Protectors of the Universe #15Written and Edited by Morfex
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Published by the Cosmic Powers Fan Fiction Group in
THE COSMIC POWERS UNLIMITED FANZINE ISSUE #39
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Protectors of the Universe
"Aftermath: Part Three of Three: The Long Goodbye"
(Note: This story continues from Protectors of the Universe #14. 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 events in #1-11
“The Story since Then”: Rune has been returned to the Ultraverse along with the Godwheel, and the rift in reality has closed. The Protectors have been reunited with their teammates throughout the cosmos. They have voted for Binary and Phoenix to join their ranks, as well as for a cessation of Epoch’s involvement with the team. The combined Protectors have updated each other on current events depicted in Marvel’s Galactus the Devourer #1-6 and Thor #20-25. Pip the Troll, Adam Warlock and Gamora have been reunited with their original bodies, only to learn that their life forces are too strong to be contained.
Aftermath Part Three of Three: The Long Goodbye
“There are two tragedies in life. One is not to get your heart’s desire. The other is to get it.” – Bernard Shaw, Man and Superman, IV
Warlock, Gamora and Pip the Troll would be consumed by the rampant life energies
that coursed through their bodies if they did not enter the healing cocoons that
were a trademark of the Golden Avenger.
reconstructed Bee Hive laboratory that they occupied was adjacent to the one in
which the former Goddess and Magus now convalesced. Kismet accompanied the trio
with familial concern. The woman formerly known as Her addressed the former
bearer of the Soul Gem.* “Dear brother, would you have us place your cocoons
aboard the ‘Township’ for safe keeping?”
For the current bearer, read POTU Spotlight #7.)
my sister. We shall remain here, on Sirus X.”
was a time when Kismet had been after only one thing: becoming Adam’s ideal
mate. In part thanks to Quasar, Kismet had grown past that obsession, and had
adapted her own genetic structure to become more sibling than spouse to
Warlock.* Gamora took guilty comfort in their references to each other as
brother and sister rather than as destined mates.
In their final battle with Syphonn over Monster Island, in an as yet untold
tale, coming soon to POTU Spotlight.)
smiled warmly at Gamora, something she could quickly get used to. “I look
forward to seeing you when we all emerge.”
Astral Samurai thought of her time with White Raven, and of her goal to distance
herself emotionally from the emotionally distant Adam. But the Adam Warlock
standing before her now was a different man, more like the one she had known
prior to his hermitage in Soul World years ago. She felt that she deserved a
chance to learn if happiness was possible with him at her side. Her reply was
clearly heartfelt. “As do I.”
had used the time since Pip’s bodily transference* to take her leave of White
Raven and of her fellow Spinsters. She was prepared for the next phase in her
ongoing journey of metamorphosis and self-discovery.
and Kismet extended their hands toward Gamora. Kismet whispered, “Be well,
Sister.” Gamora nodded at this, and closed her eyes. Soon the energies pulsing
and swirling about her began to tighten their grip, but Gamora did not struggle
against the flow. In seconds, the golden-brown chrysalis was sealed, and Gamora
began the integration process between body and soul.
I guess I’m, next.” Pip’s lack of enthusiasm was understandable, for
though the promise of continued existence was worth the process, the cocoon’s
healing would take a few months, many days of which would be spent with the
inhabitant conscious. As the energies swirled and tightened about the Lazidaxian,
a voice suddenly pierced the room. “Pip! Baby!!”
was Mama Alpha, proprietress of the club in which both Heater Delight and Mantis
had been dancers.* She and Pip had been involved years before, and Starfox had
recently discovered that she still harbored feeling for the Troll.
See Spinsterhood #3 for details.)
a swift sprint that belied her prodigious girth, Mama Alpha leapt to embrace Pip
as the energy cocoon tightened about them.
the cocoon sealed about the pair, Pip’s voice could be heard piercing the last
remaining opening. “Noooooooo….!!!” The sound was cut off in mid-scream by
the cocoon sealing completely.
turned toward Adam, concerned. “Adam, should we reverse the process?”
shook his head. “No. Tearing the cocoon now would do more harm than her
presence ever could.”
stood by the laboratory entrance, grinning, the access codes still freshly
imprinted on the laboratory’s entryway. “Ah, true love!” He chuckled as he
departed with a final wave to his friend Adam Warlock.
turned to Warlock. She could not be certain, but was her brother amused? Before
she could decide, his tone returned to usual. “Despite the security of this
building, I see that defending it against intruders will be no simple task.
