Untold Tales #2... featuring the Silver Surfer!
Written by Grim,
Edited by Marvelite
Untold Tales #2
"The Doomsday Device"
... featuring the Silver Surfer!
(This Untold Tale of the Silver Surfer is completely unrelated to Untold Tales #1, though you can read it by clicking here. This story takes place during the Silver Surfer's service as herald to Galactus.)
This short story was inspired by an old Star Trek episode, I think by the same name as this story. In that episode, The Enterprise goes to rescue another Federation starship which has tangled with a "doomsday" device created by one planet to destroy another. Of course, the device ends up obliterating the creators, as well. To see the show today, a viewer would be turned off by the cheesy effects, but when I first saw it, the Doomsday Device had me scared to death. What if there was such a thing out in space? And what happened if it found Earth? Or even better, comic-wise, what would happen if it tangled with a true Force of Nature?
In case you haven't seen the episode, Kirk manages to ride the crippled starship into the doomsday device and the explosion of the engines renders it harmless. Kirk is saved at the LAST SECOND by Scotty using a malfunctioning transporter in a truly nail-biting scene.
"The Doomsday Device"
The Silver Surfer glided through the depths
of space, his silvery skin reflecting the wonders of the universe. His eternal
quest was to find planets that would satisfy his master, Galactus, the World
Devourer. Having just found a system with not one, but two planets that fit the
criteria, the Surfer had watched as Galactus had moved his Worldship to the
system and taken up temporary residence. Given that his master would be content
for awhile before another meal was required, the Surfer was more exploring, than
searching. Galactus would dine on one of the orbs, then resume his unknowable
studies, more at ease, because another meal was readily available.
A flash of light registered on his eyes. Over
there, two systems away, a large burst of energy had been released. As this was
in the general direction of his travels, and toward several promising suns, the
Surfer leaned into his board and went to investigate. Arriving hours later, the
Surfer found planetary debris. A complete solar system had been here… But now
it lacked the third and fourth planets. “Curious…” he whispered
soundlessly. Moving closer to investigate, the Surfer found asteroid rings in
the orbits where the planets used to be. He brought his board up above the plane
of the elliptic to study the rest of the system. The moons of the fifth planet
had been mined, and a colony had been started on the second planet, his
far-ranging eyes told him. No life lived on either, now, but energy sources were
“A war…” he surmised, “with the
inhabitants of one planet destroying the other before being destroyed
themselves.” He felt no remorse for the late inhabitants of the system, just a
calm disbelief that sentient beings could cause their own destruction. Still
above the elliptic, he scanned nearby systems. “Odd…” he thought, “That
system is the same as this… As is that one over there… Something is amiss
here.” The Surfer opened his senses fully to the rhythm of the universe,
flowing with the waves of time. For a second, he seemed to merge with Eternity,
the spirit of the universe. “That system is the latest to have suffered
damage.” Leaning into his board again, the Surfer streaked in the direction
where he had sensed recent destruction.
As he neared the system, he passed through
energy waves given off from planet-shaking explosions. “A battle…”, he
thought. Then, just as he was about to enter the system, an enormous energy wave
struck and knocked him from his board, unconscious.
Awakening floating in space, the Surfer shook
his head as if to clear it, a mannerism left over from his days as a humanoid.
With a thought, his board raced from where it had drifted and placed itself
under his feet. Righting himself with respect to the plane of this system, the
Surfer looked around. “I remember seeing seven planets in this system… But
one has been destroyed.” Gravel floated in orbit where the third planet had
circled the sun. “I could understand two planets destroying each other in one
system, but I’ve now seen five planets in four systems ravaged. And the fact
that the planets would have been suitable meals for the World Devourer strikes
me as odd…” The thought that an enemy of the World Devourer might be at work
never entered the Surfer’s mind; as he could conceive of nothing that could
stand for a second against the might of Galactus.
