Urien - The Price of Freedom

Description: After extensive pressure from the Illuminati, Igniz relents and offers Urien back in return for no longer being harassed. Gill comes in person to collect his wayward brother.

For a week, Igniz made sure to extract his punishment from Urien; it was only after contact from the Illuminati of increasing severity that he agreed to a time and place for a meeting. Aggravating. The complexities of the man's makeup are far more advanced than he had given credit. Although NESTS is incredible in cybernetics and cloning, this level of genetic tampering is beyond them. Especially because, the main thing he discovered... was the source was not science at all. Whatever grants Urien his power was trained, and not manufactured. His body was certainly adjusted to optimize it, but no more than Igniz himself was built to optimize his own strengths, or Zero augmented with cybernetics.
As such, on the given hour of the given day, of all places the local shrine in Southtown was selected. Clone Zero is within a dark corner of the abandoned building, the moustached second to his true right hand holding a thoroughly battered and emaciated Urien down by the back of the neck. High tech metal bonds keep his forearms locked at his middle back, and the proud is on his knees.
And it is Igniz himself who stands within the structure's center, gazing up through the broken roof at the night sky. There are no clouds, and the city is just distant enough for a hint of infinity to spread in all directions. His chi is fully restrained, but even then it suffuses the area like a beacon, warm and soft, a gentle hum resonating in one's ears. Harmless phenomena takes place, pebbles beginning to float, vegetation swaying in unseen force, that betray the presence of a man who cannot fully shackle his own divinity.
All that remains... is the Illuminati. Perhaps, if they send someone weak enough, it will be a good chance to go at their throats. Keeping Urien and gaining further leverage is his preference. So many more mysteries remain to be carved from his flesh and mind...!!

A broken man, but a proud man. Urien wears only the same clothing he had when he was captured. He is untransformed, and has refused to do so a single time despite very real and grevious tortures. Something haunted is in his wild eyes, body tense and flexing against the metal bonds. Now and then a muscle twitches, teeth gritting so tight that the bone is audible to Clone Zero nearby. Given the fierce jerks and growls, there's a very real need to keep him held and contained. His gaze seems to fade out, only to return to Igniz with a blind hatred. What happened to him... he will never forgive it. It's a blur. Afterwards, they did *something* to his mind, and a deep part of him is almost thankful. "...should just... kill me..." he manages to gurgle out. "...Nobody will care... that you have the Illuminati's... black sheep!!" Which makes him suspicious. Will Gill try to exterminate Igniz here?! He can think of no other reason. Good...!! He's got one ace up his sleeve, and is more than willing to go to Hell if it means these two will come down with him, even if it's at the hands of his wretched brother...!

Word had shot up quickly through the countless layers of reporting, analysis, and record keeping regarding the capture of one of their own. Without hesitation, the ancient organization extended its hand, applying increasingly mounting pressure on the Cartel responsible. Each day, the intensity of the pressure increased until, on the sixth day, it was made clear that NESTS had a choice to make:
Answer the demand.
Prepare for war.
And on the seventh day, the meeting was arranged, the site an easily controlled, neglected shrine on the outskirts of Southtown. To save the soul lost to his ambition and hubris, a Messiah was sent. External scouts would report that the one who comes is simply walking toward the shrine. No parade of armored vehicles, no loud, disruptive roar of a helicopter to herald his arrival. The powerfully built, tall individual with long locks of fiery blonde hair simply strides calmly along the streets and sidewalks toward the structure.
Slightly behind and to his side, especially diminutive simply because of how large the man is, ambles a young woman with luxurious, long platinum blonde hai, her bangs done up in a single curl of hair that rests against her back.
The Savior is clothed in a simple dark cerulean robe, a cord around his waist. Draped over his shoulders is a concealing cloak of tan and red, equally simple compared to the magnitude of the man who dons it. The woman at his side is far more sharply dressed - a black miniskirt and fitted suit jacket, her high heels clacking against concrete, staccato sounds punctuating the heavy thud of the President of the Illuminati's footsteps.
The man's head is bowed, his arms holding a book low and in front of him, its pages occupying the extent of his focus. Hovering over the book is a small, flaming sphere providing illumination by which to read in the otherwise dark night. Occasionally, a page will turn, seemingly of its own violition, as his contemplative gaze shifts. He never glances up yet seems to need no aid in navigating the turns and stairs necessary to reach the interior of the shrine.
And at last, he enters, coming to a stop several meters away from the master of NESTS. Gill's attention lingers on the thick tome for another twenty seconds without regard for anything else said or done in the room before finally closing the book with a gesture of introspective respect seemingly at odds with the sheer magnitude of the power his hands possess, the small glowing sphere of fire winking out in an instant. Even without it, the man seems immune to shadow, as even without ambient light, his form is plainly visible in the darkness.
Slowly reaching behind him, the book is handed to the woman waiting patiently who takes its hefty weight in both of hers. And at last, the Titan of Perfection turns his gaze to Igniz himself, his hands lowered against his sides, vanishing beneath the cloak.
"You have in your possession something very dear to me..."
His right hand is lifted from beneath the draping cloak, palm upward, fingers partially stretched outward, a brief glance toward the corner where the catalyst behind all of this kneels before focusing once more on Igniz.
"I would have him returned."

