Author’s note: Please read Parts One and Two if you haven’t already done so.

Chapter Five: Abe Sapien: Sibling Rivalry: Part Three

Bureau for Paranormal Research and Defense
Newark, New Jersey

A Laboratory in the Restricted Section of the Medical Wing
October 1978

Hellboy, fascinated, leaned forward staring intently through the double-thick pane of glass at the slender, delicate figure floating in the tank of water. Hellboy’s tail, protruding from the back of the tan-colored coat he was now wearing, gently waved back and forth just as if he were a curious cat.

The figure inside, who looked as much like a man as a fish, had soft-looking skin of dolphin gray, streaked with dark blue or black patterns. There were fins on the backs of his shoulders, down his middle spine, and on the backs of his legs. The fingers of his hands, the toes of his feet, and his underarms were webbed. His body was completely hairless and someone had dressed him in a pair of skin-fitting black spandex shorts.

On either side of the upper part of his neck were gills; the rhythmical fluttering of these gills was the only appearance of life. His eyes were closed as if he was merely asleep and ready to wake at any minute. But he had been in a tank in that abandoned laboratory for over one hundred years and Hellboy wondered if his eyes had ever been opened; wondered what color these eyes were.

Hellboy was especially moved by the grace and beauty of this being they all were starting to think of as Abe Sapien. He then caught his own reflection in the front of the glass tank and suddenly turned away.

Graceful and beautiful he himself was not; at least not in his own eyes. In Trevor Broom’s eyes this large red being he had been raising as his son for over thirty years had a physical charm all of his own, but Hellboy seldom recognized this in himself.

There were two scientists, one older than the other, monitoring several machines that were attached with wires and electrodes to this strange new denizen of the Bureau for Paranormal Research and Defense. They had their heads together and were muttering vehemently about something. The older scientist, Dr. Roddel, turned toward Trevor Broom who had been looking over some reports on the progress they had been making.

“Professor, we are wasting our time here. Whatever life there still is in this creature is vestigial only. It appears to be brain-dead and no amount of brain or adrenal stimulation is making one bit of difference. The route that I would recommend for further study of this creature is dissection. I believe that this is the only way to obtain useful information. This creature obviously cannot be revived.”

Hellboy noticed that his father had scowled at the scientist’s use of the words ‘it’ and ‘creature’ to refer to Abe Sapien. The scientist himself seemed oblivious to Broom’s displeasure. Before Broom could respond to this statement, Hellboy strode over to where Dr. Roddel and his younger colleague, Dr. Cobb, were standing.

“You know they wanted to dissect me when I was around five years old. And I wasn’t even brain-dead. Luckily for me, Father put a stop to that idea real quick. Have you tried good, old-fashioned electricity yet? It always works in those old horror movies when the mad scientist wants to bring the monster to life. And I’m here to protect you if Abe turns out to be some big, bad monster.”

The younger scientist, Dr. Cobb, spoke up, “I just now suggested electrical stimulation to Dr. Roddel, but he rejected the idea as just more time wasting. He said that we would find out more through scalpels and microscopes.”

Trevor Broom turned toward Dr. Roddel, “Sir, it is my expectation that you will explore every route, no matter how seemingly mundane or far-fetched, in order to revive Abe. Any scientific findings are secondary to my main priority of reviving him to conscious life. I expect your fullest cooperation in this matter. If I find that you have refused to explore every route to its complete potential, or if you ever again refer to Abe using words that suggest that he is some less-than-human creature, I will terminate your employment with my Bureau.”

He turned toward Hellboy, who was grinning at the scientist’s discomfort, and gestured for him to follow him out of the laboratory. Right before he exited, Broom turned back. “I expect a full report to be kept of every effort and every rejected suggestion. Absolutely no physically invasive procedures are to be attempted without my prior approval. Contact me immediately when Abe is awakened to consciousness.”

Not waiting for a reply, Broom walked out. Hellboy followed right behind.

This update was kind of short, but this is a good place to break off. Any inaccuracies in my description of Abe are more the result of combining aspects of the ‘comicverse Abe’ to a movieverse story than deficiencies of my sometimes-faulty memory. More to come...

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