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The emergency services rushed Psyche to hospital. They cut off her jacket, and were surprised at both the war paint on her face and the extent of her injuries. As the hospital staff rushed her into the operating theatre Tom Corsi, a local police officer, introduced himself to the New Mutants. Magik enquired if Psyche would be okay, and he made some enquiries for them. Officer Corsi was visibly shocked when he was told that she had been attacked by a bear, since there were no bears in Westchester. In his disbelief he asked if it was a joke, which fueled Sunspot's temper. Nurse Friedlander arrived and diffused the situation. She asked them to keep the noize down while Psyche was valiantly fighting for her life. The remaining New Mutants looked concerned as they realised how powerless they were to help. Magik informed the nurse that Psyche's family had died and that her legal guardian (Professor Xavier) was still in Massachusetts. Officer Corsi offered to get word through to the professor using the State Police Force's contacts, while Nurse Friedlander went to fetch pillows and blankets for the New Mutants.

Once they were alone, Cannonball revealed his theory to the rest of the team. He suspected that the bear was spiritual in nature and they all berated themselves for not believing in Psyche's worries about the monster. He then brought out their New Mutants uniforms, which they then changed into. Wolfsbane found Psyche's belt, which she asked if she could wear to be close to her friend. Cannonball then asked Wolfsbane to shift into her transitional form to create a telepathic link with Psyche. However, her wolf form was larger and more fierce than ever before.

Psyche's thoughts were jumbled and confusing as she had been anaesthetised. Wolfsbane pushed harder to understand, but regaining consciousness caused Psyche even greater pain. Wolfsbane was filled with guilt and broke off the connection. She had gained enough information to know that the bear was afraid of Psyche.

Meanwhile, the Starjammers monitored a human-sized entity that was speeding through space at ultra light velocities. Binary observed that it was headed in their direction and had enough energy to match the Starjammer's. Waldo calculated that it's trajectory was Earth, and Corsair ranted that they wouldn't be able to reach Earth in time to save their friends & family if the entity was violent.

Back on Earth, Wolfsbane was outside the operating room in her transitional form. Officer Corsi spotted her and was ready to shoot. She fled and he chased her around the corner, where he found her in her human form. He was so shaken and scared at how he had nearly shot her that he didn't notice her yellow uniform underneath her long white fur coat. Officer Corsi led Wolfsbane back to the others and then wandered over to the nurses station. There he spoke to Nurse Sharon Friedlander and admitted that he was feeling jumpy. He asked about Psyche's condition, to which she said that it was a good sign that Psyche was holding her own. They began to discuss shift-patterns and casually flirted when a strange growling sound interrupted them. Bathed in blood red, the Demon Bear attacked Officer Corsi & Nurse Friedlander.

The screams and gun shots were heard by the sleeping New Mutants. They ran into the corridor and found blood by the nurses' station. Wolfsbane picked up the same stench that surrounded Psyche's battered body after the attack, and Magma observed that aside from the operating theatre the building was deserted. Sunspot prayed for Psyche to live, as he could not bear to lose her as he had lost Juliana, while Magik constructed magical wards around the operating theatre. The effort caused Magik to collapse and Sunspot caught her, but the Demon Bear appeared out of the shadows. Sunspot lurched at the monster, but it merely swatted him away with it's giant paw. It then swiped at Magik, but a strange silver armour appeared on her arm where the bear had clawed at her. She then summoned her Soulsword and plunged into the Demon Bear's belly. The monster screamed and disappeared.

The lights went out by the time Cannonball & Wolfsbane arrived. The emergency generator quickly kicked in, allowing the surgeons to continue their life saving work. Wolfsbane, Magma and Magik travelled down into the generator room to protect the power source, but Magik soon cried out in pain. The Demon Bear had attacked her magical wards outside the operating theatre and the feedback was effecting her. Suddenly the bear appeared along with Sunspot and Cannonball attacking it. It had teleported them all down into the generator room. Magma's hot flame hurt the creature, and it again attacked Magik causing more Eldritch Armour to appear across her back. She cried out for the others to drive the demon bear away from the generator as her wards were weakening. Magik went to attack it with her Soulsword, but was blocked by Wolfsbane's attack. The Demon Bear then reared up, it's eyes swirled and in an instant it teleported itself and the New Mutants into the desert plains. Floating above the Demon Bear were Officer Corsi & Nurse Friedlander as it's hostages, and a bubble that acted as a window overlooking the operating table.

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Issues of Trust 0

The New Mutants are in a precarious position (when are they not?) - with their leader in way-past-critical care and emergency surgery, they must contend with the suspicious yet well-meaning citizenry, their recent witch-addition Illyana, a sudden snowstorm, the absence of Professor Xavier, and, oh yes, a demoniacal spirit bear bent on destroying Dani Moonstar and all of civilization. The fight is intelligently done, considering the levels of experience and anger of its combatants. Claremont cont...

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