Cosmic Union (The Directors' Cut) Issue #7
Written and edited by the Silver Surfer
ISSUE #7: "UNEXPECTED TURNS"
Cosmic Union Writers from the Silver Surfer
Message Board: Asterisk, Anomaly,
Azmodi, Brother Voodoo, Grim, Marvelite, Morfex, Mystic, and Number 6.
Part One - When Despots Clash (Anomaly)
The Watcher, Oera, observed as Tyrant and the Destroyer/Thanos rearranged the fabric of existence in that sector of space. Oera suspected that the Destroyer armor would not be enough to defeat Tyrant, even in his weakened state. But perhaps that was never Thanos' intent.
Morg noticed the Watcher as he fled the terrible scene. "Watcher, the energies being released will destroy us both!"
"Then flee if you must, Morg. I choose to remain and witness the conflict."
Morg froze as even the suns began to grow dim in comparison to the conflagration being waged. The Watcher continued. "Observe."
The Destroyer exploded into Tyrant, knocking him into a planetoid. Tyrant smiled and redoubled his assault on the Titan-animated armor.
Thanos' voice emerged from the Asgardian construct. "It appears that your power does indeed have limits. It is no wonder that Galactus rejected you."
Tyrant began to strike with such fury that even the Destroyer began to buckle slightly against the first creation of Galactus. Tyrant spoke. "You have seen but a fraction of my might! I will draw on every last erg, until this universe is a smoking ruin!"
Thanos reeled as power beyond comprehension, the power of Galactus, was released. But Thanos wielded the creation of Odin, a creation meant to slay Celestials. Suddenly a hole was ripped into the universal material adjacent to the battle, and the Cosmic Balance came forth.
"Galactus!" gasped Morg. Even the Herald's eyes threatened to burn from their sockets.
"How can you look upon such things, Watcher? Do you think Thanos knew that Galactus would come?"
"Of course. Even Tyrant has predators, and Galactus is the ultimate predator." Even from this vantagepoint, the Watcher wondered if this would be her last observation. The power of ultimate disintegration was building in the Destroyer armor, waiting to be unleashed. And then it was released, and the question, could a creation of Galactus withstand the power of ultimate disintegration, might soon be answered. But it was not meant to be, as Galactus appeared between them taking its unrelenting fury in full. For a moment Galactus seemed to stagger, but only for a moment. The Devourer turned in the direction of Morg. With a gesture, Galactus absorbed the Power Cosmic from his former Herald. Thanos thought it interesting that nothing remained of Morg, there was no remaining organic body. Were Heralds truly naught but living Power Cosmic, he wondered? And if so, what of their original mortal forms?
"I AM GALACTUS! AND TYRANT, I HAVE COME FOR YOU!" Weakened by his return from oblivion and by his battle with the Destroyer, Tyrant succumbed to Galactus' might.
A teleportation device whisked the armored Thanos back to his base of operations before Galactus could turn his attentions on the Titan.
The Watcher, Oera observed without comment as Galactus and Tyrant departed as well. She turned her attention to Thanos' destination.
Back in the Hall of Victory, Thanos removed the Destroyer armor, slightly damaged, yet still intact. "You were made well, my powerful bodyguard. Subtlety has its place. But so does brute force."
Thanos' laughter echoed in Tyrant's slowly recovering mind. Tyrant awoke to find himself immersed in a red liquid that somehow kept him immobile. What was Galactus planning? And would Tyrant get another chance against the Mad Titan?
Part Two - A Curious Watcher (Brother Voodoo)
It was a very unorthodox move. Oera had heard of others breaking the code, but she was seriously contemplating the ramifications and repercussions. It was not her duty to warn, or to question. Her responsibility was only to watch. But, considering the universal consequences of what she had just witnessed, and the annoyance of never having witnessed an event in the past that would have such significance as this battle, she decided to break the most fundamental guiding principle of her ancient race.
