Luke held his bag and a pillow in front of him to hide his bloody shirt as he left in hurried step.
    "Here's one they are calling a vicious dog attack.  It say's a man was discovered with many bites in a lower north side apartment.  Police are searching for the offending dog.  The reporter's name is Berry McLarn.  I'll see if I can get him," said Jewel.
    "Good idea.  See if you can get a description.  Could be our private detective," said John.
    Two days later the reporter gave Jewel a description that sounded like Mr. Gains, and with human bite marks, not a dogs.  Jewel and John began patrolling a two-mile area around the area where the attack took place.
    "If anyone has a data base on felony attacks, they are certainly sure to have picked up on dead people with human bite wounds," stated Jewel.
    "True.  Eventually someone's going to pick up on it," replied John.
    Luke was patrolling for his next meal when a panhandler approached him.
    "Got some spare change man,," said the man holding out his hand.
    Luke began to hum, grabbed the man's hand, and bit off part of two fingers without breaking the rhythm of his hum.  The panhandler yelled, pulled his hand to his stomach, and called Luke a crazy son of a bitch while yelling as loud as he could.  Luke stopped, turned around, and would have finished his meal had there not been so many onlookers, and a new cannibal was born.
    "Biting seems too popular these days," said John before relaying the whole story.
    "That's not far from here.  We should ask him for a description," Jewel replied.
    "Let's go.  Ya know, I've felt like biting those guys myself, and that's nothing to do with our condition.  Today I want to spend some time in the subway system.  Seems like the kind of place he might choose a meal and follow it hoping for an opportunity," John stated.
    Luke had other ideas.  He was checking areas where drugs and gangs were common.  He found a street that looked rundown with little use.  He started walking up and down the sidewalk stepping over and on a variety of junk discarded by those who had lost a fondness for it.  Just after dark two men walking on the other side of that lonely street crossed over homing in on Luke.
    "You looking for something around here?" the tall one asked.
    The other one walked around behind Luke.
    "Oh, you might say that.  In fact, you're the one I am looking for." Luke said as he began to hum while turning his head to glance at the other man.
    "Just give me your wallet," the man said pulling a gun from his waste.
    The other man also pulled a gun.
    "Instead of my wallet, how about this." Luke pulled his carving knife, stepped forward grabbing the man's gun, and slitting his throat.  The man raised his loose arm to grab at his throat, and his gun went off.
    The other man began to run firing his gun as he went.  Luke cut off the man's arm and ran in the other direction down the dark street.  After a few blocks Luke stopped under the only street light in sight to sample his supper.  He then noticed that he had been hit in the side by one of the bullets fired by the other guy.  As he fed on the arm, he noticed that the wound could not be too bad as it did not hurt much.  When he got back to his hotel that wound had already began to heal.  Luke thought the wound must not have been particularly serious.  When he woke the next day, the wound had nearly healed completely. 
    "My my, my," Luke said realizing that somehow, he had developed some amazing healing capabilities.  At the same time, he realized there was something in the cave that also provided his new physical enchantments, just as it kept him alive all those years.  Luke stood and flexed his muscles while raising his arms to the heavens, he felt all powerful, he thought of himself as a god.
    Jewel and John found the injured panhandler sitting on a planter next to the curb.  He had a large lumpy bandage around his hand.
    "Hi.  I'm Jewel and this is John," said Jewel holding out her hand.
    "So," replied the panhandler.
    "Ah, we need to talk.  How about we take you to launch," John injected.
    The man looked at them in a real skeptical manner.
    "We really do need to talk about a few things...  We'll pay you for your time," said Jewel.
    John cocked his head in Jewels direction, and raised an eyebrow.
    "It is very important," John added.
    "My name is Jewel Handly, and this John Bellmont.  What's your name?" asked Jewel as they walked to the café just down the street.
    "David Styles," David answered.
    "Glad to meet you Mr. Styles," Jewel replied.
    "So, what can I order?" asked David.
    "Anything you want," stated John.
    "So, want do you want?" asked David.
    Jewel gave David a brief rundown on the events to date.  Dave just sat there without so much as a blink.
    "So, you think I'm an immortal cannibal.  Kinda like when a vampire bites you, you become a vampire type thing?" David asked.
    "Exactly like that.  Do you have any tech skills?" asked Jewel.
    "I was a pilot.  Took an RPG.  Survived with three wounds and was discharged.  Can't find a job, can't walk too far, can't kick the pills.  Now you tell me I'm a cannibal.  I'm having a great day.  How about you?" David asked.
    "It's a lot to take in.  Plus, there are more pills in your future," said Jewel.  She went on to explain the reason for the medicine.
    "Of course.  What the hell else is there?" asked David.
    "That's about it.  Other than we need to stick together, and kill Luke.  We need to stop this before everyone is contaminated," John stated.
    "Do you have an apartment?" asked Jewel.  They found a grad student who wrote them the program.
    "You wouldn't think there would be so many grisly murders," Jewel stated reading through the down loads.
