The First Age

Full Version: Rerouted
You're currently viewing a stripped down version of our content. View the full version with proper formatting.
Pages: 1 2 3 4 5
Carpenter seemed to get lost in Marcus' tone. And that was partly the point. When you held the power, fighting it for control, especially when it was so new, you had little concentration for anything else. Especially head games. Mistrust. Ulterior motives.

Because Marcus knew addiction. His mother had been an addict before she ODed. And her boyfriends. And others in their neighborhood. "Just a taste," the dealer said. And it was free. But you wanted more. Chased the high.

But unlike crack or heroin, you could find the dragon again with the Force. The more you used it, the better it felt. Carpenter was in the rush of it, even if he was doing it wrong. And it would be glorious.

He would want more.

Marcus laughed and stepped back, as the bar heated and bed caught fire. He was going to step in but Carpenter knew enough-or his instincts were good enough- that he drew the heat into himself and dispersed it into the room. The air grew warm.

Marcus wove water and air to draw out the heat and send it into the vents even as Carpenter apologized. The action spoke volumes. Not enemy now. Teacher. Someone he had failed in front of. Good.

Marcus laughed encouragingly. "You think I haven't accidently set my room on fire? We all do it. It's normal. And it stinks. God, burned polyester. Hold on."
He knocked on the door. They had to check the cameras but saw it was him and opened. "Mr. Carpenter and I are going for a walk. Please replace the bedding."
He hoped Carpenter wouldn't need it. The man opened his mouth and Marcus fixed him with a look. Simple. But clear. He was not to be countermanded.

"Let's do this where it's less confining."
They walked till he found an empty hospital room. Another bed. Another bar. Metal, even alloyed, was still the simplest composite around. Not polymers or glass or even stone.

"Let's try this again. This time, ignore fire. Ignore it."
He smiled, even chuckled. "Use earth. I will tell you of you are using the wrong thread. Stretch out earth as fine as you can and probe with that."
He said it encouragingly.

Edited by Marcus DuBois, Jan 21 2018, 05:37 PM.
Another room, another target. Jay frowned and drew upon the power yet again. It came easier now than ever before, but fatigue was beginning to set. Barely slept the night before. Hangover this morning. And worked with the power off and on all day. The rush to find Natalie and confrontation of battle. Healing that stripped some extra energy. And tension cording his muscles every moment since.

Earth came to him, easier than he thought. But sweat already erupted a sheen across his eyes. The curl of smoke clung to his clothes and hair. He focused on it, welcomed it like the comfort of lounging in front of a bonfire on a nice summer night.
But what Marcus described? Nothing.

"I don't know. It's all the same. Kind of--"
His gaze narrowed. There was something to Earth. It thrummed in harmony with the skeleton of steel, and Jay knew every angle and weld coursing its edges. He found the weak spots and knew that only a little extra probing at those corners could collapse the whole structure.

When the bed thunked to the floor, Jay folded his arms and frowned.
Patience. This required patience. He had needed it for Andre. And for himself, he admitted. Sometimes, because the struggle for domination and control of the Force had become so second nature, it was easy to forget those early setbacks.

But failure was never really failure. Everything was a lesson. It was all in the attitude. "Good. Earth. Perfect. And you thinned out your thread to a good width. But you have to be in control at all times. It will call to you, suggest what should be done, even try to force it. That's what happened here. And it can be ok to experiment carefully. But when you have a task, it must be you that commands, not the power. The struggle for domination when you seize it never ends."

He paused, thinking. He'd not had to put it into words for Andre. And Pyotr had never progressed beyond the most rudimentary of control. It made him think. In many ways, teaching taught the teacher as well as the student. And strangely, he found joy in it. "In some ways, it is alive. Not as you or I are. I don't think. But if you don't control, it will do as it wants and the danger could be great."

He stopped. Looked at Carpenter. There were bags under his eyes. From the paperwork, it had been a long day, aside from all the cloak and dagger stuff. Using the power when tired could be dangerous. Deadly. "Enough for today. Follow me."

He led him back to his room. The guard opened it. "I ask you to trust me and wait in your room."
Then he went to find someone in charge. Inquiries told him Dr. Weston had gone home. Dr. Greybill was in charge.

