The First Age
A friend in need - Printable Version

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- Jon Little Bird - 10-28-2013

Continued from Kings of the Castle

Jon had his concerns the driver of the sedan would pick up on the obvious signs he was being followed by a marked taxi cab. Jon had a feeling the cab driver wouldn't be too keen on trying to tail a suspected government vehicle, so he had to keep the driver in the dark. Fortunately for him, it seemed the sedan was taking the most direct route to wherever its destination was, on busy streets where numerous cabs darted back and forth. In fact, Jon's own driver wasn't even the only one who was taking a passenger straight from Kallisti's to the agents' final destination.

The sedan pulled up to a club in the Tagansky District east of Zamoskvorechye. A clear lit sign hung from the exterior: "Kistyami." Jon snapped a picture of it and his Wallet translated the sign for him. Tassels. How classy.

Jon paid the cab driver and stepped onto the curb. From the corner of his eye he saw one of the suits exit the sedan and enter the club. The bouncer outside took one look at something the man presented -- maybe a badge? -- and opened the door. The other agent apparently stayed in the sedan this time.

Jon kept hold of the power as he approached the bouncer. The man, a big guy dressed in a blue blazer, with thick forearms that looked more like massive calves attached to fists that looked strong enough to crush rock, cocked an eyebrow at Jon. "One hundred to get in, two drink minimum. Don't touch the girls." The or else was implied in the man's flat tone.

Jon shrugged and offered his Wallet to complete the transaction. Once done, the guy opened the door for him.

Music -- modern dance music with its synthetic rhythmic pulsing -- assaulted Jon as he entered. Truthfully it wasn't all that loud, but with his senses enhanced Jon felt the full force of it. The atmosphere was much, much different than Kallisti's. There, the mood was relaxed and sensual -- warm and welcome, even. Here -- well, what Kallisti's hinted at, Kistyami reached out and slapped you with. Certainly not Jon's cup of coffee. Up on the stage a tall blonde beauty was doing some very naughty things to a pole. Interesting, as she was the one wearing the uniform hat and from the looks of it had at one time been dressed in a Custodian jacket, which now was tossed off to one side along with the rest of the uniform. Jon had hardly walked ten feet toward a booth before he was approached by a short woman with auburn hair, a serving tray with drinks in one hand and absolutely no clothes on.

"Drink? Dance?" she asked. She looked ... well, cold. Certain parts of her anatomy were perkier than Jon would think normal -- almost painfully so, he'd think. Jon hoped she was well paid, or at least well tipped.

"I'll take a..."
Great Spirit, the mere thought of more alcohol right now made his stomach churn..."One of those, if I may."
He grabbed the drink and found some cash in his pocket -- enough to cover about five drinks and then some. "Keep the change -- oh, and have you seen my friend about?"

He gave the nude waitress a brief and somewhat vague description of Nick's appearance. She took the money with a smile -- Jon had no idea where she was going to put it -- and rolled her eyes at the question. "You're looking for him too? No, I haven't seen him here. Just like I told the other guy. Twice."

Jon glanced around. Yeah, there -- over at the bar -- was the other suit, all right, speaking quietly with the bartender. "Thanks,"
he said. He left the serving girl where she was and crossed the club floor to the far end of the bar. There he took a seat and set his drink down without taking so much as a sip. He was about thirty feet away from the suspected agent who was looking for Nick.

The suit broke off his conversation with the bartender and stepped back from the bar. He appeared to start having a conversation with himself. Probably talking to his supervisor or the agent sitting outside in the sedan over some sort of communications link. The bartender came over to Jon to ask if he needed anything, but he waved the man off without a word. Instead he spun the same sound enhancing weaves he'd performed earlier. This was getting easier. Yes, he was definitely getting stronger, more adept at harnessing the power of the Great Spirit. Additionally, the more power he used over time the easier it got to maintain control and expand his abilities. He wondered just how strong he'd become and what he could do with this power -- what were the limitations, exactly?

It sounded like the guy was having an argument with whoever was on the other end of the transmission. And he sounded frustrated. "...The same story. No one's seen him. That must mean our trace got messed with, right?.....Well, that is a good question! Who's got the capability to do that? Who's Trano running with?...Well, if I can't find one person who's seen him, what's that tell you?"

Jon let the weave vanish. Whatever Nick Trano had managed to get himself caught up in -- it just sat at the bottom of Jon's stomach like he'd swallowed a lump of charcoal. These guys were bad news. They'd traced his signal from Jon's phone call to this place, but Nick wasn't here. There must have been something done to Nick's Wallet signal to mask his real whereabouts. So if these guys were expecting to find Nick here and didn't -- that didn't sound like it would bode well for Nick's future. At the very least it would expose the ruse that had masked Nick's movements.

Should he interfere? He could, certainly. Just tell the suit that he'd seen Nick here earlier. That would be the friendly thing to do. Was Nick Trano a friend? A professional acquaintance, maybe. Their relationship to date had been brief -- some of their political interests aligned, of course, and Nick Trano had been more than happy to give Jon the publicity he needed -- practically an open microphone. That had been a friendly thing to do. And now he was the one in need. But was it enough to risk getting into the middle of whatever potentially dangerous situation was developing around him?

The man put his Wallet away and started back toward the front door, passing behind Jon's stool. Great skunk's piss, in a few moments Jon wouldn't have a choice any longer to do anything -- the man would be off in his sedan with the other agent and the opportunity to act would be gone.

Screw it. He lashed out with a thread of air, made solid, and snagged the very tip of the man's shoe as he stepped. The man tripped and lost his balance, falling forward. Jon turned and grabbed the man's arm before the man hit the floor.

"Are you all right? You almost took a bad spill, there,"
Jon said to the man. "Who knows what's been on that floor."

The man regained his footing and pulled his arm back, a scowl forming on his face as he brushed off his suit jacket. In a moment, the man's angular face turned back to stone as if the fall had never happened. "I'm looking for a friend, have you seen him?" The man gave Jon a much more detailed description of Nick Trano than Jon had given the waitress -- so thorough Jon could have drawn a sketch on the spot even had he never seen Nick's image.

Jon chuckled. "Yeah, I did, he was just up here a minute ago. He's probably in the bathroom."

The man blinked. "Really?" His eyes narrowed. Jon returned the stare with an impassive, unconcerned look. Honestly, if the guy wanted to catch his reflection in Jon's spectacles he could just ask to borrow them.

"Wait," the man said. He pulled out his Wallet again and glanced at it. "You're..."

Uh oh. This guy had Jon's photograph and was expecting Jon to be miles away instead of at the same club where he'd supposedly called Nick Trano.

