Tram Through The City

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Something Something werecoyote and Swedish chef, hopefully nobody gets eaten.

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Marianas Graves receives a strange phone call (possibly as her morning wake-up). Due to normal interference and a particularly thick accent it likely took several seconds to realize it was NOT a prank call but, instead, a grown man babbling nervously at her. The only things that made sense were "9äm" and the name of a relatively close Tram stop. Thankfully this is not the Swift Canton, so the stop locations can be announced at least a day in advance instead of twenty minutes.

Sigvard Hans for his part arrived early with a decent sized cooler clutched in one hand planning to defend it with his LIFE from errant hands or hungry mouths... up until lunchtime, anyway. He had chosen this particular one because it was light, sturdy, and had a latch on it. Due to various events he has been strongly considering adding a padlock despite the extra weight.

While there are an array of humans, anthro critters, elementals, and one family of ogres the crowd is quite a bit thinner at this time. Just past the early morning crush and before lunchtime. Mr. Hans is looking around for a particular woman, but his view is largely being blocked.

Marianas, it should be noted, really likes her sleep. She's willing to be out late, all hours of the night, but a morning person she is not and firmly believes will never become. Granted she's not very keen on trying to change that, since monsters come out at night and that's when you hunt them, but there it is anyway.

The phone call found her still in her cramped but clean bed, tangled up in the sheets in the way only a very active sleeper can accomplish, half dozing with happy dreams and a swishy tail. Her half awake state filled her side of the conversation with just as much incomprehensible speech as Mr. Hans'. What a pair they make.

She finally gets his message (though he'll also hear the loud WHUMP as she tumbles out of bed on the phone), and hangs up with a promise to get ready and meet him on time.

 

Tram Stop

The woman Mr. Hans is seeking looks a little different than she had the last time he saw her. She shifted her hair fully to its natural copper, for one thing, and then trimmed it down so it only hangs to her shoulders once pulled up, instead of down her back. A bright neon green and blue button up over the sports top that Kei had insisted she buy, paired with a blue knee skirt and bike shorts, lets her make her way to the stop in style on her rollerblades, spare shoes tied together and draped over her shoulder. "Make way please, make a hole! Gal on wheels, coming through!"

This may be problematic as Sigvard tends to wake up quite early in order to get to work, prepare various foods ahead of time so he isn't rushing to get it done when people order, and the normal annoying busywork one does when handling a kitchen. His schedule is more flexible then hers.

 

Tram Stop

He has taken the time to change out of his chef's uniform, which would be stifling trying a long walk in. It's bad enough wearing it over your clothes in a hot kitchen. This doesn't stop him from being incredibly vanilla with a long-sleeved white buttonup and a pair of casual beige pants. He's tried his best brushing down the mop of his hair, but it largely seems resistant to this.

The crowd shifts an opening (with one or two stares, or people who don't react at all and have to be skated around) and then she gets around that last old man and there's a child ogre going after a ball. Unfortunately a "child" in this case is still seven feet tall, but her mother picks the kiddo up before the speed can turn into a sudden stop.

Siggy for his part is waving energetically, and calling out "Hey, yuoo mede-a it!"

Tram Stop

Lucky for everyone involved, the dizzying array of species and shapes presented at the stop don't leave her gawking. Ogres, she's seen (she even is directly responsible for one having the name "One-Ball" in his clan), orcs, animal people (though they prefer Kitsune), and weirder things out of nightmares. At least she didn't smell any dead people.

With her wits intact she weaves through the crowd, skirt fluttering in the wind of her passage, when Siggy's wave catches her attention out of the corner of her eye. She skids through a sharp turn, leaning nearly horizontal with her fingers on the ground for that bit of emotional support (stone is good at that), before more sedately coming to a stop in front of the chef. "Hans! Yes, I made it, and aren't I adorable?" 

Skates make it easy to turn about for him, so she does, though not so quickly that she does anything like a stereotypical skirt flare. Besides, there are kids about! She's just fishing for compliments, like any college aged were would.

Tram Stop

Racism against the the re-living notwithstanding, there are none here (at this point in time). Neither are there exposed sewer pipes or other such things to lend that scent. No guarantees about the smell of a crowded tram system.

The cool stone walkway beneath her fingers has a fair amount of grip. A combination of texture and simple weathering damage leading to slightly cracks or rents. "Oh, yes. Yuoo resemble-a zee culurffool decureshuns oon a ceke-a. Oor perheps zee suoorce-a metereeel fur vheech zeey ere-a drevn."

It's not hard to pull compliments from Hans but they are nearly guaranteed to all be food related. He would quibble that this is an excellent thing. "Reedy fur a lung hool?"

A faint rumbling begins, and people start to shuffle around here and there to line up behind the walkway. Nobody wants to be run over, after all.

