DISCLAIMER: I DO NOT OWN GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY, OR ANY OF THE CHARACTERS, CONCEPTS, PLACES, AND ANYTHING MARVEL-RELATED. BASICALLY, I OWN NOTHING. EVERYTHING BELONGS TO MARVEL AND DISNEY.
A/N: So I just watched Guardians of the Galaxy for the second time, and after catching up on the comic books and doing a lot of research, I decided to make my own little sequel to the movie. The idea's probably been done before. Just PLEASE give mine a try!
I really just want to address the identity of Peter's father. I'll be introducing a few characters, places, and concepts from the comics to do that - with my own spin, of course. Don't yell at me because some things I write are non-canonical in the comics- I know. Every concept that I introduce (or choose not to introduce) is to make the story seem logical, even if those concepts aren't technically canon.
SPOILER ALERT IF YOU DID NOT SEE GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY
The story will probably end up being an AU once the second movie actually comes around, since James Gunn supposedly confirmed that Peter's father in the comics will not be his dad in the movies. Anyone got any theories on that, by the way?
Anyway, this is the prologue. I have to establish some characters, so just bear with me. It'll get better from here on out!
WARNINGS: THERE IS SOME CURSING, BUT MOST SWEARS ARE REPLACED BY SWEARING SYMBOLS (comic fans know what these are). Very slight suggestive content inside.
TERRAN TIME: 1988
Explosions rocked the planet Spartax's atmosphere, painting the sky with plumes of smoke and smoldering dust. The impending assault caused a chorus of screams from the planet's surface, sounding eerily like a collective wail.
Once, the city below had looked like a utopia - a metropolis of gleaming, domed structures and skyscrapers sprawling over lush mountains and valleys. Now, however, repeated attacks from an invading force had rendered it a partially burnt sea of buildings. Nonetheless, the damage was far from catastrophic, and the planet would definitely recover. But even the small damages would inspire a fierce vengeance from the Spartoi citizens.
Nearly a century had passed since anyone had attacked the capital of the Spartax Empire - an empire that boasted hundreds of colonies and planetary systems under its jurisdiction. The very idea of war seemed foolish given the Empire's long and successful reign.
But their many territories had been the reason behind this airstrike. Another, belligerent race called Ariguans had decided to invade, eager to claim Spartoi resources and lands for their own.
The Ariguans were conquerors with no true home planet to call their own. Thus, they would enslave any planet that they desired and managed to defeat. In this practice, the rest of the galaxy had come to view the Ariguans as truly despicable creatures...creatures that needed to be destroyed. Unfortunately, their technology was quite advanced, and their numerous soldiers fought with a strong brutality that was hard to overcome.
But the Spartoi were a resilient people - they had not thrived for millennia only to be defeated by a group of measly, reptilian nomads, no matter how savage or populous they were.
Effectively protecting their home, Imperial ships weaved between relentless blasts, resolutely pursuing the formidable force of enemy vessels-a force that was very slowly, but surely, diminishing. Both fleets - Spartoi and enemy alike- flew by at unbelievable speeds, almost nonchalantly breaking the sound barrier with a deafening crack, even as they swerved to avoided enemy fire.
One particular imperial pilot fought with astounding skill, managing to incapacitate dozens of enemy pods with a few blasts while partaking in stunning evasive maneuvers. His name was J'son, former crown prince of the Spartoi Empire.
Eleven years prior, he had been wrongly disgraced as a traitor to his civilization - framed for a crime he had not committed. Thus, his title had been stripped, along with his claim to the throne and his right to live on his home planet.
But a year later, the war had reared its ugly head, and his father - the Emperor Eson-had called him back, unwilling to face this new threat without his best soldier. And J'son was quite a fierce warrior and strategist; some could argue that the war had turned in Spartax's favor simply because of J'son's careful planning and actions.
Throughout the ten year campaign against these reptilian beasts, J'son had fought hard to restore his own honor-and possibly his own birthright to the throne. He knew that if he ultimately brought the planet victory, his father could see that he had never even dreamt of conspiring against the empire, like he had been so wrongly accused of.
