Tales of the Timeless #12
Written by Anomaly, Plot by Anomaly and
Tales of the Timeless
Go to the POTU Archive Page for more past issues of Tales of the Timeless.
His hand dug into a nearby wall, and his body writhed and contorted uncontrollably. He broke one of the restraints that bound him, despite this his body was still held upon the table by two other straps. However, they appeared to be ready to snap under the supernatural effort exerted by the rune warrior, even as he convulsed and vibrated as if shaken by some unseen force. In a final burst of force, he was freed, and then the pain was gone for now.
Knowledge is not without a price, and no one knew this more then Portent. His body was covered in blood, but this was not due to the wound he had received in battle with Black Ax. That had already healed and the scab long fallen away.
The runes had spoken and when they spoke, Portent bled. This usually foreshadowed something that was most dire or at least pivotal. His movements were unusually slow, when he pulled himself from his bedding, which was now crimson with sweat of revelation. It looked more like a device of torture with the crimson liquid pooled in the center and the damage inflicted while he thrashed about under influence of the rune speaks. Something was going to happen and soon it was going to be important, because he bled much more then he usually did.
He went to the dungeon, where Ravonna was being held in chains because he wished to speak to her. His rune blade had been placing an enormous burden upon him as of late, and he was not sure how much longer he could carry it. "Dark blade, you are almost not worth, the effort it takes to carry you," he said to himself as if he were mad. "I must be rid of you and soon." The Hell blade howled in discontent, but Portent ignored it. Ravonna did not know what to make of the strange yet beautiful creature; whose face was racked with pain, and spoke to his sword as if alive.
"You are Ravonna, are you not?" asked Portent, whose voice had an edge to it.
"I am. But who are you? I have never seen your face in this place before, no doubt another killer, cannot have too many of those now can we?" She said, her voice filled with fear and with the false bravado of somebody who was going to die soon. But the feelings in her were transparent and she began to weep. "I am not so strong anymore," she lamented, "this captivity has taken its toll on my mind and spirit."
Portent stared at her with his crimson orbs. In her eyes, which were the most beautiful he had seen, since he had lost his own love, in there lurid gaze there was a kind of strength. But it was not enough to defy Kang's tortures, imprisonment or even himself. Not to mention his demented black blade that just seemed to look forward to breaking her. The blade squealed in unholy anticipation. Her betrayal at Kangs hands reminded him of his own lost love. She was also imprisoned. She was still alive, but she might as well have been dead just like Ravvona soon would be.
Portent began to shake. It was the combination of his bleeding runes and the weight of the black blade upon his spirit. They were beginning to take their toll. This was most evident as he stumbled and would have fallen if his blade had not reached out and caught him. Portent, who had his hands on the hilt of his blade to hold himself up, looked at Ravonna with eyes of pain.
"So you are his executioner?" Blood was dripping off his smooth body, as he drew closer.
Lady Mantis walked into the dungeon and confronted Kang's newest addition. She was dressed in purest ebony with her long dark hair pulled back to reveal a delicate yet dangerous beauty.
Her movements were suggestive as she drew closer to where Portent was standing, and put her jade hand delicately on his smooth shoulder. Her leg caressed his. In addition, for a moment, he seemed to just give into his desire and put his long hand on the small of her back. Gently he brushed his hand against it but then pulled back quickly as if under a spell of sorts.
Mantis hand struck Portent in the face leaving a deeply slash across his poreless cheek. The rune covered warrior grinned as his face zipped itself up and healed before her eyes.
Mantis resumed an air of dignity and composed herself. "Kang would have you join your companions, he has some intelligence on the one who comes."
Century sat immobile. Nathan Richards scanned his body with a strange mechanical device, which was capable of reading chronal emissions and measuring the relative strengths of the individual waves. Nathan stopped every once in a while and said something like "Interesting" or "Hmm" and then resumed his scanning of Century's mighty form. The gray skinned Angel of death brushed aside strands of white hair that hung in his face, revealing eyes of deep azure. "What is it Richards? You have been looking at that infernal machine for the last hour!" said Doctor Victor Von Doom with disdain presence in his already harsh voice.
"This dream," said Doom. "Can you remember any details?"
"I fail to see the significance of subconscious mental activity that was no doubt awakened. If you will pardon my expression by our freeing him of the constrains placed on him by his former master Immortus," said Richards, as his eyes examined the instrumentation before him.
"You are a fool! It has quite evident that Century's dream was more then the result of giving him autonomy. It is mystical in nature!" Doom said curtly. His blood shot eyes glared through the crimson lenses of his obsidian armor.
