“Long ago,” Medusa starts, Black Bolt signing occasionally beside her, as she speaks, and Duodon providing a visual projection of the events she is detailing, “the Celestials changed the course of the universe by experimenting with the Human, Kree, and Skrull races, leaving us forever entwined. Within each race, the Celestials created a Deviant species, rife with mutation and unstable genomes, and an Eternal species, a “perfect” form of evolution. But they also left the Primes... a population whose own evolution and mutations were left to manifest in their own ways.
The Deviant Skrulls wiped out the Primes and the Eternals, but were in turn targeted by the Kree, who feared they were next. The Kree came to Earth to use the Prime Humans, to unlock their genetic potential left untouched by the Celestials, and use them as a weapon against the Skrulls – we became the Inhumans, an experiment that they deemed a failure, but that we know has thrived in its own ways, since."
Duodon's projections stop, but Medusa continues.
"We have maintained a tenable relationship with the Skrulls we have encountered, but more and more splinter cells and rogue groups have been forming and gathering here on Earth, and pose a threat to Human, Inhuman, and allied Skrull life.”
Finally Medusa takes a quick pause. The history of the Inhuman race is not news to the Royal Family but the threat of Skrull invasion seems to be.
Black Bolt signs, and Medusa replies, “We do not believe the Flagship knows yet of what we know.”
“And then how do we?”
“Maddox … You may join us now.” Medusa calls out. A thin, small Skrull emerges from behind a false wall in their meeting chamber.
“A Skrull spy? And one that Talos does not know of?” Gorgon says to Medusa, as if Maddox was not there. But it is Maddox who responds.
“No. Talos does not know about me, nor do the Kree, or any other Skrull. I have chosen to come to you, to keep it that way. I do not know what their response would be if I went to them, even with this news, for I... am probably the last of my kind... a Prime Skrull .” A murmur goes out through the room.
“But then how-“ Crystal pipes up.
“I fled. I fled from Skrullos, in stasis, as an exile during the civil war. I fled from the pain of war, but it wasn’t until I awoke on Earth millennia later, that I discovered the true fate of my people. And now the Skrulls are on Earth, my only refuge, and I cannot run again.”
“I do not know where the rogue Skrulls are gathering, but I’ve been able to locate a Skrull communications outpost, somewhere in Pelagia.”
“Pelagia??” Triton interrupts, “Pelagians aren’t much to be afraid of, but there is a precarious balance under the sea... If something goes wrong even with a small city like Pelagia, the big-city fish-talkers will take it as a personal attack from the overworld.”
“Which is why we need to keep this as far removed from the overworld as possible.” Medusa replies. “We need to gain whatever information we can and knock out their communication means, and it can’t be traced back to us, or to any humans.”
“Which is why we need you.” Maddox is looking right at Triton when he says this.
“I can pass as a regular Skrull with a breathing apparatus on under water, the Pelagians won’t know better, hell, even the Skrulls will think me just a runt. You are the closest thing we have to an actual Pelagian on our side... I mean, the resemblance is uncanny. We must go and disrupt their communication or risk the infestation of rogue Deviants and their fancies of using Earth as a weapon agains the Kree. We must go, we must go alone, and there are no other candidates for this mission.”
Triton looks around the room in disbelief, as if looking for someone to defend him. The others half avert their gaze, Karnak shrugs and gives an apologetic nod.
“Oh c’mon, that’s just racist!” Triton finally says. "You can't truly be on board with this!"
Cut to underwater. Triton and Maddox are approaching the underwater city of Pelagia, in a small underwater craft. Maddox looks inexperienced but all-business; Triton looks annoyed and offended.
Cut to the craft docked underwater, as the two get out.
Triton looks around and we get our first look at the local Pelagians. There are subtle differences, but they look comically similar to Triton...
“How is this not racist!?” Triton exclaims.
“Come on, we need to locate that outpost.” And the two head into the city.
As they are walking through, there is an ominous feel, an almost military presence, with Pelagian guards swimming around the streets. “This is not the Pelagia I have heard about...” Triton says to Maddox.
One guard is harassing a local woman, and ends up tossing her to the ground.
Triton quickly moves to help her up.
“Tha- thank you...” she says gratefully, as he helps her up, but she quickly notices the scuba’d skrull next to him and recoils.
“No, no it’s okay! He’s not going to hurt you; we’re not going to hurt you” Triton reassures her.
She’s still a little tentative, but she looks Triton up and down, “You... you’re not from around here.”
“Haha, no, I’m not”, he shoots Maddox a ‘told-you-so’ look.
“So… you’re one of the shape shifters.” She looks ominously to the near-distance where the guard that harassed her has moved on to harass an innocent merchant.
“Haha, no, a Skrull could take your appearance, but would not be able to breath underwater... I just happen to look like you... it’s complicated.... And he just happens to look like them too, but he’s not a shapeshifter either. We’re here to help you, and help Pelagia.”
She believes him.
“But we need to know where the shapeshifters are.” Maddox adds. "Where they are working out of. Where their base is, if you will."
She eyes Maddox warily still, not answering him.
