Braddock Manor, home to England’s premiere super hero, Captain Britain a.k.a. Brian Braddock, and the site of Brian’s raucous bachelor party. Although the celebration ended nearly three days ago, the fun is just about to begin for one very hung over partygoer - the techno-organic Douglock. ‘What happened?’ Douglock asks as he wakes up, still in the clothes he wore to Brian’s party, and on top of the ruffled bed. ‘Last thing I remember was…was…’ suddenly, Douglock falls off the bed and lands on the floor with a mighty thump. ‘Ohhh…my aching head!’ Douglock exclaims, muttering that everything is a blur, a total blank, he cannot even remember his name - of if he has a name!
Suddenly, ‘Douglock - your presence has been requested. It is time!’ a voice cries. Douglock looks up and sees a strange being hovering before him. ‘Great. Amnesia, and now I’m starting to hallucinate!’ Douglock mutters. The mysterious being remarks that excessive levels of alcoholic consumption may have disrupted Douglock’s optical receptors, before assuring Douglock that he is no hallucination. ‘I am Widget. You will accompany me!’ the peculiar being announces, while Douglock protests, ‘I’m not going anywhere with you!’ he exclaims, only to fade away….
….and appear in an unmeasurable distance through Space-Time, elsewhere, in mid-air, where he falls to the ground, greeted by his Excalibur team-leader Kurt “Nightcrawler” Wagner, who tells Douglock that he is glad he could rejoin them in the land of the living. Kurt thrusts a tuxedo towards Douglock, telling him that it is time to get dressed, as the ceremony is about to being. Kurt then bamfs away in a burst of sulphur, causing Douglock to cough and splutter, while asking what this “ceremony” is.
Douglock nevertheless, proceeds to get changed into the tuxedo, muttering ‘First some weird translucent robot abducts me. Then…a man with blue fur hands me a tuxedo and teleports away as if I’m supposed to have the slightest clue who he is and what in the world I’m doing here! I have no idea where “here” even is!’ Douglock exclaims, before looking in the mirror after dressing himself and muttering that ‘And who the heck is this “Douglock” character anyway?’.
Suddenly, some cries of joy outside the building grab Douglock’s attention, and he glances out the window, where a group of people stand amongst some doves, ‘Joy to the Omniverse on this glorious day!’ one of them shouts. ‘”Omniverse”?’ Douglock wonders, when suddenly, Rahne “Wolfsbane” Sinclair rushes over to Douglock and asks him what he is gawking at, ‘Everyone’s expecting us!’ she exclaims. ‘What are you doing here?’ Douglock asks. Rahne frowns and shifts into her half-girl half-wolf form and replies that she has been asking herself the same thing, and assuring Douglock that she is trying to forget all that has happened between them lately.
Wolfsbane tells Douglock that she is trying to forgive him, and that he could at least pretend to forgive her. ‘I - I could?’ Douglock asks as Rahne picks him up and throws him over her shoulder as she grabs her long pink dress and holds it up so she can run to their destination, while remarking that what she is trying to say is that she is sorry, admitting that she was much harder on him than he deserved when he was only trying to protect her when he took it upon himself to end Lady Moira’s quarantine.
Rahne remarks that, under different circumstances, she probably would have been more appreciative, but that she is so worried about her mother, what with Moira having the Legacy Virus and all. Moira tells Douglock that he will be able to help them with that, as he might have a key to the Legacy Virus somewhere in his memory banks. ‘Right?’ she asks. ‘I suppose…’ Douglock replies. Rushing to an enormous cathedral, Rahne reminds Douglock that he said Stryfe’s android, Zero, uploaded the Legacy Virus data into his memory. ‘Ah, right, I said that, didn’t I. Did I mean it?’ the still groggy Douglock asks.
Rahne asks Douglock if something is wrong, and assures him that she is still his friend and therefore he can tell her anything. Douglock asks Rahne what makes her think something is wrong, when suddenly a citizen of Otherworld cries ‘Joy to you both!’ as they rush past her. ‘Yeah, yeah, yeah. Back at’cha lady’ Douglock replies. Standing at the cathedral doors, Rahne reminds Douglock that she is past wolf, so can smell it on him, and points out that he is not acting like himself today. ‘You have no idea’ Douglock mutters, before explaining that he is a little disorientated.
Wolfsbane informs Douglock that is normal, as Roma says that the transdimensional leap from Earth to Otherworld is often a bit dodgy, but it will pass. Douglock rubs his head and exclaims ‘Good!’ before asking Rahne if she would mind telling him why they are on this “Otherworld” place in the first place. Rahne smiles and after returning to her human form, tells Douglock to quit messing about. ‘Ye know precisely why we’re here!’ she exclaims as she opens the cathedral doors and drags Douglock in, ‘I do?’ the perturbed alien asks as he looks around at the cathedral full of guests.
