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The room was still and silent save for the tick of the clock, its soft sound like the echo of feet on winding stone stairs, ascending an infinite tower. Each beat, each step, slowed his heart until it too beat in time, as he ascended the Bhutanese meditation tower of the Chong Ran discipline. Each step shaved off layers to his awareness. He ceased being aware of the weight of his clothes or even where his body ended and the air began.

His body was gone now. Only his spirit remained, an infinite void before him. He stretched out like a god and gave it form. Everything in the void began to coalesce into shelves of books and tables, artifacts and tablets. The soft leather chair took form as did the odors of old manuscripts and aged wood. His offices beneath the Vatican sprung into being, though more cavernous and filled than even his literal one. It was here that he kept his true library, here where he went to study and commune.

He gave himself form and sat down in his chair, the soft leather the work of an artisan. It was here that he came to meditate, the Platonic reality beyond the cave walls.

Another chair sprung into being, and on it the form of Regus Wijngaard. Regus did not allow him to speak. Instead a catalog of the man's actions ran through his mind, his softness. One by one, he summoned the next Regus, analyzed his course, sifted through the successes and failures until came the Regus Joseph of Alexandria. It had been in his reign that Pope Sylvester and he had become allies, the Atharim and the Holy Church two hands of God to carry out his will. But that had come at a price. Atharim scattered into cells and enclaves, autonomous in so many ways. He did not judge the Regus. At that time, for the good of the 'Remnant' it had been necessary. It had saved them. But just as the Regus Joseph has changed the Atharim to save them, it was up to him, the current Regus, to chart a new course.

Finally, came Iscariot himself. The Regus peered into his long dead eyes. A man who loved mankind so much that he gave up what he loved to save them. The betrayal of Jesus of Nazareth had torn at him, even as his writings in his personal Gospel testified. But Apollyon was coming. The world would break. The Age would stop. It had to be done.

The man smiled at him and nodded, one brother to another across the centuries and millenia. Apollyon was here. The Abomination of Daniel walked the earth. The ending approached. The Remnant had to be strong.

It began today. Deliberately, he allowed his study to begin to mist until the infinite void returned. He summoned stairs and began descending. Soon he became aware of the sound of his heartbeat, then that of his steps on the stone. He became aware of where his body ended and the air began, the feel of the cloth on his skin. The sound of the clock ticking. He opened his eyes, refreshed. Light pierce the curtains of his room. Morning had come.

Quietly, he readied himself, until he stood in front of his mirror, his long black robe over his tunic. He draped the red sash down his right shoulder. then slipped the silken cord into the folds. It was complete. He was The Regus Armande Nicodemus.

Stepping out into the hallway, he made his way to the large chamber far beneath Baccarat Mansion. Once a secret ballroom bathed in expensive earthy woods, it would now serve the Atharim's new purpose. Entering an ornate side room, he waited as the Atharim gathered in the main hall. Martin would join him soon, letting him know everyone had come.

It would begin.

(OOC: All attending Atharim are free to post their attendance for the soon to start convocation.)

Edited by Regus, Jan 11 2015, 05:48 PM.
Aria wasn't looking forward to this summons. Not because it was an official meeting, but the entirety of the Atharim society, those in Moscow and nearby cities, would be there. That meant many people all in one place, watching one thing, doing one thing. The mass emotions, the entirety of a very bold society. They were hidden in the world, but the personalities of hunters and scholars unless they were completely introverted was always a clash, there would be comrade as well as clashes as this many Atharim gathered in one place. A calling like this had never happened in her life time in the Vatican. And now she was in Moscow and they were having one. Aria was not looking forward to it.

Aria tightened the belt on her waist and made sure her gun and the normal sword were tightly in their holster and sheath before she donned the black leather trench coat to walk the few blocks to the Atharim. Aria wrapped herself in her emotionless bubble and shut the door behind her.

What on earth did the Regus deem this important? If Nox and Aria had liked to gossip it probably would have been on their lips throughout the entirety of their morning ritual. Keeping Nox's time was annoying. The world was awake, everything was harder, but if she wanted Nox's help she had to oblige his patterns. Normal patterns.

