This forum uses cookies
This forum makes use of cookies to store your login information if you are registered, and your last visit if you are not. Cookies are small text documents stored on your computer; the cookies set by this forum can only be used on this website and pose no security risk. Cookies on this forum also track the specific topics you have read and when you last read them. Please confirm whether you accept or reject these cookies being set.

A cookie will be stored in your browser regardless of choice to prevent you being asked this question again. You will be able to change your cookie settings at any time using the link in the footer.

Jensen felt the Gift flux as a menacing presence approached. He looked over his shoulder as the Ascendancy entered.

He quickly jumped to his feet. The chair he'd occupied skidded away at the movement.

This was the same man that was healed by the Gift. He knew it, logically, but viewing him while, restored and awake was an entirely different experience.

He Ascendancy's eyes, so blue, were clear and sharp. His voice direct, his shoulders broad and back. Jensen nervously swallowed. He had to force himself to accept the handshake.

"Sir, yes, I am Jensen, sir. But of course there is no debt to owe. The Gift blesses indiscriminately. I am grateful Detective Ivan brought me in time."

He pulled his hand away, rubbing it in his other palm and massaging his own fingers as he spoke. He felt insignificant before this man. Thoughts of the antichrist were long forgotten. He was pleasant and pure. The Antichrist would radiate a sense of evil and mistrust. Jensen knew no such thing applied to Nikolai Brandon.

He forced himself to hold the man's gaze, if only to keep his eyes focused on his face.
Aria watched the man in her room from the corner of her eye. He was tired yet he was still trying to be fully functioning. "I'm not going anywhere until the Ascendancy says I can. You heard him, I'm remanded to the Kremlin."

The man sat a little straighter and straightened his jacket before leveling a gaze at her that said he would do his job until released. Aria smirked. "Sleep could do you a great deal. I could easily over power your tired mind. For future reference when you put someone to guard me."

The man nodded and Aria could tell he was making note of her words. " When you took care of your job - reports from the scene said he died of a heart attack. How does that work exactly?"

"You know what I am."

"An empath."

Aria grinned. "I'm so much more than just that. But yes that's the basics of it. My father could permanently change your emotions - link it to that moment, make you feel whatever he wanted. That was how he tricked my mother and conceived me in his misfortune. I can't do that - or I've never figured out how. But I can share emotions with you. I can share my feelings."
She'd shared with Dane that first fateful day when he'd grabbed her. Her desire to be touched had forged a link in her brain to him. She knew he was dangerous but that meant little. With Lucas it had been so much more but he was gone now that link lost forever because of her father.... Aria pushed down the darkness that threatened to rise up. Lucas was dead be cause of her father. "But I can open the flood gates. Share everything I feel with you. The weight of the world almost literally crushes your heart."

Aria sighed. "I remember the first time my power came to me. It was after the devastation of the natural disasters and everyone flocked to the Vatican to reaffirm their faith in God. There were everywhere outside the Vatican. Father Dimitri had taken me up for Sunday Mass. I felt their despair, their hope, their fear - mostly I felt their fear. It was crushing. I was five. The world was heavy. With time I figured out how to lift the weight, single out an emotion and smell it."
Aria laughed to herself about the inconsistency of her training. She had never smelled anything - not really. Though she still sometimes processed negative emotions like they were supposed to smell. Rape was always the worst. It lingered in your nose. The stench of it all.... But it wasn't a real smell to her, it was taught.

The agent looked confused. "You smell emotions?"

Aria shook her head. "No. Furia smell dark emotions - much like the furies of legends. They are what the legends are based on. Not the whole truth. You'll come to realize one day that nearly every monster myth is based on something real. On something the Atharim protect the world from. Our fear for humanity is not feigned. It might be misplaced in the current day and age, but once upon a time men like Ascendancy were worshiped like gods. They manipulated humanity and we saved them. But that has all but been forgotten as we've protected mankind for millennia. I could tell you stories - true stories - that would make any grown man quake in fear if he knew it were real."

"You believe in these Atharim then? And yet you betrayed them for what? Is your loyalty that fickle?"

