In the Black Hills of South Dakota, deep within the underground base of their greatest enemy the Master of the World, Shaman, Sasquatch, Aurora and Talisman have found their missing teammate - though they’re beginning to wish they hadn’t! Gazing at the deformed creature before them, Michael “Shaman” Twoyoungmen asks his close friend Eugene Milton Judd a.k.a. Puck if it is really him. Jeanne-Marie Beaubier a.k.a. Aurora exclaims that this is impossible and asks how it could have happened.
Walter “Sasquatch” Langkowski reminds his ex-lover that the Master of the World has always gotten his thrill mucking around with people’s bodies and minds, and Shaman agrees, before pointing out that the real question is not how Judd has been transformed, but how he can be transformed back. Elizabeth Twoyoungmen a.k.a. the phenomenal Talisman asks her father what happens if Judd cannot be changed back. Solemnly, Sasquatch supposes that they might not have any choice but to put him out of his misery.
Aurora protests to Shaman that they cannot do that, pointing out that they did not travel all the way here to murder their friend, before exclaiming that he is not a threat, and suggests that if Judd is in pain, perhaps her evolving light powers can bring him some semblance of relief. Aurora hovers above Judd and unleashes upon him a cleansing burst of light, while asking Shaman and Elizabeth to try and establish mental contact with Judd while he is in a relaxed state. Shaman and Talisman link hands, Elizabeth telling Jeanne-Marie that they can work together mystically to touch Puck’s mind, and Shaman explains to Jeanne-Marie that she will see what Judd sees - and feel what he feels.
Aurora, eyes glazed over, reveals that Puck’s memories are whip lashing through her. She sees James Hudson when he was Guardian, and Marrina too - Alpha Flight’s history all going by so fast. Suddenly, she exclaims that Eugene is calming down and telling her what happened. She reveals that this is the result of the Master’s hatred for Alpha Flight, combined with his desire to better understand the limits of the human form.
Jeanne-Marie continues, declaring that the Master thought this to be a grand scientific experiment, and reminds everyone that Eugene sustained injuries in the Dreamqueen’s dimension and was healed via super natural means, but that when he returned to Earth, his body rejected the magicks that were performed on him and he started dying. Aurora reveals that the Master, through his control of the hospital staff, began to inject Puck with a genetic compound which was derived from a mixture of their former foe Scramble’s biostructuring enzymes and Puck’s own blood.
Aurora explains that it was a blood sample taken from Puck’s first stay at the hospital years ago, and therefore the Scramble enzyme “read” Puck to be a dwarf, for such had he been and began reshaping him into that dwarf state, albeit a grotesque version of it.
The psychic connection is broken and Talisman exclaims that Judd’s pain is incredible and asks how anyone could do this to another human being. Shaman suggests that it is either for a perverse sense of pleasure, or for the sake of greater plan. Shocked, Elizabeth asks what kind of plan would require such cruelty, when Judd speaks for the first time. Very slowly and with great pain, he exclaims ‘Make-mate-for-Marrina-brood-make-ultimate-warrior’.
Talisman asks what kind of animal plays with lives like that, and her father replies that someone who calls himself the Master of the World should not be expected to have compassion for living beings. Aurora states that the madness of men such as the Master can neither be explained nor ignored. Sasquatch asks Jeanne-Marie if he can do one but not the other, before alerting everyone to a computer console.
Walt reminds everyone that he was a biochemist long before he became a furry teddy bear, so he figured he would poke around the Master’s menu and see what he could find. Walt reveals that it appears Scramble’s original matrix could still be coursing through Puck’s system. He points to a DNA helix and informs everyone that it could be reprogrammed into manipulating Judd’s body back to normal, but he would be a dwarf again because that was how the original matrix was encoded. Walt informs Eugene that there is no guarantee it will work, and no guarantee he will survive the strain. ‘Do it’ replies Judd.
Meanwhile, it is one-thirty a.m. outside of an abandoned Roxxon petrol station neat Sault St. Marie. Heather McNeil Hudson a.k.a. Vindicator is tired, cranky and chasing after an escaped lunatic. All she can think about is the dirty, stinking Roxxon station - for Roxxon killed her husband, Mac, and for that she will never forgive them. Even petty victories like seeing their station all run-down makes her happy. She would be even happier if her dear friend Wolverine a.k.a. Logan would get up off the ground and get them going.
