Gamma Squad returned from their mission and approached the nexus of computers where Superboy and Miss Martian were standing. Superboy turned to face them.
Robin aka Tim Drake, Lagoon Boy aka La'Gann, Static aka Virgil Hawkins, Blue Beetle aka Jaimie Reyes and Impulse aka Bart Allen looked at each other, looking incredibly embarrassed. Robin, being the leader of the squad, sighed. "Parasite escaped."
"Yeah, and kicked our butts. It was so mode!" whined Impulse.
"Well we should have gotten better intel," grumbled La'Gann, who was still sore at the fact his ex had gotten back with her old boyfriend.
"To be fair, I shouldn't have overcharged him," said Static.
"Ya think?" retorted Blue Beetle.
If you did, we wouldn't have lost the Parasite! The Scarab said snarkily to his host.
"If only Nightwing was here..." began Robin.
"Well he isn't!" growled Superboy. "We know he is still suffering from what happened!" He then when quiet. "When we lost Wally." He sighed, "Look, I know we are still readjusting...."
"It's been a few months," began Impulse helpfully.
"What Conner is saying that the process takes a while...we are readjusting still to what happened but we will survive." Miss Martian looked at them all, "Wally wouldn't want us to stay in mourning forever."
"Artemis still isn't communicating, huh?" asked Static.
"She...she took it very hard. More than any of us."
"Only one who comes close," concluded Robin, "Is Nightwing."
A thug was struck down by a wing-ding, another by an eskrima stick, a third one was knocked out with a flip kick to the jaw. Nightwing turned and slammed the last surviving thug into a wall.
"Where is Blockbuster?!" growled Nightwing.
"He--he'll kill me if I tell you!" shrieked the thug.
"You should be more scared of me at the moment." Nightwing's eyes narrowed. "Tell me everything."
"He's at his mansion in the hills, tightly guarded. You won't get past them, and it's not like you have evidence. So much for your detective skills, Batman-lite!" The thug grinned, but was then knocked out by a headbutt.
"That was a waste of time," said Nightwing angrily. He's right though, I don't have evidence against Blockbuster, not yet. With how corrupt Bludhaven was, getting evidence would be hard as the cops would destroy it.
"Why am I acting like this?" Nightwing mused.
"You're still mourning," said a deep voice. Nightwing turned to see his one time mentor appear out of the shadows.
"Don't you call?"
Batman ignored that, "Wally sacrificed himself to save us all. You need to honor his memory and continue with the mission."
Nightwing said nothing.
"You once told Black Canary you didn't want to become me; so you would never have to make the decisions I did. Wally decided his fate, not you." Batman put his hand on Nightwing's shoulder, "And I don't want you to become me either; I want you to move on."
"I know, you still need time. You still have people who care about you. You have friends who are worried about you." Batman paused for a sec. "Joseph Kane called, he said that he was back in the States and he wondered if you wanted to visit."
"Joey? We haven't spoke in like five years, and he wasn't very chatty for a couple years beforehand. Why now?"
"Why not? He's been gone a long time, he probably wants to see what few friends he has in this world. Think on it."
Batman turned to leave.
"Did he say where he was?" asked Nightwing.
"No, and I didn't ask. Maybe you should figure that out, or ask him when you finally visit."
Nightwing nodded; he knew he would have to follow Batman's latest order eventually.
"Huh, where am I?"
The red haired boy dashed across this weird void in time and space; where past, present and future seemed to combine into a labyrinth. He was wearing a yellow and red uniform in tatters.
"Seriously, I almost got run over by a wooly mammoth, shot at by Nazis, and was nearly kissed by a robot from 2367" How did I know that?
"You are in the Speed Force," said a grandfatherly voice. A man in a blue mask, a swashbuckler shirt, and blue pants tucked into boots appeared, running besides the young man.
"The energy behind time, for a very rough explanation. You are trapped in here."
"You went past your previously mentally established limits to save the lives of those you care about, your fellow speedsters. But when you entered here, you lost who you were, and you regained those limits you placed on yourself."
"Who am I?"
"You need to find that out for yourself."
"Max Mercury, Zen Master of Speed. I explore the mysteries of the Speed Force."
"Good, then get me out of here."
"Sorry, but only you can make yourself leave. But I can train you, help you remember."
"Because you're still needed."
"When do we begin?"
"Well, we need to send for some outside help; you need to get out of here, but it's always good to have someone ease the way out when you're ready."
Max ran, and the boy followed.
SOMEWHERE IN NEW YORK CITY
The blond teenager punched and kicked the heavy bag. His athletic body was covered in sweat which soaked his t-shirt. He was lost in his training, and his anger.
The young man didn't hear the soft, shy voice behind him.
The teen stopped and turned to see his little brother look at him with big blue eyes. They shared the same color of blond hair, but Joey's eyes were brown. An Old English Sheepdog followed the six year old.
"Sam, did anyone see you come in?"
"No; not that anyone other than me comes down here." Sam paused for a bit. "Why were you arguing with Daddy?"
"Because he wants to take control of my life again!"
"But you're not 18 yet."
"So? I've proven myself to be much more of an adult than most of his executives. Not my fault I made them look like fools!"
"Maybe you should ease your way into the company?"
"Nah, not my style; I made those patents that jumpstarted our family company to new heights on my travels, I should have a say anyways."
"So you came down here to calm down...you missed dinner."
"Don't tell me you ate everything?"
"They saved you a plate or two."
"Good. I should wash up a bit first." Joey went to a sink in the cavernous lab space he had. It was filled with technology and experiments. He was working on strange gizmos and gadgets, things a teenage genius normally doesn't make. The fact he also had a very equipped gym and more down here would raise suspicion. Hence the fact he only trusted his little brother with his secrets. Sam knew Joseph arranged to have his "base" built while he was away; but he was always amazed when he came down here. Sam then saw a new gadget on its own platform.
"That? Dimension viewer; something I'm experimenting with."
"To travel to them?"
"To see them, kind of a one way window."
"Can we try it?"
"Well I need to test it anyways."
Joey and Sam went behind a safety area to activate it. Joseph played the Overture to The Phantom of the Opera as he activated the machine. It was alive with red and yellow lightning. Then an image appeared. A red haired young man wearing a yellow and red uniform that was damaged was running besides an older man in blue and white. The young man looked like he was in his early 20s. The man pointed at Joey and Sam.
"Can they see us?" asked Sam. Their dog looked nervous.
"No, they can't," replied Joseph. But he didn't sound so sure.
The young man in the window turned to them. "HELP ME GET OUT OF HERE!"
The window closed.
"Joey, that was Kid Flash!" said Sam, who was a Superhero nut.
"What do we do?"
"Save him of course. I am a hero in the making after all."
"But you haven't started patrol."
"I do tonight."
"Cool. Can I stay up?"
"Maybe on the weekend."
"Think this will work?" asked Kid Flash.
"I hope so, for all our sakes," said Max.
They ran, moving ever forward, beginning to train.