A cold night in Sault St. Marie…just got hot. Heather McNeil Hudson a.k.a. Vindicator recalls that she and her close friend Wolverine a.k.a. Logan have been following Wildchild’s trail ever since he was sprung from prison in Ottawa. They didn’t expect that those doing the springing were Wildchild’s fellow members of Gamma Flight - losers in the “Official Government Sanctioned Heroes Sweepstakes”.
Vindicator unleashes a blast of plasma from her electromagnetically powered battle suit and knocks down Silver and Auric. Wolverine tells Heather that Wildchild and Nemesis are his and tells her to go after Witchfire. That is fine by Heather as she is in the mood to dance no matter who is on the card. Gamma Flight’s mysterious leader Nemesis lunges at Wolverine, telling him that they didn’t want this fight but they will do it to the death - his or theirs.
Wolverine senses Wildchild coming up behind him and knocks him out, telling him to wait his turn. Wolverine replies to Nemesis and tells her that she better be ready to back up her words, before knocking her back. Turning to Wildchild, Logan tells him that it is now his turn.
Heather hovers above Witchfire, she only knows that she is some kind of sorceress, but doesn’t know how her powers work. Witchfire lets loose some light powers, to which Heather sarcastically remarks ‘Bright lights, I’m scared’. Witchfire tells Heather not to underestimate her. ‘No, wouldn’t want to do that, would we?’ Heather remarks, before placing the electromagnetic stabilizers in the suit at rest with the Earth’s gravitational rotation for a split second.
It is a trick Heather usually reserves for long distance shunting, but it works really nicely in close quarters too, and teleports Heather right behind Witchfire, enabling her to strike the sorceress down. Leaving four down, and one to go.
Wildchild slashes Wolverine across the back, telling him that business is unsettled since they last played the game. Wolverine turns and punches Wildchild over, asking him how many times he has told him it is not a game. Wildchild lunges at Logan again tackling him at the waist. Wolverine just mutters that he never did listen. ‘No I didn’t!’ exclaims Wildchild, his fist ready to strike Logan.
But Logan grabs Wildchild and pushes him back, exclaiming that he will never be able to figure out who is to blame for that fault, either one of them. Tackling Wildchild to the ground, Logan mutters ‘Ah, the heck with it - it’s your fault!’ Wildchild starts to growl, and Wolverine points out that every time the chips are down he goes right back into his animal mode.
Wolverine skewers Wildchild in the stomach, reminding him that a year ago he did the same thing and almost killed Heather. Wolverine reminds Wildchild that he swore they would come full circle and that Wildchild would pay for that. ‘Guess what time it is?’ Wildchild collapses as Heather flies by, ‘Logan! No!’ Logan replies that he knows, and that it is time to put the animal back in the cage.
Meanwhile, at Roxxon in Denver, Samuel Higgins, the facility coordinator updates his files, explaining that James MacDonald Hudson is alive and the facility has been blown to smithereens - but what now? Hudson is in the medi-lab while clean up crews try to make some semblance of order out of the chaos which was, until an hour ago, a prime Roxxon Research Facility. The X-Man Forge is supervising the tests and Hudson’s fellow Alphans Madison “Box” Jeffries and Lillian Crawley a.k.a. Diamond Lil are still shell shocked by the events.
Higgins now watches quietly from the sides, with Roxxon’s own para human operative Colin Ashworth Hume a.k.a. Windshear. Forge stands near Madison as he asks Hudson what happened. Samuel Higgins suddenly feels his Adam’s apple lump in his throat like a cartoon character’s. Hudson reveals that he has been part of the electromagnetic landscape, that he has been asleep in cybernetic dreamland…for ten thousand years!
Madison informs Hudson that when Jerry Jaxon’s robot tried to get revenge on Alpha Flight by impersonating him, it made up a cockamamie story about Hudson getting time-warped into space. Mac reveals that it was accurate information, and explains that when he encountered Omega Flight and Jaxon in New York City, he was able to defeat Jaxon who battled in the original Box armor, but only at the cost of great traumatic damage to Hudson’s biological form and his mechanical suit.
