Deep in the Andes mountains along the border of Chile and Argentina beneath the shadow of the menacing volcano Copahue, an ancient legend has been passed down for hundreds of generations. The archaic religions, in what is now the Neuquen Province of Argentina, tell of a great spirit that burns beneath the towering mountains, guarding the edge of the world from that which lies beyond.

The tremors that regularly shake the villages of the Neuquen, flex a little more violently than usual as dawn creeps across the lush landscape. The steamy clouds of acidic vapor lingering above the cratered summit reach ever skyward as hot gasses spill from hundreds of new fissures in the volcanic crust. In the nearby homes below, silent prayers are whispered to ancient gods in hopes of soothing the mountain spirit back to sleep. Little do they know that forces are in motion which will change their lives forever.

Today, powerful energies will coalesce deep within the heart of Mt. Copahue preparing to bring the volcano back to fiery life.
Today, the gateway which has been closed for over a thousand years will be split asunder.
And today, a legend will be reborn.

My name is Graft.
I don’t have any answers.
Questions I have by the god forsaken fistful, but not a single answer for any of them.
Not one.
And it’s driving me out of my frickin’ mind.
If I’m not there already, that is.
My story, as much of it as I know anyway, is relativley short.
But I’ll bet it’s one you’ve never heard before.

The beach where I awoke was on the Baja Peninsula just outside the town of Camalu. At least that’s what Lorne told me when he finally found me. Apparently I gave the locals a pretty good scare, considering they were celebrating their Day of the Dead at the time.
A little boy named Enrico found me in the dunes amidst the grasses. Like most six year olds, he wasn’t frightened, just fascinated. And who can blame him. I must have been quite a sight.

Let me explain. I stand close to seven feet tall and look like a human charcoal briquette. Before you cook it. At my joints, or anywhere my skin would bend or crack for that matter, there’s a muted purple glow. And the purple glow of my eyes is a little disturbing, but you get used to it. Eventually. What I can’t get used to are the damn satellites. But I’m getting ahead of myself. I’ll explain about those a little later.

So you can see how Enrico was intrigued. Well, not enough to get too close but enough to start poking me with his sand shovel. We only got to talk for a few moments, exchanging names and what not, before his mother saw me and shrieked bloody murder. They headed for town, and I headed for cover. Fortunately, nightfall was not far away, and the local law apparently didn’t put up too much of a search.

I was able to locate a series of small caves along a rugged section of the coast that afforded me the sanctuary I needed to try and put a few pieces of the puzzle together. The problem was, I had no pieces of the puzzle. My name, common knowledge and some other trivial tidbits are all that I could conjur from my memory. And it was hard as hell to concentrate, once I noticed my…anomalies.

Sitting on the sand trying to mentally relax, I noticed a tiny seashell hovering in the air a couple of inches away from me. Delicate and airborn, it just hung there, or so I though at first. Watching it raptly for what seemed like hours, I detected that it was slowly moving around me in a counter-clockwise direction. Orbiting me if you will. There were other small bits floating at different intervals. A blade of grass, a tiny pebble and even a decent sized piece of driftwood were all hovering nearby and slowly making there way around me in that same counter-clockwise pattern.

Truthfully, after a look at myself in a pool of standing water nearby and the discovery of my tiny satellites, I believe I was suffering from shock. Or at least some sort of self preserving mental shutdown. The time in the beach caves is all a little hazy. I didn’t know how long I was in the caves, but according to what Lorne could piece together from what he overheard, it was only that one night before he found me.

It felt like an eternity.

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