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Last Stop
Nox traveled all over the US picking up his life from the old days. When he had a family. When his mother was alive, and his father was happily teaching him how to hunt - both monsters and food. Nox spent 80% of his time out in the cold and and weather like he had as a child trying to remember what life had been like when his family was a live.

It wasn't sadness that made him do it. He was honoring their memory. One day he woke up and felt like he had to prove he could live on without them. That his life was more than the failure of not protecting his family. He felt better. But he needed to finish this - finish what he started.

The road into Mexico was an easy one - even the guns in his possession passed through inspection with ease. He didn't have many and most of what Nox had kept was hunting type gear so he wouldn't stand out and he could ship that all from Mexico back to Moscow. He didn't have anything back there except Aria, but he would prove to her that he had been worth saving. Nox knew he couldn't kill Aria in the end, but he'd make sure it never came to that. It was the only thing he could do now - protect her from herself.

But first he had to get home. They'd spoken once over the phone since he'd left. She told him about this guy she'd met and there were weird things going on. But they didn't chat long Nox had been driving and he didn't want to get a ticket and there was no place to pull over in the dead of the winter in the mountains that was save. So they hung up with much more to say.

Nox was glad to be in Mexico it was much warmer now. Sleeping on the side of the road was easier and he didn't freeze. There were a few caches in Mexico City and Nox knew there was a safe house for the Atharim there. He had no reason to fear it. Except that it was the heart of the enemy. He could tell from Aria's voice the Atharim were grating on her as well, but that was for later.

The safe house was Nox's first stop. He didn't want to have to carry around his stash in the slums of Mexico City. The plates were clearly American and Nox would sell the jeep once he was done with it, maybe leave it at the safe house for them to use. Whatever, it didn't matter, he didn't need it to hunt in Moscow. He'd had little need forr a vehicle since arriving, there was no point in arriving.

Nox walked into the bar that was the safe house and rolled up his sleeves on his hoodie, the red and black dragon tattoo clearly visible on his left arm biting it's own tail. Circle of life and all that. Nox sat down at the bar and ordered a beer in a bottle, and waited.
Things always kept a little busy for Ricky especially now that he had a teenage girl to take care of. The best part was seeing her smile. He remembered the days when she hadn't smiled very well. It was a scary time for her.

Marta still had trust issues and would likely deal with them for most of her life. It was sad, but Ricky hoped he could work to change some things around here so that others didn't have to go through what she did.

Marta was upstairs in the house working on her homework and the bar wasn't terribly busy at this time. A few patrons were scattered across the room at tables talking quietly in groups. Ricky left them to themselves knowing if they wanted something, they would ask.

The door opened and instinctively, Ricky looked up to see a male in a hoodie walk through the door, sleeves rolled up. Ricky nodded a greeting to the man. He had noticed the ouroboros on his arm. He hadn't had another Atharim guest since Jacinta had stopped by.

Ricky wore simple jeans and a tee shirt, so his red, white, and green ouroboros was also visible. The man ordered a beer and Ricky complied with a smile. "What brings you to our city?"
he asked.
The bartender was the host. Nox never could get over how different everyone's tattoo was. He'd only really ever seen his families. Aria said her's came from her mother, but the dragons were something Lucas had done for her. A small wash of grief passed over his face and Nox knew if he felt bad about Lucas then their house blowing up like it did that it had to be worse for Aria.

His beer arrived and Nox took a swallow before answering "The usual and running a few errands before heading home. Looking for a place to crash for a few nights, maybe unload some gear I don't need anymore. And always looking for a good rumor or four."

Nox vaguely remembered the news about Mexico. But there was one thing he knew was here and that was Dane Gregory. He seriously hoped not to run into that guy. Creepy stalker dude but if he killed him, like he should, Aria would be pissed off. But he also remembered a few other god like disturbances. But he really didn't know. Current events were hardly his thing. And he wasn't looking to hunt gods, much less meet anymore. No one would compare to the power Ascendancy wielded and Nox wasn't sure he wanted to reveal who or what he was to anyone here.