But then again...if he failed to regain his title, he did have a life to return to somewhere else. A life that he had been very reluctant to leave, even given his desire to reclaim the throne.
Though he tried his best not to think about the distant planet he had called home for a short time. The warm memories distracted him from the matters at hand-namely, the life-and-death battles raging in front of his very eyes.
And this-this was the final battle: the last-ditch Ariguan assault on the Spartoi capital. Ten years of relentless conflict had waned the Ariguan forces, and now only a few thousand remained. But like the Spartoi, the Ariguans were not prepared to surrender, even though the latter faced certain defeat. They intended to injure the Empire as much as possible, even if it entirely destroyed their own race.
Just as the Imperial forces began picking off the few, remaining individual Ariguan pods, a shadow blocked out the sun, blanketing the city in an ominous silhouette.
The Ariguan mothership had entered the airspace above them, finally joining the intense, though rapidly concluding battle. It was a hulking mass, humming from the huge amounts of energy it both produced and consumed. J'son mentally remarked that on Earth (or Terra, as the rest of the galaxy called it), people would say its honeycomb framework made it reminiscent of a giant beehive. The only difference was that no workers exited the hive to defend their home - all the soldiers had been destroyed, save for the Ariguan leaders that resolved to continue fighting a losing battle. With the mothership involved, the Ariguans were risking their entire culture and civilization. J'son suspected that every member of their race had fought in the war - women and children included. The few, last Ariguans were probably in this mothership, desperate to face death instead of the shame of surrender. That was the Ariguans' savage philosophy, anyway.
But despite J'son's bitterness toward them, he could understand their desire to be defeated in a blaze of glory instead of a surrender-and he was certainly happy to oblige them. A decade of ceaseless fighting had made him eager for revenge. Besides, the ship was still a threat as it fired countless energy blasts at his fellow pilots, though few made their mark.
He banked and pitched his ship upwards, aiming his guns and missiles at the mothership's hull. The other Imperial ships soon followed his lead, flocking behind him in a perfect, triangular formation.
In truth, it was J'son's father's place to lead the renewed attack, but seeing as no one else was taking initiative, J'son had taken the responsibility upon himself. Where was his father, anyway? He was supposed to be fighting alongside his soldiers.
But with no time to think about that now, J'son allowed his men a few seconds to find a strategic position in the air. Then, with a voice tight with anticipation, he screamed a single word into his com-link: "Fire!"
On his cue, the sky erupted into a solid wall of fire, the missiles and blasts combining to form one assaulting force. The flames soon blanketed the invading vessel, though its shields protected it from the attack...for now, at least.
The fleet continued firing at the mothership's hull, and eventually, one of J'son's shots breached the vessel's shields. Seeing the opportunity, the Spartoi directed their shots at the opening, and something important caught ablaze from the ship's inside.
His ship's sensors detected intense energy increases, and he ordered his men to fly out of range. The call had ultimately been a good one - the mothership exploded, the force and heat of the combustion disintegrating the metal and debris.
Over his ship's com-link, J'son could hear his fellow pilots erupting into cheers, and he soon joined in. The war finally over!
"Congratulations, father," he communicated over the system, hoping that the emperor was listening. "You have just won your war."
After a long pause, there was a response over the line-but it was not from J'son's father. The voice belonged to a man named Thayzen, who was a member of the Emperor's personal guard.
"J'son...there's something you need to know…"
J'son sat in his bedroom, the lights dulled down to their lowest setting and the curtains closed tightly. In the darkness, he proceeded to mull over everything that had recently occurred.
One second, he had been happy in the arms of the woman he loved. The next, he was off to fight a war for the people who had banished him. And then finally, he was being told that his father was dead, and that he was to become emperor as soon as possible. How had things changed so fast?
Thayzen's voice still rung in his ears, like a haunting echo.
"Your father's ship was taken out by an Ariguan pod," Thayzen had told him. "I'm sorry, J'son. There was nothing we could do. We didn't want to tell you until the battle was over...for fear of compromising your concentration."
The fleet's cheers had quickly died down, replaced by a deafening sound of white noise. The emperor was dead? How?
