Cable (1st series) #80

Issue Date: 
June 2000
Story Title: 
...Cauldron Bubble

Robert Weinberg (writer), Michael Ryan (penciler), Scott Hanna (inker), RS & Comicraft’s Saida Temofonte (letterer), Gloria Vasquez (colorist), Mark Powers (editor), Bob Harras (editor in chief)

Brief Description: 

Cable finds himself in the middle of a plush forest. He soon stumbles upon a woman named Eyla who invites him to her family’s home. It turns out Cable was transported 2,000 years into the future, where Earth is now known as Harmony. Cable, as the first traveler to come through the city in a long time, is an honored guest and they throw him a party. The party is attacked by Ranshi operatives halfway through and during the skirmish Cable is sent back to the present. Cable recaps what happened to him in Harmony to Blaquesmith and Irene. Irene suggests they go check out one of her contacts named Clarity, who may be able to shed more light on the Undying. Later, they’re picked up in limo and driven to Clarity’s residence. Meanwhile, many other subplots are brewing. Blockade has broken out of the hospital and has left a trail of death and destruction on his way to see Cable. Randall Shire’s message is reaching more and more people. Berger and Oxton try breaking through the temple door, but fail. They’re met by some soldiers who warn them of the dangers the temple possesses. Controller Sandella of the Ranshi is lenient on Malan for his failure to capture Cable, but warns he better come back with him next time or else. Back at Clarity’s, Blockade busts through the wall and goes after Cable. Immediately after Malan and his crew teleport in, their sights set on Cable as well.

Full Summary: 


Seconds ago Cable was in the heart of Manhattan, now he finds himself somewhere else, mysteriously teleported by some unknown force. He walks through the wooded landscape trying to make sense of it all. Then he hears a singing voice in the distance and decides to check it out.
In a small opening amongst the vegetation stands a woman in wildly different clothes. The purple-haired female holds a brush in one hand and uses it to paint the wooded scenery before her. Cable deduces he’s in the future by examining the technology in the woman’s outfit. He tries entering her mind, but it’s totally shielded.
The woman finally notices him, and so does her pet saber-toothed tiger. She seems to offer him a warm greeting, but it’s in a language Cable doesn’t understand. The woman kneels down and rummages through her bag. She pulls out a device and hands it to Cable. She makes a motion signaling he should put it in his ear. Cable does so and when she speaks again he understands perfectly.
After some small talk concerning the universal translator they introduce each other. The woman’s name is Eyla Cire. Cable introduces himself as Nathan Summers. Eyla asks Nathan if he’s a traveler. Cable goes with the flow and says that he is. Eyla is excited to meet him, as no travelers have visited her city, Niers, in ages. She asks Nathan if he will stay for his visit with her family. Cable is surprised at her level of trust. Eyla doesn’t understand his surprise, as visitors always pick a host family in every city they visit.
Cable doesn’t answer right away. Instead his focus is on the inordinate amount of saber-toothed tigers in the city. He asks Eyla about it. They’re the protectors of the city, she tells him, and is surprised that his home doesn’t have bio-engineered protectors. She thought every megapolis on Harmony uses guardians. “Sure... Sort of” he replies. But his thoughts remain on the word “Harmony.” It was only a few hours ago when the commander of a robot attack squad uttered the same name.
Cable and Eyla make their way to the entrance of the Cire home. Eyla explains she’s already contacted her father and the celebration planners and notified them of his arrival. It’s been so long since Nier has received a visitor that everyone wants to meet him. Cable asks how she managed to contact them. She tells him through the computer in her bloodstream.
The duo enters the Cire elevator platform and takes it to the top level where Manuel Cire, Eyla’s father, waits to greet them. After exchanging pleasantries, Eyla leaves to design herself a new outfit for the celebration. Manuel comments on how well Cable has adapted to the customs of the future. Cable is surprised he figured out Cable was from the past. Manuel explains the computer system scanned him when he entered and detected a large amount of chronotronic energy coming from him.
Manuel wants to know why Cable has come. Cable tells him of the Three Witches whom he suspects sent him there, but he doesn’t know why. Manuel says the computer detected he was from 2,000 years in the past, when Harmony was known as Earth.
Cable asks if any hostile time travelers have visited them before, his thoughts still on the soldier who set a trap for him in the warehouse. Manuel explains they’re at war with an alternate timeline. The Ranshi Empire, a militaristic regime, is the power of the warring timeline. Both timelines diverged at the same point in time, 2,000 years ago. The war is being fought because only one can survive. Cable clues in on the “2,000 years” and suggests his appearance there is no mere coincidence. Manuel agrees.
Earth, present time

Madison Square Garden, New York City

Randall Shire stands before a large audience preaching his message of harmony and peace. He tells the enthralled spectators not to deny his message but spread it to friends and family and have them come to hear his words and be free.
Within the audience are two New York City reporters, Jason Cross and Karen Gleason. They were sent to cover Randall Shire, both of them certain he’s a fraud. But after hearing his message they, like the rest of the audience, are mesmerized by Shire’s “Peace and Harmony” message.

