Meggan sat in complete disbelief as she watched the TV screen before her, the camera had begun to zoom in on the broken body of her husband before an audible command to stay zoomed out by the anchor. He knew children would be watching this as they had cut into a children’s show with the broadcast.
“He’s dead” said the reporter over and over again as he stared at the fallen body of Captain Britain whose skull had been completely crushed leaving blood streaming across the street. “Oh god” he gasped as his words began to sink in to him “Captain Britain is dead, that man…Albion I think I heard, Albion killed Captain Britain.”
Meggan felt a rumbling in her throat, it was deep but rose in tone quickly as it moved up until she screamed “Nooooo!” the tears exploded from her face and rolled down her cheeks as she suddenly went from scared to destroyed. She fought for her breath as she crumpled forward onto her hands and knees.
“He killed Captain Britain and then he just left” said the reporter, he was distraught as tears welled in his eyes. He had never realised, as had many others at home how much Captain Britain had meant to them. The millions sitting at home watching one broadcast or another over the channels suddenly felt it, they had lost their truest hero.
“The UKnights seem to be moving slowly as paramedics try to tend to them.” Said the reporter. “Oh…were picking up a feed from another network, they’ve managed to capture the last few moments of the fight. My producer is informing me that this footage is not for the faint of heart so people with young children may want to take them from the room now”.
The screen cut to Captain Britain and Albion in the last moments of the fight. The shot was much tighter then the one that this channel had shown and you could hear each grunt and collision.
…Albion flew down next to Brian and stared down with pity at the broken and dying body. He crouched down and fixed his grip carefully around the skull of Captain Britain.
“Pluh…please” gasped Brian as he fought for breath and his brain began to fail “Pleash….don’t kill me” he begged. “I’m going to be a daddy.”
Albion stopped as he released his grip on the head of Captain Britain and stood to his feet. “This changes everything” said Albion as he stared down at the bloody and broken man who would die on his own without any help “Brian…you’ve just killed Meggan” Albion brought his full force down on the skull of Brian Braddock…
The screen cut back to the reporter before going blank as she clicked the remote and kneeled on the floor, the tears from her eyes stopped as her brow creased into an angry V, her skin began to change tint to a reddish colour as did her eyes. Meggan had never felt such anger, her muscles began to grow as her powers tied with her empathy began to shift her physical form inline with her emotions making her stronger.
“He’s coming.” thought Meggan to herself “He killed Brian and is coming for you, you and you’re your baby…destroy him!”
“Brian Braddock it is your time.” The voice of Roma rang throughout otherworld as she welcomed a fallen hero. Hordes of Corps members had amassed for the funeral of Brian.
Brian’s eyes snapped open “I remember being dead” he spat as he sat up and inhaled deeply. His chest stuck out as he rested his weight on his hands before collapsing backwards.
“Brain Lad!” boomed the voice of the bearded Captain England. “Get up, you’re making a show of yourself” he laughed as his hand wrapped Brian’s pulling him to his feet.
Brian watched the group that stood before him, hundreds of Captains and possibly even more of the citizens of Otherworld. They all stood in a white chamber with expansive windows showing the sunny green forests of Otherworld beyond the building.
Brian continued to breathe heavily as he realised he was in Otherworld. Otherworld was a dimension adjacent to our own, the dimension was the home of Merlyn and his daughter Roma from which they controlled the inter-dimensional police force known as The Captain Britain corps.
“What’s going on?” asked Brian as he turned his attention to Roma.
“You died,” she said simply. “Since you were a member of the corps you will spend eternity here in paradise.”
“You look a bit confused boy” said Captain Empire. He moved his monocle to his hand to wipe before resting it back in his eye socket and blinking. “It’s those namby pamby worlds where they dissolved the empire I tell you.” He shook his head and glanced at some of the other members of the corps “Tiny set back and they don’t know what’s going on. That’s not the British spirit!”
“It’s all very simple Brian,” said Roma. “You died and now you will become as citizen of Otherworld while another from your earth takes up your role”.
“Albion!” screamed Brian. His confusion faded as he suddenly remembered what led up to his death “Albion killed me!”
“Yes” laughed Hauptmann Englande at his fallen comrade. “I alvays knew you vere veak.”
“No!” screamed Brian. “Meggan is pregnant…He’s going to kill her!”
“That is no longer your worry Brian” said Roma as she shook her head. “Your time is over, when the correct time comes a new Captain Britain will be chosen…until then Meggan is alone.”
Red skinned Meggan stood staring from the window, her eyes had morphed into those of eagles as she searched the horizon with her eyes for any sign of Albion. Her higher brain functions had ceased as her lizard brain present in all humans had taken over filling her with rage and hate, she was ready to snap and god help whatever got in her way when she did.
Meggan suddenly twitched and span round as there was a noise behind her. She came face to face with Albion who had somehow gained access to Braddock Manor. There was a sudden explosion from the hands of Albion which sent Meggan flying backwards through the window to the ground outside.
