Silver Surfer: Sins of the Father #3 of 3

Written by Marvelite. Editing and Assistance by Anomaly and Morfex
Published by the Cosmic Powers Fan Fiction Group in
Characters are the properties of Marvel Comics

Silver Surfer
"Sins of the Father"

Chapter Three of Three: Finality

(Note: This story continues from Sins of the Father #1 of 3 and #2 of 3.  The death of Norrin Radd's father and mother were seen and referred to in Silver Surfer #50 by Jim Starlin and Ron Lim)

Chapter 3: Finality

The Present

Silver Surfer kneeled on the ground, grabbing his head and weeping.  He had learned the world of New Zenn-La that he had lived on for the last few days was nothing but an illusion.  An illusion created by Zilas Flantz.  He confronted him to learn what his true motives were.  He found Zilas Flantz was once the rival of his father, Jartran Radd, and had once had a relationship with his mother, Elmar Radd, before Jartran had won her heart.  But then Zilas Flantz used his illusion device to show Silver Surfer the full extent of his rivalry with Jartran Radd.  Silver Surfer always thought his father committed suicide, but now he knew the truth.

Before his very eyes, he saw Zilas Flantz replay the death of his father in a lifelike illusion brought about by his elaborate Psycho-Recreational Device.  He learned his father did not commit suicide, but was killed.  Killed by Jartran Radd.

The Silver Surfer became despondent and felt as if half his heart was torn from his body.  But Zilas Flantz was not through.  He planned on ripping out the other half… and then watch as he killed the son of his greatest enemy.

“Now, Silver Surfer, I would like to show you something else… How much do you know about your mother’s death?”

Silver Surfer looked up with anger, “You didn’t!”

Zilas Flantz then changed the settings of the room again, this time resembling the interior of a hospital room.  Silver Surfer vaguely recognized the woman that laid in the hospital bed before him… from pictures he stared at for so many nights.  “Your mother betrayed me… your father stole her from me… they could not have expected me to stay aside silently…”

The Past

“Congratulations, Elmar, it is a boy.”  The couple looked happier than they had in ages.  Jartran Radd had hoped that the birth of their son, Norrin, would help patch up their marriage.  He wondered if things could ever be the same, though.  Jartran and Elmar were both very active in the politics of Zenn-La.  They tried to bring back Zenn-La’s thirst for knowledge, for without knowledge, life is not worth living.  But that thirst for knowledge was replaced with apathy.  An apathy fed with drugs, in a world where the people have no purpose, because they had become so advanced they had no need of their own existence.  Instead, computers had kept the planet moving while preventing any true progress and slowly killing the Zenn-Lavian spirit.

Jartran Radd was very dedicated to the cause.  His dream was to bring purpose back to Zenn-La.  He tried to change people’s minds and make them aware of what was happening to their society, but drugs and suicide was quickly dominating his world.  His wife was not as strong as he was.  Soon, she regretted being cast as an outcast living in the past.  She wanted to bring purpose and progress back to Zenn-La, but many kept telling her their now computerized world and “mind-enhancement” drugs was the way of progress and purpose.  She fell victim to their lies, getting addicted to the very substances she worked so hard against.  Her husband tried to get her help but was quickly discouraged when her cravings and desires for a substance he tried to keep her away from led to repeated attempts at suicide – a rising cause of death in Zenn-La.

Now, they had a son.  Jartran Radd worried that Elmar would not be the proper mother his son needed and that his son might grow to have the same fate as his mother.  He brought the newborn child to see his mother.  She smiled at him but then began to cry.  Her soul plagued by the same worries of her husband’s, while her flesh called out for more drugs.

Jartran took his son and left the room, allowing his wife to be alone and collect her thoughts, not saying a single word.

Soon later, another man walked in.  It was Zilas Flantz.  “Hello, Elmar.”

“Zilas!  I asked you never to see me again!”  Elmar exclaimed in anger, struggling to raise her voice.

Zilas shrugged his shoulders and smiled.  “I know you never want to see me again.  I realize you are now ‘happily’ married with Radd, but I thought you may be interested in seeing this again.”  He held up a containment tube filled with a mild-altering drug he had created.  It was a substance that was even more addictive than others, if a user was away from it for too long, they would fall into depression, feeling their only way to feel better was to return to it.

