Mr. Knife’s fortress in the orbit of Spartax:
Mr. Knife aka J-son, Thane and a Brood emissary stand on a platform looking down on Spartax. Thane, son of Thanos, J-son muses. Soon they will call him Thanos, father of Thane! He promised him power. Now uphold his promise. Unleash the power of the Black Vortex on Spartax!
Thane uses his cosmically enhanced power to freeze the whole planet in amber.
On Spartax, Kitty Pryde and her friends see something strange in the sky and smell burnt plastic. She orders everyone back to the orphanage. Moments later, they are hit and frozen.
In orbit, J-son triumphs. He stole an entire planet! He tells the Brood emissary she may inform her queen he is ready to deliver Spartax to the Brood…
Soon, Star-Lord’s team arrives on Spartax. They don’t find Nova. What they do find is the entire population encased in amber. They realize this has happened to the whole planet. Jean Grey mindscans the people and then screams. She reveals they are in agony – living death!
They find their frozen friends and Peter runs toward the frozen Kitty. Oh God nononono! he stammers. He apologizes. She was right; he should have listened! The Black Vortex is a curse! He regrets they ever stole it from his krutaking father. She wanted to destroy it but he said no. Now they’ve lost Hala, Spartax and her!
Under the amber, Kitty begins to cry, as he continues his apology. He should have listened to her. She’s the best person in the galaxy. Now he’ll never get to tell— Surprisingly, she manages to phase her fingers out of her amber prison and Peter pulls her out.
He hugs her relieved, then tells her he loves her. She loves him too. She heard him talking to her. He admits he was scared and apologizes. She shushes him. Just kiss her, spaceboy.
Drax tries his strength on another victim but finds he cannot crack the amber. Storm and Jean happily hug Kitty and ask what happened. It all happened so fast, she explains. It came from the sky and the material is so dense she doesn’t think she can phase anyone else out.
Carol Danvers promises the frozen Agent Venom they’ll get him out. Something about this seems familiar. It has to do with Thanos. Not Thanos, Nova who joined them corrects her. Thane, son of Thanos. He wouldn’t shut up about it. He did it because Nova screwed up. Knife and Thane now have the Black Vortex. Storm tells him he did the best he could, they are glad he found them.
They’re back, losers! Magik shouts as she teleports in with their altered teammates and Rocket. The others are understandably suspicious. Peter verbally attacks them, especially Beast. Magik orders him to shut up. He can’t imagine what they are going through so spare them the Saint Peter act. They are here, aren’t they? Did they miss the destruction of the Kree homeworld? Peter asks. Kitty tries to make peace.
Rocket notices several gross-looking ships in the sky and Storm and Carol identify them as belonging to the Brood.
In orbit around Spartax, Mr. Knife welcomes the Brood Queen to his flying fortress and offers her Spartax. She hisses in agreement. Then their contract is complete, he continues.
All that to hand Spartax over to the Brood? Thane bursts out. The Slaughter Lords laugh at his naïveté. Knife explains that for every ten planets the Brood conquer, they give him one. The Brood will be unstoppable. His return on his investment will accrue rapidly. He traded Spartax for an empire. Ebony Maw tells Thane he is impressed. The time will soon come to take it from him. Thane asks what the Brood want with Spartax?
As if in reply, a swarm of tiny Brood descends on Spartax. Rocket and Nova try to shoot them but Kitty tells them they’ll need a bigger boat. There’s millions of them! However, they don’t attack the heroes but go straight for the people trapped in amber.
Beast finds this strain of Brood unfamiliar and grabs one digging its way to Beast’s trapped younger self. He slices it up and finds eggs inside. These infestoid Brood were evolved for one purpose: Spartax! While the citizens are immobile, the Infestoids will burrow through to their skull and implant them with their eggs. Assuming an Infestoid for everyone on the planet, given the typical Brood infant mortality rate, the galactic population of the Brood will increase overnight by seventy-two billion.
They are going to explode out of their heads? Star-Lord asks. They have an obligation to stop them, Beast shouts. Cue for the Slaughter Lord, who feel they have an obligation to stop the heroes…