POTU Spotlight #6: Quasar and Oera the WatcherWritten by WarlorTVor, Edited by Morfex
Logo created by Lord Thanos
Published by the Cosmic Powers Fan Fiction Group in
THE COSMIC POWERS UNLIMITED FANZINE ISSUE #36
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Protectors of the Universe Spotlight #6 featuring...
QUASAR AND OERA THE WATCHER
(Note: This story takes place during the events in Protectors of the Universe #11 and #12. Past POTU Spotlights do not have an impact on this story. For other stories taking place in this continuity, see the POTU Archive Page.)
more on the characters in this story, see our new
Official Handbook to Protectors Universe
See "The Story So Far" for information on previous events
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I – The Good Fight
darted forward, swirling mist of golden quantum energy churning around his
clenched, now white-knuckled fist. A once faint whine of power, the telltale
sign that energy was amassing within the Quantum Bands he bore, grew to a
crescendo of its own. The sound served as something of a melody to the grunted
profanities, shouted in alien tongues and cries for divine intervention that
were now all too common to his ears through the seemingly unending combat that
he had endured. He moved onward, methodically, in fact, deeper and deeper into
the clutches of the dark forces that he and his fellow brethren were attempting
to bring an end to, once a for all.
He now found himself
in a struggle that could very well determine the fate of not only this universe,
but of yet another one, one parallel to his own. Wendell Vaughn’s mind started
to drift into a dark, thrashing tide of inner musings and self-doubt. His
thoughts churned inward, lashing outward, against the veils of time, to the
events of time’s past.
He had served on many
a team, first as a proud officer of S.H.I.E.L.D. (then, called Supreme
Headquarters International Espionage and Law Enforcement Division. Now it was
under a new commission and a new name Strategic Hazard Intervention Espionage
Logistic Directorate). And later, after assuming his role of Quasar and being
endowed with the Quantum Bands, he served as an honored member of the Avengers,
Star Masters, and continued his exploits as the “Cosmic Avenger”. And yet no
title gave him more pride and honor than being a member of the Protectors of the
He did not consider
himself a pride-enthralled man by nature. Far from it, he was a humble one, even
when he, following the original Captain Mar-Vell’s death, was bestowed the
title of being the sole Protector of the Universe, he humbly accepted Eon’s
decree. And he continued to serve the universe by means of the Quantum Bands
that were attached to his wrist, even after Epoch, Eon’s scion, formed the
Protectors of the Universe. Following the events of the Cosmic Union, the need
for champions to continue to fight the “good” fight was even greater than
ever before. Yet, this time he was not alone.
Quasar could not
begin ascribe in words the feeling he had when he watched his fellow brethren
struggle onward, against insurmountable odds, side-by-side, in what was for all
intents and purposes their first major combined mission. And, as he well knew,
they were all “professionals” in this fields of expertise, forged in the
fires of endless threats on the intergalactic and oftentimes – sometimes too
often in Quasar’s opinion – cosmic scale. Yet, the way they moved, and
acted, was astonishing – at first glance one would have thought they had been
in this situation alongside their fellow comrades a thousand times in the past.
And now they fought
what Captain America had called the “good” fight – a term that Quasar
himself had taken up in earnest, after seeing the effect the term possessed over
the Avengers when the Patriot spoke it. (Though the word, when spoken by him,
did not have the same profound emotional impact it did when the Sentinel of
Liberty spoke it. This was a fact that he was more than aware of, yet he still,
in many ways, aspired to be akin to the Captain’s level of heroism. Therefore,
he continued to use it, in the hopes that one day he would.) He turned his gaze
from side to side, watching, in something of an awe-inspired gaze, as swarms and
swarms of Rune’s trusted Inquisitors continued to overwhelm him and his fellow
Protectors in sheer number. Even in light of this fact, perhaps in spite of it
even, they strived onward, unhindered by the forces that would cruse them if
given a chance.
Yet, Quasar could not
shake off the feeling that in some way, still unknown to him, the “good”
fight had become tainted, tarnished, stained even. For the Protectors’
shepherd, Epoch had become tainted, in ways that Quasar could not even begin to
imagine, nor comprehend in its entirety. Her motives and means of operations had
become darker in nature, more sinister. And in certain instances, if Quasar was
being totally honest with himself, Epoch seemed no different than Adam Warlock
– or even the Mad Titan, himself.
The notion sent
chills to course down Quasar’s spine, and he had to struggle in order to
prevent himself from shivering. The idea that one’s godchild was cut from the
same cloth as those two men was enough to cause any man to shudder.
