The First Age

Full Version: Leon Corlinson
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“Why are you using that crap one?” His companion, Jim, squinted and held his hand over his eyes to block out some of light as he looked over. They had come to port and while most were gallivanting about, Jim and Leon were too frugal, and preferred to spend as little money as they could. They took over a table a ways down the pier, but each busied themselves with their own things.

It wasn’t a perfectly shaped piece, but as it was going onto his handmade mala inspired bead chain. “Perfection is the enemy of good, my friend.” He held onto the perfectly shaped pieces for a later project. He took up a small soldering iron, its tip ground to a fine point and pressed it to the pearl, melting a small divot for his drill to bite into and run through. Leon would check his work before putting it in a small bag and repeating the process.

“Okay but why pearls? You’re about as big of a cheap ass as I’ve seen.” He said while he turned his attention away to people watch. “Frugal is the word you want, not cheap. They’re my mamá’s favorite. Plus, they’re cheaper here in the South China Sea, so why not take advantage? Besides, they each have their own little stories.” He said pondering his next piece. His face twisted in curiosity as the bead seemed to twist in on itself, seemingly pulling him in as well. “And the stories are almost as interesting as the actual piece.”

Leon gasped for air as he felt a searing heat from his cheek. More convulsing than coughing, liquid mostly clear with tones of red through it spilled out of his mouth. Restrained as he was, he couldn’t move the water from his face. He became distinctly aware that he was cold, soaked, and naked. He took notice of the three large men in the room, large tub with metal grate propped up. Heavy and quick footsteps bounced off the concrete walls and floor. The sound weighed on his conscious, ominous, inevitable… and thrilling. Mostly, he felt fear and pain, but there was a hint of excitement painted through his emotions. He survived.

Roughly he was hauled to his feet and a third, quieter but even more oppressive figure drew closer. With a practiced motion, as if kicking away a piece of trash, a boot caved in his stomach, driving out the air in his lungs. Vice like grips kept him from falling again, when his head was hauled up as the woman snatched his hair. She stared at him, like a predator stalking the herd, judging if he were the weakest one to devour.

She smiled at him; it radiated her satisfaction, pleased with whatever she saw. Leon didn’t even know when she left his vision and drove her knee into his face. “Take him to the sparring room. Teach him.”

The oppressive feeling still clung to him even when he was being led away. The last thing he recalled was her parting instructions. “Break him.”


Leon was one of the larger sailors hitting the gym. The clacking of the plates, grunts and heavily breathing, the light conversations that were being had, and the smell of hard work and sweat began more apparent to him when in between sets. He and his föður would train as amature power lifters since he was eight, their way of bonding and a chance to practice their Icelandic language. It was a habit Leon kept up all these years later. It was often a place he reminisced about kayaking through the fjords of Iceland in the beginning of his summers, or sailing a sloop during the high-seasons of late summer back in Greece.

His parents and their extended familia pushed their off-springs to be active. Rock and ice-climbing with siblings and cousins were common activites to get out of an honest day’s work. As he grew older, he found himself working with an uncle and cousin more often than continuing avoiding jobs, finding pleasure in learning the carpentry trade.


“Busted right orbital socket, broken left clavicle, bruising of the right ribs, left hip dislocated.” The frustration in the man’s voice was palpable. “But please explain why you decided it was an appropriate time to practice your switch hitting?”

“C’mon, doc, at least we left his knees alone. Besides…”

Doc slammed his clipboard on the patient’s chest without a thought, “If you say its ‘character building’, I’ll skull drag you to the Ascendancy himself.”

“Alright Doc, we get it. How long will he be out? I don’t want to let him backslide.” The overseer asked, redirecting the conversation. Her tone indicated her displeasure.

He threw one last glare at the ape of a man across from him before looking at his notes and the patient. “Twelve hours. That assumes no combative training. That would take weeks naturally.”

“That’s fine. Thankfully, it’s almost been two years. This worker cycle is almost done. Let’s go.” She turned her on heels while the two men quicken their steps to keep up.

“Don’t damage his head anymore. He’s due to report to the CoD after all.”


It wasn’t the sideways rain, nor the muted flashes of light, or the groaning of the building overhead. It was the lack of pressure. Super Typhoon Yolanda was forecast to skirt the Philippines, but the high pressure system stalled out over the South China Sea, allowing the storm to run straight over the island nation before stalling, drowning the main island and port his fleet sought safety in.

Leon struggled as he read over the data streaming into the monitoring room. The region had seen similarly powerful system over a quarter of a century prior. Leon stood in awe of the magnitude of it. This would be the definitive storm of the century.

