Brian cleared the cloud cover and slammed another fist into Albion. Brian had one tightly gripping the costume of the masked attacker while the other slammed into the golden plated face. His fist moved backwards and forwards in a rhythmic pounding, the beat was that of the human heart when fighting for everything, his heartbeat that way because everything was at stake in this battle. Albion had already destroyed part of London, killed Brian and went after his wife and their unborn child. Brian had traveled to the afterlife and back just to save them and he would do whatever it took to do so. If he was defeated now then his life would have been worthless.
Meggan stood on the ground and stared into the heavens, her eyes were still those of an eagle and she watched as Brian unleashed every bit of anger and hate he had upon the monster known as Albion. The monster who she had just connected with, the monster whose memories she had taken, the monster who was her own son growing inside of her at that moment.
30 years from now…
“Albion duck!” screamed Seraphim. The winged warrior known as Warren Worthington IV swept through the air where Albion had been seconds earlier and swung out with his sword at the form of one of the imperial battle suits sundering its steely body in half. The two hunks of metal fell from the air leaving Albion hovering there with his cousin. Warren’s huge wings beat backwards and forwards slowly as he kept himself aloft as he grinned at Albion.
“Thanks,” replied Albion a.k.a. Michael Scott Braddock named for a dear departed friend of the family. He rolled backwards in the air and fired a blast from his hand at a tank which was rolling into position below them. The tank which was hit exploded destroying the ones either side of it too. There were at least another nine imperial soldiers dead…it wasn’t enough.
“Let’s send these imperial bastards back to the ministry!” grinned Warren’s sister Jennifer as she used her powers to rip another battle suit in half and slam the two parts into a jet plane. The plane exploded sending debris reigning to the ground below. Jen covered herself, her brother and their cousin in a telekinetic shield.
“Where is the rest of Excalibur, mam?” asked Albion as he pressed his communicator and spoke to Meggan Braddock.
“Right behind you,” called Meggan as she flew behind him into the heat of battle. The years had not aged her a day, she waded into the battle firing blasts from her hands and crushing tanks with her strength. She was dressed in a costume of her dead husband Brian Braddock but she was not a member of the corps, there could be only one member on each world and this world’s was Albion. Following her flew the rest of Excalibur, the heroes of England had banded together under the lead of Michael Braddock to fight the injustice of the imperial forces.
Meggan recalled the day he became Captain Britain of this earth when he was twenty and added its phenomenal strength to that of his own.
21 years from now…
“It’s wonderful isn’t it,” grinned Meggan to her husband, Brian was grey haired now and his body had lost its definition but he still held his shape. Meggan herself had not aged a day but her love for Brian had not waned despite their now apparent differences, she still loved him with all her heart and was currently bubbling over with excitement.
“Yes, wonderful,” he said half-heartedly as he stared out of the window at his son and his team-mates. Brian sighed heavily, and slumped slightly in his chair, his chest wheezed slightly.
“Brian, are you okay?” asked Meggan. “Are you a little jealous?”
“No,” said Brian with a shake of his head. He pulled himself out of his chair and shifted his weight onto his crutch. “I sometimes think that battle with Jamie was the best thing that ever happened to me, if he hadn’t crushed my leg then who knows when I would have hung up my cape.”
“Brian, please,” said Meggan with a sigh. “I’m an empath, I can tell something is wrong.”
“I’m worried,” he said with a shake of his head. “I’m worried about his use of all that power.”
“Why?” Meggan yelled slightly and then quietened her voice. “Brian, please not this again, we can’t go through this all the time, he’s an empath too you know he picks up on these things.” Meggan looked away from Brian and bit down on her lip. “I’ve told you the amount of times in his youth when he asked why you were scared of him, why you disliked him and why you didn’t trust him.”
“I’m sorry Meggan, I love him you know I do,” Brian sighed. “I can’t look inside him like you can, I don’t know what he thinks and feels and so you can’t blame me for being wary when you remember what he nearly did to us?”
