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Around the world in eighty blinks
Rplog-icon Who: Barry Allen, Bart Allen, Clark Kent. Later: Marissa Sometimes, Justin Hammer, and Lois Lane
Where: All around the world.
When: June 19, 2013
Tone: Social and Fun
What: The Flash has organized a race between himself, Superman, and Impulse with proceeds going to the Flash Foundation to feed the hungry.

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This charity race hadn't had much buzz until a week ago when the plans for it were suddenly made public. A race! Calling all comers to pit their speed against Superman and the Flash. The plan is to start at the Daily Planet, circumnavigate the globe and finish back at the Daily Planet.

All the benefits of this event were going to fund the newly formed Flash Foundation, to aid in efforts to feed the hungry. The young speedster known as Impulse threw his gauntlet into the ring earlier in the week, using something called "Twitter". Superman probably has this under control. Flash still hasn't gotten the hang of this new technology.

The rules are simple. Race around the globe slow enough to be tracked by satellite, but still fast enough to make it a quick race. Not a traditional race either, the speedsters goals were simple, to be seen on every continent on the globe, including Antarctica.

Bruce Campball, the announcer is making the rules of the race very, very clear, because as yet, the first of the Speedsters haven't even arrived, and the cameras were ready and rolling.

"We have reports of a sonic boom coming in from..." says Bruce. And then there they are. The contestants. Showing up with seconds to spare. First to arrive is...

Doesn't everyone Twitter? Without it how would they even get thoughts together? Sheesh. Impulse heard that his gramps and one of his favorite heroes of all time would be racing each other, and well, OBVIOUSLY he had to be part of it! Also, Impulse is the first one to show up. He just zooms into place at the starting line, giving a big wave to anyone already gathered.

"Well honestly, I'm just hoping I don't embarrass myself," Superman says with a smile that grows wider as the interviewer from the Daily Planet asks him questions about the race. "It's nice to see so many people out here to see us off. I haven't taken a head count, but I'd say there are more Impulse fans out here than anyone else." The Man of Steel shakes his head, "I wouldn't put it past the young one to pull the upset out here today."

As the reporter finishes up with his story, Superman gives Lombard a nod and walks over onto the street amongst the festivities. He pauses to look up at one of the many windows of the Daily Planet, giving an easy wave and a wink before he gets into position.

"Go easy on me, alright Impulse? My mom is watching this."

Last to arrive on the scene is the man who put it all together. Fortunately, he got hold of some very good volunteers at the last moment. He zooms to a stop at his starting position and turns to the cameras.

"Thank you everyone for coming out for this event and thank you all very much for tuning in and seeing how you can help. My new foundation, the Flash Foundation, couldn't get off the ground without the generous viewers who want to stand up and make a difference around the world."

"My work for this foundation is not recompensed, and I'd like to thank Superman and Impulse for both showing up and making it the real toss-up it's meant to be."

Flash takes a moment for a Brawndo "It's full of electrolytes!" and a picture of the hero drinking the beverage. He takes his place at the starting line. "I'm ready any time you are boys."

He's already envisioning his take off from the starting line, straight up for a block and then making a big left along the coastline, intending on running across the gulf of Mexico before making it to South America.

The announcer ready's his gun. "Allright men! Let's have a good clean race now!" He raises the starting gun. "Runners at your mark!" He begins the countdown, "Three... Two... One... <CRACK>" goes the starting gun.

Impulse grins and waves around to the gathered fans, even signing a few autographs and posing for some photos. He seems to be particularly popular with that much-courted "adolescent girl" demographic for some reason.

At that first crack of the starter's pistol, Impulse vanishes in an abrupt *ZWIP* of motion. He darts immediately south at an intersection, breaking away overland and leaving North America practically before one can blink. He makes it a point to hit the Alamo on his way southwest to snap a quick phone pic. His history teacher would be proud.

