The book lies on a table. Its pages are torn, tattered. The ink is faded, in places almost nonexistent. What ink remains, however, tells a chilling story.
On the left-hand page is a diagram, the chemical structure of a molecule labeled, simply, Nightmare. Then, a mathematical equation, all letters and numbers and symbols, the solution circled once, twice, three times. Below that, another molecular diagram, similar to the one above, but subtly different in ways that only an experienced biologist — or master alchemist — would recognize and understand.
The rest of the page is faded, but there are notes on the next.
“Use of the Coil has yielded… weaponized form of Nightmare…” Then, further down the page: “…highly unpredictable and volatile, lingering in the air hours after dispersal. I am suspending study of the compound until a stabilizing agent…”
There is little else on the page but one, last scribbled notation:
“…assistant has made off with my Coil… no idea what he has done!”
[Originally posted at Ficly]