What will it take to stop you?
The electromagnetic might of Guardian is not enough. ‘Alpha! On my order only!’ James MacDonald Hudson a.k.a. Guardian shouts. ‘What is he doing with these power lines?’ asks Heather McNeil Hudson, sometimes called Vindicator. But even her powerful geothermal battalion is not enough. ‘Who cares? I just wanna bust him up!’ declares Jared “Radius” Corbo. But his manipulated force field is not enough alone. Nor is the concussive arsenal of Manbot, who announces that the probability of successful capture is 0.46. ‘Oh my gosh! He’s creepy!’ exclaims Adrian “Flex” Corbo, who razor metal hand alone is not enough. And neither is the acrobatic artistry of Eugene “Puck” Judd, who urges his teammates to stay on him, as he is making a break for it.
Alone, none of them can stop him. But these six heroes are Canada’s premiere super hero team…Alpha Flight! And now their enemy knows in what passes for his heart, that together…they still have no chance against…’WEAPON X!!!’ shouts Guardian as the rain pours down on them hard. Radius and Flex lie on the ground. Manbot is “bleeding”, and the senior Alphans are exhausted. Guardian informs Weapon X that under the jurisdiction of the Canadian government, he is ordered to surrender himself immediately to their custody.
‘Surrender? Surrender? Are you nutso - crazy boy? We hold the cards here - we have the power!’ the deadly new Weapon X exclaims as he stands on what remains of a building, warning Alpha Flight that if they come near “us” as he calls himself, they will rend the heroes limb from limb. ‘Come near us and the world ends with a bang and a whimpah!’
Guardian asks Puck if he can get Weapon X away from the power feed, to which Judd replies as he leaps into action that he can do it with both arms tied behind his back. Manbot announces that the subject’s internal temperature is increasing, to which Judd, as he kicks Weapon X off the building, asks what that means. Lightening strikes and Manbot replies that the bacterial symbiote agent inside Weapon X is actively reproducing. ‘Mean’s we’re getting stronger is what!’ Weapon X exclaims. Judd bets that will stop when Weapon X is getting no more juice from the power plant behind them.
Suddenly, Heather tells Flex to look alive, and young Adrian Corbo sees that Weapon X is coming right for him. Flex’s hands transform into giant sheathes of metal, but Guardian warns him not to cut open Weapon X’s suit or else they will all be dead! Flex retreats away from Weapon X, who exclaims ‘Slicey-dice, luv, wish you had…wish you would. Then you could join our little brood too!’
‘Wish on this, you exhaust-piped sheep-shearer!’ Radius exclaims as he extends his force field, slamming into Weapon X as he suggests he could just put his aluminium foil suit between his force field and the wall. ‘Squeeze you out of it like tooth-paste from a tube, you big freak!’ Heather tells Radius not to, as he is right next to another transformer, but it is too late, as the transformer explodes, knocking Radius back to his teammates. Judd tells Radius to look at what he has done, letting loose even more power for Weapon X when it is clearly what he wants.
Radius comes to his own defense, informing everyone that it was Weapon X, for he totally pressed him, but Weapon X didn’t even snap - his body just went flat, then it - ‘Popped back? Of course it did, luv, we’re very resilient, we are!’ Weapon X then points out that if all it took to rip his suit open was pressure, if it were as easy as that, then they wouldn’t be here now, would they?
And how exactly did Weapon X get here? How is it that a petty con man from New Zealand made it all the way to a Calgary power sub-station - via the nefarious Weapon X labs nestled in the lowest levels of…Department H!
Department H, sometime earlier: Department H’s administrator, Mr. Gentry tells Lieutenant Power that he wants to know how it is than an entire patrol of Epsilon troops under his supervision were dispatched to Western Ontario without his direct order. Gentry turns to his personal assistant, Hames, and tells him to make a note for disciplinary action in Power’s file. ‘Yes, sir,’ Hames replies as usual. Gentry turns back to the Lieutenant and reminds him that he is responsible for each and every life in this facility, and states that none of those lives are to be placed in potential jeopardy without his personal approval.
Gentry calms down a notch and asks if there has been any word at all from the Epsilons. Power replies that there hasn’t, before telling Gentry that he is right, and that he has no good answer except for the fact that Dr. Huxley, as the special project coordinator, assured him that - Gentry interrupts. ‘Huxley? Huxley again? Why does that name keep coming back on me like bad indigestion?’ Hames holds up a telephone and informs Gentry that the Director is on the line for him. Gentry tells Hames that it will have to wait until after he gets to the bottom of this, before ordering Hames to get Huxley in here immediately. Hames informs Gentry that Huxley is not in the building, to which Gentry asks where he is. Hames replies that Huxley is on leave, a fishing trip he believes. Gentry tells Hames to trace his ID, as he wants to know where Huxley is right this instant!
