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This story connects to a series of comic books soon to be released onto Comixology.com
Roman shoots up with a gasp, sweating. He looks around the room in shock, trying to figure out where he is.
X-Rays, IV, heart monitor. I'm in a hospital. Which hospital, though?
Roman looks out of the window to his left. It's daytime. Midday, by the looks of it. Down the street stands the Davison Labs building, but it's... different. Maybe it's because the top five floors were on the ground and in the buildings around the monument to Davison's success. The door bursts open and a nurse stands there.
Bank City General.
"Oh my god! Doctor Clarke, you're awake!" the nurse announces. Roman slides back in the bed.
"Yeah, I am. What happened?" Roman asks.
"You were in a coma, doctor."
"A coma?! For how long?"
"Two days, but you've undergone a lot of changes."
"Changes? What kind of changes?"
"Well, you were physically fit before... not that I've been looking! But now your muscles are, like, intense. Like, you're ripped. And in terms of injuries from being hit by a truck, you're actually completely fine. No breaks, no fractures, no sprains, no nothing. You're completely... fine... in a medical way!"
Roman looks up at the nurse. "What's your name?"
"Me? Oh, it's uh... shoot, what is it?"
Roman taps his lapel, and Grace looks at hers. She sees her name tag and remembers her name. "Thompson! Grace Thompson!" she shouts.
"Well, thank you, Grace. And if you can, I'd like to look at the files on my treatment."
"I don't think I can do that."
"Why not? You are a nurse, right?"
"Yeah, but yours was a... special case. A man who got hit by a truck and healed in a day?"
"Grace. Where's my file?"
Grace bites her lip. She looks out the door into the hallway, then walks over to Roman. "The suits took it."
"You know. Shady government-type looking fellas. They heard about your accident, and how you healed yourself in a day, so they came here."
Roman sits up in his bed. "What do they want with me?"
"I don't know! But they know what room you're in."
"What?! Well, get me out of here!"
"I don't think I can!"
There's a knock on the door. "Doctor Clarke," a deep voice began. "Doctor Clarke, may we come in?"
"I, uh... I'm kinda... hitting the head!" Roman replies. Roman shrugs at Grace.
"Out the window!" Grace whispers.
"Take your clothes, put them on, and go out the window! Climb up the building!"
"I just woke up from a coma!"
"We don't know that!"
"Just get dressed!"
Roman climbs out of bed and walks over to his clothes on the chair in the corner. He puts them on, and the suits knock on the door again.
"Doctor Clarke, are you OK in there?"
"Uh... yeah! This usually works better if I'm not being interrupted!"
Roman and Grace move towards the window and open it. Grace climbs onto the ledge, then Roman after her. The wind rushes past the two of them. Twelve floors above ground. The suits burst through the door. Roman turns to Grace.
The two of them turn around and grab onto the wall and begin to climb up.
"My office window should be open!" Roman exclaims
"They could have it covered by now!" Grace replies.
"It's worth a try!" Roman shouted back.
The two of them climb up the side of the hospital towards the window to Roman's office. It's open. Roman pushes open the window, and climbs in. He reaches down for Grace's arm, gets hold of it, and pulls her in. Roman pulls her in through the window, and they fall down. Roman hits the floor and Grace lands on top of him.
"We need to go," Grace whispered.
"Yeah, definitely," Roman replied. The two of them get up, and move quietly towards the door.
"I can't let you in. Doctor Clarke is doing research that could change the medical field forever!" said a doctor through the door.
"I don't care, we need to find him!" shouted a man in a suit. Roman and Grace run over to Roman's desk, and hide underneath it. The lock on the door clicks, and the door opens. A man in a suit with gray hair and glasses enters the room, followed by a doctor, who had a guilty look on his face. "Where is he?"
"If he isn't here, then he's somewhere else!" replied the doctor. The man in the suit looked over at Roman's desk. Then all Roman could hear were footsteps, but they weren't going anywhere. Grace begins to move out from under the desk, but Roman grabs her arm and pulls her back down. He puts his finger up to his mouth, signalling her to be quiet. "See? I told you he wasn't in here."
"Is there anywhere else he could be?" asked the man in the suit.
"No, sir," the doctor replied.
"Well he can't have gotten out. I have my men stationed on every side of the building, on every floor. Basement to roof. He has to be inside," the man growled.
"Sir, he's gone! There's nowhere else he could be in the building!" shrieked the doctor. The man in the suit looks around the room, then exits the office. The doctor follows the man, closing the door behind him. The lock clicks again, and there was no one else in the office. Roman and Grace climb out from underneath the desk. Grace walks over to the couch and slumps down.
"This is gonna get really tiring really fast." Grace pants.
"What is? Hiding from a shady government group?" Roman asks.
"Well, yeah. It's not like we can just keep our heads down and move on with our lives. We have to keep moving and keep looking over our shoulders," Grace explains.
"No, we don't. If I can get to my files, I can take them before they digitize them," Roman explains.
"And how are you going to do that?" Grace asks. Roman smiles and opens a closet in the corner of the office. He pulls out a set of nurse's scrubs, a cap, and a surgical mask.
Five minutes later, Roman and Grace are walking through the hallway towards the elevator wearing scrubs and surgical masks. They step onto the elevator, and the door begins to close. But suddenly, a foot keeps the door from closing, and in walks a man in a suit carrying a stack of folders. On top is a file that reads Clarke, Roman J in the top right corner. Roman taps Grace on the shoulder and signals towards the folder. Grace nods. She steps forwards and nudges against the man in the suit, who drops his stack of folders onto the floor. Roman quickly grabs the folder with his name on it.
"Allow me to help you, sir," Roman says through his surgical mask. Roman begins to scoop up the folders and hands them to the man. "I am dreadfully sorry about my colleague, she's a bit clumsy."
"It's fine. Just don't let it happen again," sneers the man. The elevator doors open and the man steps off.
"You got it?" Grace asks. Roman moves his hand from behind his back revealing the folder.
"Easy-peasy." Roman smiles.
"What are we gonna do with it?" Grace asks.
"I'll take it back to my place and burn it after studying it," Roman explains.
"How do you know if your place is safe?" Grace asks.
"I have my ways," Roman replies.
Twelve o'clock AM, Roman sits awake in his kitchen reading his file. His muscles begin to tense, and he begins to glow red. Roman falls to the floor, and begins to cry out in pain. Roman's eyes begin to burn, so he closes his eyes. He struggles to get up, and stumbles to get to his phone on the coffee table in the living room. He gets up, but he begins to float. He begins to shout out in terror. He hits the ceiling, then falls to the floor. He crawls to the window, with his eyes closed tight. He can feel his eyes burning. He makes it to an open window, and opens his eyes, allowing beams to shoot from his eyes. The beams collide with the building across the street, and a bunch of dust and small pieces of the building fall to the street. The beams disappear, and Roman sees that the pieces of the building are falling. He jumps out of the building, and flies down to the street. He raises his arms above his head, and the building pieces hit him. But not him. Roman looks up, and there are fields of red energy emitting from his forearms. He tosses the rubble off of him, and looks down at his arms. The energy dissipates, and his eyes no longer burn. Roman kneels down, then rockets into the sky, and all he could think was "I can't wait to see the look on Grace's face."
Continued in Heartman #1