Disclaimer: This is a work of fan-fiction. The here fore used characters belong rightfully to Marvel and I just borrowed them. The only profit I hope to achieve with this is the pure pleasure of the reader, so no copyright infringement intended. Please do not sue me, I don’t have money and won’t be getting some from this story.
Author’s notes: This story contains descriptions of medical experiments and it is seen as a character study, well sort of. It describes the thin line between good and evil, between the morally justifiable and the reprehensible in science and that the classification in good and evil simply can be a matter of looking at certain things.
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A touch of evil
Evil is easy
and has infinite forms
The laboratory was dark, the only light illuminating the big chamber came from the blinking equipment that stood in its corners. The lab was equipped with the latest instruments, everything a scientist would need for his experiments. Modern laser and diagnostic instruments were there as well as normal scalpels and bone saws. On the western wall was a small water basin where the surgeon could wash his hands before operating a patient. In another corner were computer terminals that contained the knowledge of the scientist, his results, theories, the work of his whole lifetime. And he had already lived for a long time. Near the terminals stood a desk, numerous documents and printouts were on it, pencils and data pads lying on the smooth table cover. In another corner were many glass cylinders in which the scientist contained his subjects. The cylinders were approximately 2 meters high and had a square of a little over one meter, the glass thick and indestructible, slightly milky. These cylinders looked like coffins pulled up and that was something they could easily become. At present, three of them were empty, only two of them occupied with new research subjects. It was a man and a woman, both being the current guests of the scientist although she had been held a prisoner for longer than her male companion behind these glass walls. Both had learned fast, that it was completely senseless wanting to escape, because there was no possible way out. None of them was wearing any clothes, a fact that added immensely to demoralizing the prisoners. And as a fortunate side effect, it kept them from escaping because the human sense of shame would prevent that they would run naked through the streets, no matter how hard they wanted to escape. The only piece of clothing left was the inhibitor collar that kept their powers under control. The energy cells were blinking in perfect synchronicity and gave the glass chambers an unreal reddish glow. They both hadn’t eaten for a couple of days now and hadn’t seen their captor for that time as well. He probably was too occupied with his new experiment that required his complete attention but it wasn’t as if the prisoners minded the fact of not seeing him. The glass chambers were wide enough to allow a sitting position but had not enough space to stretch or lay down.
She was sitting in her small cell, her knees drawn to her chest, the arms around her long legs and her head rested onto her knees. Her long red hair was wild and unwashed, the glance of her green eyes empty. She’d not eaten a thing for days but she didn’t feel the hunger anymore. That nagging empty feeling in her stomach was a part of her now and it was the only thing telling her, she was alive as well as the emptiness in her mind did, since the telepathic link to her beloved husband had been severed with the loss of her powers. Her resistance had crushed shortly after coming here, she’d never felt so alone and empty. In her mind there had always been the background noise of the thoughts of so many others as well as her husbands and she’d never been without that noise before for long. The complete loss of her powers had hit her hard. She’d realized that there was no escape from this place and she was pretty sure to die in this lab. Her body was criss-crossed with pale and red lines. These scars were the silent witnesses of those things she’d to endure during her time at the scientist’s lab. And she was painfully thin, her ribs and pelvic bones almost spiking through the pale skin that was stretched over her skeleton. Her eyes were hidden in deep holes. Her once so sparkling eyes were dead now, something she longed for. She would do anything to end her suffering now but he prevented that. He would not allow her to die. The square scars on both wrists proved of numerous suicide attempts with broken glasses, plates or knives. She’d even tried to starve to death but he’d prevented that too. She had never wanted to die, never thought possible that she’d desire that one day but the loss of her freedom, will and her inner self had managed to achieve what countless fights and other pains were never able to accomplish. At the lower side of the glass cylinder was a small opening, just big enough to get food inside but too small for an escape route. It would be senseless anyway to even try it, because her shoulders would never fit through. After her suicide attempts her food was brought on unbreakable plates, knives or forks were something she hadn’t received again for a long time. Her amount of tears was long dried out, her feelings gotten cold. She did no longer feel anything, no pain, hate or fury, not even fear. Her soul was already dead too and it was just a matter of time before her body would follow.
