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Part of The Team, Offically
Nox hung up the phone quickly, he didn't want to get cold feet. He wasn't exactly sure why he was so nervous, his sister was alive. But Nox really didn't want to do this alone. He called Aria. She picked up and answered groggily, "Hello?"

"Aria. I need to ask you a favor among other things."
She told him to go ahead and he continued on. "I called my sister. She gave me her coordinates, she's alive and in Moscow. I can't do this alone, can you meet me at my place and come with me? We can finish our conversation on the way."
Aria agreed and Nox hung up the phone. She'd be an hour, apparently Aria slept through the day, she had to do the morning thing, he wondered how that worked for her. He gathered that she hunted at night, but he wondered if there was more to it than that. She was a special breed of Atharim. Which made Nox wonder why Sentients were on the list of kill on sight unlike the Furia. Some of the less important, yet important facts had come back to him. But Nox wasn't like his sister, he didn't remember every fact he'd read about the monsters. But to his surprise he remembered a whole lot more than he thought.

There was nothing really to do while he waited for Aria, he could be nervous and such but that wasn't going to get him anywhere. Nox decided a small body weight work out would keep his mind off of things, and still give him a chance to shower before Aria got here. He wouldn't mind keeping her waiting if she got her earlier. He grinned at the possibilities. But he didn't have high hopes, she'd shot him down the first time, she didn't look like the type of gal who was in it for the guys she saved.
The phone rang. Why she wasn't sure, she wasn't expecting anyone to call. Aria sleepily answered the phone to find a strange voice asking for a favor. And then she remembered Nox. The Atharim who didn't know he was Atharim. She agreed to help him, but she had to wake up, which meant she had to get moving.

Aria glanced at her wallet to grab the time, it wasn't too late but it was earlier than she'd anticipated getting up this afternoon. Some people might consider her routine being lazy, but Aria preferred to work at night, when people slept. So that's what she did, slept the day away. Thankfully Moscow was busy enough that her particular life style worked well.

Aria grabbed a quick shower, it was barely long enough to wake her up. She grabbed a juice and a quick breakfast as she walked out the door. Aria glanced at her wallet and found the directions she needed to Nox's place. The air was cold and the sky was darkened with clouds, it looked like it was going to snow - again. Aria opted to take the metro this time, it was faster, but more importantly it was warmer.

The trip was relatively quick. At least the train part, the snow had started falling while she was underground. Not really unexpected, but now she had to walk to Nox's place in the snow. Hopefully he'd let her warm up a little before they trekked out again, there was no telling where Aurora was.

Aria could do with out the cold biting wind, the snow wasn't that bad, but it rarely came with out the wind. By the time Aria found Nox's door her nose and ears were positively red. She knocked on the door. Aria could feel the nervous mess behind the door it could only be Nox. He answered quickly and held the door open for her with a grin. "You look like Rudolf."

Aria stuck her tongue out at him. "Let me warm up before we go out, that alright?"
Nox was pacing, and trying not to worry about things with his sister. There was a knock on the door, it had to be Aria he wasn't expecting anyone else.

He opened the door with a grin and she smiled back, she looked cold, Nox looked outside and frowned. Hell of day to be with out a car, he guess he'd have to figure out a way to get his Jeep back here. One day, maybe, he didn't think he could afford another one, and did he really need one?

Aria rubbed her hands together and blew into her hands to warm up. "Aurora's here."
He sent her the coordinates to her wallet. "Best way to get there?"

Aria looked and smiled. "At least it's close to the metro on her side."

Nox laughed. "Not on mine I take it."
She shook her head. "If I'd thought about it I could have met you there. I'm ready whenever you are."

Nox's place wasn't much, it reminded her a bit of hers, except his was a bit darker and in a not so nice neighborhood. He lived like her, nothing personal, just barely enough that it wasn't empty. He was an American hunter, he was probably on the road a lot, it seemed to be their way of operating.

When she was warmer they struck out to the metro, and to the coordinates Aurora had sent him.

On the train, Aria choose a relatively empty car, they could talk abit about what he was doing here, and what he thought about it. "Figure out what you want to do yet?"
Aria saw the questioning look in his eyes. "Right now, you have a choice to make. Officially join in to an organization who hunts our kinds down, or to step away forever. But doing so you leave yourself open to knowing what's out there and that never goes away."

