Mistborn the final empi.., p.26
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       Mistborn: The Final Empire, p.26

         Part #1 of Mistborn series by Brandon Sanderson
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Page 26

  “What…?” Vin asked, tracing the lines of blue light with her eyes. They pointed at random objects. Doors, windows— a couple even pointed at Kelsier.

  “We’ll get to it,” he promised. “Extinguish that one and try one of the last two. ”

  Vin extinguished the strange metal and ignored its companion, picking one of the last metals. Immediately, she felt a strange vibration. Vin paused. The pulses didn’t make a sound that she could hear, yet she could feel them washing across her. They seemed to be coming from Kelsier. She looked at him, frowning.

  “That’s probably bronze,” Kelsier said. “The internal mental Pulling metal. It lets you sense when someone is using Allomancy nearby. Seekers, like my brother, use it. Generally it’s not that useful—unless you happen to be a Steel Inquisitor searching for skaa Mistings. ”

  Vin paled. “Inquisitors can use Allomancy?”

  Kelsier nodded. “They’re all Seekers—I’m not sure if that’s because Seekers are chosen to become Inquisitors, or if the process of becoming an Inquisitor grants the power. Either way, since their main duties are to ?nd half-breed children and noblemen who use Allomancy improperly, it’s a useful skill for them to have. Unfortunately, ‘useful’ for them means ‘rather annoying’ for us. ”

  Vin began to nod, then froze. The pulsing had stopped.

  “What happened?” she asked.

  “I started burning copper,” Kelsier said, “the companion to bronze. When you burn copper, it hides your use of powers from other Allomancers. You can try burning it now, if you want, though you won’t sense much. ”

  Vin did so. The only change was a feeling of slight vibration within her.

  “Copper is a vital metal to learn,” Kelsier said. “It will hide you from Inquisitors. We probably don’t have anything to worry about tonight—the Inquisitors would assume us to be regular noble Mistborn, out for training. However, if you’re ever in a skaa guise and need to burn metals, make sure you turn on your copper ?rst. ”

  Vin nodded appreciatively.

  “In fact,” Kelsier said, “many Mistborn keep their copper on all the time. It burns slowly, and it makes you invisible to other Allomancers. It hides you from bronze, and it also prevents others from manipulating your emotions. ”

  Vin perked up.

  “I thought that might interest you,” Kelsier said. “Anyone burning copper is immune to emotional Allomancy. In addition, copper’s in?uence occurs in a bubble around you. This cloud—called a coppercloud—hides anyone inside of it from the senses of a Seeker, though it won’t make them immune to emotional Allomancy, like it will you. ”

  “Clubs,” Vin said. “That’s what a Smoker does. ”

  Kelsier nodded. “If one of our people is noticed by a Seeker, they can run back to the lair and disappear. They can also practice their abilities without fear of being discovered. Allomantic pulses coming from a shop in a skaa sector of town would be a quick giveaway to a passing Inquisitor. ”

  “But, you can burn copper,” Vin said. “Why were you so worried about ?nding a Smoker for the crew?”

  “I can burn copper, true,” Kelsier said. “And so can you. We can use all of the powers, but we can’t be everywhere. A successful crewleader needs to know how to divide labor, especially on a job as big as this one. Standard practice has a coppercloud going at all times in the lair. Clubs doesn’t do it all himself—several of those apprentices are Smokers too. When you hire a man like Clubs, it’s understood that he’ll provide you with a base of operations and a team of Smokers competent enough to keep you hidden at all times. ”

  Vin nodded. However, she was more interested in copper’s ability to protect her emotions. She would need to locate enough of it to keep it burning all the time.

  They started walking again, and Kelsier gave her more time to get used to burning tin. Vin’s mind, however, began to wander. Something didn’t feel…right to her. Why was Kelsier telling her all of these things? It seemed like he was giving away his secrets too easily.

  Except one, she thought suspiciously. The metal with the blue lines. He hasn’t gone back to it yet. Perhaps that was the thing he was going to keep from her, the power he would hold in reserve to maintain control over her.

  It must be strong. The most powerful of the eight.

  As they walked through the quiet streets, Vin reached tentatively inside. She eyed Kelsier, then carefully burned that unknown metal. Again, the lines sprang up around her, pointing in seemingly random directions.

  The lines moved with her. One end of each thread stayed stuck to her chest, while the other end remained attached to a given place along the street. New lines appeared as she walked, and old ones faded, disappearing behind. The lines came in various widths, and some of them were brighter than others.

  Curious, Vin tested the lines with her mind, trying to discover their secret. She focused on a particularly small and innocent-looking one, and found that she could feel it individually if she concentrated. She almost felt like she could touch it. She reached out with her mind and gave it a slight tug.

  The line shook, and something immediately ?ew out of the darkness toward her. Vin yelped, trying to jump away, but the object—a rusty nail—shot directly toward her.

  Suddenly, something grabbed the nail, ripping it away and throwing it back out into the darkness.

