‘Okay, this isn’t funny anymore!’ Dani Moonstar snarls as she and her team, the New Mutants, are swarmed by a horde of flying demons at Queensport in Maine. Lightning crackles in the sky and rain pours down hard as the team of young mutant heroes fight for their lives. On the boardwalk outside the amusement park. Bobby “Sunspot” DaCosta takes to the air to battle some demons, while Amara “Magma” Aquilla fires flaming lava at her foes. Doug Ramsey a.k.a. Cypher tries to stay out of danger, while Nate Grey a.k.a. X-Man and Warlock fight on. ‘I mean it! A little leftover infestation from the Inferno incursion? Sure. A handful of goblins left behind? Hey, we specialize in mutant problem cleanups. But this?’ Dani exclaims, annoyed, while X-Man keeps a demon at bay with a telekinetic throw.
‘I hear you. Also, Maine? At this time of year? It is not beach weather!’ Sunspot complains as he fires energy blasts at some demons. Magma causes flames to burst up from under the boardwalk and declares that this won’t hold them back, as these things thrive on fire and brimstone. ‘God, how many of these things are there?’ she asks. ‘Self / Friend?’ Warlock calls out to Cypher, who announces that there are ninety-six-thousand eight hundred and forty-one. ‘Or was that a rhetorical question?’ he inquires. He asks his teammates to let him concentrate, as he is trying to deconstruct the magical grammar so he can reverse the sorcery that is summoning these imps to Earth. ‘Try deconstructing the magical grammar and watching your back, Doug!’ Moonstar recommends as she leaps into the air, kicking away a demon that was flying around Cypher.
‘I understood that was the point of being a team. Specialisms. You look after me and I look after you’ Cypher replies. Cypher then tells his teammates to follow him, as he has found a trail of arcane formulations that are emanating from behind a stage curtain. But as he draws the curtain back, he finds a very large demon, who breathes fire from its nose. ‘Where’s Illyana when you really need her?’ Cypher mutters.
Suddenly, something fast and silvery slides past the demon. ‘Oh, my!’ Cypher gasps. ‘Please…allow us!’ Dr Strange declares as he and his teammates in the Defenders appear - Iron Fist and Silver Surfer. ‘Duck, Self / Friends!’ Warlock calls out as the large demons falls down onto the boardwalk thanks to Silver Surfer pushing it down. Iron Fist leaps into action and starts taking down some of the imps. ‘Scram!’ he calls out, before asking Magma if she is okay. ‘Y-yeah’ Magma replies. Silver Surfer fires cosmic energy towards the demons that start to overwhelm Sunspot.
The rain continues to pound down on the New Mutants, while Moonstar alerts everyone to the fact that the demons are scattering. ‘They know they’re beat!’ she exclaims. Dr Strange announces that they cannot permit any to remain on the mortal plane, and starts to cast a spell of expulsion and purgation. ‘And a little conjuration of abolition will resolve that matter!’ Strange adds. The demons all vanish, and the New Mutants look around, slightly dazed as the rain continues to pour down on them. ‘Nice…magicalness’ X-Man mutters. Cypher motions to the roof of the funhouse, while Dr Strange remarks that the root of the problem is up there, a rune scratched on the funhouse wall. Cypher adds that it is a sigil of entry into this dimension from Limbo, a door basically. ‘You can read it. I’m impressed’ Dr Strange tells him. ‘Let’s make sure it can’t be read again’ he decides as he casts another spell. Moonstar goes over to him and thanks him for his timely help. Dr Strange replies ‘That was…coincidental. We didn’t come for them. We came for you’.
One hour later, at 1128 Mission Street, San Francisco, California, a pizza delivery boy looks back at Warlock strangely after Warlock collects the pizzas that have just been delivered. Inside, the New Mutants and the Defenders are gathered in the kitchen. Cypher examines the Silver Surfer’s board, while X-Man and Iron Fist look in the refrigerator. Magma gets some drinks ready, and Moonstar and Sunspot listen to Dr Strange. As Warlock enters the kitchen, Moonstar apologizes for the food just being pizza. ‘If we’d known we were having…guests, we would have…cooked’ she claims. Dr Strange tells Dani that her hospitality is appreciated, but unnecessary. ‘We have rather more pressing issues to consider’ he announces.
Dr Strange reveals that today his associates each detected a ripple in their respective areas of speciality. ‘Uh-huh’ Dani replies. ‘I mean, Dani, a ripple in the cohesive binding structure of the metaverse. The universal order of magic is being disturbed, suggesting that some vast and reality-changing event is approaching’. With a mouthful of pizza, the Silver Surfer states that of greater concern is that this disturbance is also being registered in the fundamental energies of the cosmos. ‘Magic and space / time alike are reacting’ he explains, before revealing that the focus is this mutant team. ‘Well…okay. That’s…that’s big’ Dani replies. ‘Especially coming from heavy hitters like you’ she adds. ‘WHAT? These guys come in and say they’re sensing a great disturbance in the force and we’re supposed to jump -’ Sunspot protests. ‘BOBBY!’ Dani scolds him.