The weaves formed almost before Jon realized what he was doing. Thoughts of Anatoly Kant's suicide spun through Jon's consciousness, splitting open scars of guilt Jon had thought he'd cauterized. Indecision gripped him -- was it really right for him to mess with another person's mind after what he'd done to Kant? How could he bear to do such a thing to another? The mind medicine was too powerful a thing to just fling about at his convenience.

Another thing caught his attention then, overriding his internal monologue, that being the bulge under the man's jacket and the hand that was moving for it. That made the situation more severe -- warranting drastic measures. So he let loose.

"You don't look recovered from that fall, let me help you get your feet,"
Jon said, and reached out to steady the man's arm again. He sent the weaves into the man's mind. He could feel the weaves touching the man's brain, firing into synapses and creating false impulses. Not too much -- Jon feared that it might just break the man's mind, if it was too heavy. He was starting to get a better understanding how it worked, and what it was capable of doing. All he needed to do was create a false memory and wipe out an existing one -- a very, very short term memory. It would be as innocuous as him forgetting that he'd checked the time on his Wallet five minutes ago.

"You will not remember this conversation and you won't remember seeing me here,"
Jon spoke to him in a whisper, even though no one was close enough to hear over the music. "Nick Trano was in the bathroom. You and your partner can leave and there's no need to come back, or keep looking for him. And any lapses you might notice later in your memories of being here you will dismiss as unimportant."

Jon released the man and completed the weave. There was no recognition of Jon in the man's eyes, but apart from that he didn't seem any different. Temperament and personality all seemed unchanged. In fact the guy jerked his arm back again just as he'd done before.

Jon gave the man his best smile. "All right, you better now? Better check your shoelaces, wouldn't want to fall again."

Jon turned away from the man and back to the bar, hearing the man mutter "fucking tourist" under his breath. He heard the man retreat toward the front door and start talking again on his Wallet: "...whole thing was a waste of time -- he was in the fucking bathroom! ... yeah, it checks out, let's get the fuck out of here and go get some chow...nah, Thai food gives me heartburn..."

Jon chuckled to himself, and stood, sliding the untouched drink over to the far side of the bar. He released his hold on the power altogether. He was starting to get a headache -- perhaps he'd been holding it, or doing too much with it, for too long. That apparent symptom was something to keep in mind.

Well, one crisis was taken care of. Now he had to figure some way to contact Nick that couldn't be traced. He needed to know he was in danger -- and it obviously wasn't safe to call him again. Problem was he had no idea where to find him.

The bartender came over. "Everything okay with that guy?" He cocked his head in the direction the agent had gone.

Jon nodded. "I think he just had a rough night."
He tipped the bartender even though the guy hadn't even served him anything and left the club. The sedan was gone from the street.

He hailed another cab and this time gave the driver the actual address of his university apartments. As the driver sped away from Club Kistyami, he turned the problem over in his mind: how to warn Nick when he had no idea where to find him and no secure way to reach him?

Then Jon's eyes widened as the obvious solution struck him. Of course. Jon knew exactly where to find Nick Trano.

Edited by Jon Little Bird, Oct 28 2013, 05:35 AM.

- Jon Little Bird - 10-28-2013

The cab took Jon back to his University apartments. There, he made fast work of dressing down and preparing for sleep. With the alcohol still pulsing through his bloodstream, it wasn't a difficult task.

And he opened his third eye, and stepped into the Spirit World.

He knew right away he was in the right place. The feel of unseen eyes pressed against his soul. But Jon needed to find a different place here, that existed here, and possibly in all places, but could only be reached in the dream.

He shifted. To a place where he had no body, no form. Drifting aimlessly, he embraced the void around him. There was no "Jon," there was only consciousness and a multitude of shimmering lights. Each one, a person asleep, dreaming of whatever fantasies -- or nightmares -- the individual possessed to himself.

A private place, and Jon was going to invade it.

Jon closed his eyes -- that's the way he thought of it, though he didn't really possess eyes in this wandering plain of infinite sparkling lights that filled the empty void. All he needed to do was feel out the one shimmering spark of light among the maelstrom and pull himself to it.

Contact came surprisingly easy. Jon drew his formless body toward the pinpoint of light he'd identified. And it seemed to him that he could hover over the light and look into the content inside.

Nick Trano was sitting on a bed. There was a blazer tossed to one side and his tie had been unraveled, and hung loosely across his shoulders. Across the room, an unknown woman stood there casting cold eyes in Nick's direction.

Whips flung from Nick's arms and ensnared her wrists. "Come here to daddy, you dirty slut." He tugged the whips and pulled her toward him, and he reached up and gripped a fistful of hair, arching her neck back to expose delicate flesh that he could kiss.

Jon felt a bit bad at interrupting. But of course it was just a dream. So he pushed into the little thought bubble that comprised Nick Trano's dream.

"Nick, I need to talk to you. You're in trouble."

- Nick Trano - 10-28-2013

Continued From "Stages"

Dreams and fantasies innumerable flashed behind closed eyes, never to be remembered. Strange, then, that a sudden feeling of awareness crept into his slumbering mind.

"Nick, I need to talk to you. You're in trouble."
He couldn't remember what he'd been doing... Jon? What's he doing here?
Despite Nicholas not uttering a word, the question hung in the air.

Jon descended through the ceiling and came to rest with his feet on the floor between Trano and Reed. He had no idea what she was doing there either. "You are dreaming, Nick Trano. But I am really talking to you. I can't explain more at the monent."

"I'm dreaming."
Trano repeated back flatly.

Jon took a stride toward Nick. "Yes, you are dreaming. Look at your hand. Do you recognize the whirls and ridges of your own fingerprints?"
Trano raised an eyebrow, and looked down. His hands were misshapen, warped. The only thing more strange was how little that bothered him.

It was enough to make him laugh, bitterness drowning out the mirth. "So, I am crazy."
He searched for the source of magical power and drew on it. Yellow tendrils spiraled outwards, towards Jon. "Strange outfit for a nurse."

Jon stared at Nick with an intense gaze and the room throbbed with a pulsing sensation, like a sound just below the threshold of human hearing. The yellow wires shriveled and died even as they appeared. "You are not crazy, Nick. But you are in trouble."

Trano's eyes narrowed. "He sent you then, didn't he?"
Even as he spoke the words he prepared a new assault. "He wants to break me. I won't let him."
The wires nearly formed a solid wall, red and silver and yellow interwoven together.

Jon waved a hand, and again the pulsing sensation shook the room. The wires simply dissipated before they could touch their intended target. A vein appeared on his forehead, as if he'd been concentrating hard enough to raise his blood pressure. "This is a dream, Nick, but I am really in it and trying to speak to you. Do you want more proof?"
A scowl formed on Jon's face as he turned to the bookshelf to his left. Something flew from it and landed in Nick's lap. "Try to read that."

