Author’s notes: And so the saga of Abe Sapien goes on. Some of what is below derives from the comic B.P.R.D.: Hollow Earth. The B.P.R.D. series is a spin-off series from Hellboy where Abe Sapien is one of the main characters. Hellboy, so far, is not a character in this series, but does appear at times in the reminiscences of those who had worked and lived with him in the past. The rest of what is written below will be mostly my own. If you want to know more about the FBI liaison ‘Lee’ read my stories Father’s Day Gifts and A Tale of ‘Demon’ Rights.

It would be good to read parts One through Four before reading this. The year is still 1978.

Chapter Five: Abe Sapien: Sibling Rivalry: Part Five

Hellboy should have awoken that morning in a mood of happy excitement. After all, it was finally Halloween, and his father had told him he would be permitted to go out somewhere for the evening with the group of agents who were his closest friends among his BPRD colleagues.

Well, Hellboy was excited when he woke up, but happy he was not. In fact, he was downright annoyed, both with Trevor Broom and with the other scientists who were continuing the research on the now conscious fish-man, Abe Sapien.

He threw on his clothes, not even bothering to shower or wait for breakfast, and made his way to his father’s office. Upon determining that his father was not in, he made his way to the restricted section of the BPRD Medical Wing where Abe was still located.

Abe was not in the same laboratory where he had finally been successfully revived, but in a second facility. The first laboratory was still under repair after most of its electrical wiring and a good percentage of its equipment had burned out in that last desperate attempt to revive Abe using electrical stimulation.

Hellboy had no problem entering the Medical Wing, but the security guard outside of the restricted section stopped him.

“Sorry, H.B., but you don’t have authorization to enter there except in the company of Professor Broom. He’s already in there, but asked that he and the other scientists not be interrupted. I’ll tell him you were here when he comes back out.”

This security guard was a big man, but not anywhere as big as Hellboy, who was now glaring at him and making a fist with his over-sized stone-like right hand.

“And who’s going to stop me from going in there? You? Like to see you try.”

Hellboy shoved open the door that separated the corridor of the restricted section from the main corridor of the Medical Wing, setting off several alarms in the process. Trevor Broom came out of the laboratory to see what the disturbance was.

Hellboy barely even acknowledged his presence, but shoved past him and entered into the laboratory with a startled Professor Broom trailing behind him.

Hellboy came to a halt just after having entered and looked at Abe Sapien. He was located in a larger, more complex tank than the first one he had been in. It was round and was raised high up off the ground, with spiral steps leading to a catwalk alongside it.

Abe was still connected by wires to machines and scanners. But now his dark blue eyes were wide open, unlike the first time Hellboy had seen him; there was a look of confusion and disorientation in these eyes. Hellboy also thought he could see fright in them.

Hellboy spoke to Trevor Broom without turning to look at him, “It’s just not right. You’ve had him cooped up in that stupid tank for days and days. You’ve already figured out that he can breathe without being in water. Let him out of there and stop treating him like some kind of damned prisoner.”

Broom placed a hand on Hellboy’s shoulder, “Son, these tests are very delicate and should not be interrupted. Believe me, I would not be allowing this if I did not think it was very important. Just a few more tests and we should be finished.”

Hellboy pulled away from Broom’s touch, turning and addressing him directly for the first time since entering the laboratory.

“Yeah, but it’s always just a few more tests. Don’t you remember how many tests and more tests the BPRD put me through? At least they didn’t keep me trapped in a tank for days on end. You finally insisted they put a stop to it when I was five years old.”

Hellboy turned away from Broom, walked over to the spiral metal steps and climbed up. Dr. Roddel scowled, calling Hellboy a “damned blow-hard” under his breath. But he did nothing to stop him. Trevor Broom and Dr. Cobb both looked more sheepish than angry as they watched Hellboy climb on to the catwalk next to the tank.

Rather than cowering away as he had been doing when Broom or the other two scientists climbed up there, Abe floated toward Hellboy and reached a hand out. Hellboy placed his left hand on the rounded glass of the tank and smiled as Abe attempted to touch it.

The look of fear in Abe’s eyes changed to a look of wonderment. Hellboy thought Abe almost looked as if he smiled. They both looked at each other for a long time.

Hellboy then reached out, wrapping both of his arms around the tank, and started to tug it loose from its foundations.