The guests, who heavily comprise of the Captain Britain Corps all turn and look at Rahne and Douglock, who walk past Gabriel and Michael, while Tweedledope of the Crazy Gang claps his hands and exclaims his trademark ‘Hyuk!’ Waxworks scuttles along the floor while its teammates Ferro2 and Chinadoll in the Technet admire the young members of Excalibur. Douglock whispers to Rahne, ‘I…uhh…that is…ummm…we’re not getting married…are we?’ Rahne grins, ‘US!?’ she asks, before declaring that this wedding is for Brian and Meggan. ‘How could ye forget?’ Rahne remarks. ‘Hah, silly me’ Douglock mutters as they walk down the aisle, followed by young Otherworld children carrying candles and singing as they approach the altar, where the goddess Roma stands alongside the handsome Brian Braddock a.k.a. Captain Britain, finest of the Captain Britain Corps.
Roma holds a staff into the air and welcomes everyone who has gathered from the far corners of the Omniverse to celebrate this auspicious occasion. Roma declares that, as Omniversal Guardian, the ceremony can now commence. ‘Holy spirit, banish night…keep these candles burning bright!’ the young chorus sings while Rahne scatters petals along the aisle. ‘To love’s beacon testify…the fire that burns, yet never die. Guide their light that it might shine…through darkest days and for all time. Amen’ the chorus concludes as they place their candles along the altar, and Douglock and Wolfsbane take their places, while Roma calls out for the rest of the bridal party to come forward.
Next up are Kitty “Shadowcat” Pryde and Piotr “Colossus” Rasputin. Kitty asks her former boyfriend if he can believe that Brian and Meggan are finally tying the knot. Kitty adds that she is so happy for her fellow founding Excalibur teammates, boasting that she always said Brian and Meggan were meant for each other. ‘Like we were, once upon a time?’ Colossus asks. ‘Not funny, Rasputin’ Kitty exclaims.
Seated together are two of Excalibur’s most prominent allies - Dr. Rory Campbell and Alistaire Stuart. Rory turns to Alistaire and motions to Kitty and Colossus, remarking that they are a good couple. Alistaire replies that he will never understand Kitty’s choice in men. ‘What she sees in brutes like Rasputin and Pete Wisdom is beyond me!’, he then adds that Kitty used to have a crush on him.
Kitty smiles and looks up at Colossus, asking him if he is all right, as he looks like he just lost his best friend. Solemnly, Piotr replies that he feels he has already lost two friends. Kitty tells Piotr to cheer up, as he still has her. As Shadowcat and Colossus pass, world-renowned scientist Dr. Moira MacTaggert, with Kitty’s pet dragon, Lockheed sitting beside her, remarks that Kitty and Piotr are sweet, and wonders if they will ever wise up and follow Brian and Meggan’s example some day. Lockheed just coos.
Kitty and Colossus take their places on the altar and Roma declares that each pairing of bridesmaid and groomsman symbolizes a union, a connection, the binding of souls. Roma remarks that the aisle down which they walk represents the journey that is life, and the altar is the end of that journey. ‘But for bride and groom, the altar is merely the beginning. It is here that they are forever joined in holy union…a sacred bond no man may sunder!’ with those words spoken, Captain Britain and Colossus give each other a stern look.
Next to embark on the aisle is Nightcrawler and Elisabeth “Betsy” Braddock a.k.a. Psylocke of the X-Men, sister of Captain Britain and friend to Meggan. Kurt asks Betsy how it is that her beauty surpasses itself each and every time their paths cross. ‘Still the silver-tongued devil eh, herr Wagner?’ the glamorous ninja replies, referring to her current condition, she remarks that it is nice to see someone hasn’t changed.
Sitting nearby, former extra-terrestrial member of Excalibur known only as Cerise exclaims that Nightcrawler is as dashing and debonair as ever. ‘Don’t you think, Kylun?’ she asks, nudging her fellow former Excalibur teammate, who is snoozing. ‘KYLUN?’ the feisty Cerise shouts. Colin “Kylun” McKay, the leonine warrior wakes, and repeats exactly what Cerise had remarked about Nightcrawler. Cerise rolls her eyes while Kylun apologizes and admits that he never did get the hang of his little-used mutant power, when suddenly, the powerful and beautiful Amanda Sefton a.k.a. Daytripper, another former member of Excalibur sitting in the row behind Cerise and Kylun, leans over and tells Cerise to back off, as Kurt is hers. ‘We’ll see about that, witch!’ Cerise snarls back.
Suddenly, an elaborate organ-like instrument begins to play, and everyone’s focus is now on the door, as with a blinding flash of light, the elemental Meggan begins walking down the aisle. Everyone stands as the powerful woman, followed by young attendants, and looking enchanting in her carefully selected gown. Captain Britain smiles as he sees his long-time girlfriend, soon to be his wife, while Meggan looks around at everyone who has come to witness her happy day, while thinking to herself ‘It’s happening! It’s really, truly happening!’ Meggan tells herself that her wedding day is like a dream come true, before recalling how it nearly became a complete nightmare ‘All thanks to me’
(Flashback, takes place between Excalibur (1st series) #124 and #125)
Brian leans against the fireplace in the room where he and the other men had the bachelor party. Balloons and streamers line the floor, while the large cake that an unexpected guest jumped out of lies slumped over. Nervously, Meggan remarks ‘You wanted to talk to me about something, Brian? You haven’t started drinking again, have you?’ Meggan asks, assuring Brian that, if he has, then she is here to help him.
