The Project

February 14, 2018:

Professor Zoom kidnaps Owen Mercer for his connection to the Speed Force… Alice helps him, in more ways than one.

Professor Zooms project workshop


NPCs: Various New York citizens

Mentions: Flash

Mood Music: [*\# None.]

Fade In…

This is probably /not/ where Owen was expecting to wake up.

One night, Owen went to sleep in his apartment…. and five minutes later, a hyponeedle was stuck in his neck with a very potent tranquilizer. He may, or may not, have felt that.

Nonetheless, when he wakes up, he's wearing a hood that obscures all his senses… and he can feel himself hooked up to… something or other, via his arms and chest, along with shackles on his ankles and wrists. He has holes for his mouth and nose, but little sensory input to go with.

Alice, on the other hand, has been brought to this location with a hood herself, and let into the chamber, the hood taken off shortly after.

There's a massive piece of technology attached to a…. very advanced looking treadmill here in the middle of the chamber, with a console off to one side with wires running to it. It's a four story room, and all the windows are obscured, with only minimal light… which effectively makes it impossible to tell where the two are. Alice can see Owen is kept on a 45 degree angled bed.

Professor Zoom is at the console, waiting for Owen to wake up, those red, glowing eyes on the console. "The monitors next to him will tell you when he wakes up. The sooner this is done with, the sooner he can leave. Once he does wake up, swap out the hood for a blindfold." That distorted monster voice gives by way of order to Alice.


What did I take? It's not unusual for this to be Owen's first thought as he slowly regains consciousness. It's not even that unusual for him to not be able to remember. But usually he can see. And usually he's not tied down. If he can use a speed burst, he would do that to try and clear out any remnants and shake loose any memory of how he got into this place.

Of course he doesn't realize that they know he's awake from the monitors. He thought he was being somewhat careful by not making a noise and making as little movement as possible as soon as he realized his situation, but it's probably of little consequence.

"Harley, I hope to God this is some kinky sex thing."

There is almost zero chance that he is lucky enough for this to be a fun Valentines day surprise. But maybe he can get a response out of someone? Anyone?


Alice pauses as the hood is removed and she takes in the different area of Zoom's lair. The frown hasn't really left her face since she got her and she takes it all in with mild irritation. "What…" The concern grows as she sees the bound man with the hood. The doctor quickly crosses over to the man laying on the bed. "What are you doing to him?" There is obvious uncertainty in her voice.

She was gritty from putting in long hours putting things together. Zoom quickly realized she needed almost zero sleep and could work non-stop. So she has. Blisters formed, popped, and disappeared almost as fast as they formed. Now she rubbed those ragged hands on her jeans, watching the readings.

A hand comes to rest on Owen's bound arm. Alice doesn't know this man, but he is a fellow victim of Eobard and that instantly connects them. "I know murder is everyday for you, but in this dimension it makes most people squeamish. I won't kill anyone." That is where she puts her foot down.


"He's not going to die. He has a far more useful purpose." Professor Zoom replies, before he zooms over… instead taking the hood off completely, and going back to the console. "Your job will be to make sure he stays alive, and to tell me if his system is overloading from the strain." The man in the yellow suit replies as his hands fly over the control console, literally. The massive machine behind Owen can be heard coming to life as technology the two can't even begin to fathom springs to life.


Voices! A woman's voice. And obviously not his captor from the sound of it. She's confused and then clapping back. Okay, so he's in the hands of a murderer. Super. Use names lady!! Owen is thankful she's talking so he doesn't flinch at the touch, being able to at least tell from the voice that it's the same woman touching his arm. A touch that seems to help clear his mind and help him focus. That's encouraging.

Then he hears Professor Zooms voice. That is not encouraging.

"Oh fucking hell. You piece of shit Flash knock off! If you wanted to tie me up for sex games you should have said so! I mean I'm not into it, but at least have the decency to ask you dick."

He is loud when addressing Zoom, not sure where he is. And also surprised that there is an accomplice, unwilling one from the sound of it. Then the machine kicks up and Owen grimaces, that also is not encouraging.

"What is this about? You trying to find the secret of my dashing good looks and charming wit?"


