Fantastic Four, The World's Greatest Online Fan-Fiction Comic Magazine #4

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Fantastic Four, The World's Greatest Online Fan-Fiction Comic Magazine #4 Empty Fantastic Four, The World's Greatest Online Fan-Fiction Comic Magazine #4

Post  Paul E. Schultz on Sun Jun 17, 2012 10:01 pm

Fantastic Four #4
"Childsplay, Part Four!"
By Paul E. Schultz

Reed Richards looked out at the three blank faces staring back at him. Even Ben Grimm's orange, stoney face appeared slack and strangely soft from disbelief.

"According to the information attached to that video, it was produced in 1966," said Reed, turning to type at the keyboard of the massive computer screen that seemed to float independently. The Baxter Building's computer lab was full of such screens, but this one was the largest of them all.

"But, we weren't even alive in 1966!" gasped Susan Richards.

"Correct, darling," replied Reed. "Which would account for our not existing in that parallel universe."

"You said you found that video on the Internet?" Ben struggled to find the words.

"In a manner of speaking, yes."

"Wait a minute," said Johnny Storm incredulously. "You have an...interdimensional Internet connection?"

"A rather simplistic assessment, but yes, something like that."

"Is that dial-up or high speed?"

"Johnny, please!" chided Storm's sister.

"I need some Aspirin," groaned Ben. "This whole thing's givin' me a headache."

"I developed it about a year ago. It happened quite by accident, actually. I've been perfecting it ever since as a form of communication between worlds. I stumbled across the video you just watched quite recently and I think I now know why."

"Please, by all means, explain away. My head couldn't possibly hurt any worse than it already does."

Reed's elongated fingers danced gracefully over the keyboard again and another screen lit up, this one displaying what looked like ripples in a pond. The ripples were red, however and covered several hundred miles each upon the map of the world displayed on the screen.

"The red ripples you see represent energy pulses I've recently detected all over the world. Several right here in New York, in fact. They seem to be a combination of Tachyon particles and subatomic particles similar to the Unstable Molecules that make up our uniforms."


"Meaning, Susan, that within each of these ripples virtually anything and everything that could be happening is probably happening, including warps in reality and time."

"Our very own transdimensional Murphey's law of time and space! Good, God, high-pockets, I'm startin' to sound like you!"

Ignoring his old friend's comment, Reed went on to say, "I think it would be wise if we investigate these ripples. I've developed detectors that are keyed into a number of abnormal energy sources such as Tachyon particles and--."

"But...what about the Alliance for Peace?" asked Johnny, scratching his blond hair. "Shouldn't we start with them?"

"Sure," said Reed, the corner of his face pulling into a half smile, catching everyone off guard, "if they were part of our reality. The problem is finding them. They're quite content in their own reality. For now, our going back to their reality to investigate is secondary. We need to locate any dangerous amalgams taking place in our own reality first."

"You sound like you have something on your mind that you're not telling us, dear."

Reed was silent a moment, weighing his words carefully, then: "It's the source of all this distortion. I think I know what, or who is causing it."

"Spit it out," said Ben. "I don't like your tone, but spit it out."


"The Watcher?" gasped Susan.

"More accurately, his son," said Reed. "Nuadu."

"What?!" Ben bellowed. "The old, bald Mr. Know-it-all has a son?"

"That's crazy!"

"Is it, Johnny?" replied Reed. "Utau himself has a father. Ikor."

"Are you certain of this, Reed?"

"You husband speaks true, Susan Storm," came a warm, masculine voice from behind them.

The Fantastic Four turned to see who could possibly enter the computer lab without setting off a series of alarms, only to find themselves no longer even standing in the lab at all. Ben grabbed his stomach, dizzy as the four of them looked around in amazement. Smooth metallic walls adorned with oddly-shaped monitors, mirrors and dazzling arrays of lights surrounded them. Above them, the stars shone brightly against a canopy of black velvet sky. The Earth shone like a crystal blue gem.

"Aw, not again!" groaned Ben.

"Welcome to my home," said the voice and the foursome were suddenly reminded of a fifth presence.

The Watcher stood statue-still, his eyes glowing like the stars above.

"He ever change out of that toga?" asked Johnny.

Ignoring this, the Watcher spoke. "As I said, your husband speaks true. My son Nuadu was the cause of your displacement earlier today. As well as many other anomalies throughout your world."

"I don't understand."

"No should I expect you to, Johnny Storm, but if you will cease your interruptions, all will be revealed."

