A (Speed) Force To Be Reckoned With
Bart taped a combination onto the game pad and watched with a grin as Dash Masters swiped his hand at super speed and cut off Mantis's head.
"YESSSSSSS, oh yeah...oh yeah...go me...go me", Bart chanted as he did a victory dance around Preston. Preston just scowled and shook his head.
"Oh cut it out Bart, you're just lucky"
"For the 57th time since we got out of school? I think not!" Bart replied. "Besides, no one can beat me when I use Dash Masters....except for Wally...thinks he's so cool....but that doesn't matter! The point is that I am THE Virtual Masters..er..uh......master"
"Yeah right Bart, If your so cool, then you play me one more game and you CANT be Dash Masters"
"Fine, I'll do just that" Bart was quick to accept the challenge, besides, he would have plenty of time to beat Preston since he was staying at his house for the week Max and Helen had gone on some sort of cruise. According to Max, they needed some time off. But that didn't stop him from spying on Bart once or twice a day to make sure he was staying out of trouble. So Bart picked another player who's moves he knew, as Preston took extra time deciding which character would be best at beating the player that Bart picked.
"Ready, Fight!" This time Preston started out with a good lead, since Bart didn't really know how to use anyone other than Dash Masters. But when you've got super speed it doesn't really take that long to catch on. Just as Bart started to make a comeback, something happened. Everything around him seemed to stutter. He felt a sensation of falling as the world around him seemed to speed up to a blur, and then, as if he had hit the floor at 50 mph, it stopped. Bart just sat there dumb struck as he watched Preston perform a fatality on his character.
"YES!!!! I did it! I beat you! I am the best!!! I.....hey Bart! Snap out of it! I'm sure you'll beat me again.....SOMEDAY!!!! HA HA!" Bart just sat there with the same stunned look on his face trying to decipher what just happened. Just as he was about to say something, Preston's dad came in.
"That's enough games Preston, you and Bart get on your homework so you can be finished in time for dinner."
"Uh...sure dad, come on Bart, I'll have plenty of time to beat you again later!" Bart, still trying to gather his thoughts, decided that what just happened was to weird to let go forgotten.
"Preston I just remembered that I forgot to pack my......calculator...I'll just run home and get it"
"Ok, hurry up though, I don't want to get in trouble" Bart walked out the back door and started walking home. Something about what happened seemed vaguely familiar, almost like when Savitar blocked out the speed force a year ago, only this time it felt 5 times worse. He didn't just feel slow like last time, the world around him seemed to speed up. And unlike last time when he lost his link with the speed force, this time he could still feel it, only it was warped, changed. This was getting creepier and creepier the more he thought about it, but who could he go to? He didn't feel like searching the entire Atlantic to find Max, who would just yell at him for leaving town in the first place. But where else could he go?
"Jesse! she's a regular bookworm on the speed force, she probably knows what happened!" Bart changed into his costume and made a bee line for Philadelphia, stopping along the way to help a cat out of a tree, save a guy from being hit by a bus, and buy a big gulp. He didn't find her at the office building, so he checked her house, and found her cooking (burning) dinner.
"Oh great, and here I was thinking it was gonna be a boring evening. Shouldn't you be doing your homework short stuff?"
"Har har Jesse, this is serious. Something REALLY weird just happened!"
"What, you receive a large dose of reality?"
"I'm not kidding Jesse! Me and Preston were playing Virtual Masters..." He told her the entire course of events, going into unnecessarily long details. Not to mention 5 minutes of making sure she understood that he would have won the game had this not happened.
"That sounds really strange Bart, are you sure about this?"
"Of course I'm sure! Besides, didn't you feel it as well?"
"Think Bart, I don't have a continuos link to the speed force like you do, I create a temporary one using my dad's formula. Whatever this was, if it DID happen, I must have missed it"
"Fine, if you wont believe me, I'll just go find Max."
"Bart, I didn't say I didn't believe you. Besides, how do you expect to find Max in the middle of the Atlantic?"
"Don't bother" Said Max as he zoomed into the kitchen in ful costume.
"Max! what are you doing here?", asked Jesse
"Finding Bart, or should I say found. I knew after what happened that he would probably go to the nearest person for help, namely you."
"You mean, what Bart described really happened?"
