‘Look up, ye denizens of Manhattan! Look up, ye human offal, for the end of your world is at hand!’ shouts the uber-demon N’astirh from a rooftop over Times Square where he is conducting his wicked plans. He is flanked by his lackey Crotus, while the teenage mutant heroes known as the X-Terminators, as well as their companions Artie and Leech are trapped in a ball of energy, and their friend Wiz Kid is forced to doing N’astirh’s bidding. ‘And I, N’astirh, have delivered you into the hands of demons!’
The theater district of Manhattan has been transformed into a theater of unholy war, with battle lines drawn in the sky, formed by an inverted pentagram. At the points of the pentagram are mutant infants, floating suspended, used as lenses for computerized spells, wrought by a tactical magical weapon. Assaulted by magic, the dimensional barrier between Earth and the realm known as Limbo weakens. Demons pour from the gaping hole in the sky, some airborne, beating horrid wings, the others with cloven hooves and claws. Times Square is now a no-man’s land, embattled ground in a high-tech push-button war.
Nearby, a second group of teenage mutant heroes, the New Mutants, have fallen from the disc also, and the X-Terminators see them, and comment to each other at the teens who they are not familiar with. Though noting that one of the teens, Illyana “Magik” Rasputin appears to be a demon. The others are of course Sam “Cannonball” Guthrie, Danielle “Mirage” Moonstar, Bobby “Sunspot” DaCosta, Warlock, Rahne “Wolfsbane” Sinclair, and the New Mutants’ companion Gosamyr.
N’astirh turns to the X-Terminators and informs them that these other teens are humans, mutants, like they are, born with the altered genetic structure that gives rise to para-human abilities. He also informs the X-Terminators that the other group is called the New Mutants, and they, like the X-Terminators, are here at his behest. N’astirh’s servant, Crotus exclaims ‘But, Mawthur, your great plan comes to fruition because of loyal Crotus’ help!’ and asks if he will give him, as he is so hungry, the little mutant children to eat.
‘As I promised, loyal Crotus, they are yours’. N’astirh plucks Artie and Leech from their imprisonment and tosses them down by Crotus, when suddenly Wiz Kid races over in his wheelchair, ‘No! Leave them alone! This city! All this destruction! I made the magic computer,! It’s all my fault!’ A metal fist forms from the arm-rest on Taki’s chair and punches Crotus in the face while Taki reminds N’astirh that he said everything he did for him would save Artie and Leech. ‘But what I created…I can destroy!’ Taki exclaims as he races over to his computer.
N’astirh reaches down and picks Taki up in one of his massive clawed hands, asking the young mutant if he actually means to destroy his handiwork, ‘This masterpiece that you’ve created for me?’ ‘You bet I do!’ Taki replies ‘You lied to me! You tricked me!’ N’astirh holds Taki high over his head while Taki reminds N’astirh that he said if he cooperated that Artie and Leech would be safe. ‘You never told me what you wanted the computer for!’
N’astirh calls Taki a foolish child and tells him to learn from this, that a demon’s word is never to be trusted. N’astirh tells Crotus that Wiz Kid continues to be of use to him, and orders Crotus to guard him, and through him, the power that he represents. Crotus rubs his hands together as Taki is tossed down beside him, and N’astirh informs him that he can devour Artie and Leech when their work is done.
‘My fault…all my fault!’ Taki mutters, to which N’astirh remarks that Taki takes too much on himself, and leaping off the building and taking flight, N’astirh exclaims that the demon-beauty down below, the Darkchilde, is as much his dupe as Taki is, and deserves just as much credit too. ‘She has fulfilled her function as you have fulfilled yours. I must congratulate her…’.
Still stuck in the globe of energy are the X-Terminators. ‘Demon kidnappings were bad enough!’ Rusty Collins, the leader of the team remarks. Tabby Smith a.k.a. Boom-Boom mutters that this is worse than even she could have imagined. Sally “Skids” Blevins announces that there are babies up in the sky, to which Julio Richter a.k.a. Rictor exclaims that they have got to get loose and stop this madness - but how?
