FLIGHT TO MOSCOW

Author’s notes: I know I really should be working more on my latest installment of the Abe Sapien chapter in Hellboy’s Family, but I’m having another attack of the angst plot bunnies. It just came to me today that if the action in the movie Hellboy had really taken place this would be the first anniversary of Trevor Bruttenholm’s death. The basic plot to this story just popped into my head when I was riding home on the subway. Story is complete.

Flight to Moscow

FBI Agent John Myers looked around the converted military cargo plane that was taking them all to Moscow to investigate one of the only clues they had to the murder of Trevor Broom. They had just taken off again after refueling in London.

Myers sighed; out of all of the passengers on that plane he himself was probably the one who had known Trevor Broom the least. He had just barely started working for Broom’s Bureau for Paranormal Research and Defense when there had been a security breach at the Bureau’s secret Newark headquarters that ended with Broom stabbed to death in his office.

Myers sighed again and looked out of the window he was sitting next to. It would be dark before they reached Russian airspace; he knew he should be trying to get some sleep. Like everyone else was doing—everyone except the massive red figure that was seated at the rough wooden worktable installed in the middle of the plane.

Hellboy; Myers wondered how he was doing. After all, he was the one who had known Broom best. He was the only one on that plane that had known Broom since the 1944 beginnings of the Bureau. He had known Broom from his infancy; known Broom as a son and not merely as the ward and later chief field investigator of Broom’s Bureau.

Trevor Broom had obviously cared deeply for the red giant he had adopted almost sixty years before.

Like any father, I worry about him, Broom had said the evening before he had been murdered.

In fact, Broom had confided in Myers that evening something that he had shared with few others, not even Hellboy; he was terminally ill. He had also laid on Myers’s shoulders the responsibility of continuing Broom’s unfinished job of helping Hellboy to become a man—to grow up.

And Hellboy’s moods, which could be unpredictable to begin with, became even more volatile when he had finally emerged from his self-imposed exile after Trevor Broom’s funeral. He would swing from a cocky self-assurance that he would ‘get the bastard that killed my father’ to a melancholy remorse that he hadn’t been around to protect him in the first place.

Yet underlying and overlaying these constantly shifting moods was something else Myers had noticed. At times it did seem that Hellboy was finally on the verge of growing up; finally on the threshold of that maturity which realizes there are times when the needs of others must come first.

It was a pity that Hellboy had to come to this maturity through such a devastating loss.

Wishing that sleep would finally take him away from these melancholy thoughts, Myers shifted uncomfortably in his seat.

“Flight getting too long for you, Boy Scout? Try going to China some time; now that’s long.” Hellboy’s tone was sarcastic, but the look on his face seemed pensive and he was fidgeting with a Zippo lighter in his left hand.

Realizing that sleep would be far off for both of them, Myers arose from his seat and went to join Hellboy at the table. As he sat down, he could see that Hellboy was holding an antique Zippo Indian head lighter, but it was in such good shape as to almost look brand new. It certainly was not one of those old beat up Zippo lighters that Hellboy had collected from American soldiers while fighting against the Nazis in Argentina in the 1950s.

“That’s a really neat lighter, Red. Where did you get it?” Myers spoke low so as not to wake the others, who were still sleeping.

“It belonged to Father. I gave it to him for Christmas in 1949.” Hellboy pushed the lighter toward Myers, who picked it up and looked at it.

“It’s in great shape, Red. Did he smoke then? It hardly looks like it was ever used.”

“Nah, Father never smoked. I gave it to him because I liked those kinds of lighters; not because it was anything he’d ever wanted. But he treasured it all these years, just because I gave it to him.” Hellboy took the lighter back from Myers and slid it into an inside pocket of his leather coat.

“Hell, almost every gift I ever gave him was something that I wanted more than he did. The only real gift I ever gave him, I practically had to be browbeaten into giving it. I never really thought of him, just of myself. I can’t get what he saw in me; I really can’t. He deserved a better ‘son’ than me.”

Fidgeting with Trevor Broom’s rosary, which he now had wrapped around his left wrist, Hellboy looked over at Tom Manning. Manning was slumped in a seat a distance away, snoring so loudly that they could hear it over the drone of the airplane engines.

“Manning was right to have you carry the coffin instead of me, you know, Squirt. You’re exactly the kind of ‘golden boy’ my father should have had as a son, instead of getting saddled with me.”

Myers touched Hellboy’s arm, “No, he cherished the son life had given him and wished for none other. In the time that I was privileged to know him, even though it was just a few days, he made it abundantly clear how much he cared for you.”

Hellboy nodded, “Yeah, he cared; when I did good he praised me, when I messed up he forgave me. Even when he was so furious with me that we weren’t speaking, he was still there when I needed him. You know, when I was little he seemed like such a God to me. Everything he did seemed like just the right thing. But he was only human after all; he tried so hard, but he made some mistakes. And did I cut him any slack for those mistakes? No, I just threw tantrums and said that I hated him.”

Myers shook his head, “Red, all children go through that with their parents; it’s all part of growing up. I will never say that I know exactly what you are going through, but I lost my father, too, and my mother as well. One Sunday they went for an afternoon drive and never returned. Even though I was only six at the time, I understood that there were things gone from my life that good, bad, or indifferent would never return.”

He suddenly broke off. Hellboy could see tears in his eyes. “And, after all these years, it still hurts. But, you know, the love is still there. Love never dies; it just gets transformed into something else. Harder to define, harder to grasp; but it’s still there.”

Hellboy sighed, “I wish I could feel that, but I can’t; not yet, at any rate. Well, scout, we better get some sleep. We’ll have a lot to do when we get to Russia.”

Thanks for reading. All feedback welcome, Beth Palladino

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