"SEPARATION ANXIETY"
Captain N: The Game Master

Season 7

"SEPARATION ANXIETY"
WRITTEN BY
MARK MOORE


Thursday, April 25, 1996, 7:35 PM

A warp opened in the Conference room, and Lana, Samus, Rick, Mike, Stacey, Kristen, Heather, and Simon exited it. The warp closed.
"Okay, guys, take a break." Lana said. She left the room.
The others sat down at the conference table. Samus took off her helmet.
"Why the hell did we go to Dragon's Den?" Mike asked.
"Our leader felt it was necessary." Rick replied.
"Personally, I think it was too dangerous for us." Heather said.
"I agree." Samus said. "Not even I would take on an army of dragons."
"What's the death toll?" Kristen asked.
"Let's turn on VNN and find out." Samus turned on the viewscreen.
"The N Team has just returned from Dragon's Den." Cathy Bennett reported. "This is yet another in a series of dangerous and unsuccessful missions that the N Team has undertaken since Lana Deschain became the team's leader over two months ago. 6,467,312 were killed on Dragon's Den. Here is what remains of them."
The camera switched to footage of Dragon's Den. Everywhere, people's charred bodies lay, and dragons stomped around triumphantly, burning everything in sight. The camera switched back to Cathy in the studio.
"We can add these dead to the 3,956,768,217 other people that were killed in failed rescue attempts these past two months." Cathy said. "That plus the 324,758 soldiers lost and the 67,843,235 people who perished when their worlds were nuked brings the current death toll of the war to 93,696,836,846 people."
Samus turned off the viewscreen. "Kevin let me lead missions wherever I wanted. If I had been in charge, we wouldn't be running off trying to save every video world that comes under attack. We'd be going into Brain Child's territory and crippling the enemy!"
"I admit Lana's doing a lousy job," Rick said, "but what are you gonna do about it?"
"I'm going to challenge her for leadership of the N Team." Samus replied.
"Like, I dunno, Samus." Stacey said. "I don't think it's smart to mess with Lana when she's got a 'fuck the universe' attitude."
Samus stood up. "Don't worry. I can take her."
She left the Conference room.

The door chimed.
"Come in." Lana said.
The door slid open, and Samus walked into Lana's bedroom. The door closed.
Lana walked over to the bounty hunter. "What do you want, Samus?"
"Captain N, I am not happy with the way you've been leading the N Team." Samus said. "You consistently put us in dangerous situations, and we're fed up with it. I have the most Metroid experience. I should be the leader of this team."
Lana laughed. "You wanna be Captain N? That's a good one."
"This is no joke." Samus told her. "I'm warning you. Either improve your leadership, or I'll challenge you."
"I'll improve." Lana told her.
Samus nodded, then turned and left the room. The door closed.
"Bitch." Lana commented.
Out in the corridor, Samus stopped and smiled. "Cunt."
Then she went on her merry way.