In his office, Marcus wasted no time. "I would like Mr. Carpenter moved to a standard room."

The Dr. raised an eyebrow. "Standard protocol is for all prisoners to be detained in holding until their level of threat is ascertained and-"

Marcus strode forward, letting his irritation clearly show. "Your standard protocol does not apply. Mr. Carpenter is here at the Ascendancy's command for a very specific reason. I was sent BY the Ascendancy to achieve those goals. But your KGB tactics have made that all impossible. I am here to rectify that."

The man blanched, shuffled papers and looked at his monitor. "I'm sorry Consul, but we have our orders-"

Marcus gathered his anger and seized the Force. He wanted to choke the man. He hate pencil pushers with their cover their ass mentality. Well this time, covering his ass was going to burn him. His voice was deadly quiet as he wove just a touch of red in his eyes. "I will make this clear. I do not care what your protocol is. I have a job to do."

The man's face paled to stark white and Malik smiled to himself. Perhaps he did enjoy beaurocracy a little bit. He let the silence linger. "When the Ascendancy arrives later, do you wish me to tell him I failed in my assignment because of your protocol? Shall I send him to yoir office for explanation? I promise you. It won't be my failure."

The man was used to channelers. Vellas and his men were regulars. But there was a difference between being around the use of the Force and having it directed at you. Clearly this was a new experience. And if a channeling Consul terrified him, how would he do when the Ascendancy arrived?

Malik almost laughed at the thought. Sometimes, work could be a great deal of fun.

It wasn't long until Marcus returned to Carpenter's room, had it unlocked. "Mr. Carpenter, I have arranged better accomodations for you, befitting a guest. I would suggest getting some rest. We can continue later."

The seeds sowed, the hooks set, now it was time to wait and carefully cultivate. The man was reasonable. He didn't think it would be a long process. The Ascendancy would have what he wanted.
In the time Marcus was gone, Jay paced the room. Given its size, the pacing was mostly turning in circles, but good enough. He released the power some time ago, but there was no ignoring it now. The storm was just over the horizon, and in the blink of an eye it could course his body alive.

That feeling of life was what he feared. The power was a storm, yes, but like Marcus said, it was alive too. It pulsed and flowed. It beckoned. It called. He wanted to run back into the storm and bend it to will.

That was exactly why he didn't.

Marcus' promises echoed in his mind. Offer, ultimatum, it didn't matter. Jay knew his limits. He knew that he couldn't ignore the power any more. The light blazed, painful, but pure too. What to do with it was another question. His gaze moved briefly to the replaced cot, then to the cameras and vents overhead. He clasped his hands behind his back and paced until Marcus returned.

The hall was lined with dozens of doors to containment cells. How many were down here, where ever here was, he couldn't guess. But neither did he sense anything beyond. He hoped they were empty. Hoped there weren't kids on the other side.

The labyrinth of halls was typical of an army base, but holo-screens, touch walls, and security measures were the most advanced he'd ever seen. Still not sure what they did here beyond lock away channelers, his frown deepened when he passed a suite that looked set up for surgery. The room was dark, but the purpose to the table and lights were obvious. He shivered at that, and the sense of foreboding deepened.

The new room was more barracks style, but he wasn't necessarily at ease. He was given access to a shower and clean, black scrubs to wear afterward. He was rather reluctant to hand over boots, but they were covered in filth from the sewers and sticky with mud. He traded them for thick socks and adopted a bunk in the back corner. Nobody else joined him. Lights were turned out, the doors locked, and he slept while he could.

Dreams of fire engulfing cells with gray walls swarmed his nightmares. People locked within banged to be released, but were locked by silvery chains that tethered them inside. He ran, but the doors were endless. Fire chased his heels, and other times it erupted from his hands. Smoke choked his nostrils. He tried to plug his ears, but the screams were inside his head. Trapped. there was no escape. Fire took it all.

He opened his eyes to darkness, and laid there blinking at the underside of the bunk above, but the brink of sleep was long gone. He tossed and turned until the lights flicked bright. The doctor from yesterday, he presumed it was the next day, appeared and asked him to follow.
"Why? Where are we going?"

She glanced back at him and answered after a moment's thought, "Tests, Lieutenant. This way."

