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PostSubject: temet nosce   Tue May 19, 2015 10:52 pm

Nina finds herself scrambling to regain her footing after a man slams into her side, going the opposite direction as her on the sidewalk. She stumbles, crying out in surprise and clutching at her bag in a desperate attempt to keep it from falling from her grip. Her shoulder throbs in pain and she looks back at him, tears stinging in her eyes, but he is already gone and lost in the crowd. She makes a small, pathetic sound in mixed frustration and pain and clutches her shoulder with her free hand, wincing as a sharp bolt of pain shoots through her nerves.

If they would let me fly, she thinks in despair, I wouldn't have to deal with this.

It was law in the larger cities to maintain a human form at all times within the limits, due to the lack of space for larger beings' movements as well as to restrict conflicts between races. Some argued with the rule, claiming that forcing them into a human body was racist in its own right, and took away the liberty of a natural form from all creatures. However, the voices of reason drowned them out, and as such the law has remained in practice, enforced, and relatively unchallenged to this day.

Still, Nina dislikes the law on principle, as the only human form she can conjure up is one that's relatively small and vulnerable. Her family used to tell her that her human form was dangerous, and that she took great risk in adventuring out into the city by herself. She didn't understand what that meant exactly, but considered their words as the people she passed towered over her and nearly trampled her repeatedly where she traveled. In her natural form, she would at least be somewhat of a force to be reckoned with (but even then, she was much smaller and more frail than she would like to admit). Here and now, she was just a child.

Digging into her pockets and pulling out a wad of bills, she sighs deeply. She's running short on money, and she had only just the other day requested a transfer from her family... to ask for more so soon would just prove that they were right, and she had no place in the city on her lonesome.

Nina ducks under a pavilion nearby, pressing herself against the brick wall of a nearby shop. She searches for a door, and finds it blessedly unlocked, slipping inside. Cool air blasts her, and she releases a long breath in relief as she is finally freed from the crowds. Inside the building is a modest cafe, and she sees a couple others sipping cups and pointedly ignoring her presence in favor of their laptops or papers. Feeling a little awkward and not sure how much money she has left, she makes her way over to an unoccupied table, wiggling into a wooden chair and proceeding to dump out her belongings from her bag and onto the table to sort them properly.


Last edited by absolute configuration on Fri May 22, 2015 7:22 pm; edited 2 times in total
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PostSubject: Re: temet nosce   Wed May 20, 2015 12:33 am

It was a slow time of the day, between work rushes and lunch breaks. Slowness meant cleaning the same counter twenty times and reading the ingredients on the muffins yet again. They were fattening and yet they were sold out nearly daily. Jack could not understand this world.
He reached behind his back to tighten his white apron. That thing was pointless and always falling off, making his day that much more difficult. Jack was very tall and muscular, with brod shoulders. He looked to be about 28 or so, with some five o clock shadow stubble on his chin, dark red like the rest of his shaggy hair. It hung over his green eyes as he was in great need of a hair cut. His pupils were slightly oval in shape and it gave away that he wasn't human, along with his sharp teeth and pointed ears. He wasn't very good at holding his human form with out something of his natural self showing, and didn't really care if he got into trouble for it. They were such small features that it was generally over looked though. But he sure didn't look like someone who would be caught dead working with costumers, let alone serving them coffee. But he was very good at it and his smile always seemed to be genuine.

He noticed the small girl come into his little cafe and seem relieved. But he thought very little of it. It was another person who would want something to drink he thought to himself. He leaned against the back counter tiredly. He didn't have anything to do at the moment and the boss wasn't there today. Jack surveyed the room, keeping track of everyone there. A lot of them he could tell weren't human, but he didn't know what they were. He wondered for a moment how many of these 'monsters' could choose what they looked like. He couldn't really. His human form was something very similar to his old form... before the fall.
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PostSubject: Re: temet nosce   Wed May 20, 2015 12:47 pm

Nina looks gloomily at her, now sorted, bundles of money. She has enough for quite a few bus rides, but nowhere near enough for somewhere to stay and probably only enough to get some snacks along the way, if she was careful. She would have to skip sleep that night unless she called home, which she was adamant not to. She could do this!

She sighs steadily and begins putting her money back into her bag, glancing around the cafe. It seems peaceful, especially compared to the chaos of the city, but she likely wouldn't be able to stay long to catch her breath. She would have to move on and get deeper into Fire if she wants a chance at somewhere to truly rest. Her destination was one of the main volcanoes, where hopefully she would be well-received by the residents and be allowed to integrate into their society. Part of her hoped another phoenix had also made the journey there, but she knew with sadness that the odds of that were next to zero.

Nina pushes herself out of her chair and smooths down her dress, running her hands down the sides of her hair to press down the frazzled strands. Once again, she looks at the others in the cafe, making a face at the two still seemingly fully occupied, and rests her attention on the worker. He's an intimidating figure, but if he manages to work at the cafe, she supposes he likely wouldn't try to bite her head off like any of the other people she's asked for help.

