The Flash: From the Ashes, Chapter 7: Justice Is Served

by Hitman 44077

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A short time later, at the beach house that Professor Anthony Ivo used as his hideout, several members of the Justice League of America were investigating the site as Flash spoke with Hawkman and the Elongated Man. Though the cold weather persisted, the blizzard had finally begun to subside.

“And that’s about all that happened, guys,” Flash said as he finished relaying his story.

Hawkman shook his head and spoke. “I had a feeling Ivo wouldn’t stay away for long. And it doesn’t surprise me that he escaped, either. He’s resourceful — I’ll give him that.”

“True, but Wally set Ivo back big time,” the stretchable sleuth stated with reassurement. “And even though it’s impossible to destroy what’s left of Amazo, it’s not likely to cause any more harm with it in our custody.”

“Very true,” Hawkman said, nodding his head in agreement. “I just remember what he tried to do to Dinah and those athletes, not to mention our other battles with him and Amazo.”

“Hey!” a voice shouted from a short distance away. The three heroes turned around to see Steel hoisting the block of ice containing Amazo with one arm. “Where should I put this junk?

“Once we’re finished here, we’ll beam it aboard the satellite,” Hawkman said. “From there, we’ll discuss this with the JLA. Personally, I’d like to send it into the sun with its predecessor, but I know that won’t work on this one.”

“There’s always the Fortress of Solitude,” the Elongated Man added with a wink. “I can’t see it escaping from there.”

“I’m not too sure about that, Ralph,” Flash said with caution. “Knowing Ivo, I wouldn’t be surprised if there was some sort of alternate power source within the android. I wouldn’t want Amazo returning to life and stealing the various types of kryptonite stored within the Fortress.”

“That would be bad,” the Elongated Man said in a serious tone, agreeing with the Flash. “We’ll figure something out. Maybe the Phantom Zone?”

“Now that’s not a bad idea,” Flash said with a smile. “I’m a little surprised Batman’s not here. With what he went through last month, I’d expect him to rest a bit, yet he hopped back into action nearly as soon as he returned.”

“Well, he would have come, but he’s got several issues in Gotham to deal with,” Hawkman answered.

“It figures. You can’t keep a good man down, especially when there’s all sorts of scumbags out there in–” the Flash began, before those same words reminded him of what he’d learned before Amazo showed up to distract him. His eyes grew wide, and the smile that had been on his face vanished. Hawkman and the Elongated Man saw the change and grew concerned.

“What is it, Wally?” the stretchable sleuth asked, puzzled.

“I’ve got to go, guys,” Flash said bluntly, his heart rate starting to speed up in response to the growing anger that was once more engulfing him. “Is there anything more you need?”

“No, not just yet,” Hawkman answered. “Is there trouble in Central City?”

“You could say that, but not the kind we’re accustomed to. I’ll tell you about it later on the satellite, all right?” the Flash said.

“Sure–” the Elongated Man started to answer as Flash took off toward Central City.

The two puzzled heroes stared at where the scarlet speedster had been standing one second previous, then turned toward each other and spoke.

“What could have happened in Central City that would have changed his whole attitude like that?” Hawkman asked.

“If you’d asked me last night, I’d say it was the business involving Firefist and the Central City arsons,” the Elongated Man answered with equal confusion. “Right now, I have no clue. I just hope whatever it is he deals with it in the right fashion.”

“I think we can all count on the fact that he’ll do just that,” Hawkman answered with reassurance. “Now, let’s finish up here.”

***

Within the office of Detective John Flint back at Central City Police Headquarters, Angela Margolin finished recounting all that she went through leading up to the events of the previous night, including the details of the fight that now opened holes into her estranged husband’s account.

“I still can’t believe Paul would go this far. That he would actually try to destroy my career!” Angie said, trying to comprehend the madness that had possessed the man she once loved like no other.

John paused, reflecting on the facts that he’d learned both from Angie and from Patty Spivot. “Paul’s a lot like my father, Angie. It’s some type of rage — an unreasonable jealousy or simple madness. And it’s only grown worse with time. You’ve given me enough to bring him in for questioning, Angie, and that’s a very good thing.”

Suddenly, there was a knock on the detective’s door. “Wait a second, Angie,” he said to the brown-haired woman before walking toward the office door. As he opened it, he began to speak. “I’m in the middle of–” he started to say before realizing who was standing behind the door. “Patty?!” he said with surprise as the head police scientist showed a look of justified happiness.

“Sorry to interrupt, but I figured you’d like to know what I found!” Patty said as John allowed her inside his office. John then shut the office door and walked back to his desk, where he stood and listened to Patty along with Angie.

“Patty!” Angie exclaimed, hoping that something had been found that would prove her innocence. “What is it?”

“Remember in Paul’s story he claimed that you burned him with a cigarette butt?” Patty asked.

“Yeah?” Angie said in a puzzled voice. “The only cigarette I noticed was the one he was smoking before things blew up at the lab last night.”

