“Excuse me, Flash? It is all right to call you Flash when you aren’t in uniform, isn’t it? Could I please have your autograph? For my daughter, of course.”
Jay Garrick grinned. Three years after revealing his identity to the public, he still had the occasional autograph-seeker. “Of course, ma’am. What’s your — I mean, your daughter’s name.”
“Fiona. Fiona Fellows. Oh, and I had no idea that you had a son. What a cute little boy!” The woman patted John’s head in his stroller while Jay signed the cover of her savings passport book. By the time they were finished exchanging pleasantries, it was Jay’s turn at the teller.
“I don’t know how you do it, Mr. Garrick. That seems to happen every other time you come in here, and, every time, you’re just as nice as you can be about it.”
“Aw, Ellen, it’s nothing. I figure that if I was to be in too much of a hurry for fans, what kind of hero would that make me? Besides, I can always make up the time while I get from one errand to another.” He grinned at the middle-aged teller. She was handing him his deposit receipt when a shot rang out in the bank lobby.
“Everybody down! We don’t want to hurt anybody!” A second shot shattered plaster on the wall behind Ellen, prompting her to dive quickly to the floor as six masked gunmen advanced on the bank counter. Others in the bank followed her example, until only one man was left standing.
“You know what, fellas? I really think you picked the wrong day to rob the wrong bank, in the wrong town.” Even as he spoke, Jay’s body began to blur, so that the shots fired at him found no target, instead thudding harmlessly into the marble counter behind him. He took off, careening into the closest gunman and using his velocity to carry the man into the next, and then a third, until he had five unconscious thugs piled in a corner by the door.
At the sound of the familiar voice, Jay turned and spied the sixth gunman standing next to John’s stroller.
“Little Johnny will be just fine, speedster, just so long as you don’t do anything stupid. Now, my boss needs some money for his plans, so here’s what we’re gonna do. You!” The crook gestured at the bank manager. “Fill these up! While you do that, Flash is going to load my buddies in the van out there. Right?”
The pile of hoodlums disappeared. Looking out the window, the lone gunman saw them through the open door of the van.
“I knew you could be a reasonable man. Ahhh, my take-out order is ready.” He took the bag of money from the manager, never letting his gun waver from its bead on John Garrick’s head. With the same hand, he grabbed the handle of the stroller. “Now, young Mr. Garrick and I are going for a ride. I’ll have to see what the boss has to say after that, though.” He laughed as he slowly worked the stroller through the bank door and climbed into the van. He climbed in and drove off, while Jay stood motionless in the bank lobby.
“Mr. Garrick, you could go after him now,” said Ellen the teller, rising from her hiding place behind the counter.
“No, there’s a chance he could see me coming up behind him. I couldn’t take that chance with my son. Besides, I’ll have no trouble finding them. I’m just waiting for a little help I requested to show up.”
Even as Jay Garrick spoke, there was a green glow from above as a figure passed down through the ceiling as if it weren’t there. Before speaking, the colorfully clad man aimed a beam of green energy at Jay, and he was instantly clad in the red and blue costume of the Flash.
“Green Lantern! Thanks for coming.”
“Don’t mention it. What’s going on?” The tall, blonde emerald avenger cocked his head to one side in inquiry.
“Kidnapping. They have John.”
“Great Scott! Who’s behind it? Any idea?”
“No, but I managed to drop my backup JSA signaler in their van before they took off. We should be able to find them that way.”
“Then let’s go! You can fill me in on the way.”
And with a blur and a burst of green light, they vanished from the bank.
Moments later, they stopped short at the back of an old fish packing plant.
“This must be it. There’s the van they used.”
“See any reason to wait? I’ve already located John inside. Just say the word, and I’ll have a bubble around him and yank him out.”
“By all means, but I’m not going to satisfy myself with just getting him out. We’re getting the whole gang in one sweep, got it?”
Alan Scott looked hard at the face of his old friend. The usually genial features of the Flash were hard with determination, a look Alan had not seen since the days of World War II. Easy enough to understand, thought Alan. If I had kids, I’d be feeling the same way about now. “Don’t worry, Jay. Nobody is getting out of there.” A thought, and the building was encased in a green cage. The bars then widened until there were no gaps between them. “Ready?”
“Let’s do it!”
Inside the long-abandoned Norwegian Seas Fisheries packing plant, a man dressed in white played with a two-year-old boy on his lap.
“Ahh, Johhny Garrick, you may be the best thing that’s ever happened to me. How did I ever manage to overlook you before? You’re just the leverage I need against your dear old daddy.”
John batted at the point of his captor’s hood, which drooped to one side, nearly to his chin.
“Why, I might even consider adopting you myself, young man. Just think, I could make you your own little freezing gun.”
“Over my dead body, Icicle!” Before the words were out of the Flash’s mouth, John Garrick was wrapped up in a glowing green snowsuit and lifted up to a girder high in the warehouse. Green ropes sprouted from the glowing green energy and wrapped themselves around the girder, securing the child in place.
“Flash! I should have known you wouldn’t take long to arrive. I must say, though, I wasn’t expecting our rather garish friend, there.” The Icicle casually gestured upward with his ice-gun and fired at Green Lantern. The purple-cloaked hero was ensnared in ice and started to drop toward the floor. “Watch that first step, Lantern. And now for you, Flash.”
Before he could fire, the Flash exploded in green light, revealing the Green Lantern. “Too late, but thanks for the thought.” Two tendrils of green snaked out, one wrapping around the Icicle and flicking his gun away, the other forming a giant green marshmallow for the ice to land on. As soon as it made contact, the marshmallow dissolved in green flame, which melted the ice away from the speedster.
“Nice thinking, Flash. Using the ring to switch places, and directing it’s actions through you, threw the Icicle off guard just long enough.”
“What about his goons?”
Green Lantern shrugged. “I don’t think they’re up for any action right now. Looks like they got cold feet.” Out in the adjacent room, six figures lay buried in ice cubes, dumped from the hopper of an ice machine left from the days when fish was brought in cold from the ships and packed in ice. “Now for the reason we’re here.” The green cocoon floated to the floor, and John Garrick smiled as his father lifted him from it.
“What say we get you home, young man? And how about a thank you for your godfather?”
Little John Garrick smiled and waved at Green Lantern. “T’ank you!”