Elders Quest Chapter 11
Written by Mystic, Edited by Morfex
If you have not yet read the the Prologue or first ten chapters yet, click here now!
Chapter 11: Benko Gambit*
*Authors note: A chess strategy in which a countergambit sacrifices a pawn or bishop for long term play.
The Trader and the Collector appeared across a rocky cliff area. Drax and Moondragon waited on the other side.
"We stick to the plan Heather! Any signs of things going wrong and you retreat out of here. Understood?"
"Understood," she answered softly. She knew it was a lie when it left her lips. She would never leave her father again, nor allow him to come to harm. She must trust and concentrate in the plan. Thanos was someone she would never trust even if he did seem to keep his word. But she felt she could trust Warlock and Captain America. Warlock could be distant and even weird at times, but he was a brilliant tactician and always came through with his strategies. She must learn to trust based on past experience.
The Collector and Trader were now advancing. An unlikely duo, as the old man seemed mismatched alongside the shorter Elder with the pointy nose. They exuded confident and completely ignored Moondragon as they surrounded Drax on opposite sides. The Collector raised his hands, each beginning to power up.
"The famous Destroyer Kronos supposed best creation!" the Trader sneered.
The two gave Moondragon the impression of bullies more than cosmic beings.
"Let us see how indestructible you really are," the Elder originally known as Taneleer Tivan yelled. His old wrinkled face smiled as he released a blast of his Power Primordial. His blast penetrated through Drax and caught the Trader unawares, knocking him on his back viciously. He got up slowly, his body hidden within his small cape. His face was slightly contorted with both surprise and pain.
"An illusion?" The Collector, himself surprised, turned to look at Moondragon who also disappeared.
She appeared next to the Trader, bent over and grabbed his head toward her. She wasted no time mind blasting him. Normally, she knew he could resist her, but at point blank range, and their mind caught off guard, even an Elder could succumb to her mind blast. He did, as his form now lay sprawled on the ground.
She had practiced her mental powers extensively while with the Infinity Watch. At times, she felt the mind gem had increased her powers, despite her not having it any more. Or perhaps she was just more confident in her own abilities right now.
The Collector yelled angrily, "Very good, mind witch! But you will not get that close to me!" His eyes showed anger and he powered his hands preparing to fire.
From his side, and out of his field of view, a rock morphed into Drax as he stood up. Moondragon removed the illusion she had cast over him. Before the Collector could fire, Draxs left connected to the side of his chin. The Collector went down.
"Kronos supposed-best creation is here," Drax spat at him.
The Collector rose. "Fair enough. Ive always wanted to see how strong you really are!"
Initially concealing his hands within his brown robe, the Collector now showed them as they emerged sending out a blast. Drax was pushed back, dragging his own feet through the dirt by the sheer force of the blast. But he remained standing. His arms crisscrossed in front of him, blocked most of the shot.
Drax looked up. He was angry. The Destroyer was ready to fight. The Collector shot another blast. This time Drax was ready. He retaliated, returning his own blast and meeting it in the middle.
The Collector seemed a bit surprised. "There are very few energies that can counter the Power Primordial. The Power Cosmic is one of the few. What is your power source?"
"I draw power from Kronos himself," Drax replied.
"You will find, however, that none can overpower the Power Primordial!" The Collector engaged the Destroyer. Both countered each others energies in the middle. The Collectors Power Primordial slowly asserted itself. The meeting point of their energies moved from the middle point of the distance between them, closer and closer to Drax.
Minutes passed. Sweat poured from Draxs forehead as the Power Primordial approached his rapidly tiring form. The Collector concentrated his blast forward further and further.
From behind, a leg swept the Collector. Falling hard, a bald, womans face looked directly at him as Moondragon unleashed a mind blast. Caught unprepared, he attempted to resist. Moondragon was relentless. She knew if she did not succeed, they would lose the round. But the Collector continued to resist. Remembering her martial art training from the Cotati so many years ago, she grabbed the Collector by his wrist and placed it in a lock. The Collector screamed and she took full advantage of it, finally having broken his concentration. Quickly his mind succumbed to hers and he fell onto the floor.
"We did it!" Moondragon turned to her father, letting the wrist go.
"Yes, we did," he said sounding exhausted. "The plan worked," he smiled a small smile.
"Thanos was right," Moondragon continued. "The Elders mental obsessions allow them to concentrate only on one thing at a time. And frequently can leave them open." Moondragon walked toward Draxs form, still with one knee on the floor.
Drax looked up immediately. The Grandmaster appeared behind Moondragon and with his hands powered, appeared to be readying to strike at her.
Purely on instinct, Drax shot a blast over Moondragon. She ducked and the Grandmaster absorbed his shot in his palm.
"No need for hostilities," he said holding his palm up. "I simply mean to congratulate you. You are indeed much more worthy adversaries than I gave you credit for."
The Grandmaster raised his other hand and disappeared along with the two Elders.
Moondragon contacted Thanos telepathically, letting him know of the win.
The next round would decide the outcome.
Continued in Elders Quest Chapter 12: Sicilian Defense! And be sure to visit the Elders Quest Archive Page if you have not yet read the Prologue or first five chapters of Elders Quest. If you aren't sure exactly why the elders would want to punish Thanos, then be sure to read our review of Marvel's Thanos Quest mini-series at the Silver Surfer Website... Now leave us your comments and suggestions below.