Alpha Flight (2nd series) #7

Issue Date: 
February 1998
Story Title: 

Steve T. Seagle (Writer), Scott Clark (Penciler) Chris Carlson (Inker), Richard Starkings & Comicraft (Letterers), Lee Ann Garner (Colorist), Dan Hosek (Assistant Editor), Jaye Gardner (Editor), Bob Harass (Editor-in-Chief)

Brief Description: 

Flex wakes in the middle of the night needing to use the bathroom. But as he makes his way to the men’s room he is followed by a mysterious pink energy bubble with an eye in the middle of it. The next morning, Guardian and Radius have a verbal altercation in the hallway, before Radius finds his brother asleep in the shower. But when Flex tells Radius his story about the mysterious energy form, Radius doesn’t believe him. Heather instructs Chief Engineer Su on the modifications she wants made to her new costume, though Su isn’t particularly interested. Heather then goes in search of some answers to her question about Beta Flight, but finds that her high-level security clearance does not give her authorization. Heather and Guardian then have a chat about where they stand, and find they disagree, because to Heather, they are supposed to be husband and wife, but Mac feels like a new person since he was de-aged. Murmur briefly interrupts the conversation, before Heather then sees the same energy creature Flex saw. General Clarke reprimands two of the surveillance staff for not reporting to him Lilli’s recent venture from her quarters, and warns them to toe the line. During a training session, Radius bugs Sunfire, Murmur tries to come onto Guardian, and Heather tries to build a rapport with Manbot, when she realizes he reminds her of Box, then suddenly remembers the missing Madison Jeffries. A discussion follows regarding the recent sightings of the energy creature in which Heather suggests it may be an invasion. Later, Flex registers himself and his brother with an adoption uplink network with the hopes of finding out who their parents are. Murmur asks for her name to be entered too, before claiming that her father was Francois Truffaut, the famous director. On their way to the dinning hall, the trio encounter the energy thing, but it escapes them as they chase it. Puck undergoes some treatment to erase his recent mission involving Sasquatch, and runs into Heather after it, where they both go and find General Clarke to get some answers about Jeffries and Beta Flight. But Heather and Puck are met with a rude reception from the unhelpful Clarke. The rookies go to sit with Sunfire to have their meal, but Sunfire isn’t in the mood for company and departs to his room, where he examines his radiation poisoning. Flex and Murmur learn how Radius eats when he is surrounded by an impenetrable force field, when the energy form picks Radius up and carries him back to his room. Flex and Murmur make attempts to stop it, but they are futile. Later, Guardian and Murmur have a heart to heart and end up kissing - which is seen by Heather, while Puck visits Sasquatch, explaining his nagging feeling that he knows something about the recent mission he was sent on. While there, Judd receives a visitor himself, who reveals to him that the energy creature was made by the Department, and suggests he ask Clarke about Patrice Trask. Before Judd can find out who this person is, an A-1 emergency is called by Clarke. Alpha Flight assemble, and learn that it is time to open the Weapon X Files. Meanwhile, Scorpio of the new Zodiac learns that Virgo is in Paris, which means once she is rescued, the Zodiac will be complete.

Full Summary: 

You recognize this human heart, don’t you?

It beats inside this body - which rests inside the perimeter of this bed - which lies inside this boarding room - which exists inside this building - which is built on land inside the borders of this province of Ontario, Canada. Everything is contained within something else - and occasionally, something inside needs to get out. ‘I gotta go!’ Adrian Corbo a.k.a. new Alpha Flight member Flex thinks to himself as he opens his eyes in the middle of the night.

He gets up, out of his bed and leaves the confines of his quarters in order to sneak down the corridor to the bathroom. He sneaks, even though no one would mind that he were going to the bathroom in the middle of the night here, as this is Department H, headquarters and home of Canada’s premiere super hero team, Alpha Flight. It is not Hull House, the strictly-ruled orphanage he was conditioned in as a child. Despite the fear Adrian feels inside about the trouble he might get into, he must go, so he does, unaware that this hallway which he stands in…has something else inside it this early morning as well.

Adrian screams as he turns around and see a large pink glowing “thing” behind him. He finds it monstrous, and screams again. It has one accusing eye floating inside its amorphous body, so Flex screams again. The eye is looking - he screams again, louder this time - it is looking at him. Flex turns and runs, for unlike his cocky brother Jared, he is not one to bravely face an adversary head on. He runs fast. After all, he has had a lot of practice running away. Adrian wishes that he wasn’t afraid, but he is. He hopes that when he glances over his shoulder it will be gone - but it isn’t.

