university is amazing i never thought i could find anywhere that would push my intelligence but here i am and the challenges I'm finding are just...brilliant. my first few weeks here have been a blur what with moving in, getting to know my way around the campus and attending my first lectures but i think I'm finally settling down. it's good having K-9 here with me, although it would complicate things if i ever wanted to invite anyone back to my room to go over lecture notes or stuff like that, but so far that hasn't been a problem. i always knew that making new friends at university would be difficult, but, i keep thinking I just have to pluck up my courage and talk to someone but whenever i try to i can feel something cold tighten around my chest, almost like i can't breathe guess its just nerves, maybe I'll get lucky and someone will talk to me first, till then i have mum, Clyde and Rani to speak to at home.
"so Luke boy how are you enjoying the life of a carefree bachelor"
Clyde was always phoning at this time to make sure I'm okay, the funny thing is i'm sure he should be in class at the same time.
"I'm good Clyde my lecturer is really funny and I've been learning so much its brilliant"
it was the truth, despite my lack of social progress university really is brilliant.
"good to hear, alright I'll have to talk later rani's dad just walked in and he doesn't look happy with me"
"alright Clyde talk to you later"
it was then that i saw him, i didn't notice anything out of the ordinary at first, but then i saw something in the corner of my eye, another student about the same age as me, well sort of, he was arguing with one of the lecturers and he was angry that much was obvious from his face, and his hair, i thought i might be seeing things at first but as he argued his hair turned a deep red that blazed across his head, and then he turned to me i saw straight into his eyes that burned with the same colour and he looked back and i ran. i don't know why i ran but i felt the same tightening in my chest and all i wanted was the safety of my room and K-9.
"master, master is there something wrong i sense elevated levels of anxiety"
"I'm fine K-9 i just...i just saw something..."
"master suggest contacting Sarah Jane she may be able to help"
"maybe, i think for now I'll go back down and get some food first ok"
"affirmative young master"
i can't believe my lecturers sometimes this man was infuriating and worse i can sense the smug satisfaction he is feeling because of my reaction.
"its not my fault i missed the deadline i was in hospital for two weeks"
"i know and i gave you an extra week to complete the assignment"
"great i lose two weeks and gain one, you know its a good thing your not in charge of the maths department"
"my decision is fi...
i ignored whatever the windbag in front of me was saying, i could feel someones eyes on my back and a fear that wasn't mine i turned around and caught the eyes of a young man who turned and ran before i could reach deeper into his emotions.
"alright whatever I'm gonna get the assignment done"
i turned on my heels and headed off before the old fart could drone on any further, that strange guy saw me for what i am he must be an alien and if he is an alien then there's a good chance he is here looking for me.
it took me about an hour to find him and when i did he wasn't hiding like i expected just tucking into a plate of scrambled eggs in one of the kitchens. i stayed out of sight for a while until he went back to his room then flicked open the scanner my parents had left me.
"alien technology detected, i knew it"
i ignored the strange looks my comment got me and left and went back to my room to wait until it was night. my perception filter will keep me from being detected and I'll make sure he never gets to use whatever technology he has. i don't know who sent this guy but i'm not going to let him take me back.
I haven't seen that strange guy since this afternoon I'm beginning to wonder if i just imagined what i saw, i talked to maria about it after my dinner and she reckons that there is a pretty slim chance that he is actually an alien. with my fears put to rest for the moment i decided to take a shower and get an early night. the water was refreshing and helped wash away my fears, that is until i turned off the shower and a strange noise from the other side of the bathroom door sent the same fears stampeding through my head all over again. stepping out of the shower i turned off the shower and wrapped a towel around myself. opening the door my light was off.
"K-9...K-9 are you there"
i took a step further into the room and the bathroom door slammed shut behind me. i turned too slow. it was the same guy from earlier before i could register what was happening i was pinned against the wall and a hand burning around my neck.
"who are you and why are you here!"
i had the little worm but unlike the righteous preaching i was expecting all i got was fear
"what do you mean, what are you doing"
if this was an act it was very convincing
"don't try that I'm not stupid i know your an alien and i know your afraid of me, and..."
"please i don't know what you mean I'm not an alien!"
panic flashed across his face as i tightened my grip and i felt the same fear claw its way out from the back of his mind, but the weird thing is that he isn't afraid of me
"if your not an alien then who are you"
something wasn't right and i think both of us were beginning to realise
"please let me go and i'll explain"
it took about an hour to him to explain his situation i can't believe how far off base i was, to think this guy, this kid was grown from synthesised DNA it was hard to believe but there wasn't a trace of a lie in what he said. after that it took about another hour to explain my situation
"so your an alien, and your here as a refugee"
"yeah i'm hiding from the war on my planet, they'd resorted to blitz tactics like in world war 2 on your planet, my dad has a spaceship of his own and managed to get me off world before my home..."
