Cosmic Union (The Directors' Cut) Issue #15
Written and edited by the Silver Surfer
ISSUE #15: "MULTIPLE FRONTS"
Cosmic Union Writers from the Silver Surfer
Message Board: Asterisk, Anomaly,
Azmodi, Brother Voodoo, Grim, Marvelite, Morfex, Mystic, and Number 6.
Part One - Ground Zero (Grim)
"Fall back! Fall back!"
"There's just too many of them! We've been holding our own so far, but they still keep coming. Everyone is tired and hurt. Thank God, we've had no one killed yet."
"Cap, Reed wants to talk to you."
"Go ahead, Reed," Captain America said, taking the Avengers communicard from the Wasp.
"Cap, I've worked up a plan to buy us some time. Have everyone try to push the invaders to Central Park. Then retreat as fast as possible. According to my research, The gaps in the space-time continuum aren't closing or even getting smaller. Intradimensional temporal fluctuations in the relativistic nucleation "
Ben Grim chimed in. "Hey, stretch, enough with the big words, already. Just tell the man what the plan is. Sheeesh."
"Your right, Ben. Cap, push the invaders towards the park and then go into deep cover at my signal."
"You got it, Reed. Jan, here's your card back. We'll search over on 40th Street for mine after this is over."
"I think a missing communicard is the least of our worries "
"Sue, when I signal you, I want you to construct a force field shaped like this design around the park. "
"I'll do my best, sweetheart."
"Aw, don't go getting mushy around the brain," said the Thing, entering the room. "Reed, Johnny and I have everything set up in the park. It was murder getting in there. You were right, as always. That seems to be the main entry point for those blamed critters."
"Jean, I'll need your assistance. According to the message Spiderman just delivered, Reed Richards has a plan. We have to telepathically contact everyone in the city and tell them to take cover."
"I'll help out as much as I can, Professor."
The warning went out. "Take cover In a basement Leave if possible Evacuate " All across the city, people went to basements, and fallout shelters. Subway tunnels. Superheroes and normal people alike abandoned the surface world to the extra-dimensional invaders. Creatures battled other creatures and found sustenance among other even more unknown invaders. Lesser creatures were gobbled up as stronger and stronger beings appeared on Earth.
"O.K. Johnny? Ready?"
"Sue, are you ready?"
"I'm not sure, Reed. It's such a large area. And to hold my force field in that shape for that long. I don't know if "
"Maybe I can be of assistance Mrs. Richards."
"Whaaaa ? Magneto? What are you doing here?"
"Merely trying to save the world that I love so much."
"Ya crum-bum. You comes within ten feet o' Susie Q an' I'll knock you upside that funky helmet o' yours!"
"Save your threats, Mr. Grimm. I come to offer assistance. Not to fight. In any event, your attack would be stopped the second it began."
"We'll just see about that," yelled the Thing, charging at Magneto.
Two invisible force fields sprang up in front of him as Mr. Fantastic wrapped his pliant body around his best friend.
"Calm down, Ben. He really is here to help."
"Yes, Ben. He's here to help me with my force field. Normally, a field like this wouldn't be a problem, but after all the fighting we've done today "
"Mr. Grimm, we are all tired. I've volunteer to help. If you have a problem with that, we can settle it after this is over."
"I guess it's O.K. for now. But, after this is all over, I'm gonna settle somethin' alright!"
"Thanks for the offer, Magneto," said Reed. "Ben's more tired than the rest of us. I've had Johnny resting and storing up energy."
"Yeah, Reed, when can I get off this thing? I feel like I'm gonna explode."
"Call me Eric, Mr. Richards. And I will do anything in my power to help you."
"Fine words from someone who wants to rule the whole bloomin' world."
"No, Mr. Grimm. I don't want to rule. I just want to co-exist in peace with Homo sapiens. You, as a superhuman, must surely understand that."
"Well I do get a lot o' hassles, being who I am."
"And if we do not work together, then there will not be an Earth for us to coexist upon, in any case."
"O.K. You've got a deal, Maggie. But I'm keepin' a baby blue glued on you. You try anything funny "
"O.K. Johnny, unhook from the power-booster and fly out to the pit that Ben blasted out earlier. Sue, you and Eric get ready to erect your fields. Ben, when Johnny is in position, fire the flare gun to signal the population that they have ten seconds left."
