‘The Morlocks send their greetings, child! Look into my electric eye - and feel its power…’ exclaims the Morlock called Erg as he approaches Katie “Energizer” Power down an alleyway, and energy bursts forth from his eye towards the young girl, who gasps ‘NO!’, before she smiles, ‘You mean field its power! See?’ she replies as she puts her hands out and directs the energy backwards, telling Erg to catch it. Erg does so, and tells Katie that she is gaining control of her energy absorbing power. He asks Katie if she isn’t worried that someone might see them. ‘Nah!’ Katie grins, adding that they are in an alley, and the streets are nearly empty. ‘Everybody’s gone to the Thanksgiving parade and I’m gonna go too!’ Katie explains. She tells Erg that her mother promised her she could go, and that her mother went to see it when she was little. ‘And no matter what her problems were the huge balloons made them seem real small’ Katie adds.
Erg takes Katie’s hand and passes her a note from Annalee. Erg reveals that Annalee said she and Leech will be glad to come to Katie’s Thanksgiving party. He adds that the rest of the Drain Dwellers have made other plans, but they know that Katie’s party will be wonderful. Katie informs Erg that Shadowcat already called and she and Wolverine can come, and so can Franklin and Beta Ray Bill. ‘Your brothers and sister must be excited’ Erg replies. But Katie explains that they don’t know, as it is sort of a surprise party for them. Erg takes off down another alleyway, and bids Katie goodbye, telling her to have fun at her dinner. Katie waves back at him.
Mere seconds later, Katie is back on the sidewalk outside the deli which her sister, Julie a.k.a. Lightspeed, emerges from, carrying a sack of groceries. ‘Katie! Why’d you wander off like that? I was looking all over for you’ Julie tells her younger sister. Katie asks Julie not to be mad, and promises that something really great is going to happen today - she just knows it. ‘We could use something great for a change’ Julie mutters as the wind blows leaves and litter around them, before telling Katie that they have to get home fast, as their Dad has to leave for the hospital any minute now, and they will miss him unless they hurry. ‘I don’t think -’ Katie begins, as Julie tells her that she never thinks, that she just blunders on doing exactly what she wants to do. ‘I’ll bet we miss him!’ Julie declares, before ushering Katie into the alleway.
‘Costumes on!’ Julie shouts, and black energy swirls around them as Julie’s pink and Katie’s yellow Power Pack costumes appear. Julie tells Katie that there is to be no flying in the window this time though. ‘Yeah! Daddy’ll wonder if we just appear in the house when he knows we’ve gone out!’ Katie remarks, before she climbs on Julie’s back and her older sister takes flight, her rainbow effect streaking behind her. Katie adds that she hopes they won’t be late for the parade, as she doesn’t want to miss the Mighty Mouse balloon. They fly over a street as Katie tells Julie their Mommy said it was her favorite when she was a kid. ‘I just wish she could see it! I just know it’d make her feel better!’
Nearby: ‘Hey, Bill! There’s a good spot over there!’ Franklin Richards exclaims as the horse-alien Beta Ray Bill carries the young boy over the park, ‘I see it, Franklin’ Bill replies as he sets down in the park, to the amazement of some civilians walking nearby. ‘Maybe your people’ll have a parade for you when you get them to their new world, Bill’ Franklin adds. ‘I would like to think so, Franklin’ Bill replies, adding that he fears that with his cyborg’s body, he will be an unwelcome reminder of the destruction that made them flee their galaxy. Franklin points out that at least Odin gave Bill an enchantment that made him able to change back to his regular self. ‘Yes’ Bill agrees, and slams the base of his hammer to the ground, which transforms him into his more humanoid form, hidden under a blue trench coat and wide-brimmed hat still. Franklin then adds ‘And you and Thor and Power Pack… we stopped that monster Kurse together!’
Franklin adds that of course his Daddy could have stopped Kurse alone, as his Daddy is the smartest man in the world - even if he did go away with his Mommy and the rest of the Fantastic Four. Bill puts Franklin on his shoulders and stands amongst the crowd as they gather to watch the parade. He tells the young boy that he is glad the Fantastic Four has gone and that Jarvis has left him in his charge for the day. ‘I have never seen a Thanksgiving Day parade… nor gone to a Thanksgiving party’ Bill admits. Franklin declares that he is real thankful Power Pack asked him to join, as he never had any kid friends before. ‘Even though you and Katie argue all the time?’ Bill inquires. ‘Yeah! I never got to argue before’ Franklin smiles.
While, at the Powers’ apartment, Alex a.k.a. Gee lies on his top bunk and pulls the curtain back to look out the window, while Jack a.k.a. Mass Master is in his cloud form and hovers above his brother. ‘Look at all those dopes scurrying around down there! Katie’s just like ‘em - all excited about a dumb parade - when Mom’s in the hospital!’ Alex snaps. ‘What’s the matter with you, bro? How come you’re so grouchy?’ Jack inquires. ‘Why shouldn’t I be? What’ve I got to be thankful for?’ Alex retorts. Jack suggests that Alex should be thankful for their powers, because with them and Thor and Beta Ray Bill’s help, they stopped Kurse. ‘Yeah, but super powers can’t save our Mom! They’re worthless, Jack!’ Alex declares. Jack returns to his human form and slumps down on his brother’s top bunk. ‘Yeah…I guess you’re right’ Jack agrees.
Their father, Dr Jim Power, enters the boys’ room and tells them that he is leaving for the hospital now. He tells his sons that he feels really bad about leaving them alone on Thanksgiving. Alex gets down off the bunk and tells his Dad that it is okay, as Gramps will be home tomorrow.
Leaving the room, Alex asks his father how Mom really is. ‘Not too well, I’m afraid’ Jim replies. He tells Alex that he doesn’t want the others to know. ‘But well, you’re older…’ his voice trails off, before informing Alex that a bad infection has set in, and the doctors are doing all they can, but they just can’t seem to get rid of it. Putting his jacket on, Jim tells Alex that he promised Katie she could see the parade. He asks Alex to watch out for Katie and the others while he is gone. ‘Sure, Dad! I’ll watch ‘em…’ Alex replies, before his Dad leaves, and he thinks to himself ‘…not that I’m good enough to watch a hamster’.
