Metropolis: Scenes from a Memory

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Literary Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
This work is a written out story of the plot of Dream Theater's music album, "Metropolis pt. II: Scenes from a Memory."

Submitted: September 12, 2013

A A A | A A A

Submitted: September 12, 2013



Scenes From A Memory

Kevin Shoop



All aspects of the plot have been based off of the Dream Theater album Metropolis Pt. 2, Scenes From a Memory, released in 1999. My sole purpose for writing this was to provide a written interpretation of the plot dictated in the musical album. The story’s plot is not composed as my own creation, I have simply written the plot of the album in the form of a story. All credit is due to Dream Theater, and all respective creators, owners, and producers of
Metropolis Pt. 2, Scenes From a Memory.





For Kairos Group 2







The smile of dawn arrived early May 
She carried a gift from her home 
The night shed a tear to tell her of fear 
And of sorrow and pain, she'll never outgrow 

Death is the first dance eternal 
There's no more freedom 
The both of you will be confined 
To this mind 

I was told there's a miracle for each day that I try 
I was told there's a new love that's born for each one that has died 
I was told there'll be no one to call on when I feel alone and afraid 
I was told if you dream of the next world 
You'll find yourself swimming in a lake of fire 

As a child, I thought I could live without pain, without sorrow 
As a man I've found it's all caught up with me 
I'm asleep yet I'm so afraid 

Somewhere like a scene from a memory 
There's a picture worth a thousand words 
Eluding stares the faces before me 
It hides away and will never be heard of again 

Deceit is the second without end 
The city's cold blood teaches us to survive 
Just keep my heart in your eyes and we'll stay alive 
The third arrives 

Before the leaves have fallen before we lock the doors 
There must be a third and last dance, this one will last forever 
Metropolis watches and thoughtfully smiles 
She's taken you to your home 

It can only take place 
When the struggle between our children has ended 
Now the miracle and the sleeper know that the third is love 
Love is the dance of eternity





Part 1





I. Regression

July 9, 1999 

10:03 AM


As I sat in the waiting room of the hypnotherapy office, I started to recall the events that led me there. My name is Nicholas, and I have a unique mental condition. I recently have been having a considerable amount of trouble sleeping. When I sleep, I am haunted by my dreams. I know what you may be thinking. Those are just nightmares; they are no indication of a mental condition. Mind you, these dreams are not nightmares, but peaceful visions. But their repetition and my inability to escape them have continued to the point where I have become somewhat a catatonic madman. I don’t know what these visions mean, if anything at all, but I cannot escape my own subconscious, and it has been driving me mad. I decided the solution was to see a professional and see what, if anything could be done. This led me to my interest in hypnotherapy, a practice in which a doctor could put patients into a trance, so they could study their subconscious in a safe environment, while the relaxation is meant to calm the mind and help slowly remove the symptoms. 

The nurse called Nicholas and led him to what would become one of his favorite, most comforting rooms. He lay down on the hypnotherapist’s couch in the office, and therapy began with the tick of the hypnotherapist’s pocket watch. His voice was calming... 

"Close your eyes and begin to relax. Take a deep breath, and let it out slowly. Concentrate on your breathing. With each breath you become more relaxed. Imagine a brilliant white light above you; focus in on this light as it flows through your body. Allow yourself to drift off as you fall deeper and deeper into a more relaxed state of mind. Now, as I count back from ten to one, you will feel more peaceful, and calm. Ten. Nine. Eight. Seven. Six. You will enter a safe place where nothing can harm you. Five. Four. Three. Two. If at any time you need to come back, all you must do is open your eyes. One."

As I entered my first hypnotic trance, everything became engulfed in a beautiful, white light. It was unclear and foggy, but I felt strangely safe in the light that surrounded me. Nothing seemed real. I felt lost, yet somehow still safe in this haze of a dream. The scene became clearer the deeper I went, and it was almost like watching my life on a screen. I saw the figure of a young girl, one I had seen before. I recognized her. This was the girl haunting my subconscious. 

“Hello, Victoria. So glad to see you, my friend.”






II. Strange Deja-Vu

July 9, 1999
10:12 AM


I felt the blinding beams of light shine into my eyes, but then came a sudden dark silence. I had arrived. There was a house I had seen many times in my previous dreams, and I felt drawn to it as the familiarity comforted me. The house was two stories tall, and had two circular windows facing the yard from the second floor. It was surrounded by many tall pine trees, and had a gravel road leading from darkened woods to the doorstep.

