Her face contorted with fury, Illyana Rasputin demands that they have to do something. They have to kill him! She continues that she tried to teleport to Dallas as soon as she realized what was going on, but a magical barrier kept her out. And her brother… all the X-Men… sacrificed their lives to plug a hole between dimensions that Forge made with his sorceries and Illyana couldn’t do anything to save them. Forge murdered her brother, she concludes… and now he is alive and her brother is dead!
The person the rant is addressed to, Magneto, acting-headmaster of Xavier’s School, is unimpressed by her reasoning. He explains that the X-Men sacrificed themselves voluntarily. And even if they hadn’t, the X-Men aren’t his charges. Charles Xavier left him as headmaster of the school, in charge of training and protecting the New Mutants.
Then Charles Xavier messed up, Illyana replies brutally. He shouldn’t have left Magneto in charge of a bunch of hamsters! She gave him the chance to help and he blew it. And if he won’t do something, she will!
The other New Mutants try to stop her from teleporting away, as usual in vain. Instead, their efforts cause them to land on Magneto, whose patience has just about reached its end. He repeats his orders. They are not to use their powers or leave the house without his permission. And if they won’t obey him voluntarily, he’ll make certain they’ll have no choice but to obey. With a slammed door, he leaves. While the others wonder whether Illyana has left to fight Forge, Dani is uncomfortable with Magneto’s threats. What exactly did he mean with them having no choice but to obey?
Moments later, Illyana reappears on Muir Isle, where her best friend, Kitty Pryde, is recovering from injuries sustained during the mutant massacre. She too is currently watching the reports about the X-Men’s deaths.
Seeing Illyana, Kitty runs to trap her in a hug. As Illyana’s hands pass through her, Kitty explains that she isn’t better yet. Since she fought the Marauders, she has been stuck phased, but with effort she can go solid. She hopes she will get normal eventually, she explains during a proper hug.
She’s worried about being normal at a time like this? Illyana asks. What’s wrong? Kitty inquires in surprise. What isn’t? Illyana shoots back, reminding her that Doug is dead, Peter is dead, the X-Men are dead. Isn’t that enough? And Forge who killed her brother is walking around free. You can’t get much more wrong! Kitty explains that of course she knows, but the X-Men were involved in a kind of war… and in a war people die. She almost died when they fought the Marauders, so did Nightcrawler … and Peter. It gives you a different perspective…
Illyana laughs mockingly. Kitty just means that she doesn’t care, she accuses her. Magneto doesn’t care either. Nobody cares but her. Of course she cares, Kitty assures her. But the X-Men are gone. Even Magneto, for all his power, can’t bring them back. Why is Illyana acting like such a baby? Fists helplessly clenched in rage, Illyana shouts that she wishes she could act like a baby. Babies have other people to do the hard things for them. She came there to ask for help. But suddenly Kitty is too mature to bother. But Forge will pay, she vows. She will make him, if she has to turn to sorcery to do it. She teleports away, leaving a dejected Kitty, who wishes Illyana could see that now, more than ever, they have to be strong. Of course, she cares!
Meanwhile, back at Xavier’s in the attic, Rahne and Berto are changing into their special costumes and Sam and Dani want to know what they think they are doing. Rahne explains that they want to be ready to do something when Illyana comes back. Do what? Dani asks, help her kill Forge? Sam adds that they must realize Forge isn’t the problem.
Warlock reminds them all of Magneto’s orders – they aren’t to leave the house. Rahne hesitatingly agrees but Sunspot decides Magneto’s wrong and he can forget it. The X-Men are dead and the New Mutants are all that’s left. So they have to fight for right. Rahne agrees… even if they are in the wrong? Sam asks. If Magneto thinks that threats will control them, they must show him that he is wrong, Roberto decides, leaving Dani to muse that, bull-headed as they are, maybe both Magneto and Illyana are partly right.
As if on cue, Illyana appears to grab her costume. The others jump at her and land in Limbo with her. They look around to find it more monstrous than ever. Jeering techno-organic monsters greet them. Dani and Rahne look into a mirror to find zombie versions of them reflected back. Illyana grimly reminds them that she is worse than before and Limbo reflects what she is. She glumly informs them that she went to see Kitty and ask for her help in killing Forge. But she wasn’t interested!
