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Old June 4th, 2013 (08:07 PM). Edited June 4th, 2013 by SV.
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Nathaniel Calaway and James Hazen- The Librarian's Home, Under the Vatican, Rome, Italy



James cursed under his breath. It was way too damn early in the morning for him to be listening to the constant, neverending jubilance of the Librarian, or Henry, or whatever the hell he was calling himself. For the past week as they trained with the man, he would rarely break through this personna he was in, as if he was trying to rub off on the others. James didn't want to bite. He wasn't looking for a friend, or someone to be amiable with in the man. He was there for training, and that was the extent of their relationship. Though, it didn't seem to go through the Librarian. He continued his smiling game, and James was slowly getting annoyed by it. When they were gathered in the breakfast hall, he assumed they would be doing another training exercise together, which basically meant relatively the same overall training process in the end. He found himself excited about the prospect maybe the first few days, but soon after the idea of training no longer inspired him as it did. He was beginning to see it more as a means to an end. Power was that end, though it was beyond that. He didn't want to just acquire that power, he wanted to use it for something. What exactly that was, he didn't know.

But the Librarian surprised him this time around. Just as he was beginning to start daydreaming as the man would prattle on about what they would do today, the words 'Paris is being terrorised by a meteor-controlling Atlantean' made him sit up and focus on Henry. "You're joking," James replied, a smile creeping on his face. He turned to Nate who sat beside him. "Heh...about time we'll be getting to use our powers on some live targets, eh Nate?"

"You should know I am not too fond of using my powers on 'live targets', James," Nathaniel began, sighing. "But this fight would be justified well enough. These terrorists are no better than the ones from the London center." Nathaniel tensed up, with the flood of emotions from earlier overcoming him. The anxiety, the anger, all of it. He would always look back at the day, wondering if what he did was right. It felt right at the time. And as much as Nathaniel ran through the situation in his head, it still did. But was there a better way? There had to be. Wasn't there always? It was all so confusing.

"Yeah, yeah. I hear you," He said, rolling his eyes as he stood up and accepted the leather jacket from the Librarian. He looked over it, determining if it was something he would wear, before grimacing and tossing it onto the couch he was just sitting on. "You know, some lives don't matter. These f*ckers probably had their chance. They'll get what's coming to them."

For Nathaniel, the leather jacket was completely redundant, as not only was Nathaniel practically immune to the cold at this point, but also he already had his. He gently removed the Librarian's offering and put on his own jacket (of which he was holding already). "It does not necessarily justify murder James. Murder doesn't solve anything. It only exasperates the problem further. 'An eye for an eye leaves the whole world blind.' You should try to remember that." James' world view was clearly warped by something, though Nathaniel could never quite figure out why. He had honestly tried, but soon quit. Uncharacteristic of him? Yes, but his efforts would be better spent on making James understand why laws were there. Why they were needed. Laws provided order. A standard to follow and something to strive towards. Educating James would probably be better than trying to understand him.

James sighed, turning to Nate and straigtening up and giving the larger man a salute. "Yes, Commandant Calaway!" James jokingly teased. He had observed during their time together that the two of them had a very different way of perceiving things. They had gotten along well enough besides not having many ideals in common because of the few things that they did share. He wasn't sure exactly what it was, but they both had it. Ambition? A desire to become stronger? Maybe both? He wasn't sure, but it was enough to tie them together into an unlikely friendship. He opened him palm as he accepted the chain with a blue rock at the end, what the Librarian referred to as an Atlantean crystal, which served to amplify their powers apparently. Much more useful than a leather jacket, James thought to himself.

