Prologue Author's Note: This story is being written during NaNoWriMo and is in its early draft form.
I wake to the sound of the crashing waves tossing our boat back and forth. I used to be a heavy sleeper. In fact, I still am. I shouldn’t be awake.
Jake Laskaris is a 17-year old boy from Portland, Oregon, and he has a problem.
There is a crackle of thunder and the ensuing flash of light shines upon the waters much like a spotlight. They’re searching. Searching for me.
At times, he’ll wake suddenly in the middle of the night–alert, tense, all senses straining–for no apparent reason.
I can hear drunken laughter from the cabin next to mine. How did I get so far from home? I slip out from my blankets, and I can feel the rough, worn fabric as it passes along my skin. That is a normal sensation. But as my feet set upon the metal floor, I can feel the tremor of the thunderstorm. I can see ever present lights in the sky and across the waters. Yet the storm is many miles away, and the stars are obscured by fog. I am far from normal sight and hearing, and far from the touch of ordinary humans. What am I?
Then he begins sleepwalking. He’s conscious of what he’s doing, yet he can’t stop, and he can’t wake up.
These thoughts echo through my mind. I am free to think, but my body is not my own. A dog lies at the foot of my bed. He’s a gift from one of the sailors. I set a hand gently upon his back and I can feel his heartbeat thumping as if it was in the palm of my hand. He’s sound asleep. That’s good. I can’t have anything disturbing my mission… but just what is my mission?
Jake wonders if it’s merely an adolescent phase. He desperately searches for answers.
I begin walking to the door. I hear a bolt come loose from the generator a few levels below me. Then there’s the tread of the engineer, already off to fix it. I reach the door and open it. The hall lights are momentarily blinding, but my eyes quickly adjust. I walk down the hall and set off at a brisk pace for the third cabin down from mine. Upon reaching the room, I pull open the door and step inside, with hardly a sound. I already knew that the room was empty, but I must confirm something. I move over to the bed in the righthand corner of the room and feel the pillow. It’s warm. He left only moments before.
But who? I question this force that drives me, but as usual, I am given no answer. I’m a puppet. The strings are my master and I want to be cut free. I leave the room and continue down the hall. It is then that my target comes into view. I sniff at the air and make a disgusted face. He wears a particular brand of European cologne. But it’s not the cologne that’s disgusting. It’s that familiar air about him–tainted, conniving.
“You’re back,” he mutters, recognizing me.
Despite the familiar air, I’ve never seen him before, as far as I can remember. Had we met briefly before? No… I would’ve recognize that smell and that sense of evil. But how did he know me?
I sense the mysterious force driving me to speak. “Who are you?” I ask.
Those three words changed my life. I wish I could’ve forgotten his answer. I should have walked away–no, fled from that presence. But that same force that awakened me at night had forced the words from my mouth.