The Skies over Asgard
Normally the weapons of Asgard and those who wield them are more than enough to halt any attack on the City. Usually only fools and the allies of fools (therefore fools themselves) would countenance such an attack.
Today is different.
The Celestial One Above All delivered the ultimatum to Odin on behalf of the great cosmic powers of the Multiverse.
Galactus, the Stranger, The Inbetweener, Kronos, Uuaatu and others of his fellow Watchers and five more Celestials, Arishhem the Judge, Gammenon the Gatherer, Oneg the Prober, Eson the Searcher and Exitar the Exterminator were among those present. Abstract entities including Mistress Death herself, Master Order and Lord Chaos, Mistress Love and Master Hate also stood witness. Great Eternity and Infinity were also present though they were at some distance. Perhaps they were not entirely comfortable with the course of action being taken by their fellow titans.
Odin stood stony faced but unbowed. With him the skyfathers of all of the god pantheons associated with the Earth and not a few other Skyfathers, leaders of extra-dimensional pantheons closely allied to Asgard. At Odin's shoulder stood the blood of the blood, the greatest warrior god ever to have drawn breath, the mighty Thor.
In the skies above Asgard mighty storm gathered momentum, urged on involuntary by the anger of the son of Odin. Everyone present on this day, god and cosmic power alike, knew this was no ordinary storm but a harbinger of what was to come.
Odin, Thor and all of the skyfathers present had mystically grown to Celestial size. A sure sign they were in mood to be intimidated. Elsewhere these events were being witnessed by almost all the god pantheons of the Multiverse and almost all of the cosmic powers. Including the home worlds of the Celestial and Watcher races. Privately more than half of the pantheons of the Multiverse had said they would join the Earth pantheons in battle. Others spoke of the need for caution. Aren't there always such entities? Continuing to advise caution even when all about them is in flame and ruin?
Back behind Asgard City, and deep into the sub continent, yet towering over all, was Odin's Destroyer construct. Now empowered by much of the god power of all the pantheons of the Earth save only the Skyfathers, Death Gods, and a few others. The behemoth, larger than an Exitar class Celestial, looked on. A signal from Odin was all that it needed. It was unstated, yet understood, that many of the Multiverse pantheons would contribute god energies to it. Odin only had to ask.
Elsewhere among the city's fortification was the Odin Canon manned by those of Asgard best equipped to do so. A weapon only every fired once in anger. Before the mighty Thor was even born.
The Elder Gods of the Earth including Gaea, birth mother of the mighty Thor, were not subject to the cosmic decree yet they stood in support of the pantheon gods. Silently witnessing events. With them not a few Elder gods from other dimensions.
All in all the most watched event by the great powers in all of Multiversal history.
Presumably, from somewhere, the Living Tribunal himself watched on. Yet that entity had not sought to mediate, or, worse, take sides in the coming conflict.
The demands of the cosmic powers were intolerable. All of the earth's pantheon gods without exception were to cease any form of association with the Earth. They were to play no future part in the destiny of man. To ensure this the pantheons were to depart without any exception and without delay to a distant extra-dimensional location assigned to them. Does not human history itself contain a myriad of such treatments of supposedly lesser groups?
Allfather Odin saw it for what it was. The Celestials had succeeded in influencing the other great cosmic powers to lean to their own particular way of thinking. Odin could feel the anger welling within him. He sensed the hate emanating from the abstract entity Master Hate. The Lord of Asgard controlled himself though controlling his Axe was proving more difficult.
The Celestial TOAA conjured up a vision as to the consequences of the gods not complying with the cosmic ultimatum. It showed Asgard and Olympus and indeed all of the homes of the pantheon gods associated with Earth burned to less than cinders.
Further it showed the Earth, all life upon it expunged, hurtling through space at frightening speed towards the welcoming arms of an unknown alien sun.
Fuelled by Master Hate's manipulations the mighty OdinAxe was urging its master to immediate conflict. Suddenly the sentient weapon conjured up an image in Odin's minds eye. In it Odin had used the axe to decapitate the Celestial TOAA and also slashed a vicious deep cut in the entities chest cavity. Celestial energies were poring forth unrestrained from these areas and the mystical power of the OdinAxe prevented the Celestial from regenerating its damaged armor.
