Carlos, Micah, and Jose take the wounded Farah to the abandoned hospital in Odessa after everyone else has been moved to the shelters. Using his medivac training, Carlos stabilizes Farah with the available equipment after Micah reactivates the electricity.
In the Renautus sub-level, Ren and Emily realize that Tommy is trapped in Evernow.
In the Evernow computer construct, Tommy discovers that his powers don't work. The lights come on, showing an endless corridor leading off into the distance, and Tommy has no choice but to start walking. He comes to a vertical shaft and carefully climbs over to the other side.
Richard tells Erica that they're ready to link into the processor and starts a pre-recorded message of Erica explaining that two solar flares will soon arrive. She assures the people in Gateway that it is not the end.
A tentacle extends up behind Tommy and penetrates his neck.
Erica assures the Gateway residents that each of them has been handpicked for the trip into the future. The devices they're wearing on their wrists are now active, and the key component to Project Reborn.
Luke, Malina, and Quentin leave the high school and head for Renautus.
The tentacle lifts the unconscious Tommy high into the air, accessing his time travel powers. After a long moment, the system goes off-line. Erica and Richard join their team and go outside with the rest of the crowd. Ren and Emily blend in with the others, and Erica welcomes everyone to the future of 7,957.
In the present, Phoebe arrives at the now-abandoned Gateway and realizes that she's been abandoned.
Ren and Emily go back inside as a recorded video plays explaining that the "watches" contain all of the wearers' personal information. They spot two med technicians heading off and figure that they're going to where they took Hachiro. Ren blocks the door with his laptop before it can close, and inside they find a control panel with a hole matching the key that Hachiro gave Ren. They disable the sedative apparatus, awakening the sleeping Evos, and find Hachiro. Ren finds Miko and frees her, and she has no idea who Ren is since she's the real Miko, not the Katana Girl construct.
Tommy wakes up and sees a young boy run off. He chases after him through the maze of corridors.
Luke and the others arrive at the present Gateway and realize that it's abandoned. The first flare is visible in the sky, and Malina insists that she has to do something. Luke warns her that it's not time yet, and it's his fate not hers. He figures that Malina saved his life for a reason even if he can't be forgiven for what he has done, and tells Quentin to keep Malina inside until she needs to be at the clock tower. Luke then closes the reinforced door and looks at a locket with a photo of Joanie and Daniel. He looks back at Malina through the observation port and smiles, and then begins absorbing the solar radiation. Screaming in pain, Luke levitates into the air and enters the flare... and it dissipates.
Jose uses his power to remove the bullet from Farah. Farah wakes up and asks for Malina, and Carlos tells her that the girl is heading for Gateway. A group of refugees come in with their injured, and the father leading them asks Carlos and the others for their help. Carlos tells Micah and Jose that they're staying after all.
Tommy catches up to the figure and realizes that it's himself. His duplicate says that Tommy has to go back and remember, and says that time has no meaning in the construct so they can be in two places at once. The future-Tommy says that time is a circle and memories are the only thing that make it linear. All of their memories exist in the construct, and Tommy has to remember or they'll be stuck there forever and everyone will die. The future-Tommy tells Tommy to remember his childhood, and then says that he already has.
Projections of Tommy's childhood appear on the walls. In the past, Anne and a young Tommy watch as Claire demonstrates her powers on TV. Crying, Tommy watches as Anne tells his younger self that Claire is his real mother and it's time for him to know the truth. The view of the past changes to Tommy and Emily talking about Tommy's destiny in Paris, and then Angela confirming that Tommy can absorb powers. More visions of Tommy's past go by and Hiro tells Tommy to be brave. Tommy braces himself and steps forward, ready to save the world.
Quentin and Malina emerge and see satellite debris raining down, and head for the clock tower.
Phoebe sits in the clock tower and hears the door below open. Malina and Quentin come up the stairs and Phoebe grabs Malina with her shadow tendrils and lifts her into the stairwell. Quentin takes out his gun and runs up the stairs to the top of the clock tower. He tells Phoebe to stop, and Phoebe insists that Erica will come back. Quentin says that Erica won't come for them and used Phoebe to get what she wanted, and he blames himself for letting Erica turn his sister into a monster. The outside panel explodes and Phoebe loses her grip on Malina momentarily.
Quentin begs Phoebe to stop, saying he can fix her. She says that there's only one thing left to fix and starts crushing Malina, and Quentin shoots her. The impact knocks Phoebe back out of the clock tower and Malina manages to grab the balcony as she falls when the tendrils fade. She pulls herself up and Quentin looks down to see his sister's corpse on the pavement far below.
In the future Gateway, Richard comes in and calls to security that he's found the source of the problem. Hachiro stabs him from behind, killing him, and then hugs Miko. He says that Ren risked his life to save her, and tells Emily that Erica forced him to imprison Tommy in Evernow. Hachiro says that now someone must enter the game and free Tommy: Ren, who knows the game as well as he does. When Ren says that he's just a gamer, Hachiro assures him that he's the best Evernow player that he's ever seen... and he has the heart of a warrior. Ren says that he's been ready his entire life, and Hachiro teleports him into the game.
