The First Age

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Elias spent the day exploring. Or that was what he told Tony and the guys. He was really looking to be alone, and in Tony's house, that was nearly impossible. He liked everyone well enough, even Claire, although she rubbed him the wrong way. The why of it bothered him, though, more than she herself did. Perhaps she was so different from the girls he knew in Kenab.

At one point he had been caught up in tourism, though. He had been standing on the banks of the Moscow River, downstream from where the shadow darted beneath the ice. His uncle's Wallet had revealed nothing new since then, but he checked it constantly none the less.

Standing on the riverside, he realized the Kremlin stood at his back. The structure was unlike anything he'd ever seen before in Utah or New Zealand. He tried to imagine Russians building the walls. Kings and Tsars ruling from behind the fortress perimeter. Impressive, but not so enticing as to draw him inside. He had his look and was satisfied.

Thus he ended the afternoon near some Market seemingly plucked from a children's book. He thought about sending some trinket or another back to his family in Kenab, but in the end, bought nothing.
Nox's mind was tired, his body still ached, Gracie's was helping him get his strength back, but it was a slow process, he wished it would be more like magic. It would probably help if he used his ability less, but really it was so much easier sometimes. He wasn't exactly lazy, just used all the tools available at the time.

Initiation, holy mother...he had never imagined it, never could have - with or without his memories he'd never have had any clue as to what to expect. He was told on his way out "Speak of this to no one. Not even other brother and sisters."

He wanted to talk about it so much, but he had to clamp his mouth shut. He almost spilled the beans to Aria when she was showing him around afterwards. She stared at him with those green eyes and there was no doubt in his mind that those words at the end had been meant in true fashion. Aria had warned him of the Regus' pertinacity of killing brethren for not following his way. It hadn't been in regards to that particularly, but now he wondered if she'd meant a whole lot more than she said. He'd keep his secret, and hers. And apparently this one too.

Being full Atharim came with some perks, he had a brand new wallet, there were three numbers in it now. His sisters, Aria's and his boss - whoever this Father Stone was. Aria hated him from the look in her eyes when he mentioned him. He'd have to watch his back on that one too. He trusted Aria's judgment, it had gotten him this far.

The library was full of lore. Not that he cared, but it was more books than he'd seen in a really long time. It also came with a higher pay grade, no longer was he a child of a hunter, he WAS a hunter. Paid in full. Granted it wasn't much but he could afford a better place, they'd pay that directly, he'd never have to touch it. The only money he saw was his spending money, which was more than adequate for his needs. Enough beer, and money to entertain a girl or two. He was happy.

But he also realized that in having a home, he would need other things too. Aria had suggested the Izmailovsky Market. It would give him a unique experience and he could shop all at the same time. Nox hated shopping, it was such a girly thing to do, but it was necessary.

The market was crowded for being such a cold windy day. Nox pulled the collar of his leather jacket around his ears, it was not the best of solutions as he huddled in the blustery wind as it raced past him as he walked. Thankfully he turned into the market itself and the wind seemed to die down, he'd left the wind tunnel he'd been in.

Nox wandered the market for a while, it was unique, English was the native language of the CCD, but still Nox found it difficult. He sighed as he headed back towards HQ. Nox rounded a corner a few blocks from the market's long corridor of people, two guys were jimmying a car lock. There was no hero in Nox, but stealing was stealing and he stepped up with the power in his grasp ans grinned at the men. "Can I help you gentlemen?"

They looked at him like he was crazy. The one on the drivers side had managed to open his door and was quickly getting in. A thick heave accent spoke as ehe other stepped closer to Nox. "Not your concern." He looked up at Nox and the smile was far from nice that played across the thugs lips. "Be gone scrawny one."

Nox laughed. "Scrawny one, Take you a while to come up with that Jack?"
The car started and revved it's engine and off it went, with out his partner in crime. Nox laughed. "Seems your buddy left you high and dry."
The thugs pushed Nox and Nox took a step back with a wicked glint in his eye, the power was there and he grinned at the man. "I wouldn't do that if I were you."

The man pushed back again. Nox grinned and wove a block of air in front of him and sent the man hurtling backwards with a force his scrawny little arms couldn't have done.

Edited by Nox, Nov 11 2014, 12:36 PM.
So, she didn't really have any money, but there was something comforting in the vastness of the market that was simply lost in the grandiose of the shopping centre, despite so many busy emotions humdrumming in the back of her mind. Asha felt better able to linger, to meander, explore and inspect without feeling so thoroughly misplaced. She took photos as she did so, but most of what she indulged was idle gossip, left to ferment and connect in the back of her thoughts while she wandered. For that, the market was the perfect place.

