It wasn't fair.
Jon Smith sat bolt upright in his bed, sweat pouring off his face.
He picked up his cell phone from the nightstand, pressed a button to light the screen.
2:32, the digital numbers burned at him.
He got up, padded to the bathroom.
Minutes later, he returned, lay back down, stared at the bluish glow creeping around the curtain.
He could get up, go running in Independence Port. Hero Corps had given him a generous vacation bonus, encouraging him to take as much time off as he wanted, to rest up, to recouperate from his travails. He didn't have to worry about reporting in.
Why wouldn't his nightmares leave him alone?
He still couldn't remember them past waking, and he didn't want to. He thought he knew what they were about, and they were memories he didn't want to have to relive in his waking life.
But why wouldn't they leave him in peace?
He'd had his revenge, or as much as he cared to extract. Julianne Thompson, the engineer of Crey Industries, was behind bars, and looked to remain there for a very, very long time, if not the rest of her entire life.
That was assuming she didn't get the death penalty for the murder of Clarissa van Dorn, or for ordering the deaths of many other people.
Even if Crey Industries survived the loss of its owner, it would survive in a vastly altered form. Government officials were pouring over files, both paper and electronic, that Crey had been amassing for over a decade. The oversight that it had suffered from Vanguard was nothing compared to the supervision that it would live with for years to come.
The Revenant Hero program had been suspended, and large numbers of the Paragon Protectors themselves had been rounded up, while officials debated what should be done about them. Invisible Falcon's death had been avenged.
Why wouldn't the nightmares stop?
Manticore had warned him to have something else to live for, but he had something. Peace. His job. His friends, in Hero Corps and Starfire, and the contacts that he had made that had, surprisingly, turned into relationships.
He was no longer a lab rat, and no one could ever call him that again.
A chill ran down his spine.
The Beta lab.
Not once had he found any trace of it, nor talked to anyone who had actually seen it.
He suddenly realized what it was that he had to do.....
Copyright terraforming.com, November 26, 2012