Gunningap

Right to exist

In his wisdom Allfather Odin had foreseen interference in the history of the nine worlds. He foresaw that some might seek to prevent the gods of Asgard from ever having been created. To deny them, retrospectively, the right of existence.

As the sorcerer supreme of the Asgardian dimension great Odin long ago put the mystical spell in place. A spell to warn him or his successor of any tampering with Asgard's past.

From the high place at Hlidskalf located in Valaskjalf, Odin could see all things past and present and much of the future. Warned by his ancient spell the Lord of Asgard and the mighty Thor cast their eyes back to two separate times of creation. With Odin and Thor at Hlidskalf were Balder the Brave, Heimdall, the Lady Sif and the warriors three.

In one scene they witnessed as if it were happening now the Demi-Urge himself seeding life upon the Earth. In another scene they witnessed the meeting of fire and ice, fearsome heat and mind numbing cold in that crucible of norse creation that lies twixt the ice realm of Niffleheim and fiery Muspelheim. The place known as the Ginnungagap.

Both were sacred events. It was beyond belief that anything might seek to interfere with them.

Yet through the steaming mist, meltwater, ice and fire stood the unmistakable form of a space god, one of the race known as the Celestials. The lone behemoth levitated completely unmoving and seemingly oblivious a little above the Ginnungagap. Elsewhere and elsewhen what appeared to be the very same lone Celestial occupied a stationary orbit on the other side of the Earth from the Demi-Urge as it began the process of creation of life on Earth.

It did not matter that the Celestial took no action as the events of creation unfolded. There was simply no justification for its being present at either time and place.

Odin's original spell continued its work. As the Celestial stood impassive and unmoving the energies of creation began to swirl about it. There were primordial forces at work at the Ginnungagap that commanded respect. Even from a Celestial.

Though small in size compared to the Celestial, father and son were a picture of majesty as they arrived down time streaking above the Ginnungagap. Odin on his eight legged steed Sleipner and Thor in his chariot pulled by his goats toothgnasher and toothgrinder. Both wore full battle armor. Elsewhere and elsewhen Odin and Thor were an equal picture of majesty as they streaked past the Demi-Urge and encircled the Earth to engage the Celestial.

The god of light and his noble companions looked on from Hlidskalf completely in awe as Lord Odin and Thor the mighty confronted the same Celestial in two separate times and places. Seemingly at the same moment.

Time and Place: Ginnungagap

It says something of the confidence and the power of Odin that in neither time of creation did he see the need to increase his physical size to match the gargantuan Celestial. Though he could easily have done so.

With one using spear and the other using hammer, father and son manipulated the more than compliant forces of creation at Ginnungagap. Directing them against the Celestial while adding touches of their own vast powers.

Against such an assault even Celestial armor is not proof and the giant erected about its person a force shield of inconceivable power. Other than this acknowledgement of his vulnerability the colossus took no action.

For a time the hulking form endured the growing assault. Slowly though it began to move backwards and away from the Ginnungagap. Steadily Odin and Thor reinforced the energies of creation with increasing amounts of their own power. Still the behemoth did not take the offensive against them.

The Celestial sensed that other powers with interests in Asgard's existence and the ability to view events through time were now watching on. Those very same powers watched also the confrontation elsewhere and elsewhen near the Earth.

For his part Odin sensed a previously unseen hand in the conflict. A partial almost ethereal presence backing and possibly manipulating the Celestial. This allowed of few options. There were very few entities anywhere in the Multiverse with the power to manipulate a Celestial.

The Celestial moved further back still now clearly reeling under the assault. Still it took no offensive action.

Thor gathered unto himself some of the willing elemental forces of creation. They became almost as one with him and he allowed them together with his own godly life force to become as one with the greatest weapon of them all.

Odin looked on staying his own might as he saw it would not be needed.

Here was the potential for something never before witnessed. An Asgardian god blast of another order of magnitude from any heretofore seen.

Thor began to release these energies as he could hold them in check no longer. Mjolnir itself threatened to shatter. Rather than release the energies in a single torrent, Thor did so in pulsating bursts each successive burst more powerful than the preceding one.

The failing Celestial force shield collapsed completely and huge chunks of the giants' armor were torn from it. The Celestial life force within spewed in all directions. However at what seemed to be the crucial moment of defeat, the Celestial regenerated its armor, re-established its protective fields and teleported from the field of battle. Though not before showing Odin and Thor a feral grin of pure evil that was most unlike a Celestial

Place: Earth

Event/Time: The initial creation of life

The energies of creation unleashed by the Demi-Urge were not so amenable to manipulation by the two Asgardians as were the energies about Ginnungagap. Thus were father and son forced to draw more extensively on their own powers. Still as awareness dawned upon him so the anger of the Demi-Urge grew and he gladly proffered his help to the noble defenders of creation.

