New Life Clinic, where Dr. Lionel Jeffries, uses his mutant power to control flesh to help those who are beyond the help of any conventional medicine. Today however, one very special patient has come to see him, along with the member of Canada’s premiere super hero team, Alpha Flight: Jean-Paul “Northstar” Beaubier; Aurora; Heather “Vindicator” Hudson; Madison Jeffries; Eugene “Puck” Judd; Roger “Bochs” Box and the Betan, Kara “Purple Girl” Kilgrave. The patient…is Walter Langkowski…who is now a woman!
Standing beside her former lover, Aurora tells Dr. Jeffries that there must surely be something he can do to transform her boyfriend back into a man! Walter – who as a joke has decided to call himself Wanda – tells Aurora to calm down as she is getting hysterical. ‘Zat ees easy for you to say!’ Aurora snaps back. ‘Not really,’ mumbles Wanda. Dr. Jeffries asks if he really understands this: ‘Walter Langkowski once became Sasquatch, only to lose control of that entity’. Judd informs him that Walt lost control due to the Great Beasts, who through him tried to emerge back on Earth. Following that, Jeffries recalls, Snowbird slew Sasquatch, and as Heather points out, Walt’s mind was temporarily housed in the battle-robot belonging to Roger Bochs.
Heather reminds everyone that Walt was a ‘full-blooded Canadian male’ and in love with Aurora, so the predicament soon became unreasonable, adding to the problem the paraplegic Bochs wanted his robot body back. Together they devised a plan to seek in other dimensions a mindless body for Langkowski to occupy, but the first attempt failed and Walter’s soul was lost in limbo. Judd points out that Snowbird then began to assume the form of Sasquatch with alarming frequency for the physical power it possessed. Northstar recalls how his friend, under assuming the from that was once the spiritual avatar for a Great Beast could then become under the command of one who controlled such death spirits.
The Purple Girl points out that it was Pestilence who had possessed Snowbird’s baby, except the baby’s purity began to corrupt Pestilence, so the villain commanded Snowbird to slay her son and set his evil spirit free. Kara suggests to Jean-Paul that while they are at New Life he should have Dr. Jeffries take a look at his cough. ‘I need no advice on my health from you, Purple Girl!’ snaps Jean-Paul.
Bochs reminds everyone that in trying to save the child, Vindicator had to slay Snowbird, but fortunately for Narya, her soul and the souls of her mortal husband and son were admitted into paradise by Snowbird’s fellow Arctic Gods. Jeffries adds that the Albino Sasquatch body Snowbird was inhabiting remained behind, and was possessed by the evil spirit of Pestilence, who would have destroyed Alpha had Langkowski not emerged from Limbo in the mindless body of Smart Alec who was imprisoned there by Shaman. Walt’s soul then merged with the Box armor before finally ending up in Snowbird’s Sasquatch body – much to Rogers’ misfortune, since he had fallen in love with Walt’s ex – Aurora. Jeffries thinks to himself that it was to Bochs’ delight that when Langkowski turned into a human again, he found he had become a woman because he was in Snowbirds’ body, much to Aurora’s dismay.
After everyone has said their piece, Wanda tells Dr. Jeffries that obviously Alpha met him some time after she “died” and so she doesn’t know who he is or what powers he possess, but ‘Can you really turn Wanda Langkowski into Walter Langkowski again?’ Dr. Jeffries tells Wanda that she must have heard that his is the power to reorder flesh, and did recently cure Roger Bochs, making the once paraplegic man whole. Roger leaps out from the Bochs armor, displaying his new set of legs as he runs up to Aurora and reminds her that he only assumed the risk because of his love for her.
As Roger grabs Aurora by the arm, the flighty mutant pulls away in disgust, and turning her back to everyone, she informs Roger that she was lonesome after Walter died and needed a distraction, that their affair offered her some…amusement. ‘Amusement? Is that all?’ asks Roger, upset. Wanda tells Aurora that she guesses it was naïve to think she would have remained faithful to her memory. Aurora informs Wanda that she placed flowers on her grave, but the memory of Walt could not dispel the darkness that crowded close on so many lonely night.
Wanda begins to suggest something Aurora could have tried, before announcing that she is even starting to feel feminine and telling Lionel that if he has a cure now is a good time to use it. Scramble informs Wanda that it will require a “laying on” of hands, to which Langkowski declares that she does not consider this body hers and trusts him not to take advantage. Watching the process, Heather wonders to herself if she trusts Scramble, for he almost destroyed Alpha Flight once, but now, apparently his madness is cured, and he has helped them when Alpha has needed him. But Heather does not like the idea of relying on Dr. Jeffries to patch her team up after every battle, for such dependence can be dangerous.