He swallowed and padded behind, feet cold despite the socks. Probably nothing to worry about. He wasn't in a CCD army prison about to be brainwashed to serve everything he stood against. This was totally normal.

Or so he told himself.

Nox woke to nothing. No beeping, no voices. The silence was almost deafening if it weren't for the vents circulating air. There was a soft breeze and a faint odor, but nothing that was offensive. Thank god, otherwise Nox might hurl on to the floor.

His hands were unbound. His head hurt like a son-of-a-bitch. Nox idly wondered how many more times he was going to be sedated in the 24 hour time span. His head still felt off and he reached for the power in the darkness of his mind and it slide from his fingers. Fuck!

Nox didn't want to move. He didn't want to but he did anyway. He threw his legs over the edge of the bed. His eyes still closed as he righted himself. He didn't want to see the spinning room as he regained his equilibrium.

When the world stopped spinning in his head, Nox opened his eyes and saw nothing but white. He was in a worse position than he had been before. There was no door knob on the door. There were no windows. There was no telling how far underground he was. He was wearing a pair of black scrubs but felt disgusting in them. He needed a shower still.

What Nox wouldn't give for Aria's gift to know if he was alone or not. But he couldn't even touch his own. There was a drain in the floor, vents in the ceiling, and a small toilet to go with the cot he sat on. There was nothing of interest or escape in this room. He couldn't even while away the hours playing with the power.

So Nox did the only thing else he could think of to do with his idle time. He counted push ups...
Marcus was satisfied that Carpenter was where he was. He looked forward to speaking to the man further. It was always interesting, trying to find a person's handle. For some- Dr. Greybill for example- just the threat of harm, or even just fear, was enough to get what he wanted done.

But as motivating as fear was, it required constant reinforcement. Fear bled away quickly, like a balloon with a whole in it. Sometimes, the effort was worth it, to keep it up. Keep the person off balance and never knowing what you knew or where you would show up next. Worked for informants and the like.

But when you wanted willing compliance- and more than that, you wanted The Buy-In- then you had to appeal to their desires. Some were idealistic. Others liked the mystery of the work itself. He thought of Dr. Zayed. There was no need to find a handle with her. She would do her work because she wanted to. In his case, he just needed to be close to her. And he was willing to admit that what she studied intrigued him. More, in fact. She was the only other person who had used the tools of science and mathematics to study the Force, though she didn't necessarily recognize it for what it was.

Yes, her work intrigued him. Enough that he looked forward to seeing her again. The Ball would be a good place to interact, though he doubted they'd be able to get into anything deep. But the thought of spending the evening with and even better, dancing with a beautiful woman- and she was beautiful- was pleasant to consider.

He decided to head to the surface. Jay would soon be facing a battery of tests with Dr. Weston. And he had other work to do.


The next day, he returned to the facility. He wore a slate grey suit with dark maroon shirt and checked yellow iridescent tie and pocket square, his shoes soft black leather. How long Dr. Weston's tests would run, he didn't know. Likely, Carpenter was irritated and tired of being prodded, treated like a lab rat. Which was also part of the process. Dehumanization.

Not that Dr. Weston saw it that way. She was professional and focused on work, with little time for chit chat. In some ways similar to Dr. Zayed, though the contrast between the two was stark. Very different personalities. Marcus suspected that a lot went on underneath the surface, but for whatever reasons, she chose to keep her private life walled off. Which was fine. It did make getting a thread tied to her harder. In fact, this was the first time they interacted since he had first visited the facility months ago.

And as of yet, nothing in her work called out to him, so he was content to leave things as they were. He didn't feel the need to find a handle for her. Not yet.

But Carpenter's testing was playing its own role. It was a simple tactic. After being treated as a test subject, the smallest acts of kindness (and he did have to be careful not to overdo it, less he raise the man's suspicions) had magnified results. It built trust. That, together with more experimentation with the power would do its job, he was sure.

In the meantime, though, there was a new prisoner. Marcus compressed his lips. This was not his own doing. That rankled more than it should. The oversight of the Atharim Registration made sense. It sould be part of his Consulate. But the way it was done- or what it implied- is what irritated him. He knew it was irrational, but he didn't like things that weren't anticipated or the result of his own planning. Still, after the attack in the Ascendancy's apartments, it would be a good thing to gather as much intelligence on the Atharim as possible.

