The Australian Outback (somewhere in the Northern Territory)
The old yet very powerfully built man shambled along among the elders of the tribe. He had come to them out of the bush with no memories of his past existence. The big man was welcomed by the tribe and its elders. He brought a wisdom and stability that they had lacked. While he stayed with them good fortune attended them, the weather was favourable and game and water were in plentiful supply. For some unknown reason no member of the tribe died during this time.
The elders knew that on some level Orin was able to communicate with the spirits from their past. The warriors from the time before time, known as the dreamtime. They accorded him the highest respect.
â€œHe will not be with us forever,â€ whispered Gillpilli, one of the elders, â€œfor there is a quiet strength about him.â€ â€œEventually he will remember about himself and he will return to his former greatness.â€
Fabled Asgard Itself
â€œMy father has been gone so long now,â€ said Thor, reluctant Lord of Asgard â€œthat I despair we shall ever see him again.â€ â€œHe is not deadâ€ continued Thor â€œelse I would sense that, but even with the aid of seers I am unable to detect him â€“ it is as if the vastness of the OdinPower has been dampened to the point of not being detectableâ€.
The Australian Outback (Ularuu or Ayers Rock as some still call it)
Why the space god Celestial host chose to make their base on Earth close to the monolithic landmark of Ularuu was unclear. Suffice to say that their sudden and unexplained arrival did nothing for the local tourist trade. In short order the Celestials removed all evidence of human existence from the vicinity of the monolith and set up a base camp surrounded by a seemingly impenetrable barrier. They then seemed to lapse into slow motion â€“ either not moving at all or moving slowly and ponderously about the camp with an indiscernible purpose.
A variety of Earthâ€™s heroes visited the Celestial site â€“ among them he who was known only as The Sentry. The heroes sought to make contact with the Celestials but were totally ignored. Some heroes sought to breach the Celestial barrier. Despite his best efforts even the mighty Sentry was unable to breach the barrier though it glowed into incandescence under his unrelenting assault.
In time and as the Celestials made no incursion beyond their base the heroes eventually lost interest and went about their business. News of the arrival of the giant and enigmatic space gods eventually reached an Asgard that did not unduly concern itself with the affairs of Earth. Having observed the Celestials for a time Lord Thor decided it was at last time to ascertain their purpose in being on Earth.
It was around this time that the individual known only as Orin among an Australian indigenous tribe started to become disturbed. Small recollections of past events came to him and he began to sense the existence of immense power not too distant from him. He also sensed something else â€“ a son â€“ he had a son and he was coming.
With Thors initial attempts to communicate with the Celestials (audio-visual images from Asgard) being totally ignored, he teleported interdimensionally direct to Ularuu. Lord Thor then hailed the Celestial host on both the verbal then telepathic level â€“ and was totally ignored. He could not even detect mild interest. Somewhat incensed by their apparent rudeness he determined that they would notice his presence. Initially Thor struck the barrier with bolts of anti-force that to his surprise had no discernible effect. Without pause and absorbing not inconsiderable amounts of the Earths electromagnetic energy into his hammer Thor struck again and again his attack had no discernable effect.
Thor decided to raise his attack to another order of magnitude and allowing his hammer to become one with himself Thor struck out again in a restrained god blast against the barrier. But is this not an oxymoron? Can any god blast from one as powerful as Thor ever be restrained? Facing this godly assault a portion of the Celestial barrier faltered then failed but since the godblast once released cannot easily be recalled it flowed on lashing wildly into the Celestial encampment.
Where the Sentry had failed, the son of Odin had succeeded and the Celestial barrier though not totally destroyed was assuredly breached.
As his son continued to confront the Celestials the entity known among Australian aboriginal elders only as Orin but better known among all who live as Odin of Asgard became still further disturbed and regained yet more of his lost memory.