Perhaps Quasar would choose to aid you in the task.”
responded Kismet cryptically. Changing the subject abruptly, she continued.
“Adam, do you really trust Reon to lead the Universal Church? Can you be
certain of his motives?”
am certain that he has the best chance of keeping the empire together. As for
his motives, he has the additional incentive of knowing that the Protectors of
the Universe acted to overthrow one despot. They would certainly topple another.
No, the Protégé will not repeat the path of the Magus. His course will be an
entirely novel one, thanks in part to Aleta’s powers of suggestion.” With
that final comment, Adam felt his life energy about to expand beyond his
body’s ability to contain it. Adam Warlock gave his sister a final parting
glance, then closed his eyes and said, “Farewell.” His body began to
emanated a golden glow that solidified about him. Kismet fortified his energies
with her own prodigious power. She concentrated, closing her eyes as well.
beyond Sirus X, a dark wind blew. It cast a chilling shadow over those sensitive
enough to perceive it. Its trajectory was purposeful, its timing precise. Within
the few instants it took to seal Warlock’s cocoon, it had arced across
continents and entered Adam’s healing container with pin-point accuracy.
Kismet opened her eyes suddenly, aware that the fine hairs on her back and neck
were standing on end in terror. She looked about, but there was no visible
reason for her sudden reaction. Startled, she composed herself and completed the
three cocoons inhabited the chamber, each pulsating with the promise of future
change, for better or for worse.
Inquisitor Brotus reported to the Protégé, still accompanied by Replica. The
young Skrull was happy to see Aleta by the Protégé’s side, and greeted her
with a smile. White Raven stood at the Protégé’s other side.
noted that Replica’s ankh symbol was no longer around the young Guardian’s
neck, but rather around Brotus’.
Protégé noticed that his friend Brotus was unusually quiet, but decided not to
pry in front of the others. They would have time enough to talk another day. He
addressed Replica instead. “Could you help us with one last service before you
depart, to ensure that Throneworld will reestablish its stability?”
young Skrull female nodded enthusiastically, still guilt- ridden over her part
in the civil unrest within the Church of which she was a member. Replica
recalled her service as companion to the future entity also entitled the Protégé.
“I am at your disposal, Sire.”
Dark God Rune addressed his people via the Universal Church telecommunications
array that reached across the interstellar empire. Standing closely beside his
folded bat-like wings was the Protégé. Rune addressed the holo-cameras. “My
loyal followers. The prophesized Day of Reckoning has passed, and so too must my
time among you. I understand the sense of overwhelming upheaval that has struck
at your very hearts, but our trials are at an end. The Time of Bloodshed, the
Age of Sacrifice is behind us. Look to the future, and to my heir, for the Age
shall now return from whence I came, content in the knowledge that my peoples
are safe in the capable hands of my hand-picked Protégé. Honor, cherish and
obey him and his chosen circle as you would me. With my departure, the Universal
Truth is now made known to all through him. Bless you.” Gesturing to the Protégé,
Rune stepped back and allowed him to address the empire.
beloved people. Our Deity has given me a most holy honor. Now I must live up to
his expectations. My first act as his chosen successor is to reveal to the
Faithful a Prophecy fulfilled. Many of you now remember the Hidden Time, the
Reign of the Magus. With that in mind, review your Scriptures.
14:1-4 states, ‘The one who ruled and was forgotten shall be remembered once
more, reborn as a mage of balance. His sister shall be the embodiment of his
paradigm shift. His father shall be the vessel of change. His mother shall be
the matron to us all.’
the Magus, the Paragon, the Crucible, and the Matriarch!” The cameras cut to
the Bee Hive. Shinski and Ayesha were shown tending to their dormant adult
amethyst-skinned twins with obvious parental concern.
cameras returned to the visage of the Protégé. Reon concluded his remarks.