He had first noticed
the change shortly after the Union had reach culmination. He, along with the
others, were introduced to one another, and they had learned of the Timeless –
the branch of the Protectors of the Universe that was shrouded in utter secrecy.
Epoch had even gone so far as to seal off an entire portion of the Jovian Moon
of Io that served as the Protectors’ base of operations. She had secured it
from all save for herself and the members of the Timeless, whoever they were.
And as time drummed forth, his suspicion of her and her motives had not
diminished, he was sorry to say. He could not help but wonder: Could Epoch have
an ulterior motive in all of this? Was it possible that in some way or another
his godchild was going to benefit from the absolute chaos and destruction of
this world? These were musings that he could not easily wave off with a mere
shrugging of the shoulders. If Rune was once more removed from his controlling
grasp over Sirus X, and he had to side against Epoch, then so be it. He knew
that if he sided against Eon’s offspring on ethical grounds, with Epoch’s
current mindset it would not be beyond her to turn Protector of the Universe
against Protector of the Universe.
Those were matters
that would need to be dealt with when the time arose – and deep down inside
him, Quasar knew that a time of reckoning was inevitable.
His first priority,
at the moment, was to see the current situation on Sirus X to the bitter end –
alive, preferably, of course.
The sudden explosion
of his name, without preamble and over the cacophony of sound that was war
utterly derailed Quasar’s current train of thought, shattering his reprieve.
Becoming aware of the physical confrontation that he was involved in, Quasar
silently dismissed the now clearing swirls of inner thought that had taken
domination over his mind eye moments earlier. His curiosity was more than mildly
piqued by what may have warranted such a proclamation of his name. Quasar
quickly brought the current melee to an abrupt end. The Inquisitor he grappled
with was a man well versed in the various arts of physical combat from worlds
across the galaxy. Quasar had only been able to fight to something of a draw.
The attacker was countering Quasar with strategically placed blocks and
counterattacks, but finally made his own vital error. It was an error that
Quasar meant to exploit to its fullest, in the hopes of bringing the
confrontation to an end without ending the man’s life. After all, killing,
even of an enemy, was never an option where the Protector of the Universe was
The massive form
before him lunged forward with all his might, certainty was etched across the
firm carved lines of determination that were forged on his crimson visage, and a
roar of laughter tore away from his lungs. It was clear that he was enjoying
himself in this conflict of wit and will. Though, Quasar doubted, seriously, if
that feeling of pleasure would endure for much longer, at least if he timed his
next move carefully. If he was in error, even in the slightest . . . Well,
Mistress Death and I will have some real quality time together, won’t we? He
mused with only the slightest tinge of morbid humor.
His opponent, now
only a few feet distant, continued on his charge, his hands outstretched toward
Quasar’s throat, and a satanic expression of perverse pleasure made its
presence known on his facial features. At the last moment, Quasar dropped to the
ground unexpectedly. He watched the façade of confidence on his attacker’s
face dwindle to that of surprise. An air of good nature lightened Quasar’s
already darkened mood.
And with a sudden
burst of golden shimmering light that lanced forth from Quasar’s hands in a
crescent beam of divine light, came a roaring scream of protest and pain by the
red hued Inquisitor that had moments before matched Quasar move-by-move. Quasar
scolded himself, internally chiding that his close quarter combat skills had
faded of late. He had grown too dependent on the seemingly limitless power he
had at his disposal and not his own wit, and battle savvy. He made a mental
note, to once again renew his vigorous “exercise” training program of
physical combat drills, without the aid of his Bands upon their return to the
‘Township.’ The mountain shouted untranslatable – not too mention,
unrepeatable – profanities into the air, his head jerking skyward, the veins
in his now extended neck pulsating with pain anew, for his leg was now utterly
shattered at its joint.
Quasar had taken note
that the Inquisitor must have injured his left leg in a different confrontation,
and in this sea of chaos, it was understandable how such an occurrence could
have transpired. He was slightly favoring his right leg, placing his weight on
the unwounded one. He did so in such a way that Quasar had not learned of this
factor, until he lunged forward at him the first time, prior to the charge. Then
it was clear that all of his weight was unevenly distributed for his rather
massive and impressively muscular frame. A plan of attack quickly formulated and
Quasar decided to attack the right one, with a surge of power strong enough only
to shatter bone. At this range anything more potent in nature would prove fatal
indeed. This threw the Inquisitor off balance, in a way that would take him out
of the fight indefinitely.
