Epilogue

Skrulls: a group of shape-shifting aliens whose throne world is Tarnax. Their new ruler, Queen Veranke, believed a certain prophecy to be true. It stated that a distant blue planet named Earth would one day be theirs. Veranke spoke out against Dorrek, the king at that time, and said the ancient prophecy was true. He sent her to the barren former throne world Skrullos, where she battled to stay alive. Eventually she was rescued and became Queen. She used the incoming students at the Academy for soldiers, training them. These students included the friends Lyk'ra, Zkrl, Ifg'ai, and Ytt'ri.

Burst, the Nikki Storm of this reality, was granted powers through a tragic accident. While working at a fast-food joint, her first job, in New York, a superhero battle began. Not one of the workers noticed until a loud boom shook the windows. Despite her co-workers warnings, Nikki went outside to investigate. Tearing down the street were the Avengers Mockingbird and Wonder Man. Radioactive Man soon followed. They fought the evil Chinese man, but the Avengers seemed to be losing. Noticing a nearby discarded plastic chair, Nikki threw it at him, distracting the villain. Then she bolted back to the restaurant.

The battle continued. As a final attempt to destroy the heroes, Radioactive Man fired a blast of highly deadly radiation. Wonder Man dodged, but the restaurant was hit instead. Within seconds, everybody in the building perished. Everybody, that is, except for one.

Miraculously, Nikki survived. When specially trained hazardous waste removal workers came to clear away the wreckage, they found the body of a teenager, convulsing under an acid-soaked ceiling tile. Her body was badly mutated, but she was alive. Before they could transport the poor girl, she jumped up and bolted from the site. Barely making it a mile away, she collapsed in an alley.

She awoke to the beeps and hums of hospital machinery. It turned out the teenage Spider-Man found her and, not knowing what to do, brought her to the Triskelion. Tony Stark saved her life. Discovering that she now had strange and unusual powers, she was about to run off and resume her normal life. Wanting to keep tabs on the potential young hero, Tony convinced her to stay at SHIELD Headquarters until she fully recovered.

There she learned about her new abilities with the help of Nick Fury and the Ultimates. With the new training, she decided to don a costume and join the Ultimates. However, when they started to break apart, she went off on her own. Moving from state to state and country to country, she flirted with every hot guy she came across. Finally she met someone who held her heart. They married.

For years, Nikki jumped between teams. The Ultimates, the X-Men, SHIELD, and Alpha Flight all let her call their place home. She always returned to fighting crime solo though.

One day, the couple was going about their daily routine, which consisted of fighting crime most of the time, when Nikki was cornered in an empty shop. Not knowing what the villain was, since he showed green skin and gold eyes, she tried to trap him and take him to a scientist. Before she could do anything, the creature attacked her and knocked her unconscious, taking her away to the designated location. Nikki has not been heard from in months and is presumed dead.

Her husband at first thought she was simply following a lead. He gave her a few days, but when she did not contact him, he grew worried. Not knowing what to do, he contacted every team she had ever fought with, hoping she was alive. Maybe, he reasoned, she was injured and could not inform him of her whereabouts. To no prevail, he finally started a search on his own. No villain held her hostage, and the last time she was seen was their fight against the terrorists. Of course, she had been featured in the news. A popular public figure like Nikki who disappeared was bound to be noticed after a few days. It was believed that she had been either abducted or killed by the terrorists.

After weeks of searching endlessly, he finally gave up the search. Unable to move on, he busied himself with work, trying to keep his mind off his missing wife. To this day he hopes, perhaps in vain, that Nikki will return home safe and sound.

Though the discovery of the ship in the Savage Land was a hoax, it still rattled the heroes greatly. Their friends, families, all of them had been gone for months. To think they were simply held hostage by hostile aliens was almost too much to comprehend.

Backing up in time, many months ago, the Skrulls began putting their plan into action. Earth was needed to fulfill an ancient prophecy, and they knew it would be easy to take. They planned the "Secret Invasion" to completely defeat the heroes. With the heroes present, it would be near impossible, but with them gone, their chances would raise. Veranke understood this. She knew what would have to be done. With that in mind, she began utilizing the students at the Academy of Tarnax as soldiers. Soon enough they were ready to be sent to Earth.

Lyk'ra sa Gila was one of the last Skrulls forced to join the attack. At first she had no idea what she was doing. Nobody did. Not until the first briefing did they know what they were doing. Lyk'ra never wanted anything to do with Earth. Unwillingly she transformed permanently into Nikki Storm. During her limited time on the blue planet she realized the threat the Skrulls presented. Betraying her own race, Lyk'ra let the replaced have a general idea what was happening. Her betrayal will be met with severe punishment.

What of her friends? Their fates have yet to be revealed.