“What is your name?” Triton asks, redirecting her attention.
“Dascylla, the guard who knocked you down, he’s with the Skrulls isn’t he?” She nods. “We need to figure out where the Skrulls are here in town. Do you know where they are?”
She nods again, and points down the “road” to an isolated building, topped with a tall tower.
“It looks like a beacon or transmission tower of some sort.” Maddox says to Triton.
“Thank you, Dascylla.” Triton and Maddox begin to head out, but Dascylla grabs Triton’s arm.
“Be careful. We’re not supposed to go near there, and not everyone here is as keen to get rid of them as you or me.”
Triton and Maddox get to the outpost without being seen by the numerous guards outside, and Triton easily forces his way in. Inside, the outpost is drained of water, instead, filled with air. It is eerily quiet. A few computers line the room, along with some lab and medical equipment, including some liquid labelled “Skrull Adrenaline Compound ”.
“It looks like these computers are sending and receiving over the pulse beacon relay!” Maddox excitedly exclaims.
“Get what information you can off those computers, fast, so we can take them offline and make this place useless to the Skrulls.”
Triton paces the room, browsing, while Maddox works feverishly at the computers.
“There! I’ve backed up everything I could. Now we just need to knock this beacon offline!” Maddox holds a drive indicating he has what he wants.
“...This looks important!” Triton grabs a large chunk of relay and circuitry from the computer stacks and yanks it out. He leans back, dodging, as a spark leaps out and the computers shut off. “Now we can get out of this funhouse, and I can put in a formal complaint to HR for workplace discrimination!”
But with that, noises come from outside the door, and it begins to open. Maddox quickly stashes the drive in a pocket, hiding it, as two Pelagian guards, wearing breathing apparatuses enter.
They are obviously surprised to see anyone in there, eyeing the scrawny Skrull before noticing the shutdown computers.
“The light went out on the beacon tower above. Is everything alright here?” one guard asks, skeptically.
“Oh, yes! Just doing some routine maintenance! It’ll be back up in a second!” Maddox says emphatically.
“There was no scheduled maintenance for today,” the second guard says, but before Maddox can further his lie, the guard turns to Triton, “And you... you don’t look to familiar. How long were you planning on holding your breath out of water?” The second question was asked almost mockingly, challenging Triton to reveal whatever secret he had.
But Maddox, fearing they were caught, impulsively lunges out trying to take the guards by surprise. He bounces off of the one guard, making him lose his balance, as we wasn’t expecting it, but the other guard quickly grabs Maddox and throws him across the room, crashing into the Skrull Adrenaline kit.
Triton stays where he is, not saying anything or making a move, but instead slowly puts his hands up.
Outside the outpost, the two guards are leading Triton and Maddox away, bound, and now back underwater, the two are wearing breathing apparatuses.
“We’ve got two Skrull spies here,” the first guard says into a communications device, “they banged up some of the transmission devices but everything else seems okay. The one shapeshifter refuses to go back to his own form, but we’ve given them some mouthpieces and we’re taking them in.”
Triton looks over at Maddox who is fuming, shaking, itching to do something, the extra adrenaline pumping through him. Triton waits a second and glances around before looking back to Maddox and nodding.
Triton snaps his binds off, and is surprised to see a pumped up Maddox do the same. Their two guards turn to see what’s happening, but Triton swiftly takes them both out. Very quickly a small unit of Pelagian guards arrive on scene and begin to swarm the two prisoners. Maddox gets tangled up with one, but now being underwater is at a major disadvantage, even pumped up; Triton by contrast swims circles around the guards and takes them out in quick succession without breaking a sweat.
Triton then swims up to the top of the transmission tower, and tears off his breathing apparatus. Taking in a deep breath of water, he tears the tower down with his hands, destroying the whole system.
He just as quickly swims down to Maddox and yanks the Pelagian guard off of him, tossing him aside.
“I had that one!” Maddox shouts in his own defense.
“I’m sure you did!” Triton laughs, as he looks around at the beat up Pelagian guards.
“When the sunken cities hear about a disturbance here in Pelagia, they will come, and they won’t stand for any Skrull presence that remains.”
Back in the underwater craft, Maddox has obviously crashed, his head in his hand, his fingers rubbing in between his big eyes.
Triton smiles at him, “I was pretty impressed out there today! You’ve got some pep in you!”
“Ugh… I think it was that adrenaline I was tossed into… don’t expect that again anytime soon!” Maddox replies hoarsely.
“I don’t know… I think there maybe a little more in you than we thought!”
The two share a quick look, smile and laugh, and the craft drives off into the distance, as we close out.
- In the comics, Skrull Prime does not have a name, but is instead is brought back to life by Dr. Caitlin Maddox. He is a mutant who has his latent mutant genes activated by the Adrenaline Compound. With his powers he can alter the molecular structure of both inorganic and organic targets by shooting beams out of his eyes.
- In the comics, Pelagia is not an underwater city on Earth, but an all-water planet that Triton visits during the Secret Invasion plot, after the Skrulls annexed part of Pelagia and left a beacon there. There he meets and develops feelings for Dascylla.