Since the battle with Exodus and the Acolytes and the loss of Wundagore's citadel, the weather has taken an unnatural turn for the worse. On a very rainy night, the Knights of Wundagore and Quicksilver take refuge in a small medieval-style castle on the Hudson River which is one of the High Evolutionary's safe houses. Forked lightning strikes all around and the waves lash at the shore. A train track running close to the island is almost submerged as the river fills ever deeper as the rains continue to pour.
Inside the castle, the entrance hall is filled with relaxing New Men, settling into their new accommodation. The castle has high ceilings and large arched doorways and offers ample protection from the storms raging outside. Lord Tyger is pleased to find a painting he had done of the High Evolutionary proudly hanging on a wall in the entrance lobby, in pride of place. As Lord
Anon silently ascends a wide staircase, Quicksilver kneels down and greets his daughter Luna, who rushes to greet him. While Lord Gator and Lady Ursula stand and admire the castle, Lady Ursula comments how wonderful the place is; so luxurious and atmospheric. She asks Bova if she is sure the High Evolutionary meant for them to have all this and Bova replies that their master keeps many such safe houses around the world for just such emergencies. She welcomes everyone, adding that she and Luna missed everyone terribly. Lady Vermin asks "Even Anon? He didn't miss you! Look at him just march upstairs without a word to anyone!" Lord Churchill asks her to leave Anon alone as he thinks he is nice but Lady Vermin continues, saying "He is not, he's scary, he doesn't even leave a scent. We don't even know what he is under that helmet!"
Sir Ram takes command and proclaims that this may well be their living situation until the day they take back Mount Wundagore from Exodus, and asks if everyone can just get along. Lord Delphis, saying he doesn't want to be a pest, tells Sir Ram that he simply must investigate the unusual weather phenomenon and asks him if there is a laboratory he can use. Sir Ram leads him out of the lobby, telling him he could never be cruel enough to deliver him to a place that lacked one, and they pass Lord Anon standing on the landing up to their left. He asks which room is his. Sir Ram tells him to just pick one, and Lord Anon replies "Just so you all know, I'm taking the biggest!" Lord Anon's tone is brusque and seems to lack respect but Sir Ram is occupied and makes nothing of it. He then continues his discussion with Lord Delphis, telling him that the entire catacomb is outfitted for his use. He adds, however, that the equipment isn't as sophisticated as he is accustomed to, and as they enters the laboratory, Sir Ram notices that it is also flooded due to the heavy rains. The laboratory is huge, with a circular staircase enclosing it. "Perfect," says Lord Delphis peering into the water below, "I am an evolved dolphin after all" and he dives in to the laboratory enthusiastically.
Sir Rams leaves his aquatic friend to his work and returns to the lobby. Now that Pietro has Luna in his arms, hugging her tightly, he is uncertain what to do. He stumbles over his words but effectively says he and Luna are going to bed and they can get on with doing whatever they wish to do. Lady Ursula can barely speak before Pietro adds that he and Luna will see them in the
morning, turning away as he says good night. Seeing the dejected look on Lady Ursula's face and the mirrored sadness on the faces of both Lord Churchill and Lady Vermin, Sir Ram knows how this action will appear and asks Quicksilver for a moment of his time. Pietro asks if it can wait until tomorrow but Sir Ram is adamant and asks Pietro to come with him.
Sir Ram takes him to a nearby room, where Luna is seated in a large red chair while Sir Ram explains the situation to Pietro. He tells him that, as his creator has chosen him to lead the Knights he bears him no resentment, despite occupying the position himself until then; however, he insists Pietro begins working on his leadership right away. Pietro, now standing sword to
sword with Sir Ram, questions the need to begin fencing at such a late hour as Luna watches excitedly. Sir Ram replies, "We are Knights and we require some acknowledgement of our honorable station. We need a purpose, a crusade. And we are animals. When your first act on arriving was to excuse yourself to bed, the more sensitive ones took it as a sign of rejection. Perhaps you think this will all be as pointless as learning a sword-move, but it will not! One does not replace Sir Ram casually." Quicksilver is already becoming a blur as his super-swift feet bring him into position as Luna laughs at them. Sir Ram begins his next sentence as Pietro moves into position and only gets as far as, "And I will take it upon myself to remind you whenever -" before Pietro skillfully removes Sir Ram's sword from his hands with his own and bundles him over. As he falls to the ground, Luna approaches Sir Ram to comfort him and Sir Ram, holding his head in his hands says he is learning.
