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DCU The Flash #19 Future Rewritten (Lightning Strikes Twice)

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posted by King Clown alias King Clown on Wednesday 6th of April 2022 06:15:49 AM

Barry stood rigid, eyes wide as he stared at the man in front of him. His heart was beating faster than normal, and sweat coated his skin like it was clothing. "Th-the man… in yellow…" he mumbled, tears building up in his ducts. "You're… you're the one who…" "What's wrong, Barry?" the man asked, smiling menacingly at Barry. "Lost for words?" Everything around Barry fell silent. His heart rate felt even faster than before and he clutched his chest. His body swayed from side to side as his world shook. Every image from that day flooded his mind. No nightmare he'd experienced since then had matched up to what he felt now. He was shrinking. The world around him had changed to pale beige walls and a cheap carpet. His backpack hung over his shoulder as the man in yellow cackled in front of him. "Barry. Barry!" His eyes were wide, his breathing sporadic. A firm hand grabbing onto his shoulder broke him from the trance, his head turning to see Jay's concerned face. "Barry, calm down," he said, giving the blond a reassuring smile. "You're okay…" Barry swallowed, taking a deep breath. "I… I'm fine…" he mumbled. Jay's head turned back to the man in yellow. "Who the hell are you," he asked, narrowing his eyes. "My name is Eobard Thawne," he said, motioning to his suit, "the Reverse Flash." "And you're the murderer of Nora and Malcolm Allen?" Jay asked, unphased by the name reveal. "Of course I killed Nora and Malcolm," Thawne said, looking at Barry, "the blood was a pain to get out of my gloves." Barry peered up at the man, nothing but red hot hatred in his eyes. "And Clariss?" "Hmm?" "Clariss… why?" Jay asked, head tilting downwards, his helmet shielding his eyes. "Why impersonate him?" "Oh, that," Thawne mumbled, tapping his temple. "Why not bring back some bad memories? You're the one who gave me the idea… back at Barry's old house." "You… you did it to mess with me? With my head?" Jay asked, noticing Barry trembling slightly. "Why would you want to?" "Simple," he said, his smile falling. "I hate you." "I've never met you," Jay said, "how could you-" "Why?" Both Thawne and Jay turned to Barry. "Oh come on," Thawne began, his smile spreading once again. "You-" "Why!?" Barry shouted, tears running from his sealed eyes. His fists clenched tight as his teeth grit. "Why did you kill them!? What did they do to you!? Tell me!" "It isn't about them, Barry," Thawne said, walking forward. "Never was." "Then why!?" "You, Barry. You're the reason why." "I was ten years old…" "Not you then… you…" Thawne paused, bringing his hand to stroke his chin. "Actually, a visual demonstration may work better." In an instant Barry felt Thawne's hand wrap around his throat, lifting him into the air. The world around Barry disappeared, replaced with flashing red lightning in a void of darkness. Mere moments later, his body skid across a rooftop, his back slamming against the parapet. His vision was blurry, but he felt different. The air was thinner and smelled new. The rooftop lacked any type of texture, and the sky was a deep lavender. "Where…" he mumbled, noticing the sting from hitting the wall wasn't healing. "Are we?" Thawne said, cutting Barry off. The man stood above the blond, looking out over the parapet. "The future." "What…" Barry mumbled, turning to see the small barrier he'd hit was see-through, a holographic wall. Looking past it, his eyes widened. Everything looked ripped from a science fiction movie. Buildings were sleek, roads hovered in the air, accompanied by cars floating off the ground. "This is a trick. How are we here?" "You don't know a thing about the Speed Force, Barry," Thawne said, looking down at Barry. "Any of the forces, really." "Any of the… what are you saying?" "You're supposed to be smart," he sighed, pointing out into the city. "The year is 2475. I'm from the future. "I… your lies don't matter to me!" Barry shouted, leaping up and swinging at Thawne. Barry cried out as his arm was twisted, snapping like a twig. Thawne's boot came crashing down onto Barry's ankle, breaking it as well. Barry tumbled to the ground, holding back tears. "You're… so fast," he mumbled watching as his