Neither of the authors stake any claim, and would like to take a moment to credit these men instead:
Jekyll and Hyde: The Musical; Steve Cuden and Frank Wildhorn
Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde; Robert Lewis Stevenson
Phantom of the Opera; Andrew Lloyd Webber
The Phantom of the Opera; Gaston Leroux
And we the authors would also like to thank Polly Moopers of PPN for being our wonderfulishious mid-wife/beta/saint. WE HEART POLLY!
1879- Paris, France
"By five votes to none, with one abstention, Proposition 929 is rejected. Thank you for your time, gentlemen."
Spoken with such finality, the words were a death sentence. Rejected, Dr. de Chagny fumed, as he slammed the door to his laboratory, throwing his hat down on the table with crushing force. Supporting himself with both fists on the table, he tried to control his breathing. In… out…in…. A deep growl formed at the back of his throat, and he didn't even try to contain it. Furiously, he flung himself into the chair and stared at his hands.
He had tried to reason. When that didn't work, he had argued. He had yelled. He had completely lost his educated, cool demeanor in front of the governors, but to no avail. When the gavel hammered down on the desk of the judge, reverberating through the deadly silence of the room, it became final. He would have no subject for his studies. "This is a hospital, here to save lives! Did you think that we'd let you play God with a human soul? Dr. de Chagny, you have gone positively insane!" Can't they see? It's not insanity, it's not blasphemy! He was trying to save mankind from itself!
With a groan, Raoul let his head slip through his hands, and hit the desk. His blonde hair was all in disarray, but for once, he didn't care. Taking a deep breath, he felt his anger leave him broken and empty. Rejected… all those years I've dedicated to my dream… rejected. I'm bound by their decision...
His musings were interrupted by the glimmer of a beaker across the room.Walking over to it, he picked up off the counter carefully, and addressed it. "Well, Formula RC7," he smiled a bit at the formal name. "It seems that this is it. I have half a mind to drop you on the ground and watch you evaporate. You have no use now. Absolutely none! Do you hear me? NONE! YOU ARE USELESS!" Absently, Raoul realized that he had been yelling. At the potion. Coming back from his rage, he laughed roughly, and gently set the formula back down on the counter it had come from. Stalking back across the room, he clasped his hands behind his back, and continued addressing the swirl of changing colors.
"I wasn't lying, you know. The governors won't let me use you on one of the hospital's patients. They're really not visionaries like we are, are they? God damn fools! Ah well, it's no use… unless… no." A thought flickered across his mind, tantalizing him with its possibilities. Insane possibilities. The governors had ruled that he couldn't use a hospital patient… but they had said nothing about himself.
"No, I won't do it!" He told the potion. It glimmered back at him. "Why, you little demon! You want me to, don't you?" It turned a volatile shade of red, deep crimson, like blood. "Well, who am I to resist? If no one else shall… then I will."
Sitting down at his desk, he picked up a quill, and began to write.
Taken from the scientific journal of Dr. Raoul de Chagny
September 13, 1879
11:50: The governors have left me with no choice but to proceed on my own. With no patient to experiment upon, I am left with myself. There is no other choice. I must push on, put aside my fears and work for the betterment of mankind.
I need to know! I need to know the secrets of men's minds! Where is the proverbial fine line between sanity and insanity, genius and madman? What makes a man truly evil?
It is up to me, my life is at stake. It comes to this… No one else will help me, so for the first time in my life, I shall help myself. I will not lie and say that I do not have my fears. Shall I die? Perhaps I will not die, but instead be crippled for the rest of my life? Such thoughts swirl through my head as Formula RC7 glimmers from the shelf.
It is now, or never. It seems fitting that with the tolling of the midnight bells, a new day shall dawn for Raoul de Chagny.
Raoul signed his name into the little leather-bound book and flipped it closed. He sat back in his chair and took a deep breath, attempting to calm himself. It didn't work. Had he ever been this frightened before? Not when his mother had found him sneaking back in the house after a night with his friends, having his first drink, an experience he would never repeat. Not even his vivid recurring nightmare as a little boy, about the man with half a face could compare to the dark churning of dread in the very pit of his stomach. Rubbing his temples, Raoul glanced up at the bubbling potion which he had set upon the Bunsen burner minutes ago. With a sigh of resignation, he slid on thick gloves to protect him from the heat, scooped up his tongs, and removed it from the flame.
