Cable (1st series) #78

Issue Date: 
April 2000
Story Title: 
I Still Believe I Cannot Be Saved

Joe Pruett (writer), Juan Santacruz and Michael Ryan (pencilers), Andrew Pepoy (inker), Gloria Vasquez (colorist), RS and Comicraft (letterer), Mark Powers (editor), Bob Harras (editor in chief)

Brief Description: 

After recent catastrophic events in Cable’s life, he heads home to find a ransacked safehouse and an injured Blaquesmith. After briefing his mentor of the recent events concerning the demise of Apocalypse, Cable learns the purpose behind the attack, a secret part of the building even he didn’t know about, which contains information that might lead to a cure for the T-O virus. Once Cable gets his head back together he stops by Stacey’s work to talk. She tells Cable she loves him and wants to make it work, but Cable refuses because he doesn’t want to put her at risk and end up losing her. He tells Stacey he loves her, but only after he wipes her memory of all traces of him. Cable leaves the diner and shortly after succumbs to the T-O virus. High above, Ranshi operatives, hailing from a timeline 2,000 years in the future, detect the energy signatures from some time travelers they assume are the Harmonists. They send down an attack squad to take them out. In Egypt, Ozymandius contemplates the unwritten future.

Full Summary: 

Hell’s Kitchen:

Cable arrives at his safehouse only to find it completely trashed on the inside. Every one of his security systems has been incinerated. Whoever was responsible knew what they were doing. Cable mulls over possible candidates: Apocalypse’s minions (no, the whole place would’ve been destroyed), Sinister (no, not personal enough).
Cable kneels down to inspect some of the damage and senses someone approaching from behind. Whoever it is has a wrench and swings it down hard. Cable blocks with a nearby pipe on the ground and pins the assailant against the wall. Then he realizes it’s Irene.
Cable backs off happy to see she’s ok. Irene lunges at him, burying her face in his shoulder and wrapping her arms around his waist. She thought he was one of the bad guys coming back to finish the job. Irene tells Cable his safehouse hasn’t been that “safe” at all the last couple days. Cable agrees he should have abandoned the place after Sinister breached its security. Emotional attachments to the area clouded his judgment.
Cable asks about Blaquesmith and Irene stutters her response. Cable grabs her by the arms and demands to know if Blaquesmith is all right. Irene tells him Blaquesmith’s alive, but pretty banged up. She directs him to the back.
Cable finds his mentor walking with a crutch, bandages adorning his limbs. Blaquesmith spots Cable and a smile crosses his face. He’s happy to see Cable alive. Cable is concerned with Blaquesmith’s wounds, but Blaquesmith tells him it’s nothing. Irene explains Blaquesmith was injured during the siege protecting her. Blaquesmith plays it off as if he was only trying to guard the secrets stored within the warehouse.
“Nathan?!” someone yells startling them. They all turn to find Stacey Kramer standing in the doorway. Cable starts to say something, but Stacey just wants to be held. She asks Cable where he’s been. Blaquesmith tells her it’s irrelevant. What he wants to know is whether he finally completed his mission, confronted his destiny. Cable tells him Apocalypse is gone.
Cable recalls the recent events beginning with his kidnapping in San Francisco, his subsequent transport to Apocalypse’s stronghold, Apocalypse’s capture of the Twelve and Cyclops’ ultimate sacrifice.
Blaquesmith points out their future made no mention of the death of Cyclops. Cable finds no comfort in that fact. Stacey asks Cable if Cyclops was his father and he confirms it. She asks if there’s anything she can do. Cable just hugs her. Then he pulls away, stares into her eyes and thanks her.
Cable stands up abruptly and asks Irene to lead Stacey out. Stacey can’t believe it, after all the worry he put her through. Cable explains that he wants to talk to her, but can’t. He needs to make peace with himself before making it with anyone else. Cable asks if she understands, and she does. All she asks is one favor, for him not to shut her out of his life. Irene puts her arm around Stacey’s shoulder and offers her some coffee and conversation on their way out.
As soon as they leave Cable’s T-O arm starts bubbling up and he lets out a groan. Blaquesmith asks if he’s ok, but Cable dismisses it as nothing and wants to know what happened in the safehouse. He wants to know what they were after. Blaquesmith shows him to an area of the safehouse even Cable was unaware of as they walk through a doorway and onto an elevator platform. Blaquesmith explains he felt some things needed to be kept secret.
They ride the platform down to a subbasement. Cable finds himself in a room with a giant cylinder in the middle, a huge power cable running to it and dozens of computer systems surrounding it.
Cable approaches the giant tube and places his hand on the outside glass. He asks Blaquesmith if this is what they were after. Blaquesmith has no doubt. He explains the hologram inside represents the techno-organic virus that Apocalypse injected into his body when he was a baby. Cable doesn’t see why anyone would want to break into his safehouse for it. That’s when Blaquesmith fills him in on the exciting part; he thinks he may have found a treatment that would drive the virus into remission. Cable can hardly believe a cure may be at hand.
Miles Above Manhattan:

