Yon-Rogg gaped at the figure of Genis-Vell. Still bloody
and battered, his costume in tatters, Genis nonetheless
seemed to stand taller and straighter now as he slowly
advanced on the Enemy.
Recovering, Yon-Rogg nodded. "You live. Very well. I
shall kill you again, then. I shall kill you over and
over, if need be, until you and your accursed family
troubles me no more!" He whirled, gesturing towards
Mek-Kwade, who apparently had recovered from his
disorientation of moments earlier. "Set a course for
Earth, Mek-Kwade-- full speed! I want the last thing
Genis and his fellows see to be that world in flames,
burning at the touch of my nuclear arsenal!"
"As you wish, sire." The Kree officer signalled
to the others, and the ship began to move away from Titan
and the rest of the fleet.
"The only thing.... that's going to be burning.....
Yon-Rogg...." Genis breathed, "...will be
YOU!" He surged forward, hurling himself into the
Enemy, and both of them into the bulkhead beyond, with a
deafening clash. Photon blasts and universal weapon
energy spiked and radiated out in every direction as they
tumbled, each struggling to gain the upper hand.
Hercules and Drax both sought to pull themselves up from
the deck. Both were still reeling from their clash with
the Enemy and the mind-controlled Eros.
"Beware, Drax-- as surely as thou wert controlled by
the Enemy before, our compariot Eros now suffers from a
Drax nodded once. "He caught
us by surprise before, Hercules. He will not be so
fortunate this time."
Eros noticed their recovery and started towards them. At
that moment, Genis also spotted them, and called out,
"Herc! Drax! We're leaving Titan space! You've got
to get out of this ship and help stop the attack! I'll
take care of Earth."
Hercules frowned, unsure, but then Eros charged, smashing
him to the floor. As they stood, Drax launched himself
into both of them and carried them both through the
bulkhead and out into space. The decompression tore at
the room momentarily, until Mek-Kwade managed to seal the
breach with a forcefield and summon a repair crew.
Nearby, Ms. Marvel lay, still half-frozen, out of sight
of the others. Coming to, she shivered involuntarily at
the after-effects of Yon-Rogg's freezing weapon, and,
keeping one eye on the battle raging nearby, began
massaging feeling back into her limbs.
Hercules, still in his spacesuit, floated between Drax
and Eros, dodging the occasional energy blast as the two
circled one another yet again. "Friend Drax, we must
bring Eros to his senses soon, or there will be nothing
of Titan left to save!"
Drax said nothing, instead continuing to seek an opening
At last Hercules could stand no more of it, and lurched
out, siezing Eros by the shoulders. Before the startled
Eros could react, Hercules shouted at him, the sound
carried over the headset communicator that both,
miraculously, still wore. "Eros! Hear me!"
"Let me go! You must be stopped!"
"Whose orders are you following?"
"The Great Leader! The one you call the Enemy!"
"Because you agree with him? Because you... LOVE
Eros blinked. "Because I-- wha?"
"Who do you love, Eros? Who do you truly love and
Eros blinked again, shook his head violently, and then
his eyes refocused on Hercules. It was as if a curtain
dropped from in front of them. "Myself, of
course," he replied.
"I would say thou art recovered again,"
"Indeed," Eros replied. "Thank you. Now,
let's get on with the task at hand."
The three raced after the enemy fleet over Titan.
Genis-Vell and Yon-Rogg continued to slug it out aboard
the flagship, even as the enormous vessel moved closer
towards Earth and took up position just beyond the rest
of the attack fleet. All around, the Avengers, the
Fantastic Four, and other super heroes continued to
battle to keep the fleet at bay.
"The Terrans have been remarkably successful in
preventing our attack so far," Mek-Kwade reported,
"but a handful of our ships, including this one,
have managed to reach Earth orbit intact." He
glanced back toward his leader. "Is the bombardment
order given, sire?"
"The order is--MMMPHHH!!" Genis's fist smashed
into Yon-Rogg's mouth before he could complete his
sentence. The Kree officer stood patiently by, doing
nothing, awaiting the command.