Suddenly, the door opens and an elderly woman appears. ‘Hello? Door was beink open. You guests are havink?’ she calls out. Magma realizes that it is Mrs Livitz from downstairs. Everyone looks frantic as Dani exclaims that their neighbor can’t see them in costume like this. ‘She’ doesn’t know you’re X-Men?’ Iron Fist asks. ‘It didn’t actually come up at the last tenants’ meeting’ Dani mutters, as Mrs Livitz announces that she has brought food for the guests. ‘That’s so kind of you, Mrs Livitz’ Magma replies as she rushes over to her. Mrs Livitz looks around the kitchen and announces that it is bigos doomorschi, which is very popular in Latveria. ‘Get spoons!’ she calls out, before going slightly wide-eyed and remarking ‘Oh your guests, veeery beink unusual’. ‘Mrs Livitz, is it?’ Dr Strange calls out as he approaches the elderly woman and casts a spell - Bartomol’s Guise of Everyday.
New Mutants and Defenders alike suddenly appear in civilian clothing, as Dr Strange tells Mrs Livitz that it is a pleasure to meet her, and introduces himself as Stephen. ‘Oh, nice to be meet’ Mrs Livitz replies. Stephen puts a hand on her shoulder as the very human looking Silver Surfer takes the pot of food. ‘Doomorsch, you say? “Doom’s stew”? A favorite. Do you use charnushka?’ Stephen asks. Mrs Livitz smiles, ‘You know Latveria, heh? Tuvox prorr kak?’ she asks. Stephen replies in Latverian and reveals that he has spent a little time there over the years, before casting another spell, Zanathora’s Capitulation of Will, and he leads Mrs Livitz to the door, telling her that it was a delight to meet her. ‘I will be goink downstairs now. You bang on floor you need more stew’ Mrs Livizt tells him. The door closes and everyone’s appearance returns to normal. ‘Strange is pretty good at making people see what they need to see’ Iron Fist remarks.
However, Iron Fist notices that Sunspot is staring blankly ahead. ‘You in there? I said -’ Iron Fist begins, only for Sunspot to fire a blast of concussive energy at him, blasting him backwards. ‘Bobby? What the hell -!’ Dani exclaims. But, as Iron Fist falls to the floor, Sunspot quickly turns his attention to the Silver Surfer, and blasts him clear across the room. Silver Surfer drops his drink, sending water spilling to the floor. ‘Bobby! Stop it!’ Dani calls out. The blast against the Silver Surfer was so powerful that it sends the cosmic defender crashing through the outer wall of the New Mutants’ home. ‘Da Costa! Quit it!’ X-Man orders ‘Self / Friend!’ Warlock declares, while Dani asks Bobby if he has gone nuts. Suddenly, Iron Fist gets up and takes Sunspot from behind, slamming him to the floor. ‘I got it!’ Iron Fist declares.
In the apartment below, Mrs Livitz can hear all the thumping and bumping, and smiles as she looks at her ceiling. ‘Okay, okay! I bring more stew!’ she calls out.
Everyone looks at Sunspot, and Dani apologizes to the Defenders, while the Silver Surfer climbs through the gaping hole in the wall and explains that this is what they were warning them about.
Shortly, Magma sits with Sunspot on the sofa, holding a compress to his head. ‘I’, sorry, man…Mr Surfer, I didn’t mean to - thing is, I don’t remember anything’ Sunspot declares. The Silver Surfer uses his powers to repair the damaged wall, while Moonstar tells Dr Strange that she thinks Sunspot is telling the truth. Strange agrees. Iron Fist and X-Man pick up the bar stools that were knocked over in the melee, while Moonstar asks if the huge mystical / cosmic threat they have detected is Bobby. ‘Of course not. Your friend is simply being affected by it’ Strange explains. Dani tells him that they appreciate the warning that he and his allies have brought them. ‘We will deal with this. But you’ve got to give us some time. And a chance to deal with it’ she assures him.
Dr Strange casts another spell - Vandular’s Detection of Veracity, and tells Dani that he knows she means that, but that there simply isn’t much time. ‘Even so, it’s our problem. We deserve the chance to settle it ourselves’ Dani points out. Iron Fist and the Silver Surfer gather beside Dr Strange who replies ‘I think you do. And I now sense this is a problem that must first be approached by your team’. Strange tells Dani that he doesn’t wish to interfere, but that this must be handled effectively. He explains that one strand of reality suggests they will end this in 72 hours. The Silver Surfer tells the New Mutants that if they can’t resolve the crisis in that time, the Defenders will return and resolve it for them. ‘Good luck my friends’ Dr Strange tells the young heroes as he, Iron Fist and Silver Surfer teleport away.
