In part 1 of the 3-part "Down and Out in Heaven and Hell," crazed beggar Tom O'Bedlam takes Dane far beneath the streets of London for the next phase of Dane's initiation into the Invisibles. But other members of the secret society are dogging their every step--with different agendas in mind.
After being rescued from Harmony House and being abandoned on the streets of London by King Mob, young Dane McGowan is struggling to survive. He spends his time sleeping in doorways and begging for a change. A young black woman sits across the street drinking a cup of coffee. Dane talks to a fellow homeless girl with pink spiky hair about his problems; while a red-frizzy-haired woman stops and gives him a pound. The pink-haired girl asks Dane about the bald man who rescued Dane, but they are interrupted by Mad Tom- a crazy man with a big, bushy beard rambling doggerel poetry. He walks on and Pink Spikes calls him a real pain.
That night, Dane is stuck out in the rain. Frustrated at his situation, he grabs a trash can and throws it through a store window. A cop sees him and starts chasing the boy. Suddenly, a hand reaches out and pulls Dane into an alley. It's Mad Tom and though Dane struggles, Tom orders him to be quiet. The cop enters the alley, and though Dane is standing right in front of him, he asks Tom if he saw a boy run by. Mad Tom replies that he hasn't seen anyone, he's "been countin' raindrops for the boss". The policeman leaves empty handed. Dane asks the old man how he did that; Mad Tom simply replies that he used magic to make the lad invisible. Dane calls him a nutcase and Tom begins walking away. Dane tells him to wait, and begins following behind him. Mad Tom grabs Dane's face with both of his hands and asks him what he is afraid of. Tom sinister tells Dane that he will MAKE him afraid.
They continue their walk, and Dane tells Tom to prove that he can do magic. Tom goes up to a gentleman and asks for some money so he can get drunk. To Dane's surprise, the man gives Tom ten pounds. Tom uses the money to buy Dane some food, but Dane still doesn't believe. They stop by a statue of Churchill so Tom can take a leak. Tom tries to tell Dane about the true nature of cities, but Dane isn't paying much attention. Tom tells the youth that he's been on his own for too long, and he's not very good at it. Dane becomes indignant, but Tom continues and asks Dane about "Jack Frost". Dane angrily tells him that he doesn't know and that he CAN survive on his own.
Sometime later, Dane and Tom are still together, and Dane is trying to earn money by selling papers. He's not having much luck, but eventually a dark-skinned blonde transexual woman gives him the money for one. A young woman runs into them, and quickly rushes off. She is being chased by a group of men dressed in hunting clothes. Mad Tom becomes agitated and tells Dane to forget the magazines; they'd better leave. The huntsmen eventually catch the young woman in an alley. The leader of the group, an older man with a white moustache, tells his gang to finish her, and they do so brutally.
Dane and Mad Tom have gone underground, into some abandoned subway tunnels. Tom shows Dane some blue mold growing on a wall, and he tells him that it will open up a door to the "other" London that he had told him about earlier. Tom fills his pipe with some of the mold, and they both take hits off it. Dane begins feeling the full effects; he has visions of aliens and of the word "Barbelith" and of red and green circles. When he comes to, Dane realizes that he and Tom are outside, but everything is different. There's airships in the sky, and the city smells wrong. Mad Tom tells Dane that they are in the other London. They go on a derive through the streets, and Dane sees some of the strange sights. Big Ben is the wrong way around, and there's a giant statue of Urizen in the river. Dane asks about the real world, but Mad Tom tells him that the world they're in now is no less real. They walk past Canary Wharf, and Tom informs Dane that the skyscraper is a massive power accumulator; that's why they built a pyramid on top. Tom orders Dane to look at the stars, but Dane replies that you can't see the stars from London because there's too much light pollution. He feels sorry for Tom and calls him a "sad old f^#%er". Tom repeats that he's a "sad old f^#%er" and raises his arms outstretched. Suddenly, all the lights go out and the stars in the sky are visible. Dane disbelieving says that it must be a power outage, but Tom snaps his fingers and the lights come back on. Dane is impressed. He asks Tom to teach him how to do that. Mad Tom asks him if that's really what he wants; to be invisible. Dane considers it for a second, and then agrees.
The next day, Dane wakes up on the streets with no sign of Tom. He goes into an alley looking for him, but runs into another group of huntsmen instead. The leader of the huntsmen tells Dane to run...