Cable (1st series) #41

Issue Date: 
March 1997
Story Title: 
Depths of Time

Todd DeZago (writer), Steve Crespo (pencils), Scott Hanna (inks), Richard Starkings & Comicraft (letters), Mike Thomas (colors), GCW (separations), Mark Powers (editor), Bob Harras (editor-in-chief)

Brief Description: 

Cable picked up an intruder alert from a piece of his former orbital base, Greymalkin, which now lies destroyed on the bottom of the Pacific Ocean. He finds it odd that there’s an actual intruder there, as only a few people know its location. Nathan takes Bishop with him to investigate, believing Bishop’s past as an X-Cop might come in handy. Once they’ve arrived at Greymalkin, Bishop takes the lead and finds an unexpected guest… Sinsear! Sinsear is angry for having lost most of his humanity to machine body parts, and that people keep staring at him and that he doesn’t find any peace in this era. He wants to go back to his own timeline, where he hopes to re-find all those things. While they fight, Cable and Bishop try to make Sinsear understand that he can’t find those things in any timeline, but has to earn them by doing. Sinsear fires a blast at the two mutants, but misses, and instead hits the core which now gets damaged. Cable panics because if the core gets too much powered up, which it does automatically by its own, all reality will cease to exist. Cable finds an orb which will help them shut the core down, but something or someone has to go inside the core to make sure the solution sticks. Cable intends to sacrifice himself to save countless lives, but Sinsear disagrees, since he caused this mess. He takes the orb from Cable and goes inside the core, where he vanishes into a bright light. Once the light is gone, Cable says the timeline is now safe once again, though he thinks Sinsear’s atoms are scattered throughout the universe. As he and Bishop go back home, he and Cable discuss their pasts… and future… and Cable believes that, no matter what he does to prevent it, his own horrible timeline will come to pass and a lot of innocents will suffer. Once back at Xavier’s, Storm meets up with Cable where Nathan asks Ororo to tell him a little more about his sister, Rachel.

Full Summary: 

The Pacific Ocean, some 362 miles Northeast of the Hawaiian Islands…

Where a mysterious craft, known to some as the Pacrat, slices the air above the placid waters… maintaining the linear course it held for over an hour. When suddenly, abruptly…

Inside the craft, a worried Bishop asks Cable what he’s doing. “Hang on,” Cable simply says. He steers the craft into the air, and then makes a deep dive into the ocean! Almost immediately, Cable informs Bishop they’ve arrived. They look outside and can see a huge piece of machinery on the bottom of the ocean.

They came here, the man called Cable and the X-Man known as Bishop, in response to an emergency transmission indicating a security breach. A trespass into the time displacement core, potentially the most dangerous device on the planet. It serves as a cruel reminder for both men of other times, other places… places they called home. Previously, the device was Cable’s doorway to the timestream. Now, it is the last vestige of Greymalkin, the orbiting space station that allowed Cable to travel here on a desperate mission from two millennia hence. Bishop also journeyed back through time… several decades, in his case. Hidden at the bottom of the Pacific Ocean, concealed and secured with technology yet to be created, Cable thought the unit virtually impenetrable. Today, however, it plays host to an intruder.

Cable moves their ship closer towards Greymalkin so they can safely walk through into a docking port. Cable warns Bishop they’ll go in code blue… silent running. Nathan has to assume that anyone who could hack through all the electronic barbwire he had installed will be prepared, so they need to stay sharp. Cable asks Bishop if he’s okay with communicating telepathically. That’s not a problem for Bishop, and they start doing so.

The two walk inside the ship and Bishop wants to know if Cable has any idea who their “visitor” might be. Cable doesn’t have a clue. So he’s dying to know how they found out about it. As far as he knew, nobody outside the X-Men was even aware that the core was down here. They hear a noise up ahead. Cable thinks it looks like he’s going to have a chance to ask who the intruder is, because it sounds like they’re down in the core control room!

Cable asks Bishop for any suggestions on how to handle this. However, Bishop corrects that this is Cable’s operation, so, as the Beast would say it… his party. He’ll follow Nathan’s lead. Cable actually thought Bishop would have more experience with this sort of thing. After all, Bishop is the one so found of reminding them all he was an X-cop. In that case, Bishop suggests they just go in hard! Bishop and Cable run into the control room, where they point their guns at the intruder and order him to freeze. But, both men are surprised when they come face to face with… Sinsear?!

Standing behind some control panels, Sinsear admits he had hoped he would be able to access the time core prior Cable’s arrival, but it really shouldn’t matter. He knew Dayspring would try to stop him, and find it fitting that Cable is here as he embarks on his new destiny. For it was Cable who turned Sinsear into his current state. Sinsear was a casualty of war. When Cable found him, he was a bloodied, mangled victim torn apart by the endless bloodshed of their era. One plasma blast from Cable would have ended Sinsear’s suffering, but instead Cable showed him mercy!

