- A Serialized Novel -

This isn't a superpower. It's a curse.

With the Right Motivation

So… drugs. Remember, they don’t agree with me.

And plans never go my way.

I figured I’d be out cold again after I did my shift—and yeah, I picked a form that was still an adult just to make me difficult to move around because why make it easy for them? It surprised me to find that not only was I awake, but the pain was gone.

And I was sensible enough not to tell Kilbourne this.

I know. You’re surprised, aren’t you?

So was I.

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Clayton was awake. In fact, he was fairly certain that he hadn’t fallen asleep or passed out at all. Even with as loopy as he had been, he could swear that no time at all had passed. Wait a minute. That never happened. He held still as footsteps approached him. Kilbourne, probably, standing there and looking down at him. Clay hated that. He really just wanted the man to die. A horrible, spandex related death because the bastard deserved no less. It would be perfect. He could suffer in agony through the worst substance known to man—okay, that was an exaggeration, and Clay really didn’t know why he hated spandex so much, but… he did.

“I see the drugs almost had their desired effect,” Kilbourne observed, kneeling down next to him. “I must adjust the dosage. I have to get rid of this ridiculous delay in the shifts. It is impractical.”

Clay studied his enemy as much as he could without revealing that he was awake, and then he grabbed hold of the computer chair and wheeled it close enough, using it to whack Kilbourne, hard, knocking the so-called scientist to the floor. Clay heard the older man to groan as he got up and picked up the nearest syringe. He kicked Kilbourne mostly for the hell of it. “What’s in this one, hmm? Think it will give you a tentacle or a heart attack or what?”

Kilbourne glared at him. “You won’t win for long, Moore. Your genetics are far too unstable for that. You’ll succumb to the drugs or your own physical limitations soon enough.”

“Thing is,” Clay said, putting his foot down on the other man’s chest, holding him in place. “I have a lot more experience with dealing with my screwed up genetics than you do, and while, yeah, it surprised the hell out of me that I was still awake when you got in here, I don’t feel any pain, don’t feel any drugs, and that means I might just have mastered my healing shift. Your little experiment actually worked, but for me, not you. As does your apparently masochistic choice of chair. How can you sit in that thing for long periods? I don’t know, but I do know that I just might inject you with this for the fun of it because I’m voting tentacle. Life isn’t complete until you’ve had a tentacle.”

Kilbourne started shoved Clay’s foot away, knocking him down, and Clay really had no choice then. He stabbed the syringe into the other man’s leg and backed away, looking around the office for something else to use. That drug or whatever it was might not have any effect on Kilbourne at all. Clay had to do something else.

He was still getting the stuff from Kilbourne’s computer on the internet—hopefully—but Clay could pull the fire alarm and possibly set off the extinguishers in the lab, only that wasn’t going to stop Kilbourne. What he needed was a nice blunt object to hit Kilbourne with, make him lose consciousness for a while and then tie him up and get some answers for a change.

The man didn’t have a paper weight, and Clay figured whatever it might have been if Kilbourne had had one would probably have been twisted and scary, and the computer mouse wouldn’t do enough damage.

“The next one I will make more docile.”

“You’re not getting anywhere near my child, you bastard,” Clay snapped, launching himself at the other man in a blind fury. He was never going to be a real fighter with any technique or skill, but he had enough anger and rage and plain old fear to pound on the sadistic scientist until the man was bloody and unconscious.

Clay sat back, a bit horrified by what he’d done, but he forced that out of his mind as he picked the chair up and dragged Kilbourne up into it. With the monster in the chair, Clay hunted for something to tie him up with, frowning when he saw what looked like one of Larabee’s costumes in one of the specimen containers. Maybe Kilbourne was trying to research the ooze that made the clothes Clay wore possible. He’d have to, really, if he was planning on making more like Clayton, so yeah, that was probably it.

Clay shook his head, hoping that the stretch of the fabric would mean that Kilbourne couldn’t get out of it no matter how hard he struggled—especially since Clay had found his own clothing rather resistant to tearing over his various misadventures—and so he started wrapping it around the other man until he was practically mummified in it and stuck to the chair.

He went over to the sink in the lab and washed off his hands, shaking a little as he did. He never would have believed he was capable of that, but he had enough to motivate him—he’d do anything to keep April safe, and they were going to be parents, so…

Wait. Clay was going to be a father. A dad. A role model.

He went back to the sink and threw up.

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