LinkExchange FORWARD

January 1945 – The war in Europe was nearing its conclusion. Allied troops were entering Germany from all sides, and the German military was in shambles. Even the Nazi's defenses against the Allied mystery men were gone – the Spear of Destiny had been taken back to Japan, and the Axis meta-human code named Parsifal had been assassinated by the Americommando. In one last move of desperation, Nazi leaders ordered all remaining Axis meta-humans to stop the advance of the Allied troops entering Germany from the west.

A battlefield along the Luxembourg – German border
    "Whooee, Rock! Our fellas sure are takin' it to those Ratzis!"

Sgt. Frank Rock chewed on the toothpick in his mouth and couldn't help from feeling like a fifth wheel. "They sure are, Wildman," said Rock to the soldier next to him. "But we should be in there helpin' 'em, not standing on the sidelines."

"We wouldn't stand a chance against those Axis super types, Rock."

The soldiers of Easy Company, only part of the larger Allied army waiting on the sidelines, could only watch as select members of the Justice Society, All Star Squadron, and Freedom Fighters battled their evil Axis counterparts. The newsreels of the battle, viewed by America audiences weeks later, would show footage of the hero Iron Munro slugging it out with Ubermensch, the Ray and Firebrand routing Night and Fog, the Shining Knight's aerial dual with Gudra the Valkyrie, and Green Lantern battling Baron Blitzkrieg, among others. One fight was being waged at such high speeds that no one could see it until it ended. Johnny Quick and the Flash had engaged the Axis speedster Zyklon in a super speed fight – punches and kicks moved too fast to be seen by the ordinary eye. Only when Zyklon dropped to the ground did the Flash and Johnny Quick become more than fast moving blurs.

"The Flash and Johnny-what's-his-name got their guy!" cheered Wildman.

"Uh-uh, he's gettin' back up again!" hollered Rock. "He was fakin' it!"

"Aww, shoot, now he's decked both our guys….."

"And coming this way – real fast!" gulped Rock as he raised his rifle.

"Crap! He's comin' right at us!" yelled Wildman.

"I'm sick of waitin' on the sidelines, I'm takin' this Nazi out myself!" stated Rock angrily. "Never should have brought these fancy costumed wearin' fellas into this….."

Sgt. Rock couldn't pull the trigger in time. The blue blur that was Zyklon whizzed past him before he had time to blink. Before Rock could turn his head, a red and blue that was the Flash passed him, and before the super speed induced wind could knock Rock's helmet off his head, a red and yellow Johnny Quick blur sped by.

"Damn!" said a startled looking Rock as his helmet hit the ground with a thump.

"Zyklon said something to rile them up," said Wildman. "Our guys took off after him like bats outtta Hell."

Go, Johnny, Go, Go!
By David R. Black
     My name's Johnny Quick, and right now, I'm only one of the fastest men alive!
    Johnny Quick's body ached from the battle with Zyklon, and moving at super speed sure didn't make him feel any better.

Damn, my shoulder feels like it's on fire, thought Johnny. Chest hurts too, think a rib is broke. Gotta keep going. Gotta catch Zyklon and stop him.

Up ahead, Johnny could see the Flash – Jay – and further ahead, beyond Flash, was Zyklon. The trio was speeding across France, nearing the Atlantic Ocean. Johnny couldn't get Zyklon's words out of his mind: "I will kill your President!"
    He's desperate. Zyklon's got nothing to lose, and now he's putting everything he's got left into trying to kill President Roosevelt! It's a race to the White House. If Zyklon gets there first, the President dies! No way to warn him. Jay must be hurting too. We both took some lumps in the fight.
    As the trio of colorful blurs zoomed through a coastal French village down cobblestone streets, Zyklon quickly glanced over his shoulder. He knew, of course, that the Flash and Johnny were behind him, and he would try every dirty trick he knew to try to stop them. Up ahead, an old man was pushing a watermelon cart. Zooming by the wagon, Zyklon quickly unhinged the rear wall of the wagon, sending a cascade of watermelons tumbling out into the street behind him.

Geez, like this doesn't happen in every chase scene in a B-grade movie, thought Johnny as he watched the Flash vibrate through the tumbling melons. Still, Mrs. Quick's boy was pretty good at dodge ball back in school!
    Johnny wove his way through the melons, losing valuable time.
    Damn, that's just what Zyklon wanted to have happen. Wish I would've had Jay teach me how to vibrate through stuff.
    The speedsters reached the coast and the chase kicked into a higher gear.
"BOOOOOOM!" The sound tore at Johnny's eardrums.

