II. 25 years ago…
Just north of the Canada border, Henry Buttlefeld sat in the small office he used for his laboratory. He knew he needed to hurry but his scientist side recognized these things couldn’t be rushed. After so many failed experiments and tests he believed with all his heart he had perfected his pill. His creation he called the Samson Pill was ready for its final test subject: him. He trusted in his calculations and theories. This would work. This would fix his flaws. Comparatively, it was a rather big pill. But considering all it was about to do it wasn’t that big. He could swallow it once. That’s all it would take. Finally, he would become the man his dad could be proud of.
It didn’t come cheap or easy. In order to get funding for it he had to make some promises to some unsavory people. People he planned to double cross. But he had so much faith in his creation he figured he’d be able to deal with them after he swallowed the Samson Pill. If his calculations were correct, and how could they be wrong? He would be able to handle anyone that stood in his way from now on. There would be no limit to his achievement or what he would accomplish. Granted, he would have appreciated having access to his power when he was still in his twenties but he was sure he would still be able to achieve his dreams even in his early forties. Science, after all, could not be rushed if it was going to succeed. The science had to be right and he had complete confidence it was now ready for him.
He picked up his little gem of a pill and took a moment to admire it. This rather large sized pill was destined to have a great impact. Armies would come knocking on his door for this. It was quite possible his work could create the perfect soldier.
It was his vanity that did him in. He should have popped the pill in his mouth instead of admiring it. If he would have done that small act this whole story would have turned out differently. Perhaps, lucky for us, it didn’t. Even though he created the pill he wasn’t equipped to handle it. In hindsight, his disposition would not have gelled with the enhancement. So, while he sat there looking at his creation he didn’t realize a hooded figure carrying a small can of gas slip in through the backdoor. Typically he kept the door locked but he was so deep in thought he didn’t hear the lock being picked. He didn’t notice that he was no longer alone in the room. And he didn’t realize his last thought would ironically be about his dad and how he was about to finally prove to him his capabilities.
As Henry’s lifeless body slumped over the table, a masked figure placed the pill in a small container and started looking through Henry’s papers on his desk.
“That’s the trouble with you, mate,” someone behind the hooded figure said. “You act too rash. The scientist needed to remain alive for now.”
The figure spoke slowly without turning around. “I recognize that voice. Is that you Oz?”
Oz responded by knocking the assailant out with the butt of his gun.
“Sorry mate,” Oz said and took the pill away from the hooded figure. “My employer wants this.” He looked at Henry’s computer and clicked on a few files. “And I think there are others that will pay handsomely for this data.” He looked over the papers on the desk and picked up a small leather bound notebook and put it in his pocket. Then he loaded a floppy disc into the drive and copied several files to it before pointing his gun at the monitor and shooting it before aiming at the computer itself. For good measure he picked up the computer deck and threw it down with great force. With the pill, notebook, and the disc tucked in his pockets safely he poured the fuel the other assailant brought on the two bodies and throughout the room.
Before he left the room, he lit a cigarette. “My employer thanks you both for your cooperation.” He flicked a match at the fuel soaked papers and walked out as the room caught fire. He was safely down the street when the flames heated the chemicals inside the lab and caused an explosion.
The story of the scientist’s death would be buried in the newspapers. Described as an accident by a “careless scientist working late at night” Henry’s life work would never make his dad proud of him. It would take many years before anyone uttered Henry’s name again. The other body was never mentioned in any article. It was as if that person never existed.
Meanwhile, at the very moment Henry took his final breath a baby boy took his first breath. Malone Winn would become Cooper Baldwin’s best friend. Although not apparent to most people, Malone would be one part of the stabilizing force that would keep Cooper from sharing Henry’s fate.