" Na.  Squatten over there. "  David said pointing to old building with broken windows.

" First we get you back together.  We'll put you up in the hotel staying at.  Some new cloths, a store bought haircut, and some decent food. "  Said Jewel.

David just stared at Jewel not knowing quite what to say.

" Come on, let's get to it.  There's a lot to do. "  Jewel said motioning with her head and waving her arm for David to follow.

David shrugged his shoulders and followed Jewel.

" Wow! You look like a whole different person. "  Said Jewel after David returned with John.

" I feel like a whole different person, or at leased a new immortal cannibal. "  Replied David.

" About that immortal thing, don't jump in front of any buses. "  Stated Jewel.

" Would be an interesting experiment.  What's the plan from here? "  Asked David.

" We keep looking for Luke. "  Replied Jewel.

David looked around at the bustling New York landscape, and shook his head.

At that moment Luke was on his way back to Los Angeles.  The first thing he did upon arrival was change his looks.  Now Luke had a casual care free appearance. 
Luke walked around smiling at everyone.  People who looked at him and thought he seemed friendly, but actually he was just hungry.  Just like last time there were so many people who looked like no one would miss them that he thought this would be a forever feast.  He got a high end and low end apartment, and began prowling  the streets all day and night formulating a plan of action.  While walking around he acquired the tools to be used in his culinary activities at a range of locations so they could not be linked to any one person.

On his fifth night a prostitute made him an offer that was acceptable.  They where on their way to his low rent hotel when two men who had been leaning against a building pulled guns and wanted Luke's money.  The prostitute also pulled a gun. 

Luke did not feel threatened do to his recently recognized physical enhancements.  He grabbed one of the males gun and shot the other one.  Then he turned and shot the one he had taken the gun from.  The prostitute stood frozen.  Luke slowly walked over to her, grabbed her head with booth hands and bit off a chunk of her cheek.  She fainted without making a sound.  There where several people watching at a distance, so Luke walked away.

The prostitute was taken to the hospital, treated and released.  Two weeks later she bit a client.  He went to the hospital and was released.  A month later he bit a co-workers hand for taking the last jelly donut.  The prostitute in the mean time had bitten four more clients, and had swallowed a good sized chunk from one of her fellow ladies of the evenings forearm. 

Her assaults made the news, and Luke immediately recognized the problem.  Knowing what the potential end game would be caused him to quiver on the inside, and suffer withdrawal like episodes.  This led him to rethink his entire prospective as his intellect gradually returned.  He then knew why John had been on his trail, and the reality of the situation took hold.  He decided to find John and devise a plan to stop what was happening while it was possible.

" You won't believe this! "  Proclaimed John as he handed the phone to Jewel.

Dave moved in for a look.

" Oh my god. "  Jewel said in a raised hi pitched voice.

" So you gonna talk to him? "  Asked Dave.

John took the phone an said, "  Luke.  It's been a while. "

" Right now it seems like a lifetime.  Literally. "  Luke replied in a shaky voice.

They exchanged the circumstances as best they knew, and decided to meet in Los Angeles.

" Do you think he will show? "  Asked Jewel.

" Sure, but I'm afraid that now the worst case scenario is inevitable. "  John stated in a sad but firm voice.

" Dave, pack up, we'll be leave as soon as you get back. "  Jewel stated.

After two hours Dave had not returned.  They decided to check the abandon building he had been living in.  There were two girls who were obviously on drugs.

" Have either of you seen Dave? "  Jewel asked.

" He and Patsy left for Mr. D's. "  Replied one of the girls.

They followed the directions the girls had supplied and found Dave buy himself.  He was dead from an apparent overdose.  It was also obvious that there had been others there shooting up.

" They probably used the same needle. "  Jewel said.

" Crap!  That's cuts it. "  John shouted looking up.

" Take your meds! "  Jewel shouted in an equally loud voice.

John took the bottle from his pocked.  He looked at Jewel with a terrifying expression.  Jewel took a few steps backward.   John forced down a couple of pills.  A few minutes later John was back to normal.

" Let's catch that plain. "  John said in a shaky voice.

On the way to the airport they told Luke what had transpired.  Luke said he had called an immunologist and gave her a brief explanation of the situation.  She said she would have a few friends of hers meet with them and her hospital.  She also agreed they would devise some kind of plan before getting the authorities involved.

" Do you think she will have the cops there instead of other doctors? "  Jewel asked.

" Do you have a better idea? "  Luke asked back.

" Nope. "  Jewel replied.

Luke was standing in front of the terminal when Jewel and John left the debarked.

" Long time. "  Luke said with his hand out.

Jewel shook his hand, but John refused.

" I don't blame you.  It was horrific.  This whole thing is horrific.  Try and think of the life we had before the cave.  It might help. "  Luke said in a calm voice.  Then he made a body motion like chills where running up and down his spine.

" I wish I could.  I wish I could.  However, my nightmares wont me.  The ones I have every time I fall asleep.  Then I wake up in a cooled sweet.  Then I relive the whole thing over and over again. So, now we try and save the world.  Right? "  John said inquisitively staring and the blank look on Luke's face.
PAGE 17
Robert Evan Howard
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