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Die Verwandlung des Valeskas

So I was packing up for my trip to Berlin to take over the Continental Headquarters from Professor Valeska when he banged his way into the front of the laboratory. Must have taken an earlier train. The time in gloomy Berlin had not improved his demeanor, he was as cross and grumpy as usual, but finding the stabilized recipe in the bottles near the condenser improved his mood and the chill began to fade from the room. I swear that man can manipulate the specific heat of any medium in range of his swamp gas eyes.

“This is the second Povendero formulation?”

“Yeah, Boss.”

“And the animal tests were alright?”

“Well, on stray dogs and cats. I couldn’t bribe an urchin enough to try it.”

“Just as well, we could have gotten in trouble with the local guilds and constabulary. Did you ask Major Oldrich?”

“No, he’s still a bit loopy since the last batch.”

“He’s mostly machine anyway. Okay, so I propose a one-quarter dose. I think I’m up to it.”

“I really don’t think…”

“Understand me, Underwood.” he grunted, “the Agency wants something soon, and the Polygnostic Society is going to pull its funding without something dramatic! I need to send you back with something, unless of course you are willing…”

“Oh no!”

“Well then.” he said as he measured out a draught from the most recent condenser run.



“I told you about the effect when mixed with hydrocloric acid, neh?”

“I am aware.”
He very gamely took the dose, barely grimacing at the astringent taste and electric burn down the throat. For a moment his skin took on a ghastly tint, then he pinked back up as the aether around him burst outward like a flashover of parafin. 
The effect took place instantly, I did not even notice a specific change; he just suddenly was the way he appears now. He certainly looks different, ‘younger’ the best description. But I have no idea how he looked in his salad days. He does not seem to have any likenesses taken when he was in University or even in the Union Army.
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