Forrest, Canada, where Jean-Paul, “Northstar” Beaubier, the mutant hero and member of the X-Men lies in a crater, a young girl is lying with him. They are about to be eaten by some foul-smelling monster, and several thoughts pass through his head. He thinks of his husband, Kyle. He thinks of the reasons he left Canada. How occasionally he misses his sister and of the things he has done and seen in his time with the X-Men. But above all else, the one thing that runs through his head over and over as he waits to die - is that this is so incredibly beneath him.
(Twenty minutes earlier)
‘Ahhhh! Burning me! Fire fire fire fire fire fire! Call 911! Call 911!’ Santo Vaccarro a.k.a. Rockslide shouts as he emerges from the flaming X-Jet. ‘Oh, right. I’m fireproof. I knew that’ he grins, looking up he sees several of the X-Men battling the savage, deadly Wendigo that are currently plaguing Canada. ‘you were in the bathroom this whole time?’ Bobby “Iceman” Drake shouts as he rides an ice-sled through the Wendigo, Northstar is with him, while Angelica “Firestar” Jones hovers nearby. ‘What? No! Maybe…’ Rockslide mutters. ‘Don’t just stand there, hit something!’ Ororo “Storm” Munroe orders as she fries a Wendigo with a lightning bolt. ‘Yes, Ma’am!’ Rockslide exclaims as he punches one of the Wendigo, sending it careening through the air. Piotr “Colossus” Rasputin tries to hold back Wolverine a.k.a. Logan, who has been transformed into one of the Wendigo, but he calls out to Firestar, telling her that his is too strong. Angelica looks over and declares ‘I can’t hurt him, that’s Wolverine! What do we do!’
Kurt “Nightcrawler” Wagner and Eugene Judd a.k.a. Puck turn to the trouble, as Rachel Grey lies on the ground at Wolverine-Wendigo’s feet. ‘Kuuuuurt’ Rachel calls out. ;’You rang, fraulein?’ Kurt asks as he teleports onto Wolverine-Wendigo, grabs him, and teleports away. ‘Always with the dramatic exit’ Rachel mutters.
2.2 miles away, Kurt re-materializes high in the air and tells Wolverine to aim for the creek, as he drops him. Wolverine-Wendigo looks back up at Kurt, confused, before Kurt teleports back amongst the X-Men. ‘How much time, Kurt?’ Storm enquires. ‘That depends. How fast can Wolverine run 2.2 miles?’ Nightcrawler responds. ‘If you keep believing these monsters are still people, Wagner, then you’re going to be dead again sooner than that’ Northstar exclaims.
‘Guys! Look! There’s a kid on that roof!’ Firestar cries. ‘Kurt!’ Storm declares, and Kurt teleports - but as Kurt arrives on the rooftop, where a Wendigo looms over the girl, Northstar has already sped to the rooftop and picked the girl up. ‘What are you doing?’ Nightcrawler asks as Northstar casts a burst of light towards the Wendigo to confuse it. ‘You can run. I can run and fight’ Northstar points out. ‘But Storm said -’ Nightcrawler begins. ‘I’ve got the girl, You take him’ Northstar snaps as he speeds off through the air. ‘Okay…’ Kurt mutters, turning to the growling Wendigo.
Meanwhile, on the US / Canada Border, where Iron Man, Captain America and Thor are on hand to supervise the influx of Canadians into the States. ‘This is distasteful… it feels like defeat’ Thor announces. ‘They’re civilians, Thor. They fight will be on us soon enough’ Iron Man points out. ‘Sir, here are the latest satellite images’ someone radios into Iron Man. ‘Yell me we’re the red dots’ Iron Man replies. ‘I’m afraid not, Sir’ the voice responds, while on the ground, Captain America directs the civilians. Iron Man calls out to Cap, informing him that they are about to be completely overrun. ‘How long, Iron Man?’ Captain America asks, looking up. ‘Now-ish’ Iron Man replies, as a howling can be heard - ‘WEENNNDDIGOOO!’ and they turn to see the horde of bloodthirsty Wendigo racing towards the border. Civilians rush for safety, while Captain America tosses his shield and tells his teammates that they have to hold the line, that they have to give these people time.
