The Flash: Terminal Velocity, Chapter 18: Now It’s Personal

by Hitman 44077

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Within another facet of Central City, famed Professor Ira West had finished dressing and was prepared to cook himself breakfast as he walked toward his kitchen. Sometimes I’m glad I moved back here, the elderly gentleman thought as he opened his refrigerator and removed some eggs. I still miss Nadine, as much as I miss Iris and Barry, but I feel close here. I’m not about to let my absentmindedness prevent me from living out the rest of my life, either.

As Ira removed a frying pan from his cabinet, he was unaware of the uninvited company that made his way through Ira’s home. The green-hooded figure marched quietly forward until he spotted his prey. This should be very easy, Doctor Alchemy thought sinisterly. Speed-boy’s gonna have some big shocks when he learns the truth. This is only one part, but it’s an important part, and the real fun’s yet to come! Reaching into his holster, Doctor Alchemy picked up his Philosopher’s Stone, but he managed to strike the wall before he could use it.

“Huh?” Ira said, turning from his cooking. He approached the kitchen door, pushed it open, and was shocked to see who was standing inside his home. “Who are you?!” Ira said angrily.

By this time, Doctor Alchemy was no longer concerned with keeping a low profile. “There’s enough time for questions later, old man. Now move!” he screamed at his victim. Ira, despite his age, wasn’t about to go quietly. He ran back to his kitchen, even as Doctor Alchemy followed. “Get back here!” Alchemy screamed.

Ira grabbed the closest thing to a weapon he could, picking up his frying pan and flinging it at Alchemy, who barely avoided it. “Get out of my home, you criminal!” Ira yelled, turning toward his back door.

Before he could escape, Ira was met by Lady Rogue, who stood behind the back door. “You had your opportunity — now we do this my way!” she said, using her own version of Captain Cold’s freeze gun to encase Ira within a block of ice. Once that task was complete, Rogue addressed her partner. “Never send a man to do a woman’s job, right?” she said with a smirk.

“Yeah, right,” Alchemy said with a little attitude. “Good job, but we’re on a tight schedule. Let’s finish this and be on our way.”

The two foes managed to slide the frozen block containing Ira West into the van they were using through effort, and once it was secured, Alchemy walked back into Ira’s home. Lady Rogue waited behind the wheel of the van, far from public view.

“Just need to leave a message for the boy,” Alchemy said as he aimed his weapon near the front of the home’s wall. He then etched a message into the wall, specifically targeted for the Flash, which read, “You’re Next, West!” That’ll get his attention for the showdown, Alchemy thought, smiling slightly as he exited the home quickly and entered the van. Once he was inside, Lady Rogue drove away, heading toward the prearranged meeting place that Manfred Mota had chosen.


Within his apartment, Wally West awoke. Other than that bizarre nightmare, I had a decent amount of sleep, he thought, sitting up from his bed. He stood up from the bed and stretched, but before he could act further, his phone rang. Maybe something’s turned up in regards to the kidnappings, he thought as he walked to his phone and picked it up. “Hello,” Wally said.

“Wally,” the voice over the phone said in quiet urgency.

Wally recognized the voice over the phone as Captain Darryl Frye and understood the serious tone spoken. “What is it, Darryl? Anything new?” he asked, a sense of dread starting to build.

“Yes,” Darryl said, still disturbed by the news he had to tell Wally. “I don’t know any other way to tell you, but the attack on those Barry Allen cared about has taken a twisted turn.”

“How so?” Wally asked, unsure if he wanted to learn the latest developments.

Frye paused for a few seconds, but he knew what he had to say. “Wally, sometime last night, someone made their way inside the Central City Cemetery–“

The mention of Barry and Iris Allen’s final resting place reminded Wally of his visit, and he began to seethe with anger as he began piecing things together. “Did someone touch Barry’s grave?!” he said angrily.

“It’s… it’s much worse than that,” Frye said sadly. “Meet me there, all right?”

“I’m on my way,” Wally said with determination before hanging up his phone.

I was there just last night, he thought as he reached for his Flash ring, still resting on his cabinet. He placed the ring on his ring finger and released the Flash costume contained within. I swear, if someone destroyed his gravestone, then God help that person! he thought as he donned the Flash costume at normal speed. He left his apartment and sped off, not caring if his powers placed him closer to death.

It’s not that far to the cemetery, he thought, continuing to run. At this point, I don’t even care who this person is. All I want is to stop him or her — and I won’t rest until I do!

Seconds later, Flash arrived at the Central City Cemetery, where he was met by the just-arrived Darryl Frye, who stepped from his car. Various police cars were also parked nearby as the investigation progressed. “Wally, I only learned of this shortly beforehand,” Frye said, face to face with the Flash.

“I just want to see the damage,” Flash said coldly. “Let’s go.”

The two men made their way to the grave of Barry Allen and what was left of it. Flash’s face dropped at the sight of the emptied coffin, as did Darryl Frye’s, though Frye was aware of what had occurred. “This… this has gone beyond any hatred I ever imagined possible,” Flash said, almost shaking with anger.

“We never learned a thing from Albert Desmond, and I don’t know if he could have had any knowledge about this,” Frye said. “The groundskeeper alerted us as soon as he spotted the empty grave.”

“I never imagined that someone would rob Barry’s grave, Darryl,” Flash said bitterly. “This has become personal.”

Almost as soon as the Flash had finished his sentence, a feeling of dread struck him in his heart. Personal, he thought as he began to piece together things. Oh, God, no, no, no. It’s not about Barry, and it never has been. It’s been about striking at the Flash, no matter who was wearing the costume!

Frye spotted the young hero’s fear-filled face. “What is it, Wally?” he asked.

“I’ve got to go, Darryl,” Flash said, knowing what he had to do. “I have a hunch about this, and I need to see if I’m right. I’ll talk to you soon.”

Before Darryl could respond, Flash took off. Oh, God, I hope I’m wrong. Please, please! he thought as he arrived at the apartment of Frances Kane. He turned the door handle slowly, noticing that the door itself was unlocked. Please, let her be safe! Flash thought as the door slowly opened. The damaged apartment only added to Flash’s fears. “No… no!” he cried. He closed his eyes and punched the door in anguish.

Suddenly, the pains began again, the crushing chest pains that were part of the disease killing the Flash. “Nnghh!” he groaned, clutching at his chest. It lasted longer that it had in the previous attacks he’d recently experienced, and Flash coughed up a little blood, the second time in two days that this had occurred. I don’t have much left, he thought as the pains slowly faded. He opened his eyes as he recovered and slowly entered the apartment of the woman he loved.

This is insane, he thought as he walked through the damaged apartment. He stopped as he spotted a picture of him and Fran laying on the ground, shards of glass piercing the photo. He picked it up and stared at the photo, brushing away the glass shards. He placed the photo on top of an unbroken table, as his thoughts continued. I don’t know what the hell happened here, but it looks like she put up a struggle. But… who’s powerful enough to stop her? What enemy of Barry’s or mine could have the ability to kidnap her?

The Flash’s thoughts led him toward another serious problem. Wait a second, he thought. I believed that this was all about Barry, but I was wrong. This maniac has Fran — and if this person has her… The Flash paused, more worried than before. He could have my family! he thought, his greatest fears realized. He wasted no more time and sped toward the home of his grandfather, holding on to little faith.

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