We the people...
the words melted away before his eyes, even as the long-memorized passage echoed in his mind. Once again he was brought to laughter. "So, this is a dream. Not to be rude, Jon, but why are you here?"

Jon nodded to him. "I am here to warn you. Somebody traced our call between us the other day. You are being followed."

Trano leaned back in a chair, and a glass of whiskey materialized in his hand. "You're a little late on that warning, Jon. Brandon already had one of his people killed in my suite."

His brows wrinkled. "The CCD is onto you -- a guest? This is not good for you, Nick. You should know that someone traced your call to a club expecting you to be there."
He paused, before a look crossed his face as if something dawned on him. "And what was up with those threads you sent at me?"

He swirled the whiskey around before taking a sip. The best part about dreaming was that the glass never emptied. "Threads... that's what you call them? I always thought they looked more like wires."
Another sip, dream liquor really was the best. "Of course the Custody's after me--Brandon can do it too. He knows."

Jon blinked. "Are you telling can...and the Ascendancy can..."

Trano blinked back. "We can what?"

Jon shut his eyes, and for a moment seemed to stop breathing. Then wires tinged yellow, green, blue and red sprung from him, curling throughout the room, intertwining before evaporating into nothing.

Trano thought he'd never run out, but somehow the glass was empty. "You're... you can do it too?"

Jon seemed to tense. "I should find it little surprise to find another so soon. It seems those with the ability to touch the Great Spirit are popping up everywhere these days. But to answer your question...yes. I can 'do it' too."

Trano was incredulous. "Popping up everywhere?"
Another drink materialized in his hand. "Do you realize... this changes everything!
" He took a gulp from the glass, then chuckled. "Assuming we're not both insane."

Jon took a step forward, and a glass materialized in his hand. A thick red liquid. Tomato juice, perhaps? What, did the guy think he was short on his vitamins? "I have always known who I am, Nick. The question is, do you know who you are?"

The glass disappeared. "I'm who I need to be. Someone has to stop Brandon."

Jon cocked an eyebrow, and another glass appeared in his hand. "It doesn't really nourish you, here, anything you eat or drink. But the taste still lingers on the memory."
He took another sip. "If you're someone who has to stop Brandon, are you really who you need to be?"

He leaned back, suddenly very weary. "That's a very good question, Jon."
He sighed. "I guess it's going to be awhile before we find out."

Jon folded his arms as he regarded Nick in the chair. "I think...I think I can help you. But we can't talk on the phone, and there are limitations to this place. We're going to have to meet in person."

It was almost as though he didn't hear Jon's words. "You know, for a long time I thought we wouldn't have to fight him."
He looked at Jon. "Brandon, I mean. But I'm starting to see what she was trying to tell me--he won't stop until we're all under his thumb."

Jon shook his head. "You never made much a study of Native American history, have you? I'll tell you this much -- every time the native tribes decided to fight the western expansion, it was already too late."

Jon wasn't wrong. "They're already expanding--am I going to be Sitting Bull or Red Cloud?"
The Custody's inexorable march towards world domination wouldn't be stopped by old age.

"You could be Sitting Bull -- you could be Red Cloud -- you could be Geronimo."
Jon paused. Or you could be someone who acted when the time was right, when you still had the strength to resist the demands of others."

Trano had the feeling if it weren't for Jon, he'd have ended up doing something very stupid. "Thankfully you're Little Bird. Wise words, Jon."
He smiled. "I'm in suite 15-C. Ritz-Carlton. If you're not just a figment of my imagination, come find me."

Jon nodded. "I'll find you there. Pleasant dreams until then."

Before Trano could blink, Jon was gone. Nicholas had many more dreams that night, but none held their place in his memory. When he woke, all he remembered was an extremely vivid conversation with Jon Little Bird. It's a little weird that I'm dreaming about the guy.

He'd barely crawled out of bed when he heard a knock at the door.

Edited by Nick Trano, Nov 5 2013, 01:32 AM.

- Jon Little Bird - 10-29-2013

Head still splitting from his hangover, Jon entered the Ritz-Carlton hotel with as little fanfae as he could muster. He gave the bellhop at the front a quick nod and sped down the hall at a brisk walk in search of the room number Nick Trano had given him in his dreams last night. He wasn't about to waste time on posturing or niceties if they weren't vital to his purpose.

He found the right door and knocked on it. He wondered when hotel rooms would adopt the doorbell convention. Probably not anytime soon, as it wasn't very cost effective.

It took a couple minutes for the door to open. When it did, Nicholas Trano didn't look like his usual well-dressed, clean cut self. It was clear he had been woken by the knock. When he registered Jon's face, his eyes widened in momentary shock before he caught himself. "Jon, you seem to have a habit of turning up unexpectedly. What can I do for you?"

Nick Trano looked like a bag of beaten fertilizer. Jon wondered what he'd remembered from the previous night. "I didn't think I was that unexpected. Don't you remember anything?"

He smirked. "It's been a rough night. Come in, I'm pretty sure there's a coffee machine somewhere."
It was clear he knew more than he was letting on--of course, nobody wants to be the first to bring up "yes, Jon, you came to me in a dream."

"I will definitely take some coffee,"
Jon said as entered the hotel suite and followed Nick to the kitchen. "As long as it's black and strong."
That should do wonders for his headache.

Nick nodded. "Can't stand it black myself, but that shouldn't be too hard to manage."

Jon chuckled at that obvious joke, although Nick might have been sincere about the level of difficulty of preparing a cup of coffee without adding anything to it. He certainly looked as bad off as Jon felt, had he been drinking yesterday as well?

As Nick got the coffee brewing, Jon reached into his pocket. There, he kept that odd stone that grew warm when he touched it. "Nick, what do you remember from last night?"

A bitter smile crossed his face. "Enough to think I might be losing it."

"You're saner than you might think,"
Jon replied. The coffee was done and Jon happily accepted a cup poured straight from the carafe. He sipped it -- yeah, it was hot and strong. "Just like I like my women,"
he said.

"Black and bitter?"
He shook his head. "So--let's make sure I'm not missing anything. You can go into peoples' dreams, and talk to them."

Jon touched his nose and pointed at Nick. "You are absolutely correct there, my friend. And last night you gave me your hotel suite so I could come here and see you."

His face had gone neutral--not doubtful, but not fully believing either. "So what else did I tell you, then? I'm not much of a dreamer."

From the far room, the sound of the door slamming shut echoed through the suite. There was the sound of things deposited on a table and instructions issued by a commanding female voice. "Damn it Trano if you're still asleep I swear to God I am--" The voice cut off. Then there were several moments of dead silence.

