Tales of the Timeless #18
Written by Anomaly, Plot by Anomaly and
Tales of the Timeless
Go to the POTU Archive Page for more past issues of Tales of the Timeless.
"With us acts are exempt from time, and we can crowd eternity into an hour, or stretch an hour into eternity, we breathe not by a mortal measurement- but that's a mystery. " - Lord Byron
The myriad possibilities loomed before him as the endless quantumverses continually bubbled from the original, making it virtually impossible to truly alter the past in any meaningful way. Should he create a universe where the Magus did not pluck the Rose, it would just create an alternate reality. The universe from his current standpoint was like that of a bubble with small bubbles pinching themselves off from the parent universe. And with each jaunt through the space-time continuum, more universes were created. It was now clear from this vantage point all the chaos that councils like the Dooms and the Kangs could cause by traveling the time stream. Wormholes joined the universes to the other universes and Warlock now stood outside time as well as chaos and order with the help of a secret weapon.
This was normally the realm where hyperbeing entities stood outside the timestream, beings like Eternity, Infinity, Galactus, and Mistress Death. It was the stages where they manifested their true selves, and watched the cosmic dramas unfold. Warlock now walked above the Quntumverse as easily as a mortal might move from the kitchen to the living room.
The Hyper Entity known as Epoch appeared before Adam Warlock, but appeared was perhaps the wrong word as she was always here and simply chose to make herself visible. Her true form was slightly different then the form she manifested on the mortal plane. She appeared to be made of faster then light particles and seemed to be moving backward, with every movement creating a trail of herself, like a paper doll attached to 100 others just like it. The unsettling effect would have driven any other mad but Warlock was his normal nonchalant self, asking Epoch about the Timeless and there role in the great drama.
"AS YOU KNOW THE TIMELESS WERE SENT TO CHRONAOPOLIS TO AID KANG AGAINST THE ONE WHO COMES. UPON AN INVASION BY A BLACK GUARD THEY LEARNED OF MYRDIA AND WERE AIDED BY THE AGENT OF BALANCE PORTENT, WHO WAS INDUCTED INTO THE DRAMA WHEN CHAOS AND ORDER BECAME INTERESTED. THIS WAS DUE TO THE ONE WHO COMES STRANGE NATURE OF COMPLETE ORDER. FEARING IT WOULD BREAK THE COSMIC BALANCE. CHAOS AND ORDER TOOK A VESTED INTEREST. AT THIS JUNCTURE DEATH'S HEAD AND THE HIGH EVOLUTIONARY SON LEFT NO LONGER FINDING THE TEAM TO SUITE THERE NEEEDS. BUT THAT HAD ALREADY BEEN SEEN THROUGH THE TIME STREAM, AND THERE PURPOSES FOR THE TEAM ALREADY COMPLETED. CENTURY'S ABILITY TO KILL HIM RETROACTIVELY DREW THANOS INTO THE DRAMA. AND ALTHOUGH PORTENT WORKED WITH BOTH YOURSELF AND THANOS AS A DOUBLE AGENT IT IS LIKELY THERE IS SOME GREATER MOTIVE NOT MEASURED CHRONOLOGICALLY. THE TITAN HAD ANOTHER MORE MYSTERIOUS REASON FOR COMING INTO THE FRAY. BUT EVE I'M NOT SURE OF THERE EXACT NATURE .YOU. IN MYRDIA YOU LEARNED OF THE KINDRED, A RACE OF ADVANCED VAMPIRES WHO SOUGHT AN OBJECT OF POWER, WHICH IS EVEN NOW BEING, USED BY YOUR FUTURE INCARNATION TO SUBJUGATE THE OMNIVERSE.
"THE MAGUS, LEARNED ABOUT THE ROSE WHEN HE AND YOUR PSYCHES WERE JOINED AND YOU WERE NETHER THE MAGUS NOR WARLOCK."
