The Guardian/Jaffa

Jaffa’s bedroom would have told anybody what kind of person he was. There were books everywhere and the titles were those that only a true academic would be interested in. Physics, psychology and philosophy were well covered and there were also more than a few piles of mathematical books lying around.

The walls had several posters on them illustrating Jaffa’s main interest - space. There were pictures and diagrams of the moon landing and the mission to Mars, the Noah’s Ark III expedition and the United Nations Solar Sortie.

Aside from the books lying all over the place, the room was immaculate. No mouldy pieces of bread in the bin, no half-drunk cans of cola. There weren’t even any dirty socks under the bed!

The room was well-aired and well-lit with plenty of windows and a skylight over the neatly made bed. A window-seat looked out over the manicured gardens of this white-fenced house set in the middle class area of Bellevue Valley.

This home was shared by Jaffa’s parents - Sheila a medical receptionist and David, a sales rep. An over fed and spoilt pug dog that answered to the decidedly unmasculine name of Perky completed the family.

Jaffa was the apple of his mother’s eye and when she wasn’t feeding Perky the best-chopped steak that money could buy she would spend time (and more money) on Jaffa and his obsession with space.

The two of them would go up to the Observatory in Lakeview for a look at the latest exhibition and Sheila would marvel at her son’s vast knowledge of what was out there in the deep dark beyond.

A tradition on the way home would be to stop for tea at the famous Bogarde’s tearoom where Sheila would show Jaffa off to her bridge player friends.

Jaffa and his mother got on famously and he was great company for her when her husband was away selling insurance to little old ladies who didn’t know any better and who would part with their life’s savings just because this lovely man told them to.

David also loved his son and the two of them would spend weekends together on the roof looking at the stars and planets that hovered above them.

Jaffa enjoyed his life. He was pampered as an only son would be and he loved the attention he thought that many of his classmates missed out on. Poor Martin for example was always being overlooked because his brother Bray was the golden boy of that family. Jaffa had no such worries. No sibling rivalry for him!

Somewhat of a nerd and very much an academic, Jaffa kept himself to himself at school. He kept his head down and got on with the work that he actually found was far too easy for him. He longed to have his mind stretched and he would spend his lunch hour in the library looking at encyclopaedias and the teacher’s reference books.

The school bell at the end of the day was always a welcome sound and Jaffa would sit at the front of the school bus next to the teacher, eager to get home ass fast as possible so that he could go and read some more and make notes on the movements of the stars.

One sunny afternoon Jaffa was called out of class by a worried headmaster, pushed into a taxi and sent to the hospital to say his farewells to a suddenly terminally ill father.

Jaffa couldn’t understand what was happening to him - that morning his father had been his usual happy self as he went out the door and now here he was, lying in this cordoned-off ward with some of the sickest people that Jaffa had ever seen.

What was going on?

Ward 27 was dark and dank with the smell of death and David looked so out of place in the creaky old hospital bed.

Jaffa held on tightly to his mother’s hand and they looked on in disbelief and growing horror as David drew his last few breaths.

Sheila couldn’t understand how her husband could have gotten so sick so quickly but she was ushered away from the ward as she started to ask too many questions.

Jaffa and Sheila sat side by side that night alternately sobbing and asking why and how such a terrible thing had happened.

During the next few weeks more and more people in the neighbourhood started to disappear and there were alarming news articles regarding the Virus that was ripping families apart.

Jaffa was trying hard to be strong for his mother but as each day passed he grew more and more depressed. He would attempt to focus on his work at school but grew disinterested. How could he just get on with life when his whole world had been torn apart?

At home life was no better. Sheila was in the depths of despair and was paranoid that she would suffer the same fate as her husband. She would stare at herself in the mirror for hours and try to find any telltale sign of the Virus.

It wasn’t long before she found something. She screamed for Jaffa one evening as the sun was setting and he found her crumpled to the floor of her bathroom clutching a bloodied tissue in her hands.

Her nose wouldn’t stop bleeding and her skin was blistered and swollen. She was hysterical and her screams sent shivers up and down Jaffa’s spine. The ambulance took forever to come and during that time Jaffa’s sanity took a dive. He retreated into himself as he held his mother in his arms and pretended that he was somewhere else, somewhere far away, on another planet. A planet that was untouchable by this Virus.

After his mother died Jaffa continued to go into school. He had nowhere else to go and the routine gave him some source of comfort.

It was at around this time that his classmate Martin had started to behave a little strangely and Jaffa found himself becoming drawn to this lost and angry soul.

Martin had moved out of the family home and was living in a disused warehouse. Jaffa soon moved in and the two of them started to direct their anger at the world into a way of life. Martin changed his name to Zoot and the two of them started to gather more lost souls as time passed.

Power and Chaos would be the only way that they could get through this nightmare and as Jaffa said goodbye to his old life he found that he finally had something to look forward to. The Locos would be his new family. Zoot would be his leader.

As the newly christened Guardian it was Jaffa’s job to make sure that the tribe was strong and that only the right kids were allowed to join. The Guardian was Zoot’s right-hand man and made sure that nobody would get close to the leader of the Locos.
But this was to be a partnership damned from the very beginning…. Power and Chaos? Nothing but!