Cosmic Union (The Directors' Cut) Issue #5
Written and edited by the Silver Surfer
ISSUE #5: "GRAND DESIGNS"
Cosmic Union Writers from the Silver Surfer
Message Board: Asterisk, Anomaly,
Azmodi, Brother Voodoo, Grim, Marvelite, Morfex, Mystic, and Number 6.
Starhawk's revelation did not deter the heroes from planning their next move. Their best strategists and most experienced members of the group, Captain America, Adam Warlock, the Silver Surfer, Dr. Strange, Quasar and Thor sat around a rectangular table, taking turns debriefing each other on what they knew. Dr. Strange had revealed that after careful meditation, he had realized that he could not contact any abstract being despite the concepts they represented not suffering. Warlock had also tried using his Eternity Orb to no avail. It was clear some cosmic event was occurring. Dr. Strange had tried to contact the Vishanti to see if they could help. He found he transported to their dimension a little too quickly. After some investigation, he concluded that somehow the dimension was closer than it was before, though he could not explain why. Thor described how Asgard had disappeared and the Silver Surfer said he felt the universe was changing at a fundamental level.
"I do not know if I can explain it," the Silver Surfer continued. "I see and sense things that were not there before. It is as though... something is being superimposed upon our universe."
"Quasar," Warlock turned to face him. "Can you get any information from your mentor, Epoch, as to what is going on?"
"No can do," he said. "I actually lost contact with her some time ago, before any of this started occurring. The other Star Masters are investigating her disappearance. It may be connected. The In-Betweener's bizarre departure might be related too."
"This has Thanos written all over it," Warlock said. His eyes narrowed as though the game had just become more complex. "We may need more powerful Allies, since the abstract creatures seem unreachable."
"Who do you suggest?" Strange questioned.
"Silver Surfer," Warlock turned already formulating a plan. "You must go and convince the Elders of the Universe to join us."
"Wait a minute," Captain America interjected. "We need people we can trust!"
"My good Captain," Warlock said turning his chair around to meet him face to face, "We do not have the luxury of being choosy. Even now, as we speak, dark forces have begun a plan and we cannot continue to delay." Warlock turned to speak to them all. "The Elders have a history with the Titan and they will join us just to attempt to get even with him. At this stage, the only trust we need is having a common goal."
"Warlock is right, Captain," the Silver Surfer spoke, attempting to sympathize with and ease Steve Rogers' worries. "I know the Elders very well. They are an obsessive bunch and they will gladly join forces with anyone to humiliate Thanos after what he did to them."
Many of the group nodded as a sign that they approved of the potential alliance.
"Silver Surfer, you may leave immediately," Warlock said without looking. The Surfer's expectation of Warlock's civility decreased as the crisis increased. He knew the urgency of his departure, so he held his tongue. Adam turned to Thor as the Silver Surfer got up and flew out of the window, which opened for him on Dr. Strange's mental command. "Thor," he started, but was interrupted.
"Take heed, my friend, Thor does not take kindly to being ordered around by mortals." Thor still disturbed by Asgards disappearance was in a foul mood.
"Asgards disappearance troubles you," Warlock said casually in response. "I sense there may be a connection between that and what is going on," Warlock continued. "It is why I would like you to go and determine what happened to Asgard."
Thor's eyes opened wide. He had not expected to hear that. A sense of relief passed over him. He could help their effort and resolve his personal concerns at the same time. "Aye!" he said with a slight smile on his face. "'Tis what I have been waiting to do!"
Doctor Strange interjected. "Thor, I will meet you at the base of Bifrost shortly to combine our abilities. This will give you time to prepare yourself mentally for the process. Perhaps together we can learn Asgards fate."
Thor nodded with a smile. With a "Fare thee well," he got up immediately and walked over to the window, still open from the Surfer's departure. The Asgardian launched himself out, hammer first, toward Midgard's end of the Rainbow Bridge.
Quasar looked at Warlock. "What about the rest of us?" he said, disappointed he had not been given a task yet.
"I sense that quite soon, we will have a fight on our hands here on Earth." Warlock turned around to face Captain America again. "Your Avengers and the X-Men will be needed to defend Earth. You can coordinate between them, Quasar and Starhawk."
"Well, I suppose that makes sense," Dr. Strange began, "since the Nexus of Realities is right here on Earth. We seem to be dealing with some type of dimensional crisis."
"Strange, you must become attuned with what is transpiring," Warlock
Told the Doctor. "We must both figure it out and counter it before it
Is too late."
"Agreed," replied their host. "That will be my priority as soon as I return from assisting Thor." As he finished his sentence, an alarm sounded around the house. Warlock and Dr. Strange turned to face the others and together spoke the same words: "It has begun!"
