After his return to New Asgard following his first successful cosmic quest, and after all the various feasts and celebrations, Prince Magni again found himself at something of a loose-end.
It seemed to him that in a very short space of time indeed he had gone from being little more than a stripling to an entity capable of actually defeating an Exitar Class Celestial in battle.
What then should he do now ?, what direction should his future take ?. He spoke at length with his father and mother on these matters and also Thialfi and even at times with his uncle Loki.
Alas his relationship with his father was strained at best, and somehow none of the future plans that Lord Thor had for Magni held any interest for him. He was definitely not interested in matters of State and as to the need to be available to defend Earth/Asgard, there seemed no conceivable threat that Thor alone could not handle.
Even another cosmic type adventure did not really seem to interest Magni. In any case who could possibly represent a challenge to someone who could take out an Exitar class Celestial ?. Nonetheless this did leave one avenue open for Magni as yet unexplored – to travel in time!
While Lord Thor had indeed returned the time travel properties of the hammer of Magni – he had warned his son of the dangers of altering time streams and of the need to use this property of his hammer in the most sparing way. In fact Magni had carried out some experiments with the hammer, moving short distances into the past and future and had found the accuracy of the hammer, uncanny – he had been able to move to precise moments in the time stream (to within just a few seconds).
But Magni was indeed curious just how far forward or backward in time could he travel. Could he, like his father, move whole planetary systems through time?
One of Prince Magni's very greatest regrets was that he had never known his grandfather – Odin the Allmighty. Somehow he had always felt that he would relate better to his grandfather than his father. He had on one occasion been present when –the OdinPower manifested itself before his father, but this was not nearly the same as seeing his grandfather in the flesh.
He had once overhead Lord Thor saying that Great Odin was not in fact dead but had moved on to a higher plane of existence and become the leader of those awesomely powerful entities "those who live above". In effect and in this exalted position Odin had become the equal of the Living Tribunal, though he would never intervene in the affairs of gods or mortals unless they faced certain destruction.
In a sense Odin's position was a further guarantee that, for the now moment at least, there was no force capable of destroying Earth/Asgard. In effect "those who live above" – were the defenders of last resort of both men and gods.
In his great desire to reach his grandfather, Prince Magni went forth to a part of the Asgardian continent which legend had it, was closest of all to "those above". Although in truth, "those above" were anywhere and everywhere at the same time.
From this vantage point he called his grandfather's name in a voice so loud that it seemed to reach the very ends of the cosmos. Although he called again and again, there was no answer and Magni began to rant and rave, impetuously calling forth a storm greater than ever before seen on Continental Asgard. The storm lasted for hours, but it was of no avail, and the heavens remained silent.
Twas said that those above would converse only with Lord Thor and the Living Tribunal, and only then in moments of great crisis.
Thus did Magni's thoughts again turn to time travel – could he not simply travel back in time to visit his grandfather while he still existed on the Asgardian plane of existence ? If so, when should he visit great Odin, when he was sickly and his powers beginning to wain ? – or at the time of the great silver age, when there were none to say him nay ? To Magni, it seemed like a visit to great Odin of the Silver Age was more appropriate.
Some time ago and sensing his sons intent, Lord Thor had warned Magni against such action, fearful of the consequences of such a meeting that was never meant to be.
But no matter, Magni's mind was made up and when he was like this he was just as headstrong as his father had ever been.
Rotating his hammer at ever increasing speed Magni created a portal in time and began to move back though the millennia and eventually coming to a time somewhere in the decade of the 1960's as mortals of Earth attempt to measure time.
He arrived in the great hall of old Asgard as it then was and to his surprise – Odin himself awaited him. Before a word could be exchanged the two embraced grandfather to grandson. Thou has't indeed grown tall and strong Prince Magni said Odin, taller and stronger than thy father.
How could you know blurted Magni ? – how could you know I would arrive now at this precise moment in my past ? Am I not great Odin the allwise, the allknowing, the allseeing ? said his grandfather all that has happened and all that will happen is known to me.
But then for what seemed just a moment, all pompousness seemed to go out of Odin as he further embraced his grandson and they engaged in conversation and banter of that type that any mortal grandfather and grandson might do.
Then, Odin called a halt to the levity. There is a clear purpose to your coming here said Odin, and it is time to tell you of this.
You will be aware said Odin that eventually at the end of time itself the forces of entropy will eventually triumph over those of order – this is an inevitably. However there are those and one force in particular that is not content to await the inevitable but rather seeks to bring the effect of total entropy much farther down time towards us. While entropic in nature this force has no real name, it is greater by far than the single entropy that may be known to you.
Come with Prince Magni said Odin, as we travel upwards through time to see what is inevitable and what may yet be changed. As Odin and Magni moved up through time, what they first saw was most encouraging – the reign of Lord Thor the peace and harmony which it had brought on Earth was extended through vast areas of the Univeres. This is inevitable said great Odin, no power may prevent it.
Then, unexpectedly and to Magni's great consternation, moving even further through time, Odin and Magni entered an area of nothingness a purely null area – a buffer zone as Odin described it between the order imposed by Lord Thor and the complete disintegration of order that lay beyond.
