Thirteen Years Ago in Heather’s Mind:
Heather Hudson and her research partner, Wendy, both dressed in parkas, carry a heavy crate into their research station located in the frigid Arctic Circle. Heather tells Wendy to be careful, because if they drop the crate the nearest tech support is six hundred miles away. Yeah, yeah, replies Heather’s friend. However, couldn’t Heather have found a place more convenient with an ozone hole for this experiment? Wendy bets that Heather didn’t even check Detroit.
Heather gives a small laugh as they put the box down inside. The two take off their jackets and change into lab coats. Heather tells Wendy that if the Arctic Circle isn’t her scene she should feel free to catch the next bus out. Wendy smiles and asks if she should let her hog the Nobel for beating cancer. Nice try, Heather, replies Wendy.
The two women begin to do their research. Sometime later, Wendy tells Heather that collecting ambient gamma rays is almost as exciting as doing taxes. Heather jokes that Wendy always gripes. She should just wait to see how fast tumors respond to natural radiations. It is the difference between organic food and the junk Wendy calls lunch.
However, the two women are unaware that someone, or rather something, watches them. It seems like yesterday that the two of them were wedded, thinks a voice in Heather’s memory. In those days she was a healer searching for cures. She never guessed that her quest would lead her to him. Science made Heather blind to the truth. This “ozone hole” was actually a window to the Subtle Realms where mighty Nelvana imprisoned his kind: the Great Beasts of the North!
Suddenly, a blast of energy hits the satellite of the research station, causing the entire facility to blow up! Heather, her clothes ripped to pieces and blood covering her body, slowly tries to get back up. A horrible voice tells Heather that she is dying. He offers her life… for a price. Heather is still disoriented and barely makes out the ghastly image of a large being before her. The beast continues on and tells Heather that she will forget his part in this day. She will use his strength as a gift, though, as she sees fit. She will have done many good deeds and her life will be happy. He is patient and generous. However, on the day he finally claims her flesh, she must remember that she entered this bargain freely. Still disoriented, Heather calls out to the missing Wendy.
The sick Heather McDaniel mutters the name of Wendy, as the beast known as Wendigo charges right at her. Heather, still feverish, mutters that she made a deal. Scared, Beak tells Heather to snap out of it as they are in danger. As Magik prepares to battle Wendigo, Morbius tells Wendigo to hurry up and eat. If the others reached Zarathos’ chamber then they shouldn’t waste all their time in here. Wendigo grabs Beak and Heather and grunts to Morbius to let him know that he understands. Heather gasps for air as Beak desperately tells her to change into Sasquatch. She is the only one who can stop this monster.
Just as Wendigo is about to bite off Beaks’ head, Magik stabs the beast in the chest with her Soul-Sword and tells Beak not to count her out just yet. Wendigo screams and staggers back, as he drops the two Exiles. In seconds, thanks to the Soul-Sword, the spell that once transformed an innocent man into the Wendigo breaks and the beast reverts back to human. The confused man stands in between Morbius, Beak, Heather and Magik, and asks how he got here. Shocked, Morbius demands that Magik tells him what she did to Wendigo.
Before anyone else can react, Beak surprisingly clobbers Morbius in the head with his bat. He then tells Magik to grab Heather. They have to find Blink and get out of there.
In Zarathos’ chamber, Kulan Gath tells Blink to wake up. She is missing a very entertaining fight. Blink collects her bearings after being betrayed by Kulan Gath in time to see Zarathos being attacked by Jack Russell, in his Werewolf by Night form. Zarathos screams at Russell and tells him that he just gave their greatest enemy the world back. Russell screams back that they both are his enemies. He then shatters Zarathos’ jaw with one mighty punch. Angered, Zarathos tells Russell that he is fired before burning the werewolf to death with his powers.
