It’s a normal wake cycle on the Kyln, the series of ancient artificial moons that draw and distribute power from the Crunch – and that act as a maximum-security prison for some of the Local Group’s worst criminals and troublemakers.
Reed Richards, a human recognised throughout the universe as a genius, comes to the Kyln to consult with Omega Core and the alien Clerics about how to boost the station’s energy output. Meanwhile, three prisoners – failed hero Peter ‘Star-Lord’ Quill, genocidal madman Devos and Skrull spy Paibok – get back to work maintaining the station, kept in line by the nano-wardens in their bodies.
But suddenly the AIs controlling the Kyln power conduits disengage from the Crunch, and something comes through the energy cascade separating the positive-matter universe from the anti-matter Negative Zone – a starship. And then another. And another. And an entire armada, the greatest force of battleships the universe has ever seen, pouring out of the Crunch – and opening fire upon the Kyln!
As the moons of the Kyln rupture and explode from the armada’s assault, Devos and Paibok attempt to escape in the confusion, while Richards gathers data on the fleet and Star-Lord tries to rescue surviving prisoners and Omega Core guards. Devos attacks Richards and almost kills him, but ‘Mister Fantastic’ manages to reprogram and energise the Devastator’s nano-wardens to immobilise him. Star-Lord teams up with Richards and tries to fend off the armada, but fails and instead draws their attention. Only with the assistance of Paibok, who failed to escape on his own, are the three able to escort the survivors to Richards’ ship before the last Kyln moon is destroyed.
Injured and overwhelmed, Richards’ ship escapes through the local stargate – followed by Devos, who restarted his battlesuit’s systems and got out of the Kyln just in time. As they jump to another system, only Paibok sees the mysterious armada activate warp drives and spill out into the Andromeda Galaxy – and two armoured giants slowly emerge from the Kyln moon in which they were imprisoned…