Headquarters was bustling with people. The guards outside the doors nodded with little ceremony, Aria wondered if all the strangers, those who rarely came to HQ were getting stopped for processing credentials. It made her curious but not enough to ask. But it was inside that Aria was stopped by a man who she'd seen before. He shook his head. "Weapons."

Aria growled under her breath but obliged. She removed her weapons belt instead of just removing each item. Was slightly easier that way. But still highly annoying.

The room they were in was elaborate in it's decoration and massive. Rows upon rows of chairs sat in the middle of the room. Aria sat in a back corner, those few who had come before her were sitting scattered throughout the rows. Aria chose the closest seat to the corner in the back. It wasn't exactly in the last row, third to last near the wall. She wanted a fast escape if things got too livid and too much emotion. This was going to be a test of her will. Aria longed for that calm center of her stalker. It had been a while since she'd been that nervous to be around people.

((Removed Aria's weapons per Regus' request - No weapons allowed Tongue))
Edited by Aria, Jan 13 2015, 04:09 PM.
The morning was usual, he and Aria were starting to mesh, she still glared at him in the morning. But the warehouse was quiet, there was little around in terms of buildings with lots of people unlike where Aria lived, but she still glared at him as he had finished the last swallow of his coffee. She'd been kind enough to bring him one. He hadn't even had to ask. Coffee was something he and Aurora would never be without. It was a way of life.

They had a short time today, as they had business elsewhere, Aria had left promptly to get her things together, and shower at her place. Which meant he had plenty of time for a shower and the stupid trip on the metro. Living where Aria did was nice for this sort of thing, but truly he didn't want to be anywhere near the Atharim Headquarters on a daily basis, he wasn't sure how Aria could stand it. But then again, now the Regus already knew her secret, there was no telling who else he'd told. It made him slightly doubt their friendship, but he hoped to persuade her to come down here. One big happy family. But he'd yet to have the time to do what he was planning. So many things to do, and so little time. He could ask for Aurora's help, but he wasn't about to do that.

The metro was busy, everything was busy. HQ was busy, Nox had only seen the place a few times, but it was busting with people now. He recognized no one. The guards nodded as he entered, he at least remembered them, and they clearly him. The man before him had been asked for his identity. He was glad he wasn't a guard.

Nox wound his way through the throng of people congregating. The noise was loud and it echoed into the library where they sat. The large room they were meeting in was sprawling with people in seats, Nox looked up in awe, he hadn't seen a place this big ever. The ceilings were high and vaulted and it was a nice looking ball room. Might be fun to take a waltz on the floor one day. But Nox laughed to himself, he doubted the floor had seen the likes of ball in years upon years.

Nox saw Aria sitting in the corner, how could he think otherwise. She looked paler than usual. Was the mass throng already getting to her. Nox grinned as he sat down and put his arm on the back of Aria's chair. "You don't look so good."

Aria continued to watch in front of her and didn't say anything she just put her hand on his on her shoulder. Nox saw her visibly relax. He was glad to help. He put his arm on the chair on the other side, Aurora had asked for him to save her a seat.
Nox had been spending a lot of time with Aria the last few days. Aurora found it hard to believe that Nox was not trying to sleep with her. She'd caught him touching her like he was flirting with her, but he always denied it when she questioned him. He was definitely not himself with her, but that was good too. They were getting along much better. And that was a good thing.

Breakfast had been enjoyable, even with Aria in the back of the warehouse practicing whatever it was she did with her swords. It was fun to watch actually, Aurora marveled at the motions Aria made, soft and fluid, and she'd change pace, slow movements then speed up the same one. It was like a dance.

Nox hadn't watched Aria at all, he sipped at his coffe with his back to her. Nothing about their relationship was right to what she'd seen of Nox with other girls. Maybe that was good. But she was starting to feel protective of her little brother. She grinned at the though, he hated being called little brother.

She'd left in the middle of their workout. It was not nearly as fun to watch when her brother was out there. Just not the same affect. She sat in the library until it was time for the big meeting. She wasn't doing any particular research project for any reason. She was looking up things on monsters they'd dispatched back in the States, making notes that were different and things that were similar. And wondered how you'd correct something that was wrong in one of the books. Maybe it didn't matter in the long run.

