Firelord: Destinies Embrace #1
Written by Adam F., Edited
by James Pedrick
Watching the sun going down from this distance isnt as spectacular as it is from Earth. Of course the difference of a couple million miles to out here on Saturns moon of Titan is to blame. Its hard to still be in awe of these astral events after the course my life has taken. I remember as a small child my father showing me the stars and constellations of the universe. Going to the observatory and seeing these giant balls of flame up close didnt help me sleep well at night. I would lay in bed for hours just staring out my window up at the stars. Since before I can remember Ive wanted to explore the galaxy, to see these incredible events unfold before me. I joined Xandars Star Brigade, a special section of the Nova Corps, at the earliest age possible, my father wasnt happy to see me off but he understood my passion. I rose to the rank of First Mate faster than anyone else in the history of the Star Brigade. My Captain, Gabriel Lann and I quickly became the best of friends. He was one of the greatest men Ive ever known, Id have followed him anywhere. We had one of the finest vessels in the fleet, and one of the best crews as well.
All of that changed the fateful day we happened upon a vessel that dwarfed even mighty Xandar. Captained by a being beyond description, known only as Galactus. We have of course heard of him. Who hasnt? The ravager of worlds is known throughout the cosmos. Gabriel ordered sensors to full scan, hoping we could learn what he wanted. The sensors suddenly went blank and my Captain and friend disappeared from the bridge. The entire ship was plunged into chaos, we didnt know what was happening. Where did Gabriel go? What did Galactus want with an Xandarian ship? I immediately ordered weapons on line, shields up and red alert. Called the communications officer to hail Galactus and get some answers. Before we could engage, Galactus left. No warning, no answers, just left. We were beneath his notice, unworthy of an answer. At that moment I declared that I would never rest until I learned what Galactus wanted with Gabriel and what had happened to him.
We searched for months, neglecting duty and ignoring all call from Xandar. Finally the crew became restless and demanded we return to Xandar, there was no way we were going to find him. After our return to Xandar I was severely reprimanded for my actions concerning the situation with Galactus and Gabriel. I was broken in rank and grounded. My superiors said they admired my courage and dedication, but to go rogue and ignore the chain of command was beyond the limits of the Brigades patience. For the time being I was to stay out of space until I got my priorities straight. They thought they could stop my quest, quench the fires of my passion. They were wrong. I was able to steal a long range shuttle and continue the search. The whole Brigade was ordered after me, but in truth it was a half hearted search. Most vessels I came in contact with gave me fresh supplies and gave me information about Galactus sightings. I found out most of the fleet considered me a hero, and was exactly what every Centurion in the Brigade should be.
After months of searching alone, finding dead world after dead world, my quest finally bore fruit. There it was, in all its splendor, Galactus ship. He had just finished feeding on a hapless world and was beginning to leave. I hastily docked my ship in the enormous bay and began my search for Galactus himself. I wasnt very far when I felt the atoms of my body being ripped apart. I started screaming "Galactus, Galactus you coward, face me, damn you, face me!!!" The next thing I knew I was standing in what must have been the control room of the ship. There stood Galactus. I heard stories about him, but nothing could have prepared me for the sight that is Galactus. "How dare you invade my sanctuary mortal", he spoke. "I come seeking someone you stole from my ship", deciding boldness would carry his favor, "I have come for Gabriel Lann". He looked at me for a time, what thoughts, if any were totally unknown to me, how could someone even hazard a guess what such a being contemplates. "I will give you the answers you seek, Pyreus Kril, but for a price. In exchange for the information regarding your former friend, you will agree to serve me for a time".
What could I say, after this long to be so close. "Whatever it takes to learn of Gabriels fate." "So be it" he exclaimed, and a ray of light struck me down from his eyes. "To truly learn his fate you must become like he was, transformed into a being like no other this universe has ever seen, you must become a child of Galactus". Its impossible to explain what the transforming process was like, life and death, light and darkness, pain and bliss all rolled into a single moment, over and over. "Pyreus Kril is dead," he went on, "in his place stands power personified, a living embodiment of the Power Cosmic. Arise and understand my herald, my Firelord".