A single man coming alone...? Igniz is not here alone. The Zero at the back of the building might not be the equal to the real thing, but the combative force combined with Igniz should be nothing less than earth-shattering. Such implies there is even someone who could be considered his peer in existance; a question that Igniz himself very much doubts. Instructing the agents to do nothing, Igniz returns to his sightseeing, hood pulled up to obscure his handsome features and billowing silver hair.
The feel of this man... hmm. It takes some time for Igniz to bother turning around, glancing over his shoulder. An unnatural whirr shifts his tentacles about beneath his cloak, the other self-proclaimed God suddenly hovering. White-trimmed black ripples as he turns, looking Gill over with a keen assessment. Unlike Zero and Krizalid, he has no interest in the suite of analyzing tools, nor the cybernetic augmentations. Purity of body, purity of soul. His talents at probing the nature of another's being is from his own personal skill.
Eyes meet, and he is immediately aware the will of this man is the real deal.
"He has provoked and attacked my organization at every turn. Had it not been for your past dealings with my father, I would not be having this discussion at all. But I believe it is in our mutual interest not to escalate things further... all I desire at the moment is no further interference..."
Suddenly Igniz' chi flows outwards. It is incredible, the entire building shuddering heavily to bear the weight of it, dust falling down and cracks forming upon the walls. He seems to shine a cerulean silver, brightening up the entire room. The false Zero's equipment goes haywire, and he turns away while shielding his eyes, redoubling the grip upon Urien to keep him steady. "But do not misunderstand. I have no compunctions about war myself. I am not so complacent about peace and order as you. Stagnation always impedes the way of true evolution..."
Just how might Gill respond to the weight of his power, one that few beings alive can stand before without quaking? His poor secretary had best not be completely mundane, or consciousness might be difficult to cling to!

Urien makes no motion at all, before suddenly tensing when he feels a familiar power. What...? His brother?! He tries to twist his head to look towards the door in order to confirm it, only for his own voice to ring out in the room. "What... are you doing here..." he states, hissing out blood from his clenched teeth. Precious...? Don't make me laugh. Look at me, then. Look at me!! "They... the things they did to me..." he begins to stutter, straining against the false Zero's grip. Only to then be blasted in the face by Igniz's might. It causes his head to swim, but after a few seconds he adjusts, his own energy rippling in. He can feel his strength growing, and hopefully that is hidden in the wake of the divine powers colliding in close proximity from Clone Zero's sensors. "Grrk... forget the trade... destroy them!! CAST THEM DOWN!!"

