Incredible Hulk TV Series (Bill Bixby & Lou Ferrigno)
Season 1: Episode 1
Pilot: The Incredible Hulk
Within each of us, ofttimes, there dwells a mighty and raging fury.
Flashes of scenes go by in their dreamy lackadaisical way. A man of medium height and short brown hair walks happily with a young, beautiful woman who possesses long, silky brown hair. The scenery is soft and the tall grass around them blows gently in the zephyr. Another scene and the same man is sitting on a couch in a home setting smiling at what can be assumed to be his wife as she fiddles with a marriage ring on his finger. Then suddenly the woman is walking alone in the rain with her soft yellow umbrella. The man surprises her with his presence as he runs from an unknown location to the protection offered under the umbrella—they both smile affectionately at each other. Another flash—the woman is kissing a young kitten playfully as she holds it gently in her hands. Yet another scene the woman can be seen crying and the man rushes up behind her to comfort her and give her strength. The scenes continue as it is evident that they depict small snippets of a couple's life together.
A small sense of unease pulls at the corner of this blissful reality when the front of a beige car is seen. That feeling is made stronger as the couple in the car suddenly feels the car swerve—one of the tires in the back has blown out. The car crashes on its side and rolls at least three times off the side of the road. The occupants inside are horrified, but helpless to save themselves. By some small miracle, as the car is rolling, the man is propelled out of the car through a door that has been miraculously opened. The door closes immediately upon the man crash landing into the tall grass while the woman is left in the car prisoner to the whims of fate. The car stops rolling and the man, though bruised, climbs back to his feet and rushes over to the car with all urgency. The car is in a bad condition with flames flaring from its bottom—the bottom is now in the air as the car has landed on its 'back'. The frantic man is not deterred and proceeds to pulling on the passenger's door with all his might. He even goes so far as to try to lift the car. Pure determination is clearly written on his face as he knew the worst could happen to his wife if he did not do something quickly. He puts such strength and effort into his endeavor that it is a wonder he does not rip off his arms in all futility. Then he yells in agony when he realizes the horrible truth: he can never do the impossible. His wife was going to die in a burning, wrecked car and there is nothing he can do for it.
Then everything ceases. The man from the scenes wakes up in a cold sweat. It is reality once again and the woman who is supposed to sleep beside him is still gone. Since reality has set in, it is time to introduce this mystery man. His name is David Bruce Banner—a mild mannered scientist who also happens to be a physician. Though he is mild mannered, he is also an excellent conversationalist and makes for extremely good company. Now, however, he is simply sad and heartbroken about the tragedy of his wife as his eyes water with genuine and sensitive tears. He still cannot seem to move on from the tragedy. As of recently, he is a widow.
The day soon begins and Dr. David Banner drives down the street in a car—different from the one in his dream—to his jobsite; the Culver Institute.
"This is it?" asks a woman to a man.
"That's it," confirms the man as he watches the woman pick up a large stack of papers.
"Oh, good grief," sighs the woman heavily, "I carry this around for a while, I can give up my exercise class," jokes the woman.
"Why don't you give it up anyway?" asks the man with a hint of tremble in his voice as he takes off his glasses, "I think you look terrific, Dr. Marks," finishes the man with a more confident voice.
"Oh, Jerry, I always knew I liked you," responds Dr. Marks in a joking way. "Hey, why don't you run away with me to Acapulco?"
"Oh, but how about someplace more exotic?"
"The Mayo Clinic."
"Now you're talking," laughs Jerry.
"Oh, Jerry, you've been here too long. Too long!"
Jerry watches as Dr. Marks leaves and sighs thereafter placing his glasses back on his face. She was too good for him. Besides, she had her eyes on someone else.
Dr. Marks walks into the hallway still holding the stacks of paper. She briefly talks to another doctor mentioning that a reporter by the name of Jack McGee wanted to interview them, but the thought of actually doing so seems rather preposterous on account of his infamous reputation.
Just then Dr. Marks runs into a sullen David as he walks down the hall to go to his regular post at his desk.
"Good morning," says Dr. Marks cheerfully.
"Hi," David responds quickly and simply with a very brief smile.
"Well, we got the myoglobin analysis back. I'll tell you, I think that computer oughta run for Congress. You ask it a simple question, gives you back a ten pound answer, takes you a month to decipher."
"Yeah," responded David in the same manner as before.
It is made painfully clear to Dr. Marks that he has no interest in talking to her. She continues after him anyways with the large stack of papers in hand. She watches from a short distance as he sets his bag on his before mentioned desk.
"Dreaming again?" ventures Dr. Marks.
He half-turns to her and nods a little uncomfortable with where this was going.
"Bad as before?" continues Dr. Marks.
"Yeah," David says finally.
He sits down on the edge of his desk as Dr. Marks moves over to another table.
"Thinking of going back to the shrink?" asks Dr. Marks.
"Oh, what's the use? The doctor said I should expect bad dreams to reoccur every now and then," David says opening up to her. He crosses his arms and his eyes looks to the brown carpeted floor.
"Yeah, but they were better for a while. It's been almost a year."
"Eleven months tomorrow," David responds with evident dreariness.
An intercom comes on interrupting their conversation as Dr. Marks passes David a steaming cup of coffee. There was obvious concern in her eyes.
"Dr. Marks?" the intercom asks.
Dr. Marks reaches over to accept the call, "Yes, Liz."
"Mrs. Jesse Maier and her son are here for you."
She looks over at David who casually takes a sip of the coffee. "Okay. Would you tell them I'll be right out? Thank you." Then she turns back to him. "David."
He glances up at her and gives her a quick "uh-huh" to indicate that she had his attention.
"Look, I think we should put this particular interview off for today—
"No, no, we're going to do it. So, why don't you bring them in while I go buy a donut?" David says as he stands up. He begins to walk away.
"Why don't I go bring them in while you go buy a donut," Dr. Marks repeats.
David notices her sarcasm and disappointment and turns back to her, "Hey, you want anything?" As a fact, he dislikes seeing anyone hurt in any way.
She looks over at him and smiles despite herself—his eyes look kindly upon her.
"I'll bring you a surprise," David says in his mild, calm way and smiles briefly after as he walks away.
She continues to smile in his wake until her thoughts return to the interview they were going to do. The project of theirs that they were currently working on had become a bit of an obsession of his.
Dr. Marks soon comes out into the waiting room and greets both Mrs. Maier and her son BJ. She then brings them into the research lab.
"Here we go," Dr. Marks says as she arrives there.
BJ stops after walking in a few inches upon seeing all the equipment.
"What do you do here? Am I gonna' get a shot?"
"Hush now, BJ," Mrs. Maier reprimands sharply, but quietly.
"Oh, come on now, BJ, would I do that to you?" Dr. Marks asks reassuringly.
"Then what's all this stuff for?"
"Well, I'll tell you. Now, this is our research laboratory. And what we're trying to figure out here is just how strong the human body can be."
"Hey, my mama's real strong. Once she saved my life," BJ says with a smile.
His mom smiles also as she heard the compliment. It was nice to see her smile. Dr. Marks had noticed how uncomfortable she had been upon meeting her in the waiting room.
"Yes, I know, and that's what we want to talk to you about," Dr. Marks says directing her words at Mrs. Maier. "As I told you on the phone Mrs. Maier, we're trying to learn how to tap into the incredible reserve of human strength that all of us have, and only use about 20% of."
"You mean I'm stronger than I think I am?" BJ asks catching the gist of what was being said.
"Oh, are you kidding? You're much—Come on over here. Excuse us," Dr. Marks says the last sentence to Mrs. Maier as she takes BJ gently by the shoulders and moves him toward another table.
"Gonna' do a little experiment on you. Get you up here."
Dr. Marks helps BJ on top of a long white desk.
"There we go. I'm not so strong. Here."
Dr. Marks then proceeds to pickup one of his legs in her arms. His mother looks on with caution and yet interest at the same time.
"Now, you see this little muscle right her? This guy that makes the foot wiggle back and forth? Well, now that little muscle can take about 1000 pounds of pressure on it."
"Yeah, wow is right. And your bones, your bones are much stronger than you think, too."
"But bones break."
"Yeah, bones break. But, so do eggshells, right?"
"Okay, I'm gonna' show you something. I just happen to have…" Dr. Marks paused for a moment to grab an egg from out of an inconspicuous bag on the floor, "a little old egg here. Now, will you stick your hands together? That's right."
BJ did as she asked and wondered what she would do with the egg.
"Now, I want you to squeeze it on the ends as hard as you can."
"It'll be all yucky."
"No, it won't. Have a little a faith in me. Go ahead." Dr. Marks glances back over at Mrs. Maier who is by now smiling.
BJ, at this moment, uses all the strength he can muster into mashing the egg in from both sides, but to his surprise it would not crack open. "Hey, I can't break it!" BJ says with amazement.
"See, I told you."
"Oh, it's some kind of a special egg," BJ accuses.
"No, it isn't. Things can be a lot stronger than they look. It's a real egg. Crack it." Dr. Marks had already pulled out a pan so that BJ could crack it in.
BJ does just this and finds that it does indeed break just like any other egg.
"That's it. You see, but it was a lot stronger than you thought. Right?
At this moment, David comes into the research lab from another entrance. Mrs. Maier is now completely comfortable after witnessing Dr. Marks little trick.
"Lost another egg, huh?" David asks as he comes in on the last part of the trick. It was the same she does to many of the people they ask to come in for an interview.
"Uh-huh. Mrs. Maier, BJ, this is Dr. David Banner."
Mrs. Maier then walks up to David to shake his hand as is proper when meeting someone for the first time.
"Hi, Mrs. Maier, how are you? BJ." David also turns to BJ to shake his hand.
"Hi." BJ says.
"Look, there was only one donut down at the shop so what do you say we split it four ways?
