Alpha Flight (2nd series) #10

Issue Date: 
May 1998
Story Title: 
Small Sacrifices

Steve T. Seagle (Writer), Anthony Winn (Penciler), Aaron Sowd (Inker), Richard Starkings & Comicraft’s S.T. (Letterers), Lee Ann Garner (Colorist), Dan Hosek (Assistant Editor), Jaye Gardner (Editor), Bob Harras (Editor-in-Chief)

Brief Description: 

Upon returning from their ill-fated encounter with Wolverine, Alpha Flight have a meeting with General Clarke, in which a furious Heather warns him that she and Alpha Flight are the ones with the power around here, and declares that she is going to uncover all of his little lies and deceit which plagues Department H. Puck has a chat with Radius in which he suggests he becomes more of a team player, while Flex receives an email from the Adoption Uplink Network, informing him that Radius’ father is Unus the Untouchable. Heather is preparing to leave Department H when she gets an email informing her that Alpha Flight’s lives are in danger. She meets the person who sent the email - Doctor Myra Haddock - while Puck gathers the others. Myra reveals to Heather some of General Clarke’s secrets, and admits that Clarke is out of control, and she wants to help remove him from the Department. Myra offers her help to Heather when the rest of Alpha Flight rush towards them, under attack from some Epsilons. Myra locks Alpha Flight in the Prometheus Lab, and shows them the Prometheus Pit, suggesting they could go into it and hide out for a while. Alpha Flight enter the Pit, and Clarke congratulates Myra on her good acting abilities, assuring her that he will not sabotage her funding any further. Alpha Flight arrive in a part of the Microverse called Ant Tica, and learn that there coming was long prophesized. Some Shadow Priests give Alpha a history of Ant Tica, before they go to meet Baron Zebek. At a dinner later, Alpha realize that there was no peaceful take over when Zebek arrived in Ant Tica, as the indigenous ant people are no servants and entertainment - such as the ones that get killed fighting a beast in the colosseum. Alpha Flight take their leave, when they hear a strange sound and Guardian goes off on his own to investigate, learning that it is a Quarkarion bomb being built so that Ant Tica will never be threatened. Heather discovers that Manbot is being held prisoner, but after getting her teammates, they cannot find their way back to where Manbot is Guardian returns with the news of the bomb, but Heather feels it more important to find Manbot first. More Shadow Priests appear, only to reveal themselves as Commander Arcturus Rann, Marionette, Dexam and Bug - the Champions of the Microverse! Meanwhile, in Paris, Taurus arrives to collect Virgo, informing her that Scorpio is preparing the rest of the Zodiac for their return.

Full Summary: 

Do you ever wish you could just leave this world and all its problems behind you?

‘You wipe that smug little blank stare off your face or I’ll melt it off with this infuriating “Vindicator” battle suit of yours!’ Heather McNeil Hudson a.k.a. Vindicator exclaims angrily to General Jeremy Clarke, Department H’s administrator. Heather tries to move towards Clarke but her teammates Guardian and Puck hold her back as she points out that Clarke fed them false information to make them try and drag Wolverine back into his clutches, before reminding him that it didn’t work. ‘You have lied to us, and it ends right now! Do you understand me?’ she declares.

Heather’s estranged husband, James “Mac” Macdonald Hudson a.k.a. Guardian urges Puck to hold her back, while he tells Heather to calm down. Eugene “Puck” Judd asks why Heather should calm down, as everything she is saying is true. ‘So what’ve you got to say to yourself, eh?’ Judd then asks Clarke. Before Clarke can answer, Heather, who is staring him right in the face, asks what Department H’s ranking official has got to say about conspiring against his own team of operatives? Nonchalantly, Clarke tells Heather that she is making awfully large, unfounded accusations there. ‘Am I?’ Heather retorts, before suggesting to Clarke that he vindicate himself before she does it her way.