"U-um, excuse me," she tries, making her way over to the counter, "Do you know the nearest bus station is? I need to make a long trip but I don't know where to start."
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PostSubject: Re: temet nosce   Wed May 20, 2015 3:36 pm

After pushing himself off the back counter to address his newest costumer Jack blinked a few times in confusion after she spoke. This girl was what 14? Why in the word would she be making a long trip? It took him a moment to respond as he thought over what he would say, and what would be appropriate. Most people would point her down the street to the next bus station and not think twice. But he couldn't help but worry.

"I do know where it's at, where are you headed?" He asked, as if he just needed more information to give her the right directions. His voice was tough sounding, a bit gruff, but some how sweet and nonthreatening. He stood just a few feet in front of her now, just on the other side of the counter. Jack put his palms on the counter and leaned against them. His nails were long and sharp, but clean as they should be. There was a thick scar starting at the bridge of his nose and cutting down through his cheek and his jaw. It traveled down the side of his neck and under his pressed button up shirt. It was about an inch thick in some areas but fairly healed like it was a memory long lost. He smiled but his expression was still one of concern.

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PostSubject: Re: temet nosce   Wed May 20, 2015 3:54 pm

"I, um, I'm going to Hrani, to the south. I know it's far but I made it to here from Odai, which is even farther, so..." she trails off, avoiding eye contact with the man out of both fear and general meekness. "I just-- I haven't been to a city this big before. I've flown most of the way here, but now I have to take buses instead because they won't allow anyone out of human form."

Nervously, she reaches into her bag and withdraws several large coins, of varying value. "I'm sorry, I'm probably bothering you. I have some money to spare, if you have any hot drinks I could have. I know this is a cafe, but I can't have a lot of caffeine, sorry. It... makes me weird."

She delicately brushes a loose strand of chestnut-colored hair from her eyes and tucks it behind her ear, still looking down at his broad hands on the counter.
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PostSubject: Re: temet nosce   Wed May 20, 2015 4:07 pm

Jack listened to her and couldn't help but smile even more. She was just too cute, and obviously very innocent. That just made his worry intensify. Though he was a demon, his roots made him care for others. He turned around before answering her and started to make a drink at a close by counter. He was very good at his job now, though his first month he spilt nearly everything he made.
"That is a long distance even if you were aloud to fly..." He glanced back at her as he made a drink. In just a couple short minutes he was done. He set the drink of the counter in front of her and then added 4 marshmallows.
"It's hot coco, no caffeine, that stuff does nothing but put hair on your chest." He teased lightly before he pushed the drink toward her.
He glanced out the cafe window at the crowds of people moving by. It was a dangerous world out there, even worse then most people would assume. But he knew better. When she offered money for the drink he just smiled at her and shook his head, "you keep it, this one is on me."
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PostSubject: Re: temet nosce   Wed May 20, 2015 4:24 pm

Nina blinks, looking confused when she tries to offer money and is politely declined. She had never encountered someone who was generous enough, or willing, to give her anything for free. If anything, they tried to con her out of more money than they initially offered to take, and often times more than she had.

"I-- are you sure?" She asks, cautiously wrapping her hands around the cup of hot chocolate, enjoying the warmth meeting her hands. "Thank you very much!" She looks up at him directly this time, positively beaming. The tips of her hair begin to emit a soft glow, flickering a little like tiny bits of flame. It dies down as quickly as it started, however, and she brings the drink to her lips and greedily sucks the liquid down. It's wonderfully hot, but perhaps could be hotter, she decides (that was something her family always teased her about-- she refused to drink anything they prepared for her unless it was near boiling). She can't say she's ever had marshmallows before, and looks visibly surprised at their texture, enjoying them nevertheless. It's so sweet!

When Nina's most of the way through her drink, still licking bits of chocolate from the sides of her mouth, she looks thoughtfully up at the large man.

"My name's Nina!" she says cheerfully, "and you've been so kind to me so I, um, can I ask for your name?"
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PostSubject: Re: temet nosce   Wed May 20, 2015 4:49 pm

Jack watches the young girl and his heart beats a bit faster in his chest as her hair lights up softly. He had an idea of what she was now, a good guess anyway. And it made him happy to see another person with fire in their veins.
"You can call me Jack," he answers, smiling through his sharp teeth now.
She reminded him of his younger self.

"Nina I don't mean to sound too forward, but you have a long way to go and you look tired..." He started before glancing at the clock. "I get off in a few minutes, and I can give you a place to stay for tonight... At least get a little rested.." He trailed off a little, not trying to sound like some weirdo who just wanted to get her alone or something. He was just worried about her. His apartment was small, but it was better then nothing.
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PostSubject: Re: temet nosce   Wed May 20, 2015 5:20 pm

Nina's eyes snap wide open and she looks vaguely panicked for a brief moment, before swallowing hard and glancing away.

"I... I don't think I could. I mean, you've been really nice to me, it's just-- my family..." If they found out she willingly followed a stranger home, she'd never hear the end of it. It wasn't only her being juvenile and putting herself at risk, but as a rare species, trusting anyone she met could lead her into serious danger. Phoenixes were considered near extinction, the last scrambling to find each other and rebuild their society, for a reason. "I am really tired, but... I don't know." She lifts the cup to her lips and finds the drink lukewarm, much to her displeasure. Channeling heat into her palms, it quickly warms back up once more and steam wisps up over her face.