Hopefully the tram isn't like the subways of New York or the trains of Chicago... yuck. But she smiles over at him at the compliments, doing another little turn. "You say the sweetest things to me. In this case, I think they were even literal. Spun sugar, right?"

She moves back with everyone else at the rumble, darting a look at the basket in his hands. "Oooh, I see you brought lunch. I can tell this day is going to be great already."

Sigvard responds with words that are barely heard over the metallic, endlessly repetitive click-clacking as the tram crosses nearb. "Sooger? Sume-a ooff thet. Sooger is tu be-a used spereengly, fur cunstroocshun. Zee reel frusteeng is mede-a ooff creem!"

The massive steel bug slides out beneath the ground with surprising grace, legs shifting up and down before stopping with a snap as they lock into provided grips. The strange thing has cars bob up and down ever-so-slightly, the legs doing a strange dance until finally managing a full stop nestled inside the cradle.

Hans is apparently not bothered by the weird appearance or how the train's movements and twitches are so alive. He clutches the cooler a little tighter and pulls it away from her, protecting the object from her hunger. He waggles his finger. "Nutheeng unteel loonchteeme-a!"

Fortunately the machine is emptying out to the other platform. This quickly leads to the double glass-and-metal doors opening and revealing a very strange series of smells flushing out. Oh, there's some of the normal old sweat and hormones... but mixed in is blood, a touch of violence, fire, earth, fresh cut grass, and strange things that crackle along the nose of someone who is sensitive towards that sort of thing.

A mechanical voice chimes in their own opinion "NOW EMBARKING: STONEWISE TO STONE CANTON PRIMARY STATION."

"Hell yeah, I'm sweet and strong!" She flexes in classic strong-man poses, quite amusing given she's a petite-ish busty redhead on rollerblades. And then the tram is rising up from the tunnel with a rumble, summoning a yip from Mari as she skitters back a little further. 

"The hell... that is..." She's clinging to Sigvard's arm now, though not the one clasping lunch. Of course, it's possible she grabbed him  just to keep from falling on her butt, since with her tail that would probably hurt more than usual... "Okay, that's weird, but kinda cool. It doesn't crawl, though... does it? Why does it have legs, Hans?"

 

Her nose is twitching at all the smells, her brain working in overdrive to categorize things into the appropriate threat/no threat bin in her mind, and her eyes are darting from person to person as she assigns scents to people. Hans would be forgiven for assuming at this point she's either a paranoid person or has previously been heavily trained for security work.

Sigvard slips his free arm beneath her shoulder, helping support her as his hand squeezes her forearm gently. He has fully come to the conclusion she definitely does not come from around here. The tram is always a little surprising.

"It velks. Fery qooeeckly. Zee legs ere-a becoose-a it dues nut trefel oon reeels, undergruond. Zee Ceety elveys chunges. Und yuoo cun see-a..." He points out the way they are hooked up to the cars like a cradle instead of a walking bug. "Occeseeunelly hes tu rutete-a tu greep zee ceeelings."

He's insistently tugging her along as she begins to twitch. As far as she can tell this group is 'normal.' Well, as normal as an eclectic group of human and mythical beings can be, and no doubt stranger things use the tram on occasion. The Ogre Family takes up an entire car to themselves, the adults having to squat slightly to fit in. They're big compartments but not quite that big.

It's not filthy, per say, but the scents linger upon the walls and the seats. Hans doesn't appear to notice.

"On the ceiling? Really?" She doesn't notice his arm under her shoulder, propping her up, but in this close Hans can tell she smells a little like cinnamon, along with mixed fruity scents that are obviously the shampoo she used last. Artificial, bah.

"So... We're taking the beetle train to where, first?" She tries to ignore all the people around her, the monsters especially, since nobody seems to be bothering them. Wonder if anyone realizes that man is a vampire... Well, no BONEs for him here, so unless he attacks someone I can let him be, I guess. 

It rankled a little to let a beast like a vampire walk free; they don't survive without others getting hurt, but he didn't smell of blood, at least. Perhaps this land's vampires are different. She shakes her head, then leans against Hans as they take a seat. "So... how long have you been here? Lived here, I mean."

"On zee ceeeling, boot under gruoond. Su... zee fluur's ceeeling?" He correct himself along with making things a little more confusing. "It dues nut velk ebufegruoond." He really wishes people would stop using non-natural scents. People smell fine when they're just... clean.

"Stune-a Cuntun Preemery steshun, und zeen a qooeeck heeke-a tu zee mooseoom. It is tuu fer fur me-a tu velk-I joost tuuk a trem myselff idgooeese-a frum Veend Cuntun." The vampire busies himself with repeatedly checking his watch, fiddling with a briefcase, and shifting slightly to keep the umbrella firmly over his head.

He blinks a few times and has to consider the question "Oh, ihh... three-a... eh, fuoor yeers noo. Mufed in frum a purtel tu peeck up sume-a mure-a ixpereeences." His shoulder provides a good nook to lean on and he wraps his arm about her unthinkingly, his other hand gesticulating while he talks.

