The Thunder God Returns

Drifting majestically in deep space the mighty Rune Thor remained in a state of dreaming semi-consciousness.

He dreamt of past events of great battles, both victories and defeats. He dreamt of past loves - of Lady Sif and Jane Foster. He also dreamt of his father great Odin and of Asgard. Of the warriors three, of noble Balder, the ever vigilant Heimdall and of glorious feasts in the great hall of Odin.

He also dreamt of Midgard and of its great heroes and many villains and particularly of his early days with the Avengers. His dreams also turned to his mother the elder goddess Gaea. He felt saddened to have had so relatively little contact with her.

All his dreams were now with the benefit of the greater wisdom and knowledge provided by the rune magic. Thus it was that he dreamt of so many things, such as his past disagreements with Odin and of his battle with Galactus and battles with the mighty Celestials and many other things in an entirely different light.

While he dreamt on a part of him looked outwards into the Multiverse and no events of cosmic significance escaped his attention.

Even in this semi-conscious dream state Lord Thor was far from vulnerable. Had any real danger threatened he would have moved quickly to full consciousness in order to deal with it. And there were few indeed anywhere in the Multiverse that would represent a threat to the might and wisdom of Rune Thor !

All the while an element of the OdinPower separate from Lord Thor and taking the familiar form of his long dead father watched on. This personification of the OdinPower stood ready to both alert Lord Thor and help defend him as he drifted seemingly endlessly through space.

One of the very first things Thor had realised after his acquisition of the rune magic was that while both his and his father's corporeal forms could be destroyed by a force of sufficient power, the Odinpower itself could never be truly destroyed. It represented a timeless force for good that ultimately would be present even until the very end of the Multiverse itself.

As Thor continued his reverie some of the other great powers were aware of his situation. Some saw no reason to interfere while a few both immensely powerful and malevolent saw this as an opportunity to combine their powers and strike him down during a time of perceived weakness.

In the dark dimension the dread Dormammu speaks to his two guests "While Rune Thor still lives there is always the possibility he may recreate both Asgard and the Asgardian race" . "I believe he has the power to do so alone and easily, though no doubt other pantheon gods such as Zeus would assist him if needed".

" We must strike against him now in his less than fully conscious state " responded Mephisto " if we can destroy him now, then I believe we destroy forever any hope of the Asgardian gods being re-created".

" Do not underestimate him " insisted Thanos, Dormammu's other guest, " this is the entity that defied those who live above in shadow and the Asgardian fates themselves and that treated the fearsome Mangog as if he were only a small child" "Also Zeus and the other skyfathers might yet intervene"

" You are too cautious Thanos" responded Mephisto. " the three of us together can surely deal a semi-conscious Rune Thor a quick and decisive death blow"

' Not necessarily" smiled Thanos "you two demons will both be away from your home dimensions and your powers somewhat reduced" "Further I do not think that anyone, except perhaps Rune Thor himself, truly knows the extent of his powers" ' I am certain that he now possesses an almost unrivalled level of cosmic knowledge and awareness!" " Provided of course that he is fully conscious" added Mephisto

" One thing is certain" responded Dormammu " the longer we leave it, the greater the risk as even in his current state he gradually becomes aware of our intentions" " Can we teleport him here to the dark dimension" enquired Thanos " where surely the advantage has to be ours?"

" I do not believe it is possible" said Dormammu "some separate residual element of the OdinPower seems to be protecting him, standing sentinel over him". " How is that possible " remarked Mephisto " I understood that Rune Thor possessed both the odinpower in its entirety and the power of the rune magic"

' Bahh the OdinPower" responded Thanos 'how I hate even it's mention, I wonder sometimes if such power can ever be truly destroyed ?"

"Are we all agreed then" said Dormammu "that we strike now and without further discussion ?"

A few moments before this Rune Thor was discussed among a gathering of some of the great cosmic powers Eternity, Infinity, Galactus. The Stranger, a Celestial representative, Master Order and Lord Chaos.

" Should we intervene ?" said the Stranger. "To what purpose ?" said Galactus " What is one pantheon more or one pantheon less to beings such as ourselves". " We will not need to intervene" said Eternity "just watch events unfold" "You are wrong Galactus, to be so dismissive of Rune Thor, he has a special place in the cosmic hierarchy which as yet even he does not know".

Teleporting interdimensionally from the dark dimension, three of the Universes most cunning and fundamentally evil entities launch an all out attack against the greatest skyfather in existence.

