The Flash: Terminal Velocity, Chapter 6: Hope on New Krypton

by Hitman 44077

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Within deep space, the trek to Rokyn began as Superman set the proper navigational directions on the ship carrying him and the Flash. I have some hope that this New Krypton will lead to a cure to my disease, the Flash thought. But nothing’s for certain. There’s no certainties to living except for dying, and I’m not ready to die.

“Wally?” Superman said, walking toward the speedster. “I’ve set the auto-pilot on the ship. We should be on New Krypton in a few hours, depending on how fast this craft is. You want to talk?” he said, placing his hand on Flash’s shoulder.

The Flash looked up at Superman and saw the compassion in his eyes. “Yeah, I would,” he said with gratitude. “First off, I want to thank you for flying us to New Krypton. It means a lot to me.”

“I’ve known you for several years now,” Superman said. “You’re a true friend. You’ve done so much good as the Flash, and you have never failed the League.”

“I wish I felt that way, but with Amazo earlier–” Flash began to say.

Superman interrupted. “You didn’t fail us today. Amazo had been one of the toughest enemies the League, past and present, has ever faced. We have been extremely lucky that a Leaguer hasn’t died in combat with that thing. Hopefully, it’ll be a long time before Ivo builds another one.”

“Part of me feels… insecure again, like I was at times with the Teen Titans. Never in my life did I expect to be dealing with the disease again,” Flash confessed.

“You’re scared,” Superman said bluntly.

“Yeah, I am,” Flash admitted. “I’m scared to die. I don’t want to make the mistakes that I made before, regarding the disease, but other than STAR Labs, I didn’t know where to turn to.”

“I’ve dealt with ailments that threatened to kill me several times over the years. And let me tell you, Wally, even a Superman can be scared. I’ve been lucky, but you never know just what could happen to your life,” Superman said honestly.

“I feel a lot like I did shortly before the Crisis, only this time, Barry’s not here to help me,” Flash said sadly. “You know, it’s been almost two years, and there are still days that I miss him as much as the day we learned of his death.”

“I myself recently dealt with a similar issue. A little over a week ago was the anniversary of Kara’s arrival to Earth. I was reminded of Kara’s sacrifice. (*) And you’re right. I still feel the pain deeply some days,” Superman replied sadly.

“Superman, I’m sorry,” Flash said, feeling stupid that he’d inadvertently brought up memories of the Crisis.

“Wally, it’s all right,” Superman said. “It’s good to face things of that nature head-on. If we let the sadness or anger linger within us, we’ll be destroyed by it eventually.”

“You’re right,” Flash said.

“With the disease back, would you like any help with Central City? You know, keeping it in check?” Superman asked.

The Flash thought, as Superman’s offer reminded him of Cecile Horton’s abduction, before replying. “No. Maybe it’s stupid, or selfish, but I need to do that myself. If I were to turn to others to protect Barry’s city, I might as well hang up the Flash identity right now.”

“I see,” Superman said. “I’ll honor your wishes. But never hesitate to ask for help. We will always be here for you, Wally. Remember that.”

“I do appreciate the offer, Superman,” Flash said, “and the friendship of the League.”

“You’ll always have that from us, Wally,” Superman confided. Suddenly, the ship began slowing down, which disturbed Flash.

“Is there something wrong with the ship?” he asked Superman.

“No. I’ll make sure, anyway,” Superman said, walking toward the pilot section of the JLA spacecraft. A few minutes later, he walked back to Flash. “This ship is fast,” Superman said with a smile. “We’ve arrived on Rokyn. I took some time speaking to a Kryptonian in charge of space docking while in the pilot area, so we should be set in several more minutes.”

“That’s good to hear,” Flash smiled. “Who exactly are we seeing? I’m not sure if I asked yet.”

“I’m taking you to visit my uncle and Kara’s father, Zor-El. He was the brother of my father, Jor-El. If anyone can help you with your disease, it’s him,” Superman said.

“I know I said it before, but I’ll say it again. Thank you so much,” Flash said appreciatively.

“It’s quite all right,” Superman answered with a smile.

As the ship finished docking, Superman and Flash exited the ship. After Superman spoke to several Kryptonians in charge of space travels and customs, the two heroes found themselves heading toward the home/laboratory of Zor-El.