Cable sports some new duds created by Eyla’s brother, Ezra. Cable says he feels like an idiot. Ezra assures him it’s the height of fashion, and not to worry about it since most people probably won’t pay attention to his clothes. Manuel pipes in that freedom of expression is encouraged and to look ridiculous is the norm.
Manuel gets a reading from the bio-monitor alerting him that someone in the room is sick. Cable tells them he suffers from a techno-organic virus. Manuel is surprised diseases still exist in his time. He asks the room to analyze Cable’s condition. The computer relays the virus can be cured following five days of therapy and treatment. Cable is shocked.
Later, Cable and Eyla make their debut at the party. Cable can’t remember a time when he’s been around so many friendly people. Eyla explains that it’s part of the Harmony philosophy. Cable just can’t believe there’s a future without hatred, poverty or war. Eyla tells him to forget about all that; this is his chance to start over. Cable’s a mix of emotions. He only remembers one woman who’s ever made him feel this way.
Earth, present time

Sinai Desert

Berger fires a laser at the entrance to the ancient temple. It doesn’t even scratch the surface. The Professor is ecstatic at his find, with its highly sophisticated entrance. Berger turns around, sweat pouring down his face, and warns Oxton they have more pressing matters. Oxton asks what could be more important than getting through the door. Berger points to the soldiers carrying rifles standing behind them.

Cable and Eyla are waltzing on the dance floor. Cable is surprised to hear a waltz in the year 4004. Eyla explains they use time travel to study ancient forms of art and music. They blend the wisdom of the past with the science of today. She says genetic engineering is their greatest triumph. It’s how they have computers in the blood and saber-toothed tigers protecting the city. It’s also how they keep their race pure by monitoring the genetic code of all children. Cable stops and asks her to run that by him again. Eyla tells him it’s nothing to worry about, but before she can explain further the roof of the building is blown to smithereens.
Cable hears the phrase “The First Test” as he looks up and sees a Ranshi attack ship as well as a squadron of those robot soldiers he encountered last night. Cable thanks Eyla for a wonderful time and then gets to the butt whuppin’. He starts by working on the robot soldiers. They soon realize he’s the biggest threat and turn their focus on him. Cable puts up a telekinetic shield when he sees several gun barrels pointed his way. The blast knocks him back through a door and he finds himself instantly returned to the 21st century, plowing backwards through the entrance to his safehouse.
S.H.I.E.L.D. Military Hospital, Bethesda, MD

The whole hospital is aflame. In the foreground stands Commander G.W. Bridge and a fellow S.H.I.E.L.D. agent. Bridge wants to know what caused the disaster. The agent tells him it was an assassin called Blockade. Bridge thought Blockade was catatonic. So did the hospital staff, the agent replies, and now there are eight dead, 23 injured and 37 missing. A soldier approaches them letting them know they have the security tapes ready.
As they view the tape they see Blockade awaken and pull off his wires. Blockade turns around and stares straight at the invisible security camera. He smiles and says, “Death. Death. Much Death. Destroy. Death.” He gets in real close, face filling the monitor, and adds, “Fear me humans. I am Aentaros. I am Undying.”
The agent remarks on the circle symbol on Blockade’s forehead. It reminds him of an old serial killer case, “the Circle Killer,” who left that mark at every scene. Bridge tells him to investigate it. The agent tells him the connection is impossible. The man was caught and executed fifty years ago.
Cable’s Safehouse, Manhattan

Cable takes a sip from his coffee as his tells his tale of Harmony to two of his trusted friends, Blaquesmith and Irene. Irene says she saw Cable open the door and fall through and no time elapsed between the two events. Blaquesmith is amazed at the skill of whoever orchestrated the timeshift.
Cable suggests they put the defense systems on full alert since according to the witches there are still two tests for him to face today. Cable gets up from his seat and gets to work on the system. Irene puts forward that the guy at Madison Square Garden who tried killing those people might have been possessed. Cable is surprised she’d actually believe something like that. Irene tells him of legends and myths involving evil spirits possessing people that have existed since ancient times.
Irene offers Cable some help in the form of one of her newspaper sources who specializes in off the wall subjects. His name is Clarity and he always works through a third party. She’ll see what he knows about the Undying.
Blaquesmith cautions Cable on the Three Witches and tells him not to trust them and not to rely on his emotions. Cable assures him Eyla would never betray him, although he can’t say the same for her father.
Cable lies down in his room and contemplates how he’s changed over the years. There was a time when he would have accepted a person’s death as a casualty of war. Now, however, he feels that every life matters, which is why Blaquesmith is worried. He’s no longer a man without a heart, which will make things more dangerous... and more exciting.

