At Helheim, the Palace of the Damned, they make their last stand. It is too late for the rescue they came to attempt. The Queen of Hel is already dead. They found her nailed to the roof. They take her down and carry her inside. And then they get ready to face her killers. They are the New Mutants: Danielle “Mirage” Moonstar, Doug Ramsey a.k.a. Cypher, Amara “Magma” Aquila, Bobby “Sunspot” DaCosta, the alien Warlock and their associate Nate Grey a.k.a. X-Man. They stand over the body of Hela, blood pouring her stomach where she was shoved through a spike. The New Mutants come from a world brought to the brink by Asgardian wrath. They came looking for the Queen of Hel in the hope that she could help them. But she could not.
Soon, the young mutants take watch, standing out front of the palace, keeping watch. ‘That storm’s getting awful close…’ Amara remarks to Doug as she looks up to the sky. ‘I can hear it talking’ Doug replies. ‘Doug?’ Amara calls out, as Doug explains that it is a manifestation of rage, and he can hear the wind and lightning enunciating words. ‘Names: Threadcutter. Breathraker. Heartbreaker. Bloodletter. Bonegrinder. The Dramaur’ he declares, revealing that they are Asgard’s dirty secret, followers of the big bad guy. ‘Like him, they were silenced by Odin and redacted from myth’ Doug adds.
Doug hangs his head as he tells Amara that he is sorry he took them to Hell instead of to Hel. ‘Oh, the shame of failing because of a single letter’ Doug mutters. Amara tells him to forget it, but Doug replies that he won’t and can’t. ‘And I really wish you hadn’t made that deal with Mephisto to get us out’ Doug adds. As Amara looks out over the landscape, she replies that she doesn’t think she is going to live so long that she will need to worry about her date with Mephisto.
At another location, Sunspot and X-Man look up as hail the size of golf balls fall upon them. ‘Bet you’re beginning to wish you hadn’t come along for the ride, huh, senor Grey?’ Bobby asks. ‘I jumped right in. No invite. I was there with you, and I just presumed. Danielle hasn’t even asked me to join your team’ Nate replies. Nate adds that he knows why Mirage hasn’t asked him to join - as he has nothing. Not since Sugar Man burned him out. ‘Just sub-par TK that I can’t even focus worth a damn’. ‘Danielle doesn’t want me. I’m just going to get in your way’. Bobby holds a piece of hail that lands on his hand, and remarks ‘A spot. A dot. I dunno, maybe a circle’.
‘What?’ Nate asks. Bobby looks at the hail and explains that when he first came to the Xavier School when he was a New Mutant, the Professor taught him to focus his powers. Bobby explains that you pick a symbol to visualize, something really simple like a dot, and key your power into that. ‘It’s just a technique, but it worked for me, and -’ Bobby begins, before he is interrupted by Warlock, who lunges towards Sunspot and X-Man and tells them to get down. ‘The Draumar are here!’ Warlock announces.
Bonegrinder and his fellows arrive outside the palace. ‘Take Helheim! Burn the Death-Queen’s gall! Leave their split bones to bleach in the midnight sun!’ Bonegrinder shouts as lightning crackles around the palace. Bonegrinder smashes his way through the palace, sending rubble everywhere. ‘Break down the gates!’ one of the Draumar shouts. Magma lunges at Cypher to prevent rubble from hitting him. ‘Move yourself! They’re tearing the walls down!’ Magma shouts. ‘Kill them all!’ another warrior booms. Warlock turns himself into a shield to protect Sunspot and X-Man, and tells his companions that they are not adequately enabled to counter this attack. ‘No @#$% kidding’ Sunspot mutters.
Deeper inside the palace, Danielle sits with the slain Hela and informs her that the Draumar are attacking. ‘And we’ve got nothing. You left us with nothing’ she declares, while “Kaw” the raven squawks. ‘I wasn’t talking to you, I was talking to her’ Mirage tells the bird. ‘How dare you drag us into this and then die and leave us to face the music?’ Mirage asks Hela. She hangs her head, and utters ‘God help us, what are we going to do? Suddenly, Kaw begins pecking at Hela’s mouth. ‘Ew! Don’t eat her! She’s not road kill, she -’ Mirage shouts, trying to pull the bird away - but Kaw manages to force itself into Hela’s mouth. ‘Oh. That’s so wrong’ Mirage remarks, wide-eyed.
Hela suddenly coughs and convulses, ‘KAWK! Unpleasant! And foul tasting!’ she exclaims as she lurches forward. ‘You’re not actually dead?’ Mirage bursts out. ‘You’re actually going to get mad at me over literal mortal-realm concepts?’ Hela asks, before excusing herself, explaining that she didn’t have any time. Hela reveals that when the Draumar first attacked, she knew she didn’t stand a chance in a straight fight, so she needed time to devise a counter-attack, and while she did that, she needed someone to safeguard her soul. Mirage smiles as she replies ‘You…you sent me your soul? You trusted me to look after your soul?’ But Hela just tells Dani not to get mushy. ‘Absolutely not’ Mirage agrees.
