by Dan Swanson
Within instants Whiz Kid returned to Henrietta King’s laboratory, although this time he was moving at invisibly high speed. His presence would certainly be noted, however, as the bottle city of Candor simply vanished from the lab.
Only a few seconds later, Alfred Beagle was helping him set up Candor in its new home in the Batcave. John Garrick gave him the entire story, including Henrietta’s fictional backstory and everything he had learned during a super-speed, ultra-thorough investigation of the bottle and its supporting equipment, using some of the advanced equipment he had access to as a member of the Junior JSA. In particular he had made sure that there was no way for Savant to continue to monitor events or people inside the city or even to locate it.
That night in his bedroom in one of the sleeping cars on the campaign train, John awoke in a cold sweat as a realization suddenly hit him. When he had come back from Candor, why had Savant’s teammates already been there watching the video transmissions from inside Candor? Had he remained unconscious long enough for her to have rounded them up, or had they been watching the whole thing from the beginning?
Savant had the modus operandi of playing mind-games with guys. It wasn’t usually with young guys like him, it was true, but that was how she made her living. Was this whole thing just another example? He didn’t believe it; he really liked her, and he really wanted to trust her. But how could he know? How could he ever know? Heck, how did he know that the whole Candor thing wasn’t just an illusion? After all, her father the Brain Wave had been capable of creating extremely advanced, detailed illusions that had fooled even the Justice Society on a few occasions in the past. Sure, the bottle city was physical in nature, since it was now on display in the Batcave, but he could not know whether he had actually manipulated one of the Candorian bodies or merely thought he had.
He resolved that the next day he was going to have a serious talk with his folks about the nature of reality. And then he would talk to some of the members of the JSA about how to protect himself from illusions and mental control in the future. He figured that Doctor Fate and the Spectre in particular ought to have some good advice.