In a seemingly abandoned ski resort, Puck and Vindicator of Alpha Flight are discussing their current assignment to guard the lodge, in which Major Barrington is staying. The major is about to make an important testimony, and Vindicator wonders why only they have been assigned to this job and not the whole Alpha Flight, but Puck says that with all the armed guards in the cabin, the entire team would have been a bit of overkill. They are having doubts about Department H, the government agency that runs Alpha Flight, when its director of foreign affairs, Pierre Cloche, approaches them and advises them to express their concerns about Department H during the parliament’s next convenes. Vindicator immediately apologizes but Cloche replies that he was not offended by her comments about Department H.
Their conversation is interrupted when a guard approaches Cloche and informs him that the perimeter guards, who were due back over ten minutes ago, have not returned yet. Vindicator quickly offers to go check it out with Puck. They soon find the unconscious guards and it becomes clear that an intruder is present on the premises. From above, the brainwashed Maverick watches. He is somewhat surprised to see the two Alpha Flight members as he is not aware of the team‘s recent reactivation. He tells himself he has to complete his task nonetheless and then leaps down from his hiding place to the surprise of the two. He taunts them into chasing him as he fires his grappling hook to a cable car overhead.
As he flees from them on the grappling hook, he has a brief flashback to a similar move he performed against Hammer back in his hotel in Quebec (in Maverick #1). It is the second time he is recalling that fight since he woke up from Ivan Pushkin’s brainwashing technique (see Maverick #2), and he begins to wonder if the fight really occurred, though he never remembers it happening.
Meanwhile, Vindicator has caught up to him, perched atop a cable car, and fires hot steam at him. She then tries to reason with him and talk him out of fighting by saying Logan has mentioned him to be a person with strong morals. Maverick then catches her off guard by suddenly surrendering and tossing his grappling hook to her. She catches it and is electrified by it immediately and drops out of the air. Maverick then leaps from his ride atop the cable car and hits the ground. He absorbs the impact of the fall and his fists charge up with power. Puck aims a flying kick at him but Maverick simply throws an energized fist at him, knocking him out. In the process of doing that though, Maverick gets another flashback, this time of his near-death experience in his Quebec hotel (also in Maverick #1). He doubles over in pain and again begins to question what exactly is happening to him, and why he doesn’t recall anything from his recent past.
(several hours earlier)
In a Victorian manor in James Bay, Canada, Elena Ivanova is rescued from her prison of nearly a fortnight by Isabel Ferguson. Isabel helps her out of her psionic-dampening cell and Elena gets a head rush as her psionic powers return to her. The two then start communicating via a psionic link. Isabel tells Elena that she found her as a result of the tracking devices she placed inside her equipment which Pushkin had stolen. She assures Elena that she removes them after each purchase but they are included as a precautionary measure against such petty theft. Elena is grateful for the rescue, but asks her why she took almost two weeks to find her, and Isabel responds that Pushkin had distributed her stolen hardware across Canada and as a result she had to search all over the country for them. Elena thanks her for her perseverance and is handed a neural-synaptic disruptor by Isabel. Elena asks why they are not using something more powerful but Isabel replies that she doesn’t believe in using lethal force unnecessarily and that the disruptors are able to knock a man out for 24 hours.
Isabel then asks if she knows where Maverick is being held but Elena tells her that she overheard the guards saying Maverick had voluntarily left the manor in the morning. Elena figures that he’s been brainwashed and they both crash Doctor Langstrom’s laboratory to find out for what purpose. After they take down the guards, Elena grabs the doctor by the throat and proceeds to execute a painful psi-probe on her.
En route to the ski lodge, Maverick is taking out some more guards. As he fights, he ponders if a relapse of the Legacy Virus is the cause of his painful flashbacks. He figures that he’s still not fully recovered from the injuries he sustained from his safehouse’s explosion. According to Pushkin, he thinks, he nearly died as a result of the explosion.
