Powers Cosmic #9Written and Edited by Morfex
Logo created by Lord Thanos
Published by the Cosmic Powers Fan Fiction Group in
THE COSMIC POWERS UNLIMITED FANZINE ISSUE #45
Characters are the properties of Marvel Comics
Powers Cosmic #9
"Posterity" - Part Three: Incarnations
(Note: This story continues takes place after Galactus: The Devourer!)
The Powers Cosmic are:
The Silver Surfer, Norrin Radd of Zenn La
Starglow, Shalla Bal of Zenn La
Firelord, Pyreus Kril of Xandar
Air-Walker, Gabriel Lan of Xandar
Nova, Frankie Raye of Earth
Continued from Powers Cosmic #8
Also see Powers Cosmic issue #6 and issue #7
is Heav’n’s first law; and, this confest,
Some are and must be greater than the rest.
-Pope, Essay on Man, IV
and Death hovered in their physical manifestations before the former Heralds and
Tyrant. All time had seemingly ceased in the Universe beyond this group of
entities. Propriety required hostilities between Tyrant and the Heralds cease
until the premier Abstract Concepts in the Cosmos had had their say. Such beings
did not make appearances like this often, and when they did, it was for reasons
of cosmic significance.
Heralds had had the rare and ominous privilege of encountering these entities on
several occasions. It was an experience to which one could never become
accustomed. Awe and dread were the most accurate descriptions of the emotions
coursing through the gathered entities. Mere mortals would likely be unable to
process the utter majesty and terrible dignity of the Cosmic Beings’ auras.
presence was sheer totality, the embodiment of everything in the Universe.
“He” encompassed everything that was native to this reality. He was the
sentient essence of all. That an abstract concept could possess self-awareness
was incredible enough, but that it could have an agenda of its own was
staggering in its implications.
motivations certainly involved survival and progress on a cosmic scale. Beyond
that, they were likely to be unfathomable to lesser beings. At times, Eternity
was seemingly petty and power-hungry, while at other times aloof or generous. He
was the ultimate embodiment of the “will of the people” throughout all
existence. Anthropomorphism was all too easy a shortcut in attempting to
comprehend the incomprehensible.
The paradox of Eternity both being the Universe and visiting a place within the Universe was beyond all logic.
representation of the Cosmos Entire reflected not only stellar bodies and
phenomena, it emanated raw intellect as the culmination of every sentient
Death’s presence was equally momentous. Terror was too pale a term to describe
the growing emotion within the hearts and minds of those in attendance. It was
said in some cultures across the expanse of the Known Galaxies that Death did
not frighten those who were ready to embrace her. In that case, the Heralds
clearly had a tremendous will to live.
Silver Surfer, like the other Heralds, did not know where to begin sorting out
his myriad thoughts and emotions. Attempting to offset the vertigo in the pit of
his stomach at the appearance of Death, the Surfer forcibly replayed recent
events in his mind.
post-Cosmic Union Tyrant was in fact Morg, who now possessed the orb containing
the survivors of Zenn La and Xandar. Shalla Bal had undergone yet another
startling transformation that somehow seemed vaguely familiar. Galactus’
Cosmic “siblings” stood before the Devourer’s remains. Prioritizing the
latter out of necessity, Norrin Radd considered the implications of Eternity and
Mistress Death in attendance.
the Surfer interacted with the Universal conscience that was Eternity, it never
escaped him that every living being he had ever known from this reality,
including himself, was a part of that conscience, however infinitesimally.
Death embodied everything that had once been alive, but was no longer. In the
Surfer’s mind, all the deities, all the mythologies of the countless worlds he
had encountered on his many travels, acknowledged “her” role as the
inevitable cessation of a life force, however invulnerable or seemingly
immortal. The Elders of the Universe, Thanos, even Galactus, had had cause to
ponder their fate upon reaching the end of life. Some had averted her icy grasp,
others had bargained or gambled for another chance. Still others had been
punished by being denied their rightful end. The Surfer suspected that
ultimately, Mistress Death touched everything. Was Death here to claim Galactus
to her realm? Was that even possible?
Surfer recalled Death’s seeking him out as the perfect consort.* He had
escaped that fate with the aid of Thanos of Titan, but the memory of her
rationale still haunted him. Who better to serve as her mate than the Herald of
Galactus who had served the longest tenure? During that service, more billions
of sentients died than with all other Heralds combined. With shame, Norrin Radd
thought of the sentient plant entities of the planet Verdant, recently
annihilated by Galactus.** Their “blood” was no less on his hands than the
blood of those whom Galactus had devoured during the Surfer’s soul-tampered
original servitude. With nauseating disgust, the Surfer averted his eyes from
Death’s fixed, skeletal grin. He could not blame her for playing her role in
the Cosmos. He could blame himself, however, for the conscious choices he had
made in recent weeks.
