THE FLYING CLOUD
When I discovered that there was a chance I could return home, I was surprised to find a pang of reluctance. I’ve come to care very deeply for my adopted home. However, the events of the evening have left me reeling. If Americans react violently to people for a difference of skin color, then I fear they'll never be ready to accept me. I sit there, torn between two worlds. If only I could see the opportunity for change, I believe I would stay here. And once again, the television gives me an answer.
“Uh... good evening. My name is the Flash. I won’t keep you but a minute... Yesterday, there was an attempt on my life made by a clandestine government agency. Fortunately, I was too fast for them... Now I’m being hunted like Public Enemy Number One. It makes me sad to think that my own country has no place for me. So I’m giving up.”
My decision is made. I will go home.
My desk carries several weeks’ research into the mass hysteria and related activity. There is just one thing left to do.
BATMAN- My investigation has revealed widespread mania based on vivid premonitions of the planet’s “impending doom.” Two threads emerge from the collected evidence:
(1) People are organizing to worship an entity they all loosely refer to as ‘THE CENTRE.’
(2) All documented cases involve subjects who experience horrific dreams involving prehistoric monsters and reptilian demons.
“I have to... go away. Sudden business has come up. I thought we should touch base... The book is some form of journal passed down through the ages. It describes a force powerful enough to consume the solar system... You’ll find hundreds of case files and related stories at my apartment. They’re all yo-- Batman?”
“He’s like that. It can be maddening. It’s been a real pleasure serving with you, John. How about we go meet Slam for one last round...”
“That would be tops, Jim. That would be tops.”
“Miss Ferris, this is Hal down in mission. We are ready for the final pre-launch check. Let’s launch this bird”
Home. I simply have to fly up through the hull and remain invisible. It takes all of my concentration to block the fact that I will be sitting atop gigantic cylinders of liquid flame. Steeling myself, I prepare to make my molecules intangible to gain entry to the ship. My focus split, I don’t sense the man named Faraday until he is upon me.
TEN! “Don’t move, Martian.”
NINE! “Take any further action to sabotage this launch and I’ll kill you.”
EIGHT! “I don’t want to interfere. I just want to go home.”
SEVEN! “How did you-- YOU’RE IN MY MIND!”
SIX! “Can you outthink a bullet, monster?”
FIVE! I’m upon him with a speed he isn’t prepared for.
FOUR! It is starting. I must leave now!
THREE! But Faraday... he will be killed in the launch.
TWO! His thoughts... Such confusion. No time!
LIFTOFF! WE HAVE LIFTOFF! GODSPEED, FLYING CLOUD!
-By Darwyn Cooke. “For seven years, STAR SPANGLED WAR STORIES had featured a series called “The War That Time Forgot” about a mysterious island in the Pacific... prehistoric horrors lived there... When I was trying to create a menace large enough to challenge the DC Universe... the idea hit me. The island is alive. THE ISLAND IS THE VILLAIN.”
Back to DC: The New Frontier #4, Part One (2004)
Forward to DC: The New Frontier #5 (2004)