Last Will and Testament of Walter Langkowski: “I, Walter Langkowski, being of sound and disposed mind and memory, do hereby sign, seal, publish and declares this my Last Will And Testament, and by so doing do hereby give, devise and bequeath all of my property and personal, owned by me at my death, to my beloved wife, Veronica.
That is the will which Wanda “Sasquatch” Langkowski, a woman who was once a man and known as Walter, and former member of the now disbanded super team Alpha Flight holds up to the Judge in a Probate court in Ottawa. Sasquatch tells the Judge that by the will, then Veronica gets the money, but Walter isn’t dead! The Judge informs Sasquatch that there is no doubt to the authenticity of the will, but the issue remains: ‘Are you, as you claim, the deceased, Walter Langkowski, the man who singed it.
As Sasquatch transforms back into her human guise of Wanda Langkowski, Veronica Langkowski’s lawyer, Mr. Cavendish stands up and motions to Wanda, telling the Judge that it should be clear to anyone possessed of eyes that this woman is not a man at all. Cavendish adds that her claim to be Walter Langkowski is preposterous. ‘And most upsetting!’ sobs Veronica as she wipes away tears and declares that she thought the tragedy of her dear Walter’s death was over, and that this makes a mockery of his death and their love.
Wanda sarcastically tells Veronica that she is real good, before grabbing the purple-clad ebon-haired woman by her shoulders and exclaiming the Veronica was a terrific actress when she, as Walter, swept her off stage in Toronto and made her his wife. Wanda exclaims that Veronica knows who she is, but is just denying it to get her hands on Walter’s money. The two woman look at each other eye to eye as Veronica whispers to Wanda that she does know she is Walter, but that she will never admit it on record, and as long as no one else believes that she is Walter, then the money will become Veronica’s.
Wanda tells Veronica that there is one thing she regrets not having during their marriage. ‘And what might have that been, “Walter” dearest?’ asks Veronica. ‘THIS!’ screams Wanda as she transforms into Sasquatch, but as the enraged Wanda brings her fist down on her ex-wife, she realizes that the odds of her ex-spouse surviving a blow from the pile-driving fist of Sasquatch are stacked against her. With that, the blow, if not the desire that drove it, is diverted at the last second, to the table in front of Veronica.
The Judge calls order, declaring that despite the unusual nature of this probate contest, she demands decorum in her courtroom. Wanda apologizes, and tells the Judge that it will not happen again. As Mr. Cavendish helps Veronica up he shouts that it wont happen again, or else they will press criminal charges. He adds that if that fails, then they will sue that monster. The Judge tells Cavendish that they will deal with one issue at a time, before calling to Ms. Langkowski. ‘Yes?’ asks Veronica. ‘I was speaking to the other one!’ exclaims the Judge as she sighs.
The Judge asks Sasquatch if she has any way of proving her claim to be Walter Langkowski. Wanda remains silent, thinking that she could lie and say she had a sex change operation, as they would probably believe that and it would be easier than the truth. But Wanda knows the Veronica’s lawyer would demand medical records. Cavendish declares that if Sasquatch’s silence is not a sufficient indication of her inability to go forward, then he contends that her refusal to submit a simple test would expose her charade.
Soldiers bring in a device which Cavendish introduces as the Lifeform Identifier and is about to reveal who it was devised by, when Wanda declares that it was devised by her as an aid to categorizing specimens studied in the course of her biophysics research. Cavendish ignores Wanda’s comment and exclaims that the device was designed by Dr. Walter Langkowski before his unfortunate demise, and it should be able to reveal who - or what - this impostor woman is. The Judge begins to say that she is not sure she should allow this, when Wanda gets into the machine and tells the Judge she will submit voluntarily to the test.
As the device is attached to Wanda, it analyses her and comes up with the following result: MALE-FEMALE-HUMAN-NONHUMAN-MORTAL-IMMORTAL. The Judge declares that as the machine clearly purports to show Wanda as something other than human, and as Walter Langkowski was human. The Judge states however, that as machines often show what those who wish to offer their results into evidence wish them to show. Therefore, since there is not a precedent regarding this device, the Judge cannot allow its results in evidence and it must be excluded.
