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Discovering New Toys
Working with Aria had been interesting to say the least. She encouraged him to explore his talents. He knew it was multiple purposes considering her ultimate mission was to kill Ascendancy. A nearly impossible task, one which she didn't want to actually do but with the new way of things in the Atharim there might be no way out.

Today he spend the day alone in the warehouse. He'd been doing some designing of the work space, dojo was his work in progress name, he had thoughts and plans and ideas to go over with Aria. But today he was not working on that, he was playing. Playing with the power was dangerous, it could back fire, and he'd rather do it without prying eyes and those who could laugh at him when he failed. Nox hated to look like a failure.

Nox looked at the large open area that they'd designated training room. It was literally empty, one day he'd fill it with obstacles and other various things to test his skills and others like him, but right now, he was looking to extend his ability with things. To understand what worked with the new tying off technique and how to increase the duration he could use his power, which ultimately meant using it less. He grinned as he popped in his ear buds and the music thrummed in his ears. It was some catchy tune with a good beat, he used it when he needed to keep the momentum going. He had Aurora edit out the lyrics and replace the melody with just some other instrument. She found it all fun and interesting.

Nox knelt on the ground and surveyed his kingdom with a grin. He picked up a handful of gravel on the ground that they'd yet to sweep away. Nox rolled the gravel around in the palm of his hand contemplating his arrows weave, earth and fire. He had earth in his hand. Nox took one pebble of gravel in his between his forefinger and thumb and threw it like a baseball. It was small and had little weight to it, it didn't go far. But a weave wasn't heavy either, it was particularly insubstantial.

Nox wove a bed of air and dropped the gravel on it. It floated in mid-air, he smiled happily at the small little feat of power. Magic!

The modification to the original weave he used air instead of earth, and left the fire off just for now. The ball formed around the small earth pelts and Nox flung the weave at the pallet he'd used with Bas and Pytor here. It flew into and landed neatly into the wood like a bullet might. He'd have to figure out if it pierced Oni skin, but it was a neat trick none the less. He could unleash a few of these with one weave and if they were fast enough they'd hurt. What if they were sharp?

A new thought rattled around in his head.
Nox started looking around the warehouse again. He'd scoured the entire place before, but he was just looking around. Now he had a purpose. Nox was looking around for objects he could use. He had distinct objects in his head that he wanted to use. Things that could be useful and still small and easy to carry without looking a fool.

There was that word again. Fool. Why care all of a sudden what people thought of him. It was either Aria and his feelings for her or he was being paranoid about what seemed to be some kind of new regime within the Atharim. Appearances were everything now. Getting caught letting someone like him live meant death. Getting caught being one of the godlings, meant death. Nox sighed, it looked like he had very few options and most of them lead to death.

He chided himself on those odds. He would overcome them. It was that or die, and Nox really didn't want to die. But he'd have tricks up his sleeve and he couldn't wait to try some of them out.

Nox turned the place inside out searching through boxes and closets that were strung out through the warehouse. He hadn't exactly found what he was looking for, which meant he had to go out into the blistering cold that was Moscow in the winter.

He had found a flashlight. Nox flipped the switch on and blinded himself. He quickly flipped it back off. And the world came into clear focus. More ideas. A wide grin appeared on Nox's lips as if by magic. He might have just found the key to one of his dream weaves. And all it took was finding a flashlight, and staring it down.
Nox turned the music up on his head set and walked back out into the room that he'd deemed the dojo. Aurora had started calling it that too. He sat down on a pile mats he hadn't laid yet and grasped the power. It was such a glorious thing. The power flowed through him, charging every cell in his body, his sights were enhanced, smells were more offensive now, he wished it made him smarter, he only remembered the basic theory that Aurora had discussed with him when they worked on the sound aspect of the weave, now to make it one directional.

Light was also multidirectional unless forced. Only way he knew how to force light was to bend it, reflect and refract it. Two words from highschool science classes he barely remembered the definitions of. He hated science, and math, and well school in general. Sometimes he wished he'd grown up like Aria, but then he'd watch her struggle with small things and he'd remember he was happy who he was.

