Time and Changes (GotD)
From CoH Comic Index
"Time and Changes" is a multi-part storyline in the Guardians of the Dawn Spotlight series.
According to series creator David 2, some parts of this storyline were intended to be brought up eventually, but he was pressured to make changes to certain characters after questions were raised to the similarities between them and certain heroes in mainstream publications. This encouraged him to come up with the storyline to explain these changes in a way that would fit in with already-established concepts, such as "The Editors".
While recounting recent events of her personal life to "Mike and Melissa", Galatea Powers fumbles around on using her "covert identity". This causes the two to suspect that she was withholding something important. They later converse with Captain Paragonna about their suspicions, and the Captain mentions that Galatea has had her history altererd several times in her own universe.
StarCygnus is seen in electronic hibernation. His internal systems detect strange data of "alien origin". His system stick on the words "alien origin", eventually degrading to be known as "Alll...Orrr" before his safeguards kicked in and partitioned the data chunk.
After giving a warning to Mender Tesseract, Galatea Powers is seen leaving Ouroboros by a future version of herself, who comments that she wished she could step in to prevent her younger self from leaving, thinking it would stop a future cataclysm.
Following a recent incursion into the Rogue Isles, Galatea Powers ends up teleported to Ouroboros, unable to leave. Again observing this, her future self comments that "it" has begun. Meanwhile, Daybright confronts StarCygnus about his involvement as an informant for Shadowborn. StarCygnus suddenly changed personalities and triggers all of Daybright's various teleportation devices at once, seemingly ripping her apart and killing her. StarCygnus then has a mental argument wiith himself as his "partner" says "Now we... now *I* can begin."
The future version of Galatea Powers recounts the events before and after the tragedy that destroyed the Earth.
From her position at Ouroboros, she recalls the events that followed the demise of Daybright.
In 2010, StarCygnus' attack using all of Daybright's teleportation devices forced the CPCU system to initiate Protocol Three, which locked all Guardian members out of the teleport system. Maximus Rex was trapped at Vanguard headquarters and could only stay there and order Doc Tor, Icon Powers, and Ryder Lightning to initiate a rescue. Despite their best efforts, though, the rescue fails and Daybright is declared dead. Following the memorial service, Pyrogurl's parents pull her out of the Guardians.
In 2011, The Libertarian Avenger is murdered by the Paragon Police Department's infamous "Blind Unit". His death marks the end of the Guardians and the team is disbanded forever.
In 2013, Galatea Powers is allowed to return from Ouroboros, having been told from Mender Silos that she was "pulled out of her time". She discovers, much to her horror, that The Icon had been bought out by Crey Industries and that her personal life as Kara Hamilton was declared "dead". She would later be a member of the Freedom Phalanx.
In 2018, Rularuu The Ravager arrives in the Primal Universe. Most super-powered beings, including Statesman, are killed and the Earth is decimated by his arrival. Soon afterward, Lord Recluse, who initially aided the heroes against Rularuu, took over Paragon City and what was left of the world. John Cole becomes Statesman II to carry on his father's spirit and serve as a symbol of the resitance.
In 2019, Galatea was summoned by the Pillar of Ice and Flame to prepare for the final battle with Recluse.
In 2030, Galatea returns to Paragon City, now a fully-powered Incarnate being, and defeats Recluse. But by then it was discovered that the Earth was so badly damaged from Rularuu that it can no longer sustain life.
In 2042, John Cole dies. He is mourned by Galatea and an rapidly aging Lady Grey.
In 2053, Lady Grey dies. Galatea Powers is the last living resident of Earth. She leaves Earth and takes up the offer from Silos to study with the Menders of Ouroboros.
At some point during her studies she discovers that Rularuu was never meant to invade Earth in 2018 or any other time. This becomes a "Keystone" moment that changes history.
In 2217, she rescues the last human survivors from alien "collectors", allowing humanity to survive on a distant world.
At the End of Time, Galatea is personally summoned by the Pillar; an honor normally reserved for Menders. The Pillar itself explains to Galatea that the "vergence" that she was looking for was a person, not a moment. She realizes the "vergence" was Daybright.