Mere fanciful imaginings on the part of the sentient OdinAxe? Mayhap, yet the Lord of Asgard allowed the Celestials to read this in his mind and he saw they were discomforted by it. "If the OdinAxe troubles them, how much more will they be troubled by the lost weapons of Asgard?" thought Odin but he shielded these particular thoughts very carefully.
The Celestial TOAA with typical rigidity indicated by hand signs that there was no scope for negotiation. This was simply how it was to be. Odin's response was quietly restrained yet eloquent. Eternity looked aside, clearly embarrassed. If wisdom and eloquent reasoned argument meant anything then the battle was already over. Since it didn't, Odin finished with the clearest possible indication that the gods would not move. Enigmatically he cautioned against opening a "Pandora's box" of unrestrained god power.
As the great cosmic powers temporarily retired from Asgard, Odin pulled Thor and Zeus aside. "We must expect an imminent attack" said the Allfather. Without time for a detailed explanation Odin with a mere gesture placed in the minds of Thor and Zeus the knowledge of a great event that had been kept from them for untold millennia.
Back in a time when even Odin himself was yet young and new to the throne of Asgard a long hard war was fought with an enemy too fearful, too terrifying to contemplate. When victory was achieved only by the narrowest of margins Odin removed all knowledge of the conflict from every living being save himself and the Living Tribunal. This was so men and those who were more than men could sleep at night and the Multiverse could again become a quieter, gentler place.
Both great Odin and the Tribunal thought that the weapons used at this time would never again be needed. That they were simply too powerful to be left anywhere that lesser beings could acquire them. As such these "lost weapons of Asgard" were placed beyond the access of all save Odin and the Living Tribunal.
"My son" said Odin "We are ranged against all the cosmic powers of the Multiverse and have uncertain support from many of the Multiverse pantheons". "Unthinkably we must again retrieve some of these ancient weapons; great mjolnir will show you the way." "With the cosmic powers attack imminent all skyfathers must remain here."
"Which weapons shall I return with father" enquired the Mighty Thor.
"You will know my son" was Odin's only reply "you will know."
Even before the mighty Thor could return the conflict began.
The gods drew first blood. Almost exactly the same as in the image the OdinAxe had conveyed to Odin's mind's eye. By the very mightiest of swings with the fabled OdinAxe Odin decapitated the Celestial TOAA. As in the image the mystical forces at play seemed to prevent the Celestial from re-generating its armor. The energies of the most exalted Celestial of all were spewing everywhere. The OdinAxe held firmly in Odin's hand seemed to be glowing brighter than a million suns.
Then in a move that caught the cosmic powers completely by surprise Odin removed his long standing custodianship of the delicate balance between Order and Chaos. Instantly Master Order and Lord Chaos were at each others throats and the Multiverse entire was plunged into a conflict between order and chaos that could only spiral out of control unless another were to take up that custodianship.
Then with the Celestial TOAA still writhing prostrate before Odin, all restraint and all caution was thrown to the cosmic winds as gods and cosmic entities flew at each other.
Galactus and Zeus locked together in a death embrace from which only one would survive. Eye energy beams blasting in to each others faces. Inconceivable energies dancing and coruscating about the entire lengths of their huge forms. Both titans savagely ripped at each others throats, hands and fingers alive with either Olympian energies or the power cosmic. Indeed the Olympian and cosmic energies intermingled to the point they were inseparable. Each of the true titans sought to free an arm, to deliver a blow powerful enough that it might also deliver death.
A phalanx of pantheon death gods, not just those such as Hela and Pluto associated with the Earth plane, but others among the Multiverse pantheons struck in a wedge shaped formation at the ultimate of all death entities, Mistress Death herself. Perhaps this was no more than a vainglorious attack but it would serve at least to occupy Death for a while.
Leading the charge for the elder gods the Demogorge sought to rip out the throat of the enigmatic stranger while the All Pantheon Destroyer construct raised its disintegration visor and unleashed that awesome weapon on Exitar of the Celestials.
Deeply worried about Asgard, the All Father had placed the "Shield of Odin" about it. The Shield had grown to city size and would offer temporary protection at best. Until the mighty Thor returned with something more enduring.