"Hey Reed. Johnny's, ready to go. He looks brighter than I've ever seen 'em. That dad-blamed power booster thing-a-ma-jiggie must work like a charm."
"Fire the flare gun and hope that this works." Ben held the gun up and fired a small rocket charge up into the sky. It exploded into a flaming number 4 and Reed started the countdown. "10 9 8 "
"There's the signal, everyone take cover," commanded the leader of Earth's ground based troops, Captain America.
"7 6 "
The New Warriors' Nova flew off in the direction of New Jersey at top speed. Vance Astro and Firestar gathered up non-flying members of the Avengers and flew off. Juggernaut cowered in a subway terminal, holding his bleeding hand and mumbling, "Stupid spiders " Mach-1 and Moonstone picked up Hawkeye and flew away. The Hulk leapt high and away from the park Electro climbed onto a utility pole, mounted the electric wires and was out of sight in a flash Ghost Rider left a flaming trail out of the city Black Widow paused to shoot two creatures that were harrying a pigeon and continued to swing away from the park... The Punisher set his van on auto-drive and climbed through a hatch on top so that he could continue to shoot creatures Brother Voodoo opened a hatch in the sub-basement of his New York retreat and proceeded to light the sacred candles that would protect him from the coming storm Quicksilver made three trips around the park, helping people too slow to escape by themselves Venom dropped into the sewers and slipped away Spiderman snagged a web-line on an Avengers quinjet flown by Cap and containing the Wasp, Hawkeye, Elektra, Giantman, Sandman, and Jarvis The SR-71 Blackbird lifted off carrying the X-Men to safety
"5 4 "
"Reed, the force field is in place. With Magneto adding to it. I feel like I could project all day."
"You have a very formidable will, Mrs. Richards. I sense that our fields have enough in common to strengthen each other and help protect the city. And please, call me Eric."
"3 2 1 "
"NOW JOHNNY. RELEASE THE ENERGY NOW!" commanded Reed. The Human Torch released all the stored up energy in a nova blast that was so intense that anything caught in the way simply ceased to be. Trees, monsters, cars, building, creatures Anything inside the shield was instantly obliterated. Sue grunted and sweat dripped down her forehead at the strain of forcing the nova-fire up into the atmosphere. Magneto dropped to one knee, but his concentration on the force field never wavered. "I never knew he had such power "
"Well, we stopped them for awhile. Johnny's blast was so intense that even creatures in other dimensions waiting to jump to Earth were destroyed. But, from my reading, The gap still grows. All the Universes are still in synchronicity. Basically, all we've done is bought ourselves a chance to rest and recoup."
Ben entered the room and said, "Johnny's out of it Reed. Thank heavens I had that special heat-suit. Everythin' was all burnt to glass in there. He won't be up to anythin' like that again for a long time."
"Avengers Assemble!," yelled Captain America, as the quinjet landed. "There are still creatures that were outside the park that will have to be neutralized. Lets just hope the actions of the Fantastic Four have bought the major players in this battle some time
Part Two - Fall From Grace (Asterisk)
"Time without end, sin without forgiveness, love without return, hate without boundaries. I am the murder of innocents, I am the emptiness of God, I am the torturing of children and animals, I am evil, and I am eternal."
These words spewed forth from the mouth of Azazel like vomit from a sickened dog. Hatred was his soul, a soul that festered in Mankind like the Ebola virus, but instead of eating away flesh, he ate away at their decency, their love, their minds, their common good their humanity and their souls.
"When the final gambit of the mortals, the maggots, plays out, when they think victory is grasped, they will realize just WHAT the Union is, just how wrong those fools have been. No matter how evil they think they are, they have goodness in them, that evil in them is us. They are clay to our potters. They will know suffering. They will know despair. They will know depression, and darkness, and torturing, and emptiness of depths unheard of, eternities unknown.
"When the gates of the Union reach their final crux, their ultimate apex, they will realize that the gates of hell will open, and love will fade to dark."
Part Three - Beware Titans Bearing Gifts (Morfex)
With Mephisto's warning, Thanos left his lair to confront the Universal. Just as the Cosmic Containment creature spoke the words "Friend or foe?" to the 'Star Master' vessel, Thanos materialized before it on his hover chair of old. "Hail, all-powerful Universal! I am Thanos of Titan, and I bear gifts in honor of your renewed greatness."
"We know of you, son of Mentor. What does the infamous Mad Titan have to offer us?"
"A humble gesture of my cooperative nature, Lord Universal."
