Cable (1st series) #1
Nathan Dayspring /
Cable (husband, deceased),
Tyler Dayspring / Genesis
Stryfe (husband's clone),
Rachel Summers / Prestige / Mother Askani
(alternate reality sister-in-law)
Clan Chosen, Clan Askani
• Askani adept trained in the use of telepathy and telekinesis
Aliya was born nearly 2000 years into the future, in the late 38th century, at a time when Apocalypse ruled North America with an iron fist. Clan Askani, a sisterhood of women founded by the legendary Mother Askani, provided the sole resistance to Apocalypse’s dictatorship. The Askani deified the ancient X-Men and prophesied the coming of “Askani’son,” a messiah who would save them all from tyranny. Following Apocalypse’s death at the hands of the Askani'son and Clan Dayspring, the equally despotic order of the New Canaanites came into power. By this time, the once-powerful Clan Askani had dwindled into the Askani Sisterhood, led by Madame Sanctity, the last surviving original disciple of the now deceased Mother Askani. The last remaining stronghold of the Askani was situated in the secret location of Ebonshire, hidden away in what was once Eurasia. It was this incarnation of the Askani that Aliya came of age in.
Aliya was a novitiate member of the Sisterhood and trained under Sanctity, although she was unnerved by her tutor, whose use of psionic powers had left her mentally unbalanced. Much to Aliya’s consternation, Sanctity didn’t hesitate to regularly feed on the psionic energy of the local villagers, who paid their respects to the “holy shrine” of Mother Askani. Aliya voiced her objections to this practice, tentatively suggesting that they should be trying to help those less fortunate, rather than profiting from them. Troubled with Sanctity’s increasingly erratic behavior, Aliya wondered daily whether she had made the right choice in joining the Sisterhood. [Askani’son #1-2]
One day, in the Ebonshire forest, Aliya came upon a ship full of massacred pirates. There, she encountered a young man known as Nathan Dayspring, who was about to be killed by a Daemon, the culprit of the massacre. Aliya rescued Nathan and, thinking him a pirate, took him under custody, intent on delivering him to Sanctity. Nathan, for his part, was immediately attracted to her. En route to the Askani stronghold, Aliya and her prisoner remained wary of each other, although it wasn’t long before they became aware of each other’s psionic powers. Much to Aliya’s surprise, Nathan was able to effortlessly grasp her sacred weapon, the psimitar, and fire it – a weapon that normally took years of practice under the Askani in order to use.
Before they reached their destination, Nathan and Aliya were ambushed by the insectoid species known as Loci. Despite bickering endlessly throughout the ensuing battle, they made a good fighting duo, even though Aliya’s arrogance was getting on Nathan’s nerves. When Nathan was stung by one of the creatures, Aliya betrayed her concern for him, but was quick to clarify she didn’t really care for his life and only fought at the behest of her mistress. After the battle, they made their way to Madame Sanctity’s inner sanctum, where Nathan greeted her as the psion who would train him in the Askani ways, as his mentor, Blaquesmith, had foretold once. Aliya was at loss for words when Sanctity in turn hailed Nathan as the prophesied Askani’son. [Askani’son #3]
Nathan, however, soon confided to Aliya that he was quickly growing disillusioned with Sanctity; he had no desire to be worshipped, and Sanctity was not the teacher he had expected her to be. Aliya admitted she shared his misgivings. Still, she pleaded with Nathan not to judge the teachings of the Askani based solely on Sanctity’s example. Before Aliya could elaborate, she froze mid-sentence, momentarily mindwiped by Blaquesmith who made his appearance, revealing to Nathan that it was Aliya rather than Sanctity who was destined to initiate him into the Askani ways.
Before Nathan had time to process this information, the New Canaanites launched an attack against the Askani stronghold. Nathan protected Aliya with a telekinetic shield. Having overexerted himself, his techno-organic virus began flaring up right before Aliya’s eyes, causing him much embarrassment. Aliya offered to help him at once. Despite Nathan claiming he had things under control, she took hold of his afflicted hand and encouraged him to concentrate and control his body. Their first moment of genuine connection was interrupted by one of the Canaanites who meant to kill them. Fortunately, they were rescued by the timely intervention of Tetherblood, one of Nathan’s friends. The trio fled the falling stronghold and subsequently founded a new rebel organization, the Clan Chosen, with Nathan serving as leader. [Askani’son #4]
Aliya dedicated her life to fighting the Canaanites by Nathan’s side. She and Nathan became lovers and eventually married. The word they exchanged for their wedding vows was “forever,” an Askani motto. [Cable (1st series) #25] Aliya’s sister, Hope, also joined their cause. [Cable (1st series) #1] Aliya herself adopted “Jenskot” as her codename, a tribute to two legendary figures, the X-Men Jean (Phoenix) and Scott (Cyclops). [Cable (1st series) #24]
At some point in the early years of the rebellion, on the eve of an attack against a Clan Chosen village, Stryfe (the sadistic heir of Apocalypse and leader of a third faction known as the Scions of the High Lord) struck against the Askani'son. He captured a glowing orb in a flask which contained the Professor, a Celestial A.I. which helped keep Nathan’s techno-organic virus under check. Separated from it, Nathan immediately fell ill. Desperate, the Clan Chosen sent Aliya back in time to the current era. She sought a man named Cable to bring him to their time, as he was the only one who could save Nathan. Unbeknownst to Aliya, Cable was none other than Nathan himself, who, as an aged man, had traveled back in time after Aliya’s death in an attempt to stop Apocalypse centuries before he came to power. When Cable and Aliya met, he was taken by surprise as he had lost all hope of ever seeing her alive again.