"Yeah," says the boy immediately.
"Oh, no, not for me, thank you," Mrs. Maier says graciously.
"You guys have it. I certainly don't need that," Dr. Marks says. It seems she is always concerned about her weight.
"Okay," David says as he splits it in half, "There you go, my friend," David says giving BJ a half of the donut, "Now, if you hop down from there and go into that room round to the right, Mrs. Maier, we'll be right in for the interview."
"All right, Doctor." Mrs. Maier says guiding BJ to the said room.
Dr. Marks was just about to turn to leave with them when David gently pulls her back. He holds the donut half in his hand and breaks it in half. As if she knew what would happen next, he holds one of the donuts pieces inches from her mouth and she playfully takes it with her mouth. He laughs and eats his also.
"And what was your weight at the time," Dr. Marks asks to Mrs. Maier.
"Oh, it was about 110 pounds."
"Oh! Wish I could keep mine at that."
Mrs. Maier and BJ are now being videotaped as a man behind a camera that has already been set up on the tripod adjusts it.
"All right, now, Mrs. Maier, if you'd just tell us your story in your own words," David says cutting to the point in a modest way.
"Well, uh, I was driving to Columbus, Ohio, to see my sister, Katy. And BJ was, um, sitting on the passenger side, playing with his car as usual." Mrs. Maier laughed at this, but continued soon after. "But, he did have on his seat belt. There wasn't much traffic. I was going about 50, I think. I just glanced over at BJ just before it happened. The tire had blown out." Mrs. Maier stammers on the last sentence.
David could sense the tension rising in the room, but she continued on.
"It was the left front tire. It tore the wheel so hard that it just came right out of my hands. And the car swerved across the road there, and they said the front wheel dug into the dirt and it started to roll. Then it rolled, it rolled over. It kept on rolling. I thought it was never going to stop."
The scenario begins to sound so much like what has happened to David that he himself begins to see the images of his car rolling over and over in the grass. The flashes were quick, but the similarities were haunting.
"I guess the door, it sprung open, 'cause all of a sudden, I was just right there on the ground." Mrs. Maier laughs nervously at this—a futile attempt to remedy the immense tension that had risen in the room. "The car was turned over, to one…You know, sort of on its top to one side like that." Mrs. Maier physically with her hands imitated the car's position at that moment "Then the fire started up, and I…And I knew that I had to get BJ out of there." Mrs. Maier pauses then as the events is also playing in here head.
Dr. Marks glances over at David who has grown deathly silent—he is deep in thought.
"And what happened then?" Dr. Marks probes when Mrs. Maier doesn't say anything more.
"Well, then I went over to the car, and there were flames, like all over the-the top of the…I'm sorry I mean the bottom of the car there. And…That's where they figure that my…" she coughs uncomfortably, "Excuse me, where my face got burned at that…At that time. I don't remember." There are tears beginning to form in her eyes.
BJ looks at his mom with concern. David nods understandably at her and then she continues.
"All I knew is that I had to get him out of there. But you see, the door of the car was pinned down by the weight of the car. But, I tried and I tried to pull that door open. I have to tell you, I was just really frantic."
The images of his wife's demise begin again in David's head like a wave. The details of her story coincides with his so much that it is hard to simply concentrate on what she is saying.
"But, I just…I just couldn't do it."
"Yes, you did, Mom. Tell them." BJ says giving his Mom much needed confidence as he smiles at her.
"Well, BJ, I don't know. I don't know exactly how it happened. The fire was spreading. And I do know that it was gonna' explode real soon. So, I thought to myself, I said, if I could raise up the car, I thought then I could open up the door. So, I put my hand, you know, under something, and then I just…I just tried to lift it. It was the hardest thing I ever did. But I was furious at the thought of BJ dying inside. Then it happened. Somehow," Mrs. Maier drew out the word as amazement was clearly written in her voice, "I was lifting up the car."
David's eyes are glassy as there is more moisture there than usual. This is where their situations diverged.
"I was lifting up the car." Mrs. Maier repeats but in a slower manner. "It started to move, real slowly, but I kept lifting and lifting. I don't…I don't know where I got the strength. I don't know where it came from. But there it was. I don't…I don't know. And I…That's all," finishes Mrs. Maier as she sits back in her chair. "And I got him out." Mrs. Maier proceeds to running her hand through BJ's hair in a motherly way.
Dr. Marks glances over at David again who is still as silent as a rock. At first his hand was at his mouth thoughtfully, but now he lowers it.
"Now, according to my calculations, the weight of the car was later found to be in excess of 1200 pounds. I…"
Dr. Mark pauses as David suddenly gets out of his chair and leaves—the tension had grown to unbelievable levels and he could not stand to be in the room any longer.
"Excuse me, Mrs. Maier," Dr. Marks says as she stands up also in pursuit of David.
Mrs. Maier is visibly confused as the two doctors leave. It seemed that she wasn't the only one troubled at that moment.
"David?" Dr. Marks calls after him as he walks at a quick pace down the hall. "David."
Then he is outside on a balcony overlooking the expanse of green grass, some trees, and a lone paved road that seemed to lead straight into a mountain at their vantage point. Dr. Marks walks gingerly to where David stands. She had known that this would happen even before the interview had started. It was another success story. The only thing it would ever do to David was anger him to no end. It was infuriating and Dr. Marks wondered why David felt the need to torture himself with those kinds of reminders everyday. How was he ever going to move on from that tragedy? Was he doomed to stay stuck in the past forever?
"Where did she find that strength, Elaina?" David asks when he notices that Dr. Marks is beside him. "110 pound women don't just lift up a half-ton car. Now, where did that come from?"
"I don't know," Elaina says finally. "But if she tapped into it, it's got to be there." She turns to David then.
"But how could she find the strength and I couldn't?" David asks also turning to her. "You heard her story. My God, that's exactly what happened to me. Except that her son is alive and Laura is dead! And in every other case that we've researched, it's been the same story over and over and over again." His voice was rising then. "But what is the common denominator?" He slams the small stack of paper onto the rail of the balcony and startles Elaina with the force of it. Distress is clearly written on his face.
"David, believe me, if I knew he answer, I'd tell you."
"I know. I'm sorry." David gives her a beginning of a smile and then turns away.
"I really think you should give up this research for a while."
"I warned you when we went into this. I felt you were too close to it because of what happened to Laura. And I've watched it eat away at you for the last 10 months. And now it's starting to affect your work."
"Work?" asks David turning his head to her.
"How can you hope to examine a medical phenomenon with cool scientific objectivity…?"
"If I keep loosing my cool," finishes David, "You know, my mother always used to tell me getting angry doesn't help."
"Well, I always liked your mother."
"She always liked you."
For a moment they look at each other as if they both just realize something.
Elaina, however, breaks the silence, "I'm gonna' help you with these." She was referring to the stack of papers that had been in his hands, but had been thrown to the ground in his anger.
"As always." He bends down also to help her pick up the papers. "Do you think we will ever find where that strength comes from?"
"I don't know. But we'll certainly share a lot of donuts together, and I'll probably get fat." David takes the papers from her hand and looks up at her. "Shall we get back to work, Doctor," Elaina says clasping her hands.
"You got it, Doctor."
Elaina and David together run tests on various other people who have gone through similar incidents. They start with an interview and then they take their blood and check other bodily functions. Later, they would study the blood samples under a microscope and document what they find. Sooner or later they were going to find a common denominator if they keep at it. They believe that if they find enough people some new lead would rise from it.
One day, David was walking out of the building that he works in when he is suddenly stopped by a man.
"Dr. Banner?" calls the man.
"Yes?" David says turning to the man respectfully.
The man himself has on sunglasses and at that moment takes the cigarette he is smoking out of his mouth and drops it on the ground. "I'm Jack McGee, from The National Register."
"Excuse me," David says immediately upon hearing this and begins to walk off. He had no patience with reporters and their probing tendencies.
"I was hoping I'd be able to get an interview with you." Jack says as he follows David despite his obvious aversion. He takes off his sunglasses as he says this.
"No, thank you." David is walking at a quick pace, but Jack is determined to keep up.
"Oh, come on, Doctor, this research that you're doing gets people where they live. Everybody would like to know how to tap into their hidden strengths. Surely you can tell me something about that."
"No, I'm sorry."
"Why not? My newspaper's very interested."
David raises up his hand after he says this and slows down to a stop, "Mr. McGee. Your newspaper is only interested in reporting murder, rape, horoscopes, UFOs and Farrah Fawcett. I don't happen to fit into any of those categories, and I wish not to be interviewed." With this he walks away.
"All right, Dr. Banner. But I don't give up easily," Jack says putting his sunglasses on again. It was doubtful that David had even heard these words as he was already pretty much out of earshot.
"Come on, you little buggers, do something exciting," David says to himself as he examines one of the blood samples through a microscope. He had been referring to the blood cells.
"So, Mrs. Maier's blood structure is just like all the other we've examines, huh?" Elaina says as she just then walks into the room.
"It's annoying. What made all these people so strong? The only thing they had in common was extreme emotional commitment. But there has to be a physical explanation."
Elaina herself then looks at the blood sample as David steps away from the microscope.
"David, maybe we should go further. Right into the cellular structure itself."
"You mean the mitochondria?"
"Yeah. I mean they are responsible for converting fat and sugar derivatives into energy. Yes?"
"Uh-huh," David agrees liking her idea.
"We'll take a look under the electron microscope. Come on."
The two of them leave together and soon they are looking at a screen with an enlarged image of the mitochondria from Mrs. Maier's blood sample.
"One tiny portion of a living cell. Well, I'll tell you, as many time as I've seen it, it still fascinates me that it would take over a half a million of those to cover the head of a pin," Elaina says as she watches it on the screen.
"Well enjoy the view, that's all we've got," says David.
