Charles Drake began to vibrate until the ice shattered. He raced forward only to crash full tilt into a mirror.
“Clever. You’re not where I thought,” sneered Johnny Quick as he searched for the Rogue. “And yeah, boss-man Barry, you did invent the helmet I stole, but did you ever have the guts to use it? I’d say you didn’t!”
He dodged a heat ray that almost left his coat smoldering, but he was able to move in time to escape the lethal fire.
A boomerang soared by him, and sonic fire shattered his eardrums as he fell forward and received a kick to the stomach from the suddenly appearing Rogue.
“Not so smart-mouthed now. I’ll wring your neck!” cried Allen as he attacked the man who had robbed his life of everything he cherished. “You were a bad cop — you betrayed us all! You robbed from me, and you killed my wife!” roared Allen as the room seemed to spin in front of the wounded Johnny Quick’s eyes.
“Vertigo–” he gasped, “–from that top!” He spun around desperately, even as his legs buckled beneath his reeling senses. The oxygen he absorbed drew away from Barry Allen, who ran for cover but fell as Quick’s whirlwind sent furniture flying through the room.
“I win!” he said smiling as a hundred punches a minute landed on Rogue’s face. “You see, Bar, I was and am the stronger man! You do-gooders can’t even be bad correctly!”
Then the sound of breaking glass sent him falling — falling into some weird, other-dimensional mirrorverse.
“I just won!” laughed the mad Rogue.
Johnny Quick could not stop his fall, and he could not vibrate free, since he now seemed to be alone in an enormous and endless void. He couldn’t know how long he had been falling, since time had no meaning in this realm. He only knew that this was one race he had lost. As he tumbled endlessly, his mind closed down, and he knew no more.
And then he blinked his eyes and awoke in a lab.
He saw the calendar and realized that nearly a year had passed while he was lost in that other realm. He had not needed food or water or rest, and no time had passed in his perception, yet the Rogue’s Mirrorverse had imprisoned the Syndicate speedster for a long, long time.
“How’d I get out of that place?” he muttered as hunger assailed him. “Where am I?”
“It’s called Ivy Town University,” spoke a voice. “My name is Ray Palmer, and seeing as I rescued your sorry tail from the microverse dimension called Mirror Land, maybe you’d better start calling me by my new professional name — Microbe.”
Johnny Quick turned to see a six-inch-tall man in black and red.
“Oh, and by the way, I aim on joining your Crime Syndicate, too. You owe me big time.”
Johnny Quick glanced at the six-inch Microbe and smirked. “You want to join the Crime Syndicate? Maybe you did save me from La-La Land, but face it, pal, you got some growing to do to fit in with us!”
Microbe suddenly grew to six feet tall. He grabbed Quick by the shirt and said, “Listen, you moronic ape — I am a gifted scientist, I can shrink down to any size and retain my human sized strength and mass if I choose, and — of most importance to you at this particular moment — at will, I can reduce myself to microscopic size, enter your body through your pores, and grow six feet within your body!”
Quick frowned. “Now that is just sick! I like it — you got my vote! It’s about time we added a new member, anyway.”
Microbe smiled. “I hoped you’d see it my way.”
In Gotham City, Owlman and Raven finished their nightly raid on the Big Jim Gordon mob.
“Man, you should’a seen Gordon’s face when you tossed his right hand man O’Hara through that glass window,” said Raven, smiling.
Owlman grinned and ruffled the boy’s hair. “I rather enjoyed that bit of roughhousing, if I do say so myself. Listen, lad, I think we have Gotham City’s criminal world well under our thumbs, and I’m very proud of your development. So I need to take a trip solo and rejoin my old gang for old business. I want you to stay here and keep working out as I’ve shown you. Don’t tackle Gordon’s mob on your own. I promise to be back soon.”
Raven said, “Be careful. I bet you’re going to bring down the Lawless League. Why can’t I join you?”
Owlman grinned. “I want you here, and I must do this with my old team. Then I’ll be back, and we’ll bring down Gordon for good.”
Raven thought to himself, You’d better come back. I need you to teach me enough so that I can kill you someday to avenge my dad.
Owlman said, “Don’t worry, kid, you won’t be lonely. Our loyal French maid, Helena, will be here to cook, clean, and take care of the manor as always.”
Helena Pennyworth was a French maid only in terms of her uniform. She was Owlman’s lover and loyal servant since he came into the Zucco money. Her late father Alfred had once served Dr. Thomas Wayne before his ruin.
Superwoman wore her old uniform, or at least a good copy thereof. She had taken enough time to dress for the upcoming battle. She looked great, but her expression was one of surprise. She turned to see a grinning Johnny Quick standing with a six-inch man on his shoulder.
“How long have you been there?” she shouted. “You watched me change, didn’t you?”
Quick said, “Glad to see me, aren’t you? This is my little buddy, Microbe. He’s a whiz kid who tracked you down with some gizmo. He says he wants in on the Crime Syndicate.”