Silver Surfer Volume 1, Issue #25

"Terminal Ferocity" Part 7

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

High above the surface of the earth, the massive spacecraft of Terminus ascended into the heavens. Using the power of the captive Silver Surfer, it rocketed spaceward with its cargo of uranium stolen from the Australian desert. Terminus himself stood in front of a large console on board the ship, his back to his prisoner.

Norrin Radd was using what little strength he had left to tighten his body. Though the ship was draining his power, he knew that he had to brace himself for the impending impact. For any second now the ship would attempt to breach the impenetrable barrier, which held him to earth.

Once, many months before, he had attempted this very feat. After a failed invasion of earth by the Badoon, he had theorized that it would be possible to pass through the barrier if he were within the ship's protective field. He had had to cut short the experiment, however, to rescue an innocent victim of the Badoon's sortie.

This time, he was an unwilling participant in the experiment.

"Unwilling?" Thought the Surfer. "Were I to breach this barrier, I could return home to Zenn-La! Home to my one true love, Shalla Bal!" He almost let himself relax at the thought of her, but caught himself just in time.

Wham! A huge tremor shook the craft as the Surfer's tightened body struck the cosmic forcefield. Trying as it was to ascend, the ship was almost torn in two, except for the fact that the shackles holding Norrin Radd to the inner hull were quickly torn apart. Terminus, though startled by the impact, had the presence of mind to stop the ship before the Surfer was thrown out. Quickly he descended several floors to find his dazed captive.

"What have you done, gnat?" he boomed. "Is this some feeble attempt at escape?"

"I cannot leave this world, Terminus!" responded the Surfer, growing angry as his strength slowly returned. Angry at Terminus for holding him, but angrier at the fact that the barrier held true. "I am trapped by a forcefield erected by the same entity from which you stole your powers: mighty Galactus!"

"Forcefield--" began Terminus, when he suddenly comprehended the Surfer's words. "Stole! You dare accuse me of stealing the powers of my birthright?"

"You need not maintain the pretense, usurper! I was present when you siphoned the energy of Galactus as he devoured the world neighboring yours! You-"

"Enough!" roared the massive alien. "You lie! My powers have been handed down through generations, and were originally bestowed upon our race by a powerful demon-god! You dare defy the legends?"

The Surfer stood. "The legends have been warped over time, Terminus. Centuries ago I visited your world with my former master, and I was there when one of your ancestors stole a tiny fraction of his power! I can only surmise that your race found a way to synthesize and amplify the power cosmic, and imbue themselves with it!"

Terminus took a step back, a bemused look upon his amphibian face. "Could it be true? Could the prophecy be realizing itself before me?"

"Prophecy?" prompted the Surfer.

"The legends speak of a demon-god who devoured our sister-world, then granted one of our race great power. In the centuries since we have merged and multiplied, each time enhancing the energies within us. There is a prophecy that one day we would find a herald of the return of the demon, and that we would take the rest of his power by force!" The immense hand of Terminus rose and pointed at the Surfer. "You, insect, are to lead me to this 'Galactus', so that I can fulfill the prophecy!"

The Surfer thought about the alien's plan. Even if Terminus were able to free him from his earthly prison, the villain would stand no chance against the Devourer of Worlds! A deal could safely be struck!

"Very well, Terminus! Free me from this world, and I shall lead you to my former master! There you will either fulfill your prophecy, or meet your fate!"

Terminus reached down and grabbed the Surfer roughly, clenching him in one hand as he climbed back to a higher deck. Once he reached his flight console he began scanning Galactus' barrier. "Strange that my ship did not detect it immediately," he mused. "But now that I understand its makeup, it should be a small task to mask your presence and get you through it . . ."

After several minutes, Terminus raised the hand in which he held Norrin Radd. "Prepare to locate your former master, silver one! We pass through the barrier now!"

The Surfer felt the seething energies fill Terminus' hand and envelops his body. After a few seconds he felt completely encased in a glutinous cocoon of power. "This energy will shield you from the barrier. Once we are through, it will dissipate. Be warned: If you attempt to escape, you will be able to pass back into the barrier, but then you will once again be trapped!"

The Surfer nodded, and prepared himself for freedom.

Slowly the craft began to ascend once again. The Surfer, though hopeful, braced himself for another impact. This time, however, it never came. Protected by Terminus' field of energy, he passed through the barrier unharmed!

"I am free!" he cried. "Finally I am free of the earth, and its hate-filled inhabitants! No longer must I endure their prejudices!" He turned to Terminus. "If I am to fulfill my side of the deal, you must release me from this craft. Only outside will my cosmic senses allow me to locate my master."

"I sense that despite our differences, you will remain true to your word. Therefore you may leave the confines of this ship. Your board has been released from its bindings. But be warned! Stray too far, and risk my wrath!"

"To me, my board!" commanded Norrin Radd, and obediently his board appeared and flew beneath him. "After years of imprisonment, we are once again able to surf the cosmic waves!" Eagerly he flew out of the hatch and into space.

Despite his obligations to Terminus, the Silver Surfer could barely remember the sense of liberty he felt now. The earth, by now, was thousands of miles below them, and the stars above beckoned. He felt the solar wind pass over and through him, as he jubilantly surfed in huge circular patterns.

Only one task remained Locate Galactus, and lead Terminus to his doom. The alien was formidable, true, but his power was nothing compared to the Ravager of Worlds. Even now, free of the protective atmosphere of earth, the Surfer could feel his own power growing. Here in the depth of space there was an abundance of cosmic rays for his body to absorb. Soon he would be as powerful as Terminus himself!

Nevertheless, he had struck a deal with this alien, and (unlike Terminus himself) the Silver Surfer would uphold his side. Using senses that he had not needed in years, he swept the cosmos for his former master. Galactus' energy signature was unique, and despite the strong signal he received from Terminus himself, the Silver Surfer was able to pinpoint his former master's location with ease.

Once he was certain, he turned back towards Terminus' vessel. There was no hurry, however.

Once his prisoner was outside, Terminus began his work. Now that he would learn of the whereabouts of the demon-lord Galactus, it was his duty to contact the others of his kind. Thousands of members of his race, each calling themselves by the same name (since they were all but facets of the one individual) were roaming the cosmos. Each had their own reasons for survival, yet each was awaiting this day: The day of reckoning. The day that the power which was rightfully theirs would be claimed once and for all.

The day Galactus would die.

Heading back to Terminus' ship, the Silver Surfer was no longer using his cosmic senses to locate Galactus. Had he been, he would suddenly have noticed the myriad of energy signatures suddenly light up around the cosmos - all identical to that of Terminus.

He would also have noticed that they had all begun to move in unison . . . towards Terminus' ship.