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The Once and Future Knight: Convergence

Chapter Text

Beginnings

 

`All we ever see of stars are their old photographs…There is no future …I am tired of Earth… There is no past. Do you see? Time is simultaneous, an intricately structured jewel that humans insist on viewing one edge at a time when the whole design is visible in every facet…That is the crowning unlikelihood. The thermo-dynamic miracle…I think I shall create life…End? Nothing ends !@@#*. Nothing ever ends…’

 

 

I am Uatu, the Watcher. I have observed the planet Earth and its many counterparts across the multiverse for as long as I have been a Watcher…this planet, and the fate of all planets and all universes now hang in the balance.

            Since time immemorial began, the worlds have stood before the precipice of darkness and despair time and time again. The coming threat to existence, however, will require all the strength and skill of those that are needed. The multiverse is changing. I have observed its pace lately. It is being harmed. Harmed by forces known by many names, but are chiefly known as the Heartless. The dark malefactors have begun their destructive actions and the plight is about to begin. I am about to break a solemn vow and take unprecedented steps to ensure the survival of not only my universe, but all universes, all worlds, and all living things. They are…precious to me.

            I belong to a race of beings known simply as the Watchers. We are an old race, nearly as old as the multiverse itself. We are interested in predominately with the pursuit of knowledge. Knowledge is the ultimate treasure. But we are untrusting of other beings with our knowledge. I shudder as I remember the time when we tried to use our wonders to aid a struggling civilization. We gifted that planet with the means to lift themselves and take their place in the cosmos with the other advanced beings. Alas, their leaders used that power selfishly. In the end, they were themselves destroyed by the very technology we had sent to uplift them. Ever since then, Watchers take a solemn vow to take a passive approach to life. To study only and never interfere. I have only broken my people’s oath only once before. I am about to do it again.

        It is nearly midnight by the standards of man. Rest is not a viable option. Not when so much weighs upon my conscience. I approach the gates of my domain. I live on the sole satellite[1] which orbits the planet I have over millennia come to care deeply for. I will soon have guests. Beings from the worlds that I have chosen to represent the struggle against the darkness. They will seek out champions for our survival. Knights, if you will permit. My heart weighs thick as sweet nectar and heavy as a lead trap. I run my feet through the dirt of the Moon and scoop up a handful. The way of life is fragility. Remembering how quickly species disappear from the hourglass of history that I have observed throughout the billions of years of my existence reminds me of this dust...the human philosopher Socrates observed the passage of time and its significance for life. “Like the sands of the hourglass, so are the days of our lives.”

It is one minute to midnight. I drop the dust. With no oxygen on the vacuum, it slowly falls to the ground and dissipates. How easily these beings on the Earth have fallen through the sands of time. Our universes are held together by both a common nexus in the Big Bang as well as a powerful etherial which has many different names across the realms. It goes by many names; the Force[2], the Power Cosmic[3], the Source[4], or merely Matter. It is the life-blood of the cosmos that has enabled all that is, all that was, and all that shall one day be. It is a sentient being that exists in all that lies before us.

         As I stride from my portico to my observation post I gaze at the blue marble that hovers before me. The Earth. It has other names in other worlds. But to me, it is the planet that I have been assigned to observe. It is a seemingly insignificant speck in the vast impermanence of space. Its existence would barely render an hour in the lifetime of the universe. And yet, what should be a mere footnote in the history of the universe is proving to be quite remarkable. The inhabitants of this planet are truly remarkable. Indeed, the inhabitants of most versions of this planet are extraordinary in their own way. Their intricate ways in which the dominant species has managed to weather the other travesties which have ravaged other universes is quite extraordinary. I smile thinking about it. But I must continue. I raise a panel up and chart a course. I must get to these individuals. The individuals who will reverse the course of the darkness. I am getting ahead of myself.

           As a Watcher, I experience time differently. I relive and experience everything while also living the present. I am seeing all that transpired that have led to our grim hour and I am recording this in the hopes to prevent the premature destruction of our universe, however inevitable its eventual destruction may be.

         To understand where we are and where our collective journey is headed, we must begin to comprehend the importance of that which came before.

         Our multiverses began at the climax of the last universe. During the destruction of that universe, six singularities were compressed that contained the last remaining elements of that universe’s essence; time, soul, space, power, reality, and the collective mind. The pressurized forces would become solidified as a result of the Big Bang that created our multiverse. In time they would become known as the Infinity Stones.           