Alice turns to look down at Owen as he wakes. "He's awake," Alice says dryly to Zoom, though he knows all too well. Her British accent is refined and obvious. "Please hold still." The woman picks up the blindfold on the side table. For another moment Owen is in darkness and then blazing light as the hood is pulled from his head. But only for a moment.

In that moment he sees Alice's sweet young face looking at him in grave worry. She has already learned the hard way what sass brings. "I'm sorry," She says as she leans to place the blindfold over his head. The blond hair falls over her shoulders, brushing against his cheek lightly.

Very quietly and under her breath, as she secures the blindfold, "My name is Alice. Don't give him lip or he'll drop you off a cliff." There is dread in her eyes at Zoom's words. More loudly she says, "What are you going to do?" The hand remains on Owen's arm, regulating his internal chemistry till it is at perfect and peak balance.


"If the Flash had bothered to come out of hiding in all of this, he could have saved you a lot of pain from this, actually." Professor Zoom replies. If Owen has him riled, he's not showing it. "You can thank him later for what comes next." A pause, "Who knows, maybe this will shift you back to your own time period."

The machine starts to crackle with energy… blue energy that arcs a bit around pylons.

"What's this about? You really don't know, do you. No wonder this reality is to backwards." Professor Zoom continues, before he starts to zoom about, red lightning trailing, as he does some adjustments to the machine.


If only Owen had a sweet young face. He has a young-ish mostly busted looking one that has been aged from drug and alcohol abuse and hard living. But if Alice thinks it's young and sweet, that's nice.

"Ha! That is probably really good advice lady. Too bad I suck at taking good advice." This is said to Alice, though the laugh is certainly loud enough for the whole room.

"Oh God if Flash comes to save me, just kill me now. Seriously. Or worse! Batman." Owen shakes his blindfolded head laughing to himself. "But if you want to untie me and bring me some gear we could maybe have some fun? Wait! I'm only here because you couldn't get the Flash!" Something dawns on Owen and he starts laughing even harder. "You need a speedster and you had to settle for me!! BWAHAHAAHAHAHA! You couldn't even get a real speedster you piece of shit knock off." He continues to laugh to himself, fully enjoying his certified D-List status.


Alice turns to look over her shoulder at Zoom with a bit of a glare. "I think it may be you, Professor, that is backward," She says cooly. Likely she'll loose her tea over that one. She does not like being forced to stand by, do nothing, while Owen is obviously being used. So worth it.

"I know you said something about being stuck. But I still think there are better ways than bullying everyone," She says with a shake of her blond head. Though there are no bags under her eyes, her hair could really use a wash. And since getting here the white Game of Thrones shirt has become horribly filthy. Not like it wasn't already ruined with the lightning blast hole on the back. Which Owen sees as she turns to eye the machines with careful scrutiny.

The man's continued running of the mouth makes her cringe slightly. There is only so much she can do to ease what is likely to be a very painful process. "Please…I really hate doing stitches," She says between clenched lips in Owen's direction.


"You're smarter than you look." Professor Zoom gives in compliment.

Alice is summarily ignored.

Then, Owen can feel a sudden numbness wash over him for a few seconds, before Professor Zoom continues, "I need a speedster connected to the Positive Speed Force. The stronger the connection, the easier this process will be. You… are unstable at best, and I'm not interested in that Titans Speedster." He looks up to Owen, "So…. this might be painful." Professor Zoom hits a switch, and Owen can feel whatever that feeling is when he connects to the Speed Force… suddenly amplify within himself. Like being forced to drink a waterfall when you're used to sipping, only without the drowning.

"This part is unavoidable, and will hurt for him." Professor Zoom gives to Alice.

Then, Owens world explodes as the Speed Force infuses itself through his body. Even Professor Zoom doesn't know what will happen to him.


She was young. Younger than he expected because she seems to be keeping her head quite well. She's also maybe some kind of healer? Or doctor? Owen needs her to keep talking so that he can get filled in on details, but doesn't want to risk asking right out.