With the creature’s
massive torso above his now hunched over back, Quasar thrust his then crouching
legs heavenward, so that he was standing, the screaming man’s body weight
being carried by means of the Cosmic Avenger’s shoulders. In a quick display
of strength, and stamina, Quasar tossed the man forward, where he would land,
back-first, on a mound of freshly erected debris, and out of harm’s way from
both sides of the conflict. After all, Wendell told himself, the first lesson
that he had learned at Advanced Tactical Training at S.H.I.E.L.D., “friendly
fire is anything but.” And from the many Inquisitors’ current disposition
and mindset it was clear that not one of their fellow brethren, wounded or not,
would stop them if they believed that they had a chance in hell of ridding their
sire of the current thorn that had embedded itself within his side.
The entire offensive
took no longer than a few moments since the proclamation of his name, and he
swiftly swirled around and stared blankly at the general direction from which
the voice had emerged. In mid-turn, he stopped in his tracks, his gaze directed
toward the Primal Temple for a few moments. There was nothing in his line of
sight, yet Quasar sensed danger was forthcoming. In a blur of action he leaped
forward, arms extended outward, toward the ground, his trained reflexes taking
dominion over him, an after effect of training under no less than Colonel Fury
when he hailed his services toward S.H.I.E.L.D. His palms caught himself upon
the mounds of dirt, and instantly rivets of pain pulsated up his muscular arms.
A torrent of sizzling green energy lanced over his head, slightly singeing his
long tendrils of golden blond hair, the putrid scent of his burning hair filled
his lungs. Yet, he missed the full brunt of the energy blast by a few
centimeters, and for that he was grateful. His lower teeth embedded themselves
in the innards of his lower lip in a futile attempt to stop the pain. He then
pushed himself in a forward tumble, rolling on the ground for several cycles,
until, finally he laid, flat on his back. His eyes darted toward the left, and
he saw his would-be murderer, a dark hued young man, who was still standing
there, his weapon aiming still at where he had fired, gray smoke rising forth
from the man’s weapon.
Before the Inquisitor
could realign his line of fire, Quasar launched his own preemptive strike, a
sudden burst of power and light exploded into the Inquisitor’s peripheral
vision for a moment. He felt the jarring force of the energy’s blast before
the onset of unconsciousness settled in. His body grew limp and collapsed in a
heap of muscles and disjointed limbs, weapon no longer in hand.
Satisfied that this
Inquisitor along with the one with a now shattered leg were no longer threats,
Quasar leapt heavenward, twisting in the air, in such a way that he landed,
softly on his feet, not making a sound. And without any more untimely delay he
turned to see the owner of the voice, Jack Hart.
Jack of Hearts, as he
was called, dashed his way across the weapon scarred terrain, with awe-inspiring
speed, grace and agility. When someone tried to stop him, without even a second
thought the man would simply dispatch the enemy and continue onward, unhindered
and undazed, as if nothing had occurred at all. In no time at all he was
standing before Quasar. A wry expression staked claim to his chiseled features.
murmured, slightly winded. After regaining his composure once more, he gestured
toward the heavens above, with something of a brisk, curt nod of his head.
“Where are Air-Walker and Starglow?” he asked. Quasar afforded a brief
scanned glance of the battlefield, his vision only glazing the surface of the
combatants, and he restrained a curse, but was only partly successful. In his
musings of the past and in his small victory over the Inquisitors, he had lost
track of two of his teammates.
Quasar and Jack flew
slightly over the ground so that they could acquire a more promising vantage
point over the ever changing tides of chaos. Any higher would surely trigger a
volley of strafing fire from ground-to-air weapons. The two heroes scanned the
heavens for a moment longer in search of the two former Heralds.*
To learn the fate of the two Heralds read Protectors of the Universe #11.)
And then in a blur of
darkest ebony, emerging from the swirling pure white clouds of the heavens, a
torrent of laughter made its presence known over the din of destruction and
served as the Dark God’s herald. Rune soared high over the scene, taking
pleasure in the deaths and shattered lives of those who were defenseless against
his sadistic might. The scent of recently spilled blood rejuvenated the creature
with life anew. Yet, that is all he did, it was clear that he would not rejoin
his forces, and that he had set his sights on more urgent matters. Quasar turned
his gaze toward where the Prince of Void’s expected destination would be if he
continued on this course.
deepened, he brushed away matted, perspiration plagued hair from his eyes with a
brush of his hand, and turned his gaze over toward Jack Hart once more. “Bill
and the others can carry on this fight, we have to find Starhawk and put an end
this madness once and for all.”
