Powers Cosmic #6Written and Edited by Morfex
Logo created by Lord Thanos
Published by the Cosmic Powers Fan Fiction Group in
THE COSMIC POWERS UNLIMITED FANZINE ISSUE #40
Characters are the properties of Marvel Comics
Powers Cosmic #6
"Posterity" - Prologue: Background Check.
(Note: This story continues takes place after Galactus: The Devourer!)
"Posterity" - Prologue: Background Check.
The Powers Cosmic was a team of space-faring heroes consisting of the former Heralds of Galactus. In order of service, they were: the Silver Surfer, Air-Walker, Firelord, and Nova.
Shalla Bal, the fifth
and final member, had also served Galactus faithfully prior to her rebirth
during the Cosmic Union.* For a time, unbeknownst to all until recently, she had
served as the spirit that inhabited the “Punisher” construct assigned to
defense of the Mighty Devourer’s Worldship.
Cosmic Union for details.)
For a very brief
time, she had also animated the “Herald” called Ardina, the Zenn Lavian term
of endearment that translated approximately to “star glow.” Years before the
Cosmic Union event, Ardina had been a golden hued beauty designed to seduce the
Surfer back into Galactus’ service.
Galactus, a neutral
being by nature, was in fact created from Galan, a humanoid from a prior
Universe. Galan was offered continued existence beyond his native Universe’s
collapse by the Abstract Entity that embodied that previous Universe. Thus,
although Galactus evolved into a Cosmic Force of Nature beyond Good and Evil, he
was nonetheless originated from a fallible, imperfect humanoid.
Despite his neutrality, Galactus’ mortal origins allowed him periodic access to a conscience, as well as to the potential for extremes of both Good and Evil. On the occasion of Galactus’ desire to reclaim Norrin Radd from Earth, he summoned all that was evil within his formerly mortal self. The evil was evoked to determine a duplicitous means of retaining the Silver Surfer’s companionship. This portion of himself Galactus referred to as “Master Guile.”*
the Silver Surfer Graphic Novel by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby for details.)
Guile was the
mastermind behind Ardina’s creation, rationalizing that love was the only
means of coercing the Surfer. For the Surfer to be tempted by passion, Master
Guile concluded that Shalla Bal was the logical choice to animate the newest
Herald. Although Galactus heeded Guile’s advice, the Devourer was disgusted by
the evil presence taken physical form, and reabsorbed Guile back into the
balance that was Galactus’ very essence.
as Ardina was all too brief, and when Ardina was returned from whence she had
come, so too did Shalla’s soul return to its former container, the
“Punisher” robot. In one alternate Reality, the Surfer continued his service
to Galactus immediately upon Ardina’s passing. In the primary Marvel Universe,
the Surfer (and humanity’s) memories of the events were clouded by the
Devourer, and Norrin Radd was returned to his exile on Earth. His return to
service as Herald would not take place until years later.*
See Galactus the Devourer #3 for details.)
Nothing was heard of
Guile, Galan, or Ardina again, until that fateful day during the Cosmic Union
when the Silver Surfer discovered the original birth bodies of himself and his
former Heralds. Norrin Radd, Pyreus Kril, Gabriel Lan, Frankie Raye, Tyros the
Untamed and Morg all had their bodies and souls reunified. All but Morg had
those organic bodies replenished by Galactus with access to the universal energy
source known as the Power Cosmic.
Shalla Bal’s soul
was nearly lost in a heroic act of sacrifice during the Union, but the
rejuvenated former Heralds (excluding Morg) each sacrificed a portion of his or her
power to create a body of solid energy for her, much like the ones they had
inhabited for years.
wounded body, along with the near-dead organic form of Morg, was kept in stasis
along with hundreds of thousands of Zenn Lavians and Xandarians in a cosmic orb
that held a pocket dimension. Despite its temporary impenetrability, the orb
required safekeeping. The Heralds had agreed to share that burden, and so the
small orb was currently contained within Norrin Radd’s cosmic surfboard. The
Power Cosmic glaze that now surrounded it added that much more defense, but
according to Epoch, until the dimension within was fully healed, the orb could
not be violated.
