In the 50’s and 60’s, when the whole world pulsated with “peace and love”, David Berman joined the hippie movement, but when hippies became yuppies and raped the planet worse than their parents ever did, he moved to the Rocky Mountains and grew disillusioned with the world’s leaders that decided the fate of mankind. In his old age, David is a wizened old impotent hermit.
Redemption and Reward
On September 1990, somewhere in the Rocky Mountains, David Dusty Berman stumbled across a plane wreck and wanted to radio it in, but then his dog found Toyo Harada, the CEO and founder of the Harbinger Foundation, a non-profit organization that provided an environment where people with special abilities and talents could achieve their potential. As Dusty checked Toyo for injuries, Toyo awoke and said that he had failed and passed out again. Before the storm worsened, Dusty tied Harada to one of the jet’s broken doors, and as he dragged him to his cabin, he said that he had never left a hurt man behind before and he was not about to start.
Hours later in Dusty’s cabin, Toyo regained consciousness and asked Dusty if anyone had come for him, but Dusty told him that with the mother of all storms brewing outside God himself could not get up the mountain. Worried for Toyo’s safety, Dusty told him that his leg was broken and that it was going to hurt when he set it in place, but Toyo coldly told him to do what he had and that pain was something he knew how to deal with. Though he did not scream, Toyo passed out.
Though Dusty urged him to eat, Toyo turned his food away and said that there was no point. As Dusty walked away, Toyo exclaimed that he could not read his mind and Dusty expressed relief in a mocking tone. When Toyo warned him not to make fun of him, Dusty told him that he was just trying to cheer him up, but then said that he did not cheer up. Defiantly, Dusty told Toyo that, while he knew that he was hurt, he was acting as if he had never had to depend on anyone before and that it should not make him so uncomfortable.
Curious, Dusty asked Toyo about the bird symbol on the jet door, and he told him that it was the emblem of his Harbinger Foundation, which found special people and provided a place for them to fit in. When Dusty said that he could have used it when he was younger, Toyo added that they helped exceptional people achieve their potential. Confused, Dusty asked Toyo what he did, and Toyo replied that, at times, he had done questionable and horrible things.
When Toyo told him that, when he was six, he broke his great-grandmother’s vase with a thought, Dusty listened closely as he said that it upset his mother and father, Ishaguro Harada, who did not believe him and were tired of his breaking things and abnormal knack to answer questions before they asked them. Soon, Toyo said, his parents took him to a doctor who said he was the healthiest boy he ever examined and told his parents there was nothing physically wrong with him and that a few hugs would not hurt him. That night, Toyo continued, while his mother fumed that the doctor had no idea what they had to live with and told his father that she feared him and, sometimes, wished he had never been born, he stood outside their door and heard them. Tearfully, Toyo blew open the bedroom door and killed his parents before they killed him just because he was different.
That evening, while the storm raged outside, Dusty cleaned his shotgun on an armchair next to the fireplace and told Toyo that his story reminded him of when his stepfather beat him up and the many times he wished he would die, until one day he keeled over stone cold. As Dusty laughed at the notion that he killed his stepfather, Toyo told him that he felt a child’s rage and that he could not have killed him.
While Dusty placed a pelt on his lap, he told Toyo that he moved to the mountains after the yuppies started to rape the planet worse than their parents did and he grew disillusioned with the world’s leaders that decided the fate of mankind. As Toyo mused that the thinking of world leaders was chaotic, and that even nature made random choices that resulted in the extinction of most species that ever lived, he told Dusty he believed that his foundation could control the planet’s destiny. As Dusty laughed at the notion that anyone could control destiny, he asked Toyo if he really thought he could change things and Toyo compared himself to Moses leading his people to the promised land, but then Dusty reminded him that he never made it there.
When Dusty asked Toyo who took care of him and how he learned so much he told him that it was an added benefit of his mental abilities, which reached their full potential after the death of parents. As Toyo recalled the days that followed the murder of his parents, he said that, as he metamorphosed into something grander and learned very quickly, he realized that there was no one who could teach him or for him to emulate, and, as he quickly discovered that he was truly alone, he had to hasten his learning process.
