CHAPTER 16 – I
Supernova – end of an age
Leaves me at a disadvantage
My Other now reinforced
What next is action’s course?
Stievo knew immediately that his father had succeeded in killing Carenf. Then the sense of immense power being bequeathed fell him to his knees. After some initial discombobulation, he soon understood that his Other, Aricame, was the beneficiary of all the power that Carenf had left to give. Though it was clear to him that his own powers were left unaltered, he was now in a weaker state relative to his rival. Aricame held the advantage.
When Geryman returned home, he told Stievo of the battle:
It was too easy, she was ready
To die and to end her part in the story
She remained largely human, denying her glory
Whereas I embraced my crown, objectives steady
I felt what you felt, the passing of the baton
She trusted that her heir can now carry it on
Stievo’s mind raced: Did that mean that Aricame was a Champion of Light (making himself the Champion of Dark)? Did Carenf know this, and is that why she so readily succumbed to her Other? Or did the energy transfer simply move from parent to child, regardless of the side of the fight they belonged? Assuming that Geryman did not know the answers to these questions, Stievo decided to keep these thoughts to himself.
Geryman’s thoughts had already moved on to the next items on his agenda. Dealing with Aricame would have to wait. There was still some unfinished business to tend to first – family business. The older brother was eager to show off his improved talents to Glendan. Unfortunately for him, Carenf must have taught her husband a few tricks of her own. For a mere human, Glendan was showing some advanced mental acuity in alluding detection from Geryman’s telepathy. Weeks passed, and every time Geryman thought he had honed in on Glendan’s whereabouts, the signal was lost; the trail went cold. Glendan had fled to the islands off of Seattle, taking with him as many people as he could; folks who wanted to flee the carnage of the mainland. It became a continuous game of cat-and-mouse with Glendan continually evading capture as death fell from the sky all around him.
Frustrated, Geryman gathered with Tayli and Janifer to discuss consolidating their stronghold in the northwest so that they could then launch their greater campaign for dominance. Geryman wanted to give them both missions to accomplish while he maintained his singular focus on settling Glendan’s debt. Carenf’s death had sent the government into disarray and it was decided that now it was up to Tayli and Janifer to expedite the decay. Two decades ago they had formed an alliance with the opposite side of this war. Now, the two traitors had formed a counter tripartite to bring the region to its knees. Once again, Seattle would become a fiery, smoke-filled cauldron of carnage.
Air does not simply rest atop land
Pressure shall apply, support to receive
Where the two shall meet, do perceive
For that which lies between is truly grand