...The More They Stay The Same
Click here to read Chapter 3 of The More They Stay The Same
Chapter 4 - Even Gold Can Turn To Dust
written by Adam (Norrin2112@aol.com) Funk
edited by E.A. (firstname.lastname@example.org) Morrissey
Click here for a black&white text version (good for printing!)
The four cosmic heroes appeared on the Rainbow Bridge, at least where it used to be. The carnage and destruction that lay all around them was beyond description. Frankie gasped and covered her eyes, unable to look upon the death fields. Alicia strained and strained, until finally she was able to sense someone alive. It was Odin, and he wasnt going to last long. The four raced to where the palace used to stand and found him under the rubble.
"Odin, can you hear me?"
"Aye noble Surfer." Odin was barely able to speak, blood coming with every word.
"What happened here? Who did this to you? What can I do to help you?"
"Surfer, Ragnarok has come, the twilight of the gods has arrived. I am the only one who remembers the real meaning of the word. Ragnarok literally means Thunder Eye in a tongue ancient when I was a child. The legends that have been passed down have been started by me, to throw off the children."
"Odin, what is the Thunder Eye?"
"Listen Surfer, my time is short. Tell Thor everything I did was for him. All I have ever done, was to assure he would become the man he is. I knew he would be the only one among us to survive, my union with Gaea made that reality."
"Odin, surely there is something I can do for you. Let me try to find ou "
"Nay Surfer. Destiny cannot be denied. I go to Valhalla willingly and without remorse. Watch after my boy, you could teach him many things. Live well, die with honor."
"Die well Odin. Your stories and songs will last twice as long as you have lived."
As Odin slowly succumbed to death, Frankie and Alicia wept quietly. If they cried out loud Odin would surely have chastised them. Firelord held Odin in his arms as he passed on to Valhalla. With Odins last breath Alicia and Frankie were able to let out there sorrow. Firelord screamed out and the Surfer let out a single tear. One tear showed the proper respect and was not too much.
The four were going to start burying the Asgardians when Ulik of the Trolls found them.
"I see the All-Father has fallen. A shame he did not die by my hand."
"Listen troll, I will tolerate no interference with you this day." Surfer answered. "Leave this place now and there will be no trouble."
"I believe you misunderstand our intentions noble Surfer. I have been in touch with the Frost Giants, and we are in agreement. They are on their way here now."
"Then we will stop you!" Firelord shouted."
"You dont get it, we come to honor the Asgardians. They have been our enemies since time began, we know them better than any mortal. We are going to bury the dead and keep Asgard safe from intruders. Perhaps one day you will be worthy to dwell here Surfer, but not today. You will leave now."
"I apologize Ulik." The Surfer stated. "Obviously I have misunderstood your presence here. I wish you well, my companions and I are leaving."
"Pyreus, this is the way it must be."
"Its OK Pyreus." Alicia interrupted. "I can sense only sorrow and regret in the Trolls and Frost Giants. They mourn for the Asgardians, their bitterest enemies and closest friends. Ulik, we wish you the best in the time to come. You and your brother Giants are guardians of the Golden Realm now, live up to that title.
"You have a wise mate Surfer, you should listen to her more often. Fare thee well outlanders, dont hesitate to stop by anytime."
"Thank you Ulik. If ever you have need of us, just call. Farewell."
With that, the four gathered on the Surfers board, and they were gone.
"So tell me Captain, "Jacob Radd asked, "dad has told me many times about the mutant population of Earth, yet I can detect none, where are they all?"
Suddenly everyone turned to Simon, who in turn looked at Jacob. A deep sadness came over Wonderman as he turned and walked out of the room, Jolly Roger and Barracuda following to try to help. The Vision turned from the monitor he was studying to look at Jacob, the same look of sadness in his eyes.
"Did I say something wrong?"