Sinsear throws spheres at Bishop and Cable, who gets a fix on the former’s position. Bishop notices the spheres are maneuvering to catch him in a crossfire. If he attacks, one the others will have him. He finds some disks and throws them both right at the spheres, destroying them all. Sinsear angrily says Cable condemned him to this hellish existence! “They” salvaged him. What was left of his body was made into his current form. This mockery of life… this mockery of humanity! And when he and Cable met again, as he clamored for revenge, Cable dared compare his suffering to his!

Recognizing the spheres as “buzz-drones,” Cable realizes there are too many. Though he manages to dodge the blasts, he knows he can’t keep evading them much longer. His weapon is no good against these things and he doesn’t have the telepathic power to take down all three of them. But, Nathan thinks, what will happen if he grabs just one? He telekinetically grabs one of the drones, points it towards the others and has the drone destroy its companions by shooting at them.

In truth, Sinsear admits, he no longer has a quarrel with Cable, but he has come much too far to allow him and Bishop to stop him. All he desires is to return to the place of his birth, as there is nothing for him here but cold, unfamiliar faces, with eyes that look upon him with scorn and contempt. As Sinsear and Bishop fight, Bishop tells him this is not the way to pursue that goal. The core is unstable, and therefore puts others at risk if it is accessed. He suggests Sinsear to let them help him.

Cable sees Sinsear powering up his right hand and warns Bishop about it. As Sinsear fires, Bishop jumps away from it, and instead the blast hits the core. The blast went right through the chamber wall. If the housing’s been pierced or compromised in any way…! Cable telepathically tells Bishop he has to go check on the core and asks if he can handle Sinsear. “Most definitely,” Bishop proudly utters, as he and Sinsear are ready for another round.

Cable recalls the time core is a massive device and yet, within the housing, it’s incredibly delicate. If it’s been damaged, it could cause a chronal chain reaction. Cable finds the core in a big room, where the device is making a lot of noise and looks a bit damaged. Cable checks it out and spots it looks like Sinsear managed to access and engage the displacement drive. Hopefully, if he moves fast, there will still be time to terminate the program before a bad thing happens. Cable sees an activated computer screen, which reads: “core energy: increasing. Tach drive: 29 MRZ.”

Cable panics, as he knows this means Sinsear has begun dilation of the chronal barrier and either purposely or accidentally has locked the system down. Nathan can’t stop it! He can’t terminate the program… it’s just going to build until it blows!


Sinsear doesn’t understand how Bishop and Cable are going to help him, thinking they have no way of doing that. There’s nothing they or any native of this primitive era can do to help him. He seeks that which the miracles of science cannot offer: peace. Hope. Acceptance. Bishop knows from experience time doesn’t always work that way. The things Sinsear are looking for… those are things he cannot get from someone else.

Sinsear mocks Bishop on the nice speech but, unfortunately, it falls upon deaf ears. However, what is left of humanity in Sinsear is touched. Sinsear fires a power blast at Bishop, who absorbs it and, thanks to his mutant power, rechannels it and strikes it very hard at his opponent.

Cable grabs Sinsear, warning they don’t have the time for this. He explains to everyone the core has been damaged but that the power is still building. They’ve been locked out of the program so they have to find some way to physically shut it down. They all have to work together or the core will blow, and all of time will crushing down around them!

Everyone agrees to work together. As they run to the core, Bishop asks Cable what they’re looking at. Cable further explains the time-displacement core is like a nuclear reactor. It’s building energies because it wants to do its job. It wants to rip someone, or something, through time! One way or another, those energies need to be released. Under normal circumstances, they could override the countdown. Unfortunately, the remote units have been damaged as well.

When Bishop asks what that means, Cable explains that the portal can only be closed from inside. If not, once critical mass is achieved, it’ll implode. Sinsear wonders whether, after that, they’ll all cease to exist. Cable believes it could be worse. Simply put, from this, the point of origin, and expanding in ever-glowing circles… all of time would suddenly exist… all at once.

An alarm goes off. It’s getting bad! Bishop asks Cable for a quick solution. Cable rips a side of the core apart where he takes out a green orb. He explains they’ll need this. The orb is what actually makes the opening of the timestream possible. If they can activate it inside the core, they can force the rift to close in on itself and neutralize the threat once and for all. Bishop thinks Cable can perhaps place the orb inside the core and activate it telekinetically, but Cable says no to that. Once the green orb is inside the rift, it’s basically in another dimension. His power would be completely cut off from it. They’ve got to find another way. Sinsear takes a look in his eyes looking like he knows a solution, but doesn’t quite share it with the others just yet.

