The First Age

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Nox sighed when Rachel left. With his power he could hear half of the conversation. She wasn't very far away. Nox had a feeling he was about to get slapped in the face by big sis. Cain true to his nature so far tried to calm the situation.

Nox leaned back against the couch he was sitting in and looked across at Cruz and Rachel. "Alright first off, let's not call Dorian Daddy... alright? Yeah that's just wrong."
Nox grinned playfully. "Second, Rachel I'm assuming your sister is going to make a visit. I would if I were her. Shit hit the fan. "

"Yes. Dorian and I are Atharim. Sadly our manifesto says to kill reborn gods. Me, you and Cain."
Nox pointed at Cruz. "I'm not going to hurt you obviously which is why Dorian called me. He said you have questions. I'm assuming the first was is it safe to tell your girlfriend? Yeah it is. The Atharim will kill the family for genetic reasons - not so much for the knowledge, who was going to believe in magic?"

Nox sighed. "So your dad, is in just as much danger as you are Cruz. More so since he didn't kill you himself."

"What else do you want to know?"

"Ivan helped me understand how to touch the power. But what good is that?"

Nox grinned. "Touching the source of power is the hardest part. Some have blocks. Mine was having to actually be in physical contact with my sister. Forgetting I had one for a while allowed me to control to my power. I've a friend who had to get embarrassed, another has to recite prayers. Cain's is fear, I think. How many times did you get sick?"

Cruz looked a little confused. "Just the once."

"What did you do? What strange thing happened? Me I shot a fireball from my hand. My sister she healed me, or at least that's what we assume she did as that seemed to be her talent."
Nox sighed and pushed away the memories. It was hard talking about Aurora in the past tense. His sister was dead.

"I don't know. Really nothing weird happened."

Nox grinned. "Doesn't matter. Your Dad did good getting you help right away. So you can touch the power?

Cruz nodded and in a few moments Nox cold feel the presense of another godling in the room. He grinned. "Good job. Try to make the ball of light I showed you earlier."

Cruz tried... Nox watched as the threads of light flickered and flutered before them.
Cain stepped in, not only introducing the duo to her, but also confirming that Skinny was Nox and therefore had slept with her sister and then left in the middle of the night. Cain seemed alright - he at the very least wanted them all to calm down, for which Rachel was happy. Rachel gave him a slight smile of gratitude.

Rachel ignored Nox's little joke - not finding it funny or appropriate, but she nodded at his assumption. "Yes, she's on her way."

She kept rather silent as Nox worked with Cruz, but kept holding Cruz's hand. It was a comfort as her emotions were rather turbulent now. Her sister was a magician and she was surrounded by three others. One of which was a part of an organization that killed magicians. Rachel had seen him use magic or otherwise she would have thought his statement to be a trick to lure unsuspecting mages to their doom.

Despite feeling that Nox wouldn't harm them, Rachel didn't find herself trusting the man. He had hurt her sister and so soon after she had dealt with her fear of men. Emily was very professional and she didn't think that Emily was coming here to discuss personal stuff with Nox, but a part of her knew that could be a possibility. She really hoped it didn't get out of hand. Emily had been under a lot of stress.

Rachel let go of Cruz's hand as Nox started to teach him how to use magic. She didn't know if Cruz would need his hands to make it work, it was all so new to her.

((OOC: Emily will arrive next post. Nox - let me know if you are okay with me modding Pavlo letting her in and bringing her to the room or if something else would happen instead. So Cain knows - Emily and Rachel look almost identical except that Emily is taller. They are very clearly sisters Tongue))

Edited by Emily Shale, Aug 26 2016, 11:01 AM.
Cain watched as Cruz tried and failed to weave a ball of light as Nox demonstrated. He wanted to make his own, and shove it in the guy's face. Cruz seemed like the kind of kid to whom everything had come easily. Cain never did that great in school (although he did graduate with A-levels, which was an awful lot more than most kids in his village), and loads of posh knobheads like Cruz took that to mean that they were smarter and better than him. The redhead would love to show off how much better he was than rich boy over there.

(Cain ignored the fact that he'd been using magic on some level for months to conjure fire before he'd attempted any more complicated spells.)

Unfortunately he needed a good scare to grab hold of his magic. Sometimes he could fool himself, like when he'd been practicing in the tunnels. He didn't need an active threat, but just by being in the dark, Cain'd been able to convince himself that there was danger nearby and that bit of thrill had been enough. He might be able to replicate the feat here, but the process of it might be somewhat awkward. And besides he was kind of irritated at Nox for giving away his weakness so easily.

Cain sighed. He didn't want to cut off his nose to spite his face. Nox would never go on to teach Cruz more advanced tricks if he didn't get hang of the basics. And Cain himself would much rather learn things he hadn't seen yet.

