‘Jet... why did you choose this for yourself?’ Alice asks. I look at her and laugh.
‘If you were alive that long ago maybe you would understand. To be able to advance so many years beyond your own time in a matter of seconds simply by destroying your own soul? It was worth it. Besides that I enjoy this life. Even being brought down in a war and surviving by being on the run is a thrill.’ I try to explain it. I shake my head, knowing words aren’t enough. I send her a memory through the necklace.
The forest is before me, huge, intimidating, dark. I have a crude weapon clutched in one hand and no clothes on. Who needs dignity? What’s civilisation?
‘I can show you civilisation’ a voice whispers behind me. I’m looking for Konrad. I don’t want to see. I want my friend. I walk towards the huge trees, not confident in my own actions.
‘He’s gone, your friend. He abandoned you.’ I feel some emotion I don’t understand. In the future I recognise it as anger. I’m alone, abandoned and really mad at the only person I had ever trusted – all emotions that I would come to understand; as a hunter-gatherer I have no need for real emotion, I only understand what it makes me want to do. I turn around and see a creature that’s tried to model itself on the appearance of my species. The memory of the power coming from this thing is strong as it is in just a memory; I can’t remember the exact impression he made on me. Jaska. I lose all desire to find the person I had called a friend, and walk to the demon.
‘Show me.’ I say, more unfamiliar emotions coursing through me – exhilaration, fear, rage, exultation.
I stop the memory there. It’s a short glimpse into my last human memory (I had found one after a long stretch of looking inside myself for a memory), but it’s enough to show Alice why I chose the path I did. I look at her and wait for some kind of reaction.
‘For everything. I'm sorry I made your life even more pear-shaped, and I'm sorry that I didn't notice how... depressed you were. I would never have done this,’ Gabby points at her sharpened teeth ‘if I'd known how bad things were for you.’ She spills the egocentric spiel and falls silent, playing with her stolen skirt. I sigh. I don’t know whether to forgive her. I mean, I don’t want to, especially, but I’d be behaving like a brattish teen myself if I didn’t at least try.
‘The depression is never really gonna change, Gabby. I’ll probably be killed by a hunter before it fades away.’ I exhale slowly, trying to think of what to say. Eventually I just tell her what I think. ‘I don’t know whether I could ever fully forgive you, simply because of what a vampire did to my family and my girlfriend and I have real issues with someone choosing that lifestyle. But I will try to get over it.’ I slump in my seat and look away from her.