Tales of the Timeless #21

Written by Anomaly and Mystic, Edited by Marvelite
Published by the Cosmic Powers Fan Fiction Group in

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Tales of the Timeless

Go to the POTU Archive Page for more past issues of Tales of the Timeless.


"What I call God. And fools call nature" - Robert Browning

Century and Peace had been transported to Latveria to deal with a chronal anomaly that had been prophesied to destroy the universe by the cosmic time entity Epoch. After all, it was the timeless charge to protect the timeline from being convoluted, and to keep the number of alternate universes to a minimum. But none would have guessed that it would be one of their own members who would be fated to destroy everything.  

During the timeless battle with the Magus, the current wielder of the Widowed Rose, Doom acquired great power and now stood bathed in mystic effulgence that protected him from the deadly forces of oblivion.

From above the Latverian sky, a sanguine moon bled its esoteric light giving him an unearthly appearance.  "I have an offer to make you," he said as he let his words hang in the air. "But you are fools," said Doom, "…if you think there is anything to do but grovel at my feet!"  He confidently turned his back on his former teammates.  "It must be quite apparent that it matters not if you take my offer. Doom is supreme. I was merely hoping we could avert the destruction of everything!"

Century hesitated, but then responded emphatically, "Its not like we have a choice. What's the offer?"

"We can cross time lines and erase our tracks. With this you can go your way, and I can go mine."

"Why do you need me, Doom?" said Century, his azure eyes staring at Doom's kingdom. And then all at once, it seemed to Century that Doom was in love with his kingdom. He did not know how he knew this but only that he knew it. Doom was perhaps not the monster he was painted as. He indeed seemed to care for his subjects. Or else why would Doom go to all the trouble of potentially destroying all of existence if he merely wanted to rule? Why would he risk destroying everything? Who would want to rule a wasteland?

"Century, I have said you are unique being, and I did not lie.  Your creators did not truly grasp the scope of your power.  Even now, you are bonded with the time gem, and with it you can channel you might in new and unparalleled ways.  Like Merlin, you live your life backward through time. Your memory, like a great circle - without beginning, without end. You have been many, will be many. You have only to pick a spot on the circle."

The firmament overhead began to smolder and boil and the clouds parted revealing a fiery comet, approaching them with great speed. The two of them watched, believing this might be some kind of attack from the Magus. But as it drew closer, the flame began to take human shape. Its voice coalesced.  It was Warlock, in the semblance of a blazing angel. The fringes of his aura were like jade and within its heart, a deep blue. He laid his hands on Doom, transfixed like an apostle laying eyes upon the transfigured Christ. Warlock's touch burned like ice, as Doom screamed. The golden specter hovered above Doom in his transfigured state appearing as a spirit of vengeance.  Its glory blinding…

"This is my soul," said Warlock as the words poured out of his mouth. His pupil-less eyes fixed on Century and Peace. "Doom is the One, Century. He will destroy everything if let be, but both of you will aid me, willingly or no…"

With a trans-temporal com link, that looked remarkably like common Terran cell phones, a signal was sent. These had been provided by the immortal time entity, Epoch, during their induction into the Timeless. The com links were capable of piercing and sending messages across time, space, and even the soul, or metaphysical realms.

Marcus Immortus, had put on a pair of ray bans to block out bright light overhead. He noticed something odd. New York City now had a strange green glow to it. He smiled. "Download ready."

A beautiful woman picked up the other end of the com link.  "Roma here. Atlantis is also ready. Commence the loading program."

A blond warrior in dark trench sent the signal and immediately, the Surfer along with the rest of the original Defenders appeared before him. They looked disoriented and angry. Strange was the first to speak, as his mystic cape seemed to be alive. It moved almost by itself, an extreme example of chaos effect with the cape moving in directions that defied natural law.

"Through mystic cards, I learned that you plan to destroy the universe, Warlock?"

"Is this true?" asked Norrin, "Though your ways are unusual you have ever been on the side of right."

Warlock's reply was brief, "This is the only way. If the penal device is not instituted quickly, the effects of the-"  

Blade broke in on Warlocks com link, "Blade here. Portent has his own body back and is now in position. Shall I prepare the download into Soul World."

They had been battling the Magus and a world full of chaos.  Death's army had fought well with Thanos leading them, but now it would come to a battle between the two commanders of the armies - Thanos and the Magus.

All were utterly disturbed when Warlock, known in some cultures as the god slayer, spoke, "I have the souls I require. Wait for the moment. The Magus must not suspect anything until the end."

In a New York City gone mad, Blade removed his glasses and focused his senses on the world of the Magus. Hanging on his side, he clenched his samurai tightly. At 9 o'clock was Luna with Cain by her side. Behind them was a large army of Kindred, and they were bearing a flag that had the Widowed Rose.

