Cable (1st series) #159

Issue Date: 
September 2018
Story Title: 
1st story: Past Fears, chapter 5 - 2nd story: Countdown to Extermination

1st story: Zac Thompson & Lonnie Nadler (writers), German Peralta (artist), Jesus Aburtov (colorist), Daniel Warren Johnson & Mike Spicer (cover artists), Jay Anacleto & Rachelle Rosenberg (variant cover artists), Jay Bowen & Anthony Gambino (graphic designers)
2nd story: Ed Brisson (writer), Oscar Bazaldua (artist), Erick Arcinega (colorist)
Virtual Calligraphy's Travis Lanham (letterer), Chris Robinson (assistant editor), Darren Shan (editor), Jordan D White (X-Men group editor), CB Cebulski (editor-in-chief), Joe Quesada (chief creative officer), Dan Buckley (publisher), Alan Fine (executive producer)

Brief Description: 

1st story:
During his childhood in the future, Nathan Dayspring played with his friends in the small village they lived in, under the fear of Apocalypse and anyone who was different. Even though some of his friends were not that kind to him, Nathan valued them, and on one day, learned that one of his friends also had special powers, the ability to mimic another's appearance. Nathan returns to the cabin in the woods where he lives with Redd and Slym, only he doesn't enter the cabin, as they are arguing about Nathan, the time he spends with his friends and their ability to keep him safe and his powers from overcoming him. Nathan runs off into the forest, where he proves himself capable of building a fire, but visions of a large Techno-Organic creature disturb him, and his cybernetic arm morphs as a figure walks towards him – his arm then connects with the boy who is actually his friend, Metus. Metus is infected with the virus, and his form is disfigured horribly. Confused and frightened, he attacks Nathan, who is unable to defend himself – until Redd and Slym arive. Slym sends Metus running into the woods, and Redd helps calm Nathan use his psychic powers to keep the virus within his own body at bay. Metus returns to his home, but his father is disgusted and chases him away. A mob follows Metus into the woods, where Metus decides that he needs to follow Nathan – and so he does – tracking Nathan through time, watching him from the shadows. Today, Cable absorbs the Techno-Organic virus from Metus's body, restoring Metus to the child that he once knew. With Hope's help, Cable is able to purge the virus from his own body. Cable laments what happened to Metus all those years ago, and decides to give him a new family, so takes him to the X-Mansion so that Metus will never feel alone again.

2nd story:
Cable is in his safehouse when he receives a warning about several time anomalies with imminent threat to timeline stability.

Full Summary: 

1st story:
2,000 years in the future:
Several children walk between the wooden buildings in a small village. '... I once saw a guy whose whole body was made of ice!' a chubby boy exclaims. 'Yeah? Well, I know someone who can make themselves into anything' a boy with long hair boasts. 'That's a lie and you know' another girl, with her hair in a ponytail, declares. 'If Lord Apocalypse's guards hear us...' young Nathan Dayspring utters. 'You know what they do to people who talk about Full-Scans' the girl with the ponytail declares as she bites into a piece of fruit. 'They make them disappear!' the chunky boy exclaims, while a boy with long hair remarks that he heard Apocalypse, himself cuts their tongues out.

Nathan tells the other kids that he doesn't want to talk about this, so the chunky boy turns to him and asks him if he is scared. 'Like you were on that cliff?' another boy asks, tossing his apple core to the ground.

As they carry on down the street, the boy turns back to the others and tells the others that he once saw a Full-Scan. 'Was it the guy who goes BAMF and disappears?' the chunky kid asks. 'Nah, it was an old woman with claws in her hands' the boy explains. The chubby kid smirks and asks 'What about you, Dayspring?' Nathan looks sheepish as he replies 'Well, Dad can shoot lasers out of his eyes'. 'That's the worst lie yet!' the chubby kid declares. 'Yeah, if your dad could do that, then you could do it, too!' the other boy adds. 'That's how it works, tin brain' the chubby kid mutters, while the girl with the ponytail tells Nathan that if he is going to lie, at least say something that makes sense. 'Like your Dad's also got a metal arm, but he shoots moonbeams or something' the chubby kid suggests.

