Hurt & Comfort

Book 10: Elusive Comfort

© 2003-2022 MultiMapper
All Rights Reserved

For full disclaimer and Copyright information visit Copyright/Disclaimer Page. Continuation of viewing this document is deemed acceptance of all terms on the preceding link.

Chapter 15: Something New

As Cyclops walked out of the locker room, he saw Dr. McCoy rushing into the room at a hurried pace.

"Hank, your code name will be Beast. You'll be in charge of identifying and containing this thing. We need to make sure that there's no trace of it left for someone else to find. Let the professor know who'll you'll need to ensure that this damned virus is finally wiped out." Cyclops said firmly.

"Will I also be in charge of seeing that the technical data is destroyed?" Hank asked cautiously.

"Yes. Bring whoever you might need to deal with it." Cyclops said firmly, then noticed Storm walking out of the women's locker room.

"Storm, I'll need you to stick with me to assess the situation. Since we'll be on your home continent, you might notice something significant that I would overlook." Cyclops said seriously.

A firm nod was Storm's only reply as she watched Tara rush into the room then into the women's locker room.

//Portal, Trey is requesting that you form a portal from his bedroom at the boathouse.// Professor X sent telepathically.

Andrew was surprised by the request but immediately cast his mind out and created a portal.

"How may I be of assistance?" Trey asked cautiously as he stepped out of the portal. He was wearing his large ocular implant and had a device that covered the majority of his left arm.

"Wait a moment for Tara to join us, then come to the MedLab with me and get into a containment suit." Hank said seriously.

"I'll open a portal to MedLab for you." Andrew said as he gestured to a portal forming beside them.

John and Bobby hurried into the room and looked at Scott with matching expressions of question.

"Who called for fire and ice?" Cyclops asked as he looked around the increasing gathering.

"I did. These guys can back me up." Wolverine said seriously.

"Iceman, Pyro. Suit up." Cyclops said as he gestured toward the men's locker room.

"Bobby! Wait!" A voice said from the door of the hanger bay.

"Robby? You can't go with me. You need to stay here and protect our baby." Bobby said as he stepped to Robert's side.

"Yes. I will. I just wanted to give you this before you go." Robert said as he presented Bobby with a small silvery piece of cloth.

Bobby unfolded the cloth, then looked at Robert with confusion at the pair of shorts in his hand that essentially looked like a silver speedo.

"If there is a need to manifest your full power, this material should be able to withstand the extreme cold." Robert said carefully.

"Thanks Robby." Bobby said with a smile and gave Robert a quick but firm kiss.

"Is there anything I can do to help?" Clark asked hopefully from the doorway.

Cyclops was about to refuse when he realized why Clark was really there. Both John and Trey were being included on the mission and Clark didn't want them to go into danger without him.

"Sure Clark, you can be on the team. You'll need a code name, do you want to be called 'Heat Vision'?" Cyclops asked seriously.

"No, that's just going to be for my writing. How would you feel... I mean, would it be alright if I went ahead and used the name Superman?" Clark asked hesitantly.

"Superman it is. But I'm afraid I don't have any red and blue tights for you to wear." Cyclops said with a teasing smile.

"Good." Clark said with a chuckle, then asked, "What can I do to help?"

"When we get there, stick with me. If I see something that needs to be done, you'll be the one doing it." Cyclops said seriously, back to his full professional persona.

Hank, Trey and Tara stepped out of the medlab portal wearing bright yellow containment suits at the same time Bobby and John rushed back from the locker room.

"Portal, you're up." Cyclops said seriously.

Andrew nodded, then concentrated to form the distant portal.

Even though it didn't necessarily stretch his abilities to form the portal, it still took quite a bit of power and concentration.

"Wolverine." Cyclops said and motioned for him to go first.

Cautiously, Wolverine stepped through the portal, followed closely by Pyro and Iceman.

As Beast started walking toward the portal, Cyclops held up his hand and shook his head.

"Wait until we get the all clear. It won't help anyone if you step through the portal and get shot." Cyclops said seriously.

Beast nodded that he heard, since talking through the biosuit was somewhat bothersome.

"Perimeter secure." Wolverine said through the portal.

"Beast, Sprite and 3 of 7, check out the lab." Cyclops said and gestured toward the portal for them to go.

"Portal, Storm and Superman, you're with me." Cyclops said, then stepped through the swirling vortex.

* * * * *

"Beast, do you think it will be safe for us to go into the house?" Cyclops asked into his communicator.

