The Flash: Terminal Velocity, Chapter 4: Battle in Cleveland

by Hitman 44077

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Day two began in Central City’s courthouse, where Len Snart, AKA Captain Cold, was being arraigned for his armed robbery attempt, among other offenses. However, someone was not at the courthouse, and that was Cecile Horton, who — unknown to all present — was being held captive elsewhere. The presiding judge, Judge Hughes, was obviously annoyed. He addressed Snart, who wasn’t wearing his typical C.C. garb. “Mr. Snart, just where is your lawyer?”

Snart smirked, because he was amused by the proceedings. He replied, “I have no clue, not that I’m complaining.”

“It would be wise for your lawyer to be present, Mr. Snart. You need proper representation before we can proceed,” Judge Hughes said sternly.

“Oh, I think I can represent myself. Now then, how about setting bail?” Snart said, not really caring about the whereabouts of Cecile, but his own well-being.

Judge Hughes grew angry. “Mr. Snart, there is no bail for you. You have proven yourself a repeat offender, and I have no desire to aid your campaign against the laws that have been set in place.”

“Aw, come on!” Snart said, starting to lose his cool. “I still need to enter a plea, right?”

“Do you plan on representing yourself, as you stated a few minutes ago?” Judge Hughes asked Snart.

“Yeah, of course. I plead not guilty, judge. By reason of insanity,” Snart said to the judge.

“Then you will remain in the custody of the Central City Police Department’s jailing facilities until a trial date can be set. Understand that I am not swayed by your plea, Mr. Snart. I would suggest that you study up in regards to the laws you’ve broken in the past. You’ll need that knowledge if you plan on escaping a guilty verdict,” Judge Hughes said with contempt.

“Yeah, whatever,” Snart said, as police officers began leading him away.

“I’m calling a ten-minute recess before the next case,” Judge Hughes said, rapping his gavel once before retiring to his chambers. Inside his judge’s chambers, Judge Hughes made a phone call to an old friend.

“This is Captain Frye. Who is this?” Frye said over the phone.

“Darryl, this is Justin Hughes. I need to ask a favor,” the judge said.

“Of course. What is it?” Darryl asked.

“Len Snart’s arraignment ended a few minutes ago. That in itself isn’t odd, but his lawyer wasn’t present. Cecile Horton is her name,” Justin said.

“What?” Darryl said loudly on the other end. “She wasn’t there this morning? That’s odd — very odd.”

“I’d like you to have someone check things out. Cecile never is one to miss dates in court,” Justin said.

“I’ll take care of this right away,” Darryl said. “Are you positive she wasn’t sick?”

“She would call in, I know that much, or send one of her coworkers to represent her. Thanks for checking this out, Darryl,” Justin said.

“Of course. I’ll talk to you later, then. Goodbye,” Darryl said.

“Goodbye, Darryl,” Judge Hughes said, noticing the time on his clock. “Better head back to the courtroom. There’s still an entire day’s proceedings to take care of.” Judge Hughes walked back to the courtroom and resumed his position.

Back at the CCPD in Captain Frye’s office, Darryl Frye debated on whether or not to call Wally West. I know they aren’t that close, but it strikes me as odd that Cecile wouldn’t show up to court. Still, I don’t want to worry him. I’ll have a few officers check out her home and see for themselves if she’s there. If not, then I’ll call Wally, Darryl thought as he walked outside his office and assembled a few police officers to check out Cecile’s home.

***

Wally West woke up from a fitful sleep, still tired from all that had occurred the previous day. “I must have slept in for a change,” he said and yawned, sitting up on the bed. “Normally, I enjoy the dawn of a new day, but right now, it’s hard for me to enjoy anything.”

Getting out of bed, Wally shaved, showered, and got dressed in a pair of boxer briefs, a pair of shorts, and a Titans T-shirt. Taking his dirty clothes with him, he removed his Flash costume from the washer and placed it inside the dryer. He started the dryer, even though the suit was only a little damp, and placed his dirty clothes in the washer, then turned it on.

Suddenly, Wally’s doorbell rang. “Wonder who it is,” he said as he walked toward his front door. Upon opening the door, Wally found himself standing in front of his smiling girlfriend, Frances Kane.

