Cable (1st series) #10

Issue Date: 
April 1994
Story Title: 
The Killing Field: Part II

Fabian Nicieza (story), Glenn Herdling (writer), M.C. Wyman (penciler), Conrad & Milgrom (inker), Chris Eliopoulos (letterer), Marie Javins (colorist), Bob Harras (editor), Tom DeFalco (editor in chief)

Brief Description: 

Omega Red makes the second stop on his journey toward death spore freedom at the Tyuratum Space Center. He threatens to kill the director of Project Epsilon unless he gives up the control parameters he used in that project. The director reluctantly obliges. Several hours later, Cable, Katu, Milan, Unuscione and Voght show up at the Space Center too. They have to battle with a platoon of soldiers upon their arrival. After defeating them, they head inside the center and find that Omega Red had already been there. They realize Omega will need to go to the vacuum of outer space to finish his mission and the only accessible place would be at Magneto’s arctic base. The crew heads to Magneto’s citadel, where Cable tries to figure a way past the security system. He comes up with a plan that involves Katu, and while discussing this with him, Katu relates his personal history and why he has a deep hatred of Omega Red. As night falls, Cable’s team heads out on foot towards the arctic base. Katu works his magic and sends a false signal to the perimeter security buoys. Voght transports everyone else into the base and they begin searching. Eventually, they come to a sealed door. They figure out how to open it and what they find inside shocks them. Omega Red is suspended from the ceiling, bruised and beaten. Cable realizes at this point he was setup. He’s about to lay waste to his “teammates” when a voice speaks to him from behind. It’s Colossus and seven other Acolytes. For the first time since undertaking this mission Cable is worried.

Full Summary: 

