North Hollywood, California:
The two X-Force teams stand in a junkyard. Look at this ridiculous mess! Storm shouts. A mess that could have been avoided if Storm’s team had thought to pick up the phone and let them know Bishop was back in town, Forge points out. Storm tells him to shut up and reminds him he didn’t let her know either he’d come back from the dead or stopped being dangerously insane. Or how he and Cable have been gallivanting across the globe, pretending to be outlaws. They’ve been saving the world, he points out. Of that she has no doubt, she replies sarcastically. Dr. Nemesis announces he enjoys seeing someone else yell at Forge.
Psylocke points out that they have no time. They need to figure out what the hell is going on. You show me yours, I’ll show you mine, Nemesis offers. All she knows is Hope tracked Bishop here and tried to blow holes in him. Sounds about right, he agrees. They were going at it when apparently Stryfe showed up and took them both. They arrived just after Cable.
Dr. Nemesis continues that Hope saw Bishop in one of Cables premonitions and came out here. Cable followed her, the rest of them followed him. Beyond that… Cable had him dope Spiral up on goof balls, whispered in her ear and they both vanished. He’d love to tell her where they’ve gone but the tracker he put into Cable hasn’t pinged since.
Puck comes on to Boom Boom, who tells him ‘no.’ What’s the matter, don’t like short guys? he asks. Short’s okay. Don’t like old and skeevy, she explains.
Domino points to the police helicopter and cars closing in. They need to leave. Psylocke reveals she can’t track Cable or Spiral. Forge asks if she could track them a junkyard or tech depot. With spare parts, the Doc and he can whip up a telepathic amplifier to magnify her range. He doesn’t agree with the words Forge’s chosen. He’s never whipped up anything in his life, Nemesis announces. But yes, they could easily build such a device. Domino and Colossus have arranged an escape car and tell them to enter.
Puck tells Boom Boom she could at least have let him down easily. That was rude and hurtful. A man’s pride is the key to his confidence and confidence is the key to everything. All right, she laughs. He’s not skeevy. Just old.
Cable and Spiral have found Stryfe in an abandoned MLF bunker. Spiral attacks and Stryfe telekinetically blasts her; then he uses his telepathy and forces her to teleport. Spiral finds herself on a fishing ship somewhere on the ocean.
What does he think? Stryfe grins. All alone now. Shall they finally settle once and for all who is tougher? Love to! Cable snarls and points his gun at him then lowers it, admitting he has no chance with his limited powers. And Stryfe clearly knows it. Stryfe agrees and forces him to kneel down. Cable asks him to let Hope go. Stryfe replies that he, Hope and Bishop are all going to play the game…
The two teams have, in the meantime, found a junkyard belonging to Stark Resilient and Forge and Dr. Nemesis are at work, directing the others – mostly Colossus – to help.
Boom Boom and Puck start an arm wrestling match; a date with her versus anything she wants should she win.
Psylocke skeptically asks the inventors what they are doing. Dr. Nemesis explains they are building a version of Cerebro to enhance her powers. Out of trash? she asks Many of Forge’s best designs are made out of trash, he assures her.
Storm admits that despite the circumstances it is good to see Forge again. He agrees and apologizes about his insane behavior during their last encounter. Turns out the Adversary inside his mind might have had something to do with that. But Cable and the Doc helped straighten him out. He asks about her relationship with T’Challa. That was clearly a misstep, she admits. But it made sense at the time.
Boom Boom, in the meantime, has beaten Puck by using her powers. Do-over, he demands. No powers. Double or nothing.
Holding a knife to Bishop’s throat, Stryfe muses he can only imagine the emotions swirling around in Hope’s head. This is the man who destroyed her childhood. He deserves punishment. The chained Hope suggests he switch off the power dampeners. Let her borrow some of his power and see if he still wants to talk about vengeance.
Stryfe chuckles, announcing she sounds just like her father. But Cable can be a bit selfish when it comes to revenge. Hope shouts at him he knows nothing about her father! He takes off his helmet to show his face.
Okay, he may look like Cable, that doesn’t means he knows him. He knows Cable wants what’s best for her… as long as she plays by his rules. Now Stryfe on the other hand… he says #*%& the rules! He kicks Bishop in the face. He offers her something Cable won’t… A chance to kill the nightmare. He leaves behind his psimitar as he leaves the cell, telling her it’s up to her whether she takes that opportunity.
What does she plan to do with that? Bishop asks seeing the psimitar. That’s the question, she replies. Her first thought is to finish what she started. Unfortunately, she’s smart enough to spot half-assed super-villain mind games when she sees them. She shatters her chain. If her father’s evil clone wants her to kill him, that’s something she shouldn’t do. At least not right now.
Cable sits in a dark cell. Watching him via a camera, Stryfe mocks he likes this set-up. He can press a button and look down on him sitting in his little cell. In the dark. What does he want? Cable asks. Enraged, Stryfe repeats the question. He wants something Cable will never give. The conviction that Stryfe is the better man. It doesn’t matter how badly Stryfe has beaten him. He won’t give up!
Cable offers to give up. Stryfe scoffs that they know the difference between saying something and believing it. Cable tells him he wins. Just let his daughter go. Stryfe laughs. That is exactly what he has done.
In the other cell, Bishop tells Hope to get it over with. She’s pacing back and forth, staring holes in him, hoping Stryfe will return and force her hand. Either use that psimitar or put it away, Bishop challenges. Does he really think poking her is a good idea? Hope snaps. He deserves that blade and more! He apologizes and states he knows it isn’t enough. But it’s all he can give. He wants to give her something? she asks. Anything but his life, Bishop agrees. That she will have to take. She demands an explanation. How could he hunt a little girl? Or nuke the world to get her? Make her understand and she’ll let him live.
He sighs. He believed he could change history. That Hope’s death would end the suffering of billions. He thought he was saving the world. She points out that sounds crazy. He admits he was wrong but can’t she see it would have been worth the sacrifice?
It’s easy to talk about sacrifice when you aren’t the one making it, Hope scoffs. Bishop agrees but tells her to look at X-Force: All you need do is turn on the news to see the damage they have wrought, and based on what? Her father’s gut instinct? Visions of a future that never came to pass?
Hope seethes when he draws the comparison. How many innocents has Cable sacrificed? Bishop asks and Hope hits him with the psimitar.
Time for Stryfe to open a door in Cable’s cell: On a screen or separated by a forcefield, Cable can see what is going on in the other cell.
Bishop drives home the similarities between him and Cable, causing Hope to kick him in the face.
Elsewhere, Domino tells Puck he is good at this, this being painting Boom Boom’s toenails. Wanna do hers next? The Puckster is hers, Boom Boom grins. Next they’ll see how well he handles a pair of tweezers. Cuz with all this running around lately her eyebrows are shameful.
Domino turns to the others. Forge and Dr. Nemesis are putting the finishing touches on the makeshift Cerebro (which may or may not microwave Betsy’s head).
Forge powers the device up. After the first shock, Psylocke announces she sees everything. She can sense Bishop, Cable and Hope. They are definitely together. But she cannot pinpoint where they are. Storm asks about Spiral. Betsy replies she appears to be fishing.
Soon, they fish up Spiral, who is still on the trawler and she tells them what happened, also that she couldn’t teleport back. Stryfe did something to block her powers. Betsy puts on the amplifier to destroy the block.
In the cell, Hope is hitting Bishop, shouting he is nothing like Cable. Cable screams no but isn’t heard. Stryfe suggests he enjoy the show. When Cable begins to threaten him, Stryfe points out that Cable taught Hope how to kill. Don’t sit there blaming him for the daughter he raised...