The man stood in his cell and looked around him. He tried to recognize anything of his surroundings but all he was able to see was the dim light that came through his glass cage. He wasn’t there for such a long time, but he’d already lost his sense of time. He did still frantically search for a way to escape this place, not wanting to recognize that there existed no escape. Even if he’d managed to escape his cell he would not know where he was. The laboratory was in a cellar, the cellar of a house that stood away some others. No one was able to hear the screams that came so often from that lab, no one would help the prisoners because no one did ever know that they were down there. He still didn’t want to believe that he could not escape from here, wherever that here might have been. He’d mastered that kind of situations before and should do so again. But the more time went by, the more did his hope vanish, still a small spark of it stayed, refusing to give up. At first he’d cried, fought and tried to destroy the wall of glass that had become his home but he’d failed. When he had noticed that he was not alone, he had tried to make contact with the other. But the other did not see him, didn’t hear him, just if the other didn’t want to see him or hear him. The other didn’t notice him, ‘cause he was never answered. He had tried again and again nonetheless, just to be ignored again. His lips were cracked and his tongue felt dry and funny. His throat was dry and in his stomach was an emptiness that took hold of him, the nagging hunger started to drive him slowly mad. The hallucinations because of the lack of food and water were demanding their price, his thoughts swirling around and he began seeing things that weren’t there. When he reached out to grab them, was it for food or someone he loved, the cold wall of his cell brought him harshly back into the reality of his prison. He stood in the cell, was except of the inhibitor-collar practically naked and without his powers that were negated by the blinking collar he felt like that. He’d always considered his powers a part of him even when he had to make himself used to the limitations that came with them and it was now as if a part of him had been cut out.
He felt so helpless, his powers could get him easily out of this cellar prison and deal with his captor but without them he had no idea on how to escape his glass cylinder that made his entire world for now. He ran his fingers frustrated through his light brown tousled hair, they were uncombed but that had started to bother him no longer. He felt how his will to live and the power to do so slipped but he held frantically on that small stray that kept him from going insane. Someone would miss him, his friends would miss him and they would search for him. He had just to hold on that long and find a way to tell them where he was. But the longer it took to find that way and nothing happened the harder was it to hold onto that belief of a possible rescue. Their tormentor was in the other room nearby, they hadn’t heard from him for quite a while but the man could not say just for how long that was. But on the other side he was glad for that because if he wasn’t in the lab then he would not be able to experiment on him or the other. The only thing that gave him a clue about the length of his stay was his beard that had begun to grow and had reached a step shortly before becoming a full one soon. But he still refused to give up hope. After a while, maybe hours or just minutes he tried again to contact his fellow sufferer in the other cell. He knew exactly that the other would be able to hear him because he himself was able to hear everything perfectly that happened in the world outside his cell. But the other remained silent, he could only see that the blinking light was moving slightly, just as if the other was rocking back and forth. A while ago he’d discovered that the other was most likely a woman but he couldn’t be sure because the thick glass distorted the look for the outer world. And the blinking light was the only thing he could see clearly from her. That wasn’t much but suddenly the lights in the whole lab went on.
The man blinked, his eyes had been used to the darkness and had to adjust to the changed lighting conditions so his sight consisted for a short period simply of blinking stars. Then his eyes adjusted and despite his situation he found it still pretty astounding that he was able to see normally. That possibility existed only because his powers were blocked and he didn’t have to fear to hurt someone with his mutant powers he otherwise was not able to keep in check without controlling devices. Their tormentor entered the lab; he seemed to be very pleased with himself, a diabolical smile was forming around his pale lips. He was tall and had dark hair, his eyes sparkled devilishly red and a dark pointed beard grew on his chin. His teeth shone white and were sharp like those of a wild animal, on his forehead was a red diamond that stood on one edge and his skin was unnaturally pale. He was not wearing any lab coat but instead a metallic body armour with red stripes on his chest and a long cape over his shoulders. In one hand he held a data pad that contained some collected data he now transferred into the main computer of the lab.