“Hi, Wally. I didn’t get to see you yesterday, so I figured I’d stop by before work,” Fran said.

Wally smiled. “Come on in,” he said to Fran, who took his words to heart. Once she walked inside, she and Wally shared a long hug and a slow kiss.

“I tried calling yesterday, but you weren’t home,” Fran said, somewhat curiously. “Anything new?”

Wally paused, not knowing what to say. I want to tell her about the return of my disease, and I know I should, but not now. Not yet, not unless there’s no longer any hope whatsoever, he thought before speaking. “Nah… not really. All I did yesterday was jail Captain Cold and put out a fire in Fallville,” Wally said, relating only half of what happened to him the previous day. “Nothing to worry about.”

Wally’s last comment struck Fran as odd. “Worry? About the fastest man alive? Why?” she said, a curious smile on her face.

“Nothing, really,” Wally lied, fairly convincingly. “Look, I probably shouldn’t keep you from work. I’d better head on out myself. I have a few things to do.”

“Well, OK,” Fran said, though she felt odd inside. “I’ll be home by seven, all right? Maybe we could catch dinner or something.”

“Yeah, that sounds good–” Wally said as the phone rang. “Wait a sec, Fran.” Wally walked toward his phone and picked it up. “Hello?” he said over the phone.

“Wally, it’s Darryl Frye,” the man said over the phone. His voice was urgent, worried. “Something’s up.”

“What is it?” Wally asked in a serious tone.

“About an hour or so ago, I received a call from one of the judges at the Central City Courthouse — Judge Justin Hughes. Apparently, Len Snart’s lawyer didn’t show up to court this morning. The attorney appointed to Snart was Cecile Horton, Barry’s lawyer from a few years back,” Frye said.

“Cecile?” Wally said aloud, so that Fran heard him.

“Yeah. Justin gave me a call because Cecile’s not one to miss court dates. I sent some men over to investigate, but it seems she wasn’t at her home. They managed to break the door open, and sure enough, no sign of Cecile in her home. I’m heading over there to investigate myself after hanging up the phone. I’d like your help with this. Can you meet me there?” Frye asked.

“Yeah, don’t worry. I’m on my way. I’ll see you in a few minutes, Darryl,” Wally said strongly.

“All right, Wally. Goodbye,” Frye said.

“‘Bye.” Wally hung up the phone, then turned to Fran.

“Wally, who was that?” Fran asked, her face suddenly concerned.

“Darryl Frye, Barry’s old captain at the CCPD. It seems that Cecile Horton is missing, and he needs my help,” Wally said, walking toward his washer and dryer. Fran followed him as he pulled his Flash costume from the dryer. Thankfully, the suit was nearly dry. “He needs the Flash, and so does Cecile.”

Though she knew Wally loved her totally, Fran did feel a small bit of jealousy at the mention of Cecile, or for that matter, any woman who had been close in some way to Wally over the years. She refused to air her feelings, though, as her faith and love for Wally remained strong. “Just be careful,” she said, kissing his cheek.

“I will, Fran,” Wally said as he hugged her. “See you later.”

“‘Bye, Wally,” Fran said as she walked toward Wally’s front door and exited the apartment. As soon as the door shut, Wally put his costume on normally, without the aid of super-speed.

Don’t worry, Fran. I plan on being extremely careful, but that’s something we can discuss later, Wally thought, pulling his mask over his face. Now clothed in the scarlet suit, the Flash exited his apartment and headed toward Cecile Horton’s home.

He soon arrived at the home of Cecile Horton and immediately spotted the police cars at the scene. I feel a little sore, but at least I didn’t feel those crushing pains in my chest, Flash thought as he slowly walked toward the entrance of the home. Before he could enter, Darryl Frye arrived in his car and exited the vehicle after parking it. He walked toward Flash and offered his hand.

“I’m glad you’re here,” Darryl said after the two shook hands. “Come on, let’s go inside the house.”

Together, Flash and Frye entered the home and walked over to one of the officers that began investigating earlier. “Have you found anything?” Frye asked the officer.