BOOM! Superman leaps from the starting line and clearly has his own strategy, heading south east at first, looking to clip the western part of Africa. As he lands upon the beaches of Morocco, a pair of boys who are out for a swim, wave wildly. "Superman! Superman!" they say in heavily accented English. Superman smiles, waves, and digs his toe into the ground before shotting up towards the north across the Strait of Gibraltar and into Europe.

He knows he doesn't have the footspeed to keep up with the others, so he'll need to take the shortest distance between the two points.

BOOOM! There's another sonic burst as Flash takes off, three steps forward and then a direct southerly route, vibrating himself through cars, buildings, people and rocketing off south.

In less than an eyeblink he's running past Cuba and then across the gulf of Mexico and a wide section of Pacific Ocean.

He heads directly for Rio, and manages to stop for a few fan photos and proof that he was there. And then he's off again a blur in motion, heading further south, and currently a long way away from his next target, Antarcica.

Impulse pauses to snap a couple of pics of a Mayan temple, leaving behind a crude chalk drawing of himself leaving Superman and The Flash in the dust that bears the slogan "IMPULSE RULES!"

Shortly, he's screaming through Argentina to cross the Southern Ocean from the south tip of South America to enter Antarctica. It's all very South-ish, really.

From deep within the bowels of the Fortress of Solitude, Superbot 7 turns to Superbot 6. "Master El seems to be doing better than I'd expect." Superbot 6 shakes his head, "He's going to lose."

"You're such a pessimist," says 7.

When Superman reaches Spain, he makes another sharp turn, this time, headed straight out across the Mediterranean heading straight for Israel, which technically counts as Asia. He sets himself up for a straight shot to head towards Australia.

Flash dashes down the coast of South Africa, straight from Rio to Antarctica. He takes some self shots along the Emperor Penguin breeding grounds, uploads them to the race tracker and dashes off.

In this case, it's a quick dash across the ocean to South Africa. Here he picks up Speed, vibrating himself through the continent of Africa, heading for the Pyramids. That's where he'll get his next shot, he's thinking. He picks some bananas along the way, rushing through the savanah.

Impulse pings along the tip of Antarctica, snapping a pic of the landscape, and then he breaks east toward Australia. He skips Africa for the moment, heading for Asia directly instead.

Superman stops for a split second to come between two gentlemen who are arguing at a coffee shop in Tel Aviv. One man is clearly, by his dress, a Hasidic Jew, while the other is dressed in a more relaxed and casual fashion. Both men stop mid-sentence to see Superman, look at each other, and the latter man grabs at his coffee in surprise at who they just saw.

Meanwhile, Superman jets across the Arabian peninsula, past Jeddah, Medina, and Mecca, and then out onto the Ocean, heading for Australia.

Flash gets his photo atop they Pyramids and then races across the Suez canal, stopping briefly in Jordan for a photo op, before racing north at this point, zooming through cities and forests and mountains faster than the eye can track.

He gets his shot of Europe at the Parthanon for Europe. With North and South America, Antarcita, Africa, Asia and Europe in the bag, it's just a matter of getting to the AU. It's toward Austraila he aims and it's across the sea of India that his route takes him, a red blur speeding past naval vessels, making a bee-line for Sydney.

Impulse gets a pic of himself popping through a DDR game in Australia, bouncing north for photo evidence of a teeming marketplace in India, and then he shoots back west toward Africa, hitting the same pyramids for a pic of himself standing on top, and then he shoots across the Mediterranean toward France.

Superman gives a wave to the streaking Impulse, but it's not clear if the younger man sees him as they pass. In the middle of the Outback, Superman turns on a dime, much to the enjoyment of a couple of kangaroos. Superman burns to the south, headed for Antarctica and from there it's up towards South America and back home.

Flash takes his time getting the next shot, it's him stopping at a "Brawndo Pit Stop!" in Sydney, drinking a fruit punch Brawndo in front of the old opera house.

He tosses his trash into the receptacle and it's off again, this time a flat out straight line. This time it's straight Northwest, across the South Pacific, the North Pacific and coming back into America along Redondo Beach California, where he stops for his final picture.