As Hudson attempts to facilitate repairs to his overloading battle suit systems, he realizes he would not be able to accomplish the task in sufficient time. The last human voice he remembers hearing was that of his wife, Heather as she rushes into the room, at the same time, Hudson triggers his suits fail-safe system.
Hudson saved both their lives, but in doing so, ignited the suit’s ultimate expression of its electromagnetic gravitational capabilities. His body teleports at faster-than-light speed and is thrust into the space-time continuum.
Mac comes to rest on Ganymede, the largest of Jupiter’s many moons. Unfortunately, he is unable to sustain his system’s functions in the harsh atmosphere and his form collapses into the numbing coldness of impending cessation.
To say the least, Mac is rather surprised when he awakes to find an alien race who call themselves the Qwrlln looking down on him. The Qwrlln work hard to prevent Hudson’s system from disfunctioning and keep him alive as they sought to repair his damages with their advanced technology. Unfortunately, they are not able to conversant in human physiology and they misinterpret his suit’s mechanical equipment with his natural organic matter, creating a working synthesis of the two - essentially, James MacDonald Hudson has become a cyborg!
Hudson learns that his teleportation has not only warped him millions of miles away, but thousands of years into the past as well. The Qwrlln place Mac into a cryogenic stasis chamber so that he will sleep blissfully until such time that he catches up with his future.
When that time finally came, Hudson rose to discover that the Qwrlln had mysteriously vanished, leaving remnants of their civilization, and a spacecraft which would return him to Earth.
The craft, traveling at sub-light speeds required two months to reach Earth, and Hudson sleeps through the whole journey, as he had already done for so long - but upon landing in the Pacific Ocean outside the coastline of British Columbia, Hudson’s stasis chamber malfunctioned and he remains in a comatose state.
Fortunately, or unfortunately, his craft is found by a Roxxon Oil research rig and he is remanded to the company’s custody. They don’t know what to do with him, so they did nothing, just left him as he was.
From there, while he sleeps, he slowly entered - through his medical monitoring systems - into cybernetic communication with the Denver Facility’s computer network. Hudson leans or Samuel Higgins’s two year struggle to have his situation “rectified”, and in time, Hudson comes to fully understand what had happened to him and though the mechanical components of his brain were fully active within the electro field, his organic mind was very much asleep and unconscious of his actions.
Hudson is by now able to control and subvert Roxxon’s cyber web, much to their chagrin. Roxxon panics and asks for help - Box, Lil, Windshear and Forge - and now Hudson is fully conscious thanks to the simple human contact by Madison Jeffries. The damage is done to the facility and the civilians within it occurred as the direct result of Roxxon’s ill-advised attempts to “rectify” Hudson’s status.
Forge approaches Higgins and asks him if it is true that while they were inside of Hudson’s mechanical fortress, he was trying to kill him. Higgins replies that they had gotten to the point where they thought they would…’umm…cut our losses…and we sort of tried…umm…unplugging Hudson’. Mac exclaims that he had erected so many unconscious fail-safe security devices that their very actions precipitated the rather extreme destruction of the facility.
Windshear turns to Higgins and asks him if he didn’t care about this facility or the poor people who worked here - that it is all about the bloody corporation and the precious profit line and rep. Higgins stays silent, eyes downcast.
Hudson declares that be that as it may, he believes he is no longer dependant on Roxxon’s hospitality, and pulls of the wires attached to him, allowing himself to turn off the monitoring systems. Mac puts some clothes on and exclaims that with the time he anticipates Roxxon will need to undo the damages they have inflicted upon themselves, they will be far too preoccupied to worry about him.
