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Running Out of Time-The Secret Origin of Johnny Quick

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  • libbyblawrence
    Running Out of Time: The Secret Origin of Johnny Quick! By lawrenceliberty I wasn t fast enough! That phrase was the first thought that occurred to the Crime
    Message 1 of 5 , Dec 6, 2012
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      Running Out of Time: The Secret Origin of Johnny Quick!

      By lawrenceliberty

      "I wasn't fast enough!"

      That phrase was the first thought that occurred to the Crime Syndicate's Sinister Speedster Johnny Quick as he closed his eyes and the blinding light enveloped him.

      "I'm not dead!"

      The second realization only came to Quick (Charles Drake) as he blinked against a strong light source and found himself within a small and rather cramped chamber that seemed to combine the features of a military bunker with a complex lab.

      He started to sit up but he felt himself restrained by a series of tubes and coverings.

      "This is no prison hospital. I was a cop long enough to know that for sure!" he said.

      "Stay calm. You are perfectly safe here. We're trying to help you. We're going to make you well. Don't make the process harder by upsetting yourself!" said a rather stern looking old woman who looked down at him with a gaze that made Quick feel a bit like a worm on the end of a fishing pole or a germ under a microscope!

      "There was an explosion! We were fighting some magic creep named Hunter when I got caught in some kind of magical energy blast! The next thing I knew I found myself here!" he said.

      The old woman looked over at a shadowy figure and said, "He didn't bother to ask about his own teammates. He's totally self-absorbed!"

      Quick said, "Hold it! I guess I just figured the others could take care of themselves! There's no way some punk wizard could take down the Crime Syndicate!"

      The old woman said, "Bravado but no real sentiment."

      She sighed and said, "Your allies defeated this menace according to the fragmented historical records we possess. Perhaps you should go back to sleep. The rejuvenator won't complete its cycle for several more minutes."

      Quick said, "I'm okay. Where am I? Did Power Ring bring me here? I always figured he was the only one I could count on in the heat of battle! I mean Ultra Man and Superwoman are crazy and Owlman gives me the chills!"

      A feminine giggle echoed out of the shadows and Quick smiled as he tried to catch a glimpse of the unseen female.

      "He still fancies himself a seducer! How utterly sickening!" said the old woman.

      Quick said, "You don't seem overly fond of me and yet I have the impression that you might have been the one who saved me."

      The woman said, "Forgive me if I've been a bit frank. I did save you. I brought you to this era from your proper era at the moment you were caught in that explosion. You are in the year 2987."

      Quick said, "Time travel? You mean this is the future? It doesn't exactly look like a utopia!"

      The woman said, "It is far from a utopia. I'm afraid it is more like a post nuclear nightmare! Resources are hoarded. Many people lack basic necessities. Raiders and opportunists run wild over them."

      Quick said, "Yeah! That would explain why this place feels like a warzone or a bunker!"

      He grinned confidently.

      "You future types need me to save you from some kind of atomic mutants! You brought me here because you need me. You don't like me but you need me!" he said.

      The old lady said, "That's not correct. We brought you here because we wanted to save you. It was the right thing to do. We owed you that much at least!"

      Quick said, "You owed me? Why? Did I do something for you? I sure don't recall. Maybe, you mean I'm going to do something for you at some point after my present of 1987 but before your future era! If that's the case, you better treat me with kid gloves!"

      A beautiful blonde girl stepped out of the shadows and said, "While you heal, tell us about yourself. Please!"

      Quick, always one to respond to a pretty face, propped himself up on one elbow and said, "Sure, gorgeous! I'll trade life stories with a doll like you!"

      He said, "I was born in a county home. We called them orphanages back then. I was given the name Charles Drake. It's the only name I had and I hated it. You see, I knew it wasn't really mine. Some doctor or clerk hung it on me. It wasn't an identity of my own choosing. I felt like a cat or dog that some know it all stuck with a name that came to him as a whim. I acted out as we said back then. I got into fights. I ran away. I was a punk!"

      The old lady said, "Didn't anyone care for you?"

      He lowered his gaze for a moment and said, "Nah. They didn't. I did okay though. I stayed out of real trouble and became a cop and even picked up enough of an education to get assigned to security duty at the police lab. "

      The girl said, "Did you become a policeman to protect other people?"
      Johnny laughed and said, "Dollface, I just wanted to be the guy pushing others around. I was tired of being shoved around by cops when I was a kid. I wanted to be one of the guys in power."

      The old lady looked at a screen and said, "He is recovering nicely. His super swift metabolism must be making the healing process go more rapidly than would be expected!"

      The girl said, "How did you become Johnny Quick?"

      He said, "At the lab I met a scientist named Barry Allen. He was as dull as dishwater! He was working on some kind of metabolic stimulator. It looked like a helmet. I guess you saw it when you brought me here. Where is my costume? Did you undress me, honey?"

      The blonde girl said, "No. Mother took care of that! Your costume was repaired and cleaned. It is in the cabinet in the corner!"

      Quick winked at her and said, "Allen was real idealistic. He wanted to use the helmet to help people. You see he lives for that whole protect and serve mentality. He wanted to use the helmet to enable cops to battle super criminals like Ultra Man or Superwoman! They had appeared on the scene around that time!"

      The old lady turned her back and stiffened as if moved by some great emotion.

      Her daughter reached out a hand for her but the older lady gently brushed it aside and said, "You took the helmet from Barry and used it to gain super speed. In time you no longer needed it because in truth it had never worked properly. It had only tapped into some latent speed gene within you. You had some mutant power all along but the helmet enabled you to first come in contact with it or activate it!"

      Quick said, "Exactly. Allen was too scared to use it. He kept saying it needed more testing. He was afraid it might have side effects if used without additional tests."

      The old lady softly said,"he thought it could cause brain damage. He believed it could inhibit intelligence and stimulate aggression! That's why he wanted to make sure it was safe before using it!"

      Quick said, "Allen was a wimp. Using that helmet made me what I am today! He did have a hot wife though!"

      The lady trembled slightly and the girl took her hand and said, "Her name was Iris. You were attracted to her but she was loyal to Barry Allen!"

      Quick said, "Yeah, she had no taste. It's weird how you future types seem to know so much about me. I guess I'm like George Washington or some other notorious villain to the folks of your time!"

      The lady said, "Iris loved Barry. She used her journalistic connections to locate you after you took his helmet. She got caught by you before she could alert the police. You tried to force yourself on her and then you killed her!"

      Quick wiped his face with one hand and his expression grew harder.

      "I killed her but it was an accident. I forgot how deadly my super fast hands were! She had it coming. She was a flirt!"

      The girl said, "Maybe we should stop here! The strain is too much for you. The memories are too painful!"

      Quick said, "Don't worry. I'm fine. I've killed more than one person since then. I became infamous as Johnny Quick the Fastest Man Alive! The name came to me out of the blue and I embraced it. It was the first time I had a name of my own choosing! I `m much more Johnny Quick than I ever was Charles Drake! I joined up with the Crime Syndicate and we've pretty much ruled the world ever since then!"

      The girl said, "What happened to Barry Allen?"

      Quick said, "Years and years passed without my ever hearing his name. Apparently, the sap quit the force and spent years in his lab. He created a bunch of crazy weapons in order to capture me. He made trick mirrors, gimmicky boomerangs, and killer tops! Finally, when I was suffering from memory loss, he attacked me and trapped me in another dimension. He called himself the Rogue!"

      Quick said, "I was freed from that weird Mirror-verse by a genius named Ray Palmer. He joined our team as Microbe. Funny thing is though, I never found Allen again. I got my buddy Power Ring to help me look for him for some good old fashioned payback but he had vanished!"

      The girl said, "The process is complete. He is fully healed now!"

      The lady said, "Unhook him and let him get dressed!"

      Quick smiled broadly as the blonde girl removed the medical devices and handed him his familiar red and gold costume.

      "Thanks, sweetheart! By the way, what is your name?" he said as he dressed. He frowned as he realized that his speed had not fully returned as yet.

