Pink clouds line the morning sky on Tamarind Island, home of Canada’s premiere super hero team, Alpha Flight. But this is no ordinary morning, for this is the funeral of one of Alpha Flight’s finest. Snowbird is dead.
Narya, in her Albino Sasquatch form lies in a clear casket, with her estranged husband, Doug Thompson of the RCMP and their dead baby beside her. Standing on the hillside is the rest of Alpha Flight – Jean-Paul Beaubier, a.k.a. Northstar, one of Snowbirds closest friends. He stands away from the group, as does his unstable mutant sister, Aurora. Clustered together is team leader, Heather McNeil Hudson a.k.a. Vindicator, the woman in part responsible for Narya’ death; Madison Jeffries, Eugene “Puck” Judd and Dr. Michael Twoyoungmen the new Talisman, as well as Beta Flight member Kara Kilgrave the Purple Girl.
‘Dead’ thinks the solemn Heather as she recalls how Narya had gone North to seek the villain, Pestilence, who had possessed and corrupted the body of their son. They found him, and it cost Thompson his life. It was soon after that when Pestilence exercised his previously demonstrated ability to control the Great Beasts and gained power over Narya because she had transformed into her Albino Sasquatch form.
Pestilence sensed that the child’s purity was corrupting his soul and that only the infant’s death would free him – so he commanded Snowbird to slay her infant son. Heather recalls how she knew she had to stop Narya, that the child needed to be saved – that Pestilence had to die. But Heather had trouble with this, Snowbird was her friend, so she hesitated and the baby was killed. Then the worst happened – to prevent Pestilence from possessing Snowbird, Heather had to kill her.
Judd looks up at the woman he has a crush on and sees that Heather is tearing herself apart because she is Alpha Flight’s leader and therefore she takes the blame for the inevitable casualties that must occur in their line of work. He thinks that it is to be expected of Canada’s official super powered defenders. Judd reminds himself that he loves Heather and would do everything in his power to comfort her – if only she would let him.
But Heather turns to Madison Jeffries and throws her arms around him. Madison tells Heather that everyone is strung out and pulls her closer so she can lean on him. Judd turns away, for it has become increasingly obvious to him that Heather has chosen another who is better able to console her than a dwarf old enough to be her grandfather.
The Purple Girl looks at the body of Snowbird’s son, ‘They’re all dead! Even the baby!’ Heather and Jeffries pull Kara towards them, Heather asking Kara if she has never seen anyone die. Jeffries tells the young mutant that it happens, not just to infants, but to heroes. He reminds her how he promised her mother when she agreed to let her join Beta flight that he would look after her. ‘We both will,’ declares Heather. Kara tells Heather and Jeffries that she believes them and adds that she thinks they are her family already. ‘While I am on the outside looking in,’ thinks Judd to himself.
Northstar, still nursing a cold and wounded arm, thinks that if only Snowbird had heeded his and the others warnings not to adopt the accursed form of one of the Great Beasts, he says they would not for the second time be mourning the passing of a Sasquatch. Aurora reminds everyone that the first Sasquatch was her lover, Walter Langkowski. She exclaims that they were so happy together, until the evil inside of him forced Snowbird to slay him. Though Walter’s soul survived, in the robot armor of Box, he wanted to be a machine, not a man, and so sought a mindless, living body to occupy in another dimension – only Walter chose oblivion rather than to rob Bruce Banner of his Hulk body.
Northstar tells his sister that it was she who drove Walter to such extremes by threatening to choose a living lover while he was trapped in the armor, while she now does the same thing to Roger Bochs who is also trapped in the robot armor. Aurora tells Northstar that he may be her brother, but that doesn’t give him any right… when Jean-Paul cuts her off and asks her if she was going to say ‘No right to condemn your fickle flirtations that drive men to court death for your love?’
Jean-Paul begins to ask his sister whom she will heed if not him, when he is overcome by a coughing-attack. He clutches his wounded arm while remembering that when Pestilence kissed him he said he was accelerating the decay within him, and hinted that he would soon die of a pre-existing disease. Jean-Paul attempts to hide both his fear and illness from his teammates by turning away from them.
Jeffries asks anyone if they know any prayers, and Kara thinks that they should say something before sending their souls off into the ether. Twoyoungmen declares that there must surely be a better final resting-place than the endless void for a child of the Gods! The aged Alphan raises his hands to the sky and summons Snowbird’s pantheon. Hodiak informs Talisman that they heed his call, and Snowbird’s mother Nelvanna asks the medicine man why he has used his power to bind Narya’s sprit to the Earth.
