The Young Avengers don’t like the Runaways, and the feeling is more than mutual! But when the full fury of Marvel’s Civil War is brought down on them, they must work together or be destroyed!
The Kree super-soldier, Noh-Varr, remains still as he mentally works out his next moves - like a chess player sizing up his opponent. He tries to block out the warden's voice and the cries of a girl. He has just killed Xavin and the Warden wants him to kill more. However, in his whitespace there is no killer. All unnecessary stimulus is eliminated from his conscious awareness. His body intelligence takes control. In his mind he reacts to the threats placed before him.
Noh-Varr drops Xavin as he goes through his mental workout. Karolina is shocked at the sight of her betrothed being tossed aside so carelessly. Hulkling seems equally shocked at the site of Noh-Varr. In an instant, Noh-Varr strikes. He smashes Karolina in the face and grabs her as she falls. He punches Wiccan in the throat to prevent him from casting any spells, and claps his hand on either side of Hulkling's head, rendering him senseless. Seconds have passed and the assembled heroes are defeated - all except for the Vision. The Warden speaks with Noh-Varr in his mind, chastising him for going into whiteout mode. He warns Noh-Varr that he will be severely punished for that when he returns to the Cube. He then informs Noh-Varr that he can kill the half-Skrull, Hulking, if he wishes.
The Vision approaches the Kree soldier and tells him that he should tell whoever is talking to him that their comm signal is strong and sloppy. He then plunges his phased hand into Noh-Varr's chest and partially solidifies it. He then leaves the ground and informs Noh-Varr that he won't be allowed to hurt anyone else. As his arm merges with Noh-Varr's chest, he begs the alien to stop as he doesn't wish to cause him pain. Noh-Varr grimaces. "Pain... is... my... home..." The Vision warns him that he could be seriously injured if he moves. He might even die. "Good," replies Noh-Varr, before grabbing the Visions arm and snapping it off, leaving half of it stuck inside his chest. Noh-Varr lands with assured ease and stands before Victor who is still struggling from the injuries inflicted earlier. Noh-Varr has a flashback to a similar scene from sometime in his past, and says he is sorry as he prepares to stamp on Victor.
Fortunately, Cassie comes to his aid, growing to large size and kicking Noh-Varr as if taking a field goal. Cassie asks Vic if he's alright, and he quips that he was going to ask if she was an angel. He didn't think people actually did that! Cassie asks if he knows who their assailant is, but Vic asks for a few seconds to pull the rest of himself together.
On board the aircraft, the Warden is with an assistant. They know that the Young Avengers' involvement changes things. The Warden agrees, especially as their S.H.I.E.L.D. liaison is unreachable. His assistant points out that he hasn't even tried contacting them, but he turns and snarls, "Our S.H.I.E.L.D. liaison is unreachable. Is that understood?" The assistant stutters that he understands. The Warden states that three of Noh-Varr's four targets are reading as extraterrestrial. That means they have no legal standing in the United States. "I get to keep those," he gloats. He orders his assistant to prepare for extraction.
Back on the ground, Noh-Varr recovers from the kicking he has received. The Warden speaks with him mentally, telling him to keep the enemy engaged. He doesn't want him to make activate his psycho-arthritic pain incentives, does he? Nico rushes over to Vic and asks if he's okay. Vic jests by asking if it's hard to ask him that with a straight face. Cassie explains that she must have kicked their enemy five miles. She thinks they'll have a little time. As she speaks, Noh-Varr returns at great speed with outstretched arms, taking out Eli and Cassie in one go. Watching Noh-Varr tossing them aside, Chase figures he needs Old Lace. Nico can't believe how fast the guy is. Hawkeye wonders how fast he'll run with enough tranq to bring down an elephant. She removes an arrow from her quiver and fires it at Noh-Varr. Despite the Vision's arm being entrenched in his chest, Noh-Varr's reflexes seem undiminished. He moves as the arrow reaches him and deflects it from its trajectory. The arrow flies into Cassie's neck, and she falls to the ground, taking a nearby tree with her. Kate fires another arrow but the Kree catches it mid-flight and runs at them. Nico turns and asks Chase what the 'fierce dinosaur' situation is. Chase replies that she's too cold from her freezing spell. He wonders where the hell everyone else is.
