CYPHER: Page 6 of 6

Publication Date: 18th May 2023


With his focus being on his new wife, Doug inadvertently caused Warlock to feel left out, causing the technarch to feel at a loose end. After getting a pep talk off his other friends, Warlock admitted to Doug how he felt and Doug reassured him they would always be best friends. [New Mutants (4th series) #19]

As well as running day to day life, the Quiet Council also had to make difficult decisions when someone broke the island’s laws. Two such people were Nature Girl and Curse, who had murdered numerous people in their bid to save the planet’s environment. The council voted to condemn them to the Pit, the inner workings of the island that acted as a sort of prison. Cypher informed the council that Krakoa disagreed with their decision, as Nature Girl was trying to save the animals and plants of the world, something to which it had a strong connection. The Quiet Council ignored Krakoa’s feelings on the matter, causing Cypher and the island to go behind their backs. Making them think the two girls were in the Pit, Krakoa secretly expelled them, whilst Cypher gave them a harsh reality check. He explained that Krakoa agreed with their sentiment but not their methods, but they were now exiled never to return. [X-Men Unlimited Infinity Comic #12]

Doug’s talent for secrecy was about to come in handy again, thanks to the secrets he had been learning from having Warlock integrated throughout Krakoa. Having never fully trusted Xavier, his instincts were justified when he discovered that Moira MacTaggert was inhabiting the no-space tumor that Krakoa had grown for Xavier. Moira had apparently been killed many years before whilst Doug himself was dead. As it turned out, she had faked her death and, in a surprising twist, was a mutant herself. Whilst the world believed her a regular human, Moira had the power to reset reality upon her death, having already lived through nine lives before her current one. Unbeknownst to Moira, Doug had been listening in on all interactions between Xavier, herself and Magneto, monitoring how she was pulling everyone’s strings from the shadows.

Moira’s plans began to unravel when she enforced a rule that no precognitive mutant was to be brought back to life. Mystique, who now sat on the Quiet Council, was determined to bring her wife Destiny back, but was constantly being foiled by Xavier and Magneto. Mystique went behind everyone’s back and successfully resurrected Destiny, much to the fury of Moira. Whilst Cypher had been content just to monitor the situation as it unfolded, when Moira demanded that Destiny be killed again, he knew it was time to take action. He wasn’t the only one to do so, as Mystique and Destiny were also making a play to strike at Moira first. The two women managed to kidnap and depower Moira, allowing them to kill her without the threat of reality resetting. Taking Moira to her no-place, they prepared to kill the woman, at which point Cypher stepped forward and revealed he was now a player in the game.

He confidently approached the woman and explained that, since Moira was now technically human, they could not kill her, as it would violate one of the founding rules of Krakoa, “Murder No Man.”  Mystique squared off against Doug, thinking she had the upper hand, until he revealed he hadn’t come alone, as Bei, Warlock and Krakoa all had his back. Destiny looked at the possible futures that were now visible to her and she saw that Cypher had essentially outmaneuvered her in all of them. Doug forced the two women to let Moira go, but he had Warlock implant a part of his tech in her so she could be kept tabs on. He then retreated back to his regular role as the voice of Krakoa, with very few other people realizing exactly what he was capable of when it came to it. [Inferno (2nd series) #1-4]

Doug’s recent inclination for operating behind everyone else’s backs soon caused a bit of trouble for himself. Sabretooth had been sent to the Pit when the Quiet Council was initially started, but Doug took pity on him and allowed Krakoa to induce him with mental fantasies to keep him docile. This had the opposite effect on Sabretooth, as he used the mental link to Krakoa to organize his escape, using a group of others who had also been sent down there. Sabretooth managed to break free of the Pit and escaped from Krakoa, forcing Cypher to assemble a team to track him down. [Sabretooth (3rd series) #1-5]

Doug’s linguistic powers was essential in saving lives when a new mutant emerged that caused it to turn into a living language. Infecting anyone who could hear it, Doug became its host, putting his own life in grave danger. Fortunately, Doug was able to speak directly to this strange mutant and use his powers to save his and everyone else’s lives. [X-Men Unlimited Infinity Comic #42-43]

When Nature Girl and Curse continued their killing spree in the attempts to save the environment, they made worldwide news, causing all eyes to fall on Doug. The Quiet Council demanded to know why their judgment of the two had been ignored, to which Doug struggled to come up with an acceptable answer for them. He claimed that Krakoa set them free as it was what the Earth wanted, something which the rest of the council had a hard time arguing with. Doug did well to sidestep judgment of his own, as he managed to twist the conversation and make the council focus on locating the girls. [X-Men Unlimited Infinity Comic #45-46]

Not long after, Doug learned of the death of Warlock's father, Magus, and he comforted his friend. Soon enough, Doug began to observe small techno-organic blooms floating across every aspect of Krakoa, including in the small pocket astral plane that Legion had created. Cypher and Warlock entered the astral place to find the source and with the help of Legion they discovered a psychic variation of the Technarch. Unbeknownst to all of them, they were being manipualted by Nimrod, the advance Sentinel which had recently been created by Orchis. Nimrod had murdered Magus in a bid to get to Warlock, and using the psychic Technarch, the robot had effectively gained access to Krakoa whilst remaining unseen. As Cypher and Warlock fought the Technarch, neither were aware of Nimrod's influence, or the fact the robot had worked its way into Warlock's systems. With access to everything Warlock knew, Nimrod discovered the secret nervous system he had set up across Krakoa when Cypher was first asked to communicate with the island. 

Cypher soon found his bond with Warlock growing weaker as the technarch was powerless to stop Nimrod's influence. Cypher teamed up with Lost, Banshee and Forget-me-not, some of Legion's team, and discovered Warlock's corrupted network had taken over Krakoa and he was now creating his own organic sentinels. Warlock begged his friend to kill him to end Nimrod's plan, but Doug was unable to bring himself to do it. Instead it was left up to Forget-me-not to sacrifice his life to rip Nimrod's core out of Warlock, stopping the malicious robot but also killing Warlock in the process. The sudden break in his and Warlock's soulbond traumatised Doug and he was left in a catatonic state. [Legion of X #8-10]

How Doug handles the loss of Warlock remains to be seen, but given that neither he nor his friend stay dead for long anymore it's only a matter of time before they are reunited again.