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Blood Moon

by Red Falcon

BLOOD MOON

Full moon rises; pitch black night

No stars, moon tinged in blood

Killer moon, Death moon

Blood spills on this night

Stalkers rage in the streets

No one is safe

Fires blaze, a city burns

Cold eyes watch in the dark

Rage burns in the heart of the Sentry

Not his city, Not this time

Blood spills, a killer stalks the chosen

Sentry hunts, Guide protects the Sentry

HOW WILL THIS END ????

VERY BADLY THIS MAY END

In the span of one night twenty-seven people have died, so far. Everything points to the gangs that are on a rampage. ** Since when aren't gangs going nuts, causing trouble**, Ellison wonders. Somehow, though, he suspects it may be something else.

"All Units, 187 at Prospect and Ninth," the dispatcher sends over the radio.

"Ah hell, not again. This is getting way out of control," Blair mutters.

"And a little too close to home," Jim responds. Blair looks over at his friend and gives him a weak smile.

A dark blue Ford Expedition pulls up to the latest crime scene and a tall man with a definite military bearing gets out and looks around, the sensation hits him before he even gets close. He looks up at the sky wondering once again at the insanity of the human mind. Why do people have to be so brutal to each other? What drives one person to kill another? Why in hell is he the one who winds up cleaning up the mess they make? As he scans the sky again, he notices that there is a full moon tonight. Once again a psycho is making Ellison think twice about being a cop. **Just great. Once again a wonderful night of hunting down a nutcase. Man, all I want is for one night of peace and quiet and no crime. Just one lousy night to relax and sleep all night long with no nightmares. I really hate this job sometimes,** he thinks to himself. Sentinel or not, dealing with the scum and screwballs of the world is draining him of something important.

What it is, Jim has no idea, it's just that the more continuous contact he has with the weirdoes, the more he hates this job. Good cop or not, if he ever says what he is thinking out loud someone will think he's just as crazy as the killers he catches.

A couple of heartbeats later a younger man joins him and can feel the strain coming from the older man and is worried. It's happening again. Jim is picking up the killer, only this time it's much worse. Jim begins to shake. His blood is turning to ice. The sound of the killer's voice is ringing in his ears. His hands aren't his own. The cold is racing through his veins. Something is trying to claim him and he is desperate to fight it off.

A warm hand against the cold brings Jim back from the edge. "Too much. I can't filter it out. Help me, Chief," he whispers.

"I'm here. Relax, let it come, don't fight it. Breathe slowly, just let the images come. It won't let you go until it's done anyway," Blair says, forcing his voice to be calm and reassuring.

Only the sound of his Guide stops him from going too far into the killer's mind this time. What about next time? Will Blair be able to call him back? ** God I hope so.** Blair is watching Jim carefully and his mind is racing in frantic circles, searching for a way to help, but he's not having much luck.

No matter what this night is doing to him, it's hurting his friend even more. To be a Sentinel is one, thing but to suffer the visions of an insane killer is way too much for anyone to deal with. Blair is determined to stand at his Sentinel's side no matter what and help.

It's an old building. Looks like it's been here since the turn of the century, but who the hell knows or really cares. The brick and mortar are green in places and crumbling in others. Grass and weeds grow through the sidewalk and cracks in the foundation. The windows have long since been broken and swept away, but the bracings for the glass are still there and if you look really close you can see the remains of some of the previous residence. This is a cold place no matter what the situation, the life having been leached out so long ago. The open doorway leading into the darkened, cavernous room yawns lazily at them, demanding that they approach slowly but soon. Maybe this is why the killer chose this place, no one would think of this as a killing ground. ** What an awful place to die. To die here, alone, scared, and like an animal at the slaughter, a horrible way to go,** for once both Jim and Blair are thinking the same thing. The bright yellow of the crime scene tape is almost comical against the horror of what is waiting inside this terrible room of lonely death. Detective Ellison steels himself against the sensory assault and strides determinedly into and through the carnage with his Guide close at hand.

Poor Blair, this has really got to be hard on him. Even after everything he has been through in the past four years he keeps coming back for more. As if psychos like Lash and Veronica and all the others that they have encountered together weren't enough, now this. At least with the others there was some reason behind the madness. This bastard just seems to be having fun, not only with the victims but with the cops. One of these days the younger man will not be able to handle something like this anymore and he will be lost to Jim forever.

There are at least a half a dozen mangled and dismembered bodies in a bloody room, a bloody table or something is in the room's center. It's hard to tell what the victims looked like before their killer got to them, and it really looks like it took a long time for them to die. Blair stops just outside the door, and Jim bumps into him.

"Are you all right, Chief?" Jim asks. He lays a reassuring hand on his shoulder and gives him a light, knowing squeeze. "Let's get this over with. Just take it slow and easy and stay behind me. Try not to look around this time, okay?" Jim says with a slight smile on his face.

But, of course, he looks and nearly gets sick again. "Ah man this is **so** *disgusting*," Sandburg says.

"I told you not to look too close. This is starting to get to me, too. How many is it now, Ryf?" Ellison asks.

