I didn't know if I was prepared for Jun's teachings today. Or any day for that matter. My last experience wasn't so 'pleasant', afterall. But Dion gave me a very 'inspiring' poke in the side to tell me to go ahead and quit being a coward. Basically, I had to either step forward, or let Dion's finger actually penetrate my abdomen from the pressure. He grinned at me, and I politely gave him the finger before going to meet Jun at the edge of the clearing.

I was quaking inside, afraid of what I might find when I went poking around in my past again. But...if it's gonna keep me from repeating the kind of mindless slaughter I committed last night...then I suppose I had better force myself to put as much trust in Jun as I possibly can. And fast, before I end up hurting somebody I love.

"You ready?" He asked me.

"Um....no, not really."

"Hehehe, don't worry. I'm going to try to come in with you this time and help you focus. So don't freak out on me, ok?" Jun's smile could be so relaxing, his dark eyes drenching me with their friendly appeal. I nodded slowly, and he handed me the same band that we used to connect ourselves at the wrist from last night. "Cool. Just give me a second to run a few things by Bryson, and we'll get started."

"Wait..." I said, stopping him before he walked over to Bryson's truck. "...He's...kinda 'busy' right now. I don't think he wants to talk." I tried to cover for him being gone, but who was I fooling? These kids knew Bryson for YEARS before I did. I'm sure Jun knew exactly what was going on.

"Ahhh...well, when he gets back then." He said, not letting on that he knew, even if it was obvious. "Come on. Let's get away from everybody so we can have some privacy." Jun led me off to another part of the lot, where he usually goes to meditate himself, and he began binding our wrists together like before. "Now Justin...I want you to understand something, ok? This time around, you and I are going to remain connected the entire time while you're sifting through your memories. Do you know what that means?"

"You're....gonna be able to talk to me while I'm under?"

"It's more than that, actually. I'm going to be right next to you. I'm gonna see what you see, hear what you hear. It's draining, believe me, bt I think I can hold on long enough to at least be of some help in there." Jun then brushed some of his hair back and peeked over at me, asking, "Is that alright? I wanna ask ahead of time, because...well...if there's stuff in there that you don't want me to see..."

"No. No, it's ok." I told him.

"Alright, cool. But if there's ever a time that you want me to butt out, just say the word, and I'm history. Got it?" I nodded again, and he tied the bands tight so we couldn't worm out of it during trance. "Ok, close your eyes..." He said, using his hand to cover my lids. "...Keep them closed, and sink into focus. I'll slow down a little bit so we can get there about the same time. Alright?"

"Ok..." I replied, and I began to feel myself let go of the reality around me almost instantly. It's getting easier and easier to control this thing each time. My breathing changed, my muscles relaxed, and the darkness of having my eyelids closed seemed to get darker. It was a strange feeling. Like falling asleep and waking up at the same time. Weird. Then...I heard a low rumble in the distance behind me. The growl of thunder. And the frightening roar of the Beast came BLASTING over my shoulders! I immediately jumped out of trance and opened my eyes, jerking my hand back so hard that I nearly pulled Jun over from the reaction.

"Whaaaaah! What is it! What's the matter?" He asked, startled by the sudden yank on his arm.

"It was...I don't know....just..." There wasn't an excuse that I could use to explain it. What if he comes into trance with me, and the monster is there waiting for us both? "Maybe...we should do this another time..."


"I don't think I like this. Here, take this off of me..."

"Justin?" He said, holding me still and looking me in the eye. "It's ok. Alright. I'm right here. There's nothing to be afraid of. They're just memories. The sooner you deal with your demons, the less control they'll have over you...and the better off you'll be. I wish there was a way that we could do this without 'hurting', but I'm afraid there isn't." His eyes attempted to calm me, but I found myself shaking even worse than before. "I need you to trust me, Justin. Even more...I need you trust yourself. Ok? I'm right here, I'm not gonna let you go."


"Just give me ten minutes. Just ten, for starters. Then we can take a break, come back a little later and go for twenty next time. We just need to start the process and tackle it one piece at a time. You with me?" Dammit...I couldn't keep my hands from shaking. But I nodded hesitantly anyway. "Close your eyes...and concentrate. No matter what happens...don't leave trance. Ok?"