After a long moment of silence, Beast answered, "There is truly no way to know how infectious this strain of the virus is. The possibility of infection existed the moment you stepped through the portal, I don't think going into the house will increase the risk."

"Thanks for the pep talk Beast. We're going to check out the house." Cyclops said, then motioned for Storm and Superman to walk with him.

"Where do you need me?" Portal asked seriously.

"Right here for now. You can function as both our lookout and escape route." Cyclops said as he turned to leave.

"Call if you need me." Portal said as he watched them walk away.

"Count on it." Cyclops said seriously, without turning back.

* * * * *

"It looks so... normal." Clark said in surprise as he walked around the neat little living room.

"You expected it to be otherwise?" Orroro asked cautiously.

"Well, yeah. This is Africa... I guess I just... I don't know..." Clark said uncomfortably.

"You expected to see mud huts in the Serengeti?" Orroro asked frankly.

"Well, yeah. And starving babies with swelled out bellies." Clark said in an apologetic tone.

Orroro looked Clark in the eyes as she said, "The Serengeti does exist here and unfortunately, so does the reality of hunger. But there is so much more to Africa than that limited vision. I suppose it would be like looking at the United States as being New York and Los Angeles with a rural area in between where the Dukes of Hazard live."

Clark smiled at the statement, then turned as he heard a sound.

"What is it?" Orroro asked immediately.

"I thought I heard something." Clark said as he walked toward the room to investigate.

"Wait. Cyclops, come over here." Storm said seriously.

"Did you find something?" Cyclops asked as he walked from the other side of the room where he had been looking at the items on a desk.

"Superman believes he heard something from that room." Storm said as she pointed.

"I'll check it out, Superman, be ready to back me up." Cyclops said as he put his hand to the side of his visor and walked carefully into the next room.

Clark waited apprehensively for Scott to say or do something.

"Oh no." Cyclops said as he rushed out of the room.

"What's wrong?" Clark asked with concern.

Scott held up his hand, then hit his communicator and called out, "Beast, I need you over here in the house. There's a kid here and he's in pretty bad shape."

"I'm sorry to hear that. But I'm afraid that if he is infected, there is a larger concern." Hank said seriously.

Cyclops froze at the statement, then shook his head and said, "I understand that. But isn't there something you can do for this boy?"

"I am unable to leave what I am doing, but perhaps Portal may be of assistance to you." Hank said with regret.

"Right... and I'll see to the quarantine measures." Cyclops said reluctantly.

"Yes. The entire team." Hank said with resignation.

"Mama?" A small voice called out from the next room, then broke into a fit of coughing.

Clark started walking toward the door, but stopped at the feeling of a hand on his shoulder.

"You can't go in there. He's infected." Cyclops said with pain and regret.

"Listen Scott, I've never been sick. It's possible that I can't become sick. And if this is the virus that attacks the X-gene, it shouldn't effect me at all." Clark said seriously.

"The original strain of this virus mutated so that it effected non-mutants. Clark, I made a promise to your parents... to our parents, that I'd watch out for you." Scott said in an imploring tone.

"I understand that, but there's a sick kid in there that doesn't have anyone to watch out for him. Do whatever you need to do, but I'm going in there." Clark said, then started walking away.

After a moment to get over the shock of Clark standing up to him, Scott turned to Orroro and said, "Find out as much information about the boy as you can. I'm going to call Andrew."

"Scott, I believe that Clark is doing the right thing. It would be wrong for the child to have to suffer through his last moments alone." Orroro said softly.

Cyclops reluctantly nodded, then hit his communicator as he said, "Portal, I need you and your MedKit in the house."

"I'm on my way." Andrew said immediately.

"...One more thing..." Scott said reluctantly.

"What's that?" Andrew asked cautiously.

"Close the vortex. We can't go back."

* * * * *

"What do you need?" Andrew asked as he hurried into the room.

"There's a small boy in there... I'm pretty sure he's got the virus." Scott said in a pained voice.

"I'll look at him, but I don't know what you expect me to do." Andrew said helplessly.

"Do what you can. Ease his suffering." Scott said quietly.

Andrew nodded and turned toward the door to find Clark with the boy held in his arms.

"Please help him." Clark said with tears running down his cheeks.

"Hold still." Andrew said as he started scanning the pale little boy.

"I'm sorry... I threw up." The boy said in a small trembling voice.

"Don't worry about it. We'll clean it up." Clark said past the lump in his throat, then leaned down to kiss the boy on the top of the head.