Doc Tor is requested to visit "The Editor", who has some serious news concerning all of the "exiles".
Meanwhile, Icon Powers is forced to go on active duty to pick up the slack left from the disappearance of her cousin and the perceived demise of Daybright. As he does, he recalls his own history as the son of his Earth's legendary hero, John "Steelman" Powers, as well as the animosity that existed with his uncle, Lionel Powers.
One of the events he recalls involved his final mission with his father, where his father sacrificed his life to save others. Afterward, he discovers a small girl that turns out to be Lionel's four-year old daughter Leona. Over the years she is trained by Icon and the other members of his hero group, and they are surprised by the growing level of her abilities.
Then, in 1993, she suddenly snapped. Spouting rhetoric from her father's manifesto, she wildly attacks her own cousin before having a seizure and shutting down.
Confronting Lionel in an ultra-maximum security prison, Icon discovers that Leona was really genetically created from DNA taken from his own parents, mixed in with Lionel's along with specific genetic programming that would be triggered when she reached her teen years. Lionel considered this to be his final "gift" for a world that chose the idealized "hero" over his intelligence.
To overcome this, Icon took Leona to the orbiting spaceship of Photonis, who came up with a series of treatments that would override Lionel's genetic programming. The process would literally "rewrite" Leona's genes as well as her memories, but done at the cost of Icon's predicted longer lifespan, gradually removing his powers as well as aging him more in line with normal humans. Leona was transformed into Karen Powers, and who eventually became known in the Primal Universe as Galatea Powers.
Meanwhile, in "Limbo", Tainted Eve explains to Daybright that she was recruited by Libra because the being in control of StarCygnus that tried to kill her was also the being responsible for the destruction of Universe XHT-S7. Although not seen, Libra reveals that the perpetrator was Alor.
At the same time, Alor - now fully in control of StarCygnus - removes all electronic evidence of their involvement with Shadowborn. He also explains that their next target is Citadel of the Freedom Phalanx.
StarCygnus is seen explaining to a captured Citadel the origins of the multiverse. He says that there was originally only one universe, and it was populated by a race of beings that became so powerful they retarded the expansion of the universe. This triggered a premature collapse of everything (otherwise known as Event Terminal). To prevent this, the "Originals" used their powers to breach Event One in order to fix what they deemed to be flaws in the universe. But they could not agree on how to fix the universe before Event One happened again. The universe was restarted, but this time it was fragmented into seemingly infinite dimensions, each influenced by some element of the Originals.
Doc Tor returns to the Primal Universe and joins War Witch in Pocket D, who compliments him on the changes in his attire, although she adds that she misses his hat.
After explaining the origins of the Omniverse, StarCygnus tells Citadel about a tyrant named Alexander of the First Order; a direct descendant of Alexander the Great. Alexander was obsessed with traveling to other universes after injecting regular doses of that universe's version of Superadine to get his powers. Creating a extra-dimensional Portal Generator, Alexander used the device to find alternate versions of himself. Upon finding a version of himself that appeared to be a simple-minded commoner, he attacked and killed his counterpart, accidentally creating a critical paradox that destroys that whole universe. Alexander returns to his own universe clearly altered by the incident. From that point on, he calls himself Alor.
In Limbo, Tainted Eve explains to Daybright that Alexander/Alor got his power by absorbing the energy expended when the other universe collapsed from the paradox. This power made him delusional, believing that he was a god and that his first mission as a god was to destroy reality itself to remake it in his image.
Both Eve and StarCygnus then explain the role that Doc Tor played in trying to first thwart Alor. Then calling himself "Quinn", Tor first befriended Alor to gain his trust, but once he discovered that Alor was responsible for destroying several universes, he attempted to do everything in his power to stop Alor, including trying to alter Alor's creation. But Alor became a fixed point in his own universe once destroyed the other universe, therefore he could not be neutralized through changes in time.