Nox wove a loose of fire and air and tried to encase it it so it relected back in upon itself. At least that was his goal. It didn't work out that way, not the first time. The first time nothing at all happened. The weaves just kinda sat there. It was harder to see the light through the added layer. Nox shrugged and released the weaves. He watched the threads dissapait before he started again fresh.

He wished he could do more than one thing at a time, sound was easy, it was all one thread, woven together in a specific manner. Nox created the directional thunderclap and let it lose. The sound echoed in the warehouse and Nox smiled. He'd practiced that one enough he could do it in a few seconds. Someone could throw a fireball or something quicker than the time it took, it was not something he could use if he didn't have a good amount of time to do it and defend himself. Nox smiled, at least now he had Aria to help with that. He could let those few seconds lapse long enough to create the weave and use it successfully while she handled anything that got through in those seconds.

He hadn't worked so well with Aurora. They almost always seemed to get in each others way. They had tried to work together to get more complexe weaves but it was like the blind leading the blind. In other words it was bad, and they always ended up with a fight.

Aria never fought with him over technique. She didn't care how he did it, as long as it got done. It was the end result that mattered. Aurora always commented on the better ways of doing things. Aurora was a scholar, and her brain worked on a level Nox knew his did not. She saw things differently then Aria or himself. They were the doers, she was the thinker. But he was grateful for her thinking. And Nox was grateful for the tech he now had cause he was full blooded Atharim and where there was actually money for such cool toys.

They'd procured a pair of land warriors. Aria didn't like them, but Nox he loved them. They'd help in the tunnels with the amount of time they'd been spending down there and would continue to do so until they figured out what those hideous creatures were. And where they came from.

Nox shook his head, his train of thought had sidewindered it's way into left field. He started focusing on his task at hand. But even trial number two didn't go so well.

Nox wove together fire and air and earth. The latent explosion left near molten rock flying everywhere. Aurora was going to be pissed. There was a mound of rock in the middle of the cement floor above where he'd dropped it. His shirt was scorched, thank god he had enough sense cool it quickly or he'd have permanent burn scars.

Nox started cleaning up the mess he'd made of the floor when a knock came at his door. He barely heard it through the music in his ears, he hoped they hadn't been pounding long. Nox yelled, "Be there in a sec." Hopefully it wasn't a guy with a gun looking to shoot him in the head. He was paranoid to say the least lately.

Nox opened the door in a singed holey shirt with a grin.
Lucas followed his wallets directions to the edges of the red light district. In truth, he wasn't even sure it could be called part of the city anymore. Just a bunch of old abandoned warehouses and shops now all boarded up and over grown with the now skeletal smattering of shrubs and grass and weeds. He double checked the address Nox had given him against his GPS. He lived out here? And wanted Aria to join him?

He got out of the car- the weather had started to warm up at least and he only had on a t-shirt and a leather jacket- and walked to the building looking for something to say 'front door'. One sort of fit so he went to it and knocked and heard a response.

Finally Nox answered and Lucas couldn't help but stare at him with a puzzled smile. The guy was standing there in a shirt with burned holes in it. "The hell happened to you?"
A grin took over. "Aren't you a little old to be playing with matches?"
Nox opened the door to find Lucas standing there. It wasn't like it was a surprise really, he had told him to stop by, he just hadn't expected him to show up on the day he was blowing things up. He grinned at the comment and waved his hand in a flourishing bow to welcome Lucas in. "Never too old, my friend."
Nox chuckled to himself mostly as he shut the door.

Nox reached for the power and created two small fire balls, one in each hand and started juggling them. "But I don't need any matches."
He winked with a grin. Both balls of fire winked out of existence at the top of their last arc. "Experiment gone bad."
He explained the mess he waved off.

"Want a beer, water? I think Aurora has tea I'm sure I can figure out how to make. And there's a few cups of coffee left still warm I think."
Nox grinned. "But if it's not I can fix that too."
Nox wasn't good at playing host, but Aurora would beat him senseless if he didn't offer his guest something to drink.
Edited by Nox, Jan 27 2015, 11:29 AM.
Nox waved him in with a flourish and then started juggling fire balls that suddenly appeared out of nowhere. Lucas chuckled. The guy was always 'on' it seemed, performing for someone. Eh, but he was alright for all that.