Unfortunately Ryf is still too new to this kind of madness; he is not handling it well. His eyes are glassy and his skin is just a little too pasty to be healthy. He's trying to put up a brave front, but it's not working, Ellison can tell the man is really going through hell just standing there telling them what he has so far. "The count is up to forty now. How in the hell is this maniac doing this? I mean, thirteen people? This is really spooky. The M.E. is still trying to get through all that yuck so it's hard to be sure," the young cop says.

He turns and disappears around the corner of the building and tosses his dinner, again.

"Damn, I really hate this," he mutters. He turns to leave and sees them. "Ah hell, the press just got here."

Ryf turns back to Ellison and sees him concentrating on something, ** Like trying not to get sick. How the hell does he do that?** Ryf goes out to try to handle the press and distract them from bugging Ellison. ** God knows I hate the press. And I know Ellison hates them even more. Damn leaches.**

Inside the room, body parts are not arranged in any kind of pattern or discernible order, madness plain and simple. It's almost as if whoever did this just set out to kill and dismember bodies and toss them out of the way. Detective Ellison and his partner carefully enter the charnel room and begin to look around. Blair is doing his best to keep from getting sick at the terrible odor of relaxed bowels and bladders, and the memory of another killer. Thankfully, Ellison can turn off his sense of smell, but the rest of it is going to drive him nuts before too long. He slips on a spot of blood, and his hand darts out to keep from falling. When his hand comes into contact with the wall, he pulls back in surprise, his hand is covered in blood. Jim looks at it for a moment, and Blair comes to stand in front of him.

Ellison is zoning out but not on any conventional sense. The blood that is on his hand is causing something to kick over in his mind and start the visions all over again. For some reason, maybe having to do with the fact that James Ellison is a Sentinel or that he is the best at what he does, his mind is converging on what happened here.

In bursts and painful flashes, Jim is starting to see what the killer did and how he did it. As it begins, he trips over a painful image and nearly falls. Blair catches him, but because Jim outweighs him they both sink to the ground while Jim rides out the tidal wave of nightmare images.

Blair holds onto him, trying to give his friend as much comfort and grounding as possible. This is so new to the young Guide that it is even more frightening than the actual murders. He has never seen his Sentinel at the mercy of such power, and he is afraid for his sanity. "Just ride it out. Take it easy and let it come, don't fight it," Blair says over and over again.

**FLASH: A knife slashes down and gashes open flesh. A voice cries out in pain and terror.**

Jim's body shudders at the sound and the feeling of the knife's touch. He moans in sympathetic pain.

**SENSATION: Terrible pain and fear. **Why is this happening to me? Who are you?**

Jim tries to twist away from the killer and return the attack, a growl of fury rumbles deep in his chest.

**FLASH: Blood flying out and hitting the attacker.**

He tries to lash out at the lunatic, and Blair takes hold of his thrashing arms. Jim struggles in his grasp but instinctively refrains from hurting Blair. Part of his mind, thanks to Blair's presence, knows that what is happening isn't happening to him, that it's already over and done. Unfortunately, the dominant part of his mind is caught up in the memories.

**SENSATION: Questions, desire to escape, hopelessness, resignation.**

Jim's body sags in Blair's arms, shaking. Something is happening, and Blair is helpless to stop the older man from going through it.

**FLASH: A voice laughing. Another and another and another fall of the bloody blade. A body convulsing in death spasms.**

Jim jerks away from Blair, his body suddenly rigid. Low cries of agony and terror reach his ears as Blair realizes what his friend is seeing, what he is feeling.

**SENSATION: The killer rush as he watches his latest die in front of him.**

Blair reaches out to stop him from getting anymore.

"That's enough. Snap out of it, Jim!" Blair says, his voice stern.

Ellison jumps at the sound of Blair's voice and his touch. He looks around a little confused.

"What happened? Did you get something useful this time?" Blair asks.

"I'm not sure. It felt strange, kinda like I was seeing what had happened here. I think I'm starting to actually see this freak. Damn, I can even smell it. The emotions, fear, panic, pain. That's the worst one, the panic. I'm hearing some of it but it's not very clear, yet. Let's get out of here before it happens again. Are you sure you're all right with this?" he asks.

"No, but I'll have to live with it. I'm not gonna stay out of this. You need me, and that is all that matters to me. I'll deal with the rest when this creep is either dead or in jail," Blair says.

Jim can smell the fear and near panic but is humbled by his Guide's determination. The poor guy will be having nightmares for months once this is over.

** In the shadows someone watches. The hidden figure smiles as it watches the two cops leave. The ultimate target has just presented itself to this killer. This killer laughs quietly and leaves before being seen.**

The killer watches the cops from another shadowed corner. He watches the one with the strange eyes and considers. Maybe this is why this night's killing has been so much fun, so exciting. The strange cop has some hold over the psycho and he likes it. Killing has never held such a rapture for him and he wants to capture it for a lifetime. If he kills this cop maybe, just maybe, whatever makes the man so interesting will stay with the killer and can be used when he kills again. The little one has some power also, not as much as the bigger one, but he may be an interesting kill to make.