Commanding his board toward the debris of the
third planet, he noticed that colonies on the fourth planet had been destroyed
by the shock wave that he rendered him unconscious. Coming to rest in an
asteroid belt of debris, the Surfer snagged a fist-sized stone that was spinning
by. Examining it on the microscopic level, and the sub-microscopic, revealed
that the planet hadn’t exploded from with-in, outside forces had caused the
destruction. Soaring above the asteroid belt, the Surfer traced the path of the
planet’s orbit. The debris field told him where the massive explosion had
From his vantage point, the Surfer again
opened his senses, this time looking for energy traces. The fabric of the
universe revealed explosions, nuclear, fusion, fission, gamma, anti-matter, even
a couple of time-slip discharges. Laser, photogenic and radiant energy beams had
torn through space. A massive battle had taken place here… But it was all one
sided. The planet had been defending itself from an attack. Not a swarm of ships
or even a space armada had beset the planet, but one attacker. One being…This
thought caused the Surfer’s eyes to open wide. “Was there another like his
master?” His master had never discussed others… “I’d better inform
Galactus...” But as he was getting ready to send the signal to summon his
master, the Surfer noticed a trail leading away from the carnage.
“Odd that I missed it before...”
Adjusting his eyesight, fine-tuning, the Surfer caused the trail to spring to
life in front of him. “Whoever did this uses the power cosmic for energy, as
only my master and I do. I’ve never needed to check these frequencies before.
On a hunch, the Surfer turned his head and saw the point of light that
represented his master, back in the two-planet system. “‘Twas not
Galactus…” Leaning into his board again, the Surfer started out on the
A few minutes travel was all that was
required to catch up with… it? “I expected a being or even a ship, but not
this… It resembles nothing I’ve ever seen before.” The Surfer soared
around the object, probing it. Long and tapered, like a cone, with one end open
where a fire of destruction could be seen inside. The body of the thing was
impenetrable even to his senses and he felt that the molecular structure was
beyond his ability to affect. Numerous warheads had landed on it, and he could
see debris from ships that committed suicide on it in a valiant attempt to cause
damage. The Surfer flew down and landed on the back of the thing. The size of a
moon, shaped like a torpedo, it moved with a rugged determination toward… The
Surfer’s eyes widened again. The object was headed for the system where his
master had taken residence. “I must warn him”, he thought. Pointing a
silvery hand toward Galactus, the Surfer fired off an energy bolt, structured to
carry information, not to damage. He watched in fascination as the bolt raced
out ahead, then curved around and came back toward him.
But no, the bolt wasn’t coming back to him;
it entered the maw of the thing. Under his feet, the craft/device pulsed with
new energy. “It must devour energy. No matter, I’ll go ahead and warn
Galactus in person.” Hopping onto his board, the Surfer raced ahead of the
object. As he cleared the front of the thing, intense gravitational forces
targeted him. Expending more energy, the Surfer pulled away from the trap. But
the expenditure cost him. The thing was soaking up all the cosmic rays in the
area, leaving him weakened. He strained harder against the pull and got nowhere.
The thing had him trapped, and was pulling him back.
The Surfer looked over his shoulder at his
pursuer and saw the wide-open mouth; it’s flames of cosmic destruction waiting
to end his struggles. Renewing the battle, the Surfer was almost pulled from his
board, but at the last second he lunged and grabbed it with both arms. The
forces pulling him back became intense; it felt like his silvery skin was going
to be ripped from his body. Glancing behind him again, the Surfer saw that he
had almost passed the outer lip of the object. The flames seemed to be jumping
and dancing, as in a demonic celebration. At that moment, borne of desperation
the Surfer changed the angle of his flight from toward Galactus’ position to a
direction perpendicular. The sudden change caught the thing unaware. The Surfer
was almost free from the hellish pull. One last effort, the last he had within
him, broke him free. But the effects of the pull still tugged at him. The Surfer
was outside the main gravitational force, but instead of traveling in a straight
line, he traveled in an arc. The Surfer and his board hit the lip and bounced
off, luckily on the outside of the mouth. Unconscious again, the Surfer floated
in the object's gravity sphere; gently coming to rest upon it’s back as it traveled
The Surfer awoke again, feeling the rhythmic
energies from the engine of destruction pulsing under him. Calling to his board,
he cradled it underneath him, looking around. Using his board for support, he
got to his feet. The mighty Worldship of Galactus loomed large in front of the
thing. “It must know that Galactus’ ship contains more energy than a score
of planets. I must warn the master.” The Surfer took a step towards the front
of the thing, only to remember the deadly trap. A seconds thought and he took
off in the opposite direction. A light year behind, he angled his flight. Around
and under, well away from the thing, he raced. Passing under the system where
Galactus was, the Surfer flew on. Once past the system, the Surfer angled back
up. He was coming back into the system on the same path he used when he
discovered the suitable planets.
