lack of attention the Master paid her. The two girls soon became close friends, as Galatea had a habit of getting into trouble, and Lariot had a knack for getting her out of it, and now Lariot was saving her, again.
"W-what?!" Galatea groaned, sitting upright. She pulled at the iron collar snugly around her neck, and pushed a finger inside her matching shackles to give her wrists a moment's relief from the pain. The instant she arrived on the farm and was given her iron collar, she had been weakened, and it had only gotten worse over the years. There was no fight left in her.
"Galatea, move it!" Lariot was running from their hiding spot as two men in armour marched down towards the barn. The doors crashed open and the two men stepped inside, looking Galatea up and down, giving her the same look the men at the slave market had given her all those years ago. It didn't help that the Master kept her in rags. It hardly allowed her to keep her modesty. She marched past the two men, and up towards the Master's house, she knew why she was being called for. It was no different than any other day.

But it was. Galatea just didn't know it yet.

As she entered the room, she saw the Master. His bloated belly arcing over the bed like a mountain. She could smell the strange, exotic spices and perfumes that lingered in the room. She could also smell food being cooked in the next room. She was so hungry. She could feel her ribs as she clutched at her stomach. 
"Come here, Galatea..." The Master beckoned. She couldn't refuse, no matter how badly she wanted to eat.
"Yes, Master," She nodded politely to him, as he'd shown her how to bow like a noble woman. Though she wasn't very good at it. 
"Mm, bring me that fruit there," He nodded at the bulbous, round, fleshy grey thing sat on the table beside his bed. There was also a small, sharp knife beside it. "Yes, that one. And the knife, as well. Hurry up, girl! Or i'll tan your hide before our night's dancing!!" Galatea grabbed the fruit in one hand, the knife in the other and walked back to the bed. Before she could hand the Master the two items, however, he grabbed her and pulled her on top of him. "There, that's better!" 
Anger welled up inside her, she wanted to lash out, but she couldn't. She couldn't access the anger, she wanted to, she was desperate to. She focused and pictured herself lunging for the knife. But as her concentration increased, she started to feel different. At first, she didn't know what it was, but then she realised. This was strength!

"Get off me, you unwieldy whore, why are you so heavy all of a--" The Master looked up at her eyes and panic set in. For a moment, he knew he was trapped, and there was nothing he could do. His face held a kind of serenity, before it was caved in with a single punch. Galatea struck again, chunks of blood, brains and viscera flew everywhere. She hit again, and again, until there was nothing left. Dripping in blood, she got off the now extremely dead Master, and leaned forwards. Picking up the fruit, she grabbed the knife beside it and began peeling the fruit ever so carefully. A few seconds later, as she was slipping the last sliver of fruit into her ravenous lips, the room filled with the Master's guard. She tried to fight them off, killed a couple of them, but then one of them got a lucky hit, cleaved right through her face. The attack took the use of her eyes, and would leave a terrible scar, but she didn't scream, despite the pain, she lay quietly on the ground, cradling her face, as she knew she would not be long for this world. And that was okay.

"--Skaa found to be rebellious, have broken the law in multiple counts, including but not limited to theft, conspiracy, plotting, loitering and murder. Have been found guilty and in accordance with the laws of the Lord Ruler are to be put to death." Galatea heard their voices, smelled the rancid stench of the crowd, but that was all. Bloody bandages wrapped around her eyes. They did little but staunch the blood flow for long enough that she may be hung for her crimes. She felt a noose roughly fall around her neck and tighten. She heard the man addressing the crowd explain to them how happy they should be, and that we would soon pay for our crimes and be forgiven in the eyes of the Lord Ruler. Was that really how it worked? She wondered. Then she heard chaos once more. Panic seemed to slip through the crowd. But it didn't last...

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Darkness loomed over Urteau, the city streets lit with torchlight. Brightest were the torches outside on the steets opposite the local Canton of Inquisition building. Raze stood on a rooftop of a nearby building, the thick mists dancing around him, whispy tendrils grasping and teasing at the air, they seemed to swirl and buzz to the tension of the scene. The plantation skaa had feared the mists, and even the city ones avoided going out in them. Yet they had come this night, bringing plenty of torchlight to guide them. Raze understood why, after all the mists were so mysterious. They hid things. Mistborn, however, did not fear the mists.

Mraine stood on a balcony window just below him, and the old man was burning copper to keep their allomancy hidden. Raze reached down and found the familiar source of power within him, and then he burned bronze. Immediately he felt a warmth in his stomach and there was a pulsing in the air. The pulses, each with their own distinct frequency, could tell him not only if allomancy was being used, but also what metal and where. Mraine was burning copper, and so his coppercloud would dampen any allomancy within it, but that didn’t stop Raze from detecting anything outside of it.

Immediately he noticed one of the obligators by the gallows. The pulses coming from him were that of bronze, like Raze himself was burning. That meant the obligator was a seeker, which was fairly common. He felt another pulse coming from a nobleman standing on one of the upper windows of the canton. He was burning Zinc, a soother for sure. It was possible that some of the guards were Thugs, or “Pewterarms” as the military called it. Most decent Thugs didn’t burn their pewter when they weren’t using it, which was a fairly smart tactic.

He stopped burning bronze and smirked, nothing he couldn’t handle. “I’m going.” He said to Mraine, “Make sure the safehouse is all set up.”
“Good luck.” Mraine replied.
“We Mistborn make our own luck, Mraine.” Raze replied, and then he sprang in to action. He burned copper, pewter and tin. The copper concealed his allomancy from the seeker, and his sense became sharp and extra sensitive. Light became brighter and he could see more details in the darkness and through the mist. His body felt well balanced and primed thanks to the pewter, and with inhuman strength he pushed off the building at a diagonal leap.

He burned steel, and immediately his vision was filled with a web of blue lines pointing in every direction. Each was a source of metal he could push on. He found the lines connected to his loose coin pouch and then he pushed on them. The coins spilled out of his pouch and flew backwards the way he had came, until they smacked against the roof of the building, and suddenly Raze was propelled forward, with the combined weight of the building, now the coins were pushing him.

The additional burst sent him high above the street, bounding across the crowd in one leap. Raze burned iron and found the lines for his coins and then pulled on them, bringing them back to his waiting hands. He let himself fall down to the earth, and at about 10feet off the ground he gave a guard’s sword three short bursts of pushing, knocking the blade off of his belt and straight to the ground, whilst slowing Raze’s fall until he landed on the ground with a deft roll, going straight back to his feet and then setting off at a sprint.

