My name is Rachel Grey, and I am about to do something very foolish. It will not be the first time, and it will not be the last either. It’s just that I have a really bad feeling about what me and the other girls are about to do. We have been invited to a party, hosted by the Hellfire Club in Amsterdam, in honor of visiting foreign Club-members. That’s right, I’m not the only Hellfire Club Royal to visit today. There’s somebody else!

I’m still angry with myself for having given in to Alani and Kitty’s plan to actually go to the party so easily. Then again, it shouldn’t have come as a surprise. They were all telling me how this was probably our last chance to make some progress with out investigation, and I let myself get guilted into agreeing to go. I always fall for that, no matter how stupid. I have been carrying guilt around like an honor-badge for most of my adult-life. First of course, there was the time I spent hunting down fellow mutants in the nightmare future in which I was born. Than I started to also carry survivors guilt around as I was the last remaining member of my circle of friend and extended family. Then, when I finally made peace with that part of my life, I came back to this time and the friends and family I had here. I resolved to let the past, or future be whatever it was and to embrace the life I had.

It didn’t do me any good. My entire family, actually my Mom’s family in this reality, was slaughtered by a group of aliens because of what my mom and me used to be: the Earthly host of the cosmic Phoenix force, the destroyer who burns away what doesn’t work. Out of guilt, I gave up my life here and journeyed to the stars with some of the X-Men. Most went home after a while, but I stayed in space because two of my friends were captured, and I felt guilty about that.

When I got home from space with Kitty, I tried to pick up my old life again, but I couldn’t. I still felt guilty about what happened in space. Guilt is a way of life for me, and defines how I act. So I really shouldn’t feel to bad about letting the other’s convince me to go with them to the Hellfire Club. I hope everything goes okay, because otherwise I will have yet another thing to feel guilty about.