Hey everyone, I'm back with another chapter, enjoy!

Chapter four: The Trip to Knowhere

In the darkest corner of known space, there is a place where infamous outlaws and minorities reside for a few well earned drinks or to find much needed work. And recently, there was now more work to be found here because of an incident that occurred a few weeks earlier; an incident that caused considerable damage throughout the delicate facilities found within this oasis in space…all because of one man…Drax The Destroyer.
The Milano arrives and Peter slows the ship down as it approaches the floating head that was once part of a celestial being. Inside this head is where all the outlaws and minorities live and work: it is known simply as Knowhere.

As the ship approaches a landing platform, the cockpit is quiet until the raccoon known as Peter Quill turns toward Gamora, "So…what made him say yes?" He asks.

Gamora turns to him, "He never says no to rare artifacts…no matter how dangerous they might be."

Quill thinks about the events that transpired a few weeks ago, "Even though we pretty much trashed his place and made Knowhere a warzone…?" Quill retorts, raising a furry eyebrow.

"First of all…it was not our fault Quill…it was that foolish red haired Krylorian's fault for touching the stone-"

"Oh yea…" Peter remembers, "And Drax also acted goofy…" Quill interrupts, "Okay, as long as it's only the two of us and the rest of the team is inside the ship, there might not be a problem." He says, "I just hope frosted flakes won't be angry with us when we see him." Peter jokingly says.

The Milano lands close to the Collector's museum. Peter and the green-skinned warrior unbuckle their seat harnesses. Peter looks at her again, "Alright, you ready?" He asks as Gamora nods.

Gamora follows Peter downstairs where he confronts Drax, who is still sharpening his knives.

"Drax, keep an eye on Rocket until we get back…think you can do that?" Peter orders and asks him as Drax silently nods, "thanks." Peter says.

They leave the ship and walk towards a dystopian shopping arcade: where they are greeted by hundreds of people, big and small, round and thin, with some of them passing by and begging others to buy their merchandise. Peter and Gamora look up to see several mining pods flying overhead. When Peter looks back at the people passing by them, most of them are looking at him as if he was a meal or a weakling and this made Peter very nervous. He actually wanted to hide behind Gamora's leg for shelter but he refused: despite the fact that he had no access to weaponry.

"Hey lady." A deep male voice rings from the crowd. Gamora and Peter turn around to see a Darbian, which is an alien race that look like Terrans but are much bigger in size. He has a large sword holstered on his belt and he seems ready to use it.

"Yes?" Gamora simply asks.

"The creature beneath you, is he yours?" The man asks and Peter narrows his eyebrows, "What?"

"I'll buy him for 5,000 Units."

"I'm worth much more than that." Quill retorts.

Gamora narrows her eyebrows as well, "He's not for sale." She turns around and begins walking away with Quill.

"10,000 Units, he'll make a great stew." Peter hears this from the man and gets scared. The raccoon backs away slowly as Gamora looks back, "For the last time Darbian, he's not yours to take."

"Is that so?" The man withdraws his sword and brandishes it toward Gamora, "I'll give you ten seconds to give him up."

Gamora, with lightning speed, draws her sword and slices the man's sword in half with ease. The Darbian backs away afterwards, "Okay, you've got spunk…don't think I'm the only one who wants to eat your rodent." The man melts into the crowd and disappears. Gamora sighs and holsters her sword and looks down at Peter, "We're close." She tells him. This time, Peter hides behind Gamora without her knowing about it.

Several minutes later, they arrive at the entrance to the Collector's domain, Gamora approaches what appears to be a floating robot: it sees her and scans her eyes and then it flies away to notify the Collector. Then, both sit down on a bench nearby and wait.

Meanwhile on the Milano, Drax has finished sharpening his knives and is now viewing the outside of the ship from the security cameras. He scans countless people until he manages to see two familiar figures. He does not hesitate: he opens the door of the ship and heads toward the marketplace.

The door leading into the Collector's museum opens and the robot emerges from inside. Gamora and Peter stand up.

Your presence has been granted, please follow.

They follow the robot and the moment they enter the museum they can see hundreds of exhibitions being repaired by countless robots. They are led to the center of the room, which is also being repaired, and they can see a man inspecting an artifact: he turns around to see Gamora. The man has a much dozed expression on his face and is wearing a white coat on his back. His name is Taneleer Tivan but he is known universally as The Collector.

"Collector, we have questions for you." Gamora says. The moment she says that, he looks down at Peter and raises an eyebrow, "You brought…him?" He asks, raising an eyebrow, thinking that Peter is Rocket.

