Silver Surfer Volume 1, Issue #29
"Terminal Ferocity" Part 11 - Conclusion
Written by Matt Hamilton, Edited by E. A.
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 battle was all but over. Terminus, pretender to the throne of Galactus, hovered in space before the Devourer of Worlds. His bid to absorb Galactus' power had been foiled by the Silver Surfer, who had enlisted the aid of Axiom, Galactus' newest herald. Now, Galactus was almost completely drained of energy, but Terminus would still feel his wrath.
Disorientated by the immense influx of power cosmic and the sudden break in the energy flow, the giant amalgam of aliens was in no condition to fight on. Galactus, however, had recovered quickly from Terminus' assault, and was ready to dispense his revenge.
"TERMINUS!" he boomed, in a voice, which belied his, weakened state. "YOUR BLASPHEMY WILL NOT BE TOLERATED! IT IS TIME YOU KNEW THE POWER OF GALACTUS!"
The great armored hand of Galactus reached out, and opened before his adversary. Without touching Terminus, the hand suddenly clenched, and drew back in a tearing motion. The inebriated Terminus screamed, and without warning there was a massive explosion from his chest!
When their eyes adjusted from the sudden flash of light, the Surfer and his newfound ally Axiom was witness to Galactus' retaliation. Terminus' upper torso and head remained intact, but below his chest the individual aliens were breaking off and floating into space. All the while, a monstrous beam of energy flowed from his body into Galactus. The Devourer of Worlds was taking back his stolen power. Not just the energy stolen from him in this battle, but also the power taken all those centuries ago by the original Terminus!
Unable to withstand the rigors of space, the individual aliens quickly asphyxiated and died as they broke off from the amalgam. Horrified by the lack of life, but loathe interfering in the business of his former master, the Silver Surfer could do little but watch.
After some time, only the disembodied head of the Terminus Collective remained, floating in space. Galactus stopped the energy flow, and spoke to his defeated foe.
"A millenium ago you were granted some of my power, Terminus. Not even my herald knew of my dealings with you, since I spoke to you through an M-Body, rather than in person. You have angered me with you actions. I trust that your work was complete before you set off on this fool's errand?"
"My work was complete more than five centuries ago, Galactus," snarled the head of Terminus. "My offspring were just as powerful as I, and in time I believed that I was owed more than the tiny fraction of power you had bestowed upon me. Your task was such a huge undertaking! You have no idea!"
"You dare insult me so?" responded Galactus. "I selected you and your race for this work above all the sentient life forms I have encountered! Do not forget your place in the cosmos, Terminus! Your work is complete, and thus you are expendable!"
"Then kill me now, Devourer! End this torment!"
"No. More work yet remains, and I will spare you such that you may carry it out. Your kin are dead or dying, but you alone shall survive. Never challenge me again, Terminus, or risk an oblivion unknown too most. Mistress Death would so love to claim you for her own!"
Terminus' eyes widened in fear momentarily then bowed in servitude. "You have my word, master. Tell me of the new task, so that I may serve you once again."
Galactus turned to look at the bemused Surfer and Axiom then spoke to Terminus once more. "Not here. Return to your homeworld, alien. I will contact you there."
With that, there was one last explosion as the head split into several dozen aliens, all of which save one perished in the vacuum of space. The last remaining Terminus made a saluting gesture to Galactus, then disappeared into Hyperspace.
Norrin Radd was speechless. Once again, his former master had surprised him. And yet, without the Surfer's help, Galactus surely would have perished! Could Galactus have foreseen such an event, and arranged for the Surfer to be present in some predetermined way? Nothing was impossible when dealing with such a creature!
And what was the "work" the two had spoken of? The Surfer had obviously not encountered the original Terminus, instead doing battle with one of his many offspring. Perhaps even they had had no idea of the true meaning behind their existence! So many questions, and yet Norrin knew that the enigmatic Galactus would provide no answers. When Galactus finally made his way over to them, the Surfer knew better than even to ask.
The re-energized Galactus dwarfed the Silver Surfer as he approached. Expecting the worst, but defiant nonetheless, Norrin Radd awaited his former master's judgement.
"You have disappointed me, Norrin Radd. I imprisoned you on Earth for a reason, a reason that you should have respected! You risk a terrible consequence returning here against my will."
"I came only to warn you of the impending attack, Galactus," responded the Surfer. "It would seem that my warning, though unheeded, was warranted."
"Impertinent as always, Silver Surfer." Galactus almost smiled. "It is true. Your presence was instrumental in the defeat of the traitor. It is for that reason that I do not simply destroy you now. Instead, I am going to grant you a period of . . . parole."
"Parole?" asked a bemused Surfer.
"Yes. After feeding on Axiom's world, and absorbing the energies of the alien collective, it will be some time before I need to sate my hunger again. You have until then to savor your freedom. You will know when I next feed. Return to earth thereafter, or risk my wrath."
Although dismayed by the threat, Norrin Radd could hardly contain his feelings. Free! Conditionally, yes, but free, nonetheless! At long last he could return to Zenn-La, and once again hold his beloved Shalla Bal in his arms!
"You have my word, Galactus."
The Surfer then turned to his newfound ally, Axiom. "Galactus has Chosen well, Axiom. I trust we will meet again, and hope that it will be in less turbulent times."
If the herald of Galactus had had a mouth, it would have smiled. "Truly you are not the heretic for which I took you, Silver Surfer. Indeed, you are a man of honor. I feel privileged to count you as one of my Allies."
"Indeed," replied Norrin Radd. "Farewell then for now!" With that, he sped off into the empty void.
In the pits of hell, upon a throne constructed from human flesh and bone, sat Mephisto, demon-lord of evil. His lithe body clad in devil-red robes. Intently he gazed at a crystal ball, which rested on a pulpit before him. His clawed hands outstretched as if warming themselves with its ghostly light.
Within the globe, Mephisto watched the image of the Silver Surfer flying through space. He had seen the skyrider's escape from earth, and had watched his battles since. Norrin Radd's joy at his newfound freedom was a torment to Mephisto's twisted soul, a torment that would not go un-avenged.
Time moves at a different pace in Mephisto's stygian domain; and so it was that for the next few years he plotted his revenge against the Surfer. By the time he had struck upon a malevolent plan, Norrin Radd would be back on his homeworld, in the arms of his true love Shalla Bal.
Unless Mephisto's grisly touch reached her first.