Ren appears outside the fortress in his avatar form. Katana Girl is there and says that the world is dying and her along with it. A warrior attacks and Katana Girl quickly kills it, and they head for the fortress.
Quentin goes to his sister's body and Malina joins him as the second flare approaches. She realizes that it's time and goes to face her destiny as debris rains down around them. Quentin runs inside as Malina attempts to push the flare back with her elemental powers.
Ren and Samurai Girl break into the fortress, leap over the decaying structure, and fight the guards. Once they win, they continue on and Ren falls into a gaping pit where the construct is dissolving. Katana Girl pulls him up and sends him on as another guard attacks them.
Further in the construct, Tommy remembers the room where he was locked up when he was 7. He tries to turn away but can't, and Angela enters the room and introduces Young Tommy to his sister Malina. Angela talks about how they were meant to do something extraordinary, and explains that they have to test their symbiotic bond now that their powers have matured. Rene comes in to wipe their memories afterward, and Angela has the siblings take each other's hands. A burst of energy flares and soars up into the sky.
Tommy finds himself back in the construct corridors, and his earlier self runs up. He tells his counterpart they can be in two places at once, and hear Katana Girl telling Ren that they have to rescue Tommy before Evernow collapses. Tommy follows their voices and comes to a wall.
As Katana Girl holds of the guards, Ren grabs the samurai thrust into the fortress door's lock. He refuses to leave her behind, and Katana Girl tells him to complete the mission. As a gap opens, cutting them off from each other, Ren promises that he'll never forget her, and Katana Girl says that she has a feeling that they'll meet again. He pulls the katana from the door and disappears, and the door opens, revealing Tommy.
Ren and Tommy rematerialize in the processor room, real and the Renautus guards surround them. Erica is waiting as the guards bring in Anne and Emily. Tommy says that his name is Nathan and she can't stop someone who can stop time. Erica says that their future timeline only exists because the HELE happened. The moment he goes back and stops it, all of the Gateway survivors disappear. Erica asks which world Tommy is going to choose: the one with Malina or the one with Emily and Anne.
Erica aims a gun at Emily, and Tommy says that he can be in two places at once. When Erica warns that even Hiro couldn't do that, Tommy says that he can and he's had an eternity in Evernow to practice. Erica turns the gun on Tommy and fires, and he freezes time. He generates a temporal duplicate of himself and one of them goes back to the present.
Present-Tommy appears at Gateway and goes over to Malina, frozen in time.
Future-Tommy teleports the frozen guards away, and then sends Ren back to present timeline. He kisses Emily and sends her back as well.
Present-Tommy realizes that the time has come and unfreezes time. Malina extends her hand to Tommy, saying that he can share her power. He takes her hand but they're still not strong enough to destroy the flare. They manage to let go of each other, and Tommy goes back to when he was at the testing facility. Angela orders a lab tech to break the children's grip. When he does, the energy consumes him as it's released into the sky. Angela realizes that the children need a conduit willing to sacrifice himself to release their full power.
Tommy teleports two days into the past where Malina is holding back the storm. He teleports Noah to the Primatech facility, and Noah watches as Angela explains about how someone must be sacrificed to channel the energy. She remembers that there was a third, faceless person in her prophetic dreams and looks at Noah behind the one-way mirror as she realizes who it is. Tommy arrives and tells Noah that he's tried a thousand times, but they need him. He asks Noah what they do, and Noah tells him to take him back to the end of the world.
Tommy teleports to Gateway with Noah, and Noah takes Malina's hand. He reaches for Tommy and says that they have their destiny and sacrificing himself is his. After a moment, Tommy takes his hand and their energy flows through Noah to repel the flare.
Future-Tommy cuts the watch off of Erica's wrist. He then brings the processor system online and restarts time. Erica realizes that she's alone and turns to Tommy, who teleports everyone in Gateway back to the present... except for Erica.
The flare passes over the shielded Earth. Tommy and Malina run to their dying grandfather With his dying breath he says that he's proud of them, and Tommy holds his crying sister.
Three Months Later
Agent Cutler visits an imprisoned Quentin and wants to know who the Evos are who saved the world. Quentin says that they're just people who did the right thing given the chance to be heroes.
Ren and Miko spar as Hachiro looks on.
Carlos tests his new battle armor as Farah and Jose look on. As they prepare to go out to fight crime, Jose comes along but Carlos says no... for now.
Tommy and Emily work at the ice cream shop together, and he gives her an origami bird. She puts it on a shelf with the others. A man in a trench coat finishes his soda and leaves, leaving a Tarot card underneath the glass for Tommy.
Malina finishes her first day in high school and finds a Tarot card in her locker showing a pair of twins.
Quentin says that the Evos who saved the world are just trying to scratch out a normal life. They're out in the darkness, waiting for the call when the darkness eventually rolls in again.
Malina goes out to where Angela is waiting to pick her up. She shows her great grandmother the Tarot card, and Angela says that it's a message from Malina's father. He's coming back... and no one will be able to protect them.
End of Volume
Written by Gadfly on Jan 22, 2016