The Keeper #1
Written by Lord Thanos, Edited by Lord
Thanos and Catt Heller
The Keeper #1
The Soul of The Pain of Darkness
Chapter 1 - The Ties That Bind
"The Mother came with the rising sun,
Why was he doing this? He really wasnt sure. Councilor Tayn Rohln, leader of the reform party had been swept into office in the biggest voter turnout ever on Rylox IV. His platform of medical care reform, increased education budget, & downsizing the military was extremely popular. Why was he risking it all by having an affair with his new intern, Zyn? It wasnt that Zyn was stunningly beautiful. It was that she was so damn persistent. Wearing revealing clothes, lifting her skirt for him to see her lack of under garments, when no one was around. Ever since his wife started seeing that therapist, she had been distant from him, no longer even sharing the same sleeping quarters. Under those circumstances how long could he resist the pursuit of Zyn? Today temptation had proven to be too much.
They were entwined breathlessly, right there on his desk, his paper work strewn everywhere. It had all just happened so fast. He began to wonder if she had even locked the door on her way in.
"Tayn? Tayn?" The voice of his wife cut through the moment like a scalpel. He could hear his office door begin to open has he desperately tried to distance himself from Zyn, but she wouldnt let him go!
His world became a jumble of images and sounds. Zyn smiling strangely. His wife screaming obscenities, grabbing the scissors off the desk. His own voice screaming, pleading, the scissors plunging up and down in slow motion, becoming wet, red. Zyn smiling. Zyns voice coming from the mouth of some sort of sickening bipedal serpent. "Foul Murderer! Your Soul is MINE! For All Eternity! HAHAHAHAHAHA!!! "
"NOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!" his wifes voice is punctuated by broken glass and a cold draft. Her scream recedes like an ambulance siren in the night.
The serpentine Zyn turns from the broken window. Her voice horrid, sickening yet somehow sweet, melodious and compelling.
"Looks like shes fallen all to pieces over you an me lover! OOOOO thats a nasty little boo boo she gave you there sweet meat! Let me kiss it for you"
She leans over, her long forked tongue dives into the open wound in his chest"
"MMMmmmmmmm! You taste so good!"
Her skin begins to ripple and shift, her features slide into that of a voluptuous auburn haired woman with a crimson complexion. She turns and wiggles her rear.
"Love Hurts, doesnt it baby!
"See you in Hell lover!"
She smiles and winks as she sashays out the door.
"Ill be waiting"
Counselor Rohlns world fades to black.
"When the year is ten The time has come
-Loosely translated from The Zaylian Book of Life-
The rotten egg smell of sulfur hangs in the air like a dead cat from a tree. Craggy spires and plateaus of volcanic rock jut out from a shoreless lake of molten lava, draped with a puke yellow fog. There is a constant biting wind, a wind fueled by the screams of millions of souls writhing in agony. Within the fiery lake swarms of souls struggle to stay afloat, to reach those razor sharp spires of rock, a seeming salvation from the unceasing searing pain of the burning lake.
One of the spires rises far above the rest, a virtual needle, piercing the sky and making it bleed. At its base hundreds of the struggling souls surge forth, they claw and clasp at the razor sharp rock, slicing bits of their already burnt and decaying bodies off. Out from the cracks and crevices of the rocky needle thousands of creatures begin to emerge. Insects both crawling and flying, stinging and biting descend upon the corpse like refugees and begin to devour their flesh.
Out from the horizon what seems to be a swarm of sparrows approaches. The swarm flies with blurring speed, twisting at strange odd angles as it navigates the maze of jutting rocky spires. A grotesque combination of avian and reptilian features, long sharp ice pick like beaks, small sickle shaped claws near the end of their wings and strong grasping talons, they swoop down upon the leprous lumbering zombies attempting to scale the steep rocky cliff side. They attack, tearing and rending with their talons, pecking at their victims eyes with stiletto style beaks.
Fewer and fewer of the tortured souls continue to ascend the craggy spire. Above on the plateau of the spire sits the ruler of this netherworld, this place of eternal damnation and torture, Mephisto. His gaunt scarlet satanic form lounges upon his throne. His head lolls listlessly to one side, half heartedly, he props it up with his fist. The huge fat hairy ogres armed with pikes and axes look about nervously.