“I ask your patience and trust through this time of transition. Together, the
future is ours to claim!”
that, the recording devices ceased, and Replica could return once more to her
natural form. Rune melted away to reveal the young female Skrull.
Protégé turned to the young Guardian of the Galaxy. “You have done a great
service to your faith this day. You have minimized the potential for instability
in these coming days of change, and for that you are always welcome among us.”
was blushing a darker shade of green at these words. “Thank you, sire. But I
think it is time for me to return to my teammates.”
who had been observing the scenario from behind the cameras next to Brotus and
White Raven, stepped forward at this.
Protégé smiled at the other Guardian. “And thank you, Aleta for your…
special insight. I will keep our conversations in mind in the time to come.”
White Raven smoldered at this, an edge of jealousy taking herself by surprise.
and Aleta bade a final farewell to the new leaders of the Church. They proceeded
toward the spaceport for their ride back to Earth space.
pondered the Protégé’s final words. “Aleta, did you reveal the future to
mean our future? No, but he doesn’t need to know that. Let’s just say that I
gave him incentive for staying on the straight and narrow. We wouldn’t want
another Magus, now, would we? He is kin to Adam Warlock, after all. Ironic,
since it was Warlock that gave me the idea.”
the time Aleta had finished her words, the two Guardians had arrived at the
spaceport. Replica would have to ponder Aleta’s words another time.
“Morfex!” Replica increased her pace to meet her fellow Skrull first.
“It’s a pleasure to meet a fellow Skrullian good guy!”
former Star Master smiled at the young Skrull woman’s enthusiasm. “Same
here, young lady.”
this time Aleta had caught up and was offering her hand in friendship to the man
who had earned the rank of Captain posing as an Axi-Tun. “Captain Morfex, it
is a pleasure to make your acquaintance. I understand you have volunteered to
return us to Earth space. We appreciate it.”
no problem, I am taking Thor and Doctor Strange back to the Sol System anyway.
My shuttle, 'Magellan', is a bit cramped, but it will get us there in no time.
We depart in a few hours, enough time for you to say your goodbyes.”
seemed relieved. “Good. I did not want to leave without seeing Stakar once
your companion, Xenith, be joining us?” Replica realized immediately that she
should have held her tongue.
Skrull male before them took on a more somber tone. “I… don’t know.”
sat on a park bench, watching the horizon and contemplating Ganymede’s offer
of membership among the Spinsterhood. She replayed Ganymede’s words over and
over in her mind. “The Protectors need you. The Spinsterhood needs you. With
Gamora, Kismet, and Moondragon on leave, only Mantis and I remain of the first
line-up. Binary and Phoenix make excellent additions, but you have worked with
Gladiator, the Silver Surfer, Beta Ray Bill and Quasar before. We need your
experience and your abilities. Since you were a member of the Star Masters
before the Protectors was formed, you do not even require a vote. You are
already one of us! And now, you will be in a sisterhood unlike any the cosmos
has known in millennia. Please say you will consider.”
thought of Morfex, and of their time together on Calculex. He had asked her to
marry him only hours before Pip’s condition had set in. He was still awaiting
the skies, a form appeared in the distance, drawing ever nearer. Soon her keen
vision made out the visage of her Strontian first cousin, Kallark, Praetor of
the Shi’ar Imperium and Gladiator of the Imperial Guard.
I have been looking for you, cousin.”
you’ve found me. What’s up?”
with the Protectors of the Universe is a great honor, but the Majestrix has just
sent word, she requires me at her side once more. It was she who required my
presence among the Protectors, but now that she is recalling me… for the first
time in my life, I hesitate. You have always been the only person I could
confide in for advice. What do you think I should do?”
thought through every possible solution to their similar dilemmas. Then, quite
suddenly, she made up her mind. She knew it would alleviate Kallark’s sense of
guilt, and resolve her own conundrum as well.
“You go. I’ll stay in your place.”
Protégé and White Raven watched as the Grinner entered the audience chamber
where Starhawk had been betrayed by Malevolence.* The throne of bone that Rune
had utilized had been replaced with a more practical, less fear-inspiring
See POTU #4 for details.)