Hudson tells Higgins that he assumes he is free to leave, ‘Yeah, sure, free as a bird’ replies Higgins. ‘Who had been trapped in a cage not of his making’ exclaims Hudson. Mac turns to Forge and tells him that he understands they must return him to Muir Island before they return to Canada. Forge replies that is correct, before asking Mac how he knew that, as they just met. Hudson doesn’t answer, instead he declares that a parabolic arc in the atmosphere should allow them to complete the task in minutes.
Diamond Lil approaches Mac and somewhat unsure of what she is about to say, and possibly nervous, asks him to listen. Mac obviously senses her hesitation and tells Lil that he knows of her role in Omega Flight’s activities, before revealing that he is also aware of her recent work on behalf of Alpha Flight. He assures her that if they can give her the opportunity to reform, then so can he. Lillian thanks Mac wholeheartedly.
Jeffries gets back into his Box armor and follows Hudson with the others as they begin to leave. Mac declares that this is all and recommends to Higgins that he strives towards “rectifying” the aftermath of this situation in a way far different than was his intention for him. Hudson exclaims that he may have once lived under the philosophy of “Forgive and Forget”, but now his memory bank prevents him from doing the latter and anger is the former.
Mac wishes Windshear luck and tells him that he is inexperienced and rather childish, before reminding him that he controls his own destiny and suggests he choses wisely. Windshear asks Mac to let him come with them, to which Higgins quickly speaks up and reminds Windshear that they have a lot of work to do here. Hume replies that there is no work for him to do here, not for Roxxon, not after he learned about this company. Colin exclaims that there is more to life than cutting a pay check for doing nothing and it is about time he showed some guts and made something of himself. ‘In other words, Sammy, I quit!’
Higgins updates his file after watching them leave, boasting that Hudson will get his cometh upeth eventually. He reminds himself that although Windshear’s powers are his own, the armor isn’t and Roxxon will get it back - and Higgins claims that he will be the one to peel it off, piece by piece. ‘You see boys, I don’t forgive and forget either’. With those ominous words, Samuel Higgins ends his JMH file.
Meanwhile, inside the Black Hills of South Dakota, four Alphans have successfully rescued their missing member from their arch-foe, the self-proclaimed Master of the World - now all they have to do is find their way out in one piece! However, the Master’s Remnant Men are attacking Alpha Flight, making their escape impossible.
Michael “Shaman” Twoyoungmen asks his teammates how they can escape without harming the Master’s innocent pawns. Eugene Milton Judd a.k.a. Puck, the long missing Alphan and reason the others came for him, replies that he doesn’t know, but that if he is going to die than at least he can thank Talisman for conjuring up a costume for him.
Elizabeth Twoyoungmen a.k.a. the phenomenal Talisman replies that it was her pleasure, for it is better than having him fight the Remnant Men in the buff. ‘Yeah, well, your hocus-pocus things done all right by Puck’s panties, but why can’t you help the rest of us?’ asks Walter “Sasquatch” Langkowski. The serene Jeanne-Marie “Aurora” Beaubier points out to her ex-lover that Talisman’s magical resources are not unlimited, and asks him to restrain himself and all her to bring some measure of peace to the tortured beings by bathing them in her internal light.
As Aurora unleashes light upon the Remnant Men, as the Master of the World mocks her: ‘Yes, little Aurora, struggle in vain to bring about a solution in as peaceful a manner as possible’. The Master laughs at all Aurora and her teammates can do to stop themselves from tearing his Remnant Men apart, for as ever, the Master of the World manipulates his inferiors to his heart’s content.
As Elizabeth pushes the Remnant Men away from her, she mutters that this is ridiculous and tells Shaman to throw her his mystic pouch. Shaman begins to ask Talisman why she would need it, when Talisman shouts ‘Don’t question me! This is Talisman telling Shaman, not daughter asking father!’ Shaman accepts this and passes his daughter his medicine pouch. Talisman exclaims that the only way to stop the creatures without hurting them, or their selves, is to return them to their normal human state.
