Thanos: Dead Men Tell No Tales #9
Written by Anomaly, Edited
by WarlorTVor and Marvelite
"DEAD MEN TELL NO TALES"
Go to the Thanos: Dead Men Tell No Tales Archive Page for past editions!
INTERLUDE -- This takes place before Thanosí birth.
The nova erupts with blasphemous fury as it destroys the surrounding solar system. The citizens of that solar system never quite know what transpired. The sun took the visage of a great purple beast whose steely gaze hung in the icy void. When I awoke it was in a cold sweat, my bedding was completely drenched.
That made the third dream in as many nights. The dreams always began with me in some strange and terrible manner, I would find myself in a state of confusion and then some terrible catastrophe would destroy everything. Was the future set?
Was there no way this terrible vision could be averted?
This anti-savior or whatever he was made even I cringe. Not because of his power. My brethren had plenty to spare. It was his mind. A mind whose thoughts could not be perceived. Whose motivations could not be comprehended he was a Nihilist.
My wife attempts to comfort me, but it is impossible Ė I can never know peace until this monster is dead. I know what I must do. I must somehow find him. Yes! The resources of my brothers, the elders. Yes! Surely with such power, even he must fall but will my brothers heed my warning or will they think me mad?
With the Grandmasterís computers, surely we can find this child and kill him before he is grown.
But I must consider what if Iím wrong, what if I kill the wrong child? My wife comforts me and my daughter wraps her arms tight around my neck as if she were never going to see me again.
That is the only course of action despite the terrible consequences. I, the Collector, must gather my brothers and destroy this monster no matter the cost! And if I must do it alone, so be it.
I, AM MY BROTHERS KEEPER.
I am three beings in one: Using the web which connects a thousand worlds, and Titanís greatest creation Ė an AI construct called I.S.S.A.C., I am man and machine, Father and son. A main line holds the three of our consciousness together through a program designed by Mentor, and transmitted via the galactic web where the tri-signal is interpreted through my impact armor. Which I currently wear to protect me and receive the signals during my combat with Thanos. When the tri-com link is interpreted father, son and an entity that isn't wholly a ghost but an AI construct manifest only in my mindís eye are one. And although the experience is harrowing and confusing, as I am unsure of even such elementary things as whose thoughts are whose. Yet despite the effects on my mind it is a necessary evil if we are to undo my brother Thanos.
Even now he captures me with his predator like gaze and freezes me with his blank stare like some Golem from earthly legends.
Enhanced shock troop armor magnifies my natural strength by a factor of five, and metals put together carefully through the science of nano-technology make it lighter than the strongest metals known, but also twice as strong. This should allow me to survive his initial attack. Or at least until the three fields can be brought into play during my tri-fold strategy.
It will be a dangerous experiment involving the unification of the three universal forces of weak/strong force electromagnetic and gravitational. It will be used to effectively paralyze him. Then once that has been implemented a needle containing what my father Mentor calls the most potent toxin in the universe. It came from his home world when he lived in Olympia he called it Hydraís Blood .The Hydra was said to have nine heads that even when cut off would continue to grow and one head was said to be immortal and its blood was so potent that the merest touch would cause instant death. It was eventually responsible for killing the demi-god Hercules when his clothing was painted with the deadly toxin and his flesh burned like no fire could dare to claim. In my left hand I wield a solenoid chronographer and as the power of the fields build, it will eventually have the ability to absorb all electromagnetic energy even those that ran the electrical network of Thanos brain. He stares at me with Arrogance and confidence surely he will be over confident, for over the time we have confronted each other he has dispatched me with the kind of ease that makes me think that even this advanced weaponry from the web is naught but a summer shower against his stone like visage; as if his terrible reign of evil shall be eternal. But he is a monster a, murder and a madman and there will be a reckoning.
I cry out.
"Father protect me from my brotherís evil!"
It is not merely for effect, as Thanos smiles at my apparent weakness via the contact with Mentor he can actually hear me and through our conduit absorb Thanos blasts if giving sufficient warning. But my resolve fails me as I look to what my father once called the development of the ultimate intelligence Ė a being whose mind is even more dangerous then his formidable body, a mind so adaptable and agile that it can penetrate through oneís very thoughts and know his enemies every weakness. I am fortunate as my conduit harmlessly absorbs his first cosmic blast with Mentor who is superior even to my brotherís cosmic might. I am grateful that the three-fold conduit with Mentor and I.S.S.AC saves me from my brotherís first attack. But I must also allow my father to generate the first of the three fields with his own cosmic might. And he will need all his strength and concentration.