He looked over to one of the local senior meteorologists, who returned in gaze, waiting. “Wind load will be 525 newtons per sq. ft with current ten-minute sustained values. Newer or angular buildings will fare better, but with the sustained winds and the system stalled, older buildings or those with unidentified engineering flaws won’t do as well.” He didn’t want to comment on the potential loss of life; it wasn’t his field but he understood history. This would kill thousands and a good portion of those would likely never be recovered. “Luckily there’s only so much surface heat and water vapor.” Leon mentioned quietly while turning over his worksheet, but they both knew that it was only meant to be a comfort, not a hope. “But since this system came in from the south and is moving north and eastward, the winds are in alignment with the system’s movement. The winds will be much worse once the eye wall passes by. The front right quadrant seems to be locked in on Manila.”

“Report received, thank you. Return to your station.” The senior pressed a few keystrokes to, presumably, update those at senior command. Leon returned to his assigned desk, to watch helplessly as the radar slowly spun on the monitor.


The fog seemed to help Leon during his exercise of evading capture. The sound of quick steps, the crunch of grass and brush as something moved through, and the calls of birds overhead. With the barbaric team that hounded his steps over the past few days, he knew his capture was only a matter of time. Vindictiveness spurred him on, though. The longer he made them work, he thought, the more frustrated he hoped they would feel. They would take it out on him of course, but he reveled in the thought of them suffering at her hands.

He paused momentarily at a small stream of water to hydrate, though he tried to keep his head on a swivel. ‘Okay. I should make it to the goal by tomorrow.’ The objective was simple: make it to the rally point and successfully evade pursuit. Make it to the rally point; his time in training would be complete, and he could move on in the program. He left the stream after a moment, and walked down a ways before jumping across and moving towards the west. Eventually finding a suitable thicket of bushes to hunker down for a quick rest, he closed his eyes for a few moments and allowed his thoughts to drift.

There had been quite a number of times during his time here where he thought about quitting. That was the constant message the Overseer repeated. It’ll stop as soon as he says he couldn’t handle it. It was harder to remain quiet as they peppered him in a hail of rubber balls being shot at him. What they said, that they would love pain or that they would enjoy it, was also a lie. They enjoyed inflicting it. Pain that was felt only reminded you that you were alive still. The months he was moving through the program also taught him something about himself; that he, too, would enjoy inflicting it. He understood that he would need to be stronger, smarter, and better than his targets if he wanted to get to enjoy the sensation that his trainers enjoyed.

Leon began to feel something was off. His surroundings became quiet; the bird calls had long since fallen silent and he realized he had let his guard down.

“Come out, come out, my little field rat.”


Much like his newly acquired nickname, he scurried away as quickly and quietly as he could, hoping the fog would continue to linger.


The entire team braced itself as the eye wall began its painfully slow movement. The wind rattled the reinforced walls. The metal groaned unnervingly as it resisted the howling tempest. What was terrifying, though, was the water. Water from the storm surge began to pound the walls, the sound echoing throughout the building, as another crash beat the building like a drum. The cacophony of sound and the pressure that was building inside was jarring. But panic set in when the water came in. The storm surge was much worse than predicted. Than it should be. Leon watched as the water poured in.

He knew what that meant. They all did. There wasn’t a way out. Water that high meant that the doors were submerged. There wasn’t anywhere to go. Once the realization hit, the terror set in. Then the screams rang out, followed by everyone scrambling like literal drowning rats. For Leon, time elongated. The sounds of falling water, of the terror-filled howling, and palpable fear became muted. He wasn’t calm, but also not frozen. His head was was surprisingly clear when he thought back on this event in the future.

He was filled with a boiling anger. He was so furious that everything he thought of doing during and after the service was gone. That he wouldn’t die surrounded by familial faces of bittersweet emotions of the good memories they all shared. That he didn’t get to share all the little stories he collected along with the pearls that he would share with his parents.

He felt, more than saw, something just past his reach, like when one could smell the sea but couldn’t see it. Each time he tried to touch it, it pulled away, seeming to tease and provoke. Leon’s suppressed outrage and desire for survival did not need to be goaded by some alien source. Incensed, he grabbed it and squeezed it with his intention like one would snatch a chicken to wring it’s neck.

He felt hot.



Leon moved by instinct more than thought as he pulled on threads of yellow, of red, hands clasping at the chain of beads gathered through the years. The drop in temperature wasn’t enough to distract the others from their own impending doom. Leon continued to follow his impulse and stitched together thick bundles of the colors, encouraged by the change in surroundings. ‘More. I need more.’ He chanted to himself as he continued to struggle, to keep whatever it was that he held in a choke-hold. The runs that he hastily knitted together wrapped around the building like a blanket, turning the building into a thin iceberg if one were able to see it.

Heavy knots of yellows, reds, blues, and browns followed his directions and were sent towards the skies. Leon couldn’t tell what was happening outside, but knew on impulse that whatever this thing he was doing was, it would begin to disrupt the weather aloft.

A sound unlike anything Leon knew bellowed out, shaking everyone to their core. Even he was not immune to the shock, and the power that he held escaped his grasp as he watched the ceiling cave in. Above the sky was illuminated by never-ending flashes of lights from the sky and through the view was… a devil. A massive monstrosity; a creature that towered over all the other buildings around the port. Its gaze locked onto Leon as a clawed hand rose over head. Leon could not make out details, but he knew the creature wanted nothing more than to snuff the life from him. It was then he no longer felt powerful. He felt nothing more than an insect that he could crush beneath his boot without thought.

