The Fury of Firestorm #23

    The Fury of Firestorm » The Fury of Firestorm #23 - Byte! released by DC Comics on May 1984.

    Short summary describing this issue.

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    Firestorm saves tourists on the Staten Island Ferry when a freight train plunges off a railroad drawbridge. Felicity Smoak is very angry with Firestorm over the method he used to lift the train back onto the tracks. Cliff Carmichael causes mayhem at the rehearsal of the school play. Ronnie talks with Blythe and 'Bug' Banner, whose father is leading the school play. Reporter Roxanne Sharpe confronts Lorraine Reilly. Firehawk is ambushed by an aerial drone. Byte and Firestorm battle at a computer show.

    Firestorm826's Panel-by-Panel Story Summary (Spoiler Alert)

    Two men, physicist Martin Stein and teenage jock Ronnie Raymond, transformed by a bizarre nuclear accident into a composite being - - and now, when they fuse, they share - - the Fury of Firestorm, the Nuclear Man!

    Morning, over Manhattan, on a brisk late February Sunday, when a young man’s fancy turns to… “A career?” asks Stein, surprised, “This may sound patronizing, Ronald, but aren’t you still a little young to worry about your future vocation?” Firestorm banks and dives around the trestles of a raised railroad drawbridge above a crowded sight-seeing ferry cruising along the Hudson River. “High school won’t last forever, Professor,” Ronnie replies, “These days a guy’s got to be prepared. It’s a dog-eat-dog world out there. How do you feel about certified public accounting?” Firestorm swoops low near the ferry as an onlooker films him with a camcorder. “Terribly. You’re joking of course,” Stein hopes, adding, “Ronald, at your age, you should enjoy yourself - - take a Circle Line cruise around Manhattan Island, like those people - - go on dates with…Aha. You’re feeling guilty about your girlfriend, Doreen…and this concern about a career is your way of shutting out your true feelings.” Ronnie asks to be spared the psychoanalysis, saying, “Just ‘cause we sometimes share a brain doesn’t mean you can…” HONNNK! HONNNNK!

    KRASH! Suddenly, a speeding freight train crashes through the gate at the drawbridge! “Uh-oh!” Ronnie yells in surprise. The train rockets up the raised drawbridge! HONNNK! Just below the bridge is the crowded ferry! “Professor Stein, that freight train - - it’s running wild! And if it goes off that bridge…!” Ronnie exclaims. Stein quickly directs his attention nearby. “Behind us, Ronald, that auto junkyard we flew over - - with our atomic restructuring powers, we can alter the molecular structure of those salvaged cars, create an enormous magnet!” FZAM! Ronnie uses a transforming atomic burst to create a giant magnet, quickly guiding it into position above the now-plunging train! “As a Dr. Joyce Brothers, you’re a bust, Professor,” Ronnie comments, “but in the Bright Idea Department, you’ve got the goods!” Ronnie energizes the giant flying magnet. It catches the falling train just in time! He guides the train safely back onto the bridge. “Pret-ty neat!” he smiles.

    Firestorm pirouettes down in a spiffy spiral just off to the side of the ferry. The crowd of tourists cheers and applauds their rescuer. “Daddy, lookit the man. His head’s burning. Why is his head burning?” a young boy perched on his father’s shoulders asks. “Uhh, Daddy doesn’t know, sweetheart,” the perplexed man answers. “Ta-da!” Ronnie announces to the crowd, soaking up their appreciations, but then Stein draws his attention back to more pressing matters. “If you’re quite finished taking bows, Ronald,” he suggests, “we should see if the crew of that train needs any additional help.”

    Ronnie flies back up to the train on the drawbridge. A woman stands by a train car and he lands next to her. “Save the applause, thanks,” he tells her, “I’m trying to kick the habit.” She looks annoyed. “You are, hey? I hope you’ve got good insurance coverage, buster,” she gripes, “Take a look…five carloads of computer chips and software disks. Thanks to your incompetence, they’re ruined.” Firestorm faces her, hands out in wonder. “Hold on,” he replies, “You were going to crash, remember? I saved you guys!” The woman scowls. “Some save. You magnetized my software. That cute trick will cost my company eight million dollars,” she grumps, “I’m going to sue your butt, buster. Get a good lawyer - - you’ll need her.”

    Ronnie looks shocked at her unexpected accusation. “Wait a second, come on…You’re not serious. How can you sue me? But, lady…” he asks. “Ever hear of malpractice, flame-brain? Read some newspapers,” she says, pointing with disgust at her cargo, “The name’s Felicity Smoak. Write it down. You’ll be hearing from me. Now do us both a favor, okay? Get out of here before you ‘save’ something else.”