“Well, I found that little item, Angie. I checked it out after the small burns on the floor clued me into the fact that it ended up burning out on the lab floor. Underneath a microscope, I looked for charred tissue, blood, anything that would tie into Paul’s version of last night’s events. There was nothing to back up Paul’s accounts, not only with the cigarette butt, but throughout the lab,” Patty said with a smile. “All that’s left is basically to compare the fingerprints from your file with those on the butt as well as Paul’s prints.”

Angie grew quiet as a slow smile started to form on her face. Patty continued speaking. “I put it away for further study. You mentioned he’d been drinking again, right?”

“Yeah. I remember the smell of his breath, especially the stench from last night,” Angie said, grimacing. “That would definitely show up!”

As Patty and Angie continued to speak, John turned his attention outward. He smiled as the news grew better. It’s definitely adding up in Angie’s favor, he thought proudly. And after some of the worst times our department’s had in recent months, I can look forward to bringing one of our own to justice — the same justice he pledged to uphold. His office overlooked the precinct parking lot, which wasn’t anything out of the ordinary. Yet one thing caught the detective’s eye.

That’s odd — very odd, the detective thought, his questions turning to concern. Is there any reason why Paul Margolin’s car would be at the station? He turned toward the two police scientists, who saw that his demeanor had slowly changed.

“John?” Angie asked, suddenly growing concerned herself.

Pausing in thought, John then walked quickly toward the door. “Angie, Patty, stay here. I’ll be back in a few minutes,” he said, doing what he could to reassure the duo before leaving the office.

John walked toward a fellow officer and spoke with him. “Penski, is Paul Margolin on duty this afternoon?”

Penski shook his head, almost amused by the question John had asked. “With his broken hand? Yeah, right,” he answered.

John’s heart sank, as he grew more concerned over why Paul Margolin would be at the station. He can’t be that stupid to try something while Angela’s in our custody, unless–

He paused as he began to piece the puzzle together. Without another thought, the detective started to race toward the police lab, hoping that he wasn’t too late to stop the very thing he was afraid had happened.

***

No sooner had John left to investigate the police lab did the Flash arrive back in Central City. Still, the details he’d learned moments before he’d been attacked by Amazo drove him toward Central City Police Headquarters, travelling urgently toward his destination as he made sharp right and left turns through the city streets.

I hated to cut things short between Ralph and Katar like that, but I think they’d understand, the scarlet speedster thought as he stopped in front of the station. They both have wives, special people in their lives that they want to share their lives with, and I know neither one would condone the actions of Paul Margolin. Once I let John in on what I discovered, I’m sure he’s going to be spending time in the cell Angie’s currently occupying.

***

While Flash entered the precinct and was heading toward John Flint’s office, John was quickly heading up the stairs that led into the police lab building. From there, he headed toward the specific area where the previous night’s events had taken place.

I can’t see any reason Paul would be here unless he slipped up, John thought cautiously, stopping momentarily in front of the police lab’s front door. Of course, I could be wrong. He could be elsewhere, but after what happened last night, the station is the last place he should be.

John slowly reached his hand out and grasped the door handle, slowly turning it. Upon the door being opened, he realized, Patty locked the door! She told both Angie and myself that just a few minutes ago!

Drawing his weapon from the holster, John slowly moved into the lab. Though he didn’t see anyone, the unlocked door told him that there was an unwelcome visitor inside.

“Come on out!” John shouted, slowly turning his head from left to right. “This game has got to end!”

Though there was no response, John continued to investigate the lab.

***

The Flash arrived in front of the detective’s office. The hero knocked on the office door, but when the door opened, he was greeted by two he hadn’t expected to see.

“Patty? Angie?! What’s going on?” Flash asked with surprise. “Where’s John?”

“I’m not sure,” Patty answered, starting to feel uneasy. “A few minutes ago, I checked in on John. He was finishing up the statement he’d taken from Angie.”

“I see,” Flash answered, knowing the truth of the situation but not wanting to intrude on Angie’s privacy. If Angie wanted to confide in him, then he’d speak his peace.

That’s exactly what she did. “I guess you know,” she said softly. “You know… about what’s been going on with my husband and I.”

The Flash paused and answered, “Yeah. I thought something was going on, seeing you in the emergency room on Thanksgiving Day with the cast and the bruise. I asked you if something was going on.”

Angie bent her head down as she answered him. “And I lied to you. I’m sorry for that.”

The Flash responded softly, “This… what’s happened to you… it’s not your fault. It never was your fault to begin with. But I’m glad you’ve finally began to speak up. I’m glad you’ve decided to take action against that piece of trash. And what I overheard should make matters easier to put Paul where he belongs.”

“Huh?” Both women said at the same time.

“Here’s a direct quote I overheard while conducting my own investigation: ‘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,'” Flash repeated as both police scientists stood in disbelief. “Paul’s words verbatim.”