"The light is two aspects: Fire and Air. It's hard to get a hang of holding on to both of them at once. Maybe you should start him off on just one. Fire's a lot easier for me personally."
Nox grinned at Cain. "You blow things up. I blow things up. He doesn't know what he's good at yet. He could have healed someone, used a listening trick, hell he could have been invisible when he most wanted to be during some moment in his recent past. We don't know. A ball of light is simple. It's two threads, in a simple weave. He's not struggling because he can't. He's struggling because he's thinking too much."

Nox got up and sat down on the floor next to Cruz on the opposite side of Rachel. He grinned at Cain who looked a little miffed at not being able to play along. Nox dropped the ball of light and erected a thin wall of air in front of Cain, just a hairs breath from the tip of his nose and in the seconds it solidified, Nox threw a fireball at his friend. The fire spattered and sputtered as it crashed into the air. Nox hoped it would cause enough fear in the man to let him grasp the power and join in.

He didn't wait to find a reaction as he turned his attention back to Cruz who was now staring at Nox with his jaw gaping open. "Don't think about what goes where. Just make it do it. You can't be passive with the power. You must control it. Or it'll wash you away with it. It will burn you up and there will be nothing left of you. It doesn't want you to control it. It will defy you at every turn. Bend it to your will."
Nox knew he sounded like a psychopath talking about the power, but that was how it was.
He couldn't breathe. It was just for a moment. Cain could see Nox using magic, could feel the Air spell in front of him. Intellectually, he knew that all he had to to was take a step back and he'd be fine. It probably wouldn't have been any issue at all if Nox hadn't thrown a fireball at him at the same time. But all of it together... the feeling of sucking in air with the wall impeding his way reminding him of trying to breathe through the pillow smothering him, of reaching desperately for anything to save him and coming up with magic. The was fire splashing across the wall a fraction of an inch in front of his eyes, so close that he could feel its heat. It reminded him of the fire that had burst from him in his grandparent's flat. Cain remembered the color of his grandmother's blood leaking out onto their floor.

If Nox's goal was to make him channel, then he succeeded. In his instant of reflexive, sympathetic terror, Cain grabbed hold of his magic. The heady rush of it didn't make him feel better though, and just further reminded him of what it had felt like to be absolutely certain that he was going to die. He kept drawing deeper and deeper, to the point where it physically pained him. The redhead wanted to keep going, but his fear was beginning to abate, and in its place was the kind of rage that he hadn't felt in a long time.

Suddenly, Cain wanted nothing more than to go and pummel that smug arsehole into a bloody pulp. He could still feel the icy grip of terror in his heart, so he acted quickly before his rage swept his magic away from him. The redhead grabbed just a tiny bit more of the power in reflexive protest of the thought, ignoring how it ached. Although he'd never tried the spell before, he remembered how Nox had used that strange aspect of magic to cut through Cain's wall of air. It was probably complicated, more so than he was used to, but the magician was singularly focused. Once the Ethereal threads were in place, it sliced through the other man's spell like butter. It seemed to affect not the air, or the wall, but the threads of magic themselves.

Cain tried to control himself. It had been years since he'd last gotten into a fight. He'd since learned all sorts of strategies for managing his anger... But the sight of Nox with his back turned to him, lecturing Cruz like nothing had happened... It made all those carefully earned techniques slip right out of his head. After everything, that was what made the redhead snap. There was nothing Cain hated like being treated like he was worthless, like he was just some toy that Nox could play around with, some thing that Nox could pick up off the street and then use however he wanted because he was smarter, richer, prettier...

Before he entirely realized what he was doing, Cain had stalked across to the other man, drawing a leg back and snapping a kick forward. He relished the startled look that appeared on Nox's face just before Cain's kick overbalanced the seated man, sending him sprawling onto his back. Even in the height of his anger, reflex had kept his claws sheathed so to speak. He'd gotten into so many schoolyard fights that he knew how to hurt someone without seriously hurting them. He wanted to see Nox bloodied but not dead. More than anything he wanted to teach the bastard a lesson, show him that Cain wasn't someone to be trifled with. He landed one... two more kicks, all with the instep of his foot rather than the pointed toe of his boot. His first kick had hit Nox in the shoulder while he was seated, the next a good blow to his ribs, and the final one his thigh. Cain'd been aiming for another kick to the ribs to make the jerk really feel it, but the man had recovered by that point and raised his leg to absorb the blow.

