"You call yourself the Flash, you wear his colours. Yet you aren't him, the lightning bolt was never meant for you. You are nothing, the history books won't even know your name. Now tell me, where is The Flash?"
Lightning coursed through her veins, wind through her hair. The speed made her free, her feet making contact with the ground for mere fractions of a second before they pushed off again. Iris West was the fastest woman alive, and her head was devoted entirely to the moment. Images coursed through her brain far faster than any normal individual could process them. Stumbling slightly as the image of Eobard Thawne appeared, a familiar pull of fear at his face. Terror at his voice and the pain of what it cost to bring him to justice. It cost her more than she ever could imagine, and yet she still felt as if Thawne had won, in the end. Shaking her head, regaining her footing a sonic boom rumbled through the Sahara Desert as she once again picked up speed.
“We can use your abilities to better everyone.”
A pang of guilt, as the voice of her first mentor, appeared. Harrison Wells was the first person to truly understand what had happened to her, or at least the first one to figure out pieces to the puzzle. She couldn’t help wondering if he was right. Her body seemed to generate limitless energy, her body could heal in minutes what it took others days and that was to speak little of her metabolism. If they could somehow find a way to replicate her abilities, she could help millions of people all over the world, perhaps even billions. Yet something stopped her.
“Really, you’re the Flash? No. Come on, where is he. Where’s the Flash?”
Doubt. Self-doubt and the doubt forced upon her by others, as the ocean spray peppered her face she could faintly remember the memories from the other life Barry had shown her. One where he had become the Flash, the same one that Thawne had come back from the future expecting to see. Now that future was gone, and all that was left was her, and the destiny she chose for herself.
“The thing is, I’ve felt it every time you’ve been in trouble. I have a sense for these things, this force that helps us run it connects us and you, you have the potential to be far faster than I ever was.”
A strange sense of pride swelled within her, and she could almost feel Jay Garrick running alongside her. The Original Flash, having served the United States and her allies during the second world war, while she had lost everything else she had gained Jay and his insights into not just how to be a hero but where her powers came from, and what it meant to be a good person. Her footing steadied and paced increased as she hit the beaches of Italy, powering through the country scenes in Syracuse.
"THE FLASH OF CENTRAL CITY. HEED MY CALL. I AM THE SILVER SURFER. AND YOU ARE TO BE JUDGED. FOR THE EARTH'S DESTINY ITSELF DEPENDS ON YOUR ACTIONS TODAY. STRIKE.”
As Iris felt the heat of the sun bearing down upon her, she could remember how the sun looked in the upper atmosphere as the Silver Surfer raised her up into the atmosphere. She may have decided to take the heroes path but something out there had decided she was a threat or a potential prize and she wasn’t sure what scared her more. With the power that the Surfer wielded all she knew was that she was going to have to be ready.
"HOW DARE YOU WEAR THAT EMBLEM?!"
It was funny really. Eobard Thawne wanted nothing more than for her to die, to not become the Flash and yet his insistence on trying to stop her only drove her further to accept the title, the name and the responsibility. While his outfit was modelled after the Flash of his time, the emblem on her chest was designed to specifically be the opposite of his. Iris was everything that he was not, everything that he couldn’t possibly become. He had made her doubt herself, yet she had taken back her right. The edges of her reality started to blur as she passed through the English countryside in the blink of an eye.
“Get help. Don’t do it alone.”
Alone was how she felt, alone was how she was. As she tore through the snowy plateau in Greenland the cold started to bite at her skin. Nipping at her, bringing her back into the moment. Yet in the back of the head she knew, she had no choice but to be alone. Trying to fit in, trying to interact with people in their normal perception of time wasn’t always easy and quite often required focus. How could she not be alone?
“You really need to get that Eobard Thawne out of your head.”
Even with him dead and gone, or gone from this point in the timeline or whatever else had happened to him. Iris couldn’t but help but feel weight down upon her as she powered through the Russian wastes. As much as Iris realised her purpose, and in her heart she knew that being the Flash was her destiny, Thawnes tendrils still clawed at her.
“Listen. I’m the Flash, I’m the Fastest Woman alive, not that any man comes close. It doesn’t matter how I gained my powers anymore, what matters is that I bear the mantle. A mantle you created, and a legacy I intend to live up to.”
“Lightning flashes, sparks shower; in one blink of an eye, you have missed seeing."
Thunder sounded in the distance, lightning flashed and she opened her eyes panting. Eyes frantically looking around her surroundings for anything that she could recognise through the dark. Breathing out she could see her breath which was when she began to realise how completely and utterly cold it was. What the hell was going on?