Despite the new information, the realization had not set in until J'son had reached the ground, parking his ship in the Spartoi battle hangar. The Council of Ministers - the planet's parliament - had greeted him there almost immediately, already prepared to address the Emperor's death.
"Your father knew that fighting in the war was dangerous," one councilman had said. "But he fought anyway, despite our wishes. We are very sorry for your loss, J'son. Eson's death will bring us sorrow for years to come."
Indeed, the premature death of a Spartoi Emperor was uncommon. The planet's inhabitants had particularly long lifespans, and a monarch's reign could last over a century if circumstances allowed. But Eson had ruled for barely 50 years, during ten of which J'son had been banished. Those ten years of possible bonding and companionship were now lost-forever.
"Of course, Eson was quite wise. He made arrangements before heading into battle...just for a situation such as this," another councilman had added quickly, afraid that they were inadvertently insulting the royal family. "In the event of his death, he ordered for your titles to be restored. Your valor in battle has proven your undying loyalty, and the position of Emperor is yours to accept."
"He admitted that he had been wrong in banishing you," the third councilman had continued, placing a withered, comforting hand on J'son's shoulder.
Rejecting their consolation, J'son had shaken his head and pulled away from the group. "I am...grateful for the reconsideration. But I need some time to accept this. If you'll excuse me-"
In his disoriented stumbling, he had somehow found his way into his royal quarters - quarters that had long been off-limits to him during his banishment. But the entire empire now knew of his upcoming coronation, so the guards did not stop him.
And now...here J'son sat, utterly overwhelmed. Emperor? He was only 35 years old - way too young to be an emperor. And without his father's guidance...how could he lead an entire empire on his own?
But that was not all he worried about. As emperor, J'son would probably gain many foes - foes that would do anything to gain leverage and power over him.
His mind wandered back to Meredith - his biggest regret and greatest joy. Was his newfound power going to put her in danger? Or even worse, was he putting his half-Spartoi, half-Terran son in danger as well? The boy must have been ten years old by now...growing up without a father. He could only hope that Meredith was raising him right.
He had met her during his banishment, when J'son had accidentally crash-landed on Earth. She had nursed him back to health, and despite his better judgment, he had fallen in love and even fathered a child with her.
If the war had not interfered with his plans, he probably would have stayed with her for the remainder of his life. But he could not deny Eson his aid in battle, so he had left her, even though she was carrying his child. It was one of the hardest decisions he had ever made.
However, if the war ended and J'son's title was still revoked, he had sworn that he would return to her and raise their son on Earth...like she had wanted.
But now...he had a responsibility to his people. He could not live a simple Terran life...could not even live a simple Spartoi life anymore.
And if anything, he had just brought an immense amount of danger into his estranged family's life. J'son was certain that someone would find out about them eventually...whether it be the Badoon, the longtime rivals of the empire, or the mischievous Skrulls - no...he simply could not let it happen!
On Earth, Meredith and his son were unprotected - too far out of his reach. He needed to bring them to Spartax...quickly, discreetly, and safely. But how? Leaving by himself would be too suspicious, which could just make matters worse. That left only one option: to hire someone else to fetch his family.
Rising from his chair, J'son walked over to the console by his bed. "Connect me to Yondu of the Ravagers. Disguise the call's origin," he ordered, and the technology responded. He knew that Ravagers were dishonorable cretins, determined to steal or sell any contraband that they could find. But at the same time, they practiced some of the best discretion and confidentiality in the galaxy, and that was what J'son needed right now. Besides, what use could they have for a Terran mother and her son?
A blue, scaly face soon filled a nearby screen, its red, narrowed eyes scrutinizing the unlit room. The darkness and technological facade had effectively obscured J'son's identity. Hopefully, Yondu would never know that he was serving the soon-to-be Spartoi emperor.
"I have a commission for you, if you're interested," J'son told the man on the screen. "I'm willing to pay generously for it too."
Yondu's mouth stretched into a grin that revealed pointy teeth, some of which were made of metal. His response was drawn out with a foreign drawl, but it nevertheless betrayed his eagerness for a hefty payday. "Sounds like my kinda job. What d'ya need?"
To be continued...