‘Well, it’s nice to have visitors’ Cypher remarks. Dani tells her friends that they have a problem, to which X-Man exclaims that the problem is they don’t know what the problem is, except that it is huge and they have three days to fix it. Sunspot tells his teammates that he might be able to help, as he announces that he kept something back. ‘Bobby?’ Amara calls out. Bobby reveals that when he lost it, it was like he was possessed. ‘I’ve felt that way before. Like I had a presence in me. No mistaking it. It was Karma’ Bobby announces.
Soon, at the Jean Grey School for Higher Learning in Westchester, New York. The Beast is outside playing baseball with several students including Kid Gladiator, Quentin Quire, Anole, Oya and a Bamf. Inside one of the buildings, the New Mutants meet with their former teammates and current teachers here at the Jean Grey School - Sam “Cannonball” Guthrie and Xi’an Coy Manh a.k.a. Karma, who sits on a sofa with her companion, Face. ‘I haven’t done anything’ Karma exclaims. ‘We haven’t seen you guys for months, and now you come here and accuse me of so -’ Karma begins, but Sunspot assures her that he isn’t accusing her. ‘But I know what your power effect feels like. I know what I felt…’ Sunspot points out.
Karma declares that the junior position here is pretty intense, and that since she has got here, she has had her hands full with the students and with Face. She adds that before she left Utopia, there was this one time, something weird happened to her. ‘Sort of…out of body’ Karma explains. ‘Nate said he had an experience like that, too’ Dani points out. Nate announces that he suddenly found himself staring at a calendar, like he woke up. ‘I had that. Only for me, it was a diary. Dates. Records of time. Could that be significant?’ Cannonball remarks. He adds that it also happened to him before he left Utopia. ‘I put it down to stress’ Sam tells everyone, before asking Dani if he can have a word.
Cannonball and Moonstar go into a library, and Sam tells Dani that it seemed awkward in there. He points out that Karma was right - they were all so close, and then they don’t speak for months. ‘We’re still close, Sam…’ Dani replies, her voice drifting off, before telling him that life here seems to be suiting him. Sam looks at Dani as he tells her that he was wondering about Nate - about her and Nate. ‘Wondering what, exactly?’ Dani asks. ‘Come on. There’s a chemistry coming off you two. Dani, it’s okay…’ Sam begins. They look outside to where the kids are playing baseball still, and Sam points out that it is not like he and Dani made a promise or anything. ‘I left to come here. I didn’t expect to you to wait’ he tells her.
‘God, Sam, it’s not like that. You were ill. You had to rest. I was running the team. I built relationships…’it’s not anything else!’ Dani claims.
Outside: ‘What team are they on?’ Kid Gladiator demands as a Bamf leaps into the air and catches the baseball. ‘You’re out!’ the Beast shouts.
Sam and Dani both rub their heads. ‘Well, I - whoa. I feel really weird suddenly, What was I talking about?’ Sam asks. ‘I don’t know. I have the worst déjà vu’ Dani replies, before she shouts ‘…it’s not anything else’ a she looks out the window.
Outside: ‘What team are they on?’ Kid Gladiator demands as a Bamf leaps into the air and catches the baseball. ‘You’re out!’ the Beast shouts.
Dani and Sam look at each other, and Dani announces that she can’t move. ‘Sam? Say something!’ Dani calls out, before looking at the desk. She sees the flowers have wilted and a goldfish floats upside down. ‘Oh, God! Ssssammm…’ Dani utters, while the hands on a nearby clock spin around out of control.
Suddenly, a brilliant white light engulfs the library, and Sam is pulled into the air. ‘SAAAM!’ Dani screams, before an instant later, he vanishes. ‘NOOOO!’ Moonstar screams. ‘Oh dear God no! SAM!’ she calls out, before being able to move again, she rushes out of the library and back down a corridor. ‘Someone! Someone help me! Someone!’ Dani calls out urgently. She suddenly struggles to move again. ‘Let me go!’ she calls out, ‘Pllleeeaaasseeee…’, before suddenly, another blinding white light can be seen from the nearby room.
An instant later, Moonstar is free and rushes towards the room, ‘It was like time got stuck!’ Dani exclaims, before shouting ‘Guys! Guys! Sam has -’, but as she enters the room, she finds Magma, Sunspot and X-Man tending to Face, who is motionless on the sofa. There are ripples in the air around them, and Cypher announces that Karma just vanished….