Jon turned away, distracted by the noise. Where did that female voice come from? Who else was here?

She appeared in the kitchen entrance without warning, planted against the side of the wall. He'd seen her before – or at least a dream image of her. Jon saw how her hard eyes cut across the room and focused on him and Nick like she was scanning for foreign objects in the place. She carried herself like a soldier. Their eyes met and Jon saw a glimmer of recognition – she knew who he was. Her eyes narrowed, but she relaxed the hand that had gone to the holster beneath her suit jacket.

Jon glanced back at Nick. A paramour, perhaps? Or a body guard, or perhaps both. Damn bossy one. Jon decided he liked her. "Who's your companion here?"

"Believe it or not, she's supposed to be my assistant."
He sighed. "Sometimes she thinks it's the other way around."

Jon's eyes went to where the woman had relaxed her grip. Definitely was packing something. "Your 'assistant,'"
he said, making quotes in the air. He winked at Trano -- it was indeed the same woman Jon had seen in Nick's dream before he'd interrupted.

The woman crossed the room to the kitchen counter, keeping a wary eye on Jon meanwhile. The glare she shot at Trano as she passed between them to get her own cup of coffee could have cut glass. "What a fucking gentleman," she smirked while pouring a cup for herself and backed away. Reed liked her personal space. "Julie Reed," she introduced herself apparently hovering between leaving and staying.

She fixed onto Jon. "And you're the dumbass that sued the CCD."

Jon returned the stare. "Pleased to meet you Julie. I think. Are you insinuating that somehow the CCD is above an individual's right to redress grievances under the rule of law?"

Reed just started laughing and shot Trano a glance across the rim of her cup. Jon frowned and wondered what was exactly so funny about it.

Nick didn't laugh. "It's hard not to be when you can kill anyone who displeases you."

Reed wasn't too impressed. "We need to talk soon," she told Trano. With that, she nestled the cup close and disappeared down the suite toward where the bedrooms were most likely located.

Jon watched her disappear down the hall. "She's charming,"
he said to Nick.

Nick raised an eyebrow. "In her way."
He set the cup down. "So, we have some stuff to talk about."

Jon reached into his pocket and retrieved the black stone teardrop. The instant he touched it he felt warmth against his palm. He set it on the table, and it balanced, seemingly impossibly, on the edge that tapered to a curved point. "Tell me what you think about this. How does it maintain its balance?"

He examined it for a few seconds before answering. "Can't say--I'm not much of a sculptor either."
Another moment and he looked back up at Jon. "But you're going somewhere with this."

Jon watched Nick examine the stone and nodded. He had such a suspicion about the strange object, and finally he had an opportunity to confirm it. "Go ahead and pick it up."

He did as asked. "It's warm. What's it made of?"

Warm. So the object did do what Jon had suspected. "Honestly I have no idea what it's made of,"
he said. "It's old. Very, very old. But aside from you, the only other person who has ever said it felt me."

He opened his mind to the Great Spirit and took hold of the power, filling himself with the raw surging energy.

A look of discomfort materialized on Trano's face. "I really hate that feeling."
He leaned against the table. "You realize how crazy this is, right?"

Jon sent out threads of solidified air and used them to bring the carafe over to his cup and fill it, then return it to its station. Well, maybe that did look a little crazy. "Did you see how I did that? You aren't crazy, Nick. This is real."

He laughed dryly. "I saw it--but that's the crazy part."
He put the stone back on the counter top. "So, let's just assume we're sane and magic exists. What now?"

Jon sighed. Nick didn't want to seem to accept his own sanity, and that was the first step. "My people have stories, Nick. Stories so old they probably predate the Bible. Stories probably as old as that stone. Of gods that walked among the first people. Medicine men who performed miracles. And --"
He paused. "--You aren't the first I've found that's like us."

He looked like he'd had the wind knocked out of him. "That's bad. How many?"

Jon released his hold on the power of the Great Spirit. "Two here in Moscow. One other that I know of who is probably still alive back in the States. But there are many, many more coming. You recall the time you had the Sickness?"

He crossed his arms. He still looked uncomfortable. "Yeah. They kept me in the infirmary for a week."

Jon nodded. "You're lucky your symptoms escaped notice if you went to the hospital for treatment. But it isn't a physical affliction, Nick. What happened about a week before you first fell ill?"

"Convinced the most hard-assed chief on the boat to let me off watch, went out clubbing in Bangkok."

Jon chuckled. "You must have wanted to go very badly. And I bet you were surprised you were able to get shore leave."

Nick laughed. "More than you can imagine, Jon. That guy hated me."
Then something dawned on him. "So I was right..."
he muttered to himself. "Using it without building up some kind of tolerance is what causes the sickness."

Jon nodded. "You're half right. The Sickness is a reaction to the first touchings of what my people call the power of the Great Spirit that flows through all things. The symptoms go away after you gain some control over the power. That, or you die."

He paused, and stared at Nick. "So how many people have had the Sickness since it first appeared?"

Nick sighed. "I need a drink."
He reached for the mini-bar that happened to be right next to the coffee maker. 24 hour service, Jon supposed. He kept talking while he filled a glass with whiskey--Jon couldn't make out the label, but judging from the hotel it was unjustly expensive. "So what can you do? I'm guessing you've had more time to experiment than I."
He brightened after the first sip of whiskey. Suddenly he didn't look so haggard. Jon's lips tightened as he saw that. It was an obvious sign of a dependency issue – not a good thing for someone being talked of as a Presidential candidate.

“Little early for that, don't you think?”
Jon remarked. “As for what I can do...the power of the Great Spirit is the power to alter the waking world as I see fit – with certain limitations, of course. It seems to follow its own set of physical laws. Move objects, create fire, lightning, fracture the earth... I suspect there are much more useful things that can be done, if my people's stories aren't too far off the mark.”
He paused. Should he tell Nick? Apparently the man knew something of it already judging by his first noted channeling experience. “And I can use the power to control people's thoughts.”

He nodded. "That's why Brandon's been a bit angry with me."

Jon blinked. "You said last night that he had the same ability. Does he know that you-- "
He took a breath. "Did you do something that brought his attention, and that's why our phone call was traced last night?"

"Let's just say I accidentally tried to control Brandon's mind when I was interviewing him."
He swirled the glass and took another sip of his drink. "Needless to say, that didn't sit well with him."

Jon took a step toward Nick. "You have to be careful with the mind medicine, Nick. I have an idea of why it works, but it's very dangerous -- a weapon as surely as a gun."

