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Choices to Make
Cruz laughed and the dark light left his grasp. It left everything feeling kinda dull and awkward. He frowned. Ivan's encouraged him to try again until it came like clockwork, but Cruz's stomach growled. "That's going to be distracting." He felt better. Not great, but better than he had in days. Much better than the first day. He smiled. "Besides my father is probably pissed." Cruz walked over to the door. "Come eat. I promise my father will behave. You are helping me after all."

Ivan smiled. "Well I am hungry. Lead the way."

Cruz lead the way down stairs.


Dorian was finished with his dinner when he heard foot steps upstairs. He waved and Pavlo started serving food for the two upstairs. Pavlo poured Dorian another glass of wine and two additional ones.

When Cruz lead Ivan in Dorian was sipping at his wine. Cruz frowned at him as he sat down. "How many have you had?"

Dorian gave his son a wry smile. "I've not kept track."
He turned to Pavlo, "Pavlo how many times have your refiled my cup?"

The butler looked at his employer with a frown, "I've filled it with water downed wine four times, sir."

"How watered down?"

"I'm not sure, sir. I didn't precisely measure. You didn't instruct me to do so. I will do so next time."

"No, Pavlo that is fine. As long as it's done."
Dorian changed the subject. "You look better, son."
Dorian turned to Ivan. "Thank you. Enjoy dinner. I know I have my end of the bargain to keep so ask away. Cruz could do to listen as well."

Dorian pushed Cruz's phone across the table. "After dinner you should call Rachel, she's worried about you if he number of missed calls and text are anything to go by."

Ivan sat down with Cruz and Vega. There was some tension still in the air and the slight glassiness to Vega's eyes said that he'd had a few. It was understandable. Sometimes that edge was sharp and you needed something to sand it down.

They sat down and Vega's butler or man-servant or whatever scurried (buttled? Was that how they referred to it? A goofy word.) off to bring them food. Cruz did look better, Ivan was glad to see. And felt a small sense of pride. The guy wasn't gonna die of the sickness now that he knew what he was doing. It wasn't fighting monsters down in the tunnels or dealing with gopnik douchebags who decided to go nuclear for no reason, but it was still something.

Jeeves showed up with the food and Ivan was glad to dig in. And Vega offered to answer questions. In front of Cruz. He was serious about being open with everyone. Ivan appreciated that. The guy was trying.

He put his fork down and took a sip of his wine. Not his favorite drink, of course. Not even close. To frou-frou or high-brow. He'd much have preferred a beer. Or some vodka. But it was good enough, he supposed. He switched to interrogation mode. "Well...okay. Let's start from the beginning I guess. Tell about these people. Where they come from. Who they are. Why they do what they do."

He'd get to Vega's association with them later, of course. His association and what he had done in their service. But it would probably be easier if the man had abstract questions to answer rather than those about his specific actions.
Dorian smirked at the questions. How far back did he want him to go, Dorian could use the "once upon a time" metaphor if he truly wanted to. But that sounded sarcastic and he was fairly certain Ivan wouldn't appreciate the humor in the conversation.

"We are called the Atharim. We are the remnant of a remnant of an organization that once upon a time was tasked with taking down the gods of the old. They had enslaved humanity, and we took back the world eradicating our oppressors. Our job throughout the ages has been to continue that plight - eradicating their creations. You would call them monsters - Oni, Dreyken, Drainaka. My job is to ensure that the Atharim remain a secret, curtail investigations that would lead to our secrets. To solve cases done by these monsters. And to pass along information when necessary. I have never lied on a report, omitted things, but never falsified documentation or cheated the system. When the gods returned our original charter was instituted again. However right or wrong it is, it is the belief of the Atharim, that all gods are created the same - power corrupts."

"Questioning the beliefs of the Atharim will land one in a worse predicament with the current regime. Our leader is a zealot and a true believer. He cannot be swayed. To question him in anything can lead to your own death. We've witnessed many deaths at his hands. Rumors have said he killed a man for needing a break while researching some project. We've all seen his hand execute traitors."

Dorian sat up straight and leaned forward. "You are a good man. A good cop. And a good man like you wants to report what you know. I don't recomend it. If you hold your life dear, or that of anyone you love, it is in your best interest to take these secrets to your grave. I won't harm you. But if they find out you know about us, there is only two ways they know how to handle you. You either join us, or you die. He murders our own kind, what do you think he'll do to a thorn under his side."
Ivan sat stunned, his food forgotten now. It was hard to believe....except he could use the power. And there were those things in the tunnels. The world was not the place he'd grown up in.

He had so many questions he wanted to ask. But this leader of theirs.... This was a terrorist organization, as bad as any that had existed in the past. Executing people without trial or due process? And yet...those things in the tunnels. He opened his mouth to speak when his and Dorian's wallets buzzed, though in Dorian's case, it was two. If it had been his alone, he would have ignored it.

He read the alert and raised his eyes to meet Dorian's own stunned look. Ivan flipped the wallet into holo-broadcast mode and began playing Ascendancy's news conference.

When it was done, silence filled the room. Finally, Ivan spoke. "Look's like the Atharim have just come out of the closet."
And they might just face justice, after all.

So why did he feel unnerved about that?

Edited by Ivan Sarkozy, Jun 24 2016, 12:38 PM.
The first alert went off seconds after Ivan's own. The second one came on the heels of them both. Fuck! Something god worthy just happened.