It is a nightmare entity that has followed him from the dreams inside his sleep - to the reality captured by his eyes. It stalks him from the safety of his room all the way to the sterility of the men’s room. Leaning up against the door in his pyjamas, Adrian wonders what that thing was and why it was following him. He regrets not screaming for help, for now he is trapped in here all alone. Dr. Asadorian, the Department’s staff psychologist could have a field day interpreting the link between Adrian’s fear of late-night lavatory usage and his monster apparition sightings. But Adrian is afraid of much more than ridicule at the moment - he is afraid that the creature outside…might just get inside. It is a lingering fear from his childhood that will haunt him for the rest of this dark night in Department H. And suddenly, the pink glowing mass begins to seep into the men’s room.

Morning inside Department H finds the handsome Jared Corbo a.k.a. Radius up early. He is heading to the men’s room to take a shower - though one might even wonder why he would bother, since the force field that surrounds his body would never permit even a drop of water to touch him. But deep inside Jared, he feels that he must at least maintain the appearance of normality. Walking down the corridor to the men’s room, Jared passes Alpha Flight’s leader James MacDonald Hudson a.k.a. Guardian, who addresses him as Radius and asks him if he can have a word.

‘Later. I’m busy, boss-man,’ Jared replies without turning around. Mac catches up to Jared and suggests to Jared that he could just call him Guardian. ‘Yeah? You could call me Jared too, but you don’t,’ Jared points out. Guardian apologizes, and explains that it is just his habit to use people’s codenames, but that her will make a note to ease that off. Guardian points out that their fight with Mesmero obviously didn’t go well, and informs Jared that they are running some morning simulations to try and train through the problems they had.

Walking into the men’s room, Jared replies ‘Whatever,’ and tells Guardian that he will be down as soon as he can. ‘As soon as possible,’ Guardian declares, before asking Jared to tells Flex too as no one can find him this morning. ‘I’m not the little squirt’s keeper’ Jared mutters. ‘No, but you are his brother. As soon as possible,’ Guardian states once more.

Approaching the showers, Jared mutters to himself ‘Friggin’ power-hungry little -’ when suddenly, he sees his brother, curled up in the corner of one of the shower cubicles. ‘Hey! Doof! Wake up!’ Jared shouts. Adrian wakes suddenly, wondering where he is. ’Asleep in the shower’ Jared tells him, remarking that he has acted like a moron before, but that this is an all time low. Radius asks his little brother what the story is, to which Adrian explains that he was coming down the hall to “you know”, when he looked behind him and there was this big, weird glowing monster. ’With this gross red fried-egg eye’.

‘Oh brother, you are so retarded,’ Jared remarks as he interrupts his brother, telling him to shut up and take a shower then get to training, because Guardian is acting like a Nazi again. ‘But -’ Adrian protests, ‘Do it!’ Jared shouts.

Elsewhere inside Department H, Heather McNeil Hudson starts the morning by asking questions of Chief Engineer Su - questions about the new garments she wears when she assumes her role as Vindicator, certainly one of Canada’s finest super heroes. Noticing Heather is not wearing her new geothermal costume, Su asks her if she won’t need it for the training mission this morning. ‘You must have missed the part where I said I’m not putting it back on until the modifications have been made,’ Heather declares, reminding Su that she wants the head gear re-designed.

Chief Engineer Su replies that he doesn’t see the need for that, to which Heather remarks that seeing is a huge part of it, for even though she switched from glasses to contacts last year, they keep drying out when she is flying, so she needs something to cover her eyes. Heather adds that the headpiece is irritating, that it pokes her in the face when she turns her head to the side. Handing her battle suit to Su, Heather then storms off, declaring that Department H is supposed to be support for Alpha Flight - now the other way around. ‘When did this hydra grow so many ugly heads?’ she mutters.

One question spawns many inside the esteemed former leader of Alpha Flight, and inside her quarters she uses the Department computer to search “Beta Flight”, after seeing a Beta Flight wing several weeks ago. However, the computer’s response is “Access Denied”. Heather makes her way to General Clarke’s office, where she asks his personal secretary for information. But Clarke’s secretary replies that she cannot get into the Beta files without his permission - even for Alphans.

Heather asks the secretary if she can tell her where Puck is then, to which the secretary replies that he was sent out on a mission. Suddenly, Guardian steps towards Heather and informs her that Puck should be back soon. Heather is surprised to see her estranged and de-aged husband, who then asks her if they can talk outside for a moment.

Shortly, Heather and Mac walk side by side on the grounds of Department H, and Heather remarks that it is so claustrophobic inside that she forgets how nice it is just outside the door. Mac agrees, and tells Heather that they have to work on remembering more. ‘That sounds like an opening line’ Heather replies. Mac admits to Heather that he has been avoiding the issue between them, and tells her that it isn’t because he doesn’t think about her. They sit down under a large tree, and Mac reveals that he thinks about Heather a lot - only that when the Department regressed him to 19 years old, he had to relearn half of his life.