Odin confronted by Arishhem the Celestial suddenly found himself plummeting not only through layers of time but layers of time in different dimensions. No doubt primarily the work of Kronos but the dimensional subtleties suggested the hand of another. It was a clever tactic containing only one significant flaw. It was used against Odin the Almighty, Lord of all Asgard and wielder of the Odinforce.
Returning to the now moment in our Universe Odin ensured that Kronos was suitably "rewarded". The supposed master of time was himself placed in a one day long repetitive time constraint block. His own personal "ground hog day" if you will. In a 24 Earth hour repetitive cycle Kronos was the helpless witness to the final 24 hours in the infamous fuhrerbunker of Earth's greatest Dictator Adolf Hitler before he took his own life. Odin chuckled, if the battle against the cosmics went on long enough Kronos might even go mad. There seemed a strange irony in this.
But Arishem the Judge awaited Odin. Like Galactus, Arishem also opted for the savage physical approach. Odin was slightly bemused by this. The Celestials were if anything somewhat slow, cumbersome and unskilled in purely physical battle. While Odin was undeniably one of the great warrior gods of all time. As he had mystically grown to Celestial size Odin was only too happy to accommodate the Celestial in physical battle. As Odin reigned blow after blow upon Arishem the hatred grew within him. Who were these meddling genetic manipulators, these self styled space gods to demand that the true gods themselves be rounded up like cattle and put to pasture? Increasingly Arishem was unable to return Odin's blows but the Allfather was past caring.
Elsewhere and perhaps even elsewhen the mighty Thor marveled at the contents of the "Lost weapons of Asgard repository" every bit as much as he marveled at their location.
Odin and the Living Tribunal had almost hidden the repository in plain sight.
It was located in one of the realities contained in the All Place itself, a place where all of the realities converge as if they were merely different streets in a large city. Yet this particular reality was accessible only to great Odin and the Living Tribunal and now the mighty Thor. Thor wondered whether the present custodians of the All Place, the galactic superpower empire of the Tolden knew of the repository. This seemed unlikely. If Odin and the Living Tribunal together did not wish it, then it was not so.
Thor marveled at his father's accomplishments in gathering all these weapons together.
He now knew that as a young skyfather, Odin had embarked on a cosmic quest. To locate the main extra-dimensional pantheons, to begin "mapping" their locations on the great map of the gods, and to gather in any great artifacts upon the way. A quest that had paid dividends in times past and would now do so again.
Of the various artifacts before him one item seemed to call to him much as mighty mjolnir might do. He knew it from the description Odin had implanted in his mind.
It was "the armor of the son to be" – not Thor as Odin's son but Magni, his own son not yet born. Magni who as wearer of this armor would take mighty Asgard to even greater heights. So Thor believed, and so he had once seen when viewing the distant future from the high place at Hlidskialf.
Even the battle armor of Odin himself could not begin to match this armor. Its pedigree was beyond all question.
It was originally the armor of Tragathh the last soldier of the Brell a race that millions of years ago strode the stars and the dimensions as easily as men might walk to the house next door. In a great intertemporal journey of millions of years Tragathh had sought out and destroyed the entity that had destroyed his own race.
Then, living, all too briefly. among the gods of Asgard Tragathh passed on content bequeathing his armor to a youthful Odin. Legend had it that the armor contained all of the residual power of the Brell. Yet not content with this Odin had added his own enchantments and those of the other Earth skyfathers and in the end enchantments from most of the extra-dimensional god pantheons that he visited on his great quest.
The mighty Thor took with him just two other artifacts. They did nor glow or entreat him to take them but he knew just the same that these were what was needed. Just as Almighty Odin had said.
As the struggle between pantheon gods and cosmic powers continued the palpable hatred, grew ever greater fuelling the conflict. This was something far more than merely Master Hate's manipulations. All engaged in the battle felt it to a lesser or greater degree. It allowed of no scope for conciliation or reason. Even the normally docile Watchers fought with indescribable savagery. Odin had not known the like since the unthinkable, unmentionable war long ago. As if those who had then threatened all of existence had somehow been able to pass on their hatred many millennia later.
Though the Odin Cannon had never been used during their life times, Heimdall, Hermod, and Hogun the Grim had all been well trained in its use. Heimdall offering a physical sensory capability far beyond the most advanced imaginable computer targeting systems and Hermod offered a frightening speed of operation. Hogun offered sheer determination and the preparedness to take massive loss of life if necessary.