"No, agent. My loyalty is not fickle it has not changed or wavered. I am loyal to those I call my friends. I vowed to protected people like Ascendancy because every single one save maybe two have been good men. Men who've not wanted to change the world into their own image. Men who wanted nothing more than to be normal. And the Atharim won't let them. They will be hunted, and good people will die. The Atharim aren't bad. We serve a purpose. When this is all said and done, the Atharim will live. Maybe not in the form we know it today, but the monsters in the world they aren't going to go away. The Atharim are the only ones who can handle them. The police lack the training. Most hunters spend their lives learning and training. Those of us born to it never know anything else. Those that come to us are taught in intensive training sessions. Things I learned over the course of my childhood, they get a crash course in and sent into the world to hunt the things they know little about. Do not doubt it, but I am Atharim. I may have betrayed those men, but I am Atharim."
As the agents filled him in with the scant amount of confirmed details of just what happened, Alric and the other Barrier agents remained calm while digesting this information. It was too late now to panic over it. The Ascendancy was up and about now with no visible trace of injuries. The common theme was that the man brought in was one of the Ascendants under Vellas’ control. He hadn’t seen that man around before and he was more than curious as to where a man of his position would be if not here.

He turned once the agent he was conversing with fell silent and looked past him at Viktor. “Thank you, Deputy-Consul. I apologize for the inconvenience.” Alric understood the man decently well; following the Ascendancy and watching over him allowed him to learn of most of his immediate help. He also understood that Viktor could make things inconvenient for him so there was no need to be rash and annoy the man just yet. Giving a quick nod to the others, he turned to follow the Consol.

Alric wasn’t concerned any further by the Consul nor his own personal assumptions about the man. As quiet as a church mouse, he followed along behind Viktor, going so far as to slip his hands in his pockets, a measured action to indicate this man’s importance to him. Once he indicated which room he did offer a nod with a small friendly smile before entering the room. That gesture was removed as soon as he withdrew his hands and opened the door to be replaced with a smooth business like expression.

The door was opened just enough for him to slip in, then quickly close it. Alric heard the Mr. James mention the detective which made him question his earlier assumption of him being under Vellas’ control. After he opened his coat and holding his hand in front of him, he stood to the right of the Ascendancy, keeping a respectful distance towards their conversation space but also providing clear lines of fire. He took the time to scan the room, then looked towards the three other men. Surprise colored his eyes as he looked over the Ascendancy’s person and the Sigma. Seeing Marcus still lying about in bed obviously displeased him, but he didn’t spare the man another glance.

As Nikolai’s conversation reached a brief lull, Alric stepped closer. “I’ve brought your clothes, Ascendancy.” He kept his voice pitched low so as not to interfere with the continuing conversation and to show respect for the men. Turning his attention to Nikolai’s conversation partner, he thanked him, wanting to convey his gratitude immediately and taking advantage of the lull to do so unobtrusively.
Ivan nodded to the Ascendancy and smiled. He was just doing his job, after all. Just like his pops. Thanks were nice, but not necessary. He was just glad to see the Ascendancy up and around, no worse for wear. He was looking forward to practicing with the power, now. A universe had opened up to him. This was so much more than brute force. The possibilities were endless. It seemed the threads could be woven in ways you couldn't dream of.

He'd never really been a studious person. He did alright in school and passed his tests. But study of for the sake of study was alien to him. He just wanted to know how to do what he needed to. In that he was like a dog with a bone in his mouth.

He'd found an old motorcycle at a market for practically nothing. For some reason it seemed to call to him. The sleek lines and shape begged to be noticed and he brought it home, keeping it in the common back yard of their apartment. For a good year, he'd read up and watched videos and little by little, was able to restore the engine until he was able to start it up. It fascinated him, the timing of the whole thing. He laughed when he had gotten it. The freaking thing ran on explosions, in the engine.

The four-stroke engine had pistons that, once the engine kicked over, cycled up to draw a mix of fuel and air into the chamber, then cycled back down to compress the mix to a certain pressure. Then the spark-plug fired and the whole thing exploded, driving the piston up, turning the shaft. The downstroke expelled the residue out of the chamber into the exhaust and the whole process started again. The piston cycled up, drawing in a new mix. 4 or 6 or 8 cylinders working in sync, all together, turning the drive shaft which would then be put into gear to turn the wheels.

