Captain Britain #1:

Albion

By Anthony Crute

Braddock Laboratories…

Braddock Laboratories (and its sister companies and subsidiaries) was a spacious building spread over several acres, it had been started by James Braddock and the passed onto his children, Jamie, Betsy and Brian. Now only Brian Braddock remained and had anything to do with the company.

Brian strolled across the room, he had pretty much handed the control of his company to the board members he trusted. He’d taken up a job in the research and development department, he did not like business but he loved science.

He reached out and with his index finger tapped a gauge before writing down some numbers on his clipboard, he did this several times on different gauges. This was one of the devices he had constructed he was most proud of, this machine was derived from magic, magic through science it was just sheer wonder to think about.

He looked proudly at his inter-dimensional gate or jump gate as he called it. He’d had the idea one morning when he and Meggan had talked about what to do with the husk of the old Excalibur lighthouse. The idea seemed so obvious once he’d thought of it, he returned one day and spent twelve or thirteen hours scanning things with his equipment. It was shortly after that he realised by changing the vibration frequency the gate gave out he would not only be able to travel to Otherworld but any world.

“Brian!” yelled Chow excitedly as he hurried up to Brian Braddock. “Brian, the force generator is working perfectly,” he grinned from ear to ear.

“Excellent,” grinned Brian back as he hurried off after him towards the part of the lab which held his second favourite machine. “Is the shape and stability holding?” asked Brian as they had had some difficulties with this before where they thought they had done it but their hopes were dashed at the last moment.

“Everything is fine…see for yourself,” grinned Chow as they turned a corner and Chow swung open some double doors. Inside one man sat on a chair which seemed to hover in midair while another seemed to be beating the air below him with an iron rod. The machine in the centre was generating a sustainable force field which modulated over several frequencies so most forms of physical force and energy can be dispersed across the field.

“Excellent lets…,” beep, beep, beep. “…oh I have to go,” grinned Brian as he shut off the alarm on his watch.

“Anything important?” asked Chow he glanced to Brian and then back to the field.

“Having a special meal with my wife,” grinned Brian. “Is there anything more important,” Brian Laughed a little. He would never tell anyone he worked with but today was their first anniversary, this was their anniversary of when they hung up the capes and set about their ordinary lives. “Keep running tests,” he ordered as he turned to leave scientific tests he stopped to grin “Don’t just keep attacking it with a bloody iron bar….okay not much longer, I can imagine it’s fun.”

Braddock Manor…

Meggan walked through her garden, her fingers trailed the leaves on the bushes and she smiled peacefully, she could feel the life of the earth pulsing through them. Meggan stopped and rose into the air before lowering herself down slowly so she was sitting in the lotus position on the ground.

Meggan’s garden stretched for about half a mile in all directions from Braddock Manor, there were flowers of every kind imaginable even those which should not grow in England. The entire garden had been shaped by the powers of Meggan in one way or another even if it was just moving the water to the flowers in the right amount or shifting a small pool of magma till it was the perfect distance under the garden to give the flowers the exact amount of heat they need to grow.

Meggan sat and closed her eyes, she wasn’t meditating in any sense a yoga instructor or a martial artist would understand she was literally connecting with the whole world feeling everything as if she herself was part of it, the crust, the core, the mesosphere moving as one. She couldn’t really pinpoint anything or control things out of a certain distance but she could still feel the energy they all used as it moved and swirled around her.

Meggan’s head twisted slightly as if she was trying to hear something, the truth was she was as well as see something but in a way that most humans can’t even begin to imagine, Meggan was seeing and hearing energy. Meggan’s eyes suddenly snapped open as a tear began to roll down her cheek, she had felt it she knew she had felt it and she could still feel it, it was real, it was coming. The tears rolled more freely now as she exploded from her lotus position and flew into the air.

Brian’s Jeep…

Brian glanced behind him as he overtook a Micra, he wasn’t usually such an aggressive driver but he was in a hurry to get home just to be with Meggan. He was only meant to visit the lab for an hour but he being him had gotten ravelled in the joys of science (he often thought how pathetic his life was when he said things like that).

He shifted his attention as something moved in his backseat, he glanced behind him as this mornings copy of ‘The Sun’ slid across the seat, it was talking about the ceremony which was being held for the members of the UKnights for their miraculous saving of Tony Blair from assassination. Brian clicked the radio on, he had completely forgot the ceremony was going to be broadcast and he wanted to catch it.

As he tuned the radio he thought about the whole hero business, he didn’t think about it much he knew that time was behind him he was a scientist again like he had always wanted to be but he alone knew how hard it was. He knew how it felt to lose his powers and know that if he still had them he could have helped this person he read about in the newspaper or he could have saved this family he saw on the news and finally he could be there to help protect Dane Whitman and Micromax as well as their whole team. He smiled as he thought of his last comment, he knew fine well that they could take care of themselves…and the rest of the country judging by the news he read everyday. The only thing which still stung him was he never got to officially retire, he never got to explain about his powers vanishing so for all intents and purposes everyone in the country thought Captain Britain a coward, they thought he had just up and left leaving all the work up to the UKnights.

The radio crackled into life on the station that the ceremony was being broadcast but suddenly their was an explosion “He came out of no where…Crackle…The prime minister and members of the cabinet seem to be safe but there are people out here and the UKnights are unable to fight back as they clear the area.