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Before you read this chapter, make sure you read Chapter Two.

Chapter Three, Mystery, written by Renee Langan

Rough Sketch of MysteryGalaxy and the Silver Surfer continue traveling at an unhurried pace. The Surfer has so far seen no real differences between this universe and his own, with the exception of this woman and her supposed mistress.

"Galaxy, may I be so bold as to ask how you became a herald?" asks the Silver Surfer.

"Well, according to my mistress, my dead body was found on the surface of a sun and she, in need of a new herald, brought me back from the dead to serve her," Galaxy explains, "Not to worry, Silver Surfer, I was given a choice. That much I do remember, and I also remember that I thought it best if I did not know of my past, so that I could better serve my mistress."

"You did not want to remember your past? Why?"

"I am not sure, but if I asked my mistress, I am sure that she would tell me. I admit, it is always something I had considered asking her, but I feel it is better if I remain ignorant of the ‘why’s and ‘how’s of my resurrection, so that there is nothing to cloud my mind and keep me from my duties."

This answers his question on whether or not she is Nova, for now there is no doubt in his mind that it is indeed her. There are, however, great suspicions on how she came to be once again in the service of someone else. Did Nova in fact willingly give up her memories or did this Mystery take them from her as Galactus took his?

The Silver Surfer decides that he will demand answers from Mystery before he will do anything for her and perhaps he can get some other favor from her as well.

His thoughts are suddenly taken from him as he sees the ship that they are approaching. Before him is a massive saucer-shaped ship whose mass can ever be compared to Galactus' Worldship. The color of the ship is the same as that of the endless space itself. If it were not for the light of a nearby sun, the Surfer doubts that he would even be able to see the ship at all.

Strangely, it is completely motionless, as if it has been abandoned.

"Silver Surfer, allow me to introduce you to the Orion," says Galaxy with pride, "The most advanced ship in all existence. Built from technologies of billions of grateful civilizations who gave away their technologies to my mistress in thanks for saving their worlds The Orion never ceases to be an amazement to anyone in this universe, myself included."

"I can see why," agrees the Surfer.

Galaxy leads him into an opening within the ship. The Surfer is clearly impressed with the technology he sees throughout the inside of the Orion, most of which not even the mighty Galactus holds in his possession. The halls of the craft are eminence and it appears that much organization went into the construction of this vessel. The Silver Surfer never thought he would ever set eyes upon a ship thats technology and construction surpassed that of Galactus, yet this ship does. Even without having met Mystery, the Surfer can conclude that if a battle were to take place between Galactus and this woman, Mystery would definitely win.

The Silver Surfer finally reaches the control room of the Orion, where the great woman sits in the command chair of her ship. Her costume resembles that of Galactus with exception of the head piece. In its place is a thick head of long brown hair, adding beauty to power, and it appears that Mystery is indeed powerful. Her eyes study the Silver Surfer and then she makes a friendly gesture for him to come stand before her.

"Galaxy, I was not expecting you so soon," says Mystery, "Silver Surfer, welcome to my ship. We have much to discuss but first, Galaxy, I want you to go find the worlds this intruder has already destroyed. I need to know just how much damage he has done. Be careful, I have already had an encounter with the intruder, and he is not the friendliest of creatures."

"Yes. Of course I will be careful, my mistress. Shall I attend to my duties now?" replies Galaxy.

"Yes, go. The Silver Surfer and I must talk alone," with that Galaxy leaves and Mystery turns to the Surfer. "Who is responsible for bringing this threat to my universe?"

"I do not intend to tell you. That is over and done with, and I do not care to bring up that subject again," answers the Surfer.

"Then I must hold you responsible."

"I thought that you say as much and I am willing to take responsibility but I have two conditions that must be met." At this, Mystery smiles and leans back into her chair.

"You would give me conditions when it is your universe that hangs in the balance and not mine? I could simply go and destroy the intruder, ignoring your meek demands . . . but you amuse me, Silver Surfer. Very well, tell me your conditions." The Surfer is stunned. He didn't expect her to give in so easily. Still she hasn't exactly said she would do anything for him yet. She just agreed to hear his conditions.

"First, there is a planet in my universe . . . "

"Yes, Zenn La," interrupts Mystery, "That planet was completely destroyed along with all that live on it. You wish me to make the planet and its people as they were before. Since it was not your former master that destroyed the planet, then that condition can easily be met. What is your other condition?"

"That . . . that means you'll do it? You'll bring back Zenn La and its . . . its people?" stammers the Surfer, then he thinks to himself. "She can perform such a feet and defy Death???!!!"

"Yeah. Yeah," answers Mystery, waving her hand as if she did such things every day. "Did I not just say that I would? Now tell me, Silver Surfer, what is your other condition?"

"I want to know how Galaxy came to be. I want to know who she is." Mystery laughs quietly, as if to herself.

"I knew that you would demand that, Silver Surfer. You are so predictable. The thing is, you know very well who she is and how she came to be but if it will please you to hear it from me," she replies as if the task is too much for her to endeavor. "Then let me tell you her story."

Click here for Chapter Four!

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