Somewhere between dimensions, Excalibur in their train are caught crosstime. And Dominic Destine has just fallen through a teleportational gate to land in said train. The team stares suspiciously at the newcomer. He looks like one of the Jester King’s Laughter Assassins from three stops ago, Kitty Pryde aka Shadowcat ventures. This is a railway train travelling through outer space, Dominic realizes out loud.
Impatient, Captain Britain intends to take out the “pasty-faced psycho.” Phoenix gets between them, planning to act herself. A train with goblins, ghosts and baby dragons, Dom mutters. He’s gotta wake up. When Rachel telepathically reaches out to him Dom moans at her to stop. Her telepathic feathers are a full-beam migraine. Rachel shouts out, in pain herself. Not having witnessed any source of her pain, Nightcrawler figures Dom must be using sonic powers.
Cap attacks, grabbing Dom by the throat. He won’t be able to use his giggle gags, if he crushes his larynx. Then just in case this is real, Dom mutters, he’d better defend himself. Using some martial art tricks, he tosses Cap at Nightcrawler, who teleports out of the way and tries to grab Dom. But he easily evades him, alerted by the stench.
He notices that, a moment later, Kitty tries to attack him. Tight teamwork, he remarks and good form on the “tobi geri,” but very easy to block. When he tries to do so, Kitty’s leg phases through his arm. Strangely, Dom reacts with a cry of agony.
Meggan shouts at Kitty to stop, she’s killing him! She tries to help Dom up, while her empathic powers act automatically and make her assume his hair and skin colour. She explains that the shock of Kitty partially phased foot slicing through his arm gave him a heart palpitation. Kitty corrects her: she was completely intangible. Nothing is completely intangible a powered-down Rachel remarks and admits that Meggan’s right. She wasn’t attacked. Just stunned by what he had in his head. So much sensory awareness. She’s surprised he isn’t insane, she addresses Dom directly. There are those who think he is, Dom replies.
Their companion Professor Alistaire Stuart (holding Widget) enters the compartment, asking if it’s safe to enter. They’re heading for… Kurt interrupts him. They’re still not sure about this stowaway. Meggan still reaches out to Dom telling him he needn’t be scared. She introduces them. Cap curtly adds that they are the good guys. So what is he and how did he get aboard?
Dom begins to introduce himself but suddenly panics. The floor is falling. What now? Cap asks impatiently. He senses something, Meggan replies, like everything is melting. Perhaps because they’re going into final approach, Alistaire remarks, standing in front of a screen showing only static. That’s what he came to warn them to brace themselves. And with that the train lands in some kind of old west ghost town.
Kitty figures they are in for another trek to find out where in creation they are. Not before they decide what to do with the stowaway, Brian insists grimly. Pointing his finger at Dom accusingly, he asks again what he is and where he came from. He’s human, Dom replies… from Earth… originally. He was visiting an alternate world called Ethera actually. They are from an Earth too, Brian replies. From which Earth did he originate… which number?
They have numbers? Dom asks confused. Numbers and omniversal bureaucracy to maintain order, Phoenix sighs, although they’ve been absolutely no help to them. They are lost too? Dom asks. Kitty explains that they accidentally left their Earth and have been hopping between dimensional planes ever since, trying to find their way home. They’ve been to Etheras, Erthas, Theras, Aerths and all other anagrams. Cosmic order has a sense of humour… or enjoys a crossword.
So how did he get there? Cap asks. Slowly turning normal again, Meggan admonishes him not to be so loud. Dom recalls that he was with his brother in his garden on Etherea, when a crazy woman appeared, made roots burst from he ground to grab his brother and blasted him into a portal…
On Ethera, Satyr-Nun triumphantly informs the captured Newton that he is her prisoner now. Newton orders her to let him go. This isn’t a game. But it’s Treasday 15.70 rouhs, she reminds him. He’s employed the evil mastermind to create synthetic men that threaten her empire. So she captures him and … He forgot their date, he realizes.
Sulking, she turns away. He got distracted with one of his inventions again. He promises to make it up to her, but she has to le him out quickly, this is bad. Satyr-nun releases him as she asks what’s wrong. All she did was push the funny synthetic freak he created into the zobblenik. The funny freak was his brother, Newton explains.
Oopiddy, Saty-nun exclaims embarrassed. Worse than “oopiddy,” Newton realizes as he checks the portal’s setting. This isn’t a commonplace zoppledik. It’s his gateway into he multiverse… and Dominic went in without a directional vector…
Back on Earth. Rory and Pandora look at a smouldering spot on the ground. This is precisely under where Adam vanished, but there’s no sign of… anything. Does he think Dad was vaporized? Pandora asks. He’s indestructible, Rory points out. Right, she agrees hopefully. And they don’t know what other powers he has. He’ll be fine, they both agree (somewhat doubtful).
