Marvel/DC: Shards of Destiny #3
Written by Jim Seals and Jeff Olson,
Edited by Jim Seals
Shards of Destiny
Gambit Part One: Treachery
God-Stalker smiled demonically at his newfound prize before him. Or at least he would if he could. For he is a member of the race known as the Celestial, a powerful race in charge of keeping the cosmic balance of power at an even standstill, his mighty towering form covered completely. Their true forms are unknown to all who behold them. Before him in chains of unbelievable power the mighty being known only as Galactus, the devourer of worlds, was struggling for freedom to no avail.
"I shall and will destroy you for this, God-Stalker, mark my words!" Galactus cried out with a bravado that he did not clearly feel at that particular moment. The armor clad devourer of worlds with each struggle that he did created, in a futile and pointless attempt to release himself he was feeling weak, the hunger within him that burns and eats away at him grows more intense and more powerful. Then he stopped, and merely hung there suspend over the steel ground. He did not know where he was, and he did not care, he wanted freedom, and he wanted to kill the man before him: The Silver Surfer, for if not for his ex-heralds untimely intervention the God-Stalker would have surely died.
"You have done well, Sky-Rider," the Celestial nodded, standing side by side with the world devourers first herald. "Thanks to you the man who would thwart my holiest of plans is now at my mercy. But alas I ask you . . .why?"
"What do you mean, God-Stalker?" The Silver Surfer asked staring at him askance.
"Why?" he repeated himself. "Why have you added my cause, in such a great way? With Galactus out of the picture it is ease to carry out my quest."
"A quest thatll kill more living creatures than Galactus has ever."
"I am aware of that as well, God-Stalker," Norrin Radd stated mater-of-fact, taking several calculated steps toward his now chained master. "But once your quest is over you shall bring no more harm upon this universe. But Galactus will not stop till ever world with any means of life is destroyed and devoured in order to quench his unquenchable hunger. That is why I have helped you. After all . . .the needs of the many out weigh the needs of the on. Or the few, for that matter. It is simply logical." And with that the Silver Surfer slowly but surely left the darkened main control room to the small base on the dark side of earths moon, where the now despaired Watcher, Utau, who once watched over and chronicled over every last detail pivotal to the growth of human history is now empty, his whereabouts still shrouded in mystery.
And God-Stalker leaned forward examining the grimace that darkened Galactus visage and smiled once again.
The Silver Surfer knew that if this was to work he had to move, swiftly, quickly. He soared through the corridors of the moon base, with the utmost of ease, soon coming upon the control panel that he was in search of. He activated it. And watched the information displayed. Norrin Radd only preyed that his companion was faring much better than he.
Green Lantern, a.k.a. Kyle Rayner, stared skyward into the night skies overhead, and basked in the full glory of the majestic vista before above him.
But here was not here in order to stare up into the skies of a universe alien to him, while his companion and fast friend, Norrin Radd risked life and limb in the lair of a madman. No, he was sent here to retrieve a small band of super heroes named the Fantastic Four. The Silver Surfer had told him before he entered the battle with the ones he named the God-Stalker and Galactus that this team had helped him many-a-time in the past, and that they will aid them in their acquisition of the Shard of Destiny that Access had sent them to retrieve for The Gathering.
The Green Lantern dashed quickly and swiftly through the ankle deep snow that had covered the paved sidewalks of New York City (well at least a New York City), the chill battering down on his dark black uniform. Soon he came upon the seaport that the Surfer had told him this team resided: Pier Four, the port overlooked the Hudson Bay. He came upon the door and on this old fashion wooden door a blue and white embalm stood proudly in the center, right at eye level, the embalm was that of a "4." Kyle rose his hand and gently, yet firmly knocked the door, and what he saw nothing could prepare him for.
The thing was massive in sheer size. It towered over him, its skin was that of orange rock, and it had an unhappy scowl on his face. "Yeah," it grumbled, removing the stogie from his mouth and releasing a breath of thick black smoke, "whatd you want? Youre interrupting my monthly poker game, and Im winning!" he crushed, with the utmost ease the brew can that he wielded.
Kyle Rayner was taken aback. What kind of team was these Fantastic Four? he asked himself, face pale white. His hands were shacking, slightly.
Then he remembered whats at stake, he squared of his shoulder, the muscles in his jaw rippling back and forth, the Green Lantern said, "The Silver Surfer needs the Fantastic Fours help!"
