Cable and Lee Forrester are running through the marshy Everglades trying their best to escape the hurricane beating down their path. 75 mph winds buffet them from all directions as they try their best to dodge the swirling debris.
Lee yells to Cable that running is no use. Cable tells her to keep moving and that they’ll find some shelter from the storm eventually. Lee reminds him that they’re in the Everglades and that there’s not much out there except for willow and cypress trees. Right on cue, a huge log comes hurtling at her. Lee screams and Cable comes over and punches the log midair. He jokes that the bark is worse than its bite. Lee rags on him for his dumb joke.
They continue on into a more densely wooded area. Lee says she’ll take the lead and reminds Cable to watch his step. Cable immediately drops into some quicksand and tells Lee to work on her timing. Lee tries to grab Cable’s arm, but he’s too far away. She tells Cable to lie on his back and remain calm. Cable lies on his back and tells her he’s not too sure about the “calm” part. Then he tells her to find something to pull him out with. Lee takes off.
Cable sinks further down and yells for her to hurry. She comes running back with a tree branch and holds it out for him. Cable grabs hold and Lee starts pulling. Her feet begin sliding in the mud and Cable’s not budging. The tree branch snaps in half sending Lee onto her butt. Cable yells out for Lee and tells her not to blame herself. She cries out, “Nathan!” Cable’s head totally submerges.
Lee is visibly upset. Then all of a sudden, the quicksand opens up and Cable’s head reemerges. Cable’s body rises up and out of the quicksand. He clarifies to Lee what he was saying. He didn’t want her to blame herself because it was his carelessness that got him into that mess. The strain is incredible for Cable and as soon as he hits normal ground he falls over, exhausted. Lee comments on how amazing that was. Cable tells her it was no walk on the beach. Lee tells him that when they get out of there he’s going to have to prove it to her. Cable agrees that it’s a date.
They continue walking right into the night. Cable spots something in the distance and Lee sees it too; it’s a light. They find a rickety old cabin with the door wide open. They call out to see if anyone is home. An old man smoking a pipe answers them. He tells them his name is Desmond and that most people call him Gramps. He looks the two of them over and suggests they need to sit for a while. Cable accepts his offer with thanks.
Gramps stokes the fire in the fireplace while Cable and Lee have some food at the table. Gramps starts rambling about how fire is a lot like life. Cable asks him what he means by that. Gramps explains that fire that seems extinguished is often alive in the ashes, but the more the fire is covered up, the more it burns. Gramps asks Lee what fire sleeps beneath her ashen soul, using her proper name. Then he asks Cable what kind of Holocaust he is trying to cover that is causing more and more flames, also calling Cable by his proper name. Cable stands up and asks Gramps whom he really is and how he knows their names.
Gramps asks Cable if he’s trying to intimidate him. Then he comments on how Cable is barely able to stand. Cable starts to shake and become dizzy. He grimaces in pain and suddenly finds himself in the future, his past.
Cable finds himself back in the Grand Canyon with his battle group, Genesis. He suddenly realizes what’s about to happen; Jenskot killed and Tyler captured. He yells out their names and says he won’t let it happen again. He abandons his troops and takes off to their location. He draws near when the ill-fated explosion occurs. He finds Jenskot lying in the ruins and realizes he’s too late. He looks up from his dead lover to find himself in the tunnels where Stryfe and Tyler have Dawnsilk captured.
Cable doesn’t want to have to shoot his son all over again. He’s determined to save both him and Dawnsilk this time. Tyler reminds Cable that he and Dawnsilk are neural-linked so if anything happens to him, it will affect Dawnsilk. Cable hesitates to pull the trigger. A voice from behind tells Cable he and his friends will suffer for his hesitation. Cable suddenly finds Genesis-Troop has all been transformed into Sinsear duplicates. Cable wonders out loud who is making him relive these nightmares. He thinks to himself there is no hope.
Cable finds himself on the floor of the cabin. He’s still muttering something about “no hope”. Lee crouches down and asks Cable what’s wrong. Suddenly, the door to the cabin opens and a thin middle-aged gentleman stands in the doorway. He asks Cable and Lee if his colleague was depressing them with stories of woe and misery. He tells them Gramps scares away many guests that way. Then he introduces himself as Lucas, but tells them most people call him Sonny.
Gramps tells Sonny he didn’t expect him there so soon. Sonny walks over to the old man and reminds Gramps he didn’t want him to start the game without him. Sonny turns his attention over to Cable and Lee and tells them they both look tired and should head to bed. Gramps chimes in about them having separate rooms, as it wouldn’t be right sharing. Lee tells him that will be fine. With an evil grin on his face, Sonny wishes Lee sweet dreams.
Lee escorts Cable to his room. After putting him to bed she voices her concerns about the place. She tells Cable something’s wrong with those two guys and the only reason she’s staying is because of the storm outside. Lee notices Cable has fallen asleep. She tells him he looks so sweet and innocent when he sleeps, just like someone else she used to know. She leaves for her room.
