a line had been cut in order to create a off shoot to energize the light. In this splice and inside the metal container, the three black wires were in a wire nut. One of the black wires had broken at the insulation line and was actually barely touching the others in side the wire nut. I was getting juice, but in bursts and arcs.
I found this after 6 hours of chasing each and every connection, outlet, and junction on that line.