'What's happening to me?' Carol Danvers a.k.a. Captain Marvel wonders as she carries the Kree child, Bean, towards the Alpha Flight Space Station. Her eyes glow blue, and a cut on her neck oozes blue gunk. Carol wonders if it is Hala blood, and supposes that she got cut in her fight with the shape shifting bounty hunter Mim. Carol knows that she is so much stronger when she is exposed to Bean's HLA. She places Bean on a walkway within AFSS, as she feels herself losing her grip. She doesn't want to “Hulk out” so she crashes through a window and flies out into space. Bean looks up as Mim stands over her. 'Nothing personal, kid. You're just too valuable' Mim declares.
Captain Marvel blasts back into the AFSS, blasting a hole through a wall, she flies into a corridor where Lieutenant Wendy Kawasaki and Dr Walter Langkowski, who calls out to her, but gets no response. Captain Marvel flies into the hangar bay where several fighter jets are having maintenance done to them by AFSS personnel, who duck as Carol unleashes a blast of energy, destroying one of the jets. 'I am... the battleground. But even in this state...' Carol thinks to herself as she suddenly knocks Sasquatch aside.
Eugene Judd a.k.a. Puck rushes after Mim, who has picked up Bean and walks down a corridor. Carol sees this and wonders how Mim is even alive. Logic escapes her, while Lieutenant Commander Abigail Brand orders the breach to be sealed. She instructs Captain Marvel to stand down and reports that she is scrambling the fleet. The scientist Hopper can be seen nearby. A small ship has departed Alpha Flight Space Station before Carol can get to it. She knows that it is the moon ship and that Bean will be inside. Carol can't stop it – the wild surge of energy, the feeling of powers, what it finds in her, how it changes her – and then all she is left with is rage, because Bean is gone. Carol angrily flies out of the AFSS and into space, where a blinding burst of energy strikes her.
Hours later, Carol awakes to find the Black Widow a.k.a. Natasha Romanoff and Jessica Drew the original Spider-Woman sitting at her side, while she is strapped to a bed in a hospital. 'Kevlar straps? That's funny' the Black Widow smiles as she sips a drink. Jessica reports that it is hospital protocol. 'See “risk to self and others”. I mean, she did trash a space station...' Jessica's voice trails off. 'Five bucks says the main thing at risk is that bed' Natasha replies, while Carol suddenly stands up, the bed still attached to her, and asks how long she had been out. Jessica tells her friend to slow down, and explains that she sacked out for a day. 'Let's ease back into reality' she suggests. Natasha tells her to start by putting down the bed that she is attached to. Natasha informs Carol that they have to go, and that their ride is outside. 'Nope... my ride's faster' Carol replies, adding that she doesn't have any time to waste. She changes from her hospital gown into her costume, and carrying Jessica and Natasha, flies out of the hospital. 'Why don't we do this more often?' Jessica asks.
As they fly towards the Triskelion, Carol tells her friends that she has to find Bean, and that doesn't know what is happening to Bean, or to herself. They land on the roof of the Triskelion, and the Black Widow informs her that she took out the cargo bay, two thermal control panels and the docking module. Jessica informs Carol that she watched the footage, and tells her that ir wasn't her – maybe some part of her, like fire-balling it like a big, blue binary – but not her. Natasha explains that the Alpha Flight Board doesn't want her going out on her own, not until they figure this out. She adds that T'Challa is worried she will threaten innocent lives. 'And let me guess – they want you guys to “keep me contained”?' Carol asks. Jessica tells Carol to forget the Board. 'We know you. You gotta find Bean' she adds.
The Black Widow explains that is why they brought her here – if anyone asks, they are keeping an eye on her, in a secure containment facility – that will buy her some time. She then hands Carol a small device and reports that Wendy located the kid's HLA signature a few hours ago, and the nerdy sci-guy said that this will have everything Carol needs. 'You mean Hopper?' Carol asks. 'The weirdo geardo with the beardo' Jessica jokes. Natasha informs Carol that she can load Bean's coordinates right into her flight helmet. 'But you're not gonna believe where they found her...' Jess declares.
Hours later, and an ocean away, Carol is back where she started again, closing in on the alien refugee camp where she first found Bean. She recalls how she thought Mim was working for Hydra, but now she isn't so sure. She wonders who else would camouflage an alien DNA-powered super weapon with displaced aliens. A holo-map appears before her as she soars towards the refugee camp, and Carol thinks that if Hopper's map is right, the base is somewhere below her, as Bean's HLA signature is going bananas. Hovering over the refugee camp, Carol thinks that she should be able to see some kind of structure from here, and wonders if the base is underground. Suddenly, a drone moves towards her, knocking her off balance. The drone carries on past her, so she starts to fly after it.
