The More Things Change...
Ronan stood in the center of his chamber wearing only a robe looking up at this creature that just appeared. The being just looked down upon Ronan seemingly irate about being brought to Valtora.
"Why have you summoned me Ronan? Know you not that which I must do?"
"My humblest apologies lord, but I require your vast knowledge for guidance in the days ahead."
"You are concerned with the Kree that have returned to this part of the cosmos." The giant said. "Let you heart and mind be at rest, they are no threat to us nor our plans. Though they do honor to the old ways, their pleas fall on ears now deaf. The king is fat, and without worth nor use. Reality as your primitive mind knows it will fall to our wrath. There will be no reprisal from our rule of the universe known."
"You honor me by my inclusion in your master plan Diykrakus, and even more so by your tutelage, and most of all by your blood in my veins, father. I am your prince, bound by your mighty words." Ronan spoke these words with his head bowed in reverence, a most uncommon sight among Kree.
"A worthier protégée I could not ask for." Diykrakuss stone face seemed to crack some. Something akin to pride slipped into his voice and coated his words. "Though half mortal you be, a god more true could not be found. You will send a spy to these Kree in the Terra system, learn all you can and inform me then. Fare thee well my son, til the universe runs with our enemies blood."
"Til the universe runs with our enemies blood."
With that Diykrakus disappeared, returned to wherever he came. Ronan stood on the pentagram for a few moments before he stormed off to put on his dressings. He was not yet sure how best to deal with these new upstart Kree, but he knew one thing. They will join his quest or die.
Quasar and Beta Ray Bill were investigating a report of some piracy near a nebula near the Alroke system. Quasar was piloting the small freighter a few parsecs from the nebula, he didnt want to raise the suspicions of the pirates by showing his involvement nor by flying too close to the danger zone.
Without warning five Kree Piranha class warships had them surrounded. The ships were old and in need of repair, but they were still more than a match for the little cargo ship. "These guys are good." Quasar said to no one in particular. A warning light flashed on the console, the Kree had five tractor beams on them and all weapons trained on the command center. The lead Kree ship sent a signal to Quasars and Bills ship.
"Freighter Long Haul, what are the contents of your cargo?"
"Only food and medical supplies." Quasar answered. He knew these two things were in short supply these days to the Kree. He only put the signal through on audio, not wanting to alert the Kree too soon with who they were dealing with.
"Excellent." Came the reply. "Prepare to be boarded. If you cooperate there will be no bloodshed."
"I am only concerned with the well being of my crew, take what you want." Quasar lied. In truth there was no crew nor cargo.
"Then dont be foolish or try to be a hero Captain. Any one of these ships could turn your ship into dust in seconds. Now drop your pathetic shields and open the cargo bay doors."
"Whatever you say." Quasar said, trying in vain to hide the fact that he was more than happy to do so.
One of the Piranhas opened its lower doors and prepared to take the cargo from the now opening doors of the Long Haul. What they saw however, was not bandages and rations, it was Bill. The three space-suited Kree all started shouting at once. Bill let loose an energy blast from his hammer right up into the Kree cargo bay. The ship rocked violently before they lost all power. Bill threw Stormbringer through the engine room of another ship as Quasar shot out of the cargo bay. Three of the Piranhas fired at the Long Haul and turned it into scrap metal. Quasar placed a force bubble around one of the ships as he shot a blast at a second. Stormbringer returned to Bills hand only long enough for him to fire a shot at the fifth ship. The ship in the bubble fired at Quasars field only finding that once shot, the bubble absorbed the blast and drained all power from the ship through the gun port. The fight was over, the Kree knew they had lost.
"Now you will listen to me Kree Captain." Quasar said. "I know where there are Kree living in paradise. No shortages of food or medical supplies, no races trying to bring you down, just peace. All Kree are welcome there, but only if they put aside the ways of war and conquest. If you are interested just let me know."
"Allow me a few moments to speak with the crew."
"Of course." Was Quasars reply.
After about ten minutes the Kree Captain, Ter-Fes, said that they were indeed tired of living on the lam. They had families to think about. There were fifty Kree within the ships and another two hundred back at their base in the Nebula. Quasar gathered them and headed towards their base as Bill finished off their ships. There was no longer a need for their war ships where they were going.
Back on Valtora Ronan smiled widely as he saw these events happen on his monitor. Once Quasar had gathered all the Kree in the nebula and led them to Hala-Tor, ten Hammer Head class ships, shiny and full of life, descended upon the base and stripped it bare. The trap was sprung, the fools had walked into his parlor.
A month ago if Alicia had been alone in the absolute zero of space unprotected she would have surely died. Today she is a few million miles from Saturn in complete awe of what she is seeing. Of course a month ago she would have seen nothing. She turned and headed back towards Hala-Tor. She had promised Norrin she would not wander outside the solar system until she had mastered navigation in space. As long as she stayed in the system she could not get lost.
Norrin had gone back to the planet he was in the process of saving when Frankie had returned. She and Pyreus had scarcely come out of his house since she came back from the dead. Even without her new powers it was easy to see that they were very much in love.
Firelord and Nova came at Alicia laughing and holding hands. They met up with her just outside of Mars orbit. They did a few loops around her, made some small talk, and were gone. Off to explore the universe together. Alicia was happy for them, Pyreus had been so grumpy lately. Now she had never seen him so happy.
Alicia headed back to Hala-Tor, she was tired of space and wanted to get some gardening done. On the way back she met up with Quasar and Bill and their new recruits. She could feel that the Kree were happy and excited to be here. She felt some deceit though, but only a little bit. There was something about one or two of them, they were hiding something. She couldnt tell what, she was reluctant to invade the minds of all the Kree. Norrin would be back soon, he would know what to do. Alicia wasnt used to being in these situations, she never considered herself the hero type. Shes just plain old Alicia Masters, these cosmic confrontations arent her cup of tea.
Quasar and Bill deposited the Kree on the southern part of Haven. They settled near the ocean with the mountains and jungle as a background. Ter-Fes was made the territorial Governor and was in charge of getting their village in order. Kar-Lor, the President of the Global Government, came to greet and update them on the goings on of Hala-Tor and her population. Kar-Lor was delighted that the Kree that stayed would be willing to give up the ways of war and settle in peace. He knew they couldnt have wandered that far from the ancestors he had heard stories of. Kar-Lor and Ter-Fes made small talk for a short time before Kar-Lor had to return to his duties as President.
Ter-Fes was nearly shaken to his core after the meeting with Kar-Lor. Could true Kree really embrace peace the way he did?? No wonder his ancestors were banished from Hala. These were not real Kree, only pale imitations of a once proud race. He could see why Ronan held them in such contempt. He knew once his camp had taken advantage of these impostors, they would be ready to leave. To be content on this pitiful rock the thought disgusted him!!
At night Ter-Fes and two of his command crew, Az-Mod and Eam-Mor, would gather and discuss the details of the transmission to be sent to Ronan. They were unsure how the transmitter worked exactly, but Ronan said even the Surfer would be unable to detect its signal. Somehow Ronan has access to technology that seemed almost magical it its workings.
So far the rest of the Kree had no idea that they were secretly working for Ronan, not even the ones in the village. They had always been kept in the dark that Ronan was the one really calling the shots. Some of the supplies they had received had come from the pirating, but most were from Ronan. Ter-Fes knew Ronan had plans for these impostors, he would be ready when called.
Continued in Chapter 8: A Watched Pot Ne'er Boils
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