Brian assures Meggan that it is nothing like that and asks her a question: ‘Tell me…you’ve always been honest with me, hmmn?. They still don’t look at each other as Meggan replies that of course she has - always - and asks Brian if he thinks she hasn’t been. Brian replies that he does, and that he does not understand why she never told him about Colossus. ‘Piotr? What about him?’ a concerned Meggan asks, turning to Brian. Brian turns to face Meggan and asks ‘What would drive a fellow as forthright as Colossus to lie and pretend he’s fallen in love with another man’s fiancée’.
‘He did…?’ Meggan asks while Brian points at her and asks if Colossus was protecting her, hiding the fact that it was really her who had developed feelings for him. Meggan hangs her head as she mumbles ‘He…we…I…’ her voice trails off as she drops down onto a sofa. Meggan reminds Brian that he was gone for so long, and it seemed like an eternity - just like when he was lost in the Time Stream. She exclaims that she tried to be strong, tried to bury her emotions, anything to keep her feelings locked away, before admitting that it was so hard, and reminding Brian that they had promised each other they would be together so many times before, and yet were once again apart.
Meggan puts her hands over her face and begins to cry as she explains that she could not handle being alone again, without Brian, without someone. Meggan admits that she should’ve come forward about this sooner, she knows that now, ‘I wanted to tell you the truth, but I was afraid how you’d react’ she exclaims, before declaring that she has ruined everything - ‘The wedding. Us. You must hate me now!’ Brian sits down beside Meggan and lifts her face from her hands, looking into her teary eyes, Brian replies ‘Never. I’m sorry I ever left your side. Forgive me?’ he asks. ‘Oh, Brian…’ Meggan replies as she leans into him and they hold each other close….
…’I really am the luckiest girl in the world!’ Meggan thinks to herself as she passes an alternate Nazi Excalibur known as the Lightning Squad who are standing in front of Bodybag of the Technet. The Nazi Nightcrawler of Earth 597 grins and compliments Meggan. Hauptmann Englande looks on while Meggan’s Nazi analogue asks ‘What’s she got that I haven’t?’. The 597 Shadowcat exclaims that Meggan’s beauty radiates from within. ‘Monsters like you could never understand’.
‘Vootie!’ cries Joyboy of the Technet as he sits beside his former companion the Red Queen of the Crazy Gang, who is being all melodramatic, while the idiotic Tweedledope repeatedly claps his hands yelling ‘Hyuk! Hyuk! Hyuk!’. Captain Britain and Excalibur’s long time ally Detective Dai Thomas turns to former Excalibur member Scott Wright, better known as Micromax and remarks that Meggan has come a long way in her time, starting out as the “ugly duckling”. Dai adds that Brian is a lucky chap to have won Meggan’s heart.
Roma raises her voice to get everyone’s attention, announcing that they are gathered here today to celebrate the blessed union of two kindred spirits into one. ‘Let us pray their love will never bow…never falter…be broken - and that it may be forever fortified by this most sacred trust’. Meggan and Brian, who looks as dashing as always, dressed in a formal outfit fitting someone of his prowess, kneel before Roma, who remarks that to achieve one-ness, they must solemnly state the true nature of their hearts. ‘Will you swear it?’ she asks them. ‘This we swear’ Brian and Meggan reply in unison.
Roma proceeds to ask Brian Braddock of Earth 616 if he takes Meggan to be his lawful wedded wife, to have and to hold, to love and to cherish, in sickness and in health, for as long as his soul shall live. Warren Worthington a.k.a. Archangel of the X-Men looks on at his girlfriend Psylocke, while Brian declares ‘I do’. Roma turns to Meggan, and asks if she takes Brian Braddock to be her lawful wedded husband, to have and to hold, to love and to cherish, in sickness and in health, as long as her soul shall live. ‘Och, !’ exclaims Moira as she wipes her eyes, watching her friends. ‘With all that I am…I do!’ Meggan declares.
Roma turns her attention to the vast amount of guests. From Crusader X to Ringtoss. From Gatecrasher to Kylun. From Arcade to Opal Luna Saturnyne. From Miss Locke to Nigel Orpington-Smythe and asks if there is anyone present amongst this assemblage who deems it unfit that Brian Braddock and Meggan be joined in holy matrimony. ‘May you speak now or forever hold your peace!’ No one objects, despite plenty of the guests being former antagonists of Captain Britain and Excalibur.
‘Good’ Roma exclaims, before turning to Nightcrawler, Brian’s best man, and asking for the ring. Kurt reaches into his pocket, ‘Uh-oh!’ he exclaims, ‘Be right back!’ and with a burst of sulfur, Kurt vanishes, only to return a moment later, and handing Brian the ring, whispers that the “best man jitters” got the better of him, adding that he hasn’t been this nervous since Wolverine’s wedding. Roma smiles and tells Brian to repeat after her ‘”With this ring, I thee wed”’. Brian smiles as he repeats the words and slides the glamorous - and expensive - ring onto Meggan’s finger.