The nameless Shaper exclaims that Earth is as good a grave as any for Snowbird foreswore paradise when she chose to marry a mortal. ‘Did she, Shaper?’ Twoyoungmen asks, before asking if so, was Narya’s crime any worse than that of her mothers, who herself mated with a mortal so that a champion might be born to battle the Great Beasts while the Gods were imprisoned in Paradise?
Twoyoungmen informs the Gods that Snowbird died trying to destroy Pestilence, whose evil exceeded even that of the Great Beasts. Nelvanna asks Twoyoungmen if he petitions them to forgive Narya and admits that it is done easily, for her heart wills it. Nelvanna extends her arms to Snowbird who rises from her coffin. Nelvanna bids her daughter to set her soul free from that loathsome form and assume her rightful place in paradise.
‘No, mother!’ exclaims Snowbird, before adding that she will not so long her mortal husband and demi-god son are rejected. Snowbird tries to convince them that she loved Doug Thompson, at least when she married him, but would have gone on loving him had her immortality not been stripped when she was forced to chose between her husband and paradise. Narya reveals that to her shame, she almost chose the latter – and her family perished because of it.
Snowbird declares that her family’s souls must rise along with hers, or she will travel eternally into the void with theirs. Hodiak, Narya’s grandfather reminds the other gods that they were prepared to let Snowbird’s immortal spirit remain Earth-bound and suggests they leave her on Earth. ‘I forbid it!’ protests Nelvanna, as the Shaper contemplates the idea of raising mortals to God-hood.
Twoyoungmen informs the Shaper that it has been done by other Gods in other times. The Shaper does not refuse and to echo those other deities raises Thompson and the baby from their coffins, where they will dwell in paradise until their final fates are revealed. Thompson is bewildered at what is going on, but grabbing her estranged husband’s hand, Narya tells him that they shall be together for all eternity. With that, Snowbird enters paradise.
Alpha Flight has watched what transpired and Twoyoungmen declares that their bodies may now be buried, for they are now mere soulless shells. Kara exclaims that her mother is never going to believe this, to which Heather informs her that she will not be able to tell her mother, as Alpha’s loss remains Alpha’s knowledge alone.
As everyone heads back to the mansion, Heather reveals that she does not feel so guilty now, for in the end, death brought Snowbird and her loved ones together. Shaman then announces that in the aftermath of their deaths, the time has come for the Talisman to take leave of Alpha Flight. Heather asks Michael if he has decided, but Shaman tells Heather it is she who decided for him, when she ordered him to obey him. He reveals that as Shaman he might have been able to go on, but having become the Binder of the Spirits he finds he can no longer heed any mortal.
As Shaman begins to disappear through some magickal portal, Heather calls to him, asking what she should tell his daughter, Elizabeth. Twoyoungmen calls back, asking Heather to tell Elizabeth that although he has abandoned this Earthly plane, he will love and watch over her forever. ‘Two Alphans gone in one day?’ coughs Jean-Paul, but motioning to the dock, Judd declares that maybe another has returned.
Jeffries peers to the dock and reveals that there is a motor-launch moored there. Aurora wonders if they have visitors, and Heather asks Jean-Paul to race on ahead and see – but the mutant speedster has another coughing fit and cannot. Heather asks the founding Alphan if he is all right, to which Jean-Paul declares that he is just tired.
Kara points out that there is no need for anyone to get weird, as if they were enemies, would the early-warning systems have alerted by now? Jeffries tells Kara that she is learning fast and declares that they are not enemies, as he can see the name on the boat – New Life. Aurora exclaims that New Life is the name of Jeffries’ brother’s clinic. Jean-Paul declares that Scramble has come to Tamarind Island, as Vindicator flies towards the dock, wondering if Box is with him.
Jeffries leads the way to the dock, as Aurora wonders if her lover, Roger Bochs is really free of the Box robot he was trapped in after a critical case of the bends. She recalls that she promised to love him if he ever emerged again, but knows deep down that her brother is right, she does make many promises to many men – and keeps none of them. Flying towards the mansion, Aurora tells herself that toying with the legless Rogair was a diversion, ‘but I am too much woman – for half a man!’