Zarathos then turns to Gath and tells him that he is surprised that the old wizard did not help Russell. Gath replies that he would never come between a dog and his bone. It doesn’t matter, though. Now that he has the necklace, Zarathos cannot hurt him. Zarathos then turns to Blink and asks her if she really thinks that Gath will reward her for stealing back his talisman. If she gets the talisman back for him, Zarathos will spare her and her friends. Gath grabs Blink by the hair and asks Zarathos if he really thinks he would have let Blink live if she was a threat. The Master Spell is his again and he is beyond harm. “Oh, yeah?” asks Blink, as she elbows the fragile old Gath in the gut. “Yeah,” replies the unharmed, sadistic Gath, as he turns Blink’s face towards him.
In the hallway, Morbius tells Beak that it is remarkable. It is not everyday that someone draws his blood, and definitely not by someone like this bird-boy. Beak shouldn’t worry. He will return the favor. Scared, Beak stands ready with his bat, but tells Heather that they need her now. Heather mutters that it is too dangerous for her to transform, but Beak reminds her that any more danger and they will be dead. Morbius grabs the man that used to be Wendigo and asks Magik how she was able to break the curse, which is of the highest order. The terrified man asks Morbius not to hurt him.
Magik points her sword to Morbius and tells him that her Soul-Sword breaks all spells and severs all enchantments. If Morbius comes close then they can see what it does to him. Concerned, Morbius looks at the man in his hand and realizes that she speaks the truth. There certainly is no magic left in this fool. He is all theirs, for Morbius does not want him anymore. Before Magik can react, Morbius throws the man right at Magik, who accidentally impales the innocent.
Morbius charge and throws Beak away, instead heading for the terrified Magik, who now realizes that it is all over. Before she can pull her sword out of the man’s body, Morbius grabs her and bites her in the neck, killing the young mutant sorceress.
Enraged, Heather gets up and tells Morbius that he is a miserable piece of dog-squeeze. As Heather begins to cry, Morbius triumphantly tells her that he just slew her secret weapon. What is she going to do now? Cry on him? Heather tells the vampire that she is only crying, because she left him with no choice. She has to surrender now. Morbius drops Magik’s body and asks Heather what makes him think that he is taking prisoners today. Heather corrects Morbius. She isn’t surrendering to him. She is giving up the battle that she has fought since arriving in this reality. She made a deal with something inside of her and it is something that he isn’t going to like. Once she lets it out, there will be nothing left of her to control it.
Those are the last words of Heather Hudson as she suddenly beings to transform. However, she does not change into her usual white Sasquatch form. Instead, she transforms into a massive beast resembling Sasquatch, though the most distinctive difference is her orange fur. The massive beast tells Morbius that, in this world of magic and monster, his will be the most frightening face in the realm.
Beak freaks out and bolts inside Zarathos’ chamber. He calls out to Blink that they have to get out of there. Everything has gone wrong. Zarathos and Gath turn to Beak, the latter telling the boy that it is rude to interrupt. Before anything else happens, a massive orange fist crashes through the walls. Blink’s eyes open wide as she calls out Heather’s name, questioningly.
The massive, orange Sasquatch, who holds the unconscious Morbius in one hand, tells Blink that Heather Hudson is gone. All that remains is the Great Beast known as Tanaraq!
Gath is confused to who this new guest is and wonders if there is any end to the noisy magical pests attracted to New York by his Master Spell. Tanaraq turns his attention to Gath, while he crushes the body of Morbius, spilling the vampire’s guts everywhere. Tanaraq recalls how Gath is the most powerful human sorcerer in the world. It was his spell that transformed the land and called forth monsters, demons and beasts. Tanaraq supposes that he should thank Gath before killing him.
Zarathos is not impressed and tells Tanaraq that the bigger the furball the bigger the bonfire. He then attacks Tanaraq with a mighty fire blast, which does absolutely nothing against the Great Beast. Tanaraq realizes that Zarathos knows nothing about the Great Beasts, or else he would realize his folly of testing a god. Tanaraq then crushes Zarathos with his foot, shattering the demon into pieces. While Gath stands in awe, Blink quickly reacts and teleports herself and Beak away.
