The Weapon X facility…
It’s a top secret installation somewhere in Canada. Pinpoint location is on a need-to-know basis only, and very few people need to know. Thirty-seven hours ago, this Canadian government operation went off-line. Sixteen minutes ago, the United States government offered to help. That’s when the multi-national task force called SHIELD arrived.
Some troops wearing containment suits enter the abandoned and destroyed base, and their leader warns everyone to be careful. He reminds them the Canadians were good enough to give them one hour, so they shouldn’t waste it. One of the troops tells the leader they’re in the heart of the complex and it looks like they’ve been through some kind of war there. When he wonders aloud what happened, the leader replies that’s what they’re here for to find out. He informs everyone they’ve finally got some good news: he’s not getting any radiation readings, gamma or otherwise. So, on his call, they’re breathing open air. “Three… two… one.”
All the troops take off their helmets. The field leader is revealed to be none other than G.W. Bridge. He is acting liaison on “mutant affairs” for SHIELD, handling those rare humans with strange and often frightening powers. Given the rash of mutant-related incidents, most notably Onslaught, in the last few weeks, Bridge has become a very important person. And he wouldn’t have it any other way.
Bridge thinks to himself that he’s glad he’s finally out of this monkey suit. He takes a look around at the base, and it’s gutted from the inside out. He recalls the last intermission from this base indicated Weapon X’ own people were trashing it… and each other! Not just soldiers… even the technicians and the patients too! What could have caused this? Bridge asks to be patched through to Command. He receives signal to go.
He confirms to Contessa a scorched air on Weapon X. She asks if anything’s retrievable. “Negative,” Bridge answers. It’s a clean house. This may have once been a state-of-the-art facility for military applications to human mutations, but all those files are either missing or destroyed. Which means it’s open season on anyone who’s been worked on here, including Wolverine, Deadpool… and Bridge’s old “pal”… Garrison Kane.
Cable and Domino are on a bus together. Domino telepathically admits she knows what she’s about to ask is a stupid question, but she wants to know if Cable’s thinking what she’s thinking. Hesitant, Cable says he doesn’t know. Something’s not right about this place, he thinks. It’s almost like the feeling you get when there’s a calm before a storm.
Inside the train, they hear someone calling other people freaks, who defend that nobody asks the mister to say that. Cable can’t get a handle on what’s upsetting them all. It feels like it’s just a raw emotion erupting to the surface. Regardless, Nathan realizes he better puts a stop to this before it escalates into something worse. The accuser claims that the people will see, as the Lord punishes the sinners! The people ask the accuser if he speaks for the Lord. The driver shouts that, on this bus, he speaks for everyone and they’ve got enough troubles in the world without letting petty differences divide them. So, he wants them all to shut up or get off!
Cable and Domino get off and Domino thinks the driver said that well. Cable agrees, admitting maybe he’s just being oversensitive because of all this anti-mutant hysteria lately. Domino jokes they can hope so, as she’d hate to think most people really buy into that kind of thing. As they continue their walk, they pass a huge poster of Graydon Creed’s election campaign, which reads: “Graydon Creed… making America safe… one country… one people… again.”
They arrive in front of a building and Domino asks Cable if he’s sure this is the right address. He is. Domino takes a look at it and asks Cable if his pal mentioned the old building was condemned. “Nope,” he jokes. He finds some boards on the door and indicates that they’re new and the smell of fire on them is recent. Domino mocks she doesn’t suppose Cable wants to ask around and get some info. Cable just stares at her in disbelieve and kicks the door open with his foot.
Inside, a theatre stands revealed. A turn of the century “palace” as it was known among actors.
Domino jokes the house was sure brought down, to which Cable tells her to cut it out. When he then mentions he understood the message was urgent, Domino asks Cable if he thinks their guy is all right. “Yes,” Cable answers abruptly as he walks on a stage. Domino asks Nathan how he can be sure about that. “Because he’s here,” Nathan says. He opens a curtain and behind it, finds none other than… Garrison Kane! Kane sits in a chair and notices Cable and Domino apparently got his message.