As he set it on the cool stone top of his desk, the formula began to shift colors quickly. Starting out clear, it darkened to a dangerous looking orange, then to a vibrant yellow, and finally it deepened to a foul green. Taking a deep breath, Raoul picked up the solution. A line from a book read long ago at school flitted through his mind. "I drink to thee, Romeo!"he proclaimed, and gulped the entire beaker down.
With a shudder, he wiped his mouth off with the back of a glove. The salty taste burned his tongue in the most unpleasant way. Reopening his journal, he took off his gloves and began to write.
11:59: I have consumed 100 milliliters of Formula RC 7 whilst in its green state. Approximately one minute from time of consumption, no other side effects except a salty burning in my mouth have become known.
One minute and thirty seconds. My limbs have begun tingling, starting at the tips of my fingers and toes and moving inward. I am cold… very cold. My heart feels numb…
Two minutes. My heart is in agony, I fear it shall burst! Taking a breath has become as painful as death, and I am trembling violently! Everything is spinning around me; I can no longer read what I am writing! My world is going red, and I cannot write any mo-
Tumbling from his chair, Raoul hit the ground without trying to break his fall. Landing on his side, he started convulsing violently. He rolled over onto his back and saw the empty beaker laying discarded on his desk, glaring down at him, accusing him of unspeakable crimes. Blackness clawed at the edges of his vision and pain swirled before his eyes like mist, reaching out towards him with icy tendrils, yet the image of the beaker remained. "Guilty!" it cried, "Guilty!" Another painful convulsion wracked through his body, and the fog enveloped him. He struggled to surpass the haze, but the futility overcame him, and he knew no more.
The figure on the floor of the basement laboratory of the Chateau de Chagny started a most hideous transformation. It writhed and cried out in unspeakable pain as its body began to lengthen. The form had once been of a slightly average height was now one that easily surpassed two meters. Stout, calloused doctor's hands were replaced by unnaturally long-fingered ones, so pale and transparent that the knuckles were easily visible. The formerly golden locks of the man seemed to melt, becoming shorter and darker; an almost impossible shade of coal black. What used to be lightly tanned skin faded into pallor. Although quite remarkable, these transformations paled in the light of the man's head and face.
The skin upon his right side face dissolved until the blue veins were visible, along with the skull through its horridly fearsome transparency. Half of his nose seemed to collapse in on itself, and his skin bubbled and blistered. As he thrashed around, the left side was exposed, a fierce contrast to its companion. Although his right looked like that of a decomposing corpse's face, his left was fine-boned and well balanced. His face was contorted in agony, but it was undeniable that he was of a handsome breed.
Soon, his cries lessened, and he rolled himself over onto his back, panting from the exertion. Screwing his eyes shut, he groaned from the aching pain that exploded before his eyes. When they flew open a few seconds later, a startling difference was revealed. His destroyed side was paired with an equally odd eye, an amber color that seemed to glow in the dim candlelight. The left, however, was a clear, deep green, almost mocking its partner.
He lay still for a few minutes more, swimming back from the unstable world of mist and fog to the more concrete reality. Flipping over onto his stomach, he crawled across his laboratory floor and slouched up against the wall, exhausted. Something caught his eye, something long and pale and- "Mon Dieu!" he exclaimed, studying his own hand with morbid fascination.
"Who is… what is this… creature?" he murmured to himself, astonished to find that his voice was now a toned, lyrical purr.
Clutching at the wall, he slowly pulled himself up, an action that looked more graceful than possible for a man of such height. He placed a steadying hand on the wall and started hobbling towards the door. As he took his first step, he was in agony. His shoes were suddenly confining, far too small. He gritted his teeth against the pain and kept moving slowly. Then, suddenly-
With fright in his eyes, he looked down to see his pants hanging several inches above his ankles. He also noticed a large rip near the crotch of his pants.
He started looking around for a mirror. This man's former physical self was a rather good looking man and was a man of society as well, so he was constantly needed reassurance of his looks. He didn't have to search very long to find one; it was near the locked door of the laboratory, a small one, just big enough to reflect a face. He bent down and peered into its reflective surface.
Two manors down, Monsieur le Baron de Castelot-Barbezac jerked awake from a rather good dream to hear an unearthly roar of despair followed by many loud crashings.