Alex walks back into the living area and de-gravitizes himself so that he can fly up to the top of the bookcase, where he grabs a photo of his mother and he from when Alex was much younger. He remembers that his Dad took this, back when he was really little, before Julie was born. ‘I couldn’t even read…I didn’t have de-gravitating powers or anything! But Mom loved me anyway’ Alex thinks to himself, before shouting ‘DARN!’ then he throws the picture across the room. ‘Mom was buying stuff for my science project when Kurse slammed her! If I hadn’t been running all over town, chasing after villains and…and talking to Allison and all…I’d have bought that stuff myself!’ Alex thinks to himself, before he slumps down on the sofa in the lounge. ‘Allison! Seems like she hasn’t talked to me in days! I’ve been feeling so mean I guess I don’t blame her’ he tells himself. ‘It’s my fault Mom was hurt… if only…Thanksgiving - ha! What do we have to be thankful for?’
Meanwhile, in an alley off Times Square, a creature of light steps from a cloak of darkness that appears out of the shadows - it’s Tandy “Dagger” Bowen and Tyrone “Cloak” Johnson. They see a man standing in the dirty, littered alleyway, over the body of another man. ‘Villain that you are… you prey on those more helpless than yourself’ Cloak utters. Cloak extends his flowing cloak around the man, ‘Light and life are wasted on such scum as you! A voyage within my cloak will -’ the young vigilante hero begins, until the man looks up at him, ‘N-n-n-no! L-l-l-let me al-l-l-lone!’ he pleads. Cloak suddenly retracts, and the man runs away. ‘Cloak! You let him go? Why?’ Dagger asks, surprised. ‘He reminded me of myself…as I was before…’ Cloak’s voice trails off. ‘You weren’t a thief’ Dagger points out.
‘No…and I had parents who loved me… who cared! Though who knows what the streets would have made of me in time’ Cloak replies, adding that he was scared, and he did stutter. ‘Stopping my stutter was the only good thing the drugs that transformed us did!’ he tells Dagger, who holds herself and hangs her head, while Cloak tells her that it is Thanksgiving. Dagger reveals that sometimes she wishes she never ran away from home, and that she could leave all this, and her powers. ‘And me? I’m part of all this, aren’t I? Perhaps the biggest part’ Cloak points out, before telling Dagger that he has a surprise for her. Cloak wraps Dagger in her darkness, and they vanish - only to reappear on the roof of the Dakota, near the beginning of the parade route. ‘Oh, Cloak! How wonderful! The Thanksgiving Day parade! We made it just in time!’ Dagger exclaims. She hears the bands, and tells Cloak that it is lovely, before asking ‘Why does it make me feel so alone?’
A block away, in the Power Pack’s lobby, ‘Daddy!’ Katie exclaims as she and Julie enter, just as Jim is starting to leave. ‘Hi there, Katie Bear! Ready for the parade?’ Jim asks. He tells her that she better hurry, or she will miss it, as it sounds like it is getting underway. Katie hugs her father, who looks to Julie, who assures her father that she will make sure everybody is fed and all that stuff. ‘Don’t worry about us, Daddy! You just stay with Mom’. Katie asks her father ‘Mommy’ll be better soon, right, Daddy? Right…?’ but Jim does not respond, he hangs his head, before Julie rushes Katie into the elevator, ‘Of course she will, Katie! What a question!’ Julie exclaims, before telling her father that he better get on, otherwise he will be late. As the elevator doors close, Julie tenses up, closes her eyes and thinks to herself ‘She’ll be okay… she’s got to! I won’t cry, darn it! I won’t!’
Meanwhile, in that portion of the Alley inhabited by the Morlock Drain Dwellers, the old woman known only as Annalee opens an oven, ‘Sweet potato casserole to take to Katie’s party!’ Annalee remarks. ‘Ooh! Food!’ the young deformed Morlock boy with green skin called Leech utters as he holds his kitten and looks into the oven. ‘Don’t touch, Leech, you disgusting creature!’ Annalee shrieks, before smacking him away, ‘Get away!’ she shouts. ‘Why should you be invited to Katie’s Thanksgiving Day party? Why should you live when my own darling children have died?’ Annalee adds that now that Katie said she can be her special grandmother, Leech doesn’t have to poke his nose into it. ‘Not that you even have a nose, you nasty thing’ Annalee mutters as she takes the sweet potato casserole from the oven.
‘Cat!’ Leech utters as he holds the orange and black kitten in his hands. ‘So the Power kids gave you a cat! Bit deal you ugly little monster! You’re nothing to them!’ Annalee says cruelly. ‘Go too’ Leech tells Annalee, who suddenly grabs Leech and pushes him into a small wooden closet. ‘No, Leech! The more I think about it, the more you shouldn’t!’ Annalee snaps. The shocked Leech drops the cat, and Annalee snarls that she will not have her time with Power Pack spoiled by Leech’s horrid presence. She slams the door to the closet and locks it tight. ‘I wont need you to block my empath power’ the old woman tells Leech, and as she takes the casserole dish and shuffles out of the room, leaving the cat to meow and scratch at the closet, Annalee announces that she will project only happiness today - no anger, no despair - Leech’s company would be useless.
Back inside the Powers’’ apartment, Julie and Jack sit at the table, making popcorn balls, while Katie puts her jacket on, and Alex lies on the couch. ‘Let’s go! I’m getting hot and I can already hear a band!’ Katie calls out. Julie tells her to cool it, and assures her that it won’t take three minutes to wrap up the popcorn balls. ‘And you’ll be glad enough to have them once we get outside in the cold’ Julie adds. ‘Honestly, Julie! I can see Katie acting like an immature jerk, but you -’ Alex starts to say, arms folded, when suddenly, the phone rings. ‘Don’t get it! It’s for me! I know it!’ Katie exclaims as she rushes to the phone while Alex starts to get up. ‘Hello?’ Katie asks as she answers the phone. ‘Oh, hi, Kitty! Yeah, it’s Katie!’ the young girl replies, wide-eyed. ‘After the parade, okay? Bye!’ Katie adds, before hanging the phone up. ‘What was that all about?’ Alex asks, suspiciously. ‘Oh… nothing!’ Katie replies.