Nox laughed. "Why do you stay? You have as much to lose as I do."

Aria frowned. "I was already thrown under the bus, the Regus knows what I am, and he's deemed me expendable. Sent me on a suicide mission I've been 'researching' a way out of. I have a friend in high places who can help you and possibly me. There are others like you in our ranks. Hiding in plain sight. Hopefully as we grow in numbers, we can change things."

The train lurched to a stop and people got off and others on. But the car was emptier than when they started. Nox leaned in closer. "A rebellion, how very American of you."

Aria laughed. "I am not an American. But we could use you. Be good to have a few more comrades."

Nox smiled. "So if I agree, what's next?"

"Become one of us officially. Initiation, and your tattoo. I'll introduce you to those like you you can trust. And when they meet with my contact, you can join them."
Aria wasn't sure, but he was Atharim, he was in the database, he had a good record, his family was Atharim going back many generations.

Nox leaned back and Aria watched him, and felt his emotions, he seemed to be going through things in his head. They sat in relative silence until their stop. "This is Aurora."
Nox became a mass of nerves. "It'll be alright. We'll deal with whatever comes."
Aria put a hand on his and sent him calming feelings, he looked at her with questions and then smiled.

Nox had a lot to think about, Aria was in the midst of a rebellion, one that could make his life not quite so .... dangerous, no that wasn't the right word. He wouldn't be hunted. Aurora wouldn't be hunted. That in and of itself made him want to join her cause. She needed comrades.

But he didn't have much more time to think on it as the train lurched to their final destination. The conversation had been a good distraction, but now, now all his worries and apprehension about seeing his sister flooded back into him.

They got off and trekked the short distances to the motel Aurora was staying at. They stood outside for what felt like forever. The silence could be cut with a knife.

Aria's voice made Nox jump. "No one is inside."

Nox looked at her perplexed this was the coordinates, his dot and her dot where on top of each other. He knocked. No one answered. He turned the knob and found it unlocked. No! The worst immediately jumped into his mind.

Aria went first, she looked around, Nox found very little in the way of saying his sister was here. Aria smiled. "She left of her own free will. She'll be okay. We'll find her."

Nox was confused. "How? She doesn't want to be found."
Nox collapsed on to the bed, he wanted to cry, his sister hated him, and it broke his heart.

Aria sat down next to him and put her hand on his leg. "You have her number, we'll find her. Let's give her time. Maybe she doesn't have any memory either."

Really? What are those odds? But then again, what are the odds, you'll fall out of airplane. Or much less crash in one. Maybe Aria was right, next time he'll plan better.

He stood up and grinned at Aria. "So take me to your leader."
He laughed, he'd always wanted to say that.
Aria smiled at the obvious cliche. She was glad to take him, she wanted very much to warn him though, warn Nox about the Regus. Or Father Stone, but she wasn't going to take him to Father Stone. The Regus would hate the interruption but bringing a new American into the fold the proper way, it would probably make his day slightly better.

Aria wasn't exactly sure how he was doing in the long run. He was sad, but he put on a happy face. He was good at hiding what he was feeling. But Aria knew the truth. But really it didn't matter.

They got back on the metro and headed home. Aria gave Nox the low down on the Atharim Headquarters in Moscow, how it was underneath the Bacarrat Mansion, how to get in and all that fun stuff that went with it. There was a lot of information to relay in a short period of time, she got most of it in.

When they reached the right stop they got off, it wasn't long before they were heading down the back alley way that lead to the secret entrance. The guy at the door looked at Aria with a question. She smiled at him, and showed him Nox's picture in their database, the words "American" passed his lips and Aria laughed. That was something that Nox was going to have to get used to.

Aria lead Nox through the halls and into the Great Library, he looked around in awe. Aria smiled. "And this isn't even close to the one under the Vatican."

Nox mouthed, wow and followed her taking everything in. He was awed and inspired, that was a good thing. And then Aria stopped just this side of the big oak door that was the Regus' office. "And this is where the Regus' office is. Hopefully he won't be upset we are interrupting him."

