The outer reaches of the solar system
The Clean city ship, officially named EnSabahNur I, flies aimlessly through space with the crew looking for some sign of a hospitable planet. Changes have occurred since takeoff, most notably Cable’s current predicament.
Klang! Klang! Klang!, there’s a knock on the outer door. The security guard rushes over, energy rifle in hand. Hang on, he yells, and punches in the security code. The door separates with a hiss revealing a young red-headed girl on the other side.
“Me again,” Hope declares. “Who else would it be?” the guard retorts and asks why she wastes her time with him anyway. Hope tells the guard it’s none of his business. Not wanting to argue he stops with the questions and gives Hope the usual five minutes.
“I’m still angry with you,” Hope states with a scowl, arms folded across her chest. Nathan, leaning against the wall of his cell, says he should be the one mad at her. Hope already said she was sorry about her slip-up. “Pretty big slip,” Cable responds. Hope apologizes again, mentioning how difficult it is to remember the million different names he goes by at a million different times.
Hope turns her back to Nathan and he asks if she’s still mad about having to leave her friend behind. She doesn’t answer so Cable guesses she is. He reminds her that staying any longer would have jeopardized everything and he couldn’t take that risk. “I don’t regret what we did,” he finishes. “Yeah. Which is why I’m still angry with you,” Hope replies.
The captain of EnSabahNur I is alerted by a crew member to an object appearing on the radar. He asks one of his technicians what it is, but the technician doesn’t know. The captain optimistically suggests a hospitable planet, but the techie says it’s definitely not that.
Another member of the bridge crew resigns to the fact the “imposter” must have sabotaged their navigation system before they locked him up, which is why they’re lost. The techie who was speaking earlier doesn’t believe it, instead blaming it on their ancestors who weren’t too keen on keeping up with astrological charts. The captain suddenly grows furious and cuts the conversation off. He’s now convinced the imposter knows something and guesses he’s probably sitting in the brig laughing his head off waiting for them to beg for his help.
The captain’s resolve solidifies further. He refuses to beg for Cable’s help though, believing the application of a little more pressure will do the trick. He thinks the little girl will do nicely. Just then the ship is rocked throwing everyone off balance.
Screeeeeeeeeeeeeee! A starship makes contact with the EnSabahNur, scraping part of the outer hull. The captain demands a report, but is told the impact destroyed their monitors. The invading ship uses some sort of laser system in an attempt to dock.
The captain wants whatever this thing is stopped, but is told they have no armament on the ship as it was designed for peaceful transport and colonization. The technician from earlier suggests they summon the imposter to the bridge thinking he can help, but the stubborn captain says they’re doing it on their own.
Not all of the monitors were destroyed and the invading ship soon comes into view of one of those remaining. The captain immediately recognizes it as the ship from the Unclean city. He asks his men how many weapons are on board. None, he’s told, unless he knows how to convert a grass seeder into a laser pistol.
Outside, the docking mechanism holds. A molten, circular carving into the EnSabahNur’s outer hall collapses inward, crashing to the floor with a deafening sound. Heavily armored soldiers come storming in. They begin firing, their weapons set to destroy human tissue, not metal for fear of destroying both ships. The crew of EnSabahNur scatters for safety.
Cable hears the ruckus from his solitary quarters and jumps to his feet.
Bishop and Emil are the last to step through the docking mechanism and onto the ship. “Stay by my side,” Bishop orders Emil, then warns him how dangerous the cyborg man can be.
The duo began blasting their way through the ship. Emil seems unperturbed by his actions. He’s sacrificed too much already, including his father, to get back to Hope and nothing else will stand in his way. He thinks of how instrumental Bishop has been to get them to this point, how determined he was to find his lost student.
Amid the gunblazing Emil spies Hope running through a nearby corridor. He’s so ecstatic to see her he rushes off after her without telling Bishop. He wants a few seconds alone with her, which he won’t get with her “teacher” hanging around.
Emil continues to chase Hope, confused as to why she would be running away from him. He begins to call out to her, but Hope maintains her position in hiding. When Emil walks by Hope who’s hidden in the shadows she grabs him around the head and places the blade of her serrated knife across his throat.
Hope demands to know why Emil came to kill her. Emil is, of course, taken aback by this. He tells her he’s there to save her. Hope takes the tip of the knife and juts it just above Emil’s adam’s apple. “Save me from who?” she asks. The crazy cyborg who kidnapped her, Emil responds. Hope tells him that’s stupid and asks who told him that. Emil explains it was her guardian Bishop who filled him in on everything.
Hope finally lets him go and returns the knife back to her side. She tells Emil he was duped, that it was Bishop who has been trying to kill her ever since she was born. Then she realizes her worst nightmare may have just come true. She grabs Emil’s upper arms and slams him into the wall. “Oh God – is he here with you?” she dares to ask.
The man in question, Bishop, finally makes his entrance on the control bridge. As soon as the entrance doors part the ship’s captain begins apologizing profusely for leaving him behind. Bishop doesn’t seem to mind, but when three men standing on either side of the entrance begin to attack him with crude instruments his demeanor takes a stronger tone.
Bashed in the head with some sort of metallic rod Bishop retaliates with an energy blast channeled through his hands. The men stand no chance against his awesome mutant power and are leveled to the ground. Bishop strides over toward the captain and grabs him by the throat with his newly rebuilt mechanical hand. Bishop grits his teeth and demands to see his little girl immediately.
Cable tells the guard to let him out, offering his help with the situation. The guard tells him to shut up and then radios the bridge for a status update. Cable then tells the guard he’s left him no choice. Nathan presses the index and middle finger of his right hand to his forehead and closes his eyes. The left one starts to glow as it sometimes does.
This freaks the guard out, as Nathan intended. He puts down his energy rifle and grabs his baton with his left hand. He tells Cable to stop, telling him he’s an imposter, not Stryfe, and that he can’t be doing that. The guard, however, doesn’t seem so convinced.
Bishop stands before the ship’s controls. He brings up the vehicle’s schematics and life sign readings. He got what he wanted from the captain, confirmation of Hope’s presence on the ship. Now all he has to do is find her. Bishop won’t just take the captain’s word for it, though. He needs to see Hope himself before he finally triggers the nuclear device hidden in his arm.
Lucas seems to have found what he wanted and takes off running. Emil hears someone and he and Hope remove an air duct grate and sneak inside. Sure enough Bishop comes strolling by, but they remain undetected. Nevertheless, Hope looks upset.
The glowing eye is driving the guard insane. He remembers the stories his grandfather used to tell about Stryfe and how whenever his eye started to glow he would control people like puppets no matter how hard they resisted. Finally losing his temper the guard swings his baton through the bars in a downward arcing motion, yelling at Cable to stop. Cable catches the baton with one hand and quickly pulls it from the guard’s grasp.
Within moments the experienced soldier from a totally different timeline has the guard’s back pinned against the bars of the cell with the baton pressed firmly against his neck. “Give me your passkey or I sever your head,” Cable whispers calmly into his ear.
the air ducts
The two children lie side by side in the narrow ducts of the ship’s air filtration system. Emil puts one hand on Hope’s arm and asks for her knife. Hope’s reply is a sarcastic one, asking Emil if he’s going to use it to finish Bishop’s job for him. Emil admits his mistake, but assures her he didn’t know and only came along in hopes to rescue her. He promises he can save her, but only if she trusts him again.
Hope takes a moment, but decides to believe him. She hands over the knife and Emil gets to work loosening up another access panel. Once it’s off the two make their way inside retreating elsewhere in the ship. Hope asks Emil if they can hide in the ship he arrived on, but he tells her Bishop said it was a one-way trip, that the mechanism used to dock with her ship rendered their ship useless for further flights.
Hope and Emil climb and climb through what seems like endless steel coffin. Their intended destination is the brig where Hope plans to rescue Cable. The two take a break at one point and Emil confesses to Hope how much he missed her. Hope’s romantic reply is that his breath stinks. This doesn’t deter Emil. They reach out and touch their fingers together for a brief moment. Then Hope continues on with Emil close behind. He has one request for her before they arrive, however. He wants Hope to promise to ask Cable not to kill him.
Finally the two reach their intended destination. As soon as Hope jumps down into Brig hallway she’s greeted by the man who’s been trying to kill her for years. Bishop reaches for the device in his arm. He promises Hope she won’t feel a thing. Only inches away Bishop suddenly finds his hand impaled by a knife, which is then pinned to his chest in one quick thrust. On the other end of the hilt is Emil who calls him a lying bastard. Needless to say Bishop yells out in agony.
The captain, and at least some of his crew, are back on their feet and manning their stations. One of the bridge crew from earlier alerts the captain that a second object is fast approaching their ship, and this object is alive.
Emil yells for Hope to run as he tackles Bishop to the ground. Bishop gets back to his feet quickly amidst the angry protest of Emil, whose father trusted Bishop to take care of him. Despite the immense pain Bishop is still capable of answering him and tells Emil he is doing this for him, for all of them. Lucas then knocks the boy out and removes the blade from his hand.
No matter how fast Hope runs, no matter how quickly Cable reacts they have only seconds before Bishop presses the button on his arm. “…won’t feel a thing...,” Bishop reassures himself as his finger hovers above the switch. And then it happens. A greenish field envelops him and Lucas is suddenly unable to move. In fact the entire ship is covered with this energy and it’s not just Bishop who’s frozen as Cable, too, is stuck mid-stride.
“No No No No No…,” Bishop repeats over and over again.
Cable’s thoughts are of Hope. He’s worried.
Hope’s thoughts are of Nathan, but they’re soon interrupted by a ticking sound. The ticking turns to tapping, ending with a KLONG. Then something begins burning a slit through the wall next to Hope. Moments later a dozen or so reptilian limbs begin pushing their way through the opening, tearing and bending making the opening wider and wider.
“Oh God no,” Hope panics, tears streaming down her face. She starts begging for Nathan to be somewhere nearby.
Then they finally burst through, a dozen or so members of the Brood. It turns out Bishop wasn’t the only one interested in Hope.