CHAPTER 11 – III
Victor’s previous student, Carenf, had lead the rebuild of Seattle with her husband, Glendan. The city was decimated during their war against Glendan’s brother, Geryman, and his mentor, Harry Augustina. It was a long and painful process to bring life back to the city, complicated a bit because their primary focus was elsewhere – their son. Aricame was birthed out of the death and destruction that had engulfed their tiny corner of the country during the war. As new parents they worried inordinately over Aricame. This led to some positive developments as Aricame was of impeccable physical and mental health thanks to their dedication to nutrition and stimulation. But their neurosis also slowly contaminated their home.
To be fair, Carenf and Glendan’s worries were well-founded. Carenf was the Champion of Light. She still didn’t know fully what that meant, but she knew she was one of the two most gifted people on the planet (the other being Glendan’s imprisoned brother). She had the ability to move energy around from one person to another – to control life and death. She could intuit things; communicate telepathically; heal herself. She was from a lineage that was as old as history itself, here to save humanity (so she believed). And she also knew that for her entire life, there would be someone else who was equally powerful – that was here to destroy humanity – and that wanted her dead. The same would presumably be true for her son.
Carenf learned most of what she knows about who/what she is from Victor Strife back in New Orleans. The same man that later abducted her nephew. Carenf’s training was never completed and she didn’t know how to interpret Victor’s last transgression. Clearly Victor took the boy to keep him from the other. But why, exactly?
All of this explains why Aricame was smothered. His parents were fearful for his safety, but they also harbored one other, deep-seated fear: what if their son was Dark? Victor had taught Carenf that Champions of Light and Dark could give birth to Champions of the other side. Was their nephew Light? Was that why Victor took him? Would they ever need to put their own child down? It was a thought too unbearable to entertain. Instead, they tried to shelter the child, limiting his exposure to outside influence as best as they could, hiring the best tutors and coaches to educate and train him at home rather than losing control over him in the public schools. They prepared their son to win the inevitable battle, the fight for his life.
Like all children of a certain age, he rebelled. Longing for freedom, he ran away to Los Angeles at the age of 14. He immediately found work and housing at the docks in San Pedro (following in his father’s maritime footsteps) and began to build a life for himself. Initially hurt, the abandoned parents allowed themselves to wonder if the move was for the best. Those 14 years had been turbulent and littered with outbursts as powers were being tested. The parents decided they would keep tabs on their offspring from a safe distance.
With each passing year, as death draws near
It’s easy to succumb to fear
Because wherever you are
The stars are oh so so far