Otherword, inside the former Starlight Citadel, which now hangs suspended mid-air as a dark cloud surrounds it. 'Hail Arthur! Hail Merlyn!' come the cries from within the majestic building. Merlyn sits on his throne and tells his followers to be quiet. 'We do not have the Citadel. Not yet, not securely' he declares. The attendant called Ryl stands near Merlyn, who tells his followers that they are not his knights – he has no need of knights. 'You are Arthur's new brood after his own get, Mordred, failed him' he remarks, before reporting that their work has only begun. 'This tower must stand eternal so that Otherworld and reality can spin on. That is our duty, to run it better than that witch ever could'. Arthur can be seen standing with an assortment of Merlyn's followers – Furies, members of the Colony and the vampiric Sevalithi. Merlyn announces that Arthur's true home is Avalon, and that they must reclaim it. 'We do not rest – our battle is not through – until Arthur is king of Avalon once more!' He adds that if they let even one witchbreed live that one can plan their treacherous seeds and take root. 'Each and every witchbreed must walk back through their gate... or die!'
Elsewhere on Otherworld, at Castle Avalon, where Meggan a.k.a. Gloriana looks out one of the castle windows at Merlyn's army, approaching in the distance. 'Mother? I'm not worried about Merlyn's army' her daughter utters as Meggan holds her in her arms. 'Maggie...' Meggan's voice trails off. Maggie points out that even if the army breaches the castle defenses, they can only pursue them as far as Krakoa. 'That's right' Meggan agrees, before informing Maggie that she wants her to go through the gate to Krakoa soon, where it is safe. 'You'll be coming with me, mother. A total tactical retreat isn't entirely out of the question' the young girl remarks. 'Mmm. We'll see, love' Meggan replies, non-commital. Maggie then asks if Uncle Jamie is staying, and when Aunt Betsy will be returning.
'Maggie – I don't know. I hope soon, my angel' Meggan replies as she places her daughter on the ground. 'Mother? I don't want to go anywhere without you' Maggie remarks. But Meggan explains that sometimes little children don't get to make those choices. 'Mama?' Maggie calls out, as there is a loud WHOOSHH sound. 'I hear her!' Meggan exclaims, before she picks Maggie up and rushes to where Betsy Braddock a.k.a. Captain Britain and Opal Luna Saturnyne have suddenly re-appeared through a sudden surge of water that washes up inside the castle. 'Captain Britain! She's back!' Jubilee exclaims as she, Meggan, Brian Braddock a.k.a. Captain Avalon and Remy LeBeau a.k.a. Gambit rush to greet Betsy. 'Merlyn's on his way! We can see him over the ramparts!' Brian warns Betsy.
They are soon joined by Julio Richter a.k.a. Rictor, Shatterstar and Bei the Bloood Moon, as Brian informs his twin sister that the diplomatic ring and much of the inner part of the province have been conquered, and that outside the castle grounds, they do not have a lot left to defend. Jubilee tells Brian to let Betsy breathe, before she asks her friend if she is okay. Betsy tells her teammates, family and allies that she is terribly sorry to worry them, and explains that Saturnyne was able to bring them back from Merlyn's magical trap. 'That's apparently a little trick she can do, where she drops through reality like that. How convenient to only discover this now' Betsy remarks, before reporting that Saturnyne has a story about it for them. 'Tell them. Tell them how you've damned us all' Betsy frowns at Saturnyne. Looking pleased with herself, Saturnyne smirks and runs a hand through her hair as she announces that it starts with Brian.
Flashback – before the Age of Incursions – the Fall of the Captain Britain Corps:
All reality was exploding from incursions, and Otherworld was breaking all around Saturnyne. So many things have been made and re-formed since then – but at this time, it felt so final. Saturnyne gave Brian the magic of the Citadel and sent him away to survive – just like Betsy's Starlight Sword – Captain Britain's true power has always been the magic of the Citadel. Saturnyne had a plan, of course. Ambitious women like her don't get to where they are by going down with the ship. As Furies slaughtered members of the Captain Britain Corps, Brian was safe – and so Saturnyne didn't have to stay. Her army was dying, for her, and gladly, but they were dying. However, they had captured one of the enemy forces, a single-handed destroyer of worlds – a cartographer of the apocalypse. A mapmaker. Stil, the Citadel didn't have long to stand – so Saturnyne did what any smart woman would do, and grabbed the most valuable thing in the house – the Fury.
