Joan was making Jay his first home-cooked meal in a week. He’d been looking forward to her cooking since she made the offer two days ago. A man as who sees the world at high speed tends to have little patience when he’s anticipating something. The fact that these bozos were making him late wasn’t exactly improving his mood.
Jimmie Dane didn’t know Jay was the Flash. Still, though, they were friends, so it was only natural for the silver miner to tell his buddy when bars of precious metal began to turn up missing. Add to that Jay’s interest in the recent appearance of 1936 silver Peace Dollars all over Keystone City, a coin that the Government stopped minting in 1935, and it led to one conclusion: counterfeiters.
Jay saw the connection, and figured that one of Dane’s co-workers must be involved in the ring. His investigation hadn’t turned up a shady past on any of them, but there was one thing that stood out. Only one of them had recently bought a shiny new 1938 Cadillac Series 65 convertible. And that meant Willy Carter was spending more than a silver-miner’s salary, and that extra scratch had to come from somewhere.
Willy had some new friends, their last names were O’Connor, and in Keystone City, that name plus a string of coincidental connections meant they were probably dirty. Jay, of course, didn’t have anything against the Irish per say, but one particular group of them did make his skin craw. And it was usually a safe bat that and O’Connor was somehow married to the mob.
And that’s why Jay, seeing Willy Carter’s new Cadillac parked in front of The Shamrock Club, had taken a slight detour on his way to his date. And that’s why the Flash was currently in the club’s basement, dodging behind a coin press to avoid a hail of bullets. Jay was the fastest man alive, and he could dodge a bullet or two. Heck, he’d even caught his share, but Tommy Guns put a lot of lead in the air, and even he wasn’t that fast.
“You boys are welcome to surrender whenever you’re ready.” It was big talk coming from his position, pinned down behind the very chunk of machinery the O’Connor boys had been using to make their fake Liberties. He knew they had the upper hand in hardware, but he had the upper hand in brains… so he might still stand a chance of getting to that dinner.
“Come on out and we can talk about it,” Patty O’Connor answered from the other side of the press. Jay wasn’t fool enough to give up his cover that easily, though. The close quarters took away most of his speed advantage, but they might just give him a different edge.
“How ’bout I just throw my hat into this whole counterfeiting ring and we call it even?” As Jay called back, he removed the hat from his head, tucked it under his wrist, and twisted his crouched form to the best of his ability, waiting for the sound of Patty’s voice. One more word and he might be able to guess where the man was standing.
“You want to join the gang?” Patty asked. “That doesn’t sound like somethin’ Keystone’s hero would do.”
Spinning as fast as he could, which was pretty fast all things considered, Jay threw his discus-like hat towards the cement wall of the club’s basement. With a clang, it hit hard and bounced off towards Patty’s voice. It hit something, because Jay heard and ‘oof,’ then another clang as it continued to ricochet and hit another wall. There was, in fact, a lot of noise as the helmet shot around the room like a wild bullet, propelled at super-human speeds.
Amidst the chaos of thugs dodging the bouncing missile, Jay got to his feet and charged. For someone as fast as him, dodging his own hat was easy. And with the thugs busy trying to avoid it themselves, it was the only metal flying in that instant. Patty, it appeared, had taken a hit to the back of the head, and was already laying on the floor. Three seconds and three high-speed punches later, his boys had all joined him, Willy Carter among them.
He looked down at Patty as the last of the mobsters hit the floor. “Don’t worry, Patty,” he said with a smile. “It isn’t.”
Jay called the cops and, as soon as he heard the sirens, headed off towards the house Joan shared with her dad the Major. When he arrived, only a minute later, he was surprised to find a folded piece of paper taped to the door with the words “For: the Flash” scrawled on the outside. He picked it up and opened it. There was a phone number inside, and a circular symbol of some sort, and a few, hastily-written words:
“You are invited into the Circle. – Burbank.”
Jay gave the paper a curious look, flipping it over a couple of times in his hand. Finally, he reached out with the other hand and knocked on the front door of the William’s house. He shoved the card into his pocket and reached up to straighten his tie. “Maybe after dinner,” he said, filing away thoughts of the offer as he watched Joan’s hourglass shape cross the blinds and head towards the door.