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The madness of the Inferno continues! Madelyne vs. Marvel Girl! Madelyne Pryor's mysterious past revealed! The final fate of the Angel! In this giant-sized conclusion to the saga begun in Uncanny X-Men #242, will the X-Men and X-Factor emerge as friends--or as bitter enemies?

Synopsis

Despite N'astirh's destruction, Madelyne Pryor is winning. She has Havok standing at her side; she has Jean Grey tied up; she has Nathan Christopher to act as her sacrifice to permanently bridge Limbo with Earth; and she has the high ground. She also has a way to manipulate the feelings of X-Factor and the X-Men. She turns the teams against each other again and watches the fight.

Madelyne notes that Cyclops and Storm are fighting again and explains that she subconsciously helped a de-powered Storm win the last fight. During the current fight, however, Storm realizes that the negative view she has against X-Factor is because of the news they had stored in their computer, which was operated solely by Madelyne. Cyclops attempts to blast Madelyne but she holds up the demon form of Jean Grey's father. Everyone notes that Cyclops isn't going for a kill, as the demon is merely stunned.

Angel plummets and lands by Madelyne. She kisses him in hopes to corrupt his already dark mind and offers him even more power than he already possesses. She continues to boast of her power and Angel sees that he must fight the urges to accept her promises of power.

Madelyne then turns her attention to Dazzler and Longshot. She offers them a literal spotlight for their services, knowing that recognition is what they crave. The lash out at the allies while Cyclops and Havok begin fighting. The brothers can't hurt each other with their genetically similar blasts, so they begin hand-to-hand combat - all the while, Havok lectures Cyclops on loyalty. Elsewhere, Angel frees Jean's bonds, which somehow begins to clear the minds of the fighting teams.

Free, Jean demands that Madelyne release Nathan. Madelyne forms a huge spheric force field around she and Jean. X-Factor and the X-Men attempt to force their way inside to no avail. Inside, Madelyne and Jean have a heart-to-heart. Madelyne explains how she is a clone of Jean and that Mr. Sinister is her creator. The women link the Phoenix to their bond: the Phoenix had stolen a part of Jean's psyche and put her in a cocoon. After the Phoenix had lost control and destroyed a planet it tried to return that stolen part back and awaken Jean, but Jean had rejected it. The Phoenix instead was able to give the stolen portion, with its garbled memories, to Madelyne, which is what awakened her. Mr. Sinister had then put Madelyne on the path to meeting and marrying Cyclops. Once Nathan was born then Mr. Sinister tried to kill Madelyne. She used her then-unknown powers and found the X-Men, who accepted her. It was then that N'astirh had connected Madelyne with Limbo in order to focus her powers.

While Jean and Madelyne are discussing their connection, Dazzler, Longshot, and Havok are talked into using their powers to break through the force field.

At the end of the revelations, Madelyne realizes that the people outside the force field are close to breaking through. Once they do, she attempts to blow everyone up. The mutants throw up whatever protections their powers will afford them and Madelyne is surprised that everyone stood up for each other. Desperate for some victory, Madelyne links her mind with Jean. With this link, Madelyne intends to hold on until death, effectively killing both women. Jean tries to fight it, but she can't control Madelyne's death. The Phoenix returns, however, and offers Jean life if she will but accept the Phoenix. Jean can't refuse, seeing what refusing it did the last time. She accepts the Phoenix.

With Madelyne's death, New York turns back to normal and demonized people return to their proper state, including Jean's parents. Cyclops holds his son and laments the events that have occurred due to some of his poor decisions. Jean lifts Madelyne's body from the ground and states that Mr. Sinister should pay for what he has done.

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