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Hasan Essair

Trail to the Stars

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Azrael? They hadn't had an Azrael since the first one, and that was a little over three thousand years ago. Kassander hadn't even been alive back then; well, no, he was alive but he wasn't Kassander. He forgot what his name was, something Greek. Anyway, that wasn't the point. "I have not ascended an Azrael in three thousand years minimum," Kassander stated, his eyebrows furrowed. "The first Azrael was the original daeva of death. Many have followed after him, but, none have taken his name after him. Whoever our current Azrael is, his name was probably different when he was alive."

Kassander breathed out, focusing a little, and closed his eyes. The light streaming in through the window flickered with slight golden sparks. ... actually, there was a large chunk of Maharaja he couldn't see into... it was almost like darkness was blocking it, but, if he tried using the shadows, instead, those couldn't see into it, either. That was strange. What was blocking it... at Hasan's words, quite the accurate guess, Kassander peeked one eye open, then the other, and sighed, a bit. Hasan always was fairly intelligent. He supposed, it was really a matter of time, until he figured it out.

"Yes," Kassander answered. "I've been experimenting, trying to see... if I could build a modified version of Apollo, that could act as the buffer that moved the life-death cycle, filtering the aura in and back out, but it is a little more... complex, than I first thought, and I have neither the time nor the energy to complete it." Ultimately, he was stuck with this. Either Axel figured his shit out, and Kassander passed the burden onto him and lived, or Axel took too long, and Kassander died. Still, could be worse. Couldn't think of how right now, but.

He reached over, taking Hasan's hand for a moment, giving it a gentle squeeze. "It's okay, you know," he said. "Everything goes away, someday." Even him.

Edited by Sionyx

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Daren frowned very slightly. Someone who had taken Azrael's name but not someone Kassander was aware of. So the name did mean something to the light, but it didn't offer a solution to the puzzle even so. That was concerning, really, in its own way. The Light didn't know who this Daeva was. Samael didn't know who they were either it seemed. On the other hand the name seemed to have triggered something, because Hasan seemed to have come up with something of an explanation for... several things. Not the specific one they were talking about, but given everything that was going on at the moment, any answers at all were probably helpful for the Warlord, so there was that.

Three thousand years. That was a long time, and that did pretty well make it clear that it wasn't likely to be the same one. So.... who took the name?

And now Hasan knew why the light was dying. And... Daren felt like he was intruding just a little. This didn't really feel like something he should be present for. It was, after all sort of a personal moment between them. Blue eyes slid away from the pair for a moment, focusing on a point elsewhere on the floor, expression thoughtful because he was still trying to sort out Azrael. The light didn't seem to be able to pinpoint him, but was that because there was something wrong with this Azrael or because the light was already extremely weak?

That was the question, now wasn't it? Then again the fact that they were claiming to be the Hamadaeva without the light's support for the position probably said all it needed to except for the fact that the light should have been able to know something like that was happening. And they were... after the new Daeva of death who happened to actually be... some living human at the moment.

So what happened if the host killed - well. Obviously the Light couldn't keep moving the cycle forever. If the light died while moving the cycle... things could get very messy very quickly. Life and death were essential balances in the world. When they got out of whack who knew what chaos might descend.

"Is there... anyone else who might be able to finish it for you?" The thing he'd mentioned moving the cycle onto.

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That was perhaps even more concerning. Kassander didn't recognize this Azrael, which meant that they were essentially flying blind. One couldn't ascend if the Light didn't decide you were going to, so Hasan was very well convinced Kassander had ascended him and just didn't remember doing so. But if he had then why didn't he remember? Kassander never met a daeva he did not remember, at least as long as Hasan had been paying attention, and that was quite a few thousand years. He didn't like this. He really didn't like this.

Was that even possible? Apollo was a brilliant piece of magic and machinery, but Hasan wasn't so sure how likely it was that a machine could pull something so delicate as the life-death cycle. Then again, if Kassander didn't think it could, he supposed he wouldn't be trying to make it do so. The instinct was still there. He shook his head, somewhat clinging to the hand Kassander gave him. "Yes," he answered, in quiet Latin. "Everything goes away. But not you."

