Knights of Albion

Issue 7 (Volume II)

Down Among the Dead Men

stay away from the light

As Lady Britannia cradles the lifeless form of the Engineer, she notices a distinct ticking sound, quickly followed by a tell tail glow coming from the inside coat pocket of the Engineers finely crafted Coburn-Greatcoat (Gieves & Hawkes of course) he so often wears.
With the quicksilver speed inherent to the Asguardian mind, barely able to believe the truth of what she suspects is about to happen, she places the device on the Engineers patulous rib cage… surely even the mind of Jerimiah Watkins could not dream to reach so high?

With a hushed awe evident in her voice lady Britannia gets the attention of her comrades… “I think you all need to see this”

Our mighty heroine tentatively depresses the obvious button in the middle of the intricately worked brass box: With a clacking whirr, a spark of flame and puff of steam the device activates…

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Like some toy from a bygone age the brass casing opens and hundreds, perhaps thousands, of tiny brass and copper insects crawl out of the box and enter in the very flesh of the fallen Hero. In a matter of moments the gaping chest wound is closed, metallic stitching appearing across Jerimiah’s muscled torso… a tremor passes through his body… then another… and at the third tremor his eyes flash open, he draws a breath almost like a scream and sits up, and then stands with his customary alacrity!

“Jolly good, you figured it out then, I really need to put some sort of automated activation switch onto it but imagine the horror of being repeatedly revivified 10,000 feet below sea level for example, hardly worth thinking about, I wonder if these modern day press chappies will start renaming me “the Resurrectionist”? Their grasp of modern English is not very good and it really is quite likely, which is a shame as Messrs. Burke& Hare were thoroughly objectionable by all accounts though I must admit medicine advanced quite well with their aid and the aid of others like them in fact I would have struggled to complete the very device that resurrected me were it not for the work of Dr…”

With a determined air Blue Bolt strides up and punches the babbling Engineer full in the face! His relief at the return of his friend far outweighed by the indignant anger coursing through him

“Why didn’t you tell us you could do this?!!”

With an uncharacteristic pause Jeremiah looks at his friend with compassionate concern. “Why my dearest chap, I had no intention of causing unnecessary worry, but I really wasn’t sure if it would work or not”

Captain Britain and Lady Britannia quickly restrain the Blue Bolt from completing another assault on the baffled looking Engineer, as the Serpentine Spectre walks up her newly revived friend and says “next time make sure you tell us about these things in advance!”

With Captain Britain marshalling the Knights of Albion, Cat’s-eye reports the dilapidated rooms recently vacated by the Dragon Lords held several other Dragon Lord gang members and a ragtag bunch of youths all tied up and terrified. It seems the Silver Samurai was quite prepared to kill them all in order to find the Celestial One. She also reports that several other youths have been taken away by the Dragon Lords, and our feline scout leads them underground, following the path already traversed by Cat’s-eye as they seek to find out what the Silver Samurai was doing here, and what has happened to the missing members of Excalibur.

In the basement of the building is a perfect tunnel spiraling down underneath the mud and gravel that London so often rests on, its walls somehow aggregated together. It is not long before the tunnel pierces the side of yet another underground structure. This one is very obviously of different construction. Captain Britain lets out a gasp

“Impossible! These were shut down and filled in decades ago!” It quickly transpires that the tunnels and transport tubes so clearly evident were part of an old ‘R.C.X.’ and Excalibur transport network. As part of the ‘legacy Project’ initiated by Mr. Williams (in response to the clear evidence that Black Air has been using old UK government sites that were supposed to have been decommissioned) Spitfire and Killpower were tasked with following an old access tunnel to make sure everything was properly deactivated. On the far side of the underground complex they can clearly see the molten steel and concrete created by Killpower as he blasted his way from that structure into this one for whatever reason. The facility the KoA now find themselves in is a rapid-transport-system station! Heading north the tunnel is obviously unused and barricaded off. But heading south, the polymer transport tubes seem to be intact and operational. Parked in the middle of the structure is an unusual tunnel digging device, which the engineer quickly recognises as being the work of the Fixer, a villainous duplicate of whom he encountered the previous year.