Meggan skidded carving a groove through the soil in her garden and toppling a tree to the ground. Meggan roared with rage as she moved to her feet only to be blasted with energy from Albion’s fists again which moved her backwards again.
Albion had quickly gained control of the fight. Meggan was reacting totally on instinct which gave the calculated Albion the upper hand and he make sure he pressed it keeping her on the back foot with his blasts.
“Roma you can’t let this happen” said Brian, his hand found itself gripping Roma’s cloak.
“Brian unhand her” said Captain UK. Linda McQuillan was one of the first Captains Brian had met and she was his best friend in the corps and he knew she meant business by the tone in her voice.
Brian’s grip tightened more, he knew he should leave go or he would face the wrath of the corps but he couldn’t release her until he got t was needed. “Send me back! You resurrected me from nothing before and you can do it again!”
“It’s not that simple Brain. Before, you were a Corps member. But your link has been severed, you’re outside my power.” said Roma with a shake of her head.
Brian suddenly felt powerful hands tighten on his shoulders. One of the Captain Britain’s had moved to protect Roma.
Brian turned, he was high on emotion as he swung his fist connecting with the jaw of Captain England driving him to the floor. He swung his left fist out catching Hauptmann Englande in the side of his face rocking him to his knees. Brian was fighting on rage alone, he was most certainly taking some of his feelings for Albion out on the corps members as he levelled them with punches.
“Desist!” screamed Roma as she held Brian motionless with a wave of her hand. Brian was unable to move and he began to remember how powerful Roma truly was whilst in Otherworld.
Roma circled Brian as he stood frozen “Look at what you’ve done.” She motioned at the fallen members of the corps who he had managed to land blows on. Roma looked at Brian as a slow lingering smile spread across her face. “There may be hope for your resurrection yet”.
Albion swung the fallen tree into the stomach of Meggan sending her flying into a wall of the mansion where she called home. She ached all over from the beating Albion had been giving out but she managed to launch herself into the air to avoid an energy blast.
Her body was beginning to compensate for her shortcomings, whilst her mind had initially switched to animal mode it was beginning to change back as Albion used his intelligence to get the upper hand.
Meggan rose into the air and reached out with her powers trying desperately to find someway to fight Albion. The plants in her garden reacted as they began to snake and twist towards Albion wrapping his legs before slowly creeping up his body.
Albion fought off the plants by simply flexing the well defined muscles of his body which snapped their shoots and vines.
Meggan’s higher cognitive functions took over as she rose into the air, the fight played back through her mind causing her to realise she had not yet touched Albion. Albion in fact had went to great deals to ensure she never touched him by dodging her attacks and using blasts. When he had fought Brian he let the attack bounce off him and fought in close quarters which means he was currently hiding something. Meggan dove from the sky heading towards the form of Albion, if there was a chance that’s how she could beat him she would have to make contact.
“Brain look at what you’ve done.” Roma gestured to the several corps members Brain had taken down as they stood to their feet.
“I didn’t mean too” said Brian as he bit back. “I’m sorry, but Meggan is in danger.”
“But Brian if you look at what you’ve done it’s impossible,” Roma paused as Brian glanced at his comrades. “How could a normal man, even an Otherworlder do this to members of the corps?”
“I don’t know I just reacted…”
“Exactly Brian!” Roma grinned. “Your link to us was never broken altogether…just frayed a little on your end” Roma smiled.
“He’s got his powers back?” asked Captain England as he wiped his bloody nose on the sleeve of his costume.
“He never truly lost them just his access to them.” Roma ran her hand across the chest of Brian and stopped over his heart “His love for Meggan and his child have once again ignited his fire, we can revive him”. Roma turned to the members of the corps “For which I have asked once before I must ask for once again, what say you?”
A roar of ‘Yes’ and ‘Aye’ and even a doubleplus from Captain Airstrip one ran through the crowd as the members of the corps agreed with Roma until all eyes rested on Hauptmann Englande “I don’t see vhy I should.”
“Poppy cock” blasted Captain Empire. “Krauts you’re all alike! Listen 597 we may not like one another but I’ve always said you were a good member of the corps. Even if you don’t like this one do it for the good of the corps”. Captain Empire stared at his counterpart from the universe designated #597.
Hauptmann Englande looked away from the face of Empire to that of Roma for a second. “Very vell” he spat obviously unhappy about it.
“What’s going on?” asked Brian, he was confused but had gleamed that it could lead to his resurrection.
“To resurrect a captain from death as we have done to you before we need the complete cooperation of every captain present in otherworld.”
“We have to give up a bit of our life force.” Crusader X stepped forward from the crowd as he spoke. “I’m happy to do it, same as we did last time when you were destroyed by the Fury. You saved countless realities then so how can we say no?”
