Melvin Pemberley was fifty-one years old, though he could pass for a man in his mid-thirties. He was handsome in an Aryan sort of way, with short-cut blond hair, blue eyes that resembled chipped polar ice and a coolly efficient manner of conducting himself. He tended to wear the type of white lab coats so often associated with scientists and was rarely found without a pair of surgical gloves on his hands.
Doc Pemberley’s appearance generally caused people to believe he was a hard-working man dedicated to science. The truth was a good bit more sinister. Pemberley was completely amoral. Where the average person would cringe, Pemberley stared unabashed. When a normal man would rush in to save those in need, Pemberley was more apt to pick up a sheet of paper and begin recording the events occurring before him.
And then there was the peculiar interest in the macabre.
Doc Pemberley was not only a world-class authority on scientific matters, he was also an amateur occultist, with a collection of books that would be the envy of almost any parapsychologist in the world. Even the good men and women at Miskatonic University would have been impressed by his holdings. He had several books that had been personally bound by the infamous Felix Cole, whose skills in handling the works of the damned were impeccable.
The combination of good looks, remarkable intelligence and a total lack of morals made Doc Pemberley a very, very dangerous man.
With Sovereign City’s notoriously revolving door prison policy, Pemberley had been sure he’d be back on the streets within hours after his last arrest… but it hadn’t happened. The judges that owed him favors were either out of jobs or no longer considered Pemberley worthy of notice.
He’d stewed in his cell for months now, still bitter over the way that Lazarus Gray and Morgan Watts had treated him.
In Pemberley’s mind, Gray was a fool of the highest order, believing that he and his cohorts could bring about lasting change to Sovereign. He failed to understand that Sovereign was corrupting at its very core. Pemberley was not alone in his belief that there was something in the very air of Sovereign, something that inspired acts of depravity. Men and women who in other places would have been fine, upstanding citizens, found themselves unable to control their darker impulses in this place.
Pemberley loved Sovereign, regarding it as the perfect laboratory for his frequent experimentation. No matter how many times he’d been exiled from the city, he’d always returned, drawn back like a moth to a flame.
The doctor sat alone in his cell, thinking about these dark thoughts, when the prison guards announced that it was lights out. Pemberley was forbidden to have cellmates after several of them had come to mysterious ends. He sometimes found this disturbing, since he did enjoy a good conversation, but he also enjoyed the freedom it gave him. Away from all prying eyes, he could proceed with his private works.
As soon as darkness had descended, Pemberley was off his bunk and crouching against the back wall. There, secreted in a tiny hole, were the implements that would give him his freedom once more.
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