Marvel/DC: Dark Allies #5
Written by WarlorTVor and Anomaly,
Edited by WarlorTVor
Note: This part of Dark Allies continues from Dark Allies #4. Dark Allies takes place after Shards of Destiny, now running in issues of Cosmic Powers Unlimited. Read past editions of it at the Marvel/DC Cosmic Crossovers Archive.
“He... Is... Mine.”
Doctor Stephen Strange whirled
around, and lashed his right arm out. His fingers wrapped around that of Doctor
Victor von Doom’s metallic one, stopping the monarch of Latveria’s charge
toward Mephisto, who stood there upon the highest of levels, where the preacher
would have once stood to preach to those who had wanted to hear the word of God.
But that was ages ago, now it was where the herald of the end stood, a grinning,
sadistic smile touched his faint lips.
“Come, Doom,” Mephisto hissed in a laugh, and the demons that slivered around his lips roared, snapping their maws filled with hundreds upon hundreds of rows of uneven, razor sharp teeth. “Face what has always been meant to be your destiny!”
“You cannot, Doom,” Strange urged on. “You are blinded by your sheer rage for vengeance! And this vendetta of yours will be the death of us all!” Strange’s handsome visage started to turn a faint shade of red, the muscles under his skin started to run back and forth, his one free hand absent minded, as if it had a life of his own, curled slowly into a fist, his knuckles turning a bright shade of white.
“None may tell Doctor Doom what is within his power,” he replied, sternly.
“Then you mustn’t do this!” Strange snapped, then all the pieces of the proverbial puzzle all came into place, and new understanding dawned upon the sorcerer supreme. “Don’t you see,” Strange’s gripped upon Doom’s armored covered shoulder firmed with each passing word as if emphasizing his point for him, “Mephisto wants something from you, Doom! He has been baiting us! All the time! Don’t you see! He craves something that you have, slaughtering the handmaiden that had captured your eye, then mutilating your overseer and his lover, then chaining them to the wall of your castle throne room, the ambush near the statue of your mother it all adds up! Mephisto is baiting you, he wants you to go over the edge and battle him . . . then lose.”
Doom looked at Strange, then to Mephisto’s grinning dark red visage and back again. “I know what I’m doing.” Doctor Doom broke away from Strange’s grip and proceeded upward, his green cloak swirling around his majestic silver armor. “This ends. Now!” his words were leveled, showing only the slightest edge of hatred and a burning passion for vengeance, and calculated with a slight dramatic pause in-between each word.
Strange was about to object when the festering swarm of the Khtullis Spawn attacked, their slithering tentacles whipping around from side to side rhythmically, their massive maws were wide open to reveal sickening rows of jagged, blood-covered uneven rows of razor sharp teeth. He swirled around, only to find that they had encircled him and Zauriel, cutting them both off from Doom, who was still marching upward on the stone hand-cavern stairs, a blood lust burning brightly in his dark brown eyes. They were slowly, but surely, making their way toward the two strangers who had been strung together in this dark alliance by sheer happenstance.
Zauriel with great skill and ease carved his way through the hideous beings closest to him. He was about to brace himself for a sonic scream, that was until he looked around the age-old building. If he were to give off us a blast in this ancient ruins than they surely would bring it down around their ears. So he did not dare, he might have been able to weather the blast fairly easily, but Doom and Strange, being as mortal as they were, would surely have been crushed and killed in such an event. So he needed to make due with the tools that he prided himself for mastering so long ago.
One of the spawn creatures whirls-back, in a futile attempt to avoid the blade, which slices it in half as if it wasn’t even there. The two halves collide with a standing flame torch sending it earthward. The flame lanced forward and slammed onto the dry surface of old rotting wood, which casted a musty smell within the church, the fire quickly spread, engulfing the wood and racing heavenward, running up the surface of an ancient Christian religious curtain that had been handmade. Soon the entire building and all surrounding it would be claimed victim to its unholy wrath.
