Cable (1st series) #23

Issue Date: 
September 1995
Story Title: 
Family Secrets

Jeph Loeb (writer), Ian Churchill (pencils pgs 1-5, 8-9), Tim Sale (pencils pgs 6-7, 11-17, 20), Scott Hanna & Mark Buckingham (inks), Richard Starkings & Comicraft (letters), Mike Thomas & Digital Chameleon (colors), Lisa Patrick (editor), Bob Harras (editor-in-chief)

Brief Description: 

Cable is still residing at the Xavier Institute. However, he has trouble sleeping and spends his time meditating… upside down. After being interrupted by Storm, Cable shows Ororo a postcard he got earlier, which is addressed to him as “Nathan Dayspring.” He finds that odd since there aren’t many people who know him by that name, and even less who know he’s living there. Ororo reads the back of the card, which has an inscription of “I think of you, hope you’re thinking of me” on it. Ororo thinks Cable better shows this to Professor Xavier, so he does. The two have a discussion about Tyler, whom Cable thinks sent the card. During the discussion, Cable refers to Tyler as “Jenskot’s son.” The Professor finds that odd and wants to hear more about it, but Nathan refuses to dwell into that right now. Instead, he wants to know if the Professor can use Cerebro to find Tyler. Unfortunately Xavier can’t, because someone or something has been causing a psionic disturbance on the astral plane. He suggests he use Caliban’s tracking powers, though Nathan thinks he has a better idea, and leaves. He visits Blaquesmith, who is still trying to figure out who attacked him earlier. Nathan also notices Blaquesmith has a map of Europe on board and wonders who he’s tracking, though Blaquesmith is evasive. Then asked what he wants, Cable explains about Tyler, and Blaquesmith suggests he go to have a look at Tyler’s old sanctuary, as his computers have been indicating some activity there. Cable agrees and leaves. Once Cable is gone, Blaquesmith performs an odd ritual and successfully contacts… Mother Askani! She is aware Blaquesmith is troubled with the role he has to play, but they all have to fulfill it. After all, she adds, Cable’s trials aren’t over yet. In fact, they’re just beginning. Meanwhile, Domino is at the Rocky Mountains where a series of murders have taken place. Finding a house of a friend whom she suspects, she explores it and, in the attic, discovers numerous bodies of dead people hang upside down on the ceiling. And the one responsible for it is none other than whom Domino feared it would be… Grizzly! Hours later, Cable made it to the remains of Tyler’s sanctuary. Tyler himself is not present, but Cable does find someone else. He finds his wife… Jenskot?! But, how can she even be alive when she died in his arms?

Full Summary: 

Cable can’t sleep. Since returning to the Xavier Institute, Cable’s temporary home, something has kept him awake. At wit’s end, Nathan has reached far into his past, and relearned something very personal, something very special, something he had almost forgotten long ago. And for the first time in six days, Nathan begins to relax. Nathan lifts himself telekinetically upside down, and meditates while energy floats around his body.

He is approached by Storm, who too has been many things in her life, just like Nathan. She has been an orphaned thief in the streets of Cairo. She was worshipped as a weather goddess on the far plains of Kenya. Of late, she is a leader of the X-Men. Nathan has been a rebel fighter in a war-torn future. In the recent past, he has been a soldier of fortune. Currently, he is the leader of X-Force. Mostly, Cable is a private man and to many that comes across as a man who keeps secrets, even from those who know him best. Storm respects the right to privacy in anyone’s life but, finding Cable in this position, using his telekinetic ability to levitate himself several feet of the ground, is a bit unusual, to say the least.

Cable knows Storm is with him, and asks if he can help her with something. When she asks what he is doing, Nathan explains that Ororo would call it… meditating. He finds it comforting. Hesitant, Cable explains the move is Askani in origin. It’s part of what he learned as a child growing up in the future. Storm wonders if Askani is Cable’s religion, though Cable actually replies he guesses it’s more of a way of life: a kind of thinking or philosophy. Cable lifts himself back right side up and goes to stand next to Ororo, who promptly calls him a most unusual man. She admits she would have thought Nathan would be off target shooting in order to relax.

To this, Nathan mentions he’s not just about guns and ammo. Ororo says she’s learning that, too. She is… glad Cable has chosen to move back into the mansion, as it allows them an opportunity to… talk. Cable asks what she wants to talk about. “Akkaba,” Storm replies. Upon hearing the name, Cable finds an overwhelming wave of guilt… and shame. He tells Ororo that he wishes they’d gotten there sooner. When he closes his eyes, Cable can see what his son, Tyler, did to the people in Akkaba. And he’s still out there, capable of even greater acts of insanity. Storm wonders why it has to be like this. She wonders why the pursuit of peace and harmony only seem to be achieved as a reaction to death and destruction.