"I don't think you're a bad person at all! I just don't want to get into trouble." Her words were sincere, and she knew that Jack had a good heart, or so she could tell. An innate ability of phoenixes, she remembers from echoes of her past lives, was to read the hearts of any living being. They couldn't predict more than a general assumption of character, but the sensation Jack gave her as they talked made her feel like he could be trusted.
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PostSubject: Re: temet nosce   Wed May 20, 2015 5:59 pm

Jack looked a little disappointed at Nina's answer, but he understood.
"You are right, I am very sorry that was too forward of me and a strange thing to ask. I have not grown accustom to this world yet. Where I come from you welcome allies into your home." He spoke quickly as he lost his composure a little and a very slight accent peeked out behind his words, as if he was hiding it and he couldn't when he got flustered.

He looked away from the girl and grimaced lightly, he was going to stick out like a sore thumb if he spoke like that.
"The bus station is town the street 3 blocks on orchard ave.." He added a bit slower.
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PostSubject: Re: temet nosce   Wed May 20, 2015 6:07 pm

"Three... blocks..." Nina says slowly, feeling exhaustion weigh her down by the chest. It would be an agonizing walk and her short legs were thoroughly finished working for that day (her wings were much stronger). "I, um..." She twiddles her fingers around the now-empty cup, her cheeks flushing in embarrassment.

"You would, if it's not to much trouble I mean, be really okay with me resting at your place for the night?" Her voice is quiet. "I didn't realize it would be so far to walk. I don't think I could make it, honestly."
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PostSubject: Re: temet nosce   Wed May 20, 2015 6:26 pm

Jack looked back at Nina and held back his excited smile, "it's fine if you feel comfortable." He nodded lightly. Just then another employee walked into door to take over after Jack's shift. He greeted his co-worker with a smile and a nod before holding up a finger to ask Nina to wait a moment. He walked away from the counter and into the back room. About 5 minutes later he came out in his street clothes. His red plad button up shirt was covered by a black leather jacket. He had a steaming cup of coffee that he had been nursing all day in his hand.

"I only live one block over," He stated as he greeted the small girl on the same side of the counter. He realized just how much he towered over her, but he always tried to not look very threatening. "I'm glad you took me up on my offer you look so tired. It's getting dark anyway and this is the bad part of town.."
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PostSubject: Re: temet nosce   Wed May 20, 2015 6:38 pm

Nina stands awkwardly for the few minutes as Jack momentarily leaves. She plays with the fabric of her dress in between her fingers, shifting her weight from side to side, and biting on her lower lip. When he finally comes back out, she visibly brightens up and drops her hands to her sides, smoothing out where she ruffled her dress.

"O-oh, okay," she responds to him meekly. She wasn't entirely sure what part of town was considered decent or not, and had only made as straight of a beeline as possible in between the buildings. She knew she could defend herself for a most part, but the unknowns of the place still frightened her greatly. "I'll, um, just follow you then."
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PostSubject: Re: temet nosce   Wed May 20, 2015 6:44 pm

Jack nodded and lead the way. They went outside of the cafe and instead of joining in with the crowd of people all going the same direction he cut close to the brick building and turned down the alley behind it. He slowed and looked back to make sure the small girl was following. Once they were both in the alley it was dark and quiet compared to the busy streets.
The demon sipped his coffee, his free hand stuffed into his jacket pocket.
"So what are you? If you don't mind me asking..." He asked to strike up a conversation. He looked down at her, "obviously you are something with fire and life.. " He smiled warmly at her to try and not make her afraid of saying what she was.
He knew many different types of forms, but the ones in this world were so much more different then in his.
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PostSubject: Re: temet nosce   Wed May 20, 2015 6:54 pm

Nina looks around the alley in interest, uncomfortable about the lack of space and sudden drop in temperature from the lack of sunlight reaching in between the buildings. She then turns her attention back to Jack, staring up at him with a blank expression. She still felt like she could trust him, but was reasonably wary since they had only just met.

Still, she reminded herself, she made the choice decades ago-- when she was barely a hatchling-- to trust a little boy with her life, and now he and his extended family were all her family as well. She didn't know what she would do without them.

"I'm a phoenix," she says with certainty, making her decision to put her faith in Jack. "I'm not very old, though."
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PostSubject: Re: temet nosce   Wed May 20, 2015 7:02 pm

Jack's expression turned to one of being slightly impressed, "how old are you?" He asked taking another sip of his coffee. "I'm fairly young as well... only one thousand and twenty eight." He shrugged lightly and looked back down the alley way as he waited for her answer. He knew pheonix could live for hundreds of years and how they died and were born. Beyond that he didn't know much. And his guess of what she was had been a little off, though close.

The alley way let out into another street and he took a left. This street was much less crowded and more narrow then the big ones full of businesses. It was a street full of apartment buildings, and not the nice ones. There were 'thugs' hanging out of the side of the streets. Ones who would normally harass people for the fun of it, or try to steal from you. But as Jack passed by with Nina at his side they looked away from him. Was it out of fear? Or maybe respect? Jack seemed to not even notice.
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PostSubject: Re: temet nosce   Wed May 20, 2015 7:09 pm

Moving to walk a little closer to Jack out of fear of her surroundings, Nina puts a finger to her lip in an expression of thought.

