The Flash: Speed Trap, Chapter 3: Lady Rogue

by Libbylawrence

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The next day found a refreshed Wally West dining with Frances Kane in the south of France. She smiled radiantly as the sun shone on her golden curls, and she enjoyed the City of Lights.

“Well, you really believe in making good on your promises, Mr. West,” she said.

“Yeah, I cost you one fancy French meal because of my job, and this is my way of making it up to you,” he said. “A fancy French meal — in France.” He had picked her up and brought her to the small bistro in Paris via the JLA transporter.

“Wally, about last night,” she said. “When you left, I did understand, but my temper got the best of me. I threw a bit of a hissy fit.”

He took her hand and said, “We all lose it once in a while. Besides, any girl would go postal if she lost a chance to be with yours truly.”

Frances laughed. “Now you sound like Roy Harper! Seriously, when I got mad, I didn’t just toss a high heel across the room or something. My powers flared up without my consciously wanting them to.”

He frowned. “If they are out of control, it could be a side effect of what happened in space with Queen Bee.” (*)

[(*) Editor’s note: See The New Titans: Family Attractions.]

She shook her head. “Nope. I’ve been fine since then. Really. It’s just that all of a sudden my powers seemed to be tied to my emotions. When I got mad, they erupted. It frightened me.”

He walked around the table and gently picked her up by each arm. He held her tightly and whispered, “It’s something we’ll fix together. You, me, and maybe even a couple of buddies of mine. I know a real genius named Ray Palmer.”

Frances said, “Of course, the Atom! I read that book about him by Norman Brawler.”

He held her hand, and they soon strolled along the river Seine. “How about some candy?” he said boyishly. “We can be in Hershey, P.A. in seconds!”

“I think I’d rather give you sugar of my own,” she teased as they kissed.

***

Later, the young couple walked beneath the twinkling stars of Central City, and Frances leaned closely against Wally. “I could stay like this forever,” she said. “No magnetism, no super-speed, just a girl and a boy in love.”

He nodded. “I agree. I’d like to think there’s a certain amount of magnetism here without any powers.”

She smiled, and they stopped for a moment. “It’s been a sensational day,” she said.

“We could make it an even better–” he began, before a tearing sound echoed through the night air. “Look out!” he called as he tossed her over one shoulder and raced aside. “The park sign just fell. Could have killed us!” he said.

“Looks like ice weakened the structure,” she said, looking at it closely.

Wally sighed. “Of course it did. I know who froze it, too. It was that cowardly jackal, Captain Cold.”

Cowardly jackal?” repeated Frances.

“If Barry had said it, it would have sounded cool,” he said, shrugging. “Get down!” he suddenly said as he hurled her to the grass.

Seconds later, a top crashed down where they had been standing. Razor-sharp edges glistened in the moonlight. Wally vibrated Fran and himself through the ground and to safety. He activated the costume in his ring and once again became the fastest man alive. “Stay low,” he said. “I’ll deal with these fruit loops, and we’ll be able to pick up again with the kissing!”

She hoped he was right about that.

He emerged from cover to see a woman waiting on him. She stood defiantly with her hands on each hip. The moonlight revealed her long blonde hair and reflected off of her skates.

“Golden Glider!” exclaimed the Flash. “I knew it was too good to believe you had turned good girl. Captain Comet must have given up on you, too!”

“You killed my man,” she said bitterly. “You robbed me of the only man I loved. We were happy together, and you took him from me!”

The second Flash knew she referred to a dead foe of the first Flash’s, called the Top, alias Roscoe Dillon. He had died and she — Lisa Snart — had blamed Barry Allen ever since. As the Golden Glider, she combined skating skills with hypno gems and ice weaponry like that of her criminal sibling, Len Snart, alias Captain Cold.

“He brought it on himself,” he replied. “It was his own fault.”

She spat, “Liar!” and hurled something at him.

He dodged and grabbed for the pretty blonde. “Your deadly gems can only hurt me if they touch me!” was the line on his lips when he groaned as her projectile expanded and spun back to slam into his head from behind.

“A boomerang? You’ve taken weapons from all the Rogues!” he muttered as she held up a small mirror, and his perceptions blurred psychedelically. “You were the one attacking me all along, instead of Heat Wave and Boomerang! All because you think I killed your lover, Roscoe Dillon!”

“You took away my lover, but it was not Dillon,” cried the woman as she stepped closer. “He was Barry! Barry Allen! You took him on our wedding day!

“You’re not Glider, although you’ve got her skates. You’re Fiona Webb!” he gasped.

The Flash suddenly realized his error. The blonde hair and the skates had all led him to believe that his enemy was the Golden Glider, but he gazed at her features, and in spite of the mask, he knew her to be Barry Allen’s forgotten former fiancée. She’d had a breakdown after the first Flash had been forced to leave his own wedding due to the plot of a foe. (*)

[(*) Editor’s note: See “The Slayer and the Slain,” The Flash #324 (August, 1983).]

Wally knew he had been remiss about checking up on the demure blonde, but he had been so very busy. Coping with Barry’s death, assuming his costumed role, and helping the New Titans and the re-formed Justice League of America had taken almost all the time he could muster.

“Fiona, don’t do this!” he pleaded as the world pulsed around him. “You could not have found those weapons on your own or learned to use them. Someone is using you! Fight it. We’ll find you help!” That mirror is playing havok with my perceptions, he thought. The world is moving even faster than my senses can grasp!