"Actually It's me snowball." Peter says, crossing his arms in anger. Tivan cringes for a split second upon recognizing the voice, obviously surprised by the sudden revelation.

"This is Peter Quill, the tall man who wore the Ravager uniform."

"…and how did he manage to shift…form?" The Collector asks.

Peter becomes confused: why didn't the Collector ask him this question directly to him? Then, Peter knew why and this only made him angrier. Now he knew exactly how it felt for Rocket when they were here a few weeks ago.

"Apparently it was the work of a female warrior…one who has-" Gamora says.

"It was the tablet." Peter retorts, interrupting her, "It was glowing before I passed out."

Gamora retorts, "That doesn't mean-".

"Tablet?" Tivan becomes interested.

Gamora sighs before looking at the man, "We had acquired a tablet on the planet Atar in an abandoned tomb."

"Interesting…" Tivan turns around and starts walking away, "The tablet of Andronica…do you have it?"

"Had…it was stolen." Peter says.

"Un…fortunate." He looks down at Peter with some degree of aggressiveness. Peter raises an eyebrow, "I kind of figured."

A robot passes by and hovers next to The Collector: you have new visitors, they will arrive soon.

"Very well…" He turns to the duo, "Perhaps my new companion will help you for the remainder of your stay." Tivan gestures a hand toward a walkway, "Come."

The green skinned warrior's voice gets louder, "Now hold it Collector…we came a long way to have questions answered!"

Tivan ignores Gamora and walks down a catwalk. Peter and Gamora both sigh before they follow him, eventually reaching a dark room.

"Try not to get too close…he…bites." Tivan says before the door shuts behind the duo and envelops the room in darkness.

"Somehow I knew this was a trap!" Peter yells. Gamora unsheathes her sword while Peter backs away until his back hits the door.

"Stranger, keep your hands free from that weapon." A voice rings nearby: the echo coming from the voice surprises the Guardians. Gamora narrows her eyes to try and see. Suddenly, a blue light appears and both Peter and the female warrior gasp.

"So…you been comink here to change back into your old self?" A creature asks. From what they can see: the person is actually a talking dog in a spacesuit.

Peter stares at the alien with his brown eyes, which he had recently acquired thanks to the transformation, and then he frowns, "You're…a dog?"

"And you're a raccoon…a Terran mammal." It says, "Should this surprise you?"

"Enough…who are you?" Gamora suddenly shouts.

"…I am Cosmo, chief security officer of Knowhere." The dog walks closer to them: it lights up the room and the room reveals to be a place filled with digital control panels and viewing screens: so he can observe the entire vicinity.

"Since when?" Peter asks.

"Must Cosmo answer this question…Cosmo became chief security officer after the incident with Ronan, which you Guardians have foolishly brought…"

"How can a creature like you hold such a prestigious title…especially in a place such as Knowhere?" Gamora asks.

Cosmo is not offended and looks up at the warrior, "Cosmo is fluent in telepathy…"

"A telepath…oh really…what am I about to say-" Peter crosses his arms.

"For your sake, Cosmo will stop you-" Peter frowns as a result.

Gamora crosses her arms, "If this is the case, then you must know why we're-"

"Here…yes…Cosmo knows why…at first when your friend…Rocket…walked by a few weeks ago he was very similar to how you look now…your appearance is almost the same."

"This was already known by us." Peter retorts.

"It's a permanent effect caused by tablet…Star Lord." The dog responds.

Peter's eyes widen as his face falls, "What!?" Peter screams as he shakes his head after hearing this, Gamora raises an eyebrow, "How?"

"The tablet was locked away in the tomb for good reason…it allows the person holding it to become the first creature he or she sees…in this case…Star Lord touched tablet and saw a raccoon before his transformation."

"But the creature I saw when the tablet glowed was-"

"Not a raccoon?" Cosmo interrupts, "From reading your mind I can see that you activated tablet when you and your friend were inside your ship."

"Then why didn't he transform there?" Gamora asks calmly.

"Star Lord was touching artifact too much, and his friend entered: the tablet registered the human as a potential host and when he tried to save tablet in the lunar base, it was accidentally activated."

Gamora taps her foot on the ground repeatedly, "So it can save its effect for later events-"

"Please…there must be a way to fix this…" Peter moves closer to the dog, his paws hitting the floor as he does, "I can't stay this way!"

"Fortunately for you Star Lord, there is a way…" Cosmo says.

"But you said it's permanent?" Gamora retorts.