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The digging machine is host to several day-glow vest and hard hat wearing goons with several hostages both inside the cab with them! But it is only a few moments work for the team, aided by the spectral Paul T Geist and his uncanny ability to manipulate the very air itself, have subdued them all and rescued the hostages. It is far from clear what is happening here, but these gun toting sappers are not the usual Dragon lord scum, and have more of the discipline and cunning of the Maggia goons our team have encountered before.

After freeing the hostages, and with no other obvious clues, the team mount into the transport system. With breath-taking speed they soon find themselves travelling not only outside of London, but across the sea bed. The membranous plastic seems to hold the vast weight of the water above them at bay with little effort. In an almost dazed fashion, hardly aware of what he is doing, Paul T Geist allows his spectral arm to drift through the side of the transport carriage, and perhaps hoping to startle a passing basking shark, he attempts to pass his arm through the membrane.. and lets out an almighty scream! Whatever this plastic is, it far too dense a material for his phasing ability to pass through: Fortunately he suffered only minor abrasions, and counts himself lucky not to have lost an arm!
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Soon enough the hyperspeed of the transport device has taken them to yet another underground station. This on obviously some sort of underground terminus, with a columnar structure rising up through the roof, to the murk obscured surface somewhere in the English Channel. Exiting onto the platform they are met with a most disturbing site. Two Maggia dreadnaughts are hulking over the obviously unconscious forms of Killpower and Spitfire!

As they leap onto the platform a holographic head the size of a car flickers into life. The scarified face is in no way improved by the aviator sunglasses that obscures the eyes from the MI13 agents.

“I have been expecting you Captain Britain; you have fallen into my trap as I knew you would! This day will go down in history, for today my legend will be born, today will be known as the day when The Chemist killed Excalibur!”

With that the disembodied head leans over to one side and there is an audible click from somewhere nearby. Captain Britain plunges to his knees, clutching at his head and gasping like a landed fish! With his energy detecting googles the Engineer quickly shouts out that the lens above the door to the cylindrical shaft is where the attack against the good captain is coming from. In a flash Cat’s-eye is using her 3D manoeuvre gear and is ripping out chunks from the Fresnel lens above the door way.

“…and as for you Knights of Albion, you have no comprehension of how far out of your league you are, I, The Chemist will not lower myself to soil my hands with the likes of you. Dreadnaughts, kill them all!!” With a maniac laugh the deranged Chemist switches off his holographic feed.

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Having learnt her lessons from fighting them previously Lady Britannia wastes no time in unleashing all of her might against the dreadnaughts, devastating the first one in a flurry of blows before it can activate its electrical defences. Meanwhile the rest of team make short work of the remaining dreadnaught. It is a matter of moments for the team to force open the doors to the next chamber and the astonished chemist is caught flat footed as the Blue Bolt, Cat’s-eye and the Serpentine Spectre quickly capture him. Meanwhile the Engineer dismantles the death machine that the Chemist has been using against Excalibur, and Lady Britannia tends to the wounded, which includes several young men and women who have obviously been subjected to the insane experiments of the Chemist. Some of them have been killed by his dark dabbling, but with his new resurrection device, even death is no barrier to a happy ending when the Engineer is around!

Paul floats down through the ceiling and reports that there is some sort of luxury speed boat up top stuffed to the gunnels with the chemist’s vile and deadly drugs. The engineer and Paul quickly take charge of the haul, saving the lives of who knows how many hundreds of hapless addicts? Meanwhile Blue Bolt, Cat’s-eye, and the Serpentine Spectre walk the Chemist to the transport tube, place him on it, and wave him a fond fare well…

Returning to the rest of the team they are non-plussed at their outrage and disgust, and it quickly becomes obvious the Chemist has some sort of awesome mind control powers!

Wasting no time the Blue Bolt scoops up Jeremiah as the rest of the team secure this end of the transport tunnel. Flying above the waves of the channel, the speed of the Blue Bolt is more than match for that of the escaping Chemist. They arrive in time to greet him at the Vauxhall Gardens end of the old R.C.X. transport network, and with a deadly force they combine to subdue him before he can unleash his psychic powers on any one. Once again the engineer returns the life to the lifeless, with the Chemist now firmly bound, gagged and nullified.

Tune in again to learn who dies next week!

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