Chapter 2

The next day, Astrid sat in her office on Sutherland Labs, away from her friends who were doing their best trying to explain to Barry just what he was capable of. He was still trying to come to terms with it all.

Astrid thought back to the Arrow's headquarters at Verdant and how it had its own training grounds. That was what they needed. Astrid glanced over at the sheet of in-house phone numbers. It included every floor in Sutherland Labs including a title of each department on each floor.

But there was one floor unaccounted for. Astrid pressed the speaker button on her phone for their floor. She knew who to ask. "Cisco, can you please come to my office for a minute please?"

He hadn't spoken a word to her since she had returned but this was not a personal matter. Cisco appeared in her doorway and placed both his hands in his pockets. Annoyance was written all over his face.

"I know that right now, you and I aren't seeing eye to eye," Astrid began, "but I need to know something. You were like a protégé to my father, so much so, that you were dedicated to Sutherland Labs. So you know everything about everything. So I need to know. What's on level 25?"

At this point even Cisco looked stumped. Astrid pointed to the chart and so Cisco stood behind her to take a look. There was no level 25 whatsoever. "I never thought to ask. Maybe its abandoned?" he suggested. 

Astrid opened the draw to her desk, "Well there is only one way to find out." She said pulling out a set of keys, including the master key. She stood up and left her office, heading for the elevator doors. "Guys, come with me!" she called out. This involved them too.

Once they were in the elevator, Astrid ran her finger over the buttons to the floor. Though once again there was none for level 25. "100 floors and they forgot that one?" Cisco suggested.

"That's ok. We go to the one above it and take the stairs down. This is a billion-dollar corporation. The floor cannot just be 'forgotten'. It just doesn't make sense." She told him.

When they finally made their way to the stairwell, Caitlin made her hesitation in taking the stairs known. 

"I could always just take us all there. Just say the word." Barry announced. 
Astrid was determined to help Barry to figure out how to use his powers. "Ok, Barry. Do it!" In a blink of an eye she was standing in front of the door to the 25th floor. Another blink, Cisco had joined her, and then Caitlin and Barry too. 

Astrid rattled the door. It was locked. She used the master key to open it and click... it opened without hesitation. Inside was a very large floor... dedicated to entirely nothing at all.

The four of them stepped inside, there were multiple rooms. All of them were empty. A smile formed on Astrid's face. "This is it!"

"This is what exactly?" Barry asked. 

"This is our training grounds!" Astrid said with excitement in her tone. 

"Yeah, I see it!" Cisco said nodding his head with a large smile on his face. "We can set cameras up there and there... This wide space here, we can use for Barry to test out his speed..." 

"We can put a medical bay here." Caitlin chimed in pointing to a small corner, "chances are we are going to need one."

"That room over there can be a combat training room," Astrid pointed to the second biggest room of the floor. 

"What would we need a combat training room for?" Barry asked, puzzled. 

"I've been doing some thinking. With your powers, Barry. We can help Central City. There were so many people that were affected by the meteor shower when it happened. They were also given powers. But they are using it to do bad things. CCPD is no match for them! We can help CCPD. Just like the Arrow does." Astrid had hoped she was inspiring her friends as much as she had become inspired.

She had clearly inspired Cisco, "Yes! We should totally do that! We can do that, right? I'm in!" 

Caitlin nodded, "so much has gone wrong since the meteor shower. We have lost so many good people and if we don't help, we are sure to lose so many more. Count me in."

The three of them looked at Barry. "No! we can't. We're just... I can't do it, Astrid. I know you guys need me to say yes. But I just don't think I can."

"Barry, you told me yourself that this could be the start to discovering what happened to your mother. We need to start somewhere. Please." Astrid knew that she could not force him to do so, she also knew that deep down, Barry knew that it was the right thing to do.

"Astrid, I can't do it. I just can't." Barry backed away slowly and before they knew, he had disappeared, leaving nothing more than a breeze behind.

"I'll talk to him." Astrid told her friends. "He's just dealing in his own way. But he'll come around."

"I hope so, because a man with his abilities... and no way to control them, is just going to be a danger to everybody around them." Caitlin said. Astrid knew that she was right.

Barry made his way into the café 'Jitters' where Iris West was working. She had not yet been told that Barry was indeed awake from his coma. "Oh my god! Barry!" she ran up to him and embraced him. He hugged her back. "Are you free to go for a walk?" he asked her. 

"You just woke up from a four-month coma. I think it should be fine. Wait, shouldn't you be having tests done or something?"

"No, I'm absolutely fine." He told her. 

Iris ran to let her manager know that she was heading out, leaving Barry in the busy café to wait for her. He looked around him. For a moment it seemed that everything had gone into slow motion. A waitress stumbled. Though, she stumbled so slowly, Barry felt the temptation to help her with the cups before they fell off the tray. 

He resisted the temptation, as time seemed to speed up again. He watched as the coffees fell to the floor making a large mess. The waitress was frantic, Barry offered to help her clean the mess. He felt bad that he didn't help her in the first place. Once Iris finally returned, she and Barry made their way out of the café for their walk. 

They walked along the main street, while Iris filled Barry in on everything that had occurred over the past few months, including the incident at CCPD that had followed Astrid's press conference.

Suddenly a car came hurtling down the street, almost hitting a group of pedestrians and some other cars on the way. The group of pedestrians ran into Iris and Barry as they tried to get out of the way of the car.

Once again, Barry saw the whole incident in slow motion. But this time, he was going to try and do something. He ran as fast as he could, reaching the car in time. The car, although it was still moving, felt to Barry, like it had just stopped. Barry opened the door and climbed into the front passenger side. He put the seatbelt on quickly as a force of habit. 

The time once again sped up again. The driver glanced at Barry, clearly surprised to see him there. Surprised, but not in shock. Barry remembered the man. He had been involved in a case that Barry had assisted Joe with a few months back. Clyde Mardon. "Er...hi?" Barry said, still surprised at what he had just accomplished.

Clyde turned the steering wheel violently, opened his car door and jumped out of his side all in one moment. The car ran into a petrol station, bursting into flames and exploding immediately. Though not before Barry could make his quick getaway.

"Clyde!" Barry called out as he stood right behind the man. "We have you."

Clyde turned around and stared intently at Barry, though he didn't say a word. From out of nowhere a foggy cloud appeared around them. The force of which got faster and faster. Then a cyclone formed around Clyde, making him disappear before Barry's very eyes.

Barry heard sirens approaching, he waited for the officers to arrive on the scene. Fortunately, Joe was one of the officers. "Barry, are you ok?"

"Joe, you're not going to believe this! It was Clyde Martin." Barry told him.

"That's impossible, Bar... Clyde is dead, he was one of the victims in the meteor shower. He and his brother both were."

"No, that's not true, Joe. It was him, I saw him." 

"Barry, I think you and I need to have a chat. But now is not the time." 

Barry stepped backwards, slowly "Joe, I need to go. I'll see you back at home." 
When he was sure that he was no longer in sight, Barry ran as fast as he could back to Sutherland Labs.


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