"It appears that even Thanos may not be up to this one. Portent appears to have his own body once more. Or at least that's what it smells like," Blade said more softly. "It appears he's going to meet her in the air. I thinks he's going to need back up. Download in four…three…two…one…now! Gotcha!" said Blade.

Adam Warlock clicked his com link and a screeching noise was heard. With the aid of Century and Roma, New York City had been completely relocated within Soul World.  Portent also found himself in Soul World. But he did not have runes embedded all over his body.  Nor were his eyes a glowing red.

"Alright Warlock, I think it's about time you started explaining things or else were going to have to see if you can fly with broken bones!" The Hulk clenched his fists and there was a loud cracking sound, like cartilage being ground to dust, as the Hulks' massive fists were preparing for an assault on the Master of Soul World.

Strange began to summon a spell as the air of Soul World began to stir. The Valkarie drew her blade. Isaac, a man trapped in a demon's body, most notably known as the Gargoyle, began to emit a strange glow as his eyes turned to the color of crimson. "We will not be treated in such a manner," said Namor, "you will find the Defenders are not to be trifled with!" Namor and the Defenders were no longer willing to play the pawns in Warlock and Thanos' game. Namor issued the battle cry, "IMPERIUS REX!"

Portent stood between his father and the Defenders.  He had been treated unfairly and had received exactly the same treatment as had the Defenders. He had used them for his own ends. But if Portent held any grudge against his father he did not show it as he placed himself in front of Namor's blow, sending him reeling across the spiritual landscape of Soul World. Although it seemed like physical combat, Soul World operated by a different physics. Portent willed himself to move quickly and was already in position. He quickly realized, depending on one's spirit, you could be a being of incredible power. Even without his black blade and runes, he knew he was not at a disadvantage. "You will find the spirit of the cosmic balance up to the task." Portent was standing directly in front of his father to confront the Hulk.

Warlock seemed to not even acknowledge the Defenders’ attack as his son was the only thing now standing between him and the entire cast of heroes. But as Portent did his best to tie up the incredible Hulk, Warlock snapped his fingers and everything was as it was before. The Defenders found themselves where they started. "You are powerful, but in Soul World, I am supreme. Seek not to challenge me here! May we proceed, or do you need a further demonstration of my might. Warlock's gaze was enough to make them reconsider.  "Good. Even now, the Tribunal is moving. We must coincide his timing with our own." Warlock reached out his hand and was bearing the infinity gauntlet. "Take my hand, Portent. I will need your soul as an anchor to bridge the gap between the universes."

And for the first time it seemed to Portent that his father needed him and that he was not being used as an object. When Portent touched the gauntlet, he felt the power of mind, space-time, soul and reality. The power moved through him like quicksilver.

"Strange, Surfer your souls are needed. Whether it was out of fear or the fact that they somehow wanted to trust Warlock, both Strange and Norrin joined Portent." The rest of the Defenders followed hoping they were doing the right thing as Warlock spoke again, "You must make sure I do not become lost."

"I gotcher' your back, Coppertone man! Let's just get on with it," the Hulk said.

Century would act as Warlock’s bridge from the spiritual to the physical.  Marcus Immortus had been teaching him to use his powers to jump into other bodies but to hold Adam Warlock’s body that he had created from the bum and shaped with his soul gem would not be an easy task, especially now that it would also be a conduit for all his vast power. Justice Peace had his standard issued TVA blaster ready, as he knew that Century would essentially be helpless when filled with the power. One lone Kindred had spotted them from the air and was coming from one of its winged dragon mounts. Century drew his weapon and Peace loaded his gun with DNA charges and blaster discs. But suddenly Century felt Warlock’s power and it was now up to Peace to stop the Kindred. His weapon pumped a half dozen DNA pellets into the kindred but found it did nothing, but Peace would not leave his friends side.

"When one has the power of a god, one should be careful for what one wishes for. I surveyed what was left of New York City, as bodies were strewn everywhere. To my left, a man pleading to my mistress for mercy as his entrails were moving like a thing alive. The skin from his face was peeled away and his remaining single eye…dry with no eyelid. He could not even cry. But this does not disturb me, for I am Thanos! The sophistry of eliminating death from the scheme of things was quite apparent. Now as my mistress looks upon the banquet before her with her socket-less cavities, there is a great hunger in her gaze. Perhaps even starvation. The Magus will pay dearly for his transgression. Although at one time, I had desired everything the Magus has achieved, I now realized the absurdity of wielding ultimate power. It was a lesson the Magus has apparently not learned. Now time to bait the trap and spring it shut! If the Magus desired ultimate power, then he shall have it." Thanos smiled, as he awaited the Magus decision.  "Check," said Thanos.

"I began to see why you are called mad," said the Magus, "But I fail to see how your statement changes anything. I wield the Rose!" The Magus was standing before Mistress Death and her entire army but did not even acknowledge her presence.

"At one time I actually admired you Magus - how you achieved your empire and were worshipped as a god. But now I see that I was blind.

