Obligatory Disclaimer : I do not own anything (except maybe OC characters) all characters, places, worlds, universes…etc mentioned here belong to their respective owners and/or companies.
This is purely a work of fiction. Not meant to offend or incite, but to entertain and maybe inspire.
IN THE EMBRACE OF INSANITY
Death. What is death exactly? Biologically, it's the end of an organism's existence as an entity. The cessation of life, the return to an inert, non-living state.
Spiritually, it can be defined as the state when the ailing, degrading body can no longer house the soul, freeing it from its container and releasing it back to its origin point, or to face judgment from an omnipotent all powerful being deciding whether you get to heaven or hell based on your actions.
To me, death was the most beautiful being I had ever had the privilege of laying eyes on. Her night black hair flowed down her pale angelic face, matching her black lips. I want to say that I cried when I beheld her magnificence. To me a human who in all his 22 years of existence, had never believed in the stupid thing called love, it was love at first sight.
She wore a long black dress, her steps steady and smooth. Her form swayed amongst the shadows that clung to her body.
My heart stopped beating, the blood now forming a pool around me. The cold metal of the knife lodged in my chest no longer ached.
'WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON?!'
She reached her hand out, I raised mine to meet hers. Disregarding the fact that it look immaterial, she held onto it and pulled. Her cold hands had a certain indescribable comfort to them. My soul, the essence of my existence rose from my body and hovered before this being. I was utterly lost, unmistakably encaptured staring at the black hole that was her beauty.
And when she smiled at me. That was everything, it was like a robot finally finding a reason to exist.
I didn't want to let go. I stifled the voices telling me that in and of itself was impossible, and ignored the other voices pointing out the absurdity of this current situation. Yeah, I know I just died, why should I make a fuss about it? What would that profit me? Exactly. I won't be spilling the spaghetti in my non-existent pocket and certainly not in front of this woman.
'WHAT THE HELL AM I DOING?'
She led me forward and reality warped. Matter folded and space bent. I was in an 100% dark space. Light simply didn't exist here, except for the shining inviting cloud ahead of me. I realized that death was no longer with me. She was no where to be found. To day I wasn't scared was a lie, but I was already dead, what more could happen.
I felt the instinctive intent in me, telling me to head for the light. That was the natural order, this was the metaphorical tunnel and the light at the end was the doorway to the after life. I refused. I wanted to see death again, I wanted to be with her, even as stupid as that sounds. I didn't want to go to the afterlife.
I felt the space move like it was chuckling at my foolish declaration.
I felt the ground rumble, like it was trying to hold back its laughter.
And then began my struggle. My worst nightmares appeared before me. My most terrible memories and dreams hounded me with the ferocity of burning suns.
I screamed, my voice wasn't heard. I cried, my tears never fell.
To escape them was to head into the light. I refused to do that. I don't know how long I spent facing all those fears. I knew not the passage of time spent fighting against nightmares that tried to devour me.
I kicked, I clawed, I was in pain. Excruciating pain. The agony of torture, torture inflicted on the soul. The pressure from my demons tempered my will.
Something I never knew I had, like the small flame of a candle light, it became born. My will was tried and tested over and over and over again.
If the gods could see me thay would laugh. I was just a pebble trying to go against the flow of the ocean.
The space mocked me. The situation ridiculed me.
Each step away from the light was as adrous as ascending a mountain with the world on my shoulder.
I wasn't born with anything special. I didn't have a magical ability. All I had was the cultivated will to move on. My resolve was strengthened against the hammer of that was the pressure exerted on me here, in this limbo. And everytime the hammer pounded, my will was tempered to become stronger. My resolve was firm.
I will not go into the light. I wanted to see her again, not go into the afterlife. I forgot about time, it didn't matter here. I focused and concentrated on crawling forward. The innumerable hands appeared, they dragged me back! Erasing all my hard work. My will shook, but it did not falter. Again, I strive forward. I crawled and kicked through the misery and agony, through the pain. And when the hands came this time, they could only drag me back halfway, but this time they never left me.
In the eternal darkness, the place where I conquered my very fears. I was only kept company by the light behind me and the hands that weighted me down. The hands that held my very limbs down to stop me from moving forward, and the pressure that kept trying to shake my soul. Everything was screaming that this was illogical. That I was trying to build a castle on thin air. That I would never accomplish what I was trying to, because it was simply impossible.
Did I listen? No. Did I pay it mind? No. Did I consider it? No.
All I knew was that I refused to fall into the light.
