Aricame grabbed Janifer’s limp body and swam them both over to the largest piece of wood that remained from the two destroyed boats. Aboard the makeshift raft, Aricame administered CPR and breathed life back into Janifer’s body. She coughed up salt water and blood and gasoline. Her everything burned. Once she connected her eyes with his, they both began to cry.

That moment the rage returned to Aricame’s eyes and he grabbed Janifer by the throat. His every muscle clinched, every vein popped, and he felt a rush of joy as he was about to exact revenge on Victoria’s murderer. He could have snapped her neck immediately, however he wanted to drag it out, drink in the death. Janifer clutched and scratched and kicked, and then began to relent. It was then that Aricame relaxed his grip. He knew he could kill when the time came, but now was not the time. Not like this.

(A) You helped Geryman escape. You helped him murder my mother – your friend.
You murdered countless yourself…to what end?
(J) If you don’t know the answers to these questions, then what exactly have you learned?
I, like every human for time immemorial, just wanted what I’ve earned.
(A) So this was purely about power and glory?
(J) Is there any other kind of story?
(A) How did you find us? From Geryman, or Stievo?
(J) I was delivered a letter. From whom? I do not know.
(A) Where are they now? What do they have planned?
(J) All I know is Geryman is heading to a small town in the heartland.

Janifer would not die today. Killing her would not bring Victoria back. Holding her captive would have to due for justice…at least for now. Aricame began paddling back to land. He would lock her up in Manhattan Beach and then head east. His entire life had been leading to this confrontation: Geryman and Stievo. The father and son were locked in a vicious battle of eradication. Geryman was going to die – this Aricame knew. But what about Stievo? The man was his Other. Their battle was inevitable, no? But if two Champions of Dark could turn on each other so completely and ruthlessly, was one able to be converted? Saved?

I can’t breath
A rallying cry unleashed
Miscarriages of justice
Choke the unnoticed