- Jay Garrick and Alan Scott were on the sort of terms that Jay felt no
reluctance to enter Alan's apartment unannounced, but he drew the
line at vibrating through his walls. Thus he climbed the stairs and
entered Alan's study at normal speed. He found his old friend
surrounded by books, apparently recently unpacked from a crate that
stood open in the middle of the room. Alan looked up from his desk,
where he had been staring at three books in particular as though they
were a family of scorpions.
"Good to see you, Jay," Alan said without smiling. "I finally got
aroudn to looking at the crate of books I bought the last time I was
"I suppose that explains the long face, Alan. If I never see or hear
from that place again it'll be fine by me."
"I feel more or less the same way, but you never know where you might
have to go some day, so I figured it was a good idea to do a little
research. That barrier between worlds may not hold forever, you
Jay picked up a book titled "Poor Benjamin's Almanack for 1985",
flipped through it at super-speed. He shuddered as his mind absorbed
the information it contained.
"I see what you mean. Still a nasty place, though."
"You haven't seen the worst. Look at these."
Alan picked up a book, its white leather cover stamped in gold "Holy
Writ", opened it to a bookmark and read,
"'On this night, the blood of a child of the unbelievers shalt thou
drink, for they are thy cattle.'"
Jay's jaw dropped as Alan reached for the second book, titled "Al
"'Any man who dies in the course of slaying the infidel shall be
granted two and seventy virgins to serve him in Paradise.'"
Alan moved on quickly to a volume titled "The Book of Stalking Forth
"'Before Enlightenment, dominate the weak and undermine the strong.
After Enlightenment, dominate the weak and undermine the strong.'"
"Alan . . . ."
"Jay, these are the books that form the basis for the major religions
"But that's all . . . ."
"Filth. Loathsome and vile, like nothing ever seen in any scriptures
on our world, or Earth-1. Maybe now we can start to understand just
why things are as bad as they are on that world."
Jay was silent for a long time. Then he suddenly gave a snort of
"Say, you remember those steel-jacketed Bibles they used to give the
GIs during the war?"
"Sure. I got one when I was in the Army."
"So did I. And you know, I've never been really religious, but I got
in the habit of carrying it with me as the Flash. Always had it,
until a couple of years ago when my outfit got pretty well shredded.
That was how I wound up attending a Justice Society meeting wearing
one of Johnny Quick's suits. I figured it was the least he owed me."
"Johnny Quick? You mean you lost it on Earth-3?"
Jay chuckled nervously.
"Yeah, I wonder if anyone ever found it?"
Johnny Quick made a visual confirmation that the visitor to his
palace was indeed Power Ring, and disabled the defenses to let him
in. The Emerald Extortionist's face was especially grim as he tossed
a cheaply-printed pamphlet to the Scarlet Slayer.
"I took this off one of those idiots who've been making so much
trouble in Eclipse City. Have you ever seen anything like this? Do
you have any idea where filth like that could have originated?"
Johnny Quick opened the pamphlet at random and read aloud, "'Blessed
are the meek . . . .'"
- Oh man this is good!
--- john_m_burt <john_m_burt@...> wrote:
> Jay Garrick and Alan Scott were on the sort of terms=====
> that Jay felt no
> reluctance to enter Alan's apartment unannounced,
Do you Yahoo!?
SBC Yahoo! DSL - Now only $29.95 per month!
- Onward, holy soldier, drench the land with gore
Mercy is a weakness all the gods ahbor
Bayonet the babies, rape their mothers, too
The gods to whom you sacrifice will hallow all you do
File your bullets' noses flat, poison every well . . . .
Lana couldn't stand it any more. This hymn was even worse than the
last one, which had praised "a goodly King who loved his folk, and
guided them with the rod, the stake, the axe . . . ." She rose from
the rear pew and dashed out of the temple, clutching at her stomach.
She stopped at the filthy, litter-strewn curb, fighting the urge to
vomit. Behind her they had started on yet another verse, and she
heard all too clearly,
Onward, holy soldiers, rend and tear and smite . . . .
Shuddering, she forced herself to appear calm. It wouldn't do to
draw attention to herself. That was the first lesson she had learned
after becoming trapped on this world.
It had been six months now since the red-skied day when Lana Lang had
slipped from the streets of Crown City to this hellhole of a town
called Steel Harbor. She had done her best to survive in this
horrible upside-down world. Coming to this temple had been her
latest attempt to understand it. She was afraid the experience had
told her more than she wanted to know about these people.
She looked up at the symbolic gallows that crowned the ugly pile
where the celebrants were now singing something revolting
about "rooting at the Master's trough".
"You're not an Augustine, are you?" said a voice behind her. She
turned, startled, and saw a crippled beggar smiling at her. Warily
she said, "No, but I'm interested. I want to know more."
She pointed up at the gallows.
"That's th Augustine symbol. Is it in memory of one who was hanged
The man looked startled.
"'One'?" he asked, incredulous.