Alternate Scene from
Time of the Hawk
Hawk awoke to bright light, loud, garish sounds
and the presence of many humans. He
also found his wrists and ankles confined by some kind of enhanced
to figure a way to escape from the devices, he chose to carefully survey
his surroundings. A way of
escape would present itself a bit later.
Several paces to the side of his bed, a large human with a laser
pistol at his side stood guard. The
man regarded him carefully, his arms crossed over his chest.
Hawk next wondered how he had come to be in this place, which he
assumed was the ship that Captain Rogers had come from.
That someone had sneaked up on him was apparent.
Somehow Hawk had expected to hear a ship similar to the one that
Rogers had been flying and having signaled the rescuers, would then have
time to time to get away. They were devious, these humans.
He was in some kind of medical facility. There were many humans working around another bed halfway across the room that he determined contained the human. An older man, one who seemed almost too old to be doing such work, was in charge. It was then that Hawk noticed that his knee no longer hurt. They must have done something to him while he was still unconscious. Because of the restraints, he was unable to test his theory.
He watched the humans across the room. One human, a woman who had been watching from the side of the
room, noticed that he was awake and came over to him. Hawk watched her, but made no attempt to speak to her.
He would speak to no one on this ship; he would only try to
She motioned the guard away. The man complied but still stood just inside the doorway.
“I am Colonel Wilma Deering,” she said to Hawk. “I am assuming you are Hawk?”
Hawk studied the woman, noting that even among
bird people she might be considered beautiful, but he did not answer her
“Buck wasn’t able to say much, but he did
say that you tried to help him with his injuries,” she said. “I want to thank you for that.”
Still Hawk said nothing.
“He also mentioned that all of your people had
been killed by humans,” she added, her voice holding a note of
sadness. “I am sorry to
It could be a trick, Hawk thought. He continued his silence.
“You made quite an impression on him.
He begged me to let you stay behind when the med shuttle showed
up,” she continued.
That startled him and Hawk gazed at the injured
human before looking back up at Deering.
“You know, the judiciary would be very
inclined in your favor if you told them what happened to your people,”
“I will not talk to human courts,” Hawk said tersely, breaking his silence to make this one point very clear.
She gazed at him for a few more minutes and then
“How is he?” he asked.
When he nodded, she continued, “He is undergoing treatment with
an orthopedic mender. But
because part of his injuries also damaged tissue, it will be a bit
longer. And they have to be
careful, because some of his injuries involved the brain.”
The woman took a long look at Rogers before turning back. “But he is expected to fully recover. Again, I thank you for your care of him.
And I am sorry for your loss.”
Hawk said nothing.
“Soon you will be escorted to a room where you
will be held under arrest,” she informed him. “Your injury has been tended to, and the doctor will give you
instructions on how to keep from reinjuring it.” She smiled and then turned away, clearly worried about Rogers.
Hawk continued to watch quietly, ignoring the
guard. He scrutinized the
room, the people working in the room and the doorways in and out. Occasionally, he surreptitiously studied his guard, trying to
find a weakness, but so far could find none. Finally, the old human came over to see him.
“Ah, finally have a moment to talk to you, my
friend,” he said. “I am
Hawk remembered Rogers mentioning that name. He remembered it in conjunction with the history of his people
and wondered what this doddering old man knew about his people.
“And you are Hawk.” The old man smiled congenially. “Does your knee hurt?” he asked.
Hawk shook his head slightly.
“Good, very good.
I hoped that there would be nothing that would require surgery. I was able to calibrate the machine to your physiology to correct
the problem in your knee. Of course it didn’t heal it completely, just knit the torn
ligaments a bit faster than it would happen if left to heal naturally. If you follow my directions, you won’t have any more problems
Hawk said nothing; only wondering what machine
had been used on him. One
like that being used on Rogers? Regardless, their healing of his injury would only make his
escape that much easier. His
dark eyes continued to study the old man.
“I am told that you had a very good reason to
hate humans,” the doctor continued almost without taking a breath. “I am so sorry for your loss.”
Again, Hawk remained silent. He was tired of these patronizing humans and only wanted to
be left alone.
“But after you have rested, you must tell me
about your peoples’ history,” the old man rambled on. “It’s so fascinating.”
Hawk was glad for the captain’s sake that
there were other medical personnel working on his injuries.
If it had been up to this old doctor, Rogers would be dead now,
Hawk thought wryly. “I knew my theories were right when I saw those glyphs in your
caves,” the old man continued. “They
are just like those I have seen on Earth, the Easter Islands.”
Hawk remained stoic, although under different
circumstances he might have been intensely interested.
The old man reached out and touched his arm
lightly. Hawk controlled
himself and did not flinch. “I
have to see to Captain Rogers’ care.
You will be escorted to your quarters and I hope I can talk to
you tomorrow.” The old man nodded to the guard, who told Hawk to
“The restraints,” Hawk said simply, pointing
with his bound hands to his ankles.
“Of course, of course,” the old doctor said. “And rest that knee for a couple of days.”
“Don’t try to escape or hurt anyone,” the
Hawk just sat with quiet dignity as the ankle
restraints were nullified, then he followed the guard out the door where
two other humans met them. Soon
he was sitting in a smallish cabin.
And there he continued to sit for most of the
next week. Food was brought
to him three times a day, but he barely ate half of it.