A dark shadowy figure with the stench of scorched engine oil is peering over the edge of the cliff, down upon the wretched undead horde clinging to the sharp rocks below. He leans over the edge and from where a mouth would be in the lightless void that is the creatures face, he spews a geyser of neon green acid on top of the suffering souls below. Several more of clinging corpses are washed over the precipice. Those still clawing their way up loose large chunks of flesh to the caustic fluid.
The creatures muscular black body seems to absorb all light. His entire body is covered in quills, as if he were some sort of human porcupine dipped in tar. He turns and approaches the demonic monarch on his thrown. The quills on his shoulders splay, tiny drops of dark fluid drip from the tips.
"I havent spit off the balcony since I was a kid! Heh, heh, Id forgotten how fun it is! Maybe you should try it Father. It might cheer you up. You havent bothered to get off that Throne of yours for years! It would do you good to get out, seduce a nun or hook a high school girl on heroin and get her to turn some tricks"
"And I am sure I could count on you to take care of things here for me while Im away, Blackheart"
"But of course Father!, I live to serve you."
"You dont play sycophant well Blackheart, my son. I suggest you return your attentions to planing your coup."
"Father, You wound me! I wish only to be your right hand, to oversee the tasks, which now only bore you. Get up off your throne, go out and cause the kind of subtle and delicious evil that used to delight you. I will watch over this mundane realm for you until you return."
"Youre about as subtle as a sledgehammer and not nearly as persuasive. Go! Find your sister! I want to know what that scheming imp of mine is doing now!"
"But Father "
A cloud of sulfurous smoke spreads out. As the cloud begins to dissipate, the form of a voluptuous auburn haired woman appears. Crouched naked on his hands and knees Councilor Tayn Rohln shivers at her feet. She yanks on the short chain linked to the spiky collar. Councilor Tayn sputters and gasps as he claws at the tight metal collar about his neck.
"Daddy, Im home! Miss me? I brought you something!"
Blackhearts quills splay widely. More black viscous fluid drips off the quills. It smokes and burns as it hits the ground.
"About time you came home Sis," Blackheart scowls.
"Awww, I never knew you cared, Brother dearest," She pouts her lips and blows him a kiss.
"Whore!" he hisses under his breath.
Mephisto shifts and leans to the other side of his throne. He rolls his eyes as he props his head up with his other fist and sighs. "Having kids, what was I thinking?"
"Awww, Poor, poor Daddy, still feeling blue? See what I brought you? That pesky reformist bringing peace and prosperity to Rylox IV. Hes all yours now Daddy-kins!" She winks at Mephisto. She raises her stiletto-heeled boot high and brings it crashing down upon the back of Tayn Rohln forcing him flat on the ground. He chokes, spits and begins to convulse. As he begins to cough a small slimy object wriggles out of his mouth. She grinds her long pointed heel into his bare back. His convulsions become violent and he begins to vomit live maggots.
Mephisto frowns, "Corrupt politicians bore me, Malevolence. Is this all my baby girl has been doing with her time?"
"But Daddy! I thought this would please you!"
"Get that sniveling civil servant out of my sight"
She removes her foot and pulls Tayn to his feet with a snap of the chain. She hands the chain to one of the guards. "Here, take him to Bulboths pit! The poor dear has been sooo lonely since he split his last little playmate in half." She gives Tayn a toothy grin, wrinkles her nose and glides the tip of her tongue along her teeth. "Have fun sweetie!"
The hairy ogre drags Councilor Rohln away kicking and screaming.
Blackhearts quills fold down as he continues to scowl.
"Demented slut," he mumbles.
"What are you muttering my loser bother?"
Mephisto slams his fist on the armrest of his throne. "Children!"
At the edge of the cliff one of the leprous corpses struggles to climb up on to the ledge. The movement catches Malevolences attention. She giggles and strides over to the cliffs edge.
"Why, Mrs. Rohln! What a surprise! You just missed your hubby and as lovely as it is to see you, were in the middle of family business right now."
With a swift hard kick to the corpses head Malevolence sends the creature tumbling down the jagged rocks back down to the burning lake. Malevolence peers over the edge and waves.
"You MUUSSTT DROP in again some time! Tee hee! I just love pushing that woman over the edge! She plummets so nicely!"
"Your childish humor is pathetic sister!"
"Awwww! Come on! That was funny, give us a smile. Oh wait, You cant! You faceless moron!"