I walked along the path to the door, and felt a haunting chill in the air. The cold breeze brushed along my skin and I quickly made my way to the door, hoping to find some warmth inside. The patio was dry and dusty, and the door to the house was opened a crack, as if someone had left in a hurry, not bothering to shut and lock it. The ominous silence was broken with the creak of the door when I opened it, and as I entered, the sounds of my shoes along the wood floors echoed through the halls. At the end of the main hall stood a staircase. This is where the dream became more familiar. Its first step creaked loudly as dust dispersed quickly into the air around my feet. There was a room at the top of the stairs. Every night I was drawn up there. 

The room was large but empty, except for a mirror that stood against the wall across from the staircase. I approached it, but upon looking into it, I didn’t see my own reflection. I saw the image of the girl. This was Victoria, the girl I had met in previous dreams.  All I knew of her was her first name. Although she never told me her name, I always just…knew it. She had long, dark red hair that was almost brunette, and her rich brown eyes stared deeply into my soul.

 “Won’t you tell me why I’m here?” I asked. No reply. She had a beckoning look in her eyes. They pierced into me. Her eyes spoke to me when her voice would not. There was something tearing at her soul, and she had a look that she was itching to tell me something.  Victoria then finally spoke. She whispered to me as I looked closer...“I'm not the one the sleeper thought he knew.” Before I had time to think or ask her what that meant, or who “The Sleeper” was, the mirror shattered and the room around me disappeared. Gusts of wind tore apart the atmosphere around me and I suddenly returned to reality. I opened my eyes. 






III. Fatal Tragedy

July 12, 1999
11:06 PM


My curiosity is feeding my insanity. It is calming to be in the presence of my hypnotherapist, but alone at night, the stress and anxiety return. Something new has also been happening in my dreams, but only when I am alone. When I sleep at night, I hear cries of pain and agony, but when I am with the hypnotherapist, I don’t. His presence calms my subconscious. 

I shut my eyes and traveled back to the same house as before, where I met an older man, alone outside. He had a trustworthy face, and we began to talk. I felt oddly fond of this old man, like he was a long-lost friend. He had a comforting vibe about him. We started to talk and he said to me, “Lad, did you know a girl was murdered here? This fatal tragedy was talked about for years.”

It hit me like a ton of bricks. I wasn’t sure why, but finding out about Victoria’s death felt like someone had torn part of my heart out. It was having an unusually immense effect on me, but I knew this was a big step for me in solving this mystery. An innocent child taken before her time...I had to know more. I tried to get more answers, but he turned away. “You’re on your own,” he said. “You’ll know the truth as future days unfold.” He turned away and left me there all alone. He faded away into darkness, leaving me in the cold chill of abandonment. All I felt was anxiety, loneliness and sadness. The next thing I remember is the hypnotherapist’s words the next morning.

July 13, 1999
9:34 AM


“Now,” said the hypnotherapist said, “It is time to see how you died. Remember that death is not the end, but only a transition.” Nicholas fell into another trance as the hypnotherapist placed his hand over Nicholas’s forehead. A slight grin started to form upon his face as he watched Nicholas fall deeper into sleep.






IV. Beyond This Life

October 20, 1928
8:46 AM

“Murder. Young Girl Killed Desperate shooting at Echo’s Hill. 
Dreadful ending, killer died. Evidently suicide”

A witness told local police officers that near Echo’s Hill, he heard what he called “a horrifying sound,” and ran to find a woman dead on the ground. Standing beside her was a man, looking nervous. He was shaking and trembling, and had a gun in his hand. 

“I tried to help,” said the witness, “but he turned the weapon on himself.” His body fell across the poor young girl, and the witness immediately ran to call for help. Certain sources said there was a possible romantic relationship between the killer and the girl, perhaps, a broken love affair. According to sources, she loved him, but he “fell into an evil way,” and she had to let him go. Despite evidence, many questions remain unanswered. Was this fatal meeting prearranged? Had a violent struggle taken place? There was obviously some relation between the two and it was not a simply random act of violence.

