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Iosta's Eye [Acheron, Ikaros] (redo)

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Indlæg af Acheron Ons Feb 14, 2024 2:36 pm

April 29th
Around midnight
A clear, windless night

Two days ago, the crown prince of Ilomar was found dead, his dismembered head hanging from a tree to be chipped at by hungry crows in the forest near the university campus. A brutal death, allegedly the man had surely suffered. The country was in a state of mourning and his funeral had been  today. Not that Acheron cared much, this was Erast and brutality was all around. If anything, it was refreshing that for once it was those at the top getting the brunt of the violence. Besides, he had his own stuff to worry about, like how he was now entering his second week of homelessness, the third time in his life. How, exactly, the authorities snuffed him out was a mystery. After five years of relative peace and safety – well, he wasn’t exactly thrilled to be back to sleeping on benches and cold pavement. It was exhausting having to keep his guard up for any would-be mugger. Added with the prince's murder, no one dared to rent out to any nachon. They were being blamed, because of course they were. He just had to hold out the belief that his luck would turn soon. A few months from now and people would’ve forgotten. Of course, it didn’t help that Acheron was broke. In fleeing his apartment he hadn’t had time to grab much other than the clothes on his back. So he had no phone, no money, no nothing. He had acquired a back-pack and a sleeping-bag from a local charity shop and not much else. Perhaps it was time to contact Cadmus soon – Acheron needed the money more than ever.

But first of all, there was a job to do: a mysterious client, no other info offered despite a time and a place. Acheron had at first considered declining. If the GW was for some reason after him still, this would be a bad end to it all. But still, Acheron needed the money, desperately. So, despite a bad feeling in his gut, he headed towards a dingy Erast alley. The weather, at least, was pleasant. The stars were clear in the sky or, as clear as they could be with the light-pollution from the city. It was a small comfort, but these days, Acheron needed those. Though the weather was nice, the air was still chilly, too early in the season to be truly comfortable to be out at this hour. Acheron probably wasn’t entirely dressed for it. A worn-down hoodie covered by a denim jacket, jeans, sneakers that were definitely long past their prime. He hadn’t had time to pack when he had left, so it was better than nothing. And what little money he had had was prioritized towards more essential things than fashion. They were approaching summer, at least. The weather would only get warmer. He wasn’t in the same difficult spot as he had been last time, in mid-february or before that, the beginning of december. Thus he did not worry about freezing to death, though he was cold, it wasn’t unbearable.

As he approached the alley the first thing he noticed was, well, the lack of noticing much at all. No tugging, no presence of another person at the edge of his powers. He paused, truly feeling it out, but there was no one. When he entered the alley, it was empty, save for a scruffy looking cat shifting through the trash littering the ground, looking for a meal. Acheron did not have the time, but he knew that he had been late – had the person left? Damn. He considered giving up and leaving but he really needed the money. He shifted his weight, one foot to the other, deciding to give it a few minutes – perhaps the mysterious stranger was themself running late?

Truly entering the alley, he shrugged off the back-pack and let it stay on the dirty ground for now. Then he leaned against a nearby wall and lit up a cigarette. As he smoked he watched the cat that continued its search, seemingly unbothered by his presence. At times he would carry treats for them, the alley-cats, but as his hand searched his pockets he found no such thing – only his dagger, a lighter and a carton of cigarettes. Shame. Half a cigarette’s time went by and there was still no sign of any strangers. Acheron was about to give up and leave when finally, something vaguely registered at the edge of his mind. He straightened his back, brows furrowing, his full attention on the presence and – something about it, it made his blood run cold, though he couldn’t say what. But he needed the money. Still, his hand grabbed the dagger in his pocket tightly, keeping it hidden but accessible, just in case, as his gaze was fully locked on the entrance to the alley, waiting for whoever this person was to reveal themselves.
Acheron
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Indlæg af Ikaros Ons Feb 14, 2024 3:25 pm

It was late, past midnight, and the stars’ silver light couldn’t brighten the dirty alleyway enough to keep the man from being shrouded in darkness when he appeared from the corner. He hadn’t known if Acheron would be there, waiting for him, and still, he was sure, when he entered the alleyway. And as expected, there was Acheron, facing his way. Right now, the nachon warlock was nothing but a dark, small silhouette, but Ikaros knew enough about him not to assume anything from his size. The way he had known about his arrival before his footsteps had started echoing from the walls, that was what Ikaros focused on.

