June 6, Braddock Manor:
Betsy Braddock runs into her brother’s arms and the twins smile at each other in greeting. Then Brian turns to greet Betsy’s companion Alison Double and inquires after her health. Very well, Alison informs him. Victoria Bentley possesses remarkable skills. Her health improves daily-
The reunion is joined by the housekeeper, Emma Collins, who greets Betsy. Betsy is astonished at Emma being back to normal but catches Brian’s clue to not say anything.
Suddenly, another voice shouts at Brian to hurry up; he is on the telly. Brian quickly explains that this is Meggan. She’s staying there for a while. He tries to warn his sister that she’s… “beautiful,” Alison exclaims telepathically as she first lays eyes on the were-girl. “Like an iridescent butterfly.” What? Betsy exclaims in surprise. … A little unusual, Brian finishes his sentence. Alison hints to Betsy that there is something special about Meggan’s aura.
The excited girl drags Brian into the living room, more or less ignoring Brian’s attempt to introduce her to the others, caught up in the excitement that she knows someone’s who’s going to be on the telly.
Later in the living room, Brian tries to explain that Meggan’s isolated upbringing has given her a rather… unusual value system. She’s been heavily influenced by television as a result of being hidden in her parents’ caravan since birth.
Meggan orders him to hush. Both twins look in amusement at the entranced Meggan while the interview with Brian on TV begins.
The anchorwoman explains that, seven years earlier, Braddock Manor was destroyed in a mysterious explosion. Meggan urges the reporter to hurry up. She wants to see Brian. If he isn’t on soon, she’ll miss a bit of Crossroads.
The interview starts with the reporter announcing that Brian Braddock has recently returned from a world tour. His sister says his name chastisingly at this lie and Brian points out that he didn’t say which worlds, after all.
On TV, Brian promises to re-open the estate’s farm and put the land to good use. The reporter remarks that this decision has been welcomed bay many unemployed families in neighbouring villages and asks about how reconstruction of the manor is progressing.
Betsy doesn’t understand. There wasn’t actually any damage on the house, was there? There actually was some from the force of his and Fascination smashing the Fury into the underground cavern but the computer is taking care of it, Brian explains.
Meggan asks how the telly can see the men rebuilding the manor, when it doesn’t need to be rebuilt. They aren’t actually there, Brian explains. He’d told her before how the computer created a holographic image of the manor when it was attacked by S.T.R.I.K.E.. The missiles hit the image and the computer made it look like everything was destroyed. Now the computer has created fake men to rebuild a pretend house. When it’s rebuilt, they can drop the holographic screen.
On TV, the interview ends when Brian announces that the manor should be rebuilt within the next eighteen months. Emma and Meggan fawn over his newfound TV stardom while Brian and Betsy excuse themselves. As they walk the corridors of the manor, he recalls the past one year ago, walking the same hallways with Captain UK shortly before the Jaspers Warp.
Betsy tells him that Victoria Bentley made her strong again, but she can’t forget all of the Jaspers madness, the reality warp, the camp… Losing Toms till hurts. They were psychically linked when he died. She felt his death. Wrenching, empty. For a moment she is overcome by grief.
Putting on a brave face, she changes the subject, asking him about Emma. Brian explains that the computer had originally brainwashed Emma into serving it and she had grown to rely on it for some pretty basic functions. Which is why they had to leave her in its care when they fled to London. What they didn’t realize was that somehow the computer had grown “fond” of Emma. It took almost six weeks to release her from its control. The problem was to restore her ability for voluntary action, her basic individuality without causing trauma from the separation. She doesn’t remember anything about her enslavement, but has occasionally complained of a feeling of loss. Like the death of a dear friend. He can’t really explain it.
Betsy points out that they had been together for seven years and they were alone. It must have been a bit like being married. Maybe, he concedes. Anyway, she seems content to stay at the manor, even though Meggan worries her a bit and there are some “weird goings on.” Betsy adds that Emma has nowhere else to go. She has no relatives. She’s lived there ever since they were kids. She’s part of the family.
As they enter the cellar, they see several robot-like beings working. Betsy wonders who they are and Brian explains that they are the computer’s solid light holograms, repairing the subsidence damage. They are similar to the Mastermind personality of the computer, but friendly now.
As he muses on the physics involved and on the fact how they father could create something that advanced over ten yeas ago, armoured beings appear behind them and Betsy asks what these ones do. Recognizing them as his previous attackers, Brian mutters not again and order Betsy to stay back as they point weapons at him and order him to surrender.
Things look grim; he has been caught off-guard. Without the uniform that amplifies his latent powers. But clothes make not the man or the hero and Brian does his best to fight, badly outnumbered though he may be. However, it is only a question of time till he is brought down.
Angrily, he asks why they are trying to kill him. “Bounty! Big Numbers for Kaptain Briton!” comes the cryptic reply. As one of them is about to fry his brain, something completely unexpected happens, as Betsy mentally attacks all of them, forcing them to teleport away. Groggy, Betsy explains that Victoria has shown her how to use Tom’s death.
Who were his attackers? she asks. He doesn’t know. They’d attacked before. He had just met a really remarkable woman, Joan Scott. She made him think… accept his situation, his responsibilities. He had started to believe he could lead a normal life. But now he has a horrible feeling that things are beginning to go wrong again.
Unknown to the twins from outside, a being intently watches them.
Elsewhere: a dummy of Captain Britain is shot to bits. Slaymaster holds up his smoking gun. He is biding his time.
Night time at a bank. The Crazy Gang fail at detonating the door of a vault, The Jester is embarrassed and the others are angry. A proper leader is needed.
New Scotland Yard. Inspector Dai Thomas is carefully looking at the data he has collected. They include pictures of Captain Britain and Brian Braddock, which he is comparing assiduously.