A considerable distance from where Thor and Minerva had fought, another battle was about to take place. The Kree ship, apparently overwhelmed by the Avengers’ three-pronged attack, was coming in for a landing.
Captain Marvel opened all channels on her communicator. “Avengers, assemble at the ship’s hatch – and be prepared for anything!”
The Black Knight and the She-Hulk exited their land-bound quinjet while Namor landed his quinjet and exited it. The four Avengers stood before the ship, ready for a fight.
And a fight was what they got, but not quite the way they expected. Rather than the rigid militaristic formations the Kree were known for, these Kree – Captain Atlas, Zetazia, Loparr, Verxa, Gurge, and a squad of storm-troopers – came charging out savagely, wielding not only guns but also swords, clubs, maces, axes, and spears. As they mercilessly rushed the Avengers, they lustily chanted one word: “Garero.”
The Avengers didn’t waste time pondering any of this. Captain Marvel turned into a lightning bolt and knocked several storm-troopers off their feet, while the Black Knight engaged Captain Atlas in a swordfight, She-Hulk fought against the double team of the massive, plodding Gurge and the fast, feral Loparr, and Namor dodged both Verxa’s twin blades.
Teamwork quickly turned the tide in the Avengers’ favor. She-Hulk lifted Gurge and threw him at Verxa, while Namor tackled Loparr. The Black Knight disarmed Captain Atlas, who was in turn stunned by Captain Marvel’s shock blasts. Zetazia tried to fire a disruptor gun at Captain Marvel, but the Black Knight’s ebony blade intercepted the disruptor ray, sending it back where it came from and shattering the gun.
Before Captain Marvel could rally the Avengers for the coup de grace, her cosmic awareness went wild, intermingling with the cosmic entity’s rage.
Captain Marvel lost control over her own body as she felt herself take flight under the entity’s will. They made a kamikaze charge at the approaching Minerva.
Thanks to her own newly acquired cosmic awareness, Minerva immediately realized what was going on. “The cosmic bastard is within her,” she sneered, “I should have known!”
As soon as Captain Marvel was close enough, Minerva let loose with a powerful right hook that sent Captain Marvel free-falling. The cosmic entity’s rage reached critical mass. Captain Marvel could do nothing to prevent the entity from making another foolhardy attack on Minerva, blasting the villainess with radioactive beams. Minerva was knocked by the beams into the face of a cliff.
Now it was Minerva’s turn to lash out. “Enough games! This ends now!” Hellishly red cosmic beams burst forth from her eyes, hitting Captain Marvel point blank.
There followed a bizarre sight punctuated by unearthly screams. Captain Marvel’s molecules discorporated and then reformed into two separate bodies: Captain Marvel’s and a skinny, hairless, sexless, milky-white-skinned alien. Seemingly drained of her superpowers, Captain Marvel fell to the ground and didn’t move.
Minerva used both hands to grab the alien’s torso. With a sickening sound of flesh rending and bones breaking, she tore the alien in two. The alien’s dying cries echoed through the canyons as its remains burned in cosmic fire as they fell to the ground.
As the battle between the Avengers and the Kree raged on, Minerva hovered above the fray, laughing and laughing.
TO BE CONTINUED IN PART IV