"Mr. Hammer," Marissa greets as he approaches, recalling...well, let's just say, she's not impressed by the reputation of his company, so she's studiously polite, taking a sip from her sparkling cider. Not being rude, no, but not exactly greeting him enthusiastically.

After he hits the water north of Brazil, Superman turns it into overdrive. A cone that spreads out past his legs gets wider and wider as he increases speed along the home stretch. He flies over Florida, then the rest of the south eastern seaboard. His teeth grit as he lays it all on the line.

She's been having a busy day, frankly, but every day at the Planet is a busy one. Lois Lane, star reporter, is hustling from the break room to her cubicle and talking on her bluetooth: "I don't CARE what his assistant says. He's definitely in. ...You know, I'd rather not, but it looks that way. And you can tell her from me that if she takes that supercilious tone with me again, I'll come down there myself and give her a piece of my mind." It's a different mood from the few minutes she spent staring dreamily out the window before.

Justin cracks a smile when the young woman greets him. Of course, he takes it as an invitation for a conversation, skipping over the lack of enthusiasm. "Good afternoon," he offers to her, trying to place where he's seen her before. "You seem familiar, you frequent events like this often?" His tone carries his usual cocky air, and he has a very light New York accent.

Crossing the State of California is easy and just like that he's practically flying alongside the Grand Canyon and through the rockies, rather than across them, saving precious nano-seconds.

Flash starts to pour on the speed and races across Arizona, New Mexico, Texas and then straight northwest toward Metropolis, up through Arkansaw, Tennesse, Kentucky, West Virgina, Pennsylvania and thein on toward Metropolis. It's coming down to a photo finish here.

"Not as often as I'd like." Joy. Can't get rid of him, would make her look bad if she actively avoided him. Instead, she reaches to shake hands. "Marissa Sometimes." He's likely to remember the name. It's not exactly a common or easily forgotten last name.

A quick pic at the Eiffel Tower, and then he's blasting across the Atlantic, full speed, and sending up a huge spray of water hundreds of feed in the air and dousing the deck of a nearby cruise ship.

Moments later, he blasts across New York Harbor and into Metropolis, making his final approach to the Daily Planet Building.

Superman crossed Virginia, then Maryland, and up through New Jersey. As Metropolis comes into view, he sees streaks out of the corner of his eye. This is going to be close!!!

Flash races toward the finish line. He spots some kids playing near a light fire barrel in an alley in the Bronx, playing far to rough and sidetracks over to stop the kicked can of flamables.

Flash scoops them up and slams them into a dumpster and shuts the lid, starving the incipent blaze of oxygen before bearing back toward the finish line. There it was, the finish line just ahead!

Finally a click. Lois hangs up after thanking whoever was on the other line, swigging her afternoon coffee. Leaded, of course. Only wusses and people careful about their health don't drink caffeinated coffee after lunch. She glances over the tops of the cubicles and pauses -- is /that/ Justin Hammer? Isn't that /interesting/. She wheels around and makes a beeline in his direction, dark eyebrows perked.

"Sometimes?" Hammer asks as he shakes the young heroine's hand, "Daughter of the Arizona governor, right?" Of course he would remember that connection before the whole hero thing, given the fact he prides himself on his political connections. After the greetings are finished he takes a drink from the glass he has with him and glances toward the television coverage of the race. "It's starting to wrap up, I think."

"Unless you ask him," Marissa says, wryly. She was rather dramatically disowned...but some people still see her as the Governor's Daughter. She glances at the screens. "They're pretty close." And there's a journalist, plus chair, heading right for them.

A two-fer. What on /Earth/ were these people doing at the Planet? Marissa Sometimes and Justin Hammer. Lois put on one of those fifty-kilowatt smiles and extended her hand. To Marissa first, naturally, then Justin. "Good afternoon! Lois Lane. You must be Marissa Sometimes -- but your codename's Mend, is that right? And how could I not recognize Justin Hammer? What brings you to the Planet?"