Dr. Nathaniel Essex loved working in his lab, he always preferred it to an office or something like that. Here he was in midst of his work and only here was it that he could think best and scheme new plans. When he smelled that familiar smell of chemicals, the smell of science he was calling it for himself, then he felt in his heaven. He was very satisfied with how his latest experiment was turning out, the closing of that project would be soon and now he was able to turn his attention to his other works again. He was a scientist at first, a geneticist and physician to be exactly. That was it which he devoted his live to and that lasted now for a long time. Essex had brought that time to a good use and his immense database was proof enough for that. It contained the genetic codes of every species of the planet together with DNA samples of almost every single specimen. He studied the genetic structure of every living being to find out what made it tick and to improve it after that. But his true passion were mutants. In his database, the largest genetic database ever, were the genetic codes and structures of uncounted mutants and he was determined to get a DNA sample of each one of them too. One of his many goals was a complete encyclopaedia of the origins and powers of all the mutants that existed on the planet, a goal he was sure close to achieve now. And he believed to get this way information about the origins and heredity of these special powers and he equally believed that with planted crossing and genetic manipulation he could steer that process and create a new race of genetically perfect and powerful mutants. That way he would be able to control who would get which powers. This goal were most of his experiments devoted to and he always executed them with the greatest care because they belonged to a higher goal. Essex knew that science sometimes demanded huge sacrifices, he himself had paid an enormous price for his ambition to gain the knowledge and capabilities he possessed today. But the ultimate goal was the only thing that counted for him, the way he had to go to get there was absolutely irrelevant. To achieve perfection, and that was something Essex strived for, one had to extinguish everything that was insufficient, a price the under-worldly living innocent Morlocks had had to pay. But they were posing a threat to Essex’ plans, their impurity and genetic chaos were absolutely not compatible with his goals so they had needed to be removed. For Essex that had been simply a necessity. He turned to his test subjects and added some recent observations to his mental dossier concerning their reactions to their situation, he’d monitored over hidden cameras. The female object, #125 was too weak for any resistance, her inner self already broken, but the male object, #128 was still resisting. But Essex knew exactly that this strong will was crushing slowly.
#128 still had the futile hope to be saved, a wish that would not become reality. No one would find him, Essex had taken care of that, because no one would be looking for him, especially not here if they even would. Essex had seen that special look on his face more a dozen times, the mixture of fear, courage and despair with an untiring stubbornness and all of them were finally broken. Each time it was a new challenge for Essex in finding out which point to target and with #128 would it not be any different than it had been with the others. Essex walked slowly to the cells and smiled coldly. The male was pounding at the glass, cursing and spitting at the scientist, begging to be released all at once but Essex had something different in mind for him, at least for now. He changed some settings at the terminal that controlled the glass cells. They lit up a bit as the milky glass turned completely transparent. By doing so he provided the subjects with a better look at their surroundings and he wanted to study their reactions on what they would be seeing. He smiled a last time at them, now that they were able to see him better then returned to his desk where he put his data pad down. He had much to do, new experiments wanted to be planned and he had to evaluate the data from his latest experiments in the other rooms. The laboratory was well lit now, in the middle stood a table. It was an examination and operation table, above it a neon light that could light out every inch of the table even when occupied. The table came with belts that were to fix a patient at the hands, feet and torso. The neon lights made everything somehow even colder than it was. Near the table stood an instrument tray to where Essex had gone now to polish the scalpels until they shone. An excited smile danced around his lips. The surgery equipment blinked now for another use and waited for the next operation that would come soon. A short look at the other side of the room showed the size and amount of computer terminals that stood in line at the wall. Many dangerous and colourful looking chemicals were held in glasses on a wall of shelves. But the looks of #128 remained on the table in the middle.