Slowly the thickly muscled arm is lowered to vanish once more beneath the cloak. A slight dip of the head acknowledges the crimes of his brother but that is not the declaration he speaks to. "Your father was a brilliant man..." His voice is rich, deep, soothing to the ear and mind. "Even though he absconded his place with us, his vision for the future... was rivaled by very few in this troubled world."
Gill's speech is patient in pacing but commanding in tone. "I trust... his wisdom has found a new home with his son." There is no sarcasm to his voice, only sincerity, an unspoken appeal that things need not become violent between them if calmer minds can prevail.
From beneath the cloak comes a shrug, the man the picture of composure as the energy radiated out from the God of NESTS floods the structure, threatening to rend its aging framework to splinters should he but exercise his will to do so. To that, the man standing before him begins no posturing, standing as if at peace on a calm, Midsummer's afternoon. His right arm stretches out from his side, his cloak draping over it, hiding his loyal secretary, Kolin, from assault with an unbreakable extention of his own tremendous aura.
Urien speaks up and finally Gill settles his divine attention on the ambitious agitator that is his brother. Cries for violence, for no accord to be struck ring out with no answer at first as the magnitude of Igniz's presence expands to fill every last corner of the shrine. A hint of a frown crosses the mouth of the magnanimous man but no answer to such cries is offered.
"Please," Gill asks of Igniz now rather than demands, "Forgive my wayward brother his offenses... let it be a triffling distraction and little more. If further recompense is required to put this matter behind us, then let us speak of it now or tarry no longer on such... frivolous affairs. He has already been castigated for his transgression by your hands. The chains of justice that we both understand can claim no more hold over him for this incident. Return our lost sheep to the fold so that we might celebrate his recovery."

Something seems to change in Igniz' eyes at the mention of his father. It is deep and richly complex, but seems to be adding only a negative aspect to the diplomacy taking place. Amongst the two, Gill has been formally trained and mastered the art of negotiations. It should be easy to read that Igniz... is not that sort. He is someone that is obeyed, irrevocably and without equal. A treacherous landmine to say the least, where one misstep might mean more than a confrontation here, the potential death of Urien, but also of a great war. NESTS is not so small that it could be eradicated, almost completely separated -- at the behest of Igniz' father -- from every component that grants the Illuminati it's strength. It has no need for economies, and to say that there's sovereignty within space is an understatement.
"..." Igniz is genuinely surprised. Clone Zero is uncomfortable and was forced to disable his analysis mechanisms, and is far from a small soul. Urien as well appears to be enduring it, but... not so effortlessly as Gill. How strong is he? For the first time, there's a strange desire to... test himself. Having never been a true fighter, it's an oddly foreign and whimsical thought.
Slowly Igniz begins to levitate closer to Gill, continuing to radiate powerful pulses of his energy. It is aggressive, but at the same time no more an attack than to open a curtain and let in the sun; he's simply not holding anything back. The walls begin to lightly glow, gravity itself starting to warble and send debris orbitting the NESTS scion.
"A triffling distraction it was." Igniz agrees readily. "Such a small insect can do little more than a painful sting... but in this case, I compare it more to the itching mandibles of an ant. He did no harm, so I need nothing repaid. Beyond keeping such a disgusting creature from my sight in the future..."
"Or I shall crush him." Igniz's fist curls at that, voice deepening with his head lifting enough to finally show his eyes, swirling with a deeper, far more malignant purple energy. Yes... this is only his skin. He has far more he could show, were he to have a mind...

"...What..." Urien hisses out, his shoulders beginning to shudder with something outside pain. Eyes grow even wider, and something like a crazed grin is on his face. The bruises etched into his form. The cuts, the injections, the pain. All of it... was justice? When Igniz goes so far as to call him an insect, something snaps within him. His form surges, summoning the core of his transformation in a great roar of his own energy, petty and struggling though it may be in the face of Igniz' bared fangs. Brown quickly replaces the light tan of the Greek, before his hair flashes white. With his strength significantly higher he slams a foot down, finding himself more exhausted than he thought... But still attempting to wrench his arms free of the metal and pull free of Clone Zero's hand. "INSECT...?! YOU ARE THE DAMN WORM!! Who do you think I am?! I'm the future EMPEROR OF THIS WORLD! You're nothing! NOTHING!! Insignificant, pathetic dog!! My brother... my brother might be a worthless coward, but I am not... I won't stand for being talked down to, not by ANYONE!!"