Slowly, one limb at a time, I was crawling forward again. It wasn't miraculous. There was no enlightenment or epiphany. There was just me, my will and my destination. A destination I never saw or even knew. Pondering over it, it wouldn't be wrong to assume that I had a certain degree of madness.
The landscape turned rocky, steep and treacherous. The pressure increased and the hands tugged harder. I would've screamed in agony if I had a voice. I would have cried at the soul rending pain if I had the means to. I bore it silently.
I called this place limbo, because that was the only thing my mind could comprehend about it. When I say 'mind' I refer to my consciousness that was still sustained even in the absence of a biological brain. I didn't know if this place changed according to my perception.
This moment was like any other. I was thriving forward and the mutitude hands were dragging me back, the pressure was pushing me down the spiky landscape was tearing through the ghost limbs of mine.
There was a momentary chill in the space. I felt another presence in here, I've been here long enough to develop a sensitivity to foreign presences.
I looked forward, it was something I would never forget, a black dress with split sides that allowed icy pale feet to be seen. It was her, it was death even in this darkness she stood out with her unique resplendence. I steadily raised my head and I met her soulful eyes. Those dark orbs of exotic charm. She had a thin smile on her lips. She said nothing but I felt her intent — to reach her before she left.
I pushed harder than I ever had. I crawled, against the overwhelming pull of the hands, against the insurmountable pressure, against the damned landscape. I pushed forward, I kicked and pulled. I tugged and roared inside of me.
She was just five steps in front of me. The pressure was so large I felt myself being pushed into the landscape.
I needed to get off my knees. I drew my hands under me and I pushed! It was the hardest push I had ever accomplished. I was on my knees alone now. A single misstep would send me tumbling down.
I lashed out at the hands that held onto me, and from my knees I slowly rose to my feet.
I took one step forward, I felt hellfire roasting my being.
I took another, I felt the immense chill try to freeze my soul.
And with another step, I nearly stumbled to my knees, the landscape sloped vertically. The funny thing being that the pressure itself kept me grounded against the pull of the gravity that existed here.
With the fourth step hands appeared everywhere and tried to pull me back.
I roused and my will, it was all I needed. I took the last step. Placing me directly infront of death herself.
I couldn't move anymore, not even if I wanted to.
I brought my hands towards my chest and I made the heart symbol at her.
She giggled, it was a melody of serenity. I found peace in that moment. This being, this personification right here was all I ever wanted.
It was ridiculous, it was foolish and stupid, it was utterly meaningless I heard the voices tell me. I didn't care. I was an insane lunatic they declared. That had certain truths to it.
She placed her cool hands on my face, I swear I could see stars as I stared deep into her eyes. She transformed into her skeletal form staring back at me, I wasn't fazed. I lost the fear I once had, I conquered them all.
Death changing back to her human form, slowly placed her lips on mine. Words didn't exist to accurately describe the feeling.
I don't know what happened next. I was too lost in her embrace that when I woke up I realized that I was back in reality. Certainly not mine. I was in a warm human embrace, staring at the scared and pained face of gigantic woman who held me, I could feel her speeding heart beat. I also noticed that I couldn't move a muscle, I was wrapped in what could be a blanket, like a…baby. And I think the lady just said my new name, in a sort of trance like way.
There was something wrong here, the woman was getting terrified of something. It was written all over her face. At this point I realized that my senses were quite developed for what I assumed a baby should possess.
I realized that it went to I was once again close to death, when there was a knife inches away from my face and the woman who held me began hysterically screaming.
In a galaxy far away. A bright, beaming moon rotated around the planetary body called Saturn.
A certain race termed as the Titanian Eternals had taken settlement on the habitable moon many, many years ago. They created a peaceful, utopian society that was one of the most technologically advanced in the wide galaxies only rivaled by the great Shi'ar empire. Spearheaded by one of the greatest scientific minds to ever exist in the known universe, a Titanian called A'Lars the mentor. Who was also the leader of his people on the aptly named, Titan. Every eternal on the moon of Titan had ties to A'Lars, he was their progenitor.
Tonight, in the underground city of Titan. In a suffiently advanced medbay room.
A'Lars was coaxing his wife who was in labor with his second son.
"Push Sui-San! You're almost there! " he urged her. His wife had been in labor past the specified safe time, and A'Lars didn't want to lose either the child or the mother.
"GAAaaarrggghhh!" Sui-San cried out, gripping the arm of her husband who winced in pain. She pushed to ease the child out of her womb, and although she had gone through this once it never got less painful. No, this time it hurt beyond comprehension, she prayed for nothing to go wrong.