A ship of futuristic design remains hovering over the New York borough. Inside, Captain Holdyne reports to his boss, Controller Sandella, they’ve detected a faint chronotronic energy field that may belong to one or two time-travelers. Holdyne believes the Harmonists may have sent some scouts ahead of their main force and mentions there’s a team of their troops currently led by Malan that will track them down and eliminate them.
Holdyne also points out the Harmonists are using technology unknown to them. Sandella advises him to be prepared for anything. She reminds him the fate of the entire Ranshi Empire depends on this. Holdyne points out he and his crew are hunters and have never failed to make their kill. Sandella tells him not to underestimate the Harmonists since they are fighting for their future existence too.
Holdyne assures her that once the time traveler(s) is (are) located the Eliminators will do the rest. Sandella warns Holdyne if he fails he will not live to see the sunrise.
Malan and his crew get dressed into the clothing of the 21st century. They discuss how weird it will be walking amongst people who have been dead for 2,000 years. Malan tells them to can the talk and focus on the mission. He reminds them if they are discovered they could shatter the future timeline.
Malan’s squad boards the transport deck along with a group of Eliminators (purple combat robots). Holdyne orders them to find the time-traveler(s) and capture or kill them.
Manhattan, Babel’s:

Cable comes out of the rain and into Babel’s diner. He finds Stacey wiping down a tabletop. Cable places his hand on top of hers and asks for a moment to talk. Stacey clears it with the boss and they both head to a booth in the back.

Ozymandias returns to the desert as a free man. He comes to remember the past and pray for the future. Ozymandias bends over and scoops up a handful of sand. He speaks as if Apocalypse could hear him, talking about the winds of change, and of a new era not written in stone. He finishes and opens his hand letting the sand be taken by the wind.

Cable apologizes to Stacey for kicking her out earlier. He’s drained emotionally and physically. Stacey says she understands and offers him some coffee. Cable continues, admitting he doesn’t know what to say to her. Stacey explains how horrible she felt not knowing where he was or if he was ok. She admits the pain made her realize she loves him. A surprised look crosses Cable’s face.
Frank, Stacey’s boss, interrupts to explain he’s leaving and asks Stacey if she can lock up. She agrees, and then turns her attention back to Cable. She asks him why he still hasn’t responded to her soul-bearing statement. He starts to answer, but Stacey silences him with a finger to his lips. She’s willing to put it all on the line for him and asks if he’s willing to do the same.
Cable apologizes that he can’t. He reminds her of Caesar and how he almost killed her to get at him. Cable says Caesar won’t be the last either. He’s not ready to lose another person he cares deeply for, to go through the pain again. Stacey assures him she can handle herself. He’s not taking that chance he tells her. He brings up her brother Kenny who she is responsible for and says that he deserves a good life.
Cable gets up from the table and tells her to forget about him, everything, for her own good. She looks down at her hands, “Then I guess this is it?” she asks. Cable leans in for one last kiss. “Yes”, he says softly, and then he enters her mind.
Cable stands back up and apologizes for using his telepathic powers on her. He tells Stacey she won’t remember anything about him. It will be like he never existed. He tells her he will cherish her memory always, and as if trying to rationalize things explains it couldn’t have worked anyway. He’s a destroyer and she’s a healer. He tells Stacey he loves her and has loved her ever since he laid eyes on her. Cable wishes her a good life and then walks out of the diner and her life forever.
Inside, Stacey rests her head in her hand. “Goodbye, Nathan” she says as tears start dripping down her face.
As Cable walks down an alley a bright light flashes overhead filling the sky. He shields his eyes and senses a change in the air. Cable’s suddenly overcome by pain. The virus takes control of his body, his telekinetic powers unavailable to help.
Later, Irene is out and about looking for Cable who is two hours late in reporting back. She’s using a device given to her by Blaquesmith to track Nate down. Irene stumbles down the same alley as Cable did earlier and looks up to find him hoisted in the air, his body a complete mess of techno-organic mesh. He calls out weakly to her. Irene yells out his name, partly in disbelief and party in shocked horror.

Characters Involved: 


Irene Merryweather


Stacey Kramer

Frank, Stacey’s boss

Controller Sandella

Captain Holdyne

Malan, Kriven (all named members of the Ranshi attack squad)

Story Notes: 

Sinister penetrated Cable’s Hell’s Kitchen safehouse in the Cable ’99 Annual.
Cable’s recount of past events is chronicled in Apocalypse: The Twelve Crossover.
The Ranshi ship is able to stay undetected to the world below by maintaining a constant phase dislocation keeping it one second ahead of normal time.
Caesar, an enemy of Cable, captured Stacey and used her to bait him. This occurred in Cable (1st series) #70.
Stacey still remembered Cable at the end of the issue thanks to the High Evolutionary who temporarily rid the world of all mutant powers. This storyline was happening in Uncanny X-Men #379.
And speaking of the High Evolutionary, Cable loses his telekinesis at the end of the issue for the same reason.

Issue Information: 
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