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Walking A New Path
Ivan tried to mimic the weave. Cruz had done the same at first too, before understanding that he needed a lot more control than he had. It was complex. It had taken Nox years to learn the weave - experiment after experiment to get it to work. And when it exploded the power thrust him backwards and Nox lay on the ground staring up at the trees. He could have blocked it, but it was all part of the learning experience. Knowing what might happen. Ivan hadn't even asked if it was dangerous? What were the consequences of your actions. Even manipulating the weather had consequences. Nox had done it for the fire the day he'd first met Ivan. The weather patterns had taken days to correct themselves because of his little rain storm.

Nox remembered the laws of physics his sister made him repeat over and over again to drill it into his head. For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction and the power obeyed that law for the most part.

Nox shook his head and stood up slowly shaking out the pain and the ringing in his ears. "Let's not try that again okay? Not for a while. It's complex. It took me two years to figure it out. The point was to think outside your one element does one thing box. But my knowledge is limited to what I know. I'm a weapon, nothing more. What I know isn't about finesse, it's about getting the job done. We can work on thinking fast. And on more complex things, splitting them, but I don't know much other than defense and offense. Things like what Ascendancy did with the shadow, and healing. Those things are beyond me. So you need to tell me what you want to know."
Ivan got to his feet shakily, looking around. The ringing in his ears was still there but he could hear Nox just the same. The park was mostly empty, which was probably a good thing. Last thing they needed was the police being called.

Not that he wouldn't smooth things over, of course. Still, Nox had the right idea. Ivan grinned. "Gotcha! No explosive weaves in the park."

So....what did he want to do? That was the question. Nox said he was a tool- a blunt instrument rather then finesse. His weave had belied that claim. Still..."I'm not sure, you know? I have a....situation I need to deal with. Dangerous people. I get what you're saying about experimenting. I guess...ok. How about you show me how you split your weaves. That looks useful."

If he had another chance at Yun, she'd have her body guards. He needed a way to do multiple thngs at once.
Nox nodded, it wasn't hard, but it took practice. "It's more work than complex weaves. A strong person can still only do it maybe three or four times before it becomes infinitely harder." Nox could do three but they had to be simple weaves. Three fireballs was it. He'd not tried to do more than two flash bangs. He didn't even try practicing. There really was no point in multiple flash bangs. "The same weave is easiest. Trying to do something completely different is much harder."

Nox took it slowly. He started with a swirl of air in front of them. It danced around the table like a mini cyclone before a second one joined it. There wasn't much he could do about the explaining. No one had told him. He'd only ever seen it once done before and he mimic what he say. He hoped Ivan watched closely. That was when the sorrow rapped against his skill again. He wasn't a good teacher. He could do what he did because he experimented. Nothing more. He didn't learn how, he couldn't explain it any better. Doing by example was his best means - it always had been.

Even his skills as a hunter were learned through trial and error. It was how his father had taught him. Here watch this. No you do it. And that was how he taught him everything. It was only his mother who taught him by instructing him. Following directions was something Nox had difficultly with, and even his mother opted to show him first. His learning style was known to his family. Even Aurora showed him things first. Visual, hands on... that was Nox.

It seemed even outside the Vega estate his reminders were everywhere. And the pain from the Ijriaq was only a peripheral bump in the road of his own self depreciation. Dad sure did a number on you little brother. "No fucking shit." He said out loud, answering his own thoughts. He didn't really care as he split the spiraling wind into a third mini cyclone. Nox felt the power burning his soul. What once was glorious was pain filled. And the exertion caused sweat to bead on his brow. It wasn't easy holding three flows even doing the simplest thing.
Ivan was a bit surprised to see the strain on Nox's face. The threads weren't complicated but the pinching around the eyes and tightness around the mouth...well he knew what pushing yourself looked like.

But he needed this. Holding on to the power, he made a simple flame. It danced in the air, the threads seeming to dance hypnotically as they flowed from him. He held on to that with a white knuckle grip. It was only a trickle of the power.

He tried to pull a second set of threads, equal to the first.

Nothing. He pulled harder, increasing size of the flow even as he kept the other going. It felt so odd, like getting one hand to do one thing while the other did something else.