“To the hilt!” Zauriel cried forth, his blade running back and forth in quick burst of flame and light.
Strange overheard the winged
one’s battle cry, shooting him only a sidelong glance, he was about to say
something when a dizziness captured him, the warmth of the flames upon his skin
started to intensify. The world around him started to bend and churn into golden
light. He suddenly felt realty eluding even his grasp, and the last words that
danced through his mind as he descended toward the burning floorboards below
were of a small little tune that he had once heard as a child, many a year ago. “Ashes,
ashes we all fall down.” And he then plunged into the darkness that
Doctor Doom stood there, the building around him combusting into flames, and all his main concern was watching Mephisto, a thorn in his side for too long, die, horribly, at his gauntlet hands. Mephisto stood there a cocky expression carved onto his face, he slowly watched as Doom rose to stand only within arms reach of each other. Mephisto could have then and there be done with the process, merely strangle the life right out of that tin-cup, Doom’s soul would be forever his, and that as they say would be that. The Dark Lord would have been lying if he said that he did not entertain the thought, but after quick and untimely deliberation mused, And where would the fun be in such a . . . mortal action? After all it was not only a matter of possessing Doom’s soul that interested the Dark Lord, rather it was breaking it.
“All is lost, Doctor Doom,” Mephisto drummed darkly. “You might as well yield now.”
“Doom never yields!”
Doom’s hands clenched into gauntleted fist, power started to surge on the outside of them, priming the suits inborn offensive weapon, his stance reminded Mephisto of one of a viper ready to strike at a moment’s notice. The soothing wind, from the areas of the church that had been torn into submission by the war path that the angel was creating down below or the sections that had never been completely constructed, washed over his metal armor body, slightly flickering his cape into the thick heated air, an after effect of the fires burning brightly all around.
He jolted his fist outward, palm forward, and the beams surged forward . . . then . . . everything was casted into a swirl of unknowns and uncertainties that baffled even the mind of Doctor Victor von Doom. The beams lanced forth, hen with a quick wave of the woman’s once unseen hands the beams harmlessly dissipated into nothingness. The woman’s hand then with a quick jerk turned around, palm upward, and it slowly started to lower.
Doom’s eyes widen as his body was no longer his to command, his legs started to give way and he started to lower down into a kneeling position. “No,” he grunted, putting up a valiant effort to break away from this course of action, to no avail.
“Yield,” the woman said.
"Never . . .” Doom spat out in defiance as he was trying to arise, but his legs were no longer obeying his command.
“I believe it is time for Doom here to gaze upon your true visage, my lover,” Mephisto said, casting only a brief sidelong glance in the direction of the hooded woman. She bowed her head even deeper, then slowly brought her slender hands upward. The woman clutched onto the sides of the hood and ever so slowly brought it upward revealing her true face.
“It . . . cannot . . . be . . .”
And Doctor Doom found himself staring into the visage of his late mother.
“Yes, it can be, Doom, and it is,” Mephisto chimed. “Is that right, my lover?” They turned to face on another, their lips inching ever so closer to that of the other’s and in a moment of sheer ecstasy and flaming passion the two unite, passionately. Doom tried to turn his head in utter disgrace and disdain only to find that his entire body – not just his legs – was not obeying him. When they separated, Mephisto’s head whirled around to see the look of utter horror on his latest prey’s face, his visage might have been covered, but his eyes were all the indication that Mephisto needed to tell him that his plan was working to the hilt!
After a brief moment, Doctor Doom snapped, “Don’t call her that, Monster!”
“But that is what we have become, Doom,” Mephisto said, crouching down so that he and Doom were now face-to-face, holding nothing back. “Soul mates. Forever united, forever inseparable! As one in the same!”
“But that’s impossible!”