arm remained the same. "Why… why can't I heal?" "Both are due to the tachyons I used to make such a far time jump," Thawne said, pulling his mask off. "They don't do much to those with a Speed Force connection, but when combined with the Negative Speed Force, they amplify my speed tenfold. As for the healing, they slow both of ours down, at least when travelling through time." "Why? Why kill them?" Barry groaned,propping himself up on the holo-wall. "They were innocent people!" "Like I told Garrick back there," Thawne said, crouching down to be face-to-face with Barry, peeling back his cowl. "I hate you. Even more than him." "I've never met you!" Barry yelled, struggling against Thawne, who held Barry by his hair. "How can you hate me!" "What don't you get, Barry?" Thawne asked, flicking Barry on the forehead, leaving a mark. "I'm from the future. I have met you… a future version at least." "What could have possibly done… that warranted the murder of my mom!? Of my brother!?" Barry asked, tears falling down his face. "Not much," Thawne said, the malicious stare fading into one almost blank, void of any emotion. "You broke me." Thawne let go of Barry's hair. Barry sat stunned, horrified by the lifelessness he'd seen in the man. Gulping down his fear, he turned his head, looking up at the man. "If this is the future… why'd you bring me here?" Barry asked, watching as Thawne pointed out into the city. "I needed to check something," Thawne said, grabbing onto Barry's shoulder. "Thought it would be a fun tagalong adventure. The speed Thawne moved at was incomprehensible to Barry. It felt like he'd been instantly transported from the rooftop to the inside of a building. He found himself laying face first on the marble flooring. Lifting himself up and stumbling to a seated position, his eyes widened. The building he was inside was some type of museum, but dedicated to… himself. Portraits and statues of himself, Jay, Wally, and even his villains were scattered around the room. "Where… are we?" He asked, staring at the various battle dioramas with himself and villains. "This is the monument to your legacy," Thawne said, standing in front of the largest display, featuring Barry facing a large, armored gorilla. "The world created this when you sacrificed your life to save the multiverse. Infinite Earths of gratitude all for you." "Sacrificed… multiverse?" He asked, his eyes moving from the gorilla to Thawne. "The Justice League had many losses in the war, but none greater than yours," Thawne said, walking past Barry. Barry leaned back against the gorilla statue, his good hand holding his broken arm. "Why are you… telling me this?" Barry grunted, breathing heavily. "Won't this… change something?" "No," Thawne mumbled, looking at another statue, one featuring Barry and the Eradicator. "Things have already changed." "What?" "This isn't the Flash Museum, not from my time," Thawne said, pointing to the Eradicator. "Eradicator, for example, was a vigilante who killed himself when he accidentally murdered an innocent man. That took place a decade before you became the Flash." "What are you talking about… Eradicator is a murderer," Barry said, gritting his teeth. "He killed Francine West!" "That! That is what I'm talking about!" Thawne shouted, turning to Barry. "Things have changed! Key figures wiped from existence or changed completely with others shoved in their place. It isn't set either, I've visited four times since I murdered Nora, and everytime it's different. I thought my introduction would correct things… but it's all changed again." "Yet, you're still here… it means you-" Barry began, before he paused, a darkness falling over his eyes. "It means you have ancestors in my time… I can… I just have to-" "What are you gonna do, Barry? Kill them?" Thawne asked, causing Barry to freeze. "Would you really kill an innocent woman for something her descendent does four centuries later? I doubt you'd do it if she were a serial killer." Barry fell back, his hand returning to his broken arm. "I'll… convince her not to," he mumbled. "It won't do you any good, I have contingencies for that," Thawne said, stepping away from Barry. "Not that it would matter either way, there'll always be a reverse, whether it's Zoom, Inertia, Godspeed… even your own… actually, I'd prefer you witness him first hand." "You aren't gonna kill me?" Barry mumbled, ignoring