New York, yesterday:
The X-Men are fighting the Purifiers to get to Hope and Cable. Wolverine orders Magik to get Hope out.
Seeing the two teleporters (Magik and Nightcrawler) present, Reverend William Stryker orders his men to run contingency-23.
Stepping out of a teleportation circle, Magik has reached Hope and Cable who have sought cover behind a car. Illyana reaches for the girl, asking her to come with her. That moment, Stryker’s weapon is fired at her.
Illyana looks at her hands in shock. Strange symbols are lit on her skin. Blood of Elzebus… parchment of soul, she mutters. Before she can say or do anything else, tentacles emit from the stepping disk and drag her into it. Colossus lunges for the teleportation disk but it disappears.
He is not asking his permission, Colossus informs Cyclops icily. This is going to happen. He saw Illyana’s face as she disappeared. She was in pain, she was scared. She could be… he cannot lose her again. He has lost everything in his life. His parents his brother, his sister, his love… he has lost everything. And he has had enough. H will not lose Illyana and Kurt on the same day. So he will be going after his sister.
He is sorry, be he cannot let him do that, Cyclops replies. Bastion and his forces are going to come for Hope. They are coming for all of them. He doesn’t care, Piotr replies. The current escape routes are being cut off… he does not care, comes more forceful. Piotr turns to his armored form. Cyclops informs him that he needs him here, needs his strength. He does not care!, Colossus shouts and slams Cyclops against the wall. Maybe Scott can move on when the people he loves die, but he cannot! So here is how this is going to work: He is going to Limbo to find his sister.
No he is not, Cyclops replies calmly. But he didn’t say that he wasn’t sending someone else to rescue her. He tells Piotr this is too personal for him, he is all emotion no focus. Scott has been there himself. He’d get himself or one of his teammates killed and, after today, Scott is not going to put him into that position. The situation they are facing with Bastion has to be the priority. If they fail there it will mean the end of all mutantkind. All that they’ve sacrificed to get Hope back… this is it. And he needs Colossus here by his side.
Colossus lets go of him. Who is he sending? Piotr wasn’t the first person to demand they go after her, comes the surprising reply…
Said person was Sam Guthrie who is looking down on the infirmary where Doctor Nemesis is operating on Karma’s leg. Dani Moonstar tries to convince Sam it wasn’t his fault. Sam reminds her that Karma, all of them, are his responsibility. Shan got hurt on his watch. He can’t change that. Bu what he can do is get Magik back. Cyclops gave him clearance to put together a team.
Dani decides that she and the rest of the New Mutants are going but Sam interrupts her. Magma and Sunspot are powerhouses. Cypher and Warlock are… “Too valuable to lose,” Dani continues. She takes it he already tried. Sam tells her he needs her there to hold their team together while he is gone. They’ll go to Limbo, get Illyana, go home. No time for anything fancy. There s a whole world of hurt waiting for them here.
Cyclops joins them and announces he talked with Peter. Sam is clear to go. He bets that was a fun talk, Sam mutters. Comes with the territory, he replies. He doesn’t have to tell the two of them that. He reminds Sam he wants him gone by yesterday and back faster. Everyone he chose for his team is approved. Illyana is special to all of them. Bring her home! Dani muses they need access to Limbo which means they need Pixie.
The teenage X-Man flat out refuses the request. That place is hell! she tells them. And she sure as hell won’t go there to save Illyana Rasputin! Cyclops tries to get a word in edgewise but can’t as Megan Gwynn continues agitated. She can’t believe she has to say this. Illyana tore out a piece of her soul! And she would have taken the rest if someone hadn’t stopped her!
They can’t do this without her, Cyclops insist. She won’t do it! comes the reply. Not for that monster!
At that word, Colossus goes ballistic. Angrily, he shoves aside the table. He shouts at Pixie that she think she knows his sister but she doesn’t. Illyana sacrificed everything for her friends. For all of them! And she calls her a monster?!
Cyclops and Sam try to calm him down. Just stay away from her! Pixie shouts and flies away. That didn’t help, Scott admonishes Peter. Sam promises to take care of it. He knows someone who can get through to Megan.
Said “someone” is Pixie’s teammate and good friend Victor Borowski aka Anole, who also replies “no.” He explains that he knows Sam and he had a rough time with the farm and he’s sorry. He was having a bad day. But honestly, he’s not so sure Illyana Rasputin should be saved.
Impatiently Sam begins he doesn’t have time for this, before calming down and asking Victor to listen. He knows he and Pixie went through a lot because of Illyana. All the New X-Men did. But one day Pixie might need a second chance and he’s pretty sure Anole would fight to his last breath for her. Sam has been there, he and his team. They’ve all been where the New X-Men are right now. He’s lost friends… he’s lost his brother to all this madness. But the New X-Men don’t know the real Illyana, not like they do. Now maybe that Illyana is gone forever, maybe not. But either way, she deserves a second chance. She’s earned it.