But… Rory begins, But? Pan repeats. Rory points out that first Walter’s power went wrong, then Dom’s and now Adam and them. Does he think some villain might be attacking the family? They immediately take on a position back to back, peering out to see if they can find anyone. Nah, Rory decides. Maybe it’s some kind of power interference… from sunspots or something. They don’t know how their powers work, right? So he thinks they’re alone out here, she asks. Sure, yeah definitely.
Pan is frightened and cold. They have to go home, she presses. No, Rory states. Walter will say he was right. That using their powers creates problems. They could go to Sam and Kay. Blasco castle isn’t that far away.
How will they get there? Pandora asks. Their powers aren’t working. It’s got to be temporary, Rory replies. He already feels better, stronger. Not that much, Pandora points out as she lights up her finger a little. Their powers are connected and she can’t generate more than a few watts of light. He can’t risk flying them. They won’t have Adam to rescue them if they fall again. They are in the middle of nowhere. They have no mobile phone, no money for a public phone, if there is one nearby, nothing.
They’ll make sure they are better prepared next time, Rory suggests. Add some pouches to their belts for basic utilities. Next time? Pan asks doubtful. He calms her. They’re going to get through this, he has a plan. He puts on Adam’s flight belt. With that, they’ll get to Kay. She’ll find out what happened to Adam. Pandora can piggyback. Pandora agrees but asks him to stay close to the ground. As they leave, she wonders where Adam went.
The seventh moon monastery, Nepal:
A young apprentice, Lobsang, enters his master’s chambers, alerted by an unearthly light. Albert asks him to forgive him for disturbing his slumber, but he is old and his magic has grown clumsy and extreme circumstances necessitated that he bring someone here in haste. Looking at the young man at Albert’s feet, Lobsang asks if he may attend his “guest.” The injury is to his attire alone, Albert calms him. His father is as impervious to physical harm as he is to the burden of time. His father? Lobsang asks unbelieving as he looks at the seemingly young Adam. He was old before the foundations of this monastery were laid Albert replies with a smile. Another of life’s many illusions.
Adam comes to and recognizes Adam. Does he feel better? Albert asks. Adam agrees and asks if Albert healed him. No, comes the reply. Whatever afflicted Adam, stopped of its own volition.
At the Griffin’s lair, Professor Griffin observes his Omegans taking care of the damage. He tells them this is a minor setback compared to the stellar advance he achieved today. He orders Noe to accompany him to hangar bay while the rest continue with their assigned tasks; it is almost time to strike.
With him gone, one of the Omegans, Raee, watches the attack on Adam on a computer screen. Phaa asks her what she is doing. Alpha instructed them that restoration of the surveillance system is their priority. Alpha’s obsession blinds him to the importance of the data they have already collected, comes the reply. It was fortuitous that their systems burned out before the energy destroyed them. Alpha has unleashed forces beyond their understanding.
Phaa admonishes her for wrong thinking. Alpha is their leader. Raee reminds him that they were an accident. A by-product of Alpha’s search to cure his own albinism but they are superior. Their logic in unencumbered by emotion or ego. Alpha no longer values their perfection. He thinks to make them obsolete.
Blasco Castle, the fancy dress ball is in full swing. Samantha though is not enjoy herself. Peering through her own mask, she wonders why she let Kay talk her into coming there. Because all the friends she ever made got old or died, comes the reply, and after years of doing “the right thing” she wants to feel alive again. What put her in the mood? Sam asks. Kay doesn’t reply, just stating she can’t isolate any thoughts. Sam admonishes her. She shouldn’t be trying to read minds. She’s not! comes the forceful reply. She’s attempting to locate friends somewhere behind all these masks… but all she’s getting is psychic static.
Sam suggests they head on home to the cottage then but Kay refuses. She has spent enough time being cautious while she acclimatizes to this new body. She wants to get back to a normal life. Normal? Sam scoffs. Kay is an eight-hundred-years old mind inhabiting a stolen body… Not stolen, Kay corrects her. The consciousness had departed before she moved in. Trying to make a point, she continues that she has homes in Geneva, New York, L.A., Tokyo and Rio. She has wealth, celebrity, status… people who want to be with her, to indulge her. That was the old her, Sam retorts and if anyone really cared… they attended her funeral.
Kay tells her not to be tedious. She’s done this often enough to disregard the details. What details? Sam asks. Like her using Walter’s cottage and the family as a safe haven while she recuperated? Or the vision she saw Adam had about impending doom. Adam’s crazy clairvoyance is unreliable, Kay stresses. What he saw could be twenty years from now, or William, Gracie, Rik or one of the others will have the adventure. Adventure? Sam asks angrily. One of their family could die. She has watched lots of their family die, Kay retorts.