The Silver Surfer stared down onto the computer terminal, studying the layout of the base, detecting it to memory. Then he slightly shuttered. Galactus booming, echoing voice roared in his head, startling him, Norrin Radd! I request an audience!
The ex-herald looked away from the screen for a moment, then deciding that he had no choice. Making sure that his task was completed, the Silver Surfer stood upon the gleaming silver surfboard and made his way, slowly, toward the main control center, where the devourer of worlds was chained.
"I am here, Galactus," he said soaring to his former masters eye level and then merely hovering there.
"I demand an explanation for your actions, Silver Surfer," Galactus commanded, his voice was weak and distant, the hunger overcoming him. "Why? And not the reason you gave, God-Stalker! I know you all to well, Norrin Radd. Your soul is a noble one. You would not risk the life of even one being if you could help it. And you can! You are not logical when it comes to such manners, you are a passionate one when it comes to such matters. So what is this façade? Tell me."
"Where is the God-Stalker?" he asked.
"Away. I do not know where. Now answer me! I grow impatient with your delays. You must answer for your actions, former herald."
"And I shall. I owe you that much. We the one known as Green Lantern and I have been sent by the Access, the Living Tribunal and one who is known simply as Spectre in order to collect one of the Shards of Destiny, a remaining fragment from a device that the Father used in order to hope save both twin universes."
"Father? Twin universes? Why do I have no knowledge of such things that you speak?" Galactus asked, his curiosity piqued.
"It is easier to answer the second question first," the Sky-Rider murmured. "There is a parallel similar to that of our own, yet drastically different in some cases. And the creators of these universes are dying. From what I understand of some cosmic cancer. And now the Brothers that hated each other so cannot continue without the other, they must merge and as a result of the merger the two twin universes that were once separate will forever overlap. Inseparable. Thats where the Father and the Reflections of Destiny comes into play. The Father, of the Brothers, knew that this day would soon dawn upon us the ancient text dictated it would. Created a glass sphere known as the Reflections of Destiny, and within this sphere it contained the essences of both the Brothers. The Father then crushed the sphere and create eight shards and planted them in areas where they will be apart of one or the other soon to be born universes. Now agents have been sent to both universes in the hope to collect all the shards and perform what is known as The Gathering."
"And," Galactus interrupted understanding the tapestry that had been laid out before him, "if the shards are not collected then both universes will be destroyed in the wake of the Brothers demise. I understand now. But what still troubles me is what does this have to do with me, Norrin Radd?"
"You, Galen, are a manifestation of one of the shards sent to our universe. And I was sent here to retrieve you for The Gathering."
"This is all vary fascinating, Sky-Rider, but that does not answer the question: Why did you aid the God-Stalker to capture me?" Galactus repeated himself an act that he was not use to expressing.
"When the portal open and Green Lantern and I finally found you, in midst of a battle with the God-Stalker, I realized that even with the aid of Lanterns Power Ring we could not bring him down. And as a result of my former dealings with him in the past I knew that he was involved in a sinister plot of some kind. So I aided the God-Stalker in apprehending you. Sending the Green Lantern to earth, in the hope that he will find and form an alliance with the Fantastic Four.
Galactus laughed unexpectedly, new life coursing through him. That is when the Surfer could sense something was terribly wrong. The blue pulsating bonds that held him in place fluctuated and in a voice not of his own Galactus called out, "Computer . . . Alpha-Tango-Omega . . . Initiate command codes . . ."
"Access granted. Codes enabled," the command computer reported.
"Deactivate chains." Upon this command the bonds that held Galactus into place dissolved to nothingness. And Galactus himself in blinding white light started to change form. Taking on the figure of . . .
"No . . ." Surfer hushed, in disbelieve. "God-Stalker!"
Once the light subsided God-Stalker stood there, bolts of raw energy lanced forth from his extended finger tips, slamming point-blank into the Silver Surfers unguarded chest. He grunted in pain, his vision clouding after only one shot. The Silver Surfer was sent flying into a far away wall, an explosion of fire and electricity claimed the ex-herald to the greatest force of nature ever, he slammed onto the deck plates in a disgruntle heap.
"Thank you, Silver Surfer, for your candor . . . Now die!"
To Be Continued . . .
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