Cover Date: April 2009
Release Date: February 25, 2009
Writers: Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning
Artist: Andrea DiVito
Inker: Andrea DiVito
Letterer: VC's Cory Petit
Colorist: Bruno Hang
Assistant Editor: Michael Horwitz
Editor: Bill Rosemann
Cover Artist: Juan Doe
Title: "The Rapture"
In Washington, DC, Tre Owens, a police officer, is on a basketball court playing ball with the neighborhood youths. One of the kids gets a little enthusiastic and accidentally knocked Owens to the ground. As he's being helped up, the officer's partner, Greg Eames, drives up. As Tre gets ready to go back to work, the WorldMind's energy beam takes him away.
In Paris, France, firefigher Guy Dimond is also recruited while fighting an apartment fire.
In the Taita District of Kenya, warden Matu Makalani is selected while protecting the Tsavo East National Park from poachers.
Meanwhile, in the Blue Heaven Happy Market in Ginza, Tokyo, Suki Yumiko is scanning grocery items when the yellow-orange beam recruits her to the WorldMind's cause.
The recruitment continues in Palm Beach, Sydney, as Lindy Nolan, a lifeguard, is selected to protect more than an Australian beach.
All across the Earth, thousands of people are selected by the WorldMind and are brought to Nu-Xandar. As they near the living planet, the artificial sentience begins downloading information and the Nova Force into the recruits. It is also loading their bodies with endorphins to supposedly ease their anxiety.
As they enter Nu-Xandar, the new Centurions are issued their uniforms with skill-patches and dataware upgrades downloading into their subconsciousness. To help in their transition, Nova's brother, Centurion Robert Rider, greets the new Centurions and talks to them about the great gift they have received by being recruited. He tells them their next step is to enjoy a good meal in the refectory and then they will learn about the training regime. Robert reassures them that they can leave at any time to which Tre Owens responds by asking why anyone would want to.
Meanwhile, back on Earth, Richard Rider and his father Charles Rider are driving up to the facilities of Project Pegasus. On the trip, Rich apologizes for damaging the car. His father understands and realizes that his son has driven in years so his driving skills need practice. The former Nova informs Charles that his body has felt clumsy and that his hands and feet have been numb since he lost his powers. Rich also thanks him for driving him to Pegasus and that he's as worried about Robert as his parents are. When they arrive at Project Pegasus, Rich and his father exchange hugs and their goodbyes.
Later, Rich Rider meets with Quasar, Dr. Necker and Director Gruenwald. He informs them of the loss of his powers and asks for their help. Richard wants them to run tests to see if his brain had been damaged in any way due to having the entire Nova Force inside him for so long. He wants to find out if the WorldMind's claim that he has gone insane have any merit.
Dr. Gruenwald suggests they attempt to discover if the artificial sentience is somehow controlling the new Centurion recruits. He suggests using Pegasus's thirty zetawatt isolation chamber on a recruit to see the effects of being cut off from the WorldMind. Rich suggests a certain Centurion that he knows can be talked into volunteering by Dr. Necker.
An hour later, Robert Rider and fellow Centurion Irani Rael arrive at the facility after receiving a message from Dr. Necker. Once inside the isolation chamber, the doctor activates the machinery inside. Emerging from the shadows, Rich reveals to Robert and Irani that Project Pegasus has been testing his mental state. He tells them that the evidence shows he hasn't had any mental damage from the Nova Force. Robert is overjoyed at the news. His older brother then confides to him that he believes it is the WorldMind that has gone insane.
Before the two Centurions can power up and escape, Rich asks them to tell him if they can still hear the WorldMind's voice. They are shocked to realize that it is now silent in their minds. Their reaction confirms to Dr. Necker and Rich that Dr. Gruenwald's theory was correct. The computerized intelligence has been controlling the Centurions sublimally and using endorphins to make them feel they have been doing the right thing. Rich believes that due to his past resistance to following the WorldMind's commands, the artificial sentience has created a system that allows it to control organic beings. Irani and Robert conclude that, because of the close bond that Rich and the WorldMind shared, it has chosen humans to be the basis of the new Nova Corps. The computer understands the human host better than any other lifeform outside of the Xandarians.
Suddenly, the wall explodes and a number of Centurions fly into the now-exposed chamber! Centurions Qubit, Morrow and Fraktur invade the isolation chamber but they are all speaking in the voice of the WorldMind. It tells Rich that it is angry that the Earthman has been attempting to undermine his Centurions. Qubit blasts the former Nova Prime to the ground.
With Robert and Irani now back under its control, the computer system reveals that the Nova Corps will be leaving Earth to bring order to the rising conflict between the Shi'Ar and the Kree. It also warns Richard Rider to not interfere with its mission again.
An hour later, Dr. Necker finds Rich in order to reveal the test results on his physical state. She sadly informs him that she has terrible news. In order to to hold all the Nova Force and WorldMind, changes were made in his body on the molecular level. The current absence of the energy is causing his body to go through irreversible molecular decay.
Dr. Necker believes Richard Rider has less than 48 hours to live.Back To Nova 2007 Index