Shatterstar: Warrior Born

Epilogue- Full Circle

by Leary


-- I am required to inform you that I am NOT a professional writer and have no affiliation to Marvel Comics whatsoever. The characters Shatterstar and Spiral are the intellectual property of Marvel Comics. The newly created character Ink is mine exclusively. --

<Near Rutland, Vermont>

"Are you certain that we have the proper destination, milady?" The short man looks up at the towering structure, curiously.

"The Weisman Institute for the Criminally Insane. Yes, this is the hated place." The old woman grimly looks up at the imposing structure along with the midget.

"I have the stricken youth milady, we must traverse the grounds quickly before the local constabulary is alerted to our presence." Towing the hovering body behind him, Ink begins to lead the way to their target.

"Very well, mask our presence to the residents." On command, a magical mist showers upon the trio, disguising their figures as normal humans.

"Yes, milady. The human sheep have been blinded to our wolven forms."

"Must you always be so poetic, Ink?" The woman offers him a small sad look.

"Most certainly, milady." He bows gracefully in a swinging arc, motioning her to enter. "Ladies first."

<Within the Institute>

"His life essence is weakening rapidly." She looks away from the impaled body and removes the mystic spear from his chest, wincing at the gurgling sound of blood that follows. "Perform the operation as only a true born of your world may." She then moves over to the bedside, preparing for the operation she has dreaded all her long life.

"Your biddings whisper in my ears like the breeze off a glistening ocean, milady." Ink hurriedly brings the dying body to the bedside of the comatose youth. His poetic voice flowing as his hands carefully bring forth the body's soul and places it ever so gently within the youth's awaiting body.

"The life and death and life again of this young man's troubled soul has come full circle, then. The man possessed of a warrior's heart given to the gene-twin so long forsaken on this savage world." Ink turns and looks up to his lady with warmth in his eyes. "His self must endure a short, tranquil moment of unification with his gene-twin before the task is wholly complete. I must offer you the praise of thousands who could not be on hand to witness such a beautiful moment my most gracious lady, for only one so wise as yourself could have foreseen such tragedy and toiled so greatly to salve such ill-fated wounds as these. You are truly the Queen of time and space, all who exist in these realms are your subjects." He reaches up to kiss the lowest of her six hands.

"It is good that you are here to lift my spirits Ink, for my own heart is weighed with such a great burden these lonely days." She grips his hand a slight bit, blinks back a gentle tear, but then lets go.

"Beg your pardon, milady, but what possible tragedy could mar your great spirit? Though your Body Shoppe is lost to a cretinous trickster of this planet, your greatness has most ably cast off the influence of this world's Crimson Dawn. Your life has been bountiful in it's pain, despite my great efforts otherwise, but your sacrifices have accomplished so much..."

"...but the sacrifice I must now make is the greatest one of all. I have loved this boy, Ink, and I still do with all my heart. I have given him a name and a home, a place of loving parents and safety from those of our world who would harm him." She looks over the comatose body before her holding his cold hand, sadness gripping her heart, reflected in her features.

"That quaint coupling of barren humanity so affectionately referred to as the Russells, milady?" Ink shuffles around, glancing at her occasionally while making the final preparations for the youth's awakening by removing the mystic enhancements from the spear.

"Yes, I... remember the day I was forced to give up young Benjamin to that sterile couple, so desperate for children of their own. It saddened me greatly, their great joy in what they gained while I despaired my loss. Despite my own desires to raise him as my own, I knew that the Destiny had forbidden it." Her grip on the boy's hand grows tighter.

"It pains me to see you in such a way. I would happily give my own life to give you but a moment's happiness."

"Thank you, Ink. Again, your good cheer has been a wondrous help to me these past few years. There once was a time when I could rely on Benjamin himself to fill that void of loneliness. Even though he was but a clone of The Shatterstar, he still earned my heart." Still tighter...

"He was blessed to have known you, my beloved Queen, as am I and all around you."

"Truly Ink, it was quite the opposite. It was I who was blessed to know him." Her hand trembles at the tightness of her grip. "I have never broken the binds of my Destiny, but there was once a time when I had bent them to the point of nearly doing so, before you came to me. I had become a great friend of the Russells, introducing myself as their neighbor, just so I could live and watch Benjamin grow up in his home. The Russells trusted me. Eventually, their trust and familiarity in me grew to such heights that Benjamin even came to know me as his aunt and godmother. That period of my life was the happiest of all my time in this shell. I will miss those days most."

"I can only dream of bringing you such happiness, milady."

"Your love and loyalty to me is appreciated and returned in kind, Ink, but there is only so much another can give, and so much more a child can give to a mother. Perhaps, that is why I regret the passing of this day so greatly. Once Benjamin awakens, he will truly be dead. The Shatterstar will have taken his place, and though he will eventually remember both of his childhoods, all he will remember of me is that of an evil sorceress, his enemy. He will not remember that it was I who cared for him as if he were my own son, or that it was I who he spent years looking up to as Auntie Rita." She trembles against the hospital bed. A lone tear falls from her face, hitting the cold hard floor.

"My love for you is unconditional, my Queen. Know that I will always be there for you in your time of need." Ink climbs the nearest chair to comfort his mistress, his small midget hands trying to wipe the sadness from her.

"Yes, and now my long journey is complete. I have taken actions in my younger years to ensure that all else which needs to be done is done, for I knew that I could not allow myself to abide by the Destiny any longer after this sad moment, the virtual death of my son, and my own hand in his death. Please, perform the duty. Return him to his previous state, for he must not realize that this event has taken place for many years. If he awakens to find himself uninjured, he will hunt the truth of this moment until his death. The Destiny has forbidden that. All my preparation, all my decades of work, will be for naught. I could not bear for that to happen."

With that, Ink returns the disenchanted spear of Windsong to the chest of Shatterstar, now unable to sabotage his healing factor. Once the spear is removed, no matter how painful, his regenerative cells will mend his body and leave him none the wiser of this entire process. The ancient and aged Spiral uses her powers in the aide of Destiny one final time to dance The Shatterstar back to Earth, and out of her life forever.

"Now the circle is wholly complete, my life, my role as Keeper of the Destiny is finished. There is but one more dreaded task to complete. Please, come into my embrace."

"Certainly, milady." The small midget, gentle and kind, loving and understanding, tender and sweet, walks eagerly into her awaiting arms. With a tear in her eye, the woman now known only as Spiral whispers in his ears.

"I am so sorry, Ink. I am so dreadfully sorry." With that, she uses the combined strength of her arms to quickly and painlessly end the life of the only other person on any world to ever truly trust her. "It was destined."

The End

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