Cable smiles he wouldn’t have taken Ororo for a cynic. Ororo explains that normally she isn’t a cynic, but she senses a darkness on the horizon. She knows Nathan is troubled, and that what Tyler did was unspeakable. Nathan adds that means what he has to do all the more urgent. When Storm asks what that means, Nathan shows Ororo a postcard which came in the mail today. He finds it odd enough that anyone knows he’s even there. Odder still, the postcard was addressed to him as “Nathan Dayspring,” and not many people know him by that name. Storm takes a look at it, and is shocked at what she sees. She asks Cable if he has shown it to anyone yet. Cable guesses he did: Domino saw it, but she’s off… somewhere. Storm exhales, and wants Cable to show the card to the Professor… immediately! She looks at the post card one more time, which has a picture of a rising sun in the mountains, and the word “welcome!” written on it.

Meanwhile, at the Rocky Mountains…

Unlike their pristine picture postcard look, the Rockies are a brutal and hard lot of mountains that create a wall separating East from West in North America. The people who live here are mostly decent, God-fearing folks. So, when the talk of a serial killer – a wild, feral creature slaughtering men and women, came to light – the news spread like a wildfire.

Someone watches hunters and their dogs from the shadows. One of the hunters tells his companions he thinks the dogs found something! It’s Domino, who can’t sleep either. Not until she learns the truth. Since she heard about these killings, it seemed somehow disturbingly familiar. For a while now, Domino has run with Cable. She is a superb athlete, and a mutant with an uncanny ability to have things fall into place for her. Domino’s intentions, her past and, for that matter, her full name are only known to her. Like Cable, she is a very private person, or is that because she has something to hide?

Domino steps out of the shadows and thinks to herself that it looks like her luck is holding out. The last thing she wants to do is trip over that gang of hunters. She mocks that if you give a few men some guns and some badges, then eventually somebody will wind up dead. As Domino finds lots of black ashes on the ground, she mocks the hunter will be lucky if they can find their way back home, much less a “mutant Bigfoot killer.” Domino has to keep hoping she’s not going to find out what she thinks is already true. She hates it when she’s right. She finds another footprint on the ground, and believes only one man can have such one. And with that man’s guerrilla training, that hunting party has a better chance of catching a cold, unless they know exactly where to look, like she does.

Back at the Xavier Institute…

Cable is at the Professor’s study room, where Xavier examines Cable’s postcard. He reads the backside of the card, which instead of written word, has a message made of pasted letters taken from random magazines and newspapers. It read, “Thinking of you, hope you’re thinking of me.” Xavier notices the card is unsigned, yet Cable seems to think Tyler sent it to him. Cable confirms that, explaining he has a kind of… link when it comes to things involving Jenskot’s son. What he doesn’t know is why Tyler sent it. Is it to taunt him? Or is it a cry for help? Cable thinks that, if he can find Tyler, perhaps the nightmares would stop.

The Professor finds it odd that Cable just referred to Tyler as “Jenskot’s son.” Cable is surprised about that too. He reveals that Tyler was Jenskot’s son, and… Nathan stops his sentence there, telling the Professor he knows what he meant. Charles, however, isn’t sure. Cable adds that, in his last encounter with Tyler, he had assumed a new name: “Genesis.” He believes he has the power now to assume Apocalypse’s mantle. He needs to know straight out. He asks the Professor if he can use his psionic powers to locate one man on a planet of 3.5 billion people.

Charles finds it sad to once again hear that Cable’s and Apocalypse’s lives are once more intertwined. Past. Present. Future. It’s like a… film loop that plays over and over. Cable says he’s more determined than ever to break that chain. Innocent people lost their lives and Cable feels he has to stop Tyler. The Professor understands that, Charles says that, for several weeks now, someone or something has been creating a psionic disturbance on the astral plane. Simply put, finding Tyler physically seems extremely unlikely. Even in the best of times, a psi is not a God. He suggests that perhaps with Caliban’s mutant tracking methods they could begin a preliminary search. Cable quietly whispers this situation requires someone with greater expertise.