Kristen came back into the Conference room and sat at the head of the table. She opened up her Bible.
"What are you doing?" Mike asked.
"You asked me for a discussion of religion." Kristen said. "I should have the main book with me so I can refer you to some passages."
"Okay, where do we begin?" Rick asked.
"The Old Testament." Kristen replied. "There are 39 books in the Old Testament. They are in a slightly different order than in the Tanakh, which is the Jewish Bible. The Christians accepted these 39 books as part of the Christian canon. The first five books - Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy - are known to Jews as the Torah, or 'The Law'. According to tradition, they were written by Moses, but this is not true."
"How do you know?" Heather asked.
"Let's take the Book of Genesis." Kristen said. "The creation story in Genesis is pure bullshit. The Babylonians were ancient neighbors of the Israelites. Their creation myth is found in a book called the 'Enuma Elish'. Their story involves many gods - a council presided over by Marduk (the storm god) and Tiamat (the sea goddess). When these two engaged in a furious battle, Marduk won and formed the created world from Tiamat's corpse. He filled her belly with wind and 'opened her like a clam' so that the front of her body became the sky (with waters above it) and the back of her body became the Earth (with waters beneath it). Marduk then took mud and Tiamat's blood to create human beings, created to be slaves to the gods. The striking features of this story are that there were multiple gods, that creation resulted from a struggle between order (Marduk) and chaos (Tiamat), and that humans were created from mud and blood so that they could serve the gods forever. The author or authors of Genesis knew this story and borrowed it from the Babylonians. The story was then revised until it resembled what it is now. The creation story in the Bible has only one supreme God who needs only to speak in order to create. Human beings are created in the divine image from mud and divine breath. Furthermore, they are beings whose freedom allows them to serve God or not, as they choose. We can find echoes of the Babylonian story in Genesis (God speaking in plural terms, for example, saying 'Let us create humankind'), and there are obvious word plays. God's spirit hovers over a 'deep', which is 'tehom' in Hebrew, a word that comes from Tiamat. So that's where the creation story comes from. It's nothing more than a beautified version of a myth from another religion."
"Huh." Mike said. "I never knew that."
"Genesis has further problems." Kristen went on. She flipped through some pages in her Bible. "Genesis 4:25 says 'Adam and his wife had another son. She said, 'God has given me a son to replace Abel, whom Cain has killed.' So she named him Seth.' So, that means that Eve didn't have her third son until after Cain killed Abel. However, there's a big problem with that." Kristen flipped back to the previous page. "Genesis 4:13-15 has Cain talking to God shortly after he killed Abel. It says 'And Cain said to the Lord, 'This punishment is too hard for me to bear. You are driving me off the land and away from your presence. I will be a homeless wanderer on the Earth, and anyone who finds me will kill me.' But the Lord answered, 'No. If anyone kills you, seven lives will be taken in revenge.' So the Lord put a mark on Cain to warn anyone who met him not to kill him.'"
"Uh," Mike began, "...if Cain was Eve's only son at the time, and Adam and Eve were the first human beings on the planet, where the hell did all these extra people come from?"
"See what I mean?" Kristen asked. "Anyway, the books in the Old Testament were passed along orally for centuries until they were finally written down. During all that time, things were added, deleted, rearranged, and spliced together."
"So, how much of it is true?" Rick asked.
Kristen shrugged. "Who knows? There were also a lot of books that weren't included in the Hebrew canon. The two main groups of these books are the Apocrypha and the Pseudepigrapha. The Apocrypha is probably the better known of the two. It's a collection of 15 books that appeared in the Septuagint, which was the first Greek translation of the Old Testament. Because the Church grew from Greek-speaking synagogues, early Christians, who also spoke Greek, used the Septuagint. The Septuagint became the Old Testament of the church, but its contents varied in differing regions, and it includes several books that were not recognized by Jews in Palestine. These extra books that appear in the Septuagint but not in the Hebrew canon are collectively called the Apocrypha. The books include the Book of Tobit; the Book of Judith; the Book of Esther (the Greek version); the Wisdom of Solomon; Sirach: The Wisdom of Jesus, Son of Sirach (Ecclesiasticus); the Book of Baruch; the Letter of Jeremiah; the Prayer of Azariah and the Song of the Three Young Men; the Book of Susanna; Bel and the Dragon; the First Book of the Maccabees; the Second Book of the Maccabees; the First Book of Esdras; the Second Book of Esdras; and the Prayer of Manasseh. In the Eastern Church, the Apocrypha was never a matter of concern, but the Western Church had many debates about it. As early as the fourth century, Jerome, who is honored as one of the 'doctors of the church' by Roman Catholics, disputed the Septuagint books that were not also present among the books recognized by Palestinian Jews. However, Jerome's opinion did not prevail, probably because of two factors. 1) The Bible readings, which were always a feature of Christian worship, gradually excluded the Old Testament during the Middle Ages, so policing the canon of the Old Testament did not seem to be of much importance for several centuries. No church body issued any statement listing the official contents of the Old Testament until the time of the Protestant Reformation. 2) Many hymns, anthems, and other acts of praise in Christian worship that were used from the very beginning were taken from the Apocrypha. One good example of this is the passage in the Song of the Three Young Men, verses 29-34, which is still used in the Rite One Morning Prayer of the Episcopal Church of the USA. Martin Luther resurrected Jerome's objections to the Apocrypha. He felt, as Jerome did, that it was proper to use the Apocrypha as a liturgical resource or for moral instruction, but not as a source of doctrine. This is the way that fundamentalist churches use the writings of Bill and Gloria Gaither or C. S. Lewis, for example. To this day, Anglicans, Methodists, and Lutherans use the Apocrypha in this way. However, the Pope responded to Luther by proclaiming the Apocrypha to be scripture on a par with the rest of the Old Testament, over the protests of some Roman Catholic scholars. Today, the Roman Catholic Church considers the Apocrypha to be deuterocanonical, which means secondarily canonical. This term refers to the order of acceptance, not to the degree of authority. Some later Protestant groups, particularly those founded in the United States after American printings of the King James Bible omitted the Apocrypha entirely, reject the Apocrypha for any use - or even consider it evil. This is an overreaction. In fact, the First Book of the Maccabees, which is in the Apocrypha, is a straight historical account which gives much of the background that is essential to understanding the political tensions during the ministry of Jesus. Much of the same information is available from other but less reliable historical sources, such as Josephus."