He looked at the man's file. Nox Durante. Channeler AND Atharim. An oxymoron, of course. There was a story there. He had a sister, though her whereabouts were currently unknown. He raised an eyebrow. Plane explosion. That was interesting. Prior to that, lived in the US. Travelled a lot.

Despite his irritation, he actually found himself looking forward to this.

He approached the room and had the guard open it. Durante was on the ground doing push ups. Always has to be doing something. He filed the fact away. He wasn't sure what angle to take yet. Would depend on the push back. And he wouldn't lie or mislead. But he wasn't going to volunteer either.

He stepped into the room, this time taking the stool the guard had been sitting on. They really should always have a chair or stool in the room. It made things easier and less confrontational that way.

He sat down and looked at the man. "Mr. Durante. My name is Marcus. You recently filled out the online registration as a channeler. And then, even more recently, you filled out the form as an Atharim. I'd like to ask you some questions, if that is ok."

Edited by Marcus DuBois, Jan 23 2018, 01:24 PM.
Nox's arms were like jelly, he'd lost count of how many push ups he'd actually done having started over his counts when the syllables became more of a mouthful to say in his head on each rep. When the door open a gush of cold air rushed in and Nox saw patent leather shoes of a man in a suit drag the stool from outside inside and take a seat.

He spoke like a diplomat, politician, someone who likely would think he was nothing. But he wouldn't be rude, he had no idea how long he'd been here, and he didn't know how long he'd be here.

Nox sat on the cold floor his knees bent and pulled to his chest as he wiped sweat from his forehead on the scrubs short sleeve. "It's Nox."
He wasn't his father. He didn't want his father to be anymore disappointed than he already was either. He'd become what they hated - a monster and a traitor. Though he had never actually betrayed the Atharim. He only stopped doing precisely what they told him to do. Good as betrayal in his father's book.

He looked up from his spot on the floor at the black man. He knew who he was. Though was surprised that he had introduced himself as simple Marcus. Aria had things to say about him. He'd been with Ascendancy. He'd been hurt too. He'd been the one to kill the Ijiraq thanks to Aria's information. That seemed like a lifetime ago. It was only a matter of weeks.

Nox gave the new Consul his best smile. "Like I have any choice. What do you want to know?"
Durante- Nox, he insisted- didn't get up but instead sat on the floor looking up at him, wiping sweat from his forehead. He didn't seem winded.

This man wasn't Carpenter. He knew he had no choice, but his attitude was one of acceptance. Well, he had his own style and Marcus couldn't help but smile at it. The man was smirking as if he were lounging at home.

Interesting. No idea yet on an angle, but he'd think of something.

He studied the man- they were near the same age. " Atharim AND a channeler. I don't know that much about the Atharim beyond the few things I've heard."
He knew a little more, plus what he had gleaned. But ignorance always gave more information. "Can you tell me about them? Where do they come from? When were they formed? What are there beliefs, goals?"
Nox snorted a laugh. ”That’s an understatement of a lifetime.”
Being a god and an Atharim. ”Do you have a few years?”
Nox quipped. ”You want the long or short version?”


Marcus looked at his watch. He knew the time, but it was just for show. "Let's do the medium version"
He was willing to bet Nox was a talker. Marcus was reasonably sure that his account would reveal far more about himself than just about the Atharim.


Nox prefaced his brief history lesson, ”My sister is the scholar not me, I can tell you what I remember.”

Nox raked his fingers through the top of his hair then leaned back propping up on his hands and crossing his legs. ”The Atharim have always been, in one form or another, different names, creeds doesn’t really matter, but we are the remnant of the remnant whatever that means.”
Nox sat up flipping his hand to dismiss the quote from the book of Atharim… Everyone knew the remnant of a remnant bit.

”No one really knows how far back we go. To the time of gods. Zeus and Prometheus. And every other no nothing god you all read about in school, they were men who …”
Nox put his hand to his chin to think of the term they had been using. He nodded when the word came to him. ”could channel, I think that’s the word you are flinging these days. They persecuted humans as the story goes. The Atharim in their full humanity destroyed the gods. Killing every last one of them, and their families until the spark was gone from the world. But just because this power was licked, didn’t mean that their creations were. So we hunted the monsters left behind vowing to protected humanity form the gods should they ever be reborn.”
Nox grinned. ”Guess what, we’ve been reborn.”