      She looked at him for a moment and then said, "Dawn."

      He said, "Pretty name. I like it!"

      The older lady said, "I have something to say to you. I wanted to explain why we saved you."

      Quick said, "All business aren't you, lady? I'll listen. I don't make any promises though. I might help you and then again I might need persuading from Blondie here!"

      The lady said, "Don't touch her. Just hear me out. You didn't find Barry Allen because he had departed from your era and had moved into the future. I brought him here. I had been living here for some time although chronal storms kept me from bringing Barry here to join me. I was unable to do so when I first arrived here myself. Even though I missed him I had to wait years until the time trip could be safely made!"

      Quick said, "Allen is here? Why'd you bring him? Did you want him to fight for you?"

      She said, "I brought him here because I loved him. I was his wife until his untimely death. May he rest in peace!"

      "Allen married you? Wasn't the age difference a problem? No offense!" he said.

      She said, "I brought Barry to this era many years ago. We lived together happily and we grew old together. It was natural for me to be here since this was my true point of origin but he joined me out of love."

      Quick said, "Who are you? I don't like where this is going!"

      The lady said, "I was born in this era. My father was a military man. A rebel. He fought against society and he was hounded as a resource raider. In this era, all natural resources are scarce. You would not believe how much we have risked by using the devices found here to bring you to us. We have made ourselves outlaws!

      Dawn said, "Mother was born in this era. When mother was a baby, her father was attacked by his enemies. He sent her through time to your era so she would have a chance at a normal life. She grew up in your time and believed herself to be a woman of that era. The name her adopted parents of that era gave her was Iris West. She eventually met and married Barry Allen! Much later, she learned the truth about herself and her real name and era of birth. After Iris supposedly died at your hands, her real father managed to bring her life essence back to our era although she was given a new body. That's why she looks different from how you remembered her. She didn't merely age. She inhabited a new body upon arrival here."

      Quick gasped and he backed away from the women as his mind tried to make sense of the story.

      "You're Iris? You don't look a thing like her? I killed her. I mean I killed you. Didn't I?"

      Iris said, "You tried to but I could not die before I was born. It created a time paradox. My father from this era had survived and escaped from his foes after years of imprisonment. He brought my spirit here and implanted it in a new young body. As I said, I remained here and eventually brought Barry here. We were very happy and we had two children! Barry himself died a few years ago."

      Quick said, "You had kids with Barry Allen? I know Dawn is one of them. She looks a bit like ole Barry but what happened to the other one? Did you bring me here to try to guilt me into saving the other sibling from some atomic monster?"

      Iris looked at him with a cold expression.

      "You are the other child. You were born Don Allen. Dawn here is your sister. My father's old foes found Barry and me and wanted to punish us in order to get some delayed revenge against my late father. We tried to send our babies back in time as father had done to me long before! While your life essence made it back and implanted in the body of a dying infant at that orphan, Dawn's trip was stopped prematurely and she remained frozen in a timeless limbo for several years. We eventually escape from our foes and liberated her and raised her but you were lost to us. We spent years trying to find you. Barry died before I found out that our lost baby son Don had ended up in a twentieth century orphanage and had been given the name Charles Drake and had actually entered our lives all those years ago without any of us realizing our true connection. It may have been a cruel fate that brought you to Barry's lab and led you to betray him and attack me. Neither of us realized the man we hated so much… the killer known as Johnny Quick… was in fact our lost son Don Allen!"

      Quick shuddered and he stared at them with wide eyes.

      "This is crazy. You are my mother? Allen was my father? Look, I'll admit that I sure didn't know you were my mother when I … when we fought. You were about the same age that I was. How could I have guessed I was attracted to my own mother?"

      Iris said, "You could not have known. We certainly never realized that our actions would turn you into a super criminal and the bane of our own lives. When I found out the truth about you through some newly discovered records, I decided to study your life and when I read about the point of your death in that magical explosion, I vowed to save you and tell you everything! Nothing about your life from that point on has been recorded."

      Quick said, "I can't take all this in at once. I swear I would never have raised a hand to you or Allen had I known the truth but this sure doesn't make us one happy family. I thought of you as a contemporary. I can't change that image now. Thanks for saving me but I can't be what you want me to be!"

      Dawn said, "Don, we don't expect anything from you. We just wanted to save you because in spite of everything you are my twin and Mom `s son."

      Iris said, "I can't look at you or listen to you without thinking of all you did to Barry and me. I can't forget the crimes you have committed. Still, you are my son and I have done what I felt a mother should do. I've given you life once more! We will send you back to your own era now! Unlike the method used by my father to teleport me through the ages or the way Barry and I sent you away years ago, this new time machine will move your body as it is now. There will be no transfer of life essences as there always was before. The time machine will alert our foes to our location and we will certainly need to flee as soon as you've been safely teleported back through time. The energy it took to bring you here could have helped dozens of refugees and by using it we have become hunted outlaws!"

      She activated a machine that flooded the room with green light as it inched toward Johnny Quick. A whistle rang out and an explosion shook the building. Iris Allen screamed as the bunker collapsed around her!

      Quick had just enough time to grab Dawn Allen before the room
      dissolved into flames and the world faded into gray.

      He opened his eyes to find Dawn Allen in his arms and the environment around them altered completely. When the glow faded they were standing on a field in what seemed to be the 20th century based on the display on an old clock tower that loomed over the edge of a quaint community.

      "What happened?" he asked.

      Dawn wept as she said, "The authorities found us. Poor mother!"

      Quick said, "I'm sorry. I'm sorry about the whole rotten mess. I may not have been much of a son but if you'll let me I will look out for you. Or do you hate me for what I did to your…our family?"

      Dawn said, "Thank you. I'm a scientist and a student of history. I can look at things in an impersonal manner. Mother and Dad were so devoted to one another that they truly never had time for me. I always felt as if I was an afterthought. I'd like a chance to be something more to someone else. I've always found the stories of your era to be romantic. Will you take me with you? You caused my parents a lot of pain but you didn't really kill mother. You only made it possible for her to return to her real era in a way. I am willing to see you as a brother if you'll have me!"

      Johnny thought, "She may be in shock or may be a pretty calculating customer. She doesn't seem to be overly torn up about losing her mother seconds ago! I would have assumed she would have a grudge against me too. Maybe she really gets me! She isn't as old as I am since she got stuck in that limbo when I ended up in the past but she is my twin. I don't look like her since my infant life essence or whatever they called it was put in a different body in the past. It is weird to think that I've grown up with the wrong name and a second hand body!"

      Quick nodded and said, "Okay. But I'm still Johnny Quick not Charles Drake and not Don Allen. You just call me Johnny and we'll get along fine!"

      Dawn nodded and said, "Sure. There's one more secret I want to tell you. I'm as fast as you are! I studied until I found an equation that allows me to tap into the same kind of force that the helmet brought out in you. By thinking that equation I can move at super speed. That was how Mom and I managed to avoid our foes for so long!"

      She removed her lab coat to reveal a costume consisting of yellow shorts and boots and a short red blouse.

      "What are you? Joannie Quick?" he asked with a grin.

      "Call me Jesse Quick!" she said.

      He smiled and said, "Welcome to the 20th century!"

      The End
    • The Time Trust
      Whoa! Now that was a shocking reveal! Very, very cool twist, Libby! And I like that you built this from Johnny Quick s supposed death scene in Into the
      Message 2 of 5 , Dec 7, 2012
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        Whoa! Now that was a shocking reveal! Very, very cool twist, Libby! And I like that you built this from Johnny Quick's supposed death scene in "Into the Abyss." Cool secret origin story, and great intro for a new character. Earth-3 is becoming exciting again.
         
