by Hitman 44077
In Central City, Wally West arrived at the Margolin household, still angry after the discussion he’d had with Patty Spivot and John Flint moments earlier.
This is odd, Wally thought, looking around. Paul’s car isn’t here. Maybe that’s for the best. I know I won’t do something I’ll regret, but right now I’m sorely tempted, and that bothers me a great deal.
Upon approaching the front door, he noticed that it wasn’t fully closed. Wally paused momentarily, unsure whether he should enter, since he didn’t want to cause a problem with Angie’s case. Not yet, he decided. Let’s take a look around the home first.
And so he did, first looking around the house and its surrounding property, then taking glances inside through the windows at super-speed. If anyone had seen him, they’d only be able to say that they’d seen someone at the front door, nothing more. Suddenly, behind the house, he noticed mixed shards of broken glass on the home’s wooden deck, along with a picture frame containing a photo from Paul and Angela’s wedding several years earlier. He looked up and saw a shattered window where he figured the picture frame had to have been thrown through.
Very telling, Wally thought, narrowing his eyes. I can’t prove it, but I’d be willing to bet this happened after their fight in the police lab.
Wally walked right up to the broken window and took a look inside the Margolin home. The broken window exposed what appeared to be a den, complete with a desk, several trophies, certificates, exercise equipment, and aged newspaper clippings. It also had several holes in the wall — which was very odd, since there was also a punching bag hanging from the ceiling. A nearly empty bottle of whisky lay on the floor, its cap removed, along with a tipped-over ashtray encircled by several cigarette butts.
I think we have a case! Wally thought as what he saw confirmed matters with him. Punching holes through the wall isn’t normal human behavior, nor is the beating of someone you’ve pledged to love.
Wally paused again, positive that what he saw would clear matters, but he also felt he needed a closer inspection of the room as well. Still, he was unwilling to simply invade a home, which was considered a matter of criminal trespassing. If John and Patty can talk sense into Angie, then John would have the right to obtain a search warrant. A search here, and– Wally thought before the sound of a screeching car pulled into the drive. Looks like the jerk’s home, Wally thought angrily, hiding behind the home’s garage at super-speed before the car pulled into it.
The car door opened, then shut quickly, and the walking figure of Paul Margolin started to head toward the drive and his front door. “You wanna leave me? You wanna show how strong you are? You know nothing about strength, bitch!” Paul mumbled loud enough so that Wally heard every single word. “I’m the one with power. I’m the man. And you think that I’m done with you? Not by a longshot. You’ll be begging for your punishment once I’m finished with you. I won’t stop until you have nothing in this world to live for.”
Wally stood there, shaking with as fierce an anger as he’d ever felt. He clenched his fist even as he stared back at the home and the monster that lived inside. You deserve much worse than what I’d like to give you, Paul, Wally thought bitterly. But as much as I’d like to do just that, I refuse to lower myself to your level. And after what I just heard, I think you’re going to be trading places with Angie in jail.
As this took place, no one was aware that Amazo had arrived in the airways above Central City. The resurrected and improved android was flying far above house levels, cloaked in invisibility and using its telescopic vision to search for the Flash before it would begin its rampage through Central City. After several quick flyovers, the android hit pay-dirt. It spotted Wally West standing behind the garage of what appeared to the android to be a random home. The android, though it had no emotion, seemed to show an element of pleasure, as if there was a degree of happiness associated with the orders it had received from its creator, Professor Ivo. It picked up speed, turned toward the civilian-clad hero, and began flying toward him, its eyes beginning to glow with the intent of firing a stunning shot of heat-vision at its prey.
Time to get in touch with John and Patty. Maybe even Frank Curtis since he’s the acting captain while Darryl Frye’s still in the hospital. I’m sure he’d like to know what one of his fellow detectives likes to do in his spare time, Wally thought, releasing his fist and doing what he could to calm down. He began to run at super-speed, not noticing the beams of heat-vision that would have hit him if he’d remained standing there.
The impact that the beams made were significant, as both the sound of impact and the damage to the Margolins’ garage alerted both citizens who lived nearby, as well as Paul Margolin and Wally West himself.
“What on Earth?!” Wally shouted aloud, obviously caught by surprise, before turning around at super-speed and running back toward the area where he’d been standing, stopping at what was now a patch of circular ground glowing red and beginning to smoke. The garage was also partially charred and looked like it could catch on fire at any given moment. With a quick fanning of his left arm, Wally cooled both the ground and the garage, safely stopping what could have turned into a problem.
How’d that happen? Wally thought, puzzled, until he looked up toward the sky. There was nothing up there that he could see — nothing, that was, except for two small glowing lights, and then, without warning, another large beam of heat-vision fired from the same two lights.
Something’s attacking me! Wally thought, avoiding contact with the heat-vision blasts while at the same time activating the Flash ring he wore. Instantly — thanks to his super-speed powers — Wally West was gone, and standing in his place was the Flash.
“Show yourself!” Flash demanded, daring to look the glowing red eyes straight on with his own eyes.
Whatever it was that was attacking the Flash didn’t speak. Instead, it fired more blasts of heat-vision in rapid-fire succession, which the Flash barely managed to avoid, even with the benefits of his super-speed powers.
This is messed up! Flash thought, zipping from one spot to another and avoiding the blasts that seemed to strike as he stepped away just in the nick of time and time again. Does this have anything to do with that creature I fought a few months back — the thing posing as Brainiac? (*)
[(*) Editor’s note: See The Flash: To Battle Brainiac.]
