A Watcher watches the events unfold on the planet below. He sees frightening changes in Earth’s climates and weather phenomena, as well as the actions of the individuals beneath it. He watches as Sir Nicholas Fury sends a blind man to collect the treasure of the Templars for England. He sees the Grand Inquisitor of Spain fail to capture another Witchbreed, as the crippled Javier in England finds him. He watches Doom, and Stephen Strange, as he seeks Virgina Dare, who has transformed into something unusual and escaped the palace. The Watcher places patterns into order, but dares not interfere.
England, Hampton Court:
In the palace, Peter asks where Virginia could have disappeared to. Rojhas says she has gone up, and urges the boy to climb with him. Peter stares at the massive Indian, and replies that he cannot climb. As Rojhas scales the wall with ease, he is surprised to find Sir Stephen Strange waiting above the palace, asking for assistance in capturing Virginia without harming her. Rojhas feels an innate trust for the master of the Queen’s potions, and takes a hunting net from him. Strange lights his candles on the roof of the palace, and speaks the enchantment:
“Through fire, water, earth and air, Come to me, Virginia Dare.”
Strange folds his arms and waits a moment, and before long, a terrified shrieking white bird flies at him . Strange falls over, but before the gryphon can attack the doctor, Rojhas hurls a net over the beast, and jumps on her neck, subduing her. Strange bids Rojhas to hurry and do as he says, lest the others find them in this place.
A moment later, Strange has drawn patterns of mystical healing on the ground between the candles, and Virginia lays between it, having recovered her form. Sir Fury stampedes onto the scene, screaming to know what went on above the palace. Strange advises him not to step foot in the vicinity of the healing energies at work on the girl, as it could be a bad idea. Fury folds his arms and repeats his question, demanding to know what happened. Strange insists that the girl was snatched by a monster, and was left on the roof, unconscious. Fury, distrustful, asks what happened to Strange’s garments. Stephen tells the spy that he was careless, and it is easy to rip one’s garments when climbing a building. Fury still does not believe the story he is given, but says that he will send for a rope and canvas, so that Virginia may be brought back down again.
The Fortress of the Inquisition, DomDaniel, Spain:
From the Vatican, the Pope’s man, Brother Tomas, arrives to relay a message to the Grand Inquisitor. Tomas insists that they must speak someplace where they will be completely alone from prying ears. The Inquisitor agrees, and leads the monk into a deep cavern. There, Tomas reveals that a rumour has reached the Pope’s ear, that tells him that the Inquisition is having talks with King James of Scotland. Tomas says that His Holiness would be deeply distressed by such talks, as he is unfriendly to those parts of the Church that would hold their own agendas. The old, bearded Inquisitor cautions the monk to watch his step as the caverns reveal bottomless pits below. He asks Tomas if there will be need to accompany him to Rome, but Tomas draws a small blade, and insists that the matter will be restricted to the cavern. Tomas says that he will be horrified by the Inquisitor’s death, as will the Pope. The Inquisitor shakes his head and rolls his eyes, telling Tomas that it is “unfortunate.” Tomas holds the blade to the Inquisitor’s throat, telling him that it is the finest Toledo steel, sharp enough so that the old man will not even notice his own throat being cut. “Unfortunate,” replies the Inquisitor, “as it is made of steel.” The blade is ripped by some unknown magnetic force from Tomas’ hands, stabbing him in the throat. “Unfortunate,” laughs the Inquisitor.
Master John Grey is walking in the countryside, and hears a voice above him calling to him – it is Werner, the winged boy saved from the fires of Spain. The angel offers to descend from his perch to speak with John, but John insists there is no need – and floats in the air to meet the angel on the branch of his tree. Werner marvels at the boys gift of flight without wings, calling him amazing for it. John says that it isn’t so much – he cannot fly, he can only levitate himself for short periods of time. Werner tells John his story, of how he used to wake up well before dawn to spread his wings and fly, and would also do so at night, when prying eyes could not see him. John tells Werner that he is free to fly around on the school grounds as much as he wants, provided he doesn’t go too high. Werner worries that sometimes one gets used to hiding as a second nature. Werner speaks with enthusiasm at the wonder of Master Javier’s dream, that one day the world will be ready for them, and on that day, they will all live side by side with humanity. John remarks that on that day, the Last Trump will sound.
Werner asks John to imagine – in the jungles of Africa, and in Russia, and in the Far East, there are more and more of their kind born with gifts that could once have only been imagined. Yet, so many of them will be murdered as children, and many still kept by their parents as secrets from the world. Werner says that he is grateful to a place such as Javier’s where none of them have to keep secrets from anyone anymore. He is grateful to be himself for once, and tells John that they have no need to hide. John looks startled, but Werner does not understand.
Before the two of them can continue their conversation, the ruby-eyed Cyclops beneath tells them to get out of the tree at once. John begs Scotius to forgive them, but Scotius only looks upon the two of them with eyes of frustration. He tells them that Javier will be ready for morning prayers shortly, and that they are to assemble in the chapel. The five students meet, with Javier leading and begging the Lord for freedom and forgiveness for their sins on behalf of the group.