‘By the power vested in me as Omniversal Guardian, I do hereby proclaim you…husband and wife! You may now kiss the bride!’ Roma exclaims. ‘I love you, Meggan. So very much!’ Brian exclaims. ‘And I love you, Brian Braddock…eternally!’ Meggan replies before they kiss passionately, surrounded by sparkling magicks, while everyone claps.
Soon after, in the banquet hall, Kurt goes up to Kitty and asks her if she is ready for the tossing of the bouquet, motioning to a mezzanine where Meggan, Brian and Roma are standing. Kurt adds that, tradition has it that the lucky girl who catches the bouquet is the next to marry. ’Isn’t that sweet!?’ he asks. ’Ridiculous is more like it’ Shadowcat replies, asking Kurt if he has seen how catty women get when it comes to the stupid bunch of flowers. ’They’re vicious!’ she exclaims. Kurt tells Kitty to lighten up a little, before nudging her in the direction of a large grouping of other women. ‘Hey!’ Kitty exclaims, before being bumped into by Cerise. ‘Owww!’ Kitty snarls, before Saturnyne elbows her. ‘Ouch! Watch it!’ Kitty exclaims, before turning back to Kurt - ‘You are so dead, Elf!’ she calls back.
Some of the women begin chanting ‘Throw it! Throw it!’ to Meggan who is up on the balcony. Meggan turns around and tells the women to look lively, as here it comes! She then tosses the bouquet of roses over her shoulder - and into the frenzy below! The bulky Gatecrasher pushes Miss Locke to the ground and reaches past Chinadoll as she announces ‘I have the weeds! The next husband will be mine!’. ‘Woe be to him…’ whispers Yap who clings to the large woman’s shoulder. ‘I heard that, Yap!’ Gatecrasher snaps back. ‘Apologies, mother!’ Yap whispers, only for Gatecrasher to snap ‘How many times must I tell you…? I am not your mother!’.
Psylocke lunges forward, telling Gatecrasher that she has claimed her bounty too soon, and declares that she will be keeping the wedding tradition in the Braddock family! Betsy kicks Gatecrasher over, causing the large woman to tumble to the ground. ‘Look out beloooow!’ cries Yap as they fall, while Daytripper asks Betsy how long she and Archangel have been together now - ‘And he still hasn’t proposed?’ Amanda then joins the lunge for the bouquet, ‘Give it up, girlfriend!’ she tells Psylocke.
However, the two sultry women collide, causing the bouquet to slip even further away, while Cerise, who tries to reach over the fallen Gatecrasher’s body, declares ‘You are no one to criticize, Amanda Sefton! The floral arrangements will be mine - and so will Nightcrawler!’ Amanda regains her footing and replies ‘In your dreams, birdbrain!’. As the bouquet soars over him, Yap whispers to Gatecrasher ‘Mother, I fear this bodes ill!’ Gatecrasher just tells Yap to get off of her and grab the bouquet before she has his head. ‘Ulp! Yes, mother!’ Yap replies.
Scatterbrain watches as her leader Gatecrasher rises, and being such a large woman, easily knocks Dr. MacTaggert and Cerise over, while Yap congratulates his “mother” on such a well-struck blow. ‘You certainly knocked that Shi’ar floozy for a loop!’. Gatecrasher ignores the compliments and shouts ’The weeds, yap! The weeds! And for pity’s sake - stop calling me “Mother”!’. ’As you wish, Mother’ Yap replies, scuttling up her back.
In all the confusion, Wolfsbane suddenly, leaps over everyone, warning Yap that he is in for it now, as she catches the bouquet. ’Wolfsbane!’ Cerise exclaims, while Gatecrasher laments ’So close, I was so close…’. But out of nowhere, the Red Queen cries ’Orf wiv ’er - ’ead?’ as she smacks her wand against Rahne’s head, causing the bouquet to slip from Rahne’s hand, soar past the short Red Queen - and right into the arms of Shadowcat. ‘Figures’ Kitty mutters as the other women scowl at her.
Meggan announces that it is now time for the ceremonial “removal of the garter”, and lifts her dress up to her thighs while Brian begins to remove the garter, ‘Allow me to do the honors, Mrs Braddock!’ he remarks. ‘”Mrs Braddock!” I do so love how that sounds!’ Meggan exclaims, while a group of men gather below the balcony - Kurt, Colossus, Douglock, Archangel, Mimic, Alistaire Stuart, Rory Campbell, Jester and Knave of the Crazy Gang, Ferro-2 and his teammate Thug included.
Nightcrawler tells Colossus that they do not want to get muscled out, to which Piotr replies that this seems equally as silly as the bouquet toss. ‘Have it your way. One less bachelor to contend with only increases my chances at marital bliss!’ Kurt exclaims, to which Colossus asks him if he is ready for such a commitment. ‘Not really…but shhh! Don’t tell Amanda!’ Kurt whispers.
