Author's Note: Recently I watched Reunion on DVD and considered what Jack's childhood was like. Just how was it that lack of a mother's love and Gauchers Disease made him what he is, how did Jack become a killer? Also, though supposedly Sam's father told Jack about her, there was no defined description of how he became obsessed with her.
This story starts from Jack's earliest days through his meeting Samantha and will resume and rewrite Reunion 1&2. Warning, this story is a bit sad in places and deals with child abuse. This first part stops just before Samantha enters the picture. Reviews are always appreciated.
Death Of Innocence
Age: 2 Months
Miriam was furious when she went to see her infant son in the nursery. The baby was all coos and smiles for his au pair, then screamed hideously when his mother picked him up. The nice lady held him gently, but this other person, "Mother" held him stiffly and didn't support his head well. That evening, Miriam told her husband she thought the au pair was incompetent and should be fired. The Senator readily agreed with his wife and dismissed the girl. In the middle of the night Miriam got up and walked into the nursery, the baby smiled up at her until she began to scream at him for making her look bad.
The baby started to scream back in a high pitched wail. Miriam didn't mean to, but her hand came down over his nose and mouth to shut him up. He turned blue and stopped breathing. In a panic Miriam called the paramedics. They revived him and informed her that baby Albert Jackson Newquay would be fine, but that he would need to be observed overnight. The hospital and her husband made such a fuss over her and told her how brave she was. Miriam was thrilled.
Age: 3-10 Months
Baby Albert, was destined for more trips to doctors and specialists as mysterious ailment after mysterious ailment befell him. Health care professionals, nannies, and servants all whispered; but no one challenged Senator Newquay's wife. He was a very bright and friendly baby that clung to strangers and hid his face from his Mother. Then one night when he was 10 months old, Mother and Father had a huge argument. From his crib, Baby Albert watched as Father hit mother and said something about, "Munchausen Syndrome By Proxy."
The next day, Miriam was confined to her room and had a nurse attending her. Mother was allowed to continue her life as normal after that, but was only allowed to see Albert with the Senator present. Baby Newquay got a nice young nanny that loved babies and who thought Albert was the best baby in the world. She read to him and cuddled him. Not only did Baby Albert catch up to other babies his age, bright chap that he was, he surpassed them.
Age: 3 Years
Albert was growing rapidly and was healthy. Father took him to his office, with the nanny to wrangle him if he became too much to handle. Father spoke of wealth and privilege and what it meant.
"Albert, you will one day be one of the wealthiest men on the earth, do you know what that means?"
"No Sir," he replied. Father didn't believe in baby talk and given Albert's keen mind that wasn't much of an issue.
"Wealth and money mean power my son and that makes you God. You do want to be God don't you?"
Actually, Albert wanted to be a highwayman like in a poem nanny read, but he nodded like a good boy.
Age: 4-5 Years
Mother was allowed to see Albert now without constant supervision, though Father kept close tabs on them. Albert began learning from private tutors. Reading and language came quickly and to a very high level. Music and mathematics were added and came quickly as well. People began to call him "genius" and "prodigy" and even Mother seemed happier with him. Both Miriam and the Senator were pleased to have him perform piano and violin concertos for guests and to dazzle dinner guests with very mature conversation in any one of eight languages.
Maybe if he tried hard enough and was good enough, they would love him like his nanny once had. She left just before he turned four and his parents hired tutors. The night of his fifth birthday, when he blew out his candles, Albert wished with all his heart for someone to love him and be his friend. Mother and the Senator told him the other children in the area were rubes and that he would have to entertain himself up in the attic quietly or read. Albert tried to mention some of the kid's houses looked nice like theirs, but Mother informed him that wealth didn't mean class.
"But Mother, Father says 'wealth makes you God.' If their families are wealthy, aren't they gods too?"
"Certainly not, young man!" Miriam declared offended. "Wealth is a means to an end. No one can truly ascend to greater heights without the arts, without nobility, without breeding. Those brats are nouveau riche, leeches trying to suck on the teat of the aristocracy. You're too intellectually superior to waste your time on your inferiors."
"But they're still human beings," he made one last attempt.
"So what? What's the value of that? Perhaps we can find one of your titled cousins for you to play with when we visit the Chateau next summer."
Age: 6 Years
At Christmas, just two months short of his sixth birthday, Albert was sick. When other children were screaming with joy and tearing open presents, he walked downstairs and collapsed, breaking three bones when he did so. The heir to the Newquay fortune was rushed to John Hopkins in Bethesda Maryland for the best care money could buy. After testing, they diagnosed Albert Jackson Newquay with Gaucher Disease. There was no cure for the disease and even with the best of medical care his life expectancy was short. If he made it to see age thirteen it would be a miracle.