***

The Flash Museum stood as it always had in Central City, but it was time for it to be closed for the evening. Albert Desmond sat inside his car as he waited for the museum caretaker, Dexter Miles, to leave the Museum. I have to do this for Rita, Desmond thought to himself, gripped with fear. I need to keep telling myself that. Why is it that I can’t enjoy a permanent retirement from my past? Haven’t I repaid my debt to society? Why can’t I just be left alone with my wife?

A few seconds later, Dexter walked outside the building and locked the front doors with his keys. Albert watched as Dexter walked over to his car and entered the vehicle. Not too long afterward, Dexter drove away.

“I’m sorry to do this to you, Dexter,” Albert said as he walked out of his parked car. “I’m also sorry to do this to the memory of Barry Allen. I just don’t have a choice — not after Alvin’s threats.”

Albert walked toward the Flash Museum and slowly drew his elemental gun upon approaching the Museum doors. He fired the elemental gun at the locks at the door, and they began to melt. I’m surprised, I guess, Albert thought to himself, placing his gun back in its holder. For the most part, I don’t have the vast knowledge of elements that I did when I had my problems, but I managed to create a fine acid to eat away at the locks.

He pushed upon the doors, and they slowly opened, only for the Museum alarms to began ringing aloud. Oh, no, Albert thought in horror as he rushed inside the Museum. I should have anticipated this. I can’t get caught, not with Rita in danger! I just can’t!

Albert quickly ran toward the display, where his old Mister Element costume and mask sat upon the body of a plastic statue. He ripped the costume away from the statue and ran back outside the Flash Museum toward his car. I’d better beat it, but I swear, once this kidnapping is over — once Rita is safe — I will have my revenge against Alvin! Albert thought as he started up the car and quickly drove away. I almost want to kill him, and that’s not a normal thought. Unfortunately, for now, Mister Element must live again.

He headed for City Hall, which was the site of the benefit dinner that Daphne Dean had traveled to Central City for. He parked his car in a shaded spot and dressed himself in the familiar costume of Mister Element.

I have no idea why Alvin wants Daphne, Albert thought, confused over Alvin’s orders. We attended Barry’s marriage to Iris several years back. Does this have something to do with Barry? If so, why?

Albert placed the Mister Element mask over his face and waited inside his car. Not yet, but soon, Daphne Dean would arrive, and that would be Element’s time to strike.

***

On Rokyn, the Flash and Superman walked toward the futuristic-looking structures that the Kryptonians used on their planet. “So this is New Krypton,” Flash said, amazed at the sight. “It’s incredible. The gravity belt Customs gave me works like a charm.”

“I probably should’ve mentioned the gravity here to you before, as well as the use of a gravity belt, but Customs is good about things of that nature,” Superman replied. “I sometimes refer to this planet as New Krypton, including today. The citizens here have a different name for this world.”

“What is it?” Flash asked.

“It’s called Rokyn. It means Rao’s gift. Rao is the Kryptonian equivalent to God of the Christian religion on Earth,” Superman said.

“Amazing,” Flash said, still enamored by the sights. “Part of me believes that most of the various religions that exist are parts of the same one. They all advise the practice of a good and moral life. Though there’s certain differences between them all, it’s still those beliefs of selflessness that unite the faiths.”

“That’s very true,” Superman admitted. “I don’t travel here often, but it is nice to visit once in a great while.”

“I’m just glad you brought me here, no matter the outcome,” Flash said.

“That’s what friends are for,” Superman said with a smile.

Eventually, the two heroes found themselves in front of the laboratory of Zor-El. The two heroes entered the lab, where they found Zor-El working on some chemicals. Zor-El spotted the two heroes and sat the harmless chemicals down where they could not be spilled.

“Kal-El!” Zor-El said, surprised. “It has been some time since I was able to enjoy your company. How is my granddaughter?”

The Flash stood, shocked by the words spoken by Zor-El, even as Superman replied. “Jasma is doing well. You can tell that she’s growing each and every day. It’s been a little hard for her to adjust to the loss of her father, but she’s seemed to enjoy Earth. She is a handful, she really is.”

