Tales of the Timeless #13
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.
Home sweet home. Myrdia the Kain Gambit.
The man in cowl pulled back his hood to reveal a woman, with red hair, and eyes of purest jade. Her smile was alluring almost irresistible. "Greetings," she said, her tone was seductive and suggestive, but there was a clear edge to her cold words. "I am Luna, and I am looking for one who has been traveling by your side, he is called Portent." She paused. "I have been seeking him for some time and it appears he has alluded me once again."
Nathaniel Richards spoke, measuring each word, placing profound importance on each syllable. "So you say that we are in a self contained anomaly, that reconfigured itself into a universe correct."
"Still your tongue, Traitor! You have done enough!" Doctor Victor von Doom glared at Richards intensely his eyes not wavering from the father of his age-old enemy, then smiled sadistically. "Your time as leader is ended, I shall take up the leadership duties until another can be chosen by Epoch." The monarch of a dead nation watched, with dark amusement at the sheer look of defiance that flashed before Richards' daunting eyes. It was all Doom could do not laugh aloud.
"What makes you think that Epoch doesn't know about this!" Richards challenged bolting to his feet and taking up a stance that suggested that he might take physical action against Doom. "When you interrupted I was doing surveillance on the activity of the covert group of time entities called the Timeless. Epoch and myself have been observing them for some time, and I would have informed her of all things that I have observed. Your lack of foresight could have cost us everything!"
"Very clever," came Doom, "but I'm afraid such subterfuge will not work on myself! I have forgotten more about strategy and subterfuge then you are ever likely to learn." And the two looked as if arms would settle the score. Doom had also taken up a defensive stance, mirroring that of his opponent's but where as Richards yielded his staff, Doom was unarmed, he merely stood there looking calm and collective. But a heavy hand on Richards' shoulder quickly changed his mind. The shape of Century was hovering over him.
His words rumbled, the sound reminded all assembled of an approaching avalanche. "Do not think to deceive us again!" And with those words, Richards put away his staff, and he knew Doom held the upper hand, it was quite obvious that Century had turned against him. This was a fight that he could not hope to win.
The woman on the horse, who had introduced herself only as Luna, had been watching the entire time, and looked at Doom with eyes of one who was seeking power. A smile touched her lips. "If you are there leader," she said darkly, "then you may assist me from my horse." Victor von Doom turned from Richards and headed toward the horse, since after all he did consider himself a gentleman by nature, and the gentlemen thing to do would be as she suggested. He helped Luna from her horse, but seemed almost enthralled by the swirling pools of jade that passed for her eyes. Images of his childhood sweet heart Valeria, were suddenly appearing in the theater that is Doom's mind, it was very strange, because he had not thought of her in years. But there she stood, in his mind's eye and she was as beautiful as ever. He stood there frozen, his armored gauntlets resting on her waist, her body was raised in mid-air, overhead dark clouds started to gather overhead.
"Is something the matter?" she commented, fighting the great urge of smiling at her. Suddenly all things faded in a swirl of forgetfulness, he shook off the feeling. And he continued to lower her to the ground beside the horse of pure black.
"Images of another man and another time, but of no concern to me now. May I inquire to the nature of your business?" Doom asked, while he was reading the instrumentation in his armor, the time displacement was playing havoc with his instrumentation that was just now coming under control.
"That needn't concern you; my business with him is of a personal nature. And he will know it when he lays eyes upon me." And then images of Valeria, his childhood lover, were once more thrust into the house of his mentality. This made it difficult to focus on the mathematical elements of the chronal energy, and then he wondered if perhaps, the images were more then coincidence. He had seen such tactics, when he and the one called Tony Stark an industry giant, had visited the time of King Arthur and he had encountered Morgana le Fey, a necromancer of great power.
"Your answers are evasive," Doctor Doom countered, he was in the process of issuing a veiled warning to the women called Luna.. "Perhaps you are not what you seem."
"Perhaps," she said cryptically. "And can you say that you are the strong man you portray or is there something hidden in that armor. Something you hide because you are afraid of rejection." Once again images of Valeria running off smashed through the mind of Doom. And he watched in his mind's eye, how she could not tolerate what he had become. Then the image was gone replaced with an image of Luna, who was in the nude. Wincing in pain he tried desperately to combat the images. He was then thrust back into reality and could feel his body being invaded by strange feelings. Luna then brushed her delicate hand across Doom's obsidian armor, suggestively.