"Yes, Epoch it quite clear to me now, I should have dealt with the Magus aspect long ago before it dealt with me, but I still wield an unconscious control over the rose . . . however minimal."
"YOU WERE CALLED THE DIVIDED FACE WITH A PHYSICAL APPEARANCE OF THE MAGUS CONTROLLING THE LEFT HALF OF YOUR BODY AND YOU CONTROLLING THE RIGHT HALF. LEADERSHIP IN THE TIMELESS IS GREATLY NEEDED ESPECIALLY SINCE DOOM HAS DEPARTED TO LATVERIA. YOUR INTERJECTION WOULD REMEDY THAT."
"That may not be possible my dark half may destroy everything or recreate the universe in his own insane image a universe of the deranged. It is still strange trying to speak in the present tense when you are beyond all time and everything is already known. Words can be so useless at times . . . especially in this place where you remember the past and the future all in the same moment in time."
somewhere between sunrise and sunset, two golden hours, each set with sixty
diamond minutes. No reward is offered, for they are gone forever."
The Magus had vanished from the mosaic as if he had taken his own playing piece from the game and left. He was gone as if plucked from time and space by an invisible hand.
Roma now sat alone with all the manifestations of the cosmic beings who waited the proper moment for action against the Magus if necessary. It was clear the cosmics would not act unless forced but with the Timeless having been spirited off perhaps that was not completely true. King Arthur who had only recently been drawn into the fray sat in the shadows like some bodiless wraith while Thanos who had been bloodied after the Magus assault was already on his feet. His Eternal heritage gave him a quick healing factor. But it was more a matter of focus then healing. Blade the half breed along with Vlad Tepes were, feeling helpless as the Magus warlocks pinched off dark side had played them as a child does its toys and had now grown weary of the game and left.
"Man why do I get the feeling I'm in some kind of a comic book," said Blade, sarcastically, rolling his eyes ruefully. "Why do all these super-villains want to rule the universe anyway, seems like big headache to me."
Blade was standing next to Portent, who seemed to be looking past the world of flesh and blood.
Roma summoned him to her side. His stride was long as one whom is doomed. He hung his head low, his black mane cascaded downward like a waterfall of midnight. Completely covering his satanic red glare. Tears of crimson rained down upon the stone mosaic.
She gustier, with only a glance for him to stand at her side, and Portent did, without a word or even a sound of a footfall. He stood at her side, starring at the gathering.
Then she spoke at last, "Come to me! And I will tell the tale of the Rose, and of a former kingdom like no other. For this may benefit those gathered." Roma was beautiful the light material of her raiment was clinging to her lithe form, and her dark eyes were swelling with tears.
"There was a great city." She began her voice was rhythmic and drew all into the story. "It was called Atlantis, and this city would manifest on many worlds and many planes after its passing."
Roma stopped as she collected herself.
"Our people were much like yourselves, but possessing true immortality and an unhindered spirit. There was no evil in those days only free will. But perhaps that's where it went wrong.
"On my brow I wore a great crown and interwoven into the fabric of the crown were six gems of unmatched radiance and glory. They would later be known to this universe as the Soul Gems - and was later renamed the Infinity Gems by none other than Thanos." She made a sweeping gustier, that was vague, yes, but indicated the Mad Titan's direction. Roma's gaze rested upon Thanos for a moment then, ghostlike, it moved onward.
She held Portent's hand trying to find the strength to continue.
"It was paradise and no description of it could do it justice. Even were I to tell you of the spires of onyx and amethyst, it would pale to the vision of the unimaginable but all I can say that may allow you to relate is that I was complete. But even that happiness could not compare to when the supreme one gave me him.
"He was called Tristan and he was my lover, my prince and my champion.
"But there was another who desired my love, one whom would not allow any to have me if he could not. In his jealousy he formed a weapon of darkness forged of hated and tempered in malice. He killed Tristan in cold blood, it was something that would ripple outward affecting all existence.