He wasn't sure what changed, there. One moment it was a fact of reality, and the next everything in him wanted to rail against it. Maybe because now he knew it wasn't just something that was going to happen, that it was, in fact, fully preventable. Now that he knew he could fight it, apparently, Hasan would. At this point, it wasn't even about how much Hasan loved him, and needed him around, he didn't want to consider what would happen to the rest of the daevas, that, mind you, were already losing their minds, if Kassander was gone. And the thing with that was, even if only the daevas were affected, it could still lead to some extremely dangerous things, because the daevas were so inherently dangerous.

The daevas were loaded cannons, and Hasan hated to think what would happen if the only thing preventing them from firing was gone.

He loosed a sigh, kissing Kassander's knuckles, and then stalking out into the hall. He needed a minute. Or a few, maybe that was a few. Kassander could easily point Daren in the right direction, and get him where he was supposed to be going, and Hasan, apparently, was going to throw a very quiet tantrum. Somewhere else.

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Yes, even him.

Kassander just sighed, letting Hasan leave, if that was what he wanted to do. It was odd, kind of, to see that small sliver of Sandalio in Hasan. They did have that in common, didn't they? They both loved him more than was logical, and clung to him harder than they should, but then, he supposed it could've been worse. For a moment, he looked awfully tired, and then shrugged, slightly. "Maybe Icarus," he answered. "Maybe he could finish the second Apollo. But he's chasing Sandalio. ... I'm not even sure there's a Sandalio to chase. There seems to be an awful lot I don't know, suddenly." As it turned out, apparently so, and Kassander wasn't sure how to feel about that. On the other hand, he was dying, and maybe it didn't matter how he felt about it.

Hmm, daevas could shapeshift, though. Obviously, Daren had seen this Azrael before. "Show me," he said. "This Azrael, you know what he looks like. Maybe that'll help?" Seeing, sometimes, was easier than simply trying to remember who exactly was attached to a certain set of sounds in a certain order, and sometimes there was more than one person that was, further complicating things, and, even better, human features could only be arranged in so many ways. Eventually, yes, people started looking like other people, and Kassander was so old by now, he'd probably met at least ten different people that looked just like so and so.

Unfortunate side-effect.

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Well that went spectacularly. And then he was alone with the Light. Some small part of him may have been frantic at that idea, before. But He'd already heard the Light's stance on his (not) being fallen and really weren't they all alone with the Light sometimes? Maybe not in quite such a ... disturbingly literal sense. Anyway, perhaps now was not the best time to begin debating that point - even just in his own mind.

Maybe Icarus could finish the second Apollo, but the aforementioned Icarus was busy. Well that was... unfortunate in the sense that it would be best if it was something they could manage to resolve. But on the other hand other tasks may be just as important. Neither of these things helped the fact that the Light was dying or the fact that there was no Daeva currently prepared to move the cycle of life and death the way it clearly needed to be supported.

"Oh, uh. That's a good idea." It was and Daren wasn't sure why he hadn't thought of it himself except for the fact that his mind had been caught on other things. There was a lot to digest from this short meeting and not a lot of time because the Light was exhausted and Hasan was... well. Trying to be both a husband and get to the bottom of what was going on. It was admirable, really. Daren took a slow breath and concentrated on forming the glamour.

It didn't take long for his features to shift into another form. Glamour came naturally to the Daevas, after all. Hopefully this would help shed some light on that part at least. Knowing who Azrael was would help Hasan and answer a lot of questions all at the same time, probably. "Here." After a moment or so, once he was confident he'd gotten everything completely right.

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It wasn't like Daren had done anything Kassander didn't ask him to. Yet, strangely, or not, if you knew anything about his history with the particular being Daren glamoured into, he had a sudden urge to blast him into the wall, and his muscles noticeably tightened with that instinct. Kassander fought it down. The good news, if there was to be good news here, was Kassander didn't have the energy to, not now.

"Marcus," leaked out of him in a whisper, like someone hadn't twisted the cap on a tube tightly enough. "I definitely did not ascend him, I would never have, he doesn't deserve whoever's wings he stole." He hadn't seen him, those cold, bright eyes, in so long, he'd forgotten what they looked like. He used to see them a lot, in his nightmares, when he was younger and still woke up screaming a lot. It was always the look in his eyes, the hard, piercing glint, the lack of any compassion or remote flicker of remorse for anything he'd ever done, that Kassander remembered, but for a few decades, it seemed he'd finally gotten free of it. Daren didn't quite replicate the vicious shimmer in them. Marcus had then, and seemingly still had, if this conversation was anything to go by, a very unhealthy obsession with him, and Kassander couldn't figure out if that was because Marcus had never accepted Kassander as his better, or had never accepted Kassander wasn't his. In the end, maybe the answer was both. Marcus was primitive enough a creature to fall into base instinct that way.