A more observant person might have stopped to, say, help some kids in a back alley, like The Flash did. However, Impulse's strong suit isn't paying attention--it's just that he's great at opening the throttle wide open and sprinting like there's no tomorrow. (Which may be an ironic metaphor, considering that he's from the future.)

Regardless, when The Flash stops off, Impulse obliviously rips ahead, cresting even with Superman for a long instant, just before he surges one last time, drawing on near-endless reserves of youthful energy, to leap across the finish line, moving so fast that he has to run up the side of the Planet building and run a few quick laps around its famous globe before finally sliding to a stop on the building's front steps, fists raised high in the air in triumph.

Superman can't help but smile as Impulse overtakes him at the last moment. When he finishes, Superman skids to a stop down the street, sliding with both of his feet and an outstretched hand. As the dust settles, he returns to the finish line and gives a nod up towards Impulse before he makes his way towards Lois Lane.

The CEO is too busy watching the television and talking with Marissa to notice Lois Lane's attention. Not that he'll be upset that the reporter has taken interest in him, of course. Glancing to the girl, Justin says offhandedly, "That's right, things aren't so hot between you two. Always a shame to see trouble in families." As expected, he doesn't sound overly sincere or invested in the words. "Heck of a race, wonder how they're gonna judge it. I mean, they've been having a devil of a time trying to just get television footage. Don't think a photo finish is gonna work."

When the reporter draws up to Hammer and the teen hero, Justin turns his attention fully toward her. He offers one of his classic smiles, the kind you just can't quite trust. "Miss Lane, a pleasure," he offers, taking the reporter's hand and shaking it. "The party, of course! I must say, you guys put out quite a spread for this charity event. All for a good cause, I know, so it's worth it."

Marissa Sometimes laughs a little bit. "It IS a pretty good party." She used to attend these things all the time. Now she...well, this is the first one she's managed in a while. "And...good point. Ordinary people have no chance of keeping up." She does wonder what it's like to live life in that...well...fast lane.

Party. Lois looks blank for a moment. She's still in the same skirt-suit she wore to work, after all. Because she's still at work. She's /regularly/ here until all hours. She blinks a few times, then glances past Justin at the laden buffet table and all the people dressed to the nines. "Oh. I thought it was someone's birthday -- isn't it someone's..." She clears her throat, setting down her mug of coffee and pulling the earpiece off her head to tuck into her jacket pocket. "Good, isn't it?" she says, clearing her throat and catching the monitors just as the race ends. She starts applauding along with the rest, cheering when she sees Superman cross the line. Of course.

Flash skids to a halt just over the finish line, coming in dead last. By miliseconds that only a camera could catch. He is even seen turning and giving the camera a wink as he crosses the finish line.

He pauses to pat Bart on the shoulder. "Congratulations kid... Don't let it go to your head."

He looks around for the inevitable press of press, then donors and then maybe he'd be able to raid the buffet. "You're the star of the moment, Impulse, make the most of it."

As he makes his way back towards the finish line, Superman is bombarded by flashbulbs and commotion with a host of reporters looking for a comment. "No, no, I'm not upset I lost. Those guys are really fast. I thought I had them with a decent strategy, but in the end the faster man-or kid-won." The Man of Steel laughs, as do some of the reporters. "The money is going to a great cause and I'm just happy to say that both of these gentlemen are on our side."

"What are you going to do next, Superman?"

"Ice my knees."

"Would you consider a rematch someday?"

"Only if I get a head start."

Justin actually focuses on the television as the three competitors cross the finish line. He claps, nodding toward the teen hero and the reporter as the race finishes up. "What a show, what a show," he offers. "Man, those guys really know how to race. Puts the Indy car races to shame, doesn't it?" He motions toward the televisions as he talks, never really seeming to sit still.

"The kid won." Marissa grins a bit. "But I'd say they all did. It's always fun to watch the people with really spectacular powers." Sure, she's a heroine, but most of the time she relies on gadgets.

