Written by WarlorTVor, Edited &
co-plotted by Morfex
Note: This takes place in the
Cosmic Union/POTU continuity
Continues from Super-Skrull #1
Quasar's shoulder-length blond hair whipped about in the harsh, burning hot winds as Valhalla howled darkly in its death throws. He bore a skintight costume. His shoulders and chest were covered in a dark blue cloth, almost on the verge of black. The rest of his muscular torso was covered in crimson. The remainder of his uniform was made of the same color as his chest, and red boots finished the ensemble. On his chest, an emblem was proudly displayed: a star with four ends. The star extended evenly outward, much like a cross, and was encased in a ring of gold.
Quasar's uniform was sleeveless. Covering his wrists and forearms were the Quantum Bands, golden bracelets of a medieval design. The Bands were capable of harnessing indescribable power.
But most captivating of all his attire was the regal cape that he donned. It whipped around in the wind. On the inside of the cape was a majestic star field, the dark backdrop of the cosmos.
Quasar observed the Skrull warrior before him. Bloodlust was clear in Klr't's golden eyes.
The Super-Skrull's arms stretched forward, an ability attained by being physically enhanced so that he possessed the powers of the entire Fantastic Four. Klr't was meant to be the Skrulls' most powerful weapon against the Fantastic Four, those who had thwarted his race's plans on more than one occasion. That made him a handful, even for Quasar, who commanded the Quantum Bands. The Super Skrull's orange, rocky fist slammed into Quasar's midsection doubling him over and sending him spiraling to the ground. Had Quasar not instinctively buffered the blow, it would have been his last breath.
Klr't screamed aloud. "This is all because of you! I will kill you!"
Quasar wanted an explanation for the unprovoked attack. "What are you talking about? What is going on here?"
He leaped forward in the air and twin bolts of pure energy lashed outward from the Quantum Bands that were clasped onto his wrist. The twin beams of light and energy struck Klr't almost point blank in his chest. He screamed and doubled over, staggering several feet backward.
Quasar dropped to one knee.
Super-Skrull was gasping for air, his hands only inches away from his chest. A thin layer of smoke slowly rose heavenward from the upper part of his torso, looming over Quasar.
One of Quasar's arms jerked skyward and another bolt of energy rushed from his bands, striking Klr't in the same area of the chest. He roared in pain as his body went limp and soared backward for several feet. Finally his back struck a small cylindrical container.
The green skinned Skrull coughed harshly, the taste of blood in his mouth. His gaze slowly turned toward Quasar. With the back of his hand the Skrull whipped the blood that trickled from his lips. His head slightly lowered, his gaze fell unwaveringly upon the man that stood a few meters away from him. A sea of debris and rubble now separated them.
"We can stop this now before it goes too far!" Quasar protested.
Klr't said nothing more.
A hellish smirk danced across his green visage. Quasar knew the look well, for it had crossed his own face from time to time. It was the look of victory, but Quasar could not comprehend what was going through the warrior's mind.
Then Quasar smelled the thick and heavy odor of gas. He looked at the container that Klr't had landed upon and noticed a thick rupture on its underside, and a faint gray smoke started to arise from the rupture. He put the two together and then the reason for the Skrull's victorious glance came to him.
He charged a few feet forward, his mouth was open in order to shout out a warning toward the Skrull.
Then Super-Skrull's body merely erupted into living flames.
The flames ignited the damaged fuel container that he had fallen upon. The sudden burst of flame caused all the nearby buildings to explode into burning splinters. The entire world shook down to its foundation with a shock wave of pure fire circling outward. Quasar watched as the wave of fire lanced toward him at an accelerated rate; his eyes widened in sheer awe. Out of pure instinct, he dropped to his knees and used the bands to throw up a shield of golden energy as protection. The wave of fire washed over the golden energy, but he maintained the shielding, knowing that the worse was yet to come.
Buildings toppled over one another, the ground itself even started to jut upward, massive walls of pavement lanced skyward. Under the golden hue of the shield that he had erected over him, Quasar took note of a massive construct of sorts that had once proudly stood in the midst of the colony was coming down upon him! Without a moment's delay he lurched his entire body forward and soared rapidly only a few meters over the ground. The building continued to crumble down toward, faster and faster. The building's massive shadow eclipsed him and then he saw that the very edge of the building was starting to come down upon him!
He was only a few centimeters from freedom, or a few shy of being crushed under tons and tons of rock and crystal that compromised the outer lining of the building's once majestic exterior. He soared onward, his speed increased and even surpassing the speed of sound, a massive sonic boom exploded into the fire filled air. By only a few centimeters he flung himself under the shadow of the building just as it slammed onto the ground, fire exploding from its violent death throws.