"Unless Star Lord can retrieve tablet and have both parties touch at same time."

"Why didn't you say that before!? You gave me a heart attack!" Peter shouts in response, swinging his arm outwards in anger. Soon after, the raccoon takes in large amounts of air, relieved of the sudden revelation.

"Because Star Lord…I wanted to see your reaction." The dog laughs.

"Not funny man…jeez…"

"Then this raises another question…" Gamora walks closer to the space dog.

"How does Cosmo know this?" Cosmo retorts.

"Stop that." Gamora warns Cosmo, "Very well." he says, "A young warrior came and asked if Collector had tablet: Collector asked what it was and person explained."

"Warrior…" Gamora said as Peter dabbles with his new paws, apparently now bored.

"Okay look...how do we get to Halfworld? The tablet is there right now." Quill retorts.

"To get to Halfworld…it's same as one tries to escape…it is almost impossible to enter." Cosmo explains, walking back and forth as he says this.

"There must be a way…teleportation or something." The raccoon asks.

"Yes…teleportation is possible…ahh…Cosmo understands now…" the dog reads Quill's mind, "Quantum energy…the only person Cosmo knows who uses such energy is…"

"Thieves!" Drax shouts toward a crowd just outside the museum. Two hooded figures look back toward the muscular giant and then look at each other, "Return the tablet to us!" Drax points at them. Soon after, they run and Drax gives chase.

Inside the Milano, Rocket gets bored and leaves his room while making sure that no one is around. He has just found out that the group has landed in Knowhere, so he goes toward the security dashboard and checks the screen.

"What are these idiots up to?" Rocket says to himself. He searches the ship for everybody but Rocket and Groot are the only people inside. The raccoon checks the recordings that the ship had captured when they landed and he eventually sees Star Lord and Gamora leave the ship, Rocket frowns slightly. He fast forwards and sees Drax leave, following two hooded figures in the process. Recognizing them immediately Rocket grins, thinking that they could fix this problem and change Peter back to normal.

"Heh…looks like I'm going hunting." Rocket goes back into his room where Groot is waiting for him. He grabs his gun and cocks it back. The plant looks worried as it watches him pass by, "Don't worry buddy…I'll be back. Stay in here no matter what." Rocket closes the room.

"I am Groot…"

Rocket leaves the ship, ready to shoot anybody who gets in his way: he walks into the crowd but is eventually stopped by the same Darbian who approached Peter and Gamora, "You're alone now, your friend isn't here to help you…I will feast-" He runs toward the raccoon, thinking that it's Peter, but Rocket aims and fires his gun at the man: causing him to fall on the ground: overwhelmed by pain.

"The only thing you'll 'feast' is 10 million volts of electricity from my gun." Rocket retorts.

After running through hundreds of people, the two thieves stop by the door of the museum and a robot comes out, your presence has been granted, please follow.

They go through the doors, following the robot in the process. Drax arrives and tries to enter but the doors close shut before he is able to. He tries to punch a hole into it but the doors remain undamaged.

"Phyla-Vell?" Peter raises an eyebrow as he crosses his arms, "Sounds like something I learned in science class…"

"Yes Star Lord: she is a half-Kree." The last part of the sentence was directed towards Gamora.

"That explains her fighting techniques." Gamora retort.

The raccoon looks up at her and tilts his head in confusion, "Wait…so you're saying-"

"The female warrior who we fought in the lunar base is this half-Kree that the dog speaks of."

Peter looks back at Cosmo, "How do you know her?"

Gamora steps in, interrupting Peter in the process. Her expression is slightly surprised, "I see the connection now…the tablet and her…she's the one who asked."

"Correct." Cosmo simply says.

"Why…what did she want the tablet for?" Peter asks.

"To keep it safe from-"

Meanwhile, Rocket arrives at the scene and finds Drax: who looks back at him, "Rocket! It is good to see your familiar furry face, help me open this treacherous door."

"What's the matter Drax…can't open such a flimsy door?" Rocket taunts the muscular man and the man looks down in anger.

"Step back unless you wanna get shot." Rocket tells him: he takes out his signature gun and aims at the large twin doors.

Peter, Gamora, and Cosmo suddenly hear a loud explosion before the duo leave the room to see what happened: leaving Cosmo behind to call security.

Peter and Quill freeze when they see the two hooded figures standing alongside Taneleer Tivan. The Collector, who's about to grab the tablet, takes a step back from them. On the other side of the museum is Rocket and Drax: both with their weapons drawn. They all freeze in place: the two hooded figures stare at Rocket.

