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"Get on the ship and you will live. You stay here with your friends, and you will die. The choice is yours."
Jonah to Karolina Dean[src]

The Battle at the PRIDE Construction Site was a battle where the Runaways and PRIDE teamed up to prevent Jonah's spaceship from destroying California. Thanks to the combined efforts of Dale and Stacey Yorkes on one side and Victor and Janet Stein on the other side, the spaceship was destroyed, while Jonah was seemingly killed by Nico Minoru. In the final moments of the battle, the Gibborim managed to possess three PRIDE members without the others knowing: Victor, Stacey and Tina Minoru and possibly one member of the Runaways.

Background

"Do you think I chose you because I enjoy your company? I chose you because of your capability to perform specific tasks, so I could get my ship out of that damn hole and get the hell outta here! Day after tomorrow, all of you are going to show up at the dig site."
Jonah to PRIDE[src]

In prehistoric times, the Gibborim Magistrate and his family crashed on Earth, with the Magistrate being the only one able to escape while his kin remained trapped under the surface of the Earth.[4] Left with no other choice but to wait until Humanity attained sufficient technological advancement, the Magistrate possessed several hosts to survive, eventually engineering the creation of the Church of Gibborim and assembling PRIDE under the alias of Jonah. Thus, Jonah could oversaw the drilling on the PRIDE Construction Site, with the objective of digging deep enough to reach his family and his spaceship to release them.[5] This eventually became possible with the delivery of the Nemo Industrial Drilling Machine.[2]

However, Jonah's plan could be hindered by both PRIDE, who had rebelled against him at the time, and their children, the Runaways. Indeed, both teams had learned from a tape recorded by Gene and Alice Hernandez that the launch of Jonah's spaceship could cause massive earthquakes across California, which they sought to prevent.[2][6] Moreover, Leslie Dean feared that her daughter Karolina, who she had had from Jonah, could be taken away from her. Thus, both PRIDE and the Runaways independently prepared to oppose Jonah's projects: PRIDE, who had been ordered to help with the launch, designed equipment aimed to destroy the spaceship, while Karolina persuaded the Runaways that they should release the trapped Gibborim by themselves to make sure no one would get hurt.[3]

Battle

"If you love me, you won't make me choose."
"Like all children in the end, destined to break their parents' heart."
Karolina Dean and Jonah[src]

The Runaways, along with Geoffrey Wilder who they had held in the Hostel following his unplanned rescue, were the first to arrive on the PRIDE Construction Site. Geoffrey and Alex Wilder quickly captured the Church of Gibborim guards, including Carl, locking them up in a prefabricated box so they would not interfere with the Runaways' operation. Meanwhile, the other Runaways infiltrated the site, leaving Gert Yorkes to stand watch in case Jonah or PRIDE arrived so she could alert her teammates.

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Chase Stein attempts to free the Gibborim

Karolina Dean took Nico Minoru, Chase Stein and Molly Hernandez down into the hole, where Chase intended to use his recently upgraded Fistigons to cut through the spaceship's shell in order to release the trapped Gibborim. However, his attempts were unsuccessful as the material he was cutting into kept regenerating. Meanwhile, both Jonah and Leslie Dean arrived on the dig site, with Gert being unable to inform her teammates in the hole due to poor reception. Alex and Geoffrey saw Jonah arriving but remained hidden, waiting to see how things went.

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Nico Minoru makes it out of the hole

Reaching the hole, Jonah instructed Karolina to leave the hole, claiming it was too dangerous for her to be there. He also contacted Xavin and ordered her to proceed with the launch, counting on Karolina to safely fly out. Since Karolina could only carry two people at a time, she took Chase and Hernandez with her and safely brought them back to the surface, where all of PRIDE had arrived and had been informed of the Runaways' presence. Karolina attempted to return into the hole to bring Nico back, but Jonah told her not to, triggering Robert Minoru's anger. Still, Nico was able to leave the hole on her own, summoning a small tornado through the Staff of One to be carried out of the hole under the proud look of her mother's Tina.

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An eartquake shakes the PRIDE Construction Site

With Gert, Alex and Geoffrey joining the group, both PRIDE and the Runaways were eventually gathered. Jonah then announced that he wanted Karolina to leave Earth with him as part of her Gibborim heritage. However, Karolina refused to go with him, stating that she would remain with the people she truly loved. Before Jonah could reply, the beginning launch of the spaceship caused an earthquake, and Jonah admitted that he had lied to PRIDE about the probability of such an event occurring. Jonah insisted that Karolina had to come with him if she wanted to live, but she still refused to come.

