Professor Xavier: …window’s open. X is down the hall answering the phone. I’m going for it! Scratch it, he’s back.
Cyclops: What a surprise. Scott gets to class early and macs the seat next to Jean. Didn’t see that coming. Come on Charles, enough of all those hardfaces, get some ladies in this place!
Marvel Girl: Who rocks? Jean is who. Went shopping and picked me up a coat that hides wings AND naturally looks good.
Beast: Thought we could just ask Cerebro to do us a solid; he’s kind of cool.
Angel: Dad’s accountant called and said I’m not spending my college fund fast enough – dude, you fight Magneto and Blob and Underwater guy and Toad, then show me when you got time to spend money!
Iceman: Drake, you punk, stop freezing my water bottle!
The X-Men are in the battle with a Sentinel… Marvel Girl and Cyclops bring down a dead tree on it. Beast removes a device that seems to be control it.
Cyclops orders him to get clear, but the next moments he sees a leering monster in the shrubbery and he blasts at it instead of the Sentinel. The others ask why he missed. He was going for that monster, he explains. Iceman, busy icing up the Sentinel’s head, remarks he could consider the Sentinel a monster. How about shooting it?
Xavier mentally orders Angel to carry Beast to a building on the hill southeast of there. He believes he has found the source of this rebuilt Sentinel. Marvel Girl reminds Cyclops that Iceman can’t hold the robot off much longer. Cyclops fires, destroying the iceslide.
Elsewhere, a nerdy-looking guy works his computer, triumphantly announcing that his frequency broadcaster should keep Marvel Girl from using her power. A moment later, Beast and Angel crash through the window.
Cyclops finally snaps out of it but is no longer needed, for the Sentinel freezes as Xavier, Hank and Warren are now in control.
Later at their foe’s home, the man now sits dejected in his chair and the X-Men learn that this Sentinel which he fixed was one of those they beat up before. Next time, they’ll have to make sure the things are ashes before they leave, Warren states. Xavier talks to the man, who apologizes and exclaims he doesn’t know why he did this. Xavier confirms he’s telling the truth. He doesn’t know about the X-Men or the Sentinels.
Well, sure, he often finds old robots in rubble and spends months tricking them out to fight mutants, Warren points out sarcastically. Who doesn’t?
Cyclops demands Xavier ask him what’s up with those strange claw marks on his arms. One of the others asks him if he’s running a fever or something. He’s been off ever since they got here. Clearly, the others don’t see any claw marking. Why do they all keep talking to him like he’s nuts? Cyclops asks agitated. First, they didn’t see the thing in the woods, now they say they don’t see the marks. Is it screw-with-Scott-day? Code-naaames… one of the others mutters.
Xavier realizes something unusual is happening and asks Cyclops’ permission to enter his mind. This is not a hallucination, Xavier realizes, it’s a residual of occult energy which s not Xavier’s forte. He believes they must turn to the man who helped the X-Men imprison his wayward brother, Cain Marko. Their guide had the power and knowledge to reach the mystic realm of Cyttorak. Dr. Strange? Jean asks. But Strange found them when they had to go to that dimension. How do they contact him? Cyclops wonders. After he tries to help this unfortunate engineer deal with the psychic intrusion he experienced, they’ll go back to school, Xavier announces. There he has an idea that will help them reach this… Dr. Strange.
And so, a little later, Xavier uses his means of contacting him, causing Bobby to moan that he thinks he could have come up with using the phone book if someone had asked him.
Xavier arranges a date with Strange this evening and asks his team to bring their version 2.0 uniforms, just in case. When is her pointy mask going to be fixed, Jean asks. Are they going to take the new jet, Bobby asks hopefully, only to be disappointed as they take the train. Xavier points out that the mystic lives in the middle of Manhattan. There’s nowhere to land a jet. Besides it’s a pretty quick train ride. Well, I’m stuck in Folsom Prison Bobby begins to sing.
His mood improves when they reach Greenwich Village. What with all the colorful people there, the X-Men would hardly stick out. They should set up a base there. They end up before a townhouse in Bleeker Street with an oddly shaped window and decide that’s it.
Strange’s manservant Wong bids them enter and the mutants quickly marvel at the collection of exotic objects in the hall. Dr. Strange greets Xavier and next kisses Jean’s hand. Warren and Scott simultaneously roll their eyes in disgust. Strange next turns to Scott, asking for the visor he wears in battle. Good to see him again, too, Scott replies icily as he complies.
Strange looks outside through the visor, seeing the street in shades of red and also seeing the strange monster grinning. His suspicion is correct, he announces. A demon has attached itself to Cyclops. He feared it might happen when he sent Cyclops and Marvel Girl into the realm of Cyttorak.
Strange recalls that the X-Men were battling a Juggernaut, a mortal bestowed with unstoppable power by the demon exemplar known as Cyttorak. They needed the Ruby of Cyttorak to imprison Cain Marko there, and he could only send the two of them. Marvel Girl and Cyclops battled the ancient creature called Outcast. They were victorious on all counts. Yet he was not present to oversee their return, to make sure nothing returned with them.