  Another artifact that contained aspects of the previous universe included the M’Kraan Crystal. Inside this mysterious diamond-like structure would house an entire micro-galaxy. When the first planets formed the power with which was harnessed in the crystal would lead to the creation of the first civilization in our multiverse with the power of space travel, hominid avian beings known as the Shi’ar. They would use this unlimited power to create the great empire of Earth 616, The Shi’ar Empire.

There were only two living beings from the previous universe to survive its destruction; the life-force being known as the Phoenix. The Phoenix’s sole drive is the pursuit of power, power above all else. It is as attracted to great energy as a moth is to the warmth of the great red flower[5]. If it is bonded with a powerful host, the Phoenix Force could bring about destruction hitherto untold in the annals of our great multiverse. I was there 5 years before our current events and witnessed the Phoenix’s last host, the mutant Jean Grey, as she perished to save the universe from its powers. My apprentice was a close friend of Ms. Grey’s. It was a sad day for Professor Charles Xavier and his X-Men. Mutants have been through much, I’m afraid. But the issues concerning mutants shall be discussed at another date.

The other being to survive was a mere mortal; Galan of Taa. His survival would come at a great burden. Galan’s body became the size of a moon, and his sole means of sustainment would be the essence of entire worlds; the heart of worlds and the world’s anti-matter. His purpose in this new universe would be to sort out the matter that planets consume that need to be naturally culled. Though at first, he did his best to avoid those planets with life on them, Galan eventually became colder and targets planets indiscriminately. He built machines to absorb the life-force of these planets. He is known by many names throughout the cosmos. His most relevant name for this tome is Galactus, the Destroyer of Worlds. Perhaps no single being has ever caused the sort of dread that he brings to the world. Some worlds he has spared in exchange for an inhabitant to serve as a herald. Galactus bequeaths upon these unfortunate souls the Power Cosmic.

Various races and beings began to emerge from across the multiverse; The Skrull, a reptilian based race of humanoids. The Kree, a warlike empire that has been at war with the Skrull. Cosmic entities that made up the new multiverse’s realities including Eternity, Infinity, the Living Tribunal and the Elders of the Universe. A new force of life known as the supernatural began to appear. They would lead to the creation of magia, aether, and aegis. The realms of reality began to split up and there was a great tree, Yggdrasill[6], that divided the planes of existence into 9 levels. The first dimensions appeared under them and the demons Gozer the Gozerian[7] and the evil Lord of Locusts were rulers who sought to expand their dominions. Their followers wrought much destruction upon the world. The ones who destroyed them will make for incredibly useful support during the battle to come. I frown. No. The War to come.

It is now 30 seconds to midnight. A glimmer of light is reflecting from the only settlement on the dark side of the Moon, the Inhuman city of Attilan[8]. I must prepare myself for the arrival of guests. Guests who will find the chosen champions to rescue our imperiled multiverse. I summon a pedestal that contains a small kitchenette. On it is a pot of tea. It was a gift from my friends on Earth-616, the Richards. I suspect their son will be very crucial to the coming conflict someday.

The many species of the multiverse come to my mind, along with their histories. When the Shi’ar ascended to the cosmos, a warrior class of Force manipulators emerged. They became known as the Jedi[9]. Their primary concern was the light side of the force and protecting at all costs. Fifteen-thousand years passed and another group of acolytes emerged. These people wished to observe the personification of the soul within the Force known as the heart. The heart of men, the heart of worlds. And that great place from which the light of all worlds is born; Kingdom Hearts. In preserving the Heart of Worlds in the Realm of Light, they forged weapons to combat darkness. These weapons were the keyblade and the warriors the Keybearers.

Eventually, both societies of peacekeepers began to lust over the great powers with which they wielded. This lust for power would prove too great for some. Thus, a great schism would be created. The apostates of the Jedi would turn to the Dark Side of the Force. They would become feared and dreaded as the Sith. After a great civil war known as the Clone Wars, the Jedi were betrayed by one of their own and nearly destroyed. Their schism would lead to the end of the Old Republic and the beginning of an evil Empire ruled by the Sith Lord Darth Sidious. The keybearers fared little better; They fought a war over the light and nearly all the multiverse was lost to it. Only the light in the hearts of children turned back the terrible damage wrought by the Keyblade War. Kingdom Hearts was lost and has never returned to the realm of light. From that awful conflict came a new entity upon the multiverse. The plague of the multiverse which now threatens to destroy all: The Heartless[10].

