It’s a stormy Christmas Eve at the west coast of Britain around 11.30 PM but Brian Braddock and Meggan are snuggling in front of the fireplace in their lighthouse. This is how Christmas should be, a contented Meggan announces, with mince pies, brandy and no interruptions. He really wishes she hadn’t said that, Brian sighs as that moment there is a knocking at the door.
Curious at who could be calling that late, the both of them fly down to find an unexpected visitor indeed: Dai Thomas, Brian exclaims. Aggressively, the other man exclaims he is flattered that the Captain should remember him. It’s been a long time. Don’t bother denying that he is Captain Britain, he continues. He figured it out some time ago and he’s kept track of him ever since. Routine police work, really, but then he supposes Braddock thinks all police men are stupid. No, just him, Brian retorts.
Thomas snarls at him not to push it. He doesn’t have Braddock’s pedigree but he’s more than a boyo from the valley with nothing but coal dust between his ears! He… He turns away and apologizes. It was very difficult for him to come there. He’s had to swallow his pride and a fair amount of Dutch courage. He’ll… get to the point.
There has been a series of exceptionally brutal and inexplicable murders up in Glasgow. All twenty-seven victims were known villains, so it’s logical to suspect some sort of gang war. He wants the Captain to pose as the emissary of a crime syndicate moving into the Glasgow area. Hopefully, whoever is behind the murders will feel threatened enough to come after him.
But why does he need him? Brian asks. Surely catching murderers is “routine police work”… This is no ordinary murder. Thomas insists. All the victims have been horrendously mutilated and at incredible speed. Meggan looks horrified while Brian’s stance doesn’t soften. One was alone for less than a minute, yet he was virtually dismantled. A butcher with a chainsaw couldn’t inflict that much damage so quickly. Another victim was carrying a nine millimeter Uzi; he fired a burst of approximately twenty rounds at his attacker. Eighteen bullets were recovered. Seven were sliced or shredded. Four were flattened and three were fused into a sphere.
Now he’s lost three men, real pros who wouldn’t have taken any unnecessary risk, all were mutilated before they could call for radio assistance. After thirty years on the force, he thought he’d seen everything but he can’t begin to imagine what sort of evil monstrosity is behind this. He’s scared, he admits, and has nowhere else to run. Please, he has to help him…
Captain UK has fallen asleep in the snow leaning against one of the stones of the stone circle. She awakes when she hear a flash of energy. Roma has teleported in. Linda apologizes for falling asleep while waiting. Roma simply states she dreamt of her husband. A nightmare, Linda states remembering. Her husband Rick sent her here when her Earth was being destroyed. She watched the Fury kill him.
Roma states that she has been forced to summon her as a result of her husband’s actions. She is not of this world. Her presence is an anomaly that has prevented this continuum from healing the wounds inflicted by the Jaspers creature. The deformed children called Warpies continue to be born. The Crazy Gang’s insanity survives to pollute the innocence of this land when it should have perished with its creator. Linda cannot remain or the decay will persist! Roma teleports both of them away to Otherworld.
December 25th. 7.30 A.M..
Dai Thomas awakes to a strange show. Captain Britain dressed ludicrously in what he believes to be tough guy attire - complete with a toothpick between the teeth and a “kiss me quick” hat - telling him he doesn’t like snoring, so he’s gonna waste him. Get up, pig, and take it like a man!
Meggan shakes her head. That won’t scare a Glasgow godfather. It sounds too corny. Can’t he try to be a bit more like Clint Eastwood? Clint who? is the reply. Thomas protests this isn’t a game. Meggan suggests she could do the talking. Play it hard and bitchy. Like Joan Collins. She is living proof that television causes irreparable brain damage, he laughs.
Can’t they be serious? Thomas protests while Meggan wonders how to wear her hair. She tries several looks. Blonde temptress. A cute darkhaired woman and finally decides on a bushy auburn look. While looking for clothes, she orders Brian to find something macho. How did she do that? Dai asks Brian who admits he isn’t sure yet. Meggan’s powers are still developing. Among her many capabilities is the ability to manipulate her form. He’d have thought, Thomas would have known about that as the leader of the campaign against superhumans.