"Nothing abnormal on the computer scan?" asks Elaina looking over at David who was looking at another screen but of the same image.
"No, no," responds David sitting back into his chair he was currently sitting in, "The mitochondria in Mrs. Maier's cells are just like all the others—textbook normal, but nothing to indicate any reason or sort of extraordinary strength." Then he swiveled his chair towards Elaina who was by now finished looking at her screen. "Maybe we should go deeper still."
"Into the nucleus of the cell?"
"To the DNA. We have nothing left to examine. You know, Ben's been supping up a lot of our equipment in higher power. Did he happen to modify this particular unit for a higher magnification?" David is pointing at the large microscope that stood right beside the standing form of Elaina.
"Well, I know it's set at 200,000." Elaina then turns to the microscope and notices a piece a tape with numbers scribbled on it. "Yeah, he has a tape mark here for…a million," says Elaina incredulously.
David's eyes brightened at this, "Let's see what we can see."
A few minutes passes and true to form the microscope is able to see components in the cell even minuter than the mitochondria. Now an enlarged image of a DNA strand is seen on the screen.
"The ultimate building block of life," David says as his eyes study the image.
"David, there's something here," Elaina turns around to David excitingly.
"What?" David asks getting out of his chair and moving to one side of the now sitting Elaina. She was looking at a screen that contained data from the DNA itself.
"There's an abnormal concentration of the adenine-thymine combination."
"Ah-hah," David says when he looks at the screen. "Okay. Okay. Now, let's take a look at Mr. Bram's DNA structure."
Much to David's delight, they found that the same property was in his blood also. Just then David knew that they had finally found what the 'common denominator' was. Maybe this was the answer to their surprising show of strength in demanding situations. However, there was another problem.
"All 78 cases. All of them have the same DNA deviation." David says letting a stack of papers fall onto his desk.
"Yeah, but how does it work, David?" Elaina asks out loud. "How does it make them unnaturally strong?"
"Oh, one thing at a time, Dr. Marks. At least they know they're different from me."
"No, we don't," Elaina says suddenly.
"What?" David says questioningly with his head tilted slightly.
"When was the last time you had your DNA magnified a million times?"
With this, the two of them went back into the lab and this time take a sample of his blood to be viewed on the supped up microscope. The image comes in as clear as all the others.
"The same variant is in your DNA. Even more than most of the others."
"But, Elaina, it can't be." David says shaking his head. "I never found the strength that they did."
"No, there must be some ingredient missing. Something external operating."
"But what?" David asks with a sigh.
Later on that night, David is still at the lab. With the discoveries they had made that day, he had not felt like going back home. He could not sleep unless he found out what it was that was missing from the whole equation. What made his case so different from theirs? David is pensive as he idly draws a picture of a DNA strand on a piece of clean notebook paper. Just then one of the scientists that work there walks into the room and moves towards him.
"David, we've got a problem with the microwave transmission from Pittsburgh. It may be awhile before we can get that DNA data you wanted."
"How long of a delay?" David asks putting the cap back on to his pen.
"Well, it's hard to figure. We've got some heavy duty gamma ray interference. Could be a sunspot kicking up or something."
"We'll try again tomorrow. Thanks, Ben." David says as he stands up from his desk.
"Right." Ben says and then walks off back to whatever he was doing—probably supping up some more equipment. ^.~
As David turns and begins to do the same thing, he stops when his mind picks up on something that Ben had said. Gamma rays. He turns back quickly when he realizes this could possibly be what was missing from the equation—an outside component. A few minutes later find David and Ben looking at a long sheet of paper that depicts gamma ray interference for the past year. The peaks on the jagged lines that went across the page shows where the maximum interference was and along with that there are dates on the top of the page showing when each level of interference occurs. With a pencil David puts the names down on the timeline of the people they had tested on. Immediately, he sees the pattern. Each time there had been high gamma ray interference. The last person he checks is himself and he then discovers that on his particular day the gamma rays had been at low interference. He knows then that he has finally found the last part that was missing from the equation—gamma rays. Elaina at this point is no longer there, but with this discovery, David opts to call her. However, it is late and she does not pick up the phone.
David finds that he is alone. The right thing to do at that moment is to simply go home and wait for tomorrow to tell her about it, but David is far too impatient to wait that long. He has to know right now if his discovery is true or not. He walks out of his office at a swift pace and walks down the hallway in an excited gait. He hopes dearly that he is right for then he could put the past behind him and say that there really was nothing he could have done to save his wife. Nothing.
In less than a minute, he walks into the radiation area of the building. He knows exactly what he is going to do next. He is going to radiate himself with a large amount of gamma rays and see for himself if this unnatural reserve of strength can then be utilized. First he sets the caliber knob to what he thinks is 300,000 and turns the count-down-to-event knob to two minutes. Soon he slips into the chair he needs to sit in so that the gamma rays can hit his body and waits for the time to wind down. Unbeknownst to David a danger light comes on as the countdown is finished. After he is done, he feels exactly as he was before and he is immediately frustrated by this revelation.
As he walks down the hall once again after his little experiment, the words of Elaina, Mrs. Maier, and other people they have tested come back to him as if to tease him. What the heck is he missing? Why was none of this so called extra strength not now being exhibited in him? It gave him a headache just thinking about it. He had gotten his hopes up for nothing. All that he had found that day had been a complete waste of his time. It was simply infuriating. In obvious annoyance, David puts on his jacket and walks outside into a heavy torrent of rain. It had to be raining now of all times. Why could it have not been a nice calm night? With no umbrella, David is now forced to run to his car which is a long ways away. By the time he got to his car, he is soaking wet and when he gets into the car it does not start right away.
"Come on, you stupid," David says to the car with teeth bared as he tries multiple times to turn on the car.
Eventually, the car starts, but David is already ticked off. Under normal circumstances, he would have driven slowly since it was raining cats and dogs, but for some reason he did not feel like doing so. Trying to calm down now was futile. Maybe if he got home, he could cool down a bit and decide on his next plan of action—if there is any. The thought of going to sleep that night is not comforting in the least. He knows he will be haunted with the same dreams as before. The cycle was destined to continue over and over again.
But he is not home yet at this point. He is still soaking wet in his car driving through inclement weather. His mind would not rest. It continues to go over all the interviews repetitively as if it is trying to tell him something. What is his mind trying to tell him? He is not very much concentrating on the road when one of his front tires hits something sharp on the wet slippery road. The tire blows and David then grudgingly slows down the car. This is the perfect time to have a tire blow out. Now he will have to step out into the dreary weather once again and receive even more rain just so he will be able to get home. The only thing he wants to do at that moment is to go home. Now even that seems to be a task. Lately, it seems everything in his life is going very wrong. The tire blowing out is only a reminder to all the troubles in his life. Angrily, he steps out of the car and slams the door shut. At least the inside of the car would fare better than him. He then walks over to the tire to see if it was truly blown and realizes that it was. For some reason, seeing it in that condition gives David another surge of anger as his fist hits the hood of the car indignantly. He cannot just wish for the situation to simply disappear, he has to deal with it now. That is the only way he is to get home. Another lightening strike flashes through the air as David goes back into the car to grab his keys. He slams the door again and then goes to the back of the car to open the trunk. He is rushing now as the rain continuously falls on his hair and clothes and face. He grabs the tools he needs to put on another tire and then throws them on the ground beside the injured tire. Then he goes back and gets out the spare tire which he does with difficulty as the rain instantly makes the unwieldy tire slippery and hard to get a hold of.
"Get out of here!" growls David as he finally manages to grab the tire and pull it out.
He forgets to close the trunk as he then walks back around the car and throws down the tire where he has also thrown the tools. Then he grabs one of the tools and with it begins to tilt the car up so that he can get at the tire to change it. This, however, is easier said then done when rain is falling incessantly and stubbornly; his vision is blurred and his grip is hard to maintain. He holds on to the tool until his hands turn red with irritation. Finally he tilts the car just enough so that he can change it and then he rushes back over to the side of the car and pulls off the hub cap so that he could unscrew the wheel with the other tool he has in his hand. Unscrewing it is even harder than tilting up the car since the tools are now uncomfortably slippery and much smaller than the last one. His hand slips once, but he quickly—powered with his growing anger—slaps his hand on it again and continues to twist it around. He is barely looking at what he is doing now and his hair has become miserably wet. Then his grip slips again and this is when his anger is peaked.
His eyes at first turns white and then a kind of growling can be heard as he is still trying to unscrew the tire. His shirt begins to rip because he is now growing larger and larger and his muscles begin to expand. At the same time his skin pigmentation changes from a healthy peach color to gray and then to a full out green. His eyes are no longer white, but pale green and now he is truly transformed. No longer is he the angered David Banner trying to put a new tire onto his blown out one—he is Hulk. Hulk first notices that there is a long metal stick in his hand, but sees no use for it. In response, he simply bends the thick metal and drops it. Finally he stands up in all his glory. His muscles are large and well defined and his height is unbelievable. The face that he wears is that of a monster. His messy, wet hair and his bushy eyebrows and his skin are all green. And his teeth are large enough to consume a fully grown deer. The only thing that will come out of his mouth is snarls and growls—apparently the brute is unable to speak at all as he stands letting the rain soak his entire body. He does not care about this. Both of his hands clench into a fist and he lets out a large roar. For some reason, he finds that his anger is directed at the car and his fist smashes into it accordingly. This not being enough, he grabs the wheel that David had been trying to unscrew and pulls it out. He then tosses it out—the tire could land anywhere with the strength at which Hulk threw it. Then Hulk proceeds to smashing the hood of the car even more and then he smashes the front windshield, then the window on the driver's side. Now the hood is attacked over and over again, but this is still not enough for Hulk. He is simply angry at the entire car for some reason that he could not even begin to fathom. Hulk lifts the car up from its side and then lets it roll into the ditch beside the road. The car has finally had enough and blows up upon hitting the bottom of the ditch. Is Hulk satisfied now as he continues to stand at the edge of the ditch growling with hands clenched in contempt? He soon turns to leave after this and begins to walk down the street in his slow, mummy-like way.