Cavendish and Veronica protest, as Wanda jokes that she will put it on their tab. They all talk around the Judges post as Cavendish points out that since this woman is contesting the will, the burden is on her. Wanda smiles and tells Cavendish that she will take any test he wants her too, such as a lie detector, and adds that she will submit to a polygraph if Veronica will too. The Judge asks Veronica what she wants to do, to which the posh woman is hesitant to answer, until Cavendish exclaims that this is unreliable and thus inadmissible.
Veronica then refuses to take the test, to which the Judge tells her she is in her legal right to do so, but points out that this takes them back to square one. Wanda tells the Judge that they are not quite back at square one, and points out that although Veronica has legal right to refuse a lie detector test, and as Cavendish says it is up to her to prove who she is, then Wanda declares that she has the right to submit to a test.
A lie detector is brought in, and after Wanda is hooked up to it, the first question is asked: ‘Who are you?’ ‘Walter Langkowski’ replies the forlorn Wanda. ‘How did you become what you are?’ Wanda replies that once upon a time she tried to become a second Incredible Hulk. Wanda reveals that by exposing herself to massive overdoses of Gamma rays, the result was a transformation not into a second Hulk, but Sasquatch. Wanda explains that soon after that she was recruited into the original Alpha Flight, but that over time something had begun to happen, she became savage and unpredictable, evil to the point of turning against her teammates.
Wanda reveals that it was then that Alpha Flight discovered that it wasn’t the gamma rays that had changed her, but that they had merely opened a portal between Earth and the Shattered World, allowing Walter to assume the form of the evil Great Beast known as Tanaraq. In time, Tanaraq possessed Walter and would have used her to conquer the planet - if Snowbird hadn’t become a second Sasquatch and succeeded in slaying Langkowski.
‘Are we supposed to…’ begins the Judge, as Cavendish completes the sentence by saying ‘…believe this drivel?’ Veronica smiles and points out that she gets the money, as Wanda admitted Walter died. Frustrated, Wanda explains that her body died, but her consciousness and soul found a repository in the Box robot created by Roger Bochs - the only problem being that Walt’s darling Aurora found herself incapable of loving a ten foot tall tin can.
Veronica puts her hands on her hips and raises her voice - ‘You louse! I knew you were cheating on me! She screams, much to the embarrassment of Cavendish. Veronica then realizes her mistake and quickly mutters ‘Er, I mean, I knew Walter was cheating on me…’ Wanda reminds Veronica that they had agreed to divorce years ago, but that they never got around to it. Wanda then continues with her story, revealing that how her quest for a body to occupy almost led her to possess the mindless Hulk, however she didn’t, for fear of dooming the Hulk’s true host, her friend Bruce Banner.
All of this reads TRUE on the lie detector test as Wanda reveals that her soul came in contact with the mindless body of former Omega Flight member Smart Alec, and she emerged in his form after Snowbird’s death and found the evil Pestilence in possession of Snowbird’s now soulless Sasquatch form. Wanda explains that she seized the empty Box robot again and battled Pestilence, finally expelling him from Snowbird’s Sasquatch form, and seizing Narya’s body for himself.
This was much to Aurora’s delight, glad that her lover was in a man’s body again, but instead, Walt was whatever Wanda was at the time of her “death” - a Sasquatch, Immortal…and female! Wanda points out that all of this reads as true according to the lie detector. The Judge rubs her brow as she declares that if Wanda’s story is to be believed, then Walter Langkowski’s will should not go into effect because Wanda is Walter and is most assuredly not dead. Wanda declares that she can then use the money to re-fund Alpha Flight, but the Judge declares that if she declines to accept the polygraph results and rule in favor of Veronica, then she will inherit all of Walter’s estate. ‘And you can whistle in the wind before you get a penny!’ snaps Veronica to Wanda as the Judge retires to her chambers to decide.
However, as the Judge enters her room, she finds someone in there. Before the Judge can alert anyone, the man introduces himself as with the National Security and tells the Judge there is no need to panic. He informs the Judge that he heard about the proceedings and that he merely came over to observe. The Judge asks what concern a probate hearing is to the government, to which the member of National Security informs the Judge that what concerns Alpha Flight, concerns Canada.
The National Security member informs the Judge that Alpha Flight turned their backs on the government, walked away from funding and left the government without effective control over the super beings, meaning as a result, they are broke. The stranger tells the Judge that if she awards Wanda Langkowski the estate that is properly “hers”, and Alpha Flight are back in business, no strings attached. The Judge is somewhat taken aback and asks the National Security agent if he is asking her to allow political consideration to cloud her judgment.
