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Ultimate Flash: Quick

Quick: Part 1














Home | Quick: Part 1




















Professor Foster sat hunched over his desk, his head resting in his hand. The phone he had pressed to his ear was set on the lowest audible volume setting, yet the distinct cursing of a second party could be clearly overheard.

"I don't pay you for failure and poor excuses, Doctor," the voice seethed.

"I know," He replied. "But the formula-"

"The formula is not the problem! The formula can be changed! YOU, Doctor, are the problem!"

"Mr. Luthor, what you're asking me to do, what you're asking the lab to do, is-"

"Is well within my power," Luthor replied. "Don't forget who owns Cadmus Labs."

"Yes, sir."

The click of Lex Luthor hanging up could be heard as clear as the conversation. With that, Foster let his head hit his paper-ridden table with a "thump."

Notes on his current project were scattered all over the desk. Files and papers marked "Project: Bolt" were abundant. He was always a bit of a slob, believing that true geniuses were, but then taking it too far. It's why Eileen left him; why he lives in his hole of an apartment; why his life, altogether, is just a mess.

The phone rang again, startling Foster out of his deep thought.

"Hello?"

"Professor?" A shaky voice asked.

"Gail?" The professor recognized the voice. It was Gail Summers, a research assistant he hired part-time from California State in Los Angeles.

"Professor something horrible has happened. There was this guy in black, and he came in, and he kept screaming, and he saw me and Jonathan, and he came toward us... He just... He pulled out a gun and..."

As Gail's voice trailed off, the professor's face darkened. He knew what had happened.

Later, Professor Foster and Gail sat outside, on the lab steps. Foster kept his head buried in his hands while Gail's make-up smeared face was illuminated by the lights of the police cars. Slowly, Gail noticed the man standing above her.

"Excuse me," the man said. He was a tall, broad shouldered man, in his late fifties. The way he carried himself told Gail that he was a cop. The badge on his coat confirmed it.

"Yes?" She asked.

"I'm Detective Jay Garrick, with the L.A.P.D.," He said. "I'm going to have to ask you and the professor what happened."

Gail noddded. The professor seemed to be wrapped in his own world, not listening to what the detective had said. "Jon Griggs, my research partner, and I were working late in the lab. Out of nowhere, this man in black appeared, screaming."

"What," Detective Garrick asked, "Was he saying exactly?"

"He was yelling, 'You!' 'Your fault!' 'I'll make sure it won't happen again!' Then he pulled out a gun and he just... He..."

Gail couldn't take it. She broke out into tears once more, sobbing into her hands. Detective Garrick knew how it ended.

"He shot him." Garrick said.

There was nothing but a nod from the girl, and a few more sobs. Detective Garrick squat down beside the young lady and attempted to soothe her pain. He couldn't stand to see a woman cry. Plus, he couldn't get a decent statement out of her if she couldn't even talk.

After a few moments, the tears stopped running, and Garrick said, finally, "I have to ask you something." The girl nodded.

"What was it that you were working on?"

It was at this point that Professor Foster sat up straight. Foster looked Garrick square in the eye. "That's classified," he said.

"Uh-huh," replied Garrick. "I'm gonna need something more than that."

"Well, I can't-"

"It's this new chemical," Gail interupted. Foster shot her a dirty look. "We're developing it for LexCorp. It excites the structure and behavior of molecules to a certain degree by-"

"Detective Garrick!" A man called, interrupting the statement given by Gail. Garrick turned to see a young man, in his late twenties, running toward him through the crowds of police officers. He wore a black jumpsuit that read "L.A.P.D Crime Lab" on one side, and "Allen" on the other. He was carrying a metal briefcase, probably holding evidence-gathering devices, thought Garrick.

"Barry!" Garrick called out. "Another few minutes and I would've called the lab myself. Where've you been?"

"Traffic was killer. I got out here as fast as I could." He replied.

"Right. Get in there and do your thing, Allen."

The Cadmus Labs Research Facility was completely state-of-the-art. It had to be, if it were owned by LexCorp. Luthor would've bought the place an atom smasher if he found one he liked. At least this is what Barry thought.

Barry Allen had been a crime scene investigator for the Los Angeles Police Department for nealy three years. He wasn't a seasoned professional, no, but he certainly wasn't green. Ever since he was young, Barry had always had a knack for science. His methodical pace to things was perfect for lab work. Originally, he had signed up to work at Cadmus, but they rejected him. So, he ended up at the front doorstep of the L.A.P.D. It was with the help of an old family friend, Jay Garrick, that he was able to get his foot in the door. Since then, Barry looked up to Jay as a father figure.

Garrick taught him the basics of deductive reasoning. He taught him how to shave the stories he created from the evidence with Occam's Razor. Barry owed him much a lot.

He thought about all this as he put on the containment suit. It was a tad snug in places Barry didn't like, but protocol is protocal. The airlock he walked through to get to the laboratory was pretty cool. He was a big fan of science fiction, and loved the sound of a "swooshing" doorway. The second door opened, and he entered the lab.

The scene was painted out in his mind through the evidence. On the wall of the lab, a large splatter of blood could be scene, indicating that the shooter was at close-range and that the shot went through and through. He stepped around the broken glass test tubes at his feet to the wall. Barry set his case on the work station table, opened it, and shuffled through tools until he found his tweezers.