Moments later, Wanda stares at Jeffries as nothing happens. Scramble declares that he is letting his power flow, commanding the body to change right down to the cellular level so that the brain, flesh, blood and bone of woman will be transmutated into that of man. But nothing happens. Uh…maybe I should try Sweden?’ jokes Wanda, as the annoyed Aurora exclaims it didn’t work. Jeffries finds it odd that the body did not respond to his powers.
Stepping forward, Jeffries’ intern Whitman Knapp suggests that he knows why. Jean-Paul asks what could a mere intern know, Madison tells Jean-Paul that everyone has to start somewhere, while Kara thinks to herself that Whitman is cute. Knapp informs Dr. Jeffries that while he was attempting to change the gender of Langkowski, he took the liberty of training some probes on the modified subject, which reveal that the ‘lovely lady before us’ is not precisely human, but an amalgam.
Heather realizes what is going on and continues for Knapp, announcing that the amalgam is of the man Walter Langkowski was, the woman and Goddess that Snowbird was and the Great Beast they had both become. Dr. Jeffries realizes that since his power only affects human organisms, that would explain his failure. Wanda asks if she cannot become a man again and as she transforms back into the Albino Sasquatch she supposes anything is better than being a ghost and reaches out to Aurora, who pulls away, telling Wanda not to touch her, and flying out of the room, she tells Wanda that so long as she is what she is, ‘never touch me!’
Bochs tells Langkowski that she has lost Aurora, which means she is fair game for him. But as he gets back into his Box armor, Jeffries tells Roger that he is deluding himself to think that the fickle Aurora will ever – Roger doesn’t want to listen and crashes his way out of the room as he reminds Jeffries that they may be friends, but to have a care about the way he talks of the woman he loves.
Once Bochs is out of earshot, Jeffries tells him that Aurora doesn’t love him back. Wanda suggests that it may have been best for everyone if she just stayed in Limbo. Jeffries has accepted the new Langkowski and tells Wanda that it isn't her fault, and that the problems lie in Bochs’ heart and Aurora’s head. Kara declares that the two fleeting Alphans have headed back to Mansion Alpha, and Jean-Paul suggests they can follow in the Omni-jet. Heather shakes Scramble’s hand and thanks him for trying, as Lionel reminds Heather that he is forever in Alpha’s debt.
Alpha Flight leave, while in New Life Clinic’s hidden sub-basement Whitman tells Jeffries that while he doesn’t have his powers, he has learned so much about novel approaches to medicine from him and has hesitated to question some of the radical cures he achieves as Scramble. ‘But you feel to know?’ asks Jeffries. Knapp informs Lionel that it was the strange splotches he noticed on Bochs’ new legs – almost as if they were decomposing. Jeffries turns to Whit and grabs him, in doing so, his powers do something strange to Whitman. Jeffries tells Whit to be quiet or else he will transmutate him into unrecognizability, for even it he could not cure Langkowski, his power over human flesh must be unquestionable. Walking away from Knapp, Jeffries announces that were he ever to doubt his ability, he might go mad! Whit, somewhat scared, wonders if because Jeffries has threatened to use his power on him, who has served him loyally, maybe he already has!
Flying across the straits of San Juan De Fuca, Box calls to Aurora, who turns to him and asks him if he cannot leave her alone to her misery. Roger exclaims that he cannot, for he loves her, and ‘unlike Langkowski, I can love you!’ Aurora calls Roger a pig before streaking off ahead of him.
Tamarind Island, home of Alpha Flight, later that night, Heather finishes entering the latest team information into the Alphanex computer by ending with the return of the original Sasquatch in a somewhat unexpected capacity. Sarcastically, she tells herself that this is a fascinating way to spend an evening, but even so, the data stored in the computer provides a sense of continuity and helps her put things in perspective. “Just scrolling down memory lane has shown me where Alpha’s been and how far I’ve come!’
Reading the computer screen, Heather recalls how when her late husband, James MacDonald Hudson got government authorization to reorganize his super powered allies: Northstar, Snowbird and the rest at Department H into Alpha Flight, she played no part at all, was just being a happy housewife, while her husband went off to do his super work. But then Mac died…then Sasquatch…and Heather was forced to put on the Guardian battle suit to become Vindicator. However, in order to preside over Alpha Flight – an Alpha Flight without Snowbird, Marrina and Shaman.
