Thanos: Dead Men Tell No Tales #6
Written by Anomaly, Edited
"DEAD MEN TELL NO TALES"
Go to the Stories of Anomaly Archive Page for past editions!
INTERLUDE - A GRIEF OBSERVED
The way to mourn the dead is to take care of the living who belong to them. - Edmund Burk
I was saying my good-byes.
But although I looked unflappable inside, I was devastated. How could it be
My own son had killed his own mother and, in my own way, I had encouraged it
as much as if I did the dark deed myself. I clenched my fists until my knuckles
were white, cosmic energy erupted from my fists as it tore a whole in the
ceiling of my son's sanctum. To look upon her was more then the soul could bear,
and yet my detached outlook allowed me to accomplish the impossible.
However, I would have no one else dispose of her remains. She was my
companion and I would see this through to its bitter conclusion.
I used my own hands, and then my imagination began to wonder how it happened
and I could feel reality itself blur and then I heard his voice truly it was
like the grave.
"Father are you enjoying this? I did it all for you. A gift in your
honor, father. A gift for all your endless hours of tutoring. It was ... the
only way I could truly repay you. Do you not understand?"
The voice sounded just like Thanos and I could even see his terrible visage
with his ebon stare and his malevolent grin. Yet, I somehow knew it was an
illusion, deep down in the core of my soul, I knew. I waved the illusion off,
saying that I would pay the illusion no heed.
"I must confess," came the voice in my head again, "you have
quite the will but you were ever a dangerous man and I needed something to break
your unwavering resolve."
I continued to ignore my "son". Eventually it would pass. No doubt
it was a side effect from the rather traumatic experience. I took a mental note
of illusion's incredible detail and was truly amazed what grief could do even to
a mind such as my own.
The voice was persistent and it then said, "You are next father."
But it was amazing how my mind could conceive of such an accurate creation,
how a part of my mind could be so different from my own being.
Yet the illusion continued, unhindered by my seemingly uninterested placid
expression, and then it grabbed me! I could feel his iron fingers grasping
around my throat and I could hear his voice echoing, endlessly, within my mind.
"Does this appear to be an illusion to you, father? Can you not feel your
life force not seeping away from your grasp? Glorious . . . isn't it?"
It was at this time that I made another mental note about the sensation I was
experiencing, of how although it was completely generated by an illusion. It's
reality was staggering and then . . . I couldn't breath! And for a moment, I
wondered if it was not an illusion at all. For if it felt real, and it sounded
Then the question dawned on me, Could an illusion - if that is what this is -
And as I looked upon the horror before my eyes, his grinning purple visage
holding me aloft over the remains of my deceased mate and my feet dangling in
the air. His empty eyes were tearing into my mind and then I was lost.
I felt a tap on my shoulder and Eros, my second son was standing before me,
through a darkened haze. He was asking me if I was alright, I nodded
unreassuringly. It was then, like an out of body experience as I saw myself
standing next to a screen with the AI computer I.S.S.A.C asking me what to do
POSSESSION IS NINE-TENTHS OF THE LAW
God providentially foresaw the devil's turn to wickedness, and also that of evil men, but permitted this for the good of all creation. - Augustine
As the lord of evil, I had been following the One who had possessed the DNA
since the trial of the Dreaming Celestial and wondered what the off spring would
(*See Thanos: Dead Men
Tell No Tales: Issue Three for details on cosmic trial.)
And as I gazed through the mists that cut through all dimensions I began to
study the one who called himself Thanos. In appearance, he was rather apish and
aesthetically unappealing, this was no doubt the deviant strain showing itself.
But as I watched the purple pollywog grow I began to be intrigued by this
strange demigod, who's father was once a citizen of fabled Olympus and who's
mother would be considered a witch. My God - if there is such a thing - must
have a sense of humor, indeed. A mind so sharp in the body of a bloated purple
But as he vivisected his own mother, I was in awe at the depths of dementia
his mind was capable of plummeting. And I wondered was he devoid of conscious
completely. Or was it he was simply capable of both extremes? Was he, perhaps,
just as capable of doing a monumental good as well?
My mind reels at the thought of his own mother allowing her son to court
Mistress Death, herself, as if she were some fleshless maiden instead of the
reaper of souls. Truly, Thanos was blessed.
Sui-San and Mentor will give a
whole new meaning to dysfunctional family.
