Silver Surfer Volume 1, Issue #33

"Horrors from the Past" - Part 2

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

Morre Gort entered the throne room of Emperor Tolm.

Emperor Tolm was the youngest leader ever to take the throne of Zenn-La, but the master computers chose his reign. Whenever an Emperor died, the computers logically chose one elder to take the throne. It had been that way for countless millennia. Mysteriously, they had Chosen Lensor Tolm.

Commander Gort bowed before the throne, "Milord, you told me to report to you as soon as something new had progressed." He hesitated, wondering if perhaps the Tolm was not listening.

"Proceed, Gort!" shouted the impatient Emperor.

"Norrin Radd has made his way into Zenn-Lavian airspace." The Commander paused; evidently frightened at the reaction his Emperor might soon take against him. "I sent aircraft after him. I ordered them to destroy him, but they decided to let him through, believing him to be Norrin Radd."

A look of anger appeared on the emperor’s face.

"This is not acceptable!" He shouted in anger, "I want those pilots executed... I will deal with Norrin Radd!"

"Now go! I must be alone with my thoughts!" He added, waving for the commander to leave him.

Commander Gort arose and exited the room. As soon as he left, another came from the shadows behind the Emperor's throne.

"It as just as you predicted, my friend."

"Yes," the man answered, moving closer to the emperor. "No amount of opposition would have stopped him from arriving. We cannot stop him from making his entrance on Zenn-La."

The emperor knew exactly what his military advisor would say next! "With his arrival he will try to change our ways into what he… Norrin Radd remembered Zenn-La to be: a civilization with no defense, no standing army, and total bureaucracy!"

The military advisor looked up into the air, "The people will follow him. He is their fabled savior from destruction!"

The emperor was furious, he had lost control of the situation, and "I want this man destroyed!"

The military advisor bowed and kissed the hand of his emperor, "And he shall... I will attend to it immediately!

The young emperor smiled and patted the man on his baldhead; "You are a true Zenn-Lavian, Horris Fek."

The aircraft led the Silver Surfer to their destination: a military base, where officials in a position of Authority could determine what they now thought to be true, was this Zenn-La’s fabled hero?

Alongside them, the Silver Surfer was unsure of the situation. Something certainly seemed wrong on his homeworld. All had changed. "This is ridiculous," the Silver Surfer announced, "I did not come here to be treated like an intruder. I must find Shalla-Bal immediately!" The Silver Surfer quickly flew away from the aircraft and toward the capital city below.

Before the pilot of the aircraft could know it, he was gone!

Slowly the Silver Surfer descended from the heavens, towards Zenn-La's welcoming tree line. He had decided to land first in the forests which surrounded his homeworlds capital, so as to be able to enter the city as a native Zenn-Lavian would.

He remembered this place! It had not changed much over the countless years he had been gone. No surprise, given Zenn-La's attitude to change, which is why the Surfer thought it so strange that Zenn-La now, had a standing air force.

The populations of people, however, were still as content as ever to wallow in the luxurious world their forefathers had created. None, it seemed, had Norrin Radd's adventurous spirit. Once he had landed, the Surfer stepped off his board, and it floated obediently behind him. Then, like a child in new and wondrous surroundings, he began to walk toward the city.

It took nearly half an hour before Norrin Radd stepped onto the first of many moving walkways that would carry him into the metropolis of Zenn-La's capital. As he sped along, people stopped and pointed some crying out to him. Strangely, the Surfer almost felt that the Zenn-Lavians were more than simply happy to see him. It felt as if there was some sense of relief that he had returned.

After a while, Norrin Radd was certain that something was wrong with the people of his homeworld. He had seen the looks on their faces only recently, when he had saved a race of primitives from an alien toy of the Stranger's*. There was blight on this world, too. The people's faces betrayed their fear and sadness.

(* See Silver Surfer Volume 1 #0 by Matt Hamilton from last July!)

The Surfer stepped off the walkway, and mounted his board. This was no longer a friendly visit. He must find Shalla Bal and discover the cause of his people's unrest.

Tony Stark was by now back at his lab at Stark Industries. His search of the city had been fruitless, as had the trace on the gun he now studied. Now it was down to simple police work… fingerprinting.

Every once in a while Stark felt a twinge of guilt that he hadn't simply turned the gun over to the NYPD. But their record of solved cases was nothing like his, and the officer killed had been a good, if not old, friend.

The only fingerprint on the gun was a partial one on the trigger. The assassin had obviously liked to feel the trigger beneath his finger as he fired. Strange that he would leave a print and then ditch the gun. Perhaps he didn't think anyone would find it before he left the city, or the country.

Within half an hour Iron Man was in the air again, a name and address on his heads-up display. Horace Feneck would soon be in police custody.

Norrin Radd landed outside Shalla-Bal's building. The arcology in which she lived housed many hundreds, perhaps thousands of Zenn-Lavians, all in luxurious conditions. How many times before now had he walked through that door, towards the arms of his beloved? It had been so long!

Before he could step off his board, however, the door opened, and he was greeted by what appeared to be a garrison of some kind of armed force! Almost a dozen men lined up before him, and one-stepped forward.

The Surfer was bemused. "What is this?" he asked. "Zenn-La has never had the need for police or the military! We are a peaceful people!"

The man spoke. "So, the fabled Silver Surfer returns! Much has changed since you left, Norrin Radd. The people of Zenn-La are under Constant threat, and it is necessary to maintain a trained army of defenders!"

"Threat?" replied the Surfer. "What threat could you possibly speak of? And who are you?"

"My name is Horris Fek, I am Zenn-La’s military advisor. We must protect ourselves from enemies from other worlds and within. You have seen how defenseless we were to Galactus!"

"But what threat would the people of Zenn-La have from within?"

"An underground group with some hidden agenda have threatened our peace for many years. They kill indiscriminately. Such slaughter has not been seen on Zenn-La in eons."

"Let me aid you then. I will find this group, and dis-empower them, such that they no longer pose a threat. But first, I must speak with Shalla Bal."

"Shalla Bal?" replied the officer. "I know not the name." He looked around at his men.

Commander Gort stepped forward, "Yes! Shalla Bal! I remember her. She lived here many years ago." His face suddenly became somber, but he was grinning within. "Norrin Radd, she was one of the victims of these horrible murders! "She was murdered along with half the occupants of
this building!" Now Norrin Radd knew how it felt to lose a friend.

The Surfer was speechless.

"Come, Silver Surfer," the Horris Fek motioned for Norrin Radd to follow. "We shall meet in the elder's chambers. There is a lot for you to learn."