Sitting across the docking bay where the Alpha Jet has landed are the rookie members of Alpha Flight. Adrian “Flex” Corbo remarks that he knew Heather was angry on the flight back, ‘But look at her!’ Adrian’s cocky older brother Jared, also known as Radius, exclaims that he digs that, as Heather is getting all primal on Clarke. ‘That jerk deserves it,’ he adds, before suggesting they get closer so they can hear. Sitting on a box keeping Sasquatch under control, Arlette “Murmur” Truffaut remarks that the way Vindicator is screaming, they can hear her fine from where they are.

‘Let go of me!’ Heather exclaims, breaking free from her teammates’ grasp. Judd urges her not to do anything, to which Heather replies that she isn’t going to do anything - unless she doesn’t like the explanation she hears. ‘I’m waiting, General’, Heather points out, before telling Clarke that he stands accused of sending Alpha Flight in under false pretenses, before adding that she also thinks he has found a way to manipulate their memories to spoon-feed them a clap-trap story about Wolverine being a murderer.

That’s what Puck is thinking too, he knows Heather is right, for no matter how hard he tries to keep in mind his confusion over the state of Madison Jeffries or Sasquatch’s capture, something in his head keeps pushing those thoughts away. As for Guardian, he frowns while recalling that his memories were reconstructed by the Department, so if what Heather is saying is true, does that mean his whole existence is a lie?

But General Clarke always has an answer, a fast, clever fix to any problem. This time it is ‘International Intelligence Espionage’ he exclaims, frowning.

‘Break out the seeds, kiddies. I think Pa’s about to spread some more fertilizer around,’ Radius jokes as he hears Clarke begin his explanation to the senior members of Alpha Flight. Murmur suggests that General Clarke could be telling the truth. ‘Heather, she is always irrational and unstable’ Murmur remarks. Flex disagrees, and points out that Puck is not and that Puck wouldn’t make stuff like this up. Radius remarks that if the senior Alphans - the veterans - have been lied to, then what about all that junk the three of them got as novices during their training. ‘Ah, geez,’ Flex mutters.

Clarke claims that the video which was shown to Alpha Flight was acquired - ‘Stolen if you prefer,’ - in a S.H.I.E.L.D. cyber jacking mission, and that Department H analyzed the image and it passed their authentication tests. Clarke informs Heather, Mac and Judd that after they were dispatched to capture Weapon X, Department H learned the image was fraudulent, he claims that no one was more angry over being fed false information than he was. Clarke explains that they tried to recall Alpha Flight but that Manbot’s field transmission receiver was out of cell range.

‘False video? Out of range? That’s convenient,’ Heather mutters. Clarke states once more that the Weapon X information came from a secondary source, while holding up some folders which he explains are for other participants in the Weapon X Program and have been collected from primary Canadian files. He begins to inform the senior Alphans that their next mission is to proceed with the collection of other X’s like Kane and Deadpool - ‘You must be joking!’ Heather declares, hands on hips as she interrupts him. ‘Brain damaged more likely, eh?’ suggests Judd.

Clarke turns to Guardian and points out that he is the team leader, before asking him what he says. Mac’s instinct is to do as he is told…but is that leadership, or obedience? Suddenly, Heather steps in front of Mac and tells Clarke that she will not stand by and let Mac be manipulated. She informs Clarke that Alpha Flight is not going anywhere until they get a chance to get their bearings, and decide for themselves what their next move will be. Clarke scowls as he tells Heather to take all the time she needs, before reminding her that they have all signed contracts and that failure to comply could constitute treason.

Clarke explains that this is a critical time for Department H’s rebirth and therefore he strongly suggests that Heather set aside unmotivated doubts and proceed with the objectives her country has outlined in these documents. Suddenly, Heather whacks the files out of Clarke’s hand, telling him not to threaten them, as they are the ones with the power here. The rookies join Heather, Mac and Judd as they leave the hangar bay, with Heather calling back ‘We’ll notify you of Alpha’s next mission…if there is a next mission’.

Was this all some sort of complicated game of chicken? A staring match? And if so…then who blinked? Clare picks up the phone and exclaims that he wants to be put through to extension 776. When the person at the end of the extension he wants answers, Clarke informs them that they are proceed with the plan as discussed, or else he will drop their funding by midnight.