Aria stepped forward and knocked. She prayed he was not in a bad mood.
Luckily for them, there was an individual, a priest of the clerics regular that guarded the entrance to the Regus's office. The man rounded a corner, having returned from a brief interlude to what was effectively a workspace desk area nearby. He wasn't a literal guard, of course. He wore the traditional black cassock of clerics with a standing white collar about his neck, but unlike the modified one worn by their leader, his robe fell fully to the floor. He appeared footless as he came to greet Aria and Nox.

He was Father Firas Boshoven, one of the individuals, and in this case, a religious cleric, who directly served the Regus. He was in his late 40's and therefore significantly older than both Aria and Nox, but he was not proud, nor did he think himself above the younger members of the Atharim. After all, if one were to examine his arm, no tattoo would be found.

"Aria," he greeted her softly and fondly. It was not his place to judge, therefore he certainly did not fear her. Following, he clasped his hands behind his back and turned to her companion. "The door informed me of your arrival, Mister Durante." Father Boshoven spoke with a thick Dutch accent, and he was just as warm in greeting him as he had Aria.

"What may I do for you, today Aria?"
Aria smiled, the man was a true priest, not one like Father Stone or Father Dimitri, he was not just an ordained hunter, he was actually a priest. He was one of many who knew about their organization, and supported it, in his case, he worked for the Regus directly. Poor man.

But he was much easier to deal with than the Regus, he wasn't going to snap your neck for not reading a book or wanting to leave a room. Those rumors spread far and wide with in HQ, but there was not proof, only missing hunters.

Aria gave a slight nod of her head, "Father, Nox wishes to make his commitment to the Atharim official. The Durante family has been Atharim for many generations, sadly Nox is having a bit of trouble remember some of those details."
She'd let Nox explain anything further. She watched him, felt his emotions, he seemed to be recalling more memories.

Edited by Aria, Oct 27 2014, 07:45 AM.
Nox watched as the older man in classic priest garb approached, he didn't have the air of the most powerful Atharim there was, but he looked like he commanded his own respect, maybe that was just the clothes he was wearing though. Nox wasn't religious, found it hard to believe that the Atharim were run by a bunch of priests, and affiliated so tightly with the Church. But then again, the crusades had been fought with God as their leader too.

Aria was respectful of the man, she seemed to be relieved that he was not the Regus. Nox wondered what exactly this man did. She explained the situation. And as she spoke, the memories rolled through his head. He remembered a man, he couldn't place him, but he bore an Atharim tattoo on his left arm, where it's supposed to be, Nox remembered. He explained exactly what they should do, that they deserved the right to meet the Regus. But Aria's concern made Nox question that particular aspect of it. Maybe he didn't want to meet the Regus, not now, maybe not ever.

Nox smiled. "Another hunter told me I should come to Moscow, and meet the Regus, have him perform my initiation, something about my family had never done it."
He shook his head. "But all I want to do is make this official. To become what I've been training for my whole life. To push the tradition forward."
Nox grinned. "How sir, can I make that happen? I'm sure the Regus is a busy man, and he doesn't need to see him personally."

Edited by Nox, Oct 27 2014, 07:43 AM.
Father Firas declined his head, nodding his full understanding. The smile that accompanied was soft, proud almost. "The Atharim owe the Durante family the honor of initiation. Long has your family defended the innocent from the dark." As to those details not recalled by Nox, the Father waved them away. Records were stored for a reason, and while the details were not as robust as their Old World brethren, they existed as needed. He did not foresee any hindrance to the rites.

He led Nox and Aria away from the main basement level, taking them further underground to yet another sub-basement. The interior was less refined than the one above. The walls were stacked stone and the air was heavy with scents of humidity. "The Regus always performs the rite, otherwise it is not official. He is the guardian of the remnant, the ouroboros. Armande Nicodemus is the current Regus, but when you meet him in these chambers, do not see the man, see the office of thousands of years in our past. See something that has always exited and will always be."

From a cedar-lined chest, Father Firas retrieved a bundle of robes wrapped in raw, silver-threaded silk. He laid them on an altar to undo the tie. Within were the black robes worn by every initiate. "I will leave you to change and meditate. Aria, you may stay with him if you wish. The Regus will descend in due time. As you know, tradition dictates weapons are left behind during the rite."

With that, he left.

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