Trevor Broom stepped further into the laboratory. “What do you think you are doing? My boy, come down from there and let Dr. Roddel and Dr. Cobb do their work.”

Hellboy shook his head. “These damn scientists never know when enough is enough. Well, I’m saying it’s enough.”

With a final grunt he tore the tank partially free from its moorings, tipping it toward himself, spilling a lot of water in the process. He then reached into the tank with his left hand, grabbing Abe by the arm above his wrist.

Rather than being frightened, Abe helped by grabbing on to Hellboy’s arm and allowing him to haul Abe out of the tank onto the catwalk next to him. Abe was a little unsteady on his feet, so Hellboy wrapped his left arm around his shoulders to help him stand.

Hellboy, completely ignoring Trevor Broom and the two other scientists, helped Abe to walk down the spiral steps, now wet with water from the broken tank. He then led Abe toward the doorway, still walking with his left arm around Abe’s shoulders.

As they went Hellboy spoke, “You know, Abe, I never ate breakfast this morning and I’m just starved. I bet there’s a ham sandwich in the Medical Wing staff kitchen with my name written all over it. And I’ll bet you’re hungry for something more than that protein crap they’ve been feeding you. How’s about we go get something to eat?”

Abe looked into Hellboy’s smiling face and nodded his agreement. The two then walked out, dripping water as they went, leaving three flabbergasted scientists behind.

When he had regained his composure, Trevor Broom turned toward Dr. Cobb and said in a somewhat shaky voice, “My God, I think Abe understands English.”

In the early afternoon of that same day, ‘Lee’, the FBI liaison arrived and called Trevor Broom into his office. He had known both Broom and Hellboy since the very beginning in 1944 and was attached to both of them with a strong bond of affection.

However, he now had to deal with the reports of damage to equipment and complaints that Hellboy had threatened BPRD employees.

Broom sat down wearily into the proffered chair. “Lee, no one knows better than you how impetuous my son can be and that he has a terrible temper. But he has never threatened or harmed anyone except those monsters and demons we have sent him out to destroy. I will, of course, make good the money needed to repair that tank.”

Lee sat down behind his desk. “Look, Trevor, you’ve got to keep better control of him. You know there are those in the federal government and the FBI who would be just as happy to be rid of the both of you. I just can’t get them to see the usefulness of supporting an organization that hunts ‘spooks’.”

He shook his head, “You are lucky that President Carter and Will Webster, the new head of the FBI, like you so well. But you’ve got some really powerful enemies in Washington, so I’m warning you that you need to be more careful. It wouldn’t be that easy to take him to live with you in Brooklyn or support him on that salary you make from NYU.”

He sighed, “I’ve got worse news, I’m afraid. The FBI is adamant that he be disciplined for what happened this morning, so I’m afraid you letting the big guy out for a Halloween excursion this evening is out of the question.”

Broom looked down and then looked back up at Lee. “Damn, he’s been looking forward to this for a long time. Isn’t there something I can do to change the FBI’s mind?”

Lee suddenly smiled and got up to whisper something in Broom’s ear. Broom looked up at Lee standing over him. “Do you really think that will work?”

Lee walked over to the door to his office and opened it, indicating that the meeting was over. “I’ll make sure that it works, Trevor. But you make sure that you have a long heart-to-heart with him later. I’m serious about what I said before.”

When Hellboy had been called into Trevor Broom’s office just before suppertime he had been expecting some sort of chastisement for his behavior in the morning, but not the cancellation of this long awaited ‘night out with the guys’. To say that Hellboy was infuriated was to put it mildly.

“You have got to be kidding,” he shouted, lashing his tail and pacing around the office.

“You know how long I’ve been waiting and waiting to be let out of this place! I don’t care what you say; the Bureau is nothing more than a fancy prison and I’m really nothing more than a prisoner. I hate this place, I hate my job, but most of all I hate you. You’re nothing but a goddamned bastard! I’m sorry that I tried to be nice to old fish-face. See what trying to be nice gets you?”

With that, Hellboy slammed out of Broom’s office and went back to his own room to lie on his bed and sulk. When his supper arrived about a half hour later Hellboy took a hold of the cart and unceremoniously dumped everything, chili and all, into the hallway.

More to come…

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