The More Things Change...
My name is Wendell Vaughn, though the galaxy knows me better as Quasar, Guardian of the Universe. Its been slow lately, myself and my friend Beta Ray Bill, have had little to do. Save a cargo ship from pirates here, stop a hull leak in a transport ship there, same old same old. We were ready to call it a day when I got a call from one of my "Ears", the dishes I have spread out through the galaxy. Its a distress call from a unknown source, somewhere near the edge of the galaxy, coming in fast and hot. I tell Bill I can take care of it, he can go on his way. He says he has nothing else to do, and I may just need a hand. He draws close to me and I quantum jump us near the source of the call.
Nothing could have prepared me for what I saw. There must have been millions of ships engaged in battle. There is two different types, neither of which I have ever seen before. Larger white roundish ships against smaller black jagged ships. The black ones outnumbered the white ones two to one. I get a call on my bands, its from the leader of the white ships, for the second time in as many minutes, I am shocked.
"Greetings. I am Captain Kar-Lor of the ship Deliverance. We are under attack and require assistance." Stunned, I think for a minute before I can stammer out a reply.
"I was under the impression the Kree never asked for anything."
"Please sir, we left this galaxy over five thousand years ago and have recently been chased back. We desperately need your help." As Kar-Lor says this Bill tapped Quasar on the shoulder and points. Thirty Pandonian ships were headed their way.
"Were going to need some help here Bill."
"I was thinking the same thing" he says.
"You start fighting off these black ships, Im going to send out a call to the Surfer."
"Agreed" Its still amazing to watch Bill go all out, he takes out five of the ships almost immediately. I send out the signal to the Surfer, I know hes on Earth so its easy to find him. With the call made I join Bill, he has already taken out ten more ships.
As Quasar joined Bill fifteen ships surrounded him and all fired at once. Quasar was able to throw up a hasty shield, but it was not enough. The overwhelming force of the attack was too much. Slowly Quasar began to loose consciousness. Looking over and seeing what has happened to his friend, Bill races over, grabs him and teleports.
The look on the Kree Captains face was one of horror. Kar-Lor could do nothing but slump down into his command chair. His face was drained, all hope and energy was gone. There was nothing left to do but die.
"Captain Lor" came a call from the officer on monitor duty.
"What is it Lana-Bren?"
"You have to see this, Im putting it on the main screen." A being made of fire, at least thats what he looked like, was heading our way, faster than anything Ive ever seen. I jumped out of my chair, almost smiling. How many super beings does this galaxy posses?
"Communications!! Hail that being!!!"
"I am Firelord, former herald of Galactus. What seems to be the problem? You know, besides being in the middle of a war." Firelord said with a small smile.
"Sir Firelord, we are under attack by a savage race known as the Pandonians, they have already destroyed over half our ships and killed half of our people. We are in desperate need of your assistance. Please, we beg of you, help us."
"Kree needing help, quite a novelty. Dont worry, I know you guys have come across hard times. Besides, these new guys dont look too friendly to me."
Firelord entered into the fray when fifteen Pandonian ships attacked him. I find my self wondering what exactly has happened in the last five thousand years. Two super powered beings have made comments on the Kree being seemingly above the others in this galaxy, have we become that arrogant and foolish? Yet this Firelord also said he knew what happened to us, what could that mean? Have we died out, been destroyed? A chill comes over me, are we the last of the Kree??
He is making short work of the Pandonians, though he is not destroying the ships, merely disabling them. Why is he showing mercy? I then see the creature known as "Bill" teleport back, and join Firelord. Together they are a fearsome force, but hopelessly out numbered. Can even these two hope to turn the tide of this fight? I pray so.
"Captain" calls Lana-Bren, "do you believe in miracles? Im putting it on the main screen." Tears of joy start to fill my eyes. A being made of silver, riding what appears to be a surf board is coming in just as fast as Firelord.
"Already hailing the silver being" says the communications officer. The silver being stops in his tracks, and flies directly towards our ship. He doesnt even slow down when he reached our hull, but there was no breech. He appears on the bridge, coming right through the wall.
"You" as he points at me, "You appear to be the captain of this vessel, explain yourself."
"I am Captain Kar-Lor of the ship Deliverance, our ancestors left this galaxy over five thousand years ago seeking peace. Recently the savages known as the Pandonians have plundered the galaxy we called home, slaughtered our people and drove us from our home worlds. We came here for the help of our long lost cousins in a desperate hope to stay alive. Please sir, I know not what has happened here in the time since we left, but we are desperate. Could you help us, we have nowhere else to turn?"
"I will return when this threat is over. Hope that you are not deceiving me, I do not take kindly to deceit." With that he was gone. What has our people done to produce that kind of attitude? Surely they could not have been that bad, could they? He flies directly into the middle of the conflict, and stops. Firelord and Bill join him where he stands, they say a few things to each other before the silver being speaks.
"Hear me Pandonians, I am the Silver Surfer, with my comrades this fleet is under our protection. You will hereby disengage this conflict and retreat back at least five light years. There is no other option."
