THE REDOUBTABLE RETURN OF
"Things proceed, albeit
slowly, Lord Chaos."
"Indeed, Master Order. The
youth has failed to recruit the allies we had hoped for,
yet he has managed to bring at least one other into the
"Yes. The woman known as Carol
Danvers. She could yet prove extremely valuable on the
side of life."
"Still, he will require
others. Perhaps Chronos has heard our petition, and seen
the wisdom in our request?"
Master Order gazed up at the now-tremendous form of Lord
Chaos, looming above him, dwarfing his own metaphysical
manifestation. "We shall know
shortly, Lord Chaos."
Lord Chaos nodded. "For now,
Master Order, we must hope it will be enough."
Genis-Vell and Ms. Marvel soared away from the New York
City headquarters of the Fantastic Four, the sun a
blazing red semicircle as it dropped to meet the horizon
behind them. Genis frowned tightly, anger and frustration
seething from him.
Ms. Marvel could sense Genis's mood, and sought to boost
his morale. "They didn't dismiss us outright,"
she called to him, "any more than the Avengers did. * Mr. Fantastic did say he would
use all of his technology to scour the solar system for
any signs of an attack force... As soon as he could get
*Last issue, of course! -- Mar-Van
Genis said nothing, merely gritting his teeth. "I
shouldn't have expected anything different. from, the
Fantastic Four or anyone else. I haven't earned their
respect, their trust," he told himself harshly. "Yet."
Suddenly Ms. Marvel jerked in mid-flight, and called out.
"Genis-- I think--"
"Yes. I know." Genis's eyes sparkled; the small
measure of cosmic awareness he'd acquired* was finally making its presence
known to him.
*Last issue again -- Mar-Van-again
"You know?" Carol frowned at him. "You
mean-- you're AWARE?"
"That's what I'm told. Let's go!"
The two heroes sailed downward. They landed just as the
daylight vanished entirely and darkness settled over the
rural New Jersey landscape.
"Why do you suppose we suddenly have to be
here?" Genis asked.
"I've learned not to question these things,"
Carol replied, glancing about nervously, on guard.
Photons sparkled around Genis's fists as he squinted into
the darkness. "What do you--"
The night lit up with blinding fluorescent blue light,
shining down on them from directly above.
"A spaceship of some kind!" Ms. Marvel was
already airborne. "A hatch is opening! Get ready for
trouble!" Before Genis could react, the female fury
had already smashed into two bizarre alien creatures in
armor descending through the light.
Genis blinked up at the shape above. "A-- a flying
"You got it," Carol called out, as she slugged
it out with a large, purple- clad creature wearing a
jet-pack. "You wanna help?"
Blinking, Genis soared skyward, unleashing twin photon
blasts at the other attacker. "Wait a minute! I
recognize that ship from Dad's records. It's an Artarian
ship. The Kree intervened in a war between them and the
Zyrgor once. Those two races hate each other. Dad led a
batallion of the Kree forces in the decisive battle over
"I am Ch'torr of the Zyrgor.
And you are Kree," the creature Genis
grappled with replied, its unsettling voice rendered
intelligible via its translator. "That
will make your death all the sweeter." The
creature lashed out, seizing Genis's hands and pinning
them, even as it kicked him repeatedly with its huge,
Genis reeled under the repeated blows. "Can't
take much more of this," he thought to himself.
Desperately, he directed his nega-bands to radiate energy
outwards. As the sudden heat and pain struck Ch'torr,
causing him to recoil, Genis wrenched his hands free of
the creature's grasp and aimed both fists at the slimy
midsection. "Well, as my dad might have said,"
he growled, "SIT ON IT, CH'TORR!" The
close-range photon blasts ripped through the armor.
Ch'torr's eyes--all six of them-- bugged out, and the big
creature tumbled to the roadway below, only to be drawn
slowly back up through the blue tractor beam and into the
Meanwhile, Ms. Marvel darted away from her attacker and
smashed a fist into it from behind. The beast cried out
and whirled, but Carol had already moved below it and
grasped it by one ankle. Spinning around, she sent the
creature flying up into the underbelly of the flying
saucer, where it impacted with a sickening crunch.
"I always sort of wished I had those photon blasts
like you and your dad," she muttered, "but then
again, I do pretty well without them."
Genis smiled a half-smile. "I wouldn't argue,"
The alien warriors defeated, the saucer began to rise,
seeking to escape, but Carol darted after it and rang
blow after blow upon its hull. "Genis! The glowing
part down below! But-- Carefully!"
"Gotcha!" Genis sailed around to the backside
of the saucer and let loose with a tightly-controlled
photon blast. Gouts of flame erupted where the blast
struck, and the saucer lurched sideways, then tumbled
downward, levelling off just before it reached the
ground. With a crunch, it impacted the earth and slid to
Genis beat Ms. Marvel to the saucer and ripped the hatch
away. A sickening green haze wafted out. Genis glanced
back at the hovering form of Carol nearby. "Yuck!
