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Chapter 2

The Test of Silver


Written by Joshua Jones,
Edited by James Pedrick,
Art by Joshua Jones



Chapter 2 PicThe vastness of time and space flutter about Jadeite, although he ignores them in search of his final goal: Earth. Scrier said that it would be found at the end of this inter-dimensional vortex he manifested. I wonder just how strong I am now, thought Jadeite. I’d love to have an opportunity to test my new skills out on those cursed Sailor brats! I bet they won’t stand a chance! And then maybe, just maybe, Scrier will allow me to rule at his side!

Just as Jadeite finishes this thought, the pink and purple clouds dissipate, leaving nothing in view save the starry expanse of the universe. He has reached his goal. He only now realizes that he’s actually hovering in outer space, that he’s breathing here! Amazing! If I can survive out here, how much more powerful does this mean I’ve become? Below him is the moon. That blasted moon. If it weren’t for that measly planetoid, he may be ruling the universe already at the side of Queen Beryl. But it doesn’t matter, though, it seems as though he’ll have that opportunity with Scrier very soon.

Scrier; what a strange and powerful being. Why would he bother using Jadeite for such a mission? No matter, all that is important is that the Sailor Scouts suffer for the crimes they committed in the name of the moon.

He can almost taste his righteous vengeance when the sight of Earth comes into view. He glows with power and streaks across the heavens toward his goal. Just as the moon passes view, a large energy bolt strikes him from behind, effectively knocking him off course. Scant seconds later, after regaining his composure, Jadeite turns to see his assailant, and is greeted with a shocking scene.

 

A universe away, Scrier senses his new disciple in trouble. If he has any reaction to this realization, it is not visible on the great one’s cowled and hidden face. His heavy, gray eyelids tense, and as if to respond, a small wormhole appears before him. And he passes through.

How long does this being sit here? This man dipped in beautiful silver, perched on a platform that matches his reflective countenance? How long does he ponder there in space, before a bright and brilliant star; what is he thinking? Whatever thoughts the Silver Surfer has, they are now interrupted by the sudden appearance of a wormhole before him. With the speed of thought, the Surfer’s platform moves him away, to a safe distance, as the Surfer himself now mounts its back in preparation. He is ready now.

A familiar figure appears, and the anomaly is gone in its wake. The Silver Surfer is almost stunned to see this being before him.

"Scrier?," he ushered forth in confusion, "What brings you here before me?"

"Forgive the sudden interruption, Silver Surfer," Scrier responded, his tone as flat as the Surfer’s own board. "But I have come to you in the direst of circumstances. Allow me to explain…"

"Past circumstances between us dictate that I give you the benefit of the doubt, Scrier. I shall hear what you have to say."

"Thank you. It has come to my attention that a new and dangerous being exists in another reality. He is calling himself Jadeite, and he seeks to destroy the Earth of his universe."

"I…see," the Surfer’s blank eyes narrow in interest, "I am not new to experiences of other realities. But how does this matter to you? You, who’s power is so vast and unfathomable, would surely have nothing to fear from this Jadeite. Would you not, Scrier?"

"If only it were that, Surfer," the great one replied while shaking his head. "I speak to you in this tongue as best I can without shattering your limited consciousness, save this: If this Jadeite succeeds in destroying his Earth, it will send a ripple through the very multiverse, all of creation itself, in every reality, and make its way here. This universe may well be forever altered, and the Earth will be naught but a memory, if even that."

"I suppose such is possible, but why tell me?," asks the Surfer, with genuine curiosity. "What good will come of my involvement?"

"I myself must stay here with this Earth," Scrier responded, "and hold off the wave of destruction as much as possible, until you succeed."

"Me?"

"Yes, you must go to this universe and stop Jadeite! If you fail, all that you have sacrificed for the Earth will have been for naught!"

"Alone, Scrier? Why not use an army of superpowered beings, if this situation is so dire?"

"In all the cosmos, Surfer, you and you alone have the power, the strength, and the will to triumph. There is no time to assemble any other than you… And so I ask you, Silver Surfer, will you once again place yourself in my trust? Will you once again serve me, and attempt to rescue the entire multiverse?"