How come Scott can see this bogeyman now? Warren asks. Strange asks them to consider that the entrance to Cyttorak’s realm is through the Ruby Gem. The Cyclops visor uses ruby crystal to conduct Scott’s energies, Jean relates. While the two of them were in that other realm, it took on the properties of the other crystal, Hank adds. It can register a whole different spectrum now – a demonic one. He was going to say that, Bobby pipes up.
Any malevolence that can slip though this as this one did is very formidable, Strange decides. It may take all their power to banish it. Xavier hands them the spare visors Strange requested. As Strange works his magic on them to replicate the viewing properties, Scott remarks that Xavier really doesn’t trust him not to break them. That’s only half of the ones he has, comes the reply.
Each X-Man puts on a visor. Whoa, now that’s red, Bobby exclaims. Looking out of the window they are in for a shock with a huge demon leering at them. Strange tells them that he has many protection spells on his sanctum. The demon is trying to tell them something. The next moment, it’s gone. Strange gestures and dresses all of them in their uniforms.
Strange leads the X-Men through a doorway leading to the Netherworld the demon occupies the most. He will be tangible there. He will leave the door open, so Xavier can stay linked to his students. Wong will defend the portal.
He opens the doorway. Behind them still stands Strange’s house but, instead of Manhattan, they are in a barren landscape with floating islands in the sky. Scott notes this feels familiar and Strange, who flies ahead, replies that he and Marvel Girl have passed though there on their way to Cyttorak’s realm. They will open that pathway again and banish the demon there if they find it. He warns the X-Men not to be alarmed if their powers work differently here.
Angel mutters that this looks like a nightmare he had. Strange agrees that many have nightmares set in this place. He orders them to don their visors and be on their guard. Iceman exclaims that this whole red thing is insane, then apologizes to Scott. He never thought about the way that Scott sees the world, Angel muses. Beast agrees without joking that it would tend to color one’s perspective.
Angel reminds himself that he has wings and flies upwards to find the boogerman. Boogeyman, one of the others corrects him. He finds nothing until, suddenly, he shouts a warning to Hank. Beast is standing on the huge bogeyman.
With a grin, it extends its tongue and captures Angel with it, while grabbing Beast with its hand. Energy sparks from its eyes hit them, turning Angel into a bird and Beast into a rodent. Strange tells the other X-Men that he must restore their friends or they could be lost here forever. Using its magic for the spell of familiars reduces its power greatly. He’s still pretty big, Jean points out. They may be able to defeat it if they hurry, he tells them.
Seeing what the demon has done to his friends, Bobby starts an ice barrage, finding that his power is off the charts here. However, within the snowstorm the demon just snuck out.
Scott has had enough and lets loose an optic blast against the creature, blasting a hole through it. Jean tells him nobody was hurt. The demon may even be messing with them. He most certainly is, Xavier tells them telepathically. It took him a while to find them. This space does not work in a manner he is used to. Where are Warren and Henry? They got… Uh… Dr. Strange is looking for them, Jean explains.
Suddenly, the monster grabs them from behind. Xavier impresses upon them that Jean may be the key to stopping this. Her powers here may be the equal of powerful magic. He tells her to extend her self. Think the way she does when she manipulates her environment. Expand her mind. Expand, she thinks and suddenly she is everywhere. Her invisible hands grab the monster and make it drop them.
Xavier now looks through Scott’s eyes and the original tainted visor. Over to the right, he sees a fissure. Strange said they’d be able to access the realm of Cyttorak through there. He guides Jean to the rift and she pulls it open. She recognizes the ruby realm on the other side. Dozens of demons appear at the fissure. They were in a part of it that was a lot less populated, Cyclops states.
Xavier orders them to throw the demon through. Scott keeps the other demons at bay back on their side with an optic blast, while Jean throws their demon through the hole and finally closes the fissure.
Scott holds her as she becomes dizzy and Strange and the others – human again – find them. Strange made mooks of them again, Bobby observes. Returning them was the easy part, Strange replies, catching them was not. What has transpired here?
Xavier explains he found a rift to the gem land to exploit. Jean opened it and cast the demon back. Oh, Strange replies. He was going to do that. He insists on viewing the realm to make sure it didn’t slip away again. On the others side, they see that the demon is happily greeted by its people. He only wanted to go home. Why didn’t he just make that clear instead of trying to kill them? Angel asks annoyed. Demons are not human, Strange lectures him and do not express themselves the way they would find normal. So this is where they sent Juggernaut? Hank asks. Yes, Xavier replies curtly.
Back in Strange’s home, Bobby asks Wong if he’s killed anything creepy. Only a few, comes the reply. Welcome back. Now they only have one ritual that must be performed, Strange decides. Tea.