    In a burst of an atomic ring, Firestorm takes flight, leaving Felicity Smoak far below. “Ronald…ah…” Stein starts. “Don’t say it,” Ronnie cuts him off. They fly a short ways, landing on the torch of the Statue of Liberty. “After all, son, it was my idea…” Stein says, trying to console Ronnie. “Think that makes me feel better?” he asks, “Between you and me, Professor Stein, super-heroing doesn’t live up to its rep. In fact…ever since I became Firestorm, my life’s been a botch.” He sits pondering, chin propped up on his hand. “The one good thing that’s happened - - meeting Lorraine Reilly, and her becoming Firehawk - - just makes me feel lousy about the way I’m treating Doreen,” he worries, “What I need is a vacation - - from life.” Stein agrees, “So do we all, my boy, sometimes…”

    Monday afternoon, at Bradley High… “I feel like a jackass,” Ronnie says, embarrassed, “The next time I let you talk me into something like this, Doreen, promise you’ll talk me out of it.” The class is preparing for the school play and Ronnie is wearing a full knight’s regalia, complete with chainmail coif. “Aw, Ronnie, you look cute,” giggles Doreen. Ronnie struggles in the bulky armor, complaining about an itch he can’t scratch. “And if I even think about sitting down again, I know I’ll never get up,” he complains, “Please, Lord, don’t let the guys on the team see me like this.” Doreen explains that acting in the school play will be just as much fun as playing basketball. “Besides,” she compliments, “you make a terrific Horatio.” Ronnie is unconvinced, saying, “Yeah - - but why did Mr. Bonner have to cast Cliff there as Hamlet?” Doreen adjusts her costume’s crown and wonders if Ronnie might just be a little jealous.

    Mr. Bonner calls the troupe to attention. “Cast and crew, everyone - - gather around,” he announces, “I’ve got some general notes to go over before we start the dress rehearsal. Ronnie, have you seen my daughter, Blythe?” Ronnie replies that Blythe was just there a moment ago and Doreen explains that Blythe is on the phone in the woman’s room. “Should I get her?” asks Doreen, and Mr. Bonner sends her to find Blythe.

    Cliff sees an opportunity to cause his usual mayhem. “Now’s my chance to gum things up for Raymond while Doreen’s out of the way,” he schemes in thought, “He made a sucker out of me…made me feel sorry for him, when I thought his Dad was dead. From now on, no more Mr. Nice Guy!” Cliff chews up some bubblegum. He takes the squishy, sticky piece of gum and sneaks it onto the floor near Ronnie. Blythe and Doreen return to the stage, and Mr. Bonner starts the dress rehearsal.

    “Right. Now that we’re all here…Let me say how proud I am of the work you’re doing,” he says, “’Hamlet’ isn’t an easy play - - that’s an understatement - - but you’ve tackled it with energy and enthusiasm, and I’m sure The Bard would approve. Now to specifics: Blythe, play Cordelia as a gentle, wounded child…Cliff, remember Hamlet’s long friendship with Horation…Doreen, let Gertrude show more love for her son, and more dismay…Ronnie, ahh…remember Hamlet is your friend. Don’t glare at him. All right, places for a run-through.”

    Ronnie moves to his mark on the stage. “Don’t glare, huh?” he thinks, “If Mr. Bonner could hear the wisecracks Cliff keeps whispering during my scenes, he’d…whups!” Ronnie’s armored boot sticks on Cliff’s bubblegum and he trips! KLANK! With a loud, metallic rattle, Ronnie falls face-first to the stage! “Unnng!” he groans. “Raymond!” Mr. Bonner chides, “Will you please stop clowning? This isn’t the ‘Three Stooges!’” Ronnie sits up and looks at his boot, finding the bubblegum. He casts a suspicious sideways glance at Cliff, remembering that his arch-rival was just chewing gum a few moments ago. “Carmichael, you creep,” he says softly. “Temper, Horatio,” Cliff taunts, “Remember, we’re buddies. Bozo.”

    Cliff steps over to talk to Blythe. “Your Dad really blew it when he cast Raymond, Blythe,” he tells her, “Say, why don’t you and I practice our lines together, later…?” Blythe turns down the offer, explaining that she needs to help her brother with a science project. She turns to walk away, telling him, “Besides, Cliff, being around you gives me hives.” Cliff scowls, arms across his chest. Ronnie is amused at Blythe’s comment. “Strike three and you’re out, Cliff,” he whispers. “Sack it, meat-mind,” Cliff snips back in reply.

