Chapter 4

The next morning, the sun shone brightly over Central City. Astrid had felt bad for the way that she had treated her friends the day before, so she brought them coffees from Jitters and bagels to make up for it. She had also spent the night suffering from nightmares in relation to the Luthor Corp runaways that she had met in Sterling City. Over and over she saw their deaths. Luthor corp was responsible, just as they were responsible for whatever had happened to her father.

Astrid reached level 97 of Sutherlands Labs with her metaphorical olive branches in hand, to find Cisco and Caitlin preoccupied with their work. "I come in peace, with breakfast and apologies." She told them. 

"Apology accepted, provided it's a double shot." Caitlin said, "I've been up all night suffering from nightmares about... just somebody." She took her coffee and bagel and went back to work. 

Astrid watched as Caitlin busied herself. She was displaying all the signs of someone trying to deal with grief. "Caitlin, is everything ok?"

"Sure, everything's fine." Caitlin told her, her expression unwavering. Astrid's temptation to read her friend's mind was so high at that point. But she had learned her lesson the last time she had done so. 

"Cisco?" Astrid called sweetly, as she placed his coffee and bagel on the desk beside him, as he stared intently at his computer screen. "You can't be mad at me forever." Cisco took his coffee without turning to look at her. 

Astrid sighed and went to leave for her office. 

"Fine," Cisco blurted out, "I'm not mad anymore. Besides, you're quite possibly about to be mad at me, anyway."

Astrid turned back on her heels. "What did you do now?"

"I might have done a little digging in to Luthor Corp's top secret database and found a few reports on some illegal projects that they were working on. You see they have been testing on, not animals... but people! They've been trying to create super beings... and along with the kryptonite rocks that they have a lot of... They have the means to make a lot of super beings."

Astrid thought back to the group of runaways. She needed to tell them. "You guys. I kind of already knew about the super humans that they were building."

"How?" Both Caitlin and Cisco asked at the same time. 

At that point Barry walked in, he was just in time. "Look you guys," Astrid began, "when I was in Sterling City, I met a group of runaways. They asked me to help them rescue their friends from Luthor Corp. These people were experimented on by the scientists. They told me that my father was responsible for saving them, they just never got the chance to tell me how. I think we should look at investigating Luthor Corp. But it cannot leave this room. If anyone finds out that we are conducting this investigation, we could get into a lot of trouble. I need to know if you guys are with me on this."

"With you to the end." Cisco said, "and it's about time, I'll say!"

Astrid looked over at Caitlin who had an intense look on her face. 

"Astrid, I don't know if you remember, but I was engaged to a guy named Ronnie. He travelled to Smallville before the meteor shower, but after a few weeks he was considered missing. They never found him. Do you think it's possible that he could have been... one of those... well do you think it's possible?"

"I think it is definitely worth finding out, Caitlin." 

"I'm with you on this. But as much as I want to go there now, I don't think going to Luthor Corp, unprepared would be a very safe option." Caitlin told her.

"I agree, that's why we need to arm ourselves. We work on improving Barry's skills." Astrid said, looking over at Barry, who nodded, "I also want to solidify my rapport with Lionel Luthor. Ergh! Just saying that makes me feel dirty. But I need him to trust me, this won't be easy. Barry, until then we help you master your power. Something tells me we're going to need it. But we need to be careful, we still don't understand just what it is you're capable of."

Cisco jumped to his feet, "I have something for you, Barry. Follow me." The group followed him to a glass cupboard. Inside was a red suit, complete with a mask and boots and a lightning emblem fixed to the chest.

"Why a lightning bolt?" Astrid asked puzzled.

"it just seemed fitting," Cisco replied, "Hurry up and try it on."

In a split second, Barry had changed from his preppy clothes, which had fallen to the floor, to the bright red suit. Cisco marveled at his handy work. 

"It looks good." Caitlin said. 

"It looks better than good." Cisco told them. 

Astrid checked her phone for the time. "I would love to stay here, but this morning I told Singh that I would go back into work. I'll see you guys later."

"I really don't understand why you still want to work at CCPD when you really don't need to." Cisco told her. 

"Because, personally it's exciting getting into the minds of criminals and finding out what makes them tick and frankly, I love my job." 

"I can take you if you like," Barry chimed in.

"You only just woke up from your coma, Barry? Why would you want to go back to work?" Astrid asked him, as she picked up her purse.

"The same reason I want to help you guys. I can't stand by and do nothing." 

"Well, we can't risk them seeing you use your speed, I will drive the both of us, just get changed first, and then we'll go." She told him.

As Astrid drove the two of them down the main street, she asked Barry, "So how are things going with Iris? Have you guys spoken since you woke up?"

"Actually we have. Did you know she has been seeing detective Eddie Thawn?" Barry asked.

Astrid was reminded of the time that she had come and seen Barry while he was at the hospital. Iris had told her that she was seeing Eddie. 

"Yes Barry. I knew. How are you..." 

All of a sudden she couldn't see out of the car windows. "What's going on?" The car felt like it was being lifted. Then all of a sudden, they could see out of the windows again just in time for the car to hurtle towards a building. Astrid screamed.

Before the car could make an impact, Barry unfastened his seatbelt and then hers and pulled her out of the car to safety. They stared in shock at the impact, just as Barry released her.  Once Astrid had come to her senses, she opened up the mind channel to the people in the near vicinity. "Barry! Clyde is around. I can hear him!" she told her friend.

Barry didn't know sure what she was talking about. Astrid tried to pull out an image from Clyde's mind. "He is in between a black and a red car, on... umm... next to a parking sign. I can't see a street name!" Barry tried to make sense of what she was doing.

"Barry, don't just stand there. There is a group of people that are about to get hurt! Go!"

Barry ran and looked until he found the cars and the parking sign. Just as Astrid had said, he found Clyde. Before Clyde could make a move, Barry restrained him. 

Astrid got to her feet. Her mind was set on Clyde's thoughts. She ran as fast as she could, looking for Barry and Clyde. She saw storm clouds gathering to a specific spot near a red car and on the opposite side was a black car, just as she had seen in her mind. She ran towards the two men, stopping five meters, in front of them.

"Barry! You need to do something fast, He's about to start a tornado!" 

Despite Clyde's obvious surprise, he started one nonetheless. There was a crowd of people gathering around. Astrid yelled for them to run with her to safety.

Barry threw Clyde to the floor and began running circles around him, counteracting the tornado. Sirens got louder as a police car arrived on to the scene. When Barry felt that Clyde had had enough he stopped running and held out his arm, knocking Clyde to the ground. 

"Barry!" A voice broke over the commotion. It was Joe's voice, making him turn around and face the first detective that had arrived on the scene and seen the whole thing. Joe had the look of shock as well as amazement on his face. 

Barry stared at Joe, who took out his gun and shot a bullet, which bypassed Barry and shot Clyde, who had sat up and had a gun aimed at Barry. Clyde was dead. Barry stared in horror.
"Get out of here, Barry. Before someone sees you." Joe told him. 
Barry listened and ran.




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