"Where's my mama?" the boy asked as he looked at the strangers in his home.

"I really don't know." Clark whispered as he held the boy a little tighter.

"Cyclops." Orroro called out from another doorway.

Scott walked to Orroro's side then looked into the room.

"She's dead." Orroro whispered.

Scott nodded, then fought to ask past the lump in his throat, "Did you find any information?"

"Not as yet. I just thought you should know." Orroro said quietly.

"I need to get him to the MedLab." Andrew said as he walked to Scott's side.

"We can't go back. We'll infect the mansion." Scott said with regret.

"I can take him to the containment room. I need to get him on an IV right away." Andrew said seriously.

"Hold on, I'll see what I can do." Scott said reluctantly, then cast his mind out to call to the Professor.

//Professor. The situation here is pretty bad. Andrew wants to take this boy back with us, but we'll risk infecting everyone in the mansion if we do.// Scott sent with regret.

//I am in the process of locking down the MedLab so your team may return. Make sure the area is sterilized before you leave.// Professor Xavier sent professionally.

//Thank you Professor. I'll take care of it.// Cyclops sent, feeling somewhat assured.

"Portal and Superman, when the Professor gives you the signal, take the child to the containment room and do whatever you can for him." Cyclops said seriously.

"Thank you." Clark said in a whisper.

Cyclops hit his communicator and said, "Storm, report to Wolverine. He may need your help making the sterilization look like an act of nature."

Orroro walked out of the bedroom carrying a manila folder.

"Here is all the information I could find about the boy. I will go now." Storm said as she handed the folder to Andrew.

Scott nodded and watched her go.

"Beast, how much time before your team is done?" Cyclops asked seriously.

"The computer information has been deleted and we are nearly finished neutralizing the samples, but the escaped virus will still need to be dealt with." Hank said with concern.

"We're going to sterilize the entire compound as soon as you're finished." Cyclops said decisively.

"Understood. We'll be leaving the lab in one minute." Hank said firmly.

Cyclops watched as Andrew created a portal. Clark carried the boy through the vortex, still holding him close to his chest.

"I need to go with him." Andrew said cautiously.

"I know. I'll call for a portal when we're finished."

"Wolverine, gather your team outside the lab. I'll meet you there in one minute." Cyclops said firmly.

"On our way." Wolverine said immediately.

After one last look around the home, Scott walked for the door.

* * * * *

"We're going to take care of you. Everything is going to be fine." Clark said as he stroked the boy's sweat slicked brown hair.

The boy looked at Clark with question for a moment and it seemed like he was going to say something, but then he started coughing again.

"Can't you give him something for the cough?" Clark asked desperately.

"Yeah. But I need to get him on an IV first. I don't know how long he's been sick, but he's dangerously dehydrated." Andrew said as he pushed a needle into the boy's vein.

The boy winced at the sudden jab.

"It's okay. He's just trying to help you get better." Clark said in a pained whisper.

The boy nodded cautiously that he understood.

"What's your name?" Clark asked gently.

"Gar." The boy said, then broke into a fit of coughing.

"Let's try this." Andrew said quickly as he pressed a hypospray to Gar's neck.

A moment later Gar stopped coughing and looked at Andrew with wonder.

"Oh good. I wasn't sure that would work on a Human." Andrew said with relief.

Clark looked at Andrew with surprise at the statement.

"Hold still a second Gar and I'll get a blood sample. I won't be able to do much with it, but it might be able to tell Dr. McCoy something when he gets back." Andrew said as he pressed the hypospray to Gar's upper arm.

"Don't worry about the blood sample. It doesn't hurt a bit." Clark said to Gar with assurance.

"Okay." Gar said weakly, then quietly asked, "What's your name?"

"My name is Clark."

Gar giggled and said, "That's a funny name."

"I think Gar is a funny name too. Is it short for something else?" Clark asked with a gentle smile.

"Yeah. Garfield." Gar said with a crinkled nose, then asked, "Is Clark short for something?"

"Nope. Just Clark."

"What's that?" Gar asked as he pointed.

Clark turned and saw that a vortex had formed behind them.

"That's just a way that we can travel. It's called a portal." Clark said gently.

* * * * *

"Come on John, you need to sit down." Bobby said as he walked through the portal on one side of John.

"Perhaps if we were to find a private place, I could endeavor to relax John." Trey said through the speaker in his biosuit.