She was glad for the thickness of her coat against the brisk wind, fastened tight to her throat where it met a thick wool scarf. Before arriving she thought she'd been prepared for the weather, but after a few days spent enduring the harsh temperatures she'd begun to regret not having a hat. Her blood pined for warmer climes, but given no other option, contemplating such purchase was the half-hearted pretext upon which she shifted through the various stalls. The fuller part of her attention remained on the bubbles of emotion around her, brushing most aside. It was the unusual she sought with her gift. And the empty spaces, such as she had not felt since the day in the coffee shop. It had scared her then. Still did if she was honest. But it hadn't stopped the curiosity.

Eventually she retreated. Sans hat - she was too loathe to part with the cash when she could probably just make do, but the afternoon had still been pleasant enough. A few good pictures, enough to work with, and one man had espoused on local folklore with little encouragement. Right now though, car keys jangling in the numb fingers of one hand, what she most wanted was to blast on the heat and wait for it to seep back under her skin. Her cheeks felt like twin slabs of ice.

Asha stopped short of where her car was parked, not at first because she noticed anything awry, but because of the burning emptiness radiating unnaturally from one of the men brawling by the curb. Instinct backed her right up, crushing her straight into someone else's path, and for a second she stepped whole into their emotions. A disorienting moment, a stagger forward to break free, and only then she realised where one man had lurched backwards from a shove, he'd fallen right through the vacant space where her car should have been.

A pit hollowed out in her stomach.

The car was not there.

The moment of desperation was drowned by a spark of fury. "Hey!"
Without purchasing so much as a post-card, Elias made his way back to the Market metro station. He walked with hands thrust in his pockets. The wind tugged his hair around his face, and he pulled up the hood of his long coat to block it. But as he stepped off the curb, a car roared from out of no where, almost clipping him. The driver didn't so much as look over his shoulder, and Elias scowled at the tail lights. The encounter was yet another reminder of how claustrophobic he felt in the city. He was most ready to return to Tony's.

Before he made it across the street, a sense of power pulled his attention elsewhere. He followed it without hesitation, repulsed by the presence while also drawn to it at the same time. He found two men engaging one another, and a woman with the haste of escape rounding upon him.

Elias had been too distracted to avoid her altogether, yet pure reaction grabbed her spindly shoulders lest they both tumble off their feet. "Hey. Watch it."
She might be surprised the black pillar of a statue bucked her away.
A woman's angry voice called out from beyond where Nox had pushed the man. Dammit! There he goes a few days officially inside the ranks of the society that wants his kind dead and he uses it willy nilly and there is a witness. Nox dropped the power, he was going to have to start carrying his gun again.

The man he'd thrown across the way rushed him like some sort of bull. Nox laughed and side stepped him quickly, "Your head down and you look like an ass."
Nox grinned an turned to see the man lay a fist into his jaw. Ouch!

Nox sighed. He didn't have time to look back. He grasped the power again, he was done playing fair, not that he had been, but he wasn't in the mood to be have his head bashed in either. The man was shorter than he was, but he was bigger in every other aspect. Nox didn't like hand to hand, he much preferred a cross bow or gun, or his whip to this.

The man threw another punch that landed in Nox's stomach, he bent over and with a deft move he swept the feet from under then man with his leg. It would have looked that way, but he used the power seconds before to plow the path between. The man cried out in pain, Nox was pretty sure he'd broken the man's leg. He stood up and grinned down at him. "I told you you didn't want to do that."

He turned to see the woman and a man dressed in black staring at him. Nox put on his best smile and walked up to them. "Nothing here to see."
A hand steadied her for a moment, but it only blurred the lines of feeling further until it pressed her away. The irritation at her own intrusion washed over her like a sick echo, but though it trod all over her conscience she didn't bow to the pressure of remorse, only felt irritated in return for the way he snapped at an accident. Her dark eyes glanced back for a brief moment of recognition, and met a pale face haloed in black. A frown flickered across her brow, but she moved enough to let him pass, her lips firmed shut against an apology. Across the road one of the brawlers detached victorious and approached them.

"No, and that's the point!"
Desperation tinged the edges of her tone as the shock began to settle in like ice. Her life was in that car. Every scrap of clothing she owned but the garments on her back. Everything her uncle had left her. Every keepsake from her childhood. Just everything. It had been her home.

For the fist time she began to notice the stretch of afternoon shadows.

A hand fished amongst the loose change in her pocket, settled around the card that might or might now hold enough to buy a room in a hostel for the night.

Then another panicked thought. She was stuck here.