Upon further investigation, it had been found that the killer was known to be Julian Baynes, the brother of the witness, Edward Baynes, and the victim was a young girl named Victoria. Later, detectives found an open switchblade on the ground, but it did not appear to have been used for violent purposes. It is possible that Victoria recognized danger and took it out to defend herself, but was killed before she had a chance to use it. Again, so many unanswered questions still remain, and no information can be proven true at this time. In the pocket of the killer was a letter, and was assumed to be a suicide letter. It read, “I’d sooner take my life away than live with losing you.” This led to further speculation of a potential romantic relationship between Julian and Victoria. Investigation will continue as police officers hope to have more information in the days to come.


July 13, 1999
10:22 AM


The more I learn about Victoria, the closer I feel to her. The more I feel the strong bond between our two souls. After my vision of the newspaper and the murder itself, I wanted to go visit Victoria. I heard the familiar voice of the old man echo in my head as I drove away from the hypnotherapy office...

“Our deeds have traveled far...What we have been is what we are. All that we learn this time... is carried beyond this life...”






V. Through Her Eyes

July 13, 1999
1:13 PM


Nicholas left the hypnotherapy office and headed out to the old brick church just past Echo’s Hill, the spot of Victoria’s death. Beside the church was a small graveyard, where Victoria’s body was laid. Nicholas read the words on her tombstone as his heart sank into his chest. “In loving memory of our child, so innocent, eyes opened wide.” Nicholas knelt before the grave as his heart became even heavier. Tears streamed down his face, and he felt like he was going to suffocate. He wasn’t sure why he felt so affected by Victoria’s death. He never knew her. He had only heard her speak a few times in his dreams. Little did he know, she meant more to him than he could possibly imagine.


July 13, 1999
11:01 PM


That night I lay alone in bed, letting her image wander through my head. I wept like a child because I knew what it was like to lose someone you love. I had experienced the death of a loved one before, and this felt just the same. It was so unfair. She wasn’t given any choice. Her life was stripped from her. Desperation stole her voice.  I felt that I didn’t deserve to have the life I did, because she wasn’t given an equal one. I’ve been given so much more in life, and how is that fair? Why should she have to die so young? Why should we all get to live long, happy lives while she had to suffer and die too soon? I shut my flooded eyes in frustration and lay there in despair. I just wanted to see her again.





Part 2





VI. Home


October 5, 1928
10:42 PM

On a chilly Friday night, Julian Baynes found himself in the heart of city life. For Julian, life was a blurred haze of sin and regret. He was addicted to drugs, alcohol, and gambling, and was desperate for help ever since Victoria, his only love, left him. Every night he found himself in bars, clubs, and casinos, gambling away not only money, but his life and happiness. The evils of the city called to him as he became more attached to these places, feeling more at home the more time he spent in them. He desperately needed help. 

One night it was very late, and he had not yet arrived home, and he hadn’t bothered to call home to tell Victoria where he was or what he was doing. She was worried sick. Finally, a taxi appeared in front of the house and Julian stumbled clumsily out. As soon as he opened the door to the house, Victoria could smell the foul stench of alcohol about him, and this was all she could take. She struck him with a hard slap on the cheek and retreated to the bedroom. He spent too much time and money out late, getting drunk, gambling, and didn’t seem to have a care in the world about Victoria. This was the straw that broke the camel’s back. She was done. She packed a bag and left immediately, unsure where to go. She just needed to get away from him.

October 5, 1928
11:26 PM

Victoria decided to go see Julian’s brother, Edward, to see if he could help. She came to him that night in tears. She had nowhere else to turn to and she felt lost and uncared for. She wanted to talk to someone she could trust, and who also knew Julian. She poured out her soul to Edward, and he comforted her in a way that Julian had not in a long time. She felt warm and safe in Edward’s presence, and clung to him like a lost child. She rested her forehead on his shoulder as he let her tears stream down his arm. He held her close and let her know that everything would be alright. In her vulnerable state, she let her feelings run out of control, seeing Edward as a new source for compassion and care. She had gone too long without feeling the love that she now felt with Edward. Her sweet kiss enchanted him, and the two slept together that night as Julian, unknowing of what his ex-lover was doing, continued to lose himself in bars and casinos. Edward laid thinking to himself after his night of ecstasy with Victoria. He thought to himself, “I remember, I was told there’s a new love that’s born, for each one that has died...”