To try and explain what the transformation did to me would be useless, no mere feeble words can contain the true measure of what I was to what I had become. "Now, my herald, what is it you desire?" "I want the truth of Gabriels fate". "Gabriel served me well, and without question. He was an exemplary herald. Like you are now Firelord, so did he become the Airwalker, second herald of Galactus. Not long ago Airwalker fell in battle with the Ovoids, a race of beings with wondrous powers, and more than a match for him." After I found his lifeless husk, I reanimated his mind in a robotic body. He then fell in battle with the Earth deity Thor. With that he dispatched me to my duties, to find worlds suitable for him to consume to quench the great hunger. Unknown to me, my memories began to fade until I remembered nothing of my past life, a so called gift of Galactus.
For years I served him, trying to find uninhabited worlds for him to feed. Sometimes I wasnt so lucky though. Every face, every scream is imbedded into my mind for all eternity. My memories slowly began to surface, and exploded into my mind, I remembered everything. Finally I could take no more, I pleaded with Galactus to release me from our agreement. He agreed on one condition, to find him a new herald. I had been to Earth before and knew of beings of great power and honor, if I was to find a suitable replacement, Earth would be the place. One of the heroes I met there, a god named Thor helped me to find a replacement, a unliving husk of a being called the Destroyer.
Finally I was free, to go about my path as I see fit. Nothing of real value has happened since then, I seem to go from conflict to conflict, planet to planet with no reprise. Some of my time was spent chasing down Nebula, the self imposed granddaughter of Thanos of Titan. She was responsible for the destruction of Xandar, and for quite some time finding her became my only passion. She was finally brought to justice after the Infinity Gauntlet affair. Thanos somehow got a hold of the six Infinity Gems and became the be all end all of this universe. He was eventually taken down but not before Nebula got the Gauntlet. The sensory input overloaded her fragile mind and drove her to the brink of insanity. She was held on Titan, until one of her crew, Geatar, was able to free her.
I didnt know about this because I was involved in my own struggle with the Surfer against Morg, the newest herald of Galactus. A creature of awesome power and unbelievable savagery. Somehow he was able to add mystic power to the already large amount of cosmic power Galactus bestowed upon him. It took all of us ex-heralds to stop him, Surfer, Nova(quite possibly the most beautiful woman I have ever seen), Terrax, and we even reanimated the Airwalker construct who I buried on a asteroid near where Xandar used to be. Even all our combined might wouldnt have defeated Morg without the Surfer convincing Galactus to remove the Power Cosmic from him. Terrax delivered the killing blow, so we thought, but not without a price. Nova, the most innocent among us gave her life in the battle. Galactus pretended not to care, but all of us could tell that he was upset. I guess you have to understand Galactus to know how he reacts to things, you have to serve him to truly understand him. If Galactus was capable of loving Nova he did, but whose to say what Galactus is capable of. Airwalker and I assumed the roles of herald in Morgs stead so that I could use Galactus incredible technology to help repair Gabriel.
Of course, that wasnt the last we would see of Morg. Galactus took the body and placed him in a rejuvenating chamber. The mystic power Morg had acquired had kept a spark of life left in him. Galactus knew that and so allowed him to be "killed". Galactus hid Morg from us until he was fully restored. Unknown to myself and Airwalker, once Morg was fully restored he went off to confront Terrax for his ax, which Terrax claimed as a victory trophy with the win. Morg, regained his ax, then came back to battle us for the role as herald. He made short work of us, but the Surfer showed up and was able to hold off Morg long enough to strike another bargain with Galactus. We would not dispute Morg as herald if Galactus would allow us to save Airwalker, who had been severely damaged during the battle. Galactus agreed, and we downloaded Gabriels mind into World Ship. Gabriel would be able to lead the ship to uninhabited systems, balancing out Morgs blatant disregard for life. I was sad to say goodbye so soon after we finally were reunited, but I was also happy he was alive, and I could come and visit, if Galactus was in a good mood.