Still nothing. He didn't get it. He was pulling as much power now as the first flow but it wouldn't form. Why? Two flows, the first equal to the second. It should be enough.

Cautiously- he still remembered the explosion- he increased the second flow. Kept increasing. It was so weird. Now that he was maybe half again as much as the first did the flows begin to resolve. Like they started to coalesce or something.

A slight smile formed. Finally. He kept feeding it in dribbles until he reached some...tipping point maybe. A flame snapped into being, equal to the first. Two seperate flows.

He grinned, realizing that sweat covered his forehead. The idea of doing another made him tired just thinking about it.

Another set of reps to do, it seemed. The fine control. And now the multiple sets at the same time. "You're not kidding,", he said, out of breath. After a few more seconds he let go. The strain had been getting too much.

He was thinking about Yun Kao and her men. He'd have to have this down pat. "Um.....what about non lethal ways to eliminate a threat?"
After all he just said Nox found the question to be funny - laughable even. He was a weapon, weapons usually are meant to be lethal. Though it was really a matter of how you used that weapon he supposed. But Nox didn't play in the games of not killing. If he raised his weapon he truly intended to follow through.

He had a few go to ways to stop someone but to eliminate a threat the best and easiest way was death in his line of work. Monsters didn't always listen to reason - thrived with instinct more than intellect. There were a few but they were hardly monsters. And even when it comes down to it Nox let others do the hard things - killing people. Aria, Dane, both dead, and he didn't help either of them. That was all part of his failings. Things to dwell on later.

Nox started rambling. "Wrapped in air or earth. You could stun them with sound and/or light. I can show you how to do directional, but it's far more complex than you can do at the moment, you already knocked us on our ass doing that." Nox frowned remembering the feeling of being cut off from the source of his power by Marcus. Asshole! Nox formed the weave in front of him slowly before he moved to place it over Ivan. "A god can be cut off from the source of our power." The weave slipped in place easily over Ivan. He wasn't actively using the power, nor was he holding even a fraction of what Oriena had been that night he'd tried. The memories flooding his system of that night and his body quaked in the moments before he pushed it away.

His voice was distant as he continued. "There are limitations to that new trick, and not exactly easy to do when someone is using the power. I think it would be better to just slip it on them if you knew they could wield the power of the gods." Nox drew up on his power, not to the brim but deeper than he had been, "And I don't recommend you practicing on me. I'm fairly certain that the ramifications could be deadly." It wasn't a threat, no but he wasn't about to be left without his power, and in response he let the shield go from Ivan.
Ivan listened, filing away Nox's suggestions. In truth, they were the kind of instinctual things that might come to him. Brute force stuff. Not the directional one, of course. He remembered the weave but did not have the skill to make it himself. Not yet.

And then Nox wove something else of ghost, almost like a blade though the edges were dulled. Nox moved it quickly and..... it was like something sliced through his connection to the power. The small rope he had been holding was cut and Ivan lost the power, felt it drain out of him, as if a switch had been flipped.

More than that, there was a barrier, now, between him and the source. He could sense it there, waiting for him, but he couldn't reach it. He tried to get to the edges of the shield, to go around it but just as he reached it, he found himself at the very center, as if it wrapped around into itself somehow.

It felt terrible and his eyes went wide with panic. He was hammering at the shield, trying to break it. But the harder he struck the stronger it seemed and the more it pushed back.

Only Nox's calm and lazy tone kept him from physically reaching over and beating the living shit out of him. And then Ivan remembered how Nox had provoked him in the tunnels, helped him to break through his handicap, so that he could seize the power at will.

Ivan calmed himself, taking deep breaths, nodding. This was very useful. The more he thought about it, he realized it was genius. It had been one of their worries at Domovoi. How do you hold a channeler? Drugs worked. And he remembered Nox freaking out at the needle.

But a drugged up person couldn't be interrogated. And there were risks. Nox freaking out, again, came to mind, the wall of air. This, though....this was a game changer. They'd need more channelers joining Domovoi, though. Ivan wasn't gonna be a jailer with no life.

Funny. He was thinking as a cop again. And of his future with Domovoi. Well, he had to. He had family to protect. And Brandon wasn't gonna do it.

This wouldn't help with Yun- not unless she had a channeler working for her. Which, clearly, she wanted. Nice to have this in his pocket.