He took a deep drink of the coffee. It was hot enough to nearly burn his throat as it went down. "Anatoly Kant -- I'm sure you saw the news -- I used it on him to get him to make a critical mistake in my lawsuit. And he went and killed himself."
There. The confession was out. Jon didn't suspect Nick would be one to turn him in for the crime -- well, that and the fact there weren't any laws to regulate what Jon had done.

Trano was clearly conflicted. "Alright, Jon. Looks like I'm not the only one who needs a drink."
He turned back around and filled another glass. Once he handed it to Jon he dropped the bombshell. "It's not your fault he's dead."

The stench of whiskey that Jon had found so appealing the night before turned his stomach at the moment, but he still knocked the whole thing back in one swig. Then he slammed the glass down on the table and turned his attention back to Nick. "What do you know about it?"

"We both know due process isn't in the Custody handbook. They killed him for failure."
He looked Jon straight in the eye. "With all I've read about you, he was dead the second you brought the case to court. Don't beat yourself up over it, your 'great spirit' had nothing to do with him dying."

Nick spoke with such certainty on Kant's fate it was hard to not believe him. Anger welled up within Jon. He'd flayed himself over his mistake, and it turned out Kant had been killed -- for poor performance in a courtroom? What sick, sick bastards ran a country like that?

Almost before he was aware of what he was doing, Jon seized hold of the power again. Hot. Fire. That was what he wanted. Threads shot out in all directions, like the warming trick he'd used in Kallisti's, but more...focused. Precise. And tiny filaments fired off in several directions, leaving tiny smoking holes in the ceiling, a couch in the living room, and two of the cabinet doors in the kitchen.

Jon blinked and let go of the power. It'd been a long time since he'd let his anger get the best of him like that. "Sorry,"
he said.

Trano's face was as pale as the mug Jon held in his hand. "You--that's everything I'm afraid of."
He took another drink. "You realize that if this is as common as you say, millions are going to die right?" He looked around the room again before turning back to Jon. "And that's not even taking into account the Middle East. If some nutjob decides he's their Mahdi and shows them that... we thought Al Qaeda was bad."

"I couldn't agree more,"
Jon said, releasing his connection to the Great Spirit. He was calm. He would-be-calm. He reached out and dabbed a finger at the still-smoking hole in the cabinet door. It looked like a molten pin had been shoved through it. "Total chaos is coming, Nick. And we can't let some horrid dictator who runs a tyranny like this place get control and use this power to his own ends. Did you know some of the native tribes are considering approaching the CCD to take them over?"

Nick frowned. "I didn't know the education was that bad. Do they honestly think they'll get anything from Brandon? He'll use them for leverage and then throw them away."
He finished his first glass of whiskey for the day. "Knowing him, he won't even feel guilty about it."

Jon drank the last of his coffee. "The CNA is in agreement that approaching the CCD is a bad idea, but the problem is they don't really have any enforcement power. But that's only half the issue."

He set his cup down. "It seems about four out of every hundred young Native Americans are afflicted with the Sickness once they reach maturity. That's more than four times the average incidence among other populations."

"So if we're correct in our assumption that the two are related, Brandon could be getting the best weapon in the world in ridiculous numbers."
That was enough to pour a second glass. "So how do we stop that from happening?"

Jon clapped his hands. "I've already started. But what I need to know is, can I count you as a friend in this matter?"

Nick held out a hand. "Whatever you need me to do, Jon. You're not asking me to do anything I wouldn't want to do anyways."

Jon grasped it in a hearty handshake, a devious grin forming on his face. "You're going to like this, I think. First we're going to get you elected President."

Nick smirked back. "That's not the worst idea I've ever heard. Seems I'm pretty popular right now."

Edited by Jon Little Bird, May 17 2014, 11:19 PM.

- Nick Trano - 11-05-2013

Jon's handshake was firm. "You're going to like this, I think. First we're going to get you elected President."

It seemed like everyone's solution was "make Nicholas Trano president." And honestly, that had been his plan all along until his magical ability developed. He hadn't trusted his own sanity enough to run. I suppose my only consolation is that if I'm this crazy I won't be running for a real presidency.

Nicholas smiled at Jon. "That's not the worst idea I've ever heard. Seems I'm pretty popular right now."

He nodded. "That's exactly what I'm hoping for. Your popularity is on the rise, now, and with someone 'in the know' in control of the union it would make things much easier to prepare before news of this power breaks."

The road to election was a long one, of course. Too long. "You do realize that's three years away, right Jon?"
Trano sighed. "Best I'll be able to do is damage control. This isn't exactly something that's going to stay secret for long."
He rubbed one of his temples--he'd been getting bad headaches in the morning recently.

Jon fixed Trano with a stare. "Three years away? Is that all the time you have? You should have gotten started yesterday. Organization of a political machine doesn't happen overnight."

Nicholas stared right back. "If you were convinced you were a couple cards short of a full deck, would you risk the country you love?"

Jon's gaze turned to the teardrop stone, perched impossibly on its edge upon the kitchen counter. "Why do you seem to have such a hard time accepting that this is real?"

"Because I've just developed magical powers. That's textbook crazy."
He noticed the glass in his hand again. At least the goddamn headache was going away. "If Santa dropped by for a visit I would be just as suspicious."

Jon nodded, as if in thought. He removed his spectacles from his face and put them in his shift pocket. A menacing presence struck the room again -- coming from Jon. He held out his palm, and a flame appeared in it. "Merry Christmas,"
he said. "What do you feel?"

Trano hated that feeling. Really hated it. He raised an eyebrow at the flame. "Honestly? Not too great."

Jon nodded. "Of course. I understand now. You've never had anything to help guide you."
He waved for Trano to follow him into the living room and sit on one of the couches. Wires sprung from Jon and were used to drag a lounge chair opposite the couch. Jon sat down on the lounge chair, flame still burning in his hand, and motioned for Trano to sit opposite him.

Once seated, Nicholas had to ask. "So, what?"
Nicholas barely managed a smile. "Are you going to be my Yoda?"
He just hoped Jon got the reference--he hadn't been having much luck with those lately. And he really hated that feeling.

Jon raised a single eyebrow. "I'm sorry, I don't watch much of Swedish singing competitions. But I think this might help you. Do you feel the resonance between this flame and something deep inside you?"

Trano quietly sighed at Jon's first statement. He didn't feel anything--except for that creeping sense of dread. "Can't say that I do."
He shivered, but not from cold. "I really can't stand that feeling."

Jon nodded. "That feeling will become more natural to you as time progresses. I have learned it is a sign someone else is holding the power around you."
Jon moved his hand into the space between the two of them, the single, pure flame of orange-white fire flickering in his palm. "This was a meditation trick I learned from my people's stories. I want you to clear your mind and focus on the flame. Every emotion you can feel, I want you to feed it into this flame."