‘Thor, you wanted a fight? Here it is!’ Cap exclaims. ‘HAVE AT THEE!’ Thor booms as he strikes several Wendigo with his mighty hammer. Cap slams his shield into a Wendigo, while Iron Man fires several repulsor blasts and points out that he hasn’t been in as many wars as Cap, but that this seems bad. He adds that Manifold is still moving people out up north, so it is just the three of them here. Cap points out that the Wendigo curse is mystical, so they need a mystic to fight them. ‘Where is Strange?’ Iron Man replies that Strange isn’t responding, that it is like his line is dead.
And, in the Sanctum Sanctorum of Dr Stephen Strange in Greenwich Village, New York, the Sorcerer Supreme appears frozen, his mouth wide open, as a book hovers before him, green energy linking him to the book, while strange symbols fly about him.
Back in Canada, Northstar has escaped the crater, and holds the girl in his arms as he darts through the trees, tossing bursts of light at the pursuing horror. Northstar tells himself that he has never cared for children, as they are loud, obnoxious and generally smell, but that upon seeing this one in danger, he found himself racing to her, despite knowing that Nightcrawler was already there. ‘What is the matter with me?’ Jean-Paul wonders. More bursts of light, as the girl clings to him, Jean-Paul decides that she is holding up remarkably well, given everyone she has ever loved has most likely turned into flesh-eating monsters. He adds that no doubt due to his presence, the girl has utter faith in his ability to save her. Jean-Paul wonders what his sister would say if she could see him now. ‘Suddenly he screams, as one of the Wendigo grabs him by his feet. The sudden halt causes Amber, the girl, to be flung from Jean-Paul’s arms. Free of the Wendigo’s brief grasp, however, Northstar speeds forward and grabs the girl before one of the Wendigo can snatch her - only he pays for this as the Wendigo slams its fist into his back, forcing Wolverine to the ground.
‘Ow…’ Northstar utters as he looks up, and the Wendigo roars at him, as blood trickles out of his nose - suddenly, there is a glow - and the Wendigo is gone. ‘Oh…I was just thinking of you’ Northstar remarks, as standing over him are four of his former teammates from Alpha Flight - James MacDonald Hudson a.k.a. Guardian, whose torn battle suit glows with energy from blasting the Wendigo away, Jeanne-Marie Beaubier a.k.a. Aurora, Northstar’s twin sister, who tells him that he is embarrassing himself. ‘This is beneath us’ she remarks. Walter Langkowski a.k.a. Sasquatch crouches behind Aurora, while the goddess Narya a.k.a. Snowbird hovers above.
‘I thought you said don’t hurt them!’ Firestar exclaims as she and Storm fly back-to back, and Storm casts several lightning bolts down at the Wendigo below. ‘I’ve amended that to “Don’t kill them”. These are innocent people -’ Storm begins. ‘That all ate human flesh?’ Firestar points out. Storm ignores the newest member of the X-Men and tells her to create a wall to separate the Wendigo from them. Iceman darts about on an ice-sled, escaping any Wendigo who try to grab him, and he tells Colossus that he asks Colossus if he is glad he is back on the team. ‘Yes, honestly, X-Force was…complicated. This I understand. This I can fight’ Colossus replies as he grabs the fist of one of the Wendigo who tries to attack him. Nearby, ‘Hang on, baby. Hang on…’ Puck tells Elizabeth “Talisman” Twoyoungmen who was moments ago stabbed through the stomach by Wolverine after he transformed into a Wendigo. ‘…the wound of the mountain where shadow rests eternal’ Talisman utters.
‘We have to get her out of her!’ Puck calls out. ‘We’re working on it, just let us - oh, no. He’s back. I can feel him. He’s right behind -’ Rachel Grey warns. ‘Behind who?’ Rockslide asks, as the Wolverine-Wendigo leaps towards him and slices his face into pieces with his claws. ‘Hey! What are you… ow!’ Rockslide declares. ‘Peter! Get ready!’ Nightcrawler calls out as he teleports behind Wolverine. ‘Santo? You okay, big guy? Do you need, uh… some glue or something?’ Iceman asks as he slides over to the many pieces of Rockslide laying scattered on the ground. ‘Nur! Ram na okay!’ Rockslide replies. ‘Fastball Special?’ Colossus asks as he grabs the Wolverine-Wendigo by his tail. ‘You read my mind’ Kurt replies as he teleports around Wolverine-Wendigo. As Colossus flings the transformed Wolverine high into the air. ‘That was extremely satisfying’ Colossus smiles. ‘We’ll have to find Logan at some point, you realize’ Kurt remarks as he looks to the star-covered sky. ‘I’m sure he will find us soon enough’ Colossus replies. ‘As the X-Men’s pyrrhic victories go…this ranks high’ Storm tells her friends.
