Whoever Ren had been talking too had left a few minutes ago, and Ren was trying to follow him through the crowd with her eyes, straining to see, but with no luck. When she saw Elson, she pretended to have been looking for him and smiled lightly, giving him a little wave, looking every bit the normal teen girl at a club. When she saw Carl behind him, she frowned, confused, but inside she knew Elson was bringing him over so the two of them to talk. How he had convinced him to follow however...
Prior to following, Carl cuts in to the group, indicating to one of his friends he is going elsewhere. He then takes a couple of long strides to catch-up to Elson. Carl nods as the supposed situation is explained to him, his mouth curving into a half , 'not too shabby'-type smile as his gaze settles on Ren. 'Tonight wasn't a total wash, then. Funny, though...I
came out for a friend's birthday, too.'
Elson resisted the urge to smile at Ren's wave for fear of blowing his cover and instead continued the conversation in the short time until they reached Ren. "Oh really? That's coincidental. I'm geussing that's the group of people you were standing with?"
Ren noticed Carl's smile and realized immediatly what Elson had done and she was furious. Her smile, however, was shy and she averted her eyes from him as if fighting a blush and thinking 'I'm going to kill my friend for this', which she might. She hadn't decided yet.
Carl laughs dryly, though it is likely unheard in the din of the club. 'You and me, we're a bunch of suckers...last thing I wanted to do was come here tonight, too. Heh.' He now locks his eyes on Ren for the remainder of their approach.
Elson was uncomfortable, but he wouldn't let it show. This man was chosen and so they had to find out what side he was on, for better or for worse. He just hoped Ren woulnd't decapitate or burn him, or some other horrible thing. Suddenly the thought struck him that he would have to leave the two alone after introductions. The thought irked him, but he really had no other choice. "The bed that I have made." Was mumbled just before reaching Ren. "Ren, this is..."
'Carl,' he says, finishing the other guy's sentence.
"Hi Carl I'm, heh, Ren, obviously," Ren replied, motioning to Elson to indicate the introduction. She averted her eyes as if afraid to keep eye contact and kept that silly shy smile on her lips. "It's very nice to meet you."
Elson forced a warm smile, "Carl, this is the girl I was telling you about. Would you like me to leave you two alone now?"
A few blocks down Kohana put on her shortest skirt and lowest cut halter top. Checking her hair and deciding that just a little chap-stick for make-up will do. She snuck out her bedroom window. As soon as she was on the sidewalk she raced passed her house and down the way to the club. After a few short minutes she arrived just outside the door. The line was short only two people awaited before her. When it was her turn she flashed her Fake ID and a pretty little smile to the bouncer who promptly let her inside. Standing just past the doorway she scaned the room for someone she could get to buy her a drink.
'Hello, Ren,' Carl thinks he's scored big. It's quite evident and all over his face. 'Why, I wouldn't mind one bit...buddy.' He directs to Elson, having not yet learned his name. He looks back to Ren, grinning, but not in a lecherous manner.
A light blush was creeping on Ren's cheeks and she tried to remain shy. Not her thing. She managed to flutter her eyelashes though and look Carl in the eye, her dark brown eyes seeming to smoulder with desire. For chaos, but he didn't need to know that. She just held out hope that he was an Accident and turned her thoughts to ways to kill him. She could get through this.
Elson had seen that look before and chose that time to accept Carl's offer and go sit at a table in the corner, where he could watch others dance and whatever else. "Ok, I'll leave you guys alone to talk and go over there and wait for our friends. Talk to you guys in a bit." With that said he gave a short wave and sat at the selected table and breathed a sigh of relief. She was angry, she could handle anything angry.
As his eyes meet with Ren's smoldering eyes, Carl doesn't really acknowledge Elson as he leaves--he manages a dismissive half-wave. There was somethig...different about this girl, and not in the schmaltzy, romantic way. His pulse quickens. 'So...uh...Happy Birthday?'
"What? Oh, I had forgotten..." Ren says softly, but in their proximity she knew he had heard her. Her eyes stayed on his as if she couldn't look away. "I'm eighteen today." Her grin was definately not an angelic one.
Carl swallows hard, trying to collect his thoughts.'Wow...heh..an older woman...so...' he coughs and manages to pull his gaze from Ren, '...you want a drink or something?'
"No thanks," Ren said softly, keeping her eyes on him even as he looked away. Oh, he was precious. She wanted to be her dominant self but that could cause problems, since she was supposedly shy with this 'cute boy'. "So how old are you?" Her eyes roamed over his figure, 'undressing' him with her eyes, or so it seemed.
Once he looks away, Carl seems to get ahold of himself. 'I'm seventeen for a few more months.' As he slides his hands into the pockets of his slim-fitted pants, he cocks a smile again and refocuses on Ren. Her body language does not go unnoticed. 'No drink. Well, then. I'd ask you if you want to dance, but I wouldn't want to make you look bad.' His machismo having started to return, he makes elevator eyes at Ren, head-to-toe and toe-to-head.
Ren laughed a little, nodding in response. "Yeah, I'm good, I can really.. bring the house down." She grinned and looked at him. "But I'm still sure you could put me to shame." It sounded almost like she was accepting his not-so-invitation to dance.
Something flickers across Carl's face--perhaps an indication that he would be in trouble if Ren actually accepted his offer. No girl ever fell for that lame line before. He is, in fact, not that good of a dancer. 'Well, lucky for you I forgot my dancing shoes.' He removes his right hand from his pocket and rifles it back through his shaggy brown hair. 'So...what do you do for fun? Other than...you know...clubbing?'
Burn down houses and otherwise cause chaos throughout cities. "I like to go see movies," she replied, still thinking over the extremes in her head. Fires, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions. She loved them all. "Scary ones are the best. Romantic isn't worth seeing at all.. Except Titanic. I mean, it's a classic, and so many people die... it's like a horror movie."
'Heh. Kate Winslet is pretty hott.' Carl flashes a small, wicked smile. '...but I can't stand that romantic dribble, either. Give me some action, some evisceration any day...'
"Exactly," Ren agreed, her hand waving to him as if to say 'good point'. She smiled. "Maybe we should go to a movie some time. My treat?"
Carls' eyebrows raise-- he looks a bit surprised. It's never been *this* easy before. 'Sounds like a plan, Ren. Though I wouldn't want to feel as though I am...taking advantage of you...'
"Fine," Ren said and got a napkin and pen from the bartender. "You can buy your own ticket." She gave the pen back and smiled at Carl before pushing the napkin to him. "Just ask for me, no matter who picks up. See you later. I'm going to go find my friend." She gave a little wave and left him to find Elson.
Carl takes the napkin, looks at it, then slides it carefully in his pocket. 'I see you around, then.' He watches after Ren until the crowd envelopes her as she walks away.
Carl, you know, leaves and stuff.
Kohana watch as Elson came from what seemed to be no where. She walked up to him as he sat down. "Hi stranger. Where's your girlfriend?"
Elson simply pointed, "Getting..." He had almost said information, which would lead to problems, "directions." He looked over, "How you feeling?"
"Much better." Sher looked for Ren in the crowd. "So she is your girlfriend huh? She told me there was nothing going on." She smiled sudctivitly to a guy passing by.
Elson released a chuckle, "No, no, no. I thought you were being sarcastic. Everyone else does that."
"Its okay you can keep it a secret with me. Your really cute ya know." She watched the guy on the dance floor motion for her to join him.
"Heh, thanks for the compliment, but I think you should know I'm not interested in girls..." Thinking that sounded way wrong, Elson corrected himself. "At least not at this moment. I have a very busy life, and really no time for them."
"Sweetie please dont flatter youself. I didnt want to .. get serious with you. I just said you were cute. Besides I cant help but like you for saving my life." She giggle and began to walk towards the crowd of boys. "I will see you around."
Elson watched her go, almost thankful that she had left. Now all he had to do was sit here and watch people. He had done it a lot when he lived in Detroit, after he had dropped his habit, and therefore all his friends. Really, he had nothing better to do when he wasn't lifting, so he would simply sit in the park and watch people go by. It was nearly the same thing as what he was doing now.
Kohana started to dance with the guys right in front of Elson. After a few songs she got thirsty and told the guy closest. "Okay I will get you something, what do you want?" Kohana replyed "Anything good." She came back and sat across from Elson.
"Tired of dancing?" Elson had seen some people he had found interesting, either becuase of their dress, or their attitude. Some had wandered out of his sight, others had stayed and he had tired of them.
"No. Just thirsty." She looked him up and down. "Besides you look lonely." She smile a sudctive smile. "You wanna dance boyfriend?"
He shook his head, "I don't dance. At all. Not my thing." Truth was, he didn't know how to dance, and thought himself much to big a guy to learn.
"I'm exhausted," Ren said as she came up to Elson and flopped unceremoniously on the couch beside him. She frowned up at him. "I've lost interest here. Have you?"
"Yup." He glanced around before looking back at Kohana. "Same faces for too long. Nobody here interests me anymore." He looked back at Ren, "Wanna leave?"
Ren just nodded and stood, leading the way out. Once they were out on the dark but slightly warm street, she looked at Elson. "That bothered you, didn't it." It wasn't really a question, but she seemed to expect an answer.
Elson shrugged, "Not that it started really, more the fact that it happened due to my lack of thought and the lie that resulted." He shrugged again, "But mostly just becuase I put myself in that position."
"Forget it," Ren told him and started walking down the street. "People lie all the time. You did what you needed to, and it was an innocent one, just like you like. So don't go putting yourself down for something that didn't hurt anybody. You sound like an Accident."
"Pphha! Don't group me with those pansies." Her words actually made him grin. He was defenitly not an accident.
"Then stop acting like one," Ren chastised him. Her brown eyes met his and they flickered a little, but she wasn't angry with him. "You owe me by the way." The corner of her mouth twitched, just barely, but she had been going to smile. Instead, she fought to keep her light scowl and continued down the sidewalk. Her mind raced with all the ways he could 'pay her back'. So many things he could set fire to...
Kohana was handed a drink. "I think I am just going to excuse myself to the restroom." She got up and headed towards it but instead walked out and on her way to the park.
"I figured, so, what is it you want me to do?" He had seen the twitch, and at first thought she was angry, but her eyes were different than when she had been in the club.
Knowing how much he didn't want to burn down houses, she took a moment to think, then look at him. "You have to have another lesson with me. Punishment is better than payment."
Elson was pretty sure she wasn't totally mad. At least he didn't think so. "And where are you going to teach me this lesson?"
"In your bedroom," she said simply then smirked at him. "Kidding! Probably in the backyard..." She went on thinking.
At her first words, Elson's heart skipped a beat, but as she continued he felt foolish. As fun as that would be, they weren't even dating yet, and hadn't even talked of it really. "And what are you teaching, oh great one?" He wasn't being sarcastic in a mean way, but instead he had reverted to his old self. "Do I have to snatch a fly from your hand?" After getting a thoughtful look on his face for a moment he spoke again, "Always wanted to try that..."
"Try snatching it from the air. That's real talent," Ren noted, her mind not totally on him. She spun suddenly and stopped right in front of him, her hand on his chest. "Why don't.. you pick the place. I'm not going to bother teaching you something you don't want to learn, and where you want to learn will reflect what you want to learn. Tell me where..." She looked up at him and her eyes were smouldering again. "I'll tell you what." She was partially testing him, but only partially.
Suprised, Elson stopped and actually thought for a moment, "Hmmm, not sure... ummmm... How about..." His face lit up for a moment. He had wanted to do some speed training this week anyways, and after whatever Ren had planned he could possibly still do it, "The beach?"
"Sounds fair," Ren replied without thinking on it, turned and started walking again. It didn't look like she had anything else to say. She was off thinking again. As usual. The beach... Must avoid tidal waves... hmm... sand, heat, glass...
Elson followed quietly, seeing that Ren was thinking deeply. He wondered briefly if she was planning his lesson, then quit thinking on it and began to think about random things.
Ren stopped again and turned on him, this time not stopping him. She was a bit ahead, so he had time to stop without her worrying he wouldn't. "Do you like me?" That was blunt.
