Surfer/Red Shift: Conflicting Agenda #2
AND RED SHIFT:
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Continued from Conflicting Agendas #1
The Present… New York City
(Following the Silver Surfer’s appearances in Powers Cosmic, Captain
Marvel, and Maximum Security. Before
his appearances in The Defenders and before the events in Conflicting
Agendas #1 took place)
Alicia Masters joined the Silver Surfer as he
overlooked the metropolis known as New York City.
She could tell he was tired of the place, not comfortable with the people
and culture surrounding him. That
is why she planned a trip to Hawaii, a chance for her to show him another part
of Earth, to change the scenery.
“I grow wary of this place,” the Silver
Surfer sighed as he holds the hand of Alicia Masters.
“I know, Norrin.
But I’m sure you will love Hawaii.
It is very beautiful there.”
It is not just this city… it is this whole planet.
Why won’t you let me take you to the stars, show you my haven?”
“I’ve seen the stars, Norrin.
I cannot leave now. I feel
needed here, among my fellow human beings… Please, Norrin, don’t do this to
me… I am tired of adventures. I
just want to be with you.”
Silver Surfer let go of her hand.
“I’ve seen this planet. Its
beauty is tainted by mankind’s ugly ways.”
Alicia began to weep.
“Norrin, I cannot let you do this to me.
I can’t just drop my life here and venture out with you.
Please don’t ask me to choose, I don’t think I could bare it.”
The Silver Surfer’s voice turned cold.
He knew what he was putting her through, but discussing it would not help
the matters at this juncture. He
jumped on to his board. “I will
be back, Alicia, but today the Silver Surfer must be alone.
In solitude I must think.”
Silver Surfer hovered into the skies.
His mind was moving in all different directions.
A part of him reflected on recent events.
The death of Galactus and his warnings of a greater evil to come.*
His fellow team members in the Powers Cosmic disappearing.**
And the recent events with Ego and the Kree.***
(*See Marvel’s Galactus: The Devourer.
**See the latest editions of CPU’s Powers Cosmic.
***See Marvel’s Maximum Security.)
Then his mind returned to Earth and Alicia
Masters. Earth wasn’t all that
bad. In fact, it was the closest
thing he had to a home in many ways. But
he felt himself drawn to the stars. He
also felt himself drawn to Alicia Masters, a woman who he had always had
He remembered the first time he laid eyes on
her. As herald to Galactus, he led
the World Devourer to Earth. It was
her face that showed him everything worth saving on this planet.
It was her face that changed the course of his life.
No longer could he serve Galactus. He
could not let her and this entire planet be destroyed to serve the needs of one
being. He betrayed the World
Devourer and lost his freedom as a result.
For years, he was exiled on Earth. It
was during this time period he saw the dark side of Earth’s humanity.
He now had his freedom.
And he in no way despised the humans on Earth.
He had come to their rescue countless times.
But his devotion was to Alicia Masters, not to them.
He did not wish to have Earth as his home but the stars instead.
Alicia’s calling was to Earth though.
Would her love now be the second barrier to trap him?
Silver Surfer stood, one side of him
reflecting Earth, the planet he was overlooking, and the other side reflecting
space and its many wonders. He was
contemplating his purpose and his future, when suddenly, from deep space, he
sensed a calling. A very familiar
one. He rode upward and was soon
visited by a silver board, identical to the one on his feet.
Immediately he found he could command the board and he knew it was in
fact his own – even though he also knew the board under his feet was his own
He felt as if it was speaking to him and
telling him what he needed to do.
He looked down into its silver reflection to
see images of the near future, images recorded by his future self.
A voice accompanied the images. The
voice of himself, “You must prevent these events from happening.
The universe is ending. I am
convinced things are not how they should be.
Something happened. Something
is not right.” The board’s
surface then portrayed images of events* in the very near future, seen through
the eyes of his future self. Earth
was being destroyed by natural disasters, international wars, and life-consuming
plagues. The images switched to
other worlds showing every civilization suffering the same fate.
Planets were being destroyed and the very stars were shaking.
He saw the dialogue between his future self and Scrier, and he witnessed
the cosmic cauldron slowly devouring the universe’s matter.
His future self then flew into the storm, being torn by its consuming
flames, until he was snatched by Eternity, the very sentience of the universe.
Red Shift moved closer toward Taa II, the
large structure created by the deceased Galactus.
It was the greatest technological achievement ever accomplished in the
universe. It was so large that
planets revolved around it as if it were a sun.
It was the home of a god. It
was the home of Galactus.
However, now it was now vacant.
No one lived there. No one
except the Retaliator.
The Retaliator was unlike any of Galactus’
creations. His current incarnation
was not even a creation of Galactus in fact.
