Aricame had half a mind to vaporize his ass! For four years he left Stievo alone even though he could have easily erased him from the face of the earth (along with thousands of other human lives, but that was beside the point). Now!? Out of nowhere!? Stievo was holding people in detention that Aricame felt responsible for, and up and down the west coast pressure was mounting for Ohrmazd to turn himself in. Needing a strategy to counter this transgression, he met with his father. Glendan first needed to calm his son down. Too much anger would cloud good judgement. After slowing his son’s heart rate substantially, Glendan assessed the situation: “From the Great Lakes to the Gulf, a Firen Curtain has descended across the country” (he then clarified that “firen” was Old English for violence, suffering, crime, and sin). It was now clear to Aricame that he had been avoiding his responsibility these past few years. He was well-intentioned, but negligent nonetheless. His Other would not be a peaceful cohabitant so long as they both drew breath. Though still unwilling to use his greatest power because he lacked the control over it to spare innocent life, Aricame knew it was time to counter. Father and son devised a plan.

Aricame sat comfortably on the floor in his home, closed his eyes, took in a large breath, and released. For the first time he invited his co-Champion into a shared mental space. Stievo accepted. This first meeting would be brief, yet pregnant with potential:

Two prize-fighters, sitting in their corners
No spectators or writers, only mourners
Intensity in the gaze; let it hold, let it burn
Intentions unclear; wait and see, wait your turn
Frozen in place, neither daring to act
An about face, a future time to react

The connection was mutually severed without a word or movement exchanged. After returning to the physical realm, Aricame got to work. When he had Stievo telepathically engaged, part of Aricame’s psyche went digging for treasure. Stievo’s mental defenses were immense so Aricame could not burrow very deep. He was unable to access direct thoughts or memories themselves, but was able to capture snapshots: work correspondence, memos, things that Stievo did not hold tightly as they were less personal. He jotted down all the names, numbers, and code words needed to give orders to the leaders of the Chicago FBI offices. He also delved into Stievo’s official notebook and recorded all illegal interrogation tactics used against “Voila” Cocks and quickly drafted a letter to the same newspapers that Stievo had utilized to smear Ohrmazd.

By that afternoon, all the co-conspirators in Aricame’s plan had been released on “Stievo’s” orders, and the following day newspapers ran headlines of the FBI’s mistreatment of prisoners, thus discrediting the esteemed agent and limiting law enforcement’s ability to arrest the accomplices once more. Aricame had freed the people he had put in harm’s way and turned public attention away from criticisms of his own actions and toward his opponent.

That night Aricame rested his head on his pillow feeling quite pleased with himself. The plan he and Glendan had concocted went off without a hitch. He closed his eyes and began to drift off to sleep…eyes flash open as he shot up in bed, muscles tensed and sweat surfacing on his brow. What if it was too easy?

Anticipation of confrontation
Tight chest. Clenched fists. What next?
Heed breath. Breed words. Feed communication
Relax…you took it out of context