On a planet several million years ago, humans and animals were experimented on by the Celestials. The Celestials were the first life-forms to emerge after the great beginning of the multiverse. That planet would become the Earth of today. On an island off the coast of Antarctica, Nawali created a wildlife sanctuary that housed the remnants of the great saurian and others in a sustained habitat, as well as the lost people of the Moon. Of the humans who were experimented upon, three groups of powered groups appeared. The god-like Eternals and Deviants, warring groups, formed the basis of much of the Earth’s mythos. The Inhumans were created by exposure to the Terrigen Mists and they have lived in isolation for many years in their ever-shifting city of Attilan. And the mutants…they are the future of mankind. Sparse though they were, they grow in numbers ever more rapidly now because of the dawn of the atomic age.

On another version of the Earth, a group of beings created by a visiting god named Arcaeus began to live alongside humanity. Using the Force, they tapped into the Aura of all beings and from that aura, they developed their unique and astonishing abilities. They became known as the Pokémon.

It is 15 seconds to midnight. The tea is singing. I summon a tea set and pull a lever, thus bringing a table. My apprentice, the mutant Nightcrawler, begins to set the table. He turns to me and asks,” Mein Freunde[11], the dark clouds gather. I only hope that the Professor is successful in bringing together the necessary help in our world.”

My apprentice has had a difficult life. He was born Kurt Wagner and is a kind, fun-loving man whose devoutness is juxtaposed against a demonic form. After his mother, the mutant known as Mystique[12], abandoned him in the night he lived in a circus. But that too is a story for a later date.

“I agree, Nightcrawler. The hour draws closer everyday…We may not be enough.”, I reply.

  Five seconds to midnight…I remember the trials of the life-forms I observe. I see the ones that call themselves the Ghostbusters sending Gozer the Gozerian back to his evil dominion.

   Four seconds to midnight. I see another version of Earth that I had not discovered before…a land of four nations. I wonder why I see this land.

      Three seconds to midnight and I can see three travelers with Pokémon with them…are they the ones who will champion our cause.

         Two seconds to midnight and I can see two star-crossed lovers. A Queen and a Bone creature. Their love is strong but duty pulls them from another. In these times of darkness and despair, it is loving possible among anyone of any species.

            One second…I see the one who will open the Door to the Light…the lost Keybearer.

            Midnight. So begins the great gathering.

Several forms begin to emerge. Two of them are men I know very well, a sorcerer and a bald mutant in a wheelchair. The third is a woman with a painted face and an earth-toned dress. I do not remember inviting her. The fourth is an elderly woman, with a regal presence befitting a warrior and a former queen. The final member is a sorcerer as well. He is considerably older and with the gait of a man who has seen much in the centuries of his existence. His long blue wizard’s hat has many stars and crescent shapes upon it…it contain great magical potential.

The man in the wheelchair and the Sorcerer are friends as well, and they are conversing.

            “The nightmare realm is child’s play compared to dealing with traffic on the Washington bridge. Charles, I cannot for the life of me understand why you would take it upon yourself to drive all the way from upstate to the Sanctum Sanctorum when I could have brought you there easily with the Orb of Agomotto.” The sorcerer, Dr. Stephen Strange, addresses the man in the wheelchair in slightly fatigued annoyance.

            The man named Charles Xavier, leader of the X-Men and one of the most powerful of all telepaths, merely smiled at Strange and replied, “It was scarcely any trouble at all Stephen. And I would hardly regard something as mundane as driving through some traffic as perilous as dimensional demons.” He laughed and continued,” Besides, Hank[13] was attending a conference this week at Columbia so I decided to accompany him on our way there. And how could any man of New York say no to a slice of Ray’s original pizza?”

            Dr. Strange laughs again. “I suppose. Sometimes I get so caught up in the arcane I forget to indulge in the finer parts of my city. I still have yet to catch ‘Hamilton’.”

            “I saw it with Kitty[14] this past February. It was superb!”

            “So Wong[15] keeps telling me.”

            The Professor makes eye contact with Nightcrawler. Nightcrawler’s blue furry visage lights up and he smiles a big toothy grin. His pointed prehensile tale appears and he waves his gentle three-fingered hands and says,” Gutten Nacht[16] Professor! Have you brought my collection of Errol Flynn movies?”

            “I have Kurt. It is good to see you again. How is your training coming along? Is the mobile Danger Room[17]that Forge[18] created performing satisfactorily?” The Professor beamed in obvious pride at his former student.

            Nightcrawler smiles and proceeds to demonstrate his mutant ability of teleportation. After disappearing in a sulfuric cloud of smoke that caused the new arrivals to gag somewhat. Kurt appeared on the top of my facility and then teleported down almost as quickly, bowing as he did so. The professor smiled, clearly satisfied with his performance.