"Um... I think I turned 80 this year? I haven't been counting, my family usually keeps track of it for me because I forget." She thinks about Jack's age for a moment, and adds, "I think my mom lived that long. Or, I call her my mom. My parent. The one before me, I mean, but we would call them our parent." She looks up into the sky and admires the changing colors of the sky as the dusk begins to rise, longing to spread her wings and take flight. "I hope I can be like her, when I get bigger. I only remember a little of what she was like, from her memories, but... she was beautiful."
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PostSubject: Re: temet nosce   Thu May 21, 2015 1:21 am

"So you call the person from the ashes you were born from your mother?" Jack asked in thought. He learned something new everyday in this world. Then he smiled toward her again, "I'm sure you can be whatever you want to be, as long as you work hard." He thought momentarily of his past life, how pure and innocent he was, much like her. And how he tricked himself.

He slowed before turning into a building and opening the door. He let her pass by him first before following and then taking up the lead again. The building was quiet save the muffles sounds coming from the apartments. As they passed by each one they told a story. One had two people yelling behind the door, one had some music and another the sound of a tv. A couple smelt bad, like rot and sulfur (but not the good kind).

Jack lead them up a couple flights of stairs and down a long hallway, almost to the end before stopping in front of a door and digging his keys out of his pocket. After a moment he opened the door and flicked the light on.
"It's nothing special, I can't afford much on a baristas wages, but it's better then nothing..."
It was small with not much in it, but it was clean. They were in the living room right after stepping inside, it held a couch, tv, coffee table and another arm chair. To the right there was a small bedroom and then straight there was a open kitchen and a bathroom to the left. There wasn't much in it and nothing on the walls. But it still seemed inviting, probably because Jack was so open to sharing it.
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PostSubject: Re: temet nosce   Thu May 21, 2015 8:51 am

Nina follows Jack closely, ducking her head down in fear at the strange noises, and quickens her pace to rush into his apartment once the door swings open. She looks around briefly, a look of concentration on her face as though attempting to solve a problem, before small flames light at her shoulders and consume her.

The flames expand harmlessly, as they are part of her illusionary magic as opposed to the fire from her body itself. A red-orange bird, about the size of a horse in stature, erupts from the flames. She puffs up her feathers contentedly, stretching her wings as best she can in the small room, and swings her tail feathers around to wrap around her feet and take up as little space as possible.

"Ugh, finally!" She says, though the voice does not appear to come from her, and would rather sound as though it's inside the recipient person's head, similar magic to telepathy. On the outside, the phoenix makes a singing noise that is a pleasant combination of tweets and long whistles, softly and moderate in pitch. Nina looks back at Jack, her feathers still puffed up and wings fluttering at her sides. "I hope you don't mind. It's been so hard staying in human form this whole time."
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PostSubject: Re: temet nosce   Fri May 22, 2015 12:28 pm

Jack takes off his coat and steps back away from Nina as she changes her form. He watched while an amused smile playing on his lips. He had never seen a real phoenix before, only been told about them. He set his jacket down on the arm of his couch.
"That's pretty impressive. I wish it was that easy for me to change," He mused before going into the kitchen, "it would be simpler if we didn't have to hide all of the time..." And yet he had reason to hide. Not many from his past life knew what his human form would look like, but all knew his true form... Or was it his true form? He supposed it was now, but it didn't used to be.
He came back around the corner of the kitchen with a plate in his hand. On the plate was a couple peatnut butter sanwhiches. He set the plate down on the coffee table and motioned for her to help herself before sitting on the couch. The bird took up most of his living room but he really didn't mind.
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PostSubject: Re: temet nosce   Fri May 22, 2015 3:51 pm

Nina occupies herself with some halfhearted preening-- she takes a long wing feather into her beak and glides it through, adjusting it back into its proper place. After a few minutes or so, enough time for Jack to return, she's satisfied with her feather placement. She fluffs up again and wiggles a little in place, her clawed feet digging into the carpet. She doesn't notice the sandwiches right away, not until she's already hunkered down to the floor with her head tucked closely to her body. However, by then she's fully prepared to sleep smack dab in the center of the room, and drowsily blinks at Jack.

"Um, sorry, I don't mean to be rude, I just... have a hard time eating some things."
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PostSubject: Re: temet nosce   Fri May 22, 2015 5:37 pm

"Oh!" Jack says back suddenly, "I didn't even think about that, I'm sorry." He put his hand behind his head and rubbed it a little nervously. "What do you like to eat?"
He picked up one of the sandwiches he made and took a bite to show that it wasn't going to waste or anything. He should have asked her what she ate. But he was still not accustomed to this world and how everything worked.
"I would personally much rather have meat, but it's kind of expensive."