Carol discovers a building built into the side of a rocky cliff and realizes that no aerial recon is going to see past this big pile of rubble. A wave of energy which Carol likens to an EMP strikes her, and she doesn't know how much longer she can hold on. She knows that the HLA is strong here, and that she has to get inside. She lands on the building, and pulls up some sort of vent ducting that protrudes from the rooftop. She drops down into the shade, and finds it much easier to be down there, she supposes that they do something to the air down here. The pain that was radiating through her head is gone, but with the outside filtered out, the worse she feels the closer she gets to the source. She knows that means she is close to the missing Hala children, and to Bean – which only means in turn that she is going to lose control of herself again if she is not careful. She comes to a stop in the vent duct, pausing at a grate where she tries to look into the room on the other side. 'Also? Thank goodness you can't build an industrial superweapon without an industrial ventilation system...”
Carol sees a light pouring through the grate further down the ventilation duct. Her head starts to spin again, and she supposes that the weapons lab must be down there. She makes her way towards it, and tells herself that some serious HLA mojo is coming from it. Carol has a bad feeling about this, and it isn't just her headache. 'Whatever you do in there, Danvers... don't lose it' Carol tells herself. She opens the grate and flies into an atrium filled with trees and bushes. Carol can feel Bean – she has been here, somewhere. Carol vows that she is not leaving without her and any other Hala child that the shapeshifter was able to get. Carol observes her surroundings and wonders what kind of super weapon it is. She starts to lose focus, the HLA is getting to her. She knows she has to hurry, there is no time to be subtle. Her vision becomes hazy, so she calls out to Bean, asking her to look up, and to make some noise if she can hear her voice. 'Bean! Big Bean!' she exclaims. Bean calls out to Carol, so Carol asks her where she is, and whether there are other kids with her. 'No – Carol, go away!' Bean calls out. 'Yanno, you really gotta learn to listen' another voice exclaims, as Mim, disguised as Captain Marvel, slams into Carol mid-air.
'Mim! Can't get rid of her' Carol thinks to herself as they struggle mid-air. Mim kicks Carol, who smacks Mim, knocking her towards the ground. Carol follows her, but before she can grab her, Mim kicks upwards, knocking Carol back and wrapping an arm around her neck. There is a loud BOOM and Carol asks 'What was that?' to which Mim informs her that the doors are locking. 'Enough... Captains!' a voice calls out, and both Captain Marvel and Mim, still disguised as Captain Marvel, look up, to where a weoman in a white lab coat stands on the outside of the Atrium. She remarks that it was interesting for a minute – but only metaphorically. 'Woman versus woman... woman versus herself... woman versus... what would you be, Mim? Change?' the woman asks. 'Dr Eve' Mim calls out, addressing the woman.
'Well, look at that. Sometimes the bad guys do wear white' Carol remarks. Dr Eve asks Captain Marvel if that is how she sees the universe – black and white? Real and imposter? Right and wrong? 'Hero and villain?' Captain Marvel suggests. Dr Eve smirks as she asks Captain Marvel which is she – the Hala hero or the Hala monster? The one who destroys space stations and hurts her own friends. 'It's not that simple' Carol replies, folding her arms. 'Isn't it? We could ask Tony Stark, but he's still in a coma...' Dr Eve reminds Captain Marvel, who frowns. 'HAH!' Mim laughs. 'That will be all, Mim' Dr Eve announces, touching a panel on trhe Atrium. 'But...' Mim begins. 'Dismissed' Dr Eve tells her as she presses a button on the control panel. Inside the Atrium, Mim reverts to her Bounty Hunter outfit, and collapses to the ground.
'What did you do to her?' Carol asks, kneeling down beside the unmoving Mim. Carol goes over to the edge of the Atrium, only the glass of the atrium between her and Dr Eve, who remarks 'Humans. You do like a moral high ground. Ironic, considering just moments ago you were happily pounding my Mim to a pulp yourself'. 'Your Mim?' Carol asks. 'You mean...is she the superweapon I keep hearing about? Is that why she didn't die in Boston?' Carol enquires. Dr Eve snorts and replies 'Please. The Mim unit? My superweapon is unique, original, a thing of brutal beauty – not some cheap replica'. She adds that there is almost nothing like it, not in all the universe – almost. Annoyed, Carol announces that she came here for Bean and the other Hala kids, and tells Dr Eve that she knows they are close. 'Do you?' Dr Eve replies, asking Carol to tell her exactly what she knows. 'Does it matter?' Carol snaps. 'You got your Hala juice. Let me have the Kree kids and you can go back to doing... whatever floats your freaky little Frankenboat'.
