Cable (1st series) #9

Issue Date: 
March 1994
Story Title: 
The Killing Field: In Humanity

Fabian Nicieza (writer), M.C. Wyman (penciler), Jason Gorder (inker), Chris Eliopoulos (letterer), Marie Javins (colorist), Bob Harras (editor), Tom DeFalco (editor in chief)

Brief Description: 

Cable pays a visit to Rachel Summers at Muir Island to discuss their familial heritage. They talk about the connection they share. They also talk about Scott and Jean’s upcoming wedding. Rachel wants to go, but Cable’s not too sure. Elsewhere, in London’s sewers, Katu, Voght, Unuscione and Milan are searching for Omega Red. They eventually find him and offer him the opportunity to free himself from his death spores. A bit later at Muir, Kitty and Rachel are sent to London to deal with an inferno possibly caused by mutants, leaving Cable and Moira alone. Moira takes the opportunity to run some tests on Cable to further examine the link he shares with Rachel. After a half hour, Cable is hooked up to the machine and being tested. Moira has to anesthetize his techno-organics, which leads to trouble when Omega Red busts in and knocks her out. Cable and Omega Red battle and Red comes out the victor. He goes to the computer system and gets what he was looking for. Cable gains consciousness when his techno organics come back to life and pounds on Omega. Sensing defeat, Red reactivates the techno-organic dampeners, knocking Cable out and fleeing with his prize. Cable receives visions from his past in the future and then is awoken by Rachel. Kitty tells them Omega Red is looking for components he needs to remove his need to live off the life forces of others, and that they need to go after him. Cable wants them to go to the wedding so he says he will go after him without them. Kitty informs him he will have help, and in walk Katu, Voght, Unuscione and Milan.

Full Summary: 

