Silver Surfer: Tainting Eden Conclusion
Written by WarlorTVor, Edited by James
Continues from Chapter 1, Chapter 2, Chapter 3, and Chapter 4 of Tainting Eden. Be sure to also read Silver Surfer: Playing God, a story by Rick Lundeen set in the future, where the Silver Surfer must sacrifice his freedom and become Galactus' herald once more to save a planet named Elysia.
Continues from Chapter 4
It is an honest question, is it not? Why . . . Are you wondering why it is that I tell you the tale? Why I stand here before you and give you insight into that which you have no reference of comparison? An honest question, I shall admit to as much. And I am not sure if I have an answer for you, my child. There could be many reasons, some selfless in nature others self-centered, however the motivation, as I have found over the years, is not as important or profound as the action itself. With that said, I shall continue with the tale, and allow for you, young ones, to determine the motivations behind my tale recounted within the specter of fire light.
Now . . . Where was I?
Ah . . . yes . . .
Now I remember . . .
In my long existence I have been many things -- man, mortal, immortal, deity, simpleton, scientist, explorer, dreamer, wanderer, exile, lover, herald to a great evil that was not an evil at all, the portent of death, a beckon of hope, saint and sinner, savior, survivor . . .
However, at this point, when my hands were placed firmly upon the throat of the beast that has tormented me for countless centuries it seems at times, none of that matter. All of it seemed to fade into a blur of the surreal, numerous and even countless shades of black and white fading into a blur of uncontrollable fury. All reason and thought processes gave way, to my passion, my emotion, which was a tumult in and of itself so strong was it that indeed it had the sheer force of will to break the chains that had bounded me, helpless within the insufferably constricting confines that was hell.
For I was enraged, beyond words, and it was that rage, that hatred that was all that mattered to me.
I have always tried to do the right thing, the honorable thing, whenever any given situation arose. I always tried to find that one road toward righteousness, and on that road perhaps I have found nothing save damnation, yes, though it was the right thing to do. And at that moment, not even the code of honor that I myself have sworn to mattered to me.
I can recall the rush of emotion, adrenaline, and power that churned within my soul as I reduced the once great Lord of Lies, himself, Mephisto, into nothing more save for a smoldering husk, broken and bowed. Mephisto no doubt was under the impression that he was forever entrenched into a hailstorm of power cosmic energies -- power granted to me by none other than the devourer of entire worlds, Galactus -- that I forced upon him, wearing him down. And when I finally ceased my offensive, when the energies ceased to pour freely from my palms, leaving him to be nothing more save for a smoldering husk, a near lifeless corpse of flesh and bone, the expression on his blood covered visage, one of true horror and fear, was, indeed, an expression that brought me great joy and pleasure. For his is a soul that is forever loss, one that was beyond any respectable deity’s redemption.
made my approach toward him, methodically, slowly buying my time. As time waned,
I finally stood before the beast, and I knelt before him, taking his shoulders
harshly into my firm, unwavering grasp, and bringing his field of vision to face
mine own. And I did one thing I had never done in all my life time . . .
I laughed in his face.
His only response, a sickening gasping of air, as he was forced to compress the liquids into his body to remain there. And without thought or reason, my hands darted toward the beast’s throat, where I then curled my fingers around his wind pipe, crushing it, slowly, pools of scarlet energy manifesting themselves around my hands.
“A frightened child,” he managed to say after a time, and not without great pain pulsating throughout his body, pain that I had inflicted, pain that I took pleasure in witnessing. In spite of his injuries, in spite of the severed arm that had long since ceased its rhythmical movements, or the lose of half his face and the smoldering of the rest, Mephisto appeared to be strangely at ease with himself and all around him at that moment. And that unnerved me, greatly in fact. My mind began to race, plotting and counter-plotting, wondering what trump card -- as an old friend, a human, tended to coin the phrase -- Mephisto still had. The anger that had clouded my vision, my sense of reason, was only then beginning to fade, an anger that had laid all waste to the dark one’s realm, not to mention the dark one’s very physical being as well. “Yes . . .” he hissed, laughing, a fountain of crimson red ichor issuing forth from his mouth, awaiting its presence upon my now trembling hands.
What had I done?
What anger had moved me, what rage to do all this destruction?
. . .” I stammered to find my voice, to find some semblance of control, to
cease my actions from snapping his neck then and there and being done with it
once and for all. To allow all those who has suffered for his whims and desires
to finally find peace alas. “What do you mean . . . ‘a frightened
child?’” When silence was my only response, my grasp tightened around his
throat all the more forcibly.
“Answer me, Dark One! Now!”
Laughter. Insidious beast, no matter what happened to him or the world around him, he never once lost his voice to laugh, joyously even, an instance that I could not help but to allow to grate on my never. Even to this day, the laughter continues, within the darkest recesses of my psyche never silent, a constant reminder of all death and destruction that beast has brought upon this universe . . . all the death and destruction I have brought up this universe . . .
“Yes, a frightened child indeed,” he said once the laughter subsided. “Pathetic, just as he was all those years ago . . .”