Genis did not intend to allow Yon-Rogg the opportunity to
say a word. Though his own strength was fast fading, and
he'd had to reach deep inside himself to even recover as
he had from the first battle, he somehow reached down
again and dredged up the very last of his energy, and
surged forward on the attack again.
Yon-Rogg, startled and confused, fell back yet again
under the onslaught. Photon blasts crashed again and
again into his armor, beginning to penetrate the dense
material in places and genuinely frightening him.
Genis sensed the opening and struck, smashing Yon-Rogg
and driving him hard into the deck. Genis's face, now all
bloody and bruised nearly beyond recognition, leaned in
close toward the Enemy's. "Your battle is OVER,
murderer! I'm putting an end to you NOW!" He raised
his fist, the nega-band shimmering with the last of his
--and suddenly Genis felt as if he were elsewhere. His
mind seemed to disconnect from his body, to leave it, to
float away on the cosmic winds. He was no longer in the
flagship, but somewhere else....
the voice came. "Do you
"I hear you," he replied, though there was no
sound when he spoke.
The aether rippled around him. Images moved through his
"Genis, the time has come
for you to truly become that which you have always been
destined to be."
".... What-- Who--?"
"The Protector. Of Earth.
Of the Universe. The Humans have a grand destiny awaiting
them, but they must be protected while they're still in
the nursery. Take up that task. Protect them. Know them.
Become one of them."
Genis took all this in, then slowly nodded.
"Yes...... I understand... I will-- I..." He
blinked, the aether shimmering within his perceptions.
The voice faded, vanished. Sight returned to him. With
that sight came a rush of knowledge, a sensation beyond
anything he'd ever known, a sensation far beyond the
limited awareness he'd possessed before. He saw the
events surrounding him with a clarity he'd been unable to
imagine previously. He saw the hands of Lord Chaos and of
Master Order, and beyond them, of Chronos himself,
reaching out, manipulating events. And there, directly
before him, he saw--
"Yon-Rogg!" He glared. "YOU! The Champion
of Chaos! I see it now! They chose you, just as they've
chosen me as your opposite number!" Fire and fury
swelled within him. "We've both been puppets!"
Yon-Rogg stared back at him, his defenses now completely
dropped as fear gripped his black heart. "You-- you
KNOW? You are--"
"--aware! He has become
"Yes, Lord Chaos. We did not
foresee this possibility, when we granted him the power
and the mantle he now wears."
"I fear events are about to
overtake our ability to manage them, Master Order."
"For once, I fear I can only
agree, Lord Chaos."
Genis's fist crashed down again and again upon Yon-Rogg.
"I've seen where you come from, Yon-Rogg! I've seen
it all!" He glared, advancing again, energy blazing
in angry halos around his wristbands. "You were
saved by Chronos and his footsoldiers, Chaos and Order,
in order to remain in reserve should they ever require a
champion. A simulacrum was put in your place at your
supposed 'death,' one so craftily shaped that it
convinced my father you were dead. They kept you at the
ready, and when Earth seemed ready to begin its
prophesied Golden Age, to expand outwards, to rule the
heavens, they felt they had to act."
Mek-Kwade cried out as the ship lurched suddenly.
"Sire! Your battle has damaged the controls! We're
entering the Earth's gravity well! We're going
Genis ignored the words, and smashed his fist again into
Yon-Rogg, driving the Enemy back into the wall.
"Chaos and Order feared that the coming Golden Age
of Earth would impose too much order on the universe.
They feared that the universal balance would be
disrupted. So they called upon you-- granted you power,
the power to sway followers to your side, followers from
many races who resent the destiny of the Humans-- and
sent you out as their Champion of Chaos."
