Russia, the Verkhoyansk Mountains, where Rogue and the cosmically-powered Magik hover over the opening of the volcano. Dark cloud billows around them, and the super hero, Ms Marvel, falls into the volcano. ‘You’re just dumping her in?’ Rogue asks, shocked. She remarks that she knows this is no regular prison, but points out that Ms Marvel is an Avenger, and there are already more Avengers in there. ‘What’s to stop them from ganging up and busting out?’ Rogue enquires. With a fiery voice, Magik replies ‘What’s to stop them? Let me show you. I’m really very proud of it’, and tells Rogue that she makes an excellent point, that the Avengers have the top scientific minds on the Earth, that there is no technologically based prison they couldn’t break into, or out of. ‘So, in an era of smart phones and smart bombs, I have created my own kind of “smart prison”!’ Magik announces.
Magik teleports herself and Rogue into the volcano, and with her flaming Soulsword at her side, Magik reminds Rogue that she brought a piece of Limbo here to Earth. ‘I forget most people won’t quite understand what that means. I know you worked very hard to capture Ms Marvel. Don’t worry, Rogue, I am working equally hard to keep her’ Magik states, adding that Ms Marvel is quite literally, in a hell of her own making. At that moment, Carol Danvers a.k.a. Ms Marvel is surrounded by numerous demons from Limbo resembling horrid versions of some of her enemies from throughout her career - including one that resembles Rogue, only Rogue’s head is gone, replaced by a large mouth filled with teeth. ‘As are they all’ Magik adds as she motions down to a series of cages, strung around one part of the volcano, containing some captured Avengers.
As the original Spider-Woman is stuck in a large web, a huge spider looms over her and Magik explains that the punishments are tailored to each specific inmate, so escape is impossible. At that moment, demons taunt Luke Cage, who is being crushed under a huge weight, and Hawkeye’s arms and legs have been replaced with serpents, he is unable to reach his bow and arrow, let alone grasp his trusty weapon. Rogue looks shocked, but Magik declares ‘We’ve won, Rogue. Bring as many Avengers as you can. I have a place for them all’. The young mutant then asks Rogue if something is wrong, and looking down at Quicksilver, trapped by hideous creatures, Rogue replies ‘Ah…it’s…y’know, Ah’m guessing they’d say this is cruel and unusual punishment’. But Magik points out that they are at war, that there is no other way to hold beings as powerful as this, not without crippling them.
Magik adds that it may not be pleasant, but that the Avengers are not suffering real harm, and they won’t, unless they try to escape, which, given what they experiencing, is unlikely. Magik turns to Rogue and tells her that she realizes it looks terrifying, but that is the point, that keeping them too distracted to hurt themselves, or the X-Men. ‘Which, let’s not forget, is how they got here’. Rogue supposes that Magik is right, and agrees that the X-Men are the ones trying to make the world better. ‘They made the choice to try and stop us. Ah just hate to see it come to this’. ‘As do we all’ Magik claims. Rogue suggests that any breakout is more likely to happen from outside, as the Avengers teammates will come for them sooner or later. ‘Good. That would save us the trouble of hunting them’ Magik decides.
‘See for yourself what awaits an outsider who invades my domain’ Magik announces as she teleports Rogue away. Rogue finds herself in another part of the volcano, surrounded by a massive horde of Limbo demons. ‘Outsider’ one of them exclaims. ‘Mortal’ another declares. ‘Hello, tasty morsel’ one other exclaims. ‘Infect. Corrupt. Pervert’ another snarls. ‘…crap’ Rogue utters, but, before the demons can attack her, Magik appears. ‘Away with you. This one is mine’ Magik warns her demons. ‘Mistress’ one of them utters. Magik smirks at Rogue, ‘I trust my point is made. Let them send Thor. Or Iron Man. Let them send all they have’ she exclaims, boasting that this is her place of power, that the Avengers will fall before her armies, and end up in cells of their own.
Magik teleports herself and Rogue back into the volcano, and Magik states that at the end of the day, this is her facility, and she is the final line of defense. She adds that the removal of an inmate from their confinement will mystically alert her, no matter where she is on this world or any other. ‘I can be here in milliseconds’ Magik boasts, adding that the escapees will find there are worse things than Hell. Rogue frowns, and as she motions to the opening at the base of the volcano, where a storm rages outside, Rogue tells Magik that she has all the bases covered. Magik excuses herself, announcing that the others have located one of Dr Strange’s safe houses, and she is needed to undo the protective spells. Magik tells Rogue that she will return for her shortly. Rogue tells her not to worry, as she will just call Ariel and have her teleport back to Utopia in two shakes. ‘Ah could use some R&R’ Rogue adds. ‘Of course. Here I am yammering on, and you must be exhausted, sorry. I’m starting to forget what that’s like’ Magik declares, before teleporting away. ‘Ya don’t say’ Rogue mutters.
