Silver Surfer Volume 1, Issue #23

"Terminal Ferocity" Part 5

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

Axiom rose from the fetal position he had adopted during the transformation. The last thing he recalled was an unfathomable feeling of anger and loathing towards his new master. Galactus hovered in front of him, looking down on his new creation.

Legis Tahrn's peacekeeper uniform had been transformed into a material quite unlike any he had felt before. It was obvious that it was infinitely more durable than it had been. Similarly, his skin felt different, as if it had toughened without losing its flexibility. He suddenly became aware that his facial features had gone: Where there had once been large black eyes and a wide mouth, there was now a plain surface, the same navy-blue color as the rest of his skin.

These, however, were only surface changes. As Axiom, he could feel the power cosmic within him. It radiated from his very heart. He truly was a herald to the force of nature that was Galactus! Out of curiosity he reached for his lash. It was still there, but felt somehow different.

"Your weapon is no longer made from crude matter, herald," boomed the voice of Galactus. "Instead, it consists of quantum energies, bound at the subatomic level. It should be more than enough to protect you from any resistance you may encounter."

Axiom drew the "quantum lash" and watched the glowing pink energy extend from the grip. He drew his arm back and snapped it out, and he could feel the power of the lash almost rending space-time itself before him.

"We leave now, herald. Board my "Worldship" so that you might learn of your future, and of my history. You must be prepared for when the Hunger starts anew."

"As you wish, master." Axiom moved through space under his own power, no longer needing the bubble of air that Galactus had formed around him. He entered the vast ship, and followed Galactus to a room full of data terminals.

"You are to spend the next few weeks in here, Axiom. When the Hunger starts, you will no longer be ignorant to the ways of the universe."

"I exist only to serve you, Mighty Galactus," replied Axiom, and sat at a terminal. Galactus nodded, and left.

The Silver Surfer came to his senses as the earth shook beneath him. His body still ached from the blast of energy he had sustained when he had approached the spacecraft that now hovered above him. The being within obviously had vast power, but there was something else: It was familiar. A creation of Galactus, the Silver Surfer would recognize his former master's power anywhere; and this alien, this Terminus, reeked of it.

Slowly he brought his hands up beneath his shoulders, and lifted his chest off the ground. He turned his head to inspect his board, which was half buried into the ground to his left. The red dust of the Australian desert reflected in it's gleaming surface.

Suddenly the earth shook once more, and Norrin Radd realized that this was no ordinary earthquake. He rose to a crouching position, still woozy, and looked around.

The massive frame of Terminus stood a hundred meters away, driving his lance into the earth. He stood at least a hundred feet high, clad in a banded metallic armor, trimmed with purple and red. His face, the only visible part of his body, was a pale yellow color, and looked almost amphibian. Once again the earth shook as he rose his lance and drove it further into the desert floor. The Surfer recalled what Magneto had said about the alien: That it was bent on stealing the planet's resources. So much like Galactus, thought the Surfer. It cannot be a coincidence.

Determined to discover the reason this alien was so familiar to him, the Surfer mounted his board and flew up to Terminus' hundred-foot height.

"Hold, alien!" he cried.

Terminus' massive head rose to meet the Surfer's eyes. He studied the Surfer for a few moments, as one might study an insect before swatting it. At length he spoke:

"Leave me, gnat. Neither you, nor the puny inhabitants of this rock can stop the ravager of worlds from taking his bounty. Any interference will be dealt with . . . harshly."

"I care not for this world, alien," replied the Surfer, "but I seek information about you and your power. Where did you--"

Twin beams of cosmic energy erupted from Terminus' eyes, striking the Surfer full in the chest. Not since his earthly battle with Galactus had he felt such power! The beams had almost loosened the subatomic grip he had on his board! He clenched his fists, and yelled back to his assailant.

"You will not sway me, Terminus! Tell me what I need to know! Your power is--"

Norrin Radd never finished his question. Terminus' left hand swung from above and batted him from the air. He landed heavily on the desert floor, winded for the first time since leaving Zenn-La. He shook his head, and looked back up at Terminus.