The cloak about the Lord of Fire and Ice's shoulders rests perfectly still even as the rest of the structure ripples with energy that would tear it asunder should the corona of power that is Igniz were to elect such to be the case. Whatever maelstrom of energy surges throughout the building, there is a shell of tranquility surrounding the President of the Illuminati equally as unbreakable as is his apparent composure.
Only when Igniz speaks once more of Urien does Gill's calm countenance falter even just a little. "You are speaking of one who's blood runs strong with the same birthright as my own, his sacred calling in this world only just behind my own benevolent purpose. Please..." He closes his pale blue eyes briefly, bowing his head slightly, "A token of respect, for the understanding we both have of more important affairs. He will not trouble you just as we need not trouble each other any longer. Your indignation is righteous, and you have... my greatest apologies over this whole matter."
Lifting his head again, the Divinely Called sets eyes on his damaged, battered brother as he rises up, his rage palpable, the magnitude of his power only seeming small because he cries out in the presence of gods while he, himself, stands drained, tortured, and wounded. His shouts echo throughout the shrine, demands to the heavens for slights, both perceived and real, and aspersions cast on the one who would see him returned, safe and sound, to the flock that could benefit from his power if only he could shape it properly.
Not a word is uttered as Urien cries out. No admonishment for his disruptive, disrespectful behavior. Only a mien of abject compassion for the captured man's fury, an expression of pity that such darkness continues to reign unabated within his soul. No... this experience has not been a humbling, learning opportunity as perhaps the Master of Elements had hoped. If anything, there is more darkness found in his soul now than when last Urien bitterly argued with his brother. There could be time for discussion later, scolding, and reproof that would go unheeded just as it always had before.
Another slight bow of his head is offered the levitating fount of phenominal chi, "The benevolence of the Lord of NESTS with regards to this reconciliation will not be forgotten. Thank you."
At last, words spoken toward the malcontent seething in dark rage at the world.
"Urien... my beloved brother... Let us return home."

It becomes rapidly clear from Igniz that whatever power is within Gill is not one so mundane as to be summoned up in short order. Despite it being so reserved, there's a sense now that he's looking at a fellow being. Someone who has stepped beyond the bath of a normal human. How far past...? That is the question his mind continues to return to, again and again. His interest in the Illuminati is markedly higher for the first time in a few years, and not for the reasons that most would imagine. In a way, the outburst from Urien was well-timed. There had been a growing sense that something implacable had been festering, and had it been much longer conflict would have been inescapable.
Not, that is to say, that there isn't any to be had at all.
The metal shackles that Urien wears are ionized metal, and had he been at full strength when he transformed then they would be broken instantly. Even now, so great is his rancor, they start to hiss and fail. Clone Zero is caught off-guard, shifting to grasp both hands upon the man as he transforms, cursing himself for missing so close a spike in energy even without his suit's functionality.
But Igniz does not truly look angry. He looks perplexed, as if trying to understand something said in another language, the angry buzzing of a fly before him having no meaning beyond the meager annoyance. So he does what is only natural.
He attempts to swat it.
One tentacle suddenly flashes, swirling with deep blue energy. Twisting around in a simple, savage motion he strikes out. The air cracks inwards like thunder, as he aims to impact it upon Urien's head, with no restraint. Even a strong fighter would have his head taken clean off, or worse, from an unmitigated strike.
"Be silent." is all he demands, in a solemn voice. "Less to rise me to true anger...!"

"Beloved...?! Don't give me that shit. Why do you dare put on airs here, of all places?! Why are you even bargaining for me!! WHY AM I STILL ALIVE!!" There's a sense from Urien that the latter is asking a lot more than the current situation. During the final testing of the candidates, when all of those confirmed not to be reincarnations were culled, only Urien was spared. Something that went against the very dictations of the former true ruler of the Illuminati's decrees two hundred years earlier, of his supposed reincarnation into the worthy. That all those made in his image were to be destroyed. Gill had suggested there was enough question in which was the real thing to 'wait', and in doing so slowed his own ascent to power, and allowed the insurgent man to live another day. For what? Why?!
He began to say more, but that was when he stepped out of line yet again. It is almost surreal. The only true benefit he has had in the time since that day was absolute power. As can be seen, in the hands of the twisted, it can be truly monstrous. G-Project is but a narcissist private faction within the Illuminati to serve his own whims, and any good it offers difficult to extract. But due to Gill, nobody raises a voice to him, and none dare raise a hand, as if any had the power to...!
The tentacle strikes him in the jaw, and the sound of it is sick and twisted, a dull THUNK like a hammer meeting an anvil. Blood spatters out upon the ground in a savage spray, and Urien's eyes go white. His strain against his bonds stops dead, and Clone Zero has little need to restrain him any more as the strength leaves him, and if left to his own devices he would thump to his knees, then collapse face first upon the ground, twitching in a growing puddle of blood.
"...Cough... Kaff!!" He begins to breath again after a few shocking moments, consciousness returning from the void as eyes find Gill's feet. For the first time in many long years, there's a plaintive, pleading tone to him. "Brother... please..." he almost whispers, through a mouth tangy with copper, the very last bit of pride stomped flat.

