X-Men: Search for Cyclops #2

Issue Date: 
January 2001
Story Title: 
Book Two: Hunted

Joseph Harris (writer), Tom Raney (penciler), Scott Hanna (inker), John Babcock (letters), J.C. (colors), Peter Franco (assistant editor), Mark Powers (editor), Joe Quesada (editor in chief)

Brief Description: 

Memories of Apocalypse’s past haunt Scott until he’s brought back to reality by Libyan border patrol. The interrogation of the truck driver illegally transporting them begins and Anais takes the opportunity to flirt with some of the guards. She then lures three of them away hinting at a sexual rendezvous, but all is not as it seems. Meanwhile in New York, Cable and Blaquesmith discuss Cyclops’ sacrifice and Cable’s disappointment that it should have been him. Not much later, Cable is at Xavier’s in the Danger Room running a simulation against Apocalypse. The simulation turns on him and Jean reveals herself as the culprit. They both bear their souls about Scott until Ozymandias teleports in and offers them information. They arrive back at Ozymandias’ sanctuary where he gives them some help in their search for Scott. Back at the Libyan border Anais transforms and begins killing the guards one by one. Meanwhile, Scott has another flashback to Apocalypse’s childhood and attacks the man left guarding him. Anais rushes over and Scott tells her he wants her help, her guidance, for he doesn’t know what’s inside him and fears he might like it.

Full Summary: 

Ancient Egypt

It’s one cycle past the Harvest, they call it a “Hunter’s Moon” and for good reason…
A young man is running through the night, panting, trying to escape the horde of men chasing after him. The men, pitchforks and scythes upraised, believe the boy a demon and tonight they are going to hunt him down and kill him.
The young man turns, back against the wall and stares fearfully at the throng slowly encroaching upon him. He turns and begins clawing at the brick wall, hoping for a miracle, some way to escape it all. He’s hit across the back and falls to the ground. He looks up at his attackers, throwing his hands up to ward off anything coming at him. The man heading the pack, carrying a torch, draws nearer. “No…” En Sabah Nur utters.
Libyan border

Scott’s attention is brought back to the real world as a flashlight is shone in his face. Lying in the front of a trailer, sidled up to Anais, Scott yells for the man to get away from him. Anais tries calming Scott down while the border agent orders his boss to come have a look at the truck’s unusual cargo.
The head honcho comes around to the back and eyes up the two “refugees.” He complains out loud how hard they have to work to keep Libya’s borders secure. He then speaks with the truck driver about his supposed shipment of “wiring.” The driver begs for no trouble, explaining he picked them up and for a fee offered to drive them east.
Still in the trailer, Anais begins whispering to Scott about the urges inside him. Scott pleads with her to make them stop. He tells her the visions are getting worse and reminds her she promised him answers. Scott asks Anais what they’re doing. Anais calls him a fool and tells him to shut up. She wishes he would give in to the urges so she can explain what is happening. For now, however, she tells Scott to stay there and be quiet.
Back outside, the truck driver is still giving his story, going over how he hears the man screaming in some ancient Egyptian dialect. The border patrol officer says the man is wanted, for a trail of destruction that follows wherever he goes. The driver claims ignorance on that and tells them to take him, waving his hand at the back of his truck.
Anais, meanwhile, makes her way to the guard watching over them. She tells the young man she doesn’t want any trouble, just wants to be away from here. She explains her friend is sick and in need of attention. Anais then steps down from the gate and butters up the guard a little before offering herself as a means of payment for passage into the country. The men standing around all smile, and poor Mamud is ordered to stay with the truck and watch Scott while the rest collect their toll.
Three of the men follow Anais as she strolls away from the truck. Mamud and another make references to Scott about Anais and her womanly stature, though they figure Scott’s not man enough to have any intimate knowledge.
Not far away, Anais tells the Libyan soldiers to go easy on her since she’s just a woman and they’re such strong men. They tell her not to worry. “I never do,” she replies as the dot on her forehead begins to grow and her eyes narrow.