Quasar angled his body heavenward and soared toward the once greenish-blue sky that was now a flaming red. He continued on his way until he was at least several meters above the colony of New Haven, where he watched the drama unfold. His eyes tried to scan the ruins for the survivors that Epoch had spoken to him about only a few minutes before. But the action was in vain, he could not even see if Klr't had survived the explosion. The entire colony had been reduced to nothing more than smoldering ash and burning debris, the one small blast of fire that was created when Klr't's body combusted into living flame had caused much more damage than the entire Kree attack fleet combined.
"What a waste," Quasar muttered to himself, shaking his head from side to side.
The fires raged onward, engulfing everything in its path. Suddenly, the inferno dissipated.
Klr't stood there, unscathed by the flames that engulfed him in their deadly wrath.
Then the mighty Skrull warrior heard the voices! Voices everywhere! Screaming out to him, crying for his blood, crying for redemption for the damnation that he had unleashed upon them unwittingly.
"No!" he demanded to the voices calling out toward him, voices that had no owners! "I didn't kill you! It was " he was at an utter loss. "It was he!" He pointed to the skies as if they would prove to be his vindication. "Quasar! Not I! He was the one, the Protector of the Universe that saw that you - you, Skrull colonists - were not worthy of saving! Not I!" he pleaded with the voices.
Their screams reach a deafening pitch and it reached the point where he started to scream aloud. But he learned that the voices were nothing more than the harbinger of an even more terrifying spectacle. For within the flames, the forms of people, the colonist, started to take shape.
"No," he shushed in disbelief. They were all pointing at him accusingly. "No!" Tears of flame started to well up in their collective eyes. Their maws were moving and the image of death was painted on their hideous looking visages. The howling of the winds carried their song of damnation to the stars and Klr't tried to plead with them with all of them. Oh Gods, how he tried to plead with them!
But they would heed not a word of his supplications, they merely called out for his damnation and ultimately his death.
"No, it wasn't me. No! No! Noooooooooooooooooooooo!"
His body, which remained in living flame, started to grow a bright white color, blinding to behold. Billows of steam, which had once been tears, slowly arose from his eyes. His scream pierced through the howling winds and screaming voices.
Then with no logical reason the waves of fire stopped rolling outward and started to rescind.
"What in the world?" Quasar asked aloud, his voice was rasped and gravelly. Most of the flames were in about a three block radius - or so Quasar surmised - and at the core stood a screaming Skrull warrior, his arms raised in victory, his feet were a meter apart, his head was angled skyward, his screams were piercing heavenward. The man's body had gone from a dark shade of red to pure white, almost blinding. His body was in living flames and he was absorbing the very flames into himself! Time went onward and soon the flames within that three-block radius had rescinded into tolerable levels. The scream intensified as the flames that encased the Skrull were absorbed into his very being.
Soon the scream stopped, and there, unscathed, stood Super-Skrull, his gaze was firmly upon Quasar, a hellish glint danced across his green visage. Quasar watched as the bright white color intensified even further. Kl'rt brought his arms in a sudden jerk behind him, then with a swift movement angled them toward Quasar, and released the fire that had been building within him. The bolt of white-hot flame lashed outward in a blur toward the Protector of the Universe.
Quasar had no time to move, no time to even think of bringing up additional defensive measures against the pillar of liquid fire that soared toward him at uncanny speeds. He did not even have time to breath. The pillar of flame scorched the air around him. He swirled out of the way only because of some primal survival instinct. The pillar of flame burned upward across his chest, badly burning him. He swirled around screaming in pain, his long blond hair whipped around him slapping him on the other side of the face. His body started to tumble mindlessly toward the ground. He could not maintain simple levitation. He could not think, the world around him went dark and he slammed into the ground like a meteor. He could feel his back give out on him. He winced in pain, groaning as he rolled form side to side.
And the world around him went dark.
"I will not let it end that quickly, that easily Quasar."
"Wha " was all he managed to utter. "Alive ? How why?"
Laughter rang out. "I erected a shield of invisible energy under you a few feet before you collided with the surface. I wish to prolong this conflict in order to truly cherish my victory over you." He smiled.
"Why ?" he uttered, staggering to his feet. He pressed his body firmly against a crumbled stone wall, the wall slightly swayed and threatened to topple in on itself, but it did not, and for that he was grateful.
"You caused all this!"
The colony was destroying itself all around the two warriors who were facing one another on what might be their last battlefield.
"This is crazy!" Quasar managed between onslaughts of pain that surged through his body.