The mapmakers travel this way, from one torn reality to another. Saturnyne escaped by tearing the smallest hole in reality, and letting the Fury fall through. It is a clever getaway if you need it, but a dangerous one – there is no way of knowing where you will land. In the void of space, that injured Mapmaker barely held on. It can be so hard maintaining one's sense of self – it can erode away so easily and destroy you. Saturnyne had a better time of this than the Fury did, as she has always known who she is. She tried to protect them both as they fell, but there was only so much she can do for another creature. Careening from one incursion to the next, they landed in the place that became a home for broken realities – Blightspoke. By then, the Mapmaker had come apart, and the last remaining piece of him was in Saturnyne's hands – a small glowing globe. Just Saturnyne, and a fragment of the most inherently destructive force in all of the Multiverse.
Shortly, Merlyn and Roma found Saturnyne, and manifested before her. That's the thing about Merlyn – he can't ever leave you alone. Merlyn knows he is planning your demise so he assumes that you are doing the same – and of course, Saturnyne was. Roma was the Omniversal Majestrix at this time, but she was merely her father's puppet, and she knew he would only ever see her as his daughter – she'd never really be in charge as long as he was around. Saturnyne and Roma came to a mutual understanding, both being ambitious women. If Roman brought Merlyn to Saturnyne, she would use what power she had to ensure he never bothered both of them. And so, with the Mapmaker's power, she burned the sky – striking Merlyn when he least expected it.
Roma and Merlyn understood they would be reborn – such is the cycle of things for figures of legend like them. But, by then, Saturnyne would have her power, her Citadel. She would have Roma and Merlyn's provinces prepared for them – Roma's beautiful and Merlyn's terrible. And, the last of the Mapmaker, would remain hidden in Blightspoke, itself a terrible, broken place – even then.
'Where it remains today...for Merlyn or anyone to wield it' Betsy points out. 'No wonder Otherworld has fallen so fast' she adds. Saturnyne reclines on some steps and tells Betsy that, eventually, the Vescora will mine their way to it. She claims that she had planned to have Betsy put a stop to it at some point. 'Oops, I don't know what will happen when the Mapmaker resurfaces. I suppose we might not be around to see anyhow' Saturnyne remarks. Betsy supposes that by then, Merlyn will be the one to decide, before she declares that Saturnyne is so insanely self-centered that she had to have that secret all to herself. 'Brian never understood this, but I thought you might – all a girl wants is to feel needed' Saturnyne responds. 'Speak for yourself' Betsy snaps, before she touches her head as she receives a telepathic communication. Betsy then goes wide-eyed as she announces that she is needed elsewhere.
On Earth, Braddock Isle, where dark clouds hang over this extension of Krakoa. Military choppers flit around Excalibur's Lighthouse, which is covered in tree bark, as a green energy glows atop it. 'Mutants of Krakoa. Anything emitting from this lighthouse will be considered an act of war. You are advised to see diplomatic contact with the British government...before other action must be taken!' someone calls out from one of the choppers. On the ground around the Lighthouse, cloaked members of the Coven Akkaba are gathered, including Ambassador Reuben Brousseau. Several visitors from Krakoa have arrived, too – Emma Frost, wearing white trousers and a matching white trenchcoat, Charles Xavier, Rachel Summers a.k.a. Prestige, accompanied by her Warwolf pup, Amazing Baby, and MI:6 operative, Pete Wisdom. Four recently resurrected psychic mutants – Albedo, Ghost, Rubedo and Xanth – all former members of STRIKE, stand near Wisdom.
Hands on hips, Emma tells Rachel that she would love to wait for Captain Britain to resolve this somehow, but that once more, she has abandoned the real world for the fantasy. Prestige tells Emma that she doesn't know. 'If this is happening here, just imagine what's happening inside Otherworld. Must be nuts' Prestige points suggests, before asking Emma to give Betsy time. Xavier folds his arms and states that they don't have much, and that they won't close the gate to Otherworld without everyone safely on this side. He acknowledges that the sooner Captain Britain arrives, the sooner things simmer down here. Emma declares that the gate is a danger, and reminds her companions that mutants who die in Otherworld cannot be safely sent through the resurrection protocols. 'Rictor's earthen tantrum separating the Isle didn't make things any easier. And now this' she adds.
