Chapter 6 - Passing By Destiny
Many miles from Crabapple Cove, a young man reading a comic book suddenly dropped it. The comic was about a scientist transformed into a monster by radiation. Just as the Jekyll-Hyde scientist changed, the young man heard an inhuman roar of rage and grief that stayed with him the rest of his life. The entire house heard it. Despite his being almost grown-up, his mother checked on him, pretty shaken herself.
"I don't mean to pry, kiddo, but are you all right?"
"Yeah, I guess so--but that howl. It was like the entire world died at once, and God was mourning it."
"Just-try and go to sleep. If any of us can."
Still, her son's statement stayed with her. There were times when Stevie scared even his mother, Mrs. King.
In Crabapple Cove, the most powerful man on Earth was through howling, and through crying, as well. His lover, Samantha, had not been lying when she said that her race of witches had no traffic with demons. That having been said, she now knew what one must look like. She saw it in the reddened, maddened eyes of Hawkeye Pierce. Oddly, he stood above the shattered body of his father, Daniel Webster, and simply sniffed, as though taking in his scent. Then, in a flash, he moved for the house.
The irony never left Pierce's mind. Except for the more extreme abilities, he now had the powers of Superman. Just like Superman, though, when the time came, he had not been able to save his parents-any of them. Not his mother, also named Martha. Not his stepmother, Laura, whose death, told of in a wartime telegram inspired one of his more memorable drunken binges. Even Trapper was amazed. In an odd twist, this time it was Hot Lips-Margaret-who had thrown him into the shower, trying to sober him up. He only found out recently that she had received a telegram that same day, announcing her parents' initial separation. It never ceased to grate at Hawkeye that there was so much grief, and so little anyone could do about it.
In Dan's bathroom, he found what he was looking for. As he stared at the filter, he was torn between the urge to avenge his father and his Hippocratic Oath. His hands, however powerful, were still those of a surgeon, so he meticulously removed the filter containing the same stuff he smelled on his father's breath. It could have no effect on him, but it nevertheless smelled strange. Strange enough to cause a sober, Stoic small town New England Doctor to jump from his own roof while babbling a storm. The smile that appeared on Hawkeye's face was not one of joy, and it was not that of a healer who uncovered cause of death. It was a predator's smile. Now, he would have only to wait.
Going back to his fath---to His living room, he saw that Sam had just gotten off the phone. His ears told him that she was speaking to Amos Preston, the county coroner. Endora sat on a chair, quietly watching Dan's body. He hoped to hell they had magicked it there, for their sakes. Sam kind of wondered at her mother's deep grief, but Hawkeye didn't. The two had carried each others' scent for months. Dan Pierce was his son's father, after all. Sam looked at what Hawkeye had in his hand.
"What is that thing?"
"This thing contains the stuff that they fed my father--kind of a reminder. Now, I'm just waiting."
"Who are the---oh, them. But what are you waiting on?"
"A phone call. Sam, can you trace it, when it comes through? I need to feed this filter to a certain someone."
She looked alarmed.
"I most certainly will not! Hawkeye, you're a Doctor. Murder won't solve anything."
"I am a Doctor. And Doctors remove cancers, or Cancerous Men, as the case may be. Will you do it?!"
"No. Its wrong, and if you weren't so angry, you'd know that."
"I'll do it. If you think your foe is foolish enough to call here, then I will be more than happy to flush out his rat's nest."
In saying all that, Endora had never looked away from Dan. 10 minutes later, the call came. It was exactly who Pierce thought it would be.
"No points, Doctor Pierce. You don't learn, do you? Doing little 'research' from that hospital in Montpelier. I'll bet Dan wouldn't approve."
Then, the man just hung up. Too fast to be traced--by technology. Hawkeye turned to Endora.
"It was him."
She motioned, and a piece of paper appeared. It was from a house in Westport, Connecticut, on a street called MorningGlory Circle. Outside, Pierce jumped into the sky, as high as he could go, making for the coastline, and streaking towards Connecticut. After a 10-minute search, he found Westport. After 2 minutes there, he saw the house. Seeing his enemy standing in the window, Pierce hurled the filter at a very slow speed, so it would land past the man's feet. As the creep picked it up, he realized what it was, and shook. He made for the door, but Pierce tore it off and confronted him.
"Hey, pal. Long time no see."
There was no humor in Pierce's voice. The secret spy knew that he had found him to kill him. He never realized the extent of Pierce's transformation, and he had no idea how Hawkeye had found him. He tried to bluster his way out.
"This-this- is your own fault, Pierce. Your father would still be alive, if aaaacckk..."
Hawkeye started to pick up and strangle the man with one hand. Then, he heard a gun cock. He turned around, bit at the gun, and tore it from its owners grasp. Resisting the urge to bite it in two, he simply spit it out the window. The man behind him was fearful, but not as scared as the one Pierce came for.
"Who are you and why have you broken into my house?"
"Who I am doesn't matter; What matters is that you have a lousy choice of house guests. Spy-smasher here just called me and bragged on killing my father by giving him the junk in that filter."
The other man sniffed the filter.
"Lysergic Acid. You would be Hawkeye Pierce, then. My name's Bill. Hawkeye, I'm sorry for your Father. I had heard that certain people would be moving against you, but couldn't stop them. Circumstances force me in with this character, but please don't kill him."
"Sorry, Bill, but you gotta do better than that. I want a Christmas present for my friend, Walter O'Reilly, and given the last death this guy laid claim to, his head should serve nicely."
"Please. There are dark forces within our government, and this man is their linchpin. He is the scum that those scum need to keep from warring on each other."
Bill was smart enough not to add the words : Innocent Bystanders get hurt when that happens. For all that, Pierce cocked his fist, and got ready to deliver the death-blow. Then, Bill's wife cried something out.
"Bill! The Baby Can't Breathe! My Baby Can't Breathe!"
Bill's wife, Tena, was frantic. Pierce made a choice. He threw Bill's acquaintance to the ground, and attended to the child, who was rapidly turning blue. As the Doctor in Hawkeye took over, Bill gave the other man what for.
"If you EVER use my house as a call-point again, I'll let Pierce know where you are! GOT IT? Pal?"
Hurriedly, the other man left. The baby's illness had saved his worthless life. This would not be the last time that Pierce, the shadowy psychotic, or the baby, finally breathing on his own, would encounter one another.
"He'll be fine."
Tena hugged the Doctor. She would never say this in front of Bill, but his acquaintance's death would have caused her no grief, and much joy. But Hawkeye had chosen the life of her son over vengeance. Bill shook Pierce's hand.
"Listen, I can't help you with him--at least not directly. But I do owe you, and so does the most important person in both our lives."
Invisibly, Sam had witnessed all this, and silently repaired the damage to the house. She looked around, and noted how nice a neighborhood it was. She felt even better about the look on Hawkeye's face. It was obvious he was now remembering the good times with his Father. There was something odd about this place, though. It was the baby boy, eyes full of a spooky intelligence. As Hawkeye leapt off, Sam zapped herself home, where the grim business of Dan's funeral still awaited.
Across the way, in another house, came a shriek.
"ABNER! Those people are at it again! I tell you, that whole family is strange! Betcha they're involved in some shady dealings!"
Abner Kravitz shrugged.
"Gladys! Please! The Mulders are nice people! And their kid? Why, that Fox has to be the smartest baby on Earth!"