Some time ago, lightning crackled and rain drenched the Xavier School for Gifted Youngsters in a reality not unlike this. The doors blew open with a gust of wind. As a child, Ororo lived on the streets of Cairo, always hungry. There were times when she would have done almost anything to fill her belly. Hunger controlled her, and, as a teenager, she met a monster – the vampire called Dracula. He took her from the streets and gave her a terrible purpose, and later, after she freed herself from him, she found another home, here at the Xavier School, and another purpose, among the X-Men – but the hunger never went away.
It became so much worse – and Ororo – Bloodstorm – drained the life from Professor Charles Xavier. It is only in the moments after she has fed that she feels even the slightest hint of freedom – but the feeling is so heartbreakingly fleeting. She lunged back from Xavier's lifeless body, and a voice called out to her, through a window: 'Oh, my – Ororo – Bloodstorm – you have been a bad girl'. Bloodstorm looked back to the window, where a figure could be seen, telling her not to worry, as it is nothing she hasn't seen from her before, and that she was not judging her. 'I've been watching you for a long time, dear. And I just hate seeing you in such a feral state. That's why I've come to you with an offer. You help me. I'll help you' the Goblin Queen grinned at Ororo through the window, her red eyes flashing as more lightning crackled behind her. Ororo may no longer serve the vampire who corrupted her, but the hunger still controlled her.
'...a hunger to be free forever from this curse' Bloodstorm thinks to herself, while reminding herself that the Goblin Queen has promised to release her from the torment of undeath – but only after she has accomplished her own goals. Here, within the Madripoor-based X-Mansion, home of the time-displaced X-Men and their assorted friends and mentors, fire rages as demons seethe through the mansion, and the Goblin Queen revels in her spoils. The Bamf-Demon keeps watch on a rooftop, while Danger, Lorna Dane a.k.a. Polaris, the time-displaced Bobby Drake a.k.a. Iceman and Erik Lehnsherr a.k.a. Magneto are held prisoner in mounds of demonic rock. 'C'mon, Hank...this isn't you!' Bobby calls out to his teammate Hank McCoy a.k.a. Beast,who has been transformed into a large, furry white demon-version of himself. 'What has become of you, boy?' Magneto asks.
Bloodstorm knows that the Goblin Queen has made similar pacts with others, like this world's beast, offering to grant wishes like a genie from a bottle. 'Bobby... Magneto... you cannot understand' the Beast responds quietly, hanging his head. Bloodstorm wonders though if she has beeb played the fool, whether the Goblin Queen has used false hope like sugar to sweeten her treachery. In the center of a burning pentagram, the Goblin Queen and Beast stand, as fiery demonic apparations appear. 'Yes! Yes! Come forward my sisters! Join me! Our souls are fragmented across time and space, but now we will be made whole! We'll make this world our playground!' the Goblin Queen shrieks. She looks up at them and tells the Beast that a there are a dozen Goblin Queens from a dozen realities – a dozen more – and he made this happen. The Beast looks up at the flaming Queens as the Goblin Queen tells him that she will not forget what he has done, and will reward him as she has sworn. 'Just imagine all the lessons my sisters will teach you – you'll have power to rival this world's greatest warlocks!' the Goblin Queen boasts.
To the Beast, she has promised forbidden knowledge. From other realities, she coaxed Colossus and Pixie, who stand near Bloodstorm, in servitude with other assurances – the return of lost humanity, the return of a lost sister. Her vows are hollow, though, as her magic is fueled by the pain of betrayal. 'Hank! She's controlling you or something! You've got to fight her!' Bobby calls out to his friend. 'Too late for that now' the Beast mumbles. Bloodstorm's eyes narrow, blood red in color, she hesitates, despite knowing all she knows. Because – there is still a chance, the slightest possibility, that the Goblin Queen might keep her word and set her free.