Elson stopped before her and without really thinking, answered. "Well yeah, I think I do. You keep things interesting... unbalanced. I never know what to expect. It's kind of like..." Here, he did think for a moment, "It's kind of like walking through a New York crowd... You don't know what's going to happen. You could get into a fight, you could get pick-pocketed, or you could end up finding the love of your life." He stood there after he finished speaking and toed the ground, feeling slightly foolish, and somewhat like an open book, open to a page that most don't see, and you're afraid of revealing.
"I..." Ren said, her voice low and her eyes almost menacing. She took a smooth, girl like swing of hip step toward him. "Am the girl..." Another step. "Who picks your pocket..." Another, very close now. "You hunt down and beat up to get it back..." She stopped right in front of him, her grin and eyes almost predatory now. "Then fall in love with."
Elson looked up and saw the look on her face, and remained silent for a moment. "I should ask you the same, do you like me?" Ren was exactly as he had just said. He found it hard to know what she was thinking or trying to say most of the time, which, he was fairly sure, got close to angering her sometimes. Therefore, in this situation, he fell to being as blunt as she had been, hoping to keep the chain of bluntness going, hopefully to avoid any type of miscommunication.
"Yes," she answered, her face more pleasant, maybe nice now. "And since you gave me one, I will give you an explaination.. You are a Chinese riddle. Sometimes hard to understand, somtimes simple, but either way you're hard to figure out, because no one can really give you the answer. Nobody knows your answer, you don't show enough of yourself to even complete the riddle. It's the first verse of three, your surface. It's addicting and frustrating and consuming trying to figure you out, look at it from all angles, but I'll never get you, because I can't see all of you."
Elson allowed a small smile to show, "Maybe time...?"
"I promise not to kill you until then," Ren replied. She made sure he saw she was making a joke. She would never hurt him, unless in practice, and not then if she felt she could help it. She stood on her tiptoes and cupped one of his cheeks with her hand and kissed the other lightly. She hesitated, poised near his lips, before kissing them softly. God, he felt like fire and destruction and it was breathtakingly mind blowing. She loved it, even if he wouldn't use it. He had it.
Again, he felt the same feelings from the first kiss, and he liked it. He let the kiss linger as long as she wanted as all thought slipped from his mind.
It was like a forest fire had sprung up around her. Consumed by the wildfire, she let herself fall into the feelings it gave her, feeling her own need for chaos bloom and surge at the presence of his power, bowing to it, beconing it, lured by it... Her power wanted his and she gasped away from the kiss as the 'darkness' in her lunged at Elson's inner fire and she saw visions, younger Elson, something about drugs. She stumbled back a step, reigning in her internal chaos that now churned and thrashed like a wild animal or sea storm at having been ripped away from such power. "I'm sorry," she breathed as if they had been passionately making out instead of sharing a gentle kiss. "I didn't mean.. I.. I'm sorry.." She never apologized! But her power had done something she never meant it to do. She invaded his mind when she said she wouldn't... She felt a little sick at having been so.. utterly foreward, even if she had had no power to stop her chaos.
Elson stood silent again, slightly shocked at what had happened, but not unhappy with it. After a few moments of that silence he spoke, "No... no... don't be... That was... wonderful... I think..." His eyes moved up from the ground where they had landed upon opening his eyes, "That, I think... was the single most memorable experience of my life..."
"Certainly mine too but-" She stopped dead. She did not just admit to that. She looked at Elson. She had. "I.. I... You.. Umm..." She bit her lower lip. Drag him home and attack him, or just not think about it. Elson was the only person to ever do this to her. Gods only know what would happen if she had sex with him! God, Black Plauge meets Auschwitz in Hiroshima... She shuddered, trying to resist the temptation. She didn't know what to do. Please, god of chaos, make him decide! She wasn't equipped for SELF chaos!
Elson tentatively stepped forward, waiting for any signal that she was going to push him away. Suddenly he was close enough that he could feel her breath, still waiting for her to push.
Ren didn't move, she only looked up at him. Her eyes were more than smouldering. They were raging chaos. Only with her would that be a good thing. "Elson.. I don't want to hurt you." The words were blunt and it was obvious she was trying to restrain herself, but it wouldn't be for long. "But I think I'm going to..." Her eyes seemed to add 'I don't mean emotionally'.
Elson took a step back, not becuase he was afraid but becuase of her eyes. He had never seen them this way. It was new, and not strange... but different. "I see." He looked around, confused and not sure what to do.
"What.. do you want...?" She felt it was important to ask. She would stop herself. She would run away right now and go collapse a city block or something. Cause a volcano to erupt in Hawaii- no! No fire! Something! An earthquake in Alaska. She didn't know, but she would not pursue if he didn't want to.. you know.. with her.
He thought momentarily, his mind going back to that amazing kiss. He then decided that it didn't matter, love or lust, he wanted her. Anything she would give. He found himself addicted to her in a way drugs could never achieve. "Everything." Was his simple reply.
After a few hours of wondering around the park, Kohana decided to go home. It was a short walk back to her window, where she snuck in, changed into some night clothes and fell asleep on her bed.
Ren sighed and it was fully, like the brick wall crumbling under the attack of her chaos just collapsed like water in a rush, a tidal wave. She nodded, tense, still holding just enough back to keep from pouncing on him and dragged him by the front of his shirt back to the house. She pushed him into her room, which she had soundproofed for privacy of her own and had a large black adorned king sized bed. She practically slammed the door behind them and attacked him, letting one of her demonic friends lock the door. Lust, after all, was chaos, and they rejoiced.
Elson allowed himself to be drug, and even enjoyed being thrown on the bed. Somewhere his head told him that it was odd for him to not be in control, but the thought vanished as soon as it surfaced, and he had no complaints against it. He simply let himself spiral into their chaos, loving every minute of it.
The sun rose, but Ren's room remained mostly dark. She had covered her windows long ago with thick black cloth to keep it that way. She had scooted up when she awoke so she was slouching against the ornate headboard, the blanket kept pulled up to leave her decent. Her legs were straight out under the heavy comforter and silk sheet, slightly parted, and between them lay what could only be described as a starving rottweiler. Everything about it's skin-and-bones figure was black, patchy fur, skin, eyes, everything. It was laying serenly on it's side, panting a little as dogs do when they prepare to sleep, but it's eye, shiny liquid black, seemed to be looking around under a hooded lid. Ren was looking at it with fondness, her mouth barely quirked in a loving smile. One of her hands rested on its ribs, which nearly poked through it's paper thin skin, the other was stroking it's neck slowly. One of her favorites of the demonic creatures she had some power over, one that could, if a person with her were to look around, often be seen. He was her companion of sorts, along with maybe a couple of human esk creatures, that stayed near, so she would not have to wait long if they were called.
She had awoken Elson when she scooted up, but he had lain awake, eyes closed, enjoying the warmth of the covers for a little bit. When he felt like opening his eyes however, he found something quite rare; Ren smiling. "You know, you should smile like that more often. It suits you sometimes." Seeing that she was sitting up, Elson decided to do the same, making no sound but a small hiss when his back flexed and cause the numerous scrapes there to sting.
"When does it not suit me?" she asked, her voice soft, her focus still serenely on the 'dog' creature laying with her, it's head resting on her barely inclined stomach. A pillow about the mid of her back propped her up at the perfect angle. The dog thing was 'looking' at Elson now (though it was hard to tell with no pupil), it's breathing more calm, alert.
"Mostly when you're angry as far as I can tell." He looked down and saw the form leaning against her stomach. "What's that? Another of your... eh... familiars?"
"So to speak," Ren said, her face becoming more serious. "This is Darkus. He is a champion of animal death. He is that back alley dog you see fighting the others, or it's another like him doing the same. Those dogs would be killed by humans, old age, or illness otherwise." Darkus growled softly and shifted, hopping off the bed and vanished into the shadows. Ren looked at Elson. "Chaos doesn't always have to be meaningless."
Elson managed a shrug without his back catching too much flame, "Never said it was, and besides, I think I'm starting to like it." He gave her a smile of his own and began to stand up.
Ren watched him with no apparent shyness or purpose other than to take him in. She was attracted to his power. His body was nice, but she had little interest in such things. When she saw his back, she tilted her head in a remembering kind of way. Her bed, she knew, was stained with multiple body fluids, mostly blood. Her own wound had reopened, that was one reason she kept the thick dark cover over her chest. She was used to pain. It was partly her business, to cause it. Besides, she wasn't dying. "I'm surprised you can move," she noted calmly, not sorry for what she had done. The memory alone left her with a swelling feeling of contentment, her inner chaos temporarily satisfied. Usually destruction caused that feeling, but not to this degree. It was like fighting another chosen, but with mortal pleasure. A combination she had never felt before.
"I take quite a beating when I need to." He turned around and flashed another grin. It had been a beating, but he had loved every minute of it. He had been pushed to the limits of his pain tolerance and back, but it had been done in a spectacular way. And he was pleased. "Now, I need to make a quick trip, and I'll be right back if you like." He pulled on his jeans quickly, then stood there, waiting for her answer.
Ren just wave him off, litterally, with a couple flicks of her hand at the air. She looked over at her dresser, thinking of what to wear.
Elson just nodded and started for the bathroom, then made a change in direction and hit up his bedroom, grabbed some clothes, then returned on his treck to the bathroom. He needed a shower, even though he dreaded the hot water hitting his back.
Ren waited until she was sure he was gone before she left the bed. She had some first degree, almost second degree burns about her body and her chest wound had opened. Frowning as she fought aches and pains, she went to the dresser and picked out some pale fitted jeans and a white button up shirt as well as her undergarment. She dressed her lower parts with some wincing and sat on her bed, the full length mirror a few feet away against the wall displayed her torn wound that had managed to clot a bit while she slept. She turned to her night stand and opened it. Inside was a variety of medical things and she got out some alchohol wipes to steralize wounds and some gauze and tape. It wouldn't be as good as Sparks... She cleaned and dressed the wound before putting on the shirt and took the scraps and things with her to the kitchen, tossing them into the lidded trash. She closed the curtains on the window so Darkus could entered the shaded room and snoop around as a dog does while she got eggs and such for breakfast, wincing when it required she reach up in a cabinet. Soon she was working with a pan for pancakes, two done, and another pan for eggs and sausage, a serving done.
Spark was finally well rested, and had been writing down things furiously as she found teh right questions for the correct answers Ren had wanted. She had what question to ask for what god favored what person, but it was the other information her 'book' would give her troubles with. When she had been left alone in the house. She had once again cleaned everything and then simply sat where she still sat. Reading and pouring over her book. Asking questions and deducting answers or the right questions. She wanted to do as much as possible to aid Ren. Because Spark felt so useless. She was a terrible cutter. And didn't know anything to defend herself or attack and her only power was.... a book. She wasn't even as pretty as Ren. she hoped she was helping.
Elson finished with his shower a short time later and returned to his room to dispose of his dirty clothes, then went downstairs intending to get soem breakfast. Instead, he found Ren already there, cooking. "Any of that for me?"
"About a third," Ren answered as she set her completed works on the table and set three places. "I'm going to check on Spark. Don't-" She pointed at him sharply, "Open the curtains." She pointed to Darkus who simply looked at them and tilted his head slightly. With that, she left to find Spark in the living room with her book. "Hey.. Did you find anything?"
Elson nodded and sat at the table, not sure how much Ren planned on making, and therefore not getting food yet. He did however, get a better look at Darkus. Decided it wasn't anything super special, and sat looking at his hands.
Darkus looked at Elson walked over to him and sniffed his knee curiously. After a few seconds, he sat beside Elson's chair on the floor, regal as any dog could be, and waited for Ren to return.
Elson glanced down at the dog and noticed it's stance and dared a pat at it's head, wondering momentarily if it was going to bite him.
Darkus huffed dog-like. "Your fear is misplaced, Elson." Darkus's mouth had moved, so clearly that pompous but not vain, deep, clear, male voice had come from him. It was formal and perfectly polite. "I'm not going to hurt you."
"So you speak?" Elson thought of a question to ask. "So, are you technically a demon or one of Ren's chaos beings?"
"Either or," Darkus answered calmly. "She may call me and ask of me, but she cannot command me. I'm higher than the beings, but am only a lower level demon."
"I see." He scratched his chin for a moment, "So then, can you do like... special stuff?"
