starring Captain Marvel
with Ms. Marvel, Hercules, Drax, and Eros

by Van Allen Plexico

This story first appeared in MV1's CAPTAIN MARVEL #63-69



"DIE, son of Mar-Vell! Die at the hands of YON-ROGG!"

A blue-green gauntleted fist lashed out, smashing Genis across the face, sending him tumbling away, blood splattering across the floor. The big figure advanced after him, fists coming up again.

"I have many weapons at my disposal, Genis-Vell--" Yon-Rogg grinned, --"but I think that all I shall require for this task will be my own two hands." He reached out to grasp the fallen warrior.

"The situation appears hopeless, Lord Chaos."

"Indeed, Master Order. I fear that when we selected the one known as Yon-Rogg to be one of our Champions, we chose far too well."

"It seems inconceivable that we could have failed to foresee that the designated 'Protector of the Universe' and Champion of Order would only survive a scant handful of years more, before succumbing to mortal disease, Lord Chaos."

"Yet fail we did, Master Order. Just as we failed to foresee that those who followed him would prove far less capable in the role, thus rendering his opposite number all the more effective, and placing him in a far superior position in the great game."

"We did not foresee any of these things, Lord Chaos, and now we, and the entire universe, may suffer the consequences."

"Perhaps not yet, Master Order. For as long as a piece still remains on the board, there exists the possibility of--"

"--VICTORY!" Yon-Rogg smashed his armored fist again into Genis's face as the hero sought to rise. "I WILL NOT BE DENIED MY FINAL VICTORY!"

"Sire!" A Kree officer called out, being careful to stay out of the way of his master's wildly swinging fists.

Yon-Rogg scarcely looked up from his brutal work. "What is it, Mek-Kwade?"

The ships we sent towards Earth report that they have been engaged by a group of Terran super-beings far out beyond Earth orbit."

"How are they faring?"

"They have suffered surprising losses thus far, but are continuing to attack."

"Excellent. I care not how many ships we lose-- their job is to soften up the Humans' defenses prior to our final assault."

Mek-Kwade bowed. "As you say, sire."

"Order them to redouble their efforts, Mek-Kwade. Earth must fall!"

The Kree officer bowed again and shuffled away as Yon-Rogg returned his attention to the limp form of Genis-Vell before him.

Ms. Marvel had scarcely travelled any distance at all towards Earth when she pulled up short and hung there, in space, fear gripping her heart. She'd become so accustomed to all this recent travel and combat in space, so reminiscent of her time as Binary, that she'd almost forgotten that she currently lacked the means to survive prolonged exposure to vaccuum.

"Okay, settle down, Carol," she told herself. "Genis charged you with enough solar energy to survive for this long, so just pick the closest safe place and head there quickly. Shouldn't be any problem at all."

Her momentary panic behind her, she looked around for a safe haven, when suddenly her seventh sense knocked her for a loop. Crying out, she watched as snippets of images moved across her mind: Super heroes from Earth, racing out from the planet to challenge the Enemy's strike force before it could reach its target.... Eros, Drax, and Hercules, recovering from their earlier defeats to once again harrass the larger fleet..... Genis-Vell, in tremendous pain, perhaps even dying, at the hands of-- Yon-Rogg?!

"HALA!" Without a second's hesitation or a further thought for her own plight, Carol spun around and streaked back in the direction of the Enemy's fleet.

Hercules extracted his fist from the smashed remains of a Skrull saucer's window and watched the atmosphere blow out. "Eros, Drax," he called over his headset communicator, "are you there, my friends?"

"I'm back among the living," Eros replied faintly. "I didn't fair so well at first, but now I believe I have these beggars on the run."

"I, too, am experiencing more success than before," Drax answered, his signal closer. "I can see you, Hercules. One moment--"

To Hercules's right, a Kree battle cruiser suddenly exploded in a fountain of light, and from the center of the deadly blossom streaked Drax the Destroyer. The purple-clad figure navigated alongside the Olympian and they fought back-to-back.

"The aliens don't seem to be working with such a unified purpose any longer," Eros noted, sailing into view.

"Indeed not," Drax responded. "It is as if whatever force has been driving them on has become... distracted..."

Mek-Kwade paused in mid-step, then glanced around at the crewmembers around him. He felt strange, all of a sudden. He eyed the others suspiciously, especially the Skrulls, his senses crying out that something, somehow, was drastically wrong here.

Across the huge room, Yon-Rogg continued to bash the now-helpless Genis-Vell with single-minded glee.

"Mentor says they're starting to smash their way through the outer layer of Titan," Eros reported.

"They'd have been through it long ago if not for our efforts," Drax growled as he continued to lay waste to enemy ships.

"Tis true, friend Destroyer," Hercules agreed, "yet I fear we must redouble our efforts if Titan and Earth itself are to survive."

Just then, the black and red streak of Ms. Marvel flashed past them, headed straight for the heart of the fleet. The others glanced at one another curiously.

