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Continued from: A New Start

Michael closed the door as soon as Giovanni entered the house, the plain but spacious main room was vacant, as it usually was these days. The couch was free and the TV off.

The man's suspicious nature fanned his own cautious streak. Even before he had a chance to ask Giovanni about the Atharim, he had taught Michael something already.

The constant tension was taxing. Perhaps he needed a break before he snapped. He thought he had reigned his emotions in, but the lingering memory of the Rougarou was enough to cause doubt.

However, that was for another day. For now, he had a promise to fuilfill; and without Tony, it was going to be difficult. He was probably a worse teacher than he was a student on THIS particular topic.

He turned to Giovanni. "I'm afraid you'll have to stay downstairs."
Michael pointed to the door to the basement adjacent to the kitchen. "The couch in here is taken. Don't worry, he is the same as us."

The thought was wearying. He had not intended to live like this, hiding fugitives and using his house as some kind of orphanage for the hunted, but neither could he sit by and do nothing.

How many strays will I pick up before someone decides to simply set the house alight?

It would not be that easy to kill him, of course. However, there were far worse things than fire that could be used.

Another day...

Michael took a hold of his straying thoughts and crushed them under heel, drawing in the Power to feel life itself rushing through his veins. He sat down on the right side of the three seater couch and gestured for Giovanni to sit on the left. "This may take some time. It will be far harder to learn since you have already developed a mental barrier against the power.
" He hesitated, wondering if Giovanni already knew about it, but decided to continue. The man would have to make do. "You said you can only use the power when you are scared. That is a hindrance, one that may cost your life. Breaking down this barrier is hard, and often painful,"
Michael knew that all too well, painful and cold. "You have to open your mind, which means reliving the past and moving forward. So tell me about the first time you used the power. Not just what happened, but what you felt, everything."

It had taken Michael months to break down his own barriers, but Tony had been soft, only resorting to extreme measures at the very last. Giovanni would not be indulged in the same fashion. The stakes were far too high
Giovanni followed Michael into the spacious, but plain room. He was sure the other man had noticed him looking over his shoulder constantly. He felt comfortable around Michael,but it was hard to break old habits. Sharing his secret with someone made him even more paranoid and Giovanni had thought he had seen his nephew's face several times on the trip back. Entering the house had eased most of his paranoia.

Michael pointed to the basement, stating that Giovanni would have to stay down there as the couch was already taken. Staying in a basement sounded wonderful as compared to sleeping outside or in a hayloft. It also seemed to Giovanni, that Michael offered shelter to others sought out by the Atharim. Hopefully,the Atharim wouldn't discover him.

Michael seemed completely calmas he sat down onthe couch, gesturing for Giovanni to do the same. As he sat, Michael began to speak.

"This may take some time. It will be far harder to learn since you have already developed a mental barrier against the power."
Michael said matter of factly.

This wasn't news to Giovanni. He had heard about channelers who developed blocks. Oftentimes, they were more dangerous than those without them. There use of the power was sporadic and unpredictable if you didn't know their block.

Michael comtinued, "You said you can only use the power if you are scared. That is a hindrance, one that may cost your life. Breaking down this barrier is hard, and often painful. You have to open your mind, which means reliving the past and moving forward. So tell me about the first time you used the power. Not just what happened, but what you felt, everything."

Giovanni hadn't expected to having to relive his past a whole lot, and for a moment debated whether or not to share his real identity. Giovanni decided that Michael knew enough about his Atharim padt, that he didn't need to know his real name yet. After all, he could share some of his past without explaining that.

Giovanni took a deep breath and spoke, "The first time I used the power consciously was when I killed my brother. I had developed the sickness, and knew that I could use the power. I knew the Atharim would come after me."
Giovanni winced as if saying the word would draw their attention. "I did not know they would send my brother and nephew to do the deed. When I saw them, I felt a fear thatI had never felt before. They approached to take me into custody. I was backed into a corner, afraid for my life, feeling like I should allow them to bring me in, but st the same time wanting to survive. I felt something rising up in me - an unfamiliar power welling up inside of me as storm clouds built in the sky and lightning began to flash. A bolt struck my brother,killing him instantly and knocking my nephew back. My nephew was knocked unconscious. I was in Roma at the time. I fled, and have been on the run ever since. That was about three years ago."

Giovanni realized his hands had started to shake a little and he had the string urge to cry. He resisted tears and wondered if he was really prepared for this.

Edited by Giovanni Cavelli, Oct 14 2013, 11:10 AM.
Michael sat in silence after Giovanni concluded his tale. His mind ticking over the possibilities.

The only experience he had with mental blocks was his own, and that was vastly different. He could only use the power when he wanted to kill - at the time, it was the only thing he knew about it. His rage - at the world for striking him down with such an afficliction, the Atharim for hunting him, and most of all himself, for being helpless to control it - blinded him to any other use; and he had paid for that blindness dearly.

The problem and cause was quite clear. The solution however, was not.

It also presented another problem. Michael thought the man was paranoid, certainly, but perhaps it was more than that. He did not want to be responsible for giving such power to a madman.