Nathan doesn’t want to change the subject, but asks Charles if he heard from Renee Majcomb yet. Charles denies that. Cable finds that weird, since Renee acted as if she were going to contact Charles right away. He asks Xavier if that doesn’t concern him. With a serious look in his eyes, the Professor says that everything concerns him. Everything…

The Rocky Mountains…

Domino has been riding on her bike for hours now. She has found a small house and notices that his place is far enough from where the killings took place, so that he might be innocent. She gets off her bike, wondering how so many years have slipped since she first came to this house… since she first met him. She knocks on the door, but actually hopes the person isn’t at home. She hopes he’s in Europe, or in Asia on a job. Not receiving an answer, Domino glares through a window, only to find nobody there. She takes out some locks and manages to break open the door’s slot.

She walks inside the house and calls out, but still no one answers. Domino doesn’t know if that’s good or bad. She looks around the house and only finds a couch and a fireplace. She finds it funny how some people never decorate and never let go of the past. It’s exactly how she remembered the place. Domino finds some pictures. On them are herself, Cable and Grizzly, all carrying big guns and posing beside an army truck. Domino smiles when she sees how young they all were. They were going to rock the world. She wonders what could have happened to Theodore.

Meanwhile, at Baltimore, Marryland, Blaquesmith’s ship. Night…

Cable walks over to Blaquesmith, who is still repairing his machines. Blaquesmith says it’s nice to see Cable again and was wondering when he’d come back. Cable answers he just couldn’t stay away. He asks Blaquesmith how long he has known he was here. He knew the moment Cable stepped on board. Blaquesmith jokingly warns his friend he should know the old ways are the most reliable.

Nathan asks, if that’s true, how Blaquesmith was still attacked. Blaquesmith gets off his seat and mocks he’s working on that. Next, Nathan asks how the search is going, but that’s taking a lot longer than Blaquesmith had hoped. They walk into another room, where Blaquesmith pushes a button and orders the computer to open file no. D478J. Cable gets to see a blurry image of Blaquesmith’s attacker again. It’s a bit better than before, and the attacker appears to carry two swords on his back. Cable wonders what they’re going to do if the attacker comes back. He thinks Blaquesmith should come with him.

Blaquesmith explains it’s like he said: their elusive intruder was cloaked. He doesn’t like anybody poking around in here any more than Cable does, particularly when it involves him. He mentions to have taken extra security measures. Cable wants to know if Blaquesmith is sure it will be enough. He tells Blaquesmith he knows he has the utmost respect. Blaquesmith shouts out he’s sure and asks Nathan how he could even ask such a question. Cable says it’s because he knows Blaquesmith – and he knows how Blaquesmith can get sidetracked. He just wants him to be careful.

Nathan notices a huge map of Europe in the room. He recognizes the Swiss Alps, Geneva and even Paris. When he then asks who Blaquesmith is tracking, Blaquesmith takes out a device and presses a button, which closes the map. He claims it’s nothing important. He mocks that Nathan is still the curious one. He assumes Nathan had a reason for his visit, because he’s sure he didn’t just stop by to inquire about his health. Nathan admits he came there because he needs someone he can trust. And, despite what happened in the past, Nathan still trusts Blaquesmith. Blaquesmith also sees that Cable is still a warrior. He asks if there is that much that Nathan was taught that he has now forgotten. Cable rather thinks it was a responsibility he was never meant to have. He didn’t ask to be the so-called “Chosen One.”

In that case, Blaquesmith says, Cable can keep on ignoring his destiny as he’s done a pretty good job of that already. Cable stops Blaquesmith, apologizing he didn’t came there to fight. He says they’ve had too much history between them to go over this again. A bit hesitant, Cable admits he needs help. He needs Blaquesmith to find Tyler, adding that the boy has been trying to contact him. Blaquesmith tends to his computers, whispering that Tyler is the burden Cable must bear. Cable reminds Blaquesmith that he off all people knows of the promise he made to Tyler’s mother. Blaquesmith again quietly says he was only making an observation. He asks Cable if he has been to Tyler’s sanctuary. He has been scanning the place for months now, and the computer has been registering activity.

Cable thanks Blaquesmith for the lead. In that case, Nathan guesses he doesn’t have much choice. He doesn’t even know what Tyler wants, but he has to check it out. Blaquesmith warns Cable not to fool himself, as “Genesis” is far more powerful than Nathan would think. Cable leaves, wondering in himself how Blaquesmith could know that.

Soon after Cable is gone…

Blaquesmith fears he’s putting himself in real jeopardy playing Cable this way. Unfortunately, it’s far too early for Blaquesmith to tell Nathan what he knows. Quietly, he begins a ritual. He claps his hand in a melodic sound, like none other heard on this planet… at least, in this era. After clapping his hands several times, Blaquesmit says something in the Askani language. Energy fills the room, and someone appears, floating, in front of him… Mother Askani!

