The young mutant walked the halls of the Triskelion building, home of the Ultimates. This was technically the second Triskelion as the first had been destroyed by Magneto when he annihilated New York City. This new Ultimates HQ was located in Washington DC as New York was essentially a no-man’s land.
Jimmy had come to the massive building as the request of Tony Stark, the Iron Patriot himself, leader of the Ultimates. Jimmy knew it wouldn’t be a good meeting as he had to come all the way to Washington, meaning Tony would likely try to use the advantage of this being his turf. In fact Jimmy knew exactly what this meeting was about.
A month ago they had managed to capture Quicksilver, effectively destroying the Brotherhood of Mutant Supremacy. But Jimmy had gone against the Ultimates by offering sanctuary to the remaining members of the Brotherhood in the mutant territory. To Tony these people were terrorists, but to Jimmy they were just misguided fellow mutants.
So Jimmy steeled himself as he knocked on the door to Mr. Stark’s office. The voice of the JARVIS AI told Jimmy that he could come in. Inside was Tony Stark, looking disheveled with messy hair and a wrinkled suit. The leader of the Ultimates then looked up from his holo-display, noticing that Jimmy had entered his office.
“James, thanks for being on time,” said Stark.“Well I wouldn’t want to slight the number one hero,”
replied Jimmy, before adding, “Are you alright Tony? You look like crap.”
Yeah, just a lot of stuff happening. You know those Neo-Hydra guys are popping up all across the country, and Cap’s been off the grid for almost a year,” stated Tony.“But you didn’t call me for either of those reasons, right?”
“No, I did not,” Tony answered, “I called you to discuss what you did with those Brotherhood members. Look I’ve got the President breathing down my back. He wants to make an example of those terrorists.”“But they are also mutants, so they fall under mutant territory rule,”
responded Jimmy, “That was the whole point of the President giving us our own sovereign land.”
“Then why did you let us take Quicksilver. He’s also a mutant?” asked Stark.“Because he’s insane. And we don’t have facilities in the territory to handle him, so we’re allowing him to be held in America,”
“But that’s clearly a double standard,” said Tony, “It seems like you guys are merely appeasing us-“
Tony was cut off by the blaring of the alarm throughout the whole Triskelion. Pulling back up his holo-display, Tony scanned the whole building.
“JARVIS, what’s happening?” Tony asked the building AI.
“Mr. Stark, it appears that a starship of some kind as appeared instantly over the city. Based on its current heading, it will arrive at the Triskelion in a minute,” stated JARVIS.“Great,”
said Jimmy as he popped his bone claws, “Guess we are teaming up again.”
“Looks like,” replied Tony as he summoned the nanobots that formed his Iron Patriot armor.
The mutant hero and armored hero rushed out of the building, waiting in the Triskelion’s parking lot. The unknown ship was massive, and from it machines began coming out. As they got closer to the Triskelion, Tony recognized them.
“That’s my tech! Who the hell are these guys and what are they doing with my stuff?” asked an incredulous Tony Stark.“It doesn’t matter why they have your tech, we just need to know how to defeat it,”
The two heroes were soon joined in the parking lot by the other members of the Ultimates. While Jimmy had met several of them before, some, like the mech piloting Black Knight or Hulk-like Wonder Man, were completely new to him.
“Alright, Ultimates unite!” Tony cried out, as he blasted into the air.
With a mighty yell, Jimmy began running at these mysterious mechanical assailants. From beside him, Hawkeye fired several explosive arrows, which didn’t absolutely nothing to the Stark tech drones, or whatever they were.
As the Ultimates got closer to the drones, the machines began firing a stun ray of some kind. Within a few seconds Black Widow, Giant Man, and Falcon fell to the ground, unconscious. Jimmy made a note to avoid these rays, only for even more Stark drones to emerge from the ship.
The Ultimates were quickly overwhelmed, many of the unarmored members falling to the ground. Some like Wonder Man were able to shake off the stun rays with his massive power. Thanks to Jimmy’s healing factor, he too took a ray to the chest without going unconscious. But he immediately felt tipsy.