Meanwhile, on a dark, rain swept Manhattan street, two police officers are in their patrol car crossing a T-junction, talking about how the rains keep people off the streets. As one officer wipes his window to clear the condensation, he notices a tall, powerful looking woman wearing a red costume with a chain around her waist standing beside the car. Before he can act, the mysterious woman, in an unprovoked attack, violently tosses their vehicle aside by punching the asphalt underneath them using enormous strength.
Back at the castle, the Knights are settling in to their rooms, though Lord Tyger's cultured lifestyle is immediately at odds with Lord Gator's. Lord Tyger is drinking wine and listening to classical music but the sound is disrupting Lord Gator's evening nature meditation. He wanders in to find Lord Tyger standing by the window, a glass of wine in one hand and the stereo's remote control in the other. Lord Gator tells Tyger that the clatter is drowning out the thunder and Tyger replies "Clatter? Bartok's 'Concerto for Orchestra,' clatter?" He quotes from Cervantes - "Alas, all music jars when the soul's out of tune." Lord Gator comes back with a quote by John Keats, "Heard melodies are sweet, but those unheard are sweeter." As Gator snatches the stereo system's remote control from him, Tyger says he didn't realize Gator was so cultivated.
Bova, hearing the disturbance stands in the doorway with a finger to her lips saying "Evolution's sakes! What is all the rumpus in here? Don't you gentlemen know it's past Luna's bedtime?" The pair apologize for their behavior in unison. As she leaves, Tyger asks Gator to stay so that they can chat about the romantics over a bottle or three. Gator says that he does not drink. Tyger replies that he never gets the opportunity to discuss them with anyone who understands and at least Gator knows Keats. Gator, departing with the remote control says that doesn't mean he likes Keats, or anything 'from the canon of the European oppressors.' Tyger exasperatingly informs him he is a Knight of Wundagore, not a Seminole Indian. Gator replies "I know, but I was evolved from a Florida alligator. My bond with the Seminoles is too sacred to ignore." Tyger insists there must be something to his liking here but Gator departs, telling him his remote control will suffice for now.
Meanwhile, Luna is now in her playpen and being entertained by Lady Ursula, Lord Churchill and Lady Vermin. Sir Ram compassionately asks Bova how she is faring in her new situation. She admits that it will take some adjusting to as she is used to her quiet cabin, but the Knights seem deeply fond of Luna, and she them. In the corridor on the other side of the wall from them, Lord Tyger is still hoping for some company and asks an approaching Quicksilver if he has read Keats. Pietro says he isn't sure and asks if he wrote 'Don Juan.' Lord Tyger, realizing Pietro could be his last chance replies "Close enough, fancy a drink?" Pietro though declines his offer, pointing out it is long past time he tucked Luna in.
Pietro enters Luna's room and surprisingly finds the Knights standing besides her. He is about to ask if he can be alone with her but a hand on the shoulder and a simple prompt from Sir Ram changes his mind, and instead he kisses Luna on her forehead and wishes her goodnight, telling her not to stay up too much longer. He bids good night to Sir Ram too and tells him he is going to look in on Sir Delphis - if that is all right with him. Sir Ram grins and replies that he is going there too.
Back in Manhattan, one of the two police officers is frantically trying to call for back-up as the rain beats down on him. The operator asks him if he's on his own and mentions Pterodactyls which surprises the officer who suddenly sees more cars flying in their direction. He tells his colleague to take it easy as he appears hurt but his friend has his concentration focused on their attacker and shouts "She's still here, she's still here!" As at least three vehicles come hurtling past the junction, the officer on the phone asks "She?"
