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(Long Beach)

Victor recognizes the VW bus from the garage. Nico sees no choice now than to get out there and help Chase before he gets himself killed. This time, Karolina is willing to get into the fight. The Majesdanians have been looking for her, and it's about time they found her. As she takes off her bracelet, the Majesdanian ship takes a turn back.

Victor, Molly and Klara decide to stay in the Leapfrog and keep it set for a second charge; Nico, Karolina and Xavin, however jump out the Leapfrog to battle the Majesdanians. Karolina, bursting into her Majesdanian colours flies off to save Chase from the General as Xavin, bursting into her firey flames flies off to attack vaRikk. Nico (using the spell "Wings!") creates brilliantly large white wings on her back and flies off to attack deHalle. deHalle is furious with Nico for having sent her to the Antarctic. Nico, however, is furious deHalle wrecked her kitchen. As Nico flies past deHalle, the alien unleashes a blast from her gauntlet which connects with Nico's foot. Nico's foot is instantly paralyzed - more angry, she utters the spell "Suck eggs, skunkhead!", which causes a stream of bullets to shoot out her Staff, brutally attacking deHalle.

Meanwhile, Xavin and vaRikk battle nearby. Their fight manages to hit Chase's VW bus, which causes an oil spill - a large blot of oil hits Nico in the air, and she struggles to stay up. Victor, Klara and Molly watch in surprise - Victor decides to finally pull them into the fight, but unfortunately, someone else decides to come into the battle. Cadie McDunnough, the annoying news reporter in her helicopter.

(meanwhile, at KZIT)

Over at KZIT, Val Rhymin is on air. He crouches over the microphone, talking to his faithful listeners. He's mid-rant, but breaks off when he reads something on his computer about the fight taking place at Long Beach. He groans and reminds his listeners that nothing puts venom in his fangs like these lawless vigilantes posing as heroes, causing more damage than any natural disaster. He wants his listeners to show them how they feel (if they agree with him). He tells them to go to Long Beach and run those mercenaries into the ocean. Val continues, becoming increasingly agitated as he asks for civil disobedience in his quest for a spandex-free America. "Take action!" he barks. "Take a bat! Take a cannon for all I care. Take back our city from the super-scum who treat average citizens like pawns in a game! Bring me their capes on a plate!"

(Long Beach)

The Leapfrog attacks the Majesdanian ship, just as Cadie McDunnough's helicopter drives in... far too close. deHalle finally spots Karolina and unleashes a powerful blast of energy towards her; Karolina's forcefield, however, makes deHalle's blast hit the helicopter.

deHalle immediately recognizes her mistake and is shocked to see the innocent craft on fire. She calls for her fellow Majesdanians to cease fire, and Nico informs her that she can keep the helicopter in the air if she can put out the fire. The Majesdanians and the Runaways work together.

deHalle fires a different kind of energy blast at Cadie's 'copter which extinguishes the flames. Meanwhile, Nico utters "Balloons!", which causes a large Spider-Man and turkey balloon to attach themselves to the helicopter. Chase, the Leapfrog, and the General in the Majesdanian ship manage to recover from the battle, and everyone agrees for a truce at the park nearby.

As everyone is landing, however, Xavin inexplicably grabs Karolina and rushes her away from the scene to speak to her privately. Xavin assumes her attractive female appearance and asks her to shush; the others must not hear them. She finally acknowledges that the Majesdanians will not return home without her. Nothing they can say will change that... Karolina asks, "What choice do I have?"

(later)

The Runaways (minus Karolina and Xavin) and Majesdanians (with vaDanti) have met on a dock near the beach, which is scarce. Karolina then appears by herself, prompting General vaDrann to realize that she is much smaller up close than he imagined. The Runaways attempt to speak up for Karolina, but she hushes them and tells them she can speak for herself. Karolina reveals that she has searched her heart and thinks she's found a solution. The Majesdanians really don't want justice - they want answers. And Karolina decides she is the one to give them it; she is planning on going to Majesdane with the soldiers.

The Runaways attempt to stop Karolina, but Karolina already begins saying her goodbyes. She gives a heartfelt goodbye to the group, but gives a short one for Nico... who suspects something. Before Karolina is led to her quarters by deHalle, Molly gives her a going-away present - it's from a box of cereal. Karolina looks down at a small compass; Molly tells her that she might need it to find her way back. A tear trickles down Karolina's cheek and she thanks Molly. And, before they know it, Karolina and the Majesdanians are gone.

Once the ship has left, Nico tells everyone that Karolina is still there. She didn't get on that ship. She asks them to fan out and find her. Klara spots her almost immediately, crawling on the jetty looking a little worse for wear. "Stop her... somebody...", she whispers, weakly. Nico holds her, and Karolina informs them that Xavin knocked her out. But Nico tells her that it's too late. Xavin's gone.

(flashback)

When Karolina asked "What choice do I have?", Xavin responds by saying she has her. She will go in her place. Karolina refuses to listen, but Xavin says that it's the only way to peace. She will go with them and tell them her story. Karolina says that she can do that, but Xavin replies that she cannot make amends for what the Skrulls did to Majesdane. She can. "Xavin, no," gasps Karolina in response, but Xavin holds her gently and says that when the time is right, she will reveal herself to them as an ambassador of change. She will bring peace between Skrull and Majesdanian. Karolina is scared for her, but Xavin assures her that she will take her love with her and the Majesdanians will see Karolina in her. They will see that they are a way to a new world. They are... one. They kiss.

(present)

Karolina asks why Xavin did this; Nico tells her that she did it for love. On board the Majesdanian craft, deHalle tells "Karolina" to make herself comfortable. It's a long journey home. "Karolina" thanks her, but she says she has everything she needs. As deHalle leaves, Xavin smiles as she grips Molly's compass with one hand, and presses her other Skrullish hand against the window... looking down at Earth, she whispers for all she needs.

Notes:

In this issue, the annoying reporter Cadie McDunnough makes her third appearance on the series. The first was in volume one, #18 (August 2004) and the second was in volume two, issue #21 (October 2006). Since she still gets close to action, she clearly hasn't learned her lesson.

The General is finally named as vaDrann in this issue. Although Nico creates some wings for herself, it has been revealed that she can already fly or levitate as shown in issue #30 (June 2008).

Xavin bursts into flames like the Human Torch; she even utters the catchphrase of the Torch, "flame on!" Xavin's Skrull-switch is very similar to the Super Skrull switching places with Hulkling in Young Avengers #12.

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