At the end of the
Cosmic Union event, the newly reformed Shalla Bal took the name “Starglow”
and joined the division of the Protectors of the Universe that consisted of
With the merger of
organic forms and the Power Cosmic among Starglow’s teammates, the Hunger of
Galactus soon plagued them all. Shalla Bal ultimately conceived of a stopgap
measure to alleviate their voracity with the help of Reed Richards of the
Fantastic Four. Richards arranged
to tap the unlimited energies of his comatose grandson Hyperstorm, who had been
imprisoned in another dimension. Starglow inserted implants among her teammates
to access a continuous feed of hyperspacial energy, curtailing the insane pangs
of Hunger that threatened to overcome them all as Galactus once had. For
a time, the solution seemed ideal.
That all changed the
day Bubonicus and the non-mutant Phoenix battled over Hyperstorm’s fate.*
Ultimately, a plague-infested Hyperstorm was euthanized by the Phoenix, and the
implants became useless and were removed. More ominous still, the Silver Surfer
had returned to the team to confirm what they all had sensed deep within the
subtle rapport they shared with other wielders of the Power Cosmic: Galactus was
POTU # 11 for details.)
Marvel’s Galactus the Devourer #6 for details.)
Only weeks before,
Firelord had caused the deaths of over a thousand sentients during his
Hunger-induced insanity,* a fact he was still coming to terms with.
Hyperstorm’s passing was a terrible blow for Pyreus Kril. Fortunately, the
Hunger did not arise unless the Heralds were forced to access their powers above
a specific threshold of intensity. Their pre-organic power limits were well
within that threshold, so the likelihood of the Hunger consuming them was for
the most part in their control.
Powers Cosmic #5 for details.)
This was of little
consolation to Starglow however, especially with the recent news confirming
Galactus’ passing. Shalla Bal remembered the words of the Living Tribunal in
the dimensional realm of Hyperstorm before Bubonicus’ plague had struck.
"DO NOT SEEK TO USE HYPERSTORM AS A MEANS OF CURTAILING THE DEVOURER'S
HUNGER. I HAVE DECREED THAT GALACTUS CAN NO LONGER AVOID HIS OBLIGATIONS TO THE
UNIVERSE. HIS PURPOSE IN THE GREAT BALANCE IS TO FEED. THE HERALDS ARE NOT
INTENDED TO SERVE THE BALANCE… IN THAT MANNER."
Shalla Bal shuddered
at the memory. With Galactus and Hyperstorm dead, would the Herald’s destiny
be to replace the Devourer in his cosmic duties to the balance between Eternity
and Mistress Death? Would the Powers Cosmic team be receiving visitations from
the Abstract Entities? Beta Ray Bill had encountered Mistress Death following
the Cosmic Union,* but Eternity’s fate remained unknown to the Protectors. Why
had he, according to Norrin’s account, not manifested at Galactus’ demise?
Star Masters #2 for details.)
concern for the ominous destiny that might await her friends was equal to her
concern over her own unstable power levels. Her imprisonment and power siphoning
by Rune and his allies had confirmed what Doctor Victor Von Doom* had already
secretly surmised: the Power Cosmic was in a state of flux, having fundamentally
changed due to the recent events of the Cosmic Union. The Devourer's choice to
unite the former Heralds with their original organic forms might have been
inspired neither by altruism nor by a desire to teach his former Heralds a
lesson in humility. Perhaps an organic host was a necessary stabilizing factor
for post-Union usage of the Power Cosmic. Starglow was non-organic and therefore
unstable. Her energies surged and flowed erratically. She feared that, unless
she was reunited with her physical form, she might suffer the Power Cosmic
equivalent of a reactor meltdown.
Powers Cosmic #5 for details.)
would seem complicated enough, but other mysteries abounded. What was the
identity of the new Tyrant that had emerged from the events of the Cosmic Union?
What was the fate of his strike force of “Anti-Heralds”? What would become
of Terrax, trapped within a planetary barrier of his own making? What had become
of the latest Herald that Shalla Bal had glimpsed before Galactus’ death? The
Surfer had called him Red Shift. Was he truly dead? Why did Galactus’ final
remains manifest as a stellar object with no gravitation or heat?
