Cosmic Union (The Directors' Cut) Issue #20

Written and edited by the Silver Surfer Message Board
With finishing edits by Morfex
Published by the Cosmic Powers Fan Fiction Group in
THE COSMIC POWERS UNLIMITED FANZINE ISSUE #19

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Editors' Note: This continues from last week's Cosmic Union #19!
Visit the Cosmic Unionverse Reference Page to go to any issue of this series!


ISSUE #20: "TRESPASSES"

Cosmic Union Writers from the Silver Surfer Message Board: Asterisk, Anomaly,
Azmodi, Brother Voodoo, Grim, Marvelite, Morfex, Mystic, and Number 6.


Part One - Return to Sender (Morfex)

The nine heroes, their allies Gamora and Pip, and Franklin Richards left the Nexus and returned to Earth. Their first stop was to Doctor Stephen Strange's Sanctum Sanctorum. Strange spoke. "Another cosmic challenge has been averted. I know several of you have discussed the possibility of staying together as a team to face cosmic threats. I regret to say that I have too many pressing obligations as a result of the Union to maintain regular participation in adventures beyond my planet. But if there is a dire need, I will gladly heed the call."

Thor took this opportunity to speak as well. "Friends, new alliances have been wrought, new friendships birthed in the throes of battle. I consider you all brothers- and sisters-in-arms, but my vows do e'er keep me on Midgard. As with the Sorcerer Supreme, so to with the God of Thunder. Shouldst thou e'er face a threat most dire, mighty Mjolnir and Thor be at thy service." The Thunder God departed through the open skylight above.

Captain America entered the room, costume torn in four places, gashes caked with dried blood. Worn, yet straight in posture, he addressed the gathered cosmic heroes. "As with every cosmic threat that endangers Earth, you powerful beings have proven yourselves heroes again. Earth's heroes fought to keep all its inhabitants safe, but you have ensured our efforts were not in vain. The people of Earth thank you." With that, the Sentinel of Liberty departed, not resting until he had done his part in returning his land to normal.

The Invisible Woman turned to Adam Warlock while cradling the now sleeping Franklin over one shoulder. "I know why so many distrust you. But after today, you've earned my trust, and my friendship, if you'll have it."

Adam considered the proposal carefully, then nodded with a calculated half-smile. "In the name of our fledgling friendship, Ms. Richards, could you allow me access to the record logs of your recent experience involving the Enclave? That would prove extremely invaluable."

"Consider it done." Sue Richards said her goodbyes and departed for the Fantastic Four's base of operations.

The remaining heroes bade farewell to their host, and proceeded to the unlikely armada in orbit around the planet that had battled dimensional invaders beyond earth's atmosphere. The armada consisted of the 'Star Master', the 'Io', the Collector's vessel, and the Tyrant ship.


Part Two - Restitution of Death (Mystic)

Matter blurred. Where space had been, atoms converged. Patterns of light connected. Through necessity, the restored balance of the Universe had reconstructed several of the Abstract Beings. Eternity and Death emerged first. Oblivion and Infinity followed. Slowly, Love, Hate, Chaos, Order, the In-Betweener and the rest followed. Galactus appeared there to greet them.

"You have done it, my brother. The Universe remains in balance," Eternity spoke. His head raised as he looked from side to side. "There is something different however."

Death was the first to notice. Her skeletal jaw dropped as she peered into her domain. There sat Thanos on her throne.

"Thanos!" Eternity screamed!

"Greetings, fellow peers," he answered. Turning to look at Eternity, "You may now call me Master Death." A smile appeared on his face.

"This is intolerable," Eternity continued.

A bright flash occurred and the Living Tribunal stood next to him. "YOUR REQUEST IS ANSWERED! STATE THE NATURE OF THE EMERGENCY!"

"This mortal sits across my sister's realm as though he rules it. Because of it, she is unable to resume her position," Eternity accused angrily.

"She can resume any time she wishes," Thanos stated. "By my side."

"THIS CREATURE HAS USURPED THE POSITION. THERE HAVE BEEN NO LAWS VIOLATED."

"But… but," Eternity stumbled to answer.

"FURTHERMORE, THE POSITION CALLS FOR ONE AND ONLY ONE ENTITY TO ASSUME THE ROLE."

Thanos frowned at the words. "What happens to the previous ruler?"

"AS THE ENTITY IN QUESTION IS A SINGULAR ABSTRACT LIMITED TO ONE CONCEPT, SHE WILL CEASE TO EXIST."

Thanos turned to Mistress Death who again stared at him.

Surprisingly, he thought he could read her emotions. Sorrow, regret - they all seemed to be there. He did not know if his new status had increased his cosmic senses, or if already, Mistress Death had been lowered in status and power. But her internal anguish was too much for him to bear. Without considering twice, Thanos immediately responded, "I relinquish my position."