Nearby doors snick shut with a soft click and the noise dampening cuts out outer sound. The legs shiver and shift before abruplty shifting forwards and rapidly carrying them out of the sunlight and down, down into the dark underground. Lights from the tram itself reflect a little, but the cars move surprisingly little as the tram picks up speed.

"Ceiling of a tunnel is still a ceiling, Hans." She shrugs, but tucks in closer to him so there is more space for others on the tram. With his itinerary including a "bit of a hike" to get to the museum she decides to just leave her skates on, slouching slightly as she touches her knees together. It's a comfortable resting posture, and between that and the position of her feet she's reasonably well braked, even on the tram. 

Of course, Hans' arm around her shoulders doesn't hurt either, and she gives no objection to the additional stability as the tram lurches forward. Then her attention is out the window, eyes trying to adjust and focus to watch the world flash by. "So... what's in this museum, Hans?"

He snaps his fingers as he settles upon the word he was looking for "Intereeur ceeling !" Although, given how he tends to use words a bit of a hike could mean very nearly anything.

Yes. Clearly she is just doing this to have the extra seatbelt. Flashes of light broken up by the occasional view of an upsidedown building, interrupted by grabing and shifting legs which freely rotate. This all while sitting in a cab that feels mostly immobile will rapidly bring on motion sickness to even the hardiest constitution. Feeling as though you are inside a bug doesn't help either.

"My Ceety knooledge-a is leckeeng. Ves vrung ebuoot a foo theengs I seeed. Thees mooseoom is ebuoot.. vhet peuple-a knoo ebuoot Zee Ceety beffure-a booeelding und inhebeeteshun sterted. Und zee erteeffect it rests oon."

Lucky for Hans, Mari is not given to motion sickness, and as an added bonus she also has a hardy constitution! "Hum... so how long has the City been around? I mean, you speak like it's been here for a long time, and then suggest that it wasn't that long ago when it was, err... colonized? Is that the right word?"

She leans back against him, pondering. She's still not sure how she ended up here, especially since the last she remembered she was going to pick up dinner, but she's here now. Best make the best of it.

At least her companion smells nice. Nice and smokey, like a good barbecue... Bet he's good at barbecue, too. Smoked pig would hit the spot.

Motion sickness has more to do with the inner ear, but canines have different ones then human. "I... ehh, I em nut certeein. Meybe-a peuple-a vundered in yeers egu. Zee ... oorguneezeshun? Intu guferneeng budy und furmel poobleic vurks is recent. Boot muny ooff zee booeldings seem fery oold." His mouth tugs into a frown. He doesn't know nearly as much as he would like, which is part of the reason they are heading to this place in a giant centipede.

He's set the ice chest down below the seat to free up one arm for squeezing her shoulder and the other to gesture at the area around him while he talks. Thankfully there is nobody crammed into the seat next to him he could accidentally hit in the face.

The tunnel itself brightens as the tram moves aboveground, the announcing voice declaring nearness of the primary Stone Canton Station as the crowd shuffles and straightens to head out.

Her face shows dawning comprehension, and she nods to show she's following along. "So... I guess you're saying that the city, err, City," she manages the right emphasis the second time "was already here when people arrived. That 'we' didn't build this city, rock and roll or no rock and roll." 

She bobs her head more confidently at that. "And you're relatively recent yourself, too, so you clearly don't have family that's stretches back ages... are you saying the Crown, or whoever she is, isn't all that deep a lineage either? Just a couple decades, maybe?"

"Reight! Noo yuoo ere-a getteeng it. Uh, ruck und rull?" A definite lacking in education. He reaches beneath his seat and slides out the ice chest, dislodging her from arm and shoulder. He offers her a hand up should she want to take it before heading out of the tram.

"Vell." He clears his throat. "Et leest a centoory. Inuoogh teeme-a tu booeeld up ooudles ooff pepervurk und stert tryeeng tu inffurce-a levs, ih?" He chuckles. The implication of great violence and power not on the side of the Crown. "I em tryeeng tu sey thet Zee Ceety hes beee oonly inhebeeteted by.. vhet ve-a vuoold cell peuple-a seegnifficuntly less thun a reel vurld." But that's a comparison between geological and historical time.

A primary station in Stone Canton. Not only is it sitting on an extremely expensive piece of real estate it is. Thankfully the stability in the area has allowed the architechts responsible to build horizontally. While the tram itself rests upon a flat track in a large, open, windowed foyer with a series of shops a dark yawning near-vertical hole sits before it. Bars and warning signs block from getting too close to certain "tracks" as some of them are less obvious or simply look like pathways. People bustle about their business or eat at extremely expensive Stone Canton food shoppes.

Sigvard has seen this cathedral-like hall before, so it doesn't stop him from continuining to talk and gesticulate animatedly.