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Reckoners 01 - Steelheart

Reckoners 01 - Steelheart

Titel: Reckoners 01 - Steelheart
Autoren: Brandon Sanderson
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    I’VE seen Steelheart bleed.
    It happened ten years ago; I was eight. My father and I were at the First Union Bank on Adams Street. We used the old street names back then, before the Annexation.
    The bank was enormous. A single open chamber with white pillars surrounding a tile mosaic floor, broad doors that led deeper into the building. Two large revolving doors opened onto the street, with a set of conventional doors to the sides. Men and women streamed in and out, as if the room were the heart of some enormous beast, pulsing with a lifeblood of people and cash.
    I knelt backward on a chair that was too big for me, watching the flow of people. I liked to watch people. The different shapes of faces, the hairstyles, the clothing, the expressions. Everyone showed so much
back then. It was exciting.
    “David, turn around, please,” my father said. He had a soft voice. I’d never heard it raised, save for that one time at my mother’s funeral. Thinking of his agony on that day still makes me shiver.
    I turned around, sullen. We were to the side of the main bank chamber in one of the cubicles where the mortgage men worked. Our cubicle had glass sides, which made it less confining, but it still felt fake. There were little wood-framed pictures of family members on the walls, a cup of cheap candy with a glass lid on the desk, and a vase with faded plastic flowers on the filing cabinet.
    It was an imitation of a comfortable home. Much like the man in front of us wore an imitation of a smile.
    “If we had more collateral …,” the mortgage man said, showing teeth.
    “Everything I own is on there,” my father said, indicating the paper on the desk in front of us. His hands were thick with calluses, his skin tan from days spent working in the sun. My mother would have winced if she’d seen him go to a fancy appointment like this wearing his work jeans and an old T-shirt with a comic book character on it.
    At least he’d combed his hair, though it was starting to thin. He didn’t care about that as much as other men seemed to. “Just means fewer haircuts, Dave,” he’d tell me, laughing as he ran his fingers through his wispy hair. I didn’t point out that he was wrong. He would still have to get the same number of haircuts, at least until all of his hair fell out.
    “I just don’t think I can do anything about this,” the mortgage man said. “You’ve been told before.”
    “The other man said it would be enough,” my father replied, his large hands clasped before him. He looked concerned. Very concerned.
    The mortgage man just continued to smile. He tapped the stack of papers on his desk. “The world is a much more dangerous place now, Mr. Charleston. The bank has decided against taking risks.”
    “Dangerous?” my father asked.
    “Well, you know, the Epics …”
    “But they
dangerous,” my father said passionately. “The Epics are here to help.”
    Not this again
, I thought.
    The mortgage man’s smile finally broke, as if he was taken aback by my father’s tone.
    “Don’t you see?” my father said, leaning forward. “This isn’t a dangerous time. It’s a wonderful time!”
    The mortgage man cocked his head. “Didn’t your previous home get
by an Epic?”
    “Where there are villains, there will be heroes,” my father said. “Just wait. They
    I believed him. A lot of people thought like he did, back then. It had only been two years since Calamity appeared in the sky. One year since ordinary men started changing. Turning into Epics—almost like superheroes from the stories.
    We were still hopeful then. And ignorant.
    “Well,” the mortgage man said, clasping his hands on the table right beside a picture frame displaying a stock photo of smiling ethnic children. “Unfortunately, our underwriters don’t agree with your assessment. You’ll have to …”
    They kept talking, but I stopped paying attention. I let my eyes wander back toward the crowds, then turned around again, kneeling on the chair. My father was too engrossed in the conversation to scold me.
    So I was actually watching when the Epic strolled into the bank. I noticed him immediately, though nobody else seemed to pay him much heed. Most people say you can’t tell an Epic from an ordinary man unless he starts using his powers, but they’re wrong. Epics carry themselves differently. That sense of confidence, that subtle self-satisfaction. I’ve always been able to
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