Five: Abe Sapien: Sibling Rivalry: Part Fifteen
Sunday Morning, November 26, 1978
Broom and Hellboy prepared to depart the Boston facility to return to
BPRD headquarters in Newark. They were to be transported to a nearby
military base where a special plane awaited them.
held his left hand out to Dr. Robert Patterson. “Bob, I once thanked
you for saving my father’s life; now I have to thank you for saving
mine. I just wish Father Ed could have stayed around long enough for
me to thank him too. I hope he has a good trip to Czechoslovakia.”
shook Hellboy’s hand and then pulled the big guy in for a hug.
“Martha and I should be coming to see you in Newark sometime soon.
We would love to spend some time with you and Trevor that’s not
filled with constant crisis. We are both looking forward to meeting
this Abe that Trevor has told us so much about. He sounds so interesting.”
grinned ruefully. “He’s certainly interesting, Bob. I’m
glad there’s something left of him for you to meet. I still can’t
believe I shot him while he was trying to save me from my own stupidity.”
turned toward Martha Wilson. “Just one more hug for the road,
huh, Marty?” He swept her up into his arms so that her feet left
the floor. He kissed her cheek and whispered into her ear, “Thanks
for everything and I really mean everything, not just this past week.
You’ve always been there when I needed you.” He held on
to the now speechless Martha for a very long time.
placed a hand on Hellboy’s shoulder. “Son, we need to depart
soon. Robert, Martha, I can’t thank you enough for everything
you have done for us.”
When they had arrived back to Newark, Hellboy was amazed that it had
only been a week since they had left to go to Sheffield, Massachusetts;
it seemed more like a century.
his memories of that fateful Sunday were starting to become less hazy.
Other memories he now realized would always remain blurry or totally
blank. He had never been possessed by a demon before and never realized
how much this kind of thing could scramble your brains. He had been
more than relieved when he found out that his immense stupidity in not
listening to Abe’s warning that day cost neither Abe his life
nor the lives of the boys he had been trying to rescue.
thing on his mind as he descended down into the BPRD’s underground
headquarters was how Abe was faring. He still could not believe that
he had shot him. Whether he had been under the influence of that possessing
entity or not, he just could not forgive himself for this.
entered into Section 51, Hellboy was desperate for information about
Abe and wanted to make directly for the Medical Wing. But Trevor Broom
stopped him from rushing immediately to the containment facility where
Abe was now located; instead he ushered him into his office and made
him sit down.
drew up a chair and sat near Hellboy. “Son, I was so concerned
this past week about your own status, that I failed to keep up as closely
as I should have with Abe’s condition. Certainly, when I last
saw him he did not seem to be in critical condition and early contact
with the medical personnel here seemed encouraging. I also spoke with
Abe since his arrival here and he sounded quite well. But I would like
to check on his current status before you go hastening in to see him.”
lowered his eyes, “You mean you want to find out if Abe wants
to see me.”
reached out and touched Hellboy’s knee, “No, I do not
mean that; I mean that I wish to ascertain his current physical status
to see if he is up to having a certain well meaning, but sometimes excitable,
individual visiting him.” Broom smiled as Hellboy looked up again.
am certain,” Broom continued, “from Abe’s own actions
and words after this incident, that he harbors no ill-will toward you.
He may have made certain jokes about your poor aim, but he has made
it clear to me that he believes you had no idea what you were shooting
at. I myself was blocked from seeing anything that was going on at the
time, but I believe, along with Abe, the fact that you hit nothing vital
is of great importance in understanding your actions in this event.”
squeezed Hellboy’s knee affectionately, but then became more serious.
“However, there is another topic that I believe needs to be addressed
before you see Abe again. When we were in Boston, I felt it was the
wrong time for unpleasant topics to be broached; now that your health
is more stable, I believe we need to have a very serious talk about
certain resentments you seem to have developed about Abe and his relationship
looked into Broom’s face, which still had some bandages on the
right cheek, and then lowered his eyes again, “Not now, Father;
not yet,” he almost whispered. “I’m not ready for
up again at Broom and sighed. When he had been very small it had seemed
a lot less frightening to receive the ‘serious talk’ while
seated in Broom’s lap being held in his arms; this was always
such a reassurance that no matter how furious Broom was he still loved
years Broom had proven to Hellboy time and again the depth of his love
for his adopted son; losing Broom’s love was no longer the issue.
