Shadizar, the Hyborian Age, where Conan the Barbarian stands with Wanda Maximoff the Scarlet Witch who is currently blind, a magic cloth wrapped across her eyes. Cult members lay dead at their feet, while a female sacrifice stands behind Conan.
'No!' Wanda gasps as Nyx, the Queen of Night hovers above them, with her children Dolos and Apate at her side, and her daughter Oizys floating nearby, the heroic Voyager trapped in Oizys' snake-like form. 'I believe this is mine' Nyx remarks as she reaches out for one of the shards of her soul that floats before her. 'Come to me, shard of my soul. Teach me how to unlock you. To take back the power Zeus stole' Nyx utters. Nyx smiles, as she looks down at the Scarlet Witch and wonders what to do with her for causing so much trouble – feed her to Oizys, her youngest child? 'Or give you to the -' Nyx begins, before a blinding light appears, and she is forced to shield her eyes.
From within the blinding light, Monica Rambeau a.k.a. Spectrum thinks of how she doesn't sleep at night any more – but still has dreams. Mental pictures, vivid thoughts she can't quite shake off. Sometimes, she thinks about all the light in the universe, all those rays and waves and particles, all on their infinite journeys – and wonders if they are like her. If they used to be human. Spectrum used to be human, but isn't anymore. She is sentient radiation – anything on the electromagnetic spectrum and a few things around it. Like gamma rays and neutrinos and electricity. Visible light, too – and she can shape that light, make it a hologram of anyone she has ever seen. Or two anyones.
' - the twins' Nyx finishes her sentence as she turns to Apate and Dolos, who suddenly vanish, replaced by the android Vision and the mighty Hercules. 'Conan? What's happening?' the confused Wanda asks, but as he grits his teeth and looks up at the events unfolding before him, Conan admits that he doesn't know. The Vision flies over to Hercules and grabs the god before he falls to the ground below, while the blinding light around them begins to take form, the shell of living light that disguises her friends as her enemies so well that even their mother did not notice. 'What...what are you...?' the confused Nyx asks, shielding her eyes still, while Monica thinks to herself that she hasn't even been a light-being for a decade yet, and wonders what she is going to be at the end of a millennium? 'I'm Monica Rambeau. Spectrum, if you're nasty' Monica tells Nyx.
Spectrum drops to the ground, thinking that she never used to worry about that, but now, well, if she had known Nyx's big entrance would kill all these death cultists, she would have made her move sooner, tried to prevent that. But now that it has happened, she is just waiting – for the right moment to avenge them. 'But if you live – then – what about -' Nyx utters, wide-eyed, '- my children -' she gasps, as Monica waits for Nyx to realize what she did when she thought she was killing her friends. The realization hits. Nyx visualizes her twin children being torn apart by her own powers. 'No! Demon – I will destroy you – you made me -' Nyx utters, clenching her fists, while Oizys lurks up behind her mother. Spectrum thinks that Nyx attacks in anger, without thinking, and leaves herself open – a mother's pain, which she has turned into a strategy. 'I didn't make you do anything' Spectrum declares, while admitting to herself that sometimes she doesn't like how hard she has become. Hard as radiation.
'And you brought this on yourself!' Monica shouts as she flies towards Nyx. Monica has been thinking about this, a potential magic bullet – if she blended ultraviolet, visible and infrared light, she can match the sun's output exactly – to become the light of day. A yellow glow radiates around her and shines down on Nyx, 'Sunlight? You use sunlight against me?' Nyx utters, before boasting that she is not some vampire who wilts at the light of s single star. Nyx points out that the night holds a thousand stars, and the moon, in their midst – that reflects the light and lessens it. Nyx raises a moon-like force field, which Monica slams into and falls backwards. Monica is annoyed, and reminds herself that she has spent the last few years fighting cosmic threats, the Beyond Corporation, space gods armed with science beyond science – but this is magic, not science. 'Monica -' the Vision utters as Spectrum falls past him. 'Her gambit failed – we must not! Into the fray!' Hercules shouts, while Monica realizes that she doesn't know the rules – or even if there are any.
Meantime, in Nightmare's Realm, Nightmare himself sits on his throne and declares that this has been fun, but he doesn't enjoy having guests over – he prefers victims – so it is time Hawkeye, the Hulk and Rocket Raccoon left. He tells them that with his powers restored, he can open a portal anywhere in the waking world, he can put them where they need to be – and in return, his debt to them is canceled. 'Yes?' he asks. 'Groovy. Put us inside the vault at Granx's Gambling Palace on Satyricon VI' Rocket replies. Rocket tells Hawkeye and Hulk that he will cut the alarms from the inside, then for the getaway they just need pliers, a little hydrogen sulfide and a pair of fake ears. 'You can rob casinos on your own time, Rocket' Clint Barton a.k.a. Hawkeye frowns, folding his arms. Hawkeye announces that they need to find Wanda and the others. 'So wherever they've gone, that's where we're -' Clint begins, before Dr Bruce Banner a.k.a. the Immortal Hulk announces 'Euphoria'.