Above in the throne room, Namora, Morph and Mimic follow Selene. Mimic asks Selene why she is helping them. No offense, but he wouldn’t trust her in any reality. Selene, not offended, tells Mimic that they have a common goal. They both want Zarathos to fall. Besides, compared to their master, Gath, she is the lesser of two evils. Namora informs Selene that Gath is not their master, but Selene is not so sure, considering Blink is helping to retrieve his talisman for him. Mimic tells Selene that it isn’t their mission there. Blink is stealing the talisman to keep it away from Gath.
On cue, Blink and Beak teleport into the throne room. Blink tells the group that something has happened to Heather when she turned into Sasquatch. Beak cuts in and tells them that she isn’t Sasquatch. She is orange and her voice sounds like broken glass. She also calls herself Tanaraq. Blink interrupts Beak this time upon seeing Selene and asks what she is doing here. Selene introduces herself, but Blink tells her that she knows who she is. What she asked was why she was there, because the last thing they need is another monster in the mix.
Suddenly, the ground beneath the group shatters as Tanaraq and Gath continue their fight into the throne room. Gath hovers above Tanaraq shooting blasts of energy, wondering why the beast won’t die. Tanaraq replies that he is deathless as a fable. How can Gath kill the one who made the first men fear the darkness and the cold? Tanaraq tells Gath to stop the foolishness and come to him. He then grabs the terrified Gath. Below, Namora tells Blink that she is losing track. Is Heather still on their side? No, replies Blink. She doesn’t think Heather is on anyone’s side anymore.
Tanaraq removes the talisman from Gath’s neck, since he won’t need it anymore. He then holds Gath upside down by the leg and asks Blink what their mission was exactly, according to the Tallus. Blink is taken aback at first, surprised that Tanaraq actually knows about the Tallus and that he actually cares about the mission. She tells Tanaraq that their mission was to place Kulan Gath back on his throne. Tanaraq eyes the throne and understands. He then throws the fragile man at the throne. Gath slams into the throne and into the wall, which shatters.
With Gath now dead, Tanaraq asks Blink if the mission is over. Concerned, Blink asks Heather if there is anything of her left in there. No, replies Tanaraq. He only wishes to leave this world and return to his own. He has the Hudson woman’s memories and knows their rules as Exiles if they wish to move on.
“We” Exiles, questions Blink. Of course, replies Tanaraq. He will remain with the group until he finds a way back to his reality. Naturally he will assume command, but they can live if they serve him well. Confused, Selene asks Tanaraq why he would take the talisman if he does not plan on staying. Unconcerned, Tanaraq casually tosses the talisman to Selene and tells her that she can have it. They will be gone soon and he could care less about what happens to this world. “Oh, but you will know what happens here,” replies the wicked Selene, as she puts on the necklace, “I insist.”
Before the Exiles can stop her, Selene chants a spell, which unleashes a wave of magical energy. The energy wave extends through the city, but surprisingly changes everything back to normal.
“There. Much, much better,” says Selene as the group finds themselves in Madison Square Garden. Confused, Mimic questions if she restored the city. Not just the city, replies Selene. She restored the entire northeast. Everything converted by the Master Spell is back to normal. Selene looks at the talisman, which disintegrates into dust.
When Beak asks Selene why she did that, Selene explains that she likes the twenty-first century. There are loose morals, a great nightlife, and an endless supply of beautiful people to eat. She already lived in the Dark Ages and, believe her, it was boring. Selene waves at the group, as she thinks that they have to go now to save other worlds. She would invite them back sometime to visit, but somehow she doubts they will survive their new partner. The Exiles then blink away to the next reality.
Selene exits the building and into the streets of New York. “I just love guests who don’t wear out their welcome!”