Marcus listened, fascinated. It matched the little the Ascendancy had told him. And it hinted at so much more. If the stories are distorted memories of Force users of the past.... He smiled. The possible uses of the power were nigh endless. And they were just scratching the surface. Mentally, he made a note to begin looking into them, from the perspective of someone who wanted to rediscover this lost wisdom.

His sister. That was who Marcus needed to speak to. "Perhaps you could introduce me to your sister, then."
He stopped. He needed to focus.This wasn't the time for ancient Force technology. Not now. Nox's ending statement was very nearly a "Fuck You" to the Atharim. He beetled his eyebrows. "You obviously resent them. Then why have you stayed with them? Why not leave them when you learned what you could do?"
Something else tickled his mind.


Nox frowned at the man’s desire to see his sister. He wished it were possible. Nox pulled his knees up against his chest and wrapped his arms around his legs. Suddenly sitting on the floor was colder than he wanted and Nox slowly unfolded and stood up without touching his hands to the floor. His shivered visibly before he sat down on the cot and pulled himself up into the same neat little ball with his back against the wall. Fuck his insecurities.

Nox’s voice was distant. ”My sister is dead. A sick bastard strangled and drowned her.”
Nox pressed his forehead to his knees and took several deep breathes calming his fears, his anxiety, putting himself into perspective.

Nox mumbled against his knees. ”I don’t resent them.”
He knew he wasn’t heard properly. He lifted his head and knew he probably looked like he wanted to cry - but Aurora did that. He missed her and he couldn’t save her and now he was stuck in a cell, god knows where, and he had no idea how to save Aria. He knew it was going to end badly. His last failure and it would probably be the end of him too, but he’d do it. Nox took a deep breath. ”I don’t resent them. I know nothing but being Atharim. I was born Atharim. There was never any other option for me.”


Malik's ears perked up at mention of what happened to his sister. Another? He felt the lure of another hunt, but Marcus quashed it. Not the time. And, sadly, he didn't think it would be possible any more. At least not how he used to do it. The Almaz was always around, but he doubted now more than ever that he'd be able to fight there. What he needed was to spar with the Force.

Bah! He had gotten distracted again. The man's words were tantalizing, sending him off on tangents. Focus. "So you hunt....these creatures. And you hide who you are from them. At least you did. You filled out the Registration. I assume that your abilities came out?"


Nox shook his head. ”Do you know how useful my gift is for hunting monsters?’
It was a rhetorical question, one that Nox truly missed. He missed hunting with Aria in the tunnels. He wished life was that simple again.

”My abilities as you call it came out due to my desire to help a friend out. I did my job. I killed a strzyga at a Methos concert a few days ago. But I didn’t get a chance to clean up the mess before the cops came. Apparently two other kids got killed that night. So I did the Atharim thing and I turned myself in for one murder hoping they’d pin the other two on me too leaving my friend free and clear to keep his cover as long as possible. The Atharim have informants all over and hackers who get into every known system in the world. The minute I turned myself in with even the possibility that it was a god, they would hunt me. So I registered - hoping that my career path and my unique ability might be useful. And here I am, locked up. But at least I’m not dead.”


Malik's ears perked up again and this time Marcus didn't quiet him. Hunting. Now that was something... very much a something. And for the third time, he had to force himself to concentrate on the task at hand.

He took a few deep breaths and centered himself, replayed what the man said in his mind. "So you killed a creature, took the fall for an Atharim friend, and now hope to leverage your abilities into a job? A life outside of the Atharim? Does that about sum it up"
Mentally, he also made a note to speak to the Secretary of Information Technology. He didn't doubt Nox's words. An organization that had been around for thousands of years had to have fingers in everything, owning people who owned people who owned people. They would not be rooted out easily.

In fact, he'd need to speak to Ascendancy. Co-opting them and their organization would be better. It depended on how dedicated they were to this idea of killing.... what did they call them? Reborn gods?

In the meantime, Nox might prove to be useful indeed. He clearly knew the power. And he hunted. Both were areas that Marcus and Malik wanted to be a part of.


