By feebadger 0 Comments
We stared upwards, the silver one and I, our eyes wide as the very sky itself turned to flame and a great roar fanned its flames. Behind it we could see the mighty shadow of the one the stranger called Galactus descending into our atmosphere, his size dwarfing my imaginings. I turned from the terrible image to my beloved Learre, finally free of the deathly fever which had gripped her. She stood amongst my people, now huddled together, frozen in fear as they too gawped up towards the nightmare which approached.
Yet, did I feel fear? Where was the terror that surely should have filled my bones, making me impotent of purpose? I felt not its grasp upon me and instead, I found myself filled with an insatiable sense of intent. It could not end like this, we would not, having traversed so much, go back into the dirt, into the earth on the whims of anyone, not even a god. I would not see my beloved Learre taken from me after regaining her touch and I grabbed at the Sstranger before me and shook him. I screamed in defiant rage at him to tell me how to stop this Galactus, how to save my people. Yet, the stranger only smiled, a smile filled with complete sadness, a palpable pity.
“You cannot stop him, Turra. I am so sorry… your people are doomed.”
I would not accept this and shaking his form with all my might I screamed this at the silver one. I spoke as if possessed, the quickly approaching form above forging me into an instrument of determination and gripped by this fevered state I spoke with a voice I barely recognized.
“Listen to me, Silver One. You have freed my people, whilst in the same gesture, you have brought them certain doom. Yet, all is not lost. You brought something from us, stranger, through your power you brought something from within my people, something which you then directed into the heavens. What was it that you brought from us? What was it that you were sending to your dark master?”
The Silver Stranger paused a moment, his mind racing, breaking through his fear,
“It was your life force. It is my purpose. I was created by Galactus to harvest the life force of any living thing I could find. I am the word of Galactus and that word is life… His life. His sustenance. I drain the life force piece by piece, feeding the dark god as long as possible until all are dead. Then again, we move on.”
I could hear the roar grow ever louder as the smoke and flames parted above us.
“Yet you spared us, strange one. You helped us to be free. I believe we touched something in you, some shred of decency and you helped us, unwittingly or not. Now fulfill that purpose. Tell me if that energy can be used to destroy a god. Tell me that you can use us as instruments of his demise.”
“I… I do not know… I am so weak…”
“We will be your strength! Now tell me, can you do it!?”
Slowly pulling himself to his feet, the stranger let out a scream of pain as his burned and charred body struggled to stay upright. He looked up at the figure descending and then at the huddled mass of my people, their eyes on him, pleas of hopelessness.
“It is… possible. Yet, I do not know if there is enough power within your people for the task at hand. They have been weak for so long.”
I looked to my brothers and sisters with eyes of steel, and still burning in the fires of intent, I spoke, as much to the dark god and his Silver Serf as to my people.
“We, are the tribes of Iguaam; the children of Kaan! Long have we fought this land, long have we struggled to simply stand in the light of life, but no more! No more will we fight for our god given right to existence. We are here. WE ARE HERE! And though we stand now in the shadows of… of something we could never have imagined, we shall not go quietly into that good earth. We are reborn, reconnected to the land and through this prophet, through this stranger who came to us on beams of light, this… this Silver Surfer, we shall make our rebirth complete. Long has life had to fight for its right to exist and we are no different. My people, my brothers and sisters, here is where we give our all, our lives to know that we truly existed. Here is where we truly become the children of Kaan!”
And though there was no cheer, no resounding, empty gesture of solidarity, there was a change. It began in their eyes, years of slavery having made the spirit behind them broken, I now saw a strength return, a steel long since thought destroyed by the Pious. I saw as my people moved into the centre of the square and with no direction, began chanting; a fierce, bloodied chant or righteous anger. I saw the tribes of Iguaam in all their glory and turning to the Silver Surfer, and then I saw him smile.
“A leader, indeed.”
He said, as he rose above us, glowing with our chant as our words seemed to become solid with power, a power unlike any we had conjured before. It was reinforced, galvanized by our faith, by our freedom and as it reached the Surfer he bellowed in joy and shouted to the looming figure above him.
“I welcome you my former lord! I welcome you and I bring you a gift. I give you the gift of freedom!”
And using our words, our spirit as his fuel, he unleashed the soul of a people, a great conflagration of power at the dread god Galactus. We felt our spirits drain, an unimaginable pain spread throughout our entire being, as if death were pulling on us and in that moment I grabbed Learres’ hand as she grabbed that of her neighbour and I bellowed into the face of death.
“We shall not be taken this way! We shall not be broken upon these rocks! Our spirits scorch the sky! Our souls reap the earth! We are our own gods now! WE ARE THE GODS!”
The Surfer yawped above us, a great and defiant cry of joy as our power flowed anew through him, unlike any he had experienced and he channeled it toward the form of his former master. Yet, for a moment, we were stilled, as through the parting of the great flames which burned the sky, through the tendrils of sheer power which emanated from the Surfer, we saw him…
It was only for a moment but there, suspended in space, writhed a dark god of unimaginable power. His form was mercurial, ever shifting between bodies of angels, demons, armour clad space gods and images too grotesque to conceive. It was as if he had no true form of his own, an ever changing mirror of the universe around him, of all those he had consumed, yet one thing remained unchanged; the look of fervent rage which burned through his eyes. It was as if he was outraged beyond reason that these few miserable creatures would dare defy him, and more so, that with the help of his own slave, they were succeeding. Our momentary fear passing at his image, we felt renewed, his outrage giving us fuel, our victory becoming assured and with one mighty push, we passed a pulse of energy through the Surfer which ripped Galactus from our atmosphere, his body shredding into the universe beyond, decimated… destroyed.
We listened as his unholy scream of outrage disappeared for the cosmos and we watched as his remains drifted from our view, cast to the furthest reaches of the universe and beyond.
My people… My people fell to the ground, exhausted… joyous in their exhaustion. I fell into the arms of my Learre and we held each other. The simplest of gestures and the greatest of joys. From her arms I watched as the Silver Surfer lowered himself to the ground some distance from us; himself exhausted, stretched beyond his limits. He sat upon the steps and rested his head within his palms. I thought that I should go and speak with him. Thank him for what he had done for me… for my people. Then I felt Learres’ skin against my mine, her breath upon my neck and I thought… not yet.
Not just yet.