Crotus tells the X-Terminators that there is no way they can stop it, as N’astirh’s infants float in the sky above, while below the computer continues to process magic spells that keep the portal open - and Limbo’s demons rain down on Earth. Crotus boasts that the computer was his idea, his brilliant plan, and it won him the reward of getting to eat the mutant children, not to mention that his plan now enables N’astirh for conquest of this world - and the beautiful Darkchilde!
N’astirh practically drools over Illyana, who exclaims ‘You used me, N’astirh! To take up my dark sword…to rip that hole in the sky, to save my friends! But you planned an invasion! You lied to me!’
Rusty asks Crotus what it is N’astirh and Magik are saying, ‘We can’t hear them!’ Tabby exclaims. Crotus tells them to stop talking, as he knows they are seeking to distract him with their chatter, while little Takeshi, the Wiz Kid destroys the computer. Wiz Kid says to Crotus ‘All right, you got us’ before pushing Artie and Leech behind his chair, ‘Get away from me you little geeks. I tried, it was you guys hanging around that gave me away!’ Taki exclaims that he was all wrong about this being his fault, ‘None of it’s my fault!’
Artie and Leech crawl under the computer while Taki distracts Crotus. Crotus exclaims that it is all Taki’s fault for creating the computer. Taki exclaims that it worked, every plug is in the right socket. Secretly guiding Artie and Leech with his words, Taki remarks that if one plug is pulled, the power of the machine to maintain spells would be disrupted. Under the computer, Leech whispers to Artie, telling him to pull the plug.
Taki exclaims that no one told him what the spells could do, to which Crotus angrily replies that it was not his place to know, simply to do what N’astirh says. Crotus tells Taki that it is not nice to blame others for his own foolishness, and warns him that he will be watching him like a hawk, adding that when N’astirh has finished his plans, perhaps he will let him eat Taki too. ‘Oh yeah? Well, any minutes now, old Nasty’s plan’s gonna come undone!’ Taki exclaims, and right on cue, Artie pulls the plug, closing the Stepping Disc which is open over Times Square, and freeing the X-Terminators.
Rusty points out that the pentagram is breaking up, as Crotus sees that the X-Terminators are free. ‘No! Mawther say watch. Crotus watch Wiz Kid! Mawther gonna kill poor Crotus!’ Crotus rushes to the computer so he can put the plugs in, but Sally leaps at him, ‘No!’ she screams, while Wiz Kid warns Crotus that if he touches the plugs then he will fry. But Crotus ignores Taki and tries to put the cord in, though it does burn his hand, he knows that N’astirh will burn him more.
Sally struggles with him to get control of the plug, but Crotus manages to get it in, causing a small explosion which knocks Sally across the rooftop and almost off the building - until Rusty manages to grab her. While Crotus burns, Artie and Leech call out for Skids. Skids is weak, and wearily, she tells Rusty that she tried to stop him, but failed. Rusty sees that the pentagram has restabilized, so wonders what they should do next. Sally suggests they unplug it again, or Rictor can shake it apart, or Boom-Boom can explode it - whatever, they have to do it.
Looking down below, Sally sees that “the demon girl” has vanished and sees N’astirh fighting another demon ‘As big and ugly as N’astirh himself!’ The demon is of course S’ym, who punches the horse-faced N’astirh while N’astirh noticed the pentagram flicker and calls out to his demon hordes, ordering them to guard the computer from all harm.
The X-Terminators look at the oncoming barrage of demons, and Boom-Boom mutters ‘So much for smashing the computer!’ Sally points out that the are still good fighters, to which Rusty remarks that they may not have to be, just hold the demons off for as long as they can. ‘We’re not that good’ mumbles Rictor. The X-Terminators begin battling the demons, and Tabby remarks to Julio that he can shake the demons up better than what he is doing, while blasting time-bombs at her own opponents. Julio asks Boom-Boom if she has ever heard of control - reminding her that he cannot cut loose as he might end up shaking down the whole city. Rusty blasts fire beams at his opponents and declares that perhaps shaking down the whole city wouldn’t be such a bad thing - at least they would bury the demons.