Heather asks Logan if he has picked up any scent yet, as she wants to get going. Logan comments on how Heather is living up to her codename today. Logan reveals that others were here, but isn’t sure if Wildchild was one of them. Motioning to a door, he claims he is pretty sure they went in there. ‘A bathroom? I thought I told you to go before we left!’ exclaims Heather as she blasts the door down, pointing out that she just made a joke.
The bathroom door is blown apart, and Heather declares that it feels good to release a little of her suits energies, even if it is on something as minor as a door, before asking Logan if he is sure about this, as Wildchild doesn’t seem to be the toilet trained type. Logan replies that Wildchild isn’t, but that he did it for “her”. ‘”Her?” Her who?’ asks Heather lighting up the bathroom. Wolverine reveals that he suspected as much when he saw the way Wildchild’s wall was sliced apart at the prison, and now that he has caught a whiff of “her”, he is sure of it.
‘Nemesis?’ asks Heather. ‘Yup, and more’ replies Logan. Heather asks if they are up against all of Gamma Flight, to which Wolverine confirms, and remarks that they have to be given credit for sticking together through this. Exiting the bathroom, Heather is shocked, pointing out that Gamma Flight were formed for all the wrong reasons and disbanded for all the right ones. She wonders what she is getting so upset for, and exclaims that she is so tired of everything.
Heather wonders why the team has become such a mess and why she is still doing all of this. ‘Because you have faith, Heather’ replies Logan, telling Heather that she has faith in Mac’s dream to use super types to protect the country he loved. ‘Faith can be a very fragile thing, Logan’ Heather points out. Taking Logan’s hand, Heather takes to the air, and exclaims that she may have reached the limits of her convictions, to which Logan reminds her he has lost his own plenty of times, before revealing that he hasn’t lost faith in her. ‘Yeah sure’ declares Heather, ‘lets go nail these clowns so I can let go of this anger!’
At Ottawa General Hospital, Melanie Kilgrave has arrived and points out to her daughter, Kara “Persuasion” Kilgrave that it is really late, and suggests they leave to get some sleep and come back in the morning to see Laura Dean. Standing at her best friend’s bed side, Kara replies that she cant, and that she feel so helpless as she couldn’t stop Wildchild from hurting her, but she should have done something!
Kara reminds her mother that she can control minds with her stupid mutant powers and make people do what she wants - but she couldn’t do anything to help her friend. Melanie tries to calm her daughter, while Jean-Paul “Northstar” Beaubier asks Doctor Giloski if there is nothing they can do for the child. The doctor declares that it doesn’t look good and explains that her condition hasn’t stabilized, she needs a new kidney and has lost too much blood.
Kara reminds the doctor that she has already offered to give Laura a gallon of her own blood. The doctor informs Kara that it is not that simple, and while Laura is o-negative, she is a mutant, her blood contains properties that make it uniquely her own. Jean-Paul points out that both he and Persuasion are mutants, but the doctor explains that they need a compatible match, and suggests a sibling.
Persuasion reveals that Laura sent her sister, Goblyn, to another dimension to protect her, when suddenly, two people enter the room and get everyone’s attention. ‘Would you consider her parents to be a suitable match?’ Kara and Jean-Paul are shocked by the arrival of Laura’s mutant-hating parents.
Meanwhile, at Roxxon in Denver, the Facility Coordinator Samuel Higgins updates his files. In regards to the dramatic events that have just unfolded, he believes that the facility took like it has been flushed down the toilet as badly as his career. Higgins has lost contact with Roxxon’s super human operative Windshear, Alpha Flight’s Box and Diamond Lil, and the X-Man known as Forge, who all entered the vomited site of what had been until ten minutes ago their research sub-basement.
As Higgins notes, it was their search for the mechanized nightmare which has been playing crash and trash with their world wide computer network that has led them into a situation which they can color pink. ‘As in a pink slip for me’.
Inside the Box jet, Alpha Flight’s ally Diamond Lil a.k.a. the sultry Lillian Crawley asks Madison “Box” Jeffries if he is “sure”. Box tells Lil to look at the forward screens again, and declares that it is him - it is James MacDonald Hudson, Guardian. Colin Ashworth Hume a.k.a. Windshear looks up at the computer screen and asks if this is the guy they say has been dead for two years. Forge cautions Windshear that in this business, death has a habit of making a liar out of the truth.
