Powers Cosmic #11

Written and Edited by Morfex
Logo created by Lord Thanos
Published by the Cosmic Powers Fan Fiction Group in

Characters are the properties of Marvel Comics

Powers Cosmic #11
"Posterity" - Part Five: Persona Non Grata

(Note: This story takes place in Marvel continuity after Galactus the Devourer, but before Captain Marvel #8-11 / Dangerous Planet / Maximum Security / Defenders.)

The Powers Cosmic are:

Silver Surfer, Norrin Radd of Zenn La

Plasma, Shalla Bal of Zenn La

Firelord, Pyreus Kril of Xandar

Air-Walker, Gabriel Lan of Xandar

Nova, Frankie Raye of Earth

Terrax, Tyros the Terrible of Birj-Terran

Continued from Powers Cosmic #10

Also see Powers Cosmic issue #6 and issue #7, issue #8, and issue #9

A man said to the Universe:

“Sir, I exist!”
“However,” replied the Universe, 
“The fact has not created in me
A sense of obligation.”

 - Stephen Crane, War is Kind, IV

What Has Gone Before:

Galactus was dead (See Marvel’s Galactus the Devourer for details).

The former Heralds, all having recently reclaimed their original organic bodies, souls, and powers, traveled to the new sun of the Shi’ar Homeworld, the place of the Devourer’s passing, to pay homage to their former Master’s memory. There, as the Universe paused between moments, they bore witness to amazing revelations: the appearance of a heretofore unknown Herald, Blue Shift; the Cosmic Beings’ tribute to their fallen sibling; the synthesis of a new protector of Galactus’ technological legacy, the Retaliator; the transformation of Starglow into Plasma; the unmasking of the newly reincarnated Tyrant as their nemesis Morg. But none of these events could compare to the shock of their latest experience: witnessing the emergence of Galactus’ prior incarnation, Galan, from the heart of the new sun that had been the Devourer of Worlds. And unbeknownst to the Heralds, Galan was not alone. On the opposite side of the stellar phenomenon, another entity emerged: the Master of Guile, all that was evil in Galactus.*

(* First seen in the Silver Surfer Graphic Novel by Lee & Kirby.)

Galan hovered before them, smiling. “My dear friends! Gabriel, Tyros, Norrin, Shalla Bal, Andromeda, Pyreus…” He turned his view to Nova and reached out his hand. With one more word from his lips, “Frankie,” Nova was in his arms, a mutual embrace that caused Firelord’s heart to sink, though he had no claim to her affections.

For Nova, this vision before her was literally a wish come true. Her unrequited love for Galactus had always been buried because of the scope and grandeur of the Devourer’s terrible purpose. Now, all she saw before her was a man, the human part of Galactus that she had so loved. Somehow, the how’s and why’s did not seem to matter to Nova. Only the fact that, finally, they would have their chance at happiness.

Norrin Radd was still in a state of disbelief. “Galan, if you are who you say you are, why do you take the sobriquet of the Keeper? What significance does it have for you?”

Galan was not surprised by the Silver Surfer’s guarded attitude and skepticism. “You are rightly cautious to question my identity, although I suspect you can confirm the truth by the use of your Power Cosmic-enhanced senses. As for your question, Galactus had a pivotal purpose in the continuing existence of the Cosmos. Though I am no Galactus, I feel I must tend to his duties if this Reality is to continue. I must serve as keeper of his obligations. I know that, as his posterity, your collective shoulders have had to bear the burden since his passing. If you will have me, I wish to join your efforts.”

Firelord found himself in the unusual position of agreeing with the Surfer. “If you are who you claim to be, then how can you appear so contented? I am still wrought with remorse for my crimes while suffering the briefest of Hungers. Your crimes are infinitely worse!”

Galan’s face grew briefly solemn. “Pyreus, my friend. Although the deaths caused by the Devourer’s feeding do sadden me, I did not cause them. As I said before, I am no Galactus.”

Firelord shook his head and spoke under his breath. “I doubt the Shi’ar will recognize such a distinction. Just ask the Phoenix I encountered back on Earth.”*

(*Back in Uncanny X-Men #105-108.)

Ignoring his friend’s pessimism, Gabriel was quick to join in Nova’s euphoria, any initial doubts dispelled. “This is incredible! Galan!”

Galan’s easy grin turned to the leader of the Powers Cosmic. “Yes, my friend. In the flesh.”

Terrax was as surprised as Firelord to find himself siding with Norrin Radd’s concerns. “If Galactus’ body was transformed into the star we orbit, then how did your body survive the transformation?”

“Ah, Tyros, how you have changed since your days as dictator of the city-state, Lanlak. I am proud that you now choose to travel with your brethren.”