        --
        Cheers,
        Doc Quantum of The Time Trust


        Read stories of your favorite DC Comics characters at the Five Earths Project!
        www.5earths.info


        >________________________________
        > From: libbyblawrence <lawrenceliberty@...>
        >To: Earth3Remembered@yahoogroups.com
        >Sent: Thursday, December 6, 2012 3:28:48 PM
        >Subject: [Earth-3 Remembered] Running Out of Time-The Secret Origin of Johnny Quick
        >
        >

        >Running Out of Time: The Secret Origin of Johnny Quick!
        >
        >By lawrenceliberty
        >
        >"I wasn't fast enough!"
        >
        >That phrase was the first thought that occurred to the Crime Syndicate's Sinister Speedster Johnny Quick as he closed his eyes and the blinding light enveloped him.
        >
        >"I'm not dead!"
        >
        >The second realization only came to Quick (Charles Drake) as he blinked against a strong light source and found himself within a small and rather cramped chamber that seemed to combine the features of a military bunker with a complex lab.
        >
        >He started to sit up but he felt himself restrained by a series of tubes and coverings.
        >
        >"This is no prison hospital. I was a cop long enough to know that for sure!" he said.
        >
        >"Stay calm. You are perfectly safe here. We're trying to help you. We're going to make you well. Don't make the process harder by upsetting yourself!" said a rather stern looking old woman who looked down at him with a gaze that made Quick feel a bit like a worm on the end of a fishing pole or a germ under a microscope!
        >
        >"There was an explosion! We were fighting some magic creep named Hunter when I got caught in some kind of magical energy blast! The next thing I knew I found myself here!" he said.
        >
        >The old woman looked over at a shadowy figure and said, "He didn't bother to ask about his own teammates. He's totally self-absorbed!"
        >
        >Quick said, "Hold it! I guess I just figured the others could take care of themselves! There's no way some punk wizard could take down the Crime Syndicate!"
        >
        >The old woman said, "Bravado but no real sentiment."
        >
        >She sighed and said, "Your allies defeated this menace according to the fragmented historical records we possess. Perhaps you should go back to sleep. The rejuvenator won't complete its cycle for several more minutes."
        >
        >Quick said, "I'm okay. Where am I? Did Power Ring bring me here? I always figured he was the only one I could count on in the heat of battle! I mean Ultra Man and Superwoman are crazy and Owlman gives me the chills!"
        >
        >A feminine giggle echoed out of the shadows and Quick smiled as he tried to catch a glimpse of the unseen female.
        >
        >"He still fancies himself a seducer! How utterly sickening!" said the old woman.
        >
        >Quick said, "You don't seem overly fond of me and yet I have the impression that you might have been the one who saved me."
        >
        >The woman said, "Forgive me if I've been a bit frank. I did save you. I brought you to this era from your proper era at the moment you were caught in that explosion. You are in the year 2987."
        >
        >Quick said, "Time travel? You mean this is the future? It doesn't exactly look like a utopia!"
        >
        >The woman said, "It is far from a utopia. I'm afraid it is more like a post nuclear nightmare! Resources are hoarded. Many people lack basic necessities. Raiders and opportunists run wild over them."
        >
        >Quick said, "Yeah! That would explain why this place feels like a warzone or a bunker!"
        >
        >He grinned confidently.
        >
        >"You future types need me to save you from some kind of atomic mutants! You brought me here because you need me. You don't like me but you need me!" he said.
        >
        >The old lady said, "That's not correct. We brought you here because we wanted to save you. It was the right thing to do. We owed you that much at least!"
        >
        >Quick said, "You owed me? Why? Did I do something for you? I sure don't recall. Maybe, you mean I'm going to do something for you at some point after my present of 1987 but before your future era! If that's the case, you better treat me with kid gloves!"
        >
        >A beautiful blonde girl stepped out of the shadows and said, "While you heal, tell us about yourself. Please!"
        >
        >Quick, always one to respond to a pretty face, propped himself up on one elbow and said, "Sure, gorgeous! I'll trade life stories with a doll like you!"
        >
        >He said, "I was born in a county home. We called them orphanages back then. I was given the name Charles Drake. It's the only name I had and I hated it. You see, I knew it wasn't really mine. Some doctor or clerk hung it on me. It wasn't an identity of my own choosing. I felt like a cat or dog that some know it all stuck with a name that came to him as a whim. I acted out as we said back then. I got into fights. I ran away. I was a punk!"
        >
        >The old lady said, "Didn't anyone care for you?"
        >
        >He lowered his gaze for a moment and said, "Nah. They didn't. I did okay though. I stayed out of real trouble and became a cop and even picked up enough of an education to get assigned to security duty at the police lab. "
        >
        >The girl said, "Did you become a policeman to protect other people?"
        >Johnny laughed and said, "Dollface, I just wanted to be the guy pushing others around. I was tired of being shoved around by cops when I was a kid. I wanted to be one of the guys in power."
        >
        >The old lady looked at a screen and said, "He is recovering nicely. His super swift metabolism must be making the healing process go more rapidly than would be expected!"
        >
        >The girl said, "How did you become Johnny Quick?"
        >
        >He said, "At the lab I met a scientist named Barry Allen. He was as dull as dishwater! He was working on some kind of metabolic stimulator. It looked like a helmet. I guess you saw it when you brought me here. Where is my costume? Did you undress me, honey?"
        >
        >The blonde girl said, "No. Mother took care of that! Your costume was repaired and cleaned. It is in the cabinet in the corner!"
        >
        >Quick winked at her and said, "Allen was real idealistic. He wanted to use the helmet to help people. You see he lives for that whole protect and serve mentality. He wanted to use the helmet to enable cops to battle super criminals like Ultra Man or Superwoman! They had appeared on the scene around that time!"
        >
        >The old lady turned her back and stiffened as if moved by some great emotion.
        >
        >Her daughter reached out a hand for her but the older lady gently brushed it aside and said, "You took the helmet from Barry and used it to gain super speed. In time you no longer needed it because in truth it had never worked properly. It had only tapped into some latent speed gene within you. You had some mutant power all along but the helmet enabled you to first come in contact with it or activate it!"
        >
        >Quick said, "Exactly. Allen was too scared to use it. He kept saying it needed more testing. He was afraid it might have side effects if used without additional tests."
        >
        >The old lady softly said,"he thought it could cause brain damage. He believed it could inhibit intelligence and stimulate aggression! That's why he wanted to make sure it was safe before using it!"
        >
        >Quick said, "Allen was a wimp. Using that helmet made me what I am today! He did have a hot wife though!"
        >
        >The lady trembled slightly and the girl took her hand and said, "Her name was Iris. You were attracted to her but she was loyal to Barry Allen!"
        >
        >Quick said, "Yeah, she had no taste. It's weird how you future types seem to know so much about me. I guess I'm like George Washington or some other notorious villain to the folks of your time!"
        >
        >The lady said, "Iris loved Barry. She used her journalistic connections to locate you after you took his helmet. She got caught by you before she could alert the police. You tried to force yourself on her and then you killed her!"
        >
        >Quick wiped his face with one hand and his expression grew harder.
        >
        >"I killed her but it was an accident. I forgot how deadly my super fast hands were! She had it coming. She was a flirt!"
        >
        >The girl said, "Maybe we should stop here! The strain is too much for you. The memories are too painful!"
        >
        >Quick said, "Don't worry. I'm fine. I've killed more than one person since then. I became infamous as Johnny Quick the Fastest Man Alive! The name came to me out of the blue and I embraced it. It was the first time I had a name of my own choosing! I `m much more Johnny Quick than I ever was Charles Drake! I joined up with the Crime Syndicate and we've pretty much ruled the world ever since then!"
        >
        >The girl said, "What happened to Barry Allen?"
        >
        >Quick said, "Years and years passed without my ever hearing his name. Apparently, the sap quit the force and spent years in his lab. He created a bunch of crazy weapons in order to capture me. He made trick mirrors, gimmicky boomerangs, and killer tops! Finally, when I was suffering from memory loss, he attacked me and trapped me in another dimension. He called himself the Rogue!"
        >
        >Quick said, "I was freed from that weird Mirror-verse by a genius named Ray Palmer. He joined our team as Microbe. Funny thing is though, I never found Allen again. I got my buddy Power Ring to help me look for him for some good old fashioned payback but he had vanished!"
        >
        >The girl said, "The process is complete. He is fully healed now!"
        >
        >The lady said, "Unhook him and let him get dressed!"
        >
        >Quick smiled broadly as the blonde girl removed the medical devices and handed him his familiar red and gold costume.
        >