"Yeah, let's do that. I love the way you relax me. Hey Clark! Come on over here so you can relax me too!" John said with an elated giggle.

"Is he okay?" Clark asked with concern.

"Power rush. He had to create this really big, really hot fire to sterilize the entire compound and it kind of went to his head." Bobby said as he guided John to a chair.

"It was such a fucking rush!" John said through his chuckles.

Matt walked through the portal next with his arm around Orroro, supporting most of her weight.

"Is Storm okay?" Andrew asked with concern.

"She was concentrating the winds on the compound to make John's fire into a firestorm while keeping it from spreading out of control. It took a lot of concentration." Matt said as he helped Orroro into a chair.

"He's still alive?" Hank asked as he stepped through the portal, followed by Tara and Scott.

"Yes. I've been able to relieve the worst of his symptoms, but there's no way he's going to be able to fight off this virus." Andrew said frankly.

"Since he has lived this long, perhaps there is a reason to hope. I'll need a blood sample." Hank said firmly, his voice sounding 'tinny' through the speaker in his biosuit.

Andrew handed the blood sample to Hank without comment.

"Tara, bring the samples we collected. Trey, I will need the computer files detailing the specifications of each strain." Hank said as he rushed out of the biolab.

"What is that?" Gar asked as he stared at Hank getting out of his biosuit in the foyer of the containment room.

"Oh, that's Beast. He's our doctor, his name is really Hank." Clark said frankly.

Gar stared out the window for a moment, then whispered, "He's kinda pretty."

Clark smiled at the young boy's words, then said, "Yeah, I guess he is."

* * * * *

"What's the verdict Hank?" Andrew asked hopefully through the containment room's speaker into the main lab.

"A moment." Hank said as he studied the computer files that Trey had retrieved.

"The boy is asleep right now, he's weak, but it looks like his body may be fighting it off." Andrew said hopefully.

"I believe this strain of the virus is an influenza variant. It's designed to kill the host more slowly than the main virus, thus providing more of an opportunity to spread the infection before the host dies. He will most likely appear to improve and become coherent before the final stage of the virus kills him." Hank said, then made an adjustment to the view on his computer screen.

Andrew shook his head and said, "Before I saw this, I just thought that bad things happened because people sometimes make self-serving choices. But knowing that someone created this, knowing full well the pain and suffering it would cause... seeing this proves to me that evil truly does exist."

"Andrew, will you check to see if the boy's fever has broken?" Hank asked as he concentrated on the details of the different variant viruses before him.

"Yeah." Andrew said quickly.

* * * * *

"How's he doing?" Andrew asked as he walked to Clark's side.

"Not good. He's sweating and he seems to be in pain." Clark said quietly.

Andrew ran a quick scan, then put a hand on Clark's shoulder as he said, "We'll do whatever we can for him."

"I know. I just wish there was something more I could do." Clark said quietly.

Andrew nodded as he walked to the window so he could face Hank in the BioLab while talking to him.

* * * * *

"No, his fever hasn't broken." Andrew said quietly.

"Good." Hank said as he kept his focus on the computer screen before him.

"Good? Do you mean that there's something you can do to help him?" Andrew asked hopefully.

"No. Unfortunately it's too late for that." Hank said with apology.

"Then what's good?" Andrew asked cautiously.

"It's good that he hasn't progressed into stage 3. That's when the true horror of the virus will begin to manifest, right now it's simply behaving like the flu." Hank said reluctantly.

Andrew looked at Hank with question, but couldn't find the will to ask what horrors lay in store for the boy.

"Gather everyone. I know which strain of the virus we're dealing with now, so we can take the proper steps to deal with it." Hank said seriously.

Andrew walked around the containment room and gathered everyone to join him at the window.

When everyone was assembled, Hank said, "This variant of the virus can be countered with the anti-viral agents that we have developed. A simple inoculation should be able to prevent any members of the team from contracting the virus."

"What about Gar?" Clark asked with concern as he glanced back to the boy in the bed.

"I'm afraid that his condition has progressed beyond the point where the anti-virals can be of any benefit." Hank said gravely.

"Isn't there anything you can do for him?" Andrew asked desperately.

"Let's begin the inoculations." Hank said in a quieter voice, then with Tara at his side, walked to the foyer of the containment room to change back into his biosuit.

* * * * *

"Everyone, you will need to stay in the containment room for observation for just a while longer. Make yourselves comfortable while the anti-virus does it's job." Hank said seriously through the biosuit's speaker.

