July 3rd, 2013
Hello again, it’s been a while.
I hope you’ve been well because I haven’t. I keep having these dreams where people keep dying. They’re not different dreams, they’re all the same one. The same people keep dying too. They don’t have faces, I don’t know who they are but it’s always in front of me. I get killed too. It always ends like this.
A man with no face stands in front of me and two other people holding a gun towards us. There's a body behind the man with the gun. It’s too dark out and the rain is too heavy for me to see their faces. They’re arguing and I can hear police sirens in the distance. Bright lights are flashing, almost blinding. Besides the heavy rain, the only other noise is a constant cheerful melody playing over and over again. I can’t hear anything else.
There's a loud and one of the people in front of me falls. I look down and I’m shot too. I drop to my knees and the camera in my dream pans up for an overhead shot. The person in front of me who didn’t get shot runs over to the person who did and holds them as their body is limp. The shooter says something then looks around and runs off. I see the blood coming out of my body and mixing with the puddle being made from the rain. This is how it always ends.
I’ve been having this dream for a year now. I don’t know what it means.
My best guess is that it’s just me being the silent observer to a story just like how you are. You’re watching me like how I watch them. It's like how Sessions watches me. She doesn’t take her eyes off me while we both wait for Lyle.
There are multiple Sessions all around the country. It’s the code name for a ghost of a drug emperor. The purpose is to surround the air with myths and legends of a grand puppetmaster all around the world. They all supposed to look the same, pale skin and white hair and cold blue eyes. Just like a ghost and I’m standing in front of one. I don’t think I’m supposed to know this.
Her real name is Marina Lightyear. I’m for sure not supposed to know that. She’s not much older than me, she’s only 20. Her white bangs cover most of her forehead but sometimes I catch her readjusting herself. I’m only mentioning this because she uses her bangs to cover up a nasty line of a scar right in the center. Sometimes it doesn’t look like a scar and more like eyelashes.
Sessions, rather, Marina doesn’t talk. I have known her for about two years now; ever since I first met Lyle and I haven’t heard her speak a word. She communicates non verbally and uses text on her phone if it’s necessary. I figure she’s a mute and uses sign language so I’ve been learning so I can talk to her. The thing is, I never have seen her use sign and I don’t see her often enough to ever figure out if she does. Marina doesn’t have an online presence and barely little on her actual legal records. She was an orphan born with an unspecified medical condition who lived from family to family and barely graduated high school. Marina becomes a ghost after that which is why she’s perfect for being this state’s Sessions. I’m curious to see why she’s in this line of work anyways.
I’m only here because Lyle asks me to come and there isn’t a world where I get to say no. I wait with Marina in his little warehouse of supplies for the company that he owns. His company is not important, it’s just there to launder his money. Lyle is a much harder man to find. I don’t know his real name nor where he came from. He’s truly a ghost and it makes no question why he’s been Sessions for the last decade before Marina took over.
His bodyguard and muscle is Acid. He’s the one who is watching over us while we wait patiently for the big man himself. Unlike Lyle, I know a lot of about Acid. His real name is Zachary Vilar and his 40th birthday is coming up in a week. He was born in Denver and was a gangbanger his entire life. When Golden Hearts was rising in power, he was the man that kept all the lackeys in line. After it, the gang was busted he moved to Seattle and has been here ever since.
The revival of Golden Hearts is Lyle’s and Acid’s goals. After all, Golden Hearts was the one who created the legendary, ‘Winter’. It’s an extraordinary drug, I had some myself. There’s nothing quite like it. It shouldn’t be possible to have an upper and downer all in one package but it’s what it does. The stillness and numbing of heroin and euphoria of MDMA to the power of cocaine. Lyle had high hopes that I could figure out a way to make more but it’s been almost a year and his patience is running thing, that’s why I’m here.
I never failed, but I did learn what Winter is. Through that, I found Lyle’s true intentions. I figured out why Golden Hearts wants besides their greed. It’s some serious bullshit sci-fy shit. See if the drug ever resurfaces and Lyle figure outs how to make more he could take control over anyone he wants. There’s a slightly different strain that breaks people’s control and makes them into puppets. I can’t even believe I fell for his bullshit.
He told me he could help me break free from my chains if I gave him what he wanted. Lyle gave me my lab and equipment free of charge as long as I researched Winter and made LSD for him to sell. He wanted to give me a cut of the profits buts that would lead into greed and I don’t need that chain on me either. My curiosity about the natural world was enough for me to become his independent little puppet.
