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Family Business
#1
The first few days had been highly eventful. The new job proved to be exciting and scary all at the same time. Meeting the woman who could be the dreaded hybrid offspring of Autunna Luna and her father made Alex worry.

The night after meeting her Alex called her father. Her mother answered the phone. They chatted about things, but when Alex asked to speak to her Father, her mother became worried. It was unusual for anyone to want to speak to him. Alex reassured her mother, but it would do little good once her father told her mother about the conversation.

Alex's heart jumped in her throat the moment he answered, "What is wrong Alessandra?"

In a whisper, "I think Autunna Luna's offspring survived the Atharim, in their own society even."
Alex didn't know why she was whispering there was no one in her apartment, much less close enough to eavesdrop around her, she was sure of it. Her senses were stretched wide. She'd know if anyone came anywhere near her door.

There was a long pause on the other side of the phone as her father thought. Talking on the phone was always disorienting for Alex, she was so used to feeling the other persons emotions run through their minds. But then again she was sure she didn't want to know what ran through her father's head.

"Why would you say that? The Atharim kill us on sight."

Alex sighed, "I know this Father. But she is Sentient, and she is Atharim. I know for fact both, she bears the same exact tattoo on her left arm as Autunna Luna."


Giordano was a hard man, he was a strict father, and an even stricter leader among their kind. He was respected, and feared by the Sentient community. Alex didn't want him to come to Moscow, but she knew he would, long before he told her.

"Did you get her name? Give it to me child. I will be there in a few days."

Alex gave her Aria's name, and said she'd have a picture waiting for him. She had taken it from the cameras at the station. Highly illegal, but this was family business, not a police matter.
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#2
Alex wasn't looking forward to her father coming to Moscow. But in reality had she not expected anything different. She probably could have handled the matter on her own. But her father was probably the best person for the job. Though Alex wasn't sure what he would do with Autunna Luna's child.

The woman was after all kin, a hybrid maybe, but still kin. She was his daughter. A mistake to be corrected, Alex found that hard to believe. But this Aria had dangerous friends, in more ways than one. Alex's gut feeling about Dane Gregory hadn't proven themselves in their short discussions, but she knew he was the wrong sort of person. And the Atharim were just plain dangerous. But that didn't mean they deserved to die on sight. Killing them would make her and her family just like them, and they weren't. It was a dilemma she was going to struggle with for a while Alex thought.

But there was nothing more to do than wait for her father now. Doing more would only insight his anger, and Alex didn't want to do that. Maybe he'd just talk to her. Alex knew that was not going to be the case, but she could hope.




Alex would have gone to the airport or train station or bus depot or whatever, but her father had not called to give her an itinerary, totally typical of her father. He arrived on her door step a few minutes after she had taken off her shoes and poured a glass of wine to sit on her couch with a good book.

There was pleasantries exchanged before he saw himself to the guest room, and then out the door again, photo in hand and a duffle bag. Alex didn't inquire what was in the bag, the look on her father's face said that he meant business. Alex shivered. She never wanted to be on the receiving side of that look. Alex almost felt sorry for her half sister - almost.
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#3
Giordano took the picture and the bag and hunted for the girl who survived. It was a puzzle to be solved, a family matter to be taken care of. One that he probably should have dealt with better. The girl was probably harmless. She was only quarter Sentient, sure that was enough to mark her safe for the Atharim to let live.

Giordano's father, adoptive father anyway, had always told Giordano that he was one of the most powerful Sentient he'd ever met. So maybe it wasn't about the genetics, but the talent of it. But why let the child live? It was more the mystery than the girl herself.

Aria Piccolo, a variation on little wind, or even little song if you decided. The girl must have been named like her mother, Autumn moon. Such a weird tradition. But they were Atharim, and they were a weird cult if Giordano had ever seen one.

Giordano really had no idea where to look for the girl. Alessandra could have probably done the leg work and gotten an address through her CCDP connections. But the less Alessandra knew the better. She had only been a girl when the Atharim came the first time, and the second he couldn't bare to think on. They had lost Christina that night. They were after him, and he'd been trying to be so careful. Even Erica had been surprised.

The only place in Moscow that might drawn an Atharim was the Enlightened District. All those old musty smelling book shops, surely anything old was a draw. Their cult thrived on old traditions. Giordano went there first. Maybe he'd luck out. Maybe he'd find something more. Only way to know would be to go hunting. He wondered if this was how Autunna Luna had first felt when they'd met.
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