Suddenly, there is a shrieking sound, and Carol clutches her head. 'What is that? I... can... feel it' she exclaims. 'That would be – my helix' Dr Eve reports, and as Carol spins around, the jungle in the atrium has been replaced with several pods containing the Hala children. Energies rise from the pods and form a single Hala being with many arms and legs, hovering mid-air. 'Bean – what did she do to you?' Carol calls out. Dr Eve announces that she freed all of them, as their homeworld was destroyed, so she gave them a new home, with her. 'This is your superweapon? They're children!' Carol exclaims. 'They won't hurt me. Bean and the others? They wouldn't hurt a fly' Carol tells Dr Eve, who replies 'Oh, it's not what they're going to do to you, Captain...it's what they're going to make you do...to the rest of the world!' Dr Eve explains that the Hala children are just the trigger – and Captain Marvel is the gun. 'I’m you're superweapon? Yeah, that's gonna be a hard pass...' Carol responds.
Suddenly, energy rises from the helix, and Carol clutches her head, 'No... no... can't let go...!' she utters, while Dr Eve watches and informs Captain Marvel that is HLA-12 that she is feeling – composite Hala, the most powerful of all. She explains that every organism bred with Kree blood, even her replicant Mim units, contains some form of HLA, and by combining them, she has made something exponentially stronger. 'I've weaponized it...and you' Dr Eve reveals. She adds that after this final test, her twelve doses of distilled compositev HLA-12 will make her the most powerful person in the universe – and Captain Marvel the most dangerous. Dr Eve then turns and walks away, 'Speaking of which, I've got to jet. Literally. But don't worry. I'm always watching' she warns Carol.
HLA energy radiates around Carol, who has fallen to the floor, and crawls towards Bean. She knows she has to help her, and the other kids. Suddenly, a voice calls out 'Emergency protocols triggered. Again, le sigh. “just a little backup,” Hop said. “Cautionary measure, strictly worst-case scenario...”' Carol looks up and sees a small projection of the Tony Stark A.I. floating over the stasis tank that Bean is held in. 'Tony...' Carol utters. The Tony A.I. reveals thatb the data chip Hopper gace Carol included a secure relay uplink to his network. 'You're welcome...but you don't look so good, Space Face...' Tony A.I. declares. Tears roll down Carol's face as she asks Tony to help her. The A.I. scans the helix and reports that the energy levels are rising – exponentially. 'HLA-12 to the power of 12...if you convert those numbers into your odds? Yeah, not good' Tony announces, informing Carol that her Bean seems to be the catalyst, so if she takes her out of the equation, she might stop a chain reaction. Carol looks down at the unmoving Bean and tells Tony A.I. that she can't fight Bean.
'So the logical response to that is – don't fight her' Tony A.I. responds. 'Not... gonna... save... herself' Carol points out. The Tony A.I. tells Captain Marvel that there is no saving in this round. He adds that he is sorry, but that she can't fix this one, she won't win this one – all she can do is take the punch. 'No. No. No!' Carol retorts, when suddenly, there is a rumbling, and Bean calls out 'Carol...Bean?' Carol raises her fist and prepares to bring it down on the stasis chamber. 'Go... away...' Bean tells Carol, who replies 'No'. 'We... go... away' Bean utters, and with a determined look on her face, Carol slams her fist into the stasis chamber, 'Yes... we do' she declares as she pulls Bean from the stasis chamber, and flies out of the atrium, blasting a hole in the roof, while telling Tony A.I. to get help for the kids and radio the United Nations, while she gets Bean out. HLA energy surrounds Carol and Bean, and Tony points out that the kid is going to ignite. 'It's not...<sigh>...safe' Tony remarks, but of course gets no response. The other stasis chambers open, and the Hala children wake. Tony declares that he has got it covered and contacts the United Nations patrols.
Shortly, the Tony Stark A.I. has led the children to the alien refugee camp, and once they are safe, a huge mushroom cloud appears in the distance from the base where they escaped from. The children look confirmed, but Tony tells them that is what they in the biz call a close one.
Carol sits on the slopes overlooking the alien refugee camp and thinks 'That makes it official. Out of all my Alpha Flight crew members, you're my very bravest'. Sad, she asks bean what she is going to do without her. 'You helped me remember there's more to the stars than a battlefield...and more to me than a soldier' Carol tells her. Bean glows as she hovers in front of Carol, as Carol tells her that she could never forget her, that they are connected now. 'You've shifted into energy. Pure Hala energy. That's what Tony A.I. said'. Carol tells Bean that she is so sorry, and that she is going to find a way to shift her back. 'Carol star stuff, Bean star stuff. Bean lives in the stars now... like Carol' the Hala child utters. Referring to her Flerken cat, Carol tells Bean that she and Chewie are going to miss her face. Bean wipes a tear from Carol's face and tells her that she is not afraid. Never afraid.
Carol flies upwards, through the clouds, and thinks that Bean is right, and as she rises higher, she remembers that this is her glass ceiling, and she smashes through it every time. Carol admits to herself that she doesn't always win the battle, but vows that she will never give up the fight, and that this isn't over.
Watching Captain Marvel streak through space is Dr Eve, who is in some form of space jet. She has a box marked HLA-12 on the seat next to her and announces that trial one is complete. A voice from an unknown figure behind her instructs her to begin to prepare trial two....