by Earth Elemental 99
An outside parapet high above Darkseid’s grandest tower citadel on the Fourth World planet of Apokolips:
“Report, Metron!” shouted Darkseid.
“At further analysis, it would seem your standing in our gentlemen’s agreement is paying off,” said Metron in his clinical manner. “Brainiac did indeed perform the necessary function as you predicted, despite your failure to apprehend him.”
“Bah!” Darkseid said in dismissal. “I let Brainiac go because it served my purposes. Now tell me more of your journey into the aleph with the elemental’s assistance.”
“As I said in my prior report, I believed it was the actually the Source itself we entered. But I was mistaken. Prior to that, the salvaged Mother Box caused the mishap that damaged the isotope-X compound in the impetus-drives in my Mobius Chair. Without the power, I had no choice but to trust in the inter-spacial-faring elemental being it had summoned. In truth, he was a strange creature, sire.”
“Of that I am aware. At the conclusion of your metaphysical misadventure, the Mother Box sent the elemental essence back to its Terran homeworld, did it not?”
“Yes it did, mighty Darkseid. The Swamp Thing shall complete the final stage of his journey to Earth, via a Boom Tube star gate portal forged from the long-instated technology of New Genesis. In terms of Terran resolution, he shall reach the positive-matter Earth of Sol-3 by the date of March 15, 1987, more than three Terran months from now. The stasis delay is due to his negative emotional reaction to the aleph’s Qwardian fracture. I was far more prepared for the experience than he would ultimately be. The Linear Men may very well commune with him during this time, though you may not.”
“Did you impart any invaluable information to the swamp creature during your elapsed term with him?”
“Of course not! But in the spirit of my liege lord, great Orion of New Genesis, I suggested that the creature systematically smite his earthly enemies unto death before returning to his priorly primitive peaceful existence in the marshes with his chosen human life-mate. He swears unyielding loyalty and affection to a human weakling female, no less! Such motivational standards are beyond even my comprehension.”
Darkseid took the beeping Mother Box computer unit in hand. “No matter. You have honored our bet, Metron. You have earned your reward.” Darkseid removed the isotope-X from his belt and tossed it to Metron, who caught it gratefully.
“Now I may commence the discovery of the true nature of the Source that felled the Promethean Giants!” said Metron. “Victory for New Genesis is within reach.” Metron launched his chair into space and vanished.
Darkseid laughed. “Foolish intellectual inferior! The Anti-Life Equation shall allow room only for Darkseid to unravel the secrets of the Source! Let Metron waste his time as he wishes. This Mother Box unit has given me the secret I desire — a complete understanding of the Swamp Thing’s true power!”
The lord of Apokolips crushed the Mother Box in his hand, destroying it. “The living computer Brainiac sought an ally behind which to protect itself. But his interference has added a new factor to my equation. A cosmic odyssey will soon begin, making Darkseid master of all he surveys. And it is all due to the Swamp Thing’s greatest strength and the source of his ultimate madness, what compelled him to journey through the stars and infinity itself to complete his incredible return home — the nature of his true power…”
Darkseid stared intently at the Swamp Thing’s discarded physical form, still in the shape of a makeshift Mobius Chair.