"Yes." Darkus's tone remained oddly calm. He didn't seem bothered nor curious about the questions he was being asked, but he wasn't preoccupied either.
"So, any examples? Like.. tell me.. I don't want to make you show me. I don't have the right to ask." Elson sat wanting to know more about this creature he had never even heard of before.
"One example would be I can make dogs chase cats," Darkus answered. That was for his own amusement. Other dog demons like himself did the same, but he didn't want to tell Elson that. He also was not going to tell him that was his kindest ability.
"And I always thought dogs did that normally..." He seemed perplexed, and wanted to know more, but he didn't want to annoy the creature and so he looked to the food wondering when Ren would finish the cooking and if maybe she would like some help.
"Go ahead and eat. If more food is needed, Ren will cook." Darkus poked Elson's knee with his nose then got up and started looking about the room again.
Eva walked sleepily from her room, her bathrobe wrapped around her tightly. She slowly walked down the stairs then dragged her tired feet into the kitchen and over to the fridge not even acknowledging anyone who was in the room. She retrieved the carton of orange juice and poured herself a glass before returning it to the fridge. "I am so not a morning person..." she muttered to herself as she turned around to finally see who else was in the room.
Darkus, who to anyone who saw him looked distinctly like a starved Rauttweiler made of liquid black, paused to sniff at Eva's foot. Seeming to make a decision, he moved away to see what was in the sink.
Eva sat down glancing at Elson after watching Darkus move to the sink. "Is there any plans for today?" she asked him before taking another sip of her drink.
Kohana woke late in the morning. She dressed in a pair of jeans and a t shirt. After grabing an apple she walked out the door and locked it. She walked across the way to the park and sat on a bench eating her apple.
Spark looks up and rubs her eyes. "She is indeed chosen Ren. But I have yet to really find out what her powers are. I know where she live's. How old she is... what her zodiac sign and her blood type! Bloody peice of magical rubbish really." Spark say standing the book on her lap disapearing silently. She was starting to get frustrated. Only writing things down... being left behind. Being useless and bothersome. Spark was starting to really go nuts or something. She was the only one who was pretty much useless.
"More than I would have been able to find," Ren admitted. She was silent a moment before asking, "Spark, would you like to learn some self defense? Or.. cooking skills at the very least. I know you like books, obviously, but doesn't it get boring after a while? Elson and I are going to the beach for training today. If you like, you can come along and I can teach you too. Kill two birds with one stone so to speak..."
"Boring? Um... no... I never get bored reading a book...But..." Spark looks down suddenly apprehensive about Ren asking exactly what she had wanted to ask. "I would like that. Learning I mean... er both things I think." She says leaning over to start tidying up her papers and books and note pad's. She felt a fool having gone on like that. She was blushing slightly at having done it especially in front of Ren.
"Good," Ren said with a firm little nod. "This way, if you get hungry, I don't have to worry about you hurting yourself... Or getting hurt if we're not around. You're an invaluable asset to us. Come on. I've made breakfast. Best not to train on an empty stomach." She turned easily and left the room, returning to the kitchen.
"Ah! Yes! sorry!" Spark says following quickly leaving her things stacked as they were after picking up her notebook. She was blushing a little at the compliment Ren had given. Only wishing it was true.
Elson stood to get some of the food, talking as he went. "Not really sure. I haven't made any yet, at least." He grabbed a couple eggs and pancakes after grabbing a plate from the cabinet, then put a couple sausage links on the side, grabbed a fork and then returned to the table and set the plate down. He almost sat down before remembering to get something to drink and returned to the cabinet to get a cup.
Darkus, for no apparent reason, was following his every step, occasionally getting his way in a half hearted attempt to trip him. He almost seemed to be grinning as he weaved his way around and about Elson's legs.
Elson chuckled as he grabbed the cup and filled it with water, then returned to the table, nearly tripping once. "So, do you enjoy acting like a dog, or is it just natural to you?"
"I enjoy it," Darkus replied, sitting by Elson's chair again as Ren entered with Spark.
Ren went to the cabinet to get another plate for herself. She had only set two places. "Spark's coming with us to the beach today."
"Awesome." He looked over at Spark, "Should be fun. By the way, find out anything else on the enemy?"
"Oh I found a goldmine of information. But only two things of actual use of help." Spark says softly. Nodding her head to the dark beast beside Elson's chair. It was either a friend of Ren's or Ren's but Spark would rather not presume to be presummtuos if she could help it.
"Really," Interested in what Spark had to say now, Elson focused on her for the moment. "Anything that would help me, should I encounter them?"
"She is the chosen of the god, Badnezer. The other thing I have found out about her is that... most things that should have killed her, have never hurt her too badly that she didn't recover. I made further inquiries but the book became obtrues and alarmingly obstinate." Spark sighs softly sitting down at the place set. She looked almost tired. But calling upon the book for extended periods of time would recall for that.
Elson scratched his chin thoughtfully, "So, if I wound her... wait... which her are we talking about?"
"Kohana is who I was asked by Ren to find infomation on Elson." Spark says resisting the urge to rol her eyes instead letting out a soft little half sigh at his... well density really. He wasn't stupid... he was just... average. Sometimes Spark found the difference between density and stupidity alarmingly small.
"Oh, I'm sorry." Elson returned his attention again to Darkus. "So why haven't I seen you around here? Or is this your first time here?"
Eva who had been resting her head on her arms looked up a little more awake. "Ok...who is Kohana...i'm obviously missing something here..."
"Kohana is a girl Elson rescued from a fire in the arcade," Ren answered as she set out dishes of all the completed food on the table so everyone could take what they wanted. There was sausage, bacon, scrambled eggs, stacks of pancakes, stacks of toast and of course a variety of toppings for each. "She's a chosen, and doesn't seem to have met the Accidents yet." She placed a finger on her jaw as she thought, then looked at Spark. "Forgive me if this is obvious, I know how much it annoys you when we state the obvious, but... Did you try asking what Badnezer is the god of? Sometimes the answer isn't given for the person we're asking for. So, we would of course have to inquire about the obvious: We are the chosen of a god, and thus the chosen of what that god is the god of."
"This is not my first time here," Darkus answered calmly, having been listening to all that was being said. He wanted to grin. He knew who Badnezer was. A valuable ally for any war that was ever waged. "I simply have not come forth. There was no time. You all needed training and I would have only distracted you, Elson, as I am now. I am only 'out and about' as you would say because Ren wishes for my company this morn." He looked up at Elson with solid liquid black eyes. "And I sense you like dogs. I'm glad."
"Yah," Elson nodded, "My mom had this cat... It was always getting in my closet and drawers, getting hair all over my clothes. White hairs... all over black clothes. It was annoying."
"I asked what Badnezer was god of... and it told me Kohana. I asked what ability she had and it said she has many talents... I have to find the right words, to put in the right sentance to get the correct result. Sometimes it will accept questions like the one you have suggested Ren but I'm afraid it's being ratehr obtruse right now." Spark shakes her head loading her plate with very little but some of everything. "The book is... very obstinate about certain things." Spark blushes very softly. When she had gotten frustrated she had asked the book a very stupid thing... what is wrong with you? and it had answered. The answer she got was not at all helpfull. The book sort of had an... attitude... while being completely informational and emotionally detached in all ways. Very disconcerning.
"Maybe you should treat it more like a person and less like a book," Ren suggested and sat at the table between Elson and Eva, across from Spark. She had sounded serious. She chose a single pancake with strawberry jam and started eating with a surprising amount of etiquette.
Darkus snooped around for another minute before deciding to leave them. He went to the darkest part of the room and vanished. Upstairs in Elson's room, luckily still dark, he hopped onto the bed, curled in the center, and rested.
"thats the thing though. It can't BE treated as a human. It doesn't respond that way. It doesn't matter if you order it or say please when asking the questions. It cannot brain storm with me for the answer. It simply is... a book. And depending on forces out there and in here." Spark taps her head and heart. "Is how helpful it will be at any given time." She says softly eating her food and wiping her mouth after every bite or so.
"So.. if you ask it the same exact question, once kindly, then again angrily, it will give you the exact same response?" Ren asked. That was rhetorical. She thought a moment. "I still think you should get to know it. Ask it about itself. Be conversational. I know my abilities work a lot better when I want to cause chaos, rather than when I have to but prefer not to. The beings won't listen either unless I really want it. Maybe your book just needs you to know that you care about what you can do. Abilities seem to work better when you don't force it, and instead embrace it."
"I suppose... but... I've never had to ask a book about it's history or it's preference on things tha have happened." Spark says softly. A new dilema filling her head full of possibilities on how to handle it and what to ask and everything.
"We all have to learn our abilities, and practice with them. We can't expect them to work right the first time we try something, especially if it's drastic, or crucial like the information we need from that book. Who knows? You might learn something." Ren finished the last bite of her pancake and stood from the table to clean her plate at the sink.
Spark had stopped eating. Ren's words seemed to sink into her mind and that was all she could think about. Pulling out her notebook and a small pen she quickly begins to write things down at a furious pace. Food forgotten. Everything forgotten and if no one dragged her away she would probably hole herself up with the book and test Ren's theory. The real possibilities were completely endless on what she could ask it and what answers she would receive. She was now gone. she might have been sitting at the breakfast table but she was unaware of anything at all around her.
Elson watched the girl write for a moment, his eyelids lifting slightly with amazement at how fast she thought, idea after idea pouring out of her pen onto the paper. "Hey Ren, when we going to the beach?" He asked as he looked back up at Ren.
"When everyone's done eating," Ren replied and put her now clean plate away. "Take your time. It's still early. And Spark, you're still coming along." She looked pointedly at the librarian-esk girl and, realizing she wasn't paying attention, rolled her eyes and left to take a shower.
As Ren left, Elson returned his attention to the plate of food in front of him and began eating.
Spark was smiling softly. She wished she had more paper. she wanted to summon the book. She wanted to start testing theories and idea's. she had not noticed Ren left. Nor the dark shadowed creature.
Shortly, Elson finished his food and stood to go change clothes for the beach. He stopped in the doorway though and turned around to speak to Spark, "Hey, better get ready to go to the beach." Not knowing if she had heard or not, he went to his room to change.
The water felt gently searing as Ren let it glide over her slightly burnt body. Most of her just looked like a light sunburn. She was glad for that. Less questions. She cleaned her wound and the rest of herself, before shutting off the water and leaving the tub. She clenched her teeth as the soft towel brushed over her flesh, feeling abrasive against the rawness. She dressed in her bakini of plain black and pulled on a pair of white short shorts over it, as well as a buttoned up white t-shirt. Her wound, a red scar against her tanned skin, would be evident, but she could keep strangers away while they practiced, so only the Others would know. She looked at her reflection in the mirror. Her dark circles had faded and she looked more refreshed than she had been since learning of her abilities. She looked away and combed out her hair, pulling it up into a pony tail. When she was done, she left the bathroom and went to the hall closet to get their beach towels.
Elsewhere in the city, Carl dials the number given to him by that girl Ren the night before. The paper napkin the number is written on crinkles softly in his hand as he listens to the dialtone...
Ren blinked when the phone rang as she was reaching for the towels. Curious, she went to the phone in the hall, and picked it up on the second ring. "Hello?" she greeted hesitantly. Who on earth would be calling their house?
'Hi, Ren? Carl...Smithson...,' mentally, he shakes his head; what's with the formalities? 'From the club last night.'
Carl?... Carl! "Carl! Hey, how are you?" Ren asked, trying to be conversational, something she was not naturally good at.
As he responds, Carl's smile on his face is evident in his voice, 'I know it's only been, like...several hours since we met, but...today's a beautiful day, and I thought maybe we could go out...you know, outside...to the park or the beach or something. If you wanted. Or...whatever.' he punctuates his words with a slightly nervous, stupid teenaged-boy chuckle.
Ren thought about what Carl might think about what he saw at the beach, and then decided that she could always kidnap him, or wipe his memory. She smiled, and it was evident in her voice too, "That sounds fun. Some of my friends and I are headed to the beach today. Elson will be there, you met him at the club. I'd like it if you came along. We could hang out."
'Awesome,' Carl replies after a moment's pause, 'Should I swing by your place or meet you guys there?'