Grinner had his customary facial expression firmly in place. “Complete
success! Now we can reap the rewards of our efforts!”
Protégé was quick to deflect the crime lord’s naked ambitions. “Before you
jump to any conclusions, Grinner, we have an offer for you. How does the title
‘Minister of the Interior’ sound?”
that seems a step down from ‘Emperor of the Galaxy.’ Why should I settle,
with my forces in such a position of power?”
you took this empire by force, the Protectors of the Universe would dispatch you
as readily as they did Rune. Ultimately, I offer you an opportunity to
legitimize your business and reap the rewards of the inherent opportunities that
now arise. It is the same opportunity that they have afforded me. Come, let us
not work at cross purposes or hopeless causes. What say you to this?”
Ganymede’s request, Binary accompanied Thor to reclaim the Asgardian Destroyer
armor and transport it to
Morfex’s shuttle 'Magellan'. Far from refusing the aid, the Thunder god
took the opportunity to address Binary. “Thou dost claim to be the entity
Binary, yet I know that she has taken the name Warbird and resides on fair
Midgard. Explain thyself, maiden.”
first instinct was defensiveness, but she recognized that Thor had a right to an
explanation after all. She did not want their relationship to be adversarial
from the onset. “I never claimed to be Carol Danvers. I was grafted onto her
by the hated Brood when the X-Men observed her transformation into Binary Star.
In recent weeks, I was able to free myself from the bonding while she was
asleep. I do not blame her for my time in captivity, I was thrust upon her as
much as she upon me. She probably never realized that the loss of her Binary
powers meant the separation of our forced symbiosis. Unfortunately the process
has affected all of my memories from just prior to the grafting. I wish to know
who I was before the Brood captured me. That is one of my goals among the
contemplated Binary’s account of events. “Very well. The others believe
thee, and so too must I, for the nonce, give
thee the benefit of the doubt. But have a care. Thou dost bear a most noble
namesake. Honor well its reputation.” With that, the Destroyer armor was
successfully aboard the ‘Magellan’, and Thor and Binary parted amicably.
from his visit to Mama Alpha and the Bee Hive, Starfox sounded the door chime to
Starhawk’s quarters aboard the vessel that would soon depart the surface of
Sirus X. “May I come in?”
interrupted his meditation. “Enter.” With that word, the portal quickly slid
open with a barely audible whistle.
complied, then waited until the door closed behind him to speak. “Stakar,
about my abducting you and turning you over to Rune… I wanted to make certain
I have learned for myself that you are a manipulative rogue, but you are no
traitor. I suspected that your ploy must either be the plan of Epoch or Warlock.
I do not blame you for your part in the drama.”
contact with this latest Union remnant cause you pain?”
Yes. And pleasure too. And knowledge, and insight, and epiphany. I now more
readily understand what I am and what I am not.”
what is that?”
birth coincided with the Cosmic Union event. I am somehow able to tap into the
energies of the Union. Quasar was chosen by Eon to be the Protector of the
Universe. I have been chosen by the Union to be Protector of the Space/Time
Continuum and all adjoining dimensions until the next Union cycle. I can now
better sympathize with my father’s sense of awe and near-panic at his
overwhelming responsibility. But as per his example, I shall endure.”
nodded. “Well, then…”
door to Stakar’s quarters still open, Aleta peered in. Noting that Starfox
seemed about to depart, she spoke. “Stakar, may I have a word with you?”
heart skipped a beat. He knew that he had no right to the feelings he bore for
this woman from the future, but his communion with the Starhawk of her future
had engraved the sentiments within his psyche. “Of… of course, Aleta.”
looked back and forth between the two and smiled. He departed without another
word, merely a wave to both and a none too subtle wink at Starhawk.