He stepped closer, close enough to make out features of Acheron’s face. Focused brown eyes, hollow cheeks, skin paler than the starlight. Wearing only a hoodie, which must be cold, the spring night’s air creeping through Ikaros’ own thin coat. Ikaros met him with a smile and no hesitation in his steps as he walked up to him.

“Good evening, Acheron.” His voice was soft, velvety. He wasn’t whispering, but his words were only meant for Acheron. He placed his hand on his chest before gesturing towards him. “And may Iosta’s eye be upon you.”

His words, while delivered with a lightness, were heavy. They marked a beginning. Not that Acheron knew this yet. But he would come to learn. Ikaros looked forward to teaching him.

He lowered his arm and took his eyes off Acheron to look around at the decaying walls, cracks and dimmed graffiti covering them.

“I apologize for the location of our first meeting,” he said before he lay his eyes on Acheron again, his smile growing slightly, “Rather dramatic. But I assumed we both would prefer to meet in a more private setting.”

Then, he reached his hand out towards Acheron, taking half a step forward.

“I’m Ikaros,” he greeted him. There was a certain power in the way he said his name. Confidence, a casual pride. A certainty in what his name represented.
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Indlæg af Acheron Ons Feb 14, 2024 4:08 pm

A man approached and Acheron held his breath. There was a gravity to the man's spirit, an aura around him that felt impossibly heavy, something oppressive that seemed in complete juxtaposition with the lightness of his step. His features, though only just visible in the darkness, bore an open, welcoming smile. While the weight of the man's spirit made him shiver, he found no bitter tang of bad intentions or anything else that indicated that the man wished to cause him any harm.

When the man greeted him, his voice was pleasant, smoothing away some of Acheron’s unease, grip around his knife loosening when it was clear he wasn’t in any immediate danger.

Good evening. And may Iosta’s eye be upon you, the man greeted, with a gesture towards Acheron, who met the man's gaze and in turn offered a stilted nod.

“Hey,” he muttered, shifting the weight on his feet. He hadn’t missed the religious tone in the man's greeting, though it was a variant he did not recognize. It was something worth taking note of. Religion and nachons rarely mixed well.

I apologize for the location of our first meeting.

He tilted his head, puzzled by the man’s excuse. This was how he usually met with people – what kind of person would be seen seeking out the likes of Acheron and his services in broad daylight? He shrugged to show he was unbothered by the choice of location. Really, he just wanted to figure out if he was going to get money out of this or not. But at least the man was polite. He was usually faced with the opposite so this was a change of pace at least. People usually didn’t make apologies to him.

Ikaros stepped forward, extending his hand and Acheron almost flinched, then realized he just wanted to introduce himself. He eyed his hand for a moment. People usually didn’t do that either.

Then finally deciding that the man didn’t pose a threat, he let go of the knife, removing his hand from his pocket so he could shake his. It felt warm, solid, reminding Acheron how he was freezing and how he couldn’t remember the last time someone had touched him. When Ikaros said his name, there was a confidence there Acheron couldn’t relate to. He hated his own name.

“Acheron. Or Ache. Whatever,” he spoke, voice raspy from lack of use. He cleared his throats, cheeks heating up in embarrassment as he averted his gaze again. The man's politeness made him terribly self-aware. He let go of the man’s hand and wrapped his arm around himself, his shoulders tense. He took a drag of his cigarette as he looked back at the man.

