by Hitman 44077
With the older man’s decision, it was clear what path his family needed to take. In order to save their era, it was necessary to save Wally West. However…
“I need to make it perfectly clear that this is going to be very difficult,” the older man said cautiously. “Our equipment isn’t normally made to send people back and forth through time, but it should be stable enough to make a brief travel.”
“That’s good to know,” the young woman with long brown hair said graciously to her father. “I’ll make the trip.”
“No, you won’t,” her mother said sternly. “We wouldn’t dare risk it, especially in your condition.”
“She’s right, dear,” the father agreed. “This isn’t going to be easy, as I already stated. I’ll make the trip and do whatever I can to leave history reading the events as they would have transpired in the wake of Flash’s disappearance.”
“All right. I’ll check on the archives and make sure I have all of the facts straight,” the young woman said as she quickly walked toward an archives screen. She began to search for the proper document, while her parents began refining a seldom-used time platform so that there would be enough room to bring the comatose Flash back to this era. Once the platform was prepared, the father connected a small device to his belt, which, with the press of a button, would instantly send the time platform back to its proper place in the laboratory within seconds of its initial travel.
The young woman located and copied the established facts concerning the newspaper archive of Flash Vanishes onto a small holoscreen and handed it to her parents, who were making final adjustments to their equipment. “Everything’s here. The exact time that Flash vanished, what was witnessed by onlookers, and what remained in light of his disappearance,” the young woman said, even as her father read over the holoscreen archive.
“Hmm…” her father said before he finished reading. “A flash of light… and an empty Flash costume. The flash of light will be easy to produce with a nova flare, but I’ll have to make use of a density thinner to remove the suit.”
“How will you remain unseen?” his daughter asked.
“Traveling through time sometimes causes time disturbances within the era the traveler arrives at. It doesn’t affect the rightful return to his or her own time, however. As a precaution, I’ll be using a device to maintain the time disruption until I return. Fortunately, it won’t damage the fabric of time in the twentieth century,” her father responded as he himself began to place a protective uniform over his entire body.
“That’s good to know,” the daughter responded.
“Though we have a slight advantage, we cannot squander what time we have. I’d like both of you to prepare the infirmary for Flash’s arrival. It’s imperative the tank is ready to go,” the father said.
“The tank?” the daughter asked, puzzled.
“Let’s go, my daughter,” the older woman said. “I’ll prepare the tank. I’ll leave it up to you to bring me the cure to the disease killing Wally West.”
“I’ll do just that right now,” the young woman said confidently, before growing quiet. She looked at her parents and felt grateful. “But first, thank you. Thank you for doing this,” she said, her voice almost quivering.
It wasn’t just the fact that their era was in danger by the monster threatening it, but perhaps feeling a desire to right a past wrong “It’s all right, it’s OK,” the woman’s father said reassuringly. “I’ll be back.”
“Please stay safe, my love,” the older woman said with concern as she approached her husband. Stopping in front of him, the older woman kissed her husband and prayed that it wouldn’t be the last time she saw him.
“I will. Farewell,” the man said to his wife. As his wife and daughter exited the laboratory, the man grew nervous as he activated the time platform. The time platform isn’t an exact science, but I fear the alternative more than losing my life, the man thought. My wife, my daughter, and all who call Central City home are in danger. If there’s any reason to hope things work, it has to be for them.
With the time platform activated, the man pressed various symbols on the device, keying in when exactly to arrive, and how soon to arrive back. This is it, the man thought. Let’s just pray things remain as they are until I return with the Flash. Pressing one final button, the time platform suddenly vanished with its operator.
The travel was intense as the man felt the pressures of the time stream all around him. It was almost suffocating as swirls of chronal energy expanded forth, and through various stages, this man witnessed several events firsthand in a reverse order — all random, all confusing, until the time platform finally stopped at its destination point.
Unghh, the man thought as he regained his senses. Looking up, he realized just where he was. June 1st, 1987, he thought almost triumphantly. He spotted the collapsed body of the Flash laying nearby, even as he witnessed a nearly submerged armored figure within the street. “It’s just as she said it was — just as the archives said it was,” the man said, pressing the device he’d brought along to keep time at a virtual standstill. “That should allow me enough time to accomplish this.”
Stepping away from the time platform, the man walked to the Flash and removed his density thinner from his belt. You’ve been an important part of my daughter’s life, Wally, and I’m grateful she was as important to you as you were to her, the man thought as he activated the density thinner. He covered the entire Flash costume, which was now intangible, with the device. Once that was complete, the man carefully picked up the unconscious Flash and carried him over to the time platform. He covered Wally in a protective suit himself and secured him to the platform so that nothing would happen to him in the travel back to the thirtieth century. He then walked back to the Flash costume and used the density thinner to reverse the process on the Flash costume.
There, the man thought. With time being where it’s currently at, my exiting this time period will return things to normal, leaving the Flash costume to simply fall to the ground without a body. But now, the flash of light. Placing a small circular device to the ground, the man hurried to the time platform and reactivated it. That was relatively simple, but I have to time this right. The nova flare is ready to go off.
