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Cabaret & Candy (TONIGHT ONLY!)
It was a lot to take in, and it all sounded pretty terrible. Ghostly assassins, a conspiracy against Ascendancy, a being that could take control of another person.

“So now she's somewhere in the city, or wherever these things live. And she's pissed off.” Well that sounded just great. A frown flickered across her expression, though this time it was not in reaction to his fear but in consideration of the itch in her fingers. The compulsion that inked such images on the page. And why. Questions she couldn't answer, a feeling she couldn't articulate. How could she even begin to explain Yana?

“The power of the gods. Is that what you call it?” Her nose scrunched instead. The power didn't feel godly to her, though she had certainly come to find it beautiful. But it was an earthly beauty, rooted in life and nature, not something fantastical. It floated on her peripheral even now, and honestly it was hard to fathom that it had ever been something she'd been afraid of.

She snorted laughter at the tease as she keyed in her own details, glad for his humour. “My name is Thalia. It's a shame about all the myths not being literally real. My nana told us some great stories growing up, and I always wanted to travel through a faerie door.”

“I know a “werewolf” actually. They have the most beautiful eyes, like dawn and sunset rolled into one. Great to paint. But I guess it makes them a target too. My friend hides them.” Wolves filled up her sketchpads of late, and she assumed it was because of Calvin. Thalia wasn't entirely sure how any of it worked; didn't let herself dwell much on it either, but she wasn't blind to the connections either. Not anymore. Technically weird had always been a part of her life too, though she doubted her own brushes with that world came anything close to the things he hinted at. Something held her back from asking more though, like an echo of a memory.
The Ijiraq Queen was definitely someplace in the city looking for the Regus. Stupid man! Sending free will assassins after a god, and then expecting to live afterwards. First rule of assassination - leave no loose ends. That was the first rule of the Atharim. Nox sighed at the thought, how much he'd lived by the Atharim rules without thinking. He'd never killed an innocent. Even his dad hadn't killed a kid, but he would have. Nox had no doubt anymore about that. His father would have killed him in a heart beat. He didn't like the fact that he'd liked men so he made Nox straight - taking him to whore houses was the least of his crimes. Nox shook his head. He didn't need those memories. He didn't want them. He missed Aurora...

"Nox. And I'm sure if there were faerie doors, they would be much scarier than the ones you were told about. The power of the gods, yes, the Atharim believe that men and women who can do what we do are reborn gods. Or at least men and women who thought they were gods. Zeus, Odin, Ra, all of them were once real men who could wield this power. Men worshiped them, until the Atharim eradicate them. And it is our sworn duty to protect the world from it happening again. That and cleaning up the mess they made."

At the mention of knowing a wolfkin Nox frowned. "My ex did too." Nox wondered about Elyse and how she was doing. He'd expected her to come back, with the Atharim after them. But then maybe they didn't miss a single girl who had left the fold. Maybe they didn't even notice. But the last time he'd heard from her, she'd asked for a vet. He really did hope she was alright. "Though she had extra reason to hide her existence, being Atharim and different is kinda dangerous."
This boy was carelessly rattling of secret information to a mundane! Jerry would kill him just for that. He didn't want to sit there longer but he had to. He had to know this man, know his weaknesses which he was also revealing left and right. He had a hero complex. But then again, most Atharim did. Who wouldn't when your sole goal in life was to save the world, and never take any credit for it. It usually drove the arrogant made if it didn't kill them before hand.

Atharim hunters didn't live long. Unless they changed their line of work to something more mundane. Becoming an inquisitor was the best thing in Jerry's life - the worst he would have come across was a traitor - except now the traitors were turning out to be gods too. Far more dangerous - thrilling but Jerry could lose his life hunting this boy. But he would do the job - he was no hero, but he was going to rid the world of this abomination.

Breakfast arrived and Jerry held his device as discretely as possible while he ate his food. He still couldn't beleive the information he was hearing and out in the open. The world was definitely changing...
She laughed. The faeries in her grandmother's stories weren't exactly benign creatures, and Thalia's flippant desire for that world to be real had much more to do with its sublime strangeness than any perception of something magical. Though after hearing about ijiraq she didn't doubt the warning either.

"So I get the motivation. The gods of myth, well, a lot of them were assholes. But since when did genocide ever solve a problem." It wasn't a question she expected him to answer, of course; he was as trapped as the wolfish ex he spoke of.