Only to see the point of the alien's lance driving down towards him.

Axiom felt the knowledge flow into him like some sorts of intravenous drip-feed. He learned about Galan, the explorer from the universe which existed before this one, who would be the last survivor of the "big crunch" - the end of his reality. He read Galactus' transcription of Galan's encounter with the embodiment of his universe, who offered him a chance of survival.

He learned of Galan's new existence as the great Devourer of Worlds - the balancing force between Eternity and Death. He read through the countless texts that the ship's computer had harvested from the libraries of long dead worlds.

After some time, he learned of the Silver Surfer, the first Herald of Galactus. He followed the Surfer's travels with his master for the centuries of his tenure, until the rebellion on the faraway world of earth. The thought of turning against the master made Axiom catch his breath. The mere thought made him feel nauseous! Why would anyone turn against the great plan that Galactus embodied?

He wondered about this Silver Surfer. The former herald was no doubt living a life of hedonistic glory on the planet that he had saved.

The full force of Terminus' lance struck the Surfer's earth-bound torso. With the alien's incalculable strength behind the shaft, there was nothing Norrin Radd could do to resist the assault. His body was driven almost fifty feet below the surface, and he lost consciousness for the second time in that makeshift grave.

In the darkness of his subterranean prison, the Silver Surfer dreamed. Memories shaken loose from the attack washed over his unconscious mind. Memories from perhaps a thousand years ago . . .

Norrin Radd had been serving his master for only about a century, then. He had done his best to bring the Devourer to uninhabited worlds, such that innocents would not come to harm. On this particular occasion, he had been drawn to a system, which radiated life energy, since there were two life-rich planets encircling the star.

Upon reaching the first of the two worlds, the Silver Surfer became aware of a civilization. He observed the inhabitants for a few hours, concluding that they were sentient beings; a technologically advanced race, in fact. Their squat pale yellow bodies waddled from building to building as they carried out their daily business.

After this brief pause, he flew to the second planet. This one was overgrown with lush vegetation, but appeared to carry no animal life. A perfect world to present to Galactus.

He backed off from the system somewhat, then let loose the flare of power cosmic that would summon his master. Within an hour the great Worldship of Galactus appeared, and the Surfer directed his master to the second planet.

"You have done well, my faithful herald," boomed the Great Balancer. "Galactus will be sated this day." With that, the feeding process began, and the Surfer sat on his board at a respectful distance.

It was only towards the end of the absorption process that Norrin Radd realized that something was amiss. An artificial satellite that he had failed to notice before had been observing his master's feeding, and relaying information back to the first world. Without warning, the satellite reconfigured itself, and began siphoning off energy from the dying world! Hurriedly the Surfer flew his board to within firing range of the satellite, and destroyed it; but not before it had beamed the siphoned energy to a point on the other planet.

Galactus finished his feeding, unaware of the events that had transpired. He silently returned to the Worldship, barely paying his herald notice.

While Galactus meditated nearby, the Surfer investigated the first world, searching for the receptacle of the stolen power. He never found it.

When the Silver Surfer awoke, he mentally summoned his board. When it did not come, he attempted to stand, only then realizing that he was clasped to an inner wall of Terminus' ship! His board, too, was held fast to the steel wall by a foot-wide clasp.

Already angry at having been dummy-punched by this alien twice, the Surfer's eyes began to glow with the Power Cosmic. As the energy began to flow through his arms to his hands, he found it drained into the wall behind him! The voice of Terminus boomed from outside:

"Try as you might, gnat, you will not escape from my energy siphon. Once my ship has drained your power, I will leave your gutted corpse for the vermin to dispose of!"

The Surfer realized that he was trapped, and resigned himself to bargaining with the alien when he returned to his ship. With his cosmic senses, he was able to see through the wall and watch Terminus as he resumed his collection of the local resources. Suddenly Terminus stopped, and turned his head to one side, as if listening to some distant sound. At length he raised his head and looked off to his left, and the Surfer craned his neck to see what had caught the alien's attention.

It was Magneto's craft, heading this way!