Box thinks to himself ‘Forge got that right’, as it is definitely Guardian. Box’s sensors confirm that heart rate and respiration say it is Hudson. Jeffries thinks this is a mess and that Heather is going to have a stroke. He wonders how Hudson could be alive and be here at Roxxon, before wondering why he attacked this place so ferociously, as the Hudson he knew wasn’t a killer, in fact just the opposite, often striking Jeffries as a bit of a wimp.
Suddenly, Jeffries alerts his “passengers” to an override on the cyber link with his armor. Windshear is attacked by some tentacles, wondering what is going on now. Lil is attacked too, pushed back against a wall, telling Jeffries that this isn’t the time. Windshear unleashes some hard-air at a hundred kilometers as Forge announces he is reading a total systems override on the same wave length as Hudson’s earlier transmissions. Free of her restraints, Lil asks if it isn’t Madison’s fault, and jokes that she was just getting into it.
Forge points out to Jeffries that if he cannot fight back, then they are totally in Guardian’s control. Jeffries knows this and is trying to fight back, bit it is like Guardian knows his schematics better than he does. Jeffries announces that he is losing stability on jet-mode and they are being dragged down.
Windshear calls to Higgins and tells him that they need help, asking him if he hears what is going on. Higgins replies that he can barely hear Hume and asks him to calm it down a bit, before asking them what the situation is. ‘The situation? What the $#%@ does he think -’ starts Lil before she is knocked off her feet. Windshear tells Higgins that he has a mess here, before muttering that he feels like he is in the middle of a match between Arsenal and Ipswich. ‘The guy’s a maniac!’
Higgins asks if they have found “him”, to which Hume replies that of course they found him, but an angry Diamond Lil realizes Higgins knew that Hudson was behind this all along. Windshear tries to calm Lil down, before asking Higgins what is going on, and telling him that he wants to know if he will get even with him in this lifetime.
Higgins informs Windshear that the man behind the mechanical nightmare is a Canadian engineer named Hudson, who was one of the world’s leaders in the field of cybernetic wet work. He explains that Hudson created an electromagnetic suit and a band of super heroes to follow him - Snowbird! Sasquatch! Northstar! Aurora! Shaman! - they were the original Alpha Flight. However, when Hudson was fighting a band of toughs put together by Jerry Jaxon, a Roxxon employee, Hudson’s suit “sort of” blew up. End of Hudson, end of story.
Diamond Lil mutters that it should have been, as she was there - part of the group that was fighting Alpha Flight. Windshear asks Lil if she saw Hudson “bite it”, to which Lil replies ‘no, but…’ Forge quickly interrupts, informing the others that he had read where Hudson had returned soon after but that it turned out to be a hoax. Lillian was there again, and explaining that Jaxon’s robot servant made itself to look like Hudson, and came up with a cockamamie story about opening some hole in the time-space whatchumacallit and getting tossed into space. Lil adds that the robot, disguised as Hudson, claimed to have been saved by some alien thingies and sent back to Earth after sleeping for ten thousand years. ‘Yeah, you’re buying this as much as I did back then’.
Lil explains that it was a load of bull, nothing more than a plan by Jaxon’s robot to get revenge on Alpha for killing its master. Higgins interrupts, with a questionable ‘Uhm…’ like he has something more to add. ‘”Uhm” what?’ Asks Lil, reminding everyone that she was there and saw the robot regurgitate itself when Madison turned it inside out. Lil reiterates that it was all a lie, ‘Ahem, yes, well, a lie. Hmmm’ mutters Higgins. ‘What is it?’ asks the frustrated Lil.
Windshear urges Higgins to explain himself, and sternly and matter-of-factly, Higgins reveals that the crazy story that the robot came up with, about Hudson getting thrust back in time and waking up on Jupiter’s moon Ganymede, then sleeping cryogenically and getting sent on a spaceship back to Earth…that crazy, whacky, kooky story…it was all true!
Back in the Black Hills of South Dakota, the heroes have placed Judd in a tank, ready to reverse the horrible changes that have happened to him. Talisman announces that all systems read nominal, and Aurora declares that there are no changes in Eugene’s biological readings. Shaman tells everyone that they are ready, and hopes that Judd is too. Elizabeth reminds her father that Puck knows what he is getting into.
