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As the third child, he's spent his life standing in the shadows of others and following well-worn footsteps, but he knows there's more, he can see it just past the tips of his fingers. And he wants it. Even if it means he has to claw out a new path and drag those who would deny him along like dead weight. So you'd better believe he's stubborn enough to do anything he sets his mind to; no matter the pain or the cost. Because he's spent a lifetime learning that to get anywhere, get anything, you have to be willing to sacrifice the same. That's how the game is played. It's just a fact of life that some pieces are worth more than others, are more useful than others, and those that aren't can be discarded when the time comes to cut them loose. He has no need for people who can't be an advantage.
Oh, but he can put on the mask and pretend, he can say all the right things to make you believe. [The best part of believe is the lie.] He can gain your confidence and your trust...and then he can cut your legs out from under you, tear you into ribbons, with the exact same tools you handed him. Everything is a weakness, he just needs to know how to leverage it. But don't mistake him for single-minded, that couldn't be further from the truth. Like a spider, he's weaving a hundred tiny threads together, a little at a time, working tirelessly until he has you exactly where he wants. He has plans within plans, secrets inside secrets, for things that might not even happen, and many might call that paranoia, but, to Orion, it only serves to make manipulating you easier in the end.
Because that's what he really does, that's his specialty; he slips through the cracks in your armor and insinuates himself inside, like a virus, waiting to strike when you're at your lowest. He pulls strings behind a curtain, shows you the cards in his hand but not the ones up his sleeve, and tells you anything you want to hear. He's not just a conman, he is the the con. He knows people, has an intuition about them; reads them like a newspaper then burns them up. Which makes him better than you. In fact, a lot of things about Orion make him better than you in his opinion. His ego isn't fully unwarranted, though that's certainly no excuse, and it can be a pain in the ass to deal with, to be sure. But his self-confidence is inspiring, too; that he can believe so much, in himself and where he's headed, that it feels impossible to fail when he sweeps you along.
Not just anyone gets to see and enjoy the future he has in mind though. His loyalty is hard won, but can prove to be unwavering once you have it; the problem is, that loyalty is a double edged knife, and if it's not handled carefully, it will end up between your ribs. To Orion there's a very distinct line in the sand, invisible but near tangible, that divides his kind from the rest. The us versus the them. And even within his own circle, he can count on one hand how many he truly trusts; few enough that he has fingers left over to make crude gestures at you. But he's extremely possessive of those he does count as a friend, and will not, under any circumstances, let those people just walk away. Nor does he expect them to want to.
But what he expects and what he gives are two vastly different things when it comes to Orion. He expects your loyalty and obedience; he doesn't ask for things, he demands, commands, and he especially doesn't do it twice. What he gives you depends on the day and his mood. And for those who would ignore his thinly-veiled-as-polite orders, or outright flaunt them, he has methods for dealing with them that aren't at all pleasant. The worst of it is, you might not even see it coming. Because for all his plans and need to have the angles fixed in his favor, Orion can prove to be wildly unpredictable. And violence isn't uncommon or uncomfortable for him to harness.
It's always a private matter though, the way he may choose to punish you; if only to keep the good name of what you both believe from being besmirched when he breaks your fingers for that comment. Public appeal and approval has been deemed and important priority by his family since birth, and thus he has learned the art of separating himself in two. One that strives to be a good son and attendee of The Nine, and another, darker, much more real side that will pierce the tongue that smears The Nine with a rusted nail. And you can trust, if he has to hunt someone down to get his justice, he'll be repaying them, or you, for more than just the slight. His time is too precious to be wasted.
So you'd best make this worth his while.
When Orion smiles, it's never a good sign. For anyone.
According to his mother, Diana, he was born smiling.
Everything went down hill from there.
In their youth, Diana and Phillip were a fairy-tale type of romance, the pinnacle of young love and the joining of two lines; she a theif, he a conman. After four kids and a miscarriage though, things change. They became begrudging partners, locked in the same endless loop of screaming mouths to feed and little asses to wipe. Orion was their third child, and was supposed to the be the last, but a broken condom fixed that reality, and fast.
Like any other family of The Nine, there was always just enough to squeak by on, and whatever could be considered extra--money, time, attention--went to training the eldest, his sister Lyra. Which left Gemini, the second daughter of the Abellio line, to tend to her siblings while their parents were busy; a duty she despised, and consequently made her them suffer in agony for. Orion couldn't understand, at that young age, what made his sister so angry and bitter that she would spit in his food and make him eat it, but as he grew, it became more and more clear to him. Just as the divide between Lyra and the rest of them began to widen. It was only in Avalon that they were all equals, he learned; when they crossed that bridge to the other side, after a lifetime spent earning it by the brick, then and only then would he be his sibling's peer.
But Lyra wasn't the con artist they hoped for, no matter how hard they pushed her she just didn't, couldn't, get over the anxiety and guilt that plagued her; mind tripping over it's knotted self each time she tried to nail a mark down. Brilliant at planning, poor in execution, she was only half of what she should have been. Possibly broken by the very way she had been raised, there was no end to the damage she did to their family; disgrace following her name like a ghost.
