She took caffeine pills; brewed bottomless pots of coffee; jogged around the block to elevate her endorphins. The nightmares had grown steadily worse. The long tendrils of vines like weeping wax. The needle-like teeth of Dionaea muscipula scissoring viscera and crunching bone. A sea of faces in a moss pelt -- her mother, Jason, Dick -- their mouths sewn shut with thorns.
She remembered her years of primary school theology, specifically the instance where God stopped the sun in its holy track across the sky. Oh, how she'd marveled at that possibility. Could God stop the Gotham sun if she prayed hard enough? If she knit her knuckles tight together -- broke bones in those adroit fingers -- would the Lord Almighty stop the solar nimbus in order to preserve her very own Israel?
And suddenly, without cause or reason, the break.
Where once her dreams were flooded with barbarity, there came the heteroclite silence. She slept without incident -- sometimes twenty hours at a time. Her lectures went without instruction; students milled out of the classroom after she failed to appear. There was talk of suspension. Martin Cox -- the professorial thorn in her side -- had tried her cellular extension until the intray would hold no more data. Dr. Price had even called, his reedy voice writ with consternation, imploring her to return to work before Dean Hargrove "did some Bonsai trimming of his own."
Ignorance had turned to algid bliss. She toiled in her laboratory: eight, ten hours straight, face pressed against the eyepiece of her microscope. A refinement had been necessary, she had realized, in order to preserve the potency of the sample. Jason's DNA, though pulled apart by the poison, had revealed an extraordinary similarity to her own. Her forearms began to bruise from the injections; hypodermic wounds would open and bleed, dripping rivulets of vitae onto the collected reams of toxicology reports and statistical functions. But with every extrapolation she grew closer to the truth. To the moment where she -- not God -- could stop the sun in the sky.
"And the sun stood still, and the moon halted, till the people had vengeance on their enemies."