In a small voice, Victor replies that the last time he went to Limbo, he lost his arm. Who else has Sam convinced to go?
On the roof, Sam talks to Dazzler who asks if Sam has seen Hope. All she heard is that Kurt died to help her. She tried to talk to Rogue when she got back, but the look on her face… Is Hope worth it? Sam admits he doesn’t know. Maybe she’s some kind of savior, maybe not. All he knows is that if Nightcrawler was willing to give his life for her; that’s good enough for him. Right now, though, all he wants is to save his friend. Dazzler immediately agrees to help.
Next Sam asks Northstar who brusquely tells him a leader would just tell him he was going, so stop asking! Besides he decided to go the minute Sam opened his mouth. He’s happy to just get off this island. The mood is depressing. He’s had enough of his own teammates die. He doesn’t need to absorb any more grief.
The next candidate is the New X-Man Trance who refuses. Impatiently, Sam exclaimswhat is it with the New X-Men kids. And he wasn’t asking. She’s going! So gear up and be in the hangar in ten minutes. Sullenly, Hope Abbot agrees, but she’s not bringing her body!
The next one whom Sam approaches is Gambit. Tossing playing cards into a hat, Remy LeBeau remarks that the rumor is that they are all going to join Kurt soon. That Cyclops herded them together on this rock and now someone’s realized how easy it would be to take them all out in one shot. That’s the rumor anyway.
Sam replies they are in a good position strategically. There’s enough fire power on this island to make anyone think twice about hitting them. Uh-huh, Gambit replies. Sounds like Cyclops got himself a little protégé. One that speaks the company line. He doesn’t have time for this! Sam shoots back. Is he in? Or is he out?
Remy charges up a card that explodes. Why does Sam want him on this little excursion? He needs someone to keep his eye on the prize, no matter what happens down there. He needs a thief. She could be hurt, he adds. She could be dying. He’s in, Remy announces and walks ahead. Girl needs rescuing after all. Sam picks up the used up card to find it’s black.
Atop the roof Pixie announces she won’t do it to Anole who has come to join her. Illyana Rasputin is a monster. He knows what she took from both of them. Anole agrees. And the X-Men they’d leave all of the new students to die if it meant helping her. Again Victor agrees. So why should she help Illyana? Pixie demands. Because Megan is a good person, Victor reminds her. Even after everything Illyana did to her, she is still a good person, a better person than Illyana. But the reason she’ll go back to Limbo is because she is a hero. She is an X-Man. He hugs her. Megan admits she’s scared. He knows. Will he come with her? Of course, he promises.
Soon, all of them gather in the hangar where Cyclops, Colossus and Moonstar are waiting for them. Limbo isn’t hell, Dani explains. But it’s not heaven either. It’s one of the in between realms… detached from time, inhabited by monsters… Like Illyana, Pixie mutters. Limbo is a reflection of its master, Sam takes up the speech. It’s dangerous but it can be controlled. So if they can get to Magik, they should be okay. Best case scenario: they get there and it’s a bunch of mists and shadows. And they breeze though. Wonderful, Jean Paul remarks What’s the worst case scenario? They’re gonna try and stay positive, Sam announces. None of them like this, him included. So they get in, save Magik, get out, no matter what. Let’s do this, X-Man! Pixie manifests her soul dagger and casts her teleportation spell.
A moment later, they stand on a cliff surrounded by monstrous demons, out for their blood. This isn’t exactly mists and shadows, Northstar remarks. Is Guthrie sure he doesn’t want to run through the worst case scenario?
Sam asks Pixie what happened. She doesn’t know. Cannonball orders Northstar to recon with his superspeed. Holding up her soul dagger, Pixie announces she can feel that Limbo is in pain. Doesn’t change anything, Sam decides. They are here for Magik. Doesn’t matter what the scenery looks like.
Trance panics that it is all going to happen again. They shouldn’t have come here! Does Anole think Belasco is back? Victor hopes not.
Gambit asks Dazzler if she is all right. It’s a little overwhelming, she admits. It’s like you can feel this place under your skin.
Northstar returns announcing this is insanity. The terrain itself is moving. Finding her will be next to impossible. It is only a matter of time before they are spotted. And from what he saw they do not want to be spotted!
Moments later, a huge dragon-like demon tears through the ground. Sam orders Dazzler and Gambit to light this up while Anole is to stay with Pixie. The rest of them find Magik. He cannonballs through the dragon.
Oh nonononono! Trance babbles as the demon armies come toward them, she told them not to come for her. She told them this was hell.
Dazzler is attacked from behind and asks Remy for help. He doesn’t react and again she shouts for him. His eyes glow red as he tells her Remy’s not home right now.
Watching this from a castle, the demon S’ym remarks that the X-Men have come for her. As expected, comes the answer. Is the Faerie with them? Yeah, S’ym agrees. She will lead him to Magik, N’astirh decides, and then Magik will die and Limbo will be his forever! And the rest of the mutants? S’ym asks. Kill them! N’astirh orders.