Where? Gentry should try looking in Eastern Ontario, roughly eight kilometers now from where the missing Epsilons were dispatched, and closing. ‘OW!’ shouts Dr. Horatio Huxley as he putts along in the air thanks to a jet pack. ‘Infernal branches!’ he thinks to himself, before adding that one would think Dr. Haddock’s engineers could have modified these rocket booster jetpacks to have enough lift to keep a man above tree-level! Huxley realizes that it doesn’t really matter, for soon he will secure the power to run all of Department H as he sees fit! ‘A destiny that awaits me…just after I have secured…breakfast!’
Breakfast? Dr. Huxley does have a flair for the mundane. But that is all right, for even in a world of government intrigue and iconic super heroes, there are days when human needs must be accounted for. And days when iconic super heroes Vindicator and Guardian must simply be Heather McNeil and James MacDonald Hudson. ‘Oh my God, it’s lovely!’ exclaims Heather as she looks around the apartment she and her estranged and de-aged husband are viewing. Mac looks around and remarks that it is nice, before pointing out that he can now see why this building doesn’t often have vacancies.
The realtor suggests to Heather that she show her the pantry, and is about to go into detail about it, when Heather asks the older woman if she could just have a moment to look around. The realtor tells Heather to take as long as she wants, that she doesn’t have to be coy with her. ‘I know how it is to have a teenage son involved in the decision making process. I have two!’ When the old woman has left the room, Heather smiles, before telling Mac who is frowning that there was a time when that would have killed her, but somehow it just makes this apartment thing bearable.
Looking around again Heather exclaims that she loves it here, to which Mac points out that there is no way she could afford it, not on the stipend the Department is giving them to get their own places. Mac puts his hands on Heather’s shoulders and tells her that it wouldn’t be too much if she were splitting the rent with someone - someone who thought she was really hot - someone who probably wished he knew her when he was a lot younger - and now he can. Heather glances nervously out of the corner of her eyes and pulls away from Mac, telling him that he is right, he cannot afford this, so they should keep looking. ‘Heather?’ Mac exclaims, surprised.
Back at Department H, Flex knocks on Puck’s quarters, asking him if he has a minute. ‘Nope!’ Judd replies bluntly. Adrian thinks Judd is joking, so laughs, before exclaiming that he wanted to tell someone that he found his - Judd interrupts before Adrian can say exactly what it is he found, as he informs the young Alphan someone emailed him a file called “Curiosity” and so far, it is no laughing matter! ‘Oh, okay, I just…’ Adrian mumbles as he walks away, before sadly asking Judd if he knows where Mac or Heather went, as perhaps he could talk to one of them about it. Puck replies that they went out looking for apartments together. ‘Really? Wow!’ exclaims Adrian, his mood somewhat happier as he tells Puck that he didn’t think they even liked each other anymore. ‘Neither did I’ Judd replies coldly. Adrian tells Judd that he hopes he isn’t moving out, because he really likes having him around. Judd informs Adrian that he already has a place outside the Department, but as for moving out or moving on, he hasn’t made a decision yet, he is just keeping his options open.
Someone else whose option are always open is Dr. Huxley. And as he closes in on a scene of carnage at a Western Ontario hydroelectric facility, he isn’t concerned about the gruesome injuries of the Department’s troops, but he is thinking only of his advancement potential within the Department. Huxley believes the sky is the limit - though as his jet pack stops working under his sheer weight and he falls onto the large hydro electric facility, the truth of the matter is the sky is more a limitation. One of the Epsilons is surprised to see Huxley and goes over to him as the “good” Doctor declares that he is here and wants to know what happened, and quickly too.
The Epsilon replies that it was horrible - unstoppable - they threw everything they had at it, yet he just…’Go see for yourself’ the Epsilon tells Huxley as he points to the damn. Leaning over the edge of the barrier, Huxley looks at the water supply and exclaims ‘Impossible!’ But is it really? Or is he just saying that for effect? The water level is seriously down, and Huxley asks the Epsilons if they mean to tell him that their quarry opened the gates to feed water through the turbines. Huxley exclaims that he is robbing Canada of its power, when he suddenly realizes what the creature is trying to do.
Huxley bites his tongue so that he doesn’t reveal it to the Epsilons. For any more, and these troops will stop mistaking his zeal as concern and recognize it for what it truly is - unbridled excitement. Dr. Huxley putts back into the air on the jet pack, as one of the Epsilons ask what they are supposed to do. ‘I’ll, uh…send someone back for you. You have my word’ Huxley calls back. And his word is worth its weight in air.
Back in Department H, Flex passes a lab and Chief Engineer Su walks out of it. They greet each other before Su asks Adrian why he isn’t in Combat Centrale, for he had scheduled a self-directed training session for all novices. Flex apologizes and tells Su that he didn’t know there was one. Su informs Adrian that a detailed memo was emailed to his account, to which Adrian reveals that he didn’t finish reading his email because of some…personal stuff. He smiles and tells Su that he will go there now. As Adrian rushes off to Combat Centrale, one must wonder why he stopped short in his tracks - perhaps it is because he harbors a lack of trust for the old guard of Department H. If so, then he is very wise.
Flex enters the console room of Combat Centrale and panting, announces that he is here. Flex’s Alpha Flight teammate Arlette Truffaut a.k.a. Murmur, sporting her new costume and hair smiles at Flex and tells him that they thought he was not coming. Adrian explains that he just found out about it, before looking up at Lilli a.k.a. Ghost Girl and greeting her enthusiastically. Lilli smiles back and greets him in return. Beaming, Adrian tells the girls to “guess what”, as he got some news from the Adoption Uplink Network informing him that they couldn’t find his father. Adrian reveals that he decided to snoop around his Department H files, and guess what he found?
Before Adrian can inform the girls what he found, the combat simulator alarm begins to go off. Adrian asks what is going on, to which Ghost Girl informs Adrian that his brother is in there. Arlette tells Adrian that Jared wanted to go first and told them not to bother him or touch the controls - so they haven’t bothered him and they haven’t touched the controls. Flex looks down into Combat Centrale, and is horrified at the scene playing out before him. ‘Omigosh! Shut it off!’ he exclaims as various weapons fire at his brother.
Down in Combat Centrale, Alpha Flight’s very own “Danger Room”, Radius is feeling very guilty, so guilty that he has been pushing himself, leaping into the center of battles, altering his training sessions, taking undue risks - all to see what it will take to stop him. How lucky he is, that even when he has lost all love for himself, those around didn’t lose it as well. Adrian rushes into the deadly arena calling out to his brother as he leaps past a laser beam and transforms his hand into a razor-sharp piece of metal to cut away at something else blasting his brother.
Flex asks Radius if he is crazy, to which Radius replies ‘Maybe I am!’ Adrian asks his brother why he is doing this, pointing out that he has been acting this way ever since Sasquatch - ‘Shut up! SHUT UP! SHUT UP!’ Radius shouts as he interrupts his brother, before extending his force field so far, that everything in the room, including Flex, is slammed into the walls. Obviously, Adrian touched a nerve. Jared goes over to his brother and holds him against the wall, warning him that if he ever says anything about this to anyone he will turn his skill into sawdust.
Adrian tells his brother to cut it out, to which Radius starts to leave Combat Centrale, calling back as he goes ‘Give me a reason and I will. With your own freaky hand, loser!’ Ghost Girl phases into the room and hurries over to Adrian, asking him if he is okay. Adrian replies that he is fine, but is worried about Jared, for he is acting like he is going to do something dumb. ‘Going to? Your brother is nothing but the bad idea!’ exclaims Arlette as she enters Combat Centrale also. Murmur points out that she has been away from the team recovering for weeks, and in that time, Jared has not changed at all.
Murmur remarks that she doesn’t know how two parents could have such different children Adrian points out that it just it - they don’t have the same parents! He informs the girls that is what he was trying to tell them before, well, before Radius did all this, he motions to the destruction in the room. Adrian exclaims that this is so weird that it cannot be true, for this top-secret file he got into said Jared’s father is supposed to be a super villain named Unus the Untouchable. ‘And you won’t believe who it said my father was!’
‘It can’t be true!’ shouts Judd as he stares, gape-jawed at his computer. Judd uses his acrobatic skills to propel himself off his chair and out of his room, muttering ‘Sweet-flippin’ Mother-Molson!’ and shouting out to Gentry as he cartwheels down the hallway.