Eve tells Daybright that at this point in the past, the Utopians (Doc Tor's people) decide to take action against Alor, and they recruit Icon Powers along with several other super-powered beings from other universes. However, these actions are for naught as Alor's minions defeat the heroes, with Icon Powers surviving imprisioned. Alor taunts Icon by telling the hero that he will hurt Icon worse by destroying his home universe than to kill him outright.
At this point Eve sends Daybright to Alor's universe in the year 2007, pointing out that the Kheldian's appearance will be altered so Icon would not know she was from his future.
As the portal is opened, Galatea Future is alerted from Ouroboros that the Pillar of Ice and Flame has located Daybright and to "be ready". Daybright crosses through the portal into the past and the Pillar tells Galatea that the "opportunity" has passed and that the changes in time will become permanent.
After telling Citadel that he has successfully taken over the android's memory backup facility as part of his plan to restore his godhood, StarCygnus announces that he has no further use for him. After Citadel tells StarCygnus that he should kill him and get it over with (similar to Icon's statement in 2007), StarCygnus says "How refreshingly familiar. Goodbye."
He then stands over the deactivated body of Citadel and announces that Icon Powers would be next. .
Near The End of Time - In Ouroboros, a dejected Galatea Future encounters Mender Ramiel, who tells her that everything that has happened to her has been done for a reason, and tells her that the Pillar of Ice and Flame is not prone to make changes on its own, that only menders can do that. Using this knowledge, she uses the Pillar to create a time paradox so that she can help Daybright when the opportunity was there.
2007 - A disguised Daybright frees the captured Icon Powers. Introducing herself as "Redemption", she offers to use her "cosmic senses" to locate Alor.
At the same time, Alor has discovered the universe XHT-S7 and it's "key point" in time, the energy-based hero Photonis. Daybright and Icon arrive just in time to see Alor destroy Photonis. In a vain attempt to stop the destruction of that universe, Daybright unleashes volley after volley of energy at Alor, with one blast changing the energy connection he had through his modified portal device. At the same time, "Karen Powers" "MidKnight II" "The Runner" (and also the newly-exiled "Galen") are transported to the Paraverse. Unable to absorb the expending energy from Icon's home universe, he cries out "NO THIS WILL NOT DO" before an explosion shuts down the device.
(Note: These events mirror those seen in the "Guardian Exiles" storyline.)
The two heroes then defeat Alor, with Icon saying he would let the Utopians decide how to deal with Alor. Daybright also says that Alor's device not only was damaged, but it was the only thing keeping this universe from collapsing into total entropy. As the universe continues to collapse, Alor overpowers the two heroes and threatens to leave them there while he finds other universes to set up his devices anew, hinting that one of places could be the Primal Universe.
Icon tells Daybright to quickly leave before Alor could, vowing the he would keep Alor in this universe though to Event Terminal, but they both are stopped by the arrival of Galatea Future. Daybright notes that this future version of Galatea is far more powerful than she has ever been. Galatea, wearing special Aegis Armor from the Menders, uses the power of Ouroboros to send Icon back to the Utopians and Daybright back to Limbo so she can confront Alor herself. After a quick discussion, Galatea introduces her "partner" in their mission to keep Alor in the collapsing universe: Rularuu the Ravager, borrowed from the now "alternate" 2018 future.
Limbo - Galatea Future arrives in Limbo and confronts Tainted Eve, who admits that sending Daybright to 2007 was supposed to be a suicide mission, but one that would be essential for Galatea and her fellow "exiles" to arrive in the Primal Universe. Libra explains that the circumstances for recruiting Daybright through her preceived death and the alternate future created by it were needed so that Galatea could bring the alternate version of Rularuu into Alor's universe to finally defeat him. Before returning to Ouroboros, she gives Daybright a "gift", and she receives a cryptic warning from Eve about dark days ahead.
2011 - Having been summoned to the Paragon PD stationhouse in Skyway City on orders from Commander Yindell, Icon Powers is first interviewed by a member of the Psi Division, but tells the telepath that he is immune from "passive probes". Later he encounters StarCygnus. Recognizing Alor's face on StarCygnus' body, he is quickly rendered unconscious. Alor/StarCygnus then vows that he will keep Icon alive just long enough to witness him restored as a god and to transform the Primal Universe into his own base of operations before killing him and the "Time Manipulator".
