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I've been sick
Cain gave Emily a friendly grin. Obligingly, he rolled his sleeves up so that she could see his bare forearms. A few times as a reckless kid he'd almost gotten some tats. Most men his age in his town did so, but Gran had nearly had a fit. Obviously it's not like he would've gotten a snake or anything (working men with snake tattoos on their arms just seemed to him like cartoon jocks). Still, there was nothing on his flesh that could be mistaken for an Atharim mark.

"I'm definitely not one of those Atharim. Only ones I've ever met was a woman who tried her best to kill me and this lug over here."
Cain jerked his head in Nox's direction. "Still not so sure about him."
He winked at his friend to ease the sting. He was still annoyed at the guy, but it was tinged with a helpless sort of fondness, the sort he imagined one would feel towards a particularly bothersome sibling. Cain had a feeling that Nox was going to get him in a lot of trouble.
Nox shook his head at Emily's insistance that Cain roll up his sleeves. He sighed. "He could be a fledgling Atharim. I didn't get my tattoo until I was 21 here in Moscow. I've been Atharim all my life."
Nox shrugged his shoulders. "With the new knowledge out in the open I bet all new recruits will stall on getting their tats. Who wants to be pegged as Atharim when they really are?"

Nox was still not happy Cain had been attacked. He was going to have to look up the incident and see what he could do about it. At the very least make sure he wasn't found in Moscow yet.

"But he speaks the truth. He's not Atharim. I meet him two days ago saving his ass from a bunch of monsters. He's here cause I needed a friend."
Nox grinned playfully at Cain and then smiled at Emily. "I'll make sure you are the first to know if you get pegged by the Atharim as a god. You'll have time to take care of things and disappear."

Nox sighed. "That is until they find out what I am or they think I'm in on whatever Dorian is doing down at the police station."

Edited by Nox, Aug 28 2016, 05:51 PM.
Emily sighed at seeing both the bare arms and hearing that he wasn't. She only trusted Nox in this because lying would get him no where. Emily sat on the arm of the couch the weight of her responsibilities pulling her down.

Emily put her head in her hands, the stress getting to her. She didn't cry even though she felt like she could. A beep sounded and Emily pulled out a sleek wallet. It was a new design - not even released to the public yet. So far it worked great. It was a text from Mara - she was on her way.

Emily looked at Cain. "Forgive my suspicion. I don't need people coming after Rachel and my other sister who is now on her way to this massive amount of chaos."

Rachel perked up. "Mara's on her way?"

Emily nodded. "Yes - as of now."
Nox understood the problem. Her parents were dead. She had two younger sisters to take care of. Nox understood everything. He sighed. "Emily, stay out of the public eye. Don't register. The moment you put your name on that list is the moment you become a target. The Atharim will get their hands on it. There is no matter of if, it is only a matter of when."

"Dorian asked me to watch Cruz until he gets home. So until he gets here I'm planted in this house."

"You don't even know my father. I've never seen you before." Cruz sighed in fustration. "Why would you help us, any of us?"

"Why wouldn't I? Dorian's Atharim. His son is a reborn god. I am a reborn god. I would hope that if my parents hadn't died that someone might have helped us out. But my sister and I were alone when we found out. My mother killed by a hell hound, my father drank him self to death. Aurora is gone now. I have nothing else to do except keep Aria from killing herself."
Or others, but he didn't voice that. "I am Atharim. I protect people from monsters - even if those monsters are other Atharim."
Cain nodded at Emily and smiled to show that he took no offense. He was about to say something to that effect when Nox opened his big mouth. Lord almighty but that boy just kept getting more and more sad every time he said something personal. The redhead was just waiting for the guy to reveal that he was secretly Voldemort's Horcrux or something.

"Jesus Christ, you are so messed up."
It took half a second for Cain to realize that he was the one who said it. Oops. The statement was sort of muttered, but clearly audible to everyone in the room. There was a beat while everyone turned to him with various states of incredulity, but the morose tension was broken. Cain grinned. "Sorry mate, that was supposed to be an internal thought not an external one... but still. You should write this shite down and market it. You could make the best seller's list."