Aurora flies up to the tank and tells Eugene that this may be very dangerous for him, as his entire metabolic process will undergo a painful alteration. Judd slowly replies that he knows, before Sasquatch points out that this is very similar to the process that Aurora under went years ago when they eliminated her mutagenic genes. Walter explains that by interrupting Judd’s DNA matrix they will be reactivating the Scramble-enzyme in his blood.
Sasquatch declares that theoretically, the Scramble-enzyme will revert Puck to a dwarf state which was its “active form”. Walt tells Judd that the changes will be painful and irreversible, meaning for better or worse, if this works, Puck will be a dwarf forever. Judd replies that he understands, and tells Walt that he has faith in him.
Sasquatch pulls a lever down, beginning the process, and Judd begins to change in the tank before his friends, letting out a painful scream. Sasquatch exclaims that he thinks this is working, when suddenly, up on a platform behind the tank, a voice declares that it is time to end this. ‘Oh, geez, lousy timing’ mutters Elizabeth under her breath.
A man dressed in black with a dorky helmet and red cape stands before Alpha Flight, with dozens of deformed men and women behind him. He informs Alpha that they have entered his home uninvited ‘How very rude of you. It’s not wise to upset…the Master of the World!’ The Master tells Alpha Flight to allow his Remnant Men to escort them off his property.
Or better yet, the Master suggests, Alpha Flight can tell him what they are doing with his experiment. Shaman informs the Master that his “experiment” is a living being and a friend. He declares that they are here to prevent any further degradations upon Judd, before telling the Master that he had no right to - suddenly he is cut off, with the Master waving his fist in the air and telling Shaman not to tell him about “rights”.
The Master folds his arms across his chest and exclaims ‘Do not speak of degradations’. He points out to Shaman that surely as a doctor and sorcerer he must be interested in the…“manipulation”…of the human form, both body and mind, like he is. The Master explains that he does not see this as a degradation, but rather on the contrary - he sees this is a reaffirmation of his faith.
‘Faith?’ asks Aurora. ‘Yes, Miss Beaubier. Faith in pain!’ The Master grins as he asks Alpha to allow him to build on that reaffirmation, and orders his Remnant Men to attack Alpha Flight - ‘Rend them limb from limb!’ The deformed men and women charge towards Alpha Flight. ‘Uh oh, there must be hundreds of them!’
As Twoyoungmen is attacked by several of them, he tells his teammates that they cannot harm them as they are innocent pawns of the Master’s madness. No one notices the tank Judd was in begin to crack, but as Sasquatch points out to Michael that they have to do something, he then sees the tank crack - and pouring out of it comes Puck - returned to his diminutive size. ‘I’m back, eh? Now let’s make short work of this loser!’
Elsewhere, it is four hours later for Heather McNeil Hudson - and she is still tired and cranky, but just doing in Sault St. Marie now. Heather recalls that her uncle spent most of his life here working in the factories, before dying of Cancer in 1977. She thinks what a waste his life had been. Heather then realizes that she is wearing eleven pounds of ultra-light microcircuitry under spandex leotards and following a man who measures his life in dog years, and is wondering…’Where did I get off judging someone else’s life?’
On top of one of the factory roof’s, Wolverine announces that Wildchild is here. Heather asks him if he can smell Wildchild now, to which Logan replies that he can smell all of them. ‘All?’ asks Heather. Logan declares that they have been waiting and are ready. He suggests the two of them force this issue, but Heather asks him not to rush off - when suddenly, Wolverine alerts Heather to someone behind her, and turning around, Heather unleashes a blast of plasma energy, knocking Wildchild to the ground.
Wolverine leaps towards Wildchild, when suddenly, a sword intercepts his claws and knocks him to the side. Wolverine alerts Heather to Nemesis’ presence, and asks her to shed some light on this darkness. Heather lets loose a random pulse, when suddenly she is hit from two sides - cold and fire - Silver and Auric! Her electromagnetic field is screwed up by the temperature shift and she falls to the ground.
Wolverine informs Heather that her random blast clipped someone, but as Wildchild leaps at Wolverine Heather assumes it wasn’t him. Logan asks Heather if her systems are back online yet, to which Heather replies that she needs a second. Wolverine tells her a second is all they have got - as Nemesis, Wildchild, Witchfire, Silver and Auric stand before them.
