POTU Spotlight #7: Caretaker's Passing

Written by WarlorTVor, Edited by Morfex
Logo created by Lord Thanos
Published by the Cosmic Powers Fan Fiction Group in

Characters are the properties of Marvel Comics
Click here for black&white text version (good for printing!)

Protectors of the Universe Spotlight #7 featuring...


Caretaker's Passing

(Note: This story takes place during the events in Protectors of the Universe #14. Past POTU Spotlights do not have an impact on this story. For other stories taking place in this continuity, see the POTU Archive Page.)

For more on the characters in this story, see our new
Official Handbook to Protectors Universe

See "The Story So Far" for info on events through POTU #11

Please send feedback to cpufeedback@yahoo.com 

As if possessing a sixth sense for such matters of dire importance as this one, Doctor Stephen Strange, Sorcerer Supreme, slowly turned around in order to face Adam Warlock.

And they merely stared at one another for what seemed to be an eternity.

At the moment of Warlock’s arrival, Strange had been caught up in his own turbulent thoughts concerning the future of the Protectors of the Universe as a whole. Once they had been united, their bonds were stronger than any he had seen in all his long years as Sorcerer Supreme.

Yet now…

Now it was different somehow, he could feel that change was in the wind. And a faint feeling of uncertainty overcame him.

With Epoch’s departure…

No! He forced his thoughts from entertaining such notions. He had voted for her dismissal as well as everyone else, save for Warlock, however he had known the God-Slayer for some time, and he would hazard a guess that Warlock stood alongside his fellow Protectors.

Strange had taken a stand. They all had. What she had done was wrong. He knew that. To do what she did was appalling, by any standards.

The Protectors of the Universe would endure.

He knew as much! Perhaps not intellectually, however in the depths of his soul and inner being, he knew that such a noble effort as was the Protectors of the Universe would endure, no matter what form it took . . .

Then suddenly he felt something, something distant. It was the sensation one developed when one was being watched.

The sensation caused him to stop his reflections for now and turned to its source.

Doctor Strange turned, only to face the golden hued visage of Adam Warlock, staring at him. It was clear in his pupil-less eyes, that Warlock wanted something from him. What that something was, that was the question.

They stared at one another for long moments, neither saying a word to the other. The winds appeared to be gaining in strength and started to harshly pick up their respective cloaks and thrash them about in every which direction that it pleased.

Strange turned his gaze and cast it outward toward the horizon. It was truly a majestic sight to behold, even for one who had seen as many untold marvels and wonders as he. Hues of orange, crimson and deep-set purple captured the sky in their awe-inspiring glory, as the suns of Sirus X slowly started to make their long trek toward slumber. Colors so vibrant they seemed to be alive danced across the heavens as if possessed by a tune that only they could hear or understand. A faint whisk of clouds started to slowly, lazily tumble through the sky as if they too were caught in this heavenly embrace of ecstasy.

The night air started to make its presence known as well, and it filled Strange’s lungs. He took a deep and sudden breath of the refreshing scent, as if to brace himself, for what Warlock was to tell him, for he knew it would hold dire consequences for him in the immediate future.

Strange turned his gaze once more toward Warlock and simply waited for the next move.

Warlock reached toward his forehead, and with no effort at all removed the emerald glistening gem from where it had rested undisturbed since his repossession of this body. He held it in his gloved hands, staring at it for a moment.

What thoughts occupied his mind? Strange wondered in silence. His musings would remain so.

He watched intently for a moment or two. Then Warlock tore his eyes from the last remaining Infinity Gem in existence* toward the man that stood only a few feet away. He was well within arms length, however to Strange the distance between him and Warlock felt as if Eternity and Infinity had manifested themselves, separating the two as if it were a chasm. And when he spoke, his voice was firm, leaving no room for debate to be entertained. “Sorcerer Supreme, I wish to claim now the favor that you rightfully owe me,” Adam said in no uncertain terms.

(*Galactus atomized the others and set free the abstract entities within during the Cosmic Union.)

Dreading the prospect, Strange nodded. “What will that be, Adam?” he asked, a raised eyebrow of curiosity manifested on his brow. However, Strange admitted that he did feel a twinge of relief to course through him. Since, after all, this debt to Warlock had been looming over his shoulders for some time now, and he was pleased to see it finally coming to pass.  

“My body,” Warlock started, “cannot survive more than a few more hours. I must therefore retire to a cocoon to adapt this body to a new level of evolution. In the interim, will you be caretaker of the Soul Gem?” Warlock offered the hand that now held the Gem of Soul in its firm embrace toward the good doctor. “I cannot think of a person more suited to the task.”

“Of course, Adam,” Strange nodded. “I recognize the risk of temptation that the Soul Gem possesses so I will safeguard it without actually employing its use.”

Warlock simply nodded at this, and Strange reached out for the gem, gloved encased palm facing heavenward. Without even a lingering thought, Warlock placed it within his trusted ally’s palm.

Strange moved it closer to him and studied it for a moment or two. It seemed to be calling out to him, in a mystic melody that seemed strangely familiar to him. As if giving into the sweet, loving opus that seemed to play not within his ears, but within his soul, Strange moved his gaze closer to it, as if seeing it for the first time. It seemed to shimmer with life anew for a moment. A pale emerald light, emitting from the gem washed over his features, as if further drawing him into its welcoming spell. Strange was possessed by the sheer wonder of it all.

Then, with uncertain hands, Strange moved the gem toward his brow…

Only to abruptly stop! His hand firmly held onto the small artifact of untold power at mid-chest level. His gaze fell toward Adam Warlock, who said nothing in opposition to the action which Strange was now performing.

As if answering some unspoken question, Warlock once more nodded his consent.

And with that Doctor Stephen Strange placed the Infinity Gem of Soul on his brow, for he was now the caretaker of the last remaining Infinity Gem. Power of Soul rushed into him in a sudden wave, and almost threatened to overwhelm him completely. However, he did not fight the power that now surged and pulsated within his being; it seemed to combine with his command over the mystical arts. The power flooded him, overwhelming, and even threatening to overload all his senses.

He saw all things in a new light, now. Was this the power that Warlock experienced daily? he pondered. This awe-inspiring new interpretation of reality was absolutely breath taking, even the pending sunset itself seem to take on a different aura with the Soul Gem now resting upon his brow, glistening under the last fleeting moments of sunlight that managed to reach out over the jutting mountain ranges.

No, he did not take arms against the onslaught of power anew. Quite the opposite in fact.

He embraced it!

Doctor Stephen Strange, Sorcerer Supreme was now caretaker of the Gem of Soul!

And deep within the depths of the Gem, the Soul Taker, aware of all things related to the stone, roared in perverse laughter.

To Be Continued in POTU and future installments of POTU Spotlight.

Be sure to also check out our Protectors of the Universe Reference Page for other stories in this continuity.  And don't forget to send some comments below or e-mail cpufeedback@yahoo.com 

Please leave your comments below:
If you want to be contacted or have e-mail included.
Leave name if you would like it in our letter column.

Issue #38 Cover

Cosmic Powers Unlimited Issue #38 CPU Archive
Protectors of the Universe #14 POTU Spotlight #7 All The Years #1 Sins of the Father #2 Thanos #8 Longest Night Chapter 6 War of the
Blood Gods #10
What is CPU? How to Join Our Staff Cosmic Powers Website

E-mail feedback/submissions to cpufeedback@yahoo.com