‘Nobody but you has answered a call all week! What gives?’ Alex asks, frowning. ‘Why so grouchy, Alex? Has the incredibly perfect Allison quit calling?’ Julie asks. Putting another popcorn ball together, she remarks that they made too many for the parade. ‘Yeah. We did, didn’t we’ Katie smiles. Alex slumps back down on the couch, ‘You jerks can stuff your fat faces with them all day till you pop for all I care!’ he snaps. ‘Alex…what’s the problem, bro?’ Jack asks. ‘Look at all this stuff! Cakes! Cookies! Popcorn balls! It looks like we’re getting ready for a party!’ Alex exclaims, motioning to the table of goodies. He hangs his head, and declares ‘Mom’s got an infection… a bad one… Dad’s really worried. Don’t you care… don’t any of you care, that Mom’s so hurt she might… die?’
Several blocks down, Kitty “Shadowcat” Pryde and Wolverine a.k.a. Logan of the X-Men walk down the sidewalk where people are gathering to watch the parade, after Kitty hangs a payphone up, informing Logan that Katie says that coming up to her apartment after the parade will be fine. ‘Some Thanksgiving, huh, Wolverine? Everything’s been going so wrong with the X-Men, lately. Professor Xavier’s gone and Magneto’s taken over leadership. And Scott’s betrayed Madelyne…’ her voice trails off. Logan reminds Kitty that she could have spent Thanksgiving with her Mom or Dad. Kitty replies that her Dad is a crook, and although she has forgiven him, every time she looks at him she remembers what happened to her in Japan - and I just can’t face it! Not yet!’
Kitty continues, adding that she is still mad at her Mom for breaking up with her Dad. ‘I bet he’d never done any of it if they’d still been married’ Kitty suggests, adding that she knows they are her parents, and she should love them. ‘But… sometimes I hate them both. I’m a swell person to spend Thanksgiving with, huh?’ she mutters. ‘Wouldn’t want to spend it with anyone else’ Logan assures his young friend, as they arrive at the back of a crowd of people.
Kitty is holding a basket of food and suggests that they should have come earlier. She tells Wolverine that she has been watching the parade on TV since she was little ,and has been dying to see it in person. ‘And now we can’t see it at all’. Logan motions to a rooftop and asks Kitty if she can phase them up there. He points out that everyone is so busy watching the parade, that no one will notice. ‘Wolvie, you’re a genius’ Kitty replies, and taking his hand, she makes them both intangible so they can float up to the rooftop.
Back in the Alley, Leech is still locked inside the cupboard, and bangs on the door. ‘Out! Please! Leech go!’ the boy calls out, while the cat sits on top of the small cupboard, scratching at the door. ‘Cat… friend’ Leech utters, before brings his legs up to his chest and huddling down. Suddenly, ‘What’s going on, little guy? Leech went off and left ya, huh?’ a voice calls out to the cat. It’s Ape, who goes over to the closet and asks the cat if there is a mouse in there. ‘Wanna get inside? Here… Ape’ll help’ he offers. Ape opens the lock, and Leech bursts from it!’ Go! Leech go! Leech go!’ the young mutant exclaims, running out of the room.
Above ground, in the Power living room, Katie declares that she had an infection on her finger once and that their Mommy put peroxide on it and it went away easy. ‘It’s not that kind of infection, stupid! This one’s big… it’s a big problem’ Alex replies, slouching on the couch, while Jack lies upside down ion the couch, his legs over the top of the couch. ‘Then we gotta go to the parade. You know what Mommy said’ Katie tells her siblings. ‘I know Alex is right. It’s Thanksgiving…some holiday’ Jack mutters, before asking what have they got to be thankful for, as there is not even a real Thanksgiving dinner. ‘Not a real dinner? I put a turkey on in the oven! I don’t know why I let Katie talk me into cooking one so big!’ Julie declares.
Suddenly, the phone rings again. Alex and Katie both look at it, but before Katie can reach it, ‘Give me that!’ Alex snaps as he picks the phone receiver up. ‘You’ve answers all the phone calls in the last few days, you little creep. Now it’s my turn!’ Alex tells his youngest sibling. ‘Oh, hi, Professor Gilbert. It’s nice to hear from you. You just got Katie’s invitation… uh-huh. And you’re calling to say you can’t come to Katie’s Thanksgiving party?’ Alex repeats, raising an eyebrow. ‘Yes, it is too far to come all the way from California’ Alex agrees. ‘Yes, I’ll give them all your love… and Dragon Man’s, too’ Alex assures the Professor. Frowning at Katie, he assures the Professor that he will thank her for inviting him. ‘You bet I will’ Alex snaps as he hangs the phone up. ‘Katie!’ he shouts. ‘W-what?’ Katie asks, innocently.
Alex lunges towards her, ‘What’s going on, Katie? What’s this about our having a Thanksgiving party?’ Alex asks. ‘What?’ Jack declares, shocked. ‘Katie! You didn’t - did you? Alex, why would she do something like that without asking?’ Julie asks her brother, who has pushed Katie to the floor and is shaking her. ‘Because - because you wouldn’t have let me - that’s why’ Katie replies. Alex lets his sister go, and Katie starts to undo her jacket, ‘Mommy’s in the hospital… Daddy won’t be here and Gramps won’t get back from Japan ‘til tomorrow… so I asked some of our friends’ Katie admits. She tells her siblings that Erg and Ape can’t come, and she couldn’t find Cloak and Dagger, and she also sent a letter to Spider-Man at the Daily Bugle, but he didn’t answer.
