Well here it is everyone! The last chapter of Mutation, A big thank you to Andrewwilliams for writing this for me so make sure you readers out there thank him too otherwise this fic would not have been able to come to a reality!
Hope you enjoy reading this and stay close for its follow up fic coming soon, I promise!
Gear, Rubberband Man and Shebang followed the creature at a safe distance for nearly twenty minutes. The creature was stumbling around through the back streets and alleyways in an almost drunken fashion, occasionally pulsing and giving off small bursts of energy particles as its power drained. They couldn't see the creature directly, all they could see of it were the occasional flares as it lost energy.
Despite their limited tracking ability Gear could tell where the creature was going. It's going home, he thought, some part of Virgil must have woken up inside it and is compelling the creature to go home. Gear ran some calculations in his head to see if he could work out the point when the creature would for the last time change back into the energetic, electrically-powered metahuman they all knew and loved. But try as he might he wasn't able to work it out. He didn't know enough about the energy the creature was made of to accurately predict how long the cure would take to complete its work.
Ahead of them another flare erupted as the creature lost more energy. I hope its not much longer, Gear thought, it's almost to the Hawkins place.
The creature stumbled through the back streets, dazed and confused. Driven by the strange force in its mind that it did not understand. Nor did it know where it was going.
The hunger no longer called to it and the pain was fading as its felt itself growing weaker and weaker. It wanted to just collapse and rest, but the faint insistent voice at the back of its mind was getting stronger and stronger, compelling it to go forward. Home must get home, Virgil's faint thoughts said, must get home.
All was quiet in the Hawkins household; both the TV and radio were switched off leaving Robert and Sharon Hawkins sat in silence. A silence filled with worry and fear. Fear that they might never see Virgil again, that he was lost to the creature he had transformed into.
"Do you think they'll save Virgil daddy," Sharon asked breaking the silence though her voice was shaky after having cried out her worry and fear for what had seemed like ages.
"I don't know Sharon," Robert replied worry and hints of hopelessness in his voice. Sharon looked at her father in worry as she heard that. She prayed that Richie would be able to come up with a cure that would turn the energy creature back into Virgil, because if Virgil were lost forever then she did not think her father would be able to withstand the loss. In fact she was pretty sure that the pain and heartbreak of Virgil basically dying would destroy him.
Before she could speak however the overhead lights flickered and even in here they heard it. A roar that sounded like the roar of the energy creature, but it was different there was an almost human quality to it. It was also close, very close.
"It came from out the back," Sharon said getting up and heading out the back, something telling her that this nightmare was about to end. Robert stood up and followed his daughter hoping she knew what she was doing. He was pretty certain they were about to face the energy creature again, maybe it would attack them as it was obvious to him that Virgil had exhausted himself stopping the monster he'd become the last time.
Robert and Sharon arrived out the back just as a blue flash came from directly behind the fence. A moment before the creature appeared jumping over the fence instead of destroying it. Both of them immediately noticed that the creature was smaller; it was now only slightly larger than Virgil was and appeared humanoid though its features were blurred and indistinct.
Slowly the creature approached them then abruptly paused and pulsed with light again energy flying off it to dissolve in the air in a luminous fog. The creature shrunk in front of them, becoming the same size as Virgil. Its blurred features resolved so it appeared as an athletic male teenager made entirely out of energy, the creatures facial features though contorted in pain were now clearly Virgil's.
Then the creature doubled over, wrapping its arms around its abdomen and it roar, but as it did so the roar underwent a Doppler shift becoming a human scream of pain.
"Virgil," Robert breathed suddenly understanding what was happening. Richie must have succeeded in making a cure and getting it into the creature for now the creature was changing back once more becoming Virgil Hawkins. The creature looked up at them and on its face both Robert and Sharon saw recognition.
The creature staggered forward then collapsed onto its knees. A hand came up as if it was reaching out to them and then to their shock the creature spoke. The voice though distorted and distant sounding was unmistakable.
"Pops," the creature said in Virgil's voice. No not the creature anymore, Robert thought, its Virgil. He's back.
A ripple seemed to pass over the creature and before their eyes the beckoning energy hand changed becoming a human hand made of flesh and blood. Virgil/Creature seemed to groan as the change spread, then from inside it came a final brilliant flash of light that momentarily blinded both Robert and Sharon. But even through it they heard Virgil scream, a scream of a mixture of pain and relief. Then there was nothing more other than a thud.
Blinking rapidly to clear their vision Robert and Sharon looked in the direction of the creature. To see that it had vanished. Instead their lying on the ground was the naked, unconscious but familiar human form of Virgil Hawkins.
For a moment Robert and Sharon stood their frozen, then without speaking raced forwards to Virgil's side.
Gear accompanied by Rubberband Man and Shebang arrived at the scene moments later. Gear smiled when he saw that the cure had worked, the creature was gone Virgil was back. Naked and looking completely out of it but his friend was once again human.
He landed nearby as Rubberband Man bounced into the garden before assuming his normal humanoid form as opposed to a ball. Shebang jumped over the fence with easy acrobatic skill at the same time. Gear smiled again then walked towards Robert and Sharon.
"How is he," he asked.
"He's unconscious," Robert replied as he awkwardly picked Virgil up. As he held his son he looked worriedly at Richie. "He's not going to turn into that thing again is he Richie?"
"No," Richie replied taking off his helmet. "The cure has made sure of that all the altered energy has been purged. It's allowed Virgil's normal physiology to take over again, he won't ever transform into that thing again now. Now the one thing we will have to deal with is the very thing that I cannot use any technology to help with."
"Yes," Robert replied knowing that Richie was referring to the emotional aftermath of this experience; Virgil was probably going to be badly traumatised by what had happened. "But first lets get him inside the last thing we need on top of this is Virgil getting a cold."
Richie nodded in agreement. Gently cradling his sons unconscious form Robert turned and walked inside. Slowly everyone followed, Sharon feeling Adam but a comforting still rubber-like arm around her waist as they did so.
"Are you alright Sharon," Adam asked.
"I am now Adam," Sharon replied. "Now that I've got my little brother back, I just hope that Richie is right and he doesn't change again."
"Of course he is," Adam said reassuringly. "That monsters gone it won't ever come back again. Now all we have to do is be here to help Virgil get over this."
Sharon nodded as they disappeared inside the house. Like everyone else she knew that Virgil was going to be badly traumatised by what had happened to him. How a corruption of his own powers had turned him into a monster instead of the superhero he normally was. She didn't know how long it was going to take to help him recover, but she'd stick with it, she'd help her little brother recover, they all would stick with him.
No matter what happened.