A Herald of a Different Earth

Above the Earth, a gleaming shadow sits atop one of the many asteroids doomed to fall to the world below. In the crook of his arm, this figure holds a board similar to that used by the inhabitants of said world for amusement. However, no such fun is attached to this forlorn silhouette.

This figure understands well the doom of these asteroids. For they, like he, cannot escape the pull of this world. They, like he, are doomed to spend their last days on this world. For this gleaming alien of the spaceways is confined to this planet.

Once this figure was a free-flying herald of the mighty being known as Galactus. Feared throughout the universe was his arrival, for that surely meant catastrophe for the worlds visited by the silvery harbinger. For Galactus meant destruction. For Galactus was death incarnate. For Galactus was the Devourer of Worlds!

But no more the majesty of space flight for this being. Awakened to the beauty of mortal man and the sanctity of life of even the most lowly of souls, this being made a decision that echoed across the galaxies. For this was the time that the Herald challenged the Planet Eater. That was the day that the one men call the Silver Surfer betrayed Galactus.

Naturally, even one blessed with the Power Cosmic could not hope to stand against one that had witnessed the end and rebirth of the universe. Still, it bought the Earth-men, for this is our world I speak of, some time. For once, Galactus, through fair means or foul, put aside his hunger when confronted with ultimate loss.

But the betrayal of the Silver Surfer was not forgotten by Galactus. For this treason, the Surfer was confined to our Earth orbit. Being denied the freedom to roam the galaxy was torturous to the Surfer. All the more so, since the love of this exile lay far across space – the beauteous Shalla-Ball - on the Utopian world of Zenn-La.

Still, the inhabitants of the world made their saviour welcome, you must be thinking. But you forget, this is our world, where prejudice and hatred of the different is commonplace. No, instead, this gleaming alien was hated and feared by our fellow man, increasing the misery of the spaceman.

This drove the silver-skinned alien to escape, no matter how futile his efforts. Once more, he drove at the barrier with all his otherworldly speed...only to end up clinging to his surfboard more despondent than ever.

Time and time again, as the Surfer soared close to the mystic boundary that held him in Earth's orbit, he asked the same question:

"Trapped! Shall I never be free of this accursed barrier?

Every single molecule of this Earth is but a prison to me."

But this was like no other time. A wave of enlightenment passed over the Silver Surfer's visage.

"...this Earth..."

Sometimes, as this silver-skinned exile is about to discover, we are our own prophets.

"But what of other Earths? Does the barrier still stand there?"

Now the crossing of dimensional barriers cannot be achieved with ease – even with the Power Cosmic. But this was no ordinary time. The dimensions were already weakened around the Earth by the team of heroes, knows as the Avengers, becoming deposited on the Counter-Earth of the Squadron Supreme. Now was the time!

Gathering every inch of power, strength and speed, the Surfer tore at the barrier, energy crackling around him, in a desperate bid for freedom! Blasting his power toward the boundary, a seething foam of hyper-powered particles lit up the night sky, concentrated on an area just over the size of a man. Every sinew straining, shards of silver skin flaking, the alien drove towards his prison cell shouting

"I must be...FREE!"