Thanos: Dead Men Tell No Tales #13

Guest written by Anomaly, Edited by Marvelite
Published by the Cosmic Powers Fan Fiction Group in
Characters are the properties of Marvel Comics

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"I saw a man pursuing the horizon;
Round and round they sped.
I was disturbed at this;
I accosted the man.
It is futile, I said
You can never-

"You lie, he cried,
And ran on."

-  Stephen Crane

I was an Eternal but what did that mean? Would it simply mean my suffering would never end? I was the father of a being whose sole goal was mass destruction for reasons I could only guess. In addition, the woman I loved was murdered in a manner that would likely make me wish my life span was many magnitudes shorter. However, the old adage seemed to hold true. Those that wish to die often live the longest, even outlasting all of their children.

I was lost in deep thought as the memories kept playing themselves repeatedly in my mind’s eye.   Sui-san was butchered by her own progeny, Thanos, who had committed matricide and left her vivisected like some monstrous child dissecting flies.    My mind wanted to escape the images. But I had to face the horror or suffer psychological ramifications that might make me a worst monster than even Thanos. Yet, if I did not stop, I would most assuredly go mad.

Even when I had been living in Olympus in a life that now seemed so long ago that it felt like I was viewing someone else, there was not pain such as this. At that time I had been punished for stealing fire from the gods, and then chained to a rock naked in icy darkness, upon which I shivered uncontrollably for the entire night, only to greet a blistering morning sun. I shall never forget that sun, the Crimson Dawn, as I called it. The blood red morn that brought the terrible bird that, devoured my liver daily, (see previous issues of dead men tell no tales) only for it to regrow anew.   Yet, not even that compared to finding my beloved vivisected without remorse.

How much longer could I endure? However, my son Eros then interrupted my thoughts at that same moment.

"Father how are you faring? You have been in recluse since our assault on Thanos and no doubt wishing that your son was stronger for had I not relented we may have been done with Thanos for good. Forgive me."

I could see the pain in his eyes clearly my family was being rent asunder by my not being there and being so self absorbed. As a father and a mate, I had been a failure.   At times my mental musings could leave me quite detached. I tried to comfort Eros and make up for what I had been lacking.

"Thanos is not to be underestimated, for if my suspicions are correct his mind and not only his body may have mutant capabilities, and thus even its physiological aspect may be capable of change perhaps even augmenting itself. It is likely he set the whole thing up in order to torment you."

Eros would not accept it as justification and in that respect he and his mother were of a like kind.  I could see the look of self-disgust on his face for he was everyone to be bound by the consequences of his own actions.

"Father, why did you not slay him when you could instead of giving him a chance to return for you. Know, father, that it is what he would do I am not sure if even Titan could withstand his perverted mind set

Though my son did not actually intend it to be so, his verbal dagger nearly finished me. Was there truth? Did I somehow self-destruct even all those years ago when I was punished for stealing fire and chained to that rock? Did I allow myself to be apprehended perhaps my sole purpose for creating Thanos’ perfect mind was to punish myself and all whom I loved to use Thanos as a weapon to punish me for my own sins.

The Crimson Dawn seemed to bleed unto the charred landscape and I filled deaths goblet with the sounds of a crushed larynx gurgling its indiscernible pleas and smiled as if we were dinning.  However, in a strange sense, we were, for each time my mistress put the black chalice to her ebon lips, another soul would leave this bleak plane of reality in great torment. Some would leave with their skulls smashed as their brains had dashed against my unbreakable stone fists. While others had their innards torn and scattered abroad. In the physical, I broke their bodies but in truth, I was merely freeing the wretches them from this hell called life. Instead of attempting to slay me, they should have been lining up to swiftly join my mistress table. On the field of battle, I could see her harvesting souls and placing them gently in her inescapable bottomless sack. It gave me great pleasure, not since my mother had I known a woman worthy enough to give my adoration to. However, when our eyes would meet and I looked upon her smooth dark features, I would show the proper respect rip my opponent’s head clean of allowing the blood and ichors to spray in her direction. After that, she drank and held the cup uplifted in my presence, inviting me to also drink.

Many bodies were crushed in the few steps it took me to reach out to her. But to my foes it appeared as if I was in a blood lust. But they could not see through my eyes for if they did they would soon realize that everything that lived would soon be joining them it was inevitable. I was Deaths lover and   a lover of death must bring like gifts if he is to win the affections of one who’s bent is so ebon, and Thanos is most extravagant. I drank deep from deaths cup and a saw a precipice in the distance away from the filed of battle.    I left the fray and began to climb. Behind me, I had left a great bounty   for death to enjoy but what I could   not comprehend was what awaited me on the great outlook and what I would find.

While I was climbing, my thoughts began to turn to when I had first heard of this world this galaxy this black Nebula I knew i had to come. To test my mettle. these gladiators were renowned for their ferocity and ruthlessness and I realized that if I truly desired to become worthy of my mistress I must emerge myself into the conflict. To love death, I had to become death. But what I truly wished to know was who were their mysterious masters and how did these games benefit them? From what I saw there were none to watch the spectacle so clearly there was no monetary gain. Obviously, the benefits were of a more metaphysical nature.

When my hand finally reached the top, a great spear composed of purest shadow just missed my gauntleted hand.  The crack made by the spear spider-webbed through the rock itself and its touch was like unto ice.  He was a shadow without substance, his form being only two-dimensional with no width. But like some caricature from the well of madness, it stood as if it had three dimensions. perhaps even extending into the fourth.  It looked more like wraith than a gladiator.  I questioned him, "Speak your mind apparition."

He did not even deign to speak

But even being in his proximity was enough to gain his identity. "I am the abyss Look if you dare into the Crimson Dawn."

You were shaped first by your father then by your mother, after that you came to be shaped by Mistress Death while you have been shaped. I am a shaper of souls, using my invisible blade to sculpt where I will."

The experience was somewhere between dream and death, perhaps it was both but his accusation began to annoy me 

"It is the nature of love, hollow creature, but even as I am shaped DO I NOT ALSO SHAPE BY MY GRAND VISIONS? DID I NOT DRAW THE ATTENTION OF HER EBON MAJESTY HERSELF AND SHAPE HER WITH MY OWN DREAMS? THE IMAGININGS OF THANOS CAN CUT DEEPER THAN ANY KNIFE AND ONE DAY I WILL SHAPE THIS VERY UNVERSE WITH THOSE IMAGININGS against the blasphemies of life is this not shaping creature? Be it not art?  Yet, I am apart from my vision and I am ever Thanos."

"I am Deathurge. You have at least earned the knowledge of who I am, perhaps in time soon you will feel the touch of Oblivion."

"Semantics, death and oblivion opposite sides of the same coin." The creature did not respond and then his words came and there came an epiphany, "Look into the Crimson Dawn." Its words echoed repeatedly and I looked into the great orb of fire and did not turn away. Tears of crimson streamed down my face staining my purple visage but as time seemed for the moment suspended and all that was could fit like a mote in mine eye – there was a revelation of startling proportions!

The Crimson Dawn was many things, it was life, it was death. It was becoming a being transfigured to a new state of awareness. And through the Crimson Dawn that was emitted from the great sun that hung overhead and watched as humanoid slew humanoid. Nevertheless, it did more it judged actions

Then I saw them. They had been here all along watching my conflict and yet they had eluded my senses.  Their scale was vast and incomprehensible of myriad design; they stood more than 2000 feet in height and I knew that it could be no other than the legendary Celestials themselves. And then from that moment I understood I had perspective. The levels of power, the seen and the unseen I had withstood, the glare of the Crimson Dawn.

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