Sunday, November 8, 2015

DCU: The Society - Chapter 02

Fawcett City - 1920

Alan Scott sat on the edge of the bed and looked out the window. The cool breeze coming through felt good on his skin. When the smell of cigarette smoke hit his nostrils he turned and looked back at the bed. The dark haired man he was with had lit one up. He swore he would never do this in Fawcett City, yet here he was.

"Want one?" the dark haired man offered.

Scott shook his head. "No."

The man shrugged and took a drag. "Suit yourself," he said. "Say, are you one of those reflexive types? You know, one of those guys who goes out and has a good time and then after, he gets all moody and reflective about himself?"

"I suppose so," Scott answered. He stood up and found his pants. He slid them on and then looked around for his shirt. "I'm not ashamed of what we did. I just don't like doing it here."

"In this hotel?"

"In this city."

The man nodded. "Oh. You say that you're not ashamed but there is something in this city that makes you ashamed," the man said. "Look, you carry on like that and you're going to get all twisted up inside. Take a nickel's worth of free advice from me, find who you really are and be that person. Trust me, trying to be two people really messes with your head."

Finding his shirt, Scott continued to get dressed. He looked in the mirror, his sandy blond hair was a mess. He took the comb from the back pocket of his pants and fixed it up. When it looked respectable, Scott slid the comb back into the pocket.

"You are a good looking son of a bitch," the dark haired man said.

Scott couldn't help but laugh at that. "Thanks," he replied. "I have to go."

"Then go," the man said with a laugh. "I'm not like my sister, who gets all needy and emotional every time she sleeps with someone. I think she might be unbalanced. Anyway, it was fun."

Scott nodded. "Yeah," he replied. He opened the hotel door and quickly left the room. As he walked down the hallway, Scott let out a deep breath. His stomach was tying itself in knots while he was getting dressed. He was never good at making an exit, his mind worked itself too much and he found himself constantly worrying about every little detail and possibility.

Outside of the hotel was the platform for the elevated train. He hurried up the stairs and waited on the platform, looking around hoping not to see anyone he knew. When the train arrived he got on and sat down. Once the train started he felt a sense of relief. Now he was okay, he was just a guy on the train. A pretty woman in a green dress smiled at him, he smiled back but quickly looked away. He checked his watch to make sure he wasn't going to be late. It was only half past eleven in the morning, not even noon yet. Alan Scott was fine. Everything was fine.

Alan Scott's father had a house on the north side of Fawcett City. It was an old house, built in the late 1890's. It was of the Victorian style, with an overgrown yard that he knew he needed to trim. His father, Randolph Scott, was an old soldier stuck in a wheelchair. Alan tried to come see him as much as he could.

When he walked into his father's house, Alan called out for him. "Back here," his father shouted back from the kitchen. Alan closed the door and walked into the kitchen, where his father was fixing a couple of sandwiches and some soup for lunch. "As punctual as always," his father said as he stirred the soup on the stove. "Tomato soup fine with you?"

"Sure," Alan replied with a nod.

"Well, sit down at the table and I'll fix you up some grub," his father offered.

Alan sat down at the kitchen table and looked at the toughest old man that he had ever known, his father. There was no one on the planet who loved and respected more. Randolph Scott was a warrior, wounded in battle and a grizzled, grit and spit man's man. Alan idolized that about him.

"Did you see the papers?" his father asked.

"No," Alan answered.

"The Cyrus Gold gang hit another bank," his father explained. "They killed three people, including a young girl who was working as a teller. Police haven't stopped him yet. You should have become a police officer, as good as an athlete as you are."

Alan smiled. "I decided to become an aerophysicist instead."

"I don't know what that means," the old man grumbled.

"I got a job offer," Alan said. "It's in Central City."

"Does it pay good?"


"Then you should go," his father said. "You don't have to worry about me, Alan. I get along fine here on my own. The boy down the street, the one with the lazy eye, offered to start cutting the grass for me. He wants money to buy some magazine called Weird Tales. I told him if he wanted to rot his brain with that crap, he can do something useful to get it. Fawcett City ain't nothing but a rainy, ugly old swamp. Central City is where it's happening. You'll find a good, cultured woman there who'll make a man out of you. You can get married and bring the grand kids on down to hear an old man's war stories. I'd like that. I'd like that a lot."

"Some day," Alan said. "I got to get settled with this new job first."

"That's true," the old man said with a hearty laugh. "Get yourself a nice house. After all, the boss is going to need a place to live. I tell you, Alan. You're mother, God rest her soul, did wonders for me. She made me a better person and gave me the best son a man could ask for. She'd be proud of you, boy. She'd be real proud. Soup's done."

His father wheeled over the pot of soup and served up lunch at the kitchen table. The two of them sat quietly for a few minutes while they ate. "This job of yours," his father said, "what are you going to do?"

"I'll be designing air crafts."

"Like those that they used in the Great War."

Alan smiled, "hopefully something a little bit better than that. Dad, are you sure you're going to be okay with me moving to Central City."

The old man nodded. "Of course," he answered. "I don't want you worrying about me, boy. You go live your life."

"I'll take the train down and see you when I can."

His father grumbled. "I don't like trains."

"I know, Dad. Maybe with my new job I'll buy a car and we'll go driving somewhere."

"That sounds good."

Alan looked at his father and smiled. The old man always had a curious way of making him happy. After lunch, Alan helped his father clean up and then said his goodbyes. He packed that night and the next morning he was on the train to Central City.

Central City had a growing reputation as a city of technological innovation. A city of miracles. Alan Scott had never been more excited than he was when he first stepped off that train from Fawcett City. He worried about his swampy, southern accent that he had. He wondered if it would make him sound like some dumb hick from the middle of nowhere. Still, Central City with its towering skyscrapers that looked as though they were made from gold, had an electricity in its air.

Taking a cab, Alan Scott went straight to where he was to work, luggage and all. He wanted to see it for himself. He found himself standing in a grand, Art Deco lobby. It was completely modern building, new and shiny. A whistle escaped his lips as he looked it over the ornate carvings on the pillars in the lobby. It was beautiful.

A sharply dressed man spotted Alan standing in the lobby. "Are you Alan Scott?" he asked from across the room.

Alan turned and spotted the man. He nodded. "I am."

The man grinned and walked across the lobby over to Alan, extending his hand with an excited laugh. "I knew it was you. I could just tell."

Alan accepted the man's hand and firmly shook it.

The man slapped Alan on his shoulder, his eyes dancing with glee. "It's great to have you here, Alan. We're going to do some amazing work. Oh, I didn't introduce myself. What a goof. My name is Jay Garrick. Welcome to S.T.A.R. Labs."

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