the list of names and looking up at Thawne. "You can't die, Barry," Thawne said, pulling his cowl over his head. "If you do, the timeline wouldn't just be fractured, the Multiverse itself would be lost. You have to live, or the universe dies." "I'm going to find a way to stop you," Barry said, groaning as Thawne grabbed onto his broken arm. "That's great, Barry, really," Thawne said, speeding off with Barry once again. Barry watched as he reentered the void, red lightning bouncing around the duo. His body was thrown against the ground, rolling onto the freshly cut grass. Barry recognized the home, Joe's. "You brought me… back?" Barry asked, looking up at Thawne. "We both have problems to deal with right now," Thawne said, rushing forward and snapping Barry's other elbow, causing him to cry out. "I'll be back whenever I can find the root cause of the timeline changes. Until then, I hope you keep an eye on your 'brother'... someone should." The sound of the door opening caught Barry's attention. His eyes widened as Joe stepped out, pistol ready. The pistol lowered as his eyes locked onto the blond's. "Barry…" In an instant, Thawne disappeared, vanishing into nothingness, leaving behind a trail of red lightning. "I… wanted to tell you," he mumbled as his eyelids suddenly became heavy, his healing kicking back in. "I'm sorry…" Barry watched Joe rush down the porch as his vision faded. His last sight being his father, before everything went black. -^- Jay returned to his home, his heart beating fast. He'd received a call from his wife that Joe West had appeared at their doorstep with Barry. The hero burst through the door, spotting Joe and Joan on the sofa. "Where is he," Jay shouted, looking at the two. "Is he okay, I-" "Jay, honey," Joan said, moving towards him and cupping his face. "Barry is fine, he's hurt, but not nearly as bad as last time. He's sleeping upstairs." Jay looked at Joan, then shifted his gaze to the stairs. Taking a deep breath, he looked back at Joan. "Right… he's okay," he mumbled, following Joan to the couch, her taking the recliner. "Joe I'm… I'm sorry… this should never have happened, let alone twice." "It isn't on you, Jay," Joe said, staring into the glass of water he held. "I should've figured it out sooner. He was struck by a bolt of lightning and as soon as he woke up, The Flash appeared. I mean, c'mon?" "Trust me, it isn't as easy to piece together as you may think," Jay said, giving Joe a soft smile. "I had a lot of friends back in the day who kept their identities hidden from their loved ones for decades. They were even more obvious than making your motif a lightning bolt after getting hit by one." "I know, I just… I should've known… as his father," Joe mumbled, taking a small drink. "Can you… give me a rundown? On everything that's gone on? I… I just need to know." "I can do that for you," Jay said, smiling once more, "though you may have a tough time believing it all, I still do." Joe sat in awe as Jay explained the origin of he and Barry's powers, the history of the Speed Force, and the tribulations Barry had gone through thus far. "That's why he was acting differently…" Joe said, sighing. "If he'd just told me what happened to Bivolo… I could've helped him work through it." "I don't think you could've," Jay said, frowning slightly. "Me and Eddie both tried, but that kind of event is hard to overcome. It took him saving Wally to be at peace… oh, right…" "What's wrong?" "Well… Barry, he isn't the only one who got speed recently," Jay said, rubbing the back of his neck. "When Barry had saved Wally, he wasn't able to pull him from the deathtrap Jesse made. He had to… take a gamble." Joe tilted his head to the side, before his eyes widened. "Wally was hit by lightning too…" Joe said, watching as Jay nodded. "That's why Barry ran to his CCPD… he recreated the accident. Has Wally been out there!?" "No, don't worry," Jay said, raising his hands reassuringly. "Me and Barry made sure he only uses speed with us under supervision. He's getting a part-time job at Eddie's so the three of us can train him. Thoroughly." "Train him for what!?" Joe shouted, standing up. "Did you see what happened to Barry just now!? He passed out on my lawn with two broken arms and a broken leg!" "Joe, listen. We aren't training him to send him out into combat, that's not at all what we're doing," Jay explained as Joe sat back