"What about the Pseudewhateverthefuckyoucallit?" Stacey asked.
"The Pseudepigrapha is a collection of books that are in no Bible that I'm aware of. The books in the Pseudepigrapha are the First Book of Enoch (Ethiopic Apocalypse of Enoch), the Second Book of Enoch (Slavonic Book of the Secrets of Enoch), the Fourth Book of Baruch (a.k.a. Paraleipomena Jeremiou), the Books of Adam and Eve (translation of the Latin version), Life of Adam and Eve (translation of the Slavonic version), Life of Adam and Eve (translation of the Greek version, a.k.a. the Apocalypse of Moses), the Story of Ahikar, the Apocalypse of Adam, the Apocalypse of Moses, a fragment of the Enoch (another version), Joseph and Aseneth (another, more modern English translation), the Book of Jubilees, the Letter of Aristeas, the Martyrdom of Isaiah, Paraleipomena Jeremiou (a.k.a. the Fourth Book of Baruch), the Revelation of Esdras, the Second Treatise of the Great Seth, the Testament of Abraham, the Testament of Solomon, and Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs."
"Man, that's a lot of books that weren't included." Heather observed.
"Oh, you don't know the half of it." Kristen told her. "There were a lot of Christian texts that were never included in the New Testament. A group of people living in the second century called the Gnostics wrote a great number of these books. They claimed to have access to a secret knowledge about Jesus. Twelve books containing Gnostic texts were discovered in December of 1945 in the Egyptian city of Nag Hammadi. These books contain 47 tractates. They are the Prayer of the Apostle Paul; the Apocryphon of James; the Gospel of Truth; the Treatise on Resurrection; the Tripartite Tractate; the Apocryphon of John; the Gospel of Thomas; the Gospel of Philip; the Hypostasis of the Archons; On the Origin of the World; the Exegesis on the Soul; the Book of Thomas the Contender; the Gospel of the Egyptians; Eugnostos the Blessed and The Sophia of Jesus Christ; the Dialogue of the Savior; the Apocalypse of Paul; the First Apocalypse of James; the Second Apocalypse of James; the Apocalypse of Adam; the Acts of Peter and the Twelve Apostles; The Thunder, Perfect Mind; Authoritative Teaching; The Concept of our Great Power; Plato, Republic 588B-589B; the Discourse on the Eighth and Ninth; the Prayer of Thanksgiving; Asclepius 21-29; the Paraphrase of Shem; the Second Treatise of the Great Seth; Apocalypse of Peter; the Teachings of Silvanus; the Three Steles of Seth; Zostrianos; the Letter of Peter to Philip; Melchizedek; the Thought of Norea; the Testimony of Truth; Marsanes; the Interpretation of Knowledge; A Valentinian Exposition, with On the Annointing, On Baptism A and B, and On the Eucharist A and B; Allogenes; Hypsiphrone; the Sentences of Sextus; Fragments; Trimorphic Protennoia; the Gospel of Mary; and the Act of Peter. You can find all these books in 'The Nag Hammadi Library'. Also, there are a lot of other Christian texts that were included in the New Testament."
"How was the official list of books determined?" Rick asked.
"The process of selecting some of these books and discarding others was a long one, since many of the books written in this time were good candidates for a book of Christian Scriptures." Kristen explained. "By around the year 200, most Christian churches had at least an informal New Testament, usually including the four Gospels and Paul's letters. At the same time, many of these churches also used other books as if they were Scripture, and there was no way to enforce a definitive list because no one was in charge of the universal church at this time. That situation changed in the early fourth century, when Constantine, the first Christian emperor, worked to form a single, worldwide church. Since he believed that a universal institution should have an agreed-upon set of sacred texts, he ordered Bishop Eusebius of Caesarea to produce an official list, and he hired copyists and artisans to produce several ornate Bibles. The bishop, however, had trouble producing a clear list. He realized that several books were disputed - accepted by some Christians and not by others. It wasn't until 367 that Bishop Athanasius of Alexandria listed precisely the 27 books that make up the present New Testament. So, that's why the books that are in the New Testament are in there - one man selected them. It doesn't mean the books are historically accurate."
"That sounds blasphemous." Mike observed.
"I don't care." Kristen replied. "The canon of Scripture is not revealed to us by any saying of Jesus, nor does Scripture itself contain any list. The canon of Scripture is determined by the Church - by human beings. I don't believe everything in the Bible is accurate. I'd have to be ignorant to. All 'sacred texts' of every religion have a foundation, but we can't say for certain what the actual events were like. Did you know that the Dead Sea Scrolls, written down by a Jewish sect called the Essenes, don't even mention Jesus? Rather, they have the Teacher of Righteousness. He was a good, but human, teacher who taught many of the lessons that Jesus does in the Bible. The Dead Sea Scrolls are older than the 'official' texts that are used when translating the Bible into English."
"Are you saying that Jesus never existed?" Heather asked.
"I dunno." Kristen replied. "It's possible that he was simply based on a regular prophet and made the Messiah by people."
"So, are you a Christian?" Stacey asked.
"Not entirely," Kristen replied, "but I guess that description works."
Just then, Lana walked into the room. "What's with the sudden interest in religion?"
"We were just curious." Mike replied. "We sure learned a lot, though!"
"What's up, Lana?" Rick asked.
"I've just received word that Brain Child is making the Count attack Castlevania." Lana replied. "We're going vampire hunting."
Kristen stood up. "What?! Lana, that's too dangerous!"
"Are you going to disobey me, Kristen?" Lana asked.
Kristen sighed. "No."
"Good."

