The X-Men were just preparing themselves for the battle ahead against Kruun once more, who proved to be quite an adversary for the team. Also, the X-Men were recovering from the sudden arrest of their leader, Cyclops as a young yet brash woman named Dallas arrested Cyclops for causing mayhem in New York City (despite the fact that the X-Men were trying to defeat Kruun during that time). However, once the misunderstanding was settled and Cyclops was released from jail, the X-Men were back inside the Blackbird, scanning the area for any sign of Kruun.
“Well Slim, were they playing gentle with ya?” Wolverine said sarcastically.
“Ha, ha, very funny, ferret,” said Cyclops causing Wolverine to growl softly. “Have you found the location on Kruun?”
“Not yet, I’m afraid,” said Beast as he looked at the Blackbird’s computer system to check the coordinates for Kruun’s location. “However, based on the calculations of the wind speed and the point of impact in the outer boundaries of New York, Kruun seemed to have been thrown eighty miles away from this city.”
“Great, now we lost Kruun’s track thanks to that crazy woman,” sighed Cyclops.
He then turned towards the team and said, “Alright team, here’s what we are going to do: Logan, see if you can track down Kruun’s scent around the city. Hank, try to set up a tracking radar to hone in on Kruun’s location. Ororo, fly around the boundaries of the city to see where Kruun has landed at. Peter, check out any buildings beyond the boundaries to see if Kruun is hiding among them.”
“This is a clever strategy, Scott. But, what will you do?” asked Storm.
Cyclops just smiled and said, “Well, somebody’s got to fly this ship.”
The X-Men then split up into different directions, determined to find Kruun at all costs.
Meanwhile, in space…
A large battle cruiser was flying slowly through space, seeking out any kind of activity that could disrupt the peace and serenity of its alien inhabitants. This battle cruiser belongs to none other than the Shi’ar Empire, an elite alien race that had helped the X-Men many times over in the past. Just as it seemed that no activity was taking place, the alarms started going off as it sensed a strange object floating towards Earth.
“Captain! The sensors are picking up a foreign object floating towards the planet Earth!” one of the Imperial officers reported to the Captain of the ship.
“Then we must take this object back to the Shi’ar Empire immediately! Who knows where this object came from and what it is capable of doing. This is a matter that the Empress Lilandra must be notified about. Communications – establish insta-link with the Imperial Center at once!”
While the captain was busy contacting Lilandra, the battle cruiser then emitted two large metallic tentacles that started wrapping up the object and slowly pulling it towards the cruiser and away from the Earth. Then, the battle cruiser zoomed off towards the Shi’ar Empire, determined to show this strange discovery to their Empress.
Lilandra, who is now the Empress of the Shi’ar Empire, was sitting in her bedchamber, dressing up for her royal duties, when she suddenly received a message from her lord chamberlain.
“Your Majesty! The Imperial officers have finally arrived back from their patrol and they have retrieved a large bullet shaped object that was floating near the Earth’s atmosphere!”
Lilandra looked shocked for a moment and then said, “A bullet shaped object? This is worth investigating into. Chamberlain, summon the guards to keep an eye on that bullet for we do not know what it might do to the citizens of this Empire. I will be arriving to the space port shortly.” Lilandra then finished dressing herself and ran towards the space port where the battle cruiser had just landed, with the bullet in tow.
The Imperial Guards then crowded around the bullet, with their weapons at ready. Lilandra and the Lord Chamberlain then approached the bullet cautiously, surveying the bullet for any signs of danger.
“What could this strange object be your majesty?” asked the Lord Chamberlain.
“I am not quite certain what this object is, but I am certain that this object is not from the Shi’ar Empire and is from some foreign planet not known to us. But, what planet could this object be from?” wondered Lilandra.
Suddenly, a lone figure fell out of the bullet and landed on the ground with a soft thud. The Imperial Guards then immediately went towards the figure, regarding it with caution. Lilandra then quickly approached the figure and covered her mouth in surprise.
“Sharra and K’ythri preserve us! This young woman…looks so familiar… But, how did she get inside that object? Guards! Bring her to my bedchambers at once! I will tend to her as best as I can!”
The Imperial Guards then lifted the young woman off the ground and carried her towards Lilandra’s bedchambers.
