Tamarind Island, the home of Canada’s premiere super heroes – Alpha Flight, where today, in the sub-levels of their mansion headquarters and home, the team is divided. Held in a tank for his own safety and the safety of others, the scientist Roger Bochs calls his teammates traitors and liars and boasts that he will kill them all for doing this to him, starting with Aurora, who led him on. He asks Aurora if she hears him, and looking away, Aurora replies that she does.
From inside the Box armor, Madison Jeffries tells Bochs to calm down as he is just making things worse. Team leader, Heather Hudson a.k.a. “Vindicator” wonders how much worse it could get – for Roger’s love was rejected by Aurora and he attacked Alpha, forcing his best friend, Jeffries, to expel him from the armor. Adding to all this of course is his recently restored legs which seem to be decaying – it is enough to drive any man to madness!
Roger reminds Heather of all her “team spirit” talk and asks how that is upheld with everything they have done to him. Heather reminds Roger that it was he who left them and that he was trying to destroy Aurora. Roger calls her a tramp, but Heather declares that she is a fellow Alphan, despite what transpired between the two of them. Roger boasts that he had the power to destroy them all and pointing at Jeffries exclaims that he would have succeeded if he hadn’t stolen his robot. Jeffries reminds Bochs that while he designed the robot, it was his own transmutative powers that built it and declares that he couldn’t watch as he hurt his friends.
Aurora tells everyone to look at Roger’s eyes, that she can see his hate for her. Aurora’s handsome twin brother, Jean-Paul “Northstar” Beaubier tells his sister that she gave him every reason. This surprises Wanda Langkowski, who knows Jean-Paul would have never criticized his sister in the old days, but she realizes that a lot has changed since between the time Walter Langkowski was reborn as Wanda.
Eugene Milton Judd, the diminutive Alphan known as “Puck” tells Roger that he is still an Alphan and they intend to help him. Judd wonders to himself whether he is still an Alphan or if Alpha Flight has outgrown the need for an agile, but otherwise powerless dwarf? Kara Kilgrave, the Beta Flight member known as “Purple Girl” asks if they can help Bochs, and Jeffries tells her they are going to try –that is what friends are for.
From inside his holding tank, Roger exclaims that none of them are friends of his, as the ill Jean-Paul thinks to himself that all of Alpha Flight blames Aurora for what has happened to Bochs. Aurora stands before Bochs and asks him why he accuses her, for it is no her fault she was lonely when Walter died. ‘I did give you pleasure, did I not?’ Aurora asks before exclaiming that when she thought her Walter could be restored to her, how was she supposed to know he would return as a woman?
‘Caught me by surprise too, beautiful,’ mumbles Wanda. Heather tells Wanda – after almost calling her “Walter” – that her remarkable rebirth as a female Sasquatch caught them all of guard. Heather wonders what kind of team it is that she leads now. She is sure of herself after inheriting the battle suit from her late husband, but wonders if she can count on Judd, who is continually being injured in battle. The same goes for Northstar – who has been sick ever since their encounter with Pestilence. ‘Aurora? If Bochs is nuts, she’s borderline’. Heather continues with her thoughts, knowing that Snowbird is gone and in her place they have an Albino Sasquatch. Heather realizes that the Purple Girl’s powers make her formidable, but that she is just a kid, and feels the only one she can count on if Jeffries …
‘Penny for your thoughts, Vindicator?’ Wanda asks. But Heather doesn’t answer, knowing that it is not her thoughts that Sasquatch really wants to hear, but her decisions for as team leader, all the hard choices fall upon her. Northstar coughs that he does not see what choices they really have, for clearly Bochs has gone insane and therefore must be put away. Jeffries lunges at Jean-Paul, calling him a creep, and boasting that he never cared for anyone but himself and his sister.
Aurora leaps to her brother’s defense, telling Jeffries that she will not let him harm Jean-Paul as long as he defends the mad Bochs. ‘Coming from a flake like you, that’s a hoot!’ laughs Jeffries before telling Aurora not to push him, or else he just may turn out the lights. Aurora halts as Box takes Jean-Paul in one of his hands. Jean-Paul calls Jeffries an ‘insufferable insensitive lout’ and asks him how he dare threaten his sister with darkness, the one thing she fears the most.