On closer inspection of the wall, one could see the bullet, halfway into the wall itself. Barry gripped it firmly in the tweezers and pulled the bullet out. Placing it in the bag, he continued his investigation.

The next thing he noticed was a row of test tubes sitting in a rack laying on the table in front of him. He bent down to get a closer look. On the side of one of the tubes, a label read "BOLT".

"'Bolt'," He mused. "Must be some kind of energy drink..."
Then, he remembered what the young lady outside had been telling Jay. That Cadmus had been designing a product for LexCorp. He toyed with the idea for a while.
He bagged two samples of the formula. Perhaps, he thought, it was the reason the assailant came to Cadmus in the first place.

An hour later, only a few cop cars were left. Professor Fulton and Gail had been taken into police custody for further questioning, and Detective Garrick stood outside the labs, waiting for Barry.

Taking his time, processing every bit of information thrown at him, Garrick thought. Just like his father.

Barry's father, Jim, was a cop, and partners with Garrick. They became good friends, and as Garrick moved up in the force, and Jim remained, they kept that bond. Every Sunday, Jay would go the Allen residence to eat dinner, swap stories with Jim, and play cops and robbers with young Barry. Jay and his wife, Joan, didn't have any kids of their own. Turned out that Joan wasn't able to conceive. It didn't bother Jay, however, thanks to those Sundays with the Allens.

Later, however, Jay would come to visit more than just Sundays, after what happened to Jim.
Just then, Barry came out of Cadmus Labs, briefcase in hand.

"Done?" Garrick asked.

"Yep," Barry replied. "All that's left is to take this to the lab, do some preliminary tests, and head on home."

"How's "Miss District Attorney" doing these days?"

"Iris's okay. It's been a little off since she became the assistant D.A., but we're adjusting."

"Yeah?"

"Well," said Barry, "We rarely get to see each other as it is. Now with this new job, I'm afraid we're gonna slip further and further apart."

Silence fell between the two men. Garrick understood the time this job took away. The longing to be in two places at once, but knowing it will never happen.

"Listen," Jay said, as he placed his hand on Barry's shoulder. "You and Iris are tough kids. If it's meant to work out, then it will. Everything happens for a reason. There are no accidents."

"Yeah, I know." Barry looked off into the distance.

Garrick let his hand drop back down to his side. "You better be taking off, now. Wouldn't want to keep you from your precious test tubes and beakers."

"Still sore I didn't join the force, old man?" Barry laughed.

"No more sore than I will be if I don't catch you for the game on Sunday," he replied.

"Never missed one yet," Barry smiled as he walked away.

Formaldahyde and cheese. That's the smell Barry used to describe the scent of the L.A.P.D.'s crime lab. Top notch accomidations, sure, but you'd think they'd remember to add a Glade Plug-In in one of the outlets. Barry was putting some blood samples to test, but his mind was elsewhere. He was more puzzled as to the fact that the assailant left no evidence behind besides a slug from a Glock 17 and a lot of innocent blood. The only thing left behind were some slight black lines on the linoleum floor that looked slightly like burns. Barry hadn't brung his crobar that day, so settled for taking pictures of the skids.

He wandered toward his lab kit and pulled out the samples of the chemical he pulled out of the lab. He wasn't quite sure what it was. From mere observation, it looked like fizzy red Kool-Aid. Since that wasn't detailed enough for a lab report, Barry decided to run a few tests on one of the samples.

As Barry ran the tests, he called Jay, asking if he knew anything about the chemical he had found. Jay responded cursing Barry, asking him if he knew what time it was, told him what he knew about it, told him where to stick it, and abruptly hung up the phone.

Barry glanced at the clock. It was nearing two in the morning, and he had promised to go with Iris to the courthouse tomorrow.

Iris West, the love of Barry's life. They had dated before, off and on, but now that Barry had a stable job, he could provide her witht the things she needed: Love, happiness, and security.

She was in the middle of a custody battle with her brother over her nephew, Wally. It seemed that Wally's father was using him as a punching bag, and when Iris heard about it... Well, let's say that the courtroom wasn't the only place he was being hurt in.

Wally West was troubled. Barry had tried his best to be friendly to him whenever he visited, but the kid doesn't trust anyone working for the cops. The only person he seems to trust is Iris. She's been a saint to the kid, Barry thought.

Barry hadn't realised how long he'd left the Bolt formula sitting on the bunsen burner. The concoction had boiled out, leaving a sticky resin at the bottom of the beaker. When Barry realised this, he quickly turned off the burner and removed the beaker with a pair of safety tongs.

He was halfway to the sink when it hit. A nauseuous feeling, flipping his stomach over. Hunger, he thought. After all he hadn't eaten much all day. He never did when he was working this hard. Everything was fine.

Barry, however, was not. Now his stomach churned. He tasted bile in the back of his throat. It wasn't before long that he fell to all fours and began heaving on the floor of his lab space.

Things started to turn to slow motion, like in one of those bad, cheesy Matrix rip-off movies. Barry began to shake and tremble. Then everything went black.

Barry Allen was sprawled on the floor when the paramedics found him. His vitals were low, slightly resembling those of heart attack victims. They worked according to procedure, but Barry's life was in the hands of fate.
















To Be Continued...