After the World Devourer’s death, he was created by Eternity to protect
Taa II and the legacy of Galactus.* His
form was composed of Galactus’ Punisher Construct** and the Power Cosmic
placed in the Destroyer armor. Unlike
the other creations of Galactus, the Retaliator did not have a sentient life
before being given the Power Cosmic. The
other heralds of Galactus were sentient beings from different planets who were
given the Power Cosmic so they could better serve him as his herald.
But the Retaliator was no such thing.
He had no sentient life. Not
until Eternity commanded him to watch the sanctuary of Galactus and guard it
from outside forces.
(*See Powers Cosmic #9, **See Marvel’s
Fantastic Four Vol. 1 #49 for his first appearance)
Though its sentient thoughts were not formed
until after Galactus’ death, it was more devoted than any of Galactus’
creations at protecting its master’s legacy.
The Retaliator was in full alert and detected
Red Shift approaching. Its mind did
not quite know how to view Red Shift. He
was considered a foe of Galactus by some but he was also entrusted with the
Retaliator flew out to approach Red Shift,
its mechanical structure surging with the Power Cosmic.
“Welcome, Red Shift, what brings you to Taa
“I come on a mission of great importance.
There is an object in which I must retrieve.”
“I am sorry but nothing is to leave Taa II.
This creation of Galactus must remain untouched.”
Silver Surfer quickly raced toward Taa II.
As he approached, he noticed the body of Scrier distanced away from the
gigantic structure. Normally,
Scrier seemed quite formidable but this time he looked very distressed and
He came closer to it. “Scrier, what is going on?”
“Silver Surfer, I am glad you are here, but
I am afraid it may be too late. Unless Red Shift is stopped, the entire universe will
certainly be destroyed.”
Silver Surfer knew just how true Scrier’s
statements were. The images that
showed the devastation that would soon be caused still penetrated his mind.
He still had no idea how Red Shift could destroy the entire universe and
what Taa II had to do with his plans, but he had little time to find out.
His questions could be answered later.
Right now, time was of the essence.
He quickly headed toward Taa II.
Red Shift lifted his sword and charged toward
Retaliator stood and waited.
Inside the construct surged the lifeblood of Eternity himself, the Power
Cosmic. This was its weapon of choice.
An energy lance hit it with the force of a thousand meteorite.
This was enough to give it pause. Red
Shift did not leap, he simply willed himself forward and with a force equal to
that in Eternity’s veins, it was so.
Red Shift struck with a multitude of
unanswered strikes to the Retaliator’s abdomen and shoulders with seemingly no
The Retaliator had been given sentience by
Eternity himself and through this shell Eternity defended himself with fury.
He blasted at Red Shift with the Power Cosmic.
Red Shift screamed but the shoved his word
into the construct, as an aperture of a considerable size made its pathway
through Retaliator’s chest and out his backside.
“You should be dead… such power is quite
intoxicating, won’t you agree? Perhaps
we should be partners, that is if you are truly alive as I sense.”
Retaliator wore a mask of grim determination,
as he began to grow white hot. The construct would spit on Red Shift’s face if he was
created with the ability. “I only
serve the memory of my creator,” Retaliator answered.
The construct then blasted Red Shift with all of the Power Cosmic it
could muster. If such energy would
not bring victory, it would turn to weapons under its control within Taa II
itself. Retaliator was confident it
would not come to that, however.
The blasts threw Red Shift back.
He looked severely wounded. At
last, Retaliator looked victorious.
Red Shift, however, was still confident of
his own victory, for he had a plan of his own.
“Pity,” he whispered. He
then made a commanding gesture with his hand, as sidecracks formed across the
Retaliator’s armor. All the
seemingly ineffectual blows Red Shift landed were now opening up.
Red Shift charged forward and stabbed
Retaliator in the chest, creating a miniature
vortex then drew them both in. A
field of distortion was created about them. For as long as Red Shift willed the
aperture to exist, none could distinguish where Retaliator ended and Red Shift
began. The plan had worked to perfection.
you cannot beat them..." he muttered.
Using Retaliator's unlimited clearance, Red Shift easily tracked what
might otherwise have taken several lifetimes to uncover, even with his cosmic
senses. Soon the object of his
desires would be at hand.
Finished with Retaliator, he willed the portal to close. Red Shift laughed and looked toward Taa II, his final destination, as Retaliator faded away, lost and nearly lifeless somewhere deep in space on the other end of Red Shift’s portal.
Red Shift glided toward Taa II, with
Retaliator’s knowledge, he could easily navigate around the gigantic
structure. Inside, he found
wondrous creations. Labs filled
with DNA of life from various planets, exhibits of artifacts taken from lost
cultures, and technology never glanced upon by eyes other than a select few.
He then made his way to the heart of Taa II,
the control room. The sight was
amazing. Its size, like the rest of
Taa II, was beyond belief. Red
Shift looked around and then quickly found what he sought.
“I have found it,” he whispered.
“I have found that which I seek. Soon,
Taa II will be destroyed and the universe will be yours.”
To Be Continued!
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