This leaves Heather with Alpha Flight as it is currently constituted, but she can rely on recent memory for that, and visual images, as Alphanex’s video-monitors scan the public areas of Mansion Alpha and can show her what her people are up to. Heather sees Aurora walk up to Judd in a living room where he is reading. Aurora tells Judd that he is the only person who expresses no disgust over her behavior. Judd informs Aurora that it is because he too knows what it means to yearn after an impossible love.
This surprises Aurora, and Judd asks her if she thinks it is preposterous that a dwarf should love. ‘No, its just I came here to discuss…me!’ whines Aurora. ‘Of course’ remarks Judd as he sarcastically tells Aurora it was foolish of him to have forgotten that Aurora’s longest running love affair has always been with herself. Aurora storms off, declaring that she sees she will get no sympathy here.
Feeling like a spy, Vindicator scans on, and looks in on the mansion sub-basement swimming pool, where Jean-Paul and Wanda are. Looking at herself in a mirror, Wanda tells Jean-Paul that if she were Walter she would say she was a knockout. Sitting on the diving board, Jean-Paul informs Wanda that like his sister, he preferred the man that she was. Wanda turns to Jean-Paul, surprised, at this, she asks if he really did. As Wanda walks over to Jean-Paul, the handsome mutant informs her that he cried when they thought they lost her/him. ‘I never knew! I’m…sorry,’ exclaims Wanda. Northstar brushes Wanda off, informing her that he needs neither her condolences nor her concern. And walking away while coughing, he exclaims that neither can help one who is doomed. ‘Doomed?’ asks Wanda, while Heather wonders what Jean-Paul is referring to – the cough?
In an effort to learn, Heather follows Jean-Paul’s movements seeing him enter a corridor where he storms past both his sister and the Purple Girl. In French, Aurora tells Northstar that they need to talk, but Jean-Paul just snaps back that he has no time for her flirtations, no time for anything. Aurora asks what use is the common blood they share, snarling that it would have been better if their relationship was never revealed. Kara asks Aurora if something is the matter, only for Aurora to call her an ‘Eavesdropping little brat’. Taken aback, Kara exclaims that she doesn’t even speak French, and as Aurora storms away, Kara informs her that she will get what is coming to her – maybe she already has.
Kara enters a room where Jeffries is, and as she walks in, Jeffries asks her if she has done her homework. Kara tells Jeffries that she thought she would do it near him, in case she needed help. Jeffries informs her that he got his schooling on the street, but adds that he doesn’t mind the company and reminds Kara that he did promise her mother that he would see to her education when they inducted her into Beta Flight. Kara senses something is wrong with Jeffries and asks him if he is upset over the way Aurora is treating Bochs. Jeffries reveals that he is upset over the way Bochs is reacting to it, and informs her that they go way back, even before they were involved with Department H, adding that Bochs was never the most stable person to begin with.
Heather is surprised by the revelation of Jeffries and Bochs’ history, but remembers that not all of her people’s histories are in Alphanex, for Mac did respect their privacy. Heather thinks to herself that after observing Jeffries concern for his friends and care of Kara, she has come to like him a lot. Heather wonders why she shouldn’t be able to love someone again, for it seems to be the hot topic around the mansion at the moment.
Heather watches the camera monitor, having lost track of Northstar, she finds Aurora – who is standing outside of Bochs room. As Aurora grabs the door handle, Heather wonders if she will go in – but she turns away, to her own room. Heather thinks that is too bad, but knows that not even a team leader can control emotions. She tells herself to stop spying and get to bed.
Had Heather continued to watch, she would have seen a light from under Bochs’ door turn on. Were she to continue to listen, she might have heard a muffled muttering from within, and could she make out the words, she might toss concerns for privacy away, and peer inside Bochs room, in time to prevent disaster.
Bochs sits on his bed, picking at the splotches on his legs, he declares that everyone thinks he is a fool, and they are right – he is a fool – Aurora’s fool! He proclaims that she led him on, made him love her and made a fool of him when he fell for her. He turns to his armor and declares that Aurora will pay for that – he will make them all pay. The terrifying undertone, beneath the muttering, the incessant sound of scratching…and flaking of flesh falling upon the covers of Bochs’ bed.
