1754Captain Marvel #87
- Apr 30, 2010The Realm Beyond Time and Space.
The Black Knight, Black Panther, Giant Man, Black Marvel, Blue Blaze, Shift, Private Marvel, and the Female Fuhrer had returned to the Realm Beyond via Merlyn's magic mirror. They were to stay put in this safe sanctum until called for by the Magistrate to aid him in his battle with the Surgeon General, if assistance were needed at all.
It was hoped that diplomacy would win the day.
"Hello, heroes," Epiphany said, appearing from the non-ether as though she were simply walking from out of dark shadows. The assembled heroes looked upon her with surprise, save Phyla, who knew who she was and didn't trust her. She snarled at the Abstract Entity, igniting herself with the mystical blue flame that was her namesake as the Blue Blaze.
"That can't hurt me," Epiphany said as she reached the assembly of heroes and put a hand on Shift's shoulder. "I am enlightenment. You are now enlightened, Shift. You'll be able to control your power until the enlightenment fades."
"How long will that be?" Shift asked, unaware of just what he was talking to. If he had known it wasn't merely another mutant like himself, he would have been too awestruck to say anything at all.
"It's hard to say," Epiphany said, "hopefully long enough."
She turned and walked away and began to fade into the blank whiteness of infinity. "Fight bravely and die well, Champions."
"She has no scent," the Black Panther said, staring in horror, "everything that lives has a scent "
"Trust me," Phyla said, "you don't want to know. Pray to the Panther God that we never see her or her like again."
"Time's up," Black Knight said, checking his helmet's monitor systems, "Genis was to return to the Realm Beyond by this point in the Realm Beyond's personal time-space if he didn't require our assistance. Let's move out."
"Avengers assemble," Giant Man said, as they went to the mirror, staring into the image of the Realm Between.
One at a time, the assembled heroes went through the full-length mirror. The Female Fuhrer, the last of them, hesitated, looking about the vast blankness, and a dark glimmer flickered in her eyes and lips, and then she went through.
Half Kree. Half Titan. A bastard child, born in a laboratory. Some even say he's destined for greatness. Destined to become something above the photonic energy manipulating powerhouse he is right now. He is Genis-Vell. He is Captain Marvel.
Captain Marvel #87
Writer: John Flint
Webmaster: Liam Gibbs
A dozen Slashers marched in rows of three upon the Magistrate, as the Surgeon General, belly pushed out, stood watching, arms behind his back, gleeful expression on his face as he watched.
The Magistrate simply stretched his arms straight out to the sides, powering up as golden energy swirled in his palms. He released a blast of energy from each palm which obliterated the end rows of Slashers, shredding through their strange armor, Darkforce energy flowing out like smoke.
The last three reassembled in a single row and came at him, slashing at the air with their machete-arms, capable of writing its targets out of existence. The Magistrate balled his hands into fists and pointed his pinkies and index fingers at them, and the Slashers paused in mid-stride, held tight in a wave of mystical current.
"Shall we continue this waste of my time and your resources, Surgeon General?" The Magistrate asked as he separated his fists, tearing the Slashers apart. "My patience grows thin."
"Very well, you've proven your mystical might," the Surgeon General acceded, "join me in the null-room and we will discuss the potentiality of a bargain between us that will satisfy both our ends."
"That suits me," the Magistrate said, and followed him into a far room which existed in its own null-field.
Once they were gone, the Champions began to flood into the massive hall. With its master and ruler missing, the automated intellect took command and the hordes of Slashers in various states of repair began to march towards the hall to put a stop to the intruders.
"Anomaly!" A Suture Artist shrieked as it bobbed through the air towards them.
"Hey, whatever that lady did, it worked," Shift said as he teleported away from the heroes. A Slasher swiped at him but missed as the mutant teleported away. "Oh man, I can only teleport through space now, not time!"
"Probably because this is the Realm Between," the Black Knight said as he unholstered a photon pistol and opened fire on the Slashers. "It exists between the first and second moments of the existence of the universe, between the Big Bang and Moment Two. It is a single, infinite point in time."