"You are very intuitive Doom, and it is quite apparent why you have become the leader. Your perceptiveness, your ability to anticipate, is truly a wonder, By any means. But Portent is what I seek now, your enmity at this moment." Then Doom's mind was filled with images of Portent, covered in the blood of many, and he could hear the victims screaming. The sword drank in there life force relishing every moment of its ecstasy, he could see how they were helpless under his merciless assault. "You will help me," she said, but the voice was not audible, they were pure thought and for dooms mind alone.
Century broke the silence. "Why do we care what this women wants with this Portent, this is not our concern," said Century, his words rumbled darkly, and when his last out-burst sounded like an avalanche, this time his words reminded Richards of distant thunder, echoing in the backdrop. "I would much rather know where we are and if this women can help us, leave this place . . ."
"You speak your mind," she said, "and you have the force to back it." She smiled. "I am impressed." For a moment Century seemed to gaze at things unseen, as she walked to him, in such a manner that she appeared to float across the landscape. He could feel a strange desire growing inside of him, a desire he had never known, and incredibly Century's hand trembled
"What is this malady that ails me," said Century, as he looked at his trembling hands, a gnawing feeling started to tear at the pit of his stomach.
"And I am not easily impressed, Century."
Interlude - Time gems heal all wounds
Laser blasts fired repeatedly from the standard military blaster. The strange creatures of chaos surrounded him on both sides of the twisted landscape. He had taken two of weird beasts down already, but there were still five of them remaining. His left leg was bleeding, on the inside of his thigh just missing the renal artery. His side had a huge gash in it, just under the floating rib, the two bit marks were beginning to throb up and down as if it were breathing. Holding his side with his only free hand Portent wondered why he felt responsible for the colony on Regis Seven. Why, he had decided to tackle these creatures of another dimension entirely on his own, without the help of his father, who had much more experience in esoteric matters. Perhaps because of his lineage he thought, he would be immune to them somehow. But as he came down on one of the creature's head with bone crushing force he realized he was just being set up while another leapt at his throat. His reflexes were swifter then a surveillance ship coming out of hyper space as another photon blasts from the military blaster sent the creature sprawling backward, doubling over. A yelp came from the disemboweled thing that looked like a different animal each time Portent looked at it, depending on the angle which he looked. Portent was then viscously attacked by the remaining creatures, which tore him to ribbons like hunger dogs to raw meat. They then leaped through the gateway, and now there unholy might would be loosed upon the universe once again. He had failed.
A great humanoid figure began to rise like a ghoul from the tomb. its black and white head was heavily veined and in one hand was a sword, which was covered with runes, and made many strange howling noises as if it were talking to itself. The air around Portent grew ice cold. "I am between chaos and order, god and man, I am between all the extremes, and none can resist my call," the words sounded all around him, and had the distinct sensation of death. It was like a dark angel made of both shadow and light, and with its moaning sword held over his head two great faces appeared over head.
Portent shook violently as he struggled to escape, but something in the demon's eyes was gentle, and peaceful, Portent was in a rapture and could not turn away, and then a terrible din was heard throughout the strange realm. The terrible masters of this realm were hovering in the form of two decapitated heads. One had the look of a controlled man with a baldpate and the other was twisted beyond imagining with one eye larger then the other and its mouth hideously deformed in unison they spoke.
"YOU HAVE BEEN EXPECTED."
Lightning flashed and a great egg, with many mystical symbols appeared in front of the warrior, and he wondered what it was intended. But then he realized that it was just big enough to fit him, and when it began to open Portent screamed.
A team of robotic spiders were probing something, with their metal tendrils, and as laser drills of considerable intensity, came against the object. It began to break open, and curled within in a fetal position was a man like object covered in runes, with a strange weapon by his side. One of the robotic spiders was suddenly; assailed from all sides, by something that moved like a blur. Two of its legs were missing and its robotic innards were scattered about the floor of the sterile chamber, which was completely empty except for some machines and the spider robots which had just freed him.
The smooth creature held the weapon in an on guard position, his runes looking like they were inflamed wounds and throbbed giving off the effect that they were alive, beating with life. The sword whispered to its master as the spider-bots tried to contain him. The warrior moved like he had eyes in the back of his head as quickly disemboweled another one of the ferrous looking spider-bots that were converging on his position. The robots grew more cautious, but then drew back as the door to the chamber opened, and the only words that could come out of the rune warrior's mouth was . . . "You!"