He breaks in and it is the first time I can feel our thoughts being separated.
"EROS, THERE MAY BE SOME SIDE EFFECTS GENERATED BY THE FIELDS, EXTREME HALLUCINATIONS MAY OCCUR. GUARD YOURSELF BECAUSE IF WE FAIL I WILL BE UNABLE TO GENERATE AN ENERGY FIELD OF THAT MAGNITUDE AGAIN. IT MAY TAKE CENTURIES FOR MY COSMIC MIGHT TO RETURN TO ITS FORMER LEVELS, AND THERE IS ALSO THE CHANCE THAT IT NEVER WILL.
"SO, MAKE IT COUNT SON!"
My first attack using the solenoid chronograph seems to jar him to his very marrow as he literally drops to his knees. Its capabilities of completely disrupting all signals even the electrical signals generated by Thanos brain should end this quickly. He seems to go through a process not unlike being turned off and I wonder if it is painful or if he is afraid. Even now, he is likely experiencing a feeling of being separated from his body as if he were in the form of a dead man.
I go to strike again and incredibly, as if from some terrible dream, he reaches out with surprising speed. It was a ruse and he uses his vast strength to then grasp the solenoid chronograph with his bare hands. He smiles as if to say fool!
He sends an energy lance that completely obliterates it. I am truly in shock, how, I wonder, can mere flesh and blood stand against such weaponry. It stands against all reason. "Father," I cry out!
"EROS GIVES US MORE TIME, THE FIELD IS BUILDING UP IN POWER EVEN AS WE SPEAK. BUT BE WARY HIS MIND IS CAPABLE OF ADAPTING VERY QUICKLY SO WE MUST OVERLOAD IT AND NOT GIVE IT A CHANCE TO ADAPT."
My thoughts turn back to the fight at hand but it is too late, as he manages to grasp me with his grip which is like stone and his body as unyielding and hard as iron. Could my brother have somehow transformed his very flesh? Could my brother be like some golem from the ancient earth legends, an invulnerable foe driven by some dark magic? I have to wonder as even his face is like something onto granite.
Even with my enhanced shock troop armor, I am only capable of minimal movement despite my increase in strength. But using one of the techniques from the priests of Pama that I.S.S.A.C. sends via our cosmic Internet link I manage to separate myself from my brother's grasp and give myself some distance. To allow our plan to formulate. I am interrupted by a signal from father, which blasts, in my mind:
"EROS THE FIELDS SHOULD BE GETTING STRONGER, I WILL BEND THE LIGHT WAVES IN FRONT OF YOU, ALLOWING YOU TO ATTACK YOUR BROTHER WITHOUT DETECTION FOR THOUGH HE SEES HE WILL NOT SEE AND THOUGH HE HEARS HE WILL NOT HEAR."
At first, my fatherís riddle is lost on me. Then I began to see through my hand, and then my brother is no longer able to detect my presence I have in fact become invisible and completely undetectable.
I did not come to lose and I am armed with the most advanced technology from a thousand worlds, from a thousand cultures and even that has been enhanced by the AI program I.S.S.A.C.
Thanosí defeat is assured even, an ultimate intelligence could not cope with a computer construct that errs not.
My mind begins to deceive me as images of my mother and my brother as a child materialize before me. My beautiful mother Sui-San is holding young Thanos in an unbreakable grip of love, I cannot explain why I see this only that perhaps I am being effected by the fields being generated by my father and I.S.S.A.C. My father breaks through,
"PREPARE TO IMPLEMENT THE FIELDS YOU WILL HAVE TO USE YOUR ARMOR DIRECTLY BUT BEWARE THE EFFECTS ON YOUR MIND BY THE ENERGY FIELDS MAY BE EVEN NOW EFFECTING YOUR PERCEPTIONS, BUT STEEL YOURSELF WE ARE NEARLY DONE."
I am the sacrificial lamb and will pay any price to see my brother pay for his crimes against my mother, but a maverick thought then seeks to undo all we have been trying to achieve I have to wonder if my motivations to destroy my brother are truly just. If perhaps the reasons I think Thanos should be destroyed do not match what is right.
