The First Age

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Her skin was cool, but icy fear trickled down his spine. It grabbed at his stomach, tightened his chest until breaths came quick and shallow. His eyes were wide discs in shock.

The sensation lasted moments, but his grip was frozen upon her. A deer caught in sudden brightness, he was immobile. Soon, the stabbing pain of fear shifted to wanton melancholia. Guilt and grief welled up, glazing his normally chill gaze with glassy tears, as it hadn't since his father's funeral. An ache drilled into his chest as though the death was fresh as yesterday not fifty years old.

Aria did this to him. She said her powers were gone. Her power healed, dulled, cut away. These sensations were foreign, boring into his mind. A lobotomy would be less invasive.

A hiss and he pulled his hand from her, reeling and coddling it as though wounded. The sudden absence of her emotions slammed heavy, replaced only with anger. He wrenched power back into his own grasp, and with that terrible menace came control. A carefully contained rage that rarely surfaced.

"You said you felt nothing any more! You were mute."

Trust was hard won and easily lost. But she had a chance to explain, if she did quickly.
By Ascendancy's reaction Aria was sure that she'd sent him most of her power. Not enough to cow him - which was slightly disappointing to Aria but she didn't let it show.

His voice had returned to the super cool and collected voice of the man who had entered the room. He phrased the statement very correctly. It was what she said. She smiled. "I said I couldn't feel anything."

Her smile turned to a smirk. "I would have assumed as you that the remainder of my ability was not intact. But that doesn't seem to be the case. I never thought to try and manipulate a persons emotions while not feeling anything. If you hadn't grabbed me, I don't suppose I would have found out."

Aria stepped away from the Ascendancy to indicate she wasn't a threat. "I did not know that would happen. Without the ability to feel your emotions I don't know how bad it was - what the damage that could have been. I've never manipulated a person to stay as they were as I manipulated them. I doubt I could do what my father does ... what he did without constant contact. My control seems to be less without the other part. Touching me in the future should probably be avoided."

Though Aria was certain she could control when she manipulated someone, just not what she sent them. That was a different control, a mental one she'd learned much later in life. It reminded her of the time she'd met Dane - how uncontrolled her emotions had been then when he'd grabbed her. Except she'd not meant to show Dane her emotions then. She had reacted to Ascendancy with instinct with her trained ability. She smiled softly to herself. It was good to know part of her remained intact.
He did not like being corrected. Memories floated to the forefront of his mind, though. Of Aria stating those exact words. Damn but she was right. He hated the sense of wrongness jabbing into his mind.

Despite the irritation for his own mistake, he realized he had placed himself completely at her mercy and survived. Further, he seemed to be fully himself - if still red with anger. But it was fading fast, scorched by tightly held control.

"I will undoubtably refrain from touching you from now on. However, you've proven yourself loyal. You could have killed me- or worse - and been the hero of the Atharim."

Gratitude tipped his tongue but he didn't express it. "Are you clear on the plan? Bring Regus and Martin at the appointed time.."
Aria tried not to smirk as the Ascendancy told her she was loyal. She had wanted to hurt him in that moment. The darkness drew her down. But she resisted thankful for the man she'd loved. While Dane introduced control, Lucas had introduced restraint. The duality of her problems where complete in the two men who changed her life. But that was neither here nor there. Aria pushed away the thoughts and focused on the man in front of her.

He was more dangerous than either of them combined and she'd survived his wrath. Aria smiled and nodded. "I am clear on the plan. Tell them of this facility and the means to enter your unguarded home. It requires only the best to get the job done. And I'm only along to be guide."
Aria knew if it was the best they wanted then she wasn't going to make Martin's cut nor the Regus'.

Aria smiled. "The path of least resistance should be complicated or my words fail and they will suspect me of treachery. I am a monster to them - not even a tool to use correctly."

