Cable Annual 1999

Issue Date: 
April 1999
Story Title: 
Something Sinister This Way Comes

Mike Higgins & Karl Bollers (writers), German Garcia with Althia Martinez (penciler), Matt Ryan with Harry Candelario & Scott Koblish (inkers), Benchmark (letterer), Mike Rockwitz (colorist), Mark Powers (editor), Bob Harras (editor-in-chief)

Brief Description: 

In London, 1859, Apocalypse transformed Nathaniel Essex into Mr Sinister. In 1899, Sinister woke Apocalypse from his hibernation chamber, and swore his loyalty to Apocalypse. At the onset of the Twentieth Century, Sinister tried to betray Apocalypse, but his plot was discovered, and he fled. Today, Sinister does some study on Cable. Contemplating recent events, he decides that he must act. Cable is relaxing at the diner where Stacey Kramer works, but when he returns to his safe house, he finds his allies Irene Merryweather and Blaquesmith taken down by Sinister. Sinister reveals information to Cable, including the fact that he is Cable’s “maker”, and offers him assistance in his coming confrontation against Apocalypse. Cable rejects Sinister’s offer, and orders him out, as he tends to his friends. Cable contemplates his life, and the people in it, before noticing an explosion downtown. He rushes there to see if he can assist, and is able to do so by helping rescue people trapped in a burning nightclub. Afterwards, he is confronted by Apocalypse’s newest lackeys, his Emissaries. They attack him, and render him powerless. Sinister arrives and rescues him. Cable recovers, and tracks the Emissaries back to his safe house, where they have taken Irene and Blaquesmith hostage. Cable battles the Emissaries, and, as he suspected they are not new servants of Apocalypse, but Sinister’s Marauders in disguise, as part of Sinister’s plan to force Cable to work with him. Cable takes the Marauders out, and challenges Sinister in battle. Cable loses the battle, and Sinister leaves, but Cable swears revenge on him. Cable spends the next few days recovering with his companions, before heading out to see Stacey.

Full Summary: 

‘Your mutant abilities are severely taxed, Cable. One need only witness the phenomenal capabilities of your opponent to ascertain the futility of your telepathic assault’ someone remarks to themselves as they observe a holographic display of the mutant warrior hero called Cable a.k.a. Nathan Dayspring Summers battling a robot-like foe. Cable is under pressure has he wraps his arms around his enemy, while also attacking him psychically. In some undisclosed manner, the enemy counters Cable’s inherent power – through an instantaneous development of retaliatory and compensatory functions. ‘Most efficient indeed’ the man observing the hologram decides, before wondering if he could have expected any less from this loathsome creature – this purported harbinger of destruction, as he bears the taint – the unmistakable imprint – of his creator – the immortal mutant conqueror, Apocalypse!

‘Your enemy, Cable – as well as mine!’ Mr Sinister declares as he sits at his “throne” in one of his labs, various holograms playing out before him of Cable and his associates Irene Merryweather, Blaquesmith and Stacey Kramer. A large hologram of Apocalypse looms over them, as Sinister orders the computer to freeze the holographic display. Sinister decides that he has seen enough. ‘If Cable could not best this servant, he will surely fall when faced with the might of the master’ Sinister boasts, while asking if it is any wonder, as all evidence that Cable has recently been weakened by the workings of fate – stripped of his psionic abilities. Sinister knows that the very factor that would make Cable a viable opponent against the villainous overlord is gone. Sinister also knows that Cable trains arduously, day in and day out – harnessing what remains of his power. ‘But will it suffice to prepare him for the inevitable threat which awaits him...or the unforeseen menaces he must yet encounter?’ Sinister asks himself.

‘He was bred – conceived and engineered – to be more! Who should know better than I? But, of late, he behaves as if he were something ordinary – preferring to spend time among his genetic inferiors – a feeble attempt at obtaining that which can never truly be his’ Sinister realizes, deciding that he can no longer stand by idly and allow this to continue. Sinister gets up and strides through his lab, thinking ‘Ah, saddle yourself with the burden of human I might have many, many years ago...only serves to engender your deficiencies. For some, life is a never-ending series of choices. For others, the way is always clear’. Sinister recalls that there was a time when he traveled a different path than the one he follows today, but that he could no longer deny who he truly was – Apocalypse saw to that, didn’t he, when he required Sinister’s own genius in order to further his agenda – the culling of the strong from the weak.