**How can I get close? What can I be that will get me close to them?**

Blood Moon, the call of the Blood Moon

Can't stop its call; don't want to stop

Fresh blood, excitement

Cold flesh, colder heart

The call of the Blood Moon

The pair leave behind the stench of death and the stink of rotting flesh. Blair stops in front of Jim, "You've got to come back from this. Listen to **my** voice, don't listen to any other. Damn it, Jim, get back here before someone sees you like this," Blair says. He's getting frustrated, Jim is staying in this zone out way too long. Even part of the way back from a zone, Jim is still too open to whatever is doing this. Blair just wants this night to end and the killing to stop. When Blair finally snaps at him, Jim is back from the skulking terror causing all the pain and uncertainty overwhelming his mind.

They almost make good their escape, but their captain stops them.

"Did you get anything, Jim?" the captain asks.

"Too much, not enough. It's hard to tell, it's all jumbled," Jim says. Then it happens again right in front of Simon.

Blair sees the signs too late to stop it. **Damn, damn, damn, not here, not now! Oh man Simon is gonna think Jim is going nuts. What am I gonna do now? He can't move now, not until this is over. SHIT, SHIT, SHIT !!!!! Wonderful timing, Ellison.**

**Through the eyes of a killer. Detective Ellison is now the killer, and he is seeing another murder in progress. A leather encased hand appears in front of his/the killer's eyes. A knife is in that hand and is reaching for something. Oh god, not again. There's a body laying at his/the killer's feet already dismembered and bloody. This isn't a murder in progress, it's a memory. Jim is flooded with the scent of arousal and excitement. He can feel the reaction of the killer's body to the memory of the kill and it sickens him. This monster is getting off on not just the kill but the hunt.**

A desperate hold on his arm and the sound of Blair's voice brings Jim back to reality. "Did it happen again?" Blair asks. Simon looks confused.

"Did what happen? All right, what the fuck is going on here?" Simon bellows and is ignored.

"Yeah, I think it was a memory though. Kinda like I was reliving the killer's memory of a kill that really excited him. It was disgusting. This freak is getting off on it," Jim says.

He's having a hard time processing all that he is getting, and it is becoming very frustrating. Blair is right there beside him doing his best and taking the brunt of Jim's tirade. "Could you tell who we're looking for?" Blair asks.

"No, I think I was seeing through the killer's own eyes. I saw a pair of hands, but they had leather gloves on. I could tell though, whoever it is knows how to handle a knife like an expert. Maybe a failed med. student or a butcher, something like that," Jim says and collapses. Simon catches him.

"Let's get him to the truck. He'll come out of it in a minute," Blair says.

"What the hell was that, Sandburg? What's going on?" Simon demands.

Blair makes sure that Jim is comfortable and shakes off his own sensations. He tries, unsuccessfully, to banish the memories that Jim awakened in him before he answers the captain.

"He's been getting impressions from the killer all night. It keeps getting worse with every scene. You heard him, he's seeing through the killer's eyes even now. I'm just afraid that it will drive him insane before this is over. One nut case is bad enough." Blair leaves the rest unsaid.

If Jim Ellison were to lose it then the city would really be in trouble. Not just because he is a trained killer to begin with but as a Sentinel it would be damn near impossible to catch him, when and if they did they would have to kill him. Not a pleasant image, definitely not.

"Why the hell didn't you say something before now? How bad is this hitting him? Damn it, Sandburg, this is not something you keep from me. What if he really loses it? You can't handle him by yourself," the captain says.

"I know, sir. This is so totally new to both of us. I'm running blind here, trying to talk him out of these flashes he keeps getting. I sure as hell don't want to lose him anymore than you do. He's the best friend I'll ever have, and I'd rather die than let anything ever happen to him. Give me a little credit here, Simon. I just don't know how to handle this any differently than any of his other odd ball abilities. I have never read anything that even suggests that a Sentinel has a hyper sixth sense. Damn, this is the screwiest thing I have ever run into," Blair says. Then he looks at Simon, "Has this ever happened to him before?"

"I don't know. If it has, Jim never said anything before," Simon answers.

Simon is at a loss. He has never seen the young man so spooked or so protective. Whatever has taken hold of the detective's mind has sent the grad student into full out mother hen mode and Simon is not really in the mood to fight it. He doesn't understand this anymore than he understands Jim's Sentinel abilities. However, Simon does understand stress and blind fear and is willing to give his best detective and Sandburg slack and let them cut out early. "Just keep me posted on this. If it looks like he's slipping and you can't get him back, call me. I don't want to lose either of you. Now get him out of here before the press sees him like this."

Jim listens to Blair as he and Simon finish talking. "C'mon, Sandburg, let's get the hell out of here," he says. Jim still has a crawling sensation creeping around his mind as he drives away. His eyes glaze over and his hands slip off the steering wheel.

**The killer has drawn him in again. Through the eyes of the killer Jim watches as he/the killer drags another victim into a dark room. Jim is able to use his enhanced sight and see dozens of other people, still alive. He/the killer hasn't started yet, there still maybe time to stop this. The sensations are too raw to be a memory so this is happening now, Jim figures. He tries to use the killer's own senses but isn't having any luck.

