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Dr Archeville

[Bloody Valentine Vignette] Not Even Human

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Trevor Hunter paced back and forth is hurried stops and spurts, tugging forcefully at the collar of a dress shirt that didn’t fit very well. Despite having access to custom tailored clothes, the wealthy fifteen year old was all too aware that his tall, gangly frame made it difficult to craft garments he was truly comfortable in. His growth spurt over the last few year or so had put him the better part of a foot above most of his classmates, but with his width lagging behind, the dark haired teen gave the impression of being made largely of elbows.

 

It wasn’t the clothes that had Trevor upset, even as he threw his tie to the floor of his grandfather’s estate on the outskirts of Freedom City. His grandfather, who had once been the hero known as Midnight, the shadowy mystery man armed with a pistol full of obscuring mist of his own chemical design. His grandfather, who, until minutes ago, had been the only person who knew the effect his prolonged exposure to the gas had ultimately had on his grandson. An effect made evident by the twin wisps of inky vapour rising from the corners of the boy’s eyes where tears should have been welling up.

 

Rubbing futilely at his face with the back of one sleeve, Trevor made a low, inarticulate sound in the back of his throat. The normally reserved youth had no way of knowing if this particular change had been part of his mutation all along of if it was an example of yet further changes to his body. The mist didn’t sting his eyes, but it did block his vision, forcing him to jerk back and forth to avoid the cloud trailing from them, even as he felt a dull, childish shame for the show of weakness. â€Not even human...†he coughed out darkly, a voice recently descended into a rich baritone made thready and uneven by his fitful breathing.

 

â€Freak,†he spat, a guttural syllable filled with bitter disgust. That was what she’d called him, and as taken aback as he’d been, Trevor was hard pressed to argue the point. â€Broken thing.†That assessment was all his own, as the same frustration he felt when a mechanism he was tinkering with just wouldn’t work crashed angrily back and forth against his naturally stoic demeanour. He felt so foolish for telling her, for trusting her, even as he despaired at losing his best friend and scorned his own naivety in turn.

 

He knew he was smart, at least; he should have known better. Should have... With a grimace that pulled his thing, pale lips back from bared teeth, the teen punched the nearest wall, clattering the portraits hanging on it and bruising his knuckles. Ignoring the pain, he stood still for a beat, then another, as the cloud of mist wrapped around him and his breathing slowed to a steadier rhythm. Slowly, he backed up against the wall he’d struck and slid down to the floor, wrapping his lean arms around his knees. There was a soft, shuddering intake of breath from the little ball of light consuming darkness, then even more quietly a voice. â€...why, Maeg?†After that, the long, darkened hallway was silent for a very long time.

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