Gladiator quickly flew towards the space port and landed with grace on one of the support beams. He then surveyed the area and saw Kruun pummeling the Imperial Guards to the ground and he immediately yelled out in rage."
SO! WE MEET AGAIN, YOU WITHERING WORM! YOU MAY HAVE BEATEN THE OTHER IMPERIAL GUARDS, BUT YOU ARE NO MATCH FOR ME!”
Gladiator then flew towards Kruun at break neck speed and Kruun turned around just in time to be knocked roughly to the ground by the purple skinned Praetor of the Imperial Guards. He then proceeded to start punching Kruun in the face, until Kruun stretched out his arms and pushed Gladiator up into the air.
Gladiator then immediately righted himself up as he floated in the air and he snarled, “So, you now have new arms that contain our empire’s greatest technology. You are truly pathetic.”
“We shall see who is the most pathetic one here once I test my new arms on the nuisance who took away my arm!” snarled Kruun as he leapt up from the ground and stretched out his arms to grab a support beam.
He then launched himself from the ground and flew into the air until he landed on the support beam to face Gladiator. Then, Kruun stretched out his arms to punch Gladiator, but Gladiator quickly flew out of the way and he started flying at high speed towards Kruun. He then punched Kruun in the face and sent Kruun crashing into the ground, causing a large crater to form.
Gladiator then flew on top of Kruun, raised his fist into the air and said menacingly, “Now I will show you once again the true power of the SHI’AR EMPIRE!”
“NO, I THINK NOT!” screamed Kruun and he immediately slapped his hands together and a stunning light show projected across his arms. This was then followed by a low humming noise and suddenly, a projection of Lilandra herself showed up.
“GLADIATOR! You have been nothing but a disappointment to the Shi’ar Empire! You could not even defeat a petty criminal and for that, you have proven yourself incompetent to be the Praetor of the Imperial Guards! YOU ARE UNWORTHY!” the projected Lilandra said in a chilling voice.
“M..Majestrix?” Gladiator said in a confused tone as the lights, the hum and the projection took hold of his Strontian mind.
Suddenly, Kruun’s arms shot out and wrapped itself tightly around Gladiator’s throat. Kruun then started squeezing Gladiator’s throat tightly as he said in a chilling voice:
“I GOT YOU!”
Storm was slowly coming to as her eyes fluttered to life and she whispered, “Wh…what had just happened?”
Shadowcat then quickly came to Storm’s side and said, “Oh my god! You’re okay! You were knocked out by Kruun during the fight, but it seems like everything’s going to be okay now.”
“Well, we are going to be okay. Gladiator is actually being beaten up very badly,” said Colossus with a grim look on his face.
“Gladiator?” Storm said puzzled.
“Yeah, Gladiator came as soon as the Imperial Guards were being beaten, even though the odds aren’t in our favor right now,” said Cyclops.
Storm slowly got up and declared, “Then we must help out Gladiator, before it is too late!”
“Either that or we risk getting the Shi’ar Empire destroyed and the possibility of Earth being taken over. I say we pretty much weighed our options here,” said Beast.
“Fine with me, as long as I get to tear that alien freak apart,” growled Wolverine.
“Alright, X-Men! LET’S MOVE!” barked Cyclops and the X-Men immediately started running towards Kruun.
But suddenly, a cargo ship landed in front of the X-Men and out stepped a green alien who was carrying a small laser in his hands. Zargot immediately pointed the laser towards the X-Men and yelled out:
“FREEZE! YOU IMPUDENT MUTANTS!”
Kruun continued tightening his grip on Gladiator’s throat, as Gladiator struggled to get Kruun’s hands off his throat, while gasping for air.
“I may have underestimated you in our first encounter, but I will not make the same mistake again! I have learned from my sniveling Skrull accomplice that your race’s flaw is that you require confidence and constant praise and what better way to weaken you than to show a projection of your precious queen berating you for your failures. Such a brilliant addition to my new arms and you fell for it like a dog!” Kruun cackled maliciously.
Gladiator gasped for air once again and snarled, “So, you relied on Skrullian filth to make you stronger. You are just scum not worthy of being the most powerful being in the universe.”
Kruun growled in anger and he threw Gladiator to the ground. Then he raised his hands into the air and screamed out, “SAY GOODNIGHT, YOU PIECE OF TRASH!”
Zargot immediately began firing his laser gun at the X-Men and the X-Men hid for cover behind a piece of rubble.
“Great! Just great! Not only do we have to stop Kruun from destroying the Shi’ar Empire, but we have to deal with this guy too?” Shadowcat said in an agitated tone.
“And things just continue to get better and better,” muttered Beast.
“If only we could figure out some way to get to Kruun without being harmed by this skrull,” said Storm.
Cyclops looked over the rubble to study Zargot’s movements and he said, “Alright, we just need something to distract him while we get to Kruun, so here’s the plan. Shadowcat, you phase through the ground so this skrull wouldn’t see you and take his laser gun. Storm, you fly over to Kruun and make sure that this skrull doesn’t see you. Beast, Wolverine and Colossus, you’ll come with me and we’ll charge into the skrull once his defenses are down. Alright, MOVE OUT!”
While Zargot continued shooting, Shadowcat phased through the ground and walked underground towards her target. Suddenly, Shadowcat shot out of the ground and grabbed the gun from Zargot.
“WHAT THE BLAZES?!” Zargot cried out in surprise.
Suddenly, a red optic beam hit Zargot flushed in his stomach and he flew a few feet away and crashed into some rubble.
Zargot then slowly got up from the rubble, only to be greeted by Wolverine who was standing over him.