Exhaling, he tried to assess him. The gravity of his spirit meant he was probably a warlock and probably powerful. Something about it felt dark, but it wasn’t that surprising giving their location – pain of all sorts was abundant in Erast, after all. His spirit seemed well-intended enough, nothing malicious about it. Though that wasn’t reason enough to trust him. And the man was calm, he showed no hint of fear at being face to face with a nachon like this. He didn’t need to read his spirit to figure out that much, his smile was disarming, genuine, and his body showed no hint of tension.

There were also no stray thoughts to pick up on that betrayed the reason for their meeting. Of course, he could go digging in his mind and figure it out immediately. But he was terribly tired already, it was a waste of precious energy to force something out that he could simply ask the man.
“Why am I here?”


Sidst rettet af Acheron Tors Feb 15, 2024 6:22 pm, rettet i alt 2 gange
Acheron
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Indlæg af Ikaros Ons Feb 14, 2024 4:17 pm

“Pleasure to meet you, Ache,” he said, not fazed by Acheron’s tension. He let the man take in his presence, possibly take in his Spirit too. Ikaros didn’t mind; his posture remained relaxed as he fished a pack of cigarettes out of his coat pocket. He kept his gaze on the pack, taking out a cigarette, as Acheron asked him why he was there. Quite a question, and Ikaros nodded as if approving of it.

“Because we’ve seen what you can do,” he answered with no hesitation, looking up at Acheron again without fully lifting his head yet, “We’ve seen your abilities. You’re powerful, Ache. Spectacularly so.”

He brought the cigarette to his lips, keeping it between his fingers as he used his other hand to light it up. A small flame ignited from a snap with his fingers, disappearing as soon as the cigarette was lit.

“But you’ve been failed. Society has failed you.”

He took a drag of his cigarette, taking his time. He exhaled, the smoke forming a cloud around him as he turned his eyes towards Acheron again, locking his gaze on him.

“While you’ve been told you were the one failing them. Haven’t you?”

Although a question, Ikaros was sure of his words. It might as well have been a conclusion because Ikaros didn’t let Acheron answer before actually answering his question from earlier.

“We want to help you,” he said, tugging at his smile that had faltered slightly before, “Reach your full potential that so far has been wasted.”
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Indlæg af Acheron Ons Feb 14, 2024 4:19 pm

There was an approval there when Ikaros nodded at Acheron’s question, it felt validating. Furthermore, the man's spirit was receptive to being read, most likely that meant he had nothing to hide. Right? Then the man spoke.

You’re powerful, Ache. Spectacularly so.

Surprise flickered in Acheron’s widened dark eyes. The compliment brought heat to his cheeks. What did he make of that? Processing his words, he almost entirely missed that he lit up his cigarette by summoning fire. So he was a warlock. Fire kirsha? Fire was a dangerous element. The flame lit up his features. Curly brown hair and a face that could arguably be described as handsome, disarming smile on his lips.

But you’ve been failed.
Ikaros continued before Acheron could respond. Society has failed you.

Acheron tilted his head, puzzled. Acheron, being failed. Everyone always acted like he deserved everything that happened to him, that he deserved to suffer. Something painful tugged somewhere deep in his chest and his brows furrowed. No one ever acknowledged how unfair that was – or really, acknowledged Acheron at all. If he wasn’t aggressive, he was invisible. Fighting tooth and nail for everything he had and arguably, he still had nothing. Ikaros was acknowledging that.

Ikaros smoked and Acheron watched him, silently, eyes still wide in surprise. Then their eyes locked and goosebumps traveled all over his skin.

While you’ve been told you were the one failing them. Haven’t you?
If Acheron hadn’t just seen him use a natural element, he would’ve been tempted to think Ikaros had read his mind. He was completely right. He didn’t get to answer before Ikaros spoke again: We want to help you reach your full potential that so far has been wasted.

For a few moments, he just stared at him, perplexed, trying to figure out what to make of his words. We want to help you, he had said. Who was we? A charity of some form? Help him how? Ikaros seemed friendly. A naive part of Acheron wanted to believe that, tugging at him to trust the man in front of him, a chance to no longer be alone – but experience told him there was no such a thing as selfless benevolence.