Soon, inside Mansion Alpha, the Jeffries brothers hug, and Heather warns Madison to watch out for Lionel’s hands. Dr. Jeffries’ intern, Whitman Knapp is quick to point out to Heather that Dr. Jeffries controls his flesh transforming powers now. ‘Is anyone glad to see me?’ asks Box. Aurora walks up to Roger and hesitantly asks him if he is cured. Lionel asks Roger if he would like to show them, and Roger is only to happy to comply, he phases out of the armor – complete with legs.
Roger stands before his astonished teammates and reveals that all of his baby fat was used to build a new set of legs. ‘Rogair, you are…beautiful!’ exclaims Aurora as she leaps into her lover’s arms. ‘That’s what Scramble’s mirrors told me, Aurora!’ Roger boasts, before telling Aurora that hearing it from her more than makes his day – it makes up for his whole rotten life.
Motioning towards Roger, Lionel asks Vindicator if he has redeemed himself, but Heather is too much in awe to speak. Madison tells Heather that it is time to bury the hatchet with his brother, while Jean-Paul thinks to himself that his sisters behavior is disgusting, as Judd wonders if Scramble could cure him of his dwarfism as Anodyne once did, ‘and could Heather then love me?’
Roger kisses Aurora as he reminds everyone that he has been trapped inside ‘that big tin sardine can’ for weeks, and declares that as he is now out of it, he wants to show what this years model Roger Bochs can do, and with that he carries her up the stairs towards his room.
‘Well, Aurora certainly is…’ Heather starts to say, with Madison finishing off her sentence – ‘what she’ll always be – putty in the hands of some hunk’. Jeffries then asks Heather how she feels about making his brother an honorary Alphan. Lionel tells Madison that he is honored it should even be suggested, but that he has his hands full at New Life, and as he and Whit take their leave, Lionel informs the Alphan he will be there if they need him. Whit smiles and waves at the Purple Girl – who is waving back. He thinks that she is sort of cute, and wonders if she likes him.
The Purple Girl walks out of the room and tells herself that she likes Whit, as Jeffries suggests to Heather that they call it a day. ‘Yes Mr. Jeffries, peace at last’ Heather replies. But as everyone leaves the room, no one sees the shrunken form of Smart Alec watching them from behind a chair – meaning the peace is not quite there.
Outside, night has fallen over Tamarind Island, and something is stirring in Snowbird’s grave. Something pushes through the dirt – and the Albino Sasquatch rises!
Looking out a window at the moon, Heather is unaware of the night’s impending menace as self-doubt makes a shambles of her desire for sleep. Heather tells herself that at least when she is sleeping she doesn’t ask herself why the happy housewife is leading her late-husband’s super team. ‘Cooking, cleaning, some shorthand and sten…those were my credentials’. She thinks that at least Mac was a scientist, and besides designing the Guardian battle suit that Heather now wears as Vindicator, Mac also understood the psychology of super-beings.
Heather walks across the room as Smart Alec races in the other direction behind her. Hugging herself, Heather wonders if maybe Mac just used Alpha Flight as some cold-blooded experiment like he did when he turned Logan into Wolverine. Heather thinks that she might not be miscast after all, as Mac lead with his head, and it killed him, while she leads with her heart and despite the team’s losses, Alpha Flight has survived. ‘More than survived, we have become a family’’ she boasts.
Out of the corner of her eye, Heather sees something scuttle across the floor. Picking up a lamp she thinks that if it is a mouse she will just die, but as she shines the light on it she sees it is Smart Alec. Immediately, she throws the lamp at her enemy, who jumps out of it’s way while trying to tell her that he is not who she thinks. But the tiny voice is lost against the crash of the lamp and the angry snarl of a woman set on revenge.
Heather informs Smart Alec that she still holds him and the rest of Omega Flight responsible for Mac’s death, although admits that she thought he had been punished when he sneaked a look into Shaman’s medicine pouch and was left mindless as a result. She tells Smart Alec that she did not object when Shaman reduced his size and sentenced him to exile in the medicine pouch.
Smart Alec tries to hide under a chair, but Heather reaches for him as she tells him she is not sure how he got his mind back, or how he escaped the other-dimensional void within the pouch…but as she picks him up by the foot she tells him that now that she has the chance she intends to find out. ‘Talk you little creep!’ Smart Alec tells Heather that he has been trying to, and that if she will just give him a chance – when suddenly, the Albino Sasquatch breaks into Heather’s room growling.
