Though he is a million miles away from Hala, Quasar feels the shockwave of the Nega-Bomb. Throughout the Kree Empire, the explosion of the Nega-Bomb rips through civilizations, destroying them instantly. The devastation is so profound even the Shi'ar cannot rejoice over their sudden and total victory: the outposts react with sober awareness; Lilandra reacts with tears of bittersweet victory. Quasar, once he regains consciousness, tracks down the Avengers only to find their seemingly-lifeless bodies adrift in space. On Hala, Deathbird wanders through the debris and finds Captain America's seemingly-lifeless corpse. Back in space, Quasar is shaken from his reverie by the sudden appearance of Thor, whose enthusiasm he does not share, since so many of their comrades have fallen. The rest of the Shi'ar Avengers team arrives and helps Quasar gather their allies. Thor and Quasar also find Vision and Wonder Man adrift in space.
Things take a positive turn when they realize Vision and Wonder Man are still alive, having been saved from most of the blast by being at its center. Shortly thereafter, Starfox realizes the rest of the Avengers are likewise not dead, just in a transformed state of existence done by his Eternal cousin Sersi. He restores them to conscious life, though little rejoicing occurs. The Avengers decide the only thing left to do is see if Captain America is still alive on Hala.
Deathbird revives Captain America with a kiss, but the Supreme Intelligence interrupts their bizarre scene, boasting about everything happening according to his plan. Deathbird is not happy to learn she and her people were pawns in the Kree's plan, while Cap is not happy to learn he planned the destruction of his own people only for future glory. The Avengers arrive on the planet and are appalled at its condition. Soon, Dr. Minerva and Captain Atlas stumble upon them, and Atlas bitterly tells them to enjoy their victory. Before too much more misunderstanding occurs, Cap and Deathbird join them and explain what really went on in this war. Cap calls out Dr. Minerva, who admits to being a knowing part of the Supreme Intelligence's plans for future glory of the Kree at the expense of their present lives. Atlas, betrayed by both his leader and his lover, asks the Avengers to kill the Supreme Intelligence for him and then apparently commits suicide in a beam of destructive energy. Unwilling to be parted from her love, Minivera joins him in his apparent disintegration.
Iron Man, the Black Knight, Thor, Wonder Man, Vision, Sersi, and Hercules listen to Atlas and agree to assassinate the Supreme Intelligence, while the others side with Captain America and believe it would be murder. Deathbird says they are out for revenge, of which she approves, but Iron Man says they are only acting for the sake of justice. The Supreme Intelligence, knowing they are coming, conjures up enemies to stop their attack: Thor faces the real Thor, Hercules faces Cerberus, Iron Man faces Mandarin, Sersi faces Kro, Dane faces the original Black Knight, and Simon faces his brother Eric as the Grim Reaper. Unlike the life-like enemies the Supreme Intelligence conjured up with which to defeat Captain America only hours earlier, these foes are (intentionally) paltry versions. The Avengers think it is because the Supreme Intelligence was damaged by the Nega-Bomb, but clearly it is all part of the Supreme Intelligence's plan. They break through his screens and meet the real Supreme Intelligence: a grotesque combination of organic brain matter, tentacles, and cybernetic material. Thor, unable to face the possibility of killing a sentient being (since they originally claimed he was just a machine), refuses to join in the final assault. He urges the Black Knight not to go through with it if he has any doubts, but the others urge him on to finish the job, which he does all too willingly. With a piercing cry, the matrix of the Supreme Intelligence flashes into the sky, and the Avengers flee.
Joining the other Avengers, the "renegade Avengers" (as the Supreme Intelligence called them) do not feel like discussing what they just did. The tension is broken by the arrival of Lilandra and the Imperial Guard and Starforce. She claims the entire Kree Galaxy as her own, placing Deathbird over it as Vice-Roy (not as a gift but as a means of better being able to watch over her). She dismisses the Avengers, claiming they will never use the stargate again. Captain America sums up the battle with his final speech, urging Lilandra to use her newfound power wisely in the cause of cherishing life not destroying it. As he walks away from everyone, he agrees with her on one key point: "things will never be the same."
Epilogue: the Supreme Intelligence matrix arrives safely in its new home, aboard a ship captained by both a Kree and a Skrull. Everything, including his own "assassination" was part of his plan. The Kree will eventually rule the galaxies, but in the meantime he can afford to wait patiently.