Gasps filled the crowds as Raze breached a line of guards with steel powered leap over them, before pulling his coins back, cutting at the guard’s hands and faces on their way back, and he grinned, feeling a wave of excitement. With another pull he wrenched the guard’s swords out of their hands and they flew off into the night. Raze advanced on them, flaring his pewter to go at an incredible speed, he swung a hook at one that knocked him to the ground, and then spun and brought his heel into another’s chest, sending him so far back he crashed against the far wall. He turned his attention back to the gallows and the mists swirled around him, the tassels of his mistcloak waving and dancing within them. The obligators flinched as he advanced towards them, after all they were bureaucrats not warriors. He burned brass and began to soothe away their other emotions, as well as the emotions of the crowd of skaa. Then he burned zinc and flared it, rioting the obligator’s fear, until one of them gave a short squeak of terror.

Their fear made them slow, and Raze flew at them. With expert aim he sent his coins hammering at the ropes of the skaa’s nooses and they ropes split apart, freeing the skaa. The obligators went to run, but with another iron pull Raze brought a sword into each of his hands, and then he pushed them point first towards the obligators, spearing them through the chest. The crowd shrieked but Raze ignored them, advancing up the steps of the gallows, he pulled one of the swords out of the fallen obligators chest and used it to cut free each of the skaa, and pulled the bags from their heads.

His eyes fixed on the young lady who’s bag he’d just taken off from her head. She was young, with tan skin and a slim build, with a bloody rag covering her eyes. She had black hair that was thick and went down to her shoulders. “Get up, you’re safe now.” He said, and he began soothing away at her fear and her worries. He turned to the other skaa prisoners and gestured into the city. “Run, there are people watching for you. They’ll take you somewhere safe. Go, now!” The skaa looked hesitant at first, but then they ran off. He turned back to the girl. “Can you see?” He asked.

"Unlike me, stranger, you have eyes - use them! I can see no better than a mole rat." Galatea felt a strange sensation. She kept her emotions contained, after years of torture, abuse and conditioning, she had locked those feelings away and allowed them to wither. But now she felt something she hadn't ever known before - peace. She was no longer fighting her fear and pain, they were just... gone? That wasn't normal. This stranger wasn't normal. He had to be some kind of Misting, affecting her emotions like that. But it didn't matter, whatever he said, she wasn't safe. She would never be safe.

“Fine, hold on.” He said and he grabbed hold of her firmly. Then he threw down his coins and steel pushed, pulling the coins with him in to the air as he bounded off, not so much flying as a series of arcing jumps through the city, disappearing in to the mist. When he reached a rooftop he put her down briefly and flared his tin, listening carefully to the barrage of loud noises around him. It was difficult to hone in on specific conversations without practice, when every noise got louder. Tin sure would be more useful if he could hone in on specific noises.

“Come.” He said again as he grabbed her arm and pulled her off the edge of the roof, and they fell together to the ground below, Raze slowing their fall once more with bursting iron pushes. They landed with a tap and he released her once more. “I’m taking you to a safehouse. It’ll be a short stop, we’ll need to get out of Urteau after that stunt.”

"There's no 'we', stranger." Galatea replied, feeling the air rush around her before they landed. She felt the mist cool around her, and she knew they were on the ground once more. She took a risk, and started walking. "There's only 'you' and 'I'. You saved me. I am leaving." Raze cocked his head to the side slightly and narrowed his eyes at the girl. Did she really plan on going it alone through the night without being able to see?

“It’s Raze…my name, that is.” He said after her. “You don’t have to trust me, but come with me and I can get you food, let you get those injuries seen to. It’s too late for your vision but if those wounds get infected…well that’s a fresh new hell I can assure you. After that we can part ways if you still want to. Sound fair?”

A part of her wanted to spit in his face and walk into the mists. But she didn't allow her emotions to control her any more. She knew, whether she liked it or not, that she was likely dead without this man's aid. It was foolish to refuse his offer, even if it was a trap - what was the alternative?
"Very well, Raze, I can't fault your logic. I will accompany you for now. For dinner, if nothing else..." She smirked to herself, then she lost the brief smile, "I'm... Galatea."
“You speak like a noble.” Raze said in response. “Well, sort of.” He came to her and took hold of her a final time. Then he pushed once more and they soared upwards, mists coiling around them as he flared his steel and they flew up further and faster, until Raze could see the whole of Urteau beneath him. His coins came up after him and then he let them fall, until finally they lurched as he slowed their fall with steel pushes, landing softly on the backstreet of the skaa tavern they had been using as a front. He tapped in a rhythmic pattern on the door, and then someone unbolted it from the other side and they were let in.

Mraine greeted them both, and Raze stopped burning tin as he stepped into the well-lit room. The place was relatively bustling as members of their team were tending to the other injured skaa who had been escorted back there. “Is this the last one?” He asked, indicating to Galatea.
“Looks like it. Get Telzin to have a look at her.” Raze suggested, before turning to Galatea. “Go with my friend Mraine, I’ll fetch you some food.” He said, and then he stalked away from them.

--- --- ---

Mraine took a long draw on his pipe as he examined the young waif that Raze had brought in. She looked scrawny in places, Raze was right to get her food. “Come on.” He said in his gruff voice, “Our medic is a nice guy, you’ll like him. Terris, real polite, like.”
Galatea put a hand on Mraine's shoulder and allowed him to guide her. She didn't acknowledge his comment as she began asking question after question, "Where am I? Who are you? Who was he? Why did he save me? How did he save me?"

"Don't worry about that just now." Mraine said gently. He led her into another room where another man was waiting by a table, chopping vegetables. He was a very tall man with tanned skin and a completely bald head. He wore a number of earrings and his arms were covered in bracers. He wore brightly coloured robes cut in downward pointing V patterns, the dress of the people of Terris. He smiled at her at first but it grew into a frown as he examined her. "Oh dear child..." the terrisman said as he began to clear the table. "what have they done to you?"

"Enough." Galatea replied coarsely. "What are you doing?" She asked, hearing clutter quickly being moved. "Are you Terris? I've heard that accent before." She inclined her head, trying to understand her surroundings without the use of her vision. Sounds were mysterious clues she was desperately fumbling to grasp.

“I would be surprised if you had not.” The terrisman replied, but he did not explain what he was doing. He called for assistance and some skaa women bustled in and began boiling water and getting out clean cloths and towels. “I understand that loss of sight will be distressing, as is your current circumstance, but I must ask that you please be still and let us work.” He gently touched Galatea on the sides of her face, turning her head from left to right as he examined her wounds. His frown deepened slightly though his expression was one of worry rather than frustration. “Very messy…all we can do is clean it up and apply fresh bandages I am afraid…”

"Very well. If nothing can be done." Galatea touched at her cheeks, and gingerly felt up until she felt a sharp pain as her fingers probed over hewn flesh and she retreated. She had to remind herself - it was no good wallowing in self pity. What's done is done. The terrisman got to work cleaning the wound, apologizing softly as she winced when he dabbed at her eyes. He smiled softly at her even though she could not see him.
“My name is Telzin.” He said, “I am sorry your owners have treated you so poorly. You are safe for now though, I know that must be hard to believe but it is still true.”