‘I sent you my soul in raven-guise so that - WAAK -’ Hela coughs up a bunch of feathers, and mutters ‘Give me strength’, before continuing: ‘So that you could return it’ she explains. Mirage asks Hela if she has thought of a strategy, and points out that the Draumar are right outside. Hela explains that the Draumar are real, that they are souls slaughtered by Odin, and the souls have fused into these berserk monsters. ‘Fear of the Serpent is the energy that makes them cohere’ Hela explains. The goddess adds that the Draumar personify the rage, anguish and fury of Odin’s enemies, and they want to level Hel and break out and join the Serpent on Migard. ‘His activity on your world draws them like moths to a flame’ Hela explains, adding that they need the living souls of the New Mutants to break the magic binding them to Hel. The goddess adds that despite the profound contemplative opportunities afforded by a spell of death, she still has no idea how to defeat them. ‘You can’t even help us slow them down?’ Dani asks. ‘Oh, I can do that’ Hela smirks.
Outside, ‘So, this is new and exciting’ Magma remarks as she and the men suddenly find themselves clothed in Asgardian garb. ‘Does this kind of thing happen to you people a lot?’ Nate asks. The Draumar suddenly burst into a chamber, ‘Inside! Deeper! Into the heart of Hel’s Hall! Grind them to dust!’ one of them shouts. Warlock asks his self / friends if they are ready. ‘Drive them back!’ Magma shouts as she attacks the Draumar. ‘No arguments there!’ Sunspot agrees as he fights alongside Amara. ‘This is…this is quite invigorating’ Cypher remarks, holding up a large sword. ‘Crush your enemy and hear the lamentation of his women, self / friend’ Warlock shouts. ‘Where’s he got that from?’ X-Man asks.
‘Take them! Take their souls!’ one of the Draumar shouts. ‘We’re not done with them yet!’ Mirage tells him as she joins the battle, punching the warrior in the face. Sunspot and Magma continue to blast their energies at Bonegrinder. ‘A date with the Devil, huh?’ Bobby remarks. ‘It’s going to seem light relief after this’ Amara tells him. Wielding his sword, Cypher asks ‘This power upgrade?’, and Mirage explains that it is from Hela, that she is alive. ‘Well, she’s not dead. I dunno’ Mirage mutters, while Doug declares that it is quite enlightening to get a taste of Asgardian vigor. ‘I just…can’t see it being enough’ Cypher adds as there is an explosion. ‘Pessimist’ Dani mutters. Doug assures her that he is a realist, and declares that this is a delaying action at best. Mirage adds that Hela is working on a solution, while Doug declares that they are outnumbered.
‘Get back!’ X-Man shouts as he casts energy towards some of the warriors. He raises his sword and shield: ‘Visualize a symbol? Yeah, that’s helping’ he mumbles, while Warlock, in the form of a large serpent, ‘You are embattled, self / fried Nathan?’ Warlock enquires as he knocks back the warriors. ‘No kidding. Wow, they don’t like you, Warlock’ Nate remarks. ‘They really, really don’t like you…’ X-Man adds, before he spins around and shouts ‘DANIELLE! Uh, Dani!’. Mirage turns to him and Nate tells her that the warriors don’t like Warlock, that they recoil from him. ‘His touch turns them…they blister and shred into feathers’ Nate explains, adding that Warlock if technology - advanced tech, that they don’t know what he is, and he is outside their frame of reference.
Riding her winged steed called Brightwing, Dani asks ‘They’re afraid of him?’ Nate explains that they are almost wary, and reveals that he has seen this kind of culture shock so many times on his travels, when two realities converge, one usually ends up as a traumatized casualty. Hela suddenly drops down declares that the Draumar are not afraid of the New Mutants’s world, they simply want to cross into it. ‘Maybe they don’t know what they’re afraid of yet. We should show them’ Nate suggests, before asking ‘You’re Death, right? You’re the Goddess of Death?’ Hela pauses, and replies ‘Depending on your belief system I am s specific cultural aspect of - - yes’. Nate tells Hela to make his life flash before the eyes of the Draumar, and Mirage tells her to do it. Hela places a hand on Nate’s head, and images appear before the Draumar - images of mutants not of this reality, but from the Age of Apocalypse.
The Draumar look up in horror, at the apparitions that appear before them. ‘What’s she doing?’ someone asks. ‘She’s showing them everything Nat’s ever seen. Everywhere he’s been’ Cypher explains. ‘Ages they haven’t dreamed of’ Cypher adds, declaring that the Draumar will have no point of reference, none at all, that they are too ancient to understand what has happened in the world’s outside Hel. Doug exclaims that all the Draumar have is their fear of the serpent, it is what glues them together. ‘But what if they see something they were even more afraid of?’ he asks. Warlock queries the subject of the images, and Cypher explains that it is the unknown. ‘Always the unknown’ he declares. Green energy overwhelms the Draumar, before they shatter, unable to cope with the unknown, and their black energy swirls away from the Palace of Hel.
‘Is it over?’ Mirage asks as she and the others gather around Hela, who replies that this is over. She adds that the outcome of the greater conflict with the Serpent is still undecided. ‘Go home’ Hela tells the young mutants, announcing that conflict calls her, and she cannot have distractions around her when she goes to Asgard’s side. Mirage frowns and pauses. ‘Don’t mention it’ she mutters after getting no thanks from Hela for their part in saving her and Helheim. ‘I won’t’ Hela replies before the New Mutants begin to vanish before her.
‘And she didn’t’ Mirage remarks as she and the others materialize in the brig on Utopia. They stand in front of the cell where their former teammate Illyana “Magik” Rasputin is housed. She frowns, and remarks ‘So, you’re back. How was Hell?’