In Marvel’s Cosmic Powers Unlimited #1.)
In Galactus the Devourer #4.)
the Xandarian Pyreus Kril, followed a completely different train of thought. He
was aware that the Cosmic Union* had caused all abstract entities to revert to
their non-sentient concepts. Kril knew that a select few such entities, like
Mistress Death,** had already returned to sentience following the Union’s
resolution. He wondered if the Beings had suffered any adverse effects from the
ordeal, and if some would simply never materialize again. If this uneasy
gathering escalated into further battle, could the combined might of the former
Heralds actually succeed in defeating these potentially weakened entities? The
warrior in Firelord considered strategies, while his rational self knew that
averting further conflict was by far the preferable option. Eternity had had
enough might to bring them together, after all. Surely a confrontation would be
See Cosmic Union for details.)
See Star Masters #2 for details.)
thought occurred to the Xandarian. For an event as critical as the Death of
Galactus, would other Cosmic Beings likely present themselves as well? Would
Epoch and the other self-proclaimed “Seers of the Universe” pay their final
respects too? In recent days, they had commanded him to act against the Mad
Titan, Thanos.* Would they seek to guide the destiny of the Powers Cosmic as
well? Epoch had left the Protectors of the Universe on less than amicable
terms.** She had stated that she had been contemplating leaving the vital
interests of mortals to their own devices for some time now. But did the heirs
to Galactus truly qualify as mortals in her mind?
Marvel’s Thor #23 for details.)
See Protectors #13.)
former Herald known as Air-Walker was pondering far more philosophical matters.
Galactus accomplished immeasurable evil in his lifetime. His ephemeral purpose
was to counterbalance that evil with immeasurable good, thereby creating a net
balance in the Cosmos that delineated his vaunted neutrality. With Galactus’
death, not only did the good he was destined to achieve never occur, but his
acts of predatory consumption became retroactively inexcusably wrong. His
premature demise likely cursed him to be considered the ultimate genocidal
killer in the annals of cosmic history. Other than the existence of the Powers
Cosmic, no good came of his existence.
did that mean for the former Heralds? Would they be required to somehow meet
Galactus’ obligations in the cosmic scheme? Would they be held accountable for
their master’s past in light of a bleak future that no longer held the promise
of Galactus’ infinite good deed?
thoughts turned inevitably to the Surfer’s account of the attempt by the
Elders of the Universe to kill Galactus and thereby end this existence. With
Galactus now dead, why had Reality not ended? Or was his death merely the
beginning of the end? Had Eternity and Death come to make this pronouncement?
Earth-born Nova recalled witnessing an interaction between Eternity and Galactus
once before. Galactus had worn his purest energy form, which was, not
surprisingly, similar to that of the incandescent star around which they all now
focused. Nova’s mortal mind had difficulty grasping the scope of such abstract
entities as these. Even her impressions of Galactus were anthropomorphic to the
point that she had fallen in love with him, despite his status as a Force of
Nature and the Great Balance in the Cosmic Trinity.
Frankie Raye was simply able to look past the grand purpose and the lofty titles
to see the man within the Devourer, a humanoid host upon which the mantle of
Galactus had been thrust. She was convinced that it was that man whom she had
grown to love. Her feelings for the Human Torch, the Silver Surfer, or even
Firelord paled in comparison, she was ashamed to admit. The man inside Galactus
had been the one true love of her life, despite the fact that she knew he could
never have reciprocated. And now he was dead.
recalled that for a brief time during the Cosmic Union, Cyrus, the innocent man
within the insane mantle that was Tyrant, had been freed of his cosmic shackles
of servitude as a Universal Force. Why could Galactus not have been freed as
well? Where was the justice in his passing? Frankie’s indignation matched the
sorrow she finally let herself feel at the knowledge of Galactus’ demise.
that thought, Nova also averted her senses from Mistress Death, whom she had
nearly embraced months before thanks to Morg. Her soul had departed the dying
husk that was her former solid Power Cosmic body,* only to revert to her
original human form secretly in stasis aboard Taa II. But this fact did not
absolve Morg of intent. Frustrated by her own insignificance in the unfolding
events, she focused on her own rage.
See Marvel’s Silver Surfer Vol. 3, #75 for details.)
temper flared at the knowledge that the new Tyrant was in fact Morg. Her desire
for vengeance heightened her already intense battle lust. She no longer cared
about Cosmic Beings or their machinations. She simply wanted to take off
Tyrant’s head. She lunged toward the Tyrant, knocking the dimension-bearing
orb from his grasp.