    Slights, like unwashed wounds, tend to fester, and so, three days later, outside the school cafeteria… “Heads up, Raymond. Here comes a guy who can give you style lessons,” Cliff tells Ronnie, “’Bug’ Bonner.” Blythe’s little brother walks up, looking nerdy in large glasses and carrying a huge stack of textbooks. Ronnie warns, “Don’t pick on the guy, Cliff. Just ‘cause his sister wouldn’t…” Cliff cuts Ronnie off and teasingly calls out, “Hey, Bug - - those books too heavy for you? Here, let me give you a hand! Ha!” With a shove, he knocks Bug down and his textbooks fall all over the floor. Bug sits up, asking, “Gee, Cliff, why’d y-you do that?” Ronnie bends down to help pick up Bug’s books. “He’s living up to his reputation as class jerk, Barney,” Ronnie says, pointing to his rival and adding, “I’ll see you later, Cliff.”

    Bug tries to gather up his books, asking Ronnie if Cliff is angry at him about something. “Not at you, Barney - - your sister,” Ronnie explains, glancing at the books Bug was carrying, Many of them are technical computer books. “Blythe?” Bug asks. “Forget it,” Ronnie tells him, “Say, do you really read all this stuff about computers? Computers…Sure, everyone’s into computers these days. I need a career…This is perfect. Hey, Barney, how much can a guy earn working on these gadgets?” Bug organizes his books and papers and gets back to his feet. “I - - I really don’t know, Ronnie,” he answers, “I guess it depends on what field you choose. Software, programming…hardware engineering and architecture…I never gave it much thought.” Ronnie remains curious, asking how he could find that out. “Uh…There’s a computer fair at the Coliseum this weekend,” Bug suggests, “Someone there might know something.” Ronnie hands over a stack of Bug’s books, asking how he became interested in computers. “Computers are safe. You can understand computers, Ronnie,” he answers, “They make sense - - not like people. People are so, I don’t know, unpredictable, like Cliff. If Cliff were a computer, I could turn him off.” Ronnie agrees, saying he feels the same way sometimes. Bug heads down the hallway, and thanks Ronnie for the help. “See you at the fair?” he asks. Ronnie scratches his head, thinking that Bug is a little weird and that it’s hard to believe he’s Blythe’s brother. “Huh? Oh, sure. I’ll be there, Barney,” Ronnie answers, thinking, “Nice kid, but weird.”

    Interlude: On the radar screens in the control tower at Dulles International Airport in Washington, D.C., a blip appears and disappears between ‘sweeps…’ A glance at the outside world reveal the cause - - Firehawk! She speeds along at low altitude on her fiery wings. “I shouldn’t have taken a chance on being spotted - - but I wanted to get here before tonight’s new broadcast began,” she thinks, “There’s someone I have to see as Lorraine Reilly!” She comes to a landing outside the television station. In a secluded area, she transforms from Firehawk to Lorraine Reilly. Moments later, inside, she bumps into reporter Roxanne Sharpe in the station’s hallway.

    “Ms. Sharpe, could I talk to you?” she asks, “It’s about my father - - and today’s action by the Senate Ethics Committee.” Roxanne recognizes Lorraine, answering, “Hm? You’re Senator Reilly’s daughter…Lorraine, isn’t it? Does he know you’re here?” Lorraine explains that she is there to ask for Roxanne’s help. “Help, huh? The Committee recommended the Senate censure your father for selling his vote on the ‘Hewitt Industries Bill.’ I’m sorry about that, I respected Senator Reilly…But that’s the news, and I have to report it,” Roxanne replies. Lorraine suggests that Roxanne could offer Senator Reilly’s side of the story to let him defend himself. “Honey, this is a TV station, not a courtroom,” Roxanne declines, “He’ll have his chance before the Senate, and I’ll report it when…” Lorraine cuts her off, annoyed, saying, “ - - when they destroy him. And you’ll be helping them. Damn you!” Roxanne stands her ground, hands on her hips. “He’s news, kid,” she says dismissively, “That’s life.”