Lee blows out the candle lighting her room and hops into bed. She hopes she can make it through the night without losing her mind. Someone stands next to her bed and asks her if she was referring to him. Lee is startled to find her dad standing there. She exclaims in disbelief that he’s dead. Lee’s dad agrees that that sounds familiar and then pulls out a pistol, puts it to his temple and fires.
Lee runs screaming from her room. She cries out that she can’t live through the agony of his suicide again. She’s determined to find out who’s behind this and has a good idea who it may be. Not looking where she’s running, she slams right into Cyclops’ chest. Cyclops tells Lee she can stop running away. Lee is surprised to see Scott and asks him what he’s doing there. Cyclops tells her he’s there to save her from the madness. Lee receives a tap on the shoulder and a voice from behind asks her why a squire should protect her when she can have a knight. She turns around to find Magneto.
Magneto declares himself as Lee’s former lover. Lee starts to ask him about the information she’s received recently from Cable, but Magneto cuts her off and asks her if she would really believe his lies. He then accuses Cable of trying to steal her away from him. He asks Lee if their love meant so little to her. He asks her if she still loves him.
Lee stares into Magneto’s eyes and asks who he really is. Magneto ignores the question and switches his focus to Cyclops. He uses his power to disintegrate Scott right where he stands. Cyclops has time to let out a painful yell. Magneto begins laughing and Lee screams once more.
Her screams wake Cable and he hops out of bed to see what’s going on. As he opens the door to the hallway he finds Jenskot there to greet him. Cable is shocked to say the least. Jenskot asks him if he has forgotten the woman he abandoned. She asks him if he would be happier with the women, who instead had abandoned him. Jenskot transforms into Redd, who transforms into Jean Grey, who transforms into Rachel, who finally turns into Mother Askani. Mother Askani tells Cable to be true to himself in time of despair and reminds him that his mind is his greatest gift. Cable tries to talk to Mother Askani, but a hand is slowly creeping towards his face.
Cable snaps out of it and snatches Lee’s wrist. Lee asks Cable if it’s really him. He tells her that of course it’s him. Lee suddenly backs away in fear. Cable wants to know what’s wrong. Then he realizes he’s been turned into Stryfe with full battle armor. Lee asks who Stryfe is.
Gramps appears out of nowhere and answers her. He tells Lee that Stryfe is Nate’s gene brother whose consciousness is embedded into Nate’s, which may reassert itself at any time. Gramps tells them to witness what would happen if that event ever took place. Suddenly, before Cable/Stryfe’s feet, is most of X-Force lying dead. Cable despairs that it was his fault for not warning them about the truth. He demands to know who Gramps really is.
Gramps tells Cable he thinks Lee has already figured it out as she had met him once before. Her soul was so delightful, he continues, that he had to come back for more. Gramps transforms before them into his true form, that of the demon D’Spayre. Cable tells him he doesn’t care. Nate struggles, but manages to disperse Stryfe’s body armor. He charges D’Spayre yelling, “Say g’night Skeletor!”
D’Spayre strikes forward knocking Cable away and sending him to the ground. D’Spayre begins to feed off of Cable’s soul as his fear overwhelms him. Lee grabs on to D’Spayre and tells him to stop, to leave them alone. D’Spayre wraps his hand around her head and tells her she must be joking. He claims he could live off of both of them for years. He drops Lee and she falls to the ground. D’Spayre explains he was showing her elements of hope only to expose them as mere illusions, so as she would doubt her grip on reality.
Lee tries to convince Cable to get up. She begins to cry and tells him she needs to know what’s real. Cable is still stuck in his fear trance. D’Spayre, content with what’s transpiring, thanks Cable for the entertainment. Cable snaps out of it and tells D’Spayre he has it all wrong. He tells D’Spayre that he doesn’t let fear rule him.
Cable turns to Lee and tells her to be true to herself and then he’ll show her what is real. They lean towards each other and embrace in a passionate kiss. D’Spayre yells in agony. He can’t believe what is happening. He begins to threaten the two lovers, but is cut short. Sonny appears and tells D’Spayre that he lost and he needs to pay up. He demands D’Spayre release Cable and Lee to him. D’Spayre refuses, but Sonny argues that he had his chance. He reminds D’Spayre that he couldn’t control Margali and the Winding Way and has failed once again. He tells D’Spayre that Cable and Lee can’t be overcome with feelings of despair. Sonny reminds D’Spayre he knows more about human nature than he does. After all, he’s been studying it for over 700 years.
Sonny tears at his face, peeling pieces of flesh away. Sonny reveals himself to be the ancient sorcerer, Belasco. He tells Cable and Lee that the time for fun and games is over. He tells Cable, referring to him as the son of the Goblin Queen, that they have a mutual enemy that he may not be aware of. Cable says, “Swell.”