The Protector Chronicles - Redemption
Chapter 23: Debrief

Copyright© 2013 by Misguided Child

Jonas sat panting on the bench in the garden beside Joe. Jonas was shocked and stunned. He had just lived another man's life. He had been shot numerous times and killed a man. He had just died.

It took him a few moments but Jonas finally got control of his breathing and his emotions. He looked at the little white haired man beside him that seemed so frail. A fragrant breeze lifted a wisp of Joe's long hair from his neck then let it settle back to rest. Jonas met Joe's concerned gaze for a moment before gathering himself to ask a question.

"W, Was that real?" Jonas asked hesitantly putting his hand to his head. He knew he didn't really have a body here but his head felt like it was ready to burst.

"Real? That is a complete discussion all by itself Jonas," Joe said with a laugh. "Some men believe that life is a dream and they are right, in a way. It was as real as you or anything else is in your world. Like I said before you started; that was the memories of one of my Protectors. The only way I can help you learn the skills of another person is for you to live them and gain the skills the same as they did. I guess you could say that is another advantage I have over the Adversary. The memories of his agents are shredded into oblivion upon their death. Their souls die so their memories can't survive. Ben's soul is alive and well so his memories are too." Joe hesitated for a moment before asking, "Are you okay?"

Jonas slowly nodded still rubbing the side of his head before looking up startled. "Why shouldn't I be okay?"

Joe snorted. It was a very ungodly sound and the flowers in the garden fluttered as if a quick breeze ruffled them. "I told you this isn't always successful and I wasn't talking about not getting experience. I've lost a couple of Protectors by sending them to live in other Protector's memories. Maybe it was just the burden of having two lives of memories to carry. Maybe there was a flaw in them or their character wasn't strong enough to withstand the changes while in another's body but I lost them just the same. That is why I was hesitant to provide experience by letting you live another man's memories. But, you don't have a lot of time and I thought you might be strong enough to handle the memories and Ben's death. How do you feel?"

"My, uh, my head feels a little strange. It's like my skull was too small for my brain but it's getting better," Jonas said with a grimace. "I think when you called it unpleasant you understated the experience," Jonas said wryly. "Dying wasn't so bad but I really don't like being shot." Jonas stretched and twisted his neck before rolling his shoulders. "I think Ben could have survived that if more of them could have gotten at Jake at one time. Being restricted by that doorway is what killed Ben. He had some good people to back him up."

"Yes he did," Joe said as he relaxed on the bench. It seemed that he was satisfied that Jonas was okay. "He had some very good people."

"What happened to them?" Jonas asked.

Joe sighed and said, "Elk and Han stayed together. You may meet some of their great, great grandchildren in your travels. You may even add some of them to your cadre. One of them lives in Kansas City and is on the police force. Another is visiting Kansas City. All of them are very stalwart in their belief that goodness must be defended. They understand that if 'Right' isn't defended then evil will defeat it. They have the stories passed down through the generations from Elk and Han about their time with Ben Lewis. The stories aren't passed down as a fiction legends either. They are part of the family history that all of them believe in passionately."

"What do you mean 'I may meet them'?" Jonas asked. "Should I meet them? Wouldn't that be stretching possibility just a little?"

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