Katie announces that Annalee and Leech, and Kitty and Wolverine, and Beta Ray Bill and Franklin will be here as soon as the parade is over. ‘How can you even think of having a party - of having fun - while Mom’s so sick?’ Alex shouts. He grabs Katie by her shoulders and tells her that she is a stupid, ungrateful little jerk. ‘I don’t know what’s wrong with you’ he adds, before scowling and telling Katie that she can forget about the parade, as she doesn’t deserve it. Julie starts waving a finger at Katie and tells her that when those people show up for her party, she will have to tell them that there isn’t one. Tears well up in Katie’s eyes and she shouts ‘I won’t! And I will see the parade! I have to!’ Katie turns away from her siblings and storms towards the door, telling them that they cannot stop her. ‘Katie! Katie come back!’ Julie calls out. ‘Darn’ she mutters, before she and Jack follow Katie out of the apartment and into the hallway, just as Katie gets into the elevator.
‘Why’re you chasing after her like that? Let her run away’ Alex tells Julie and Jack, adding ‘If she doesn’t care about Mom, then why should we care about her?’ Alex goes over to a window and opens it, ‘Don’t you understand? Only one thing that would have kept Dad away all day like this! Mom’s probably gonna die - and it’s all my fault!’ Alex exclaims as he then dives out the window. ‘Alex!’ Jack calls out, but gets no response. Jack and Julie hold themselves as the wind blows in through the window, ‘Holy cow! What - what happened?’ Jack asks. ‘We blew it, that’s what! With both of them’ Julie replies, before pointing out that Alex is big, that he can look after himself - but they better go hunt for Katie. She tells Jack to grab his jacket for later, as Jack shouts ‘Costumes on!’ and they fly out of the window as Lightspeed and Mass Master. Jack tells Julie to listen - that it sounds like the parade has already started.
While not far away, Leech pushes his way to the surface through a manhole in the road. ‘Cold…go!’ he says, wearing only his long night shirt, he sees Annalee and rushes after her. ‘Friends! Annalee!’ Leech calls out.
Meanwhile, light years away, the young alien called Kofi is inside the smartship, Friday, soaring through the stars, as Kofi asks ‘My father was a born healer, Friday, as I was a born teleporter. Did you know that?’ Friday replies ‘Yes, Kofi! He could have developed that talent, become a healer of bodies…but he chose instead to try to heal the rifts between the worlds!’ Kofi hangs his head, and laments that one ambassador, even his father, cannot prevent the Snark wars. ‘Perhaps, but for the good of this sector, he must try’ Friday explains. Kofi supposes, but points out that his father can’t trust the Snarks - especially Maraud and her monstrous son, Jakal. Kofi declares that they should return to Snarkworld, and he will tell his father what he has learned. But he remembers that Datta died protecting him from Jakal, and wonders how he can tell his father that.
Friday points out that Datta was a smartship, and that is what smartships are for. ‘To help and protect…even unto death!’ Kofi wonders if that is why his father always loved Datta more than him, to which Friday replies ‘Nonsense, Kofi! You have learned much from your adventure…and your news will be a great help to your father’. Kofi agrees, and decides that he will tell his father of Maraud’s plans for conquest and of Jakaus’ defeat. ‘But I know him, Friday! He will hear me… and think only of the price I paid for that knowledge!’
Back in Manhattan, the wind blows furiously around Gee, ‘Darn it, I’m freezing’ the young hero thinks to himself, before shouting ‘Costume on!’ and his white Power Pack costume materializes on him, but the wind continues to blow him about even as he de-gravitizes himself as he floats to the Dakota, reaching out for the flagpole on the rooftop - but as he tries to do so, the wind blows him upwards and knocks him off balance, he lands on the roof and bounces down it - he almost falls off until he grabs hold of the guttering. ‘I’m gonna have to practice the timing on that one some!’ Alex realizes. Suddenly, he starts to slip, but then someone calls out ‘Don’t worry, Alex! I’ve got you!’, and Dagger lifts Alex down to the balcony that she and Cloak stand on.
Alex is surprised to see them, and Dagger asks him where his brother and sisters are, not to mention what he is doing here. ‘It’s a long story’ Alex replies, revealing that his Mom is in the hospital and that it is all his fault, while Katie and the others don’t seme to care if she is there or not. Alex admits that he had a fight with his siblings, got mad and ran out. Cloak tells the younger hero that he knows about fault - and running away. He reveals to Alex that he used to stutter, before, and one of his friends died, because he could not get the words out fast enough to save him. ‘That’s when I ran away’. Cloak adds that things were bad at home for Dagger, and she was angry, so she ran away, too. ‘Now that Dagger and I have become monsters, I have learned too late…that all you can do is your best…and when things go wrong, despite your best efforts…Alex…you cannot blame yourself’ Cloak offers, while Dagger tells him that neither should he let anger drive him to self-destruction. ‘That much I’ve learned! It’s a small gain, isn’t it, compared to all I’ve lost…?’ Dagger adds.
Five blocks downtown: ‘Franklin! Beta Ray Bill!’ Katie calls out as she sees them, and rushes towards them, waving. ‘Kate! What’re you doing here?’ Franklin asks. ‘Move over and I’ll tell you’ Katie replies as she sits down on the edge of the curb, where Franklin and Beta Ray Bill have moved to the front of the crowd. Franklin realizes that Katie has been crying, but Katie declares that she has not, that she is just mad, that’s all. ‘Why?’ Franklin enquires. Katie tells him that Alex and Julie yelled at her because they didn’t want her to come and watch the balloons. ‘Even if Mommy did say the balloons make problems get small’ Katie adds, declaring ‘They want me to have big problems! They’re mean! I hate them!’ Franklin replies that his family is meaner - they are not even here. ‘No - mine! They yelled at me and -’ Katie begins to reply, before Beta Ray Bill alerts the children to the balloons, as a large bear balloon is pulled along the street by several parade-walkers.
