HELLBOY'S FAMILY

Author’s note: I forgot to mention in Part Three that the characters of Dr. Roddel and Dr. Cobb are not original to me, but derive from the Mignola comic Abe Sapien vs. Science. In that comic their attempts to revive Abe take place in March of 1979, long after his discovery in 1978. I usually jumble a lot of different elements from Mignola’s original comics into what are essentially movieverse stories. Therefore, what I come up with is a somewhat alternative universe with elements of both. In what I am writing here all the revival attempts and subsequent testing that Abe goes through take place within about a week of his 1978 discovery.

What is written below may not make sense if you haven’t read the previous parts.

Chapter Five: Abe Sapien: Sibling Rivalry: Part Four

The plumbers that had broken through a wall in the basement of St. Trinian’s Hospital in Washington had been attempting to track the source of a strange oozing of water; they had no idea that they were going to discover an abandoned secret laboratory.

Or that this laboratory would contain some kind of half fish-half man still alive after over a century of confinement in an oddly shaped tank; this tank had recently sprung a small leak and was probably the source of the water the plumbers had been tracking. Next to this tank was another similar tank that was broken open and empty.

The plumbers who found this fish-man dubbed him as Abraham Sapien in honor of President Lincoln. He was now located in a laboratory at the BPRD headquarters in Newark, New Jersey where Doctors Roddel and Cobb continued trying to bring this fish-man out of the state of suspended animation he had been in since the date of Lincoln’s assassination in 1865.

Unlike Dr. Roddel, Dr. Cobb found this odd fish-man strangely compelling. Full body scans had shown that Abe had two separate respiratory systems: the gills that allowed him to breathe in water and fully-developed lungs that Dr. Cobb suspected would allow him to breathe outside of water, but he wondered if Abe had ever used these lungs.

He also wondered if Abe had ever been conscious, but had slipped into some kind of hibernation over the years; or had he always been unconscious? Dr. Cobb desperately wanted to revive this uniquely beautiful being.

Dr. Roddel had some other options he wanted to try first, before turning to electrical stimulation, of which they did not really know how much would be too much. However, they finally turned to good, old-fashioned electrical stimulation, but with little success. At one point they had increased the gain so much that the lights in the BPRD laboratory where they were located dimmed considerably.

Dr. Roddel frowned and collapsed wearily into a chair.

“Dr. Cobb, we should give this up before we burn out all of our equipment or trip all the circuit breakers in this laboratory. Thank God, we are on a separate system from the rest of the Medical Wing.”

Dr. Cobb appeared not to be listening to his older colleague. He was reading over some printouts related to their last attempt with electrical stimulation, finally noting the first indications of possible changes in Abe’s physiological state.

He went over to the laboratory holding tank where Abe Sapien had been floating, unconscious, for the last several days and looked closely at him. The only signs of life that any had ever seen in Abe since he had been discovered were the movements of his gills, indicating some kind of respiration, and the very slow beating of his heart.

But these slightly improved results from the latest attempt at revival through electrical stimulation seemed to indicate that a further attempt would not be unwarranted.

Dr. Cobb turned back to Dr. Roddel. “I want to try just one more time. Let’s try pushing the gain as high as the equipment will allow us. As far as I’m concerned, I’m damned if I care what we burn out, even if we blow out every fuse in this laboratory. We’ve got enough emergency generators to handle whatever outages may occur.”

Dr. Roddel shook his head in exasperation. “Do what you please. I’m sure it won’t work and we’ll certainly lose a lot of very valuable equipment in the process; but I suppose if we end up blowing up half the Medical Wing it will prove to Broom, and that giant red wind-bag he calls his son, that we really did try everything we could.”

Dr. Cobb ignored his colleague’s grumbling as they reset all of the electrical stimulation equipment to their highest settings. Maybe Dr. Roddel was correct; maybe all they would accomplish was burning out a lot of very expensive equipment.

But Dr. Cobb thought that the chance they might be able to bring Abe Sapien to consciousness was worth the possible destruction of a bunch of machines.

Ten minutes later the laboratory where Abe was located was filled with the smoke and other acrid fumes of burnt out electrical wiring. The emergency generators had come online, providing a certain amount of lighting to the laboratory and power to the equipment that was still functional.

After they had used extinguishers to put out a number of small electrical fires that had occurred when the equipment burned out, Dr. Roddel had stalked out of the laboratory leaving Dr. Cobb behind to deal with the results of their effort.

Dr. Cobb walked sadly over to the now dimly lit tank and looked at Abe floating there, appearing more still than ever. He wondered if this last attempt, rather than reviving Abe, had broken off what life had been left in him.

He blinked back a few tears and started to move away, planning to write up the report on this last failed attempt, but he moved back to look in the tank again. Maybe it was just wishful thinking, but he could swear he saw Abe move in a way that was very different from the bobbing around that just came from him floating free in the tank.

Suddenly Abe’s eyes flew open; they were the most startling shade of blue that Dr. Cobb had ever seen, almond shaped and larger than he had expected.

Abe blinked rapidly a few times as he stared out at Dr. Cobb who had moved even closer to the glass front of the tank.

Raising a hand in fear Abe tried to throw himself back. But the wires that still connected him to the now useless equipment prevented him from moving very far.

Abe started to thrash about, but it became obvious that he stopped when he realized he was causing himself pain. He looked around in confusion as if trying to figure out where he was located.

Dr. Cobb, who until that moment had hardly even breathed, suddenly ran to the telephone in the laboratory, but it was out of service due to the power surges earlier. He then ran out to find another telephone to place a call to Professor Broom.

More to come...

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