A Question Of Time

January 25, 2019:

After a rough day, Lena is offered a promising job.

Metropolis

Characters

NPCs: None.

Mentions:

Plot:

Mood Music: [*\# None.]


Fade In…

*

The invitation came out of nowhere. Literally. One minute Lena was in her apartment, taking a shower. The next there was a neatly written letter in the living room on a table. There were no signs of forced entry. No signs of anyone on any cameras in the building, and nothing taken. It was as if it came out of thin air.

The only real sign of anyone being there was the letter.

*

Lena stares at the paper. Her brows dip, furrowing with annoyance as yet someone else had found their way into her place of solitude. This was becoming habit, one she didn't care for. Sighing, she closes her eyes and exhales smoothly, towel around her body as she pads across the carpet and reaches out for the letter. Licking her lips, she chews on the lower of the pair and tucks some fabric against her chest, keeping the cover in place.

"First Slade, then that asshat earlier…" She mutters, giving the paper a shake before ripping off its side and blowing inside to part the envelope from the message itself. Sliding it out, she opens it and reads.

*

"I have a job offer for you. Meet me at 1366 Harkin Lane, Metropolis. Come alone, or not at all. I'll know."

There's no signature, only…. that.

*

"Joy." The girl voices, giving the paper a flick before tossing it onto her bed. There's a pace, some consideration, but in truth it was the first time she'd seen the word 'job' in awhile. Shrugging, and muttering a curse, she drops towel and gets suited up.

Before long, she'll find herself at the location indicated on the message. Her attire was classic in all sense of the word; black pants, black boots, a deep blue jacket with fur tips, hood up and covering her face. She even wears a strip of silver visors over her eyes. Cold gun on display, resting on the side of her thigh, she rolls her gloved fingers and looks around cautiously.

*

There. Somethin-wait. No, there. That's red lightning for sure. It appeared for a moment, then was gone just as quickly. Within seconds, a red lightning trail starts to zoom around the warehouse into every room and around. A few seconds after that, the creator of that lightning trail stops dead center of the cargo area. Red lightning arcs and sparks around his body, and his red, glowing eyes are on Lena… but there's no mistaking the suit. He's the man in the yellow suit. The one the authorities have called 'Banana Flash'. He calls himself Professor Zoom, or Reverse-Flash.

He's been out of the public eye for months…. but he's come back into view for Lena?

There's a blurring over his face, but the rest of his suit is visible, including the reversed symbol on his chest. It's easy to see why he's called the Reverse-Flash; his suit is intentionally an exact opposite of the Flash himself. Even his voice is distorted, monstrous, "Captain Cold. What happened to your brother?" The man asks, almost casually.

*

Speedsters. It had to be speedsters. Her eyes attempt to skip about, trying to follow that path as her finger itch and twitch toward her gun. They rest there, soft, pressing down, but not pulling the weapon from its lock. It wasn't Flash, no, why would he have followed her all the way from Central? The colors settle and the vision of the figure before her sends a shock of fear through her chilly little core. She swallows, and stands straighter.

"Brother?" She inquires, the word seeming to catch her off guard in a way she could only associate as uncomfortable.

*

"You don't have a brother on this Earth? Usually you're his partner. I thought you had taken on the mantle after something happened to him. Am I wrong?" Zoom asks conversationally.

*

Lena continues to stare, her gaze never leaving the shaking face of the red-eyed demon across from her. "No." She admits after a breath. "I don't have a partner here. You're thinking of my father." A pause, "He's missing. There is no flame to my ice, I'm afraid."

*

"Most of the other Earths I've traveled to you're his sister. This is a new one." Zoom replies, before he starts to walk over to Lena. That red lightning is still arcing over his body. It's very similar to the Flash, except it's red. Whatever power grants this Speedster his abilities, it seems to be an opposite to the Flash as well.

"My name is Professor Zoom. I'm a Speedster from another Earth who was stranded here months ago. Where I'm from, your brother died trying to stop the Flash from making a mistake that destroyed my planet." The man states, "during my war against the Flash on that Earth, I got to know him well, but never heard of him being a father." There's a pause, "I'll give you a chance, then."

*

"Are…you confusing me with my aunt, Lisa?" She asks gently, the talk of her father seeming to somber the girl instantly. As he nears, she takes one step back before remembering herself and keeping her ground. She didn't seem too thrown off by the comment or talk of multiple worlds, but the idea that Flash, someone she knew of well, had killed someone she loved, regardless of reality, sours her deeply. Her body tenses, her fingers vice like around the grip of her cold gun.

At length, she nods. "I'm listening."

*

"I need components in a vault in a technology firm, and I need them taken covertly so that no one suspects it until much later. I have fakes already made, but I need someone skilled enough to make the switch that isn't me." He smiles, "I'll be a bit too overt with my speed."

"Interested?" Zoom asks.