Mac explains that everything he remembers is like something he has been told more than something he has actually done. Eyes closed, he tells Heather that it is like he has never been on a real date with her, never kissed her…never ‘A lot of things’. He points out then Heather is here, telling him that he is her husband. Mac is about to say something else, when a strong French-Canadian accent interrupts them. ‘Allo!’ exclaims the extremely scantily clad Arlette “Murmur” Truffaut as she stands in front of her teammates in a bikini. Arlette smiles and exclaims that she hope she isn’t interrupting anything important.

Arlette continues, informing Heather and Mac that she was out for a swim in the lake and that it was magnificent. She asks them if she can join them here to enjoy the sun, commenting on how rare it is to have sun at this time of the year. Mac informs Murmur that he and Heather were actually in the middle of something, but that doesn’t seem to deter the sultry new Alphan as she tells Mac, addressing him as James, that in their session this morning she would like him to have a look at her form on the hold he has taught her.

‘Hold?’ Mac asks, trying not to look to hard at her. Arlette begins to explain the move that he showed her last time, when he interrupts, informing her that they will look at it later, but for now, she will have to excuse them. Mac grabs Heather and takes to the skies, surprising Heather and annoying Murmur, who calls after him that there is always later.

Landing on top of Department H, Mac tells Heather that what he was trying to say is that he is attracted to her - very attracted. However, he points out that he needs to get to know her again, and asks if they could take this slowly, maybe date for a while then - Heather interrupts, ‘Date?’ she asks, before reminding Mac that he is her husband. She remarks that it would be easy if couples had to deal with one persons emotions, but that she has her own feelings about the two of them - including one that says he might not even be the man she loves…loved.

Mac puts his hands on his hips and tells Heather that what he remembers of her, whether real memories or ones someone created for him, is that she is understanding and compassionate. He informs her that he needs that from her now. ‘Please’. Suddenly, ‘What the -?’ exclaims Heather as she looks over Mac’s shoulder and sees the mysterious pink glowing mass seep up through a ventilation grate. Heather points at it and asks Mac if he sees it.

Heather starts over to the grate, when Mac pulls her back, telling her not to run away from him - ‘From us,’ with that, Mac plants his lips on a very surprised Heather’s.

‘All right, he finally kissed her!’ exclaims someone in the mysterious monitoring sector of Department H. ‘About time, I was getting tired of watching,’ someone else remarks as they both sit in front of several television screens. Other screens show Murmur walking off into the woods, and Jared still in the bathroom, combing his hair. One of the men remarks that except for “the French chick” there is not much action in this bunch. ‘If you know what I mean’.

‘I believe I do!’ exclaims General Jeremy Clarke as he enters the room, telling the men that he is certain that is not what they are paid to do as monitors for the Department. ‘General Clarke! We were just…just’ one of the men exclaims trying to make an excuse. ‘Just about to get fired?’ suggests Clarke. Clarke informs the men that a number of security breaches have come to his attention, breaches that were not reported by his monitors - by them. He asks the men to explain to him why his new “harvest” Lilli walked out of her room and straight into the reception area with no one notifying him.

As the mysterious Alphan Manbot comes up behind Clarke and begins recording, one of the monitors informs Clarke that Lieutenant Oculus didn’t add Lilli to the tracking reports until today. He is about to say something else when Clarke interrupts, declaring that the he has already reprimanded Oculus, before telling the men to get this straight: ‘You are paid to record the actions of Alpha Flight. If one of them so much as sneezes inside these walls, I want video of their tissue hitting the waste bin’. With that, Clarke leaves, and Manbot lumbers down the hall behind him.

Meanwhile, in Combat Centrale, the state-of-the-art training facility for Alpha Flight, pent-up hostilities fine their way out of a slowly gelling team. Though you would never hear any of them admit that, for to them, this is a honing of skills and nothing more. ‘I’m coming for you, Flex!’ Guardian exclaims. ‘Me? Why me?’ Flex replies. ‘Okay, Sunfire, I’m me and you’re Mesmero. You -’ begins Radius, until Shiro “Sunfire” Yoshida, Alpha Flight’s ally, tells him that they should follow through with the training mission as it was assigned to them.

Heather, back in her Vindicator suit, announces to Manbot that there are some targets straight ahead of them, to which Manbot whirs and clicks before confirming. Guardian easily dodges Flex’s attacks, and points out to Adrian that he is just lashing out. He tells the young Alphan that he needs to concentrate and remember what he told him. Murmur approaches Guardian and reminds him that they were going to work on the hold that he taught her, but Mac tells Arlette that she needs to let her injuries from Sasquatch heal and that there will be plenty of time for her training later.

