Cosmic Union (The Directors' Cut) Issue #18
Written and edited by the Silver Surfer
ISSUE #18: "NEXUS BOUND"
Cosmic Union Writers from the Silver Surfer
Message Board: Asterisk, Anomaly,
Azmodi, Brother Voodoo, Grim, Marvelite, Morfex, Mystic, and Number 6.
Part One - Realizations (Morfex)
Nine villains faced down eight heroes over access to the Nexus of All Realities. The culmination of the Cosmic Union was at hand.
Quasar mentally noted that it was ten minutes to midnight on December 31, 1999. It was already the year 2000 in many parts of the world, but not yet in the Florida Everglades. Rationally, he knew that the calendar system was random and inaccurate, having no bearing or relationship with the cyclical cosmic phenomenon known as the Union. Still, timing this close could not be mere coincidence.
The Golden Surfer now knew that the creature representing the dark lord of lies, Mephisto, was but a demonic lackey wearing his guise. This very knowledge, knowledge he was certain Thanos shared, banished the demon back to the Nether regions. In the lesser devil's stead appeared the one true Mephisto. Even among such mighty forces, the manifestation of evil that was Mephisto emanated a surge of corruption and decadence that sent a chill through the spines of the heroes, and a tingle of bloodlust and desire through their adversaries. This was no mere lesser devil to berate or underestimate. This evil could devour Chthon without thinking. This entity was the closest thing to Abstract Evil that the universe would ever know.
Throughout the events of the Cosmic Union, Thanos was also represented by an indistinguishable facsimile. Now, the true Thanos stood among his peers. The doppelganger had served its purpose. Thanos knew that, in order for his plans to reach fruition, no mere proxy could serve in his stead.
The shade known as the Goddess, inhabiting the Asgardian Destroyer armor, and Glorian, Herald of the Universal, suddenly appeared from the vicinity of the erratic Nexus portal, attacking the true Mephisto. Adam Warlock, recognizing her undisguised animus for the first time, made mental contact with half of his banished humanity. "Goddess, regardless of your agenda or your lack of spiritual substance, you are a force for pure Good, the Good that was within me. The Magus is pure Evil. We must confront him first."
Time stood still as their thoughts merged and communicated. "Blasphemer! You banished me to a fate far worse than any Hell imaginable! Righteous retribution shall be mine one day, should the Universe survive this ordeal! But for today, the Magus is no longer completely evil, diluted by the mix of good and evil in the physical form he inhabits. Thus do I prioritize my crusade against the being known as Mephisto."
"The physical form..?" Adam looked at the Magus and Dark Phoenix with new insight. He began to ponder the words that the Soul-Taker/Count Abyss amalgam had told him in their last encounter. Adam had asked him, "What will happen to the souls of Gamora and Pip?"
The Soul-Taker had responded, "What do I care? They will probably return to their physical forms "
Also, something about the psychic resonance of the Goddess' words reminded Adam of the cloaked figure he had encountered at the very onset of the Union. But her current psychic imprint was only half of the first Union mystery. The other half
Realization dawned, and Adam Warlock allowed his usually stern, emotionally controlled features to evoke a smile. This expression did not escape the attention of the Mad Titan, Thanos, who, unbeknownst to Adam Warlock, smiled back. Finally, Thanos of Titan was certain of victory.
Doctor Strange considered the melee around him. He had not understood entirely what Adam Warlock had meant by balancing counter-forces with "eight and one other" at the onset of the Union. Now, seeing the nine members of Thanos' Dark Circle, he recognized the sound planning that had gone into the preparations for the coming battle. Despite Adam Warlock's Machiavellian and Byzantine plots, he may well have an opportunity to save the Universe again.
Without warning, the Nexus erupted. Before the myriad battles could even truly commence in earnest, it was over. None present could say whether the Nexus had been turned inside out, or simply expanded to encompass the entire group. One thing was certain to the eight heroes: they had failed to keep the Dark Circle from reaching the Union's culmination point.
The sensation of being a part of all and nothing was disconcerting to those unaccustomed with the bizarre nature of the Nexus of All Realities. Several heroes had visited the convergence point before, but most of them felt a nauseating headache scrape the borders of their sanity.
Adam, Doctor Strange, and Quasar seemed the least phased by the transition. They attempted to support the others and help them get their bearings in a place connecting all places. The Union's artificially maintained convergence of infinite dimensions was a palpable phenomenon here.
The Dark Circle members were under no such constraints. They were fully prepared for entry to the Nexus. Several cosmic forces had preceded them in the past few days and hours, as anticipated. Their plans were finally reaching fruition.
Part Two - Behold! The Union! (Mystic)
Adam Warlock acclimated himself to the Nexus of Realities along with Doctor Strange, Thor, Gladiator, Starhawk, Quasar, Captain Marvel, and a golden glazed Norrin Radd, formerly the Silver Surfer. Once they all regained their bearings, they observed their surroundings with awe.
It was an incredible sight to behold! Energy danced around as many beings sat in a circle with Tyrant at the center.