*

"I was about to ask the obvious, as to why someone like you, that can do what you do, doesn't just do it themselves. You snuck into my place. Rude, mind you." She explains, one finger up as if she were chastising him. "I'm interested." She admits easily enough, hand down and posture only now starting to relax. "What's in it for me, Professor?"

*

"As I said, it'd be overt. There are a number of checkpoints that'd require me to slow down and use other aspects of the Speed Force to bypass them, leaving me on cameras. After my last series of robberies brought down the Justice Fools hard on me, I'd like to do some misdirection this time." Zoom shrugs.

Then, he smiles, "You get technology that only I can give you…. or money. Whichever you prefer."

*

"Give me the location and time to do some research first. Do you have a time limit of when this needs to be done?" She asks now, resting on one leg more so than the other, her hip jutting out just so. "Technology." She chooses of the two without pause or hesitation. "And," she adds after, "knowledge about my father."

*

"What makes you think I know anything about your father on this Earth?" Zoom squints his eyes slightly, those red glows dimming just slightly with the movement.

*

"I don't." She clarifies. "I want to know anything you can tell me, even if it's not about him on this world. You have something I want and I'm asking for it as a form of payment. Fair?"

*

A smile comes to his lips, "Instead of technology, I'll take you to find your father." There's a pause, "what I'm working on building is meant to help me to bypass this realities anchor on my time and space travel abilities. If I do it right, I can take you back to the last known time and place your father was at, and you can talk to him yourself." The Professor sounds entirely serious.

*

Lena shudders, visibly shaking at the idea and lowering her head. Her fingers roll, tapping at the hilt of her gun. "Both." She requests, head up and looking his way once more. "I have to take care of myself while I'm here. Better the gear, better the thief." She stalls for a moment, exhaling and stepping forward, her hand reaching out. "But if I have to choose, I accept. Don't lie to me, Professor. I don't handle disappointment well."

*

It's around when Lena says 'don't lie' that Zoom starts to run around the warehouse cargo area. Unlike last time… the red lightning trail goes faster. Faster. FASTER. /FASTER/. Soon, there's no end, and no beginning to the lightning. It's filling the entire warehouse with no point of origin, in a circle. This keeps up for five seconds. Ten seconds. Fifteen.

It's strange… there should be incredible winds buffeting the building from the sheer /speed/ the Reverse-Flash is putting out. Instead, there's a small wind tunnel effect that's localized to where he's running.

At around the twenty second mark, something strange starts to happen. There's monstrous yelling, and suddenly the red lightning becomes wildly unstable, hitting the floor and going all over the place. In the direct center of the room, some sort of blue… portal?… tries to form. It opens, then to mishapen, then starts to turn all sorts of colors. It becomes clear that something that was going smoothly… is becoming steadily more unstable by the second. Just when Lena would think the blue mishapen thing was about to explode, Zoom, stops, the red lightning dying as he stands in front of her… and the portal collapses in on itself in an audible local 'boom'.

"That's the result of trying to open any portal through the timestream in this reality for me. I can manage the initial stage, but the passage collapses because I can manage the trip. It's the same, with small differences, if I try to leave this Earth." Zoom explains.

*

Chaos and alarm ring out in the girl's ears, her mind bouncing off a million and one ideas before she rests with her hand gripping her gun, and leveling it at the sounds, the sights, those god awful noises. A growl rumbles in her throat, her eyes squinting against the display, the triangular barrel landing on Zoom once all was said and done. What happened was amazing, terrifying, a mistake. Panting, she sighs, her nostrils flaring before she points the weapon downward.

"Quite the show." She murmurs. "All you had to do was shake my hand, Professor." Even so, her mind starts attempting to work it through, bend the rules and world around her. "Maybe, maybe there's something we need to stablize the field. The rip looks like it's falling in on itself."

*

"I'm an expert on this subject. The Speed Force is a fundamental aspect of reality across the multiverse, but something about the paths here force traveling conduits to be extra stable and grind any attempts at manipulation extra hard, like sandpaper. The device I'm building can be thought of as support pillars after I'm done the initial digging that handle the extra stress." Zoom continues, before he offers his hand, "I don't know how long I'll be able to force it open, but I can promise one of the tunnels I build will be a time and place of your choosing."

*

"Does it go two ways?" She asks him, even as her fingers slip around his hand and give it a firm enough shake. "I'm hearing what you're saying, and I don't mean to insult your intelligence, but I can help you if you need it. Not my usual play, but…I'm a sucker for tech." She admits, pulling her hand back should he allow her to. "Does it go two ways, though? If you do this, if I see him…I can return here, right? I won't be stranded in some time to create some odd paradox of myself?"

*

"I don't know yet. It's one of the things I'm interested in discovering. If it doesn't, I have contingency plans." Zoom continues, before he releases her hand. "It's a risk you'll have to take if you want to time travel with me."

*

"You already got me by the gut. I'm in." She accepts once more. "I just need the information on your hit, then I'll get started."

*

"I have some ideas. I'll be in touch when I can be sure of the building." Zoom notes… before red lightning trails behind him. He's gone.

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