Cain raised an eyebrow. "So, much as I hate to ruin the atmosphere and all, are we going to get back to Power lessons? Promise I won't interrupt this time."
Emily sat, listening, as Nox explained his story, and this time when Emily looked at him, it wasn't with disdain or anger. It was with sorrow and understanding. So much made sense now. Emily understood what it was like to lose your parents, but he had no-one. At least Emily still had her sisters.

Emily stood and walked towards Nox, wrapping him in a hug. Emily knew that pain and knew how much she had wanted someone to hug her when her parents had lost their lives. "I'm sorry"
she said.

What had surprised Emily is that Rachel had stood to do the same. Both girls took their seats again. Cain suggested the lessons continue, and Emily was okay with that as long as no one singed her or her sister.

Rachel sat down next to Cruz and took his hand again, Emily took her spot back on the arm of the couch, and just watched. She couldn't help, but it might be fun to see.
Nox laughed at Cain's comment. He smiled at his friend who had a way with words. "You have no fucking idea."

Nox tensed the moment Emily approached him. He flinched when she wrapped her arms around him. She smelled like he remembered and Nox fought the urge to say something smart to her. She was a good memory - he liked that memory. Siberia had been good to him. When little sister hugged him as well Nox was a little shocked and stared rather openly when both women sat back down with Cruz. Nox grinned. "Maybe you are right Cain. My sob story for money. I can see the headline now. 'Autobiography released - man gunned down for being Atharim'. Too bad I don't have kids to send the royalties too."

Nox knew why the girls had hugged him. The same reason he'd felt bad for them only moments before. His dry humor only a cover for the loss inside. Cain was 100% right that he was messed up. Nox wasn't even sure he knew how much damage had been done. He was still learning that stuff.

But Cain's change of subject was the perfect distraction that Nox needed. Cruz had been having issues with creating a simple glob of light. Nox sat down on the floor and pulled his legs in underneath him sitting cross-legged - he felt very yogi in this position. Meditative sometimes worked other times it was a hindrance. But he could channel his energy into his breathing like this. The whole idea of protecting Cruz from other Atharim and his own reasons for doing so still weighed heavily on his heart.

Nox took a deep breath and started again. "Our gift needs to be forced. It's an unruly child. It's the stubborn hair on your head that won't lay down. It's willful, and defiant and you must control it. It will burn you up."
Nox looked up at Cain. "So will drawing upon the power beyond your capability. If you feel it searing into your skin you are holding too much. I know it's a powerful draw. You want to take as much as you can - it's like a drug."
Nox knew the intoxicating pull of the power. He and his sister had experimented - not to the point of hurt themselves, but there were times that they had drawn too much it hurt to even breathe. That was your cue to let it go immediately. "Force the pattern, each thread will obey you. You just need to make it."
Nox wove slowly at first and the ball of light leapt into his hand. He pulled a second different weave and did it faster, the first winking out only when the second was complete. Nox continued to hold a weave and create a weave until he was creating a ball of light as quickly as he could. Nox practiced his own short comings while he taught. It only made sense. Speed and accuracy were important as was being able to do more complicated weaves at one time. But that was later. And to his surprise it was happening much faster than he had done prior. He was getting stronger and more skilled. He wanted to learn more - needed to learn more. But finding a teacher was hard - particularly when you'd see the strongest known god use his gift right in front of you. Nothing else compared.

Cruz drew upon the power and Nox could feel it. He nodded as the boy started weaving his ball of light. Nox could see the frustration in his eyes, but he kept at it until there was a small wavering light in front of him. Cruz smiled bright eyes. "Wow, that was hard."

"Let it go and do it again. Practice is key."

Nox looked back up at Cain. "Knowing a weave and using it are two different things. You pick things up quickly. But can you do it in the heat of a battle? Can you do it when your life is at stake? Or those who rely on you?"
Nox turned to Emily with a smile. "Sometimes speed is your only advantage. Your blocks only get in the way. Remove them. Practice everyday if you can. Our enemies do."
Cain chuckled at Nox's response to the autobiography. "Well, mate, I'd be happy to collect your royalties for you."