“From what we’ve seen so far, there was definitely a break-in,” the officer said, motioning to the two men to follow him. “While the front door was undamaged, you can see here–” The officer directed his hand toward the back door, where the lock had been shattered. “–the lock seems to have been dismantled, almost systematically. I couldn’t even describe just how it happened, but it’s very odd.”

“Is there anything else, maybe some other clues as to what’s happened?” Flash asked, his concern evident.

“There’s not much, but come this way,” the officer said to Flash and Frye. Together, the three men walked up the stairs toward Cecile’s bedroom, which had an adjacent bathroom connected.

The officer stopped and bent down to the ground. “You can see a little blood here,” he said, using a pencil to point to drops of blood where Cecile had scratched Lady Rogue’s hand the day before. “What we don’t know is whose blood this is. Plus,” he said, standing up, “there appears to have been a struggle in Cecile’s bedroom. Her phone is still off the hook, which indicates that she may have been trying to call for help.”

“Any idea who?” Frye asked.

“Not yet. We’re going over the phone records to see just who it was that she called, or if she was even successful in her attempt to make this call,” the officer replied.

Suddenly, without warning, Flash’s JLA communicator went off, buzzing away. “Wait a second, guys,” Flash said to Darryl and the officer. Removing his JLA communicator from his suit, Flash spoke into the device. “Flash here. What’s up?”

“Flash, I’m glad I could reach you,” the voice from the communicator replied. “This is Steel. Look, we have some trouble. Amazo’s back online, and that thing’s ripping up Cleveland. We need your help immediately, as we don’t have all of our strongest members available.”

The Flash paused for a few seconds, his mind filled with what was happening to him so far, and what would happen to him.

“Look, Flash,” Darryl interrupted, spotting the concern in the scarlet speedster’s eyes, “we all know that you’re a member of the JLA. We can continue investigating while you face this thing in Cleveland. There’s no problem.”

“Thank you, Darryl,” he said to his friend. Raising the communicator to his mouth, Flash spoke to Steel. “I’m on my way, pal. Flash out.”

“I’m going to continue exploring different ventures, maybe see if I can’t find anything that would tie into what’s happened to Cecile while you’re gone,” Darryl said to the Flash.

“I’ll see you when I get back, Darryl, and thanks,” Flash said sincerely.

“No trouble, my friend. Take care,” Darryl said as he watched Flash walk down the stairs.

Upon exiting the home, the Flash stood a few seconds and thought. If I keep doing this, I’m going to run out of time. That’s something I can’t afford, not until I solve this problem with Cecile. But I need to be a hero. I know Barry would do the same. But… I need to save myself some time. And I know just how to do that.

The Flash made his way home, activated his transporter tube, and beamed himself onto the JLA Satellite located in space.

Upon his arrival to the JLA Satellite, Flash found that Hawkwoman was in charge of operating the device.

“Wally?!” a puzzled Hawkwoman said. “Why didn’t you just head over toward Cleveland?”

“I thought this would be quicker, Shayera,” Flash lied, trying to hide his concern for his health. “Just teleport me there.”

Though she thought that this was an odd situation, she did teleport Flash to Cleveland, Ohio, where Amazo was tearing up the city. That’s strange. Wally had an uncomfortable look on his face just now, as if he had some type of fear inside him. I hope it doesn’t affect his battle performance, Hawkwoman thought with concern for her friend.

***

The Flash arrived in Cleveland and found several members of the Justice League of America in battle with the android Amazo. Wonder Woman had snared one of Amazo’s arms with her magic lasso, using her Amazon strength to keep from moving. The Elongated Man was using his body to snare Amazo’s other arm, while Steel moved forward and landed several hard blows to the android’s face and body.

“On your feet, speedster!” shouted Hawkman, who flew toward Amazo and used his mace to attack the android.

I’ve got to do something instead of just standing here! Flash thought as he began running toward Amazo.

But Amazo wasn’t to be stopped. He managed to fling Wonder Woman toward Hawkman, and both fell to the ground. He then used heat-vision to burn the Elongated Man off his other arm. “Yearghh!” Ralph Dibny screamed, the painful heat searing his skin. He slumped to the ground, twitching, as Amazo grabbed Steel by the neck and pounded his face numerous times with his free hand clenched in a fist.