Aria wondered if this was the end of their meeting. It seemed like a wrap. She lowered her head in respect. "And I apologize for my reaction when you grabbed me. I had no intentions when I came here of hurting you. Some things are just ingrained too deep."
Survival was Aria's biggest motive.
As he left, Nikokai summoned a communique to Marcus. His protégé was about to have a chance to do everything he's ever dreamed of.

'Meet me in the Terem Palace.' The beckoning was worded without demand but Marcus knew to answer the call as soon as humanly possible.
The man who brought her in didn't put the black hood over her head and instead took Aria out of the facility through the way she was intended to come in. Aria missed her ability, she wished she had some bearing other than her physical senses. It would make things a lot easier. But it was what it was and she'd learn to live with this new sensation.

Aria walked through the passages a second time with permission while being guarded the whole time. It was easier the second time through and she remembered where she was going. Without her ability she was going to need to rely on this plan they set up. Path of least resistance.

Once outside Aria captured her bearings and found herself just outside the Kremlin in an adjacent building obscuring her view of the street. It wasn't how she entered and Aria wondered how many entrances there were.

It made Aria wonder if Ascendancy knew exactly how close the Atharim were to his front door. She started towards Nikolskaya street. Where the street ended at the Red Square you could see the Kremlin. And it was only a hop skip and a jump to the Baccaratt mansion.

The Enlightened District was her destination, but she walked slowly. She sent Nox another text Call me. It's important! She was in no hurry to meet with Borovsky.

(( Feel free to jump in now Manix ))

Edited by Aria, Jul 1 2016, 11:15 AM.
Manix had been on the bench for hours when the beacon went out. Strange, I wonder wh
...............The power erupted like a volcano. Manix stood, seizing his full power, sending out thin threads of air in all directions. Listening to the sounds that echo's back to him, thru the threads, it seems no one else could feel it.

Manix rechecked his weave of mist, it held, even in his panic. Just before he pulled in the tenrerals he caught a familiar sound. Adjusting the weave he could smell her scent.

He started toward her . sending out a thin wisp of air he whispered, I come, help an old man home.
When he got near her, as the old man he smiled. Hello lass, care to escort an old man home? Does me heart good to see such beauty.
. Holding out his arm he waited for her.

She came from the direction of the power spike, she knows what happened, and he prayed she would share.

(occ) feel free to move thread.

Edited by Manix, Jul 1 2016, 06:05 PM.
Aria felt the familiar presence of her now current ... employer?? He wasn't exactly her friend. And she was not about to call him her savior. Aria sighed she seemed to keep finding herself in the need of being saved by godlings. She was starting to feel inadequate.

Aria focused on those feelings of inadequacy instead of the fury that wanted to rise at what Manix had done to her. But she was unprepared for the trick of the eye Manix employed. It made Aria wonder how many tricks he had. He seemed as skilled as Ascendancy who was far more experienced. Was there a way to tell how skilled or powerful the godlings were? She'd have to ask Nox if he'd found anything with in his encounters with various other godlings - they were racking up quite a bit of acquaintances these past few months.

When she saw Manix she refused his arm and walked past him albeit at a much slower pace to facilitate his facade. "I'm not going home yet. My boss has called and I must heed his call or my head will be on the chopping block. I've dallied long enough."

Aria continued towards the Enlightened District and the Baccarrat mansion. "I suggest if you intend to walk with me you discard your disguise, you are too close to the hunters and if there is even a doubt of what you are they won't hesitate to put a bullet in your head."
Aria didn't pause to wait for Manix nor his consensus. "What do you want? I don't suppose you followed me just to walk you home."
She knew her words were gruff, but she was about to dangle a very dangerous carrot in front of very dangerous men and she was completely without out her ability to feel other people - all because of his meddling.

((no need to move it))
Raised in Moscow, with some of the harshest winters in Europe, Jaxen never needed the excuse of nice weather to loiter outdoors. As the weather was ever turning more pleasant, he found himself doing just that, however. Given that this last winter saw him shackled underground in a human meat locker or that he'd teleported off the planet for three months and landed stark naked in knee deep snow, that might have something to do with it.

