Staring at X-23, Daken notices her eyes. Are those his eyes? Is that his face? Is it his? No. They are nothing alike. But her eyes remind him of him. Holding out his hand, Daken offers her to take his hand. She needs him. X-23 tells him no. She does not need him. With that, she walks away.
Once she has left, Daken tells Tyger Tiger, who has been hiding in the shadows that he knows she’s there. No need to hide. Tyger says she’s just giving him space to breath. Some men need time after a fight. Daken informs her that he’s not one of them. Tyger says of course not. She thought he’d like to know that the northern section of the city is under control. No casualties. What they need now…
Daken cuts her off and tells her he doesn’t care. Whatever it is, take care of it. Moving closer to him, Tyger angrily tells Daken to listen to her. He wanted Madripoor, now he has it. But he also has the responsibilities that go with it. Daken replies no, that’s what she has. That’s why she’s alive. That’s why all those people she cares about are alive. She could leave, of course. He won’t stop her. Putting his arm around her, he asks her that she won’t, will she? Because she loves this city. He tells her she’s got a heart. Burning bright. Burning bright, burning bright. In what distant deeps or skies burnt the fire of thine eyes? On what wings dare he aspire? What the hand, dare seize the fire? When the stars threw down their spears and watered heaven with their tears did he smile his work to see? Did he who made the lamb make thee?
After standing atop a building and seeing the death and despair from the residents in the streets of Madripoor, Daken makes his way through the rain to a car. Daken tells the occupant inside, Malcolm Colcord, that he’s been a very busy man. Colcord responds not as busy as him. He must admit, he never thought it would be so simple to turn Madripoor into a lawless pile of rubble. But he did it overnight. Bravo. It’s perfect. No one’s minding the store.
Daken states that he’s watching the store. He’s watching everything, including him. Putting his hand on Colcord’s chin, Daken says to him that he’s been holding out on him from the beginning. First, with his development of a healing factor serum, which wasn’t part of their agreement. And now he’s met the freak clone of his father… who happens to want his head on her claws. She seems to think that he’s rebuilding the Weapon X project. On his dime. He agreed to set him up in Madripoor. Supply him with a staff. All the test subjects he needed for one reason only. To take him to the next level. To imbue him with power beyond Weapon X. Not make more soldiers for his own games.
Colcord asks that X-23 is in Madripoor. After Daken asks him if he heard a word he said, Colcord tells him that he doesn’t care what he said. He is doing exactly what he asked. He can’t reach the necessary conclusions if the subjects keep dying. That is why he developed the serum. Daken says he’s lying. Colcord replies maybe. But he also knows he’s the only one who can give him what he wants. So he needs to let him do this, on his terms. Daken thinks to himself “on his terms?” He’s already given him everything he wants. Too much already.
Colcord adds that as for X-23, that is an interesting development. The Facility turned her into one of the finest assassins in the world. Absolutely ruthless. Daken says to him that it seems to him that she’s now off the leash and very determined to kill him. Colcord states that it wouldn’t be the first time a member of his family tried to take his life. He chooses to look at this as an opportunity. X-23’s genetics, combined with her healing factor, make her the perfect test subject. Give her to him, and he might have a solution to his problem in weeks, as opposed to months. In the meantime, he’ll trust him to protect him. Daken tells him that he can’t be everywhere at once. And this is Madripoor. Bad things happen there all the time.
Just then, a car explodes nearby. The reason – Gambit – who remarks very bad things happen indeed. Daken proceeds to tell Gambit and X-23 that they wanted him, take him. As Colcord begins to call Daken a son of a…, X-23 tells him to be quiet. With Colcord being held captive by X-23, Daken mentions to her that he knew she was following him. X-23 tells him only because she let him. He is easily deceived. X-23 then turns her attention to Colcord and punches him to the ground. Colcord calls X-23 a little girl and that she doesn’t frighten him. She’s nothing. She was weaned on the steel teats of syringes and probing hands. She was raised like an animal, and that’s all she’ll ever be. She’s a clone, not a person.
Grabbing hold of Colcord’s hand, X-23 tells him that he’s going to talk. He will tell her everything he knows. Colcord says no, she’ll kill him either way. X-23 says yes, but it is the difference between a slow death and a quick one. She was trained to skin a man alive. Just the top layer. Like an onion. She likes to start with the nails. That is how they always started with her. The men like him, who trained her. After using her claws to remove some of his fingernails, X-23 remarks that they tortured her with these same techniques. So that she would know exactly what to do, and how it feels. When Colcord asks if this is payback, X-23 puts her claws to his neck and says not yet.
As Gambit looks on, Daken asks him “cheap thrills?” Gambit tells him that he can think of better experiments. Smiling, Daken says so can he. He adds that she’s going to be busy for a while. Putting his hand on Gambit’s, Daken says that gives them time to talk. He could use… a man like him. Gambit asks him always the opportunist? Daken tells him that he knows a good thing when he sees it… and he’s heard so much about him. Him, and his dark past. Pretending to be an X-Man, when what he is is a criminal. He thinks they’d be the perfect fit.
Gambit asks “does he?” He likes bad men? When Daken answers very much so, Gambit says good, pulls away from him, and jams his staff into Daken’s neck. After Daken falls to his knees on the ground, Gambit leans down and tells him that he’s known men like him all his life. Even worked for some a time or two, when he was young an’ stupid. Predators, all of them. Daken asks and he’s not. He doesn’t walk this earth, smug in the knowledge that he’s got power most people never dream of? He knows he does. With that, Daken pops his claws. Powering up his cards, Gambit replies that he can’t lie. Crosses his mind, sometimes. But that power’s nothin’ but an opportunity… to make things right.
Preparing to face off against each other in battle, Daken angrily calls Gambit a pretty boy. Gambit says prettier than him and proceeds to hit Daken in his face with his staff. Shaking off the blow, Daken says funny. He then asks Gambit if he really thinks anything that happens today will make him a better man. Everyone knows exactly what he is. A man who would betray a friend at the drop of a hat or for a little bit of righteousness. He’ll do the same to her one day and he’ll tell himself it’s okay.
Grabbing hold of Daken’s fist, Gambit tells him that he will shut his mouth and then uses his power to send a surge of electricity through Daken’s body. Standing over his fallen foe, Gambit says to him that he knows he didn’t give Colcord up from the kindness of his heart. What’s his game? Daken tells him that he might not want to waste his time prying the secret from his lips. Not when time is exactly what X-23 has run out of. Turning around, Gambit sees X-23 laying on the ground in a heap and Colcord standing over her. Before he can react, Daken punches Gambit in the back of his head and knocks him out. He then says to him mais oui, idiot.
Colcord proceeds to ask Daken that he couldn’t have given him more warning. Daken tells him that he gave him the syringe. Be thankful he gave him that. Colcord replies if he says so and asks if he has a car. Daken says of course. He has everything. At that moment, a police car pulls up and Colcord and Daken dump X-23’s unconscious body in the trunk.