‘Sasquatch? Snowbird?’ The only reply the beast gives is a smack, knocking her against a wall. She rolls with the impact so she will not break any bones, but when she smacks against the wall she is winded and drops Smart Alec, who lands up against the unoccupied Box armor.
Hearing the commotion, Jean-Paul, Jeffries, Judd and the Purple Girl run from their bedrooms. Jean-Paul is shocked at the possibility his friend Narya has risen from the grave, but Jeffries asks why she would be attacking Alpha Flight. Judd tells the other men to look at the fury in her eyes and listen to her growling, he points out that it is not Narya’s soul directing the form of the Great Beast, and Jeffries realizes something must be possessing her corpse.
Judd tells Jeffries he suggests they solve the mystery, after Heather is out of danger and using his acrobatic skills he flips past the Sasquatch – who has suddenly become involved in a battle with the Box armor. But as he dodges past the Sasquatch, the beast strikes out and claws Judds’ back. Puck cries out in pain before picking Heather up and carrying her to the others. As Heather looks at his wounded back, Judd informs her that he was once raked by a Bengal tiger, and that the pain is comparably bearable, while thinking to himself that he would risk far worse, for the chance to hold Heather in his arms.
Heather tells Judd he made a foolish risk, as she was in no immediate danger. Jean-Paul points out that not so long as Box holds the beast’s attention, when walking down the stairs with Aurora, and wearing nothing but a towel, Roger reveals that he is not. Everyone is shocked at this revelation as Heather declares that she is starting to understand, and informs everyone that just before the Sasquatch burst in, she was hunting Smart Alec.
‘The evil Omegan who Shaman imprisoned?’ asks Judd to clarify, to which Heather reveals that Shaman left his medicine pouch here when he departed earlier in the day. Judd realizes Smart Alec must have emerged from it but asks whose mind was in the body. Heather reminds everyone that there was another soul floating free in the other-dimensional void, searching for a body to inhabit so he could return to Earth… and a shocked Aurora declares ‘It cannot be!’
But the Box armor turns to the Alphans, Aurora in particular and says ‘Hello beautiful! Miss me?’ Even though the voice is processed through the circuitry of the Box armor, it is unmistakably that of… ‘Walter Langkowski?’ exclaims Roger. ‘Mon Cher,’ declares Aurora as Jeffries reminds everyone that Walter occupied the armor for a time and could have phased into it again.
‘But who, or what, is animating Sasquatch?’ asks Heather. The reply comes from the beast itself, and the evil voice asks Heather if she did not think she could so easily banish the ‘unslayable soul of…Pestilence?’ With that one word, Heather McNeil Hudson’s self-confidence takes a nosedive.
Aurora flies towards the battling behemoths and reminds Heather that she is their leader. Jean-Paul asks Heather what the plan is, but slumped over on the stairs, Heather tells everyone not to ask her to decide, reminding them that it was her failure to act decisively that stopped her from slaying Snowbird before she slayed her own son, thus releasing the soul of Pestilence, which would have perished left in the possession of the baby’s life force.
As she blinds Pestilence with her light powers, Aurora tells Heather that what is done is done and that her reborn Waltair may die if they don’t do something now. Judd throws himself against Pestilence, informing his teammates that as she blames herself for Pestilence’s return Heather is paralyzed which means they will have to act on their own. Walter announces that he thought Heather was their leader in name only, to which Judd tells his friend that much has transpired since he was away.
Jean-Paul declares that he must help, but a coughing fit prevents him, and Jeffries points out that he hardly has the strength to stand. Kara suggests she tries, but Jeffries pulls her back, reminding her she is only a Betan. ‘Synonymous with baby, to be pampered?’ asks Kara before reminding Jeffries that he knows her power and made her part of the team because of it. Walking up to Pestilence, Kara tells Jeffries to let her use it before there is any loss of life.
Jeffries realizes Kara’s powers might work against Pestilence, but stands right behind her in case it doesn’t, and Kara orders Pestilence to freeze. ‘Die!’ is the villains’ reply, and realizing it didn’t work, Jeffries pulls Kara out of the way, suggesting that Pestilence is more spirit than man, or perhaps because he is in the form of a Great Beast, he is immune to her power.
Jeffries tells Kara that he doesn’t care about anything except getting her out of here alive. Using the metal that lines Mansion Alpha, Jeffries’ transmutating powers create a wall between Pestilence and him and Kara – but not for long, as in the form of the Great Beast, Pestilence is capable of reducing it to scrap. Jeffries gets caught by a sharp piece of metal, and Kara pulls him to safety, while Walt, Aurora and Judd continue to fight Pestilence.
