RISE: The Avatar of Oblivion - Part 2
Location: The Outer Void
The Mirror. It has no other name than that. A simple item that allows one who no longer exists to see into the waking world. For some, it is way for someone to see loved ones enjoying life. But for those like Phyla-Vell, every second is torture. However, nothing was worse than the truth.
“That can’t be possible… It doesn’t make sense...” She trembled as she spoke. Falling to her knees, she stared in disbelief to what she had heard.
“It’s true, Phyla,”Oblivion said. “You were indeed born by your mother’s hand, but that life, in it’s entirety, was not set by the rules of the universe. Your existence was an accident caused by your brother... when he destroyed and reset your universe.”
Nothing, but the truth. That was what she and Oblivion agreed to, but this was beyond any understanding. She shook her head in defiance as the tears formed. It was impossible, she thought. It had to have been.
“Boss… I think you might need to do that thing,” Maelstrom whispered.
“Yes… It looks like I have no choice.” Oblivion reached towards her, but she froze in fear of him. “Hopefully, you’ll know how sorry I am for this.”
That moment he touched her forehead, everything went dark. Opening her eyes, she found herself floating in space.
“I’m.. back?” She studied the constellations, but couldn’t find any. It was as if the heavens were torn to pieces. Then she heard his voice.
“His final thought was… ‘At last.’”
“Is this the past?” she wondered out loud.
“Yes, it is.” Behind her was Oblivion, watching the scene along with her. “We cannot interact with them, but we can see what they think and say.”
As he waved his hands, words and images appeared above Rick and Genis. She could see both of their whole lives, from all the good days to the bad… and she saw that she wasn’t in any of it.
“Take me to my mother…” she stammered.
“...Very well.” “We could look all over the universe, if you wish, but it wouldn’t matter. You were never there until your brother brought it all back.” Snapping his fingers, they appeared in front of Elysius as she was dying with the universe. Phyla looked through her thoughts as well, but still found nothing. “We could look all over the universe, if you wish, but it wouldn’t matter. You were never there until your brother brought it all back.”
She gave no response. The tears in her eyes were the only signal that Oblivion needed, and so he pulled her back to the Void. On arrival, she collapsed into sad heap.
“Maelstrom, we’re leaving.” Oblivion said as he walked away. “Let her be, for now.”
“You got it, boss.” As he turned away, he couldn’t help but look at her with pity. Throwing the Mirror to her, he silently left.
Without a word, she stared into the mirror. As she watched the people and their world go on without her, she began to feel it. Every second was torture.
Out of sight, Oblivion viewed the waking world with great interest. “I must have missed it when Phyla and I went on our trip. How did they stop my Chaos King?”
“He destroyed 98% of the multiverse, but they tricked him into empty pocket dimension. Quite the spectacle, but they don’t seem to be talking about it,” Maelstrom said.
“They even brought back all that was destroyed. Very interesting…” Oblivion calmly said. “Which universe was left?”
“The one I’m from. 616,” said Maelstrom.
“616?” Oblivion was far in thought. This wasn’t the first time that the destruction of all things was stopped by that universe’s heroes. “Very well. If they have their champions, then so will we.”
“That girl’s too broken and weak for this,” said Maelstrom. “Even at her strongest, she couldn’t pull off whatever grand plan you’re thinking of.”
“That’s why I have a contingency.” Oblivion began rubbing his hands together as dark energy started to spiral around them. As the magic dissipated, Maelstrom could hear a strange beating sound.
“Is that… a heartbeat?” Maelstrom asked.
“Take a look, my friend. This is the Chaos King’s heart. With the heroes believing that he’s locked away, acquiring the most important part of him was easy,” Oblivion chuckled.
“That… feels like a lot of power…” Maelstrom tried to reach for the heart, but Oblivion swatted him away.
“This is too much power for just anyone,” Oblivion said. “Energy on this scale needs to be properly aligned to the right vessel. Unfortunately, you would be torn apart if you touched it.”
“Then who? The girl?” Maelstrom looked back at Phyla’s location, but saw that she hadn’t moved an inch. “What made you so interested in her in the first place?”
“It’s odd,” Oblivion said caressed the heart. “I’ve been around longer than anyone and anything. I might have been around even before… him. But, I somehow find myself... relating to that girl. I can relate to her pain and her sorrow. I haven’t felt such thing in so long…”
“So… what? You second guessing yourself?” Maelstrom asked.
“On the contrary,” Oblivion calmly replied. “It’s because I can relate to her that I know, eventually, she will understand what must be done before time runs out.”
“What do you mean?” Maelstrom asked. Before either could speak further, a shock erupted through the Void. Like a massive storm, large amount of strange energies rained upon them.
“Ah, they’ve begun.” Oblivion raised his hand to feel the light that fell on them. “This is… Universe-129061. Completely obliterated.”
“Was it the Chaos King again?” Maelstrom said.
