by Hitman 44077
Night gave way to morning, which in turn gave way to early afternoon. Things proceeded normally, but normal had never really been associated with Central City. Len Snart stood in an alleyway, angered that his beloved hockey team had been eliminated from the NHL playoffs. That wasn’t his only reason for anger, though.
“That call Lisa gave me earlier in the month really pissed me off,” Snart said as he changed into his Captain Cold outfit. “Imagine that: Some piece of crap is stealing my identity! In Metropolis, no less. (*) I worked hard for my reputation, and I’m not gonna let some farce steal my identity. Still, I have things to do first, and that means getting back the money I lost on bettin’ for the playoffs.”
[(*) See The Secret Society of Super-Villains: Mirror to the Soul.]
Snart placed his trademark glasses on his face and pulled up his hood. He freed his cold gun from its casing and held it tightly. “It feels good to be able to do this again, especially in Central City. Maybe that punk West’ll show up. Then I can take my anger out on him,” Cold said with a sneer.
Exiting the alley, Captain Cold headed for Central City First National Bank, which was close by. He entered the bank and proceeded to scare the citizens, both those working there and the customers. He ran to a teller and issued his commands. “Give me all of your cash, or I’ll freeze you solid!” Cold demanded.
A security guard reached for his gun, but Cold saw this through the corner of his eye. With split-second reflexes, Cold fired his gun and froze the guard where he stood. Turning back to the teller, Cold spoke again. “Maybe that’ll convince you,” Cold said, sneering. He smiled, anticipating a confrontation with the nephew of his greatest foe.
The tellers, though they were scared, gathered all the cash they had inside the bank vault and bagged it. One teller handed the bag to Cold. “That wasn’t so hard now, was it?” Cold asked. He didn’t even wait for their fear-filled voices to speak. He ran outside, where he proceeded to freeze the bank doors shut.
“It hasn’t been that easy in years!” Cold said as he ran through the city. “While I’m here, I might as well have some fun.”
A news van drove by and watched as Captain Cold began firing his gun at various structures, freezing them inside blocks of ice. “Stop the van, Steve!” a female reporter yelled. “This is a Channel Eight exclusive!”
“All right, Linda,” Steve said.
The van stopped, and the female reporter stepped outside the van. Steve the cameraman followed and went live as she reported. “Linda Park, Channel Eight News,” the female reporter said as she began her live report.
Wally West sat inside the apartment he lived in within Central City, enjoying the May weather. “I have to say, it’s good to feel the warmth reaching the city,” he said, walking to his refrigerator and pulling out a few lemons, as well as a jug of ice-cold water. He placed the items on his counter and opened a container that held sugar. Using his super-speed, he mixed himself some real lemonade, going very light on the water and sugar. He poured himself a glass and tasted the drink. It was bitter, but a tad sweet, just like he enjoyed it.
“Not bad. It’s just right,” he remarked, smiling. “I’m pretty lucky. I’ve managed to regain my top speed, earn a place for myself in the League, and I still have the steady love when it comes to Fran. I’m set when it comes to living expenses — winning the lottery a year and a half ago helped with that. Life is good.” He walked toward his living room and turned on his television. What he saw, however, surprised him. “What the–?” he remarked, looking at a few portions of Central City covered in ice on the television screen. He turned up the volume to hear the reporter comment on the current situation.
“–not seen within our city since Central City’s previous champion perished, Captain Cold has apparently returned. Where he’s been is anyone’s guess, but for better or worse, he’s come home–“ the reporter said before Wally turned off the television set.
“I don’t believe it. Snart’s back?” Wally exclaimed. “I’ve faced a few of Barry’s foes after I assumed the Flash identity, but this has to be the first time I’ll be facing Captain Cold.” Wally pushed the button on his Flash ring, releasing the Flash costume contained within. With his super-speed, he clothed himself in the Flash costume. “If Snart wants to attack this city, then he’s going to have to face the Flash!” he said, running off to face Central City’s attacker.