As my gaze falls to Mentor, it appears that the father of the One has gone
somewhat mad. From his disoriented appearance it is clear that he is being
haunted my his own psyche, as if he is in communion with ghosts and attempting
to rationalize his own madness.
But it is rather enjoyable watching a mind as strong as Mentor's crack, if
not shatter, much like an egg.
Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!
So witty I am at times that I amuse even myself.
But if I wish to take full advantage of Mentor's misfortune, I must be swift!
Thanos will not allow himself to be imprisoned for too long. And what, I wonder,
does Mistress Death want with this purple toad is beyond me. But whatever
happens it is most clear that his soul, no matter how dark, could not possibly
reach the sygian depths of such as I. And yet the Celestials are an enigmatic
lot, and the Dreaming Celestial was reputed to be on par with the mightiest of
The flames of my netherworld begin to wane and standing before me, once more,
is Mistress Death's mouth piece, "You will go to Titan, Lord of Lies. The
In-Between is seeking Thanos' rather unique DNA and Mistress Death thinks you
may be of service." The Mouth Piece's putrefied flesh would be repugnant to
most, and the trail of maggots that drop from every orifice would annoy even I
had there falling bodies not fed my flames with their pathetically, worthless
"I will steal the DNA from under his very nose," I informed the
mouth piece while silently musing to myself means in which to accomplish said
task, And then Mephisto shall again be what he was in ages past. Hmmm, how shall
I do this? I could send a demonic lackey in my stead. Yet since I know they are
untrustworthy - perhaps as untrustworthy as I - I will do this myself, in
It has been ages since I did this trick, since Samarian times to be exact.
Back during antiquity when magic was science. But the last time I did this a
prophet trapped me in a heard of pigs and sent me tumbling over a cliff. Not the
most ... outstanding notation within my demonic résumé, to be assured.
The transition must be seamless, I purloined one of my most powerful
artifacts, one I had not used since I had taken one of my other guises. A guise
which was extremely effective. I held the trident outward and pointed it at the
stygian waters at Mentor's image and I was there. Unlike mortals, I needed no
device of transport, no point of transition, it is simply I will it and then it
Truly a staggering thought for mortals to understand.
I had to be careful. Mistress Death would be watching, closely. And using the
body of Mentor to mask my essence, I slipped in to Mentor's body as casually as
one puts on a garment of clothing. After seeing his own mistress vivisected it
is no wonder, that he was virtual catatonic. Yet it is times such as these when
beings such as I slip on, and act. To some, it is known as temporary insanity.
To one such as I, it is another bag of flesh to wear and discard as I see fit.
I get no complaints as I imprison Thanos in a cylinder of adamantine. The
same substance mighty Zeus used to imprison this body on a rock while vultures
tore out its liver on a daily basis. Within the container are a liquid full of
hallucinogens and other chemicals to keep him in sedated. But he is not
unconscious, far from it in fact. Although I probably could have killed him
without any complaints, it was not wise for that would bring in my mistress. And
I could sense her watching me, carefully.
We were all standing over the body of the inert Thanos then. To my right is
my son Eros, truly he does a father proud his pleasant demeanor masking
something much darker. But perhaps the most mind staggering thought Thanos could
have gotten that ridiculous hair as well as his apish appearance.
I.S.S.A.C. was running tests, when I made requested for a sampling of Thanos
Suddenly, I feel something as cold as ice against the back of this bodies
neck and its hairs begin to stand on end. I turn to see the entourage of
Mistress Death. Eros is completely oblivious to her presence as is the world
computer I.S.S.A.C. But how could it be that the other the forces of death work
in the universe everyday and no one is the wiser?
She is terrible to behold, as her socketless eyes seem to watch the body of
the inert Thanos. Her mouth piece with is a putrefied shade that has a small
trickle of maggots dripping from the corners of its mouth. Its seems to be also
staring but not at Thanos, in fact it seems to be staring at me. But I am not
concerned for some reason this body seems to mask my thoughts from her.
And much akin to the forces of death, which do their work daily, my actions
are none the wiser to those closest to this host body's heart. Since it was
common knowledge that when men grieve, and especially after someone discovers
the utter horror that Mentor had moments prior, men tended to act differently.
No one would suspect a thing, as was the plan.
