"This is intolerable!"
I HAVE RENDERED MY JUDGEMENT.
Eternity gesticulated wildly as he paced through null-space. The golden figure sat on its bench before him, implacable, hands steepled in front of its cowled face.
"I understand the necessity to redistribute the Infinity Gems now that they have once more resurfaced in this universe, but to entrust their allocation to him, of all people? I must seriously question your decision, Tribunal!"
The Living Tribunal turned one face towards his petitioner, the facet representing retribution. Eternity's tone attitude was bordering on insolence, though the Living Embodiment of All seemed not to care. YOU ONCE VOICED SIMILAR CONCERNS ABOUT THE PREVIOUS APPOINTEE, AS I RECALL.
"And how did that turn out? The Infinity Gems lost, the Watch broken, a near disaster to my reality barely diverted! And now you propose to allow…"
ENOUGH.Though its tone changed not at all, the sheer weight of the Tribunal's very presence was enough to awe Eternity into silence. The cosmic embodiment of the universe dropped reverently to one knee, bowing his head.
The face of Equity turned to regard Eternity. THE DECISION IS MADE IN ACCORD WITH A DESIGNATED PLAN. ALL THAT REMAINS IS FOR THE GUARDIAN TO FULFILL HIS DUTIES.
Eternity rose slowly to his feet. "Then I only hope that your judgement is sound, Tribunal. For my existence- indeed, the existence of this multiverse- depends upon it." He spread his ethereal arms in a gesture of esteem. "Your Honor, I request my leave."
YOU MAY HAVE IT.
Eternity dispersed, the stars, planets, and galaxies that constituted his form expanding to fill the null space in which the conference had taken place.
Alone, the Living Tribunal settled back uneasily into its chair. It stared off into the distant reaches of infinity. And wondered.
On to Chapter One: A Day in the Life of an Ex-Con