The Flash: Back to Speed, Chapter 2: A New Tomorrow

by Hitman 44077

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The Flash ran as fast as he could manage, relishing the health he’d regained just minutes earlier. Every muscle pumped forth as he breathed in the clean air, step by step, and he knew just how grateful he was to be alive. I haven’t felt this good, health-wise, in a while, he thought as he continued to follow the destructive trail the transformed millennia-old Manfred Mota left in his wake. I really thought I was done. But now, I have a second chance. I can’t fail this city or the family who cured me of the disease which was killing me.

With his renewed vigor, it didn’t take Flash long before he located the massive creature, which was steps away from the Flash Museum. There he — or it is, the Flash thought, the sight of the creature live and firsthand keeping him cautious. Maybe I can reach what’s left of Mota’s consciousness, and maybe not, but I’ve got to try. Speeding past the massive white-hot creature, Flash stopped within five feet of the creature, which seemed surprised at the sudden appearance of the Scarlet Speedster. In a reassuring voice, Flash addressed the destructive force in front of him.

“Manfred? Manfred Mota? It’s me. The person you’ve been looking for. The Flash,” he said as the creature continued staring at him in confusion. “Do you remember me?”

The creature stood transfixed on the small crimson figure in front of its eyes, and slowly spoke. “FLLSSHH?”

“Yes, the Flash,” the speedster responded calmly. “I’m here to help you.”

“HLLP?” the creature spoke.

“Yeah, I’m here to help, but you have to trust me. Will you?” Flash asked the creature.

“HLLP?” the creature repeated, before it slowly began to regain more of its memories. Indeed, the sight of the Flash began to awaken what was left of Manfred Mota’s psyche, which was mostly madness and hatred for the Crimson Comet. “YESSS…” the creature said sinisterly. “HLLP… BY DYING!”

With those words, Mota raised his arms and fired energy at the Flash, who promptly moved out of the way. “Well, that went well,” Flash said sarcastically as he fanned the flaming mass nearby with his arms, cooling the fires that had been meant for him. “It’s like some sort of nuclear hulk. And now it seems this thing has more than just strength.”

The creature lumbered forward as it tried to attack the Flash, raising its arms to smash the speedster, then bringing them down to the ground. Flash was too quick, however, moving out of the way before the creature could accomplish its intended goal.

“You’re not making this easy, Mota! I don’t want to hurt you!” Flash yelled, reaching for a metal pole sticking from the ground. Picking the pole up, he threw it at super-speed toward the left leg of the creature. It touched the leg briefly before melting. “Damn! I can’t touch this thing.”

Flash then realized where they were. “Wait a second,” he said with hope. “We’re right next to the Flash Museum! God willing, there’s something inside that’ll help me gain the advantage against Mota!”

Mota picked up a large vehicle and threw it at the speedster, who simply vibrated so fast that the car went through him. Flash solidified and used his arms to slow down the vehicle before it could smash into a nearby building. His actions only angered the creature further. “KILL YOU, FLASH!” the monster yelled coherently.

“Been there, done that,” Flash said with a smirk. “I’m not dying anytime soon!”

“RAAGGHH!” the creature screamed, again shooting flaming energy from its arms. Flash managed to funnel the energy into nothingness with his own arms, then slowly moved toward the entrance of the Flash Museum. “You want me so bad, come get me!” Flash demanded before speeding inside.

As the creature slowly made its way toward the entrance to the Flash Museum, Flash began searching for the proper weapons to defeat his foe. “Now, then, what to do?” he muttered as he examined various exhibits. “I know from experience that not everything here is going to work, but I might not need that much.” Suddenly, he spotted a device that he thought he’d never see again. “What’s this?! A Cosmic Treadmill? I don’t believe it!” he exclaimed in astonishment. “I don’t know how this can be here, but if this thing still works, then I won’t be complaining.”

The creature made its way inside the Museum doors, melting the doorways in the process, even as Flash checked the Treadmill out to see if it was in working order. “Oh, yeah,” he said when he activated the Treadmill. “I’m in business. Let’s just hope my plan works.”

“FLASHHH… I’LL KILL YOU, FLASHHH…” the creature bellowed as it smashed several exhibits in its search for the Scarlet Speedster. “YOU WILL DIE!”

Suddenly, with no warning, several small grenades appeared at the feet of the destructive creature. Before the creature could react, the grenades exploded, releasing cold-based energy that froze the creature momentarily in place. “Got to hand it to Snart,” Flash said as he began tying cords to the block of ice containing the creature. “It seems that eventually he’ll invent something to go with that cold-gun of his. I’ll have to remember that the next time I face him.”

Speeding back to the Cosmic Treadmill, cables in hand, Flash stepped on the device and began to travel into the time stream, even as the creature began to melt from the block of ice. “If I’m correct, I’ll be able to journey through time and maintain my physical self, and possibly cure Mota of the condition he’s in,” Flash said, continuing to run on the Cosmic Treadmill.

Mota finally melted free of his icy prison but was still trapped within the confines of the cables that held him in place. “NO… NOOO!” the creature screamed, as if he knew what Flash was attempting. It fired random blasts of energy from its body, but because they were within the time stream, the blasts simply dissipated.

Onward Flash ran, even as he noted that a change was indeed happening to the creature. “It seems to be cooling down, and changing, too. He’s shrinking somewhat, so that’s got to help,” he said.

The creature remained tangled, and eventually it ceased struggling against the cords that held it in place. “I think I did it!” Flash cheered as he looked back at the creature and saw that its appearance was nearly normal. He slowed down and stopped the Treadmill, but when he attended to Mota, Flash realized something was terribly wrong.

“My God!” he said, horrified as he rushed to untangle the cords that no longer contained a monster, but rather an almost mummified figure. “His body… I managed to change him back to his human form, but his body’s aged to match this time period.”

“Flash…?” the nearly mummified body spoke quietly.

“Mota?” Flash responded, kneeling down as he removed the cords from the body.

“You… you live.”

“Don’t try to talk. I’ll do what I can to–”

No. All this time… I let anger… and hate… blind me. I refused to change… become a better man. I held a grudge against you for so long… too long. And yet… I see that a new dawn has come… a new tomorrow. Perhaps… it’s not too late. I am… so sorry, Flash. So sorry I allowed… the hate to consume me. You saved what was left of my life… before I could add more destruction… to the lives I sought to end. I haven’t the right… to ask… for forgiveness.”

Though this man had perpetrated such horrid actions against the friends and family of him and his uncle Barry Allen, Flash still felt sympathy for his foe. “I forgive you,” Flash said calmly, holding the withered hand of Manfred Mota.

The mummified figure smiled faintly and spoke. “Thank you… Fla–” With his final words, the mummified figure slowly crumbled in Flash’s arms. The Flash slowly stood up and stared at what remained.

In light of all he put me through — despite what he did to the people Barry and I care about — I can’t hate him. Could there have been another way to save his life? And if so, would he have changed his ways? I’ll never know the answer. But I do know that I saved the thirtieth century. I saved the Russells… and their daughter. And now that I think of it, there’s something so familiar about her, and I know I’m crazy just thinking about it, but still, I need to know for sure myself, the Flash thought as he started to deduce the identity of the Russells’ daughter.

Gathering what remained of Manfred Mota and containing it within a glass cylinder, Flash made his way back to the home of the Russells, ready to deal with what might come next.

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