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Minette Talks With A Mormon Child
(2013-06-04 - 2013-06-04)
Minette and Kamon bump into each other in Narshe. A conversation happens. No one cries this time!
Minette Odam Narshe has become something of a minor hotbed of activity lately. The news of the Murasame Zaibatsu's hostile takeover of the Milner Tool Works has created a local (albiet fairly minor) stir. Though there have been some protests, no one's tried to run the Zaibatsu out of town yet, but one employee of Souji Murasame in particular has proven herself unpopular by opening her big mouth and speaking without thinking. This is nothing particularly new to Minette Odam, whom is used to ducking crowds of hostile cheerleaders, mean girls, and jerkfaced boys.

To this end, Minette has been avoiding the inn for anything but spending the night. She has acclimated to Narshe poorly, having added nothing to her normal outfit except earmuffs and a scarf. Thanks to the omnipresent steam vents spread throughout the town, she isn't freezing to death, but she's not having an overly wonderful time of it.

The past few days have been stressful ones. This has been compounded by the fact that people keep telling her to calm down and relax, a phrase which has never made anyone actually calm down and relax in the history of humanity. So Minette has taken matters into her own hands and has decided to go window shopping like /such/ a girl. She's currently standing in front of a bakery, staring into the window with her nose practically pressed up against the glass.
Kamon Lionward Narshe. Yes... Narshe.

It actually kind of reminds Kamon of a curious mix of Titan and Shiva. He's been in town for a day or two, talking up the locals and looking around for certain supplies. He's been mulling over his talk with Alma again, and of the weird request she made of him, as well as the job offer. Mostly the former, though he'd rather claim it was the latter. He's certainly in Narshe because of a job, not because of... well, of Kyra.

It's been a weird kind of week.

Perhaps fatefully, Kamon comes out of the same bakery Minette has pressed her nose against the glass of. He's got some kind of frosted bun in his mouth, holding the door with one hand and the strap on his backpack with the other. There's a few ingots of a mix of dark- and light-colored metals sticking slightly out of the top of the pack, and he has a short spear affixed to a side-loop of the same, made of what looks like a mop handle with a very ornate adamantite spearhead attached to one of the scorched ends.

Kamon's train of thought -- largely one with passengers of a similar quality to Mr. Yellowbelly and Ms. Worrywart -- is abruptly derailed when he spots Minette. He stares openly. He knew she was here, but he didn't expect to see her... well, /here/.
Minette Odam A little bit of drool drops down from Minette's mouth. "Mmmmmmmm... cinnamon buns...." You know that feeling you get where the hair on the back of your neck stands up? That tingly feeling you get when someone's watching you? Minette gets that and shudders a little, convulsively. She turns her neck, slowly, her body still hunched over to stare into the window. Her eyes lock with Kamon's.

Blink, blink.

"Gyah!" Minette declares, as shock sets into her primitive monkey brain. She leans backwards, looses her footing on the icey ground, pinwheels her arms, and falls flat on her butt. She makes a sound like 'frmpf' upon impact.
Kamon Lionward That moment when you have a dramatic stare-down that turns into a series of comical pratfalls.

Kamon doesn't actually fall down. He does jerk backwards when Minette makes her own shocked declaration, ringing the bell on the door. He becomes cognizant of the fact that he's holding open the door of a warm building and letting the frigid outside air come in. Kamon turns and makes an apologetic noise towards the inside, closing it behind him.


Kamon turns back around. Minette is butt-first in the snow. He winces a little, sympathetically. Then, he leans forward, holding out his now-free hand in a clear offer to help her up off the ground. It /is/ kind of his fault she's down there. Much as he'd like to vacate this spot immediately...

"Are you okay?" Kamon asks. Or, tries to. He still has a bun in his mouth. It's more like, "Mrr ymm hmmkhm?"
Minette Odam Minette stares up at Kamon's hand as if she does not comprehend the meaning. In truth, she partly doesn't. She understands that it is a gesture of help and aid... but it is being made to /her/. And Kamon isn't laughing OR sighing. This is an unknown variable. Only Souji and Thirza never laugh or sigh when Minette falls down. But this is another person... KAMON, no less, that is doing it.