“Yeah,” he said finally, hesitantly. “... Okay.” His eyes narrowed skeptically. “Who are ‘we’?”


Sidst rettet af Acheron Tors Feb 15, 2024 6:27 pm, rettet i alt 2 gange
Acheron
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Indlæg af Ikaros Tors Feb 15, 2024 7:27 am

Acheron greeted the situation with skepticism. As expected; someone in his poor state must never have received an ounce of rightfulness before. Ikaros couldn't fault Acheron for his caution; in fact, he found himself silently admiring his resourcefulness. Acknowledging this, he smiled at the warlock before answering his question.

“We’re a group called Melikertes,” he said, “We’re adamant on righting the world’s wrongs. Which, as you already know, there are plenty of.”

Somewhere distant in the city, sirens wailed mournfully, their sound penetrating the darkness of the alley, as if to emphasize his point. Paying it no mind, Ikaros calmly rested his shoulder against the nearby wall, drawing from his cigarette.

He exhaled, the taste of smoke lingering on his tongue. “We’re not low on resources, either,” he said, “We have food, beds,” his eyes returned to Acheron, a slight crease forming on his forehead as he took note of the man's clothing, his expression worried, verging on pitiful.  “Warm clothes.”

His gaze lowered as he flicked off the ash of his cigarette.

“And above all,” he added, “A strong community.”

Taking another drag, he looked up again, and this time he let his gaze rest on Acheron. A gentle warmth infused his gaze, mirrored by the faint flicker from the glowing tip of his cigarette.

“Needles to say, it’s not everyone we let into that community,” he said, a teasing edge in his tone, before the next words left his lips with a weight heavier than his smoke, “Only - the spectaculars.”
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Indlæg af Acheron Tors Feb 15, 2024 4:26 pm

For a moment, Ikaros smiled kindly at Acheron before explaining. Melikertes, he called the group and as he finished explaining the sounds of sirens sounded in the distance, as if on cue. For a moment, Acheron’s head was turned towards the wailing before looking back at Ikaros. Righting the wrongs in the world. It was true. There was plenty and Acheron knew plenty of it. Far too much, in fact. Sometimes he wished he knew less. Everything was so terribly unfair.

Exhaling smoke, Ikaros went on, about resources. Everything Acheron did not have. There was a worried, pitiful expression on Ikaros’ face and Acheron clenched his teeth for a moment, looking away, cheeks heating with shame. He took a last drag of his cigarette before letting it fall to the ground, stepping it out. He exhaled. He hated being pitied, but as he fully wrapped his arms around himself he noticed that he was shivering from the cold, the man had a point. At least Ikaros seemed to care about his well-being. It was strange. Why would he care? When no one else did?

A strong community. Acheron frowned, glancing back at the other man. He was terribly lonely. Part of him really wanted to believe Ikaros. Something about his aura felt warming. It was hard to not want to lean into that, when Acheron felt close to freezing. And he was nice as well. Acheron could hardly remember the last proper conversation he had had. Probably with Lucy. But that just left him feeling guilty. This was different.

Then Ikaros’ tone turned teasing, calling him spectacular again. Acheron averted his gaze once more, cheeks heating. He wouldn’t mind being that. Spectacular. Right now, he was just some sad, powerless bug trying to survive. But as Ikaros had said, he had been failed – his situation was outside his control. Who would he be if things were not like this?

He really wanted to believe him, but it had to be too good to be true. He eyed him for a moment, conflicted. Caution flickered in his dark eyes, though a hint of hesitant curiosity there exposed the fact that he was intrigued by the idea. This could all be some cruel trick, of course. But he didn’t find any cruel intentions in the man's spirit. His aura, warm and welcoming, should he believe that the man was trustworthy?

Then he spoke, his voice low, frowning.

