continued from here part 2
20 miles west of Mt. Hokama
The group had set up camp as the sun set. Pike and Rhodes stood off to the side with Jack and Marcus as Marcus explained the new mission goals, "This has officially become a recon mission, keep the scientists out of it for now. Let them do their jobs but the four of us need to find out whether or not the skrull are actually here and if so how much of a presence do they have."
Rhodes nodded, "We should probably be checking to see who else might be here."
They focused on her, "Every story I've ever heard about Skrulls involved them fighting with Kree. Shouldn't we be making sure we aren't going to get stuck in the middle of an intergalactic blood feud?"
Marcus sighed, "She's not wrong."
Back by the camp fire Janet, Frank and Akio sit talking. Frank looked back at the other four, "What are they plotting about?"
Akio sat mixing himself a cup of tea, "They're worried, maybe even genuinely scared. They have been since we found that alien machine."
Janet and Frank turned to him, he suddenly looked a bit embarrassed, "Oh, I'm an Empath. I can feel what other people feel."
Frank gave an annoyed look, "I know what an Empath is. Most of my family are mutants."
Akio smiled, "Really? What's your power?"
Frank sighed, "I don't have one, the x-gene skipped me."
Akio then looked to Janet, "Do you have any?"
"Nope, just a regular, old fashioned human."
The rest of the group then came over and Rhodes spoke up, "The security perimeter is set up, I'd suggest you all stay within it for the night. And keep an eye out for anything out of the ordinary."
Frank chuckled, "And how exactly supposed to know what qualifies as ordinary here?"
Ark city 2
Harold sat in his home sitting in uncomfortable silence with Arnold Richards as they waited for emissaries from the Kree and Shi'Ar empires to appear on the monitors before them to discuss the possibility of alliance. Leaders from the other five cities began to file in and take seats at a table set up for them.
Hitomi Akagi from Ark 12 was the first to arrive, she gave a short bow before taking a seat, she was followed quickly by Adrian Vetrov from Ark 4, Brian Cavanaugh from Ark 6 and Herman Meyer from Ark 10.
Finally John Pym from Ark 8 arrived, "Sorry I'm late, had some business to attend to."
Hitomi looked on the two large monitors, "Why have you called such a late meeting?"
Stark leaned over the table, "Well after our joint mission to plant wild life made a discovery Richards saw fit to inform the rest of us that we're pretty much a buffer between a few potential war zones. Even started trying to garner some dealings two empires."
Richards glared across the table, "We were waiting until we had more information before proceeding, nothing wrong with caution. I'm sorry to have been so remiss as to forget to have a Stark seal of approval. Maybe the Kree will let you rename them."
The rest of the group seemed to sigh in unison as Cavanaugh spoke up, "Who the hell cares who gets credit?! Get to the damned point."
Stark gave him a wary look, "We found a Skrull monitoring device outside the city. Apparently we're about 5 light years from the border of the New Skrull empire, as well as being in relatively close proximity to 3 others. Tonight we are to have a conference with representatives from the Kree and Shi'Ar empires to see if we can get them on our side and hopefully keep the Skrull or Badoon from attacking us."
The next day the group outside the city were a few miles away from a rain forest area where they'd released many types of animals. As they drove trucks 1 and 3 were glaring at their comms as Frank in truck 2 blasted some electronic music until finally Jack broke in, "If you're going to listen to that s**t turn the damn comm off."
Marcus looked over to him, "Best decision you've made so far. Thought my ears were gonna bleed."
Frank was just about to switch off the comm when they heard Akio yell, "Stop!"
"There's something ahead of us, angry and hungry."
The trucks rolled to a stop and Pike, Rhodes, Marcus and Jack hopped out fully armed. Rhodes looked back to Frank and Janet, "Stay inside and lock the doors."
Pike didn't have to tell Akio. The four marched out over a hill and were horrified by what they saw. Pike looked down, "What the hell are those?"
Jack looked over nervously, "Brood."
Marcus then readied his weapon, "We have to clear them out, if even one makes it back to the cities we're screwed."
Pike was visibly shaken by this news, "I thought they were just made up, like the boogey man."
Rhodes shrugged as she pulled out some grenades, "Give me a few minutes and we'll have them crawling back into the closet."
They were interrupted as a drone jumped up the hill. Jack slammed a granite hard fist into its mouth sending it back down but alerting the rest of them. Pike attached guns to his arms and ran down the hill mowing down drones and clearing a path as the others ran down behind him finishing off the ones he'd merely injured.
The rest of the hive charged forward to keep them away from their queen. One attempted to strike Jack but the stinger broke against his skin as Rhodes put several rounds in its head. Marcus started tossing grenades. For a few minutes it looked as if they were going to push them back until they became surrounded.
Pike looked around, "They have more troops than we have ammo."
Marcus then put in a new cartridge, "Then do your best to put a hell of a dent in the numbers."
Jack hit his comm and told Frank, "If we aren't back in 10 minutes, get the geologist and get the hell out of here."
"What's going on?"
There was no answer from the comm.
Back in the field the group found themselves pinned down behind a rock running out of ammo. Pike looked down on his last clip and then tossed it to Marcus, "You need this more than I do."
As they began to swarm over the rock they heard what sounded like a jet flying over head. Suddenly the ground shook at the sound of something slamming into the ground and a flash of energy blasted over the rock sweeping the brood away.
They looked over the rock to see a masked man in a dark green uniform standing amid what was left of the hive with hands pulsing with visible energy. He then walked over to the Queen and blasted her apart. Flying ships then appeared to finish off the hive as the man walked over to the group, "I am King Agon Boltagon II, why have you intruded on New Attilan soil?"
Jack looked to Marcus, "You wanted to be the boss."
"Oh, gee thanks..."
Marcus then stood up straight and dusted himself off, "We're on a mission from the seven cities to populate the planet with animal life. We were unaware of the existence of any other cities on Mars."
Agon looked them over, "So you're the ones responsible for the terraforming, I presume?"
Marcus nodded then the king grinned, "For that I thank you, one more week in that dome and I'd have killed people. I was checking for suitable places to plant crops when I stumbled across the brood."
Marcus gave him a curious look, "Hardly a job worthy of a king."
"In truth I just wanted an excuse to get in the air."
Marcus chuckled a bit but then became serious, "I need to ask, have you seen any evidence of Skrull around here?"
The king's grin disappeared, "I have not, why do you ask?"
Marcus noticed the king taking defensive posture so he raised his hands in a peace making gesture, "We came across one of their monitoring stations a couple days back and we're trying to assess whether or not any Skrull are actually on world."
Ark city 2
The city leaders were again meeting with the Kree and Shi'Ar emissaries when a third screen rose with Marcus on it looking to be in a throne room. Harold looked over, "Marcus, where are you?"
Marcus gave a sweeping motion, "We found the eighth city, they're willing to ally with us to keep the Skrull out in exchange for some live stock and seed for planting. I already gave them the 800 head of cattle we had with us."
Agon then stepped to the screen and noted the Kree emissary, "Greetings Kal-Dan."
The emissary looked over, "Greetings Agon, do you vouch for these people?"
Agon nodded, "They have yet to give me reason not to. We've had talks before, the location of this planet alone would make alliance with all of its inhabitants a boon to you."
Kal-Dan looked on the king, "It appears our part of this negotiation has concluded, consider us allied."
His monitor then went dark leaving the Shi'Ar emissary alone. Harold then smiled a bit, "My offer now appears to include alliance with Attilan and the Kree Empire."
The Emissary sighed, "I'll get back to you."
(To be continued)