Kristen came back into the Conference room. She was carrying some items, which she put down at the head of the table. Rather than sitting down, she moved the chair back and stood at the head of the table.
"All right, here are your basic vampire-hunting items." Kristen said. "First up are wooden stakes. I don't have any with me, so we're going to have to buy some in a store on Castlevania. If you drive a wooden stake through a vampire's heart, cut it out, and burn it; and stuff its mouth full of garlic, cut off its head, and place it face down; you will kill the vampire. That's what this is for." Kristen held up a large Kukri knife.
"Eeewww!" Stacey commented.
"Don't worry, Stacey. I'll do it." Kristen placed the knife back on the table. She picked up a cross. "I made these crosses out of some pieces of wood. Vampires should be repelled or even burned by religious icons."
"But these vampires are from Videoland." Rick pointed out. "To them the Cross has no meaning."
"It's worth a try, Rick." Kristen put the cross back on the table. She picked up a clove of garlic. "Garlic is supposedly a vampire repellent." She shrugged. "I couldn't find any wolfsbane." Kristen put the garlic down. "Holy water and the Eucharistic bread - or rather wafer - also burn vampires. However, since all trips to Earth are off until the war's over, I can't just go and get some." She picked up a revolver. "This gun has silver bullets - deadly to vampires."
"And most everything else." Mike commented.
The others chuckled.
Kristen holstered her gun. "Everybody understand how to use this stuff?"
They all nodded and stood up.
"Everybody take a cross and a clove of garlic." Kristen instructed.
They did.
"Lana." Kristen said.
Lana turned and faced her.
Kristen dug into her front left jeans pocket and took out a necklace. "My dad gave me this crucifix for my First Communion. I never wore it - not because of my less-than-one-hundred-percent commitment to Catholicism, but because of my utter dislike of jewelry. But I want you to wear it."
"No." Lana said.
"Lana, it'll protect you." Kristen insisted. "You'll fight with God on your side."
"Fuck God!" Lana yelled. "Your God didn't protect Kevin!"
Kristen shuddered but managed to regain her composure. "I can't believe that a loving, caring God would allow someone to die - certainly not as violently as Kevin did. I don't think God sets a fixed time for our death. He leaves that up to humans. Lana, please,...for me."
Lana sighed. "Fine."
Kristen unfastened the chain and placed it around Lana's neck. She fastened it in the back.
Lana touched the chain and the crucifix with her left hand. "It feels weird wearing a necklace again after all this time."
"You'll get used to it." Kristen kissed Lana gently on the mouth. "God be with you."
Lana took out a warp zone opener and opened a warp to Castlevania.
Kristen went into the warp with the others. Lana went through last. The warp closed.