You suppose anyone else is in there?"
"We should check," Carol called back, darting
through the hatch, her red sash fluttering in the wind.
Genis followed her inside, holding his nose and twisting
his face at the
The wounded Zyrgor had fallen against the back of the
pilot's seat, and the pilot-- wounded as well-- struggled
to get free of the crash harness. Ms. Marvel slugged the
pilot across its lumpy jaw and it sagged back into the
seat. "See what you can find out from him," she
said, pointing to the Zyrgor. "I'll check the rest
of the ship."
Genis studied the pilot's features. "That's an
Artari, all right," he observed. He turned to the
other creature. "What are you two doing working
together? On the same ship?"
The Zyrgor glared up at him, in obvious pain. "We... We have transcended such
petty hatreds... Kree-man. The One Who Leads has shown us
the way... A better way... A better target... for our
Genis gripped the Zrygor's chest. "Who? WHO are you
"Your... Enemy... And-- the
Earth's..." With a gasp, the creature
collapsed limply to the floor.
Genis stared at him, eyes sparkling.
"What happened?" Carol called back, from where
she searched in the rear of the ship.
"Blast it! He killed himself-- poison." Genis
slammed a fist against the bulkhead. ""I sensed
it too late! I'm still not used to the awareness..."
Suddenly jerking upright, he jumped over the seat and
checked the pilot. "Dead too. Great. I'm batting a
"Genis! I have something alive back here!"
Racing down the narrow access tube, he found Ms. Marvel
in a large cabin, ripping away the locking mechanism from
a human- sized capsule attached to one wall.
"Someone's in here," she told him as she
strained to open the capsule's front cover.
"Any idea who? Or if we really want to set them
Before Ms. Marvel could answer, two green hands appeared
over the edge of the capsule and grasped the metal,
pulling upwards. Slowly a face appeared; it was green,
like the hands, with a purple material covering the top
and back of the head. The figure emerged fully, and both
Carol and Genis gasped.
"Drax the Destroyer!"
The figure stared at both of them, silent. He wore purple
over green skin, and a vast purple cape trailed from his
shoulders. Massive golden bands circled his wrists.
"You-- you used to be bigger, didn't you?"
Genis moved closer; the Destroyer didn't seem to fully
realize that he and Carol were even there.
"Yeah-- last I saw of him, he was as big as the
Hulk," Carol stated. "And had very little in
the way of intelligence."
"I do not believe that is the
case any longer," Drax whispered hoarsely.
Mouths hanging open, Genis and Carol gasped yet again.
Hercules stopped himself in mid-gulp, and slowly set the
large mug of beer back down on the bar. He stared
straight ahead, unblinking, unmoving, for a long moment.
"Hey, Herky, what's wrong?"
The big Greek god slowly came back to his senses, and
shook his head to clear it.
"Herk? You okay?"
"Wha-? Ah, yes, Amber. I am... fine..."
The scantily-clad woman frowned at him, tossing her long,
red hair back over her shoulder. "Okay... But you
really seemed to be gone there for a minute."
"Gone? Er..." Hercules blinked, considering the
girl's words. "Yes, there was something,
but..." He stroked his beard. "I cannot seem to
recall..." Then he shrugged and grinned wide.
"Ah, no matter. Tonight is not for such concerns.
Tonight is for revelry, eh, Tawny?"
The blonde on his other arm giggled and nodded happily.
Lifting his mug again, Hercules beamed.
"All goes according to plan, sire," the Kree
officer reported. "My fleet has taken up position
just beyond Neptune. The Skrull and Badoon fleets are
positioned just across the solar system."
"Excellent. Thank you, Admiral Mek-Kwade."
The Kree officer saluted and stepped down from the dais.
Before rounding the corner, he glanced back momentarily
at the figure who stood in the center of the flagship's
bridge. A feeling of devotion, of awe, washed over him.
How much better, he thought to himself, to follow this
great leader, than the weak and spineless Kree political
leaders who had only brought his people to grief. How
much better to work WITH their old foes, the Skrulls, and
so many others, than to struggle in futile wars against
them? And soon, with the TRUE enemies of the universe
eliminated, the rest of the Kree and Skrull populations,
and the Shi'ar and all the others, would fall into their
camp. They would rule the universe! And the Terrans would
be dead at last-- all of them.
But the leader was speaking now, and Admiral Mek-Kwade
strained to hear his words before the turbolift doors
"Titan shall be the first to fall," he cried.
The others on the bridge roared in approval.
"Then-- Onward! To Earth! To VICTORY!"
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