He again pressed the button on the device that kept time slowed down and pressed another button, plunging him and Wally West on a trip back to the thirtieth century. Even as that happened, the small nova flare went off as time returned to normal in the twentieth century, leaving everything as it had been recorded in history. What remained of the nova flare disintegrated in the bright flash of light.
This time, the trip toward the thirtieth century took a normal turn for the man and his unconscious guest. It’s still bizarre, but it’s not nearly as hard as the trip backwards, the man thought. Probably because I’m going with the flow of time rather than against it. Glancing at Wally, the man saw how close to death the twenty-something man really was. Hold on, Wally, the man thought compassionately. We’re going to do what we can to save you.
Within seconds, the time platform returned to its place in the thirtieth century, and the man carried the unconscious visitor to the infirmary “Oh, my God — oh, my God!” the young woman said as she saw her father walk through the doorway carrying Wally. “Is he still alive?”
“Barely,” the father said nervously. “Is the tank ready?”
“Yes. Place him in quickly!” the man’s wife said urgently. The man walked toward a semi-large spherical tank filled with a thick greenish liquid. Climbing to the top of the tank, the man quickly placed Wally inside the tank and sealed the top.
This action shocked the man’s daughter. “What are you doing?! He’ll drown!” the daughter shouted.
“He’s as safe as he’ll be for now,” her mother responded calmly. “Our science is far different than what you’re familiar with. The tank is filled with an oxygenated liquid which is very similar to amniotic fluid. The tank, in a way, serves as a healing womb for those critically wounded. He can breathe the fluid in without the dangers of choking or drowning within it.”
“So this could have been used the entire time?” her daughter asked.
“Not exactly,” the mother responded as she looked at a holographic display depicting the damage done to Wally’s body. “The tank can heal the damage done to the muscles in his legs and heal his heart and lungs, but it won’t cure him of the disease.”
“I did bring what you asked,” the daughter said, walking to a table and picking up a pint of blood and a medium-sized vial containing a pinkish liquid. She then walked back to her mother and handed the two items to her mother. “Only this can cure him.”
“Thank you,” her mother responded graciously. With the two items in hand, the older woman walked to the tank and placed each product into the machine. Pressing several buttons, the woman watched as two metallic IVs attached themselves to the left arm and chest of Wally West. Within seconds, the IVs had emptied all their contents into the unconscious hero, and the devices detached from Wally’s arm and body.
“There… we’ve done all we can for him,” the older woman said cautiously. “I just hope he has the willpower to fight for his life.”
The young woman walked toward the tank and placed her right hand on the tank, while placing her left hand on her stomach. She stared at Wally and fought against tears. We need you, Wally. Please, don’t give up! she thought desperately. There wasn’t anything they could do now, except wait.
Elsewhere in the futuristic Central City, the white-hot creature continued to lumber forth, even as both human and robotic military attempted to stop it. The human military raised and fired their many laser rifles at the creature, but the beams couldn’t penetrate its hide. In turn, the creature seemed almost annoyed by their efforts. It raised its fists upward, then sharply brought them down onto the street. Most of the soldiers collapsed because of the shock waves created by the creature’s strength.
The human soldiers quickly stood up, knowing they weren’t a match for the monster, and moved away from the creature, even as more robots arrived to attack the threat. Their efforts were in vain, however, as the creature simply walked past the robotic soldiers, its intense heat melting the robots as they moved closer.
The creature continued walking and noticed that the symbol it saw earlier was growing larger, the symbol of the Flash Museum. Though it seemed to have few, if any, human qualities, the creature seemed to be possessed by a bizarre sense of joy, as it sinisterly smiled in anticipation of reaching the Museum.
Back in the infirmary, the young woman with long brown hair continued to stare at Wally West, still floating within the middle of the completely filled tank. When will we know? she thought helplessly. Were we too late to help you? I wanted so much to help you before you reached this point, and I failed you.
“I know this is hurting you, but you’re only going to feel worse if you continue to watch over him,” a voice called out from behind her. The woman turned around and saw her father standing next to her. He hugged his daughter slowly, even as he continued to speak. “His body was in bad shape when I found him. The stress isn’t good for you — all of us here know that. It might be better if you tried to get some rest in the meantime,” her father suggested.
“I know,” the young woman replied sadly as she slowly let go of her father’s hug. “But I can’t leave him… not like this.”
Within the tank, Wally West continued to float within the spherical pod, until… “Oh, my God!” shouted aloud the woman’s mother, who’d been watching over Wally’s body readings. The young woman and her father turned back to the tank, watching in unexpected amazement as Wally began to stir within the tank.
“He’s recovering!” the man said, hardly believing his eyes. Turning to his wife, the man addressed her. “How is his condition?”
“Everything is reading normal!” the woman said.
