(watcher’s note: the events of this story take place before the opening of the west coast Xavier-Lehnsherr School)
- Angelica and Mason are onboard The Peak, the S.W.O.R.D. space station, enjoying some much needed (and rare) downtime.
- Angelica receives a message from Tana Nile, her Nova Corp Station Chief. Angelica’s partner, Nu’var wants to attend a holiday on his homeworld and he wants to know if Angelica will take over deep space patrol for him. She agrees to and flies off for the Station House to receive her duty assignments.
- After she gets to the Station House, Chief Nile informs her that they have a 419 in progress on a Nova Corps member world. (419 – a high profile homicide has occurred on a Nova Corp member world and that world requests assistance in the investigation)
- The member world is a recently independent moon/world right on the edges of Badoon Space. It’s close enough that it’s rare the Badoon allow it to be independent but far enough out on the outskirts for them to not put much effort into building an actual outpost on it.
- Since it’s a 419 Angelica decides to take a Forensics Team with her and everyone sets out in a Nova Transport ship for the member world.
- Once they get there (the world looks like a less icey but more snowy Hoth), they learn that this world is home to a religious order called The Church of The Fallen White. It was this order that contacted the Nova Corps. It was a new member of their order that found the body, on the outside walls of their monastery…
- And the body is Phyla-Vell, daughter of the late Captain Mar-vell, and warrior-sister to Angelica.
- Angelica has the lead Forensic Scientist, Dr. Sabien, start his investigation on the body immediately and she has the Disciple who’s been assigned to them lead her to the new member who discovered the body so she can question him. Before she leaves to go question the suspect, Dr. Sabien informs her that, it’s obvious to him, that Phyla-Vell wasn’t killed here. Her body has been moved. From where he can’t determine yet.
- As she questions the New Disciple, Zar’tar, it becomes obvious he’s trying to hide something. Not really lying but not really being straight forward either.
- As she’s leaving from questioning him the monastery comes under attack by a team of hitmen. They manage to free Zar’tar but he makes a run for it, towards the old communication tower while Angelica fights the hitmen sent for him.
- Angelica defeats all the hitmen and catches up with Zar’tar, where she catches him trying to send a signal/message to someone on Planet Sin and The Great Exchange. He claims that the message was to his sister, to warn her that hitmen from The Syndicate just tried to kill him because they didn’t want any loose ends on anyone that just delivered the Nega-Bands to them.
- He doesn’t know who sent the hitmen 1 and doesn’t put up a fight when Angelica places him under “protective custody”
- After he’s secured, Dr. Sabien calls her down to his mobile lab onboard the Nova Transport Ship. He’s discovered some interesting findings from the body. First, she was, indeed, moved and some of the biological samples he’s pulled from her can only be found on a few planets in various sectors (one of those is Planet Sin). Second, and most disturbing, this body is not Phyla-Vell. It’s another woman who’s been body-shopped to look like Phyla-Vell.
- So now the questions are: where are the Nega-Bands (real or otherwise)? who sent the hitmen for Zar’tar and why? who is this poor dead woman? and if this body isn’t Phyla-Vell, then where is she?
- to be continued! -
- Angelica decides to go talk to Zar’tar in the holding cell to try and find out some more of his backstory, to see if that will aid her on this current case.
- Zar’tar reveals that he’s not sure who sent the hitmen, he just assumed they were sent by the Kree because he dared to try to take the Nega-Bands off the dead body of Phyla-Vell. Angelica tells him he’s wrong in that regard and that the hitmen came from someone else.
- Then she tells him that the Nega-Bands on the body were fake and that’s when Zar’tar falls apart in fear. He then reveals that his sister is a Finder for The Great Exchange on Planet Sin and if there’s one thing you don’t do is cheat The Great Exchange. and if those Nega-Bands were fake then him and his sister are in danger. He’ll offer to be Angelica’s guide in exchange for her help. She agrees.
- But he suggests that they go undercover since they’re going inside Ungoverned Space, and to Planet Sin in particular, and they aren’t fond of the law out there.
- Angelica decides to take Dr. Sabien back to the Station House while Zar’tar gets his ship ready for the their trip to Planet Sin.
- After she gets back to The Church of The Fallen White colony moon her and Zar’tar board his ship and begin the long travel to Planet Sin.
- During the trip they talk and Angelica discovers that Zar’tar’s homeworld was conquered by the Badoon Empire generations ago and him and his family managed to escape before the Badoon could secure the world and lived their life as refugees.
- Zar’tar then discovers that Angelica is the famous Angelica Benton of Earth, a member of the Human species (a species he thought was mythical), and the one who defeated Dread Annhiltron himself!
- When they enter the Planet Sin system Zar’tar points out The Twins as they make their approach to the planet to land at one of the spaceports on the surface.