Nox shook his head. ”You misunderstand me. I wasn’t taking the fall for my friend. My friend didn’t kill anything but he had to deal with the fall out. I was making his life easier since he knew I had something to do with it that night. Atharim are everywhere, Marcus.”

Nox continued to shake his head. ”I' don’t want a job outside the Atharim. I told you, I know nothing else. My education was remedial at best. I thrived in killing monsters. I’m not a cop. I don’t follow the rules. Honestly, I was just looking for a way to keep the Atharim from killing me. They almost did it despite my trying.”


Marcus nodded. Now that the possibility was there, he was not going to let Nox go free. It was just like with Jensen James. You did not let someone with that potential just walk into the night. "Whatever your goal was or what you want, you have to admit that your bridge has been burned. You yourself said it. The Atharim will come for you if you are on your own. And you do like to hunt. I have a feeling that we might be able to accommodate you. Despite their reach, we can offer you protection."
He looked at the locked door and then back at Nox. Now to give the nudge. "We certainly might be able to help with the charges against you. I doubt you'd appreciate living down here sedated as you serve out your sentence."


Nox smirked over his knees, he hadn’t let go in their exchange. He got what he wanted - protection. Not that Nox believed it was going to do any good. If the Atharim wanted him dead they wouldn’t stop hunting him. ”I’d like to know how much protection Ascendacy had when the Regus came with an Ijiraq and EM weapons boiling his brains out. Granted it was a ploy to kill the Regus and cut the head off the snake. But having said that, living in a hole in the ground high out of my gourd does not sound fun.”
Nox sighed. ”What do you need me to do?”


Marcus' eyes narrowed and he leaned forward, all feeling of charity toward Nox burning away in the heat of the memory. His whisper was deadly quiet, the unsheathing of a knife. The Force called to him and he very nearly seized it. "Who told you that?"
He knew very well what had happened. He remembered the feel of his insides boiling, his eye ball expanding as the aqueous humor heated up, expanded, distorting his vision. The sheer terror had been enough to overwhelm him. To hear it so casually mentioned....

The man did not know how close to death he stood. None of what he could offer would matter, in a moment.


Nox’s grin grew wider. He knew he was playing with fire, but that was part of the fun of it all. The worst he could do was kill him. And if he didn’t kill him it was only a matter of time before the Atharim did. ”A little birdy sang me an aria.”


Marcus stared at him for what seemed like hours. Aria. The little bitch. He remembered the feel of her in his grasp, how he had squeezed. He could have crushed her without a thought. But he had spared her. Wanted to understand her role in his last two hunts. But this....

His voice was steel. "How do you know Aria? Why would she tell you that?"
He cursed himself as the words came out. In his anger, he had confirmed the story. Not that Nox doubted it, he supposed. If Aria had told him. Still it was a reminder to get a hold of himself. Reacting was a fool's response. If you react, others pull your strings. He took a few breaths and calmed himself. What was done was done. The truth was out. Had been. Yet he'd not heard a whisper about it. So perhaps Nox's discretion could be trusted. Perhaps. Or perhaps he would just be put down quietly.


Nox licked his lips at the man’s fury. It was pressed away almost as quickly as it came. ”The Little Song was my partner. She found me, helped me find who I was. We hunted together. We planned to kill Ascendancy together. Was just a ploy until we could figure a way out of it. I met him once, Ascendancy. I saw him send weaves into the earth and pull out a small pendant that had been left by those that had tried to kill him.”

Nox smiled. ”That meeting created an opening for Aria. She played the Atharim. And if the Regus hadn’t disappeared after the fire we’d both have been hunted a lot sooner than we are now. Hell as far as I know Aria is still in good standing in the Atharim because only me and dead Atharim know she was working with Ascendancy.”

”As to why she’d tell me. Because she was warning me of the Atharim tactics. Without her warning I’d be dead right now.”


The anger he felt drained away. It fit what he knew of Aria. And the events of the night. And what Nox had told him. Of course, he could be lying. He could be.

Or not. Marcus had a decision to make. What decided him was the complete lack of rumor. It meant....something.

"Very well. That little piece of information must stay hidden. No one can know. But..."
he trailed off, the small smile returning to his face. Opportunity meant risk. And two opportunities- at the least!- presented themselves. " can come work for me. You can continue your hunts. But, you will take me. And you will teach me what you know. How you fight these creatures. In return, I will make sure you are put up somewhere safe. And of course you will be compensated. Oh...and we will take care of the little issue regarding the charges."

