In his own dark room, the masked man stared into a fire. He was angry, but the mask hid all signs of that except for his harsh breathing. He hated admitting any kind of weakness and he hated having to waste something so powerful, but the truth was that he hadn't been able to sleep or eat since he laid hands on the book. He hadn't even been able to leave it out of his hands for very long, and never out of his sight.

He remembered finding Harry Lee in the desert, he had watched the 'Bookworm' take him over and the metamorphosis that followed. As soon as he had realized the hold the book had on him, Slade had burned the thing. Even then though, he had watched the flames until they died, and the ashes until the wind pulled them away.