The Sidewinder travels through time and space. Aboard, a fight is going on. They came at night. They were not human and they took him easily. They took him from the world had so recently re-acquired and transported him though space that is not space… towards an Earth that is no Earth… to save a woman he would very much like to kill. He is mad as hell and he isn’t going to take it anymore.
Captain Britain lashes out against the many doppelgangers of Legion while the rest of the Special Executive looks on somewhat helplessly. Their leader, Wardog, turns to the team’s precog, Cobweb, asking why she didn’t warn them he was going to wake up and go berserk. No point, it would have happened anyway, she informs him nonchalantly. Wardog protests. But they might have…
Cobweb interrupts: … stopped it happening? Ridiculous, she announces, rolling her eyes. Wardog finishes his sentence a split-second after she did it for him and annoyed asks her to stop… Cobweb does it again … stop predicting what he is going to say? Wardog shouts out annoyed until Legion and Zeitgeist, who has joined the fray tell him to forget Cobweb and do something about the situation.
Cap asks what’s going on. He hits one of them and ten of them get nosebleeds What are you people? I’m not a people, stupid! all the versions of Legion reply. Frankly, he doesn’t give a damn, Cap shouts out and threatens to break one of their backs.
Suddenly, the fight leaves him and Cap just drops Legion on his head and sits down in confusion. Nice work, rent-a-crowd Wardog informs Legion sarcastically. He gets ready to read his crew the riot act when Zeitgeist asks whether he shouldn’t be talking to the Captain.
Wardog carefully approaches Cap, remarking that this must all seem terribly distressing. Cap doesn’t appreciate the understatement, as he sarcastically asks if Wardog is serious. They scramble his brains, they kidnap him, they ask him to be a defence witness for a woman who once left him to die. Distressing? What on Earth makes him think that?
Wardog tells him that he is taking this too personally. His group, the Special Executive, are mercenaries. They work for whoever pays best. They have worked for timetravellers, they have worked for sentient mould cultures and right now they work for Saturnyne. He leads Cap to a window and explains at she is on trial for something she didn’t do, namely causing the destruction of that alternate Earth, where she and Captain Britain met. He is her only witness. Looking out, Cap announces that he doesn’t care. It isn’t his problem…
They leave the ship that seems very, very tiny in comparison to the huge spaceport. Cap asks where they are and is told Earth. He moans, as he realizes that this is another parallel world. The very concept makes him queasy.
Wardog remarks that it’s universe lag. It affects all of them sooner or later. He will adjust. He introduces him to their dimensional-development-court-approved chaperones, two other Captains. Captain England of this Earth and Captain Albion, temporarily on loan from the Earth next door. They greet Captain Britain politely, while he just stares at them aghast. Wardog offers to explain, but Brian cuts him off, asking him to do it later.
Another universe, another planet called Earth. A place where reality has broken down into a sludge of bubbling nightmare. Only one of its countless inhabitants is still sane and that one is not human. It is called the Fury; half animal, half automaton. It kills superheroes. It was entrusted with the killing of Captain Britain… It is starting to suspect that it has failed. Certainly no trace of its prey remains in this universe. But what if he still survives on another plane? Why, then it must follow him. That is its program. Within its body, circuits re-align and cells blossom into nr organs. It is preparing itself for a journey. It never gives up.
Meanwhile, Captain England leads Captain Britain to a cell and warns him not to start any ‘monkey business’. Inside, he sees Saturnyne: filthy humiliated, and chained to the ground, kneeling in an undignified position. She snarls at him, asking if he isn’t going to laugh. Isn’t he pleased to see her like this? First, he is at a loss for words. Then he simply asked what happened.
She spits at him that he happened. The Fury happened. A reality storm happened. That whole damned retarded parallel Earth happened. Calmer, she continues that she was supposed to give that Earth the Push that would transform it into a properly civilized world. It was holding back the development of the other Earths. She was the Majestrix. She was regarded as a god. She failed. The dimensional development court doesn’t like their gods to fail them. How are things with him?
He is surviving, Cap replies, as he turns away. He tells her what has been eating at him, namely that she abandoned him and Jackdaw when that craziness started. Jackdaw died and he barely escaped with his life. Why…
Angrily, she cuts him off. Why should he bother to help her? Oh, all right, she supposes revenge is sweet. She shouts at him to get out and let the Special Executive take him home. It was a stupid idea anyway, clinging to him as her last hope with her Avant Guard barred from testifying. She repeatedly shouts at him to get out. He is loving every minute of this, isn’t he?
Bending down to her, he informs her that she is selfish, callous and conceited, but no, he is not enjoying seeing her like this. He thought he would. He was wrong. He continues that, whatever else she has done, she wasn’t to blame for what happened on that nightmare alternate Earth. He knows, for he has met the mutant superbrain that was responsible. If she likes he will say that at her trial. Saturnyne is surprised at this tenderness. Captain England joins them at this moment, telling them visiting time is up. Captain Britain says goodbye and Saturnyne thanks him.
Later in court:
The court is a huge stadium, filled with sentient beings of all species imaginable. Saturnyne is in handcuffs, surrounded by the two Captains. Behind her, Captain Britain and the Special Executive are seated. The crowd is asked to rise as the Supreme Omniversal Tribune is now in session. His Whyness, Lord Mandragon, is presiding. Brian recognizes the title and asks and Wardog informs him that he is right. Mandragon is Saturnyne’s successor to the imperial throne, should she be deposed. He also happens to be the judge at her trial. Does he see the problem?
Mandragon asks for silence and announces that, before they come to the trial, there is a more pressing matter to be dealt with, namely the fate of the alternate world which slid into chaos through Saturnyne’s negligence. His scientific advisors have informed him that the breakdown of reality is rapidly spreading to other worlds in its continuum. Soon, the entire universe will be contaminated. Unchecked, the blight may spread to other universes. It is within his power in certain extreme circumstances to have a universe ‘removed’, should its existence threaten the omniverse. This…
A faceless creature interrupts him; it is Saturnyne’s defense counsel, the Lord Chancellor. He protests that this universe may be the only source of material evidence with which to establish his client’s innocence…
Over their discussion Captain Britain blurts out whether they are insane. Destroy an entire universe?! Mandragon asks for order, telling the defence witness to be silent or be removed. As for the Lord Chancellor, he refers him to clause723-801-(d) of the omniversal writ, in short, objection overruled.
He turns to a desk with several crystal keys and turns one. A chain reaction commence and a stricken universe is placed forever beyond suffering. The Lord Chancellor is horrified at the death of all those lifeforms. Mandragon reminds him that their demise would have been far more horrible and prolonged had the reality cancer been allowed to spread. He should not worry about those that have perished, but simply be glad that none have escaped.
Elsewhere, the Fury floats through space that is not space. It seeks a man that it has already killed. It never gives up.