No intent to bore anyone; but couldn't help but do this; my last take on this last match:
With his ravaged eye, a somewhat, somehow, aged Captain America peered out into the expanse that was the Khazan star system. His ominous brow and ever present frown a grave reminder of the last time he encountered this being with some of the best men he led into battle. 'So, you say you know of an anomaly, a crack in the works; that can slip us under the radar?'
The Sultan : 'Yes, most definitely. As a matter of fact, we will be upon it in another 5 minutes of your earth time.' The Sultan was a being that had traverses time and space and somehow went to and fro without detection, using the one crack in the space stream to his advantage, keeping tabs on Zero's slumber.
Cap: 'DD, where are Callisto and her backup?
DD; 'Backup at 3:00 o clock Cap, if you know what i mean.'
Cap: 'Gentlemen, open the hatch.'
Callisto, along with a band of rag tag 'battlers' enters the craft.'
'Greetings Cap. You haven't been well.'
Cap: 'Just scrapes and bruises, and a fast aging paradox to solve Callisto. Something tells me my salvation lies in Zero's death.'
Callisto: 'So believe we all Captain, so believe we all.'
Callisto had just brought back Cap form the land of the dead, where Zero had almost certainly sent him during their last encounter. He had somehow accelerated Cap's aging process, which Callisto managed to reverse through the combined, dying efforts of three mages. Alas, it was only enough to bring him back, perhaps for one last strategy in the probable, last battle they would ever wage. She needed Cap's organizational prowess, and only hoped that the accelerated aging had also made him somehow wiser. But that was only a wayward wish she knew was too good to be true.
Cap: 'I would have done the honours, but I can barely breathe Callisto.' Perhaps you should do this.'
Callisto: (Possibly Her last speech) 'My honour to do so, Cap. Gentlemen, ladies, aliens, bugs, thugs, heroes and conquerors. I never thought such a day would come, when we all would converge upon a place beyond time itself, beyond the laws of existence, and for the sole purpose of erasing the one being from existence, that ravaged entire universes, planets, beings, ............loved ones, yours and mine. We are all that are left. All that will stem his wave of aggression when he most certainly awakens from his imposed slumber. Leaders, kings, squires and beggars, we are all one and equal today. I know you feel a helplessness in your heart and know this might very well be a mission ending in death. A suicide mission. But were we not dead the moment we wagered that Zero can be beat? Had we not sold our souls to the fire, the moment we left the still yearning bones of our loved ones, our friends, our allies to rush to this God forsaken place? So here we are. Few, but determined. Wounded but willing. Beaten, but with hope; that life, the one thing we can agree is most precious right now, existence itself, can be salvaged. Did I just just forget we are also thugs, slime, scum and ravagers? Nay, we haven't forgotten. Perhaps Zero has. Let us remind him, what it is like to underestimate the most feared in this universe. His is a legacy molded by power alone. Our is one forged out of the steel of our determination. We have downed tyrants, we have been tyrants, we have seen the edges of the universe, we have been the rulers of the universe itself! Zero has nothing on us. Perhaps after all this time, his name will have a fitting end: Nothing. Let us take away his last hope, his last struggle. Make him beg for his very existence. This will be our masterwork, this will be our Picasso, our most venerable stroke. There are no alternatives, there are no choices, leave one: Victory has to be ours. It will be ours.' So say we all.'
Almost as if someone heard the address, a rumbling sound rocked the entire ship, rending apart the frame and tossing them all out like rag dolls caught in the fury of a tremendous, angry gale.
Callisto saw Luthor's eyes stare in disbelief at his own helplessness, as his makeshift armour wrapped its intricacies around him, Terrax' screams for vengeance, DD's struggles to hold onto Cap and Nightwing, Black Bolt's efforts to remain silent to save his breath for the battle and not to destroy everyone around him; The Ferrets Five struggling to get their aerial gear to work and begin catching the ones who could not fly; and the Sultan being rescued by Hawkeye and Mockingbird with their makeshift flying apparatus.