Surfer’s eyes widened at Nova’s lack of respect for the Cosmic Beings before
them. Although he shared her sentiments, he knew that now was not the time to
act upon Gabriel Lan’s revelation of tyrant’s true identity. Eternity did
not seem surprised or angered by Nova’s affront. Not even a gesture was
necessary to subdue her and cause her to freeze in place from the neck down.
Infuriated, Nova struggled and began an expletive, which Firelord quickly
smothered with a spontaneous kiss on her lips. His gambit worked. Momentarily
surprised, Nova ceased struggling. Pyreus Kril whispered into her ear. “Our
chance will come, Frankie. Bide your time for now. Morg will know our wrath, I
promise you. Trust me.”
nodded and swallowed her words before causing any further spectacle.
made a motion to recover the orb, but found that he was frozen as well.
Grinning, he did not struggle. Instead, he addressed the Abstract Entities.
“Esteemed beings, the orb is mine by right of inheritance. I require its
and Death looked toward each other, then toward Tyrant. Eternity uttered one
word in response. “Agreed.” Eternity's
voice shook with the force of worlds being hurtled through the Cosmos.
please!” called out the Silver Surfer. “What of the multitudes held in
Epoch’s dimension within the orb?” The Abstracts seemingly ignored his plea.
orb returned to Tyrant’s hand. With a smirk he gazed within its depths.
Suddenly, his features became contorted in anger and frustration. “Empty! What
of its contents?”
ignored Tyrant’s words as well. “Tyrant, Silver Surfer, Plasma, Air-Walker,
Firelord, Terrax, Red Shift, Blue Shift. This gathering is incomplete.” With
the merest thought, the Asgardian Destroyer armor and Galactus’ Punisher robot
appeared. “All those formerly in service and imbued with the Power Cosmic by
Galactus are required.” Suddenly, the subtle Power Cosmic taint of the
Asgardian armor separated from the magical artifact. “Now and forevermore, the
Asgardian Destroyer armor is absolved of commitment to the Devourer and his
legacy.” With that, the armor disappeared, presumably returning from whence it
had come. The Punisher construct began to merge with the Destroyer’s
shimmering Power Cosmic energy remnants. The construct reshaped itself into a
far more humanoid aspect than its prior incarnation. “The Heralds will be
required elsewhere. Let this long-time defender of Galactus’ abode retaliate
against any who would desecrate the sanctity of Taa II and its solemn purpose.
This construct is no longer merely a Punisher. Behold, the Retaliator!”
Retaliator’s eyes shone with deadly focus. Was this synthesis of Galactus’
inorganic creation and the Devourer-granted energies of the Destroyer armor now
sentient? Shalla Bal was taken aback by the appearance of her former artificial
form. Memories of her spirit being bound to the artificial body still haunted
her dreams. Ardina, Punisher, Latverian scullery maid, Empress of Zenn La,
Starglow, Plasma; her incarnations were plentiful. But of them all, the lifeless
mechanism that was the Punisher was the most unsettling. The artificial
intelligence before her observed her with penetrating recognition.
Lan knew what Plasma must be thinking. He too had served Galactus in two
different mechanical forms. He reached out his hand and held hers tightly. The
action did not escape the notice of Norrin Radd. Before the Surfer could react,
the Retaliator took its rightful place among the Heralds.
continued his discourse. “Now the gathering is complete. Heirs to Galactus, it
is your right to bear witness to this cosmic tribute.”
Without warning, Cosmic Beings suddenly appeared around the forms of Eternity and Death, as if stepping over from beyond the space-time continuum. Soon the gathered entities included the Watchers Uatu and Oera, a shimmering astral representation of Odin, the Stranger, the In-Betweener, Infinity and Oblivion, Lord Chaos and Master Order, Mistress Love and Sire Hate, Scrier, the Beyonder,* Epoch, the Grandmaster, the Collector, the Gardener, Kronos, and Exitar of the Celestials. Finally, the Living Tribunal made his presence known.
(* See Cosmic Union #19 for the Beyonder’s return to the Marvel Universe.)
As the supreme arbiter of events of universal significance, the Living Tribunal addressed the gathered entities. "Astral Deities Of The Universe, this Supreme Cosmic Council has been convened to acknowledge the untimely passing of Galactus, the Devourer of Worlds."
Continued Posterity Part Four
Continued in Posterity Part Four, found in this issue of Cosmic Powers Unlimited!. 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 email@example.com
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