The Elder's Quest: Issue # 2

Study time is over, Foreman said to himself. Time for me to get out of the complex and get to work. Foreman flew out the main door closing it behind him by a control device he wore on his wrist. Outside of Earth's solar system Foreman stopped and strecthed out with his cosmic senses. He did not like what he detected. At least seven Elders in battle with a half dozen other powerful beings. This was taking place on Darian, a back water planet uninhabited by sentient life clear across the Milky Way galaxy and from Uatu's files he knew the reason why. Foreman open a spacial gate to Darian preparing for war.

Adam Warlock surveyed the battle field with disappointment. Drax, Gamora, Pip, and Maxam all have fallen. Only he the Silver Surfer and Thanos of Titan stood between the Grandmaster, the Collector, the Runner, the Champion, and the Gardener from the Crown of Darian. The Crown itself is not the power but the means to the power, the Infinity gems. The Crown has only one ability and that is the power to zero in on and locate the gems Warlock thought. The Elders must be stopped at all and any cost.

"You have lost more than half of your team and even you three cannot stand against five Elders." The Grandmaster laughed. "You cannot have the Crown." Warlock stated. "Oh is that so?" The Collector replied. "Let's just bust our way through them," the Champion cried out. Suddenly a figure materialized between the two groups. A tall muscular male with long black hair wearing a red and black out fit wielding a staff stated, "En Dwi Gast I am surprised at you." "You are not being true to your nature at all with this direct assault." "And just who are you," the Grandmaster asked, a little unerved that a complete stranger knew his actual ancient name. "I am Foreman" came the reply and I am the being responsible for the Possessor's demise. The Possessor has not checked in since he relayed the information from Uatu's former base concerning the Crown's location the Grandmaster ponder. "Well Foreman said are you going to stay true to your calling or not?" "What are you babbling about?" The Grandmaster demanded. "Simple I bet that I can defeat the Champion one on one in melee combat with any weapon of our choosing." "And if I do Warlock gets the Crown of Darian. If by some small chance I lose you get the crown without any further fighting."      

Both factions broke into seperate groups to discuss this new and totally unexpected development. Foreman joined Warlock's remaining group members and stated, "This is the best chance to secure the Crown, because you three cannot defeat five Elders." "Really, Thanos replied and how would you know that?" "Because I am Foreman, brought to this universe by the Living Tribunal to be the balance between good and evil." Three jaws almost hit the ground. "The Tribunal believes the balance has been tilted to far in evil's favor and instead of sealing this universe off I was sent to correct the imbalance." "Fascinating," Thanos thought. The Surfer stood silently skeptical. "We don't know anything about you other than what you have told us," Warlock answered. "Then use your soul gem Adam Warlock and learn the truth," Foreman stated. "Very well prepare yourself because this could be a bit unsettling Warlock answered. "I'm sure it will be," Foreman stated and smiled. The soul gem activated and Foreman was bathed in a green glow. Instantly Warlock stiffed as he viewed Foreman's past and the over whelming strength of Foreman's soul. Warlock saw it all. The mortal Foreman of a long ago mid-evil alternate Earth. The ascendtion into an immortal. The offer of the Living Tribunal and another transformation. Warlock tried to probe deeper but was quickly ejected. Warlock stumbled backwards into the arms of Thanos. "He's telling the truth," Warlock gasped. "Adam are you ok?" The Surfer asked clearly concerned. "I am taxed but quite alright. Never have I felt a soul so powerful," Warlock said. "That is because as an immortal in my former universe we were beings completely composed of soul. I know that may not be easily understood but it is factual." Foreman added. "Interesting replied Thanos but can you really defeat the Champion one on one in melee combat which is his speciality?" "Let's find out." Foreman quipped.

The Elders were in their group truely perplexed. "What's to debate?" The Champion bellowed. "I have never been beaten in pure melee combat." "But we know nothing about this being," the Collector proclaimed. "I got a bad feeling about this," the Runner said. "I think he might be what the humans call a ringer," the Gardener replied. "Tryco are your skills sharp?" Asked the Grandmaster. "Never sharper." Answered the Champion. 

"We accept under one condition," stated the Grandmaster. "And what is that?" Foreman asked. That after the Champion has destroyed you we not only get the Crown but Adam Warlock's soul gem as well." "Accepted." Replied Foreman. "I really hope you know what you are doing," Warlock said under his breath. "Remember Foreman stated, after the Champion's defeat you and all other Elders will with draw and honor our wager." "Of course," answerd the Grandmaster. 

Both groups back away forming a huge circle with Foreman and the Champion facing off in the middle. A huge mace with a spiked head materialize in the Champions right hand glowing yellow with the Power Primordial. Gohos glowed red, humming with mystical energy. "You have no chance, for I have yet to be defeated in any type of hand to hand combat," the Champion bragged. "There is always a first time," Foreman replied. The Champion moved forward and swung his mace with surprising speed, Foreman simply side stepped the blow while striking the Champion on the shoulder as the swing missed. "So you at least know the basic," the Champion said. "That and then some," Foreman answered. "Well let's see how much more," the Champion stated and went into a odd martial art stance. Foreman sighed and thought, I did get myself into this. The two beings became a blur moving at inhuman speed to the point that it was almost impossible to follow even by the beings watching. Parry, then feint, feint then parry. Two hours passed and both parties wondered if this battle would ever end. Tryco Slatterus stepped back and proclaimed, "What a glorious battle we have had, it's a same I have to end it now. You are too dangerous a foe for me to allow this to continue." "I'm just getting warm up Elder." Came Foreman's response. Fascinating Thanos thought. This Foreman may merit further attention if he wins this confrontation. 

The Champion came forward with ever intentions of ending this battle. Foreman spun to his left allowing the Champion to draw even with him then Gohos came around and caught the Champion square in the chest. The Champion went down hard. The other Elders gasped. The Champion rolled and got up laughing. "The universe will sing this day for i have found a truly worthly opponent." The Champion repeated with glee. The battle continued for another half a hour when the Champion's mace finally hit home through Foreman's defenses. It was now Foreman's turn to taste the ground. My mistake, Foreman thought. The Champion is every bit the warrior his reputation claims him to be. Warlock and the Surfer looked concerned while Thanos merely smiled. It's time Foreman said to himself as he rose to his feet.

"Are you ready to admit defeat?" The Champion demanded. "I am ready to finish you Tryco," Foreman answered. "You dare mock me," screamed the Champion. With that out burst both combatants charged. Foreman spun to his left again but the Elder was expecting this and stopped. What he did not expect was Foreman reverse spinning back to his starting spot while bring Gohos down across the Champion's head. The Elder never knew what hit him as he dropped to the ground unconscious.

A hush of quiet fell over both groups. Stunned looks were on everyone's face but Thanos' who was wearing a wide grin. Foreman has just gained my attention Thanos smiled to himself. Foreman raised his staff over a fallen Tryco Slatterus, "Do you still accepted the terms to out agreement En Dwi Gast? "Yes lower your weapon and we will leave you in peace." The Grandmaster stated. "But know this you have earn the ire of the Elders of the universe this day. With that last statement all Elders teleported away.

"You are free to retrieve the Crown," Foreman said to Adam Warlock. "As I shall do so," Warlock stated. "Did you really think you could beat the Champion," the Surfer asked? "Yes," was all Foreman said. "I take it that we will be seeing each other again?" Thanos inquired. "You can count on it, was Foreman's reply as he himself teleported away.                                 

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