The celestial silence of the subatomary planetary system is suddenly shattered by the clarion call of battle. At the head of one awesome armada soars a great sentient space-craft… the living Bioship. On the bridge of the Bioship is a gallant but grim band of warriors. They are the Micronauts… champions of the Microverse.
They are approaching the fringes, the masked warrior-king Acroyear informs Commander Rann, the Spacewall separating their system from the Macroverse beyond. As all their preliminary reports indicate the frontier worlds have been devastated, Rann states. Who could have wreaked such havoc? the diminutive Fireflyte wonders. That’s what they’ve come to find out, the Warrior princess Marionette remarks. And to battle, adds the shapeless Huntarr. With the help of the biggest blamed battle fleet in the whole Microverse, their final member, the insect Bug, points out. Firepower they’re going to need as a D’arnellian fleet rises to oppose them.
But the D’arnellians are farmers who haven’t got a fleet, Acroyear protests. They have now, Huntarr retorts wryly. Rann points out that he doubts it’s the D’arnellians they are up against. Communicator silence suggests that have already been defeated or dead. Fireflyte states that she senses life on D’arnell and the living are crying out in agony.
So, another in an ever-expanding number of worlds has been enslaved by their unknown enemy, remarks a man who has so far kept to the shadows. What will Arcuturus Rann do? Addressing the other man as teacher, Rann replies he will do whatever is necessary. He addresses the battle fleet, giving the order to attack.
The ships thrust forth. The enemy is engaged. The fleets are evenly matched, Acroyear observes. They are getting nowhere, the man in the shadows states impatiently. They must take prisoners. Only interrogation will reveal the nature of their enemy. He knows what is required, Rann snaps back. Isn’t that why he chose him to lead his fleet? He has a reputation as a master strategist, the other man concedes. He had a good teacher, Rann replies.
Again Commander Arcturus Rann relays his orders through the Bioship to the battle-fleet and, from each vessel, space-suited Dog Soldiers surge forward, intent on boarding the ships from the other fleet. The Dog Soldiers are the shock troops of the Microverse, the deadliest warriors ever born or bred. The inhabitants of D’arnel, on the other hand, were always peace-loving farmers. Today they are no longer. Something has caused these pacifists to beat their plowshares into swords. Acroyear expresses his regret at the battle. Even as former king of a warrior race never has he witnessed such carnage.
Suddenly, a Dog Soldier is beamed upon their bridge. The team stands alert - none of them has heard Commander Rann utter such an order. The command was his, the man in the shadows explains and demands the soldier’s report. The enemy fights with a ferocity unsurpassed, he explains. It is not courage that drives them to die, but abject fear of he who urges them on. Then it is time to expose their unknown enemy and the strength of the alliance he shares with the Micronauts, Baron Karza, warlord of Homeworld, scourge of the Microverse and archenemy of the Micronauts, declares.
Marionette and Bug bristle at their alliance and Fireflyte reminds them that the Microverse is imperilled by an enemy whose might overshadows the Baron’s. Practically effortlessly, their mystery foe wrested entire worlds from Karza’s grip…
Acroyear, Bug and Marionette wonder if this wouldn’t be the perfect time to overthrow Karza but Rann reminds them to get their priorities straight. They’ve twice before triumphed over Karza but whoever’s out there is an unknown and powerful entity. So the alliance holds until the slaughterer from beyond the Spacewall is destroyed.
The Bioship fabricates spacesuits for all Micronauts, save Huntarr and Fireflyte, who can survive in space without them, and the Micronauts are beamed into the thick of the battle. They fling themselves into the fray and the Dog Soldiers are heartened at being reinforced by those they hunted in the past. Once again, the Micronauts prove why they have become living legends of the Microverse.
The Bioship informs Karza that it intends to join its teammates in battle but Karza calls it a fool. The Ship and he are held in reserve. Should the Micronauts fall, they must fight as rearguard action. Still, if the Bioship feels the need to do something, it should use its sensors to locate their unknown enemy. The Bioship complies and informs Karza that it has located the Entity’s power-nexus on a rising asteroid. Its emanations are alien. Karza wonders if the entity is from Earth.
Even as the Bioship detects the approach of the enemy, it flashes that information to the Micronauts. The Asteroid moves towards them and on it, surrounded by an energy corona, stands a glowing being dressed in golden armor. So, this amusing little enterprise is still in progress, he asks, before taking in the carnage and remarking that his terror-smitten pawns exacted quite a death toll before perishing themselves. If only there were more to sacrifice. But their opponents die just as nicely.
There is no blood, yet Dog Soldiers die, succumbed by an overwhelming psychic assault.
Quite entertaining, the being remarks and the Micronauts realize they now face a foe worse than Karza. Rann addresses the Entity, remarking that he doesn’t know why he wages war against the Microverse. The Entity interrupts him, stating that he does it for the fun of it.
He snaps his fingers and, before the Micronauts’ eyes, the planet D’arnell ceases to exist.
The Bioship has to raise its shields, as planetary debris devastates their fleet. He asks Karza for orders and the awed Baron asks it to scan for survivors. And survivors there are - those whom the enemy has chosen to survive. The Micronauts, now without their protective suits, are bound to asteroid debris as the Entity examines them, remarking what pretty playthings they shall make. Finally, it senses the Bioship and Karza urges it to flee before it’s too late. The Bioship hesitates still, as, if it is attacked, it knows that it will be of no use to its compatriots dead and so it flees at warp speed.