- After they land and disembark, Angelica has shifted her uniform into typical Earth style street clothes with a leather jacket, and she attempts to take in just the overwhelming view of Planet Sin.
- They start to make their way towards the Exchange House, to try and find Zar’tar’s sister before it’s too late. as they make their way both Angelica and Zar’tar notice that they’re being followed so they try to shake their tail by ducking into the nearest open door and they end up inside a multi-species stripclub.
- After they do, a hover-cam flies in and scans them. After that they attempt to try and make it out through the backdoor by running through the club.
- But then the hover-cam shines a spotlight on them which makes some of the thugs in the club stand up to get ready to jump them. Angelica uses her powers to throw the hover-cam light off of them but it’s already too late and the thugs jump them!
- After a brief fight, Angelica and Zar’tar wipe the floor with them and make their way to the backdoor of the club which empties out into a dirty alleyway. the hover-cam follows them out and blink-scans them again, and then flies off into the sky.
- Then the two make their way to the mouth of the alleyway, and they look out at the vast city of Planet Sin, looking to tame a tame-less world out in the middle of Ungoverned Space!
- to be continued! -
- The issue opens with Angelica and Zar’tar looking up at the very impressive pyramid shaped building that houses the Great Exchange as night falls on Planet Sin.
- Zar’tar tells Angelica he has to go meet with a contact, but that he has to go alone, and tells her to wait at a high class bar that’s on the 2nd level of the Exchange House and wait for him. She agrees and goes into a multi-species restroom to shapeshift her street clothes to a high fashion suit and tie, and goes and waits at a back table.
- While she’s waiting, she sees a hover-cam broadcast around the bar that a Blind Auction will be taking place within this solar year (1 year in Earth time) and for the first time there will be 5(!) items in the blind auction. She overhears at the table next to her just how rare a Blind Auction is. They tend to only take place once every other century!
- As she takes all that in, she catches the eye of a Badoon Ship Commander. He walks over and introduces himself as Commander Ma’Tok of the Fist of The Empire and starts to hardcore flirt and offer to buy her a drink.
- As they talk, she tells him her real name and what her species is (he had assumed she was a kree) 2
- As they continue to flirt Zar’tar finally comes back and they excuse themselves from the Commander Ma’Tok.
- Zar’tar says that, his contact will need payment from both of them in order to give them the location of Li’le, Zar’tar’s sister. When Angelica points out that they don’t have any credits, he says that’s not the kind of payment he wants. His contact is an Empath Dealer. He trades in emotions.
- As they make their way to his contact’s place, Zar’tar explains to Angelica just what the Blind Auction is and how it works and why it’s such a big deal.
- When they get to the place, they meet an alien that looks like a huge humanoid white tiger; The Sultan.
- For Angelica’s payment, she tells him a story of one of the times she faced death. When she destroyed the space pirate Nebula’s ship and why she felt she had to. That story of near death and love and sacrifice is more than enough emotional payment and he gives them the location of Li’le.
- They leave but get lost and end up in the wrong part of town. They make short work of the street thugs that jump them, and then take one of their hovercycles and take off again for Li’le’s location.
- When they get there and start to circle the building for a place to stash the bike so they can sneak in, the cycle’s engine fails and they end up crashing through the roof of the building and down into the room where a squad of Exchange Security forces are “questioning” Li’le!
(LoL, this was actually pretty funny and is what happens when you fail a roll against the Doom Pool. good times.)
- This is a harder fight than the street thugs because the Exchange Security forces are highly well trained, and in the end Angelica decides to just grab Zar’tar and Li’le and make a run for it, back to Zar’tar’s ship at the spaceport.
- They manage to escape from Planet Sin and are about to make the jump out of the system when Angelica receives word from Dr. Sabien that, if they’re still in the Planet Sin system they need to head to the Companion Moon. The unknown fem victim had some undigested roots in her body and that plant is only found on the Companion Moon.
- Since being a Companion is legal, Angelica decides to shift her clothes back into her Nova Centurion uniform and they land on the Moon and meet with the Matron of House Sher’ish, in the Purple Mountains.
- They meet and talk with her in the courtyard and, after they learn the name of the victim (Kira) they also learn that payment for her services came through an account on planet Cloudfall, in the Spartax Star Empire.
- As they make their way inside to make use of the Healing Pools, Angelica sees a flicker of something out the corner of her eye and the next thing she knows Zar’tar is screaming her name and pushing her out the way as a blast barely misses her and hits Zar’tar instead, killing him instantly!
(I spent 2D12 to end the scene that way)
- As everyone tries to process what just happened, that flicker becomes the assassin called Shadow! And he’s been hired to kill Angelica!
- to be concluded! -