Soul Food #2
PART ONE OF TWO
Continued from Soul Food #1
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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
“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.
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
“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
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
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
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
“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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