Jack trailed his emerald eyes down his bright feathers, admiring the complexity of them. Even for a baby phoenix she was still huge in comparison to her human form.
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PostSubject: Re: temet nosce   Fri May 22, 2015 5:54 pm

"Fruits, mostly," she answers, cocking her head inquisitively at Jack in a very avian manner. "I eat some meat, too, though, but I've never been a very good hunter. My family mostly brought home food from the store for me, or went hunting around the woods by our home."

She whistles lowly, tucking the tip of her beak under a wing and shuddering her feathers lightly.

"Sorry, I'm really tired. I haven't been able to sleep in a while..."
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PostSubject: Re: temet nosce   Fri May 22, 2015 5:56 pm

Jack smiled lightly at how tired the young bird was. He got up from the couch, grabbing the empty plate as he went.
"That's alright Nina, you get some rest. I will be in the next room if you need anything..." He trailed off as he set the plate in the kitchen and headed toward his bedroom.
"Make yourself at home."
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PostSubject: Re: temet nosce   Fri May 22, 2015 6:01 pm

Nina wakes up the following morning, right as the sun breaks over the horizon. She yawns, stretching her wings and messily brushing the tips of her feathers against the opposing walls of the room. Shaking herself off, she allows illusion magic to consume her once more, and steps out of a pillar of flame in human form once again. She stretches more properly this time, tugging her arms overhead and twisting around at the waist.

"Jack!" She calls vaguely, not remembering where he would be sleeping and afraid to investigate his home further. "I'm ready to go!" She tugs down on her dress, smooths down her hair, and then nods in approval with herself.
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PostSubject: Re: temet nosce   Fri May 22, 2015 6:10 pm

Jack shortly emerges from his bedroom, yawning a bit. His red hair was tousled a bit but he had already been up for a white. He just didn't usually care what his hair looked like.
"Early to bed early to rise..." He chuckled, "I don't have to work today so I will walk you to the bus station, but I would still like to stop by the cafe for a coffee."
He ran his fingers through his hair shortly to straighten it out a bit, his sharp nails acting as a brush. He grabbed his leather jacket again and turned to head out of his small apartment. When he stepped out into the hallway it was quickly apparent to him how hot it was in his home. The air felt cold and crisp on his skin, but it was a warm day. He hadn't even realized the temperature had rose over night. He was pretty used to the heat but it took him a moment to figure out why it had happened. When he did he just smiled to himself.
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PostSubject: Re: temet nosce   Fri May 22, 2015 6:26 pm

Nina follows along, looking upbeat and happy as she nearly skips circles around Jack, twirling around and laughing. If anything, the temperature rises further, at least in that particular area. Nina doesn't notice her normally brown eyes glowing a bright gold in her elation.

Further down the block is chaos. Police cars are swarmed around the cafe of Jack's employment, some with their lights still spinning silently. The building's main windows are entirely crashed in, shards of glass littering the surrounding sidewalk and dappling the tiles inside the shop. Bricks of the building itself are entirely uprooted from the cement, broken and scattered across the ground. Inside the shop are detectives as well as a very flustered looking older gentleman in a dress shirt, who is trembling at the shoulders, his eyes wide in panic, and wringing his hands. Jack would recognize this man as the store's owner, who had only this morning discovered his building in literal shambles. Tables are flipped and broken and chairs are haphazardly scattered on the inside of the cafe. The counter is cracked apart and anything of value has already been taken.

What has the people in panic the most, however, is the large writing smeared over the walls inside and out. The words are painted in a red deep, and while unsure, the police are assuming its blood from the copper smell of the area.

Each word, angrily besmirching the walls, reads out "MARCHOSIAS"
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PostSubject: Re: temet nosce   Fri May 22, 2015 6:44 pm

Jack's eyes narrow as they get closer to the cafe and see the chaos. He picks up his pace and pushes through the growing crowd. He picks up the pace again when the smell of copper hits his nose like a brick wall. His heart raced in his chest... But no from fear.. But from excitement.
He finally laid eyes on the ruined area that once was the cafe and was shocked to see the state it was in. As he scanned around he noticed the word, or rather the name, written in blood. His gasped and all of his muscles in his body tightened before he grit his teeth and quickly turned around to leave, hoping that his boss didn't notice him there.
"Come on Nina, it's not safe here..." He said quietly to her as he moved back through the crowd. When he spoke his strange accent was back and there was a slight growl to his voice, but a bit of fear and panic to his expression.
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PostSubject: Re: temet nosce   Fri May 22, 2015 6:57 pm

"I-- wha--" Nina yelps as she sees the scene unfold in front of her, unsure of what any of it means. When she notices Jack spin around and leave, she looks back at the cafe and at him in a panic, before quickly falling into step behind the large man.

