Hey folks, I am back with another chapter. Enjoy!

Chapter three: Strange Hairs On My Skin

The Milano leaves the moon's upper atmosphere, tailgating the stolen Nova Corps ship in the process. Rocket, who is now piloting the ship, is silent and shows little emotion. Despite this, he growls before he open fires at the fleeing space ship.

Peter is not inside the cockpit with Rocket but is instead in his room. Gamora has placed him on his bed and she has been looking silently at him for a few minutes: the human is now, inexplicably, a small furry creature and is still unconscious from the blast that happened earlier. Even though Gamora didn't appear as surprised as the others when Peter transformed, in fact she and Rocket tried to hide this emotion, the warrior is coming to terms with it.

She didn't know if the creature was actually Peter and even if it was would he even remember her. It was strange because this 'rodent', as Gamora calls them, looks almost like Rocket himself: almost like an identical clone. After several more minutes of waiting, she hears 'Peter' suddenly groan.

Meanwhile, Rocket bangs his paws against the controls very hard, wanting to destroy the enemy ship out of anger. He didn't care if the two mysterious opponents had the tablet inside; he continues to fire the weapons as he growls.

Suddenly, a small portal opens and the massive ship begins to stretch. Rocket, Drax, and Groot stare as the Nova Corps ship continues to stretch until it's very thin: it enters the small portal and vanishes before the portal explodes into nothingness. The raccoon bangs his first on the dashboard and almost makes a dent on it, "Bastards!"

Rocket sits on his chair and fiddles with his hands, trying to keep his mind off what just happened.

Drax leans toward him, "The coordinates…is it possible that we can follow-"

"Not when they use some kind of interdimensional portal to escape!" Rocket retorts, he jumps out of his chair and grabs Groot, "It's over, I'm done."

On the other side of the ship, the furry creature on the bed wakes up.

"Peter?" Gamora says as she leans forward. The creature slowly opens its brown eyes and looks at Gamora, "Man…my head hurts…wait…" the voice of Peter Quill can be heard from the raccoon which disturbs Gamora: she stares at him in disbelief.

It sits up and rubs its head, "What happened? We were fighting…and I was holding the tablet…and then there was a flash…Gamora?"

"Peter, something happened, but I'm not sure how to explain this to you." She stands up.

"Explain what?" He tilts his head in confusion. He moves the blankets out of the way and manages to catch a glimpse of his arm and hand: he freezes in place, "Wh...what…" He brandishes his hands before his face and begins to panic.

"Peter, whatever happened in the chamber, somehow you were changed."

Peter hops out of his bed but collapses into the ground and sees that his feet have changed as well.

"What is this!?" He begins to shout. He barely stands up and wobbles toward a full-body mirror which he has in his room. The next thing Gamora hears is a deafening scream.

Rocket heads toward his living quarters in anger until he stumbles upon Gamora and Peter's yell. Gamora is just outside the room when she sees him.

"Rocket…" She says as the raccoon sees Peter inside, who turns to face him. Rocket forces his way inside the room and both stare at each other on the same eye level. Groot, who is being held by his best friend, gasps in surprise, "I am Groot?"

"Rocket, what's going on…why do I look like…you." Peter barely manages to say, "Oh man…this isn't happening…this can't be real…"

Rocket, just like Gamora, is surprised to hear Peter's voice from this creature, but he tries to hide it as much as possible, "How the flark should I know? You were the one who messed around with the tablet in the first place."

Gamora looks at Rocket with confusion, "You're not surprised Rocket?"

Rocket turns toward her, "No, I'm pissed off! We lost the tablet and now we've got to deal with Quill who's now naked!"

Quill looks down and covers himself afterwards, "It's not my fault I just shrunk three feet!" Peter retorts, "Where's my ravager get up?" He asks. Gamora points to a chair where his human clothes are, "I doubt they will fit your frame now." Gamora says as Peter looks at them.

Rocket slaps his hand on his head in frustration, "Somebody give this idiot clothes." Rocket retorts.

Everyone looks at the raccoon and he looks back with an even angrier expression, "What!?"

"Rocket, you must have spare clothes for him…" Gamora asks and the raccoon groans, "Oh fine!" the raccoon stumbles out with Groot as the humanoid plant speaks with him, "I don't know buddy…it's a weird day…"

Quill wobbles toward a towel that he has on a counter and he wraps it around his hips to cover himself.

Drax enters the room and stares stupidly at Quill, "Let me guess, you want an explanation?" Peter asks Drax as he nods.