The redhead drew back his leg again but found himself shoved roughly back, and another wall of air erected hastily in front of him. Cain's anger, which had been ebbing before, suddenly spiked. Nox couldn't fight like a man, could he? Had to resort to magic like a scared little boy? He reached for the Ethereal threads he'd used before, but this time he was so mad that he could barely see straight, let alone fumble with the awkward strings of magic. Frustrated, Cain slammed a fist into the wall in front of him, bruising his knuckles. The only thing that could get his hackles up as fast as feeling worthless was losing a fight.

Fine. In his rage, Cain drew even more deeply of his magic. It actively hurt now, and he felt himself vibrating with more than just anger. The energy of the magic was coursing through him like the worst (but also best) kind of high. He held his hands out before him. Where the other elements were strangers, Fire had been his first magical ally. It had saved him, came to him in his weakest moment. Flames sprang to life easily between his fingers, and the redhead felt a jolt of dark glee at the look of trepidation that crossed Nox's face. The man had tried to make him afraid, but Cain was sick of being terrified. Anger pumped through his body like blood. He refused to be afraid anymore. There was no room for it; his rage burned every other emotion out of him. He...

Wait. Cain looked dumbfounded at the fire in his hands. He wasn't scared.

The thing about Cain's anger was that it burned as fast as it did bright. When he bottled it up, it seethed inside of him, but when it was allowed to combust in the air... when he was allowed to get a few good licks in, then it faded as quickly as it came. He felt... numb. There wasn't rage. There wasn't fear. And yet, there was magic. A feeling of... joy bubbled through him, and the redhead allowed the fire in his hands to burn out, backing off on his grip of his magic until it didn't hurt anymore.

Suddenly, he laughed. He wasn't in bed, being suffocated by an Atharim soldier. He wasn't in his Grandmother's house watching her bleed. He was just in some spoiled rich prick's living room, unafraid, and using magic. (The spoiled prick, for the record, looked fairly freaked out, which was fantastic). For the first time in months, Cain felt powerful, in control. Plus it helped that getting a good fight and scream out of his system had been pretty cathartic.

Cain took a deep breath, and placed his hand flat against Nox's wall. This time, the Ethereal magic came to him easily, and he sliced through the spell. He looked towards Rachel, the only person in the room whom he was actually sorry to have disturbed. "Sorry about that. It's probably not convincing anymore but I swear that I won't do anything... rash."

Turning back towards Nox, Cain raised his hands in the universal symbol of reconciliation, but his expression was hard, chastising. "Don't pull some shite like that again."

Edited by Cain Belasis, Aug 26 2016, 02:41 PM.
Cain came at him like a bull in a china shop and Nox could only defend himself. He had expected retaliation and was ready to counter just about any weave the man could muster up, but he hadn't expected him to physically hit him. He'd have to remember that not everyone went for their power first.

Nox bided his time before blasting the man back with a weave of air and blocking his approach with another wall. It wasn't his first fight. His body ached where he'd landed blows but not enough to worry about ... at least not yet. He was sure he'd bruise.

Nox was ready for another attack this time, but it never came and Nox watched the gears turning as Cain came to the realization of what had happened. It was always like that. Nox gave the man a grin as he laughed.

The wall of air came tumbling down and Nox nodded with a smile as the man chided him. But Nox couldn't help himself. "It worked."

The pair seated on the couch still were staring at them. Cruz looked dumbfounded. The power was gone from him. Nox could only smile. "You weren't the only one who needed a lesson."

Edited by Nox, Aug 26 2016, 03:36 PM.
Rachel's heart nearly went out of her chest as the fireball went off and Cain followed with his violent attacks on Nox. Rachel grabbed Cruz and held him tight, burying her face into his shoulder. She couldn't watch as this got bloody.

Before she knew it, it was all done. The fight was over and Nox had taught Cain some sort of lesson. Rachel remained hanging onto Cruz as she waited.

Emily went through all sorts of emotions on the car ride there. Anger, sadness, anxiety, and fear. She had no idea what to expect. As she drove she took deep breaths. She had to control herself.

Emily didn't need to talk to Nox about their past. It was about the safety of her sisters. She had to make sure to keep things that way, and not let her emotions take control. She braced herself for dealing with Nox's infuriating grin.

Ayden had told her to stay away from Nox, but Ayden hadn't been responding to her at all. Emily was doing what had to be done. As she arrived at Dorian's place, she stopped and took another deep breath before getting out of the car.

Emily knocked at the door and was greeted by Pavlo. The servant took her though the hideous halls to the study where the rest of the group awaited. She saw Rachel with Cruz. Nox was also in the other room and there was a red-headed stranger in the room.

Rachel stood and wrapped Emily in a hug. Her sister had clearly been upset by the happenings. Emily hugged her and took her face in her hands. "No more tears. You are fine."
Emily said and Rachel nodded before going back to sit by Cruz again.