#125 raised her head and glanced at the table too, but she stayed apathetic and showed no single reaction. That what was displayed on the table was something she’d seen too often since being Essex’ guest. It was simply another try to show the other in the cell next to her, that there was no escape. She laid her head on her knees again and continued rocking, her long red hair disguising her face. She knew exactly that there was a new subject in the lab, she had heard him clearly but the only thing she wanted was to escape the horror of the lab. So she retreated her inner self deep into her again. #128’s eyes were frozen onto the table, he did not look for the other prisoner, now that he was able too see her, if he’d wanted. On the middle table had a person been strapped in, Essex’ last experiment and #125 knew too well that one day a similar fate awaited her. That had been the reason for her many tries to end her life a faster way because she’d rather wanted to die by her own free choice and will than to end on one of Essex’ tables. The person in the middle lay motionless in the chains, the head fixated in a headset so that he won’t roll to the side. He was naked like all of Essex’ subjects were. He had been lying there for quite a while on that table and wouldn’t the sterile smell of disinfectants and chemicals had drowned out every other smells the prisoners would have been able to observe the beginning decomposition odour that emanated from the person on the table. He had died a while ago. His chest had been opened and many of the inner organs had been removed. They swam now in a Formaline solution in huge glasses on another tray. The corners of the operation wounds were crusted with dried blood and on the table around the body a dark brown pool of dried blood could be seen. The body’s skin was white as chalk and stretched over the bones, the skin of the lower abdomen held open with clamps to allow the surgeon a better look at the inside. #128 could fell his stomach contracting, he choked and tried to move his glance away but it was in vain, the horrible scene held him in its grip and wouldn’t let him go. The eyes of the body were open, held open with other clamps so that he wasn’t able to close them. Even in death they still stared at the ceiling.
He must have been completely conscious during surgery.
#128 felt his stomach turning upside down and he fought desperately against the sickness, the dizzy feeling that was overloading his senses. He chocked and managed to close his eyes but that made it only worse because before his mind’s eye a picture of the deceased formed and his imagination made him see what must’ve happened during his surgery. He could almost hear the screams and the pain he had had to endure during this torture must have been horrible. #128 was glad now that he hadn’t eaten for a while because the urge to throw up stayed with him and he swallowed hard, choking. Essex watched satisfied the reactions both of his subjects were showing, studied the reaction to this unexpected, at least for #128, situation and evaluated the meaning for a future experiment. He knew that #125 had seen nothing new and that he already had managed to destroy her will completely but he was still surprised to see no reaction at all from her. Essex hadn’t expected to see pity, that was something she’d left behind but actually he had thought that she would show at least some relief and delight for the body, who now must have had it over by her opinion. What other reasons could she have possibly had for her countless suicide attempts? But Essex could not allow her to die yet, he still needed her for future plans. But he had stated pleased that #128 hadn’t lost his will and feelings yet and that was good, but Essex was convinced that it would be just a matter of time until he would break too. Essex also regretted that this experiment did not survive the operation, it was very unprofitable for the next batch of tests. But now it could not be changed so Essex could only react to it by conducting the experiments originally planned for the one on the table on #128. The only thing he had to change were the parameters because although #128 was a mutant too but possessed completely different powers. In his mind Essex already changed the settings and a smile spread out on his pale face.