        >"Thanks, sweetheart! By the way, what is your name?" he said as he dressed. He frowned as he realized that his speed had not fully returned as yet.
        >
        >She looked at him for a moment and then said, "Dawn."
        >
        >He said, "Pretty name. I like it!"
        >
        >The older lady said, "I have something to say to you. I wanted to explain why we saved you."
        >
        >Quick said, "All business aren't you, lady? I'll listen. I don't make any promises though. I might help you and then again I might need persuading from Blondie here!"
        >
        >The lady said, "Don't touch her. Just hear me out. You didn't find Barry Allen because he had departed from your era and had moved into the future. I brought him here. I had been living here for some time although chronal storms kept me from bringing Barry here to join me. I was unable to do so when I first arrived here myself. Even though I missed him I had to wait years until the time trip could be safely made!"
        >
        >Quick said, "Allen is here? Why'd you bring him? Did you want him to fight for you?"
        >
        >She said, "I brought him here because I loved him. I was his wife until his untimely death. May he rest in peace!"
        >
        >"Allen married you? Wasn't the age difference a problem? No offense!" he said.
        >
        >She said, "I brought Barry to this era many years ago. We lived together happily and we grew old together. It was natural for me to be here since this was my true point of origin but he joined me out of love."
        >
        >Quick said, "Who are you? I don't like where this is going!"
        >
        >The lady said, "I was born in this era. My father was a military man. A rebel. He fought against society and he was hounded as a resource raider. In this era, all natural resources are scarce. You would not believe how much we have risked by using the devices found here to bring you to us. We have made ourselves outlaws!
        >
        >Dawn said, "Mother was born in this era. When mother was a baby, her father was attacked by his enemies. He sent her through time to your era so she would have a chance at a normal life. She grew up in your time and believed herself to be a woman of that era. The name her adopted parents of that era gave her was Iris West. She eventually met and married Barry Allen! Much later, she learned the truth about herself and her real name and era of birth. After Iris supposedly died at your hands, her real father managed to bring her life essence back to our era although she was given a new body. That's why she looks different from how you remembered her. She didn't merely age. She inhabited a new body upon arrival here."
        >
        >Quick gasped and he backed away from the women as his mind tried to make sense of the story.
        >
        >"You're Iris? You don't look a thing like her? I killed her. I mean I killed you. Didn't I?"
        >
        >Iris said, "You tried to but I could not die before I was born. It created a time paradox. My father from this era had survived and escaped from his foes after years of imprisonment. He brought my spirit here and implanted it in a new young body. As I said, I remained here and eventually brought Barry here. We were very happy and we had two children! Barry himself died a few years ago."
        >
        >Quick said, "You had kids with Barry Allen? I know Dawn is one of them. She looks a bit like ole Barry but what happened to the other one? Did you bring me here to try to guilt me into saving the other sibling from some atomic monster?"
        >
        >Iris looked at him with a cold expression.
        >
        >"You are the other child. You were born Don Allen. Dawn here is your sister. My father's old foes found Barry and me and wanted to punish us in order to get some delayed revenge against my late father. We tried to send our babies back in time as father had done to me long before! While your life essence made it back and implanted in the body of a dying infant at that orphan, Dawn's trip was stopped prematurely and she remained frozen in a timeless limbo for several years. We eventually escape from our foes and liberated her and raised her but you were lost to us. We spent years trying to find you. Barry died before I found out that our lost baby son Don had ended up in a twentieth century orphanage and had been given the name Charles Drake and had actually entered our lives all those years ago without any of us realizing our true connection. It may have been a cruel fate that brought you to Barry's lab and led you to betray him and attack me.
        Neither of us realized the man we hated so much… the killer known as Johnny Quick… was in fact our lost son Don Allen!"
        >
        >Quick shuddered and he stared at them with wide eyes.
        >
        >"This is crazy. You are my mother? Allen was my father? Look, I'll admit that I sure didn't know you were my mother when I … when we fought. You were about the same age that I was. How could I have guessed I was attracted to my own mother?"
        >
        >Iris said, "You could not have known. We certainly never realized that our actions would turn you into a super criminal and the bane of our own lives. When I found out the truth about you through some newly discovered records, I decided to study your life and when I read about the point of your death in that magical explosion, I vowed to save you and tell you everything! Nothing about your life from that point on has been recorded."
        >
        >Quick said, "I can't take all this in at once. I swear I would never have raised a hand to you or Allen had I known the truth but this sure doesn't make us one happy family. I thought of you as a contemporary. I can't change that image now. Thanks for saving me but I can't be what you want me to be!"
        >
        >Dawn said, "Don, we don't expect anything from you. We just wanted to save you because in spite of everything you are my twin and Mom `s son."
        >
        >Iris said, "I can't look at you or listen to you without thinking of all you did to Barry and me. I can't forget the crimes you have committed. Still, you are my son and I have done what I felt a mother should do. I've given you life once more! We will send you back to your own era now! Unlike the method used by my father to teleport me through the ages or the way Barry and I sent you away years ago, this new time machine will move your body as it is now. There will be no transfer of life essences as there always was before. The time machine will alert our foes to our location and we will certainly need to flee as soon as you've been safely teleported back through time. The energy it took to bring you here could have helped dozens of refugees and by using it we have become hunted outlaws!"
        >
        >She activated a machine that flooded the room with green light as it inched toward Johnny Quick. A whistle rang out and an explosion shook the building. Iris Allen screamed as the bunker collapsed around her!
        >
        >Quick had just enough time to grab Dawn Allen before the room
        >dissolved into flames and the world faded into gray.
        >
        >He opened his eyes to find Dawn Allen in his arms and the environment around them altered completely. When the glow faded they were standing on a field in what seemed to be the 20th century based on the display on an old clock tower that loomed over the edge of a quaint community.
        >
        >"What happened?" he asked.
        >
        >Dawn wept as she said, "The authorities found us. Poor mother!"
        >
        >Quick said, "I'm sorry. I'm sorry about the whole rotten mess. I may not have been much of a son but if you'll let me I will look out for you. Or do you hate me for what I did to your…our family?"
        >
        >Dawn said, "Thank you. I'm a scientist and a student of history. I can look at things in an impersonal manner. Mother and Dad were so devoted to one another that they truly never had time for me. I always felt as if I was an afterthought. I'd like a chance to be something more to someone else. I've always found the stories of your era to be romantic. Will you take me with you? You caused my parents a lot of pain but you didn't really kill mother. You only made it possible for her to return to her real era in a way. I am willing to see you as a brother if you'll have me!"
        >
        >Johnny thought, "She may be in shock or may be a pretty calculating customer. She doesn't seem to be overly torn up about losing her mother seconds ago! I would have assumed she would have a grudge against me too. Maybe she really gets me! She isn't as old as I am since she got stuck in that limbo when I ended up in the past but she is my twin. I don't look like her since my infant life essence or whatever they called it was put in a different body in the past. It is weird to think that I've grown up with the wrong name and a second hand body!"
        >
        >Quick nodded and said, "Okay. But I'm still Johnny Quick not Charles Drake and not Don Allen. You just call me Johnny and we'll get along fine!"
        >
        >Dawn nodded and said, "Sure. There's one more secret I want to tell you. I'm as fast as you are! I studied until I found an equation that allows me to tap into the same kind of force that the helmet brought out in you. By thinking that equation I can move at super speed. That was how Mom and I managed to avoid our foes for so long!"
        >
        >She removed her lab coat to reveal a costume consisting of yellow shorts and boots and a short red blouse.
        >
        >"What are you? Joannie Quick?" he asked with a grin.
        >
        >"Call me Jesse Quick!" she said.
        >
        >He smiled and said, "Welcome to the 20th century!"
        >
        >The End
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >

        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • libbyblawrence
        Thanks. I hope to pick up the plot thread where Owlman suspects correctly that the JQ who is now with the CS is not the original at all. Plus, that other plot
        Message 3 of 5 , Dec 8, 2012
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          Thanks. I hope to pick up the plot thread where Owlman suspects correctly that the JQ who is now with the CS is not the original at all.

