The First Age

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Marco had the van idling - waiting on the others. Annemarie and Jin did the best they could to drag Stephan's body away from the alley's entrance. There was a clean shot through the middle of his forehead and a shard of rock stuck from it like some sort of sick unicorn. But they couldn't leave a man behind. Henrik - poor Henrik's vitals were erratic.

The earth stopped shaking and Annemarie had closed the door just in time before the shards started flying again. Marco yelled. "We gotta go."

"We can't."

He sighed but he didn't move, the van was safe - bullet proof, but how would it do against large rock shards flying at speeds unknown.

They had to wait for Jacinda. The woman was crazy. Annemarie caught sight of her and ran to her to help her back to the van. Over the comm's she yelled, "We have to do. Get down here."

The sirens were drawing close, they had to get out. All they needed was Yoshimura. He better hurry up.
Continued from - a night to forget

The metal door swung open on free hinges. Nothing waited them on the street ahead except the darkness of late night. He wasn't sure how long they'd been down there, but apparently it was longer than he realized. Probably explained why he was starving. Thoughts of food were pushed aside, though. That feeling of being two inches tall returned. A menace clutched his heart tighter and tighter, but it was difficult to pinpoint. He exchanged dark glances with Jared and Soren, wondering if they sensed it too.

An immense amount of power surged frighteningly nearby. He held out an arm that the group remain behind and under the cover of the stairwell. He reached for his firearm, but stopped at the last minute and instead focused on his own source of power. His heart beat steady and calm, and the moment it flooded into his grasp he choked the power into his will. The thrill of dominance and light pushed new life through his veins. The dark world illuminated. Flashes of light and pulses of sound filtered all his senses. He swung his gaze first one way down the street, then shook his head and turned the other. "That way,"
he said to himself, pinpointing the power's origin.

It was too much to ignore. Don't do anything stupid, Natalie's voice echoed in his mind, but distantly. There were three channelers in their group and they just trapped another behind them. Or so they thought.

"It must be Pavlo,"
he said to the group. There could have easily been another way out of the tunnels. The lines on Nox's map were numerous. Not to mention there were likely to be undiscovered paths even still. He would need Soren and Jared beside him, though.

He turned back to them, and the special operations officer emerged as he did. Another surge of power flared around the corner. Then, a scream and screeching of tires. "Jared, with me. We'll take the path closest that way."
He pointed to the building's corner. Then to Soren, "Take the far side. In case we are seen first, you'll have the advantage of surprise."
Again, Jared and Jay were the two soldiers. Soren was just another bloke not too eager to run into the thick of a battle, Jay noticed. Not that he blamed him.

Then he looked to Natalie and his gaze softened. "Stay here. Stay safe."
He looked at her a moment more, silently promising to do nothing stupid. Then a wave of his hand and he took off.

At the corner, he hugged the edge of the building and carefully peered around the side. A woman jumped from a van and sprinted down an alley and out of sight. Pavlo had to be down that alley. The van must have been his escape.

"Jared, stop the van."
He ordered and then took the corner.

He ran, but he couldn't focus on the flows with enough concentration to damage the tires or block the vehicle in a trap. So he focused on the beacon of power instead and hoped Jared could take it out.

Sirens were coming closer, but likely still streets away. He had to get to Pavlo before the police did. Pavlo was not likely to take arrest very willingly.

He ran past the van and plunged into the ally at full speed. Air whipped past his face. The power outlined every shadow. Two women were there. He ignored the bodies. There were piles of rocks and cement shards everywhere. Broken windows glinted on the pavement. Trash was overturned. Dumpsters pushed away. Pavlo had been busy.

Jay sped past the women, ignoring them for now. They were alive, which was good enough for him. The beacon of power that drew him close disappeared, but Jay no longer needed it. A big sphere of rock sat still in the middle of the ally.