“Who, Dark One?” I snapped, anger rising in my features.
“The child . . .” After a moment of silence that was filled only by a never ending void of contemplation, Mephisto finished, “The Richards child, Franklin. He once stood in opposition to me, much as you have, and for much the same reasons as well. Ironic indeed. A long time ago, yes.” He started to gasp for air for a moment, his words dying down in a guttural sea of nonsensical rhetoric. Several moments later, not to mention the fact of all the more blood he lost within those moments of coughing, he continued, “If it were not for that damn witch . . . that damn mage . . . Strange . . . I would have learned all those secrets locked away within the child. I suppose, I should be content with the mage’s final ending, a pleasurable on for my accounts at least. Slowly and given time of course, and perhaps, just perhaps if all went according to my wishes I could have had the power to defeat the Living Tribunal, himself. Perhaps. Though . . . what is the human saying, Norrin Radd . . . the one they are so fond of at times . . . if wishes were horses we would mount up and ride? Yes. An apt if limited statement. However, what do you expect from such a pathetically limited race such as humanity? Though it is not much unlike your own wish, Surfer? The wish that Shalla Bal had indeed lived. A nice pleasant wish to be assure, but an empty wish nonetheless.”
“What . . .” Nothing made sense. What the hell was he getting at. “I do not understand. What does all this have to do with . . . with anything?”
“Everything, Norrin Radd. Everything and nothing.”
“Silence!” I commanded, my anger welling up inside my chest once more. “Cease speaking in cryptically tongue, Lord of Lies. They will not cease the end from coming down upon you, your final end.”
“That’s just it!” He roared, laughter once more echoing in the great hall. “Don’t you see? Can you not comprehend! For I, there is no end!
“Never an end!”
“Yes . . .” he hissed.
“I refuse to believe that, Mephisto. You are lying.”
“Always. Though not in this instance. I am an abstract, Silver Surfer, or have you forgotten? How feeble minded you are at times, makes one wonder how you could ever be considered the greatest scientific mind on your world. Ahh, yes. And then one recalls what world it is and all questions are silence by the truth. Makes sense really.” His mock sarcasm continued to grate on me as much as his damn laughter did. Then his voice rose in a crescendo of sorts and started to echo slightly in the expanse of the universe. “I am the living embodiment of evil, herald of the World Devourer! As long as there is light there shall always be a shadow. And I . . . I, Norrin Radd, am that shadow, I embody that shadow! There is no end for me as long as there is a good, a light. Evil must and always shall exist. That is what the child never understood, not even when he ‘slayed’ me as he had. This is only the physical manifestation, I am a concept one that is never forgotten nor ignored. Yes, Norrin Radd, you may destroy this host of flesh, in fact it is welcomed even. However, remember this, and remember this well, I shall return, in another host of flesh, an endless cycle.
“Without beginning, middle or end, constant, forever constant.”
I stared deeply into his eyes for a long moment thereafter, contemplating. The rage had long since passed, though my hands did not move from where they rested, upon the throat of the beast. It would have been so easy to simply drain the life from his body, to watch as the life waned, diminished and finally ended in his eyes. So easy. However, I knew that shrouded within the rhetoric, there was some truth to it all. Indeed, I had forgotten, in my anger I had forgotten a great many things.
And with that knowledge, came a resolution.
My expression changed from one of anger, to that of hopelessness, to that of a lack of understanding, now to one of hope, an end was at hand, Mephisto, an end that would start a new beginning, an unforeseen beginning.
Power came forth from my hands once more, and I released my grasp on him, he fell earthward, splashing into the sea of his own life’s blood. I arose and raised my hands, palms facing the dark one, and slowly tendrils of dark energy started to rise from his form and into my form. In fact, all around the shattered remains of hell the very same tendrils of energy that were releasing from its master were doing the same, entering my body. I suppose he came to the stark realization that the end had at last come for him, as his core essence was soaked into my own, and the submerged, the expression of terrified horror was as much confirmation that I had needed. Though I did not care. His life would come to an end more or less, and would be eternally imprisoned within my soul, where the laughter, his laughter, would never cease, never silence.
When the event came to an end, and there was not a signal sign of Mephisto or his domain ever had existed in the first place, save for within me, where it was chained, controlled, where the evils that he had done, and unleashed shall never be so again, I stood there. For quite some time, I stood there before the sight of a tainted Eden, before the sight of a destroyed Elysia.
And I wept.
Tears issued forth from mine eyes and they washed upon the surface of the planet I loved, the planet that was more worthy than to be laid clam to such a fate, simply to destroy my soul.
I reached out and with those tears, I absorbed the evil taint that had befallen that humble world, into myself, aiding in the construction of the prison that is now Mephisto’s eternal cell. The world was whole once more, pure and untarnished.
With that complete I leapt forth, embracing the stars once more, in search of my own path, my own destiny.
T h e E n d .
Thank you for reading this final chapter of Silver Surfer: Tainting Eden. Be sure to go read Silver Surfer: Playing God, the story which precedes this one. And please leave your feedback below or e-mail it to firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also e-mail the author at email@example.com.
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