          Plus, that other plot about Owlman considering turning on his partners and bringing them to justice.
        • Drivtaan
          Well, I never saw that coming. Excellent little story, Libby. I really enjoyed it. Lee Sent from Yahoo Mail on Android
          Message 4 of 5 , Dec 2, 2013
          • 0 Attachment

            Well, I never saw that coming. Excellent little story, Libby. I really enjoyed it.

            Lee

            Sent from Yahoo Mail on Android



            From: libbyblawrence <lawrenceliberty@...>;
            To: <Earth3Remembered@yahoogroups.com>;
            Subject: [Earth-3 Remembered] Running Out of Time-The Secret Origin of Johnny Quick
            Sent: Thu, Dec 6, 2012 11:28:48 PM

             

            Running Out of Time: The Secret Origin of Johnny Quick!

            By lawrenceliberty

            "I wasn't fast enough!"

            That phrase was the first thought that occurred to the Crime Syndicate's Sinister Speedster Johnny Quick as he closed his eyes and the blinding light enveloped him.

            "I'm not dead!"

            The second realization only came to Quick (Charles Drake) as he blinked against a strong light source and found himself within a small and rather cramped chamber that seemed to combine the features of a military bunker with a complex lab.

            He started to sit up but he felt himself restrained by a series of tubes and coverings.

            "This is no prison hospital. I was a cop long enough to know that for sure!" he said.

            "Stay calm. You are perfectly safe here. We're trying to help you. We're going to make you well. Don't make the process harder by upsetting yourself!" said a rather stern looking old woman who looked down at him with a gaze that made Quick feel a bit like a worm on the end of a fishing pole or a germ under a microscope!

            "There was an explosion! We were fighting some magic creep named Hunter when I got caught in some kind of magical energy blast! The next thing I knew I found myself here!" he said.

            The old woman looked over at a shadowy figure and said, "He didn't bother to ask about his own teammates. He's totally self-absorbed!"

            Quick said, "Hold it! I guess I just figured the others could take care of themselves! There's no way some punk wizard could take down the Crime Syndicate!"

            The old woman said, "Bravado but no real sentiment."

            She sighed and said, "Your allies defeated this menace according to the fragmented historical records we possess. Perhaps you should go back to sleep. The rejuvenator won't complete its cycle for several more minutes."

            Quick said, "I'm okay. Where am I? Did Power Ring bring me here? I always figured he was the only one I could count on in the heat of battle! I mean Ultra Man and Superwoman are crazy and Owlman gives me the chills!"

            A feminine giggle echoed out of the shadows and Quick smiled as he tried to catch a glimpse of the unseen female.

            "He still fancies himself a seducer! How utterly sickening!" said the old woman.

            Quick said, "You don't seem overly fond of me and yet I have the impression that you might have been the one who saved me."

            The woman said, "Forgive me if I've been a bit frank. I did save you. I brought you to this era from your proper era at the moment you were caught in that explosion. You are in the year 2987."

            Quick said, "Time travel? You mean this is the future? It doesn't exactly look like a utopia!"

            The woman said, "It is far from a utopia. I'm afraid it is more like a post nuclear nightmare! Resources are hoarded. Many people lack basic necessities. Raiders and opportunists run wild over them."

            Quick said, "Yeah! That would explain why this place feels like a warzone or a bunker!"

            He grinned confidently.

            "You future types need me to save you from some kind of atomic mutants! You brought me here because you need me. You don't like me but you need me!" he said.

            The old lady said, "That's not correct. We brought you here because we wanted to save you. It was the right thing to do. We owed you that much at least!"

            Quick said, "You owed me? Why? Did I do something for you? I sure don't recall. Maybe, you mean I'm going to do something for you at some point after my present of 1987 but before your future era! If that's the case, you better treat me with kid gloves!"

            A beautiful blonde girl stepped out of the shadows and said, "While you heal, tell us about yourself. Please!"

            Quick, always one to respond to a pretty face, propped himself up on one elbow and said, "Sure, gorgeous! I'll trade life stories with a doll like you!"

            He said, "I was born in a county home. We called them orphanages back then. I was given the name Charles Drake. It's the only name I had and I hated it. You see, I knew it wasn't really mine. Some doctor or clerk hung it on me. It wasn't an identity of my own choosing. I felt like a cat or dog that some know it all stuck with a name that came to him as a whim. I acted out as we said back then. I got into fights. I ran away. I was a punk!"

            The old lady said, "Didn't anyone care for you?"

            He lowered his gaze for a moment and said, "Nah. They didn't. I did okay though. I stayed out of real trouble and became a cop and even picked up enough of an education to get assigned to security duty at the police lab. "

            The girl said, "Did you become a policeman to protect other people?"
            Johnny laughed and said, "Dollface, I just wanted to be the guy pushing others around. I was tired of being shoved around by cops when I was a kid. I wanted to be one of the guys in power."

            The old lady looked at a screen and said, "He is recovering nicely. His super swift metabolism must be making the healing process go more rapidly than would be expected!"

            The girl said, "How did you become Johnny Quick?"

            He said, "At the lab I met a scientist named Barry Allen. He was as dull as dishwater! He was working on some kind of metabolic stimulator. It looked like a helmet. I guess you saw it when you brought me here. Where is my costume? Did you undress me, honey?"

            The blonde girl said, "No. Mother took care of that! Your costume was repaired and cleaned. It is in the cabinet in the corner!"

            Quick winked at her and said, "Allen was real idealistic. He wanted to use the helmet to help people. You see he lives for that whole protect and serve mentality. He wanted to use the helmet to enable cops to battle super criminals like Ultra Man or Superwoman! They had appeared on the scene around that time!"

            The old lady turned her back and stiffened as if moved by some great emotion.

            Her daughter reached out a hand for her but the older lady gently brushed it aside and said, "You took the helmet from Barry and used it to gain super speed. In time you no longer needed it because in truth it had never worked properly. It had only tapped into some latent speed gene within you. You had some mutant power all along but the helmet enabled you to first come in contact with it or activate it!"

            Quick said, "Exactly. Allen was too scared to use it. He kept saying it needed more testing. He was afraid it might have side effects if used without additional tests."

            The old lady softly said,"he thought it could cause brain damage. He believed it could inhibit intelligence and stimulate aggression! That's why he wanted to make sure it was safe before using it!"

            Quick said, "Allen was a wimp. Using that helmet made me what I am today! He did have a hot wife though!"

            The lady trembled slightly and the girl took her hand and said, "Her name was Iris. You were attracted to her but she was loyal to Barry Allen!"

            Quick said, "Yeah, she had no taste. It's weird how you future types seem to know so much about me. I guess I'm like George Washington or some other notorious villain to the folks of your time!"

            The lady said, "Iris loved Barry. She used her journalistic connections to locate you after you took his helmet. She got caught by you before she could alert the police. You tried to force yourself on her and then you killed her!"

            Quick wiped his face with one hand and his expression grew harder.

            "I killed her but it was an accident. I forgot how deadly my super fast hands were! She had it coming. She was a flirt!"

            The girl said, "Maybe we should stop here! The strain is too much for you. The memories are too painful!"

            Quick said, "Don't worry. I'm fine. I've killed more than one person since then. I became infamous as Johnny Quick the Fastest Man Alive! The name came to me out of the blue and I embraced it. It was the first time I had a name of my own choosing! I `m much more Johnny Quick than I ever was Charles Drake! I joined up with the Crime Syndicate and we've pretty much ruled the world ever since then!"