Asha fought to distance herself from the pain of the man injured on the ground, groped around instead for the relative stillness of the stranger behind her. It was the empty one who came towards her, she sensed that before she ever saw the charm of a smile on his face. She'd flinched back the last time one of them had come close, but back then she'd been both unprepared for the anomaly and suffering the stifling affects of so much fear.

Between the advance of an empty vessel and the unsympathetic pillar at her back, she had nowhere to go anyway. Except down. Which she did, thumping down heavily on the curb, running a hand back over her head. "Everything I had was in that car."
For a moment her gaze searched the man laid out prone, then the other - they had to have seen what happened, right? But even if she knew who'd taken it, what chance did she have of getting it back? The sudden loss left her numb.
That explained the screeching car.

The brawl came to its end; the loser remained on the ground, moaning, the victor stalked over. Elias's frown disapproved. Nothing to see? Elias wasn't one to stick his neck out for injustice, but when it was outright staring him in the face, "Looks like I saw someone beat a man senseless and walk away with a grin on his face."
There was no definitive way to determine who had worked powers, but now that Elias was here, he realized it didn't matter. He knew enough men capable of shaping elements with sheer thought. He didn't need another.

He might have walked away, but the girl collapsed under the weight of her own grim reality, meanwhile. She sat on the curb, and Elias looked around like he hoped someone might come to comfort her. His discomfort kept his distance.

Caught between his disinterest and his morals, the obligation to do something crept into his desire to leave. He offered his uncle's wallet hesitantly, "Here. In case you need to call the police."
Nox dropped the power from his grasp, the girl was distraught, and moments later he understood why. It was her car. He felt even worse now. He had tried to stop them, but it was more in the starting trouble than the actual saving the car. Nox said there was no hero in him, but he knew the dim reality of it. What he did for a living left him feeling much like one, yet still unsung. He didn't want the glory, it felt better in the shadows. He laughed, he wondered if that was how Batman felt. Not that he was a superhero mind you. Though he did have powers. The thought had merit. He laughed at himself, stupid boyish thoughts.

Nox looked down at the woman, she was clearly in need of some help but there was absolutely no way he was taking her home. He smiled, he could take her to Aria. Aria seemed the helpful sort, helped him anyway when she didn't have to. Might work out perfectly Aria kept night owl hours, and awake at all hours of the night, could work out well. He did thoroughly enjoy making others lives more chaotic, but definitely not his own.

Nox looked across at the man who had pretty much accused of him beating up an innocent man with a grin. He was in that type of mood. "Well if you would have been here when it all went down you'd know better. Two thugs, were breaking into a car. I asked the politely if I could help them. That one over there stepped up into my face, called my scrawny and told me to leave. His buddy on the other hand wanted no part of it and took off in his new broken into and started car. I laughed. I tend to do that. He pushed me. I warned him he didn't want to do that again. And he did it again. So I pushed back. He was an idiot, he ran at me like a bull, head down I moved."
Nox grinned. "He got a few good licks in before I took out his leg. Sadly I think I broke it."
Nox gave the man in black a fake frown which nearly immediately turned back into a grin. He didn't care whether or not the man believed him or not, it was the truth.

He looked down at the woman on the ground and knelt down next to her. He almost understood what she was feeling. The emptiness of not knowing. Hell he knew that well enough, up until meeting Aria, he'd been in the same boat. "You have someone you need us to call? Someplace we can take you?"
His heart sank, she had said everything was in that car. He wondered if she was living in the car, which meant little money and probably a very strong desire to not be helped, to take charity. "If you don't, I've a friend you might feel more comfortable staying with until you can get things straightened out. She's erratic in her hours at best, but her place is usually empty."
Expression listless, staring silently at the place her car had been, Asha itemised her losses. Every small trinket she would miss. Every scrap of memory that bloomed warm comfort and security. She let the misery hold her for a moment, and then she let it go, a sigh sinking her shoulders like there was no breath left in her lungs. It was just stuff. Growing up, her uncle had moved them on countless times at short and hasty notice. It wasn't the first time she had been left with nothing. Just the first time it had been so cruelly stolen from her.

More than the loss of possessions, it reminded her she was dreadfully alone. Without the pause of two strangers, what would she have done? It wasn't the first time she had missed the closeness of knowing someone so thoroughly, so that words became accessories rather than necessity. But that regret was as good as useless, and had never been within her control anyway. When she was done missing her uncle, she cursed his abandonment of her.

Discomfort radiated from above. She was surprised when one of the men offered her his Wallet, particularly as it was from the one hovered on the edges of her senses like he was loath to get too close. The tech was shiny and more slender than the one stuffed carefully in her own coat pocket, and she accepted the gesture gratefully, hugging the item onto knees pulled up almost to her chest. The kindness seemed to mean more to her than the means to call the authorities; the downward tilt of her lips, the hopeless glint in her eyes, suggested she didn't much trust to the police. Not that she was an illegal. But she was a drifter.