It amazed him. People had been burning stuff forever. Even blowing stuff up. The idea of harnessing controlled explosions....genius. He felt like that now. He had been ready to use the power- like people had burned or blown stuff up for centuries. Like the fists he had created to punch those creatures in the tunnels. Even those exploding disks. Brute force.

There was so much more possible. The bone was in his teeth now. He'd prolly give Nox a call. Nox had put some thought into his weaves. And the Padre's weaves were in the back of his mind. He still didn't understand them fully. But the big picture, like the engine, made sense. It was in the execution that he'd need practice and work.

They went to the room of the Sigma. He was sitting up on his bed, bandages on the floor, talking to the Padre. The Ascendancy greeted the guy before thanking Jensen for the healing. Ivan didn't much care for the Sigma. Something about him rubbed him the wrong way. Maybe it was the way the guy had been all ready to set off the powder keg in the Square. It had been stupid.

Then another man entered and only spoke into the lull to say his had the Ascendancy's clothes? Was he his valet or butler or something?
"A pleasure to meet you, Jensen. Your gift,"
Nikolai smirked, "is a rare one. I've never heard of using it to restore broken flesh before."
A rare and beautiful thing, Nikolai never once imagined using his powers to mend tissue and seal wounds. Shake the foundations of the earth, move continents, delve for oil those were the images filling his mind when the power crept through his dreams. To heal seemed counter-intuitive to the power's very nature. He would like to see the feat for himself. Luckily, they were in a hospital, and there were no shortage of bodies to experiment with the flows.

Alric entered then, coming up to stand near him. The news he brought lightened his expression with relief, and he clapped the man on the shoulder. "You read my mind, Alric. Thank you."
A brief pat on the shoulder denoting their camaraderie, and he nodded at Marcus. The Sigma could don borrowed clothes where Nikolai denied them.

"Viktor, would you show Jensen and Marcus to Aria's room? I'll meet you in there. Do nothing until I arrive."
The Deputy-Consul was likely to be irritated that Alric supplied a need he hadn't arranged, but being busy with keeping the Custody afloat, the oversight could be forgiven.

The man's jaw tightened. "There's something I very much need to discuss with you."
He whispered, but Nikolai waved him off, delaying the discussion until after he was dressed.

Before he left, he turned back to Jensen. "There's one more that needs your help if you have the strength. She has earned relief from her pain. Maybe in more ways than one."
He briefly wondered if Jensen had the ability to soothe the burden in her mind, but for now, he would be content to witness even a minor healing.

He nodded, flicking a finger that Alric accompany him. They returned to the original room where he'd recovered. The scent of lavender masked the sterile hospital air. He opened the small closet, recognizing the suit. "I thought I was going to have to return to the Kremlin draped under a blanket."
He paused, hanger in his hand. A few months previous, he worked out how to cloak himself in darkness, so long as he didn't move. Changing the flows to adapt to his movements may provide a way to remain hidden from unwanted eyes. He'd think on it later. For now, he pulled a crisp, white shirt around his shoulders.

Buttoning it, he turned to Alric, looking him over. He must have arrived from Dominance V within the last few hours. "Welcome back to Moscow. Could have used you yesterday, though."
A morbid smirk touched his smile. He was in an oddly optimistic mood for the situation. Regus likely lived. Ijiraq were in the world, but he compartmentalized that memory, else he may go insane. That name it whispered. Lord of shades, he stopped himself from shivering. Who knew when one would return? Aria confirmed the Atharim had weapons unknown to her before. When he woke from the coma, fury darkened his soul. But it fled after Aria explained herself. In its place arose resolve. A renewed determination; a course of action he was finally ready to pursue with every resource at his command. Not only did he survive, but he was without blemish and mark. He wasn't even tired. His heart apparently stopped three times in surgery, but he lived. 'Is that not also immortality?'

If the Atharim were afraid of his power before, they would tremble now.

"Events unfolded fast. The timeline couldn't be altered. At the time it was 'now or never'. I went with 'now', obviously, although the goal was not achieved. How much have ZARS told you of what happened?"