In the blink of an eye, she transported across the infinite expanse of space and materialized in the Greenwich Village home of Stephen Strange, the Sorcerer Supreme of this Dimension. If anyone had an answer to this mystery, it would be this man and his allies.
Doctor Strange finished his mystic communication with the Silver Surfer, informing the former herald that Thor was being dispatched to remedy the Asgardian situation. Thor was explaining their Celestial findings to Adam Warlock when this mysterious, powerful entity appeared in Strange's Sanctum Sanctorum. "Greetings, Stephen Strange. I am Oera, the Watcher."
"It is truly a pleasure and a surprise, to have you visit my home," replied Strange suspiciously. These Watchers almost never communicated with mortals, he thought to himself. Uatu and Aron were clearly in a distinct, and notorious, minority in this respect. Now, in the middle of this impending crisis, a strange Watcher seeks an audience? Surely this does not bode well.
"I have recently witnessed a sequence of events transpire, which have left me puzzled, for the first time in eons. These events involved the Mad Titan, Thanos, and the renegade spawn of Galactus, Tyrant. Since I was aware that you inhabitants of Earth have had a history with these entities, it was my first thought to bring my question to you."
"Please, tell us more, mighty Oera," said Warlock, eager to ply any and all useful information from this well of records.
"I witnessed a cataclysmic battle between a recently reappearing Tyrant and an armor-clad Thanos." Continued Oera.
"Armor?" said Warlock. "Are you certain? Thanos has no need for armor. His tough hide is more impervious than any armor could hope to be," mused Warlock half under his breath.
"This was no ordinary armor," alerted Oera. "This was armor forged of Rhinegold, and enchanted by the All Father Odin."
"The Destroyer Armor," said Thor as he spun around in surprise. "Has Thanos animated this deadly armor?"
"No," cautioned Oera, "Not animated per se. And this is the reason for my visitation."
"Well, you have certainly captured our attention," said Strange.
"Thanos actually managed to wear this Destroyer armor, as if it were a more traditional shell of armor. And this has, heretofore, been forbidden by the Mighty Odin's very enchantments," stated Oera.
"Well " hesitated Thor.
"Thor. If you know something that relates to this, I believe that it is critical for you to reveal it to us," encouraged Warlock.
"It is one of Asgard's great secrets." continued Thor. "You are all familiar with the purpose for which this armor was created, correct?" asked Thor.
"To battle the Celestials of the Forth Host," said Warlock.
"Correct. And when the All Father ordered this armor to be made, he specified that it must be the most impervious, destructive battle weapon that had ever been conceived in the Nine Worlds. And upon completion, it certainly appeared to meet these requirements. But it was unproven," recounted Thor.
"I suppose I had never considered that," said Warlock. "Surely Odin would want to have tested it out before meeting the Celestials."
"Verily," continued Thor.
"So, Odin had decided that the next suitable opponent that threatened mighty Asgard would put this armor to the test. It turned out that not long after this, Ymir the great Frost Giant decided to assault Asgard, and this was the test that Odin had been waiting for. Unfortunately, Odin was on the brink of his Odin Sleep, and feared leaving his vulnerable physical body exposed while inhabiting the Destroyer armor to battle Ymir."
"So, for this one time, and this one time only, Odin place a secret enchantment, that required a special incantation, to allow his physical body to be shrouded in the Rhinegold armor. The battle was awe-inspiring and Odin was victorious proclaiming the Destroyer armor satisfactory for the job at hand. And this incantation was never used again. In fact, other than myself and Odin no one even knows of this enchantment," said Thor.
"Well, apparently Thanos knows," said Strange.
"Indeed," mused Warlock.
"He must have learned this during his omniscience, foresaw this knowledge as being useful in the future, and placed it in his future-self's mind," speculated Strange.
"My thanks," was all that Oera said, upon disappearing.
"You're welcome," said a suspicious Dr. Strange, as they went back to their briefing. The first thing that Warlock said, upon Oera's departure, was: "if our enemy has this enchantment, Thor, perhaps we should have access to it as well."
