Inferno, the outer boroughs:
Watching the chaos unfolding, the Darkchild munches on a hot dog and recalls that her grandmother used to say there exists no greater pleasure in the world than watching children at play. She looks at her demons destroying everything. Sorry, babushka. She just doesn’t see it.
The decapitated N’astirh calls her. Remarking wryly, she takes it that his extermination of the remaining X-Men didn’t go as planned. It was going peaches and damn cream, he snaps, until Maddie Pryor and her goblin army showed up. He stumbles over a hotdog-carrying small demon. Please, tell her a goblin did not take his head, she demands bored. No, her brother did. He’s quite a bit more impressive with the Soulsword in hand. They pretty well wiped the demons out. Pryor even managed to tame Darkchild’s Bamf dragon.
That is disappointing, she admits. N’astirh continues, he slipped out when Mr. Sinister showed up. He cloned himself a half-breed army. Incendiaries from the look of it.
So all her enemies are together in the sewers? she asks and begins to laugh. Won’t that be fun to sort out!
In the sewers:
Mr. Sinister informs the surviving X-Men and Madelyne’s Goblin army how he spent five years in Manhattan dreaming of blue skies, fresh water and fresh meat. Now that he’s out he can’t have the Darkchild and her beasties spoil his dream come true. She must be stopped.
Cyclops asks how he plans to do that. Sinister reminds him his clone army can shoot plasma from their fingertips. Cyclops retorts that Illyana took out dozens of his best X-Men in minutes. At this point, even he has to admit she can’t be beaten. Sinister points to Colossus and his weapon. Colossus agrees that the Soulsword may be able to defeat Illyana. His demon arm lets him wield it.
Then it’s decided, Sinister announces. The combined might of the X-Men and his Boom Boom clone army will hold off the demon horde, while Mr. Rasputin does the dirty work. Any questions?
Madelyne silently glares while she remembers how she had been Sinister’s plaything for most of her life. He cloned her, filled her head with false memories and sent her out to live someone else’s life. He took what he wanted, her child, then set the whole sick experiment on fire. But the puppet survived. Stark raving mad. Furious beyond reason, but alive.
Uncaring of the consequences, she flies toward him to attack. Undeterred, Sinister announces he is touched. He’s missed her too. His clones take her down as he announces that they have a war to win and no time to tussle. He sees her using her telepathy and shakes his head as he reminds her it has no effect on him. But it does on Boom Boom. Under Madelyne’s control, Boom Boom blows Sinister up.
The X-Men stand shocked. Is he thinking what she’s thinking? Domino asks Colossus. He agrees. The clones are going to be a problem. As if on cue, the Boom Boom demon clones screech and manifest time bombs.
Madelyne is ready to die but Havok throws himself in front of her as the timebomb goes off.
As the real Boom Boom slowly awakes from her brainwashing, Domino gives her a short version of what happened to her.
Madelyne’s people realize they are about to die but she controls the dragon Nightcrawler to kill the clones.
There are more, however, and the ceiling crumbles. Above, Darkchild looks down, announcing Babushka was right after all. Children at play warm the heart. Have a few more playmates! she laughs and sends her demons down.
Colossus grabs Domino and Boom Boom and gets on higher ground even as the other X-Men are massacred. The three realize there is nothing they can do. It’s over.
Colossus decides to do the only thing he can do. He climbs up to face his sister. She drags him up as she remarks, a penny for his thoughts? Oh right, “my poor little sister. I failed her. Now I will cry as she cooks all my friends on a spit!” Sounds about right.
Colossus calls her a monster. Obviously, she mocks. He lashes out with the Soulsword. As she falls, he gets ready to skewer her. She turns into Illyana, who begs him not to hurt her. He hesitates and, a moment later, she is Darkchild again. She claws his chest open as she laughs he is too easy.
Domino decides to join him over Boom Boom’s protests.
Colossus is horrified to see his steel chest is bleeding. She is about to attack again but stumbles and falls. Colossus means to kill her with the Soulsword. She turns human again, crying he can’t mean to murder his own flesh and blood! He hesitates.
Domino peers out of the hole and shouts she is messing with his head. Remember what that thing is! Remember the people she killed!
Colossus brings the blade down but misses. The sword is stuck in the ground. Darkchild mocks he can’t do it. He doesn’t have it in him to kill the thing he loves. She brings him down. She has enough murder in her for both of them.
He’s so sorry, Piotr groans.
Swearing, Domino fires her gun at Dakchild’s back. They are not apologizing to that *&$#+! she shouts. Shooting her in the face, though, (she proceeds to do that) that sounds good! Darkchild grabs her throat and tells Colossus even his little girlfriend knows the score. All this energy spent trying to save the monster who ate his little sister, when the smart play would have been killing it before it ate someone else. Her mouth grows bigger as she turns toward Domino. Eat this! Colossus shouts and splits her apart with the Soulsword.
Energy flares up from her corpse. Domino carefully asks if he is cool. Cucumber cool, Peter replies. He told himself Illyana was still in there. That this magical sword could cut her out. How did he not see that his sister was gone?
He doesn’t know how to give up on people he loves, she tells him gently. He didn’t fail Illyana. He set her free!
He was beaten, Colossus replies. He didn’t know what to do until she was threatened. He realizes Domino knew he wouldn’t let Darkchild hurt her. ‘Knew’ is a strong word, she replies. More like she was rolling the dice. But it seemed like he needed a little push. He loves her, Piotr informs her.
That moment Boom Boom climbs out from the hole underground. Weird and cute with Pete and Dom is usually her favorite show but all of the other X-Men are dead now and the sewer demons are getting twitchy. Can they like bounce out?
Where should they go? Dom asks. Somewhere else, Piotr replies. A voice in his head tells him he can use the sword to teleport. Doom’s not gonna like them hopping domains, Boom Boom points out. Then he shouldn’t have let this one burn, Dom replies and they disappear.
The Nightcrawler dragon teleports Madelyne and Nate in. Maddie remarks the metal man came through and Nate muses it’s weird. Darkchild looks even cooler as a corpse. What’s with the crazy corpse flame? Maddie explains that’s hellfire. The Darkchild’s demon power escaping. Where’s it going? he asks. Where indeed… she chuckles and steps into the hellfire’s path.
She screams in pain, then assures him a moment later she’s gonna be just fine, as she has inherited the Darkchild’s power. Awesome! Nate cries.