Aurora thought she caught a glimpse of Nox as he slide through the crowd. His height was an advantage for seeing him, though many of the male hunters probably could crush him despite his height. Nox was just that build. She didn't worry about herself, she claimed female for years. It made the men underestimate her.

She slipped past the crowd into the former ballroom and gawked, it was her first one. Why not have a ball room in the middle of a place that was actually a mansion of some rich and famous person. But in the basement of where a secret society held its meetings. It was still a shock.

Aurora found Nox with is arm around Aria. She didn't want to really sit with her, she was still worried about the affect the girl was having on her brother. But Nox was a big boy, it was time to let him be. Aurora sat down next to Nox and took a closer look at Aria, she was pale and she practically clung to Nox's hand, but despite the grip on his hand she looked completely at ease. But something told Aurora she wasn't okay.

The place was starting to fill up now that the meeting time approached. Aurora was saddened they were so far in the back. She'd have liked to been closer. It was her nature.
Today was the day. The convocation and Father Stone's unveiling. Martin wondered what the Regus had in mind but in his full robes of black he knew it meant only one thing, the only curiosity was that of how. He smiled to himself in the mirror and he finished the last bit of shaving he had to do. Underneath the black robes, he wore nothing but black, a black silk shirt and black jeans and a blood red tie. He had every intention of speaking to his newest charge today after the deed was done.

He'd read through every report the girl had been in on, and those she'd filed herself. The Regus had been correct she had a knack for what seemed the impossible, single handledly killed an Ijiraq. The Regus had included the dranaika, probably on Stone's word, as the traitors notes indicated he thought she was lying, but she claimed she'd found the mess and was cleaning it up.

She appeared to follow orders. Was trained Furia. Furia were good trackers. Martin would have to talk to Antoinette Cailot. Her last handler in the Vatican. Martin vaguely remembered the sequestered girl she drug along with her on runs. Ms Cailot had claimed the girls senses were extraordinary and that they'd saved her life. No wonder, Martin wondered if the woman knew of Aria's talents beyond being extra sensitive as a Furia.

Martin wondered how many other Furia were Sentient. Could it be possible? He would have to tell the Regus his thoughts on that matter.

The world was about to change today. The dedication of the Atharim, the remnant of the remnant was about to become stronger. Their will to preserver was going to be honed. They would fight Gods once again, and they would prevail. The first God of course was the Ascendancy. He intended to milk every ounce of potential from the girl before he let her die to that cause, fulfilling her sentence. He hated working with her, but he would use whatever tool was necessary to finish the job.

Martin pulled the hood of his black robe over his head, there was no way anyone would know who he was inside unless they were much shorter than he and looking up into the cowl. The seal of the High Inquisitor sat proudly on his breast. It would be the last time he would wear that sigil.

Martin walked through the back halls to the Regus' office. There were more people here than usual, many having been called home for this austere meeting. There was a certain hush that fell over the Atharim that saw Martin walking down the path that made Martin smile. He wondered what they were thinking. Soon he'd have a puppy on a leash who could tell him exactly that.

Edited by Borovsky, Jan 12 2015, 04:54 PM.
Hood had been more then a little curious when he had been invited to some little Atharim shin-dig. A 'convocation' the message had said. As much as he sympathized with most of what the group did, and was generally impressed with how they went about accomplishing it (he'd picked up by now that they had a pretty wide net of backers and supporters in some pretty high places), he just wasn't as...mindlessly devoted to the cause, so to speak. A few hundred years back and yeah, monsters would have been a serious threat to mankind's continued existence.

The advent of firearms. Night vision goggles. Thermal imagers. Motion tracking optics. Sure, some of the weirder things out there...ones that needed some bullshit magical wooden knife to put down. But most of the others? Modern technology had more then leveled the playing field. But, until they figured out how to mass-produce magic bull-shit wooden bullets, he was all for the Atharim sticking around in the shadows and doing their thing.

