The Skirmish in Knowhere was a conflict caused by Drax the Destroyer during the Quest for the Orb. Taking place on Knowhere, the event was triggered when Drax, having traveled to Knowhere with the Guardians of the Galaxy in order to give the Orb to the Collector, sent out a message to Ronan the Accuser in order to draw out and kill the Kree.
The Guardians of the Galaxy traveled to Knowhere following their escape from the Kyln, in order to bring the Orb to the Collector. While waiting for him to fetch them, the Guardians visited the Boot of Jemiah where Rocket Raccoon and Drax the Destroyer both became drunk. Rocket and Drax started a brief fight that was broken up by Star-Lord and Gamora, but it caused Drax to storm out.
Tivan sent Carina to bring them to him. Drax, now alone, saw a communications hub and used it to dial the Kree Ronan the Accuser, who was also seeking the Orb and who had also killed Drax's wife and daughter years prior.
Ronan the Accuser, with Nebula and his Sakaaran army, arrived at Knowhere seeking the Orb with a number of Necrocraft. Star-Lord, Gamora, and Rocket Raccoon fled in order to keep the Orb out of his hands, using the colony's mining craft to make their escape. Nebula led the Sakaarans in chasing them, while Drax the Destroyer taunted Ronan and engaged him in battle. Ronan, however, was far more experienced and deadly than Drax, and defeated him easily, taunting him all the while before telling him that he didn't remember Drax's family, and doubted he would remember Drax, before tossing him in a vat of fluid.
In the meantime, the aerial chase became a battle when Star-Lord and Rocket began using their pods to smash into the Necrocraft, taking advantage of their durability. Eventually, however, Gamora became trapped and was forced to leave Knowhere and flee to open space to attempt to maneuver. Nebula was able to shoot her down, and the Dark Aster took the Orb.
Despite Gamora's fate, Star-Lord was able to save her life, and the lives of both were saved thanks to the timely arrival of the Yondu Ravager Clan. In the meantime, Drax the Destroyer was rescued from drowning by Groot, and given a scathing speech by Rocket Raccoon about how, just because he wanted vengeance, that did not mean that he could let other people die because of it. They then went to rescue Star-Lord and Gamora, despite Rocket's objections. Star-Lord and Gamora negotiated a truce, despite Rocket, Groot, and Drax attempting to bust them out. The entire group then made the best speed to Xandar to warn it of Ronan the Accuser's imminent arrival and to defend it. These circumstances would lead to the Battle of Xandar.