by Hitman 44077
Wally West was in his room at his family home in Blue Valley, trying to relax. He had just finished his semester at the Community College, but that was the last thing on his mind. It’s no use. I can’t even read a simple book, he thought. There’s been so much on my mind these past few months: Barry’s trial and my testimony that nearly put him away, as was my quitting the Teen Titans. That was hard as well, even though most of the time, I felt like an outsider. I joined them because of Raven. Wally closed the book and walked downstairs to his kitchen.
In the kitchen, Wally walked to the refrigerator and pulled out a gallon of orange juice. Opening one of the kitchen cabinets, he pulled out a glass, which he filled. He then placed the juice back in the fridge and sat down at the kitchen table. The muscles in my legs cramping up seemed normal enough, he thought. I mean, I thought my speed was just slowing down, but the pains in my chest and heart told me something different. The tests Barry conducted on me during the trial proved my own worst fear.
Wally took another sip of juice from his glass. I’m dying. I’m twenty-one, and I’m going to die. And I’m scared. Fran knows — hell, she was there when Barry confirmed it. She’s been a great source of strength, and I love her. We have a love that I never could have had with Raven.
Pausing as he remembered that last encounter, Wally closed his eyes, believing her to be dead. I think there will always be a part of me that will love Raven. I even rejoined the Titans briefly in order to find her. I’ll never forget the sight of seeing her in her demonic form. It chilled me to the bone. I’d like to think we saved her… at least her soul, and put an end to Trigon. Still, it was on that mission that I experienced the first of my newer, deadlier pains.
He continued drinking the juice from his glass. It’s a bitter irony. Growing up, I wanted to be just like Barry. I wanted to be The Flash. I gained the same powers as him in the exact same manner, yet it’s those same powers that are now killing me. Despite some misgivings I’ve had, I wouldn’t ever trade my days as Kid Flash for anything. Not even…
Wally’s thoughts trailed off as tears welled up in his eyes. He rubbed the tears from his eyes. Not even for a cure. Oh, God. I haven’t even told Mom and Dad yet. How can I even tell them I’m dying? There’s no telling that it would do to them, especially Mom. She spent a lot of time worrying about me when I was Kid Flash.
Finishing the juice in his glass, Wally placed it in the dishwasher. He then walked to a counter and picked up an apple. I haven’t seen Barry since the trial. He’s always been a role model for me, just like Dad. I hope he’s doing well now that he’s been acquitted. I’m going to have to stop at Mr. and Mrs. Allen’s house in Central City one of these days. They may know what Barry’s been up to.
Wally walked out of the kitchen and upstairs to his room. I’m still alive, he thought with a small smile. I still have a little hope. Barry has a lot of Chemistry knowledge. If anyone could find a cure for the disease, it’s him. Plus, the Crisis is over. Wally’s smile faded. I still can’t believe Supergirl is dead. She made the ultimate sacrifice in a selfless manner. I can only hope that in the same circumstances, I’d do the same thing. Wally opened his door, walked over to his bed, sat down and read a letter from Frances Kane while eating his apple.
“Wallace… we need you,” a young woman’s voice called out.
Wally looked up surprised, as he had thought himself the only one home. Standing by one of his room’s windows were two figures, one familiar, one a stranger. “Jay Garrick, but — you’re not his wife, Joan,” Wally said, still surprised.
“Listen to what Harbinger has to say, lad,” Jay said sternly.
“We need you, Wallace…” Harbinger said.
“Need me? Forget it. The Crisis is over. Besides, I’m retired.”
Harbinger continued. “The Monitor’s Tapes mentioned you… and your problem… as well as your knowledge. We need that knowledge.”
Jay interrupted, “Don’t know what that ‘problem’ she’s talking about is, lad — but she’s right. With Earth-One’s Flash vanished — we turn to you.” Jay held Wally’s ring in his hand. “The Titans say this is your old ring. Will you take it?” asked Jay.
Wally stood up, face to face with Jay Garrick, staring at the ring. Jay’s words about Barry shook Wally. He was dying, and he’d vowed not to use his abilities after facing Doctor Light during Barry’s trial; but this was Barry they were talking about. If there was one man Wally would die for, it was Barry.
Picking up the ring, Wally placed it on his finger. He released the Kid Flash costume from it and, with super-speed, clothed himself in the familiar garb. Wally answered Jay with determination that would make any hero proud. “Once a Titan… always a Titan.”
Turning his attention specifically toward Harbinger, Kid Flash continued to speak. “You mentioned something about needing my knowledge. What exactly are you referring to?” he asked.
Harbinger spoke solemnly to the young super-speedster. “The Monitor made specific studies concerning the nearly limitless Earths that existed. He learned that the various Earths and even the many universes seemed to exist roughly within the same body of space. If that were the case, the many Earths would have crashed upon themselves in a chain reaction. The Monitor discovered that the universes were separated by vibrational frequencies many, many years before your Flash made his first crossing over from one Earth to another.”
“I’ve known of the various Earths for a while from my experiences with Barry and Jay. What does that have to do with me?” Kid Flash asked.
“Wally, I don’t know if you’ve been watching the news today,” the elder Flash said.
“Several minutes ago, at Earth-One’s U.N. Building, there was an assembly conducted between the world delegates and some of Harbinger’s agents,” the elder Flash said. “One of our own — a man calling himself Pariah — vanished, shouting warnings as he faded away. Next thing you know, Brainiac interrupts the conference, announcing that Earths Four, S, and X are now under the control of super-villains assembled from the five remaining Earths. Their citizens have been enslaved, and we have no clue as to whether any heroes from those three Earths remain alive.”