Owen is still dressed in his sleeping clothes which consist of little more than a pair of boxer briefs in green and gray stripes. He realizes the cold might just be artificial in the lab and not be telling him anything about his actual location. Dammit! He should have worked with Stark on a locator. Or at least let him know about the one Waller injected into him. He should have at least realized he might be a target after his chat with Zoom at the tower.

"Yea well, you are just as much of a sad pathetic knock off as you look if it helps."

Positive Speed Force? There's a /Positive/ Speed Force?

And then the machine kicks in. He grits his teeth as he feels his powers kicking in without wanting them to. "no no no.." Owen says to himself trying to fight back, especially as it ramps up. He doesn't want to give in, knowing that this is what Zoom wants.


Alice lets out a sigh and keeps her arm on Owen's the entire time. As Zoom hits the switch she watches Owen's face, eyes flicking to the monitors as she does. Even though the speed force isn't being pumped into her, Alice's eyes widen. Her own ability to adjust his metabolism and keep him comfortable suddenly slow and lagging.

"Oh heavens," The doctor says as she feels his metabolism and the chemicals in his body go absolutely haywire. Sensors and alarms go off and she silences them with the bush of a button. The monitor screams he has no heartbeat, then he does, then he doesn't. His blood pressure readings fluctuate, confusing the poor computers. "I'm sorry," There is pain in her voice as she looks at Owen.

But Zoom is pumping him full of speed? The sound of the machine provides some cover and she leans over him, grabbing a stethoscope to listen to Owen's heart. It allows her to lean in and say, "Just breathe. Remember to breathe," Her eyes jump to the monitor as considers her options. Little do either realize that her touch allows Owen's body to take in more than he might normally, keeping his body alive and processing as fast as she can adjust it the chemical cascades the experiment creates.


"The more you do that, the longer it will take…. and it won't stop." Professor Zoom gives in a cautionary note. "I can do this all day… can you?" He notes, before he walks -yes, /walks- over to the angled bed, watching him.

After a few seconds, arcs of random electricity are flowing over him, regardless of whether or not Owen is fighting at the time. "He's trying to reject the temporary overload. It will just make him exhausted in the end, since he can't break his connection to the Speed Force anymore than I can."

Professor Zoom looks to the machine in back, "he's lucky I anticipated this reaction."


Owen is speeding up. His heartbeat is becoming less of a beat and more of a straight line. His body is starting to vibrate and shake with the speed. He concentrates a little bit to press his head against the back of the table enough to shake off the blindfold. He then turns his head to Zoom.

"Youabductedme inmysleeplike a littlepunk." His words are blurring together.

He then turns to Alice and frowns, "Can't youdosomethinguseful and drugmeup?" The strain on his face is showing, even through the vibrations.

And then he decides to try not fighting it. Maybe he can use this to his advantage? He stops trying to fight the speed force and instead tries to go with it. Maybe he can use it to vibrate through the cuffs, like Flash or Impulse would. Maybe he can even use it to escape? He's never had this much speed before so maybe this will work? Probably not.


Alice bites her lower lip as he looks at her and the pain in her face is obvious. Though she doesn't feel what he does, she can sense it in his blood chemistry. The body trying to rework itself, to catch up, and she recognizes the pain signals firing faster than she can really stop. But what she can do is flood his body with Fentanyl. The strongest pain reliever there is, used for end-stage cancer. In essence Owen is having something inside him grow and replicate out of control after all.

"I…can't. My daughter," She says to Owen, tears actually making her eyes shine. Then her eyes go to Zoom and she doesn't glare, she doesn't frown, her face is cold. An immortal with all the time in the world, in her mind, for revenge. "I hate you." Like he cares. But he should know.


"I hate being stuck here without any way out, so we're even." Professor Zoom replies without emotion as he watches. Then, as Owen starts to absorb it… something strange happens.

Blue and orange electricity flows over him… and suddenly spikes.

A moment later, and Owen is gone, as if phasing out of reality.

"He has no idea how to control it." He looks to Alice, then. "He'll be back in about half a minute. The Speed Force ejects those who don't know how to handle the power correctly." Professor Zoom assures her.


Alice's hand is no longer touching anything and falls to the table. She yanks it back in confusion and surprise looking from it to Zoom. "You could have -asked- for help," She finally mutters under her breath as she waits for Owen's return. "Are you sure it will eject him? He may be stronger than you give him credit for." She can hope anyway.


OOooh! That feels better. That feels like I just got a solid hit of Fentanyl. Owen smiles a bit even through the pain, wondering how that happened? Crap, is he imagining this? Is this some stupid Speed Force thing? WAIT? Can I get high off the Speed Force? Thoughts race through Owen's head, but Owen being Owen they aren't terrible useful.

And then he isn't there any more. Owen finds himself in the Speed Force. There is the expected lightning cracking through the air. The air seems to be filled with swirling clouds. Owen looks around wondering where he is?

"Am I dead?"

And then there's a vision. A woman, not from this time. Someone Owen has never seen before, at least not as an adult. Who is she? Why does she look familiar? And why is she with his dad? Is this happening now? In the past? Why is everyone dressed so weird?

And then he's coming back to the present. No longer hooked to the machines. No longer shackled. But also without any control, he comes hurtling out of the Speed Force and slams into a wall. He slumps down and won't really have time to get to his feet before Zoom is on him unfortunately for Owen. Sadly no, he is not stronger than Zoom thinks.


Alice winces as Owen runs right into the wall and knocks himself silly.


"Speed Force use takes practice. He has none."

Then, Owen is back, "He was hurled through the timestream, I can feel it." Professor Zoom notes, before he's on top of Owen and has him back in his shackles in a few seconds. "Time displacement here is especially hard. Reality itself rejects the possibility." Professor Zoom gives, resignedly, before he's back behind the console, and hits a few switches… and suddenly Owen can feel the Speed Force within him start to drain away, given Owen a bit of control.

Then, Professor Zoom is on the treadmill… and running. Fast. Faster. /Faster/.

In half a minute, he's a blur running in place as the energy of the Speed Force is drained into the machine.

Then, he's screaming as reality tries to push back against him visibly… his form shifting as he nears the dimensional boundary… the red lightning of the negative Speed Force suddenly spiking all around him as the machine does its' work, red lightning arcing this way and that as it makes contact with the positive Speed Force energy.


Alice winces as Owen runs right into the wall and knocks himself silly. It would be funny if the situation was so serious. As Zoom re-shackles the poor man she reaches out to lay her hand on his arm again. Those monitors still not attached she does at her own pace.

"Be still, that hard a hit could have. Expert hands go to check for broken bones and her hands on him begin to flood his body again with pain relief as well as try to bring him conscious. "Hey, hey, you okay?" Then Zoom moves to the treadmill and her eyes are drawn. She watches him move fast, faster, and she shakes her head slightly. As Zoom is distracted on the treadmill she takes a chance.

Adrenaline, testosterone, PCP, and something that is a serum the British government had her develop for soldiers flood the mans system. "Sorry," She tells him again


"Ha! You fuckin' loser. I just did it and you still can't! You dumb piece of shit." Owen continues to laugh to himself, even though he is once again back in the shackles.

He looks to Alice when Zoom is on the treadmill and says "I'm fine. Quickly, tell me everything you know." Gone is the maniac laughter and crass insults. Instead he is laser focused and stone sober.

Looking over at the machine which again is a giant treadmill! What is it with treadmills?! Is this really how you access the speedforce? It seems so dumb. Might as well get a giant hamster wheel.


With the machine done, Professor Zoom steps off of it, going back over to the console as he switches some levers, and the machine powers down. "Getting into the timestream is easy. Getting anywhere /inside/ of it is the hard part." Professor Zoom replies, before he nods to the shackles, "Give him a minute to come down from the strain, then you can release the shackles." Professor Zoom starts to do some calibrations.


Alice's eyes go to Zoom and back as Owen asks for what is going on. "My name is Alice Walker. He is building things. Robots. He is planning something and I don't know what. He kidnapped me to help. I've only seen some of the design. It's dangerous though," She says in a rush of British accent. "They're not small though."