From the very instant that they arrive in the vicinity of Rune Thor the evil tiumvariate launches an instantaneous array of energy attacks , running through almost the entire spectrum of cosmic, mystic, eldritch and other energies only for it all to dissipate in the emptiness of deep space. The attack is launched against a purely holographic image of Rune Thor as he and his escort are nowhere to be detected.

" Have they teleported from this vicinity at the last moment" said Mephisto "No" responded Dormammu "I cannot detect any indication of recent interdimensional teleportation, there would be some detectable residual energies".

In fact a now fully conscious Rune Thor together with the personification of an element of the OdinPower had "phased" indetectably between our Universe and the nearest adjacent dimension taking solid form in neither.

From this not immediately detectable point Rune Thor "phases" back into our Universe and launches a completely unrestrained godblast level attack on Mephisto whom he pereceives as the weakest member of the tiumvariate. Taken totally by surprise and being out of his normal realm Mephisto is immediately destroyed by a level of asgardian energy attack far greater than that which once sent Galactus running and even gave mighty Exitar pause (Mephito's component sub atomic elements are scattered irretrievably).

Dormammu and Thanos act immediately and in unison and the immediate casualty is the personification of an element of the OdinPower which seeks to shield Rune Thor. The physical form taken by the residual OdinPower is immediately dispersed and then the attack falls on Rune Thor.

Despite the combined might of Thanos and Dormammu and the variety of attacks that they can launch their energy attacks initially falter against the inconceivable powerful energy shields of Rune Thor. Indeed he seems completely untroubled by their very best assaults almost laughing at them. Then momentarily Dormammu senses a minor breach in Thor's shields but as he seeks to exploit this Thor instantaneously heals the breach and draws his energy shields closer into towards his physical body.

Momentarily Thanos and Dormammu cease their assault and during this momentary lull, Rune Thor gathers in the dispersed residual elements of the OdinPower drawing them unto himself.

Rune Thor then places around his foemen a mighty containment field in which they initially seemed quite helpless " Now might be a good time to leave the battlefield":suggested Thanos "I believe we are possibly overmatched" " Can you teleport us to your dark dimension or indeed any other comparably safe dimension?" " No" responded Dormammu " the containment field is preventing me doing so – even if I could he would simply follow us' " But in the dark dimension surely we can defeat him there ?" replied Thanos.

Then suddenly and without warning the containment field began to grow ever smaller constricting in on Thanos and Dormammu such that they scarcely had room to move. At the very moment that the field began to crush Thanos to a pulp Dormammu just suceeded in teleporting to his dark dimension. The sole survivor of the triumvariate, Dormammu waited for a vengeful Rune Thor to seek him out in the dark dimension.

It did not happen, at least not immediately, as Dormammu sheltered apprehensively in his own realm both stunned and surprised at the power of Rune Thor

' As I indicated" said Eternity "we did not need to intervene" " Now listen as I tell you what I believe the future role and significance of Lord Thor will be"

At that very same moment Uaatu the Watcher prepared to leave his present base of operations – speaking to a fellow Watcher he stated " an event of Universal importance is about to happen I must prepare to be present to witness it"

" Will you pursue Dormmamu ?" enquired the OdinPower personification " Not now" said Rune Thor " There will be an accounting but this does not need to be immediate". "In any event, Dormammu and his dark dimension are of minor concern in the cosmic scale of events"

" I have followed you during your long period of semi-consciousness" said the OdinPower personification 'watching over you and waiting for you to regain full consciousness"

"I have had a long time for reflection" said Rune Thor "I have reflected on the past and also looked out into the Multiverse observing all events of significance" " More importantly I have had time to consider my future – the way forward from here ".

"What will you do now ?" asked the Odinpower personification.

" The entities once known as "those who live above in shadow" are completely destroyed by the process that I myself set in motion" said Rune Thor "and so therefore is the endless cycle for which they bore responsibility". "Even so I detect scattered throughout many areas of the Multiverese, small elements, bits and pieces, of that which was once Asgard including some intact artifacts and some still living Asgardians"

" How is this possible ? " responded the OdinPower personification. " It goes to the very fundamental nature of Ragnorak" replied Lord Thor. An opened portal that should have scattered every sub atomic particle of all that is Asgard irretrievably throughout the entire breadth of the Mutiverse and through time – but clearly it operated less than perfectly.

" Look there" said Rune Thor opening a viewing portal to Earth " your hammer" remarked the OdinPower personification "seemingly intact". With this Rune Thor immediately teleported the great weapon to his side.