"I'll bet. But it puts you in a unique position too, to protect the rest of us."
Nox liked her laugh. It at least lightened the mood she took his humor and her own brand too. It was better than the constant worry. But they were talking monsters. Monsters he could do. Though the Atharim frowned upon this. Nox wasn't Atharim anymore. "I was. And I did the best I could." Nox waved one hand over his arm and grinned at Thalia. "This lovely shade isn't due to the Moscow sun. No, the Atharim came after me with weapons that tried to cook me alive. The same they went after the Ascendancy with. I'll keep helping the best I can. I seem to have a school for misfits in my benefactors basement."

It was kinda funny how that all started, but it was true. Dorian paid him to help Cruz. He'd tried to help Jay, had helped Ivan to a degree a lot of good that had done him. And he was now helping Aiden. Nox sighed at the fucking situation that was his basement mates. It couldn't get much worse - so things were looking up.

"I'd like to see more of your work. Especially all the strange ones you don't know anything about. There are people that can do extraordinary things like tell the future, or sense emotions, dream even, I'm not in the business of killing people - only the monsters that present a danger to humanity." While Nox couldn't kill Deigo - Nox knew he should have. He was having issues - more issues than now, but now his life was at stake too. He'd protect that and anyone else he felt needed it - no matter what.
Her brows rose. "Well, ouch. I can think of better ways to catch a tan."

He spoke with less fear about having been nearly burned alive than the ijiraq's feeding, which put a pretty terrifying context around the latter. But the fact he'd survived both attacks said something too. Her wide gaze did not show fear, though she recognised how dangerous a man Nox must be in his own right; rather she simply trusted that what he said was true. I'll keep doing the best I can.

"A school for misfits, huh." She grinned. "I think you're going to need a better name."

Thalia had never had cause to embroil herself in politics; mostly she danced to her own tune, ambivalent to Ascendancy's rule and in most ways content within it. But after Aylin had registered her no help had come, and Thalia at the time had been utterly terrified of what she was. Chance and new friends healed that wound, not the government. But if Calvin had not found her?

"How many do you suppose there are?" Another rhetorical question, though one that was none-the-less laced with open curiosity. Did Ascendancy protect those who registered? Could he, if even he were subjected to shadowy assassins and attempts to cook him alive?

She blinked as the conversation swung back to her sketch.

"Sure. I gave the only sketchbook I have with me to Rafael, but there's plenty more." Her drawings were not a hobby, just a compulsion in varying shades of necessity. Strange images poured out of her most days, like her brain collected them overnight. There were patterns, of course, and Calvin shed more light than she cared to admit, especially to herself. "I draw plenty I can't exactly... explain." She shrugged around the admission. "But some feel different, like the queen. It's difficult to put into words. I guess I never tried before."

She laughed. "Well, I'm glad to know that, since I already followed you here and all." Aylin accused her of having no common sense, and that was sometimes true. But her life swept along on a current, and she rarely had regrets.
Nox liked her humor and it made him feel better. The Ijiraq still plagued his thoughts, but this was helping. He agreed that there were definitely better ways. If he thought about out it too long Nox knew he'd been through hell and back and it wasn't even over. After the Cabaret, and the gala Nox was pretty sure that the Ascendancy would want his head on a platter to serve to his demon dogs. Though he grinned at the thought of the imagery Jaxen had provided.

She asked a question he really had no answer for. There were four less Ijiraq now. And one pissed off queen. But the monsters - there were uncountable. He killed so many in the tunnels below the city. He didn't want to share that. He had no name for them, Aria had no name for them and that was the scariest part. His walking talking (now dead) encyclopedia didn't know what they were. A stab of pain lanced his heart at the last memory of his friend played through his head. Fuck what a life.

Nox grinned at her following him. "I'm a pussy cat, Feed me, give me some coffee and I'll play nice until you piss me off anyway." Though honestly he hadn't hunted in forever. It seemed like it was all defense now. The Atharim hunted him. And there was no telling him what else he could do. They were going to hunt him until he was dead - Dorian too. Nox sighed and quickly put the smile back on. "I should get going. My nightmares don't have themselves. Call me when it's a good time to see more of your strange drawings. I'm free most any day or time." Specially now that he didn't have real job or career path. Another depressing thought - getting a real job...
Thalia laughed at the imagery. A pussy cat, sure. She liked the irreverence of his humour; it made him easy company. "Yes, of course. Go find your friends." She grinned and shooed him off, aware but unapologetic for the fact she had detained him for longer than she'd promised. The word nightmare scythed like a fin in dark waters, though she ignored the sensation that it ought to spark a memory.

He'd asked her name. He hadn't called her Nimeda.

Her fingers laced around the lukewarm coffee; she'd relax a little longer, mulling through the things he'd said, before calling Aylin and heading home.

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