Soul Food #2

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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Continued from Soul Food #1

Also see Anomaly's Thanos: Dead Men Tell No Tales Archive Page!

The Funeral at the End of Soul World

"The graveyards are full of indispensable men. "

- Charles de Gaulle (1890-1970)

Interlude– Second Thoughts

In the mysterious other verse, two entities observed Doctor Strange through the mystical vortex. “Do you think it wise to involve Strange?  He can be most formidable,” said the mysterious being whom the living darkness clung closely to.

“I have need of his body. It is a most powerful vessel.  Otherwise I shall remain a wandering specter for all eternity.”

The vortex closed once more.

Chapter 2

I kicked the covers off myself and I felt a sudden chill against my bare flesh. I huddled into fetal positions and put my hands between my knees in order To keep warm. But I felt a faint wind brush across my body.

It was one of those esoteric feelings like when someone’s eyes pressed against the back of your neck. You know that they are there watching, but you do not know how you know it. . Take that natural ability, add a mad Titan who worships death and stir well and there you have a recipe that has made me the most feared assassins in the galaxy. Translation: Whoever was foolish enough to play games with me, would be soon be in a world of pain.

My body flipped backward and I landed safely in a defensive position even though I was half asleep. They covered their scent well and clung to shadows like a cockroach. When my eyes began to adjust, I saw a picture of PIP and Adam staring at me from my dresser.

I turned quickly and threw my mystic forged blade with lethal intent. “TAG”

“Your reflexes are still as sharp as ever,” said the perpetrator from the shadows.

“You made a mistake I saw your reflection in Adams picture, Thanos!”

Thanos just stared for a moment as he narrowed his optics,  “What good is a test if I did not provide you with a solution?”

Thanos never made things that easy as I saw his hand twitch a split second before ground zero. I could not out race pure energy, but didn’t have to. All I had to do was stay a hairbreadth ahead of Thanos own reflexes.  He was still holding back. He was going out of his way to makes sure this wasn’t a slaughter he didn’t even trying to feint. His energy lance left my bed a pile of smoking ashes as I leapt for the training bars overhead. I gathered as much momentum as I could before I came down and hit him at full speed.

I bounced off his impervious flesh but manage to get my knife back, which was my real objective anyway. Thanos smiled as I surprised him with a head on assault. I used a series of tumbles and rolls to avoid his cosmic fury and arced my body in impossible positions where I avoided certain death at every turn.

Then I made a fatal miscalculation. He caught me when I made my pass to disembowel him. Never would I have believed one so large could move so quickly. He had had me in an unbreakable grip but he was still within my reach. In an all or nothing effort, I inverted myself and caught his huge neck in a scissor lock.  I wasn’t trying to injure him the move had been designed to cause him to release his grip on me by manipulating certain nerve clusters and pressure points in the neck.

It worked perfectly, his arm was forced to let go and my dagger imbedded itself in his throat. He didn’t even gasp but in a most anti-climactic moment he merely fell over.

I could not believe my senses at first but Thanos designed the blade to kill his arch foe the Magus and it was reputed to have mystical abilities.

“Why did Thanos kidnap me, and what were his true motivations?”

A fog seemed to be holding my memories captive and it was a struggle to recall anything. All I could remember was the name Maxim.

Slowly the fog began to rescind and then I remembered, the accursed time gem showed me a vision of Adam lying dead and Maxim hovering over Warlocks dead body.

I would have cried but Thanos made sure such an act would never happen again. I began to remember when I was still a child in Thanos care. All called him mad and yet my education was the best, never did I want for anything. Ironically, at the time, I thought him perhaps over protective. If only I had listened and not ventured off on that alien world. That gang of criminals, and cutthroats scarred me for all time as they raped me repeatedly. Thanos saved my life and paid them back in kind but he was forced to give me a new body and took my tears.

Without the tears for release, the anger drove me to train harder and harder and when I faced the Magus, I kept thinking that if I kill him Thanos will give me my tears back and I will be at peace.

Suddenly a familiar figure materialized behind me it was my former partner Pip and the mysterious Doctor strange. I was not surprised my time spent with Adam and Thanos during the gauntlet affairs prepared me for any thing. I was happy to see them but I knew by the looks on there face Adam was dead.

“Adam’s funeral is about to commence and it holds cosmic significance,” Eternity himself said, “that Adam’s death would foreshadow the beginning of a new age.”

Adam told me that his last wish was for the three of us was to go to Soul World.