Captain Cold continued to vent his anger, freezing various cars and buildings, even as a police car arrived on the scene. Two officers exited the vehicle and charged toward the criminal. “Freeze!” shouted one of the police officers nearby with his partner, pointing their guns at the Captain.
Pathetic, Captain Cold thought, obviously losing interest in the venture. “That’s my line, idiots!” Cold shouted, freezing the police officers with his gun.
The Flash finally located Captain Cold as he’d just frozen the officers. “What’s the matter, Snart? Aren’t you batting zero for one hundred here in Central City?” Flash asked Cold.
“Punk, don’t even think for a second that you’re the Flash. All you are is a wanna-be — and that’s all you’ll ever be!” Captain Cold said, firing a blast of ice from his gun at the Flash.
With his super-speed, the Flash avoided the blast and several more that Cold fired at him in rapid fashion, but something didn’t seem quite right. As long as I move at this rate, he won’t be able to touch me. Still, I don’t know why, but I feel stiff; my legs do, anyway. I wonder why? he thought.
“Keep still, damn it! All you are is some stupid kid — you couldn’t even hack it with the Teen Titans, boy!” Cold said, trying his best to break Flash’s confidence.
“News flash, Snart. Whether you like it or not, I am the Flash now. As for my age,” Flash said, pointing his hand at Cold’s gun and moving it at super-speed, “I think as long as I’m here protecting Central City, age doesn’t matter for much. As for you–” Flash paused as his hand’s speed shattered Cold’s gun and Cold became encased in a block of ice from the cold energy that escaped from the shattered gun, “you are on ice… jerk.”
Captain Cold was held within the block of ice, trapped by his own weapon. The Flash smiled for a few seconds. I wonder if Barry ever did something like that? Oh, well. A hero’s job is never done, he thought. With that thought, Flash moved at super-speed, freeing the police officers from their icy prison and handing them the bag of money that Cold had stolen, and he proceeded to melt the ice that was created elsewhere in the city. Once that was complete, he returned to the frozen block of ice where Captain Cold remained. “I think Barry would be proud,” Flash said as he freed Cold from the block of ice. As he came to, Flash had already delivered him to one of the jail cells in the Central City Police Department.
“As fast as ever, I see,” a familiar voice said behind him. The Flash turned around and saw Captain Darryl Frye, who had been Barry Allen’s superior in the CCPD. The two smiled and shook hands.
“Hey, it goes with the name,” Flash said. “How have you been?”
“Relatively, things are going well. You’ve cut down on the crime rate here, which makes things a lot easier for the beat cops,” Frye said.
“Hey, no problem. Just trying to do the best I can,” Flash said.
“We’ll try to hold on to Snart this time,” Frye said, looking at the man in the prison cell.
Frye’s words angered the now-aware Captain Cold. “All of us have been down this road before. I outlived Barry Allen, and I’ll outlive you, too, West!” Cold said bitterly.
“Cold inside and out, I see,” Flash said, looking at Snart. He wouldn’t let Snart’s words break him. “Get a new gimmick.”
Suddenly, the sounds of fire truck sirens filled the air. “Wonder what’s going on?” Flash asked aloud, walking toward a nearby window. He stuck his head outside the window and saw massive clouds of smoke in the direction of where the fire trucks were heading. “Something’s going on, and it looks very dangerous,” Flash said to Captain Frye.
“What’s the problem?” Frye asked.
“Apparently, there’s a fire — a big fire, and it looks as if it’s set in Fallville,” the Flash replied in a serious tone.
“Gee, you two want some help?” Cold said sarcastically. “How about the ‘get out of jail’ card, boys?”
“Not a chance, Snart. Captain Frye, I’ll head there and put the fire out,” Flash said with determination.
“All right. Be careful,” Frye said with concern for his friend.
Using his super-speed, the Flash made his way to Fallville. “I don’t know why, but I still feel a little stiff and sore,” Flash said as he raced to Fallville. “Outracing blasts from Captain Cold’s gun shouldn’t really faze me. Still, as long as I can make a difference, I’ll do just that.”
