They are in trouble. Of course, with this trio, that isn’t anything new. On the other hand, it doesn’t make their situation any better.
Kane shouts at Cable to get them out of here… Now! Cable wishes he could find the words to tell Kane how incredibly helpful yelling at him is right now. Particularly since this is all his own fault, Domino reminds Kane.
While flying through space, Kane’s ship says, “Term designate sub-space vessel endeavor. Microjump complete. Hull fracture. Density reduction 49%.” Kane doesn’t understand what the ship is saying and fears it’s falling apart. Cable won’t let that happen. He orders them to sit down, and grab a hold on something, because they’re coming into the Microverse and they’ve got company!
It is said space is the final frontier. Only a handful of people know otherwise. For there are worlds within worlds, even an entire universe that is millions of times smaller than the head of a pin. It is here, in this Microverse that the space ship endeavor has brought our heroes. Garrison Kane, whose bionic body, retro-fitted with futuristic technology, makes him the prize sought after by this universe’s mad tyrant. Domino, who reluctantly joins them in the quest to find the woman Kane loves… and Domino, for her own reasons, hates. Cable, the rebel from the future who is here in the twentieth century to prevent his own apocalyptic era from occurring. The only problem is… have they come to the heart of an atom… only to die here?
The space ship continues to speak. “This vessel under attack by Psychoman’s death ships. War class “D.” Awaiting response.” Cable can’t believe he hears that. He sarcastically thinks the ship should be saying: “help… where are the cannons and deflector shields?” Nathan mocks they’re in a talking ship with a talent for understatements, and that reminds him about the Professor. Except he would help fix this crisis, and clearly, this endeavor isn’t capable of independent thought. He takes a look outside and sees Psychoman’s ships firing their lasers.
Domino asks Cable to take her to the helm. Cable doesn’t see the point, as he’s doing everything he can with his telekinetic powers to keep the ship intact. Ego aside, Domino points out they both know that her mutant powers somehow make it so things happen to go her way and, since things couldn’t get any worse… The ship gives another warning “hull breach, deck level nine. Awaiting response.” “Me too,” Domino jokes. As Cable thinks about it, Kane sighs. This is why he got out of the business, he mocks. Every decision is life or death. All he wanted was to be left alone to live a normal…
A noise is heard. Cable agrees for Domino to go for it on three. One… “Three,” Domino interrupts Cable, and shouts at him to get out of her way. She takes control of the steering wheel and recalls she never tried to use her powers this way before. She’s forcing the situation now rather than letting it just happen. There’s no time to have self-doubt now, even though she has it a little.
Miraculously, Domino’s plan works, and Kane’s ship’s lasers manage to destroy some of Psychoman’s! Domino is amazed, and so is Cable. And Psychoman’s ships… they’re retreating! Cable compliments Domino on the nice shooting. She says that she would like to take the credit… but it wasn’t her. However, someone glowing with energy appears behind the three, claiming that Domino’s right. The shooting came from them.
At Cable’s question, the speaker, Commander Arcturuss Rann, introduces himself. The ship they are all in now belongs to him, he explains. He sent it into the outerworld to bring back help, and he sees the ship succeeded. He also introduces his first officer, Mari, who welcomes her new friends to the struggle. Rann also introduces Bug, his… um… he doesn’t know what Bug is to him. Bug jokes he’s Rann trusted side-kick or, if not that, his most valued warrior. He’ll settle for best pal in all of inner-space for now. And by the by, their group can be called… the Micronauts!
Rann sees that Cable is wearing an “X” on his uniform and asks if he can count him among his allies, the X-Men. Cable tells Rann that he can, and introduces himself too. More importantly, Nathan adds, they came there to find Psychoman, who kidnapped… a friend. Rann claims that in that case, they don’t have much time. He explains there are few beings in this universe or Cable’s as relentlessly cruel in achieving his goals. Cable understands. It’s Rann’s turf, so they’ll follow his lead. When Domino then asks where the rest of the Micronauts are, Mari states that she’s looking at it.