Minette blushes, half looking away as she reaches out to be helped up.

Minette brushes her bum off, succeeding mostly in getting her hands wet. And then she folds her hands behind her back, scuffs her toe on the ground, and slightly torso twists back and forth a little. "... ... ...hi." She finally says.
Kamon Lionward Kamon pulls Minette to her feet. He gets that this is a rarity for her. He also gets that he's probably exacerbating the status effect known as 'Crush' that she's suffering from, one that no Remedy may cure. But, perhaps unfortunately, Kamon is a Good Guy. He wouldn't be much of one if he didn't do something so simple.

Minette totally makes this more awkward, though, with her scuffing and twisting and blushing and augh Cosma why. Kamon chows down on the bun, releasing his pack to take the delicious thing. He lets go of Minette once she's safely got her feet under her. "Hi." There's a pause. Kamon mulls it over for a second, 'it' being a completely different thing that's been bothering him. "Sorry if I knocked you over. And, uh... sorry I flipped out, before. Sore subject." Another pause from him. He rubs the back of his neck and looks up the street. "Just... wanted to get that out there."

And now that he's got /that/ off his chest, it's high time for him to vamoose before something /else/ happens.
Minette Odam Minette's feet are never, technically speaking, 'safely' underneath her. They could fall out at any moment.

Minete bites her lower lip. Looking directly at Kamon is difficult, because she's a spaz. "I'm... sorry that I'm stupid. I mean that I said stupid things. That were... those things, that I said. That were... ... ... yeah." Minette mentally wiffles and waffles back and forth between saying something and not saying something.

On one hand, if she says something, then she's risk saying stupid. And by risk we mean 'very likely'. But on the other hand, if she says /nothing/, then she'll look weird. Aw, courelcakes. Okay, gotta think of something. Thinking of something now. Not thinking about thinking about something, but actually thinking about something to thi--COSMA DRAT IT.

"So." Minette says, glancing at the street back behind her. "Whatcha... doing here?"
Kamon Lionward Kamon gives Minette a moment to say words. Words, as it turns out, are hard. "It's alright. I, uh... yeah, it's fine." It is totally not fine. Kamon was not okay afterwards. It took him most of the night to calm down. However, Kamon's specialty in deception is lying -- but only to himself.

"Picking some stuff up," he replies, shrugging a shoulder and giving the pack slung over it a little shake. The metal bars clink a little. "I, uh, do some blacksmithing. And I know someone who's opening a Synthesis Shop. So I figured... maybe I could work on a sword that won't break so easy?" He shrugs again, this time in the normal fashion of uncertainty rather than to show something.

Okay, maybe escape isn't so easy. "I heard about Murasame buying up the local guys. That's... why you're here, right?"
Minette Odam Minette's specialties include self-delusion, not picking up on context clues, reading too much into innocent statements, and leaving the toilet seat up. That last one is a real accomplishment considering that she's a girl. "Oh, that's good. I was worried that you... like... hated me or something. Yeah."

Business, however, is something that Minette can easily run her mouth off about. "Oh, yeah. It's a sweet deal. A totally sweet deal. Right, so, dying business, right? We invest like one million gil into it, liquidate everything, and get a twelve to twenty million gil return on our investment in the span of a month. Twelve /million/, isn't that aweome?!" Minette's eyes light up, pride wells up in her chest and carries into her voice. "I'm handling things on our end. Everything's going smoothly! Mostly smoothly. They tried to hit us with an injunction but it was waaaaay too late because we'd already bought and paid for the majority holding of stock, right? Waste of time."
Kamon Lionward "Oh. No. I don't really... /hate/ people. It's..." Kamon just trails off. Too much effort? No. Not worth it in the long run? Maybe. Something too easy to do, too easy to use as a label, and too easy to continually be entrapped by? Definitely.