The kids move closer to Nathan and the first boy asks him what the deal with his arm is. 'It get cut off?' he asks. 'I... I don't know' Nathan explains, looking at his cybernetic arm. The chubby kid tells him that it looks dumb. 'Dumber than that tiny hat' the girl with the ponytail adds. Nathan looks at his arm and remarks that his Mom tells him that it is what makes him different. The kids fall silent, before the boy, the chunky boy and the girl with the ponytail burst into hysterical laughter, they turn and carry on down the street.

The boy with shoulder-length brown hair, tells Nathan that he thinks it is pretty rad. 'Don't worry, I won't tell them your secret' he adds as he suddenly changes half of his face to resemble the chubby boy's face. Nathan turns and starts to walk away, while the chubby kid calls out to him, asking him where he is going. We didn't mean it!' the other boy calls out. Nathan explains that he is already late and has to get home. 'Aww, let him go' the girl with the ponytail mutters, while the boy with long hair waves at Nathan.

As the sun sets, Nathan walks through a forest, towards a small cabin in the woods, where he can hear voices. He stands a few feet from the cabin as Redd tells Slym to calm down, as  it is what kids do. 'He's late again, Redd... and what if he brings his little friend with him?' Slym replies. Redd reminds Slym that they have been among the sapien caste for four years now and tells him that they can't shelter Nathan forever – he needs a normal childhood. 'None of this is normal. What he needs is to take his lessons seriously' Slym exclaims. Redd is sitting on the kitchen bench and remarks 'You're just worried he'll repeat your mistakes'. Slym is sitting at the kitchen table and tells Redd that he is worried it will be worse, as Nathan is an omega-level mutant, and that virus is making him see things – so if he suddenly acts on these visions... his voice trails off as he asks Redd if she knows how easily Nathan could kill someone. 'Or himself...' Slym adds.

Redd gets off the bench and reminds Slym that is why Mother Askani brought them here, to make sure he doesn't hurt anyone. 'We can't do that when we don't now where he is'. Slym adds that this would be easier if they were still at the School – with Xavier – but they're not. They're here on our own. 'I'm an omega-level, too, by the way. You don't need to lecture me about how dangerous it is' Redd tells Slym. They move closer to each other, pointing at each other, as Slym tells Redd that she is in control, and Nathan is not. 'If he has an episode when he's with his friends -' Slym begins. 'Apocalypse won't find him!' Redd interrupts. They don't see Nathan peering through the window at them arguing, as Slym tells Redd that she can't know that, even with her powers. 'We don't have a choice. We have to -' Slym begins, as Redd tells him that she already knows what he is thinking, and she doesn't like it.

'It's harsh, but he's supposed to lead the rebellion against Apocalypse someday. It's our job to keep him safe' Slym reminds Redd. 'Then it's settled. You can be the one to tell him he's not allowed to have friends anymore' Redd declares. Nathan backs away from the cabin, he scowls, unhappy, he starts to run through the forest as sunlight fades away. The forest becomes dim, and he looks nervous, before coming to a small clearing, where he gathers some sticks. 'What do they know? I've got this' Nathan tells himself as he builds a fire to keep himself warm. Suddenly, there is a creeking noise, and something wooshes behind Nathan, who sits huddled next to the small fire. He hears another creak, 'Who's there?' Nathan calls out as he glances sideways, then turns to see a Techno-Organic creature lurking behind him. 'Redd! Slym!' Nathan screams as he begins to run, the creature's tentacles and wires reaching out to grab him.

Nathan comes to a halt as he reaches the edge of a cliff – he has nowhere to run. He drops to his knees, his cybernetic arm is growing, wires rise from it. 'Dayspring?' a voice calls out, and Nathan turns to see someone walking towards him through the forest. 'That you? I came to see if you're -' the voice calls out. Nathan turns away as the boy with shoulder-length hair approaches him. 'No! Stay...away' Nathan tells her, before he roars as his arm extends and reaches out to her and connects with her neck. 'Nate...what's happening to me?' the boy asks as the Techno-Organic Virus surges through his body. 'METUS!' Nathan shouts out to the boy. 'No, no, no' Nate gasps. 'Oh my God. Hold still. I can fix this' Nathan tells Metus, his cybernetic arm pulsing with energy as it continues to maintain contact with Metus' neck.