Rictor exclaims that they cannot break through to see the computer anymore as there are demons everywhere. He asks what they are going to do now, to which Sally suggests that perhaps they could disrupt the actual magic, starting with the pentagram. ‘One problem - it’s way up there and none of us can fly!’ Tabby exclaims. Suddenly, Taki, who is looking after Artie and Leech, calls out to Rusty that they can get up there now, and suddenly the X-Terminators, Taki, Artie and Leech are all inside small aircraft.
Taki informs everyone that he started this a while back, transformed the big condenser on the roof, as he could see it might come in handy, he just wasn’t sure how. Taki explains that he had to make a few modifications and wait till they were all in place, then make it grow around them. Taki warns Rictor to keep the cockpit cover closed, while Boom-Boom exclaims that she gets Taki’s drift and announces that Artie and Leech are in their shared plane, so they are all ready.
Wiz Kid asks Boom-Boom to feed her biggest time bomb into the energy slot as it is going to power this craft. Taki boasts that if his aircraft are built for anything, its power and speed! The craft take off, which is seen by a very burnt Crotus, who orders the other N’asteris to go after them. One of the N’asteris points out that their master told them to protect the computer, not chase the X-Terminators.
Crotus grabs the other demon round the neck and exclaims ‘Great, then you tell Mawther it your idea to let them get away!’, before taking flight and ordering the others to follow him, which they do. ‘Speed! Ha! So proud of speed!’ Crotus shouts as he lands on Taki’s craft, telling Taki that he does not know speed until he knows demon speed. As Crotus grabs him, the aircrafts split apart, and Taki informs the others that the energy from the time bomb will be distributed evenly as fuel.
Rictor asks how they fly their own to which Tabby tells him that the stick controls the movement, up, down and side to side, giving him the example of a video game. Tabby wonders where the “fire” button is and seeing that there is none assumes that Taki intended them to use their own powers. She mutters that it was a great idea, but how are they supposed to use the powers without shaking, burning or exploding their planes to pieces.
Two of the N’asteris land on Tabby’s plane while Crotus calls out to N’astirh, who is with S’ym, and shouts out that Taki tried to escape, but now he has captured him and is bringing Taki to him. N’astirh congratulates Crotus as he mutters that Taki is his secret weapon. S’ym puffs on a cigar while he asks N’astirh what a human child is against his demon horde and personal power.
Sally calls out to Boom-Boom, announcing that she has found the fire button, it is under the swivel stick, while at the same moment Rictor can be seen standing up in his craft, announcing that he has ditched the canopy, he is now attacking the goblins with his powers. Boom-Boom does the same as Rictor declares that it is time for them to go and save Taki. Rusty unleashes bursts of flame on the demons while pointing out that there are not enough of them to save the babies and Taki too, to which Sally reminds everyone that freeing the babies might mean disrupting the pentagram and saving the city.
Sally calls out to her teammates to keep the demons distracted, while she turns her aircraft and heads towards one of the babies, announcing that she is going to save it. Rusty notices a horde of demons following Skids and tries to warn her, but it’s too late, she is too far away. With her force field in place to protect herself, Skids reaches out of her aircraft and takes hold of one of the babies. ‘Poor little kid…not mean to be an energy channel, were you?’ she says to the baby, while thinking that it is so bright she can hardly see. Sally holds onto the baby tight through her field, when suddenly, ‘Gotcha!’ shouts a demon as it slams against Sally’s craft, causing her to drop the baby.
Sally ditches her force field in the hope that she will be able to grab the baby, but the demon smacks her in the back. The baby however is rescued by Artie and Leech in their craft. Leech calls out to Skids, telling her not to worry as they have the baby, before seeing that she is hurt. Rusty flies over in his craft and calls out that Sally’s plan worked, the pentagram is disrupted, before seeing the demon strangling his girlfriend. Rusty tells Artie and Leech to keep back while he fires a massive blast of flame at Skids’ craft, engulfing the demon and causing Sally to fall down to Rusty’s craft.
Rusty asks Skids if she is all right, but Sally does not respond. ‘Not all right! You neither!’ shouts a demon as it flies up behind Rusty and slashes him across his the back of his head. Before the demon can do any more damage, Cannonball of the New Mutants blasts past, knocking the demon out of the way and informing Rusty that he and the New Mutants saw them all up here doing something and figured that whatever it was it must have been a good idea as the demons are going wild trying to stop them.
