Tales of the Timeless #11
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.
The strange being walked in. His form was clothed in rags, his face covered in cowl, and in his hand, a dark blade that seemed to speak an unknown language. The runes on the sword glowed fiery red, and its murmuring increased until it reached such a high pitch that all in the assemblage covered their ears. The rags fell away and a great figure as smooth as stone was revealed. His jet-black hair moved almost preternaturally, and his polished white body was covered in a myriad array of runes, which seemed to cover every inch of his stone like form. His eyes burned like twin coals in the eternal darkness, and his voice was harsh like the rolling thunder; his movements were subtle, like the wind.
"I am called Portent, and I have come to offer my services what say you mighty Kang?"
Kang was in the company of a covert group of beings who went by the name of the timeless. To his immediate right was the father of Reed Richards, Nathaniel, and to his left was the enigmatic Doctor Doom that came from a far future. However, there was one who seemed to standout more then the rest, his white hair and Grey skin, bringing out the Azure quality in his eyes; In which swam an infinitude of nanites that made him nearly unkillable.
For the space of a moment, Portent's fiery orb met Century's cool gaze and neither turned away. Surely there would have been conflict had Kang not interjected.
"Perhaps you could demonstrate your use to a being whose resources are nearly boundless?" Kang gestured and Black Ax stepped forth, his slim ax hanging at his side. Like mere moments before Black Ax met the gaze of Portent's red orbs and moved incredibly fast nearly preternaturally so.
In the moment between the moments, the two warriors had already made two passes apiece. Kang and the onlookers could barely follow their speed at all. The two combatants made multiple passes at one another, but Black Ax grinned as a large gash was opened in Portent's side. "My experience will prove the difference in our fight young warrior it is"
Black Ax, who had slain many, seemed to be distracted by the malevolent grin that appeared upon Portent's stone like features. Portent held his side trying to keep his innards from bursting forth upon Kang's throne room floor, but much more was on the line then life and death, existence itself rested upon there blades tips.
"Why do you look so confident your weapon, despite its howling, has only managed to put a nick in my tunic? At most, you may have scratched me." Black Ax's face was completely drained of color, and his consciousness seemed to be pulling away from him. With a terrible scream, Black Ax dropped to the chamber floor a blank look fixed upon his face and a deathly pallor came upon him.
"A scratch is all it takes," said the rune covered warrior who resheathed his terrible blade and looked at the utter horror which was now Black Axe's face for all time. For he was now neither truly dead nor alive, just apiece of meat, an empty husk.
"What did you do to him?" asked Kang who was in a state of shock, as the rune blade danced hellishly in Portent's crimson scabbard.
"It drank his soul, and the magics of chaos unbalanced his mind," he said coolly. For a moment, Mantis eyed this newfound champion. Her gaze hungrily consumed him and took in the prospect of a new ruler of the city between the moments. She looked upon him like a black widow looking for a new victim. Kang did not show his insecurity of his Queen's affection for the new comer but welcomed him instead.
"You shall make an excellent addition I was counting on Black Ax still weary, but I knew his ego would not allow him to resist the challenge, such a simpleton." Kang laughed aloud. His metallic laughter rang throughout the borders of Chronopolis itself.
Doom placed a gauntlet hand on his faceplate, his obsidian armor giving off a slight glow as the ionic energies stirred within. "Doom is not to be trifled with thief, I wonder if your presence is not a trap of some kind." A deadly quiet filled the air while Portent seemed to hover like a wraith, his feet barely touching the earth. The runes, which covered his body, were beginning to bleed profusely and then the wound he had received from Black Ax was no more.
The freakish movements of Portent seemed to give the illusion that his hand was actually much longer then it was that he was in possession of another limb altogether. "Had I chosen to slay you Doom, Stormbringer would have already buried its tip in your black heart." The malevolent blade squirmed in his scabbard at Portents threat and murmured in an unholy tongue of some forgotten time.
