The Flash: From the Ashes, Chapter 6: Another Chance at Life

by Hitman 44077

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I’ve got to think of something quick, or I’m dead! the captive Flash thought, struggling against the thin, machine-like wires holding him in place.

“It will not be as bad as you think, speedster,” said his captor, Professor Anthony Ivo, who could see the concern that the twenty-something hero wore on his face. “And it’s not as if I’m killing you. I’m a changed man… well, in a sense!”

Changed?! A life is still a life, Ivo! You can hide behind your arguments, but we both know your argument’s built on lies! You’re still willing to ruin lives in order to fix the mistakes you made for yourself!” Flash angrily argued.

“Shut up!” Ivo protested. “This has been a burden on me for several years. You have no idea–”

The Flash interrupted his captor. “You have no idea how low you’re going in your quest to reattain your humanity. I don’t give one damn what you look like years from now. The ugliness in your soul more than exceeds the damage you’ve already done to yourself physically!”

Ivo seethed, still holding the device that he planned to use to send his consciousness into the unused portion of Flash’s brain. Yet the words seemed to bother him. “This… can’t you see this is for the greater good?” he began to protest.

“You’re already mixed up, Ivo. Never mind what you’re planning with me, but the plans you have for your new Amazo and your bigger-picture plan in controlling the Superman androids aren’t delivering in your changed man department. In the end, you’re going to lose much more than you realize!” Flash said defiantly.

Stop! Stop trying to trick me! I’m the smart one — the genius! I’ve got it all planned out, and it’ll work — it has to work!” Ivo said, unsure now whether he was doing the right thing.

Got to try one last trick, the Flash thought, doing what he could to remain calm. He saw the glances of doubt on Ivo’s face and knew it was now or never. The wires and this table seem to be keyed to my known powers. But what about powers Ivo hasn’t seen yet? Suddenly, Flash felt elated, realizing that though he was trapped, he wasn’t necessarily finished. I’m used to using my internal vibrations when escaping certain threats. What if I were to turn the same internal vibrations outward? I might just be able to use the vibrations to effectively become a human buzz-saw and cut through the wires holding me in place!

With that plan, Flash began to use his speed powers once again. It was a struggle to be sure, as the wires and table were built to counter Flash’s super-speed attacks, but the struggle was worth it. With all he had, he turned what inner vibrations he could muster outward. With that, slowly the Flash’s body shook, still bound to the table, but soon the bound figure began to pick up speed.

All of this unfolded before the confused Ivo’s eyes, who started to realize that his plans were beginning to backfire. “No! Not when I’m this close!” Ivo shouted, pressing the button on the device.

Though the button was pushed, the Flash’s body was shaking so fast that the helmet couldn’t get a fix on the speedster’s mind. In fact, the speedster’s outer vibrations were causing his body to start cutting through the wires, not to mention another side-effect: the actions were causing the table to become magnetized. The more Flash continued, the more the wires were frayed, and the stronger the magnetic pull of the table. Soon, Ivo lost his grip on the device he’d been holding, as well as the helmet he wore, and soon it found itself — with the helmet and other small metallic objects — stuck to the table.

No!” Ivo screamed in despair, knowing he was still bound to the chair he’d placed himself in moments earlier. But he still had one thing in his favor. “Amazo, stop the Flash!”

Amazo instantly turned toward the speedster, who now stood free from the magnetized table, holding the helmet in one hand and the remote control device in his other hand. “It’s always great when a plan comes together, Ivo. And with that said, it’s great to see someone like you watch their own plans fall apart!” Flash exclaimed, using his super-speed to shatter the devices in his hands.

No sooner than Flash had destroyed the devices did Amazo attack. With a flurry of super-speed punches, Amazo nearly made contact with Flash each time. The Flash, to his credit, managed to avoid each blow and countered with precision. I dare not use any of the abilities I’ve mastered, such as lending or stealing speed, against Amazo. There’s no telling what damage he could cause in the future if he manages to mimic them, Flash thought cautiously, avoiding further blows.

With the destruction of the device that held both the Flash and Professor Ivo in place, the wire-like tentacles holding the Professor slumped lifelessly to the floor. I have to escape… plan another day. But I can’t forget the Kryptonian technology I removed from Amazo! the villain thought frantically. He raced toward the table where Flash had been held down and tried to pull them from the table, oblivious to the fact that Flash’s battle with Amazo was growing more dangerous.

Amazo, with super-speed in tow, started employing other abilities in its efforts to stop the Flash. Heat-vision, freezing breath, even the use of a power ring were failing to make contact with the blurring image of the scarlet speedster. But they did make contact with Professor Ivo. The freezing breath froze Ivo in place at the table even as Amazo continued to react as quickly as it could to other images of the Flash — images the hero knew would confuse the android. But the crimson comet wasn’t oblivious to Professor Ivo’s plight.

My God! Ivo’s been frozen in place! Flash thought with a sense of concern. Though the villain had dire plans in mind for him, Flash couldn’t stand there and allow his enemy to die. He raced toward Ivo’s frozen body and used his speed to melt away the substance from his body, then used his hands to raise Ivo’s body temperature to a normal level, causing him to slump to the ground.

“Ivo — Ivo!” Flash said, shaking the villain. “Come on, you’re not going to die on me!”

Anthony Ivo briefly seemed unaware, but was shocked to see the scarlet speedster trying to aid him. “Hurrgghh… wha — what? What… happened?” he managed to speak.