Entering the Celestial encampment Thor Odinson was still unable to attract the attention of the Celestials. He saw that his godblast had struck against one of the giants and been extinguished there but not before the Celestial had sustained damage to his torso. Still in mere seconds the Celestial regenerated his damaged armour and person. Now quite angry at the Celestialâ€™s continuing refusal to even notice him Thor called upon the storm - the winds, the rain and immeasurable voltages of lightning to strike the Celestial host. The power of the storm grew exponentially urged on by Thors increasing anger, with electrical energies coruscating around the bodies of each individual Celestial. It seemed as if Thor and his Mother had worked in unison in enhancing the power of the storm to the nth degree.
At that moment Arishhem leader of the Celestial host finally turned his head just slightly and struck Thor down with a bolt of Celestial energy that moved at the speed of thought.
Only moments afterward a giant Odin with memory fully restored with his height mystically enhanced to some 5,000 feet entered the Celestial encampment dwarfing even the Celestials. He looked down at the prostrate form of his son and then looked down at Arishhem and the fearsome Odin Anger was upon him. However before Odin could react all those Celestials assembled struck him with bolts in unison that staggered the Colossus. Gathering himself Odin lifted his great hand and redirected all of the Celestial bolts back to their source only he amplified those energies manyfold. All the Celestials present, even mighty Arishhem crashed to the ground.
If a Celestial can register surprise, if such a thing is possible, then they did do so to the last individual. And if a Celestial can know fear, if such a thing is possible, then to the last individual they knew fear at this moment.
Slowly the mighty Thor rose from the ground struggling to recover from Arishhemâ€™s attack. Meanwhile Odin looked into the distance and saw Thors mother Gaea in human form looking on at the confrontation. With a booming voice that carried across the length and breadth of the Australian continent (an equal mixture of anger and relief that his son was alive) Odin grabbed Arishhem around the waist raising him high and hurling him skyward. The other Celestials and Odin then met head on apparently content to keep the confrontation purely physical for the moment. Super dense Asgardian flesh and bone protected by force shields smashed against Celestial armour. As the battle raged on over this ancient and scarred land it seemed as if the entire Australian continent might sink below the oceans.
Arishhem was only temporarily inconvenienced at best as he soon teleported back to the fray.
To counter Odinâ€™s size advantage all Celestials present grew to Odinâ€™s height but as purely physical combatants the Celestials were found wanting. They were typically slow, and having regard to their specialised purposes (analysing, judging, collecting etc) quite unskilled in close combat. Odin on the other hand was the ultimate warrior with at least tens of thousands of years experience.
Gaea decided to assist Odin and as the titans continued to trade blows great mountains of earth fell upon the Celestials and vast chasms opened up about them as the Earth itself moved against them. To the space gods such action was totally ineffectual - not even an irritant. Gaea then reached out to the other elder gods especially her son Atum requesting their combined assistance. For only the second occasion since timeâ€™s aborning the single entity that comprised the aggregation of the power of all elder gods living and dead was formed. Gaea alone could do nothing in this conflict but the aggregate entity most assuredly could.
A shaken Thor having teleported from the scene of battle to Asgard returned swiftly with his soul and those of many other Asgardians powering a huge version of Agards greatest weapon the Destroyer armour. In one arm the Destroyer construct carried the Odinsword, and in the other the almighty Odin shield itself. The Destroyer passed the Odinsword to its master, for in truth who else should wield it ?, but retained the shield.
Aware that the Earth would not survive any prolonged confrontation Odin â€œphasedâ€ all combatants including himself into the vacuous space between our own and the next closest dimension. To observers from Earthâ€™s dimension the combatants appeared only as barely visible wraith like apparitions that passed through solid objects.
Odin and the Thor/Asgard Destroyer then pressed the attack against the Celestials. Odin his entire body coruscating with inconceivably powerful energies wielded the sword as he might have wielded a smaller sword in his younger warrior days. Odin used the OdinSword to parry many Celestial energy blasts while also hacking away several Celestial limbs and body parts with grim purpose. Those Celestial energies that were not parried with the Odinsword lashed against Odinâ€™s personal protective shields.
