The look. Don’t let it fool you. Siryn a.k.a. Theresa Rourke Cassidy gives that look to her teammate, Shatterstar, standing behind her and tells him that if he wants to play this game with her then he better play to win, before taking to the moon-lit sky, giving Shatterstar a hint: ‘You’ll not catch me less ye learn to fly!’ she exclaims. Siryn is the daughter of Sean Cassidy, known as Banshee, the leader of the young mutants known as Generation X. Theresa inherited her father’s stealth and natural ability to lead - and one more thing - his awesome ability to manipulate sound into an unbelievable power. Siryn’s voice is a devastating thing, and she is the deputy leader of X-Force, the group of irrepressible young mutants with likewise mutant strengths and abilities.
Shatterstar takes off after Siryn, following her on foot swiftly, not replying to her comments, after all, he has been a hunter all his life, and even coming to this world, crashing out of a time and dimension many years to come. Flying causally into a large church, Siryn exclaims that she is glad that they got out of the mansion for one night. ‘Big as that place is, it can be suffocating some…Shatterstar?’ Siryn asks, realizing that Shatterstar is nowhere to be seen, when, suddenly, she hears a cracking noise above her, ‘SHATTERSTAR!’ Theresa exclaims as the sword-wielding young man bursts through some glass above her.
Siryn and Shatterstar are an unlikely pair - they have found this empty church some ten miles outside Salem Center, in Westchester County, New York, while all the others - Meltdown and Cannonball, Sunspot, Caliban, Cable, Domino, all had plans this evening. Leaving the two of them feeling like this former house of worship - abandoned. ‘Ulp!’ mumbles Siryn, while Shatterstar declares ‘I believe the colloquialism is…”tag” “you are the one”!’ he exclaims as he pins Siryn to the ground, his swords either side of her. ‘”It”, I’m “It”!’ Siryn corrects Shatterstar, who replies ‘Whatever’, smiling.
Siryn has lost Warpath. Shatterstar has lost Rictor. Both see these missing teammates as “friends” - both too stubborn to admit they may mean more than that. Siryn looks up at Shatterstar and tells him that, for someone who thinks he is losing his edge, he plays a mean game. Suddenly, Theresa glances at one of the swords, where she sees a distorted image of Deadpool, shouting ‘Help me!’. This causes Siryn to reel backwards, knocking Shatterstar to the side, she urgently exclaims ‘Deadpool!? Oh my God, Shatterstar, I remember! I remember!’. ‘Remember what?’ Shatterstar asks. What indeed….
Meanwhile, in Miami, James “Warpath” Proudstar exclaims ‘YES!’ as he speeds along the highway on a motorcycle, with his companion, the glamorous Risque clutching on to him. There is an awful lot bottled up inside Warpath - who possesses the speed of a cougar and the strength of ten men. But on this hot night in South Beach, tearing up the highway at over a hundred miles per hour on this vintage Harley - which would make even the X-Man know as Wolverine jealous - the bottle has been uncorked.
The reason for James’ good mood can be summed up in one word: Risque, the mysterious young woman who looks at him longingly. James doesn’t even know Risque’s full name, or why she even sought him out. But ever since Risque saved him from certain death in New York City and brought him to Miami to recuperate, James, who has spent his whole life overanalyzing every choice he has made, simply doesn’t care.
A siren suddenly sounds - there is a Police car following them. James tells Risque that perhaps that they should pull over, but Risque replies ‘What’s life without a little…Risque?’. ‘Good point!’ James exclaims as he accelerates the motorcycle off the edge of a bridge. ‘Yippie-yi-yo-ky-yay!’ exclaims Risque, throwing her hands up in the air. ‘RISQUE!’ shouts James, concerned for her safety. The Police officers who were trailing the troublesome duo stop and one of them asks the other if he wants to call it in. ‘And tell them what?!’ the other replies, thinking to themselves ‘Kids…not a care in the world!’
‘Think we’re gonna make it?’ James asks as they continue to sail through the air on the motorcycle. ‘Don’t tell me you’re starting to doubt me now’ Risque replies, before they land, safely, on the ground below, with James bringing the motorcycle to a screeching halt. James grins and Risque and tells her that she is something else. ‘Isn’t that what we’re all about, James? Something…else?’ Risque replies, before they kiss. James wonders to himself if that is it though, or does he find himself drawn to Risque because for the first time in his whole life, he is out. Out from under the shadow of his brother, from X-Force, from Siryn… ‘There you go again, Jimmy…thinking about life instead of just living it!’ he tells himself.