"There is nothing humble about you, Thanos. But you may present your tokens of esteem."
Thanos gestured and floating before him in a huge bubble of atmosphere could be seen: the Molecule Man, Captain Universe, and the Eternal Unimind, all seemingly inert. "I know of the forces that keep you from approaching Earth to reclaim what is rightfully yours, Universal. I therefore gathered them for you. Some, willingly; some less so. With them, Earth can finally be reached."
The Universal Cube shuddered and expanded to include the bubble bearing the gifts.
Energies swirled within it as the entity fully encompassed the last vestiges of unabsorbed power. Thus, did every iota of Power Universal return to its source. The Universal remade itself into the familiar humanoid form of the Beyonder. His eyes glowed with an intensity he had never demonstrated before in his Secret Wars with the Marvels. "I am whole I am Universal." Suddenly, he turned his head sideways and up, as if hearing a summons none other could.
"To the Nexus " he said. Just as suddenly as Surtur, Galactus, and the Grandmaster, the Beyonder entity disappeared.
Thanos grinned broadly, turned to Glorian, the Destroyer/Goddess, and the 'Star Master' vessel. Grinning again, he vanished aboard his transport chair.
As Thanos departed, the Skrull called Morfex commented to Beta Ray Bill and Xenith aboard their ship, "There is a large vessel approaching at vast speeds it appears to coincide with Norrin's description of the Collector's starship..."
Part Four - Tragic Destiny (Morfex)
"EPOCH!" screamed out Norrin Radd. Instantly, the heir to Eon's cosmic position manifested before the former Silver Surfer. "Epoch, Shalla Bal and Morg lie near death. What can we do to prevent this?"
Tyros interjected. "Are you insane, Norrin Radd? Let Morg's threat end once and for all."
Norrin turned to the former Heralds before him, Shalla Bal still in his arms. Terrax had never seen such focused intensity in the Surfer's eyes. "I'll say this once. I stand for ALL life!"
Epoch spoke. "If you were to reseal them in the suspension pods, that should stop any further deterioration."
Quickly, Norrin placed Shalla Bal in the pod that had been his. With reluctant help from Pyreus and Gabriel, Norrin placed Morg in an adjacent pod. Frankie and Tyros refused to lift a finger for Morg.
Norrin sealed the pods and turned again to the Scion of Eon. "Epoch, there are events beyond this prison sphere that we must return to. Have you discovered a means of exiting Tyrant's orb?"
"I have not found a way to exit it myself, but you five are another matter entirely "
Aboard Taa II, no one had noticed Mephisto's microsecond of presence. The Silver Surfer had simply vanished.
Adam Warlock sensed the Surfer's departure to the Epoch orb. He felt fully recovered from the implosion of Soul World. He stood tall, then handed the orb to Captain Marvel for safekeeping. "Fear not for our ally, the Surfer lies within this container."
Suddenly, Tyrant began to quake, then crack. His entire form broke open like an eggshell, revealing a calm, slender, handsome humanoid male inside. All battle ceased suddenly at the sight.
Ganymede's eyes opened wide with shock. "Cyrus? My husband?" Her weapon fell to the ground with a loud clanging, signaling to her allies that the conflict was moot.
Jack of Hearts stopped grappling his opponent, Thor. "Husband?"
The being within the Tyrant shell stepped forth, "Yes, my former wife, it is I."
Captain Marvel was the first to speak. "Can somebody please explain to me what is going on here?"
The being Ganymede called Cyrus spoke. "During the last Union episode, eons ago, I volunteered to save my people and the Universe as we knew it by giving myself up to the World Devourer, Galactus.
"He knew that only a living lightning rod for the Union's exotic energies could control the phenomenon's ebb and flow. But there was a price to be paid. No one mortal entity could contain all of Eternity's varied cosmic energies simultaneously unaffected. Any sentient being with more than several distinct cosmic power sources would be driven insane.
"In the last few hours, four of the Powers that cycled through my insane core have been withdrawn: the Powers Cosmic, Primordial, Dimensional, and Universal. Though other powers still course through me, the insanity has passed, at least temporarily.
"The legends and data from the past are all true. I took on the mantle of Tyrant to save the Universe from the Union's chaos. But in turn, the powers within me drove me mad, and I became a threat to whole galaxies. Which was the lesser of two evils? Would any of you have saved the Universe at the cost of becoming what you despise most?"
