CHAPTER 17 – I
Moments before Carenf’s demise, an urgent letter was delivered to Aricame’s home. Alone, Aricame sat on his couch and began to read:
Hello, my dearest son,
The reason for this letter will soon become clear. I have been withholding information from you and now it is time that you knew. I told you that Victor Strife trained me and helped me to tap into my Champion nature. What I didn’t tell you was that he kidnapped your cousin, your Other, soon after you were both born. This Other’s name is Stievo, and he is the one you met in Berlin – as I am sure you have pieced together. Victor raised and trained Stievo to be your equal, maybe even your better. His motives kept me up at night for years.
I was able to track down Victor in 1933. I watched from afar as he trained and taught the child, yet I could never ascertain a reason for this because Victor is very cunning and evaded me. I decided to leave him and Stievo alone because…I hoped to never admit this to you…I didn’t know if I was raising the next Champion of Light or if he was. I am so so sorry, my son. One’s true Champion nature can remain obscured for decades by their human self. I needed more time.
That time has come. Geryman’s reappearance means I had to take a chance. I contacted Victor and asked for his help. He knows more about our kind than any other human and he might be able to prepare you for your battle with your Other. Continue to learn from him, but be cautious. After all these years, I still do not understand his motives.
Light or Dark, you will fight. And when you do, you must do so to the utmost of your abilities. Kill Geryman. Then confront Stievo. I pray that the Light will prevail. If it does not, billions will suffer.
I love you
A cascade of emotion and energy flowed through Aricame, lifting him into the air before landing him onto the living room floor. At that moment, he felt the murder of his mother. He immediately understood that the Championship power of his mother had been transferred down to him, instantly making him perhaps the most powerful being on the planet. He had always assumed he would follow in his mother’s footsteps as the leader of Light. Now he didn’t know. He felt hopelessly lost. One thing he knew for sure: whether he was Light or Dark, he was powerful.
Held back, fade to black
Can’t cry, won’t try
No time to wallow in this hollow
I say hello and goodbye in equal measure
Yet it’s the latter that I mostly remember
As I try to spend more time in the present with you
I hope for peace when our time is through