No way, the Flash thought to himself. Supergirl had a daughter? My God… maybe that’s why Superman wasn’t able to fight Amazo sooner in Cleveland. Raising a baby is one of the biggest responsibilities anyone could have, and he has other responsibilities, too, to the people of Earth — and the entire galaxy.

Zor-El continued to speak. “I am sure Gerta has been a great help in your raising of Jasma. I assume she is well.”

“She really has been, and she is indeed well. I’m not sure how I could have managed without her help,” Superman said as he remembered Gerta bringing Jasma back to Kristin Wells and himself. (*)

[(*) Editor’s note: See Superman Family: The Legacy.]

“That is good news to hear. I’m sure Allura will be happy to hear this news. Now, then,” Zor-El said, turning his attentions toward the Flash. “Has Jimmy Olsen traded the Flamebird identity for yet another guise?

“Oh, no,” Superman said as he suppressed the urge to laugh. Not the question I would’ve expected, but with Jimmy’s visits, I guess it’s not something that could have been ruled out, he thought to himself before speaking again. “This is a fellow hero from Earth. He’s as good a friend as Jimmy, and more than capable in his role. His name is Wally West, the Flash. He’s the reason we traveled here.”

“Yeah,” Flash said solemnly to Zor-El. The Kryptonian scientist spotted the concern in Flash’s eyes and seemed to know the seriousness of the situation even before Flash could speak again.

“What’s wrong?” Zor-El asked the speedster, his concern for his nephew’s friend evident.

“Several years ago, I developed a disease that was killing me. It was an adverse effect of the accident that gave me super-speed powers. The disease went into remission about two years ago, but I learned yesterday that it’s returned,” Flash said. “I didn’t know where else to turn, but Superman informed me of the advanced scientists here on Rokyn. I felt if I had a chance to be cured of the disease, then my best bet would be here.”

“I need to stress to you, Wally, that science can only go so far,” Zor-El cautioned. “There are things even we cannot cure.”

“I know that, and I’m not expecting a miracle,” Flash said. “I have hope, but I know full well that nothing’s for certain. Any option is better than no option.”

“I see that you have an inner strength, something my nephew is famous for,” Zor-El said, impressed. “I’ll take some blood samples, and we’ll perform other tests to see just what can be done. Let’s get to work right away.”

***

Hours passed as Zor-El studied Wally West’s blood. The Flash himself engaged in several exercises to further show the effects of his disease in his body, as Zor-El matched the varying results.

Finally, after much in-depth and thorough checking, Zor-El walked toward the two heroes with his results. His face was grim. “In all of my years of life, I have never seen such a rampant blood disorder,” Zor-El confessed. “I tried different things to offset the effects in the blood I took from you, but sadly, nothing has worked.”

The Flash stood there, numb from the shock, and slowly bent his head down. “I had to check, even though I wasn’t absolutely sure,” he said to Zor-El, as he bent his head back up and offered his hand to this man who’d done his best to help him. “Thank you so much,” he said with a smile, though he was fearful inside. “I’m grateful that you checked me out.”

“I am sorry, Wally,” Zor-El said. “Even if I knew how to treat this, I’m not certain that a cure could be designed to fight your disease. This is a unique and devastating problem; but I will continue to study your blood. If I do come across anything that can help you, I will immediately inform my nephew Kal-El, here.”

“Thank you, Zor-El,” Flash said appreciatively.

“We’d better head back to Earth, Wally,” Superman said to Flash. He then spoke to Zor-El. “Thank you for checking him, Zor-El.”

“There was no trouble, Kal-El. I just hope the next time you travel here, you’ll bring little Jasma. It has been too long since I have bounced a baby on my knee,” Zor-El said, remembering bouncing his little daughter Kara on his knee when she was a baby.

“I will do that,” Superman said with a small smile. “Goodbye.”

“Farewell,” Zor-El said.

The two heroes left Zor-El’s laboratory and headed back to the docking grounds, where their space craft was parked. Upon their arrival there, Superman spoke with those in charge of customs, and once that was settled, the two heroes boarded their ship. Within minutes of being cleared for takeoff, Superman piloted the ship outside the Rokyn atmosphere and began their return trip back to the JLA Satellite.

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