Ralph!” Wally screamed, running to his friend instead of Amazo, who continued pounding on Steel. He bent down and checked on Ralph’s condition.

“I — I’ve felt better,” the Elongated Man said. “I hurt… but it’s not critical, I don’t think.”

“Look, I’m going to try to sever its brain circuits,” Flash said. “Stay away. I don’t want you getting hurt… or worse.”

“It’s not my day to die,” Ralph smiled through his pain. “Just do what you’ve got to.”

By this time, Amazo dropped Steel, whose face was covered in blood. “Seven Hells!” shouted Hawkman to Wonder Woman after both had regrouped. “Steel’s down. We need to get him off this battlefield!”

“Then as a fellow warrior, take him where he can recover, Hawkman,” said Nubia, the second Wonder Woman. “I’ll send this thing to Hades myself!” As Hawkman picked up the fallen Steel and teleported back to the JLA Satellite, Wonder Woman lassoed the neck of Amazo as Flash joined the action. “Hola, Flash!” Wonder Woman said, yanking the creature to the ground with the lasso. “It would seem that you have finally joined this battle.”

The Flash pounded away at Amazo and replied, “I’ve been busy, but not to the point where I’d ignore the League.” Flash tried to enact his plan to sever the brain circuits within the android’s head, but the creature began vibrating at super-speed, preventing Flash from accomplishing his goal. It stood up, using its super-speed, and punched Flash to the ground, then pulled Wonder Woman toward him, her lasso still wrapped around its neck. As soon as Wonder Woman was close enough, Amazo punched her through an empty building.

Where’s the rest of the League? Superman? Batman? The Tornado, or J’onn? Flash thought, standing up. He then began to use his speed against Amazo’s, as they attempted to land punches against each other.

Suddenly, the Flash felt the horrible familiar pains in his chest and momentarily stopped. Agghh! he thought, not noticing the punch heading toward his chest until a split-second before it could land. Though he managed to avoid most of the punch through the painful use of his super-speed, the force still sent him flying back, where he skidded across a road.

Wonder Woman was hurting, but she recovered from her attack and rejoined the battle, now joined by her lover, the Martian Manhunter. He was enraged. “Amazo, all you cause is pain and suffering!” the Manhunter said loudly. “You need to be destroyed permanently!

“Hola, J’onn! It seems we have a fighting chance once more,” Wonder Woman said as she and the Manhunter attacked Amazo. They landed blow after blow against the android’s body, and the Manhunter used his vision powers against the creature as well, but Amazo battled back, using his heat-vision to catch the Manhunter’s cape on fire.

The Manhunter reeled in pain, screaming, as fire was his weakness. “Arrghh!

Wonder Woman yelled aloud her lover’s name, horrified to see what was happening to the Manhunter. “J’onn!” She ran toward him and put out the fire by breaking a fire hydrant and pushing his body against the powerful water flowing forth.

Amazo began running toward Wonder Woman, who was more concerned with the condition of the Manhunter, but was met in combat by the recovered Flash. “You damned thing!” Flash shouted as the two locked up in battle, despite the continued pain he felt in his body. “You want to try and kill someone — do your best to me!

The battle in super-speed continued throughout the growing pain. Ultimately, however, the pain won out. “N-no… c-can’t do… what I — unghh…” The Flash passed out from the pain and fell to the ground effortlessly, as Amazo stood over the fallen hero. Before it could react, someone called out to the android.

“Well done!” a sinister voice called out. Had the Flash been awake, he would have recognized the voice as Lex Luthor’s. The bald foe of Superman walked toward Amazo, who continued to stand there over the fallen Flash. “It seems that Professor Ivo programmed you perfectly! But with my genius, we could go very, very far, indeed.”

Amazo didn’t react as Lex continued speaking. “There’s so much the two of us could do together. And, of course, I’ll let the good professor join us! Now, then,” Lex said, placing his hand on the android’s head, “let’s see what your future holds.”

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