Mraine sat on a stool in the corner with his arms folded. Watching the girl get treated, he couldn’t help but feel she was going to be a problem. He felt a twinge of guilt for feeling that, he had been kinder once. Years working for the rebellion had led him to responsibilities for a lot of lives, and having a blind girl with them during the escape was only going to slow them down.
"Owner?" Galatea repeated the word back at Telzin, a touch of venom in her tone, "I don't have one." She winced as she felt liquid trickle into her eyes and recoiled. "Sorry..." She muttered, shuffling back into place.

“No I am sorry.” Telzin said quickly as he continued dabbing her wound, “I did not mean to offend you, after all I too have once been seen as property. What I said was once true of us both, but I did not consider your feelings.”
"You don't need to concern yourself with how I feel. I took my freedom today. I'll deal with my sight tomorrow." Galatea gently pulled Telzin's hands away once he had fastened fresh bandages about her eyes. "Thank you, Telzin. My name is Galatea." Then she hopped off the table and fumbled awkwardly as she was lifted into the air. Speechless, Galatea tried to voice her confusion but she was almost at the ceiling and she could no longer focus.

"You don't need to concern yourself with how I feel. I took my freedom today. I'll deal with my sight tomorrow." Galatea gently pulled Telzin's hands away once he had fastened fresh bandages about her eyes. "Thank you, Telzin. My name is Galatea." Then she hopped off the table and stumbled forwards. "Ugh, get them off!" She snarled, falling to one knee under the weight of her iron collar and shackles, which suddenly felt five times heavier. She'd had days where it had been easier to carry her bonds, and a great many more where it had been difficult to move in them but never like this. Telzin frowned as he helped the girl up and one of the women helping came and took her arm.
“Take the young lady upstairs and draw her a bath, get these shackles off of her and get her some clean clothes, please.” Telzin instructed to her. “Are you alright, Lady Galatea? Fatigue can take the strength from you quite suddenly at times.” He said to Galatea.
"I am not a lady and you know this." She growled under the strain of the weight. After a few seconds, Galatea managed to stand completely upright though she could feel her legs wanting to give way. "I am fine." She gently removed the woman's hands from her and started the laborious trek up the stairs.

Telzin sighed and turned to Mraine, “Another bitter one, suspicious too.”
“She’ll see sense eventually, and even if she doesn’t…” He sighed and scratched at his head, “I’m sure she can be of some use despite her condition.”
“Are you disappointed that she will not be another angry skaa to join your army?” Telzin asked plainly, and Mraine responded only with a scowl. Then he got off his stool and stalked off out of the room.

--- --- --- ---

Raze had gotten changed out of his mistcloak and had put on a pair of black trousers and boots, a simple white shirt and a brown waistcoat. He did his rounds, checking the smokers were rotating on schedule, and going over reports from tineye scouts. Finally he made his way to the tavern’s kitchen and procured some bay wraps, pockets of flatbread stuffed with rice and vegetables, and took them upstairs to the room that Galatea had been taken to. He reached the door and knocked twice on the frame. “Galatea? I have that food for you.” He said through the door.

"Bring it in, thank you." Galatea returned to watching the woman from earlier, as she continued treating her, working a salve into Galatea's bruised and scarred wrists. Raze entered and walked over to where they were sitting. “Thank you, Ranette.” Raze said with a nod at the woman, then turned to Galatea. “How does it feel to be waited on for a change?” He asked, and placed the plate on her lap.
"Unnecessary but not unappreciated." She replied simply. Then picked up a wrap and ravenously devoured it.

“Oh this is necessary, we need to keep our people healthy.” Raze replied, “The nobility have the right idea, when you’re dealing with big operations you need a lot of help workers.”
“You pay me though.” Ranette added, eyeing him for a moment, “I’m also a soother, dear. A better one than him, too. No wonder you were so hostile when you first came in.”
“I didn’t want her panicking!” Raze protested, holding his hands up in surrender.
“Soothing takes a light touch, something you wouldn’t know the meaning of.” Ranette rolled her eyes at him.

"If you pull at my emotions, I'll know." Galatea cut through their conversation. "There was a lot of things I couldn't control, but my emotions was not one of them. The Master was like you," She nodded at Ranette, "And you." She added, taking another bite of food. Mouth full, she mumbled, "He couldn't stop me, no matter how hard he tried, and I felt him, stabbing around, in here," She tapped the side of her head with her thumb, "One last indiscretion..."
“Relax no one’s soothing you.” Ranette replied, “Some soothers are like that but not in our crew. It’s different in the field, of course. We’ve got to use our allomancy to survive, you know?”
“Not just survive, Ranette.” Raze added, “To live.”

“So you don’t like emotional allomancy? I think you’ll find you’re not alone there.” Ranette said, “Although I’m pretty good at soothing if I do say so myself. Wouldn’t be any use to this lot if I wasn’t.”
“Well someone needs to do the laundry…” Raze said with a smirk and Ranette wrapped him soundly on the arm. “Sorry.” He added after.
“So do you have any questions?” Ranette asked, “About us? Or what comes next?”

"You want something from me, that much is clear... Soothers... Allomancy... Is that what the Master was? An Allomancer? What makes you different from him...?"
“We’re what shouldn’t exist.” Raze explained, “half-skaa who have inherited allomancy from our noble blood. If the Lord Ruler’s laws were followed then we wouldn’t exist. Allomancers in the skaa population, why do you think the Lord Ruler wouldn’t want that?”
"I'm sorry, I know very little about Allomancy. Only that it has power..." Galatea set aside her empty plate and wiped her mouth with the back of her hand.

“I can explain it to you in depth some time if you’re interested.” Raze replied, folding his arms. “There are 10 allomantic metals, and some people can ingest and burn one of these metals to tap in to a power, most can only burn one metal, and a very small number can burn all of them, like myself. Allomancy is the Lord Ruler’s gift to the nobility, and so we use that gift to resist his rule, and to overthrow the nobility. Of course, we’re a small crew designed for specialist missions. The Skaa Rebellion could use any help it can get, and it can provide you with a free life. It won’t always be easy, but it will definitely be free.”