The room started swirling around with psychedelic colors covering Kitty Pryde’s eyes as she woke up. Kitty rubbed her eyes, trying to clear her vision and when she tried to rise up, she felt dizzy and fell back onto the bed. She then said, “Aw man…why does it feel like a giant bullet just ran straight through my head?”
“That is because you were inside a bullet,” a soft voice sounded across the room.
“What the heck?!” Kitty looked around frantically and she saw a gorgeous woman who had black markings on her face and black feathery hair approaching her.
“Where…where am I?” asked Kitty.
“You are in the Shi’ar Empire and inside my bedchamber recovering,” said the woman.
“The Shi’ar Empire? Wait a minute, I think I heard of this place before and you definitely look familiar…” Kitty pondered and then added breathlessly, “Lilandra?”
“Yes, and you must be Kitty Pryde,” said Lilandra smiling.
“Lilandra! I’m so happy to see you again!” said Kitty excitedly, hugging Lilandra.
“And I am glad to see you too, little one. Except, you are not so little anymore I see,” said Lilandra.
“Well, it’s been a long time since I was Sprite, that lovable little superhero that everyone loved!” said Kitty smiling.
“And are you still known as Sprite?” asked Lilandra.
“Actually, I’m Shadowcat now, but that’s a long story,” said Kitty.
“Speaking of long stories, why were you inside that bullet?” asked Lilandra.
Kitty then looked down and said sadly, “So much has happened since we last met, so I guess I’ll just skip to what had currently happened when we were on the Breakworld.”
“The Breakworld? I do not think that this planet is known to us,” said Lilandra.
“It wasn’t known to us either, actually. We just recently found out that this planet even exists. But I think I need to explain about how we got tangled up into the Breakworld in the first place. Years ago, a terrible virus called the Legacy virus broke out and was killing the mutant population. Things seemed hopeless until we discovered a way to prevent the virus from spreading and that was for a mutant to sacrifice their life for the cure to work. The mutant who ended up sacrificing his life was Peter himself.”
Kitty paused for a few moments, trying not to let her emotions get to her and then she went on:
“After I heard what happened to Peter, I just couldn’t bear it and I ended up leaving the X-Men, while taking his ashes back to Russia. But during that time, I remembered that I joined the X-Men because I wanted to protect people from various threats and I couldn’t let my emotions get to me, even though I had lost someone so dear to me. So, I decided to return to the X-Men and things were definitely different when I came back. But then, we discovered that there was a mutant cure that was just created and we went to the laboratories to investigate. As I got further into the laboratory, I ended up finding someone that I thought was dead.”
“Peter?” said Lilandra softly.
Kitty slowly nodded her head and continued, “It turned out that Ord, the alien who came from the Breakworld, had somehow brought him back to life and they were doing experiments on him for the cure,” Kitty said a little angrily and then continued:
“But, it turned out that there was a bigger plan at work here as the Breakworlders predicted that Peter was going to destroy their planet and they decided to send a large bullet towards Earth. But, I ended up getting inside of the bullet and I had to phase it to stop it from destroying the Earth. The Earth was saved, but I ended up getting trapped inside of the bullet and I thought that no one would ever rescue me… until now anyway,” Kitty finished.
Lilandra looked at Kitty in awe and said, “I must say Kitty, you have truly proved your bravery these past few years. I am sure that the X-Men are proud of you.”
“Thank you,” Kitty said; but suddenly, she looked up in shock and said, “Oh my god, the X-Men! They must think that I am dead! I got to get back to them, but how will I get back to Earth?”
“Do not worry, I will send one of my most elite Imperial Guards to escort you back to Earth.” Lilandra then called out, “Gladiator!”
Suddenly, the doors to the bedchamber opened and a large purple skinned man with a large Mohawk came inside. “Yes your majesty?”
“Miss Kitty Pryde would like to go back to Earth. Please escort her back to her home planet,” said Lilandra.
“I will do as you command, your majesty.”
Meanwhile, back on Earth…
Colossus was scanning the area around the outer boundaries of New York City, searching for any signs of Kruun’s whereabouts.
“Where could Kruun be hiding at? He could be anywhere around this area. This may take me a long time to search for his presence,” said Colossus to himself.
