6046/A Grand Tour

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A Grand Tour
Date of Scene: 10 September 2018
Location: Vale
Synopsis: Gilgamesh comes to Remnant to get a motorcycle or fifty.

Yang is there to give him some guidance.

Cast of Characters: Gilgamesh, Yang Xiao Long

Gilgamesh has posed:
     Vale. High rise buildings and narrow streets cluster together, choking out the bright blue sky. Everywhere there are people; some of them normal humans, some of them animalesque Faunus, but all of them people, all of them going about their daily lives.

     More than a few of those people turn their heads at the King of Heroes' passing.

     He's dressed, for once, in almost normal clothes - a heavy black jacket, a white shirt, beige dress pants, black shoes. This surpassing rarity, Gilgamesh wearing clothes fit for the era he's living in, is almost entirely because of happenstance; the other night he happened to acquire some, and so he's decided to wear them out and see how they are. So far, he's forced to admit grudgingly to /absolutely no one/, they're actually quite comfortable. He may not like the modern era, but at least they've come up with some interesting stricks, every now and again.

     They do very little to keep attention off him, but then, since when did the King of Heroes ever care about such things? His radiant aura shines like the sun as he walks through the streets of Vale. People whisper at his passing, wondering aloud if he's a new student, if he's a foreigner, what that strange power is. The demigod pays them no mind.

     He has one destination in mind.

     The King of Heroes stops a few people for directions. His questions are odd, but eventually he finds his way to the place he's waiting - a bench under a large clock. There, the King sits, arms and legs crossed, and begins to wait.

Yang Xiao Long has posed:
    Yang got the message, rolled her eyes at the flowery language, then got herself ready to head out.

    A short Bullhead trip later, and the blonde is walking down the exact same street the King of Heroes just did, hands in pockets as she strides along with a carefree gait. She doesn't really care how long she makes the guy wait, but she's not taking her time either.

    The blonde brawler has a slight limp from the wounds she received during the Line shennanigans, but otherwise looks in good health. She's wearing her alternative outfit today, a white 'jacket dress' with a black undershirt, black stockings with garterbelts holding them up that disappear under her skirt and black dress boots. She has a shoulderjacket to cover them, and black fingerless gloves with Ember Celica dangling around her wrists as usual.

    Once she spots Gilgamesh, she lifts a hand. "Ooooi." calling out with her trademark lopsided grin. "Heya, what's shakin'?"

Gilgamesh has posed:
     The King stands as she arrives. There's a moment of confusion visible across the ancient young demigod's face as he tries to parse her greeting. He's...not good at slang, and it's kind of evident on the handsome face as it screws up in an attempt to decipher it. It's probably kind of funny to watch him sort through 'oi, what's shaking' before he finally, hesitantly, says, "I do not know. Is something shaking?" He pats himself down, then ventures, "Is it you? Are you cold?"

     If he's even bothered by being made to wait, it is impossible to tell.

     After a bit, he slides his hands in his pockets and looks away. "The battle over the Line has been resolved, in part thanks to you and the others who stepped away from the King of Engines."

     "Had you stayed on the other side, this tenuous peace would have been far more difficult to attain."

     Then the King looks back at her. His red eyes are sharp. "There will be a race - the supporters of the Church against the supporters of the King of Engines, with the winner gaining the right to use my treasure as they seet fit. I have agreed to give each participant a large sum in order to ensure that they have the most powerful vehicles available to them. In part, I came to deliver you yours personally, since you were not present at the summit. Generously I recalled that you were attempting to fix your machine, and I expect the funding will assist, since I have no doubt you will enter that race yourself."

     "And," Gilgamesh's hands go into his pockets, and he looks away from her, "Since these machines appeal to me very much, and since your offer to show them to me also appealed to me very much, I decided that I would come out personally, as I had naught else to do today, and grace you with my presence to provide a pleasant afternoon diversion."

Yang Xiao Long has posed:
    Yang chuckles. "It's a saying. It means 'what is going on with you'." she explains, then tilts her head curiously at the King. "Oh? That's neat, and yeah, I'll enter that race." she remarks, grinning at the idea. "Even if I don't win, it'll be one hell of a story to tell my grandkids one day." she adds. "Anyway, sure, lets go take a look at some bikes. Remnant engineering is kinda unique, because we use Dust for everything, so you might not wanna get anything from here, cuz you'd have to deal with the Schnees, and Jaques is kind've a dick." she remarks, glancing around at the people moving by. "C'mon, there's a showroom a couple blocks away."

