A minute ago…
That’s all it takes for their world to change again. Cable and Domino found themselves in Genosha, that island off the coast of South Africa ripped apart by a civil war between human and mutate; magistrate and rebel. Phillip Moreau and Jenny Ransome are the two leaders of the rebel movement, and were “told” of Cable’s and Domino’s coming. They were told that “help was on its way.”
Cable looks at how the magistrates and the rebels fight each other, and bullets and blasts fill the air. He has experienced this moment too many times to count. It is the beginning of a firefight. In close. In deep. And in the end, all you can do is pick up the wounded and burry the dead. Unless, of course, you end up victorious.
Hawkshaw shouts at his fellow magistrates they’ve got their orders: “empty this rebel nest!” Phillip on the other hand warns his fellow rebels that, since the magistrates broke through their base, they’ve got to make every shot count. Cable confesses to Domino that this can only turn into a bloodbath. He recognizes Pipeline and that he must have teleported the magistrates inside the base. Nathan thinks if they nab him, they’ll cut off the magistrates’ port of entry and exit. Domino understands and promises she’ll cover Cable. Hawkshaw thinks they’re in luck when he sees that “the son of Moreau” is here.
Still in the midst of the battle, Phillip wonders how this could have happened. Essex, as cryptic as he is, led them to believe that time was short, but he never would have imagined the magistrates could find their base! Hawkshaw attacks Phillip from behind and grabs him by his throat. He calls him not only a traitor to his race, but he also betrayed everything his father built here! Phillip sees it differently: his father ruined any chance this country had for freedom. Jenny gets a clear shot at Hawkshaw but won’t take it, fearing she might hit Phillip.
On that moment, a red energy ball surrounds Hawkshaw’s head, taking him down. The source of the energy, Cable jokes that, sometimes, a little telepathy can go a long way. Phillip is surprised Cable did that, and is not too pleased either. Cable explains this isn’t the time to argue tactics, and warns Phillip that all he’s doing is getting a lot of people killed. To this, Phillip asks Cable if he has a better plan, which he confirms. Cable warns the rebels: “Fire in the hole!” and throws a grenade to the magistrates. The grenade releases green gas, throwing the magistrates into a panic.
In the darkest hours, Cable reaches for the teachings that were in his childhood. That which is Askani: “When your enemy is stronger… you cannot win by force alone. Think of them as a single tree, supported by its roots. And then treat each opponent like a root to the tree. As you pull out each root, the tree itself will fall.
As the green gas spreads throughout the entire base, the battle continues. Domino faces Gunshot, who fires blasts from his fists at her. Gunshot mocks Domino and wonders why a sweet thing like her would get into something like this. Domino dodges each barrage and jokes that everyone needs a hobby. Domino compliments Gunshots on his fancy moves, but she knows how this is done properly, and shoots Gunshot in his legs!
Gunshot is the finest marksman in the magistrates. His central nervous system is cybernetically tied to his weapons. Domino, however, is a mutant of unknown power… other than things tend to go her way.
Jenny faces Punchout, whom she hits hard in the face. Jenny mentions she has been waiting years to do this. Pipeline thinks this is nuts and wants to teleport out of here. Hawkshaw, however, refuses to leave and Punchout realizes their headquarters won’t be pleased they blew this. While the magistrates start teleporting away, Gunshot promises Domino they’ll be back. His friends gone, Pipeline’s discovers his teleportation device is blocked somehow and he is left behind. Someone large approaches him from behind. Pipeline is shocked to discover it’s…. Cable! Cable angrily knocks Pipeline down.
A few minutes later, in the aftermath…
While Jenny gives him some stitches, Phillip thinks this is nuts. Their base is shot and they’ll have to pack up. They lost a lot today. Jenny corrects that they won, since they forced those magistrates into defeat. Phillip disagrees that they’ve won anything as the war’s still going on. He wonders if this is the legacy his father left him. That all of Genosha fights until there isn’t anything left to fight for? “No,” he concludes, the time has come for them to take the battle to the magistrates, and finish this war once and for all.
Cable overhears this and asks Phillip if he hasn’t seen enough blood for today already. Phillip defends he just wants to end this conflict. He also thinks that’s why Cable has been sent to them in their time of need. To this, Cable just wants to say for now that his and Domino’s arrival there wasn’t an accident. If he’s going to help, he’ll need Phillip and Jenny to lay all their cards on the table.
Jenny explains that, when she and Phillip returned to Genosha, the war had decimated so much of the country. They tried to organize and work together with the Bipartisan Rebel Group, who are people like Renee Majcomb. But, Phillip adds, they were out-manned and outgunned. That’s when they met Essex, who has been helping them get information about who is really in control of the government. Phillip adds that Essex even hinted that his father didn’t create the mutate bounding process alone, which means someone else has been pulling Genosha’s strings for years! Cable ponders that there’s something disturbingly familiar about the name “Essex.”
Elsewhere in Genosha, hidden from it all…
…where the creature known as Sugarman contemplates his fate. Sitting in a large chair in a dark room, Sugarman says, “Soon.” He realizes there is no more time. The secret is out. But, he also realizes that didn’t happen all by itself. Somebody must have helped. And he can already guess who. Sugarman is ready to take them all on, and mocks that this is going to be sweet. This is going to be messy!