Jean-Paul begins to use his super speed to smash the Box armor, telling Jeffries that he will not talk once his fists shatter the armor – but Jeffries lifts Jean-Paul up, suggesting he catch his breath first, and Jean-Paul has another coughing fit. Vindicator orders Sasquatch to separate them, and as Wanda transforms into her white Sasquatch form she jokes that it is nice to know nothing changed much while she was a floating phantom in another dimension, ‘Alpha spends more time fighting among itself than it does fighting the enemy’.
Kara turns to Judd and asks him if what Sasquatch says is true and whether or not it is like that all the time around here. ‘No, Kara, sometimes it is even worse!’ Judd replies. Heather exclaims that this is about the lowest point she has presided over and wants it stopped now. She tells Jeffries, as Jean-Paul is set free and Wanda restrains him, that she is disappointed in him especially.
Jeffries apologizes and admits that he lost his cool, and as he leaps out of the Box armor declares that Northstar also got him thinking, that there is somebody who may be able to help put Bochs’ scrambled brain back together again – his brother, Scramble! ‘No!’ cries Heather, ‘Yes!’ exclaims Jean-Paul, ‘Huh?’ says the surprised Jeffries. Everyone turns to Jean-Paul after he agreed with Jeffries, for he has always disliked Scramble, but Jean-Paul exclaims that Lionel Jeffries is the only one who can cure … Bochs.
Heather realizes that Jean-Paul almost said, “cure myself” and wonders why he would want to go to Scramble for a cold – unless he is suffering from something worse and hiding the extent of it from them. Heather hates running to Scramble every time an Alphan gets hurt, for it is a growing “quick fix”. Most of all though, Heather hates placing herself at the mercy of the once-madman who made her hate her own body. Wanda tells Heather that she understands her hesitation…Heather knows where Wanda is going with this, and exclaims that Scramble managed to cure his own madness so he is the perfect choice to cure Bochs…but reminds everyone that Scramble was also responsible for supposedly restoring Bochs’ legs.
Northstar suggests that you cannot blame the doctor because the patient failed to recover Judd declares that in some societies people do – with a noticeable decline in the mortality rate. Judd thinks to himself that Northstar is very insistent upon consulting Scramble, and recalls that he has suspected for sometime that his lingering illness is worse than he has let on. Judd admits to himself that he would like Scramble to use his healing hands to put himself back into fighting shape, and only if he dared ask him to cure his dwarfism … though that would mean unleashing the demon inside him upon the world.
Jeffries declares that Bochs is his friend and will trust no one but his brother with his care. Heather still doesn’t like the idea but cannot think of a decent reason to veto taking Bochs to Scramble She realizes that Lionel Jeffries did restructure his own mind, thus curing him of his own insanity – or so it would seem at least. However, Heather wonders if Lionel Jeffries is still unbalanced, but in a more subtle way - Alpha would still be at his mercy! On the other side Heather realizes that if Lionel can cure Bochs’ mental and physical problems, they will have back an Alphan and Jeffries will have back a friend.
Heather agrees to taking Bochs to New Life and Jeffries leaves to put in a call to his brother. Heather watches Madison leave the room and realizes that he would do anything – risk anything – for friendships and that she likes that. Heather realizes she finds herself liking everything about a man for the first time … since Mac died.
Later, at the New Life Clinic, an isolated sanitarium to which Canada sends all of its hopelessly incurable, unsuspecting that the medical magic taking place here has its secrets source in the transmutative powers of Doctor Lionel Jeffries – Scramble. Alpha gather around a small pool where Bochs is being held and Lionel Jeffries, garbed in robes, stands over him, declaring that this is very sad. Jeffries asks his brother if he can cure Bochs like he cured himself, but Lionel replies that it was a very different situation.
Lionel reveals that while he was mad, there was another mind – that of his brother – that was close enough to his own physiologically that he was able to use as a matrix for re-ordering his brain. He declares that transmutating other minds without such a matrix, is far more difficult than mending bruised and broken bodies by a laying on of hands. As he says that, Lionel Jeffries demonstrates by healing Judds injured arm.
Jean-Paul watches and declares to himself that he needs to seek Scramble’s aid and ask him to cure his Pestilence-provoked illness – but out of the presence of others. Heather asks Lionel if he cannot cure Bochs’ madness then, to which the healer informs Heather that she sounds almost relieved. ‘Do I?’ Heather asks, while thinking to herself that although she heartily wants Bochs to be restored, she is almost glad for anything that reduces Alpha’s reliance on Scramble.