Moving even further in time and beyond the nothingness, Odin allowed Magni just the briefest glance of the forces of disorder that had gathered. It was something beyond Magni's worst nightmare – a collection of evil and vileness that could not be described in words and it was moving backwards in time, into the null buffer zone, on a collision course with the order imposed by Lord Thor.
We cannot stay here more than the briefest of moments, said great Odin, in this place even my power is greatly diminished. I needed to bring you here though, so that you would understand what we face. What transpires in the buffer zone is what is as yet unwritten.
Long has my future self (with those above in shadow) considered these matters and many times have they spoken to the Living Tribunal and yes even to he who is above the Tribunal.
Ever have all came to the same conclusion Prince Magni – no matter what we do, in the end it is only through you as our agent that we can prevent the entropic forces taking all of the null zone and shortening the life of this Universe by billions of years !
How can this be? cries Magni, it seems only yesterday that I was little more than a boy?
Already, in your time, you have defeated an Exitar Class Celestial says Odin and you will continue to grow in strength, knowledge, power and wisdom.
Just as your father will move on to unify much of the Universe and as he has already surpassed the various cosmic and abstract powers that were once his betters, so you in time will surpass your father. At the time when the dark forces meet those of light somewhere in the buffer zone that I showed you, it will be you that has replaced your father as the unifying force in the Universe.
For myself I will simply try to teach you now, all that I know – I will give you all the knowledge that I have of matters physical, mystic, metaphysical and psychic in the hope that this will aid you in some small way. Later the Living Tribunal and "those above" will also make their own contributions as eventually will your father.
But know this even now, said Odin, the further back in time that the dark forces seek to impose entropy, the weaker they will be, because ultimately they will be further from their home base, their point of comfort. All those who will advise you from now on, will say the same thing – not to await the inevitable but to take the battle directly to the dark forces. The ultimate truth is that you will in time reach the point where you cannot be beaten by purely physical or energy means alone. Those who seek to defeat and indeed destroy you will attempt to do so by psychic and mystical means and perhaps by means and methods that are unknown to me.
They will seek to confront you with your very greatest fears, seek to invade the darkest recesses of your mind and cause you to lose all confidence in your great powers. You must be as strongly armoured against this as you are against any physical/energy attack.
So it was then, that millennia into the future Lord Thor stepped from his position of ultimate power and Lord Magni took over the helm of the greatest union of civilizations our Universe (or any other Universe) had ever known. Lord Thor remained on as a trusted adviser to Magni.
Still further down time Magni began to prepare for battle, with aid of his father, "those above" and of the Living Tribunal. An optimum point was determined – a line in the sand beyond which the dark powers should never be allowed to cross. The further they came to this line meant the advance of totally entropy but to engage them too far down time might (not inconceivably) lead to defeat.
There was fashioned for Magni a great armour, though I speak only metaphorically because it was not merely a physical suit of armour but an all embracing shielding designed to resist any known form of assault, physical, mystical, psychic, energy and even potential unknown forms of assault.
Accompanying Magni in his great armour was his right hand man the Living Tribunal and his left hand supporters – "those above in shadow". No others could accompany Magni into the dark abyss because no others possessed the power to stay in such a place let alone contest the drak forces, not even Eternity and not even great Thor himself. To use an analogy it was like Lennox Lewis having to box 15 rounds in 3 times normal gravity.
Thus at the point, at the line in the sand, was battle engaged. It was a battle like nothing heretofore seen or ever likely to be seen again. Strength, power, mystical skills, courage, fury, tenacity – none of these seemed to count for anything. It was as if the entire rules of warfare had been totally altered in favour of the aggressor.
The forces gathered against Magni were indeed beyond any form of description.
Very soon the entropic forces being applied were such that the individual members of "those above" could not remain on this strange battlefield. One by one and eventually even great Odin was forced to retreat backward in time out of the abyss and into the relative safety of the upmost time limits of our known Universe.
The Living Tribunal a true rock of Gibraltar remained at Magni's side. No amount of force , however applied could take him from Magni's side, but he could not of himself deal a finishing blow to the entropic forces.
Magni reeled in pain, his great armoured shielding provided some protection, but he was being assaulted in ways and by means that he did not even comprehend. There is something I am missing thought Magni, something that no one has told me, something that perhaps not even the Tribunal or "those above" knows.
Odin said that no physical/energy power could gainsay me. I must use that as the anchor of my thoughts. I shall completely ignore any fears or misgivings and thrust forward with all the great power at my disposal. I shall pay no heed to defence, the armour shall do that for me and I must now strike out at every conceivable level and in every conceivable way known to me.
Great Magni then thrust forth and as his confidence and courage grew, so he sensed his enemies recede. The battle continued, still, for what seemed like an eternity and then at the end of it there was nothing other than himself and the Living Tribunal.
They have gone said the Tribunal, you have dealt the dark forces of entropy a blow from which they will take long to recover. By your actions the eventual entropic decay of this Universe has been delayed by at least 2 billion years.
Come Great Magni said the Tribunal, it is time for us to return – you have a Universe to lead !