Kristen, Heather, Simon, Mike, Rick, Lana, and Stacey walked into a shop in the town of Veros on Castlevania.
They walked over to the counter.
"Hello." the salesman greeted.
"Hello." Kristen replied.
"What are you looking for?" he asked.
"Wooden stakes - ash and oak." Kristen told him. "We'll take seven of each."
The salesman got the stakes and placed them on the counter. "That will be fourteen gold coins."
"Simon, pay the man. I'm out of gold." Kristen said.
"All right." Simon placed the money on the counter.
"Thanks." the salesman said. "Good hunting."
"Thank you." Kristen said.
The N Teamsters took one ash stake and one oak stake each.
Then they left the store.

"So, what exactly are we supposed to do?" Rick asked.
"Brain Child has gotten the Count to infect many people with the vampire disease." Lana explained. "We have to destroy his entire army so they can't kill everyone on this world."
They came to a tomb in the cemetery.
"Should we knock?" Heather asked.
"No need for that." Rick drew his Super Scope and blew a big hole in the wall.
Heather gave him a grin.
They entered the tomb.
"It's pretty dark in here." Stacey commented.
Simon took a lantern out of his backpack and lit it.
Kristen pointed at a coffin. "Over there."
They went over to the coffin. Kristen removed the bolts.
"All right, everybody, on 3." Kristen instructed. "1, 2, 3!"
The seven of them pulled the lid of the coffin slightly and peered inside.
A beautiful woman was lying in the coffin.
"Looks like she's asleep." Mike said.
"Careful." Kristen cautioned.
Suddenly, the woman's eyes opened, and she sat up, bearing her fangs.
Everyone jumped back, startled.
The woman jumped out of her coffin and approached them.
Kristen held up her cross. "We have Christ and his Holy Blood!"
The woman growled.
"We are strong in the Lord and the power of His might!" Kristen said. "We are strong in the Lord and the power of His might!"
The woman went back to her coffin and got into it.
Kristen approached her, holding the cross. "The power of God is upon us! We are strong in the Lord and the power of His might! We are strong in the Lord and the power of His might!"
The woman's eyes closed.
"We are strong in the Lord and the power of His might." Kristen said.
The woman sat up and vomited blood onto Kristen's face. Kristen was careful to not let any of it into her mouth.
"I bring you from shadow into light!" Kristen said. "I cast you out, the Prince of Darkness, into Hell!"
The woman lay still again.
Kristen took her oak stake in her left hand and placed the point over the woman's heart. She took a hammer in her right hand and struck the top of the spike. The woman screamed in pain as the stake was driven into her heart. Kristen drew her Kukri knife and cut off the woman's head. Then she cut out the woman's heart. Kristen stuffed a clove of garlic into the woman's woman and turned the head over, so that it was face down. Kristen then used the lantern to set the heart on fire and burn it.
"Let's go to the next tomb." Kristen said.
They all left the tomb.
As they were walking towards the next tomb, a bat flew in front of them. It transformed into a human form.
"Alucard." Mike said.
"Greetings." Alucard said. "I heard you were here in Veros to destroy my father's army. I'm trying to accomplish that same goal. Let me work with you."
"No, thanks." Lana said.
"What?" Alucard asked in surprise.
"Lana, we can use his help." Heather said.
"No!" Lana said. "We're the N Team! We can defeat the Count without help!"
Simon frowned. "You egotistical - "
"Look who's talking." Kristen said.
"The answer is no." Lana told Alucard firmly.
"As you wish. Good luck." Alucard turned into a bat and flew off.
Lana started walking again. Then she stopped and turned around. "Well, come on!"
The others shrugged and followed her.