Christmas at Braddock Manor with the Warpies some of whom Betsy is cuddling. Gabriel, who’s been playing Santa, talks about her recovery with Alison. Both agree that Betsy’s recovery has been remarkable. Though it’s more due to her spirit than to Jeeves. Recently, he’s been entirely devoted to Emma Collins…
In the kitchen, Jeeves suggests Emma watch the children open the presents. He has all the preparations in hand. With her gone, agent Michael asks Jeeves why he tolerates her. She’s a waste of space. She spends most of her time asleep anyway. Somberly Jeeves agrees. That alerted him to her condition. Prior to the Captain’s return in 1982 Mastermind malfunctioned for a period of seven years. During that time, he took control of Emma’s mind and held her in thrall. The experience caused a great deal of damage to her nervous system. Her condition is deteriorating. He has exhausted all of his resources in an attempt to find a cure but there is nothing he can do to save her. She will die within next year. Steady on, Jeeves, Michael tells him, he’s a computer generated solid light hologram. He sounds like a love-sick mortal. Jeeves just looks sad.
Glasgow, December 26th. 5.45 P.M.:
Meggan, in her new look, and her macho guard, Brian, are meeting with gangster McShane. Meggan informs him that she will be taking over his organization. McShane orders them outside. Brian smashes apart his desk and some other things. Meggan calls after her to remember what she said and sorry about the mess.
They get into Thomas’ car, giggling that was fun. They’ll see if they still feel the same after performing the same stunt at 34 other addresses, he warns them.
Outside Braddock manor at nighttime Betsy and Gabriel are taking a walk. Betsy adamantly refuses Gabriel’s offer for a viewing apparatus that would look ridiculous. When he points out it’s better than being blind she explains she isn’t blind. Her psychic powers more than compensate for her lack of sight. It’s like being able to… smell color… to… taste form and to… hear distance. It makes her feel sorry for people that are restricted to vision. All she wants now is to be with him and to leave the manor. It isn’t her home anymore. Gabriel is looking forward to the change of scenery. Switzerland is beautiful, Betsy agrees, and Alison’s chateau is straight out of a fairytale. It’s the ideal place for a holiday. Or a honeymoon? Gabriel suggests,
In the caverns beneath Braddock manor, Jeeves shows Michael a synthetic doppelganger he made of himself to accompany Emma on a little cruise he has planned for her. He isn’t leaving but he cannot project holograms outside the manor’s outer boundaries and it will allow him to dispense of this solid light façade, which he created solely for Emma’s benefit. Lady Roma has informed him that the cause of the Warpies has been removed and no more will be born. He is instructed to protect and prepare those that already exist for the challenge of their future. He turns to his Mastermind body. Michael and the RCX may remain to assist him in that ask, but be advised, he is in control of the situation.
Glasgow, december 30th 6.30 pm:
Dai, Cap and Meggan are staying in an unused abattoir. Dai has made sure the local grapevine knows that they are there to receive a consignment of heroin. What’s wrong with a hotel? Brian sighs. Dai points out he wants any confrontation with a superbeing away from innocent bystanders.
Inside, they get comfortable. Brian dresses in his Captain Britain uniform and Meggan complains about her high heels. When Thomas asks, she explains that she is usually flying. They only walk to appear normal in public.
Later, they have ordered Indian food and Brian asks why the Chief Inspector of Scotland Yard is operating in Glasgow. Dai reveals that the old school tie disapproved of his “abrasive attitude.” He was putting too many noses out of joint. He was promoted to a newly formed national investigation unit. You know what they say: “Upward and outward.”
Later still, around midnight, Brian and Dai are downing beers while Meggan is asleep. Thomas reveals it sickens him that organisations like the RCX are allowed to operate in this country. They are corrupt. They pervert the law. They have found common ground there. Brian remarks that the RCX wormed their way into his home, took it over and turned his sister against him and very nearly killed her. That’s why he and Meggan moved to the lighthouse.