Even if you chose to, how could you escape the world around you? ‘I don’t owe you anything! I don’t owe you anything!’ sings Radius to himself as he sits back in a chair in his quarters. He puts his feet, which are decked out in in-line skates on his desk, littered with CD’s and magazines and pretends to strum his hockey stick like a guitar. ‘I stick around! I stick around! Oh - I- Unhh -day by -’ he continues to sing, when Judd bangs on his door. ‘Molson-Man! Come on in! I’m just rocking out!’ exclaims Radius.

Judd turns Jared’s sound system down, ‘Yeah, rocking me right outta my room next door!’ Judd exclaims, before telling Jared that he has to be more of a team of a team player. ‘Whatever’ Radius replies, before informing Judd that he is going to be playing some roller hockey with some Epsilon guards in a minute, so he can skip the big build-up and cut to the chase. Puck lunges for Jared and grabs the top of his singlet, ‘Good! Glad to hear it!’ he exclaims before telling him that there is no secret message here, ‘Just exactly what I said! No more going after objectives like Mesmero and Wolverine by yourself!’

Judd points out that he has tried to tell Radius nicely, but now he is just telling. He adds that being a team player can mean the difference between life and death. ‘Definitely yours, possible mine - I don’t want you, or me, learning that the hard way’. Judd begins to walk out of a stunned Radius’ room, telling to go and play his hockey, and to remember, ‘You gotta pass to score sometimes’. On his way out, Judd turns the volume of the stereo back up.

Walking down the hallway, Judd passes Flex’s quarters. Hearing the commotion, Flex pops his head out of his room and asks Judd what is going on. ‘Your brother needs a butt whipping, this Department needs a lobotomy and I need a beer,’ Puck replies, telling Flex not to worry about it. ‘Oh, okay. Uh, talk to you later,’ Adrian replies as Judd walks off.

All this conflict has Flex worried, for although he doesn’t like being Flex, Alpha flight is all the family he has in the world…though he is looking for more. ‘You’ve got mail!’ Adrian’s computer informs him. ‘Cool!’ he exclaims. Opening the email, Flex sees that it is from the Adoption Uplink Network, and it is concerning his brother. The message reveals that a public record search has matched a biological father for Jared and that the father is Gunther Bain…also known as Unus the Untouchable! The message also states that Adrian is to contact them for further sensitive information on the matter. ‘Unus the Untouchable? What kind of a name is that?’ asks Flex, surprised. But that is the problem with looking for answers…they usually lead to more questions.

Heather Hudson has had enough of it. Packing her suitcase, it seems she is ready to trade this world of government control and bureaucracy for one of her own making. ‘I don’t know why I’ve stayed here this long in the first place’ she thinks to herself. Heather tells herself that it makes no sense, for Alpha Flight was little more than trials and heartaches in the past…what made her think it would be any different this time? ‘Going somewhere, Heather?’ asks Judd as he knocks on the door and enters Heather’s quarters.

‘Anywhere,’ Heather replies, to which Judd asks if she wasn’t going to tell him or Mac, which is unlike her. ‘Nothing I do here is like me!’ Heather exclaims, remarking that she doesn’t know who she is when she is in this madhouse. ‘Environmental poisoning I could accept. But this is more insidious. There’s no one on our side here, Puck. No one’. Judd points out that they still have each other. ‘Unless you go, which you shouldn’t’ He adds ‘Not yet’, at least until we solve everything.

Judd begins to tell Heather that you don’t ignore a cancer, you try to beat it, when Heather’s computer suddenly informs her that she has urgent mail. It keeps repeating itself until Heather asks Judd to turn it off. Judd is about to when he clicks on the message and suggests to Heather that she might want to read it. The message says: Heather - Alpha’s lives are in imminent danger. Collect those who matter to you and meet me in the Prometheus Division man lab immediately. Judd points out that it seems Heather has a mystery friend, and asks if they should trust them. ‘How much worse than Clarke could they be?’ Heather replies, before telling Judd to get the others and meet her at the lab, floor 8, then they can see what this is all about.

