Issue Date: December 2008
Story Title: Dead Wrong - part three
Staff: Terry Moore (writer), Humberto Ramos (penciler), Dave Meikis (inker), Christina Strain (colorist), Virtual Calligraphy’s Joe Caramagna (letterer), Irene Lee (production), Daniel Ketchum (associate editor), Nick Lowe (editor), Joe Quesada (editor in chief), Dan Buckley (publisher)
Runaways created by Vaughan & Alphona
Nico has used a spell, scatter, to get rid of the invading Majesdanians. This has bought them some time, though one of their assailants still remains. Chase fixes one of his Fistigons in the basement before Molly carries him to a team meeting. There, Nico tries to get some ideas of how to approach the situation, having being unable to get much information from their captive, vaDanti. Karolina decides that the only way out is for her to surrender, and take her chances with the Majesdane Court. Chase departs for work, asking them to call him if they agree on a plan. Molly and Klara head outside to build a fort, and even Old Lace disappears. Meanwhile, the General calls his ship to pick him up, and then proceeds to collect deHalle and vaRikk before heading back to Los Angeles. Chase is told to collect Val's dry cleaning, but this is to get him out of the office. He has a phone call from 'Mother,' and he asks Mother what they know about zombies! Back in Malibu, Xavin attends a beach party with their neighbors, and Nico can't understand why everyone is being so blasé about the upcoming attack. Victor figures it out for her. He thinks that when she used the scatter spell earlier, it somehow affected the runaways, too.
Val Rhymin coughs as he delivers his show from his car. Listening to his inane ramblings is Chase Stein, who is trying to fix one of his Fistigons at the runaways' new Malibu residence. As he fiddles with a pair of pliers, a kind of laser shoots from the glove, destroying something sitting opposite. This surprises Chase, and Molly appears at that moment to ask what he's doing. Chase does his best to cover up the Fistigon, but the fzzt fzt sounds and lingering smoke give his game away.
"Ah, maintenance," Chase replies. Molly informs him that Nico's called a meeting upstairs... "Like now!" Chase doubles over the gloves and says that he'll be there in a minute. Molly rubs her chin and her urgency vanishes. "Are you hiding something?" she asks as she rubs her chin, inquisitively. She warns him that he better not be hiding chocolates. The Fistigons continue making strange noises, and Chase admits that he's just doing a little tweaking. Chase knows that something is about to go boom, so he asks Molly to push a button on the wrist band. When she clicks it, Chase relaxes and sits upright.
Molly tells him that she might be just a kid, but she knows that you're supposed to turn stuff off before you work on it. Chase replies that he didn't know it was loaded. He rummages around inside the glove and removes a small piece of the mechanism. It's the part that keeps the laser from shooting full force. Molly reckons that there's a reason for it being there, but Chase says there's a reason they put water savers in the shower. It doesn't stop people removing them. Molly reminds him that showers don't kill people. "Two words for you..." replies Chase, "Psycho." Molly remembers why she is there and tells Chase to come on. Everybody's waiting. "In a minute," he replies. Molly warns him not to make her pick him up and carry him.
Molly enters the lounge carrying Chase unceremoniously above her head. "Put me down you little gorilla!" he cries. Nico asks everybody to take a seat so she can get started. They have a major problem and need to do something about it before things get really bad. The Majesdanians are coming back, and they'll be mad. Karolina likens this to a bad dream that she can't wake up from. Nico admits that she doesn't know where her scatter spell sent them all, but it's only a matter of time before they regroup and find their way back. Their ship is gone, and Nico can only assume that it went to pick them up. She looks at their captive, vaDanti, and informs them that she and Victor have done everything they can think of to get 'this one' to cooperate, but without luck. vaDanti reminds her of his name, and tells Karolina that she cannot hide from Majesdane's soldiers. They tracked her across light years. Navigating a planet is nothing.