Rumor had it that when last used, on a distant battlefield, the Cannon had shattered a Galaxy and even its recoil alone had pulverized a star system. They would need to be careful with it.
Soon the first of the main body of Celestials and the race of Watchers began to teleport in to the battle. At about the same time more of the Multiverse's other pantheon gods' skyfathers, war gods, gods of thunder and death gods also began teleporting in. On both sides some never made it. Both the Celestials and certain of the Multiverse pantheon gods had the power to intercept and destroy entities while in the act of teleportation. An act also well within the present capabilities of the Odin Cannon.
Those Celestials and Watchers that reached the field of battle came under immediate fire from the Heimdall/Hermod/Hogun controlled Odin Cannon. A Cannon that can destroy Galaxies can with a few adjustments be calibrated to destroy a Celestial or a Watcher.
Apart from Eternities subtle assistance to Kronos, Eternity and Infinity had played a by-stander role but as more and more of their fellows fell before the gods their own high level intervention was becoming increasingly necessary. Eternity took the first step to full scale involvement in taking over custodianship of the balance between Chaos and Order relinquished by Odin. "Steadying the ship" for the cosmic powers.
In the midst of it all the Mighty Thor returned bearing arms. Standing resplendent in the "armor of the son to be" the mighty Thor raised mjolnir high above his head and called upon the greatest cosmic storm that had ever been summoned or that ever will be summoned. Using his own god essence combined not only with the hammer supreme but also the armor supreme Thor fed the storm still further. It seemed to momentarily sweep away the other energies, cosmic, Celestial, Asgardian, Elder God, and other god pantheon and for the briefest of moments even the Odinforce itself seemed to defer to the mighty Thor's godstorm.
Almost every pantheon has its Thunder God, yet as every Skyfather and every great cosmic power knows there is only one true god of Thunder.
If you had taken a thousand thunder gods from the many pantheons of the Multiverse they could never have come anywhere near creating a storm such as this. The madness the total insanity that had prevailed seemed to clear from the battlefield and for a moment from the minds of all.
The son of Odin cried out "enow, I say enow, can you all not see the savage madness that doth abound here! Let the battle cease now, let reason prevail!" It was a cry to reason that could be heard throughout the length and breadth of the Multiverse.
All warring factions, gods and cosmic powers alike, momentarily ceased their fighting and looked to the Mighty Thor for guidance. Thor had accomplished something that the Living Tribunal himself had been either unwilling or unable to do. The temporary cessation of hostilities.
There are times, crucial watershed moments in the lives and histories of men, gods, and cosmic entities alike where the path taken may lead upwards to the light or downwards to ever spiraling decay. This was such a moment. The ultimate watershed moment in the whole history of the Multiverse. Save perhaps only, times beginning and its end.
Yet even as he started to call out further to them, the warring factions, even All Father Odin, looked away from him, and recommenced battle.
Thor saw the moment had past and been lost.
He saw too that an overcrowded battle that had thus far been largely contained to the general vicinity of the Asgardian dimension would now likely spread unconstrained to all of the four corners of the Multiverse.
For a moment the mighty Thor despaired. He saw the future more clearly than he ever had at Hlidskialf and it was cause for that despair. The dreams of his son Magni carrying Asgard on to even greater heights occupied no place in this future most grim.
Then the son of Odin, the last sane great power of the Multiverse, was himself afflicted by the mad hatred and launched himself into battle.
Elsewhere the Living Tribunal had already succumbed to the mad hate and had decided on which side to enter the conflict.
His decision did not favour the gods.
Some years later
The Exitar class Celestial, Leandarr, the last of his race, moved swiftly through the star systems in his path. It was the first time the Celestial behemoth had returned to this part of the Multiverse since the great Multiverse War that had almost destroyed all life.
He missed his own kind and the group Overmind through which all Celestial minds could mingle and communicate. The anger that he had once felt towards the destroyers of that Overmind, the Asgardian gods Odin and Thor, was long gone. Just as the anger, the pure unadulterated hatred, which had infected all of the gods and cosmic powers and indeed all life, had long since run its course.
