Captain Britain floats through darkness. It’s black and it’s comfortable. He is trying to recall where he is. He had been talking to the woman. Linda McQuillan, Captain UK… She had walked away from him, white coat vanishing over the dark lawns of Braddock Manor. And then a scream. The shrill, hopeless scream of an animal, paralysed with terror. He’d gone to investigate, naturally. The thing had been standing astride her. It knocked him down. He got up again. It turned to face him. He saw what it was...
He finally recalls the ubiquitous visage of the Fury. No! Not again! he shouts in disbelief. It’s dead!! It’s dead, he repeats with less conviction as he watches the Fury battle the Special Executive.
Inside Braddock Manor, Zeitgeist and another member of the Special Executive are trying to treat the hysterical Cobweb, who’s been trying to swallow her tongue. Weakly, she asks Zeitgeist to help the others, before she is shaken by anther paroxysm. She didn’t see it coming, she moans. Like going blind… What’s going to happen… Wardog crippled, Legion dead. It isn’t an animal… it isn’t a machine… it ate the old woman… bones dissolving.
Legion dead? Zeitgeist repeats in disbelief. The other Executive member, which looks like a sentient, six-eyed shrub, remarks that he has never seen Cobweb like that before. She said they needed help. Not this time, Zeitgeist announces stubbornly. It’s a principle. He told Wardog. He doesn’t risk his life for fun. He is a professional. There’s no money involved. He can’t help. From outside they hear the characteristic blaster noise of the Fury and Zeitgeist winces. Almost helplessly he appeals to the others: Don’t you understand? I just can’t. That’s all.
Outside, the insect-like Oxo attacks the Fury. It classifies him as little more than a nuisance and eviscerates him. And somewhere Cobweb’s eyes roll back in her skull, as a tar black shriek of despair tears itself out of her lungs and somewhere the parahuman called Fascination stops smiling. Over Wardog’s warning she snarls and jumps at the Fury.
The Fury begins to raise its weapon fist but suddenly turns sluggish as Fascination begins to use her power on it. Finally, it finds the woman is interfering with the temporal lobe of its brain and so it shuts its brain down and it switches its consciousness to the auxiliary nervous system in the small of its back and then it hits her. It learns. It learns fast.
Unlike some people. Some people never learn at all. Like Captain Britain, who attacks from behind. With a few fluid movements, the Fury takes him out, smashes him to the ground and intends to hit him again, when suddenly Zeitgeist turns up from the ground, phasing through the Fury, tearing at it, causing as much damage as he can.
The Fury cannot perceive him. Something is attacking it. But how can that be? How can that be when there isn’t anything there? It tries for an infrared indication, scans for brainwaves, the most basic molecular activity. Nothing, absolutely nothing.
Zeitgeist finally and impatiently turns to the others, explaining that it cannot register his presence. What’s everybody waiting for? Kill it! Kill it while it is confused! On that cue, they all attack, Captain Britain and Fascination taking the lead. They smash the Fury down into the caverns beneath Braddock Manor and flee before the cave-in.
Afterwards, Saturnyne asks where it is and Cap explains that the Fury is buried under tons of rock. It will be back, he adds. They’d better move out of the manor, Saturnyne states. Brian protests. This is his home! Does he want to face it again? Saturnyne simply asks. Honestly he admits that he doesn’t. They can all travel together. Maybe down to London… sort out this James Jaspers business. Only… what about her? He points at the hysterically crying Captain UK.
Saturnyne examines her and states that she’ll need treatment for shock and some clean clothes. She’s wet. Why should she get special treatment, Captain Britain whines, Everybody’s wet. Saturnyne gives him a scathing glance, as she explains that Linda is wet because she was very frightened. She tells him to grow up.
Wardog, in the meantime, tries to thank Zeitgeist, who angrily tells him to save it. He only stepped in to prevent everybody getting killed because of Wardog’s stupidity. As it was, he was almost too late. He points to their losses. Legion will snuff out in a few days at most, Oxo was torn apart, Cobweb had a seizure that almost killed her, Wardog has been dismembered. All in about five minutes. If that’s his idea of how a professional business works, he can count him out. He is resigning, effective as of …
There’s no need, Wardog tells him softly. He is right. He turns to Captain Britain, apologizing. He has a responsibility to his team. He can’t task them to involve themselves like this. Not for nothing. They have to get back to the Sidewinder, lick their wounds, think things over. He hopes that creature is really dead this time. He hopes Captain Britain can stop Jaspers before he repeats the nightmare that his counterpart caused on Captain UK’s world, but …
But they are on their own, is that it? Captain Britain finishes his sentence. Yes, Captain, that’s it, Wardog agrees, and the Executive walk away, leaving Captain Britain, Saturnyne, Betsy and Tom.