July 14, 1999
10:13 PM


The incredible story of Victoria’s life and tragic death seem to hold the key to my mental condition. The dreams that I have do not feel like dreams, but memories. I feel like an amnesiac, and with each dream, I restore part of my lost memory. These do not feel like simple subconscious visions that vanish once I wake up, but I feel like I am remembering part of my own life as I learn about Victoria’s. I am eager each time I enter that office, because with every session, I know and understand more about what feels like my other half. She’s calling me back to my home. 





VII. One Last Time

July 15, 1999
1:55 AM

I took today to relax my mind. I didn’t go to hypnotherapy this morning; I just wanted to unwind for a while. I thought back to the newspaper article published about Victoria’s death. In spite of the evidence given in the investigation, something was still missing. Why did Julian kill her? How could he? Killing her meant that she was so important to him that no one else but him deserved to have her. But, if he truly cared about her in such a way, why would she want to leave him? There were so many rumors about Victoria’s death that it is hard to know what to believe. Some said she did leave him, and that was his motive for killing, and some said he went mad, and had no motive for killing. Later that night, after some much needed free time to relax, I laid down in bed, wracking my brain, trying to figure this all out, when I arrived again at the place where this mystery began. 


October 17, 1928
9:38 PM

“This can’t go’s not right...”

“Forget about him. Memories of your life with him will only cause you pain.”

“I know...but no matter what he did I cannot betray him like this.”

“He betrayed you himself.”

“One last time. One last time until we fade away.”


July 15, 1999
2:17 AM


I stood inside the same house where Victoria first came to me. This house held so many clues to my suspicions about her and her death. As I stood outside, I began to feel strange. I felt warmly welcomed by this house now; I didn’t feel like I was in some mystery of a dream. The haunting, cold chill was gone and I wasn’t scared of it like I used to be. It now felt like the house I lived in, as if I had lived there all along. I felt like I was coming home. I went upstairs to the room where I first met Victoria. I was hoping to see her again and maybe get this mystery solved...

I stood in the center of the room, peering over to the mirror across the room. As I approached the mirror, hoping to see Victoria again, a sudden chill burst into the room from outside. Loud gusts of wind bellowed through the room, the walls disappeared, and I heard the sounds of a woman screaming and a man speaking. The only words I could make out from the man were, “forgive me,” and I couldn’t hear the rest of his words over the woman’s screams. The gusts of wind blew louder and stronger in all directions. I looked up to the sky and saw the same bright light I had encountered in early dreams, and it was brighter than ever before. I looked up to it, and she spoke to me again. I awoke the next morning with a new revelation, new wisdom, and a feeling of complete and utter peace.





VIII. The Spirit Carries On

July 15, 1999
10:09 AM


Where did we come from? Why are we here? Where do we go when we die? What lies beyond, and what lay before? Is anything certain in life? Many people may say, “Life is too short,” or, “You’re only given one shot,” but could there be more? Have I lived before? Or is this really all we’ve got? I know now it is not. If I were to die tomorrow, I’d be alright, because I know that after we’re gone, our spirit carries on. I used to be frightened of dying. I used to think death was the end, but I’m not scared anymore. I know that my soul will transcend. I may never find all the answers, and I may never understand why. I may never prove what I know to be true, but I know that I still have to try. 

I lay still in relaxation, and Victoria spoke her last words to me. “Move on, be brave. Don’t weep at my grave because I am no longer here,” she said. “But please, never let your memory of me disappear...”

 I was completely safe in the light that surrounded me; I was free of the fear and the pain. My subconscious mind, with the help of Victoria, had helped me to find the meaning in my life. I finally felt at peace with the girl in my dreams. It was perfectly clear. She finally taught me what all of this meant. If I die tomorrow, I’d be alright because I believe that after we’re gone, the spirit carries on.

Victoria taught Nicholas an incredible truth. She showed him the truth of life after death. The reason Nicholas felt so close to her was because she was a part of him. She and Nicholas share the same soul. This unbreakable bond between people can bridge the gap between different time periods, even spanning over hundreds of years apart. Victoria used the human subconscious as a connector to reach Nicholas, and she penetrated his dreams in order to communicate with him. She taught him the ultimate truth of life, that when our human body dies, the spirit carries on into another soul, and it is each person’s duty to communicate the same truth to the next member of the line. 