Some of the star systems that Leandarr was now moving through had once held life. But no longer. Without exception their suns were drained husks and the shattered planets no more than asteroid belts of debris that had eventually found equilibrium of sorts orbiting the dead suns. Leandarr reflected that the Multiverse was a colder place now. In every sense of the word.
The leviathan came across several star system size, jagged, diamond like structures, in the depths of interstellar space. Whole Universes seemed to be compressed into these fragmentary structures. These were the remnants of some of the realities that had not survived the conflict. A direct consequence of The Living Tribunal's decision, at the height of his madness, to destroy the All Place.
Leandarr recalled that even the Living Tribunal had been suffused with the mad hatred. The Tribunal had entered the conflict on the side of the cosmic powers and directed the battle against the gods. On occasion, greatly empowering some cosmic entities, such as the Silver Surfer, for specific tasks.
Ultimately it had been the Living Tribunal that had ordered the unthinkable. The attack on the All Place where all of the realities converge. He had sent Thanos, Tyrant, Abraxas, and all of the former heralds of Galactus, except the destroyer construct, resurrecting some and including a vastly empowered Silver Surfer. The gods had been too slow to react and the All Place custodians, the super power empire of the Tolden, had not been up to the task.
Were it not for an artefact that the mighty Thor had secured from the "Lost Weapons of Asgard" repository even our own reality, the Central reality, might have collapsed and gone the way of all others.
There had been no victors in a war that had inevitably drawn in the other mystical/magical powers of the Multiverse (mainly on the side of the gods) and also the more technologically advanced races.
The privilege of survivorship was shared equally between but a handful of the warring factions.
Leandarr knew though that among the lesser survivors, the mortals, human and otherwise, it was the cosmic powers that were blamed for the war. That at night, the mortals, thinly spread through the Galaxies, comforted themselves with tales of the strength, the power, the heroism, the nobility, and the courage of the gods. None more so than All Father Odin of Asgard and his bloodson the mighty Thor.
Finally the hulking Exitar class Celestial reached his destination.
A place that had been the Earth, Asgard, Olympus axis. It was here where the war had begun and ultimately here where it had ended. Though the battle had extended to all corners of the Multiverse the conflict was never fiercer than in this very place.
It was quiet now in every sense of the word. The Earth's sun had burned cold, the inconceivably powerful energies that had been unleashed here had finally largely dissipated and the telepathic death screams of souls in torment, of life forces extinguished, had ceased.
The Celestial looked about. For all that had taken place here there was comparatively little evidence of the conflict in terms of weaponry debris. As if an unseen cosmic hand had largely swept the area clean. Briefly Leandarr thought of he who is above us all, if indeed that entity still existed.
Leandarr noticed a fragment of the hilt of Twilight, the sword of Surtur, among the debris. In the end the great sword had proved even more durable than the Odinsword itself. After the destruction of the Odinsword, Surtur in his death throes had willingly thrown the sword Twilight into Odin's grasp. Asgard's Lord had made good use of it.
Also among the debris, tiny shards of the great shield of Odin. The shield had first been used to protect Asgard and after Thor had returned from the "Lost Weapons of Asgard" repository with an even more enduring defence the shield had been used to help protect the Earth.
This had puzzled the cosmic powers at the time. The Odin Shield they understood but when Odin transferred it to protect the Earth, the planetoid/continent that is Asgard itself should have been incinerated many times over as collateral damage. Only after the war did the full truth emerge.
As the land mass of Asgard was being almost constantly disintegrated so the artefact taken by Thor from the repository was constantly renewing, nano second by nano second, the molecular, indeed the very atomic structure of the land of Asgard. In this it was greatly assisted by the many and various mystical artefacts that abound in greater Asgard. And all, ultimately, was underwritten by the power of Odin and Thor.
Elsewhere Leandarr noticed little more than a few slivers of the great Odin Cannon. Leandarr shrugged. The rumours that the Cannon had the power to destroy Galaxies were more than rumours. Ably manned by those best equipped to do so, and protected by an in depth defence of pantheon war gods about it, the Cannon had taken its toll of the cosmic powers. Guided by the Odin reinforced senses of Heimdall the Canon had proved as accurate against a target the other side of the Galaxy as it was against a target at close range. Forcing the Living Tribunal to vastly empower the Silver Surfer into the ultimate stealth form.
