“The End of something, the Beginning of a new Beginning.
Hidden Truths revealed.
The Choices that determine a New Direction.
The Courage to face the True Path.”
- The Prophet of Truth
He stood up once again, giving her back the fake sense of safety that came from the distance kept between them, and Sarah tried as hard as she could to quickly work around what she’d just irrefutably witnessed. Later there would be more than enough time to carefully think things through. Now the important thing was trying to collect as many facts as possible.
“So … you’re not Human,” she stated the obvious just to hear herself say something that crazy out loud, and Alexis returned to his previous place, by the cupboard, giving her all the time she needed to assimilate what she herself had just said. “This is ridiculous!” she blurted out running a moist hand over her face. The accumulated tiredness was starting to weigh on her and it took all she got to remain minimally logical. “I look at you and you’re not that different from everyone else I know.”
“There are differences,” he countered her calmly. “The biggest of them probably being our intolerance to the sun. More specifically to what you call UVB rays.”
Sarah felt an ice cold feeling spread in her stomach. Memories of the horror she’d been through the night before overpowered the information he’d just offered her, and she instinctively took a hand to her neck where a white bandage covered one of her many wounds.
“We’re not vampires,” he told her and Sarah looked at him, startled as he’d practically read her mind. Of course she knew she was being ridiculous to say the least! Alexis, however, seemed to be taking their conversation quite seriously and she didn’t find a single hint of mocking or criticism on his face, before her child-like fears. “But I suppose we probably were the origin of such myths.”
“I know what I remember …” she told him defensively, her voice breaking half-way through. In truth she wasn’t all that sure about her memories. In her mind reality kept getting mixed up with the nightmares that had tormented her, and, for a split second, she almost prayed that he’d deny it all so that she could just put it all behind her back.
“Yes … because most of the rebels are addicted to what we call Ishar.” Sarah looked away, suddenly feeling too frail and embarrassed to face the intensity with which he was staring at her. The memory of her own impotence and vulnerability was almost shameful and something she’d rather never have to talk about. Still Alexis went on, merciless. “Ishar is what you can call vital energy, the fire that animates matter, that gives it life and that, as such, can only be found in the ones inhabiting the material dimension, you Humans. Its effects on us, Araphel, are very similar to the effects of a dose of cocaine on you. We’re immediately taken over by an overwhelming sensation of happiness and overflowing power. All our fears simply disappear and the mental, physical and sexual arousal quickly reach their peak. It also gives us extra strength and has the ability to heal our physical bodies. Like any other drug, it is strongly addictive and we end up falling into permanent states of delirium which, as you may imagine, is relatively dangerous for beings such as us.”
Sarah pressed the aching wound under her hand, her heart beating painfully against her chest. Although he told her all those things with apparent indifference, the same way a professor would go about his lecture, his emotions were more intense and out of control by the second. He despised those who had submitted to that addiction … And his despise ran so deep that it felt more like disgust, in a chaotic mix of anger and condemnation.
“There are a few Humans who are able to give Ishar, in a free, conscious way. But the majority of your Race produces it unconsciously, in moments of joy and sharing. However, in either cases, the quantity produced is never that high and so unable to induce the symptoms I described. The only way to attain a concentrated dose of Ishar is through your blood.”
Sarah shuddered and hugged herself in search of some self-reassurance, suddenly aware of all the painful wounds marking her body. An angry wave of fury immediately spread all over the room, leaving the hair of her arms standing on edge, forcing her to turn away from her own feelings to be able to appease his. Facing him seemed more like a mistake than anything else, and she had to swallow before she was able to speak. Right then everything about him was terribly threatening.
“It wasn’t your fault …” she told him, nervously. It was almost like trying to argue with a starving lion about to jump his prey. “I was the one who ran away, when you told me to stay put …”
“It is my fault that their eyes fell on you to begin with. Because you saved me from that hell hole.” His voice dripped with resentment and loathing, not against those that had pursued them, but against himself, which was even scarier. How could anyone despise themselves so deeply?
“It’s part of my nature … of who I am. I suppose nothing is free, in this world. I was given this … gift … and it is my obligation to use it to help others. You weren’t the first one I helped. Of course, as far as I know, all the others were … Human,” she added with a light smile, trying to mitigate the situation, and to her relief he seemed to relax a bit, although his expression was still dark and serious. “To tell you the truth I think I tried to help an Angel, once … but there was nothing I could do for him. So I guess that doesn’t count.”
Alexis sighed deeply, as if admitting defeat.
“Stay here for a minute. I’ll tell Anne she can warm up your dinner,” he told her, and, in wide steps, walked towards the stone arch Sarah knew led to the corridor.
That’s right. That nice woman said she was bringing me a plate of soup but she never came back…, she realized with a certain curiosity that didn’t last long before her mind fell into the madness that suddenly had taken over her life.