It is only an illusion but I have never seen a child and his mother so close as Thanos and my mother. It is difficult to look upon it as every emotion within revolts against what I see. Then it hits me: Epiphany! And I wondered even now how could she love such an ugly child? When I was more beautiful. Could my mother and him have been of a like bent? Nooooo, how could I be so jealous and filled with such hate over my brother's happiness? Must get this out of my mind or I will not be able to finish the most important part of the plan.
I cry out, "Father!"
"SON, I CANNOT TAKE THIS CUP FROM YOU, AND YES THERE IS SOME TRUTH IN YOUR MEMORIES Ė YOU HAVE ALWAYS BEEN JEALOUS OF THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN YOUR MOTHER AND YOUR BROTHER BUT THAT MUST NOT IMPEDE WHAT MUST BE DONE. IF HE GETS THIS SHIP, HE MAY RETURN TO TITAN "
My fatherís voice goes unheeded as the images before me wreak their terrible toll on my psyche. A child that was mutated from birth and yet all I can see is her soft kisses against his stony visage and it causes me to burn, and I hate him, not because he was ugly, or even evil. I hate him because she loved him more.
I am drawn back to reality by a COM link established by I.S.S.A C and his image appears before me. He looks as though cut out from a section of my home galaxy, as his body seems composed of the stars them selves. But I do not have to worry about Thanos spotting him for it is an image produced in my mind alone, and the voice I believe I hear is a group of mathematical signals translated by my impact armor and reinterpreted to my brain. I.S.S.A.C. manages to clear the images generated by my mind and I have a momentary sabbatical.
"I have implemented the force field from titan through the web and have used the connection from your armor to implement the manifestation of a chrono-field and then from your armor extending it through his body effectively immobilizing him in 5Ö 4Ö. 3Ö. 2Ö. 1Ö.
My mind then is forced to return to the images and illusions generated by the force fields on my fragile mind as I remember him suddenly becoming cruel, as he would torment insects just for what seemed a thrill, and then I see the malicious child holding what appears to be a small insect. The young Thanos then looks at me and in his hand, the insect is I!
The insect is me and I can feel his hand upon my form and it is crushing me, is this real or are the effects of the force fields being felt directly upon me?
The images subsided and the great Golem appeared to be inviolate and unstoppable, and the seed of doubt was planted. As I became visible, he came for me and when I looked into his eyes my life flashed before me. And at that moment, I knew I was going to die. But to my surprise Thanos was frozen as the force field went from my armor, and reacted with the field sent by the world computer of titan.
I took out my tool of death a needle, which would punch a hole into his iris and inject his brain with the hydra venom, a reactant that was so volatile that upon contact it would immortally cause him brain death. But I hesitated, and I wondered if my motivations were not so pure if perhaps it was not that my brother was a monster that was driving but my childhood hate of my mother holding him, my jealousy which drove me to do the act. And when I was faced with that terrible truth I realized that if I did this act it would not be for justice it would be because Sui-San loved him more. Now that she was dead, it would always be so. I could not do it, for my mask virtue was a convenient lie, which I used to hide my true intentions.
"EROS THE FIELD IS DISINCORPORATING YOU MUST ACT NOW OR ALL IS LOST!"
The needle dropped from my hand to the floor and I just stood before him ashamed, and weak I could no longer continue my father attempts to save me from my sins by calling me.
The unthinkable happens as Thanosí adamant grip wraps around my throat and he looks into my eyes, holding the very weapon I would have used to destroy him.
I wait for the end and for Thanos to justify his monster hood by calling me just as he did my mother, but the deathblow never comes and he just turns his back on me laughing maliciously.
I cannot allow it I will force him to kill me but it does not happen as Mentor uses the signal and the intergalactic web to transport me to Titan. And there I sit in utter despondency.
And as the effects of the force fields leave me, I wonder did those memories truly happen did the murdering madman called Thanos show me mercy? Or did Thanos somehow know how I would react, know that I was never a threat? Could Thanos have known all along that I was jealous and that I could never kill him without killing myself? Could my brother have known me better then I knew myself, and could his act of mercy been some clever subterfuge designed to break my will and drive me mad?
It appears that I will never know the answer but if I am to survive I must enforce that Thanos is a monster and incapable of doing good. For otherwise, I might have to believe that Thanos, whose name encompasses the death urge, showed me mercy.
Continued in Dead Men Tell No Tales #10
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