"And don't yank my arm anymore, because....um....that hurts." I giggled a bit, and his joke took a bit of the tension off, if only for a few seconds. "Sink in, Justin. Deep. Don't force it, let your memories build themselves a home for you to walk around in. That's it. There we go." I went as deep into focus as I could, but I also used a tiny bit of my concentration to hold the anger at bay. Even though I could feel it all around me, I swallowed it whole, and tried to follow Jun's instructions as best as I could.

The movements began again. Smooth, gentle, without flaw or error. Free. I as able to easily follow his hand as we both drifted away from the concrete reality of the lot, and faded into something entirely different. I could sense when Jun turned on the juice, and he seemed to somehow match his mental vibrations to my own...actually invading my trance with his presence. At first it felt strange, as though my mind was 'full' from having two entities inside at once. But it mellowed itself out, and soon...those thoughts and feelings of mine became visible to my mind's eye.

The first thing I felt was the sensation of a cool evening wind blowing against my cheek. And when I looked around me, I was standing on my old neighborhood block, the street lights glowing to show a huge amount of litter blowing across the concrete surface. Everything was silent except for the rustle of papers around me...and I felt a hand on my shoulder. "AHH!!! JESUS!!!"

Jun jumped back. "Calm down, dude! I told ya I'd be here. Quit being so jumpy." He said, and he looked around a bit at the area. He was...standing apart from me in the trance...but I could still feel our hands bound together in real life. I looked down at my wrist and felt the cloth ribbon with my other hand...and the vivid imagery around began to blur a bit as I felt it. "Whoah whoah...Justin....you gotta concentrate, ok? You're losing it. Focus on what you see 'here', in this world. Alright?"

"Sorry." I said, and tried to suspend my belief for a while longer.

"So....this is where you grew up?" He asked.

"Um, yeah...if you can call it that." I looked ahead and pointed. "That's my house over there."

"Was your street always this dirty?"

"No. Actually, it was pretty clean. I don't know why it...." But when I looked down at the papers scattered all over the block...I saw what was printed on them. And my eyes just stared at the print blankly as I tried to look away from it.

'Missing...Justin...age 14....'

My 8th grade school picture was used, and those papers were everywhere. Blowing like tumbleweeds with every gust of wind. Then I began to see other papers as well. 'Mother accused of murdering son'....and 'Local teen dies in hospital from terminal cancer.' I could almost hear my demons laughing at me. They conspired to use these things against me hoping to hurt me. Anger me. I just closed my eyes for a moment, and tried to move on.

I walked along that dark street with Jun beside me, when he giggled outloud. "Ummm....Justin, is this one of those things I wasn't supposed to see in here?" He asked. I looked over, and on the front lawn of my neighbor's house, was a king sized bed. And on it, me and Trevor were practically eating each other alive in a passionate 69 that caused the mattress springs to squeak.

"OMIGOD! I didn't do that! I mean..."

Jun laughed. "Yeah...well this little scenario is in the back of your mind somewhere dude." I blushed furiously and tried to make the image go away. Finally, it faded, and Jun raised his eyebrow. "Dug a little bit too deep, did we?"

"I suppose you could say that. Yeah."

"Hehehe, don't sweat it, I won't tell. Besides, the LAS thing I wanna do is stroke Trevor's ego. That's Michael's job." He smiled. "Ahem....ok, so...moving on..."

We were suddenly blinded by two bright lights at the end of the street. High beams that forced us to squint from a distance. We stood there for a moment in silence when the memory of what hapened finally hit me.

"What is this? What's happening?" Jun asked.

"Run....." I said softly.


