Weapon X (2nd series) #10

Issue Date: 
August 2003
Story Title: 
The Underground - part 4

Frank Tieri (writer), Georges Jeanty (penciler), Dexter Vines and Scott Elmer (inkers), Tom Chu's Color Dojo (colors), Dave Sharpe (letters), Warren Simons (assistant editor), Mike Raicht (associate editor), Mike Marts (editor), Joe Quesada (editor in chief), Bill Jemas (president)

Brief Description: 

The Director has a secret meeting with Marrow, telling her that Sabretooth has once more escaped. Reminding her of the Mutant Massacre, during which Sabretooth as part of the Marauders killed hundreds of her fellow Morlocks, he offers her to the assignment to bring Creed back by whatever means necessary. Marrow eagerly accepts; she has been waiting to get revenge on Sabretooth for a long time. Later, Brent Jackson informs the Director they have a fix on the location of Reaper and Wildside, and he is ready to leave, when they have a little heart to heart. The Director wants to make up with him, and Jackson pretends to go along. During their little chat, though, Jackson lets it slide in that because of his relationship with Aurora the Director could be perceived as a “mutie lover.” When Jeanne-Marie later surprises him in his office, the Director keeps hearing Jackson’s words over and over again and angrily lashes out at her, beating her up with a paperweight until she doesn’t move. Meanwhile, the Underground is trying to interrogate their prisoners, but Maverick’s most effective torture methods are without efforts. They realize that Reaper and Wildside have mental blocks and Cable is forced to uses his recently somewhat-unstable telepathy to get the information they need. He is able to confirm that the pair was working for Weapon X and that their actions were meant to increase anti-mutant hysteria so that people wouldn’t mind mutants being taken to Neverland. However, that’s all they learn before Cable ends up frying their minds. Right then, an alarm sounds and several Weapon X agents break into the Underground’s base. It’s Jackson and his followers, Wild Child, Sauron and Wash-Out. Surprisingly, they tell Cable that they haven’t come to fight, but to join them.

Full Summary: 

Hundreds of dead bodies lie in an underground tunnel system, the walls stained in blood. The Director refers to the scene that is displayed on a huge video screen as the Mutant Massacre. According to his information, New York’s Sanitation Department refuses to even visit that area of the sewers till present day, apparently because when it’s really quiet there, the screams of the victims can still be heard. The Director doesn’t care for such rumors, but he says it’s a real shame that a whole race of mutants were butchered in one day. He clicks a button and the screen shows images of some well known Morlocks. Talking to the single agent of the program sitting in the briefing room, the Director asks her if she didn’t use to be one of them. Marrow dryly answers that he knows she was.

Of course, he says, continuing that, if he remembers correctly, a group called the Marauders were the culprits and their very own Sabretooth was a member of them. The screen now displays an image of Victor Creed, as Marrow confirms the Director’s recap of events. He guesses that when they brought back Sabretooth into the program it didn’t sit very well with her. Marrow calls that remark an understatement if she ever heard one. The Director has good news for her then – Sabretooth is gone. He tells Marrow that this information is still secret and for her ears only, but Sabretooth escaped sometime during the night. They don’t know how, as he was mentally “hand-cuffed” and must have bypassed the perimeter’s security alarms, but that mystery is to be solved on another day. Right now, their main concern is getting Creed back. The Director approaches Marrow with a broad grin, asking what she would say if she would be assigned to bring Sabretooth back by any means necessary. An evil grin comes across her face as she answers, “Thank you.”

Elsewhere at the hidden base of the Underground, screams are heard through the entire complex. Nathan Summers contacts Blaquesmith via comm-link, asking what’s going on over there, and his diminutive mentor informs him that Maverick is no closer to find the motives behind the human murder sprees than when they started. As more screams and pleas are heard from within the chamber where Maverick does whatever he is doing to Reaper and Wildside, Domino wonders why he just doesn’t shoot the answers out of the suspects. Blaquesmith quickly tells her not to give him any ideas. He then informs Cable that it’s not that they don’t want to talk, they just can’t.

“Mental inhibitors?” Cable asks. Blaquesmith confirms that’s what he is thinking, telling Nathan that he knows what he has to do. Cable looks down in sadness and asks his friend if there really aren’t any other options. Blaquesmith tells him he can’t hide from this forever. He knows Nathan is having troubles controlling his telepathy as of recently, but he needs to deal with it – now. Fine, Cable answers, ready to face the challenge. Blaquesmith, meanwhile, enters the cell of the prisoners to tell Maverick to stop torturing them, but what he sees when he enters shocks even him. Holding a hand over his mouth in disgust, Blaquesmith tells Maverick to “clean that up.”

At the Weapon X compound, Brent Jackson informs the Director that their missing operatives have been found. He is already assembling a strikeforce to retrieve Reaper and Wildside right away. The Director gets up from his desk and congratulates his second in command on the job welcome, offering him a handshake. Jackson though looks at the outstretched hand, equally confused and disgusted by the gesture, and asks the Director if he is feeling okay. Never better, the man answers, placing his arm on Jackson’s shoulder in a friendly manner. He says he decided it’s high time that they put whatever bad blood they had behind them.