Cannonball’s teammates aren’t far away either, Warlock has transformed himself into a large ship in which Mirage, Sunspot, Wolfsbane and Gosamyr can battle the demons from. Wolfsbane informs Cannonball that there are babies at the points of the star, to which Warlock assumes that the other mutant teens were saving the babies, and notes that where the baby was removed, the pentagram is breaking up.
Mirage sees that Sally and Rusty are unconscious and jump down from Warlock into their ship, while Gosamyr notices that a ship is spinning out of control and exclaims that a crash could cause untold damage. Sunspot asks Warlock to get them up there, and using his incredible strength, Bobby takes hold of the craft that did belong to Skids, and tells Warlock to match course and speed so he can Gosamyr can climb on board.
Rictor thanks Cannonball for the help, before remarking that the X-Terminators noticed that the New Mutants fell with the demon rain, and asks if they aren’t demons. Cannonball replies that they are the New Mutants and that this is all their fault, so they are trying to put things right. ‘Your fault? We thought it was our fault!’ Julio replies. At that moment, Boom-Boom steers herself up behind Sunspot and Gosamyr and calls out to Bobby, exclaiming that she thought she recognized him, and asks if he remembers her from the Fallen Angels. Bobby replies that it is great to see her, before asking how you steer this thing. Tabby replies that you use the joystick like a video game. Bobby laughs and the ship begins to stop flailing as he claims that he was just testing and boasts that he knew it all along. ’Right. No need to thank me! You or the bimbo with the silly hair!’ Boom-Boom mutters as Sunspot and Gosamyr fly away.
Sally begins to regain consciousness, and wonders what is going on. ’Long story!’ replies Mirage quickly, before elaborating, revealing to Skids that N’astirh tricked their teammate Magik into opening a dimensional rift between Earth and Limbo. Sally asks if this was the girl with horns and scales, as they have seen her, but then she vanished. Dani replies that Magik teleported away somewhere, and that they have to find her, before asking Sally if she can take the controls, as it is hard for her to play doctor to Rusty and steer the craft.
Mirage has her hand covering the back of Rusty’s head and exclaims that he has a bad gash and is losing a lot of blood. ‘If only we had a bandage!’ exclaims Sally, to which Mirage tells her to ‘Hold that thought’ before explaining that she has the power to materialize someone’s greatest fear or wish. ‘Luckily for him you wanted that bandage bad!’ Mirage remarks as she adjusts a red head-piece now covering Rusty’s head, leaving only his face and the top of his head free.
Sally informs Mirage that the X-Terminators thought that this was all their fault, as N’astirh tricked Wiz Kid into creating a computer that processes magic. Sally explains that demon magic disrupts the computers, so N’astirh forced Wiz Kid to enter the spells, which is what made the rift stay open - so who knows what else N’astirh might do. Sally declares that they have got to free the babies, to which Mirage suggests a two-pronged attack. Rusty has steadied himself and suggests that the New Mutants go save the babies and disrupt the pentagram, while the X-Terminators go and bust Taki free. Mirage likes that idea and remarks that it took both teams to make this mess, so maybe together they can stop it. As Dani drops back down onto Warlock, Wolfsbane informs her that down in Times Square a huge machine of some kind just appeared.
Down in Times Square, N’astirh holds onto Taki and informs S’ym that the boy is one part of his strategy, while the computer is the other. ‘You expect to stop S’ym with a computer?’ S’ym asks. N’astirh boasts that it is a special computer, a magic computer and tosses Taki onto the computer chair, ‘Shall we show him, boy?’ ‘No way, fang-face!’ Taki retorts. Taki begins to use his powers to transform the chair to try and escape, but N’astirh alters the chair as he warns Taki that there is no longer time for the luxury of gentle persuasion.
Taki exclaims that N’astirh may be able to crush him, but cannot make him obey. S’ym laughs, ‘So much for your secret weapon!’ he exclaims, before reminding N’astirh that he has his own secret weapon, the Transmode Virus. S’ym demonstrates the virus by reaching out and grabbing a nearby bird, as he remarks that the virus gives him certain advantages which N’astirh seems to discount. ‘At S’ym’s will, at S’ym’s merest touch…you will be transformed into a thing of wires and circuits…and then of living energy…which S’ym will consume!’
