...The More They Stay The Same
Chapter 1 - A Brave New Worldwritten by Adam (Norrin2112@aol.com) Funk
Somewhere in the outskirts of Oklahoma a young woman was putting her laundry out to dry. It was summertime, and while the dryer could dry the clothes in a few minutes, she liked the smell of the laundry after it was hang dried. She had just finished and laid back on a lawn chair to read a book when the sky suddenly went haywire. Waves of silvery light and lightning were being thrown around high up in the stratosphere.
When the display finished the sky was a much deeper blue. Air raid sirens and her neighbors shouting were the only sounds. She ran inside to turn on the Holovision. She didnt know exactly what had happened, but she knew it was big. While watching she started getting dressed in her work uniform. Her vacation at an abrupt halt, Natasha knew the others would need her.
In the deserts of Egypt three archeologists stopped work on rebuilding the Great Pyramid as the sky went crazy. Cleo, Omar, and Firas watched the sky until it was clear the disruption was gone. Cleo stared off into nothing for a long time, oblivious to everything going on around her. Finally she returned to Earth and looked at her two friends.
"Its coming, I can feel, its really coming!" she said excitedly.
"What the hell are you talking about?" Omar asked.
"Are you going to start with that crap again?" Firas asked, annoyed it had been brought up yet again. "For as long as anyone remembers your family has worked here, on the pyramids, this is your destiny."
"O ye of little faith, since I was born Ive known I am destined for greatness, this is the first sign."
"Yeah, the first sign that the sun has baked your brain!" Omar teased.
"Mock me while you can." Cleo said. "Soon you will be worshipping me like the goddess I am!"
"Yeah yeah, can we just get back to work goddess, us mortals have things to do." Firas stated, heavy with sarcasm.
Alicia Radd was awoken from a good sleep by a billion voices in her head. She covered her ears in a desperate attempt to stop the voices, but it was no use. She sat up suddenly and started her exercises to control her telepathy and eventually gained control. The most astounding thing was where the thoughts were coming from. Earth!
"Alicia! Alicia are you decent?" Frankie swooped into her house. "Alicia something has happened with Earth. Its all over the news net and I got this funny feeling a few minutes ago. I think the barrier is gone."
"I know Frankie, I was just hit with a telepathic wave from there." Alicia answered rubbing her eyes. "Im going to send out a call to Norrin and Pyreus then were going to take a look ourselves!" Just as Alicia sent the message a man ran into her house.
"You will not believe what has just happened!!" He shouted.
"We know Jaratan." Alicia answered. "Now come here and give me a kiss. You never come around anymore and Im starting to "
"Oh mother!" Jaratan interrupted. He walked over with a smile on his face and gave Alicia a kiss on the cheek. "I thought I told you when I hit three hundred years old to stop babying me!"
"Dont give me that crap!! Im still your mother and even when you turn three thousand years old I will still be your mother. And I am real tired of that "we dont need to eat" hooey when I tell you to come over for dinner. When I tell you "
"Yes mother!!" He said with all the subtlety of a brick wall while rolling his eyes. Frankie could only giggle at the exchange.
Alicia got out of bed, stretched, and changed over to her spacefaring form. Nova and Jaratan did the same and they were off. On their way out of the atmosphere Alicia got a call from President Roma-Kim. She wanted to make sure they remembered to warn the Earthlings of the Kree presence in the system. Alicia assured her that she would not forget as they headed for Earth.
As the three rounded the Sun the Surfer, Firelord and Jacob Radd, Norrin and Alicias first born son, joined them on their way. They were coming back from Terraxs planet, Tyros, after a week long bachelor party for him. The three of them wore silly smiles and werent able to fly exactly straight. Pyreus was in the middle of a joke, and at the punch line all three erupted into laughter. This was the fourth time Alicia saw Norrin drunk. While it was still kinda cute, now was not the time, and he knew it. As their laughter died down Jacob noticed the stern looks from Alicia, Frankie, and Jaratan. He muttered a "uh oh" which threw them back into a fit. Almost all at once they got somber and purged the alcohol from their systems.
Firelord looked at Nova with a smirk and shrugged. She tackled him and began grilling him on the weeks events. The Surfer grabbed Alicia and gave her a deep kiss. Jaratan began giving a speech about drinking with the low life of the galaxy, but was left behind by the five as they wandered off to Earth.
As they neared Venuss orbit, the Surfer told the others to stay behind. He felt it would be better to have a familiar person do the "first contact" with the Earthlings. The others agreed. As the Surfer flew off to Earth, Alicia began interrogating Jacob about their week of debauchery.
The first thing the Surfer noticed was the lack of the barrier. The second was Babel. Around the equator there was a structure in geosynchronous orbit. There were six towers that anchored the ring to the planet. It started when the original tower was built to be an elevator to the stars. With the "space race" over, the different agencies of the world collaborated to be one step ahead of the game once the barrier was gone. No longer would rockets burn inside the atmosphere, instead there was a safe and clean way to the top.
The Surfer was staggered by the accomplishment. He was giving it a good look when a being came flying up at him from the surface. The Surfer recognized him immediately. He was about to say hello when he was tackled by an over enthusiastic thunder god.
"Greetings friend Surfer!!" Thor shouted. "It is indeed good to see you again!"
"It is good to see you again as well my friend." The Surfer answered. "I see the years have changed you not at all. Although I see your dialect has become much more American."
"Aye! A thousand years in that country will do that to you. Come. The others are waiting anxiously to greet you!!"
