The Flash: Speed Trap, Chapter 2: Personal Disaster

by Libbylawrence

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The Flash had no idea the fragile blonde’s emotions were so overwrought; indeed, he had no time to even worry about his girlfriend. He faced the danger of a roaring twister as he sped toward his next destination on his quest for the missing Stacy Conwell. “Blue blazes! A twister this time of year?” he mused. “First the quake and now this! I’ll bet the Weather Wizard is loose.”

He matched the storm’s powerful rotations and countered them with the extreme effort, speed, precision, and skill that was required to do so. Slowly — at least to his mind, impossibly slowly — he mastered the force of nature in time to save countless lives.

It occurs to me that these disasters are following a path — my path, he mused. First the quake, then Boomerang’s attack, now the twister. I wonder if Weather Wizard and Captain Boomerang are trailing me in some way.

He had no time to puzzle out the weird plot, because a sudden sweltering increase in heat swept over him. “It’s like an inferno, or should I more precisely say, Heat Wave!” he gasped as he dodged a gutting burst of intense fire.

“The Rogues are out in force. No doubt that I’ll experience ice, color, and maybe even mirror-based attacks before I’m done. Question is, am I getting close to Stacy and they want to stop me, or am I just their target, so where I go they follow?” he wondered as again he could find no sign of a villain responsible.

A man watched from afar and smiled coldly. “Yes, young heir to the mantle, you do well to wonder. Still, you must suffer, for the legacy you carry makes you a hated foe to me.” He touched a futuristic device, and the scanning drew closer to the Flash’s unsuspecting form.

***

The Flash vibrated his body repeatedly at different frequencies until he detected a disturbing energy pattern. It’s faint — almost gone, but it must be an energy pattern left by whatever device was used to create the sudden twister, he thought. It leads me in a specific direction. I wonder if I’ll find another disaster in my wake, or perhaps the maker of these fluke crisis situations.

He raced onward and came across another bizarre traumatic event: a flood. He also detected very clearly an energy pattern when he hit a specific vibrational pattern. “I have to do one of the hardest things a guy in this business can do,” he said to himself. “I have to leave the flood for someone else to handle while I trace the source to the maker.” He signaled the JLA Satellite headquarters, and the sultry Black Canary replied.

“Flash, I see why you’ve called,” said the Canary over the communicator. “Looks like more trouble is brewing to the southeast of you!”

“OK, I’m headed right there. Can you send some of the others to handle the flood?” he asked. Even as he spoke, he had been desperately generating a manmade trench to hold back much of the raging river’s progress.

Black Canary said, “We’re on it. Reddy and G.L. are on their way!”

The Flash grinned and sped off. He reached a sudden forest fire and sent a gushing flood of water to smother it in his wake.

He then entered an odd structure ahead of the fire. It was an old house. The place was apparently devoid of occupancy until he passed through the walls and floors to find a huge laboratory in the basement. Soon, the Flash stood before a bound and angry Stacy Conwell. The lovely girl looked tired and worried and decidedly frightened. He eased her gag from her mouth and brushed her hair out of her face.

“Stacy? Are you hurt?” he asked. “Where’s your captor?”

She started to speak, when a shadowy form entered from behind, and the Flash fell forward as a beam dropped from above to knock him flat. Can’t dodge what I can’t see, he thought as he rubbed his aching head and looked up at a costumed man.

“Bad luck, speedster?” said the smirking man, who wore an outfit of pink and blue. “More like a real disaster, huh?”

Major Disaster,” said Flash as he recognized the villain.

Green Lantern’s old foe laughed as the Flash rose from the floor. “My infamy precedes me,” said Major Disaster. “Then again, your mentor must have spoken of me before as well. Perhaps even Superman himself.”

“If you’re going to list every hero who beat you, we’ll be here all night,” said the Flash as he eased between Stacy and Major Disaster. “Hey, even I couldn’t do it in less than an hour.”

“Very droll. Too bad I have the power to wipe the mirth from your face. Thanks to this pretty little thing.” Disaster pointed toward Stacy.

“He waited outside my dorm and carried me off,” she explained. “He keeps ranting about using my body in some manner.”