i had to stop at that point, the images of my home burning were still clear in my head
"and your species is empathic, you can actually sense the emotions of other people"
"yeah, i sensed your fear it was what made me suspicious, that and the alien technology my scan turned up, speaking of which"
"oh, K-9 here boy"
a small blue metallic dog rolled out from his hiding place
"i apologise for not assisting you master i was recharging"
"thats ok K-9 i wasn't really in danger"
"so this is the metal dog that your mum got from the doctor"
"the doctor is the most intelligent man you've ever met and he can't manage a better name than K-9
"the young alien seems hostile should i chase him away master"
"no don't worry K-9, you go back to recharging"
"well I'm sorry i made such a big mistake Luke, and very sorry that i attacked you"
"it's fine you aren't the first alien to attack me...although i think you are the first to apologise"
this teased a laugh out of me, i couldn't help it i started this thinking he was here to take me from the life i built on earth and it turns out this guy is in pretty much the same situation as i am
"well Luke i think i can do something more than saying sorry, the fear i felt when you saw me, i was the trigger but i'm not the source, with your permission i could help you figure out what is causing you to be afraid"
"can you do that"
"I'm a bit out of practice but yeah i think i can do it"
"then yes i would like your help"
i wasn't sure what was going to happen but if Marcus can sense my emotions i think it is possible he can help me figure out what it is that I'm so afraid of. he told me to relax and then placed his fingers against the side of my head. it was a strange sensation when he began to reach into my mind i could feel him touch each of my memories in turn and i could feel the emotion emanating from each memory. this process stretched on for a while i began to lose track of time, then Marcus touched against one of my more recent memories and i felt fear close like a vice around my chest, for a second i couldn't breathe.
"luke, luke! take a breath"
i took a long shuddering breath and then another until i was breathing properly again
"well i think i've found the source of your fear...Luke who is the nightmare man"
i paused for a second every part of me was praying that i had heard wrong even as the rest of me new i heard him correctly
"no please it can't be him, it can't, he can't of come back for me"
i retreated across the room, and i was crying i couldn't help it. i wasn't enough to stop him on my own the last time and without Rani and Clyde i don't think i could do it again
"Luke! relax whoever the nightmare man was it isn't him i found in your head i think what i found is more like an echo of who he was"
"what do you mean"
"the memories of that creature, that entity, they hold a lot of fear for you, and when you forced him out of your mind, what was left behind, uh how to explain this ah its like background radiation left behind from the times he was marching around your head"
"so it isn't him"
my voice broke as i tried to stay calm i could barely keep myself from crying again
"no it definitely isn't"
"can you get rid of it, whatever it is"
he looked at me for a moment like he was trying to make a difficult decision
"i could get rid of him Luke, quite easily in fact, but I'm not going to, you are"
"what! i can't!"
" don't worry you won't have to do it alone, I'll help, i can take you into your own mind to confront him, and you can free your mind of whatever remnants are left behind"
"yes you can Luke and more to the point, i think you need to do this otherwise you're never going to stop being afraid of him"
i didn't want to agree with him but he was right i have to do this
"right sit yourself down again i'll take you to where he is hiding, you handle the rest"
it took Marcus a few minutes to manage whatever he was doing but when he succeeded my room dissolved around me and i was left standing infront of a door in a dark corner of my mind
"right here Luke"
"is he behind that door"
"yep and he's scared, he put that door there to keep you out luke, he knows your coming for him"
i wish i shared Marcus's optimism, but i did have a few small rays of hope to hold onto, one whatever is behind this door isn't the nightmare man, and two whatever species marcus is, i think he is a lot more powerful than he's letting on
"ok lets do this"
i put my hand against the door, it felt ice cold under my fingers, i paused for a second, part of me wanted to turn and run, but i ignored it and pushed the door letting it swing inwards on its hinges
"well if it isn't little lukey so nice to see you again, come to rejoin me in your nightmares"
he was there the nightmare man, just like i remembered him for a heart stopping second i though Marcus was wrong that this was the nightmare man, but i pushed those fears aside and stepped further into the room
"be quiet, i know you're not the nightmare man"
"can you be sure, can you be sure the fool behind you hasn't led you to your doom"
"what do you mean"
the nightmare man sensed my hesitation and pushed his advantage
"it is true i'm not what i was but now that fool has led you here led you to me led you back into the darkness of your nightmares"
he let loose his shrieking laugh and danced towards me with a spring in his step, i can feel myself growing cold, i can't stop him
"enough of your games creature!"
Marcus's voice boomed around the dark room full of ferocity, at the same time i coud feel some of his confidence wash over me allowing me to think clearly, and so i did exactly what i needed to do to get rid of my nightmares, i turned on a light
"no! how did you do that lukey that isn't playing fair"
"this is my mind nightmare man i can do whatever i like"
i stepped forwards and willed another light into existence forcing the nightmare man back further into the room
"you hide in the darkness so i'm going to drag you into the light"
the nightmare man had run out of places to hide and was withering away under the glow of the lights
"you can never be rid of me lukey, i will always be here and you will always be afraid of me"
he was trying to scare me trying to keep a grip in my mind, but i wasn't scared anymore i was angry
"your nothing but a pathetic little man hiding in the back of my mind and i want you gone!"
"no i will never leave you can never destroy me!" the nightmare man yelled this even as he began to shrivel in the light
there was a flash of light when the nightmare man shattered so bright i had to close my eyes when i opened them again i was back in my room and marcus was sprawled against the wall on the other side of my room.
"marcus are you alright"
he was a little slow to react but when he got his bearing back he burst out laughing.
"hahaha! you got to be careful when you flex your mental muscles like that luke, you have some serious psychic power tucked away in that head of yours"
i felt a blush creeping across my face and not knowing what to say i started laughing i couldn't help it
"so is that it is he gone, i mean, i can still remember him he is still part of my memory"
M searched my eyes as i spoke i could feel him brush against my emotions
"those memories are part of you i can never erase them, but the fear that those emotions held for you is back in balance and whatever echo of him that lurked in your mind is gone"
i thought back to my memories and my nightmares and he was right my fear was nothing more than a memory.
there wasn't anything else i could say, my mum, Clyde, Rani and me had defeated the nightmare man and now Marcus had helped me get rid of him for good.
"now come on its already moving towards midnight and i have an early lecture in the morning and an assignment to finish"
"OK goodnight Marcus"
he gave me a quick smile as he left the room and when my head hit the pillow i drifted into a deep peaceful sleep