The First Age

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Marcus watched, forcing his face to show bland passivity as Ascendancy overawed Carpenter with the Force. The amount of power he held called to him. It sang to him. So much power. It was a whisper, a snake, the desire, slithering in his heart. It hypnotized him and he had to take hold of himself to keep from seizing the Force himself.

To hold so much power, to feel it flowing through me.... Far more captivating than any woman could ever be, more luxuriant and real, voluptuous and silky. Greater than any carnal intimacy imagineable- penetration into the very fabric of the multiverse itself, the mastery of it, the domination, the ecstacy of release. He ached for that oneness. Craved it with all his being.

And he remembered a different kind of power too. Standing over the square with Ascendancy, feeling the worship and awe from the crowds, the hatred and the fear flowing out and up, surrounding them. He remembered the feel of it, swirling around where they stood, could almost reach out and touch it, caress it between his fingers.

His eyes glittered as he watched the man, his hunger kindled into a roaring fire, cravings sharpened to a deadly point. Malik wanted it all. To hold it all in his hands, to stretch out his hands and take the whole world in it and....and.....

What did he want? What did he crave? Order or chaos? Stability or punishment? Like sirens they called to him. Malik, the avenging angel, holding up the mirror, exposing the cracks and injustices that were perpetuated in the name of greed and incompetance, a world that would permit the horrors of the life he had experienced. Malik, dispensing deserved and excruciating humiliation and punishment to those he judged merited it. To watch those privileged fools scramble as their ivory towers crashed to the ground.

Darth Malik, the Dark Lord of the Sith, to bring real ironlike order and peace to the world, the cold pure efficiency of real government, the kind that did not depend on mollifying the milk hearted or those whose egos needed stroking. One day. Enough power to rule completely.

He never quite knew from one moment to the next. Only that the power called to him, begged him to take her.

He inclined his head a fraction in respect at Ascendancy's words. "Happy to serve Ascendancy. Yes, very much to do. Thank you."
He turned to Carpenter. "If you'd come this way?"

He would come down here again. He was learning from Sanjay. Training, sparring. But there was so much more to learn. And he still wanted to get a handle on Carpenter.

Edited by Marcus DuBois, Feb 10 2018, 03:14 PM.
Nikolai was almost ready to simply rid himself of the annoyance that was Nox, right up until the moment he uttered her name.

Nox was lowered back to the floor, and the ropes of power released him. Nikolai remained where he was, however, careful to not enter the room. "Tell me about Aria."

He already mistrusted her, yet she proved herself twice over. Probably because she was Atharim to the core, but then again, so was Nox. He may be grasping for desperate straws to save his own life right now.

"I worked with Aria because she proved useful and loyal. Can you make the same claim?"

Nox settled back to the floor. He shook from the pressure before he sat down on the cot. The smaller he could make himself the better. What could he tell the most powerful man on the planet about Aria. The question really was what should be tell him.

"I'm loyal. But that's also me trying to save my own ass. Aria hasn't been right since I've known her. She made me promise I'd kill her if she went rogue. Last night her obsession died. The only men that made her feel anything real are now both dead. I know Aria and she wasn't stable the last time I saw her. She's going to do something more stupid than she has before."

Nox sighed. "The Atharim want to kill me. You think you need to kill me. I know deserve it, but people are counting on me to help protect them. And that is not even counting the monsters that are in the underground threatening to make the surface. I've been keeping them down with Aria but noone has been down since she betrayed the Atharim for you. I'd like to keep doing this but that's up to you now."

[[ on my phone I'll color later. Forgive any bad typos ]]

Edited by Nox, Feb 10 2018, 09:55 PM.
The darkness of Nikolai's mood tensed as he listened to Nox's pathetic tirade. His fists clenched at his sides. His teeth ground close together. The Power threatened to roll like the crash of a brewing storm. Voice low, he seriously considered ridding the world one Atharim, "You should have thought about them before you let innocents die. You should have thought about them before you confessed to their murder. Are you mad or plain naive? You confess to a murder and then spend the next twenty years in prison? How is that protecting these people or hunting monsters? You'd rot !"

He let the power take over. The darkness that was his mood billowed around the room like it leaked straight from his soul. "You're wasting your gift Nox. A channeler and Atharim! You know I let the Atharim survive because their work is important. I do believe in them."
His voice slowed to a crawl. If the Atharim disbanded without the impending war spilling out onto his streets, he would allow it to happen. Let the old crumble to dust and rebuild a new Atharim in the image he desired. A better, efficient Atharim. One that let channelers eradicate the monsters with the snap of their fingers.

"What do you want me to do with you? You want me to wave a hand and solve all your problems with the police, give you a roof over your head, and my blessing to return to the undercity? You think I'm not aware what's down there?"

Killing people was not something Nikolai enjoyed. Such necessities were few and far between in his life, but when the occasion called, he rose to the need with terrifying ease. Wasting a useful life was not the desired outcome here, but Nox needed to offer something, make some gesture beyond begging desperately if he wanted to walk out of here.

