Future Tales, 2985
Crisis of Conscience
Barry Allen realizes that, despite his change of location and time, he can be the same kind of hero in the thirtieth century that he was a thousand years earlier as the Flash! But where will that leave his wife, Iris?
Central City, the thirtieth century:
“Barry, what’s wrong?”
Barry Allen turned away from the balcony of his home in the great Central City Tower complex and noted the look of concern on his wife’s face. “Nothing, really, hon. Just thinking.”
“Don’t give me that nothing business, mister. I know you better than that. You’ve got that wistful, ‘I-want-to-be-running’ look on your face.” Iris Allen stood with her hands on her hips, back arched slightly to relieve the strain that her near-term pregnancy was placing on her back.
“Well, it’s been a long time since I tried living a normal life.” Barry walked in and put his arms around his wife. “At least, as normal as life back in your home time can be.”
“Are you sorry you came forward to join me?” A mock-pout crossed her features.
“Not at all, honey. It’s just–”
“It’s just that you don’t understand how the twentieth century can get by without the Flash, right?” Iris reached for Barry’s hand, fingering the ring with the lightning bolt insignia. “You could go back, you know. Our records don’t indicate clearly whether you ever returned to Central City in the 1980s or not.”
“No, I’m still wanted for murder back then. No sense in mucking about with things there.” Together, they sat down on a couch. “Unless, of course, Wally or someone managed to clear it all up. But if that’s the case, I’d like to think Wally would take over as the Flash. Lord knows, he outgrew that whole Kid Flash bit a long time ago.”
“So what are you mooning about, Barry?”
“The thrill of it all. I miss the feeling of the wind rushing past as I run along.”
“So what’s stopping you from being the Flash here and now? We have pretty much eliminated crime, but there are still natural disasters and such, not to mention holdovers from the last world war. Enough to give you a little exercise, at least.” A feeling of dread sent a chill through Iris Allen as she offered this idea, but she suppressed it.
“I can try that. And leave the twentieth century to its own devices.” Barry stood up, pressed a concealed button on his ring, and there was a jet of scarlet from the bit of jewelry. In a twinkling, Barry was gone, and in his place stood the legendary speedster of Central City: the Flash.