Slowly, Wally opened his eyes within the tank. Somewhat upside-down, he felt the thick liquid in his lungs and began choking. “Drain it quickly!” the man yelled to his wife. She immediately complied, pressing a button on the tank tall. The ground opened up under the tank, releasing all of the greenish liquid Wally had been floating in into the sewer systems. Protecting Wally from draining along with the fluid was a metal grate that he landed on. Once all the fluid had been removed, clean water sprayed forth, cleaning not only Wally, but the entire tank as well.
The shock of the tank took an immediate toll on Wally. He’d been breathing it in unconsciously, but by awakening, he was unprepared for such fluid being inside his chest and body. On his knees, he vomited some of the liquid as water continued to pour on him. “Urrgghh!” Wally managed to say as the last of the fluid was expunged from his body. “Wh… what… happened? Wh-where am I?”
The older man opened the floor chamber of the tank as the water finally stopped pouring forth and walked to the young man. “The tank has an unsettling experience on those emerged within it. I am sorry, but it was necessary,” the man said, helping Wally to his feet.
“What… what’s going on here?” Wally said slowly as he began to regain his senses.
“Wally West, welcome to the year 2985. My name is Eric Russell,” the man said, helping Wally to stand up.
“The… future?” Wally said, confused.
“Yes, in a manner of speaking,” Eric said, somewhat amused. “How do you feel?”
“I feel…” Wally began to say. He moved his arms and legs slowly, and yet he didn’t feel any symptoms of the disease that had been killing him. “I feel great… normal, in fact,” Wally admitted, brushing some wet hair from his face.
Wally and Eric walked over to a chair, and Wally sat down. “The last thing I remember was stopping that nuclear blast, but — oh, my God! Did I fail?”
“Not at all,” the young woman said, barely restraining the joy she was currently feeling. She walked toward Wally and handed him a cup of water. Wally drank from the cup while staring at the young woman. I don’t know why, but there’s something about this woman, he thought. I’ve never seen her before, but yet, there’s something familiar there, like I know her from somewhere. It’s in her eyes.
“There’s a reason that we brought you here, Wally,” an older woman said from behind. Walking to the side of her husband, she continued to speak. “My name’s Fran Russell. You’ve met my husband and daughter already.”
“I didn’t catch your daughter’s name,” Wally said as he continued to look at the young woman.
“There will be time for discussions later,” Eric said sharply, remembering the urgency of the situation.
“What do you mean?” Wally asked, turning toward Eric.
“There is a monster destroying the city, a large monster that may be radioactive. It’s inhuman, but it seems… to know the Flash,” Eric admitted.
“That’s very odd,” Wally said, puzzled. “What does it look like?”
“Let me show you,” Eric said as he walked toward the holovision and activated the digiprobe within. Instantly, Wally watched and listened to the events that had occurred earlier. “That… thing, it’s bigger than Plasmus,” he said, watching its recorded rampage and comparing it to the foe he’d fought with the New Teen Titans. But once Wally heard the creature speak, he knew exactly who this creature once was. “Mota?!” Wally said, shocked. “How?!”
“We’re still unsure as to how he lives, but he must be stopped,” Eric said calmly. “Recorded history states that you defeated Mota in 1987, and with that knowledge, it was necessary to save your life. We have turned to the Flash before, but it was your predecessor who helped us. With this threat, we knew you were the only person who could stop this monster.”
“You healed me, but what about the disease?” Wally asked, unsure if he wanted to know the answer.
“The disease has been cleansed from your body. I guarantee it,” the young woman said proudly before walking toward a metallic door that spread open as if made from mercury.
This must really be the future, Wally thought, amazed. It’s like something out of a Space Trek 2022 episode.
“The creature seems to be approaching the Flash Museum to vent its rage, and right now, we need the Flash. Will you help us, Wally?” Fran asked.
“Of course,” Wally said with determination. “Where’s my costume?”
“Well,” Eric said uneasily, “established history stated that you’d vanished from June 1st, 1987, and only your costume remained.”
“We do have a suitable replacement, Wally,” the young woman said, returning with a red bundle. She handed the costume to Wally, who stood up from his chair and examined the costume in his arms. It was a Flash costume, nearly identical to the suit he’d been given after his uncle’s death. However, the suit had a metallic-like appearance to it. He also noticed where the lightning was once in a simple zigzag design around the waist, two small bolts of lightning met at the waist in the front and the back. The Flash insignia on the chest was a little larger than it had been previously. Other than those differences, Wally welcomed it.
“Nice… very nice,” Wally said as he began to put the costume on his body. “It’s a little tighter than I expected, but it works. What is it made from?”
“Believe it or not, mostly the same fabric that your predecessor invented,” the young woman said.
“Very interesting,” Wally said as he put his mask on.
“The suit has a few safeguards, one of which is the fact that it is radiation-proof. This should aid you in your efforts to stop Mota,” the young woman said.
“Thank you,” Flash said graciously. “It’s time for me to put your gifts to good use. Keep safe, everyone.”
“We will,” Eric said with confidence.
With that, the Flash sped off, not sure how he’d stop the creature. All he knew was that he had to.
Be safe, Wally. Please be safe, the young woman thought, fearing that something could still go wrong.