The Surfer followed Thor around the planet to the middle of the Atlantic ocean. There one of the six towers went down into the ocean. This was the Avengers new home base. Half of the tower belonged to the Avengers while the rest, the top part, belonged to S.H.I.E.L.D. The Surfer was amazed that these organizations survived the years, truly they were very important to the planet.
Just under a mile over the waves there was a very large balcony on the tower. The Surfer could see there were a few people standing there awaiting them. As Thor made his way there the Surfer instantly recognized two of them.
"Greetings Avengers, I am the Silver Surfer. I assume you know of my time on this world in its past. It is good to see the mantle of Captain America and Iron Man have remained."
"Um Surfer" Cap replied as he and Iron Man looked at each other. "Its us." Cap and Iron Man removed their masks to reveal Steve Rogers and Tony Stark. "Come on inside, we have a lot to discuss."
Ronan was in the middle of a deep sleep when his radio started buzzing. Furious he sat up, turned on his light and answered its call.
"Whoever is waking me up right now had better have a damn good reason. I want to hear that the galaxy just blew up, otherwise prepare for my fury!!"
"My lord, a thousand apologies. If it was not important you would not have been disturbed. Long range reports just came in. The Earthen barrier is gone." Two minuets later Ronan wearing only his robe burst into the Operations Center.
"I want a full report Commander Jas-Ner."
"Sir. Our long range scout ship in the Terra sector just reported that the barrier surrounding Earth has disappeared. They are sending a full download now of the events. It should be ready within five minutes."
"Excellent. See to it that the full information is sent to my preparation chamber. You were right in waking me Commander, I do not forget those who act with the best interest of the Kree in mind."
"Thank you sir. I live only to serve you and the empire."
Ronan walked up the stairs to his chamber. The words that Jas-Ner had said ringing in his mind. The empire. The empire consisted of very little these days. Hala was finally made habitable about two hundred years ago. There is a mock government set up there, under Ronans secret rule of course. There is no military to speak of. All of that is hidden throughout the galaxy. We dont want to prematurely show our hand before we are ready. The Kree on Hala are concerned with bringing it back to the glory it was, back to the center of the universe.
Ronan disrobed and put on his green armor. He sat in front of the screen and called up the information downloaded from Earth. He was studying the images when he saw Thor, a wide smile crossed his face. This was the information he needed. Ronan quickly stood up and went to the pentagram on the floor, with fevered enthusiasm he muttered the incantation again.
The Surfer followed Cap and the others through the tower to the meeting room. As they passed through the halls the Surfer couldnt help but admire all the paintings and pictures on the walls. The Avengers had been going for a thousand years straight, and there have been thousands of members. The sense of history and tradition that flowed from the halls was amazing. Inside there were a few of the Avengers of this time, and two more familiar faces, Simon Williams, Wonder Man, and Hercules, the son of Zeus. Cap introduced the others as Barracuda, a beautiful young woman descended from Namor, Tarantula, a woman covered in a black costume similar to Spider-Mans, Jolly Roger, a swashbuckling pirate throwback to the 1800s, and Jack Hammer, an extremely large man that controls shock waves. Herc told Cap that Vision and Lioness were on their way.
The Surfer sent for Alicia and the others as they made themselves comfortable. Thor went out to the balcony to greet and show them the way to the meeting room. The Surfer explained the presence of the Kree on Hala-Tor and throughout the system. As the Surfer was explaining Thor and the others came in, but Alicia wasnt with them.
"Hey dad" Jacob said, "as we crossed over America mom suddenly freaked out about someone being alive and flew off to New York. Any idea what she meant?"
"I think I do." Iron Man answered. "The reason Im still alive and kicking after all these years is Reed and I were working on a way to travel back in time. We were trying to stop Doom from forming the barrier before he finished it. Reed, Sue, Johnny, Ben and I were going to try the platform when the systems shut down. The barrier wouldnt allow time travel. As it collapsed we were bombarded in chronal energy. Somehow the explosion froze our bodies in time. We can still move and breathe, but do not age."
"So Alicia sensed Ben." The Surfer said. As the Surfer spoke a incoming call started ringing. Susan Richards was on the line and said Alicia was there and they were coming up to the tower. Surfer could hear Alicia in the background, laughing and crying at the same time. She had truly missed Ben.
Cap and Simon were talking while the call went through. They appeared to be upset.
"Surfer" Cap started "I understand you are speaking for these Kree, but you have to understand our position. For the Avengers, the Kree have been nothing but trouble. Im sure you can appreciate what we are saying. I know youve had as many problems as we have, if not more."
"Of course I know your position Captain, and completely understand. But if I, a sworn enemy of the Kree Empire can side with these renegades of the Empire, surely you can see that they are exactly what I say they are. In no way connected to the Kree you know and loathe."
"And that, Surfer, is why we are giving you the benefit of the doubt." Cap answered. "Just understand if we keep an eye on them."
The Surfer nodded and walked towards the balcony, waiting to greet his oldest friends. He knew the humans would be slow to accept the Kree in the same solar system as them. Somehow though, he didnt think it would be this bad. Perhaps their time under the barrier caused even more harm than he originally thought. The humans before were xenophobic, now they could be a thousand times worse. Every year, every generation, becoming more and more comfortable in their shell. Like prisoners incarcerated for many years, they came to depend on their walls, not hate them. Nearly forty generations had been born and died since the barrier was erected. Now their security blanket has been abruptly yanked away. This did not bode well in the Surfers mind.
Continued in Chapter 2 - The First Step of a Thousand Years
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