"What is the meaning of this!? Those doors were expensive to repair, how dare you…barge in here without permission…" The Collector walks in front of the mysterious people and shouts.

"You better move you walking carpet or I'll shoot you too!" Rocket shouts. Gamora unsheathes her sword, "So it's you…give us the tablet." She says, pointing the sword at them.

The taller hooded figure pushes Taneleer aside, causing him to fall down on the ground in a pit, "Fool, where is your friend?"

"Right over here silly!" Peter shouts. They turn towards the raccoon wearing the blue jumpsuit.

With them distracted, Rocket takes this opportunity to start shooting; the taller hooded figure covers the shots with her cloak: on the other side of the now ruined cloak is a yellow shield and what appears to be a female warrior. She is wearing a blue cape and a red jumpsuit with what looks like a yellow cross-like symbol near her chest. Her hair is white as snow and she has a yellow tattoo running down her face where her right eye is: which is glowing yellow.

"So…you're-"

"I'm Quasar, protector of the universe." The person says while giving the tablet to the smaller person. She then makes a large yellow sword appear in her hands.

"In other words, you're the one with the bad science name." Peter retorts.

"You're anything but a protector." Gamora jumps toward her but Quasar blocks her sword: both begin to exchange blows as Rocket starts shooting the other hooded being.

As Phyla and Gamora's swords clash, Phyla says, "I won't let anyone get in our way!"

"Good to know, me too." Gamora responds as she lands a strong blow on Quasar's sword, but then Quasar retaliates by creating a high-energy beam from her sword that strikes Gamora: she is sent falling towards the ground. Before Phyla can attack again Drax jumps in and tries to stab her with his knives. Phyla responds by creating a shield that once Drax hits with his knives it explodes and sends him falling on his back. Phyla is about to finish Gamora off but then hears several guns cocking back: she turns toward the entrance to see Ryker and several Nova Corps along with Knowhere security pointing guns at her: they fire. Immediately afterward, Gamora and Drax move out of the way as Quasar quickly blocks all shots with her sword. She jumps in the air and grabs an exhibition that hangs in the air before she jumps on another one to avoid fire. The result is that the misfire destroys every artifact that she climbs on. The Collector sees this and shouts, "No! Stop, stop now!"

Meanwhile, Rocket runs toward the shorter adversary as it does the same: it takes its electric sword out, while holding the tablet in the other hand, and swings it at the raccoon who blocks it with his gun just like the last time, "Good luck breaking it, it's made of indestructible metal." He says.

They stare at each other for a split second before the cloaked figure moves away: as if it just realized something. In fact, Rocket could have sworn that he heard a gasp of realization from the person. Confused yet taking this moment to retaliate Rocket points his gun and manages to shoot.

"Rocket no!" It says in a female voice.

The blue-colored blast paralyzes the person. Rocket smiles momentarily but then looks in horror.

The tablet is sent flying in the air but Peter runs to catch it: he jumps and manages to spare it from being shattered into a million pieces. Peter sighs before is he approached by Ryker, "…I didn't want to believe it at first but somehow I knew…" He takes the tablet from Peter and walks away, "You folks from Halfworld could never be trusted."

"Hey! What's the big deal!?" Peter shouts at the human but is then confronted by several Nova Corps guards who point their rifles at him, "Arrest him."

In the meantime, Phyla is still blocking gunfire but then sees her friend on the floor. She jumps off an exhibition and slams on the ground creating a small crater. Several Nova Corps tries to subdue her but she slashes at them while running. Gamora and Drax chase after her. Drax throws one of his knives at her and manages to slash her shoulder: she yells in pain; however, Phyla turns around and spreads her arms: Drax throws his last knife but it drops right in front of him. Drax and Gamora soon realize that they are inside of a cage made of yellow energy.

Before the Nova Corps can arrest Peter, Quasar runs toward them and releases a yellow blast that causes Peter and the soldiers to fall on their backs. Quasar arrives next to her friend, who is unconscious. Rocket looks up and gasps: he shoots but Quasar blocks every shot that he makes with her shield. She picks up the cloaked animal and attempts to teleport.

Gamora shouts from inside the cage, "No! Don't let them teleport again!"

Peter stands up and runs toward the duo as Rocket does the same, "Wait!" He shouts as both raccoons arrive at the same time: Quasar has just managed to complete her spell and the four disappear from sight. They leave everybody in the room speechless. Cosmo comes out and looks toward Drax and Gamora...