Later still – on a first name basis by now – Dai remarks the press made his campaign against the superhumans sound unreasonable. They made him sound like a fool because he protested when his wife was murdered by the careless stupidity of brawling “superheroes.” He knows how easily it can happen, Brian admits. But he didn’t ask for the power or the responsibility.
Dai tells him that he’s smashed up the premises of every criminal outfit- they are bound to want revenge. It’s only a question of time till the executioner turns up. In fact, the grapevine has already confirmed their impending death. They call the assassin Shoulders McGill. He hopes he is not as big as he sounds, Brian jokes.
On Otherworld, Roma informs Captain UK that the tyrant Mastrex Opul Lun Sat-yr-nin is massacring her own people. Linda recalls Brian telling her about her. She rules the world of Kaptain Briton, the doppelganger of Brian whom Betsy killed. Roma reveals that world desperately needs a captain. And since Linda is a captain without a world, there is an obvious solution. Linda decides she hasn’t any other pressing engagements. She might as well give it a go.
To show her gratitude, Roma has a gift. She asks Linda to think of her husband. Their last moments together. Linda recalls those painful moments and describes them.
Captain UK’s narration:
The Fury was slaughtering her world’s heroes… it was unstoppable. She and her husband were terrified. Rick said the teleporter was their only chance. While Linda was already in the teleporter booth, Rick put in the coordinates, his back turned on the Fury. It lunged at Rick, who simply disappeared… For a moment, the Fury was confused but then it continued the slaughter.
Linda breaks off. She doesn’t understand. She remembers it happening like that but it didn’t! It did, Roma tells her, because she reached back in time to the instant before his death and brought him here. With a happy cry, Linda and Rick are reunited. With a smile, Roma leaves the two lovers alone.
Glasgow, December 31st 11:55pm:
Dai Thomas finds an old vagrant sitting in the warehouse and tells him he can’t doss here. The vagrant replies he has business here. A message for the tart and the big man. Tell him, Dai replies, he’ll pass it on. If he’s with them, the man states and snaps open his case, the message is for him as well. The Lord blessed him with a child. An angel. His death! Glittering scythes of sweet release! It is his mission, he chose him and gave him broad shoulders to carry the burden and carry it with pride. Shoulders McGill is proud to do the Lord’s work!
Time slows for Dai Thomas. He has grown careless under the protection of the Captain. He had felt secure but now he is alone as the monster emerges from the cage. A moment later, Cap shoves it away. He tells Dai to get outside with Shoulders.
He and Meggan stay, although the blades of the thing hurt Cap’s shoulder. He tells Meggan to shush, as they listen for the creature. Suddenly, its bladed tentacles slice at his arm. Again he slaps it away and it tries to attack his head. Next is Meggan’s turn to swat it away. Brian suggests they stay still and let it think it has them beaten. When it attacks again, Cap hits it so hard it is killed.
Later outside, Shoulders is taken into custody. Thomas informs Brian and Meggan that the McCloud brothers sent him. Convinced him he was on a sacred purge of the underworld and gave him a bottle of whisky for each rival he eliminated. He’s completely insane. He claims that creature was his son! It must have been a Warpie, Cap and Meggan realize.
Dai admits that Brian saved his bacon in there; he thought he was dead. Cap admits he had some rough moments himself. But Cap beat it, while he turned into gibbering jelly, Dai admits. He owes him a lot. He misjudged him… he’s not very good at making speeches. Well, don’t, Cap tells him. He was glad he could help. It gives his power purpose. Then he won’t mind if he calls again next time he’s in trouble? Dai asks. Not at all, Brian replies. They are on the same side. They say goodbye and Cap and Meggan fly away.
On Earth 838, Captain UK (with some help by Rick) has taken down Sat-yr-9 and her mad regime.
In Switzerland, Betsy and Gabriel vacation along with Alison.
At Braddock Manor, Michael helps Mastermind take care of the Warpies, while another aspect of Mastermind in the form of Jeeves accompanies Emma on her cruise.
And at the lighthouse, Brian and Meggan take a deserved rest.