The Scorpion in
The Legacy of the Scorpion



A 7-Chapter Masked Hero Adventure!

by Howard G. Martin
About the author


Previously: Moments before he would have been shot by a crooked cop, the Scorpion is teleported from 1940 to 2080, there to be recruited by Commissioner Valentine to clean up a future NY which has become a cesspool of corruption. With new hi-tech weapons, the Scorpion learns that corruption extents to the New York Mayor. He tries to sabotage the Mayor's election campaign, but finds the public is so cynical they vote the Mayor in anyway. Deciding to take a more hands on approach, he pays the Mayor a visit. The Mayor tries to shoot him and falls out a window...
Chapter Six - The Decision

IT WAS LATE AT THE QUANTAMATIC BUILDING, but not the same night. A brooding Scorpion sat in the secret laboratory, his chair facing the entrance to the Time Portal, his face in his hands.

Two days had passed since Mayor Baadritten's body had been found on Fifth Avenue. A huge, well-spoken but strangely frightening man with a bandage covering his nose, named Jack Barbados, was all over the media, talking about Mayor Baadritten's murder. He claimed that the masked hitman who called himself the Scorpion had killed the Mayor. Barbados explained, on all the major news feeds, how he was the Mayor's bodyguard, how he and the Mayor had been attacked at home, and how the Mayor had been brutally murdered.

There was a public outcry, not because people had liked Mayor Eustace Baudritten--feared was the more accurate term--but a crime like this made people feel vulnerable, exposed. If a man as powerful as the Mayor could be murdered in the night, in his high tower, with his bodyguard present, maybe they were all just one unlucky night away from death.

People signed petitions and picketed the Commissioner's office. The media accused him of being soft on crime and demanded that he arrest this murdering mystery man. Commissioner Valentine was forced to call for a manhunt. Many of the city's cops, no longer receiving money and favors from the Mayor's office, were only too happy to participate. The FBI was even brought in to consult. All entrances to and exits from the city had been blocked off. All vehicles leaving the city were being searched. The FBI estimated that the Scorpion would be found within twenty-four hours.

The laboratory door opened suddenly behind the Scorpion. High heels clacked against the concrete floor. The door closed.

"Hello, Eve," said the Scorpion without turning.

"What are you going to do, Alex?" she asked.

"Go home."

"You mean back to Nineteen Forty?"

"Yes."

"What about the city? What about us?"

"I've wasted enough time in this hopeless place," said the Scorpion, a trace of anger in his voice. "I can't save your city. No one man could, it's too far gone."

"So you're giving up, just running away?" she asked as she walked toward the Scorpion's chair, a hint of anger entering her voice, as well.

"I call it trying another tack."

"Huh?"

"I don't give up. I don't fight hopeless battles, either."

"What are you saying?"

"I'm saying that I can't save your city directly, but maybe I can save it indirectly, by going back and continuing the job I started in 1930. Look, one guy against a whole city, hell, a whole country, that's not going to work. But, that same guy, working at it, inspiring people, over many years, could make a lasting impression. In 1940, people believe in me. I'm a hero to them, not a murderer on the lam."

"It won't work, Alex. I'm not positive--because time is different now--but I believe we pulled you from the time and place that we did because you were about to die. If I'm right, and you go back, you won't accomplish anything but your own extinction."

"That won't happen. I'll be wary now. I'll know it's coming so I'll be vigilant."

"Fine," she said, still with a trace of anger in her voice. "Then what about my second question?"

"What?"

"What about us?"

"Well, come with me."

"Back to 1940? That's like asking you to go live the rest of your life in 1840. They didn't even have decent medical care in 1940."

"You're a doctor. You can teach them. Bring the Time Portal gun. If you hate it, you can always come back."

"It's not that simple. From what we understand about time travel, if I go back with you to the past, my past life, here in the future, will be changed forever. A new future will be created. The one that I remember as my past will never have been. Even if I use the Time Portal gun to travel forward, there's no reason to think that my family or friends would be there. Alex, I might not even be born in this new future, as a result of the changes that we make simply by both going back and living out our lives in the past. You're asking me to give up everything I've ever known."

"If you aren't born, what will happen to you in 1940?" asked the Scorpion, trying to make sense of what he was being told. "Are you just going to disappear before my eyes?"

"No. I'll be fine in the past. The future that I knew as my past will still have been there, it will just be a future we can never get back to again. Think of time like a train switching tracks. Right now, time has gone down one track. If I go back with you, time will irrevocably go down another."

"The last thing I want to do is ruin your life, Eve. But, I've seen your scrapbook. You know you'd love to see what it was really like. Come with me. It will be a great adventure," he said with a rare smile on his face.

"Do you really want me with you that badly?"

"Look, I've always been a loner. I liked it that way. I felt it made the Scorpion more effective to have no emotional ties. But now--all I can think of is what a nightmare the rest of my life will be if I never see you again."

The Scorpion rose from the office chair and walked to the Time Portal's control console. He checked the adjustments, realized that the date, time, latitude, and longitude coordinates were still set to the configuration that was used to bring him to 2080. He changed the configuration entry marked RECEIVE to SEND, selected ACTIVATE and waited. A few seconds later, SYSTEM READY flashed on the console. He walked over and removed the portable time displacement device from its holster on the Time Portal wall and held it out to Eve Kingston.

"Who knows, this may come in handy."

"There are so many things I don't know about you, Alex. I--I don't even know who you are," she said worriedly.

"Yes you do. I'm Alex Campbell. Now come on. We've got a future to save."

Eve hesitated for a moment. Then her face brightened into a smile. She walked over and took the time displacement gun from him.

"Okay, Alex Campbell," she said. "Let's go save the world."

He took her hand and they walked through the Portal doorway.


Previous episode: The Mayor

Next episode: Back to 1940


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The Legacy of the Scorpion is copyright Howard Martin.