Thor hesitated for a second, then realized the soundness of this logic. He turned and whispered it in Dr. Strange's ear. Strange looked slightly amused and replied, "Of course, how obvious!"
Thor stepped to the open window. "With that, I bid thee all farewell. I go now to Asgard to meet the Silver Surfer."
As Oera went to the Watcher homeworld to relay this newfound information, she felt an uncomfortable and alien sensation. She had never felt anything like it, and was uncertain what it meant. As the veil lifted, and she materialized on the homeworld itself, she realized why she had this feeling. All the inhabitants had mysteriously vanished, with no trace. Then, she realized what she had felt. Terror.
Part Three - The Web Unravels (Mystic)
Adam Warlock and Stephen Strange both sat in deep contemplation. The Doctor had recounted the Surfer's telepathic communication about the Grandmaster's alliance. It was clear to Warlock that the Elder of the Universe would have his own agenda. He would prove to be useful. In the end, however, he would also be an enemy, and Warlock knew this from the start. Everyone covets power, and it did not matter who had it. What mattered more was making sure that no one had it. "Strange?" He turned to the meditating Doctor. "I have come to realize that whatever is going on appears to be an recurring event. There seem to be other beings that know of it. That may mean that it is cyclical."
"How does this help?" Stephen said looking puzzled.
"Have your assistant look through your library for any clues that might have happened in the past related to this. This event seems to be called the Union. It must have been documented somewhere."
"Yes," the Doctor said getting up quickly. "That is an excellent idea! Wong?" he called as he got up and left the room.
Warlock in the meantime observed the combat occurring through a view portal the Doctor had created. The X-men and Avengers were coordinating their efforts very well with Captain America leading them. Quasar had been correct, it all seemed more diversionary than anything else... something to keep them occupied. But Warlock knew that their time to act would come soon. He just needed to understand exactly what this "Union" was.
Thor arrived at the place that had once been Asgard. The ebon maw he last encountered there with Starhawk was now but a pinpoint in space. The void around him was unsettling, but he knew that he must await the Surfer's arrival. He stood upon the remaining edge of the Rainbow Bridge, as if on a cliff top overlooking nothingness. He turned instinctively. There, almost expectedly, stood his brother Loki
They exchanged no words. Each one knew what the other one wanted. Freeing Asgard was something Thor was willing to die for. In Loki's mind, however, Asgard would not be freed until he was the ruler of the realm. Even Odin would bow to him. Thor lifted his hammer and fired a mystic blast at Loki. A counter spell was conjured quickly. Mystic shields appeared surrounding Loki's body, protecting him from injury. Loki smiled a mocking smile. He waved his fingers as to tell Thor "Come and get me."
Thor spun his hammer and threw it at Loki while he was still grasping its handle. It was a move Loki expected. Loki opened a portal right in front of him ready to capture Mjolnir and Thor together. Before Mjolnir reached the portal, Thor spun his wrist quickly creating a maelstrom of dimensional energy. Thor went through his own portal before reaching Loki's. Loki was taken by surprise as Thor reappeared behind him.
From the back of his neck, Thor brought Mjolnir down full swing on the shields that surrounded Loki. A brilliant blast occurred as the shields cracked, releasing strong eldritch energies. Both were sent flying back several hundred meters in space.
As they recovered, a silver gleam flashed into the area. The Silver Surfer stopped to analyze the miniscule portal that had sucked in Asgard. As he did, both combatants realized what the Surfer planned to do. Loki teleported in front of the Surfer ready to cast a spell. Before he could, Thor spun Mjolnir and sent it flying at an incredible rate; the strap caught Loki's leg and sent him flying for kilometers before he could get himself loose. Meanwhile, the Surfer concentrated his energies at the hole. The portal resisted, but the Surfer continued and continued. Crackling dimensional energies swirled about as the Surfer gradually broke the dimensional bonds holding the hole closed. In an instant, the portal gave way, and Asgard, in all it's splendor, returned to its rightful place in the Universe.
