CHAPTER 13 – II
Carenf had been mayor of Seattle for nearly two decades, having been first elected in 1920. She had learned much in that time, both about governance and about humanity. About what made people tick. Their motivations and desires. Once she understood these incentives, she could determine the correct moves, often several moves ahead. Eventually she learned to benevolently wield her power to benefit the most people, to bring about the best possible compromises. But it was not always easy.
The years immediately following the war had been filled with spite and vengeance. The damage that Geryman had unleashed on the city took great time and effort to repair, and the scars would last for generations. Carenf ran for mayor on a message of healing the city, and she sincerely planned on doing just that. But early on she found herself settling grudges, punishing opponents, and placing her own desires ahead of those of the citizenry. Her inner Light nature was at odds with her base human desire for retribution. It turns out that no matter how strong her Champion powers grew, they could not fully overshadow her lizard brain. She was still very much a human being.
Recognizing the error of her ways, Carenf redoubled her Championship training. She called upon the teachings and methods that Victor Strife had taught her, adding in her own experiences during the war, all while setting aside time to simply sit, breath, and contemplate. Over time, she was able to separate her Light self from her human self, if only in fleeting spurts. It allowed her to gain a better perspective and to guide her immense power in a more positive direction.
This growth of character was not extended to Geryman, however. She had wanted him dead after defeating him on Mt. Rainier twenty-one years ago. It was her love for Glendan that kept her from killing her Other, and even so it required great restraint. In order to carry on, it was easier to compartmentalize her brother-in-law. He was Dark. She ignored his human side – the side that spared her life on that very mountain. And now he wasted away in a train car on a hidden island in the Sound. Her stance toward his imprisonment impacted Glendan as well. He had lost a bit of himself. His eyes grew softer, sadder. In time, Glendan forced himself to forget that he even had a brother.
Then, the unimaginable! For the first time since the war, Carenf had a telepathic vision of her Other: The train car…Geryman (feelings of fear; what was he up to?)…Tayli and Janifer (confusion; why were they there?)…Haiti Poe, a friend…and Micah Arun, Hanci’s brother…both people present, both captive (more fear and confusion)…A flash of light followed by darkness, two bodies gesticulating while another conducts the proceedings…the two wither and die while the conductor grows in size…Wood planks bend then break…Geryman steps out into the light where he greets two sacrificial offerings and his two accomplices…he rests a hand on Tayli, and moments later she stands…Geryman speaks directly to Carenf, across the mental connection they share during these extraordinary events, “Look at what you made me do, Carenf. You forced my hand. I will see you soon.”
The connection ended and Carenf broke into a sweat. “Fuck,” she whispered.
Ignore most of what surrounds you
It can bring both pain and bliss
Notice the world for all that it is
And weep at all you have missed