Once, Kane stood alongside Cable and Domino as soldiers in the good fight. Fatally injured, Cable took Kane into the future, where science was advanced enough to restructure Kane’s bionic body. But, where technology could save Garrison’s body… his soul was another matter entirely.
Cable asks Garrison what’s going on, to which Kane claims that this is what happens when mutants try to live a normal life. Cable doesn’t understand and asks why Kane’s sitting there, alone in the dark. Domino takes out a gun, warning Cable that Kane isn’t alone. Someone appears behind them… Copycat! Copycat explains Kane hasn’t been alone for some time now… if either of them actually cared.
Kane admits to Cable he really tried to go back to his life as a merc. After all the time he spent in the future… alone… waiting for Cable to come back for him… he kept thinking “why am I doing this to myself?” And it only got worse when he returned to the twentieth century… until he hooked up with Vanessa. Life started to make a little more sense. Vanessa reveals they both wanted the same thing. They just wanted to… fit in. Being a morph for so long, she thought she had lost sight of who she really was. Domino doesn’t feel sorry for Vanessa at all and mocks she should have blown her brains out.
Cable is shocked hearing that from her. Domino doesn’t know how Kane could have done this. He was her friend, and now he’s with Vanessa?! Kane defends they each have to make choices, as how to live their lives, and those decisions can’t be based on whether or not friends can let go of the past. He thought this was a good start… until the fire happened. Now, Kane believes he was an idiot.
Cable asks Kane who set this fire, and why. Kane reveals in the last twenty-four hours, there’s been something wrong in this city. Something… you can feel. After what happened in New York, Kane thought it might have something to do with Onslaught, but then they found something on the wall. He rips a poster off a wall, only to reveal a painted mark on it, it’s a letter… a red “M.”
There was a time in Nazi Germany when the Jewish people lived in fear of a simple yellow star. It designated that they were different. And in turn, it made those people, and their homes, targets.
Kane defends tht they took every precaution. No one knew they were different. Cable mocks someone apparently did know. Kane agrees to that now. And he wants Cable to find out who knew. With his connections, not to mention his telepathy, it should be easy. And when they find the culprit, Kane wants to show them he is as dangerous as they think he is! He tells Cable that people despise them. They’re afraid because mutants have something others don’t have. And Kane is tired of being an outcast. Cable states he has never been anything but an outcast. And he’s not sure if he wants it any other way. Kane would. And that’s why he and Vanessa dropped out of their earlier lives. No more guns, no more spy school. No more useless attempts to make the world a better place, no more sacrificing his limbs for people who don’t even care. They’re just trying to save their own little patch. But people won’t let them. They don’t want him and Vanessa here… or anywhere else.
Cable won’t accept that. He reminds Kane that he saw the future, and it’s only one of many possible futures! If they stop now, if they try and hide… then they’ve given up the fight. Copycat angrily defends they’ve already given up the fight! They only wanted to be left alone. Domino mocks Vanessa if taking someone else’s life isn’t good enough for her anymore. Vanessa is ready to fight Domino and make her understand how the year she spent trying to be Domino was the hardest thing she has ever done. But somehow, she doesn’t think Domino would listen to her, so instead she gives Domino a hard punch in her face!
Domino lands on her feet and corrects Vanessa that she’s wrong about one thing. Taking her one will be the hardest thing she’ll ever do in her life!
And in the shadows, another goes unnoticed as a green hand presses a button on a device. Two options on the device read, “fear,” “doubt” and he chooses “hate.”
Domino keeps punching Vanessa, promising her once she’s through with her, Vanessa will wish she’s somebody else! Cable tries to interfere, but realizes that he shouldn’t. Suddenly, he can’t think straight anymore and wonders what’s going on. Question marks appear all around Cable, and he falls on his knees in disbelieve.
In the shadows, the hidden player continues to play. He presses another button his device: “doubt.”
Vanessa punches Domino through a wall. She steps through the hole, and has taken Domino’s shape… in full costume. She admits that taking Domino’s place was easier than she could imagine. No one really cared and claims that’s how little Domino meant to everyone. Especially Cable. Domino gets up and throws Vanessa over her head, shouting at her she’s wrong. She’s the one with no real identity, and mocks Vanessa she’ll never be anything more than a walking Xerox copy!