Emma decides that between the danger the gate presents to Krakoans who may die in Otherworld, the arguments over Braddock Isle, and the constant fearmongering about something coming from Otherworld to harm them, it is time for them to come down. 'To what end?' Prestige asks. Xavier explains that they hope that removing the Krakoan gates to Otherworld will bring peace between their nation and the United Kingdom before things come to all-out war. He acknowledges that this complicates things for Excalibur, but states that it must be done. Wisdom approaches Charles and offers to take STRIKE in past the borders right now and have this dealt with quietly. 'I don't want to concede a step of my home to these people. Forgive me if I feel thirsty for revenge' Wisdom adds. Charles tells Wisdom that he and his team are Krakoan citizens, and are welcome to operate there, but that they cannot foster continual strikes against any country, even if they are not allies – as that runs dangerously close to terrorism. Xavier looks up at the Lighthouse and notes that it seems to be emitting something, and remarks that the UK ambassador, with his particular magical sensibilities, has managed to convince international bodies that it is quite dangerous. He points out that they don't know enough about it to refute that.
Suddenly, 'I do' Captain Britain announces as she, Gambit, Meggan, Rictor and Jubilee step through the Krakoan gate from Otherworld. 'And if you close that gate, you're conceding to them' Captain Britain frowns. She explains that this Lighthouse is no danger to Coven Akkaba and England, and that it is merely reflecting the Starlight Citadel's fall to Merlyn. 'The realm where all realities meet as one is in his control. We cannot leave now. With enough people willing to come through, we could raise an army of our own to rout them -' Captain Britain starts to suggest, before Emma interrupts her, telling her to stop, and that they need her assistance here, in the real world. 'Don't' Betsy tells her. Xavier steps forward and explains to Betsy that they had hoped for her assistance with diplomacy in this realm. 'Don't reduce this to that. As if it's some fantasy' Betsy replies. Rachel asks Betsy if she can bring Saturnyne here, hide her out on Krakoa and strategize for a return strike. 'I know a hundred people bummed they didn't get to grab a sword and go in last time -' she begins, to which Betsy replies 'To Krakoa? Have you met the woman? She won't go to parties she doesn't host'.
Betsy and Rachel walk away from the others, as Betsy tells her friend that she needs the rest of them to get to safety, while she does in and defends Saturnyne herself. 'Don't rush off – you're acting like it's no big deal, like you don't have anything here you're responsible for' Rachel points out, while Amazing Baby looks up at them. 'I don't. I'm Captain Britain. Banned from Britain' Betsy responds. Rachel smiles at her: 'You're Captain Britain, Bets. For real. For good. That's bigger than their politics, and it kills them that they can't do anything about it' she points out. 'God help me. It feels better than it would if they loved me' Betsy tells Rachel. 'Yeah, that's my Bets' Rachel remarks as she touches Betsy's face. Betsy explains that she was a sullen girl, because nothing ever felt like her decision – then for a long time, nothing really was. 'Now I even have a sword to swear to whomever I choose. I've never felt so much like my hands were my own' she remarks. 'They are. You live or die for you, Betsy. Not for her. Now, you get out of here before I go give Saturnyne a piece of my mind' Rachel tells Betsy as she kisses her cheek. The choppers continue to circle the Lighthouse, while Rachel asks Betsy to hurry back. 'I don't care if you think you're needed. You're wanted'.
Back on Otherworld, at Castle Avalon, where Brian and his older brother, Jamie a.k.a. Monarch stand on a slope outside the castle. Monarch's army stand ready behind them, while Gambit, Bei the Blood Moon and several members of the Captain Britain Corps can be seen further down the slope. Jubilee's son, Shogo, in his dragon form, hovers above them. Brian tells Jamie that he has never wanted him to just go nuts, and asks if it is possible he could simply wrap Arthur's entire army up and make them disappear. 'I can... oh, but I oughtn't. It's naughty' Jamie responds. 'You have never cared -' Brian begins, before Betsy and Saturnyne arrive on horses. 'He's got to care now. Between Shogo's fire, the Mapmaker and my own little dip through reality, things are a bit structurally unsound' Saturnyne explains. 'No more reality warping. The whole place seems fit to cave in' Betsy frowns. 'Oh dear. Well, if anyone wants to leave... now might be the time' Jamie replies as he looks down towards the approaching army.