"Mystical?" queried Richard's who stopped reading his instruments and looked at Doom with curiosity.
"Mystical, cosmic, chronal, it all comes from the same reservoir. It is only the method of extraction that varies, and the implementation through diverse mediums."
"What is your point?" asked Nathan tersely. He was beginning to reexamine the readings from his instruments, a strange tripod like machine that was capable of fitting in the palm of his hand. He then shrunk it down and returned to a cache in his cloak that held a myriad assortment of other shrunken machinery. He pulled out something else out of his cape, like a magician performing before a captive audience. Only in this case it was not magic, but nano-technology in its highest form, capable of shrinking or growing at will.
"He dreams of the future," Doom seemed paused as if for effect. "During my studies in the sorcerer arts, I encountered an enigmatic being who called himself Merlin, or Myrrdian, as he was known in the Celtic lore. It was said that he experienced life backward having many memories of the future. It was also rumored he was not human, but a hybrid between demon and man. I believe perhaps he may have been a time traveler, and could not be comprehended, by the people from that period but I also believe he knew that mystic forces could be harnessed by science. Century is seeing some future event, and I think it would be wise and heed this dire disclosure."
"The construct in my dream was fearsome to behold," said Century. "It is the first time I experienced a sense of dread, it was a mighty engine. A God engine."
"Perhaps it is fortress of the one who is to come," said Doom in mere speculation.
"I cannot say," said Century, "but somehow it involves Portent."
"I suppose it is possible, Doom. He is the construct of an incredibly powerful time lord but I believe he is just had his first dream, nothing more. I will check my readings and get more empirical data."
From afar, it seemed to be an insect colony with workers mindlessly performing their duties. Instead of food, the colony collected time and controlled it and sold it to those willing to pay their price like the TVA and the Kangs. But there were also those who stole it, like the Dooms who had formed there own mysterious councils. Eventually the abhorrent councils would be retroactively eliminated and erased from existence. However, until that day had come, they could only wait and watch. There own space in a null time zone, where their enemies could not cause them any harm.
It was the loss of certain technology from which all these councils sprang forth; it had been somehow stolen and sold to criminals who used the technology for there own agendas. It eventually snowballed into undoing time, and wreaking havoc across the time-stream. However, no one ever knew how it was stolen or if it were planted.
Two of the literally billions of beings who were operating computers in the metallic labyrinth, which was in itself held in another labyrinth were monitoring time and going about its usually business when.
"There is a bubble in time at coordinate at the millennia 2078." It is nearly equal to the one which was formed by the black celestial," said Timekeeper 200 Color Level Green.
"We must move quickly if there is a being powerful enough to defy the timekeepers, then the whole of time itself may be in danger of being usurped," said 300 Red.
"Contact the TVA and see if they have intelligence. Perhaps their instrumentation may have purloined something of the time bubbles nature. After all it was their agent Justice Peace that had hands on in that operation."
I also have information of the newest entry in the time front. Other than the Kangs and Dooms - who have have been buying and gathering sufficient technology to challenge even our status," said 200 Green. "It is bordering on an extradimensional dimension of a realm that warps our time probes, and there is only one artifact capable of that. Time traveling reconnaissance has further indicated there is an a citadel in the dimension of the disposed mystic count abyss."
"Leave it for now. The time bubble is growing and that must be our first order of business," said 300 Red. "Contact our prime agent in Chronopolis. He is becoming suspicious to our true nature. Deal with him."
"It is as good as done, sir."
End of interlude
Doom's ebony armor began to detect an unusual chronal emission coming from Nathan's chambers. Normally this would not have occurred but because of the technology he purloined from Justice Peace. He was able to detect subtle amounts of chronal energy that normally would have not been detected by his armor sensors.
"What is the matter?" asked Century. "I sense something out of order in the continuum. The time emissions were coming from Nathan's room. "We are under attack from the one who comes," said Century who tensed his great fists and prepared for the worst. Century's digits crushed the futuristic mettle, which had been Nathan's door like so much paper. Doom did nothing as Century did the required damage and gained access into Richards' room.
In it was Nathan surrounded by swirling mists, and vibrant colors of reds, greens, and deep purples. For a moment, Nathan seemed strangely oblivious to the forced entry of Century and Doom.
"When I altered the futures of the Timeless, it caused certain disruptions, but I understood what needed to be done," said Richards, who was talking to the lights and swirling mist.
"See that you do, everything and everyone are expendable!" Came the voice. "Even you."