The New world branches were far more isolated of the Atharim, but they were just as deadly if not more so. They didn't have the resources of headquarters, but they had their own way of doing things. He had to remember not to upset the balance.
Ricky nodded. It was typical of those that stopped by and it was what the safe house was there for. "I'm sure that can be arranged Señor.
He said. "As soon as this small group disperses..."

Ricky was interrupted by the closing of the door that headed upstairs. Marta stood, eyes on the stranger for a moment. Ricky recognized the mistrust in her eyes that she still showed for unknown men. It lasted only a moment before she approached the bar, leaving some space in between her and the newcomer. She still distrusted men - Ricky was one of the few she did trust and even that was only recently gained.

She asked putting her tablet on the bar. "I need help with this question."

Ricky smiled and turned back to face the Atharim. "Excuse me for a moment Señor."

Ricky turned to his daughter and helped her through the math problem on the screen. It seemed like every year math got more complicated, but she was smart and within a few moments, the issue that had been giving her trouble was resolved. She thanked him and then said she was thirsty. Ricky gave her a coke and she disappeared back upstairs to work on the rest of her homework.

"My apologies, Señor.
Ricky said getting back to business and looking around. Other patrons had left, so Ricky called to his assistant to tend the bar while he showed the newcomer to the safe house. "If you would follow me, I'll show you around."
Nox nodded. He wasn't in any rush. He had a beer to sip at anyway, but he didn't get a chance to say much as a young girl came down stairs and asked her "daddy" about her homework. This man was older than he was but not by much and he was definitely not old enough to have a daughter that age.

Some Atharim had hearts of gold and took in the strays they found. She had to be one. Hell he was technically a stray Aria had taken in. It just happened that he was one of them. He'd taken in strays so he couldn't hold it against the man, but Nox had always found someplace else for them to stay. Except Asha she was Aria's problem now, which meant his too. But that was back in Russia and he couldn't deal with that now.

Nox sipped at his beer and watched the pair discuss homework. Nox hated homework and from the look of the book she held it was math - the worse thing. Though any subject sucked if you asked Nox. Except maybe those about survival and hunting monsters - those had always been fun and educational. Though he learned more with Aria than he had with his parents. Wandering the world with online courses and just his parents personal knowledge wasn't much of an Atharim education. He envied Aria's education. She recited the Bible like it was more than the book of god, but he also knew her life sucked. He didn't want that. And he'd take her away from it. She was all he had left.

The other Atharim came back to him and offered to show him around when the last of his clients left. Nox stood up and emptied the bottle of beer. It was growing warm anyway.

Nox held out his hand. He didn't particularly like being called 'senor' he wanted to roll his eyes. "Nox."
He followed the other man. "She's too old to be your biological daughter. What you save her from?"
Nox could only imagine what horrors the girl had seen. He hoped it wasn't rougarou - they ate their prisoners alive over an extended period of time. It was horrible to watch and even worse for the poor victim.
Enrique took the outstretched hand, accepting Nox's introduction. "Enrique,"
he said leading the man towards the door that led to the safe house below the bar.

The question wasn't unexpected. Enrique pulled out the key to the safe house and unlocked the door. "A brothel,"
he said, and continued with the abridged version of the story. "On a hunt for a quetzalcoatlus - standard information gathering brought me to the brothel where she was..."
his voice trailed off unsure of what word to use. "I brought her out and have kept her here ever since."

He swung open the door. "Well here you are, Nox."
The basement was spacious and well furnished. There was a couch, a chair, and a bed. A small kitchenette had a stove, microwave and fridge. The armory was located in one of the walls.

"If you need anything, do not hesitate to ask. I'm here to serve of course."
Enrique smiled.

Edited by Enrique, Jun 3 2016, 03:09 PM.
A brothel.... holy.... that's even worse than what Nox had been thinking. "She can't be more than what 14?"
Nox said out loud as he mused to himself about the situation.