Jimmy lashed out with his claws again, only to be hit by another stun ray. While he managed to remain upright, his movements were now sluggish. In this weakened state, Jimmy couldn’t dodge anymore rays, taking several at once. Falling to the ground and into blackness, Jimmy wasn’t even aware of being put in a cryo pod.
Peter Quill stood on the viewing deck of the space station, gazing down at the blue and green Earth beneath his feet. While this was far from his first time viewing a planet from space, this was the first time that Peter could remember of really gazing at his home world from above.
As a key member of the Guardians of the Earth, Peter enjoyed a level of security clearance that allowed him to go almost anywhere in the Earth sphere. So here he was, on the newly built Excalibur space station. Following the Deviant invasion, the nations of Earth had decided that they need a means of defending the Earth from extraterrestrial threats. So in a few months they had built Excalibur.
Fortunately, there had been no incursions since the station was built, just peaceful talks with the other space faring species. In fact the only issue had was an unknown meta-human teleporting onto the station a few months back, before promptly leaving. Since then, it had been pretty boring aboard Excalibur.
But that was what made it such a relaxing place for Peter to come to. Down on the Earth below, Peter had to deal with supervillains, terrorists, and all matter of threats. But here in orbit, Peter could just focus on the blue jewel in an infinite sea of darkness.
“Mr. Quill, may I have a minute of your time?” asked a voice.
Peter turned around to see Abigail Brand, the green-haired commander of Excalibur, “Yes, what’s up.”
“Well given your history of dealing with the Skrull Empire during your time as a Shi’Ar Imperial Guard, I’d thought you could provide a second set of eyes,” stated Abigail.“Sure, what are they up to now?”
“Well we received initial reports of a massive disaster on their throne world of Skrullos,” said Abigail.“What kind of disaster?”
asked a concerned Peter.
“One that destroyed the entire planet,” replied Abigail grimly.“There are over a billion people on Skrullos,”
stated Peter, “How did it happen?”
“Apparently it was done by something called a Galactus,” responded Abigail, “He’s some kind of ancient planet eater, from long lost lore. But this could all be bull, so I wanted your insight into the Skrull Empire.”“While I don’t trust the Skrulls, I would imagine they would have a hard time faking the destruction of their throne world,”
stated an emotional Peter, “God, I had friends on Skrullos.”
“Preliminary reports seem to indicate that the Kree, and possibly the Badoon, are planning to take advantage of the situation and reclaim lost territory,” said Abigail, “If you think this is real, we need to go to the UN Security Council. Earth needs to respond to this crisis if we are to be taken seriously on the galactic stage.”“Right, right,”
replied Peter as he gathered himself, “We should head to the command room and send a report.”
Peter and Abigail then left the observation deck, entering an elevator and taking it to the command room. Inside the room was several people wearing the black uniform of Excalibur, with the white sword detailed on the shoulders.
“Mr. Matsuya, is our link up to Earth currently up?” asked Commander Brand.
“Yes, commander. The signal is solid,” replied a man in a hover chair.
Both Abigail and Peter then walked over to an unoccupied terminal. But just as they booted it up, the klaxon of the Excalibur long range sensors went off. Agent Matsuya immediately pulled up the image being seen by the sensors. A massive ship appeared in Earth orbit, but Peter couldn’t place it.
“This is what we prepared for!” shouted Abigail, “Hail them now!”
“No response,” stated the comms officer.“What kind of ship is that?”
wondered Peter, “I’ve seen almost every ship there is in the galaxy and I have no clue what that is.”
“Commander, they are sending out some kind of drones,” stated Matsuya.
“Initiate code red,” replied Abigail, “Activate defense systems and send an alert down to Earth.”
The command room was immediately bathed in red light, the hum of the weapons activating becoming audible. But before they could engage them, the drones had already made their way to the side of the space station.
“Commander, they’ve breached the hull,” said an anxious Matsuya.“Alright, I’m getting in on this,”
Pulling out the Raptor Amulet from his pocket, Peter prepared to send the thought to summon the Raptor Android. But before he could, the drones entered the command room and began firing some kind of stun ray.
Peter would be the first to be struck, immediately falling to the floor. Luckily the Raptor Amulet remained in his hand as he was loaded into a cryo pod and taken away.