            The girl said, "What happened to Barry Allen?"

            Quick said, "Years and years passed without my ever hearing his name. Apparently, the sap quit the force and spent years in his lab. He created a bunch of crazy weapons in order to capture me. He made trick mirrors, gimmicky boomerangs, and killer tops! Finally, when I was suffering from memory loss, he attacked me and trapped me in another dimension. He called himself the Rogue!"

            Quick said, "I was freed from that weird Mirror-verse by a genius named Ray Palmer. He joined our team as Microbe. Funny thing is though, I never found Allen again. I got my buddy Power Ring to help me look for him for some good old fashioned payback but he had vanished!"

            The girl said, "The process is complete. He is fully healed now!"

            The lady said, "Unhook him and let him get dressed!"

            Quick smiled broadly as the blonde girl removed the medical devices and handed him his familiar red and gold costume.

            "Thanks, sweetheart! By the way, what is your name?" he said as he dressed. He frowned as he realized that his speed had not fully returned as yet.

            She looked at him for a moment and then said, "Dawn."

            He said, "Pretty name. I like it!"

            The older lady said, "I have something to say to you. I wanted to explain why we saved you."

            Quick said, "All business aren't you, lady? I'll listen. I don't make any promises though. I might help you and then again I might need persuading from Blondie here!"

            The lady said, "Don't touch her. Just hear me out. You didn't find Barry Allen because he had departed from your era and had moved into the future. I brought him here. I had been living here for some time although chronal storms kept me from bringing Barry here to join me. I was unable to do so when I first arrived here myself. Even though I missed him I had to wait years until the time trip could be safely made!"

            Quick said, "Allen is here? Why'd you bring him? Did you want him to fight for you?"

            She said, "I brought him here because I loved him. I was his wife until his untimely death. May he rest in peace!"

            "Allen married you? Wasn't the age difference a problem? No offense!" he said.

            She said, "I brought Barry to this era many years ago. We lived together happily and we grew old together. It was natural for me to be here since this was my true point of origin but he joined me out of love."

            Quick said, "Who are you? I don't like where this is going!"

            The lady said, "I was born in this era. My father was a military man. A rebel. He fought against society and he was hounded as a resource raider. In this era, all natural resources are scarce. You would not believe how much we have risked by using the devices found here to bring you to us. We have made ourselves outlaws!

            Dawn said, "Mother was born in this era. When mother was a baby, her father was attacked by his enemies. He sent her through time to your era so she would have a chance at a normal life. She grew up in your time and believed herself to be a woman of that era. The name her adopted parents of that era gave her was Iris West. She eventually met and married Barry Allen! Much later, she learned the truth about herself and her real name and era of birth. After Iris supposedly died at your hands, her real father managed to bring her life essence back to our era although she was given a new body. That's why she looks different from how you remembered her. She didn't merely age. She inhabited a new body upon arrival here."

            Quick gasped and he backed away from the women as his mind tried to make sense of the story.

            "You're Iris? You don't look a thing like her? I killed her. I mean I killed you. Didn't I?"

            Iris said, "You tried to but I could not die before I was born. It created a time paradox. My father from this era had survived and escaped from his foes after years of imprisonment. He brought my spirit here and implanted it in a new young body. As I said, I remained here and eventually brought Barry here. We were very happy and we had two children! Barry himself died a few years ago."

            Quick said, "You had kids with Barry Allen? I know Dawn is one of them. She looks a bit like ole Barry but what happened to the other one? Did you bring me here to try to guilt me into saving the other sibling from some atomic monster?"

            Iris looked at him with a cold expression.

            "You are the other child. You were born Don Allen. Dawn here is your sister. My father's old foes found Barry and me and wanted to punish us in order to get some delayed revenge against my late father. We tried to send our babies back in time as father had done to me long before! While your life essence made it back and implanted in the body of a dying infant at that orphan, Dawn's trip was stopped prematurely and she remained frozen in a timeless limbo for several years. We eventually escape from our foes and liberated her and raised her but you were lost to us. We spent years trying to find you. Barry died before I found out that our lost baby son Don had ended up in a twentieth century orphanage and had been given the name Charles Drake and had actually entered our lives all those years ago without any of us realizing our true connection. It may have been a cruel fate that brought you to Barry's lab and led you to betray him and attack me. Neither of us realized the man we hated so much… the killer known as Johnny Quick… was in fact our lost son Don Allen!"

            Quick shuddered and he stared at them with wide eyes.

            "This is crazy. You are my mother? Allen was my father? Look, I'll admit that I sure didn't know you were my mother when I … when we fought. You were about the same age that I was. How could I have guessed I was attracted to my own mother?"

            Iris said, "You could not have known. We certainly never realized that our actions would turn you into a super criminal and the bane of our own lives. When I found out the truth about you through some newly discovered records, I decided to study your life and when I read about the point of your death in that magical explosion, I vowed to save you and tell you everything! Nothing about your life from that point on has been recorded."

            Quick said, "I can't take all this in at once. I swear I would never have raised a hand to you or Allen had I known the truth but this sure doesn't make us one happy family. I thought of you as a contemporary. I can't change that image now. Thanks for saving me but I can't be what you want me to be!"

            Dawn said, "Don, we don't expect anything from you. We just wanted to save you because in spite of everything you are my twin and Mom `s son."

            Iris said, "I can't look at you or listen to you without thinking of all you did to Barry and me. I can't forget the crimes you have committed. Still, you are my son and I have done what I felt a mother should do. I've given you life once more! We will send you back to your own era now! Unlike the method used by my father to teleport me through the ages or the way Barry and I sent you away years ago, this new time machine will move your body as it is now. There will be no transfer of life essences as there always was before. The time machine will alert our foes to our location and we will certainly need to flee as soon as you've been safely teleported back through time. The energy it took to bring you here could have helped dozens of refugees and by using it we have become hunted outlaws!"

            She activated a machine that flooded the room with green light as it inched toward Johnny Quick. A whistle rang out and an explosion shook the building. Iris Allen screamed as the bunker collapsed around her!

            Quick had just enough time to grab Dawn Allen before the room
            dissolved into flames and the world faded into gray.

            He opened his eyes to find Dawn Allen in his arms and the environment around them altered completely. When the glow faded they were standing on a field in what seemed to be the 20th century based on the display on an old clock tower that loomed over the edge of a quaint community.

            "What happened?" he asked.

            Dawn wept as she said, "The authorities found us. Poor mother!"

            Quick said, "I'm sorry. I'm sorry about the whole rotten mess. I may not have been much of a son but if you'll let me I will look out for you. Or do you hate me for what I did to your…our family?"

            Dawn said, "Thank you. I'm a scientist and a student of history. I can look at things in an impersonal manner. Mother and Dad were so devoted to one another that they truly never had time for me. I always felt as if I was an afterthought. I'd like a chance to be something more to someone else. I've always found the stories of your era to be romantic. Will you take me with you? You caused my parents a lot of pain but you didn't really kill mother. You only made it possible for her to return to her real era in a way. I am willing to see you as a brother if you'll have me!"

            Johnny thought, "She may be in shock or may be a pretty calculating customer. She doesn't seem to be overly torn up about losing her mother seconds ago! I would have assumed she would have a grudge against me too. Maybe she really gets me! She isn't as old as I am since she got stuck in that limbo when I ended up in the past but she is my twin. I don't look like her since my infant life essence or whatever they called it was put in a different body in the past. It is weird to think that I've grown up with the wrong name and a second hand body!"

            Quick nodded and said, "Okay. But I'm still Johnny Quick not Charles Drake and not Don Allen. You just call me Johnny and we'll get along fine!"

            Dawn nodded and said, "Sure. There's one more secret I want to tell you. I'm as fast as you are! I studied until I found an equation that allows me to tap into the same kind of force that the helmet brought out in you. By thinking that equation I can move at super speed. That was how Mom and I managed to avoid our foes for so long!"

            She removed her lab coat to reveal a costume consisting of yellow shorts and boots and a short red blouse.

