On the steps of Braddock Manor, Captain Britain still stares into the darkness, moments after Linda McQuillan aka Captain UK ran away. An amused Saturnyne joins him, asking if he is thoughtful. He supposes he is, the Captain replies.
About the McQuillan woman and her prophesies of doom? Saturnyne inquires. About her and a lot of other things, Brian admits. About what’s happening to this country. About Sir James Jaspers. About those aliens or whatever they are in his sitting room. About them. Saturnyne gives him an amused look with a raised eyebrow. Us? But Captain, whoever said anything about “us”? And Linda McQuillan is screaming.
Inside the sitting room the Special Executive’s leader, Wardog, and Zeitgeist are embroiled in a heated argument, while unnoticed by them their telepath/precog Cobweb keeps on looking sicker. Zeitgeist doesn’t want to get involved in anything as long as they don’t get paid. Patiently, as though talking to someone very stupid, Wardog points out that if the universe gets wiped out, where is Zeitgeist going to find a better job? They…
No, Zeitgeist refuses. If Wardog thinks that… Cobweb begins to make stuttering noises and foams at the mouth. She didn’t see it coming, she finally utters. And Linda McQuillan is screaming.
On Otherworld, Merlyn and Roma are embroiled in the complicated game of chess they have set up. Merlyn is puzzled. He missed something. He of all people… No one is infallible, not even he, his daughter points out. She sometimes thins that a strong wind would blow him over. But he makes the winds, her father remarks slyly. Roma pales as suddenly unbidden a new piece appears on the chessboard. A miniature Fury suddenly stands next to the piece of Captain UK. And … and that, father? Did you make that?
And Linda McQuillan is screaming… and the sound of her scream is the sound of a glass breaking. A glass breaking slowly. The Fury fires at her. And Captain Britain, Saturnyne, the Special Excutive and Merlyn and Roma finally notice.
Linda runs haplessly through the trees around Braddock Manor. It was waiting for her in the bushes. She’d been dreaming about this for ten years. Ugly dreams. Dreams of spurting aorta. Dreams of ganglia twitching from the wreckage of spines. She sees now how hopelessly optimistic those dreams had been. It was so much bigger than she remembered.
The Fury recalls the woman It had encountered her before. She had escaped. It grabs her by the throat. A muscle tightens. Platinum nerves crackle.
On Otherworld Merlyn sees the imminent threat. Desperately he shouts ‘no’ as he cradles the chess piece of Captain UK in his hands.
The Fury fires at Linda.
On Otherworld, Merlyn removes his hands. The Captain UK piece is unharmed, but his hands are charred and scarred.
The Fury stares at the shocked Linda. She is still alive. It has something like a feeling and the feeling is something like disbelief. It identifies the sensation as being contra-survival and erases it with the wave of a gland. She is still alive. That must be rectified. Once it has dealt with whatever approaches it from behind.
Captain Britain only sees a hulking threat standing over Linda. With one fluid movement, the Fury fends off his attack and slams him to the ground. Angrily, Captain Britain blusters before he gets a good look at his foe. ‘Oh God,’ he mutters in disbelief.
Inside Braddock Manor, the others once more hear the characteristic ‘VAARR!’ sound of the Fury’s blaster. A small floating mechanical member of the Special Executive creates a Haiku:
Outside, the bleak sound,
Harsh and blue, rolls like warclouds
Shot with death’s lightening
Not one of her better one, Wardog remarks, addressing her as Lady Burning Fish, but he agrees. Someone’s in trouble. They had better take a look.
As he grabs his jacket and gun, Zeitgeist bars his way. How long have they been a charity? he asks annoyed. This isn’t their fight. He can’t just… He has heard Zeitgeist’s argument before, Wardog spits back and it has some very good points. However, on the whole - he walks right through Zeitgeist - he finds it lacks substance. Now if he will excuse him…
Outside, Wardog and those members of the Executive that have followed him demand to know what this thing is. Saturnyne informs them and wonders how the Fury that is pounding Captain Britain can still exist, when Mandragon had ordered its entire continuum destroyed. Just lucky I guess the multiple versions of Legion offer. Which is a lot more than can be said for their two crumpled Captains, Wardog remarks as he approaches the Fury, with a drawn weapon in his bionic hand. With a fluid movement, the Fury grabs his bionic arm and tears it out.
The different versions of Legion crowd the Fury, trying to bring it down with sheer numbers. A huge insectoid member of the Executive, Oxo, orders Legion to lose himself in the crowd. But he is the crowd, Legion protests. Too late as the Fury blasts away one of the versions of Legion. It killed him! Wardog announces shocked. But only one of him, Saturnyne remarks. There is only one of him, Wardog explains, but by doubling back on his own timeline he can summon countless Legions, each separated by split-instantly. Kill one and the others up the timeline from that point vanish forever and that thing has done it.
One version of Legion grieves over the fallen one, whereas the others keep on fighting and Cobweb is helplessly caught in her visions of the future, all overlaid with images of the Fury:
She has witnessed how Legion has died and, one week from now, catching up with the instant of his death he will blink from existence. Four days from now, they will make love for the last time. Afterwards, she cries and after that…
She didn’t see it coming… Legion dead … Wardog crippled… She is making love to Legion, she is meeting him for the first time, she is crying, but what happens after that?
She sees the Fury on a mountain of skulls. Why didn’t she see it coming?
That thing just kills and kills … McQuillan screaming… it killed her lover too… her bladder letting go…
Her vision shifts to one of James Jaspers. Shouldn’t be here… pattern broken… There was a crooked man and he… white wine turning red…
It turns to Merlyn. White and red, like blood and bone. Like chessmen. The board’s askew… the gamer’s hands are scorched and blackened… all strategies are shredded in the random wind…
nothing is certain now… but if this game is lost… if this world falls… I see a universe eaten alive by chaos… and another universe… and another, like dominoes… tumbling… I see the future… and it is cancelled