Professor Xavier’s School for Gifted Youngsters. A lovely summer afternoon, which several X-Men are enjoying at the poolside. The team’s youngest member, Kitty Pryde, intends to do the same, though her roommate, Illyana Rasputin, reminds her that they still have lessons to finish. If it were up to Professor X, they’d never finish, Kitty complains. All he cares about is work.
The Professor is in the observation booth of the Danger Room, currently running a training session for the New Mutant, Sunspot. Suddenly, he catches Kitty’s remark. Whenever she’s angry or excited, she loses control over her thoughts, leaving her wide open for any telepath to read. In battle, this liability could be fatal, so he sends her a computer message, telling her that what she said isn’t true. However, she is hereby assigned 30 minute extra study in psionic shields and defenses. Does Illyana ever have one of those days, Kitty sighs. No, she lets Kitty have them for her, her best friend replies.
Meanwhile, in the observation booth, Xavier turns his attention back to the New Mutants with him, Cannonball, Wolfsbane and Dani Moonstar, explaining that this is their first quarterly evaluation. Their new teammate, Magma, isn’t present, as she hasn’t been at school long enough.
Suddenly, there’s an explosion in the observation booth and the mutants are thrown down. Sunspot barely manages to catch the unconscious Xavier. ‘Stand aside giant or face the wrath of Baron Karza,’ a voice announces from above. Sunspot sees the dollsized Karza, who exclaims that they traced the Entity’s power to its source. That the Microverse may live, their mentor has to die. Sunspot shouts ‘no’ and, suddenly, the glove of Kara’s armor loosens, grows and tries to choke Sunspot.
Cannonball grabs Kara, recognizing him: his sister has a set of toys called the Micronauts and Karza is one of them. Could some foe of the X-Men have found a way to animate those dolls, he wonders. He’s no construct, Karza protests, as Sam smashes him into a wall. The Baron blasts him with an energy ray.
Wolfsbane and Sunspot both attack and are repelled. Dani hopes that she can make a difference with her psionic power and shows Karza the thing he fears most: himself as the man he was. But Karza realizes too quickly that this is merely an illusion. He reflects her attack and Dani is suddenly faced with an image of the Demon Bear that slew her parents and has haunted her since childhood. Terrified, she faints. Karza doesn’t know what link binds the Entity with Xavier but it doesn’t matter. His death should sever it.
Enter, the X-Men.
Storm flies in through the observation booth, attacking with lightning bolts. Nightcrawler materializes beside Xavier and carries him away, while Wolverine and Colossus enter the fray. Storm uses her elemental powers to keep Karza off-balance, while Colossus tosses Wolverine at Karza. The small X-Man actually manages to breach the armor, causing Karza once more to try the choke trick on Wolverine. Storm orders Colossus to help Wolverine, while she deals with their foe. Karza admits to himself theses are more fearsome foes than the children. He’d love to slay them but has to think of the mission. He teleports away, to appear next to Nightcrawler and Xavier. He takes out Nightcrawler with a blast.
Finally alerted by the noise, Kitty phases in through the ceiling. Seeing the ‘toy,’ she phases through it, intending to shortcircuit its electronic systems. However, as she does so, something unforeseen happens. Kitty is locked in mid-phase, as the force of Karza’s armor reacts violently to Kitty’s mutant ability. So violently that not only molecules but minds as well are displaced. And so, suddenly, Karza finds himself in the body of Kitty Pryde.
Before Karza can determine what to say to the others, the Bioship materializes in the Danger Room, explaining that there is no reason to fight unless it is against a common foe. “Kitty” urges the others to listen to him and the fighting stops. The Bioship tells its story and Karza finds that he cannot transfer his mind back into the armor. However, he can still control it mentally and animates it. Storm is suspicious of Kitty’s behavior, the New Mutants are awed, and Nightcrawler points out that he has met the Micronauts before.
‘Karza’s armor explains that Bioship’s sensors revealed that the Entity derived its powers from the Macroverse and the trail led to the Professor - hence the attack. Xavier notices that Karza generates some sort of psychic interference, which inhibits psychic communication with the X-Men, especially Kitty. He does not trust the Baron, but innocent lives are threatened and, somehow, it may be their fault. Therefore, the X-Men have to help.
Illyana joins them, with Lockheed asking that surely Kitty is going to say goodbye to them first. Suddenly, Lockheed reacts violently, almost attacking Kitty, who shouts at Illyana to get the beast away from her. Storm again silently notes Kitty’s and Lockheed’s odd behavior but says nothing.
Bioship uses an eyebeam to reduce the X-Men in size to make them more compatible with its size. Bioship regrets that it cannot facsimile a portable mode for Xavier. He has to stay behind. The Bioship shrinks as well, becoming smaller and smaller, and tells Xavier that it shall endeavor to return the X-Men in the condition he found them.
Xavier wishes he could be by their side. His thoughts cannot breach the Spacewall separating their dimensions. He cannot contact the X-Men. Perhaps, though, if he turns his mental powers inward, he can locate the link Karza spoke of and sever it. He prays for his X-Men, but fears…