POTU Spotlight #8: “Divine Intervention.”
Written by Morfex
Logo created by Lord Thanos
Published by the Cosmic Powers Fan Fiction Group in

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Protectors of the Universe Spotlight #8 featuring...


Divine Intervention

(Note: Past POTU Spotlights do not have an impact on this story. For other stories taking place in this continuity, see the POTU Archive Page.)

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What I aspired to be,

And was not, comforts me.

                    - R. Browning, Rabbi Ben Ezra

What Has Gone Before:

The Watchers are an ancient race of powerful cosmic entities who, eons ago, learned a terrible lesson that would have a lasting impact upon their society. In offering their technological knowledge to a less advanced race, they unwittingly contributed to that race’s self-inflicted mass genocide. Swearing never to interfere again, the self-proclaimed Watchers have become silent observers on a universal scale. Not every member of the astral spectators has remained completely true to their Oath of non-interference, however…

Oera the Watcher stood before the Council of her peers, upon their native planet. With a gesture of approval from the presiding Watcher, Oera addressed those gathered in the prescribed manner for such occasions. “I am Oera. My current assignment is to monitor and chronicle the activities of the cosmic heroes known as the Protectors of the Universe.”

Atua, the Watcher at the head of the gathered Council of inquiry, spoke tonelessly to the young female Watcher before him, his pride in his protégé appropriately undetectable. “Oera, we request a status update of your field observations to date.”

“As you all know, my first assignment upon entering active duty was the monitoring of the premature arrival of the cyclical event dubbed the Cosmic Union. As authorized by the Council, I approached and questioned the heroes of Earth during the initial stages of the phenomenon, thereby violating my Oath and protecting myself from the Abstract Dissolution that affected you all during the first waves of Union.”*

(*See Cosmic Union #5 for details.)

“Since the resolution of the Cosmic Union affair, I have borne witness to multiple events of cosmic significance: the emergence of the newest Tyrant; the arrival of the Guardians of the Galaxy; the onset of the Hunger upon the former Heralds of Galactus; the reincarnation of a new Phoenix entity; the exile of Rune from this reality; the death of Galactus; the ravaging of the Rigellians by Thanos and Mangog; the alterniversal outcome of the short-lived group of Cosmic Defenders; the resolution of the Godstalker quest and the birth of the Mythbreaker; the transference of the taint of the Dragon of the Moon from Thanos to Adam Warlock; the emergence of Galan and Master Guile from the star that was Galactus’ final resting place...”

Oera hesitated a brief instant, then continued. “Not meaning any disrespect, respected colleagues, but these and many other events are chronicled in my reports on file. Surely this summons cannot have merely been for the sole purpose of regurgitating my observations.”

“Indeed,” replied Atua with candor. “This meeting also serves the purpose of allowing us to observe your behavior after you have violated your Oath. There are concerns among the Council that such a violation, sanctioned or not, is rarely an isolated incident.”

Another Watcher addressed the young Oera, with an intonation that was subtly accusatory. “And have you developed a taste for such violations as your former mate Uatu did, Oera?”

Oera had observed humanity long enough to judge even a Watcher’s character. “Beru, the hypocrisy of that query escapes no one. It is common knowledge that you sought the post that I was given. Is this then to be a status update or an inquisition? As for Uatu, I am certain he can speak for himself.”

“And indeed he shall,” continued Beru undaunted. “However, you have not answered my question.”

“In answer to your question, no, I do not affect the outcome of major conflicts, trusting that the Universe’s Protectors can fulfill their purpose unaided.”

“Perhaps that is true of the larger dramas, but what of the less significant conflicts?” Atua was far more diplomatic in the nuance of his words than Beru had been.

Oera’s reply was firm.  “A violation is a violation on any scale.”

“Is that a confession, then?” Beru’s eyes gleamed with delight, though bearing a facial expression that remained stoic in all other aspects.

“I confess only to have honored the spirit of the Council’s request of me.”

“So you seek to hold us responsible for your transgressions?”

“Those are your words, not mine.”

Atua, the Council elder who first addressed Oera interjected. “On that note, let us hear from the very witness whom we have mentioned already.”

“Uatu is here?” Oera’s voice betrayed the unresolved emotions she bore for the being who had served as Earth’s Watcher, and for a time, her companion.

“Actually an excerpt from his journals will suffice in this instance.” Without another word, Beru motioned toward the hologram that suddenly displayed adjacent to Oera’s position.

“I am Uatu. For cycles beyond human measure, I have monitored the blue orb its inhabitants call Earth. My purpose is to observe, but never to interfere. Unlike most members of my species, I have come to respect and admire the denizens of the planet I survey. In particular, a select group of inhabitants have been granted, sometimes by random chance and sometimes by design, superhuman abilities that make them true Marvels to behold. Many such gifted ones chose the path of greed and lust, what mortals might call ‘evil’. But there are those rare few that opted to stand for values they felt were worth fighting for.”