Some time passes by before Rocket returns. He sees Peter staring at himself in the mirror, still horrified by his appearance. From what Rocket can see, Peter looks surprisingly similar to him in a lot of ways: with the exception that Rocket has a sterner expression on his face. Other than that, people will be confused as to who Peter is and who is Rocket; however, unlike Rocket, Peter does not have the cybernetic implants that he has. Rocket enters the room and brandishes a blue jumpsuit to Peter. He grabs it and after a few moments of silence and stares from everybody else, he says, "Um…guys, get out. Go wait upstairs…I'll see you there." Everyone leaves but Rocket, who Peter calls for attention, "Thanks buddy."

"Whatever, I hate the blue color of that suit anyway." The raccoon says before leaving.

After a few minutes figuring out how to put on the blue jumpsuit, Peter, once again, examines himself in the mirror. He still thinks that it's all a dream…until he grabs one hair from his arm and pulls it out. He yelps in pain, "Oh man…how could this happen…I…look just like…" He looks away and makes a stern expression, "Okay Peter…let's just get this over with…the sooner we fix this the better…" He says to himself.

Before leaving, Peter sees himself again: more specifically his eyes…they were different from the ones he was born with. With a heavy sigh, Peter Quill leaves his room and heads toward the Milano's recreation room and finds the others there, all sitting down. They stand up and look at his new appearance.

"Holy Pama…" Gamora says softly, looking at the former human, "I can't see the difference between the two…"

"Rocket's implants." Drax suggests, "Quill is missing them."

"Idiots, I'm wearing my orange jumpsuit like always." Rocket retorts, "Quill will never be like me." The tone of his voice suggested that the raccoon was worried, but no one knew this.

"As long as we speak differently, dress differently, and act differently, then I'm okay until we fix this." Peter responds, "Now…how did this happen…anybody know?" He sits down as the rest of the Guardians join him.

"I think it had to be those two that we had fought." Gamora suggests.

"Or perhaps it was tablet..." Drax retorts.

"Which they now possess." Gamora retorts as well.

"So either way...we need to find out where they've gone too." Peter interrupts their conversation.

"If the tablet can transform you into Rocket's form, then imagine what it can do if it fell into the hands of the Kree." Gamora stands up, "Rocket, do you know where they might have gone to."

"No idea princess…" Rocket says as he fiddles with a gun he had taken out earlier, "All I know is that they went through some kind of portal and vanished…"

Drax looks at Rocket, "Is it possible that the portal mimicked quantum energy?" Drax asks.

"Well I don't know Drax, maybe you should have paid attention…of course it did!" Rocket retorts.

"Wait, hold up…quantum energy? Quill asks the muscular being and the raccoon.

Gamora nods to herself, "Drax may be going somewhere with this." Drax looks at her with confusion, "Going where?" He asks but she rolls her eyes.

"The yellow energy coming from one of those intruders…it did look like quantum energy to me and I've seen only a handful of sentient beings use that kind of energy…especially with that amount." She explains.

"Hello? Does anyone want to answer my question…what is quantum energy?" Quill asks.

"Teleportation." Rocket says to Quill.

"When we were fighting, I noticed the wrist bands that the female warrior was wearing…they glowed yellow whenever she fought…maybe we can find out where they come from by visiting-"

Suddenly, a loud noise can be heard from the communication dashboard. Peter hops off his seat and, with some struggle, makes it to the table where he tries to press a button. Gamora walks toward him and presses the button instead and Peter jumps on a chair and stands on it. A screen shows both Alkideth Uromoth and Ryker, still inside the base.

"Much appreciated for your help today, but we still have problems." Alkideth says.

Gamora looks down at Peter and he looks up at her, "We kind of figured." Peter says after looking back at the screen.

"Yes well…our Nova Corps ship appears to be heading toward the KQ-29 sector." Alkideth retorts.

"KQ?" Gamora asks herself.

"KQ…I'm not familiar with that quadrant." Peter says.

"Explain." Gamora says to the Nova Corps.

Ryker looks at them, "Our database tracks our ships, so if this is correct…the ship is in the far side of the Keystone Quadrant. The ship is carrying hundreds of hostages, and…"

"And…?" Peter asks.

"And the entire quadrant is blocked off by some kind of force field, so I'm not sure if we can even get to the hostages at all. If you folks can figure this out, it would be much appreciated. We'll try to negotiate with the terrorists in the meantime." Ryker says.

"Alright, but we better get paid for this." Peter says.

"If you rescue the hostages…we'll give you a generous amount." Alkideth claims.

"Define generous." Gamora asks.

"…50,000 Units."

"You can do better than that." Peter retorts.

Alkideth and Ryker talk privately before Alkideth says, "100,000."