Why not?
He felt he might as well humor Jon. So that's what he did--Trano focused on the flame floating in the space between them for what felt like a few minutes. Probably because it was a few minutes. What Jon had asked him to do reminded him of his early sputtering attempts at control. In fact, he was beginning to see the flickering light on the edges of his vision.

Trano knew what to do from there. He reached out with his mind and grabbed it, wrestling it into his dominion. "I've..."
Carrying a conversation at the same time was always hard at first. "I've got it."
With control, suddenly that terrible feeling wasn't so bad. If he felt like he was in a prison shower room, at least the soap was firmly in his grasp.

Jon nodded. "Yes, I can feel it in you. Now, release it. Don't drop the connection or let it slip from your grasp. Release it willfully."

Trano had never noticed how seductively sweet magic felt. Probably because every other time he had used them he'd been either drunk, or drunk and terrified. As it was, Jon's request was no easy task. It took more than a few moments for Trano to manage to let go. Once he did, the discomfort returned. "Alright, it's done."
He unconsciously rubbed his arms. "Now what?"

The flame disappeared from Jon's palm. "Now I want you to take control of the power -- this time consciously and on your own."

He sighed and gritted his teeth before getting to work. It still took a while, but soon enough Trano had it firmly in his grasp once again. "I've done this before. How do I take control of it faster?"
As a plus, the figurative soap was back in hand.

Jon grinned. "You were faster, that time."
He folded his hands together. "With practice, you will learn to clear your mind faster and your connection to the Great Spirit will become like second nature. Now. I want you to reach out with the power and bring my coffee mug from the kitchen to me."

Grabbing the coffee mug was easy enough, once he had control. Yellow wires snaked out, coiling around the delicate shape. <strong>"So I've moved up from snail to tortoise."
</strong>Granted, 'easy' and 'flawless' were two different things. He almost smashed it into the ground, and the wall, and the couch before settling it in Jon's hand. "I'm not going to pretend that isn't my best work." He took the chance to make use of the more important glass in his hand.

Wires snaked out from Jon, snatching the glass from Trano's hand. It flew to Jon's other palm, and he set it on the coffee table between them. "No time for that right now," he said. "But you've shown remarkable progress. It took me weeks to figure out what you've done here."
He set his coffee mug down on the table. "So do you believe you aren't crazy, now?"

He bit back a flash of irritation at Jon taking the glass before meeting his eyes. "It doesn't matter one way or the other, does it?"
If he was crazy, he was too far gone to care in any case. "We've got three things--our perception, thought and choices. The first one's foundation for the rest."
He spread his hands. "Worst case scenario I'm safe in a nice padded cell somewhere. I might as well live by what I'm seeing."
Putting his hands back down, he had his first real laugh in days. "Even if it is completely insane."

Jon shrugged. "Well, I suppose that's a start to believing."

Edited by Nick Trano, Nov 6 2013, 12:33 AM.

- Jon Little Bird - 11-06-2013

A start to believing, but not enough. There just wasn't time -- couldn't Nick Trano understand that? "Does it really do any good to hold on to the notion you are imagining all of this? You won't be able to realize the full potential of this power if you cannot accept it."

Nick got serious again. "You're asking me to accept that I have magical powers, Jon. Without any reservation."
He clenched the hand that had been holding the glass into a fist. "Doesn't it sound a little ridiculous when you say it outright?"
Sighing, he glanced away. "It's going to take a little while, alright?"

Jon nodded. He could understand Nick's trepidation, if only academically. Jon hadn't faced such a soul altering paradigm shift upon learning he could touch the power of the Great Spirit. For him, it was a simple matter of accepting his peoples' stories were real. From there curiosity overcame apprehension and it was just a matter of wanting to know how far down the rabbit hole went.

But one thing was certain. Nick would have to improve his debate skills if he was going to have a prayer of running for office.

"Take as much time as you want,"
Jon replied. "But each day you delay is another day you will know Nikolai Brandon has yet another advantage over you."

Nick clenched his jaw at that, clearly annoyed by the reminder. "I guess if there's one reason to accept all this, it's him. I don't want to be the one counting the cost if he isn't stopped. We can both see how this ends, with the path he's on."

He looked back up. Jon had definitely snapped some backbone into Trano with his statement. "So that just leaves one question: Why now?"
He smiled weakly. "I'd really hate it if Jessika Thrice is right and Brandon's the Antichrist."

Jon smirked at that. He had heard of Jessika Thrice. She'd probably call anyone who dismissed her religious interpretations the Antichrist. "I couldn't tell you. Why did Jesus come to earth when he did and not a thousand years later? But I do know this ability to use this power was once something very old, older than history, and that the ability was lost."

He took a breath. Noah.
What he'd said when he thought Jon wasn't listening. Unless he had meant Jon to hear. "I once heard an old man say that what was and what will be may also be what is, today."

"Sounds ominous. So this doesn't strike you as terribly odd? Nothing like this has ever occurred in recorded history."
Trano gripped his head in both hands and flung them away as if to mimic his head exploding. "Unless mythology's actually accurate and we're all reincarnated gods."

Jon raised an eyebrow at Trano's strange but fitting pantomime for his apparently still unstable grasp on accepting the truth. "Well, the natives shared a common belief in one Great Spirit. And then there were lesser gods who still possessed great abilities. Your own faith shares a similar belief. If I remember correctly from your autobiography, you are a professed Catholic. You could say the same of God and his angels."

"I'd say that puts us more in line with saints, but I was never a very good Catholic."
He sighed. "So, what then? We're all living in some biblical prophecy? That's not exactly reassuring... things are looking a little too much like Revelations for my taste."
Looking back towards Jon, he continued. "So essentially you have no idea why any of this is happening either. I guess we'll just have to ride it out."

Jon shook his head. "I only know that it has happened before. And I don't know what is going to come of it, either."
He sat down and took a drink of coffee. Trano hadn't spilled all of it, but what was left had grown cold. "Crazy old bastard wouldn't tell me,"
he muttered into the mug.

Trano narrowed his eyes at Jon in apparent deep contemplation. "If this has happened before, what stopped it all? Everybody else get fed up and decide to kill off all the people who can do it?"
Jon could see him unsettled by where that line of thought was leading him. "Or is there some side-effect so terrible we can't even imagine?"

Jon considered the second question Nick had put to him. What if there was some terrible consequence from the emergence of this ability? "If there is some terrible consequence, I'd think we would be better able to handle it through strength and knowledge. But as for what stopped it, there have been--and are--hunters. and they are hunting."
He paused, setting down his empty coffee mug. "So that would strike me as the more likely reason for what happened."

