What the hell am I supposed to do now?
I’m immortal. I’m a Force of Nature. Chosen to bring balance to the world.
What the fuck does that mean?
There’s no manual to all this shit. No one around anymore who can point me in the right direction or make sense out of the mess I’m in now. No one.
Not since Jess left.
Her departure left a gaping hole inside me.
The loss of not having her near, of watching her, being close. And more than that, the deprivation of another being who knows exactly what I’m going through.
Sure, there are people around me. Day—and if I want—night. But they are only fleeting placeholders. Distractions. They have no idea what it’s like for me. They can’t answer my questions. They don’t know how I feel. And how terrifying all this is.
What if I don’t measure up to what is expected of me? And how can I, if no one tells me what the hell it is I’m supposed to do?
I feel empty.
Do I really have to go through all this crap alone?
There are more like me.
Four more, to be precise, including Jess.
But I don’t know the others. Don’t know what they’ve been through and how they’ve come out of it all. Fuck, I don’t even know where to find them. Not even where to start. The Watchers won’t tell me. After all we’ve been through, a lot of them still hold on to their age-old beliefs that the Forces should be separated and that we should not find each other. They still believe that it would mean the end of the world; the Apocalypse.
They won’t help me find them. Not all of them anyway. Jess’ clan is more open to my requests. I guess they are the most progressive of all of them. But they can’t help much. They don’t know where the rest are.
I have nowhere else to go.
Well, that’s not completely correct. There is one place; Spirit’s Bay. That’s where Jess found some of her answers. Okay, not the ones she wanted, but still answers. Maybe I should go there. But not now. Not yet. Even the mere thought of meeting Mother Nature scares me to the bone.
If nothing else works out, then I can always go there.
I will one day.
Just not now, not yet.
First, I have some loose ends that I need to sort out.
Things from my old life.
I was back in Hawaii. My home turf.
It felt strange. Really strange. I was born here and experienced a great childhood to start with. My parents were wealthy, and I had everything I wanted. As the only child I was spoilt. Not just in a material way, they flooded me with love. I felt safe.
Native Hawaiian and Polynesian culture were a big part of my upbringing. My father instilled a pride in me for my heritage, one that I have embraced and continue to explore—even now. We were active members in the community and my dad even ran for office once. Not that he would be able to actually fulfil the obligations. His extensive criminal record prevented anything like that.
My father was a criminal clan leader. He led one of the underground splinter groups that flourished with the revival of the Hawaiian and Polynesian culture. Our wealth came from extortion, illegal firearms and smuggling.
The National Indigenous Act provided the native population the legal basis for self-control of the Island, practically rendering us self-regulatory. Though this was generally a good thing, it had a darker effect in that the criminal elements within our population were basically above the law. The law favoured the indigenous people. All of them; including the criminals.
The foreign gangs were hunted down by the police and for the most part banished from the islands. All except the Triads. These Chinese gangs were too strong and powerful to get rid of. The new government sat down with the Mountain Master of the Hawaiian Sun Yes Wo Triad and hammered out an “Understanding” as they called it. It was no more than a set of rules that the two parties would adhere to. The triad would stay within specific boundaries and, as a result they would be left alone. It was a play of weakness by the authorities, and everyone knew it. The Understanding and the National Indigenous Act had the effect of concentrating all illegal practices into two pillars; the Sun Yes Wo and the Native criminal clans. There was relative peace for three years. Then cracks started to form in the tentative status quo. All the way up till the whole thing erupted.
I remember the day that my mother was killed as if it was yesterday.
My life changed dramatically. Everything my father and I did from that moment onwards was centred around revenge. Revenge for the death of my mother, revenge for the enormous pain that we felt. She was the light in our lives. My father’s reason for living. We started on a violent road that could only end in more bloodshed and loss. Our clan openly fought the Triads in a bloody war that lasted four long years. We were oblivious to the decimation of our troops, the systematic murder of our soldiers. All we could see was revenge. ‘The Mountain Master must die. Then I will be able to sleep’ was all my father could say. He was obsessed. And he dragged me down into the pool of death and debauchery with him.
We were the minority; outnumbered ten to one. But still we fought. My father rallied his men and attacked again and again. There was no stopping him.
The outcome was inevitable. There was no way we could have won. Not even with the single-minded dedication that pushed us forward. We were doomed. It was just a matter of time.
The end came on a dreary day in April. Once again, we embarked on a mission to lure the Mountain Master out of his bastion. My father and his brothers captured the Triad boss’s wife and two of their children earlier in a daring and vicious attack on the children’s school. The brutality with which he treated the family was too much for me, and slowly I came to see that my father had lost his mind. Revenge and pain consumed him. There was nothing left of the man he had been—of the father I knew. The obsession devoured him and expelled any smidgen of empathy.
He sent some of the prisoner’s extremities to the Mountain Master in individual boxes. Every day one more part.
It made me sick. I couldn’t go on with this. It went against everything that I was. Everything that my mother taught me and that my father stood for before she died. Family. That was the most precious—holy even—thing in the world and he was violating this to the extreme. Family was out of bounds. It always had been. My mother was a casualty of a mission gone —an accident. Collateral Damage. What he was doing was calculated, deliberate. I tried to reason with him, tried to stop him from committing these atrocities, but he pushed me aside. He accused me of forgetting her. Of betraying my birth right. It cut me to the bone.
They came on the fourth day after the kidnapping. So many triad soldiers led by their leader the Mountain Master. He came personally, with his two eldest sons. All hell-bent on slaying those responsible for the brutality that had been bestowed on his family. In a short moment of sanity my father ordered me to leave, to save myself. I refused. He hit me—hard. My unconscious body was bundled into a dingy and his trusted advisor rowed me to safety on my father’s orders.
The Mountain Master’s retribution was brutal. My father’s death was drawn out. He must have suffered tremendously. The clan was decimated. Few managed to escape and go underground. Others were executed where they were found. A major man hunt was initiated to find me; the heir. The Triad followed us to the mainland, where we managed to disappear. I was fifteen. Orphaned. In a strange country where I knew no-one except Peni, my father’s advisor. Even that didn’t last. The Triads found us and killed him. I escaped with two bullets buried in my arm and shoulder, and a renewed hatred for the organisation that had taken everything from me.
In hindsight, I understand that it had been my father’s actions that wrecked our lives, not the Triads. Sure, they made the first mistake. They accidentally killed my mother. All the crap from then onwards was on our tab. My father’s and later mine. He taught me well; I inherited his anger, his determination and his obsession. It dominated my life for more than twenty years. Revenge. A double-edged sword. Cutting me as much as it cut my enemies.
And yet here I was again.
Back in Hawaii. Back home. Back in the vicious circle of revenge and retribution. I needed closure and violence was the only way I knew how.
Back to square one.