    Lorraine Reilly runs blindly into the station parking lot, and there, out of sight, transforms herself…though her anger remains…and continues to blind her. Firehawk takes to the sky, fuming over Roxanne Sharpe’s lack of cooperation. Behind her, a fighter jet drone moves into a position behind her. It beams an image of her to a darkened room where several seated figures look at her face on a giant view screen monitor in front of them. “Is the subject aware of pursuit?” a shadowed figure asks. Another unseen voice answers, “No. We’ve kept a robot drone at a distance these past few days…Until now.” A finger reaches down, pressing an illuminated button on a control panel. “I’ll activate the attack program,” the second voice continues, “This should be instructive.”

    BZAM! BZAM! BZAM! BZAM! The drone opens fire with a hail of bullets! “Hey!” Firehawk yells out, barely dodging the ambush! “Is he nuts? That pilot’s trying to kill me!” she thinks as she goes into an evasive barrel roll to turn and face her adversary, “Wait a second - - What pilot? I just caught a glimpse through the cockpit window - - there’s nobody flying that thing!” SHOOM! The drone launches an air-to-air missile at her! She dives hard to avoid it! “Maybe it’s an experimental fighter from over at Andrews - - and whoever’s remote controlling it must think I’m a menace!’ she says, “Well, I am a menace. I’m mad as hell, and I hate being used for target practice. Any other day, I’d have shrugged this off. But tonight, I’m burning. And so are you.” She flies near the drone, raising her arms and wings outstretched over her head. She launches a burst of fiery energy at the drone! It hits and knocks the drone out of control. BFOOOM! The drone crashes into the Potomac River near the Jefferson Memorial!

    “Her powers, as you see, are considerable, she controls heat at fusion-energy intensity,” the second shadowy voice observes from the darkened room, “but, as yet, cannot control her emotions. She will be a perfect tool for the 2000 Committee.” The female figure of the voice strides up to the giant monitor screen, looking for a moment at Firehawk’s image, then turns and asks, “Meeting adjourned?”

    Saturday: From time to time, the Coliseum at Columbus Circle in Manhattan has hosted auto shows and circuses, dog shows, consumer fairs, and meetings of the A.M.A. This weekend’s National Computer and Peripherals Industry Show promises to be just another industrial seminar. But promises, they say, are made to be broken.

    Ronnie walks along on the show floor, looking around at the vast displays of computers, robots, and other high-tech devices. “Terrific. I just got here, and I already feel inferior,” Ronnie worries, “Maybe I should plan a career in TV sports announcing.” He walks up to a large robot. “Greetings, may I be of assistance? What is your area of interest, please?” its electronic voice crackles at Ronnie. “Beats me, big fella,” Ronnie answers, “Got anything for a science dropout?” The robot analyzes Ronnie’s response, and directs him to the video game exhibit in Section 12. “Yea, sounds about my speed,” Ronnie answers. He looks nearby and sees a familiar face standing with a woman. “Professor Stein! I didn’t know you’d be here!” Stein greets him, wondering if Ronnie is still trying to find a career.

    “Uh…sorta,” Ronnie answers sheepishly. He walks over and shakes hands with Stein. The Professor introduces the person he is with. “Belle, meet a young friend of mine - - Ronnie Raymond,” Stein says, “Ronald, Belle Haney. We studied together at Stamford, and now it appears we both work for Concordance Research. Belle has a booth here today.” Ronnie and Belle shake hands. “A booth - - ?” Ronnie asks curiously. Belle points down the exhibition floor. “Computer Enhancement of Infrared Imaging Systems. It’s a Concordance project,” she explains, “Over in Section 12, next to the video games.”

    Harry Carew, Stein’s co-worker, strolls up to greet them. “Martin, Martin - - is this any way to treat your coach and friend?” Carew asks. He takes Belle’s hand and chivalrously kisses it. “Here you are, visiting with a lovely lady, and you don’t even introduce me,” Carew says. Belle pulls back a bit on her hand, looking slightly annoyed by Carew’s overzealousness. “Sigh. Belle, another friend,” Stein offers, “Harry Carew. Harry’s with Concordance, too, in Audio Research.” Belle comments about how Stein has so many friends. “You were never this social at Stamford,” she notices. “Just fortunate, I suppose,” Stein replies.