"My tears washed upon his dying form, and when the blood touched the holy soil. . ."
Vlad broke in suddenly, "Yes. I can feel the memories I stole from the first murderer. The outcast's thoughts burning inside of me! I can see Cain how he was then his feature much like you are own and not the cursed thing I drained. I can see how he plunged the obsidian blade repeatedly into the form of Tristan, blood mixing with sweat, and desire twisted into something that had never been seen before.
Vlad seemed to stare into nothingness as images of blood danced before him.
"The memories I cannot endure them any more, his thoughts have invaded every crevice, there is no place I can hide from his decadent nature! His very soul laid over my own likes a sheet suffocating my own. Free me from this torment!" Vlad Tepes steeled himself as he regained control of his emotions he was Prince Wallachia and he knew his role was important in Thanos' plan for his own people when he returned to his own time. Blade could relate as he looked at the prince of an age that no longer existed. And although he was only a half vampire, he knew what the terrible thirst could do. How it could consume every thought. Blade put a firm hand on Vlad's shoulder his dark glasses not giving away any kind of emotion.
Roma collected herself. "And when his blood touched the soil of Atlantis," she said her every word hanging on a moment stretched to accommodate those who wanted drama, "Atlantis - or Eden as it was known in some stories - was tainted."
"With the first death, the universe changed forever." So terrible was the pain in Roma's voice even Thanos restrained a smile at the perverse thought that had found its way into his twisted soul. Roma sighed and looked into Portent's gaze. His face as smooth as glass and his eyes like blood.
"With the first death came the force of entropy and change time as mortals measured it was born. The great rose which had been drinking the blood of the first death grew and its roots bore deep as gorged itself on the blood of my former lover.
"I survived but our people were lost and scattered, and there was still the murderer Cain who sought the rose and all that it could give."
"Why did you not simply take up the rose yourself?" said Thanos. "It seems most obvious course of action."
"There is an appointed time, and the rose cannot be plucked safely until the evil of the act has been cleansed, but apparently the Magus and Warlock's paradoxical nature allow them to do the impossible, but even still the Magus' power cannot be cemented until he drinks from the Grail and holds Excalibur."
Arthur stepped forth from the shadows and spoke as one of the knights of old. "And that he shall never do my lady so swears Arthur oh lady of the lake."
And with that Arthur kneeled before Portent and Roma who stood in front of the citadel of the divided face. Its strange eerie lights giving Portent a foreboding look.
"You will need power to against the Magus."
"Roma no!" Portent demanded.
"My soul can be restored," she said. However the rune blade in the end made the decision for him. As it pulled itself from its scabbard and pierced her side. All of it happened in less time than it takes for one to blink, and Portent was helpless to do anything for the lack of time, as the sword continued to plunge deeper into Roma. There was no scream from Roma only the blank stare of the soulless before she slumped into his arms. Portent was shaking as tears of blood stained his pure white face. The runes began to glow brightly and then Portent was gone.
Thanos walked over to the body of the limp Roma and touched the still form with his foot.
"My plan is proceeding perfectly soon all shall be mine," he said this quietly but it did not escape the senses of either Blade or Vlad who realized that the Magus with ultimate power may not be the worst case scenario.
The two entities hovered over the event horizon of a blackhole, rotating in a corkscrew manner there velocity approaching near the speed of light, but because of relativity the two beings saw things how they normally would have.
"What is your plan Warlock?" said the Magus who sat in a recliner as he spun closer and closer to the event horizon its infinite density drawing him ever near and with ever increasing velocity.
"You believe yourself to be supreme then," said Warlock, his hair being blown by the cosmic winds and Quantum forces that took over in the unique environment he now stood.
"What madness do you speak I have plucked the Widowed Rose and have made myself unbeatable!"
"Have you?" asked Adam Warlock cryptically. The Magus detected a presence but when he looked there was nothing.