"What about Gar? Isn't there anything you can do for him?" Clark asked desperately.

"I'm sorry Clark. The only possible thing that might be of help to him is the counter-virus that was created to enhance the X-gene. Leaving aside the ethical considerations of pursuing that option, I can say with near certainty that the boy wouldn't be able to survive the side effects of that added viral infection." Hank said seriously.

Andrew glanced at Hank with question at the analysis. Before he could think better of it, Andrew cautiously asked, "Isn't that the virus that you and Jean were infected with?"

"Yes." Beast said as he looked at Andrew darkly.

"And the beneficial virus, is it still alive and active in your body?" Andrew asked cautiously.

"Yes. But it is more or less dormant since my X-gene has undergone complete enhancement." Hank said carefully.

"Right, but that dormant version of the virus... wouldn't it be possible to create some sort of slow acting cure for Gar based on that? You know, rather than hitting him full-force with a concentrated dose of the active virus." Andrew asked speculatively.

Hank considered for a moment, then slowly nodded before saying, "There are a number of factors that might prevent this from working, but if we begin now, there is at least a possibility of doing something for the boy."

"Just tell me what I can do to help." Andrew said with determination.

"Can your scanning device detect the X-gene?" Hank asked seriously.

"Yes. I've made a preset test mode for that." Andrew said immediately.

"Good. If we're lucky, the child has the X-gene dormant in his body. And if that is the case, then we at least have a chance." Hank said, then moved quickly toward the containment room door.

"Tell me if there's anything I can do to help him." Clark said immediately from Andrew's side.

"Just stick with me for the moment and I'll let you know." Andrew said, then with tricorder in hand, walked back to Gar's bedside.

* * * * *

"Good news." Andrew said as he looked at the results on his tricorder.

"He's a mutant?" Clark asked hopefully.

"That's right. His X-gene is sitting there, just waiting to be activated." Andrew said with a relieved smile.

"So if Doctor McCoy can make the cure, he should be alright?" Clark asked as his excitement increased.

Andrew thought about the question, then started to slowly shake his head.

"What's wrong?" Clark asked with concern at Andrew's reaction.

"The cure... from a certain point of view it could be seen as being worse than the disease." Andrew said as he slowly met Clark's concerned gaze.

"Why? What will happen?" Clark asked desperately.

"I don't know. But before Dr. McCoy got the virus, he looked just like an average non-mutant person. It physically changed him into the beast that he is now." Andrew said with pain at saying the words.

"At least he'll be alive." Clark said in a small voice.

"As I understand it, when Jean Grey was infected with exactly the same virus as Hank, her mental and extra-sensory abilities grew beyond a point that anyone could understand. She had to leave Earth because she was too powerful to exist here." Andrew said quietly.

"So something like that could happen to Gar?" Clark asked in a whisper.

"Yes. Actually, anything could happen. I think it all depends on what kind of mutation he has in his dormant X-gene. And as far as I know, there isn't any way to predict what mutant ability, if any, he would have."

"What should we do?" Clark asked, obviously afraid of the answer.

"I don't have an answer for that, I'm just saying that we need to at least consider the consequences before we end up making matters a whole lot worse. Would it be worse for him to die a quick death or to suffer for decades in a severely mutated form?" Andrew asked slowly.

"Let me talk to Gar for a minute. I'll try to explain it to him and see what he says." Clark said quietly.

"I could do it if you want." Andrew said, seeing the pain in Clark's eyes.

"No. I promised him that I'd take care of him. I'll do it. And besides, if he says that he doesn't want the treatment, then it'll save Dr. McCoy a lot of time and trouble." Clark finished with a forced smile.

"Don't let Hank's attitude throw you off. I know him well enough to say that he would do ANYTHING to cure Gar." Andrew said seriously.

Clark nodded, then took the few steps to stand by Garfield's bed.

* * * * *

"Gar. I need you to wake up, just for a minute." Clark said as he gently shook the boy's shoulder.

"Clark?" Gar asked weakly.

"Yeah. It's me. I need to ask you something really serious." Clark said as he looked into the boy's eyes.

"Okay." Gar said in a whisper.

"You know the big blue furry doctor that you saw before?" Clark asked in a leading tone.

"Yeah. Beast." Gar said slowly.

"Right. What I need to know is how you'd feel if something like that happened to you." Clark asked seriously.

"Like what?" Gar asked in confusion.

"Like if you woke up and you were blue or furry or something else really different like that." Clark said with concern.