Talisman explains that the only way to do this is to revert the Remnant Men through mystical means, but first she needs to find the appropriate spell in Shaman’s bag and act upon it. Since she does not have the luxury of time to sift through the millions of spells in Shaman’s pouch - she places the bag over her head to sift through all the spells at once! Talisman exclaims that everything is rushing through her at once, millions of worlds she can see them all!
Talisman declares that it is so overwhelming, and her father tries to reach out to her, but the Remnant Men hold him back. Shaman announces that as the pouch has been turned inside out they have barely survived the act and reminds everyone that Smart Alec once looked inside the pouch and was left in a vegetative state. ‘But to use your mind as a filter for energies within it is suicide!’
Sasquatch calls to Shaman and asks him what Talisman is doing, while within the bag Talisman moans. Shaman explains that Elizabeth is defining, collating and absorbing trillions of mystical spells and artifacts in order to find the one which will cure the Remnant Men. The Master of the World stands amongst the confusion, remarking that this is fascinating, for even if Elizabeth finds the appropriate spell, she may destroy herself in the process, while if she fails, the Alphans will be overrun by his crazed bio-morphic creations. Since the Master finds both scenarios visually and viscerally distasteful, he decides it best to depart, and makes a sneaky exit.
Talisman announces that she has found the correct spell, but it is racing through her so quickly that she is starting to lose it! She invokes her father and grandfather, and exclaims ‘Let the spell of bionatural equilibrium be released!’ Bright light shines all around Talisman and the Remnant Men are thrust backwards.
‘Fascinating!’ exclaims the Master as he watches Elizabeth success from a monitor elsewhere in the complex. He decides that his Remnant Men had outlived their usefulness anyway, and between the information he has gained from the biological manipulations of Judd and the other humans, as well as his knowledge of the Plodex which has made him as he is today, he will soon be prepared to create a race of beings suitable for conquest - the ultimate biological warriors at his beck and call. He decides to, for now, retire to a more suitable location from which to monitor the events of this planet, and with that teleports his entire base away.
Alpha Flight find themselves being moved through space-time, Aurora explaining that the Master must be moving his spaceship from its one-dimensional hiding place, and they arrive back in the woods. Motioning to the unmoving Talisman who lies in her father’s arms, Sasquatch asks what has happened to her. Shaman reveals that upon releasing the spell she collapsed, and placing her on the ground he explains that he has probed for some sign of cerebral activity and found nothing! ‘By my ancestors…I think my daughter is dead!’
Back in Sault St. Marie, Logan and Heather ran over Gamma Flight like a truck over a squirrel, but it didn’t give Heather an ounce of satisfaction. Vindicator informs Gamma Flight that it is over and suggests they do something different for once and decide what they are going to do like rational adults. Wrapping her cape around Wildchild’s wounds, Nemesis asks what there is to decide, reminding Heather and Wolverine she told them Gamma Flight will not be taken alive.
Heather tells Nemesis that they are not going to kill her and points out that Witchfire, Silver and Auric do not look too interested in a suicide pact. Zhao “Auric” Kwan suddenly speaks up and announces that he and his sister would prefer to go home to China. Jimon a.k.a. Silver exclaims that they serve the cause of freedom and democracy and could better do that in their homeland than in jail. Heather reminds the siblings that her government gave them asylum for their own purposes, influenced by the Sorcerer, and now their services are no longer needed. She tells them to beat it, but if they ever need help, they no where they can be found.
Witchfire informs Heather that she would like to accept the opportunity to serve as a trainee under Alpha’s tutelage, to which Heather remarks that she can learn quite a lot from Shaman and Talisman, not to mention she will now be able to keep an eye on her. Wolverine turns to Nemesis and declares that it only leaves her and Wildchild. Wolverine reminds Nemesis that the others were following her lead and asks if she is ready to take responsibility for her actions.
Nemesis asks Wolverine if he wants her to accept the blame for helping her friend, to willingly go to jail for that. ‘What right to you have to demand that of us?’ Nemesis reveals that all she wants for Wildchild is what James and Heather Hudson originally gave Wolverine - a chance to live within society, not on its fringes. Wolverine remarks that there is a problem - Wildchild is a killer, plain and simple.
