Illyana recalls that she was in her room, studying, which is what it made so real. It takes time to catch up, learn human things like history and Algebra. She’d grown up in another dimension and the things she learned there hadn’t prepared her for Xavier’s curriculum. It was when she began to write it down that she realized why the dream was important.
Kitty Pryde is there too – along with her dragon, Lockheed, playing with a weird weapon she has found in Illyana’s closet, along with something that looks like an armoured spacesuit. In recollection, Illyana marvels at Kitty being there as she is supposed to be Scotland, recuperating from a deadly wound. That is what saved her live.
At the time, Illyana, sitting on her bed, tells Kitty that she’s been considering wearing the outfit on Halloween, but she couldn’t. Why not, it is great looking, Kitty points out. Illyana warns her about the gun that goes with it. It really works. Undeterred, Kitty want to know the story behind the armor and sits down on Illyana’s bed. It’s a long story, the other girl replies evasively, and she has to study for midterms.
Kitty starts a tickle attack and phases them through the floor. They end up in Peter’s room, catching Illyana’s brother in a not very clothed state. The two girls and the dragon leave the embarrassed young man behind. Back in their room, they collapse giggling. Illyana finally relents and begins to relate the story.
Illyana reminds Kitty of the night the New Mutants girls had some friends from Salem Center over for a slumber party. Kitty was gone with the X-Men at the time but had left Lockheed in Illyana’s care. However, the dragon ran into the alien shapeshifting creature named Warlock that later came to join the New Mutants. Of course, now they know that Lock is a confused metal baby from outer space, but at the time Illyana figured he looked pretty dangerous.
Seeing him fight Lockheed, she intervenes with her Soulsword, slicing right through him. However, since Lock isn’t of magical origin, he remains unaffected. Suddenly, Illyana’s weird armor flashed on, covering her left side. Her right hand where Warlock has touched her is covered with a fine web of circuitry. Illyana grabs Lockheed and teleports to Limbo where she is sorceress supreme.
In Limbo, she realizes that the alien infection is spreading, now covering her arm up to her elbow. However, before she can decide what to do, she is attacked by a huge demon, who figures to challenge her as she has been away so long. Illyana snarls back that she paid in blood for the right to belong, her blood and the blood of those she holds dear. The X-Men were slain in this reality. Some died because she was helpless to stop it. Others died by her hand. How dare the creature?
The demon called Skunge attacks her. Illyana is already framing the words of a spell when her infected arm brushes the demon. The monster screams in agony when in mere second he is transformed into a metallic shambling thing.
Noticing that the infection has now spread halfway to her shoulder Illyana is getting frightened. Sitting down, she figures that her glowing armor is somehow blunting the infection, protecting her as best it can. She deduces that maybe the circuits are somewhat susceptible to magic after all.
As if guessing her plan, Lockheed looks at her critically and she tells him losing an arm is better than being turned into a robot monster. She raises her Soulsword with her healthy arm. Closing her eyes she brings down the blade on the infected arm, intending to cut it off. Blacking out, she tells herself to stay awake. She must help her friends, the New Mutants and X-Men; a monster is after them.
Later, she wakes up in Xavier’s school, sprawled across Kitty’s bed, wearing only a nighshirt. She finds that she is still whole without any infection, though the arm is numb. She decides it was all a dream and that she has slept on her arm, hence the numbness. Looking around in the room, she finds that her bed is missing. Instead, there is a TV set. Also in the closet there are no clothes of hers. But Kitty is in Scotland, so why…?
Dressing in a pair of shorts and a shirt that aren’t hers, she decides that some of her teammates – probably Sunspot – decided to play a joke on her. She also puts her numb arm into a sling. That moment, Kitty Pryde enters, wearing a version of her old Ariel costume. She demands to know who Illyana is and what she is doing in her room.
Very quickly, the other X-Men, Cyclops, Storm, Colossus (both of them still in their old costumes), Nightcrawler and Wolverine are gathered around Illyana and demand to know who she is. Anxious, Illyana tries to remind them that she is Peter’s little sister and Kitty’s roommate, but they don’t believe her. Kitty reacts with anger, asking who gave Illyana the right to take her things. Illyana wonders where Lockheed is. In the hangar, Cyclops replies. Where else would they keep a plane that size?
Illyana realizes finally that the circuit monster had been no dream, after all. She lost control of her teleportation disc and landed in the past before she joined the New Mutants… or in a different timeline altogether.
Illyana suggests they go see Professor Xavier. He could read her mind and confirm she is telling the truth. Unfortunately, she is informed that Xavier is out and won’t be back until the evening.
A little later, Illyana finds the X-Men have locked her into the guest room. She decides that the X-Men can’t be very smart in this timeline if they try to lock in a teleporter.
She attempts some basic magic to find she is too weak to summon either her soulword or call a stepping disc. Hoping it’s just a temporary weakness, she tries to rest until the arrival of Lockheed wakes her. Relieved, she hugs the dragon, but he impatiently tugs at her sleeve, trying to drag her somewhere.
