Cosmic Union (The Directors' Cut) Issue #11
Written and edited by the Silver Surfer
ISSUE #11: "HELL ON EARTH"
Cosmic Union Writers from the Silver Surfer
Message Board: Asterisk, Anomaly,
Azmodi, Brother Voodoo, Grim, Marvelite, Morfex, Mystic, and Number 6.
Part One - Breakpoint (Mystic)
"Fall back! Fall back!" yelled Captain America. The heroes had fought valiantly. Saving lives, and pushing back the demons that had infiltrated Earth. But defeating one only caused two more to take its place. Every hero on Earth appeared to have his or her hands full.
Even questionable teams such as the Thunderbolts had joined the fray.
"Wolverine! Get back!" The Captain continued attempting to formulate a more defensive strategy.
Though he did not seem to like the idea, Logan complied and pulled back. The demons had infiltrated from all sorts of dimensions. Some were from Mephisto's realm; demons eager to ravage the humans and consume them. Others were from the Negative Zone; anxious to battle and conquer this domain. Still others were from realms unknown to man. Hideous beasts that reveled in destruction and despair. At every turn, chaos ensued. Earth had begun to appear apocalyptic.
Panic had followed once the heroes had shown they were unable to hold the herds back.
Captain America pulled his team together. They were battered. Most had at least one wound and were breathing heavily. They looked tired and beaten. Steve pulled his intercom link from around his ear and spoke, "People," he paused, "we fight here not just for victory," he paused again, "but for our home. Even as we speak, our allies continue the good fight and risk their lives to end this hell that has come to us. So long as they are trying, so long as they risk their lives for us, WE MUST DO THE SAME!"
The Captain threw his fist in the air with such fervor, that it invigorated each hero. Wonderman's eyes began glowing as ionized energy built up within him. The Scarlet Witch focused, ready to use her rapidly dissipating magicks. Wolverine snarled as he released his claws. The Vision clenched his fist. Each reacted in their own way to the inspiration the Captain gave them to continue. At the sound of his voice, "Assemble and attack!" they jumped in furiously and valiantly attacking hordes of demons at once. They pushed themselves to their very limits and beyond.
In a concentrically located dimension, Mephisto observed with awe at the heroes. He had thought the Silver Surfer to be one of the noblest souls he could possess. Clearly, he had overlooked several extremely noble ones right on Earth under his nose. He would make certain he possessed them, once his barrage of demons had broken their wills.
Mephisto sat back as he grew larger and larger. No one had realized that as his dimension expanded and merged with the larger universe, so too would his power increase accordingly. And in his realm, he was omnipotent. The other players who thought to ally themselves with Thanos would soon realize that the true master was Mephisto.
His one adversary would be Dormammu, but surely they could come to an agreement in such a large domain. Everyone else, including Thanos, would be subject to their whims. He smiled a snarling smile as he drank from the cup of souls.
Dormammu continued to concentrate as his powers solely focused on aligning all dimensions with the mainstream universe. It was not a task he could do alone. But he had prepared well for it. Borrowing from the power of Cytorrak and several other entities, including the Vishanti, he called upon the Union waves to synchronize with the primary universe. He would, at the quantum level, change the vibrational resonance of the quarks within all matter, to essentially change the nature of the universe and the dimensions surrounding it. He strained slightly as the many hours of concentration had taken a toll on him. Slowly but surely, the convergence had begun.
With the hour at hand, he gave a final push. Flames of sweat dripped from his forehead as he released an intense scream. A final flash occurred and then nothing.
He opened his eyes... He had done it! All local dimensions had merged with the Universe. He was now free to walk about in the regular universe at will. So long had he wanted to enter our universe and ravage it for all it had. He had been denied each and every time by the infernal Sorcerer Supreme of this reality. Strange had been a formidable adversary, but this time Dormammu had won. The universe would succumb to his will and he would ravage and rule over it with an iron hand. It would take him untold centuries, perhaps eons before he would be through with it. The universe was after all a much bigger place than his Dark Dimension, now nestled within the primary Universe as well. Elated with victory, Dormammu savored his triumph. Soon he would prepare to deal with the creatures inhabiting this universe, and first on his list would be the Sorcerer Supreme.
Part Two - Disclosure (Morfex)
The Surfer could not believe his eyes. The original, pre-empowered forms of every Herald of Galactus lay before him in diagonal tubes akin to those used by the Collector to keep sentients captive.
Adam Warlock slowly turned his head from one side of the chamber to the other. "Clearly, the Devourer of Worlds created heralds based on mortal physical templates, but the actual servants were nothing more than animated solid Power Cosmic. Judging from the encased Norrin Radd, I would venture that your genuine soul inhabits the Power Cosmic form you now wear. I always wondered if you were truly organic. Epoch, can you corroborate this theory?"