Soon, on a highway outside Salem Center, heading North for Rutland, Vermont, Theresa and Shatterstar are inside an ambulance, it’s siren roaring as they speed along the highway. Siryn tells Shatterstar that she doesn’t like “borrowing” this ambulance, but that the people they are going up against cannot be underestimated. ‘Besides, what’s life without a few risks?’ she adds. Shatterstar replies that he agreed to accompany Siryn, but that he still doesn’t know why she did not want to inform Cable about their intended adventure - or even Xavier himself.
‘What about it can you not understand?’ Siryn asks, reminding Shatterstar that it was Cable and Xavier who sent her to the Weisman Institute in the first place. Theresa adds that she might even still be there if it wasn’t for Deadpool, who she only now remembers was actually captured there. ‘Somebody messed with my mind!’ Siryn exclaims, telling Shatterstar that she doesn’t want to believe that Cable and Xavier - two of the world’s most powerful telepaths and men she has trusted for years are responsible. ‘But how can I be certain?’ she wonders. Shatterstar replies ‘I…suppose not’ while thinking to himself that there is something else about the Weisman Institute that bothers him, something disturbingly familiar. ‘How could it be that I would have a memory of a place that I have never been?’ he wonders.
Later, it is almost dawn when Theresa and Shatterstar arrive at the Weisman Institute for the Criminally Insane. Shatterstar notices the name plaque, and Theresa explains that as far as she can remember, the place is run by a woman called Dr. Weisman, who is a colleague of Xavier’s and a member of his Mutant Underground. ‘But there was…someone else…’ Siryn adds, before looking at the silent Shatterstar and asks him if there is something he is not telling her. ‘No. For what could there possibly be within these walls that could befall…a warrior born?’ Shatterstar asks. Siryn tells her teammate to just be careful, explaining that it was that kind of attitude that got her in trouble here the last time.
Making their way to the front door, Shatterstar asks if it wasn’t their plan to have the Weisman staff come out and greet the ambulance, to which Siryn replies that it was, ‘But as Domino would say, “time for plan B”!’. Checking the door, Theresa discovers that it is locked, so she unleashes a small sonic scream, so quiet, it just shatters the lock, enabling them to push the doors open and step inside. Theresa quietly tells Shatterstar to get ready, as they are walking straight into the mouth of the lion. But turning to her companion, Siryn finds herself alone in the dingy hallway. ‘Curiouser and curiouser…she whispers’.
Nearby, Shatterstar moves stealthily through the corridor telling himself that he didn’t wish to leave Siryn like he did, but his mind is swimming with images and he is overwhelmed by the feelings that he has experienced this all before, and he recalls the expression that Meltdown has used to describe what is happening to him: “Deja vu”. Shatterstar finds an empty room with a computer in it and sits at the desk, sensing that this is more than déjà vu, recalling his waning warrior’s edge, and the Police report claiming he had another name - another life. ‘Someone called…’ his thoughts are interrupted, when the door slams open, and three figures enter. ‘Welcome home, Benjamin’ snaps the aforementioned Dr. Weisman. ‘You’ve been a very bad boy!’ smirks an unusual ten year old patient named Jeremy Stevens, while the third figure clad in red and black remains in the shadows….
Elsewhere in the maze of corridors, ‘DEADPOOL!’ shouts Siryn. ‘Wade, where the Devil are ye!?’ she asks as she passes from room to another. Suddenly, Deadpool pops his head through a window in one of the doors, exclaiming ‘Say the secret world and the duck will come down and you’ll win a prize!’. Siryn turns quickly and calls out to Deadpool, but he is gone as quickly as he arrived. She starts pounding her fists on the door, telling Deadpool that he is not allowed to play games with her. ‘I came to get ye out of here and there’s not much time!’ she exclaims as manages to force the door open, only to discover the room empty.
Confused, Theresa runs her hands through her hair, exclaiming that she doesn’t understand. ‘The man was here a moment ago!’. Another door in the corridor opens, Siryn hears it and rushes out of the room, only to see Deadpool exclaim ‘Bus nine leaving for Anaheim…Azusa and Cucamonga!’. The door closes, and Siryn pounds on it, telling Deadpool to stop this foolishness. Suddenly, one of Deadpool’s arms appears and points in one direction, ‘That way is a very nice way!’ he exclaims, before pointing in another direction, ‘It’s pleasant down this way, too. Of course, people do go both ways!’ The door slams shut, ‘Madness!’ snaps Siryn coldly.