He wanders around all night aimlessly wondering what he should do now or why he even existed in the first place. Suddenly he finds that the sun has come out—it is morning. Right now, he is in a wooded area with plenty of trees and branches impeding his movements. This, however, does not bother Hulk. He eventually, however, stumbles upon a little girl who is fishing in the lake right in front of her. A canoe sits silently beside her. It was a serene scene. Hulk immediately becomes interested—he has not seen another soul since last night. He wonders who this child could be or even what she was. She was currently putting a worm onto her hook when Hulk approaches her and is eventually standing right over top of her. He stands there silently and looks down at the child as she is talking to herself as she puts on the worm. She would not have noticed that anyone was behind her had she not pulled back her fishing rod to throw her line out to the lake. The rod, instead of meeting air as it often does, meets the marble-like structure of Hulk. She looks up in confusion. To her horror her eyes stares up to the face of Hulk. Bushy hair, bushy eyebrows coupled with strange colored eyes and large teeth—because he sort of smiles at this moment—drives fear instantly into the girl. For a moment she does nothing but try to move away, however, when Hulk bends down to give her a hand—for he thinks that the girl needs help because of her troubled expression—the girl was instantly in motion.
"Get away from me!" the girl shouts much to Hulk's confusion.
She jumps into the small canoe beside her and yells for her daddy to come and protect her. Hulk watches her actions in both confusion and fascination. As he does this, however, her dad does indeed hear her screams and he is instantly on the move from his station a little ways up in the wooded area that Hulk had just exited. In all the girl's excitement, she falls into the water and then Hulk suddenly becomes concerned. The girl is likely to drown if he does not help in some way. He walks forward to go into the water, but the frantic girl screams for him to go away yet she still calls for help. Just then Hulk notices a large tree beside him. A plan is forming in his mind. She does not want him near him, but if he uses the tree as a bridge and places it so she can grab a hold of it she would not have to even so much as touch him. It is an excellent plan and Hulk soon commences to following through on it. He first has to get the tree loose from its roots which he does at this moment. When this is done, the tree splashes noisily into the water. The tree could not have possibly hurt the girl as it did so, but the girl continues to scream in horror anyways. This does not seem to deter Hulk one bit—she still needs to be saved. Hulk gestures for the girl to come forward and grab hold of the tree, but she refuses. Then Hulk takes the base of the tree in his arms in a surprising show of strength and moves the tree towards her so that it would be impossible for her not to be able to grab hold of it. At this moment, the dad comes and witnesses Hulk appearing to be about to use the tree to submerge her quickly into the water.
"Get the hell away from my daughter," cried the man as he sees this.
Hulk continues to move the tree closer to the girl so that she can grab it until finally the man decides to shoot at Hulk and does so. Hulk instantly drops the tree as a new feeling traversed through him—pain. The bullet had gone straight through the upper part of his arm and Hulk roared in pain and anger. The man is terrified now and tries to shoot Hulk again so then he could perhaps kill him, but his gun jams instead giving Hulk the chance to run towards him. At this moment, the girl is swimming towards the tree and uses it to hang on to. The girl cries out when she sees Hulk running towards her father with surprising speed.
"Daddy! Oh, Daddy, look out!"
The man is desperately trying to reload the gun, but when he looks up he realizes that Hulk was a lot closer—uncomfortably closer. It is too late to do anything though he still tries anyways. Hulk's eyes were made small with anger as he comes up to the man and rips the rifle right out of his hands and thrusts the man onto the ground. With another surprising show of strength, Hulk cracks the rifle in half on his knee with ease and throws the pieces to the ground. Then Hulk, angry at what the man had done to him, picks the man up in both of his hands and throws him into the water. The man seems to fly in the air like a bird right before he plunges into the water below. The Hulk roars in triumph and continues on to destroy the entirety of their camp tent and all.
"Daddy!" cries Susie, the little girl, to her dad as he swims towards her.
"I'm all right, honey. Are you all right?" the man asks as he takes her in his arms.
"Yeah, I guess."
The two look on as Hulk destroys their camp and then as he holds his arm in apparent pain. He roars once again and then finally runs off back into the woods.
Once again he is alone as he thunders pass trees and thrashes at branches that get in his way. His arm is still hurt, but he begins to grow used to the sensation. Aimlessly he walks until he comes upon a small stream. He bends down then and splashes water onto his injured arm. In doing so, his hand then becomes reddened with blood that still flows freely from the wound. Hulk stops to look at it, as he is not used to the sight of it. Then he looks at the now calm water and notices his reflection. Surprise is written on his face as he finally sees what he looks like. He marvels at his appearance not quite certain of what it means. To be sure that it is indeed his reflection, his hand lightly touches the water and then his face—the images seem to match. The water continues to move about and distort the reflection and when it is seen clearly once again, there is David but still yet with strange white eyes.
"My God," David says quietly when he sees the reflection.
He is still in disbelief so then he touches the water and causes the image to disappear for a moment more in distortion. When it clears, David finds that he is himself again. He sits back so that he isn't looking at the water any longer and stares at the green environment around him in complete and utter confusion.
Elaina is currently taking a shower and humming to herself when she hears her doorbell go off. With an exasperated sigh, she climbs out of the shower and quickly puts on her bathrobe to go answer the door. The doorbell continues to ring, but this time with urgency. Finally she opens the door and is shocked to find a very disheveled and sweated David leaning on the entrance to her door.
"David. Oh, my God," Elaina says full of shock.
"David!" Elaina says this time alarmed. She immediately pulls him into her apartment room.
"Easy, easy," David says quickly obviously in pain.
"What happened to you?"
She closes the door after he is inside and observes how he held his arm gingerly. "I'm not sure," David says as he pants with fatigue.
"Oh, my God, what happened to your arm?" Elaina asks whose voice was full of genuine concern.
"I don't know."
"Please, sit down. Sit down. What happened to your arm?"
He groans as he sits down. Elaina immediately sits down beside him, "Let me see." She then pulls back his ripped sleeves and sees the wound.
"There was a bullet. I guess it went through."
"Oh, yeah, put this on it." Elaina takes the towel that is around her head and commences to putting it around his arm. "A bullet?"
"Who shot you?"
"I don't know."
Elaina sighs when he says this and David glances up at her as she does this.
"All right, but we're gonna' get you to a hospital," Elaina says as she stands up and rushes to the phone.
"Oh, wait. I'm okay."
"Oh, sure you are."
"Elaina, please. I can't go to the hospital."
Elaina twirls around when he says this, "Why not?"
"It might be dangerous. Just let me figure out what's happened to me, please."
David looks at Elaina with pleading eyes until finally she puts the phone back down against her better judgment, "All right," Elaina says as she runs one of her hands through her hair. "All right. But first we have to take care of that wound." Elaina then disappears quickly into the other room and grabs the first aid kit and some rubbing alcohol. "I don't understand. Why would anyone wanna shoot you?" Elaina asks walking back to the injured David who currently sits on one of the couches in her room."
"I don't know," David says with a sigh. He was a lot calmer than Elaina at that moment and he was the one with the wound.
"Did you save the bullet?"
"Well, might be nice to have something to bite on," Elaina says with sarcasm. The situation was beginning to sound very odd to her. "Hold on." She was just then applying the alcohol—a substance that would give anyone a sharp pain when placed on open sores.
David drew a sharp breath as she did so.
"Okay, okay. Here we are." Elaina suddenly stops what she is doing when she looks at the wound once again. "David."
"Yeah," David says quickly.
"When did you say you were shot?"
Elaina watches as another wave of uncertainty comes to his eyes, "I don't know. Some time this morning," David guesses.
"Well, I'll tell you, this wound looks like it's been healing for about three days."
"I don't know," David says again as if it is the only thing he knows how to say. He looks up at her when he says this as if she had found out something she should not have.
"I mean, there's scar tissue formed over it. It's almost as if your body were working faster than usual," Elaina says glancing up at David and then back to the wound.
"Yeah," is the only thing David can say to that. Nothing at this moment is making much sense to him.
"Very strange," Elaina says quietly.
"This whole thing has been very strange."
"What did happen?"
"Last night after you left, I hit on it. Or at least I thought I did."
"The external force operating in conjunction with the DNA to make all those people strong. It's the gamma ray."
"The gamma ray?"
"Yeah. I matched up a graph of excessive gamma activity from sunspots to each incident of supernormal strength."
The expression on Elaina's face becomes worried as she notices the intensity in his eyes—it had not been there before.
"In every case they matched," David says.
"And when you and Laura had the accident it was…
"Low gamma activity." David looks around after he says this as if he is searching for something. "I've gotta get something to drink. I'm dehydrating," David says finally and stands up to go to her kitchen.
"But that doesn't explain why you look like this?" Elaina says referring to his torn shirt and stretched pants.
David turns around when she says this, "I went to radiology and I took a gamma injection. I tried to call you, but you weren't here, and I was anxious." He then moves into the kitchen and opens up the refrigerator.
"Uh-huh. Overanxious," Elaina says with slight severity, "How much did you take?"
David has now taken out a bottle of orange juice and then turns to Elaina to respond. "I went all the way and I took 300,000 units."
"Oh, David!" cried Elaina in frustration.
"Only for fifteen seconds," David says in an attempt to calm her. At this moment, he is pouring the orange juice into a cup he has just taken out of the cabinet. "And nothing happened." He then moves towards the living room with the orange juice bottle and the cup in hand.
