The rocks hurt less than the glares and the words, Zenyatta decided.
As he stepped through the streets of King’s Row, the monk had to be careful not to seem too deterred or upset, not to let his movements seem jarring or abrasive in any way. His actions could be misconstrued and seen as an outright threat to anyone around him, particularly by humans who were looking for a reason to lock him away. The laws within England were lax concerning the treatment of his kind, and omnics were not viewed in a well meaning light. That was to say, they were not meant to see light at all. They were meant to be below ground, forced into the subways and the sewers, or destroyed outright.
Zenyatta had staunchly refused. His fellow omnic acquaintances below grounds had begged for him to reconsider, but it stood in the face of every single ideal that the monk held dear. The glimmering warmth of the sunlight always brought out the most harmonious thoughts within the young monk, and he would not allow anyone to refuse him the right to feel one with the universe. Not a ruler, not a human and certainly not the pleas of his own kind (even if they were for his own good).
Besides, there was a very important place he needed to visit before he departed.
His steps were slow and measured. His hands were tucked neatly behind his back. His omnic orbs, usually floating fluidly and freely about him, were instead neatly placed around his neck and he made his way without speaking or associating with any humans, careful to keep his mechanical voice silenced. Yet the enraged threats still followed him as he walked along. Hisses of anger, murmurs of curses, shrill name-calling, glances of fear seemed to catch like wildfire as he approached and grow louder as he passed by.
He had not been surprised with the first stone had glanced off of his cranial unit and scratched him just to the right of his visual sensors. The second and third that followed soon after did not cause any significant damage either, only vague superficial scratches. Thankfully, the blows had not been followed up by any more violent grandstanding, but every now and then a shriek of dismay and anger at his presence, or another weak attack was not uncommon as he continued forward.
Stay calm. Clear your mind. They cannot steal away what the Universe has gifted you. Your freedom is your own.
The town square of King’s Row was busy, bustling, and yet Zenyatta was quick to note that there was no feeling of excitement or warmth. There was the unmistakable chill of fear about each and every face he saw. What is this feeling, Zenyatta wondered, searching himself, wondering if he was capable of this particular human emotion. He pondered on whether this aching feeling of dismay and confusion that gripped at his internal sensory database was growing into something more sinister. With a slow, chilling realization, it dawned on Zenyatta: this was dread.
Zenyatta absolutely dreaded this place.
Yet he needed to be here. Without a doubt, he could not afford to leave now. He still had not managed to make it to his brother’s memorial, and had not even begun to try to help heal the sick and the poor. But how could he possibly manage to find it no one was even willing to look in his direction without sneering, scowling or turning away in terror?