"Lana, are you sure we're ready to fight the Count?" Rick asked.
The seven of them were walking into the Count's castle.
"Yes, Rick, I'm sure." Lana replied.
Up the stairs they walked, their footfalls echoing throughout the dark castle.
Lana was the last one in line. She took a wrong turn and wandered into another part of the castle.
"Shit, I'm lost." Lana muttered.
She walked down a flight of stairs and entered a cavern beneath the castle.

The other N Teamsters reached the tower.
"There's the Count's coffin." Heather noted, pointing. "What do we do now?"
"I'll open it." Simon said. "Everyone stand back."
Simon walked over to the coffin and opened it.
The Count lay inside, asleep.

"Hello?" Lana asked, walking deep into the cavern. "Is anybody here?"
The sound of harp playing echoed through the cavern. Three beautiful, naked women came into view. Each was playing a small harp. These women had long, flowing, black hair. They were triplets.
"Who are you?" the middle woman asked.
"Yes, - Yes, tell us who you are." the other two said.
Lana didn't say anything. She reached for her Zapper.
"Why don't you answer?" the middle woman asked.
"Why don't you - Why don't you answer?" the others asked.
"And who might you be?" Lana asked.
"The Three Sisters." the middle woman replied.
"The Three Sisters - Sisters." the others said.
Lana drew her Zapper as the women walked towards her.
"You won't need that." the middle woman told her.
"You won't - You won't need that." the other two sisters said.
They stared into Lana's eyes. Lana became entranced and dropped her Zapper.
The three sisters reached Lana. They dropped their harps.
The middle sister took Lana into her arms and licked her on the mouth.
The women gently laid Lana down on the cavern floor.
The other two sisters laid down next to Lana and began kissing her on the cheeks. The middle one climbed on top of Lana and kissed her on the mouth.
The middle sister bit Lana's lower lip - just enough to cut it and start it bleeding. She kissed Lana again and drank her blood.
"Her life-force is strong." the middle sister said.
"Share with - Share with us." the other sisters begged.
The middle sister kissed Lana then kissed one of her sisters. She repeated the process and kissed the other sister.
Then each of the sisters took turns kissing their helpless victim and drinking her blood.

"All right, guys," Kristen said, "this is it."
Kristen was about to walk towards the coffin, but the Count suddenly woke up and got out of his coffin. Simon jumped back.
"So, you thought you could defeat me that easily, did you?" the Count asked.
"Well, yeah, actually, we did." Mike replied.
"Then you are fools," the Count said, "and fools deserve a swift demise!"
Simon drew his whip and attacked the Count. "Demise this!"
The Count attacked with fireballs from his cape, but Simon dodged those. Simon and the Count continued fighting.
"Hey, where's Lana?" Rick suddenly asked.
The others looked around. Lana wasn't with them.
"If you're looking for your friend, look here!" The Count showed them his ring.
An image appeared in the ring. Lana was being seduced by the Three Sisters.
Stacey gasped. "Lana!"
The Count laughed. "The Three Sisters are really enjoying themselves!"
"Guys, handle him!" Kristen turned and ran out of the room.