Jackson has an idea for the Director’s new attitude and, ramming his elbow into his stomach, he says it must be because he is finally getting a little booty. That, plus his restored face, things are running pretty well for the man in charge. The Director laughs and confirms it; Aurora has made him a very happy man. Now, sitting in the Director’s chair, his feet up at the desk, Jackson picks up a paperweight in the shape of a fish and gives the Director a thumbs up. He says that he never thought “that little French pastry” could make him happy, but he sure was proven wrong. The Director asks what that is supposed to mean and, hesitantly, Jackson explains that Aurora is a mutant and, with the Director despising mutants so much that he wants to wipe them of the face of the Earth, he just didn’t think it possible. He, for one, could never get involved with a mutant, as he wouldn’t want to be labeled a “mutie lover.” He tosses the Director the paperweight and leaves the office, telling his new buddy that they’ll meet later when he returns from the mission.

Meanwhile, preparations have been made at the Underground’s base for a telepathic interrogation. Both Reaper and Wildside lie sedated on their beds, Cable sitting on a chair between them, candles standing next to him on both sides. His mentor, Blaquesmith, sits on a second chair opposing Cable and asks if he is ready. Nathan says that he has no other choice, but Blaquesmith tells him to calm down; his nervousness would make matters worse. Nathan enters a meditation position and starts to get to work. Blaquesmith asks him if the attacks were the random killing sprees they were made to look like. Reaper, Wildside and Cable answer simultaneously with one voice: they weren’t random but calculated. Blaquesmith tells Nathan he is doing fine and asks the next question – calculated by who, who is behind the attacks? “Director of Weapon X program,” three mouths say as one.

Hearing this, Meltdown cheers; now they got them. Blaquesmith turns to where the other three Underground members are observing the interrogation and reprimands Tabitha for disturbing their concentration. He tells Maverick if there is another outbreak like that, he has full permission to schedule the guilty party for one of his “sessions.” Meltdown grimaces at her teammate and tells him to not even think about it.

The telepathic probing continues, now Blaquesmith asking for the reasons. The two captured terrorists and Cable explain that it was meant to incite anti-mutant hysteria, so that people wouldn’t really mind when many mutants were suddenly abducted over night and taken away. This interests Blaquesmith and he inquires where all these people are taken. Cable is under a strain now, sensing tougher mental blocks than before, but he still manages to make the two villains say “Neverland.” Blaquesmith asks what is going on there at Neverland, and Cable pressures his telepathic probes further, the strain is visible not only on his own face, but also in Reaper’s and Wildside’s expression. Suddenly, three pairs of eyes widen in shock. Slowly, Cable, who has fallen from his chair, gets up and says that this was what he was afraid of – he has fried their minds. The foreheads of the two villains are still smoking and they have foam coming out of their mouths.

Back at the Weapon X compound, the Director loosens his tie. Jackson’s words “Mutie Lover!” are still ringing in his ears and keep echoing over and over again. Right then, two hands cover his eyes from behind, telling him to guess who it is. The Director lashes out in anger, telling Aurora he is not in the mood right now. He even slaps her hand. Jeanne-Marie gets angry too, calling him an animal. The Director once more thinks of Jackson’s accusation and, as if in trance, picks up the paperweight he tossed him earlier. He uses it to hit the surprised Aurora in the face. The wound draws blood, but as he keeps hearing “Mutie Lover” in his head over and over again, the Director lands blow after blow, each time hitting harder, while Jeanne-Marie lies on the ground, not moving or defending herself.

An alarm goes off inside the headquarters of the Underground. Domino says that can mean only one thing – they have been discovered. Nathan asks if it is Weapon X agents, and the computer readouts confirm his suspicion. No sooner has Domino informed him that the outer perimeter has been breached, the defensive systems and the power core of their base are shut down too. The enemy is inside. Cable tells his team to get ready and he, Domino, Maverick and Meltdown stand as one, facing the room’s only door, awaiting the Weapon X agents.

Mere seconds later, the door blows up and, through the smoke and dust, four figures enter the room. They are hard to be made out, but already the man in the front tells Nathan there is no need for such a welcoming committee. They have got them wrong, they haven’t come to fight them – they want to join, Jackson says. The other three agents being Wash-Out, Sauron and Wild Child.

Characters Involved: 

The Director

Brent Jackson

Aurora, Marrow, Reaper, Sauron, Washout, Wild Child, Wildside (all Weapon X)

Blaquesmith, Cable, Domino, Maverick II, Meltdown (all The Underground)

On a video screen:

Ape, Caliban, Callisto, Masque, Sunder (all Morlocks)

hundreds of dead Morlocks


Story Notes: 

The Mutant Massacre occurred in Uncanny X-Men #210-213 and X-Factor #9-11.

Ironically, none of the five Morlocks shown on the video screen died during the Mutant Massacre. Callisto and Caliban are still alive, Sunder was shot by the Reavers on Muir Island [Uncanny X-Men #254], Masque was killed by Shatterstar [X-Force #9] and Ape died in Weapon X’s very own mutant concentration camp Neverland [Weapon X (2nd series) #5].

Almost his entire life, a major part of Cable’s powers were used to keep his techno-organic infection at bay. However, as he recently cured himself of the virus [Cable (2nd series) #100] he now has access to his full powers, though not yet mastered to entirely control them.

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