Roma smiled her sweet smile, the thought flicked across Brian’s mind of how much venom could be hidden by her grin. Roma’s hands stretched outwards as she placed them on his temples and she began to whisper words.
The words were inaudible to Brian’s ears or perhaps they were just non-understandable. Brian wasn’t sure but he could swear that a visible energy had swelled around the members of the corps which began to shift and swirl above his head like the Aurora Borealis. In an instant the shimmering lights changed to a stiff beam of light which shot towards Brian.
The beam shone through Brian and glowed from his eyes. The energy crackling through him hurt and felt exquisite at the same time as every molecule in his body was filled and rejuvenated being destroyed and built from scratch several times over. The Otherworld blurred out to darkness as he passed out…when it blurred back he was staring up at the unfamiliar scene of hundreds of tower blocks pointing skyward and a Boeing 747 passing overhead.
“Meggan!” Brian screamed as he exploded into the air sending dust flying into the eyes of paramedics and reporters who buzzed busily around the scene.
“Hold on Meggan, I’m on my way”.
Albion slammed huge stone fists into Meggan. He had reached into the ground, the very bedrock the manor had been built upon and pulled two boulders from the ground which he was using as gloves.
Meggan was holding up better then Brian had done, her powers allowed her to leech strength and vitality from the earth during her fight.
Meggan twirled in the air as she shook off the momentum of Albion’s last attack. She was plunging for another attack but she knew Albion would evade or simply vanish before she reached there. She wasn’t sure how he was vanishing at all, at first she thought of him being able to move faster then her eyes could follow but when ever he did it she could feel something like a ripple or a wave through the natural order. There was one positive on his vanishing act, since she could feel the ripple she was beginning to understand where he would pop up.
Albion vanished much as Meggan had expected, she span in mid air so she was facing the rough direction he would appear in and with a giant heave of her arms a plinth of rock exploded out from the ground and sailed through the air connecting with Albion just as he reappeared. Meggan pulled her arms down quickly throwing the rock to the floor with Albion pinned underneath.
The ground shook with ferocity and then stopped as the rock reached an uneasy position. Meggan dropped to the ground and watched the rock carefully for any sign of Albion, she knew anyone who could go up against Brian or herself with such ease would survive that and she wanted to be ready for him.
The rock exploded in a blast of white light, Meggan covered her eyes with her arm and turned her body away from the blast until the light had faded enough for her to see comfortably due in part to her eyes changing form once more.
Meggan stared at Albion as he rose out of the crater created by his explosion and the rock’s impact, the air around them was filled with dust and sand from the destroyed rock. Albion was visibly beginning to tire which made Meggan joyous but then she noticed how much more tired she was compared to him and she was loosing energy faster.
Meggan closed her eyes and placed her hands in front of her calmly, she didn’t need such gestures but in the heat of battle they helped her focus. Two chunks of rock collided with one another pressing Albion in the centre before Meggan tore her hands apart which split the ground on which he stood.
Albion rose into the air a few feet and simply hovered over the chasm. “Just give up” he said as his voice cracked.
“He’s more hurt then I thought” thought Meggan to herself. She made one final gesture causing the plants which filled her garden to once again encircle him.
Albion ripped through the wood of the trees which grew and snaked round him but every time he did there seemed to be more there as the wood continued to grow to try and keep him trapped. Albion unleashed a blast of yellow energy from his hands again this time destroying enough wood so he could see the outside world and Meggan’s hands which shot through the hole.
Meggan forced herself forward as her hands wrapped Albion’s neck, the wood exploded behind Albion as the two careered through and into the ground. Meggan reeled back holding her head and screaming. Her powers tapping into the wildlife around her altered her screams and twisted them into some inhuman shriek as images flashed through her mind.
Meggan glanced up at Albion who was once again to his feet and towered over her. “No!” she gasped to him with little breath. She was unable to stand, unable to comprehend what had just filed through her mind.
Albion lurched forward and to the floor as he pinned Meggan down with his full strength and fixed his hands around her throat. “Your child must die” he screamed at her.
The images again filled Meggan’s mind, she knew she had to fight back or both her and her child would die but the images were filling her mind making her unable to think clearly. Meggan’s and Albion’s powers were interacting with one another on some level as they were both glimpsing each others lives.
“Get your hands off my wife!”
Brian hit Albion with his full force without slowing the slightest. The collision at such speed cracked several of Albion’s ribs as did the collision they had with the wall of Braddock manor seconds later.
The wall began to collapse and the window’s break as the two roared into the house. Meggan rolled over as she tried to rectify her blurred vision and help in the fight. Albion came soaring through the roof f Braddock manor, Meggan could tell by his posture that it was not a voluntary motion. Her conclusion was strengthened when Brian streaked into the sky a few seconds later. The two continued to rocket skywards clearing the cloud line leaving Meggan alone in silence.
“No Brian!” she screamed at the heavens “He’s our son!”