Cover Date: December 2009
Release Date: October 28, 2009
Writers: Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning
Penciller: Kevin Sharpe
Inker: Nelson Pereira
Colorist: Bruno Hang
Letterer: VC's Cory Petit
Assistant Editors: Michael Horwitz & Rachel Pinnelas
Editor: Bill Rosemann
Cover Artist: Brandon Peterson
As they exit the Resolute Duty, Nova Prime asks the WorldMind for information from the Novapedia on the Mindless Ones. On Nu-Xandar, the WorldMind argues with Richard Rider that it is occupied fighting off Ego and demands that the human hero find a secure location for it to evacuate to. Rich responds by demanding the information on the rocky invaders.
Morrow rushes to aid his fellow Nova Corps member and gets blasted from behind by an eye blast. As Nova and Zan Philo join the battle, Rich asks the Centurion why he didn't tell them that the Black Hole Sons were really the Mindless Ones. The multi-armed alien replies that he hadn't been aware that Nova Prime had encountered them before. The Earthman explains that he hasn't but knows a number of other super-heroes who have fought them. The WorldMind's information on the Mindless Ones begins streaming to Rich's helmet.
Rich learns that the invaders are magically powered which is the reason they have had so much trouble fighting them. Zan tells Rich it took him six months and a psionic stunner to capture the Mind (leader of the Black Hole Sons). Nova Prime states that they don't have six months or a stunner so they need a better plan.
Nova and Zan Philo grab the Probationers and fly to another part of the ship. Philo educated Rich on the history of the Black Hole Sons. They had simply been Mindless Ones until, at some point, someone had found a way to enslave them. Once they were slaves, they were put to work mining neutron stars due to their ability to withstand gravity. However, exposure to the stars causes a mutation in their brains and some of the Mindless Ones gained intelligence. The mutants then led the rest of the slaves into a revolt against their masters and began producing the drug Krush.
Fraktur and Morrow awaken and Zan Philo begins lecturing them on their lack of experience with their Nova powers and gives them examples of how they could have handled the situation. Afterwards, Nova and Zan discuss their next move. Rich wants the Centurion to prepare the Resolute Duty's computer systems to contain the WorldMind while he stops the invaders. Suddenly, the power to the ship is cut off by the rampaging Mindless Ones. But that also means the Mind is free from cell!
Back on Nu-Xandar, Robert and Lindy are evacuating their prisoners (Strontian, Ravenous and the Shi'Ar Praetorians) to a shuttle and are contained in gravity pods. Lindy Nolan feels they should let the prisoners die in the void of space as punishment for their past crimes. Robert disagrees and believes the Nova Corps must set an example for others in the universe. Robert quickly turns and fires an energy blast at an attacking Ego drone. However, the destroyed drone is quickly followed by two more probes. The two Probationers immediately annihilate them.
Back on the Resolute Duty's Detention Level, Monark Starstalker and Irani Rael come face-to-face with the Mind! As the unleashed prisoner fires a deadly blast from his single eye, Monark throws himself in front of Irani to protect her. The bounty hunter takes the beam in the chest and falls to the ship's deck injured. Suddenly, Starstalker's wound begins healing itself! Monark's cybernetic falcon-drone, Ulysses, informs Rael that she must not interfere with the repairs on the Starstalker Series Nanotool. The Probationer realizes that Monark Starstalker is actually a nanite construct!
Meanwhile, Nova Prime tells Philo and Morrow to get to the ship's bridge and begin transferring the WorldMind and the prisoners off of Nu-Xandar. Richard Rider flies on and quickly encounters the Mind. Without hesitation, Nova smashes into the criminal and the two burst outside the ship's hull into space. As Rich continues his relentless attack on the Mind, he orders the WorldMind to assist him with calculating stargate vectors. At the same time, the rest of the Black Hole Sons join the Mind in the fight.
On the bridge, the WorldMind has transferred from Nu-Xandar. At the same time, Rich is anxiously waiting for the stargate coordinates while fighting the Mindless Ones. Suddenly, Monark Starstalker joins Nova in the fight and the two of them quickly drive back the rocky attackers. With the Black Hole Sons and the Mind grouped together in one place, Nova activates the stargates and sends them all inside.
Afterwards, Rich and Monark are standing on the hull of the ship as the WorldMind notifies them that the Probationers have left Nu-Xandar. As the shuttle escapes, the awakened Ego is extremely angry and vows retribution on those who have violated him. However, Rich calmly tells Monark they're going to be fine once Ego learns where his earlier stargate has exited. Inside Ego's prefrontal cortex, the Mind and the Black Hole Sons fall out of the stargate and begin pounding on their surroundings!
Ego begins howling in great pain. To further help the escaping shuttle, Zan Philo opens fire on Ego with the full firepower of the Resolute Duty's weapons! Unable to stand the onslaught, Ego stargates himself to another location in space.
Starstalker decides to explore the universe and come to terms with discovering he's not a human. He takes Ulysses and they teleport away. Rich and Zan Philo discuss the future of the Nova Corps. Rich asks Zan if he would agree to share his experience and become the Probationers' trainer. While they are training, Nova would be free to handle emergencies that arise. Zan Philo agrees and says it would be an honor.
Suddenly, everyone on the ship is hit with a psychic message from Gladiator, the leader of the Shi'Ar Imperium. The message states that the Nova Corps is in vicinity of a wanted fugitive from justice and requests that they capture and detain him.