Doom demanded. “Strange and I had freed my mother’s soul from our vial
clutches years ago! There is not a way that she could have rejoined you, you had
not a signal claim to her soul. This is an illusion,” the masked despot
proclaimed for all to hear, his voice increased in volume. “Created to
distract me from something.” Doom could not help but cast a wry gaze upon this
woman who seemed to look so much like his mother, just as she did when the
drunken barbarians violated her, stealing her life, and casting her soul into
Mephisto’s waiting hands. And he couldn’t fight the gnawing in his stomach. What if Mephisto was right? He mused, in sheer horror of the answer.
What if he was wrong and this woman before
him, within the Dark Lord’s arms was his mother? But how?
“Now,” Mephisto started the long, yet pleasurable, path of utterly destroying the mortal’s spirit, with a wide devilish smile, “your asking yourself how could this be? You’re asking yourself that how could this woman beside me is your mother, is that it? The event of you and Strange releasing her soul from my clutches is being played back over and over again in your pitfall mind, isn’t it? Would you like an explanation, fair Doom? An explanation that could put all of these events into focus.” Doom said nothing. He didn’t even waver his stern gaze an iota. “Allow me to enlighten you, Doom. Yes, there was no fault in your and Strange’s attempt to rescue your mother’s soul from my hands, and delivered her into the warm embrace of God.” He gave off a scruffy sound of disapproval, as he slowly shook his head from side to side. “But a part of her longed for the darkness and evil that I could only bring to her. So an inner conflict resulted. A battle of wits and ‘good and ‘evil’ threatened to tear each other apart. Seeing no other way, the Living Tribunal – as a personal favor to myself ” when Mephisto saw the abnormal look on Doom’s face he quickly amended off subject “don’t ask, it’s a long story, the only human equivalent is . . . he lost to me in a poker game of biblical proportions. Anyway, as I was saying, the Living Tribunal took it upon himself to separate the ‘dark’ side with the ‘light’. The side of good stayed in her paradise, whereas the other part of the yin-and-yang circle returned to her’s . . . at my side, and from there I forged a human body a host to maintain her spirit. A vessel that I can experience . . . the most carnal of pleasures and excitements, a powerful body that has the ability to tap into the vary core of the mystical realm, a feet that not even you, doctor doom has been capable of.” he gave off a dark laugh. Doom looked over to his “mother” to see that she was smiling demonically, a hellish fiery passion burned in her eyes.
“Always,” Mephisto added with a sly grin on his face. “But not this time.”
“No!” Doom roared, and the church around him exploded in fire, and flaming debris, the only warning was a loud high pitch scream from the battle-taking place below.
“Time to die!”
Zauriel, on the lower floor was battling with the swarm, but soon he found that even his mass power could not stand against such outrageous numbers. He was over flanked at every turn, out moved, out numbered and out gunned, and even in his eyes, which had seen both heaven and earth and had even gazed upon the backside of God (for none, save His son, was worthy to stare into his visage, not even angles), all was lost. His body, cut, bruised and battered to a mass of blood, flesh and bone, demanded that he surrender to the inevitable. Surrender to defeat. But his spirit, which burned with an inner passion, would not allow it! He would continue to fight the good fight! And the only surrender that he would give would be over his dead body . . . and even then he would repeal defeat’s icy touch to the bitter end. And maybe even then some.
He released he booming cry from his mouth, the shock wave lanced forward at the swarm that was approaching him from behind, destroying them particle by particle until they were no more. But once that was done their numbers only seemed to double once again, and once again they attacked from all sides. He opened his mouth to release another blood churning scream, but . . . nothing happened . . . his scream was no more. He clutched his throat out of reflex only to find an oozing tentacle wrapped around his next, squeezing the life out him. His vision started to cloud as he mused; Even angels must meet their ends.
“Time to die!”
Mephisto arose from where he had been kneeling before Doctor Doom, a hellish look gleamed in his eyes, and a sly smile clung to his stern face. His hands started to give off a fire glow to them, which was mere moments prior to them erupting into flame. His lover looked on with uncertain eyes; eyes that her son could not bare to peer into, for disgust had claimed him the moment she unveiled herself.
