Thanos: Dead Men Tell No Tales #18
Guest written by Anomaly, Edited
"DEAD MEN TELL NO TALES"
Go to the Thanos: Dead Men Tell No Tales Archive Page for past editions!
Interlude - Strange Daze
"Argue for your limitations, and sure enough they're yours."
- Richard Bach
The last time I had been summoned before the dread tri-judge, it had been
during the sundering and the quest to find the mystery.
The Living Tribunal’s power revealed itself to me as a great whirl wind
pulling me into its irresistible clutches and dropping me into a meta-realm
called the Dimensions of Manifestations. When I arrived, the witnesses were
already present: Mighty Galactus, Epoch, the Celestials and Death; at her side
was the cosmic representation of evil himself, Mephisto. All the forces of Death
were assembled on the left side, except for Epoch who had always been a
self-proclaimed champion of life.
Galactus manifested as large as the Celestials, but this was no so much as
power or stature but was more about caprice.
The great judge was terribly aloof as he gazed at the gathering through the
equity aspect of his being. On the right side of his three-headed visage, was
the completely hooded face witch represented necessity.
Words paled to describe the most terrifying and respected being in the
multiverse whose half hooded face of revenge was feared even by Death herself.
“STRANGER, HE WHOSE PAST IS LOST IN ANTIQUITY, YOU HAD BEEN GIVEN A SET
AMOUNT OF TIME INTO HE WHO IS FOREVER TO PRODUCE THE MYSTERY.”
His glory forced me to fall prostrate and my tears boiled before they could
The witnesses at the gathering were not experiencing what I did, because the
first phase of the sundering had left me in a weakened condition.
“STRANGER, HAVE YOU FOUND THE GREAT MYSTERY?”
“My memory is faint mighty and just judge, I require more time.” I
uttered the words “have mercy” before I stood and readied my self for his
“I AM NEITHER MERCIFUL NOR WRATHFUL. MY JUDGMENTS ARE FAIR AND FOLLOW
COSMIC LAW. I AM JUSTICE PLAIN AND SIMPLE.
“YOU ARE THE WEAKEST OF THE MIGHTY, AND YET YOUR GLORY EXCEEDS THEM ALL.
THOUGH I BEAR YOU NO MALICE, I CANNOT RESTORE YOU TO YOUR PREVIOUS STATE UNTIL
YOU FIND THE MYSTERY. UNTIL THAT TIME YOU WILL EVER REMAIN A STRANGER.”
I nod in ascent as the cosmic entities were dispersed, and the dimension of
manifestations dissolves into its myriad components.
THE CYCLE OF THE SUNDERING
He stood before me a being that was nearly an exact doppelganger of the
entity know as the Stranger. He was quite powerful judging by the power of his energy
lance, but unlikely anywhere near the Stranger’s level. I had no reservations.
Still I could not risk entering into combat, when a careful constructed plan
could accomplish so much more.
“Aid me,” I said, “and I will free you when I leave the Stranger’s
world.” He gazed at me with eyes of azure, and his thoughts seemed far; as he
looked into the reaches of infinity. However, when his gaze scanned his large
humanoid form and saw all the scars from the Stranger’s many experiments he
looked at me and spoke.
The shade of the Stranger laughed.
“WHY SHOULD I AID YOU WHEN ALL I HAVE TO DO IS KILL YOU AND TAKE THE KEY FOR MYSELF?”
“Do you truly believe the Stranger would allow you to run unchecked?
Only my cloaking device keeps the Stranger’s gaze from discovering
“Precisely, but you have us much to lose as myself if he returns. I have
come here to find an artifact, if you aid me in my scheme I will free you.”
My bluff worked. I counted on Jakarr’s fear of the Stranger’s obvious experimentations in reinforcing my point. In Truth, however, I was doubtful whether my cloaking device could actual protect even me from the Stranger’s powerful gaze much less Jakkar’s.
“Jakarr, you referred to yourself as the Anti-Stranger. Perhaps insight
into this matter will aid us.”
“IT WAS NOT I WHO CALLED ME THE ANTI-STRANGER, BUT THE ONE WHO TOOK THIS
VERY FORTRESS FROM ME MANY AEONS PAST. I AM THE LAST LIVING SURVIVOR OF AN
ADVANCED RACE CALLED GIGANTIS, A PLANET OF SUCH SIZE THAT THE SURROUNDING
PLANETS ORBITED IT AS IF A SUN. MY GOAL BEFORE THE STRANGER IMPRISONED ME WAS TO
FIND THE MYSTERY.”
“It would appear you are experiencing post-traumatic dementia from the Stranger’s experimentations. You see in all my travels and star charts I have never seen nor heard of any place called Gigantis. Unless your race is older even then the Eternals.”