That moment, Cyclops and Colossus enter the room. Lockheed immediately reacts by spitting fire at them. Colossus calls to Illyana, explaining that Professor Xavier will see her now. Illyana realizes that Lockheed doesn’t want her to go with them, but she can’t teleport.
He drags her out of the window and flies her down to the ground. Cyclops looks after them, announcing that Professor Xavier told them the girl is evil and must be destroyed. He fires an optic blast at her and misses. Illyana flees noticing how incapable Cyclops seems there in comparison to his usual self.
Then the wind start to rise, followed by rain and lightning, which barely misses Illyana. Snow follows. Storm has joined the hunt. The shivering girl has lost Lockheed. Wolverine informs her the good new is she’ll be dead long before she freezes to death. Instead of unsheathing claws, Wolverine attacks with a knife, slicing her numb arm. Angrily, Illyana grabs a branch and hits him in the face with it. Surprisingly, he drops like he’d been shot. Illyana is puzzled. The Wolverine she knows wouldn’t have been fazed by a steel-beam. And why would he use a knife… unless he doesn’t have claws…
As the cold is getting to Illyana, Lockheed breathes fire and everything before them, trees, grass, snow, rock dissolves in a sheet of flame, revealing a spiked wall. Warm air emerges from a hole Lockheed blasted into it. Illyana walks inside to find a tunnel with signs in a language she cannot decipher. She wishes Doug Ramsey were there. Right now, she could really use his power to decipher languages.
She comes to several colorful pats. In Dorothy tradition, she steps upon the yellow one. With that touch, it begin to move at a high speed. Taking in her surroundings, Illyana notices that the area seems to be deserted, though she believes she can see what look like cold-sleep coffins from the movie Alien, but she isn’t sure.
Finally, bored, she jumps off and follows Lockheed up a ladder. She finds herself on the bridge of a huge spaceship. Creeping closer to the observation window, she finds an alien corpse sitting on one of the chairs. Illyana takes the corpse’s gun, loudly figuring that whatever killed the woman would certainly try to kill her. Indeed it will, my dear, says another voice, and Illyana recognizes the newcomer as a Brood warrior.
As she pushes the wrong button on the gun, nothing happens, and the Brood paralyses her with some gunk it spews upon Illyana. Thankfully, Lockheed cuts loose with a blast of his own. Unfortunately, the Brood is protected from the dragon’s blast by a forcefield. The Brood turns back to Illyana, gloating that as Colossus’ sister she too will make an excellent host subject. Terror gives Illyana enough strength to call up a stepping disc and teleport away.
In Limbo, she is back to control over magical abilities. She disintegrates the paralyzing gunk and then heals her arm. Next, she tries out her weapon until she figures out how to work it. She teleports back to the ship’s bridge.
Figuring she can use any protection she gets, Illyana puts on the armor. Trouble comes soon enough, as the X-Men attack. Storm’s lightning smashes Illyana into what looks like an elevator. Illyana hits every button and it begins to move. Finally, the elevator opens on something interesting, namely the Brood, attempting to inject a bound Lockheed with a Brood Queen egg.
It goads Illyana to watch. The girl remarks that she though the Brood all died when their world was destroyed. The Brood reveals that it escaped with a cache of Queen eggs and samples from the X-Men when they were their prisoners. The Brood relates how it found the ship, slaughtered the crew, cloned adult X-Men, altered their memories and injected them with eggs. Being under its influence, they believe the Brood to be their mentor, Professor X. It ponders the irony that the X-Men, once their greatest foes, will now become templates for an even deadlier strain of Brood.
That moment, the X-Men enter and attack the Brood. Having heard the admission, they now do their best to destroy the monster. While the Brood tries to flee, Illyana shoots it and Lockheed gleefully finishes it off.
Wolverine finally spells out the cold hard facts: they are a danger to everyone. He suggests Illyana kill them now while she still can. She refuses. They may be clones, but what they ask proves that they are human… the best kind of humans. In another place and another time, she saw the X-Men die. It stops here!
She teleports them to Limbo, where her magic enables her to see the Brood eggs as black growth. With her Soulsword, she manages to destroy all the eggs. The X-Men are grateful but wonder what to do. They cannot go to Earth.
Kitty tries on the armor by phasing into it and decides she is too skinny to wear it. Why did the Soulsword destroy the eggs? They weren’t magic, were they? Illyana admits to not knowing either. Kitty asks what happened to the clones. Did they go to Earth? Scared her clone will do something Kitty might regret? Illyana mocks. She teleported them back to the starship to take the place of the murdered crew to protect the sleepers. And her spell insures that over they years they will become different from the X-Men, their own persons. She admits that it felt good to save them. Afterward, she felt that a weight had lifted from her soul.
Illyana ponders her dream, musing that sometimes dreams can point the way. In her dream it was Lockheed who killed the monster, but she saved the X-Men. Whereas in reality, the X-Men’s killer, Forge still roams free. She figures that if she dared she could kill that particular monster.