He looks at what used to be his hands. And then at the drowned men on the floor.

"What the hell do you do now?"

He ignores the voice and tries to calm himself, steady his nerves, control his breathing.

"But how are you breathing?"

He looks down at himself with apprehension, watches his torso open by itself for the thousandth time. There are no organs in his body. One time he saw lungs, and a hint of a heart. But they melted away when he touched them, no more real than the rest of him. There is nothing there to see.

"And how do you see?"

He doesn't have a clue. It doesn't make sense. He plucked his eyes out once, but new ones formed almost instantly. The old ones crumbled in his leaky fingers, nothing but clay. He doesn't understand.

"Why'd this have to happen to an idiot like you?"

He keeps asking himself that. A scientist might have been fascinated by all this. He is just lost and afraid. Though so had the men at his feet been. He doesn't know if he regrets what he's done. He thinks he does.

"But how do you think? How do you talk and breathe?"

He doesn't know. He's searched all around, thrown himself against the walls and spread his body as thin as he could. There are no ears to be found, no mouth, no brain. There's nothing.

"You don't even know how you're alive."

He doesn't. There is nothing to explain it. Not an ounce of his body is biological. He shouldn't be alive.

"Are you alive?"

He isn't sure. Every time he touches something, he ponders it. He knows that he's touching something, pressing against it, but he doesn't feel. Nothing is soft or rough, cold or warm. It's just there. Like he is.

"Just what are you?"

He can't answer. He's been thinking all sorts of strange things lately, gave the concept of souls some real thought for the first time in his life. What he is now doesn't fit anything he's ever heard before. It doesn't fit into this world he thought he knew. He is a seeping mass of mud imbued with a conscience.

"So what the hell are you going to do?"

He has no idea. He can mimic anyone's face, their voice, everything. Not that he understands how. He could become someone else, lead an almost-real life.

"No. You can't."

It would be impossible. He could look and sound right, but eventually the illusion would break. Someone would touch him, and then they would scream.

"Is this really happening?"

It is.

"Maybe you've just lost it, Matt."

He'd believed that throughout the first week. It hadn't helped.

"A treasure hunter falls into a pool and changes into a monster. Does that sound real?"

It doesn't. But it is. The person he used to be has no place here. His views on the possible and the impossible don't apply anymore.

"Who is Matt Hagen?"

For the umpteenth time he crushes the irritating face of his old self, splattering it all over the wall. It seeps onto the floor before oozing slowly back into the strange body to form once more at the tip of his hand and resume its talking.

"Matt Hagen is a faceless monster." The voice turns flippant. "Or maybe he's dead."

He stands over the lifeless husks of the researchers who had proven incapable of helping him. There is no trace of him in their throats anymore. But he will always remember. The sounds he heard, from within his body and without. The ungraceful flopping as they tried to pull free. The sight of their limp bodies slipping out of his chest and onto the floor.

It had seemed a logical thing to do. But now there's nothing. He imitates a sigh. Then all of a sudden he's not alone. There's an idiot with ears like a bat trying to talk to him. The face at the end of his hand smiles at him.

"What would Matt do?"

He would kick this idiot's ass. Smiling impossibly wide, the thing that used to be Matt Hagen advances and the costumed man retreats bewildered. The monster inches forward, its body swallowing everything in its way.