"Do you sense something Magus? A thing that you cannot quite put your finger on, and yet it is there more real then anything you could create?"
The Magus seemed to check himself as he looked within.
"Doubt it is the first step to your downfall, Magus, all you have to do is take another," said Warlock his tone mocking.
There seemed to be a great shadow that assaulted his perephiall vision but remained invisible. Warlock only smiled when out of timespace came Portent his eyes blazing his runes covering him in blood. The rune blade was singing with anticipation as it prepared to drink the blood and soul of his father.
"Patricide is it? How quaint," quipped the Magus.
"I do this for neither of you!" Portent cried aloud. "But for Roma! Whom you have so blatantly exploited, much like you have me!"
"We are more alike, Portent, I have need of a good right hand and you would do fine in such a posistion."
"Save your lies, hellspawn," spat Portent. "Here's payment for your offer!" And his blade hummed with a black light that seemed darker then the singularity below them.
"Come if you must be shown the error of your ways melancholic one," said the Magus. Portent could feel his doom upon him as the fates had taken all things of any meaning away from him.
"You are no teacher your every word is mockery of what is right and wrong!"
Portent gestured and spoke ancient words. Acksk. Frosjs. Skolt. The words were difficult to speak but he was now using forces that could be dangerous even to the user, but he was fatalistic as a great wind like a hurricane caught him up and instantly he was transported to where the Magus was standing.
"Swift! Never have I seen such speed but it is not fast enough!"
Warlock reacted quickly using his spirit staff to push the Magus and his son into the area beyond the event horizon they spiraled ever downward toward the time crunching effect of ultimate gravitational forces.
"The forces of chaos and order are stronger here," said Portent. The master of the obsidian blade grew blacker as if it heard its master issuing the challenge. "I am there new champion of the balance, Magus, while you are there old."
The Magus turned quickly as if someone was behind him.
"The forces of chaos are manipulative, and show favor to none, only entropy will appease them and I am there ultimate benefactor."
The Magus' face seemed to distort as he tried to suppress the madness, which was now fully coming to the surface. Portent moved through the singularity with the ability of his majiks to generate the hurricane like force as physical movement grew more difficult with each passing moment despite the energies Stormbringer was drawing from the chaotic forces within the blackhole itself. One thing Portent knew was that Stormbringer operated differently on different planes and so the power levels varied.
"I have beaten the dukes of hell, and know that though you possess ultimate power, you still need the twin artifacts of the Grail and Excalibur to cement your position!" Portent said. "The grail has been banished from this plane by myself, and Excalibur is in the hands of a mortal who now grieves for his lady of the lake!"
"I am recreating the universe in my own image should not a God have a people that is like himself, would a fly God not create a universe of maggots, to worship him. Even now we are in the heart of the rose itself expanded to nigh infinite size its great maw once again devouring all there is, and then there shall be a new order!" Magus screamed in victory.
"I did not ask your plans. It seems your kind always gives speeches like that just before your undoing, it is most interesting how you feel the need to tell your plans before you kill someone. It is a character flaw one that will be your undoing." Portent gestured as the runes on his body began to glow, and once again drawing upon the majicks of chaos for ill effect. Blood shot through the Magus ears. "It's called the sword of Aldar an invisible blade to strike down my opponents from within, rather than merely effect physical pan from without."
The Magus laughed as he was covered in his own blood. "It appears you have scattered my brains across the singularity, I applaud your use of such lethal tactics."
Portent's runes glowed once more in a pattern near his entrails and the Magus gut exploded sending his innards in all directions. However, they acted like a thing alive and grabbed Portent in an unbreakable grip.
"It was said that the entrails could tell the future, would you like to know your future, my son?"
And the Magus smiled demonically.
I hope you enjoyed this Tale of the Timeless... the story continues in issue #19! And leave us feedback below or e-mail it to firstname.lastname@example.org