"What's going on? I thought you wanted to go back there and... what was all that?" She asks, her eyebrows furrowing deeply. She pauses momentarily, her face blanking. "You... you changed just now. Just a little. I saw it."
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PostSubject: Re: temet nosce   Fri May 22, 2015 7:08 pm

Jack glanced back at Nina before looking over his shoulder to see if anyone was following them. Then he looked a bit confused at her saying he changed. He hadn't tried to or noticed.
"It's just not safe here, I can't explain it right now, " He said quietly, his voice back to normal. He thought about going home to grab some things but no, that wasn't safe. If he knew where he worked then he probably knew where he lived. He just had to leave with what was on him. "I will go with you, if that is okay with you."
He didn't slow his pace down for a second and headed in the direction of the bus station. They had to move quickly but also couldn't draw too much attention to themselves.
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PostSubject: Re: temet nosce   Fri May 22, 2015 7:13 pm

Nina looks even more unsure, pursing her lips and looking over her shoulder. She doesn't know what to do, but knows that we won't be able to do much on her own. If she listened to Jack and followed him, she would have to commit.

"Okay, I trust you," she says finally, running after him. The change she saw was small, noticeable, but small. Like the slightest change of color in a wall of paint, something so minor but darkening to the overall picture. She didn't know what it signifies, and wouldn't likely have time to stop and ponder it for much longer until they reached somewhere safer.

Somewhere in the distance, a tall, winged figure stands atop a skyscraper. His ragged wings unfold and spread wide, and he takes flight amidst the sound of his own booming laughter.
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PostSubject: Re: temet nosce   Fri May 22, 2015 7:19 pm

As they near the bus station Jack stopped at an ATM and quickly pulled his wallet out of his back pocket. He knew he couldn't take his debit cards with him. He had to be as untraceable as possible. He withdrew all of his money from his account which came out to be about $900. It was all money he had been saving for rent, but he knew he wouldn't be returning to his apartment.
"I'm glad you trust me, Nina. And I will explain things when we are safe," He said as he shoved the money into his wallet and tossed his card on the ground to the side. He knew he couldn't leave Nina now. If Andras saw that she was with him he would kill her just to get to him. And that scared him more then facing the monster. The bus pulled up just a moment later and Jack moved to climb on board, making sure Nina was following.
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PostSubject: Re: temet nosce   Fri May 22, 2015 7:29 pm

Nina boarded the bus in silence, afraid of what the possibilities were but even more afraid to ask Jack. She takes an empty seat and presses her hands to her knees, making a face of worry. Then, something horrible strikes her. Pain shoots through through chest and she grasps it, twisting her small hands into the fabric of her dress. Her eyes are wide and tears are threatening to spill over at the corners. She bites down on her lower lip to keep herself from outright screaming.

"S-something is here. Something awful, worse than I've ever... worse than anything I've ever felt," she says shakily, in as quiet of a voice as she can manage through her sobs. "It's so, so dark..."

---

"Ah, dear Marchosias," Andras chimes as he spins around in mid air, "how cute it was to think that you could evade me for all these years. And how long has it been since we last spoke? Too long, dear boy, too long..." His raven-like face scans the ground below, and he intently watches as Jack's bus takes off from its station and down the main street.

"Run if you like. You will not escape me this time."
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PostSubject: Re: temet nosce   Fri May 22, 2015 7:43 pm

Jack looked down in alarm at Nina from where he was sitting next to her on the bus. "are you okay?" He asked quietly, trying not to draw attention to them. When she said something evil was there he quickly looked around in panic. When he didn't instantly see any threat her turned his attention back to his new friend.
"What can I do to help?" Worry was etched into his brow. He couldn't tell if his foe was doing something to harm her or it was something else? Maybe she could just sense it? The only thing Jack could sense is when there was an angel around. Even then he couldn't pin point them.
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PostSubject: Re: temet nosce   Fri May 22, 2015 7:59 pm

Nina sniffled, scrubbing her tears away with the palms of her hands to avoid tears dripping onto her dress. The dark presence was one she had never felt before, and the pressure down on her chest made it difficult to breathe. Worse yet, it was relatively far away. She was terrified as to what she would feel if it got even a little closer; the pain might just send her into a complete panic and she likely wouldn't be able to keep up her illusion for very long.

"Keep it away from me..." she replies softly, "it's scary. I don't like it at all!"

---

He had already planned this meeting out nearly weeks prior. The bus was en route to the closest way out of the city. As much as Andras wished to raze Thorivik to the ground, it was too great of a task, and the Kings of Hell would not take likely on a such a large amount of destruction from his hand. It would be some time before he would be able to wreak havoc, and he would simply have to be patient and wait for Marchosias to get out of the city before he could act further.

And much to Andras' pleasure, he appeared to have found a little friend to bring along to his demise.
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PostSubject: Re: temet nosce   Fri May 22, 2015 8:06 pm

Jack frowned at Nina's request. There wasn't much he could do. He was going to be followed most likely, but if he left her she would surely be attacked so he had to be there to protect her. It was a down hill battle. And it was all his fault.

"I'm sorry this is my fault..." He whispered to her, saddened deeply that he had dragged yet another person into his mess. "That evil is after me, that's why we must run...." He looked away from her, not wanting to see the look on her face. "But if I leave you he will kill you I'm sure..."
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PostSubject: Re: temet nosce   Fri May 22, 2015 8:12 pm

Nina says nothing, busy sniveling and unable to think of a proper response. The bus, like clockwork, makes its way through its routes untouched, and makes one last stop at the edge of the city to drop off its final passengers. The only riders left are Jack and Nina, the latter of which is shrinking down in her seat in fear.