What now panicked Hellboy at times like this was the idea that his father
still loved him but was disappointed in him; no matter how much older
he became he could never deal with the possibility of this disappointment.
waited; he did not force the issue. Hellboy got up and walked over to
the round, open fireplace that was in the center of Broom’s office
and stared at the flames. He often found the warmth of this fireplace
comforting, but not this time; this time the flames made him think of
the place where he was supposed to have come from.
disconsolate than before, Hellboy returned to Trevor Broom who was quietly
waiting for Hellboy to allow him to continue. He did not look at Broom,
nor did he resume his seat.
unexpected move, Hellboy turned away from Broom and sat on the floor
with his back to him just to the left of his feet. Sitting cross-legged
and scrunching down, Hellboy tucked his over-size right hand around
his father’s ankles and leaned his head against his knees.
ready now, Father,” he said in a low voice.
was incredibly moved by this; the only other time Hellboy had ever sat
this way was when they lived in the small house in Washington, D.C.
He had been due for a serious lecture about playing around in Broom’s
office and carelessly smashing one of his more important relics. He
was only around six years old, but had by that time grown taller than
Broom himself and had come to the reluctant realization that he would
never be able to sit in Broom’s lap for one of these talks again.
twenty-eight years later, as the seven-foot giant that his adopted son
had become sat dejectedly at his feet, all of the stern lecture that
Broom was planning whisked out of his head. Instead of speaking, he
reached down with his left hand and massaged the back of Hellboy’s
neck, eventually feeling the tension that he had found there ease up.
Broom finally said, “jealousy is never a pretty emotion. The fact
that you were harboring this emotion was something the entity possessing
you was able to exploit, driving you into actions that you would never
have performed when in your right mind. This time no permanent damage
was done to any of us; the next time we may not be so lucky. Remember
this; I have enough room in my heart to love you as much as I ever did
and yet still care for another.”
still had his hand on the back of Hellboy’s neck and felt him
the other hand,” Broom continued, “I realize that I have
much to blame myself for in this. I now believe that I, no matter how
inadvertently, began to spend too much time with Abe leaving you feeling
left out. I also made the mistaken assumption that what resentment I
had noticed would eventually pass away without my having to address
it. I must beg your forgiveness for all of this. Let’s continue
developing our relationship with Abe, having learned something from
this unfortunate series of events. We may find that our small family
here is strengthened by the addition of another rather than weakened
Broom said squeezing Hellboy’s left shoulder, “Let’s
go check on Abe.”
They entered into the Medical Wing and made their way to the special
containment facility that had been installed for any special care needed
by Abe. It was a good thing that Broom had anticipated the possibility
of the need for a facility like this. It made the sudden emergency care
needed by Abe on November 19th a lot less confounding.
Broom and Hellboy found out upon their arrival to this facility, this
did not necessarily make the medical care needed by Abe easy. There
was just so much that they had yet to learn about this unique life form,
had yet to see Abe’s containment facility. Broom had seen it when
it was originally installed and immediately noted the presence of several
pieces of new equipment.
the tank that Abe was now floating in. It had two vertical green LED
displays on either side with arcane symbols and numbers scrolling up.
Hellboy walked up to this and looked at Abe who was all bandaged and
wired up. He overheard Dr. Cobb speaking with Broom.
am sorry for all this extra expense, Professor, but we discovered rather
quickly that the tank that was originally installed here was not adequate
for keeping track of the chemical balance of the water, especially not
the pH balance.”
moved to stand next to Hellboy and examined Abe while Dr. Cobb continued,
“I do have to say that the emergency technicians who cared for
him did an admirable job, but none of the bandages they used were waterproof.
