Colossus remembers that Illyana always used to be so small and yet afraid of nothing. She had her big brother to keep her safe. That was his job. His only job. And he couldn’t do it.
The Inferno, now:
All these years crawling through hell, trying to make it right. Trying to get his sister home safely. He understood the terrible odds. He knew he might die trying. But it never occurred to him to worry about keeping his home safe from his sister.
The Darkchild and her troops have escaped from Manhattan and the Inferno effect now also affects the other parts of the city.
Grinning, she tells her ensorcelled dragon, formerly Nightcrawler, that her power and influence are growing. Her demon horde is not simply taking the outer boroughs by violence but swallowing them whole. Things turn into animated demons. Darkchild muses that people call demons sadistic abominations who delight in suffering. Evil made flesh. And they are obviously correct, but… At least they know how to have a good time.
From around the corner, the X-Man Longshot recognizes her. He dodges a demon and hides behind another demonic and displeased car while watching the Darkchild.
She grins when Sheriff Strange and two members of the Thor Corps appear in front of her. She assumes they’ve come to take her toys away. Clearly unhappy, he replies that Doom expects his barons to deal with the domains’ day to day business. Baron Summers seems to have failed the domain of Limbo. He’s come to offer her his job. Laughing she accepts. That’s not good at all, Longshot mutters and flees.
Meanwhile, the few surviving X-Men have gathered in an underground station and lick their wounds. Jean joins Scott, who is sitting aside and asks what he is doing down there. Planning, he replies, although he doesn’t know for what exactly. She tells him he’s been looking into darkness for two days. She’s sure he’s looking for another way, but if there were one—
He asks if she wants them to retreat. Retreat implies there is still a war going on. She’s talking about escape. Think ugly thoughts at her all he wants. They either take their survivors and go or burn with everything else! He refuses to abandon his post. He is the Doom-chosen baron of this domain.
Cue for Longshot to enter and inform him that Sheriff Strange gave Darkchild the job. Bad news all around up there. Brooklyn is worse than Queens. The boroughs are turning fast. If they are going, they need to go now.
Jean urges Scott to agree. Slamming down his fist, he refuses. He flies his hover chair to rejoin the others and addresses them. This Doom-forsaken hellbeast took Manhattan. She took Illyana. She’s taken anything she could wrap her claws around for five years. And they let her. They convinced themselves a war with hell didn’t make sense. There was a city to protect. It was too damn risky. They sat on their hands and now she’s come to take everything. So where does that leave them? Jean says it’s time to run. Again. Let the Darkchild keep what she has stolen Again. But he’s done running from this fight. He says it’s time to show these demons what the X-Men can do when they have nothing left to—
Nightcrawler teleports in and out again. Moments later, he returns with N’astirh and a demon horde.
Elsewhere in Limbo, Colossus has finished killing a horde of demons and orders they go on. Dominos suggests they take a small break and regroup, but he insists they keep moving forward. Illyana’s powers are growing by the minute. She reminds him they fought five battles in seven blocks. Bring on number six! Little Nathan shouts. Domino insists they need a plan of attack. They have a plan! Colossus snaps. Stop his sister before she burns down the entire city. Doesn’t he mean save his sister? she asks.
S’ym informs Madelyne that they’ve lost another two dozen goblins. If they keep up like this, they’ll be out of goblins by nightfall. That’s what goblins are for, Havok lectures S’ym. They die in battle, they respawn a few days later. Wash, rinse, repeat. Brilliant deduction, Prince Backrub, S’ym mocks. Colossus’ battle strategy consists of lowering his head and smashing things. There’s no way this death march will last a full respawn cycle. They should cut their losses and head home.
Where they’ll do what exactly? Madelyne asks. Sit around waiting for the bigger, badder Darkchild to come snuff them out? Or does he suppose she’ll forgive, forget and let them be? She doesn’t like the odds either, but Colossus and his big sword remain their best shot at surviving this thing. Colossus informs Domino they can make a plan on the road.
