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Continued from >The Earth Died Screaming Earth-EZO1 was a stark world of grim horror and sere beauty. Redbird's fast flight over the western United States showed them a world of dead cities and empty ruins beneath. Most cities had burned by now in their long untended period; Boise, Denver, St. Louis, and the rest were shells of what they'd once been. Streets were clogged with the rusting shells of cars and debris, and even unburnt buildings had begun to sway and fall. They were, at least, too high up for any lingering smells from beneath, though most of those had faded with the years of quietude. On another day, they might have appreciated the natural beauty beneath: the Misssissippi free of man's pollution, trees growing where cities had once been, a herd of bison stampeding beneath them in Missouri, what distinctly looked like a lion watching them as they skipped through Appalachian peaks in the Carolinas. But there was no time for that now, not with where they were going. Undersea was all quiet darkness as Redbird, with Midnight's skilled hands on her handlebards, took them beneath the waves. The ocean was dead of people; the Atlantean genocide having been one of the first outbreaks of the hero flu, but here too there were fish at play and the sunlight passing through the waves. There was life here, if no human life, and a vast universe beyond them. This world was more than just a tool for saving all reality; Earth-EZO1, for all its horror, was a world worth saving too. As they passed under the water, lit only dimly by the glow of Redbird's lights and the shimmering blue of Corbin's cold fire, Mark looked around at all the faces of his friends, thinking about the people underneath the masks. Erin, Trevor, Corbin, Eve, and their new friend Red Falcon, who with his plasma rifle would be defending Redbird even if they all had to leave it behind. They'd all come so far, over so many years and so much time, and now they were about to face their greatest challenge yet. They were approaching the river now, Edge riding behind Sage in one compartment, Cobalt Templar and Red Falcon on another side, and Midnight grim and determined behind the wheel with Wander behind him. For just a second, Mark closed his eyes and saw his mother's face, then his father's. Goodbye, Mom. Goodbye, Dad. And then they were erupting out of the water and Freedom City was given over to the forces of Hell: grim Terminus towers rising where once the Pyramid Plaza had stood and on the site of where City Hall had been, the downtown of Freedom City transformed into a Terminus hellscape of firepits and belching machinery: and as Redbird roared towards the battered bulk of Freedom Hall, he saw the Omegadrones beneath look up. "Let's do this! For Freedom!"
Continued from >Leaves from the Vine Earth-Z-Omega-1 Edge froze in shock as the toppling tower came down right where he was! Unable to dodge in time, instead he stood his ground and fired back. "NO!" His eyes glowing black, he fired straight upwards as the reality of this dead world warped around him at his will. He would not die because of a falling building! Mark Lucas would not let this, or anything else, stop his friends in their efforts to save all of existence from the dark machinations of Omega! At his command, the falling debris broke around him like a tide breaking around a rock, the so-small clear zone around him the only island of sanity beneath the avalanche of falling steel, concrete, and glass. A falling brick bounced against his back, knocking him to his knees, but Mark did not fall as the collapsing debris fell around him, his powers warping the very air and very rocks to keep his friends from being buried by the avalanche, even if he wasn't able to save all of them from the damage produced by the collapsing Needle. Before he even focused on the aerial battle, he called out over the echoes of the collapse, "Young Freedom! Sound off!"