The Burning of a Soul

Note: Dedicated to those who think that the Bones writers totally destroyed what could have been a decent plotline for cheap theatrics and a small bump in the ratings.

I wanted to add a quick pre-addendum to this story. I wrote the Gormagon character as a parody of all those silly Hannibal Lector type characters out there. He is so goofy and over the top that he totally buys into his own delusions of pomp and circumstance. The real tragedy is that Zach is so naive/innocent/socially awkward, that he can't see the guy as the goofy nutter that he is- someone who thinks that he's this all-powerful type megalomaniac, but in reality is a a rather pathetic person who went way off the deep end and took a lot of people down with him in the process.

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I do not own anything Fox related or anything at that matter except for my books.

"Do you find purpose in your life?"

The shrimp soured on Zach's tongue, his mouth swelling over terrible tang. He quickly swallowed the half chewed food, and looked down toward his feet.

"Do you find that there is no longer logic to the order of mankind?"

The room was full of noise and people. Swarms of men and women all conversing in too loud voices, pulling him back to a time best forgot.

"I can give you this logic. I can give you the ability to sleep and not see the destruction you have witnessed night after night. I have conquered the demons of humanity. I can teach you the same."

And there it was. Unknown Freedom.

The man saw into him, watched his nights of quiet loss, his days of over controlled emotions. Zach finally looked up, finally able to see the man before him. The others and their talk of burning plasma dissolved into darkness. "Who are you?" he asked as the lights dimmed.

"I am who you cry for in the depths of your dreams." The man replied, resting his hand atop Zach's fingers.

"What do you know of my dreams?" He asked, pulling back, pulling away. The dull ache returned, the base of his skull throbbing low and meek.

"You have them, such dreams, at least twice a week. You haven't told anyone about them, not your friends, not your coworkers. Because you are scared, Because you have lost control of your body and your mind. I can give you such power to be free from them, if you will accept it."

Zach needed to leave, to run, even if it was away. He put down his glass of mineral water, scattering a napkin full of crushed cheese and cracker crumbs over the buffet table, trying to will himself to rejoin the rest of humanity. Three feet to the right, he saw a woman laughing from lacerated bone jokes. She was alive and laughing. Over death and destruction. A victim of her own trade and the need to just release. Other laughter soon joined in, the snack break almost over as osteologists and forensic anthropologists and scientists who specialized in splattering or bullets or footwear giving into the need to not think about plasma burns. Zach had seen the same reaction before, countless symposiums where laughter interrupted talk of decay and mortality. He could never bring himself to laugh.

He took a step to the left, back toward the man. "I don't know how to fix it. To fix myself. I've tried... talking. To friends"

"No, you haven't."

"I've tried different methods to overcome the insomnia. Over the counter drugs. Sudafed. It just made me dull. I can't think."

"No, you haven't."

Zach fell aback.

"I can teach you to overcome yourself. To use that which has made peasants into kings. Do you know why humans are as they are? Because we don't simply kill, we conquer, we subject those weaker than ourselves. And they worship us for it."

"I'm sorry, I think I need to go." Zach replied, pulling away for the last time, and returned to his seat as a new powerpoint presentation started. The room dimmed to blackness as the last group found their chairs or left. Too late, he realized that the new talk was primarily about different medical treatments and zoned out, unable to really participate.

The speaker was just getting into catecholamine degradation when the man sat down next to him, eclipsing his world. "You must come with me."

"I'm trying to listen," he lied.

"Zach, come with me now." he murmured.

He looked around, trying to see who was paying attention, then grabbed for his phone. He turned it on, its too-bright screen illuminating his corner of the room. The speaker, blinded at the sudden light, sneezed, then glared at the man. Zach just sat there, trying to text out a message. His fingers fumbling, he skipped over letters, turning As into 1s, trying to form something legible to Hodgins, to Booth, to anyone who should listen.

An arm draped over his shoulders, sucking him into nothing. "Come with me now, Zach," the man whispered, slipping the phone out, away from the man. The case snapped shut, dousing the two in darkness as they left the room together in the pallid darkness of plasma burns.