Have you ever been to Paris? ‘It’s lovely this time of year…like a whole different world…I’ll miss it,’ remarks Virgo of the new Zodiac as she sits on a window seat. A bloody hand print is splashed up against the wall beside her. Virgo adds that she will especially miss the people, and points out that everyone says such negative things about them, but that they really are kind and warm hearted. The sultry villainess looks at the bodies of the elderly man and woman on the floor lying in pools of their own blood. Virgo proclaims that the elderly couple picked her up, took her in and took care of her without even knowing who she was. ‘Guess they shoulda asked more questions’ Virgo’s teammate Taurus mutters, before telling Virgo that they should get going before Scorpio gets bent out of shape.

Virgo asks Taurus why it was he who Scorpio sent to collect her, to which Taurus explains that Scorpio knew her earth-sign teleporter wasn’t working, so they could both use his. ‘But why didn’t he just come himself?’ she asks. As the two Zodiac begin to disappear in a burst of smoke, Taurus informs Virgo that Scorpio is busy birthing the last of the twelve, and the sooner which means that when they get back, they can meet their new brothers and sisters of the Zodiac!

Back at Department H, outside the Prometheus Division. Heather has noticed it before, but never been inside. This is a day of new experiences. ‘Heather, I’m glad you came,’ Doctor Myra Haddock declares as the senior Alphan walks towards her. ‘”Heather” is for my friends. I don’t even know you, or what your lab studies’ Heather snaps back. Myra introduces herself and claims that she is a friend, before revealing that the Prometheus Division is the technology acquisition arm of Department H.

Myra adds that time is short so she should get to the point, and informs Vindicator that she fears some of her discoveries are being used against Alpha Flight - misused actually. Myra explains that she has reason to believe that General Clarke has been manipulating Alpha Flight by altering their neural patterns with a device they retrieved from Latvia - as well as employing energy-form retrieval sentinels based on U.S. designs - and de-gaining technology gathered from the High Evolutionary’s compound.

Almost nervously, Heather tells Myra that she doesn’t know how glad she is to hear her say such horrible things, for it explains so much. ‘Except why you’re telling me this’. To that comment, Myra replies that she is a scientist and believes very strongly in her work here. ‘But Clarke is out of control, and quite simply, I’m looking to wrest control of the Department from him before his madness tears it apart’. Heather tells Myra that she can feel free to fill out an application after she gets done polishing the floor with his bald head, before excusing herself and starts to take her leave.

Myra calls Heather back, telling her, that with all due respect, by revealing Clarke’s secrets, she has put herself and her work at equal risk and she doesn’t have any super powers to defend herself. ‘And you’re suggesting….?’ Heather replies. Myra warns Heather that if she tries to confront Clarke or flee, then she will never make it out alive, but points to her lab and reveals that she has something in it which could allow Heather and the rest of Alpha Flight to hide out…’To choose your moment…to choose our moment’. Myra adds that once she has set certain wheels in motion, they can all strike. ‘You to preserve yourselves, me to preserve my work and improve my placement within the Department’.

Myra is about to say something else, when suddenly, Puck, followed by Guardian, Manbot, Radius, Murmur and Flex, comes running towards her, shouting ‘Quick! Seal the doors! We got Epsilon guards on our tails!’ Heather is a bit confused, but Judd quickly informs her that the Epsilons ordered Alpha Flight into a briefing room, and when he refused they opened fire like a bunch of lunatics. ‘It’s starting…’ Myra mumbles.

Heather orders Alpha Flight into the lab, explaining that Dr. Haddock is going to conceal them until they can sort out a strategy. ‘A wise choice,’ remarks Myra. Myra smiles as Judd rushes past her and tells him that it is good to see him again, before asking him if he has forgotten about their date. ‘We’ve met? Can’t imagine I’d ever forget a face like yours. Rain check me?’ ‘I’ll count the minutes’ Myra replies.

Standing in front of a gaping hole in the ground once the doors to the lab have been closed, Myra declares ‘Alpha Flight? I give you…the Prometheus Pit!’ ‘What is it?’ asks Mac. Myra explains that it is a portal to another universe - a safer one than this, a microscopic universe that exists along a double helix molecule strand. Myra attaches a device to Manbot and informs everyone that the device is how they will signal a retrieval, either from her end or theirs. ‘Confirmed,’ states Manbot’.