            “Very good Kurt. If only I had the same luck with Logan[19]’s training.”

            Nightcrawler laughs and says, “That is true. And he’s a member of the Avengers!”

            The Professor and Nightcrawler both shared a good laugh after that.

            The other three raise confused glances among themselves. The mysterious lady in paint is the first to speak,” Did anyone catch even one word of that?”

            The elder Sorcerer, a man named Yen Sid replied “I have a better time understanding the word of ducks. And I know several ducks.”

            The older woman, the former Queen Rose Harvestar of Atheia[20] grouchily grumbled, “Whatever it was, it is trivial as jacks. My granddaughter and the entire universe are at stake here.”

            Finally, I speak. “I agree.” I gesture to the lady I am unfamiliar with, “I do not remember summoning you. Who might you be, oh stranger?”

            From her appearance, I notice something that had not occurred to me…she is dead. Her body is entirely in an astral form. She is clearly someone of great power.

            “I was Avatar Kyoshi. I was the Avatar of the Earth Kingdom, in the world of the Four Nations,” she began.

            Yen Sid spoke. “I have brought her here. She is a member of a reincarnation cycle known as the Avatar, a being who can manipulate both the spiritual and physical elements. She wishes to discuss bringing the current Avatar to the forefront. He is a boy named Aang and he will be useful in the conflict ahead. I have already sent my keybearers to their world now to seek him out.”

            The warrior queen regarded Yen Sid with a look of skepticism. “So, you divert resources away from the current crop of warriors we need to find in favor of unproven potential. I have not heard nor seen this Avatar in motion and he is therefore presented as useful to our cause as a bean salesman.”

            Avatar Kyoshi shot a glare at her. “You will live to eat those words when the Avatar saves the universe from The Heartless that your granddaughter and her…bone creature friends are clearly ill-equipped to comprehend, let alone deal with.”

            The former Queen Rose was livid, “Now, you listen here…”

            I raise my hands. “Enough,” I say. “We have not time to spare anymore on petty disputes. We must prepare. Our enemies' forces are gathering. Can you not feel the multiverse receding to darkness?”

            They all calm themselves. They seem to agree.

            “Good. Let us settle in. Nightcrawler! Fetch us the sustenance. This will be a long two hours of deliberation.”

            With a quick Javoul, Nightcrawler makes his way to the kitchen.

            I materialize an hourglass. The sand begins to fall almost immediately.

“Let this meeting commence. State your name and rank. Uatu, the Watcher.”

“Doctor Stephen Strange, Sorcerer Supreme.”

“Avatar Kyoshi of Kyoshi Island.”

“Rose Ben Harvestar, former Queen of Atheia.”

“Yen Sid. Sorcerer and former keyblade master”

“And I am Charles Xavier, telepath and the foremost expert of Mutation.”

I nod my head. “Good. Let us begin. Our first order of business; Where is the one who commands Pokémon and aura. I had a vision of him. We must have him.”

As we begin our conversation, I think again to the sand in the hourglass. Like sands of the hourglass, so are the days of our lives.

 

 

[1] Satellite is the astronomical term for moon.

[2] The Denizens of the Star Wars galaxy refer to the universe’s essence as this.

[3] A power that is viewed similarly to the Force.

[4] Jack Kirby’s creation that Includes the fabled Anti-Life Equation.

[5] This is a reference to the “red flower” metaphor from Kipling’s Jungle Book.

[6] The Norse world tree that connects the 9 realms.

[7] A Sumerian god of destruction.

[8] The city of the Inhumans and the seat of the royal family

[9] A religious sect that are strong with the Force.

[10] Creatures born of the darkness in the hearts and souls of morals.

[11] German for 'My friend'

[12] A shape-shifting mutant and associate of The Brotherhood of Mutants.

[13] Dr. Hank McCoy, aka Beast. He is a mutant with the appearance of a furry blue goliath.

[14] Kitty Pryde, a young mutant with the ability to phase through solid objects. She is often accompanied by her dragon, Lockheed.

[15] A sorcerer and friend to Dr. Strange at the Sanctum Sanctorum.

[16] German for 'Good Night'.

[17] The Danger Room is a world-class training room that specializes in Mutants. It is located in the basement of the X-Mansion.

[18] A Native American mutant with great technological genius.

[19] A Canadian mutant who goes by Wolverine. He has a skeleton and claws fused with Adamantium, a nearly unbreakable metal. He also has an advanced healing factor. No one knows with certainty how old Logan is.

[20] A lush forest kingdom surrounded by deserts.