Emily smiled and nodded at Cruz in greeting. She nodded at Nox sans the smile and turned to face the stranger. Who was this man?

""I'm Emily,"
she said offering her hand. After she had been greeted by the stranger she turned towards Nox. "We need to talk. I need to know what your 'friends' know."
Cruz watched as things happened so fast. The fight had started and ended all before he could even form a rational thought. Rachel was clinging to his arm and he was happy about that but the whole thing was scaring him as well. What the fuck was this guy? Cruz didn't understand any of it. But Emily walked in things seemed to smooth over. But it was nice to see the elder Shale again.

Introductions were made she didn't even smile at Nox. He even didn't respond, almost looked like he was worried. Suited him right. He was an ass it was good someone was putting him on the edge. She wanted to talk to Nox... about the same thing he had.


Nox nodded at Emily and took a step back and sat down as far from Emily as he could. Ayden had hit him. Emily was more entitled to that. She wanted to talk - everyone wanted to know what the Atharim would do. "You are not in the system as of Siberia. They don't know you exist. I never told them. Aria never told them. No one will hunt you. Your association with Dorian Vega may put you under more scrutiny than usual. He's Atharim - done something not so good, and his son's a god. When they find out, and they will find out, the Vega's will become a target. Cruz, here, is the only one at risk of telling his father what you are. But I doubt Dorian will be calling you in either. Considering his sons' girlfriend is your sister."

Nox frowned. He suddenly had a headache. This was not a very good day at all.

Cruz's wallet beeped and he took a look at it, frowning as he looked up at Nox. A few moments later Nox's wallet beeped. He took a look at it. It was from Dorian. Nox assumed his son got a similar message. Please stay with my son until I get a chance to get home. My cover is shot here.

Nox sighed. "Like I side not so good."
Nox looked at Cruz and frowned. "I'm sorry man."

Cruz nodded. "Just don't throw anymore fireballs at anyone else, okay?"

Nox nodded. "You might want to rethink that statement when the Atharim come knocking."

Cain had to take a deep breath at Nox's smug words and expression. It was like the guy hadn't learned anything from the last ten minutes. The redhead felt the urge to punch that self-satisfied look off his face, but it was just an urge. The brunt of his anger had faded and instead was replaced with shame. He absolutely still thought that Nox deserved a good kick to the ribs, but now that he wasn't blinded by emotions, he could remember why he'd stopped getting into fights. They never proved anything, and they never really made him feel better.

The magician remembered what his grandmother had told him growing up, even if it had taken years for the meaning of the words to sink in: "Cain, only children use their fists to talk. Part of being an adult is learning how to deal with your own pain without pushing it on others. You're never going to be able to control what other people do to you, only what you do in response."

Nox had made him angry and scared, and Cain hurt him to make himself feel better. There were all sorts of excuses: Nox was an asshole, he'd been triggered, the man needed to learn he couldn't mess with other people... et cetera ad infinitum. What it boiled down to in the end was that Cain was hurt, so like a child he'd wanted to make someone else hurt too. But it was stupid and pointless. Fighting fire with fire only got everyone burned. He'd learned that lesson the hard way, and his grandmother had never been as proud of him as she had when he'd first walked away from a fight. She would be so disappointed to see him now.

Cain closed his eyes and breathed deeply again. He couldn't afford to think of her right now. He saved thoughts of her for when he was alone and felt like he deserved to torture himself. Just as he was drawing his attention back to the matter at hand, another woman entered the room. When she introduced herself to him, he shook her hand. "Hey, I'm Cain. Nice to meet you."
It didn't take a genius to see that Emily was Rachel's sister, and he found himself feeling resigned. Great, something was probably going to go down between her and Nox.

He found himself feeling pitying and annoyed towards his friend at the same time. The guy was so clearly in over his head that it made Cain want to help him out. Still, Nox could probably make things easier for himself by not inviting so much trouble. Cain sighed. He'd just have to stick around and try to mitigate Nox's more self-destructive tendencies. Underneath all the shite, Nox was a good man, and he deserved better than the hand he'd been dealt.

Edited by Cain Belasis, Aug 27 2016, 03:26 PM.
Emily wasn't on the Atharim radar as of yet. That was a good thing. Even though she didn't like Nox, she trusted him on this. She knew his secret. The Atharim would be after him if he knew. She didn't use her magic much anyways. This would keep her hidden for now.

But the red head, was an unknown. Cain seemed nice enough, but who knew where he stood. She looked at Nox again. "You know how many people depend on me."
she nodded her head at Cain. "What about him?"

Shale International could survive without her, but the loss of two sets of CEO's in a short amount of time would hurt the company - especially with this new talk of the supernatural - rumors would fly.

"Show me your forearms, please,"
she asked, trying to remain polite.
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