X-Force (1st series) #45

Issue Date: 
August 1995
Story Title: 
Under One Roof

Jeph Loeb (writer), Adam Polina (penciler), Mark Pennington (inker), Richard Starkings & Comicraft (letters), Marie Javins (colors), Electric Crayon (separations), Bob Harras (editor, editor in chief)

Brief Description: 

Caliban breaks into the Danger Room to exact his revenge on Sabretooth for killing the Morlocks. Boomer, who has been bringing Sabretooth milk bowls every night, tries her best to stop the two, but it takes Cable’s innovative idea to save the day. Cable changes the Danger Room setting from the peaceful scenario to the Morlock tunnels to affect Caliban. Cable then reasons with him that killing Sabretooth while he is defenseless is dishonorable. Caliban agrees though vows to have his revenge later. In the med lab, Beast finds Shatterstar to be a perplexity because of his seemingly alien physiology, pointing out a similarity to that of Longshot, and wants to perform a battery of tests on him to further explore the wonders of his biology. Warpath trains with Caliban to hone his skills with a bo staff, though he would prefer to search for Siryn. Meanwhile Professor Xavier talks with Cable about Sunspot’s newfound powers and about Cable’s use of his telepathy, before he asks Cable to do him a favor and go on a certain mission. As they are about to depart, Boomer convinces Cable to let her stay behind so that she can spend some much needed time with Cannonball, but he is further occupied with his duty as an X-Man. He must go off with Storm and leaves Boomer with a heart full of questions for their newly confirmed love. When Cable, Sunspot, Warpath and Caliban minus reach Siberia to investigate why one of Xavier‘s relay stations in the mutant underground has gone off line, they find it destroyed and two of it‘s crew dead. A third one is barely alive, all because an angry mutant called the Mimic.

Full Summary: 

Around midnight in the Xavier Institute, the X-Force member known as Boomer sleepily walks to the fridge to perform her nightly ritual. She reaches in and takes out a carton of milk, dumping the contents into a big bowl. She thinks to herself what her friends would say if they knew what she was doing. Cable would never approve and her boyfriend Cannonball would probably stop talking to her. Nevertheless, she walks towards the Danger Room to give the bowl of milk to a known homicidal killer by the name of Sabretooth. However this night, something is different. She enters the control station of the Danger Room to find it wrecked beyond recognition. A single gasp escapes her lips as she sees her fellow teammate inside the Danger Room. Tabitha drops the bowl and shouts at Caliban to stop, but he doesn’t hear her.

Inside the Danger Room, Caliban holds the wounded body of Victor Creed over his head and tells Sabretooth that tonight he is going to die. Caliban pummels the body of Sabretooth, asking him why he doesn’t fight back. He is the murderer who killed his friends, the Morlocks. Caliban thinks out loud about Creed’s supposed dubious plan of waiting until he gets tired to strike back at him, but tells Creed that he cannot trick him, and he keeps beating him.

Boomer scrambles frantically to try to find a way into the Danger Room. She attempts to reconnect the frayed wires that control the computer. After she fails, she attempts to blow through the glass encasing with a plasma bomb, but it hardly makes a dent. Boomer pleads with Caliban to stop what he is doing until she hears a telepathic voice in her head. Cable tells her that she could get in there is she really wanted. She argues with him that she already tried to break through the glass, but she just didn’t have the power. He disagrees with her. Boomer tells him that she is not going to argue with him when they both know that he could get in there more easily than she could. He concurs, but what would keep the same thing from happening the next night or the night after that?

Cable admits that he was expecting something like this to happen and has already come up with a not so obvious plan for stopping Caliban. Cable runs over to the console and feverishly starts repairing wires. Boomer states that Caliban fixed the console so that it couldn’t be fixed, but Cable says that he knows a thing or two about the original designs of the Danger Room. Boomer questions how, but her query is interrupted by the whirr of the computers.

Inside, Caliban holds Sabretooth up by the throat with his fist drawn back for the final blow. The holographic landscape fades around them, disorienting Caliban so that he sets Creed back on his feet. The scenery reappears as the Morlock tunnels, the childhood home of Caliban. Caliban asks Sabretooth how he transported them to the tunnels and becomes furious when he doesn’t get a response, once more heaving Sabretooth up into the air. Cable contacts Caliban telepathically and asks him if he remembers this surroundings. Caliban asks Cable why he is doing this to him since he knows what happened there. He lost everything in those tunnels, his friends and his family. Sabretooth killed the Morlocks for no reason, but now Caliban has a reason to kill Sabretooth.

