Silver Surfer Volume 1, Issue #22

"Terminal Ferocity" Part 4

Written by Matt Hamilton,  Edited by E. A. Morrissey
Published by the Cosmic Power Fan Fiction Group
Silver Surfer created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby
Silver Surfer is a trademark of Marvel Comics

The Surfer's glimmering form moved swiftly through the sky over the Pacific. Passing the equator, he barely noticed a tropical storm. The dark clouds reacted with tendrils of turbulence as they formed a wake behind him. Within minutes the sun had set as he outran the spin of the Earth in his haste to reach Australia before the arrival of his former Master.

Just hours before, Norrin Radd had learned from the mutant known as Magneto that a huge spacecraft was headed towards Earth. Magneto had made contact with the sole inhabitant of the craft - a being he had described as "immensely powerful". The alien apparently traveled from world to world, stripping planets of their resources.

There was no other way for a human to describe the Devourer of Worlds… the mighty Galactus! The Silver Surfer had served him for centuries, until he came to Earth! Now, his former master was returning, and Norrin Radd had decided to serve Galactus once more, if it meant leaving his Earthly prison.

Moving at several times the speed of sound, he passed the South Pacific islands. He shot past the top end of New Zealand, and flew over the cities of Northeast Australia. Using his cosmic senses, he located a large deposit of uranium in the center of the large island, and corrected his course.

Galactus began the processes which would deploy the various regulators and siphons from his huge ship. By the time the ship was past the orbit of the planet below, it would be ready to begin the absorption. Using his own power and the ship's technology, the great devourer would absorb all of the life energy from the world, except the one life he would save: his new herald.

Slowly the ship moved past the moon, and towards the blue-green sphere.

His destination reached, the Silver Surfer came to rest upon the great rock Uluru. The natives below treated the rock as a holy place, and stories of the angelic silver man would propagate among their tribes for some time henceforth. He stepped off his board and sat on the red surface.

Looking up at the night sky, the Surfer could make out the great ship so many hundreds of thousands of kilometers away. It was unlike any craft he had seen Galactus use: A huge cylinder, as wide as three city blocks, and twice as tall, bristling with spikes which Norrin Radd recognized as sensors rather than weapons. Certainly not the usual mode of transport used by the Great Devourer, but it had been almost a decade, and his former master had access to a vast array of resources.

The Surfer could, however, feel the energy within the craft. He knew that it housed a powerful being! It had that familiar smell… of the power cosmic!

It would be a while before Galactus reached the surface. Typically his craft would hover in a planet's orbit for several hours while he prepared himself for feeding. With this in mind, Norrin slipped into a meditative state, contemplating his imminent return to Zenn-La, and his beloved Shalla Bal.

Hours passed, until slowly the craft began to descend. It moved out of Earth's orbit with deliberate intent, and the Silver Surfer moved too. He mounted his board, and ascended into the black sky. He traveled as far as he could, to a point a few hundred meters below the barrier, and hovered in wait for his former master.

In less than an hour the ship was hovering just above the gleaming form of the Surfer. Less than a minute passed by as the former herald had realized, that without seeing the inside of the vessel, the being on board was not his former master.

Galactus surveyed the city below. It consisted of a humanoid race, with deep blue skin tones and bright shades of hair. After some time he selected one among them as distinct from the others. A lawmaker for his people... A keeper of the peace... A man with a strong sense of loyalty, and of harmony.

Perfect, mused Galactus.

While the tendrils of his great ship snaked down to the planet's surface, Galactus gestured, and encased his selection in a sphere of glowing energy. The alien began to rise - slowly at first, but ever accelerating, until it hovered in the air before the immense seated form of the Devourer.

"Who . . . what art thou?" spoke the alien.

"I am Galactus. Brother to Eternity… sibling to Mistress Death. I am the Was, the Is, and the Yet to Be. The bringer of order to a universe of chaos." Galactus' brow furrowed as he scanned the mind of the alien before him. "And you, Legis Tahrn, last survivor of your people, shall be my herald."

"Last Survivor? What dost thou--"

"Silence! Watch and learn, herald-to-be, for your future awaits!"

Tahrn turned to face his world below, his city lost in cloud cover. Suddenly he became aware of the power of Galactus, as it seethed around him, stretching out to the planet. With more of a sense of awe than the horror he thought he should feel, he watched the giant absorb the life from the world, until, minutes later, it was a barren desert. It was as if life had never existed there at all.

Gradually a sickening feeling of anger rose within Legis Tahrn. He knew he had no power over the beast before him, yet he could not stand idle after watching the destruction of his world! Words began to form in his throat, and his right hand reached instinctively for the lash on his belt, when suddenly the hand of Galactus rose above him. He felt a bath of cosmic energy wash over him, and his mind was at ease.

"You will know," boomed the Devourer, "the power of Galactus. You will know the truth of his existence. Question not what you see, nor what you do. Find for me worlds to devour, and in return all the wonders of the universe are yours to explore. You shall be like the word of Galactus: A Fundamental Truth.

"Legis Tahrn is no more. There is only AXIOM."

The Silver Surfer watched the ship hover in space above him, just outside the barrier, which held him on Earth. After several hours, it resumed it's descent. Unsure of the nature of the creature within, the Surfer decided to descend with the craft, from what he considered to be a safe distance.

Once the craft was only a few hundred meters from the surface below, it paused. The Surfer flew closer, eager to learn of the craft's occupant. Perhaps it was a being powerful enough to free him from this world anyway! Perhaps he would not need to resume his tenure with Galactus!

At length, a crack appeared in the great hull of the ship, and it circled its way around an area some hundred feet in diameter, until it formed a hatch, which opened upwards. Within, the Surfer could make out little, but he could feel the power emanating from the darkness.

Curiosity eventual overcame Norrin Radd, and he slowly glided towards the open hatch. Suddenly, however, a huge blast of energy shot forth, enveloping the Surfer, and knocking him senseless. He fell limply back to earth, severely injured. Above him, a towering armored form, perhaps 100 feet high, stepped out from the craft. An enormous lance in its right hand glowed with energy.

"And so the first gnat is swatted by the mighty Terminus, ravager of worlds!!!"

"Nebulae unfolding!" thought the Surfer, "This is not my master, but his power is unmistakably that of Galactus! I know this being!!!" And with that, he lost consciousness.