"You phased through the cuffs before. Don't worry about me, just go! Go fast. Run," She encourages, gripping Owen's shoulder tight. "Focus!" There is an urgency in her hushed voice, but also encouragement before Zoom gets back to them.


Let the cuffs off? That sounds like a great idea to Owen! He doesn't show it, just continues taunting. "You're stuck here you dumb shit because you're too dumb to work with the people who know how to do this." There are plenty of geniuses out there that can do things like this? Right?

He doesn't want to try phasing again. He didn't really mean to do it last time. But maybe he could try and get into that dimension again? How did that work?

Owen tries to focus on all of the information that Alice just shared as well as trying to memorize all of the equipment he can see.


Then, Professor Zoom is heading over to the machine, making adjustments. "He'll probably be very interested in his time displacement now, at least." He notes as he continues. "You should be back to normal within five minutes." Professor Zoom observes, "I can have you back in Gotham shortly after."


It doesn't work and Alice can see it. Then she squared her shoulders and presses the button to release the shackles. "Run," She whispers before she turns and throws the stethoscope at Zoom's head. As the stethoscope leaves her hand she is vaulting Owen and the table to put her between the two speedsters.

There is no hope for Alice to meet the speed at with Zoom can run. And no matter that she has had centuries to train and hone her skills, this fist fight is going to be tough. Yet she will likely surprise the speedster as she pumps her own body full of chemicals. While it isn't the super serum that made Captain America, it is still a potent cocktail.

Kick, punch, duck, roll, she doesn't stop moving for a moment. But neither does Zoom likely. A wrench is grabbed and thrown in the direction of the red blur. More to make him dodge it as she aims a kick at one leg. Take out the legs of a speedster, you might have something. But what she really wants is to get her hands on him. Just a touch. It's all she needs to slow him down, at least a little, to give Owen a chance.


Really? She's going to throw a stethoscope? He could have worked with that. Focus. He sighs and pushes through the shackles with the enhanced speed force that he isn't used to. It takes him 2 full seconds. He pops off the table and scans the room to pick any possible weapon. Wrenches are grabbed.

He doesn't move to run out he door though, instead he's going for Zoom, because it's Owen. So he fires off a wrench, not at Zoom though, nope at the treadmill. It's fired like a bullet with amazing accuracy at what Owen thinks looks like the weakest point. And then he's going for Zoom, vaulting past Alice, Owen tries to get a hit in. A solid right hook is aimed for Zoom's jaw, still holding the wrench for some extra oomph behind the hit.


Unfortunately, Professor Zoom has been anticipating something like this since the moment Alice was kidnapped.

One moment, Professor Zoom is there. The next? He's dodging around Alices attempts at punching at superspeed.

He's not even trying to attack her. He's more amused than anything that she's trying to hit him.

But then Owen throws a wrench like a bullet at his heavily modified treadmill prototype..

"You're going to regret that, boy." Professor Zoom can see the wrench… and ducks under it, grabbing Owen by the torso and going at Mach 10 out of the workshop.

Then, he pulls the wrench out… and the two proceed to get into a running fist fight all across some mountains. Punch. Kick. Throw.

In New York city, Professor Zoom and Owen start to run up and down buildings as windows blow out from their sheer speed.

Here's the problem though; Owen might or might not have accelerated healing from the temporary Speed Force overload… but there's no replacement for ten years of martial artist training… and five years of Speed Force experience. So, to say it's a very uneven match is an understatement.

New York is sure getting a show though, as they bullet through the city, and ruin buildings, electronics, and cars as they go on pummeling one another.


Alice stops fighting as the two zip off. And she bites her lower lip before glancing at the machine with the treadmill. Then around the room. In an instant she is moving to the treadmill. All she does, however, is press her sweaty hand against the tread. The sweat, changing chemical composition, sinks against it. No visible malformation of the tread, but the acid weakens it enough. Likely the next run? It will rip under his feet and send him into a wall.

Not knowing how much time she has she heads for the door. Now is the time she can look around, or try too, and try to find out anything else about what he plans. She knows she will be in a lot of pain when he returns, but she has a place and smiles as she digs.


