The More Things Change...
As the three of them stood on the Surfers board, space swirled and distorted around them. Within mere moments all space around them was pure white. They were in the Realm of the Cosmic Beings.
"Oh my god!!" Alicia gasped. "I can see!! Im not blind here!!"
"Of course not mortal." Came a voice from behind them. "In this realm you see not with primitive eyes, but with your soul, heart and mind. All of which you have in great abundance." The three turned to see who was speaking.
"Who is that Surfer?"
"The Stranger Alicia. Greetings Stranger, I trust you are well. We are here seeking Eternity. Is he not here?"
"Eternity has more important matters he is attending to. He cannot spare any of his consciousness for what you are asking for. He knows why you are here and what has transpired on Earth. He asked me to tell you that he cannot intervene."
"Cannot or will not?" Firelord asked hastily.
"Cannot Pyreus Kril. He has studied the situation and decided it would be improper to step in and meddle in the affairs of Earth."
"I cannot accept that answer Stranger!!" The Surfer stated with eyes blazing. "There must be something that can be done. Surely another of you gods can be of help to these oppressed people!!"
"Do not take that tone with me Norrin Radd. Eternity has declared Earth to be off limits, none of us shall go against his will. Suffice it to say that he knows more on the subject than you could ever fathom. Leave well enough alone."
"I wont accept that from any save Eternity himself." The Surfer stated. "Eternity!!" He screamed out. "I will not leave this realm until I have heard your reasons!!"
In front of the three heroes some of the white space began to phase into a being, a tremendous being. Firelord started to look uncomfortable. Alicia could only gape in awe, seemingly unable to even blink, much less turn away. But the Surfer stood his ground, as determined as ever.
"Surfer, your conviction is admirable, but to disturb me with these affairs grates my patience. The Stranger told you his words were mine. Why was that not good enough for you?"
"Mighty Eternity, I mean no disrespect. Earth is now my adoptive home. You promised help when needed, now refuse. We deserve the reasons from you personally."
"Your arrogance is above one of your station in this universe. Nevertheless, you will receive your answers. I am privy to many things you do not know. I see all realities, all futures. I know things about even yourself you couldnt possibly imagine. And I know about Earth, and the myriad of possible futures for it. Earth, if allowed to continue the way it was, would be conquered or would destroy itself within twenty-five years in ninety-eight percent of all realities. With the shield up they will survive in ninety-three percent of the realties. As you can plainly see, it is in their best interest to remain under their little barrier for the time being."
Alicia weeped softly. The Surfer seemed to ponder the things Eternity had said. Firelord could not keep his surprise hidden. None of the three were prepared for this revelation.
"If I may be so bold, what is to become of the conquered realties?" The Surfer asked.
"They account for seventy-two percent of the ninety-eight. Of them sixty-four percent will free themselves and go about their lives. Although most will never reach the station in the universe they would have if they had been allowed to evolve freely."
"I understand mighty one." Surfer stated. "I also thank you for your candid response. We will now leave you in peace to go about your work."
"Fare thee well Norrin Radd. And you as well Pyreus Kril and Alicia Masters. Though you do not know this yet, the three of you will be a great asset for this universe and myself. Yes, even you Alicia. The wonders and grandeur you will achieve you cannot possibly imagine now." With that the three were transported back to the real universe, exactly where they started from.
Continued in Chapter 5: Will Work For Shelter
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