"Judas!" said Doom as his gauntlet fired up, Century pulled out his battle staff and prepared to sanction their former leader. However, Nathan was still oblivious to them. Doom was careful and proceeded with caution thinking it may be a trap. It was not until Doom's obsidian fist crashed against Nathan's withered features that he was even aware of their presence. Richards was instantly rendered unconscious as Doom's metallic hand prepared to execute the father of his former enemy. Doom raised his hand high almost theatrically, like if it were the last act of some tragedy.
But Century's superhuman reflexes saved his life. Century easily held onto Doom's hand immobile, like a father scolding a small child. "Release me!" commanded Doom.
Century was struggling, how could this man who was like his father betray him? How could he endure the emptiness that now gnawed at his very being? It was worse then murder? Better he died than witnessed such a site.
"I would be no party to cold-blooded murder," retorted Century, whose act was based in self-doubt and wanting to do the right thing. But the betrayal ate away at him. "Timekeepers, I am coming!" Then a strange element was added to the mix as Portent walked in. The runes began to glow furiously, smoke of a thick noxious nature emanated from the glowing symbols of chaos. The swirling mists of time were replaced by unpalatable black smoke and the remaining members of the Timeless literally found themselves out of time.
The four of them found themselves in the labyrinth of the Timekeepers. Nathan Richards, who was still unconscious, the white-haired being known as Century, Doctor Doom from the year 2099, and Portent stood in a strange place with men without number sitting next to computers. Their appearance caused immediate chaos as the Timekeepers were running around in a mockery, like chickens that had been beheaded.
"Red 400, how did this occur access into our null time zone is not possible?"
"Well, unless my photoreceptors fail me, I would say we have two intruders one o'clock along with our own agent. I think we have been found out"
Portent was not counted among them; somehow, he was evading their senses. Now that he was here, he had something he had to accomplish to ensure that his enemy, the one who comes, did not usurp all. He blended into the shadows while Doom and Century began to wreak their murderous havoc.
"Century can you lock onto the chronal emissions, coming from the Central Time engine, this may be the place in your dream."
"Yes, I believe I can. Come! This way."
In addition, Doom followed as Century was going to lead Doom to the greatest power in all reality. Soon Doom would rule the timekeepers, restore his home nation of Latveria, and erase from existence all those who ever opposed him. A large grin was hidden by the obsidian faceplate. Soon, he thought, Doom will be supreme.
Portent moved swiftly through the colony of Timekeepers, taking souls at random, his blade moaning in ecstasy at the oncoming feast. The semisentient blade began to move of its own accord as it swallowed soul after soul, and with their souls came the information, they were all connected these timekeepers like an insect colony. Outside there fortress there were invincible, but within they had no defenses, because they believed such a thing impossible, but now all he had to do was locate the queen and there colony would be destroyed.
They had no escape from the white wraith. He cut a swath through their numbers gaining strength and vitality as he devoured more souls. He moved like a hurricane, but even with that speed, it may have taken infinitude of time, as it was truly a colony of unimaginable size.
Doom held the one who was called 200 Red aloft, his mettle digits tightening around the technician's throat, "Where is the main frame?" demanded Doom his intonation threatening. "How do I access the other floors? There appears to be no way of going in between levels."
Red 200 coughed up blood as he spat out the information. "There is no way," said the Timekeeper. "None of us have ever left our stations, we don't sleep, eat, or go to the bathroom."
"Interesting," said Doom. "How long have you been here?"
A cough, "Always"
"That is not possible!" said Doom as he crushed the man's throat and then tossed him aside, with the other bodies.
"It appears a new stratagem is in order," said Doom. "Get on my back Century." He did as he was told and then Doom fired a blast through the ceiling. "It is interesting how the mettle appears to be earth born in nature, but perhaps because they didn't expect a breech they had no internal defenses."
Portent awaited as an aperture in space was opened and he stepped through, it was the central computer the queen as it was. He walked up to the machine and his blade howled in rage at the hidden enemy. Tendrils of mystic energy spidered out from the black blades core as he plunged his blade all the way to its hilt. There was a shower of sparks and then everything shut down, while the blade laughed malevolently
He walked over to his prize an emerald gem of nigh infinite might, the gem in Portents hand began to glow and Doom, Richards, and Century were transported from the citadel of the Timekeepers. "I have it!" he said to himself. "The time gem is mine!"
Doom was the first to awaken as a man in cowl stood before them. The land a patchwork network of valleys mountains and plains. The man in cowl was on a horse as dark as midnight. The horse began to jump at the intruders of Doom, Century, and Richards, who was now just awakening.
"Where are we?!" demanded Doctor Doom.
The rider's voice hissed like a serpent. "You are in Myridia."
Continued in Tales of the Timeless #13
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