Gilgamesh has posed:
     The King of Heroes accepts this new information with the grace one might expect of him.

     That is, he's confused as /hell/ and he spends a few minutes just turning it over. "How does something shaking imply that something is going on with me...?" His arm crosses his chest, his other to his chin. He's clearly deep in thought about this. "Modernity has some very odd expressions."

     The only response the King has about grandchildren is to look off into the distance. Is there something sad in those red eyes, or is it just the light? Well, either way, once they're talking about bikes, he's back to looking at her.

     "Yes, you mentioned that when last we spoke," he says, falling into step alongside her, "What is this Dust that you use? Is it something that cannot be purchased?"

     'Jaques is kind of a dick' gets a slender, perfect blonde eyebrow rising into the perfect blonde hairline. "You have trouble with a merchant?" He ventures as they walk, "Is that common? I was under the impression that haggling and barter were dead in this era, and that merchants all followed one law of coin, and did not change their prices."

     Gilgamesh walks like he owns the place. It's actually kind of noticeable in his stride - it's confident, forthright, self-assured, maybe even a touch arrogant, but the kind of arrogance backed up by power and self-certainty. People /do/ in fact get out of his way; some of them stop to stare, others just avoid him subconsciously, drifting out of his gaze. He pays them no notice.

     "And how do these bikes function?" He adds as an afterthought, "What is it that makes them move so quickly?"

     "And do they come in gold?"

Yang Xiao Long has posed:
    "I never said it'd make /sense/." she returns to the confusion, chuckling softly. "He's not a merchant, persay, he owns a company that produces Dust, and it's less about his pricing and more about his labour practices." She seems a bit angry at that, her blonde hair billowing just a bit more than it should as she walks. "Dust is easy to get, it's just to buy in bulk, you'd have to deal with the company instead of liscensed stores, and that's like pulling teeth."

    At the talk of bikes, she starts to explain, seeming to get just as excited about the subject as Gil might something 'neat' he's discovered. "Well, mostly it's a lack of mass in the vehicle frame. Bikes are really light compared to cars, so the engines don't have to push as much around to get the speed. Then the engine itself can be tuned to give more power for the size and weight. My bike I tuned myself, refitted most of it from an old frame I salvaged too. She's totally custom." she gestures evocatively, then clears her throat. "A-Anyway, I'm pretty sure you could get it painted to look gold, but the metal itself isn't really good for making a bike out of. It's too soft and dense. It'l bend too easily and a bike frame made of gold would weigh several tons, even a 1200cc engine wouldn't get that thing moving very fast."

Gilgamesh has posed:
     "Access to the storehouse is guarded by an unpleasant priest," the King translates, "And he works his servants to the bone, and you disapprove of him." Yes, /that/, at least, gets a look of comprehension on the King's face as they walk. "I have known such men in Babylon. That, at least, the era does not change. Sometimes it is refreshing to know that the basest parts of humanity can still be counted on." There's something about /that/, too, that sounds kind of frustrated, like he's really annoyed by that fact despite his words.

     She gets excited. His eyes are focused on her the entire time. As she talks, he nods, and he again seems less like a distant demigod and more like a regular, if somewhat dorky, teenager. He nods along. He's...actually into it, and clearly so, a look of mystic rapture on his face as she talks.

     "I think that I had something similar in my own era," Gilgamesh admits finally, "But if I did, I surely did not build it myself, and it surely was a wonder from a distant land. That you are capable of building something like that is truly remarkable. Occasionally, I suppose, modernity does have its upsides. Even I have to admit that."

     He smiles. It's a genuine smile. There's an excited look in his eyes. "So, then, the finest such bike is one that is made by one's own hand, then?"

     "Then tell me more about that!" Gilgamesh declares, with sudden, and perhaps surprising, energy, "Nothing but the finest will suit the King of Heroes!"

Yang Xiao Long has posed:
    Yang looks over at the King curiously, pausing in her stride for a moment. "It's dirty work. You'll get covered in engine grease and motor oil, and it takes weeks, sometimes months to get the gear ratios just right, having to hunt down just the right parts, securing the right kind of oil in enough quantity to run it... then afterwards making sure you keep it maintained. Every single time I take my bike out I spend a couple of hours going over the parts that are under wear to make sure nothing gets too worn out." She continues walking, and turns a corner. "If you really wanna build a custom machine, we'll go to a parts store instead of a showroom, all those bikes are premade, sometimes you can commission a custom machine, but every time I've done it they don't have something right, or they had to scimp on the parts because they couldn't get them in time or some bullcrap like that."