Exhaustion and pain were to be young Albert's daily companions. Constant pain would become the child's most intimate friend as would the unending cycle of broken bones. Some bones would break from the tiniest mishaps, others would break from the sheer brittleness as he laid in bed. Though his parents initially concealed the illness from him, as soon as he overheard a conversation in which they named the illness, he pursued every piece of knowledge he could and consumed it. He understood his anemia caused the exhaustion and that his body was trying to destroy itself from within.
Disappointed by his son's inability to participate in sports like his compatriots sons and grandsons, the Senator withdrew from his son other than barbed comments that he would direct at him. The Senator called the boy weak and a faggot, almost daily his enmity seemed to increase. By contrast his Mother, delighted by him having a genuine illness would smother him constantly in front of visitors and began to run fund raisers for Gaucher Disease. Though the minute the audience was gone, she would send him to his room, claiming he gave her a headache, just with his very presence.
Age: 7 Years
Albert was sent to his first boarding school and it lasted an entire two months. Because of his advanced intellect and the progress he'd made with private tutors, the school was a prep school. All the other boys were more than twice his age. They despised the young prodigy whom the teacher's embraced. Normally the school would never have accepted such a young child, but money spoke loudly. Albert left the school after the bullying escalated and ended with a hospital stay that was nearly twice as long as his school career. The Senator, blamed his son for being weak and decided he needed to be toughened up. Albert left military school after 2 weeks by ambulance and was never sent back to that school.
The hold of the disease seemed to intensify. The Senator's disdain increased almost daily. He began to blame his wife and son for every wrong in his life. Verbal cruelty rained down on Mother and Son like the rain that caused the great flood. But there would be no reprieve after 40 days and 40 nights. Somedays Mother would cling to Albert sobbing and saying he was her only comfort, other days she would scream and blame him. Albert went to bed each night with a litany going through his head, 'worthless pansy, bookworm, faggot, your fault, never should have been born.'
Tensions in the Newquay household exploded just before Albert's 8th birthday. After crying himself to sleep nearly every day for months, Albert decided to put a stop to things. Life was too painful and he saw no hope. He didn't bother with writing a note, he knew no one would really care about the why. That evening he knelt and prayed before walking into the bathroom, where he slashed his wrists. Fate however had other plans, and Albert's mother found him before he bled out. Shortly after the hospital, he was sent to a plastic surgeon to repair the scars, because his family was ashamed of his behavior.
Age: 8 Years
Albert's attempted and nearly successful suicide served a catalyst in the lives of the Newquay home. Mother and the Senator argued bitterly and though their marriage remained legally intact, they resided separately. The Senator remained in Maryland to work and oversee the family's financial interests. Abandoning the northern clime for their winter home, Miriam ensconced herself in their Savannah mansion. Before the separation there was a great deal of screaming and each parent let their son know they held him responsible.
The Senator told Albert that he was an embarrassment and that had he not need of an heir, he would wish that his wife hadn't found him in time. Only slightly different was Miriam's speech on how Albert was failing the family, that he had a name and heritage to live up to. As he lay in his hospital bed recovering from his plastic surgery, the youngest Newquay wept quietly and prayed. Failed by humanity in general, despondent and isolated, he turned to God as his best and only hope. The Senator once asked him if he would like to be God; now as the helplessness and hopelessness threatened to consume him, Albert found comfort in thoughts of divine power and omnipotence.
As punishment for his actions, Albert was sent to a very rigid boarding school in New Orleans. A whole new set of problems manifested itself at the new school. The school, though prestigious when the Senator was young, had fallen on hard times. St. Augustines had lowered it's tuition and now catered primarily to the underprivileged. On his second day in the school, one of the older boys christened him, "Prince Albert" and another took it further to "Prince Albert the Prick." During his study hall in the library, Albert would attempt to lose himself in Dante, while the boys would hiss insults with quiet venom. He would sit as rigid as a statue and continue to focus on his book, he consoled himself with the fact that they were his mental inferiors and that one day he would have power.
The torments were for the most part verbal, the teachers kept close watch over him, not wishing to lose the generous donation his father offered the school. Even with physical protection, the verbal barbs flew constantly and Albert climbed deep within the reaches of his mind. Physical pain from the Gauchers and emotional pain from constant degradation, forced him to learn to mentally transport himself to another plane. Albert constructed a world that was all his own in the recesses of him mind. In his world, it was softly lit twilight, with roses, strains of jazz and classical music filled the air, he held power of life and death with a golden haired angel by his side.
