The vampire spell tears through the taxi, immediately killing the driver and the backpacker Liz. Brian Braddock, who can see the spell, grabs it and tears it apart. A moment later, things turn to normal, as he groans. The car has exploded, two people are dead and the vampire husk comes at him hissing. Captain Britain tears him apart as well.
The other backpacker girl, Tara, is hysterical. Wisdom orders Brian to secure the area. Brian uses his jacket to cover Liz. There was only one of them, he explains. One vampire. With a remote spellcaster. Damn it!
Wisdom calls Control, giving the codeword Palfrey Dancer. Everyone to come in. Put the reserves on. They are already in the field? Who else has been hit?
A moment later, he informs Brian that the vampires must be after all of them. He then notices Tara and assures the shocked young woman he had no idea there was any danger. He’s so sorry… They’ll get her and… and Liz to… to where they have to be now. Because now he has to do a lot of things very fast. He’s not who she thought he was. Obviously.
Ten thousand feet above the Sahara Desert, the Black Knight and Faiza Hussain are falling after another vampire missile destroyed their plane. Dane grabs the screaming Faiza, ordering her to look at him. They’ve got about a minute fifteen. Can they do anything? She doesn’t know. He can’t, he tells her. Can she? She thinks maybe… if she heals them… right at the moment… right at the exact tiny moment… Can she do that? he asks. She doesn’t know. Does she wants to concentrate, or… he doesn’t know… time for a round of charades?
It’s all right for him, she states accusingly. He’s got that heart of stone. He doesn’t feel! She’s going to close her eyes for a sec… praying. Sorry.
Don’t damn well say sorry for that! he orders her. Is there anything else she wants them to do or… or say… before? … No, she says after a moment with a sad look… and the ground is coming up.
She tries to imagine what it will be like. She can’t. Using her power is like catching something in her hand; she doesn’t do it by thinking. She makes herself look at the ground coming up. Coming too fast. She forgets the man beside her as a person. And that’s so hard. But she has to save him. She just includes him in the reflex that’s approaching.
She says prayers again, as she’s always said them, to include herself in love, to dedicate herself to doing the best possible thing. And now she’s really going to have to. Because here it comes. Here it impossibly comes. Her bladder would have given in by now, such animal fear, but she’s doing this to stop whoever it was who’s done this to them. She’s playing hard for her side. And she’s in the center of another thought, that she will never remember, which is something about another kind of love, when—
The impact kills her. The shock of it roasts the surface of her skin through her armor. Her bones are about to be liquid and the front of her skull is about to destroy her brain and her spinal cord is about to shatter. A second of fear would give her instant death. And she nearly says “yes.” Because it’s like gravity’s overbalancing her. But no, no, bloody no! She sends a chord vibrating through every string in the surface of their bodies and clothes, and it changes them to what they were a Planck length of time and space ago. And she does it to every tiny interval of who they are, and the impact goes through them, the most terrifying fear she’s ever felt, the great earthwing of the angel of death—
And then they are lying there, and she’s taken what should have happened and put it somewhere else, and she’s alive with the elation gradually rushing through, bursting out of her, but under that… under that the feeling…
The feeling that that someone will pay later for this selfish saving of her and her love. That she’s just put this death on credit. But then—
They get up from the crater. Coming up to them, surrounding them are hissing cadaverous vampires. Dane begins to attack. Talk about out of the frying pan, he remarks.
Faiza draws her sword and the vampires shrink back. They seem to be afraid of Excalibur. Dane tells her to use that and they both charge into their foes.
Some time later, only the two of them are standing. And look, like a bad penny, Dane sighs, the fake sword’s found him again.
Faiza radios Pete, calling in that they repulsed enemy contact. He knows, Wisdom replies, Palfrey Dancer. He’s going to use some serious budget to open a dimensional portal to their location, and he’s afraid there’s bad news for Faiza.