Dorian looked at his department wallet. But Ivan was already throwing up his holo and watching as the Ascendancy just declared himself a god - magic was real. Dorian rolled his eyes and took his other wallet and looked at the messages. There were multiple now. One alert, a message from Martin, We've a shit storm to correct. Sent between friends as Dorian didn't work for Martin really anymore. He was the high and mighty Metatron now - the leader of the squads sent after the gods.

Ivan's comment made Dorian chuckled. He had to use that term. Even Cruz saw the humor in it and was snickering behind his wine glass. Dorian was glad to see his son enjoying the moment - even if it was at his expense despite Ivan's lack of knowledge. Dorian heard Cruz mutter under his breath, "Maybe you should too Dad."

Dorian rolled his eyes. Cruz leaned forward and asked. "So, Dad, what do you think this means. For me and Ivan? For you? This coming out of the closet thing." He was still chuckling over the humor of Ivan's words.

Dorian gave his son a level gaze and his son stopped chuckling but the smirk on his lips never left. "I wouldn't register. All the Atharim need is to look in that database for every bit of information on you. Ascendancy can protect you if he's got you in one location. There aren't enough cops to protect every reborn god out there. For me it means I've got a shit ton of work to do on both sides. I guarantee you crime is going to go up and those committed by godlings is going to be higher than usual. Vigilanties who know knowing nothing of hunting gods will come out of the woodwork. This won't be the first time, nor the last the Atharim have had to squash rumors. It's an endless cycle."

Edited by Dorian, Jun 24 2016, 12:44 PM.
Dorian was right, of course. Registering seemed dangerous. A list of names? Sounded like something the Atharim would love to have.

This kind of news would have consequences. He wondered if Ascendancy had thought it through? People did not react well to danger. And he had to be honest. People with abilities like him were dangerous. He knew that from experience. Volodin had wounded many people in his attack on him, had even killed innocent bystanders- for whatever reason in that head of his. And then there was Andlain and his followers. He still felt anger at the loss of his brothers in blue.

If he, a CCDPD officer felt uneasy about all these people roaming the streets, able to cause destruction on a whim- he, who was one of them!- then what would ordinary people feel? It wasn't like fear hadn't governed before. It was before his time, of course, but was still recent history. The world had gone through a brutal period of terrorism and passions and fears ran high. Profiling, lynchings, hate crimes, radicalization, suicide bombers. It had been chaos until Ascendancy and the then ASU had been able to finally- and brutally, he admitted- put down much of the source of the terrorism. It still festered as events in DIV recently showed.

Suddenly, he knew that things were only going to get worse in his city. Ascendancy has set off his own bomb. What had the man been thinking?

"I think that's a good idea."
He fixed Dorian with a firm look, trying to decide what to say. Finally, "We took an Oath, to protect people and maintain order. This-"
he waved his hand to take in everything that was going on- "is going to lead to a lot of violence- vigilantes, reactionaries. And God knows how these power users will respond. But this is my city. These are my people. Ascendancy-"
he shook his head. He loved the man, served the man, revered the order he had created. But he was angry with him now. "The Ascendancy has made a huge mess that we can't even begin to imagine. We are going to be working over time to clean up. And that doesn't even touch on how your Atharim friends are going to react."

He stood. He had no appetite anymore. He needed to get to HQ, needed to speak to the LT- or even better, the Cap. He looked at Cruz. "Keep practicing. You may need your power."
Back to Dorian. "I need to get back to HQ. See what our orders are. You coming?"
Dorian knew exactly how the Atharim would respond. First take out the cause of the problem and trickle down from there to the things that needed quieting first. Dorian was certain Martin was already on clean up duty. He feared for his friends life. Ascendancy was not like any man in the past - he was more a god than any they'd faced yet. He was near untouchable and that wasn't even because of his power.

Ivan asked Dorian if he was coming. He sighed and stood up. "I need to change. If you'd wait? Despite the watered down wine I probably shouldn't drive."
Not that he would have anyway, and if Ivan denied the ride Dorian would call another officer to give him a ride. He wasn't an idiot but he did need to be at the precinct. And he wasn't that drunk but it was his day off. He might have to have Pavlo water the wine down more if the next few days are even half as stressful as the last ones were. Fucking gods everywhere.

Dorian almost missed Ivan's nod at his question. He inclined his head. "Much appreciated."

Dorian walked upstairs to his bedroom and sighed at the decor. He couldn't want for Ana to return and do her magic. His walls had been stripped of the horrid wallpaper, but now it looked unfinished and he hadn't had time to tell Pavlo to hire someone to decorate. Now Ana could.


Dorian came down the stairs wearing much the same thing as before except it was clean and crisp were as before he'd been pacing and the crisp lines had been softened from his movements and the tell-tell signs of sitting for long periods of time. They probably smelled of stale wine. He hadn't realized how stressed out this had been making him. But seeing Cruz up and walking around had reduced his fears. Cruz would survive and that was all that mattered to Dorian. Cruz would survive and he would make sure of it. Dorian'd kill Martin himself if he thought of touching his boy - friend or not.

Dorian nodded to Ivan. "Thanks for waiting."

((ooc we can move to another thread if you want no need to prolong the conversation unless you want to of course. I'm sure Ivan can ask all sorts of questions of his now captive.))

continued here

Edited by Dorian, Jul 5 2016, 04:34 PM.

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