Ren looked around her less then cheerful looking home. "Um.. just meet us there," she told Carl. "We'll be leaving in a few minutes. See you soon?"
'Sounds like a plan...see you in a bit, Ren,' Carl replies, 'Can't wait.'
Darkus was the first thing Elson noticed once he got to his room, "Hey there. Comfortable?" Elson quickly went about grabbing his clothes while he listened for an answer. Black shorts with little flames along the bottom he had had for a couple years, and a black muscle shirt went over his shoulder, before he grabbed another hair tie, in case the one he had in got wet and shrank. He was happy to be going to the beach. Training, and hanging out with Ren all at once. It was a good deal.
"Quite," Darkus replied in something close to a drawl. He lifted his head curiously as he observed Elson. "Ren is going to the beach, and you and Spark as well?" he inquired, tilting his head slightly to the side.
"See you." Ren's smile could be heard in her words, but after she hung up with a gentle click, she frowned and bit her lower lip. She hated dating, and Carl was bound to see her 'sunburn' and light scratches, if he got close enough. She looked around, then let go of her lip. "Elson!!!" she called loudly and walked quickly to his room.
Elson heard her call, and by the time he had turned around she was already there, "What's up?"
"Carl's coming to the beach with us," Ren told him, and although with anyone else, the comment would have been calm and detached, factual, with Elson it sounded a bit worried. She stood before him, her face thoughtful and her eyes cast slightly away. Her body looked a bit sun burnt in places and little scratches could be seen on the exposed areas near her torso. She looked worried he wouldn't like her, but more she worried that he would freak out and she'd have to waste time hunting him down after he ran off.
"Oh..." He was a bit disappointed, and he couldn't help but let it show a bit, but it was for the cause, and sometimes things got messed up when a group of people were going for one common goal, and he had also instigated the situation himself, so he just blew it off... he hoped. "Well, we need to know about him, so it's ok. We'll just go train and have a good time, right?"
Ren put her hand on his chest and reveled in the tingling it caused in her. She pushed him back into his room and closed the door. Darkus had disappeared somewhere to leave them alone. "I had wanted to be alone with you," she admitted, looking into his eyes.
"Yah, me too." His voice had dropped to nearly a whisper, though he had no idea why.
"...Another day. We'll be alone another day. Soon," Ren promised. She stepped forward and stood on her toes to kiss his cheek. "I promise."
Elson waited for her to step back and grinned. "I believe you, and I'll be waiting for it." He in turn gave her a light kiss on her forehead before smiling again. "Now, if we're going to leave anytime soon, I must go change into these... And pay attention to them, I almost never wear shorts."
Ren grinned and simply stood there, motioning with her hand for him to continue. "Go on then, don't stop on my account."
Spark was still downstair's. The book of knowledge on the table and she was furiously scribbling on paper. She had made slight progress it was actually giving her real informative answers again. With her little note book full of note's she hoped it was a good sign. when in this state however Spark knew nothing but what she was focused on. She could go for days unless someone stopped her. It had happened several times before. It was actually one of the reasons she was still so thin. She never ate much and she was always forgetting anyways.
Elson chuckled then stripped down. He pulled his shorts on first, then the muscle shirt, then turned around and put on some sandals that were at the end of his bed. Once finished he struck a pose, both hands on his hips and his head raised in what he hoped was a noble position. "Ta-da."
Ren huffed a laugh and rolled her eyes as she turned away. "Come on," she said with a grin, shaking her head in wonder. She led the way downstairs and upon seeing Spark, immediately frowned and sighed. "Oh sugar..." she said as if cursing and went over to Spark, waving her hand in front of the other girl's eyes.
Elson followed Ren downstairs and added a slightly loud, "Spark!" To her hand waving, while he frowned slightly.
Eva walked into the kitchen dressed now in a short summer dress. "What time are you guys leaving?" she asked Ren and Elson.
"We," Ren emphasized. "Are leaving as soon as Spark comes back." She snapped her fingers in front of the mentioned girl.
Elson chuckled at Spark's obliviousness.
"Eh?! huh wha- oh! OH!" Spark was studdenly standing her chair crashed to the floor. Her face bright red. "I'm sorry! I... I am so sorry!" she says leaning down grabbing the chair. The tome on the table vanishes. Leaving just her notes. "I'm sorry di I make you wait? Um... Sorry. I must er... sorry." Spark says not seeming to know how to apologize or quit apologizing it seemed. She was nervous and flustered. And she hadn't touched her food that was sitting pushed to the side in front of her. Fixing her glasses she looked at Ren then Elson. "The beach!! Oh! I don't have a suit or a towel or anything um..." Spark was in a bind for once completely flustered by being caught up in her excitement of Ren's suggestions.
Ren barely resisted the urge to roll her eyes. "Come on Spark," she said, motioning to the girl to follow. "I think I have a one piece, we don't seem too different in size, and I have towels for everyone already. Elson, there's some tuna and egg salad in the fridge. Would you get those containers, the bread, and a couple of butter knives, maybe four bottles of water from in there? Put them in the basket next to the coffee pot over there and that way we won't have to come back when we're hungry." She was her old self again, distant and emotionless, but not unkind, and she headed upstairs to find the suit for Spark. "Do you need shorts and a t-shirt too?" she asked the other girl.
Elson quickly went about getting the basket together, and had it ready in a couple minutes. Then, figuring the food would do him good, he grabbed Spark's plate and quickly ate it, putting the plate and stuff in the sink when he was done.
"Um yes I only have... er skirts... and um... tops." Spark says softly. She was still flustered and fidgeting a bit. Somehow all of a sudden the idea of being in a swimsuit was embaressing. She wasn't as well figured as Ren anyways. and knew nothing of fighting at all.
Eva turned to look at Elson. "I wasn't planning on going to the beach with you guys, i'm actually not feeling very well today. But I guess some fresh air might do me good." She said as she sat down.
Ren went to her own room and found a pair of denim shorts and a light t-shirt for Spark before finding the one piece bathing suit for her. She tossed it at the slightly paler girl. "There you go, those should fit." She tilted her head. "You seem nervous. Are you nervous? You can read at the beach you know, it's just best that you be there with us. It's safer, and I'll teach you some defense while we're there, if you're still willing."
Elson nodded as he returned from the sink and sat back down. "Most likely. Fresh air and sunshine, plus a bit of excersize, always does the body good."
Spark catches the things after a slightly startled jump. "Should I change now? aha of course I should... er I'll only be a few seconds!" She says before rushing out of the kitchen into the bathroom. The one peice fit... somewhat. It was perhaps a size to large. Pulling on the shorts and shirt she blushed at how very pale she was. Walking back down the stairs she stops in the living room and picks up a bag after stuffing a few books and things in it. She walks into the kitchen. "Er I'm uh ready." She says feeling more out of place then ever really.
"Good, we can go now," Ren said curtly and grabbed some keys from the table that hadn't been there earlier. "Schao's lent us his car for the day," she added and led the way out to the door to the sports car parked out front.
"Oh... dear." Spark sighs softly. She hadn't thought she'd need to ride in that car again. she supposed though if it was Ren and Elson then that was fine.
Elson nodded and got up from the table then followed Ren out the door.
Eva followed slowly grabbing her bag as she did. She stood quietly waiting for the others to get into the car. It was true she didn't feel well at all, but she didn't say anything more of it to the others as she hated being seen as weak.
A few hours had passed since Kohana had sat on the bench. She stood and started walking down the side walk towards the Arcade that burnt down and almost killed her.
Ren waited until everyone was in and locked the doors. She didn't wear a seat belt however, just started the car and put it in gear. She took off, going at least 5 miles per hour above the speed limit, but seemed to have the skill to drive it without wreaking. She glanced in the mirror at Eva. "You don't look so well," she noted, but there wasn't any sympathy in her voice.
"Yeah I haven't been feeling great, maybe its these weird powers taking their toll on me." Eva said then laughed slightly though more through nervousness than comedy. She had first just started feeling sick, but slowly it was getting worse and worse, and every time she thought about it, she wondered if it was something to do with her gifts.
Elson sat quietly in the front seat, quietly enjoying the ride and the scenery.
Spark had her seatbelt on and was not looking out the windows. Instead she was reading through her notebook. There was never really much she had to do other then that anyways.
"Have you used your abilities lately?" Ren asked, talking to Eva and glancing at her in the review mirror occasionally. She took a sharp turn at an intersection just before the light turned green for them, causing the car that had been about to go through to skid to a halt and honk it's horn at her. She gave no sign of acknowledging it. They would be at the beach soon.
Eva shook her head. "I haven't wanted to use them with not feeling well and all...didn't want to strain myself any further, you know."
"Maybe that's why you're not feeling well? The rest of us use ours daily." Elson chimed in, not turning his head from the window.
Ren tried not to snort at Elson's comment and simply looked at Eva again. "Maybe you can try to make a sand castle at the beach, see if that helps. If it makes you feel worse, you can lay off for the day, take a nap or something."
"Yeah...i'll see what happens when I try to remodel the beach a little." Eva replied leaning her head against the back of the chair and closing her eyes.
Spark sighs softly. looking out the window while gripping the seat belt tightly. Ren and Schao drove the same way. She fainlty wondered if this beach would be different from any of the other's she'd been to.
Ren shifted down as the beach drew nearer, finally going the speed limit. The sun was shining brightly and it looked like it was going to be clear skies all day. Ren slowed and waited for a couple of people who were leaving to walk out of her path and parked the car. She looked at the people on the beach without moving from her driving position and seemed to just.. stare at them. Out on the beach, the people started looking up casually as if checking for clouds and with frowning faces began packing up their things. It seemed everyone on the beach was leaving.
Eva opened her eyes and peered out of the window. "Where's everyone going?" she asked puzzled, glancing at the sky to see if she could see rain clouds.
"They think..." Ren said slowly, as if trying very hard no to lose concentration. "It's about to rain... hard..."
"Oh.alright then." Eva replied before yawning and shutting her eyes again.
"Certainly a useful trick... and far more powerful then I had first thought." Spark says softly watching the citizens moving.
Once she seemed satisfied that they were convinced, Ren blinked and looked down at the console of the car. She opened it and pulled out a bottle of pills, took two of them dry and put the bottle back. She rubbed her head some. "Let's go.." She opened her door and left the car, getting their towels and things from the trunk.
Spark sighs softly. Ren used her powers to her benifit. But not for the benifit of her own health really. It seemed to Spark she would be playing this team's housewife/nurse until they were finished and even if she learned how to defend herself she would never be very useful to many of them. Even with her book and knowledge.
At the entrance to the beach from the parking lot is Carl, propped-up sideways against a post. His body language is relaxed, beyond cool, as he regards the sky. He blinks once, twice...something in his expression registers as distaste, but only for a fleeting moment, only if one had been watching him closely. Captivated as he is with the heavens, the boy is not yet cognizant of Ren and the gang, those who he agreed to meet here at the beach today.
Ren closed the trunk as quietly as possible and looked up to see Carl. Gods her head hurt... She would shake it off, but shaking her head would likely only make things worse. "Hey!" she called to him and waved.
Carl looks in the direction of the 'hey', as he is abruptly taken from his thoughts. He flashes a winning, and somewhat sly, grin. As he raises a hand in a non-chalant wave, he asks, 'You ladies need help with anything?' He pauses, noticing Elson in the car. The amicable expression remains on his face-- there were two other chicks if this didn't work out with Ren.
Eva climbed out of the car and glanced at Carl Do we know him? she thought as she walked towards the sandy beach. "Hi." she said to him with a smile as she passed then continued walking until she came to the waters edge.
Spark get's out of the car and moves to the trunk. "Ren?" She asks softly. Wondering if she would be alright. she hated to ask but after the last week or so Ren had been badly injured. she herself didn't really pay much attention to the boy Ren had called out to. She assumed this was the other boy who had powers of some kind. she wasn't very concerned with him. She never really did concern herself with much other then books, and Ren and perhaps Elson and Eva.
'What's up?' Carl says with an upward nod in Eva's direction, his attention on her for the moment she walks by. Without hesitating, he pushes himself from the post and heads toward the car. 'Man, why's everyone so quiet?' the boy asks to no one in particular, as he rifles a hand back through his hair. It's obvious he's already taken a dip in the ocean-- his medium-brown hair is dampened, his lightly tanned skin is spotted with drops of water.
