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Combing the Grid
Aria had been spending more nights out and less days awake. The couple upstairs were driving her crazy. Every night for the past month they were either fighting or making up. Both were equally hard on Aria's state of mind. So she took to sleeping during the day and wandering the streets at night.

The frigid air of winter allowing Aria to carry both guns and swords with ease and hiding them from view. She got less strange looks this way. Her long coat bundled around her shoulders and legs and a wool cap barely allowing her green eyes to show beneath them. Sadly Aria had yet to find a pair of gloves that would be long enough to cover a good share of her forearms, and allow for the movement required to wield a sword or pull the trigger of a gun with out getting in the way. But she was overly picky about that, she remembered Father Dimitri claiming that she was impossible to shop for. She smiled at the fond memory, there were so few of them growing up.

For the past few nights Aria had been walking the streets of Moscow in a pattern following the streets like a grid, walking the alleys and marking gps points in here wallet of man hole covers and various other objects of note that could be used by the Ijiraq for means of escape. Those things to be checked later.

It was tedious work, and not at all relaxing. She sought one thing and one thing alone, the hunger she had felt the night she'd met Dane, a very strange man who could wield the power of the gods. Aria shook her head as she remembered the feeling. She had yet to find it again. But it didn't matter really if she did find it. She had no way of killing it on her own. The moment it would see her it would vanish in puff of mist and Aria would have to find it all over again.

The newspapers were far from helpful and she'd yet to get permission from the Atharim to gain access to the police reports to see if there was a pattern. Aparently she didn't rank high enough. Red tape was tricky but she'd get it if she bothered them enough. Maybe the hacker girl, Katya was her name, could find the answers for her? But she had not heard back yet from the girl.

Aria's mind wandered as she focused on the hunger. There was nothing but her and the emptiness of the world. Focusing on one thing zeroed out the others, it was the only thing that seemed to help her relax these days. Hunting the Ijiraq was almost better than a good nights sleep.

Edited by Aria, Feb 28 2014, 01:40 PM.
Jensen coughed the water that still stung the back of his throat. Ten minutes ago he'd nearly choked to death when he happened to take a swig at the same time as rounding a corner and literally walking into an old woman that was far too nimble for her age. Either she was really into yoga, or she was not the old woman he thought her to be. As soon as his feet were beneath him again, he turned to apologize, but she was completely gone. Vanished. Through bleary eyes, he searched for her, but never saw her again. If it weren't for the fact he had water all down his front, he'd been likely to think the whole thing had been a figment of his imagination.

He knew better.

A chill shivered down his spine now, thinking about it. Was that the same old woman he'd seen the night Jessika returned? He was usually so sharp when it came to remembering faces, but at the time he'd been half out of his mind with worry over Jessika's arrival, that he'd dismissed the old woman before he knew what she really was.

Truth be told, he still wasn't sure what she really was.

Here Jensen was, walking from a metro stop and on his way to an all-night grocery store. There weren't many of those sorts of places in the upscale neighborhood around John Smith's shop. Supposed he could have placed an order online, but the extra charge for delivery seemed unnecessary when he could go to the store himself. Besides, he enjoyed surveying the produce and studying the neatly laid out aisles. It felt extremely normal to push a shopping cart and select a brand of soy sauce.

He came to an intersection, but did not recognize the street names. When he pulled out the old iScreen to pull up the map, his heart sank. The battery had died. Again. The thing was on its last legs.

The corner was empty but for him. A street lamp shone overhead, and rained harsh, ugly light upon him. Maybe he'd taken the wrong turn back when he ran into the old woman?

He ran a hand through the locks of his hair, and pondered whether or not he should attempt to backtrack or plow forward and hope for the best.
Giovanni needed to get out and see the city. Anything. He was feeling cooped up. Michael had given him shelter for awhile, but he was more used to being out on the streets. Being underneath the sky brought a calm feeling to Giovanni.

He had learned how to control his power. At least he wouldn't accidentally channel the power. He could remain cautious and not draw undue attention to himself.

Being on the streets again brought back to mind old habits and Giovanni's eyes glanced around searching for any threats and...targets.

Giovanni began to feel the need to steal again. He didn't need anything, but just the thought of theft brought a smile to his face. It was familiar and more importantly, it added a little bit of chaos to the world.

Unfortunately, the streets were pretty empty. Few people were out which meant there were less targets. It also meant it would be difficult for him to hid in the crowd after he picked someone's pocket.

Giovanni went and learned against a wall shrouded in shadow. Mostly, he was content to be left alone. A theft could always be done later. He sighed contentedly, feeling relatively at peace for the first time in years. He knew he could defend himself now from those that hunted him.