He stood, looking down at him. "I do believe all of that is in your best interests. Wouldn't you agree?"


Nox unfurled from his position but didn’t get up and offered his hand. ”I have people I need to take care of. Unless you plan on keeping me locked up and only let out of my cage to go play monster hunter, if that’s my only choice then so be it but I got them in a mess. I can’t be safe and let them stay in danger. Let me go home. I’ll go where ever you say, when you say it. But I can’t with conscious be in some safe location while they are fighting for their lives.”


Marcus looked at his hand and after a moment took it. "Done. However...."
he frowned. "You want to be safe from the Aharim... and yet you want to walk around freely. It seems to negate any concern you claim to feel."


Nox shook his hand and pulled his own back. ”So I should let my friends and family die because the strongest god they know decided to pussy up and hide while they fight the good fight.”
He could hear the anger in his own voice. ”My friend, his son, and wife are in danger. Other people who foolishly get involved with me put them selves in danger for knowing me. So I should let the Atharim hunt them, hurt them to get at me?”
Nox shook his head and curled back up in on him self. ”I can’t do that”


Marcus nodded. He could understand that, at least intellectually. People were like that. Not that there was anyone he would do that for. But evidently, Nox would. "Alright. I can understand that. Very well."
He paused. "I will make arrangements for you to stay somewhere else. Since you registered as a channeler, our Dr. would like to run a few tests. If you'd like, I can send someone around to watch over your friends until you are released. Is that satisfactory?"

Inside, though, he felt a stir of anticipation. Other than Ascendancy and Vellas, there were few Force users he respected. Most feared their gift, rather than explored it. He had enough measure of Nox to know that he was the latter. And unlike Ascendancy and Vellas, there was now a debt, if not so worded. You could learn from anyone. And that was what Marcus would do.


Nox nodded. ”I don’t think I have a choice. But it yes, it is satisfactory.”
There was a hit of mocking in Nox’s voice. ”I’ll be here when your doctor is ready. But be forewarned me and needles, we don’t get along.”

[[with marcus]]

Edited by Nox, Jan 23 2018, 04:48 PM.
"First we will require some baseline metrics. Simple measurements and nothing invasive. Everything can be acquired with sensors and scans."
She had her back turned as one of her assistants led Carpenter to a table while Torri worked the set up screens. She took a moment to reference some notes retrieved from the pocket of her white coat, then wheeled a cart over to him.

She provided simple instructions. Lay down, sit up, hold out your arm, hold still, etc. Sensor strips pulled from his arm told her all she wanted to know about the chemical makeup of his blood. Everything was normal, although one of the muscle marker proteins was slightly elevated. She glanced at him again as he shifted positions. The protein could be due to sheer muscle mass. He was one of the fittest subjects to enter the Facility, in excellent physical condition consistent with strict PT standards. That had to be it, she noted her thoughts and began to set up the cart.

She laid out twelve tabs, each color-coded and numbered. "These are leads to gauge general cardiac fitness and aerobic capacity."
She spoke plainly, adding at the last moment, "Please remove the shirt, Lieutenant. The worst part of this is the sticky on the back of the tab."
She smiled slightly to put him at ease and began to arrange the sensors on his chest. Torri was perfectly professional. She saw a subject first and a patient second, but she did not see a man at all. She couldn't allow herself to see the subjects as people. She'd go insane if she did.

She watched the data being gathered on his heart and mentally noted that Carpenter was probably the perfect subject for her needs. She sighed and reminded herself they were subjects, but she really hoped this time that he would survive. None of the others had yet.

"Come with me please. Do not touch the leads."
She closed up all the screens and led to another section of the Facility.

The room was bright white, but the panels were not mere walls. The very room was a walk-in functional MRI machine that collected data on brain waves and neurochemical concentrations. The dim sheet of a one-way mirror cast their reflection back at them.

Centered was a gurney that Torri paused to angle into a laid-back, more upright position. "Please sit,"
she said and unfurled the restraints. "This is a safety measure,"
she announced and waited for his compliance.

Pages: 1 2 3 4 5