Marvel/DC: Shards of Destiny #14
Written by WarlorTVor and Anomaly,
Edited by Marvelite
Shards of Destiny
Beyond Infinity: Part I - By Inferno's Light
***For previous chapters, go to the Marvel/DC Cosmic Crossovers Archive***
An aperture opened in the fabric of space. Its object of desire was an ancient being as old as dust and death. It was a powerful being, who lived off the life force of others. For many millennia the vampire Rune had established a black stronghold that was so evil that it had infected the very universe that he had dwelt in.
By chance this eternal evil had happened upon another universe, and in this universe were six artifacts of unimaginable might space, time, mind, power, soul and reality, the most terrible sangria in the multiverse. An artifact which had been cultivated by demons and angels alike. This vampire had raised itself up by its own bootstraps and it did what even the spirit of the universe itself was unable to do; even the Tribunal itself could not do so by force.
It wrestled the gems from the Infinity Watch and even the mighty Thanos himself. But even its stronghold of darkness should not have been able to accomplish what it did? Through the aperture it had watched and aided the vampire Rune, given him the information and opportunity, a chance to do the impossible. And even though Rune had gained them for a moment, it was to no avail as the Silver Surfer’s cosmic blast cut off his hand, where it fell into a vortex leading to his own universe.
But just before Rune was returned to his own universe a great light as bright as the creation struck him full. Runes flesh began to peel back, and his bones began to crack under the preternatural combustion. And while no vampire could live being bathed in light so pure, however tempestuous he might be. Rune rebelled against the light, and blasphemed against the light and then . . . was damned by the light.
“I AM FROM BEYOND AND I SEEK THE OLD ONE. I SEEK THE SIX WHO ARE ONE."
Rune howled in hellish fury and then the most ancient of evils was gone, absorbed into the aperture. The light vanished and the void was filled with an eerie silence. Rune was returned to his own universe and seemingly unharmed, but there was something different, something beyond.
Adam Warlock needed the witnesses to begin his search, but it was uncertain if they would help. But then under conditions as dire as the ones he faced, he wasn't asking. It was true no matter who you were, circumstances often made monsters of all men.
The first stop was an apartment in Colorado where a small bitter man could be seen drinking some tea. This was strange. Not because he was drinking tea, but because he used to be one of the most powerful beings in the universe.
“Owen Reese,” the voice boomed in the small apartment, “the Spectre calls thee forth. Thou art needed to obtain the Infinity Gems.”
The entity could not be seen by most mortals as his glory covered him like a jacket, it was a protection used by his kind to protect ones identity, but it was also just parcel and post to being the Lords Angel of vengeance.
“Would you care for some refreshments,” Owen said. “I got mallow cups. Marsha always . . .” Reese then broke off into tears. “She left me! And now I’m falling back into my old ways . . .” Reese continued to weep and then a golden humanoid figure about six feet in stature literally stepped out of the Spectre’s glory and stood next to Owen Reese in silence just placing a hand upon the weeping Reese.
“Owen Reese we need you as a witness you have seen him.”
“No. I cannot face him. Not again. Please not again. He was the one who made her leave me, I don't know how I know . . . but I do . . .”
“Yes,” said Adam Warlock. “And we can help you get her back.”
Reese stopped crying, cleared the tears from his face and his eyes were filled with hope, and a small inclining of a smile brook on his face. Then the three of them were gone.
The protective circle was in place.
And the circle was composed of all the ingredients necessary. A hint of garlic, a rare herb that only grew in the Balkans and a sliver from one of the most powerful artifacts in the universe. But to work a spell of this magnitude, everything must be in place.
The time was the summer-solicit. The place was ritualistic. It was the place he had come every year in order to save his mothers soul from the demon; Lord Mephisto. Doctor Victor von Doom, absolute monarch of Latveria, took off his mask not wishing to risk his incantations not being heard. It started as a guttural growl in the pit of his stomach and worked its way up. When it reached his throat it burned, and his throat knotted up. The spell was melodic and came out in rhyme. While Doom continued to recite the verse the sliver which resided in the mystic brazier began to glow. The room, which was dark, began to get blacker so much that became nearly palatable and Doom struggled to draw breath.