Gar looked into Clark's eyes for a moment, searching for his reason for asking the question.

Finally Gar said, "I guess if that happened, it'd be okay. As long as I could live where you and Beast are. That way I wouldn't be alone."

Clark smiled at the answer and said, "Thanks Gar. That's what I needed to know. Try to get some sleep so you can get better."

"Clark? Where's my mama?" Gar asked quickly.

"I don't know Gar. Let me see if I can find out and I'll tell you when you wake up." Clark said gently.

Gar reluctantly nodded, then closed his eyes.

* * * * *

Clark walked to the window of the containment room and said, "He said he wants to do it."

"Excuse me?" Hank asked with surprise.

"I talked to Gar and asked him how he would feel if he woke up and he was blue or had fur or anything like that. He said that as long as he had you and me around, he wouldn't mind." Clark said in a rush.

"Why would he want me?" Hank asked cautiously.

"He thinks you're pretty." Clark said with a chuckle.

Hank thought about the words for a moment, then nodded with resolve.

"I can't be sure if this will even work. The boy has the X gene, but since he hasn't reached puberty yet, it's dormant... I am certain that the virus will activate the X gene. Beyond that, your guess is as good as mine what will happen to him."

"So he's going to get his mutant powers a little early?" Clark asked cautiously.

Hank shook his head and said, "More than that. Whatever mutant ability he might have had before will be augmented somewhere between a hundred and a thousand times."

"But the other choice is to let him die?" Clark asked quietly.

Hank looked at Clark through the heavy glass and nodded.

* * * * *

As Hank began to gather the things he would need, he noticed the time.

"Andrew, while I attend to administering treatment to the child, would you do something for me?" Hank asked hopefully.

"Sure. What can I do?" Andrew asked immediately.

"The anti-viral treatment should have worked by now. I've developed a blood test to detect the virus. If you'll gather blood samples from everyone, Tara can run the test and we can begin clearing people to leave the containment room." Hank said seriously.

"Sure, that sounds simple enough." Andrew said happily.

"Tara? I'm going to need you in the containment room." Hank called as he looked around.

"I'm right here." Tara said shyly as she stepped to Andrew's side.

Andrew jumped at the sound, then said in a chuckle, "Even wearing a bright yellow suit, she can still blend into the background."

Tara shyly smiled at Andrew's comment, then looked at her uncle with question.

"I need for you to help Andrew draw blood on everyone, then run the X-Virus test. If all the tests come back negative, we can clear people to leave the containment room." Hank said seriously.

Tara nodded, then looked to Andrew with question.

* * * * *

"Clark, we're cleared to leave." John said with concern.

"I'm staying here with Gar." Clark said immediately, then reached down to smooth the boy's sweat soaked hair.

"Then we'll stay with you." John said, glancing at Trey and Bobby with question.

Clark thought for a moment as he gently petted Gar, then he quietly said, "No. I'd rather you go for now. It could be days before we even know if this is going to work."

"Then maybe we could come back later and stay with him so you could have a break?" John asked cautiously.

Clark looked at John with love and unshed tears in his eyes as he said, "That would be great."

"Call us immediately if you are in need of anything." Trey said seriously.

"I will. I promise." Clark said with a forced smile.

"And call us if there's any change in his condition." Bobby said in a whisper.

Clark nodded that he would, then looked down at Gar with concern as he seemed to be twitching in his sleep.

"Come on guys." Bobby said, and urged John and Trey to walk with him out of the containment room.

Clark had his full attention focused on Gar, feeling the tiniest jerking movements just under Gar's skin.

He bit his lip, wondering if this was a symptom of the virus, the counter-virus or a manifestation of the battle going on inside the frail boy.

As Clark was about to call Dr. McCoy to check Gar's condition, he noticed something unusual.

Clark closed his eyes, then looked at the boy again, wanting to be sure that it wasn't just some combination of the fluorescent lighting and his tired eyes.

But as he watched, there was no disputing what he was seeing.

Gar was turning green.

To Be Continued...

Editor's Notes: Well it looks like there has been a serious situation here. I sure hope they can help Gar.

He certainly deserves to live. I wonder if Clark will adopt him. I mean how bad could it be to have a green kid in the family?

Kurt seems to be getting along really well and maybe his life will improve even more.

I am really glad that MultiMapper has updated this story. As always, he brings a special touch to any universe he writes about. I am ready for the next installment.

Darryl AKA The Radio Rancher