“ETERNELS? ARE YOU A MEMBER OF THE WAR LIKE RACE THAT DESTROYED OUR
CIVILIZATION ALL THOSE YEARS AGO?”
“Unlikely or I would have dispatched all of its members and we would not be
having this conversation.”
Suddenly a transmission signal interrupted our conversation. It was a newly
constructed planet cracker that I called D-666.
“Master, an energy signature whose readings are off the chart has appeared
within the solar system,” it had to be the Stranger.
“Commence rendezvous with the objective in question immediately.”
Interlude - PARADISE LOST
The barren moon would suffice for me to recover my strength, until I could
return to my homeworld.
“DO YOU STILL REMEMBER ME, STRANGER, FROM DAYS OF OLD OR HAS THAT MEMORY
ALSO BEEN ERASED? HA HA HA
“I STILL RECALL YOUR SIN OF DISOBEDIANCE.”
I turned to see the mouthpiece of Death standing with his ebon mistress and
the representative of ultimate evil itself.
“Mephisto, why have you wondered so far from your realm your enemies are
many and friends few?”
Mephisto grinned a wide toothy smile and held in his hands a small universe
in a glass container with the world Gigantis still running oblivious to any
thing we were doing.
“From where did you retrieve that I had thought it erased from existence
during my time with him.”
“Erased? No only barred to you and severed from Eternity.”
I tried to retaliate, but I could feel a heavy shadow restraining my psionic
might and knew that mistress Death would not allow disrespect in her presence.
“State your proposition, Mephisto.” Mephisto and I had a history but it
had been in a timeline that had been erased by the Living Tribunal and I left
with but a partial memory.
“I would have the spark that still burns with the supreme one’s
luminescence, and in return you could return to Gigantis. And all could be as it
Suddenly overhead was a great starship the size of a small planet and I could
sense with my psionic abilities that its gun torrents were being pointed
directly at me.
I did not know what was worse that a battery of weapons capable of laying
waste to world pointed directly or Mephisto’s infuriating smirk.
END OF INTERLUDE
“HE IS THE STRANGER HIS WAYS ARE NOT DISCERNABLE, EVEN NOW HE LIKELY KNOWS
OUR EVERY MOVE AND MERELY TOYS WITH US.”
“Perhaps, Jakkar, but Thanos is in possession of vast resources all his own, I must find the Soul gem before his return.”
“THE SOUL GEM IS TO BE FEARED EVEN FROM SOMEONE OF THE STRANGER’S POWER.
IT IS SAID TO RESIDES IN ONE OF THE GREAT PYRAMIDS ON THE FAR SIDE OF THIS
WORLD. IT IS QUITE SOME DISTANCE FROM HERE, BUT I CAN TAKE US.”
I felt a strange sensation of being moved in space-time, and moments later I
was standing in front of the great pyramid he spoke of. The large construct was
literally miles into the atmosphere.
“Impressive, I assume that you transported us to this point.” The
readings I was getting from Jakkar seemed to be growing in power.
“WE MUST BE EXPEDIENT, I CAN FEEL HIS IMMENINET RETURN.”
A large door that was wide enough to fit a small army through its arch,
barred our way. The doorway was
forged from a strange obsidian metal that gave no reflections. I raised a
gauntleted hand and summoned my cosmic might to disperse of the annoyance.
For several minutes I continued to press my full might against the entrance
way but when the smoke cleared… Nothing and it was even cool to the touch.
“Jakkar, add your own might to my own.”
His power combined with my own illumed the surrounding area in an eerie jade
glow. But for all that, it seemed to stand in spite of our best efforts. But
something curious began to transpire as the reading from Jakkar once again began
to go off scale.
The door was no more.
Laser fire from an unknown source immediately began to pummel my force
shields but it held fast. I did a quick scan to purloin the Soul Gem’s
The laser fire began once again. Somehow, it altered its frequency and passed
through my shielding unopposed. However, it was a simple matter to reset the
shielding to the current frequency.
My form began to take on a ghost like state and I knew that the beam had done
more then I first believed. It was a disintegrator of sorts but it could not
know of my Eternal heritage or that such an attack was nearly useless. I
reasserted control of my form once more.
Jakkar’s eyes which were usually a deep azure turned crimson and the
weapons exploded of there own accord.
Soon the pyramid’s self-defense switched to a form of ultrasonic, but my
shielding had some absorption properties so it would hold long enough for to
I sent out a signal that completely shut down all machinery, creating a
distraction that would allow me to escape before the Stranger had discovered my
raid. I quickly located the Soul Gem with my instrumentation and put it in
“THE STRANGER NEARS WE MUST BE SWIFT I CAN FEEL HIS APPROACH.”