A little later, Faiza is at her mother’s bedside in the hospital. Her father is missing, Pete explains. Everyone’s on it. Her mum hit the security button and two of their reserves teleported straight in. One of them’s missing too.
Did she get her out? the other agent, Motormouth aka Harley Davidson, asks. She did, Pete tells her. Nearly &%%§ had him, she swears, the others took him. He drained a girl on the doorstep, just for the power. He took Julius… and is it her dad? she asks Faiza. Who took them? Pete asks. Dracula, comes the reply.
The Hussain house is closed off and forensics are going through it. Blade finds a message in blood forming on a mirror:
I declare, on behalf of my landless nation, war on the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. Tell any of you that are left:
We will be coming,
You will be the last,
Tepes of Wallachia
Blade shows his fangs in silent fury.
Elsewhere, Brian hugs Faiza. They have to find him, she insists. She feels like she was playing at soldiers when-- No, Brian assures her. This is the job. This is what they take on as “super heroes.” It’s not her fault. It’s Dracula’s fault. Her parents were protected as well as anyone could have been. Someone must have had… well… access.
She’s not feeling it really, she admits, it’s weird. The rest of it’s going to come down crashing on her later. Why did he take Dad? Why not just…
Because this isn’t a natural predator they are talking about, Blade chimes in. This is a vampire. Cruel and petty. Sin in a carnivore’s body. And in three days’ time… He’s afraid that’s what her father will be too.
Kenneth Chrichton leads his mother Spitfire through abandoned underground ruins. He’s still himself, he tells her. Himself with special features. Does she remember from when he was a kid… How she built a den with him in the woods? And when the winds blew it down, she wouldn’t let him be sad for a moment. She just started working on it straight away. He’s still that person. She of all people should know. Now she’s stopped denying it and embraced the same gift. What is it he wants? she insists. A home, he tells her. A home for their people.
At MI13 HQ, Dane informs Faiza that everyone is searching, magic and powers. Pete seems to be getting the whole cabinet. There’s something she wants him to do, Faiza replies, holding back tears. She doesn’t want him to go on… on a heroic quest on her behalf. She needs to handle this. If they get to her father before he… he changes, then… or even if they don’t then… she means… she doesn’t want him to take it out of her hands, okay? Dane solemnly gives his word. She needs to do something, she admits the next moment. She’s full of rage. She wants to find that thing and…
Good, says Pete who has joined them. He has just had every drop of alcohol sucked form his system by a magic spell. So he’s literally got the hangover from hell. He’s got the P.M., the J.I.C. Chair, and the D.G.S. of box and the S.I.S. on call, waiting at 4 a.m. and he has no intention of bowing his head to, or even acknowledging the grief that engulfed them, because they have urgent work to do. Say “Sir.” “Sir,” Dane and Faiza echo.
Nobody else’s family got hit, Pete informs Faiza. So she’s got two degrees of ‘§&/ thrown at her. So the vampires really want the wielder of Excalibur out of the game. So Faiza stays in. “Sir,” she replies dutifully. And that’s her codename now, “Excalibur,” because he wants the vampires to hear that. They move as a team. She won’t harm or pursue Dracula until she’s under orders to do so. And then she’ll harm him a great deal. “Thank you sir,” comes the reply.
Sobering up, Pete admits they can’t find Jac. So they have to assume the worst there, too. All kinds of worst. But this is them. They’re on this. Their finest hour. It has to be. He reaches for his sunglasses and tells them to come with him. Council of war.
In the tunnels, Ken remarks he cannot tell her more yet. Not until he knows if she’s with them. “With” them? she asks. She can’t do anything to help… She’s loyal to her country! He’s sorry. That’s going to make it hard. Doesn’t she think it’s selfish of her? All the benefits of what they are, none of the drawbacks, but no loyalty to her real people?
Angrily, she grabs him. Her “real?” she exclaims. Vampirism devastated her family. Over decades! She’s been allowing herself the luxury of seeing him alive again. But join him? She’d rather stake him herself!