The future version of Galatea Powers faces judgment from Mender Silos for the unauthorized paradoxes in time that she created. Seeing that this version is too powerful to have continue to operate in the Primal Universe, Silos orders the Pillar to change time so that Galatea returns to the Primal Universe in 2011 instead of 2013.
Maximus Rex and Positron discover that StarCygnus was responsible for the perceived death of Daybright as well as the person behind the other acts of sabotage against the Guardians. Connecting him to the disappearance of Citadel, they realize that StarCygnus knows everything about both the Guardians of the Dawn and the Freedom Phalanx and would have to come up with an unorthodox plan to defeat him.
Having dispensed with the "StarCygnus" identity, Alor explained that Daybright's interference with his equipment in 2007 created a bridge between universe XHT-S7 and the Primal Universe. The Space Shuttle Cygnus encountered one of many splintered free-forming portals that were created, and Alor was able to imprint a portion of his essence onto the shuttle and Major Hank Geddy. Eventually he was able to reconstruct the various fragments of his essence that were similarly imprinted on other devices all over Paragon City until he was strong enough to reassert himself over Geddy.
The advance team of Ryder Lightning (now wearing a new enhanced outfit) and Synapse are quickly defeated. MidKnight X is rendered unconscious after battling with BloodBlader. TashaTiger is caught in a trap through a robot decoy resembling Icon Powers. The remaining teams consisting of both Guardians and Phalanx members are equally neutralized.
However, a separate team consisting of Lady Templar and Street Justice, two Guardians who were not listed in the team's database yet, were able to free Icon as well as the other heroes and liberate the D.A.T.A. facility from Alor's control. In a later conversation, Lady Templar coyly reveals to her partner that she was formerly Captain Paragonna.
Meanwhile Alor confronts Doc Tor in the completed Omniverse Portal chamber. Tor tells Alor that his "godhood" was nothing more than the delusions of a power-mad addict, challenging Alor to impart any kind of information about the "Original Gods" and stating that in his centuries of Omniverse travel that he never saw any indication that such beings ever existed. The former time-manipulator then goads Alor to try to "regain his godhood", but first warning him that Alor's body was not the same as when he originally traveled.
Alor's contact with the extra-dimensionl energy damages his cybernetic body and he hurries to make upgrades. Encountering the first drone he sees, he realizes that he no longer controls the automated facility. Encountering both Icon Powers and Citadel, he tries to imprint himself again into the facility's mainframe core, but not before Icon launches one final physical attack and causing an explosion that rocks the facility.
BloodBlader attempts to break into the Guardians headquarters underneath the statue of Talos, only to be divered into a city utility tunnel. Encountering Daybright, the Peacebringer Redeemer easily brings the masked assassin down with one punch.
Major Geddy, now removed of all aspects of Alor's power and reduced to a cybernetic shell of his former self, is taken into custody by Maximus Rex and Positron. Geddy bitterly claims the ultimate victory as he is incarcerated at the Vanguard Atlantis Base to await trial. After mentioning that Icon Powers is still alive but comatose, the two then visit the isolated data server that houses the remnants of Alor's digitized essence. Maximus comments that Alor saw himself as a god, and now he is nothing but a digital myth.
Returning to the White Room, Doc Tor converses with the Editor before realizing that there was a second reason why Tainted Eve was in Limbo, since it was presumed that Daybright's journey to 2007 was supposed to be a suicide run. In the past, Mistress Libra meets with Bartiok and tells him about the existence of the Guardian Exiles and offers them as a rare "collectible series".
Back in the present, Galatea Powers returns from Ouroboros in front of the giant statue of Atlas in front of City Hall. Encountering Ms. Liberty, the seasoned heroine comments that Galatea's hair had changed from blond to orange.
The events in "Time and Changes" follow immediately into "Galatea Dawning", where Galatea's transformation continues.
Galatea Future, who is last seen watching her younger self leave for 2011, will be sent to the Champions Universe.