"RUN! We need to get in the house...RIGHT NOW! GO!" I shouted. But just as I shoved Jun towards the house, the lights flared up, and we heard a car engine rev up. The vehicle hurried forward, and started speeding directly at us in the middle of the street! "GO GO GO!!!" We both started running towards the house as the car swerved violently to try to cut us off. Jun was able to make it to the front door, but the car hit me hard in the legs, and I was thrown to the other end of the lawn. Jun looked back at me as the pain settled in, and the car doors opened. "STAY INSIDE! Lock the door!" I yelled to him, but he refused. He ran back out to the lawn and grabbed a hold of me, dragging me to the door as a group of teenage punks emerged from the car an began walking angrily in our direction. I got all the way to the front porch when I looked out to the street and saw.....'me' standing there. Not really 'me'...but that other version of me. The one that stood calm in the face of any adversity. The one who knew how to fight. The one who knew exactly what my talents could do...and just how to use them to cause as much destruction as possible. Our eyes connected briefly...and his pupils flashed a deep shade of crimson before he smiled at me. Inviting me to take his place...and make this right.

Jun quickly opened the door, and pulled me inside. I tried to stand on my aching legs as he slammed it shut and locked it from the inside, bracing it with a chair. We backed up together a few steps, and heard a pounding a the door. It got louder and louder, until it almost sounded like the wood would be shattered to splinters any moment! "Jussssssstin!!!" They taunted. "You can't hide in there forever, ya little faggot! Come ON! Get out here and get what's coming to you, ya fucking sissy!"

Jun looked over at me. "Justin....what is this?" I was frozen, feeling the same fear that I did that night. My 'last' night. "Justin?" He asked again. "Tell me what happened. Who are these boys...and what did they do?"

"We should get out of here. We should...we should go upstairs. There's a closet that we can lock ourselves in. We'll be safe there." I said nervously.

"No! Justin, tell me what happened. What did they do to you?" Jun demanded.

"You're REALLY starting to fucking PISS me off, faggot!!! GET OUT HERE!!! Or we're coming in!" The boy at the door shouted. "YOU HEARING ME, DORK???" Suddenly, I heard the sound of shattering glass as they threw rocks through my living room windows!

"Don't run from it, Justin!" Jun yelled, standing back from the shattering glass. "Tell me what happened. Let it go. Let it go."

It felt as though the words were getting clogged up in the back of my throat. The fear caused me to shake from head to toe as though it was all real to me again...and the noise, the insults, the pure hatred...it enveloped me just like it had that night, so many months ago. Jun kept pushing me to talk, but I COULDN'T! I thought about it, but the image was so strong, so real. It was almost suffocating me. Until, at last, the first words began to spill out of my mouth. "They....they hurt me...."

"Go on, Justin. Keep going."

"We're gonna FUCK you up good, you fucking COCKSUCKER!!! Just you WAIT!!!" They screamed, and I felt tears running down my cheeks.

"Don't leave me here, Jun.....please?"

"I'm not going anywhere. Keep talking. What happened that night?" I didn't answer at first, wanting nothing more than to run up those stairs and hide. But he wouldn't let me. "These boys cornered you on your block, you said they 'hurt' you...what happened?"

"I...I...was soooo mad..." I cried. "They were teasing me. They....they were trying to break me down completely...in class. I just...I couldn't take anymore."

"Ok...go on. Tell me more."

The noise, the pounding, the shattering glass...it was all so loud. BUT THey didn't come into the house. Not yet anyway. "I lost control. I....I jumped on one of them...and I just...I started hitting him." The noises got even louder outside, and my tears flowed more freely without restraint. "And...I just kept hitting him! And hitting him! AND HITTING HIM!!! I couldn't stop! There was...blood on my hands...blood..on my..."

"OPEN THIS FUCKING DOOR!!!" Came the angry voices from outside. "You're only making this worse on yourself, Justin!!!"

"Don't stop there...keep going." Jun said, putting his hands on both of my weakened shoulders from behind.

"I went to see Richie in the hospital. He was....so sick. I didn't think he had much time left. I was feeling so bad inside, and I was tryng not to cry because I was in public. But....when I came home...when I came home..." I got choked up, and then felt the whole house move as the boys slammed into the door with all their might. "...they drove their car up on the sidewalk. The hit me. They KICKED me! They.....they just....beat me mercilessly with everything that they had! ALL of them!" It was at that point that I felt the anger returning. Pushing its way past the fear, past the sadness. And my tears ran hot as I gritted my teth together and stared at that living room door. "They PUNCHED me! They fucking SPIT on me!!! They treated me like I was nothing at all! Like I was some piece of subhuman TRASH!!!" Out of the windows, I saw flashes of lightning illuminate the neighborhood sky, followed by a bellow of deep thunder. Jun was a bit confused by what was happening, curiously looking at the dreamworld around him as it darkened in front of his eyes. And as I looked out of the window beside me...I saw my 'other self' looking back at me. Except this time....he wasn't smiling.