Gilgamesh has posed:

     The King runs a hand through his hair. "I am the King. I will not stop being the King because of something as mundane as mud or muck or blood. I have slain countless monsters. I have ventured to the furthest parts of the world and brought back their treasures. I am not a pampered child, grown in the seat of luxury. I am Gilgamesh, who sits atop Babylon, Tigris in his right hand, Euphrates in his left. If it brings me pleasure then it cannot dirty me, only entertain me. If this is the way to make the finest of bikes, then I will enjoy it, and if you will show me the path, I have no doubt I will enjoy it moreso, for fair company is fair company regardless. These bikes have caught my interest, and I will not settle for less than the finest!"

     Gilgamesh throws back his head and laughs. It's certainly an odd gesture. His laugh is musical, resonant with the world around him. When they start walking again, a curious look comes over his face.

     "You said that you were a Huntress when last we spoke. That you doubted your power." His stride is even and unbroken, though he's looking at her and not where he's going. "I would know more of that. You are, after all, aiding me. It is the custom of the King to repay his debts, good or ill."

Yang Xiao Long has posed:
    "Hunters in this world are... well, there's no real comparison that fits perfectly." begins Yang at the questions. "A Huntsman, or Huntress as the case may be, uses the power of Aura to unlock the power in Dust, to fight the Creatures of Grimm, we're trained at the Academies, then roam the four Kingdoms, lending our aid to wherever we're needed. Holding no loyalties to anyone but ourselves, and the other Hunters we travel with, if any."

    It sounds fairly romantic, and it probably is the romantisized version of things, filtered through someone inside the system. "I doubt my power because every time I've pushed my limits, I've come up short... been found wanting, as it were... it feels like I'm 'stuck', like I'm missing something very obvious and it's limiting my potential." she shrugs, turning another corner and being greeted with the sound of metal being cut, and the smell of engine oil, hot metal and an undertone of human and faunus sweat. A large workshop full of machine parts, half-built bikes and several burly people in coveralls working on projects.

Gilgamesh has posed:
     The instant the smell hits his nose, the King's produced a handkerchief from out of literally nowhere. It's fine silk. He holds it up to cover his mouth and nose, as if the stink of human beings disgusts and disturbs him. A moment later, he offers a second silk handkerchief to Yang. At the touch, it pulses with faint magical energy, and if she puts it up to her mouth, the world through it smells like roses.

     "You kill monsters on behalf of society," Gilgamesh says simply. "Yes. That, I understand. I am surprised that you have no king to fill that role, but I am becoming less surprised by that the more I venture into the lands of Multi-Vars."

     She's coming up short.

     Gilgamesh considers this for a moment. "I have not tested your strength," he says as they walk past the burly people, "So I could not say for certain. But perhaps what you are missing is, indeed, something simple. Something as obvious as what you are willing to risk. Something as obvious as what you are willing to do to win. Or something as simple as the fact that you lack belief in your own power."

     "Humans..." Gilgamesh says, pausing for a moment to look at one of the bikes being welded with a childlike fascination before he falls back into step next to her, "...humans tend to blind themselves to obvious truths where they themselves are concerned. They convince themselves of something, and then they stubbornly cling to that idea, even to their own detriments. Perhaps what you are missing is the very idea that you are strong. The confidence necessary to push you through despite failure."

     He closes his red eyes. "Failure is something I understand humans suffer all the time." He says this like he doesn't. Like he /isn't/. "It is part of imperfection. Humans need to fail in order to grow. They need to suffer in order to learn. Consider that perhaps you are not failing tests; you are being taught new strengths to cope with new challenges, being taught how to fail that you might find the path amidst the bushes."

     Again, he stops to watch another welding. "Humans are not unlike metal," he says as he watches the sparks fly, "Beautiful, when shaped, but only beautiful after much hammering, much force, after being worked again and again."

     "Do not be so frustrated. Rather keep challenging yourself. Continue to fail until you find the key to success. Yours is a worthy profession in an era of apathy, misery, and self-loathing."

