X-Force (4th series) #10

Issue Date: 
December 2014
Story Title: 
Nothing Man

Simon Spurrier (writer), Tan Eng Huat (penciler), Craig Yeung (inker), Jose Villarrubia (colorist), VC’s Joe Sabino (letterer), Rock-He Kim (cover artist), Xander Jarowey (assistant editor), Daniel Ketchum (editor), Mike Marts (X-Men group editor), Axel Alonso (editor-in-chief), Joe Quesada (chief creative officer), Dan Buckley (publisher), Alan Fine (Exec. Publisher)

Brief Description: 

X-Force have kidnapped the unknown X-Man called ForgetMeNot. However, since his power is literally being forgotten, once he is out of sight they aren’t able to hold onto him, until a recording made by Dr. Nemesis reminds them of his existence and the chase start again. ForgetMeNot in turn is unable to leave the heli-carrier. Finding himself chased by X-Force. he experiences them as a thoroughly broken and unpleasant bunch. Unwillingly, he also becomes a witness of the affairs started between Psylocke and Cable and MeMe and Fantomex respectively. ForgetMeNot unexpectedly finds an ally in the HQ’s cleaning bots, which display a certain sentience and show him the way to the transporter. Along the way, he finds a semi-conscious Dr. Nemesis brought to that state by imbibing a concoction supposed to help him remember ForgetMeNot. He also sees the data on Project Yelloweye. ForgetMeNot begins to understand why X-Force need him, as they could use his power to help them find Project Yelloweye. After berating Nemesis for not simply asking for help instead of abducting him, he does what Nemesis wants and puts on a power suppressor which means one of the flies of Project Yellow Eye now focuses on him. ForgetMeNot takes off the suppressor. The idea was for the fly to forget him and return to HQ, allowing X-Force to trace it but it doesn’t. Fantomex reveals himself. Thanks to his superior brain, he remembered FrogetMeNot all the time and just played along to make fun of his teammates. He kills ForgetMeNot and now the fly leaves. Dr. Nemesis forgets about ForgetMeNot and the cleaning bots drag the corpse away.

Full Summary: 

The abandoned SHIELD heli-carrier Pericles, current headquarter of X-Force:
AAAAH! a slightly overweight man in an X-Men jacket shouts as he is running for his life chased by X-Force. He just wants to go home!

The team loses sight of him for a moment as he hides in a corner behind a railing. A moment later, the team stops confused, wondering just what they were doing. Coffee break, Dr. Nemesis suggests to Marrow who agrees.

Once they are gone, the man who would be called ForgetMeNot (if anybody actually remembered him) gets up again.

X-Force watch a video by Dr. Nemesis starring… Dr. Nemesis. The real Doc explains there was a note on the espresso machine to play this vid file “in the event of an unscheduled coffee break.

Video Nemesis announces that he expects they are all confused. As Marrow walks past Nemesis in the video file, the real Marrow bursts out she doesn’t remember this.

Video continues that Nemesis imagines right now somebody, by which he means Marrow, has just outted their ignorance without having the decency to wait for answers. The fact is they have a guest in their home and are almost certainly unaware of him. They don’t know his name. At this point, he is purely conjectural. Psylocke’s noticed some strange memory absences from her time at the Jean Grey School and MeMe was able to access the internal cameras to record these distortions. Nemesis theorizes he is a mutant in a state of constant existential superposition: both real and unreal all at once.

In an airshaft above, ForgetMeNot listens attentively.

Nemesis continues that, when he is observed, the quantum state collapses and he’s a perfectly real guy. But the moment he is out of sight, the superposition re-establishes and he is forgotten. He’s literally written out of the story, over and over. By monitoring inconsistencies in supply and use of toilet paper in the X-Mansion’s men’s room, MeMe’s identified his favorite stall—

MeMe doesn’t remember doing this.

-- where Psylocke has planted a teleporter trap, the recording continues. The rest are now primed to subdue him when he arrives.

Marrow asks what they want with a weird memory-dodging ghost guy, a question video file Nemesis has anticipated and insults Marrow again. Present Nemesis suggests they should get a room and realizes a moment later he insulted himself.