She wore a miniskirt, and strapped across her chest were weapons of various types. Boomerangs, mirrors, prisms, and tiny tops filled out a weapon’s harness, while a gun of some type rested on one hip. “Don’t speak that name!” she shouted. “Fiona is dead! Dead, with Barry Allen! Dead at your hands! I’m Lady Rogue from now on!”

The Flash struggled to rise. With his eyes firmly shut, he could resist the mirror’s spell. He also could locate the madwoman by her loud curses. He created a super-fast whirlwind that spun toward her voice to rock her off her feet. She rode the wind agilely and calmed it with a wave of a wand. Weather Wizard’s wand or a copy, mused the Flash as he fought for balance.

She slapped his face and said, “You took my Barry, and I’ll take your life!

He spun desperately and sucked all the oxygen away from his comely foe. But she merely laughed.

“I have resources all my own!” she giggled madly.

She’s either got her own air supply, or that wand keeps air around her, he mused as flames raced toward him from her hands. He reeled back as even his aura yielded to the intense heat blast.

Then a girl screamed, “Leave him alone!

He turned to see Frances Kane running toward them across the Central City parklands. “Frances — stay back!” he shouted.

“No!” she said. “I’m mad! You and your kind always ruin everything. Just leave us alone!” As she screamed, the metal weaponry on Lady Rogue’s chest flew skyward.

“My weapons!” cried Fiona as she pulled her hip gun.

“Feel what they are like!” cried Frances as the gun spun out of Lady Rogue’s grasp and leveled itself at her face.

The Flash frowned. Man, I don’t need Frances killing her. She’s mixed up, but not evil! He rose even as Frances froze in mid-sentence. “Frances?” he said worriedly.

Lady Rogue picked up her fallen gear as a laughing bald man appeared.

“You now face the true mastermind behind Lady Rogue,” he cried. “You don’t even recall me, do you? Your mentor never even mentioned his early foe from the future, did he? Yet my mind-control powers made Fiona a living weapon. My mastery of time enabled me to have the time-displaced Rogues train her all in seconds. I alone could have done this; I, Mazdan!

[(*) Editor’s note: Mazdan’s first appearance was in “The Man Who Broke the Time Barrier,” Showcase #4 (September-October, 1956); his last appearance was in “Prisoner of the Past,” The Flash #256 (December, 1977).]

The Flash frowned as he found himself, Frances, Lady Rogue, and the boasting Mazdan all transported to a strange but wondrous lair.

“This is my time, my era. I watched you from this place. I saw all I needed to turn Fiona Webb into the perfect killer. She hates you above all others. She sees you only as the Flash who took away Allen. I had all the Rogues train her in using copies of their gear, and only this harlot refused to obey. She even resisted my mind control through her own experience with hypno gems.” He gestured to where the true Lisa Snart, alias the Golden Glider, lay chained.

“I tried to stop him,” said Lisa. “I played along at first, but while he could not control me, he could read my thoughts. He ambushed me and made me watch as he sent her to kill you!”

“I owe you an apology,” said the Flash.

The Golden Glider smiled ruefully. “Forget it. No one believes this bad, bad girl can be good now.”

Mazadan said, “When I kill you, you’ll be forgotten, in any case. Just another minor rogue, while I alone was the man who killed the Flash!

The Flash saw Fiona smile appreciatively. “You said I could kill him — let me do so now!” she begged.

Mazdan laughed. “No, no, no! You merely served as a pawn to secure him. I shall end his miserable life myself.”

Frances Kane heard and saw all that occurred, yet her body was frozen through the sheer mental power of Mazdan. Or was it?

The Flash stalled for time. “Mazdan is using you, Fiona. He hates Barry; you must see that. He hates the man you loved so much!”

Fiona tossed back her blonde locks and took off the mask to reveal her lovely if confused features. “You can’t hate Barry!” she said to Mazdan. “I love him. I won’t let you hurt him, either!”

He raised one hand. “Be calm. My will drives you, and I command you to be calm.”

Frances desperately blinked, and metal devices gave off sparks around the lab. The Flash saw it all, and he also saw Mazdan stalk over and grab Fiona by her hair.

“Do not resist me, woman. You are but my toy. I rid myself of you now!” He pulled out a long rifle-like device.

The Flash moved at top speed and hurled a top from her chest belt toward Mazdan. Though prepared for a conventional super-speed attack, the criminal of the future could not respond quickly enough to the top as it grew enormously large.

Lady Rogue jumped forward and spun expertly on the top until she was looming over Mazdan. “Now who is the toy?” she shrieked.

Mazdan strained to control her even as the Golden Glider’s chains snapped at Frances Kane’s command. Lisa Snart kicked out at the top with years of professional ice skating expertise behind her movement. She sent it careening down until it broke and knocked Mazdan into his pawn. The flash of light left the room bare.

“What did I do?” gasped the Golden Glider.

You didn’t do it,” said the Flash as he freed Frances. “The top caught Mazdan just as he was going to send poor Lady Rogue to some time-displacement of his own. Looks like he got caught in it, too. They’re both long gone… who knows when!”

Lisa Snart smiled. “I can’t say I mind seeing the last of them.”

The Flash held Frances and said, “That’s the problem. From my experience, I can tell you — you never see the last of the bad guys, just the good ones.”

The End

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