Age of Ember beta
Chapter 10: Dark Past Connect
After a long embrace Odrian decided to ease off of Verona and tell her a little bit about himself. In a sudden thought, he felt as though he wanted to get some things off his chest. This was contrary to what he often displayed to others as his smile was never genuine. Her pain was certainly familiar to his as his power was also considered too much for many. In some sense he had long betrayed his inner self but it was now where he found a semblance of comfort in a complete stranger.
"My past is also covered in blood,” Odrian admitted, then placing his hands on his head thinking of where to start.
How did he want to communicate this to her? Most of all, how much did he want to tell? All while Verona sat in front of him listening intently to whatever he had to say. She had forgotten the feeling of being a person, rather than the object of someone’s affection. After a few minutes of contemplating Odrian decided to tell it all, not missing a detail:
"It started from elementary school up until middle school… I used to be the only fat person in my class. Actually… Before me the word fat was hardly ever used to describe someone, it was just for monsters, meat and some items."
In elementary school Odrian about twice the weight of the average child and no one in his home could figure out why. Ziggy couldn't understand how this was so. He fed Odrian no more than Sarah or Landon but no matter what Odrian was always gaining more weight. Many nights would pass where he would cry about his weight. He was often ridiculed and made fun of, even Landan got into fights to defend his brother’s honor. He often felt like a disappointment to his parents who had come from a powerful lineage. Even as they aged they had never necessarily lost their physique. The feelings of worthlessness seemed to take hold of him on a consistent basis.
As the nights tormented Odrian, he would sometimes cry himself to sleep beating into his pillow, asking why must he be different. It was one late night when Sarah walked into his room while he was breaking down. As he looked over at her direction with teary eyes, Sarah told Odrian that he was amazing and everyone was wrong about him. She shared a lot of his struggles. And also their hair was unruly and never straight, which required a lot of maintenance to fix. Her darker skin complexion also drove her into a corner until she realized her skin color was only skin deep. The color of your skin had little merit to what being cute or beautiful. Odrian remembered another thing she had said on one of those nights of healing. What she had said was one of the few reasons he kept going and believed there was hope:
"Odrian, you couldn't be more perfect! And… I couldn't ask for a better looking brother than you. We may not be blood-related, but for you, I’d lay my life down for you."
Odrian’s eyes lit up a little bit when he had realized that his sister was looking after him, instead of him looking after her. Sarah would come to be the rock in Odrian’s corner throughout his struggle to accept himself. But behind the door that night, Ziggy, Landon and Sabrina were outside the door listening. Landon was sitting with his back against the door and head up. He was also crying for the fact that this was one of the few times he knew he could do nothing to help his little brother. Ziggy and Sabrina were compelled to find out why Odrian's weight was different from them and they wouldn’t rest until they discovered why.
Back in their room, Ziggy discussed the solution with Sabrina and after much deliberation they agreed on what they would do. Ziggy said he would reach out to Kroxx for any information about Odrian’s condition. Sabrina agreed to travel to do research at the World Archives at the other end of the world. The journey would be dangerous, but the love of a parent always proved to overcome. When the time came for Sabrina to leave, Ziggy looked Landon deep in his eyes: “
“Stay strong and hold down the fort while we get answers for your brother."
From that point on years would pass, Sabrina was never home and Ziggy would only show up at night to cook dinner and cook breakfast early in the mornings. He would also help them train then he would be off again to conduct more research. It was around the start of middle school that Ziggy received a phone call from Sabrina and Kroxx, yelling out the same thing:
"I got it," They all decided to meet up at the FAA in Kroxx's private office to discuss everything they had learned. Things turned out like no one would've guessed.
“His power restraints?” Ziggy was quite baffled by their findings. All these years of searching only for it to rest on a device that was meant to regulate their son’s power.
Everyone’s forux burned a decent portion of their caloric intake, which kept everyone in shape. However, Odrian's body craved more energy than he could gain access. His metabolism had slowed down to the point that no energy was ever burned. With this it served as a way to bottle up any existing calories which made him look fat. But the truth was it was built up power waiting to take form. After finding out this information Ziggy and Sabrina both rushed home and told Landon and Sarah what they learned. Ziggy spoke enthusiastically:
"We have to get him to a point where his body can handle more power!"
"It's the only way he will ever cut down,” Sabrina followed up in a mature manner. “We all have to train with him until he can manage it."
Ever since then, Odrian’s training became much harsher than he was used to. He was always out of breath and couldn't push any further but everyone kept encouraging him to continue. He learned that giving up was never any acceptable option. After a full year he was close to the ideal weight but it was the last few pounds that remained stubbornly.