He watched the young girl chew on his words. Skaa didn’t always react the same to the prospect of freedom. Some were excited, others nervous. He had met skaa who denied or even feared their freedom, too indoctrinated by their enslavement. That was why Galatea was interesting. If her actions were any indication, she would fight for that simple right. “You killed the nobleman who kept you in chains.” Raze said matter of factly, “I’ve killed many orders more, for far less. Tell me, how did you do it?”

"I hit him..." Her reply fell flat as even as the words left her lips she found herself reliving the experience. It was traumatic. But, upon looking back, she realized what she had done. She had more than hit him. Her fist had passed through his head as though it was made of little more than bread and twigs, not muscle and bone.
“You hit him?” Raze asked, raising an eyebrow. The girl didn’t look like she was strong enough to hit anybody hard enough to kill them. Then again, looks could be deceiving. Some people could make themselves stronger. “…were both of your parents skaa?”

"I never knew my parents..." Galatea mumbled a response but she was focused, out of curiosity or her inability to pull herself away from that horrifying experience. "I hit him... so hard..."
“…You could be a thug.” He said then quickly added, “an allomancer who burns pewter. It enhances your physical attributes, makes you fast and strong.”
"Pewter is a metal... And I ingest it, somehow burn it and I become fast and strong..." Galatea thought this over. "But when did I swallow this metal?"
“Sometimes Allomancers can burn trace metals from the water. Pewter is commonly used for bowls and cutlery.” Raze explained, “There’s a simple test for it.” Raze reached in to his pocket and produced a vial of liquid with metal flakes. “This solution has the primary 8 metals allomancers use in it. Drink it, and see if you can burn it.” He handed it out for her but Ranette swiped it from his hands.

“And if she can’t burn it you’ll give her metal poisoning. Those metals can kill you if you don’t burn them off.”
“If she burns pewter then she’ll be more likely to live through it until we sort it out.” Raze replied testily.
“IF she burns pewter, Raze.” Ranette bit back with a slight anger to her tone. “We’re waiting here for our rotation to escape Urteau without being noticed. When we get the call we’re going to need to move quickly, we can’t have her being sick as well as…” she hesitated.

"I'm starting to realise the only things the Master taught me were those useful to him." Galatea interjected after noting the half dozen words she didn't understand. Questions for later. "Give me the vial. If I need to drink it to be of use then I will. I can't expect to navigate this world on my own. It's... Alien to me..." Ranette, however, tossed the vial back to Raze.
“You don’t need allomancy to help.” Ranette assured her, “But I’ll fetch you one of the vials our thugs use, a small dose. No sense injuring yourself over it. Isn’t that right, Raze?” She gaze him a pointed look.
“Uh…right.” Raze said, scratching his head. Then he turned as Mraine entered the room without knocking.
“Shifts are changing, Rudy thinks we’ll be moving this lot in 5 hours. I suggest you get some sleep before then.” He said, and turned back around to leave.

“Well that settles it.” Ranette said as she began to shoo Raze out of the room. “Get some rest, Galatea.”
“When we say it’s time to go…just do as instructed until we get safe again. Sleep well.” Raze said, and they both left Galatea alone.

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Galatea lay in her bed in silence. She just wanted to rest and cease the endless cascade of thoughts her mind assaulted her with, but she found herself unable to focus on the little noises and sensations around her. The bed felt strange to her. It was cushioned, not hard like the beds of Skaa. It wasn't the first time she'd laid in a 'soft' bed before, but she never could get used to them, they made her squirm. Galatea wished this had been the first time she'd experienced a soft bed. She heard the quiet chirping of insects outside. The chatter of her hosts in the next room. It wasn't the noises she could recognise that were the problem - it was all the noises and sensations she couldn't understand without her eyes to explain their sources. She heard something barking in the distance. A scraping noise beneath the floor. She felt as though the bed was swallowing her. She felt stiff and awkward and--
"Enough of this..." She muttered to herself, and kicked off the layered covers and got out of bed. Galatea then collapsed onto the floor, laid down on her side and pulled one of the covers over herself, disappearing beneath the sheet. The floor was hard, the breeze wafting through the floorboards was cold, but these things were familiar to her. She fell asleep, wondering what would happen in the following hours, never mind the coming days - if she lived that long.

She woke with a start. Something had her. Her nose and lips curled into a snarl as she shoved the attacker away from her. "Wake up!" 
"What?!" Galatea tried to focus but she couldn't see. The sun had yet to rise and-- no. She was awake now, and remembered swiftly - she was blind. "What's happening?" She asked the room, as fingers released her arm and she drew herself into the corner and drew the cover over herself defensively. 
"We're leaving." said Ranette, who was standing by Galatea's bed. "It should be fairly safe but we need to move quickly all the same."
"Oh--" Galatea stood and let the cover fall away, she was dressed in the same rags she was always in, they covered her body - mostly - beyond that, she didn't care for clothes and finery the way she saw the nobles covet them. She just wanted her freedom. "Okay. Ranette, will you do something for me?"
"You want a favour right now?" Ranette asked, raising her eyebrow at Galatea and smirking, "Honey, we're about to sneak you out of the city, I haven't got time for errands."
"It'll only take a moment." Galatea clarified, her arms reached out as she probed the room for Ranette's shoulder. As she found it, she held it tightly and leaned in close, "Actually... maybe you're right. Leave me, and i'll prepare for the journey."

"That's alright." Ranette replied, giving Galatea's left hand a gentle squeeze, "You've got a few minutes to gather yourself before Raze comes for you anyway. Most of us will be leaving through the gate but they're looking for you and the others from the execution. Raze is carrying them over the walls discreetly, he'll be back for you soon though."
"Alright." Galatea gave Ranette a quick nod and waited as the girl left. The door closed shut behind her. Smirking, Galatea turned her right arm over, revealing the vial she had pick-pocketed, held in the cradle of her middle finger. She considered the vial for a moment, after all, Ranette had said if she drank it and couldn't utilise its contents, she could die.
"I have to know..." Galatea whispered to herself, uncorking the vial with a squeaking 'pop'. She downed the liquid contents of the vial. It tasted bitter and metallic - of course it did - but she buried her distaste and felt the last of the liquid passing her lips.

For a fleeting, frightening moment, there was nothing. 

Then there was fire. Electricity. Power. Surging up through her body. She could barely contain herself. Her strength had returned and it felt as though it had been amplified ten-fold. It was familiar to her, like a guiding hand, on those days when she thought she could go no further, when she was ready to give up, somehow, something was burning. This was it. This was the strength she knew. The fire was hers now. She knew that in the instant the metals burned in her stomach. Galatea tried to compose herself. She took one long breath and let it out slowly, focusing on what she wanted to do next.
"Raze." She spoke his name aloud, then left her room in search of him. As she walked out she heard multiple, panicked voices, clattering and all manner of objects hitting the floor in front of her. "Raze!!" She yelled his name as loudly as she could manage before her voice went hoarse. "Raze!!" She called again, stepping over something - then she froze. She just stepped over something? How had she known it was there? She turned around and somehow, she knew there was something just-- she picked it up. It was a small wooden cup, with metal studs along it's upper lip. "Interesting..."