Owen's not used to the speed for this amount of time, but he's been using it in short increments for quite some time. He has had a rather successful career as a criminal, then a stint as a government agent and now as a would be hero. Owen has fought the Flash multiple times, he's not new to this game. He's not nearly as outmatched as Zoom would like to think. And he's not playing by Zoom's rules.

Everything is a weapon. Every manhole cover. Every bistro chair. A pigeon one time. The aim is impeccable, even at the speed of the fight. The objects are thrown at Zoom's face, hands, feet, in rapid meaningful succession. It's meant to keep Zoom off balance, to not let him control the pace of the fight. And especially not to let him control the destination.

Owen is headed for Stark towers, but not via a direct route. He knows that Tony doesn't have the anti-Zoom measures ready but hopefully the detector is up and running. He wants to sound an alarm, at the very least.


Unfortunately for Owen, he's fought in actual wars before, so dodging gunfire is nothing new for him.

Owen does manage to get Professor Zoom to run around the block a few times on occasion to dodge out of the way of Owens rapid fire projectiles. Professor Zoom is patient, though, and simply keeps Owen busy as they fight their way through the streets of New York.

It's pretty obvious what Owen is doing after a few seconds… and it doesn't matter to Professor Zoom at all. Iron Man doesn't scare him.

It does, however, give Professor Zoom an idea… and he goes ahead of Owen, out of sight.


At this speed a moment's reprieve feels like a lifetime. It's enough time for Owen to get ahold of something proper to fight with. He keeps a bag of tricks in Stark tower and is able to retrieve some boomerangs, just a few since he doesn't really have a place to store any. But then he's back out on the street and heading for the river. He knows his time is almost up. He's very used to the feeling of his speed fading and even at these increased levels, he can feel the tick of the clock. But he's moving away now, trying to get out of the heart of midtown. Trying to get some distance.

Maybe those boomerangs aren't going to be of much use though. He can feel his speed ticking away faster than he expected. He's trying to make it to a warehouse district, get setup as he would to face a speedster… he's just not fast enough.


He is fast enough to notice Professor Zoom coming in from the side though. The ambush was obviously planned… as there's very little room for Owen to try and dodge the confrontation.

The resulting sonic boom from the collision shattered windows and blew up more cars in a two block radius, and Owen slams right into a concrete wall.

Then, Professor Zoom strips Owen of his new weapons… before he proceeds to pummel the man at superspeed right into that wall.

Everyone in the area watches as the man in the yellow suit cracks bones, crunches limbs, and gives Owen enough bruising to turn him into a wannabe Purple Man.

Then, he grabs him, and takes him back to the workshop, where Owen is /thrown/ against a window. Hard.

Then, Alice is instantly thrown against the window right alongside him…. and Owen gets to watch as Alice gets beaten into a pulp at superspeed next to him.


Seeing the hit coming is in some way worse. Owen can't help but tense up even though it is the wrong thing to do. The hits come faster than he can handle and then the next thing he knows he's smashed against a window.. back in the lab.

Watching Zoom pummel Alice is in many ways more painful. Owen's used to taking a beating. "Oooh that's it you limp dicked banana, let all that impotent rage out. Still won't help you get out of our world. Or this time. Or whatever it is you're stuck in."

Parts of Owen's taunts are punctuated by him spitting blood. He can't do much else considering he can't even stand up and is barely staying conscious.


Alice lets out a yell as she hits the glass. Despite her best efforts to fend him off she is too slow. The petite doctor is in seconds a bruised and bloody mess. One punch to her gut makes her grunt and she teeth bare in pain and anger. She spits a bloody loogy at his close face.

Even though he is fast she keeps her eyes locked on the red glow the entire time he beats her. Of course her eyes close and blink, but she is flooding her body with hormones and chemicals with every blow. It is impressive how much the body can take. A particularly harsh punch to the jaw has her falling to the floor. An end to her rebellion for now.


"People just have to test me." Professor Zoom notes, amused…. then, he's closing up shop as he grabs friction sheets, and takes both to their respective homes… and takes off their jammers.

Soon enough, he's back at his workshop, preparing for his Metropolis siege… and checking up on his modified treadmill.

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