Back at South Beach, Warpath and Risque are still kissing, and Warpath admits that what he is about to say sounds crazy, and tells Risque that being with her feels right. Risque replies that she is not arguing, and tells James not to look to her for - ‘HELP!’ screams someone nearby. Warpath and Risque focus themselves, and take off on the motorcycle, James remarks that the call didn’t sound very far away, to which Risque replies that whoever it is, their timing stinks.
Nearby, a mutant with facial deformities is being harassed by some thugs on motorcycles who keep circling him, holding chains and baseball bats in their hands. ‘Please, I haven’t done anything to you!’ the mutant exclaims. One of the thugs mocks the mutant by repeating what he said before exclaiming ‘You’re here, mutie - and for the Friends of Humanity, that’s enough!’. Another of the thugs declares that they are going to play a little baseball as he waves his baseball bat around. ‘And guess who’s gonna be the ball…!’. ‘But, I’m not -’ the mutant begins to say, ‘Gonna play?’ the thug interrupts. ‘We’re not giving you a choice!’ he exclaims, when suddenly, Warpath speeds into the middle of the gang and picks up the mutant, telling him to go limp.
Seeing a man move faster than humanly possible, this can only mean one thing to the thugs - ‘More of them! Run them down!’ they shout as they return to their motorcycles and speed towards Risque. ‘Who…me?’ she asks. ‘Poor, little, defenseless me?’ she grins. ‘Poor, little defenseless me…who can kick your butts so far up your backs you’re gonna have to put your pants on over your heads!’ she exclaims as she waves her hand, causing the first thug’s motorcycle to implode on itself just inches away from her.
‘You flatscans getting a little rush? Still feel up for a mutie bashing?’ Risque asks defiantly as the other two thugs speed towards her, their motorcycles imploding and sending them careening across the beach. As Risque is about to use her powers again, James suddenly grabs her by the wrist, telling her ‘Enough! That’s not the way we…I handle things’. Annoyed, Risque replies that she doesn’t like being told what to do, to which James tells her they will discuss it, later.
The mutant, lying near the three Friends of Humanity members exclaims ‘I tried to tell them! I tried! I’m not a mutant!’ he suddenly reveals, revealing that his face got burned in a grease fire. ‘These guys wouldn’t have attacked me if it weren’t for real mutants!’ he exclaims angrily. ‘Like you two!’ he tells James and Risque. ‘It’s all your fault!’. Standing in the water, James begins to protest as the thugs and the victim rush away, while Risque tells James to let it go. ‘I’ve known this sort of prejudice all my life’ she reveals. ‘Maybe…maybe the only answer is for mutants to stay only with other mutants?’ she suggests, while Warpath silently wonders if Risque could be any more different than Siryn.
Back at the Weisman Institute, Siryn enters another room, telling herself that she has to get her bearings, realizing that someone - or something - assaulting her senses. Suddenly, the lights flick on, and Theresa is confronted by dozens of Deadpools, all singing a song: Here’s the story about a merc named Wilson who was dying from a cancer all alone! Siryn rolls her eyes, ‘By the saints, what’ve I stumbled on now?!’ she mutters, as the myriad of Deadpools continue their song: He had quite the handsome pecs! Like none other! So they put him in a place called Weapon X! The Weapon X! The Weapon X!
The Deadpools all move towards Siryn carrying flowers and other gifts, they surround her as she decides that some kind of sick and twisted game is being played here - but who could be behind it? Suddenly, the Deadpools vanish, and Theresa finds herself outside a large set of doors that have been made up to look like a face. ‘Arcade?’ Siryn wonders, before calling out ‘Whoever ye are, ye’ve gone out of yuir way to make this personal! No matter what anyone else thinks of Deadpool, I know what risks he’s taken for me - though for the life of me I cannot say why’.
Taking flight, Siryn declares that she will not let Wade’s mind and memories be used this way, but as she flies into another room, she uncovers a dozen crazed Deadpool’s, their masks gone, their faces blackened, they sing: HELP! I need somebody! HELP! Not just anybody! Siryn clutches her head and angrily shouts ‘Why are ye doing this? I know the sacrifice Wade Wilson made by going into the Weapon X program! How he risked any semblance of a normal life to keep from dying!’