Sinister walks past several large cylinder tanks, bodies can be seen inside them. He tells himself that despite all, the tyrant has allowed the most basic of tent of evolutionary theory – survival of the fittest – to effectuate most sever errors in his judgment. Sinister believes that Apocalypse has become blind to all but the most brutish of forces, failing to realize that the more cerebral characteristics are equally worth traits. ‘But, Apocalypse is true to his nature. He is merely what he is. Fighting what one is can lead to no avail. An animal going against its own nature will surely fall prey to life’s predators’ Sinister tells himself. He stands before a tank with a baby inside it, and thinks ‘We do not choose destiny, rather it is destiny that chooses us. We are its slaves, and little more. Some look back on the choices they have made with regret. Others prefer to look toward the future. I see all too clearly what has occurred...and sadly, all too clearly what must soon transpire. It is time for me to act’.

Meanwhile, in Hell’s Kitchen, on Manhattan’s West Side, a hard, cold and often lonely place. An unlikely locale for one to seek sanctuary – let alone find it. But, Cable has come here to Babel’s Diner for that reason exactly. He sits in a booth with young Kenny Kramer, but his mind drifts back, if only to the events of a few hours earlier, and the words of Blaquesmith, his wizened teacher, who informed Cable that his mutant gifts are severely hampered. ‘There is time later for complacency and training sessions must be increased’ Blaquesmith told Cable. As Kenny plays on with a Game Boy, his sister and waitress, Stacey goes over to their booth, and puts a chocolate malted in front of her brother, before asking Cable if she can warm his coffee up for him. Cable smiles and Stacey and tells her ‘Don’t mind if you do’. Kenny drinks his drink, his Game Boy making all sorts of beeping noises, and as Cable savors Babel’s steaming house blend, the voice of another echoes through his thought, this time, Irene Merryweather, reporter turned personal biographer and friend.

‘Nathan, it’s completely ridiculous to spend all of your time training inside this safe house...end of the world or not’ Irene said to him. ‘You’ve got to get out there among the people you’re sworn to protect sometime, don’t you? Not much of a destiny if you don’t know exactly what it is you’re fighting for...I mean, there’s got to be someone special out there – even for a guy like you’ Cable recalls Irene saying, and smiles. Stacey asks ‘What’s so funny?’, and Cable asks her what she means. Stacey points out that for somebody who usually looks like he is carrying the weight of the whole world on his shoulders, it seems like something is tickling his funny bone.

‘Tickling my...?’ Cable asks, bringing his coffee to his mouth. ‘Just an expression...and, really, I’m not trying to pry’ Stacey assures him. Cable reveals that he was just thinking about the concept of choice, and whether or not anyone truly controls his or her own destiny. ‘Oh, naturally! I get it...I think!’ Stacey replies, turning to the next booth, where she starts filling some coffee cups, she asks Cable if that is his way of telling her he would rather have had a latte instead? Stacey looks at her brother and remarks that people think it is difficult to figure him out. ‘The biggest concern on his saving the world’ she points out.

Walking through a graffiti-covered street, Cable has a large jacket on and thinks that it is funny Stacey should mention saving the world, especially when there he was trying to forget about it for a couple of hours. Cable wonders if Blaquesmith has been right all along – maybe he is heading toward an unavoidable confrontation. Suddenly, a cat on the fire-escape overhanging the footpath knocks some pot plants over, and they crash downwards. Cable glances sideways, ‘Paranoia’ he tells himself. Approaching a large garage door, he asks himself ‘Does it come as any surprise? Without the use of my telepathic powers these past weeks, I’ve been flying blind for the first time in my life. Not something I’m quite ready to admit...especially in light of my so-called “mission”’ Cable decides. He knows that everyone has their share of problems through, Kenny, for example, born with Down Syndrome, and he knows that can’t be easy for Stacey raising a brother on a waitress’ salary. ‘It’s long hours of hard work...and speaking of long’s odd that the safe house lights are off at this time of night’ Cable thinks as he rolls the garage door up and enters his safe house.