Jim can't get close enough to figure out where the killer is, and he is pissed at his helplessness. More people are gonna die and Jim can't do a damn thing to stop it, AGAIN. He tries to force the killer to stop and again, his link to the killer isn't that strong. He can see that there is something odd about the way the victims are just sprawled around. Jim can smell the rope that he/the killer is using and another sticky/sour scent of something, maybe a drug.**

Blair takes the wheel from his partner's slack hands and manages to direct the truck into an alley and park. He turns his friend to face him and waits. After a few minutes, Jim starts violently and looks around. "It's all right, you're back, we're in the truck and there's nothing around but you, me, and the alley. Relax, it's just you and me here. Where ever you were, it's done," Blair says, trying to be a center of calm and get his Sentinel back into some kind of normal state of mind so they can talk.

"What happened?" he asks.

"You're gonna have to tell me that. You nearly wrecked the truck with that zone out. What did you see?" the younger man asks.

"I'm not sure. It felt like our killer is doing it again. This is so sick. This maniac is really getting off on killing," Jim says. He slams his head into the steering wheel in utter despair and total frustration. The killer is at it again and there's nothing he can do until it's all over. ** This is getting to be a habit. Seeing something but unable to change it. I wish this would go away. Now, Sandburg is being drawn into this and it's hurting him as well. I'm so sorry I got you into this, Chief.**

"Just relax, I know this has you bugged. Remember, you can't force whatever this is. It'll either come to you or it won't but if you fight it, you'll only hurt yourself," Blair says in the calmest, most reassuring voice he can muster. Blair watches the little muscle on Jim's jaw jump and dance with his tension. ** Something's gotta give soon. He's gonna go bats otherwise.......... and maybe break his jaw.**

"We gotta go. I saw him at it again, or at least about to do it again. I think we may have a chance to stop this monster once and for all this time. Are you gonna be all right with this? I know it's not easy," Jim says.

"I'll deal with it. Like I said before, you need me. This guy is really doing a number on you. I wouldn't be able to handle it if I wasn't there and something happened to you. Sure I'm scared, this is one of my worst fears come to life, but you're here. That means more to me than any fear. I know you will do your damnedest to stop the killer from getting to me if we get too close. This fear will always be with me but it is manageable as long as you are here for me," Blair says.

Jim looks over at him and nods, amazed once again at this young man sitting beside him. Blair is one of a kind, and Jim considers himself very lucky that Blair is in his life. He knows what it is costing his Guide to be around all this death. Again, Jim can smell the terror at the prospect of ending the same way those poor souls did. **It's not gonna happen if I have anything to say about it. I am proud of you, Chief.** Jim vows to himself.

He grins and nods. ** Time to find this bastard and end this nightmare once and for all.** Jim pulls the truck out of the alley and heads off after the source of that annoying and elusive sensation.

**Three blocks from where Jim and Blair sit, the killer strikes again. He has gathered nearly twenty this time. The killer reaches out and snags an elusive sensation and holds onto it like a treasure. It's the mind of the guy with the strange eyes. The killer's thoughts pour into Ellison's mind as the killer begins carving up another victim, taunting the cop from a distance.

**I'm coming for you next,** the killer's thought repeats over and over. Oddly enough, this time Jim is still in control as this happens, at least he is for now.

**I see the one I want first. Do you like her? Isn't she pretty?**

The victim begins to get her bearings when a flash of metal in light hits her eyes. She looks over and sees her killer preparing something. The knife comes closer, too close and slices into the girl's flesh. She screams. The killer laughs and continues. **I'm going to take my time cutting her, flay her alive then start on the muscle and bones.** Blood flows all over the table and the floor.

**Amazing, she is still alive, and this is so wonderful for me. I love this, you have made it all the better. Better than it could have ever been. I know just how to thank you properly. You have given me such a wonderful gift. Never before has this been so clear, so exciting. I can feel it all, the way it smells when the flesh parts and the blood flows. You have no idea, yet, how magnificent this is. I must show you soon. I will share this with you.**

Pain filled cries of terror alert a passing beat cop.

Jim and Blair arrive on scene as the beatcop stumbles out of the door. The man is white with fear and shock. His uniform is smeared with the blood he has walked through. He looks back, almost as if he thinks something is chasing him. He plows into Ellison.

"I thought I heard something. They're all dead. Oh god, it's, it's................" the man stammers, pukes, then passes out.

As Jim approaches the building and he hears the frantic heartbeat of a possible survivor. He enters and begins to search. Half way through his search, he finds the only survivor. Carefully, he moves body parts away and sees a terrified young woman. She tries to pull away, afraid that the killer is back to finish her off. She is covered in blood, some of it hers from the deep gashes and shallow cuts all over her slight frame, some of it from the bodies covering her. She tries to fight Jim as he examines her but she is no longer strong enough to do anything.

"GET A MEDIVAC IN HERE NOW !!! WE GOT A SURVIVOR !!!" he yells towards the open door. His shout scares the hell out of her, and she pulls back from him and starts to crawl away. "Take it easy, I'm a cop, I'm not gonna hurt you. It's over, you're safe now, I just wanna help you," he says.

Still shaking, she is having a hard time breathing. Terrified sobs wrack her slight frame. Jim decides to carry her outside rather than have her go into shock seeing all the body parts. She clings to him frantically.

Blair dashes to his side the instant Jim carries the girl out. She shrinks back, startled by the sudden approach. "Shush, it's all right, he won't hurt you. He's my friend, it's all right." Ellison wants to ask her questions, but she is in no shape to be interrogated. She isn't calming down now that they are away from all that death. He listens as her heart rate skyrockets dangerously.

"He came out of nowhere !! He killed them !!' she manages to say.

"Is he still here?" Jim asks. There is just too much happening at once. His senses, all hyper six of them, are skittering to hell and back and he can't get a hold on any of them. The closeness of the girl isn't really helping any either.

"He killed them !! He killed them !!" she is becoming absolutely hysterical and frantic. She wants to get away but doesn't have the strength to do anything but lay there and be helpless.

"Damn, where the hell is that ambulance?" Ellison says, then the lights and sirens penetrate his mind. The first paramedic reaches them soon after. "She's in shock," he says to the medic when he arrives.

The paramedics examine the terrified girl. She flinches when they touch her. "This is nasty. She's cut up pretty bad. It looks like she fought this guy like crazy. We're gonna take her in and let the doctors stitch these gashes," the lead medic says.

"Don't leave! Please, don't leave me!" she cries, still hanging onto to her savior.

The girl won't let Ellison go, so he rides with her and Sandburg follows in the truck.

At the hospital, the doctors finally disengage the girl's death grip on the detective so they can look at her. She is still in near total shock and panic.

"Did she say anything?" Simon asks as soon as he sees Jim come out of the examine room.

The detective is covered in the girl's blood. "She kept repeating 'He killed them !!' It's gonna be a while before she can even tell us her name. What the hell did she see? What kind of maniac would do this to someone?" Jim says then looks at Blair. They are both thinking of Lash and his sick desire to 'make friends'. This twisto is out for thrills and sick kicks. That beats Lash hands down and around the bend.

"I've called for someone to look at her. We have to find the killer before he strikes again. You two are gonna have to stay with her, until we find this guy or he may come back for her. I've got Taggart and Brown getting a safe house ready. As soon as she can leave here you two take her there and stay with her," the captain says. He turns to leave but remembers something. "I've got a search in on med students and psych institutions looking for anyone with a record of doing this," Simon begins. He is at a loss for words. This monster is so beyond anything that they have seen in a long time that it is hard for the captain to put his outrage into words sufficient enough to convey what he is feeling.

Jim nods and is about to say something else when the doctor comes out and looks for them.

"Detective, I'm Dr. Roberts. She's lucky you and your partner came along when you did. Some of those lacerations are very deep and required many stitches. She's lost a significant amount of blood and will be weak for many days. I've given her something for the pain and for now she is calm. I suggest you refrain from asking her anything for a few days while she is regaining her strength."

"Are you sure? She's the only one who has seen this freak. We need to talk to her," Simon asks.

"No way. This has been very traumatic, and she is in no shape to relive it so soon. You didn't see her, Captain. She was clinging to your detective for dear life when she was brought in here. It's gonna be a few days before she is strong enough to stand on her own, and I don't even want to speculate on how long before it would be safe to ask her questions," the doctor says.

"Can we move her? This guy is still out there, and if he realizes she is still alive he may come back for her," Jim asks.

The doctor considers this before he answers. "I wouldn't advise it, but since her life is more threatened by this psycho, I'll arrange it. Just take it slow and easy."

The men nod and return to the examine room. The girl is huddled in the corner as if she is fighting something off. As soon as Ellison gets too close he feels it too.

SENSATION: Pain, terror, excitement, new kill so close.

FLASH: Knife falling, hear someone screaming in pain, flesh opening and blood dancing in the moon light.

SENSATION: Fun, the killing is so much fun. Taking a life, taking a hundred lives, doesn't matter, it's all the same. The fun is still there, the excitement, the rush, it's never gonna stop

.

Blair rushes to his friend's side once he realizes what is happening. "Come back, Jim. Now is not the time for this," Blair whispers so only Jim hears.

"It happened again. God, that was intense. He's found a new killing ground. We gotta find this sicko before he does it again," Jim whispers.

"I know but you have a witness to deal with. We don't want to freak her out with this, c'mon," Blair says giving Jim a hand to stand up.

**This guy has chosen who he will kill next, Jim knows, but he thinks the cops won't figure it out until it's too late and the chosen ones are dead ----- or he is dead. Either way this night is almost over.**

Jim and Blair help the girl to her feet and into a wheelchair. Again, the girl latches onto Jim's arm and will not let him go. It's almost as if he is the only thing that is keeping her sane. Blair is watching her intently, something at the back of his mind is sure something is wrong, but he is willing to pass it off as tension. This night has been hard on his poor psyche. The killer they are after is way too much like Lash in too many ways. He can understand why the girl is clinging to the big cop like mad. When Blair was freed from Lash, he had clung to Jim for dear life, like his friend was the only thing between him and the abyss of pure terror.

**Jim has that effect on people,** Blair thinks. He is a rock of pure strength when someone is scared shitless. He has a way of bringing calm into total disorder and Blair blesses him for it and considers himself very lucky to have this man for a friend.

One look at the big cop tells Blair and anyone else who is looking that he is in one of his protector modes and nothing and no one will get close to this girl.

Once safely at their new location, the girl collapses onto the couch and manages, with a sudden rush of fear-born strength, to drag Jim down with her. He nearly crushes her but rolls to the side and watches her a moment. Within seconds her eyes are closed. She must be trying to sleep. He watches her and remembers how Blair reacted when he got home, after Lash. He's afraid to move too soon, least she wake up. After a few minutes of trying to disengage his arm, now going to sleep from her viselike grip, he realizes that she is out of it and will stay that way for a while. He gets loose and walks over to Blair.

"She'll probably sleep for a day or two," Blair says and shakes himself, trying to banish those same terrible memories of his own recovery from Lash's attack.

"Thinking about Lash, aren't you? So am I. This is hitting too close to home. I keep seeing you there, Lash hovering over you," Jim says. Blair looks into those crystal clear eyes and sees the pain of a near loss. He steps closer and lays his very much alive hand on Jim's chest to reassure him.

"I know, I just don't want to deal with that right now. We need to concentrate on her for now. She is going to be really messed up. You saved this one, and if we are very lucky, with her help no more will die," Blair says.

Once again Jim is surprised by the younger man's strength, selflessness and determination. **What did I do to deserve him?**

Hours pass and nothing happens in the search for the Blood Moon Killer, as the press is calling him. The mystery girl is still asleep on the couch. Both men relax and try to unwind, the day's events finally catching up with them, the adrenaline is starting to wear off. Jim even begins to drift off. Blair is trying to concentrate on something for school, but isn't having much luck because he can't get past what has been happening to his Sentinel since this started. When did he develop this sixth sense? How long has it been going on without Blair noticing? Why the hell hasn't Jim said anything about this before? Well that one is simple. Jim is still uncertain about his Sentinel abilities, and leery about telling Blair anytime something goes nuts. If this has been going on since the beginning, he would really be bugged by it. Is this something all Sentinels are capable of or is it just Jim? If it's just him how does he deal with it? Has it been going on since he was a kid or did it start in the military or when he became a cop? All these questions are starting to give Blair a royal headache. He stifles a short giggle. **I'm starting to sound like Jim now,** A terrible thought hits Blair: **Will he react like this every time he deals with serial killers now? How long before something like this drives him insane? Well, we're just gonna have to work on it that's all. I WILL NOT lose him because of this. I just found a friend and I don't have too many of those,**

A squeak from the living room gets his attention. Instantly on edge, he grabs one of his research books, a thick book on some mythological religion or something, and peaks---only to see their witness climbing off the couch.

"Everything okay?" Blair asks.

"Yeah, just need something to drink. What is this place?" she asks.

"It's a safe house, just in case he decides to come for you."

"Oh, god. You, you don't think he'd come here? With all the cops around do you? Please say he won't come here." she says.

"Anything is possible. You are the first to survive and the police want to be sure you stay alive to help them catch this maniac. Don't worry, Detective Ellison is the best, he won't let anything happen to you," Blair says.

Jim is standing in front of the big window. Blair looks over at him and is deeply concerned for his emotional state. Standing in front of an open window is not very smart. What if the killer is looking for them? Jim is so well known that it isn't hard to believe that he would be protecting a witness. Blair approaches him carefully, just in case he is lost in some zone out. "Damn it, Jim. What are you thinking? C'mon at least close the curtain. You're gonna get us all killed," Blair says using his patented Guide voice so only Jim hears him. Jim reacts instantly and closes the curtain, still not totally with it.

She watches them for a moment then goes and gets the water she was after. "I see what you mean. He looks like he could handle anything. Thank you," she says then sits back down on the couch.

Blair watches her a moment longer then returns to his homework, still feeling her eyes on him. Once she is sure he isn't paying attention to her she goes back to the kitchen for something else.

Jim's mind is drifting all over the place. Every time he tries to pin down one sense he gets blind-sided by another.

**In his mind he is seeing the killer at work again and cringes.

***Not again, I can't take much more of this. Dear God I can still smell the bastard. Please, someone make it stop.***

Something is different this time. Though the stench he has come to associate with the killer is still there. It's even stronger now for some reason. The killer is walking by a television screen and he finally sees who he is after.**

Jim comes awake suddenly when he feels a sharp edge against his chest. He looks down and sees their witness. The death stench is coming from her now.

"What the hell are you doing?" he sputters in surprise, trying to push her away.