Igniz, were he not distracted with the afforts to his perfection, might catch the glimmer of pain in the Titan's eyes at Urien's rage fueled plea. Why is he still alive? How can one man be so blind to the love a brother can afford another? The diplomacy with which the newly annointed Emperor staved off the inevitable purge, the years of leniency for contemptuous slights beyond number, the infinite patience of the Divine... Was it that hard to understand?
The whip of the tentacle cracks out with a shockwave that echoes throughout the grounds within and without of the shrine. For the first time, Gill moves from where he had come to stand upon arriving, one foot thundering forward, wood crashing beneath his step, splinters sent flying.
The voice of command is refinforced by a presence not visible but undeniably felt. Slowly he steps forward again, then again, foot lifting out of the shallow crator crater created by his stomp as he strides with thundering steps toward the fallen Athenian, his stride full of purpose and no intention of being halted. Kolin follows right behind. Perhaps it is out of a sense self-preservation that she sticks so close to Gill. Or maybe she will always go where he goes, no matter the risk.
A powerful knee is dropped against the dusty wooden floor with a thud that hints at weight beyond simply what his powerful physique would suggest. Cape drawn aside to allow his arm freedom of movement, a powerful, muscled limb reaches down. "Think not on the past, my brother..." He will not answer such probing questions here.
"Come with me. We will make you whole."
There is no evidence of false pretense, no effort to conceal this act of compassion from those who stand witness. An extention of his hand has it gripping over the ionized metal shackles. A surge of blue energy courses down his bare arm, concentrating in his hand as the manacles are flash-frozen into matter too brittle to withstand the power of his grip. They would shatter beneath that outreached hand, freeing Urien's arms from behind his back.
In the same gesture, the Messiah would heft his brother into his arms, draping his arm over his own back, allowing his bloodied form to rest against and mar the simple attire worn.
Only one further statement would be offered the representative of NESTS as the powerful man would seek to help his brother limp from the shrine, though its intended audience would more likely be the olive-skinned Titan of Iron he aids now..
"We are going home."

Igniz simply turns away in the midst of Gill's outburst. His tentacle retracts back into place, lost in the more natural flow of his loose black robes. The energy within him is suppressed once more, again returning to the pleasant hum that no longer forces Gill to protect his hapless secretary as he makes his way over to the downed Urien. "My demand remains the same. If I see this wild dog bare his fangs at me again, I shall consider it the will of the entire Illuminati. And there shall be severe repercussions... the least of which shall be you receiving his insignificant head."
Clone Zero did indeed allow Urien to fall, simply standing up in his own battle suit, looking upon Gill before his sensors once more kick back online. His eyes widen upon getting just a small sense of the man's power as the shackles are broken, and he unwittingly takes a wary step backwards. Yet it seems that shall be it. Igniz is once more looking back upon the stars, where his eyes always seem drawn... completely exposing his back to the two of them, as they stride past to the stairs leading out of the ancient shrine. Nothing more shall happen on his end -- unless otherwise instigated, of course...

Urien can hear the 'ENOUGH' ring out, and allows a small, wicked smile on his lips. Yes. Good. Attack him. The Treacherous Disciple might be broken, but he can repel this moustached principal long enough to finish him off. Wait... since when did he have a moustache? No matter. But instead, he can hazily see Gill come towards him, kneeling down and helping him up. "What..." he begins to say, before forced back to his feet. "What are you doing... s,stop it... you fool!! Him!! Kill HIM!! Is... is my pride worth so little?! Do you, *cough*, really think... what they did was just? He struck me... struck me like a petulant child right before you... and you will do nothing...?!" Not yet moving, Urien shifts his gaze, staring at Igniz's back unblinking, shuddering body like an agitated animal, backed into a corner and both ready and willing to snap at anyone around him. It's a pretty obvious bait... but if he takes it, then Gill will have no choice but to fight right here, right now...

