initiates a Danger Room
scenario in which she pits herself against a N'Garai
demon during winter in Grant Park. The result is sub-par, and even though Kitty manages to defeat the hologram, she is disappointed in herself for being so careless. A courier delivers a package to the Xavier Institute for Higher Learning
, interrupting Kitty's shower. She does not bother to open the box before falling asleep in her bedroom, failing to notice the face of her enemy Belasco
rising from the package. Kitty awakens shortly thereafter, and a N'Garai bursts through her bedroom window, and lunges at her. Kitty manages to phase herself through the demon, and leap through the window to safety. She is stunned to find a mountain of skulls on the mansion lawn. The moon has turned blood-red, and there are human skeletons, everywhere.
Kittly locates Colossus
combating the N'Garai nearby, and comes to their aid in the fight. She quickly determines that the demons have the ability to adapt to their mutant powers, and recommends using unarmed combat to defeat them. Storm
, and Sunfire
join the fray, and the mutants manage to successfully drive off the N'Garai. Following the battle, the X-Men
regroup at the mountain of skulls, and attempt to form a plan of action. Sunfire notices the demons regrouping, and Kitty recommends fortifying themselves inside of the mansion, as they stand no chance of defeating the creatures on the lawn. The mutants retreat into the mansion with the N'Garai hot on their heels. The X-Men make it to the mansion, and Kitty activates its defense systems, which proceeds to annihilate scores of the monsters with highly-advanced weaponry. Once inside, Kitty expresses her shock at how the world was invaded by their forces so quickly. Nightcrawler tells her that N'Garai cairns sprouted out of the ground on every continent, and from them countless monsters were unleashed onto the earth. No one was able to stop them, not the world's super heroes, nor the military, and it seemed that all hope for humanity was lost.
Kitty is perplexed by her teammates' defeatist attitudes
towards the N'Garai invasion of the planet. She reminds them that they have defeated the demons before, and that they must not give up hope. Nightcrawler tells Kitty that there might be a way to stop the monsters, and the X-Men retreat to the safety of the Danger Room. Nightcrawler tells the X-Men that a magic spell was responsible for opening the N'Garai cairns, and that there existed a counter spell to close them. Kitty seemed wary that a devout priest would recommend a blood spell to stop the N'Garai, and Nightcrawler reminds his friend that both his foster mother Margali Szardos
and his former lover Amanda Sefton
are both sorceresses. He adds that if they did not act quickly, the world would be consumed by the demons. Kitty tells the X-Men that she thought the demonic race known as the Rutai had overthrown the N'Garai, and her friends appear to take personal umbrage with the statement. They tell her that the Rutai are nothing
, and the N'Garai are all
. Kitty asks what they must do next, and Nightcrawler tells her that they must draw a pentagram on the floor of the Danger Room. After doing so, he tells Kitty to stand in the center of the pentagram. He explains that an innocent soul is required in order for the counter spell to work. He produces a goblet and a dagger, Kitty pricks her finger with it, and lets a droplet of blood drip into the goblet. Nightcrawler says that all of the X-Men must place of droplet of their blood into the goblet, and each one does so obligingly before the goblet is returned to Kitty.
Kitty drinks from the goblet, and is consumed in eldritch flame. The flame shoots out of the young mutant and engulfs her teammates. Their disguises are burned away, revealing five N'Garai demons where her friends once stood. Even worse, the spirits of her friends appear in petrified visages of the N'Garai demons that have possessed their bodies. Terrified, Kitty drops the goblet, and Belasco rises from the blood. The Danger Room dissapears, and Kitty realizes that she has been in hellish pocket dimension of Limbo
the entire time. Belasco advances on Kitty, and tells her that when she initially escaped his realm in Uncanny X-Men # 160
, she became an unwitting pawn in his plot to conjure five Bloodstones from the souls of the X-Men. He tells her that a catalyst stone is required for the spell to work, and that once upon the time, that honor was held by Illyana Rasputin
, before she succumbed to the Legacy Virus. Belasco plunges his hand into Kitty's chest, and pulls her soul out of her body in the form of the catalyst stone needed for his spell. Kitty falls to the ground, motionless, and Belasco tells Kitty that once he is done with her, damnation will seem like Heaven
. Suddenly, an armor-clad young woman proclaiming herself as Magik
appears before Belasco and Kitty through a stepping disc, wielding the Soulsword
. Kitty is stunned, and wonders aloud if it is indeed her best friend Illyana, seemingly back from the dead. The enigmatic new Magik advances on Belasco with the Soulsword, and Belasco manages to best her in combat. Before he can deliver a killing blow, Kitty attacks the sorcerer from behind with a bone claw of Wolverine's that she utilized as a weapon. Her attack forces Belasco to retreat, but he encourages the young women to confront him again soon, should they live to see the opportunity. He then disappears, leaving them to momentarily collect themselves.
Magik is perplexed by how it is possible for Kitty to stand without her soul, and when Kitty refers to her again as Illyana, the sorceress asks her to call her by her code name. Kitty asks if there was ever a N'Garai cairn in Limbo before, and Magik tells her that she didn't believe so. When Magik asks her what she meant by her statement, Kitty tells her something bad
. the N'Garai used the cairns to transport themselves between different dimensions, and Kitty realized that the demons intended to use them to conquer the earth. Another N'Garai demon attacked the young women, and Magik killed the monster with the Soulsword. Kitty asked how it was possible that Illyana was there, and Magik replied that they would concern themselves with that, later. The sorceress expressed concerned for Kitty having just had her soul torn from her body, but the young mutant assured her that she felt fine, all things considered. Magik apologizes for not finding Kitty sooner, and the young woman asks how Belasco was able to teleport her to Limbo without her knowledge, and why he refers to her as "Catspaw". Magik explains that it began during her first encounter with the sorcerer. When Belasco removed Kitty's skeleton from her body, and encased her body inside of an eldritch crystal, he failed to inform her that the crystal was etched with a Spell of Dominion, and bonded to Kitty when her skeleton was returned to her body. It was this spell that was responsible for sending Kitty to Limbo. Kitty is infuriated that she became an unwitting pawn of Belasco's, once again.