S.W.O.R.D. Reverse Engineered Kree Starship “Magellan”, Passing by Mars

Anna Marie was smiling, beaming in fact. Today was the day that she finally get out of this hunk of metal, and her team of X-Men finally got back to Earth.

Not that being awake didn’t have its downsides. Rogue’s superficial injuries had healed, but despite days of rest, she remained tired and weak. Her nausea had died down somewhat, but her body remained an aching mess. Slowly, she turned her body towards the edge of her bunk, careful not to bang her head on the bottom of the bunk above her.

Rogue could have chosen to sleep in the more comfortable Captain’s Cabin, but it had felt wrong to her. She was beat up as hell, but so were the others. She was team leader, but after all her time as the target of suspicion, and then subsequently as a stalwart rank and file X-Man, that position still didn’t feel entirely comfortable.

Darkstar had elected to reside there instead, which had aroused Rogue’s suspicions. She was aware something had happened while Laynia, Quicksilver and Iceman had been battling the Brood. She could tell as much from the anxious glances the trio shared when it seemed like Rogue was going anywhere near the subject. They couldn’t hide it from her forever, but for now, Rogue was forced to let it slide.

Psylocke was sitting up in the bunk across from her, her light on as she held a mug of something hot in her hands. The lamp helped illuminate the claustrophobic confines of the women’s bunks. It also shone a light on Psylocke, pale and sweaty, the few sheets she had draped over her shoulders.

“Hey, Psy,” Rogue greeted, before letting out a loud yawn. Psylocke threw her an unenthusiastic smile. “How’re you doing?”

“Well, I’m glad Alpha Centauri had tea, that’s for sure.” Betsy sniffed as she dove into her cup. “And happy we’ll be home soon. But honestly, as you can probably tell, I’m not feeling too great.”

“Maybe we should move you to the Captain’s Cabin,” Rogue suggested, as she got up and stretched out in what little space the two women had.

“Bobby reckons we’re less than an hour out from The Peak, Rogue,” Betsy replied, running her a hand through her purple hair. “It wouldn’t really be worth the effort. I shouldn’t be trying to get comfortable, we’ll need our wits about us when we get there.”

“Exactly,” replied Rogue. “Ah’m thinkin’ ah’ll need my telepath at her best if there’s a problem. Seriously, Betsy…”

“Barely up and she’s already giving orders, eh, Betsy?” remarked Bobby Drake, as the doorway swished open. He leaned against it, dressed in sweatpants and a light blue t-shirt.

“You ever heard of knocking, Bobby?” asked Rogue.

“The computer wouldn’t have let me in if you weren’t decent,” Bobby said, before a small smile fell onto his lips. “Unless I’m interrupting something?”

“In your dreams, Drake,” retorted Rogue. “You contacted the school yet?”

“Nah, figured we’d be held up by Agent Brand,” Bobby replied. “But I’ll get right on it.” He added quickly upon seeing Rogue’s expression.

“Get everybody up and at ‘em,” Rogue ordered. “I want everybody aside from Psylocke prepped in ten.”

“Done and dusted, fearless leader,” Bobby said, raising his hand in mock salute. “You’re the last one up.”

“And when you’re done getting dressed, make sure Betsy gets some rest.” Rogue said.

“Nice rhyme,” Bobby said. He leaned down to Psylocke. “She’s kicking you out?”

“Technically, she’s kicking Laynia out, actually,” Psylocke stated matter-of-factly.

“Well,” Bobby said, as he left the room. “At least none of you have to sleep with Pietro.”

“C’mon Bobby, we know you love it.” Rogue joked.

“Rogue, don’t even joke about that,” Bobby said, his head popping back through the doorframe. “It’s bad enough sharing a room with the guy.”

“You just make it so easy.”

“I have to give you something to work with to endear you to the masses,” he replied. “Southern charm’s only gonna get you so-

Bobby’s words were cut off as Psylocke clutched at her head, psychic energy spilling forth involuntary as she grunted in pain.

“Bets, are you okay?” Rogue asked. “What’s wrong?”

“I don’t know,” Betsy moaned, as she began to shake. The glow around her head grew brighter. “Something’s wrong, I –

Betsy keeled over suddenly and Rogue drew her feet to her, as freshly regurtitated liquid spilled across the floor. Bobby held Psylocke’s hair back, but as the seconds passed the British mutant remained deathly still. Just as Rogue was about to speak, the telepath’s head whipped up to face her. Psylocke’s face was as drained of emotion as it was colour, her vibrant violet eyes sneering and souless.


No, this wasn’t Betsy. Had the Brood gotten to her? Rogue didn’t know but they needed to-

Rogue spasmed as Psylocke’s glowing psi-kinife struck.