Wolverine points out that he has learned to control himself while Wildchild hasn’t. He informs Nemesis that a year ago Wildchild went on a rampage and he barely managed to stop him from killing Heather. ‘That was you, huh? I should’ve known’ mutters Heather.
Nemesis asks Wolverine if those actions are really so different from his own past ones, and reminds him of Puck who was in jail when Hudson paroled him to be part of Department H, or Diamond Lil, who had a hand in Hudson’s death and now she is part of Alpha Flight. ‘What hypocrites!’ Nemesis screams. Admitting that she broke their precious laws and asks if because they don’t know her or trust Wildchild they have to be brought to justice?
Nemesis asks Heather and Logan who gives them the right to judge like that. ‘Not me!” She reminds them that she said they would not be captured no matter what the cost - ‘And I meant it!’ with that, Nemesis clicks something on her sword and in a blinding flash of light, Nemesis and Wildchild disappear. A pile of ashes lie in front of Heather and Logan. ‘Teleportation or suicide?’ asks Logan.
‘What difference does it make?’ asks Heather, pointing out that they can no longer use Wildchild’s blood transfusion to help cure Logan’s healing factor. Logan replies by telling Heather that he didn’t do this for himself, but for her. Wolverine reminds Heather that she had to prove that she wasn’t selling out to the government if she worked with them, had to prove that she still had the strength of her convictions. Logan tells Heather that her idea to let help him spring Wildchild, then letting Silver, Auric and Witchfire make up their own minds, proves she still has what it takes to make the tough decisions.
Wolverine declares that whether Alpha Flight works with the government or not, Heather should know she can make the right choices. He tells her that she is readier now than ever to carry on with Mac’s dream, to be a guardian to this country. Heather asks Wolverine what he is going to do. ‘What about me?’ Logan mutters. With that, he is gone. Heather thinks that Logan comes and goes like the night, before deciding that she likes the title “Guardian”.
At Ottawa General Hospital, three hours later. Sasquatch, Aurora, Northstar and Puck are sitting in a waiting room with Laura Dean’s parents, Darby and Susan Dean. Walter asks if they are going to just keep sitting around waiting, to which Jean-Paul remarks that if there is one thing he learned between his ill-spent time on Asgard and in this hospital is patience - ‘Now stop pacing, sit down and shut up!’ ‘Ah, Beaubier, how I’d missed that charming style of yours’ Walt remarks.
Puck tells Walt that Northstar does have a point and suggests he relax a little as there is nothing they can do to help by wearing out the rug. ‘How about wearing out the rug in this direction?’ suggests Heather as she enters the waiting room followed by Witchfire. ‘Heather!’ exclaims Puck. ‘Eugene!’ remarks Heather, getting on her knees to hug him, relieved he is all right. Puck replies that he is better than ever, before informing Heather that Elizabeth was hurt.
Shaman makes his presence known as he exclaims they have done all they can to help her, but the rest is up to her now. Shaman informs everyone that Elizabeth has sustained certain neurological damages and is sleeping in intensive care. Shaman adds that they will not know how badly she has been affected until she awakens. Heather gives her condolences to her friend, before asking Doctor Giloski of Laura Dean.
Giloski replies that the blood transfusion provided by Laura’s parents has gotten her out of the critical condition, though she is still in a coma. Heather turns to Darby and Susan Dean and asks them if they are Laura’s natural parents, before telling them that they may have helped their daughter now, but they still have a lot to answer for. Susan replies that they know that.
‘Guess we have a lot to answer for, too, eh, Heather?’ asks Jeffries as he, Lillian and Windshear enter the waiting room. Madison greets Puck, before Heather asks him where he has been. Jeffries informs Heather that they got blackmailed into helping out a Roxxon plant in the States, before introducing Heather to Windshear, informing her that he was working for Roxxon but that he quit them to join up with Alpha Flight.