"SHUT UP! The both of you! As much as I LOVE being surrounded by my family, I have a headache, why dont you two go out and play and leave me alone, here in Hell."
The two demonic siblings exchange spiteful glances. Blackheart nods his head and bows ever so slightly, "By your leave Father." He melts into a pool of sickly black oil, which seems to seep into the very rocks and is gone.
"Well my little princess? What are you waiting for? Go keep an eye on your brother or something, just find something to do! Now GO!"
"For YOU Daddy-kins, ANYTHING!" She blows him a kiss and vanishes in a cloud of fire and brimstone.
The Prince of Darkness sighs again. "I never felt old until I had children."
"Then The Day of Judgment will be at hand
At the far-flung spiral arms of the milkyway galaxy an isolated small planet rotates slowly on a thousand-year journey in orbit around twin stars.
A rolling cloud of yellow smoke slowly dissipates, Malevolence smoothes her dress. "Hrmmmph! I hate traveling through temporal distortions they always wrinkle my out fits!"
She stretches her arms wide, looks towards the sky of this small green uninhabited planet. She inhales deeply through her nose.
"Mmmmmm all that CO2 in the air, lovely! I knew this place would be perfect!"
She moves slowly and rhythmically, first motioning, then beckoning to the four cardinal points. Ancient timeless chants pass from her lips as softly as rose petals. As the first of the twin suns begins to rise upon the horizon she finishes her dance and her spell is woven.
Malevolence gazes at the spreading of dawn across the sky. An expression of canary swallowing satisfaction spreads across her face, echoing the coming dawn.
"My, how time flies when youre warping reality! Well, I mustnt linger. It wouldnt due at all for me to be here when she arrives, besides I know someone I simply HAVE to invite to the party next millennium! Tee Hee!"
In a burst of flames and a cloud of smoke she vanishes from the surface scorching the soft green moss beneath her feet.
Deep within the pits of Hell, Blackheart broods.
"Oh, I HATE HER! Shes plotting something again to cheer up that dotardly Father of ours and snap him out of his melancholy state. Then where would all my plans be? As long as our Father remains apathetic my strength and power will continue to grow until I can cast BOTH OF THEM into the fiery lake and seize the throne for myself!"
He begins to pace back and forth.
"I have GOT to find out that twisted witchs scheme and turn it to my advantage somehow!" His body begins to melt into black viscous fluid and seeps into the walls.
" The Angel of Death
-Loosely translated from the Zaylian Book of Life-
As he soared through the vastness of space, Norrin Radd concentrated upon NOT focusing on a particular bandwidth of the electro-magnetic spectrum. Rather he tried to immerse himself within the pattern created by the interplay of ALL the bandwidths. He liked to think of it as listening to the symphony of the stars. It was difficult forcing himself not to analyze, not to verbalize, but to loose his conscious self and be one with the flow of electrons, quarks, neutrinos and never once identify them by name.
It was through this communion with the cosmos that he hoped to find a world devoid of sentient life. How strange and cyclic existence is Norrin thought. Once he had served as Herald to the mighty Galactus, devourer of worlds, as the Silver Surfer. Now a millennium later he once again was seeking worlds to appease the awesome hunger of this relentless force of nature. But now with the quantum bands in his possession, he was no longer a slave but rather an equal a partner in Galactuss cosmic purpose. Choosing the worlds upon which Galactus would feed, forever guarding all sentient life against the ravenous needs of the nigh omnipotent entity.
He channeled the power cosmic through the quantum bands stretching out into the cosmos, concentrating on the symphony of the stars. Seeking without searching for just the right combination of energy, life force and dark matter to assuage the gnawing hunger of Galactus.
There! Out on the furthest reaches of the Milkyway, a twin star system with a small planet containing an abundance of all the correct elements.With the merest thought he tilts his board to catch the solar winds. He accelerates to just below the speed of light and then opens a portal into hyper-space to the twin suns of the planet Zaylia.
Hope you enjoyed Lord Thanos's first piece of fan fiction in Cosmic Powers Unlimited. Look for The Keeper #2 in Cosmic Powers Unlimited #15! And for more information on the Keeper, see our review of Guardians of the Galaxy #24-25, his first appearance and origin... but first, be sure to tell him what you thought of The Keeper #1 below or e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org!