Eros had gone and the door had slid shut behind him, Aleta reached for
Stakar’s hand. “You know, in many ways you are the ideal man. You embody
everything that I came to love in my Stakar without all the emotional baggage,
the bitter history, the distance that grew as a result of the loss of our
children, or of his being ‘The-One-Who-Knows.’ You are an innocent,
beginning your ascent into adulthood for the very first time.”
could see where this line of reasoning was leading. “And since you are already
a mature adult…”
I would be taking advantage of a naïve young man whose interpretation of his
feelings will one day, in retrospect, be seen as nothing more than a ‘school
boy crush.’ I know I may never see my Vance Astro from the future again and I
realize the changes that this Universe has undergone with the Cosmic Union. We
Guardians of the Galaxy may spend the remainder of our lives here. But none of
that matters. My feelings for him are as strong as yours are for me. Can you
understand and respect that?”
long silent pause followed. “I don’t see that I have a choice.”
don’t hate me. Perhaps in time…”
let us not part with the seeds of false hope sown. You have committed yourself
to another. I must honor that fact. You owe me nothing. Please do not feel any
obligation or pity for me.”
is not pity…” but Aleta recognized that Stakar’s feelings were deeply
hurt. He was minimizing his anger and sorrow successfully out of respect for
her, but she knew that she had just broken his heart. “I hope that we can
We don’t even know each other. Please, just go.”
Stakar, but… I have one final question. I understand your powers are
intimately linked to the Union remnants like the one that brought me here. Did
you… did you strand us here on purpose? Are you the reason we can remain when
all other extra-universal entities are being summarily ejected from this
continuum?” The question stung in her throat. She knew that his heart would be
doubly broken by the query, but she had to know the truth. She could no longer
ignore her doubts.
response was one of bewilderment. “I… I honestly do not know…”
Inquisitor Brotus bowed before his master, the Protégé. “You summoned me,
descended from the throne and gestured for Brotus to rise to his feet. “Yes,
my friend. Replica told me of your… encounter with the Ritual Sword. I wanted
to make certain you were… where you wanted to be. You have served the
Church’s best interests, and if you wish to take a leave of absence, I would
took a step forward and placed his firm hand on the shoulder of the Protégé.
He stood nearly twenty centimeters taller than Reon. “My place is ever at your
side, sire. I am only sorry that it took me this long to realize it."
Protégé smiled in genuine friendship, and Brotus knew that despite his
master’s recent transformation, that which Brotus cared for in Kireleon
remained in Reon.
am happy to hear that, but before you make your final decision…” The Protégé
signaled to the guards at the entranceway of the audience hall. The two Grand
Inquisitors opened the portal to reveal a vision of stunning beauty: Mantis, in
all her celestial glory, entered the chamber.
stepped forward. Brotus was caught in mid-breath. She placed her delicate hands
on his immense chest and stared up into his indigo eyes. Her words were filled
with emotion. “Brotus… What we shared… was…”
Mantis could finish, Brotus lips and hers met. The kiss lingered eternally in
their minds, and ended all too abruptly in their reality. Brotus said, “I
know. I understand what you did, why you did it, and how you genuinely feel. You
are everything I want and need in my heart… but your obligations lie
elsewhere. I have my work, my purpose as well. But I will be waiting for you if
you ever decide to return to me.”
was still chuckling at his matchmaking efforts between Pip and Mama Alpha,
Stakar and Aleta. He was feeling very pleased with himself as he returned to his
quarters. His door slid open, and Eros was startled by what awaited inside.
Heater Delight covered the Titanian Eternal with kisses. “I’m soooo happy to
see you, baby! Oooh, that fiery red hair of yours just turns me on! You know
what red does for me, don’t you, lover?”
had grown weary once more of the young woman’s smothering attentions. He knew
it was not the honorable thing to do, but he must be true to his own nature. He
instantaneously altered his molecular structure and caused his hair to become
brown in coloration.
What have you done? I…”
sorry, Heater, I should have told you. Every few years, my hair returns to its
natural color. It will remain so at least another two hundred years. But enough
superficialities! Come, kiss me!”
um, it was great seeing you again Foxy! Drop by again in a century or two!”