This has happened to the bird, but N’astirh points out that S’ym must touch him first, which will not be easy, as N’astirh’s own touch has certain properties, which until now he has avoided exploiting. He demonstrates his ability by touching Taki, enchanting Wiz Kid to do his bidding. N’astirh declares that the time for concern over the minimal dysfunction that the spell will cause has ceased, as he has the computer and the boy, and S’ym’s ability to function is no longer a prime concern. N’astirh orders Taki to type what he commands, a few spells squared and squared again will insure his ultimate triumph.
Taki does as he is commanded, trapped in the mound of rock that N’astirh imprisoned him in, and once the spells have been entered, a mighty explosion follows around S’ym, blasting the uber demon into the air. N’astirh warns S’ym that that is but the barest beginning of what he will face. Taki is able to see that N’astirh is standing next to where S’ym was blasted and knows that he cannot make his own hands disobey N’astirh’s commands, but perhaps he can give them a command of his own.
Taki moves his hand just a little, hits one key, a multiples command, meaning all the destruction that just occurred will occur again, only with a power of times ten. Taki hit’s the key, and eruptions follow all throughout the surrounding area, N’astirh is struck and S’ym is hit again. ’Got you! Got you both!’ Taki shouts. From under the rubble, S’ym admits that N’astirh is a master sorcerer, before pointing out that the boy used his creation to destroy him. S’ym remarks that he is a techno-organic and can repair himself at will, ’But you…’ he begins, until N’astirh interrupts, boasting that his magic can mend his wounds almost as quickly.
N’astirh and S’ym begin to emerge from the rubble, and S’ym asks N’astirh if he thinks that, in the end, his magical mastery will matter. ’You know nothing of human psychology or human will’ S’ym tells him, remarking that humans are difficult to control under the best of circumstances, and all the boy has to lose is his own life. ’A price he’ll gladly pay to destroy you…and your precious toy, too!’ N’astirh knows that S’ym is right, and admits it, before remarking that the need to control Taki and maintain the pentagram while he fights does weary him. ’And so I shall destroy you!’ he tells Taki, adding that he can always train another to act as his secretary as he begins to cover up Taki completely.
But at that moment, the X-Terminators have landed, and Rictor rushes over to Taki, ’Stop it! Let him go!’ he shouts before unleashing his seismic powers which shatter Taki’s prison. The N’asteris begin to attack the X-Terminators while S’ym tells N’astirh to look up in the sky, as his pentagram is crumbling, and along with it his power. He punches N’astirh, who thinks to himself that his magic is indeed dissipating as the pentagram vanishes, not to mention that S’ym is more powerful than he thought, almost as strong and impervious as himself.
The X-Terminators begin to get caught up in the rock-like substance that N’astirh creates and Boom-Boom shouts out that there are too many. Rusty urges Tabby to try for the computer, to blow it up. Boom-Boom launches a time-bomb, but she just misses, instead it lands on the keyboard and bounces along until one tiny key is depressed by the force of the prematurely launched time-bomb - and as the key shatters into a thousand tiny splinters, every steam cap in Times Square blows its top. The air becomes a searing incandescent cloud, unfit for human lungs, unsupportive of human life.
N’astirh leans against the computer and stands over Taki, thinking to himself that this is so simple, so elegant, a computerized system for destruction. He remarks that he has made the machine, but cannot touch nor control it. However, he thinks there is a way, a terrible chance that he will lose all. His integrity as a demon. His flesh. His blood and soul. But, he thinks of the brilliant gain that will be his - the power - ultimate power! N’astirh watches as S’ym rises, eager to renew the conflict.
N’astirh decides that to accept defeat at S’ym’s hands is unthinkable, except…. His thoughts trail off as S’ym lunges at him, ‘Give it up, N’astirh! You got defeat coming! One touch and the techno-organic virus will transform you!’ S’ym shouts. The uber-demon’s clash, fist-to-fist as S’ym boasts that he is going to devour N’astirh like the power-plump pigeon that he is. ‘Devour me? I think not! I grasp victory…not defeat!’ N’astirh replies as he begins to overpower S’ym.