The healing lights above her bed gave her energy, her eyes on the flexiscreen over her bed monitoring the condition of the baby.
She took a deep pained breath as the baby was finally delivered.
"What's wrong? Why isn't he crying?" she panicked.
"The baby's tangled in cord! Quick we have to…."
A'Lars was already at work with his assistant doctors seeing to the baby. He rushed to untangle the umbilical cord wrapped around the infant's neck and perform procedures to unclog the child's nasal cavity. Even when his assistants were frozen in place at the sight of the baby. He saw the glaring difference his clid had to others, but he did not care for the boy was his child.
"Arrgghhhh!" he breathed a sigh of relief and joy as the baby cried out for the first time.
"By all that's holy.." one assistant unconsciously muttered as she lay eyes on the….child.
"Doctor?" A'Lars questioned the leading specialist.
"I'm sorry A'Lars I'm afraid the….child will live. We'll run every genetic test there is, we'll find out why this happened." The doctor tried to placate, to find a solution for such a monstrosity.
"Move aside doctor. I know what my child is: He is strong, healthy and perfect. Look at him, fighting for his own life. Refusing to die, he is my son, yes I can see that with my very own eyes." he shoved the doctor aside and lovingly held his son. His wonderfully unique son.
"A'Lars let me hold my child" Sui-San said to her husband, wanting to immediately bond to her baby.
"Of course Sui-San, child let's hand you over to your mother. Let her see the gift she has brought to the world" he said with joy.
It was the day she swore her soul died. As she held the small bundled infant in her hand, she shivered horrified at the thought that she gave birth to such a being.
The babes deep purple skin unnerved her like the chill of the cold winters. And when she stared into the black abyss of his eyes. Her mind fractured, for it could not withstand what it saw. In the red iris of the child, she saw death itself. She saw the terror that would plauge the galaxies. She saw hell and horror, unimaginable misery that he would spread along with the name as ordained to him by his dark soul "Thanos" she said, her voice strained.
As the mother, she had to make sure that the baby never lived to become the devil she saw. It was her responsibility, she brought it into the world, she had to take it out of it. To save everyone, by ending its life here.
"Isn't he beautiful Sui-San? Sui-San" he asked.
Her hand shakily inched for the surgical instrument at the side of her bed. He was an instrument of destruction, he was evil personified, not beautiful.
"Wife are you all right?" A'Lars asked again, the worry in his tone unhidden.
She gripped the sharp tool and affirmed herself. She had to kill it, lashing to stab at the baby.
"SUI-SAN!" A'Lars shouted in terror, locking his arms around hers, blocking her hand from moving downward stopping her from stabbing the baby.
"A'Lars we have to kill it! It's evil! We have to kill it before it grows!" she yelled at him, trying to wrest her hand free.
A'Lars pulled the baby from her grasp before angrily calling for help. "Doctor do something! Sedate her now!"
The doctor rushed into the room, injecting the deranged mother with a sedative to put her to sleep.
"Look at its eyes don't you see the death! We have to kill it! We have to end it! Kill it before it grows! It's going to kill us all! End….that m..monster…. Tha..at thi..ng i-isn't mmy..son…it's no.." Sui-San rambled and muttered. She warned, she tried to do her responsibility but they wouldn't let her.
A'Lars stared at the her as she fell asleep. Silent tears dropped from his eyes as he observed the baby and his wife. His heart in deep agony. The child wasn't a monster, he just had a deviant syndrome that would cause Eternals to look like their lesser cousins. Although his child was the first and only one to suffer of it in all of Titan's history. His child was strong, he would only grow stronger. He knew the boy would be a blessed child, by his estimates his son already possed prodigous mental intellect and awareness.
"Just look at his eyes" he said to her. The child was innocent. They just had to give him a chance. They were parents.
My new life was….going well. I hadn't seen death again since the last kiss she gave me. I am expecting and hoping for her to show up. Its painful without her. I would give everything just to have her back again.
She was the one that gave me this chance after all, and I am not ungrateful.
It's not everyday that you die and get to be reincarnated with your memories intact, into a different world at that.
This world is a branch of the Marvel Universe. How do I know that? Other than the fact that I'm living on a moon that is the home to super beings called the Eternals, I was born as Thanos.
Yes, that Thanos. The all bad, mad Titan, Destroyer of Worlds. I'm sure by now most of you have realized that I do not want to destroy anything. Not even the mother who tried to kill me. I actually do visit her from time to time in the facility.