  Vin came up from her roll in a tense crouch, mistcloak ?uttering around her. She scanned the darkness, then glanced at Kelsier, who was chuckling softly.

  “I should have known you’d try that,” he said.

  Vin ?ushed in embarrassment.

  “Come on,” he said, waving her over. “No harm done. ”

  “The nail attacked me!” Did that metal bring objects to life? That would be an incredible power indeed.

  “Actually, you kind of attacked yourself,” Kelsier said.

  Vin stood carefully, then joined him as he began to walk down the street again.

  “I’ll explain what you did in a moment,” he promised. “First, there’s something you have to understand about Allomancy. ”

  “Another rule?”

  “More a philosophy,” Kelsier said. “It has to do with consequences. ”

  Vin frowned. “What do you mean?”

  “Every action we take has consequences, Vin,” Kelsier said. “I’ve found that in both Allomancy and life, the person who can best judge the consequences of their actions will be the most successful. Take burning pewter, for instance. What are its consequences?”

  Vin shrugged. “You get stronger. ”

  “What happens if you’re carrying something heavy when your pewter runs out?”

  Vin paused. “I suppose you’d drop it. ”

  “And, if it’s too heavy, you could hurt yourself seriously. Many a Misting Thug has shrugged off a dire wound while fighting, only to die from that same wound once their pewter ran out. ”

  “I see,” Vin said quietly.

  “Ha!”

  Vin jumped in shock, throwing her hands up over her enhanced ears. “Ow!” she complained, glaring at Kelsier.

  He smiled. “Burning tin has consequences too. If someone produces a sudden light or sound, you can be blinded or stunned. ”

  “But, what does that have to do with those last two metals?”

  “Iron and steel give you the ability to manipulate other metals around you,” Kelsier explained. “With iron, you can Pull a metal source toward yourself. With steel, you can Push one away. Ah, here we are. ”

  Kelsier stopped, looking up ahead.

  Through the mist, Vin could see the massive city wall looming above them. “What are we doing here?”

  “We’re going to practice Ironpulling and Steelpushing,” Kelsier said. “But ?rst, some basics. ” He pulled something out of his belt—a clip, the smallest denomination of coin. He held it up before her, standing to the side. “Burn steel, the opposite of the metal you burned a few moments ago. ”

 
; Vin nodded. Again, the blue lines sprang up around her. One of them pointed directly at the coin in Kelsier’s hand.

  “All right,” Kelsier said. “Push on it. ”

  Vin reached toward the proper thread and Pushed slightly. The coin ?ipped out of Kelsier’s ?ngers, traveling directly away from Vin. She continued to focus on it, Pushing the coin through the air until it snapped against the wall of a nearby house.

  Vin was thrown violently backward in a sudden, jerking motion. Kelsier caught her and kept her from falling to the ground.

  Vin stumbled and righted herself. Across the street, the coin—now released from her control—plinked to the ground.

  “What happened?” Kelsier asked her.

  She shook her head. “I don’t know. I Pushed on the coin, and it ?ew away. But when it hit the wall, I was pushed away. ”

  “Why?”

  Vin frowned thoughtfully. “I guess…I guess the coin couldn’t go anywhere, so I had to be the one that moved. ”

  Kelsier nodded approvingly. “Consequences, Vin. You use your own weight when you Steelpush. If you’re a lot heavier than your anchor, it will ?y away from you like that coin did. However, if the object is heavier than you are—or if it runs into something that is—you’ll be Pushed away. Ironpulling is similar—either you’ll be Pulled toward the object or it will be Pulled toward you. If your weights are similar, then you’ll both move.

  “This is the great art of Allomancy, Vin. Knowing how much, or how little, you will move when you burn steel or iron will give you a major advantage over your opponents. You’ll ?nd that these two are the most versatile and useful of your abilities. ”

  Vin nodded.

  “Now, remember,” he continued. “In both cases, the force of your Push or Pull is directly away from or toward you. You can’t ?ip things around with your mind, controlling them to go wherever you want. That’s not the way that Allomancy works, because that’s not the way the physical world works. When you push against something—whether with Allomancy or with your hands—it goes directly in the opposite direction. Force, reactions, consequences. Understand?”

  Vin nodded again.

  “Good,” Kelsier said happily. “Now, let’s go jump over that wall. ”

  “What?”

  He left her standing dumbfounded in the street. She watched him approach the base of the wall, then scurried over to him.

  “You’re insane!” she said quietly.

  Kelsier smiled. “I think that’s the second time today you’ve said that to me. You need to pay better attention—if you’d been listening to everyone else, you’d know that my sanity departed long ago. ”

  “Kelsier,” she said, looking up at the wall. “I can’t…. I mean, I’ve never really even used Allomancy before this evening!”

  “Yes, but you’re such a quick learner,” Kelsier said, pulling something out from beneath his cloak. It appeared to be a belt. “Here, put this on. It’s got metal weights strapped to it. If

 

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