CHAPTER 12 – III
Acceptance is a funny thing. With closed eyes, relaxed muscles, and full lungs, Geryman exhaled, dispensing all remaining toxins from his body. His lungs emptied and then he paused…there was no more compassion…no humanity…no weakness. The only muscles to spring to life were the ones necessary to bring a slight smile to his face. Reborn, eyelids lifted and blackened orbs took in the surroundings as if for the first time. It was not going to happen immediately; it might take time; but the new, fully-realized Geryman was going to escape from his cell.
Mere days later, Geryman received visitors. Voices addressed him through the walls of the train car. The wooden planks may have been reinforced by the energies of Geryman’s own body, but that did not mean that they were necessarily thick or soundproof (in fact, it was quite drafty in that shithole). He recognized the voices immediately as belonging to Tayli and Janifer Pompea. During the war of two decades prior, they had both been his adversaries. Tayli joined the opposing side when she took the long view and saw economic opportunity. Janifer had a shared history with Urissa and joined to advance her cause. The intervening years had not been kind to either woman. They wanted to talk to Geryman about a few things.
The former business empire of Harry Augustina had been broken up into several competing parts, with Tayli taking the lion’s share. She initially did well. Really well. But the stock market crash hit her just as hard as the rest of the country and she struggled to stay afloat. Though she persisted and the bulk of her business interests maintained, she did not see the glory that others saw – specifically Glendan and Francis. Francis was the mayor of Seattle and the toast of the state. Glendan was the owner of the most successful shipping company in the northwest. The two of them had made grand promises to her in order to gain her allegiance. Yet now when she needed a permit, or preferable pricing, or an insider’s knowledge, she was increasingly told to go through the proper channels as if she had not sacrificed for them. She told her story from her wheelchair. The one that Geryman had put her in.
Janifer’s situation took a similar course. After leading the charge to rebuild Seattle’s downtown and general infrastructure following the war, she had grown tired of government work. She continued to oversee various developments around the city, but also oversaw the influx of opium through the port of Seattle – the drug that had once ravaged the mind of her best friend, Urissa. This brought her great wealth, but also a new form of competition. As she competed against other importers, she also competed against Francis’ law enforcement and Glendan’s shipping oversight. The couple had made it clear that Janifer had been given her last chance from them, one only provided given their shared history, and that the next transgression would have severe consequences.
The two women stood/sat outside of the train car, airing their grievances to the receptive ear of their once-antagonist, looking for some guidance – assistance. Geryman listened and concocted. They had come to him because they felt boxed in, as he was. Their predicaments were different, but they each needed help to achieve their goals, and they needed to go against Francis and Glendan to get there.
Bring me each an enemy
For whom you have enmity
If you are willing to pay the toll
We three shall be made whole
To accept one’s lot in life provides perspective
Modified expectations; contentment
Internal shortcomings, external influences
Embrace life’s decisions without resentment