Guardian begins to ask Myra a question, but as loud banging noises begin to come from the lab doors, Radius exclaims that there is no time for questions, ‘Let’s get small!’ he shouts, ‘You first, Flex’ he adds, pushing his brother into the gaping Prometheus Pit. ‘No! Jared! Jared….’ Flex cries as he begins the descent. Puck and Guardian follow, then Heather and Radius who is sporting his new one-piece uniform. ‘Cool, huh, Murmur?’ he asks as he floats down the Pit. ‘Non! I feel sick!’ replies Murmur as she tumbles in, followed by Manbot.

Do you ever wish you could just leave this world and all its problems behind you? Be careful what you wish for.

Suddenly, up in the lab, General Clarke walks up behind Myra. ‘You’re quite an actress under pressure, Dr. Haddock. I am…impressed’. ‘Extreme pressure, Clarke. I don’t appreciate being manipulated!’ Myra replies angrily. Clarke assures Myra that she has done nothing wrong, merely distracted some difficult people who needed distracting. Clarke adds that Myra can sleep easier knowing he wont sabotage her funding efforts with the Director.

As Clarke takes his leave, Myra asks him why he wants Alpha Flight gone. ‘Let’s just say I have a feeling a new order is coming to Department H’ Clarke replies, declaring it is one in which familiar faces will change and a scientist such as Myra will be well-served to have remained on his good side. ‘And all for such a small matter…a very small matter indeed’.

Small? Small is a relative term - it all has to do with your frame of reference. What is just a molecule to you is a home world to others. And who knows what smaller universes might lie inside the atoms of this “jungle zone” city of Ant Tica? You must keep in mind that even the smallest atom has smaller components within it - that there are worlds within worlds…mysteries within mysteries….

There is a blinding blue light above the city of Ant Tica, and suddenly the seven Alphans appear. ‘JARED!’ screams Flex. ‘They are here!’ whispers a cloaked figure to another as they watch the arrival of Canada’s premiere super hero team. Mac grabs Heather, who doesn’t look well, and asks her if she is all right. Wearily, Heather replies that she is fine, but she feels like someone pulled her stomach inside out. Suddenly, one of the cloaked figures exclaims ‘Upworlders!’

‘The order of this day was long ago written. We prophesized your coming!’ one of the cloaked begins remarks as they approach Alpha Flight. Other beings close in on Alpha Flight, startling Arlette by their appearances. ‘Mon Dieu! Insects! Keep them away from me!’ she screams. Judd tells her to be calm as they need to sort this out. Heather urges Alpha Flight into a defensive posture until they can determine what they are up against, to which one of the cloaked beings informs the heroes that here in Ant Tica, they are up against nothing greater than their gracious welcome. ‘Recording’ announces Manbot.

Mac thanks the mysterious cloaked figures, before pointing out that they have no idea where “here” is, and informs the cloaked ones that he and his team were told that this would be a place to go to for a while. ‘If that’s okay’. ‘As you please, our esteemed guests!’ one of the cloaked beings replies. Mac tells Alpha Flight to be at ease, to which Judd suggests they keep their eyes peeled. ‘How can I be at ease with these bugs everywhere? They are horrible!’ Arlette complains. One of the cloaked figures informs Murmur that they are not bugs, but insectivorids, who are citizens of Ant Tica. With that, the cloaked figures begin telling Alpha Flight the history of Ant Tica.

(Shown with Flashback images, narrated present tense)

The cloaked figures inform Alpha Flight that long ago this zone of home world was little more than a primitive colony with no greater goal than continued survival, adding that residents walked on all six limbs in those dark times. However, those shadows faded with the arrival of the brilliant Baron Zebek of Aegyptus - the savior of his people, his legend is well known. A noble explorer, Baron Zebek extended his hand in friendship to this lesser insectoid race and was befriended by them in return. Then, through a process of cultural immersion and education, Baron Zebek quickly came to know the ways and customs of the jungle people.