            "What are you? Joannie Quick?" he asked with a grin.

            "Call me Jesse Quick!" she said.

            He smiled and said, "Welcome to the 20th century!"

            The End

          • lawrenceliberty
            Thanks. I m glad you read it. ... Well, I never saw that coming. Excellent little story, Libby. I really enjoyed it. Lee Sent from Yahoo Mail on Android
            Message 5 of 5 , Dec 2, 2013
            • 0 Attachment

               Thanks. I'm glad you read it.



              ---In Earth3Remembered@yahoogroups.com, <drivtaan@...> wrote:

              Well, I never saw that coming. Excellent little story, Libby. I really enjoyed it.

              Lee

              Sent from Yahoo Mail on Android


              From: libbyblawrence <lawrenceliberty@...>;
              To: <Earth3Remembered@yahoogroups.com>;
              Subject: [Earth-3 Remembered] Running Out of Time-The Secret Origin of Johnny Quick
              Sent: Thu, Dec 6, 2012 11:28:48 PM

               

              Running Out of Time: The Secret Origin of Johnny Quick!

              By lawrenceliberty

              "I wasn't fast enough!"

              That phrase was the first thought that occurred to the Crime Syndicate's Sinister Speedster Johnny Quick as he closed his eyes and the blinding light enveloped him.

              "I'm not dead!"

              The second realization only came to Quick (Charles Drake) as he blinked against a strong light source and found himself within a small and rather cramped chamber that seemed to combine the features of a military bunker with a complex lab.

              He started to sit up but he felt himself restrained by a series of tubes and coverings.

              "This is no prison hospital. I was a cop long enough to know that for sure!" he said.

              "Stay calm. You are perfectly safe here. We're trying to help you. We're going to make you well. Don't make the process harder by upsetting yourself!" said a rather stern looking old woman who looked down at him with a gaze that made Quick feel a bit like a worm on the end of a fishing pole or a germ under a microscope!

              "There was an explosion! We were fighting some magic creep named Hunter when I got caught in some kind of magical energy blast! The next thing I knew I found myself here!" he said.

              The old woman looked over at a shadowy figure and said, "He didn't bother to ask about his own teammates. He's totally self-absorbed!"

              Quick said, "Hold it! I guess I just figured the others could take care of themselves! There's no way some punk wizard could take down the Crime Syndicate!"

              The old woman said, "Bravado but no real sentiment."

              She sighed and said, "Your allies defeated this menace according to the fragmented historical records we possess. Perhaps you should go back to sleep. The rejuvenator won't complete its cycle for several more minutes."

              Quick said, "I'm okay. Where am I? Did Power Ring bring me here? I always figured he was the only one I could count on in the heat of battle! I mean Ultra Man and Superwoman are crazy and Owlman gives me the chills!"

              A feminine giggle echoed out of the shadows and Quick smiled as he tried to catch a glimpse of the unseen female.

              "He still fancies himself a seducer! How utterly sickening!" said the old woman.

              Quick said, "You don't seem overly fond of me and yet I have the impression that you might have been the one who saved me."

              The woman said, "Forgive me if I've been a bit frank. I did save you. I brought you to this era from your proper era at the moment you were caught in that explosion. You are in the year 2987."

              Quick said, "Time travel? You mean this is the future? It doesn't exactly look like a utopia!"

              The woman said, "It is far from a utopia. I'm afraid it is more like a post nuclear nightmare! Resources are hoarded. Many people lack basic necessities. Raiders and opportunists run wild over them."

              Quick said, "Yeah! That would explain why this place feels like a warzone or a bunker!"

              He grinned confidently.

              "You future types need me to save you from some kind of atomic mutants! You brought me here because you need me. You don't like me but you need me!" he said.

              The old lady said, "That's not correct. We brought you here because we wanted to save you. It was the right thing to do. We owed you that much at least!"

              Quick said, "You owed me? Why? Did I do something for you? I sure don't recall. Maybe, you mean I'm going to do something for you at some point after my present of 1987 but before your future era! If that's the case, you better treat me with kid gloves!"

              A beautiful blonde girl stepped out of the shadows and said, "While you heal, tell us about yourself. Please!"

              Quick, always one to respond to a pretty face, propped himself up on one elbow and said, "Sure, gorgeous! I'll trade life stories with a doll like you!"

              He said, "I was born in a county home. We called them orphanages back then. I was given the name Charles Drake. It's the only name I had and I hated it. You see, I knew it wasn't really mine. Some doctor or clerk hung it on me. It wasn't an identity of my own choosing. I felt like a cat or dog that some know it all stuck with a name that came to him as a whim. I acted out as we said back then. I got into fights. I ran away. I was a punk!"

              The old lady said, "Didn't anyone care for you?"

              He lowered his gaze for a moment and said, "Nah. They didn't. I did okay though. I stayed out of real trouble and became a cop and even picked up enough of an education to get assigned to security duty at the police lab. "

              The girl said, "Did you become a policeman to protect other people?"
              Johnny laughed and said, "Dollface, I just wanted to be the guy pushing others around. I was tired of being shoved around by cops when I was a kid. I wanted to be one of the guys in power."

              The old lady looked at a screen and said, "He is recovering nicely. His super swift metabolism must be making the healing process go more rapidly than would be expected!"

              The girl said, "How did you become Johnny Quick?"

              He said, "At the lab I met a scientist named Barry Allen. He was as dull as dishwater! He was working on some kind of metabolic stimulator. It looked like a helmet. I guess you saw it when you brought me here. Where is my costume? Did you undress me, honey?"

              The blonde girl said, "No. Mother took care of that! Your costume was repaired and cleaned. It is in the cabinet in the corner!"

              Quick winked at her and said, "Allen was real idealistic. He wanted to use the helmet to help people. You see he lives for that whole protect and serve mentality. He wanted to use the helmet to enable cops to battle super criminals like Ultra Man or Superwoman! They had appeared on the scene around that time!"

              The old lady turned her back and stiffened as if moved by some great emotion.

              Her daughter reached out a hand for her but the older lady gently brushed it aside and said, "You took the helmet from Barry and used it to gain super speed. In time you no longer needed it because in truth it had never worked properly. It had only tapped into some latent speed gene within you. You had some mutant power all along but the helmet enabled you to first come in contact with it or activate it!"

              Quick said, "Exactly. Allen was too scared to use it. He kept saying it needed more testing. He was afraid it might have side effects if used without additional tests."

              The old lady softly said,"he thought it could cause brain damage. He believed it could inhibit intelligence and stimulate aggression! That's why he wanted to make sure it was safe before using it!"

              Quick said, "Allen was a wimp. Using that helmet made me what I am today! He did have a hot wife though!"

              The lady trembled slightly and the girl took her hand and said, "Her name was Iris. You were attracted to her but she was loyal to Barry Allen!"

              Quick said, "Yeah, she had no taste. It's weird how you future types seem to know so much about me. I guess I'm like George Washington or some other notorious villain to the folks of your time!"

              The lady said, "Iris loved Barry. She used her journalistic connections to locate you after you took his helmet. She got caught by you before she could alert the police. You tried to force yourself on her and then you killed her!"

              Quick wiped his face with one hand and his expression grew harder.

              "I killed her but it was an accident. I forgot how deadly my super fast hands were! She had it coming. She was a flirt!"

              The girl said, "Maybe we should stop here! The strain is too much for you. The memories are too painful!"

              Quick said, "Don't worry. I'm fine. I've killed more than one person since then. I became infamous as Johnny Quick the Fastest Man Alive! The name came to me out of the blue and I embraced it. It was the first time I had a name of my own choosing! I `m much more Johnny Quick than I ever was Charles Drake! I joined up with the Crime Syndicate and we've pretty much ruled the world ever since then!"

              The girl said, "What happened to Barry Allen?"