On the file, Nemesis announces that, for complicated reasons, he cannot simply state why they need to capture the man. But he should be able to help them with their little insect problem.

Present Dr. Nemesis gets it.

In the recording, Nemesis continues he is making this file because there is a good chance the prisoner will escape, whereupon they will all forget his existence. He addresses himself, stating he has something distilling in the lab which could help. Until it’s ready, he’ll need to stay focused. Scour the whole place and keep him away from the teleporter.

With the recording over, Cable suggests they split up. Nemesis warns them this may not be that easy. The records show they’ve already played that message six times.

Fantomex suggests an outside the box approach to this sticky conundrum. He points upwards. Why don’t they attack the overweight unwashed man currently hiding in the ventilation duct above his head? He can hear him wheezing.

Leave him alone! ForgetMeNot shouts on deck as X-Force once more give chase. He runs inside a room. With him out of sight, the others immediately forget. Anyone want some coffee? someone asks.

ForgetMeNot wakes up as he hears the Nemesis’ recording being repeated.

Just a regular guy. As if they’d know what regular means, the cleaning ‘bots address ForgetMeNot who runs away. He gets a peek of another room where MeMe and Fantomex seem to be having cybersex. MeMe almost notices something.  Fantomex does not. ForgetMeNot repeatedly shouts nope as he runs on.

He sees the others watching the recording again, getting ready for another search. He sobs.

Marrow runs after him, threatening she’s going to eat his spleen. With ForgetMeNot out of sight, she wonders who she meant and decides she’s so mental and laughs.

ForgetMeNot tries to enter the teleporter without any success. He wants to go home! he shouts. He barely dodges Psylocke and Cable, who forgot why they came down here.

Desperate, ForgetMeNot tries to scrub away Nemesis’ message to himself. ‘Allo, mysterious hobo-looking intruder, Fantomex surprises him. Where did he come from? Fantomex then informs ForgetMeNot the sexy mechanic who lives in his brain informs him it will be therapeutic to kill him with this croissant. He thinks this is insensitive stereotyping and he’d be better off shooting him in the kneecaps before kicking off his head. But they are very open to sensible suggestions.

They are all horrible! ForgetMeNot cries, running from the team again as Fantomex tosses the croissant at him. They run past the lab where Nemesis is distilling his special concoction.

ForgetMeNot runs into Cable, who wasn’t with the others, grabs his gun and holds it to Cable’s head. Get back! he warns the rest. They are all crazy! Fantomex simply shoots Cable. Did he just shoot his own leader? ForgetMeNot bursts out in disbelief. Eh, Fantomex shrugs. He was in the way. Dibs on killing Cable next time! Marrow shouts. Psylocke suggests they concentrate on killing the stranger first. What sort of X-Men are they? he asks horrified.

Don’t hurt him yet! Nemesis suddenly announces in a strange voice. He’s important! They need him! The hell’s wrong with him? Marrow demands.

Seeing them in psychedelic colors, Nemesis explains he drank a cup of experimental hypercoffee which an older version of him left brewing against this eventuality. He’s currently enjoying a state of awareness in which his mind is stretched along a D-Brane and untuned from reality. He is cosmically sober. He’s anti-drunk. He may perish. Now that he can see and remember their prey, they have to get a suppressor on him. It’s vitally important that this man be unable to use his—

Who is he talking about? Marrow asks confused as ForgetMeNot makes his getaway. Nemesis throws up.

Huddled in a corner, ForgetMeNot gasps. Several floating devices inform him this could go on forever. Who are they and how do they remember him? he asks confused. Maintenance tech, they explain. They are invisible too. As for how: they are mad. Didn’t he know: everyone’s mad here. It’s not their fault. He shouldn’t hate the team. Being broken is what makes them good at what they do. They think different. They think in twists.

ForgetMeNot protests they abducted him during an extremely relaxing moment. They won’t even tell him what they want. He’s a mutant too. They are all supposed to be on the same side!

He doesn’t understand, the ‘bots reply. He cannot think of them as normal. They try to cling to humanity even when they get it wrong. He has to remember: They have a world to save and they spent too long in the dark.

ForgetMeNot recalls different almost meetings or meetings with them. How he saw Marrow cradling her weapon. How he was trapped under the bed while Psylocke and Cable had sex, something she claims she only does with every other clone.