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Chase Stein attacks Jonah

Upset by Karolina's decision, Jonah ordered Xavin to accelerate the launch, causing a shockwave which made everyone else fall on the ground. Nevertheless, PRIDE and the Runaways quickly reacted and attempted to stop the ship. Nico tried to use the Staff of One, but the power required was too much for her and she fainted, causing Tina to pick up the Staff and reiterate the command, only to discover that the Staff did no longer obey her. The Steins then joined in: Victor Stein told Chase to attack Jonah with the Fistigons, with Chase being protected from Jonah's light beams by Karolina. Thanks to the distraction, Victor threw the Anti-Gravity Device created by Janet Stein on the ship's shell.

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Jonah's Ship is destroyed

Karolina explained to Jonah that they did not want anyone to get hurt, and Jonah replied that she had the power to stop all of this, only to be hit by Hernandez with a metal bar. Taking advantage of Jonah being briefly incapacitated, Dale and Stacey Yorkes fired multiple doses of the Anti-Gibborim Serum they had developed on the ship's shell. Initially though, it seemed that neither the Anti-Gravity Device nor the Anti-Gibborim Serum worked, enabling Jonah to get back on his feet and to violently retaliate, generating a powerful shockwave which knocked back everybody around. Nevertheless, the effects of PRIDE's technology eventually manifested. The ship's remained stuck on the surface while the shell was affected by a massive necrosis, which eventually caused the spacecraft's whole destruction.

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Nico Minoru stabs Jonah

Outraged by this turn of events, Jonah moved towards PRIDE and prepared to furiously attack them. However, behind him, Nico regained consciousness and reclaimed the Staff of One. She imbued it with the serum contained in an unsused vial and ragingly stabbed Jonah from behind to avenge her sister Amy's death, which had been caused by Jonah two years ago. Fatally wounded, Jonah fell on the ground much to the horror of Karolina, who rushed at her father while all of PRIDE and the rest of the Runaways watched in astonishment.

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Nico Minoru forces PRIDE to sleep

Jonah managed to whisper that he would have to "take it all" before losing control of his host, who briefly regained awareness and wondered why Karolina was crying over him before dying. The host's body then emitted a bright light which quickly vanished, leaving all the witnesses puzzled. With the battle being over, PRIDE went to check on the Runaways and tried to convince their children to return home now that Jonah was gone, only to be put to sleep by Nico's spell, enabling the Runaways to leave.[3]

Aftermath

"Jonah's dead. I killed him."
"You killed his host. The body his energy inhabited."
Nico Minoru and Xavin[src]

The most immediate consequence of the violent battle at the PRIDE Construction Site was that the Gibborim and Xavin, who had been trapped for millenia under the surface of the Earth, were finally able to escape from the hole.[7] Xavin left the construction site on her own, while the Gibborim took hosts in the people present at the moment: the Magistrate's Wife went to possess Stacey Yorkes; the Magistrate's Daughter infiltrated the body of Tina Minoru; while the current whereabouts of the Magistrate's Son remain unknown. Despite losing his host, Jonah also managed to survive by possessing Victor Stein.[8] Over time, the personality of the Gibborim progressively took over their hosts' to the point that they gained full control of their body. As for Xavin, she managed to approach Karolina Dean, who she thought to be her betrothed she had traveled for.[7]

In the day following the battle, the body of Jonah was found and retrieved by the LAPD led by Flores.[3] PRIDE celebrated their victory, considering that the organization had no longer a purpose and should be disbanded, allowing its members to look for their respective children in the way they wanted.[5] However, it soon turned out that the end of PRIDE was an illusion as their criminal actions, including Catherine Wilder framing Darius Davis for the Assassination of Destiny Gonzalez, eventually caught up with them, forcing PRIDE to work it out together.[8]

The events at the PRIDE construction site also evidently deeply affected the Runaways. Nico Minoru was left traumatized by the fact that she had seemingly murdered Jonah, as she was not sure that it was the right thing to do. Furthermore, this caused her relationship with Dean to become intensely strained due to Jonah being Dean's father who she had bonded with nonetheless. Upset by the loss of her father who could have helped her understand her own nature, Dean eventually realized that Jonah might have left a message for her and successfully retrieved his recording device in the Church of Gibborim Executive Office.[5]

Despite the fact that PRIDE and the Runaways had allied to put an end to the threat of Jonah, Alex Wilder remained determined to bring PRIDE to justice, claiming that one good deed, which he thought PRIDE had only carried out by pure selfishness, was not enough to redeem the years of crimes they had committed.[3]

Jonah's survival of the battle, as well as the escape of the Gibborim from the construction site, was eventually revealed to the Runaways by Xavin in the aftermath of an intense confrontation against PRIDE. Chase and Janet Stein also discovered it when they realized that Victor was possessed by the Magistrate, although they were captured immediately after that.[7]

References

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