So beloved was Zebek, that he was asked to settle and colonize the sphere as its spiritual father. It was a glorious day of accord between the baron and the Queen of the colony. The Baron joined hands with the zone’s greatest builders, and led the construction of a mighty city for all its residents, man and insect alike. The city that rose from a primitive jungle was a might one…Ant Tica. Both races peacefully coexisted in the grandeur that once surrounded the entire Microverse.


The first cloaked figure reveals that the grandeur which once surrounded the entire Microverse was lost during the great wars, save for this peaceful pocket which escaped the destructive hand of rebellion. The second cloaked being welcomes Alpha Flight to this testament to Baron Zebek, who now seeks and audience with them. ‘Please…join us in his palace presently’.

Can one man save a world? Even a very small one? It’s an awful lot to believe - almost as unlikely as the story that led you to this microscopic place. Not that there’s any time to think about it….

Inside the palace throne room, one of the cloaked being inform Alpha Flight that although they are honored guests, Baron Zebek is still a lord and as such, requires proper courtesies when being addressed. ’So wait, we can’t talk to him? Is that what you said?’ asks Radius. ’You must speak only when spoken to’ begins one of the cloaked beings, when suddenly Baron Zebek enters the room, ’Away, Shadow Priests’ he exclaims, proclaiming that formalities are not needed here. ’His Lord, Baron Zebek!’ one of the cloaked priests announces.

The Baron apologizes to Alpha Flight, informing them that they have many years of tradition which are sometimes hard to set aside, and welcomes them to Ant Tica. ’Thanks!’ replies Flex. Zebek approaches Guardian and asks him if he is the leader of his people. ’In a way’ replies Mac, to which Zebek asks him what is bothering him. Mac replies that given the Baron’s history, he was expecting someone older. ‘And yet you who lead this battalion are not an old man’ Zebek replies.

‘True,’ admits Guardian, before Zebek reveals that in his younger days he bore a warriors heart just as Guardian and most of his entourage do. ‘As such, we are kindred spirits’ he remarks, before asking them to join him as his honored dinner guests. ‘Notice he said “most”, runt?’ Jared says to his brother, ‘He must’ve caught sight of you’ ‘Shut up’ Adrian replies, when suddenly, a furious Zebek shouts ‘Speak only when spoken to, boy!’ Do you understand?

It doesn’t seem to have dawned on Alpha Flight yet what type of society they’ve encountered in this little world. It seems they need more time - an empirical example to drive the point home. The heroes sit around Zebek and are given food and wine as they are about to watch the proceedings on the ground of this colosseum-type building. ‘Your soldiers are quiet, Guardian’ Zebek points out. Mac informs the Baron that this is a lot to take in, for although they have seen a number of things, this is a completely different world. ‘Impressive. I hoped you would see it as such’ the Baron remarks. A scantily clad female ant creature walks past carrying a tray of beverages and Judd remarks ‘You looking at what I’m looking at, Jared?’ Radius smiles, ‘Two extra arms to -’ he is cut off by Heather who snaps ‘Save the sexism for Earth’. Radius points out that this molecule is on Earth somewhere.

Heather agrees, before turning to Manbot who is standing behind her and asks him if the fact that humans are eating and insects are serving make him suspicious about the “harmony” of these two races. ‘I no longer register emotional responses’ Manbot replies before adding that the odds of imbalance of roles indicates more than random choice. One of Zebek’s soldiers suddenly announces ‘He is arrived!’ and the crowd begins shouting ‘Cha Lonn! Cha Lonn!’ The ant down on the colosseum floor holds his weapon tightly, as Flex asks what a “chalonn” is.

‘Probably whatever’s behind that gate. Bug dude’s gonna fight it!’ Jared exclaims, as Arlette remarks that she hopes it is not another bug. ‘Oh me God!’ exclaims a horrified Heather as she sees the creature come out from the gate. But it would appear that Heather is not as shocked by the unsightly creature as she is of the fact that the creature is clearly being sent in to fight the cowering citizen before it.

