Cover Date: December 2007
Release Date: October 10, 2007
Writers: Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning
Artists: Sean Chen & Brian Denham
Inker: Scott Hanna
Letterer: VC - Cory Petit
Colorist: Guru EFX
Assistant Editor: Lauren Sankovitch
Editor: Bill Rosemann
Cover Artist: Adi Granov
Landing at the Babel Spire, Nova meets up with his fellow Phalanx Select and lover, Gamora. Suddenly, in Rich's mind, he is confronted by the memory of Ko-Rel's death followed by an inner voice that asks him why he isn't screaming. The image is so fleeting and the voice so small that they don't register with Nova and he continues walking with Gamora deeper into the spire. As she kisses him, Gamora tells Rich that she's missed him. He tells her that he's only been gone five hours fighting terrorists on Han-Lar.
As they discuss their next tasks for the Phalanx, the image of Ko-Rel and the inner voice return. This time, it reaches Nova and his eyes momentarily lose their Phalanx-influenced static appearance. He asks Gamora who was asking him about screaming. She replies that she hasn't heard anything and assumes the voice he heard was that of the Phalanx. They walk to the center of the spire where the leader of the Phalanx is on a red viewscreen.
Once again, the Ko-Rel image and the voice return. However, this time the voice will not be unheard and Nova is mentally pulled into his own mind. From the white void of the mental plane steps out...Nova! This form of Richard Rider is dressed in his original Nova uniform and represents his pure uninfected state. Rich asks Nova why he isn't screaming and just accepting what has happened to him.
The two inner selves of Rich Rider argue about the Phalanx Virus and the virus-free Nova reveals that, despite his claims, the Phalanx Select Nova is fighting the infection. The battle in Nova's mind is a symbolic one. Rich's body, the WorldMind and the Nova Force are using the forms of past Nova Centurions to fight off the virus which has taken the form of the Phalanx's physical representation. As he watches the battle in his mind, Nova sees the form of Ko-Rel as she fights the techno-organic invaders. The pure form of Nova informs his counterpart that she was the reason he's been able to fight this battle.
The Phalanx Select Nova is still unclear about who he is talking to. The pure Nova tells him that he is the small piece of his psyche that was protected by the WorldMind and has been fighting the infection since the beginning. The WorldMind and the purified Rich Rider almost lost the battle until Ko-Rel returned her portion of the Nova Force when she died. The guilt over Ko's death begins to consume the infected Nova and he begins to fight the virus.
The uninfected Nova encourages him to keep fighting because he's the only one who can defeat it. As his will begins to exert itself over the virus, the pure Rich Rider realizes his counter self is going to win. He smiles and tells him "Attaboy". In a burst of pure energy, Nova fights back like never before! As he rips through the Phalanx forms in a fit of rage, the form of Ko-Rel appears and asks him to save her son Zam.
Meanwhile, back on the physical plane, the Phalanx and Gamora are concerned about their Phalanx Select as he's fallen to his knees and grasping his head. Nova looks up and Gamora is shocked to see Rich Rider's clear uninfected eyes! The young Earthman begins destroying the Phalanx drones around him with energy bursts!
As he fights his way through the spire, the WorldMind has restored contact with Rich who is extremely happy to hear his voice. The artificial sentience informs Nova that they are still infected and it is using almost 83 percent of the Nova Force to hold it in check. Rich understands he now has access to only about 17 percent of his previous power to fight the Phalanx and they agree that escape is their only option.
However, Nova doesn't see how they are going to be able to get away since their last effort resulted in his near death. The WorldMind informs Rich that while his host was part of the Phalanx, the artificial intelligence had access to the full knowledge of those who created the techno-virus. With their new found information, Nova and the WorldMind head towards a neutron star in the Bak-Lar 477 star system.
Back in the Babel Spire, the Phalanx and Gamora track Nova's route towards the neutron star. Gamora realizes what he's going to attempt and prepares to get there before Nova through a series of teleporation chains. She requests support and finds it in the form of Nova's former ally Drax! Drax has now become a Phalanx Select and wants to kill Nova for forcing his infection.
At the Bak-Lar 477 neutron star, Nova and the WorldMind discuss their strategy to escaping the energy sphere. The WorldMind provides the scientific facts about the neutron star and that matter reaching its surface would be crushed into a "puddle less than an atom thick". However, the Nova Force is gravimetric- based and it can manipulate the neutron star's gravity and use it to create a wormhole event. This hyper-gravimetric wormhole will allow Nova to break through the energy sphere and back into the normal universe.
Suddenly, Drax and Gamora appear and begin attacking Nova. Over the protests of the WorldMind, Nova turns and punches Drax at full speed. However, the two pronged attack begins to overwhelm Nova and he heads towards the neutron star. Rich Rider feels his body compress as he enters the gravity well and is in pain. Gamora and Drax are accidentally pulled into the hyper-gravimetric wormhole because of a gravity quake caused by Nova's actions.
Later, Nova bursts free from the Phalanx's energy sphere and back into space. As they try to get their bearings, the WorldMind realizes an awful truth. It informs Rich that they are on the far side of the universe with no way of knowing where they are or how to get home.
Two light years away, Drax and Gamora have exited the wormhole and begin their quest to find and kill Nova.Back To Nova 2007 Index