Meantime, in Arrow Ridge, Colorado, Sheriff Kira Lee leaps over a desk within Miss Sinister's laboratory, while the time-displaced Warren Worthington a.k.a. Angel and the reality-displaced Jimmy Hudson look up at Fred J Dukes a.k.a. Blob, whoe lunges towards them, while connected to a series of large red vials. The Blob declares that he doesn't know how he got here, or where he is, but now he is awake, and cranky – and the first faces he sees when he opens his eyes belong to the X-Men! 'Kira, get back!' Jimmy calls out, while the Blob swings a hand, which slams into Jimmy, knocking him aside, and warns the X-Men that their faces are getting crushed. Angel releases cosmic fire at the Blob and tells him that they didn't have anything to do with putting them here, and asks him to calm down so they can figure this out. The Blob cries out as the cosmic flame strikes him, but he reaches down for Angel, suggesting to him that if he wants someone to calm down, he should try not setting them on fire. 'And if you do set someone on fire, ya better make sure ya don't have bird bones!' the Blob declares, but before he can grab Angel, Sheriff Lee opens fire at him.
'Cute...you brought a little friend...with a gun' the Blob frowns, before stomping through the desk, breaking it into pieces and suggesting to Angel that he should have told his friend to stay in thje kiddie pool. Angel flies over and protects Sheriff Lee while pouring more cosmic flame towards the Blob and telling him to get back, that he won't let him hurt Kira. 'That's sweet – that you're stupid enough to think you can stop me!' the Blob replies, when suddenly, 'I guess I'm pretty stupid, too!' Jimmy exclaims as he leaps through the cosmic flame and slashes his claws towards the Blob who asks 'What are you? Some kind of Wolverine? Well, once I'm through with you, you're... you're... I'm gonna...' the Blob begins, before his arm suddenly extends forward, he roars, and wraps his now massive hand around Jimmy. But Jimmy breaks free and falls to the ground. 'What the hell? What's happening? What did you jersk do to me?' the Blob enquires. 'Angel?' Kira asks. 'He's the Blob. He's not supposed to do that! This is new!' Ange replies, suggesting that it might be another secondary mutation. The Blob's form appears to melt, and he calls out 'Somebody... help me?'
Back in Madripoor, 'Not long now, my sisters!' the Goblin Queen calls out, as the fiery images of the other Goblin Queens begin to take shape. The Goblin Queen grins as she reveals that the rift between worlds is widening and that she has had such beautiful nightmares of this day. Polaris frowns and calls out to the Goblin Queen, calling her “Maddie” she tells her to stop this, and that she won't be able to control them all. The Goblin Queen sneers at Polaris and replies 'This is my family, Polaris. My flesh and blood. Controlling the people closest to you, that's your dad's shtick'. The Beast hangs his head again, and remarks that this is not what he wanted, that he is sorry, and that he never meant for this to happen. 'Sister!' one of the Goblin Queen calls out as she starts to take physical form and reaches out for the Goblin Queen. 'I have but opened the passage for them to come to this realm. What they do, they do freely! Together, we will be made complete!' the Goblin Queen exclaims, when suddenly, 'Ahh – what now?' she mutters as there is a rumbling, and the ceiling begins to cave in.
'Sorry, lady! But I'm taking my house back!' Jean Grey a.k.a. Marvel Girl calls out as she drops through the ceiling with Scott Summers a.k.a. Cyclops. The Bamf called Pickles is at Marvel Girl's side, and the local Madripoor heroes called the Raksha drop into the demon-infested mansion as well. The fiery Goblin Queens float around the room, while the Goblin Queen asks Jean how she plans on stopping her. 'You couldn't handle my Hex-Men before, and I don't think much has changed since that beatdown' the Goblin Queen remarks, energy glowing around her hand as she adds 'And now you've brought your own squad of gothy little mutants in for the assist. Cyclops instructs the Raksha to clear a path and to take down as many demons as they can. 'Cyclops! You've only brought them here to die!' the Beast calls out, while the Goblin Queen decides that imitation is the highest form of flattery, and orders her Hex-Men to destroy them.