Elmar knew she had to be strong though, if not for herself, for her family.  “I do not need that, Zilas.”

“Oh, come now, my dear.  I am offering you a way out, a way to escape the pressures.  Do you really think there is any other way out… besides… you do not want to become like so many others in Zenn-La?  Do you?  Please, for your own good…”

“GET OUT!”  Elmar exclaimed, tears swelling up in her eyes.

“Very well…”  Zilas walked over to the table next to her bed.  “Because I care for you, this is for if you change your mind.”  On one side he placed the tube of drugs.  He then pulled out another tube and placed it on the other side of the table.  “And this is if you want another way out.”

He walked out of the room, with an evil grim plastered on his face, for he knew what decision she would make, and he knew it would mean revenge against his nemesis – the man who stole her from his heart.

Elmar sat in the hospital room where she had earlier given birth to a boy.  Now she was contemplating the ultimate sin.  She felt she could never learn to be the mother her son would need her to be, so she leaned forward and reached for the deadly tube.  She injected the substance into herself and laid back, crying, as everything around her seemed to twirl around in her head, until everything began to fade into blackness – forever.

Jartran’s heart broke when he heard the news.  His wife fell victim to the very things he tried to stop in Zenn-La: hopelessness, drugs, and suicide.  It was then he realized that he could never change Zenn-La.  He quit preaching to others, instead passing his wisdom and passions on to his son, Norrin Radd.

He would delay his goal of creating new spaceships and means for finding things beyond Zenn-La’s grasp, but never left his dreams.  Instead, he worked on pointless mind machines, hoping to generate funds and grants for more meaningful projects.  But Zilas Flantz was not done with him.

The Present

The images cut through Silver Surfer’s heart, as he witnessed the death of his mother, who killed herself, only after being urged on by the man before him.

He rose and confronted Zilas, realizing there was little he could do when everything around him as just an illusion.  “You got your revenge then… why did you kill my father?!”

“Is that not obvious?  Your father then breached my territory, creating technology that rivaled my domination of the psycho-recreational arts industry… I had to put an end to him while making it look like a suicide and setting him up with alterations to his final research report.”

Silver Surfer had a hard time controlling the fury within him but knew he was in no position to oppose Zilas, while he had control of his mind.  Instead, he plotted to learn more about what was driving this mad man.  “So what do you want with me?” asked Silver Surfer.

“Besides the fact that you are the child of my greatest enemy and the woman he stole from me?”  He smirked.  “I admit I thought the suicide of your mother and what appeared to be the suicide of your father would be enough revenge against you, but you were too much like your father, relentless.  You prevailed at what you sought to accomplish, despite my efforts, and when the time came, you rose to the occasion, sacrificing yourself to Galactus’ service in order to save our world.  But the event had an impact on Zenn-La like I had never seen before.  The industry that I so loved and dominated was being replaced with what your father had tried to bring to Zenn-La.  People were suddenly seeking knowledge, studying the sciences, and preparing defenses for future attacks.  You saved them from themselves, revived their spirit I thought long dead… you destroyed my purpose!  The Psycho-Recreational Arts was a thing of the past.  I found no purpose on Zenn-La anymore and left.  In death, your father defeated me again… but I will have the last laugh in seeing you die.”  The two then returned to the natural state of the planet and Zilas Flantz turned to his machine and twisted some of the nods and mechanisms.  “This was designed especially for a Zenn-Lavian brain, to feed off it.  All this time it has been locked on to your mind, manipulating your brain waves, making you see and feel and hear and touch what I desire.”

Silver Surfer felt that then was his chance to use the Power Cosmic against Zilas Flantz, but felt himself powerless to do so.  Was this just an illusion too?

Zilas Flantz then walked over to Silver Surfer and placed a headpiece device like his on the Silver Surfer.  “I would like to show you my latest masterpiece.”

Silver Surfer then watched as Zilas Flantz program his machine his machine.

All of a sudden, Silver Surfer was covered with blackness.  He looked down at his hands to see that his flesh had once again turned to that of Norrin Radd’s.  Within himself, he could no longer feel the Power Cosmic flow through his veins.

