Melissa opened her eyes. She saw blurs…then white, then pink, then feet in sandals, then…oh hell why don’t I just describe the scene. Clouds, as far as the eye can see. Actually, there isn’t much to describe. White going off in every direction, gradually fading into blue. In what would be termed the sky, a warm white sun floats dreamily back and forth pendulum-like across the sky.
“Come now Melissa, time to awaken.”
Melissa shook her head. She could feel her body, but she couldn’t physically feel it being there. She couldn’t feel the burning and bleeding and breaking sensations that she felt before she had…died? She definitely didn’t feel dead. But she couldn’t describe what she was feeling as alive either. Her eyes slowly began to focus. She looked up and saw a man…a familiar looking man. He was fair-skinned, blonde hair just like hers, brown eyes just like hers…all in all, he looked a hell of a lot just like her. He was dressed plainly, kind of like a Greek peasant. “Who…wha…”
“Let me guess…” He smiled at her, a smile that made everything that had ever happened OK, and helped her up. “you have questions. Who are you, where am I, and what am I doing here? That’s understandable. All right, I’ll answer in order. First of all, my name is Vectorus. I have been called many things…you can think of me as your guardian angel, your spiritual self, your soul or your avatar. Where are we…also has been called many things by your incarnations…Heaven, Asgard, the astral plane, the Umbra…it’s a place of pure abstraction where everything appears in it’s true form. Now…what are you doing here? Now that is the question isn’t it? I’m afraid the answer depends mostly on how strong you think you are.”
Melissa gave him a sarcastic look. “So, I’m supposed to believe I’m having an out of body experience?”
“No my dear”, the man said, “your having THE out-of-body experience. I have had to have little talks like this one with all of my earthly incarnations, but none have needed it so much, or so early in life, as you have. That’s why I arranged your little accident.”
“So that was your voice I heard? You got me killed you bastard!”
“Oh my dear Melissa, you are not dead… not completely anyway. Now calm down. I have much to show you.” He helped her gently to her feet. “You have become very important in the grand scheme of things. In the very near future there will be a lot of different forces seeking to destroy you or use you for their own ends. And your friend, John, will do and say a lot of things that you are not going to like. But you must be patient with him and accept him for his faults, as you must convince him to be patient with you. Your two destinies are intertwined, as are his avatar and I linked. Remember your love for him, it has saved the two of you many times before.”
“How do you know I love him?” Melissa shot back defiantly, “and what do you mean before? I’ve only known him for a year.”
“Come my dear, and I will show you what I mean.” He took her hand, and Melissa’s journey into her past began.
Meanwhile, Johnny was on Busch.
“Busch. Shit, I can’t believe I’m still only on Busch. Last week President Lawrence called me into his office. [insert Emperor’s theme here] “Ahh, Mr. Hetero (wheeze) I have summoned you here for a purpose. What do you know (wheeze) about professor Zellwigger?
Cap answered rather nonchalantly. “Not much. Professor Julia Zellwigger, graduated top of her class in Microbiology from Harvard in 1962, the same year her twin brother Herman graduated from Yale in Psychology. The two siblings have been rivals since birth, with neither ever gaining the upper hand in their lifelong contest. Even their I.Q.’s are even, both topping out at 189. In 1972 she won a Nobel Prize for her breakthroughs in Organic Cybernetic Grafting, the same year her brother started his research in Circular Reasoning. In 1975 she took her current position of Dean of Biology at Rutgers. Ever since she has brought the school millions of dollars in patents on her pharmaceutical research. Yet since 1987 her funding has dwindled, especially funding for her gene therapy and breast cancer research. In the past 5 years her productivity has dropped off noticeably. She’s had a few boyfriends but is generally afraid to commit to a serious relationship. Other than that, I don’t know anything about her.
“Very good Mr. Hetero (wheeze) you keep up on events. I like that. I have discovered through my all-knowing omniscience that this Ms. Zellwigger has been continuing her research projects with funding from an unknown source. She has not left the campus in 8 months (wheeze) and few people have heard from or seen her since. Some of her Honors students have disappeared with her, among them her favorite TA (wheeze) a pharmacy major named Elizabeth Chen. Here’s a copy of her student I.D. picture.
Something is going on on Busch that I do not know about (wheeze) Mr. Hetero, and I do not like not knowing things. Your mission is to go deep into the Heart of Busch and find this woman and her followers. Bring them down, Mr. Hetero, with extreme prejudice. But be warned…Busch is a land of magic and science (wheeze) fact and mystery. The lines between reality and illusion can blur. You can buy anything there…Love, Loyalty…Heaven, Hell, and everything in between.”
“Don’t worry Lawrence, I can handle myself in Far East Busch. I’ll find out what’s going on.”
“Make sure you do Captain Hetero (wheeze). Now go…destroy that woman.”
“Now, assuming that this is actually a ‘spiritual journey through the netherworld’ and not just a coma-induced dream, how is all WHOA!” Melissa’s pretentious droning was interrupted by the decidedly disorienting experience of being shot through the spirit world at fantastic speeds. When she came around again, she saw a decimated battlefield and bloody bodies everywhere.
“Hm…I’d say this scene took place during the Crusades, English ground forces battling what appear to be Ottoman Turks I believe. What does this have to do with me?”
“This is one of my favorite incarnations Melissa. Look, over there.”
Vectorus pointed to a part of the battlefield off in the distance. A group of at least 20 Turks were attacking a small group of 5 English knights. The Turks were losing badly. A tall muscular knight was vivisecting the Turks. His sword and armor were soaked in the blood of his enemies, his blade little more than a blur as he carved them into pieces. By his side, a smaller, dark haired woman fought with a sword and shield, kicking just as much ass.
Melissa beamed with pride, “See, even then I was fighting for woman's rights. I know it must have taken a lot of guts for a woman to fight in a society as disgustingly patriarchal as Medieval Europe was.”
“Actually Melissa, that scrappy young woman is Greek. And, she is not our incarnation. That young woman was your friend John. The valiant, dashing young man at the head of the charge; that was us.”
Melissa looked again…the hair, the eyes, the nose…he definitely looked a lot like both of them. “I was…a man? I was a man fighting for God? Oh, this can only get worse…”