IX. Finally Free

July 16, 1999
9:32 AM


“You are once again surrounded by a brilliant white light. Allow the light to lead you away from your past and into this lifetime. As the light dissipates you will slowly fade back into consciousness, remembering all you have learned. When I tell you to open your eyes you will return to the present, feeling peaceful and refreshed. Open your eyes, Nicholas...”

Nicholas awoke, said goodbye to the hypnotherapist, and drove home. 


October 19, 1928
11:09 PM


It was dark, cold, and silent that Friday night. Edward stood alone beside Victoria’s house, his heart racing. Looking at the blood on his hands, Edward knew he had little time and had to act fast to cover up his crime. He pulled from his pocket a folded up piece of parchment and a small pencil. He began to write. “I’d sooner take my life away than live with losing you.” He refolded the letter and placed it in his brother’s cold, lifeless hand. He left the note in one hand and his revolver in the other. He left the two lying dead beside each other and hastily walked away to report to police that he had witnessed a murder. 


October 19, 1928
4:46 PM


Victoria was feeling good that Friday afternoon. She ran into Julian and they struck up a conversation. After a few minutes of small talk, he told her that he was doing better with his alcoholism and other addictions, and was undergoing therapy. After saying goodbye, she realized her true feelings for him. Her heart always belonged to him. They were together for a long time, and they had become a part of each other. He had some bad habits, but he was on the right track to getting clean. As much as Victoria cared for Edward, nothing could compare to the perfect love she shared with Julian. They planned to meet up later to run away together. She knew she could escape from Edward, and she knew was that her true love was always Julian. She went home to pack her things.


October 19, 1928
11:06 PM


Victoria and Julian were alone by the garden outside Victoria’s house, getting ready to leave. They were certain they were alone, but then they heard a shout from the yard. Victoria gasped as she saw the figure of Edward Baynes furiously approaching. Julian saw Edward’s enraged face and stood in front of Victoria and placed his hand in his pocket, where he always kept his emergency switchblade. Reaching for his revolver, Edward dropped the glass bottle he was holding, and it shattered on the concrete. Julian ran at him, unsure why his own brother would attack him and Victoria. All he knew was that he had to protect her. He dropped the knife as Edward struck him aside. Edward then aimed and fired on Julian without hesitation. Victoria let out a bloodcurdling scream as Edward took a second shot at his brother. Edward then looked into Victoria’s streaming eyes and said the last words she would ever hear, “Open your eyes, Victoria.” He fired two shots through her heart. Victoria and Julian lay beside each other, united at last, taking their last breaths together.

July 16, 1999
9:12 PM


Nicholas drove home that night feeling great. The truth had been revealed to him and he was finally at peace. When Victoria was killed, her soul traveled forward into Nicholas. The two were united in one soul. He finally understood why he felt one with her. It was because he was one with her.  Nicholas was the first to be able to communicate with his past self, and it was an astounding revelation to him. He was relieved when he was at last free from the anxiety caused by his dreams. He finally understood. He was finally free.

Nicholas arrived home and made his way to the front door. Turning his key, he opened the door to find that he had left the television on, and there was a CNN breaking news report playing. The reporter said, “News in London, France, Russia and Italy have deleted their lead story, all anticipating the outcome of a man considered to be a member of American nobility. And as you can imagine, as the skies have grown darker here over Washington, the mood has grown darker as well and people here are beginning to resign themselves to the possibility that they are witnessing yet another tragedy in a long string of misfortunes. Reaction from everywhere, from Washington and certainly from around the world has gues--." Nicholas turned off the TV mid-report and went to the kitchen to pour himself a cold drink to celebrate his newly found mental freedom. He sat in his rocking chair, took a sip, and turned on his record player.

As Nicholas was relaxing, listening to music and enjoying his beverage, he could hear footsteps, as a man was walking towards the house. The man walked up the porch, and slowly made his way inside. Nicholas, deep in relaxation, ignored the sounds, convincing himself it was only his imagination. The footsteps became louder as the man approached Nicholas’s rocking chair from behind, and before Nicholas could react, heard the hypnotherapist’s voice. “Open your eyes, Nicholas.” Nicholas was gasped in shock as the hypnotherapist shot him through the head with his revolver. Nicholas’s lifeless body fell onto the record player, disrupting the playback, sending the sound of static ringing through the house. 