It was while the brawler explained himself that she made the call, not to the police, but to report the man at the side of the road. His pain pulsed. She'd liked to have walked away, but the sympathy of the two strangers who'd witnessed her loss might be the only help she could count on in a city like Moscow. Instead she rubbed idly at her leg, like the cold had gotten into it, then passed the Wallet back to its owner. The ice was seeping through; she could feel it chilling her skin beneath the layers of clothing. She'd been headed to the car for warmth. It was stupid to sit in the snow now, but it also helped deaden the prone man's pain with some discomfort of her own. She didn't get up.

"I'm Ashavari,"
she offered. Her full name, a rare courtesy, but somehow she didn't feel like neglecting one of the only things she had left. Even if it was only a few letters. "There's no-one to call. Nowhere for me to go."
From the feelings radiating off the questioner (he was no longer void, she realised), she surmised he had probably guessed that, but she said it anyway. Not seeking pity. She wondered if it was the disinterest in the other guy leeching into her own emotions, but if it was she found she didn't mind the extra fortification. She'd been taking care of herself for years, and this was but one more blip in the roadmap of her life.

The guy's offer was the best she had, but a little caution tempered her usual blithe trust. Not the restraint of accepting something from a stranger, but because of the way he - like others she had met in this city - was able to slip entirely from the edges of her senses. Curiosity mingled with uncertainty. Once over the shock of the possibility, she wanted to know how they did that. "Is she like you? This friend?"
Probably he would take that as an inquiry as to her own safety, though the sudden lift of a smile suggested naive gratitude. "I'd appreciate it. If it's okay with her, I mean."

She stood. Her leg twinged as she did so, where she supposed the beaten man's own leg was broken. It would have been easier to ignore if he had not been so openly desperate for help, questing out the pain and fear of being abandoned broken in the snow like someone might be able to hear. Too bad for her that she could. "An ambulance is coming."
The words came out more irritated than compassionate. The dick had been in on the car jacking after all. But mostly she was just tired of being able to feel him at all.

To the long-haired man she turned. "Are you going to come with me? Make sure he and his friend aren't axe murderers?"
A strange request probably, and she could feel that he didn't particularly want to be here and might resent her efforts to pull him further in. But kindness left marks like fingerprints all over Asha's soul; he'd offered his Wallet even if he'd been reluctant to get involved. And he was distant in a way that would not make his company overwhelming.
The man seemed to think Elias wanted an explanation. Such as one was given, Eli bothered to listen, but his look was deadpan.

He could picture the scene as described. Two strangers jacking at the doors of a car. This hot-head kid strolling up, spitting something sarcastic, and basically asking for a fight. When he got one, he used the thugs as justification for his violence. A quiet voice reminded Elias that such instances were meant for men to turn the other cheek, or at the very least, call the police and let them deal with it. But farther away, another voice crept across the fringes of his mind like the echo of a whisper. Elias tuned it out.

This self-proclaimed, would-bee 'hero' was a sadist. By the frown-turned-grin, he took a sick sort of pride in having broken the man's leg. Eli's phone record showed the girl called for medical assistance. He turned the pale plains of his face toward her. She was rather pathetic slumped over as she was. It was just a car. Shouldn't insurance cover it? There was also the chance that it could be recovered, or didn't CCD cars come with GPS tracking? Doubtful two 'thugs' knew the intricacies that it was to disable those kinds of devices.

He shrugged and dropped his uncle's Wallet into an interior pocket of his coat, and the silvered clasps of which were promptly snapped closed afterward. A pick pocket would need a five foot arm to reach it. An arm that he would promptly lose at the shoulder for the attempt.

He was on the verge of walking away when the sadist offered to take the girl - Ashavari - elsewhere. Eli's expression drew dark. She should call the police. Let them take her to a station and figure out where to go from there, not go off into the dark with a man like this. She agreed to go, but Eli didn't say anything. Her funeral.

Just as he turned to go, the strangest thing happened: she asked him to come along.

He blinked, long eyelashes fluttering momentary surprise. Next to the more normal looking guy, even if he was fresh from pummeling someone raw, Elias was always the darker aura. He was used to dismissal, distaste even, but Ashavari, with her exotic accent and naively placed trust, requested he come with her?

Elias glanced briefly at her new 'hero', even if he had failed to save the car.

"Very well."
He spoke quiet as freshly fallen snow before offering the girl a cool look and a handshake. "Elias Donovan,"
he struck out an arm, nails trim and clean peeking from the rims of fingerless gloves.

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