CHAPTER 17 – III
Glendan had been on the run from Geryman for months, owing his survival to his late wife. Glendan had taken part in Carenf’s meditation sessions and studied all of her ancient texts regarding the Champions of the past. Though he could not access the inner power that she could, nor understand the literature to the extent that she could, he still gleaned some useful insights. The most useful skill as it related to his current predicament was that for telepathic evasion. Meditation had taught him to clear the mind of thoughts that could be plucked by an intruder. Her books (and his amateur experimenting) taught him that a constant flow of whiskey would keep a hazy forcefield around his mind. The two defenses in harmony kept him alive.
Glendan was mindfully drinking one evening when none other than Hanci stumbled into his cave. Before the war, Glendan was aligned with Carenf and the rule of law, while Hanci was running an underground drug trade in direct opposition to governmental authority. There was little goodwill between the two, yet now they knew they were unquestionably on the same side. Both had once been powerful; now both were covered in mud and blood. Both were survivors.
Hanci explained to Glendan that while Geryman was focusing his pursuits on him, her own family members were being systematically picked off by Janifer’s forces. The most painful of these casualties were her twins, Rae and Ko. In hopes of protecting them, they had been sent into the mountains with extended family to avoid capture, yet they were quickly found anyway. Everyone in the party was killed while the twins were taken back to Janifer’s command center. There she could keep them under strict supervision by her own son, Evan Tim.
The two combatants commiserated over lost loved ones and decisions they wish they could have back. Glendan had come to terms with the fact that his brother was born with the seed of evil within him and that there was little he could have done for him, yet he also now recognized that he and Carenf mishandled their power after assuming ruling control of Seattle. They alienated friends, created enemies, and their indifference toward Geryman ultimately drove him deeper into the Dark and created the monster who was wreaking havoc on the region now.
Hanci, through her drug trade, had been poisoning people for years. She had come to terms with her life’s work long ago. Now, however, even she was ashamed at some of the measures she took to ensure her own safety as she fled Janifer. For example, while fleeing pursuit she dumped all of the remaining chemicals in her warehouse into the neighborhood’s water supply. This unleashed a “yellow river” of toxins throughout the community that killed Janifer’s goons, but also thousands of civilians who were unable to leave due to the burning and bombing that surrounded them.
Together they sat and drank. Regretful…mournful…and even though they despised each other, allied.
The sun does not rise in the east
Nor does it set in the west
It simply observes the spinning ball before it
Oblivious to the darkness of the rest