As Firestar’s wall of fire surrounds the X-Men, Iceman asks ‘Did you see all of them? I mean, you turn into a Wendigo by eating people right? Canada always seems so quiet, then BAM! Cannibals!’ Iceman jokes, while Rockslide has put his face back onto his body and asks ‘Is my face on crooked?’ Storm turns to her former Uncanny X-Force teammate, Puck, and asks him how Talisman is, pointing out that she may be the only hope they have for curing Logan and the rest of these people. Rachel reports that Talisman is not good, and explains that she has shut down her pain receptors, but that she is still going to bleed out if they don’t do something soon. ‘Travel to the wound of the mountain where shadow rests eternal. There you will find him’ Talisman utters. ‘What is she saying?’ Storm asks. ‘Travel to the wound of the mountain…’ Talisman repeats, while Rachel tells everyone to hang on, as she enters Talisman’s mind, ‘A cave…an entrance to the spirit realm…’ Talisman explains. ‘Do something!’ Puck shouts, waving his fist at Storm.
Storm turns to Firestar and tells her that she must cauterize Talisman’s wounds. ‘You can’t be serious’ Firestar replies. ‘She’s dying, Angelica’ Storm replies. Angelica creates a small flame and leans closer to Talisman, muttering that she is having second thoughts about this whole X-Men thing. ‘You’re going to do fine’ Storm assures her. ‘I might throw up’ Firestar replies. Storm adds that she will be right be her side the while time - also throwing up. ‘I will not throw up’ Colossus thinks to himself as he, Kurt, Bobby and Santo stand together and hearing a hissing sound as Firestar touches Talisman’s wounds. ‘I will not throw up in front of the ladies’ Nightcrawler thinks to himself. ‘I’m seriously going to throw up’ Bobby tells himself, while Rockslide starts to dry heave. ‘Make it stop!’ he calls out. Storm looks at Puck and asks him what happened. ‘I got a call from Heather…I didn’t take it’ Puck reveals, adding that when he finally got her message, Heather was in trouble, and he could barely hear her over the noise - and she did not answer when he called back.
‘So many of the creatures… how could this be happening?’ Storm wonders, when suddenly, a large, hairy figure looms over Rockslide and replies ‘The story is fascinating, but quite disturbing’ ‘AAAH! Orange Wendigo!’ Rockslide yells - but Storm tells him that is enough. ‘They’re friends. They’re Alpha Flight!’ Storm declares as Guardian, Aurora, Sasquatch and Snowbird arrive, with Northstar, who is still carrying Amber. Storm approaches Guardian and asks him what has happened. Guardian tells Storm that they have lost count of how many towns have fallen, but that they think Forrest was ground zero. ‘How does one Wendigo create and outbreak like this?’ Northstar enquires. ‘That’s just it, Jean-Paul…it wasn’t just one’ Guardian replies, revealing that from what Shaman has been able to piece together, a meat packing plant distrusted tainted meat across the region. ‘Tainted?’ someone asks. ‘A man was murdered. The killer tried to hide the evidence by grinding up the body…well, you can imagine the rest’ Guardian explains. ‘Oh my God’ Firestar utters. ‘It happens with rats all the time’ Iceman jokes. ‘Bobby!’ Firestar exclaims. ‘What? You’ve never had a hotdog?’ Iceman asks.