“No, this was someone else.” Oblivion watched as the energy continued to sink into the ground, but before he could continue, they could hear footsteps approaching them. “Ah, Phyla. Have you come to watch the show?"
“Victor Von Doom,” she said as she held out the mirror to the them. “The mirror just started showing me these two people and one them was called Victor Von Doom.”
“Hey, I recognize him!” Maelstrom exclaimed. “No doubt about it! That’s Doom from my universe!”
“616 again? Fascinating…” Oblivion said.
“Why? What’s happening?” Phyla asked.
“War, my dear,” said Oblivion. “They who see the multiverse as a plaything have prepared for the destruction of all things, yet a human struck first against them. Now the multiverse is getting ready to die.”
“Phyla-Vell… This is the state of existence.” Oblivion said as he tossed the Mirror aside. “Did you truly believe that your wars were so grand in scale that they would actually save anything? A simple skirmish like the Annihilation War or Ultron’s invasion a barely a footnote to what I have witnessed. Battles beyond your imagining have occurred over and over again since time began and will continue long after your home burns.”
Phyla was in disbelief. “But, my family… my father! They were fighting to save the universe! We gave our lives for them! How could they learn nothing?!”
“Then tell us, kid...” Maelstrom said as he picked up the Mirror. “Does this look a ‘saved universe’ to you?”
“...Where’s Moondragon?” Phyla said as she clenched her teeth.
“The baldy? She looks... busy at the moment,” Maelstrom said with caution.
In the Mirror, she saw her love, Moondragon, fighting criminals along with a new group of heroes. She hadn’t changed at all, still as beautiful and strong as always. But, Phyla noticed something. A look in her love’s eyes toward another former Guardian, Mantis.
“Heather,” Mantis said as she threw a punch to one of the enemy Skrulls. “This one can feel your thoughts.I know what you think of when you look at this one. This one finds it distracting.”
“Really? Very sorry about that!” Moondragon before breaking her opponent's leg.
Placing handcuffs on her enemy, Mantis said, “Strange time to think of this one in such a manner. Is there not someone else you can direct your thoughts to?”
In that moment, Moondragon had an image of Phyla-Vell’s face... of her touch… even her voice… followed immediately by an image of her grave. “...No. I don’t.”
The image faded and there was nothing, but silence. Oblivion and Maelstrom looked at Phyla for a reaction, but she gave none.
“Phyla… Are you alright?” Oblivion studied Phyla’s body language and he had his answer. At last… she had lost her will to live.
“It… doesn’t matter. Nothing matters. I understand why Heather would move on. It makes sense. Who would want a failure like me?” Phyla said with a warped smile forming on her tearful face.
“Phyla…” Oblivion wanted to say more, but she continued.
“I failed to be Captain Marvel like my father… failed to be Quasar… I couldn’t even succeed as Martyr. Of course they wouldn’t come back for me. How could I ever face them? I’m only good at one thing.” As she said this, her eyes glazed over to that strange object... to that beating heart.
“Kid… Whatever you’re thinking right now… Don’t,” Maelstrom said as he carefully inched towards her.
“I know… I overheard you both. That’s the heart of the Chaos King. So much power that it would annihilate anyone who touched it,” She said as she turned from them.
Before Oblivion could remove the heart, another explosion of energy was felt through the Void, far worse than before. “Another universe was destroyed…? No… Two of them?” he said. He turned to the heart to find Phyla standing in front of it.
“No one needs me… No one will remember me… Nothing I did mattered... I was never even supposed to exist. But, I’m good at dying, aren’t I? Strange, all I can think of now is… Carol Danvers was right.” With those last words, she plunged her hands into the giant, pounding mass.
A titanic shadow appeared under her, taking a humanoid shape that, ironically, reached into her heart. It was pain beyond what a normal mind could possibly manage, yet it was nowhere near as horrible as what her mind saw: the truth. Every murder, every atrocity, every drop of blood that was spilled. She saw the hell that all were doomed to live in… and the unseen being that allowed it. Her flesh burned, her eyes bled, but her mind was fixated on that thing that held all life in its hand. As the image faded from her mind, everything became cold as she crumpled to the ground.
“She’s expired, boss,” Maelstrom said as he examined her body. “Not sure why she hasn’t dissipated yet, though.”
“How unfortunate,” Oblivion said as he looked upon her.
“I know, right?” Maelstrom said. “That heart could have done some serious damage if the girl hadn’t absorbed the whole damn thing.”
“...I wasn’t talking about the heart.” Oblivion glared at Maelstrom for a moment and then turned to leave. But, before he could take a step, they both heard a heartbeat.
She woke up screaming. Not from the pain or from the nightmare that she was made to witness, but from how she even failed to die. In that moment, like everyday, her fears took form and attacked her. In her rage, she leapt at them, tearing through scores of opponents in with, but her bare hands.
Watching all of this unfold before him, Oblivion couldn’t help but smile. “Yes… Fight, Phyla-Vell. Rage to your heart’s content… my young avatar…”
To be continued...