Manbot uses the powerful arsenal at his disposal to neutralize the targets, to which Heather congratulates him on his good work, before motioning to the second assault coming towards them. Manbot once more confirms this. Suddenly, Heather remarks that Manbot reminds her of one of Alpha Flight’s old members, Box. ‘”Box” is recorded as “container”. Was “Box” a container?’ Manbot asks. Heather explains that in a way, it was, for it was an armor system first inhabited by the charming quadriplegic Roger Bochs, and later by…’Madison Jeffries…?’ Heather exclaims, her voice lowering and eyes narrowing.

Radius has over powered Sunfire and has him in some sort of hold. Sunfire struggles and tells Radius to release him. Jared asks Shiro if he gives already, and exclaims that he knew Sunfire isn’t as strong as he, but that he didn’t know he was this weak! Shiro replies that he is not weak and that something is wrong with him, adding that he did not sleep well last night. Adrian over hears this comment and asks Sunfire if he also saw the energy monster, which pikes Heather’s interest as she flies towards them to listen in.

Sunfire tells Flex that he has no idea what he is talking about, but that his rest was disturbed by matters of his own, not by the imaginary beasts of dreams. With that, Sunfire begins to leave Combat Centrale, as Flex wonders out loud why no one believes him. Heather assures Adrian that she believes him and asks him to tell her exactly what he saw. Nearby, Guardian asks Chief Engineer Su how his readings were, to which Su replies that there was an anomaly in his coronary charts, and asks to see his monitor.

Adrian stands close to Heather as she asks him if he saw a monster last night, to which Adrian replies that he thinks he did, that he knows he saw something and he thinks it was a monster. He describes it as a big weird-colored thing with a red eye which chased him down the hall. He adds that he knows it might sound dumb, to which Heather assures him that it doesn’t, and reveals that it sounds like something she saw on the rooftop with Mac earlier.

Heather calls to Mac, who turns and looks at her and Flex. Heather informs him that Flex just described to her the same creature she told him about on the rooftop - energy form, red eye, everything. ‘Stop it, you guys are freaking me out!’ Radius remarks sarcastically. Adrian tells his brother to shut up as Heather informs the older Corbo boy that this is serious and suggests he take his mouth elsewhere if he cannot be civil. ‘Elsewhere it is - let me know if you need a spare monster hunter!’ Jared exclaims as he leaves Combat Centrale.

Heather asks Flex to tell her if he has anymore sightings, noting the time and place. As he leaves, Adrian replies that he will and that he will be in his room if they want to know anything else. Mac asks Heather if she thinks they are being invaded, to which Heather replies that it seems that way, but points out that aside from being chased and peeped on, this thing hasn’t posed much of a threat, whatever it is.

Heather reminds Mac of the Master scenario they were put through recently and suggests that it is not illogical to assume that the creatures could be of the Department’s design. Mac suggests that he will go and find General Clarke, to make sure they are not interpreting something official as something intrusive, before telling Heather that he hopes the two of them can talk some more later.

Elsewhere…you recognize this world, don’t you? Chances are that everything you know exists inside the atmosphere of this tiny speck of cosmic dust called Earth. Despite its relative insignificance in the Heavens, it does have a certain majesty…perhaps because of its geometric simplicity. To many world civilizations the circle represents the cosmos. To practitioners of magic, the circle represents the interconnected nature of all things. To mystics, the circle is cast in three dimensions as a sphere.

A crystal’s sphere which contains the secrets of the cosmos, of the world, and of everyone inside its undeniable gravity. All of which begs one key question…’What do you see, Ecliptic?’ the man known only as Scorpio, the leader of the newest incarnation of the Zodiac. The frazzled woman dubbed the Ecliptic looks up from her crystal ball and exclaims that she sees Paris, and explains that it is where the missing twelfth of their unholy constellation can be found. Scorpio declares that they will go to Paris and retrieve her - then, once complete, the Zodiac will rule the Earth as it does the Heavens!

Back at Department H - Flex believes in Heaven, just as he believes there are souls inside every living being, souls that call out to each other across the great void of life. Jared enters his brother’s room and sees him sitting at his computer. ‘Cruising the Net for cyber-porn, squirt?’ Jared asks. ‘No!’ Adrian replies almost defensively, before declaring that he is doing something important and tells his brother to leave him alone. ‘Whatever,’ Radius mutters, before informing Adrian that he is going down to eat, and asks him if he is going to come too.

Tapping away at the keyboard, Adrian replies ‘Later, I’m busy’. Jared doesn’t seem to impressed and asks him what he is doing, playing “Doom” or - Adrian suddenly interrupts him, asking him why he cares, and reminding him that he said the Internet is for nerds and geeks. ‘It is. What’re you doing?’ Radius asks again. Adrian reveals that he is putting their names on this adoption finder board, Adoption Uplink Network, as it is free.