N’astirh’s body is transformed by the Transmode Virus and he calls S’ym a fool. S’ym replies, calling N’astirh the fool, as he points out that he is no longer a demon, merely a feast of living circuits to be drained by him at will. ‘Ah…but your will is not as strong as mine!’ N’astirh exclaims to a shocked S’ym, who is just discovering that N’astirh is draining his energy, wondering how this is possible.
Taki looks up at N’astirh, whose physical form has now increased and he has a orange-red color to him. N’astirh boasts that he is no pigeon to merely accept destruction, ‘I, N’astirh, am the destroyer!’ He boasts that his transformation will lead to ultimate power, ultimate control of the knowledge that he possesses - and will make him the dominant sorcerer in this universe! N’astirh points a clawed finger at the computer and remarks that by the foce4 of his magic the computer becomes a living organic entity.
Taki realises that N’astirh has found a way to touch the computer and control it himself, so begins to drag himself along the ground as N’astirh exclaims that by the powers of his touch, the computer becomes a thing of living circuits whose life energy and potential he absorbs into himself. ‘Mine will be the knowledge of its structure!’ he exclaims, ‘Mine the capacity to mimic its abilities!’ Taki realizes that N’astirh is techno-organic now, meaning he can change shapes and become the computer! ‘My friends…my world…in the hands of demons! My fault! All my fault!’
N’astirh “plugs” himself into the computer, declaring that he is the computer and the computer is him. ‘Circuit of my circuit…flesh of my flesh!’ N’astirh exclaims that he is techno-organically magical, that he is living enchantment, breathing spells. ‘Alive, yeah, but circuits too!’ Taki thinks to himself, as he remarks that he can still affect the circuits, ‘I’ve got to!’ he tells himself, while remembering that computers explode at a demon’s merest touch, and now N’astirh has more than touched the computer, he’s become a part of it.
Taki wonders what will happen to himself if he uses his powers to change the computer back to normal, before deciding ‘Who cares? After what I’ve done!’ Taki touches the computer where N’astirh can’t see him, telling himself that he has got to change it back, to make it real again - no matter how much it hurts! Wiz Kid strains to control the living circuitry, to lock it back into its real, non-living components. N’astirh, whose molecules are bonded to the computer, is caught in the trap - and the ensuing explosion blows a hole in the sky.
There is darkness. The N’asteris converse amongst themselves, noting that their master is gone, so has the pentagram. The portal between Earth and Limbo has been closed, so no more demons can enter Earth, but the remaining ones are trapped here. S’ym looks relieved, and tells the N’asteris and the other demons to listen to him, asking why they should go home when they have all they need on Earth. The demons follow S’ym, who remarks that N’astirh, through his pride and treachery, has fallen. S’ym boasts that his wise and powerful plan for conquest has prospered, and tells the demons to listen to his plan, because soon this world will belong to him!
The X-Terminators, Artie and Leech gather themselves as Rusty exclaims that the explosion blew the demons away from them, but where too. Sally asks where Taki is, and Artie and Leech find him, lying motionless on the ground nearby. At that moment, the New Mutants return to the ground, announcing that they have the babies. Warlock exclaims that they disrupted the pentagram, to which Cannonball remarks that it was some explosion, and asks the X-Terminators what they did, when he sees them gathered around a motionless Taki.
Rusty announces that it is okay, that Taki is alive, and Sally points out that he is crying. Rictor asks what they should tell him, to which Leech suggests they tell him the truth. Badly wounded, Taki mutters that it is his fault, ‘Those poor babies…’. Rusty assures Taki that the babies are all right, all ten of them. He then tells Taki that they won, that he defeated N’astirh, destroyed him, there is not a molecule in sight. ‘and the portal, dude! Your explosion shut it tight - you did it man! You saved the world!’
Taki replies that he thought he could, before telling everyone that they all did. ‘You and me and all the X-Terminators, we did it all together!’ Gosamyr then asks about S’ym and the other demons, to which Sunspot tells her they will deal with them later, but for now, the X-Terminators need their rest. ‘They’ve earned it!’