"--Yes--" Yon-Rogg stumbled, falling to his
Genis ripped at the armor covering the Enemy's form, and
tore sections of it away. "But you've succeeded TOO
WELL for them, haven't you? You've gone beyond anything
they'd imagined. They didn't take into account your
abiding hatred for my father, and for the Earth. Now
you're going to wipe the Earth out entirely, and that's
not what they had in mind. They'd prepared another
champion, one for the other side of the equation-- my
father! * But he was dead.
So they turned to me. They wanted to simply use me as an
agent, to slow you down, and then they could throw me
aside. But they made a critical error, Yon-Rogg. To win,
I had to become your equal. I had to become a Champion of
*So that's what was up with Marvel Spotlight #3! --Van
Yon-Rogg blinked up at him. "....But.... but
"I don't know. I'm not certain. Perhaps someone...
someone up there... intervened on my behalf. And perhaps
I just caused it to happen through my own actions. But
I'm your equal now, Yon-Rogg, and more-- I'm your
BETTER!" And with that, Genis ripped away the last
of the armor and smashed the Enemy to the floor. Yon-Rogg
lay there, still, unmoving.
Nearby, Mek-Kwade and the other bridge personnel suddenly
jerked as if electrocuted. Whirling around, they all
cried out in surprise at once. Freed of the mind control
of the Enemy, they quickly realized what had been
happening. They were not happy about it. Unfortunately,
they had more pressing matters to tend to-- the ship was
falling to Earth!
At the center of the room, Genis stood over Yon-Rogg,
gasping for breath, the fury which had sustained him now
leaving him and draining him of his strength.
Nearby, Ms. Marvel finally freed herself of the last of
the ice and rushed to the ship's controls, shoving
Mek-Kwade aside. "Out of the way," she barked.
"I'll get us down in one piece!"
Never doubting the truth of those words, Genis collapsed
to the deck, entirely exhausted.
"Genis? Can you hear me?"
Genis-Vell's eyes fluttered open. He blinked at the
light, staring up into the face of--
Elysius smiled warmly. "I think he's okay," she
said to those behind her.
"Mom-- You're okay! Ugggh--" Genis struggled to
sit up, and realized he lay in bed, covered in bandages.
"Ohhh-- every bit of my body aches," he moaned.
Then he saw who was behind his mother.
"The lad seems fit enough, given what he hath
endured of late," Hercules observed.
"Indeed," Drax agreed. "You are entitled
to your share of rest, Genis."
Eros grinned and rubbed Genis on the one spot on his head
that wasn't bandaged.
"So--what happened?" Genis asked anxiously.
Ms. Marvel leaned forward, between the men, and reported,
"It's all over. Once you defeated Yon-Rogg, the
aliens were freed of his control. Of course, they
immediately forgot all about Earth, and Titan, and turned
on one another. The last report we had, the ships from
what was left of their so-called fleet were engaged in a
massive battle out beyond Neptune."
Eros chimed in, "Not before we'd done them serious
damage, though, eh, Herc? Drax?"
The Olympian laughed and Drax bowed his head in
"What about the flagship?"
The others turned to Ms. Marvel, who shrugged.
"Nothing to it. I have the training of the finest
Kree pilots in my genes. I got us down in one
piece--" Carol grinned, "--more or less."
Genis nodded. "And Titan?"
"It suffered a bit of damage," Elysius replied,
"but nothing that can't be repaired, in time. It's
recovered from worse before."
"But what about you, Mother?"
"The poison?" Elysius smiled. "Mentor
found an antidote within Yon-Rogg's computers, but I
hardly needed it. It seems 'the Enemy' underestimated my
constitution. I'm still a little queasy, but I'll be
Eros smiled warmly. "So, we all live happily ever
Genis nodded. "But there's just one more bit of
business I have to tend to. There are a couple of
disembodied heads I need to have a serious talk
"Tell 'em Earth's off limits," Carol said.
"Tell them we're doing just fine, and don't need any
more of their interference."
"I'll tell 'em, alright," Genis agreed.
"I'm not any more intimidated by them than Dad
And somewhere, elsewhere, beyond the realm of mortal
existence, a certain someone was very proud of those
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