Cosmic Union (The Directors' Cut) Issue #2
Written and edited by the Silver Surfer
It has always been remarkable to me how Cosmic Union came to be. No matter how many times I reread it, I continue to be amazed at the quality and depthness of the story. For those not around when this amazing piece of fanfic first began taking roots, I can summarize it's beginnings. Marcelo (known on the SS board as Morfex) threw out a challenge by writing an intro out to the board. He then requested me to continue the story. In essence, a gauntlet had been thrown down. I looked at his intro and clicked on reply. I started typing. He responded. Within several days, the story had grown tremendously. Finally, other people started jumping in. The story was so big, and involved, that it dominated the message board posts for quite a few weeks. The list of authors for this piece is extensive. Each contributed extremely well written pieces. It was very interesting to see the story develop from such diverse points of view. As an example, one piece we will read later on, was actually written in the DC universe but still related to this story. Had I written something like this on my own, I might have never even thought to include something like that. The diverse points of view made this story more amazing than anything.
It was indeed a great pleasure to work with all these people. Most showed skills that could rival many professional writers! It is no wonder that we've had spinoffs of this amazing piece continue. The premise was great and opened the doors for new fanfics to continue. I am honored to have worked with these people and hope we can continue to do so in the future. The fanzine you see before you, is the result of the personal love of writing each author has. If you like a particular story, let the author know. Often times, what may just seem like a small comment such as "Loved your story", can serve to motivate one to continue the quest of writing. Now, as the movie theaters tend to say...Sit back and enjoy the show.
ISSUE #2: "JUXTAPOSITION"
Cosmic Union Writers from the Silver Surfer
Message Board: Asterisk, Anomaly,
Azmodi, Brother Voodoo, Grim, Marvelite, Morfex, Mystic, and Number 6.
Part One - Motivations (by Morfex)
Thanos, Dark Phoenix, Mephisto, Loki, the Magus, Dormammu, Korvac, and Maelstrom returned to the chamber where the fate of the universe had been decided. The area had been prematurely dubbed by Loki the Victory Hall.
Cautiously satisfied that his chosen allies had all agreed to his proposal, Thanos elaborated on the parts of his plan that they could know. "There was a time, quite recently, when I was the sum total of an entire dimension. In this incarnation I developed an instinct, a sense I had not utilized before then. Perhaps this was because my time existing as a dimension was far lengthier than my brief dabbling in usurping planes of existence prior to that. In any event, I came to learn of the Union. Upon my return to this universe, I began to cross-reference knowledge I had gathered over the centuries, searching for evidence to corroborate my... feeling. It was among the data orb I appropriated from the being called Tyrant that I learned of a similar phenomenon occurring simultaneously with his infamous conflict with the world devourer Galactus so long ago. Some of you here may remember it."
Thanos presented to the gathering what appeared to be a head-sized crystalline sphere. Imprisoned within was the unmistakable visage of Epoch, heir to the power and knowledge of Eon, offspring of Eternity. "In addition to my little library here, our visitor was also of great help..." Thanos' wide toothy grin was filled with sinister pride. "Our timetable is limited, the window of opportunity for our actions finite. I enlist your cooperation because each of you brings a skill or resource invaluable to the controlled directing of the Union to suit all our desires. And I did not want to expend needless effort ensuring that you do not compete with me for the prizes in question. Each of you will benefit from this joint effort in the following ways..."
The mighty Thor interrupted the Scarlet Witch in mid-sentence during an Avengers debriefing. "A thousand pardons, milady. Tho' 'tis not the way of the Thunder god to appear rude to a lovely and respected maiden such as thee , thou shouldst excuse my abrupt departure. For Asgard, though healing from the terrible blow dealt it mere fortnights past, doth face threats greater still. All-Father Odin demands my return without delay. Fare thee well." The Avengers knew the strains Thor felt in his conflicting obligations, and bid him a good journey. With a swing of his enchanted mallet, Mjolnir, he was away. Moments later, the Avengers'communications screen activated and Doctor Strange's concerned visage appeared before them with dire news.
As the Norse god of thunder traveled along the recently repaired
Bifrost bridge, he gave a start at the view before him. He had thought that the sight of
eternal Asgard in ruins upon his last few visits was haunting enough. But what he beheld
this day would sear into his memory him for centuries to come.