Drawn close, he knew Pavlo was under there. He could sense the echo of power having been wielded, and he hesitantly reached out and touched the surface of the dome. And it crumbled to dust.

His fists curled, ready to strike. But he body beneath was not Alistair Pavlo.

His jaw dropped. "Oh my god. Nox!"

He rolled the guy over and felt for a heartbeat.
They stepped out into darkness, and for a moment it disorientated her; like no time had passed at all, or far more than she'd suspected. Her heart sank under the weight of realisation; by now it was inevitable her mother had noted her absence, and after Sierra Leone it was hardly likely she'd take kindly to the silent treatment. Worst case scenario, she was already on a flight to Moscow to ensure Natalie upheld her familial responsibilities. She raked a hand back through her hair and glanced at Alvis, because apparently even her father was keeping tabs; but he stood stiffly, looking intently out into the darkness like something yanked hard at his attention.

Natalie's muscles tensed reflexively as Jay ushered them back, and suddenly everything ached anew. The short respite of the club had leaked all the adrenaline from her. For a moment Jay's warning made little sense. Why did he think Pavlo was out here? But then she picked up the faint cry of sirens and her tired mind reluctantly put the pieces together. She tested the edges of her control, but still wasn't sure if she'd be able to control the power without consequences; it fluttered so temptingly, she wasn't sure she'd be able to let it go. What happened if she didn't? Jay's face swam into view while she was still skirting around letting the light flood through her.

Stay. Here.

He meant it kindly, but the words twisted sharply. Her temper flared against the final bars being slammed into the shape of a cage. She'd been railing all her life against being tucked safely away, against being poked and prodded into the mould of the daughter her family wanted. Defiance closed her off to sense, and for a moment her strongest, most contrary instinct was to turn away, work out where the fuck she was, and just go home. Not that she even knew where she was. Bare feet. No phone. And Pavlo was her fight. The anger rushed a new channel, irrational and cold. She knew it was stupid. She didn't care.

Tires screeched ahead. Someone hooked her back by the elbow. It seemed Alvis wasn't one for orders either, because he still stood there, one hand thrust into the pocket of his coat, gaze mildly irritated. "If you have any sense, you'll let me take you home. They're soldiers, they'll be fine."

He didn't stop her, though.

It looked like the alley had been picked up and shaken by an infant god. Debris crunched sharp under her toes, glass glittering like ice in silvery patches she tried to avoid. Her gaze skimmed the destruction. Too much in too short a time. Pavlo had been running, spooked; he didn't do this. So who the fuck had? There was no movement, and Jay crouched over a body cradled by crumbled cement, checking vitals. "Stupid includes expecting me to stay behind. For the record."
The words were cool. She didn't make eye contact, just surveyed the damage instead, arms folded against the horrific details. The shards blew out from the crater; it only took a moment to hazard a guess why. "What on earth was he defending himself against?"
The words tailed off when she set eyes on the body pinned to the wall. Slumped still.

But. He was--

Alvis's boots crunched a path behind her. Careless of the further agony he might inflict, he yanked out the man's arm and pulled up his sleeve. She caught a glimpse of tattoos inking the skin before he threw it back down in disgust. One fist curled, he stalked towards Jay. "Check his damn arm. Does he have the snake tattoo too?"

[[Jared, if any of the above doesn't fit with what you have in mind for Jared's next post, let me know and I will adjust accordingly. [Image: 1.png] ]]
Dorian stopped his car several blocks away. Well away from where the Atharim might be parked and well away from where Nox was being taken down. The quake had stopped. He hadn't felt it in the car but the reports said it had and he probably should have felt it this far away.

Dorian got out and rounded his car and popped the trunk to pull out his vest and other gear. He wasn't going to wait for back up not when the boy was in danger. Domovoi didn't know what to do with gods who were defending themselves - albeit dangerously. Dorian prayed it wasn't Nox - just some other poor godling who got caught in the middle of a war they didn't know they were fighting.