Hence why he had arrived at the Baccarat Mansion a few hours early. Thanks to his day job, he had been brought in to assess the buildings security systems. He showed up early that day to do so again. If the brunt of the Atharim in that part of the world were going to be in one place, he thought it wise to make sure everything was up to snuff. Errors and oversights were found and corrected; the dedicated security staff got a knife-hand jacking or two, but honestly, they ran a tight ship.

Not that he could just go ahead and praise them; find a few flaws, give them a jacking, get them angry. Not at him though. It was a delicate edge to walk. Get them angry at their mistakes, make them want to do better to impress him. Satisfied, he made his way down to the secret levels. There were a few familiar faces, and he stopped occasionally to catch up, but most of the Atharim seemed pretty tight lipped and serious.

Just what the hell had he been invited to that had so many of their numbers present? If it was some bullshit parade to pass out promotions and command team 'you done your job good' coins, he was going to be pissed.
When Enzo arrived, he chose a seat near the front. He did not particularly seek to be the center of the room, but neither did he have reason to necessitate a quick get-away. He nodded to the faces he passed, but his expression was cool. He did not feel the urge to happily greet every stranger on the way in. Such was not his personality. One face did stand out, though. M. White spoke casually with a few others, and once spying one another, Enzo nodded but made no move to join the only face he recognized. He hadn't arrived with Tehya, although now he realized he should have asked if she wanted to arrive together.

Tehya arrived neither early or late. Her lips pressed a grim line at the idea of so many of her brethren in one place at one time, not for self-serving reasons - though it was not a place she found herself comfortable being - but because it felt like a dereliction of duty. The Atharim were meant to protect, and the ceremony and pomp of such a meeting grated when the city was left so unguarded as a result. And for what? Still, she came as obliged, and hoped it would be over soon. Back home the congregation of so may would have been considered a disagreeable waste of time, unless there was a threat that warranted larger groups to work together. She considered the things Aria had told her as she slipped anonymously into a seat, too preoccupied with her own thoughts to acknowledge the faces of those she recognised.
The hall was already almost full when Seth made his appearance. He'd spent the better part of three days hunting the god damned Naga that'd cut Rune down in the sewers, let alone the Marveet kid. And all he'd gotten for his trouble were a couple sleepless nights and a scuffed knee. Which he certainly wasn't favoring at all as he made his way into the room.

I'll be damned if Reggie doesn't like to play up his secret sensei bullshit,
Seth thought, looking at the place. The gathered Atharim, dressed in everything from priest's robes to jeans and t-shirts, clashed so badly with the decadent ballroom that even Seth winced a little. The whole meeting was a waste of time. Probably just another chance for Reggie to whip his little dick out and wave it at all the old worlders, just to watch them all try their hardest to pretend they're impressed.

Seth sighed and pushed his way through the center of the crowd, eventually coming to a stop before a set of doors that were Reggie's most likely entry point. He looked at the faces around him - too many young ones. "Well, kids, when're we getting this bullshit over with?"
He considered taking his hat off - wouldn't want to be disrespectful or nothin'. But he decided not to.

Edited by Seth Marx, Jan 16 2015, 09:37 PM.
Rune was only a few moments behind Seth. She'd done nothing but lay around and heal up since the nightmare with Jaxen and the ninja lady. Everyone, Seth included, drilled her for an explanation for what she'd seen. She couldn't put rhyme or reason to any legend she knew. She'd told them everything that happened that night over and over. All but one small part. That she wouldn't admit to anyone. Not even herself.

The only other thing she'd done this whole time was get her tattoo finished. Sergei did a good job and Rune was proud of the imagery. Tonight, even. She itched to yank off her coat and sweater and walk around in a tank top just so everyone could see the work. The picture was of a beautiful artsy tree springing to life from a field of violets around its trunk. The oroboros lay nestled in the flowers, sleeping peacefully. Everyone always commented on how oddly girly it was for Rune. What with her shaved hair styles and masculine curves. But since coming to Moscow she'd dimmed from her normally sparkly self. She'd stopped wearing crazy makeup and her hair was now her normal dirt brown. This tattoo was the only pretty thing she accepted now and for the most part, the world would never know it was there.

She plopped into a seat next to her uncle without saying anything. Only to cross her arms and slouch low until something happened.


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