"Yes, and I can tell you that it is much more serious than he has made it sound. I have been in contact with the speed force for over 40 years, and I have never felt anything like this. Its not natural, someone is tampering with the speed force it self"
"What do you mean, you can't TAMPER with the speed force!"
"Apparently you can, and with a power such as the speed force, this could mean something VERY bad.. I have already spoken with Wally, we are to meet tomorrow at his house to discuss what is to be done. I would recommend you refrain from using your formula unless necessary. Bart, you are to.....BART!" Bart had gotten bored with the conversation, left the room and was in the kitchen eating Jesse's dinner.
"Sorry Max, jeez Jesse what'd you put in this? arsenic?"
"Bart! You are to return home. I have told Preston's father that Helen and I returned early from the cruise because of some work I forgot to take care of. You should also refrain from using your speed unless its an emergency, and I know how hard a rule that is for you to follow, but this is serious. What you and I have felt was because of our link to the speed force, I'd hate to think what would happen if any of us were using our powers when it happened"
"Oh this is just perfect! A valid excuse for why I lost to Preston and I cant tell him!"
Elsewhere, earlier that day...
"90%...80%...60%...30%...signal lost professor."
"DAMMIT! Jason! I thought you re-modified the settings in occord...(sigh)...No. I'm not angry. One cannot be upset by expected setbacks. What happened Jason?"
"Um uh professor, I d-did exactly as you instructed me to, I even went over the m-modifications twice! I..I'm s-sorry professor"
"That's quite a stutter you've developed Jason. Now, don't be afraid to make mistakes, its how one learns! Would I want an assistant who refused to learn from his mistakes? No one wants that! Learn Jason, gain experience!" But, before the unfortunate assistant could respond, Professor Reyes pressed the execution button for a command that he had been typing on a large sophisticated wrist com. He didn't have time to scream. The space around him seemed to fold over and cover him, and he was gone. "Only now you can gain experience in a dimensional plane that doesn't support life. Dr. Romeo! Review the log for the last trial. We must find out what went wrong."
"Really John, do you suppose you could finish a trial without killing someone out of frustration?" Professor Reyes only responded with some incoherent mumblings. "The log shows destabilazation after the initial creation of the rift. Basically, we had it for a split second and then lost it. I don't think we will be able to hold it with our current techniques" The professor just stood next to the main reactor and pulled out a small cube/sphear shaped object that looked like something M.C. Escher might design.
"I spent 20 years of my life discovering that we exist on one of many dimensional planes, and also how to travel between them. Now that I have found a use for this technology that could bring me to power, I cant get it to work." He paused, looking at the object he held in his hand. "Ms. Romeo, bring some remote joy to my state of defeat and tell me that your recent studies have shed some light on the subject."
"All too gladly, oh professor", she remarked sarcastically. "The strange field you have discovered in your travels is not YOUR discovery."
"As we know, the field consists of an infinite source of unbelievable energy, and its unlike anything we have ever seen. We have already spent numerous resources and time trying to study it and now, as we try to focus and channel it, we fail."
"Dr. you have lost my interest telling me things I already know."
"Patience. Do the names Flash, Impulse and Max Mercury mean anything to you?"
"Super powered up holders of the law possessing incredibly high speed, I hope this is going some where."
"Think Professor, ever wonder where they get this speed from? Such speed would seemingly require a VERY high amount of energy don't you think?" The Professor just remained silent.
"That's right, the field you discovered has been the source of power for speedsters everywhere, though out time. They even have a name for it. The speed force."
"Truly fascinating Dr., but tell me how this helps solve the problem at hand?"
"We cannot maintain a steady link with this, "speed force", because the energy level is too high. Now, from my observations of these people I have determined that their link to the field is infused in them, probably genetic. Except for one, and in her, I believe lies the answer to our problem" She then lifted up a remote control and spoke into it, "Computer, access file, Romeo 3-b" The computer make a couple of faint beeps and Jesse's face appeared on a large monitor.
"File Romeo 3-b....Jesse Quick, real identity unknown. Most commonly seen in Philadelphia. Believed to access dimensional field by other means than that of her peers. Surveillance videos show the subject to speak the phrase 3x2(9yz)4a. AI suggests the spoken formula is the structural coordinates for a shape that is nonexistent in 3-dimensionall space, and is believed to open a link from the field to the person who perceives it correctly...end of file" The professor just uncrossed his arms as a small grin formed on his face.
To be continued
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