‘Bad enough you ran out on me - and with her - but to go help out Roxxon?’ Heather asks referring to Diamond Lil. Madison understands because of Mac, and tells Heather that is the funny part, as the problem Roxxon was having that needed their help had a lot to do with that very thing. Heather asks Jeffries what he is talking about - and her eyes go wide with horror as she sees Mac in the doorway. Puck, Aurora, Jean-Paul and Walt are equally surprised to see their former leader. ‘Hello, Heather, long time no see’ remarks Mac. Heather rushes over to Mac and asks him if it is really he. She embraces Mac, ‘Oh, God, it cant be true! You’re alive! Is it really you this time?’ ‘Yes, Heather. I am functional. I am…alive’.
Two very hectic days later: Prime Minister Mulroney heads the parliamentary select committee, announcing that though they cannot neglect the potential problems involved in promoting super-human activity, neither can they ignore its necessity in today’s troubled times. Mulroney explains that what is being decided upon today is the establishment of a super human community which works in conjunction with the needs of the federal and provincial governments as well as with the needs of the Canadian people. He claims that they strenuously believe that they have just such a group with Alpha Flight.
Mulroney declares that as they now officially sanction Alpha Flight to operate within Canadian borders, and through a Unesco decree within the global arena, they are also re-establishing Department H as a fully functioning organization based in a building to be constructed in Toronto. Mulroney explains that the newly formed facility will not only serve as headquarters of Alpha Flight, but also of its support mechanisms - Gamma Flight - a name they hope to redeem - will be the administrative service responsible for super human studies along scientific, medical, technological, preternatural and anthropological disciplines, and Beta Flight, the center for the identification, recruitment and training of tomorrow’s super human’s today.
Smiling, Mulroney declares that they believe under this new operational system, not only will Canada benefit greatly, but so will the rest of the world. Without further ado, Mulroney introduces everyone to the “new” leader of Alpha Flight - Guardian! Heather steps forward and thanks the Prime Minister, before declaring that she would like to take the time to thank the members of the house and the people of Canada for their support and encouragement, as she knows it hasn’t been easy.
Heather exclaims that reaching this point, developing this mutually beneficial relationship has been the result of much emotional and physical toil. She declares that the road getting here has taken and given so much to all of them, that to deny the hardship would be to deny the best in all of them - the ability to endure, to preserve and ultimately, the ability to survive no matter what the cost.
Heather smiles as she explains that the foundation of Alpha Flight, of this country, of this world, has to be built up from the ground with the respect and hope as the cement, she knows they have all learned that recently. Heather declares that as they build this structure called Alpha - called Canada - called Earth - block by block and brick by brick, each new layer adds to the structures it builds through loyalty to each other - trust in each other, faith with each other, strength for each other, and respect and hope for the world.
Heather declares that speaking for herself, Sasquatch, Aurora, Northstar, Windshear, Diamond Lil, Vindicator, Box, Shaman, Puck, Persuasion, Witchfire and Talisman…’Alpha Flight is ready to serve the needs of the world!’ ‘Nice speech, eh’ remarks Puck, ‘But can someone tell me what the heck we are going to do with thirteen Alphans?’
Days later and an ocean away rests the small European country called Latveria. For months, this land has endured political and social turmoil. The time has come for the leader of Latveria to ask the international community for help. Someone informs that very leader that his flights has been arranged and that trade talks will begin at 10.00 A.M. three days from now. ‘How blows the wins of public opinion?’ asks the Latverian leader.
The assistant replies that as always he is being respectfully received and that rumors of terrorist activities planned to interrupt the meetings persist though. ‘Let them! I will not be deterred!’ the boastful leader replies. As his green cloak is donned, he exclaims that his people need what Canada can give and never let it be said that he does not provide for the needs of his people. ‘For it shall ever be so - what Doom wants, he gets!; exclaims the mighty Doctor Doom!