Cable doesn’t understand as he’s read the files. The Micronauts have met both the X-Men and the New Mutants. There was a full team, so he asks Rann where they all are. Rann sadly answers that they’re gone. It’s the price of war. Some of their closest friends… “But he’s still got me,” Bug interrupts. And Mari, of course. And with the three of them here now, Bug doesn’t think they need more. Their friend is as good as rescued. Kane wishes he could share Bug’s optimism. Bug jokes Kane can have it. After all, that’s what it’s all about, isn’t it? High adventure! Rescuing fair damsels.
At hearing this, Kane angrily grabs Bug by the throat, yelling that this is no joking matter. Then, through gritted teeth, Kane fires his hand, still wrapped around Bug’s throat, propelling him backwards and against a wall. Bug can’t believe Kane just did that to him. He hates guys who do that. Watching this, Rann becomes angry and tells Cable he won’t allow this, but Cable orders Kane to stand down… now! Kane reminds Cable he doesn’t get to order him around anymore. He came there for one reason, and that’s to get Vanessa home. He doesn’t want any part in the Micronaut’s battle. He wants Cable to take a hard look at Rann. He lost everything, and Kane doesn’t want to end up like that.
Cable tries to calm Kane down but he refuses. He explains Vanessa is the glue that holds his world together. The only reason because Psychoman has her now is because she morphed and took his place. If he loses her, he’ll lose more than Cable will ever know. Cable warns Kane not to go there. He shouts that, if Kane wants to compare losses, he’ll come up short. And if he really wants to help Vanessa, he’ll have to let go of Bug… before he’ll make him do it. Kane’s eyes glow red as he takes a moment to consider this, until finally his hand releases Bug and returns his arm. Bug sighs in relief, guessing he really ticked Kane off.
Returning to the problem at hand, Cable asks Rann that, if he knows where Psychoman is, to take them there… pronto!
In the Haight District. It was here that Kane and Vanessa tried to live a normal life, outside of a world that hates and fears them for nothing more… than being different. In the abandoned theatre, a lone man stands… G.W. Bridge! Bridge takes a look around and muses that, first, the Weapon X facility was destroyed, and now Kane’s residence. Eyewitness accounts put a man matching Cable’s description there, but Bridge can’t figure out how Cable’s involved in all this. All he knows is, every time he runs into a bad situation, Cable is part of it. Cable and his secret agendas. Bridge is certain someday an innocent will get caught in the crossfire.
Bridge was a one-time soldier who fought alongside Cable. He now heads up the “mutant affairs” division of SHIELD and, at the moment, Cable is his number one priority. Bridge’s communicator chimes and, when he answers it, he is promptly ordered back on deck. Bridge replies that he’s working on the Cable operation, but the voice rejoins that they are working on it too… and it just got worse.
A captured and tortured “Kane” screams. Still unaware who his prisoner really is, Psychoman asks his droid number nine for a status report. The droid explains it’s inconclusive and that the sub-epidermal is shifting. The bionic formation is apparently organic in nature. Psychoman starts to realize something is amiss. His… research at the Weapon X facility regarding Kane gave no indication of that. Of course, there was no indication that they knew how his bionics had been augmented at all. He orders the droid to probe further. Psychoman is determined to have the secrets of Kane’s futuristic technological biology.
Psychoman recalls an expression they use in the outerworld: “you cannot know what it is like to be a big fish in a small pond.” Alas, it seems to be his destiny. And then… a miracle of sorts. His dogged enemies… the Fantastic Four, disappeared from their plane of existence in the battle with Onslaught, leaving not one, but two universes unprotected. Here, at the foot of his ship’s body ranks, the legacy left by the former ruler of this sector of the Microverse, they approach the zenith of his dreams as his soldiers by the tenfold sleep. He wants to let others for global domination. His path now leads a more… fertile ground. War. Total, unexpurgated war. With an army created of regenerated tissue and ably assisted by Kane’s cyber-organic armory. In the resulting chaos, there will be an unpredicted unleashing of emotion, and he will be there with his cup to drink from it.
