Chapter 4 - Fools Rush In....
Peg Hunnicutt felt her daughter's distress. Samantha Kent heard her scream. Tabitha and Adam Stephens, her children, heard their mother take flight. Hippolyta 'Lyta' Pierce heard all the rest.
Peg saw the man called Nicholas Knight waving his hand over the young girl, seemingly causing her immense pain.
"Just what the hell do you think you're doing to my little girl, you freak?"
He turned, and the human vanished. In his place was the terrifying undead form of The Spectre.
"I will know The Truth!"
As many did when viewing this horrid sight, Peg Hunnicutt dropped dead. Knight bent over her still form.
"This complicates matters."
Another woman's voice was heard.
"Oh, I'd say that was a fair assessment."
Samantha Kent Stephens stepped forward, with her children and niece in tow. Their eyes began to blaze red.
But heat vision that could melt the polar ice caps had no effect at all on their grim angelic visitor. Sam then stepped up and punched The Spectre square in the jaw. She rubbed her hand in pain.
"What are you made of, fella? I could've moved the planet with that punch."
Reverting to the form of Nicholas Knight, The Spectre smiled.
"You are as powerful as your brother, Kara Don-El. But my true body dwarfs whole galaxies in size. Now, back to business."
He gestured again, restoring Peg to life.
Samantha chose then to play her ace, a risky move that could also play havoc with her magic-vulnerable Kryptonian metabolism. With the utterance of a single word, she doubled her near-infinite power.
If Sam expected the lightning bolt to strike her, completing the transformation to Captain Marvel, she was in for a decidedly non-electric shock. Knight batted the lightning away like it was a wiffleball.
"No mere wizard can exceed the might of The One."
The three half-Kryptonian children then rushed Knight, but stopped in his presence, and started hugging him.
"As you came unto my only begotten brother, so may you come unto me, unafraid. He still remembers you."
As downed, albeit raven-colored wings came out from his back, The Spectre revealed a far gentler aspect.
"Adam, Tabitha, Lyta--don't worry. You will one day be great heroes, just like your parents. He knows this."
A still-agape Peg and Sam saw Erin stand up.
"Mommy--Aunt Samantha--I have to talk to Daddy. I remember what happened that night, thanks to the angel."
Peg asked the obvious.
"Erin, honey--why didn't you remember before?"
Erin looked down.
"Because Uncle Hawkeye made me forget."
Samantha sat down, disbelieving this seeming confirmation of her worst fears. Her twin brother--her hero--had broken his own most sacred rule, and then not only lied about it, but had altered the memory of a young child to protect himself. Peg was a bit more direct, and angry at Superman.
"Then Hawkeye did kill The Toyman. BJ was right--my God. How could he put Erin through this? He once told me he'd die for her. They've been so close."
Knight resumed the form of The Spectre.
"Oh, faithless women! This Superman did not kill in hate. Life is precious to him. No, I have found the identity of the true murderer, though now I wish I had not. Kal-El did not end the life of Winslow Newsome."
Peg and Sam looked at each other, and then Knight.
"What century are you from, pal?"
The Spectre shrugged.
"The 13th. Why do you ask?"
With that, the group made for the J*L*A* satellite, to seek Justice for its noblest defender.