Cable’s safehouse, NYC

Blaquesmith sits at the computer station looking at information on Cyclopalypse. He sighs and shuts off the computer just as Cable enters the room. Blaquesmith turns and tells his protégé he startled him. Cable can’t believe why. Blaquesmith throws his hands up in the air and snidely mentions Cable’s taking on of a chronicler and the team that’s joined his crusade. Cable asks if his time with the X-Men bothers him. Blaquesmith didn’t mean that. He knows that missions change and people evolve, and when they came to this time they had a mission. Cable cuts him off pointing out someone else did it for him. Blaquesmith, sensing the frustration in Cable’s voice, tells him his father gave his life for everyone to stop Apocalypse. It should have been him, Cable retorts.
Blaquesmith comments on Cable’s new position, fighting in his father’s place with the X-Men. He tells Cable how proud he is of how much he’s become, but sadly states he knows Cable won’t let it go. He then hands Cable his psimitar with a few new adjustments in the circuitry to go along with his evolving telepathic abilities. Cable looks moved at Blaquesmith’s words as he tells him he’s done well in life and to live what’s left of it.
Xavier’s Institute of Higher Learning

Hours later

Cable stands proudly in his uniform, his psimitar raised in the air. He takes in the surrounding walls of the Danger Room and then kneels, praying to the Askani to give him strength. When he looks up again Apocalypse is staring him down. Cable brings his psimitar up in a defensive posture and narrowly avoids a punishing blow from the Big Blue.
Cable returns the favor with a crushing hit to En Sabah Nur’s face. Apocalypse falls and Cable draws the psimitar to his throat. Cable recalls all the moments of training and hardship he’s faced preparing for this battle, knowing it would either end in Apocalypse’s death or his.
Apocalypse stares up at his would-be killer and, as if reading Cable’s thoughts, asks Cable if he feels he’s broken the rules and left his friends and family to fight his battle.
Cable is caught off guard by this, which Apocalypse uses to take the advantage. He extends his arm and grabs Cable by the throat. Cable wants to know who’s making him say that. Apocalypse doesn’t answer his question, only stokes the embers, telling Cable he left his father to die in his stead. Apocalypse then extends his arm further, smashing Cable’s body into the ceiling. Cable falls back to the floor after Apocalypse releases him.
Cable reaches for his psimitar and gets back into a fighting stance. He tells Apocalypse he’s only a Danger Room simulation and if he had the chance he’d show the real Apocalypse what he knows. Cable’s expression quickly turns to one of confusion as Apocalypse transforms into Cyclopalypse. Cyclopalypse smiles a toothy smile and tells Cable he’d love to know what he was going to show him.
Cable is confused and terminates the program. He angrily asks who’s in the booth, manipulating his simulation. Jean telepathically asks if he could still kill Apocalypse if the union with his father had survived.
Cable turns to find Jean standing behind him. He tells her his program is private and to never mess with it again. Jean asks if he really believes that he failed, that his father’s sacrifice accomplished so little. Cable sarcastically asks if she’s trying to show him the error of his ways. Jean replies that Scott sacrificed his life to stop Apocalypse and all their searching, through Cerebro and otherwise has turned up nothing. She hasn’t even received so much as a blip on the psychic rapport they once had. Jean also adds she’s aware how he’s been running this program late at night when he thinks everyone’s asleep. She doesn’t want him keeping his pain bottled up in such a way. Cable points out he modeled his program after the one he found designed by her.
Jean’s face slumps forward as she fights back the tears. Cable apologizes for being so harsh. Jean reminds him he’s not the only one to lose something important. Cable looks at her with a grim face and says, “I know.”
A bright flash of blue light explodes in the room. From out of the light steps forward Ozymandias. He tells Jean all men and women know loss. He then asks them both if they’d be willing to find something even if the quest took them where they never would think to go.
Jean and Cable immediately go on the offensive. Cable tells Jean to hit him high with a telepathic burst to the head, and then hold him in place. He was transformed from flesh and blood a long time ago, Cable comments, and he wants to see what’s left inside.
Cable moves in for the strike, but Ozymandias doesn’t move. He tells Cable if he strikes him down he will remain fatherless. Cable, psimitar inches from Ozymandias’ temple, asks what he’s talking about. Ozymandias merely turns about and steps back toward the blue light from which he came. He says if they follow him they will learn the true fate of the man they both thought lost to them. He turns his head slightly and asks if they’re coming.
Libyan border

