Tarrlok sacrificing himself
Sins of the Father
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Release date

July 18, 2013

Sins of the Father

I had always loved the wind. From an early age it had found a home in my heart, the way the cool breeze blew across my face, the sound of it moaning in sadness. Every storm that blew through the pole found me out on the frozen tundra relishing the cold touch of the air. Even my family, as loving as they were, thought I would kill myself out in the storms, but that was where I felt most at home—where I felt safest. The winds had stories to tell from afar, and I was always eager to listen. I grew up, and I moved to the city, away from my beloved arctic winds. But I never forget my childhood love. There in Republic City, I found consolation in even the gentlest flurries of air that blew through, and storms of a different nature. Time never changed that.

"Do you remember our dear father?" I asked my brother.

His back was to me, his arms fast at the wheel of the boat. He had said he was taking us to freedom. Freedom and a new life.

The weight shifted under his feet. "Of course," he said, tensing up at the mention of Him, "What of Yakone?"

If the feeling of the boat cresting the swollen waves of the sea wasn't already enough, the mention of that almost forgotten name made me shudder.

"Do you remember when he told us the story about the wind?"

There was a moment of silence, and if I wasn't mistaken, I heard the faintest chuckle rumble in my brother's chest.

"What, of the wind so cold, that it froze entire lakes in seconds with a deafening crack?"

I smiled the ghost of a smile, "Yes, the wind so cold that trees exploded and birds fell out of the air, like hailstones in the artic. The wind of death that tore across the countryside, completely unpredictable, save for the unmistakable howl that announced its arrival." Our father's words resounded within me. "Do you remember what father said of it? The howl?"

For the first time since casting off, Noatak turned to look at me. His mouth curled up in a grin, a smile of remembrance. "He said the wind was like a thousand blades scraping on glass and ice, on metal and on rock. The sound threw you off your feet if you were standing, and made you vomit and cry. He said the sound made people want to jump into the sea to escape it, for it carried through walls, and if the sound didn't kill you, the cold would turn you into a human icicle before long."

"It was the kindest story he knew," I smiled again, surprising myself.

"But that never changed who he was, brother." Noatak said. With that he became silent again and turned back to face the seas and the cool ocean breeze, and once more, we were left to our thoughts.

It really never did change him, I thought. And it never changed who we became to be either, Noatak and I. We went our separate ways, yes, but each path was overcast by our father's malevolence. His influence was limitless, for it was within us, and we were much the same monster as he—Noatak with his reform under the banner of Amon and the Equalists, and I with my insatiable lust for power and manipulation of others. I supposed we were destined to carry out his work, one way or another.

"You're right," I said. "It never did change who he was, even if his intention was good at the time," I thought of the terrible long years we lived in fear of him, of his madness. "And it never changed who we became either, Amon. You and I followed in the footsteps of the man we swore we would never become. We are dangerous."

The sins of the father had passed on to the sons with as much resistance as rain into the earth, and we had sprouted and grown by His poisoned nourishment. Time worked only to bestow us with more potent and devious means for doing our work, not changing our personalities. Our psyche remained unchanged, for we were His sons. Time gave us wisdom, and wrinkles, but it did not, could not take away the taint that ran through our blood. Time could not do that.

"Put that behind you, brother," Noatak said. "We are who we are. The two of us together, there's nothing we can't do."

"Yes, Noatak."

I feared to imagine what we could be capable of together. We were twice the mind of our father, and thus, twice the power. Our father was the puppeteer, controlling us just as easily in death as he had in life. Sadly, it seemed, I was the only one willing to cut the strings that made us dance like wooden marionettes devoid of free will. If I didn't sever our ties with Him, I feared to imagine the suffering we would impart on the world.

To my left I noticed a glove, tucked away in an open compartment. It was one of the Equalist weapons. My fingers slowly found the rigid metal form, cold against my hand. There was a payment demanded for past wrongs, and I planned to deliver. I delved deep within myself. The sins of the father would pass on to the sons no more. The act was over. Let the crimson curtain fall upon our stage of life, and let fall with it the our manipulated figures, free at last.

"Noatak," my brother mouthed. "Hmph, I had almost forgotten the sound of my own name."

Two tears graced my weathered face. One for each of us, I supposed. "It will be just like the good old days."

The good old days, I thought. Before Time had led us down this horrific path in life. Before Time had laid us to rest in its mausoleum of all hope and desire. There was no going back. We were His sons and we carried His faults within us. There was only atonement ahead. The good old days were gone. Forever.

Author's notes

  • The storm mentioned is influenced by the starkblast in Stephen King's novel, The Wind Through the Keyhole, Dark Tower IV.V.

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