As the hand fell from the sky, destruction came in its wake. Leon didn’t see the events as he and others were found days later buried under the rumble. Nearly half the city was destroyed. Meteorologists claimed that never had a storm been so destructive and unusual, but just as strange, the storm moved back towards the Pacific Ocean and almost immediately began to lose strength and fall apart.

In the days following, Leon kept to himself what he had caused and witnessed. By the time he and the few other survivors were able to tell the tale, any physical evidence had been swept into the sea. Besides, who would have bothered to look for anything out of the ordinary. Everyone’s memories were in shambles, and he expected no one would believe him anyway. ‘Best to keep this quiet.’


God, did he hurt. He’d been strung up by his hands for hours. His captors, as it turns out, were informed of his goal ahead of time. A ‘practical life lesson that plans blow up and intel can be leaked.’ All seven of them took their turns offering ‘character building exercises’. These were experts; they knew just how much to inflict before risking permanent damage to their worker. Leon often thought that these… animals were loyal to the Ascendancy and CCD secondarily to their needs for enhanced interrogation.

He understood that their teams would be the ones sent before any actual troops were committed to any given theater of conflict. Find sympathizers, train them, and sabotage the enemy in a plethora of ways. He understood that it took a certain personality type. During his two years of being in the program, not a day passed that he was pleased with his choices.

With a jerk, his head was lifted to face his overseer, her abyssal eyes staring into his, searching. Disgust followed a moment after before she removed her grip. “Weak.” The idle chatter from the others stopped and waited. Fear wasn’t the word for the emotion that was most prevalent, it was respect. The Overseer was a beast unto herself. She moved towards Leon’s kit, rummaging through it before retrieving his mala beads. She motioned to the group over to Leon, signaling to cut him down. Quick to comply they moved towards him, releasing him with quick efficiency and leaning him back against the tree.

He turned his gaze to her waiting. “Worker, do you know why when someone completes our program we don’t label you as one of ours? We aren’t like Vega or ZAR that once you pass, you’re in. We don’t allow reservists.” She looked towards her compatriots.

“Kill him. Make it look like a training accident.”

To his credit, Leon didn’t plead or beg. His eyes wide with shock, confusion laid plain across his face. As he turned to look at the others, their faces never changed. For all their expressions, they may have been asked to change a light bulb. He looked towards the overseer and began to seethe. His mind recalled the powerlessness he felt years ago. The towering creature cloaked in storm. He survived it and he would do so again. He recalled throughout his time with them, when he touched upon that otherworldly power. Setting fire to warm himself, only to fall sick some time after. Influencing the fog to cling to the ground longer than natural.

Many of failures of his training coincided with his inability to survive during maneuvers. He’d grown unconsciously dependent on the magic he’d began to call seiðr, a Viking age magic practice that spoke of manipulating the weaves of fate. His anger steeled himself, the imagery of the prowling giant at the forefront of his mind as he took hold of the seiðr, it’s heat tempering his will as he began to pull on the threads of colored fate and began to weave his own fate.

“You’re right. I’m neither a hero nor a warrior, like those you mentioned before.” His tone gave the others pause. Even the overseer herself waited, though more curious that taken aback. “You all keep asking me for what I think the Spets are.” A massive dark cloud began to form overhead, sheet lightning dancing through it. The men quietly looked up, their own confusion clearly exposed. The overseer, though, showed her own suspicion, realization, and the fear as she put the puzzle together.

Leon grinned predaciously, his satisfaction plain to see. “The Spets are monsters, you see. Workers are those that all they do is to work at being a monster. We are a necessary evil, you see, because sometimes…”

Leon paused, allowing the tension to build as he watched them watch him. A clear and loud snap came from his fingers as wind began to blow. Downwards. He quickly wove a small barrier of yellow seiðr over his head as the cloud bulged downward before a dry microburst fell directly on top of them.

The winds rushed onto the group, it’s tornado-force winds snapping and bending trees out from its origin point and like an air blasted bomb, the straight line winds fanned out for over two and a half miles in diameter, sending the group off, landing among the debris.

After the event had died down and the heavy cloud drifted away, he severed the rope with his power. He was well aware that his ability was something that would attract the pinnacle of the CCD. That thought, however, was cast aside for a time as he sought and found the overseer. He mirrored her movements that he’d watched for two years now.

It was patient. Intentional. Like a predator stalking its prey. His satisfaction was plain for to see as he showed her his canines. He lifted her battered body up and leaned her on a nearby fallen tree.

“Because sometimes there are jobs only monsters can do.” He crouched down and reclaimed his beads from her, before he let his smile go, his eyes filled with disgust, as if looking at an unsightly insect. “Call it in, Overseer. Call for help.”