Talie crouched behind the dripping metal pipes and struggled to regain his breath. His heart was pounding and he could feel the pain power begin to surge in him
again. The harder he tried to shove it down, the more it pushed against him. He clamped his eyes shut, he locked his jaw, he inhaled the moist tunnel air
deeply through his nostrils and used his every remaining ounce of strength to hold himself in check.
He realized that he was getting closer and closer to the point where the pain power might burst out of him in a tornado of rage that would roil and spin of control and devour any last glimmer of the good light that he hoped was still contained within him. He knew that at that point, the good light would be snuffed out forever and he would finally be taken beyond the point where he could manage. And then the Mentara would have won.
No! He could not let that happen. His sisters needed him, the seraphs needed him–he had no other choice but to learn to manage the power.
He clenched his fists so tightly that his ragged nails pierced the skin of his palms. He gritted his teeth, and began to softly recite the names that Alphonse had taught him. “Obernow, Corindor, Alanta and Gorn . . . Obernow, Corindor, Alanta and Gorn.” Again and again he repeated them until he truly believed that the strange yet familiar words were the last and only thing that could save him and that maybe, just maybe there was a chance that he could channel the energy
“Obernow, Corindor, Ablanta and Gorn.”
Over and over until finally, the names of the ancient ones began to bring him the control he needed to connect with the pain power, to swirl it around within him and use it to transform the tightness in his chest, the grit in his stomach and the clench of his jaw into an intense energy and power that began to filter up through his spinal column and into his brain stem, through his amygdala and filter through the whites of his eyes.
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