The early sixth century:
They all lie slain, knights and innocents alike, in the ruins of what once was proud Camelot. The only one left moving is a man dressed in predominantly black armor with an equally dark mask, crouching at the side of his dying lord… King Arthur. The king moans his last words: Excalibur… you must…. With that, King Arthur dies and Sir Percy of Scandia aka the Black Knight closes his lord’s eyes. He walks over to the shining blade on which the words take me up are engraved and does so.
Garret Castle, present day:
An elderly lady talks to the castle’s current owner, Dane Whitman, admiring his move to turn the castle into a Black Knight museum. Dane replies that he’s glad the people seem to be enjoying it. As he and Miss Sterling walk past several exhibits, she asks how they couldn’t. The Black Knight lineage has quite a fascinating history after all. Whether it was the likes of Sir Ralston and Sir Eobar or lesser known knights, like Sir William and Sir Henry. Then, of course, there was Dane’s uncle, the infamous Nathan Garret and, of course, Dane himself.
Yeah, they’re quite a crew, Dane jokes. Miss Sterling remarks they shouldn’t forget the man who started it all, Sir Percy of Scandia, the original Black Knight himself. They walk up to a glass coffin, where the amazingly well preserved remains of Sir Percy can be seen. He is truly the centerpiece of the exhibition, Miss Sterling remarks. What a life… faithfully fighting alongside King Arthur, battling Mordred and the like…
When it comes to Sir Percy, Dane adds, he bets they don’t know half of it.
The sixth century:
Percy is in a tavern, glumly sitting alone at his table. At the other tables, men discuss the current wars. Hastings is nothing but a memory, one of them narrates. He heard it was wiped out in a quarter of the time Carlisle fell. At the rate they are going, nothing will be left of England but soot and ashes in a fortnight. Another adds that he thinks of taking his family and head off as far as possible, as far as Rome even. Yet another man admonishes him not to overreact. Overreact? The first man asks, angrily, asking if he has seen what they did to Arthur and his lot. If they can do that to Camelot…
An older man tells him to shush. Turning towards Percy, he asks the others if they know him. None of them does. They begin to wonder; they have heard tales of spies setting people up before the fall comes. Looking at a long wrapped object on the chair next to Percy, they wonder what that is. They are getting nervous; neither of them likes the look of the object or the man.
One of them gets up, trying to make a grab for the object. With one smooth movement, Percy takes it and reveals it to be the sword Excalibur. Nothing there but trouble for them, he threatens, as he holds it to a man’s neck. Is that so? another man asks, getting ready to attack. Percy grabs a second sword, his Ebony Blade, from the parcel and stabs both attackers simultaneously. Anyone else? he asks.
The other guests recognize the two famed blades and ask where he got them. A present from the new masters for betraying Camelot? Angrily Percy shouts that this whole affair has people acting irrationally. He threatens them, telling them to leave him to finish his supper and he’ll be on his way. And if they decide otherwise? the men ask, not willing to back down. They’ve been, warned he announces with a cold smile.
Not too much later, the tavern resembles a slaughterhouse and Percy can finally eat his supper in peace, or so he thinks, for a voice seemingly coming from nowhere chides him for letting the blade have too much say. He sighs that now he has her buzzing in his ears in addition to all his trouble. The voice admonishes him that he did not have to kill everybody. Sarcastically, he apologizes. Does Madam not approve? He did them a favor, he defends himself. Chances are, that man was right and they’d all have died within a fortnight anyway. The voice warns him that he is losing control again. Percy tells her to sod off. He’s eating. It will have to wait, the voice announces ominously.
Back at Garret Castle in the present:
Outside, a show tournament is being held while, inside, the present Black Knight, Dane Whitman, is receiving a phone call from an old friend, Captain Britain. Dane admonishes Brian not quite seriously for being late. He got held up, the other man replies. Likely story, Dane jokes, before turning serious and offering Brian condolences over his lost wife Meggan. Not right now, Cap replies. They can talk when they meet face to face.
A man is trying to touch Dane’s bag (holding the Ebony Blade) and Dane shouts at him not to touch that. The man apologies, he was just moving it out of the way of the exhibits. Dane apologizes in turn, but explains that the object is dangerous.
Back on the phone Cap asks if everything is ok and Dane shrugs it off as nothing. So when does Cap think he will be finished doing whatever he is doing? A few more minutes, Cap replies. He is floating on the air, stopping a bank robbery in progress. While he beats the robbers one-handed, he continues the conversation on his cell phone. He asks what is Dane’s story these days. No Avengers, Defenders, Heroes for Hire, boyscouts or whatever other group that’d be sorry enough to have him as a member? Not amused, Dane replies that he has nothing going on. The battle over, Brian hints that he may have a little offer to make him.
In the past, Sir Percy is standing at a lake. Ironically addressing the Lady of the Lake, he asks her to show herself. She replies that he must find Excalibur. Showing her King Artur’s sword, he asks what that is, if not Excalibur. The Lady tells him to look into himself. Only there will he find the true answer to his question. Always with the riddles! Percy complains angrily. Why can’t she ever speak plainly? From out of the lake, the voice announces that he is England’s only hope. Only he can stop this threat and restore Camelot and everything that was. Percy demands she stop the silly game of words and tell him how. Perhaps it is not how, but when the Lady hints. Percy is puzzled.
Suddenly, the lady emerges from the waters and pulls him down with her.
In the present, Percy awakes… in the body of Dane Whitman. He looks around, realizing he is in a castle, but certainly one looking different from any he has known. From the mobile comes the voice of Captain Britain, asking what is going on, and Percy drops it. He looks around, seeing portraits of other Black Knights, but none he has ever known. Where in the name of Merlin has that water cow sent him, he complains. He remembers her stressing the word “when and realizes he is in he future. Seeing a few pierced and tattooed teenagers passing by, he unhappily mutters that it’s no future he wants to be part of, that’s for sure.
He looks at himself in a mirror and realizes he is in another man’s body. He finds his own corpse displayed in another room and recalls the Lady telling him the answer lay within. He finds the Ebony Blade in Dane’s backpack. Kissing the blade and calling it “my love,” Percy, before the eyes of an incredulous guard, shatters the glass casket with his sword and takes away the scroll of parchment the corpse is holding.
Percy unrolls it and looks at it critically, wondering who the people depicted in it are. The guard tells him to stop. Deeming the other man’s move aggressive, Percy intends to strike with his Ebony Blade when somebody pushes his arm aside. Captain Britain demands to know what is going on.
Percy seems shocked, as if recognizing the Captain. He is joined by Excalibur. Percy starts that this is a misunderstanding. They are the people… who are gonna kick his sodding face in? Wisdom adds not so helpfully, as he fires hotknives at him. Percy wards them off with his sword. Dazzler fires a laserblast at him, which the blade reflects back at her.
Nocturne tries to possess Percy only to be repelled. Somebody’s already in there, she announces. Good, Juggernaut decides. Then he won’t feels too bad about doing this. With that, he simply knocks Percy out.
Captain Britain points out, somewhat annoyed, that just because the man is possessed doesn’t mean Cain can just hurt his body. He happens to be a friend of Cap’s in case Cain hadn’t heard.
Sage takes up the scroll and unrolls it, getting a big surprise. The scroll depicts the members of Excalibur, dressed in medieval clothing. All hail, Excalibur! Saviors of Camelot!