And truth was, it did look pretty cool. The fires winked out and he offered something to drink. "No beer. Water or tea is fine. Thanks."
He looked around. Yep, just a warehouse though apparently Nox was arranging it into something more. He saw some...dirt or whatever in the middle of the larger area and wanted to wander over and check out what had happened. But you didn't just barge into some guy's house and start checking his stuff out. "You know, when you mentioned a place for Aria, this was not what I had in mind. Where'd you find this? Why this place?"
Something he said clicked. "Experiments? Like with your....magic powers or whatever?"

He looked at the holes in his shirt again. And he wanted Aria to stay here when he was doing stuff like that?
Nox turned a look at Lucas that made him frown. Water or tea? Can't make up his mind? He grinned, Nox wasn't going to go through the effort to make tea if he didn't care. "I'll give you the grand tour, and explain."

Nox waved from the entrance towards the kitchen, the kitchen being the only finished piece in the entire place, "Our living room, which right now is pretty drab, but it'll be sleek when we are done. Aurora had priorities, even before her own bedroom, the kitchen must be functional. So that's where we started."

Nox took Lucas towards the bar counter thing that looked out over the living room and into the dojo. It was a nice stone that Aurora had picked out. Everything in the kitchen was Aurora's doing actually. She's the one who cared. Nox walked into the kitchen, it sparkled nice and clean, the faux wood floors made it look like home. It was the only room that felt anywhere close to a home right now. Everything was still sparkling new. "Our kitchen, the one room we both use all the time."

Nox went to the fridge and grabbed two bottles of water. He could have made tea, but this was just plain easier. He tossed a bottle at Lucas and opened his own and took a swallow. "Out here is the training room, ain't much now, but it will when we are done. Weights, bags, obsticals, a few tricks Aria has yet to inform me of."
Nox pointed towards the far corner by the stairs, "My room on the bottom. Up top will be storage, armory, extra space for people to crash. Corner room down here is Aurora's"
He grinned. "You are welcome to see but they are pretty boring right now, bed, unfinished walls etc."

He walked back towards the door Lucas had come in. "These stairs over here overlook the training room, not exactly the safest place but it gives you good tactical view as you watch down below."

Nox opened the door underneath the watch platform. "This would be Aria's. I've got the walls in, sound proofed top and all around. No concrete, not sure if Aria would prefer lamenent like the kitchen or carpet, I'm thinking more comfort of home, but I haven't exactly asked Aria yet either."

He let Lucas walk in. "That's the wall I want you to paint. The bed will sit in front of it, so probably don't need the whole wall to have the mural."
The opposite wall was a wooden bookcase with an inset desk and a laptop sat on top of it. "Past the bookcase is a decent closet and the bathroom. The bathroom is finished. Everything in a blue or creme, soft calming colors, cast iron claw foot tub long enough for me to lay down in. She. Once the doors close you can't hear anything from outside. So even if I'm blowing things up out there she'll not hear a thing."

Nox grinned at Lucas. "I don't experiment when people are around. I don't want to hurt anyone other than myself, but more importantly I don't want to look like a jack ass when it blows up in my face."
He brushed a few singed marks on his shirt. "This place came at a bargain, a friend of ours used it for a while, let Aurora stay here when she was hiding from me."
Nox laughed. "She thought it would work to train in. And Aria actually likes the idea's I've come up with about using it for the two of us to learn to work together in all of our abilities."
Lucas was impressed with the place. It looked like Nox was putting a lot of thought into it. He did find it amusing that the kitchen was the room that was finished first. He quirked an eyebrow. "Sounds like your sister runs a tight ship."

Aria's rooms seemed well done as well, though in need of more work, obviously. Nox was a curious one. He seemed to be more concerned about Aria's needs than his own sister's. Well, maybe not that. But he was attentive to her. And yet it didn't appear he had any designs on her. He wondered what she meant to him. He'd explained, but that could have been just words.