“Jesus Christ,” Angie said, raising her hand to cover her mouth.

“I didn’t enter the home, but I saw just how he could have damaged his hands, thanks to a window I’m guessing he broke in anger,” Flash said, continuing to share what he’d learned. “He actually broke the window throwing out a picture frame that contained a picture of you two on your wedding day. That’s another story entirely. There are several holes punched into your walls, well, in what I’m guessing is Paul’s study — fist-sized holes.”

“That would fit the damage done to his hand, his fingers, but doesn’t explain the cigarette burns,” Patty stated. “I recovered a cigarette butt from the lab, but there was no blood or tissue on it.”

“That’s why I came here. I would have come earlier, but I was side-tracked, thanks to the return of an enemy I thought I’d never face again,” Flash said, alluding to his battle with the new Amazo. “I felt with what I saw and overheard, and believed that if Angie was willing to talk, John could obtain a search warrant. But that brings us to here and now.”

“I’m sure he’ll be back, but he didn’t look too happy when he left. In fact, he seemed a little worried,” Patty answered, once more growing uneasy.

“I’ll find him,” Flash reassured the two officers. “We help our own, and I’ll be back momentarily.” With that, the scarlet speedster sped off to search for John Flint, whom he didn’t know was nearby within the police lab building.

***

As John continued his search for the police lab intruder, whom he knew was Paul Margolin, he spotted what appeared to be a cigarette butt on top of the area where Paul’s cigarette had burned out the night before. Kneeling down to investigate, John thought to himself, More of Paul’s handiwork. Patty discovered a clue that could prove Angie’s innocence and locked it away, but he’s trying to cover all the bases.

With John’s attention diverted, Paul Margolin acted. Quietly picking up a metal stool, Paul hurried toward the kneeling detective and swung the stool at the back of John’s head. John didn’t see it coming and was knocked out. His gun slid across the floor as Paul gave a menacing smile to his fellow detective.

“Didn’t see that one coming your way, did you, Johnny-boy?” Paul said with mock concern. His further speech changed to pure hatred, matching the pain his hand was feeling from holding the stool after the damage he’d done to it the night before. “I’ve seen you looking at Angie. You want what’s mine, and I don’t like it. Be glad I don’t shoot you here and now, buddy.”

With that said, Paul Margolin left the lab and proceeded to exit the building.

***

As that exchange took place, the Flash was continuing his search for John Flint. Someone doesn’t just disappear when something big’s going down, the speedster reasoned. But I’m a little worried. Patty pointed out that she found possible evidence that would clear Angie inside the police lab. Maybe that’s the place to look next.

The hero sped toward the police lab building, entered, and made his way to the actual laboratory itself. As he slowed to a stop, he noticed the lab door was open.

This isn’t good. The door’s supposed to be closed all the time, Flash thought with caution before entering. Upon entering the lab, he saw John Flint lying on the floor, a small amount of blood flowing from the back of his head.

John!” Flash shouted as he sped toward the fallen officer. He checked the detective’s pulse and was reassured when he felt a pulse.

John slowly stirred, muttering, “Paul… Paul’s car… in parking lot.”

“Let me get you to a doctor, John,” the speedster said, not willing to risk the health of his friend.

Groggily, the detective shouted, “No! You get him… I’ll be fine. Get him… just get him.”

The Flash stood up and nodded his head in agreement. “All right,” the twenty-something hero reluctantly answered and headed toward the police station parking lot.

By this time, Paul Margolin had found his car and unlocked the driver door. Damn, my hand hurts. But it’s worth it, Paul reasoned with himself. Even if John knows it was me, he can’t prove a damn thing. No witnesses, no nothing. Who knows? Maybe Angie’d like some company in the hole. That’ll be for another day.

Paul placed the key into the ignition and turned it to start his car. Yet it didn’t start. “What? What the hell?!” Paul said in fear. “Come on, start, damn it!” He turned the key over and over, all to the same result. “Of all the blasted times for this to happen,” Paul muttered, popping the car hood and exiting the vehicle. “I haven’t time for–”

He didn’t finish his speech. Instead, Paul stared at the empty spot where his engine should have been as an oil puddle began to race toward his feet.

Looking for something?” a voice called from behind. Paul turned and saw the Flash standing behind him, and behind the speedster were the remains of Paul’s car’s engine, now disassembled completely on the ground. Before Paul could ask how, the Flash responded, “Auto Shop 101.”

Paul stood there in fear — a fear that he never thought he’d face — then turned to run. Run he did, right into the fist of John Flint, who had managed to shake off the effects of the stool to the back of his head. Paul fell into the oily puddle, then had his hands forced behind his back, which were then forcibly cuffed. As John read the filth-covered detective his Miranda rights, Paul turned his attentions to the Flash, glaring at the speedster with equal amounts of fear and anger. Flash stared right back, not with anger, but with satisfaction that justice had been served.

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