"It was a long drive," Ren answered Carl as she closed the trunk, her arms full of towels and things. She looked at Spark. 'Later' she mouthed and lead the rest of them to the sand. "Don't drown!" she shouted to Eva. "You're supposed to be working with the sand not the surf anyway!" Her head pounded at the noise, but she ignored it and started laying out their towels to lay on.
Eva rolled her eyes then turned to Ren. "Fine..." she said. "Am I allowed to practice in front of your friend?" she said motioning to Carl.
Ren nodded without looking up. "If he panics, I will contain the memory then block his perception." She sat down on her fluffy white towel with pink koi fish on it and slid a pair of dark sunglasses over her eyes.
Carl listens to Ren's response before watching the girls walk off and set-up. He furrows his brow--he realizes he's being referred to and wonders what the secrecy is about. He mentally shrugs it off, casts a glance to Elson, who seems to be enjoying his seat in the car, then heads back to the sandy shore.
Spark picks up a few more things and alos heads out onto the beach. Setting down the plain blue towel she gently sits down on top of it. It did look just like all the others she had been to.
Elson had been sitting in the car, taking off his chains until he needed them for the training he had been about to do the other night. After looping them up quickly, he got out of the car, and gave a warm, though rather unfelt grin to Carl as he walked past him and up to Eva. "Want to continue the training we hadn't finished before anything else. A warm up ya know?"
Eva nodded. "Yeah ok." she said then glanced at Carl. Might as well give him a little taste of what I can do. she thought. She began to concentrate on the sand, and suddenly a low rumbling began to sound from beneath their feet.
Elson calmly walked a few paces away and stood, watching Eva, waiting for whatever she was going to do. She doesn't feel well, but yet again, she goes for power... He shook his head and continued waiting.
Ren sat 'indian style' on her towel now, just watching. She wondered what it would look like to watch multiple grains of sand filter a person into particles, but she filed that idea away to focus on the practice.
'Sooooo, what's all this practice talk about?' Carl asked aloud and to no one in particular. He had a peculiar feeling about what the day was going to bring. 'I came to....fly my kite.' He glanced over to Ren. 'And stuff.' He seemed nonplussed by Eva's rumbling sand, assuming it was someone's mad bass cranked way up.
The sand behind them slowly began to form into a tall and solid wall as if made from stone. It crumbled quickly as Eva turned and stretched, yawning. "That was just a warm up." she said with a smile.
Elson shook his head to crack his neck, and then did some toe touches, still waiting for Eva to do whatever.
"Carl, come sit with me," Ren told him, patting the free end of her towel. "Spark and I need to talk with you for a minute." She glanced at the girl near her.
Carl waited a moment before sitting down. His back has been toward the sand-wave, therefore he did not see it. With an eyebrow quirked in curiosity, the boy took his seat, as requested by Ren. 'Spark, huh?' The boy flashed a fast grin-- he hadn't been introduced to the two others. He then cleared his throat, though he really didn't have to. 'What's goin' on, girls?'
"currently we are sitting on a beach of sand, while Elson and Eva are begining to train using their powers, that the gods have chosen them for specifically. My name is Spark, I've learned much about you." Spark smiles softly bowing her head slightly to Ren. She was looking at Carl more like he had grown an extra head... or perhaps had something interested written on his face.
Elson finished his stretches and again faced Eva. "Are you feeling well again?" He stood relaxed, "I need to know how much you're going to put into this."
"I feel alright at the minute...so I shall give it my best. So you may take first strike...or are you to scared to attack a girl?" Eva said with a smirk.
Elson pulled his zippo out of the pocket of his swimtrunks and lit it, then put it back in his pocket, as usual controling the flame enough to keep it from burning his shorts. "Fine." He manipulated the flame, pulling it up and out of his pocket, then formed it around his fist. He then dashed forward.
As he listened to Spark, Carl's expression turned from smirking, idle bemusement to mocking disbelief. 'Okay, so I've officially stumbled upon the travelling loony bi-,' he paused, only after jerking his attention to Elson and his flaming hand, '-iiiin. Holy crap! Dude, your hand's on fire!'
Eva couldn't help but laugh at Carl's reaction as she dodged out of the way of Elson. She turned quickly and swung her fist, which was now covered in a thick stoney armour up to her elbow, aiming for Elson's face.
As Elson ran past Eva, he began to slide and turn. Then as he saw Eva's punch he ducked under it, and quickly aimed a fierce upercut at her ribs.
"Ah... that was a mistake... the sand won't hold him enough to give him the right angle or support for his feet. He was running the other direction and tried to stop too fast. On sand Eva has the main advantage. Even if sand might be a little hard for even her to control. It's a lot of little mass of stones, for anyone." Spark says calmly watching. Sure she knew of battle, of technique, even how best to use one's surroundings for a battle. She just... didn't know how to do it... or to defend herself. She hoped the running commentary would help Carl. Who seemed rather shocked with this all.
With furrowed brow and mouth held agape, Carl sat and watched Eva and Elson. Once Spark explained this...situation...further, he might have a better grasp of what it all meant .
"Eva is a chosen disciple of the god of earth his name is Tirok. By being chosen she is able to manipulate the earth to help her. Elson too is a chosen but his god Saled, is the god of fire. We all have powers like that. Perhaps not so flashy, but we are the Others. I myself am the chosen of Kazban, the god of knowledge. You too have been chosen. and can wield a power. though at the present moment I know not which god favors you nor what powers you might possess." Spark sighs about that. All because her book was being so stubborn.
Carl's narrowed and somewhat distrustful grey eyes settle again on Spark. His fingers were grasped tightly at edges of the kite he held in his hands. 'Uh..' was the only sound he could manage at first; all the snide witticisms in the world could not help him right now. 'Wwwwww...what..er...how,' he stammered, 'I mean...then...how do I...find out?' What he saw between Eva and Elson was undeniable, and so he asked that question. It did not feel natural, though, and this internal dialog was evident in his expression.
"My god explained mine to me," Ren explained. "I'm not sure how the others found out..." She paused, watching the fight for a moment. "Getting attacked usually brings it out.. Unless you have a passive ability, like Spark. If she had been attacked to find out well... we'd be at a real disadvantage today." She didn't look at Spark when she said it. She was stating a fact, not trying to boost the girl's ego finally into existence.
Eva dodged to the side but then stood quickly. "Elson wait...come here...I have an idea." She said glancing at Carl, a smile on her face.
'I, uh...' Carl said without completion, as his gaze turned from Spark to Ren and then Eva. Suspicion gave way to a more fearful expression as his glimpsed the girl's smile. That could not be good.
Elson stopped the roundhouse he had been in the middle of and turned to Eva. "OK." He walked over and stood beside her, waiting for her to tell him what was up.
"How about we help this guy out a little..." Eva whispered glancing at Carl before looking back Elson. "It seems he's eager to find out what gifts he's been given, a little scare from us should hopefully make them evident."
Elson shook his head, "I don't know, what if his ability is passive like Sparks?"
Carl would be shakin' in his boots, had he been wearing boots. He was on the beach, however, so he was, of course, barefoot. The momentary lapse into hushed discussion between Eva and Elson gave the boy the feeling that he could let his guard down. As his shoulders, until now tensed up tight, fell into a more relaxed position, he shot a nervous glance between Ren and Spark. 'What're they talking about? I don't...I don't think I like where this is going.'
"Well we won't actually hurt him...we'll just make it look like we're going to." Eva replied smiling at Elson.
After a moment's thought Elson nodded, "Ok. What did you have in mind?"
"Hmmm...well we can't make it look like it was planned...we'll start fighting again, pretend that we're getting really angry or whatever, wait for him to say something then we'll turn on him, make it look like we're actually really wanting to attack him. What do you think?" Eva whispered.
"You are in no fatal danger," Ren assured him, but if one were to think about it, her words weren't of much comfort. She stood. "Ready for your first lesson, Spark?" she asked, walking around Carl and out onto the sands without waiting for an answer. If she was correct, she couldn't be there to even let Carl think she could protect him.
As Ren left the beach blanket, Carl stood quickly. 'No fatal danger. Well, that's really very reassuring, thanks,' he said with a hasty and strained sarcasm. 'Y'know, maybe I'll just..I'll go.'
"Better idea." Without waiting for an answer Elson turned on Carl. "Where do you think you're going?" He kept his voice low and menacing, "You've seen too much, you think we're really going to let you just walk out of here?"
Eva followed his lead and turned, her eyes narrowed at Carl, no trace of a smile upon her face. "You could ruin everything for us, and we just can't let you do that."
With an armful of wadded-up beach towel, Carl shot a wide-eyed glance between Elson and Eva. From head-to-toe, the boy's lean, ex-athlete's body stood tensed, as if ready to take flight. 'I swear to God, I won't tell anyone!' He hoped he could just quietly take his leave, but the icy knot, heavy inside his stomach, seemed to have him fixed in place.
"You can't guarantee that...a small slip of the tongue would be very unfortunate for us...and you." Eva replied as the sand rumbled loudly behind Carl. A large solid looking wall of sand slowly rose up Blocking Carl's escape.
"I would appreciate it if you would wait until I am out of the line of fire." Spark says rather calmly. She had caught on. she was the one with the knowledge god and all. If his ability was passive however... even if he thought he were in danger it wouldn't show. Like her. Spark stands and brushes herself off walking over to Ren abandoning Carl completely to the mercies of Elson and Eva. Her own talent was really rather useless in all practicality. It was a book for heavens sake and it was mad at ehr right now to boot.
"Ok," Ren said, beginning the lesson as if nothing else was happening on the beach. "It's very important to keep your hands up but not in your line of vision," she started and demonstrated by raising her half clenched fists to about neck level, waiting for Spark to mimic it.
Elson's voice remained casual, but low, "You understand of course," He paced a few steps each way in front of Carl, "that we absolutely have to remain a secret. That's a lot of pressure to put on one person, and we can't risk that." He stopped and faced him, fire tracing the muscles of his arm until it gathered in his open palm, "You simply can not leave."
Despite the warmth of the day, Carl shivered suddenly-- he sensed the looming presence of something behind him, and with Elson's fiery form in front of him, he felt like he was stuck between a rock and a hard place. His body langauge changed in such a way to indicate that he was about ready to simply run for it, despite the consequences. In a seemingly coincidental manner, a current of air, practically a just a breeze, in fact, stirred about the boy, ruffling his shaggy brown locks and the stringy hem of his faded, army green cut-off swim trunks. The funny thing was, even though Carl came prepared to fly a kite today, the air was mostly still.
Elson watched the boys reaction closely, and caught that he was ready to run. For a moment he wondered if maybe they had gone too far, then he saw the boys hair move. For some reason, he felt that the boy was close to discovering whatever he was. Maybe... Quickly Elson judged the distance to the car, where he had left his chains. It was too far in his opinion, so instead he dashed towards Carl, intending to throw a quick punch over Carl's right shoulder, giving the guy plenty of space to avoid.
Spark mimicks Ren perfectly. "Like this?" Spark asks. She wasn't making a fist correctly. And her stance was bad. Someone could push her over and she's fall. For all her knowledge and advice for others. She'd never really tried before.
Carl ducked under Elson's planned 'miss' of a punch, though none too gracefully. In doing so, the boy slid-- the sandy shore did not provide the traction he needed the beat a hasty getaway. As he sprawled forward, he grabbed for a handful of sand to thrust toward Elson's face. When Carl released the makeshift projectile weapon, there was an extra force behind it: a very brief, preternatural gust of air. It seemed to propel the particulate matter more quickly toward his intended target's face (or so he hoped), but did nothing for the lack of accuracy of Carl's fairly lame throw.
Ren frowned a little and adjusted Sparks stance. She nudged the other girl's shoulder to test her balance and, apparently satisfied, nodded and returned to her spot just in front of her. "Right, the point of this is to protect yourself, but more so to see the strike coming." She made a slowed demonstration of trying to punch Spark in the face, but of course came up short. She dropped her hand. "Also important is feet work. Seeing as we are on sand, it'll be more difficult, and therefore better practice. You need to know in an instant whether to duck-" She demonstrated quick moves as she said the words. She obviously practiced alot. "Step back, move right, left, or even strike afterwards. That last one we'll save for later. Right now, you just need some defense."