"I…I do not know if this is wise, Scrier. What if--" "--We have no time for debate, Surfer!," said the great one angrily. "Was it not Scrier who offered you the universe in exchange for loyalty? And even when you spat upon my gift, was it not Scrier who drove the sickness the Other implanted in you soul into oblivion? Was it not Scrier who then rescued your soul from the grip of Mephisto? Was it not Scrier who returned you to life after the Other took your life, and helped you stave off the Other and restore earth to its rightful place? I tell you Surfer, I have no desire to rule your soul, or your power! My only feelings reflect that of the Earth’s best interests! I have never, in a thousand millennia, needed assistance as I need it now! The Universe entire requires assistance! Your decision must be quick, Surfer!"

The Silver Surfer is taken back by the mighty Scrier, who now has a slight hint of begging in his voice. The situation must be far worse than he at first gave credit.

"I…I suppose I am placed in your debt, Scrier," he said, "And thusly I shall do what is required of me. But mark this: I will not be your puppet after this excursion. I will continue my life as I have before today. I am no one’s slave anymore. Is that understood Scrier?"

"I will respect your decision. And now, we haven’t another moment to spare. We’ve wasted too much time already." And with that, Scrier gestures to the side, and a new vortex appears before them. "This portal will take you to where you need to be," he said, "although I cannot accompany you personally, I can take you there, and bring you back when the time is right. I will remain here to do what I can do to stave off the effects of reality. It may buy you time, Surfer. Be careful, this Jadeite may have powers like yours, but he is extremely clever. Above all, you must protect the Earth!"

"Very well, Scrier. I will protect this planet, as I do all life: to my death." And the Silver Surfer, nobly standing on his board, moves into the vortex without a second glance. Once he is beyond conventional sight, Scrier closes the portal.

Excellent, he thinks to himself, Now the Surfer is entangled, as I knew he would be. He may yet succeed with the help of the Earth’s heroes.

And with that thought, the great Scrier teleports away.

 

"What manner of creatures are you?!," cried Jadeite, at the sight of not one enemy, but three. One held in his grip an ax, glowing with power, invigorating his dark, bubbly skin, and causing his long, dark mane to flow where he was. The second was garbed in a purple uniform. His face was green, and his chin was broad, filled with lines, giving him an odd texture. His body stretched like a rubber band, and his massive arms were the shape of orange rocks. The final entity was the most prominent, most powerful looking one of all. He had a chin like the second being, but his skin was purple; his huge body was covered with blue and gold armor.

"How dare you attack me from behind!," yelled Jadeite, trying not to show his fear. "I am Jadeite, disciple of the great Scrier! You will surrender to me or be destroyed!"

The creatures said nothing to him, but pressed their attack. The one with the ax lunged at him first, and Jadeite almost fearfully responded by stretching out his arms, just as a huge energy blast rang from them, knocking the creature away. Incredible, he thought, as the other two continued their attack. I am far more powerful than I thought! I sensed that creature’s life force! His power, just as I sense the power of these other two! I sense my own as well, and I clearly see now that they are no match for me! I have nothing to fear!

 

Between two universes, there soars the Silver Surfer. He notices the strange clouds of energy swiftly passing him, and even respects what secrets they might hold. But he has no time to admire the mysteries of the universe today. Scrier spoke of urgency, he thought, I’d best prepare myself to face this Jadeite, for this vortex may be at its end. And as if on cue, the Vortex seemed to blend into outer space. It appears the Surfer has reached his goal.

He looks about, and is comforted to see that he recognizes the stars. Every one of them, ringing out that he is in the Solar System, containing the planet Earth. But something is amiss. Odd, the Surfer thinks, I am on the other side of barren worlds. It seems Scrier misdirected his portal. No matter, it is a simple task for my Cosmic Powers to swiftly bring me to the Earth’s surface! I only hope I am not too late.