"Perhaps." Klr't, the Super-Skrull, stated. The great warrior of the Skrulls stood there, bracing himself for battle. His piercing gaze settled on the man who stood opposite him. His posture was flawless as he circled his prey darkly. No longer aflame, his head was slightly lowered, emphasizing the sadistic shadows created by the countless fires which had begun to burn all around them. The shadows danced across his green skin and golden yellow eyes.
Quasar attempted reason once more. "We have to leave here before it's too late." Quasar pleaded, extending his right hand in friendship. His palm was slightly inclined and his fingers were stretched outward, his body protested in pain every time he made even the slightest movement.
"It is already too late." The Super-Skrull retorted, creating an invisible wall of force to slam against the Protector of the Universe. "For you that is, Quasar!" he finished.
Leaping through the hellish red sky of Valhalla, a battle cry roared from his mouth lashed outward. He brought invisible blocks of force to bare down upon Quasar, who had taken up a defensive stance.
Klr't cleared the uncontrollable flames with the utmost ease and landed on his feet only a few feet away from Wendell Vaughn. His knees were bent outward, as a hypnotic gaze glimmered in his golden eyes. Quasar knew of the Skrull's ability to mesmerize, and adjusted his quantum force field accordingly to blur the image of the warrior's face.
The Skrull warrior positioned himself directly before Quasar, who had his back to the flaming debris of the colony. Klr't wasted no more time, lunging toward Quasar; his force wall hammering the Terran repeatedly through the ash plagued air.
Quasar leaped backward in a somersault, his flight capability lending the acrobatic maneuver the impression of defying gravity.
Super-Skrull laughed harshly. "Impressive! Truly impressive." But the Skrull wasted no time in mere pleasantries and complements. Blinded by sheer rage, he hurtled himself forward. His flaming fist swinging in every direction in order to lash out against his opponent.
A blast of pure golden energy lashed out from his Quantum Bands slamming into the chest of Klr't with full force. He staggered backward, but this time recovered with much more speed. He quickly leaped into the air, his orange rocky hand stretched outward and slamming into Quasar's ribs. Quasar yelled out in pain, his body quivering.
Quasar quickly jerked his fist to the side of the Skrull's head and released another bolt of energy slamming into the side of his opponent's head. The Skrull screamed and toppled on one side against the ground, allowing Quasar enough time to scramble to his feet and climb several slabs of rock, to the point where he was upon the high ground.
"Have at you!" proclaimed Klr't as he staggered to his feet. His vision was starting to blur over, but he continued onward with the pain.
"Why ?" Quasar started remembering the Skrull's earlier words. "Why is it my fault?"
"Yes, tell him!" A voice called out to Kl'rt. His gaze bore down upon Quasar, and the Skrull took note that the Protector's expression had not changed. Quasar clearly could not hear the female voice that called out to the Super-Skrull in that moment.
"Come on," the voice was different this time, masculine in nature, with a rough guttural feel to it. He recognized it as the voice of Lon, the colony's elected governor. "You know it is his fault do you not? After all he is the one that you were to contact in order to save us."
"Come now! Tell me that I am mistaken!"
"I said stop it," Klr't cried out in utter pain, his body convulsing and trembling with rage. "Or I shall ."
"You shall what?"
"You shall what, oh great hero of our people?" The voice spoke in a scoffing and sarcastic tone. "Kill me again? As you killed our colony!?"
Klr't's head snapped around to face where the voice was coming from. And there it stood. A ghost-like form of a man, of Skrull decent, with dark green skin and a craggy jawed visage, stood before him. His garb was blood-soaked and in his arms was a small child, no more than a few seasons old. A limp, green skinned arm dangled from a small opening in the blanket that was wrapped around the child's form, blood covering the lifeless appendage.
"You did this. And you know it, you pathetic creature!"
"Enough!!" Klr't cried aloud and hurtled a blast of flame that seared through the smoke-covered air straight toward the governor and the child he carried.
He could hear the Terran, Quasar, muttering something to the effect of inquiring what was wrong, but he heeded not a word of it. His body started to sag forward, and began to crumple in on itself, or so it appeared to the Protector of the Universe who stood no more than a few meters away.
The pain that he bore overcame him in a flash flood of images and voices. The same voices and images within the fire.
"The screams," he uttered, his lips trembling, his words wavering. Tears started to well up in his eyes, threatening to overcome him. He dropped to his knees, his hands before his eyes. "Screams of the dead haunting me ! Make them stop! I I I caused this! All of this it is my fault! This death and destruction was wrought by my hands I did all of this! I should be the one to die I should be among these these children that I let die!"