Once he was certain he had all four of their attention, Uatu spoke. "Approximately twenty of your Earth years ago, my son Nuadu, a curious sort, found a device I call the Ultimate Machine. It is the source of unlimited knowledge. The knowledge of every intelligent race on every planet in this universe as well as knowledge of worlds unreachable in this universe. The Ultimate Machine was constructed by my people as a way of recording information in the eventuality that this universe will cease to exist. Nuadu discovered where I had hidden the device and attempted to utilize it. The result was catastrophic. Nuadu vanished, leaving behind the device. I managed to locate Nuadu. He was on your world and in a catatonic state. I decided to leave him in that state for the knowledge he absorbed, with the abilities of my people could be devastating."

"So, you left him in a coma on Earth?" growled Ben. "What's with you people and your daddy issues anyway?"

Ignoring this, Uatu spoke. "Though his body was incapacitated, his mind continued on...dreaming, if you will, creating countless pocket dimensions. Your encounter with the so-called Alliance for Peace, for instance, was little more than a child playing with action figures in a sandbox."

"That's why none of it made sense," breathed Susan to her husband.

"Right, darling. It would be like Franklin playing with his toys and another child came along that he didn't really want to play with. We were those unwanted children."

"Correct, Reed Richards. It was my error to leave him on your world."

"Well, if you ask me," began Susan, suddenly unmoved by the awesome spectacle around her and the fantastic story she had been subjected to, "your real mistake was leaving that...Ultimate Machine lying around where your son could find it. We may be a backwards people to the likes of you, Uatu, but we have a saying on Earth. You've been spying on us long enough, I'm sure you've heard it. 'Keep out of reach of children?' Maybe you should listen a little harder next time you sit and watch us."


"No, Reed Richards. Your mate speaks true. We Prosilicans, even with our advanced civilization and evolved minds are still a flawed people. I have removed Nuadu from your world, bringing him here to my home upon your moon, in hopes of curing him. I deeply regret any inconvenience I may have caused you."

"Whatever you say, Douglas Adams," growled Ben. "Now, how about you set everything right back on Earth and send us back?"

"I...cannot," said the Watcher.

"He can't interfere in the affairs of the universe, remember?" said Reed.

"That is why I am now and forever...the Watcher."


"Who you talkin' to, Detective?" asked Frank Taylor.

"Huh? What?" Detective Turner seemed to come out of a trance, to find himself standing in the hallway of Mercy General Hospital. He looked down at the cup of coffee in his hand and remembered its foul, bitter taste. He tossed it in the nearby waste basket and looked over at the distraught Frank Taylor. "What did you say?"

"I asked you what we were going to do about my wife? Helen?"

"Mr. Taylor, you ever wake up from a dream you can't completely remember?"

Frank Taylor could only look his question to the detective, not sure what the man was talking about.

"And the harder you try to remember that dream, the more fleeting it becomes?" Detective Turner looked up and down the quiet hallway. Something didn't seem right.

"How does this help my wife? Or whoever she is?"

"What do you mean by whoever?"

"You said it yourself, Detective. She's obviously the same age she was when she disappeared nearly twenty years ago."

"I'm not sure," confessed Turner. "But have you ever had the feeling you were being watched?"


"So, what now, brother-in-law?"

"I'm not sure, Johnny."

"Quick! Someone mark the date on the calendar! My husband is out of ideas!"

"Very funny, darling."

"All's well that ends well, I say."

Ben Grimm's sentiment seemed to punctuate the conversation as the Fantastic Four stood upon the roof of the Baxter Building. The morning sun cast long shadows behind them as they watched New York City wake up from a dream it might never remember.

"Hey, Ben? You feel like breakfast?"

"I dunno where you get your stomach, Torch, but the Watcher hasn't returned mine back yet. I'm still a little sea sick."

"Just as well. Your jack-o-lantern head might scare away the other customers. Flame on!"

"Why, you little...!"

Susan laughed as Ben took off after her low-flying little brother who taunted him all the way to the elevator. She pushed back a lock of her golden hair that caught on a warm morning breeze.

"Maybe Ben's right," she said to her husband. "Maybe all's well that ends well."

"Perhaps," said Reed who peered out over the cityscape.

"You don't sound convinced."

"There's still the question of the ripples," he said, turning with her towards the elevator. "It would behoove us to investigate them. You never--"


The four of them froze at the sound that echoed off in the distance. Ben's massive finger was poised on the elevator button. Susan stepped a little closer to her husband whose arms held her a little tighter as a chill ran up his spine. Johnny froze in mid-flight.

"What...was that?" he asked.
Paul E. Schultz
Paul E. Schultz

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Post  Craig DeBoard on Thu Jun 21, 2012 2:36 am

What was that indeed? Will we see more Fantastic Four or are you taking a break from it? This series is freaking awesome!!! The fact that you've included Doom, Namor, and The Watcher in ways we've never seen really speaks to your love of the FF.
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Post  Eric Nyman on Sat Jun 23, 2012 11:13 pm

This series is incredible Paul. I can tell you love the characters and I never saw that ending coming.

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