Cyclops fires and optic blast into a horde of demons, and announces that they have to take the Goblin Queen down, before she finishes her spelll, or whatever. Two ghostly Goblin Queen near the Goblin Queen grin, and the Goblin Queen announces that some of her new friends are simply giddy to see Cyclops again – especially because he looks so young and virile. 'First of all – ew. Second of all, is there any evil woman you haven't hooked up with?' Marvel Girl asks, frowning at Scott. 'Hey! You can't blame me for what my older self might have done!' Scott retorts. 'Oh yeah? Watch me!' Jean exclaims as Pickles teleports her over to the Goblin Queen, where she readies a fist.
Back in Arrow Ridge, the Blob has collapsed to the ground, a large pile of flesh-colored gunk, he pleads for someone to make it stop, to change him back, to fix him. Angel moves closer to the Blob, while Kira tells him to be careful. 'He's helpless, Kira... maybe more confused and scared than we are' Angel points out. Angel looks concerned, and informs the others that he has known the Blob forever, that he has always been bad news, but that whatever Miss Sinister did to him, he didn't deserve this. The Blob reaches out, and utters something incomprehensible. Angel then notes that the Blob has started to drip away, through a grate in the floor. 'Shouldn't we help him?' Angel asks the others. 'What are we supposed to do? Get a mop?' Kira suggests. Jimmy pops his claws and reminds the others that the woman, the Sinister Lady, she had a name for what she had been doing – Mothervine.
'What is it?' Kira asks as she shines the torch around the lab, revealing several withered bodies strapped to upright tables and connected to some cables. 'What she did to that guy...that Blob...it sounded like it had something to do with me...and the others who came from...' Jimmy replies as he sees the bodies. Angel calls out to Blob: 'I don't know if you can hear me...if you can understand me...' he tells him. Jimmy and Kira see the reality-displaced Quicksilver strapped to a table. His body withered, his face looking hollow. Jimmy remarks that the mutants are dead, and that this one is called Quicksilver. He adds that he thinks Mothervine has something to do with these weird secondary mutations they have been seeing. 'But it's poisoning some of the subjects' Jimmy points out, adding that he thinks he might be the source. 'Mutants are dying because of Ms Sinister...and because of me' Jimmy utters. '...we can help you...if you'll just let us' Angel tells the Blob, before telling Jimmy and Kira that they need to get back to Madripoor. 'Yeah – before Miss Sinister introduces Mothervine to the world at large' Jimmy agrees as he touches Quicksilver's cold face. 'We need to tell the others what's happening' he exclaims.
At that moment, the Goblin Queen casts a spell towards Marvel Girl knocking Jean back before she can strike her. 'Coming at me like a common ruffian...fists clenched. Ready to throw a punch. I must have really gotten under your skin' the Goblin Queen declares, before telling Marvel Girl 'Darling, we have powers for a reason'. Whisper Doll of the Raksha leaps over Colossus, telling him that he looks strong, powerful, but that he cannot hurt what he cannot touch. The demonic Colossus attempts to strike Whisper Doll with his sword, but does not succeed. Hexadecimal kicks a large demon the face and tells Gazing Nightshade that she should see these guys, that they are foul and awesome. Gazing Nightshade slams her fist into another demon and tells Hexadecimal that she doesn't need to see them to sense their awfulness, and that she is glad Hexadecimal is enjoying himself.
Cyclops fires a powerful optic blast amongst the demon horde, while the demonic Pixie is battling Norio. 'Only one eye, huh? That's all right. I bet you'll still see my hallucinations just fine!' she calls out to him, while Norio falls backwards and utters 'Master...Patch...why have you turned against your disciples...'. Marvel Girl plummets to the ground, and the Goblin Queen remarks that she would like to toy with her a little longer, but her summoning is almost complete – the veil between worlds has been ripped asunder! Bloodstorm continues to watch the battle, and tells herself that once the Goblin Queen is done, she will have no use for any of them. 'JEAN -' Cyclops calls out through the flames that engulf her. 'Of all my clones... Madelyne Pryor is definitely my least favorite' Jean mutters.
