Chapter 1

The sun was setting as the Queen Industries private chopper landed on the rooftop of Sutherland Labs and Astrid climbed out, running towards the entrance. She took the elevator down to the 97th floor where her friends were trying desperately to calm a very confused Barry Allen, who was in hysterics. 

"Barry. Do you remember me? It's Astrid," she told him softly.

 "I don't know what's going on here, Astrid. These guys have kidnapped me! Are you in on it? Why am I here? The last I knew I was... No, we were in that elevator! You kidnapped me! Why would you do this?" Barry demanded.

"Caitlin, call Joe." Astrid said and she took a small step towards him. "Barry, why would I kidnap you? You're my friend. You have been in a coma. That bang was a meteor shower. You and I were both injured as were millions of other people."

Barry eased a little. But he was still confused. "You don't understand. I have some sort of power." 

Astrid was reminded of Caitlin's phone call. That Barry would be able to run faster than any man dreamed possible and that his cells regenerated very rapidly. "I know, Barry. But you're not alone, and we... I mean my friends and I, are here to help you. You can trust us," she spoke softly, not inching closer nor further away.

"I trust you, Astrid." Barry said finally, "but how do I know that this was caused by the meteor and not your scientist friends here? You know what I saw when my mother died and there was no meteor before that. How do I know that..."

Astrid felt a pang of anger rush through her, he was trying to blame his mother's death on Sutherland Labs. She pushed her emotions aside and spoke calmly, "because the meteor affected multiple people. I can prove it to you. But you need to trust me. Sutherland Labs is not responsible. I want you to come with me for a minute." She began walking to her office. 

"Astrid? Please... can we go somewhere else?" Barry didn't want to be there. He didn't trust this place at all. 
Astrid realized that he was dressed in a patient gown. "We can go anywhere you want to go, Barry. But I need you to do something for me, first."

"What's that?" Barry asked, puzzled. 

"I need you to put your clothes on first." 

Cisco was holding a pile of clothes that detective Joe West had brought over earlier. Barry nodded and took them from him, though eyeing him with suspicion. Caitlin pulled a curtain across the patient bay, giving Barry some privacy. Astrid led Caitlin and Cisco to the computer desk and spoke softly. 

"I'll talk to him, don't worry. Everything is going to be fine."

"Good, because with his rapid abilities and his confusion, he is only going to be a risk to himself and Sutherland Labs in general." Caitlin said sternly.

"Not to mention, the city..." Cisco refused to look Astrid in the eye as he spoke. He didn't even want to speak to her. She wanted to probe his mind and find out why, but she was not going to do that again.

"Astrid?" Barry's voice carried over her thoughts and the three of them turned to see that he was entirely dressed.

"That was quick." Astrid told him. 

"That's my superpower." 

"Where do you want to go?" she asked him.

Barry grabbed Astrid's arm and in the blink of an eye, he had taken her to CCPD. They were in her office at the police station. Astrid felt dizzy. She sat down at her desk. "Barry... what? ... wow! I feel dizzy." She stammered.

He wasn't even panting. "What the H-E - double hockey sticks is going on? And why can I do that?" 

"Ok, let me start from the beginning. You said  you remember us being in the elevator? That bang, like I said... was a meteor shower. There was some sort of chemical in the meteor that let off some type of radiation. That radiation affected some people, giving them powers, but unfortunately... it killed others. Sutherland Labs wants to study it as much as possible. When I woke up from my coma, I found out that you were in the hospital. This happened about a week ago. I guess I wanted you to be in safe hands. The hands of people that I trust. Barry, you can trust them too."

Barry sat down opposite her and placed his head in his hands. He had been here multiple times when he was feeling down and needed to talk. This place was so comfortable to him. "Ok, I'm going to trust that you know what you're doing." He said, finally, "That girl said that I have been in a coma for four months. Is that true?" 

Astrid nodded, "yes, it is true. A lot's changed."

"Like what?" 

Astrid was going to continue, though someone pushed the door open. It was Joe. "I'm sorry to intrude, Astrid but I just got off the phone to Caitlin. She said that you needed to see me and then I saw you in here on my way out. Are you ..." he stopped mid-sentence at the sight of Barry. Tears welled up in his eyes. Barry got to his feet immediately and hugged his foster father.

"I'll give you two some space," Astrid said as she got to her feet and left the room, closing the door behind her.

"Oh, Sutherland. It's good to see you back at work." Captain Singh's voice broke in, "are you ready to get back to work? Your stand in has gone home for the day. We really miss you here at CCPD."

"No, captain. I just came to chat to someone. That's all. But I promise you I will be back at work soon. When things settle down a bit." She told him.

"Ok, take all the time you need." He told her, she knew that he didn't mean it. She knew that he wanted her to just be back at work doing her job, nonetheless, Singh left her in peace.
She still felt dizzy from being transported from Sutherland Labs to CCPD in the blink of an eye. She glanced around her. It had only been a few days ago that she had done her press conference. They were still repairing some of the damages from that evening. Some of the windows were still shattered. 

She looked up at the bulletin board and realized just how high the crime rate had risen since the meteor shower. She thought of Oliver. He was The Arrow and he was cleaning up crime in Sterling City. Just being there made Astrid feel like she was doing something important. She wanted to do something about the crime rate there in Central City too. 

She saw Eddie at his desk on the phone. She remembered the car bursting into flames and his fellow officer being killed in action. The meteor shower had created super beings. She should know for both she and Barry were among those affected. 

Central City police were no match for the new type of criminals out there, but maybe she and her friends were. But Astrid didn't want to be the hero, she hated the limelight. So who would be?

Suddenly, Barry walked out of her office, followed by Joe. "I'll see you at home, son." Joe told him. He waved to Astrid and left.

"Did you tell him about your new..." Astrid began.

"My new ability of super speed?" Barry finished her sentence, in a whisper so no one would hear. "Of course not. What would I tell him? 'Joe, yes I've woken from my coma and just so you know I can run faster than a speeding bullet?' I don't think so Astrid. He'll think I've gone crazy."

"Good point." 

"Look, I'm going to trust your friends. I'm going to have to, if I'm going to work out what else I am capable of. Besides... The thing I saw that killed my mother had similar abilities... maybe this will help me discover my past."


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