The Surfer was momentarily speechless. Anger began to dominate his features.
Epoch spoke from within the melon-sized sphere that Adam bore. "There is evidence in the Surfer's exploits to suggest he has a non-organic corporeal form, not merely an enhanced organic one. Perhaps Galactus intended to ensure that the templates could be re-used, should the Power Cosmic forms be irreparably damaged."
Finally, the Surfer's anger was palpable. "You speak as if these are laboratory animals! They are people; most of them are the closest that I have ever had to a family in centuries, even the likes of Terrax! They will no longer suffer this indignity!"
Adam Warlock placed his hand on the Surfer's tensed shoulder. "Norrin Radd, do you retain that much knowledge of Galactus' super-technology? Will you free Morg as well? What of your own mortal body, will it survive bereft of spirit? And what of our quest to locate Tyrant before the universe falls to Thanos' Dark Circle of villains and their manipulation of the Union?"
Genis spoke up, though even his tongue seemed to ache still from the beating Thanos had given him. "Surfer, you've given me more guidance and good advice than I've ever deserved. Maybe I can repay you in some small way now. What if we take them with us? Epoch, I know you can't get out yet, but can you bring something in with you?"
"I believe so, young Marvel, and without wasting too much precious time, Warlock."
Adam said, "I would offer to bring their souls into the gem I bear, but the Soul World that you know within is being affected by the Union as well. There is no telling how long I can maintain the inner dimension's integrity."
The Surfer acquiesced. "Very well then. Epoch, please attempt to contain these people in the dimension within the orb. I will guard the chamber entrance while you proceed."
The Punisher construct suddenly materialized before the Silver Surfer. This entity had been used by Galactus for as long as the Surfer could remember to safeguard the Devourer's worldship.
The Surfer shouted. "Get back! This entity is Galactus' preferred watchdog, and has proven extremely dangerous in the past. I will deal with it alone."
"There is no need for that," spoke Galactus' Punisher. "I have not come to fight, but to be set free as well. Behold!" The entity applied pressure to a panel on an adjacent wall. An immense expanse opened up, revealing as far as the eye could see, hundreds of thousands of suspension pods like those of the Heralds, and in them Zenn Lavians and Xandarians. The first pod nearest to the herald-chamber access clearly contained the immobile form of Shalla Bal.
"Wow," said Captain Marvel. "Just like the way Quasar described the vid-film he called 'the Matrix.'"
"You see, Norrin," said the Punisher construct. "I am Shalla Bal."
"Shalla " For a moment, it seemed as if the shock was too much for the Surfer to bear. He suddenly turned to Epoch's orb. "These sleepers cannot remain here. Epoch, please transport all them all to your dimension as well, if space allows. We will sort this all out later."
"As you wish," came Epoch's reply. "Space is not a difficulty in the expanses of the dimension contained within." The entire section of the worldship began to glimmer with transdimensional energy. Between instants, it ceased to exist in the primary universe, the Punisher construct included. A wisp of mist surrounded the sphere momentarily. The Surfer, Adam Warlock bearing the orb, and Captain Marvel stood, staring at the gaping hole toward space where once the section stood. Galactus' internal force fields held.
Adam spoke bluntly. "We must continue."
The Surfer shook his head a moment, then responded. "Yes."
Soon, the three cosmic heroes and Epoch found the site where they had first seen the being called Tyrant. Warlock walked up to the being strapped to a wall alcove with a thousand cables and wires poking nearly every centimeter of his outer layer. Red liquid oozed through transparent tubes into and out of Tyrant's form. From the waist down, Tyrant remained immersed in a red viscous substance.
Adam touched the Tyrant's forehead gently with two fingers of his right hand. "Can you hear me?"
"RARRRRRGH!" was Tyrant's response, as he sought to tear at Warlock's hands with his teeth.
"Charming." Declared Adam.
"Hey, isn't that Tyrant's ship?" Genis pointed through a large porthole in the chamber. "I wonder how Galactus got that here."
The Surfer went up to Tyrant as well. "That is strange. I thought that perhaps Tyrant was also a solid Power Cosmic construct, having been created by Galactus. But I sense no Power Cosmic remaining in him. That would explain why he was not affected by the Power Cosmic absorption I narrowly avoided. Or perhaps he bore a portion that was reabsorbed by Galactus. I do sense a different power source, however, the Power "
Just then, Ganymede burst through the entrance to the chamber.
Following her, was the Shi'ar Imperial, Gladiator. Just outside, battles could be seen. Kismet fought Starhawk. Drax fought Thor. Jack of Hearts fought Quasar. Moondragon fought Doctor Strange.