"What does it look like?" she says. She smiles at him, there is no terror in her now. She is looking at him with a hunger, a killer's hunger. Her eyes are dead, calm, clear, and frightfully smart. It would be so much easier to fend her off if there was a hint of madness in them, but there is only intelligence. **Oh, god. What's going to happen to Blair?** is the first thought that comes to his mind.

She swings the knife again and catches him across the neck, messy but not very deep, and not even close to a major vein or artery. She is splattered with his blood. Her eyes are dead as she continues after him. She pushes him to the floor and is on top of him before he realizes it. The knife is driven into his body over and over again as she tries to cut him to ribbons. Blood loss is making him weak and he can't defend himself but he has to or she will go after Blair when he is dead. He tries to shove her away again and she slices his hands open. She tastes the blood on his hands and grins evilly. Now it's happening to him. Everything that he felt with the other victims is in him here now. He's gonna die now and then this bitch is going to go after Blair. How can he stop this from happening again, here? He has so little strength left but she is so strong and getting stronger.

Jim looks into her eyes and sees his own reflected there. Her eyes are his, showing his own strength. ** She's using my own strength against me. How the hell is she doing this? What the fuck is she?** Jim is getting really spooked. He has never encountered anything remotely like her in his life, and she may be the last thing he sees. "You gave me this. Everything I've done this night is because of you," she says and bends down and kisses him. "Thank you," she whispers. She is definitely sick, but she's done something to him now. Just as she is about to make the final death stroke something grabs her arm and spins her around.

Blair hears the commotion in the other room. He returns to the door and for an instant he freezes, terror and fear and disbelief warring for dominance. Right in front of him is Lash lunging over Jim. ** Oh god, not again!!!** The knife slashes across the downed man's arms again, and Blair is moving. He doesn't get to Jim before the girl slashes his hands but hopes that he can get her attention before Jim dies. Blair isn't sure that his friend isn't already dead, but he prays that Jim is still among the living.

"What the fuck do you think you're doing?" Blair demands.

She turns on him and furiously stabs at him, but Blair is faster but she manages a few cuts and scrapes before the door bangs open. It is the cops who were standing watch outside and Simon.

"Sandburg, hit the deck!" Simon yells and they open fire. The girl goes down, her body filled with bullets.

"Get an ambulance, Jim's hurt," Blair says.

"So are you. Here sit down and tell me what happened," Simon says.

"No, I need to be with him. Damn it, Simon, let me go!" Blair says. He is fighting the bigger cop to get to his friend, but Simon is having none of that. Blair is hurt, not as bad as Jim but bad enough for Simon to be concerned. Blair hasn't even noticed the cuts on his own arms and hands yet or seen all the blood, his main focus is on Jim.

"I'm not sure how it started, I was in the other room doing some homework. I heard her get up once earlier but nothing after that. I thought I heard something fall, so I came out to check and that's when I saw her standing over him. For an instant it, looked like Lash was back. I know, I know, Lash is dead but this damn case has brought back all those ghosts. It was like when Jim found me after Lash had me pinned to that damned chair," Blair shudders, he keeps seeing Lash, as he watches the medics treat his partner.

No one sees the girl's body begin to move; she's not dead yet.

"Simon, let me go, I've got to be with him," Blair demands as he pulls away from the bigger man.

Blair kneels at Jim's side and tries not to get in the way as he cradles the unconscious man close. **This was way too close,** Blair thinks. "How could he not know? I mean if he was getting something from the killer, her, how could he not know she was the one?" Simon asks.

"I don't know," Blair whispers.

Simon looks around a moment then his stomach reacts rather violently and he races out of the house and tosses his breakfast. Damn, his best friend is near dead, Sandburg is a mess and losing blood fast but not letting go of Ellison, and now his stomach is rebelling against him. Not a nice way to begin a new day.

"You are gonna have to let him go so we can get him to the hospital," one of the medics says.

"I'm going with you. He may freak if I'm not there and he comes around," Blair says.

At that moment she attacks again. She screams a terrifying and blood chilling shriek of madness and pain and stabs at Blair. The sound is the young man's warning, he turns and only is grazed along his already bloody arm. Survival instinct and a powerful need to protect his Sentinel gives him the strength to turn the knife on her and force it into her chest, stilling her psychotic heart once and for all.

It all happens so fast no one has a chance to react. Everyone is startled into inaction. Simon moves first and returns to Blair's side, helping him to stand. "What the hell was that?" Simon demands.

"I guess she wasn't dead yet," Blair deadpans, "Let's get him out of here."

Blair is trying his best to ignore what he has just done but isn't having any luck. Simon finally sees what this night is costing the young man. Blair is shaking like a leaf in a hurricane. Simon approaches him but Blair waves him off in favor of climbing into the ambulance.

"Get that bitch out of here. Make sure she's dead this time, willya? This is not good, not good at all," Taggart says, supervising the techs and other cops on scene.

"This was way too close. We damn near lost him," Simon is saying.