As the small ant run towards the towering Cha Lonn before it, Heather is reminded of how General Clarke regularly sends Alpha Flight to fight forces beyond their measure. Though their missions are not just for sport…are they? ‘To the victor a heart!’ Baron Zebek exclaims. ‘This is…’ begins Heather, ‘Barbaric’ Judd finishes her sentence for her. As the Cha Lonn kills the poor citizen, the crowd, including Radius, goes wild, cheering the creature on.

Do you wish you could just leave this world and all its problems behind you? You’ve already used that wish.

As Alpha Flight, less Manbot, walk through the darkened city of Ant Tica, Flex asks if Baron Zebek isn’t going to be mad at them for leaving the banquet. Arlette mutters that she, for one, does not care and cannot watch another giant bug battling an even more giant bug again. Heather admits that she feels responsible for this, adding that Dr. Haddock’s plan sounded beneficial at the time. Radius reminds his teammates that they have got that thing Haddock put on Manbot and suggests they signal for a pick up. Guardian points out that they are heroes and cannot just turn their backs on what they saw tonight.

‘One bad situation traded for another’ Heather mutters, reminding Judd that they were about to get to the top of the creepy food chain in Department H, only to be thrust into this Microverse. ‘To look at another creepy food chain’ Judd points out. A loud noise startles Heather who asks what it is, when Mac takes to the skies, announcing that he will find out, he tells his team not to go far in case he needs to be able to find them quickly. Judd shouts after Mac, telling him that he needs backup, to which Heather points out that Mac is not himself. ‘Yeah, so I’m starting to think’ Judd adds, before smelling something awful. He discovers where it is coming from and he and Heather round the corner for a closer look - much to their disgust.

They do not know the exact purpose of the disinfectant pit laid out before them - but some things translate across cultures…things like the stench of evil. ‘…two or three arms…’ ‘…a leg for my…’ ‘…eyes!’ come the cries from the pool. ‘What is this?’ Heather asks. ‘Sure ain’t no swimming hole’ Judd remarks, to which Heather points out that it smells like ammonia. Suddenly, Judd sees Manbot trapped in the pool and being pushed down by the guards with spears. Judd remarks that he thought Manbot was with them. ‘20 crats for the up-worlder’s brain!’ shouts one of the guards. ‘Unacceptable,’ declares Manbot.

Heather leaps into action, ‘We have to help him!’ she exclaims and Judd urges the rookies on, telling them that Manbot is in trouble. ‘Finally, something worth doing!’ exclaims Radius, as Flex cries ‘Hey! Wait for me!’ Judd suggests to the teenage members of Alpha Flight that they put on their war paint…as this isn’t going to be any picnic.

There are worlds within worlds…and mysteries within mysteries. As Guardian flies towards the source of the strange sound, he wonders why Puck keeps challenging him, for his memories keep telling him that they were friends - but if that is true, then why don’t his instincts agree. As Guardian flies into some sort of laboratory, it is possible that he will find on this world answers that elude him on his own. Dropping to the ground, Guardian excuses himself and begins to ask a question when an elderly man declares that he is an upworlder and honored guest of Baron Zebek.

The elderly man informs Guardian that he was in the circle earlier and saw him arrive, before asking if he can be of service. Guardian motions to the people chanting in the room and informs the old man that he heard the chanting and is curious as to what they are constructing - a bomb? The old man explains that it is the Quarkarion, Baron Zebek’s tool to ensure peace in the Microverse. He claims that it is not an instrument of evil, and that Baron Zebek says that once other spheres learn of its might, they will never actually have to use it.

‘With all due respect, they tried that on my “sphere”. It doesn’t work’ Guardian tells the old man, who simply replies that it is not his place to say, before wishing Guardian “good moons”. Guardian exists through the hole in the mountain once more and thinks to himself ‘Quarkarion…? Quarks? A bomb that detonates quarks? That would…’ It would be the same as or worse than a nuclear blast in the heart of the Prometheus Pit. In the heart of Ottawa? Yes, it would.