Moments later…

Bishop runs around the core and Cable checks up on him telepathically. Unfortunately, Bishop isn’t finding anything that fits their needs. Everything he sees is too large to use to position the orb inside the portal. And they’ve only got forty-seven seconds left to find something! Bishop shares he’s at the bulkhead corridor right now. “Good,” Cable responds. Bishop doesn’t understand, but Sinsear does. He thinks Cable is going to throw himself into the rift and in the core, and then activate it from within. Cable confirms as it’s the only way. However, Sinsear reminds Cable he’ll be lost if he does that, as there will be no way back. Cable knows Sinsear is right about that, but this core is his responsibility. He brought it here, and he has found too many people to care about in this era to allow this construct to harm them. “G’journey,” he wishes Sinsear, as he leaves to fulfill his new destiny. He suggests to Sinsear that he stick to Bishop, as he can get him to people who can help him out.

However, Sinsear powers up, apologizing to Dayspring but he can’t let him do this. He fires the blast into Cable’s back, which knocks him out. On the other side of the core, Bishop is angry with Cable, realizing he sent him to the far side of the core so he wouldn’t be able to interfere with his plans. Once Bishop is back at the front of the core, he is shocked to find Sinsear standing almost inside it, with the orb! Sinsear doesn’t want Bishop to stop him, as he has to do this. Cable gets up, shouting at Sinsear to stop, as he doesn’t know the sequence. Sinsear claims that both Bishop and Cable were right. His humanity isn’t something he can retrieve from the future… it’s only something he can find… inside himself.

Sinsear steps inside the core, looks one last time above him, takes a moment for himself, and then steps inside the core. A bright light appears, to which Cable and Bishop have to cover their eyes for. Once the light is gone, a startled Bishop asks Cable where Sinsear went to, or rather, when? Without the sequence or a programmed focal point, Sinsear could be “everywhen” right now. Cable believes Sinsear’s atoms must be scattered throughout the timestream. “G’journey,” Cable wishes his friend a final time.

Later, back on board the Pacrat…

Cable asks Bishop how much he knows of the events that transpire between this era and his own? Cable reveals they had very little hard data concerning the late twentieth century. Most recorded history – computer files, printed text and so forth, were lost during one of the last conflicts in the Summers Rebellion. The accounts he heard as a child, chronicling the accomplishments of Charles Xavier and his X-Men, were closer to myth and legend than to historic truth. He wonders why Cable asked that question.

Nathan says that, like Bishop, the people of his time knew little more than fables concerning this spawn of years. Apocalypse did everything he could to erase the memory of what the X-Men stand for. Some information endured, of course, in the form of ancient texts and verbal accounts, passed down through the centuries, from generation to generation. One thing they were certain of: the end of the second millennium is the crux point upon which human history turns. Bishop admits that is consistent with the knowledge he possesses. Cable further says it’s just that with all that’s concerned in recent months… the Legacy Virus, Onslaught, the assignation of Graydon Creed… he is actually… afraid. Maybe for the first time since he was a boy. Because it seems no matter what he does, despite the sacrifices and efforts of all the X-Men, his future is coming to pass. And that means a lot of innocents are going to suffer.

Later that night, at Xavier’s…

A flying Storm finds a troubled Cable in the gardens and lands beside him, believing his journey to the Pacific didn’t go so well. Cable tells Ororo she could say that. He and Bishop were discussing their pasts, and maybe their future as well. Or lack thereof. Storm doesn’t want Cable to despair, though she knows he has seen a lot of pain. She knows he lost many loved ones. But this is the here and now, she reminds Nathan, the future has not yet happened, and he has a family… the X-Men… that cares for him. Therein lies hope, and they must embrace that with open arms, for that is what will give them the strength to accomplish their goals.

They go for a walk and Cable mentions he had all those things Storm mentions before, and lost them all. Storm asks Cable if he thinks of them often. His expression a somber one, he picks up a leave and plays with it, admitting that he thinks about his family and lost ones from time to time. But that’s in the past… he has to move forward. Cable also admits there is something he has been meaning to ask Ororo. He knows she knew his sister… Rachel… quite well. Storm confirms, explaining Rachel was an X-Man for a time, a valued member and a dear friend. Cable drops the leaves, asking Storm if she can tell him about her…

Characters Involved: 


Bishop, Storm (both X-Men)


Story Notes: 

The Greymalkin ship was earlier mentioned in X-Force (1st series) #22.

Sinsear earlier appeared in Cable (1st series) #1.

Issue Information: 
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