There's complete silence as the bus driver suddenly slumps over in his seat, blood leaking from his ears. Nina screams.

Andras slams down on top of the bus, his wings spread wide at impact, and laughing maniacally as he drives his flaming sword into the metal of the vehicle.
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PostSubject: Re: temet nosce   Fri May 22, 2015 8:27 pm

Jack yelled out several curse words in a row as the driver died and Andras slamed down on the bus. Some of the curse words were in a language not known to many and his accent returned once again. Instinctively he shrunk down away from the sword and tugged Nina to the floor of the bus as gently but quickly as he could. The bus was much to small of an area for him to change, but he couldn't help but start to as adrenalin kicked in and took over most of his actions. He grit his teeth and grunted in pain as his back bulged before white angelic wings shredded his skin and quickly spread out behind him. By now he was hovering over Nina in a protective stance. The red blood from his back slid off of the wings and dripped to the floor. The ends of the white feathers were singed and still bordered with red as if they were still being burnt by something but never getting any shorter.

Jack growled loudly, the sound very wolf like, threatening Andras to back off. Dark smoke bellowed out from between his sharp teeth and his green eyes glowed.

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PostSubject: Re: temet nosce   Fri May 22, 2015 8:33 pm

Andras continued laughing as he sliced the roof of the bus open, the metal melting from the sheer heat of his blade and turning inward, dripping molten metal onto the seats and setting them ablaze.

"Marchosias!" He calls out, holding his arms out wide, "it's been too long, brother! How have you been?" He puts his hands on his hips, bending over and cocking his raven head. He snaps his fingers, causing a black rift to tear open on the ground. A black wolf emerges from it, snarling and mouth foaming. Its massive in stature, its head towering over Andras even while ducked down. It circles the bus, looking into the windows and growling.

Nina screams louder, covering her face with her hands and squeezing herself into the leg area of the seat, ignoring the dops of blood falling onto her head and dress.

"Aww, you even brought me a present! How kind of you!" Andras says in mock pleasantly, motioning down at the girl.
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PostSubject: Re: temet nosce   Fri May 22, 2015 8:41 pm

"I am NOT your brother!" Jack growled loudly, his accent thick and his muscles tight with anger. He looked out the window at his pet wolf and his heart raced faster. He could usually hold his own against one of them, but not when they both worked together.
"Screw you Andras! Are you so obsessed with me that you must hunt me down in this world too?" He winced as he felt his body shift, threatening to change him the rest of the way. Before that could happen he bent down and swooped Nina into his arms. With a heavy jump he lifted himself up through the hole that Andras made. As he went by him he spread both of his huge wings to fly slamming one into Andras as hard as he could to knock him away.
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PostSubject: Re: temet nosce   Fri May 22, 2015 8:47 pm

Andras dodged, spinning to the side and taking flight as well, his wolf still circling and snapping its jaws up at the air towards Jack.

"No! It's happening again! Let me go!" Nina cried, squirming in Jack's grip. Eventually she shrieked, an inhuman sound, and dissolved into flames that shot out into the air some feet from Jack and reformed as a massive bird.

"You brought me a phoenix!" Andras laughed, "And here I thought you were completely useless!"

Nina's wings beat the air and she attempted to escape, but Andras cut through the distance between them in the blink of an eye. In her scramble to escape Jack's sudden change, she left herself vulnerable, and as she flapped desperately to flee, Andras snatched her long tail feathers in a painful grip.

"Not so fast!" He snarls, wrenching his arm flinging Nina hurtling towards the ground, the phoenix screaming in terror all the way.
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PostSubject: Re: temet nosce   Fri May 22, 2015 9:00 pm

Jack had let Nina go as soon as she started to change, that was what he had wanted. He wanted to get her into a place where she could fly away. As Andras grabbed her and flung her toward the ground his body changed completely. In a second his skin ripped and fell to the ground as a massive grey wolf tore out of his human flesh. The wolf was a dark, steel grey with black stripes in pointed places. His tail was long and turned from fur into dark scales with black diamond markings and a rattle at the end. His scar that was on his human face was still there, stretching over his eye, turning it white, and down his shoulder and to his stomach. His wings where still the same though as he spread them again and beat them hard against the air. Jack spun his giant wolf body, slamming his hard tail into Andras with great velocity while he was looking at Nina the very second after he threw her to the ground. A second later he brought his wings close to his furry body and dove down to try and catch her before she hit the ground, his hear laid back against his head.
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PostSubject: Re: temet nosce   Fri May 22, 2015 9:09 pm

Andras was slammed hard, unable to quite duck out of the way in time, and sent flying several yards to the side. His wings flailed as he righted himself, and he cracked his shoulder back into place with a hard jerk from his opposing hand. He chuckled under his breath, beak parted slightly.

Jack would not reach Nina in time, at their matched velocity. However, even as Andras' wolf leaped up to snatch her from the air, she shrieked loudly and erupted into the hottest fire she could manage. The wolf yelped, crying out as white-hot flames sprayed across its face. It toppled to the ground, pulling its head from side to side in a desperate attempt to shake off the fire but to no avail. Its face was severely charred and its form began to blur as the veil between the plane of Hell and its current location blurred. It was attempting to flee.