He soon reaches Major Barrington’s room, much to the shock of Barrington. Maverick then calmly tells him he’s going to kill him, and accuses him of destroying his life by enlisting Ginetta to be his wife so as to spy on him. Barrington denies his allegations, but Maverick goes on further, accusing Barrington of infecting him with the Legacy Virus and planting the explosive trap in his safehouse once he was no longer of any use to him. Barrington again denies any involvement, and backs off, but as he does so, he loses his balance and hits his head against the wall, knocking himself out.
Maverick then checks his body and finds out he’s still breathing. He tells himself he should finish his job and kill Barrington, but finds himself hesitating somewhat. He tries to convince himself to complete his job as that was the order Pushkin had given him, when he suddenly realizes something is wrong as he never takes orders from scum like Pushkin. Reliving more flashbacks, this time of Doctor Langstrom’s tampering with his mind and Pushkin capturing him, Maverick finally comes out of his brainwashing. He now realizes that Pushkin has brainwashed him to do his dirty work for him by killing Major Barrington but reasons that he could not have believed Pushkin so easily unless there some truth to Pushkin’s story.
As he considers the validity of what Pushkin told him, Vindicator and Puck arrive and burst into the room. Maverick tells them he didn’t kill Barrington, but that the major knocked himself out. The two Alpha Flight members don’t believe him and Puck retorts that he should save his story for Director Cloche. Maverick is surprised to learn that Cloche is there, and tries to explain that he was brainwashed and managed to break free of it just before he killed Barrington. Vindicator demands an explanation for his reaction upon hearing of Cloche’s presence, and Maverick explains that as Director of Foreign Affairs in Department H, Cloche probably posed a larger threat to Pushkin than Barrington. Now aware of Pushkin’s involvement, Puck and Vindicator seem to believe Maverick, and they soon realize Maverick’s aggressive entrance has made the place less guarded and left Cloche open to an attack. Vindicator and Maverick decide to go check on Cloche while Puck agrees to guard the unconscious Barrington.
In another room, Cloche is complaining about the power shortage and wonders why the emergency generators have not activated yet. He tries to exit the room, but finds out he has been locked in. Sickle then emerges from the darkness and advances on Cloche, but Vindicator and Maverick suddenly appear through the floor thanks to the former’s powers.
Sickle assaults them both with his weapon but Maverick angrily retaliates by aiming a kick at Sickle’s arm, causing him to drop his long weapon. Sickle then pounces on Cloche, meaning to kill him no matter what. A furious Maverick then uses Sickle’s own weapon to slash across his face, slicing out one of his eyes. As Sickle recoils in pain, Cloche orders he be apprehended. Speaking to Cloche as Sickle receives medical attention, Maverick soon realizes Sickle’s accomplice, Hammer, should be around the premises as well.
Shortly afterwards, Barrington is discovered brutally murdered while Puck is concussed nearby. Maverick curses to himself that with Barrington now dead, he has no way of knowing if what Pushkin told him about Ginetta was the truth.
Three hours after Maverick first appeared on the grounds, Elena and Isabel are brought in by a guard who assumed them to be trespassers. Maverick is overjoyed to learn Isabel and her child Maddie are still alive, while Elena tells him about the audiohypnotic implants placed in his head to make him susceptible to Pushkin’s commands. Maverick deduces that it was probably the fused-implants that gave him his headaches, but Elena tells him he should see a doctor. Maverick tells her that can wait as he has to get in touch with Chris.
In Florida, at almost two past midnight, Chris is preparing to run away from home. As he leaves, he notices his chatterbox and contemplates bringing it along with him. He then decides otherwise as Maverick has been unable to answer his calls for almost two weeks now. He tells himself Maverick probably has plenty of his own problems and believes he may never even hear from Maverick again. As he climbs out of his bedroom window into the rain, unbeknownst to him, his chatterbox starts to beep as Maverick calls him.