With that, Heater gathered her discarded brassiere and left abruptly.
a loud “Oooof!” Starfox fell into a pile of pillows he kept in a corner of
his quarters. He looked up at his reflection on the mirror that covered the
entirety of the ceiling for almost any occasion. He ran both hands through his
newly brown hair. “Hmmm… Not bad…!”
the media reports indicated, the external threats of Galactus and Thanos had
been resolved as well. Publicly, details were sketchy as reports had had
difficulty passing the planetary defense grid while it was up. Among the
Protectors, however, the events were now well known.
day after the Dark God’s fall, Quasar called a meeting of the entire
Protectors team aboard the docked Spinster vessel ‘Io’ on the surface of
the threats of Rune, Bubonicus and Malevolence resolved, and the extremes of the
Magus and the Goddess diluted, many of the heroes were anxious to depart.
turned to his allies, many of whom still seemed concerned by the departure of
Epoch. “We don’t need my god-daughter to continue the Protectors, right,
of Hearts stepped forward. “Malevolence hinted that the Rigellians might be
able to help my condition. I’m leaving to investigate that possibility. I…
don’t know if I’ll be coming back.” Jack turned to Beta Ray Bill. “I
meant what I said the other day about Bill
nodded somberly and offered Jack his hand in friendship, which Jack quickly
accepted with his own. With a parting glance toward Ganymede, and a wave to all,
Jack flew off.
Ray Bill spoke up as well. “Delta Ray Dawn has departed aboard
‘Scuttlebutt’. She remains alone and unprotected somewhere in the vastness
of cruel space. I must find her. I have agonized over being torn between two
obligations long enough. The future of my species is at stake. I hereby resign
from the Star Masters.” He waved his departure as well, and headed off toward
the docking bay of ‘Shuttlebutt’, the small vessel that had brought the Star
Masters to the surface of Sirus X.
agreed. “Pressing matters of import must still be addressed on the Shi’ar
Homeworld. My commitments to Majestrix Lilandra must take precedence, at least
for the time being. The alliance ceremony with Spartoi fast approaches,* and
there is the matter of the new star that was the Devourer of Worlds. My cousin
Xenith has agreed to stay in my stead.” The Praetor Kallark turned to Mantis.
“Will you return with me as well?”
See Marvel’s Inhumans #1-4 for details.)
considered it, then shook her head. “No, Kallark. I have unfinished business
among the Spinsterhood. But we will see each other again soon, of that I am
certain.” She smiled warmly at him. With that, Gladiator departed.
was the next one to address the gathering. Starhawk noted the change in
coloration of his hair, but decided not to inquire. “With Drax, Firelord and
Genis gone… I’d best return to Deneb and see if Tigra has had enough
debauchery for one lifetime…”
could not believe his senses. “Genis, Drax, Bill, Jack, Gladiator, and now you
too, Eros? The Star Masters can’t continue with just two members.”
grinned. “We will be together again soon, Dell. Of this I am certain. But the
idea of a few months of pleasure appeals to me after your sound thrashing.
Consider it my Protectors’ Compensation Plan.”
that, Starfox kissed the hands of nearly every female teammate present before
reaching Ganymede. Ganymede was quick to elbow the Eternal in the ribs
brusquely, ending the attempted kiss. Undeterred, Eros proceeded to the last
woman, lingering on the hand of the Phoenix. His eyes made smoldering contact
with hers, clearly inviting more than a kiss.
smiled at Eros and said, “I am ten billion women in one. I doubt that a man
like you could handle more than four at a time.” Starfox staggered backward,
pretending to reel at the friendly jibe. He convinced himself that she would one
day be his next serious conquest. He departed for the ‘Township’, intending
to reach Deneb in his Titanian spacecraft, a similar design to Moondragon’s
turned to Quasar. “Father… Dell, mother has asked me to remain here by her
side. Adam Warlock, Gamora, and Pip have imparted upon her a most serious
responsibility, guarding their prone cocoons. I am sorry about your Star
Masters, but I must stay. But you could remain with us…”
seemed dumbfounded. “So that’s it? The Star Masters are disbanding by
default? Fine, as Epoch was so kind to point out, I’ve got a lot of catching
up to do with my interstellar listening posts anyway. Goodbye.” Clearly
agitated, Quasar flew off.
I go after him, mother?” asked Starhawk of Kismet, visibly upset by his
father’s angry outburst.
shook her head. “No, my son, let Dell be. He will return to us when he is
ready. For now, he is right. His duties must be accomplished as he sees most
fit. Just as ours must.”
appeared in the newly assigned quarters of the Phoenix just prior to takeoff.