The Thor/Asgard Destroyer construct also coruscating with vast energies from head to toe lifted itâ€™s great disintegrator visor and allowed enormous energies to build atop it. Those energies were unleashed and met Celestial energies head on. Two Celestials temporarily fell in the process. The Destroyer then moved among the Celestials using the great Odin Shield both to block Celestial blasts and blows and also using the edge of the shield as a devastating weapon (not unlike how Captain America might use his shield). The Destroyer also struck against the Celestials with many other types of energies â€“ anti-matter particle beams, molecular disrupters, etheric plasma, bolts of anti-energy and much more â€“ though in the main these were ineffective.
The all elder god aggregate seemed content to stand off physically from the conflict but pour in immeasurable swathes of all types of mystic energy looking for some weakness in the Celestial defences. Some type of arcane or eldritch force to which the Celestials might prove vulnerable.
For their part the Celestialâ€™s seemed to focus the bulk of their attack on the Thor/Asgard Destroyer â€“ while swathes of Celestial energies were deflected by the undamaged Odin shield other energies hit parts of the Destroyer and the constructs temperature rose close to melting point. Sensing the immediate danger and with energies yet to build again atop the disintegrator visor â€“ Thor and the other gods within the Destroyer launched a thousand Asgardian gods godblast directing the energies through the OdinSword itself that Odin had just passed to it. This gave even the Celestials some pause and as the godblast ran itâ€™s course both sets of protagonists looked across at each other as it were time for communication.
Odin felt his mind pulled into the mental landscape of some sort of group Celestial mind. It was huge without limit and quite beyond anything he had ever experienced. â€œ If they do not allow me to leave here I fear that I will not be able to escape this alien mindscapeâ€ thought Odin.
At that moment the Celestials chose to communicate with Odin and he listened most intently. In this alternate reality as in our own the Celestials are not given to undue verbiage when dealing with others. They are not greatly given to conversing verbally or even telepathically to lesser races which (in their view) is pretty much everyone. When communicating with those of other races they have been known to use hand signals and motions and also to create and use agents to act on their behalf in the communication process. This is not to say that they perceived Mighty Odin as any kind of underling (In this reality â€“ this was the first time they had encountered Odin face to face). Quite the contrary â€“ Odin had (on the battlefield) demonstrably shown himself to be an unexpectedly powerful opponent at least the equal of any single Celestial and therefore quite dangerous.
Rather than detail the communication exchange word for word â€“ especially having regard to the unusual environment in which it tool place - it is perhaps best to summarise itâ€™s essence.
Odin asked, simply, why the Celestials had not responded to Thorâ€™s first then subsequent attempts at communication. It emerged that the Celestials were quite unaccustomed to have anyone question much less challenge their actions. However they did indicate the intent of their operation at Ularuu if only to demonstrate its peaceful nature.
Apparently there is a race of immensely powerful entities, the Aylon, that travel the stars as individuals looking for arid and unoccupied worlds that they might make more habitable. A broader form of terraforming if you will. Where an arid desert existed such a being might create a mighty river or an ocean. Where an atmosphere was barely breathable they might oxygenate it. When there business was done on a world an individual entity of that race would remain there simply taking a different form such as a mighty mountain range or a great ocean and watching over the planet. When the world eventually ceased to exist the entity would move on.
The Celestials saw this work as somewhat complementary to their own endeavours and wished to know more about these star spanning terra formers.
The monolithic Ularuu was seen by the Celestials as some kind of nexus point for the entities and a very good place from which to study them. By its very nature the study would be long term.
Odin realised that the great warriors from the dreamtime that he had communicated with were such. Aylon that had been on Earth since primordial times.
Odin indicated he had no objection to the Celestial presence on Earth for this purpose (though he could not speak for mankind) and went so far as to apologise for his sons actions. Yet strangely enough Odin sensed that this was now not enough to satisfy the Celestials â€“ that they had been disturbed by the vastness of the OdinPower.