In Aurora’s room, later that night, she lies in bed, huddled in her covers as she tells herself she will not turn on the light, for she must conquer her fear of the dark, just as she must conquer her emotions. She wonders how can she though – both the night and men make her tremble – the first with fear, the second with ecstasy. When faced with both, she knows she loses control, and both fears are so easily dispelled, for she can turn on her own inner light, as easily as she can turn on her lovers.
‘Both your lust and your light – are evil!’ Aurora turns quickly at the voice and sees before her the Sisters of Madame Dupont’s School for Girls. The Sisters reminds Aurora that it was they who raised her, when her ‘Satan spawn parents perished!’ The Sisters tell Aurora that they had hoped and prayed that they had driven sacrilege out of her soul, just as they had remade her in a more acceptable image.
Aurora gazes up to a mirror in her room and sees her other-self – Jeanne-Marie. ‘So we meet again, tramp,’ Jeanne-Marie says before informing Aurora that she wants her stolen body and soiled soul back. ‘No! I am not Jeanne-Marie! I am Aurora, lady of light!’ exclaims Aurora, who knows that Jeanne-Marie would make her into some cowed, cringing victim, paralyzed by despair. Aurora proclaims that she rejects hat side of her, for it dwells in the darkness, and knows she has the power to drive it away, all she needs to say is ‘Let there be…light?!’ At that moment, Box bursts into Aurora’s room.
Alpha Flight and the Purple Girl gather at the bottom of the staircase, they all heard the loud crash. Wanda wonders if it is an attack, before asking if the mansion doesn’t have an alarm system. Standing at the top of the staircase is Box, holding an unconscious Aurora in his arms, Box informs Langkowski that Mansion Alpha is protected by numerous and over-lapping early warning systems, however, they are not programmed to react hostilely to a former friend.
Northstar points out that Box has his sister, and Box holds her high above his head, boasting that the tramp is his to do with what he wants – and he wants to punish her, so that the minx will never deceive any man ever again. Heather tries to calm Roger, telling him he cannot mean that, for she knows Aurora has hurt him, but she knows also that he hasn’t stopped loving her. Heather whispers to Sasquatch and asks her to go up the back elevator. The Albino Alphan complies, as Judd reminds Box he is an Alphan.
Box tells Judd that it is irrelevant and Jean-Paul threatens Box, who tells him that if he tries he will kill Aurora. Kara asks Heather if she can try her powers on Box. Jeffries protests, but Heather points out that Box is a living robot and Kara’s manipulation pheromones affect his sensors. Heather thinks that they may be able to end this standoff and tells Kara to try. The Purple Girl walks up some of the stairs as Roger tells her to stay back. Kara reminds Bochs that he knows she cannot possibly hurt him, but Bochs points out that he knows what her powers are. Kara remembers that she has used her powers on his cyborg brain before, but as she tries this time it is not working.
Kara walks up some more of the stairs and orders Box to let Aurora go – but Roger calls Kara a fool and asks her if it never occurred to her that he would modify his sensor receptors to prevent her pheromones from reaching his mind and he kicks her down the stairs. Jeffries catches her, and asks Bochs how he could have done that.
Box tells Madison to get up off his knees, telling him he is not fooled, Box reminds Jeffries that they were friends since the institution. Roger declares that he stayed Jeffries’ friend, but that Jeffries switched loyalties – to them. Judd comes up behind Box and announces that the “them” is Alpha Flight and reminds Box that they welcomed him, despite his troubled past, because the team became his family. Judd grabs Aurora out of Box’s arms and leaping to the ground level, he tells Roger not to throw it away.
Sasquatch puts her arms around Box and tells Box that they are still his friends, but Roger tells them that by choosing to defend Aurora, they are rejecting him. ‘You’re crazy’ declares Wanda, to which Roger points out that everyone always said that, but plans to show them all they were wrong. ‘Who’s they?’ asks Wanda.
Judd thinks to himself that Sasquatch couldn’t possibly know, for Walter was inducted straight into Alpha Flight, not Beta, and thus passed over the Clinic for Socially Maladjusted Super-Beings where he, Jeffries and Bochs were tested. Puck recalls that they graduated to Alpha when he was presumably cured, but it appears some of them merely disguised their maladies. Judd asks Aurora if she is all right, but Aurora is acting strangely and exclaims that she is sorry to the Sisters, that she didn’t mean to blaspheme and will be good, and begs them not to lock her away in the darkness again.