"GREETINGS. I HAVE PURLOINED YOU FROM CHAOS AND ORDER'S GRASP, BUT MY REASONS ARE MY OWN, IF YOU ARE NOT GRATEFUL YOU WILL BE SUMMARILY DISPOSED OF."
Portent awaited as two glowing geometric shape appeared out of thin air, the objects were composed of a copperish colored metal, with a richly detailed design that was like a labyrinth the closer you got, the more you could see of it. The tetrahedron opened to reveal a hexagon like shape, which also opened to reveal a cube shape, which opened to reveal a smaller shape which in turn opened up to reveal an even smaller shape. This went on for some time, and Portent knew this was the strange machine would do and he awakened as if from a bad dream.
"You should not have tried to use the time gem, without the reality gem." A voice chastised him, harshly, but there was warmth in the words. "You could have caused, a catastrophe in the timestream, it is lucky I intervened, and removed the gem, before you could alter your future." Portent's eyes snapped open only to be greeted by a much welcome sight. The owner of the voice was a woman with delicious brown eyes, and an olive complexion, with her ebony locks cascading down to her shoulder, delicately.
Portent was bandaged up, but it didn't matter his healing system would quickly compensate as it always did. "Now, I remember," he said, in a groan that he tried to quickly cover up in order to safe face. "When we broke into the timekeepers fortress, after the traitor Richards was discovered, I found the time gem right where he said it would be, and I sought to use it to free myself of this burden, which has been place on me against my will."
"Or perhaps," she countered, "You should have heeded your father's warnings." Her glare penetrated him to his core; her presence was such that she could unravel someone down to his or her atomic structure, with the merest of glances.
"Where is the Timeless, Roma?" Portent asked, his voice stronger than it had been moments earlier. "Or do you think yourself above such matters being the guardian of the omniverse and all?" he asked, sarcastically, a slight hellish smirk played against his lips.
"You are passionate, mighty Portent, but I fear that the doom that has been placed on you will transpire despite my best efforts." She lowered her head in consent to what she saw as the inevitable fate f the man before him. He stared into her eyes for a moment; her face was so young, Portent would have surmised that she was only in her early twenties, but her eyes . . . her eyes reflected an age unfathomed.
"And why do you make such efforts?" he asked bluntly.
"I have grown fond of you rune warrior and would not see you perish, already your new station has coast you greatly, and that will only magnify, when The One Who Comes final arrives."
End of Interlude
"It seems something has transpired here. Ah, yes a betrayal." Luna smiled darkly, walking over to the one who was Nathaniel Richards. She had set them up in a castle that was under her control, so that they may rest and lick their wounds from the battles that they had borne of late. Then when morn came they would attempt to find a way to bring them back to where and when they truly belonged. Her red hair, which poured over her shoulders, seemed to spider out as if the individual strands were completely under her control as she made her way deeper into the chamber. Richards began to look at her and it felt as if he were under water, with a great pressure on his chest, making it difficult for him to breath. His bedding shook with violence, as the immovable, weight of the hag made it impossible to move, and the terrible face, which he could not even look at, paralyzed him completely. Doom had stripped Nathaniel of his weaponry, hours prior, so he was in fact helpless before the dreadful weight on his chest.
She seemed to take on the visage of Susan Richards, with her body completely in the nude. Nathaniel began to sweat, the great pressure on his chest began to increase, his pulse began to beat at a furious pace and his blood felt as if it would boil, and shoot out of his veins in great streams. Long tentacles came from her mouth and entered her victim. Nathaniel's body began to grow more vascular with every passing moment and it seemed as if his heart would burn, from the plump network of veins, which had to have increased the blood flow by tenfold. It was a terrible sight to be holding as the supernatural creature fed on Nathaniel's life force, but in his minds eye he was in paradise, oblivious to the atrocities being done to his limp and convulsing body.
As he continued to look she danced in the air, and then all he could focus on was the color of her lips, so red, the color of blood. Richards reached out and they kissed, and a butterfly of screeching red energy was vomited from his innards and devoured by the woman, and then he was unmoving. His convulsions had stopped, his churning body silent. His heart had retired, and his soul crumbled.
