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The Last Straw
[[ The following three threads all lead to this one:
- Finding Aurora
- Searching for Quary
- Closing the Trap]]

Everyone was a pile of heated emotions. Connor was pissed at her. Ayden was pissed at her. Nox was a chaotic symphony of emotions ranging for anger to sadness. It was a great wonder when Connor took them away from the situation. It was about time they got the hint. Aria had been throwing it at them since she agreed to help Nox. Her warning about getting them into bigger trouble had done nothing to deter them.

Aria turned to Nox and he frowned. "They shouldn't have gotten involved with you."

He growled at her and turned towards the window. He held on to his power and Aria was left alone - well not really alone she was never alone - not really. But alone enough that it hurt knowing he was pissed at her too.

Aria sighed and leaned back against the chair. She whispered "I'm sorry about Aurora."
She put her hand on his leg and they road the train the rest of the way in silence.

It wasn't far and when they got off the train there was a certain amount of chaos that was strange for the stop. Aria could feel more people than usual around. She could feel the chaos above on the street level.

Nox looked at her and she shrugged. She could only tell the chaos above. Something was wrong but beyond that she could do nothing more than speculate. Aria wanted to hurry but really there was only so fast they could move in the throng this size. It was as if every urchin in the Red Light District was fleeing the area.
Aria started in on him the moment that Connor and Ayden had left. It was annoying that he was having to step between the two constantly. She was like a little child - both of them were. He laughed inside at the thought; he was usually the child - go figure.

But Aria was right, and he'd been stupid for letting them help him. What if they had been seen by another Atharim? He didn't even try to kill Ayden. His name was on the damned contract. Really it was not a good situation. He didn't think he'd contact Connor even though the man had told him to call.

Aria whispered her condolences and Nox wanted to break down. He could do that later when he was inside in his house. In their house. It was going to be a very long night and a very long time until things returned to some semblance of normal. Nox remembered all too well the impact the death of his mother had been on him. It was the moment when Aurora and he started drifting apart. Life fucking sucks!

And then their father died leaving a great big hole in their life. Now Aurora was dead and there was nothing left. Absolutely nothing left of his family except him. Aria was family but it was different. And at the moment Aria was little more than an distraction. Nox didn't want to play cop with her. He didn't want to keep her from herself. He wanted to drown in the darkness. The thought rattled him through and through.

The train lurched to a stop - their final destination and it brought him from his thoughts. They left the train only to find a chaotic mess of people trying to get on the metro. Aria seemed confused as he was. He would have asked her what she felt, but there was too much going on, too many people around.

They walked through the crowd as quickly as they could and as they neared the top he could hear sirens in the distance, much louder as he still had hold of the power. He didn't want Aria prying into his emotions. He was angry at the world and she didn't need any more fuel to feed on. She had her own sense of loss. She almost clung to him like he was saving her from drowning, and all he really wanted to was let her drown and go down with her.

The drama became crystal clear when they were two blocks from the warehouse they had called home. In it's wake there was nothing but a burning pile of rubble. Nox stopped in a daze. The power danced around him like a ballerina teasing him with some epic poetry of movement. It flooded his senses as he dropped to his knees. His family was gone. And now everything he had ever owned was gone - buried in a pile of flaming rubble. His life was shattered and Nox wasn't sure what to do about anything as the power danced around him taunting him to be used. He could see each flickering flame from the two block distance. He could smell the burning.

A secondary explosion went off and Nox knew that the fire had finally reached the munitions he and Aria had stored inside the warehouse.

People scattered and Nox stayed there on his knees, Aria an ever constant pillar next to him. Her hand was on his shoulder as a reminder but he wanted the world to burn, he pulled in the power as much as he could and started weaving fire and earth and air.

Edited by Nox, Oct 26 2015, 12:48 PM.
Ivan seemed eager to meet his adversary. Dorian was not sure what he expected to do against a godling - particularly since the last time hadn't gone nearly so well. Dorian was not looking forward to it. But then again he already knew their god was dead, likely burnt to an unrecognizable crisp by now.