“No! Not him Brian!” Meggan yelled again, they had been over this conversation again and again and always it ended up coming back and she was sick of it.
“A version of him,” replied Brian with a nod as he agreed with Meggan’s correction. “A version of him…who you must admit wore a similar costume to his current one,” said Brian with a point out of the window. “He traveled back in time and nearly leveled London…he tried to kill us.”
Brian Braddock stared out of the window at his son as he showed off to his teammates and fiancé Sarah. His new costume was a dark blue and had a large red lion on the chest. Over his face he wore a golden face mask. The mask had no lower jaw. The face was that of Albion, ancient Roman god of the Britain’s. A Golden mane flowed from the sides of her face.
30 years from now…
“Sarah,” said Albion as he rushed to his beloved wife. She was a mutant, her skin shimmered in the sun as its color changed at the sight of her husband from blue to pink.
“Michael!” she said as the tears ran down her cheeks. She had the power to see a few seconds into the future. This power gave her the edge in battle but sometimes were unfortunately useless to help anyone.
“What is it? Are the children alright?” Albion gripped her arms gently. Their children were living up north with Sarah’s grandmother to keep them out of harms way of the imperial troops. The imperials ruled the land, sea and air but had a greater force in the south where Albion and Excalibur fought. Up north on the coast the patrols were few and far between so as long as the children kept their heads down they were safe, surrounded by their grandparents and the Clan Destine who Albion had assigned to the northern quadrant.
“Yes…for the moment,” she replied with a snivel. Sarah stared into his eyes with love.
“Sarah what’s going…”
“I love you,” she interrupted. “We all do.” She pulled Michael to her and kissed him, the two hung in the air as they were enveloped by the brilliant light.
Meggan stared up at the fight which was at the heavens above her. Her heart was in her mouth as salty tears rolled down her face.
Brian fought like a man possessed, he reigned fists into the face of Albion, he could do no more then block him. “I’ll kill you!” screamed Brian “You threatened my family.”
Albion hurtled to the ground as Brian landed a right haymaker on his face. There was a comedic puff of dust like when Wilee Coyote hit the floor as Albion collided with the sand filled ground below and Brian followed him down screaming with fury.
The air split around Brian, it whistled around his body as he split it with his speed. He didn’t have a plan of attack or even a thought in his head other then to just destroy Albion for all the hurt he had created…so far it was working fine.
32 years from now…
Albion hovered in the air looking down at the waste land which lay before him. Everything and everyone he knew had been destroyed two years earlier when the imperial war council had launched a Nega Bomb.
The Imperial order had risen and quickly gained power easily from their inception in his youth. They at first were a radical group before they got into power and then almost over night they turned the world into a police state. Both he and his father knew what they had to do as they resurrected Excalibur, him, his mother, his cousins, his wife and his sister defending England and its people from the imperial soldiers as best they could. That was just the start as more heroes began to join up with them against the tyranny. Other countries did not want to get involved because of the political implications involved. The Imperial forces were too powerful soon enough and swept over the world, New York’s heroes fell or were incarcerated as did the rest. Only a small portion of England heroes remained despite the fact the movement had started there. These heroes, this Excalibur fought to free their homeland and their planet from the oppressive forces.
He never thought they’d go so far, they destroyed the UK with a single Nega Bomb destroying it all. Everyone he loved everyone he ever cared about, his children.
Only he had survived due to his powers. His father’s bloodline and his mother’s varied abilities had made him hugely powerful with a variety of powers which were only added to and boosted by those of Roma. He had survived due to a fluke as a new power activated to protect him from the danger of the bomb.
Brian Braddock’s journeys in the time stream had fundamentally changed the man, these changes showed in his son. James discovered the hard way that he had coronal skipping powers, as the Nega Bomb exploded he discovered he could propel himself through time.
He dropped to his knees in the dirt and ash where his home used to lie “All gone,” he told himself. “Nothing can bring them back.”