Yang Xiao Long has posed:
    "Yeah, we're imperfect... even to the point that we would end up burning our own house to the ground to prove a point." replies Yang, idly waving away the offered silk item. This is her homeground, her nirvana. Ths smell emboldens her as she walks past the workshop into the back area. "Hey Pops, you still alive?" she calls, causing a slender looking Faunus man to stand up from behind a rack of parts. He's kind of mousish in bearing, but has a large, bushy tail, pale silver with black rosettes following along behind him. "Yang! My favorite customer, it's been a while." he says, a smile transforming the old face into something harkening back to his youth. Like a sunrise over a pitted cliffside. "And you've brought a friend too! Excellent. Those parts you ordered just came in this morning. Gotta say noone's looking for the mod3 version of that transfer coil anymore. It was a pain in the tail to get hold of it."

    The faunus man scampers away into the back as he speaks, bringing several boxes out and setting them on the counter. "Is there anything I can do for your friend here while we're at it? Gotta say, he doesn't look like the type to get elbows deep in a bike engine."

Gilgamesh has posed:
     Gilgamesh doesn't press the point. The silk handkerchief vanishes into the ether as she waves it away. If Yang is paying attention, she can see it drop, space around it ripple, and the handkerchief vanish into the ripple as it falls.

     He may not look the type to be deep in a bike engine, but the look on his face at the parts is wide-eyed and wondrous. Again he looks like an eager teenager, looking over the rack as Yang talks to the Faunus. The man receives a passing glance and no more - no judgement in the King's eyes, just a sort of vague awareness that he exists. At least the King isn't racist, apparently.

     After he's addressed, Gilgamesh straightens. "I am not. But I am intrigued. These machines of modernity have caught my eye, and I am told that the finest of them must be made by hand, and there will be nothing but the finest for the King of Heroes. Therefore, in order to properly own the finest of bikes, I am perfectly willing to dirty my hands."

     "I admit to knowing very little, but if the fair Huntress trusts your judgement, then as she is clearly an expert in this field, I shall trust it as well. I would require the highest-quality of pieces from you." He runs another hand through his hair. "As well, I intend to smelt down sufficient gold for proper painting, and thus will require a...frame?" He looks at Yang. "...that will look appropriately sleek and regal beneath me."

     "Money is no object." The King snaps his fingers, and a very literal *sack* of gold and jewels falls onto the counter out of a ripple in the air. A second sack falls to the ground near Yang's feet, which Gilgamesh tilts his head at, then looks up at her. "For your entry. If you trust this man then I see no reason not to give it to you now, as you will doubtless be spending it to buy parts from him, yes?"

Yang Xiao Long has posed:
    Yang actually jumps a bit at the gold appearing. "Yah, whoa... oookay, not gonna get used to that." she says, looking over at Gil curiously. "Well, I can't get Line-rated gear here. This is for the bike under all the hovertech and stuff I needed to bolt onto it for running at that insane speed, so I'll have to head back onto The Line to get some more Hyperglass and Megadiamond stuff to refit my bike with to enter the race."

    Pops looks at Gil, then the pile of gold and jewels. "That's a lot of lien, boy... but if Yang'l vouch for you, well, I can't really say no, now can I?" he says, leaving the stuff on the counter, and walking into the racks. "Well, a sleek frame'll be easy enough, we've got a few in stock, or I can order one in from the catalogue." he leads Gil over to where the bike frames are kept. They're skeletal things, looking nothing like the finished product, but of course, the frame is the core that the vehicle is built up around. The faunus man also indicates a large book, a veritable tome even, that's filled with pictures and prices of parts, segmented into those of like type. Engine parts, wheels, tyres, rims, camshafts, drive wheels. There's a LOT of different parts that go into a bike.

Gilgamesh has posed:
     "All the things worth owning in the world are mine," Gilgamesh says, that trademark ego shining through as he looks quite pleased with himself, "And within the Gate of Babylon is all the treasure of the world. Something as paltry as this is hardly a dent in the vaults of the King, fair Huntress."

     The old man receives his attention. In a shocking show of patience the King's face only slightly twists at the word /boy/ rather than get mad. Probably because Yang is doing him a favor, and Gilgamesh has enough wherewithal not to just lose his shit at people doing him favors. Plus, he seems too excited to really be /mad/, and as the old man sets the book in front of him, his red eyes light up like a child on Christmas morning. He opens the book and starts looking through it eagerly, energetically. It is a sight few people have ever seen - the King of Heroes' normally impassive, even cold and distant, face, brightly lit up by a newfound pleasure.