So much for the rift; they had been discovered. This was no erroneous energy dispersion accidentally downing an entire ship. This was a deliberate and devilishly frightening precursor of the things to come. Nightwing taped his broken arm, as did Hawkeye his on arm that was instrumental in taking aim. The others got to their feet as the ferreters five landed behind them, bringing the non-flyers to safety.
'What an aberrant collection of souls thou hast brought to the arena Callisto. Hast thy sense left you so, that thou hast no resolve left in thee to bring someone worthy to face me?, Zero boomed as his essence awoke. It seemed it had been expecting them.
Callisto: 'I see you have begun to speak Asgardian, Zero. It is you who seems to be hallucinating.'
Zero: 'How accurate is thy perception, Callisto; even in the face of thy death.' With that rant, Zero formed into numerous Asgardian warriors, led by the one they feared would materialize among others: Thor. Callisto knew this is not Thor, for he perished in the great battle, but this mockery would reflect all his powers; and none of his compassion.
Callisto: 'This is beyond you all. Get behind me now!'
As the Asgardian unleashed what seemed to be a form of the Thunder God's lightning, Callisto formed a strong force field around her group.
'Cap, we underestimated him; he knew all along we were coming. Where is Sultan.'
Surely, as another horror yet dawned upon them, there he was, the Sultan, clad in black, smiling, and eyes aglow; enjoying their desperation. His family perishing, his soul ascending, his desire for vengeance all a lie. A trap to ensnare the Feretters.
Calliston: 'Feretters, He did this. Leave Zero to us, Teach this Sultan the meaning of this treachery.'
With that, the ferreters five flew into the Sultan, who casually fired a salvo, ending in a huge blast. A smaller battle had thus begun, within the larger battle for survival.
Potter: (yup Potter Plus)'You mangy, twisted freak. I smelled something on you, all weasly, all damned.'
Sultan: 'Five against one? Not fair. But then again, why not? How else would I do this?' With that, the Sultan unleashed a huge energy field ensnaring all 5 of his opponents, weakening them instantly. He was absorbing their power!
Zero:' Really, I had expected better Callisto. Even with a portion of my power, you are at loggerheads with yourself. I can keep this amusement up an entire millennium; can you?'
Callisto just realised that standing there, protecting her charges would only drain her powers quicker. But, she did not want to pull the last curtain yet. She wanted to give Zero full hope, that the night belonged to him. Sometimes, treachery was the only way to achieve the greater good! She did not believe that at one time, but this was a moment as good as any.
Callisto: 'Gentleman, teach these brutes some manners.
Hawkeye and Mocking bird unleashed a collection of arrows laced with mini warheads. They knew this was all they would give, and yet it might be short. They took out the charging Warriors three, and in the resulting explosion, themselves perished.
DD fought off a slew of every morphing Elektras, and kept getting stabbed, going on one knee.
Luthor stood still, as of chronicling the fight itself. He had been leader, tyrant, and even came close to being omnipotent. How could it come to this. The very essence of life he fought for; being taken away by the urges of a power hungry fiend? What a blow to his pride it would be if they were to fall to Zero this day. He began unleashing the enchantments that were contained in a channeling capsule of his own design. He only hoped that the complexity of these uttered commandments would be at least alien to Zero in the beginning phase; for that would all there would be, perhaps for salvation this day. As he unleashed the last of the enchantments, Clark stepped up behind him. 'Luthor, once a sneaky, two timing bastard, always a bastard. What are you doing?' Luthor: ' Heh, I never thought I would feel this way, 'Clark'. Superior to you, even if you are a shell of the actual man himself. A mockery.'
WIth that, 'Clark' unleashed a burst of heat vision. Luthor's B.A.T armour reacted in kind, though only so much could be done, as he grabbed onto 'Clark' and flew himself and 'Clark' into the huge waves of energy that were being exchanged between Zero and Callisto's shields. The resulting explosion was phenomenal. Both men perished, with Luthor releasing the remnants of his armour's energies to use his channel capsule, redirecting the energy to Callisto, who just underwent a little power boost.