He remembered the stupid flying dinosaur things. He and Aurora had taken out a nest pre-god powers with an arsenal of napalm and flame throwers. It has been one of the first times Aurora had used her ability. Nox had fallen and gotten hurt. Aurora had panicked and healed him without even knowing what she was doing. Now she.... that was wrong she couldn't do anything now. She was dead. With a heavy sigh, "I can see how a brothel would be good for those scaly bastards."

Nox looked around but all he needed was a place to crash for a few nights. He looked over to his host. "So anything fun going on around here?"
He could use a bit of fun - whether that was a hunt, or normal people fun, he was up for it. He didn't want to sit around and do nothing, and it was too late to be hitting the streets to the first cache. He didn't want to get caught out after dark.
Dane wiped the sweat from his forehead as he peered at the sign outside. He was thirsty, and his stomach grumbled with hunger. The pubs here had horrible food. It was one aspect of Moscow he missed, the chance to act like a gentleman. Never the less, bars served liquor, and he knew exactly what he was going to order.

He walked into blessed air conditioning after Nox and Ricky left, but Dane was not aware they had ever been there. He slipped into a seat at the bar after a brief inspection that nothing would dirty the pale linen pants he wore if he sat.

A slim smile greeted the bartender, a sad looking fellow that would be a better decoration in a cemetery than anywhere else, and ordered a margarita.

((I'll do my best to keep up with you guys but don't wait on me to take a turn to post if you don't have to.))

Edited by Dane Gregory, Jun 8 2016, 10:03 AM.
Enrique shook his head. "Not much going on, but I could check with intel. Might be a nest of chupacabras nearby. Other than that things have been quiet. It worries me more than it reassures me though."

There had been that bombing - and whoever had done that was lying low or quiet. That really had made him nervous.

"I'll look into some things, see if I can find anything of note. It might be good for me to get out for a bit if I can find someone to keep an eye on her."

He moved towards the door. "I should probably get back up there. I do have a business to run, feel free to join in if you would like - next beer is on the house."
Ricky gave a smile and then began to head up.
Nox wasn't really looking to fight monsters, and chupacabras were nothing in comparison to those tainted things down in the tunnels of Moscow. The bite was not good but he didn't exactly intend for them to get close enough to bite him, but without Aria he was hesitant to kill anything without his own personal bodyguard. The thought made him smile she'd saved him more times than he could count.

But Enrique had offered him a free beer. He couldn't refuse that. Nox looked around in his make shift home away from home, it was the first time he'd stayed in a place proper, he'd been happy to grab a camp on the side of the road, but the shower called to him.

He was in and out of the shower quickly, the cold beer was calling his name, he could hear it. Nox pulled on a pair of jeans and grabbed the one of the only clean shirts he had left. They were clean for one very specific reason - they were white. White got dirty way too fast, but this was his last stop and he really had no other choice. Nox pulled on the t-shirt that said It's all fun and games until someone loses a wiener with a bunch of stick figures sitting around a campfire roasting hot-dogs.

Nox opted not to put on his hoodie, it was too hot outside to warrant it and he was going to go for a run later anyway. His tattoo would be sitting out in the open, but he was in an Atharim safe house, it was probably good to identify himself just in case. He hoped.

Upstairs the bar had a few patrons, one sitting at the bar nagged at Nox. But he didn't stare as he sat down a stool to his left and nodded to the bartender. "I'll have another bottled beer, unopened please."
He didn't really know what he'd done with the one he'd started with. Nox couldn't remember if he took it with him or not.

The bartender brought Nox his unopened beer. Nox took the power in his grasp and used it carefully so no one really saw what he was doing as he popped the cap off. There was no one to show off in front of, and it felt good to hold the power for a little while and use it. Driving had become so monotonous over the weeks he was using any excuse he could find to use his gift. But that was probably a very stupid thing to do while in an Ahtarim strong hold - shit! Nox let the power go and took a swallow of the beer. What other way could he fuck today up with.

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