At the rebel base…
Domino and Cable are interrogating their prisoner, Pipeline. He wonders why anyone outside Genosha would want to get involved in this war. This is a civil matter. Domino disagrees, remembering that they went after Renee Majcomb at the U.S. airport. Cable recalls that, before that, the Genoshans hunted the X-Men down and treated them like animals! Pipeline reminds Cable he has been a soldier. So he knows soldiers follow orders. All the magistrates want for this country is go back the way it was. Where the mutates did the work, as that’s what they were created for! Pipeline mourns that he had a house… and a family. They’re all gone now. All that’s left is the war. And he claims the rebels are responsible for that.
Cable grows angry hearing that and drags Pipeline away. He grabs Pipeline by his throat and lets him have a look at the rebels, who are both humans and mutates. Cable shouts at Pipeline that those are the “rebels” he blames everything for. That is the reality of Genosha! Humans and mutates working side-by-side! There’s too many of them now and Genosha can’t go back the way it was. Pipeline disagrees, believing it’s still possible when so many people want change. Cable orders Pipeline that he’s going to help the rebels. Pipeline refuses and says that the only thing Cable can do now is kill him, because he’s not helping any genejokes.
Nathan mocks Pipeline that he sure is acting like a big man. But, he wants Pipeline to remember, he can make him do anything. He can make him laugh. Cry. Scream in pain. Cable warns Pipeline he should make no mistake in that. Reluctantly, Pipeline agrees to help.
Domino tells Cable he’s going pretty far with this. Cable responds that they’re in desperate times now. And Pipeline is fighting him with all he’s got. Nearby, Phillip doesn’t know if they should trust Pipeline, but Jenny explains to him that, if they’re ever going to get to the bottom of what Essex was trying to find, it’s now or never. Cable telepathically orders Pipeline to send the five of them to the coordinates Phillip gave him earlier. Even more reluctant and angry, Pipeline activates the machine on his wrist and he teleports them all away.
As they disappear from view, everyone shares a single thought: whatever lies ahead, Genosha will never be the same…
In the desolate region of Genosha known as the Ridgeback Mountains, the five fighters materialize. Phillip immediately recognizes it. His father used to take him camping there as a kid. He wonders if his father could have lied to him for this long. Jenny hugs him, and tries to comfort Phillip by saying that each step they take toward freeing Genosha is a step Phillip will free himself of his father’s actions.
Cable overhears the two talking and asks Domino to listen to them. As much as he’d like to believe they’re right, all he can think of is how naïve the two sound. Domino doesn’t really believe that. She jokes that means that little trip to the future they just took, the one where one man’s effort, was enough to stop Stryfe and have Dayspring win the day, doesn’t really count. Cable smiles.
A device starts to beep. Phillip explains he’s getting energy-readings off the charts, up on the mountains ahead. They’ll have to go up there. As they start climbing, Phillip explains that, as a kid, his father would take him climbing through these ridges. He recalls there are caves all over the place. Jenny asks Phillip if his father could have a second agenda for coming there, but he doesn’t know. When it comes to his father, he doesn’t know what to believe anymore.
Once on top, they find a huge wall and the energy-readings grow stronger. Phillip thinks this must be the place. They find a small opening in it and walk through it. Cable orders he wants everyone cocked and loaded. Domino jokes Cable would have made a great camp counselor. Phillip leads everyone inside and thinks this is incredible. There’s no way this passage was naturally made. Cable quietly looks around and thinks to himself that it’s weird, but he feels somebody is watching them. He can’t risk a psi-scan and hold onto Pipeline at the same time, so he just keeps following the others.
Little does Cable realize he is right… they are being watched by someone hiding in the shadows… Mr. Sinister! Sinister grins, and quietly mocks that everyone better takes their places… as the show is about to begin!
Like Alice falling through the looking glass, the group knows there are no words to describe what they have now found. For as sophisticated as the technology of Genosha was, it never reached this level. Dr. Moreau, Phillip’s father, is widely credited with the creation of the “mutate bounding process.” It adapted Genosha’s mutant population; thrusting them into a world of indentured servitude and rendered them sterile, thus keeping these “mutates” at a manageable number. Economically, it was a brilliant plan. Genosha thrived and grew wealthy. But while the rich grew richer, the mutate population chafed under the yoke of slavery, and a rebellion was born.
The group has entered in a huge lab and discovers a group of tanks filled with a red liquid. Phillip stands speechless. He is shocked to discover it’s all true. His father couldn’t have worked alone. Cable asks Phillip if anyone was aware that his father conducted experiments there. That’s not what bothers Phillip right now. He looks at all the equipment in the lab, which are all functional! Pipeline doesn’t think this makes any sense. A mutate processing station of this size would have to be designated and monitored. But, the entire region is off limits to magistrates. Cable warns everyone to get ready, including Pipeline, as he’s into this up to his eyeballs. He thinks no one would leave this kind of equipment without some kind of safeguard. Domino wants to know who’s behind this. Phillip wants to know that as well, including… WHY?!
Sugarman is observing the “trespassers” on his monitors. Holding weapons ready in all of his four hands, he notices Nate Grey isn’t among his new enemies. Instead, it’s someone like Nate, but… older? He thinks these people want to take away what is his. But nobody will take the Sugarman down.