This time there shouldn’t be any problems, he knew now why that experiment did fail. For Essex any setbacks weren’t something new, in his long-term career as a scientist he had encountered many failures. He knew they belonged to his work as well as successes, so he took them as instructive experiences. Someone had said once, that those who did not learn out of their mistakes were condemned to repeat them. Essex might have been damned but he was surely not stupid and he studied each failure as equally as he did his successes, maybe even better. He would never allow a mistake to happen twice. In the recent past other matters had demanded his unshared attentions and with a little melancholic glance he reminded himself that his other experiments had had to rest for too long. Besides he urgently needed new genetic material because his storage was decimated but good because of failed tries at cloning and genetic manipulation. His recent crossings with genetic material had regrettably been not crowned by success, they had not survived for long but that newest experiment looked extremely promising at that sector. It delivered remarkable data and would be a complete success.
Essex did believe in the survival of the fittest and the natural selection. For him these things were not just theories, they were facts. He believed that mutants displayed the next step in the evolutionary chain and he was close to decrypting the process which triggered these mutations. It was his dream to control that evolution, to create a new species in his image, a new species that would be perfect, adapted to its environment completely and very powerful. He wished to create a new race without genetic deformities and flawed developments. Essex himself would be the creator of this new species, the godfather of a next more powerful generation and with this experiment he saw himself getting a huge step closer to that goal. Through selected extinction of genetic unfitting and defective specimens he did another part to that goal but he was only able to make a small contribution to the whole by erasing outer interferences. But he did already plan future cleansings in the genetic pool that would be executed through his helpers. For the good of science one had to bring sacrifices, that was his motto and Essex sacrificed for his dream everything. Perfection was his belief and his life and all who did not fit Essex’ high ideals were due to be erased. Essex did not consider that murder, it was simply the necessity of the action that justified the act as it was. Nathaniel Essex did not regret a simple thing in his life except the fact that he hadn’t been able to achieve all his goals yet, but as a scientist he knew very well that some things and reactions would not let hasten themselves. If that meant he had to wait another hundred years until he could achieve his goals then he’d be patient without hesitation and take that as a given fact. He could always use the time successfully otherwise.
#128 was watching him now. He tried to banish the sight of the body on the table from his mind but he wasn’t completely successful with that. He sickly realized now that he too would end one day on that table if nobody would come to save him. Even if he clutched at that hope with all his energy, he had to admit that this hope vanished with each day that went by. This experience had finally brought it to his attention, that from here there was no escape, not by himself if his friends would not come for him. #128 asked himself what kind of man Essex really was but he wasn’t so sure anymore that Essex was even human. No human being would do what Essex had done and still was doing. For #128 it was unbelievable how someone who possessed a soul and a conscience could possibly do the things Essex had done and feel no regrets about his doings. It was almost as if Essex would feel joy and delight at his abominable work and that made a cold shiver crawl slowly over the back of #128. That person was no longer human, it could not be. Essex had to be the pure evil himself; because all of what #128 knew and had heard of him and had now witnessed since being Essex’ guest would not allow another conclusion. All the horrible things they knew and heard about him were true. Essex was a cold monster who took unnameable experiments on living people, for the greater good of humanity or how else he might justify them. True, that goal might have been noble but it did in no way justify his methods. Essex cloned and bred mutants in his lab, just for testing purposes and to create them more perfect in his opinion, to form them to his will, to shape them and to recreate them, some just to endure another transformation. #128 shuddered at the thought that even he was just one of Essex’ experiments or would soon be. He killed in the name of science and did not sense any remorse, no one had been able to stop him yet. No one had ever achieved to stop the madness Essex created and brought upon the world.
Nathaniel Essex felt the glares of #128 rest on him, he knew exactly what he thought of him. That disgusted look of the light eyes so filled with hatred showed his true feelings and #128 made no deal of hiding them. Essex smiled mildly, that look was one, he knew too well. He was well aware of his reputation though he still did not understand the people completely. Could they not see what he was trying to achieve? Why could they not understand? Science dictated absolute devotion to the cause and the task, findings were not to be ignored, evolution must not be denied. Mutants were that next step in evolution and just like homo sapiens had replaced his predecessor so it was simply a matter of time until homo sapiens followed that law of nature, the step after that would come closer to perfection than any of the others before. It just had to be specifically triggered this time. One would not receive any results by only theorizing, he had to try it in practice. No respective scientist would disagree with him there, because no medicament or cosmetic was allowed to be sold on the market without being extensively tested before, no new medical treatments were developed by themselves. They had all been done their successful first time and all of them had failed a lot of times before that, before they eventually became new standards in science and research. Each of these scientists had been denounced and been accused of heresy until the usefulness and practical use of their methods and discoveries showed. After that they were honoured and the good of their methods established. After that they became the respected scientists they’ve always been but now officially recognized.