He kept his eyes open, looking at the city and keeping calm. It was nice to be out and he would let the night pass and take whatever came to him.
The hunger wasn't easy to find. It had contained most of her focus this night, she almost missed the two men in front of her. One hid in the shadows and seemed content to stay there. Though Aria did feel as if there might be a bit of criminal intent missed in. She couldn't decide whether or not that was her own mistrust or something he actually felt. The other gave Aria confused vibes.

Between the confused one and her was the man in the shadows. It was several feet before she reached the first. And Aria was cautious, she stopped in the shadows herself wondering what to do. But there was a new party to the mix. Soon the hunger was overwhelming. Aria nearly fell against the wall with the intensity of the hunger.

The Ijiraq was close, or one was, it could be the same one that had attacked Dane before, but she would never know how many were in town, or if this is the one she had found. There really was no way to tell. Aria looked around but she could not see it.

The two men left her mind, and Aria focused clearly on the hunger. She drew the old relic of a sword. It was quick and fast and it was far more sword than the other, she almost opted to just carry it. But the thought was fleeting and Aria started towards the hunger.

It was higher than she was, but in the direction of the two men. She walked sword drawn looking up into the heights of the buildings, trying to catch a glimpse of the monster. A gust of wind drew the long coat away from her legs, the holstered guns and remaining sword exposed to the elements. It was too late to button up, there were monsters about.

It was paramount the civilians not be harmed, but it was far better if they had not been here at all.
He was torn in the decision. Turn back and try again - and potentially run into the old woman again which probably wasn't a good idea - or forge on ahead and hope for the best?

As he looked behind, a cold sort of ominous feeling began to permeate his skin. He shivered, although the wind was not that cold. Worry crept in after that, and Jensen turned in a slow circle to study his surroundings. Something was off, but what?

It was then that the wind gusted the dust-coat of a small shape emerging from the shadows. A woman, Jensen realized with a start. A woman carrying - is that a sword?

He scratched at his hair, then glanced side to side as though hoping a witness might be around. He held up his hands, and slowly backed away. The menace continued to grow stronger, and it seemed to be radiating from the shadows along the street. Jensen swallowed nervously.

He called to her behind raised hands. The Texan drawl was strong. "Is there something I can do for you?"
A part of him hoped she wasn't thinking he could become a kebab on that sword of hers.
Giovanni's head turned to face a woman that was moving towards him. He paid her little attention, but kept ready in case she threatened him in any way. Suddenly a sword appeared in her hand and Giovanni tensed, ready for her to attack him, but that is when he noticed her gaze did not look towards him.

She looked up towards the rooftops. Giovanni followed her gaze and as his gaze moved up, he caught a glimpse of the guns and another sword underneath her coat. Whoever this woman was, she wasn't an ordinary citizen and she was hunting something.

Giovanni gazed up at the rooftops, eyes looking as he stepped away from the wall and moved closer to the woman. He crouched a bit, getting into a fighting stance and was prepared to defend himself in whatever way he could.

Edited by Giovanni Cavelli, Mar 11 2014, 12:34 PM.
Movement broke her concentration. The hunger was almost overwhelming, the monster was close by. Somewhere near, why here? Too many questions popped into Aria's head. Did one of these men learn how to control such a creature? Aria thought it to have been lost, but lost things can be found again.

It took a moment to notice that the shadowed man was creeping towards her. He looked as if he were ready to fight. But his gaze was upwards, where hers had been. She gave him a wide breath while heading towards the other man. Who had asked her a question, she could remember hearing the words, but she couldn't fathom the question itself.

Aria lowered her sword as she entered the sick yellow pool of light. Her attention still on the rooftops above, with the shadowed man still in her sights. She didn't know what he was up to but he didn't feel afraid.

Fear, curiosity and other emotions all mixed together but the hunger was the greatest still, it pressed in on her like a trash compactor. It was nearly suffocating, it was close and Aria had to force herself back into her little bubble of solitude. She could feel their emotions slipping off the sides, the hunger was still great, but she was not as affected by it.

"I didn't catch what you said. But I won't hurt you. I need the both of you to go home."
The last phrase was nearly a command. Aria smirked at her self, she didn't expect either of them to listen to her, they both out-weighed her and towered above her, typical of almost everyone Aria met. "It's not safe here."

Just as the words were out of her mouth, a blur of movement jumped across the rooftop in the alley way Aria had just been standing in. The light barred her night vision, Aria chided herself for stepping into the light. Now it had another advantage other than being unkillable by mortal man.

"You should leave now."

((Monster won't attack unless one of ya'll embrace the source. As of this moment the only way Aria knows to kill it is with the OP, so feel free to channel. And cause of the void Aria will suspect what you are.))

