Night Watch

Another shortie. As of the time of this writing my grandfather's health has been going fairly fast. Not in the best shape emotionally, but even so I can't afford to sit and mope and cry over what's pretty much inevitable. As they say, The Show Must Go On.

"You know, I think their reputations are a bit overinflated."
"The metas you mean?"
Two guys sitting in a van waiting for several of thier friends to return, hopefully with a small fortune to show for htier trouble.
"What makes you say that?" Mick was fidgiting at the wheel of their van. Things were going well, but he didn't wantto invite bad things on all of them.
Ace glanced at the different gizmoes mounted in their getaway vehicle. "Well if they were as hot stuff as the news keeps making out they'd already be on us right?"
Not wanting to make his companion think he was afraid Mick made a noncommital noise. "Maybe. Could be they're just busy with something else. Big city and there's only so many of 'em to go 'round the whole country ya?"
They continued waiting and were soon relieved to see three men all carting off several lumpy bags of... well something. Mick looked to the lead one after everyone had piled in. "Thought you said it was gonna be an in and out transfer."
"Yea yea. Keep your panties on. There was a pawn shop and my old lady's been bleating. Thought 'it's not that big a detour so why not' Y'know?"
While they drove Ace pulled a long age darkened wooden cane from one of the bags. "Why would anyone want to get rid of this?" He ran a hand across a ladybug design inset near the top and was rewarded with a nearly inaudible click. "If this's original," His voice was a mix of awe and something close to reverence. "Whoever had this shouldn't have just given it away."
Everyone but Mick turned to look at Ace. There was a hardness to that statement. He looked slightly embarassed when he realized this. "I just have a thing for old stuff. You don't mind do you?"
Everyone else waved him off dismissivly. Standard practice ofr them when things were being divided was to let anyone call dibs and if nobody else objected it was theirs.

Later, when he was alone, Ace was cleaning the blade, "What use have you for me?" The voice was and wasn't his. His eyes widened but his mouth continued moving. "Do you feel this life you live is worthy of my service to you?"
A dream. Just a dream. Ace continued with the cleaningcloth in small careful circles, buffing and cleaning. Fingerprints. A sword likely hundreds of years old made into a walking stick so the family it has belonged to wouldn't have to give it up, and they show no more respect than this?
"You are troubled by your companions. That much is clear even without probing deeply." The not-his voice returned. "Why do you serve them if you don't want this life?" A moment and an intake of breath. "Ahh. A life debt." The voice went away for a time. "Maybe," It sounded thoughtful," Maybe you can show them a far better path. If not, then they have small honor in this parisitic existaince. Heed my words gutter rat and I will teach you to be more than you are or ever likely could have been."
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