It was then, somewhere amid realising that he wasn't really breathing, or focusing on anything, that his breath quickened, and he shoved himself back against the window and curled up right there, focusing on controlling the little bursts of air. Well, he tried, anyway. Controlling your breathing when you were fast slipping into panic mode was harder than it sounded. If he didn't get his muscles to relax, and his breathing to even out, he was either going to pull a muscle, pass out, or both, and neither sounded terribly dignified.

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Okay that was a particularly violent reaction and Daren wasn't entirely sure how to process it entirely. He did, however, immediately drop the glamour so that he was himself again. Clearly whoever that was ... was not someone the Light could stand to see. And that was, by the way, kind of a terrifying thought because what in the world could push the Light into a reaction like that? Then again, like all of them, he seemed to have lived a normal human life at some point - perhaps a long time ago, but still relatively normal. It left a number of questions as to what the 'Marcus' had done.

Maybe Daren didn't want to know honestly. But that did confirm the thought that apparently he hadn't ascended this Hamadaeva except that that shouldn't be possible. There wasn't supposed to be another way to become a Daeva, after all it was a position that was earned, not born into.

"I'm sorry." Apologetic, but not sure what to do because he wasn't sure if he could help and maybe trying would only make it worse. It was only what he'd been asked to do, but still he was sorry because clearly there was a lot of untapped trouble there. Azrael was "Marcus". Unfortunately it was one of those answers that immediately opened up a number of new questions. Why did this Marcus feel like the light, especially if the Light clearly was afraid of him? How had he been ascended without the light's knowledge? How was this guy who the light feared able to hide from him so completely?

Daren found himself wishing that Samael was still here though, he would know what to do best for the other man to help calm him down. The Daeva didn't really want to leave him alone like this, but he was also concerned that his presence was only going to make things worse.

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He intended to find something else to occupy himself with. There were always a thousand things to be done in the Drago di Napoli at any given moment, and Hasan could easily find one of them. Certainly, with half the alphas gone, it wasn't difficult, because they were even more backed up than usual. Somewhere between stalking out into the hall, and reaching the staircase, though, he felt the little Kassander blip in his head flicker in shock, and then straight up panic.

Instinct kicked in. Immediately, he turned right back around, shoving the door back out of his way and putting himself in between Kassander and Daren, wings unfurling defensively, and then logic kicked in. His expression probably went from unbridled annoyance and perhaps a touch of snarling to confusion to concern in the span of a heartbeat or two. This was Daren. He did trust him, and so did Kassander. "What happened?" he demanded, instead, tucking his wings back against his body and turning around to kneel in front of Kassander.

"Hey, breathe, it's okay," he murmured, gathering the smaller blond in his arms and rocking slightly. "You're safe here." He was having a panic attack and Hasan couldn't for the life of him figure out why, but then he supposed it didn't matter much, not right this second. His first concern was calming Kassander down, because if he freaked out too much, he'd expend more energy than he could afford to lose about now.

[ that took an eon im sorry ]

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Daren slightly shrank in at Hasan's snarling and murmured another apology because he didn't know what had happened and he certainly hadn't meant to upset Kassander so much, he'd only done what he was asked to do. ... And apparently it had been a really bad idea. But Hasan didn't strike out, instead he demanded to know what had happened and then turned his attention to the blond to try and calm him down.

Daren considered the best way to word things for a moment and then realized the absolute truth was the best, even if it didn't really answer much of anything. ... At least, to Daren it didn't. Maybe Hasan would make more sense of it than he had. It wasn't as if he didn't know Kassander better than Daren himself. "He asked me to glamour into the daeva who is playing hamadaeva up there." Daren began carefully. "So I did, and then he said something about Marcus and started to freak out. I dropped the glamour immediately but the damage was already done." Apparently.

But that was what had happened, in essence. It wasn't a lot, and he certainly wasn't going to glamour back into the guy while Kassander was still having a melt down, but he did hope it was enough for Hasan to make at least a little sense of it. Maybe it would even help him calm Kassander down.

In the mean time, Daren was going to stay back here, and not make any sudden movements.

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