The Rigelian Recorder replays how Vulcan killed the ambassadors of the Galactic Council and announced that the Council was dissolved. My name is Vulcan, but soon you will all call me King!
The transmission ends. The one watching with interest was Ronan the Accuser, until recently leader of the Kree. Play it again, he demands.
Over the Shi’ar prison planet Kr’kn, Rachel Grey is using all the Phoenix power she has to fight the living star, the Hodinn. But he fires and explodes.
The Emperor Ship Hammer II targets Rachel and fires at the two of them and they fall planetward with the Hodinn laughing madly.
Further down, under the planet’s surface in the prison dubbed the Hole:
Vulcan orders the Imperial Guard to bring him his brother’s head. Kallark, no! Lilandra shouts as the Guard’s praetor, Gladiator, flies towards Havok. He slams him against a wall, assuring him he takes no pleasure in this. He doesn’t have to do this, Havok groans, Vulcan is not his emperor!
“Do it!” a female voice cheers Kallark on. Kill him and then she can kill him, the female Strontian adds, calling him “cousin.” Xenith, he mutters. Horrified, he looks at Vulcan, demanding what he has done. He tosses Havok aside and charges at Xenith with an incoherent cry of rage.
Vulcan, in the meantime, orders the rest of the Imperial Guard to kill the Starjammers, and they attack.
Raza is still caught by the symbiote. He can hear it inside him, he shouts at Ch’od, It’s so hungry!
Wildly, Vulcan fires blasts at Havok. Why do they keep fighting? He’s won over and over – he wins and they keep fighting him! They could have ruled together, but they keep fighting him!
He orders the Guard to execute Lilandra. Korvus runs to her side and Polaris catches the Guard with the moving ground. Alex tells Gabriel none of them will stop.
She is awake now, Polaris warns Vulcan. She made him scream before and can do it again. So bring it, you snot-nosed punk! With a cry of rage he flies at her.
That moment, Rachel and the Hodinn come crashing in through the ceiling. Polaris immediately lifts up the ceiling. The Hodinn still laughs madly. Let’s try that again, bub, Rachel, somewhat beaten, announces.
The Guard is horrified to see a Hodinn. But Havok begins to smile. It’s a star, he can feel it! He begins to absorb its power. With it weakened, the Guard immediately attacks it while Havok releases his power at Vulcan, who actually falls down. Still aglow with the Hodinn’s energy, Havok stands over Vulcan and orders him to get up. They are not done!
Lilandra takes the opportunity to order the Starjammers to move and they fight the Imperial Guard with renewed vigor.
In another corner, Gladiator and Xenith are battling it out. “Die!” she shouts as she burns him with her eyebeams. She has waited long enough, rotting away in the Avians’ prison. He deserves this!
Shortly gaining the upper hand, Kallark reminds his cousin that she fought against the empire. What was he to do? She is sick… mad! She needs help!
He chose them over her! she shouts. He betrayed her and for that he will pay! She will take away everything from him! If the Emperor knew, he retorts, he would never…
That moment, Deathbird shouts at him, telling him that Vulcan freed her and pardoned her. She serves the empire once again, just as he does. If he claims to serve the throne, then serve Vulcan and let her go! Xenith smiles triumphantly. The emperor favors her, “mad” or not. And once his enemies are crushed… then the two of them will finish this.
Elsewhere, Havok again fires at Vulcan, telling him he deserves this. No! Vulcan shouts. They deserved it. Cosair! D’ken! If Havok knew what it was like! Beating him, Havok shouts he killed their father!
Polaris, in the meantime, is weakening. She can’t hold the whole ceiling. She asks Rachel for help. Rachel however is busy fending off several Guard members along with Korvus. Korvus tells her to go help Lorna, he will cover them. Rachel suddenly moans. Oh God, no!. The next moment, she screams as the Phoenix energy leaves both her and Korvus’ Phoenix blade and flies elsewhere.
Rachel sinks down weakened, the Hound tattoo marks on her face manifesting again. What just happened? Havok asks. He could feel the Phoenix energy, Gabriel mumbles. Please not now… Mom… Rachel mutters. And Korvus finds he can no longer lift the Phoenix Blade, it has grown too heavy.