Thankfully Nox let the shield go and immediately Ivan seized the power, straining to hold as much as he could. Good. Nothing lost.

He smiled at the man. "You've given me some things to work on," nodding at the slaggy rock pawns.

Fine motor control. Multiple weaves. Something occured to him. Domovoi. And if Yun did get someone else. "What about if you are fighting a channeler and they try to do something to you. Seize you with air. You said it's hard to shield when they have a good chunk of the power. Do you try to block it?"

That dull blade....hmm. "Can ghost blades cut weaves too? I mean in addition to your hold on the power? If you make it sharper?"
Ghost blades. Not really what he would call them, but Nox nodded. "Any thread could probably do it, but spirit is how I learned it. It's partially how Cruz and I came up with the shield. That and the trip wires we have around the estate." The slicing weave was one Bas had come up with during a spar. They had both picked it up and also how to tie off weaves. It had been an eventful day.

Nox frowned at the memory of his reaction to a friend checking him out. It hadn't been his best moment. Flattery should have been the ultimate reaction, but it was Pytor. He was still a weasley looking fellow and not at all attractive to Nox. And it wasn't a guy thing. That much he knew. But that was a problem for a different time he thought as he pulled Spirit to show Ivan how he had learned. All through trial and error. Nothing he had shown Ivan was anything but. No one taught him anything. At least not about how to use his power. Nox felt a stab of jealousy in that fact. He had no teacher, yet he was expected to help others. He could see Aurora shaking her head, "It's the right thing to do."

Nox started forming a fireball, its composition floated above their table invisible to any who was not a man. "Try to use the weave I showed you to cut through the flow."
Ivan watched the fireball form. He wasn't too worried. Yeah, Nox liked to provoke him. That was his teaching style. And frankly, Ivan was cool with it. There was no babying or anything. Shortest line from A to B. Blow through assumptions and walls. Twice, now, Nox had taught him that way. And it worked.

So he wasn't too worried. Not that he wanted to get hit with it or anything. He still looked a fright and Danya would not be happy if he showed up all burned now too. Not exactly becoming the responsible dad. He felt a smile form and didn't mind the slight pain at his lip. Zara and Danya. His anchor.

He drew on the power and formed ghost into the shape Nox had shown him. The edge was sharp. He turned it over in his mind. Strange. It was all edge. His eyes met Nox and then he slashed at the fireball weave.

The threads snapped, evaporating away into nothing. He grinned. Damn but that was cool. 'That is awesome. He could see the conduit connecting Nox to the power. Looking at his weave, he knew it wouldn't cut through. Not that he'd try it now. Not on Nox anyway.

He'd need to get stronger. It was important to understand the framework of working out. Why you worked this muscle, why that one. Why this motion. Why that? You learned where the heads inserted into the bone, the proper angles. Reverse grip tricep pushdowns worked that tiny third head at the very bottom of the muscle, the one that would grow out just above the elbow. The reverse grip was key to hitting that.

It was the same with the power. Now that he had a framework, he knew what to do. He just had to put in the time.

"Listen, I really appreciate this. This is gonna help me. Let me take you out. Feel like a beer?"
The weave vanished abruptly and Nox almost formed another out of reflex. That was something he needed to work on himself. Disabling another god might be needed in the future the way his world was progressing. Fighting against someone with the same ability was useful, but when you taught all your sparring partners it really wasn't useful until they started working their own things out. Much like fighting your master in martial arts. Until the student surpasses the master, Nox thought to himself.

Ivan suggested a beer. He thought about it. He had no where else to be. Sage and Aiden were likely being little bunnies in the basement, or Aiden and Cruz would be working on the things Nox didn't care for. Or whatever... Nox didn't really care what the others were doing - except that he did and he knew it. His friends were his family - the only thing he had left and he felt alien around them now. The fucking gala had done a number on him and Aide and Sage that was a completely another story. A drink sounded good in that moment - but only one.

Nox nodded, "That sounds great." Nox stood up and let go of the power. The world drained away of color and vividness and the pain with it. His body relaxed remarkably. But he still felt the sharp edges of the power grating on his soul. He shivered with the memories and tugged his hood up over his head. "Nothing too fancy, I can't do that again so soon." Though he'd met an interesting girl, the night was a harsh one.

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