"No!" A voice boomed from everywhere. Lord Odin had grown forty times larger and appeared to have been attempting to hold the portal together, as if Asgard was not meant to return to its place.
"Yes!" Another voice boomed as the entire space became fiery red against the black starry sky. A being made of fire emerged. Odin turned his head as the giant fire being stepped onto Asgard. "I am free!" it said as the palace buildings closest to his person caught fire. Everyone stared in awe as Asgard began to burn.
Thanos turned his head immediately as though he sensed something unexpected. Mephisto sat next to him sensing the same.
"It appears your adversary, Warlock, has thrown a kink in your plans," Mephisto commented.
"You fool! Warlock does not yet know the nature of our plan. Only a being that knows would release Surtur."
"My lord? We have disposed of any creature that might be old enough to know," he answered.
"Obviously, somebody has been overlooked," Thanos responded. "No matter. I'll dispose of them all, or use them like I have done with Tyrant," Thanos said, slamming a fist on the table.
"My lord. What did you do with Tyrant?" Mephisto said, interested.
"Bah! Read the logs. I have some thinking to do."
Thanos walked into another room and slid the door shut. It was clear that releasing Surtur was something that bothered Thanos. He would have to ponder just how it would change his plans.
Mephisto, meanwhile, approached the computer, still interested in Tyrant's whereabouts.
Part Four - Deceived Again (Anomaly)
Mephisto watched for Thanos to leave, then made his way to see what had happened to Tyrant. When he got to the computer console he gestured, and the tapes began to play. He was not worried about being watched, for no technology could capture his supernatural aura; such had been the case since the beginning. Mephisto was not even visible. More than once he had played the malcontent poltergeist in the affairs of humans. He had enjoyed the gasps, the screaming and vomiting. Such were his appetites, and he, like Thanos, sated them regularly. But today, Mephisto's appetites were drawn toward a certain battle; his ectoplasmic mouth salivated unholy liquids in anticipation. But something seemed to be wrong. The screen was blank. And then a face materialized on the screen. It was Thanos.
"I am sorry I could not be here, but I had other matters to attend. You are being held by a string of molecules shaped into a mystic circle. It is invisible to the unaided eye, and it will hold you, at least until I return. Some sage advice, Mephisto: Appetites are fine, as long as you are the one who is in control of them! Ha, ha, ha! This tape will repeat continuously until I return."
Mephisto hissed in revulsion. You will one day pay for this ignominy, Titan! I swear it on the flames of Hell itself!"
Mephisto thought of the Universal, then began to formulate a backup plan, should Thanos' grand designs fall short.
Part Five - Forbidden Fruit (Morfex)
As Thanos paced to his control center, he was interrupted by Maelstrom.
"I have thought carefully about my reward, Titan. I have decided that in the new scheme of things after we reshape the cosmos, I will sit on high as the new Oblivion!"
Thanos turned and grabbed Maelstrom by the shoulders, pushing him against the opposite wall. The Mad Titan's anger rose to deadly heights.
"NEVER. Do you understand me? Never are you to speak of this again. You cannot be Death. You cannot be Oblivion. You cannot be Eternity. You cannot be Infinity. The rest are inconsequential to me. Become Master Hate, for all I care. But NEVER even think about the four. They are FORBIDDEN. Have I made myself clear?"
Maelstrom valued the current plan more than his pride.
"Perfectly clear, Lord Thanos. It shall not happen again."
Thanos let the hybrid go. "See that it doesn't..."
Thanos continued on to his destination. Maelstrom contemplated the conversation carefully. "Thanos may have just tipped his hand..."CONTINUED IN COSMIC UNION #8
Check out Cosmic Union #8 for the continuation of this story. Be sure to also check out issue #0's special prelude to Cosmic Union. 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!