No scientist would cry a single tear after a lab rat, that died during or after a testing sequence, many of them were anyway killed after the tests, some were even bred specifically for the purpose of dying by manipulating their genes, such as the so called knock-out mice. These lab rats served a higher purpose and so did Essex’. He would let the body be removed from the table, he’d need the place later for some other tests. Essex too was a researcher first and considered himself another pioneer who would join the ranks of other great physicians and scientists as soon as people understood and approved what he did and for what he took all these efforts. By initiating another step in evolution he was able to control it and not be controlled by it. He had made his time the biggest sacrifice on the altar of science, his family and he demanded no less from others. Theories demanded to be proved and Essex would not have been the excellent scientist he thought he was, when he did not use all the resources and technologies that were at his command. This latest experiment would become his greatest creation, it would give all of them the proof that his theories and his way were the only right ones. Where there was smoke there was fire too, he thought by himself as he took a last clinically testing glance at the body awhile he rolled the table into another room. He was humming silently to himself and when he returned, the table was empty; but the brown stains of the dried blood were still visible.
He went to the terminal and changed the settings again, so the tubes became clouded once more. #128 felt a rising panic, he did not know what to expect but he did have a vivid imagination of it. He suddenly felt it harder to breathe, greenish gas rose from the opening at the bottom of the tube. Frantically he hit the glass, tried to fight but the strain and lack of oxygen made his vision blur. Instinctively he tried to blast his way out of the cylinder by using his powers but the collar he wore prevented their use. Frightened he realized that there was no escape for him and he feared to end on a table like the unknown man he’d seen shortly ago. He thought of all the people who meant something to him, whom he loved and that he would never see them again. These were the last thoughts before his senses lost themselves in darkness and he slid along the glass tube to the floor.
#125 hardly reacted to the gas, she simply let it happen. She’d drawn her self so deep inside her that she picked up as little as possible of her surrounding environment. She only hoped that it would be quick and painless, that it would be over. She was so deep in her most beautiful memories and sat only apathetically at the bottom of her cell as she too was embraced by darkness.
#128 did not know how much time had gone by but his senses slowly returned to reality. Painfully he raised his lids and pressed them instantly shut as a stinging pain shot through his head. His limbs were leaden and he was not able to move. He tried not to think of what Essex might have done with him while he’d been out cold and instead tried to find out where he was. The first thing he realized was the fact that he was alone, the second were the bonds at his hands and feet, that held him fixated to the table he was lying on. But he was able to move his head. He felt dizzy and truly did not dare to suspect what that monster had done to him. He probably was in one of the other rooms on one of the operating tables, otherwise he was only able to see that at the other wall a dim light was emanating from some erected glass tube. But #128 was not able to tell what that tube contained or what else was in the room. As he turned his head to the other side he realized that his first assumption had been wrong. He was not alone but he had rather been.
On an identical table besides him laid a person, her red hair made him assume that she was his fellow prisoner because he had never seen more of her than that. But she seemed familiar, now that he was able to see her without the glass wall and that made the hair on his neck stood up as he recognized her. She was bound too, her head had rolled to face him but he couldn’t believe what he saw, could not believe it. Her chest and belly had been surgically opened, the ribs held open with clamps.