"Dont worry son." Cap answered. "The mutant situation still hits some of us hard. Let me start at the beginning. We know Victor Von Doom is the one who placed the barrier around Earth. What we dont know for certain is why. Reed Richards and Iron Man, the two who know Doom the best thought it was to stop outside forces from getting in. If Doom had no rivals from off world he could first take over Earth, then concentrate outward. Of course he made sure the Surfer and all cosmic heroes were off planet when he struck. The FF, with the aid of the Avengers were able to stop him, but the barrier didnt come down. We think even Doom didnt know what he was doing when he erected it. Doom probably thought he could dissipate the field when he was finished, he couldnt. Doom is still monarch of Latveria, how he has survived is also unknown to us. Perhaps it is a Doombot or he has transferred his mind into other, younger bodies. What we do know is that he has been pretty quiet for a while, kind of like a calm before a storm.
Then, on midnight, January 1st, 2000, came the first day of the Great Chaos. Apocalypse went to Australia and placed a force field around it, so no one could get in. Suddenly all across the world mutants just disappeared, every mutant, X-Men, Avengers, children, there were even reports of pregnant mothers whose unborn children just disappeared. All of them were transported to Australia, Apocalypse wanted to start the age where he was king. What he didnt know is that Cable was ready for him, he had gathered and trained the Twelve, the ones destined to stop Apocalypse.
For three days the Avengers, FF, and many other heroes tried to penetrate the shield around Australia, it was no use. On the third day a mental wave washed over the entire population. Apparently in Charles Xaviers death he flooded the mental plane. I have never seen a more gruesome or horrifying sight. Bodies, whole and in pieces lay all around, most unidentifiable. The desert was red with blood. There were still signs of fighting, but not much. In the end it came down to Apocalypse and Magneto. Apparently they fought for six more days, until they eventually killed each other, ending all mutant life on Earth. The field came down over Australia, but to this day it is still uninhabitable.
The picture only lasted a second, but it, with the presence of the barrier, was enough to drive the population to a panic. For two-hundred years the Great Chaos ruled Earth. New York, Chicago, Los Angles, London, Hong Kong, all the major cities all over the world were destroyed in the looting and fighting. Anarchy ruled the world. It was during this time that I was killed again, but like when I was frozen in the North Atlantic it was merely a cocoon like state. It seems when I was given the Super-Soldier serum, the "Vita-Rays" I was bombarded with were Eternal DNA. When I awoke one-hundred years after my death I was changed to nearly a full Eternal, with all their powers and, obviously, life span.
Since that time humanity has come together, nearly all the hatred and violence has been eradicated. With the absence of money there isnt anyone trying to get rich, and without that there is very little one can do to gain power over another. Greed was a driving force for humanity, take that away, and there are very few reasons to follow a madman or become indebted to one. There are still forces of evil and megalomaniacs trying to take over the world, but mostly we Avengers are engaged in saving the world from natural disasters and accidents. Though with the Earth now open once again, I wonder how long the peace will last."
"And Simons reaction?"
"He was deeply in love with a mutant Wanda, the Scarlet Witch."
"Captain." The Vision interrupted, troubled by what Cap had said but not exposing his emotions.
"Yes Vision, what is it?"
"I have a incoming call via Quasars Quantum Bands."
"On screen." Jacob tried to say something before the screen lit up, but he wasnt able to stop the reaction of surprise. On the monitor was a blue woman, obviously Kree, wearing the Quantum Bands.
"Greetings human, I am Pulsar, with who am I speaking?"
"I am Captain America, please forgive our reaction, last we knew Quasar possessed the Quantum Bands."
"Understandable, Wendell was a great man, and my husband. With his death Epoch gave the bands to me, to continue his work. At any rate, I was out here on the outer rim with Beta Ray Bill when he started to convulse. I have him in a protective bubble but cannot reach the Surfer or Firelord for assistance."
"They are in Asgard after a similar thing happened to Thor. Can you get him to Earth?"
"Of course, I will be there momentarily. Jacob, please try to reach your father."
"Will do Kay-Vaughn." The screen went black and Cap and Vision turned to Jacob.
"I take it the explanations of what has happened in the galaxy since we were cut off will be slightly more expansive than mine was."
"Captain, you dont know the half of it." Jacob answered.
Continued in Chapter 5 - The
Prerequisites of a God
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