This time....he began to move forward.

He disappeared from my sightas he approached the boys behind that door, and Jun seemed to get a bit nervous. The tension in the air was evident, and I could feel it wrapping itself around me. My instincts began to charge up on their own, and that strong undercurrent of fury began to sweep me along as I felt the power growing from within. "Justin? Justin what's....what's happening?"

"AAAAAHHHHHHHH!!!!" Came an ear splitting scream from the other side of the door! I felt my eyes blacken as I looked down towards the floor. Jun watched the door, as the horrific sounds of brutal carnage pierced the air around us. I could hear the sound of bones breaking, flesh being ripped from its position, splashes of blood painting the pavement...and a smile spread out over my lips.

Jun backed away from the door. "Justin? Dude....why don't we....um...why don't we take a little break. K?" The sounds of terror got louder, and the boys on the other side were begging for their lives as my other half ripped them to pieces. It was then that I began to laugh outloud, and I felt my feet rise up off of the floor as I spread my arms out to either side and hovered in midair. The release was incredible. The idea that these pissant little bastards thought they had what it took to threaten me. ME? I was NOT the same boy that they were so used to picking on! Not anymore....ohhhh no. I have come a long way from that night, believe me.

Jun must have been getting extremely nervous, because I could almost taste it, like battery acid on the tip of my tongue. And it pleased me! I began giggling almost uncontrollably as I heard the dead bodies of the boys outside being further mutilated, pieces being slammed up against the doors, spasming chunks of muscle being tossed up against the windows, leaving sickening splotches of plasma behind. Yes...my other half was very efficient at his job. Yes, indeed.

"Ok....we can STOP now!" Jun said, but it was too late for me to turn it off. Even as slight traces of my former self began to see my actions as irrational, almost insane...it felt too good to stop now. The blood and slaughter was like the slow build up to an incredible orgasmic explosion...and I was too lost in the throws of passion to allow Jun to ruin it now.

The thunder outside shook the house, and the lightning was almost blinding as it struck the entire neighborhood with a vengence. Now...I realize that the boys in the car were pretty much taken care of. But....if I remember correctly....

...My mother should be upstairs. My feet never touched the ground. Instead, I turned and floated towards the stairs. "What are you doing? Where are you going?" Jun asked me.

"Did you know she was in the house that night? My own mother? Drunk. Hehehehe......drunk." There was so much untapped rage that I had yet to experience, and it was there....growing. Getting stronger. Less forgiving. "She let them beat me up. Ha! Didn't even realize that I was hurt when I came in....only to find her laying on the floor." I began to float up the steps. "Do you know what it's like, Jun? Having to clean up behind an alcoholic mother? Having to put her to bed? Having to listen to her get sick in the middle of the night...while you're trying to sleep?"

"Justin...you've got to stop feeding this! You're supposed to be battling your demons, not giving them purpose!"

"Is THAT what I'm doing?" I smiled wickedly.

"STOP THIS!!! Break the trance! Come on, Justin....come back with me!"

"Not yet..."

"NOW, Justin!!!"

"NOT YET!!!" I shouted back, and went searching for my mom upstairs. I remembered every detail, every bruise, every despairing moment of that night. I could even feel a trickle of blood run out of my nose as the memory of it corrupted me entirely. And when I went a bit further....that's when I saw her. My mother, laying on the floor. Covered with the same blanket that I left her with the night that I left her there. It was the last time I had seen her. Our last few precious moments together. And she chose the alcohol...over my life.