A wall in the Worldship dissolved in front of
him and reformed after his passing. After racing down eons-old passageways, the
Surfer entered the control room of Galactus. Galactus’ head was bent into some
type of scanning device and his fingers adjusted various esoteric controls.
“Master… Master, it’s urgent!”
“Deal with it, herald. I am not to be interrupted!”
“My word is law! Now go.”
“Galactus! It almost destroyed me. I can
not…” Galactus slowly disentangled himself from the equipment. Taking a step
back, the world devourer turned to scowl at his herald.
“You’ve haven’t called me by name
since… What concerns you so, my herald?”
“There is a device that is destroying
planets; the same that you require for sustenance, headed this way…”
Galactus turned to look in the direction his herald indicated. Ignoring the
intervening walls, Galactus studied the approaching craft.
“So, a race has finally utilized cosmic
energy for power. Come herald, see how your master deals with the creations of
With a thought, Galactus turned himself and
the Surfer to pure cosmic energy. The energy forms traveled through the walls of
the ship and reformed in the path of the approaching device. As if sensing the
raw power in front of it, the engine of destruction sped up, targeting Galactus.
The Surfer looped around and fired bolts of cosmic energy at the back of the
device. Galactus watched the actions of his herald with interest. With a
thought, he amplified the Surfer’s powers. The Surfer looked down at his hands
for a second, then renewed the attack. Still no effect. Changing tactics, the
Surfer wrapped the tube in layers of solidified power cosmic. The device stopped
for a second, then all the layers were pulled into the open end and devoured.
The Surfer flew down and landed on the back of the thing. Using his board as a
weapon, he couldn’t make a mark on the dull surface. Then he wrapped a band of
energy around the device and tried to tow it in another direction. The device
faltered for a second, the resumed it’s deadly course for Galactus.
“My herald, come to me… This device is beyond your
scope.” The Surfer heard Galactus’ call and flew away from the device to float
in space beside Galactus.
“Master, I tried…”
“This device was constructed to destroy
planets, my herald. You haven’t grown enough to utilize the powers to stop
such a weapon.”
Galactus floated toward the device bearing
down on him. The Surfer looked on with horror on his face and the device got
closer and closer. “Would his master not defend himself?” Enlarging himself
so that he was as big as the opening, Galactus waited. The device bore down,
going faster and faster, the target that Galactus presented, too tempting. At
the last second, just before he would have entered the mouth of the device,
Galactus extended his arms and legs, catching himself from being pulled inside.
The device increased the pull, but Galactus resisted. The strain on his face was
evident to the Surfer as he fought the device. Then, bracing himself, Galactus
wrenched an arm free. Pulling his hand back, Galactus opened the hand wide. Then
he shocked the Surfer by thrusting his arm directly into the mouth of the
device. Great blasts of cosmic flame shot out around Galactus, almost blinding
the Surfer. Then Galactus slowly withdrew his arm from inside the device.
Clutched in his closed fist was the energy source for the device. The engine of
destruction floated away, harmless.
"Come herald, I must put this someplace safe,
before it attempts to devour even me.”
Galactus looked to his Worldship and a massive door opened. A platform slid out
and quickly made the journey to where Galactus waited, energy crackling around
his closed fist. Settling onto the platform, Galactus floated back to the world
ship. Once inside, A special container opened and Galactus placed his fist
inside. Coating the top of the container around his arm with energy, Galactus
slowly withdrew his hand. The Surfer floated over to see what was inside.
“It’s a quantum singularity, herald, a blackhole. Had I not
been at full power…”
“Just a blackhole, master?”
“No, herald. This was born of humans.
Enhanced by their pitiful attempt at science. Even time itself was being
devoured. This was a doomsday device one group of humans used on another.”
“And it turned around and destroyed the
creators… How are you going to destroy it, master?”
“I shall utilize it as a power source for
the Worldship, herald. In time, even this device will pose no threat to you.”
“But master, this device…”
“My battle with the device has left me
weakened. Only one planet remains in this system. Soon I will need to eat again,
“Your word is law, master,” the Surfer
said as he flew out into space in search of Galactus’ next meal.
To Be Continued . . .
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