Part 1

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"I...am...Groot."

Peter Quill—a.k.a. Star-Lord—gasped at the tiny tree-like creature sprouting from the pot of dirt on the Milano's dash. "Did you all hear that? He said his first words! He said—"

"He said he's tired of flying around the galaxy, with nothin' to do," Rocket said. "No one told us that guarding the galaxy would be so frigging boring."

Peter sighed. The raccoon was right. They'd saved the universe from total annihilation at the hands of Ronan the Accuser, and flown off into space to do a victory lap. Unfortunately, word of their righteous endeaver was slow to travel across the galaxy. Many planets they stopped on hadn't heard of the Battle of Xander, much less the Star-Lord and his rag-tag crew. Peter blamed the cable companies. Although interstellar travel had been mastered by most of the universe's inhabitants, reliable high-speed Internet access was lacking. In time, the legend of the Guardians of the Galaxy would spread—until then, Peter had planned to just fly around in search of adventure. The only problem, of course, was that adventure was exceedingly hard to come by. It was as if the second they defeated Ronan's army, the rest of the galaxy had laid down its arms. The universe seemed to be at peace with itself.

"I. Am. Groot."

"What'd he say now?" Peter asked his co-pilot.

Rocket shook his head. "He says we're running on empty."

"We're not—" Peter stared at the fuel gauge, which read "E." He cursed under his breath and brought up a map on the Milano's touchscreen. Since they hadn't found any adventure, Peter was taking his friends on a little tour of his favorite microbreweries across the galaxy. Right now they were halfway between Sakaar and Mogo—in other words, they were in the middle of nowhere. The closest planet, Aarder, was uninhabited. According to the map, however, there was supposed to be a fueling station on a one of its moons...

"The North Pole?" Peter said. "That can't be the right name."

Rocket looked at the map. "That's the name. It's just a frozen rock, though. We're not going to find any fuel there. When's the last time you updated this map, Peter?"

"It's been a few years," he said. "Still, it's either we stop now or see how far we can run on empty. I don't like the thought of floating around without any power. We'll follow the map, and if it's wrong, at least we can radio for AAA to come fill our tank."

"I. AM. GROOT."

Peter stared at baby Groot. "What now?"

Rocket laughed. "He wants to know if you remembered to renew your AAA membership?"

"Very funny," Peter said. Of course, he knew the expiration date on his AAA card in his wallet was several years past. They had enough money to fuel up, of course—enough money to last them a few months of flying and drinking across the galaxy. Saving Xander had netted them an unexpected financial reward. The problem was that AAA was the only space-side assistance company that would take the risk of aiding a stranded ship on a godforsaken moon in the middle of nowhere. Peter knew that if they didn't find a fueling station on the North Pole, they were as good as dead.

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