Suddenly, the Beast bursts through the flames, smacking Hexadecimal aside, he reaches for Gazing Nightshade and tells her to run, that he can't stop himself. Gazing Nightshade falls backwards, and tells Henry that she will not fight him, that they are friends, and she has looked into his soul – he is troubled, haunted, but he is not this demon. The Beast roars at Gazing Nightshade, but Bloodstorm flies over to them, and informs the Beast that Gazing Nightshade is right. 'I know. At least, I knew a man who was a great deal like you. The Goblin Queen has preyed on your weakness...your fear...just as she has preyed upon all of us' Bloodstorm declares. Bloodstorm stands close to the Beast and tells him that the Goblin Queen needs him, needs him to betray his friends and fuel her magic. Bloodstorm adds that it is treachery that gives the Goblin Queen the strength to betray reality itself. 'But she'll betray you, too, before she is through' Bloodstorm warns the Beast, who, looking forlorn, wonders what he should do. 'Betray her first' Bloodstorm whispers into his ear.
'I...can do that' the Beast realizes. Gazing Nightshade gets to her feet and remarks that in all worlds, all realities, Henry is tormented. 'I imagine so' Bloodstorm agrees. 'But he is a good man' Gazing Nightshade remarks, and Bloodstorm agrees once again. 'He is one of the best' she thinks to herself, never able to forgive herself for what she did to him – although the Beast she knew is long dead, Bloodstorm wonders if this is her chance to make things right with him, and remembers her teeth sinking into her reality's Beast.
Suddenly, 'Beast, what are you doing?' the Goblin Queen calls out as the Beast begins to cast a spell, magickal symbols glowing around his hands. 'You...you can't! You can't cast me out – not after all I've done for you! If you do this, you'll never become the -' the Goblin Queen begins, as several of her other-worldly sisters move towards her, 'No! Release me!' she tells them. 'Come, sister! Come!' one of them tells her. 'We are sisters! How can you turn against me?' the Goblin Queen asks them. 'The doors swing close! But you must come with us!' one of the Goblin Queens exclaims. Marvel Girl turns away, not wanting to look, and Cyclops tells her to close her eyes and that he will tell her when it is over. A shrieking 'Nooooooooooo' echoes through the mansion as the Goblin Queen and her sisters vanish, followed by the demons, and the Hex-Men membes Pixie, Bamf Demon and Colossus. Bloodstorm looks at them and wonders if they are returning to their worlds, or whether they are being spirited to the same torturous hell as the Goblin Queen. Bloodstorm realizes that she is not vanishing, and wonders why this is – in turning against the Goblin Queen, did her duplicity sever the bond between them?
Later, the sun rises over the Madripoor X-Mansion. The Raksha stand together, while Iceman, Magneto, Polaris and Danger have been freed, and move trowards the center of the room where Cyclops, Marvel Girl and Bloodstorm stand with the Beast. 'After everything I did...I do not belong here among the X-Men. You should cast me out' the Beast tells the others. 'Probably – but unfortunately for you – we still love you, mistakes and all' Jean tells him. 'This shape...it is monstrous...fitting' the Beast announces, looking at his hands. Bloodstorm tells him that it is not who he is, that sorcery is leading him down this path, but that it is up to him whether hhe continues to follow. 'The demon only has ahold of you so long as you practice its teachings' Bloodstorm explains, as the Beast's demonic form fades away, revealing his true human form beneath.
'I really screwed up, didn't I?' the Beast asks. 'That's one way of saying it' Jean agrees. 'Another way of saying it is you almost let a demon from another dimension kill us all' Bobby smiles, adding that Hank will totally miss those magical shortcuts, while he is doing all of their chores around the mansion for the next, well, forever. Magneto turns to the Raksha and tells Norio that they owe him thanks, and that he and his friends would be welcome here, that they could be X-Men. Norio replies 'No' and tells Magneto that he is sorry, explaining that they follow the example of Patch, the man called Wolverine, and he doubts that Patch would approve of them following the tutelage of one of his greatest enemies.
'What about you? You're Storm, right...from another world?' Cyclops asks, looking at Bloodstorm, who announces 'They called me...Bloodstorm. Cyclops informs her that time lost and reality lost, that is all they get here, day in, day out. 'You helped us...and you're welcome to stay with us' Cyclops tells her. Bloodstorm looks at him and thinks to herself 'Welcome to the X-Men...hope they survive the experience'.