Author : Christina Kern

I don’t like to think of it as “running”. No, let’s call it “traveling with the intent of avoiding a specific party”.

What you call it doesn’t matter, I guess. What does matter is that the Abunari have tracked me through six states up and down the Atlantic coast, and I need to keep moving.

I’ll assume you think that the Abunari is something like the mafia, some family organization geared toward money and corruption and a skewed view of honor. You’d be terribly wrong. The Abunari is ten times what the mafia could ever be with no clear understandable motivation. At least what the mafia does can be understood; the Abunari do what they do simply for the hell of it.

I guess with that much power it’s understandable.

I attacked one of them. They have this hobby of taking over largely public vehicles and crashing them into things. They like to watch your thoughts panic and bounce frantically around your aura as you see death approaching you, as you begin to comprehend that your life is terminating.

They live for that moment of clarity you experience right before impact. It feeds them.

I happened to be on that bus one of them overtook in Virginia. And I happened to notice that he didn’t even realize I was there. I looked him straight in the face. He looked right through me.

The Abunari do not “see” like you and I “see”. They perceive the world through something they like to call Visual Telepathic Energy. In essence, they don’t see you, they see your thoughts. Think something along the lines of thermal energy goggles.

I can’t explain it, but for some reason, they can’t see me. I have some sort of VTE shield, and they can’t penetrate it. That’s why the one on the bus couldn’t see me pull out the handgun I carry for protection and shoot him directly between the eyes. Now, of course, this didn’t kill him, but it stunned him long enough for us to toss him onto the road at 60 miles per hour. That didn’t kill him either.

I assume that’s why they want me so badly. It gives them something to chase, something to experiment on when they eventually catch me.

How are they tracking me? I can’t say that I’m entirely sure about that myself. My theory is that they can see me through other people’s VTE. Sure, they never had a clear basis for what I would look like to them, but I’m sure the one on the bus caught glimpses of me, even though he had no idea where I was or what I was doing. Using that, they simply follow me through the people that see me, those who happen to see a ratty, skinny, dirty young woman scaling scaffolds and running through shadows, those who happen to see me hop a bus to wherever.

That’s just a theory, though. I cannot claim to fully understand the Abunari. As I said: all that matters is that they’re tracking me, and I’ve got to keep moving.

All I care about is staying ahead. All I care about is finding others like me, other Shielded, so that maybe we can start a resistance. The Abunari want to tear this world apart; I don’t feel inclined to let them. There are more out there, somewhere, and I’m going to find them.

So I’ll keep moving. Be on the lookout for a woman in the shadows, beyond the perception of everyday life. That’s where I’ll be, preparing to fight.

Will you?

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