The Demi-Urge sensed in Thor the power of the Earth mother yet to be and with Thors acquiescence Demi-Urge manipulated those powers to the nth degree. In the process raising Thor above his normal power level. Just as Thor had manipulated the energies of creation above Ginnungagap. There was no super god blast in this contestation but the result was the same with the Celestial increasingly yielding up ground before a superior aggregation of force. As at Ginnungagap the Celestial protective force shields collapsed and huge slabs of Celestial armor were ripped asunder before the same unseen force regenerated the Celestial and it teleported away from the field of battle.

Odin had the same sense as at Ginnungagap that the Celestial was engaged in an internal conflict for nothing less than the control of its own mind

Place: Asgard

Time: Present Day

As Heimdall watched the final moments of the two battles his ever vigilant, superlative senses began to tingle as never before.

Even before the battles in the past were complete all of Asgard sensed a shaking of the great ash, the world tree Yggdrasil, that joins all nine worlds. As if a giant hand sought to pull it up by its roots severing the connection between the worlds of Asgardian cosmology.

Towards the top of the world tree in Asgard itself the same Celestial as seemed to be battling Odin and Thor was clearly the author of Yggdrasil's distress. Only now it was even larger, perhaps of Exitar class dimensions. Yet the titan seemed not like a Celestial at all. Where one of the space gods might have seemed emotionless, aloof and totally uncaring the behemoth before them seemed very animated, very emotional as if another quite different force had taken control of the Celestial armor.

In the mere moments before Thor and Odin returned to present day Asgard the Celestial , or whatever force now exerted control over it, discovered a little known fact. One that historically seems to have escaped the attention of most of the enemies of Asgard. That Asgard without Thor and without Odin is not an entirely defenseless place. That collectively there is other power residing in Asgard besides the power of Odin and Thor.

There are some lessons that can only be learned through experience.

As the Celestial leviathan prepared to tear the world tree Yggdrasil away from its nine worlds base and cast the great ash into the heavens it hesitated. Perhaps because of its still unresolved inner conflict or perhaps it was bracing for what was a prodigious feat even by its own lofty standards.

Balder the Brave sensed the giant's hesitation. With Odin and Thor still absent the god of light gathered unto himself some of the ambient power existing within the very land of Asgard. Then the most intense light emanated from him as he took on the form of a very small but quite brilliant star. In this form he rose to eye level with the behemoth seeking to add to the giant's confusion. By some unknown mystical means Asgard was spared much of the massive light output which was reserved almost exclusively for the intruder.

Surprisingly Loki god of mischief rallied to the cause enjoining with the Norn Queen Karnilla to launch a combined mystic assault. The intent being to add to the Celestial's confusion and delay it until Odin and Thor returned.

Heimdall's earlier warning had alerted all of Asgard to the threat. The warriors three and Lady Sif had allowed their life forces to enter the Destroyer construct and they sallied forth holding the personal sword of Odin itself. Meanwhile the bulk of Asgardians including even the women and children formed up into the rarely used single warrior entity known as "The All Asgard Warrior" It was so huge as to rival the Celestial in size. Heimdall's consciousness directed the Warrior into battle. Including the women and children was not a cowardly act but rather a precaution. Ultimately they were better protected as part of the All Asgard Warrior than left in the houses and farmlets of Asgard. In any event the Asgardians were a warrior race.

Whatever force now powered the Celestial it had not expected such resistance from an Asgard with both Odin and Thor absent.

The behemoth still struggling internally found itself beset by physical attack from the All Asgard Warrior aggregation, mystical attack from Asgard's second and third most powerful sorcerers, the Destroyer construct through its disintegration beam and the Balder/Sun's irritating light attack.

Then suddenly the situation changed. Looking directly into what seemed to be the Celestials eyes the Balder/ Sun sensed that whatever inner turmoil had been troubling the Colossus, it had now been resolved and not to the benefit of Asgard...

The Exitar size Celestial now only a proxy for a still greater power released its hold on the world ash. It rose to its full height and thrust the All Asgard Warrior aggregation aside. From its eyes two bolts of force that were definitely not of Celestial origin extinguished the Balder/Star reducing it to a small blackened lightless mass. It then vaporized the Destroyer construct, though the noble life forces therein escaped to their nearby physical bodies. Loki and Karnilla appeared to escape via inter-dimensional teleportation but a single bolt of energy for each of them struck them down seemingly lifeless in a vastly distant dimension. Although all of this took valuable time.

The Celestial then turned its attention to the great world ash. The entire huge trunk/central axis of the world tree shuddered as did all of the near infinite elements of the branch system. It seemed that all living things in all parts of the nine worlds felt the upheaval. Yet Yggdrasil did not move at all and unbelieving the titan redoubled its efforts still with no affect. Then it saw why. Located lower down the huge trunk at Midgard the mighty Thor held on firmly to the massive girth. No one really knows the true limits of the strength of the Thunder god because mostly those limits have never really been tested. Possibly this day was an exception.