‘Heads up, lads - hot stuff coming down!’ Captain Britain calls out as he tosses the garter below, and instantly Archangel takes flight, ‘I’ve got it! Better luck next time, boys!’ he shouts, only for the garter to slip from his reach as Nightcrawler bamfs up behind him and covers Warren’s eyes. ‘You were saying?’ he asks, to which a blinded Warren exclaims ‘No fair!’ Nightcrawler replies that all is fair in love and lingerie.
The garter lands on the ground, and the Jester punches Knave, ‘Back off you tin-plated nitwit!’ he warns him, to which they begin fighting, while Thug lumbers forward and boasts ‘That lovely lace’s all mine!’ Rory Campbell has other ideas though, and suggests Thug watch his step. ‘Wouldn’t want you to get all tripped up now, would we?’ Rory asks as he sticks his cane out, tripping the squat Technet member up, ‘Foul!’ Thug cries as he rolls into Alistaire Stuart and the Mimic, knocking them over also.
While the quest to catch the garter continues, ‘I’ve got it!’ ‘No! I’ve got it!’, Lockheed watches from his spot on the floor, ‘Hmmm’ the cunning dragon thinks to himself, when suddenly, Knave tells everyone to cease their struggles, as he, leader of the Crazy Gang, holds the garter high in the air. ‘You’re not the leader, I am!’ Jester shouts, while the Knave begins to say something else, Nightcrawler suddenly teleports behind him and snatches the garter. ‘Ahhh, sulfur and brimstone. The sweet smell of - victory?’ Kurt remarks as he holds the garter up in front oh him - only for Lockheed to fly down and grab it, before carrying it over to Colossus and dropping it in his hand.
‘Now what am I to do with it?’ Colossus asks. Moira and former Excalibur member Feron walk up behind him and Moira smiles as she tells Piotr that he has to put it on the leg of the “lass” who caught the bouquet. ‘And we all know who that was!’ Moira adds. Everyone turns to Kitty, arms folded, who mutters ‘Oh, like none of you saw this coming?’. Colossus obliges and goes over to Kitty who sits down and mumbles that this is a really stupid tradition. ‘Really stupid’ Colossus agrees as he slides the garter onto Kitty’s leg, while Kitty exclaims that it is not like they absolutely have to get married because of this.’ Right’ Colossus agrees.
Kitty adds that this is not some emblem of their destiny to be together forever, as they can decide for themselves whether they want to get back together again, or stay single. ‘Absolutely. We can either stay single - or get back together.’ Colossus remarks as he looks into Kitty’s eyes and brings his face closer to hers. ‘Don’t you even go there!’ Shadowcat snaps as she turns away. ‘Phew!’ exclaims Colossus, when suddenly the awkward moment is broken when an attendant announces that dinner is served.
Soon, a sumptuous cuisine imported from the farthest reaches of the known galaxies fills the guests’ stomachs, while a selection of the finest wines and spirit’s Otherworld’s cellars and vineyards have to offer loosens their tongues - and for one particular guest - Nightcrawler - his heart. Arcade examines the cake, while Captain Britain and Meggan clink their glasses together at their table, seated at the front of the large ballroom. The current members of Excalibur as well as Daytripper and Moira take up a table just off to the left, while the other former members of Excalibur sit with the Technet, and Kurt begins his speech:
Grabbing the attention of the room, Kurt apologizes for disturbing their meal, but wants everyone to indulge his toast to the wonderful bride and groom. Kurt exclaims that he does not know who is luckier here today - Brian and Meggan, or everyone gathered to celebrate their blessed - albeit protracted - union. Kurt declares that he cannot imagine what his life would have been like without either of them, and frankly, he would rather not. ‘Standing beside them as Excalibur, they have become more than just my friends, they are my family. And I love them dearly! So here’s to you both, may peace, love and happiness keep you together…forever!’ Kurt exclaims raising his glass. ‘Hear! Hear!’ everyone else cries, before Kurt motions to intergalactic superstar Lila Cheney and asks her to take it away.
Lila thanks Kurt and tells him that the next “jaegmeister shot” is on her, before asking the bride and groom to kindly take the floor for their first dance as husband and wife, introducing the song she is about to sing as something called “My one and only”. Captain Britain and Meggan comply, while their guests look on.
Rahne watches her teammates intensely and remarks that she wishes someone would sweep her off her feet like that. ‘If you insist’ replies Douglock as he picks Rahne up and puts her over his shoulder like she did to him earlier today and carries her onto the dance floor, where Nightcrawler and Daytripper have joined the newlyweds, as have Psylocke and Archangel. Rahne asks Douglock what he thinks he is doing and to put her down, so he does and remarks ‘But you just said -’ Rahne interrupts, ‘I know what I said, but that’s not what I meant!’ the former New Mutant exclaims, before deciding that they are getting Douglock some help, she drags him away, past the Red Queen who holds Joyboy, ‘Vootie!’ while Douglock asks ‘Where? From who?’ Wolfsbane declares that if there is anyone who can sort him out, it is her mother.