They’ve forgotten to treat people like people. He asks the robots if they can help him get to the teleporter. Sure, have a nice day, he is told.

ForgetMeNot enters the lab to find a barely conscious Dr. Nemesis, who had too much of the special coffee. ForgetMeNot wants to help himself to a teleporter kit but is stopped in his tracks when he reads the current caseload on the computer. He learns about the villain keeping surveillance on every mutant in the world using insects as drones that can reappear as quickly as you can kill them. X-Force are trying to find out where they come from. He still doesn’t see what that has to do with him, until he notices he has no flies buzzing around him. They can’t see him.

He figures out X-Force wanted to suppress his powers so that they could see him and send a bug. Then what? Trck, Nemesis mumbles. Stick a tracker on it. ForgetMeNot agrees, and when he powers back up they can follow it home. That’s actually pretty clever.

Cln’tlk boutit, Nemesis mumbles. They couldn’t talk to each other. Because whoever is watching the bugs would have known they were coming for him, ForgetMeNot agrees. They could have talked about it to him! Whoever’s listening will forget any port of the conversation he is part of. They could have explained the damn situation to him from the start! Their own robot cleaners are more in touch with people skills than they are! He looks at all the screens.

This is how the world looks when you forget how to treat people as people! Out of touch bastards making violent decisions on everyone else’s behalf. He shakes Nemesis. They only had to ask! Whsky, Nemesis gurgles. pltplzplz. Hipfls Pkcet!

He’s going to help them anyway, ForgetMeNot sighs and feeds him the whiskey. Though they don’t deserve it. He puts on the suppressor headband and waits. When a fly appears Nemesis, now awake, orders him to grab it.

Back at Project Yellow Eye, the mysterious leader is told that a new drone has been activated following an X-gene activation in the mid-Pacific region. The leader jumps up and down happily until noting someone is doing something to his bug; specifically Nemesis is putting a tracker on it. Prepare the defenses! the leader shouts.

ForgetMeNot takes off the suppressor but the bug stays put. Nemesis admits there was always a slight possibility that, once having detected him, the bug wouldn’t forget. He theorizes their mystery surveillance baddie uses some kind of psychic mechanism to trace his subjects. Sorry. Regarding ForgetMeNot’s earlier comments, this, well… he stammers.

Fantomex hits Dr. Nemesis from behind with his gun. This is why they didn’t ask him to volunteer he finishes Nemesis’ sentence. And ForgetMeNot realizes Fantomex has been able to remember him all along. Heightened senses, engineered brains, whatever, Fantomex agrees. Spend a few years at being him, you stop being surprised at being incroyable. He plays with his gun. For a time, he was content to let him be and be entertained by the silly monkeys running around but he gets bored so easily. Only so many times you can kill a disposable leader before you start looking for une autre victim, non? And now it seems they need a more permanent solution for making their little buggy friends forget him…

He is evil! ForgetMeNot bursts out. The others try not to be monsters. They are just broken. B-but he

Fantomex shoots him. Evil is as evil does, he replies.

At Project Yellow Eye, they note a bug returning to base but cannot recall why or why it was even sent out, not to mention why they are on high alert.

Fantomex helps up Nemesis, who doesn’t remember anything and points him to the tracker beacon on the scanner marking the mission objective in Hong Kong. All the while, the cleaning bots are cleaning up ForgetMeNot’s body, unnoticed by anybody. Nemesis doesn’t remember having found anything. He is working too hard, Fantomex shrugs. Rigorous application of les methodes scientifique or something boring like that. Nemesis agrees. In the real world, the most productive techniques are usually the most forgettable. Well said, Fantomex agrees and suggests they get a coffee.

Characters Involved: 

Cable, Dr. Nemesis, Fantomex, Marrow, Meme, Psylocke (X-Force)

ForgetMeNot (X-Man)
Cleaning robots

Head of Project Yellow Eye

Story Notes: 

If you don’t remember ForgetMeNot’s numerous appearances, don’t worry, that is after all his power. For some reason, people seem to remember his appearance in X-Men Legacy #300 better though.

The mystery of the sentient cleaning robots will be explained in issue #13.

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