Disclaimer: See Prologue
Consciousness came back slowly and painfully. Every part
of her body ached, as she floated in a hazy fog. In the dark
distance she could hear a faint buzz and beep.
Her body was in pain, but during her life she had dealt with
much worse. This was nothing compared to the tortures she
had endured. But in the void, it didn't matter. It was like
the pain was someone else's, not hers.
In her dreams she saw dragons and demons, damsels and devils,
magic and horrors. The centerpiece of the dream was a pentagram
with three glowing red points. Beside it was a sword. Through
the darkness the sword called, driving away the nightmares.
It was a bright, shining beacon chasing away everything in
its path. She rushed to it, eager to take it up.
She grasped the sword in both hands. Power seemed to flow
through her body. She turned to the pentagram and destroyed
its evil with the sword.
As the pentagram shattered light flowed around her body.
It wasn't just the light, though. The sword was becoming part
of her. It was melting into her body, flowing into her hand,
bonding itself to her. The light formed a set of armor around
her body, bright and new. It made her appear like a fairy
tale warrior, a hero off to save the day. Her battered body
was suddenly infused with renewed energy. Blonde hair that
had been tattered, covered in blood, greasy, and dull became
long, flowing and luxurious. Bruises, cuts and scars faded
into nothing, the pain a distant memory.
The changes the sword brought about were not only physical
ones. Emotional scars from the past were pushed aside. She
still remembered them, they were still a part of her, but
they no longer had the power over her they once had. The good
times became more prominent in her memories. Knowledge filled
her mind. Spells long forgotten in favor of darker ones came
back unbidden. White magik replaced black.
In the void of her mind the girl examined herself. She was
the same, but different. Something important had changed about
her. Evil no longer raged in her soul to be let out. Inner
demons had been slain. For the first time in her life she
was not fighting an internal war with herself.
Tears of happiness flowed down her face.
Tears were running down Peter's face. "My snowflake
has come back," was all he could say. He was stunned.
Peter could see his sister Illyana through the window into
her recovery room. Her body was hooked up to medical machines
and IVs. She looked badly beaten, but she was alive.
Kitty gently laid a hand on his shoulder. "Hank says
she's going to be okay," she told him. "She doesn't
have anything wrong with her a little time won't heal. Just
a few broken bones, deep cuts, bruises, she's dehydrated and
slightly malnourished, but that's it." Kitty turned Peter
away from the window. "There's no trace of the Legacy
Virus in her system. She's not going to die of it again, Peter!"
Kitty cried along with the large Russian man. They embraced
and shed tears of joy for Illyana. "Hank says she should
be up in a few hours and we can see her then."
"I can not believe this!" Peter told her. "My
little snowflake has come back to me." While the two
had their backs to the window Lockheed had somehow snuck into
the room. When Kitty turned back she saw him lying curled
up next to Illyana's body.
Kitty exhaled in frustration. "I know he's as excited
as we are, but I'd better get that dragon out of there before
the big blue furball has a fit."
She stepped up to the wall and walked through it. "Come
on, dragon, we're not supposed to be in here," she told
Lockheed. Gently, Kitty picked the mini dragon up off the
bed. He cooed to her in response. "I know, I know. I
wanna stay too, but we're supposed to leave her alone to heal.
Now come on."
Lockheed wiggled out of her grasp and jumped back on the
bed. "Naaaaaa," he said to her, sticking his tongue
out and shaking his head.
Kitty was quickly getting irritated. "All right, dragon.
Have it your way. You brought this on yourself. You're gonna
make me do this the hard way huh? Well if you don't come with
me right now, I'm going to call up Wisdom and see if he wants
to come for a visit!" she said. "How do you like
that?" Lockheed's eyes got wide and a small bit of smoke
came out of his flared nostrils.
"Damn," she mumbled to herself. "That didn't
work. Now what?"
Before she could come up with something else, though, things
A brightly shining sword appeared out of nowhere in the air
a few feet over Illyana's bed.
Peter rushed into the room, yelling for Dr. McCoy the whole
time. The Beast quickly arrived to see what the ruckus was
all about. "Oh my stars and garters," was all he
could say, for at that point Illyana was floating above the
bed as well.
All of her medical equipment disconnected itself from her
body. Her blankets fell to the ground and her hospital gown
melted from her body. "What the hell's going on?"
Kitty asked. "Somebody do something!"
Peter changed into his Colossus form and tried to approach
his sister. He was stopped a few feet from her though, by
an invisible barrier. No matter how hard he hit it, he got
no farther. Kitty tried to phase her way into it, but was
also kept out. Lockheed looked on calmly from the bed.
"Dr. McCoy, you must help us," Peter yelled at
the Beast. "Call the others before something happens
to my Snowflake! I will not lose her again!" Peter pounded
at the barrier with a fury he'd never known. The walls in
the room were shaking, but the barrier still held.
While they were all looking at her, Illyana's hands flew
up and took hold of the sword. A brilliant flash filled the
room, blinding them all.
When their vision had cleared they saw a beautiful, fully
armored, and fully healed Illyana floating above them. In
her hand was a sword that looked like her old soul sword,
but where that sword had radiated evil, this one was filled
the room with a peaceful feeling; where it had demons carved
into it, this had vines and scenes from nature. Her armor
no longer had the demonic look it had acquired. No spikes
protruded from the shoulders to impale enemies on. The new
armor was seamless, all one piece. The headpiece appeared
to be a set of wings. Illyana's hair flowed out the top and
her face was framed by the armor. Metal vines appeared to
grow up the armor and when she would move it looked as if
a wind was gently blowing through the leaves.
Illyana gently floated to the ground and looked at her stunned
friends and family. Every jaw was dropped and each face was
Finally, Illyana found her voice. "Peter, you really
are alive!" She ran to her brother. He opened his arms
wide to greet her.
"Da, snowflake!" he said through his tears. "And
so are you! So are you!" They held on to each other for
dear life and cried.
Kitty stood awkwardly to the side watching them until she
couldn't stand it anymore. She got up behind Illyana and joined
in, making it a group hug. The three laughed, cried, and talked
unintelligibly. After a while, the Beast cleared his throat,
making his presence known. "If I may interrupt this joyous
gathering, I don't think Ms. Rasputin is quite up to this
Illyana pulled herself away from her brother and her best
friend. "Dr. McCoy, I assure you I am perfectly healthy,"
she told him, very assuredly. "In fact, I've not been
this good in years!"
The Beast glanced over her quickly and noticed that the outward
signs of her trauma had disappeared. And she did seem to be
very energetic, to say the least. "Still, Ms. Rasputin,
I would advise against any strenuous activity until Dr. MacTaggert
and I can give you a proper examination."
Kitty was starting to get fed up with Hank. "Beast,"
she told him, "are you blind? Can't you see she's fine?
You can check her out later. Right now she's ours!" Kitty
turned to her friend. "Come on, Illyana, we've got a
lot of catching up to do."
The group left a flabbergasted Beast to clean up the mess
in the med-lab.
Continued in Chapter
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