"Oh, really?" Elaina asks in disbelief gesturing her hands at his messy appearance.
"Well, at least not at first." He then takes to draining the cup of all its content in two seconds flat. He holds the cup strangely in both his hands instead of just one of them. "I was driving home. I had a…I had a flat tire. I was changing it." David pauses as he is having trouble remembering what had occurred.
"Yes?" Elaina asks when he does not continue.
"And then it was morning." David says turning slowly to her. "I was standing in the woods like this." David says as he looks down at himself and his current condition.
"What happened in between?" Elaina asks shaking her head in confusion.
"There was…Someone…" David is struggling to remember when an image of an unknown creature flashes in his mind. "Something." There is a puzzled expression on his face now as he then sits down at the dining room table. Elaina follows in suit. "Something else. Something awful."
"What?" Elaina asks struggling to understand.
David is at a complete loss of words as his mind tries to fit all the confusing pieces of the puzzle together—except that some of the pieces are missing.
"David, try to remember."
"I…I remember feeling incredibly strong. It was me and it wasn't me. I…My eyes were white."
"What?" Elaina asks again this time even more confused.
"My eyes were white." David says this to Elaina in all certainty. He truly does mean what he says and looks at her as if it made perfect sense.
"David, how do you feel now?"
David sighs as he takes hold of the cup again, "Normal. My arm, it's sore. I'm incredibly thirsty." He fills the cup up again with orange juice and drinks it up just as quickly as before. As he does so, he notices Elaina's expression and immediately reads her thoughts. "I'm not crazy. Whatever happened…" David was again at a loss of words.
"All right. All right, look, I think what we should do is get down to the lab, do a couple tests on you, try to figure out what did happen. And what you might have done that would cause someone to want to shoot at you," Elaina says trying to put some sense into the odd situation.
"Okay. The Southwest Lab, is anybody there?"
"I don't think so, why?"
"I think it might be better if we…If we go there. It's so, you know, isolated. In case." David sees the worried expression return to her face. "You afraid?"
"A little," Elaina says with a bit of a smile, "Look, let me throw on some clothes, then we can go pick up some things for you. Then—
Elaina is interrupted when the doorbell rings to her apartment once again. Then she stands up to answer, but turns back to David after a second thought, "Um, why don't you…"whispers Elaina, but David understands what she is hinting at and moves into another room to hide.
Who else better to be at her door now than Jack McGee himself complete with a lit cigarette in his mouth?
"Dr. Marks?" When he sees that it is indeed her, he takes the cigarette smoothly out of his mouth. "I'm Jack McGee. We spoke on the phone."
"Yes, Mr. McGee, and I told you we're not granting any interviews."
"Well, maybe I could change your mind if you'd let me come in for a minute."
"I'm afraid not. To be quite honest with you, I don't particularly like your newspaper or its reputation."
"Yeah, well, yeah, reputation's a very important thing." At this moment, he notices a mirror and sees the reflection of David in another room. The angle of the mirror is at a most opportune place to see practically anyone who is in the other room. "I won't bother you since you're otherwise involved."
"Good day, Mr. McGee," Elaina says a little confused at what he means by that.
"Some other time?" Jack says with a hopeful smile.
The only thing he receives in return is a closed door.
"The hyperbaric chamber's working?" David asks Elaina as they walk into the before mentioned deserted research building.
"Yeah. Debakey and Steve Frankel just finished some depressurization testing for SEALAB."
"I'm glad it's here," David says walking over to the balcony that overlooked the hyperbaric chamber below.
"What do you mean?" Elaina asks as she leans up against the banister.
"Well, whatever happened to me before might happen again. And if it does, both of us might be safer if I'm in there."
Soon the two of them are downstairs. True to his word, David is inside of the pressurized chamber. Inside he is already running tests on himself. After some point, Elaina leaves for a little bit, but soon comes back with a brown bag in her hands.
"How you doing?" Elaina asks to David behind the barrier when she gets back.
"Ah, well, I got some stuff here. Apple juice okay?"
"That would be great."
Elaina then begins to move towards the entrance to the chamber with the apple juice. "Just spoke to Ben at the radiology unit. "
"Yeah?" David responds as he gets out of his chair to meet her at the entrance.
"How many units of gamma did you say you injected into yourself?"
Elaina unlocked the door from the outside and then David did the same on his side of the door as well—it was the only way to open the door.
"Hi," David says when he sees her face to face again.
"Hi," Elaina says back. She then hands him a medium sized bottle of apple juice.
"How do you know it was 300,000?"
"I turned the calibrator up to the last click. 300,000."
"Little piece of white tape on it?"
"It's like the electromagnetic microscope that Ben modified for higher strength."
"Are you saying that Ben modified the radiology unit in excess of 300,000?"
She nodded at this.
"But there was no marking on the tape."
"Well, he hadn't calibrated it yet. He was gonna work on it this morning. He didn't know how high he could get it to go."
"Well, how high did he get it?"
"Almost two million units."
"I took a dose that high?" David asks incredulously.
They looked at each other for a moment and Elaina watches as a look of distress crosses David's face.
"I think you better lock the hatch."
Though Elaina says nothing, she is in agreement and helps him lock the thick metal reinforced door. David is deeply saddened when he moves back to the place he had been sitting before.
"Let's do your DNA scan again, okay?" Elaina says to David.
David does not respond.
"Okay, yeah, okay. Yeah."
Elaina then proceeds to doing his DNA scan again and eventually she has it on the screen the same as before.
"You see it alright?" David asks as he notices Elaina looking at the screen pensively.
"Yeah. The adenine-thymine lock in the lower quadrant."
"Yeah. What do you make of it" David is also looking at a screen that he has in the chamber.
"I don't know. I don't know, but whatever it is, we're gonna get you back to normal. David, I think its time we tried to reverse the process."
"Elaina," David says shaking his head, "I don't know what I've blundered into, but it could be the natural outgrowth of all our research. We have to try and make it happen again, so that we can observe it here, in a laboratory situation where we can control it," David says in all earnest.
"David, look. I know you have feelings of enormous strength. I just feel that there are too many unknown factors here. We really don't know what we're getting ourselves into." By this time she has made her way over to the heavy bullet proof window that David sits in front of.
"Neither did Benjamin Franklin when he flew the kite in the thunderstorm."
"Right. And he could have been electrocuted," Elaina argues in defiance.
"But he wasn't."
"He could have been."
"Look, I don't want to stay in this can any longer than I have to, believe me. We can always try the X-ray reversal. But we might have found what we've been looking for. And we can't just throw it away without investigating it first."
"Are you being scientific about this, or are you letting your emotions run away with you again?"
"Elaina, we've got to try."
"Alright, what happens when we tap into this hidden strength? What happens?"
"I don't know. I don't know!" David sighs and repeats himself once again, but this time more calm, "I don't know. Maybe I'll just bang around in here for awhile. Look, it was built to withstand the pressure of 1,000 feet below the ocean. It's made of 10-gauge chromium steel. Elaina, it's like being inside a bank vault. The glass in this port is six inches thick."
"Alright, Doctor," Elaina says after a pause. "How do you wanna proceed?"
David smiled at her, "Alright. Alright, I'd like to reconstruct everything that happened last night. Just to see if it triggers anything. Okay? Alrght, it was dark."
"Okay," Elaina says turning to shut off all the lights.
"Good. Alright, now, it was raining."
"What about the equipment in there?" Elaina asks reminding David to cover the equipment before they got wet.
"I've got it," David confirms.
Elaina then walks over to the control panel near the chamber, "There's no way I can make it rain in there."
"Don't worry about it. I've got an idea. Give me a second to close the inside airlock hatch."
David does just this and then pulls out a heavy tool from somewhere on the ground.
"David, what are you doing in there?"
"Creating a little rainstorm."
David takes the tool and clasps it around the H2O main feed tube to try to unscrew it.
"There's a hundred and sixty pounds of pressure behind the main water feed. I'm opening it up a little." The water then begins to fall down on David's head. "Anything on the instruments?" David asks as Elaina walks back to them.
"Nothing on the EEG. "
"Well, what about the GSR? Nothing there either. You feel anything?"
"No, nothing. Hey, wait a minute. Last night it was an electrical storm."
"Oh, brother, you really do have a Ben Franklin complex, don't you?"
"Come on, Elaina"
"Come on where, David? I'm fresh out of lightening. There's nothing we can do," Elaina says walking over towards him.
"Alright, well, supposing we were to overload the electrical main in here."
"Well, it would just blow, won't it?"
"Well, not if I were to separate the ground connection from it. And then if we shut down all other systems in here I think we could generate enough to create an arc." With no objections from Elaina, David stood up to do just this. "Alright, shut down the power, okay?"
In grudging obedience, Elaina walks over to the power grid to turn off the power to the entire chamber that David is currently occupying.
"Power is off," calls Elaina to David after she did so.
Meanwhile, David is tinkering with the electrical main. "Alright, fire it up again!" David calls back to Elaina.
"Power on," Elaina answers back.
"Alright, now increase the load to the power grid a little at a time," David instructs.
Finally as Elaina does this, sparks begin to appear behind where David is sitting.
"You okay?" Elaina asks after a little bit when the electricity appears.
"Yeah. How's the EEG?" David asks quickly.
"You took a little glitch, nothing abnormal."
"Alright, keep it up."
The only thing that David feels at that moment is uncomfortable—and wet. Nothing more. David knows after a few minutes that this little test would not amount to anything, but he had to try and this he did for nearly an hour.
"Alright, that's one hour," Elaina says finally. She is always concerned for David's wellbeing.
David says nothing to this as he continues to be attacked by heavy torrents of water.
"Still nothing, David. We'd better stop. I don't see any purpose in going on."
"Just a little longer," says a hopeful David—a little too hopeful.
"No, David. The equipment's on the edge of overheating now. I am shutting down."