Cable has traveled to Muir Island to pay a visit to Excalibur, or more specifically one of their team members, Phoenix. Having recently received information about his true lineage, that he is indeed the true son of Scott Summers and Madelyne Pryor, he wants to have a talk with Rachel, whose parents are Scott Summers and Jean Grey from an alternate future.
He informs Rachel of the news, that she is his sister… sort of. Kitty, trying to follow along, complains she is developing a headache. Cable asks Rachel if she’s going to Scott and Jean’s wedding. “Of course,” she says and asks him the same. Cable tells her he doesn’t know. Scott invited him and asked him to be a part of it, but their whole relationship is so complicated. Scott is twice Cable’s age, he reminds them. Cable sits down in a nearby chair, turns away and yells that he doesn’t need this.
Rachel asks him why he feels that way. He was, after all, born in this timeline. She is the one from an alternate future and may never actually be born in this reality. Cable points out that he was the son of a clone of Jean Grey, with the hopes of Sinister that he would become the ultimate designer mutant pawn. Rachel tells him not to feel sorry for himself. She asks him if he wants to see the scars from when she was a mutant-hunting hound in the future. No, Cable tells her. They could be there all day swapping horror stories, he says.
Rachel walks over to Cable and puts her hands on his shoulders. She says that’s exactly why she wants to go to the wedding, to put the horror stories behind her and look forward to what tomorrow holds. Cable asks her how they could be so alike and yet so dissimilar. He wants to know how she was able to hear his computer system’s internal modem the last time he was on Muir Island. More importantly, Cable asks, why do they feel so close even though they’re technically not even blood related. Rachel looks at it from a positive viewpoint. If anything, these feelings prove that they really do belong together as a family.
It’s nighttime in London, England. The Acolytes, Amelia Voght, Unusicone, Milan and Katu, are roaming through the sewer systems. Voght and Unuscione comment on how disgusting the refuse is. Milan explains that’s what makes this a great place for him to hide and feed off of his victims. No sooner said, then they walk by a body floating in the sewage. Katu asks Milan if he’s picking up anything. Milan reminds him that he can’t probe the memories of the dead. Unuscione spots a live one and tells Milan to get over there.
The man mumbles for help. Milan sets up his portable monitor to play back the man’s memories. With everything set, he probes the man’s mind. He was walking near Hyde Park when he was attacked. It was the last rational though the man had. His life signs are pretty low. The person they are tracking has been feeding off of him for days.
Katu becomes enraged at the indignity brought upon this person. Even though human beings are beneath them, he argues they still should not suffer like that. He yells out to Arkady to show himself. Omega Red does as asked, wrapping Katu up in his carbonadium tentacles. Katu screams in agony. Unuscione yells for everyone to get back.
Omega Red reminds Katu of how long it has been since they last saw each other. Red takes satisfaction knowing that men like them, who survived the hardships of the Cold War, could survive to this day. Katu screams at Omega Red for killing his family all those years ago. Omega Red tells Katu that he needed to lose his wife and kids in order to become the warrior he is today; their end was Katu’s beginning.
Voght transubstantiates Katu from Omega’s grip and brings him back with the other Acolytes. She tells Omega, that his past and their differences do not matter. Milan tells Red they have a purpose in searching for him. Voght asks him if he desires the chance to survive, without having to take the life forces of others, without the death spore virus constantly ravaging his body. Omega Red tells her he’s listening.
Later, and several hundred meters above on the streets of London, the WHO organization and the local police and fire fighters are battling a huge inferno. Brigadier McNeil of WHO has radioed in to Moira for some assistance. It appears there are mutagenic energy signatures nearby and she wants some help from Excalibur in finding out who did this. Moira tells her she’ll be sending Shadowcat and Phoenix to assist.
Cable asks Moira how often she does this sort of thing; after all, Muir Island is supposed to be a research center. Moira agrees, but ever since Excalibur changed their base of operations to Muir, the research has taken on a more direct approach. Cable couldn’t be happier and suggests he join them for their research. Moira doesn’t think so and tells Cable that he’ll be staying back with her.
All four of them head outside. Phoenix and Shadowcat take to the air, heading towards London, leaving Cable and Moira behind. Cable and Moira take the opportunity to go for a walk.
Moira reminds Cable of his purpose for coming to the island, to see if there was a telepathic bond between him and Rachel. She tells him that in order to do that she’s going to have to run some diagnostic tests on him. Cable tries to argue, but Moria won’t have it. Cable brings up how much they’ve gone through since meeting all those years ago. Moira says he’s understating things, but also does not want him to bring up the past. She has a new life now, she explains, and wants to focus on the future. Nate jokes that he’s always listened to her. Moira calls him insufferable. Behind some tall rocks nearby, stands the shadowy figure of Omega Red.
30 minutes later and back inside the complex, Moira is prepping her equipment for an analysis on Cable. He’s strapped to a gurney-like apparatus with wires going into his shoulder. He jokingly asks if he gets a lollipop when it’s over. Moira starts with an initial scan, which yields strange results. Moira comments that Cable’s mechanics are totally different from the records she has stored on her computer from years ago. What originally registered as bionic, now transmits as organic components. Cable tells her that when he originally came to the timeline he masked the synthetic-organic components of his body. Moira asks if the stuff is alive. Cable says it is techno-organic, but not sentient.
Further analysis yields another interesting result for Moira. According to her data Cable can reconfigure the molecular arrangements of his techno-organic components, and she asks him about it. He agrees and mentions he can even turn it into synthetic flesh. If that’s the case, she asks him, why does keep part of his body looking like a machine. Cable tells her it never hurts to remember where one has been.
Cable asks what the machine is currently doing. Moira informs him that the machine is psionically anesthetizing his cybernetics so she can do a proper biological scan, as the techno-organics compensate for any incursions. She tells him that is probably the reasons it’s hard for a telepath to get an accurate fix on him.
Moira’s equipment continues to work on Cable, despite his complaints. He asks her what she’s looking for with all these tests, as they don’t seem relevant to the investigation of his mindlink with Rachel. Moira admits she has an ulterior motive. She begins to tell him of a hypothesis she has about him that she’s testing for, when the interior alarms go off. Cable tells her to free him from the machine, but Moira tells him doing that in the middle of the program could cause irreparable damage. So instead, Moira reaches for one of Cable’s really big guns.
Moira’s eyes roll into the back of her head and she falls head first onto the floor. Cable asks if she’s ok, but she doesn’t respond. Instead, Omega Red informs him that she is not dead… yet. He tells Cable of the viral contagion he released that knocked her out. Cable threatens Omega Red not to hurt Moira. Omega scoffs at him, as Cable is currently not in a position to make threats. Cable knocks over some of Moira’s equipment trying to break free. Omega Red tells him if he shows some respect he’ll make his death a painless one. Omega Red disengages the tests being run on Cable, freeing him. Cable falls flat on his face.
Red knows Cable’s techno-organic components are useless at the moment and calls him on it. He asks Cable how he could let himself be subjected to these tests from a woman. Cable tells Omega he’s not going to debate with him. Cable struggles to get up from the floor. Omega Red wraps him up in his carbonadium coils telling Cable he is no match for him. Cable yells out in pain. All the while keeping Cable wrapped up; Omega punches him over and over until finally whipping him free into a bunch of equipment.
Omega Red leaves Cable, who is seemingly unconscious on the floor, and heads over to the computer system. Omega says he can tell Cable was at one point a warrior but has since gone soft and taken the wrong path. Red tells him that anger, fury, hatred and revenge are emotions to live by and that killing is both an incredible burden and an intense joy.
After Omega Red keys a few buttons on the computer terminal, the objective of his mission, a biocellular subcutaneous matrix stabilizer, is released. Content, Omega Red sets his sights on finishing off Cable and Moira. The computer beeps and lets him know the systems analysis on Cable is complete and the dampening sequence is disengaged. Before Omega realizes what’s happening, Cable comes flying in for round two.
Omega tells Cable that he is still no match for him, even with his bionics functioning. Cable asks him how he would know such things, as he hits Red with an overhead left. Cable tells him that killing is not a burden and a joy, but an obstacle. It is an obstacle on the way of fighting for a true cause, Cable explains and asks Omega what cause he is fighting for. Cable sends Omega flying backwards with an uppercut.
Omega Red comes storming back and tells Cable the cause he fights for is the right to exist. He wraps Cable in his coils and tosses him into the wall. Cable comes leaping back and tackles Omega to the ground. Omega Red, fearing the end result of the battle, reaches with one of his tentacles and reactivates the cybernetic dampener. Cable goes unconscious immediately. Omega tells Cable he respects him, since he actually fought back. He tells Cable he was mistaken, that Cable is a true warrior of the Cold War. The only drawback, according to Red, is that Cable is part machine. He bids Cable farewell as he leaves with the stabilizer.
Cable hears someone call him and cracks open his eyes. He sees distorted images and hears a voice telling him that all will be as it was ordained to be. The voice then tells him he must go back to where he was from in order to save his people. The image of Mother Askani becomes clear. She tells Cable to go back and break the cycle to save his people for a better tomorrow. Mother Askani’s face shimmers out and is replaced by Rachel asking Cable if he can hear her.
Cable is surprised to see Rachel and mutters something about the words he heard sounding familiar. Rachel tells him to take it easy, as he was beat up pretty badly. Cable tells her he felt something when he was gaining consciousness. Rachel tells him it was probably her when she was attempting to telepathically probe him to ease his pain. Cable tells her he’s not so sure of that. He tells her he feels the link they have between them that they discussed earlier. He puts his hand on her shoulder and says that no matter what happens, it will always be true.
Kitty interrupts them, saying they need to start looking for Omega Red. Cable asks if she’s referring to the person who attacked him. Kitty tells him that she is and also lets him know that Moira is making a recovery from her death spore virus exposure, which he wasn’t even affected by. Kitty continues with information on Omega Red’s mission. He is looking for a way to stop his physical need to take the life forces of others to survive. He found part of what he needs at Muir, but still needs other items from different facilities around the world. They need to prevent this, Kitty informs them, because if he is cured it will release the lethal virus into the environment. Kitty begins to tell them her plan, but Cable cuts her off. He says he will handle things on his own since they have a wedding to go to in two days that he doesn’t want them to miss. Cable says he’ll get help from others if he needs it. Kitty tells him that may not be necessary.
In walk Katu, Milan, Unuscione and Voght. Kitty tells Cable she gained all the information she just relayed to them from the Acolytes. They have a vested interest in stopping Omega Red as well. Amelia asks, “How much of a believer are you, Cable, in the old adage, ‘The enemy of my enemy is my friend’?”