Lois is kind of disappointed she's not down there with the reporters asking questions, but she'll learn to live with dsappointment. She chuckles at Superman's answers, momentarily ignoring the people she was just talking to. "Sure does," she murmurs to Justin. "But that's why it's a charity event. People'll pay good money to see this. As long as it's a success."

Impulse beams brightly at the media attention and doubly so from The Flash's words of praise. "Hey, it's all just for fun, right? Oh, and, y'know. Charity. I just never got to race anyone so FAST before! It was SO SPROCKING COOL!" He can barely seem to contain his excitement, practically vibrating in place from the intensity of the moment.

The Flash waves to the crowd and starts answering questions as he pauses to wipe his forehead at the Brawndo drink station one last time and says, "Congratulations to my competitors for a race well run, and big props to Impulse, let's hear it for today's younger generation!" He applauds and guides reporters eyes over to him.

"Why did you lose, Flash, Aren't you supposed to be the fastest man alive?"

"I might be the fastest man, but the fastest boy just may be a hair faster. I might have to strap on my track shoes for him next time. Perhaps a straight line race around the equator? To the moon and back on treadmills? I'm up for any challenge!"

"What exactly has prompted your move to Gotham?"

"Personal reasons. A change of scenery was in order."

"Is it true that you and Wonder Woman are romantically involved?"

"Before that crazy rumor starts, no, we're not involved."

"How do you think you served your cause by coming in last today, Flash?"

"Uhm, I think we did fine, we raised a lot of money today and that money will be used for education, increased donations to food banks on local levels. One program that I think Superman and I both agree on is the Farm to Table initiative. We think we can increase the amount of food available to food banks just by making sure that the farms and other production facilities donate rather than destroy unmarketable product."

Then he's at the reception line, standing there and greeting donors and shaking them by the hand, and standing for a jillion photographs.

Justin grins widely. "If even just a handful of these fine folks," he motions toward the room with his right hand, "Contributed the way /I/ did, it'll be raging success." There's a bit of blatant boasting in his words. He glances between Marissa and Lois, though his focus is far more on the reporter. "Oh, Miss Lane, while I have you here. I think I might have a story for you. That is, if you're not too busy to do a bit of a human interest piece."

Superman nods towards the Flash. "All of the different programs under the Flash Foundation are phenomenal. Hopefully someday we'll be able to eradicate hunger across the globe." Superman chuckles at some of the questions asked by the press in regards to the Flashes personal life, and one in particular beckons him to look back upwards towards the Daily Planet. He answers a few more questions that are mundane in detail, and lifts off with a wave. "Well, Flash and Impulse, until next time."

"Not /usually/ my area, Mr. Hammer. Or can I call you Justin?" Another blazing smile from Lois. "Let me know what it is, though, and I'll give it a thought. Or if it's not for me, I'll send it along to someone who can do it." Like Clark, maybe. He needs to build up a bit more before he gets a Pulitzer.

Flash guides Impulse over to the donor's recieving line to shake hands with the first fifty people. It doesn't take as long as it sounds though. He'd leave the rest to Impulse. Who was probably already bored and thinking about his next great adventure. Kids these days, he thought to himself.

He manages to avoid the rest of the reporters as he zooms through the crowd at super speed to hit the buffet at least once, possibly twice before he takes his place in line.

There aren't many people in front of Justin, as only 15 other people beat his donation to the event, so his place in line is pretty much anywhere he wants it to be, given that he's younger than half the other bidders.

Probably best in line he could manage without shoving an old lady into her next hip-replacement, he could probably swing sixth in line, along with whomever he wanted to bring along.

"Justin is just fine, Miss Lane," Justin says with a broad grin. "I'm going to tour a firehouse, see what it's really like for the people who are out there, saving lives and risking everything for the rest of us. Just between you and me," he drops his tone conspiratorially, "I'm looking at starting a couple of civilian projects to help them out." He gives a bit of a wink, then looks toward the line that's formed to meet the competitors in the race. "Hey, would you two ladies like to join me in meeting today's guests of honor? As a donor I get a good spot in line."