Nina slammed into the dirt, her body jerking from the force of the impact. She lie stunned, one wing folded awkwardly under her.
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PostSubject: Re: temet nosce   Fri May 22, 2015 9:16 pm

Jack decided that while the wolf was injured and trying to run away he would take the chance he had to hurt it more and try to kill it. He could face Andras and be a better match for him with the wolf gone for good.
He swooped low to the ground above Nina at the last second and headed toward the wolf with the speed of his decent. He extended his paws in front of him and opened his mouth that was full of razor sharp teeth. He aimed to slam into the smaller wolfs side, biting and clawing the best he could, ripping flesh away.

He hoped Nina would be alright but had to try and take the small window that he had to take this wolf out. Rage started to boil inside of him.
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PostSubject: Re: temet nosce   Fri May 22, 2015 9:55 pm

Before the wolf could fully slink away into the Hell dimension, Jack's blows connected. It shrieked in pain as claws raked through its fur and ripped it apart. Instead of blood, however, a deep black smoke poured from the wounds and layered across the ground. The wolf flailed as Jack tore it apart, its form breaking to pieces into the smoke before eventually fading entirely. The blur in the air faded.

"Good choice. Divide me from my pet so I'm easier to take out. Very smart," Andras praised enthusiastically as he nudged a prone Nina with the tip of his boot. It wasn't hard for him to reach her, even during those precious seconds Jack was occupied. "Now I'll be an easy target, won't I?"

He presses his heel into her wing and Nina shrieks, scratching in his direction with her feet. The fire she blasts at him has little effect, and he simply waves his hand to send it away.
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PostSubject: Re: temet nosce   Fri May 22, 2015 10:09 pm

By the time the wolf vanished from beneath his teeth Jack was panting from the effort. Though he was now in a rage, it wasn't a blind one. He turned back toward Nina, hearing her cry out.
"Andras she has nothing to do with this!!" He shouts in anger, his lips pulled up into a snarl. Unlike Nina his voice rumbled out from him, but how he formed words was unknown as he didn't move his mouth in any way that would be speaking.
"It's me you want so come and get me!!" He spread his wings out in a 'here I am' pose, hackles raised on his back. He made a mistake going for the wolf, one he would never forget.
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PostSubject: Re: temet nosce   Fri May 22, 2015 10:17 pm

Andras puts a finger to his beak as though thinking, making a long "hmmm" sound, before eventually stepping off Nina's wing. Instead, he quickly kneels down and grabs the feathers behind her head, wrenching it upward. A sharp cry escapes her beak, and she stares intensely at Andras with wide, bright eyes.

"No, no, see, you made her a part of this. Maybe before I wouldn't have cared but, oh, now... now she's important." He meets her gaze directly, dark magic flickering in his irises, and Nina's own eyes snap shut and she flails, screaming.

"Oh-h-h, she's terrified of you!" Andras laughs, "Absolutely terrified! How does it feel, trying to be so nice to something so innocent and corrupting it just with your presence alone?"
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PostSubject: Re: temet nosce   Fri May 22, 2015 10:23 pm

Jack grit his teeth as Andras picked up his smaller friend, unsure of what he was going to do. Though his words stung about Nina being afraid of him, he wasn't shocked and didn't show any emotion toward it.
"We are demons, of course she is afraid. She is smart to be afraid..." He growled, dark smoke beginning to bellow out of his snout once again. He launched himself with his back legs to take off at a dead sprint toward the other demon. He used his wings to push the air behind him to make him move faster, his dark paws barely touching the ground. Also making it easier to take off if he needed to chase him in flight.
As jumped to try and take down Andras fire spat out of his open mouth, licking the ground and turning it black as he went.
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PostSubject: Re: temet nosce   Fri May 22, 2015 10:31 pm

As Jack charges, Andras's magic flashes across Nina, forcibly opening her eyes.

"The seeds of discord have been planted," he says lowly to her as she stares at him, eyes filled with terror and pupil trembling. A purple mist spins in the yellow of her irises. "I'll have a use for you later." He lets go, and her head drops limply back to the dirt, her body still.

Jack overtakes him, his massive paws slamming Andras dead in the chest and sending them both hurtling back. Andras laughs, though the sound is hoarse and broken as his physical form has been badly damaged by the assault.

"Did you really think it would be this easy, Marchosias?!" Andras shouts, his hands scrabbling at Jack's paws, "Even with all thirty of our legions against each other, we're a perfect match. There's no way you'll be able to kill me with such brutish tactics!"
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PostSubject: Re: temet nosce   Fri May 22, 2015 10:39 pm

"We will just see about that!" Jack shouts angrily as he opens his mouth and sinks his teeth into Andras's black wing. He knew well that his fire wouldn't effect the other demon but it was something that just spat out of him when he was angry.
"I was not born a worthless demon like you! I am stronger!" He snarls as he attempts to rip apart his wing so he can not fly away. "I was given the title of a prince because I earned it and you wormed your way into the spot!" His shouting was not interrupted by the motion of his muzzle.
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