Could he have ulterior motives for wanting her there? In addition to the ones he'd mentioned? As Nox showed him about Lucas watched him. From everything he'd seen, Nox was honest. Almost brutally so. He said what he said and didn't care what people thought. At least that was the impression he'd gotten. Very likely, if he was interested he would've already hit on Aria. The fact that they worked together said that the issue had been dealt with and they had moved on.

Still....he was unsure. If he had to go with his gut, though, he grudgingly admitted, he trusted Nox. At least enough. The guy was chaos incarnate in a lot of ways. Planning just didn't seem his style. Bluntness was more his thing.

When the tour was over he went back to Aria's rooms and looked at the spaces available. The one over the bed was the largest. There was also smaller space on the opposite wall over the desk. He leaned against the desk and looked above the bed. Right now, in her old place she had the picture he'd drawn. "Let me think."

He tried to imagine what Aria might like. Memories of their hanging out came to him. Some of them were darker than others and he decided to focus on the more positive ones. Their first 'date' was one such. A date that began with going to church. Not typical. He smiled at the memory. She had been really pretty in her Asian inspired dress, complete with chopsticks in her hair.

There was something very soothing in certain Asian styles. He was reminded of Taoist art from his classes. In particular the emphasis on nature and cosmic principles. The simple, almost suggestive use of positive and negative spaces, sharp lines contrasted with impression- a landscape whose undulating hills vaguely evoke the writhing form of a dragon. One could stare at them for hours and discover something new every time. It was like looking at a Rorschach test, in some ways.

He knew what he wanted to do, what feeling he wanted to evoke. "Ok. I have an idea. Let me get some materials and I'll get started. Don't tell Aria though. Let's let this be a surprise for her."
""Sounds like your sister runs a tight ship."
Lucas' comment, drew a grin from Nox, he shook his head.

"You have no idea. It's a bone of contention between us at all times."
Aurora planned everything, she insisted upon it. The kitchen was first, they'd split the money between them, and make it work. Then they got to spend the money where they wanted. Aurora was dolling up her room. Nox didn't truly care about his. He'd probably use his room to ask Aria what she liked. But she didn't come off to him like she overly cared either which way. But it was the only real way to find out.

After the tour Lucas went back into Aria's room and Nox smiled. He seemed genuinely interested in helping out. Nox stood over the now very cold pile of rock on the ground his sister was going to kill him if he didn't fix the lump in the floor now. He carefully wove earth and air and fire to remove the glob while leaving it smooth. He laughed at himself. "I'd hate to do this for the entire room."
Though it did leave a nice affect.

Nox went back into Aria's room and found Lucas sitting on the desk eyeing the walls deep in thought. When he spoke Nox nodded. "I'll pay for whatever, no need for you to front the money for something I asked you to do."

Nox grinned. "You want me to keep a secret from your girlfriend? "
He laughed. "That's not a problem. I have no intentions of telling her about this room, the door stays shut and Aria's pretty good about not invading someone's space. Though if you intend to do this I suppose I'll have to give you our schedule. We practice here most mornings and meet here before hunts."
Nox sighed again unsure of what Aria had told Lucas. "Some nights she'll crash here."

Edited by Nox, Jan 27 2015, 12:52 PM.
Lucas chuckled at the idea. Secrets. Well this was more of a surprise than a secret anyway. He hoped Aria liked it.

"Ok. That works for me. Yeah, give me your schedule. I'll sketch out the idea I have and then will get started."
Despite himself, he smiled. What he envisioned was a bit more than just a drawing. The mural would draw the room together so likely he'd also need to give some color to the other walls besides grey.

The concrete floor wouldn't do. He wasn't a carpenter, but he was good with his hands. And these days a lot of stuff you could buy was pretty easy to install. Lots of little things he could add, flourishes and maybe some trim or molding. He could see it already. Yeah, this could work.

And then the look on her face when he showed it to her. He found himself looking forward to that. "I'll sit at the bar and do a little sketching right now, if you don't mind. It'll help to be able to see the space."
At Nox's nod, he headed over and got out his pad and started sketching out his ideas, all the while, remembering the first night they'd met and the deep sense of loneliness in her he'd sensed. And his hunger to alleviate that any way he could, to give her the acceptance she deserved.

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