Eros watched her vanish in the distance, then frowned. "Do we--?"

"Verily, wherever Carol Danvers may be, there will we find the true battle," Hercules replied.

The three warriors launched themselves in her wake.

Yon-Rogg reached down, grasped Genis by the collar, and held the limp form up above his head. Genis's face was mostly bruise by now, swollen nearly beyond recognition. Blood leaked from both nostrils and the corner of his mouth. His head rolled back, then slumped forward.

Yon-Rogg grinned. "You see now who is truly the Enemy, eh, son of Mar-Vell?" He laughed. "I am the chosen Champion of Chaos, selected by Chronos himself to prevent the Earth from bringing utter, relentless order to the universe." He spat the word "order" as if it were a curse. "But such things matter little to me. I care not why these celestial entities should choose to grant me the power I now possess. All I care about--" and he tossed Genis across the room casually, "--is that the hated Earth, and the hated Mar-Vell, or at least his loved ones, suffer greatly!" He strode slowly, purposefully across the chamber, bearing down on his nearly comatose victim. "And suffer you shall, Genis-Vell. As your mother has suffered from the poison I caused her to ingest. As your homeworld, Titan, shall suffer from my nuclear bombardment. And as the Earth shall suffer, when I direct my arsenal at it!" The armor-clad Enemy towered over Genis, bent down, and reached out to grasp him again--

--and Ms. Marvel smashed through the bulkhead, her fists continuing to move as they impacted Yon-Rogg's chin and sent him hurtling backwards, to crash into a bank of equipment.

Carol rushed to Genis's side and cradled his head. "Genis? Can you hear me? Are you--?"

"The boy is beyond your help, woman." Pulling himself up, Yon-Rogg studied her closely. "I know you. I remember. You are the human whose genetic structure was reshaped along Kree lines." He smiled wickedly. "Perfect. From you shall come the heirs to my universal empire!"

"Stuff it, Yon-Rogg." Ms. Marvel evaded his defenses and struck again, quickly, once again sending the villain to his knees.

No sooner had Yon-Rogg recovered, however, than the universal weapon appeared in his hand. Beams of energy lanced out, with Carol just managing to dodge each blast.

"You'll have to do better than that," Ms. Marvel barked as she dove towards him again, fists flying. "Ronan could barely hit me with that-- I doubt you ever will!"

"I will not have to, woman," Yon-Rogg replied, his opposite hand lashing out. The blow stunned Carol long enough for him to bathe her in a freeze ray, and ice formed over much of her body. Frozen, she could not avoid the next blast, and she slumped to the floor, unconscious.

Yon-Rogg looked her over. "Have her removed to my private quarters, Mek-Kwade. I shall enjoy the post-victory celebration a great deal, I think."

"Yes, sire." But as the Kree officer started forward, three more figures raced in via the opening Carol had created.

Hercules, Drax, and Eros stood between the two fallen warriors and the Enemy. "Stand back, base villain," Hercules cried. "Your lair is invaded, your plans at an end!"

"Hardly," Yon-Rogg replied. The universal weapon lashed out, too quick for Hercules to evade. It smashed him down, and even as he dropped, the Enemy had already unleashed a blast from his other glove, driving Drax backwards into the bulkhead. Whirling, he faced Eros eye to eye.

"You cannot harm me," Eros declared confidently. "You like me too much. You LOVE me!"

"No, foolish one, it is YOU who obey ME!"

Eros stared back into those eyes for a long moment, then nodded slowly. "Of course. As you say."

"Now, kill Hercules and Drax."

"Instantly." Eros seized the form of Hercules as the dazed Olympian struggled to stand, and shoved him into Drax as the Destroyer was rushing forward again. The impact sent both down again, at which point Yon-Rogg blasted both with incredibly powerful bolts from his weapon.

"Finish them, Eros," the Enemy directed.

"Of course." Eros grasped both of the others and pulled them up, then smashed their heads together violently.

Yon-Rogg surveyed the carnage about him with a satisfied nod. Hercules and Drax lay at his feet, immobile. Ms. Marvel was frozen from neck to feet, immobile yet scarcely damaged. Eros stood at his side, a fresh convert. And Genis--

"Genis?" Yon-Rogg whirled around, anger flaring in his eyes. "WHERE IS GENIS?"

"HERE!" The bloody, battered form of Genis-Vell staggered forward, glaring back at the Enemy.

Yon-Rogg gaped. "But-- HOW?? I beat you! I-- I all but KILLED you!"

"I'm not dead yet, Yon-Rogg," Genis whispered hoarsely. "And as long as I live, you haven't won."

"Then we shall have to remedy that situation!"

Genis pulled himself fully upright. "Is that a touch of... fear... I see in your eyes?"

Yon-Rogg roared in fury. The ship's crew covered their eyes at the glare of the conflict, as the two figures clashed.

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