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"Futures End: Chapter 0": In the last thirty-five years, much has changed. The near-omnipotent artificial intelligence known as Brother Eye has assimilated nearly all human life, implanting self-replicating nano-technology into their corpses. Among those few who remain un-assimilated in [[Ce


Quote1 I was once a monster, but now I am so much more. I used to walk the world alone... But now I am one of the many. Now I am part of Brother Eye. I used to think my flesh was dead, unholy... but now I see that all flesh is evil. It must be purged. The world must be cleansed. These are the last days... This is the end. Quote2
-- Frankenstein



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Synopsis for "Futures End: Chapter 0"

In the last thirty-five years, much has changed. The near-omnipotent artificial intelligence known as Brother Eye has assimilated nearly all human life, implanting self-replicating nano-technology into their corpses. Among those few who remain un-assimilated in Central City are an aging Flash and Captain Cold. Unfortunately, while on a scouting mission, the Flash accidentally leads a contingent of infected super-heroes to the survivors' doors, and in their relentless attempts to eradicate and replace humanity, Captain Cold is converted, and Barry is surrounded.

However, the robots are called off by Frankenstein, who claims the Flash for himself, offering the unattractive choice between joining Brother Eye and death. Naturally, Barry refuses, and so Frankenstein reveals the instrument of his execution: Black Canary's head - grafted onto his chest. Though her body is dead, her scream remains intact, and it rips Barry to pieces.

Frankenstein once felt alone as a monster, but joining Brother Eye's network connected him with the many. Flesh, as he sees it now, is evil and must be purged. It is his and Brother Eye's vision to see the planet cleansed of humanity; to usher in humanity's end.

In Metropolis, John Stewart and Blue Beetle are plotting to strike against Brother Eye's cyborgs, acting as a distraction so that Grifter and Amethyst can shut down the Firestorm Battery. Though they know their cause is noble, Jaime can't help but wish that he'd go down doing more than just acting as a diversion. Once in the fray, it isn't long before Jaime is taken, and John hesitates too long. To his horror, he sees that the cyborg who has targeted him was once Superman. John tries to resist, but Superman implants the assimilation program into his Green Lantern Ring, and soon, his body is overtaken.

Meanwhile, Amethyst and Grifter prepare, knowing that their distraction was too short. Batman warns that they are humanity's last hope as they open the portal to Metropolis. Unfortunately, they are faced with the discovery that even the Green Lantern has been taken. There is no way they'll get to the Firestorm Battery now. That fear is confirmed as John vaporizes them with his ring.

At the remains of Wayne Manor, Batman reports to Bruce Wayne that Grifter and Amethyst have failed, feeling some discomfort with the fact that they are sending all of Earth's remaining heroes to their deaths. Bruce explains that his plan is to go back in time and ensure that none of this happens; that none of those people have to die. Terry is unconvinced, feeling that the teleological "ends justify the means" approach is all too similar to Brother Eye's own programming logic. Bruce reminds that desperate times call for desperate measures, and he does not intend to live in Brother Eye's world. Terry jabs that he and Mr. Terrific should never have built it, in that case. Ignoring him, Bruce prepares the time-portal, warning that Terry will have to hold the robots off until it is fully active and he is safely in the past. Unfortunately, Bruce isn't fast enough, and loses his arm to one of the cyborgs' attacks.

As Bruce begins bleeding out, Terry manages to take down the last of the cyborgs attacking the Manor, and get to his side. Bruce orders Terry to go back in his place. He warns, though, that once he is back, he should not contact Bruce's younger self, because he will not only fail to believe Terry's story - but he'll stop him. Neither should he try to contact Superman. As Terry slips into the time-portal, Bruce collapses, and with his last words, he curses himself for dying like this.

Terry lands unceremoniously on a roof in Times Square, and checks in with A.L.F.R.E.D. as to his coordinates. Unfortunately, they have missed their temporal target by a few years. The events they came back to stop have already begun to unfold.



Notes

  • This book was first published on May 3, 2014.
  • Keith Giffen is credited as an Art Consultant for this issue.
  • Even though Captain Cold lost his metahuman powers during the events of Forever Evil: Rogues' Rebellion, he is shown to have cryokinesis without the use of his cold gun.

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