The hag soon found her way into von Doom's quarters, and was curious to see that he still wore his armored form even at rest., and when she placed her, metaphysical weight upon his chest, she began to laugh. "Is your precious Valeria, giving you all the pleasure you withhold from yourselves. Awaken, Doom, I want you to face my face, before you die, in swoon between terror and ecstasy. Then the seer will awaken the old one, and the search for the widowed rose can begin. Portent will also taste my wraith for abandoning me to Kain."
There was the slight glow of an ion charge firing up in the shadows, while Luna sat upon the armored form of Doom. Her vampirac senses immediately picked up the energy signature. She hissed her wraith, revealing a pair of sharp fang-like teeth.
"The spell I learned from Strange seems to work well even against your kind," said Doom, "and it also made you believe I was in the empty shell, I recreated using the assemblers in my armor.."
"You are behind the times," Luna hissed. "I'm the kindred. An ancient race of Kain, who have mastered the sciences, and become truly immortal do your worst." A missile of sorts was launched from a hand-held weapon that Luna had not had in her hands a moment earlier. The missile did not penetrate the admantium-laced armor, but instead adhered to its obsidian surface. Doom sealed his armor off to preventing the invasion of what he could only assume was the vampire virus, a vampire implanted in the device.
Luna smiled, shrugged slight and said, "No problem. Century is more then able to do it Doom." The unstoppable engine that was Century then confronted him. His fists were already charging with power, but could even he summon the might to stop one such as Century. Doctor Doom fired forth a deadly blast that had enough force to level a small structure, Century merely took a step backward and brushed back the white locks of his silvery hair. The nanites and assemblers had already began to regenerate any damage done by Victor von Doom's attack.
All except himself had fallen under the assault of the bewitching gaze of the strange women he had been merely bidding his time for the proper moment, and this one seemed as good as any. Already his internal computer was running a scan on the one name Luna, it quickly came up with a match Luna, daughter of Crystal and Quicksilver, place of birth, the blue side of the moon. Now Doom began to see Luna was an inhabitant of the Inhumans, and perhaps had some power, but under description of power there was none. She was born completely human. Victor von Doom could not move fast enough as a heavy fist crashed into his admantium laced armor. Sending him crashing into the chamber wall where, he made a body like impression of himself, in the granite.
Century was swift and had already begun to pummel him, relentlessly. Doom's automatic defense saved him as a field of pure force that sent Century staggering away from Doom, where he smashed into the empty bed. Century got up immediately, while Doom could feel his injured form being treated by the medic nanites in his armored form, Century was preparing for another assault.
Doom sought for another strategy, as Century was just to powerful to deal with in a physical confrontation, at least not with his armor, still not up to full power, because of the numerous battles, and not the time to fix the problems that had occurred.
Doom looked over toward the gaze of Luna, who smiled, and the monarch of a now dead Latveria did something he had not tried since he was caught in a battle with Terrax and the Silver Surfer, and his body was being in danger of being vaporized.
It was a skill he had learned from a mysterious group of beings called the Ovoids. "Let us see how you like it when he tables are turned my lady!" Immediately, Doom felt himself in a body that was neither living nor dead, now he understood why she had power. Luna was a vampire, a creature of myth, but powerful enough to take on even a future group of being s like the Timeless. The switch did not last long as Doom was returned to his old body, but it was enough to break the spell on Century.
He staggered back, his mind swimming away from him for a moment or two, before he regained his bearings.
Luna laughed, and it was so loud that it shattered glass in the bedroom chamber. "I have not yet begun to fight," she said. And then the air itself began to vibrate and hum, and immediately Doctor Doom and Century were knocked to the ground with unholy force. In addition, when they rose, the entire chamber was filled with bodies that just seemed to hover, there faces purest white, the room began to stink of the grave.
"I have a bad feeling about this," rumbled the massive Century in disdain.
"Let us see how you fare against an entire coven of the kindred!"
Doom's armor had recharged sufficiently to send an arc of pure golden yellow light completely through one of the kindred, making a hole the size of a small stump, in its chest. Immediately the creature reassembled as if, Doom's blast had never been charged, let alone fired.
"The kindred who are the ancient descendants of Kain, the very first murderer, have grown in power and knowledge," Luna was speaking in a proud bravado. "No longer do the old ways stop us or anything else for that matter! We are truly invincible!"