The Atlantean Herald called Blue Shift caused her immense trident to shrink to the size of a small fork-shaped patch that she attached to her right arm like a silver tattoo of cosmic glaze. Although she owed Galactus a deep debt of loyalty, she was unconvinced that loyalty should transfer to this upstart entity. “You did not answer his question, Keeper.”

“I do not know the answer, Andromeda. But perhaps together we can find the answers to all our mutual questions.”

Blue Shift did not appear to be satisfied by the Keeper’s response. She proceeded to ask another question. “Why now? Galactus has been dead for days. Why did you emerge at this juncture?”

Galan’s whitened grin was unwavering. “I don’t mean to seem evasive, and I believe that I do know the answer to that one, Andromeda. It was Gabriel’s horn, which served several functions, not least of which was to summon Galactus from across the Cosmos if necessary. It beckoned me forth. Now may I join you?” His final sentence was clearly meant as an ironic jest, but Blue Shift did not seem to appreciate being teased.

Air-Walker was quick to respond. “Galan, consider yourself a member of the Powers Cosmic. Let us go now to celebrate our great fortune this day!”

“A moment, Gabriel,” replied Shalla Bal, the newly transformed Plasma. She felt no particular loyalty to the being called Galan, but nor did she harbor any misgivings. “The recent Cosmic Union cycle* altered the structure of the Universe to reject all foreign objects from its existence. Like the transuniversal creature Rune,** you, Galan, are technically from another Universe, the one predating our own. Could this not cause complications in your miraculous return once we have rejoined the normal space/time continuum?”

(* See Cosmic Union for details.)

(** See Protectors of the Universe #13-15 for details.)

Despite his growing feelings for Shalla Bal, Air-Walker was determined to counter any doubters among his colleagues, including her. “Then why did Galactus not suffer Rune’s fate? Should he not have dissipated as so many others have from this Universe?”

Shalla Bal considered the query. “Perhaps the Devourer was imbued with enough energy and matter from this Cosmos that the rejection phenomenon was nullified… or delayed. That would not be the case for Galan.”

Norrin’s heart skipped a beat at Plasma’s words, clinging to a tenuous vindication of his recent complicity in the demise of Galactus. “Then… perhaps Galactus would have departed this plane of existence regardless?”

Firelord did not spare the Surfer’s feelings. “Don’t be a fool, Norrin Radd. Galactus has survived multiple Union cycles before this one. He was as much a native of this Universe as you or I. Or perhaps, like the Guardians of the Galaxy,* he was a cosmic exception to the rule. Eventually, this Universe will stop rejecting extra-universal visitors altogether, as it has after past Union cycles. Absolution will not prove that easy, Surfer.”

(* See POTU: Guardians of the Galaxy for details.)

Norrin winced at Pyreus’ last words, but he said nothing in response, for he knew that Firelord was right.

Nova backed away slightly from her embrace with Galan, just sufficiently to face him in discourse. “Galan, you’re not technically from an alternate universe like everyone else they’re referring to. You’re just from the universe that eventually turned into this one. I’m no scientist, but isn’t that Universe’s matter this Universe’s matter?”

Air-Walker considered Nova’s words. “I agree. Additionally, the Universe surrounding us is still frozen. As Shalla Bal pointed out, our actions here are outside of the normal space/time continuum. Even if Galan were rejected as a foreign particle from this Universe, that rejection process would not commence until our return to real space/time. And, assuming it does begin, as with many others, it would not happen instantaneously. We would have enough time to engineer a solution.”

Shalla Bal turned to the Silver Surfer. “Norrin, you are the scientist among us. What do you think?”

The Surfer paused to process the many hypotheses presented. “It has been centuries since I plied my craft. Even at my peak, my field was not multiversal physics.”

Galan’s voice was powerful, yet kind. “But that was one of my fields. I too am a scientist, Norrin. It was one of the many reasons Galactus chose you first. I believe that the majority of you are correct, this post-Union rejection of which you speak will not affect me. Even if it does, I’ll wager that on Taa II there is technology sufficient to maintain my physical integrity long enough for me to decipher my dilemma.”

Air-Walker offered one alternative that betrayed his desperation to have the Keeper remain among them. “We saved Shalla Bal by creating a body for her. Perhaps we can do the same for you.”

Norrin Radd considered Gabriel’s words. He was concerned that Galan’s appearance might be clouding Gabriel’s usual excellent judgment. “Unfortunately, it was a sacrifice that should not be duplicated. It would simply precipitate the same unstable condition that nearly claimed Shalla Bal. We must consider other alternatives.”

“Enough talk!” cried Firelord. “It is time for action. I sense that our brief respite from the ravages of time and space is approaching an end in any event.”

Galan nodded at Pyreus, then closed his eyes in anticipation.

Suddenly, the Universe re-engaged its proper progress. For another moment, Galan held his eyes closed. Then, exhaling despite the lack of atmosphere, he opened his eyes and placed his hands upon his own face. Smiling once more, he proceeded to touch the face of Nova. He began to laugh merrily, a contagious sound that broadened the smiles of everyone present, some despite themselves.

