A Leap in Anger, Part 5, part 5-2 Interview with the Interviewer With Jack Mcgee finished talking about casting the Hulk TV show, he sat, ready to at long last have his interview with John Doe-whom he had long suspected was a very much alive Doctor David Banner. With all the coincidences here and there, he'd have to be a fool not to. He'd gone legit again- The Daily Bugle was ten times the paper the National Register was-and now his comeback would be complete. It was only beginning to dawn on him that he would somehow have to protect Banner from his own kind and worse. Still, the vultures would be kept at bay and the guilty would be punished, where appropriate. Jack had no idea how truly correct he was, and the price he would pay as a result. Little did he also know that Doctor David Banner was a hologram talking in my mind, 8 years in the future, and that I was, in fact, Sam Beckett, another scientist with mixed results, relaying new information that David held close to his vest. "Just talk to him, Sam. Take your cues from me." "Since I don't have your complete memories, I would almost have to, wouldn't I, David?" Once again David smiled the smile of the canaryless cat, worrying me. "Are you going to talk to thin air, or me, Doctor Banner? An insanity defense might help you at the trial for Dr. Marks' murder, but I'm not sure how good that act is". Both McGee and David had "I've got You" smiles on their faces, and I didn't know which one made me more nervous. With David's coaching, I answered a lot of McGee's questions, filling in a decade-plus gap. David, through me, ended up answering a lot more questions in a lot more minute detail than I would have volunteered-or that I thought David would ever want to. It was clear that David was drawing him in, but for what purpose I couldn't say-or perhaps didn't want to contemplate. Also, " I can't help but take note, David, that you're steering clear of the fire that killed Elena", I whispered, while McGee updated extensive notes. "Relax, Sam", with that smile again. "I'm getting to it now-or, rather-" "Jack?" Fully in his glory, McGee responded, "Yes, David?" Almost parroting David's prompts, I asked "Where were you the night of the fire?" As though splashed with cold water, Mcgee said "What the hell kind of question is that? Who's conducting this interview, anyway?" Annoyed, and defensive. "Well, Jack, I'm granting this interview. I could have run off, and you'd be hard pressed to stop me or prove your story-as you well know." David's coldness toward this man was now my coldness. How far could a leapee influence me? I thought again of Oswald, and shook, but continued. "So I ask again, where were you the night of the fire that killed Elena Marks and put me on the run? The register vents?" Jack Mcgee was now sweating, and growing upset-without benefit of gamma-enhanced metabolism, "I saw you coming out of that fire, with her crushed body.." "She died of inhalation, Jack. Something you were treated for, too. Pretty bad, too. I checked the medical records." "I-I got too close to the fire, you must've changed and tripped something up.." "I can't prove it, Jack, but I changed as a result of the fire, not before. I tried to get Elena out, but wasn't in time. I got-" pointing at him directly-"you out in time, though, didn't I,Jack?" I could see Mcgee was reviewing that night, trying desperately to find a way out of the scenario we were building-David was building. More and more, I was along for the ride. "The fire was declared an arson, Jack. I checked the insurance records. It started in a storage closet, from chemicals that were knocked over. Was that where you were that night, Jack?" I/we let it hang for a moment, then plunged the knife "You started the fire, Jack. The one that killed Elena. The one that destroyed my original work. The one you blamed on me. You didn't mean to, but (No, David stop, that's enough) aggressive reporting has its price, doesn't it-"A long pause-"Old Friend?". The head shake I involuntarily gave drove home the sarcasm. Unneccesarily. Jack Mcgee looked shaken to his core, as David had intended. After 13 years, he'd gotten even with Jack McGee, the only thing that mattered to him. "Oh, God, it was me-IT was always me!" was all he could say as he walked out of the cabin. Enraged, I turned on David: "WAS THAT AT ALL NECCESARY". His face told me he thought it was.