"What's wrong? Why won't it work?" David asks in an agitated tone. Getting himself wet all over again has amount to nothing.
"I don't know, but it doesn't," Elaina says clarifying what was known to both of them. "Look, why don't you dry yourself off and get some fresh clothes out of the locker, okay?"
It is the only logical next thing to do after such a failed experiment though he did not want to. It would mean for certain they have not gotten any closer to the truth or solving the mystery of what happened between last night and this morning.
When David returned to the chamber he found a well-made sandwich sitting on a plate on the control panel. Elaina was the only one who could have made it. He looked at it forlornly and in a rather depressed way. He picked one of the slices up, but he did not immediately eat it.
"Hey, I made that just like when we were in med school. Extra mayonnaise and everything," Elaina proclaimed as she watches him from the other side.
"I'm just not hungry," David says finally. (I wouldn't eat it either. Extra mayo?)
"Come on, David, we've done everything we could figure to do."
"Yeah, I know."
"Look, why don't you lie down for a while? Get some rest."
"What about you?"
"Oh, I'll lie down out here for a little while."
"Yeah, okay," says David with a sigh. He turns away from her at first, but then turns back when he thinks of something, "Elaina, I'm sorry about all the hassle over this."
Elaina smiles when he says this, "David. Look, you may be in there alone, but we're in this together, huh?"
"As usual," David says returning her smile
"As usual," Elaina agrees.
David after a moment presses his hand up against the thick glass and Elaina in turn does the same. He hand is the first to leave as he turns again to go to his bed as Elaina had suggested.
"Well," says David, "I guess I might as well leave my electrodes on."
"Oh, yeah?" David says as he turns his head towards her as he lies on the very simple looking bed. "When was the last time you wore them to sleep?"
Elaina laughs lightly when he says this.
"Could you turn the lights out, please?" David asks.
David gives her a small wave afterwards and Elaina does the same after the lights go off. The lights from the equipment in the chamber gives Elaina enough visibility to see David within and it also give enough light for David to see Elaina without. She does not immediately go to sleep as she goes over to check on the EEG readings and then moves over to the table to pour herself something. Little does she know what is happening inside the chamber as David begins to dream. She walks back over to the EEG and notices that there is a disturbance. With this, she walks back over to the chamber to check on David—nothing out of the ordinary, perhaps a little nightmare. Elaina knows instinctively what David is dreaming and her assumptions are true—it was the same reoccurring dream that had always made him obviously depressed whenever he came to work the next day. The tragedy could never be forgotten since the onslaught of the dreams would never go away as if it were a plague. Eventually, Elaina returns to the EEG to observe what was happening from there. The disturbance is now quite obvious so Elaina takes out a recorder so that she might report verbally what is happening now. Later on, she could give it to David to hear.
"4:05. Dr. David Banner began rapid eye movement indicating dream state. Considerable agitation and heavy increase in both GSR and EEG responses, especially the beta frequency. The GSR is also beginning to register. Apparently the dream is upsetting him. I think he's having a nightmare."
There was no thinking involved—David Banner was having another nightmare, but this time was different. Every time David would have this nightmare he would wake up sweating, upset, and angry at himself for not being able to save Laura—his wife. This time was no exception as he finally woke from his nightmare—he was at an emotional plateau and this time his body would do more than simply sweat, it would change drastically as a response.
When his eyes spring open from the dream, they are white.
"The agitation is reaching an extreme level. There seems…" Elaina pauses when the EEG simply stops working. The needle becomes oddly still. "Now there seems to be some malfunction in the EEG." Elaina then begins to walk to the chamber to check on David. "Dr. Banner himself has…"
Elaina jumps away from the chamber when a large green arm punches through one of the thick windows and she immediately hears the low growling noises.
"David?" Then she takes a better look at just who is inside and gasps. "Oh, my God."
Hulk paces around for a bit to figure out where he is now and what it is he should destroy.
"David? David, is that you?" Elaina calls to the green giant.
The only thing Hulk does is continue his low snarling noises and this is not in response to Elaina.
Elaina soon takes out the recorder again and begins to speak into it. "It is now 4:16. Dr. Banner is no longer in the pressure chamber. He has metamorphosized into some extraordinary creature. He has just smashed the control console."
Hulk has indeed done this as both his clenched hands comes smashing down on the equipment around him—the control console was his first victim. Electricity sprouted from it as Hulk did this and he steps back in confusion, but he is unfazed.
"Now he's moving toward the electrical junction box. He's pounding on the steel bulkhead above it. The sound of his blows is reverberating through the inside of the chamber. He just took a direct 220-volt charge and he's apparently unhurt. Oh, God. He's like some kind of child throwing some monstrous tantrum. Now he's reaching up for the pipes. He's broken off the water pipe. Now it's…He's reaching for the steam pipe. Two inches of steel. He's ripped out that. It's recoiling from the steam. Apparently it's hurt by it. Now…Now it's moving towards the hatch door. It's pounding on the airlock vault. It's unbelievable. The hull is three inches thick, a chromium alloy steel, and yet this creature is able to make dents in it by using both hands together. But it's holding. He's still contained inside the inner chamber. But, now he's…Now he's trying to get through the first hatch. The locking wheel has broken off; it can't get through the hatch."
Elaina is proved wrong as Hulk does just this. Another window is seen by the Hulk and he does not hesitate in smashing this to pieces also. Elaina quickly moves out the way as he does so. The glass scatters everywhere luckily Elaina is far enough away not to get hit by any shards.
"It reached out. I don't…I don't think it was consciously after me, it was just trying to escape. Its arms are huge, and the skin has a greenish tinge. Its proportions are like those of a man, but considerably larger. It roars like an angry caged animal. God, now it's moving towards the outer hatch area. And now it's pounding on the outer hatch. I don't know how long the hatch can hold him. It's broken through the main viewing port. It's forcing a tube valve off the wall. It's…it's being driven back by the gas. The gas is filling the airlock. It's hard to see clearly. It's again pounding. The blows don't seem to be injuring his hands. There's no…There's no blood that I can see. It seems to be driven by this blind rage to escape. It's going to."
Elaina watches Hulk begins to tear through the steel. She can see Hulk's hand as it begins to rip the metal on the top off of the chamber. As he does this, Elaina begins to move further and further away from the chamber.
"Its metabolism must be at an extraordinary rate which would explain why David's wound was able to heal so quickly."
Hulk finally breaks free of the chamber after much effort, but as Elaina has said, he is unhurt.
"Oh, no," breaths Elaina incredulously as Hulk walks from the chamber on to the floor.
For the first time, Hulk sees Elaina. By now there is obvious fear in her eyes and in her demeanor. As Hulk begins to moves toward her Elaina is reluctant to stand still, but she forces herself to do so. She crams her fear into a corner so then she could have enough courage to face him.
"David?" Elaina asks again as Hulk moves towards her. "It's alright. Take it easy. That's it. Nobody's gonna hurt you alright?" Elaina looks directly at Hulk as she says this. She knew that she had to get him calm somehow and deep down she sensed that he did not really want to strike her. Elaina puts her hands up in a calming gesture. "It's okay. It's okay. That's it. Can you understand me?" Elaina asks as Hulk visibly seems to calm down to some extent. "Can you understand me? C-can you speak?"
Hulk looks at her in a confused manner as she asks this.
"Okay. Okay. Are you hurt? Are you hurt? Let me see your hands."
Elaina takes a deep breath and moves forward to see his hand, but Hulk is startled by the sudden movement and steps back in response.
"Oh, it's alright. It's okay. Let me see your hands." Elaina moves toward him again until she is at least close enough to see his hands. This time he does not retreat. Now his eyes are trained on her as he wonders what she intends to do. "Oh, dear. You're hurt, aren't you? Alright. Stay right there. It's okay. It's okay." As she is saying this, she half turns to reach for a rectangular piece glass—the kind that goes under microscopes. "Now, I'm just gonna touch your hand a little. Alright? Let me get a blood sample. Can you give me your hand?" Much to her surprise, Hulk extends his hand towards her. She looks up at him when he does this, but Hulk's eyes remain unreadable. "That's it. I'm not gonna hurt you. That's it. Easy." She continues to says this as she gently pushes the piece of glass up to his skin to get a droplet of Hulk's blood. It is over in a second in which Hulk automatically recoils his hand. "Okay. Okay. Okay, just stay right there," Elaina says with a reassuring smile. "You're alright. You're alright." She quickly places the now sacred piece of glass onto the table behind and turns back to Hulk who she now has the full attention of. "Alright, alright. Come with me. Can you come with me? That's it. Come on, sit down. Over here, come on." Elaina makes eye contact with Hulk and keeps her eyes locked on his as gestures to come and sit on a nearby seat. She moves along with him to reassure him for he constantly needs to be reassured. "It's okay. That's it. That's it. Sit down. That's it. You're okay now." When they reach the couch, Hulk reluctantly sits down on the couch as he is not used to such things. "You're okay. You're okay." The two of them have not lost eye contact yet. As Elaina stands looking at the now calm Hulk, he begins to morph back into his former self—David.
"Elaina?" David asks quietly
"It's alright." Elaina says sensing his confusion. "It's alright, David, just…Just rest easy. You're back now."
Now David was thoroughly confused as he sits in the chair glistening with sweat. He finally looks away from her as he tries to remember how he even got to the chair.
Now it is daytime. The night passes by rather quickly for the two and they were glad for it.
"You're a very brave woman, Elaina," David says looking closely at the wreckage of the chamber.
"I was a very scared woman." Then Elaina turns to look at David from her current work, "The blood sample is just normal now."
"What caused it? I mean, I was sleeping."
"You were dreaming."
"Yeah, look at the EEG." As she says this, David follows her to the machine. "The REM indicator. I watched you. You were tossing, turning, and frowning."