    While the three Concordance associates confer, Ronnie looks around. “Miss Haney sure seems familiar. Funny, though - - I don’t think I ever met her before,” he thinks, “Eh? There’s Blythe Bonner - - she’s going somewhere in a hurry. Guess she didn’t see me - - but where’s her brother, Barney? He talked me into this thing. Aw, who’m I kidding - - ?” Ronnie gives up on the pursuit of high-tech information and walks over to the video game section. “Coming here was my idea,” he thinks, “and it was a bust. Only computer I can handle is a video game.” Ronnie busies himself on a Mac-Man machine. Boop! Boop! Boop! His Mac-Man gobbles up Mac-Dots until…BLAP! It gets gobbled up! “And I’m not too hot at that,” Ronnie sighs, “I might as well pack it in and…”

    “EEEEEEE!” a voice suddenly cries out nearby! The giant robot that greeted Ronnie has gone berserk! It has grabbed Belle in its arms! WHIRRR! WHIRR! It moves her rapidly up and down in its tight grip. “Oh, my God!” Belle screams, “It’s crushing me!” Ronnie looks on in shock, saying, “I don’t believe this. Ms. Haney?” Stein quickly calls over to Ronnie. Harry Carew wrestles against one of the robot’s arms. “Must’ve blown a circuit or something!” he calls to Belle as he struggles with the arm, “Hang on, Belle, I’ll have you loose in a…unnnghhhh…hernia.”

    Ronnie and Stein sprint to find a sheltered spot. “Hurry, we’ve got to fuse,” Stein says, “Behind this display!” Ronnie starts to ask, “That robot - - is it really trying to…?” FZAAAAM! Firestorm appears! “Kill her?” Stein finishes, “You have eyes, Ronald! That robot may have been designed as a harmless directory - - but someone’s reprogrammed it as a mechanical mauler!” Firestorm flies next to the rogue robot. FZOT! He aims a nuclear burst at it. No effect! “Uh, Professor - - my powers aren’t working against it!” Ronnie yells. “Not working?” Stein answers, “That isn’t possible!” The burst knocked Harry Carew over. He sits up, saying, “Firestorm? Back up, kid - - let me try again!” SPAK! The robot swings an arm out, pounding Carew back. “But only organic compounds are immune to our nuclear bursts, and that would mean…” Stein thinks quickly, “Ronald, don’t blast it again!”

    Too late to stop it, Ronnie has already launched another burst at the robot. It turns its head towards Ronnie as the burst strikes. A green beam of powerful energy flows from its head back at Ronnie! “Aaaaahhhh!” he cries out in pain! Stein calls to him, “I tried to warn you: there must be an organic component to that machine - - and it’s feeding our blasts right at us! We’re helpless! And Belle is…” Ronnie’s not giving up. “Never say helpless,” he says, refocusing, “Just let me clear my head - - and we’ll switch tactics from direct to indirect attack!”

    Ronnie aims restructuring bursts at the large fluorescent lights above the robot. Instantly, the lights transform into a rain of gooey bubblegum. The sticky mess flows down onto the robot! “Crazy kid, you’ve turned those lights into bubblegum!” Carew calls out, stepping near to try and help, calling, “Belle…I’ll get - - get you - - yugggh.” Carew gets covered in gum. Firestorm flies down to help Carew and Belle. “Y’know, there are people who’d call this a sticky situation,” Ronnie quips, “Good thing I’m not one of ‘em.” SPLOK! “Woof!” Ronnie grunts as a robot arm sweeps into his midsection, “If that gum wasn’t slowing him down, that shot would’ve been a real rib-buster.” He turns to Carew, asking, “You clear, fella?” Carew squirms away, nodding that Belle is still stuck in the robot’s arm. Firestorm moves to free her, and then flies up with her cradled in his arms.

    “Got her,” he announces. “Professor, any ideas about what we were fighting back there?” he thinks. “A robot containing an organic component, Ronald” Stein answers, “It’s out of my field. It sounds like a cyborg.” Ronnie lands safely with Belle. She looks weak and shaken from her ordeal. “Half-robot, half-human? Like that guy in the Teen Titans?” Ronnie asks, “That’s not what I felt during the power feedback! That robot was alive. Or something alive was inside it - - and it wanted Belle Haney dead!” Suddenly, a huge radiant burst of light fills the room! Ronnie, surprised, asks “Hey…what’s happening now?”

    From every computer and every monitor in the hall, energy crackles like lightning - - streamers of electricity flowing to the center of the floor, there converging in a single bright column of power…slowly, fantastically, the column takes on human form! Standing in front of Firestorm, awash in shimmering blue electric light, the human figure stands with arms raised above her head. “I am Byte!” she announces, “Belle Haney must be punished for her crimes. She’s hurt too many people. She has to die.” Ronnie tries to negotiate. “I think what we should do here, we should sit down and talk about…” ZZZAAAKKKK! Byte dives into Firestorm! “Aaaaah!” he exclaims. The impact throws him back, landing several feet away on the floor. “Breathe, Ronald - -try to inhale! You must inhale!” Stein directs. “Professor, what hit us?” Ronnie asks, momentarily stunned. Stein explains that it was a severe electrical shock. “That - - creature - - must be pure electricity!” he observes. “You’re kidding!” Ronnie answers. Stein looks back towards Byte. “No, I’m not, and what’s more,” he warns, “here she comes again. Stop her!”