Characters Involved: 

Dr. Moira MacTaggert, Phoenix III, Shadowcat (all Excalibur)
Brigadier McNeil
Omega Red

Katu, Milan, Carmella Unuscione, Amelia Voght (all Acolytes)
In Flashback:

Mother Askani (Rachel Summers)

Story Notes: 

In the previous issue, Cable learned that he is the true son of Scott Summers and Madelyne Pryor and that Stryfe was the clone. This was thanks to a visit from the future by a member of the Clan Askani. Tyler, Cable’s son, used his mutant power to form an empathic link and visually display her memories of the future events. Rachel, on the other hand, is from an alternate future, Days of Future Past, where Scott Summers and Jean Grey are her parents. This is the connection they share as brother and sister.
For more on the Summers Family Tree click here.
Scott Summers and Jean Grey were married in X-Men (2nd series) #30, which was released in the same month as this issue.
Rachel was from the Days of Future Past timeline. Rachel came over to 616 during a suicide mission at the Project Nimrod facility of DOFP. Before the nuclear bomb her and Kitty set went off, Kitty said the codeword “Dark Phoenix,“ which was the signal for the Phoenix Force, hidden within Rachel known only to Kitty, to supercharge Rachel’s power to send her back in time – physically.
During the Fatal Attractions Crossover, Cable traveled to Muir Island to duke it out with the Acolytes. The first person he ran into was Rachel and they fought. During the battle Rachel admitted that she could hear Cable’s internal computer, Professor. At this point neither of them knew they shared a familial connection. This occurred in Excalibur #71.
Katu lost his family and his arms to Omega Red who was sent after him due to Katu’s powers interfering with Russian military satellites. He has since received one bionic arm.
Excalibur relocated from Braddock Manor to Muir Island during the time Captain Britain was lost in the timestream.
Rachel changed places with Captain Britain in the timestream so that he and Meggan could be happy together [Excalibur (1st series) #75]. Once she disappeared she was sent 2,000 years into the future, where she founded the Clan Askani. She was eventually called Mother Askani and it is she who occasionally sends astral projections of herself to Cable in the present time.

Issue Information: 
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