Heather watches as Alpha Flight begins to flounder, lie a ship without a rudder, yet she knows if she assumes the helm she assumes the responsibility, and any harm that befalls anyone will be on her head. She wonders how she can take the chance that her leading Alpha may lead them to destruction. But realizing she seems to be the only one with any idea of how to save them, how can she not act?
As she begins to race up the stairs, Heather reminds Walt that he has been Sasquatch longer than anyone has and knows its power, so she asks him if he can hold it. Walt reminds Heather that he also occupied the Box armor and knows its strengths too – the armor is not even half of Sasquatch’s strength. Before she has gone, Heather remarks that Box’s power lies in more than the armor’s strength, and tells Walt to keep close to Pestilence and not let go.
Aurora thinks Heather is risking her man while she seeks safety, “My man?” Roger thinks to himself, but Walt tells Aurora that if Heather is risking him it must be with a good reason. He wonders what Heather meant by the power of the Box armor lying in more than just its strength. He jokes to himself that his journey into limbo must have pickled his brain when he remembers that the armor has an internal power pack, and if the super-charged current is channeled out…he begins to do so.
Roger tells Walt he is a fool, for if he expends the armor’s energy without killing Pestilence he will be left helpless. Running back down the stairs, Heather reveals that that was the risk she asked Walt to take, while she retrieved Shaman’s medicine pouch!
As Pestilence is purged from Snowbird’s Sasquatch form, the villain declares that if one host body is endangered he will merely seize another. Walt feels his energy depleting and declares that he can’t stop Pestilence – but Heather announces that she can, and as she reminds Pestilence he longed to be immortal, and tossing the medicine pouch at his spirit form she tells him to feast his eyes on infinity ‘your future and final resting place’.
Within the medicine pouch lies a great and ongoing endlessness. A realm of the ethereal soul. Only the corporeal stand any chance of escaping the void, as he lacked a mind Smart Alec never tried, but possessing Smart Alec’s body, Walter Langkowski succeeded. He tries to dodge the pouch, and a look of horror spreads across one who has caused so much horror’s face, as he enters the pouch, and being a pure spirit, Pestilence doesn’t stand a chance of ever escaping.
Box continues to hold up the Albino Sasquatch as Judd picks up the body of Smart Alec and remarks that there is now no host-form within the pouch for Pestilence to possess. ‘Oh! The poor little man!’ exclaims Kara when she sees Smart Alec’s body. Jeffries informs everyone that Smart Alec’s body must have gotten squashed during the battle, but Heather points out that with Walt’s mind phased into Box, Alec never felt a thing.
Looking at the lifeless Box and Sasquatch, Aurora asks what of her Waltair? She wonders if in expending all of his energy to shock Pestilence’s spirit from the Sasquatch form, did he doom himself? Suddenly, Sasquatch says ‘Might have – but didn’t!’ Grinning, in the Albino Sasquatch form of Snowbird’s body, Walt declares that he should have known Heather wouldn't let him shut down the Box armor unless she knew he had an alternative body to occupy. ‘Break out the bubbly, Alpha! Sasquatch’s back!’
Sasquatch picks up Aurora in his arms, and grabbing Walt back, Aurora tells him she missed him so much. Roger frowns and turns away, realizing that Aurora is ecstatic by the return of Walt, even after all the risks he tool to win her love. Sasquatch tells Aurora that he too missed her and remarks that floating around in the void may have been fine for some man of the cloth, but he has always hankered for the temptations of the flesh!
Walt declares that he is sorry about Alec, for it was his body that got him out of Limbo, but with no mind he has no use for it, ‘and I'm right back to where I started – Sasquatch – again, despite the color shift!’ Aurora asks if he can transform back into her beautiful Walter’, and Walt begins to, for he doesn’t see why not.
But when Walt has completely transformed from beast to human, the shocked Alphans see not the handsome Walter Langkowski holding Aurora in his arms, but a white-haired woman. ‘W-Waltair?’ asks Aurora, as Bochs grins, thinking to himself ‘Ma Cheri!’ Heather declares that she doesn’t understand, but Judd informs everyone that it is not quite simple, for apparently white fur was not the only change Walter inherited in assuming Snowbird’s Sasquatch form – but her female body as well!