Evading all of the protections about the Cannon, the Surfer, travelling as fast as thought and with simultaneous enhanced bolts of the power cosmic, laid low Heimdall, Hermod, and Hogun the Grim. More, though not destroying it, the Surfer rendered the Odin Cannon non operational. It would not be used in the conflict again. For this deed the silver one paid with his life as he was struck down attempting to flee by a sickening blow from a mighty mjolnir that absorbed all of the excess empowerment provided by the Living Tribunal. Leaving the Silver Surfer vulnerable to the angry attentions of the war gods he had evaded. Perhaps somewhat after the fashion of a shot down Earth bomber pilot surrounded by angry civilians whom he has just bombed.
Leandarr remembered great Eternity doing what the Living Tribunal had been reluctant to do and engaging Almighty Odin himself, one on one. The cosmic powers knew that an essential ingredient to victory was to divest the All Father of the much feared OdinAxe. Eternity succeeded in loosening Odin's grip on the Axe such that the Axe flew free but at what a cost! Burning brighter than a million suns the Axe disappeared into the depths of Eternity. It never returned but the damage done became clear. Further as the very embodiment of our Universe, Eternity suffered and declined as the Universe suffered and declined.
One direct consequence of this was that Eternity could no longer maintain the balance between Order and Chaos that Odin had earlier deliberately relinquished.
Leandarr the Celestial remembered also how the cosmic powers lost two of their most potent entities through no action of the gods. Master Hate had sought to absorb the hatred that had suffused all living things. A task beyond him just as Mistress Love was overwhelmed by it. The two abstract entities ended up destroying each other.
Then the Celestial noticed another artefact among the debris. One that gave him pause as no other had. Impossibly, inconceivably, the hammer of Thor had survived the conflict. Blackened and pitted, cracked and scarred, it was nonetheless essentially whole. The Colossus was startled, an involuntarily reaction. Even now the great hammer evoked fear in him as it no doubt would for any and all of the very few surviving cosmic powers.
Whatever hand had attempted to sweep this area clean, it could not sweep away the memories. This place was full of them, full of the ghosts of the past. They continued flooding back to Leandarr.
The Celestial behemoth visualised again Odin's monstrous Destroyer construct almost bloated with the life forces not only of Earth pantheons but of other distant pantheons. It was surrounded by a veritable host of Celestials and Watchers and other cosmic entities milling around it, seeking to lay it low. Which, eventually, they did. Though not before it took a heavy toll of the cosmics including the incineration of mighty Exitar under its lethal disintegration beam.
Looking in another direction Leandarr recalled the awe inspiring memory of an astral gathering of the sorcerers supreme of many of the Multiverse's dimensions and the spell that brought forth heroes of the past, gods, other mystical/magical entities, and yet other heroes and champions. A spell that somewhat backfired, as it also brought forth cosmic powers of the past. Thus serving, in the end, too only enlarge the conflict still further by introducing an inter-temporal component. Just one of the entities brought forth by this spell was the Demi-Urge, according to some, the creator of life on Earth. Those same energies of creation were used by the Demi-Urge in mighty defence of the Earth/Asgard/Olympus axis.
No memory though was more etched in Leandarr's Celestial consciousness than the god blasts of the son of Odin.
Towards the end the gods were on the defensive, yet sustained god blasts from Thor, Odin, Vishnu and all of the sky fathers present had held the unrelenting cosmics at bay. Until eventually the Living Tribunal himself had come to break the deadlock.
None of the cosmic entities had understood how Thor, in particular, had been able to sustain god blast after god blast. All conventional wisdom was that the process of just one god blast should leave him totally exhausted. Unable to launch a further assault until considerable time had passed. Yet it patently was not so. Was it the residual power of the Brell in the "armour of the son to be" that had reinforced him, or were the depths of power, of strength, of determination, of the son of Odin, ultimately beyond anything the great cosmic powers had envisaged. Now the answer would never be known.
After the death of Odin, the god blasts of Thor even seemed to increase still further in sheer destructive power. For as long as he might live Leandarr would never forget the last god blast of the son of Odin. A god full of pure anger and fury beyond all imagining – righteous wrath producing strength and power greater than any mere warrior's madness ever could have done.
After this the whole of the Earth/Asgard/Olympus axis was a seething raging mass of leashed Asgardian energy.
