St Paul’s Cathedral: A place where weddings and funerals are held for royalty and for fallen heroes. It’s several hours before the service begins and a somber Nick Fury stands before two coffins, covered with the Union Jack and the Star-spangled Banner respectively. It should be him lying there, he thinks, not those two. He should have saved Captain America and Captain Britain, now he can only avenge them by finding the man who did this – the Red Skull. Sitting down in front of Captain America’s coffin, he sifts through his memories trying to find a clue.
Fury is trapped in one of the STRIKE planes that are bombing Braddock Manor. Radcliffe cynically tells him to enjoy the show. Fury has an idea. He tells Radcliffe that he can guess who is next on the “hit list.” Could he have a smoke first? There’s a cigar in his pocket. It’s traditional to let a condemned man have a smoke, Radcliffe agrees. He takes the cigar, lights it and puts it into Fury’s mouth, little guessing that it is actually a weapon. A moment later, a poisonous dart shoots out of the cigar and into his back. Good old Q-branch, Fury exclaims.
Still tied to his seat, Fury activates the radio with his foot, hoping he’ll reach STRIKE central and that they can help him. He is lucky and soon STRIKE central guides the plane back via auto-control.
Fury looks to the ground, dejected. Still no clue about the Red Skull. Suddenly, there’s a hand on his shoulder and he is told that he mustn’t blame himself for what happened. If anyone should shoulder the blame, it’s him, the newcomer says.
It’s a tall, thin, formally dressed middle-aged man. He shows Fury his credentials and introduces himself as Commander Lance Hunter, director of STRIKE. He’ll always feel guilty for allowing that traitor Radcliffe to enter the ranks. Well, he should, Fury exclaims and strikes away the other man’s bowler. He’s at a funeral so he should pay some respect.
Calmly Hunter tells Fury to collect himself. Anger is useless and wallowing in self-recriminations while the world is in danger is futile. The Red Skull is still at large and recruiting a sizeable army here in London. Unless they can stop him, he may well succeed, where Hitler failed.
In the meantime, at Thameside University, several students are watching a news report and learn about the death of the mysterious hero, Captain Britain. Seeking comfort In Jacko Tanner’s arms, Courtney Ross asks the others to turn it off. It seemed like only yesterday when Captain Britain saved her from that monster, Hurricane, and now he’s dead. Tactlessly, Tanner tells her its not like she lost one of her family. Who was he really? Some bloke running around in longjohns. For all they know, he could have been a villain.
How dare he, Courtney exclaims. They heard on the TV that he died fighting dangerous Neonazis. Angrily, she slaps him. Tanner suggests she go find her milksop pal, Brian Braddock, to hold her hand if she feels that way; if she can find him, that is. He hasn’t been in class for days.
Yes, Brian would understand, Courtney silently agrees. He’s gentle and sensitive. If only he wouldn’t shy away from life … from her. She looks at a picture of Brian Braddock, wondering why he’s so afraid of involvements. What hurts is he hiding? Will she ever learn who the real Brian Braddock is?
The SHIELD helicarrier hovering above London.
Within Dum Dum Dugan, Fury’s right-hand man, is overseeing a fight involving … Captain Britain and Captain America! Dugan watches the strangely mechanical fight sequence, until Fury and Hunter enter.
Fury can’t believe his eyes, as he helps Captain America, who just received a blow up. Something is wrong, though. Why is Cap so limp, Fury asks Dugan. His friend apologizes. He didn’t think Fury would take it that way. They are just Life Decoy Models. Dugan had made them up after the two Captains were killed. He figured they’d use them to rattle the Skull and catch him off-guard.
Dropping the limp Captain America model, Fury admits to himself that there was no miracle escape for Captain America and Captain Britain. They’re really dead and the others are going to have to fight without them.