'Huh?' Clint asks, turning to the Hulk, who explains that Euphoria is a sentient world, treats everyone real nice, makes their dreams come true and is a fun place to visit. 'Any objections?' he asks. 'You... want to go on vacation? Now?' Clint asks. Rocket agrees that he could take a break, and points out that it has been a tough couple of days. 'Anywhere that ain't a Nightmare dimension would be great, if I'm honest...' Rocket adds.
A portal opens behind the heroes as Nightmare tells Hawkeye that it looks like he is outvoted. 'Euphoria it is – sounds ghastly. Off you go' Nightmare declares. 'Unbelievable Hawkeye mutters, before rubbing the back of his head and announcing that he is in. He taps Hulk on the back and remarks that he doesn't know how Hulk knows about this Euphoria place, but that he does know the Hulk's look – and his look is telling him that the Hulk has got plans. 'And when I find out what they are? I won't need a special gamma arrow to put you down' Hawkeye boasts. Hulk grins and mutters that they are having fun already.
'This is getting serious' Spectrum thinks to herself, admitting that any hope they had of keeping this fight quick and contained using speed and surprise to their advantage is long gone now. Suddenly, one of the outer walls of the sprawling Shadizar complex is thrust open in the heat of battle. 'When gods battle, it's always a mess' Monica thinks to herself, as the Scarlet Witch is knocked out of the gaping hole in the palace, she falls out into the night sky. 'Don't worry, Wanda – I've got you!' Spectrum exclaims as she darts out into the night and grabs Wanda, realizing that she is still blind. 'Monica? I heard your voice, but didn't know what was happening' Wanda calls out. As Spectrum carries Wanda down to the ground, Wanda asks her if the others are with her and whether the Vision is okay. Spectrum tells Wanda that the Vision is still ticking, if that's what she means, but they are all a bit crispy around the edges right now. Spectrum notices the quiver in Wanda's voice as she asks about her ex-husband. Monica decides that whatever the current situation, there is still something there.
Spectrum sets Wanda down and thinks to herself that her friend has been through so much, and laments the fact that she wasn't there to help her through any of it. 'I need you to stay here while I -' Monica begins, but Wanda tells her that she is not waiting around while the rest of them fight. Monica sees that Wanda is bristling with anger, and realizes that in the past, she would have felt guilty for not listening to her. 'I'm an Avengers, Monica! Don't sideline me!' Wanda exclaims as crimson energy glows around her. Monica takes to the sky, leaving Wanda on the ground, deciding that leaving her here is just strategy, she tells Wanda that they can't risk it. 'No!' Wanda protests. Monica wonders if this is the two of them growing apart, or the first sign of something worse. She wonders over a thousand years who else she will grow apart from – everyone? Herself? Is that just what happens?
Spectrum watches Hercules fight Nyx, who grabs him by the throat, and reminds herself that Hercules is immortal, too – but that his humanity is the stuff of legends. 'Blood will be paid for what you've done, Night Witch!' Hercules threatens Nyx. 'So is it just me?' Monica asks herself, while Hercules declares that he will not yield. 'In times past, I believed physical confrontation was beneath me. But I was wrong, half-god' Nyx declares, clutching the shard of her soul with one hand, she smiles as she tells Hercules that slaying Zeus was a visceral thrill – and killing him will be just as good – but as she raises the shard to use it as a knife, she doesn't get the chance to bring it down against Hercules, as Spectrum blasts her electromagnetic form through Nyx's body, causing the Night Witch to fall backwards and drop the shard. Nyx then screams as crimson energy surrounds her. 'Wanda?' Monica thinks to herself, as the Scarlet Witch appears and declares 'I'm not helpless, dammit...' as Spectrum catches Hercules before he falls to certain doom. 'Well caught' Hercules tells Spectrum, instructing her to swing back around and launch him toward the Night Queen so that he may pummel her into dark dust!
Nearby, the Vision is holding up a large slab of the broken wall of the palace. Some circuits are on the fritz, and he realizes that his system is unstable, that phase cycle is intermittent. The Vision looks over to where some civilians are trapped under some nearby rubble, and tells himself that the suggested course of action is to cut and clear debris in sections. He shuffles towards the woman pinned beneath a pillar, while her son tries to help her. 'A monster! Stay away!' the boy shouts. The Vision tells him not to be afraid, and as he uses a powerful beam to start to cut away at the pillar, the Vision quotes “O thou monster ignorance, how deformed dost thou look...” when suddenly, 'WHAT IN HELL'S NAME ARE YOU?' a voice booms. The Vision turns in the direction the voice – it's Conan, who smashes an axe against the Vision's face, cutting part of the android Avenger open.