They wound their way through the tunnels. There was scratching on the walls and the urge to hunt darker creatures was tugging at Dorian's insides. This would be the perfect place to hunt and not give away his little secret.

The stale musty air soon gave way to much fresher air and soon Dorian was blinded by the light of the outside world. He stopped and blinked the tears away from his eyes and wished he'd thought to bring his sunglasses with him. Too late now.

The streets were chaos. There were no emergency vehicles there yet, a fire blazed in a nearby warehouse. The locations that he was suppose to avoid with the cops, and now here they were. "Uh... I think that burning building is our target location."

A secondary set of explosions went off. What the hell was in that building? Dorian moved forward. They would have to calm things down now that they were here. He pulled out his badge and strung it around his neck. As Dorian walked he rolled down his sleeves. A few feet in front of them a boy was on his knees and a girl stood staring at the flames engulfing the building. They stared in horrified wonder.

Dorian stopped at their side. "You might want to get clear of here, just in case something worse is about to happen."
What if Volodin wasn't dead? But Martin said he was. Could gods survive flames? Or a stab wound? That is how they became gods in the first place. Surely some of those stories were true. Dorian pushed away his doubts - that was for a later time.
They wound their way through the tunnels. Wasn't much to say at this point. Ivan was focused on their quarry anyway. He didn't want to be taken by surprise this time. In fact, as he walked- sometimes splashing through puddles of....muddy water he hoped- he tried to remember back to what Volodin had thrown at him.

It wasn't like he could remember it all that clearly. He was rather preoccupied trying to keep Zo and everyone else safe. But he had seen those...'arrows' for lack of a better word, coming at him. He thought they might have been made of fire. It damn sure felt like fire when it had hit him. And when he'd closed the distance and started physically wailing on the guy he had been stunned by some sort of sharpened tool, like glass. It hadn't burned but was instead cool even as he felt it pierce his side.

They were just fragments of memory but they were all he had. The guy had shaped threads into weapons just like he had done with the thread of fire that took off that monster's head back in the tunnels with Xena. But most of the time he just flailed about with his power, as if it were a bludgeon, pummeling with air or fire. He could feel the power surge through him and he wanted to do something with it, wanted to shape it, to craft it, now, to make it into something.

But he didn't know what. Or how. Sharpen things down, yes. But craft threads? He felt frustration. And anger. Anger at the pastor. Anger even at Smiley. Maybe he could look the guy up. He prolly wasn't all that keen on reigniting their clear "friendship". He snorted at the idea. Still, he was the only other person he could talk to who could use the power. Unless....he supposed he could try to see the Ascendancy again. But even as he said it, he knew it was impossible.

Still, he knew one thing. If he saw Volodin he was going to strike as hard and fast as he knew how. He readed air and fire. A bat or a sledge hammer was a pretty effective weapon if you moved fast and hit hard enough. God knew he was angry enough.

They made it outside and were immediately on the edges of a large crowd surrounding a burning building. A second explosion hit and people screamed scattered. Ivan pulled his own badge out as well and pushed throw the milling crowds. But he also drew on the power- almost as if he were inhaling as deeply as possible, to the point that his lungs strained and stung- and looked around, trying to pierce the chaos and madness. He could feel that sense of dread or danger that indicated a man was using the power. He glowered as he looked around, ready to strike, trying to find the man. It had to be Volodin, despite Vega's words.

Speaking of....where was the man anyway? He found him near a couple, the man on his knees, the woman staring into the flames. Ivan focused. The power was flowing out of the man, his intricate weave growing larger and larger. It wasn't Volodin, but that didn't matter. The man was dangerous and was doing something.