The National Security Agent declares that they need Alpha Flight to stay disbanded and reveals to the Judge that Ottawa is now in the process of forming a new Canadian super team, one that will follow government orders. He explains that they cannot allow a mercenary Alpha Flight to interfere with that. The Judge begins to protest, but the National Security member interrupts her and declares that if she is to award Sasquatch her money back, then she is giving Wanda Langkowski and her kind the resources they need to challenge the governments authority over them later. The Judge begins to protest again, but the mysterious man interrupts yet again and tells her that they are talking more than legality here, they are talking about loyalty to her country and the human race. The Judge looks torn as the National Security Agent finishes his rant.
Meanwhile, in Etobicoke, Melanie Kilgrave holds back the former Beta Flight member Goblyn as she whines as her former teammate Kara “the Purple Girl” and sister Laura Dean rush off to catch the school bus. Kara’s mother tells Goblyn that she cannot go to school with the girls, to which Kara calls over her shoulder that if Goblyn is real good then they can take her to obedience class later. Laura tells everyone that Goblyn almost got the litter box this morning, and declares that she is getting better since they both came to live with Kara and her mother after Alpha’s break up.
Suddenly, Laura calls to Kara that the school bus is pulling off without them. ‘Not if I can help it!’ says Kara before yelling ‘STOP!’ The bus screeches to a halt, and as the purple-skinned mutant steps onto the bus, followed by Laura, she thanks the bus driver, who had fallen under control of her powers. Students all on the bus start murmuring among themselves: ‘Did you see what that grape-colored freak did…’ ‘Shut up before she does the same to us!’ Kara declares that she is sure the driver didn’t bypass she and Laura on purpose, and tells everyone on the bus that she can bet they are all going to be pleasant to them on the way to school. The Purple Girl’s classmates have learnt not to argue with her.
Elsewhere, at the Good Hope Hospital in British Columbia, a nurse stands over a young patient and asks him if he is going to be good and get onto the gurney. The young patient folds his arms and tells the nurse that he wont go to the operating room. Whitman Knapp, formerly “Manikin” of the now defunct Beta Flight enters the room and asks Nurse Chapel if there is a problem. Chapel greets the handsome young doctor and informs him that the patient is scheduled for an appendectomy, but he will not cooperate.
Whit tells the patient that he may only be an intern…’but I think you’re gonna love my bedside manner!’ he exclaims before unleashing his past and future selves - Highbrow, Apeman and Proto. Highbrow asks Apeman to get the gurney ready while he teleports the young patient to it. Proto jumps onto the patient’s head, causing the boy to smile. As Apeman wheels the gurney towards the operating room, Nurse Chapel mentions to Whit that they all know about his powers and past with Alpha Flight. Whit tells Chapel that he has made no secret of them, and if he and his past and future selves can get a cantankerous kid to surgery where all else fails, then so be it!
Meanwhile, in Haysboro, Calgary, Madison “Box” Jeffries soars across the sky, ‘Look up in the sky’ he says to himself ‘Is it a bird? A plane? No…its Mr and Mrs McNeil’s soon to be son-in-law!’ Jeffries lands on the lawn of the McNeil family home and goes into the garage, where he phases out of the armor. ‘Stay put Box, I’ll give you a lube job later!’ Jeffries says to his armor before walking out of the garage and seeing his lover, Alpha Flight’s former leader, Heather McNeil Hudson, raking leaves.
Jeffries runs over to her and wraps his arms around her, ‘Omigosh!’ the red-head screams as Jeffries tells her to pucker up. ‘I think I’d be glad to Mr. Jeffries, if you weren’t already engaged to my older sister!’ Jeffries steps back, shocked, as he had mistaken Heather for her younger sister, Becky. ‘Becky, indeed, you tin-plated two timer!’ exclaims Heather as she uses her electromagnetic powers derived from the battle suit she has on under her regular clothes, to move Jeffries away from Becky.
Jeffries apologizes to Heather, telling her that he didn’t mean it, but Heather just smiles and tells him that she understands, supposing it is easy to mistake one McNeil for another in a family of nine kids. Jeffries smiles as he and Heather hug, telling her that he was only fooling, as he would know her anywhere. ‘Fooling around is more like it!’ exclaims Heather. Jeffries tells Heather that he would be glad to, but asks Heather if she could take her battle suit off. ‘Anytime!’ exclaims Heather.