"Uh -- wow. That's a lot of gil." Kamon actually sounds legitimately impressed. He's heard of large sums of money exchange hands, but that amount in a month is kind of a big deal. It's the kind of series of transactions that his family would be overseeing, were the rest of them around here. A sobering thought. He fights to keep a non-depressed expression on his face.

"What happens when you liquidate it?" Kamon asks, curiously.
Minette Odam "Oh... that's good. Hating people is... bad." Minette mentally calls herself a dork three times running because man that was a dorky thing to say. She has nothing particularly philosophic to say in reguards to hate and so she clams up on that topic.

But Kamon keeps talking about things that Minette understands, things that make sense to her. This is part of why Kamon is a great guy. Minette continues to run her mouth. "Oh, well, 'liquidation' is a technical term that means taking solid assets, like buildings, land, machinery, and the like, and turning it into liquid capital... that is gil. See, the place has been seeing declines in profits for something like the last five years. The grandson of the guy that founded it sold his shares to us for a million gil. We liquidate a dying business, sell it's solid assets, and split the profits with the other shareholders. Then the place doesn't start actively losing money. Win-win situation."
Kamon Lionward Kamon himself does not really know much about running a business, or even how they operate on a more technical level from a scholarly side of things. He does however know enough about money by way of his father to be able to make a few logical leaps.

"Okay, so you spend a million gil buying the business, and then sell everything that makes it up for twelve times that overall. That's... a pretty good way to make money," Kamon agrees, though he sounds a little reluctant to do it. "But... doesn't that mean that there /isn't/ any business to have declining profits? I mean, uh -- if you sell all the stuff that they use to do whatever it is they do, how wil they /do/ that?"

At this point, Kamon is actually expecting Minette to have a good answer to this one. She seems to know her stuff.
Minette Odam "Well... well they won't. That's like... the point of liquidation. We close the business down and sell all the stuff. And like I said, they're starting to fail, so it's best to step in now before everyone else starts trying to buy out their stock to liquidate first. Leg-up on the competition, that sort of thing. Isn't it neat? With this, the Zaibatsu will /finally/ have the operational capital to start making serious investments in long term projects again. Mr. Murasame is gonna be /so/ happy. So happy."
Kamon Lionward "Okay, but -- " At some point, Kamon started walking down the street. Not fast; just kind of moseying on towards his destination. "-- shouldn't you spend some of it on, uh, making new jobs /here/? You're putting a ton of people out of work, and I figured, y'know... it might be better to, uh, to use the skills that the people here have, and change the business model."

Kamon clearly has a soft spot for The People. He's not sure he's okay with Minette's willful disregard for people as a whole in this equation.
Minette Odam Minette starts walking along with Kamon, uninvited. This is because they are talking and she's unwilling to simply let this go yet. He's not even expressing mild disgust at her... it's thrilling!

"It's not a ton of people, only like two hundred or thereabouts. That's not that many." Minette insists. "And it isn't that simple. Man, people keeping telling me that we should 'change the model' but I don't think they understand what's really going on here. It's all well and good to say that we should 'change the model', but the model is making pick-axes and shoves for mines in a town that's rapidly converting to use drills, steam engines, and power tools."

Minette shrugs. "It would cost millions to modernize the facility with new manufacturing equipment needed to produce competing tools. Competition is already entrenched with contracts... some of them taken from Milner because Milner's still making increasingly obsolete products. And then there's the fact that a modernized assembly line won't need nearly as many workers to run it, so most of the employees would lose their jobs anyway. I just... just..."

Minette takes two steps forwards and kicks a rock in frustration. Sadly for Minette, the small rock she kicks is merely the tip of a much bigger rock mostly buried in the snow heaped onto the side of the road. Minette's foot gives, the rock does not. Minette hops on one foot, sputtering and muttering in pain. "I'm sorry... it's just really frustraiting having people look down on me for making the best of a bad situation, is all. It... it isn't the first time someone's told me how I ought to be doing my job."
Kamon Lionward Kamon's disgust tends to be all or nothing, and he hasn't seen the interior of Minette's room yet.