Ganymede spoke with conviction, though she was clearly out of breath and outnumbered. "Step away from the Tyrant "
Part Three - "Songs of Sorrow (are best sung by fools)." (Asterisk)
Love, caring, peace, goodness, they were anathema to his being. They festered throughout creation. They permeated all things, but Mephisto would toil for all eternity to rid creation of them. He and his brethren WOULD descend upon Earth, the very center of all creation, and they would turn it into hell incarnate. But the question remained, when? Mephisto pondered to himself that Dormammu was already attempting to rule over the Union, and that his gained power would help him formulate a war beyond the seven spheres. From the chaos he would emerge as the supreme entity of the dimensions. So many schemes, so many players, so many pawns.
Azagoth was Mephisto's minion that took his dark lord's form in order to carry out his plans. He looked upon humanity. He gazed at them as sheep to his wolf, mere prey. But through the corner of his eye, he saw a woman, as beautiful as nature itself. He paid no attention, even though at his heart he loved her and yearned for her embrace. Time passed, and his mind had forgotten, but not his heart. Then as he gazed upon humanity once more; he saw her as she gracefully crossed the street. Time seemed to slow and then to stop. But then time seemed to collapse, as a car veered out of control. Then time shattered, and the woman was struck, she dropped to the ground and her heart struggled to hold on to her life. Her eyes could only see darkness, and then her heart stopped, and her life left her cold body. Her spirit was set free. At that time Azagoth, servant of evil, shatterer of souls, felt emotion; true, human emotion. His grim face filled with prolonged eternal hate, but within his tortured and tainted soul, there was an eye, and within this eye.... What was this? Could it be love? Surely it was not, but it was! Deep within his right eye, something began to glisten. As the rest of his face spoke of the purest evil, a tear broke its way through his hate, his shell of darkness, and it raced down his cheek. He ignored it, as if it never happened. This was the day that evil wept.
The true Mephisto seemed almost serene in his darkness. He knew that this was but the start of a revolution. He knew that Azagoth would betray him. He knew that the light would rise against the darkness. It was only a matter of time before the revelation.
Part Four - Lunar Encounter (Morfex)
The 'Star Master' vessel approached the planet Earth.
Morfex turned to Beta Ray Bill. "Bill, look over to the dark side of Earth's moon."
Bill observed the view screen. "It appears to be a cosmic flare of some sort. We should investigate it. Xenith, have you transmitted all the data to the Avengers' computer system?"
"All done, gorgeous." Responded the Strontian female.
Bill ignored her flirtatious nickname, suspecting where her true affections lay. "To the Moon, then."
Morfex magnified the viewscreen, focusing on the construct that seemed to be the source of the flare. "Sensors indicate the flare consists of transdimensional energies. We have a reality leak."
Bill tilted his head at an angle. "Is that a Celestial?"
Before the others could respond, a proximity sensor sounded.
Morfex investigated the console before him. "It seems our old friend Glorian has decided to investigate the Celestial flare as well. But what is that welling up behind him?" Morfex split the screen double imaging to show Glorian's approach.
Beyond the gold-skinned humanoid was a pulsating energy cube phasing into real space, almost the size of the 'Star Master' vessel.
Morfex recognized the energy signatures. "That's the Skrull Cosmic Cube, the one that evolved into the Shaper of Worlds! Only its energy reading is exponentially greater than I had understood it to be from Skrull research."
The Cube stopped suddenly, as Glorian greeted the Destroyer armor that approached him. "Hail, Goddess! My Master recognizes you as the sentient force that nearly remade the cosmos. He has need of you again, if you would like to share in his glorious Destiny!"
The Goddess did not hesitate, though she did not address the Herald of the Cosmic Cube before her. "I am yours to command, Universal!"
Within the vessel, Bill turned to Xenith. "How is it that we can hear their words in the vacuum of space?"
Xenith looked dumbfounded. "Maybe their conversation is telepathic? I haven't a clue."
Beta Ray Bill turned to his two companions. "The Goddess? Adam Warlock will want to know of this "
Suddenly, the Universal Cube turned toward the 'Star Master' ship. Throughout the corridors of the vessel reverberated the psychic message it sent. "Friend or foe ?"
Bill knew that his answer to the question might decide whether they live or die.
CONTINUED IN COSMIC UNION #12
Cosmic Union Saga continues in the next issue of Cosmic Powers Unlimited. Be sure to also check out the Cosmic Unionverse Page for details about the Cosmic Union continuity, as it begins to shape into a whole new cosmic universe of Marvel characters! And go to the POTU Archive Page for stories of the various Protectors of the Universe teams which will emerge from The Cosmic Union. Now be sure to leave us some comments and suggestions!
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