Preparing a net of power, ready to strike at any moment, Michael spoke, his voice cold and flat. "Good, although you should have killed your cousin as well. Those abominations are not worthy to be called family. How did you kill him? I hope it was painful. Perhaps you can teach me it."

He stood, his smile wiped away by cool impassiveness and he split a few threads of fire and ignited the cold charcoal in the fireplace, never taking his eyes from Giovanni's face. "Did you know that you can boil a man's blood from the inside?"
He forced a smile - a shark bearing it's teeth before a seal. "I will teach you that first."
Giovanni felt the menacing feeling that he felt when he first met Michael. As Michael began talking, a larger sense of unease began to fill him. Mentioning he should have killed his nephew and asking how he killed his brother brought uneasy feelings to Giovanni. He almost felt afraid of this man, and sure enough, the power began to bubble slightly in his stomach.

He then mentioned that he knew how to boil a man's blood from the inside. Giovanni felt extremely nervous about that. Especially since he couldn't control it. What if he accidentally killed someone again?

Then Giovanni thought, "What if he's trying to make me afraid? Is this something he is doing to break down my barrier?"

Giovanni sat in silence for a few moments, feeling the power inside of him, and for the first time, he wanted to feel it surging in him. It seemed the more he used it, the more he wanted to hold on to it.

Regardless, Giovanni thought that he should learn something more defensive at this point. "Do you think that is the best thing for me to learn first? What if I can't control it?"

Giovanni couldn't look Michael in the eyes as he said it. At this point, Giovanni knew that he was afraid to kill as well. He didn't want to kill anyone yet.
He watched without expression as Giovanni struggled through whatever emotions boiled beneath the surface.

It was harsh - perhaps too harsh - but he would do it his way, and he wanted to be sure. The net he prepared did not waver.

After an age or a moment - wrapped with the power, time lost meaning and only purpose remained - Giovanni made his reply.

Michael wanted to smile at the words, but chose to remain impassive. Impressive though. He had once mistook violence for defending himself, but with this power, there were better ways.

Despite the revelation, he still intended to destroy as much of the Atharim legacy as he could. It was too late to go back, but knowing Giovanni would not make the same mistake was a comforting thought.

"Good, you have the right idea. However, it's far too dangerous to start with something that complicated. Despite what it may sometimes seem this power isn't primarily a weapon. You have to start with something much more mundane."

Before that there was the problem of his barrier. Michael thought he already knew the problem. Giovanni's barrier stemmed from the fear of the power itself. He had been taught that it was evil - he had killed his own brother the first time he used it.

Now how to rip that barrier down...

Michael took his seat again as if nothing had happened. "Tell me...What did the Atharim teach you about this power? There may be something I can use to make things easier."

He doubted it, it was something that couldn't be explained, you had to feel it. Michael needed time to think though, and keep Giovanni's mind occupied in the meantime.
Giovanni was surprised to find that he was somewhat at ease answering this question.

"Surprisingly, I know very little of the Power itself. Only that it is addictive and well that it's something that needs s to be eradicated. Atharim lore states that long ago, the world was ruled by gods. These gods were able to use the Poweri. At first they served humanity, but soon became tyrants, subjugating humanity with their power. That is why the Atharim seek men and women like us. Our own power could destroy everything. They fear the return of the gods."

The whole speech made Giovanni wonder "Am I a reborn god?"

The thought brought an image into his head of himself in a desert surrounded by a sandstorm. The chaos of the storm brought a feeling of satisfaction to Giovanni.

Giovanni sat back, hisown thoughtss s taking over as he pondered this thought.

For all Michael's questions and searching, he had not considered the possibility. He dismissed it without any serious consideration. He had found the Atharim knew precious little in the way of actual fact about the power and myths and legends were so often corrupted.

Besides, any Gods who were thrown from their thrones by the people that worshipped them did not deserve the name. No, he doubted very much he was a God.

Nonetheless, myth had some grain of truth, more often than not. Fear of the power and corruption sounded much more plausible. But now was not the time to think about such things. Whatever the truth was, it would matter little if Goivanni couldn't do anything with it.

An idea formed in his mind, raw and volatile. Dangerous, certainly, but it would be swift and effective if it paid off.

Just a little more...

He pulled in as much of the power as he possibly could and spun a net of power - Fire, Air and Earth - but left it unformed, re-working the pattern. He would have to be precise or it would go very, very badly.

"Do you feel like a god?"
he asked, his voice cool and distant in the void of emotion. "Hunted and trembling in fear is not the action of a God, surely? We fumble in the dark through a path of daggers to wield this power and we still know barely anything about it. Tell me, what do you think about yourself?"

It might seem trivial, but the question was important. The seed needed to be planted even when they were being forced to grow.
Giovanni perked up as Michael putvoice to the thoughts Giovanni had been thinking moments before.

"Do you feel like a god?"
Michael said.

Givanni thought of the times he had used the power,the foremost in his mind being the death of his brother. The pure ferocity of it was otherworldly. A strength rose up in him as he accepted his power, not feeling as afraid of it as before.

"Hunted and trembling in fear is not the action of a.God, surely?"
Michael continued.