Victor tells him that they don't want to hide. They want to avoid any more fighting and to try work out a peaceful resolution between them and Karolina. Karolina concurs. She doesn't want any more fighting. Nico warns vaDanti that, if he cares about his friends, he will help them figure out what they can do to stop them, because she can promise him that if they attack again, they will fight back. Does he understand what she's saying? People will get hurt. His people. She wants to know where they are and when they will arrive; whether he can communicate with them and what they can do to stop them from attacking. Her final question is, what they can do to avoid a fight? "Surrender," barks vaDanti. Chase flips out, and Victor has to restrain him. Chase wants to knock the grin off his face, but Vic assures him that it's just a stalling tactic so his friends can join him. Karolina shouts for everyone to stop it. She asks them to calm down. They're not getting anywhere with violence and anger.
She asks everyone to sit, and that includes Victor. She tells vaDanti that Nico isn't kidding when she says they will defend themselves. If those soldiers come back in like they did yesterday, then she can promise that blood will be shed; Majesdanian blood. They're practically extinct as it is. Are they going to fight each other until the last Majesdanian is dead? Then what? When they're all gone, what was the point? vaDanti hits back by saying that the point is justice. Without it, there is more at stake than just their lives. Chase is annoyed that they're not getting anywhere with vaDanti. He reckons they should just load up the Leapfrog and go find the creeps: get the jump on them. Xavin points out that it isn't enough. If they stop this team, then another will follow. Nico thinks she is right. They'll be looking over their shoulders for the rest of their lives.
Molly, sitting beside the newcomer Klara, raises her hand and votes that they build a fort. The others ponder what to do. They could use a spell, they could negotiate a truce. Klara could give them flowers. They are in dire need of a plan. As they discuss other ideas, Karolina blanks them from her mind, but then speaks. "I have a solution. Give them what they want... Me. I will go with them. Problem solved." Nico says that isn't happening. Karolina adds that they can follow if the want and testify on her behalf. Again, Nico says no. vaDanti is pleased that in his opinion, someone in the room is making sense. "Shut up! comes the response from half the team. Chase storms off. He tells them that when somebody comes up with a plan, they can let him know. Nico asks where he's going. "To work," he replies. Xavin asks Nico to let him go. There is nothing he can do. She will save them with diplomacy. Molly decides to take Klara with her, and leaves the room to build a fort. Somebody’s gotta do it. Nico can't believe they just walked away. As she slumps against Old Lace, the dinosaur also gets up and saunters off into another room. "Perfect," groans Nico. Karolina sits there looking at their captive, and sighs.
deHalle is freezing. A penguin stands there, as if it's interested in what she is doing there. The spacecraft appears above her and her powers kick in. With a beautiful rainbow lightshow, she takes off and enters the craft from underneath, rejoining the General who is at the controls. He asks if she is okay. deHalle replies that she is fine, but can't wait to get her hands on that little witch. The General says they have one more stop and then she will get her chance.
Molly drags a suitcase to the top of the cliff with ease. Klara struggles with a plant pot. Molly reckons it's a good spot for a fort. Nice and level. Klara thought the beach was level. Klara lies down, exhausted, and asks why the sky is so brown. It's like New York, but here she doesn't smell coal. Molly hands her a bottle of water and replies that it's pollution. She thinks it looks pretty blue where they are, though. Klara, though, can tell the difference. She thought 1907 New York was dirty. Molly looks out over the sea and says that any minute now, she's gonna see way more than pollution up there. She's gonna see the enemy space ship coming down and shooting up the beach house. She stands and makes a shape like a raptor. She reckons they'll be safe and sound in their secret fort, preparing their sneak attack like the second raptor. Klara doesn't understand the reference, so Molly explains that it's from Jurassic Park. She has to hook her up with some torrents. She has some serious catching up to do. Molly crushes a rock in her fingers that was in her way and lies down. Klara spreads her arms and looks at the sky. She sighs but smiles. "Ships that sail in the sky. Parks filled with dinosaurs. I'm never going to get used to this century."
In Los Angeles, Chase arrives at KZIT and finds Val Rhymin slouching in his chair with an ice pack on his forehead. He reports for duty, but Val tells him to stop yelling, and for whoever it is to leave, or he will kill him. Chase reminds him that he is his new assistant, hired yesterday. He is there for him. "Teach me, oh King of the Airwaves." Val looks at him and asks him to come closer, and closer still. When Chase has his face within inches of Val's, Val asks him to do something for him. Chase is eager to hear. Val mentions the window behind him. He asks Chase to open it, jump, and try not to hit his yellow Carrera in the parking lot. Chase stands up and laughs. "You totally had me! Totally!" he snorts, goofily. Val wonders why he isn't jumping.