Moira is sitting alongside her former colleague, Dr. Rory Campbell, who asks her if she has bowed out of the game. ‘Waiting for the next round is more like it’ Moira replies, before asking Rory how his own Legacy Virus research is going and if he is keeping Sebastian Shaw and the Hellfire Club happy. Rory nurses his drink and replies ‘Nothing I can speak of, I’m afraid’. Moira smirks, ‘Can’t? Or won’t?’ she asks, before telling Rory that he has always been a competitive one, keeping his research as close to the vest as she does. ‘Hic!’ exclaims Tweedledope as he comes up alongside Moira.
Rory sips his drink while Moira tells him not to deny that his nose twitches at the scent of a Nobel Prize, to which Rory asks Moira if she is enquiring as a concerned victim of the virus, or because she is afraid he might find a cure before she does. Moira turns and checks the time on her watch while Rory gets up and leaves. Rahne suddenly calls out to her mother, who replies that she is fine, and asks Rahne what the matter is. Rahne tells Moira that she thinks she should run a diagnostic on Douglock, as he has been acting strange all day. ‘How so?’ Moira asks, just before Douglock falls over onto the table with a thud. ‘See?’ Rahne exclaims.
While the band plays on, more guests begin dancing. Kitty and Alistaire pair up while Knave and Chinadoll dance together also. Kurt tells Amanda that it is nice to see she could take some time off from her duties as Limbo’s guardian and squeeze him into her busy schedule. ‘That’s not all I’d like to take off for you…’ Daytripper whispers. ‘Amanda!’ Kurt exclaims. Amanda tells Kurt that she thought he liked bad girls, when suddenly, ‘What he likes, hussy - is me!’ shouts Cerise as she grabs Amanda’s cape and pulls her away. ‘Uh-oh’ Kurt thinks to himself.
‘Hello, my love. Mind if I slice in?’ Cerise asks as she wraps her arms around Kurt. ‘Uhh…you mean “cut” in. Cerise’. Kurt replies nervously. ‘Yes, whatever you terrans say’ Cerise mutters, before asking Kurt if he has missed those stimulating lip massages they once enjoyed. ‘Have you not missed me?’ she asks. ‘I…um…er…of course I did’ Kurt replies. Suddenly, Cerise slaps Kurt had across the face, and angrily asks him why it is that he never came for her. Cerise then reveals that if not for the grace of the Empress Lilandra, she would have been left to rot in some Alsibarian prison camp with the rest of the interstellar refuge. ‘But you wouldn’t have known because you never bothered to inquire about my fate, did you!’ Cerise then storms away, ‘Some “lover” you are!’ she snaps. Daytripper returns to Kurt, ‘”Lip massages”?’ she asks. ‘Heh’ Kurt replies smiling, while thinking to himself ‘Women!’.
Nearby, Alistaire Stuart asks Kitty where the two of them went wrong. ‘You know there was never any “we”, Alistaire’ Kitty replies, reminding him that she had eyes for him once upon a time, but that he could not take his off Rachel. Alistaire smiles, ‘Touché’ he replies, remarking that Rachel “Phoenix” Summers was quite ravishing in her patent red leather and those spikes…. Kitty remarks that Rachel has been lost in the Time Stream for so many moths now, but that she feels like a part of Rachel is still here. ‘With me. With Excalibur. Watching over us. Protecting us. God I miss her…’.
Alistaire remarks ‘Speaking of missing persons’ and asks Kitty where her “better” half is - ‘Smarmy ol’ Peter Wisdom?’ Kitty replies ‘I wish I knew, Alistaire…I wish I knew…’ as she holds onto her friend, unaware that back on Earth, while an old hobo sits outside a large mansion with a bottle of alcohol in his hand, another man sits inside the mansion, a bottle of alcohol at his side, and a cigarette in his hand, he holds up the wedding invitation for Brian and Meggan’s wedding. It reads:
You are cordially invited to celebrate the union of Brian Braddock, Captain Britain of Earth-616 and his beloved Meggan on Otherworld, on the 19th of August 1998.
Wisdom raises a shot glass to his former teammates, ‘Cheers’ he remarks, before downing his drink.
Back on the dance floor, Moira and Wolfsbane drag a comatose Douglock along the floor, past Captain UK, and Colossus, who asks Moira if there is a problem with Douglock. Moira replies that there are several, and that she must get him to the hospital immediately. Rahne tells Colossus that whatever the boys did to Douglock at the bachelor party has buggered all of his internal systems, and he now has amnesia. Colossus replies that he didn’t know such a thing was possible for a techno-organic being, to which a disorientated Douglock exclaims that anything is possible for him. Colossus picks up Douglock and throws him over his shoulder, reminding him that he already warned him not to overdo alcohol, as it is dangerous. ‘And you are…?’ asks Douglock.