"What in the Lord Ruler is going on!?" Ranette called angrily as she stormed up to Galatea, "Are you trying to blow our cover!?" She looked geared up to chew up Galatea and spit her out when there was a rustling of curtains, followed by footsteps as a shadow climbed through an open window and strode into the room with graceful speed. Raze lifted his head and revealed his face under the hood of his mistcloak. "I didn't even need to burn tin to hear that, what's the big idea, hm?" He raised his brow expectantly, he didn't look angry but his lips had formed a tight line, and there was a slight twitch at the corner of his eye.
"I had to try..." Galatea muttered, but she felt dizzy, it felt like a dozen different sensations were pulling at her at once. The metals in the vial had renewed her as though she'd just slept. She was stronger than she ever felt before. She felt as though she could see shadows moving around the room, the faintest outline of certain things. Something was coming towards her but she couldn't focus on it. But somehow, she knew it was Raze. "What?" She asked, unable to know his expression.
"" Raze turned his gaze on Ranette, who patted at her pockets and then scowled at Galatea.
"She pick pocketed me!" Ranette said.
"Impressive. Glad we found her before the thieving crews did." Raze said with a wolfish grin, as he gave Ranette a comforting tap on the shoulder. Then he paused on Galatea for a moment. "You're not burning anyth-" he cut himself off, his expression curious, "Unless you're burning copper which...but you said..." the wheels kept turning in his head, until finally realization arrived in the form of an excited grin. "She's Mistborn."

The deafening ringing in her ears, drowning everything out, couldn't stop her from hearing that one word. Mistborn. She didn't understand what that meant. Not really. But she knew it meant one thing - a better life than what she'd had. That was all she could ask for. She held up the wooden cup with metal studs and held it aloft. "Show me...?" She asked. Then she focused deep within her, searching. She felt a tingling in her fingers, spreading out across her hands and through her body and she knew.
Galatea crushed the cup, sending a hail of splintered shards onto the floor. She smirked, "Show me." She wasn't asking.
Raze's eyes went from Galatea, the the remains of the cup, and finally to Ranette, who looked a mixture of awed and annoyed. Raze cocked his head to the side and gaze a little shrug. "I suppose I could-"
"No!" Ranette snapped, "Raze we're trying to get out of the city this isn't the time to go flying around with a girl who doesn't even know how to control her allomancy!"
"I was going to have to fly her over the city anyway, but now she could actually learn something in the process."
"I don't have a spare mistcloak for her-"
"A regular cloak will do." Raze replied with a smirk.

"This is the perfect time to increase the strength of this group." Galatea added, lacking Raze's smirk but the sentiment was the same.
"What's first?" She asked, eagerly awaiting instruction in what had once been the power of her Master, and would now be her own. She vowed she would return to the fields of her former Master and free her friends and fellow Skaa.
"We need to leave the city, but I can give you a taste along the way." Raze replied. He moved around the room picking up a few things and then returned to Galatea. He handed her a hooded cloak and a belt with a thick, metal buckle. "Put these on. And stop burning your metals for now."
"I don't like this, Raze." Ranette said disapprovingly, but she sighed in resignation. "But, you're the only one who can sneak Galatea out easily. So I suppose I should wish you luck."

"Ranette, I know very little of allomancy. Until I met you all, I wasn't even sure it truly existed." She held her hands up before the girl, "But now I have those powers... And I should think I could have been given no better luck than that." Then she walked forwards and stood just before Raze. Galatea stopped burning her metals and she reflexively jerked as she realised she'd been seeing the world in a kind of Twilight darkness. Only the faintest lines were shown to her but now it was gone and she could no longer take a confident step.
"Let's go." Galatea nodded to Raze. She was ready. She had no idea what was ahead. But she would be ready for it. Somehow.

"Hold on tight." Raze said as he took hold of Galatea and led her to the window where he had entered from. "Don't keep Mraine waiting, you know he get's grumpy when we don't run on schedule." He said to Ranette. 
"Yeah, like he isn't perpetually grumpy..." Ranette said, but she smiled softly and made her way down to the lower floor of the tavern. Then before Galatea could open her mouth to speak again, he had pulled both of them out of the window, carrying Galatea with the same minimal effort as before. Then they shot into the sky as he pushed off against coins. They soared up and disappeared into the mists, Raze didn't stop to sprint the rooftops but moved them through the air in arcing leaps enhanced by allomantic pushes, the coins returning to him with every ascent. 

Finally they landed on solid ground again on a flat roof with a thick stone ledge. Raze released Galatea and stepped back, giving her some space. He looked around them, still grinning slightly. "It's a pity you can't see it probably don't comprehend the importance of what you are...what you can do." His gaze fell on her and he gave her a soft smile. "Even among the nobility the mistborn are free. We wear the mistcloaks to hide in the mist, but also as a symbol to those who might see us. City guards see a mistcloak and know to stay out of our way. Well, perhaps not tonight actually, considering a mistborn just released skaa criminals." He shrugged, the mists curling around his feet in little, reaching tendrils and curls. "Many of the skaa fear the mist. Do you?"
"I know that I... When I was a child, the oldest of us said the mists were dangerous. That the mist could reach out and take your very soul, and then return to the village as a shade... That tale gave me nightmares for weeks. But I was also an unruly child, which often earned me a lashing, and worse. One such punishment I earned after staying in town too long until the mists rolled in and I got lost on my way home. I was terrified. Then something came for me. But suddenly it was dead or gone, as this woman with lights in her eyes appeared. She told me how to get home and then vanished. I felt better then." Galatea paused and reflected on that experience, "Perhaps, as a Mistborn, I am not scared."
Raze's expression seemed a little disbelieving about the comment of the woman with lights in her eyes. "Well you don't have to fear the mists, as a mistborn they are your ally. They keep you hidden." He explained. "Now...the vial you swallowed had eight different metals inside. I want you to burn one and tell me what happens."