Paul Margolin, who — with several other neighbors — heard the battle that was taking place, decided to peek his head out from his front door. He grew bitter as he saw the crimson blur dashing from one spot to another. Of course he’d be here, in my neighborhood, Paul thought, gritting his teeth. I can’t escape his kind even outside of work. Upon finishing the thought, Paul paused, starting to realize that maybe things weren’t under control like he’d thought they were. Never mind the battle between the scarlet speedster and some invisible menace — just why was the scarlet speedster in his neighborhood to begin with? Paul began to sweat, feeling the fast beating of his heart. I did everything right — things should add up in my favor! he nervously thought. But what if she spoke to them? No, she deserved what I did for her — she must understand that much — but they won’t. They’re as smart as I am.
Pausing again, Paul suddenly grew frantic, running into his den, broken window and all, and found his ashtray. Where is it?! Paul thought, pushing through the cigarette butts on the floor. His search was fruitless, as he couldn’t tell which cigarette he’d used to burn his hand. “Blast it!” he shouted, before pausing again. This time, he slowly started to smile, even taking a small laugh. They already saw my hand, examined it — I should have left the butt inside the police lab, but I didn’t think. Now, he thought, using his good hand to pull a cigarette from his front pocket and placing it into his mouth, I’ve got as good a solution as any.
He pulled out a lighter with his good hand and lit the cigarette. He took a few puffs from it, then undid the bandages from his injured hand. He took the cigarette and started to burn his injured hand, taking the time to place the cigarette into each charred wound that he’d burned hours earlier. He grinned through the pain and ground the butt out into the final charred wound he’d given himself. He stared at the cigarette butt and thought calmly, All I have to do now is wait for that fool to take his little fight elsewhere. Then I’ll head to the police lab, dump this little item off, and watch Angie’s hopes fade again.
No sense endangering these people any more than I have, the Flash thought as he sped past a car that, when hit by another blast of heat-vision, exploded. The force of the explosion caused Flash to lose his balance, and he tripped. He skidded and rolled several feet, coming to a stop against a large oak tree, which his chest took the impact of. He clutched his chest in pain, even as the invisible enemy lowered itself to the street and slowly approached the scarlet speedster. Seeing the hero in what it perceived as pain, the invisible menace rid itself of its element of surprise. The Flash, in apparent pain, looked up at the enemy, now revealed for what it was — a foe he’d faced somewhere before. And the enemy’s name dawned on him as the eyes began to glow a different color.
“Supremo?!” the Flash managed to shout as the android fired a blast of Martian vision at the hero. The blast almost connected with the twenty-something hero, but at the last possible second, through his pain, he sped out of the way. The blast hit the tree, which fell toward the android.
The Flash clutched his chest again, still in pain, but thankfully he didn’t seem to feel anything broken. Must’ve just knocked the wind out of me, Flash thought, trying to shake the pain away as Amazo caught the tree before it could land on it. It’s not quite the Supremo I fought with the Titans back in ’84, nor is it the Amazo the JLA and I fought back in May. (*) It can’t be Supremo, though — the color scheme is nearly identical to Amazo, and yet Superman destroyed Amazo!
[(*) Editor’s note: See DC Comics Presents: Superman and the Teen Titans: Times Past, 1984: Times of the Titans, Chapter 3: 1984.]
Amazo held the large tree, pressed it over his head, and ignited it with his heat-vision. He then heaved it into the air with all his super-strength, faster and faster until it was out of sight, then turned his attention back toward the crimson comet and opened its mouth, emitting a canary cry. The noise of such a blast would be enough to stop normal humans dead in their tracks, but the added strength that this newer Amazo possessed threw the Flash backward nearly half a mile — along with a few street signs and some electrical lines — and the noise alone nearly deafened the speedster, now clutching his ears with one knee to the ground.
“Come on, get up!” Flash demanded from himself. “Got to mount an offense!”
He stood up, despite the pain, and launched himself as fast as he could toward his foe. He sped faster and faster toward Amazo, who raised his arms toward the speedster. Its hands were opened, and suddenly the street that Flash was racing on began to shake. Now I’m certain this isn’t Supremo! Flash realized as he lost balance again. He turned his body and began to roll toward Amazo in a rolling-pin fashion. Supremo was created shortly before Aquaman reorganized the JLA, and that happened a few months before the Crisis. Supremo wouldn’t have had Vibe’s abilities, God rest his soul, but Professor Ivo made sure that Amazo did! I am fighting Amazo!
Despite the shaking streets, the Flash struck Amazo, tripping the android up, then launched into a fast battle with the android. Both engaged in a super-speed stalemate, much as they’d done months earlier, neither one gaining an upper hand, until suddenly Amazo vanished.
“Where’d he go?!” Flash shouted in shock. He looked around everywhere, but there was no sign of him. Suddenly, however, Flash developed a headache — a pulsing one, at that. What — what’s wrong… with– Flash thought as the pain grew, and he dropped to his knees, his head in his hands. N-no… got to… got… to– Flash thought as he fell unconscious.
The Flash lay there, not stirring, on a battered street. Then, without warning, something flew from Flash’s barely opened mouth and grew to full-size. It was Amazo, who had used the white dwarf abilities of the Atom to shrink himself so small that he was able to enter Flash’s bloodstream and cause a lack of oxygen to Flash’s brain — not enough to kill him, but enough to subdue him, just as Professor Ivo had ordered.
Amazo stared at his fallen foe, reached down, and picked him up. Throwing the Flash over his shoulder, Amazo took to the skies heading on a northeastern path, one that would take it to its master.