“Fear not, Flash, I mean nothing improper by that,” he laughed. “Miss Conwell’s fabulous form just happens to be perfectly suited as a conduit for the disaster-causing energies that have plagued me at times. You see, it reached a point at which I could no longer control the chaos around me. My powers were out of control. I thought myself cured, but the problem returned of late. I learned Stacy, here, could safely channel my energies. She’s my human battery, aren’t you?”

“He keeps using me as some type of pathway through which he can channel his unwanted energies,” she said tearfully.

“I’ll end that now!” said the Flash. He sped for the villain but gasped as his muscles suddenly tightened.

“A heart attack could be a personal disaster, eh?” laughed the caped villain.

The Flash gasped in pain as Major Disaster’s newly enhanced powers seemed to attack his very body.

“Stacy can safely filter the disaster-causing energies within me. By sending them through her and then back to me, they are refined, if you will, until I may safely and oh-so effectively master them!” He laughed.

The Flash thought of the people counting on him. Frances Kane, the New Titans, Stacy Conwell, and even Barry Allen. His legacy could not end in failure. Wally would not allow it. He desperately reached out for Stacy and tried the new tactic he had mastered after his dreamlike communion with Barry following the Mento case. (*) He lent speed to Stacy and increased the rate of flow of the disaster causing energies. They now raced from Major to Stacy and back at lightning speed.

[(*) Editor’s note: See The New Titans: Fragments, Epilogue: Invasions.]

Major Disaster frowned. “Stop it! The speed is too great. My body can’t assimilate the refinement so rapidly.”

The Flash kept it up. He saw that the energies passed in and out of Stacy so fast that she was unhurt, but their residue gathered at an alarming rate within Major Disaster.

“I feel it surging within me! It’s out of control!” the villain shouted. He finally fell forward, and the Flash relaxed.

He slowly helped Stacy to her feet and held her as she sobbed gently. “It’s OK,” said the Flash. “He’s beaten by his own desire for power.”

Stacy nodded. “Why me? Is it because of the alien encounter I had years ago?”

“That’s my guess,” said the Flash, nodding. “When you gained the temporary ability to predict crisis events and were helplessly drawn to them after you stumbled across that UFO years ago, your system must have become attune to the energies Major D used for his powers. (*) He must have detected it while trying to cure his own condition. I guess the disasters that occurred followed your progress across the country as he kidnapped you from your dorm.”

[(*) Editor’s note: See “Collision Course With Disaster,” The Flash #240 (March, 1976).]

“Flash, do you think absorbing those energies will have any lasting effect on me?” asked Stacy.

“I doubt it, but there’s a meta-human research facility at San Francisco. I could run you by there on the way home.”

She nodded eagerly.

***

Meanwhile, the man of the future watched with interest from afar. He turned to a young woman and said, “The new Flash acquits himself well. Too well for my comfort. That’s where you come in, my dear.”

The pretty blonde smiled. “It will be my pleasure after what that rat did to my love.”

***

It was a tired Wally West who reached home after safely escorting Stacy Conwell back west to her own home. He had turned Major Disaster in to the authorities, and he had checked in with Black Canary about the status of the other flood. All was well, according to the blonde bombshell, and Wally eagerly headed home.

“Odd, those attacks of flame and boomerangs had nothing to do with the Conwell case,” he mused. “I guess those bitter old Rogues just wanted to give me a bit of grief.”

He sank down on to his bed and frowned, for it pulsed with brightly strobing energy. “Some type of trap!” he realized. “It’s draining my energy as the colors get brighter!” Rainbow Raider, thought Wally. This is just his style.

Wally tried to relax. Maybe, he thought, if he didn’t exert any energy, then the trap would fade. It worked. As hard as it is to do nothing for a guy with my super-fast system, I’ve got to try, he mused. That’s the key to breaking free of this circus.

He finally emerged from the now-pale-colored trap and spun it to pieces. “Who’s next? Mirror Master? Grodd? Colonel Computron?” He sighed loudly.

***

In the viewing area, remote from Central City, the man of the future shook his fist. “Bah! Not once does the callow youth think of me!” he shouted. “My name belongs at the forefront of his precious Rogues Gallery!”

The blonde smiled. “We’ve taunted him enough. Let me kill him!

“Indeed,” he said. “Go and take his life for the man you loved and lost.”

She nodded and skated off on a stream of self-generated ice.

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