It started out strangely enough, with just one Burner.
Dane never wanted to join. He never wanted to be involved at all with Hem Sharper. He never wanted to be watching the girl he loved/despised cry in a bookstore. But, like everyone else, he had been sucked in before he knew how to get out, and by then it was too late.
Hem Sharper arrived at Brentview High like a tornado, and it changed everyone for good. He wasn't popular, good-looking, kind, and he didn't do sports, yet he received a cult-like following. Dane, a popular boy himself, swore he'd have no part in it.
Dane was approached by Hem directly. Dane had no choice but to concede.
No one understood what Hem was doing, but they did whatever he said regardless, including Dane. Hem said he was looking for 'the right one', whatever that meant, but they all searched for him, including Dane, even when Hem approaches him with a picture of Ara Richards. Like a good follower, Dane obeys his master, and spies on Ara for days before describing her to Hem (as if he'd need to, as if he didn't already know her so well!). Hem, pleased, declared that Ara is 'the one'.
That night, Dane wakes up to the sound of sirens. He rushes to Ara's house, only three streets away, and gapes at the destruction. Flames rip through half her house, melting windows with the obscene heat.
Ara emerges from the flames in hysterics, accusing Dane of setting the fire that destroys half her house. Confused, but suspicious, Dane confronts Hem, who declares that he is officially a Burner...
Follow Ara's descent into madness as Hem turns her mind inside out. Watch Dane's futile battle to save Ara and stop Hem before he destroys another life. Marvel at Hem...the devil, the madman, the sociopath, the genius who keeps one step ahead of them all, controlling them all, driving them all into insanity.
Damn, I wish I could write this story.