Gamma Flight’s mysterious leader Nemesis greets Vindicator and Wolverine before asking them what it is exactly they are looking for - besides their own funeral. Nemesis tells them that she hopes they are not looking for Wildchild, and warns them not to expect him to be given up so easily after all the trouble Gamma Flight went through breaking him out of prison - because if that is the case, then they are going to have to answer to Gamma Flight - as Gamma Flight protects their own.
Wolverine sees that Witchfire is injured and assumes Heather shot her. Heather replies that it was a shot in the dark - light the chance Gamma Flight is taking. Heather informs Nemesis that she is not going to disappoint her, that they are here for Wildchild and are going to get him - ‘even if we have to roll over each and every one of you idiots to do it!’
Back at Roxxon in Denver, Higgins is concerned that Windshear, the Alphans and Forge haven’t said a word to him in over na hour, and guesses it has taken them that long to get through the shields and bastardized weapons defense system. Box informs everyone that they are at the core and tells them to get ready to be phased out, in a manner of speaking. After Box returns to his default form and everyone is on semi-sold ground, Windshear exclaims that it smells like copper in here.
Jeffries informs the others that he is now going to try and talk to Hudson directly, as they know each other, and while they were never particularly close, it is their only chance of doing this without someone getting killed. Lillian asks what would happen if it is too late and points out that Hudson has quite the set-up here. Madison replies that he doesn’t want to think like that yet, before phasing Forge into the armor also.
Madison informs Forge that he is getting an override control for him so that he can reconfigure the armor if Hudson attacks. Forge replies that he is on-line and his face appears at the front of the armor. He asks Box if he can keep up with him, and Jeffries jokes that if he cant then Forge will be the first to know. Lil grabs Box’s hand and asks him to be careful. Jeffries replies that he is planning on it, but as he, with Forge inside him, dives downwards, he points out that they do not live in a careful world.
As they dive deeper into the basement, Forge reveals that he is registering massive bands of microwave emissions. Box points out that if there is too much of it, then it will scramble their cybernetic command system. Forge has that covered and explains to Jeffries that the baffle pads will retransmit most of it away from them, before announcing that he is picking up hydraulic movement one hundred and eight degrees.
Box turns swiftly and dodges the large force that Hudson attacks him with. Resisting, Box points out that Hudson is trying a slightly more physical approach this time, as Forge reroutes energy systems into Box’s upper torso. Jeffries asks Forge to flood the shoulder cables with lubricant as he is feeling a clampdown. Forge informs him that it is done and that there is only one level left.
Madison suggests they plug into Hudson’s defense systems and play some electronic hardball. Box plugs his now power-cord-like hand into Hudson, resulting in a cyber scream. Forge exclaims that the override is initiated and the walls are opening up. Box enters the mainframe and sees Hudson, naked bar his briefs and stuck into the hard drive. Box tells Forge to suck it up as he is phasing them out of Box.
Forge asks Madison if he is ready for this, to which Jeffries replies he is - ‘Man-machine to machine- man’. He asks what other way there is to make Hudson realize what he is doing. Jeffries touches Hudson on the face and calls to him, asking if he remembers him. Jeffries reminds Hudson that it was he who got him out of the V.A. Hospital and told him what happened in Vietnam was okay and that sometimes things hit the fan and that is the way it is.
Madison tells Hudson that he has come to tell him the same thing, when suddenly Forge announces that Hudson has opened up and his is linking in. Madison calls to Hudson and asks him to wake up, informing him that he is messing things up big time here. He asks him to remember who he was - is - and to remember when he recruited Madison for Department H. Jeffries points out that he was only a trainee in Gamma Flight, but that Hudson loved having him around because they both had one thing in common - their love of machines. Jeffries supposes that they both took it to extremes, before admitting that there is something else they took to extremes - Heather.
Madison asks Hudson to remember Heather, and a mental image of how she looked when Hudson first met her appears. Madison points out that Heather looks so young, innocent and beautiful. Jeffries admits to Hudson that he loves Heather too now as she is a special lady. He informs Hudson that Heather never gave up on the dream when they thought he had all died. Jeffries reveals that Heather kept Alpha Flight going no matter how rough it got - all because of her faith and belief in James MacDonald Hudson’s dream.
Suddenly, Hudson utters a small cry. Jeffries tells Hudson not to give up on himself, to stop this, as Heather wants him back. ‘Heather’ says Hudson smiling. Forge urges Mac on. ‘Heather!’ says Mac, tears streaming down his face. ‘I’m alive…I’m alive…’.