Murmur suddenly enters Adrian’s room and putting her hands on Radius’ shoulders, she asks him if he is coming to lunch. Jared smirks and replies that he was, but now he is watching “Doofus” try to find their parents. ‘I’m going to find them!’ Adrian boasts. Jared exclaims that they had one mom and two dads. ‘Mine was a world middleweight champion, His was a stick of spaghetti’.

Arlette is intrigued. ‘You can find our parents on the computer?’ she asks wide-eyed, before exclaiming that Adrian must find her mother. Arlette reveals that her mother was a house cleaner who had a passionate encounter with Francois Truffaut. ‘The film guy?’ Radius asks. ‘The legendary film director,’ Arlette remarks, before explaining that her mother left her to Hull House when she went to find her love, Francois, but that she never came back.

Jared asks if they are supposed to believe that story, to which Arlette declares that it is true, and tells him that when Adrian finds her mother, he will see for himself. Adrian finishes entering Arlette’s name into the computer and announces that it is done, to which Radius asks if they can go and eat now.

As the three young heroes walk towards the dinning room, Adrian exclaims that it would be so cool if they could find one of their parents - or all of them. Jared declares that they can easily find Arlette’s dad, as he has been dead for years - all they need to do is find the right tomb! Murmur asks Jared why he is so cruel to her, as it is not funny. ‘I think it’s a riot,’ Radius replies, before telling the others that they are probably going to find out that their parents are a couple of test tubes in the Department H basement.

Suddenly, Flex shouts ‘Look!’, and motions to the large mysterious pink thing that is following them. Jared begins to tell his brother not to interrupt him when he is cracking on him, when he sees the mysterious thing also. Murmur asks what it is and Adrian exclaims that it is the thing he saw the other night. Radius begins running towards it, telling the others to not just stand their picking their noses, they need to get it.

Running behind Radius, Arlette asks if they should notify the others, to which Jared declares ‘No way! We’re Alpha Flight, lets just go pummel that thing!’ ‘Hey, wait for me!’ exclaims Flex. Rounding a corner in the hall, Jared exclaims that there is no time to wait, as this thing is moving at warp speed. He points out that it is heading straight to a dead end, which means they have got it cornered, but as the trio arrive at the dead end, they see nothing. Jared is confused, he knows it went down this hall, but where is it now? Arlette suggests that it might be in one of the rooms, but Radius is certain none of the doors opened. ‘Weird…’ he mumbles.

Where the creature went may be unknown, but where Eugene Milton Judd a.k.a. Puck went is still very much in his mind - though not for long, as arcane energies begin to pick at his thoughts, selectively uncoupling the neurons that make up his most recent recollections. He remembers being sent to retrieve his teammate Sasquatch from the Thompson River Canyon area of British Columbia where he was ambushed by Department H troops that had followed him. A moment later, Judd remembers being sent to retrieve his teammate Sasquatch from the Thompson River Canyon area of British Columbia. Another moment later and he remembers being sent to retrieve his teammate Sasquatch.

When it is all over, even that is a bit of a blur to you. After Judd is released from the mind-wiping device, General Clarke asks the diminutive Alphan if he is all right, and reminds him that he took a nasty fall from that flight platform. Clarke, still lying, explains to Judd that he was unconscious when they found him but that the treatment seems to have brought him around. Rubbing his head, Judd asks where he is. ‘The last thing I remember…I cant remember!’ Clarke informs Judd that he is back in Department H and suggests that he go and rest in his quarters until he is well.

Leaving the lab, Judd realizes that he doesn’t know where his quarters are from here, or where here is - or even who he was talking to. Judd doesn’t remember crashing, and figures he must have drunk a keg of Molson last night, after all, his head does feel like steamed asparagus. Suddenly, Heather walks up to Judd, and comments that he looks lost. Judd replies that he can’t remember where he was. Heather tells him that he must be tired from his mission with Sasquatch and asks him when he got back.

‘Mission?’ asks Judd, remarking that he feels great, except…suddenly, he remembers, and tells Heather that Walter broke out of his restraints and Clarke sent him to find Sasquatch, and he thinks he did find him - but now he feels forgetful, like the first day they came back to Department H. Heather reveals that she has had the same feeling a lot lately, like in the gym when they both suddenly remembered…’Madison Jeffries,’ they say in unison. Heather declares that she thinks it is time they had words with General Clarke.

