"W. T. Flash?": At the Canadian Government facility, the Centipede has cornered the french priest of the Church of the Dial, and hooked his brain up to a device which will give him what he wants. All the priest has to do is pray.
- Roxie! She's right! I'm Nelson! If I'm this... then where is the Flash?
- -- The Flash
Appearing in "W. T. Flash?"
- The Fixer
- General Choler
- Thomas Edison (Flashback only)
- United States of America
- South Africa
- Cape Town
- The Exchange
Synopsis for "W. T. Flash?"
At the Canadian Government facility, the Centipede has cornered the french priest of the Church of the Dial, and hooked his brain up to a device which will give him what he wants. All the priest has to do is pray.
Elsewhere, Nelson Jent wakes with a start, realizing as he looks down beside him that he and Roxie slept together last night. As she wakes up, and confirms his worries, he begins to panic, searching for his clothes and shoes hurriedly while she demands that he simply talk to her about it. Coldly, he accuses her of using the H-Dial's power to command the user of an S-Dial to manipulate him into sleeping with her, and he begins to say hurtful things about her age. Desperately, he grabs for the dial and uses it, looking for any chance to escape her. After he transforms, Roxie can't see Nelson anymore, and wonders where he is. That is, until a gust of wind catches her, as he whizzes by, writing her a note to beg for help - he can't stop running, and he is running very fast.
Meanwhile, the Centipede presses the priest of the Church of the Dial to pray, which, he hopes, will force the machine to open a doorway to the Exchange. The residents of the Exchange are, in Centipede's opinion, its warriors, and they seek the exile called 'O', and the dials. They attacked Thomas Edison, long ago, because he had helped 'O'. Meanwhile, the government had been puzzling over whether there was a connection between the Fixer who appeared and turned off the dial when Abyss attacked. Centipede believes that there isn't a connection. He believes that the Fixer has been forced to use back-ways of seeking the dials, and when he found one, he was lucky. Hopefully, the Fixer will be grateful when they open a door for him. General Choler interrupts him to warn of his intent to break into the room and put a stop to his insubordination. Centipede responds that while he once thought he wanted to be a Canadian hero, he has learned that he is not a hero at all.
When Nelson finally manages to stop running, he still talks at rapid fire, and Roxie has trouble getting him to talk to her instead of at her. Nelson has become the Flash, much to his delight, but he is stunned when Roxie demands to know what this means for the real Flash. Nelson becomes confused, thinking he is the Flash, and he is even able to remember some of the details of what the Flash was doing before he dialed. Something had gone wrong at Iron Heights prison.
But just as quickly, he snaps out of it, and realizes that if he is the Flash, the actual Flash must be somewhere. In the blink of an eye, he searches Central City, Baltimore, New York, and Buffalo - with no sign of the Flash. With a start, Roxie realizes that this is the same as that old story about a sun-dial, where the owner of that dial was later killed by the very hero she had dialed years before. If Nelson is the Flash right now, then the real Flash has lost his powers. Angrily, he chastises Roxie for failing to share that detail of the story with him, blaming her for the fact that they have been stealing powers from legitimate heroes from the start. Bewildered, Roxie can only mutter that she didn't know.
Meanwhile, the device begins to drain the priest of his energy and life, eventually causing his entire body to disintegrate in the service of opening the doorway to the Exchange. As the gate opens, the Fixer appears, confused as to how he was called. Before allowing the door to be opened fully, the Centipede explains that he will allow the Fixer through to shut down the other dials in exchange for something particular.
Roxie and Nelson debate over whether they really are stealing powers. Roxie persuades Nelson that they're still not even sure how the dials really work - they don't always work anyhow. Nelson remembers how the dial wouldn't work for the Centipede. But if it hadn't worked for him, why did it work for Ex Nihilo? Roxie suggests that maybe it worked for her because she believed she was a hero. However bad she was, Centipede is worse.
Their discussion is interrupted when the Centipede and the Fixer arrive in pursuit of them. Realizing that the Fixer is the shadow that they had seen on the line, Roxie and Nelson make a super-speed run for it to several different locations, but each time, the Fixer's superior dial powers keep him close behind.
Eventually, though, the dial's power wears off, and Nelson is returned to his old self. Roxie grabs for the dial, exclaiming that they need to dial another hero in order to escape. Nelson snatches it back, aghast that she would want to dial again after learning where those powers come from. At last, the Centipede snatches the dial away from them both, and offers them up to the Fixer.
- This book was first published on April 3, 2013.
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