- There is more to life than glory. There is also friendship and most of all ... love!
- -- King Acroyear, to Shaitan
Appearing in "To the Victors Belongs a World!"
Synopsis for "To the Victors Belongs a World!"
Baron Karza is dead! The Great Pit is dark, the Body Banks are quiet, the Dog Soldiers are imprisoned. The people of Homeworld honor the Microns at a rally. Then the time comes to heal, to rebuild, to chart a new future.
The team mourns Bug, who disappeared after an explosion. Acroyear must part from the Microns to return home and lead his people through their own renewal.
On Earth, Colonel Macey sifts through the wreckage in the Human Engineering Life Laboratory. He finds an Acroyear preserved in a tube and sends it to SHIELD. Later, Nick Fury and Dum-Dum Dugan summon Agent M to take it to someone in New York. That evening, Ray Coffin and his son, Steve, share a bonding moment after their recent experiences.
On Spartak, Shaitan stands trial for treason. He has always hated his brother, King Acroyear, and turned him over to Karza as much out of revenge as ambition. When the king offers exile instead of execution, Shaitan invokes the tradition of blood-feud, that is, trial by combat.
Acroyear and Shaitan are dropped off in the Shattered Plains, the least habitable part of Spartak, to hunt and kill each other. A light crosses the sky. Acroyear remembers that this same Herald Comet appeared when he and Shaitan were born. Shaitan takes advantage of this distraction to ambush him, by crushing him under a boulder. Acroyear loses his power sword under the rubble. The battle begins.
While he fights for his life, Acroyear again offers to spare Shaitan's. The traitor accuses Acroyear of growing soft during his time with the Microns. Acroyear contends that emotions such as love denote strength, not weakness. Without his sword, though, he finds it hard to prove his point.
Shaitan beats him back to the lip of a magma pit. Acroyear gropes for a weapon, anything, to deflect the next blow. He finds Shaitan's sword and raises it to parry Shaitan's force-hammer; but Shaitan lunges forward, impales himself on his own sword, and dies. "Are you satisfied now, you cold, unfeeling world?" says Acroyear. "Brother has killed brother! Justice has been won by the sword! By the Holy Rock, how I have come to despise your 'justice'!"
He sees the Herald Comet again. This time, though, it is a Time Traveler following Bug through hyperspace. Once Bug, still unconscious, returns to normal space, he falls through a forest canopy and lands on Kaliklak, his own world ....
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