I glided closer, the anger causing me to clench my fists tight, my smile now turning into a menacing snarl. I was slowly decreasing the distance between us. What had I planned to do to her? Did I want to kill her? I can't imagine that I would ever want to hurt her. Ever! She's....she's my mom. She...she came looking for me. She....loves me. She......

...She ABANDONED me!

She USED me! HURT me! She's no better than HE was! No better!

I wasn't quite sure what I was feeling at that moment, but the conflict itself was frustrating beyond belief. I felt, somehow, tangled in the vines of my own wrath. Unable to move forward, unable to stay still for fear those vines would constrict and choke the very breath from me. But....as I looked down at her...sleeping so peacefully...I began to remember. A better time. A time when I still had some level of hope left. Some concept of faith. I could almost remember a time when I didn't feel so trapped....so alone. And most of all...I remember kissing the last remaining bits of that glamorous daydream goodbye...the night that I draped that blanket over her shoulders.

I felt something shift inside of me, and my feet lowered to touch the ground. I looked down at her, and I swear...I could almost inhale her scent, just as I remembered it. What would my mother say...if she were able to see me now. Eyes black, fists clenched, fangs lowered. I had become stronger than I ever thought I could be, but at what cost? What cost?

I felt Jun's hand come to rest lightly on my shoulder from behind me, and a tear slid instantly from my eye. I almost got my sanity back. I almost achieved some level of peace. And then....

"Honey, I'm home!" The voice sounded dark, sarcastic, evil. And it was then that I heard my father's footsteps walking up those stairs.

My fury flared up again without hesitation, and a shockwave went out that nearly knocked Jun against the wall! I rose off of the floor again, and prepared to tear that fucking son of a bitch to SHREDS!!!! "Justin, NO!!!" Jun screamed, but his cries were no longer heard. Not by any mindset that was in control.

As that hateful man climbed the staircase, I prepared to fall so deeply into my own madness that there would be no return from it. No retrieving my higher self once I let go. But it would be worth it. Worth it just to get the chance to pay him back for what he did to me. For what he did to US! He ruined my LIFE!!! And now....I'm going to take his as a substitute.

Jun got up on his feet and ran over to me, grabbing a hold of my arm. I jerked it away from him, but he grabbed it again, pulling on it. What the hell was he doing?

"Where is that faggot ass son of ours, huh?" My father's voice...I'll never forget the emotional venom that he injected into every word. "Worthless! Sooooooo worthless! A fucking 'pretty boy' is what he is! Pretty little 'model' boy! Not worth a damn! We should let the fucker STARVE and spend the money on something that has value for once! You hear me, bitch???"

Jun tugged on my arm more and more, and it annoyed the hell out of me. I tried to pull back, but he held on tight. My father was almost at the top of the stairs now! I could see the top of his head. I wanted him dead! Gone! I'm gonna bleed the son of a bitch and be DONE with this, once and for all! He's been asking for this since I was fucking 6 years old....and by GOD....he's gonna get it tonight!

Jun continued to tug at my wrist, and I shouted, "Leave me alone!!!" But as his struggles continued, I became aware of the ribbon on my wrist again. I could feel our hands bound together...in a reality apart from this one. And that momentary sense of logic was enough for Jun to literally begin to 'tear' me apart from my other self. A much darker side of me that had somehow taken over while inside. The more he pulled, the more we split, and I began to panic once I saw what was happening. I don't know why, but I fought back, not wanting anyone to touch me at all...and I felt my emotions explode into a confusing array of conflicts that felt like they were ripping me in half! Finally...just as the dream began to fade away, I screamed out loud and felt Jun yank his hand out of the binding ribbon and fall back on his ass!

I tried to get my eyes to focus again, my ears fighting to regain their sense of sound, and that's when I heard Jun shouting for me to stop. Stop? Stop what?

I shook myself out of the trance, and I saw both of my hands outstretched, shooting some kind of thick black liquid from my palms, and practically 'hosing' Jun down with it from head to toe as he rolled around on the ground trying to avoid it. It took a few seconds to even realize that I was doing it, and a few seconds more to shut it off! When I got my control back, Jun stood up, covered in what looked like a combination of oil and raw sewage. And GOD did it smell awful!!! He coughed and sputtered and tried to fins a dry spot on his shirt to wipe his face off with.