In the dining hall, Radius, Murmur and Flex have their trays and go and sit at the table where Sunfire is eating his meal. ‘Hey, Shiro, what’s happening?’ Jared asks. ‘Nothing’ replies the former X-Man, before warning the youngsters to be careful of the food, as it has not agreed with him. Jared just tells Shiro that he is probably sick over that beating he gave him in Combat Centrale earlier. Sunfire doesn’t tell them the real reason he is sick - he is too proud to admit that weakness is eating its way through his body.

Radiation poisoning is such an ugly way to die - but Shiro will suffer it like a true warriors of the clan Yoshida. Arlette asks Sunfire if they may join him, to which Shiro gets up from his seat and tells them that they may have the table, as he is retiring to his room and doesn’t want to be disturbed. Sunfire is not the first of his family to perish this way - his grandfather was in Nagasaki during World War Two when the atomic bomb fell. He turned a blind eye to his pain and died quietly. But as Sunfire walks to his room, unknowingly followed by the mysterious pink thing, he wonders if it is wise to be that unaware.

Sunfire was always so quick to confront his attackers in the past that maybe this is what is needed now he thinks - a slow consideration of what it is that consumes him. For the first time since the doctors of Department H diagnosed Sunfire, he rolls up his uniform and looks in the mirror to confront the creeping black death which he feels slowly eating its way across his body. While Shiro secretly believes it will avail him naught, he silently resolves to go on fighting - because that is what warriors do.

Other warriors storm through the cavernous corridors of Department H as swiftly as thunder. These warriors - Heather Hudson and Eugene Judd - have once again grabbed hold of an elusive memory inside their minds that doesn’t quite click - the disappearance of one of their own - and a disturbing lack of acknowledgement of that disappearance from their superiors. Judd asks Heather if she think it is wise going to find Clarke in his laboratory, to which Heather reminds Judd of what Clarke’s secretary said - that he won’t be out for the rest of the day.

Heather points out that another thing she keeps getting interrupted before she can ask about - what in Hades is in that Beta Flight wing. She remarks that if Clarke has got other heroes in there, why don’t they ever see them training or at dinner, or even in the halls. She explains that they can ask about Jeffries and Beta Flight at the same time - kill two birds with one stone. ‘If Clarke’s a bird, he’s a big, ugly vulture, eh?’ jokes Judd. Approaching the door, Heather exclaims that whatever Clarke is, he better be in a question-answering mood. The doors suddenly open and Judd asks Heather if she thinks they are expected, before pointing out that they can sneak in before the doors close.

‘Sneaking in is fine with me,’ Heather remarks, before muttering that her National-Level security clearance hasn’t been good enough to get her in there. But as Heather and Judd enter the doors, two Epsilons block their way, informing them that they need to turn aside. The other Epsilon explains that they are having trouble with the doors, before pointing out that this is a top secret lab. ‘I do know, and I’m a member of Alpha Flight, which means -’ Heather begins, only for Clarke to stick his head out the door and tells Heather that it means she still doesn’t have the proper clearance for this room.

Clarke asks Heather - who was once, arguably, one of the most influential and powerful people in Canada, no longer it seems - and Judd to turn around and step away from this door adding that he will speak with them later. ‘You’ll throw us a bone at your convenience? I don’t think so you arrogant little -’ begins Heather, when one of the Epsilons exclaims that he has fixed the door. ‘Close!’ shouts Clarke, who pulls his head back into the lab, just as the door slams in Heather’s face. Judd asks Heather if she saw what he saw, to which Heather says ‘Bodies in tanks? Uh-huh’ and declares that her list of questions grows longer and longer.

Inside the Dining Hall, some questions raised are answered. Jared sits opposite his brother and Arlette as they prepare to eat. ‘Hey, Jared! You look like -’ begins Flex, only for Jared to exclaim that he doesn’t want any cracks out of either of them, or else it is fist city. ‘You dish it, but you cannot take it?’ Arlette remarks as she looks at Radius, wearing a device on his face. The question goes something along the lines of “How do you eat when you’re completely surrounded by a force field?”

As Jared brings an apple towards the device which enables him to eat, he claims that he is just having fun when he hassles people, but that there isn’t anything funny about the stupid food converter he has to wear just to get his carbs. He adds that it makes him feel like the freakiest thing on the whole stupid planet, that it is like he has a big bug-zapper strapped to his face. Jared notices his brother and Murmur watching him and tells them not to stare, only for the frightened Alphans to get out of their seats and exclaim that they are not staring at him. Arlette points behind Radius and exclaims that the energy creature has returned.

Not moving, Jared says to the others ‘You think just because I look dumb I am dumb?’ and that he is not falling for that stupid trick, as it is the oldest one in the book - suddenly, Radius is engulfed by the pink energy creature. To the shock of his teammates, Radius is lifted off the ground, and Adrian exclaims ‘Murmur! He can’t get out! Do something!’ Wide-eyed, Arlette remarks that it doesn’t look as if it can be touched, and suggests that Flex might be able to cut through it with his metal hands. Adrian replies that he isn’t touching that thing as it tried to kill him last night.