"Right... defense..." Spark nods looking down at her feet and the position they were in. Trying to figure out how to be able to use this later on too. Sure she had a photographic memory and could use the book whenever necessary. For the physical things she was lacking however.
Eva raised her hand quickly and as quick as a flash the sand that Carl hurled in Elson's face stopped and dropped to the ground. "Don't forget this is my territory..." she said with a smile as the large wall of sand behind Carl suddenly began hurtling towards him.
Carl had no time to listen to any quips being made-- the boy, after a couple of poor steps, finally gained some semblance of footing and just ran. Unbeknownst to him, as his heart pumped, adreneline rushed and mind raced, a furious burst of wind whipped-up around him, picking-up small pieces of trash, debris and sand to be cast helplessly around in his wake.
Elson watched Carl start to run then noticed the wind picking up, but only where the boy was at the moment. Suddenly he started to laugh, and then a couple seconds later, his laughter under control he smothered the flames and called out to him, "Hey, come back we're done. We didn't have any intention of hurting you in the first place, but seriously I want to talk to you."
The sand settled suddenly on the ground as Eva stopped and straightened up, fixing her hair. "I enjoyed that little game..." she said with a smile to Elson.
After he realized no one was taking chase, Carl glanced back, and perhaps stupidly so: his next step landed his right foot on a bottle laying sideways in the sand. While the wind died down, the bottle rolled like an unaffixed wheel beneath his foot, and he fell backwards in a somehwat cartoonish manner. Carl then looked back to Elson, who called to him, but was momentarily unable to reply, gulping for breath as he sat on his butt on the ground.
Elson watched Carl fall with a blank look, then errupted into laughter. It had been a supremely comical moment, and he couldn't help it.
As Carl mumbled some highly uncomplimentary words under his breath, he stood and brushed himself off. Harmless, yet agitated, little bursts of air still periodically shot about him, rifling his hair and beach shorts-- almost like a cat batting its tail in annoyance. He turned and took long, brisk strides back toward Elson and Eva.
Elson watched the boy approach and when he finally got there, he held his hand out. "Do me a favor, focus on my hand. I think I know what your power is." He moved his hand so it was palm out and vertical. "Just focus on my hand. Try to send a blast of air at my hand."
As Carl took an unwavering stance in front of Elson, he narrowed his grey eyes. He was angry and embarassed, saying nothing as he concentrated on the other boy's hand. For a moment the air was still around him, then there was a brief but audible sound of a sucking inward-- like some disembodied inhale. Without warning, a very warm, but not burning, concentrated punch of air short forth toward Elson's waiting hand.
"How cute. An element," Ren noted aloud to everyone. She was circling Spark, but now stopped in front of her in a defense stance. "Now, I'm going to swing at you. Don't worry. I promise not to kill you. Just try to move out of the way. Just avoid the blow, ok?" She tightened a fist and struck straight at the other girl's face. It was not as quick as she could have done, but it was no means 'slow motion'.
Eva smiled and clapped. "I told you we could get him to discover his gift if we just scared him a little." she said loudly, feeling very proud of herself.
There was a crack as the air hit Elson's outstretched hand bringing a smile to Elson's face. "There you go. Explore the options you have with this power. I'm sure you can find a myriad of uses, both defensive and offensive." He paused for a moment as he decided that maybe he was getting a bit ahead of himself. "After you speak to Ren on some matters I can help you with training like I am with Eva."
With a sullen expression, Carl looked at Ren, Eva and Elson in turn. He said nothing in reply to the two girls' smart remarks, but as his eyes rolled, it was evident what he was thinking. 'Awesome,' he said dully to Elson. 'Can't wait to get started.'
Elson noticed the boys expressions and wondered what was his problem, "What's up? You sound much less than excited."
Carl was evidently too immature to state that he really only needed time to pout. 'Nothin...' he replied honestly. 'I guess I was just really pissed off.' As he paused, the boy glanced over to Ren, then back to Elson. 'I mean, I was brought here under...misleading circumstances...' He shook his head and gave a dry little laugh. '...had some...supernatural power forced out of me in a somewhat embarassing way...and now we're all supposed to be buddies AND I need to start training for...whatever. I suppose I just need a minute to adjust.' A half smile graced his lips. 'That's all.'
"Wait." Ren stopped her attack on Spark, freezing mid-punch. She looked at Carl. "No one ever said you had to practice. You don't even have to help us if you don't want to." She was watching him closely, but her expression was only curious. Anyone who had spent more than one day with Ren knew damn well her head had just added 'I'd have to kill you if you aren't with us though' as calmly as anyone else might have added 'that's fine, you know.' Carl, of course, would have no way of knowing of Ren's placid violent ways.
Spark let out a very soft releived sigh when Ren had stopped. She had been watching it coming. First instinct was to of course. Duck. That wouldn't have worked. Words had been filling her head and she had yet to move a single muscle. She had been far to busy thinking. But now. Now that Ren had stopped she trembled lightly. As if her mind finally caught up then that Ren had been going to punch her. "They only really helped the illusion that there was something to mislead. It was your own selfish desire that wished REn to be taken with you romantically." She says with a soft trembling voice.
'Well, I guess that's why you and I need to discuss some matters,' Carl replied to Ren in a lackluster manner of paraphrasing Elson 'So's I can find out what it is you all want me n'my powers for.' As he played fast and loose with his grammar, his previously ill-humoured attitude seemed to easily switch to one of flippancy. He smiled devilishy as he shoved his hands into the pockets of his army-green cutoff shorts. 'And you,' he said with a gander toward Spark, '...weren't there last night. Selfish desire? Taken with me romantically? I'm no different than, ohhh, say... the vast majority of the rest of the world.' Carl paused to chuckle. 'And deception's a two way street.' He glanced at Ren. 'But I wasn't the one jaywalking last night.' He shrugged and reached to retrieve his kite from the ground.
"Which is exactly my point. WE are not the vast majority. WE are far from a majority of anything. Two way street. No deception is like a tight rope. You walk it and pray to god you do not fall. Some are more skilled and some like Ren have an advantage at the game. You are still an amatuare." Spark says shaking her head. Trading word's and insulting the lack of intelligence with said intelligence was what Spark was all about and she was once again sure of herself.
"Ren is right though," Elson shrugged showing that really it didn't matter to him either way, "I never twisted your arm, I merely made an offer." He glanced at Ren, "If I were in your shoes however, I'd take it."
Ren smiled at Carl, apparently pleased by his actions. She was sure the other three occupants of the beach, however, saw that she had once again become irritated by a person's utterly obvious stupidity. "I think..." she started slowly, calmly. "That the simplest way to explain what is going on here would be to say... We all have abilities that we can use to our advantage. No one else on Earth or other planets have these abilities. Only gods, from which our abilities came. We're in a war for the survival of tradition. Earth has lived well for thousands of years, and for most of it, ways have stayed the same. Now they want to change. We're here to make sure that doesn't happen because if the other side succeeds, we will cease to exist."
With a cool and lingering gaze on Spark, Carl only smiled-- she had missed his point. The young man was quite intelligent and has held his own in many a dispute. However, he was also very much a slacker and was already thoroughly bored with the argument; but, he was going to enjoy teasing this one... 'I got it, pal,' Carl said to Elson, as if verbally putting up a white flag. 'It's obvious you guys can beat my butt three ways to Tuesday.' He paused as Ren spoke. 'It's not every day you find out you're a conduit for a god...afterall, ' he said with self-satisifaction in his voice.
Ren nearly recoiled with revulsion. She hated his tone. Such vanity. They were nothing special, and being a vessel for the cause didn't change that fact. She shook her head at him and walked away, over to where the waves broke on the sands. She would let the others handle this one. She simply had no patience for Carl if he was going to act the way he did. There was no time. They needed to see if he needed killed or if he was going to help them. If he did help, she had to remember to stay calm with the newcomer. So far, she had not been successful. She sat down in the wet sand, letting the waves wash over her from about the navel down.
"You really aren't very bright are you boy? Wish my book would have warned me about that! It would have saved a lot of time." Spark sighs softly shakes her head then walks up closer to Carl. Still several feet back but still closer then before. "We are not simply conduits. We are the tools. There are two side's. The one we fight on and the one they fight on. They both cannot survive. Either they kill us... or we kill them. And if you do not join us you are with them and therefore forfeit your life. But you see they have more men then we do. And certainly more fighters." Spark says because really there was only Ren, Eva, and Elson who could fight.
Spark throws one hip out and places her hand on it.
"the only trechery we used against you was to show you your powers. And teach you of our world. I suppose that was too much to ask of a simple boy like you though." She sighs softly as if dissapointed. She adjusts her glasses minutely. Looking somewhat thoughtfully up at the sky.
Elson chuckled, "You're teetering in a very very unpleasant position. Make no mistake, if you try to run, I personally will kill you. We have no room to make mistakes." He swept his arm around indicating Eva, Spark, and Ren. "Each of us is ready to die or kill for this, it is no joke. You have a choice, live or die." He stood, relaxed, no menace in his voice or in his body language. What he had said was a fact, nothing more.
'Well, your book wouldn't tell you things that weren't true, I hope,' Carl said plainly to Spark as he shrugged. His tone was now more conversational and honest than before, and while he still spoke with emphasis, he did not sound so full of himself. 'And, if our side is truly short, I doubt you all would kill me right off the bat,' he said with a sweeping glance over Spark, Elson, Eva...and finally Ren, who looked like she was taking a time-out. 'That would certainly not be a prudent decision.' Carl continued without skipping a beat, as he knew he had to perform some damage control. 'And I apologize if I rubbed everyone the wrong way. But I was kinda ganged-up on, and we're all guilty of having our defense mechanisms. I know I can really come-off as a pompous jerk, sometimes. But...if you are willing to put-up with me...' the boy fell silent and shrugged again, since he figured they could finish the thought.
"Do not make the mistake that just because we are few we would accept just anyone," Ren said to herself. A piece of driftwood landed in front of her feet and she ran a finger along it, causing it to splinter dangerously. "Any possibility of treachery, laziness, or cowardice can not be tolerated."
Shaking his head Elson allowed some fire to creep down his arm again, "Do not make the mistake of thinking we need you as badly as you think. We're in a fight for our very existence. If we think you will harm our cause, you're a dead man. Plain and simple."
Eva nodded. "Just don't mess us around and you'll be fine..." She said as she sat down upon the sand and lounged backwards. "And always be ready for a fight...they could happen at any time."
"Now see I don't have a threat... All I have is knowledge. And I am the one that guide's us. Who helps everyone. You could say I'm the support really. But... Even though we are few, what we do is enough for now. Soon it will climax. And we will see who win's this battle. Once and for all... the final battle will be now. This time around." Spark says softly looking at everyone. This had been going on for ages. But now was the time for it to finish.
Carl fell silent, his mouth tight and screwed to one side. His shoulders slumped a little-- his bravado, for the moment, was spent. He had acted like a frightened school girl and a complete jerk, already, so all he had left was acquiescence. He looked only to Eva, whose simple explanation and seemingly unthreatening demeanor he liked the best. 'Dually noted.'
Spark sighs softly. She wasn't cut out for this part of the team. She walks over to the towels and sits down pulling her legs up to her chest and resting her chin atop her knees. Watching the ocean and the lights play on top of it. Readjusting her glasses.
"So," Elson asked no hint of a threat in his voice, "Are you going to listen to what we have to say?"
'Yeah,' replied Carl, his attention turned upon Elson. 'Lay it on me.'
Satisfied, Elson nodded. "Ok, Ren and Spark have already given you the gist I think. There's really not much else to it. There is another group, mostly fighters, and we've already had run ins with them. We have an idea of what each can do based on that, and a bit of knowledge from Spark over there."
Carl digested this bit of knowledge before he again opened his mouth. Naturally, his mind was crammed with questions he wanted to ask. 'So...what...are we fighting for...exactly?' he asked tentatively-- the boy was concerned with sounding either insolent or totally naive.
"You sound just like Elson," Ren noted as she finally stood and dusted herself off before turning to walk back to them. She didn't exactly look happy, but when did she ever? "I'd hate to have to ask Schao to come down here just to explain it, so I'll give you what he gave me: We are fighting to maintain tradition. For over a thousand years, those in power, the gods, have remained in their place of power, but that's going to change real soon unless we stop it. If we don't win, the way things are right now, all controlled by the current gods, is going to change. Everything is going to change."
Eva nodded. "So by any ways necessary we have to smash, blast and destroy the opposition." Eva piped up from where she was lounging on the sand. "You'll probably meet them soon, they're just like you and me but don't let that stop you killing them...they won't hesitate to kill you..."
With a cocked head and an arched eyebrow, Carl looked between Ren and Eva, his mouth hanging slightly open, as if he were about to say something, though he said nothing. He had yet to entirely understand the gravity of the situation, but assumed that would (hopefully) come with time. 'Sooo...' he said after several moments, '...are our gods in control....or are theirs...? I mean...do we want things to stay the same, or do we want the change?'
Elson spoke up, "She just told you that. We don't want things to change, so obviously our gods are in power." He shook his head slightly, becoming slightly irritated with the boys lack of attention.
Carl wrinkled his nose, and flicked Elson an annoyed glance. Oh, but that was the story of Carl's life: half listening to one thing while his mind was onto the next thing. He didn't so much agree that Ren was particularly specific and everything was so obvious, but he said nothing, and simply stood with his hands in his pockets, waiting for any other little jewels of information.
Ren looked at everyone as if shocked at everyone's ignorance. She was shocked actually. "All.. the gods are in power," she said slowly, then focussed on Carl, her face serious again. "But some wish to protect Earth, those are ours. The other gods think some things need to change..." She said it suggestively as if to say 'and not for the better'. "We need to stop them before they mess things up."
"Our gods think the world as it is is a fine thing. The other gods will change things... Try to make everything something it's not. It will destroy the balance and in turn destroy everything. All gods have powers and rule over some element within this world and out of it. So essentially they are all in power. But in the smae context they are all opposing one another... they've taken side's and it became an even vote to give one chosen person their powers and let the best team win. Whichever one would win that is the action they would so encourage." Spark says softly yet her voice was loud enough to carry back to everyone on the beach behind her.
Turning her head she looks at them sideways with a glance.
"It is all confusing at first. But it gets easier. Just know that we are chosen and fighting to keep things the way they are." She turns back to look at the ocean then. That should help them understand things a little better she hoped. It seemed however only Ren and herself knew what was going on. And that wasn't all of it that she knew.
With stock taken in Ren's expression, Carl mentally quipped, 'At least I'm not the only one who doesn't get it.' He listened closely to what Spark had to say, so as not to be criticized again. Spark seemed honest and vocal about the 'it being confusing at first' part, and he appreciated being placated by her words. 'Okay,' he said with a slow nod, '...it's starting to make sense.' Carl craved more information--he wanted to know it all, right away, but he also figured there was a long and winding road ahead of them. Patience was not his strong suit, but he was going to have to deal.
Elson hadn't known the whole story, and didn't get agitated at being called ignorant. On these matters it was true. Satisfied that Carl, along with himself at least had a decent grasp on what was going on, he returned to the car and got his chains. He returned to the beach and walked to the water, forming the chains into weights around his ankles as he went. Once he was waist deep in the water, he took a deep breath and dove into the water, kicking his way to deeper water.
Carl took his cue from Elson, but instead sat his own comparably scrawny behind down on the sandy ground to try his hand at practice. With his lean frame hunched over the makeshift work area-- the ground between the V of his outstretched legs-- he gently coaxed small amounts of sand into little, benign windtunnels. With his frustrations abated, he initially found it difficult to put much strength behind his power; anger seemed to herald raw strength, but concentration and clear thought brought more control. The boy would need to find his happy medium.
As Elson swam he shifted the weights from one part of his body to another. After his legs tired, he shifted to his arms, putting all the resistance there. Eventually they too became tired, and he shifted the weights to his chest, forcing his both his arms and legs to compensate for his heavily weighted middle. He had been doing this for years. Mostly it toned his already astounding physique, but it also helped his stamina, along with his concentration and agility. In order to stay afloat, he had to concentrate on each and every stroke, his feet legs and arms working together in perfect unison. When he was unweighted, he was an amazing swimmer.
"Elson!" Ren called, reaching out to increase the undertow two fold. "We have a lesson!"
Momentarily distracted, Carl looked-up from his project, first at Ren, then out to Elson. His dexterous hands and fingers continued to move, as to sculpt the air in his control. However, once he looked away and his focus was broken, the wind tunnel disbanded and blew up toward his face, carrying a meager enough amount of sand to pelt his perspiration-dotted face. 'Augh! Phleh...ppblt..' The boy made no distinct words as he tried to get the sand out of his mouth; otherwise he'd have been cursing.
Elson heard Ren's call and changed his direction, swimming towards shore, allowing the undertow to help carry him. Once he arrived he allowed the weights to form back to chains and walked up to Ren. "K."
Ren was looking at Carl with a frown. What an odd boy... She turned back to Elson as he approached. "Alright, so I think it's important to point out, in case you still have some love of humanity, that humans litter. There will almost always, undeniably, be oil in the sand of a beach." She motioned to the sand they stood on.
Spark giggles softly and picks up a water bottle she had brought along. Standing up she walks over to where Carl was sitting and holds out the water bottle for him. "A small informative hint. Don't try to so much control the wind with your hands but more so become a helpful push with your powers. Use your head not your hands. And be aware of the wind and conditions of the sky around you." Spark says softly. This was her specialty reading and simply seeing.
"Therefore, basically the entire beach can become my weapon." He scooped up a handfull of sand and examined it for a moment before dropping it back to the ground.
"Pretty much. But moreover, it could probably keep someone like Eva from fighting, too." Ren was becoming a bit thoughtful. "If the entirety of the sand is on fire I don't know..." She shook her head and looked at Elson again. "Any way. I don't suggest practicing that idea right now. You could very well set the whole beach on fire..."
After he wiped his face clean with his beach towel, Carl looked up at Spark, smiled sheepishly and accepted the proffered water bottle. 'Thanks. I'll give that a try...in a minute.' And with that, he took a swig from the bottle, swished it around his mouth, and, as discreet as he could manage around four other people, spat the water out onto the ground.
"If you had the control for it. But you don't. I would start with a feather. Practice keeping it aloft. Up in the air that is. Once you have the control for that then we can see what else you can do. But of course I'm not very good with using anything for well anytype of physical activity. Ren, Elson and Eva are the one's who fight. I just look into my own powers and keep house." Spark says picking up a small amount of sand, rolling it into her palm she blows softly scattering the sand. The small breeze that was a constant from the sea took them a little farther before they fell. "I'm pretty pathetic really." She laughs softly.
Elson nodded, "I hadn't planned on it, I was just saying the option was there." He looked at Ren and smiled warmly, "What else?"
"Why don't you tell me?" Ren asked. "If you were fighting in this kind of terrain-" She motioned to the beach. "What would you do? Say.. That water girl came at you here. She's got the ocean, what would you do?"
Elson was silent for a few moments as he thought about it. "I'd probably try to get her away from the water since I'm at a major disadvantage here."
"And how would you do that?" Ren pressed, watching the water consume the sand then recede again.
Elson shrugged, "Maybe use my fire and the sand to force her away from the beach, so she doesn't have as much water to control."
"You would have to force her an awfully long distance, don't you think?" Ren asked rhetorically. "Why not just.. attack her with your chains? Make a point on one and shoot it straight out, pierce her through the heart. Unless she thinks to freeze the water, your chains should cut straight through it."
Elson nodded, "True, but if she did happen to move, wouldn't that leave me fairly vulnerable?"
'Well, you've got brains,' was Carl's reply to Spark. He looked up at her, squinting and using a hand to shield his eyes from the sun. 'That's got to account for something.' Then he looked away, scanning the beach. He was chewing on something, possibly a few errant pieces of sand stuck in his teeth. 'You got any feathers?' His tone indicated that he was less than enthusiastic to train with a feather--that didn't seem particularly manly.
"No but I do have something far more gender neutral." Spark dryly chuckles before pulling out her small note book that she was constantly writing in. Flipping the the next blank page she rips it out. "Use this. IT'll probably help you more than a feather but try to work with the wind that's here." Spark says softly before dropping the paper on the sand a few inches away from Carl before she walks back to her own towel. Sitting down she summons her tomb. To see if she couldn't find out anything else.
After a quiet thanks to Spark, Carl picked the paper up and let it lay flat in his hands. The girl mentioned something that hadn't immediately crossed his mind-- to use what was present instead of creating what was not. What a novel idea! Carl shook his shaggy-haired head, chagrined that he hadn't considered that possibility. There didn't seem to be a huge amount of air circulation at the moment, but when Carl closed his eyes, he concentrated hard, to feel what there was.
Ren raised an eyebrow at him. "And you don't feel vulnerable with a girl who can control water down the beach from you, and the ocean to your side?"
"Good point." Elson watched the boy and the paper for a moment. "What do you think? About Carl."
Ren followed his gaze and felt the need to sigh again. "That he is much like a child with a gun. Right now, all he's shooting is blanks and would be neither a threat nor a bother if we slit his throat now..." She paused, seeming to think now. "I think.. if work is put into him, he will be a valuable ally, though."
Elson shook his head, "He's not worth the trouble of killing. At least not now, I don't think." He looked back out over the water. "After all, disposing of a body is such a hassle." Elson gave Ren a grin.
"Depends how much of the body is left," Ren replied in all seriousness. She glanced at Elson and realized he was making a joke, which made her smile slightly. He tried so hard. But she was serious a moment later. "What do you think of him?"
"I'm not sure yet. I want to see what he can do with his power before I make any concrete judgements." Elson watched the boy playing with the piece of paper, wondering exactly what the boy would do.
"When uncertain, it is always best to over estimate," Ren told him and looked down at the sand, her eyes seeming to search for something.
"And here I was, thinking it was the other way around. Ah well." He watched Carl for a few moments more before turning back to Ren. "So, is training from you all done for the day, or was there more?"
"Well.. We could spar, but I would really hate to hurt you..." Ren said thoughtfully, looking at the clear blue sky.
"You know, I've never actually seen you fight." He grinned broadly, "It could be fun."
"Or you could wind up in a coma for a week," Ren replied with the same enthusiasm as his 'it could be fun'. "Guess we'll never know, will we?" It was a rhetorical question and she looked down at the sand again. "I usually don't fight, personally. They do it for me. I can, hand to hand, of course, I just usually don't... I could give you cancer or something."
"Oh," Elson cringed, "Cancer... No thanks." He glanced around again, "So, what do you want to do?"
"Hmm.... Have lunch?" she suggested, motioning to the picnic basket she had brought that sat on a spread picnic blanket.
"Actually," Elson said, "That sounds wonderful. What'd you all bring?"
"Salad sandwiches," Ren replied as they sat down near Carl and Spark. "There's... chicken, ham, and egg salad, but some potato salad too that I, personally, wouldn't put on a sandwich... And there's some cut up cantaloupe, grapes, and a pitcher of tea and one of lemonade."
"Sounds good." Elson leaned over and grabbed a couple pieces of bread and a container of egg salad and quickly made himself a sandwhich.
Carl concentrated so very hard on that piece of paper, desperately trying to feel, then focus, the movement of the air around them. Even the delectable aroma of ham couldn't shake his momentary determination. Finally, after what seemed like an eternity to the boy, the paper budged--just barely. Carl blinked once, and as if on command, the paper moved again, with enough force to send it fluttering from his hands. 'Jackpot, ' he said mostly to himself as a sly half smile slid across his lips.
Spark sighs softly. Ren had cut everything... Spark was such a defect. Of course she had her books and her knowledge and the wisdom inside the books. She smiles very softly, at least in detail they needed her. Much better then trying to be like Elson and go out and do and confront the Accidents they were fighting.
Elson sat quietly eating for a moment before beginning to talk again, "So how good is your hand to hand combat? Ever had any training?"