'Stop... what are you doing? You're making it... worse!' Metus calls out. 'Please! I'm sorry. Just let me -' Nathan begins, as Metus' form changes, and the heads of the other children appear to grow on Metus' body. 'You're hurting me!' Metus calls out through the other kids heads. 'Get back!' Metus snaps, extending his own hand, which grows, and punches Nate in the face. 'Stop shape-shifting!' Nate tells Metus, who looks back in anguish, and tells Nate that it is the only thing that lessens the pain. 'I'm trying to help!' Nate calls out. Metus grabs the part of Nate's cybernetic arm connected to his neck and pulls it upwards, flinging Nate into the air, he tells  him that he has already done enough. 'I thought we were friends!' Metus adds as he slams Nate onto the ground. 'We are...' Nate replies, before Metus leaps at him, and wraps his own hands around Nate's neck: 'Not anymore we aren't!' Metus howls.

'Why didn't you tell me you were sick? You said no secrets' Metus exclaims, choking Nate, who screams for help. 'Redd! Slym!' Nate exclaims, and, nearby, Redd and Slym are searching for nate. 'He's over there!' Slym calls out to Redd. They rush over to the clearing, 'Get off my son!' Slym shouts as he leaps into Metus, shoving metus backwards and breaking the connection between Nate and Metus. 'Don't worry, we're here!' Redd tells Nate. 'It's his fault! Not mine!' Metus exclaims. Slym responds by firing an optic blast at Metus, sending him careening backwards, while Redd tells Nate to take a deep breath, but Nate screams, while his arm starts to return to normal thanks to Redd's psychic assistance. 'Is it gone?' Redd asks, looking up as Metus runs off deeper into the forest. 'It's not coming back' Slym tells her.

Redd tells Nate that he is doing good, but that she needs him to help her now. 'Listen to your Mom, Nathan' Slym remarks, as Redd tells Nate to focus his mind on suppressing the virus. Nate closes his eyes and concentrates, as his arm grows smaller, back to its regular size. 'That's it. You're a lot better at controlling it than you think' Redd tells Nate. Redd helps Nate to his feet, and Slym asks him if he is feeling strong enough to answer some questions for him. 'What was that? Where did it come from?' Slym enquires. 'It was, uh... ummm.. .an assassin. He must have been sent by Apocalypse' Nate replies. Redd asks him if he is sure, and Nate tells her that it chased him through the woods. Redd picks Nate up and hugs him. Slym puts his arms around them both, while Redd telepathically informs him that Nate is lying, that there is something he is not telling them, but she can't get through – he is blocking her. She adds that he has never done that before. 'Don't worry. Everything will be okay' Slym tells his family.

'Heeelp!' Metus pleads as he trudges down a street in the village, his form mutated horribly. 'By En Sabah Nur's genes. It's a full scan!' someone gasps. 'Alert the guards!' another civilian exclaims, while someone screams. 'No... I'm sick...' Metus explains, dropping to his knees, he reaches out to a woman, pleading. 'Get away from me, gene trash!' the woman shouts, recoiling in horror, while a dog tugs at Metus's loose flesh.

Metus arrives at his home, 'Mom! Dad!' he calls out, but when he enters the house, his father holds up a large knife, 'Get the $%&# out of my house!' he shouts. 'Father, it's me... it's Metus!' Metus pleads, reaching out for help. A little girl rushes over to their mother, while the father waves his knife about: 'You're a dirty full-scan. You're nothing. Take one step toward my family and I'll kill you' the father warns Metus. 'Mommy, what happened to Metus?' the little girl asks. As Metus reaches out for his father, the man slices off Metus's fingers with the knife. Metus screams, and begins to cry as his father tells him 'You're no son of mine!'

