Captain Britain has flown ahead the team to Birmingham. He has reached the building complex Captain Midlands disappeared in. It is lit aglow by eldritch red energy.
He lands and tells everyone to calm down. Now… what the hell is that? A police officer replies they only just got here. It’s not burning exactly. Captain? another one asks. He calls him that, right? What do they…? Cap orders him to tell his station the codeword is maple archer. Set up a perimeter and let his lot through when they land. And yeah, if they are being formal. Now, he is there to find a friend.
He mustn’t interfere a voice shouts. An elderly woman with strangely glowing eyes leading a crowd heading out of the building points at him. They are going to have their hearts’ desires! Hearts desires, eh? Brian replies with a smile. Sounds good. He’s in! Why don’t they take him to where it’s all happening?
Aaaaah! Spitfire screams aboard the MI-13 carrier and reaches for the stake Blade buried in her chest a moment ago. While soldiers try to hold Blade back from finishing his job, Faiza Hussain outside the plane uses her newfound power to try and heal Jaqueline, made more complicated by the fact that she’s magic. Why did nobody say? she protests. Nevertheless, she accomplishes the job and Peter Wisdom pulls the stake from Spitfire’s chest. Exhausted, Faiza drops from the Black Knight’s flying horse and he barely catches her by the arm. Could they please land now? she asks nervously.
Inside the carrier, Pete lays down Jaqueline while Blade protest wildly that they are harbouring a super-powered vampire! The most dangerous thing on Earth! He headbutts his captors. If they are with her… they aren’t with him! He jumps outside to Birmingham below them. New orders, Pete tells the troops, get Blade!
Alistaire Stuart scans Jaqueline and anxiously informs them that Blade was right. That’s what Spitfire is. Did Pete know?
Pete takes Jaqueline’s hand. He tells Alistaire to look at her track record. She’s in control of it. Jaqueline smiles gratefully. Now they’re going in, he orders. Find Sid. Check in with Cap. Gain intel on what this is. Capture Blade.
The vampire hunter lands amidst the red glow. Hellfire, he decides. Demons around here. Out of the frying pan… He violently opens a door of the residential area… into the theme park.
The Black Knight lands his horse, still dragging Faiza. Where’s Brian? Pete asks once they have landed, while Faiza examines Spitfire.
No signal, Alistaire replies and again begins that he doesn’t like having… Pete curtly tells him to shut it. He just works out what the fire is, while Pete shuts down the matter. No, Jaqueline announces. The fire can’t hurt her. She just knows. Blade, or no Blade, there are people in there. She’s sorry… and she races inside before Pete can stop her.
Also inside, Cap curiously reaches out at the flame-like effect. The elderly lady observes he doesn’t seem worried. He’s not, Brian replies. He’s invulnerable. He was expecting a battle. But he’s looking for a friend. Has she seen Sid Ridley, Captain Midlands?
Hah, she scoffs. He won’t join in. He could spoil everything. He’d put an end to this. The dream corridor.
Really, she should be an estate agent, Brian quips. He hears some noise coming from behind a door in the corridor and opens it. Inside, he sees a middle-aged, overweight man on a throne, being worshipped and served by beautiful girls. Dream corridor, Brian repeats. Right. He opens more doors to see dreams come true.
A man helping a beautiful woman out of an expensive car. Wealth.
A Birmingham football player shooting the decisive goal against the German team. Success.
The image of a blissfully content family. Happiness.
Okay, Brian states, who’s doing this? How does it work? They‘ve been granted their hearts’ desires, the woman explains, as he might be… when she takes him to Doctor Plokta.
Doctor? He reaches to the wall for support, apologizing for suddenly being… what’s happening to him?
Outside, Alistaire informs Pete of his scanning results. The flame is an energy field, using latent human psychic power… their comms won’t penetrate it. He’ll try to find out more.
Suddenly, the flames grow exponentially. Sit-report of the evacuation, Pete asks Captain Colton, who explains that his men a retrying to evacuate the nearby building, but it’s an uphill struggle. They are barricading themselves in. They don’t want to go.
Pete almost pulls out his hair. Sid, Brian now Jaq! He should have paid attention at that people management course! Are they due another outburst? Power fluctuation indicates ten minutes, Alistaire explains, then a bigger one, then a bigger one…
Damn it, Pete swears. No time for intel, he tells Dane and Faiza who both draw their swords. They are going in! Thought he’d never ask, Dane replies cheerfully as he kicks in a window. Keep up with him, if they can, he tells the others.