While Dorian was drawing his gun to walk the few remaining blocks a van sped past. Non-descript, and frantic. Probably the Atharim. He could lay chase but that didn't help Nox. The quake had stopped - had they killed him.

Dorian wanted to run, but he didn't, he didn't even know where he was going. He walked slowly towards the intersection where the disturbance had been reported. It wasn't going to be the most forth coming neighborhood and he'd check every street and alley until he found Nox - dead or alive.
((ooc: did Jacinda leave the thread? Did I miss it? *scratches head.))
((Ooc. Yeah. She bailed. I thot she was done anyway. Didnt realize it would pick up till after i started a new thread. Sorry about the quick out.))
They were right - it was time to bail. Yoshimura hated leaving. There was no honor in it. He sent them coordinates to meet him at. It would be easier for him to meet them there instead of staying stationary.

He moved quickly to the appointed spot and hopped in the van as it slowed.

((sorry: this is about all my mind can do write now. I'm unfocused because of real life issues right now and I'm trying at least to write Yoshi out of thread so you can continue. I'll try to post Jared when I can actually think of something))
((Maybe just voicing my frustrations helped or something - but I started and couldn't stop lol. I apologize for freaking out a bit - it has not been a good week - by the way - is Alvis Soren?))

Jared followed Jay and the others through the tunnels, and as he moved, he felt himself tiring. Occasionally, a hand moved up against the wall to steady himself. Jared was used to using his power, but using it as much as he did and as quickly as he did was something new, and as the adrenaline wore off, his energy levels began to sink.

Jared was only half paying attention to what was going on, but he felt the menacing presence much as Jay had. Jay seemed to pick up the pace, and Jared was able to keep up despite fatigue starting to set in.

They exited the tunnels, and Jay was a little over zealous. Jared followed as instructed and told him to do something. Something about a van? Everything seemed a bit fuzzy.

Jared stayed where he was, leaning on a wall for support. He shook his head a bit and felt the buzzing of his wallet again.

"Oh my God, Nox!"

The words drew Jared out of his fuzzy state of being and he moved quickly towards where Jay was. On the ground lay a man that apparently Jay knew. Whether it was through his past or he had met him him in Moscow, Jared didn't know.

Words were spoken, and Jared didn't catch many of them - something about checking for a snake tattoo. Those Atharim had snake tattoos right. Jared went to one knee next to the man and up his power again, more difficultly than it had been in awhile. He wove together healing and settled it on the man. Not everything healed, but Jared knew that he at least did something.

Weariness seeped into his body and he let the power go, feeling drained. Jared used one hand to keep himself stabilized, not trying to get up. His muscles ached.
((OOC: by the way - I'm leaving it up to Nox on what got healed and what didn't.))
The images nightmares flooded Nox's mind. He hurt everywhere. The power was teasing the edge of his senses but no matter how he tried he couldn't touch it. Not that it would have done any good. It was hot. So hot.

Then suddenly the air was fresher and a breeze on Nox's hot skin. He felt almost hold. And then he was rudely yanked over. He would have groaned if it wasn't so hard to breathe.

There were more than one voice. He recognized one of the voices around him. There were a few words that Nox made out. And then there was a rush of heat that flooded his body. It hurt. Everything hurt, and then it hurt less. Breathing was easier. His head hurt less. There was less pain everywhere.

Nox blinked his eyes open and he was staring up at the face he hasn't expected to see again. At least not from this position. Nox smirked, "Hey brown eyes. Fancy meeting you here."
the smirk hurt a little more than he expected but it was worth it.

He tried to sit up but groaned when he tried to move. "Did I hear someone asking about tattoos?"
Nox pulled his sleeve up and showed the dragon eating it's own tail inked into his skin. "I would prefer it if you didn't try to kill me today. I think one attempt on my life is enough for today."
Nox looked back up at Jay. "Love looking up at you like this, but help me up please."

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