He settled back though and listened to Nox's explanation of the Power. It made sense that he had to grasp hold of it firmly and conquer it. Being afraid had cleared his mind in a way, allowed him to focus on the one thing that was scaring him. The emotion had been a crutch, definitely, but it had also made him desperate enough to really need the power, and force it to do what he wanted.

The redhead turned his focus inwards. He'd just thought of his resolution to act like an adult rather than a child, and to not let his emotions get the better of him. With that in mind, he reached for his magic. Cain'd spent his whole childhood using his stubborn hardheadedness to get himself into fights. Well, this one was fight he could finally embrace, and win. The magic rushed over him as always. Without his fear to help guide it, the energy was much more difficult to direct. However, Cain remained firm. He refused to allow it to control him. For a moment, the magician thought that he'd made a mistake in being so confident, but it was only a moment. Once he'd proven himself, the magic seemed much more... docile. Like a broken stallion. It would certainly rebel against him if it sensed the chance, but for now it was placidly - if reluctantly - following his direction.

Grabbing hold of individual threads of power was easier than it had ever been. Fire practically leaped to his fingers, and obediently stayed still exactly where he directed it, not moving when he turned his attention away. Air was still harder, but whereas before the threads had been like slippery eels, they were now more like a stubborn old dog, unhappy but ultimately obliging when tugged hard enough. Cain was able to weave the two magics together and form a successful globe on his first try. The redhead had to shield his eyes at the surprising intensity of the light. Yesterday, his attempts hadn't been so successful!

From there, Cain played around with his spell. He sort of... pulled back the amount of magic that he used, and the ball itself grew dimmer, but also smaller. Next, he tried just pulling out the threads of Fire, and the spell grew dimmer but the size remained unaffected. Interesting. Nox was definitely right when he said that practice made perfect. It seemed that their gift was a lot more flexible than he'd previously imagined.
While the men played around with their power, Emily watched, but frowned at Nox's description. She also gave him a smile at the mention of a block. He had no idea that hers no longer existed and that it was finding out about his brotherhood and what they did that had broken her block.

But Nox's description didn't fit what she had to do. She never had to wrestle with her power it was more like - embracing.

"It's not like that for me at all."
Emily said, standing. "I never have to wrestle with it. It's more like an embrace."

And with that she embraced her own magic. She flowed threads of water and air together, forming it in into a globe of flowing water. She used the same spell she had used when Nox met to freeze the bottle of beer. She froze the water globe.

She dropped the globe off into a glass of sparkling water and handed it to Rachel who stared at it, unbelievingly. Emily took a seat back down and Rachel shrugged, drinking again from her own glass.
Nox listened to Emily and shivered when she embraced the power. Nox nodded knowingly with a sad smile. "Aurora and I had many a fight about that. She learned to embrace her gift first. I struggled with my power. She would try to talk me through it. Telling me to submit myself to the power. But every time I did I felt like I was going to die. And I rather like living."
He grinned at her.

He noticed she didn't speak her weaves anymore. "No more magic words?"
He nodded. "Good, the Atharim will not expect it. Remember they are used to sick and dying kids who know nothing of their power. We have weapons now that will hurt us and we can do little about. Science has it's advantages. But what science can do so can we. It just takes a little effort on our part because we don't have some smarty pants in some back room doing nothing but this."

Nox pulled his power around him and made a cloud at the ceiling. "Water, air, earth and fire. What does science tell you about clouds and fog and such. We can replicate it. I can't show you how Emily. Aurora and I could never see each others threads, but we had started trying to work together to make bigger and better and more dangerous weaves. Sadly our adventure in Moscow put an end to our experiments."

Nox stood up and faced away from the others and started making the beginnings of the directional thunderclap. "Science says sound travels, light travels. A speaker directs the waves. We can too."
Nox clapped his hands together and the sound could be heard behind him, but the concussive force was all in front of him as was apparent by the vase that shattered in the corner. Nox turned to Cruz with a sheepish grin. "Sorry about that."

"I suggest start experimenting with water, earth, and air. Fire is dangerous, but it is very destructive. There is a fifth element, I don't know what to call it. It looks white to me. Cain used it earlier to slice through my weaves. I'm sure it has more uses but I don't know of any."

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