"What the HELL, man?!?!" He said, shaking some of the dark slime to the ground off of his arms.

"I'm...I'm SORRY! I don't know what happened, it...it must be some kind of defense mechanism or something."

"What the fuck kinda extra is THAT? Ugh! What IS this shit???" He said. He was almost gagging, and pulling globs of it out of his hair.

Just then, Dion and Taryn came running around the corner to see what all the commotion was. "What happened?" Taryn said.

"Ask your boyfriend over there! One of his little 'defense mechanisms' just slimed me." He was still a bit in shock, but at least he was out of my trance. "Awwww fuck, it's in my SHOE! How in the hell did it get in my SHOE?" Jun pulled his shirt off and threw it to the ground, the stuff had soaked right through, and dyed his tan velvet skin in dark patches. Dion and Taryn held their breath as the foul smelling gelatin wafted past them in the night air.

"Jun...I'm so sorry! I never had that happen before, I just..." He held up his hand to stop me, and he tried to calm down enough to talk.

"No. No. Not your fault. You couldn't help it. It was just...a reaction. I get it." He opened the front of his pants and looked down into his boxers. All four of us seemed to peek in together. Then he made a face, and said, "Okay...enough meditation for this evening. I'm uhh...I think I am going to go take a very....VERY long shower now. Very long."

I felt so bad. I did it again, didn't I? I lost myself to the rage. "Dude...I..."

"Less talk. More walk. Shower." He said, and picked up his shirt as he walked past. Taryn and Dion made sure to give him PLENTY of room, not wanting any part of whatever it was that I sprayed him with.

As Jun passed Max, he asked, "Whoah, stinkbomb! What the hell happened to you?"

"NOT now, Max! I'm not in the fucking mood, man!" He said.

"Geez, shower much?" Max told him, and Kid made the most disgusted face as he waved his hand in front of his nose. I would have been too scared to crack a smile if Dion and Taryn hadn't burst out laughing first.

I looked down and saw some of the residue on my hands. I took a whiff and was almost dizzy from it. "Jesus! Ok, I've gotta wash my hands." I said.

"There's a working pump behind the old building down the block. Come on, we'll go with you." Taryn told me, and we headed towards the gate. But Doc called him back.

"Hey Taryn, come here for a second! I need you to look at something over here."

"Umm...yeah. Ok." Taryn gave me a look and then kissed me sweetly on the lips. "Come back quick, ok? I wanna talk."

"Promise." I smiled, and Taryn walked over to Doc to check something out on his laptop.

Dion and I walked together out to the abandoned building, and I scrubbed my hands under the pump as best as I could. Geez, if it was this hard to scrub it off of my hands, imagine how hard Jun is gonna have to scrub to get it off of his genitals. Dion watched me for a moment, then he said, "So what happened back there?"

"I don't know. These damn extras are so fucking touchy sometimes. I don't know how anybody could learn to get them just right."

"I'm not talking about the slime thing, Justin." He leaned against the wall and folded his arms. "Jun said that you unconsciously activated a defense mechanism?" He said. "A defense mechanism for what?"

I didn't answer right away, and I looked down at my hands to avoid his eyes. "We were in trance. We went back to a couple of bad memories. Things got a little weird in there...that's all."

"Weird, like how?"

"I don't know. I hardly remember." I lied. But he stared right at me, and I knew he wasn't going to buy my bullshit. Dion was one of those people that could always see it coming a mile away. "Look, it's just...thinking about that stuff always screws me up. The less I have to think about it, the less I have to worry about it. Ok?"

"Just because you avoid it, doesn't mean it isn't there."

"I didn't mean to do it! It just happened, alright?"

"I told you, Justin...this isn't about your extras..."

"Then what IS it about, huh?"

"It's about you not being able to deal with what happened to you in your past." He said calmly.

I turned off the water and stood up, drying my hands on my shirt. "I'm trying. I really am." I said. "I just....I had forgotten how much some of that stuff hurt. It's just....not easy going back there."