'Vile, disgusting monster!' Metus's father shouts as he chases Metus out of their home. Metus runs through the village, and is soon pursued by a mob.  'Get it alive, if you can! But get it!' someone shouts. 'Destroy it before it destroys us!' another calls out, while someone points out that he is going to the woods. 'Let him!' another remarks. Once in the woods, Metus's form shifts, and another head appears, 'Look what Dayspring did. He made you a beast. Your family didn't even recognize you he took everything away... what will you do now?' the other head asks, as Metus declares that he has to follow Dayspring, to find him – and keep him from the ones he loves – wherever he goes in time.

Images of Cable's adventures flash past – with Metus present, watching from the shadows, in every one.

Cable's cybernetic arm is large, mutated – and connected to Metus's, seemingly absorbing something from him. Cable thinks that they are taught to leave the past behind them, taught that it can't hurt them – but he knows that it can if you let it, as the past is irrevocably part of them – and they can do nothing to stop it from creeping back at any moment. Metus's arm begins to return to normal, flesh – his fingers missing, trhough. Cable thinks that the human perception of time forces them to believe they only live in the present – but they exist simultaneously across their past, present and future – they have to accept responsibility for all three at once.

Wide-eyed, Hope Summers watches, 'What have you done... Dad! Answer me!' Hope calls out as she sees Cable, his form mutated hideously. Cable tells Hope that he needs complete silence, to focus on separating his virus. 'Help me...expel it' he asks her. Cable focusses his psychic energies, and his body begins to return to normal. Hope helps him with her own powers. Cable leans forward and vomits up the sickness. 'Are you okay?' Hope asks as they look at the young Metus, lying motionless nearby. Cable goes over to Metus and places Hope's short cape around his naked body. 'What did we just do?' Hope asks.

Cable explains that he absorbed Metus's virus, then they purged it from his own body. Cable adds that he has only done it once before and it almost killed him. He admits that he wasnt sure he could handle it again, but this was the only option left, which is why he needed Hope, to duplicate his telekinesis and double-team this. Hope asks if they did it, and Cable tells her that they did. 'Are you cured?' Hope enquires, to which Cable tells her that he never will be, but that he can handle this much. Hope looks at Metus and realizes that he is just a kid. 'All this time, I thought he was aging with me. He was my best friend until I ruined his life' Cable remarks. Cable picks Metus up and tells Metus that he knows it doesn't cut it, but he is  sorry. 'We have to make this right' he adds, before Hope asks him what they are going to do. 'Bodyslide by three' Cable replies, as he, Hope and Metus vanish.

The X-Mansion, Central Park, New York, where Cable and Hope stand in front of the mansion, and Cable announces that they are going to give him a home, a new family. Cable decides that their relationships are the only way to make sense of time. He looks down at Metus, and seeing him, his innocence, he remembers what it is like to be young. He remembers Hope when she was thrust into his arms. He remembers how important it is  to know there is always someone there – so you never feel alone. Metus then opens his eyes as the sun shines down on him, he stares up at Cable.


2nd story:
Cable's safehouse, in a classified location, Nathan Summers sits at s workbench, repairing various weapons, when suddenly, a computer informs him that a timeline anomaly has been detected. Cable asks for details, and a holographic map appears before him, as the computer states that ther breach was detected in New York City, and provides Cable with the coordinates, when suddenly, a second anomaly is detected, then multiple anomalies. Cable looks at the map, and goes wide-eyed, 'It's...not possible' Cable gasps, as the computer tells him that there is an imminent threat to timeline stability, and the probability of deterioration is 98.965 percent....

Characters Involved: 

1st story:
Hope Summers


in Cable's past:
Nathan Dayspring
Redd & Slym Dayspring

Metus' family

other children

2nd story:

Story Notes: 

Final issue.

1st story:
Cyclops and Jean Grey were brought into the future by Mother Askani in Adventures of Cyclops & Phoenix #1.
Cable previously purged the virus from his body in Cable (1st series) #100.

Written By: