Marvel/DC: Shards of Destiny #7
Written by Jim "WarlorTVor"
Seals and Jeff "Anomaly" Olson, Edited by Jim Seals
Shards of Destiny
Lessons Part Two: Power Play
***For previous chapters, go to the Marvel/DC Cosmic Crossovers Archive***
The Thanos of Titan appeared in a dark chamber, and twin orbs of fiery light illuminated the darkness.
"I have been expecting you, Thanos. I'm impressed how quickly you discovered my spy."
"Child's play," Thanos grinned devilishly. "I am Thanos, after all, and that is more then you could ever understand ruler of Apokolips," said Thanos as he placed his hands behind him, and turned away from the ruler of Apokolips as if he was no threat at all.
The chamber lighted up and the stony figure of Darkseid stood. He was an imposing figure by any standard, his thick stony middle and craggy visage enough to burn fear into any who looked. But it was not the difference that Thanos took notice of, but the striking similarities. If one only glanced at the two figures they would be nearly inextinguishable from one another.
"We are much alike, Ruler of Apokolips, perhaps we are the same being, alternate versions of one another."
"I agree to a point, Titan. You are very much like myself, but I can no more tolerate you then you could tolerate myself. With such as us, Thanos, if I may be so bold, only one can rule all." Darkseid gestured and holographic image of a mathematical problem of an intricate nature appeared before them. Thanos smiled as he examined the mathematical enigma.
"Interesting. I have gleaned all I could with a single vision then I could have had I had my own spy."
"What foolishness do you speak."
Thanos was silent only, his sardonic glance met the ruler of Apokolips.
"Speak! I command you!" seethed Darkseid, his eyes now glowing with a statement that would erase Thanos for all time.
"Very well," said Thanos. "You seek which you cannot possibly hold. Your stage of development is much behind my own. I'm afraid you will not prove the challenge I believed at first. Perhaps if we had met after you realized you could not contain ultimate power it might have been different."
"Perhaps you are right Thanos, but somehow I doubt it observe." Darkseid gestured to place in the darkness, quickly a green emerald light was activated illuminating the small corner of the cavern. And Adam Warlock was there, helpless, and his soul gem contained its former master in an unbreakable glass container.
"I have what I have come for."
The Omega beams that originated from Darkseid's eyes shot through the air, their deadly gaze locked on the energy signature of Thanos, and when the beams made contact Thanos was no more.
When Thanos' ship appeared over the world called New Genesis, Thor and Wonder Women were jettison forth to purloin the half of the shard, which would save both of the two twin universes; From the reports that the Mad Titan had told the two the shard was placed deep within the worlds core, and that the two should seek out the aid of one who is now known as the Highfather.
Thor and Wonder Women were over the planet only a few moments when they realized that New Genesis was under attack. Wonder Women mumbled under her breath, but Thor still picked it up, "Parademons . . ."
"What are these parademons thou speaketh of?"
"Minions of Darkseid," she said. "Apparently Darkseid is already aware of our mission." A great energy vortex struck them from behind and Wonder Women was rendered unconscious. Thor had not been struck directly and was able to lay the form of Wonder Women to the ground before he faced his unknown attacker.
"Who dost thou be?" said the thunderer, who began to whirl his great mallet so fast that a sonic boom could be heard on all of New Genesis.
"I am Orion, minion of my father, and you shall perish for attacking New Genesis so boldly!" The sky began to blacken almost ominously, and a great dread fell over the population of New Genesis. The heavens began to rumble so greatly that Orion could feel it shake him nearly to pieces.
Lightning cloaked the thunder god like a garment, and his face was like one of the Berserker's of legend. He was truly a fearsome foe to behold. Orion did not waver, in spite of the gale force winds that chilled him to his very marrow, or the lightning flashes that threatened to blind him with the light of creation.
Superman and Hulk were jettisoned over Apokolips, with the man of steel carrying the green behemoth, as easily as a mother would a small child.
But Darkseid's world was not unprepared, as what seemed like a limitless army of parademons, coming from boom tubes, which appeared on all sides of them. Boom tubes were extra-dimensional gateways that could carry men anywhere, in a sheer instant.
The man of steel and the great green behemoth stood back to back, irresistible force and immovable object combined.
"Who's first," said the Hulk, a hellish glint gleamed in his emerald green eyes.
"We will not fall easily, that you can be sure of," said the son of Jorell who steeled himself as the parademons poured over one another, like insects, there number so great that they formed a great wall that was literally alive. It even seemed to take on another identity, like its parts were greater then their sum.
The hulk struck first, "Hey, Supes, bet I can hit him farther then you." His blow sent the parademon into the skyways where it finally crashed into a great mountain several miles away. The hulk laughed out, "Your up."
Superman hit like a nuclear weapon at ground zero, knocking the parademon clean into orbit. The hulk smiled. "Not bad . . . double or nothing." But even the Hulk grew silent as the massive wall of parademons toppled onto them burying the duo in a landslide of flesh.
Superman and Hulk were swimming through a sea of bodies, when Superman used his X-ray vision to find the Hulk and fly free of the great mass of parademons that was clawing and tearing away at him.
"Let's go, Banner. Wasting our time here will not get us any closer to our goal!" Hulk could not argue the logic to Superman's request, he nodded. Superman and Hulk were above there foes, who now began to use flying harnesses to chase them down, the combined sound of there flying devices like an angry swarm of locusts, who had not eaten in a year or so.
The sky was like night, and two warriors engaged in hand to hand combat, there hands capable of crushing steel, like a child would a paper cup. Thor's eyes were ablaze with the spirit of battle, and Orion who was dressed in crimson prepared to take the thunder god's worst and then some.
Orion was shaken, as he felt a tooth give way, and shoot out of his mouth. Ducking under the Berserker warrior, Orion caught the thunderer from behind, putting the inside of his elbow around Thor's artery. Thor struggled as Orion tightened his grip. Thor grabbed Orion's ankle, and attempted a leg lock. Both warriors had considerable experience in combat, and each countered the other in a number of unsuccessful submission holds.
Thor broke away and both warriors circled each other, as each sized up the other. But weaknesses could not be found in any of the warriors as Thor tapped his hammer on the ground summoning jagged death from the heavens.
Orion took the bolt in stride and summoned his own might, the unknown energy termed as the astro-force. Thor was knocked backward with such force that he toppled a structure on New Genesis, and it collapsed around him. Thor scattered the debris like a child would his blocks around a play room floor.
"Thou hast made a most grievous error, minion of Darkseid!" Thor bellowed, rising from the ashes unscathed.
The two warriors began to sense a conclusion, as if one could seek the others weakness. Warriors that had many centuries of combat behind them, warriors who could do more with intuition then someone who had practiced endless hours on end, found themselves at wits end. But none of them were willing to give up just yet.
Thors fist broke Orions jaw, a wide swath of blood spraying from the warriors mouth. Orion for his part countered with a kick to Thors ribs completely penetrating his guard and shattering the left side of his rib cage. Thor coughed up blood as he could feel his lungs being crushed. The Thunder God struck at Orion with Mjolnir, who blocked it but had both his radius and ulna broken in a single blow. Despite their injuries both warriors continued without pause, and the moment was building . . .
Someone would fall soon.
Thor was given an advantage as Wonder Womans lasso encircled the new god.
But with his enemy helpless before him, he could not strike.
What honor would there be in defeating such a mighty warrior who had pushed him to his limits, as a warrior born Thor craved victory, but not like that.
"What are you doing, Thor, lives depend on our victory, forfeit about your pride," she stated matter-of-factly. She turned toward Orion, the two had battled alongside one another many a time in the pass, but she could not allow her feelings toward the son of Darkseid cloud her mind, for two universes were at stake, time was of the essence. They needed to get their hands on their half of the shard! No matter what is in their way, they must accomplish their mission!
"You mistake me woman, tis not pride, but honor that prevents me from even striking down an enemy in such a manner."
Orion relented, "No emissary of my father would act with such a code as you have displayed forgive my quick temper." The golden lasso that was wrapped around his form gave way, and he offered his hand and the two warriors grasped each other as comrades, at the forearm.
A sound of doors being smashed as fast as they could close was heard as two heroes came ever closer to the worlds deadly ruler.
Darkseid did not panic in the least.
"Welcome to Apokolips."
Hulk along side Superman sized up Darkseid as the craggy warriors deadly Omega beams began to fire up.
The omega beams reached for the man of steel, and he used his super speed to try and out distance them, but found that they were keyed to his energy signature, and followed him no matter how he moved, but as he flew to where the soul gem was kept. He swerved, very quickly sending the omega beams against the unbreakable containment device.
Freeing the spirit of Adam Warlock!
Darkseid did not fear one iota as his Omega beams placed Warlocks spirit in a small capsule.
Darkseid threw his arms in triumph, and punched the coordinates into a nearby computer terminal, the soul gem held the remnants of a former god, and now with that information, and a bug Darkseid had used to tap Thanos own mage particle matrix, thus giving him what he had been seeking for so long. The Anti-Life Equation. But soon he found that the power he craved was not what he had thought, it would soon corrupt and leave him beaten as it did Thanos.
On the ship of Thanos, a gloved hand reached toward the main computer and a switch was thrown and something faster then light streaked toward the dark flaming world that circled the once peace and serene world of New Genesis. After striking Apokolips it hit New Genesis.
And then in the chamber of Darkseid
Thanos of Titan appeared.
"Thanos!" Darkseid bellowed, enraged by this grave insolence. "You are dead! I struck you with my Omega beams!"
Thanos smiled, "Perhaps you should await until after the bodies have cooled before you gloat, pathetic fool!"
Superman and the incredible Hulk vanished, and on New Genesis, Thor and Wonder Women vanished, leaving Orion alongside his fellow Gods to battle the swarm of Parademons that had engulfed them.
"Let the air be filled with the sounds of battle!" said Darkseid, his deadly Omega beams preparing to start what they had finished moments before.
"It is over," declared Thanos.
"What sophistry is this," countered Darkseid.
"The act is over the agent can no longer hear our conversation, and I will fulfill my obligation, here is what you seek," and Darkseid handed Thanos the shard.
In exchange Thanos took the soul gem and placed it on his head. It shimmered on his brow for a moment or two.
"Let us become one," said Thanos. And with that both Thanos and Darkseid saw what the other for the first time. They saw, he had the location of the Infinity Gems, but with the knowledge that even he could not hold the Gauntlet, but he also now knew what he needed to enable him, and insight on his most deadly enemy.
"Choke on your knowledge Darkseid, but the next time we meet it will be our last." Thanos used the soul gem to signal the mage particle matrix.
"What of your companion, do you want him back or should I leave him encapsulated for our next meeting."
"You may keep the spirit of Warlock, I would like to use his gem for a time," Thanos grinned.
And with that was gone no where to be seen. Leaving Darkseid standing there alone. Laughter filled the darkness of the cavern.
With Thanos departure there was a silence like the grave in the cavern, and then laughter. And Darkseid smiled devilishly. "My bug served two purposes one was to spy on you, Worshiper of Death, the other was to search your computers for a certain piece of information . . . and now that I have it we shall see . . ." His eyes flamed a dark red. "We shall indeed see."
Thanos was abroad his ship, and contemplated what he would do with the universes most dangerous weapon, and what he would do with the shard he had just taken from Darkseid in there agreement.
"Im afraid we have some unresolved business," came a voice from behind him. "The shard, namely."
Thanos turned to see Adam warlock standing in his very ship.
"I have the gem and the shard, " Warlock gestured and the gem returned to him, for a moment there eyes met, and then laughter filled the air.
"I no longer crave it" the Mad Titan handed Warlock the small fragment of the now destroyed sphere that was once called the Reflections of Destiny.
"It was risky," said Adam Warlock curtly.
"But necessary," said Thanos. "And Darkseid and I shall meet again, but next time it will not be on such friendly terms."
To Be Continued . . .
Thank you for reading this chapter of Marvel/DC: Shards of Destiny! Now, go read Shards of Destiny #8! Also, Visit the Marvel/DC Cosmic Crossovers Archive for previous editions. And be sure to send us feedback below or by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org