It's just that there's something wrong with me. It's death, it's all I can truly see around me. I realize I'm an avatar of sorts. A cosmic antibody, it whispers to me— the balancer. It also doesn't help that I am infatuated with death.
Everything else feels empty and void. I feel hollow.
My intellect is rated at super-scale, I know because my father had it measured. And he would not have me waste it. I have mastered 99% of all the advanced fields he has presented to me. I learn nothing new in the academy anymore, my grades are the highest ever recorded in Titan's history.
So I threw myself at science, I to learn, to absorb more knowledge, to experiment and discover, to redifine.
It's the only thing that staves the hollowness in me. I have created my own genus of flowers that look strikingly similar to roses, but my varient are pure black from the stalk to the buds. I like them, to me they're beautiful.
"Come on Thanos, hurry up" the leading boy says to me. Rousing me from my thoughts. I add more strength to my steps and catch up to them.
I follow the three children deeper into the cave. They wanted to see what was at the end. I felt like warning them,...i just didn't care enough to do that. They were kids, they should explore.
Me? I made friends. They are actually the first friends I made since five solar cycles ago when I started going to the academy. My father -when he was around and not locked up in his lab- would homeschool me. And I guess you could say I inherited his scientific curiosity, he was a great teacher after all, the very best. I only began going to the academy five years ago to learn to socialize and interact with my mates, is what my father says. But what he truly meant was that I had learned all he could teach me, I would have to find more knowledge myself now.
"Yes! Look at it Thanos, the jeweled formation below is said to contain precious gems." the girl excitedly states.
"I see" I don't speak much. My voice has a certain deep tone to it. I walk further down than the rest of them as they observe the formations. I saw a skull flash past my vision, I felt the once forgotten sensation and than a loud audible….
They scream in fear "Thanos!?" "Lee-Ia!" the cave collapsed. Rocks came tumbling down. I bent low and shielded my head using my arms. The rocks pelting my back. "Ughh" I grunted in pain.
When everything settled, I noticed that I was separated from them by a wall of rocks and I could no longer hear their voices.
"Hello!" I called out, all that responded were the echoes.
I sat with my back against a rock and set the flashlight in the center.
Of course this was bound to happen. I knew it eventually would. I also knew that after this I would be thoroughly isolated by my peers. But maybe I could still rescue the kids trapped on the other side.
It would take days to dig through all this rubble, I didn't have food or water but that wasn't an issue. My unique physiology would be more than able to sustain itself for quite some time. But the others won't be the same.
I pulled out the pauldrons on my Titanian body suit and retrofitted them to the flat vambraces over my forearms. I began using them as improvised diggers aka shovels. I chose the best route from the movement of air through the cracks and the temperature difference across the section of collapsed rocks.
I dug for three days straight only stopping to give to assess my progress and plan the next course of action. This helped me realize how utterly weak I was. I knew I would only grow stronger with age as my body matured, but I was weak.
On the eve of the fifth day, I finally dug out of the rubble. My young body was exhausted, but I had to check the kids.
"Cythera! Lee-Ia! Artephul!" I called out but still got no replies.
It was the stench that I perceived first before I saw their corpses stripped of flesh, corpses that were eaten to the bone by giant lizards that still lingered to munch on any piece of flesh they might have missed. The lizards didn't cast me another glance, as though they found me too repulsing to even consider preying on.
Other than the feeling of weakness in me for the reason that I couldn't save them earlier or the fact that I couldn't deal with the lizards. I felt nothing for them. My remorse was missing, I was empty. "I'm sorry" I said to their dead bodies. I was truly sorry. I stared at the lizards and I felt the anger building up in me. I wanted to kill them all. I was angry that I couldn't have save those I wanted to. I was angry at my disgustingly familiar weakness, it reminded me of how weak I felt when I died in my first life. My will wouldn't allow me to surrender myself so easily.
But I knew I was shunning the feeling that death gave me.
I slowly walked out of the cave and approached a terminal. Reporting what had happened.
It went as bad as I imagined it would be. For a society that had no instence of murder for a full 500 years it was very shocking. I heard my peers whisper. How would all of them die but me? Some pointed fingers of blame at me. I cared not. Because if you haven't noticed it yet, I was motherf***ing Thanos!
I went back into that cave with blade I fabricated myself. I tossed bait in the center and the useless critters gathered. They were as large as dogs, but with reptilian features.
