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Starjammers (1st series) # 4

Issue Date: January 1996

Story Title: Nova

Staff: Warren Ellis (writer), Carlos Pacheco (penciler), Cam Smith, Bob Wicek, Dan Panosian & mark Pennington (inkers), Joe Rosas (colorist), Richard Starkings & Comicraft (letters), Malibu (computer color), Suzanne Gaffney (editor), Bob Harras (editor in chief)

Brief Description:
The Shi’Ar and the Uncreated fleets will meet right above Standing Still. The Starjammers wonder what to do as Corsair comes up with a plan. They too depart into space and suddenly Hepzibah betrays the team as she fires weapons on the Shi’Ar, however Corsair suspected such a move and had her console disabled. Right before a battle starts, the Starjammers launch a few mirrorthrowers filled with the data from the retrived Uncreated information unit. As a giant image of their slain god appears the Uncreated go mad, they are hit by their inferiority complex again and commit suicide. Thanking the Starjammers for their help, Lilandra cancels the criminal charges against the space pirates and also is forced into a non-attacking agreement with the Clench planets. The Starjammers celebrate their victory, but Corsair plans to retire and hopes that his lover Hepzibah will overcome her hatred.

Full Synopsis:
Chris Summers and Hepzibah silently sit side by side enjoying Standing Still’s beautiful landscape. Yet their minds are far away as they rethink the events of the last days, Summers knows the importance of the information that has learned about the Uncreated and wonders if they should the prevent the war between the new alien species and the Shi’Ar. Stopping the Uncreated would only allow the Shi’Ar Empire to grow bigger, while allowing them to be slaughtered would create ewmpty space that the arising Phalanx then would usurp. Finally Hepzibah starts a conversation and suggests another reprisal raid against the Shi’Ar. Summers has ebough, he has been aware of her subtle attempts to manipulate him for quite some time, but he did not want to loose her, however he can no longer watch her senseless killings. Hepzibah tries it once more and brings up their suffering in the slave pens, but Corsair says that it’s past time that they should let go of their hate and grudge-holding.

In Lilandra’s throne room Minister T’Cahr reports that many Shi’Ar died in the nebulae explosion caused by the Starjammers. Clearly they are guilty of treason and demands that they have to be exterminated. Lilandra can’t help to be reminded of her fanatical brother D’ken as T’Cahr was one of his closest allies. She announces that the Starjammers can be dealt with later, but for now they will have to accompany the assembled military strikeforces to a second blocking point of the Uncreated approach. T’Cahr, as minister of Peace, too boards the royal yacht and the fleet departs.

On Standing Still, Ch’od presents his teammates an image of the slain god and creator of the Uncreated race, uncovered from the information unit. Helek brings bad news, he has been informed that the point where the whole Shi’Ar fleet and the Uncreated vessels will meet is right above Standing Still. Chris, a good strategist, thinks how stupid this tactic is, for if an Uncreated vessel breaches the defense line, all worlds behind it are without protection; while Hepzibah smiles inside as she hopes that the Shi’Ar will loose against the dealy aliens. Ch’od and Helek are more concerned about Standing Still’s safety. An interstellar war fought in their orbit will permanently harm the planet and it’s population. Corsair thinks long and hard, he has the information that the combatants lack and he has the responsibility to use it – an idea forms. Captain Summers orders his team inside their ship as he has a plan, but they have to hurry as he wants to be at the battleside before either side arrives. Hepzibah doesn’t like this one bit, she thinks about her important role as she is the ship’s weapons master. She can make the Shi’Ar loose the war, with or without her lover’s permission.

Aboard the royal yacht inmidst the Shi’Ar fleet are Lilandra, T’Cahr and also a great selection of Imperial Guardsmen. Finally they reach the Standing Still System and the Empress worries about it’s inhabitants and asks her stategists if there is a way to pull the battlefield into unoccupied space, but T’Cahr interrupts. After all it is only a Clench world, so why should they bother. Lilandra replies that this is not the way of the Shi’Ar but T’Cahr remarks that the Shi’Ar ever take what is ther delight, former Emperor D’Ken would have understood. Lilandra realizes that T’Cahr tries to strangle her with politics, he attempts to lure her into a trap, trying to frame her for treason. The Uncreated Vessels get within range.

Not far away is the hidden Starjammer ship, Corsair thinks how this stand-off reminds him of old western movies – the first to blink is the loser. He orders his crew to await his command, but Hepzibah answers “No“ as he hits the firing button for the boarded weapons – yet nothing happens. Chris reveals that he suspected that she would attempt such a stupid fanatic move, so he and Keeyah earlier disabled her console. Raza reports that his scanner show the Uncreated vessels powering up, so Summers commands Keeyah to “Do the deed“. A quartet of linked mirrorthrowers are launched, they have been filled with data from the Uncreated information pod. The mirrorthrowsers drift into place between the rivaling armies and are activated. A huge image of the Uncreated god forms, dwarfing both fleets and the planet below. Inside their vessels the Uncreated are shocked, they thought their creator slain, some of them are in terror, others simply loose their mind being hit with their inferiority complex again. Their final solution – suicide. The two vessels blow up.

Corsair hails the royal yacht and reveals that it were the Starjammers who ended the war. T’Cahr angrily commands their craft to be destroyed, but Lilandra interrupts which is commented by T’Cahr with “Treason“. However T’Cahr forgot to consider the new situation, with the war at an official end, Lilandra’s previous protective policy towards the Starjammers is again in force, and for calling the righteous Empress a traitor it is now he who will be held on trial. Lilandra orders the Imperial Guard to take the former minister of peace into custody as she establishes visual contact with the Starjammer. Corsair greets her and says that today the Shi’Ar have been given a second chance – they should use it wisely. Then Helek contacts Lilandra and makes a deal, actually the presence of the assembled Shi’Ar fleet in Clench space is politically quzite sensitive, but he will not tell anyone in exchange for the Shi’Ar not invading anyone in the next few years.

Aboard the Starjammer most team members celebrate. Corsair watches quietly and Hepzibah stands unmoving . Summers hopes that she has been shocked to her senses and that they can finally leave the fighting behind them, as this was the final voyage of the Starjammer.

Epilogue
On Chandilar some politicians gather in a dark place; T’Cahr is lost to them, but still their number is many and they think that Lilandra’s rule is not forceful or strong enough.

Somehwhere else, in the galaxy arm that cradles earth a Phalanx craft is seen. It tries to locate the source of a broken beam sent some time ago ...

Characters:
Ch’od, Corsair, Cr+eee, Hepzibah, Keeyah, Raza Longknife (all Starjammers)
Lilandra, Shi’Ar Empress
T’Char, Shi’Ar Minister of Peace
Helek, Clench activist

Electron, Gladiator II, Fang IV, Nightside, Oracle, Scintilla, Smasher IV, Starbolt, Tempest I, Titan (all Imperial Guard)

Notes:
The Phalanx slowly approaching the galaxy part where earth is located is a follow-up to the Phalanx crossover. In Excalibur #82, the Phalanx tower was destroyed by the united X-teams, but not before it could activate a beacon beam to their native system. The threat seems to be very dangerous, however in the alternate future timeline of “2099 books“ the Phalanx reach earth only about a hundred years from now. The Phalanx have been searching for the beacon beam’s origin the whole time !

Issue Summary written by: Peter Luzifer


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