But Gentry is currently elsewhere, flanked by Hames, he is talking to Dr. Myra Haddock, Chief Engineer Su and Lieutenant Power. He tells them that he is waiting. Lieutenant Power tells Gentry that they have already told him - Huxley is like an enormous tsunami - he barrels through these offices doing what he will, they have no knowledge of - Gentry interrupts, angrily telling the senior staffers that he wishes he could accept that, but given Department H specific history, he cannot. Gentry declares that someone here has to know what Huxley was up to that would require an unauthorized usage of Epsilons - when suddenly, Puck enters the room, declaring that someone does. ‘And that someone’d be me, eh’.
Holding up a disc, Judd tells Gentry that if what he thinks is on this disc, then he is not going to like it one bit - and neither is the rest of the world. Calling poor Hames “James”, Judd hands him the disc and tells him to pop it into a drive and run it. ‘Yes, sir’ Hames replies obligingly. Gentry informs Judd that he would appreciate fewer dramatics, before asking him what he read and who sent it to him. Judd replies that he doesn’t know who sent it, before revealing that he used to get tips from someone trying to alert him to the dark deeds Department H was pulling before Gentry took over. ‘But this subject is bad - see for yourself!’
On the green computer screen before the group, the sentence Project Weapon X Omega Series, Security Clearance Alpha appear. Lieutenant Power asks ‘Weapon X?’ before exclaiming that the project name was eliminated years ago. Judd remarks that might be the case, but that this disc proves that the program is like a hydra - cut off a limb and another grows right back in its place. Judd tells everyone that if any of them know where a part of this building called “The Dungeon” is, then that is where Huxley supposedly hid his little nightmare.
Shortly, Gentry, Hames, the other staff and Judd are joined by Heather, Mac, Radius and Flex and a group of Epsilon Black and are travelling down a lift. Someone explains to everyone that “The Dungeon” is just a nickname they use for the undeveloped sub-basements and adds that they are not patrolled because they are stone-cold empty, though they have automated sensors and what not, so they are self-sufficient. ‘From what I’ve read, they ain’t so undeveloped as you think, eh!’ Judd exclaims. Someone motions to the door up ahead with radiation signals on them and announces that there is something here. Gentry storms down the corridor, ‘Let’s find out!’ he exclaims, to which Guardian asks if he wants them to lead the way in. Gentry replies ‘No, Guardian. If Huxley could survive down here, then so can I!’, before pointing out that this is exactly what they have Epsilon Blacks for. With that, Gentry tells Alpha Flight to not be too far behind.
Entering the large laboratory, Gentry looks around and exclaims that this is impossible - how could it all have been concealed from him? He adds that it must have cost millions of dollars, when one of the Epsilon Blacks alert him to a body in a tank. Everyone rushes over, with Heather leading the way. Gentry is shocked to see a woman in the tank, as Heather exclaims ‘DIAMOND LIL! Good Lord! What’s on her skin!?’ she asks as she looks up at her imprisoned friend and former teammate.
Puck informs everyone that it is “Thetagen-24” on Lillian’s skin - a bacteria she was intentionally infected with. He explains that the tank she is in is holding her and the virus in suspension. He adds that Lillian will live, provided nothing more has been done to her. Judd then motions to another chamber with a radiation symbol on it and explains that that is the real trouble, for according to what he has read, Lil was a failed attempt at a low dose of the Thetagen-24, but the man in this tank got a fatal dose - ‘He is the one they’re calling…Weapon X!’
Guardian points out that the Weapon X program attempted to create the ultimate human weapon - like Wolverine - who had his skeleton reinforced with adamantium to make it impervious to damage. Guardian remarks that testing a bacterial agent on humans is heinous, but its not - Hames interrupts, pointing out that all prior Weapon X files are classified, and asks if Guardian should be revealing this sensitive information to people who are not privy to it. Gentry replies by reminding Hames that it is not his job to decide what is appropriate or not.
Judd declares that they don’t need a history lesson, for the point is, whoever did this didn’t put this stuff here inside people to test the effects - they put them in because they were looking for a sympathetic carrier for an aggressive bug that they could use as a weapon. Judd explains that with the first few victims, Thetagen-24 made them sick, the next few died - but with whoever is in this tank, it found a happy home - but then it started replicating, trying to take over that home - it wants to reproduce.
Radius asks if there is any way to kill it, to which Judd replies that a hydrogen bomb, point-blank range should do it, but even that is just a theory. He asks everyone if they are ready to have a look at who is in the tank, and taps on the control panel to open it up. Judd explains that the chamber keeps him super-cooled, just like Diamond Lil, for the cold temperature arrests the growth process of the bacteria. Judd is about to say something else, when someone exclaims ‘It’s empty!’ Judd turns to the tank and sees that it is indeed empty. Gentry exclaims that he has seen enough, and orders and immediate action to find Huxley and Weapon X. ‘Canada created these nightmares…it’s up to Canada to stop them!’ Gentry informs everyone that he will take a contingent to search for Huxley, while Alpha Flight’s assignment is to find Weapon X!
…which is what they are doing right now. The rain continues to pour down on Canada’s premiere super heroes as Guardian tells Weapon X that they know what he is trying to do, for they know all about him, and orders him to drop the power lines he is holding in his hands. Weapon X replies by telling Guardian that if he knew “us” at all, then he wouldn’t have to ask that question. ‘Now off with you and leave us be…or things are going to get ugly-ug!’
Guardian tells Weapon X that they are not offering him a choice, to which Weapon X exclaims ‘And we’re not telling you again. Get - ‘ Suddenly, he is cut off in the middle of his sentence, for there is an immensely powerful blinding light that flashes across the old building and surrounding area. ‘What’s he doing?’ Flex asks, to which Radius points out that it wasn’t Weapon X, it came from behind him. Heather remarks that it is probably just another transformer snapping and tells her young teammates to not let it distract them.
Gentry radios into Alpha Flight via their communications system and informs them that there is no sign of Huxley at his position, but that all the Epsilons are accounted for. Weapon X suddenly leaps at Guardian telling him to get out of the way. Gentry radios into Alpha Flight again, asking them if they copy, to which Heather begins blasting powerful beams of lava at Weapon X and telling Gentry that there is no sign of Huxley at their location either. Dodging Heather’s lava blasts, Weapon X tells her to save herself, for he, addressing himself as “we”, can sense the blasts long before she can open them.
Heather informs Gentry that Weapon X has drained a nuclear power plant of its power and now he is on the run again - not to mention incredibly deranged. Gentry tells Heather that he won’t keep her, before asking her to stay on Weapon X and keep an eye out for Huxley, as he can’t be too far behind. Heather tells Gentry not to worry, that they will nail Huxley, when she screams, startling Gentry. Weapon X exclaims ‘We hate to eat and run, luvvy, but the sky is falling!’ and indeed, Heather’s screams were well founded for a large brick building begins to fall, directly above Heather.
Suddenly, Guardian swoops in and grabs Heather, while Gentry asks what is happening, and tells Hames to find out why he cannot get a video uplink. Holding Heather in his arms, Mac asks her if she is all right. Heather replies that she is all right, and tells Mac to put her down, as she is fine. Judd alerts everyone to Weapon X who is trying to make a break for the fence, while Hames informs Gentry that Manbot’s cameras are already in use - they are being controlled by a third party! Gentry exclaims that it must be Huxley, and informs Guardian via the communicator that Huxley is watching their every move, so they need to be ready for him to throw a curveball at them. Guardian replies that they can handle anything that is pitched their way, while Gentry thinks to himself that he hopes it is true.
Alpha Flight continue on in the rain, right behind the fleeing Weapon X. Guardian tells X that there is nothing to gain by running, to which Weapon X replies there is freedom. ‘It was your bunch that made us what we are. We ain’t going back for more!’ Judd agrees with Weapon X that the Department that made him had no right, but assures him it is gone. Judd begins to offer Weapon X more help, when suddenly everyone is caught off balance by another blinding, powerful, burst of light. ‘What is it with this lightening?’ Heather exclaims, to which Judd asks since when was lightening pure white-out flashes with no thunder.
Heather suggests that it is as if Weapon X is creating it to distract them, to which Flex, who crashes into Judd, who crashes into Radius, points out that it is not coming from Weapon X. Judd begins to ask Heather if it is just him, or does that light remind her of - ‘There he is! let’s nail him!’ Radius exclaims, interrupting. Judd. Weapon X turns back to face Alpha Flight and tells them that they are all talk. ‘If you know us so well, you know what happens to humanity if our little suit gets opened up!’ Weapon X tells Alpha Flight to leave “them” be, or else “they” will open themselves right here and now. ‘We’re leaving, and you can’t stop us!’
Suddenly, someone in the air exclaims ‘Maybe not, Weapon X…. But the real Alpha Flight can…and will!’. Down on the ground, Heather, Mac and the others all look up in shock. ‘Who?’ ‘What?’ Weapon X turns to the sky and mumbles ‘Well, well, well, we were wondering when you’d show…’. And out of the pouring rain emerges the original Alpha Flight…Sasquatch! Northstar! Aurora! Shaman! And…Guardian!?!?!?