(on board the plane)
Whilst the battle continues on the ground, the Warden has had his people capture Karolina, Xavin, Hulkling and Wiccan. They lie unconscious on the floor, shackled. The Warden places face masks on them and orders their return to the Cube. One of his men asks about Noh-Varr. The Warden asks if he's within range. He is, so the Warden guesses they need to retrieve him. The back of the plane opens up and a grappling hook emerges. Retrieval maneuver 324 is set into operation.
On the ground, Noh-Varr grabs Kate by the throat and squeezes. Nico nervously orders him to get away from her and tries to use her 'sunburst' spell. Chase reminds her that she's used that one already. She tries with Hellfire, but again nothing happens. She calls Chase for help and attempts to use Acid Rain, but nothing seems to be happening. Noh-Varr grabs her throat and warns her to be quiet. As he squeezes, he hears a boom behind him and turns to see the grappling hook coming for him. He is unable to avoid its grasp, and it yanks him back towards the plane, leaving the kids battered but thankfully alive.
The Warden asks his crew to reel Noh-Varr in and set a course for home. They've been away too long. A comms operator informs him that they have a priority call on S.H.I.E.L.D.'s comm channel. Maria Hill is demanding to talk with him. The Warden orders him to tell Hill that they ran into more resistance than expected and were barely able to retrieve their agent - much less capture any renegades. If she asks any questions, then he can reminds her that as far as she's concerned, neither he nor his agents technically exist. One of his men, Agent Farthing, asks him to take a look at Noh-Varr once he's on board. He points to the Vision's arm inside Noh-Varr's chest and says it's really lodged in there.
On the ground, Nico uses the spell, 'Wake up' to rouse everyone to consciousness. Cassie and Eli groan as he asks if they won. Chase admits that he doesn't really know. The psychopath was ready to finish them. Nico adds that some kind of laser rope pulled him away. "So we were rescued?" asks Eli, rubbing his head. The injured Vision replies that he's afraid not. Their assailant was named Noh-Varr - an interdimensional Kree refugee. He was working with a black ops team. He helped them capture Teddy and Billy. His psycho-kinetic form disperses his processing power throughout his body. When part of him was lost, he explains, he was incapacitated while his CPU adjusted. He was unable to stop them. Chase asks about Xavin and Karolina. The Vision confirms that they have been captured and that Xavin was mortally wounded. Kate assures the Vision that she's sure he did everything possible. She asks if he's alright. Vision replies that he's fine. His injury is nothing that requires special attention.
At that moment, Speed returns carrying Molly on his shoulders. Speed asks what's with all the long faces. Did they miss something? Chase turns on Tommy, angrily, and informs him that they were attacked while he was absent. Xavin and Karolina are gone. Where was he? Molly tries to explain, but in his frustrated state, Chase chastises her and tells her she needs to grow up. Eli says that this isn't productive. They need to do something to get their friends back. Nico thinks he might mean calling in Captain America and the rest of the 'grown-ups,' but Eli points out that the Vision can track the signal those creeps were using to where they're keeping their friends. When they get there, if they have hurt them or even touched them, they’ll make them wish they'd never been born. "What do you say?" he asks Nico. She asks Chase what he thinks. Chase lowers his head and replies that, after Gert died, he never wanted to see another of his friends die. He would give anything to stay out of this silly 'civil war.' They tried to run away from it, because they thought it was just between the adults. But, they never asked them what side they were on. They just attacked and took their friends. Like it or not, he concludes, they're in it. The time to be runaways is over. "It's time to do some avenging.
(the Cube - location undisclosed)
The Warden looks at some schematics on a large screen. He remembers when he was young. He was obsessed with finding the perfect hiding place; a place where no one could see him. Somewhere he could play his private little games however he wanted to, with no rules and where he was completely hidden. Look at him now. He's the warden of a facility that doesn't exist; given charge of extraterrestrial criminals with no legal standing in the United States. Yes, he admits, there are laws to protect criminals, but not aliens. They’re all invisible there in the Cube. He reaches for a scalpel. "Free to play our own little games. He turns to where Xavin lies slumped on the floor, and the other three hang upside down by their feet, shackled and gagged. "So, let's get started shall we?"
'Sunburst' was used in Runaways (2nd series) #12 when fighting Reginald Mantz.
'Hellfire' was used in Runaways (2nd series) #11 against Spider-Man and 'Acid Rain' was used to defeat the Tar Pits' security daemons in Runaways (2nd series) #9.