As the behemoth strained still further so did Asgard's strongest god. It is true that the Celestial had to overcome the inertia of Yggdrasil and whatever else that living entity might do to assist the mighty Thor. It was equally clear that Thor faced something stronger and more powerful still than even an Exitar class Celestial. Eventually the contestation was resolved as the upper parts of Yggdrasil that the Celestial embraced broke away under the intense strain. The Celestial or whatever else it was stumbled away, at that moment no more above Newton's law of inertia than the rest of us. As it staggered back the entity realized that momentarily it could not sense the whereabouts of the Odinpower.

And at that precise moment of his enemy's instability and uncertainty Odin struck. With mystically much enhanced size and strength the Allfather appeared seemingly from nowhere and struck the entity with the full force of the seldom used "Odinblow." This blow utilizes controlled warriors madness in a short and not immediately repeatable paroxysm of physical power.

As Odin struck the blow to end all blows the Celestial's head snapped back and almost came off its torso as the Colossus hurtled into the skies of Asgard and far beyond. Celestial energies mixed with energies that were decidedly not of Celestial origin spewed forth. The latter seeming to predominate. This gave Odin his first real indication as to the true identity of the usurper.

In the time it took the Celestial to return Thor teleported Loki and Karnilla back to Asgard for the ministrations of Asgard's physicians and Odin restored the noble Balder to good health.

The Celestial returned though it seemed to take a while. When it did it was obvious that it was now a Celestial in appearance only. Energies roiled within it that even the monstrous Celestial frame struggled to contain. Nor did the controlling entity seem to care much whether those vast energies were contained or not.

"Let us strip the trappings of pretense about our enemy" Odin cried to his son "let us lay it bare for all to see." With that came the very highest order godblasts from three different directions, from Odin, Thor and the All Asgard Warrior.

Concentrating totally on the Celestial the unparalleled and unprecedented stream of energies began continuously vaporizing the entire armored frame of the hulking Celestial. In response the controlling entity began continuously regenerating the Celestial armor. For a time an impasse of sorts was reached.

But as Odin, Thor and all Asgard continued the attack their enemy seemed to relent and the vaporizing Celestial armor was not regenerated. At that moment some of the surrounding space and matter was warped into the manifestation of a semi-humanoid form.

"You do not need to do that evil one" boomed Odin "we are all too aware who and what you are."

Before Odin, Thor and the All Asgard Warrior stood an abstract entity that represented a composite of the evil aspects of Eternity and Infinity. It had now become an offshoot of those two great abstract powers and an independent entity virtually as powerful as its source.

When it originally separated from Eternity/Infinity the new entity had sought time to think to be away from interference from the other abstracts. In Leandarr the wandering Celestial it had found the perfect host. A powerful host that no one would be likely to bother and that might potentially roam anywhere in the Multiverse. It had dwelled within the great Celestial thinking its dark thoughts and slowly influencing and eventually dominating the space god.

It's subsequent decision to destroy Asgard either by preventing its being created or in the present day was not an arbitrary one. Odin represented one of the great powers for good in the Multiverse. To retrospectively deny him existence would be a great victory for those inclined to darkness. Even more it would be a signal sending fear down the metaphysical spines of all abstract and near abstract entities

But the entity realized its mistake.

"Odin and Thor" telepathed the entity "you are both more powerful than even the legends that surround you." "You are more powerful than the memory I retain of your past contestation with that from which part of me came, namely Infinity" "By your actions you have earned the right to exist"

The composite abstract entity was on the verge of departing.

Odin could not allow that.

At Odin's instigation Thor raise his great hammer ready to strike. Coruscating with all manner of Asgardian energies the greatest weapon ever made struck the warped manifestation at the same moment as Odin's mystical spell. The warped semi-humanoid manifestation fell completely apart.

Odin knew from past experience that even abstract entities are sometimes vulnerable to vastly powerful extra-dimensional forces. And ultimately were he and Thor themselves not of this category?

The Allfather then proceeded to warp space, time and reality to create a cocooning prison about his enemy.

In time the great abstract entities Eternity, Infinity, Death, and Oblivion came and with them the great Galactus all to take their charge into custody. They knew that if ever it came this way again Odin would not be so merciful.

Odin is not omnipotent. Never think that. He may be challenged and he can be beaten but a wise adversary chooses his ground. Even among the great powers it is said that only a fool would challenge Odin in Asgard. At the very centre of his power. All the more so when he is backed by the power of the greatest warrior of all, his son Thor the mighty and all else Asgard has to offer.

Let the future enemies of Asgard take note.

Garth