‘Problems do seem dwarfed by them!’ Bill tells the children. ‘Yeah, they’re great’ Katie replies, adding that she wishes her Mommy could see them. ‘But she’s in the hospital’ Katie points out, while, up above, Lightspeed and Mass Master fly across the parade, and Franklin points them out to Katie, who snaps ‘So what? Yell for ‘em, Franklin, and I’ll slug you!’ While, up above, Lightspeed tells Mass Master that there is so many people, she can’t see Katie anywhere. ‘Yeah! I hope she’s okay’ Mass Master replies, suggesting they keep looking.
Minutes later at 62nd Street, more parade walkers march down the street, lined with civilians observing, carrying a large balloon of the Muppet called Kermit the Frog. ‘Keep the guy ropes taut! Here comes another gust!’ someone calls out, while another announces that the balloon feels like it is about to take off on its own. Suddenly, Leech rushes out onto the road, when he sees Annalee on the other side of the crowd. ‘Hey, Dad! Look! A Kermit clown! He’s cold! Look how he’s shivering!’ someone calls out. ‘Annalee!’ Leech cries, before looking up, where he sees the Kermit balloon, and gets scared. ‘No! Monster…green!’ Leech cries. ‘Leech… monster!’ he calls out after Annalee, who turns around and sees him running towards her.
‘That’s right, you little frog! How dare you escape? How dare you follow me?’ Annalee snarls, before ordering the people carrying the balloon to stop him. ‘Stop’ one of them replies. ‘Stop him!’ ‘Get him!’ ‘Hurt him!’ they call out as they let go of the ropes holding the balloon, and it crashes into the balloon in front of it. ‘Hey! Those guys dropped their topes! They - they’re - the little green monster! There he is!’ someone in the crowd shouts. ‘After him! That way!’ another exclaims as they too start to follow Leech. Suddenly, ‘Hurt him-’ one of the people, a child, following Leech calls out, before their leg becomes entangled in one of the balloon ropes, and he is dragged along the ground. He calls out for his Mommy for help, but, it is Lightspeed and Mass Master up above who see the boy in trouble. Mass Master alerts Lightspeed to the balloons bumping into each other, before asking Lightspeed ‘Did you feel that?’
Lightspeed tells her brother that it feels like one of Annalee’s empath blasts, but points out that it is getting weaker. ‘If it’s her, at least she’s far away! And at least we know to fight it! We gotta stop her!’ Lightspeed calls out. But Mass Master tells his sister that they have to stop the balloon first, before that kid gets hurt. And nearby, Kitty and Wolverine are still on the rooftop, ‘Kitty! Look at the balloons! Those people just - hey! Feel that!’ Logan exclaims, remarking that the people are under some kind of psychic attack. Kitty tells Logan that it is fading now, before alerting him to the kid being dragged on the ground, so she phases herself and Logan back down to the street, just as Mass Master tells Lightspeed ‘Shove it down’, and Lightspeed pushes the Kermit balloon into the one in front of her, adding that she is trying. ‘But with the wind blowing like this-’ she begins, as Logan tells Kitty to get to the kid.
‘I’ll take care of the ropes!’ Logan declares as he pops his adamantium claws, and cuts the rope connected to the boy’s foot. ‘Don’t worry! I’ve got you! Hey, are you all right?’ Kitty asks the boy. Mass Master drops down and reverts to his human form, as Wolverine greets him and tells him that it is good to have his help. ‘Wolverine! What’re you doing here?’ Mass Master enquires as he helps Wolverine take some of the ropes. ‘Coming to your house…after the parade! Or so I was told’ Logan replies. ‘I - I forgot’ Mass Master claims, before pointing out his sister and telling Wolverine that he has to go talk to her. Jack rushes over to Julie as other people start to help pull the balloon under control. ‘What’ll we do?’ Jack asks his sister, concerned. ‘Let them come, I guess. Katie did invite them’ Julie replies. The young heroes turn back to Wolverine and Kitty, as Wolverine tells them that he hopes they are hungry, as Kitty made some home-made rolls - enough to feed an army. ‘Yeah! Our turkey’d feed an army, too! Which is just as well’ Mass Master smiles. Wolverine remarks that he is getting hungry, before alerting everyone to another balloon, and as the large balloon blows towards them, Wolverine wonders what is going on.
Light years away again, this time on Snark world, ‘Chancellor - where is my son?’ the Queen Mother, Maraud screams from her chamber. ‘Queen Mother… highness. We don’t know’ the Chancellor replies as the reptilian-like alien scurries towards the furious Queen Mother, who grabs him by his cloak as he adds ‘He located the Power hatchlings…sent profiles of their power fields…said he would engage them shortly! Soon, he said…soon…they would be his…and we could begin the process whereby their powers would be transferred to him’. The Chancellor adds that the Queen Mother’s son laughed and said that he looked forward to invincibility, but that was the last they heard from him. ‘Strength he has, my son, but no subtlety of mind! His brain is in his sword-arm - and that may have cost our clan its destiny!’ Maraud declares, before tossing the Chancellor aside, as he tells the Queen Mother that the weapons in their underground fortress will destroy their rivals. ‘Without my son to inherit the Emperor’s throne, they are nothing! We are nothing!’ Maraud exclaims. ‘What are you looking at? Go! Get out! I must think!’ the Queen Mother snarls and throws a vase at the Chancellor, who scampers out of the chamber.
Back in New York, another balloon is released by more of the parade walkers who start to chase Leech. ‘Stop him! Hurt -’ one of them calls out - it’s Franklin! Katie tells him to snap out of it, and Franklin asks her what that was that he just felt. ‘I know! Me too! Hey, look! It’s Mighty Mouse! Mommy’s favorite! She wanted to see it so much…’ Katie declares. Beta Ray Bill tells the children that the crowd is panicking, that the floats and cars are going out of control and people could be trampled. Bill instructs the children to wait for him here, before slamming his cane onto the ground, transforming him back into his alien form. Katie quickly asks Franklin if he had any dreams about something bad happening with a balloon, to which he replies that he didn’t. ‘Good! Then come on!’ Katie calls out as she rushes into the crowd. ‘Katie - where’re ya going? Come back! Bill said stay here!’ Franklin replies as he runs after Katie.