But even now, when Mephisto’s magical balls of fire lanced forth, heating up the ten folds, Doom still believed that there had to be a way! Nay! There must be a way a path to continue to follow, which will lead to . . . He had not a chance to continue his thoughts, for the magical fire beams erupted before him, sending him flying backward and slamming against a nearby pillar.
The world around him grew cold and dark.
Strange’s body crashed there on the flaming floorboards, the fire’s heat battered his skin, dried his mouth, his eyes sight was gravely weakened. The darkness was clouding his vision, he was near death, and he was afraid of this moment. Afraid that this one moment would dawn upon him since he lost his connection with the mystic realm, in his sanctuary days prior to Doom’s arrival. His body had been so attached to the realms forces that severing it was like severing an arm or leg off him, without sealing the wound, slowly his body would die from blood lost. And that’s what he was going through right at that moment. His last ounces of life were slowly but surely seeping away from him. And his last thoughts were Why must I always be right?
But no answer would come, at least in time for him to do something to stop it; his vision grew darker.
He rolled over onto his backside, watching the chaos unfold all around him. Doctor Doom was slowly rising from a deadly blast, that if it had made contact it would have surely destroyed him, Zauriel was battling his way through the flames, against the Khtullis Spawn who were unrelenting. Mephisto’s dark, sinister laughter flooded his ears, alongside the crackling of the fires that surrounded him, threatening to claim his body. But never actually moving only threatened to do so. He wished that the Dark Lord’s laugh would not be the last thing that he hear prior to leaving this world. Overhead a massive section of the roof had been torn off due to the bloody conflict being waged all around him, there the clouds started to gather, and an eerie howl filled the air. Lightening was unleashed and rain slowly started to descend earthward.
It was feting in a way that his life would be washed out by the rain. He took in a deep breath; a stabbing pain was surging from his ribs, as a result. He closed his eyes, and for some unknown reason something within him stirred, and this stirring demanded that his eyes open, so he did not sure what his pure vision would behold. And far above him, through the rain a spirit slowly descends earthward, he could feel the mystic energies seep into him, and he felt something. The spirit’s life signature seemed . . . so . . . familiar.
It was an odd sensation, needless to say, but he did not try to fight it, no, he did quite the absolute. He welcomed it! His hear started to beat with new life, his pulse strengthened, his vision started to clear up and then he recognized the spirit’s life signature.
It was that of his own! This mystical side!
Then all the pieces of the proverbial puzzle started to come together. There was nothing wrong with the mystic realm at all, no, somehow Mephisto must have captured the part of his soul that had the ability to tap into the mystic energies of the realm, hence sentencing him to a slow and painful death sentence. But how could he accomplish such a feet without his knowledge. But known the less there it was . . . or rather there he was . . . Strange moved his lips in order to say anything, but no words escaped his lips. This ghost-like appearance hovered before his eyes. It was as if he was looking into a mirror, to the last detail a perfect replica, with not a fault within its appearance. And it all made sense, for he doubted that even this Khtullis had the ability to infect the entire mystical realm, and he knew for a fact that it was impossible for the likes of Mephisto to accomplish such a feet.
And without words the spirit rushed into Strange’s body, and new life was breathed into him. He let out a scream of pain from the sudden rush of mystical energy. It was a shock at first, but soon his body quickly adapted to the abrupt jolt f energy.
His body started to heal its wounds mending them; the pain was no existent. Powers surged from his vary being, his eyes turned a beaming gold, he arose from his death position. His form arose from the floorboards, which were aflame, he arose from chaos that had engulfed him, and he tossed up his head heavenward. And in sheer defiance to the thunder that crackled overhead he bellowed only four simple words, which had such a profound impact that even the Spawn cringed.
“Doctor Strange is one!”
To Be Continued . . .
Thank you for reading this chapter of Marvel/DC: Dark Allies! Now, check out the final chapter of Dark Allies in issue #6! Visit the Marvel/DC Cosmic Crossovers Archive for previous editions! Also, be sure to send us feedback below or by e-mailing email@example.com