Cable tells Caliban to look into Sabretooth’s eyes and asks him if he can see what is in his eyes? Sabretooth looks on in utter terror at the young mutant, he is afraid. Cable reasons with Caliban, telling him that maybe Sabretooth does deserve to die; as when he and the Marauders entered the tunnels, the Morlocks could not defend themselves. Afterwards, Apocalypse changed Caliban so that he was powerful. Now, the tables have turned and Sabretooth cannot defend himself. Is that how he wants to exact his revenge?

Caliban falters for a split second, and then screams that even Cable said that he deserves to die. Cable agrees, but he doesn’t deserve to die under these circumstances. Caliban apologizes and drops Creed to the floor. The simulation ends and Cable and Boomer rush in. Boomer asks Cable if Caliban killed Sabretooth, and he makes Caliban reassure her that he didn’t. Caliban says that someday when Sabretooth is not as defenseless that he will extract his revenge. Cable reaches out to Caliban, but he shies away. He asks Cable if he is going to have to leave the team now and Cable assures him that he won’t have to. The only thing that he is going to have to do is clean up the mess that he made of the control room. Boomer hovers over the limp body of Victor Creed and takes sympathy on him. Her thoughts are interrupted by the harsh voice of her team leader. He tells her that the foolishness of bringing Creed milk stops immediately. Boomer cringes at the order and complies.

(the next day)

Cable and Professor Xavier marvel at the young mutant Sunspot in flight. Charles asks Cable how long Roberto has been up in the air. He replies three and a half hours with no signs of fatigue, actually, he seems to be getting stronger the longer that he is up there. Charles asks him if he finds Roberto’s newfound power disturbing, but Cable says that they have everything under control.

Somewhere else on the grounds, Warpath spars with the unreceptive Caliban. James is practicing attacks with a bo staff and poor Caliban’s reflexes are not quite up to par. Caliban receives a blow to the head and asks Warpath why he is hitting him if he is his friend. James sighs and explains for the ninth time that Cable wants him to practice with the staff and since Shatterstar is in the Med lab he has to spar with Caliban instead. James flips around Cal, whacking him on the back of his leg. He rolls around to the front and smacks Caliban’s shin, offering an alternative to the fight. Maybe he wants to sneak off and use his mutant tracking ability to find Siryn who has been missing for a while instead. Caliban smiles and tells Warpath that he is already in enough trouble with Cable, so maybe James should just practice with his staff. James tells him that he asked for it as he brings the staff down on Caliban’s head, snapping the stick in two. Warpath grins and says that they practiced enough for that day.

Now inside the mansion, Xavier asks Cable if he still intends to work more with his team telepathically and he replies that he already has been. Xavier warns Cable about the dangers of using telepathy without someone’s consent. Cable appreciates what the Professor is saying, but how can he expect his team to give their all when in the past he hasn’t? He says that he has to explore his powers in ways that he hasn’t even thought of yet. Of all people, Xavier should understand that. The Professor agrees, but wants Cable to know the hazards of the path that he has chosen, maybe he should train with Jean a little bit.

In the laboratory of Doctor Henry McCoy, Shatterstar nervously sits in the examination chair. The Beast finds it curious that in all of the time that Shatterstar has been with the group, he has never had a complete examination done. Shatterstar says that he always felt fine and that where he came from, seeing a physician was a sign of weakness. Beast replies that this is where he says he came from, but his sentence is interrupted by Cable’s entrance into the Med lab. He wants to know if Shatterstar is physically fit to come on the mission, yes or no. Shatterstar pleads with Cable to get him out of there. Beast tells Cable that he is working with a presumably alien biology - hollow bones, no white blood cells - the closest person for reference is the former X-Man Longshot. Shatterstar tells Cable that he is as fit as a cello, but Cable leaves the decision up to Dr. McCoy. Beast says that if Cable can manage without him for a few days he would like to run some more tests on the young man. Shatterstar panics at the thought, but Cable tells him that that will be plenty of time to rethink how he got himself in that situation.

Boomer runs up to Cable in the hallway with an innocent look on her face. He asks her what her story is, and she proceeds to tell him that she heard Shatterstar being excused from duty and she also wants to get the day off. She says that she has got the flu and doesn’t feel up to snuff. Cable tells her that she looks fine, but Boomer persists in her fib by making up a list of symptoms and managing a weak cough. She doesn’t want to infect the whole team. Cable says that he could poke around in her head telepathically to see if she is telling the truth, or he could take her word on it and believe her. He grabs a fur-lined jacket off the wall and says that where they are going won’t help her flu, so she is excused. He tells her to give Sam his best and she says she will, when she is feeling better. Boomer thinks to herself that sometimes Cable can be a jerk, but the rest of the time he is all right.