Mother Askani is aware that Blaquesmith is troubled. But, she explains, each of them must play their role with so much at stake, and warns Blaquesmith that he accepted his duties long, long ago. Blaquesmith asks Mother Askani a question only she can hear in her mind. She responds with “yes” and asks Blaquesmith what if that destiny demands if she puts the Askani’Son’s life in danger? After all, his trials aren’t yet done. In truth, they are but beginning…

There are only a handful of beings at this time who are able to make contact with Mother Askani. Once, she was simply known as Rachel Summers, the daughter of Scott Summers and Jean Grey from another possible timeline. To save this planet, she traveled into the future and started a revolution that brought down the high lord Apocalypse. In that time, Rachel earned her new name. It stands for her being a priestess. A warrior and a leader. She was all this and more. She was a force of nature, and before her ethereal presence, Blaquesmith trembles.

Meanwhile, at the house of the Rockies, where Domino’s hunt continues…

Domino has searched every room now, except for the attic. She recalls she has precious few memories from her childhood. There are days when she wonders the reasons for that. But sometimes, in the middle of the night, Domino still remembers a woman with a chestnut hair singing her bedtime songs, and telling her as she drifted off: “Sleep tight. Don’t let the bogeyman bite. ” In her childish imagination, Domino believed that the bogeyman lived upstairs… in the attic.

She hears a noise up in the attic. Domino walks up some stairs to get there, thinking the noise could come from a couple of rats… which she hates. However, once she’s there, Domino is shocked to discover… bodies of dead people tied on the ceiling… upside down! The smell of the corpses is overwhelming. She has experienced it on the battlefields all across the globe. In villages with names she couldn’t pronounce… where there were no hospitals, no doctors, nor any medical aid of any sort. This is a horrifying nightmare… that will only get worse.

Suddenly, someone appears behind Domino, in the shadows, and growls at her. It’s Grizzly! With a monstrous tone in his voice, Grizzly tells Domino it’s too late. She points her gun at him, warning Grizzly not to move. Her hands keep steady. Her gun poised and cocked. However, despite the authority in her voice, Domino remembers this is her friend she’s dealing with. She asks Grizzly to listen to her. Whatever happened there… they can work it out. There has to be some explanation! Hesitant, Grizzly responds “… He did this to me… I tried… to stop it…” But he lost control. He killed all those people, realizing there is no way out of this. He says he knows Domino, concluding that now she has found him… only one of them gets out of here alive! In that instant, Domino knows Grizzly is right.

Hours later, at Tyler’s sanctuary…

The last time Cable was there, Tyler and the android Zero had captured and tortured an Askani woman in an effort to find the truth about Cable and Tyler’s origins. Despite the harrowing ordeal, only part of the truth was revealed. To all appearances, it seems that the place has gone untouched since then. And in an odd way, Cable is almost relieved.

Traveling through the sewer parts of the ruins, Cable holds a gun ready and also holds a flashlight in his hands to see where he’s going. He thinks that maybe, by the looks of it, Tyler isn’t there after all. Something moves nearby him. Cable quickly points his gun at it, only to discover… it was just a rat. (He hates rats). Nathan shouts out ,that if Tyler is there, he has to show himself! His voice is filled with bravado, but his heart is empty. For if he now, at last, has to face the boy he raised. The boy he loved. The boy who killed and took obscene pleasure in it… will Cable be able to do what he must?

Cable finds someone lying on the floor. A woman. But… it can’t be. Cable takes a closer look at the woman, and still can’t believe it. It’s… Aliya… Jenskot?! Only barely awake, Aliya says something in the Askani language…

Nathan never would have thought to see Aliya alive again. To be able to hold her. To hear her voice… In the hellish future that Cable came from, this woman died in his arms. But now, somehow, she isn’t dead. Somehow, she’s alive, here and now. Cable’s wife…

Characters Involved: 



Professor X, Storm (both X-Men)

Mother Askani



various hunters (all unnamed)

various bodies of killed people (all unnamed)

on photos:

Cable, Domino, Grizzly (all Six Pack)

blurry image on computer:

Blaquesmith’s attacker (unnamed)

Story Notes: 

More about Cable’s childhood in the future can be found in the limited series The Adventures of Cyclops & Phoenix #1-4 and Askani’Son #1-4.

Cable, Storm, Domino and Caliban found Akkaba destroyed by Tyler and the Dark Riders in Cable (1st series) #17-19.

Rachel earlier appeared as Mother Askani in Cable (1st series) #6-8.

Cable held a dying Jenskot in his arms in Cable (1st series) #1.

Issue Information: 
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