“Looking for me?”
Wolverine then charged towards Zargot with his claws shining in the lights of the space port. Zargot then whipped out his daggers and started fighting with Wolverine, their weapons clashing against each other.
Suddenly, Zargot slashed at Wolverine’s stomach and Wolverine fell to the ground, groaning in pain as blood seeped through his hands. Just as Zargot was about to give the finishing blow, Beast suddenly jumped at Zargot and tackled him to the ground. He then proceeded to slash at Zargot’s face until blood started flying everywhere.
Zargot slowly raised his dagger and slashed Beast’s arm. Beast yelled out in pain as he grabbed his arm and Zargot grabbed him by the throat, trying to choke him to death.
“LEAVE HIM ALONE!” a loud voice boomed and Zargot found himself being punched in the face by Colossus and immediately dropped Beast to the ground. Zargot then crashed into a support beam and slumped to the ground.
Beast slowly got up from the ground, gasping for air and said, “Thanks Colossus. Being nearly choked to death is not something I would want to go through again.”
“You are welcome, Beast. It is nice having powers that can make you burst through walls without a second thought,” said Colossus smiling.
Beast and Colossus looked over to where Zargot laid and Colossus asked, “Do you think that Storm has managed to intercept Kruun?”
“I think we are about to find out right now,” said Beast as they turned to look in the direction where Kruun is.
Little did the two X-Men know, Zargot was starting to wake up as he weakly searched around his pocket…
Kruun continued to hold Gladiator down, pushing him further into the ground. Just as Kruun was about to crush Gladiator’s head in, a strong wind blew him right off of Gladiator and threw him straight into a wall.
Kruun slowly got up from the rumble, shaking his head to clear it and he saw a gorgeous woman in a black costume hovering in the sky.
“KRUUN! You will harm these people no more as long as the X-Men have the strength to fight!” yelled Storm.
“THEN ALLOW ME TO TAKE THAT STRENGTH AWAY FROM YOU!” screamed Kruun as he threw his arms out towards Storm once again.
Storm quickly put up a wind shield and as she braced herself for Kruun’s attack, a voice called out, “STOP!”
Kruun immediately stopped himself and he looked angrily towards the voice that delayed his rampage.
“HOW DARE YOU TELL ME TO STOP, YOU INSIGNIFICANT RUNT?!” Kruun screamed out angrily.
Zargot walked slowly towards Kruun and said calmly, “Why Kruun, don’t you remember? Once we attacked the Shi’ar Empire, we agreed upon the fact that we will both rule the Shi’ar Empire. Or, did you forget that?”
“Yes, I remember,” Kruun said slowly.
Suddenly, Kruun threw his arms out towards Zargot and grabbed him by the throat once again. Then he reeled in his arm and brought Zargot close to his face and said in sadistic glee, “But, now that the Shi’ar Empire is collapsing right under my hands, there is no need for you to rule this pathetic planet by my side.”
Kruun then started tightening his grip on Zargot’s throat as Zargot gasped for air. But then, Zargot grinned at Kruun despite his throat being crushed as he whispered, “Pity, if I cannot rule the Shi’ar Empire by your side, then you WON’T EITHER!”
Zargot then whipped out a small cylinder can and pushed the red button on it. Kruun only had a few seconds to spare before he realized what Zargot had done and he screamed out in anger:
There was a white flash and a large explosion resounded around the space port as Zargot’s bomb went off. A few minutes after the explosion died down, the X-Men and Gladiator slowly got up from the ground and they saw that Kruun and Zargot’s bodies were nowhere to be found, as the bomb had done its work.
“Are they seriously…” Shadowcat started.
“Gone? It appears so,” said Beast.
“Humph. So that alien freak got taken down by a bomb,” grunted Wolverine.
“It looks like Kruun got what he wanted. He wanted vengeance against us for taking away his power from the Breakworld and now his own vengeance has destroyed him,” said Cyclops.
“I must admit that you have all done well, even if you are just a group of weak earthlings,” said Gladiator.
“Thank you, I think,” said Colossus.
The rest of the Imperial Guards had slowly made their way towards the X-Men and Gladiator as they carefully walked Lilandra to meet up with them.
“I thank you, X-Men for protecting this empire from the evil forces of these criminals. We are forever in your debt and you are always welcome to seek our help whenever you need it,” said Lilandra thankfully.
“Always glad to help Lilandra,” said Cyclops.
“Do you need any help in repairing the Empire?” Storm asked in concern.
“No need to concern yourselves about the state of the empire. My people and I will be able to rebuild this empire in a matter of time. Right now, I must get you all back to Earth,” said Lilandra.
“Thank you so much Lilandra,” said Shadowcat.
A few days after the X-Men were teleported back to Earth…
The citizens were busy repairing the damage that was done to the Shi’ar Empire after the attack of Kruun and Zargot. Over at the space port where most of the construction was being done, one of the workers was repairing the landing strip of the port. The worker then spotted another fellow worker, who was smaller in size then him, and he yelled out, “Hey! We need more supplies for the landing strip! Could you go back to the warehouse to get more materials for the strip?”
“I will!” said the smaller worker and he started walking towards the warehouse near the cargo ship. But then, the worker decided to go inside the cargo ship instead and he started up the engines and flew the ship away from the space port.
As the worker drove on, he suddenly started to shape shift his form into that of a little green alien.
Zargot then examined himself to make sure that all parts of his body were his own and he smiled darkly to himself, “It’s a shame that Kruun decided to break his end of the deal. He would have lived a long and glorious life…being a slave to the new SKRULL EMPIRE!”
Zargot laughed evilly as he headed towards his next destination…