“What’s the catch?”
Acheron
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Indlæg af Ikaros Ons Feb 21, 2024 9:21 am

What’s the catch, Acheron asked, and Ikaros’ smile grew. Always a catch, wasn’t there? He would be lying if he said there wasn’t. Instead, he winked at him, cheekily acknowledging his sharpness. 

“As I said, it is not everyone we let into our community,” he said, smiling as if he let Acheron into an inside joke. Then, turning more serious as he brought the cigarette to his lips, he added: “We have to prove that we deserve the spot. To each other – and to ourself.”

Though keeping his casual stance, he spoke with pride - as well as with the confidence of a man who had already proven himself. He didn’t bear his name for nothing. Taking a drag, he let the words linger in the cool air between them. 

“But there’s no need to worry about that,” he then said, sending Acheron a teasingly reassuring smile, “You’ve already proven yourself plenty. Or else I wouldn’t be here”

He took a last drag before letting his cigarette fall to the ground as well, becoming one with the indistinguishable filth spread out on the concrete. He didn’t watch it fall but kept his eyes on Acheron as he exhaled through his smile, smoke surrounding him.

“For now, I just wished to present to you the opportunity.” With an unhurried motion, he straightened his posture, pushing himself away from the gritty alley wall. He was getting ready to leave, as he adjusted his jacket. “Give you something to consider for our next meeting.”
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Indlæg af Acheron Fre Feb 23, 2024 10:24 pm

At Acheron’s question, Ikaros winked at him as if that had been the exact right thing to say and Acheron felt a flutter in his stomach that he refused to acknowledge. 

It is not everyone we let into our community he repeated, a warming smile on his face for a moment. Acheron followed the faint orange glow being lifted to his lips as he spoke. He couldn’t make out his features exactly in the dark, but from what he had seen when he lit the cigarette, he was handsome. Which Acheron really shouldn’t care about, but he wanted to see him in daylight to confirm if he were. We have to prove that we deserve the spot. To each other – and to ourself.

That left him nervous. Prove himself how? Even if Ikaros was calling him spectacular and powerful, seemed to believe that he was, even, Acheron was a loser. He couldn’t prove much of anything. Sure, he could commit petty crime and blackmail. But that wasn’t due to any inherent power Acheron had. He was pathetic, a bum, a weak demon with no other means to survive. He didn’t want Ikaros to realize that.

But Ikaros simply smoked, casually, proudly, the exact opposite of Acheron who was seemingly trying to make himself as small as possible, waiting for Ikaros to elaborate.

But there’s no need to worry about that. You’ve already proven yourself plenty. Or else I wouldn’t be here.

There was a teasing smile on his lips as he spoke that made Acheron’s heart skip a beat and his cheeks heated up again. Still, Ikaros would find out eventually, wouldn’t he? That Acheron wasn’t… But maybe he was wrong about that? Maybe Ikaros saw something else in him? It was frail, sure, but a sliver of hope seemed to stir somewhere deep in his spirit. And that frightened him. Hope could die just as quickly as it had come to life. Hope was dangerous.

The orange glow fell to the ground and Ikaros and Acheron’s eyes were locked on each other for a moment, goosebumps spreading all over Acheron’s body. Smoke enveloped the other man and then he spoke again.

And Achheron perked up at what he said.

“Next meeting?” He blurted out, perhaps a bit too enthusiastically, then his cheeks heated and he averted his gaze, embarrassed. Of course they would be meeting again, with the way the man talked about this group. He shrunk into himself slightly, holding himself tighter. He shouldn’t be getting too excited about this, Ikaros might be nice, but he was still a complete stranger. This could still turn out badly. Hope was dangerous. 

“I– I mean, yeah, sure. Next meeting.” He said, tone cooler, more detached, as if it didn't matter either way to him.
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Indlæg af Ikaros Tirs Feb 27, 2024 7:22 pm

Even in the cool faint light of the distant lampposts on the main road, Acheron’s reddening cheeks were visible. His fluttered demeanor was surprising but welcomed. Ikaros kept his smile from widening but the corner of his mouth twitched. He didn’t try to hide the feeling of satisfaction either in his Spirit. Acheron should know that he was welcomed like that.