The men who so willingly followed Anais to a more private area are deeply regretting their decision. One man falls back as his face is sliced open. Anais, a pupil of an order devoted to the preparation of the coming of Apocalypse, turns her attention to the remaining men and exclaims she thought they were fit enough to handle her. The cat-like mutant leaps into the air, her long, razor-like claws extended, which are then used to decapitate another soldier.
Sanctuary beneath the Moroccan sands

Ozymandias explains to his two new guests that he initially chose Anais to find his master… only she never came back. He further explains that a search for Scott Summers would be in vain, for he and Apocalypse are one, which is how their search should be directed.
Cable angrily points a finger at Ozymandias and proclaims that if Apocalypse lives then he will destroy him. Jean places a calming hand on his chest and then asks Ozymandias to give it to her straight, has he found her husband. Ozymandias tells her no, that her husband as she knew him is no more. He goes on to say Apocalypse gestates within the body that once belonged to Scott Summers, waiting to be reborn.
Ozymandias suspects Anais successfully located them, but since she hasn’t returned her purpose must have changed. Jean gets frantic and starts questioning Ozymandias, but he has no idea of Anais’ true intentions. His most pressing worry is the battle being waged between the two personalities. Ozymandias fears both may be lost to them if it keeps up.
Cable gets fired up and asks Ozymandias if he actually thought they’d sit idly by in this underground temple while others searched for Scott. Ozymandias seems amused, telling Cable he doesn’t understand. He wants them to find him.
Libyan border

The border agent guarding Scott stands outside, cigarette in mouth and rifle resting at the hips. He takes a long look at Scott and voices his doubts that he and the woman he travels with are as much trouble as they’re rumored.
Scott looks back at him, obvious anger in his eyes. The guard points his weapon at Scott, asking if he doesn’t like him. This threatening action causes Scott to “remember” they’ve always hunted him. His mind races back to an earlier time, when crowds of men were chasing him through the night.
The angry mob draws closer; the man with the torch tells him there’s no place to hide. In his memory he screams for them to get away from him, but Scott does this in real life as well (the guard is surprised the American speaks Arabic).
Scott’s memories of Apocalypse’s childhood continue as suddenly the crowd reels back in fear from what they once were chasing. The guard, still transfixed, isn’t prepared when Scott lunges at him. The guard screams for Allah as he fires off some rounds from his rifle.
Nearby, the last remaining man slowly backs away as Anais steps steadily closer toward him. He begs for her to let him be for he has a family. Anais tells him all men die, but some taste better than others. They both hear the gunshots and with Anais distracted the border patrolman takes off running wondering what he’s stumbled upon. Anais answers him, “Power… and a great evil about to be reborn.” And with that she leaps and decapitates him.
Back at the truck Scott has the guard pinned down in a choke hold. Still lost in the fury of his memories he tells the guard to stay away from him. He lets out a growl as the man stares back at him wide-eyed.
The truck driver gets out of his seat to see what the matter is. He sees Scott choking the Libyan border agent and takes off running. Barely able to breathe, the border agent weakly questions Scott as to what he is. This breaks Scott free of his delusions and he screams, emitting a powerful optic blast into the night sky.
Scott hunkers down, smoke emanating from his eyes. He feels the pain, the burning in his eyes. Anais stands over him as he questions what kind of monster he is. Anais eyes the border agent running off into the distance, but pays him no mind. She turns her attention back to Scott, telling him he’s only beginning to see what he truly is, and how the world reacts to those who are different than them, superior to them.
Scott doesn’t seem too assured, but knows they need to move on and tells Anais he will follow her, but trusting her is another matter. He tells Anais there’s something inside him, something making him do dark things and he needs her to guide him. She asks why. Scott fears he likes it.

Characters Involved: 


Cable, Phoenix IV (all X-Men)
Truck driver

Hakim, Mamud (all named Libyan soldiers)
Scott’s dream/Apocalypse’s memories


Danger Room simulation


Jean and Cable’s thoughts


Story Notes: 

This mini-series explains what happened to Cyclops after he merged with Apocalypse during the Twelve crossover.
Cable’s chronicler is none other than Irene Merryweather.

Issue Information: 
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