Pn’zo pierces Rachel’s shoulder with his tentacles. Birdie’s not a birdie. Easier to kill. Get his money. Furious, Korvus manages to life his blade after all and cut Pn’zo. He doesn’t need the Phoenix to kill any of them, he shouts. Now who’s next?!
Lilandra runs to the side of Rachel, who moans that the Phoenix is gone. Lilandra shouts to Havok they need to go. She is not going anywhere! Deathbird shouts and slices her claws across her younger sister’s back. Lilandra tries to appeal to her, reminding her Vulcan doesn’t care about the Shi’ar. He only wants revenge! He is full of hate! And that hate will make the empire strong, Deathbird replies. Look at Lilandra… her rule almost destroyed them!
Don’t do this! Lilandra pleads. Deathbird pronounces her weak and pathetic. No exile… no more running. This ends now and, sister, she’s had this coming a long time! She runs at her, but just in time Lilandra grabs a lance and impales her.
Deathbird garbles. For a moment, even Vulcan is shocked, shouting his wife’s name. Havok uses this chance to strike again. At the end of her power, Polaris appeals to Havok, shouting they are all going to die. It wasn’t his fault, Vulcan pleads again… they deserved…
He’s sorry, Alex replies. He’s sorry for everything that happened to Gabriel. But he went too far. From some actions there is no coming back. He’s sorry it had to be that way. Kill… you… all! Vulcan moans. No matter how hard Alex tries… all his power… he is still alive and he is going to kill them all!
There’s no time, Lilandra shouts, the Hole is collapsing. She initiates emergency teleport over Havok’s protest.
Moments later, Vulcan teleports back aboard the Hammer and orders are given to fire on the Starjammer.
The team is in for another shock. The Starjammer’s system didn’t recognize Raza, now bonded with the Symbiote, and left him behind. Lilandra apologizes to Ch’od. But they must live. For the sake of the empire, they must run. The Starjammer initiates a jumpgate and flees.
Later on Chandilar, Vulcan is informed that Deathbird is still comatose, despite the Healers’ best attempts. The damage to her spinal cord was too severe. Even if she wakes, she wil... Stop, Vulcan orders. Ka’ardum reminds him that he needs to give orders. Their forces are still tracking the Starjammer but they have several campaigns in progress. The people… his forces need leadership. Emperor… Oracle begins. Xenith interrupts, stating his enemies need killing!
Vulcan addresses them. This is how it will be. This is how the empress would want it. The Strontian will replace Gladiator on the front. She and Ka’ardum will oversee the great expansion. Gladiator and the Imperial Guard are with him. They wait. Havok and he have more in common than they thought. He won’t give up, and neither will Vulcan. He will hunt him and Lilandra to the ends of the universe, to make them pay for what they have done her. Now bring him something to kill!
Outside Shi’ar space, the Starjammer rematerializes. They have thirteen minutes until they can track the jump, Ch’od states. Six cycles now the Shi’ar have chased them. He suggests they come up with a plan before any more of them are lost. The group is in low spirits. Lorna promises they will get Raza back. Of course, Ch’od agrees sarcastically, because they were so easily rescued. Wait… no. They were tortured for months and now the Phoenix is gone.
Havok addresses Rachel. Nothing, she states dejected. She can’t feel it. She can’t hear it. It’s like it was never there. She has her telepathy and telekinesis but the power behind it is gone.
She should have left him, Alex snarls at Lilandra. He could have killed Vulcan and this would be over. Is revenge worth his life? Lilandra shoots back. He sees what it’s done to Vulcan. She’d have her empire back, Alex reminds her. She will have her empire back, Lilandra insists. But she’ll do it another way. And she needs them alive!
In Kree space, Ronan the Accuses receives a report. A Shi’ar scouting party of warbirds closed in on the Kree protective field. They were destroyed upon approach. Ronan walks into the throne chamber to give the news to his new rulers, the Royal Family of Attilan.