Rachel stands over Puck who is crouched beside Talisman and informs Guardian that by the time the X-Men got here, the town was already gone. ‘Talisman was able to cure them…’ Puck begins, as Rachel adds that she said it was temporary, that they had to find the source - the cave. ‘Hundreds of people were turned… they quickly became thousands. Towns are being evacuated’ Sasquatch reports. Snowbird adds that they have heard the Avengers are on the border assisting the effort. ‘Awesome’ Rockslide utters, looking up at Snowbird who hovers above him. Sasquatch remarks that at this rate of transmission, the Wendigo will overtake most of the province by week’s end - and by the end of the month, Canada will fall.
As Cap, Iron Man and Thor continue to battle Wendigo at the US / Canada Border, Storm asks ‘So what you are saying…everybody on the planet is going to turn into a Wendigo?’ to which Guardian points out ‘You’ve seen their strength and speed…at these numbers, not even the Avengers can stop them’ He adds that containment isn’t an option, and that the only thing working, while Sasquatch announces that the only thing working in their favor is the nature of the curse itself - as it is only effective on Canadian soil, as Captain America discovers when one of the Wendigo crosses the border, and collapses before him, reverting to human form.
Shortly, inside another aircraft, Guardian announces ‘Here’s the plan. The cave Talisman was talking about Sasquatch knows where it is. We send Northstar and Aurora to the Border with Talisman and the girl’. And so, Northstar, with Amber on his back, and carrying Puck, flies from the jet, while Aurora flies alongside him carrying Talisman. ‘They told me your were married, Jean-Paul…no one said anything about a child’ Jeanne-Marie exclaims. ‘Quiet’ Northstar tells his sister. As Guardian, Snowbird and Firestar fly alongside the jet, inside, Sasquatch pilots and reports that the rest of them will fight this at the source. ‘So, Walter…how is it you know where this cave is?’ Nightcrawler asks. ‘I can feel it talking to me’ Sasquatch reveals. ‘Come again?’ Iceman asks. ‘The cry of the Wendigo…I can feel it. It wants me to bite. To tear. To kill…’ Sasquatch utters. ‘Wunderbarr’ Nightcrawler mutters, while Iceman exclaims that if it is okay with everyone, he is going to hang out in back.
Outside, Firestar contacts Storm via communicator, ‘Are you seeing this?’ she asks. ‘I’m guessing this is it’ Firestar remarks as she flies alongside Snowbird and Guardian to a brilliant energy that rises up through the forest. Snowbird declares that the gates to the spirit realm have been torn wide open, and there is power here beyond the Wendigo. ‘Snowbird agrees…this is it’ Firestar announces. As the heroes hover near the brilliant energy, someone reports that there is another problem - Wendigo - and a lot of them. Indeed, on the ground around the energy, dozens of Wendigo have gathered. ‘I can feel them…’ Sasquatch remarks. ‘Sasquatch seems…unreliable’ Colossus points out. ‘I take it we’re altering the plan?’ Nightcrawler asks. ‘Yes. But you’re not going to like it’ Storm replies.
An instant later, Colossus and Sasquatch drop from the jet and land with a mighty BOOOM! On the forest floor. ‘Storm was right. I do not like this’ Colossus mutters as he and Sasquatch engage the Wendigo. ‘Ja, but at least you can’t get bitten! Or scratched!’ Nightcrawler points out as he teleports in rapid succession, kicking several Wendigo in the process. Rachel reports that team “bait” is doing their job, the Wendigo are following them. ‘Sotrm, Guardian…you’ve got your opening!’ Rachel calls out. Storm, Iceman and Rockslide leap from the jet to join Snowbird, Guardian and Firestar, as the six heroes drop to the forest floor and walk towards the brilliant energy. ‘Once more, into the breach!’ Storm exclaims, and as she walks alongside Guardian, asks him if he has any idea what to expect. ‘Nothing good’ Mac tells her. ‘That’s what I thought’ Storm remarks.
And, as Nightcrawler and Colossus are seen continuing to battle the Wendigo, Northstar, Aurora and their “passengers” are just moments away from arriving at the US / Canada Border. In the Spirit Realm, Storm, Snowbird, Guardian and Rockslide are nearly waist-deep in a thick blanket of snow, while Firestar flies behind them and Iceman rides an ice-sled, everyone shielding themselves from the cold that blankets them. And somewhere, a creature grins, ‘Soon, my children…soon we will feed on an entire world!’