    "We've evolved very little apparently," John said with a note sarcasm.
    "Evolved.  You think maybe there is something in that batch of bacteria and viruses that causes us to regress?" asked Jewel.
    "Who knows.  Over my head," John stated as the Jewels phone rang.
    "That was the lab.  They said those plants are called Resurrection Plants.  Kinda figures don't it," Jewel said.
    "I wonder if whoever named them had any idea?" John replied.
    "Maybe there's a bunch of very, very old people out there," Jewel answered.
    "I hadn't thought of that.  Maybe Luke and I are not the only ones.  Maybe now you have the ability to live a long time as well," John stated.
    "I think I'll run out in front of a bus to find out," Jewel said.
    "I'll take pictures," John said with a grin.
    Luke had rented a motel room in Cincinnati, and was eyeing his next meal.
    "Hi.  Could you tell what there is to do around here?" Luke asked a young boy staring in the window of a pizza shop.
    "Around here? Nonthin.  There aren't nothin doin around here," said the boy who turned back to the pizza shop window.
    "So, you know this area pretty good?" Luke asked.
    "Sure.  Why?" the boy asked
    "Well I tell ya what.  You give me a quick tour of the town, and I'll give you twenty bucks," offered Luke.
    "Really?" asked the boy.
    "Really.  Just the hot spots," replied Luke.
    They passed a clothing goods store, and Luke wanted to get some new clothing. 
    "Let's drop this stuff off before continuing our tour," said Luke.
    The boy helped Luke pack his new attire to his room.  As soon as he was inside Luke hit him over the head with an aluminum bat.  This time Luke didn't wait to cook any part of his meal.  After ripping his fill from the boy with his teeth, including the several bits of liver, he showered then packed up and left the boy's corpse in a massive pool of blood.  He also sprayed oven cleaner on the parts where he had made contact to destroy his DNA.   While he was doing so he wondered if he had washed his first victim thoroughly enough, and wondered why he hadn't thought of the over cleaner before.
    " Look at this.  They attribute this killing to the Oven Clearer Cannibal," Jewel said.
    "That could be Luke," John replied.
    "It doesn't say what organs were eaten.  The oven cleaner had to have been used to destroy his DNA," Jewel added.
    "How many, if any, has he infected who lived? he probably doesn't know that just a bite will contaminate someone, or the effects.  Like you.  What if that murder was done by someone he infected," John stated.
    "I'll bet he hasn't infected anyone besides me. He simply restrained himself until that girl.  I'll guess it took a while for him to build his confidence.  Get a lay of the land sorta speak," stated Jewel.
    "Let's look at those candies," John said pointing a shop window.
    They stopped in front of the shop.
    "Keep your head down, and look up with your eyes at the reflection of the guy across the street.  That's David Gains the Private investigator.  I've noticed him several times, but this time he's not wearing a hat.  Don't turn and look at him, let's just mosey on.  Maybe we can trap him and he'll tell us what he's up to," John said.
    "Why didn't you say something?" asked Jewel.
    "Didn't think much of it, till know," John replied.
    "Let go into the Pier Mall.  We can hide next to the door, and when he comes in, we surround him," Jewel suggested.
    "Ok," answered John.
    The plan worked perfectly.
    "How ya doin?" John asked Mr. Gains said as he cozied up to his left arm.
    "Oh!  How are you?" Mr. Gains who was surprised to the point of passing out.
    "Fine.  Just fine.  Are you going to make this difficult?" asked John.
    "What do you mean?" Mr. Gains asked with a sheepish grin.
    "My associate has a gun in her pocket, and I ordered her to shoot if I let go of your arm.  Now why are you following us?" John asked as he loosened his grip.
    "Okay. Okay, Luke paid me to find out why you paid me to follow him," answered Mr. Gains.
    "Don't let me see you again," John stated with very firm voice as he stopped and turn away.
    "Should have forced him to give us Luke's number," asked Jewel.
    "No need.  I pocketed his phone.  Write these down.  One of them must be Luke's," suggested John handing the phone to Jewel.
    "Gottum," Jewel responded.
    John chased down Mr. Gains and gave him back his phone.
    "I believe you dropped this," John said with a smile.
    "Your pretty spry for someone your age," Jewel commented.
    "What do ya mean?" John asked.
    "The way you ran to catch up with him.  In fact, you were very fast, and you're not even breathing hard," answered Jewel.
    "Your right.  I'm not.  That's a good thing, I guess," stated John.
    "Hold this." Said Jewel handing John her purse.
    Jewel than ran about half way down the mall's center walkway and back again.
    "I've never been in this good of shape," said Jewel as she took her pulse.
    "I wonder if there are any other benefits to these viruses.  X-ray vision perhaps." John said as he zestfully jumped in an effort to fly.
    "I'd settle for never catching a cold, or chipping a nail," said Jewel.
    " I'd settle for never going bald.  My father was bald," John said tilting his head to one side.
Robert Evan Howard