At that moment, Bill lifts a car away from someone who was potentially going to get trapped underneath it. ‘Whatever you are, Mister - thanks for saving me!’ the grateful civilian tells him, while, two people are struggling to get the Mighty Mouse balloon under control. ‘I don’t care how old you feel! Hold on to the rope, darn ya! Get it down!’ a woman shouts, before noticing Katie and Franklin grabbing some of the ropes, she asks them what they are doing. ‘Yeah, Katie - what?’ Franklin asks. ‘What does it look like I’m doing? I’m disintegrating the ropes’ Katie mutters as she uses her Energizer powers to cut the ropes away from the two people holding them. Katie then grabs onto the Mighty Mouse balloon’s cape, and tells Franklin to grab hold of it, too. ‘Hey! You kids!’ ‘Don’t touch that!’ the people call out, as they fall backwards when the Mighty Mouse balloon leaves their hold.
‘Hey, look! It’s working! We’re going up!’ Katie calls out as the Mighty Mouse balloon indeed starts to fly above the street. ‘But…why?’ Franklin asks. Katie tells him that her Mommy’s hospital is real near, and the wind is blowing that way. ‘We’re gonna float the balloon to her so she can see it!’ Katie announces, to which Franklin tells her that she can’t just take a balloon, as that is stealing. ‘Tough, Franklin! I gotta! So don’t you try and stop me! Besides, they’ll get it back! If you’re too chicken - then get off!’ Katie snaps. ‘How?’ Franklin asks, pointing out that he can’t fly, not to mention nor can Katie. ‘You stuck me here…whether I like it or not’. And, down below, Bill pulls another car away from another potential victim, who rubs his head and declares that the last thing he remembers was that little green guy. ‘What happened?’ he asks.
While uptown, Alex, Dagger and Cloak stare down at the street, and Cloak asks ‘What’s happened? It’s chaos down there…people running…shouting…’ his voice trails off, as Dagger points out that it looks like they are chasing the little green clown. ‘But - I - I hate him! I’ve got to stop him!’ Dagger suddenly calls out. ‘No, wait, Dagger! It’s Leech! He’s ugly - but he’s our friend’ Alex tells Dagger, assuring the older heroes that they don’t hate him. He motions to the old woman down there, and reveals that her name is Annalee and she hates Leech. Alex explains that Annalee is making the people hate Leech, and that she is trying to make them hate him, too. ‘She can do that?’ Cloak enquires, as more people rush towards the frightened Leech, who still chases Annalee, who scowls as she glances backwards while walking along the sidewalk, her pot of casserole still in her hands.
‘Yeah! She’s a mutant - something called a projecting emapth!’ Alex reveals, adding that Annalee makes people near her feel whatever she feels. He continues, informing Cloak and Dagger that Leech is a mutant, too - a power damper, who cuts off people’s powers when they get near him. Alex adds that if Leech could just catch up to Annalee, he could shut her powers off, too. ‘But he’s too far away! We’ve gotta stop her! It’s the only way to stop all this!’ Alex exclaims as he leaps off the balcony after de-gravitizing himself, he informs Cloak and Dagger that he will tackle Annalee and asks them to handle Leech, but to remember how his power works and to be careful. An instant later, Cloak wraps himself around Dagger and teleports the two down to Leech. ‘No! Monsters!’ Leech cries when they appear before him, while Alex tackles Annalee, telling her to stop doing this.
The old woman holds her casserole dish steady, while Dagger puts a hand on Leech’s shoulder and assures him that they are not monsters. ‘And neither are you’ she adds, taking him by his hand. Alex turns to Dagger when she touches him on the arm, and he tells her ‘Enough talk! Get him near her, fast! If Leech doesn’t make Annalee stop projecting hate, the crowd’ll tear him apart - and us with them!’ Suddenly, Cloak tells Alex not to worry, for whatever the source of his own power, Leech has no effect on it. ‘Perhaps it is because Dagger and I are not mutants’ Cloak remarks, and as Dagger’s light protects them all within the cloak, they teleport onto the balcony, so that they can discuss this matter more privately. Alex, Dagger, Leech and Annalee and her casserole dish emerge from Cloak.
While high above, the Mighty Mouse balloon soars upwards, and Frank tells Katie that the balloon is tilting, so they are going to fall off. He adds that it is starting to blow in the wrong direction. ‘Hey! No wonder, you dope! You’re sitting on the cape’ Katie replies, explaining that the wind is catching in it, like a sail. ‘Let go of it’ Katie asks Franklin, who starts to move off the cape, adding that the wind is really blowing them wrong. He suggests to Katie that she try to jerk the arm rope, then maybe they can get it to roll over on its back, at least that way they won’t fall off. A gust of wind blows the balloon upwards, as Katie pulls on the rope tied to the balloon’s hand, Franklin tells her that she is jerking it too hard, and she is going to make the balloon keep rolling and roll them off. ‘No it won’t, Franklin! I know what I’m doing!’ Katie replies, but Franklin tells her that she doesn’t. ‘You don’t know anything about it’ he declares. ‘Yes I do! It’s just like when Alex uses the wings on his costume’ Katie explains, adding that if she can just grab the rope that goes to the other side of the cape, she can show him.
‘Ha! Got it!’ Katie calls out when she manages to grab the rope. She instructs Franklin to grab hold of the cape on his side and then they will turn the balloon back in the right direction. Katie tells Franklin that if they can hold it still, they can sail the balloon right to her Mommy. And soon, ‘Hey look! We did it!’ It worked!’ Katie calls out as the balloon sails towards the hospital, where Katie points out her mother’s room. ‘See? I do know what I’m doing’ she tells Franklin. As the balloon floats towards Margaret Power’s room, Katie calls out ‘Mommy! Look, Mommy! Look outside!’, but Margaret lies motionless in the hospital bed. Jim, however, looks up from his book, ‘What was -!’ he gasps, before going wide-eyed when he sees the balloon. ‘Holy cow! That’s one of the Thanksgiving parade balloons!’ he grins, before getting to his feet, when he thinks that the balloon is coming right for the window.