For a moment, Carl stared at his 'accomplishment'-- the piece of paper that had fallen gently to the sandy ground. When he realized he was being addressed, the boy shifted his gaze to Elson. 'Uhhh...' he verbalized ungracefully as he thought aloud...'I was a yellow belt in Tae Kwan Do, but I quit in fifth grade...tried wrestling for the school team for a coupla years, but that was replaced by soccer...' Soccer, he thought to himself, was, in fact, not hand-to-hand combat. 'And I had an older brother who kept me on my toes...but nothing really...formal, y'know. I've always just been quick n'slippery.'
"Quick and slippery is better than weak and flat-footed," Elson stated. "Wanna go a round. I've never actually had any formal training myself, unless you count what the streets had to offer."
Carefully, Carl replied, '...sure.' Despite his average height and athletic, well-toned build, the boy was a scrapper in comparison to Elson. '...worst that could happen is paralysis or death.' He gave a little chuckle and stood-up.
Ren watched them before speaking to Spark. "How's the book reading coming.. or.. going?" she asked as she offered the girl some of the potato salad.
Elson stood up and walked closer to the boy, "Nah, I won't hurt you, you haven't anything to piss me off... yet." He chuckled as he dropped into a ready position.
'Good to know,' Carl replied as he grabbed some sand and rubbed it between his palms, before also getting into a readied position...
Elson circled to the right, his hands held like a boxer's. He quickly stepped inside and threw a right handed jab at Carl, aiming for his jaw.
From his slightly crouched, starting wrestler-position, Carl lithely ducks the punch and fluidly follows-through with a punch toward the underside of Elson's jaw.
"oh... well it's coming all right. The more I concentrate on th book and the question or the want and or need thereof I seem to get the answers faster and closer to what I actually want to know... I think it doesn't like the fact that I got sort of distracted for a little while by other things. It seems a little obstinate to me... and a little well... silly rather." Spark says watching the two men or man and boy? start to what she could only describe as what duking it out meant. Elson seemed rather obsessed with the idea of physical pain... either his or someone elses. And that was fine. If it wasn't directed at their team or possible team members. Spark takes the sandwich with a soft spoken word of thanks. "I wish I could be as useful as you Ren." She says with a soft sigh before nibblin lightly on the sandwich.
Ren lost interest in the fight immediately and frowned at Spark. "I'm glad you aren't as useful as me. You would have to lose usefulness to reach my level," she said with a frown. "Without you, we would really have no direction." She finished her sandwich slowly before asking, "Could the book tell you how we're supposed to fight them? I mean... Is it really just hand to hand combat? If so, what is the point of that young girl on their side, and you on yours. I don't think there would be, in that case, any use for such pointless people. No, you existing as you are must have a purpose. Could you find out what it is? I'd really hate for you to be sitting around doing nothing when the gods had so much more planned for you."
Elson quickly spun on his back foot, aiming a backhanded fist at Carl's head.
Not having expected a hit to the back of his head, Carl only lurches forward in order to avoid the fist-- but Elson's hand knicks the top of his head as he ducks. Not having time to calculate a hit, the boy abruptly turns and, with his shoulder, lunges his entire weight at Elson's hips, hoping to simply make his opponent fall backwards.
Elson allowed the boy to push him, but as he fell he reached out and attempted to grab his arm so he could use his weight and the momentum from falling backwards to throw Carl over his head.
Grappling as he was, Carl fell slightly forward with Elson before he got propelled over his head. The nimble teen managed to turn under enough for a somewhat disoriented shoulder roll-- his head was definitely smarting from being thwacked. Between his landing and scrambling back to his feet, he sent a spray of sand in a radius of a few feet around him.
As Elson stood, he turned towards where Carl had flown, just in time to catch a facefull of sand, causing his eyes to water, making it harder for him to see Carl. In his condition he decided it would be best to allow Carl to attack first while he began blinking to try and clean his eyes out.
Naturally, Carl took advantage of the moment's reprieve from attack, and he sent a fist towards Elson's gut. The boy showed some signs of fatigue--but he would not relent yet.
Elson spun away clumsily, barely avoiding Carl's attack. The boy was slowing down, but until Elson's eyes cleared, he was still dangerous. Still blinking, he watched for Carl's next move.
To try and get Elson off of his feet again, Carl aimed a labored, swooping kick toward his opponent's ankles.
Elson didn't see the move coming and was taken off his feet. Quickly he rolled away to try to avoid any further damage.
Tired, and therefore a little wobbly-legged, Carl lost his balance in the sand and tried to compensate improperly. During his attempt to get back to a steadier stance, he suddenly staggered and grabbed the front-inner part of his upper left thigh-- it seemed as if the boy pulled a groin muscle.
Elson rolled to his feet, expecting another attack, but found none. Blinking through the tears, he found that Carl was holding his leg, as if he had hurt himself. After wiping his eyes, Elson sat on the ground and called out to the boy, "You all right?"
Grateful that Elson didn't kick a dog when he was down, Carl replied in a strained voice, between breaths, 'Yeah...I think I just...pulled something.' Carefully, he lowered himself to a seated position. 'I just need a minute...body's not used to this.'
"It takes training and practice, lots of it..." Elson stood up and walked over to Carl, "Can you walk at all?"
Carl leaned back on his right arm and used his left hand to gently knead into his thigh muscle. With a nod, he replied, 'It's nothing I haven't pulled before. Just sucks...guess I better get back onto a workout regime. Heh.' As he looked-up at Elson, he added, 'What kind of time line are we looking at for this...mission, or whatever it is?'
"No idea, sorry. None of us know." Elson scratched his arms then lay back in the sand. The sun felt good, and he felt like relaxing.
'Oh' was all Carl could reply. As the burning pain in his leg subsided, the boy realized he not only had sand in his mouth again, but he also had it down his shorts. It was not comfortable. 'You go anywhere...less sandy to spar?'
"Well, I actually usually don't have a sparring partner. Not for physical hand to hand at least."
Carl spat to the side before he nodded-- not in agreeance, but understanding. 'Anyone else but these ladies a part of the group?' he questioned as he glanced toward Spark, Ren and Eva.
Ren looked at Carl when he said those words and was about to reply when a familiar deep voice interrupted her.
"I'm part, but don't tell my family that," Schao told Carl, having appeared without a sound behind the young man, very close and in a crouched position. He, like the boys, was in swimming trunks, black of course, and had on a white t-shirt. He stood and held his hand out to Carl. "I'm Schao," he introduced himself, both offering to shake Carl's hand and help him up. "I'm Ren's god." He nodded to the dark girl who, noticing Schao was now in charge, went back to talking to Spark.
With a start, Carl quickly turned to look behind him, toward the source of the voice. His expression betrayed his confusion at Schao's first words, but he said nothing before taking the stranger's offered hand--accepting the greeting and the help in standing. 'Uh, hi...Schao. I'm Carl.' It was difficult for the boy to believe that he was face-to-face with a god, as evidenced by his unrefined response, 'Heh...I guess even gods have issues with their families.'
Schao half smirked, half smiled, and with the same off handed calmness, replied, "Yes, but when we argue, you suffer war and extinction." He chuckled softly and released Carl's hand. "So, how are you enjoying the gift bestowed upon you, so far?"
"I suppose I could... although it doesn't like telling me much about myself... It's more a factual kind of thing... I could ask though for you. well first with the simple one... let's see... Is the fight only going to have hand to hand combat? " Spark waited a moment and words showed up on the page. "no.... well that wasn't very helpful... maybe.... What types of combat will be used?" She asks softly. "The weapon and the will...? will? like... free will? yes and no.... that's not helpful... What is the will? it is man's...." Spark rolls her eyes but writes down everything she asks and the answers she gets. "someimtes I think it does this just to get me frustrated with it." She says to Ren softly. Spark hadn't even really realized Schao had shown up again.
Ren frowned thoughtfully and her brows came together just a tiny bit. "It probably just wants you to think deeper. If I was an all knowing book given to the chosen of a god of knowledge, I would really hate you right now, and not give you straight answers either. You're questions are rather.. blunt and simple."
Carl wrinkled his nose at Schao's remark--forethought was not his strong suit, but , he figured what the man said was true. When asked about his recently discovered powers, however, Carl grinned, 'They're awesome. Can't wait to really figure them out and use them. Rough start to the day, but things seem to be goin' better.'
Schao nodded. "Good, good. Wind is a powerful thing. I remember when my dear cousin created the concept of a squall. Very excited, she was." He smiled reminiscently. "Of course... Zephos has never been one to settle for a little breeze!" He laughed fondly at the memory of his family member.
With furrowed brow, Carl inquired, 'Zeh...Zephos?' The name was not familiar to him. He quickly followed and a shrug and a smirk in his voice, 'And why settle for anything little when you can make it big?'
Schao smiled brightly at Carl suddenly, probably startling the poor human. "That a boy!" he cheered, patting the teen on the back. "That's the spirit! You'll go far, very far! Zephos chose well in you!"
With a somewhat stunned expression, Carl blinked rapidly at Schao's abrupt, enthusiastic words, as he certainly he did not expect that reaction. 'Euh...thanks.' He shook his head and said half to himself, 'I guess Zephos is my god's name.' He paused, screwed his mouth to one side, then tentatively asked, 'Wait...is my god a chick?'
Demios nodded, calming a bit but seemed to see no problem. "In the sense that she would be seen as a female, yes. I mean.. No god really has a gender. We HAD genders-" He cut off and his eyes seemed to glare at something. After a moment he let out a small breath as his lips loosened again. "I'm sorry, I'm really not allowed to tell how.. we work."
Carl shifted his weight from one leg to the other and crossed his arms over his bare, sand-dusted chest. 'That's very...interesting.' Instead of sounding interested, he sounded a little...concerned. In no way did he want to be immasculated. 'I...uh...won't pry anymore, then.'
"Alright let's try to think of some deeper question to ask perhaps then. Let us ask then... If will is man's and we are the chosen "men" of these gods. then the will means our powers?" Spark asks the book tapping her pen against her chin idly. correct. Came the written response. "So then we will use our powers. but not strictly our powers because most of our powers are physical... So it depends on wit as well? OR tactics?" This got no reply. the book was.... silent well empty in any case of written words. "How we use our powers will determine the outcome of this battle?" She asks softly. Yes and No. the book replies again. Spark sighs exasperatedly but write it down. "I'll keep trying Ren. It sort of leads you into the right questions it wants you to ask before it gives you the answer you need." She says before becoming thoughtful once more.
"Smart book," Ren noted, looking at the book in Spark's hands that had, for all she saw, stayed blank. She looked at them men again.
"I could tell you about her, Zephos," Demios offered. "But it's nothing you can't see if you are paying attention here on earth."
'Then I'll be sure to pay attention, sir,' Carl replied. But anyone who knew anything about the teenager knew that attentiveness was not his best characteristic.
"Ren... I believe we have spent the day here... the full day. Perhaps we should go back to the house." Spark says softly shivering lightly as the wind picked up and blew down the beach. Likewise the waves were begining to gather a little more strength as they were wont to do around night.
Ren nodded and started putting things away. "Schao?" she asked the God without looking up. "Could you give some people a lift in another of your cars? I don't think we will all fit in your one..."
Schao blinked, then half glared but he obviously wasn't mad. "Well, how rude. Asking a god to lower himself to-" He stopped when Ren gave him a straight look and sighed. "Yeah yeah... I'll get another car." He shook his head at his chosen.
"Oh... When did you pop in Schao... I didn't even notice you were here." Spark says looking up past Ren. A little startled to find him back... again. She helps Ren pack up, she herself not needing to pack anything really. The Tome itself always just went away, and came back when she asked. Spark gathers the towels folds them and stacks them together. There wasn't much food stuff to put away. And then the other towels they had sat on which Spark was shaking sand out of with her eyes closed. Once sand ridden she folds them and puts them on the stack as well. And then fixes her glasses.
In the park Kohana sat very still to have a butterfly land on her hand. She spoke to it and examined it carefully. "Such a pretty thing you are." She smirked as it flew off her hand. Looking at her watch she realized it was close to the time to work in her moms diner. She went to her house and changed her clothing and walked two blocks over to the resturant.
Elson stood and gathered his things, ready to leave. "Who am I riding with then?"
The Accidents Rp