Kid Flash’s face was written in shock. The only words that he spoke were, “Good God.”
The elder Flash continued. “Your world’s Lex Luthor has demanded an unconditional surrender from both Earths One and Two, and he’s threatening to use raw power to destroy the three Earths. With the five Earths connected together, Earths One and Two would also be destroyed. We’ve tried to break the barriers that Brainiac set up across the three Earths, but nothing’s worked so far. We have a short amount of time to mount some offense.”
“That is where your knowledge comes in, Wallace,” Harbinger said. “Your mentor has made travels from one Earth to another, both by himself and with the aid of one of his inventions.”
“The Cosmic Treadmill — of course!” Kid Flash said, before a realization struck him. “Wait a minute. There’s no way we could get enough people across to one of the Earths, much less three, even if they possessed super-speed.”
“That’s where you’re wrong, Wally,” Jay said. “Before we decided to locate you, Harbinger had Alex Luthor locate some of Earth-One’s greatest scientific minds. Don’t be fooled by the name — Alex is one of the good guys. Anyway, he’s located everyone from Rip Hunter to Will Magnus. They’ve been working in a multiple transport platform, so many heroes could make specific journeys to each of the three Earths. All they need–”
“Is the speed. I think we can do that,” Kid Flash said with a smile. “I know for a fact that the Treadmill is located in Barry’s lab in Central City, but we’d better hurry.”
“I’ve already taken a precaution in regards to the Treadmill, and your world’s Superman, being familiar with your mentor, has retrieved it,” Harbinger said with cautious urgency. “He alone possesses the strength and speed to deliver the Treadmill in New York City. With our five worlds in peril, time is truly of the essence.”
She reminds me of Raven, the way she speaks and the way she conducts herself, Kid Flash thought. And the blonde hair reminds me of Fran.
Turning to Jay, Kid Flash said, “Is she always this prepared, Jay?”
“Wally, with what I’ve seen and experienced so far, it can only help us,” Jay said, picking up Harbinger and holding her in his arms. “Now then, let’s head toward New York.”
“I’ll meet you there, Jay. In a flash,” Kid Flash said as Jay took off.
I didn’t want to alarm Jay. I’m pretty sure I can make the run, but passing through walls isn’t in my best interest — not with the disease, anyway, Kid Flash thought as he walked downstairs and toward the front door. Fran’s letter gave me some comfort, at least. She said she’d be back in a few days. Hopefully, this mess will be over, and Barry will show up.
As he opened the front door, Kid Flash found himself face-to-face with… “Fran?!” He stood surprised at the sight of Frances Kane standing at his front door.
The sight of seeing Wally in the uniform that he vowed never to wear again unnerved her. “Wally, what are you doing? Why are you dressed as Kid Flash?” Fran asked, her voice shaking.
“Fran, I–” Kid Flash began.
“What is this about, Wally?” Fran screamed. “Does this involve the Titans? Why can’t they just leave you alone?”
“Fran,” Kid Flash said, placing his hand on Fran’s shoulder, “this isn’t about the Titans.”
Fran turned around, her back to Kid Flash. “Does this involve her? Is this about Raven?” she shouted.
Kid Flash turned her around, putting himself face to face again with his girlfriend as tears streamed over her face. “No,” he said strongly. “You know I love you, Fran. Raven’s gone. She’s dead. Let me assure you, we have a stronger love, you and I, that I never could have had with Raven.” Kid Flash took Fran into his arms, hugged her, and kissed her. “It’s true that I left my costume with the Titans. But this is something bigger.” He wiped some tears off Fran’s cheek softly.
“Several minutes ago, I had a visit from an old friend. He fights crime on one of the other Earths; maybe I told you about him — Jay Garrick, the Flash on Earth-Two. He told me that three of the Earths currently joined together with his and ours were enslaved by super-villains from all five Earths. Demands were made by the villains, and they’ve threatened to destroy the three Earths if they aren’t met. Barriers have been set up across the three Earths, preventing our heroes from journeying over. Various people are working on a device that would allow the heroes to cross over, with the aid of Barry’s Cosmic Treadmill. That’s where I come in.”
“Why didn’t your friend contact your uncle? He’d be a better choice to use the Treadmill,” Fran asked calmly.
“That’s the problem,” Kid Flash said cautiously. “I haven’t seen him in a number of months, since before his trial ended. I assumed that he was working with the Justice League, but none of the other heroes have seen or heard anything from him.”
“Oh, Wally…” Fran said, placing the palm of her hand on Kid Flash’s cheek.
Kid Flash placed his hand over hers on his cheek. “I’m concerned. I’m worried, too, but if there’s one man that can outrace anything, it’s him,” he said.
“Does this other Flash know about your disease?” Fran asked with concern.
“No, and that’s the way I plan on keeping it,” Kid Flash said. “The heroes are already in a tight spot. The least I can do is complete a mission meant for Barry and Jay. I wish I could stay, but I’ve got to travel to New York.”
“Then we’re going together. I’m not going to let you run out there just to wear yourself out. I’ll use my magnetic abilities and fly us out there,” Fran said with determination.
“I know sometimes you’re not fond of your abilities, Fran. You don’t have to do this,” Kid Flash said.
“Wally, I love you. That’s why I’m doing this,” Fran said as she gave Kid Flash a passionate kiss.
“Thank you… for both,” Kid Flash said with a smirk.
“And you’re welcome for both,” Fran replied with a similar smirk.
“You know, Fran, you never told me that you were coming home this soon,” Kid Flash said.
“I wanted to surprise you,” Fran said. “Looks like both of us ended up surprised. Hopefully, when this is taken care of, we’ll have some better surprises in store. Now, let’s go to New York.”