One day while Odrian was in school some students decided to pick on him while Landon and Victor wasn't around to lend him a hand. They were on a field trip for honors students. Sarah was in charge of the trip planning committee and wasn’t present either. It was the perfect day to pick on him and have no worries for those students. They had been planning for this moment for a while. They pushed him around and said anything they believed would hurt him. Odrian tried to not have their words reach him.
"You’re so slow and worthless!"
"Look at you, the ugliest person around! Go back into the hole you came from."
They continued hurling insults at him until finally those malicious words pushed Odrian to an extreme.
"Wait until we get our hands on Sarah! We’ll totally make her ours!"
Odrian blacked out suddenly after those words were uttered. The last thing he recalled was the bottled up anger he had inside. He had forgotten everything that happened. He felt weakened and thought about how he couldn't protect anyone close to him. Sarah would be in danger if he couldn't become stronger. It was this moment where he had felt absolute hopelessness without the company of those that could defend him. He was on his own.
All the bottled up energy inside Odrian unleashed in a blinding, purple flame that engulfed the school. As quick as the blinding light had appeared was nothing but scattered ruins throughout where the school once was. Charred bodies were scattered for those who weren’t eviscerated by the all-consuming fires, among them were much of the school staff alongside the principal, who were supposedly immortal. Needless to say, all students that day had been killed. Odrian was in the epicenter of the ruins, indicating his fatal hand in all of this.
The remaining students and staff arrived back at school seeing nothing but the utter destruction that laid waiting for them. Landon quickly hopped off of the school wyvern and into the ruins looking for Odrian. After searching through the chaotic labyrinth, he discovered a much different Odrian. He emerged perfectly fit from the release of energy, along with new markings on his power restraints. Landon didn’t press on with any questions as a rescue party quickly emerged from behind them. He simply understood what had happened and took Odrian home immediately. The day was remembered for the mystery of what had happened on a day that killed all occupants. No one else could fathom what happened, so it largely remained a mystery. It was known as the Black Event. Only Odrian and his family knew of the events that happened.
Odrian awoke at home and was told that he had to hold back the power of his forux. This once he had listened. He would always remain calm and happy, remembering the bloodshed he had caused that day. He didn’t want to kill any innocence with his great power.
Odrian finished up his story made Verona realize that her situation wasn’t the only one that was marked with sorrow. She quickly embraced Odrian holding onto him until he felt better. It was a strange feeling that someone had taken out the time to listen to him. Feeling a little happier, Odrian looked her in the eyes, remembering what she had asked earlier.
"What was it that you wanted to request?"
Her overall tone had shifted radically underneath her soft voice. There was a sense of importance that wiped away any sympathy she had for him.
"I want to be free!” She demanded. “I want to see the world with you… By your side! ”
Without uttering a word Odrian granted her request. He created a black hole on a section of her chain and severed it. The chains weren’t breakable by conventional means. He continued:
"Why don't you get dressed in some nice clothes. There’s something I want to do. Once you’re done go to the window."
“O-okay,” She wanted to ask why but she felt like she could trust him enough.
Odrian rushed down the stairs and went out the front door around towards the left and looked up at her window. She looked down, perplexed by what he was trying to accomplish.
"You ready?" he yelled.
"Yes," She replied. “Wait! For what?”
"I want you to jump out the window"
"I wasn’t chained down because I had wings! I can fly!"
Her comment was met with Odrian’s audible laughter. She had found this pleasing to know that she was able to brighten him up. He continued sincerely:
"I don't want you to fly! I just want you to jump right out!"
She didn’t understand this unusual request but she jumped out faithfully. Feeling the sensation of weightless she plummeted watching the sky quickly turn into the tree tops of the forest. Coming closer to the ground, Odrian jumped up and caught her in his arms. He landed softly on the ground, maintaining his eye contact.
"Your weight is now mines to carry."
Verona's heart couldn’t take the amount of kindness and consideration Odrian was giving her. Soon she felt tears rolling from her eyes. This feeling she could quite put together. How could a person who knew nothing of her, treat her so kindly? In some respect, Odrian was more than she could ask for. Like a light in the dark, he was as close as perfection that she could ever find. Verona had already made up her mind, she wanted him. But there were certain aspects that she couldn't quite grasp about his character.
"I know I’m not pure for your standards, but from this point I'll be yours and yours alone."
"I don't know if I'm relationship ready yet," Odrian smirked. She laughed for the first time since her childhood
"I'm part succubus and siren. I don't mind sharing til you’re ready.”
“Uh, question. How are you going to survive out here?”
She playfully rested her head on his chest with her arms were wrapped around his neck and chuckled a little.
"I didn’t have access to around the tower."
"Oh? Let me take you to your new home. We’ll come back for your things later."
This surprised her just as much as anything else that had happened today. They walked off towards Odrian’s home to begin her new life.