Suddenly, the Deadpools turn their attention to Siryn, ‘She knows too much!’ one of them shouts. ‘She knows nothing!’ another screams as they all begin to chase her. ‘They’re uncontrollable!’ Theresa tells herself as she runs from them as they wave their swords about yelling ‘Too much! Nothing! Too much! Nothing!’ over and over. Siryn finds herself backed up against the face-like door once more, when all of a sudden the Deadpools throw their swords at her, surrounding her. ‘That went well…’ Siryn mumbles.
Suddenly, a voice calls out ‘NUMBER NINE NUMBER NINE NUMBER NINE’, and entering the face-doors, Siryn finds herself in a padded cell - where Deadpool is curled up in a corner. ‘Deadpool?’ Siryn asks. ‘Terry?’ Deadpool replies. ‘Is this another one of his games?’ he asks. Going over to her friend, Siryn remarks that she was just about to ask the same thing, and asks Wade what went on here after she life. Head in his hands, Wade replies ‘Cant explain…just make it stop’. Holding up one of the swords, Theresa asks Wade what it is he is saying. ‘For once I’m not fooling around - you’ve gotta do it, Terry. You’ve gotta turn it off!’ Deadpool pleads.
Suddenly, two figures enter the padded cell - Doctor Weisman and Jeremy Stevens. Startled, Siryn spins around as Jeremy Stevens shouts ‘Well. It looks as though the inmates are running the asylum!’ Dr. Weisman addresses Siryn as “Ms. Rourke” and asks her if she has the strength of mind to do what needs to be done. Siryn holds the sword up to Jeremy’s neck and calling him a horrid little boy remarks that she remembers him now. ‘Ye have power as a psi, I’ll give ye that - but the game is over now. Deadpool leaves with me!’.
Dr. Weisman tells Siryn that, as she seems so certain of the power that the boy wields, what makes her think that he will let her. Siryn smirks and tells Dr. Weisman that she is correct, ‘I’ll have to remedy the situation’ she exclaims as she swings the sword and forces Dr. Weisman against the padded wall. ‘Ye’ve overplayed your hand - GAMESMASTER!’ she exclaims. Suddenly, the Gamesmaster floats out of Dr. Weisman’s body, ‘Well done, Theresa. You win. This round’ he remarks before the enigmatic omnipath vanishes - with the consequences of today’s victory weighing heavily on Siryn’s mind.
Jeremy Stevens hugs Dr. Weisman and tells her that he is sorry, but Dr. Weisman tells him that they each had a role in this and remarks that with Ms. Rourke, she fears for what would have become of them all. ‘Man you’re good’ Deadpool exclaims as he turns to Siryn. Theresa tells Wade to give himself credit. ‘I know ye to be a man who chose life over cancer’ she points out. ‘In some ways, ye’ve got to have courage to be as crazy as ye are’. Deadpool suddenly leans in to Siryn, ‘Then…you like me! You really, really like me!’ he exclaims as he kisses her. ‘DEADPOOL!’ Siryn snaps back.
‘Risque…’ Warpath whispers as he kisses Risque some more.
Shortly, outside the Weisman Institute, Siryn marches away from Deadpool who stands watching her and thinks to herself ‘That’s it? Deadpool goes back to work and we go back home? It was almost like Gamesmaster wanted us to come up here…so he could end the game’. Theresa decides, before she sees Shatterstar and flying over to him, asks him where he has been. ‘I coulda used your help inside!’ she exclaims. But as Shatterstar turns to her, Siryn sees that something is wrong, and lowers her tone as she asks him if he is okay.
‘No, I’m not “okay”. I doubt very much that I will be “okay” for a very long time’ Shatterstar replies. ‘Ye seem different’ Siryn replies, asking him what happened. Tears begin to fall from his eyes as Shatterstar replies ‘He…he’s played with my mind, Terry. Flooded it with images that seem so real! He told me that in truth, I am a human boy by the name of “Benjamin Russell”…that my entire life as Shatterstar is nothing more than an empty fiction…Gamesmaster’s sick fantasy!’. Shatterstar adds that he thinks the Gamesmaster was telling him the truth….