Pietro and Sir Ram meanwhile venture into Delphis' laboratory and have a little chat. Pietro tells him there is no need to monitor his every interaction, he's got the point. Sir Ram tells him he is there only due to his concern about the rains. Asked if Sir Ram anticipates the worst, he replies "Always sir," but Quicksilver assures him that whatever it is, they will deal with it. Pietro wonders where Delphis has gone as he'd said he'd be back with his findings but Sir Ram reminds him that he's only been submerged a few seconds. Pietro comments that this is the problem with super-speed; uneventful passages of time go on forever, almost impossible to endure. However, at that moment, Delphis emerges from the water-filled lab holding a disc. Sir Ram is seen to be wearing some comfortable sandals instead of his boots, clearly ready to settle down for the evening.
Moments later, in the castle's conference hall, Delphis divulges the information he has obtained. Standing in front of a window with the impressive twin towers of the World Trade Center behind him, he explains that the global rain may be linked to spatial upheavals, similar to those observed during the Onslaught matter. However, there is a second set of dimensional disturbances which concerns him more. The Knights are attentively seated around a table and Lady Ursula asks "Whaaat? Two at once?" and Delphis replies "I know. As the Americans say, it never rains, it pours." He continues to say that the disturbances are extremely localized, and at near surface level in Manhattan. From the castle, he can't even guess at their nature or possible effects, given their proximity to the island's population. He believes they need investigating, at Sir Pietro's discretion of course. Pietro, taking on board what Delphis has revealed asks him if he wishes to
risk revealing himself and the other Knights, over an abstract physics phenomenon with no known consequences and Delphis nervously replies that he would. Pietro then authoritatively tells them to pack their gear as the fates have blessed them with a crusade. It appears Sir Ram's advice has been well heeded. The Knights are ecstatic with the news and leave to prepare. Sir Ram says "Nicely said sir, and thank you very much."
Soon, over Manhattan the lightning strikes as fiercely as ever. The Knights approach the disturbance's epicenter on their atomic steeds; Lady Ursula and Lord Delphis on one, Lord Anon and Lord Gator on the second and Lord Churchill, Lady Vermin and Lord Tyger on the third, with Bova remaining at the safe house to look after Luna. Sir Ram and Quicksilver also arrive in a
small flying craft. Lord Tyger holds his keen feline nose and asks if the smell is the infamous New York air. Lady Vermin replies "Naah! Smells like wet dog to me." Lord Churchill is mildly offended. Pietro tells them to stop clowning and to stay alert. The rain still falls with force over the city as
Delphis says that if his scanner can pinpoint a disturbance, they will have to act quickly as there is no telling how long it will last. He tells Lady Ursula to head due west, and to hurry. Ursula eagerly follow his directions.
Unfortunately, as soon as she mentions how her atomic steed and she are starved for adventure, she and Delphis have their paths crossed by a large green pterodactyl which screeches as Ursula takes evasive action. The pterodactyl is one of several and as Lord Gator blasts another with his weapon, Lord Anon zealously relishes the attack and Lord Gator asks if he is jolly because of the bloodshed. Lord Anon replies "Never mind." Lord Gator thinks his attitude is disgusting. As the first pterodactyl swoops around and follows Lady Ursula's steed, she leaps towards it, relinquishing the steering duties to Lord Delphis, despite being several stories up. Delphis is taken aback as their atomic steed becomes unsteady but recovers quickly enough in order to catch Lady Ursula who manages to land only one punch on the reptile. Delphis tells her to stay on the steed. She replies "And miss everything?"
Far below them, the female warrior has an engine block in her hands and above her head, preparing to throw it. Quicksilver arrives on the scene with Sir Ram and quickly leaps from the craft and towards the woman who he recognizes as being Thundra, and he wonders what she is doing back on Earth. Quicksilver grabs a broken 'Stop' sign and introduces himself as being an Avenger and mentions that he has read about her in their files. He asks "What has happened to you, and what's the meaning of this berserker rage?" Thundra turns and only sees him at the last second, her eyes wide open but looking scared as he connect with her, mid-warning with the sign. As he strikes, another voice comes from above him; it is the Polemachian Arkon the Imperion, riding a pterodactyl and as Thundra drops to the ground, Arkon cries "Earthman! For your base assault upon my mate, Arkon the Imperion decrees your death!"