Moiety of Opia
The Good Doctor
From the Journal of Dr Marcus Faraday
18th of June
Despite Bordwell’s reservations, I have nonetheless succeeded in obtaining the corpses required for the next stage of experimentation. Although it is by no means difficult to obtain bodies if one is careful, one must nonetheless exercise a degree of restraint: although the bodies of the criminals and derelicts may be, for all intents and purposes, entirely physically fit, their obvious moral weaknesses render them inadequate for that which I require them.
I must confess, I have not been this excited since the indiscretions of my youth; I have always somewhat regretted having to put aside my youthful excesses in favour of the higher pursuits of wisdom. Nonetheless, I suspect that my young self would look upon this recent development with a distinct and piquant pleasure.
26th of July
The experiments go well. Already the bodies show the unmistakable signs of rejuvenation: their skin, formerly grey and sallow, has begin to adopt a pink, healthful cast; their hair and nails grow once again, albeit slowly; their miasma of putrescence has receded in favour of a heavy, pungent vitality as their vital systems once again produce sweat and sebum. I expect their hearts to recommence operations within the week, with their bowels to follow soon after.
Although I am uncertain as to whether I will succeed in full revivification, I am already well convinced of the viability of this procedure. Moreover, despite the fact that the experiments are not yet complete, I must confess that I have let my excitement get the best of me: I have begun cautiously dosing myself with the mutagen. We shall see if this unorthodox step will provide substantive results. I await with baited breath.
31st of August
Disaster! My workshop is in shambles. I am still not entirely unclear what happened; I awakened this morning as if from a deep and refreshing sleep, only to find that my laboratory was in ruins. Immediately, I suspected some kind of foul play: perhaps some competitor at the academy had heard tell of my research and decided to put a stop to it — out of moralism or jealously, I could not tell.
It was not until I discovered the eviscerated corpse of Bordwell amidst the wreckage, his intestines bloodily festooning the shattered glass and destroyed furniture, that I began to doubt this story. Slowly, fragments of the evening prior began to precipitate out of my memory.
I had given myself a larger-than usual dose of the mutagen the evening prior. I confess that it was a foolish decision; the experiments had only been going for four weeks, and already I was feeling impatient. Immediately, I recalled that the mutagen induced a state of jubilance, of extreme glee; I could feel my passions well deep within me, as I felt my skin tighten around my arms and shoulders and hair erupt from my neck.
The evening is mostly black from that point, though I still recall flashes. I can see Bordwell, cowering under a table and feeling my own gigantic disgust at his flabby, pale weakness. I then remember looking at myself in the mirror set over my laboratory sink. My face, though still my face, is elongated; fangs erupt from my mouth, my beard and hair are long and unkempt, and my eyes are enormous and yellowed, with slit irises like those of a cat. Blood — Bordwell’s I assume — covers my arms and hands, lodged under the long, thickened black nails that adorn my fingers. Already the blood is beginning to clot, and I recall idly thinking that the gore will soon become difficult to wash off my now-hirsute forearms.
I remember breathing a name: “Ezekiah Roth”. I do not know what this means.
It is clear to me that I must leave Halcyon City. Although the masters of the academy will be displeased, it is in the interest of all that I do so. I have recently been made aware of a position opening up in Port Dulcet. I have a home down there — some relic from the father’s side of the family. I recall the cottage being quite pleasant; perhaps the clean air will do me well. If nothing else, the extensive basement system will allow me to continue my experiments in relative peace.
I make a note to myself to send flowers to Bordwell’s family, attached to a letter saying that he died in the service of science.