And he wept.
Quasar was at a loss for how to react. His words seemed inappropriate somehow. "I don't understand."
"Of course you do not! I would not expect you to comprehend that which you did not witness!"
"But you tried to protect these people. I saw you try to dig that young lady out from the mounds of debris that had buried her. How ?"
"It is not what I did that killed the colony of New Haven. But what Command ordered me to do and I refused!"
Quasar took a step closer but thought better of it. "What what is it that you did not do, Klr't?"
"I did not contact you, Quasar, Protector of the Universe, and plead to you for aid against the Kree."
"Yes. Command ordered me to bring you here and aid in the defense of this colony world. After the destruction of the Shi'ar Shipyard, Command was not about to take any chances with this world. They wanted you to aid us."
"And why ?"
"Why? Why " Laughter and a mixture of sobs was heard through his words. "Because it was a disgrace to me, to High Command, and to every Skrull who ever existed."
"But I would not have seen disgrace in "
"You! Yes, you wouldn't but I would! It proves that the Skrull are incapable of defending ourselves against a small rag-tag band of terrorists whose empire is in shambles. So I set out to prove that we could, collecting the finest members of the Skrull military to defend this world. Intelligence surmised that the Kree would set out to do a ground based assault so that they could have free reign over the spoils. They had not expected expected this " He gestured with a wave of his hands to the debris and rubble that flanked both of them. "They lured me away from the colony with a threat that stated a biological agent would be used to destroy the colony's inhabitants. I set out and walked into a trap. The Kree flagship started to open fire upon the colony from orbit, destroying everything. We had not prepared a shield grid of any kind to repel such an attack, and we were taken completely unaware. I arrived shortly after the orbital barrage ceased, and I was unable to do anything. Then you arrived and I "
"You lashed out at me. I understand."
"No!" he abruptly cut in with a sharp wave of his hand downward. "You don't, you can't!"
The statement came out of nowhere, then he noticed that Quasar was staring off into the distance, the wind played against his form, cape, and lengthy blond hair.
"My listening outpost has just informed me that a massive fleet of Skrull vessels is on an intercept course with the planet."
"And so it ends "
He arose to his feet. With the back of his hand, he discarded the tears that had collected under his eyes.
The Protector understood that the Skrull warrior would mistake sympathy for pity. "They'll be here within the hour."
Klr't said something that Quasar had not expected to hear. "I wish for you to place me in exile, Wendell Vaughn."
"I have created this destruction and now I seek redemption from it!"
"What do you mean?"
"My flagship is in high orbit around this world, I wish to leave this galaxy behind."
"Is running away not a dishonorable act?"
"No. It is the right thing to do."
"But there must be another way "
"There is not!" he proclaimed. "It is how it must be! I sentenced this entire population to their deaths, Quasar! Don't you understand? I caused this, all of this! And I do not wish to place any one else, Skrull and none-Skrull alike, in harm's way because of my actions or the lack thereof! This is the way of my people! The way that I must live the remainder of my days." There was a pause. Klr't knew that the Earth native needed more of an explanation. "The Universe will be better off without my intervention! I demand you as a man of honor to perform the Krut'laton!"
They stood there in silence.
Finally Quasar nodded. And said the only words that came to mind for a situation such as this, "I shall honor your request."
Klr't nodded. "Though it galls me to my core, I shall remain in your debt, Quasar."
That was hours ago, now Klr't stood in the command chamber of his small vessel. He watched as another portal of golden energy appeared, then dissipated to nothing. It was much like the one that Quasar had created and Klr't had piloted his vessel through to arrive where he was right now, in the great void of space, in the massive expanse in between galaxies. The two warriors had exchanged few words. Quasar had tried to deter him from this course of action but the Super-Skrull had said that his word was final and that nothing could persuade him to change it.
And with that he was alone, drifting in a starless void.
He turned and was about to retreat to his cabin for long overdue rest, when he noticed a small pad of primitive paper and an archaic writing device on a nearby command counsel. It was Quasar's idea of beginning the long road to redemption, he wagered. He ignored the gift, but did not dispose of it.
Weeks later, he went over toward the paper and sat down at the control consul. He picked up the writing device and after a moment's thought he started his dictation.
And it stated, in no uncertain terms
"As I write this journal entry, a heretofore unknown clarity fills my being. This self-imposed exile between galaxies has afforded me the solitude to truly indulge in unbiased self-assessment "
Continued in Super-Skrull #3
Now go read the continuation of this story in Super-Skrull #3: Gods And Monsters by Morfex! And please be sure to leave comments and suggestions below.