The Tyuratam Space Center lies in ruins. Several scientists and security guards are scattered about the place, dead or dying. In the middle of all the destruction stands Omega Red. In his clutches, is the research director of Project Epsilon, the project that gave birth to Omega’s successor, Epsilon Red. The Director, even with carbonadium coils wrapped around his neck, manages to ask Omega what he wants. Red tells him he wants information about Project Epsilon, more specifically the control parameters from the experiment that could rid him of his death spore affliction.
Director Lashniev tells him that’s madness. He explains that the parameters for Epsilon Red were completely different from his and that Epsilon Red was a genetically engineered cosmonaut and that Omega was a soldier. Red tells him that may be so, but he has received information that Epsilon Red may hold the key to him being rid of his mutant curse. He threatens Lashniev once more to give him the data and then slams his face into some nearby wreckage. He tells Lashniev he longer wants to be tormented by his vampiric lust for devouring lives.
Red grabs Lashniev by the cuff of his coat and lifts him from the ground. He tells Lashniev of the joy of killing, but the burden of not being able to choose who and when. Omega demands the information from him. Otherwise, he tells Lashniev, his next choice of who to kill will be rather simple.
Lashniev reaches for the computer system and downloads the information Omega needs onto a disk. He hopes God forgives him, but he does take small consolation in the fact that he will save millions of lives from Red’s indiscriminate killing. Perhaps, Omega tells him, or could it be he set free a more terrifying killing mechanism than before.
Several hours later, Cable, Katu, Milan, Unuscione and Voght show up at the Tyuratam Space Center with a less than warm welcoming committee. Dozens of soldiers surround the IPAC unit in which they arrive. When the hatch opens the soldiers immediately open fire. Unuscione puts up her psionic exoskeleton to shield everyone.
Voght transforms herself into mist, moves out among the soldiers and transubstantiates their weapons into mist too. With the soldiers’ weapons gone, Unuscione uses her exoskeleton to knock some of them out. Two soldiers off to the side begin firing away with a plasma cannon. Katu stands in the way and takes the full brunt of their attack, absorbing the energy. He sends it right back at them, destroying the cannon and frying the soldiers a bit. Unuscione moves over to the commander of the squadron and asks him why they attacked them. She begins to threaten him when Cable fires a shot next to her side, knocking her back. Cable tells her that’s enough and that he won’t put up with their petty war against the human race. He reminds the Acolytes they have a job to do.
Cable and the Acolytes head inside and find the disaster Omega Red left behind. Lashniev is the only one still alive, and just barely. Milan hooks up his portable monitor feed to Lashniev to view the events that transpired. Sure enough, it was Omega Red that caused the destruction.
Cable thinks to himself about the situation he’s in. He’s tracking down Omega Red with the Acolytes, who were betrayed by Red and are looking for payback. Cable thinks to himself he needs to keep an eye in the back of his head and an extra plasma round in the chamber in case any of the Acolytes decide to deceive him.
Milan disconnects the video feed from Lashniev and supposes Red got what he came for and has moved on. Cable agrees and asks them to explain what Omega is after again. Voght explains that Omega Red needs carbonadium to control the death spore virus that feeds off his body. The Acolytes had offered him a chance to be free of it if he joined their cause. They told him of the components he needed to achieve that freedom. And the only component left, now that he has the biocellular matrix from Muir Island and the Epsilon Red data, is to undergo a procedure that can only be safely administered in the vacuum of space. Voght thinks Omega must be on his way to attempt a break-in at their base, Avalon. The only possible access for uninvited guests, she tells him, is at Magneto’s arctic base. Cable grimaces.
A bit later, Cable and the Acolytes are onboard the IPAC unit not too far from Magneto’s arctic base. Cable is viewing the base from a video monitor. He mentions out loud that the telemetry readings show the former headquarters to be near impenetrable. Katu walks in with some coffee. He asks Cable if he’s talking to himself and pours him a cup.
Katu asks Cable if he’s found a hole in the base’s security network yet. Cable tells him there may be a way in, but it will be difficult. He points to the computer monitor and shows Katu how the perimeter surveillance transmits a consistent tachyon beam from six buoys surrounding the base. Cable surmises they need to knock out one of the buoys and Katu finishes his thought; but they need something to continue relaying a false signal beam.
Cable tells Katu that will be his part of the plan. Since his mutant power is to act as a conduit for atmospheric wavelengths, he would make the perfect virtual transmitter. Katu jokes with Cable about standing out in the cold weather.
Cable gets serious and asks Katu why he joined the Acolytes. Cable tells him he doesn’t seem like the kind of guy that would hook up with those guys. Katu relates his past to Cable as a fisherman living on the Siberian tundra.
Thirty years ago, he and his son were out fishing when a dozen helicopters came storming in. Russian soldiers came hopping out when they landed they cut down his entire village, including his son. After the gunfire had ceased, a figure emerged and killed the remaining survivors with his death spores. Katu had hoped for death, but instead was lifted up out of the water by a pair of carbonadium coils. It was Omega Red. He had called a Russian general over and they discussed the fact that Katu was messing up satellite transmissions by refracting the wavelengths through his fingertips. Omega took the liberty of ripping off both of his arms so as he would no longer pose a problem. The last thing they said to him was “Look on the bright side—You won’t have to worry about frostbite anymore!” and then they took him away to rebuild him.
Cable’s not sure whether to believe Katu’s story, but tells him either way it gives him no excuse to kill innocent people. Katu doesn’t argue Cable’s point, but tells him it does give him the right for revenge.
Hours later, as night falls Cable and the Acolytes are out trudging through the freezing elements. Unuscione makes a comment to Voght about enlisting one of the flying Acolytes next time. They reach a perimeter buoy and Cable calls for Katu to come over. Katu climbs the attached ladder and suddenly the top of the buoy explodes. Katu apologizes for the debris and explains that it is a nasty side effect of his powers that the Russians engineered. He tells them to go on ahead as he has to stay behind to maintain the link-up. Otherwise, he tells them, who knows what the security systems might do to them if they were to come back online.
As the Acolytes take off towards the citadel, Katu stops Cable. Katu asks him to promise that he will take care of Omega Red. Cable tells him he can’t make any promises until he gets a better lay of the land. Katu shrugs it off and says it doesn’t matter. He prophesizes that Lord Magneto’s will moves in mysterious ways and that the scales will be balanced. Voght, noticing Cable still hanging back, yells to him to get a move on. Before departing, Cable tells Katu to take care of himself. Katu then wishes him luck.
They arrive at the citadel and Voght tells everyone to step into her teleportation mist, which will carry them through the outer walls. They arrive inside and Cable is amazed at how the interior looks so much more alien than the outside. It is as if Magneto would want people to believe the structure was alive, Voght comments.
Cable tells everyone to get out of the snowsuits so they have complete mobility when Omega Red arrives. Voght asks him what if Red already beat them there. Cable tells her it would be impossible. They flew directly there from the Tyuratam in the IPAC and Omega Red couldn’t have access to anything faster. Voght supposes he may have a teleportation device they’re not aware of. Cable tells her that optimism isn’t her strong suit.
They set off at a brisk pace at Cable’s command. Voght asks Milan if he’s picking anything up, but he explains his power is completely ineffective inside the alien base. They arrive at a locked door and Cable wonders aloud how will they open it without setting off all the alarms. Unuscione suggests asking it. Cable contemplates the simplicity of it and says, “Uhm… door open?” The door responds in kind and they step through into darkness. Cable tests his luck and asks for the lights to come on, and they do. What he sees, though, shocks him. It’s Omega Red’s unconscious and battered body, suspended from the ceiling with what look like vines.
Cable can’t believe Omega Red beat them there and when he notices how beat up he looks, he comes to a realization. With a glint in his eye, he turns about with his gun aimed at his so-called partners. He accuses them of setting him up. Voght asks him why he would say such a thing. He tells them despite the fact that they are as trustworthy as used car salesmen running for office, he knows there’s no way Omega Red could have arrived at Tyuratum before they did. Voght finishes his thought, “…unless he had access to Avalon’s teleport systems?”
Cable finds that difficult to believe as he rerouted the bodysliding program before Magneto attacked him. Milan tells him he rerouted it back. Voght admits they haven’t been able to bring everything back online, which is where he fits into their plans. Cable, with his finger on the trigger, tells them he doubts that. Someone from behind says, “Doubt makes the mountain which faith can move, tovarish.”
Cable quick turns around and to find eight more Acolytes have joined the party, Colossus being the one talking to him. He threatens Cable not to oppose them. Cable surveys the situation and quietly says, “Oboy”.