Katie and Franklin are further down the balloon, so Jim Power doesn’t see his daughter, but Franklin tells Katie that they will never turn it around in time, and that they are doing to crash. Katie tells Franklin that it won’t crash, and reminds him that she asked him about his dream, and nothing bad happened, so it won’t crash,. ‘But, Katie - I don’t dream everything! And…and even if I did…you wouldn’t listen anyway!’ Franklin declares. ‘Would so!’ Katie snaps back as the balloon tosses about in the wind. ‘Would not! You never listen!’ Franklin exclaims, before telling Katie that they are getting closer and have to do something, fast. Katie announces that she has an idea, and tells Franklin to hold onto his rope real right, then they can slide down.
Katie explains that it will make the balloon tilt up straight, but Franklin tells her that it is way to far to the ground, that is dangerous and they will fall off. Katie assures Franklin that they won’t, not if they hold on real right. ‘C’mon! It’s the only way!’ Katie adds, before telling Franklin that she will go first. She holds onto her rope and starts to pull on it. ‘Katie! No!’ Franklin gasps, while Katie points out that the tilting is working. ‘Help!’ Franklin shouts. Staring out the window, Jim Power sees the balloon swerve, and wonders why, supposing it was an updraft. He wishes he could see more of it, but the balloon is so huge - so he doesn’t see his youngest daughter. Suddenly, the balloon tilts too far back, and both children fall from it. ‘Nooo! See? I told you you don’t listen!’ Franklin shouts at Katie.
Suddenly, though, ‘Bill!’ Franklin gasps as Beta Ray Bill swoops towards the children and picks them out of the air before they plummet to early death. ‘I have you children! Than Heaven I realised you were missing in time’ Bill tells the children, before asking them how they happened to be carried off like that. ‘Katie did it on purpose! I told her, but she wouldn’t listen!’ Franklin is quick to blurt out. ‘Tattletale!’ Katie snaps. Bill then grabs the ropes of the Mighty Mouse balloon and starts to pull them along behind him. ‘On purpose? That’s madness’ he tells Katie, pointing out that the balloon could have crashed into the hospital, broken windows and hurt people. ‘Even my Mom?’ Katie asks, as Bill flies away from the hospital. ‘Especially her, Katie! We were taking it right to her room’ Franklin declares, while Jim watches the balloon being towed away by Bill, still unable to see Katie. They arrive back at the parade, and one of the children points out that it is all normal down below. Bill informs them that the panic stopped several minutes ago, as suddenly as it began, and wonders if they will ever know what caused it. Parade marchers have the balloons under control, and Bill adds that it does look as though the people below are ready to take this balloon.
Soon, Betra Ray Bill lands on the street further away from the parade, Katie and Franklin in his arms. Wolverine and Kitty stand on the sidewalk, while Julie and Jack, now in their civilian clothing, rush towards Katie, with Julie telling her that they were so worried about her and they couldn’t find her. ‘Yeah! What happened?’ Jack enquires. Katie reveals that she took Mighty Mouse to the hospital. ‘You did what -? Katie, why?’ Julie asks. Katie explains that it was their Mommy’s favorite, and that Alex said Mommy had a big infection. ‘And that’s a problem, right? And Mommy said the balloons made problems small and I thought - thought It’d get small too, ‘til it went away! I thought it’d make her well’ Katie tells her sister, adding that she didn’t think how it could hurt somebody or maybe kill them.
Katie hangs her head and starts to cry, ‘I know now how Alex feels bad, and he didn’t even do anything bad but I did and… and… I am thoughtless brat… just like he said!’ she utters. ‘I guess… except Mom sure would’ve liked seeing that balloon’ Julie replies, taking her sister’s hand. Jack suggests that Katie explain the rest of it at home, as it is freezing out here, and he has had as much of the parade he can take for one day. Wolverine and Kitty then follow the Power Pack kids away from the parade.
While on the Dakota’s roof, ‘Annalee was running…and you were chasing her? Leech… why?’ Dagger asks, while Gee and Cloak look on. ‘Alone. Want… Momma!’ Leech utters, pointing to Annalee, who opens her casserole dish to check the sweet potatoes inside, and declares ‘I’m not Leech’s Momma! Leech is monstrous! He’s nothing like my slain children - my beautiful dead babies!’ Annalee turns away from the others and stares out over the balcony, adding that they are gone, all of them, and she is left with no one to love. ‘I miss them, Alex. I wanted to pretend that I was normal… and you all were mine… without Leech there to spoil it! To remind me that it wasn’t all a dream!’ Annalee admits to locking Leech in a closet, and points out that he escaped.
Alex goes over to Leech and puts his hands on the young mutant’s shoulders. ‘You locked him in a closet… and he still wants to belong to you? Gosh… why, Leech?’ he asks. ‘Annalee… cry… Leech… make better’ Leech replies, as tears start to fall down Annalee’s face. ‘You care, Leech? I… I never realized!’ Annalee exclaims as Leech puts a finger to her face and wipes away the tears. Annalee remarks that Alex’s mother has been kind to him, and cared for him,. ‘She deserves your concern…but me… I’ve behaved like the monster’ Annalee admits, kissing Leech on his forehead. Leech puts his hand on Annalee’s arm, while Alex wipes a tear from his eye, and tells him self that this is what Thanksgiving means - being thankful for what we have, not angry about what we don’t. He realizes that he is not the only kid who wants him Mom, not to mention he, Julie, Jack and Katie have each other - at least if the others are still speaking to him. Alex asks Cloak and Dagger if they can all go home, and Cloak wraps himself around everyone, and they all vanish.
