Bishop suddenly finds himself sprawled out face down among some tall grass. He lifts his head upward and stares at the amber sky. At first Bishop thinks he’s dead, but when his hands clench the fine earth and he feels the pain wracking his body he knows he’s very much alive.
Bishop brings himself up to one knee and takes in his surroundings. He’s confused as to what happened and wonders where the hell he is. When a branch snaps from behind him his old reflexes kick in. He turns with blazing speed and draws his pistol ready to fire. The noise maker, a furry black and white rodent, walks by and pauses a moment to look at Lucas. Bishop now realizes he’s in the past, but is confused as to how he got there since Cable removed his time travel components. He releases his finger grip on the trigger thinking he may be dead after all.
With nothing else to do at the moment Bishop goes exploring, taking off through the forest. He’s in awe of the trees and grass he hasn’t seen in ages, but it’s when he comes to a clearing he’s really surprised. Kneeling down and drinking water from a small pond are Hope and Cable.
Bishop takes aim once more with his handgun. He listens to Hope delight over the color and clarity of the water. She even proclaims she wants to marry it, splashing some on her face. Cable tells her to hurry up so they can get going.
Then Bishop’s weapon makes a humming sound that scares off a flock of birds nestled in the tree Bishop was using for cover. Cable wastes no time in opening fire in that direction. Bishop dives to the ground almost taking a few hits in the process. He aims again hoping to nail Cable before he makes the jump, but it’s too late. The old man and the girl are gone.
Making matters worse for Bishop his hands start to fade away right in front of him. He drops his weapon as it slips through the nothingness. The rest of his body follows shortly after as it’s enveloped within the bluish teleportational glow. He lets out a scream of agony before reappearing again, this time in the future.
Chapter four: Mannahatta
The remains of New York City, 2493
Bishop pukes his guts out after reacquainting himself with the terra firma. This time when he looks up from the jump he is surrounded by a crumbling city, a much different setting than before. As he wipes the vomit from his chin he sees Cable and Hope fleeing down the street.
His gun stuck in the past Bishop decides his bare hands will just have to do and takes off after his prey. Dizzy from the teleport, he trips after a few feet and uses a decrepit lamppost to steady himself. Once again he questions whether or not he’s dead and if this is his punishment—always chasing the girl and never catching her. Or, he decides, he’s been given one more chance to get it right.
Bishop takes off again, this time remaining on his feet. Hope sees him coming at them from behind and tells Cable. He immediately dives at her and knocks her to the ground. His body covering hers he activates the time jump again. It also affects Bishop, but this time he cranes his head back and smiles.
Kips Bay, Manhattan, September 15, 1776
Instead of the ground Bishop finds himself on the rooftop of a building. He also discovers a Revolutionary War battle playing out right in front of him. On his side of the city are a bunch of redcoats blasting away at the New Englanders making a hasty retreat. Buildings all around are aflame leaving little area for them to take cover.
Some of the British soldiers spy Bishop as he leaps down from the roof. They comment on his weird garb and question whether the Colonials are giving their slaves different clothing. Bishop hunkers down in a gutted out building and watches as Cable rushes toward him with a musket in each arm. The veteran soldier from the future busts through the British ranks and fires a round from each rifle at Bishop. Lucas dives behind a crate and the fired shots lodge into the wall a few inches above his thigh.
Bishop moves toward the corner of the room and from a nearby window spots a soldier approaching from the rear. As he gets closer Bishop leaps through the shattered window and blasts him with his mutant power. He then takes the soldier’s rifle to help even the odds against his nemesis. The soldier, confused by Bishop’s power, lies collapsed on the ground spouting German. There’s no time for conversation, however, as the bluish teleportational energy envelops him once more.
The Present. Nation X
Rockslide walks into a small room and finds Loa looking through a bunch of unlabeled cardboard boxes. He asks what she’s doing and she explains that some kids from San Francisco donated a bunch of old books. Santo grabs a book from a nearby box titled Your Friend the Atom and questions whether or not atoms existed back in the 1950’s. Annoyed with the big buy Alani reminds him they’re free.
When Loa pulls out a book titled Fathers of our Nation she’s in for a big surprise. She calls Rockslide over to take a look at a picture she found of a Revolutionary War battle. In it, Cable and Hope are among those pictured in the battle. She asks Santo if she missed the part in class where they learned that Cable fought in the Revolutionary War.
Chapter Five: Future Tense
New York City, 2220
Hope and Cable arrive too far in the future again, but just not as far. The city is still in ruins with no signs of people anywhere.
The repeated jumps are putting an obvious strain on Cable as Hope has to help drag him along before Bishop reappears. Hope asks if he knows when in time they are. Cable admits he has no idea and complains about his timesliding problems. Hope then asks how Bishop is able to follow them despite his dismantled device. Taking a breather in an alley Cable guesses he must have some kind of fail-safe built in that follows the primary system if it gets fired.
Hope wonders if getting some distance from Bishop before activating their device will help. They both immediately get to running, Cable agreeing Hope’s idea has some merit. During their sprint Hope notices how pale and weak Cable seems to be and worries how many more jumps he can take.
When Hope and Cable take a quick break from all the running they discuss the differences of the city as they jump between time. Referring to a land mass straight ahead of them Cable points to a land mass straight ahead and points out that it didn’t exist when they jumped last, and it is a man-made extension of the island. He’s about to tell her why it was built, but drops to his knees mid-sentence and grabs his chest in agony.
“Nathan?” Hope asks concerned. Cable’s eyes roll back into his head and he falls backward.
Hope’s fears are finally founded. She screams out Nathan’s name and rushes to his side. She keeps telling the old man “not yet” and tells him he’s not going to fail her now. She places her hands, one over the other, on his chest and commences with chest compressions. Then Hope gives him a few rescue breaths and starts in on the compressions again.
“Don’t fail me now, soldier,” she says again, but this time her eyes glow red. Cable lets out a few weak coughs and Hope quits her CPR. She wraps her arms around his neck in a firm hug and tells him to never do that to her again.
Always the soldier Cable tells her to get moving, that Bishop could be on them at any moment. Hope says she has an idea and asks if he can handle one more timeslide. Cable reaches for her hand so he can start the timeslide, but she tells him she has to do something first. A perplexed look crosses Cable’s face and he asks her “What kind of something?”
Not far off, Bishop is hot on their trail. He thinks to himself they’re getting sloppy because he’s been able to follow their trail with ease. He follows their tracks as they head right to the edge of land, stopping at the water’s edge. He wonders if they found a boat sitting there. Hope calls out to him from behind, an unconscious Cable at her feet.
Bishop smiles, but Hope tells him not to try anything reminding him of her newfound powers. Lucas, rather calmly, tells her he can’t do that. That being the case Hope wants some answers. She wants to know why Bishop’s so intent on killing her. He tells her it’s not what she has done, but what she will do. Hope says she has no intentions to hurt anyone. Bishop claims otherwise and lists his parents as just two of her victims. Hope protests saying she doesn’t even know his parents.
As Bishop makes his slow approach he promises not to hurt Cable if she gives herself up, citing his and Nathan’s former friendship as the reason. Hope doesn’t answer, only warning him to not come any closer. That’s when Bishop realizes he’s been led into a trap. He correctly guesses Cable’s playing possum on the ground and pulls the musket slung behind his back. Before firing Bishop tells Hope she will hate the world someday and he was there to see it. She points a finger at him accusingly and says the only thing: she hates is him. “Feeling’s mutual” he replies, leveling the weapon at her.
“Now,” Hope yells. Cable reaches out from his supine position and grabs her by the ankle activating the time travel mechanism. All three feel the pull of the time travel energies, but when they reappear the confident Bishop with weapon in hand finds himself momentarily suspended above water. Once he fully materializes he plunges deep down. Hope and Cable watch Bishop submerge and then take off running.
New York City, 1840
The two walk toward the bustling city, Cable’s arm slung around Hope’s shoulder for support. Hope gloats how she used that bit of knowledge about the man-made extension of land to trap Bishop in the water. Cable compliments her on the job well done, but she reminds him he’s the one who taught her to use her surroundings.
As they reach a small house Cable decides it’s time to make another jump. Hope thinks otherwise, suggesting they take a break and hide, further adding that Bishop may not have survived the fall. Cable looks at her as if to say, “oh, please.” He then reminds Hope that they’ll eventually make it home with these jumps and then the X-Men will deal with him. She pleads with him not to, but Cable is stubborn. He embraces her in a hug and jaunts through time again.
Once again they arrive in the not-so-distant future, but Cable immediately collapses upon re-entry. Hope catches him before he hits the ground. Making matters worse there are other people around, people they’ve encountered before when Hope was just a baby. These militiamen yell accusingly at them, their squad leader asking where they came from. When Hope doesn’t respond the leader tells her she didn’t pay the toll. Then he and his goons open fire on them.