Arriving in Fallville, Flash saw just what type of fire it was. What had been there originally was a factory, but now it was a flaming mess. Flash ran to the Fallville Fire Department Chief and spoke to him. “What happened here?” Flash asked the chief, looking at the blaze.
“We’re not sure, but this place kept a lot of people employed. Luckily, everyone that worked here is accounted for. My guess is this is arson,” the chief confided.
“Get the firefighters out of here. I’m going to put this thing out, and I don’t want them getting hurt,” Flash said, his voice evoking urgency.
The chief turned to his men and yelled, “All right, men — fall back! No sense getting hurt!” The officers all moved back, though some still used fire hoses to try to keep the flames under control.
“Thanks. I’ll be back,” the Flash said to the chief as he ran toward the building. “I’ve got to put this thing out before this gets out of hand, and the best way to do that is lending a little speed to the winds blowing.” Using his arms at super-speed, Flash managed to create a powerful wind, which he used to put out parts of the fire. The fires died down, but they weren’t totally extinguished. Flash then used his super-speed to run through the building, sucking out the oxygen in the building and slowly extinguishing the rest of the flames. He was successful, but he still felt sore. Flash stood inside the now-charred factory, his vibrational frequency protecting him from the heat the building still had inside. “Something’s not right here. Who’d want to burn a factory in Fallville? And why do I still feel sore?”
The Flash decided to leave the building after one more run through, and he ran to the fire chief. The chief smiled, grateful for the Flash’s help. “Thanks, Flash. I don’t know if we could have put the fire out sooner than a day from now, but I’m glad you were here,” the chief said.
“No problem. Just trying to help,” Flash smiled. “Is there anything else I can do here?”
“No. Thanks to you, it’s all under control. Between you and me,” the fire chief raised his hand to one of his cheeks and continued, “if you ever want another city to call your own, I know I’d be glad to have you here in Fallville.”
The Flash smiled and had a chuckle. “I’ll keep that in mind,” he said half-jokingly. “I’ll see you later.”
“Take care, and thank you for your help,” the chief said as he waved to the Flash.
The Flash waved back and started to run back to Central City. “Not a bad place to live. Barry’s parents moved there a few months after he died,” Flash said, in regards to Fallville. “I can see why they’d like it there. Of course, there’s nothing like Blue–”
Suddenly, the Flash felt horrible, crushing pains in his chest and his heart. His legs cramped up, and he just dropped. He rolled several feet before sliding to a stop. Slowly, the Flash stood, still feeling the pain in his chest. “Oh — oh, my… my God. I-it’s happ — happening… like before… when I had — unggh!” Flash collapsed to his knees and placed his hand underneath him to keep himself from collapsing completely. He was this way for well over a few minutes, but slowly the pain began to subside. He slowly stood back up as he began to breathe comfortably again.
Oh, no. It was like before, back when I had the disease. Oh, God, I hurt! Flash thought, closing his eyes tightly. Is it back? Dr. Klyburn said that it was in remission; why is this happening now? Flash opened his eyes to see just where he was at. Guess I was lucky — just green fields all around. But I need answers. The place with what I need is STAR Labs. They diagnosed the disease before, when it went into remission. Jenet Klyburn said to have a checkup there every six months afterward, but I didn’t. Not after I regained my top speed. I’d better head there right now, and get this taken care of. I hope this was a one-time thing, but– Flash stopped thinking as one thing came to his mind. Oh, Lord. Fran. She was there when I first learned about the disease; what would this do to her? Or Mom?
The Flash refocused, trying to keep himself strong. This isn’t written in stone. I’ve got to be positive, no matter what the pain feels like. And the sooner I find out just what this is, the better prepared I’ll be if it’s a worst-case scenario. Still, this is going to be a slow run for me. I just hope things work out for the best. Though he wasn’t going nearly as fast as he could other different circumstances, the Flash ran east and made a run toward New York’s STAR Labs branch, saying a silent prayer on his way.