Later the Celestials mentioned, simply stating facts that the outcome of the present conflict had never been in doubt because they could simply call up more of their own numbers â€“ as many as necessary. Odin in an equally factual statement mentioned that he or Thor could call on any amount of the many thousands of god pantheons to whom Asgard were linked in the Multiverse. Possibly Thor was doing that as the communications progressed. Odin did not mention that some saw him as the unofficial head of all those pantheons.
As the communications had continued Odin sensed that all that needed to be communicated had been and that there was a lingering Celestial reluctance to release his mind from its present location. With that he began to grow his own mental presence within the intimidating Celestial mindscape and found that it did not seem so impossibly huge after all. Though he had never had occasion to use it Odin knew that his mind was capable of a mental equivalent to an Odin level physical godblast. Even that might not secure his escape from this most strange of environments but he looked about himself and wondered how much damage such action might cause. It was impossible in this environment to keep such thoughts from the Celestials nor did Odin even try.
At that moment the mind or at least a large part of the mind of the All Elder God aggregate joined Odin in the landscape. â€œThere have been developmentsâ€ said the elder god aggregation. â€œ With the length of time that your communications with the Celestials took Thor decided to summon other pantheons and the Celestial host have physically departed the Earth.â€. â€œPerhaps you sensed itâ€ continued the Elder God aggregation â€œbut the Celestials moved your mind - the Odinmind first from a group mindscape emanating from the Celestials on Earth to a larger group mindscape emanating from the Celestials on their home world.â€ â€œNow they have placed your mind â€“ the Odinmind in some type of prison construct mindscapeâ€
â€œWe can only surmiseâ€ said the Elder God aggregate â€œthat the Celestials at some point in the communications decided you were too powerful. â€œThen there is only one course of action open to usâ€ said Odin. With that the Odinmind grew still larger and the mental equivalent of a physical Odin godblast was released . The Elder God aggregate mind followed suit as best it could and within mere moments the Celestial mindscape was rent asunder.
For the merest of moments the Odinmind and the Elder God Mind drifted taking in the sheer awesomeness of the Celestial homeworld â€“ then they were gone returned to their physical bodies.
Readjusting to having his mind back in his physical body Odin looked about him and was somewhat humbled to see how many pantheons had sent representatives in response to Thors call. There were representatives of the illuminon (gods of light), the assurers (gods of faith and hope), the supremors (gods of power), and so many many others. Lost among the host were representatives of the Olympians and other Earth pantheons. The representatives were at skyfather or war god level â€“ something not lost on Odin.
Thor, the destroyer armour now discarded, moved alongside his father who had returned to normal size. â€œIt is a most unfortunate result my son,â€ said Odin as he reflected on the chain of events that led to the current situation. The Celestial refusal to communicate with Thor, some rashness on Thors own part, and most importantly the Celestial decision to imprison the Odinmind.
â€œSome of the pantheons are talking of multi-dimensional war against the Celestials father,â€ said Thor â€œthe temporary imprisonment of the Odinmind has been unacceptable to them â€“ you know historically they see you as their natural leader.â€
â€œNo one would benefit from such a confrontation mighty Thor,â€ said Odin â€œI have seen the power of the Celestials and the grandeur of their homeworld.â€
â€œBut if it came to it father could we defeat them ? â€ enquired Thor.
â€œEventually I believe we couldâ€ said Odin â€œ if all the Multiverseâ€™s pantheons were to participate â€“ there are so very many of us and we are so diverse and (hesitating a little) they have a great weakness my son one that the Elder God aggregate divined in its attack.â€ â€œ A weakness to a particular type of arcane magic that for the nonce I shall keep to myself.â€ â€œA weakness that the Aylon themselves have confirmed.â€
Odin then moved off to a meeting with many hundreds of skyfathers and war gods. â€œI shall do my best to calm them Thor, for the sake of us all.â€