The flames in my hands began to flare up again. I was getting angry, and it was becoming harder to hold that anger back.
‟Do you think your varied abilities makes you worthy of being a Mimic?‟ He asked. ‟Vampire extras are nothing but emotion and experience translated into different forms of energy. Powerful, yes. But while I'm impressed with what you're capable of, that is not why you're here. This is not the way to the Vampire Dawn.‟
‟I thought you were supposed to help me!‟ I said, my arms now fatigued from being stretched out for so long.
‟Oh, but I am, boy.‟ He said. Now placing his hands on my shoulders to steady me and try to maintain the flame in my hands. ‟How much of your life has been lived as a mere 'reaction' to outer influence? Your suicidal thoughts? Your running away from home? Your attack on that one bully in school?‟ He asked.
‟I TOLD you to stay out of my head!‟ I grunted.
‟I don't HAVE to be in your head, Justin. You're entire future has been revealed to me, in great detail, in the scriptures themselves.‟
‟The scriptures are WRONG!‟ I said.
‟The scriptures...are NEVER wrong!‟ He snapped back. But as he saw the distress in my facial expression, the struggle to maintain a steady flame quickly giving way to the emotional turbulence that I was feeling in my heart at the moment...he stood up straight again, and took a much more understanding approach. Deflecting our conflict by changing the subject, while still watching to make sure that I didn't lose my focus. ‟The written legend of the vampire Mimics who precede you are very detailed indeed. Battered souls born of fire, and pain, and tragedy. Vampires who are challenged to rise above all that they have been through so they may overcome their own torment and torture...all for the sake of something more.‟ He continued to travel just outside of my circle, walking around me. I wanted to let the fire go. I wanted to bring an end to this stupid exercise and get back to normal already. I'd much rather be on one of the buildings higher floors, snuggled up next to Taryn and enjoying a touch of luxury for a few minutes. But I don't think Mr. Lockheart was interested in my comfort at all. ‟You know...vampire scriptures, much like many tales of old...share certain concepts with one another. The truly ancient ones borrow and imitate one another, creating a great deal of similarities between them. It happens much more often than you might imagine.‟ He said. ‟Much like the Nativity, where Jesus was born at night under a bright star...and visited by three wise men, bearing gifts. As our savior, you too were born into darkness under a bright light. And destined to be given gifts of knowledge and power from three wise men as well. For you...the Vampire Comicality was the first. Vampire Elder Zero was the second. And I have been studying and patiently waiting for a great many years...with the hopes that I could potentially be your third. To be granted the honor of bringing the sacred Vampire Mimic to the dawn. A new era is finally upon us. Everything is falling into place at last, just as it was written.‟
I HATE to hear that, 'just as it was written' stuff! I don't care what some stupid, six hundred year old, scripture says...I'm not going to lose my Taryn! The rest of the world can burn if it comes down to me making a choice between the two.
‟The true power of the chosen one does not come from raw power.‟ He said. ‟It comes from awareness. From choice. From standing at the nexus of all reality and being able to realize the infinite possibilities around you...if only you are willing to cease the constant war inside you.‟ I was trying so hard to grasp what he was saying, all while keeping calm enough to stop the fire from fiercely blazing out of my control. But that's when he said, ‟I can tell from the hidden shadows cast over your heart...that you have already lost your sacrificial lamb. Yes?‟
I didn't answer at first. In fact, the truth behind his question didn't strike me until a few moments later.
‟Every Mimic has been deeply burdened with the loss of his loved ones during their transformation. The ones closest to you are destined to fall, but will eventually enhance your understanding of the Dawn...no matter how much it pains you.‟ I don't know how he was able to know so much about my life, either in daylight OR in darkness. I can usually 'feel' it when someone is attempting to read my thoughts, or poke into my memories..but not when it came to the Jeweler. It was almost as if my story was an open book to him. One that he had read over a thousand times. ‟It hurt, didn't it? Losing him?‟
My mind was suddenly flooded with flashes of what happened at the hospital. Fighting Alec as hard as I could...only to let Dylan pay the ultimate price because of my failure. In my mind, I saw the jagged piece of metal pierce his lovely heart...over and over again. The most innocent of whimpers escaping his open lips, a thin river of tears rolling down from each eye. He sacrificed himself for love...and I don't think even he knew that it would hurt so much.
‟He was...my friend...‟ I said sadly. The moment the memory of Dylan and how happy he was to be in love, ready to leave the lot with Dion and start a whole new life somewhere else...the flame in my palms fizzled out, and only a few pitiful wisps of smoke remained. ‟He didn't deserve to die the way he did.‟
‟Does anyone?‟ The Jeweler asked. ‟Your friend did what he was meant to do. He followed his circle to completion.‟
‟I should have done more...‟
‟There was nothing more you could have done.‟
‟I could have saved him! If...if only I was stronger. If only I had enough time to find the right extra...‟
‟Sure.‟ He said, almost sarcastically. ‟Why not? You could have gone out into the city, scanning every vampire you came across to see if they had the means to repair your friend's wounded heart. You wouldn't have to ask permission, you're a 'reader', are you not? You could have ripped the extras from them and wielded their fantastic abilities as if they were your own. Problem solved, right?‟ At this point, The Jeweler knelt down beside me and lifted my chin to gaze into my eyes. ‟A collection of evil deeds, no matter how small, no matter how much you believe they are justified...will never add up to the greater good. They only add up to a bigger pile of evil deeds.‟ He told me. ‟The pursuit of power, the need to force solutions upon the situation at hand, is the path that leads to madness. It is the mindset of ogres and tyrants. The craving of power will do you no good, boy.‟
‟I'm just saying that I could have been stronger. That's all.‟
‟And yet, with all of your strength and all of your varied abilities, his end would have still been the same.‟ He was so quick to put the idea out of my head, and I couldn't understand why. ‟You are still 'reacting' to the world around you, Justin. This is the habit we must break within you. You will always be two steps behind if you continue to think this way.‟
‟Think WHAT way???‟ I grumbled. ‟Why can't you just talk to me like a normal person? What the fuck is any of this supposed to mean?‟ I saw his face harden slightly, a look of disappointment in his eyes. ‟I'm sorry. I just...I'm so tired of being confused. I just wanted to be happy. For ONCE, I wanted something for myself. And now I've got this to deal with, and I can't even use my powers for anything that matters.‟
The Jeweler stood up, and he offered me his hand. ‟If you think that you can use your muscle, your wild variety of extraordinary abilities, to save the world...then you are going to waste a lot of time and energy on a circle that will ultimately lead to ruin. And failure. Not just for you...but for the ones you love, and any vampires who are foolish enough to believe in you and follow your example.‟ He motioned for me to accept his help to get back up on my feet...and I took it. ‟BUT...if you can find away to use the talents you possess to inspire them to save themselves...then entire generations of vampire kind can be spared the downfall.‟ He lightly gripped my shoulders and said, ‟You are so young. But in your youth is the advantage of growth. Adaptability. In you, we can find freedom from the prisons we built for ourselves. But you have to be willing to give us the key.‟
‟How am I supposed to do that?‟ I said.
‟How, indeed?‟ He replied. ‟It appears we still have a long way to go in breaking through your personal shield. But we'll get there. In time.‟
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