Scramble asks Heather if she still mistrusts him for what he once was and declares that he cannot fault her fear, but reminds her he has tried to demonstrate his repentance by aiding Alpha Flight, even though he failed to permanently restore Bochs’ legs or Sasquatch’s masculinity. Wanda tells Lionel that he did his best, to which the doctor replies that he must do better if he is to earn their leader’s forgiveness. He knows he must adhere to Vindicator’s high standards of perfection, that he must not fail as she never fails.
Heather picks up on Lionel’s sarcasm and tells him his point is taken, for she understands that she is not perfect and has made lots of mistakes, but is not happy about her errors, though she has never had Alpha blame her for them, they just tell her that she has done her best – just as Lionel is trying to do. Heather asks Lionel to try and cure Bochs …‘please’.
Lionel declares that he shall and asks his brother to transmutate Bochs’ containment tank into a more suitable form. Jeffries informs Lionel that he cannot so long as he is inside the Box armor, so instead he lifts the tank up. Lionel turns to his intern, Whitman Knapp and crossly tells him to tear his eyes off the Purple Girl so that he can assist him. The surprised young doctor complies and follows his employer as they leave the room. Alpha are informed that it may take some time, to which Wanda declare that they will wait. Northstar thinks to himself that he will seek Scramble out on his own, while Aurora exclaims that she hopes Roger can be cured – but Puck wonders if she really does at all.
Time passes, and Alpha Flight are sitting around waiting – which Heather wishes was something that they didn’t have to do. Sasquatch points out that it has been hours, while Aurora exclaims that knowing there is several hundred feet of earth between the surface of the clinic is as suffocating for her as being plunged into darkness. Kara agrees with Aurora, and thinks to herself that she never thought she would have anything in common, least of all claustrophobia with a ‘nympho like Aurora’.
Judd stands by Heather, longing to speak to her about his love for her, but she has already rejected him once, and his recent failures in battle can hardly have made him any more desirable in her eyes. Heather has thoughts of love too – but she wonders if Madison feels the same way about her as she feels about him. Sasquatch walks over to where Jean-Paul is sitting down and jokes that they hope the hordes of evil lay off the world while they are stuck down here and asks Jean-Paul if he would mind getting up. Jean-Paul does so, and as he asks why his question is answered – for Sasquatch transforms back into Wanda and asks Jean-Paul if no one told him it was good manners to ‘rise and give your seat to a lady?’
In the “operating theater”, Roger calls Madison a “Judas” for turning against him and caging him, not to mention delivering him again to the madman who grafted the rotting limbs to him. Jeffries tries to calm Bochs, but Lionel declares that Bochs’ outburst was perfectly just, for he did promise to make him whole again yet failed miserably.
Lionel turns away from his companions and declares that having already failed, should he dare tamper with Bochs’ mind? Jeffries leaves the Box armor and reminds his brother that there is no one else, but Lionel declares that there is – that Canada has plenty of competent psychiatrists and psychologists. But as Madison points out, all of their patients are normal people. Lionel concurs, as his patients are abnormal – Alphans, requiring unusual treatment.
Lionel excuses himself while he seals off the area, to which Madison asks why, for he thought the lab was secret. ‘Can’t be too careful,’ Lionel replies before revealing that he learned that when he first attempted to restore Bochs’ legs, for instead of using living human tissue, caution compelled him to extract flesh from corpses. This shocks Madison, and he exclaims that he thought he used Bochs’ own body mass.
‘Of course you did’ Lionel exclaims as he tells Madison that no one – especially Alpha’s judgmental leader could have known the truth. Cautiously, Madison asks ‘what truth, Lionel?’ Lionel reminds his brother that New Life caters to the incurable, and that some he has successfully restored by giving them parts taken from others. Madison exclaims that he knew his brother was using body parts, but didn’t think he killed to get them. Lionel informs his brother that he did what was necessary to create superior beings – but that those experiments failed paled in comparison to the prospects of what he could do – with such already superior beings as Alpha Flight!
Jeffries is horrified at what his brother just revealed and tells him he has to be kidding before reminding him that it was that sort of stuff – messing with the dead to make some kind of “new man” – that got him locked up in the asylum in the first place. Lionel reminds Madison that Alpha freed him from it, to which Madison points out that Lionel was cured of his madness by then. Lionel suggests that he was never truly insane and was merely able to convince everyone that he was sane – or as sane as society measures sanity, which is enough to function outside of the asylum.