Until we could replace all of the bandages we had to keep him out of
the water. He did not react well to this.”
turned back to Dr. Cobb, “Why is he unconscious now? I understand
that his care may have been difficult, but he did not seem in this bad
a shape when I last saw him.”
is not exactly unconscious, but seems to have entered into a kind of
hibernation to further the healing process. However, this hibernation
is nothing like so deep as the suspended animation he was in when you
first found him. I am sure that in some way he is very much aware that
you are both here with him. The only thing we can do now is wait.”
turned toward Hellboy, “Son, it might be better if we left now.
I am sure that Dr. Cobb will inform us when there is any change in Abe’s
was still looking at Abe in the tank. “Father, I’d like
to stay a little longer if it’s OK with Dr. Cobb. I’ll be
really quiet and try not to be in the way.”
smiled slightly, “Well, if it’s fine with Dr. Cobb, it’s
fine with me.”
Dr. Roddel, Dr. Cobb liked Hellboy well enough and realized from what
information he had gathered that Hellboy was not really responsible
for his own actions when he shot Abe. He could also tell that the big
guy felt plenty guilty about the whole thing.
toward Hellboy, “You can stay as long as you want as long as things
Cobb,” Hellboy said, still watching Abe closely. Broom nodded
at Dr. Cobb and exited the containment facility.
Broom left, Hellboy moved closer to Abe’s special medical tank
and placed his left hand on the glass. He stood for a long time not
moving. Dr. Cobb went around checking status monitors.
around an hour Hellboy sat down on the floor next to the tank, leaned
his head against it, and closed his eyes. Dr. Cobb originally thought
that Hellboy had gone to sleep, but then he could hear him muttering
under his breath and realized that he was praying.
Dr. Cobb was surprised by this. He then recalled that Broom had raised
Hellboy Catholic, even if the thirty-four year old monster hunter seldom
overtly demonstrated any religious upbringing. Dr. Cobb moved away to
give him more space.
O most gracious Virgin Mary, that never was it known that anyone who
fled to your protection, implored your help or sought your intercession
was left unaided. Inspired with confidence, I fly to you, O Virgin of
virgins, my Mother. To you I come, before you I stand, sinful and sorrowful.
O Mother of the Word Incarnate, despise not my petitions, but in your
mercy, hear and answer me. Amen.
had muttered this prayer once, he must have muttered it fifty times.
He was just planning on reciting it again when a voice inside his head
interrupted him. “Very nice sentiment, but don’t you
know any other prayers?”
surprised, opened his eyes. “Abe?” he whispered. He looked
up into the tank at the slender blue-gray figure floating there, still
else do you think it would be, you big red monkey?”
know you could talk like this.” Hellboy stood up from the floor.
does take some effort, but I have had an immense amount of time to practice
my mental exercises recently. You are the first that I have contacted
quite so directly.”
time Dr. Cobb had begun to realize that Hellboy was no longer praying,
but seeming to talk to himself; it then came to him that Hellboy was
conversing with the still unconscious Abe.
Abe,” Hellboy continued, “I should’ve listened to
you; won’t make that mistake again. But you; you could’ve
gotten yourself killed by running in that room after me. You should’ve
just let the thing take me. It’s as much as I would’ve deserved,
big red oaf, don’t you understand that I care too much to let
you get killed or taken? I have never forgotten you breaking me out
of the research facility, or that first meal we had together. I just
allowed myself to become jealous of you and…”
of me?” Hellboy interrupted Abe in surprise, “Since when
were you jealous of me? I thought I was the one being idiotic, not you.”
must admit to feeling envious of your relationship with the Professor.
It just seems so special and I felt a little left out. So I made myself
feel superior by needling and teasing you.”
again pressed his left hand to the glass. “Pop has suggested that
we just start all over again and I agree with him; let’s be friends,
not friends, Red; brothers.” To Hellboy’s surprise
Abe opened his eyes, floated closer to the glass front of the tank and
placed his hand over his own.
works for me,” Hellboy said and then walked out to tell Broom
that Abe was awake again.
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