Within the hour, Cable, Warpath, Sunspot, and Caliban gather in the hangar bay to go off on their mission. Sunspot tells Cable that he feels like he could fly the whole way there himself, but Cable tells him that it isn’t necessary. Roberto says that he wants to kick some butt, but Cable tells him that it is simply a recon mission.

From a mansion window, Boomer waves to her teammates as they take off in the PACRAT. She feels awful for lying to Cable, even though he knew that she was, but sometimes a girl has got to do what a girl has got to do to spend time with her man. Tabitha runs throughout the mansion to find Sam and surprise him, but she doesn’t quite get the reaction that she wants. They hug and Cannonball tells Boomer that he has to go investigate a massacre at a club with Storm. Boomer tells him not to talk of the X-Men, but he tells her that he has to go. They will find time together later somehow. Tabitha says that he has promised it before and never came through, but Sam says he means it this time. He leaves Tabitha alone with one thought: how long is a girl supposes to wait?

(later that day)

In the PACRAT, Cable tells the team that they are in Russian airspace, more specifically Siberia, and they have to keep a low profile. Even under the new regime, they would have a lot to explain if they were discovered. Warpath asks the obvious questions: what are they doing there? Why, all of a sudden, are they running errands for Professor Xavier? Cable says that it was part of what he has been meeting him about and it is in everyone’s best interest. They have to keep their eyes open for a tracking station that was part of Xavier’s underground, which went offline about twenty-four hours ago, and find out the reason why it went offline. A gigantic pillar of smoke reaches up in front of them, and Cable prepares the team for landing.

Caliban tells Cable that he senses something that is like a mutant, but not quite. Cable tells him to focus on that signature and Caliban complies even though he says it makes his head hurt. Below them, an immense crater looms menacingly, but there are no radioactive readings whatsoever. That means that something else took out the station.

Cable lands the PACRAT and creates a psi-link throughout his team, telling them to stay in telepathic contact and giving them each their assignments. Warpath watches Cable’s back, Caliban tracks down the creature, and Sunspot gives aerial support, much to his objections. After a few minutes, Cable finds two men dead, and one that is barely alive. Cable tells that man that they are friends of Charles Xavier, and the man says that look what happened because they trusted Xavier.

A voice from behind catches Cable’s attention and he whirls around in surprise. The man wants to know why they came; he only wanted to be left alone! Cable stares up in disbelief at the intimidating form of the Mimic, ready to strike.

Characters Involved: 

Boomer, Cable, Caliban, Shatterstar, Sunspot, Warpath (all X-Force)

Beast, Cannonball, Professor Charles Xavier (all X-Men)



Story Notes: 

Xavier allowed Sabretooth to live in the mansion to receive some form of therapy in X-Men Unlimited #3. He became docile after having Wolverine rammed his bone claw through his brain in Wolverine (2nd series) #90.

X-Force came to stay at the mansion in X-Force # 44, in the same issue Cannonball was “promoted” to the X-Men.

When Cable first came to the present he emerged on Muir island where he met Moira MacTaggert. Through her he contacted Charles Xavier shortly before he formed the X-Men and helped him design several parts of the mansion with future technology. [Cable (2nd series) #45]

Along with his fellow Marauders, Sabretooth killed many of the Morlocks during the Mutant Massacre crossover.

Caliban was mutated by Apocalypse in X-Factor #53.

Like shown in the last issue, Siryn is currently undercover in the Weisman Institute to check up on one of Xavier’s underground colleagues. Her teammates however, have not been filled in on the mission.

Shatterstar broke his ribs in Cable (2nd series) #22. During his examination, the Beast finds upon some oddities, as can be seen in X-Force #51.

The PACRAT (Personal Assault Carrier for Recon/Aquatic/Terrain) was wrecked in X-Men Prime but was recovered in Cable (2nd series) #21.

Storm, Wolverine and Cannonball investigate the club massacre in Uncanny X-Men #323.

Calvin Rankin, aka the Mimic, was a member of the X-Men for a brief time. When he was last seen he had troubles keeping his powers in check, and Logan arranged for him to spend some time in Japan to learn some control techniques. [Marvel Comics Presents #61] Apparently it didn’t work, as the next issue establishes that the Mimic was sent to this base in Siberia to be as far away as possible from any mutants he could accidentally absorb.

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