The Defenders – The Worlds That Hunger, Chapter IV: Fantastic Voyage?

EXT. DESERT – UNKNOWN PLANET – DAY

The sun begins to set on a desert vaguely similar to the kind we’d find on Earth. Wind blows sand off of the massive dunes—and that’s the only sound for miles.

 

Until – from the sky – the remains of the Defenders’ ship begin to hurtle to the ground; it heats up upon reentry…

 

EXPLODING in one of the sand dunes!

 

For a while, all that can be heard is the crackle of the burning wreckage. But then…WHOOSH! A chunk of the ship blasts into the sky.

 

And there, in the wreckage, is a visibly shaken CAPTAIN MARVEL, clutching a passed-out BEAST. Bruised and bloody she stumbles a few feet forward, turning back to stare out at what remains of the spaceship.

 

And then, she passes out, tumbling to the ground with the Beast.

 

EXT. DESERT – UNKNOWN PLANET – NIGHT

 

Captain Marvel awakens to find herself mended—at least, somewhat. Her more serious wounds have been stitched up, and her right arm—clearly broken—is being held together by a makeshift splint.

 

She gets up to find THE SILVER SURFER sitting in front of a fire.

 

SILVER SURFER: I’m glad to see you’ve recovered, Captain. I was beginning to think you wouldn’t pull through.

 

Captain Marvel winces as she tries to get up.

 

CAPTAIN MARVEL:  Jury’s still out.

 

SILVER SURFER: I’d imagine you’re wondering where we are.

 

CAPTAIN MARVEL: Thought crossed my mind, yeah.

 

SILVER SURFER: I have traveled from one end of the cosmos to the other, and yet…this world is unfamiliar to me.

 

CAPTAIN MARVEL: You don’t think it’s one of the Evolutionary’s—

 

SILVER SURFER: No. This planet is far too complex for the Evolutionary to have created. Wherever this world is…it’s a natural one.

 

CAPTAIN MARVEL: Well, then, let’s send out a signal or something! Get the Avengers on the phone and—

 

SILVER SURFER: All of the systems were destroyed in the crash.

 

CAPTAIN MARVEL: Great.

 

A beat.

 

CAPTAIN MARVEL: Any sign of the others?

 

SILVER SURFER: No. I was not able to find them. And there was no trace of any of them in the wreckage.

 

CAPTAIN MARVEL: Well, tomorrow we start looking, I guess.

 

Another beat. She stares over at Beast. Then back at the Surfer.

 

CAPTAIN MARVEL: We’re screwed, aren’t we?

 

SILVER SURFER: We have overcome worse odds.

 

CAPTAIN MARVEL: But not much worse.

 

The Surfer doesn’t respond. He just looks sheepishly at the fire.

 

EXT. DESTROYED COLISEUM  – UNKNOWN PLANET – DAY

 

Somewhere – most likely far from our trio – sits the remains of what was once likely a glorious coliseum. The rising sun illuminates the

 

A shape trudges to the doors and hurls a hammer into them, shaking the foundation of the already-damaged structure.

 

INT. DESTROYED COLISEUM – UNKNOWN PLANET – DAY

 

As the figure enters, the light hits him – revealing, perhaps obviously, the MIGHTY THOR.

 

He looks around the abandoned coliseum – covered in dust and strewn with skeletons of creatures both humanoid and otherwise.

 

THOR: STRANGE?!

 

His shout reverberates through the building. But there is no response.

 

THOR: VALKYRIE?!

 

Nothing.

 

THOR: CAPTAIN DANVERS?!

 

Still nothing.

 

THOR: BANNER?! MANIFOLD?! BEAST?!

 

Nada.

 

THOR: Namor?

 

Zilch.

 

THOR: The unceasing loneliness of space is preferred to the company of Banner, at least.

 

And then, a rumbling.

 

THOR: Perhaps I spoke too soon…

 

The ground begins to crumble, and then…from the middle of the coliseum, a massive serpentine shape crashes upward, nearly gobbling Thor up!

 

He dives to the ground, bracing himself and readying his hammer…

 

…As he stares directly into the mighty serpent’s mouth. In place of eyes, it only has several mouths along its head – each screaming a high-pitched echo-locative scream. And below that? A massive set of mandibles designed to crush its prey.