Part Two - Thus Cometh Galactus (Anomaly)
Before anyone could respond, Adam Warlock vanished completely from their presence.
Adam found himself hovering in mid-air, the hum of alien machinery vibrating around him. The vibration grew louder until it seemed to come from inside his head, then deeper still. It was clear to him that the vibration was attempting to wrest control of his Soul gem.
Warlock screamed as the vibration's frequency increased. "AAAAAAAAAAARRRRRRRRRRR!"
Incredibly, he fought off the near limitless force pressing against him. Eventually the vibration was replaced by an annoying buzz. Then a familiar voice filled the air. "THE GEM MUST BE DISPATCHED, AND AS THE GREAT BALANCE, I MUST ASSERT MY WILL IN THIS MATTER."
Warlock screamed again as the vibrations began to increase exponentially. The voice continued. "YOU CANNOT RESIST MUCH LONGER. THE GEM MUST BE REMOVED AND DESTROYED, AS THE OTHERS HAVE BEEN."
"I have made " Warlock steeled himself, then continued. " My transaction with the Living Tribunal himself MY WILL IS MY OWN, Devourer of Worlds!"
Suddenly, there was a crash. Galactus was impressed as Warlock overloaded his machine with the force of his will alone.
"I DO NOT WISH TO DO THIS, BUT YOU HAVE LEFT ME LITTLE CHOICE." Galactus gestured and the Soul gem pulled away from Adam's brow, emerald connective energy stretching between them. Warlock strained to return the gem to its rightful position, but found the Devourer of Worlds to be one of the most formidable wills he had ever encountered. The gem would not return, so Adam developed another strategy.
When the Soul gem was within Galactus' reach, he held it in his grasp and then clenched his armored fist as he had done with the other six gems before it. "IT IS DONE AAARRRGH! WHAT HAVE YOU DONE?"
"My control of the gem is not limited by distance, Galactus. The Soul entity and I have been together for quite some time. Though I cannot defeat you, I can fortify that part of you that was once a mortal soul."
"YOU DARE? I AM THE ALPHA AND THE OMEGA! YOU WILL PAY FOR ATTEMPTING TO RESURRECT LONG-FORGOTTEN MEMORIES."
"If it were as you say, it would not disturb you so. You must know the destruction of ALL the Infinity gems is not possible... even for you."
Part Three - Propositions (Morfex)
Adam took his abduction by Galactus as an opportunity to establish the seeds of an alliance. He withdrew the karmic fortification of Galactus' former mortal aspect, and quickly attempted to diffuse the volatile situation. "I assume that your interest in the gem arises from Eternity's concern that its wielder cannot be predicted. But as you know, even without the gem I am already outside the realms of Chaos and Order. Eternity must tolerate my existence, so who better than I to bear the gem that contributes the same unpredictability? And a conflict fast approaches that will require my every power. I swear to fight for the continuity of this universe during this crisis. My prior record in such conflicts speaks for itself. I also promise to share with you any data I may have regarding threats to the progression of the WAVES of Union. Tell me what I must do to earn, if not your trust, then your cooperation."
Adam knew not what he spoke of, but gambled that Galactus did. The astral figure's final message "Watch for the WAVES of Union," confused Warlock, but he would soon know if his gambit would bear fruit. Watch? Adam had thought at the time. Was the astral figure referring to the Infinity Watch? I wonder where Gamora and the others are right now...
Galactus seemed to ponder the implications of Adam's statement about cooperation, then responded. "VERY WELL, ADAM WARLOCK, CONTINUATION OF THIS CONFRONTATION IS POINTLESS FOR NOW. WE SHALL SERVE AS ALLIES UNTIL THE UNION HAS PASSED. YOU SHALL SHARE ALL INFORMATION ON THE UNION'S PROGRESSION, AND ON THOSE OF THIS CYCLE WHO SEEK TO MANIPULATE IT. YOU HAVE MY WORD, I WILL NOT ATTEMPT TO SEPARATE YOU FROM THE SOUL GEM AGAIN DURING THIS CRISIS."
Dr. Strange would be very pleased. Galactus had not called his bluff, and now the Devourer would be counted among their number in the coming conflict. This was a fortuitous event after all.
Part Four - A Clue (Morfex)
As promise, Doctor Strange met the Thunder God at the base of the Rainbow Bridge using the beacon Thor had activated. It was heartening to see the warrior god in such a state of focus. Clearly Thor was capable of introspection and meditation sufficient to the task at hand. And the stakes had never been higher.