“Next meeting, yes.” He repeated Acheron’s words in a soft, patient tone, his eyes resting on him. “I’ll contact you in a few days, after you’ve had some time to consider our offer.”

He had turned some degrees towards the exit he came from, but then stopped. His hand digging into the pocket of his coat. “Oh, and-” As he took his hand up from the pocket again, he revealed a handful of banknotes. Petty cash but probably more than Acheron had had on him for a while. Still slightly turned, he took a step forward and reached his hand out. He didn’t look at the money in his hand - he looked at Acheron’s reddening cheeks and dark brown eyes. “Thank you for meeting with me.”
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Indlæg af Acheron Tors Mar 07, 2024 9:18 pm

Acheron scowled as he noticed the satisfaction in Ikaros’ spirit, taking slight offense. But that probably wasn’t fair. Ikaros hadn’t done anything wrong. And when he spoke, his voice was kind. Acheron averted his gaze down to the concrete, nodding when Ikaros said he’d contact him in a few days.

He had expected him to leave then, but unexpectedly, he stopped. Acheron watched as the man went digging through his pocket, his heart picking up speed in his chest. What now? Then he produced a handful of cash and Acheron’s eyes widened, lips parting in surprise. At first he simply stared at his hand, eyes darting up at Ikaros as he thanked him.

No one ever– how did he even respond to that? It was too much. He hadn’t even done anything to deserve this, why would he… ? People weren’t just nice to him like this for no reason. In fact, people weren’t ever nice to him. Why would they be? He was him? But Ikaros was friendly towards him. Called him spectacular and powerful. And now he was giving him money, for no reason other than being there. It was very unusual. And Acheron found himself feeling uncharacteristically shy. His cheeks turned scarlet and he looked down at his hand again. This was too much. But he needed that money, desperately. He wasn’t in any position to decline. He gingerly wrapped his hands around the banknotes, taking it. “I, uh–”

He counted. Enough for a proper jacket with some luck, perhaps even with some left for a decent meal, if he was smart about it. Fuck, how did he respond? Ikaros had thanked him. Thanked him for what? He hadn’t even done anything. He didn't deserve this. This was embarrassing. Did he even know how to interact with people if he wasn’t threatening them? He looked up through his lashes, sheepishly, shoulders tense.

“Yeah. Thanks,” he muttered softly, pocketing the cash along with his hands, averting his gaze and licking his lips, heart pounding in his chest. Did he leave now? Did he wait for Ikaros to leave first? What did he make of any of this?
Acheron
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Indlæg af Ikaros Ons Mar 13, 2024 9:30 pm

Ikaros didn’t change his posture, but patiently waited for Acheron to take the money out of his hands. He understood his surprise, might even empathize with it. They lived in a give-and-take world. Well, not for much longer.

After getting over his initial shock, Acheron accepted the gesture and took a hold of the banknotes. Counting them before pocketing them in his denim jacket. Good. He needed the money. Ikaros took note of that, his lips tugging further upwards as he looked from Acheron’s pocketed hands to his averting gaze.

“Don’t thank me yet.” Pocketing his own hands in his coat, he took a step back, eyeing the man in front of him. He was more timid than Ikaros had anticipated but that wasn’t necessarily a bad thing. Quite the contrary - It was something to work with. Ikaros was pleased with whom he had met in the darkness of the Erast alley. It did indeed feel like the beginning of something.

“I’ll be in touch,” he said to him, the confidence in his words making them a promise, “Goodbye, Ache.”

He turned around and headed towards the alley’s exit, his silhouette merging with the surrounding darkness. Looking over his shoulders, he could barely see the small figure of Acheron. Before turning around the corner and leaving him behind, he added, with yet another promise: “And until next time.”
Ikaros
Ikaros

Join date : 10/10/23
Number of posts : 7

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