down. "We aren't going to just let him run out and be a superhero, but you know Wally, the moment he's an adult…" "He'll go out to help people no matter what we say," Joe said, sighing. "That's the Wests for you." "That's why we're training him," Jay said, smiling at Joe once more. "When the day comes that Wally blossoms, he'll be ready." "I… I get it," Joe said with a nod. "Just… just make sure he knows everything all three of you know and then some." "You have my word, Joe." "Alright… so, what was that thing?" Joe asked, looking at Jay. "The one that hurt Barry?" Jay was silent for a moment, staring down at his hands. "He called himself Eobard Thawne… the Reverse Flash," Jay explained with a sigh. "He… he was the man who murdered Nora and Malcolm Allen." "What did you just say?" "I… I still don't get it either. He didn't say much before he dragged Barry off… I did, however," he said, reaching into his pocket, and pulling free a small device, "get this." "Who the hell are you?" "My name is Eobard Thawne, the Reverse Flash." "And you're the murderer of Nora and Malcolm Allen?" "Of course I killed Nora and Malcolm, the blood was a pain to get out of my gloves." Joe stared at the recorder in Jay's hand, his eyes wide like saucers. "That… that's a confession…" Joe mumbled, unable to move his gaze. "Henry was innocent this whole time… does Barry-" "No, not yet," Jay said, smiling again. "I didn't know if I'd be able to pull it off, so I didn't want his hopes to go up. Whatever this Thawne person did… at least Barry will wake up to good news." Joe smiled, wiping a tear from his eye. "Yeah… yeah he deserves that," Joe said, sniffling. "He deserves that a lot." -^- The Next Day, Vulcan's Veggies -^- "He… he told me that our timeline was… wrong," Barry said, rubbing his eyes. "That something was changing how events were meant to play out." Barry took a sip of the coffee sitting in front of him, before looking back up to the three older men around him. His eyes lingered on Joe, but he couldn't make eye contact. Not after what he'd learned. "Time travel by runnin' fast," Eddie mumbled, leaning back in his chair. "That's batshit crazy, even for us." "There's so much we don't know…" Jay said, jotting down what Barry had said on a notepad. "I mean, there's a Negative Speed Force? More 'Forces' beyond that? Time travel doesn't seem too far-fetched." "And… he said you sacrifice yourself for the world?" Joe asked, his words laced with concern. "Not the world, every world," Barry said, rubbing the back of his neck. "The Multiverse is… apparently real." "Of course it is," Eddie mumbled, standing from his chair. "I'm gonna go make sure everything is ready for Wallace tomorrow." "His name is Wally," Barry sighed. "Well, that's a dumb name." Barry watched as Eddie walked into the backroom, leaving the three alone in the restaurant. "I should really get going too," Barry said, looking between Joe and Jay. "The Thawne stuff… I'll have to think about it later. The city has been without me for a few days now, I should really do a-" "Barry, wait just a minute," Joe said, stopping Barry. The blond tilted his head to the side, watching as Joe slid a small black object onto the booth. "Is that a wire?" -^- Two Weeks Later, Waid Overlook, 1:19 AM -^- "Finally," the man in a white suit said, blue embers falling from his hands. "This has been the longest three years of my life!" "That's a long life to go off of," another man in a tattered red cloak responded. "Sure you aren't stretching it?" "I've waited three years to get a crack at old red," the first said with a chuckle, slamming his fist into his palm. "Now I finally get to take him down." "That isn't our mission," the second said, securing a golden mask to his face and pulling the cloak's hood over his head. "It's taken three years for the time to be right, Cicada needs us to succeed, or we could be pushed back another century." "Yeah but he doesn't factor in at all," the first man said with a sigh. "It doesn't matter what I do with him, right?" "Your job is to create a distraction tonight," the first said, looking back at his partner. "You do that, and I'll worry about the hard part." The two men stared out from the cliff side, watching the lit-up Central City. "All for Raijin." ---------------------------- NEXT TIME: A Night Never Forgotten



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