He then heard the voice of Zilas Flantz storm from the shadows.  “Welcome, Norrin Radd, to the corridors your mind.”  He then walked out of the darkness, to reveal himself embodied in silver and surging with the Power Cosmic.  “This is the place where I will make my final stand.  Together, we will share one fate: death.”

Norrin Radd knew that this man was mad.  He was so bent on revenge, that he would kill himself in the process of destroying him.  For by killing Norrin Radd while in the plains of his mind, he would kill them both.  “Why would you do this?  You would kill yourself just to destroy me?!”

“What other reason is there for me to live, Norrin Radd?  You destroyed my career, indeed Zenn-La is now gone as well.  I have no purpose to live.  Just this… my last moment of triumph, to put an end to you and your family’s legacy!”

Zilas Flantz, engulfed in silver, then blasted the Power Cosmic at Norrin Radd.

Norrin Radd quickly dodged the attack, trying to escape the inevitable death.  He was at a certain disadvantage, unable to fight back without the Power Cosmic within him.

He tried to look within himself for answers.  Surely there was a solution, a way to defeat this foe, who he was unaware of until days ago.  Then he remembered a memory from his childhood.

He was walking along his father’s side as a young youth learning about the history of Zenn-La.  They came across a crazed man.  Norrin remembered asking his dad if a drug substance caused the man’s insanity.  His father showed him the virtual reality system next to the man and responded, “No, son, this man became an addict of a different drug.  The drug of computers, manipulating machines that went too far to bring about entertainment.  Machines that enter your very mind in order to give you a perception of reality that is untrue.  Until that distraught reality becomes your reality.”  He then warned his son, “Remember, it is important to always control your thoughts and emotions.  Escapism is never good.  A man must never run from himself, never let machines control them for you, never let someone else control your reality.”

The words struck Norrin Radd’s soul.  Zilas Flantz blasted another shot toward Norrin Radd, but to his surprise, his victim flung himself right into the blast.  This time, however, the blast was harmless.

“That is impossible!”  Zilas Flantz shouted.

In defiance, Norrin Radd clinched his fists together, as his body reemerged in silver.  The Power Cosmic once again flowed through his body.  He then shot the Power Cosmic at Zilas Flantz, taking him aback.  Zilas responded with a blast of his own, but once again it made no mark on the Silver Surfer.

They continued to trade blasts.  Each time Silver Surfer was untouchable, as he realized the reality around them was not real, realizing he was in control.  But Zilas Flantz was caught up in the illusion, no longer able to discern between the truth and the fantasy created by his machine.  The Silver Surfer blasted him once more.  The Power Cosmic now gnawing at his flesh, Zilas Flantz could no longer withstand the incredible energy that was overpowering him.  A final strike of cosmic power struck the aged man, as he fell backwards unconscious.

Silver Surfer calmly walked over to the man, whose form had once again returned to its true form.  He grabbed him by the throat and lifted him into the air, bringing him back into a dazed consciousness.

Zilas Flantz was confused, stunned by defeat, “How is this possible?  How could you defeat me… my reality?!”

“Reality is what you make of it.  My father taught me that.  Now he has once again defeated you.  His ideals won my mother from you, his intellect was greater than yours, and now in death, his teachings have defeated your final act of jealousy.  He taught me the power of the mind and spirit, and it is far more superior to any machine.  I managed to win back control over the Power Cosmic and overcome your reality.  Now, I am in charge.”

“You are right.  Victory is yours.”  Zilas Flantz dropped his head in defeat, “Now finish me off.”

“No, I am not going to let you get off so easily.”

Everything around Zilas Flantz then began to transform.  He was surrounded by a world just like Zenn-La, absent of his evil touch - a world where Jartran, Elmar, and Norrin led a perfect life, where drugs and suicide were absent, and where the quest for knowledge reigned supreme.  A world with purpose, not tainted by one man’s greed and envy.  A world that Zilas Flantz would now be forced to live in while dwelling on his spite for a family that proved worthier than him.

Silver Surfer smiled.  “I want to thank you.  Now, I know the truth about my father – a man with a great heart and a noble spirit, who I can look up to in my memories, while remembering no man is without flaw.”  He then climbed onto his board and left the planet, leaving behind a man who had plagued his family because of the love of his parents and the genius of his father.

The End

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