"I don't remember."
"Try, try. It might help us understand," pleads Elaina.
"I don't," David says shaking his head.
"Was it the accident?"
Elaina hits the nail right on the head and it causes a light bulb to light up in David's head.
"Yes. Yes, that was it. Laura and I were driving, there was the accident. She was trapped in the car."
"Now, did you feel anything?" Elaina asks guiding his scattered thoughts.
"Oh, the same I always feel every time I have the dream. Outrage. Frustration at not being able to save her. Extreme…anger."
"What is it?" Elaina asks as he looks as if he wants to say something more.
"Anger. Elaina, I was angry and upset. And last night I was angry, too. I left the lab, I was so…I was so totally frustrated because of our…Our failure with the research. And then there the rain, the storm, the flat tire—and when I blacked out, I remember I was furious.
"Alright. Now, we know that extreme emotional commitment, anger, frustration, whatever, was present in all of those people that we interviewed, right?"
"Yeah, but I don't…"
"No, David, it makes sense. Look. Look at the EEG. Here's the agitation you experienced in the dream. Right? Just at the moment of metamorphosis. Now look at these lines, the intelligence level drops, the primitive emotions take over the brain and body. And that is just what this creature is like. It's like a primitive. It's like a childish subhuman."
"But what made me physically change?" David asks finally going along with what she was saying as it began to make more and more sense.
Elaina shakes her head. "I don't know. It might be a result of the high intensity gamma injection you took on your DNA."
"That's not possible." David says in disbelief.
"David, believe me, we saw it happen. I saw it happen, and we've seen the results of it," Elaina says gesturing at the wreckage. "Now, it must be your anger that triggers it off."
"That means it's uncontrollable," David says as things began to make sense.
He turns away from her after he says this. The situation was beginning to look worse and worse the closer they got to the truth. Now the truth was upon him and suddenly he wishes that he hadn't known it all. How was he ever going to deal with this? How was he going to get rid of this problem?
David turns back to Elaina after a moment of contemplation, "If it can happen anytime I'm asleep, whenever my anger mounts up, even in my unconscious. When the metamorphosis happens, I haven't got any control over it; I don't even know what it does. I might have killed you," David says in horrific realization.
"No, David," Elaina argues.
"Maybe that's why I was wounded. Maybe I tried to kill somebody last night. Maybe I did kill somebody," David continues.
"Listen to me, David. David Banner is not a killer."
"We're not talking about David Banner."
"Yes, we are. Now, it's the same thing as if someone is under hypnosis. Unless they are a potential killer you cannot hypnotize them and make them kill. Now this… This creature is an outgrowth of David Banner. It's his…It's his primitive emotions run wild. It may be undisciplined it may tear the hell out of a pressure chamber, but it won't kill because David Banner won't kill."
David looks at her intently as she says this, but slowly he nods his head in a reluctant agreement, "Alright. Alright." David says walking up closer to her. "But how can I control it? It isn't even safe to study. How can we keep this from ever happening again?" At the moment, Elaina seems to have all the answers—it was worth a try to see how she would answer this.
"I don't know. Certainly try x-ray reversal. Radiological treatment to try to counteract the gamma rays."
Suddenly, the intercom comes on interrupting their conversation. "Dr. Banner, this is Scotty. Are you up there?"
David walks over to the intercom to press the button in order to answer, "What is it?"
"Some policemen are here at the main gate and they'd like to see you right away."
David glances back at Elaina as his heart skips a beat. What did the police want with him?
"Dr. Banner?" the intercom asks. "Doctor?"
"Yeah, Scott, tell them to drive up here, will you, please?"
"Will do, sir."
David looks at Elaina with a worried expression. They would have to come up with a plan quick.
David followed by Elaina walks out of the lab as soon as the police car pulls up to the parking lot.
"Dr. Banner? David Banner?" the policeman says upon seeing David and Elaina."
"Yes," says David in a casual way.
"Dr. Banner, at noon today we found an automobile registered to you overturned on the north side of the Crossway Road. Now, apparently the car crashed and burned. You know anything about this?"
"No. My car was missing this morning, but…Was anybody hurt? "
In the distance, Jack McGee can be seen in the distance making his way to the little group that had just formed right in front of the lab (Elaina, David, & policeman).
"Not as far as we know. Did you report it missing?"
"No. You see, I thought a friend had taken it. He has a key."
Now Jack is close enough to hear their conversation and takes this as a good time to include himself into it. He takes out a large molded footprint of the Hulk and held it up so that David could see. "Your friend wouldn't take a shoe about this size, would he Doctor?"
"What's that?" David says looking at the large footprint.
"That's a plaster cast of a footprint they found near the car. There were many of them in the mud," answers Jack readily.
"Mr. McGee," says the policeman turning to him, "we have no authoritative proof that those footprints are real. And we do not want to start a panic around here."
"Oh, it's real alright. There's a lot more just like it down by the lake."
"So you have no knowledge of how your car got to where we found it?" the policeman asks returning to his first concern abruptly.
"No, no I don't," David responds with confidence that had not been there before.
"Alright," the policeman says deciding that David's explanation seemed believable. "You have 24 hours to arrange to have the debris cleared. After that, the Highway Patrol will take care of it and you will be billed for it."
"I understand, thank you."
With this both Elaina and David turns to return to the lab, but Jack have other ideas.
"There's a girl and her father over at the lake who says that they saw the thing that made this," Jack says referring to the plaster cast.
"Did they?" Elaina asks humoring Jack, "Well, what was it? Bigfoot?"
"Sounded more like the Jolly Green Giant.," Jack says moving a little closer to them, "Only I wouldn't call him too jolly. Big hulk, about seven feet tall, greenish tinge to the skin. Pretty mean looking. Scared the daylights out of the girl. She almost drowned trying to swim out of there. Her old man shot the thing in the shoulder."
"Then what happened?" David asks with obvious interest.
"Well, as he tells it, the creature turned on him, busted his gun, and then picked the man up and threw him an estimated 30 yards into the lake."
David does not like the sound of it at all and a look of distress returns to his face.
"But neither the little girl nor the father was hurt?" Elaina asks hopefully.
With a raised eyebrow Jack responds, "No."
And then a look of relief passes over both of their faces. This, however, does not go altogether unseen by sharp investigative reporter.
"Are you sure that you don't know a little something about this? I mean the hulk's footprints was found near your car."
"No, I don't," David says automatically.
The look on Jack's face told anyone present that he was not convinced at all. "Well, listen, since we're all together, why don't we go inside and talk it over."
"No," David says forcefully.
David and the reporter met gazes for a moment until Elaina broke the silence.
"Mr. McGee, have you been inoculated for tubercle bacilli?"
"Come again?" Jack asks in a confused tone.
"Well, you see, we have a live germ culture incubating inside. I mean you're perfectly welcome to come in. It's just that you probably wouldn't walk out again," Elaina says with a kind smile.
"Ooh, mean little devils, huh? Okay, we take a rain check on that one. But, Doctor, " says Jack as he turns to David, "anytime you feel an interview coming on, you…You get in touch, will you?"
With this, Jack turns and takes his leave. Elaina and David are so tight-mouthed that did not so much as wave good-bye to him.
"At least we know where the bullet wound came from," David says to Elaina as they are climbing back down the stairs to the wreckage.
"Right, and we have further proof that the creature won't kill."
"Hasn't killed," David corrects.
"Won't kill. David. Look, that man at the lake shot at it. Shot at you. And all it did was break his rifle and throw him in the lake. It won't kill. You won't kill. Otherwise, surely it would have killed that man. Yes?"
"Alright," David says slowly, "But I wanna make sure that never happens again. I wanna be Dr. Banner not Dr. Jekyll."
"Alright," Elaina says in understanding. "Look, we'll try x-ray therapy as soon as Ben and the others leave the lab tonight."
"What if it doesn't work?"
Elaina was quiet for a moment, but then answers. "Then we'll keep on searching until we find out how to make you normal again."
Meanwhile as Elaina and David converse inside, Jack, instead of leaving keeps a vigilant post behind a bush a good distance away for the lab. As he waits around for his opportunity to look around the lab, he takes out another cigarette to smoke it—it was going to be awhile. He waits there for hours until finally he sees the two leave in the solitary car parked at the lab. Unbeknownst to Jack, Elaina and David had decided to depart to the Culver Institute now rather then later because Elaina had discovered that Ben had left for the evening. This was a better time than ever to get what they needed to get done there. This was also a good time for Jack who ha only then began to have second thoughts about waiting behind a bush all day for a story he isn't entire sure even exists. Now he would get his answer.
A good while after the two left, Jack makes his way to lab. As he approaches it, he puts out his cigarette; he does not want to leave any sign that he has even been there. Predictably, he tries the front door first, but this is locked. Then Jack walks around to the side of the building—the back is literally built into the large hill behind it. On the side of the building is a large window looking into the room where all the machines were including the demolished chamber. Jack becomes excited with what he sees—there is the proof. His guts had been right, David is hiding something.
"Well, now, no little bacteria did that."
Jack continues his search for an opening that goes into the lab and eventually he finds a way through the roof. As soon as he is in, he makes his way to the chamber. From there he could find evidence or something that he could add to his already intriguing story he is planning to write for his newspaper. He walks into the chamber to get a closer look at the wreckage and it proves to be impressive. It is even more so when he picks up a glass shard near the broken window. The shard is incredibly thick. The thought of an entire window being made entirely of this thick glass and then it being shattered by some strange, humungous strength was incredible and frightening at the same time. Jack looks down at the ground when his eye catches something even more interesting—a footprint that had been made obvious by all the glass shards. Just then he hears the wheels of a car coming up to the lab. It had to be the two doctors again. Jack knows that he has to find someplace to hide quickly before he is caught. He hides then in a closet (a chemical storage closet that is) nearby and keeps the door open a crack so that he can see what is happening without. He overhears what the two are saying as they come into the lab.