 

THOR: Creature! I am Thor, god of thunder! Stay your hand and perhaps we might—

 

It dives at him. He narrowly avoids being crushed.

 

Thor begins to spin Mjolnir, ready to charge it…when it digs back into the ground.

 

THOR: Truly, its bark was not as fierce as its—

 

The creature rises back up. Thor gets eaten.

 

EXT. DESERT – UNKNOWN PLANET – DAY

 

Captain Marvel, Silver Surfer, and a now-awoken Beast trek through the desert as the planet’s hot sun beams down on them. The Surfer is floating on

 

Beast is slagging behind – he’s clearly still exhausted from his injuries.

 

CAPTAIN MARVEL: You doing alright there, McCoy?

 

BEAST: Never you mind me, Captain. I’ll…be just fine.

 

Captain Marvel shrugs. She walks ahead.

 

Beast, however, falls asleep, standing in the middle of the desert. He quickly jumps back up, shakes his head, and continues behind them.

 

SILVER SURFER: It would be much faster if we flew.

 

CAPTAIN MARVEL (pointing to Beast): Like he can handle that right now.

 

BEAST (nearly nodding off again) : I’m as durable as ever!

 

CAPTAIN MARVEL: Whatever you say.

 

She grabs Beast and rockets into the air. Surfer follows.

 

EXT. SKYLINE – UNKNOWN PLANET – DAY

Beast is clearly about to vomit as Captain Marvel accelerates. Surfer is having no trouble keeping up.

 

CAPTAIN MARVEL: You vomit here, Beast, and I swear to God I’ll drop you.

 

BEAST: Noted.

 

He keeps his mouth shut.

 

SILVER SURFER: There’s nothing…for miles.

 

CAPTAIN MARVEL: Look, though, there’s evidence of something.

 

She points out ruined buildings below, buried in mountains of sand.

 

CAPTAIN MARVEL: Let’s check it out.

 

They fly down.

 

EXT. ABANDONED VILLAGE – UNKNOWN PLANET – DAY

 

Upon landing, the trio finds only rubble—crudely constructed stone houses worn down by heat and time.

 

Beast takes a few steps and vomits.

 

SILVER SURFER: These homes…they were not just abandoned. They were destroyed.

 

He examines them closer.

 

SILVER SURFER: By extreme heat.

 

Captain Marvel joins him near the home.

 

CAPTAIN MARVEL: Looks like it was flash-fried.

 

Beast finally approaches the houses.

 

BEAST: A solar flare?

 

CAPTAIN MARVEL: Not sure what else could have caused it.

 

Suddenly, a clicking sound. Captain Marvel pivots to see an insectoid creature scurrying off.

 

CAPTAIN MARVEL: The hell is that?

 

INT. UNDERGROUND TUNNELS – UNKNOWN PLANET – DAY

 

The giant serpent that ate Thor rushes through underground tunnels, nearing its home. Its face-mouths continue to scream, echolocating itself within what is presumably a massive network of tunnels and dens.

 

It stops. Its mouths stop screaming. It begins to choke.

 

And suddenly, bursting forth from its mouth in a mass of blood, guts, and whatever else was inside the beast, is Thor!

 

THOR: Odin’s beard, that was disgusting.

 

He begins to wipe off the gunk covering his body, when – a familiar clicking sound.

 

Thor looks up to see dozens – perhaps hundreds – of the small insectoid creatures that Captain Marvel observed. All armed with tiny spears.

 

INT. COLISEUM – UNKNOWN PLANET – DAY

 

Captain Marvel, Silver Surfer, and Beast slowly follow their own insectoid into the coliseum. The little creature scurries into the hole created by the serpent.

 

BEAST: This day just keeps getting better, doesn’t it?

 

INT. UNDERGROUND TUNNELS – UNKNOWN PLANET – DAY

 

Inside the tunnels, Beast, Captain Marvel, and the Surfer slowly, cautiously examine their surroundings. Captain Marvel use their powers to illuminate the way.

 

SILVER SURFER: This way. There is something…

 

They start down the tunnels for what seems like hours – encountering the occasional small rodent or reptile, but largely facing nothing but endless nothingness.

 

Until, eventually…a light?

 

BEAST: That…can only be trouble.