“Phoenix, your teammates did not bear witness to your final action, just prior
to Kireleon’s sacrifice. What was it that you did?”
Phoenix’s new female corporal form levitated above her bed in a cross-legged
position of meditation. Without opening her eyes, she responded. “I ensured
that our two Universes would have a far more difficult time crossing over again,
used the remnant rift to re-enter the Ultraverse and excise every visitation in
that Universe’s history by beings from our Universe. Adam Warlock, the Black
Knight, Juggernaut, even my Phoenix force; our realities’ natives no longer
affect the evolution of that existence. Their rightful progression has been
is indeed an interesting turn of events. Are you capable of doing so again?”
you need not worry about my tampering with your preciously documented past
continuity here. I did not affect change, I undid tampering that should never
Is this why you were too weak to heal Sirus X alone.”
the Ultraverse continues on, a nearly exact parallel to our space/time
actually. The reversion effect had an unexpected side-effect.”
what was that?”
reality, as dated on Earth, is currently the year 2000. As I left the Ultraverse
for the final time, Earth’s date was 1994. It was mere months after the
‘Jumpstart’ effect that began the Age of Ultras. It was only days prior to
Thor’s visit to the Godwheel and Rune’s possession of the Infinity Gems.”
Sirus X remembers Rune!”
it will continue to do so. It is Rune that will not remember Sirus X, nor his
visit to our Earth’s Hyborean Age.”
see. So Warlock never died at the hands of Rune centuries ago."
though Warlock remembers the event as if it had happened, much like the closed
time loop of the Reign of the Magus.”
what of the seventh Ego Gem, lost in the Ultraverse for eons?”
the other Gems, it was sent through time and space to the beginning of the
recent Cosmic Union. The Abstract Entities that inhabited them were all freed by
the first Union wave, and the Gems were obliterated by Galactus.* The timing was
precise. The Gems that the Devourer ‘recovered from another dimension’ came
from other times.”
Cosmic Union for details.)
did not attempt to unite the Gems for your own use.”
am aware of their imposed limitations. In any case, the Gems cannot give me what
what is that, Phoenix?”
Friendship. Companionship. Love. A home, unforced by imposing my will on others.
Is that not what you desire as well, Watcher?”
varied vessels of the Protectors of the Universe received special clearance from
the office of the Protégé for immediate departure. The ‘Township’ was
reunified, though missing some of its familiar components. Bill had taken
‘Shuttlebutt’ to seek out the Korbinite ship ‘Scuttlebutt’. Morfex had
taken Thor, the Destroyer armor, Doctor Strange, Aleta and Replica to the Sol
system in the space shuttle 'Magellan'. Starfox had taken his Titanian vessel to
return to Deneb for Tigra. Jack, Gladiator, Quasar, and the former Heralds had
all departed on their own power. Adam, Gamora, Pip, Starhawk, and Kismet had
remained on Sirus X. According to Epoch, Drax was in the Microverse, while
Moondragon accompanied Captain Marvel on Earth. This left the new Spinsterhood:
Ganymede, Mantis, Phoenix, Xenith, and Binary.
watched from the observation deck as the ‘Township’ withdrew from orbit
about Sirus X. She had sacrificed a year of her life, her ethical code and her
sacred Retreat to Epoch’s machinations. The Protectors team was in shambles,
with only the Powers Cosmic subdivision remaining whole. With Epoch, Bill, and
Air-Walker departed, she was the default leader of those remaining on board. She
knew that she still believed in the Cause, but her faith had been badly shaken.
Where would they go next, with no one to guide them? To hunt down Tyrant?
anxiously entered, dispersing Ganymede’s reveries. “Sister, forgive my
interruption, but This One must speak to you of the Phoenix! Something is
The End (For Now!)
More POTU adventures are coming! Check out this week's Cosmic Announcements for details on what's to come with the POTU Department! Then check out Powers Cosmic #6! Be sure to also check out our Cosmic Union Continuity Reference Page and Protectors of the Universe Reference Page for other stories in this continuity. And don't forget to send some comments below!
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