Suddenly, there is an explosion from the ground and up comes their missing teammate, Boom Boom, somewhat worse for wear, with circuits sticking out of her head.
Dom is happy to see her. Who is this idiot? Maddie whispers Havok. One of the kids, he guesses. He never could keep them straight.
Tabby tells them Illyana’s gross dog pulled her apart, but she pulled through. She’ll tell them later. There’s something they got to do. Like nowsers! They follow her into the sewers.
Colossus asks if she can tells them what happened to Nightcrawler. Tabby informs them that Darkchild snatched him up after cutting her open. She never saw him again after that. Domino explains they fear she turned Kurt into a kind of monster.
Maddie smirks that Tabby on the other hand seems surprisingly unscathed from her battle with the all-powerful Darkchild. Tabbie snaps she had half her guts hanging out! Sounds awful, Madelyne replies unimpressed and, yet, here she stands chipper as you please. However did she pull through? Maybe that was what she was gonna friggin’ show them? Did she think of that? Boom Boom shouts.
Nate asks his mother if she wants him to shoot the girl. Bring it on, small fry! Tabbie warns him.
In the meantime, Colossus presses his ear to the wall, hearing something. Demons! he shouts and begins smashing the wall. On the other side the X-Men are fighting the Darkchild’s demons. Domino joins him.
Madelyne asks S’ym and Havok what their level of obligation is here. None whatsoever, S’ym assures her while Havok replies his queen does what she desires. Well spun, she replies amused, but this time she was looking for the truth. Let’s get this over with. They join the fight.
Jean Grey tries to reason with the Nightcrawler demon who attacks her. She tells him she can feel him trying to fight for control. Come back to them! she pleads. For Doom’s sake! Madelyne sighs disgusted and telepathically destroys his mind, making sure he obeys her now.
Colossus battles N’astirh, who goads that at his very best Colossus might be able to beat him with the Soulsword, but his sister? That girl has a whole city of juice. He might as well fall on that blade here and now. One of them will fall here and now, Colossus announces as he strikes, but it won’t be him! He kills N’astirh, just as Cyclops gets rid of another demon.
Colossus apologizes to Scott. Illyana is… he should have seen it. He should never have gone back. Not after last year. Scott told him and he— Scott was right. All of this is because of him. Sorry?! Scott repeats incredulous, then hits him with a full-scale optic blast. Colossus admits he deserved that. Was he right about his evil demon sister? Cyclops shouts. Was he right about his insane obsession hat got innocent mutants killed? He follows with another blast. Colossus tells him he’s made his points. Hell has broken loose! Scott shouts. People are burning in the streets! All because Piotr couldn’t move on and leave it alone! And he’s telling him he was right? Of course he was &%#* right!
That moment, Mr. Sinister interrupt the two of them as he shows up with his Boom Boom clone demons. He doesn’t think they’ve had the pleasure. They call him Mister Sinister. Or sometimes simply master. Hello, Maddie, he greets the furious Goblin Queen.
She snaps at Havok: he said they’d killed him! He thought they did, he replies helplessly.
Tabbby happily greets him as bossman and assures the others he is the dude. He saved her life, sewed her up and grew this army of Boom clones out of the leftover parts. She doesn’t know what the plan is, but they totes want him on the roster.
Sinister remarks that he doesn’t think her friends are buying her endorsement. Let’s try a different tactic: Is he a morally bankrupt sociopath willing to push all boundaries of human decency and suffering in the name of scientific discovery? Yes. Did he steal their friend’s DNA and splice it with that of class three succubus to build to build his unstoppable mutant demon-hybrid army? Yes. Did he repeatedly tinker with young Tabitha’s brain to make her more subservient? Obviously. What? Tabby asks. He is a dastardly villain of the highest order. Under other circumstances they would be enemies. One day perhaps they can be. But not today. Today, he laughs, he is their savior...