Galactus, sat on one side of the circle, with the Grandmaster, Surtur, and the Vishanti to his left, and the Soul-Taker housed in Count Abyss' body, Epoch, and Franklin Richards to his right. The Beyonder form of the Universal sat in the opposite position of Galactus. Energy flowed from each individual to Tyrant and back. The lights emanating from the energy glow were hypnotic. It was at though they were all in harmony, each flowing with the other in perfect step.
"Do you realize what we are witnessing?" Doctor Strange turned and looked at Warlock.
"Yes. I begin to realize. The Titan once mentioned that energy was energy despite the source," Warlock answered. "It would appear that he was right."
"Yes," Doctor Strange continued. "All types of energy are being represented here that must unify to form the Tyrant creature."
"Galactus' is the Power Cosmic. The Grandmaster's is the Power Primordial. The Vishanti represent the magicks and divine power I wield. Surtur represents the dimensional, while the Soul-Taker represents the power of the Infinity Gems. Epoch presumably represents Eternity's offspring, a subset, no doubt, of Eternity's power. Franklin Richards may represent the power of the Celestials, based on their constant preoccupation with him. The Beyonder must represent the power of the Cosmic Containment Units. Tyrant claimed to function as a storage facility and processor for all the energies combined."
"That must be it," Quasar interjected. "I can't even detect what wavelength they're on It's beyond my Q bands!"
Glorian and the Destroyer's armor housing the Goddess also arrived on the scene. The villains appeared to be prepared for them. Korvac and Maelstrom both held a giant cannon that was aimed at both Glorian and the Destroyer. They fired and the displacer gun thundered out, lashing at its victims.
The two unsuspecting entities were re-materialized with a phase differential from the Nexus, causing them to be trapped between dimensions. Under ordinary circumstances, they would have materialized in another dimension. But the Union had occurred. No other dimensions existed for them to materialize in. They were caught in the corridors between dimensions. Time and Space did not move for them. There they would remain until someone freed them, or until the Union passed, and the dimensional doors opened again for them.
Before the heroes could fully adjust to their surroundings, the members of the Dark Circle positioned themselves as the plan of Thanos had called for. Following his exact instructions, Korvac positioned himself behind Galactus. The Dark Phoenix positioned herself behind the Grandmaster. Loki positioned himself behind the Vishanti. Dormammu positioned himself behind Surtur, the Magus behind the Count Abyss form of the Soul-Taker, Maelstrom behind Epoch, and Doom behind Franklin. The evil that was Mephisto seemed quite content with his position behind the Beyonder form of the Universal.
The Golden Surfer's board rose a meter in the air as he prepared himself. "We must attack them before they complete their plan. They appear ready to steal the many powers displayed here!" A worried voice carried his words.
"Stop," Adam said extending his arm. "The situation must be played out!"
The Surfer looked at Doctor Strange for another answer.
The Doctor turned to Warlock and stared for comprehension. No answer forthcoming, he looked at the Surfer and shook his head sideways as he closed his eyes. He did not know why, but he felt it was the right thing to do.
As instructed by Thanos, each villain approached the Cosmic Being with the power they coveted. They sat inside their respective beings, as those beings had become intangible. Immediately, they felt the flux of power enter them. They were whole with the Universe! They encompassed an entire type of energy that was part of a whole, unified energy. Intoxicating was a small word to describe the feeling of complete harmony, the essence of power that they now controlled.
"I begin to understand," Adam Warlock said. By now, the congregation of heroes had formed a crowd around Warlock and Doctor Strange. Warlock turned to Doctor Strange who stood slightly behind him. Everyone quieted down to listen. "Tyrant must be the receptacle to house a substantial amount of the combined cosmic energies. It is why he is here. However, Galactus is supposed to immerse him with the energy to eliminate the Union from remaining in place for a prolonged period."
"Yes, Galactus does seem to have that role," Strange responded. "But he is not fulfilling it!"
"Our interference caused it," Warlock stated, looking at them all. "We delayed him from doing what he had to do. I had hoped he might have a backup plan," he paused. "There is only one thing we can do now. Our adversaries are enraptured by the experience, and will not be able to utilize their newfound power sources for a time. We must merge with the villains and attempt to dilute the power from them such that they can be removed enough from the harmony they have entered for Galactus to awaken and transfer the energy to Tyrant."
"Very well," Strange said as he motioned to the others. Thor stood behind Loki, Doctor Strange behind Dormammu, Gladiator stood behind the Dark Phoenix. Quasar positioned himself behind Maelstrom. The Surfer stood behind Mephisto, and Adam Warlock behind the Magus. Starhawk took the position behind Korvac, while Captain Marvel, feeling out of place, took the default position behind Doctor Doom.
"What about Thanos?" Strange asked once everyone was in place.
"I do not know Engrossed as they are in their Union experience, the Dark Circle members do not appear to miss him " Adam Warlock began, but was quickly interrupted by the appearance of another entity in the Nexus. "You?"
CONTINUED IN COSMIC UNION #19
Now, go read the next edition of the Cosmic Union Saga. 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!