Bishop, Malcolm and randall just arrive at the site of the battle, where Shard and her team have been turned into Emplates. X.S.E, protocols say that the only way to deal with Emplates is to kill them but Bishop couldn‘t do that to his sister. Remembering Lycadeon’s words (see last issue) Bishop grabs his sister and brings her to the Witness’s labs to be processed into a holomatrix, her body was emplate and could no longer be turned, but at least her mind could be saved this way. Since the Witness owned the needed technology, Bishop was forced to make a deal with him. The Witness demanded that Bishop would work in his operation for at least one year, afterwards he would be given Shard’s holographic uniprojector.
Bishop agreed, even though the process was untested and could have failed. In the Witness’s labs the porcess was performed, but halfway through the Emplate side realized what was happening and tried to unstrap herself from the equipment. Bishop held the body tight and also absorbed much of Shard’s energy blasts that were released during the process. Finally it was over, the body stopped moving and the brain waves, personality and memories of Shard had been downloaded into the wrist holoprojector. The next day Bishop wanted to resign from active duty in the X.S.E but Hecate knew already about the deal and said that she’ would suspend him for a year and expected him to be back.
Shard is shocked to hear about these events. She never knew how much Bishop sacrificed to save her brain and personality. She asks what kind of work Bishop had to do for the Witness, but he replies that he is not yet ready to talk about the timeperiod yet. However he met someone both of them had known.
On his first day, Bishop was introduced to Shackle, the Witness’s head of security, who was nobody else than their old classmate Shirley. She had abandoned the X.S.E. for the high salary that she got paid by the Witness’s foundation. Once Bishop had an intresting talk with the Witness as he revealed to be “LeBeau and more than LeBeau”, and that he is in a jail and that he is a jail.
After the year was finally over Bishop took the wrist projector with Shard’s holomatrix, destroyed the mastercopy still in the Witness’s databanks and and rejoined the X.S.E. Hecate noted how much Bishop changed during that year, he seemed more distant and colder, more driven, more like Shard.
Bishop finishes his tale with revealing that his first assignment was to bring in the escaped Fitzroy (Uncanny X-Men 287), which ultimatly led to him, Randall and Malcolm following through the timeportal into the present. Shard is still amazed how much Bishop had to endure for having her turned into a holomatrix, she offers to stay with him among the X-Men if that really is his wish. Bishop answers that he would like her to stay, but it would not be right for all the reasons she had mentioned during their discussion. Shard needs to build her own life, and for now that means X-Factor. The siblings hug and then Shard departs by fading out. Storm comes out to the balcony where Bishop still stands. She heard voices and asks if he is ok, which Bishop confirms. By looking at the stars he realizes that though the people will come and go and names may change the dream will always be there and as the X-Men inspired the X.S.E, so may the X.S.E. inspire future generations.