St. Augustines lasted for nearly a year when Albert left after leaving a spectacularly violent impact. One night, after the instructors had gone to sleep and there was no longer an adult watching over him, a pair of sixteen year old boys grabbed him from his bed and carried him to the shower room. Being cruel and unbalanced, they had decided that Prince Albert, needed to have the piercing that his nickname invoked. After much struggle, they got Albert stripped down. One was holding him down and the other had an ice pick to do the job.
Although Albert was terrified, he fought with all his strength, breaking bones in one hand and his right ulna, he grabbed the ice pick and stabbed at the boy who had been wielding it. With all his might he brought it down against the older boy's groin, stabbing his femoral artery. Seeing the blood streaming out the other boy panicked and started screaming, Albert calmly redressed and backed the shocked boy into a corner. When the teachers heard the screams, they found Albert standing over the boy in the corner, holding the bloody ice pick.
The boy was sobbing and pleading, cowering before the younger boy, who smiled wickedly as he got his first true taste of power. Power, Albert Jackson Newquay realized wasn't merely wealth as the Senator told him or breeding as his mother said. True omnipotence lay in the power over life and death. Albert was asked to leave the school, though no charges were filed since it was technically self-defense. The pain in his freshly broken bones didn't bother him, Albert had never felt more alive than he did watching the blood flow from the one boy and watching the other grovel for his worthless life.
Age: 9 to 11 Years
Albert was bounced from boarding school to boarding school. He would suffer mockery and pain at the hands of the other students. His parents wanted nothing to do with him except to make certain his grades were high. When he earned his first 'B' ever, they didn't permit him to come home for Christmas and berated him repeatedly over the phone. Their criticism no longer made him cry, Albert was used to being alone. He discovered that sometimes he felt lonelier in a room full of people than when he was actually alone. Gradually he became even more introverted, sometimes not even speaking for days at a time.
Teachers though always impressed with young Master Newquay's intellect, started to feel uneasy around him. His eyes had taken on a strange other worldly gleam to them, as if there were some great cosmic secret that he and he alone knew. He never attacked another student since the ice pick incident, but when he was mocked and taunted, Albert would amuse himself by visualizing horrific and violent ways of killing his tormentors. Power over life and death was the ultimate power and if he lived long enough, he would exercise that power.
When Albert left his sixth school, he was horribly ill. His exhaustion from the Gauchers and a spectacular 8 broken bones, courtesy of another student, rendered him almost completely bedridden. Neither of his parents wished to deal with him, though Miriam had in a rare motherly fit, demanded to know the name of his attacker and deliberately ruined his family financially. Uncertain what to do, they bought a new library building for the city of Cincinnati and got him ensconced in his own suite of an orphanage near the Cincinnati Children's Hospital. Their acquaintances would have been horrified, but the Newquay's son was largely forgotten and the Cincinnati Children's Hospital was one of the top ten pediatric hospitals in the country.
Life in the orphanage was hard on Albert, though he had a huge set of rooms and private bath to himself, the other residents hated him and the staff resented the wealthy young man. He was largely able to keep to himself, cases filled with books and a small spinet piano were his beloved companions. There was a constant din of noise that was inescapable, talking, laughing, yelling, and modern music that made Albert cringe. He clung to his phonograph and sultry jazz albums. Disco and the wild flopping of limbs that accompanied it held no interest for him. Often late at night, if his pain wasn't too awful, he would dance by himself and imagine a beautiful girl in white in his arms as he would waltz the night away.
There was one thing Albert liked about the orphanage, it was in an ancient Victorian house and there was a trapdoor and steps that came down into his room that lead up to the attic. The attic was loaded with odd old treasures, forgotten most likely by the original owners and never found by the orphanage. Musty old clothing, some wonderful records and other odds and ends. Best of all there were books on a variety of topics, including one very naughty one called 'The Kama Sutra' which made Albert blush, though he secretly read and devoured the taboo volume.
Though meal times and lesson times were unbearable, the time he spent in the peace of his rooms was pleasant, if a little chilly. The rooms tended to be rather cold and that wasn't a great help to the already frail Albert. He knew the doctors had given him a life expectancy of thirteen and he was only a year away. Sometimes he would lie awake at night and wonder what being dead would be like. The pain had been getting progressively worse and he had not had a day in over a year that at least one bone in his body wasn't in some part of the healing process from a break. He knew he didn't have a lot longer, but it didn't really matter to him either.