Doom clenched his gauntlet hand, the air around his fist beginning to glow with electricity. Nathan placed his hand on Doom's shoulder. "Let us see what he has to offer, besides it was Kang who accepted him, and with Death's Head and Ripjak gone, we could use the manpower." For a moment Richards looked into Doom's blood shot eyes and saw why his son considered this man such a threat. There was no mercy in that gaze, and his was a mind with a single-purpose.
"Do not touch me again, Richards," said Doom who now had an edge to his voice, "I will not tolerate this from the father of my greatest foe. There are limits even to dooms patience."
Century, who had remained silent, had been watching the one called Portent. The nanites in his photoreceptors were breaking down his opponent to his atomic structure. "I will watch him," said Century, "I sense purpose in this being, or at least one seeking purpose, and if he turns on us, I will deal most harshly with him." Century's declaration was not some veiled threat, but a statement of fact.
"Fair enough," said Portent, his movements like a contained hurricane. "But perhaps I can offer some intelligence on the one who comes for I have faced him in combat"
Kang interjected, "What does he look like"?
"Like death," said Portent his mood growing more somber while he spoke.
"What can be done to stop him?!" said Kang, his tone growing to a feverish pitch
"He is for all practical purposes unbeatable. His every whim capable of shaping reality," said Portent. His revelation brought a great weight upon the timeless shoulders, as dark as his name, and soaking up all Kang's remaining hope for any future.
"THEN WHY HAVE YOU COME?" asked Kang.
"To aid the only one who can defeat a threat so great even the much vaunted time keepers fear their unraveling," said Portent whose tone was cryptic and sharp like a double-edged sword, able to divide even spirit and matter.
"Who is this one?" demanded doom.
The one who comes is a creature of order, he seeks to dethrone Chaos. I am the balance and I have seen the one who can destroy him." Portent's fiery orbs looked in the direction of Century and perhaps in the nanites of Century's azure gaze something, like destiny was beginning to shape
"We shall soon see look!" Kang pointed toward a visi-screen where it showed the city of Chronopolis under attack from men dressed in crimson and black. Kang spoke a command and four thin discs came forth. They seemed to be made of a light but durable alloy, and the technology was marvel even to Doom and Nathan.
"They will key in on your myriad alpha wave patterns, and allow operation by thought alone," said Kang
Doom sneered as he thought on Kang's word. Myriad what a fool mumbled doom under his armored mask.
The discs attached to their feet. A holographic image of their minds was placed in front of them, and it was a technology that even Doom seemed to revere, despite his obvious loathing for the ruler of Chronopolis. Kang gave a series of verbal commands and small aperture opened in the throne room. The four of them made their way to confront their secret foe in the skies.
The air was alive with the sounds of combat. The crimson guard was using their weaponry to dismantle Chronopolis down to the very infrastructure. Century struck first hitting one of the helmeted warriors with such force that his head was crushed like a rotten egg. He came upon the crimson warrior from behind him with such speed; he scarcely had time to react. Behind Century by perhaps a nanosecond at most, no more, was the rune warrior Portent. He had already mastered his flying disc and now with his howling blade out of his scabbard. He easily cut through his foes and thirstily drank in their souls. His black blade moaning in ecstasy now looked for dessert
Doom and Nathan observed the melee from afar plotting their next strategies eagerly.
"It would appear that Century and Portent have them on the run," said Nathan.
"Perhaps Richards but if they get organized, I fear that we will have little chance. They outnumber us ten to one, and from the readings in my armor, their technology is powered by an unknown energy signature, of nearly limitless fire power."
Strange colors of red, green, gold, and deep blue filled the air, its strange waves altering the outcome of the combat. Both Century and Portent seemed paralyzed by the deadly energies that encompassed the entire spectrum. The one who seemed to organize it was a warrior whose armor was similar but only cosmetically. The energies within were far more potent.
"Richards, we must move swiftly before our enemy puts us in check." Doom's synapses' firing speed was staggering, as he interacted with the neurocom's central processor and used the flying disc like it were another limb.