"You may still be saved from your sins, Titan. I am a forgiving god!"

The Magus' psychotic behavior had always made him a wild card and very dangerous, even to cosmic beings. But this time, Thanos knew something. This time he knew the Magus weakness. Thanos grinned, "And I am ever a Philistine, but we cannot deny our natures, can we Magus? Even if it leads to self destruction!" Thanos' words seemed to probe at something unseen.

The Magus proceeded to look inward, "I weary of your prattling, Titan," but the Magus' words could not cover up what his voice betrayed. Thanos had seen something, and he could not find it.

"And I weary of false gods who cannot even comprehend something as simple as the need for balance. Strength and weakness, all and nothing, chaos and order." Thanos finished.

The Magus then moved with unnatural speed and strength and literally pulled Thanos' heart out of his body.

"And life and death?" interjected the Magus.  "And now death worshipper, observe as I crush your black heart between my fingers." Thanos heart burst like a balloon as blackest blood splattered against the Magus body.

"I thank you, Magus, for now Thanos is truly heartless! Thanos stood with a large hole in his chest, spraying blood and ichors in every direction. "Now you see the folly of eliminating death from the scheme of things," gibed Thanos. "But although you have succeeded in eliminating even death, there is still one thing that even you cannot erase.

"What is that Titan? Justice? Your words ring hollow Titan " the Magus seemed to have a look of recognition as the pieces of the puzzle began to come together. "Nooooooooo!" the Magus' scream reverberated throughout the omniverse. His mind focused and with his will, the Magus initiated destruction. Storms of oblivion began to devour every thing.

Thanos looked to where Mistress Death was standing.  Her appearance changed and it slowly morphed into that of Warlock. It was the last thing the Magus saw as oblivion took everything and the storms of nothingness reached out across the omniverse. When all was nothing, the Magus still existed for he could not die. He now ruled nothing and everything.

"Greetings, Warlock. It appears our plan has worked well!"  Thanos said, observing the anti-Rose firmly in Warlock's grasp.

"It is fortunate that you have never found this device, is it not Thanos?"

"Why do you always say the same thing every time we imprison the Magus in this ancient penal device."

Warlock ignored the question knowing that the time striations within the anti-Rose's blast had caused them to experience a sort of time loop feeling.

"How are things with Portent?" Thanos smiled.

Warlock looked away knowing repercussions with his son could follow.

"I'll admit to being confused," the Hulk interrupted them.

Warlock turned around, "It's really quite simple, we had to keep the Magus off balance by giving him multiple things to focus on."

Thanos continued, "The Widowed Rose grants great power, but also at great cost.  It seems that the ancient entities that created this, also created an Anti-Rose…"

Warlock stepped in, "Epoch filled us in on this ancient device.  Apparently, the…entities considered themselves the protectors of the early universe.  In order to prevent it from falling into a tyrant's hand before the universe was capable of creating new entities that could help defend it, they created a very powerful device that would attract such power hungry dictators and they spread its legend across the universe."

"What they didn't spread," Thanos said taking over, "…was that they had also created it in such a way that it molecularly bonded to its user.  With the Rose bonded, the Anti-Rose that they also created could then be used to trap the user within it's self contained universe."

The two continued to take turns in explaining, "The most difficult part is in the transference, and is best done when the holder of the Widowed Rose is unaware of what is transpiring."  We therefore requested Death to borrow her army and had you Defenders come into the picture to help anchor me as I completed the transfer myself."

"Although the Widowed Rose guards against seeing the power of the anti-Rose, because the Magus has his own well honed cosmic senses, we transferred the power of the Anti Rose into Doom so that the Magus would not suspect the purpose of the Anti-Rose."

"Doom was but a temporary receptacle that was needed.  With the Magus' guard completely down, I removed the power once again from Doom back into the Anti-Rose."

Strange spoke this time, beginning to understand. "And with the power returned to the Anti-Rose, it detected the Magus bonded with the Widowed Rose and activated itself creating a new self contained universe for the Magus alone."

"Well why was the entire city transported here to Soul World?" the Hulk asked.

"Merely a precaution," Thanos answered.  "If the Magus suspected anything, he might unleash quite a destructive wave before we could activate the Anti-Rose.  Within Soul World, Warlock is supreme and could contain any such occurrences."

Warlock transported NYC and all outside of Soul World, "And sadly," Warlock looked up speaking slowly, "he was bent on destroying all, and has left his own universe desolate and empty.  He will forever be alone."  Warlock turned to look at Portent.  Portent looked back.  It would be a difficult task to gain his son's trust again, but their job was over.  Perhaps now he would have time.  "Portent…"


Epoch disappeared as well as the entire cast.  He had returned them to where he first plucked them out of time.  It wouldn't be long before he called on them again…

I hope you enjoyed this Tale of the Timeless... look for a future issue of Cosmic Powers Unlimited!  And leave us feedback below or e-mail it to cpufeedback@yahoo.com 





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