Author : Steve Smith, Staff Writer

Tom fished through the basket of coffee pucks until he found one marked simply ‘Columbian’.

“Got a thing against coffee flavoured coffee do you Sam?” He couldn’t see his friend through the glare of the flood lamps, but he could hear him shuffling around in the shadows. “Sure I can’t make you one?” He lifted the lid on the battered stainless coffee machine, inserted the puck and picked through the assortment of mugs while the heater primed.

“No. I can’t…” Sam’s voice was different, deeper. “don’t want to mess with stimulants just yet.”

Tom laughed, slamming the lid and punching the button to begin brewing.

“When have you ever been one to not take anything?”

With a sharp click one end of the loft space became bathed in the cold glow of hanging sodium lights. Sam stood beneath the harsh glare and dropped the switch box to let it swing by its wire from the ceiling.

Tom forgot all about his coffee.

“Since I got here, Tom, this is what I wanted to show you.”

Tom’s mouth opened and closed soundlessly as he moved away from the makeshift kitchenette in the middle of the room to the open space where his friend now stood.

“Christ Sam, what the hell did you do?”

Sam stood, clad only in surfer shorts, his skin glistening chameleochrome over rippling chorded muscle. He’d become a caricature of the man Tom had known before. His hair was gone, his feet larger and more solid than Tom remembered from all the summers they’d barefooted at his uncle’s cottage. His hands, too, seemed larger, the fingers elongated and sinewy.

“I’ve changed, Tom. I’ve taken everything I’ve studied, everything I’ve worked with in genetics, biomech, nano-tech and kinetic design and applied it to building a better me.” He smiled at this, revealing powerful looking teeth punctuated by gleaming fangs, wickedly curved and cat-like.


Sam crouched, flattening himself almost to the floor, his legs coiled beneath him like springs and then erupted towards the ceiling, crossing the distance in a blink to hang, one handed from the steel structure twenty meters above his head. Noiselessly he swung his feet up and braced himself between two rows of girders,  then spider crawled at alarming speed across the ceiling to the darkness at the far end of the room. Tom watched awestruck as Sam dropped to the floor and literally bounded across the space, covering ten meters in each step, clearing the entire kitchen counter and snatching up the forgotten mug of coffee, sealing the lid with one massive hand to cartwheel over Tom’s head and land mere inches in front of him.

“Your coffee Tom?” Sam grinned, barely breathing and not having broken a sweat, or spilled a drop.

“Holy shit Sam,” Tom took the mug and gaped. “Holy shit.”

“It’s been quite a ride, I made some mistakes earlier on, but nothing uncorrectable. I think I’ve got this pretty much figured out, now I just need to decide what to do next.”

“Next? Sam, you’re like…” he paused, his eyes wide and hand waving, “like freaking Superman.”

“Yes, I suppose I am in a way,” Sam crossed his arms, then stroked his chin, “but Superman was a good guy, wasn’t he?”

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