"Hunters? And how has something like that managed to stay a secret?"
He paused. "So that explains why so many people with the Sickness end up disappearing."

A secret...Jon chucked. "You hit the hatchet square on the tree stump, Nick. It's probably the best, worst kept secret I know of. They call themselves The Atharim and they are the reason the Native tribes no longer send their afflicted to hospitals. We figured it out."

"But isn't it a little strange that it's not common knowledge? Somebody has to be helping them."
He tilted his head. "Assuming they're as massive and organized as you say."

Jon grabbed his empty mug and went to the kitchen to pour himself another mug. "My only guess they aren't common knowledge is that they seem to operate through proxies when they move in the open. Think about the Inquisition and and the witch hunts in Salem. Seemingly unconnected but at the same time, not."

"Fair enough. Besides, it's not like they would all have a special tattoo or something obvious like that. But it's still incredible luck on their part that they haven't been exposed."

Jon choked on his coffee. It took him a moment to regain his breath. "Well, as to that, um...they actually do mark themselves."

Nick was incredulous to say the least. "So, you're telling me there's a group that goes around murdering a select group of people in mass numbers--they all mark themselves, and nobody's found them?"
He waved a hand. "Well, except for you. I've seen enough crazy stuff the past couple days to believe you, but that's ridiculous."

Jon shrugged. Nick was actually quite right about the absurdity of such an organization remaining secret. "As I said, the best, worst kept secret. I wasn't the one to find them. But I was told by one who would know these things."

He grabbed a piece of stationery from the kitchen counter and took a pen from his pocket. He drew a simple image for Nick -- a snake biting its own tail. "It's called the ouroborus. My peoples have had...poor dealings with those marked with this sign in our past."

"Sounds like a cult."
He rubbed his chin. "At least they've made themselves easy to find."

Jon crumpled up the paper and threw it in the wastebasket. "I don't know anything more about them, truthfully. Just that I was told to avoid them. And I've gotten the impression that others with our same ability know about them as well."

Trano's eyes trailed to the wastebasket. "Now if only there was some way to use them."

Jon's eyes twinged with mirth, and a sly grin crept across his face. "Now you're starting to sound like a leader."

- Nick Trano - 11-19-2013

Nicholas snapped out of idle speculation; these Atharim could wait until he knew more. The man before him was a valuable resource, and now that he could actually think straight it was time to milk Jon for all he was worth. But friendly-like. He's the closest thing to a friend I've got right now.
He didn't know if the familiar warm fingers of alcohol or the friend were more comforting.

"The psychotic cultists can wait, I think."
Jon nodded in agreement. "I need you to teach me as much as you can, and quickly."
He hated the feeling he got when someone nearby was using magic, but he'd have to endure. Still, the thought of being in the same room with it reminded him of nails on a chalkboard. "If my rough estimate's anything to go by Brandon makes you look like a candle in a forest fire."
He paused, and spread his hands. "A big forest fire."

Fact was, it didn't matter if he was insane or not in the grand scheme of things. It was his reality, and he would much rather beat Brandon than watch him take over. The guy really was a jerk.

Jon was visibly intrigued by Nicholas' last comment. "What have you seen him capable of doing that makes you say that?"
Still clearly doubtful, though. Probably felt like a scholar being educated by his student. Which, incidentally, he was.

Funny that he hadn't gotten around to mentioning that until now. "Aside from the worst nails-on-a-chalkboard feeling you can imagine, remember that explosion at the Kremlin?"

Jon clasped his hands together. " mentioned I should check the news."
He reached into his pocket and retrieved his Wallet. A couple of taps with his finger later, and his eyebrows lifted. "I see. Honestly, I don't see why it would take a whole lot of strength to do that."

Nicholas laughed at that. "I guess I wouldn't know about what I saw, but I'm pretty sure I can gauge what I felt."
Still, thousands of wires working independently of each other appeared to be quite a feat to him. "I can barely stand it when you have control of the power."
Didn't quite roll off the tongue, but the word power was accurate enough. "When I was in that room I was more than half-ready to jump out of my skin."

Jon nodded and turned to stare Trano in the eyes. "Quite understandable. But you're going to have to overcome that aversion to the sensation."
Suddenly that menacing aura was back, and it centered upon where Jon sat. "It's an advantage to be able to sense the power in another man, don't you see that?"

Nicholas winced. "Feel more than see."
Sighing, he tried his best to ignore the uncomfortable feeling. "Needless to say, I have that ability whether I like it or not. It's going to take more than a little pep talk to get used to it."

Jon pursed his lips in thought. "In the courtroom, it can be an easy thing to be distracted by the strength of an opponent's arguments. To be pulled in by his logic, if you will. This is a trap you want to pull your opponent into, but not fall in yourself. A trick to avoiding this is to put yourself in a frame of mind where everything he says is meaningless."
Jon looked about for a moment. "Some more coffee would be nice."
He stood. "Once you get to that point where you know you are going to destroy your opponent, the cards fall as you need them to."

Nicholas could see how that was applicable, even if he didn't entirely agree. "You play the Miyagi role well, Jon."
Still, nothing could beat hands-on experience. Waxing on and off only got you so far. "Although detachment presents its own problems, I think."

Jon made his way to the kitchen and fiddled with the coffee maker. "Miyagi...oh, that old classic movie with the kid who went to China. Yes, I get what you're saying."
The strong aroma of percolating black grounds wafted back into the living room. "Detachment is exactly what you need to go for because it prepares you for whatever stimuli might hit you."

The last thing Nicholas expected was for Jon to start whipping dishes at him. Which, of course, meant that was exactly what Jon decided to do. "Son of a--"
Nicholas barely had a chance to react. When he noticed the dish floating in the air in front of him, he didn't know who was more surprised. "Well."
He snatched the plate out of the air.

Jon poured himself a new cup of coffee without so much as batting an eye. "I would have caught it myself had it been needed...but you did well. Now release the power again, willfully."

The more he worked with the power, the harder it was to let go. Alcohol dulled much of the sensation, but it still felt like ripping off a band-aid. When he finally let it go, it was with an odd feeling of loss. "I'd have expected the dish-throwing from Reed, but not you. Still, thanks for the safety net. What next?"

Jon sipped his coffee. "The first cup is always the best, don't you agree?"
He set the mug down on the kitchen counter. "Sometimes we have to adapt our methods from those we claim to despise because they work. Take the Monga Dai -- Mongolian warriors who yearned to die and so made themselves so tough through self-torture they were practically invincible."
Nicholas could see what he was doing, but that didn't necessarily make it less effective. "I'm not going to stop this one."