Alric offered a small smile but it convened his own feelings of friendship with the man. He nodded to the statement before becoming still once more and allowed himself to be looked over once more. When the Ascendancy discussed Jensen’s ability his own curiosity was peaked, his personal growth in handling the power was stagnant. Alric still relied on his GSG 9 background to help heavily and his time in DV didn’t afford him a chance enough to practice as he should’ve. Nikolai’s orders took precedent over everything else. Still as they began to exit the company of the others he did get a kick out of Viktor’s dismissal knowing how well that would sit with a man like him.

When the two entered his room, Alric only relaxed once he looked through the room again, even then he stood in front of the door. With a soft click of his tongue Alric spoke while he changed, “You really need to teach me that someday.” tactically such a skill was priceless and it would allow him to hold others that visited with Nikolai in private in his cross-hairs without them none the wiser. “Thanks though when I return I expect fireworks not you playing with ordinance.” He shrugged with a chuckle, “but that builds character I suppose.” Alric didn’t have a habit of second guessing Nikolai’s actions, he trusted the man’s nature to judge a situation with excellent accuracy and act accordingly.

However he was quick to stop jest and answer honestly, “Not much. What I do have is from the media and Consul Leonid on the flight back. I was off hunting a sand rat in the desert after all. ZARS informed me there was a DOA in addition to yourself, the Sigma, and a female.” Alric tried to always be vigilant on keeping his own assumptions out of mind during such events, rose-colored glasses never really helped anyone after all. He cleared his throat lightly before continuing on.

Are you okay?” The words held his concern was not for the Ascendancy, not for the CCD, but the man himself; his friend Nikolai. Alric knew that his well-being wasn’t going to stop him but he did want the man to pause for a breath and check in with himself. Alric’s goal was the protection of the Ascendancy and he included his mental health as well as his friend’s physical well-being.
Nikolai paused in looping the belt around his waist, looking up at Alric with a frown. Nothing the man said elicited the suspension of dressing, but rather a name that was casually mentioned. "Leonid?"
Why would he be involved? What was the media discussing during Alric's flight? A pit formed in Nikolai's stomach.

Face drawn, he moved to the controls on the bed and keyed in the command to turn on the television. A screen lit to life along the wall. Movies. Shows. Games. Faces and sets Nikolai didn't recognize flickered quickly until he found a news source.

His jaw dropped when a gruesome image filled the view. It was of a man stretched on a gurney, unconscious, being rushed into a hospital. Tubes thrust from his mouth. Blood smeared his chest. Even the scars on his limp arm were there for the world to see. Something stuck out from between his ribs. Nik's hand unconsciously brushed his side.

It was him. That was what he looked like? That sickly, pale, pathetic body shrouded in death was him? He shivered. A voice haunted his memory, but he swallowed the fear that threatened his confidence.

He looked to Alric, voice drawn with shock. "How did that get out?"
What were the ramifications of this? The world thought he was dying. There was proof that he could die. It was RIGHT THERE!

"This is what Viktor wanted to tell me."
He clamped his jaw shut. Some of the anger he'd unleashed upon Aria rose, but only this time, it was directed at himself. Surely Viktor hadn't released the images on purpose. Someone must have stolen them. Gained access to CCD controlled networks. Leonid held a release. Nik looked back to the screen. The image of a blonde woman at a desk looked back at him. Only this woman had no idea she was speaking to Ascendancy. Giving him the first glimpse of news of himself. Neither did she have any idea what she was saying were lies.

His brows rose. A nuclear weapon? Detonated and contained by Ascendancy? The burns were from the blast of radiation? Two others taken by ambulance. He was in surgery. He was near death.

His fists curled tight. He was as far from death as one could be. To conflate him with mortality was absurd.

He muted the screen and quickly finished dressing. He carefully tucked his shirt in, arranged his hair neatly to one side and washed his face. He affixed the buttons around his wrist, smoothing the cloth over his scarred up arm. Alric had seen them before, although he was only one of a mere handful that had. He understood the significance. There wasn't time to properly shower and shave without cutting his face to shreds, even with as sharp a razor as the power could make. So he left the stubble on his chin, but smoothed it down with cream. The eyes that looked back at him in the mirror were stones, flat and cold. Unfeeling. Unsympathetic. He then shrugged a jacket around his shoulders, not bothering to do a tie. Neither did he have the crescent lapel pin. Nor did he bother with creating one out of scrap metal. He didn't care. His presence alone radiated command. Symbols, even the Arcus band, were accessory. The very fact that he was upright and unblemished was symbolic: a deity that could not be cut down.

