Weird Mystery Tales
What if the Flash Won the Race?
The Race crossover
by Immortalwildcat, with Doc Quantum
What if Jay Garrick, the Flash, had been successful in his bid to become the next U.S. President? Join Destiny as he explores how some events would have played out differently, and how some events were simply fated to happen, even in this alternate reality.
Atop a forbidden peak stood a tall man with a long, hooded cloak of an uncertain color, having a tendency to appear as purple, blue, or brown depending on the light cast upon it. The man’s face was hidden in shadows, and the starry field of night behind him made him seem to float within the Milky Way itself. The tall, cloaked man held in his hands a giant book, one which was fastened to his shackled wrist by a chain. The man began to speak.
“My name is Destiny, and it is my fate to walk alone throughout eternity and observe the follies and mysteries of mankind, and to note them all in the Cosmic Log. Yet myriad are the ways of fate, and I have seen other realities, alternate timelines, in which events played out in different ways. Come, look upon a world that recently diverged from your own, a world where we will answer the question — what if the Flash had won the 1988 presidential election?”
Election night in Keystone City was a time of waiting. The polls in Keystone City closed at nine o’clock, but there was another three hours before the polls on the West Coast closed. Alaska and Hawaii closed even later, though they represented few enough electoral votes that the outcome was rarely affected by the two westernmost states. The early results, from the immediate area and throughout the Eastern time zone, were encouraging. Preliminary results showed Jay Garrick with a slight lead over each of his opponents, though the field was split enough that nobody had a majority of the votes.
Jay felt almost as sick to his stomach as he had when he’d proposed to Joan nearly 40 years ago. As he sat in a room with Pat Dugan, he tried to keep his mind on other things. The election was out of his hands now.
“Any word from Plasticman?” asked Jay. “You never did tell me what the assignment is that you sent him off on.”
“He had a tip from one of his NBI contacts about the Gunderson campaign, and he wanted to check it out. Last I heard from him over the weekend, he told me that if anything came of his investigation, we’d hear about it before the election was finished.”
There was a knock at the door, and Helena Bertinelli stuck her head in. “Um, Pat, Mr. Garrick, you might want to turn on the television.”
Jay picked up a remote control and pressed a button.
“–details are still coming in, but according to unnamed sources, presidential candidate Stanley Gunderson was rushed to Wayne Memorial Hospital in Metropolis a short time ago after suffering some type of seizure. We will stay on top of this story and let you know as we find out more.”
As the television cut to a commercial, the phone rang. Pat looked at Jay, then picked it up. “Hello, Garrick campai — Oh, hey Marty. What’s up?”
Pat’s voice dropped for the short remainder of the call. After hanging up, he looked at Jay with an amazed look on his face. “That was Plasticman. Gunderson’s dead. Been dead for months. The guy you’ve been running against is some sort of shapeshifting double. Marty confronted him, grabbed him by the wrist, and the guy started melting.”
Jay was thoughtful. “I remember a criminal from Earth-One — their Superman called him the Parasite. He absorbed power from anyone he touched. I wonder if this was something similar. He absorbed Marty’s elastic powers, and couldn’t control them.”
“That might be. At any rate, I think it narrows down the field of candidates a bit.”
It was shortly after one o’clock in the morning when Jay Garrick took to the podium in the Keystone Plaza Conference Center.
“Ladies and gentlemen, friends and supporters, I stand before you tonight a humble man. Over two years ago, I was approached about running for president, and I was stunned at the thought. Over the weeks and months that followed, I realized that it wasn’t just an impossible dream, that there was a real chance of winning. Now…” He paused as the cheers started to swell. “Now, I can tell you that Vice-President Dole just called me and offered his congratulations. I asked him if he would be interested in serving as a part of my administration. He’ll get back to me on that.” There was a loud burst of laughter from the assembled crowd. “We did it, my friends! We did it!”
Jay made his way out onto the convention center floor, greeting his supporters and accepting their congratulations. For three hours, the celebration went on. At four o’clock, Jay caught the eye of Pat Dugan and nodded. Pat nodded back, and Jay made his way to his hotel room. Five minutes later, the door opened, and Pat walked in with the campaign’s top advisors, Amanda Waller and Maxwell Lord. After ushering them into the room, Pat slipped out the door.
“Congratulations, Jay. You’ve done an ex–”
“Stow it, Max!” Jay looked over at Amanda. “You, too. Don’t get me wrong; I appreciate what you’ve done for me, but I’ve always understood a basic concept of human nature. People don’t do things unless there’s something in it for them. And you came to me; I didn’t come to you. So, the way I figure it, somebody sent you, and I’ve got a pretty good idea who it was. Effective immediately, your services are no longer needed, nor wanted here. And you go back to Vandal Savage and you tell him that he succeeded. He succeeded in making his biggest mistake, ever.”
Somewhere in the Caribbean, the day after the election, Vandal Savage hung up a telephone. He stood and walked out onto a balcony overlooking the sparkling waters of a secluded bay. “Well done, Garrick — very well done. My own people were working at cross purposes on this matter. Lord and Waller did well, but not well enough. Regardless, they may be useful to me later.”
He walked back inside, touching his hand to an antique globe, lightly spinning it. “You may have won the United States, Garrick. But one day, one day the world will be mine once again.”
“You want to talk deal? Sure, here’s the deal. I give you the guy who did this to me, you give me a flight to France, a half-million to set myself up in style, and a full pardon for everything that was done.”
FBI Agent Martin Anderson looked down at the disfigured features of Rudy Jones in the hospital bed. His flesh was a mottled blend of red, pink, and yellow, and his face looked like a wax mannequin that had started to melt.
“You think it’s that simple? You’ve been running for President of the United States while posing as an elected official. Stan Gunderson is missing and presumed dead, which makes you a murderer. And you know what’s the funniest part of this?”
“Huh?” Rudy looked up from the bed.
“You’re never going to face any charges for what you’ve done.” Anderson pulled a hypodermic needle from a pocket inside his jacket. “The boss wasn’t sure what poisons would work with you now, but this should do the trick.” He slammed the needle down into Rudy’s chest. “You know he doesn’t take failure too well, remember?”
Anderson walked quickly from the room, telling the guards in the hallway to make sure they kept everyone out of the room. Three minutes after he left, the guards were killed in the explosion that tore apart Mimic’s hospital room.
“Thank you, Anderson. Your payment will be transferred into the account momentarily.” The Ultra-Humanite hung up the phone with a sigh. “Three years of work, ruined. Apparently because of that rubber-faced buffoon, Plasticman.”
He walked over to a bank of computer monitors, pulling out a shelf with an oversized computer keyboard. Massive fingers moved over the keyboard with surprising dexterity, and one by one, the screens filled with information and images. The center-most screen displayed a National Bureau of Investigations ID badge. “Martin O’Brien, Plasticman. You regained your powers after all these years. But now, that will cost you your life.”
The images of this alternate reality disappear, replaced by the cloaked figure of Destiny. He began to speak once more.
“Myriad indeed are the ways of fate, but as Rudy Jones discovered, some things have a way of following destiny’s path even when such major elements as election results may differ.
“In your reality, the Flash may not have won the White House, but the world has regained one of its greatest heroes. Who can say which is the better world in which to live?”