Betsy Braddock was a killer. And here amongst a sea of monstrous Brood she was in her element. Nary an X-Man who had encountered them had anything nice to say about the creatures but for Betsy, the British mutant known as Psylocke, the Brood represented something more.

As a telepath, she understood the strength it took to fight off the influence of another mind. As the victim of a body swap, she understood what it was like to feel that your skin was no longer just your own, to drown in the psyche of another, your identity crumbling so slowly, so subtly that you didn’t even realise how you had changed, until the outside influence was removed. Betsy had been fortunate that Kwannon had come for her blood when she had. If Betsy didn’t act quickly, Rogue wouldn’t be so lucky.

But damn it, did this feel good! Hack and slash and duck and dive and block and blood and guts and gore. Despite her mutant gift of telepathy, the ability to manipulate the thoughts and feelings of others, Betsy was now far more comfortable operating on instinct. She was a living weapon, but she was  meant to be trying to be better.

Betsy leapt towards the Brood Queen, using her telekinetic gifts to bolster her jump, she let her katana fade from sight before she landed near Rogue and the Brood Queen,  seemingly weaponless and alone. Yet, with a series of subtle hand gestures, she weaved a telekinetic field around them all, separating the Queen from her subjects.

“Let her go, Brood,” Psylocke demanded. “Or prepare to die.”

“Too late!” The Queen exclaimed ecstatically, casting Rogue aside as if she were a ragdoll. “Her power is almost mine, and with it the means to take yours.”

It paused and smiled its awful smile.

“You may kill me if you wish, mind witch,” The Queen offered. “I already live within her.”

Psylocke could see the Brood was telling the truth. Rogue writhed in pain on the floor, trying to fight off the Queen’s influence. Without a second further of hesitation, Betsy made her move. The strike was too swift and too sudden for even the Brood Queen to counter. Betsy’s telekinetic katana plunged into the Brood Queen’s stomach and her psychic knife, the focused totality of her telepathic powers, slammed straight into Rogue’s skull.

Even as her eyes started rolling to the back of her head, Betsy saw the Brood Queen reach out to catch her as she fell, its tendrils caressing her, cradling her as if she were a new born babe. Betsy was drenched in the Brood Queen’s blood.

“You cannot beat me, child”, it whispered weakly, as an anguished cry echoed from the Brood all around. “I’ll have your power too, once I’ve beaten you both in the mindscape.”

Psylocke did not reply as she drifted into Rogue’s mind, hoping she had made the right choice.