It was the day of their graduation from Brooklyn Liberal Arts & Sciences Academy. Damon and Garret stood on the auditorium stage with the rest of their Studio Arts class awaiting their diplomas. There couldn't be a more satisfying feeling for those two than receiving their diplomas and moving on with their independence. Garret, whose father was certain his son hadn't a shot outside the family's medical firm, was already making plans to open an art gallery with Damon. Damon was simply happy to complete a tangible milestone without medication.
Since Damon was eight, he had blackouts where he'd wake up somewhere he's never been before and have trouble remembering events that everyone else said he was there for. At first he thought he was narcoleptic or a sleepwalker. But then people would call him a different name or talk to him strangely or act scared of him. He had no idea what was going on until one morning at the age of fifteen he woke up lying over his father's bloodied body with a butcher's knife in his left hand. His father was an abusive drunk who treated him and his mother like trash, and Damon was too scared to stand up to him. His father often used Damon as his ash tray or would beat him if he didn't do as he was told right away. Canaan started out as one of his imaginary friends during childhood. He could take any hit or burn Damon's father gave him because he couldn't feel any pain. One day he suddenly snapped and Canaan took full control. Damon's mother had a front row seat as Canaan stabbed at Damon's father like a pin cushion. Out of fear for her life, Damon's mother sent him to juvenile detention.
He insisted he didn't do it. He was right handed. He was sick. He wouldn’t hurt a fly. He could barely stay in the same room as his father when he was drunk. They took him to the Krieger Institute for verification and further examination to find he wasn’t lying. The doctors eventually diagnosed him with Dissociative Identity Disorder. Dr. Reder, the leading psychologist and chairman of Krieger, explained Damon’s situation to his mother. Damon was unstable and could change at any instant.
He learned Damon had at least three alter personalities. There was Mikah, a perpetual five-year-old. According to Dr. Reder, he represents Damon’s innocent nature before his father abused and harassed him and his mother. He is extremely friendly and curious and will ask twenty questions with whoever is closest, cry anytime someone seemed upset with him, and likes to doodle in the closest book. Ana, Damon’s female alter, was the nurturing, coddling mother figure Damon never had, always wanting to impress or help others. Then there was Canaan. A completely unpredictable sociopath that knows no fear and gets off on spurring terror in others. During a hypnosis session, Dr. Reder learned Canaan manifested after Damon reached his breaking point with his father’s abuse. He proudly admitted to killing Damon’s father, saying he did it for him. After more research, experiments, and precarious drug tests, Damon’s last alter showed himself- Bază, a savage beast that acts purely on primitive instinct. He takes what he wants or lashes out at the closest target regardless of conscience or consequence.
Each of the alters had a skill or ability that applied only for that particular persona. While Ana could predict the decisions of others, Mikah had the chilling persuasive ability to make others obey him. Canaan felt no fear or pain and had quick reflexes and healing properties, making him an unstoppable, unfeeling force. Lastly, a transition to Bază was the only one that exhibited inhuman physical changes. The keratin proteins in his hair, bones and nails strengthened and grew like fur and claws. His metabolism is heightened making him incredibly quick and alert. His muscles grew as well, making him unnaturally strong and massive compared to Damon’s willowy figure. Each time Bază came and went it was a painful transformation, but every time he came back the physical changes were a little bolder. Dr. Reder noted the alters were a complete split between Damon’s innocence and his darkness. Mikah and Ana were his light and Canaan and Bază his dark. As a member of the military’s special weapons department, he saw what others didn’t see in unique cases like Damon: an opportunity. If he could maximize the alters’ abilities and merge them all into a single identity, Damon could be the strongest human weapon the government has ever seen.
After three years of tests and experiments, Dr. Reder decided to study Damon from afar in a normal setting like college. He set up everything for Damon at the Brooklyn College from his dorm assignment to his classes from his tuition to his allowance. The only other one that knew of the arrangement besides his mother was the college president. If he endangered his life or the lives of any of the students, Reder would take full responsibility.
Without mentioning Damon’s incredible abilities, Dr. Reder informed Damon’s mother that without constant observation and proper medication, Damon was a danger to her. He promised to protect her from further interactions with her son. Since the day she sent him away, she and Damon hadn’t spoken. He wrote to her nearly every week, wondering what he did wrong, but she sent every letter back to the post office marked “Return to Sender” except one. The last one she received was just one page. Aggressively scrawled on every line were four words:
“I’m coming for you.”