This time, Sebastian finds himself trapped inside a locked compartment. A box like compartment what looked like a coach of a very fast moving underground train to him, only that he was travelling alone. Confused, he adjusts his night vision allowing it to glow like a cat’s eye in the dull light and looks out of the windows. Nothing. All he sees are the inside walls of dimly lit tunnel wired on either sides with high volt bare electric lines emiting blue rays.
Noticing one of those wires now producing a bright yellow spark, Sebastian backs off the window alarmed . One minute, he was surfing in Raven’s memory and the next, he had somehow teleported himself inside an underground tunnel that was ‘in a verge of explosion’ any moment.
Nervous , he feels his legs go limp and throw him out of the balance before grabbing the pole for safety. Then he roughly runs his fingers across his hair and finds himself staring at the windowpane in disbelief. An image of a man dressed in white suit with a blue handkerchief neatly tucked on his front pocket stared back at him, petrified, knowing his worst nightmare was coming to life.
Vampires had always been scared of sparks. Spark meant fire. Whether it was a cable spark or a spark by thunderstorm or a spark as simple as those produced by humans by rubbing two stones together. They were afraid. A notorious tale of an old vampire castle being set on fire and killing thousands of their kinds still circulated around after a century. It haunted dreams of many who had survived the tragedy. And Sebastian was also one.
Why were they scared of fire? Sebastian never had to ask. He knew the answer himself. It was to do with inability to regenerate once you had been burnt. Fire was known to denature the proteins inside vampire’s cells as much as it did to human beings and other warm bloods. Once the cells were fixed their capacity to mould was limited. ‘Moulding’ was the principle of regeneration of body parts in vampires, ‘a secret to their Immortality’. No moulding cells meant, death was better outcome than to be alive. There was no worser faith than living eternity with a crooked deformed body like a half melted plastic bottle. ‘Good at nothing’ as vampires said. Therefore, bullying wasn’t just limited to school or a few years, it was for life.
Ofcourse, fire did not completely restrict the ability to regenerate. The regeneration was there but often incomplete and was known to leave ugly scars on the survivor. Sebastian carried his mark, a charcoal black charred back.. between his scapulas extending a palm length below and at sides that often reminded him of his narrow escape. His father, who had saved him from the fire had also endured a burn but much severe on his left hand. The regeneration attempts for him had terribly gone wrong, unlike Sebastian who had miraculously managed to heal almost completely. However at the end, the claw like hideous hand had brought major advantages on close combats to Sebastian’s father, being used as an armor shield, popularly called ‘the claw beasted king’ among the peasants.
Sebastian dreaded the thought of being trapped in the fire. Being blessed with supernatural strengths, the limit of pain for him was indeed far below than that of regular humans. And should the train explode and it promised him quick exit he had almost nothing to worry about. He didn’t care if his guts and flesh scattered, got burnt and deep fried even. What scared him was, Vampires rarely died. Their blessing was their curse.
Because, as long as a vampire had a beating heart intact in his body, every cell made an attempt to regenerate even to the most extreme forms. Sometimes, only to break away in midway, leaving gaps between the arranging muscle fibres, exposing their inner organs or the bones . And other times worser than that, a creature so different that looked anything other than the beautiful supernatural creatures they were. And this was an unacceptable faith to Sebastian.