"I understand." He said, and he put an arm over my shoulder. "It'll get easier. I know that sounds like bullshit right now, but it's the truth. You've just got to remember that all of that pain you went through before...the suffering that brought you to this point, right here, right now...it doesn't have to define you. It never did."

"It just feels like everybody wants me to just...let it go." I told him. "And the truth is...I don't know if I can."

"Yeah, well, I've seen some vampires that dragged a whole lot of baggage into darkness with them. They hold onto it, sleep with it, wake up with it, and lug it around everywhere they go, adding more and more weight with every bad experience they have. I know, because I've done it too. But sometimes, ever so often...you find some good caring people to help lighten your load." Then he grinned, and said, "Now...they may wanna keep their distance if you keep spraying them with disgusting blasts of foul smelling goo....but they'll be there." I giggled a bit, hoping that Jun wouldn't be too upset with me when he got back. "Come on, let's get back before Taryn accuses me of keeping you out too long."

On the short walk back, I was trying to wrap my mind around the feelings I experienced in that trance, and how who I am and who I used to be didn't seem to 'fit' anymore. They didn't match. I couldn't even find a way to make them co-exist in the same space, and when I did...I became a whole other person entirely. A third entity that was...dangerous. Violent and destructive beyond anything I've ever known...and I couldn't understand why that felt so uplifting. It just worried me to think that next time, it wouldn't be just a dream.

As soon as we walked into the lot, Taryn called me over to Doc's chair to look at the laptop with him. "What's going on?" I asked them.

"I think I might have just baited the right fish." Doc said happily while tying another message to whoever he was talking to.

"Say what?"

Taryn gave me a hug, "Pan and Doc sent out a few more messages to some underground vampires around the city, and Doc thinks he may have found somebody to help you!"

"Wait...really? Are you serious?"

Doc was concentrating hard on the screen. "Well, let's not grab our party hats just yet, gentlemen. I can't just come right out and say I have a living, breathing, vampire mimic standing right next to me. These little conversations are an exact science. It takes time." I looked at the screen, and Doc typed in, "I suppose certain legends are true, if you believe in them strongly enough."

There was a long pause from the other side. Then came the reply, "What kind of legends are we talking about?"

Doc bit his bottom lip, thinking of a tactful way to answer. Then he typed, "I dunno. Anything really. Elders, philosophers, scripture....mimics...."

This time, the pause was even longer. And the response was simply, "Go on....".

"Ladies, I think we have ourselves a winner!" Doc grinned, and typed in another message. "I was hoping to find some more information than what I have. It hasn't been easy."

"What would make you think that I have access to this information?"

"I don't. I'm just looking for an open window. I heard you were the guy to talk to."


"Let's just say that it came from a source I trust. That we both trust."

Another pause. And the reply said, "If you want philosophy and scriptures, I suggest you try the Nifty Archive in the Ice Zone."

"I need MORE than that..." Doc told him. "I need the truth. Mimic truth especially. But not just some random vampire bedtime story, I need the real deal."

We waited for his answer. "Such information is forbidden."

"I realize that. That's why I need some help to 'un-forbid' it." We waited. And there was no response for a long time. Taryn and I were almost worried that we had lost him, but Doc wrote him another message, "Do we have an understanding?"

Then, without warning, I felt a tingling on the back of my neck. And it quickly felt like this energetic bubble was beginning to expand in my chest. And suddenly, this invisble energy just spasmed and an electric pulse nearly knocked out Doc's computer. The screen warped and flickered for a moment, and some static sparks popped around the metal wheels of his chair.

"Whoah...what just happened there?" Doc asked, lightly banging on the side of the laptop to get it back in line. Shit! I wish I knew how to keep this stuff from ging haywire on me. "Dude...go stand over there!" He said, giving me a little shove away from his equipment.

A reponse was sent, and it read, "Write down this website address. You are only to contact me there from now on. It will be monitored. If an other system is detected trying to access the site, the deal is off. I will be in touch."

"YES!!!!" Doc shouted! "We got him! I don't know what happened, but he's doing a complete 180*!" He typed in one last question. "Who should I look for on this site?"

And the last reply, before he quickly vanished offline, said, "I...am the Jeweler."