Ivan rushed, trying to adjust his weave so he could strike the man without hitting the woman or Vega. It wouldn't do to get a fellow officer hurt from friendly fire. The man's weave was getting bigger- earth and fire in some pattern he couldn't figure out. He didn't have any more time.
Nox was lost in the power. Lost to the world that had been destroyed. Everything he loved was dead. Everything he owned was gone. The world beat at him like a stick trying to make him behave. Nox wanted nothing more than to fight back. But to what end? For what reason? He was not a power hungry god. He was not what the Regus said gods were. He was not that.

A man told them they should move. Nox looked up at him from his dark glazed eyes and shook his head. It came out a whisper, "Everything I had was in that building."
Nox stood up and whispered in Aria's ear. "There is a god behind us."

Nox smiled at the man as he finally decided what to do. The buring pile of rubble was starting to rage faster and harder and it was going to make it self a danger to others. Nox looked up into the sky as he let go of the fire air and earth he'd been weaving and threw what little weather theory he knew - earth and water and air, clouds started to form above them, and rain soon fell over a wide berth of the sky.

If there were any Atharim around he was surely dead now. But he couldn't let the Red Light district burn down because of the Atharim, or even Bas himself. Whoever had started it he would finish it!

The rain poured down and Nox turned his focus to the fire. The rain wouldn't put it out alone. He wove a net of air and water and earth and wrapped the flaming rubble in it and doused the fire out. It flickered and sputtered with lack of oxygen. He was glad for what little knowledge his sister had insisted he learn when it came to the sciences. It was a little piece of her that he would always have - and always remember her when he used that knowledge. A soft smile played on his face as the last of the flames turned to ember, and then finally to charred pieces.
Aria watched the only home she'd ever had go up in flames. It struck a chord as she thought of Lucas' painting burning. Fury rose up inside of her and she swallowed the bile that tried to rise. This was too much.

A man, a cop stood by them. He seemed concerned for their safety. Aria looked at him as he told them to move. His rolled up sleeves barely hid the tattoo on his left arm. Aria glanced at it quickly and he noticed. He rolled it down quickly and button the cuffs. Atharim.

Nox whispered to her about a god behind them. Nox dealt with the cop while she turned around to see a familiar face. It had to be him. Their last meeting hadn't been very pleasant. She remembered the Oni. He was void of all emotions and that was how Nox knew he was there and she had not.

She eased her sword out of the scarab enough to check its movement. The hand on her hilt. She didn't care if anyone saw, she would protect Nox for any god until her dying breath. She might not get far. She had to worry about the Atharim next to them too.

Rain started to pour down and Aria turned back to Nox. He had a small smile on his face. She wished she could feel that brief moment of happiness. The fire seemed to fade quickly in the rain and Aria nodded to herself. Nox's work. A lance of fear and panic coursed through her mind. Atharim.
The boy couldn't be much older than Cruz, his voice sounded ragged with grief. His eyes were glazed over with sorrow. He probably felt as bad as he looked as he told Dorian everything he owned was in that building.

It brought a plethora of questions to Dorian's head. Why was he living in a warehouse? He didn't look like a runaway nor did he look ragged like he was homeless. He was distinctly American in his demeanor and voice. But that was hardly the only question Dorian thought of. Volodin was a god, were they friends? Was this boy, or this girl a god themselves. He would have to keep an eye on both of them.

Dorian noticed the girl looking at his arm. Stupid! He'd forgotten to roll down his sleeves again. He followed through with his appearance, rolling down the sleeve and buttoning the cuffs. He felt better, but he wondered if the girl had recognized the tattoo. But she was turning around before he could catch any glimpse of recognition.

Ivan was walking their way. He looked as though he were concentrating on something. Dorian looked around to see what could be the problem when the rain started pouring down on top of them. He hadn't thought it was going to rain today. The rain soaked through his clothes and the cold Moscovian air gave him a chill. It was probably best to get everyone out of the rain.

