As the war between brothers continues, a vast new power just entered Shi'Ar space... but what have they come for? For Havok and Vulcan, the answer to that question changes everything and the fate of the Shi'Ar Empire rests on one man's shoulders.
1000 years ago, the Shi’ar Scout Ship “Blinding Vision”…
Two Scout ships fly through space. In the main ship, a soldier informs his captain that they’ve found something. Their sensors are picking up a massive energy reading, but they haven’t been able to make visual confirmation. And… there are no stars to be found.
The captain quotes: “The Gods in marriage expelled their children from the Aerie, and hid it…” Sharra and K’ythri be praised, the captain fears. He orders the soldier to report back to Emperor Vyr’tal: the Shi’ar Empire has reclaimed its birthright. The captain looks outside and sees a huge spark coming from a red planet.
The alarm goes off in the ship. The soldier warns they’re picking up life in orbit around the planet. The captain informs his Helmsman that those people are in sacred Shi’ar space. He’s certain they will leave… or they will die.
Feather’s Edge. Now…
The Shi’ar ships are all under attack by the armada of the Scy’ar Tal. The Starjammers are no exception. At the helm of the ship, Ch’od is warned by Havok to watch his side, but Ch’od mocks back that he’d try evasive maneuvers with his eyes closed this time, for variety. Ignoring this, Havok proclaims they need to get to the Scy’ar Tal command ship, the one that fired at Vulcan. They have to try to communicate with them. Raza wants to offer the Scy’ar Tal their thanks. Korvus replies that they shall see.
Alex orders Korvus to contact Lilandra and Ka’ardum, and tell them to withdraw the resistance fleet now. He then asks Rachel to reach the Scy’ar Tal telepathically. She tries to do so and a blue telepathic wave surrounds her body. Alex wants to see if she can figure out what the Scy’ar Tal want. Ch’od reminds Alex what the name of the Scy’ar Tal means, but Alex shouts at him to just drive.
Nearby, charged up magnetically, Lorna panics, her eyes growing wide. She announces to Alex that she can still feel Vulcan’s energy. He’s still alive!
Outside, Gladiator and Vulcan soar at full rage towards the Scy’ar Tal “Shard” command ship. The Scy’ar Tal, on their side, continue to fire blasts on the remaining Shi’ar ships. Vulcan and Gabriel fly through the walls of the command ship and instantly kill some of the crew. Gabriel demands to be brought to the Scy’ar Tal leader, because… he is going to kill him.
As the Scy’ar Tal leader, a giant bug-like creature, enters the room, his soldiers bow for their master. The leader calls Vulcan a Shi’ar pretender, and not a Shi’ar. But, he does want to grant Gabriel a gift: if he runs away now, he’ll live. Vulcan can’t believe his ears. They destroy his command ship, kill his men, and expect him to walk away?! He defends that he is no pretender: he is Vulcan, Emperor of the Shi’ar Empire. The leader wants to know if that means Gabriel stands with the Shi’ar.
To answer the question, Vulcan fires a blast from his hand at the leader, but quickly proclaims what he sees afterward as impossible… the leader still lives! Vulcan continues firing, but the Scy’ar Tal remains alive. Gabriel shouts at Gladiator to do something, and kill his enemy already. Gladiator does as commanded, and flies into action.
Gladiator tries to punch the leader in his face, but the Scy’ar blocks it with one hand, and then he snaps Gladiator’s wrist. As Gladiator screams in pain, the leader notices aloud that Gladiator is also not a Shi’ar. He throws Gladiator out of his way, and sighs at the waste. Gladiator falls through a wall and is thrown outside in space.
The leader picks Vulcan up by his throat, and swears that he will die now. And claims that it will be for nothing. His allegiance to the Shi’ar has sealed his fate. Now, the Scy’ar Tal will take back what is theirs. And they will have vengeance. Vulcan screams that the leader will die, and shoots blasts from his eyes. A few moments later, as the smoke clears, Vulcan is… gone?
As two soldiers help their Eldest up to his feet, they inform him that the coward ran away. But, the Elder corrects, calling the man his brother, their foe is not a coward, and not weak. This one is dangerous. But, that doesn’t matter to him. All that matters is the end of the Shi’ar. The end of all things.
A telepathic voice interrupts the Eldest and hopes it doesn’t come to that. When the Eldest asks who just said that, the soldier is confused, having not heard anything. The Eldest looks behind himself, to find they are no longer alone. He thinks he can see two people in his mind now, but actually, he can see an astral projection sent out by Marvel Girl. With her stands Havok. They apologize for the intrusion. The two introduce themselves, and that they’re with the Starjammers. Alex and Rachel want to talk for a moment, and add that they represent the resistance to the Shi’ar Empire.
The Eldest becomes angry seeing more not-Shi’ar. He realizes that Alex and Rachel are like the pretend Emperor and wonders if they will choose death as well. Havok tells the Eldest that, whatever problem he has with the Shi’ar, he’s certain they can come to a peaceful solution. He sees no need for this, because the true Shi’ar leader is Lilandra Neramani. She’s ready to take back control of the Empire from the man they just faced… Vulcan… Alex’ brother.