Albion gave up hope. He had tried everything he could think of, every possibility which he could see which was open to him from replacing himself in the final battle to assassinating people. He’d killed the prime minister four times. His self twice, destroyed towns and cities where he’d had a lead of the bomb being. The result was always the same, everyday he would travel back and try something new or go back that little further to try and change things and everyday he had to watch and feel through his empathy the death of everyone he loved.
He felt their lives slip away from him day after day, he felt their spark of life extinguish. He could feel their pain as they ceased to exist. Worst of all he could feel their love. He knew they loved him up until the end. He could feel they’re love and knew they loved him and it hurt him so to think he couldn’t save them.
He sometimes spent the day with his loved ones making sure they did not go out and fight the final battle, the world ended and he was shunted forward till when it was safe after the radiation had died away or he’d be shifted back to before the battle. He had rallied the corps members again and again to help defend his home only again to be destroyed. He had hunted the bomb for years and even found it only for it to explode in his face as he tried to destroy it. He’d tried countless times to somehow move his family through time with him only for it to fail or for the journey to kill them. They’d died in his arms over and over again. Every avenue was gone to him, every choice he could think of making he had made over and over again in case that final outcome could be different. He felt them all die.
He dropped onto his hands and then onto his face as he lay in the ashes of the dead “It’s time,” he told himself. “There is only one choice left…the only thing which can possibly change it all,” he told himself as the voices in his mind argued. The constant struggle and death he had lived through everyday time and time again had addled his mind until the point his sanity had snapped much like his uncle’s.
It was at that point Albion rose to his feet and set his coronal powers into action taking him back further then ever before. “If you prevent your own birth none of this will ever happen,” he told himself. “You’ll never be born, the children won’t suffer through their lives under tyranny only to die over and over and over again…you won’t hurt anymore,” he told himself.
“Kill Brian Braddock,” he told himself. “It won’t be hard. You’re stronger then he ever was. You’ve killed before.”
“But he’s your father,” chimed in a denting voice.
“He never acted like it…hated you he did, couldn’t look at you without feeling a deep hate,” With that his path had been set.
Brian sat upon the chest of Albion as his fists were bloodied and bruised. His hand demolished the golden mask of Albion revealing the face of James Braddock but it was a face unknown to Brian which made him hate him even more for a completely unprovoked attack.
“I’m sorry…kill me!” whispered James under his breath.
“Brian Stop!” screamed Meggan as she flew towards the two. Brian turned his head to see his wife, his fist still shaking with fury held in the air above the broken form of Albion.
“You failed,” repeated the voice over and over again in his mind taunting him. “You arrived to late and then couldn’t kill either of them, even with your powers letting you skip away from their attacks through time, with your enhanced strength and with your hatred. You couldn’t kill them. But look your mother comes, she knows the truth now, she knows what you’ve been through and she’ll protect you. She’ll stop your father from killing you, she’ll make you live with the pain and the grief of what has happened.”
“NO!” screamed Albion, his hand shot out unleashing a blast which connected with Meggan sending her into the air and then to the ground.
“No!” screamed Brian, his hesitation had caused Meggan to be hurt, she could be dead. Albion’s final attack had pushed him over the edge with rage. Brian’s fist came crashing down onto the head of Albion destroying him in much the same way Brian had been killed by him earlier. The pool of blood trickled outwards.
“Meggan!” he cried as he rushed to her side and raised her beaten body into his arms. He kneeled on the floor cradling her in his arms.
“Wake up Meggan, its okay,” he repeated over a few times. “I’ve killed him. I’ve killed him. He’s gone…dead. He can’t hurt you anymore.”
Meggan opened her eyes as the words Brian spoke snapped her out of unconsciousness. Tears rolled down her cheeks as she stared up at the form of her husband, the father of her child, the killer of her son. She had felt his entire life in her mind and felt like a mother to him but they were slowly fading, the love she had taken from him was fading now he was dead and she felt it as a loss of her own son. “Oh Brian…what have you done?”