“Well son, let’s talk.” The last several hours since meeting on the train had been a whirlwind. Now it was time for father and son to catch up. Geryman had never received an education into his extraordinary nature. Of course he knew his whole life that he was different – that he had abilities that most did not. And then while being locked up all those years ago he learned from Carenf and Glendan just how select, how special, his gifts truly were. He was one of two Champion of his generation. Was it his fault that he was born Dark to Carenf’s Light? Hadn’t he truly struggled to be good/just? Yet he was imprisoned. He was a Champion of Humanity, and yet he was treated as subhuman. He spent those twenty-one years exploring the limits of his abilities, never knowing their purpose, leaning into the thrill of power (and madness) that they brought.
The full depth of Stievo’s talents had not yet been tapped, yet he was steeped in the lore of his existence. He had purpose, a reason for being. As part of a millennia-long lineage, he was taking the human race somewhere, and bringing the entirety of life on the planet along for the ride. He also knew that his father had started the war that had scarred a generation. He knew that his mother died in childbirth. That’s not all – his parents were siblings (though that was rationalized away a bit by the fact that his father was something more than human). Stievo had every reason to assume that he was the next branch on the Darkness Family Tree. That said, Victor Strife had also taught him that each generation received a 50-50 chance at Light vs Dark. His father was on the ass end of that coin flip. Stievo still didn’t know yet what his role was and he chose to keep a cautious front. It was clear that Geryman’s mental state was unstable, and Stievo did not want to give his father any reason to turn on him.
They exchanged stories of their respective abilities: mind manipulation, energy transference, super-human strength, control over material objects, physical regeneration. These abilities presented at variable times and with variable strength, but both Geryman and Stievo knew they could be harnessed to much greater effect. “It’s time we flex some muscle,” Geryman said with a grin.
The color of our eyes and what they see
From nature then comes nurture
How far back was determined our destiny?
Are we the editor or the writer?
Stievo couldn’t deny that he was drawn to his father’s power. He provided the answer to so many questions, filled in so many holes. Stievo was exhilarated, intoxicated. While drunk on this power, he would soon do what he thought he was incapable of doing. Geryman led them to Pioneer Square in downtown Portland. Poised in front of the courthouse the father threw his hands to the sky and directed a flock of pigeons into nearby power lines. He then thrust his hands toward the sparking cords and sent them directly into the engine of a tank truck. Immediately there were sparks, and seconds later, the entire vehicle exploded with a force that knocked all but father and son to the ground. As flames surrounded the town square, again Geryman’s hands forced the flames in every direction, licking up the sides of trees and buildings, setting everything within sight ablaze.
The show of strength was thrilling. Stievo felt his purpose in that very moment of unadulterated power and aggression. Before he knew it, he was joining in, forcing beams to crack and rescue hoses to run dry. As the destruction spread and cries for help found no audience, the two Champions stood in the center of a ring of fire. They represented the eye of the firestorm. They were united by blood.