Suddenly, Rogue slams a fist against the side of the volcano, ‘Damn it. We’d won. All our dreams had come true. All mah dreams. Damn it to hell!’ Rogue shouts. She leans against the wall, before realizing that it was she herself who damned Ms Marvel to tell. ‘And me who promised if Magik and the rest start losing their humanity, Ah’d do wha Ah could to make it right’ she reminds herself. She looks at the exit, and asks herself ‘So, what’s it gonna be, girl?’. She continues to stare at the raging storm outside, before turning and walking back into the volcano, ‘Talk about mah mouth writing checks mah butt can’s cash…’ Rogue mutters.
Examining her surroundings, Rogue decides that Magik was right - there is no way any fights through the army she has got here, so Rogue knows that she has to move fast. Sliding down a path, Rogue is noticed by a large red demon with four arms, a long tail, horns and a slobbering tongue. ‘Outsider! DIE!’ the demon exclaims as he races towards her. Rogue knows that she will die here if she doesn’t belong, so decides that she has to fit in, and she removes a glove, touching the demon, she hopes and prays her power will allow her to do just that. She screams as she is seemingly merged with the demon.
‘You’re a strange mortal, aren’t you? Not many of you so eagerly seek out demonic possession’ the demon muses. Rogue lunges towards the demon, telling it that she knows something about possession. ‘You wanna call the shots here, you’re gonna have to fight for it!’ she tells him, only to get punched backwards. ‘That’s the fun part. Feeling you struggle while I sink my claws into your psyche…and make it my own!’ the demon boasts. Rogue screams as the demon tears at her mind thanks to their touch earlier. ‘Hey! You! What’re you on about? Something wrong’ a scrawny demon calls out. ‘Heh…no. Everything perfect’ the Rogue-like demon exclaims in reply. The demon lumbers onwards, and tells Rogue to fight it, that it won’t do any good, as the deeper it takes her into Limbo, the stronger its influence, the more hopeless her cause. ‘I already control your body. Your mind is just a small, trapped animal.
The demon punches at Rogue, boasting that the more of her psyche he takes, the more it understands - he knows Rogue came to free an ally from its mistress’ prison. ‘How hilariously stupid’ the demon exclaims. He adds that the only way to pass unmolested through Limbo is to be of Limbo. ‘And now you are!’ he points out. He picks Rogue’s limp form up, ‘Too bad for you…it’ll be a permanent state’ he tells her. ‘Soon. But not yet’ Rogue retorts as she pushes the demon away, and punches it in the chest. ‘Ah ain’t exactly new to this. Been doing it a long time’ she tells the demon. ‘Been a passenger in mah own body before. But a passenger can still look out the window…and make suggestions on which way to go’.
The amalgamation of Rogue and the demon arrives at the cells, and inside Rogue’s body, the demon pushes Rogue downwards, ‘Well played, I appreciate a good gamble. Too bad you’ve lost. You’re fighting time itself. Your last defenses are crumbling. In moments you’ll be mine’ the demon warns her, adding that he thinks that is delicious.
The demon tells Rogue that he is going to make her watch helplessly, while he kills the one she came to save. The amalgamated body breaks off a large spike from the cells, but Rogue cries out ‘No! You’re right. It was a gamble, and I pushed it to the limit. But Ah’m gonna win because Ah’m fighting for a woman Ah jkust realised is a friend, and now Ah’m fighting for mah soul!’ she declares, breaking free of the demon’s grasp, she shoves that spike “their” body picked up and shoves it into the demon’s chest, causing the demon to scream in agony. ‘Ah ain’t losing either to the likes of you!’ Rogue declares.
‘HRAAA’ Ms Marvel screams as she punches back one of the demons harassing her. The face-less “Rogue” demon moves towards her, tongue flicking - only a large spiked rock is shoved through the demon’s toothy mouth. ‘Carol. You were right. I was wrong. C’mon, let’s get you outta -’ Rogue begins, before lunging backwards as Carol looms towards her, fist ready to punch. Rogue suddenly realizes that time is wonky in Limbo, so for all se knows, Carol feels like she has been here a hundred years. ‘If being here’s driven her crazy, Ah’m a dead woman…’ Rogue thinks to herself.
Rogue calls out to Carol, admitting that she messed up by putting her in here. ‘But Ah swore if Ah was wrong about Magik and the rest Ah’d fix it. That’s what Ah’m here to do, if you’ll let me’ Rogue explains. ‘R-Rogue? It’s…really you?’ Carol asks. She adds that people keep showing up saying they are here to break her out - Captain America, Iron Man, only they are all demons, all lies to crush her hopes. Rogue assures Carol that it is her, but knows there is nothing she can say to prove it, nothing the demons couldn’t have plucked from Carol’s mind. ‘If it’s gonna take you beating on me a while to convince you…well, go ahead. Can’t say Ah don’t have it coming’ Rogue adds.