Toyo told Dusty how, while he was in college, he grasped the essential knowledge of any professor without the encumbrance of sitting in class, and how, as his plan developed and it became clear that money was the quickest road to power, the petty, conflicting manipulations on the stock market trading floor worked for his benefit. For a telepath, Toyo said, it was like shooting fish in a barrel, but he knew he needed to find new ideas to accompany his accumulating wealth. Though NASA represented the quintessential strivings of mankind, Toyo said that, early on, the roots of their failures were too obvious and that he refused to allow himself to make the same mistakes.
The next day, while Dusty cheated on solitaire, Toyo woke up and told him that, for all his talk about wanting to change the world, he cheated at his silly card games and would rather waste his time bemoaning his fate than doing something about it. Upset with Toyo’s tone, Dusty told him that his accusation was uncalled-for considering that he saved his life, but Toyo interrupted him and sarcastically asked him if he should thank him profusely and only tell him what he wanted to hear. As Toyo’s rant rattled the dogs, Dusty asked him what his real story was and told him that all his talk about special powers sounded made up, but then Toyo levitated Dusty’s coffee cup from his hand toward him and told him not to ever doubt him.
Dusty carefully listened as Toyo told him about the early days of his corporation, which began a year after his parents’ death when he bribed Mr. Lawrence, the interim CEO of his father’s corporation, to help him take over the company from the board of directors. Within weeks, Toyo said, he was powerful enough to discipline anyone that failed him with deadly results, like the murder of three executives that lost the company three million dollars because they decided not to follow his directions. Despite his age, Toyo continued, he told the board of directors that he would run the company his way and that the unfortunate accidents they suffered should not concern them. Though the foundation had been a huge financial success, Toyo explained, it was not enough, and from that day forward, the focus of the organization changed to find other gifted individuals like him. The foundation soon established itself as a non-profit organization that helped people with special abilities and talents by providing them with an environment where they could achieve their potential, and Toyo knew he could find and develop the others who were different and they would assist him in return.
That evening, while Dusty sew the pelt into a coat, he asked Toyo if he had been able to find others like him to accomplish his goals. Mournfully, Toyo replied that he thought he had and that he believed that nothing could stand in his way, yet there he lied defeated, and, in the end, all the planning, working, and unspeakable things he had done were all for naught. While he looked over Toyo’s wounds and remarked that they were healing quickly and cleanly, Dusty told him that he was a remarkable man, but that despite the return of his powers, he could see that he was still at a distinct disadvantage. When Toyo asked him to elaborate, Dusty said that he could bet him that, throughout his whole life, he had never lost before and experienced the agony of defeat and feeling of angst that everybody else felt a thousand times by the age of ten. As strange as it sounded, Toyo told Dusty that he understood what he meant.
When he asked him to tell him about the events that led up to the crash, Toyo told Dusty about Doctor Solar, a being who thought himself to be a God that, somehow, became an energy form and followed a phone signal beam to his private jet. Troubled, Toyo told Dusty that when he peered into Solar’s mind he could tell that he was deeply disturbed, and that he was a lunatic with the power to destroy the world whose presence could threaten decades of planning on his part, but, in the end, he was too powerful even for his abilities.
Pensive, Dusty told Toyo that loosing one battle did not mean he had lost the war and that he had to keep fighting or otherwise he would become a wizened old impotent hermit like him and his dream would end. Though Dusty asked Toyo to let him go with him because perhaps he was his second chance, Toyo called him by his name for the first time and told him that he had to walk his path alone.
When Dusty gave Toyo the pelt coat he made to help him when they trekked down the mountain, Toyo said that he could sense a helicopter from the foundation flying toward the cabin. As they shook hands, Dusty told Toyo that he was the closest thing he ever had to a friend and to remember to be true to himself and not let anything get in the way of his goals, then he assured him that he would always keep his secret. As Toyo’s right eye gleamed, Dusty dropped dead on the floor, and as his dogs licked the blood that poured out of his head, Toyo said that he knew he could trust him to keep his secret and profusely apologized for killing him.