About thirty ships turn and close in on the three super beings. The Silver Surfer looked at them for a second, then waves his hand. All power on the ships went out as he did that. Using our sensors we could tell that life support was the only systems running. All of our mouths were wide open on the bridge, what kind of being was this Silver Surfer??
The Pandonians continued this tactic until about fifteen thousand of their ships were floating dead in space. After that their ships disengaged all battles with our ships. There seemed to be a conversation with the Silver Surfer and the lead Pandonian ship, then they towed their dead ships away, exactly four and a half light years.
The three super beings were talking for a while, until a bright light shone next to them. The fourth being, the one named Quasar, appeared next to them. They spoke for a while, then the Silver Surfer headed our way. With the same ease as before, he appeared on the bridge.
"I have returned Captain Kar-Lor, as I said I would. I would know if what you told me was indeed true."
"I welcome you once again aboard the Deliverance, Silver Surfer, and bestow my most sincere gratefulness. I really must know, how did you do that to their ships?"
"It was simple, I merely scanned their ships and fused all connections except for their life support. Now, my question?"
"Yes, everything I told you was indeed true. I dont know what has happened to the Kree we left here when we went on our way. I am anxious to learn their fate, are they completely gone? Were they as despised as I have been led to believe by the attitudes I have been getting? I must know!!"
The Surfer looked away for a time, thinking about his response.
"The Kree of this time have been fanatical power hungry warlords. Almost every civilized species considers them villains. They seek to annex every planet they can, by military force. They did have the most powerful fleet here, until a run in with the Shiar destroyed most of their fleet and made Hala all but habitable. There are some wanderers here and there, but most of the empire has been reduced to ashes. The population is about 1/10,000th of what it was. They are no longer a threat to the populated planets of this galaxy."
The look of shock on the faces of the bridge crew was answer enough. They had no idea of the crimes their cousins committed.
"I I have no response to that." Kar-Lor stammered out. "Our race was always ambitious, but never that militaristic. We were a peaceful race, but also knew the ways of war. There were many threats in the galaxy that would overrun us if we did not protect ourselves. The Council would never have let this happen."
"In recent memory there was never a council governing the Kree." The Surfer stated. "They were ruled by the Supreme Intelligence, a being with all the memory and skills of every great military mind throughout time. A heartless, soulless creature whose only ambition was a Kree ruled universe."
"Impossible the Cotati "
"Are all but extinct. Destroyed by the Kree." Kar-Lor was visibly very upset.
"Such atrocities. What could have sent them over the edge into madness? What possible explanation could there be?"
"Captain, Surfer." Lana-Bren started. "The Pandonians are on the move again. Switching on the main screen." The Pandonians had formed a wall and were coming straight at the Kree fleet, and their protectors.
"This has gone on long enough." The Surfer said, he then spoke to seemingly thin air, "Firelord, prepare, I have had enough of this nonsense. Make sure your ships are ready Kar-Lor, this is not a fight we will win without your help." With that he was gone again.
"All ships, battle stations!!" Kar-Lor called out. "We are outnumbered, but we have valor and righteousness as our ally, we will not fall!! This is our final stand, may the gods favor the bold!!!"
The battle that followed was beyond mere words to describe. Near the edge of the conflict there were two Watchers recording the events as they unfolded. Millions of explosions occurred every second. From a distance the glow from the battle was constant, not the lightning like flashes of a normal space fight. Whole planets were consumed in the destruction. Millions died, only the Surfer could claim that he did not kill during the battle. In the end, every Pandonian ship was either destroyed or taken out of commission. Fires and explosions covered the Pandonian command ship, it would survive this conflict, but not without scars. The Kree lost over three hundred thousand ships, and about a million citizens. The wreckage and carnage spanned light years. Quasar was badly beaten, bruises and burns lined his whole body. Beta Ray Bill also looked ragged and worn, his clothes were torn and covered with burns. Surfer and Firelord didnt look any worse for the wear, but it was clear they were exhausted.
The four heroes gathered up the disabled Pandonian ships, about one hundred and fifty thousand of them, and Quasar placed them in a gigantic yellow sphere. The four then surrounded the sphere, concentrated and the ships disappeared. There was no trace of them to be found.
The Silver Surfer wandered off for a moment and came back with a woman on his board. Apparently his mate. The four talked for a long while, until Quasar headed towards the Deliverance.
"Hear me Kar-Lor, we want to know what your plans are now."
"Return signal Lana-Bren. Quasar, this is Kar-Lor. The council will of course have to vote, but I am planning to put my weight behind us staying here and undoing the travesty that the Kree here has done."
"A wise choice." He said. "How can we help you in this manner?"
"Well first, we will need a place to call home. We have been stuck in these ships for far too long. Before we can think about others we need to get ourselves and our affairs in order. Someplace a little out of the way so that any races who bear all Kree ill will can be avoided."
Continued in Chapter 3: A New Beginning
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