Boom. Sonic boom. Zyklon's broke the sound barrier! Never gone that fast before! It feels like there's an inferno raging in my legs….muscles are so sore….I can't last much longer…..
    "BOOOOOOM!" The Flash followed Zyklon's lead and broke the sound barrier as well.
    Arrgh! That noise! But at least Jay is still after him. He'll stop Zyklon, he'll save the President. No, no. I can't think that way. I'm a hero! And heroes don't give up – besides, I can't let Jay have all the glory!
    The shock waves caused by the two sonic booms raced towards Johnny. Johnny could actually see the waves approaching, and his eyes widened with fear.
    Blasted shock waves will knock the daylights out of me. Can't go around them. Gotta go faster. If I break the sound barrier too, I'll pass right through them unharmed. Time to go quicker, Mr. Quick!
    Leg muscles churned, arms swung like crazed pendulums, and sweat dripped down his face as Johnny Quick pushed himself to speeds he had never reached before.

    Yes! Yes! Who says I'm a second stringer?
    Adrenaline pumped through his body, and Johnny Quick poured on the speed. Mach 1….Mach 2….Mach 3….and suddenly he was right alongside the Flash again. Jay looked over at Johnny and smiled. Zyklon was still a little bit ahead of them, but now the odds were on the side of the good guys.

The Atlantic Ocean passed like a blue-green blur beneath the runners' feet, and soon the trio was racing up the Chesapeake Bay and entering the Potomac River.

"BOOOOOOM!" Zyklon lowered his speed as he approached Washington D.C.
    What's he doing? Maybe Zyklon's not quite sure where he's going and needs to slow down, I dunno. Better slow down too, I sure don't want to create a sonic boom in the middle of downtown Washington. Wouldn't want to pay the bill for breaking every window in the city!

Jay must have been thinking the same thing, as he too slowed down. Up ahead, a ferry lazily made its way across the river, and beyond that was the Jefferson Memorial. Zyklon changed directions, and he headed towards the crowded ferry. Simultaneously, Johnny looked at Jay and both said,


Zyklon crashed through the bow of the ferry, and his speed allowed him to cut through it like a hot knife through butter. Wooden boards splintered, and the ferry instantly began to sink. Passengers screamed, and some fell into the icy waters of the Potomac as the ferry lurched to one side. Zyklon kept going, headed towards the White House.

OK, what do I do? Save the passengers or save the President? Which is more important – their lives or the spirit of the entire nation?
    "Flash!" blurted Johnny to Jay. "You save the passengers, and I'll save the President! Zyklon's mine!"

Anger filled Johnny Quick from head to toe. Anger at a Nazi agent who would dare to try to kill President Roosevelt. Anger at himself for wanting to give up earlier. Anger at himself for not stopping Zyklon before he could hurt the passengers on the ferry. Johnny was exhausted, his fuel tank empty. His legs felt like lead, and his injuries throbbed with pain. Johnny reached deep down into himself for one more thing to keep him going.
    3X2(9YZ)4A…..3X2(9YZ)4A…..Envision the formula Johnny, come on, come on. 3X2(9YZ)4A….. 3X2(9YZ)4A…..
    Through the tidal basin raced Zyklon, with Johnny right behind. Past the Washington Monument and down 17
th Avenue. Past the Ellipse, and Johnny was still a few arm lengths behind.
    Come on! Just a little bit faster! Need to go faster, but nothing's left. No more energy. I'm fading. 3X2(9YZ)4A…..3X2(9YZ)4A…..still feel tired. Think of…..think of…..Libby!
    Libby Lawrence. Liberty Belle. Either way she was Johnny's wife. As Johnny leaped over the White House fence, he imagined the sight of Libby's long golden hair, her beautiful smile, and her warm nature. Zyklon crashed through a window and Johnny followed him inside, feeling more energetic, and now only one arm's length away. Up the stairs, down the hall, and Johnny reached out and grabbed Zyklon by the back of the neck.

Got him! I got him!
    The two men crashed through the door of the Oval Office in a tangled jumble. Two startled guards and a seated President Roosevelt gasped in awe, and partly in fear, at the unexpected site before them. The guards ran to Johnny's aid, their weapons readied to shoot.

"Stopped you! You lose!" wheezed Johnny Quick as he gasped for air.

Zyklon was exhausted as well, and the villain tried in vain to struggle against Johnny's tight grip. Johnny put his last ounce of energy into an uppercut that landed squarely on Zyklon's jaw. Zyklon dropped to the floor unconscious and defeated.

"Mr. President," said Johnny softly as he turned towards Roosevelt and weakly saluted, "Johnny Quick. Glad to be of service."

Johnny's knees buckled, and a guard rushed to help slow his fall.

"My word…..Thank you Mr. Quick." said a still astonished President Roosevelt.

Johnny Quick didn't hear the President's thanks. He slumped exhausted to the floor, a rejuvenating sleep already embracing him. A small smile spread across Johnny's face as he lay on the floor of the Oval Office. He was a hero…..he saved the day…..and at least for today, he was the fastest man alive.

All characters are ™ DC Comics
This story is © 1999 by David R. Black.


David R. Black is's magazine editor and chief archivist. A big fan of "The Warlord," he has a cat named Shakira and is looking for a girlfriend named Tara....