Manhattan / Inferno:
Colossus stands before the Darkchild’s lair atop the Empire State Building and recalls he’d been here one year before. Stood in this very spot and stared at that black onyx door. But this is nothing like last year. There are no demons to slay here. That battle has already been won. His sister Illyana is through those doors. All he has to do is go and get her.
He shatters the door followed by his army, only to find the throne room empty. What is she playing at? Colossus accuses Madelyne Pryor, the Goblin Queen. Amused, Madelyne replies she was playing at war but his sister seems to be playing a different game. They just need to find out what that is exactly.
Colossus threatens to kill her. Domino holds him back, defending Pryor. She wouldn’t have given him the Soulsword if she knew his sister wasn’t up here. Smart and sexy, Maddie opines. Domino seems a keeper.
While she turns away, Colossus whispers to Domino that time is running out. They need to find Illyana and go. A task that will be much harder if he keeps picking fights with their allies, she points out. He doesn’t trust Madelyne! Of course he doesn’t, Neena sighs. She is quite clearly evil. But they are kind of in hell, where their team up options are severely limited. They only have to trust her a little. Think of her as a confidential informant. She knows the lay of the land here better than they ever will—
Maddie interrupts, noting with a grin that this expertise won’t be of much use here. They look outside. Unless her eyes deceive her, his darling sister has found the way over to their neck of the woods.
Horrified, they see the Darkchild’s demon troops attack X-headquarters. Something that Cyclops only just notices.
Back in the Inferno, Colossus shouts, demanding they leave and help. Domino reminds him they can’t and the goblins laugh at him. Even Havok grins and asks if he is new. If there is some forcefield exit of which they are unaware, please tell them, Madelyne suggests. But otherwise he is just another fish in the bowl. They may have noticed little sis is riding their teleporter out of here like a donkey.
Colossus feels guilty about Nightcrawler. Domino promises they’ll find a way. Madelyne suggests they look for that silver lining, as she sits down on Darkchild’s throne. Squint a little and they all have what they wanted. She’s got the catbird seat, with Havok and her son Nathan by her side. And Colossus helped his precious little snowflake out of the fire. Dom tries to calm the enraged Colossus.
Maddie muses that the Darkchild overplayed her hand. In here, she was a god, leeching power from the flame and commanding every demon in the pit. Out there, she’s just another angry freak raging against the mutant machine. She wouldn’t be shocked if she comes running back in an hour with her tail tucked. That is of course if sad little Scottie Summers has learned to win a fight.
Outside, the X-Men battle the demon hordes. Cyclops is in the battle, despite his wheelchair. He tells Jean Grey the Bamf dragon is tearing them apart. “Bamf dragon?” she repeats. He doesn’t know what else to call it. It fights like a demon version of Kurt. Suspicious, Jean scans the dragon and reveals horrified that it is Kurt. What happened to him? he chokes. Illyana happened, Jean replies.
The Darkchild is currently being pummeled by Captain Britain, with Rogue about to join. More amused than anything else, Darkchild muses it would be an honor to spend the next few minutes, beating his British beefcake into a pile of quivering manmeat. She blasts him with fire. But that would be an irresponsible use of her time and energy, particularly when Rogue clearly wants a turn. She touches Rogue’s face, which turns into a tentacle-y mess. Amused, she walks on.
Cyclops tries to gather his X-Men. He shouts that this is their line right here! They hold it! They protect that forcefield with their lives! He knows how this looks but if they lose this, the city burns! So whatever they do, don’t lose!
The heroes fight bravely, when suddenly they are joined by reinforcements, the magical and tech experts: Brother Voodoo, Sister Grimm and Wiccan as well as Broo, Dr. Nemesis, Forge and Vision.
Cyclops is horrified at their abandoning their posts. What are they thinking?! Thinking about turning the tide and help them win the fight, Forge replies as he fires a weapon. Cyclops reminds him of the forcefield. With the magic and science teams out here, it could fall at any moment. Forge believes Beast and Dr. Strange can hold it for a bit. Where’s Illyana? Cyclops asks agitated. Forge assures him it’s alright. The protection spells are still up. Ilyana can’t teleport inside the building. But Kurt can, Cyclops replies grimly, and indeed the Darkchild’s obedient dragon has teleported the Darkchild inside. She tells Beast and Strange to grab their starred garters and hoary hosts. It’s time to tussle!
In the Inferno, Domino pushes Colossus outside into the hallway for a private chat. She orders him to listen. They all have their crazy and his is very specific. Illyana sits at the top of his charts every single day no matter what is going on. Nobody is unseating her any time soon. Not even her. He tries to interrupt but she continues it’s fine. She knew that going in. But it’s time to let up that laser focus a little and look around. They are stuck behind enemy lines here. And by “here” she means here in hell. Boomer is missing, maybe dead. Nightcrawler switched sides. And he keeps trying to lop people’s heads off at the slightest provocation. There is no punching their way out of this one. And these are the only creeps in hell who don’t currently want them dead. So please, ease up a little.
He stammers, then admits she is right. Domino draws him in for a kiss, reminds him she loves him. They’re gonna get through this just fine. She just needs him looking at the big picture. Madelyne interrupts them, as there has been a development.
Like the X-Men, they see the forcefield breaking down and the Limbo demons attacking the rest of New York.
Inside the building, Cyclops gasps: what has Illyana done? Is it not obvious? the Darkchild leers. She has won.
Meanwhile, elsewhere in a strange lab with several screens showing the events, the goblin-like Henson praises his boss for another good call. He’d said she’d burn the dome down to the ground. One of those days, he’ll find those crystal ball he’s been hiding. He required no magic to see this coming, his boss replies. Then how does he do it? Henson asks. How does he always do it?
Working on a goblin with a saw, the boss tells him it is easy to see how all the puppets will dance when Mr. Sinister holds all the strings!