Grabbing Nathaniel and James' shoulders, he prepared to teleport them off to combat. Oakley held onto James, and Otto touched her father's back. A moment later, the group was gone from the underground home of the Librarian, and right in the middle of a burning inferno that was once Paris. Paris looked like hell on earth. Or God was taking a sh*t on it. Paris was the toliet of God. A grand french toliet of unparalled design. It was no wonder that the French capital was a tourist spot, for its luxurious comforts have lured the divine being in the sky above to lay his holy crap upon the world. A holy crap that given the amount of burning chunks ravage the land, God was clearly suffering from indigestion. He took vegnence upon the poor French people for whatever reason, but then again he was God and needed no reason in the end.

That or it was just a beserk Atlantean reeking hell on earth. Take your pick.

A smile crept onto James' face as he stepped forward and admired the burning French capital. He scretched his arms out to his sides, sweat pouring off of him from the heat the fire emitted. He had never been to Paris, but he had seen pictures of it. People called it a beautiful city. James saw another example of gothic to modern architectural style, another design intended to make an impression on people. All he would see from the pictures was exaggerations and wasted money. The present state of the city, the burning buildings, the fire that scorched the earth, people running for fear of their lives. To him, that felt more real than anything he had seen before. It was in such moments that people embrace their primal instincts of survival, abandoning all created and adopted norms for the purpose of self-preservation. At this brink of death, this scene of absolute chaos and destruction, people are at their most vulnerable. However, people are also at their most capable. Their true nature awakens, their true selves. It is at these moments that they are most alive. That is why James viewed the present scene before him as true beauty.

A smile crept onto his face as he turned back to Nate, motioning him forward while ignoring the Librarian's calls to stay together. He didn't particularly want to travel with any of the others, but he wanted Nate to understand. "I hear something coming from over there. Music maybe? Let's go check it out!" He exclaimed, his tone giving off his excitement. James didn't think there was anywhere else in the world he would rather want to be right now.

Nathaniel sighed, "Fine then. But you will follow my lead from then on. I can't have you lose focus on the mission on hand." He made his over to the sound of music that James was so entranced by before turning back to the others. "Excuse me, but perhaps it is better we spilt up. James and I can handle ourselves. Librarian, keep Oakley safe," Nathaniel said with a slight nod. "Come now, James. Lead the way...I guess." The sight of a burning city was less than appealing to Nathaniel, as it left little to the imagination. Or hope. Hope was literally burning alive in the city as meteors battered the buildings, the icons of artistic architecture that Paris had prided itself on for generations. All for what? The thought was sickening. If you wanted to make a message, there were far more tactful ways to do it. Nathaniel wanted to find the leader and take him out as soon as possible. But things were rarely that easy.

"Sure thing," James responded still with a grin on his face, as he led them on through the burning terrain. He tried to follow the sound of the music as best he could through the heavy noise the crashing meteors continued to make, while avoiding the rain of magma as best he could. The two stayed relatively close to each other as they maneuvered through the ruined city, James primed for a good fight, and he knew he would soon be getting one.

In a sudden mistep, a meteor came crashing not a few meters away from the pair, landing right into the ground and sending ember, rock, and dust into the air, and causing James to be pushed off away from Nate. Smoke and dust rose swiftly through the air, and James coughed a bit as he slowly rose to his feet. Luckily, he was unharmed. "Nate?" He called out, wondering if he was also unharmed.

"Yeah I'm here," Nathaniel coughed. "You alright?"

"Never better," He yelled back, examining the area of impact. Through the smoke, to the right of where he stood, a saw the silhouette of a figure approaching their direction. Or rather, he seemed to be running rather than walking. Still, what struck James as odd is he didn't exactly appear to be running from the meteors. He was running, but not necessarily away. Perhaps towards something. If James had to guess, he was certain the man was an Atlantean, or tied to one of them. Maybe he was one of the the terrorists. Maybe he was from one of the other groups the Librarian talked about. Whoever he was, he was now James' selected target. "Hey, I'm gonna check out this guy. He might be Atlantean. You go on ahead." James called to Nate through the dust. He coughed once, bringing his hand to his mouth to cover it from the smoke, then watched as the dust slowly settled to reveal the man that would be his first challenger.
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