Judd realizes that Aurora’s exposure to Bochs’ madness has triggered her latent psychosis as Heather pushes everyone out of the way when Box and Sasquatch tumble down the stairs. Aurora is frozen, unable to move, so Judd shoves her to safety – but at the expense of his own, as the heavy behemoths roll over him. Sasquatch expresses her concern for Judd, but Box tells her that the dwarf is no worse off than she shall soon be and grabs her, stunning her by sending masses of electro-currents into her.
Sasquatch falls to the floor as Vindicator stands in front of Jean-Paul, Aurora, Jeffries and Purple Girl, she tells Box that it is enough, that it is over. Box replies that it is not over until he ends it, but Heather snaps back that she will be the one who ends it, and though she had not wanted to do it, for Box is family she unleashes a powerful electromagnetic blast on him. But Box is one of Alpha Flight, and Heather is responsible for all of Alpha Flight. Box however, is not responsible for the madness that has unhinged him. The choice then – the one or the many.
Box swats Heather away, declaring that he knew everyone was against him. Jeffries puts up a metal barrier between Box and the others as he informs him that he was with him all the way, and would have stayed with him, not lifting a finger – if he hadn’t just hurt Vindicator. As Judd kneels beside Heather, he realizes that Jeffries does love Heather as he suspected.
Box smashes through the barrier, asking Jeffries if the way he shows his allegiance is by transmutating ridiculous barriers between him and those he hates. ‘Nope, between you and those I love!’ exclaims Jeffries. Judd wonders if Heather loves Jeffries, and realizes that of course she would, for it would be so much easier than loving a dwarf.
Box tells Jeffries that if he were his friend he would stand with him. Jeffries replies that he would, so long as Box stood with Alpha, but Bochs exclaims that Alpha stands against him. Jeffries puts up another wall, trying to hold back the attacking Box, and tells him that he is talking crazy, that everyone just wants to help him. Box smashes through the barrier, exclaiming that he needs no help and informing Jeffries that his betrayal shows him he must stand alone.
Jeffries tells Bochs is being paranoid and reminds him that he suffered from it before, back when he was a fat paraplegic cursing the whole world for the loss of his legs, when it was no one’s fault bate fate. That was what the doctors at the institution had tried to tell Roger, who smashes through another barrier boasting that every doctor has lied. Jeffries tells him that they actually told the truth, by telling Bochs that he couldn’t keep using his brain to get back at the world for hurting him, just as they told Madison he could not keep building mechanical barriers between himself and the rest of the human race.
Jeffries reminds Bochs that they both didn’t believe him, that they didn’t need anyone but each other – until James Hudson came along and informed them that the very powers that made them crazy were exactly what he was looking for, though this time they had to stop using those powers to hurt humanity, and help it instead. Jeffries reminds Bochs that he believed Hudson then and asks what has changed.
Bochs tries to hit Jeffries who is backed up against a wall, and declares that it will not work and that Jeffries is trying to unbalance him. Jeffries dodges Boch’s blow, informing him that he is already unbalanced, so it has to work. Box asks why, to which Jeffries informs him that if it doesn’t work, if he cannot get his best friend to stop attacking the people that love him, then he is left with one choice.
Box tells Jeffries that he is the one who is mad, for Bochs possess the power of the robot, the fruits of his own genius and so long as he does he needs no man. Jeffries tells Bochs that he doesn’t deny the fact it was his brains that designed the robot, ‘but it was me ya come to ta build it!’ exclaims Jeffries, adding that what his powers transmute metal can make, his powers can also take control of.
With that, Jeffries forces Bochs, who screams, out of the Box armor, and himself into it. Bochs kneels on the ground as everyone gathers around. Jeffries tells Roger that he is sorry, but Roger just declares that it is not possible that he should have been phased out, for he designed the robot to accommodate only his mind and genetic matrix. Jeffries reminds Roger that he had him modify it in the past, to accommodate others, such as Langkowski, and that he never saw no need to modify it to use the modification to kick him out of it until now.
Bochs tells Jeffries that he thinks he planned this all along, from the very start scheming behind his back, waiting for the chance to steal his robot and betray him, to steal his place in Alpha Flight and steal Aurora from him. Calmly, Jeffries tells Roger that the only basis for that argument, is in his own twisted mind, and with that, walks away, leaving a crazed Roger Bochs on the floor, picking at his decaying legs.