Henri's Letter was written for John, Number Four, to be opened on the occasion of his death. After leaving Paradise with Sam and Six and after a close encounter with the Mogadorians in Florida, John finally decides to open the letter in a rented cabin in the mountains of Maryland Panhandle.
The letter gives details on John's childhood and parents, the surviving Garde assuming the roles of the Elders and information about Malcolm Goode, Sam's father.
- January 19
- J —
- I’ve written this letter many times over the years, never knowing whether it might be my last, but if you’re reading this now, then surely the answer is yes. I’m sorry, John. I truly am. We Cêpans who came, our duty was to protect you nine at all costs, including our lives. But as I put down these words at our kitchen table, mere hours after you saved me in Athens, I know it’s never been duty that has kept you and me together, but rather love that will always be a stronger bond than any obligation. The truth is that my death was always going to happen. The only variables were when and how, and if it hadn’t been for you, then I would have certainly died today. Whatever the circumstances of my death, please don’t blame yourself. I never expected to survive here, and when we left Lorien all those years ago, I knew I’d never be going back.
- In the time between me writing these words and you reading them, I wonder how much you’ve discovered. I’m confident you now know that I kept a lot from you. Probably more than I should have. For most of your life I wanted you to stay focused, to train hard. I wanted to give you as normal a life on Earth as I could. I’m sure you’ll find that idea laughable, but to know the full truth would have added a world of stress during an already-stressful time.
- Where to begin? Your father’s name was Liren. He was brave and powerful, and he lived his life with integrity and purpose. As you witnessed during your visions of the war, he carried out these traits until the very end, even when he knew the war was unwinnable. And that’s about all any of us can really hope for, to die with our dignity, to die with honor and valor. To die knowing we did everything we could. That was the epitome of who your father was. It’s the epitome of who you are, too, even if you don’t necessarily believe it.
- When you were just a small child, your father came around even when he wasn’t supposed to. He adored you, and he could sit for hours watching you play in the grass with Hadley (I wonder now, have you discovered Bernie Kosar’s true identity?). And while I’m sure you don’t remember much of those youthful days, I can safely say you were a happy boy. For a brief while, you had the sort of childhood all children deserve, though not all receive.
- While I spent considerable time with your father, I met your mother only once. Her name was Lara and, like your father, she was reserved and maybe even a little shy. I tell you this now because I want you to know who you are and who you come from. You come from a simple family of simple means, and the truth that I’ve always wanted to share with you is that we didn’t leave Lorien because of where we happened to be that day. Our being at the airfield, it wasn’t sheer happenstance. We were there because when the attack began, the Garde rallied together to get you there. Many sacrificed their lives in the process. There were supposed to be ten of you, though as you know only nine made it off.
- When the ten of you were born, Lorien recognized your strong hearts, your wills, your compassion, and in turn she bestowed the ten of you with the roles you’re all meant to assume: the roles of the original ten Elders. What this means is that, in time, those of you left will grow to be far stronger than anything Lorien has ever seen before, far stronger even than the original ten Elders from whom you’ve received your Inheritances. The Mogadorians know this, which is why they’re hunting you so feverishly now. They’ve grown desperate and have flooded this planet with spies. I never told you the truth because I feared it might drive you to arrogance and that you might be led astray, and there’s far too much danger out there looking for you to risk that. I urge you . . . become strong, grow into the role you are meant to assume, and then find the others. Those of you left, you can still win this war.
- The last thing I have to tell you is that we didn’t move to Paradise by chance. Your Legacies were delayed and I had begun to worry, and when my worry grew to a full-out panic when the third scar appeared—knowing you are next—I decided to seek out the one man who might hold the key to finding the others.
- When we arrived on Earth there were nine humans waiting for us who understood our situation and our need to scatter. They were allies of the Loric, and the last time we were here—fifteen years ago—they were all given a transmission device that would turn itself on only if it came into contact with one of our ships. They were there that night to provide us guidance in the transition from Lorien to Earth, to help us get started. None of us had ever been here before. When we stepped off the ship, we were each given two pairs of clothes, a packet of instructions to help us learn this planet’s ways, and a slip of paper with an address on it. The addresses were a place to start, not to stay, and none of us knew where the others were headed. Ours led us to a small town in Northern California. It was a nice, quiet place fifteen minutes from the coast. I taught you to ride a bike there, and fly a kite, and more simple things like tying your shoes, which I had to first teach myself. We stayed six months, and then we went about our way, as I knew we must.
- The man who met you and me, our guide, was from here, from Paradise; and I sought him because I was desperate to know where the others first went. But when we arrived here, the dark stars must have fallen, because the man was already gone.
- This man who met us that first day, who gave us a cultural guide to follow and who set us up in our first homes, his name was Malcolm Goode. Sam’s father.
- What I’m telling you now, John, is that I believe Sam was right; I believe his father was abducted. For Sam’s sake, I can only hope he’s still alive. And if Sam’s still with you, I ask that you tell him this information, and I hope he finds comfort in hearing it.
- Become who you’re meant to become, John. Grow strong and powerful and never forget for a minute the things you’ve learned along the way. Be noble, confident, and brave. Live with the same sort of dignity and valor that you inherited from your father, and trust in your heart and your will, as Lorien trusts in it still to this day. Never lose faith in yourself, and never lose hope; remember, even when this world throws its worst and then turns its back, there is still always hope.
- And I’m certain, someday, you’ll make it back home.
- With love,
- Your Friend and Cêpan,
(Chapter 18, The Power of Six)