"That doesn't even make any sense," Rachel Wurstheimer said, pulling out her own photon pistol and laying down cover fire. Though they didn't puncture the Slashers' armor, it did slow them down.
Private Marvel opened her mouth wide and belted out a sonic attack that knocked the Slashers over. The Black Marvel summoned up mystical lightning and blasted the Slashers while the Blue Blaze blasted them with cosmic energy bolts.
Giant Man grew to twelve feet tall and stomped on the Slashers. They cut at his boots and he retreated. "Hey, BK! These guys can slice my armor!"
"They can slice anything," Black Knight surmised as he threw a grenade with wings flapping towards them. It flew until it found a target to land on, then promptly exploded.
The Slashers were unmoved.
"Don't hold back," the Black Panther said, leaping onto the nearest Slasher and holding him with his legs around the neck area, then flipping him into another of the black-armored robots, "this is life and death!"
"He's right," Blue Blaze said, igniting herself with blue flames, "give this everything you've got, or we're all goners!"
"What's new," Black Knight said as he pulled out a crossbow and fired a bolt at the nearest Slasher, hitting him with an EMP that momentarily staggered him.
"What does it take to take these monsters down?" Black Marvel asked as he smashed into a Slasher's chest, not so much as denting it.
"More than we've got," Black Panther said as he slashed at one with his anti-metal claws, causing it no harm, "keep going until the end!"
The Champions continued to wage war on the seemingly omnipotent Slashers.
The Magistrate and Surgeon General looked into each other's eyes, a battle of the wills silently waged. Each saw the power and strength in the other, the knowledge, the willpower.
"We must take the individual circumstances into consideration," the Magistrate began, "use the anomalies to create a better universe than the one we have now."
"No, we must accept things as they are and ensure that they stay that way," the Surgeon General replied. "What is, is. We can't change that. The laws of physics are immutable. We can only enforce them or let them wane and watch as Entropy takes over."
"Who says the law is set in stone? Why can't we create new, better laws? We have the power to affect spacetime"
"Not our place, Magistrate," Surgeon General snapped. "Ours is not to question."
"How do you know that we can't restructure reality, improve upon it?"
"How do you know you won't just make things worse by your meddling?" The Surgeon General scoffed. "You're still young, Magistrate "
"I've trained my mind for the role of the Magistrate for a thousand years in inner-space and"
"I've been the Surgeon General for a million years, Magistrate," the Surgeon General revealed, "and I've seen schemes such as yours. Sometimes you have to just clear out the tumors in the fabric of spacetime. Sometimes they prove to be benign; sometimes they can spread to worse and worse growths. You have to cut them out, all of them, to be safe. There's no way of knowing which is which."
"Let me keep these anomalies, then; I'll keep them under observation outside of spacetime. If they prove a threat of any sort, I'll destroy them myself."
The Surgeon General laughed. "You would destroy your `son' and `daughter'?"
"If it comes to that, it is my duty to preserve the continuity of spacetime," the Magistrate said solemnly. "I so swear it."
"Very well," the Surgeon General said, "but I have a few other considerations, as well "
[A short time later, in the way that time is measured in the Realm Between.]
The Champions found themselves at a standstill, unable to harm the Slashers but skilled enough to avoid destruction themselves, until the armored robots suddenly halted their attack and retreated to their various rooms.
The Surgeon General and the Magistrate returned from the null-room, a compromise having been struck.
"What happened?" Blue Blaze asked.
"We have struck a deal," the Surgeon General smiled, puffing out his flabby chest, "the Magistrate will excise a few malignant growths for me, and in return, I shall allow him to keep your anomalies under house arrest in the Realm Beyond."
"What?" Rachel Wurstheimer said, "I will not"
The anomalies and Champions blinked away to the Realm Beyond at a mere flick of the wrist of the Magistrate. "She will learn to live with the decision," the Magistrate said.
"One more thing before you go," the Surgeon General said. "Are you going to tell them about the reason why this is happening?"
"No," the Magistrate said, "it would not do to tell them that I am somehow responsible."
The Surgeon General nodded and the Magistrate disappeared in a bright burst of yellow light.
NEXT TIME: THE SENTENCE
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