 Our physical bodies were not going to be needed he said. Then the good Doctor Strange began to make the gestures with his hands while his mouth spoke in strange tongues long forgotten.  There was a bright flash and then my astral form left its body.

Soul world was a place of peace and tranquility that made even Adams worst foes his friends. Doctor Strange left Pip and I in soul worlds domain, but I was not alone here everyone one was connected to every one else.

Judge Kraytors was trying to comfort us but felt that something incredible was about to happen. His appearance was horrific; its insect like optics was set in an oversized green head the size of a small car. The appendages that flapped about uncontrollably against his side seemed nearly phantasmagoric from our point of view. Kraytor had first arrived in Soul world’s borders many years ago. He came kicking and screaming into the gates of paradise, and may have been Adams enemy at one time but was now grateful after having been unshackled from the Magus clutches. The exotic militia from the Magus former guard was another prime examples: Misshapen monsters sliced and diced from a roll of pure dementia. And now indiscernible even from Angels.

When the Doctor returned with the Surfer and Thor his thoughts seemed dark and strangely tangled for some reason. He was a visitor here and could not read my thoughts yet I could read his. The Silver Surfer had a similar experience when he came through the emerald gates of paradise after Thanos had stolen his and draxs souls. Apparently, there was a period of adjustment as one passed from the physical plane to the spiritual one. But why was Adams funeral being held in Soul World? It didn’t make sense, From what I knew, the soul could not even die, besides how many times had the Magus reared his ugly head even after his timeline was severed.  And what about chaos and order saying Adam had destiny was his own. There just to many unanswered questions, The Silver Surfer owed a debt to warlock for freeing his beloved from the clutches of mephisto himself and so did Thor who had been in the grip of warrior’s madness they were here to pay there last respects they owed him much.

Doctor Strange returned with the Avengers who seemed very confused despite their willingness to be here. There was a sense of danger in the air just waiting to unleash its self-. I could feel it almost as if Soul World were sick.

“Thanos, how did you get here? I killed you.”

“I merely wished to return your weapon it may be needed in the near future and I cannot have my astral samurai deprived.”

Thanos was different then the rest, his thoughts and motives barred from my perusal. His smiled seemed to indicate that while I could not read his thoughts he knew mine. It didn’t matter that he should be dead.

A coven of mystics appeared next I recognized Darklore and accursed Maya from our confrontation with count abyss. But there was also a mysterious mystic who went by the name of Modred that had a dark taint that rivaled even Thanos; A woman called Harkness and an the Avenger called the Scarlet Witch.

Thanos spoke, “Warlock may have been a fool by any customary standard but in truth the word extreme should be substituted for fool. He was a wiley one indeed and I would not wish him to be a foe death herself owed him a debt.”

“You speak in riddles Thanos almost as if He were still alive.” Thanos expression gave no indication about anything.

“Why don’t you look?” he said and so I proceeded to where a great open pit dug into Soul World where Adam’s soul was being kept.

I walked up to the coffin, and for a brief moment, tears threatened to overwhelm me. This was strange because in soul world there is no sadness. Thanos was still standing over me; maybe he wanted to comfort me I was not sure. He was always complex and multi-layered.

But the grave of Adam Warlock did not stir and was terrible to behold. His face had taken on a withdrawn look and his eyes and lips were sewn shut. All hope had finally been taken away. Then a miracle transpired as a single tear plummeted from my face. How was this possible I asked myself?  How could this happen in a world where constant joy had reign and in a body with no tear ducts.

Then it was if someone had turned down the volume, and my connection with the inhabitants of soul world citizens was   severed. My mind began to reel as Chaos and Order appeared overhead their alien thoughts drowning out the gathering. I fell prostrate at the new sensory overload.  Soul world’s inhabitants were one on the edge of madness as chaos and orders thoughts were causing us to ride the razor edge.

There was a bolt from the blue and standing in the midst of the gathering was the one who had tried to turn Adam into his darker half he who walks between all extremes but is touched by none of them. The In-Betweener: a being who looked as if half of his body had been burned and blackened, while the other half was like ivory. His veins throbbed up and down as some mysterious substance was being pumped through their network it was all I could do to keep together.

A large gauntleted hand gripped me with an impossible strong yet strangely gentle grip it was Thanos and he looked terrifying amidst the conflagration of chaos and order twisting, shattering, breaking but always remaining true to himself.

“Do not despair,” said Thanos, “Chaos and Order do no effect me? But Beware the astral storm has not yet passed.”

To Be Continued...

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