That brings me to where I am now, sitting on Titans outer crust, watching the sun set. What would the people of Earth think of a race of Eternals living inside the moon of Saturn? Even though they were originally human, I dont think it would go over very well. My friend Eros, the Avenger known as Starfox has been a good confidant, but I require the advice of someone who knows what I need, I require the Silver Surfer. I know hes been on Earth lately, since he found out that Zenn-La was an illusion he has adopted Earth as his home. Hes been busy with the woman Alicia Masters, I hope he can spare some time so that we can talk. I fly off, free of Titan and all its wonders and burdens. It feels good to have a purpose again, even a little one like finding the Surfer. For some reason Ive had this restless feeling lately, maybe the Surfer can help me with finding a long term goal. Im never totally sure what a meeting with the Surfer will bring, we have never been fast friends, but there is a unspoken respect between us, as with all the past heralds of Galactus.
I decide to call the Surfer from Earths moon, the Earthlings with their xenophobic views are an unwelcome burden at this time. Youd think with all the super beings on the planet a visitor from space wouldnt be a shock. The last time I was here I was attacked by one of their super humans, a man that goes by the name of Spiderman. When I realized he was just trying to protect the normal humans on this planet because their narrow views saw me as a threat, I let the fool believe he bested me in battle. How pathetic that he actually thought I could be beaten into submission by his primitive tactics and paltry strength. Some super human he turned out to be. I have half a mind to go down, grab him, and take him to a unpopulated region of this sphere and show him what true power is. Alas, that is the old me. The person I was, always going from conflict to conflict, fight to fight. Sometimes I miss the old me, the grandstander, always ready for a challenge, for a fight. People change though, and even I am not above that.
I send out the call to the Surfer, a message only he could hear. Now I have to wait, something that I still have very little patience for. Maybe I should go down there and teach that twerp a lesson. No no, that could only bring hardships down upon me. When the other super beings found out I pounded on one of their own, I could never show my face here again. Actually, very few of them could provide any kind of challenge to me. Just goes to show how relative power is. What they think of as power I think is a joke. My comrade Thor is one of the few that would give me a good fight, and is probably the only one that could beat me. Oh well, these are thoughts for another time, I sense the Surfer approaching. Its hard to mistake his energy signature, there are few that are that powerful, and unique.
"Greetings friend Pyreus. What brings you to this part of the universe?" "You", I say bluntly. "I was on Titan with Eros and started to feel stir crazy. Without a purpose to my life, I now feel empty, like somethings missing. I was hoping you could help me out." "Ah, purpose. The driving need we all have to feel useful. I can understand your dilemma well. I too have had the gnawing feeling that there must be more than this. Im not sure how much help I can be, each must find his own road to follow". "Yes, I understand that. I was hoping you could share some of your motivations." The Surfer looked at me in a way Ive never seen before, it was almost a cross of astonishment and happiness. Like he finally found a kindred soul in the last place he thought to look.
"Well, as you could probably assume, atonement is a primary force behind what I do. The heinous crimes against the sentient beings of this universe weighs heavily on my soul. Of course there are others, the need to see justice done, common decency, and of course, because for some reason the malcontents of this reality seem to think that to take me out would be a great boost to their career." "Well Surfer, you must admit that you are one of the most powerful beings in this universe. To take you out would pretty much make them seem unstoppable." "Yes, unfortunately I know of my reputation as the "big gun" of the galaxy". "It is a well deserved rep you know." The Surfer looked slightly disgusted at that remark, he obviously doesnt think as highly of himself. "I would prefer to stay away from this discussion if you dont mind, Pyreus. It makes me uneasy." "No problem Surf" I say. "If I may be so bold" the Surfer starts, "Ive been meaning to check up on World Ship. It wasnt destroyed and the technology there would be fatal in the wrong hands. Perhaps you wouldnt mind making sure it isnt being violated." "That is an excellent suggestion!" I exclaim. "What better place to start than at the beginning of my life as Firelord."
To be continued...
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