Outside, the city roils near eruption as once-suppressed emotions are exposed, turning neighbor against neighbor, brother against brother, man against woman. People watch Domino and Copycat fight each other. One of them wonders if they should break the two up, but another bystander wants to kill the guy if he tries to.
Inside the theatre, Kane pulls out his metal arms from his shirt and wonders what has gotten into Vanessa and Domino. Suddenly, he starts to fear that, if he goes outside, everyone will know he’s different. An evil voice mocks Kane that he’s right, and that everyone will loathe him. And that it’s all because he’s less human now. Liquid metal flows where once there was blood. Bio-circuitry in place of nerve endings, man-made parts instead of God-given limbs! The voice tells Garrison Kane if he wishes to hate… he should hate himself! Kane falls on his knees and suddenly sees dark, shadow-like creatures floating all around him and gets scared by them.
The man in the shadows presses another button his device “fear.”
Cable gets back up and adamantly declares this has gone on long enough. He doesn’t have to be one of the world’s greatest psions to figure out someone is manipulating them. And after what they went through with Onslaught, nobody is messing with his head! With the power of his mind, Cable creates a telepathic bubble capable of sealing off any outside cerebral interference, enabling him to take any action! Cable shouts at Vanessa to drop her weapon. She doesn’t and points her gun at Domino’s head. Cable telekinetically pulls it out of Vanessa’s hand.
Vanessa morphs back to her normal self and wonders how, as nobody can make her do this but herself. Cable corrects that he can, by mentally triggering her mutant ability. Domino warns Cable this is between she and Vanessa, but Cable wants the two women to listen to him. He tells the two to look around: the city has gone wild! Something or someone has been pulling their strings. Vanessa worries about Garrison and runs back inside to check on him.
Domino asks Cable what just happened. It was like something was inside her and pushing her to hate. Cable felt it too, and wonders where Kane disappeared to. The villain responsible for all this finally steps out of the shadows, and reveals himself to be none other than… Psychoman! Dragging an unconscious Kane in his hand, Psychoman claims that Cable’s fallen friend now belongs to him. And as ever on this plane, Psychoman finds himself fascinated. While he would… delight in drinking further from the soup they all call emotions, his meal for the day is finished.
Cable doesn’t know who Psychoman is, but thinks it’s clear he’s responsible for this madness. “Was I?” Psychoman makes Cable wonder. More than any beings he has encountered, humans are ruled by their emotions. They abandon reason quickly, give in easily to their darker passions, and are so very willing to destroy each other to satisfy primal urges, to decide trivial differences. He wonders if his presence here today was truly needed for any of that. Psychoman mentions he doesn’t create emotions. He merely shapes them as a sculptor does clay. Regardless, he got what he came for… Kane. The advanced bio-organic technology of Kane’s body will conquer a universe for Psychoman. Perhaps when it’s done, he’ll return here. On that moment, Psychoman teleports himself away… together with Kane!
Cable tries to interfere and rescue Kane, but is too late. They’re gone. The teleportation was like none Cable has ever seen before. It was like Psychoman… shrank away.
Suddenly, a noise is heard back inside the building. Cable and Domino go check it out, and find a huge spaceship in it! The alien ship lands and starts to speak “term designate sub-space level endeavor. This ship has been programmed to aid in your quest. Carbon-based life-form designate “Garrison Kane” no longer on this planet. This vessel is pre-programmed to follow. Request you board. Awaiting response.”
Domino doesn’t understand what response the ship is talking about. It… or someone… wants them aboard, Cable believes. And if this is their only hope of finding Kane… “if you don’t go, I will,” a voice says from behind. Cable looks behind him, and is startled to see… Kane?! Kane explains Psychoman came looking for the future technology that’s inside his body. What he doesn’t know is that Vanessa morphed into his form. Vanessa may be no saint, and may have made her share of mistakes, but she sacrificed herself for him, and he won’t abandon her! If Cable and Domino can get over whatever twisted and confused feelings they’ve got towards Vanessa, maybe they can help. Cable agrees to go… wherever “there” is…