Watching out of a window, Ramsey McNeil says to his wife, Claire, that their daughter really is in love. Claire adds that Heather is as much in love now as she was with her first husband, and hopes that this marriage turns out to be better than that one did.
Meanwhile, in a derelict apartment in Ottawa, Dei Guan, the Chinese soldier known as the Jade Dragon who has recently been associated with Alpha Flight is asked by a government agent if he wants to defect. Dei Guan informs the four agents that he had no intention of defecting, despite his parents death and his own imprisonment at the hands of the government of the peoples Republic of China. Dei Guan points out that although it was true he rebelled against the authorities when they sought to slaughter innocent priests, he did not leave China willingly.
A government agent reminds Dei Guan that he showed up in the company of Alpha Flight, but as he stands up out of his chair, Dei Guan declares that it was as much a happenstance of fate as to Alpha’s arrival in China to battle the Dreamqueen. One of the agents asks Dei Guan if he is not a member of Alpha Flight, to which Dei Guan declares that he does not know who, or what he is. Dei Guan begins to transform into the Jade Dragon as he exclaims what he does know is that the persecution he suffered in totalitarian China was as insupportable as this endless interrogation which the Canadian’s so-called democratic government has subjected him to. ‘And the Jade Dragon has had quite enough!’ he bellows once completely transformed. The agents all look at each other rather anxiously, one of them muttering that they cannot think of any other questions. ‘Coffee?’ ‘I’ll get it!’
In an apartment across the street, a woman is watching the Jade Dragon through a pair of binoculars and informs her colleagues that they have found him. However, she wonders if he is hostage to ‘the running dog capitalists’ to traitor to their glorious republic. She suggests to her comrades that they need to pose that question to the Jade Dragon, and soon. A man asks the woman what they will do if the Dragon’s answer is unsatisfactory, to which the woman replies that their dear Dragon comrade shall die.
Back at the probate court, Wanda sits slumped against her table, the waiting is killing her. She thinks that she can almost hear Veronica’s mind counting the cash that she will get if she wins the case. Wanda wonders how come she never realized how much of a gold digger that Veronica was when they got married. Wanda think she must have been too busy staring at her legs and nice nylons. ‘Down boy! You’re a girl now!’ Wanda sighs as she thinks that life has become confusing now, and the waiting is driving her nuts! ‘I wish something interesting would happen…’
Suddenly, something does, as an odd green glow surrounds Wanda, and she falls off her chair onto the floor. Cavendish exclaims that she must have had some sort of attack. Veronica smirks and remarks that now matter how the Judge decides, then she shall get the money. Cavendish tells Veronica that he is shocked by that statement. A police officer exclaims that Wanda is not dead, another suggests she might be radioactive. ‘No…something worse’ a mysterious voice declares as one of the officers asks for some lead gloves to be sent in.
Wanda suddenly screams, ‘So many people inside of me! So many beings I’ve been! And all of a sudden…they all want out!’ Fantastic forces flow free from Wanda and transform half of the court into the torn and twisted landscape called the Shattered Lands, while the other half becomes the idyllic Eden known as to numerous American Indian cultures as Paradise. Wanda Langkowski lies on the dividing lines between the two realities, as the Great Beasts and the Gods - including Snowbird - face off for battle!
The Great Beast Tundra declares that ever since the day when an unwitting human opened the portal between the worlds and unleashing the soul of their fellow Great Beast, they have sought to realism the realm from which they were driven from by the Gods. The former Alphan Snowbird exclaims that ever since they who were sworn to protect the Earth banished the Beasts have stood ready to defend the planet, risking their own immortality if need be.
Wanda asks if she is the “monkey in the middle”, to which Kariooq the Corrupter informs Wanda she is the key to the victory for whichever side claims the power of Sasquatch cannot be defeated. Wanda declares that she just went through this identity crisis and chose to be herself - not a Great Beast and not a Goddess. Snowbird tells Sasquatch that she must side with the Gods, or else reality as she knows it will perish. Sasquatch reminds Snowbird that she herself is dead and adds that reality as she knew it went up in the smokestack years ago.