Matthew and Natasha have arrived at the inn, looking for fresh horses that were supposed to have been arranged for by Sir Fury. The old innkeeper says that the roads are washed out because of the storms, and horses and carriages cannot be moved across them. Matthew insists that they have no time to stay there for the night, and the two of them go upstairs to meet the soldiers that have made the inn their camp for the evening.
The soldiers argue that the vicious storms could only mean the end of the world, and talk of rumors that there is a firestorm in Prague. Natasha walks up to the captain of the group, offering to buy the horses from the men. The soldiers laugh, saying that at least she is beautiful. A large soldier stands up and asks the blind Irishman what he does. Matthew replies that he is a singer, and sings another verse from the Ballad of the Fantastick. After a few moments, the soldiers shout at the bard to stop. They ask what the madwoman is doing. Matthew smiles and says that she is the most dangerous woman in Europe. The captain is tired of Matthew’s games, and draws a pistol on his head. Without any further warning, Natasha leaps to Matthew’s aid, throwing soldiers every which way and knocking them all out.
Matthew laughs at the woman. She says that she was perfectly willing to pay for those horses. Matthew continues to smirk his way through the evening, and they ride off into the storm.
Queen Elizabeth and Sir Nicholas Fury are talking about the state of the kingdom in the wake of the assassination attempt on Virginia Dare the previous day. Fury tells the Queen that the girl has yet to waken. They have learned nothing further about the assassination attempt and the people behind it, and the two they have captured have given no information thus far. Fury offers to torture them to get the information, but the Queen is displeased with this notion, and insists that they are not barbarians. However, she tells Fury to do what he must to get answers. Fury says that Javier spoke of three assassins, the final one of which has come to kill her. He tries to offer some advice to keep her safe, but Elizabeth ignores him, and says that she has other matters to worry about. Fury reports that his man will contact the Old Man of the Templars in Trieste before long. The Queen excuses herself to speak with the Latverian ambassador, who has brought a gift from Otto von Doom, as Otto’s gifts are always amusing.
Outside the royal chamber, a wealthy noble from Latveria shows Peter and Nicholas, as well as a crowd of spectators, the gift for Her Majesty – a wooden doll that plays music without the touch of human hands or sound. Nicholas laughs at Otto’s new toy, and takes Peter with him on assignment, leaving the Queen to her guest. Nicholas tells Peter to stay with Virginia, and not to allow her to be alone with anyone.
Greenwich, Strange’s house:
Peter introduces himself to Clea, Strange’s wife. Clea shows him around the house at the wondrous animals around, and explains how they can help to procure powerful medicines. Clea opens a door and calls out to her husband, who is meditating. Strange calls back to his wife with his non-corporeal form, telling her that he is high above the world, near the moon – and someone else is there with him, though he cannot see who or what it is. Clea tells Strange to return home at once, and to follow her voice. Stephen returns to his body, shaken by the experience.
In the hallway, Peter looks around at the creatures, as a black widow spider falls toward him. Strange warns Peter not to move, and he gathers up the spider gently, and returns her to the cage. Peter says that he isn’t afraid of spiders, and thinks that they are elegant. Strange says that she is venomous, and within the venom are many secrets, but not for Peter to worry about. He tells Peter that he understands that Nicholas wants him to attend Miss Dare.
London, the Tower:
Fury holds up the assassin from Hampton Court, telling him that he is not about to start torturing, he is only going to offer a deal: He gives his sword to the would-be killer, and removes his own armor. He tells the man that if he can kill Fury, then he is free to go. However, if Fury bests the man, then he must talk. The criminal accepts, and Fury tosses him the blade. The killer immediately tries to take a swing at Fury, but Fury holds up his forearm, letting it cut into his skin, and decks the vulture with a seriously hard blow. He grabs up the man again, and insists on knowing who sent him.
Virginia is laying on a bed, pale and sickly. Strange says that she is in a fever, and her skin is burning. Strange tells Peter to step outside so that he may talk to Rojhas. Peter argues that Nicholas told him not to, but Strange insists that Peter must, so that Virginia can receive medical treatment. Strange asks Rojhas if the transformation has happened before. Rojhas nods his head yes. Strange then asks if anyone else knows about this, and if she takes other forms. Rojhas says that nobody else knows about it, but that she also becomes a white horse and white deer. Rojhas grunts that Virginia was “not sick… not this bad.” The air begins circling with glowing energy throughout the room, and Rojhas looks in wonder. Strange is perplexed, and asks Rojhas what Virginia is.
London, The Tower:
Fury continues to beat the assassin, demanding to know who sent him. Out of the man’s lips drifts an unconscious word: “Doom.” Fury holds up the man, thinking it a threat, but suddenly realizes that he is being told a name – but by now, it is too late:
Elizabeth is dead, a victim of Count Otto’s amusing toy.