Carol leans back against the side of the volcano, and declares that the worst that could happen is that she ends up back here, before asking Rogue if she really has a way out. ‘Ah hope so’ Rogue replies, before asking Carol if she has tried flying. ‘A hundred times’ Carol replies, adding that the demons drag her back down, that they are endless. ‘What about the way you came in?’ Carol enquires. Rogue replies that it won’t work, as the demons will be ready for her. ‘Besides, once you leave your cell, Magik will know. She’ll stop us before we hit daylight. There really is no way outta here’. Carol tells Rogue that she isn’t loving her plan so far, but Rogue tells her to hear her out, and explains that Magik built this place to be inescapable, and that is a point of pride with her. ‘Maybe we can use that against her’ Rogue suggests.
Rogue continues, explaining that when Magik senses Carol leave her cell, she will come to make sure Carol doesn’t escape. ‘And I’ll be waiting’ Rogue declares. ‘You - you can absorb the power of the Phoenix?’ Carol asks, concerned. Rogue explains that she can’t, as the Phoenix is sentient, so it won’t let her, but that does work in their favor. ‘She won’t consider me a threat. And I f Ah can touch her…Ah can absorb Magik’s regular mutant power’ Rogue exclaims. ‘Teleportation’ Carol remarks. Rogue states that she will teleport them to the Avengers and other X-Men. ‘Magneto, Gambit, Storm…we got a few key folks on our side, it’s a new ball game’ Rogue reports.
However, Rogue reveals that there is one hitch - she is currently powerless, so she will need to absorb someone’s abilities to fly out of here, and the only choice is Carol. ‘Ah know our history. Ah know how much it bothered you when I did it in New Orleans…’ Rogue begins. Carol removes a glove and holds her hand out. She smiles, and tells Rogue that this time is different, and points out that this time, Rogue asked. They clasp hands, ‘Let’s do this’ Carol exclaims as some of her power flows into Rogue. The women take flight, but as they do, a horde of winged demons descend upon them. ‘We’ve got incoming!’ Carol exclaims. ‘That’s just the start’ Rogue replies. They begin flighting the demons, ‘On your eight!’ Carol warns Rogue, who replies that there are too many. ‘We can’t hold out much longer!’ she exclaims, while wondering where Magik is.
An instant later, a fiery portal opens, and Magik appears. ‘Oh, Rogue. I am so disappointed’ Magik announces. ‘You think you’re disappointed now -’ Rogue begins as she flies towards Magik, and with gloveless hand, reaches out to touch her face, while Carol fires energy blasts at Magik to distract her. ‘Yes! Carol, get set! We’re outta -’ Rogue begins as a finger touches Magik’s face. Suddenly, Rogue realizes that her plan hasn’t worked. ‘Ah, hell’ she mutters. ‘Really, Rogue? I have the power of the Phoenix. One of the primal forces of creation. There is no longer a part of me that is not the Phoenix. What makes you think you could steal anything I have?’ Magik asks as she knocks Carol aside with fiery energy, and wraps Rogue in flaming chains. ‘Kinda hoped we could take you by surprise’ Rogue tells Magik.
‘Please, I have senses now I can’t even explain. I could tell you had bouts. Why do you think I left you here? It was a test…and you failed’ Magik declares, adding that she is honestly not sure she can be surprised anymore. ‘No, I lie…I’m genuinely shocked you made it this far’ Magik exclaims, before declaring that it is too bad it was pointless, as she tosses Carol back down into another cage, where huge leech-like demons writhe around her. Magik adds that it wasn’t completely pointless, as it showed her she was over thinking her methods of confinement. ‘Sometimes it’s best to stick to the classics’ Magik remarks, as the demons latch on to Carol. Rogue calls out to Magik, asking her if she can’t see how wrong this is. ‘Me? You made it come to this!’ Magik replies. ‘Go on then. Toss me into your little slice a’ hell. See how that goes over with the other X-Men!’ Rogue threatens.
Rogue asks Magik if she thinks that the other X-Men will accept she is a traitor. ‘You think, once they get a good look at this place, they’re gonna be any less disgusted than Ah was?’ Rogue asks. She adds that even the true believers are not gonna go for this, not Iceman or Magneto - they will realize what she has - that Magik is losing her mind. Magik lunges at Rogue and raises her flaming Soulsword to Rogue’s face, ‘You think Magneto would choose you over his lifelong dream come true? A paradise for mutant and human alike? Are you really that full of yourself?’ Magik asks. Magik turns away from Rogue and decides that she shouldn’t be surprised, as Rogue’s life has only gotten better since she joined the X-Men. ‘But you’ve seen what the rest of us have sacrificed. The pain…the loss…all so we could get to this moment. And you’d throw that away?’ Magik exclaims.
Magik declares that Rogue is the one who is not thinking clearly, and releases the chains from Rogue, while a fiery portal opens beneath her. ‘You don’t deserve to be punished, you’re just…confused’ Magik remarks, before telling Rogue that she was a wonderful part of their Pax Utopia, and so happy helping people, so there is no reason Rogue shouldn’t keep doing that. ‘I’ll tell the others you went on a mission, and it’ll be true’ Magik declares. Magik tells Rogue that she will get to continue what she loved, being a hero, doing good in the world. ‘It just won’t be this world’ Magik exclaims, as Rogue falls through the portal, and finds herself in the middle of a strange alien-world battleground, with large armies looming on each side of her!