"How goes things, Mephisto? Mistress Death feels that the In-Betweeener
watching from afar. I use telepathic means to communicate so Eros does not
suspect," her mouth piece, that stood off to the left and behind her
"Even now I'm taking precautions to protect the DNA, my mistress,"
The mouth piece spoke bluntly, "Seek not to deceive us, Mephisto, for
Mistress Death is watching closely." And then the voice was gone.
I needed time!
So I command Eros to obfuscate the truth of Sui-sans death. I told I.S.S.A.C.
to tell the populace of Titan that Sui-San will be taking a temporary leave of
absence and will travel through the farcaster gates to all the planets on the
web and may be gone for quite some time. After all, I cannot have a populace on
edge or deal with constant interruptions of fools consoling me, especially, when
there is an opportunity for power
to be had as great as this one was.
I begin to weave an intricate strategy, yet Mistress Death's distraction
allowed Mentor a foot-hold.
A strong voice addresses me. "You will not hold my body forever,
"Nor do I intend to, old man," I mused in retort to the essence of
the body in which I currently held dominion over. "Your addled mind,
although enjoyable, as I watch it tortured, you are now only as good to me
simply as a means to an end, and nothing more."
"And what end is that?"
Came another voice, not of Mentor's. Standing before me was Thanos and
Mistress Death, it appeared he was in some kind of astral form and next to him
was his mother. Thanos told me of the threat of the In-Betweener had passed and
that I could return the DNA to its rightful body. He saw what I was doing
perhaps he had even been watching all along. For truly I did not believe him
capable of leaving his very body. I clenched the teeth of the body of the one I
wore in indignation but then smiled and spoke, "But of course, I am ever
Mistress Death's humble servant."
"And now my pawn," came Thanos.
But I also now realized that Mistress Death would never sit by idly and as
her socketless eyes seem peruse this body it came to me what would happen if she
found me out. What punishment would be for defying her ebon will? The thought
alone was enough to send shudders through this bodies spine.
I returned to my fiery lair, promptly after that brief discourse, and while
Mentor would forget what had occurred, the effect of my presence in his body
would no doubt have long lasting effects and gaps in his memory. Yet, it was of
no matter to one such as I. Mistress Death, it seems has truly chosen Thanos,
but although the Mad Titan may have seen through my plan because I did not
realize him capable of leaving his body I will have the last laugh.
For Mentor will discovered the weapon I planted and such a crime is eternal
banishment for that apish brute!
Ha ha ha ha!
Truly, Mephisto is the lord of all evil.
Galactus had commanded me to find him a world for him to consume.
And like a good herald, I complied. My
star spanning senses reveled the very fabric of the universe. My gaze saw a
planet roughly a light year distant. I was upon it in seconds and went through a
wormhole of nearly ancient design. It's energy signature indicated it was a
former gateway used by many alien races to trade and interact but most of those
races had long perished.
I hit the wormhole at star spanning speed. The wormhole curved and I moved my
body in impossible positions as I performed the cosmic act of surfing. The first
wormhole was connected to other wormholes I adjusted as the wormholes shifted
and changed it was one of the many pleasures of being the Silver Surfer, herald
to Galactus, himself. It was times like these that I truly relished being a
herald of Galactus.
The technology used to create this device was likely a large dense object
that simulated the spinning motion of a blackhole. With such an object, even
space and time could be warped. It was likely Shi'ar technology or something
similar to the farcaster gates used by Titan. When I came out of the transport
device, I detected an energy signature nearly on par with my own.
I quickly descended upon a lush jungle world and was hovering just over the
tube, which had only been here a short time. I knew this not because of my
cosmic senses but could smell the foliage that was still burning from the
impact. I gestured with my cosmic power and the cylinder was raised until it was
even with my board. I used my senses to discern the origin of the cylinder and
had determined that it had come from Titan. After all I had been the herald of
Galactus for nearly a century now and was familiar with a great deal of
technology. I then detected the DNA, which was in his body and realized the
terrible potential if it were to go awry but did not think it my place to
destroy what he had not created. In fact, I had done enough destroying as the
herald of Galactus.
But before I left I used my cosmic power to free the sentient being and then proceeded to find Galactus a world to consume but later I would wonder if I made the right decision in freeing the entity from its prison, if not destroying the entity entirely.
Continued in Thanos: Dead Men Tell No Tales #7
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