Suddenly the Judge re-enters the court room and asks what is going on out here. Before an explanation can be offered, the roof of the court room blows off. People run screaming from the courthouse, as a nun approaches the court house, someone tells her to flee is she values her life. Eyes hidden by her garment, the nun declares that she must stay, because she values the life of another.
Snowbird tells Sasquatch that if she does not join them, then she must count her as an enemy. Wanda asks if it is all black and white - no greys? ‘Who wrote this script? Ayn Rand?’ Wanda declares that she rejects the whole lot of them. Wanda tells the Gods and Beasts to fight their hearts out, they can destroy each other, but she just wants to be left alone!
Tundra kicks Sasquatch to the ground, telling her that isolationism is not possible, as Snowbird transforms into a polar bear and tells Tundra that victory for the Beasts is not possible either. Tundra beckons Snowbird to come at him, for he rests secure in the knowledge that even a demigoddess may die. Snowbird leaps on Tundra and begins to bite and claw him as Sasquatch gathers herself and realizes that Tundra is right, as she inherited Snowbird’s corpse, so she is loving proof that isolationism is not an option.
Snowbird’s grandfather, Hodiak, tells Wanda that she too will die in Narya’s body unless she aids the Gods. Wanda declares that this is all a bad dream, to which Hodiak says ‘perhaps’, before telling Wanda that neither man nor elder God shall awaken from it unless she battles on the side of the immortals. ’Maybe? Or maybe you’ll all go up in smoke once I wake…’, suddenly, Veronica is attacked by Somon the Artificer, and screams for Walter to save her. Sasquatch suddenly screams ‘Get your meat hooks off my wife!’
No sooner does Sasquatch accept the madness reigning about her, than a deep and unfathomable darkness closes in upon her. She feels all sense of self slipping away, her identity torn in conflicting directions. It is a sensation not a little unlike death. ‘Am I dead? Who am I? WHO?’ ‘Be yourself! Be strong! BE FREE’ exclaims the nun as she puts her hands on Sasquatch’s head.
Sasquatch thanks the nun for dispelling her darkness, and for letting her see that unless she chucks all the clowns who want a piece of her, then she will never be free to learn who and what she is. Sasquatch engages in battle with the four Great Beasts present, and finally Hodiak points out that they have retreated back to the Shattered Land, driven by Sasquatch’s fury and rejection of their evil. Hodiak then tells Sasquatch that there is nothing preventing her from aligning with the Gods, but Wanda informs him that just because they sometimes share the same goals it does not mean she wants to go tiptoeing through the tulips in paradise.
Sasquatch declares that Earth is her home, and Alpha her family. Snowbird and the Gods watch on as Wanda points at Veronica and tells her that she is included in that last statement. Wanda tells Veronica that if she wants her money then she can take it, before declaring that she rejects any other part of her past that tries to stake a claim on her. Sasquatch lumbers out of the court room, declaring that she will build a future from scratch and be a whole lot happier for it. Veronica calls after Sasquatch, but the former Alphan does not answer. The Judge then tells Veronica that she wins the case.
As Sasquatch walks down the stairs of the courthouse she mutters that she is free, but still broke, and without a friend in the world, except Alpha Flight, and the strange chick who helped her during the battle. Suddenly the nun steps out from the shadows and as she takes off her hood asks Sasquatch if it has been so long that she does not remember the one whom she said she loved more than life itself. ‘AURORA!’ shouts Sasquatch as she sees her former lover and teammate.
Sasquatch rushes over to Aurora who asks Sasquatch if she has rejected her past. Jeanne-Marie Beaubier reminds Sasquatch that she was part of that past, but after the battle with Loki she used her powers of light to save her brother, Northstar, she was reborn. Aurora declares that she does not know herself how it happened, but since then has joined a Holy Order where she uses her power rarely and sparingly, aiding the sick and suffering. Aurora puts her hood back on as she turns from Sasquatch and walks away, telling her that she hopes she has dispelled some of her suffering. ‘Adieu, my friend’. Sasquatch sheds some tears.
Epilogue: Elizabeth Twoyoungmen looks up at a strange cairn and thinks to herself that she has been working at the dig for weeks, yet has never noticed it before. ‘Some archaeologist you are!’ she jokes to herself. The former Alphan known as Talisman believes that the stones conceal something, and would even stake her degree on it.
And maybe something more…and something worse…for inside the stones…is the Dreamqueen!