Nearby, Rictor sits on a fence, while Shatterstar is practising with his sword, nearby. Ric asks Shatterstar how crazy they let this thing get before they bail. 'Bail? Julio...while the peace of Krakoa is a pleasant respite, I find myself missing the swing of the steel...' Shatterstar responds. Rictor tells Shatterstar that he didn't want to bring it up, as he was worried he would think he was being risky with his life. 'But I want to fight for this place. I want to stay as long as we can' Rictor assures Shatterstar. Rictor hangs his head as he adds that he thinks he has to stop a dark wizard from taking their fantasy castle – and he would rather do that with Shatterstar. 'I would love nothing more than to bring my swords to slay a wicked sorcerer alongside you, Julio' Shatterstar replies, before he goes over, grabs Rictor by his cloak and pulls him in to kiss him. There is a rumbling, and the lovers break away from each other, as Rictor asks if something is happening out there.
'Excalibur! For our future! For Krakoa! For all realities!' Captain Britain cries out as she leads the heroes forward as Arthur's army descends upon them. Captain Britain raises the Starlight Sword overhead as she charges into battle on her horse, with Saturnyne behind her. Jubilee fires plasma energy at a soldier, while Gambit sends several kinetically-charged playing cards into the enemy army. Bei the Blood Moon strikes one of the enemy soldiers with her weapon, while Meggan flies above the army, elemental energies glowing around her. Captain Avalon holds his sword strong as he leaps into the fray, while Monarch finds himself amongst the battle, too. Rictor joins as he rides the earth, and Shatterstar leaps from the platform of earth Rictor stands on, two swords in hand.
'I don't know if this is very safe, having me stay with you like this, but I love the front-row seat to the action' Saturnyne remarks to Captain Britain. 'At this point, I simply don't trust you anywhere that's out of my sight' Captain Britain explains. Suddenly, 'Captain Britain!' Arthur shouts as he rides his horse towards Betsy. Betsy acknowledges Arthur, who claims that he has a thousand Hothive drones over the next hill, and that when night falls, a thousand Sevalithi assassins will be ready. 'Your army cannot match mine, even with your magics. Even your wizards are limited in their power. Merlyn knows the fabric of reality here is as a fragile as leaf!' Arthur exclaims. The two armies separate as Arthur and Captain Britain talk. Arthur climbs down off his large horse and offers to spare children and anyone else who leaves his castle now. 'But I will not spare you. I will not let you run if you try. And I promise no kindness from my soldiers'
'Was I not clear? I will not duel you on your terms. If you want mutant blood today – you can try like everyone else!' Betsy exclaims as she gets off of her horse, and opens her arms, while Shatterstar, Rictor, Monarch, Bei, Meggan, Captain Avalon, Jubilee and Gambit gather around her. Arthur lunges forward: 'I am a warrior king, not some tourney knight! I do not need a duel to crack your skull open, mutant!' Arthur boasts, while Betsy raises the Starlight Sword to defend herself. Shogo can be seen flying towards the castle, while Betsy telepathically tells her allies to fall back. 'We need to get them closer together and choke them at the castle entrance!' she explains. Jubilee is on Shogo the dragon as they approach the gateway within Castle Avalon. Jubilee tells Shogo that it isn't safe for him here anymore, and that they are going to Krakoa. 'Thanks for not crying a bunch about it' she tells him.
At the former Starlight Citadel, Ryl stands behind Merlyn, holding a scroll, her wrists are shackled. 'Sorceresses. Arthur's army has pushed them back to Castle Camelot and their wretched gate!' Merlyn calls out.
At another location, 'Finally, we remove that foul weed from my scrying pool' Morgan Le Fay calls out as she stands surrounded by candles, energy glowing from her hands. High Priestess of Coven Akkaba, Marianna Stern, is nearby, and she contacts Ambassador Brousseau, informing him that they are nearly ready.
On Braddock Isle, 'Excellent, Marianna. Britain will not have to go to war on our home plane...' Brousseau responds.
Back at Avalon, 'Choke the bridge with their dead if we must!' Bei the Blood Moon cries out as the heroes battle on the drawbridge which leads to the castle. 'Good energy, Mrs Bei' Captain Britain tells her, before instructing Brian and Meggan to get Maggie and everyone through the gate. 'I'll be the last one through so I can fight with the Corps!' Captain Britain exclaims as Captain Avalon, Meggan, Rictor, Shatterstar and Gambit keep the enemy forces at bay. Betsy then telepathically contacts the Corps, asking them if they are ready. 'Captain of Captains, we fight with you!' come the unified telepathic response. 'They claim tactics and run like cowards! Press on, my knights! That castle was once called Camelot and it was mine!' Arthur shouts as his massive steed rises up on its hind legs. The Captain Britain Corps members suddenly arrive and join the battle against Arthur's army. 'For the Citadel!' one of them calls out. 'Defend the Krakoans! They can return with reinforcements!' another exclaims as they engage the soldiers.
