Fawcett City - After the train wreck, 1921
A strange feeling woke Alan Scott up. He sat up on the couch in his father's den and looked around. He was still hurt from the train wreck, but he was bandaged up after a trip to the hospital. The strange feeling that stirred him from his sleep was more like a presence. There was something in the house with him.
Scott's father was gone, having left that morning for his weekly day at the veteran's club down the street. It couldn't have been him. There was someone in the house upstairs, Scott knew it in his gut. He grabbed one his father's old canes to wield as weapon and as quietly as he could, climbed the stairs to the second floor. When he reached the top of the stairs, he noticed the door to his parents old bedroom was open. Since the old man had been confined to the wheelchair, Scott's father had been living in a converted room downstairs.
Moving as quietly and carefully as possible, Scott reached the ajar door and pushed it all the way open. Standing in his parents bedroom, looking at old photographs on the dresser was a strange man in a blue hat and wearing a strange, blue cloak. His hair was white, the top of his face was obscured by some unnatural shadow cast down by the blue hat.
"Who are you?" Scott asked. "What are you doing here?"
The man looked at Scott, a cold, emotionless voice answered. "The Stranger comes, when the Stranger is needed."
A knock at the front door took Scott's attention away from the strange intruder. When he looked back, the stranger was gone, vanished into the air like a phantom. A second knock drew Scott away from the bedroom. He closed the door and made his way down the stairs to the front door. He set down the cane by the door and opened it to find Jay Garrick standing on the front step.
"Alan, are you okay?" Garrick asked, his face haunted by concern and worry. "I heard about the train being derailed so I drove down to see if you were alright."
"I'm fine, come on in."
Scott let Garrick in and the two of them went into the den. Scott sat down on the couch slowly, still wincing from the pain of his injuries. Garrick remained standing, looking over the house and pacing around the room.
"Thank God you're okay," Garrick said. "It's a miracle that you're even alive. You survived a train wreck. What happened?"
"I don't remember," Scott explained. "The last thing I remember is falling asleep on the train and then I woke up in the swamp. I must have been thrown from the train and hit my head pretty good. Everything has been, kind of weird ever since."
"What do you mean weird?" Garrick asked.
Scott sighed. "I remember this glowing. There was something in the swamp, something that I found. Honestly, it seems like a dream. It probably was a dream. But ever since, I've been getting these really strange feelings. I keep getting this feeling that I'm being watched or that something is following me. It's crazy I know."
"Have you talked about this with anyone?"
Scott nodded and leaned back into the couch. "Yeah, the doctors said that it was probably after-effects of the trauma from the train wreck. Shell shock. They gave me some medicine to calm my nerves and help me sleep."
Garrick nodded and slid his hands into his pockets. "I want you to take as long as you need to recover," he said. "Stay here with your father in Fawcett City and get well."
"I have to get back to work," Scott argued, "we got the Ferris pitch coming up."
"I don't want you worrying about that," Garrick insisted. "I'll take care of the Ferris deal. You take care of yourself. Take a few weeks and get back to one hundred percent. You'll be paid in full the entire time. Heal."
"Alright," Scott relented.
Garrick walked over to the bay window and looked out of it. "You know, you look like you've just seen a ghost when you answered the door."
Scott laughed. "I might have, if I believed in ghosts."
"Are you hearing things? Seeing things?"
"I thought I saw a man upstairs, but I think that was just my shell shock. I got to tell you, Jay, I think I'm really shaken by this whole thing. It's like I'm constantly on the edge of a full panic, like I'm about to go hysterical at any moment."
Garrick stepped away from the bay window and looked back at Scott. "You were in a train wreck, Alan," he said. "You've suffered a horrific shock. Quite frankly, you shouldn't be okay right now."
"I just don't know how or why I survived," Scott said.
"Well you did," Garrick replied. "That's all that matters. I got to get back to Central City and sell that miracle plane of yours to Carol Ferris. Take it easy and rest for a few weeks. I'll see you back at S.T.A.R. Labs when you're fit."
"Okay," Scott said. "Jay, thanks for coming."
Garrick smiled. "Of course."
Jay Garrick left the house so that Alan Scott could rest. Scott let out a deep breath and sank back further into the couch and closed his eyes. When he closed his eyes, all he could see was the green glow, beckoning him. A lantern.
Scott opened his eyes and reached into his pants pocket. He felt something in there that shouldn't have been. He pulled it out and held it in his palm, looking down at an emerald ring. Scott remembered the lantern. He remembered where he put it before walking himself to the hospital.