Edited by Aria, Mar 11 2014, 12:47 PM.
She was right about one thing. It definitely wasn't safe out here. There was a crazy woman wielding a sword. The light reflected on a twinge of metal beneath her coat, and she was carrying more than a sword - Is that a colt? the question interrupted his thoughts, Nice!. His Texan drawl didn't similarly color her accent, but it was nice to see a woman packing a serious gun. It was kind of nostalgic, and Jensen found himself oddly smiling.

She joined him beneath the street lamp, but Jensen was careful to stay out of the radius of that sword. She was young, and even for a woman, quite diminutive, but Jensen from personal experience that the smallest women can be the most intimidating of them all.

Jensen quickly realized her offense was not intended to strike at him. Something overhead was drawing her attention. He put a hand to his eyes and peered up, fearing some winged shape was about to swoop down upon them. The only way he knew how to face it was with the light, so he drew upon the blessed gift until it filled his soul with warmth. Invincibility came with the gift, but Jensen was careful to hone his mind on humility instead. Perhaps in this state he was more vulnerable than ever, and so were those around him.

The dim night came into sharper focus, and he retreated from the sudden blaze of the street lamp's light. "If it's not safe for me, then it's not safe for you, either, ma'am,"
he replied with the intention of going no where without her.

As he replied, his sharpened eyes finally saw another stranger, a man this time, creeping slowly toward them. His stance took on an offensive, and Jensen's heart began to race with thoughts of the monster in sheep's clothing. Could the monster take the form of a man as well as an old woman? Was he something else entirely? Or was he just another man in the wrong place at the wrong time?

Jensen wasn't sure whether he wanted to find out.

<small>((Feel free to do as you wish with the Ijiraq, and if it attacks me, that's cool. Maybe Gio can then smash it's head with a One Power rock, or something. hah. I'm kind of thinking that if Aria gets wounded in any ensuing struggle, and if there is also a harpie around, it might also swoop in on her like a hungry vulture on an animal that's not quite dead yet.)) </small>
Giovanni moved closer to the woman seeing another man. She caught the words that she wanted them to leave that it was unsafe. She didn't know that Giovanni had little regard for his own safety. He turned to face the same direction the woman faced, eyes still scanning the rooftop looking for whatever she was hunting for.

Giovanni smirked a bit ass the other man refused to leave without the woman, saying the danger was the same for her as well.

[orange]"How noble of him,"[/color] Giovanni thought and then caught the irony that he was doing the same as the other man.

Never taking his eyes off the rooftop, Giovanni spoke, "Signorina, you are hunting something, and other eyes make it easier to catch. We could serve you better if you would tell us what it is and,"
Giovanni turned to face the woman, "a weapon would help."

His eyes glanced down as Giovanni nodded at the small arsenal the woman carried, but his head quickly turned as he saw something out of the corner of his eye. When he looked, it was gone.

Once more a figure appeared to the right just out of the reach of his vision. When he turned to look, it was gone.

"And, signorina, I think the sooner the better. Something is here."

((Gio doesn't quite want to use the One Power yet, but will be more willing after he knows what it is))

Edited by Giovanni Cavelli, Mar 13 2014, 08:33 AM.
Aria sighed, stubborn men. Why did they all think a little girl like herself was defenseless, and here she was the only one with weapons. The man who once stood in the pool of light went from unsure to nothing in moments. He did not look like a fighter, he did not feel like a fighter or another who would learn to empty themselves of emotions. The world was coming to an end and every single man she met in Moscow to this day, short of Mr. White could wield the power of the gods! No wonder the Atharim started a second base of command here!

The Ijiraq moved in closer, it was circling them. There as very little that she could do, she couldn't see it in the shadows. She could feel it but there was nothing she could do to stop it. The shadow man wanted weapons. There was little weapons could do with it now.

Aria sighed, "Weapons mean nothing to this creature."

It was fast, in moments a blur of speed pounced Aria's power wielding friend (Jensen). Aria deftly intercepted it with her blade mid jump. In one nearly ear popping sound it had vanished and materialized on the other side of them, closer to the alley way.

Aria looked to the potential prey of the Ijiraq. She realized in both instances it had gone after the power. The thing that controlled the Ijiraq was also what it fed upon. Aria pushed the thought from her mind. She had no way of killing it but one here did.

"If I'm mistaken you can call me crazy later,"
She moved to stand next to her the source of the Ijiraq's attention and kept her sword in front of her, and his power behind her. The irony struck her as she spoke. "Fire of the hottest degree will burn the Ijiraq to a crisp if you can make it hot enough. But ice would be far better a solution, then I can shatter it. All things end with no head."
The trick was to make it solid! Aria pulled the other sword from her jacket and tossed it towards the shadow man. "I don't want to risk a bullet going amiss."
She doubted he knew how to use one, but it was better than the alternative, getting dead from a fool.


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