"No it wouldn't be,
thought Giovanni.

Michael continued, asking Giovanni what he thought of himself, and for the first time Giovanni really looked the man in the eye.

"I can't say whether or not I'm a god. To be honest, that seems a little far fetched. That can be researched later, for now, I'm not sure if its important or not. At one time I was confident and mostly fearless. After I discovered my power, I became fearful and unconfident. I think its time to move on from that. Signore, I'm tired of hiding from everything. Its time to accept who I am. I know this will be hard, but I'm ready to work hard and make this happen."

Giovanni sighed, and continued, "No matter what, this power is a part of me and I need to be able to control it and I need to quit being afraid of it. What do I do, Signore?"

Giovanni sat up straight, willing to be receptive to Michael's lesson no matter what. It was time for.Giovanni Cavelli tobecome who he really was, god or not.[/color]

Edited by Giovanni Cavelli, Oct 31 2013, 09:16 AM.
"No matter what, this power is a part of me and I need to be able to control it and I need to quit being afraid of it. What do I do, Signore?"


It seemed Giovanni was more willing than he had anticipated. That was good, he would need it.

Michael took a moment to study the man's face. It was slightly unnerving looking at his glacial blue eyes. With power-enhanced vision he saw the nuances that would be lost on the naked eye.

Fear, uncertainty, paranoia writhed like deadly serpents along the contours of Giovanni's facial expression, so minute, but they screamed danger to Michael.

However, he saw great determination and an inquisitive mind. He could not yet say which direction that would take Giovanni, but he would give the man a chance to prove himself.

Michael said nothing as he completed the net he held, his body completely still as he flung it at Giovanni.

The threads of the net of Fire, Earth and Air spiralled together to form a sheet of blistering fire. He allowed the heat to radiate from the orange flame to solidify the effect. It was the most dangerous aspect of the net, but he had a chilling aptitude for anything destructive.

The wall of fire engulfed Giovanni, obscuring his face. Michael prepared another net for when he inevitably reached for the power and slid it over the conduit connecting him to the power. Michael had to be very careful and his motion was slow and precise.

He could not grasp the net that Tony had showed him, nor use it to it's full potential and slide it into place. It hovered over the precieved link like a cocked gun aimed at a head.

A bead of sweat ran down his face - from the concerntration and radiating heat, but Michael did not waver. He shut out Giovanni completely, ignoring any screams of pain or pleas if he made any.

It was something the man would have to figure out on his own. Michael would not allow him to access the power, but he could grasp at it. Michael's barrier was not as efficient as Tony's, and it happened to work in his favour.

The flames radiated intense heat, sweltering in the air. It reminded him of the waves of heat you could see looking down a road on a boiling day back home.

Giovanni would feel the heat and pain - just enough to distract him. He would not burn, however. Nor would he be injured in any way. It was not exactly an illusion. The flame was real as was the heat. Michael simply... took away... the destructive elements, leaving it a hollow mirage of death.

In short, there was no danger. Giovanni's fear would be a product of his own misconception - just as his fear of his own power was. It was a harsh demonstration, but death did not wait on comfort. Nor would the Atharim.

Michael maintain his nets with impenetrable cool. It would be up to Giovanni to break through his barrier now.
Giovanni gasped sharply, finally aware of the Power building in Michael, but it was too late. Suddenly, Giovanni was engulfed in flames. Giovanni screamed in pain as the heat surrounded him, but had a feeling his screams would be ignored. Michael had said this would be painful.

Giovanni couldn't see Michael's face through the flames, and he wondered how hard it was for him to maintain it. Giovanni wondered if he could hold through the pain and wait him out.Giovanni doubted it. Fear began to rise within him - fear of dying in a fiery death and instinctively, Giovanni waited for the power to.surge in his gut as it usually did. Giovanni was surprised to se that it wasn't flooded into to him though. He could however, sense it just beyond his reach.

It was an entirely new feeling for Giovanni and everything clicked. Somehow, Michael prevented him from drawing on the power, but he could still grasp at it. He had to break throogh his barrier and grab it.

Fear continued to fill him and then Giovanni realized his skin wasn't burning. Somehow, the flames power was muted. It was still painful, but Giovanni was sure he was safe.

He turned his attention to the power he could.feel.just beyondnhis grasp. He tried to muffle the screams still.escaping from him so he could concentrate. He saw the power as lava beneath a mountain trying to explode from beneath the mountaintop. He needed to break throguh that barrier so he could grasp the power. He reached out, trying to grab it, but only feltit slip through his fingers.

He was afraid of it. He didn't want the power inside him, but knew that is what he needed. Giovanni himself, telling himself that his power was nothing to fear and that he could accomplish many things after he learned to use it. Givanni grasped at it again, this time feeling a small trickle come into him. He kept grasping, wanting more of it after he got his first taste of the sweetness of it. He kept grasping more and more of it, and feeling it flow.into him. It was slow, not like the other times he had used the power in which he had to use the excess power right away in torrential storms. He felt like he could cintrol it, instead comtrolling him. In his excitement, he lost concentration and the power left hi much more quickly than it had come, and the pain came backto replace it.

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