Nearby, Captain Britain and Meggan are having their photo taken by the spiky-haired Bert, while the pompous Horatio Cringebottom exclaims ‘To think someone of my credentials would be reduced to the lowly role of wedding shutterbug! I, Horatio Cringebottom, was once an emissary for the Ministry for Crosstime Transportation and Regulation Monitor and Control, Sanction Implementation Department! Hmp!’ Bert tells Horatio to chill and go with the flow, before telling the newlyweds to smile pretty and say…’Cross Time Caper!’ but at the moment the camera flashes, Tweedledope jumps in the way, interrupting the wedding photo.
Blinded by the flash from the camera, the dim Tweedledope stumbles backwards into a waiter, ‘Hey, watch it you dumb ape!’ the waiter exclaims as he stumbles into another waiter, who sends wine glasses crashing all over Hauptmann Englande - who is a man it is best not to get angry. ‘Why, you stupid, hairy -!’ Hauptmann Englande shouts as he begins chasing Tweedledope around.
Suddenly, Bert’s communicator goes off, and he announces that he has received some interdimensional transmissions. Before three holographic images appear of Captain Britain’s friends, Bert remarks that they claim to know Cap from “way back when”. First up is Captain America, who salutes Captain Britain, congratulating him and remarking that Brian has proven himself a fine hero, so now it is time to prove himself an equally understanding husband. ‘Good luck to you and your lovely wife’ Captain America adds, while the handsome Dane Whitman a.k.a. the Black Knight wishes his friends all the best. ‘I hope you find your Camelot together’ he remarks. Spider-Man appears next, blowing his nose, he tells Brian and Meggan that he is psyched for them both. ‘PS: Don’t think I’ve forgotten that month’s rent you owe me from college, pal!’ he adds.
Nearby, ‘Mmmm…BIG cake!’ Kylun remarks while he eats some other sweet. Suddenly, a voice remarks ‘Contrary to popular opinion these days…size does not matter. Believe me, Kylun, I should know!’ remarks Micromax, who shifts from a micro size into his average human height. Kylun greets his former teammate, ‘Many moon cycles no see’ Kylun remarks. Scott agrees, and asks Kylun if life is treating him well. ‘Not as well as it could’ Kylun replies, admitting that this day has stirred long-dormant thoughts of his late, beloved love, Sat’neen.
Colin asks Scott if he remembers his search for his missing parents, and reveals that it was far less than the grand quest he expected, for it turned out that his parents went to visit their cousins in Australia, but that the chairwoman had accidentally tossed out the note. ‘Now it’s back to living home with three square meals and “do the wash, Kylun, tidy up your room, Kylun” blah blah blah‘. Kylun adds that the last time he heard the glorious call of battle was on the telly, before remarking that he has spoken enough, and that it is unbecoming for a warrior to lament his woes. He then asks Micromax where destiny’s guiding hand had led him in these past months.
Scott replies that he was in the States, until about a month ago, he was working as chief of security for the Brand Corporation. ‘In that abominable hellhole called “New Joisey”’. Scott adds that is until the bigwigs at Brand realized they no longer required his unique services, and as a token of their appreciation gave him a “lead parachute” severance package, and since then he has been wallowing in self-pity and catching up on his soap operas among the ranks of the unemployed. Kylun suggests a toast, and the two former members of Excalibur “clink” their cakes together, ‘To the life of the super-powered toiling in obscurity!’ Micromax exclaims.
While Numbers of the Technet stands nearby, Meggan approaches her friends and asks if either of them has seen Brian. Scott replies that the last he saw, Brian was headed to the gardens with some leggy blonde in white. Scott admits that having drunk quite a lot this evening, he assumed the leggy blonde was Meggan. Kylun agrees, before remarking ‘A vision resembling my lost Sat’neen was she’. Suddenly, Meggan’s eyes flash green. ‘A “leggy blonde in white”…resembling Sat’neen?’ she exclaims with shock. ‘Oh, no…not Saturnyne!’
Indeed, Captain Britain is out in the gardens, sitting a few feet away from the sultry, tempestuous, diabolical Saturnyne. ‘So. This is it’ Saturnyne remarks. ‘So it appears’ Brian replies. Saturnyne dips her hand in a pool of water, remarking that she never thought it would end like this. ‘Despite our roundabout relationship all these years - I always presumed I’d be the one in the wedding gown next to you on the altar’. The glamorous Saturnyne gets up and walks over to Brian, who tells her that things don’t always pan out the way they plan. ‘True’. Saturnyne agrees, before pointing out that the Omniverse is a funny place.
‘Anything can happen’ Saturnyne whispers as she places a hand on Brian’s neck. ‘I think not, Saturnyne’ Brian replies sternly as he grabs her wrist and pulls her away. Rejected, Saturnyne shoots Brian a look that could kill. ‘Very well, then…”Captain”. It’s your loss!’ Saturnyne exclaims before rushing out of the garden, past Meggan who comes in, ‘Enjoy your husband, cow. I certainly never did!’ Saturnyne shrieks. A bemused Meggan goes over to Brian and sits on his knee. ‘Don’t tell me she’s still vying for your affection?’ Meggan asks. ‘Some people just never learn’ Brian replies, before they kiss.