Subsequently, Cable brought Jenskot over to the lab of Blaquesmith, who had also traveled back in time. Aliya quickly realized who Cable was. The aged Nathan looked very different to her, worn out after years of suffering. Even though she knew any insight into the future was forbidden knowledge to her, as it could alter the timestream with catastrophic consequences, she was still curious to know
why Nathan had traveled back in time and what would become of the two of them. Still, she instantly reprimanded herself for making these questions and forgetting her Askani training. [Cable (1st series) #23-24]
With no time to reflect on this mind-boggling temporal paradox, Cable and Aliya promptly traveled 2000 years into the future. As predicted, Cable helped retrieve the orb stolen by Stryfe. In the battlefield, Stryfe saw Aliya for the first time and felt instantly attracted to her, vowing that one day he would snatch her from Dayspring. Following their victory, Cable was briefly tempted to remain in this timeline, by Aliya’s side. Before he departed for the past, Aliya expressed her gratitude to him and saw him off with the word “forever.” The young Nathan Dayspring recovered and the next day he and Aliya resumed fighting their enemies, gaining victory over Stryfe and the Scions as was foretold. [Cable (1st series) #25] Over the following years, Aliya had to endure many hardships as a rebel fighter. Reportedly, she was once taken captive and raped by Stryfe, who made good on his promise to snatch her from Nathan, if only for a little while. [Cable (1st series) #63]
Aliya and Nathan eventually had a son, Tyler. It is unclear whether Nathan was Tyler’s biological father or more of a foster father, as he claimed different things at different times. [X-Force (1st series) #1, 25 / Cable (1st series) #23, 31] Once, he even claimed that Aliya wasn’t Tyler’s birth mother. At any rate and for all intents and purposes, Tyler was raised as their child. Aliya even helped Tyler refine his psionic powers and, when he came of age, he joined the Clan. [Wolverine (2nd series) ½]
Several years later, the Clan Chosen’s base camp at the Grand Canyon was attacked by the Scions of the High Lord, who abducted Tyler. Aliya was mortally wounded when she was caught in an explosion orchestrated by Stryfe. With her dying breath, she inquired Nathan about Tyler’s whereabouts. Nathan, in an act of mercy, opted to lie to her and reassured her that Tyler was safe. Aliya was relieved. Her parting words to Nathan were “thank you” for protecting their son, before passing away in his arms. [Cable (1st series) #1] Her death motivated Nathan to travel back in time and set things right. [Cable (1st series) #64]
In the 20th century, Cable had another “reunion” with Aliya. Hovering between life and death after his techno-organic virus flared up during the Onslaught crisis, Cable had a vision of both Aliya and the then-recently deceased Tyler at peace. Cable saw Aliya in the forest of Ebonshire, where they had first met. She urged him to stay alive, telling him his path ahead was long and hard, but one day the world would reap its rewards. Before vanishing in a flash of light, with Tyler beside her, Aliya asked Cable to always cherish the memory of the two of them in his heart in order to move forward to a brighter future. [Cable (1st series) #36] Whether this was a hallucination or another vision, Cable did see Aliya briefly appear to him again several months later, ostensibly to warn him about the threat of the Dark Sisterhood. [Cable (1st series) #89-90]
Kid Cable Divergence(?)
Even though there have been numerous temporal breaches in the history of the X-Men, including Aliya’s single time jump, one incursion in particular proved to be critical. The adult Beast of the main Marvel Universe removed the five original, teenage X-Men from their proper timeline and brought them to the present. Although the adult Cable’s task was to prevent such time manipulations, he wasn’t able to avert the death of the past version of Iceman, an incident which caused all manner of temporal vortexes, with the ripples threatening to unravel the time continuum. In response, 2000 years into the future, Blaquesmith gave the still young Nathan Dayspring the mission to travel back in time and prevent the X-Men from changing the future. Nathan announced his mission to the Clan Chosen, only to see all of them, including Aliya, disintegrate before his eyes as a result of the chronal storm.
Nathan traveled back in time and thanks to his efforts, which included murdering his older self, the unraveling Askani timeline was restored. The Clan Chosen rematerialized in their shelter but were quickly attacked by Rachel Grey, brainwashed by Stryfe into being a Hound. Aliya and Nathan were taken captive and placed in adjacent cells. Stryfe had a power dampener placed on Nathan, which caused his techno-organic virus to spiral out of control, eventually invading the adjacent cell and infecting Aliya. When X-Force came to Nathan and Aliya’s rescue, she was in a critical condition, consumed by the virus. Much like she had once helped him in his struggle with the virus, Nathan urged her to fight for her life. Aliya ultimately survived, the virus seemingly cleansed from her system.
Following Stryfe’s defeat, Nathan elected to go back in time together with X-Force in order to make sure no other chronal breaches would be made. Aliya offered to join him, but Nathan retorted that she was needed with the Askani. Before bidding farewell, he promised her that, once he set things right, he would come back to her. [X-Force (5th series) #5-10]
It is unknown whether these temporal incursions and the younger Nathan’s decision to remain in the present timeline will affect Aliya’s previously established history, resulting in an alternate version of the character, or she will still die in the exact same manner and time as previously seen.
Sandella Ranshi and Eyla Cire were alternate dimensional counterparts of Aliya. The former hailed from a future in which mutants, following a bloody war, had forged an empire. The latter came from a reality of permanent peace and prosperity, in which no mutations were permitted and everyone was genetically normalized. The two women vied with each other, trying to make Cable to either prevent (in Sandella’s case) or fail to prevent (in Eyla’s case) the assassination of the mutant Randall Shire, as the survival of their respective timelines depended on it. Ultimately, the two women made peace with each other and merged into one being, Sandeyla, to form a new timeline. [Cable (1st series) #78-84]