Once prepared, Thor was quick to combine his hammer's dimensional attributes with Doctor Strange's dimensional senses. He knew the conflict outside was fast approaching, and that they must act quickly. "Asgard, Odin, Sif, Balder, Heimdall, the Warriors Three, Loki, Amora, Hela, Surtur, Ymir " He focused on the Nine Worlds and all its inhabitants, reaching out his godly perceptions for a clue, any clue of his people's whereabouts. Then it came to them both simultaneously. A word, a clue perhaps? They spoke the word simultaneously, confused by its implications. "Celestials?"
"Celestials?" Asked Thor. "What do Celestials have to do with housing entire dimensions?"
Part Five - Those Who Do Not Study History... (Morfex)
At a point in space where nullification once struck, a hole opened briefly, expectorating forth two unconscious entities, along with floating technological debris. A silent but dutiful Watcher named Oera witnessed the event passively, noting in her mental log the return to this Universe...
... Of Tyrant and Morg.
Ganymede awoke with a shrill scream unbecoming the leader of the new Spinster-hood. Jack of Hearts was startled awake in the next room. He entered her quarters, eyes half closed. "What is it, Gan?" he asked sleepily.
"He's back! Tyrant has returned. Call out the Spinsters, Jack."
According to Thanos' well-placed sensors, the Union's rise caused further and further interference in the time-stream. Time travelers dared not attempt to enter this juncture of events. Fortunately for Thanos' plans, he would not need to contend with the likes of Kang, Immortus, or their paradoxical ilk.
Cable, Bishop, Shard, Shatterstar, Fitzroy, X-Man, Sugarman, Holocaust, Dark Beast, Haywire, and every other being with ties to different eras or alternate universes, began to shimmer and fade. They did not disappear completely, but seemed to become phantasmal apparitions, unable to touch or speak. Their helpless frustration was incommunicable to the true denizens of this time, space, and reality.
Reaper and Siena Blaze landed abruptly in a vast field of wheat in daylight, they knew not where.
"Reaper, what happened?" Sienna asked.
"Can't you feel it?" he responded. "We're back... back on our Earth..." His sorrow was unhidden, for here he was as nothing compared to the forces at play in this, his native universe.
Part Six - Tactical Alliances (Mystic)
Whistling by at untold speeds, the Surfer tracked the power primordial. In fact, it had been easy. A lot of its expenditure had occurred. It served almost as a beacon to him. He arrived in time to see a fiery creature leave. The Grandmaster was alone. Already aware of his presence, the Grandmaster turned to face him. "You are late," he told the Silver Surfer. "My brothers have been consumed by Thanos' minion."
The Silver Surfer watched with astonishment. So many Elders floated across space, lifeless. Though he could detect that they weren't biologically dead, they were still lifeless, floating in space as though they were debris from a cataclysmic battle.
"Who is capable of doing such a thing," he finally managed to say.
"The Dark Phoenix is a very powerful creature," the Grandmaster said. "But I sense that it would be a waste of time to follow or attack it at this stage."
"Grandmaster. I am sorry for your loss," the Surfer began, "...but I am here on a mission. Adam Warlock believes that Thanos is behind a monstrous plan that is even now unfolding. He requires Allies that are powerful enough to confront him and his possible Allies. We have cause to believe the Phoenix is one of them. Will you join us?" the Surfer extended his hand in a universal gesture of reconciliation.
The Grandmaster took carefully weighed moments to consider. "On one condition!" he finally retorted.
"What is that?" the Surfer questioned.
"That you, personally, help Asgard be freed from its confines. I heard the Phoenix mention that the entire plane of Asgard had been abducted, and...."
The Surfer interrupted. "You need not worry. I received communication telepathically from Dr. Strange that Thor had been dispatched to remedy that very circumstance..."
The Surfer was in turn interrupted. "I fear it may require more than Thor can do. The situation will require power more than battle skills. I believe that you will be needed. This is the price of my cooperation."
"You seem remarkably well informed of the situation," the Silver Surfer replied. "However, in the interest of forming our alliance, I will agree to your terms."
The Surfer departed for Asgard. The Grandmaster smirked. "Things go very well indeed. With Asgard released from its' protective domain, the dimensional barriers will be too weakened from the Union, and Surtur will break free. We'll see how that affects the Titan's plans!" The Grandmaster laughed a short laugh before fading to nothingness.
Continued in Cosmic Powers Unlimited #6
Now go to Cosmic Union issue #6. Also check out this week in the Cosmic Powers Unlimited. Also new this week in the Cosmic Union continuity, Spinsterhood #1 and Tales of the Timeless #5! Be sure to also check out the new Cosmic Unionverse Page for details about the Cosmic Union continuity, as it begins to shape into a whole new cosmic universe of Marvel characters! Now be sure to leave us some comments and suggestions!
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