Then suddenly, without warning, the fate they had all dreaded occurred. Between moments, Galan became intangible, then appeared to stretch slowly from behind as if some force were pulling him from the back of his belt toward a tear in space. The Silver Surfer was reminded of the In-Betweener’s dispersal in one of the first Cosmic Union waves.*

(* See Cosmic Union #1 for details.)

No one present questioned the sincerity in Galan’s voice any longer. “NO! There is so much I must accomplish! My appearance in this Continuum cannot have been for naught! What of the Great Evil we must counter?” Galan looked behind him, through the tear in space that was consuming him, then quickly turned back to his friends. “This is not the result of the Cosmic Union! Norrin, you must not follow…! You are needed here..!” With those cryptic words, he was gone.

Nova had not wasted a microsecond attempting to save Galan, but his intangible state had made it impossible for him to be grasped. Helpless again, she screamed. Firelord thought she had been enraged at Tyrant’s escape,* but with Galan’s abduction, Nova appeared to lose all control. Turning her head from side to side, she searched for some means of venting her incalculable anger and frustration. Seeing the Shi’ar armada continue toward their location now that time had resumed its proper course, she burst forth to intercept the multitude of vessels.

(* In Powers Cosmic #10.)

In a blur that the former Heralds could barely follow, Nova rammed each vessel like a precision torpedo programmed to change trajectories at will. Within seconds, all four hundred and twelve vessels hung in the ether, devoid of all weaponry and power save life support. Panting more out of instinct than necessity, Nova returned to her teammates.

Air-Walker was as angered with her comportment as Nova had ever seen him. “How could you, Frankie?! The Shi’ar know that you are from Earth! Do you seek to have your homeworld incur their wrath in retaliation?! If you EVER go off on a personal rant again, you will be summarily removed from this team. Am I understood?!”

Nova nearly snapped back at Gabriel with a vicious response, then noticed the others looking at her. Disappointment filled their eyes, even those of Firelord and the Surfer. Realizing that Gabriel was right, Nova lowered her chin wearily. “I just can’t believe he’s gone.”

Nova’s tone was apparently sincere enough that Lan did not belabor the point. “He is not gone, he has been taken! We must rescue Galan regardless of the cost. Blue Shift, will you join us in our search?”

Andromeda of Atlantis observed her peers with respect, for they truly were a gathering of the most powerful mortals in existence. Whether Galan was truly a part of Galactus or not, these former Heralds definitely reflected Galactus’ heritage, and that was enough for her sense of duty. “I would be honored if you would accept me into your ranks, Air-Walker.”

Norrin Radd spoke passionately, having been convinced of the veracity of Galan’s claims by his final words. “Come then, we must hasten without delay!”

“No, Norrin. This is where we part ways.” Air-Walker seemed saddened by his own words.

The Surfer was dumbfounded. “What? Gabriel, my respect for your counsel is great, but it has its limits. Do not seek to dissuade me from this righteous task!”

Firelord stepped in. “Galan’s final request was clear, Surfer. You are NOT to follow. Your presence may unwittingly guarantee our failure. You are needed here to stand vigilant against the Great Evil which may arise at any time. It is not open to debate.”

The Surfer’s fist began to clench and well with crackling Power Cosmic, but before Norrin could act upon his aggressive stance, Shalla Bal placed a gentle hand upon his forearm. “No, Norrin, they are right. We will go to rescue Galan. You must remain to safeguard this Universe until his return.”

The Surfer recognized the futility of his desires. “Very well. I will honor Galan’s wishes, despite my better judgment.” The Silver Surfer disappeared suddenly through a hyperspacial aperture.*

(* For the destination of the Silver Surfer, read Marvel’s ongoing title, Captain Marvel,  #’s 8-11.)

“Well, that was abrupt,” commented Nova.

Air-Walker’s response was one of concern. “We have far more pressing matters than Norrin’s bruised ego, Frankie. But where to begin?”

Using the enhanced tracking senses that were inherent in all Heralds, Terrax observed the exact spatial coordinates where Galan last stood. “There is no clue to his whereabouts here. His captors masked his departure perfectly.”

Gabriel Lan’s face expressed grim determination. “Pyreus, it is time we consulted these ‘Seers of the Universe’ of whom you spoke.”*

(*See Marvel’s Thor #23 for details.)

The Master of Guile witnessed the events cloaked from all detection, save that of Oera the Watcher. Oera approached Guile upon the departure of all the former Heralds. She was unsubtle in her data-gathering tact. “What are your intentions now, Master Guile?”

Guile grinned malevolently at the female Watcher before him. “The same as they have always been, my dear. The same as they have always been…”

The End

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 cpufeedback@yahoo.com 

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