MI13 conference chamber, Portwell House, Whitehall: Several intelligence heads and agents meet. Among them Sir Clive Reston of MI5. He asks why Wisdom brought them all here. Wouldn’t the J.I.C.? Practicalities, Pete cuts him off. And it’s always a pleasure to host their friends from Five and Six. GCHQ and Mr Hunter, the new J.I.C. chair are following remotely.
MI5 Agent Joe Chapman, aka Union Jack, angrily addresses Wisdom. Where the hell is Jaqueline Falsworth? he demands. He’s got every superhero in Britain in his pocket, and he’s telling him he can’t find her?
An elderly woman in a wheelchair orders Chapman to stand down. She introduces herself to Captain Britain as Annabel Warner, director MI5 for… six days now, dammit.
The agents of the different agencies gather around a table. Wisdom assures Chapman they are as worried as he is. They are continuing the search as they speak. He’s asked Mr. Brooks – referring to Blade – to brief them on the nature of the threat.
Blade gets up, shooting a curious glance at a nervous-looking, thin young man. Blade begins that for a year or so now worldwide vampire activity has been at an all-time low. And that at a time of global invasion, when normally they’d be taking advantage. Not only that but, aside from a few incidents, the demons released from within Avalon have failed to manifest. Vampires tend to avoid magic, so the presence of a spellcaster among the enemy forces tonight indicates that Dracula may have been recruiting there also.
For obvious reasons, there exist no verified pictures of Vlad Tepes, the Son of the Dragon, Dracula. This, a pic of Dracula, appears on the screen, is an artist’s impression. He kids himself that he’s a man of honor. Hence the declaration of war. Hence the attack on all of them except Blade. He had to be sure one of them would be alive to read it.
Makes it easier for them, Sir Clive Reston remarks. Declaration of war, all sorts of protocols take effect. The gloves would be off. They’d have to make some announcement. No, Wisdom states. That would imply recognition of his “nation.” That’s all the message was for. Dracula is the leading military strategist of their time. Trained from birth. Centuries of experience. They are in a game of chess against him. He also left Eric alone to sow dissent in their ranks. Joe probably already heard about…
Jac can choose who she goes out with after they get her back, Joe Chapman interrupts. Blade thanks him. The vampire thinks everyone is as much a racist as he is.
Another example is the fake Ebony Blade planted months ago, Pete continues, to take him out of the game, Dane continues. And maybe take a few of them with him.
He’s had time to plan this, Pete states. All right. Which brings him to the real reason for this meeting. He turns to the nervous young man. Mr.… Mayhew, isn’t it? Junior MI5 officer, responsible for the W.H. desk. Is there a problem? Mayhew asks. How is he enjoying the ultraviolet lights? Wisdom asks.
No, he’s nobody important, Mayhew stammers as Blade and Union Jack grab him. Damn it, how many more? Director Warner swears. None in this room, Pete replies. This is why he kept the J.I.C. away, in case of assassins.
Pete asks Mayhew where Jac is. Where those attacks a distraction? Is something else going on tonight? Mayhew stammers he doesn’t know. It’s the head of… the next moment he explodes.
Maybe a capsule of holy water… remotely activated, Pete surmises. As of now, he’s locking down MI13. They will not keep the rest of them informed. Not until they’ve cleaned their houses. This is their game and they will win it. Meeting adjourned.
Elsewhere, Jaqueline asks Kenneth to let her contact them, to come back with her. What has she got to offer him? he asks. A quick death? No, he is afraid it’s too late for that. Good morning, master.
Dracula is standing in front of them. Lady Crichton, he addresses Spitfire. Forgive him. He doesn’t intend to humiliate her. This a formality. On her knees. Jac refuses. She can leave here faster than he can, she stammers. And against her will she goes down on her knees. She will obey him in all things, he tells her. She has no choice, for he is the lord of the vampires. Forget her former life. She belongs to his nation now. Yes master, Jaqueline replies, crying.