Suddenly, the creature begins to carry Radius away. Flex and Arlette race after it, but it is fast. Adrian suggests to his brother that he try to push his way out of it, to which Radius exclaims ‘Duh, you moron, I can’t!’ With his hand transformed into razor sharp metal, Flex lunges at the creature, hoping that he is able to cut it. ‘You can’t even help yourself!’ Jared tells his brother, adding that he doesn’t need help, that he can get himself out of it.

Flex then cuts the pink energy form - but it doesn’t do anything. Arlette decides to try and command it, and holding her hand out to touch it she exclaims ‘Stop!’ but to her horror, the pink thing and Radius just pass straight through her body. ‘Aaaah! This sucks!’ Radius shouts. Flex urges Murmur to follow him, exclaiming that they can’t let it get away with Jared, ‘He’s my brother!’ Judd happens to be walking down the corridor and seeing the commotion, asks Flex what is going on.

Adrian exclaims that it is the monster he saw and that it has got Radius, who is trapped inside it. Arlette asks Puck to help them, as they have tried everything. Judd watches the creature and remarks that he supposes it proves Flex’s story was right, before suggesting to the younger Alphans that they see where the thing is taking Jared, only for everyone to see it enter Jared’s quarters.

Radius is thrown onto his bed, moments later the others arrive, but the mysterious energy bubble is gone. Flex asks his brother if he is okay, to which Jared snaps ‘I’m fine,’ and that he doesn’t know where it went, it just vanished. Judd asks if it was just a big energy monster that wanted him to go to his room, to which he jokes that it sounds like a cranky parent, and exclaims that this is a crazy situation. ‘This whole place is crazy!’ declares Arlette, before announcing that she needs to get some fresh air.

Occasionally, what is inside…finds a way out. You don’t always know how or why…just that it does. Arlette walks across the Department grounds and sees Guardian. Addressing him as James like she always does, Arlette calls out to him and informs him that he has missed all the excitement inside. She explains to him that Radius was “eaten” by an energy creature who him to his room then disappeared. Mac asks if he is needed inside, to which Arlette replies that it is over, before asking him what he is doing.

Guardian informs Arlette that he has got some things on his mind, and tells her that if Jared is okay then he will look into it later. Arlette puts her hands on Mac’s shoulders, telling him that he looks tense, she offers to relax his shoulders. ‘Uh…I’m married…I shouldn’t be…’ Mac begins, to which Murmur jokes that he did not marry Heather for another few years yet. ‘Besides, James, she is old. You are not. And youth is for the play!’ Mac informs Arlette that this is exactly what he has been feeling, like he should be experiencing life, like he is a young guy, but trapped in the life of some other guy and he cannot get out of it.

Suddenly, Mac looks shocked, like he cannot believe he said that. He adds that he supposes he doesn’t really have any friends here, to which Murmur narrows her eyes and tells Mac that she is his friend. Arlette then kisses Mac on the lips - the very same time that Heather flies towards them. ‘Mac, I - Mac!?’ He exclaims before flying off. Mac pulls away from Arlette, and calls after his supposed wife.

Elsewhere, inside Department H, Judd stands beside his teammate Sasquatch who is chained to a wall. Addressing Sasquatch as Walter, Judd remarks that there is something peculiar going on, and that he wishes Walt could still talk, because Judd has the feeling Sasquatch remembers what happened out there in the woods when he came to get him. Judd adds that he thinks he might too, but that it is buried inside his head and he cannot find it.

Judd remarks that he thinks he might be coming down with Alzheimer’s, adding that he is certainly old enough to, when suddenly, someone in the shadows informs him that the energy creature he fought was made by the Department, and that he should asks Clarke about Patrice Trask at the next Alpha Flight meeting. Confused, Judd calls out, asking who is there, but the voice just replies that they will talk again. ‘We’ll talk right now, bub!’ Judd exclaims, declaring that he is tired of all these mysteries.

Judd tells whoever is hiding in the shadows that he wants answers and that he wont mind beating them out of him. Suddenly, there is announcement over the intercom ordering all Alpha Flight members to report to the briefing room immediately, for a code A-1, national emergency. Judd thinks to himself that he has never heard of an A-1 before, but in that time he was preoccupied, his mysterious visitor has vanished.

Soon, Puck enters the briefing room, ‘You call an A-1, Clarke? What is it, the end of the world?’ Heather, Mac and the rookies are all gathered in the darkened briefing room as Clarke tells Judd to come in and have a seat. On the screen in front of them is a image of Wolverine - and Clarke tells Alpha Flight that it is with grave regret that he has to inform them that the time has come for Department H to reopen…the Weapon X Files!