"I'm... I only know what one does." Galatea replied, recalling her familiar strength amplified tenfold, "I remember being strong..." And she burned that feeling of strength.
"Pewter." Raze confirmed, "It increases your strength, speed, endurance, and you can heal quickly from wounds that could kill you." He paused a moment and then decided to clarify further, "Not so quickly that you should be fearless of taking damage."
"I can't allow fear to control me." Galatea replied and then reached inside and burned another metal.
"Ah--!!" She gasped, "I can use this to see, something... Light noise I can barely see. Like a whisp of mist." But she touched her temples with her knuckle, "Ugh..."
"That sounds like tin." Raze said, "It heightens your senses. It can be useful for seeing in the dark, although perhaps not so much for you. It's also good for listening, spying on conversations, listening for people close by so you can stay hidden. Mistings who burn tin are called tineyes, and pewter mistings are called thugs."
"There's a lot of noise, it makes my head ache..." Galatea clutched at her temple and reflexively withdrew from this feeling. The noise dampened, and her world was cast into blackness once again. The darkness scared her, but she would adapt.

"Tin is a slow burning metal, so you should try to use it whenever necessary." Raze continued, "There are always consequences, of course, but I'll teach you the specifics another time. Tin helps you stay alert to your surroundings and can be vitally important. Our spy network relies heavily on tineye scouts and smokers running safe houses. Turn it off for now though, and burn one of the others."
Tin. Pewter. 6 others. Galatea reached out, she felt two of the familiar strands, the sensations that Tin and Pewter gave her. Pewter was familiar to her like the back of her hand. She knew it better than she realised. The strength she felt from it was easy to understand and control. Tin was new to her, however. It made her head swim, but its uses were immediately obvious. Now, another...

Galatea reached inside to grab another thread of power that seemed to float within her. She tugged at it, and felt it tug back. That was strange. She pulled harder at it and it seemed to unravel inside her and explore outwards. The threads fanned out as she pulled, she realised then she was pulling on something in front of her. She felt an invisible line stretching out from her to this object. Galatea touched the thread inside her and suddenly the object catapulted towards her. Knowing it was coming at her, made her natural reflexes kick in. Galatea deftly dodged to one side as an old, dust-covered coin whipped past her head. 

"Ah, Iron." Raze said with a chuckle. He reached out with his hands and pulled the coin back towards him and into his waiting hand. "When it comes to allomantic metals, they come in pairs. There are four external arts, or pushing arts. Then there are four internal arts, or pulling arts. Pewter is an external pushing art, I know that might be hard to imagine but when you think of it's counterpart, tin, which is internal pulling, then you can understand where this idea comes from. When it comes to Iron and Steel, the pushing and pulling is quite literal." To further illustrate his point Raze pulled on Galatea's belt and dragged her forward slightly. "Iron allows you to pull on metal sources around you. The blue lines normally overlay your vision, but the lines are in your mind. So you should be able to see them to a fashion, even without sight."

"Everything inside me feels like a great thread." Galatea's laugh held no warmth, "Making dresses, hemming socks... One of the few things I could do in peace. It wasn't working in the fields. Or time spent with the Master..." Funny the way the mind works. This power that felt like a tapestry. She could pull at the individual strings, yet the tapestry seemed endless as she used the strings of power to navigate the world around her. That gave her an idea. But it would take time and practice. She reached out and pulled at another thread, and she had guessed right - this, was Steel. She knocked the coin from Raze's hand but then pulled on her Iron thread, directing it at the coin that was tumbling to the ground and it whipped back towards her. She could see it! She snatched out for the coin and lurched as the metal struck her in the shoulder and she hit the ground. "Ouch!!" She grit her teeth and reached up to feel her shoulder. Galatea couldn't see the brilliant shades of pink, purple and yellow her shoulder was already turning, but she felt the pain. The tender flesh. "Okay, maybe not..." Back on her feet, "That was dangerous."

"Burning pewter will dull the pain." Raze suggested with a smirk. "Of all the metals I think steel and iron are the ones that can most likely kill you if you aren't careful. There are two main factors; weight and balance." Raze started pushing on Galatea's belt, a measured push that only pushed her back slowly, edging her towards the end of the roof. "If I push a metal that weighs less than me, then it will be pushed forward, but the weight of what the metal is attached to also matters. Right now my weight is more than yours and your belt combined, and so you are being pushed back..." Raze dropped a coin and pushed himself into the air, then he arced until he was directly above Galatea, and once more he pushed on her belt, sending her to the ground with the force, but then he started to rise higher and higher. Finally he relented, letting himself fall back to the ground, reducing his fall with pushes until he landed softly. "If you push something that weighs more than you then you get pushed." He took Galatea's hand and helped her back to her feet. "The same is true for pulls, if you pull metal heavier than you then you will be pulled toward it. Furthermore, you can only push or pull in one direction out from yourself. Therefore, being a successful coinshot, or a lurcher, is all about balance and weight. It also requires keen awareness of the area, and using your environment to your advantage. Never get yourself in a raw pushing match with someone, Galatea. You won't find many opponents that weigh less than you."

Her mind was racing with the possibilities. All hampered by her recent loss of sight. She would have to change... change everything. She would have to learn to explore and understand the world again, both with and without her powers, if she was not to be weakened. But she also knew, that with the loss of her sight, there would come certain advantages.
"So you can push yourself into the air, because the coin on the ground, cannot be pushed into the ground easier than you can be pushed into the air. Is that correct?" Galatea asked, reflecting on everything he'd spoken of so far. Nothing seemed beyond her.
"Precisely." Raze replied. "So we have 4 metals left now. Zinc and Brass mistings are called rioters and soothers. They are the two emotional allomantic powers, zinc allows you to riot a person's emotions, while brass allows you to soothe them away."
"Yes, I know those two, already..." Galatea replied coarsely, then felt the ground with her bare feet, "What are we standing on?" The ground was bumpy, hard and slanted down. "Look, as much as I want your instruction. This seems like a poor time for it. I will have to use what I can, and learn the rest as we go." As she spoke, she heard the sound of footsteps. She searched back for the Tin thread and burned. Suddenly, the footsteps turned to loud marching. She could hear at least three sets of feet, but despite the speed of their step, they were quite quiet. "Someone's coming!!" She whispered to Raze and readied herself for anything.

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Raze stared at Galatea for a moment in silence. She had only discovered her abilities less than a half hour ago and yet he could see that she was already turning to allomancy as if it were second nature to her. She had burned tin, he could tell by the pulses he felt from burning bronze. He looked around the dark and murky rooftops around them, the mists so thick that they were but murky silhouettes to him. He burned tin, and suddenly the mist seemed to become far more transluscent. That was something else tin did as well as enhance the senses, it seemed to allow allomancers to pierce the msits and see through them. He walked quietly to the edge if the rooftop and peered down to street level. It was unusual for anyone to be roaming the streets at this time of the night. Even though city skaa went out in the mists and weren’t quite so superstitious, they were still fairly unsettled by the experience and often did go out in them if they could avoid it.

It was understandable. He remembered being a child and finding the mists quite unnerving. Without tin it was difficult to see through the mists, and combined with the natural darkness, he could see why people would be afraid of it. Still Galatea wasn’t hearing things. He saw the three figures below, walking by in relative silence. He burned steel and checked for the blue lines that indicated metals on their person, but there were none. He could see they were carrying wooden shields and dueling canes that were likely made of wood and obsidian. Obsidian blades weren’t as sturdy or effective as steel, but they held a distinct advantage against coinshots and lurchers, which was why Raze himself opted for a pair of obsidian daggers over steel ones.

Metal was a powerful weapon for a mistborn to use, but it could also be used against them. It was common to use coins because they could be carried in a loose pouch, and if they were pulled away by another lurcher then they would take the pouch and not the person carrying it. The same could be said of his mistcloak, which was designed to come off easily if anyone tried to grab it in a close quarters scuffle. Seeing guards walking around with no metal on their person could only mean one thing.
“Hazekillers.” Raze whispered to Galatea, “Guards trained to kill or apprehend allomancers. No metals to manipulate, and they are trained in different tactics to take out different kinds of mistings.”

Galatea visibly lost the breath in her lungs. "We are dead, then..." She tried to slow her breathing but find the panic in her rising. She had overcome death a hundred times over but nothing like this. "I can't believe it... I won't." She growled, standing back up. She buried her trembling fear and dangerous anger - they were no good to her right now, even if both had their place when needed.
Raze stifled a laugh and shook his head. “They haven’t even noticed us.” Raze replied quietly, “Besides, we’re mistborn. Maybe 10 or 15 of them might be trouble…but not 3.” Raze looked back towards the hazekillers, who were now just about underneath them on street level.

Kill them., the voice inside his head demanded. That was the vicious part of him. The part that hated nobility simply for being nobility. The part that knew he could take care of these three guards with little effort. Kill them!, the voice insisted. However, Raze just let them pass by. He stepped away from the side of the roof and touched Galatea lightly on the shoulder. “Killing is a lesson I’d like to save for another day.” He said softly. “Make no mistake, Galatea. My role in the rebellion is that of a knife, but it’s important to make sure that knife only seeks intended targets.”

"I've killed before, and I'll do so again, whenever I must." She spoke in a hurried whisper, "I'm not some child you can preach your set of morals to. Teach me something useful, like allomancy, so I can do what I must." She listened as the three Hazekillers got further and further away. She was straining to listen when she got a horrible sensation. The feeling in itself wasn't unpleasant. It was the sensation of burning a metal as she instinctively tried to amplify the sound of their footsteps. She felt a blanket of dread wash over her, realising what she had done by accident, as one of the Hazekillers froze mid-step.
"Mm?" The other two stopped and turned to face the first. For a few, fleeting seconds, she thought they would move on, then--
"Behind us." The Hazekillers whirled around and doubled back towards them.
"Raze!" Galatea warned.

“Great…” Raze growled, and then he was in motion. He leapt off the edge of the rooftop with a pewter enhanced leap, burning iron and pulling himself to the next rooftop using the metal cladding. He landed on the other side and sprinted along it and leapt again, descending down to the street levels at speed. The Seeker hidden within their number, a smart tactic, had locked on to Galatea. Raze, however, was burning copper as he made his way towards them, and they hadn’t noticed he had flanked them until they heard his feet tap on the cobbles behind them. He rushed them and the nearest to him hadn’t even began to turn all the way around before Raze had reached him, wielding twin obsidian daggers. Hearing the steps coming from behind him, the hazekiller reacted instinctively and swung out with his dueling cane in a wide arc. Raze ducked the blow, and the wide sweep had left the hazekiller’s torso undefended. Raze reached out and held the hazekiller’s right arm so he couldn’t bring his shield in, and with pewter burning the man couldn’t hope to outmatch his strength, so Raze stabbed him in the jugular and quickly let the man fall.

The other two were already upon him and falling into a defensive stance, with their shields raised in protection and their dueling canes ready to fend him off if he got too close. Raze burned steel and fired a small flurry of coins at them, which hit their shields. Then men had prepared for the push by positioning themselves with their back to a wall, and Raze ended up being thrown back by the force of his own push. This worked to his advantage, however, as he gained some distance and hid himself in the mist. With Tin he could see them clearly, but they would not be able to detect him so well. He burned zinc and brass in tandem, rioting their fear and alarm towards him, and soothing away their concern for Galatea who they knew was nearby on the roof. It was a gamble, hazekillers were trained to notice emotional allomancy and his touch was hardly subtle. Emotions were high in a fight though, so perhaps they wouldn’t notice.

Raze left his coins at their feet, knowing that pulling them back to him would reveal his location to them. They began to form a defensive stance back to back from one another. Clearly they expected him to come at them from any angle, always a possibility with mistborn. His emotional allomancy had the unintended effect of making the two men more careful. They had positioned themselves in the most defensible way they could, and they resisted any urge to advance, they simply waited, tense and vigilant towards an incoming attack. The simplest solution was to simply outmatch them, attack them in a way that was beyond their capabilities to defend against.

He flared his pewter and advanced back the way he had come. The two men adjusted as the heard him coming, both facing him once more with their shields in defence, advancing with careful steps so as to close the gap and pressure Raze to flee or come in closer. However, they had forgotten about his coins on the floor, now behind them. Raze burned iron and pulled on the coins, and they came back to him but not before cutting at the Hazekiller’s legs, causing them to cry out and their stance faltered. He advanced on them with alarming speed, keeping his body low, he closed on them and went for the one on his left first, grabbing his sword arm and yanking him in an arc, separating him from his comrade, and sending him crashing in to a wall. Then he sent coins crashing into the second, who raised his shield and the coins sunk into the thick wood and became embedded. The hazekiller was heavier than Raze and so he was sent back a few feet before his back hit the wall of the tenement behind him, and then the hazekiller was sent back, pinned to the far wall by Raze’s pushing. The man struggled to move but Raze released the push and pulled back  the coins, ripping them out from the wooden shield, and let them fly past hit and hit the wall he was pressed against. He went to run, and found the coins once more and flared his steel. The coins pushed against the wall and Raze went flying forward, leaping his his feet first, he crashed into the man’s shield.

All of the power involved concentrated. The force of the steel push, and the strength of Raze’s pewter enhanced kick, it all came crashing down on the hazekiller. His shields shattered into splinters, and Raze heard the satisfying crack of bones as the man’s arms was broken. Raze flared his pewter to dull the thumping pain that had started in his legs, and grabbed the hazekiller by the scruff of his shirt, and hurled him backwards towards his comrade who was just getting up to join the fight once more. The pair crashed into each other and swords and the remaining shield fell around them in a heap.