‘Hey! Save that for the honeymoon, you two!’ shouts Archangel as he and Psylocke arrive in the gardens. Betsy jokingly tells her brother that she new knew he had it in him, ‘Since when are you so passionate?!’ she asks, before they hug. ‘Since I’m the happiest man alive!’ Brian replies, telling Betsy that he is so glad she could make it, as he has missed her. ‘I wouldn’t have missed it for the world Brian. Telepathic meltdown or no!’ Betsy assures her twin. Solemnly, Brian remarks that it is a shame the whole family couldn’t be here to enjoy it, thinking of their older brother, Jamie.
While Betsy and Archangel join Meggan on a bench, Nightcrawler, Colossus and Shadowcat arrive in the garden. Kurt remarks that he is sorry to intrude upon their family reunion, but that he, Kitty and Piotr have something of an announcement to make. Brian asks Kurt if something is wrong, to which Kurt replies ‘Not so much wrong, as in need of reconciliation’. Kurt declares that he sincerely hates to be the bearer of bad tidings on their wedding day, before revealing that by the time Brian and Meggan return from their honeymoon, he, Kitty and Piotr will already be gone. ‘”Gone”? Where too?’ Meggan asks.
‘Home’ Kurt replies, to which Colossus quickly adds ‘Well…to our other home. In America’. ‘With the X-Men’ adds Kitty. ‘”America”…?’ Brian exclaims. ‘”The X-Men”…?’ Meggan asks. ‘Wow!’ mutters Archangel, taken aback, before telling Kurt that it isn’t as if the three of them wouldn’t be welcome or anything, but wants to know if there is a particular reason for this. ‘To knot some loose ends, Warren’ Kurt replies, before remarking that this is possibly the hardest decision they have ever faced, and only time will tell if it was the right one.
Kurt goes over to Brian, both men having led Excalibur during its rich history, and Kurt informs Brian, who was absent at the time, that their recent search for Professor Xavier proved less fruitful than he had anticipated, but that he hasn’t given up hope yet. ‘We haven’t’. Kurt remarks that returning to the States, to their other family, to their roots, seems like the best way to keep that hope alive right now. ‘But what’s to become of Excalibur?’ Brian asks. ‘Whatever you make of it, Brian. Empowered or powerless, you’re still Captain Britain! We both know you were born to lead Excalibur. I merely held your place until you were ready’ Kurt replies.
Meggan hugs her fellow founding Excalibur members Kitty and Kurt, ‘Oh, we’re going to miss you all so much - aren’t we, Brian!?’ she exclaims, while Colossus looks on. ‘Brian?’ asks Meggan as Captain Britain strides over to Colossus. ‘Quite’ Brian remarks, agreeing with his wife’s comment as he extends a hand to Piotr, who shakes Brian’s hand, replying that the feeling is mutual. While the five core members of Europe’s former premiere super hero team hug, Betsy and Warren watch on, and Psylocke asks Warren if he thinks the new X-Men are ready for these guys. Warren replies that he thinks the real question is - ‘Are these guys ready for the new X-Men?’.
Kurt motions back towards the party, ‘Much revelry awaits!’ he exclaims, adding that the night is young and there is still plenty of wine left as he does some acrobatics towards while making his way back inside. Colossus picks up Kitty, who tells Kurt that they are right behind him, and exclaims that they will show these Otherworlders how to really “raise the roof”!. Meggan picks up Captain Britain, using her super strength, while Betsy and Warren follow.
All of the heroes were unaware though as they leave the gardens, that they were being watched by an elderly man, who is suddenly approached by Roma, exclaiming ‘And so it all comes full circle, doesn’t it…father?’ The old man is taken aback, and replies ‘Forgive me, Guardian - but I do believe you are mistaken’. Roma stands by her comment and replies ‘If I only I were so blind as to not sense your presence here on Otherworld’, before telling her father that he is like a force of nature. ‘One could more easily ignore the whipping wind…Merlyn!’
‘You always were such a perceptive child, Roma. I’m amazed I could deceive you this long!’ Merlyn replies as he shifts into his true form, before asking his daughter why she has picked this moment for Excalibur’s dissolution, as the threat of evil still lingers. Roma replies that she has done nothing, and tells her father that she assumed it was his doing. ‘Not this time, I confess’ Merlyn replies. Roma asks her father if neither of them had a hand in shaping this portentous event, then who could have?
‘Peculiar as it may be, I believe they did it themselves’ Merlyn replies as the two powerful beings watch the sun set. Merlyn reminds his daughter that the two of them possess the power to steer these gallant heroes in a direction, but that only Excalibur themselves can determine the proper course to follow, and in order to serve a “higher” purpose, to the fullest of their abilities, they must first fulfil their own. ‘I suppose this is why humans prize that dodgy “freewill” notion so highly’ Merlyn mutters.
Roma exclaims that this is a terrible tragedy and that they should intervene. ‘Nay’ replies Merlyn. ‘Though the sword we two so craftily forged hath been sheathed for now, it may yet be drawn anew when the time is right…someday’. And as the sun sets upon Otherworld, so does the legendary Excalibur….