I jumped into the fray. I aimed at the vitals and I struck. I swiped blades across throats, blood spilled on me and I have never felt so satisfied and fulfilled. I couldn't stop the mad smile spreading across my face. I inhaled the scent of blood in the air and it was as sweet smelling as expensive perfume. Through my inborn psionic prowess and limited telepathy, I vividly felt their lives leave them, it was the catalyst that set me more intune with my true purpose for existence. This was what I lived for! I was Thanos, the avater of death. My very existence was symbolic. Holy shit! This is probably how insanity feels. You have to understand, I don't see myself as special in anyway or manner. All I had is spectacular luck and diomond hard will that refused to follow the natural order and I guess this was what I got in return.
And then she appeared. Death in all her beauty, she smiled proudly at me stoking my chin. Urging me to continue. I knew that this was a bottomless abyss, I knew what I was getting into.
I was Thanos, I had a role to play, the balance. The universe strove for balance, it put out me here for reason, I understood its message. I was enlightened, and when I recovered, death was gone again….. No, this won't be a one sided relationship. I wasn't that lovesick Thanos, I was lovesick but not enough to be stupid about it. This wouldn't be one-sided, I refuse for it to be a one sided affair. Maybe if I didn't temper my will I might have fully succumbed to her charm, like I had previously. No, my will wouldn't allow me to be used and toyed with.
In the underground city of the Eternals.
In the white tiled class of the academy.
The blad headed scientist explained the process of the test to the children.
"All right students. This will be your final exams on terrestrial biology for the current solar cycle. You will need to fully dissect your specimens, list out all major organs and their subsequent systems. Including the breeding fangs, pus veins…."
One purple skinned boy stood up from his seated position, smiling. On a table before him was the expertly disembodied specimen of a greentail reptile, native to Titan. He set his tools on neatly on the side of the tray and took his gloves off.
His gait oozed with confidence as he walked from his table to the exit.
His teacher hurriedly questioned him.
"Thanos, where do your think you're going?"
"I'm finished" he answered simply. Still maintaining his steady pace. His class mates stared at him wide eyed as did his teacher.
"Finished? How? I'm not eve-"
"I sliced open my specimen from the crown of its head to its tail. I have fully labeled the entirity of its insides. And also listed dozen areas of interest you failed to include in your lectures.
"If that doesn't satisfy you, well I also catalogued it's stomach contents. Extrapolated it's history and deduced it's cause of death—brain aneumerism.
The lizard was one of the lucky ones to have had a quick death. Never leaving more than two miles from its hatch cave for all the three orbits around saturn it existed for. Leaving absolutely nothing of substance behind, it was as though this creatures sole purpose was to end up as a specimen on a tray in this class room." the boy explained as he tapped a set of code into the door lock.
The professor tried to talk him down, but he found himself in semideep thought at the implications of the boy's deductions.
"Thanos, pleas if you would just please-" once again he was interrupted, this time by the boy's eyes. Those deep dark orbs with dots of red.
"Professor, I have learned all you have to offer, the same way I have absorbed the knowledge the creature brought to my table. I bud you both a good day" he remarked leaving the doors. The boy's words had a certain truth to them, his intellect was more than just perfect recall. In simple terms as his father described: 'Thanos absorbed knowledge faster than he could turn the pages. Perhaps the most amazing is the ability of his to subconsciously compartmentalize all his problems into broken down sections while still maintaining an all functional multi-focus across them '
He took a deep breath of the outside air, firming his resolve, the boy began his local journey of discovery and the search for more knowledge.
*. *. *. *. *. *.. *. *. *. *. *. *. *. *. *
Bonjour! Zuzzamen! Hello and welcome!
Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, males, females and whatever end of the spectrum you identify, proud people of earth. Netizens all over the world. I sincerely greet you. I have missed you all(I'll never admit I said that). The exams went well, thank you all for your wishes. (I'm keeping my fingers crossed for the results tho)
From the mind of a madman I give you a new story. I don't know how this got into my head, all I know is that it refused to leave. It was greedy for attention as it wouldn't even let me properly think about my other stories. It took control of my everythought even while I was busy studying. And I had to bring it out and present it to you.
The thing is, I want to make this something great, but to do that I'll first need your feedback. If you guys don't like it, we stop it here, no questions asked. If you do enjoy it however, then I will honestly continue. It's a gamble. Of course I won't ignore my other stories. It's all for you and I. I've got the ideas and I put them to paper for you all to see. And you people tell me your thoughts.
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