" My first task is to draw these remnants together and then recreate the Asgardian plane of existence in all it's former glory" went on Rune Thor " Though this is but the beginning of my plans" " While semi-conscious and afterwards I have been communicating with Earthly and other pantheons and with the Elder Gods".

" While Zeus and the other pantheons would probably help" said the OdinPower personification "I sense that you have more than ample power to restore Asgard yourself"

" You would be aware" continued the OdinPower " that at least some of the major cosmic powers are looking on to see what you might do ?"

" What of that" ? asked Rune Thor "let them look – I sense even that great Eternity my have plans for me and will seek to communicate them soon"

" Will you pay heed to these ? " enquired the OdinPower

" I am my own man" said Rune Thor " I will of course hear him out and to some extent have already divined his intentions" " but in the end, and to the extent that his wishes differ from mine, I will follow my own path".

Without further discussion, Rune Thor, one of the mightiest entities in all creation, gathered in the residual elements of Asgardian existence scattered through all corners of the Multiverese and in a single almost instantaneous act of creation, recreated the pocket dimension once known as Asgard in all of its former glory. At one moment there was the nothingness of deep space with even the very nearest star many light years away, then with the wave of a hand stood one of the most splendid and majestic sights ever witnessed by man, god or cosmic entity.

Even the assemblage of cosmic powers gathered in an entirely different place could not help but be momentarlly impressed by this event.

" It seems hard to believe" responded the OdinPower personification.

" The time has come for you, the personification of a fragmentary element of the OdinPower, to rejoin me said Rune Thor – there is no longer any need for any element of the OdinPower to exist separate and apart from me". And with that the two become as one as ever it should be.

Rune Thor looked on at the sight of the newly recreated Asgard.

" A magnificent sight isn't it – even to one such as you ?" said Rune Thor sensing the unannounced arrival of great Eternity.

" Indeed mighty one" responded Eternity "You would know why I am here ?"

" I have a general sense of what you expect of me Eternity" responded Rune Thor

" Many among the cosmic powers have tended to underestimate the pantheon gods" said Eternity " We see now that you as Rune Thor are a greater force than ever you father was (except perhaps in the halcyon days of old) and far greater than any living skyfather"

" I am here to offer you a full place at all meetings of the cosmic powers with equal voting status to other assembled members, we ask your assistance at times of universal/multiversal crises and are prepared to assist new Asgard in the unlikely event of it being threatened by a power equal to or greater than yourself" " Further" said Eternity " while your power alone justifies a position in the assemblage, we would see you also as a representative of the other pantheons"

" I am happy to join the assemblage and to assist in time of crises" said Rune Thor " but you must know now that I will represent not only Earth's pantheons many of the other pantheons spread through our Universe and also the Elder gods including my mother and my step brother"

Momentarily surprised by this Eternity, responded "You will indeed be a worthy and mighty member of the assemblage Rune Thor" " I have to presume you have communicated with all these entities during your time of semi-consciouness ?" " Then and afterwards and even as we speak " said Rune Thor.

" Additionally " said Rune Thor " there will in times of Universal crises as judged by the gods assemblages of our own, no less important than that of the cosmic powers, and a cosmic power is invited as a full member of those meetings."

" We shall have to consider this" lordly one spoke Eternity "perhaps cosmic powers and gods should meet as one" " Indeed" said Rune Thor smiling inwardly to himself.

" It must be understood" continued Rune Thor " that if there is to be greater cooperation between us, we gods can no longer tolerate interference by either the Celestials or Galactus in our spheres of influence" "There must be an understanding here" " We in turn will not seek to interfere outside of our own spheres of influence".

" I believe this is possible" remarked Eternity " I speak even for the Living Tribunal on this matter !"

" And Dormammu ? " said Rune Thor " We leave this to you mighty one" answered Eternity "while we see the dark dimension itself as integral to the balance of the Multiverese, Dormammu himself is not"

" I believe we are in fundamental agreement then" said Rune Thor as Eternity departed and the mighty Lord of Asgard drifted down towards Asgard City and the welcoming cries of his people.

And did he not see there in company with his beloved Lady Sif and his parenting mother Frigga, his own birth mother Gaea herself among those waiting to welcome him.

" All hail Asgard " the cry rang – a sound that seemed to carry across the very length and breadth of the Multiverse.

And while now no element of the OdinPower resided outside Rune Thor, did it not seem, even for just a moment, that a huge image of Allfather Odin did but briefly appear in the skies of Asgard. Looking down upon them with a gentle smile perhaps from some plane of existence beyond even Rune Thor's ability to reach.