Once again, Jakkar’s energy emissions were increasing in conjunction with
the Stranger’s approach. Incredible as it seemed Jakkar was somehow linked to
the Stranger perhaps even…
Things had just gone from bad to worse, the ship I had come here with was now
And the Strangers test subjects were innumerable and scattered abroad as far
as the eye could see. There were
races that I believed had been extinct like the Archeopens.
This supposedly the first race to be exterminated by the world devourer
I observed from afar as one of the reptilian Badoon, was quickly pounced on
by a creature with a long tail and razor sharp teeth. It appeared to be one of
the parasitic brood, a race I had encountered when I was freed from my
imprisonment from Titan. I was exiled into space and stranded on the broods
planet (see dead men tale no tales archives) it was most unfortunate for them.
“THE STRANGER IS GETTING CLOSER WE MUST BE… ARRRGGG”
He was experiencing what I believed was the first stage of a bizarre
transformation It was now perfectly clear what was transpiring. I used the key
to summon the Ovoid ship, but instead I was attacked and I felt as if I was
thrust from my body. I managed to reassert control which was a testament to my
ever growing mental abilities my foe was a representative of the mysterious
Ovoids themselves. However, what I was uncertain of was whether it had been a
prisoner here and sought to escape like myself or it had come to reclaim its
I fought back with my newly born mental abilities, but his strength was
considerable and he had far more experience. I steeled myself and dug deep,
Thanos of Titan would not go easy.
My fists were empowered as I attempted to get the position to retaliate, but
instead the Ovoid did something unexpected.
The alien’s mind which was housed in some form of artificial
exoskeleton, attempted to end the conflict in a physical manner.
While the Ovoid clearly had an advantage in the Psychic plane, it erred
grievously by attempting to attack me on a physical level.
I answered with my quasi/mystical disruptor beams and scattered its
artificial body into a trickle of shimmering atoms.
To my surprise, his sentient mind left the artificial shell before its
destruction. It then entered the ship itself, which was a clever gambit on its
part for in order to destroy it this time I would have to annihilate my only
means of escape.
Jakkar was transforming and had been doing so for the entirety of my time
here. Jakkar was indeed the Anti-Stranger and more. He was an unbridled facet of
the Stranger himself.
The transformation had left him in a transient state, where he was neither
Jakkar nor the Stranger.
The ship was now destroyed and I had to come up with alternative mode of
escape. I saw my opportunity as one of the great interplanetary bio-ships called
the acanti appeared from seemingly nowhere.
A small clan of the brood, who had also taken a member of the Skrull race to
implant with its vile seed, was ravaging the Acanti.
My fists began to glow and I began to tear their entrails from their insect
like body and then turned even that into ash.
The skrull looked at me in fear, for he knew it would only be a matter of
time before his body would burst and a nest of brood would feed on his remains.
If you kill me I will do, any thing said the Skrull warrior who loathed such
an unclean way to die.
I smiled, “There is one thing and I promise a swift and glorious death.”
The sundering had run its course for the time and Jakkar and I were once
I felt my full strength return only to see my world in turmoil. I quickly
used my power to purloin the perpetrator to the crime.
“Thanos, today you will leave this plane of reality,” he leapt at me with
his fists glowing, but before he even have time react I quickly reduced him to
It would be some work but eventually all my subjects would be gathered once
more and my quest for the mystery once again resumed.
I smelt a terrible stench of brimstone.
“Mephisto, I will not do as you request. The soul of jakkar is my lot and I
will not turn it over to one such as you. You are guile and deceit and I am the
Mephisto was silent at first, but his fickle emotions changed again.
“Stranger, there is much you do not know of me. I am incredibly old perhaps
even older then you.”
His words caused me to grow silent.
“Gigantis was a paradise, and like a certain story, temptation came to that
“To carry this out all the devil in the story had to do was plant a subtle
verbal suggestion telling the man he could not! This simple suggestion caused
him to fall into disobedience and lose paradise forever and all that came with
“Isn’t that right Adam?”
I wondered if he spoke true. Then I left the thought alone after all he is
the Lord of Lies, and I would not give him the satisfaction of leaving his
thought to trouble me.
The skrull indeed served his purpose, I got what I came for only five more to gather, and the Magus would be mine.
But one thing I pondered what was this mystery Jakkar spoke of?
Perhaps it was something cosmic in scope, but likely, it was something under
his very nose. Something to give him a drive perhaps the mystery that seemed so
puzzling and ineffable was something as simple as pride.
Hmmm… indeed something to be considered.
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