              Quick said, "Years and years passed without my ever hearing his name. Apparently, the sap quit the force and spent years in his lab. He created a bunch of crazy weapons in order to capture me. He made trick mirrors, gimmicky boomerangs, and killer tops! Finally, when I was suffering from memory loss, he attacked me and trapped me in another dimension. He called himself the Rogue!"

              Quick said, "I was freed from that weird Mirror-verse by a genius named Ray Palmer. He joined our team as Microbe. Funny thing is though, I never found Allen again. I got my buddy Power Ring to help me look for him for some good old fashioned payback but he had vanished!"

              The girl said, "The process is complete. He is fully healed now!"

              The lady said, "Unhook him and let him get dressed!"

              Quick smiled broadly as the blonde girl removed the medical devices and handed him his familiar red and gold costume.

              "Thanks, sweetheart! By the way, what is your name?" he said as he dressed. He frowned as he realized that his speed had not fully returned as yet.

              She looked at him for a moment and then said, "Dawn."

              He said, "Pretty name. I like it!"

              The older lady said, "I have something to say to you. I wanted to explain why we saved you."

              Quick said, "All business aren't you, lady? I'll listen. I don't make any promises though. I might help you and then again I might need persuading from Blondie here!"

              The lady said, "Don't touch her. Just hear me out. You didn't find Barry Allen because he had departed from your era and had moved into the future. I brought him here. I had been living here for some time although chronal storms kept me from bringing Barry here to join me. I was unable to do so when I first arrived here myself. Even though I missed him I had to wait years until the time trip could be safely made!"

              Quick said, "Allen is here? Why'd you bring him? Did you want him to fight for you?"

              She said, "I brought him here because I loved him. I was his wife until his untimely death. May he rest in peace!"

              "Allen married you? Wasn't the age difference a problem? No offense!" he said.

              She said, "I brought Barry to this era many years ago. We lived together happily and we grew old together. It was natural for me to be here since this was my true point of origin but he joined me out of love."

              Quick said, "Who are you? I don't like where this is going!"

              The lady said, "I was born in this era. My father was a military man. A rebel. He fought against society and he was hounded as a resource raider. In this era, all natural resources are scarce. You would not believe how much we have risked by using the devices found here to bring you to us. We have made ourselves outlaws!

              Dawn said, "Mother was born in this era. When mother was a baby, her father was attacked by his enemies. He sent her through time to your era so she would have a chance at a normal life. She grew up in your time and believed herself to be a woman of that era. The name her adopted parents of that era gave her was Iris West. She eventually met and married Barry Allen! Much later, she learned the truth about herself and her real name and era of birth. After Iris supposedly died at your hands, her real father managed to bring her life essence back to our era although she was given a new body. That's why she looks different from how you remembered her. She didn't merely age. She inhabited a new body upon arrival here."

              Quick gasped and he backed away from the women as his mind tried to make sense of the story.

              "You're Iris? You don't look a thing like her? I killed her. I mean I killed you. Didn't I?"

              Iris said, "You tried to but I could not die before I was born. It created a time paradox. My father from this era had survived and escaped from his foes after years of imprisonment. He brought my spirit here and implanted it in a new young body. As I said, I remained here and eventually brought Barry here. We were very happy and we had two children! Barry himself died a few years ago."

              Quick said, "You had kids with Barry Allen? I know Dawn is one of them. She looks a bit like ole Barry but what happened to the other one? Did you bring me here to try to guilt me into saving the other sibling from some atomic monster?"

              Iris looked at him with a cold expression.

              "You are the other child. You were born Don Allen. Dawn here is your sister. My father's old foes found Barry and me and wanted to punish us in order to get some delayed revenge against my late father. We tried to send our babies back in time as father had done to me long before! While your life essence made it back and implanted in the body of a dying infant at that orphan, Dawn's trip was stopped prematurely and she remained frozen in a timeless limbo for several years. We eventually escape from our foes and liberated her and raised her but you were lost to us. We spent years trying to find you. Barry died before I found out that our lost baby son Don had ended up in a twentieth century orphanage and had been given the name Charles Drake and had actually entered our lives all those years ago without any of us realizing our true connection. It may have been a cruel fate that brought you to Barry's lab and led you to betray him and attack me. Neither of us realized the man we hated so much… the killer known as Johnny Quick… was in fact our lost son Don Allen!"

              Quick shuddered and he stared at them with wide eyes.

              "This is crazy. You are my mother? Allen was my father? Look, I'll admit that I sure didn't know you were my mother when I … when we fought. You were about the same age that I was. How could I have guessed I was attracted to my own mother?"

              Iris said, "You could not have known. We certainly never realized that our actions would turn you into a super criminal and the bane of our own lives. When I found out the truth about you through some newly discovered records, I decided to study your life and when I read about the point of your death in that magical explosion, I vowed to save you and tell you everything! Nothing about your life from that point on has been recorded."

              Quick said, "I can't take all this in at once. I swear I would never have raised a hand to you or Allen had I known the truth but this sure doesn't make us one happy family. I thought of you as a contemporary. I can't change that image now. Thanks for saving me but I can't be what you want me to be!"

              Dawn said, "Don, we don't expect anything from you. We just wanted to save you because in spite of everything you are my twin and Mom `s son."

              Iris said, "I can't look at you or listen to you without thinking of all you did to Barry and me. I can't forget the crimes you have committed. Still, you are my son and I have done what I felt a mother should do. I've given you life once more! We will send you back to your own era now! Unlike the method used by my father to teleport me through the ages or the way Barry and I sent you away years ago, this new time machine will move your body as it is now. There will be no transfer of life essences as there always was before. The time machine will alert our foes to our location and we will certainly need to flee as soon as you've been safely teleported back through time. The energy it took to bring you here could have helped dozens of refugees and by using it we have become hunted outlaws!"

              She activated a machine that flooded the room with green light as it inched toward Johnny Quick. A whistle rang out and an explosion shook the building. Iris Allen screamed as the bunker collapsed around her!

              Quick had just enough time to grab Dawn Allen before the room
              dissolved into flames and the world faded into gray.

              He opened his eyes to find Dawn Allen in his arms and the environment around them altered completely. When the glow faded they were standing on a field in what seemed to be the 20th century based on the display on an old clock tower that loomed over the edge of a quaint community.

              "What happened?" he asked.

              Dawn wept as she said, "The authorities found us. Poor mother!"

              Quick said, "I'm sorry. I'm sorry about the whole rotten mess. I may not have been much of a son but if you'll let me I will look out for you. Or do you hate me for what I did to your…our family?"

              Dawn said, "Thank you. I'm a scientist and a student of history. I can look at things in an impersonal manner. Mother and Dad were so devoted to one another that they truly never had time for me. I always felt as if I was an afterthought. I'd like a chance to be something more to someone else. I've always found the stories of your era to be romantic. Will you take me with you? You caused my parents a lot of pain but you didn't really kill mother. You only made it possible for her to return to her real era in a way. I am willing to see you as a brother if you'll have me!"

              Johnny thought, "She may be in shock or may be a pretty calculating customer. She doesn't seem to be overly torn up about losing her mother seconds ago! I would have assumed she would have a grudge against me too. Maybe she really gets me! She isn't as old as I am since she got stuck in that limbo when I ended up in the past but she is my twin. I don't look like her since my infant life essence or whatever they called it was put in a different body in the past. It is weird to think that I've grown up with the wrong name and a second hand body!"

              Quick nodded and said, "Okay. But I'm still Johnny Quick not Charles Drake and not Don Allen. You just call me Johnny and we'll get along fine!"

              Dawn nodded and said, "Sure. There's one more secret I want to tell you. I'm as fast as you are! I studied until I found an equation that allows me to tap into the same kind of force that the helmet brought out in you. By thinking that equation I can move at super speed. That was how Mom and I managed to avoid our foes for so long!"

              She removed her lab coat to reveal a costume consisting of yellow shorts and boots and a short red blouse.

              "What are you? Joannie Quick?" he asked with a grin.

              "Call me Jesse Quick!" she said.

              He smiled and said, "Welcome to the 20th century!"

              The End

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