Just as the Surfer shifts his thoughts to command his board, a strange energy appears, and entraps him. He finds himself helplessly spinning around to greet his captor, and is temporarily surprised at the strange creatures he finds.

Three of them, all humanoid, but no normal human could have powers quite like this. They all wore a similar gray uniform, as if they were uniforms to some super powered army. The being holding the Surfer looks like a woman, with long hair that glows like the sun. Her energy signature is new to the Surfer, but its form resembles what he remembers the Terrans call hearts. These heart-shaped figures link like a chain and hold him in place. Then the other two, they seemed to be men, one with long brown-red hair. The other, the Surfer sensed, was the most powerful of all. His white cape flowed in the great vacuum, and his long white hair sent a chill up the Surfer’s silvery backside.

"What manner of creatures are you," the Surfer declared, "that you would attack me without provocation? I have come to this universe in peace, and I seek to save the planet earth from certain doom! Perhaps we can help one another to—Aagh!" The Surfer’s plea for peace goes unheard as both the men attack by shooting with the energy swelled in their fists. In this state, the Surfer may be helpless to defend himself.

 

Jadeite continues to furiously press his attack. No words are spoken to his opponents, as all they do is fight. The only one not joining in the fray is the strong one, who seems content to watch Jadeite battle the other two. For what reason is uncertain, but he has other immediate concerns. The one with the ax seems to have recovered from his initial blow, and quickly dives upon Jadeite, but not before he grabs the blade of the ax, catching it in his glove. Amazed at this feat, all action stops, leaving Jadeite with the chance he needs. He quickly yanks the ax out of the creature’s grip, and uses its power on the other creature, who is bent and stretched all over his body to avoid being struck. It is not enough to avoid the ax, which cleaves him in two. Upon impact, his eyes widen with shock and pain, but no sound is heard, as his separate forms now vanish, as if they never were.

This outcome intrigues Jadeite, who now uses the ax on its former bearer. Before he can respond, Jadeite swiftly swings the ax, beheading the creature. Jadeite watches the ax fade away with its master’s headless body. His eyes then meet the determined gaze of the strong being. Now there is only one remaining.

 

The Surfer feels his energy being drained, and realizes that something must be done soon if his is to survive this encounter. "Very well," he proclaims, "I’ve tried to reason with you, to no avail! Combat is neither something I condone, nor is it something from which I will flee!" And with that, he uses the slightest fragment of his cosmic powers to form a beam from his eyes, and shoots it, with unerring accuracy, into the woman’s hands. She recoils in pain, and her grip over the Surfer is now weakened enough for him to free himself.

He breaks free of his energy chains of bondage just in time to see one of the men attack. He charges at the Surfer with power growing in his fist, and throws it in his direction. It is met, however, with a beam of the same magnitude hurled by the Surfer. His intention is to negate the enemy’s powers, and render him harmless. However, all present are shocked when the Surfer’s blast accidentally overcomes the man and vaporizes him into nothingness. "What?! No! Curse me for a fool, what have I done?" cried the Surfer in anguish. "I never intended to slay him, you must believe me!"

 

Jadeite is now hovering over the Earth with his final foe, waiting for him to make the first move. Suddenly, the silence in space is breached when the creature speaks. "You may have destroyed the Super Skrull and Morg with relative ease," it said, "but Thanos of Titan will not so easily be overcome!" With that this Thanos powers up and fires at Jadeite, giving him little room to maneuver. He catches the brunt of the assault, but is surprised to find himself unharmed. "Very…Very good, Thanos of Titan," Jadeite said, "but I’m it wasn’t good enough!"

He then charges at his opponent with both hands outstretched, catching the Titan unaware by the throat. "Listen well, Thanos," Jadeite almost whispered, bloodlust filling his eyes, "I am Jadeite, disciple of Scrier! You cannot defeat me!" With that his power increased, and released an explosion at point blank range. The last thing his saw before the cloud of energy engulfed his vision was the Titan’s life leave his eyes. When the energy cleared, only Jadeite remained. Now there is nothing standing in his way to Earth.


Continued in Chapter 3: Cherry Hill Trouble

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