Notes and Theories from the Author
(Caution, these sections contain spoilers. Finish the whole story before reading this section)

Timeline of events


  1. Julian and Victoria are together, but not yet married. Julian is addicted to alcohol, drugs, and gambling. 
  2. Julian comes home one night drunker than ever. Victoria leaves and goes to his brother, Edward’s house.
  3. Edward and Victoria sleep together.
  4. Victoria meets Julian again weeks later to find he is getting clean, and realizes she still loves him.
  5. Victoria leaves Edward to run away with Julian.
  6. On Friday night, Edward, in his anger, kills them both.
  7. Edward writes a suicide note looking like it is from Julian (now dead) and leaves it in his hand along with the revolver.
  8. Edward informs police that he has witnessed a murder. He says he saw a man kill a woman then himself. 
  9. It is believed that Julian killed Victoria then himself, and Edward got away with the double murder, looking like an innocent bystander.  
  10. The newspaper article is published containing Edward’s false cover-up, which the public now believe is true.



  1. Nicholas has strange dreams about a house, in which he sees a girl named Victoria in a mirror haunting him.
  2. He goes to hypnotherapy sessions as a means of examining his subconscious.
  3. He finds out from the old man that Victoria was killed years ago.
  4. He finds out the alleged murder-suicide story from the October 20, 1928 newspaper article.
  5. He visits Victoria at her grave. His connection to her grows to a new level.
  6. He travels once again (in a dream) back to the house where Victoria was killed.
  7. He has the revelation of the truth that when someone dies, their soul transitions into another person in a later time period. He learns that his soul is tied to Victoria’s.
  8. He has one last session with the hypnotherapist.
  9. He arrives home at night, feeling at peace with himself and Victoria.
  10. While Nicholas is relaxing, the hypnotherapist comes to his house.
  11. The hypnotherapist kills Nicholas.







Victoria-reincarnated in Nicholas

Edward-reincarnated in The Hypnotherapist

Julian-reincarnated in The Old Man


Victoria loved Julian and betrayed Edward by leaving him for Julian. Edward, in his anger, killed Victoria. Victoria was communicating with Nicholas, her soul parallel, from the past, and Edward was communicating with his. He wanted further revenge on Victoria, so the Hypnotherapist, Edward’s reincarnation, killed Nicholas, Victoria’s reincarnation, completing Edward’s task. Edward recreated his own murder in another generation. 


Julian is often overlooked in the 1999 setting of the story, as is the old man who gives Nicholas crucial information about Victoria. Since Julian has such a crucial role in the 1928 setting, many are confused as to why he is not more prevalent in the later setting. But, even though his reincarnation only appears once, for a very short amount of time, he impacts the story greatly, by influencing Nicholas to continue to communicate with Victoria and discover more about her. Julian has considerably more importance as a character than he is often given credit for.


When Nicholas first meets the old man, he immediately feels he can trust him and sees him as a kind of long-lost friend. He may not have known it, but Nicholas was really speaking to Julian’s reincarnation, as Julian wanted, as much as he could, to protect Nicholas, because he was a part of Victoria, Julian’s true love.


One last confusing point about Julian is that he is not alive in the real world in 1999. Nicholas meets him in a dream, not in reality like the hypnotherapist. This leads to further speculation, and my theory is this. Julian had a reincarnation of a man, but he lived in a lifetime before Nicholas and the hypnotherapist. Therefore, he could not directly influence Nicholas in the real world, like the hypnotherapist did. Instead, Julian goes another step further. He communicates with his reincarnation, who then communicates with Nicholas. Julian communicated over two generations, whereas Victoria and Edward only communicated over one, directly to their parallels. Julian spoke to his own reincarnation over one generation, who then spoke to Nicholas, over another, second generation. Nicholas says the old man that he met “seemed to be alone.” This is because Julian’s reincarnation did not live in the same time period as Edward’s and Victoria’s. So he was alone, waiting for the day that he could finally speak to Victoria again, through Nicholas. He waited in the house where they died together, waiting to be reunited with her. Julian is the ultimate loving character. He portrays perfectly the immense power of true love, as love does not end with death, but carries on into further generations. Julian so loved Victoria that he went beyond laying down his life for her


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