 

They carefully examine the end of the tunnel…

 

EXT. UNDERGROUND VILLAGE – UNKNOWN PLANET – DAY

 

To find an entire village FULL of insectoids! They scurry around, maintaining their village’s structures, weaving cloth, cooking small meals…

 

Beast, Captain, and the Surfer slowly descend. When they land, they’re greeted by confused, scared looks from some of the villagers. Some of them pull out their spears.

 

THOR: FRIENDS!

 

Thor rushes over and gives Beast a big bear hug—setting off his nausea yet again.

 

CAPTAIN MARVEL: Good to see you, Thor.

 

THOR: And you, Captain and Surfer!

 

Surfer gives Thor a nod.

 

CAPTAIN MARVEL: What’s the deal with this place?

 

THOR: I am not sure. I cannot speak with them, but these…creatures…seem to view me as their god-king!

 

The creatures ignore him.

 

CAPTAIN: Sure.

 

SURFER: These beings…they seem…

 

He stares out at the insectoids living their daily lives.

 

SURFER: Fulfilled?

 

But he notices that the creatures have scattered, forming a path…down which walks K’TK, the village elder.

 

K’TK: Perhaps.

 

The four of them are shocked.

 

SURFER: You can understand us?

 

K’TK: Our species converses telepathically…with the proper training. Unfortunately, we have little time or resources for that any more. I am K’tk, last of the chieftains of this village.

 

SURFER: Those homes…on the surface…

 

K’TK: Yes. Ours. Destroyed in a solar flare that wiped out nearly all of our planet’s water and resources.

 

BEAST: So how do your people survive?

 

K’TK: There is just enough for us to live. Not to thrive, but to live. But the children…the majority of them know the surface only as a lifeless wasteland. I remember differently.

 

CAPTAIN MARVEL: Have any others like us visited you?

 

K’TK: No.

 

CAPTAIN MARVEL: Are there any other villages? Any other places they could have landed?

 

K’tk hangs his head.

 

K’TK: I see. You are not here for us.

 

CAPTAIN MARVEL: No. We shouldn’t be here at all.

 

K’TK: How foolish I was to think that perhaps…

 

SURFER: Perhaps what?

 

K’TK: Perhaps you might be the ones to punish Ak’to.

 

SURFER: Ak’to?

 

K’TK: Where our planet’s wealthy gathered the water and fuel. Where the rich live like royalty, unaware of our suffering…or unsympathetic to it. To allow us to reclaim what’s rightfully ours.

 

The Surfer can’t help but turn to gloom.

 

SURFER: I am sorry, my friend. We…we cannot. There is a much more pressing cosmic issue.

 

BEAST: K’tk…would this Ak’to have the resources to build a spacecraft?

 

K’Tk: Of that, I have no doubt.

 

CAPTAIN MARVEL: Then that settles it. That’s where we go.

 

Captain, Beast, and Thor start off. The Surfer lags behind.

 

SURFER: K’tk…I will…I will come back for you. I will right what has been wronged here.

 

K’Tk looks up at him with a weary, insectoid smile.

 

K’Tk: We shall see, my friend.

 

EXT – AK’TO – UNKNOWN PLANET – DAY

 

The Surfer, Captain Marvel, Beast, and Thor wait outside a massive domed complex in the middle of the planet’s desert. Inside we can see towering golden skyscrapers, fountains, even the blurred shapes of vehicles.

 

THOR: This is…impressive.

 

SURFER: And yet it comes at the expense of those villagers, Thor.

 

THOR: Yes.

 

CAPTAIN MARVEL: Surfer. We can’t. At least, not now. We don’t even know if Strange, Manifold, or Valkyrie are alive. And we definitely don’t know where the Evolutionary’s planets are–

 

BEAST: I think he gets it, Carol.

 

They walk up the steps to the doors of the complex. Insectoids wearing advanced armor run up to them and point powerful weaponry at their faces.

 

BEAST: Hey, hey, we don’t want trouble.

 

There’s a lot of clicking that they can’t understand, and then—

 

VOICE: STOP!

 

A booming voice that Carol recognizes…

 

CAPTAIN MARVEL: Oh, god…

 

It’s Namor, wearing the robes of a king!

 

THOR: NAMOR?!

 

NEXT: NAMOR, KING OF THE BUGS? AND WHERE THE HECK IS EVERYONE ELSE?!