Vanessa is no longer able to hold her morphed state and turns back to her normal self, thus revealing herself to Psychoman. Recovering from his surprise, the Psychoman examines Vanessa more closely, recognizing her as a “face-dancer.” But now is her masquerade exposed, and she will pay dearly for her trickery. Vanessa jokes she wishes she would have been bitten a little deeper, then mocking that Psychoman blew it. Without Kane, he doesn’t have an army. Psychoman concurs, but he notices he does have her. Surely, she would not sacrifice herself had there not been an intense mutual affection between her and Kane. And while he readily admits that an emotional response is both unpredictable and unscientific, he has gleaned enough from human nature to prepare for what is to come.
Elsewhere in the Microverse…
The ship states, “Tactical orbit achieved,” to which Rann tells Cable he got him there, as promised. He thinks Nathan realizes that a direct assault is tantamount to suicide, but Cable smiles that he likes these odds. Face it: their enemies won’t expect this, and the jet packs the Micronauts carry aboard should help them navigate out there. A startled Domino asks what he means by “out there.” He doesn’t mean, like, “outside?!” To this, Rann explains he didn’t get to be 1000 years old by not knowing when a man means business and, besides, he’s always had a soft spot for personal flight modules.
The group flies outside in space, carrying their jet packs and space suits. Cable explains he’ll keep them linked telepathically. Hopefully, that’ll cut down on Psychoman’s chances to control any of them individually. Kane tells Cable he can worry about strategy all he wants, he’s only in this for Vanessa. And with that attitude, Domino warns Kane, he’ll get them all killed.
Upon arriving on the surface, Bug tells Cable they’ve been in tight spots before, but he sure knows how to pick them. Standing before the Psychoman’s ship, they come upon a legion of soldiers in strange armor awaiting them! When Cable asks what they are really up against here, Mari explains they’re dog soldiers from the body ranks. And if there seem too many to count… it’s because there are! As the team opens fire with blasts from their gloves, Rann further explains the soldiers are a twisted scientist’s nightmare. The soldiers are actually dead soldiers reanimated with fresh tissue. They’ve got an incredibly short life span, which makes them incredibly dangerous. Cable understands.
Holding her own, Domino mocking says that she’ll add this place to the vacation hot spots Cable dragged her off to. “Dallan and Sepsis,” a worried Mari proclaims, there are so many of them! Bug cheers her up not to look so glum, as the Micronauts are back and kicking butt! Nearby, Kane asks Cable if he can psi-scan for Vanessa. They’re almost through the soldiers.
Once finished, Cable tells Kane that he’s got pin-pointed Vanessa. He asks Rann how much time he thinks they’ve got. Rann is certain Psychoman knows they’re there. And that alone puts them into jeopardy. The group keeps fighting the soldiers but Cable thinks this is too easy, as the soldiers get down by single blasts. It’s like they want them to breach the lair. Cable suddenly feels exhausted and believes Rann is right… he can feel Psychoman digging. Kane feels that Cable has broken their psi-link, which means he’s vulnerable now.
Suddenly, Cable doubles over and falls to his knees. Seeing this, Kane shouts at him to get up, because Vanessa’s life’s at stake. Cable won’t, saying he understands now. He thinks there’s no point in fighting back… because they’ll only die. More soldiers arrive and start surrounding Kane, who continues firing, even as he decides leaves Cable behind. He can’t think about anything but Vanessa.
In short order, he makes his way through the soldiers and bursts through a wall, entering a large room. Inside, he finds an unconscious Vanessa tied to a machine, and fears the worst. Watching from the shadows, the unseen Psychoman presses a button on his machine which reads “hate.”
Kane becomes furious, shouting that they only wanted to be left alone. Now, somewhere, somehow, somebody’s going to have to pay. And that somebody is Cable!