As he continued searching, he suddenly heard a loud crashing sound coming from one of the abandoned buildings and Kruun came crashing out of the building, leveling it to the ground.
“On second thought, this did not take long at all,” muttered Colossus to himself.
“COLOSSUS! PREPARE TO FACE YOUR DOOM!” yelled Kruun.
“Da, I had heard that too many times before,” Colossus growled. He then got into a fighting stance and said:
“Shall we finish this, tovarisch?”
Meanwhile in space…
A small Shi’ar ship was zooming through space at break-neck speed, heading towards its destination Earth. Inside the ship, Gladiator was steering the ship while Kitty sat at the back.
“So, you have been Lilandra’s most elite Imperial Guard for years, huh?” asked Kitty.
“I am indeed the most elite of Empress Lilandra’s Imperial Guards as I am a force to be reckoned with! I once lifted the entire Baxter building with my bare hands and I only needed one punch to stop the Starship Enterprise! No force in this entire universe can stop me, even if they tried!” said Gladiator boldly.
“Yeah and I’m the Queen of England,” said Kitty sarcastically.
Gladiator looked at Kitty confused and said, “Who is this Queen of England? Surely, she is not as powerful as our Empress Lilandra?”
Kitty just shook her head and said, “You know, for being the world’s strongest alien being, you don’t know much about Earth culture or sarcasm for that matter.”
Back on Earth…
Colossus and Kruun continued fighting each other, their blows causing the buildings to crumble. Colossus then grabs Kruun by his arm and throws him into another abandoned building, causing the building to collapse into a large heap. Colossus then went towards the building to see if Kruun was still alive when suddenly; Kruun jumps out of the heap and tackles Colossus to the ground. Colossus struggled on the ground, trying to get Kruun off of him, but Kruun wouldn’t budge as he dug his knees deeper into Colossus’ stomach.
“HA, HA! I GOT YOU NOW! NOW DIE!” screamed Kruun.
Suddenly, a low booming sound came from the sky as a small ship started landing in the empty area.
“What in the world?” Colossus wondered to himself.
Once the ship landed, a tall figure emerged from the doorway and he said in a loud voice, “I am Gladiator and I have come to this planet to deliver a passenger safely back home!”
Kruun looked up at Gladiator and said menacingly, “Shut up, you insignificant insect or I will pummel you to the ground!”
Gladiator glared dangerously at Kruun and bellowed, “YOU DARE SPEAK SO INFORMALLY TO ME? YOU WILL NOW KNOW THE IMMENSE POWER I YIELD!”
Gladiator then flew towards Kruun and knocked him off of Colossus, tackling him to the ground. Colossus then slowly got up from the ground, holding his stomach and saw Gladiator and Kruun fighting each other.
“Gladiator is back on Earth? Boize Moi…” Colossus groaned.
Kruun tried to take a swing at Gladiator, but Gladiator just grabbed his hand and ended up ripping his remaining arm out of its socket. Kruun then screamed out in pain and slumped to the ground, but was then punched out cold by Gladiator.
“Pathetic,” Gladiator muttered as he threw Kruun’s arm to the ground. He then picked Kruun off from the ground and turned towards Colossus and said, “It seems that this insignificant fool was giving you trouble, though I am not surprised he had nearly beaten you. I will take him to the Shi’ar Empire where he will be put on trial for his crimes against the planet Earth.”
“Sounds good to me,” said Colossus.
“And by the way, I had mentioned earlier that I have a passenger who needed to get back to Earth safely. I am sure you know who this person is,” said Gladiator as he boarded the ship.
Colossus looked confused for a moment as the ship lifted up and flew away from the area, with Kruun inside. Just as Colossus was about to leave, a soft voice called out,
Colossus then stopped abruptly and he turned around to see where the voice came from. When he finally got a good look at the figure that called out his name, his breath caught in his throat and he said quietly:
“Katya? Is that really you?”
Kitty then walked up towards Colossus and said smiling, “You bet it is.”
The two X-Men then reached their hands towards each other, both afraid that the other would disappear if they didn’t held on to each other. When their hands joined together, they felt a perfect harmony that they had once experienced while they were on the Breakworld together.
“Welcome back, Katya,” whispered Colossus with tears in his eyes.
“Glad to be back, Peter,” Kitty said with emotion ringing in her voice.