Peter looks at Gamora and she nods, "It's worth as much as the tablet. If we get it back, that's 200,000 Units in the bag." He tells Gamora. The raccoon looks at them, "Alright, you've got yourselves a deal."

"We're sending you the coordinates, hurry." Ryker ends the transmission. He turns toward his superior officer and asks, "Sir, did you notice that the creature standing on the chair sounded like the Terran male from earlier."

"Oh…and what makes you think it's him?" Alkideth asks.

"I'm not sure but I have some notion."

"Well, you can think about it while you go help the others with the mess upstairs, dismissed." Alkideth orders him.

"Yes, sir." Ryker salutes before he turns around. His face turns dark before he leaves.

Meanwhile, Peter and Gamora return to the others, "Alright team…we got a new job." Peter puts his hands on his hips.

Rocket folds his arms as Drax holsters a knife that he was sharpening.

"The guys back on the moon gave us the whereabouts of the Nova Corps ship…" Peter says.

"And they're willing to pay a substantial amount should we cooperate." Gamora adds.

"Oh yea…and where are they now?" The raccoon asks.

"According to the big, gruff dude…KQ-29. Apparently in a sector called the Keystone Quadrant." Peter explains.

Right after Peter reveals the name, Rocket's expression suddenly changes from his usual hardy self to a more fearful one.

"Rocket, what's wrong…" Gamora doesn't finish because she realizes what Rocket became afraid of.

Rocket stands up from his seat and begins to panic, "Half…Halfworld!?" he shouts, "I'm done here… there's no way I'm going there again!" He walks away from the group. Peter follows him, while trying to get used to walking on his new legs, to try and calm him down, "Rocket!"

"Quill, you're not getting me to go back there!" Rocket says before Peter realizes what Halfworld is, "Ohh…" Peter tries to catch up with Rocket.

"Rocket, what can I do? It's not my fault these guys decided to go there." Peter walks beside the raccoon, who is making his way back to his room.

"I say we forget about this and go on with our lives!" Rocket tells his fellow raccoon.

"How can I do that when I'm stuck like this!?" Peter retorts.

"The change is an improvement!" Rocket shouts back at him.

"Rocket." Peter grabs the raccoon's arm with his paws and this causes Rocket to turn towards him and look at him angrily. The stare coming from him makes Peter uncomfortable. Despite this, Peter takes a deep breath, "Listen Rocket, we're here for you."

Rocket moves Peter's arm away.

"Please hear me out…we need to fix this problem…things are different now…you're not alone anymore. In fact, I bet we can teach those Halfworld scientists a lesson or two." Quill smiles: a smile that resembles both Rocket's and his usual human smile. Rocket looks at Peter and frowns even more.

"They weren't scientists…they were robots…they made me like this…and you don't care about me, you only want to turn back into a humie!"

"Do I really look like I don't care about you Rocket?" Peter points his hands toward himself, but Rocket turns around and continues walking, "If you hate Halfworld so much…let's go get the tablet and then blow the planet up…how does that sound buddy?" Quill retorts.

"I'm not going back." Rocket enters his room, "If you bother me, I'll shoot you." He closes the steel door tightly.

Peter's expression darkens. He looks toward Gamora, "What are we going to do?" Peter asks, "We need to change his mind."

"Remember what he told us at Knowhere…he was tortured. It's going to take a lot more to convince him." Gamora responds, "There must be another way."

"Let's just go straight to Halfworld." Peter suggests, "Forget about Rocket." Gamora shakes her head, following him.

"Wait Peter…remember what they said…the quadrant is protected by some kind of wall. I have a suggestion…there might be another way to get inside. I'm going to go make a reservation." Gamora walks away, leaving the raccoon-transformed human all alone, "For what…dinner!?" He shouts.

A few minutes later, Peter is sitting quietly on a chair until he sees Gamora, "What was that about?"

"I made a reservation to see the Collector."

"Gamora, you're kidding…when we went to him one of his assistants almost destroyed the entire place!" Peter retorts.

"You have a better idea Quill?" Gamora asks, folding her arms with impatience, "Because you could just stay this way for all I care."

Peter's ears droop as he groans.

"Let's hurry to Knowhere." She tells him.

Peter and Gamora arrive at the cockpit and Peter sits down on his seat as Gamora sits on the co-pilot's seat, "Okay...setting the coordinates now." He suddenly becomes frustrated because his smaller size now limits his ability to reach the controls on the dashboard. That is until he asks Gamora to adjust his seat, "I really want to get this over with…" Peter says to himself. He pushes the joystick forward as the ship speeds off into deep space.