Shalla Bal felt
certain that the answers to the multitude of questions that plagued her psyche
would be found at the site of the Devourer’s final resting place. It was more
than instinct, it was a compulsion to travel there, one shared by her teammates.
Perhaps Tyrant, Red Shift, Morg, and Terrax would feel the pull as well. Perhaps
there was a valuable clue to their destinies in Galactus’ remains. Time was of
the essence. The Powers Cosmic could no longer delay their journey to the very
heart of the Shi’ar Imperium where the Mighty Devourer of Worlds finally met
As the Powers Cosmic
approached Shi’ar space and their rendezvous with the stellar remains of their
former Master, Shalla Bal chose to ride on the Surfer’s board. Her hands were
firmly on his waist, just as Mantis’ had been only a day before.* This was an
effort to conserve her erratic energies until their arrival.
CPU’s Protectors of the Universe #12-15 for details.)
The five teammates
traveled together at faster than light speeds, intent upon their destination.
Each member was eerily silent, mulling over dark thoughts of what might be in
store for their futures.
Shalla Bal watched
the other Heralds, and thought about how they must be feeling. Firelord’s
nervous tension was palpable, He seemed more highly strung than usual, if that
distracted, withdrawn into her own thoughts. Shalla suspected that Frankie Raye
must be mourning the death of Galactus very differently than the rest of them.
Her romantic feelings for the Devourer had been apparent enough during her
tenure as active Herald, even if she would not admit them to herself. As the
“Punisher” construct, Starglow witnessed in Nova the behavioral patterns of
a woman in love more than once.
Air Walker was a
paragon of poise under pressure. It did not surprise Starglow that Gabriel had
possessed a title of responsibility among the Xandarians, as well as the role of
leader among the Powers Cosmic. Her mind returned to that moment they had shared
on the surface of Sirus X, that sudden intense spark that had quite nearly led
to a kiss. Hours later, he had held her tightly, having feared that Rune had
killed her. Clearly his sentiments for her extended beyond friendship. And she
was conflicted in her own sentiments.
Was this a sign of
her weakness? Was it a slap in the face of what she had shared with her beloved
Norrin Radd? For over two centuries she had dreamt of a reunion with the Silver
Surfer, dissuading every man that had desired to court her. She had borne
Norrin’s child and witnessed three generations of family tragedy, remaining
single all the while. She had survived the attack by the Other thanks to
Galactus’ inexplicable mercy, served as the Devourer’s “Punisher”, then
as a pawn for Mephisto on numerous occasions. She had taken the Power Cosmic
form of Ardina for a brief time, been blessed with a small fraction of the Power
Cosmic by the Surfer, became Empress, and later learned of Norrin’s relations
with Mantis and Nova. She had even become romantically involved with the man she
had been deceived by Mephisto into believing was Norrin’s brother.*
an Untold Tale of the POTU.)
Why was it now, when
she was finally together with her beloved Norrin, that she entertained emotions
for another man? Was it out of petty jealousy for his current relationship with
the Terran Alicia Masters? Or the competition clearly posed by the seductive
Norrin… He seemed
so preoccupied, as if the weight of the Universe was upon him. He took every
perceived setback or defeat so personally, as if he were the sole Protector of
the Universe in existence. How familiar it was. Shalla Bal remembered the day,
centuries before, that Norrin departed from Zenn La. Shalla had offered to
accompany him, but he would not even consider sharing the burden. It was his
alone to bear.
Galactus’ death may
have affected the Surfer more profoundly than any other. He had witnessed the
Devourer’s passing, and he felt personally responsible for what was most
certainly to come as a result of the demise of a cornerstone of the Cosmic
Balance. Shalla Bal could not help but let the thought reach the surface of her
consciousness. Perhaps he was to blame…
Shalla Bal shook her
head quickly at the thought, ashamed. Could she have done any differently? She
gripped Norrin’s waist more tightly from behind, and he offered a brief glance
back at her. His eyes bespoke a sadness that made very clear the possibility
that he suspected what she was thinking, and sadder still, that he totally
agreed with her.
Continued in "Posterity" Part One
Continued in Powers Cosmic #7. 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 or by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org
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