The Living Tribunal pronounced that the life force of the mighty Thor had himself been consumed in the god blast. That the son of Odin had used the resources of his own body in this final act.
Exhausted beyond all belief a shattered Living Tribunal and a very few surviving cosmic companions left the Earth/Asgard/Olympus axis. Of those few, it was only Leandarr that would return.
Leandarr looked over the battlefield again. This time more intently, more minutely. Determined to miss nothing of importance.
Incredibly he had missed something on his first scan of the area, or had its presence been withheld from him?
Somehow cocooned within a very small asteroid was the "armour of the son to be" and within that armours protective embrace lay the son of Odin himself. Not at all dead but merely asleep and now moving to wakeful consciousness.
Then Leandarr sensed elsewhere on the Earth/Asgard/Olympus axis the elements of a great power reforming. At first he could not perceive its true nature. Yet as he continued to watch and wait, it became clear to him.
There was intense activity amidst the debris in what had formerly been Earth's orbit about the sun. Something swirling amidst the debris with more than merely random purpose.
The Odinpower was reforming and coalescing with it and reforming with it were some of the energies of other pantheon and elder gods that had perished here. Most notably the power of the Demi-urge.
Leandarr, last surviving Celestial, came finally to realise that which any Asgardian school child of the past could have told him. That the OdinPower can never be truly destroyed. That it is and always was a force for good and for creation complementary to the original forces of creation.
The mighty Thor now fully returned to consciousness took stock of events gathering in elements of that which was now something slightly more than the OdinPower.
Leandarr continued to look on as the mighty Thor, utilising the more than OdinPower began to recreate the Earth/Asgard/Olympus axis including all of the Sol star system including the sun. Then just as the Demi-Urge had seeded life on Earth and created the elder gods long ago, so the mighty Thor seeded the Earth with life anew.
Leander watched on and did not interfere in this process. Though briefly he thought of doing so, he knew intuitively that he lacked the power. Rather if it were possible for a great Celestial to experience a sense of wonder then Leandarr experienced this as he witnessed the events of the Earth's re-creation.
Eventually the massive Celestial turned and moved away. He did not look back. Legend has it that at that moment a huge image of All father Odin appeared briefly near the Earth totally dwarfing the Celestial. That Odin and Thor watched the Celestial's departure together.
All of the few remaining great powers knew immediately of the act of re-creation.
The certain knowledge that the mighty Thor was not dead and that the OdinPower, indeed something even more than the OdinPower had survived.
Here in this new greater OdinForce, this Odin/Demi-Urge power, the mighty Thor had an instrument for creation second only to the original creator at times aborning.
The mighty Thor would move on utilising the Odin/Demi-Urge power for other acts of re-creation. In turn the remaining cosmic, god pantheon and other mystic great powers, through Thor, had found the will that had been lacking. To make a small start in the reconstitution and re-creation of other small areas of our Universe.
At night in the re-created Asgard, the mighty Thor looked out among the stars. There were far fewer of them now than before. His mind turned to the dreams he had while he slept cocooned in the armour of the son to be. They were dreams of Magni. Magni that would one day wear that armour and would take Asgard onward and upwards to even greater heights.
The mighty Thor, son of Odin, saw that this could still be. That there was still reason to dream.
In an attempt not to repeat the mistakes of the past all sentient beings were advised of the reasons for and factors behind the Multiverse war.
Every sentient entity knew of the reasons for the hatred that had suffused all. In the unmentionable conflict that many millennia before had preceded the Multiverse War, Almighty Odin and the Living Tribunal had triumphed but they had removed all knowledge of that event from every mind except their own.
A decision that proved to be a mistake of unparalleled proportions in all of the history of the Multiverse. If as a community the gods and the cosmic powers, and indeed other mystical/magical entities had been aware of this earlier war they could at least have been on their guard against the hatred that had consumed them all.
The unmentionable, the unthinkable enemy of that time, had indeed been defeated. At least their physical bodies, their energy forms, their essential life forces had been first driven outside of the Multiverse and then destroyed. Yet somehow impossibly the hatred, long adrift in the ethereal sea beyond the Multiverse, had survived and even flourished. Eventually seeping back into our Multiverse with the cataclysmic results that all survivors of the Multiverse war now knew. It called into question who had actually won that earlier war.