“Your android nearly killed you, man,” Flash said with urgency.

Amazo saw the hero in contact with its creator and aimed its heat-vision at the hero. The bolts flared toward the speedster, who noticed them in time and grabbed Ivo, narrowly avoiding contact with the deadly beams, which instead destroyed the table where Flash had been held prisoner, along with the magnetized devices attached to it, including the Kryptonian technology. Yet something began to happen to the android in wake of its actions. The meshing of Earthly and Kryptonian technologies were starting to fray — or maybe they were beginning to mesh too well.

“You… you saved my life,” Ivo said, shaken. “Why?

“I strive for life, Ivo. It’s that simple,” Flash answered honestly. “And the fact that no matter what, there’s always room to improve — to change for the better.”

The pair’s speech was interrupted by vibrations caused by Amazo. The vibrations were so intense that the entire structure shook, along with quite a bit of the surrounding property.

“This isn’t stable!” Ivo exclaimed frantically. “When I made this my primary base of operations, it was mainly dedicated to being hidden.”

“Call the android off, Ivo!” Flash demanded as both men began to lose balance.

“Amazo, stop!” Ivo demanded.

Amazo stopped momentarily. Then his eyes began to glow. Instantly, a barrage of heat-vision blasts began heading toward the man who had created it. Flash pulled Ivo out of the way, then spoke.

“What on Earth is wrong with Amazo?!” Flash asked.

“I — I don’t know,” Ivo admitted with uncertainty. “It’s never acted this way — not in the times I’ve rebuilt it.”

“Find a place to hide. I’m taking the battle outside!” Flash shouted before lunging toward the android.

The fight continued once more as Flash and Amazo tangled, more damage being done to the beach house before the two found themselves outside in the blizzard overtaking most of New York.

Ivo should be safe for now. The first order of business is dealing with Amazo, and I think I have an idea on how to do that, Flash thought to himself.

Avoiding shots of Martian vision and beams of emerald energy, the Flash raced toward the android and tried to vibrate through the Kryptonian circuitry, but the creature anticipated that. It dealt a blow to the Flash by sending the hero toward the beach house with a canary cry.

Fighting this thing with the League’s one thing, but solo? Flash thought, shaking his head. That canary cry was just as painful as the last one. There has to be a way I can fry this thing’s circuits, and if the thing follows me, I might just be able to make this work.

The Flash sped erratically back into the beach house with Amazo not too far behind. Amazo then spotted the hero standing near the tunnels from which it had entered and exited some time earlier. One quick, powerful blow was enough to do the damage. But Amazo didn’t hit the Flash. Rather, he punctured the wall, and the icy cold Atlantic waters began to pour into the structure with a sudden quickness. The Flash, using his super-speed, avoided the blast with ease as he watched the cold Atlantic waters swallow the android.

That’ll buy me enough time! Flash thought with hope as he lent speed to the cold weather. If I’d done this to Amazo myself, he could very well have adapted my power. But by doing this to the waters, I should have enough time to do what I have to in order to stop it.

Instantly, the waters engulfing the beach house froze, containing the android within a larger-sized portion of ice, and would have engulfed the scarlet speedster had he been a fraction of a second slower. Now then, Flash thought, launching himself toward the frozen foe, I have to be quick and make this count. There’s no telling how soon Amazo’ll recover! Vibrating his hand through the ice and then through the android’s body, Flash’s hand worked its way toward its target. Seconds later, the small battery that powered the android was pulled effortlessly from the creature’s body. Instantly, whatever life Amazo possessed faded from the android’s eyes. “I’ll have to thank Spielberg and Lucas for that little idea,” Flash said aloud, alluding to a summer blockbuster he’d watched a few years before, then he turned his attention back toward the rest of the structure.

“Ivo, it’s over. I stopped Amazo. Come on out,” Flash ordered. Ivo didn’t answer. “I said come on out.” When Ivo didn’t answer yet again, Flash sped throughout the structure, stopping upon finding a cylinder-like device much like a teleportation tube, which was in some ways similar to what the JLA used to beam onto their satellite, yet it was freshly destroyed.

Great. The villain escapes again, Flash thought bitterly. I’d hoped that maybe I got through to him, but apparently I was wrong. Oh, well. With Amazo out of the way, it should be some time before Professor Ivo’s ready to plot again. And we’ll be ready for him.

***

Elsewhere, in a mansion within the state of New Jersey, Professor Ivo stood near a window, looking toward the state of New York, which, until a few moments ago, served as his home.

I had such plans, and yet, all I can think about is the fact that despite what I intended, the Flash saved my life, Ivo thought with regret. He wiped some tears from his eyes and continued thinking. He was right. What I was planning on doing — how would I have lived with myself?

Anthony Ivo walked toward a picture of himself from years before he’d tried to become immortal and stared at it. “Humanity. I’ve flirted with losing it over the last few years. I thought I had lost it, with what happened with my body and my ill-fated quest at immortality.”

He stared at his hand, the same hand he’d injured hours earlier, and clenched it into a fist, not in anger but in resolve.

“I’ve been given another chance at life. Whatever the outcome, whatever the odds, I can’t let what happened today cloud my judgment ever again. I will not throw away what humanity I have left, nor will I give up searching for a cure for my condition. It’s simply time to let go of the past and move toward the future, cure or no cure. And I will never tread down the path of evil again,” Ivo stated with remorse.

There were no certainties to life, but there were events that changed people. Perhaps, for Professor Anthony Ivo, this would be one of those events.

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