"Yeah, it's on the edge of the Institute's property," Jack hears David say. "It was built to store plutonium for an atomic power project they did here a few years ago."
"And there's a vault there?" Elaina asks
"Oh, you better believe it. The walls are made of lead, then steel, then concrete, four feet thick."
"So if our friend does come back, he'll never get out of there."
"Well, that sounds like just what the doctor ordered."
Jack does not know, at the moment, that they were talking about another secure location they could go to try to cure David of his problem. At the other lab, they had tried x-ray therapy and it had amount to nothing. Afterwards, David had suggested that they move somewhere else just in case he morphed again as he wanted desperately to keep Hulk sealed up if it ever happened again and Elaina safe. Even though Elaina believed that she was relatively safe when Hulk was around, David was not entirely convinced of this.
"Oh, dear, what about this place? If anyone should see this…" Elaina asks David.
By now, they are close enough for Jack to see and hear quite clearly.
"That's easy. We can arrange for an accidental radiation spill."
"Oh, good. Just enough contamination to close the place down for a while."
"You got it."
"Oh, we need some more EEG paper."
"I'll get it."
Jack does not know that he is in fact in a supplies closet and before he knows it, David is opening the door. A second later, he was staring into the face of David who was none too happy to see him. Not only did this happen but in his surprise, he has accidentally spilled a very acidic substance to the floor. The floor sizzles quietly as the liquid falls upon it.
Jack walks out of the closet with a pleasant expression trying to make the best of the terrible situation he was in. "Good evening."
"How would you like to find yourself arrested?" David asks grimly.
"Good idea. Call the cops. I'm dying to hear you explain that," Jack says pointing at the wreckage.
"It's a pressurization test, Mr. McGee," Elaina says in response. "It exploded."
"I don't buy it," Jack says plainly. "I heard you talking about your friend coming back. You didn't sound too thrilled about it."
David crosses his arms at this.
"Now admit it, Doctor," Jack continues. "You know something about that big hulking creature that's been attacking people, don't you?"
"No," David says to Jack with a completely straight face.
"Oh, come on, Doctor. Now, don't play games. You want to explain that big, wet footprint to me?"
"It's a water spill," Elaina says in retaliation.
"Oh, really? What happened to that culture of bacteria you said you had in here?"
"Fortunately for you, we took back to the main lab," David says immediately answering his question.
"What a coincidence," Jack says in mock surprise.
"Yes, wasn't it?" David says in equal sarcasm. "Will you excuse us, Mr. McGee?"
With this, David takes Jack by the arm forcefully and escorts him to the door.
"This institute is private property," David says to Jack as they come outside.
"Doctor, if you know anything about this creature, it is your duty to report that to the police!"
"You're letting your imagination run away with you. Now I have never seen this creature that you're talking about."
"Forgive me, Doctor, but I am calling you a liar."
"Mr. McGee!" says David with force, but then he took a deep breath and calmed down, "Mr. McGee, don't make me angry. You wouldn't like me when I'm angry."
Inside as Elaina is getting things together and straightened out, she hears a sizzling noise. By this time the acid has come in contact with another powdery substance and the reaction between them causes the sound to become much louder. Elaina turns to the chemical storage closet quickly.
"David!" calls an alarmed Elaina in hopes of her voice reaching him.
Both Jack and David hear and turn just in time to see the entire lab burst into flames. Apparently, the two substances had combined and spontaneously combusted. The two men are knocked down from the force of the blast. Already, David is cut on the side of his head, but he is determined to get Elaina out of the building if she has somehow survived. He lifts himself up and tries to go through the front entrance but the flames makes it impossible. Then he runs to the side of the building just as Jack had done to enter the locked lab.
"Elaina! Elaina! My God, Elaina!" David yells as he looks through the now broken window to look down upon the entire lab.
He sees that she is sprawled on the floor and quite motionless. He tries to move closer but the flames forces him further back. The situation looks impossible. Once again he is thrown into a situation that he can not alter and a feeling of helplessness come over him, but David finds that he does not like this feeling and instead it turns into something much more fierce—anger. Somehow, it felt much more fulfilling. At that moment of extreme emotion, his eyes turns white once again and then slowly green. The metamorphosis has now been activated and there is no way to stop it from fully overtaking him.
With bulging muscles, Hulk clenches his hands as usually does. He growls angrily at the fire before him and soon a plan forms in his mind—it was worth a try. His fists slams into the wall above the window and his feet kicks into the wall beneath it so then he can make enough room for himself to fit through the window comfortably. For some reason, Hulk knows that he has to save Elaina. It is simply something that was already there in his head and he had no problem going through with it for the need was so great.
Hulk leaps into the lab and lands comfortably on his feet upon the littered floor. He runs over to Elaina and quickly lifts the heavy debris off of her sprawled form. It was no problem. Hulk senses that the woman is still hanging on and picks her up in his strong hands—she is still yet unconscious. The lab continuously grows worse and worse as Hulk makes his way up the stairs to the front entrance. As he comes out with Elaina comfortably in his arms, another burst of flames erupts from the crumbling building. He bends down a little closer to Elaina to protect her, but otherwise they are safe.
Jack, who is still there, merely sees the Hulk and Elaina who looks rather limp in her arms and his mind quickly makes assumptions. He watches incredulously as Hulk rushes passed him. Though he sees Hulk and Elaina, he does not see David and he calls for him still as if he were still in the building. However, Jack isn't the type to jump in save someone when his own life is already in danger. This works to Jack's advantage as no sooner had he called David's name the building finally completely became enveloped in flames by another larger explosion. Jack leaps quickly into his car and drives away to safety.
Meanwhile Hulk is still on his feet. He knows only that he must get away from the building and that he must also keep Elaina alive. Eventually, Hulk finds himself in the nearby wooded area with Elaina still in his arms. She is not hard at all to carry. He slows down after a while and bends down to set her onto the soft grass. She coughs as he does so.
"David. David," Elaina says dizzily. But when she finally opens her eyes and look up she realizes that it is not him. "Oh, God. My poor David." She lifts her hand up to softly touch his face with the back of her hand.
As her hand pulls away, Hulk takes it into his very gently. Somehow he knows that something bad is going to happen and there is genuine lamentation in his eyes as he gazes at her bloodied face.
"Who will take care of you now?" Elaina asks softly. She groans painfully after she says this and Hulk grips her hand just a little tighter as if trying to reassure her. "It's okay, it's okay, it's okay," Elaina says as she notices the worried expression on his face. "I don't know if you can understand me, but I want you to know something. Dear David, I have loved you for such a very long time. And I always will. And I always will."
After saying what had been in her heart for so long, Elaina took her last breath and as she died a sigh escaped her lips. The hand Hulk had been holding quickly became limp and slipped easily from his grasp. Hulk suddenly became frantic and tried continually to have her grab his hand like she had before, but each time he lifted it, it would fall again letting gravity control it's every action. When he looked at her face again, her eyes were closed. A look that was a mix of fear, despair, and despondency overtook Hulk's expression and he looked to the skies as he let out a deep and terrible roar the resounded on the entire forest around him. Then he looked down at the corpse once again and touched her face briefly before slowly standing up. In his awkward gait he walked away from her instinctively. There was nothing more he could do for her. Even as he walked though, he could not resist another look at her.
"The Lord bless thee, and keep thee. The Lord make his face to shine upon thee, and be gracious upon thee. The Lord lift up his countenance upon thee, and give thee peace. Amen," a minister says solemnly at a funeral. The darkness of everyone's clothes added to the dreariness that surrounded their little congregation around the gravestones. On one of the two gravestones was the name Elaina Harding Marks and on the other one was the name David Bruce Banner.
As people begin to leave, a man stands near the two graves longer than the other—it is Ben (the same scientist who feels the need to suddenly sup up all the lab equipment) from the main lab who stares solemnly at them. Jack, the investigative reporter, who is inevitably at the funeral notices Ben and walks over to him. Ben notices him coming.
"You know them well?" Jack asks trying to seem casual.
"Yes, I did, Mr. McGee," Ben says with a bit of edge to his voice. He knows exactly who he is and what he is after. "Was it really necessary to print that?" Ben asks nodding his head at the newspaper article in Jack's hand.
In big letters the article's title reads INCREDIBLE "HULK" KILLS 2
"Well, it's the truth. It's what happened."
"And it sells newspapers," Ben points out unenthusiastically. "Excuse me," says Ben walking away from Jack.
"Look, Doctor," Jack says getting his attention again, "I saw what that creature did to a steel chamber. And I heard your friends talking. They were scared to death of it's coming back."
"You actually saw the thing?" Ben asks unbelievingly.
"You're damn right I did. I gave a description to all the law enforcement agencies. They've got a warrant for murder out on it. Now a thing that looks like that hulk is not going to stay hidden long. When they grab it, that is gonna be one of the great stories of the 20th century."
When Jack says this, Ben shakes his head at him and continues on to his car—he could care little about a story. Two of his colleagues had died all at the same time.
"One of the best," Jack says to himself as he gazes at the graves. After a moment, Jack limps away—he had not gone unscratched from the fire last night. One of his legs had been fractured and he had to walk with a crutch until it healed.
Later on into the days, David who is perfectly alive from last night's turmoil walks inconspicuously into the graveyard and walks over to his tombstone and Elaina's. He already carries a small bag with him that contains only a small amount of the essentials he would need to survive on his own. There is no body for David's grave as would be expected, but there is one for Elaina. David walks over to this and places his hand softly on the marble gravestone in a loving way. He caresses the stone as he looks thoughtfully at the name on it and then he smiles gently.
"I love you, Elaina. I think you loved me, too. Although you never said it.