After Blair is tended to, he waits in the ER waiting area with Simon and an unfamiliar doctor. He really isn't listening, Blair is too worried about Jim. "Her name was Petra Nixx. There is nothing really remarkable about her, except her mind. She was methodical and ruthless. Petra had the uncanny ability to hide the darker side of her personality, even after she was caught the first few times. None of the doctors were able to see just how far she would go given the right trigger. It was only a matter of time before this happened, now sixty people have paid for our lack of insight. Sixty people and your detective. This is truly amazing, the level of brutality in these murders. I just wish she was still alive so I could study her." the psychiatrist says. "I'm glad you're fascinated by her, but personally, I am glad she's dead." Simon grouses. "Oh I understand, captain, really I do. It's not often I get to even see something like this that's all." the doctor finishes.

On top of everything else this damn case has brought up, now Blair has been forced to kill. It's commonly known that Blair doesn't like violence and is afraid of guns. Blair is so sensitive, what is this going to do to him? **Are we finally going to lose him over this? How is he going to deal with the memory of having to kill? We all know he had to inorder to keep that bitch from hurting Jim anymore but does he know that?** Simon wonders.

Simon realizes that Blair did this to protect not only himself but to protect Jim as well. Still, it is going to tear the anthropology student to pieces. The department shrink will be putting in a lot of overtime on this one, and it still may not be enough. The department may lose one or both of them over this, Damn!

"I know. I'm worried how Jim is going to be able to deal with this. He's going to see this as a failing on his part. It's not, and I know it's not, but I have no idea how to make him see that," Blair says.

"She was very good at being able to hide what she was doing. She was able to slip through the cracks in the system for years. From what I have read in her file she has done this kind of thing before but was always caught before it went this far. I don't understand how she was able to keep ahead of the police for so long," the psychiatrist says.

At that Blair looks up then turns to Simon. He sees it now. If Jim was able to see through her eyes, it's possible that she could see through his and knew when to run for it. This whole thing was out of control because Jim was there hunting for her. She must have been able to use his own senses against him, and to make the kills all that more exciting for herself. Jim can never know about this, it would kill him.

The psychiatrist leaves them alone to check on his own patients.

"I think she was feeding off Jim's senses. That's why he was seeing what she was doing and picking up on her memories of her kills."

"Oh, my god," Simon blurts out then dashes for the nearest restroom and tosses what's left in his stomach. Simon's stomach is not going to take much more of this. Too many revelations in one night, too many dead bodies, too much insanity.

The thought of Jim being drawn into that kind of nightmare is disgusting. Jim Ellison is not only his best detective and friend, but Simon knows a more sensitive side of the man. This is going to really hurt him. Simon returns to sit with Blair. The young man can see what is in the captain's eyes.

"We can never tell him, Simon."

"Blair ----"

"It would kill him to know she was using him like that. You never really saw what it was doing to him to see how she was killing, to see who she was killing and being unable to stop her. Knowing that someone was out there using his senses and getting off on killing all those people. That was the only reason I never left his side when I would have rather been anywhere else. He's in enough pain as it is. Maybe one day, I'll tell him, if he asks," Blair says.

Simon heartily agrees. He is continually amazed at Blair's insight and loyalty.

A doctor in bloody scrubs walks up to them, "You can go in and see him now. Detective Ellison is still unconscious but, in time, he will recover," he says.

The two men nod and go to their friend's side. He is so pale he looks almost dead.

"When will he wake up?" Blair turns and asks the surgeon.

"I'm awake," Jim says. His voice is weak but determined.

The doctor leaves them alone.

"Is she dead?"

"Yeah, she's dead," Simon says.

"Good. I really blew it this time," Jim says, guilt running wild.

"Enough of that. No one was looking for a woman. You can't blame yourself for not knowing," Blair says.

"But I should have known something was off, even in the ambulance. She didn't smell of fear. I can tell when someone is scared or happy. I can usually pick up emotions by their scent. She didn't smell like she was afraid."

"It's also possible that you were getting too much and your mind just blocked it out. A defensive reflex against too much input. We are **NOT** going to get into this right now. You need to heal and regain your strength. There is so much we need to do when you get out of here I'm gonna be up for days just trying to figure it all out. I want to see how far this sixth sense, if that's even what it is, can reach. Was it just this once or can you use it again?" Blair begins.

Jim smiles, "All right, Chief. We'll talk about it later," then he drifts off. A ghost of a smile on his face. **Sandburg and his tests. Maybe he can find a way to get rid of these damn visions or at least put a leash on them. Thanks, Chief,** silent words drift through his drowsy mind.

**Jim dreams of the attack and the girl's words : "You gave me this. Everything I've done this night is because of you," she says and bends down and kisses him. "Thank you," she whispers. Her face is burned into his mind. She laughs and leans over him again. That kiss, so sweet, such poison.**

Jim's eyes snap open and he looks around in sudden fear, is she back. Then he sees Blair sleeping on a chair beside him and Jim calms down some. There will be time enough later to figure it all out. Now is the time to rest and heal. Blair said she's dead, dead and gone to hell, he smiles painfully.

**The rest can be dealt with later, at home and with Blair helping me. Yeah, as long as he's there I can handle anything.**

THE END

That's it folks. What do you think?? Spooky huh?? Let me know. I need to

know if I did it right. It's supposed to give you the willies.