Gosh. Seeing how the other half lives. How very. Lois nods slowly, praying that Perry doesn't put her on that story. "Yeah? That's fantastic," she enthuses. "Advanced fire suppressants? Protective gear? It's definitely a worthy cause..." And she was actually going to weasel her way into the line anyway, but this just gives her the best opportunity. "That's very kind of you. Thanks very much."

Marissa Sometimes laughs. "I've already met Superman...but not the other two." Hammer doesn't seem quite as bad as his reputation might suggest. Or he's just being nice to the pretty girls. One way or the other. "But I have a lot of respect for firemen."

Hammer is being pretty well behaved, though he's still acting a bit pretentious. Holding his hand out toward the line, he steps aside to let both Marissa and Lois walk ahead of him. "After you, ladies," he says with an incline of his head. He'll follow both of them to the line, and when they arrive he'll do his best to work his way as far toward the front as he can.

Flash guides Impulse to the line as well, in his place in front as winner of the race. It gets boring fast but Flash keeps leaning over and whispering to him very quickly to sit up straight and pay attention with an occasional super speed nudge or gibb-style smack to the back of his head.

"A pleasure, thanks you for coming and thank you so much for your support." Flash says this in slow time knowing that these people would be the future lifeblood of this Foundation and he'd be able to get a lot of good work done through it as a consequence. Finally, it's Justin and Lois's and Marissa's turn to greet the heroes.

"Mr. Hammer, thank you so much for your generous check. We're very glad to have your support sir. Miss Lane, you're looking very professional today. Don't quote me on that." He glances over to Marissa. "I'm sure I haven't had the pleasure to meet you, Miss. I'm the Flash," he says, offering his hand to Marissa after pressing the flesh with Justin.

"Marissa Sometimes." She's being off duty, although it would be a surprise if Flash hadn't heard the name and didn't know she was connected to the Titans. Still, she's in ordinary (pretty) girl clothes right now.

"It's a real pleasure to see you again, Flash." Lois smiles brightly and extends a hand to shake. "What have you been up to lately? Apart from a really fantastic race, I mean. Work with the JLA? Charity work outside there?"

Hammer shakes hand with, and congratulates, Impulse. He then turns to the Flash, and smiles, shaking the man's hand. "My pleasure, we may have to talk about future events," he says before Flash moves on to Lois and Marissa.

Marissa, a pleasure to meet you at last. I've heard about your association with some mutual friends of ours!" His handshake is quick and firm. "Mr. Hammer, we must certainly do that. Just call the foundation with a time you'd like to set up to talk and where you'll be at that time and I'll come find you, unless duty calls."

"Lois! Asking me such questions! I haven't been fighting crime for six months and you start with my affiliation with the JLA? Honestly, I don't know what my status is with the Justice League at the moment. I had thought I was retiring for good six months ago, but I couldn't just sit on the couch when I saw so much going on that needed help in our country Miss Lane. Do you know how many children go to sleep hungry in this country Miss Lane? I bet you do. It's too darn many. As for this and my future endeavors Lois, call the foundation and set a time, I'll be happy to give you an exclusive."

Flash says, "Marissa, a pleasure to meet you at last. I've heard about your association with some mutual friends of ours!" His handshake is quick and firm. "Mr. Hammer, we must certainly do that. Just call the foundation with a time you'd like to set up to talk and where you'll be at that time and I'll come find you, unless duty calls."

"Lois! Asking me such questions! I haven't been fighting crime for six months and you start with my affiliation with the JLA? Honestly, I don't know what my status is with the Justice League at the moment. I had thought I was retiring for good six months ago, but I couldn't just sit on the couch when I saw so much going on that needed help in our country Miss Lane. Do you know how many children go to sleep hungry in this country Miss Lane? I bet you do. It's too darn many. As for this and my future endeavors Lois, call the foundation and set a time, I'll be happy to give you an exclusive."

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