|Published||July 4, 2007|
|Artists|| Matthew Dow Smith|
Ryan Sook (cover)
|Outline||The life and training of a hunter is difficult and rigorous... and John Winchester is starting at the beginning! As he takes the first step on this harrowing journey, he must make a difficult and gut-wrenching decision in regards to his children.|
|Timeline|| December 1982|
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Dean -- Your brother's too young to understand any of this, but you're beginning to, and that scares me. Since your mother died, I've seen unspeakable things, and now you've seen them and that's my fault. One day you'll see -- I had to leave you today. I feel the darkness of the road I'm traveling on now. It's not a place for you. But when I'm done, I promise you: the day will come when I never have to leave you again.
– John Winchester, Supernatural: Origins #3
Date: December 1982
Places: Nebraska - Elgin, Illinois
Dean backs up his belongings and tells Sammy that he is leaving, having grown frustrated with their living situation and John's hunting. Before he leaves he tells Sam that he'll find him again some day.
After disposing of Jacob's body, John and the hunter head back to collect Sam and Dean, when questioned what happened to Uncle Jacob, Fletcher tells Dean that he take off and that he would be coming along with them, telling Dean to call him "Uncle Hunter." When John asks Hunter why they have to leave, he tells him that the hellhound wasn't Mary's real killer and is just a pet, saying that after he injured it it went back to his master, a demon. Initially shocked at the prospect that a demon killed Mary, John is still steadfast in want to kill it. Hunter warns that if it is a demon, he's got himself a big hunt ahead of him. So with their trail cold, and needing new clues, Fletcher takes the Winchesters to Harvelle's Roadhouse. Skeptical about what sort of clues they are going to find in a dive bar, Fletcher reveals that everyone there is a hunter.
John and Hunter take the hellhound tooth to another hunter named Ichi, telling him they're on the trail of a demon. Ichi tells them he can't help, and that he's on his own hunt, a "heeler" out in the woods killing people. Hunter asks Ichi if he and John can tag along, so John can get some hands on experience hunting. With Ellen agree to watch Sam and Dean, the trio head to Baldwin Pass to hunt. Based on intel from talking to locals, Ichi tracks the heeler to a shack in the middle of the woods. Ichi kicks the door down, but the shack is empty and smells of a fresh kill. When they question John if he sees anything outside, he is suddenly attacked by the heeler, when John has a chance to kill it, he intentionally misses, telling Hunter he couldn't do it. Ichi is able to hit it in the leg, and while Hunter calms John's nerves, he goes and finishes it off.
On the drive back, Hunter tells John he needs to turn his fear into anger, and think about what would happen if he wasn't there to stop a monster from killing and spreading evil. When they arrive at the Roadhouse, Hunter notices Ichi has a leg wound, he tells John that Ichi is dead and that the thing in the woods was a shapeshifter that took the form of a heeler, and when Ichi went to kill it the shifter got the upper hand and took Ichi's form. John doesn't believe him, but Hunter tells him to look for the signs, like Ichi wound being in the same place as the heeler/shifter's he gives John the shotgun, telling him to kill it while it's weak. As Ichi approaches the two, John notices a retinal flare in one of Ichi's eyes, John takes aim and fires and while the shifter is on the ground walks to it and blows it's head off, unbeknownst that Dean has witnessed the whole thing.
Some time later, John and Hunter take Sam and Dean to Elgin, Illinois and leaves them with family friends while he goes on a hunt for a few weeks with Hunter. He asks Dean to forgive him, and that he'll be back soon. As the two drive off, John pens a note for Dean in his journal promising everything will be over soon. He asks Hunter to pull over, he tells him he doesn't know if he has it in him to be a hunter, or that if he wants to. Hunter tells John he is dealing with the top of the food chain, hunting a demon and that it will require sacrifice from him and tells him he needs to see his wife one last time.
Sam returns to the motel after school, and sees John's Journal on the nightstand. Ignoring that he is not supposed to touch, he opens and reads the note that John wrote Dean after dropping him off in Elgin. Just as he finsihes it Dean, walks in the room and tells Sammy to get his stuff off his bed.
- John Winchester: Husband to Mary Winchester, who becomes obsessed with finding out what killed his wife.
- Dean Winchester: Five-year-old son of John and Mary Winchester.
- Sam Winchester: Eight-month-old son of John and Mary Winchester.
- Hunter: An unnamed hunter that takes John under his wing, and shows him the ins and outs of hunting.
- Ellen Harvelle: One of the owners of Harvelle's Roadhouse -- a hunters bar, with her husband Bill.
- Bill Harvelle: One of the owners of Harvelle's Roadhouse -- a hunters bar, with his wife Ellen
- Ichi: A hunter and acquiescence of Fletcher, John and Fletcher join him on his "heeler" hunt. When he attempts to finish off the "heeler," it reveals itself to actually be a shapeshifter, kills Ichi and takes his form.
- Bill & Pam: Friends of the Winchesters that John leaves Sam and Dean with he goes on a hunt with Fletcher.