    “Cinch,” Ronnie says, “I’ll just use my atomic restructuring powers to zap this console into a catcher’s mitt - - and she’ll - - and she’ll…” ZZAAAAK! Byte passes right through it! “Now where is she?” Ronnie looks around quickly, “If she can jump from one computer console to another - - like a spark - - how can I find her, let alone fight her?”

    Another crackle of energy, this time from the power cables along the floor - - ZZZAAAAK - - and once more, Byte appears. Grinning. “I zapped that light fixture into a vacuum cleaner, Professor, but it’s not even slowing her down! And now she’s laughing at us!” Ronnie frets. In an instant, Byte disappears into an electrical socket along a wall. “Who is she? Where did she come from? What does she want?” Ronnie asks, snapping his head back and forth to look for her. Byte emerges unseen behind him from another outlet, diving fast to attack. “I told you,” she hisses as she locks her body in a clutch around Firestorm, “I want Belle Haney to die. And you’re in my way!” She sizzles electricity into Firestorm. “Yaaaaahhh!” Ronnie cries out in pain. Stein warns that she is electrocuting them! “Ronald, break free!” he cries, “Before out heart stops!”

    Ronnie struggles against the surprising power of Byte. He wrestles with her hands that are locked tightly around his shoulder and neck. Her legs are wrapped like a vise grip around his midsection. “Fight!” Ronnie says as he struggles. He aims a restructuring burst nearby. “What are you doing with that fire hose?” Stein asks, “You don’t dare use it on Byte while she’s holding us!” Ronnie directs the aim of the fire hose at a circuit breaker box on the wall. “Not - - on - - Byte..” he chokes out. The nozzle on the hose opens wide. SWOOOOOSH! A flood of water pours onto the circuit breaker box. KZZAAAZAAAAAAKKKK! It arcs and sparks as electricity and water react! “You’ve shorted out the entire electrical system for the Coliseum!” Stein exclaims, “Now, I understand. Byte came out of this system - - must be connected to it, somehow! With the system shorting out, she’ll have to escape - - or risk being turned off!”

    ZZZAAAKZAAAK! The short circuits continue to sweep through the hall. “Damn you!” Byte yells at Firestorm. Suddenly, she releases him! In a sweeping wave of blue electrical light, she phases into an electric outlet and disappears without a trace! “Dear Lord, it worked,” Stein says with relief. “Like I said, cinch,” Ronnie replies, struggling to get back to his feet after the powerful attack.

    One by one, the lights come back on…and slowly, a very battered Nuclear Man lifts himself to his feet… “Unga. Terrific. One of my best stunts - - and no audience. Where’d everybody go?” Ronnie asks, seeing only Belle and Harry Carew in the hall as he shakily tries to stand. “They ran - - scared spitless. My name’s Carew. We met once. You okay?” Carew asks, lending a hand to help Ronnie up. “Me? ‘Bruise’ is my middle name,” Ronnie replies, “How’s the lady?” Belle answers that she is a little shaken up but otherwise is fine, thanks to Firestorm. “What was that - - Byte creature?” she asks. “I’ve got some ideas, but - - Hey! Look at those computer screens!” Ronnie exclaims. “What the…?” Carew says, wide-eyed in surprise.

    Ten computer monitors in a large wall display suddenly flicker to life with an ominous message. “Attention Belle Haney: Tomorrow at midnight you will die. Tomorrow at midnight you will die,” the screens read. Carew and Belle, still coated in gum residue from the robot, stand with Firestorm in front of the displays. “Who’s doing this to me? Why? Why?” Belle asks, “I’ve never made a real enemy in my life…But someone hates me enough to kill me! It’s insane…a nightmare!” Firestorm reassures her. “Nobody is going to kill you, Ms. Haney. Promise,” Ronnie tells her.

    “Ronald, you said you had an idea about that Byte creature’s identity?” Stein asks. Quietly, Ronnie answers. “I do, Professor. But it’s so wild, I can’t hardly believe it,” he whispers, “I got a good look at Byte while we were fighting - - and I’m almost sure - - Byte is Blythe Bonner!”



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