A stunned silence followed from the group of Cosmic Beings.

The Living Tribunal finally spoke. "FOR THE RECORD, LET IT BE SHOWN THAT THE CURRENT REPRESENTATION OF DEATH HAS RELINQUISHED HIS ROLE TO THE PREVIOUS OWNER."

Promptly, the Living Tribunal disappeared along with the other Abstract Beings and Oera the Watcher. Death stood in the entrance to her hall that once again belonged to her.

Thanos walked over to the Infinity Well. He stared into it with his hands behind his back. "I thought I had done it, that we would be equals this time," he began in a low voice.

"Thank you." A soft female's voice whispered.

Thanos turned his head with stunning speed. He looked around the room from one end to the other. No lackey or other denizen of the realm was visible besides Death. He stared at her with astonishment as she smiled slightly, her face now human, and turned to walk away through the entrance.

Thanos remembered the time he nearly killed Adam Warlock at Mistress Death's verbal request.* He was absolutely certain now that his instincts had been correct; the episode had been a delusion, a fantasy, a figment of his imagination, perhaps even a complex form of psionic attack. He would never forget the tone of her voice, nor mistake it for another. The Mistress Death from his fantasies sounded nothing like this. The words were bone-chilling in their intensity, a sensation unlike any other he had experienced.

(* See Marvel Comics Presents for details.)

"It would appear that this is a victory of sorts after all," he thought as he began to fade into the living Universe that he so much despised.

The Titan had achieved a great deal during his lifetime. He had conquered uncountable worlds. He had outsmarted the second oldest class of beings in this Universe. He had become a God several times.

But none would ever be more important than the first words spoken to him by Mistress Death.

Given his victory, Thanos considered his next course of action carefully. He grinned, then spoke one word aloud. "Mangog…"


Part Three - He Wakes (Grim)

"The holds are full to burstin', Captain. We have to lift off!"

"Is everyone present and accounted for?" asked the Captain, with a smile on his face. In fact, everyone seemed to be smiling.

"Yes, sir. Everyone is present and waiting to count his or her bonus, sir."

"Good. Prepare to lift off. Signal the 'Archimedes'. Tell her that we'll be back as soon as we can get unloaded."

"All hands! Prepare for lift off! Prepare for space!"

"What seems to be the matter, ensign?" asked the Captain. "You still act scared of mighty Ego, the planet that sleeps."

"Sorry, sir. It's just that I lost my uncle here on a mining mission three years ago. Everything was fine and then an electrical storm fried everyone on the ground. Then the bodies were flung into space as a warning. My parents didn't want me coming back here. They didn't want me to end up… like that."

"Just think of your duty to me, sailor. And to the ship. And you'll get along fine. And with the bonus everyone'll get from this trip, you could buy out your contract and never have to see deep space again."

"Yes, sir. Thank you, sir."

"Low orbit achieved. Prepare for deep space!"

"On my signal."

"Sir!"

"Enga… What is it?"

"Sir! I'm reading increased surface-to-air temperatures! Increasing wind velocity!"

"Signal the 'Archimedes'! Tell them to lift off NOW! Set a course for deep orbit. Beyond His range."

"Can't get the signal through, sir. Increased electromagnetic interference in the atmosphere."

"Try, blast it, try."

"Increasing geo-thermal activity...Wind speed 240 knots and increasing. Multiple and continuous lightning strikes."

"Sir!"

"What is it, ensign?"

"Sir, I read a matter/anti-matter explosion in the vicinity of the 'Archimedes'. Sorry, sir."

The shipboard radio cracked to life. "THE UNION HAS PAST. I HAVE AWOKEN. LET THIS BE A WARNING TO ALL, THAT MIGHTY EGO DOES NOT ABIDE MORTALS!"

"STERN. Evasive action, NOW!," shouted the Captain. The ship rolled to the side and evaded a section of the 'Archimedes' as it was flung into space. "Get us out of here, NOW! "The ship dropped into hyperspace and avoided the other section of its sister ship.

"Captain, before we jumped, I managed to scan the section that was hurled at us. It was the main hold, sir. And it was still full of Bio-metal, sir. We could go back and retrieve it, sir."

"Not this trip, ensign, not this trip. We'll put into dock and unload and let someone else try and retrieve what he or she can. I'll be in my cabin. First, the bridge is yours."

After the captain had left the bridge, the ensign turned to the First and asked: "Sir, why doesn't he want to retrieve what we can?

Even fully loaded, we could still tow it with a tractor beam."

"Ensign, we have enough in our hold to set us up for life. And… the captain of the 'Archimedes'... was our captain's sister..."