Koori had not prepared it. Humans
came to see him, the old doctor most often, but also humans who claimed
to be his ‘legal counsel.’ To
the latter, he gave only scant courtesy, mainly to reiterate what he had
told everyone from Rogers on down—that he refused to talk to, or in
any way deal with human courts. To the doctor, he was polite. The old man told him his theories about Hawk’s people, some of
which seemed somewhat absurd, but other observations seemed right on
target. At times Hawk found
himself engaging the old man in conversation, but would catch himself
and stop answering questions.
At no time during that week did he find
opportunity to escape. But
he knew it was only a matter of time. For the most part he acted compliant.
They would finally get complacent, these humans. They liked to think they were so superior to everyone else that
they would believe that he had given up.
Finally, after almost a week, the woman, Colonel
Deering came to see him.
“Hawk, I’m sorry that I haven’t been by to
see you earlier,” she said.
Hawk wasn’t going to talk to her, but her first statement surprised him. And he felt lonely. “Sorry? Why should you feel sorry?” he asked. “What am I to you that you would be sorry for not coming to see me?”
“You helped Buck and that means a great deal
to me,” she replied meaningfully.
Hawk saw that there was a relationship between
this woman and Rogers more than that of just shipmates. He nodded. “I have
been wondering about the captain’s recovery.” And to his surprise, he found that his statement was true. As much as he would like to believe that he cared nothing for
these humans, he did care what happened to Rogers.
“Would you like to see him?”
“He is well enough?”
“Yes, he has been fairly lucid for the past
day,” Deering told him. “Dr.
Goodfellow has declared him fit enough to have visitors.” She paused. “And
he has been asking for you . . . even before his treatment was finished
and he was fully conscious.”
“Asking for me?” Hawk repeated.
“Yes, Hawk,” she said with a slight smile.
“You made quite an impression on him.”
“Yes, I think I would like to see Captain
Rogers,” Hawk finally said. He
would like to see the human if for no other reason than to see how this
ship was laid out. While he
had made the trip once before, another such trip would give him more
details; things that he had missed the first time.
“Good, I will not make you wear the sonic
restraints,” she said, then seeing a light of interest in his eyes,
Wilma added, “There will be a guard.”
“I understand,” Hawk said simply. He followed the woman down a corridor, a guard about
five paces behind him. After
several more corridors and a turbo lift, then another corridor, they
arrived at the medical facility. He
walked in to the facility and immediately saw Rogers in a bed.
“Hawk!” the human cried out, sounding
genuinely happy to see him.
Hawk said nothing, but walked closer to the bed,
whereon the human lay. “I
see you are better.”
“Yeah, modern science is amazing these
days,” Buck said. He had
noticed that Hawk had walked in without a limp, so they had worked on
him, too. “They treating
“Well for a prisoner,” Hawk responded, not
wishing to prolong any conversation. He was grateful that the human was healing well, but that was the
extent of his feelings for this, or any other human. The old doctor walked in from another room and greeted him as
well. Hawk only
nodded to him. There was
something endearing about this old man, but he had already become
slightly attached to one human, he didn’t want to become drawn to any
“I am hoping that you will change your mind
and tell me more about your people, Hawk,” Goodfellow said. “There is so much to learn and you are the only one that has
this information now.”
“Yes,” Hawk murmured, feeling a stab of pain
at the doctor’s words.
“Oh, dear, I am sorry, dear fellow.
I didn’t mean to open any wounds, Hawk,” the doctor said. “Whenever you are comfortable talking.
I don’t want to force you to do anything.”
“Force me?” Hawk asked. The sadness was replaced by the beginnings of anger. “I am forced on this ship. I am forced to be a prisoner. I am forced away from my home. I was forced to live alone. And you say you don’t want to force me to do anything?”
“Hawk,” Buck said softly.
Hawk looked at the human responsible for his
capture. Regardless of
whether Rogers beat him or not, the human had still effectively captured
“Dr. Goodfellow didn’t mean it that way,”
Buck said, wishing he knew what would break through the barrier of
Suddenly, Hawk felt the cold despair that had
periodically gripped him since Koori’s death and he took a deep
breath. “I know. But I am a prisoner nonetheless.”
“You can change that, Hawk,” Buck said,
almost pleading. “Just
give a statement telling what happened to your people.”
Hard, steel determination took over from the
despair. “Never. I will not beg from human courts, I will not recognize human
Buck sighed. He had been told that the trial was in two weeks. That was scant time to change the feelings and beliefs and
prejudices of a lifetime. It
certainly wasn’t time to change the raw emotions evoked by the
horrendous events of the past month. “Hawk, please consider it. You’re a courageous man….”
“I am not a man!”
“Uh, sorry, Hawk, what I am saying is that it
would be a damned shame if you let yourself be judged and executed when
it could be prevented by only telling the truth of what happened,”
“I appreciate your sentiments, Rogers, but I
will not reconsider,” Hawk said vehemently.
“I would like to go back to my cell now.”
Buck sighed and watched as the proud birdman was
escorted out of the medical facility.
“What a shame, what a terrible shame,” Dr.
Goodfellow said sadly.
Buck couldn’t help but agree and he determined that in the next two weeks he would do whatever he could to change Hawk’s mind. Never before in his short tenure in this century had anything seemed quite so important to him….