Aurum, Firework, and Jesuit find themselves in a vast canyon made of black, onyx rock. The sky overhead rumbles with thunder and black lightning. Darkness surrounds them. They see the Blackguard flying overhead, causing Firework to summon an illusion of a home made of the same black onyx, shielding them from view.
Bouncer finds himself on top of the cliff making up the valley. He is confused as to how he arrived, but figures his team did something. He sees a flying figure above and manages to hide, as he sees the imp of the Blackguard, Gravik, fly by, laughing hysterically calling out, “I’ll find you! I’ll find you and then we can play!”
On the opposite side of the valley, Juanito & War appear. Juanito lights up their path as they try to find their friends. They don’t see the trap laid before them as they fall into a pit, tumbling head over heel. As they land, they hear a voice go, “Hey! This is my hiding spot!”
A female with short red hair, with a cybernetic eye, wearing body armor, and pointing a blaster at them, stands before the two heroes. She goes, “Great, now they’re going to see us!” Her gun whirs on.
Juanito goes, “Wait, wait. I can help!” He casts an illusion of the ground above them, covering them from view. In moments they hear Gravik screech, “Come out come out wherever you are! Let me take you to your friends! It’ll be fun!”
They wait until the hysterical giggling trails off.
The woman speaks, “Okay, a) who are you and b) how’d you get here and c) give me one good reason not to blast both of you.”
After some back and forth, the woman says her name is Captain Cutlass. She escaped capture from The Blackguard but is trying to get her way back into their HQ. She says they have her crew. War convinces her to join them while they find their friends.
After some mishaps, the team reunites in the fake rock home. Aurum spreads out with his magical senses, trying to get a lay of the land. He senses that magic is sparse here, but there is a dark energy surrounding the planet. Jesuit activates his Angel Eye and tries to get a sense of the twisted world. The darkness covers the sky, even blocking his sight.
War, Juanito & Cutlass tell the rest of Cutlass’ predicament. She says that if they help her get her crew back, that she has a way off the planet.
Jesuit is able to tell that Cutlass is from Earth, and it turns out she is originally from Emerald City. She’s even heard of The Key family. She was kidnapped by aliens when she was younger. Those same aliens killed her family and sold her off to be a slave. She was able to escape, joined up with a rough crew, and made her way into the spaceways. She tells them eventually she got herself a crew and that they fight against the slave trade and fight the good fight.
Firework and Jesuit converse, realize that this is a good opportunity to get The Night Stone, the object that gives the Blackguard their power. Using Juanito’s newfound vision powers, they’re able to deduce that the power surrounding the planet emanates from the giant citadel miles away, the homebase of The Blackguard.
The team agrees to help Cutlass. She says that she can try to stealth their way in, the way she escaped. Bouncer suggests having a distraction. As the team discuss their options, Wildheart and Juanito take off!
“So much for the element of surprise.” says Bouncer.
Wildheart and Juanito fly straight towards the citadel, blazing light as they streak across the sky. From a distance, they can see that members of the Blackguard start pouring out of citadel, heading to interpass the two light heroes.
Firework gathers up the rest, turns them into spark form, and zips through the ground towards the Citadel. It’s tough going through the onyx rock, but they get there in no time. Just as they’re about to enter…they slam into the energy shield protecting the fortress, causing the team to land unceremoniously on the ground, just under the open door where Blackguard members are flying out.
Dozens of Blackguard surround Wildheart and Juanito. They’re able to fight them off, Juanito’s light blasts being very effective against the villains. Wildheart let’s go of Juanito’s powers and latches onto a Blackguard, channeling their power to slam the darkness against them.
The darkness surges through Wildheart. This isn’t Nevernever energy. He’s never felt anything like it. The power, though…the power is intoxicating.
They’re able to hold off for a few moments, but they are soon overwhelmed. Wildheart orders Juanito to join the others, letting loose one last blast, knocking several of the guards down. He then pops out of the fight.
Back on the ground, the team battle against the Blackguard. Firework summons duplicate illusions of themselves, which gives Aurum time to summon a magic beetle that is able to chew through the shielding. They hold off the onslaught, as War, Jesuit and Captain Cutlass slip in through the defenses.
Inside, Cutlass leads the way, battling through the somewhat empty fortress. Most of the Blackguard swarmed outside, leaving the inside with a skeleton crew. Jesuit, his Angel Eye activated, leaves War and Cutlass and follow the trail to where he thinks the Night Stone is. He finds it. It’s the throne where Blackstar sits. Blackstar says out loud, “So you made it this far. My liege gives his regards, Jesuit. He says he misses his favorite toy.”
Jesuit then hears the voice of the being that captured his essence and tortured him for a year. He hears the voice in his head, beckoning to him, telling him to return. Jesuit is able to fight through the fear and focus his sight on the throne, trying to figure out how to take it. He realizes that the throne is just the portion of The Night Stone that he can see. The Night Stone itself is the core of the planet!
That’s when the doors shut, sealing Jesuit inside with Blackstar.
Even with the illusions, and the turning of one of the Blackguards against his mates, Firework, Aurum, Juanito and Wildheart begin to get overwhelmed. There are dozens of Blackguards, fighting to protect their fortress and their master.
Inside, Cutlass and War make haste to the dungeons, flirting along the way. Inside, there are dozens, if not hundreds, of prisoners. Cutlass ignores them and heads straight to the back. She finds her teammates, but has to hack into the system in order to release them. War gives her cover. War hears a voice in his head, a watery one, telling him to tell Cutlass to cut the shield as well. He says this and she does so.
The cell opens up and out pops her team, a talking platypus, a blue skinned male, a giant made of shiny crystal, carrying a small jar with a green oozing eyeball inside. They immediately back up War, with the platypus causing an explosion that knocks the bad guys down.
Blackstar, not standing up, says, “You are a fool to challenge me here. Here, in my place of power!”
Bouncer, through the mindlink via Aurum, is able to size up Blackstar. He realizes that Blackstar could give The Huntmaster a run for his money! Bouncer says they need to go, now!
The magic beetle finally chews its way through the shield, just as the outside teams is almost down. Firework immediately scoops them up and swarms inside. He snatches up Jesuit, War and The Star Raiders. As he picks up the crystal man, Firework sparks immediately flare up brighter and hotter than before. His power has just gotten a boost somehow!
Using his new found strength, Firework scoops up as many of the prisoners as he can, dozens out of the hundred or so, and jets off into the sky. The Blackguard corp follows, the thundering voice of Blackstar ringing through the fortress.
The rainbow streak of Firework blasts through the thunderclouds and rips through the atmosphere. As they break free, they turn around and see the planet disappear! The shield, which Cutlass took down, came back online, mere seconds after Firework’s escape. If it had been up…
Cutlass yells out, “Our ship, The Maurader! Behind the asteroid!”
Firework drops off the Star Raiders, who immediately head into warp drive. Firework, his sparks full of his friends and refugees, blast off into space, heading back to Homeworld.