Captain Avalon tells his mutant companions to fall back and retreat to Krakoa. 'The Captain Britain Corps can follow us through the gate – but Merlyn's forces can't! We'll be safe there!' Meggan calls out as she runs along the drawbridge with Rictor. The Captain Britain Corps are on the bridge now, and Betsy stands behind them. 'Hold the line!' she calls out. 'Betsy...don't you dare' Brian tells his sister. 'Brian...' Betsy begins, turning to look at him. 'Stop. I don't need to be a mind reader to see what you thinking' Brian remarks. He tells his sister that they are only leaving because she is, that they have to get the children to safety. 'Don't stay. Don't do that to us' he asks her. 'Of course not, brother. Let's get to safety' Betsy replies, before ordering the doors to be barred behind them.
Suddenly, Ambassador Brousseau, Merlyn, High Priestess Marianna Stern and Morgan Le Fay are all connected with magical energies. 'They're within. They're going to their gate' Brousseau calls out. 'Now' Merlyn utters. 'Now?' Marianna asks. 'Yesssss' Morgan utters.
And, suddenly, raging energy crackles in the skies above the Lighthouse and Castle Avalon – then comes down on both sacred structures with full force destroying the Krakoan gateways within them.
On Braddock Isle, Xavier, Emma, Rachel, Wisdom and the STRIKE team all look on in shock at the horrifying events unfold. 'Oh my god! The lighthouse – the gate!' Emma exclaims. 'Betsy?' Rachel calls out. 'EXCALIBUR!' Xavier shouts. 'I hear them in the rubble!' Rachel declares as she, Emma and Xavier rush over to the ruins of the Lighthouse. Xavier reports that, thankfully, Excalibur are alive. 'Hopefully uninjured' he adds, as they begin to search for them. Glowing petals fall from the ruins, as Xavier, Emma, Rachel and Wisdom set their sights on Excalibur. Monarch looks around, dazed and confused, while Bei puts her hands on Jubilee's arms as she consoles her crying baby. Brian embraces Meggan and Maggie, while Shatterstar holds Rictor, who has collapsed to his knees. Gambit is worried as he cries out 'Where my cats? Where my cats at?' as he searches the rubble.
Suddenly, Gambit hears a meow, and looks over, to see Betsy kneeling with her Starlight Sword in the ground, and Gambit's cats sitting next to her. Betsy? Whatchu doin' over there!' Gambit calls out. Betsy announces that she thought Arthur might try that – lure them into the castle and destroy the gates to try and kill them. 'It's a good plan' she admits. 'Bets...' Rachel calls out, while Betsy explains that she wasn't sure she was ready though, so she thought to hold it open with her sword – it is a piece of the Citadel, so it is pretty strong. Betsy tells her friends that they all need to rest and recover, and to get a ride to the nearest gate and go home. 'And when you can – send me those reinforcements. I will need them!' Betsy calls out, keeping Brian and Rachel back with a surge of telekinetic energy. 'No!' Rachel exclaims. 'Dammit, Betsy!' Brian calls out. Betsy surrounds herself with psychic energy and raises her sword overhead, announcing that the Corps are fighting for the unconquered Citadel and Lady Saturnyne, who stayed within. 'And that's what this blade is made of. All the power of the Citadel – and it's all that's left untouched by Merlyn. I was given it... to lead the Captain Britain Corps' Betsy utters as she vanishes.
'Betsy!' Meggan exclaims. 'Captain! No!' Rachel calls out. Wisdom and STRIKE gather nearby as everyone converges on the shrinking energy bubble. Gambit picks up one of his cats, while Rictor and Shatterstar hug. Brian drops to his knees, holding Meggan and Maggie. '...Betsy has always been one of our bravest -' Xavier begins, before Rachel interrupts him: 'Don't' she snaps. Tears fall down Rachel's face as she exclaims 'Don't talk about her like she's already dead. That woman has walked into a dozen realms unafraid. That woman once led the X-Men. She's in there doing what she's always done. She's fighting for a world that hates and fears her'.
And, at Castle Avalon Betsy re-emerges on the drawbridge, sword held high, she rushes towards Arthur's army as they shout 'Death to Captain Britain! Death to all mutants!'