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Chapter 50

With the most important parts of my past life memory pretty much gone by the time I had reached the Metro, I decided to pay Dr. Marconi a visit to see if regression would resurrect anything useful.

I skipped checking his house and went straight to his office. This time, instead of giving me difficulty about not having an appointment, his secretary saw me right into his inner chambers.

“Are people still looking for you, Trenton?” Dr. Marconi asked, not surprised to see me.

“Story of my life, but if you’re wondering whether Ms. Petrovich and her boys are going to come crashing in, then no, I came by myself.”

“I take it you made your choice then?”

“Yes ... in fact, I just got back from the past where the most amazing thing happened and then un-happened, if that’s a word.”

“Tell me about it,” he said, motioning to the now familiar leather chair. I checked, but didn’t see the devious restraining devices.

“No straps?”

“Not yet,” he replied with a wink.

I described the events that took place since our last sit-down and waited for his advice.

“So you’re proposing I put you under and regress back to Crimson James, is that right?”

“Right on the money, doc. In fact, it’s probably our patriotic duty to do so, wouldn’t you say?”

He cocked an eyebrow and leaned toward me. After quickly activating the arm straps, he secured them with a grin.

“That’s just for insurance. I’d rather not suffer another black eye.”

“Again, I’m sorry about that.”

“Don’t mention it,” he said dryly and tugged at the straps. “Okay, shall we begin?”

I nodded and not before long, I was back on the beach counting waves. The transition to the next stage was seamless and the regression had begun. However, tracking down Crimson in the long line of past lives tucked deep in the subconscious was not an easy task. This was still an imprecise science and the techniques were nowhere near to being perfected.

On top of that, one past life was stronger than the others and wanted center stage. Ben Min, the past life that had attacked Dr. Marconi during our last session, emerged and didn’t like the fact that he was strapped to a chair. I wondered how I knew this but just as had happened with Crimson on the ski hill, I was able to comprehend two lives occupying the same avatar, despite their having lived in two separate times, thousands of years apart.

Ben Min’s full life suddenly penetrated my consciousness, or at least Trenton’s consciousness. As the puzzle took shape, I could feel his blood racing through my veins and understood the reason he was constantly on edge, ready to tear someone’s head off.

Ben Min was an aide-de-camp and the most trusted officer in General Chun Qin’s army. However, Chun Qin, one of China’s ancient rulers during the Tang Dynasty, befell a great insult at the hands of Ben Min who ran away with the supreme ruler’s favorite wife, Shi Na.

Unbeknownst to Chun Qin, Ben Min and Shi Na had been secret lovers before she had been forced to marry Chun Qin. Ben Min had never forgiven Chun Qin for taking away his soul mate.

After the betrayal, Chun Qin vowed to scour the ends of the Earth, if necessary, to find Ben Min and Shi Na. His sole purpose now was to avenge his humiliation.

General Chun Qin’s pursuit lasted years and eventually brought his army across distant waters to unknown lands further east than anyone had ever been. Eventually, Ben Min, who had always been one step ahead of his pursuer, ran out of distance in a land plagued with a lake made of salt. Ben Min and Chun Qin were set to finish their story.

The night before the final battle, a meteorite broke through the Earth’s invisible force field and plummeted into the Great Salt Lake. The locals explained that it was fulfillment of the prophecy, which claimed that a great power had come from the sky and helped the ancients build machines that powered themselves. The same power, which Ben Min realized was the meteorite, struck again years later and killed all of the ancients along with their knowledge. The natives believed last night’s meteorite started the cycle again and that the ancients would soon arrive to harness that power.

Ben Min thought the story interesting, but didn’t have time to dwell on it. Besides, what good was this power if he wasn’t able to harness it? He finished his preparations and the next day, fought Chun Qin to the death.

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