Asgard, its entire plane of existence, had simply vanished, apparently the victim of, for lack of a better term, a dimensional black hole. The hole's gaping maw absorbed at its event horizon the strained and torn remains of the other Nine Worlds as he watched. He felt its pull as well. He could no longer sense Odin, who had summoned him so urgently only moments before. Had Asgard been hidden beyond his perceptions in time to avoid the turmoil before him, or had it been obliterated? In shock, he was almost tempted to succumb to the strange vortex's sway.
A hand fell upon his shoulder and squeezed it knowingly. "Come, Thunder god. This is no longer the place for you." Thor turned to see the face of an Avengers ally from long ago. "Starhawk?"
Part Two - From the Ashes (by Morfex)
Thanos of Titan watched from a mystic portal as Olympus met the same fate as Asgard apparently had. He was fortunate, in many ways, that his dimension was one of the first to be affected by the Union's waves. Since Thanos could not be freed from the dimension, the dimension was freed from Thanos. Thus could he manipulate a similar escape plan for himself as Odin surely had. Of course, his allies need not know that yet. The timing of the distribution of information was vital at this juncture.
Thanos trusted none of the entities he had gathered, but understood them well enough to know that they would fulfill their parts and bide their time in the hope that he would willingly surrender supremacy once more. The right side of Thanos' mouth curled upward in a snarling smirk. The fools, Thanos thought. Let them think of me as a stagnant nihilist. They judge me as they judge themselves, unchanged over centuries and far beyond. But I evolve with every decision, mature with every new height and depth. I am never the same being twice!
Just then, the entity calling herself Dark Phoenix entered Thanos' study as expected. "Lord Thanos, I received your summons. It pleases me, this agenda of yours. I sense the potential for me to satiate my appetites for eons to come should all go according to plan."
"Lady Phoenix, you are known to the Shi'ar peoples as the 'Chaos Bringer.' Would you bring chaos to certain rivals for me? I have a particularly interesting undertaking for you, should you choose to accept."
"Of course. I am a force of nature, Thanos. I am the embodiment of passion, and you have seen fit to guide me to a semblance of humanity once more. I have missed the longings, the desires, the base instincts so prevalent among mortals. This host-template you have provided me has proven readily adaptable to me whims. Who was she in life?"
"Her name was Gamora, Phoenix. She was my foster daughter. When I learned of the proper means to summon you, I invited her to join me. Over the last decade I had prepared her physically for the rigors of containing your essence. I think you will find her to be an ample mortal coil. Our timing was auspicious. For without a host, you would have been negated in the last tidal flow of the Union, as have all the universal Abstracts but Galactus."
"I owe you much, Titan. What would you have me do?"
"There is the minor matter of the Elders of the Universe..."
Part Three - The Gathering (by Mystic)
One by one, Stephen Strange had sent the summons to the members of the force he must assemble. The Avengers had already arrived, minus Thor, who would be called separately. A commotion below caught Strange's attention and he quickly left his room to look down from the top of the stairs. Much to his astonishment, Wong was in a cat stance ready to fight an intruder... an intruder that was none other than Adam Warlock. Surprised by his appearance, Strange could not help but ask, "How did you get past my mystic defenses?"
His red and gold cape surrounding him, Adam Warlock looked up. Not even remotely rattled by the fighting challenge that Wong had issued, he answered, "There is much to do. You and I must work together."
Strange disliked his dismissive air, as though none of this really mattered. He wondered why Warlock even cared enough to get involved, with such an attitude. Still, the Sorcerer Supreme was just about to call for him anyway, and the cards did say he would be needed. "Please, come up to my study upstairs; the Avengers are already there."
Wong dropped his stance, but could feel Warlock's glare as the golden skinned being walked past him. "This man is arrogant," thought Wong. He could feel Warlock looking at him as though the Doctor had just saved Wong's life. Wong did not like him at all, but it was not his place to judge those with whom his Master associated.
Warlock continued up the stairs and entered the room. He neither cared for nor cared to associate with the individuals there. He quickly turned around to Strange, "Whom else are you gathering?" he asked curtly.
"The X-Men, the Silver Surfer, Quasar and Thor. I am having difficulty reaching the Fantastic Four," Strange responded sitting down on his floor. He began concentrating, then levitated. Minutes later, he stood again. "I've contacted everyone else. Thor has a friend he will be bringing that perhaps can help," he said. He turned to Warlock. "It might be prudent for us to share EVERYTHING we know thus far," he said, hoping to extract information from Warlock.
"We will wait 'til everyone is here," Warlock commanded, beginning to take control as though he was the only natural leader of the group.
"That's a good idea," Captain America said walking over to them. "Then we will all decide what should be done." Warlock and the Captain briefly stared at one another.
"I'm afraid this will be beyond you, Captain," Warlock said as he walked to the window. "There are forces gathering that..."
"You won't be sacrificing any of us like lambs, as you did the last time," Cap quickly interrupted.
"Gentlemen, please," Dr. Strange said attempting to mediate.
"Indeed," Warlock said dismissing the Captain with a gesture of his hand. "We have more important things to do now than bicker." Warlock walked away from the Star-Spangled Avenger with the Doctor. Strange looked back at the irritated patriot with a silent plea for patience. "You must use your resources to find out as much as you can," Warlock commented.
"I've tried, but I cannot perceive which of our enemies are involved," Strange quickly answered.
"Then do not look for someone. Look for changes. Phenomena that are out of the realm of normality, possibly related events. Anything that might provide a clue."
"Very well," Strange said. He sat down on the floor again and began to concentrate. He levitated once more.
As he did, Warlock did the same, extending his cosmic senses to the maximum. Information was the key right now as they waited for the rest of the chosen to arrive. It would now be a waiting game, until they ascertained enough information to act. Warlock thought, "As Thanos always said, 'Knowledge is Power'."
Immediately Warlock opened his eyes. A glimmer of understanding crossed his face. The stakes had just risen, and he would need to formulate a plan quickly.
Part Four - Tensions (by Morfex)
Except for the Fantastic Four, Doctor Strange's final summons were answered swiftly. The remaining players arrived on the scene. Adam Warlock shared the details of his astral visitor's message to those present. With all present, Doctor Strange did another card reading, resulting in a consensus of sorts. "Then we are in agreement, Stephen Strange. Our team shall consist of: Thor, Quasar, Starhawk, and Genis-Vell for the Avengers; you, me, the Surfer, and an associate of the X-Men. Who will it be then? Cyclops, Jean Grey or Gladiator? My mystic senses tell me that all three seem to meet the cosmic need, so I leave the actual choice to you, since none are present. My preference would be the Imperial Guardsman, for sheer power. Then there is the matter of the ninth participant, possibly an affiliate of the Fantastic Four. We must also discuss the second cosmic line of defense should we fail. I have a few suggestions on that matter. Finally, there is the minor matter of defending the Earth's populace."
Captain America could not hold his tongue. "That does it! A minor matter? You sound like Thanos! For a master of souls you certainly can be a soulless opportunist. The remaining Avengers and I will oversee Earth's defense. As much as it galls me, I'll leave you to the transdimensional chess games you're so good at."
"As it should be, Captain. But I ask you, would you prefer that I feign concern? I thought you despised hypocrisy above all else?"
"No, Warlock, I would prefer that you learn to care genuinely about your homeworld as we do, especially when fate seems to cast you as it's reluctant defender so often."
"As so many others remind me, I have no fate, Captain. I cared for Counter-Earth, and what did that bring me? Nothing but sorrow and regret. No, I think I shall continue my approach as before. It makes things easier should we fail."
"Again you sound like Thanos! Don't build in contingencies for your failure, Warlock. Build them in for your success."
"You misunderstand, but again, that is not my concern and our time is limited. Protect Earth well, Avenger. Leave the rest to us."
Doctor Strange interjected. "A ninth participant, Warlock? The astral vision you spoke of said eight."
"Eight and one other. A riddle of some kind, perhaps. We must pick a candidate to counter this eventuality. I suspect a Fantastic Four member or associate holds the key. Perhaps this explains their delay."
"But the astral informant also said precise balance was necessary. You gamble with all reality should you prove wrong."
"As has always been the case, Doctor. As has always been the case..."
CONTINUED IN ISSUE #3
Look for more of the Cosmic Union Saga in the next issue of Cosmic Powers Unlimited. Also new this week, issue #2 of Azmodi's, writer of the acclaimed Twilight War, new series Tales of The Timeless also taking place in the Cosmic Union continuity. Please take the time now to leave your comments and suggestions to the writers of this story below.
|Cover and Introduction||Cosmic Powers Unlimited Issue #2||Send
|Cosmic Union #2||Super-Skrull: "GODS AND MONSTERS"||Tales
Worlds Colliding Part 1
|The More Things Change... Chapter 4|
|COSMIC POWERS UNLIMITED #1||COSMIC POWERS UNLIMITED #3|