"Let's go witness a miracle, Alric,"
he said, voice cool. They would go to Aria's room to watch another healing. If Jensen had the strength. And if Aria would allow it. The woman was a sadist.

Viktor waited in the hall to greet them, but Nikolai held a hand up that he remain silent. They would deal with the fallout of all this together, but not now.

Ascendancy departed with Jeeves. There was yet another opportunity to watch the Padre heal. After the Sigma got some clothes, though. Those hospital gowns sucked, he remembered. Ass all hanging out and stuff. He didn't really understand why that was important in a hospital. He doubted most stays in the hospital required quick access to the ass.

He laughed inside. It was probably some pervy doctor who came up with that to check out his patients and it stuck. He knew the nurses had gotten a peek or two at his cheeks when he was there. His face went red, but he laughed it off and told them to stop checking him out.

An orderly brought in a pair of scrubs and Ivan and Jensen left the room to give the guy some privacy. The Sigma came out plucking at the fabric of the material with distaste, as if he were uncomfortable. Ivan didnt comment on it. The guy had no sense of humor anyway.

Stepanovitch led them to another room and his mouth dropped open. Despite the burns, he knew her. Or had met her anyway. She was Nox's friend. What was she doing here? He wanted to ask her, but Viktor had waved him to silence. "The Ascendancy will be here in a moment. Mr. James has agreed to provide healing."

She looked in better shape than the Ascendancy or Sigma had been in. There was a story here. Maybe he'd get to know it. Speaking of which, he looked at the man. He had a puzzled look on his face. For a moment anyway. He noticed Ivan watching him and his face went blank. Yeah. There was a story here. He felt his instincts kick in. He wanted to solve that puzzle.

Later, though. After the healing. He tried to figure out what the Padre would do, how he would proceed. There would be probing, figuring out what was wrong. Then....a strategy. That's what he wanted to see. How the man figured out what to do and in what order. He'd definitely get more out of it this time.
Marcus didn't like the scrubs. Tight in all the wrong places, especially across the chest. There wasn't any elasticity to it either, no give. How did people wear these?

In any case, it was only a mild discomfort. He was looking forward to the healing. His mind had already drifted into research mode, ready to categorize and analyze each weave he saw.

Once the door opened, he saw the green eyed woman on the bed. A sharp sword of panic stabbed through him. The woman from the house! The owner of that magnificent sword. Immediately, his mind ran down his memory, searching to see what she could have seen or remembered. No one could know about his hunts!

Malik remembered everything about that night, especially the end. It was a delicious memory that he played in his head many times. But now, it was not to relish it. Now, it was to see if he was in danger. If he was...what could he do?

No. He didn't think he was in danger, after a moment. He had worn his disguise of fire and smoke the entire time she was there and had modulated his voice with a weave of compressed air. He'd said nothing, either, to give away who he was. Of course, perhaps she had a way of seeing through all of that. He could not assume anything, at this point. Still...

He stood by the door. Just in case.
He was quiet as he followed the others along the hall. He also kept his face angled low, hands in his pockets as they passed armed men. Some wore suits, others wore uniforms. They only reminded him of exactly where he was; exactly who had just been restored. It made him want to shiver. While in Ascendancy's presence, all his hope and focus had been to make sure the man was restored but now that minutes and distance separated them, he began to wonder if he had just healed the antichrist. That meant only one thing, but Jensen couldn't fathom it now.

He looked up as they entered the new room. His eyes went straight to her, and he recognized her instantly even though the environment was about as opposite as it could be from the last time they met. His jaw parted and Jensen blinked.

He hurried to her bedside. She had been the one that killed that monstrous mist demon, she'd been covered in blood then. She was covered in blood now.

He went to pat her on the hand gently as he looked her over. "Aria?"

((ooc: I cant remember if I know Aria's name or not, so I guessed.))

Forum Jump:

Users browsing this thread: 3 Guest(s)