As such he was currently lounging at a table of a cafe that had sprawled outside and onto the sidewalks of the Enlightenment district. He wasn't alone. The tables were full and packed shoulder to shoulder so that waiters barely had room to navigate between them.

He flicked through screens on his wallet, set to privacy mode of course so they projected in the air in front of him but filtered through dark sunglasses cresting his face for his eyes only. The Internet was blowing up after the announcement. Magic was real - well Jaxen could have told the world that. But like that American Nicholas Trano, he would have been branded as a nut job and likely incarcerated in the Guardian. There weren't many worse fates than that. He shuddered just to think of it

bonds tightened. Slick oily bonds. Warm, thick liquid dripping onto his chest. It came to this but he wouldn't ask their forgiveness. Do anything to him. But never that.

He rubbed his wrists and shook off the pungent sense of horror lining his throat. Maybe the winter had affected him more than he thought.

He switched screens back to the layout of Baccarat Mansion. Remodeling permits had been easy to source from CCD pages. Extensive work was undertaken about two years ago. He studied them closely but there was nothing extraordinary. Even fortification of the basement walls was to be expected in such an ancient part of the city. Except he knew there was something priceless in that basement. He'd seen the security with his own eyes. Atharim be damned. White warned him of their presence. Sora warned him. Rune wanted to kill him. Elias, Sierra and Elyse were threats. Something was hidden in the Moscow River.

He swore under his breath. There had to be more answers than what he had. But fuck if he even knew what the question was. Now their great leader, president turned liege lord Ascendancy was another Ancient.

Everyone was talking about it. Jaxen fixed the man next to him with a cold stare, "Come on. Are you really surprised? Look at the guy! He has to be something more than he claimed. Born in America. Lived in Italy. President of Russia. And combined half the world in a matter of years. And people are surprised?"

He snapped his Wallet closed and stood up. He had enough excited experience to whip the power on a whim. It came easily now, and a sly grin accompanied tendrils of power snaking toward the table. The empty dishes floated high in the air and the chatting around him ceased. A dozen faces watched them float over head and gently lay themselves down before the bus boy. As soon as the movement ceased, chairs skittered and the shoving and yelling took its place.

But Jaxen was long gone by then, laughing to himself. He released the Power back to its Source soon after.

Happily strolling around the corner, amused with himself, he caught sight of the back of someone's head that seemed familiar. Dark hair. Small statured woman. But where did he know her from? Random club? She didn't seem his type, but Jaxen ran into women later on he barely remembered spending the night with. Stranger things happened.

She walked with an old man. Or at least with an old man wrapped up in tendrils of light. Like he was draped in a spider web. Beautiful work. Jaxen itched to pluck it away and see who was beneath.

Instead, he hung back and followed them.
Edited by Jaxen Marveet, Jul 5 2016, 10:31 AM.
Frustrated, Manix wanted to grab the girl by her shoulders and shake some since into her. He wanted to be a friend, had been friendly, never threw up the fact she live cause of him. He sighs:

sending a fast beam of light across the ground 100 yards due east he let it give off a small explosion. The light flickered brightly a few time then died away. In that small time when everyone was focus on the light and sound, now trying to see straight, Manix became himself. Dangerous, but Aria said the other was more dangerous.

WE need to talk someday about our relationship. Now is not the time, I wish to be a friend. You should of known i'd seek u out, with that announcement.

I'm direct lass, are you now my enemy, will I need to kill you or is our arrangement intact?
a wicked dangerous smile crossed his face: I will accept ye answer as truth, cause ye have never lied to me.

I shall not leave til I have ye answer, we part friends or at least partners or I leave you here a pile of ash.
a tone so harsh, it calmed the strongest gale on the high seas, one he rarely used.
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