Spitfire opens a door to find an enchanted mother with her two kids, begging her to come with her. She came to rescue them. Keep telling yourself that, Blade suddenly tells her. She was attracted by the hellfire, he accuses her as he draws his blades.
She’s not his enemy, Jaq tries to tell him. She can control it! She has been for years! That’s what they all say, comes the reply. He heard she drank Skrull blood. Maybe she was fine till then. But now? She can feel it, right? What was always coming for her… the bloodlust?
Well, it is awfully tiresome, Spitfire replies, while looking at her left hand which has shrivelled in the mystical fire. But since he mentioned it, she believes the appropriate phrase is… Rarrggh! With that inarticulate scream of rage she attacks him.
He hits her face with the hilt of his blade. Quickly, she moves away at superspeed, slashes him in the back and breaks apart his weapon.
Despite her superspeed, he manages to kick her in the stomach. He grabs her by her shrivelled hand and begins to scream in pain. Sarcastically, Spitfire remarks he dances divinely. If only he had better manners.
Girl, he replies mockingly, that accent is like something out of a sixties horror movie. Excuse my manners, Lady Jaqueline, he continues. Let me make you a polite proposal. He whispers into her ear. If she is still in control, step back and let him stake her. Again Jaq snarls and tosses him into the wall.
Elsewhere, Faiza uses her new powers to hold the crowd still, telling her teammates to hurry. Is she ever going to get to zap something that isn’t magic? she complains. Pushing past the people, Dane announces he is tempted to cut through. Because track suits as day wear…
Seriously? Pete asks. He wants to attack people? Yeah, Dane admits. The Blade feels… at home here. Then don’t talk about it, Faiza orders him. Dane explains that saying he might do it… that’s a tree in the wind. Going “never, I say, never!”… that’s stone. That might break.
You two, Pete sighs. He points to a desperate group of residents, trying to defend the door to the basement. Can they spot where they are not meant to go? Pete asks his teammates.
Elsewhere, the elderly woman orders Cap on his knees. He is coming! No thanks, Brian replies to the order.
Surrounded by the hulkish bodies of the Mindless Ones, a shapeless cosmic being wearing a white face like a mask appears. He is Plokta, he announces. The Mindful One, Lord of mere wishes. Now freed from hell. He is the maker of the Mindless Ones. I bring you fear and joy.
In the basement Pete and the others find the chained up Captain Midlands. Is that really Wisdom? Sidney asks. Or is he just who Sid wants him to be, ’cos if he is, he can stuff it up his jacksie (‘scuse his French, he adds to Faza.)
Faiza and Dane cut through the chains with their swords. Pete rattles down that Sid used to take the bus in to MI13. He’s the only supersoldier Pete knows who complains about his piles. He collects decorative spoons. He always thought Pete was a complete tosser. And the feeling is mutual. It’s Pete all right, Sid decides and begins to explain what’s going on here.
Captain Midland’s story:
He was working with the local neighbourhood watch. They’d pinned down the location of a crack house in this estate. This here tower block. Every time the coppers came near, they moved, so Captain Midlands took direct action.
He crashed into the flat to find the junkies in a trance, their energy being sucked away. They have enough energy, Plokta suddenly announced. His Mindless Ones come forth through his body and he orders them to take the building. Sid stands no chance and runs outside, contacting Pete Wisdom and MI13.
That was when he was captured by the possessed citizens who he didn’t want to fight.
They wanted him to join in. This Plokta: He can give you anything you want but it’ll cost you your soul. Can’t they feel it? The energy that’s being leached from them, just being here?
There’s “summat” he wants. That he thinks about every day. Don’t ask him what. If he thinks about it now, he can felt this thing, teasing him with it, asking Sid to give himself up in exchange. Wanting his… he doesn’t know … magical power.
Magical power, Pete repeats and realizes sending Brian in here first… maybe not one of his brightest ideas.
Having disarmed Blade, Spitfire asks if he has any more bright ideas. She grabs for his throat and moves close to his neck, telling him today’s lesson is: Don’t wake the sleeping tiger!
Before Captain Britain can strike, Plokta he tells him to wait. They stand in front of a door. He can feel magic in Brian, toy of Merlin. No mere mortal he. He doubts Captain Britain will be tempted by anything Plokta might offer. So doesn’t he want to see? What he was going to seduce him with? No, Brian replies hesitatingly. He can live without… Plotka opens the door. Can he?
Inside seems to be another dimension and, curled up sleeping, surrounded by monsters, is Brian’s lost wife, Meggan.