Mirage left Xavier's School for the Gifted to return home (see New Mutants #39). She flew through the clouds on Brightwind, but her powers began to project images on the clouds (like in New Mutants #37). She saw a Valkyrie warrior, Cheyenne warriors and finally herself dressed as a New Mutant. Brightwind descended and Mirage dismounted on a rocky peak, she didn't realise that she had arrived home until the sun rose revealing the Colorado Rockies.
It was snowing heavily when she landed in he family ranch. Mirage literally bumped into her father as her parents came running out of the house. They quickly hugged, and had to leave to help a many people trapped in the snow. Mirage took Brightwind into the stable and fell asleep in the hay.
She woke in her old bedroom, wandered around the house and showered. She even considered having her hair cut, and used her power to create an image of what she would look like (and promptly changed her mind). Mirage offered to help her mother, but was told that she should go to the mall to buy something to wear instead.
At the mall, Mirage enjoyed buying daring & revealing outfits, but she could not take her mind off the New Mutants. She was disturbed Pat Roberts, an old childhood friend, who began to hassle her. He shoved her and grabbed her shopping bags, virtually daring her to fight him back. However, Mirage was scared by the ghostly image of a gun-toting skeleton above Pat. She ran away as he shouted death threats after her. Mirage hid out of site on the mall roof with Brightwind, thinking of how Pat's family had taken her in when she was little. Pat drove away, spilling his beer all over his insulin.
In the morning, Mirage groomed Brightwind. She received a broken up distress call over the radio and flew out to help with a first aid kit. When Mirage found the crashed car, she also found Pat's battered body covered in glass. She dragged him to a nearby cave for shelter, but her powers began to react instinctively like when she first joined the school and couldn't control them. She thought that Pat was attacking her, but suddenly it shifted to an image of him kissing her on their wedding day. However, Pay had regained consciousness and he was angry that she had betrayed his trust.
Suddenly thunder crashed directly overhead causing rocks to fall in the cave. Mirage ventured further into the cave where she was met by a lone gunman. Suddenly Pat was by her side, and she had pistols. Mirage recognised that the gunman was Pat's concept of Death, and she was expected to duel with him. It was a quick drawn, and Mirage was the quickest; she had defeated Death. However, Pat disappeared as he was another illusion.
Mirage waited nervously in Denver Memorial Hospital. An old Cheyenne woman sat next to her and told Mirage that Pat had already entered into a diabetic coma. Mirage recognised the woman as another of Death's incarnations, and argued that she wouldn't let Death take her friend. However, this incarnation of Death reasoned with Mirage explaining that death was only natural and could bring peace to the suffering. Mirage broke down into tears and said goodbye to her old friend just as he started to flatline.
Back at the family ranch, Mirage broke down into tears and her parents comforted her in her grief.