The Eldest thinks Alex is lying, as it makes no sense what he says. He would see his own brother fail? He would fight against his own blood? Havok points out that his relationship with his brother is… complicated. The Eldest agrees that nothing is more complicated that brotherhood. For, he announces, if one cannot stand with his brothers, then he will die alone. The Eldest is also aware that Rachel is in his mind, using her power. He wants her to see the truth. The Eldest moves his finger through the astral projection, towards Rachel’s eye. She screams.
Rachel is startled when a new world opens before her very eyes, and is speechless. She sees how the Shi’ar attacked the red planet of the Scy’ar Tal and slaughtering its people. She also sees how the Shi’ar blew up the planet.
Havok and Rachel awake in their chairs at the Starjammer, with Rachel still reeling in pain from the experience. Ch’od says it’s good they’re awake again. Vulcan is counterattacking, and he thinks they’re most likely going to die now.
Outside, Vulcan’s ships fire upon other ships, belonging to the allies of the Starjammers. Rachel informs everyone that the Shi’ar did this. Korvus tries to calm her down and wants her to rest. She explains she saw everything in the Eldest’s mind. The Scy’ar Tal don’t have names, and simply call their leader the Eldest. The Shi’ar nearly wiped out their entire civilization and drove them away from their home. Now, they want to take it back.
Raza doesn’t think this is much news, as it is what the Shi’ar do. Lorna suggests that maybe they can help, and talk to Lilandra. Alex agrees with her, thinking this is not a problem. If the Scy’ar Tal help them kill Vulcan, Lilandra will give them their land back. It’s a win-win. Rachel corrects Alex he doesn’t understand. Scy’ar Tal isn’t their original name. They’ve spent the last thousand years changing their culture, changing themselves to fight the Shi’ar. Their race’s real name is M’Kraan! The planet they want, the thing they worshipped… they’ve come back to take back the M’Kraan Crystal. Havok considers this in silence.
Suddenly, an alarm goes off, and Raza warns the Scy’ar Tal has fired a… He stops talking, as something weird just happened. What was just fired has the look of a missile, but his scanners aren’t registering a weapon. The thing is headed towards a planet below them. The thing is transmitting a signal… Raza realizes the Scy’ar Tal have just fired a homing beacon.
Rachel thinks about something else she heard in the Eldest’ name: “Will finally take you too.” She freaks out, and orders Raza to shoot the thing down.
Standing in a new ship, Vulcan’s pilot has also discovered that a homing beacon has just been fired. Vulcan doesn’t much care, as he wants these aliens dead and the resistance destroyed. Gladiator, holding his broken arm, sees how a blue glow surrounds all the Scy’ar Tal ships… they’re warping away. They’re running. Vulcan thinks about why the Scy’ar Tal would first send out a homing beacon to a planet and they run away. He suddenly realizes something, and freaks out. He shouts to get out of here, now!
Aboard the Starjammer, Lorna tries to use her powers to magnetically destroy the object, but it doesn’t work. It must not be made of magnetic material. She asks Rachel what’s going on. As the object grows closer to the planet, Rachel announces that thinks she can stop the thing if she goes outside. Korvus tries to stop her, thinking she has gone mad. Rachel shouts at him to let go. She can feel the people on the planet down there, and how they fear of dying.
Suddenly, the projectile fires various blasts on the planet. Ch’od thinks he’s having a bad feeling now, just like humans tend to get. Havok shouts at Ch’od to initiate a warp jump right now.
A yellow energy ray appears, and shapes in the form of a gate, through which blinding energy flows. It is followed by an immense explosion, during which the planet explodes!
The soldiers in Vulcan’s ship are dumbstruck. When Vulcan demands to know what just happened, the captain explains they just saw Shi’ar technology in action, but on a level that simply isn’t possible. A star emerged from the gate… the Scy’ar Tal have dropped a star on Feather’s Edge. Araki wonders who could have conceived such a weapon. While one of the soldiers puts some bandages around his arm, Gladiator wonders what the trajectory of the Scy’ar Tal ships was before they left. He wonders where they were going. Araki answers they are going to the world. The Scy’ar Tal are heading towards the M’Kraan Crystal. Vulcan reels at the news.
Inside the Starjammers ship, Ch’od explains that Feather’s Edge had a civilian population of 2.4 billion. They’re all dead now. Havok has opened a communications screen on which Lilandra and Ka’ardum are shown. Alex asks Lilandra if the Shi’ar really did what the Scy’ar Tal said, and if the Crystal is their home.
Lilandra strongly denies it. She reveals that the Crystal planet is the birthplace of the Shi’ar. It’s where Sharra and K’ythri released the Shi’ar into the universe, and then hid the Aerie into darkness. D’Ken found it, and used the scriptures and rumors of a lost Shi’ar scouting expedition. Lilandra claims that the planet is the Shi’ars rightful home, and that the Crystal was given to them by the gods.
In that case, Rachel wants to know, why do the Shi’ar fear the Crystal? She thinks Lilandra took it from the Scy’ar Tal. Raza proclaims that’s a lie. Havok takes a seat, while Raza continues his explanations. He says the Crystal is the end of all that is. That it is a nexus of all realities, but that it can destroy theirs in a blink of an eye. Even after what they just witnessed, he thinks perhaps the Scy’ar Tal are the lesser of two evils. He wonders if it could be any worse than the Crystal being in Vulcan’s hands.
Suddenly, a bright light appears. Vulcan has teleported aboard the ship, along with Deathbird… and the entire Imperial Guard! “Hello, Alex,” Vulcan grins. “Time out.”