Lionel informs his brother that the administrators of New Life trust him, that they do not know of the subterranean clinic, and that all his patients trust him – except for those who “Expired”, and even Alpha Flight trusted him – except Vindicator. Madison starts to leave, declaring that he has to warn – but Lionel doesn’t want this to happen and grabs his brother by the shoulder, reminding him that as he transmutates metal, he re-orders flesh, blood and bone. Lionel has used his powers on his brother so that he cannot speak and that his arms have been molded together.
Doctor Jeffries stands over his brother as he tells him that immobilized he can watch – and Lionel opens a chute from which several dead bodies tumble. He declares that he is no longer limited by the use of such ordinary organic material as embodied in his former patients, for Alpha Flight’s superior biogenetics will create a truly superior race of new men, whom he calls “Omega”!
Whitman Knapp steps forward, declaring that he has heard enough, he reminds Lionel that when he thought he was using his powers to cure the incurable, he idolized him, and when some patients died and Jeffries used their bodies for experimentation he told himself it was for the good of science, ‘but now you’ve indicted yourself by word and deed, you’re insane!’ Knapp tells Doctor Jeffries that he will not stand by and watch and leaps at his employer, knocking him to the ground.
Scramble reveals to Whit that he tolerated his presence only because he is a brilliant surgeon, but also because he detected the dormant seeds of power with the potential to make him a superior being. He punches Whit and exclaims that he will propagate that seed, whether aided or not. Whit’s face becomes deformed and he screams as Lionel walks over to Roger. From within his tank, Roger asks the doctor if he is going to turn him into one of his so called “Superior beings” and the reply is ‘that is my design’.
Bochs asks Lionel if he will give him the power to get revenge on Alpha Flight, to which Lionel exclaims that revenge is a short-term goal and proposes something infinitely more interesting – a merger of both of their powers. Roger, wide-eyed, declares that he does not understand, so Lionel reminds him that he was the inventive genius who devised the Box robot, not to mention the capability to dream up thousands of mechanical marvels, while he has the ability to re-order organic materials into an infinity of forms.
Lionel Jeffries suggests to Roger Bochs that together they can create an invincible being capable of sweeping humanity – or even super humanity – before it. Roger exclaims that Alpha will either join them or die, and Jeffries agrees. Roger is raised from the tank as he says ‘You’re nutty as a fruitcake, Scramble, but I’m with you’, and Jeffries tells him to prepare himself for a laying on of hands, as his now-helpless brother watches, straining to open his flesh-fused lips in a futile effort to sound an alarm.
Meanwhile, the Alphans are still waiting around. Wanda asks ‘anyone for Parcheesi?’ as Jean-Paul begins to sneak out of the room. Aurora sees him shatter the lock with his vibrating hand and he enters a corridor, coughing as he walks down it. Aurora wonders why her brother would feel the need to slip away from the waiting room and the rest of Alpha Flight and recalls a time when they would have shared such confidences. As she quietly follows Jean-Paul she remembers that in a fit of pique she had her powers altered during a rift between her and her twin.
As a result of this, for the siblings whose closeness once augmented their abilities can no longer even touch without negating the powers. Aurora thinks that even so, the adversity it posed seemed to unite them until recently, when Jean-Paul’s illness made him secretive and withdrawn. She decides to aid him whether he wishes it or not and due to his cough it is easy for her to follow him.
However, the building grows darker the further they walk from the waiting room and the darkness disorients Aurora. She wonders where her brother is as she can no longer hear Jean-Paul’s cough to guide her. Aurora exclaims that the corridors of New Life are more labyrinthine than King Minos’ famous palace.
Aurora enters a room and exclaims that she must have light! Using her own mutant powers to illuminate the room – but she is horrified by what she sees in the room. Four large glass cages hang from the ceiling, each with people held inside. In one cage a man tries to break out , while two red-headed men fight with each other in another. A woman lies on the bottom of her cage clutching herself, while in the final cage, one girl huddles to the side, while a deformed creature scratches at the glass. Aurora wonders if the people are patients of Scramble, and if so why are they kept as animals? She proclaims that it is inhuman, just like the creature in one of the cages.
Jean-Paul stands outside Scramble’s operating theater – his last hope – he begins to cry as he realizes that if Scramble cannot or will not cure him then he will die, a victim of disease with which he was already infected when his encounter with Pestilence accelerated it. He thinks back to his past – when he was an Olympic winning skier, spending time with friends who have a certain something in common with him and his time as a member of the terrorist organization wanting Quebec to be separate from the rest of Canada.