When Gem decided not to follow in their father's footsteps, differentiating herself by choosing their mother's former specialty, she forced their hand into helping her too; the threat of being shamed twice enough to barter compliance from Diana and Phillip. Just enough extra assistance to squeak by when her trial came, and she sliced off her pinkie finger to pledge her life for the Shadows.
Orion on the other hand, after one sister barely passed and the second abandoned their heritage, became nearly obsessive in his desire to succeed. Even if his quest to become something better, to prove his parents and siblings and the world wrong, lead down a road that would, unbeknownst to him, change things forever...he wanted it too much to give up. Even if it meant suffering through freezing nights handcuffed to the fire escape, being starved, having each of his nails torn from his fingers, then forced to deal cards or pick locks. It didn't matter what they did to him to prepare him, teach him, he finally had their attention. Or so he thought.
But six days before his fourteenth birthday, the very day he worked so hard to reach and hoped would make his parents proud again, his sisters staged a heist that made headlines across the world, casting him back into their shadows once more. His parents disappeared again, lost in their own accolades and pride; the ploy, one Phillip had drilled into his kids since they were old enough to walk, earning not one, but two, of his children seats on the council that year. Orion, nothing but dust again, swept under the rug and out of their minds.
It was then, after the test and pledge, blood still dripping down his torso from where he'd carved a perfect circle of his own skin free, that he turned to his friends; battered and broken souls like his, and promised them a way into the light in exchange for their loyalty. They could, would, fill the seats of the council when their turn came. Be more than the discards and refuse of their families, if they trusted him to take them there. They would own the world, wear it on their finger, and change it how they saw fit, but only if they remained devoted. He didn't promise it would be easy, but he knew hunger when it looked him in the mirror, and they all wore it closer than their own skin. It made most of them effortless marks.
For years they've waited, biding time as they learned what they needed to; growing into harder, sharper forms of the people they once were. Orion's plans taking root slowly, crawling, then hobbling, into motion behind a protective curtain of invisibility. Already discounted, ignored, it made weaving the web he'd use to topple those who kept them on the outside all that much easier. And now the goal is at the horizon, but there's still so much work left to be done.
...This is where you come in.
Magnus & Orion
Annnnd thanks for the warm welcome!
Would there be a particular place that Orion and the others would hang out at? Maybe Magnus could run into him there, or maybe they could practice some of their "abilities" on each other. See if Orion is as good a conman as he thinks he is, or if Mags can forge a name in less than...[whatever time frame O wants] Sort of like a silly wager thing. You know....like the Nine Bells version of beer pong. LOL.
Well there's always Orion being the "fearless leader" that Magnus wants to be someday, at least learning how to come out of his dorky stage. Perhaps he focuses on Orion and asks him for some help with being less of a geek and more at ease socially? Sort of like a 'My Fair Lady' arrangement? He can slowly progress from being an ugly duckling to a swan in no time flat with Orion's help!
Or, you know, they'd both try to play each other and wind up at a stalemate, which is hilarious. (Maybe that could be how they came to know each other?) Depending on Orion's stance, they could have a mutual information exchange going, too. He tells Syd a little about The Nine, Syd tells him a little about the mafia, both think they're winning when they're totally not.
I *think* they could get a nice little cat-and-mouse dance going. We should thread these two...
I don't know if you've ever heard of the show TV show called Impractical Jokers but if you click the link you can see some of the crazy dares they do and it was the first thing that came to mind when you mentioned Orion helping Magnus with his self confidence. I pictured him encouraging Magnus to approach strangers with some strange requests on a dare, to see if Magnus would really do it. It might be funny. So funny.
I definitely think they’d be aware of each other by now. Sharks need to know what other sharks are about... Probably Syd approached Ori, too, if anything.
And I am so up for a thread. A chance encounter in a bar, maybe? If you start that one, I’ll get on Mal/Kea. xDD
Also, the Juneau thing could work so, so well... I need to hit up Ry. When I get back, this shit so needs discussing.
Honestly? Depending on Syd’s mood, he might. Especially if he knew it’d rub Kea up the right way. Sex — totally not off the table.
Feeding? Oh so on the table.
Both? Even better.
This sounds like the start to a beautiful friendship. xDD
Depending on how they get on, I don’t think Mal’d be happy but he’d also swallow his tongue. Ollie is too precious.
Unless he’s drunk and/or high. Then all bets are off.
I’ll get that thread going and we’ll see whether they like or hate each other xDD
That's what I was trying to say, that I'd be willing to have Orion coax Mags into stepping out of his comfort zone a little, because that's the only way he can build up his confidence. Perhaps starting there, he can progress to the plot point that you mentioned last night in the Nine Bells chat about discovering the signatures (I think that's what you said?) It would make more sense to do it this way, since Magnus is considered "new meat" and would have to prove himself anyway. We could start with comms and work up to a thread, or we can jump into a thread, if that's good with you?