"Agreed, Doom," said Nathan, "We will keep in communication through our neurocom, which we can run through the alpha wave allocator in Kang's discs." Richards and Doom hovered just around the perimeter of the strange kaleidoscope that was disrupting their companions. Century and Portent were like flies trapped in amber of unbreakable rainbow.
"Doom, I have established contact with the captains central processor. It regulates all the energy in his armor. I am going to transmit a virus with my Quantum processor. His defense code should be disabled in seconds. See if you can distract him so he doesn't realize what's happening. His own armor may have a complicated virus detector so he must not have a chance to monitor them," said Nathan.
Doom's armor exploded forth deadly bursts of pure ionic energy. However, the waves of color that rushed forth to protect their captain acted almost as if they were sentient. It dispersed the ionic blast with ease. Suddenly, rushing through the kaleidoscope of colors, were the twin juggernauts of Portent and Century. It was over in moments and with their captain gone the rest of the crimson guard departed.
"It is finished," said Richards.
"For now, perhaps, but I fear that they will return and this time we will not be an unknown quantity," said Doom ominously.
In Kang's throne room, Mantis picked her mate's scabbed ego, "My darling I am afraid that the one who comes did not send a conquering army like you had thought." There was a hint of venom as she dropped these words upon her liege.
"I am fully aware, Mantis, but when he does send the invasion force, Kang will be prepared. It is obvious he thought us broken and ready to fold. Therefore, he only sent a clean up crew. It will prove a costly mistake for our foe."
Kang left the throne room and walked into a familiar dungeon, and one who wanted him now was in chains.
"Greetings my dear, did you see my triumph over my foe, it would appear that Kang is unsurpassed in intellect and base manipulation," Kang grinned at the women who was in what once appeared a royal gown.
"You are a pale carbon copy, Kang, your every mistake reveals your ineptness. Mistakes the true Kang would never make"
"Ravonna, you will beg me to be your king, this I swear, and with Century I will subjugate all of time
Interlude: Something Wicked This Way Comes
Century saw the looming monolith as it lazily drifted into view of the rusted freighter. His eyes narrowed as he beheld the monstrosity which served as the citadel for the Council of the Divided Face, and he felt a strange sense of mechanical dread rising in his chest, a palpable feeling of impersonal that somehow remained tempered by a few taut strings of restraint.
The citadel hung in space like a wraith heavy after gorging, perched on the thin veil dividing the blank whiteness of the Dimension of Manifestations and the mottled blue composing Darklore's realm. Its shape was simple yet baroque, the vision of a gray past accelerated into an even darker future where it did not belong, a union of the vibrant and subdued.
The redoubt was planted firmly upon a torn shard of ancient asteroid, great daggers of jagged stone hanging down in a deadly beard below the base of the citadel. Rising up from the raven stone sat the blunt, hunched structure itself, its underpinnings beginning in staunch square. Yet, as the walls rose they denied the form of a simple cube, curving and rounding inward as they towered into the ether, finally climaxing in a single sloping point.
The citadel's coloration was that of a dim maroon, as if it had once shined a bright crimson, but that vibrancy had faded with the ages. The fortress seemed composed of rough steel, its surface rough and textured, hinting at black seams signaling the edges of the great plates that had been used to build the haunted fastness. Yet a single great ebony juncture ran up the very center of the grim structure, curving around the massive indentation housing the great emerald eye, and continuing up to the fortress' final termination.
The great emerald eye, an ovular gem that beat with untold power, peered out into the depths of space, never blinking, daring all those who passed by to look away. Sitting in a deep well of darkness, the jade optic throbbed and beckoned, wrapping cold fingers 'round the strings of Century's soul and tugging. His breaths grew shallow as he felt the telltale spiritual intrusions, his chest growing tighter with each further pull from the ethereal digits. His breath pounding in his ears, Century turned away from the dark citadel, breathing heavily, his eyes glad to be rid of the sight. When Century awoke it, was not fear he felt, but a foreboding and foreshadowing of something that was of the future.
I hope you enjoyed this first new issue by Anomaly! Go read his second issue, now available in Cosmic Powers Unlimited #14! Be sure to leave comments below!