The First Age

Full Version: Discovery
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Alric pulled himself in tighter together and turning towards the Ascendancy presenting a smaller target. He could see the threads flow from the Ascendancy in rapid succession, the man’s face told Alric that he would kill him if he didn't combat his magic. Still he struggled to maintain his grip on the Power while he searched for something. Anything with the vast pool of torrent power that would aid him. Trust your instinct. In dangerous situation it was certainly not Alric’s character to just trust his gut. A thoughtful plan was best. But now he didn’t have the time to think nor did he have a team to help him balance out.

His need to fight off the danger finally broke through reason, in what seemed like minutes of internal debates, and took over. He reached through the fiery ice that flowed through him and pulled out the most unassuming thread. He wove several strands together, lashing out in a broad stroke, severing the airy threads being flung at him. Sweat began to bead on his face as he realized that while he’d stumbled on the solution to his dilemma his use of the tool was in error. Though he could interrupt the flow of threads being flung at him momentarily, Nikolai Brandon showed no signs of stopping as threads of razor sharp air zipped past his strokes.

Finally, Alric having bought a few moments through his use of the woven spell he dropped the spell, allowing it to unravel as he moved his focus beyond the Ascendancy. This not only allowed his eyesight to focus but broaden his vision to to match the light threads of air propelling from his Excellency with the heavier threads that he could pull from the power. Battling such tendrils of air Alric began, unconsciously, using his hands directing his own threads of solidity barely deflecting the lashes that the Ascendancy whipped out at him lessening the burden of keeping the power under his control.

At least for now.
By the time Alric crafted a suitable defense, he was ripped to shreds. His pants were charred along the hem, nicks and cuts welled red across the rest of him, and the man dripped with sweat. He had followed orders, however, and constructed a shell of safety. Though deflecting blow after blow was impractical. Nikolai could have easily tripled what he'd slung the man's way, but for his first attempt at using his powers, it was, not admirable necessarily, but sufficient. All at once, the blows ceased landing. The air fell quiet, silent but for the sound of Alric's heavy breathing.

Nikolai uncrossed and recrossed his legs. This was by far the highlight of his week. Far overshadowing the tourist outside the Arsenal building that fell to his knees in adoration as Nikolai's procession passed him by; twenty-years of worship had dulled the reaction to what was now the normal. The only moment that came close was absorbing the pallor on Nick Trano's face while the man floundered in fear on the back row.

With every round of testing, Nikolai learned more about the man's potential. He did not panic at being set aflame. He gathered a solution and fearlessly found an answer. There was one last question in Nikolai's mind: was he loyal?

He raised a hand, gesturing to whomever watched the scene unfold from beyond these four walls. Both Nikolai and the agent that guarded him glanced when the door opened. The CSS agent who entered was similar to his comrade in size and age. He also wore a well-tailored suit, mandatory attire in the Ascendancy's presence, but from a pocket he attached a silencer onto his sidearm. Any shots fired wouldn't be perfectly silent, but at least it would protect his hearing. After Siberia, his ears rang for three days when Mark took his aim.

A beautiful wall, slightly luminescent, shielded the air before Alric. Shaped to his body like some barbaric Roman soldier hiding behind his shield, it curved slightly around him. Enough that should he remain behind it, he would be protected.

Eyes locked on Alric, "Trust me,"
he told him. Then his voice dropped cold as the grave, and with that, the Ascendancy issued a final command. "Shoot him."

The agent immediately responded, firing three to the chest.
The three coughs were furthered muffled by the spell crafted by the Ascendancy. Alric did trust the man. He swore an oath to serve in his armed forces and the need for trusting your leader was all but beaten into him during his stint in his training. The agent that shot at him seemed to have that very lesson ingrained in him as well. His lack of hesitation was a credit to him, although Alric had difficulty complimenting a man that shot at him.

The agent’s aim was true; all three rounds fired in a tight but high grouping at center mass. The bullets themselves hung seemingly in mid-air, but Alric could see the woven spell that captured them a few inches from his flesh. He reached out to the now still rounds and met the woven spell with his fingers. It shocked him. Though in hindsight, it probably shouldn’t have. This wasn’t some mystical thing, but something that could be felt with human sensations.

It wasn’t hard to push through the spell and retrieve the rounds. He rolled them around in his palm listening to the soft clinking of the metal bound off one another. So that’s how he would’ve defended himself. Alric would make sure to commit the spell to heart. He was sure as the day was long that he would soon be put to a similar tests.

His breath and pulse evened out as he looked to his leader, and now teacher, awaiting whatever else the man had in store for him. He prayed that it was enough for now. He wasn’t sure just how much longer he could endure the struggle of keeping his divinity under his control. “Thank you for the lesson, Excellency.
“ He waited, patiently, for his leader to make the next move.
The agent lowered the weapon, all emotion well contained. This was not his first witness of the miraculous. Nor was it Nikolai's. Though the wonder of the feat would never be lost to him. Whether his place in this world, his life, or the means to live it, he took nothing for granted. Another lesson he took to heart early in life.

With that, Nikolai stood in one smooth motion and all formations of his power dissolved in afterthought. This had been a productive afternoon, and he was quite satisfied with Alric's progress. The man was efficient and smart. Traits Nikolai respected.

The Ascendancy's retreat from the table likewise silenced all trace of activity. "You'll be tracked,"
he began in all seriousness, "for your safety, of course."
And Nikolai's own. He was no fool, and while the Ascendancy was in Alric's trust, the reverse had yet to prove true. However, he had a feeling Alric would understand the tone, but if he took offense, then he was going to have to deal with it. Because either way, he wasn't leaving the building without a bug. The Ascendancy continued, "but you may otherwise come and go as you please per the command your new assignment dictates."

"We'll continue tomorrow."
He nodded sharply and left.

There were medical technicians waiting in the room beyond, and Nikolai caught a glance of a metal cartridge fitted to a jet-injector syringe as he passed by. Just seeing it and he absently straightened the suit's sleeve of his left arm, not envying Alric the bruise he was going to have.
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