Part Four: Clean Up in Aisle Two! (Grim)

"Ahhh. Mr. and Mrs. Richards! Please sit down. Thank you for coming on such short notice."

"No problem, Mr. Mayor. Please call me Reed."

"And call me Sue!"

"OK! And you guys can call me Rudy!"

"Mr. Guli… Rudy. Did you invite us here to talk about the recent invasion and the destruction of Central Park?"

"That is indeed why I've invited you here! Is your wife always that direct, Reed?"

"Yes, I am!"

"Hah, Hah, Mrs.. Sue! Sometimes us guys need a woman like you around. Anyway, I would like you to help me prepare a progress report on the clean up of the damage, if you'd be so inclined?"

"We're always glad to help the city, Mr. Mayor. Basically what happened was that a temporal/spatial anomaly opened in Central Park, allowing multi-dimensional infiltration. According to reports from… others… in the superhero community, the breach was caused by a convergence on a universal scale. As usual, the 'bad guys' tried to take advantage of the 'Union'."

"I see. And this 'Union'? Is it over?" Or can we expect more demons? Steinbrenner's still ticked, pardon my language, ma'am, over the demons in Yankee Stadium!"

"No, sir. The Union has passed and it will be another million years, roughly, before the Universe cycles back into position with the other dimensions for the Union to occur again."

"That's good to hear. I'll tell Steinbrenner. Now as for the clean up…"

"As you know, Sue's force field prevented the damage from spreading away from the Park area."

"I heard that that X-Man, Magneto, was involved somehow."

"No, sir." Reed cast a sly look at Sue. "Sue's force field was boosted by an energy matrix of my own design using inverse tachyon emissions to bolster the beta output of the sub-infrared spectrum."

"Reed."

"Oh, yes. Sorry about that! Anyway, Magneto wasn't seen at our headquarters, Mr. Mayor." Especially since Sue made him invisible to the public so he could leave in peace, Reed thought. Have to remember to send a thank you note to him. Hmmm, perhaps a pulse in the electromagnetic spectrum at 10 angstroms with a harmonic frequency of inverse cosine theta.

"Mr. Richards. You seemed lost in thought for a moment, there."

"Sorry, Mr. Mayor. I heard you mention the Avengers."

"Yes, I contacted Captain America and he detailed the clean up that the Avengers performed on the demons that survived your brave team's actions. He also volunteered the Avengers for any further help in cleaning, pending availability."

"I imagine that we'll need some of their muscle for the clean up. Most everything in the Park was turned to glass because of the intense heat. Damage Control is providing trucks to transport the glass but we'll need more than Ben to lift the pieces of glass."

"And the trees and foliage?"

"I have sub-contracted out most of the landscaping firms in the city, at my own expense, to replace all the greenery in the park. Some of the trees did survive, I think in part due to the winter season and the trees being dormant. We'll try to nurture them along, of course."

"And the lakes?"

"Because they had a sheet of ice over them, only the ice was turned to glass. And the glass prevented the water from boiling away. In fact, the glass acted like a layer of insulation. The temperature of the water only went up by 10 degrees. All the fish and plant life survived intact. A few good rainstorms and the lakes will be as good as new!"

"That IS some good news! What are the plans for the glass that's removed?"

I have a warehouse set up with an elemental converter to restore it back to its original state, when ever possible."

"But Reed."

"Sue, we discussed this before. The only beings with the power to do the job are off-planet or… unreliable."

"Off planet?"

"Yes, Mr. Mayor. The Silver Surfer could do the job in a heartbeat but he's involved with other affairs."

"But, Reed, Owen Reece was reformed."

"Sue, the Molecule Man could also do the job very easily, but from the last update that Leonard Samson put on the Cosmic Database at Alvaro's; he's still very distrustful of the superhero community."

"This would give him a perfect chance to see that we're not such bad people, Reed. I think it would be good for him."

"Alright, Darling. I'll call Dr. Samson this afternoon. But I still think we should go ahead with our original plans. IF Owen decides to help, it will just get the job done sooner, but I don't want to deny the people of New York City access to the park."

"Spoken like a true politician, Mr. Richards. Any thoughts along that line?"

"No, sir, Mr. Mayor! I'm perfectly content in my research labs."

"That's good to hear. You might even give me a run for my money! Anyway, I thank you for coming to visit me on such short notice. I'll have a statement drafted for the afternoon edition of the Times. If there's anything this office can do to help, let us know."

"Thank you, Mr. Mayor. We'll be in touch."


CONCLUDED IN COSMIC UNION #21 - GO READ NOW!


Now go read the final edition of the Cosmic Union!  And 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!  Also, 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 below or by e-mailing us at cpufeedback@yahoo.com


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