A call comes in and Val's secretary informs him that Mother is on line one. Val asks Mother to hang on a second, and stands. he tells 'junior' that playtime is over. If he wants to be his new assistant, he wants his dry cleaning picking up. Chase isn't too happy about doing this kind of chore, but Val informs him that the first rule of radio is Do As I Say. Chase resigns himself to the task and departs. Val says that if he passes this test, then next time he might try something a little harder, like washing his car. He gets back on the phone to Mother and apologies. He had to do a little pest control. He then asks, "So... Mother... what do you know about zombies?"
The spaceship arrives in the jungle and locates vaRikk who flies up to meet it. deHalle asks what's on his shoulder. vaRikk doesn't know, but she swallowed his beacon so he had to hang on to her. The General tells them to buckle up. He wants to get back to Los Angeles as quickly as possible. deHalle looks at the lizard perched on vaRikk's shoulder, and asks how he knows it's a she. He replies that it gives him the same look she used to give him when they were together. "Pity?" she asks. "Total admiration," he replies. vaRikk wants to name her deHalley.
In Malibu, Xavin is at a beach party attended by many of their neighbors. They are chatting about boxing, and one asks Xavin (disguised as a handsome white male) who his favorite boxer is. "Rocky Balboa," Xavin replies. The other guys laugh. They don't realize that it's probably the only Boxer Xavin knows. Nico approaches and Xavin asks her to pull up a chair and join them. "No thanks... uh... father," she replies, "Shouldn't you be getting back to the house?" Xavin asks why. Nico tells him that they have that 'thing' to get ready for. Xavin appears to play dumb, and she adds that they need to get ready for their guests. Any time now. Xavin replies that she is ready and has already written a speech. Nico is angry, but replies that she might want to be standing with them when she delivers that speech. "Truth does not need backup, Nico<" replies Xavin. Nico can't believe that she's just going to sit there and do nothing. Xavin covers her face and her eyes reveal her Skrull form underneath. She tells her that Nico has her plan, and she has hers. Nico storms off, disappointed. "Kids," shrugs Xavin.
Nico heads back to the house calling for Molly and Klara who don't respond. She asks Victor where they are. He reminds her that they went to build a fort. Nico finds this insane. Chase is at work, Xavin's having a beach party and Molly & Klara are off playing. Any minute now a Majesdanian warship is going to drop out of the sky and blow the place off the map. She looks around and asks where Karolina is. Victor tells her that she's upstairs, writing a letter of surrender to the Majesdane Court. She's planning on preventing any more fighting by giving herself up. Nico doesn't want that to happen. Victor places his hands on her shoulders and reckons that they’ll call that Plan B. So what's Plan A? Nico doesn't know. They're falling apart. Everybody's going in different directions. It doesn't make sense. Victor thinks about that for a moment, while Nico says that maybe they should just load everybody up in the 'frog and run; buy themselves some time.
Inside the house, vaDanti watches them through the large windows. With no one to watch over him, he uses his energy powers to destroy his metal bindings. His wrist band beeps. He looks serious.
Victor tells Nico that he thinks he's got it. He thinks he knows why everybody's acting so strange and disconnected. "Scatter." Her spell scattered the Majesdanians, but it appears to have done the same to them. "Oh, no," gasps Nico. "What have I done?"
Karolina Dean, Molly Hayes, Victor Mancha, Nico Minoru, Klara Prast, Chase Stein, Xavin (all Runaways)
deHalle, vaDanti, vaDrann and vaRikk (all Majesdanians)
This is the first mention of 'Mother.'
It is revealed here that Chase's new gauntlets are, indeed, Fistigons.
Psycho is a classic 1960 movie directed by Alfred Hitchcock, in which Janet Leigh's character, Marion Crane, is brutally stabbed to death in the shower.
In the 1993 movie, Jurassic Park, the first raptor uses itself as a distraction while its fellow raptor closed in on their prey.
Rocky Balboa is the central character in Sylvester Stallone's Rocky movies.
The Carrera is built by the German Porsche car company.
Cover link to follow.