The self-proclaimed Savior of Humanity pauses as Urien shrieks out and fights against his efforts to help him from the shrine. Having tried to lift his arm around his shoulder, the man's back is toward him, making it impossible for his slowly forming frown to be seen. The tension in his body would, without any doubt, be felt however, as he slowly stands up straight to his incredible height.
"Your pride?" he finally asks, his voice a rumble of a pending storm. It is clear that his brother won't understand, won't back down. He wants there to be battle here, he wants vengeance to be carried out by proxy. If anyone could do it, the man right in front of him could just very well be the one to do it. Igniz's power, as demonstrated in even a subtle way, is incredible. It speaks of progress within NESTS beyond which even the Illuminati expected of them. What has been happening within those dark labratories since all ties were cut off? What strange things have conspired that a man such as Igniz walks among them now?
Even he cannot help but feel the call of battle, the temptation to put his own perfected arts to the test against the relatively young mastermind of the dark cartel. But even if he did want to test the power of the Star Gazer... the mere fact that Urien has been demanding it makes such consideration impossible!
From beneath his cloak, a powerful heat can be felt radiating forth as power restrained threatens to burst forth in a maelstrom of fire and destruction. To control it even now is an act of will sanctified by his ideal, his resolve to not be provoked into any action.
Still, he turns on Urien at last. "He struck you like a petulant child... because you are BEHAVING like one. Your actions shame us all! Will you insist on furthering this contemptable display, will you drag us into needless battle because you refuse to behave with honor and decorum?!" the man's voice thunders, his eyes widened with emotion he can no longer restrain. It would pass in an instant, however, as if reminded that his own calling matters above all else, a long exhale, a shake of his eyes, a calming in his eyes as the heat radiating from him subsides gradually.
"I understand it is hard... to be confronted with the need to change. But I know you will be able to grow from this if you but surrender yourself to my wisdom if but for a little while."

"..." Igniz listens quietly at the little spat between siblings, allowing a smile to crease across his face. His shoulders begin to shudder lightly, before a laugh leaves him, deep and musical. It seems to be absolutely genuine, and even Clone Zero allows a smirk. "Perhaps in time... you will see the mistake you are making this day. There is no such thing as a benign cancer, my friend. All of them must be cut off, or the body dies. Compassion... is nothing but a weakness." Igniz sweeps his robes, before crossing his arms and resuming his laugh, seeming to resound throughout the halls of the entire shrine. "At least you have displayed the weakness of the Illuminati for me to see with my own eyes!!"

"... ... ..." Urien simply stands there, before suddenly yanking his arm away. "Don't touch me." he seethes. "You speak of honor, when you let this man talk down on the traditions you hold so dear...?!" Suddenly he moves towards Igniz, clenching his fist. Rearing it back, he twists and then strikes the ground before himself. A huge splinter of rock flies in all directions, and when he stands again there's a meter-broad hole showing the floor below. "You disgust me." he hisses towards Gill. "Do not think I will stand idle... when you do not even have a spine...!" Wobbling heavily, Urien then leaps into his created hole, heard thumping heavily down below. A moment later, another burst as he kool-aids it through a wall, thumping his way into the distance of the forest, not interested in being helped home by his brother. No incident appears to be forthcoming this day... but the strife and gulf between himself and Gill has only grown all the wider...

The laughter of Igniz echoes throughout the shrine, unanswered by the divine being destined to save mankind, even if it means erasing what exists and starting over to create the perfect Eden. Eyes stare at the crater left in the floor of the structure, mouth curled into a grim frown marring his otherwise flawless visage. Left alone but for his faithful secretary, the man reaches out for his cloak, drawing it back over his arm, the limb vanishing beneath it at last. The taunting comment from the NESTS leader seems to evoke no strong emotion from Gill. What could Igniz say that his brother had not already uttered, only with more invective and venom that can only be leveraged between family? Compared to such, the leader of NESTS' observations pack no sting, cause no ache.
"What most see as weakness... is strength behind all comprehension..." A thundering footstep forward is taken, the floor of the structure, weakened by Urien's departure creaking dangerously, but the man does not stop. "It is the burden of the divine to forgive the imperfections of a flawed species... they are the most in need of salvation..."
His secretary follows, her own steps causing no such disruptions in the questionable stability of the dilapidated building. He will leave as he came, on sandaled feet, as the man of the globe spawning conspiracy walks the street like any other.

Log created on 18:07:07 12/23/2014 by Urien, and last modified on 02:04:00 12/24/2014.