'Some kind of steel devil?' Conan asks, warning the Vision that, whatever he is, he will go no farther. They struggle as the Vision turns to face Conan, and asks him to save the trapped people. Conan looks over at them as he raises his axe again – only to drop it as Monica bursts through his body in her electromagnetic form. Monica wonders if she is growing apart from everyone, losing what human is – but she has a way to go yet, because she is not this idiot Conan. 'What the hell did you do!?' Monica shouts as she emerges from Conan and goes over to the Vision. 'Witches, golems and now spirits! Are there any here that can be wounded by a man's blade? Is it only those I loved who can die?' Conan asks. He looks at Spectrum and tells her that Belit lies in her grave, and she and a wizard's spawn make a mockery of them all.
'That's enough!' Monica exclaims as she goes over to Conan. She points up at Nyx, who once again holds the shard of her soul in her hand and informs Conan that she is the target – and if they don't stop her, they all die.
Spectrum goes over to the Vision and touches his head, informing him that she is juicing up his arrays with pure solar energy, and asks him if he can initiate a self-repair. 'I will try' the Vision's broken form responds. Conan stands up and holds his axe, as hev asks Spectrum to forgive him, explaining that there is grief in his heart – a weakness that makes the whole world seem his foe. 'Would I had met my dearest foe in Heaven or ever I had seen that day...” the Vision quotes. Spectrum decides that treating Wanda like glass and letting King Macho run amok means her leadership skills are definitely rusty. Monica thinks that getting Nyx angry was a good move though, as it is keeping her focused on them, not the shard – of course, that anger could also get them killed, she realizes. 'Or worse' Monica decides, as she sees Nyx examining a crack in the shard – where a dark power begins to flow from.
'Of course' Nyx declares, as Spectrum realizes that the shard is a container for the power inside – whoever destroys the shard breaks open the container – they get the power. But Monica sees this a second after Nyx did, because despite everything, she still reacts like a person, while Nyx reacts like a god. Spectrum hurls herself towards Nyx, who calls out to Voyager, controlling Voyager, who opens a portal that Spectrum flies into, and then out of another portal behind Nyx. 'Hell of a way to learn the price' Monica tells herself as Nyx smiles and shatters the shard. 'This feels magnificent! It steels me. It restores my senses! It binds me to the other fragments. It – it - ' Nyx announces as the dark energy swirls around her, and some sort of floating house appears in front of her – a vision, perhaps. Monica sees Nyx looking at something, 'What is it? What did you see?' she calls out as she flies towards Nyx, who smirks and tells her 'You'll never know' as she spins around and grabs Spectrum by her neck. 'You're only human' Nyx declares as Spectrum screams when Nyx slams her head against a slab of concrete.
'No more need for you. I'll find my own way from here!' Nyx snarls at Voyager, tossing her into another slab of rubble, which she hits hard. Nyx turns to Wanda, Hercules and the Vision and declares that there is no need for loose ends, either. 'AVENGERS -' Hercules begins to shout, before the three Avengers find themselves attacked by humanoid creatures of pure darkness. Nyx walks over to the Scarlet Witch, who is held back by one of the creatures, 'You still have a bit of my magic in you, don't you?' Nyx remarks as the creature pulls the magic cloth around Wanda's eyes away. 'I'll take that back' Nyx announces as she raises a hand towardsWanda's eyes and draws her magic back out, causing Wanda to scream in the process. A portal opens behind Nyx who turns to Oizys and tells her to be a good girl and clean up for mother while she runs her next errand. 'With pleasure' Oizys responds. Wanda attempts to cast a hex, but Nyx vanishes. There is a blinding light as Spectrum wakes, she gets to her feet, holding herself against a wall. 'Monica!' the Vision shouts, while Spectrum tells him to help Voyager.
The Vision turns to Wanda and ask her if she is hurt. Wanda looks at her hands and explains that she was in agony for a moment, but that she is better, is no longer blind, though she isn't sure that is a blessing, as she looks over and sees Oizys feeding off a little boy nearby. 'she's feeding off innocent people!' Wanda calls out, as Oizys holds a boy by his hand, while uttering 'And from their despair...a champion'. 'What form of champi-' Hercules begins, when Conan suddenly interrupts him, and shouts 'Whatever misbegotten monster you choose to hide behind – I swear by Crom that I shall strike it dead!' But suddenly, a look of horror spreads across his face, 'Ah yes, the dead...' Oizys utters. 'One of the dead calls out for your blood! Your blood!' and suddenly, Conan falls backwards as a ghostly figure drops down on him and plunges a dagger into his muscular chest... 'Belit?' the shocked Conan gasps.