In the interim, Sultan had all but drained the Five of their 'power', granted to them briefly for this battle by Callisto. His one power was to absorb and replicate the power of others. So, why did he suddenly feel weakened? He sat up on his knees. 'What have you done, you cunning, treacherous bastards.?' You see bro, you got nothing now. While you were busy trying to drain our powers, Luthor's releaed enchantments were redirecting em' to Callipso, said Potter.
With that, Sultan laughed uncontrollably, not foreseeing both the complexity and simplicity of his predicament. Potter, Baneblade, Nova, Treacherous and Paenzer; unleashed their final salvo, all that was left and dug into the screaming Sultan, who in turn, unleashed all he had, taking all five with him, ashes to ashes, dust to dust.
Callisto, holding the fort, said, 'Gentlemen, Its all out from here. Luthor has done his job. Its as good a day to die as any other. Do not hold back. Its been an honour'. Callisto stared, smiling, at Blackbolt, who stood emotionless, slowly walking up to the ledge. How he had held back all his life, he didn't know. All he knew was, that coupled with Luthor's unique channeling capsule, enforced by Strange's and Fate's enchantments before they were vaporised, his voice this day would be an art in itself. An art that would engulf all. It was a guilty pleasure, that he would finally see, even if in his dying breath. With that thought, Blackbolt screamed at the top of his lungs.
Callisto, with her remaining power went toward the essence of an ever morphing, rapidly growing Zero. 'You proud, selfish, power hungry freak; you will know humility, you will know subservience.'
Zero: 'Really, you think you have the battle won just by taking out my whims of sentries? You make me laugh Callisto. Now if you excuse me, I wish my power back.'
In the background, Nightwing and DD, shook hands, smiling, as the shattering scream turned them into nothing.
Zero wondered, why could he not absorb this well known energy?
Callisto unleashed all she had, decimating scores upon scores of energy drones created by Zero, the entire arena laid to waste, even in its ever changing nature. Such was the devastation.
Eventually, after what seemed like hours of confrontation, Callisto begun to disperse, and become one with the flowing gales of Khazan.
Zero had won; or so he thought. What was this tapestry he saw?
Captain America stood there, silent, withered, yet untouched by the spectacular powers that had ended the arena's dominion.
Zero's bewildered essence approached him.
'You still stand. How.?'
Cap: ' I can show you, if you let me.'
Zero: 'Show me, show me, please.'
Cap reached out and touched the area where Zero's presence was supposed to be. All of a sudden, a burst of light en capsuled everything. A brilliant frame of white, empty yet beautiful. Beckoning, tantalizing.
Zero: ' Is this the birth of the universe.?
When he turned to look at Cap, he no longer saw him, but in his place a strange amalgam of Dr. Manhattan with Cap.
'It could be. But I wouldn't know. I have searched the stars for millennia, and have only had more questions, not answers.'
Zero: 'What is this peaceful feeling in me? A contentment? Did you do this? Did Callisto?'
Manhattan/Cap: 'It is so, a part of her is now within you. Perhaps you will know each other better in this reality, than you did the last. I/we know you wish to find out why you have this contentment. It is the enchantments forged in the very heavens along with the power of the good souls that have perished battling you, that have formed this existence for you. In spite of your excesses against existence, such is your reward Zero. You have now embarked on the very journey I had, and perhaps together, we will find answers which I alone could not.'
Fabulous realities opened to Zero at once, ones that he had once thought as fully deciphered, but not even touched upon by him. He was a prisoner and free at the same time, a glorious cell that was but yet, not quite there. He was one with Manhattan, and Cap and guided by their knowledge and good soul, he would be unwittingly, or willingly, be a force of life itself.
Somewhere along a forgotten star system, in yet another place that knew no boundaries of time or space, a lone shrouded figure stood looking at a huge memorial. He had just cast his last tombstone:
Hath thou been one of my heart n' life,
N' seen the depth of my losing strife,
Thou d' have fathomed my intent,
To make our journey more content
Yet 'tis the wayward traveller of yore,
That all the pain of ours once bore,
N' took nothing back in return,
Leave for an epiphany, that too d' burn