So, Kamon listens. He doesn't actually know much about this, as previously established; he's using buzzwords that he's heard with some context before, and feels are appropriate. Minette disabuses him of that notion. She really /does/ know her stuff, and it sounds like she /does/ care about what happens to the people, at least in the intellectual sense; she knows about how many are going to lose their jobs, and that she can't really do anything about it.

Kamon glances back when Minette kicks a rock. He frowns slightly, but doesn't comment on it, but he does hop over another stone of a similar size. "It's alright. I get how that is. My granddad used to tell me about how he worked for a few big business tycoons back in the day," which is how you know it was long ago, "who kept trying to dictate proper security measures to him." He smiles a little at the memory. "He made sure they knew what he thought about it."

"But still... is there /anything/ you can do? Two hundred people in a town like Narshe isn't exactly a small portion. You talk to Souji all the time, right? Maybe when you guys start up new projects, you could give priority hiring to the guys who used to work at the tool place. It might make them happier." Kamon shrugs. But what does he know, right?
Minette Odam Minette hops along on one foot, trying to keep up. After a few bounces she gets both feet underneath her again, totters a few steps forwards, then falls into step more or less alongside Kamon again. "Well, it's like... there's mines /right there/." Minette waves a hand towards the heights. "Lot of money to be made in mining, takes like a week to learn how. There's jobs around, but they're all just being stubborn. They don't want jobs with the syndicate. They don't want to move to Figaro. They want the jobs they have and only the jobs they have. They just don't want... to let go."

Minette's thoughts turn towards home. Of her father and mother, too proud to give up their boat. Too stubborn to not fish the waters that their parents did. Too poor to even give their daughter even odds of doing better then they did. Until the scholarship program. Until something changed.

"I understand that they don't want to change... that it's hard for them to. But they have to." Minette says sadly. "It's better this way. That's just how the world works."
Kamon Lionward Kamon stops, for a second. He stares into the middle distance, slightly downward. 'Don't want to let go,' huh. He frowns a little bit. There's an expression of quiet intensity on his face.

He snaps out of it. "Huh," is all he says. He starts walking again, popping the rest of his bun in his mouth and then sticking his hands in his coat pockets without further comment.

"I suppose it is," Kamon says sadly. "I guess it's kind of sad. This whole town is so... I dunno. I like it. It's got a kind of small town charm, you know?" Compared to any of the gigantic cities on their world, at least. "It's all going to get replaced with glass and concrete soon." His feet crunch in the snow as he walks. He starts around a bend. "I guess they'll have to get used to corporate values, if Murasame stays in town... but it's sounding like you guys are leaving anyway."

Kamon shrugs. He nods towards a lit-up building a short ways down the street. "There's my stop. I'd better get some sleep; I've got a long trip tomorrow. Maybe I should get Emi to show me some of the portals she was talking about," he mutters. Another short shrug, this time to himself. "Anyway. I'll see you later, Minette." He starts off, this time /without/ flipping his shit.
Minette Odam When Kamon stops moving, Minette's momentum carries her forwards and she starts a slow orbit of the swordsman. She peers up into his face as he spaces out, and it's all like, 'woah, glasses' for a moment there. By the time he gets moving again, she's trailing along his other side. "I'm... not sure I'd call the place charming. It's all cold and steam and brass and dirty snow and bleaugh."

A local gives her a dirty look on his way past. Minette doesn't even notice.

"But it's like... well, things change. I mean, can't stop them. The Levitani learned that lesson once already when the Ramuha came. If people hold onto the past too tightly, they just hurt themselves and the people around them." Minette shrugs. "But, at least ther--"

"Oh. You're going them?" Of course he's leaving, butthead, he just said that. "So I guess, I'll just... go this way then. Okay, bye." And then Minette turns and walks off down a random street to prevent things from getting more awkward. It turns out to be a cul de sac.

A few moments later, Minette comes back, walking studiously in the /other/ direction and avoiding eye contact even more studiously.

This scene contained 19 poses. The players who were present were: Kamon Lionward, Minette Odam