Jean-Paul knows he has had many good years – fame; fun; fortune and special friends. He has no regrets about his past, only a longing to live his future. He begins to open the door, calling to Lionel he asks if he may come in – the reply is a loud ‘by all means, speedster,’ and an explosion, blasting the door off its hinges and knocking Jean-Paul off his feet.
Jean-Paul lies on the floor for a moment until he sees what – or who – emerges from the operating room. Its tentacles reach for the handsome Alphan who gets up just in time and races through the complex. When he reaches the waiting room, he flies through the window, shattering it, he reaches for Heather and says ‘It’s coming!’ ‘What’s coming?’ Heather asks – when the computer console in the room explodes, taking with it the entire wall.
Through the dust and debris, Heather, Jean-Paul, Wanda, the Purple Girl and Judd see a figure begin to emerge. Heather asks Northstar who or what it is, to which Northstar coughs ‘Scramble! Bochs!’ Heather proclaims that it cannot be both, but the creature declares that they are, and as its form mutates further, it declares that the man whose mind is capable of conceiving thousands of fearsome forms, has merged with the man whose transmutative body can give substance to those forms.
It boasts that together, they are the first race of new men, ‘Together, we are…Omega! Its form is masses of flesh, all from dead bodies, strung together through Bochs’ mind and Jeffries’ powers. Heather gasps while cursing herself for not having heeded her suspicion regarding Scramble and for having put the issue of bringing Bochs to see him to a vote. Sarcastically she thinks that this is where leading a super-team according to parliamentary procedures has led them.
Heather wonders what they should do now – for crazy or not, there is an Alphan inside that thing. She believes that Scramble must have played on Bochs’ madness to get him to merge, therefore Scramble used Bochs so Roger cannot be blamed – but on the other hand, she thinks, how long are they able to go on excusing Bochs while he keeps trying to destroy Alpha Flight? Worried, Heather thinks that he may have already destroyed Jeffries, so reasoning with “Omega” is probably not going to work – yet somehow, she doesn’t even want to try and reason.
‘Hit that thing, Alpha – with everything you’ve got!’ cries Heather as she flies towards Omega, followed by Jean-Paul, Sasquatch and Puck. Wanda asks if they should try and spare Bochs, to which Heather replies ‘if you can’. Judd asks what they are to do if they cannot rescue Bochs without hurting themselves, ‘what is your order then, eh?’ ‘Kill if you must’ Heather proclaims.
The four Alphans all use their abilities to attack Omega. Some would hold super-heroes to an impossible standard, where expecting them to dare death on a daily basis, it would prohibit them from dealing it even in self defense. Sasquatch is the first to be taken down. The justification usually given by armchair commandos is that killing makes heroes no better than villains, but there comes a time in the life of every super team, when it is kill or be killed. Judd attacks Omega, but is quickly ensnared by strands of flesh.
Huge spikes jut out of Omega’s back, and they fire missiles at Vindicator and Jean-Paul. Heather tells Jean-Paul to remember what it is that they are dealing with – a creature whose body can do anything Bochs’ insidiously inventive mind can come dream up. Heather orders Northstar to take evasive action, but it is too late, for out of Omega’s jagged-toothed mouth comes bloody tendrils, which twist their way around Jean-Paul.
Heather calls to the founding Alphan as she thinks she has never seen him so slow and wonders how she could have ordered him into battle. Omega exclaims gleefully that as each Alphan falls he or she will be absorbed into his mass and soon they will see the folly of individual might as their powers become a part of him.
Omega reminds Heather that, stripped of her battle suit, she possess no inherent powers, and he knocks her out of the air with a single blow. As Heather falls to the flesh-pit that has become the floor of the room, Omega informs her he has no use for her – except for savoring the sweet suffering that shall accompany her destruction.
Meanwhile, in Scramble’s lab, Jeffries is still deformed and wonders what it happening in the rest of the building – what is his insane brother doing to Alpha Flight – to Heather? He wishes he could move his fused legs to get near enough to Box and phase inside, but Scramble saw to that. Jeffries thinks he has only one chance left and recalls that Lionel mentioned he only kept his intern, Whitman Knapp, around because he was a good doctor-in-training and because he detected some sort of latent powers.
Jeffries thinks that if he could somehow communicate with Knapp and cut through his terror of what Scramble has done to him he could try and tell him to activate his powers – but Jeffries cannot talk through his fused lips. He manages to swing his body around to face Whit – only to see his face and head all split open, the flesh mutated in his fingers and fear in the young man’s eyes. Whit cries out in pain as Jeffries realizes something is happening to him.