Back on ground level, Heather and the others cannot seem to find the place they just saw Manbot, they seem to be running around in circles. ‘This is infuriating!’ Heather exclaims, wondering why they cannot get where they’re going from this place. ‘Women drivers’ mutters Radius, to which Heather warns him not to tempt her. As Mac descends upon his teammates, Radius points to his arrival, and asks Puck if he is going to chew him out for running off alone. ‘Stow it’ Judd replies. ‘Mac, we’ve got -’ ‘Problems, I know’ Mac declares, cutting Heather off.

Mac reveals that there is an enormous bomb in a nearby structure. He is about to say something else when Radius motions to the green cloaked figures approaching them, declaring that the Priest guys are back and suggesting that they could get them to Manbot. One of the cloaked figures urges Alpha Flight to come with them, but Guardian tells his team not to. Judd points out that they have a teammate in trouble and that they need to lean on their hospitality, before remarking that these priests seem taller. ‘You’d notice,’ Radius smirks.

The priests being running and Heather urges her teammates to keep on them. Judd points out that they are running into a dead end, which Mac finds strange. Suddenly, the green cloaks fall from the “priests”, as Radius declares that they have been set up! In a strange voice, an ant-like being confirms that they are not Shadow Priests. ‘Nor are we Baron Zebek’s latest acquisitions!’ exclaims a sultry blonde woman. The handsome man clad in black and yellow motions to the robot-like being behind him and introduces him as Dexam, introduces the woman as Mari and the green ant-like being as Bug. ‘And I’m Commander Arcturus Rann…and we’re the Champions of the Microverse!’ ‘Which means a whole lot on this side of the space wall!’ Bug exclaims.

Characters Involved: 

Flex II, Guardian IV, Manbot, Murmur III, Puck, Radius, Sasquatch II, Vindicator II (all Alpha Flight)

General Jeremy Clarke

Doctor Myra Haddock


Bug, Dexam, Marionette, Commander Arcturus Rann (all Micronauts)

Baron Zebek

Shadow Priests

Various Peoples of the Ant Tica

Taurus II, Virgo II (both Zodiac)

Bodies of Georges and his wife

In Flashback

Baron Zebek

Zebek’s followers

Citizens of Ant Tica

Story Notes: 

Alpha Flight were showed false video footage of Wolverine killing Madison Jeffries, among other things, in Alpha Flight (2nd series) #8, and tried to capture Wolverine in Alpha Flight (2nd series) #9, until they learned the truth.

Madison Jeffries was captured by the Zodiac in Alpha Flight (2nd series) #1. Sasquatch was revealed to be a real sasquatch, not Walter Langkowski, in Alpha Flight (2nd series) #6. Puck is aware of this, but he, like Heather, has been undergoing a series of mind-stripping, where certain memories are removed from their mind. [Alpha Flight (2nd series) #1, 7-8]

Radius tried to take on Mesmero in Alpha Flight (2nd series) #5 and Wolverine in Alpha Flight (2nd series) #9, failing on both accounts.

Flex’s search for his and Radius’ fathers, and Murmur’s mother began in Alpha Flight (2nd series) #7.

Unus the Untouchable a.k.a. Gunther Bain is a long time enemy of the X-Men and associate of Magneto. He is also the father of Carmella Unuscione of the Acolytes. Nothing of Unus and Radius being related has been mentioned outside of Alpha Flight (2nd series).

Virgo arrived in Paris in Alpha Flight (2nd series) #5 after being touched by Murmur who simply said “Paris”, which must have activated Virgo’s teleportation device, in Alpha Flight (2nd series) #1.

Puck and Myra Haddock met in Alpha Flight (2nd series) #6, though that meeting was obviously erased from Judd’s mind along with his discovery of Sasquatch when he returned to Department H. [as seen in Alpha Flight (2nd series) #7]

This issue marks the first time, of only four, that Manbot appears on the cover of Alpha Flight (2nd series).

The Micronauts comic was produced in conjunction with a line of action figures. The first series began in 1979 and lasted 59 issues. In 1984 it was rechristened “the New Voyages” but only lasted 29 issues. In addition there are 2 annuals, 5 specials and the 1984 classic mini series X-Men and the Micronauts.

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