The brazier began to emit a white light and out from the brightness stepped the one called Rune, his fanged maw gapping at Doctor Doom, as if he was food. And then nearly instantaneous came the Stygian Lord Mephisto.
Doom out of reflex pulled a switch and the room exploded.
Then Doctor Victor von Doom was gone and the room was reduced to rubble.
The devourer of worlds was overlooking a piece of machinery, that he had been assembling for his own purposes when Galactus’ ship ruptured and a small golden sphere entered apparently beneath his notice. For he did not even look at the breach in his shipor, the sphere which had landed 1 meter away from him.
Galactus' head slowly turned. “YOU ARE ADAM WARLOCK, ARE YOU NOT?"
“I am impressed, devourer,” the golden figure before him said, coolly “our first meeting has not even occurred yet.”
“AM I NOT GALACTUS? AM I NOT THE ALPHA AND THE OMEGA?"
“Tell me of the one whom you met on Battleworld?” Warlock asked. “Tell me of the mysterious being who kidnapped you along with some of earth’s mightiest. Tell me of the Beyonder.”
Adam Warlock awaited the entity’s reply, while Galactus acted as if he could not remember "I KNOW OF NO BEYONDER, IF SUCH A BEING EXISTED I WOULD KNOW!" Galactus waved his hand and Warlock was gone like he had never been.
Warlock found himself in the presence of the Spectre, whose mantle of glory shun in the former supreme beings face. But despite the indescribable vision, Warlock spoke evenly, “The witnesses do not recall there meeting with the one called the Beyonder, the search has come to a halt, I am afraid,” declared Adam as the light illuminated the entire room. “However there is another.”
He had evolved himself to the peak of human perfection, and eventually to the peak of human misery.
Not long ago he was comatose after witnessing the birth of a celestial: A cosmic entity who’s body was that of an entire galaxy, his mind simply closed down because he could not bear what was revealed. Mere moments ago he was freed from his comatose state and there was now a method along with the madness. Counter earth was long gone but the ones who had stolen were still there.
“Adam Warlock what can I do for you?” said the High Evolutionary who was garbed in silver and crimson, mail it had the tensile strength of steel but it was far more durable, it once withstood for a time the might of the savage Hulk.
“I wish to join you, because they have stolen something from me also,” The High Evolutionary nearly fell to his knees and smashed his fists into his ship’s floor. “They are more powerful then any creature in this universe, I saw them use there might and for all my might I was less then an insect before them.” Warlock placed his golden hand upon the man who was as close to a father as he had ever known. “Curious, why is it you remember them while Galactus and the Molecule Man could not? But Reese commented on this humanoid being who claimed to be the Beyonder in flesh.”
“I recorded it from the Avengers computers,” the High Evolutionary stated, matter-of-factly. “It was called the Secret Wars,” said the former man, who had used his scientific talent to create a race of animal men, “and there was another file attached called Secret Wars 2. In it a humanoid being was described claiming to be the sum total of that other universe. And it was only recently I discovered that the Celestials were agents of the Beyonders.”
“Truly then that is why they monitored the comings and goings of the Infinity Gems so closely,” pondered Warlock his gaze was glazed over, as he was temporally lost in thought.
“The cosmic cubes are also agents of the Beyonders. I downloaded this information while monitoring the Fantastic Fours files,” said the High Evolutionary.
“The Goddess and the Magus
used cosmic cubes – or containment devices as the Magus refereed to them –
and Mephisto claimed that they were sentient and could evolve. And that if the
taboos which he did not comment on would match the power of the Infinity
A flash appeared in the High Evolutionary chamber and two entities appeared, one looked like a Skrull, but had the lower body of a machine, and with him was a woman. She was sheathed in a blanket of flame similar to the Human Torch’s, they were roughly 20 feet in stature.
"Greetings, Shaper of Worlds. I take it you have been monitoring our every move.”
“WE HAVE BEEN OBSERVING YOU, AND IF YOU DO NOT DESIST WE WILL BE FORCED TO TERMINATE YOUR MISSION.”
Continued in Issue #15 . . .
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