She was still, her green eyes empty and rigid, the glare directed and frozen on him. It was not a pleading look because she had it over now. She did finally have what she had wished for, peace and freedom from Essex. But there was a little horror in them nonetheless, because with her last glare she’d recognized him too and all the events that happened during her imprisonment time replayed before her inner eye for a final time, knowing well that now he would have to endure what Essex had done to her. She had so hoped to have imagined his voice when he had called for her, not knowing that it was her in the glass cylinder next to him because after her long time in that glass cylinder she did no longer know what was truly for real. But as she saw him lying there next to her had broken her completely and she didn’t think that was still possible, after she had given up on her. Her last thoughts had been of him, she desperately had hoped that he would be spared to see her here, to endure what she had and now did. She felt emptier than before, she had wanted to die so that he would never know what Essex had done to her and she would have done that happily knowing that he would be safe at home. Her last words were for him since she was only able to talk to him that way as her powers were negated by the collar. They faded away unheard and she only hoped that he knew just how much she had loved him. Her death had been painless but not easy because her husband would share her fate to become an experiment and another victim of Essex, one of uncountable others before and afterwards.
#128 turned his glance away, his eyes filled with tears and his heart, his soul broke. To see her again like that was too much to bear for him, he sobbed loud and his stomach, his innermost knotted tight. She had been his first and only love, his life and now he had nothing left worth living for. She was gone, this time forever. Only for her he had continued to go on, never surrendered the hope, never given up searching for her and now everything was empty. He couldn’t stand it longer, wasn’t able to hold back his pain and grief. He cried out all his hate and pain into the darkness of the cellar, all that remained was the endless emptiness in his soul. Essex had taken everything away from him that meant something in his life, but he no longer had the strength to fight back, to fight him. He had lost the will to fight.
Essex emerged from the shadows, watching very pleased his work with clinical interest. Although he had always shown a great interest in both of them, her death didn’t pain him that much, because he has everything he needed and her death served his purpose, a purpose that was beyond guilt and sympathy. Just another sacrifice that had to be made, just another specimen that had been used due to its destination. He ignored the mourning man on the table, his cries and curses that came choking under his tears. Instead he turned to the huge glass tank that stood behind him. The tank was filled with a nutritional fluid, dim light illuminated the interior and many transparent tubes went away from it. This was his greatest experiment and he was extremely proud of it, prouder than he had ever been of anything. This was why he had chosen science as his field of work. This was why he loved his work, the excitement when he saw how it turned out and made itself paying out. The tank was provided with lots of electrodes over whom it was connected to one of the terminals where the data was recorded and watched. Here all the data that had been collected during the experiment were stored that came from the tank and its content. In the tank was a person with dark hair, but the exact colour was not recognizable in the dim light, the eyes closed. His mouth and nose were covered with a mask that provided him with oxygen. Essex watched the tank not without a certain pride in his red eyes. Soon he would be able to harvest the fruits of his work ant that was a moment that excited him the most. This one, his absolutely perfect piece of work would be the first step of his plans, it had cost him a lot of time and efforts but it surely would pay off. Essex had eliminated every mistake, each insufficient detail even if it was a small one so this creation had no inadequacies or flaws. It was perfect, something he had searched for a long time in vain and now he had achieved it, this special combination of genes been successful. He had managed to combine the genes of special individuals, including #125 and #128, to create a powerful mutant and it burned Essex under his nails to find out just how he would develop and turn out. Everything he had worked for would now pay off, his goal in a reachable distance. All the sacrifices made were not futile, his sacrifice not in vain. Essex was extremely pleased with himself because until he would be able to let his creation out of the tank it would not be long. He still had enough time to return his attention to #128. Essex knew that it would be foolish to let all the things be if his goal was almost reachable. He simply saw it a waste of resources and material by doing so, something he loathed. Essex took one of the scalpels off the table and turned around.