Characters Involved: 

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


General Jeremy Clarke

Chief Engineer Su

Basil Kilgrew (unseen and unnamed)

General Clarke’s secretary, Epsilons and other Department H Staff

Scorpio (Member of the New Zodiac)

The Ecliptic

On View screen:

Wolverine (Former Member of Alpha Flight)

Story Notes: 

The information on the second page incorrectly dates this issue as February 1997.

Alpha Flight’s battle with Mesmero occurred in Alpha Flight (2nd series) #4-5.

Heather’s comment this issue about how she switched from glasses to contacts last year, explains why she was no longer wearing glasses as of Alpha Flight (2nd series) #1.

Heather saw the Beta Flight wing in Alpha Flight (2nd series) #2.

Lilli, the young mutant girl first seen in Alpha Flight (2nd series) #2, managed to get to the reception area in Alpha Flight (2nd series) #5, where she encountered Diamond Lil, and asked her for help. However, Diamond Lil herself was being taken away by some Epsilons, though she found Lilli oddly familiar.

Murmur sustained injuries from Sasquatch in the battle with Mesmero.

The original Box armor was created by Roger Bochs, who was able to control it by means of a cybernetic helmet. [as seen in Alpha Flight (1st series) #1 and #11] However when Jerry Jaxon used the cybernetic helmet to take over and caused Guardian some sever injuries [Alpha Flight (1st series) #12] Bochs had Madison Jeffries help him redesign the armor so that Bochs now phased into, which also granted him some mobility. Box allied himself with Alpha Flight to redeem his actions in Omega Flight, only for a bodiless Walter Langkowski to need the armor to survive. [Alpha Flight (1st series) #24-28] With Walter then presumed deceased, Bochs was able to wear his armor once more, however when he was given a new set of legs by Dr. Lionel Jeffries a.k.a. Scramble the Mixed-up-Man, his mind began to deteriorate, and the two of them merged into the new being known as Omega. Madison Jeffries was then forced to take over the Box armor (he was able to phase into it because he had helped design it), and using his own mutant powers to reshape it, destroyed his brother and best friend. [Alpha Flight (1st series) #48-49] Jeffries then continued to serve with Alpha Flight as the fourth Box. Before, the Box armor was mainly used for its great strength and flight, but Jeffries packed it with plenty of sensors and arsenal and was able to reshape it into various things such as a space ship, a car and a jet. Later, being inside the armor became addictive to Jeffries, which caused friction between him and his wife Diamond Lil. [Alpha Flight (1st series) #109, #122] When Department H restarted Alpha Flight, Jeffries was among the line up without the Box armor, presumably because he came to Department H seeking help with his addiction, so the Box armor was then taken away from him. Unbeknownst to anyone in Alpha Flight, the armor was then merged with a man named Bernie Lachenay, into Manbot. [off-panel, prior to Alpha Flight (2nd series) #1, and as mentioned in Alpha Flight (2nd series) #5]

Alpha Flight battled artificial constructs of the original Alpha Flight’s greatest foe, the Master of the World, in Alpha Flight (2nd series) #2.

As seen in Alpha Flight (2nd series) #5, Virgo arrived in Paris after being told to go there by Murmur in Alpha Flight (2nd series) #1.

Puck was sent to retrieve a renegade Sasquatch in Alpha Flight (2nd series) #6, only to discover that this Sasquatch was not his former teammate Walter Langkowski mutated further, but one of a group of many legendary “Bigfoot”. Clarke and his troops then ambushed Judd and took both he and Sasquatch back to Department H.

The brainwashing that Judd underwent this issue, he and Heather also received when they tried to leave Department H in Alpha Flight (2nd series) #1.

Madison Jeffries was kidnapped in battle with the new Zodiac. [Alpha Flight (2nd series) #1]

Puck’s comment about him being old enough to have Alzheimer’s is correct, as he was born sometime around the turn of the 20th Century, though throughout his broad career as a mercenary he came into contact with the Black Razer, which resulted in Puck’s ageing process being slowed down. [Alpha Flight (1st series) #32]

The mysterious person talking to Puck is Basil Kilgrew, a special Department H employee who is seen further in Alpha Flight (2nd series) #13.

Basil Kilgrew mentions that the energy creature has something to do with Patrice Trask. It is unknown who Patrice Trask is, as she is not mentioned again, and is one of the many danglers from the second series of Alpha Flight. It is unclear whether she is related to Bolivar Trask, the creator of the Sentinels and father of Tanya Trask a.k.a. Sanctity.

Issue Information: 
Written By: