Hope stands in front of a small store. Checking her cell, she announces this is the home address he gave her but the guy is a time-traveling, technopath, apocalypse gremlin. She was expecting some kind of future tech science lair. Not an Easy Eatz convenience store.
She addresses the clerk, announcing she understands how ridiculous she is about to seem, dressed like this, complete with her coo-in-certain-contexts-but-clearly-not-doing-her-any-favors-right-now tattered post-apocalyptic shoulder cape thing. But there’s a stupid question she has to ask before she can slink away in shame. Okay, is the disinterested reply. Does Blaquesmith live here? She came here for a blacksmith? the woman asks. Did her horse throw a shoe?
Hope turns towards the door. The woman chuckles at her own joke. Odd, she remarks, Cable has never laughed at his jokes either. Maybe it isn’t funny, Hope suggests, seeing the woman is only a skinsuit out of which Blaquesmith steps who tells her not to be stupid.
He works at an Easy Eatz? she asks skeptically. He corrects her that he owns it. Three, as a matter of fact. One has to support oneself. And the grand deeds of the Askani can be rather expensive. Also, all he can drink slushies. And that horrible woman suit? Hope asks. His assistant manager called in sick. When he has no one to cover shifts, he does it himself. Blaquesmith presses a button and the ground beneath them gives way.
The Northern Cheyenne Indian reservation, Southern Montana:
Colossus, Boom Boom and Forge sit outside a shabby trailer while Domino and Dr. Nemesis are throwing horseshoes. How much longer are they gonna be stuck in this place where fun stood still? Boom Boom sighs. Just until Cable says ‘jump’, Forge replies. She just got so bored her eyelids quit working. She can’t believe Forge lived here once and didn’t try to kill himself every single day! He replies it was perfect for him. Just home from the war, no money to speak of. He spent a couple years out here, tinkering, getting his head straight. A couple of years? Tabitha shudders. He thinks it’s delightful, Colossus remarks, staring at Domino. Boom Boom explains they are talking about Forge’s singlewide PTDS trailer, not Dom’s skin-tight leather bootay.
Nemesis announces that, as with all games of skill, he is virtually unbeatable at Horseshoes. Ever been beaten with a horseshoe? Dom asks. Unsurprisingly, the reply is ‘yes’.
Forge enters the trailer, asking Cable how’s the new eyewear agreeing with him. It’s fine, he is told. Forge suggests they head out later. Do a little calibration. Might take them a few sessions to get the fine tuning. Cable moans under another pain attack and snarls it’s fine!
You tell him, Domino jokes and asks how he is. Too many things coming at him at once. His whole head’s full of things that need to be done. Jobs they got ahead of them. But before he’s even ankle-deep in planning one he gets hit with another vision!
Dom suggests they take one at a time and offers to help. He’s not a damn fool! Cable snarls. He can figure one out. It’s not a matter of figuring one out. It’s a matter of five disasters all stacked atop of each other! Innocent folks getting ripped to wet shreds and earthquakes and hell beasts and a bunch of sick kids getting—the problem is they are all happening at the same damned time! The problem is he’s gotta see all of this horrible #*§&, even though he can’t be in five places at once.
What makes him think he needs to be? Why not instead trust his team?
He is hit by another attack. If he didn’t trust them they wouldn’t be here. Domino corrects him: he trusts them to do what they are told as long as he’s the one telling them.
He doesn’t have time to coddle them right now, Cable replies. Right, so stop it, she orders. Delegate. He will be surprised by what they can do by themselves.
An Avengers Quinjet is in the air. Rogue talks to team leader and pilot Havok. It’s his team and she isn’t arguing with him. It’s just they are supposed to be Avengers now. The big guns, punching god level villains. Doesn’t it seem chasing down Cable for blowing up a fried chicken company oughta be someone else’s problem? Havok reminds her a lot of people died in that factory. She knows, but does it have to be them going after X-Force?
Alex grimly muses that his brother is running around with an X on his face, trading on the fact that he’s underground and trying to start a revolution. He’s over here, trying to stave off Scott’ gene war as the face of the Avenger’s Unity Squad that leads by example, but in reality Cap’s handpicked mutant / human team can’t get along well enough to be within the same room together. So, yeah, when his trigger-happy nephew starts popping off acts of mutant terrorism and refuses to explain, he’s the one to bring him in. The Summers name can’t take much more mud. It has to be him. All right, point taken. Rogue smiles.
Are they there yet? Sunfire asks. Less than five minutes, Captain America warns.
Cable and Domino leave the trailer and Cable explains the situation to the team. His visions have gotten worse. They are coming two and three at a time. Feels like it’s building towards something bad. There’s lots to be done, and not enough time to do it. He’s gonna need some help.
Boom Boom looks up and announces the Avengers have caught up to them.
Suffering another attack, Cable announces they need transportation. Forge disappears inside the trailer. Dom takes over and splits the jobs in teams: Boom Boom with her, Colossus on his own for now and the Doc with Forge.
Cable shouts that they need that evacuation now! The Avengers team – Captain America, Rogue, Sunfire and Thor – attacks on Havok’s order.
Forge returns, holding a control unit. This is what two years of tinkering, monthly army pension and an unhealthy obsession with syndicated television nets you. X-Force: meet Forge Force! A helicopter, a car, a motorbike and a tank come in. Nemesis calls him an embarrassing boob of a man.
As the tank fires at the Avengers, Forge tells everyone to grab a vehicle and get moving! Cable falls down in pain. Nemesis announces his brain is hemorrhaging even worse than before. Can they get him in one of the cars? Domino asks. Nemesis warns if they move him they are risking a stroke. They should really wait it out. New plan, Domino decides. Pick an Avenger and hit them with something. Let’s buy Cable some time. Sounds like a terrible plan, Nemesis mutters.
Elsewhere, in Blaquesmith’s lab, Hope remarks that in his e-mail he said he knows what’s going on with Cable and the future visions. Somebody’s doing this to him. And he knows who!
Of course, he knows who, Blaquesmith replies, tinkering. She asks if Cable told him. She brought it up with him, but he shut her out. That’s his thing now, shutting her out.
Blaquesmith announces Cable came here months ago, all shrivel-limbed and bandaged. He went on and on about retirement… daughters and normal lives. Blaquesmith called him an idiot. They argued. Cable left in a huff. They haven’t spoken since.
Then how does he— Hope begins. He interrupts, Cable is his responsibility. He would know who was fiddling with Cable’s brain even if it wasn’t him.
He fires a weapon at Hope and she falls into a portal. As usually, the who and what pale in comparison to the why.
The Avengers fight the vehicles. Cap climbs into the chopper to find there is no pilot. It’s remote controlled. Hearing this, Havok fires a plasma blast at it.
Sunfire stands floating in the air. Boom Boom mocks his ankle flames as she throws a bomb at him, to no avail. She likes flames? he asks and fires at her.
Colossus is not very successful against Thor, who admits the young mutant fights with passion but passion means little in battle when one strikes with the speed of an elderly mountain troll. Colossus tells him to save his gloating until after the battle is over. In that case, he’ll start now, Thor replies and hits him with Mjolnir.
Domino faces Rogue and asks what she is up against. Earth? Fire? Wind? Water? Whose powers did she borrow today? No powers, Rogue replies. Seeing as how she is only fighting Domino. Didn’t hardly seem fair.
Going for her gun, Domino remarks she doesn’t fight fair. Colossus lands next to them. Good to know, Rogue grins and absorbs his powers.
Havok tells Forge to stop. It’s over. A moment later, he screams. All the Avengers suffer from agony thanks to Cable’s mental attack. He orders everyone out. No time to mess around with them. They have got work to do.
Dr. Nemesis, who got him up and walking, recommends against strenuous activity of any kind. As the others evacuate, Cable promises to take it easy. Nice moves, Dom tells him. He coming with or is he going to stand there all day, basking in his glory? He’s right behind them, he promises. But if she sees Skitch before he does, tell him the eye works. He uses it to blow up the Quinjet. Gun-eye is awesome! Boom Boom exclaims
Once they are gone, he falls down and passes out. The Avengers come to. Thor suggests he and Sunfire catch the others, but Havok tells them to let them be. SHIELD can handle them. They got what they came for.