Six months after his deal with Prometheus, Thomas stared at his reflection in the mirror above the bathroom sink. Bleary, blood-shot eyes ringed with dark purple circles gazed back at him. Sleep was impossible. Only the black oblivion of a drunken stupor allowed him any rest. Only when the dreams and memories were hidden in the alcoholic fog of forgetfulness were the horrific images of his son’s broken body tearing itself apart in spasms of torment relegated to sinister shadows dancing in the mist.
The screams that tore from his son’s throat still haunted him. They were animal sounds, sounds no human throat should make and they still echoed through his mind.
Thomas forced himself to watch his son’s recovery. It took nearly eight weeks for Nathan’s new metabolism to allow his body to regenerate enough for him to come out of the coma.
His son’s first coherent words were about Renee Morgan, his date that terrible night. The two of them had only been dating a few weeks, but Nathan took it hard when he learned she hadn’t survived the auto accident.
Thomas remember how Nathan’s face twisted in anguish; how his son’s mutated cat-like eyes filled with loathing as he whispered, “You should have let me die.”
No amount of alcohol could chase away the memory of those haunted words. Nor could it erase the fact that Prometheus’ serum had radically changed Nathan’s DNA. Confidential testing, bought with favors and subterfuge, showed animal DNA fused with Nathan’s. The changes were so drastic on a cellular level that the reports couldn’t classify the DNA as human anymore. Technically, Nathan was now a Laurent in name only.
Nathan’s mutations were widespread. Thomas had watched some of the tests with morbid fascination as his son bent steel bars, beat records in simulated track events, and healed burns and cuts before his very eyes. Nathan’s freakish cat eyes had given him excellent night vision and his other senses were enhanced similarly. No, his son wasn’t human anymore, but something more; something primal.
By trying so desperately to save his son, Thomas had caused irreparable harm to his family. He wondered if he’d made the right choice in saving him. Were the consequences of his hubris worth the price in scars, pain, suffering, and secrets that Nathan paid and would continue to pay?
Only time and God could tell, but somehow Thomas doubted it.