At least he had the warning. There was something about the immediacy of the action that made it so easy to respond. No time for thought--pure action. That still left the plate floating only a foot from his face. "Remind me to buy a helmet before the next time we meet."

Jon chuckled. "You might need more than a helmet. But there is a method to this madness."
He took another drink from his mug. "Do you perhaps have a driver handy? Further lessons would probably do better in a more remote location."

Nicholas did have a driver handy. The question was whether he was trustworthy.

- Ascendancy - 11-21-2013

Reed interrupted at an opportune time. From the threshold between her side of the suite and the general sitting area, she drummed her fingers on one hip and stood there waiting to be acknowledged. She was none too pleased by the amount of time it took.

She cleared her throat.

"Done sucking each others dicks yet?" She fixed Jon with a glare. He'd been taking up far too much of her mark's time. Course she knew what they'd been doing, and her sarcasm wasn't too far from the truth (in her opinion).

She pointed at Trano square in the chest while kicking a nod toward Jon. "I take it he found your balls while he was digging around down there. Good. Because you're going to need to hang on to them. We're accompanying the Ascendancy to DV. So pack your shit Trano and start pretending to be a real journalist again." It hadn't escaped her notice that if he didn't start writing articles soon, suspicion would be aroused. If it wasn't already.

Flushed with orders given, she turned on her heel and resumed the work she'd been doing in the privacy of her own room. Not limited to continuing to monitor the living room. For shit's sake, Trano knew she had a personal live feed in there. The same feed which the CIA now possessed.

It was a good thing he was pretty. Because he wasn't too bright.

- Jon Little Bird - 11-22-2013

Jon frowned as Julie Reed walked away from the living room. Great Spirit, she was an uncouth one. And what was that about Nick Trano packing up and going to DV -- "pretending" to be a journalist?

Then it struck him. Reed wasn't Nick Trano's bodyguard. She was his handler. NSA, DIA, CIA perhaps? It suddenly occurred to Jon that she might have known everything Jon had shared with Trano. Plans, sensitive information about the Native Americans -- his own abilities -- Jon had told Trano those things in an effort to gain his trust and help him comprehend his own abilities. Perhaps keep him from killing himself through ignorance. Having some intel group on the know was something else entirely -- and the implications were scary.

"What haven't you told me about her?"
He shot at Trano in an accusatory tone. Without waiting for an answer, he turned and chased after Reed down the hallway.

The Great Spirit flooded Jon with energy as he caught up with Reed in the doorway of her room. He prepared weaves to fling at her if she tried anything.

As Jon suspected, he caught a glimpse of a monitor in her room that displayed the living room. Was her room or the hallway bugged as well? He thought about the sound-enhancing weave he'd created the night before, and spun a variation of it around the two of them. Any sound vibrations that reached the edge of the barrier should just slide around the edges and dissipate rather than penetrate through.

"Ms. Reed, I apologize for the intrusion, but quite frankly you've been rude to me since I set foot in this hotel suite, and now I can see you've been spying on me. I would think -- since Trano seems to be in the know about your status -- you work for a Stateside agency, and as a private citizen I don't appreciate my own government spying on my private activities."

Jon focused on Reed and kept his voice calm. Anger wouldn't serve him well here. Best to be rational and show her why it would be in her best interest to cooperate.

"No one else can hear what I'm saying. I'm not here to interfere with whatever your mission here is with Trano. In fact I can help -- and have probably already done so already. But whatever you've learned about myself or Trano this morning -- needs to stay with you for the time being. I'm not about to have some agency tracking my every move. Whatever's been sent back to be analyzed by some halpless intern or desk agent -- you need to get that quashed before it goes anywhere, or, so help me Great Spirit I will blow your whole operation out of the water and create such a stink over government spying on its own citizens you'll wish you did as I asked."

It shouldn't be too difficult for Reed to do as Jon had asked. It was unlikely that anyone of importance was watching on the other end -- yet. The CIA or NSA or whoever she was with was likely gathering thousands of feeds from around the world at once -- and those had to be sifted through first. All Reed had to do was pull the feed, call it classified, heck -- even say that someone had just been screwing with the feed and that it wasn't authentic. He didn't really care how it was accomplished.

Jon locked eyes with Reed. The power of the Great Spirit trembled within him, begging to be unleashed as he kept a close rein on it. He lowered his voice. "Something you need to understand is that you have no idea how deep this rabbit hole goes. And where Trano's a pup that's been barely weaned, I'm a coyote stalking his prey among the high grasses. Do you believe that I could make you do as I asked without your cooperation? Don't make me show you what I'm capable of, you won't even remember it."

- Nick Trano - 11-22-2013

"What haven't you told me about her?"
Nicholas didn't even get the chance to respond.

Of course she had to go and piss off the guy with magical powers.
Ever since Reed found her voice, she'd been getting more and more reckless. . . and he'd seen what Jon could do when he was angry. That in mind, he didn't like the look on Jon's face when he darted across the room. He didn't like the web of wires that sprung up around him and Reed when he reached her either.

Nicholas was only a few feet behind Jon when the web sprung up, and he didn't feel like walking into it to figure out what it did. Judging by the look on Reed's face, whatever was going on in there was going to go bad, and fast. Taking control of the power--a feat that seemed to be getting easier--Nicholas decided it was time to put a stop to things. Cats and dogs didn't do well caged together.

It took a few tries before he figured out what he had to do. Silvery strands wrapped around individual wires Jon's wall of silence, and Trano hoped he had made the right choice when he tightened them. Luckily enough, nothing blew up and everybody was alive. He'd taken down the wall right in time to hear Jon making polite conversation.

<strong>"Something you need to understand is that you have no idea how deep this rabbit hole goes. And where Trano's a pup that's been barely weaned, I'm a coyote stalking his prey among the high grasses."
In any other circumstances, Nicholas would have given him points for the metaphor. Do you believe that I could make you do as I asked without your cooperation? Don't make me show you what I'm capable of, you won't even remember it."
</strong> Bone-deep dread poured from Jon, and Nicholas knew it wasn't an idle threat.

He cleared his throat to get Jon's attention. "That's a line I'd rather you didn't cross, Jon."
He just hoped Reed didn't make them do something they'd both regret. "By all means beg, argue,"
he winced slightly, "reason with her."
Reason and Reed could be mutually exclusive, especially when she was angry. "But I don't like threats in my house. If you decide to control her mind, it's my duty to do something we'll both regret."
He was pretty sure Jon could mop the floor, ceiling and walls with him, but that would be loud and messy. "You're definitely not God--don't forget that. That's how Ascendancy was made."

Now it was up to Reed.

Edited by Nick Trano, Nov 22 2013, 10:52 PM.