Doom surrounded his obsidian form with a sphere of solid force field that was generated around him, which was emanating from his armors reserve banks, it would keep them at bay long enough for his quick mind to formulate a plan of attack. Or at least that's what he hoped.
Century found himself surrounded on all sides, with fists of the kindred moving at preternatural speeds, and their teeth searching for an opening. Century's battle-staff cleared them away, like scythe against the wheat. But they were not so easily stopped and they resumed their attack immediately as if nothing had transpired. Each member of the kindred possessed incalculable strength and vulnerability, and still Century managed to hold his own. They were nothing more than mindless beast bent on the destruction of Century and Doom.
For every wound Century opened, it would immediately heal, and though the vampires used admantium blades against Century's gray skin, still he also healed, their battle carried them through the shattered window, and out into the courtyard. The limbs of the kindred were strewn everywhere, and then even the limbs of the kindred began to move of there own accord heading toward their owner.
The kindred pummeled relentlessly against the despot's shielding, it would only be a matter of time before, and it would deactivate. But Doom looked on as Century and his foes - which there were many - were in an eternal battle with neither side seeming to fall, for every fatal blow struck, another miracle of science would restore, but still there would be a psychological toll. And then he noticed the dismembered limbs, which must have used assemblers to recreate entire bodies, further adding to the dire entities that seemed nearly unbeatable. Doom noticed strangely as the kindred pulled back, as if to reassess the situation. The moon turned blood red, and the vampires began to chant, and Doom could feel his innards being tugged, his skin within his obsidian armor beginning to burn. The vampires must have also had pyrokinteics, thought Doom darkly. But those were his last thoughts, he blacked out under the mystical assault, and Century burst into flames. With his battle-staff in hand he flung himself at the coven, and they responded by telekinetically sending him back at incredible speeds where he smashed into the earth
"Little we have to fear." Luna said. "Soon all will fall, and our destinies fulfilled."
Portent struggled to his feet as he now found himself in the place where the Timeless was being held. A castle of great size, and a dark presence. A great mote surrounded the keep along with a guard that was fairly impressive in number. The kindred were ready for an invasion, as the guards who hovered in a line across the castle wall demonstrated.
He was one of the most feared beings in the universe, and he had used his mystic technology to transport Portent undetected, but he had not arrived, or at least was not making himself visible. In the distance was a figure, which seemed to be wandering toward him, no more like stagger toward him. Portent recognized him immediately! It was Nathaniel Richards! And he was dazed. Portent walked toward him, and caught him as he fell into his wiry grasp.
Luna had already got to him, but perhaps the process could still be reversed. Portent took out a vial, which contained liquid garlic in a concentrate form, using a hypodermic needle he injected him with it. Nathaniel began to scream and then he died, it was too late, the vampirism had gone to far. But at least he would be in peace now, thought the rune warrior.
"I have gathered the nessacary intelligence," came a voice from behind. "We must make our move, before we are discovered. Quickly, time is against us in this endeavor."
"Greetings, former teacher," he said with a slight nod of the head. "I had wondered how long it would take for you to arrive."
The great stony figure grinned in his unique manner, his eyes gleamed a crimson shade of red under the night's sky. "You look weak," he observed. "The forces of Chaos and Order have done their damage well. Have you so soon forgotten how I taught you to stay true to yourself, even in their presence. Especially in their presence, Portent."
"Do not mock me," he replied harshly, if it was any other he would have made a quick end to his life.
"Do not mistake a teacher's lesson for chastisement, I am not like your father." He sort of smiled at that comment in spite of the dire situation that they now faced. He afforded the lifeless husk of Richards with nothing more than a sidelong glance, then returned his dark gaze back toward his student.
"You are, after all, Thanos of Titan," Portent started the harsh edge in his voice subsided like the tides. "And with the widowed roses involvement it is clear that you may be seeking ultimate power in this gambit."
The once dead Nathaniel Richards then pulled Portent toward him with preternatural strength and begun to drink deep. Portent began to scream, as he managed to pull free from his former teammate's unreal grasp. Richards hissed as a member of the kindred, and beared forth his claws.
"Welcome so glad that you could make it, lover." That voice! Portent mused. Thanos and Portent were surrounded on all fronts, and the kindred with there white faces were like specters of vengeance awaiting to punish the two of them for all there crimes.
And Luna roared in dark laughter.
I hope you enjoyed this Tale of the Timeless... look for another one in Cosmic Powers Unlimited #18!