Warnings: onscreen character death
Prompt: "Asphyxiation" for my hc_bingo card (That's "hurt/comfort" if you didn't know, so....)
Word Count: 448
Summary: He does not realize he has been forgotten.
Word of the Day: divulse - To tear away or apart.
The Place Between Dreams and Awake
He passes from dreaming to awake with no discernible shift in surroundings -- as his dreams of flying, of floating, subside gently to his reality of floating in a liquid-filled cloning stasis tube. Well... he can't make out the world beyond the glass very well, but he's sure that he's still in a laboratory, one that is mostly dark. He dreams of the sunlight.
The downloaded knowledge in his head is incomplete -- and he has a vague idea that it was cut off abruptly, quite some time ago, though his sense of time is woefully undeveloped. But he knows, with certainty, that he's never really seen sunlight.
He tucks his chin against his chest and lets his hand drift slowly through the greenish solution -- it has been getting thicker over time, harder to move through. His thick fingers brush the dark red symbol on his chest and he smiles slightly. It is important; he remembers that. This symbol means he is part of something greater than just himself. He had a purpose once, and he's sure if he remains patient, another purpose will be found for him.
The dark shapes beyond the glass went still long ago. Regardless, he peers out through the murk and thick glass, trying to see any sign of movement in the laboratory. He doesn't mean to be, but he is impatient to be free. Sleep sneaks up on him gradually, and then he's soaring through a blue sky in his mind.
Something is wrong.
His waking this time is abrupt and harsh. He can barely see -- the laboratory is even darker than usual. He'd never noticed before -- only realizing now that it is gone -- that there had been a soft, ever-present hum against the glass. Now, his surroundings are distressingly silent and still. He tries to thump his fists against the glass, but the thickened solution provides too much resistance, stealing what force his weak, never exercised muscles can exert.
He opens his mouth to yell for attention, to yell for help, and he chokes. Something is wrong. Breathing had always been strange, inhaling the solution instead of proper air, but this time -- as it rushes into his lungs -- he feels smothered. He tries to throw his body against the glass, but he can barely move. His lungs are burning, and he can't fight free of what is killing him.
Experiment Ten of Project Lionel, one of the Cadmus Project's unsuccessful attempts to create a Superman clone, only manages to scrape the fingertips of one hand against the glass before darkness completely overwhelms him. In moments, his heart is no longer beating.