He was about to move the crowd that was now slowly forming around these two kids when he noticed that the fire was dying out. Surely the rain was going to put it out this quickly. Dorian looked around but saw nothing out of the ordinary. Dorian didn't like the coincidence of this at all. They were after a god, and now a do-gooder god was putting out the fire to a warehouse. To what end? And then Dorian remembered what the kid had said. He looked at the boy, there was a soft smile playing on his face and he looked less haunted. Was he doing it all? There were too many questions. They needed a better way to know if a person was wielding their powers. There had to be a better way to do this or someone was going to get killed sooner or later.
Suddenly the massive weave fell to pieces to be replaced by something far more intricate that seemed to reach into the sky. Despite the potential danger Ivan watched in fascination. With the power he could almost see the moisture in the air and he saw how the weave drew them together. It wasn't just water though, in the weave. He saw earth and fire as well, though he couldn't imagine what role they played.

Droplets of water hit his face even as it began to rain over the fire and Ivan's fear lessened. Whoever the man was, it seemed he was trying to put the fire out. He didn't think rain would take care of it but it was something.

Ivan continued to walk toward the man, still wary and ready with his own weave, but less confrontationally. The man wasn't an older guy like the Pastor but clearly he knew what he was doing. He created another weave again of water and fire but with air as well in an entirely different patter. This time Ivan could see how it worked and what its intention was and was impressed even as he saw it work, suffocating the fire.

Ivan noticed the look of Vega's face and paused. There was something there. Suspicion? The guy was on the monster squad. He was gonna see stuff like this and more. Hell, he was working with a guy who had powers. And there was Alex too.

"He's ok, Vega. He put the fire out."
He looked at the guy. "Impressive, man. You ever think about joining the fire department? You could be a one man response team."
He smiled to show he was joking.

He looked around but no one appeared to be injured. He didn't see Volodin either. The distant sounds of sirens indicated that emergency services were near. The place would soon be milling about with officers and responders calming the crowd and assessing damage.

His attention focused on the man. He pulled out his wallet and pulled the picture of Volodin up and showed it to him. "Have you seen this man? He attacked a crowd in the market a few weeks ago and might be responsible for what happened here."
"He's ok, Vega. He put the fire out."
The cop godling continued on with a joke. He clearly didn't know what damage he'd just done. Everything happened quickly as he continued to prattle on.

Vega as the godling cop called him backed away several steps from them and pulled his gun and was pointing it at Nox. Aria was already drawing her sword in those same moments and backed up into Nox making him take a few steps backwards. She spoke from the void of emotions that encompassed her when she pulled the bubble around her. It was not for emotional solitude - but weapons proficiency this time. It was like second nature when she drew her sword. "Vega. As in Dorian Vega? One of Borovsky's flunkies?"
Aria didn't need to hear his confirmation his emotions spoke highly of his alignment with the former High Inquisitor and the newly anointed Metatron - fucking archangel my ass!

Aria felt Nox tense against her body, he understood now what had just happened. Aria's grin turned dark as she turned to look at the godling cop. "He doesn't know what you are does he?"
Aria laughed. "Oh what shit storm you just unleased my pretty little godling."
She had specifically outed Vega's partner. Now if she was going to burn for associated with a god - so was Vega.

Edited by Aria, Oct 30 2015, 11:08 AM.
Confirmation from the man he was working with - a man he already suspected of being a god himself. But that was pure speculation. How did he know this man was a god?

But there was little room in this for mistakes. Dorian was not prepared for another god. Dorian was reaching for his gun on instinct - Atharim instinct. The small girl drew out a sword - what the fuck!

She was clearly protective of the boy the way she put herself in front of him. If he were truly a god he didn't need her little flimsy piece of metal to protect him. But she knew who he was; more importantly knew what he was and who he worked for.

But it was her words about Sarkozy that made him look at the cop. She knew what he was? What the fuck did I miss some training or something? Dorian lowered his gun slightly, pointed at the ground but it was still a raised and ready to aim and fire if the girl or the boys decided they wanted to react. "You know who I am. Does that make you a sister?"
He kept his eyes on the little girl with the sword. She was really the only one the gun would be any use against. "You are protecting a god? And you know he's one too, how?"
Dorian wanted answers.

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