Kristen ran into the cavern and saw the Three Sisters caressing Lana.
"Unhand her!" Kristen ordered.
The Three Sisters looked at her.
"Mmmm,...someone new."
"Someone - someone new."
"I said unhand her!" Kristen yelled.
The women let go of Lana, stood up, and faced Kristen.
"Who are you?" Kristen asked.
"We are the Lamia." the middle woman said.
"The Lamia - Lamia." the others repeated.
"The Maidens of Runsylva." the middle one said.
"The Maidens of Runsylva - Runsylva." the others said.
Kristen frowned in confusion. "What the hell are you - "
Suddenly, the women breathed flames at Kristen.
Kristen dodged the fire, then ran and tackled the women.
They all fell to the floor. Kristen drew her Kukri knife and stabbed each of the women in the chest in turn. She cut out their hearts. Then she cut off their heads, stuffed their mouths with cloves of garlic, and placed the heads face down.
Kristen stood up and walked over to where Lana lay.
"Lana, are you okay?" Kristen asked.
Lana looked up at her. "Kristen!"
Kristen helped Lana to her feet.
"Thank you." Lana said.
"Did you drink of their blood?" Kristen asked urgently.
Lana shook her head. "No."
Kristen hugged Lana tightly. "I'm so happy you're all right!"
Lana hugged Kristen. "Me, too. But that stupid necklace didn't protect me."
Kristen looked into Lana's eyes. "Oh, Lana, I'm so sorry. I fucked up. It's not the cross that repels vampires. It's your faith in the cross."
"But I have no faith in the cross." Lana pointed out.
Kristen nodded. "I know, and I'm sorry. C'mon, let's get back to the battle!"
The two of them ran out of the cavern.

Simon had managed to get the Count near the edge of the tower.
Lana and Kristen ran into the room.
"Lana, Kristen, are you all right?" Heather asked.
"Yeah." they replied.
Simon grunted. "The Count won't go over!"
Suddenly, Alucard flew into the room and morphed into his human form. He opened up his cape and sent out fireballs.
The Count was hit and fell over the edge.
Kristen gave Alucard a grateful smile. "Thanks, Al."

The group exited the warp and entered the Conference room. Samus was standing there, waiting for them. The warp closed.
"Well, congratulations on a successful mission, guys." Lana said.
"It's about time you got back." Samus told Lana.
Most of the N Teamsters left the room. Kristen and Samus were the only ones left.
Kristen stared at Lana until the door slid closed. "I almost lost her tonight."
Samus looked at her. "Kristen, I know you love her, but there's something you should know."

Lana was changing into her pajamas for the night.
The door chimed.
"Come in." Lana said.
The door slid open, and Kristen walked into the room. The door slid closed.
"What's up, Kris?" Lana asked.
Kristen walked over to her. She didn't look happy. "Samus told me everything."
Lana knew what Kristen was talking about. "Oh."
"'Oh'?" Kristen asked. "Is that all you have to say to me?"
"I dunno."
"Lana, I can understand you liking Stacey." Kristen said. "I've masturbated while fantasizing about her lots of times. She's gorgeous. And I can understand why you don't want more than three love interests. But I don't understand why you didn't come to me with this. We could've talked about this and worked something out. But you kept this from me. When were you gonna tell me, Lana? After you broke my heart?"
"Why are you so upset over a potential breakup?" Lana asked.
"I'm not upset about a breakup." Kristen told her. "I'm upset that you didn't take my feelings into consideration. I admired you, and I expected at least that much from you."
"Kristen, you think too highly of me!" Lana told her. "I'm not perfect!"
"You don't have to be perfect to show a little respect for your fellow human beings."
After saying that, Kristen turned and left the room.

The door chimed.
Heather was sitting on her bed. "Come in."
The door slid open, and Kristen walked into the room. The door closed.
"Hey, Krissy." Heather greeted.
Kristen walked over to her older sister. "Heather."
Heather could see that Kristen was fighting back tears. "What's the matter, sis?"
Kristen sat down to Heather's right. She hugged her sister and started to cry.
Heather hugged her little sister.

TO BE CONTINUED...
Copyright © 1999 by Mark Moore