The Ascendancy's words rose the ire of Nox's anger. He stood up and growled as he spoke. "I did not let innocents fucking die. I was on leisure time. I was at a fucking concert with my friends. I happened to be there to save a girl from being killed by a Stygza. I confessed to the murder of that thing because I was protecting my friends. I knew the kids died but I didn't know that they were targets until they were dead."

Nox sighed. "I was attacked by the Atharim. No one but Atharim died. So what fucking innocents died. I'm not wasting my gift. I'm protecting fucking humanity from it. I've been teaching myself how to fucking kill monsters so I can protect humans like I was taught. I knew the moment the Atharim found me I'd be fighting for my life. What should you do with me? I don't really know. I don't need your help with the police. Wave your hands all you want. I'm safe here. But I do you no good just sitting her unable to touch my gift. So I might as well just be in jail."
Nox's anger left as he spoke. He sighed and collapsed in a heap.

"Kill me. Let me go. Keep me here. Right now, all I want to do is be able to touch the power because I can't."

Aurora laughed in his head. "You sound so pathetic little brother."
Nox did his best to ignore his sister - like he always had.
((ooc: I took a chance moding Nox up and out since I know that was your ultimate goal for him to be released. Please feel free to PM me if you prefer something changed in the post.))

He had never struck a man down in anger. Self-defense, vengeance, calculated duty perhaps, but action of frustration was likely to be foolish. He drew a deep breath and forced the weaves threatening to strike at Nox into submission. The power seemed to react to the shift in his own demeanor, wrenched into control, the temptation faded. What fury remained was cold and sated, but slumbered nearby.

He forced himself to track through Nox's speech, focusing on what was said earlier. Aria finally snapped. Having some sense of what she was, Nikolai couldn't say he wasn't entirely surprised. He'd hoped for otherwise, certainly. He'd hoped she could lead the Atharim into what they should have been all along. Nox could be lying, but Nikolai was unable of verifying it either way.

Question became, which of the two of them was the bigger threat to his people? Nox, a channeler, Atharim, and foolish immature hothead? Or Aria, the deadly Atharim Sentient that could control a man with a mere touch?

He nodded a head at Alric, "Drag him out of there,"
he spoke as Alric immediately entered and hauled Nox from the cell. "I'll be escorting you from the premises myself. The moment you are out, the first and only thing you will proceed to do is find Aria and fulfill the promise you already made to her. Your power will come back to you, but don't even think of seizing it in my presence. I will crush you before you have the chance to form a single thread if you do."

Nikolai wove a blindfold of darkness around his eyes. It wasn't uncomfortable, no more than a sash laying across the bridge of his nose would be. "I can't have you knowing where we are,"
he explained out of sheer mercy. He could have wrapped him up like a swaddled infant, but he allowed the boy a shred of dignity and let him walk on his own two legs. Alric handled him firmly but not painfully.

The fresh air of a Moscow spring eventually met them. Just before the blindfold faded, Nikolai added one last order. "I gave you an ultimatum once, and I will give you another now. Cause no more trouble for me and nomore trouble for the police. Next time, I don't care if you slaughter a pack of rougarou preying on nuns in an orphanage, do not confess to it. Don't attract any more attention! Otherwise, next time, I won't go to the trouble of bringing you in for another chat."

The blindfold dissolved and the steel door slammed. Nox was left alone in the city. The things in his possession when he was brought from the hospital were dropped at his feet.

On the other side of that steel door, Nikolai and Alric waited to see if Nox would attempt something foolish with the power. Enough time had passed he was likely to be able to do so. Nikolai did not depart until he was certain the Facility was secure and Nox long gone.

Nox blinked at the lights outside. He's listened to his footsteps echoing in the corridors. He'd counted and kept track of his movements. It had been a game with Aurora. She laughed in his head at how their games had come in handy. Aurora was much more his teacher than his mother or father ever had been. She'd been his life line. She was gone and in the emptiness of the city he'd been thrown back to he was about to kill the only other person that ever made the connection for him. An order from Ascendancy himself.

Nox picked up his things and turned to look at the steal door he'd been thrown from. It opened to a nondescript building far from the Kremlin. Nox idly wondered if it was the same door Aria had used to infiltrate Ascendancy's residence. It always came back to Aria...

Nox wasn't usually one to follow the rules. But he wondered what he was supposed to do after he killed Aria? The Ascendancy said that was his "first and only thing." He sighed and started walking down the street. He'd have to go visit Sage. He had no resources to hunt down Aria anymore. The Atharim burned him days ago. It was hard to believe it was only days.

Nox wasn't exactly sure how he was going to keep out of the police's hair with the Atharim hunting him. They were bound to attack. And he wasn't going to just roll over and play dead. But at least he was free. It wasn't for several more blocks that Nox even tried to reach for the power and when it came easily without any sliding through his fingers. It had come into his hands with practiced force and Nox smiled. It felt good. He was going to need it before he found Aria. He might need a drink or twenty after that. Shit he really was going to do this. He was going to hunt Aria.
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