What about the psychic static, Sam asks. There are always glitches as her consciousness settles into a new body, Kay replies, not to mention having to inhabit an alley cat, while she searched for another body. She makes it sound like shopping for clothes. That’s all it is, Kay remarks, and this body is young, fit and raring to go. She tells Sam to stand back; she has just spotted some very old friends she wants to reacquaint herself with. She leaves Sam and tells her to mingle.
On another Earth, Excalibur’s train has landed in the ruins of a Western town somewhere in the desert. Outside while searching the ruins with Meggan and Dom, Kitty pop quizzes him.
John, Paul, George and Ringo, comes the reply.
A painting… by Raphael? is the hesitant answer.
Yup, the Duke.
He met him once, Dom recalls. He looked like a bulldog.
What year is it on Dom’s Earth?
He definitely isn’t from the same Earth as they are, Kitty decides. That’s it, Dom asks incredulous. That’s how they find out if they are in the right dimension? A pop quiz? It helps to narrow down the field, Kitty explains. Look for some glaring anomaly first, then work down to the nitty-gritty.
This is how it always is, Meggan adds. Each time they wish they were home, but it’s always somewhere strange or horrible. Kitty adds that all alternate Earths follow a parallel development until some event caused a deviation from the history they know. Hitler dying in a childhood accident, Columbus being killed in a mutiny or the Confederacy winning the American Civil War. Nothing in these ruins is from later than the early nineteenth century. She hopes Ray, Kurt or Brian find something contemporary.
Above them Phoenix and Captain Britain – carrying Nightcrawler – do an aerial recon. Brian suggests they split up. Kurt is very much against it, reminding Brian that last time they did that, Brian was transformed into a duck.
Suddenly, Phoenix spots people running scared, fleeing from what seem to be hellhounds. Rachel scares off the beasts with a pyrotechnic flash (scaring the people as well) while Brian attacks the beasts. Kurt jumps down to the people who are huddled together and teleports the group to safety. The strain leaves him exhausted and the people instead of being grateful attack him.
They are joined by Meggan, Dom and Kitty. Kitty phases Kurt to safety and angrily asks them if they are mad. He may look a bit weird but he saved them. To make them slaves only, a man shouts. They will not fight in their arena! They will be free! With that, they run, leaving the heroes confused and certain that again this isn’t their world.
Phoenix and Captain Britain finish off the beasts. Kitty remarks she bets aliens invaded. They should get back to the train before the ET’s come looking for their lizard mutts. Too late! Dom tries to warn; they are there. An energy blast from the flying ship fells them and tentacles transport the unconscious heroes aboard.
At Ravenscroft, Walter, still stuck in his Wallop form, is still typing away at his latest bodiceripper novel when he gets a phone call from a female friend Gabriella who’s back in England for the week and invites him to her hotel. While he stares at the phone, there’s a power outage and Walter flips, furious at being a prisoner in this stupid little cottage, in his own body!
Angrily, he turns towards the window, seeing his own savage countenance mirrored. Suddenly, what he believes to be his reflection lashes out at him. From outside, a being who looks like a more savage version of him blasts inside and pounds him to the ground.
Back in Nepal, Adam finds the pain subsiding. He asks Albert what is happening to him. How is it he can feel? Albert doesn’t know, but if this is an attack, Adam appears to be the focus, not the target. He means whatever this is, afflicts the entire family? Adam asks. His gifts is to heal, Albert replies, the mystic arts are a skill he’s learned and he’s never been as adept as Nathaniel, Gracie or Kay… nor is he as healthy. He has attempted to telepathically contact some of the others, but he is unable to even sense Kay and her mind is so powerful it is usually a beacon in the dark.
He must send him back to Ravenscroft, Adam demands. What would that achieve? Albert asks and tells him he must do what’s right. He can sense that something violates Adam’s very soul. But what mother made him is beyond Albert’s abilities to affect or even comprehend. If he is to prevail, he must return to Yden.
Rory and Pandora have landed in the gardens outside Blasco Castle, where the party is in full swing both inside and out on the terrace. Rory has tried to reach Kay telepathically, to no avail. They wonder whether they can just sneak inside, since it seems to be a costume party.
Suddenly, a masked man appears from the shrubbery next to them. Are they guests or part of the entertainment, he asks with a smile. Pandora explains they are looking for their sis… Aunt Kay Cera. The man remarks this a coincidence, as he knows her well. He was conversing with her mere moments ago over by the cloister.
That is an amazing coincidence, Rory replies suspiciously. The man understands that they are distrustful. But perhaps if he informed them that Kay was accompanied by a striking Amazonian beauty named Samantha…. The kids become more trusting and allow the man to lead them away to the cloister.
He takes it that Kay is not expecting them to join her? No, why? Because it would distress him if Aunt Kay were to be disappointed when they do not arrive. His eyes turn red and he grows fangs, as do the others that join them and surround the kids and they realize that they’ve been trapped by vampires.