“Of all my research subjects, I derive the greatest satisfaction from these heroes. They are wonders, even to an entity such as I. Although I have sworn never to interfere, I have crossed the line of ethics my people have established for us on several occasions. I have been admonished for my transgressions, and have nearly been reassigned on several occasions. And yet here I remain, under my own recognizance. It is my private theory that my superiors secretly support my rare involvement in the affairs of this planet that has turned away the likes of Galactus. Its gleaming Destiny yet unwritten, this world periodically requires more than an observer.”

Oera realized that this was no mere entry in Uatu’s reports. This was a private journal entry never meant to be seen by his compatriots. Horrified yet powerless to stop it, she watched on as the recording continued.

“Watchers refrain from acting for a reason: at the dawn of our race's ascendance, we attempted to offer benevolent aid to other intelligent species. The result was sheer destruction. The conventional wisdom became: if a civilization could end through our misguided assistance, then we would remain passive and let the cosmos progress without us. This is our primary directive, our philosophy, and our very purpose. I remember this grave analogy with solemnity. And yet I recognize that my people gave aid that was rife with the potential for abuse and destruction. I deem it secretly justifiable to assist planets whose destruction is already eminent. My people would consider this a perversion of our intent. I consider it the reclamation of cosmic accountability.”

“Those few on Earth who have become aware of my existence have referred to me as the Man on the Moon, a reference to a children's tale. In many ways, I find the term flattering, for by being called a Man, I am described as a member of the race I have so come to cherish. I would surrender the mantle of power and the duty of observation in an instant for the chance to live a normal human life on that azure sphere. It is my most secret desire, made plain this day by this private admission. In verbalizing my innermost yearnings, I hope to purge myself of this burden.”   

“Perhaps my fellow Watchers will never truly understand the depths of my emotion for these humans. I have grown to love my subjects. My observation of their creativity, passion, and nobility touches long-dormant aspects of my nigh-immortal soul. The stirring within me is a priceless sensation most members of my race rejected eons ago. If only I could convey to them the joy I feel when observing Earth's defenders challenge impossible odds to snatch triumph from inevitable defeat. My people would surely rekindle their most basic emotions that were allowed to atrophy during our early maturity.”

Oera heard the muted whisperings around the Council. “Blasphemy! Heresy!” Her soul twisted at the thought of Uatu’s fate, sealed this day.

The recording of Uatu’s musings continued unabated. “The irony in all this? Soon, I will have forgotten everything I have grown to love. There is no guarantee that I will be able to rekindle my knowledge of Earth's Marvels. This is the most painful part of the entire ordeal, the knowledge of impending ignorance. For one such as we, lacking an awareness of our past is the ultimate humiliation and punishment.”

“Humans have labels reminiscent of the disease that will soon vex my cognitive functions: senility, amnesia, Alzheimer's disease, autism and others. Many human maladies parallel the ailment whose onset I already begin to sense. I have observed heroic Terrans rise above Fate's cruelest adversities with dignity and aplomb. I can only pray to powers higher than my own that I can follow their examples when the ultimate disability strikes me.”

“I now sympathize more deeply with those who suffer from these ailments. I begin to feel an awareness of being less aware. There is a relevant anecdote I wish to share, but it eludes me. I feel a welling sorrow in my core, for the depths of my other emotions are diminishing. I struggle to maintain my grasp on those who have enriched my tenure here, to name them, as one would read a list . . . But the list is on fire, slowly burning to the top. And I begin to tremble in the knowledge that, once the list is gone, it cannot be replaced.”

Uatu’s holographic form became impassioned. “No! This cannot be happening! There is no justice in the Cosmos if those who watch forget! I cannot lose that which I have earned! Please, if there is a higher power that can hear my supplications, have this blight pass over me! I am . . . Uatu! I love this planet called . . . called . . . Earth? Yes, Earth! That is its name. This planet is called…” Without another sound, the holographic display came to a sudden end.

Oera was dumbfounded. “That was not from his observation records! How… How did you access Uatu’s most personal journals? This is an outrage! A betrayal of every trust! And where is he now?”

Beru inwardly took pleasure in Oera’s emotional upheaval. “Those questions are not relevant to these proceedings. This recording has been displayed to provide the Council insight into your potential behavior. What is your response to Uatu’s comments?”

Oera instinctively wanted to reach out and help Uatu wherever he may be. But her own dilemma must first be resolved. “Understand, for those of you who have practiced observation and inaction throughout your lengthy existences, contact with your subjects is undeniably extremely addictive. Everything Uatu said was true. I agree with all of it adamantly. If that opinion leads to my falling out of favor with this august gathering, then so be it.”

The chief Watcher nodded toward the young female. “Give us a few moment’s discussion before we make our final decision.”

In less than an hour, by Earth’s time, Oera was recalled to the gathering. “Oera, you may continue to observe the Protectors as you have been doing. Thank you for your patience. You are dismissed.”

Surprised by the ruling, Oera knew better than to respond to such a statement. Nodding politely, she departed. She knew she had to find Uatu if it was not already too late.

Beru seethed inside, though outwardly she appeared as calm as the other Watchers. “Mark my words, Oera will violate the Oath again! And when she does, we will be accountable for the universal consequences and ramifications.”

The End.

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