Jack of Hearts smiled
at this, and it was clear to Quasar that he too had grown weary of being used as
nothing more than a pawn to be disposed of at the whim of others. “My
sentiments, exactly,” he chimed, and with that brief exchange the two charged
forth, into the very soul of the Primal Temple of Sirus X, Quasar leading the
Protectors of the Universe #12 for the result of their efforts.)
II – Silent Vigil
For the first time,
in all her long years of faithful service to the Over Mind, clarity of thought
and perception dawned upon the one who was known as Oera, the Watcher. And for
the first time, she felt that she understood her former, now disgraced
companion, concerning his sometimes-borderline obsession with mortals, Homo
sapiens of the Sol System to be more specific.
For some reason she
could never understand him for that obsession, nor did she forgive him. Yet in
the final moments of what she had referred to in her tomes as the Sirus X
Affair, the ageless Watcher felt final understanding dawning upon her at last.
She stood there,
watching the events within the Imperial Compound unfold as they should,
unhindered by her silent vigil, admittance to the world in question prohibited
by the establishment of the Planetary Defense Grid. A faint eyebrow slightly
raised, curiosity piqued, the events were progressing toward an ending unknown
even to a being of her status in the Grand Scheme of all that was and will be.
She had known that
humanity was a special gem within the countless marvels that the omniverse
presented. The Cosmic Union event had confirmed that.
As much was never in
dispute, yet still what could warrant such a passion being blazed in the heart
of the man she had dared once call soul-sharer, even to the point where he would
act as they would and shun the sacred oath he took as Watcher? It was a question
she had pondered over for some time, never coming to a satisfactory answer in
the past, she merely pressed the matter in the dark recesses of her psyche to be
pondered – unsatisfactorily no doubt – at a later date. And yet now
dissatisfaction gave way to the slightest hint of satisfaction. Granted, she had
acted for the sake of all in the final moments of the Cosmic Union Crisis, her
role unknown and not noted by her superiors, when the situation was grim and the
odds were against those who opposed the will of the Mad Titan Thanos. She knew
not why she did this, and infringed upon the oath she had taken, so long before.
Perhaps it was the remaining effects of her soul-sharer’s eternal presence
within her essence? Or perhaps she was simply swept away in the moment and felt
compelled to act accordingly? She knew not why.
And it seemed clearer
to her now, in a subconscious way, that still did not fully reveal itself to
her, as she watched. At least it was a beginning. Perhaps, in the future, if she
continued with the inkling that now presented itself to her, in time she would
understand, and for the first time, by understanding this, understand him.
It was then that she
felt a disturbance in the space-time continuum somewhere off in the void. She
tore her gaze briefly away from the object of her undivided attention and toward
an awe-inspiring sight.
indeed,” she whispered to herself, taking down several mental footnotes.
Space churned and
ruptured exploding in vibrant colors that danced across the spectrum, and the
light from the sudden star burst seemed to defy even the will of gods. Oera
watched onward, as those who were worshipped as gods, and those scorned as
apocalyptic creatures throughout the universe emerged from the recently created
A faint smile
appeared on her pale features at this, for the Protectors of the Universe not
accounted for on the planet’s surface had arrived at last.
Thor, the Thunder
God. The Silver Surfer, Sentinel of the Spaceways and formal Herald to the now
deceased Galactus.* Doctor Stephen Strange, the Sorcerer Supreme of Earth.
Gladiator, the Imperial Guard’s Praetor to the Shi’ar Throne. The
ill-tempered, Firelord, another one of Galactus’ many Heralds. And the
Celestial Madonna known as Mantis.
(* See Galactus
the Devourer for details.)
All were presented,
emerging from the rift, having converged on Sirus X in the hope of aiding their
brethren. And with her acute cosmic senses, Oera could detect Epoch, too, was
nearby, yet there appeared to be an ominous hue to her now, one that the Watcher
had not detected before, though suspected.
Oera the Watcher,
too, quickly masked her presence, before any party took note of her being, she
did not wish her presence around Sirus X in any way to affect change in the
current course of events, for ill or not. With the rather simplistic cloaking
now complete, she once more turned her attention toward Sirus X, and once more
continued her silent vigil.
taking dominion over her once more, and beginning to mount within her very soul.
in Protectors of the Universe #12!
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