Characters Involved: 


Director Lashniev (research director of Project Epsilon)

Several unnamed and deceased scientists and security guards
Omega Red

Joanna Cargill, Colossus, Javitz, Katu, Harlan Kleinstock, Sven Kleinstock, Milan, Scanner, Skids, Carmella Unuscione, Amelia Voght, [Erick Kleinstock/Rusty Collins] (all Acolytes)
in Flashback:

Katu, Katu’s son

Omega Red

Russian general

Story Notes: 

The penciler, M.C. Wyman, is incorrectly listed as W.C. Wyman in the credits.
Epsilon Red's first appearance is in Wolverine (2nd series) #68.
Avalon is comprised in part of Cable’s former ship, Greymalkin. Magneto acquired parts of Greymalkin after Cable’s absence following his battle with Stryfe during the X-Cutioner’s Song.
Omega Red gives the same speech about the “joy and burden of killing” to Cable in the previous issue.
The word bubble where Voght suggests Omega Red has a teleportation device is actually coming from Unuscione. However, Cable follows that question by remarking on Voght’s pessimistic nature so it would seem the word bubble was supposed to be coming from Amelia.
In reference to Cable’s comment about the bodyslide program:

Back in X-Force #25 Cannonball and several X-Force members, under a ruse, accepted Exodus’ offer to join Magneto. They headed out to Avalon. Cable and the remaining X-Force members were able to follow them there. While inside Avalon, Cable rerouted the bodysliding program.
Eric Kleinstock is drawn on the final splash page showing all of the remaining Acolytes. Unfortunately, Tom Corsi killed him in Uncanny X-Men #298. He also does not appear in the following issues. So obviously, it was an error on the writer/artist/editor’s part. It may have supposed to have been Rusty Collins, as he appears in the next issue without any explanation.

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