Blockade tears through a gas station mini mart. He leaves, blood dripping from his fingers. Moments later the entire place erupts into a giant fireball. The grin on Blockade’s face never leaves. Death makes him strong.
The Ranshi Ship above Manhattan

Controller Sandella admonishes Malan for his failure at capturing the time traveler. Malan accepts the failure and asks she not punish Captain Holdyne or the rest of his squad. Sandella says she will be lenient this time, as the video recording from his suit shows the traveler is not a Harmonist. He is a mutant, and there aren’t any mutants in Harmony.
The Controller wants to know more about the mysterious man and his purpose. She tells Malan to find the man or don’t come back.
New York City

Cable and Irene stand outside in the city waiting for Clarity’s contact to pick them up. Cable voices his dislike at the way Clarity operates. Irene assures him this was the only way he’d agree to meet. A limo pulls up and the driver, Greg, steps out and invites them inside.
In the limo, Cable notes the soundproofing and dark windows and surmises Clarity’s not the trusting type. Cable half-jokes if any gas will be coming through the vents. Greg tells him that would be rude.
Soon after they arrive at Clarity’s residence. Greg’s wife, Lea, welcomes them and offers to take them right to Clarity. Irene asks how long they’ve worked for Clarity. 30 years, Lea replies and then hands them some visors with attachments over the ears. She tells them they will muffle the noise.
They enter Clarity’s room and find hundreds of TVs lining the walls, their volumes cranked up all the way. Even with the headphones the sound is overwhelming. Lea goes on to explain how Clarity’s ability works: “He absorbs huge amounts of information through his eyes and ears. He can watch and hear hundreds of news reports at once and understand everything. His mind is like a gigantic computer memory bank, absorbing information from thousands of sources.”
Cable says he’s the first digital man. Irene declares there’ll be no more secrets in the world. Lea adds that his greatest ability is to see patterns amongst random bits of information.
Occurring Simultaneously

In Egypt, Berger and Oxton are warned that a great evil lies beyond those doors they were trying to get through. The Professor can’t imagine anything could still be alive in there. The soldier tells him powerful genii still live inside; their seal is on the door.
On the Ranshi ship, Malan and his squad are about to be teleported to Cable’s position.
In the sewers, Blockade continues his trek for Cable and says when he’s done with his arch-nemesis he’s moving on to Shire.
Back at Clarity’s, Cable asks Lea how they communicate with the man. He hears everything you say, Lea explains. He’ll reply via a computer monitor.
Ranshi Ship, Malan orders the transport.
Sewers, Blockade continues his death rant for Cable.
Harmony, Manuel comforts his daughter over the loss of Cable. He assures her he’s safe somewhere.
Clarity’s, Clarity welcomes Cable and says he’s pleased to meet him and would like to learn more about his life.
Egypt, the sheikh tells Oxton the seal on the door is a circle within a circle, a mind within in a mind. Inside there are demons and they are Undying!

Cable hears the words, “Second Test” just as Blockade busts through the wall. He draws his scimitar and rears it at Blockade’s head. Blockade only laughs at him. He announces himself as Aentaros, one of the Undying.
Before things can escalate between the two, Malan’s attack squad teleports in between them. Malan tells Cable to surrender or he’ll be destroyed.

Characters Involved: 


Irene Merryweather

G.W. Bridge

Eyla, Ezra and Manuel (all Cire family)

Controller Sandella, Captain Holdyne, Malan (all Ranshi)

Greg and Lea (all Clarity’s associates)

Randall Shire

Wall (all Shire’s associates)


Professor Oxton


Sheik Hamid
Jason Cross, Karen Gleason (New York City reporters)

On Clarity’s monitors:

Cable, Key, Randall Shire, Spider-Man, Key

Story Notes: 

Last issue Cable opened the door to his safehouse and when he stepped through ended up in Harmony.
Also in the previous issue Cable was warned by three witches of three tests he would endure that evening and three test he would endure the next day. His first test was to stop a possessed man from killing innocent people. His next test was defeating Malan and his robot squad. His third test was to find Eyla, which is how this issue started.
Malan and his robot squad attacked Cable in the previous issue.
While out with Eyla, Cable reminisces about another woman who he once had deep feelings for. This unnamed woman is his dead wife, Aliya. Stryfe and his forces killed her during an ambush as revealed in a flashback sequence in Cable (1st series) #1.
Professor Oxton revealed his discovery of an ancient temple to his fellow archaeologist, Berger, last issue.

Issue Information: 
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