Marina stands up when Lyle walks in. Lyle smiles at her and greets her by signing, “Hey.” I realize this is the first time I have seen the two together.
“What’s this about?” Marina signs back.
Lyle looks at me. It’s been a while since I have seen him, a bit under a year a think. “I bet you both find it odd that you’ve been waiting for me, together, to make it more curious,” he says.
I don’t say anything, I never do. It keeps me safe, it keeps me as the observer. Marina, however, signs, “You bring in the two biggest weirdos in the business, yeah, I’m a little curious.”
Lyle only laughs like he’s faking. “Well you two work well together, why break that up?” Lyle gets a nearby chair and unfolds it to sit on it with his legs spread as wide as possible. “Chris, It’s been months, where are you with the WInter?”
I don’t stand up. I look over to Marina who turns looking at me. I feel sorry for her, she shouldn’t be working for people like these. “I thought I told Acid, it can’t be done, I’m sorry.”
Lyle lowers his head in disappointment and sighs. “That’s not what I wanted to hear. It’s been almost a year. What’s been going on Chris?”
“I’m sorry, it’s tricky. It’s much more complicated than I thought.” I say. In truth, I figured it out months ago but it’s too dangerous to ever give it to him. Now that I’m sitting here I’m starting to regret all of it. There’s something wondrous about doing things that aren’t legal.
I knew better than to deal with a man like this but I was barely 15, I thought I knew the world. Turns out there’s always something to learn, lessons to be had. This was one of them.
“You do know why you’re here then, right?”
Lyle chuckles and raises his head at me. “Of course not. You’re a weirdo and don’t care about making money. It’s smart though, that way I have no real leverage over you. I can’t make you do anything.” Lyle stands up and starts to walk around me. “Listen,” It’s a tactic to try and scare me but it doesn’t work. “Things thing you do? It’s not going to work out. We’re taking the lab.”
That’s fine. I only needed it to make LSD for myself to explore the outer consciousness. Anything extra I gave to Lyle but I haven’t even used the lab in months. “Okay but I don’t know why you would lose out on that profit.”
“We’re moving onto bigger things, child,” Lyle sits back down. “You’re here so I can give you the courtesy to tell you in person. However there’s one last thing you need to do before we cut our ties together, that’s why Sessions is here.” Lyle extends a note out of his pocket to Marina.
She looks at it, “Why?” Marina signs.
“Are you questioning me?”
Marina rolls eyes and signals me to get up with her head. I comply and we start to walk towards the exit.
“Have fun you two.”
Marina doesn’t say what we’re doing but it doesn’t matter. I already have a good guess of what it is on the drive to wherever we’re going. It’s far, farther than I’ve ever been then again I haven’t been outside Seattle. It’s been two hours and we haven’t said a word to each other.
We pass a sign that tells us how far Kennewick is and my suspicions are confirmed. This is where Acid goes from time to time. I don’t know what he does but Lyle likes to send people to do his job from time to time.
After another hour we only have a half left but I’m getting bored. I want to talk to Marina but I’m not sure if I can trust her. Can I talk to you then, friend?
You might be wondering what this all has to do with the world you’ve been observing. There’s just something strange about all of this, isn’t it? It’s been a while since we’ve talked and you’re wondering why now? That’s something I would like to know too.
I can’t dictate who you see.
I have a lot of questions for you.
Marina taps me in the shoulder. She has her phone held out to me. “We’re almost there, get ready,” it reads.
I should talk to her now, shouldn’t I?
“Why are you doing this?” I ask her.
Oddly, Marina looks over at me and doesn’t break eye contact with me while the car slows down to a halt. She starts to sign at me even though I don’t think she knows I know how to read. She finishes and sighs, the first verbal noise I ever heard from her. But what she signs puts things into perspective, it makes some sort of sense why she’s here.
Marina Lightyear is being held captive. She’s a will that was broken down and rebuilt by Lyle. She’s his greatest success. Marina is the perfect soldier for the man.
I sign back at her, asking her what changed.
She’s surprised but smiles and signs back, “You can only live through so much before you get to see how locked in you are.”
Did you see that? She’s just like me, trapped in her cage. I'm a bit shocked. I don’t know how to respond. Why is she telling me all this? What’s her play?
“Why are you telling me this?” I ask.
“Because I know who you are and what you can do. You’re the only one who can break me free.”
Break her free? I don’t know what she’s talking about, I can’t even break myself free.
Marina stares at me again. She opens her mouth to say something but doesn’t. Marina looks away then back at me. She lifts her white bangs up then I see.
I finally see.
I see her.