Seconds later, Alex, Dagger, Cloak, Leech and Annalee appear on the balcony outside the Power family apartment. Inside, Kitty and Wolverine sit on a couch, while Bill, in his “human” form stands nearby. Franklin sits on Wolverine’s lap, while Julie and Jack sit at the other end of the sofa, and Katie stands before everyone, revealing that she invited them all to come to her party because her Mommy is in the hospital and she is hurt very bad. ‘And I was getting ready to apologize! What a brat! No wonder I was -’ Alex tells the others on the balcony as they listen in on Katie, but Dagger tells Alex to shush and listen.
Katie continues, informing the guests that she asks them to come because she was so sad and she thought that a lot of people are alone and sad on Thanksgiving. ‘And Julie said she learned from meeting the Morlocks that when you’re miserable and alone…it’s better to be miserable and alone together!’ Katie adds, and Annalee listens to the young girl, while Leech stands at Annalee’s side. Cloak and Dagger listen solemnly as well, when Katie explains that she invited all the alone people that Power Pack knew for Thanksgiving dinner, the people who didn’t have any family at all - or have family far away. Kitty smiles, while Wolverine listens closely, and Franklin watches Katie, who hangs her head and starts to cry, ‘I didn’t tell anybody…and it wasn’t right! I didn’t think…I just did what I wanted… and Alex and Julie and Jack were so mad at me and they were right!’
Katie continues, telling the guests that she shouldn’t have asked them, as it wasn’t fair to Alex. ‘I know how he feels and…and I know you’ll all be mad at me now…but you have to go home ‘cause I can’t have a party…’ her voice trails off, while on the balcony, ‘No!’ Alex exclaims, before opening the window, ‘No! Wait! Everybody listen! There’s no reason we can’t have a party…as long as we’re gonna be miserable about it!’ he calls out, announcing that Julie made a turkey and lots of cakes and stuff. ‘And look, Annalee made sweet potato casserole!’ he adds. Dagger and the others climb through the window, and Alex tells Katie that he found Cloak and Dagger for her. Wolverine and the others all stand up and gather around.
Much later, after most of the good has been eaten and the dishes cleared away, everyone waves goodbye to Beta Ray Bill who takes flight, carrying Franklin. ‘Bye, Bill! Bye Franklin!’ Julie calls out. Bill bids everyone farewell and thanks them for teaching him what Thanksgiving is all about. ‘Yeah! I’m thankful we didn’t get killed!’ Franklin calls back. Katie and Kitty hug, and Katie tells Kitty that the rolls were real good. ‘Thank you, honey!’ Kitty replies, before telling Katie that her parents split up a while back and that it made her really mad at them both, but she thinks now she ought to be glad she has them - and forgive them for not being perfect. ‘I have Power Pack to thank for that’ Kitty adds, while Wolverine looks on. Dagger leans into Alex and kisses him on his cheek, causing him to go wide-eyed, while she thanks him for the nicest Thanksgiving she has ever had. ‘Thank you for inviting us’ she adds. Cloak starts to wrap his cloak around Dagger and tells Alex that they are glad the four of them are together again. ‘We know how important that is’ he adds, before they vanish.
Annalee announces that she and Leech must be going, too, and thanks Jack for giving Leech his old clothes. She asks him if his mother will mind when she gets well. Leech is dressed now in jeans, shoes, and a sweater over other shirts, while a red woollen hat covers his head. Jack crouches down and ties Leech’s laces, adding that he doesn’t think his mother will mind, and points out that they had outgrown most of these clothes anyway, not to mention Leech needs them more than he and Alex do. ‘Only… Leech… you’re gonna have to learn how to tie your own sneakers from now on’ Jack points out. Leech just smiles in his new clothes, before touching his head, ‘Warm’ he remarks. Annalee pulls up the hood on Leech’s sweater, ‘That’s just in here, Leech…it’ll be cold outside’ she explains. ‘Cold?’ Leech asks.
Annalee and Leech leave the Power apartment and enter the hallway towards the elevator, with Annalee telling Leech not to worry, as she will not let him be cold anymore. Jim Power steps out of the elevator when the doors open, and Annalee turns to him, ‘Don’t worry, dearie…I’m sure everything will work out just fine’ she tells him, before telling Leech that it is time to go home. They get into the elevator, and Jim scratches his head, confused.
‘Daddy! Daddy! How’s Mommy?’ Katie calls out as she rushes over to her father when he enters their apartment. Jim tells his daughter that she is no better, but no worse either, which is what they are afraid of. Jack and Alex gather around, as Jim tells the children that the weirdest thing happened - one of the balloons got loose from the parade and almost crashed into the hospital. He adds that it was a real close call, and could have done a lot of damage. ‘I…I know, Daddy! Did Mommy see it?’ Katie asks, wide-eyed. Jim tells her that she didn’t, as she is still unconscious, but he wishes she could have seen it, though, as it would have done her the world of good. ‘It’s her favorite, you know’ Jim explains. ‘Yeah! I know!’ Katie replies, looking back at her siblings.
From the kitchen, Julie asks her father if he has eaten, to which he tells her he hasn’t and that he is not hungry. ‘You gotta try! Sit down! It’ll be ready in a minute’ Julie tells him as she prepares a plate for her father. She then brings it into the living area, informing gher father that they ate already, but that they saved him some. ‘We didn’t know what time you’d be home’ Julie adds, before putting the food in front of her father, who remarks that it smells wonderful, and supposes that maybe he is hungry after all. ‘And it is Thanksgiving’ he adds. The children all gather around their father, who tells them that seeing this, being here, it makes him realize, that even with all the bad things that have happened, they still have an awful lot to be thankful for. ‘Yeah, Dad, we know! Man, do we know!’ Alex agrees.
‘Hey! Homemade rolls and sweet potato casserole! This is delicious!’ Jim declares as he starts to eat the food. He tells his children that if they keep cooking like this, they will have to open a restaurant. ‘Yep! You sure do know how to serve up a fine Thanksgiving dinner’ Jim adds, and the Power children all look at each other and smile.