Sam tries to calm her down, telling her she is overreacting, first with Magneto, now with Forge. She is seeing demons where none exist. With a snarl, she orders him not to lecture her about demons. She fell into Limbo when she was practically a baby. She grew up with demons.
As she changes her costume, Dani tries to talk sense into her, reminding her that everybody has demons of one kind or another. Things that drive them to behave in ways they are ashamed of. But they have to fight them and stay in control. What good did control ever do her? Illyana scoffs. All right, Forge has become one of he demons and she is going to kill him, like he killed her brother. Sam asks her to reconsider. Forge is a master sorcerer. She isn’t in his league… at least not on Earth. He’ll eat her for breakfast. They lost Doug. They don’t want to lose her, too. They won’t lose her if they help, Roberto blusters.
Rahne, the peacemaker, reminds everybody how upset they felt when Doug died. And Illyana lost Doug and her brother and Storm and the others and she couldn’t bear it if Illyana was killed, too. They have to go with her… if only to protect her.
Roberto adds that Dani has the Valkyrie gift of deathsight. If anyone gets into trouble, Dani can tell them to pull out. Dani hesitatingly reminds them that this didn’t work for Doug. Terminally sick people have a deathglow. But in battle it flickers on and off as danger threatens or recedes. There was so much death on the battlefield, she couldn’t tell who’d die. She thought Doug was safely hidden and didn’t even give him a second glance, so they can’t count on her to warn them.
Warlock interrupts, remarking that Magneto told them to let the X-Men fight their own battle. Would letting Illyana face this foe alone not make them as bad as Magneto? Sam and Dani hesitatingly agree and Illyana teleports their costumes in.
Illyana conjures up her scrying glass to look for Forge. She finally finds him. She’s not really going to kill him, is she? Rahne asks fearfully and Dani adds almost pleadingly that he didn’t actually kill Illyana’s brother. Illyana replies that Forge opened the portal that the X-Men sacrificed themselves to close. She takes up her Soulsword and armor covers her whole body with the exception of her face. She continues that he used black sorcery irresponsibly. It’s his fault that Peter is gone and he is going to pay.
The others ask her to leave the sword, as it binds Limbo under her control and the place is bad enough already. She reminds them that her Soulsword cuts through magic. She will need it to fight Forge on Earth. It’s worth the cost.
After they have teleported away, S’ym and the rest of his techno-organic demons show their faces. S’ym gloats that Illyana cannot even begin to imagine the cost. She is going to kill Forge for opening that little portal? Oh, the delicious irony. The sword is gone, perhaps for hours… and even now his powers grows and his chance to extend Limbo’s power. Forge’s portal is nothing compared to the one he will open… with the Darkchilde’s unwitting help.
The kids teleport to Dallas to the heap of rubble that used to be Forge’s home, Eagle Plaza. Standing besides it is Destiny, the precognitive member of Freedom Force, next to Forge. Standing in a wider circle are the other members of the government-sponsored mutant team. Destiny addresses Forge, reminding him that she said: they’d come for him. A tangle of probability for catastrophe hangs around the Darkchilde, clouding her perception of the future. Destiny rants that one thing is clear: she will bring disaster for their world and the possibility of all their salvation hangs on the outcome of what will happen here tonight.
Illyana addresses Forge, snarling that tonight he will die. Soulsword raised high, she jumps towards him, while the man deftly draws Destiny aside, out of harm’s way.
Illyana’s assault is stopped by the Blob, who brutally punches her. He commences to stomp on her, intending to solve the problem that way. Cannonball announces that they are facing the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants. Using his powers to shake the ground, Avalanche corrects him: they are Freedom Force now and they work for Uncle Sam. Cannonball shouts a warning to his teammates as he yanks Illyana out of harm’s way, while Dani scoffs at the idea of the Brotherhood having turned over a new leaf. Sunspot asks what the government wants with them.
Wofsbane hurries to the side of the dazed Magik. As Pyro attacks the kids with his living flame, Dani scoffs that they are some heroes. They were with the X-Men in Dallas at the end. Yet unlike the X-Men, they are still alive. Warlock forms a kind of vehicle around Dani, intending to rescue her from the flames and take out Avalanche. However, Stonewall moves in front of his teammate and Warlock goes down. Warlock attacks again, intending to topple the man, but finds himself taken out by Spiral.