Raze approached them with a confident stride, kicking the dueling canes away from them, he loomed over the broken men, his mistcloak flailing in the light breeze, the mists dancings around him, drawn to him like he was breathing it in. He flared zinc and rioted their fear, not holding back. This wasn’t the subtle touch that Ranette always lectured on, this was a display of his power. By now their utter loss at his hands had already worked them into quite an expression of terror, and his allomancy only amplified that, to the point were the men were utterly crippled under their own fear. There were no final words, no witty remarks. He slit their throats. The vicious part of him was pleased. He left the corpses where they lay on the street and pushed himself back on to the roof where Galatea was waiting.

“We should have started with copper.” He said with a hint of annoyance as he rejoined her. Then his annoyance shifted from Galatea and on to himself. “Actually, I should have been smoking us the whole time, not your fault.” He admitted.
Silence returned and Galatea let out a sigh. It was over. "I am responsible for my own actions, Raze."
“And so am I.” Raze replied, “You’ve been doing this for all of five minutes, I’ve been doing this since I was a eleven. I should have known better.” He took hold of her with a sense of urgency. “We need to go”  he said, and it appeared he was not in the mood for questions. Once more he carried Galatea into the night, hopping across the rooftops of Urteau, leaping across the slums built inside the old dried up canals, and then up on to the defensive walls that lined the perimeter of the city.

They did not receive any more notice as they travelled, and as they perched on the ramparts of Urteau, Raze looked back and made a short vow to himself that he would return here someday. Then he dropped off the walls and into the dark, misty night of the outside world. Scents of city life such as soot, piss and shit were replaced with moist grass and earthy smells. There were no more metal lines for Raze to follow and so they continued on foot, travelling through the thick grass at a quick pace.
“Tineye scouts will be watching for us.” Raze said, speaking at a more normal level now that they had left the city. “There’s caravans hidden a short hike from the city, all of our people will be making their way to them under guidance from our scouts. In the meantime we have a moment to chat. I have questions for you, but I’ll let you have the chance to ask some of your own first.”

"Are you teaching me allomancy, Raze, or riding?" Galatea asked, raising a quizzical eyebrow.
“Right now I’m getting you to safety.” Raze replied confidently, but his expression looked a little put out despite that. He felt a stab of guilt. He had underestimated her because of her blindness. It could well have been justified, but he didn’t know, he’d never given her the chance. “I apologise.” He added quickly. “I…I’m not used to teaching. I don’t have a lot of patience, I move quickly and I tend to find other people get in my way. I thought it would be easier to just move you with me.”
"It would. But then, you are slowing my ability to navigate this world without you. So my second question is - is that deliberate?”
“Of course not.” Raze said, shaking his head. “Your training is secondary here. Just a taste to familiarize you. It doesn’t come before my responsibility to the rebellion and to my friends. I wanted to let you have a glimpse before you truly decided.”

"I'm just trying to survive." Galatea replied, tilting her head and sniffing the air softly. She was trying to mentally store and categorise the different sounds and smells.
"My world is Twilight,
I shift through the mist and find,
The trees sing to me."

Raze looked at Galatea and cocked his head. She was a strange, mysterious girl. She was a hard person, no doubt to cope with her hard life. She was wise, more clued in than most skaa, but also at the same time very naïve. And now, he realized, someone with depth and creativity. The thought saddened him. The life he led had no room for that. He was a knife, and he knew she would be too, if she followed him.

“You have a decision to make.” Raze said. “The crew are optimistic and hopeful. They told you that you were free. Then, once I discovered you were mistborn, I told you that you were free. Compared to the life you had, your life with us will be easier in some ways and harder than others. You will have liberty. But freedom? No, not really.” Raze stopped and stood, letting the ambient noises of the nature around them fill the silence for a brief moment. “You expressed desire to have revenge on those who harmed you. You can have it, but if you want our support it will come at a price. Our rebellion is small, we cannot risk its discovery while it is still young and fragile. If you join us, you can never leave us. That is a risk we cannot take. And if you join…well then you have to accept that you won’t be free. You will be a tool, a knife, like me. I do that so that one day the skaa might truly be free.”

"I only really have one goal, Raze. Help me do that, and I will do as asked of me for as long as I wish it now and thereafter, and if there is an after that, we will address such a situation at the time."
“Once you know where our base is, you stay with us or you die.” Raze clarified. “I will kill you.”
"Yes, I understand." She said, and for some reason it didn’t sound entirely convincing to Raze. That was the trouble with rebels, they were so rebellious.

“Good.” Raze said with a finality to his tone. “Come then, no more hand holding.” He walked away from her and did not turn back, and he was pleased to find that she followed him without complaint. Perhaps he really was wrong to hold her hand. After a short walk in the darkness they came across a small group of caravans with horses and other people waiting around, packing things into wagons and generally preparing for a much longer trip.

--- --- --- ---

It had been a week of almost constant travel. They had moved mostly through the nights where most other travelers made camp to avoid the mists. They kept off the main roads as much as possible, and at a certain point they had to abandon their wagons and carry onward on foot, or on horse for some of the lucky few. The thick forests that lead to the caverns they called home were difficult to travel with wagons. Raze, impatient as ever, had gone on ahead. With pewter he could run faster than any horse. So he had left Galatea in the hands of the others, and in particular with Telzin.

“We are almost there, Lady Galatea.” Telzin said encouragingly. The young girl walked a little behind him, carrying a pack like everyone else, and she seemed to be navigating fairly well for someone without sight. Already she seemed so different from the dirty and bloody girl he had treated over a week ago.
"And what am I to find there, Telzin? I'm told I will be killed should I leave. Seems there are many kinds of masters in this land."

Telzin simply smiled politely. “It seems Lord Raze has employed his particular brand of severity on this topic. Still, he did not speak a lie.” Telzin stepped through the forest confidently, and his frame seemed much more lean and fit than it had before, he had no trouble carrying the pack on his back, that was considerably larger than ones the others carried. “However, do not think that this will be another life of slavery. It is different to serve, because you were warned, and you still chose it. That distinction is important, I think. More importantly, however, I must stress that the consequence for desertion is not about punishing you for disobedience, it is about protecting the thousands of people who live here, and are at great risk if we are discovered.”

As they came to the far edge of the forest they came out onto some large, rocky mountains, and a cavern that was hidden by the thickness of the forest. The travelers were filing in to the caverns which were guarded on the inner tunnels, since guards posted on the outside of the caverns would be an indicator to anyone who happened on the place. “Welcome to your new home, Lady Galatea. We call this place Haven.”

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