Ganymede took a hesitant step forward. "Cyrus I thought Tyrant had killed you. I swore to end Tyrant's threat forever "
Cyrus responded. "My dear, I have no regrets about my decision, I only regret not telling you." He turned to the varied beings before him. "If this current Union is to subside, and Eternity's order is to be restored again, someone must take up the mantle of Tyrant once more. And unless another being takes my place, my Destiny is set. I told you the last time we parted, Gan, I free you from your vows of fidelity to me. Now I free you from your vows of vengeance as well. Use your abilities to fight tyrants of all kinds, not just one Force of Nature whose existence is as crucial to the cosmic balance as that of Galactus."
"Wait a minute," said Quasar. "If you were Ultimately Nullified, then why didn't the Cosmic Powers run rampant and consume the Universe then and there?"
"You of all people should know, young Quasar, that in a Universe of sentient Abstracts, even Oblivion is paradoxically a plane of existence. I never ceased to be, I was simply elsewhere. Much like Galactus, Morg, and the Worldship. Without an Abstract entity to embody Oblivion, however, Nullification is real during the Union cycles."
"Why does Galactus' feeding cause you pain?" asked Gladiator of the Shi'ar, still recalling his last encounter with the being he knew as Tyrant.
"When Galactus feeds, he absorbs a world's life energy, that unique and rare essence that makes a planet sustain life. The absorption of such energy causes Galactus to become more powerful, and more capable of accessing nearly limitless amounts of Power Cosmic. This temporarily upsets the normal balance and flow of power in the Universe, thus afflicting pain to my Tyrant form, the junction of all cosmic powers. That unendurable anguish further fuels the Tyrant's already substantial mental instability. During the Union's final phases, the pain ceases, as does the insanity."
Ganymede was unsure of what to say, "Cyrus, do you intend to return to this function of multi-power equilibration that you have served for so long?"
"That depends on you, Ganymede."
"I... you must know how many millennia it took for me to come to terms with your loss. But now " Ganymede looked to Jack of Hearts, who simply watched with mixed emotions as the scene unfolded before him. "But now," she continued, "I have left my pain behind me and moved on. I have found that I can feel love again, Cyrus. Can you understand?"
Cyrus looked down to his feet, not daring to meet Ganymede's gaze. "Of course, Ganymede. In answer to your question, I will return to Galactus' first creation, the Tyrant shell, and hope that my sacrifice will not be in vain."
Several heroes felt shame, knowing deep inside that they felt relief at not having to offer themselves to such a terrible fate.
Genis interjected. "This orb, what does it do?"
Cyrus responded. "This orb, and thousands like it in my vessel just outside, are receptacles for near limitless data. Like Celestial armor, Infinity Gems, and Cosmic Containment Units, they also have the capacity to harbor dimensions, keeping them unaffected by the Union. In my Tyrant form I created them hoping to use them to capture and permanently imprison dimensions. Tyrant's anguish and insanity stem from the diversity of adjoining dimensions as well as the diversity and fluctuation of Cosmic Powers. Fewer dimensions attached to the Prime Universe means less suffering for Tyrant."
Ganymede asked, "Why did Galactus attach you to this machine?"
Cyrus considered. "Perhaps he was searching for an alternative to the Tyrant solution, given its danger to the Cosmos. Perhaps he was attempting to alleviate my suffering. Perhaps he wished to secure me for the moment of the Union's culmination. I do not know."
Ganymede continued her line of questioning. "How... how do you return to the Tyrant form, and what happens to you after the Union subsides?"
"This Tyrant shell is nothing more than that. Only Galactus can reintegrate me with it. We must find the Devourer for him to do so before the Union's final waves hit. Without a functional Nexus for the varied powers, the Universe cannot survive Union. As for your second question, I would return to the persona of Tyrant and attempt to destroy Galactus, then conquer, enslave, or destroy whole Galaxies. Unless you can find a way to stop me without killing me. That is apparently my tragic Destiny."
Suddenly, the orb that Genis, son of Mar-Vell, held began to glow.
Projected from within Epoch's resting-place was a beam that shimmered and transformed into all the former Heralds of Galactus but Morg, each in their original humanoid form. "Has anything transpired in my absence?" asked Norrin Radd. Quasar quickly filled him in.
Captain Marvel looked around at the gathering of heroes. "Hey, where is Warlock?"
CONTINUED IN COSMIC UNION #16
The Cosmic Union Saga continues in issue #16. 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!