#128 looked him in the eyes, full of hatred and Essex knew what #128 would see in him, the devil in person. He wondered if lab rats were thinking the same of the scientists who were working with them. Essex only smiled mildly at that thought and #128. He considered himself more a visionary, someone willing to give and do everything for his ideals. If that made him a devil so it was then, but he always thought himself misunderstood. All the others scientists who were denounced as devils and monsters had been misunderstood in his opinion. If it wasn’t for their experience so humanity would be short of many valuable discoveries and knowledge in medicine and other fields. That was something one must not forget when calling the devil. Essex had always found it pretty ironic and double edged when people called the men who were conducting these experiments monsters and cold-blooded murderers but accepted and took their research findings without second thought, even used them to gain significant own discoveries.
#128 strained against his bonds, he tried to escape but that was futile because the buckles that kept his hands and feet on the table were made out of an indestructible and resisting alloy. Essex knew that #128 pretty much wanted to kill him now, no matter which noble ideals he had followed before and he took pleased notice of that fact. #128 would not be able to kill him because his powers were blocked out by the collar and in his position they would have been the only chance to do so. The first time he had seen his wife with his own eyes without his glasses to keep his powers in check and she had been able to look into his, that had been her last memory of him, the beautiful bright eyes which could be deadly and full of love for her was something he would’ve happily traded for eternal blindness if it meant to forget the sight of her dead and worn-out body. #128 slumped back on the table, he could not escape, could not escape Essex. It was impossible for him to defend himself, had been impossible to defend her. He was powerless and his thoughts drowned in eternal grief and a horrible emptiness. His soul was dead, his heart empty and his conscious self retreated to a place in which he was happy, where his wife was still alive and her love warmed him. Unconsciously he shivered, his body was cold like his soul had gotten gold in his mourning. Essex laughed diabolically, he had not taken much time with this one because he had known exactly what would break him. And he had accomplished that. Oh, #128 would be very useful for him now. The man on the table felt the tears running down his cheeks as he finally realized how helpless he truly was. It was the last thing he felt, the pain over the loss of his beloved wife overtook his body and even though he’d retreated to the hindmost place of his mind he still knew that it would never be the same. Essex had not only taken his wife and his life through that, the will to live, his power to continue fighting but he had stolen him himself with her and that pain did not allow him to find peace even in this beautiful place in his mind. He hoped that he would die soon, then he’d be united with her again and free. Essex smile even broadened, he had a lot of things in mind for #128 and the mutant in the glass tank.
His plans were far reaching and his goals reachable but still not reached. There were so many things to explore and his restless mind longed for the next challenge. Science demanded unconditional dedication, the eagerness to discover and try out new things and never stop searching for answers to questions that hadn’t been asked yet. This was simply another beginning. Essex had devoted his life to science and its ideals. The necessity of the things made him do things others could not imagine and he was proud of himself and his determination. All for all he did not differ from all the other people with that who strived for new experiences, the discovery of new possibilities. His methods did not differ much from theirs too, it was simply the standards that were set that hade made the difference. Everyone who believed in the rightness of their cause and methods were not evil, it was simply what drove them to follow their ideals, their beliefs and their dream for life. Nathaniel Essex too had his beliefs, his ideals, methods and truly believed in what he did. In the eyes of some people these made him a monster, in those of others someone who simply followed his persuasion. If that made him a monster then he was one, if it made him an idealist instead then he was that too. For himself he just was who he was, he did what he thought he had to do and accorded to his ideas. He was no less a cold-blooded monster like all the other numerous researchers and scientists before him had been. He considered himself no more or less evil like these that came before of would follow.
Evil in his opinion was simply a matter of perspective, everyone saw in it, what he wanted to see, saw it in whom he wanted it to see.
Author’s notes: After you’ve read the story, I just wanted to say that it is not a matter whether I agree or disagree with Sinister’s methods. I just wanted to show that we use different measurements in looking at people and judging them. In some cases we are no better than those we hate or loathe, because we use their methods without hesitation when they fit our purpose and use their research findings to give people a better medical treatment or develop new health products.