Professor? Can you hear me? You were right, this is more than a dream. Nightmare is screwing with my mind. Brought me to this astral plane, somehow trapped Venom and brought him along too, but why? Professor?
No? Guess I’m on my own for now. Me and my stogie. Picking himself up off the rock that he landed on after he and Venom crashed over the waterfall, Wolverine lights up a cigar. As it lights up, he remarks that it survives a two-hundred foot fall over a raging waterfall and lights up as easy as can be. Ain’t dreams a kick? Looking down at Venom he points out that he doesn’t look so hot. Looks like the drop from the falls took the wind out of his sails. Nothing a few adamantium bones coupled with a mutant healing factor wouldn’t help. Noticing an approaching crocodile, he adds that it looks like things are about to get worse. That thing that passes as a costume seems to be deserting him. Nightmare has filled this little astral plane with some real nasty critters. Too bad for him.
Before the crocodile can take a bite out of Eddie Brock, however, Wolverine decides to save him. Jamming pieces of wood into the two oncoming crocodile’s mouths, Wolverine remarks that he can’t afford to have him gobbled up. He needs to know what his involvement with Nightmare is. So it looks like they’re going to be a team.
Once on the shore and away from immediate danger, the alien symbiote returns to Eddie Brock. When it does, Venom awakes to find Wolverine pointing his claws at him and telling him not to move. Wolverine continues that neither of them may be able to kill the other there, but he bets he can really hurt him a real lot, just like he hurt him. This is the deal. He has no fight with Venom. Venom has no fight with him. This Nightmare loony is playing around with both their minds. He doesn’t know why. He wants to find out. If he wants to join him, great; if not, who cares? What’ll it be?
Venom answers that they want Nightmare. Wolverine tells him good and says there’s just one more thing he wants to get straight between them. With that, Wolverine jams his claws into Venom’s gut. Wolverine tells Venom that was for impaling him on the tree. If they’re going to work together, he shouldn’t owe him anything. Now they’re even. Holding his gut, Venom replies that he thinks they’re all going to get along just fine.
Suddenly, the sound of a woman screaming permeates the air. Venom asks if that was the girl. Wolverine confirms that it is and that it’s coming from the direction of Nightmare’s mountain. As they make their way through the jungle, Wolverine says to Venom that he knows that she’s probably in on this and that it’s a setup, don’t they. Venom answers that she may be an innocent victim of Nightmare’s pulled into place like them. Wolverine calls Venom an old softy. He never would have guessed. Now all they have to do is cross the desolate plane, scale the mountain and rescue the girl. Just then, they come face to face with one of Nightmare’s monsters. When they do, Wolverine points out that he never said it was going to be easy.
Holding Ghost Rider captive on Zianon, Grimbat tells him that his flames are his. Freeing himself from Grimbat’s bonds, Ghost Rider calls him a fool. He has no power over him. Whatever evil he has done, he will insure that it ends. Facing off against his foe, Grimbat says to Ghost Rider that his light holds useful energy but Dagger’s pure light is power. He has no need to kill him. But he will serve him and his charges for eternity. As Ghost Rider tells him no chance, Cloak senses that Dagger is near, but where?
Inside the castle, Dagger is surrounded by a number of inhabitants of Zianon. They tell her that she is so lovely. They beg her to feed them. Hail to their new queen. Dagger can sense that Cloak is there somewhere, she knows it. She then asks the creatures what Grimbat has done with her partner Cloak. After one of the creatures tells her that her energy is so rich, so full; Dagger asks what this place is.
Outside, Ghost Rider strikes Grimbat with his chain and tells him that he will feel the anguish caused by his nefarious deeds. At that moment, Cloak informs Ghost Rider that they have to find Dagger. And they will start with the dragon’s fortress. Grimbat notices that the fire-being is more powerful than he anticipated. Breach the castle they may, but he and his companion will never escape its dark corners.
In short time, Ghost Rider and Cloak find themselves inside the fortress. As Cloak and Dagger embrace, Ghost Rider tells them to save their reunion, Grimbat comes again with his subjects. Once Grimbat gives the orders to chain them, his subjects leap into action and bound the heroes with chains. Dagger implores Grimbat to stop, these are her friends, let them go. With Cloak and Ghost Rider bound in chains, Grimbat motions for Dagger to come to her husband. Ghost Rider tells Grimbat that he will not tolerate his foul machinations.
As Dagger makes her way towards Grimbat, Cloak notices that he is hypnotizing her. Grimbat then tells Dagger that her home is there now – with him, and her loyal subjects. Pointing to Cloak and Ghost Rider, Grimbat gives the order to imprison them.
Inside their cell, Ghost Rider exclaims that death surrounds them. The guard says yes, they are not the first that Grimbat has taken for the good of his people. There is one strain among their people that can drain light from others to give to the rest. Grimbat is the last descendant of that line. But Dagger’s light is such that he need not take any other lives ever again. They are like hungry baby birds who cannot feed themselves until their father Grimbat brings the light back in a manageable form for them to absorb. Breaking free from the chains, Ghost Rider states that now that he knows Grimbat’s motives, he can free himself from the paltry restraints.
In the main area of the fortress, Grimbat outfits Dagger with her royal robe. He tells her that she will want for nothing there. And for them, all she must do is what comes most naturally to her. Exhibiting her light power, Dagger tells Grimbat that his people need her. This planet is so dark. No sun, no light at all. As the inhabitants of Zianon flock to the fortress and Dagger’s light, Grimbat tells her to shine on her subjects and ease their pain and torment of their dark and tortured lives.