The Last Herald of Galactus #1
Written by Dannell Lites,
Edited by Marvelite
The Last Herald of Galactus
cradled in the great hand, staring up into the strange square pupils of the
World Devourer's eyes. Beneath him, through the soles of his boots, he could
feel the waning energy, the fading life of the great being he served so loyally
and he was afraid. Afraid of being alone again. Of being the last ... If the
World Devourer did not feed soon then he would die.
He could not
And yet .. the
price ... the price ...
troubles you, Herald?" demanded Galactus*. Swiftly, the other looked
Master," he said and felt the scarlet cloth of his cape flutter in the
breeze of Galactus' breathy, answering reply. "Nothing troubles me."
For a moment, the huge eyes clouded with the advent of unimaginable power and
Could it be
grief he spied there on those stern, gigantic features?
He was prone,
he suspected, to projecting emotions upon his Master that, perhaps, might not be
there. Because he wished it so.
Loyal One," returned Galactus, "but we shall speak of this later. Now
you have a task to perform, do you not?" The other felt his heart sink as
Galactus raised him level with his own huge countenance, staring at him;
depending upon him for his life. "I hunger Herald, I hunger!" he
cried. The pain in that thunderous voice tore at his Herald's heart. Slowly,
Galactus closed his hand and then opened it once more in a great flash of
"Fly, Kal-E* of Krypton, fly!" ordered the Devourer of Worlds. "Find me a
planet, my loyal Herald! Find sustenance for Galactus!"
more with the Power Cosmic, Kal-El, the Last Son of Krypton, blazed away,
setting the heaven's alight in the wake of his search for a planet with energy
to sustain his Master.
And he found
spinning majestically below was beautiful; a vibrant blue-green jewel teeming
with life. Laughing, he plunged down through the oxygen rich atmosphere. The
pale pastel colors shone against the starkness of space, catching the eye. The
warm green bespoke of life and growing things. The cool blue of it's watery womb
promised peace and tranquility. He'd almost reached the surface before he
realized that the energy bursts and EM spectrum disturbances all around him were
the planet's inhabitants, trying to drive him off with primitive weapons.
they? He was Kal-El, the Herald of Galactus who went when and where he pleased.
Angry now, he
lashed out with his heat vision, destroying many of their toys, easily avoiding
the rest with agile grace. In the beginning, he meant to leave these beings in
peace. It was his custom to find uninhabited worlds for his Master to consume.
If this obvious ploy displeased the World Devourer, Galactus said nothing. The
two, Master and servant, never spoke of it. But he was caught by the splendid
beauty of this world and so paused in his quest long enough to admire it.
laser defense satellite sprang to life, stinging him, insect-like, with tens of
thousands of joules of coursing energy. Rather distracted, he could not evade
and was ill prepared for the missile that exploded against his chest.
Down, down, he
fell, burning like a meteor, through the planetary atmosphere until he struck
the ground below with a blow that shook it, making it tremble and writhe in
Fordham Kent glanced up into the bright, blanketing sky above Smallville, Kansas
and clapped her hands in delight.
look!" she cried to her husband of many years, pointing into the firmament.
"A falling star!"
"I see it,
Martha, I see it!" exclaimed the Kansas farmer with a smile.
haired man pulled his new Ford pickup off to the side of the road and, hand in
hand, together, he and his wife watched as a miracle unfolded.
wish, Martha! Make a wish!" Jonathan chuckled.
With a sigh,
however, could have been more amazed than she when it came true.
screaming in a tongue that only two living beings in all the Universe
he shouted in the liquid accents of a planet he knew only in dreams, "No!
Don't leave me! Please don't leave me ... " But the shade of his father Jor-El
faded into misty oblivion, calling his name. His heart racing, he reached for
the comfort of his fathers hand, in vain. Jor-El of Krypton, like his world, was
gone. Leaving behind only a single survivor to mourn.
Martha Kent called. "Come quick! He's awake!" When the stranger tried
to rise from his bed she held out a hand to his broad chest. "Easy there
child, easy," she soothed him. The sound of her soft voice seemed to
comfort him and he lay back down with a small grimace of pain.
now," opined Jonathan Kent from the open doorway, "you're looking a
mite better, son." To Martha's dismay, those dark brows knitted themselves
together in a frown.
I don't think he speaks English. He doesn't understand you."
the night dark hair and smiled to reassure him as the bright blue eyes closed,
peacefully, and the harsh sound of his breathing slowed to a steady rhythm.
Within moments the young stranger was sleeping once more.
Such a handsome
boy! Martha thought. But who was he? When she and her husband followed the path
of that blazing falling star to the cornfield on the south forty of their small
farm the last thing they expected to find was a young man, unconscious and still
glowing with heat like a coal, or a wood ember.
sakes, Martha!" she could still hear Jonathan exclaim. "That thing
looks like it's coming down right on our place!"
His face alight
with delight and wonder, Jonathan Kent quickly started the Ford S-10's engine
once more and sped off into the deepening twilight. With a shake of her head,
Martha gusted a sigh of exasperated amusement. Truth be told, even after all
these years she still couldn't cotten to Jonathan's fondness for the strange
things he found in those science fiction stories of his. "Look,
Martha!" he would often exalt, waving a brightly colored magazine under her
nose in Fordham's Drug, "a new story by Asimov!"
dear," was her frequent response, "Robots ... or is it another
'Foundation' story this time?"
The prospect of
actually seeing or perhaps touching a piece of something that fell from the sky,
that came from beyond the Earths domain was clearly exciting for her husband.
Martha smiled indulgently. She had to admit she was a bit curious herself. But
as she understood these things it was most likely just a piece of nickel-iron
rock, however exotic it's previous locale. Still, it was nice to see Jonathan so
happy and excited. Although not too exciting she hoped. Jonathan's last medical
exam was quite encouraging, Doc Whitney assured her, but her husband had still
to fully recover from his heart attack of the previous winter and Martha found
herself worrying about him more than she liked.
They were less
than half way to the remote farm they owned when the earth tremor hit, almost
driving them off the road. Stubbornly, Jonathan fought the swerving pick up and
kept them from the yawning ditch and the specter of an accident on such a lonely
stretch of road as this. Gasping in fear, Martha held on in wide eyed dismay as
Jonathan once more set their truck racing in the direction of the falling
fragment of heaven.
all right," declared Jonathan. "Over on the edge of the woods in the
south pasture, I'll warrant!"
When they first
approached the thing from the sky, the heat was so intense that even Jonathan,
determined as he was, found himself driven back by the blast.
Jonathan!" Martha admonished, afraid he might be burned. Oh that man and
his passion for unearthly things was a caution! Undaunted, Jonathan retreated
reluctantly to the safety of his Ford pick up, wiping his brow with a large red
wait for it to cool, I reckon," Jonathan smiled.
*so*," returned Martha tartly, adjusting Jonathan's rounded spectacles on
his nose and checking him closely for injuries. He patted her hand.
honey," he assured her and was rewarded with a smile. Even after nearly
thirty years of marriage, Jonathan Kent still saw his wife as the prettiest girl
in Smallville County. Lord willing that was never going to change.
look!" Martha cried suddenly, pointing at the fallen star.
"Lord have mercy!" her husband gasped, gazing at the rapidly cooling object lying in his cornfield. "Why, it looks like a *man*!"
Continued in The Last Herald of Galactus #2
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