Invulnerable while he is blasting, Cannonball flies at Pyro. Sunspot uses that chance to attack Spiral, who is standing with her back to a wall. She elegantly somersaults out of the way and Roberto topples the wall… unfortunately straight onto Stonewall, Avalanche and Spiral.
Forge chides Destiny for not predicting this. Or has Magik’s mischief muddled her abilities to foresee even that simple act? No, Destiny admits and, in fact as time passes and they confront the New Mutants, the fog begins to lift. She saw the blow coming, she admits with a smirk, and chose to remain silent. Avalanche and Stonewall won’t be hurt by those bricks, but Spiral’s humiliation is balm to her soul. She finds her totally insufferable
Sunspot hurries to the injured Warlock’s side, while Mirage tries to attack Crimson Commando with a kick, asking why they even bother to fight the New Mutants. They’re kids. They ought to be beneath Freedom Force’s notice. Tossing Dani around with a judo move, the old soldier retorts that the witch kid came at Forge with a sword. They are law-abiding citizens. Maybe they just want to stop a murder.
He comes next at Sunspot, who is still distracted by Warlock’s plight, and takes him out. While Illyana slowly comes to, Rahne turns to her wolf form to fend off another attack by the Blob. Seeing clearer, Illyana warns Rahne to back off. The Blob could hurt her. She causes a stepping disc to appear beneath him. Before he can be teleported away, though, Super Sabre shoves him out of the circle’s sphere of influence. Unfortunately for the old soldier, the Blob lands on him.
Still grappling with Pyro, Cannonball informs him that they don’t blame Freedom Force for defending Forge. The New Mutants aren’t so hot on Magik’s plan themselves. Then why are they fighting? Pyro points out. They didn’t start, Sam retorts, but he knows how to stop this. He remembers that Pyro can’t create flames. He needs machinery for that. Sam tears it off and then tosses Pyro at Crimson Commando.
Illyana sees Forge and teleports towards him. She grabs him by the throat and raises her weapon, getting ready to strike. Cannonball attacks Illyana, tearing her away from “Forge,” who assumes his true form – that of Mystique. Illyana realizes they’ve been had. A moment later, Super Sabre takes both of them out with a mini-sonic boom.
With all the kids beaten, Freedom Force wonders what to do with them. Spiral points out that Magik is particularly dangerous, especially in her Darkchilde incarnation. With a bloodthirsty look, she suggests killing her, as, according to Destiny, she is the source of the upcoming evil. But Destiny shouts that they mustn’t. She tells the others to look, as Mirage unwittingly projects Destiny’s greatest fear, the overwhelming horror Destiny knows is to come… a New York run over by techno-organic demons.
She advises the Darkchilde to look at this vision… and learn. That… the thing she couldn’t see, has already begun. The Darkchilde will bring… has already brought by her willfulness and desire for revenge disaster on herself… and the world. Mystique holds her lover in a comforting embrace, as the old woman again orders Spiral to lay down her swords. The Darkchilde’s death will only hasten the event. She must leave… she must learn… or the world as they know it, will no longer exist!
Rahne turns to Illyana, asking if she is all right, not quite sure how to breach the subject. Dani and Sam are confused. They thought Freedom Force were the bad guys, but they do seem to be acting in the world’s interest. If they believe them, the suspicious Sunspot remarks, while he is checking on Warlock. He personally thinks it’s some kind of scam.
Getting up, Magik agrees. She reminds the others that Freedom Force wants to protect Forge They’d claim anything to accomplish that. Then perhaps you would be willing to discuss the problem with me! a voice comes booming from the molten heap of slag that used to be Eagle Plaza, as the real Forge reveals himself. Manifesting her sword, a livid Illyana teleports herself and her teammates up on top of the rubble to confront Forge.
Below, Stonewall asks if they should try and stop her. Destiny decides they have done all they can. Like all of them, the New Mutants must go where the winds of fate blow them. Freedom Force’s presence and her warning have already made a difference. She hopes that it will be enough. Even the Darkchilde must follow her destiny, but the fate of their world hangs in the balance, and may Heaven have mercy on all their souls!