Turning the lights on, Cable sees Blaquesmith and Irene sprawled on the floor, their bodies motionless, while Sinister stands over them. ‘SINISTER?!’ Cable exclaims. ‘Good evening, Cable’ Sinister greets the hero. ‘Stab your eyes! What have you done to them?’ Cable asks. Removing his jacket, he shouts ‘I swear if you’ve hurt either Irene or Blaquesmith, I’ll –’ he begins, but Sinister assures Cable that Ms Merryweather and his mentor will recover momentarily, as they are just resting. Cable summons his psimitar, and fires a blast of energy from it, which knocks Sinister into the air. However, Sinister flips backwards, and lands on a flight of stairs. Cable stands ready for another attack, as Sinister announces that it thrills him to see Cable’s telekinesis has not suffered the least bit in the wake of his telepathic deprivation. ‘How did you know about...?’ Cable asks. Sinister bursts into laughter, and replies ‘Ah,’ve never quite managed to put the pieces of the puzzle together, have you?’

Cable frowns and suggests that he might be able to if Sinister stopped being so bloody cryptic and just said whatever it is he is trying to say. Sinister smirks and leans against the banister, arms folded across his chest, he remarks ‘You are aware that the final encounter with the high lord approaches...but have you never asked yourself why it was your duty and no one else’s, to defeat him?’ ‘Only every day of my existence’ Cable mutters. Sinister reminds Cable that he came to him before, and told him of his heritage, of his true parentage. ‘I spoke to you of destiny...but, alas, I did not tell you all, I had no reason to, until now’ Sinister claims. Sinister makes his way down the stairs, announcing that when the time was right, and time has something that has certainly been on his side over the expanded years of his life, a lifetime during which he has devoted a great deal of attention to tracing and analyzing the Summers’ bloodline, Cable’s bloodline.

‘To what end, Sinister?’ Cable asks, holding the edge of the psimitar to Sinister’s chest. Sinister smiles and explains that nearly a century ago, he came to the realization that it would take a being of immense power to overcome Apocalypse, that it was the Summers’ genetic code that held the greatest potential for the development of that being. He adds that that potential approached fruition in the form of Cable’s father, Scott, the mutant hero called Cyclops. Sinister continues, revealing that the key to Apocalypse’s defeat hinged upon the unsuspecting Scott Summers’ romantic coupling with Jean Grey, a mutant like himself. He states that from his studies, he concluded that together – gifted with such extraordinary individual strengths as they were – the two would produce an offspring of hitherto undreamed of capabilities – namely, Cable. ‘Then tragedy struck – Jean Grey perished – a victim of her own mutant power which had spiraled out of control’ Sinister explains.

Sinister grins and tells Cable that without Jean Grey, his birth had become an impossibility, a dream at best, so he created Jean’s clone in the form of Madelyne Pryor. ‘She filled the void left in your father’s heart...and, in so doing, brought salvation to the world’ Sinister declares, asking Cable if he understands, at last. ‘Most people spend their entire lives asking themselves why they were put on this Earth. But you are now like one of the masses, no,, at least, shall have that answer!’ Sinister announces, revealing that it was he who orchestrated these events. ‘Scott Summers may be your father, but I...I am your maker!’ Sinister boasts. Cable just looks shocked.

Flashback, 1899:

London, England, where, in a concealed labyrinth located beneath the city’s bustling thoroughfares and reservoirs, Sinister toiled for hours – all for him. Back then, it was always for him. Such was his command over Sinister. A high-tech laboratory seems out-of-place amongst brick walls, and, even as Apocalypse slept, Sinister can feel his ancient power, all pervasive, emanating from the vast hibernation chamber which contained him. Bathed by the glow from a strange technology that is far in advance of any machine of the day, Sinister hovered over the control grid, hesitating. Perhaps he is aware of the terrible monster that he is about to release on an unsuspecting world once again, and simply does not care. For now, Apocalypse served Sinister’s needs, as Sinister served Apocalypse’s. Besides, would staying his hand truly prevent the rise of Apocalypse?

Sinister presses the button on the control pad, and the hibernation chamber slowly opens, light flows from it, and Apocalypse rises, ‘Sinister...well have you attended my needs and performed in accordance to my will over the years...through mapping the evolution of the frail human species while I did slumber. Excellent. Of all who have served me over the centuries, you have been the most steadfast’ Apocalypse declares. Sinister bows his head as Apocalypse walks past him, and replies ‘How could I be otherwise, your Excellency? It was your intervention into the life of the man I used to be...that has provided me the ultimate freedom to pursue science without the burden of moral compunction’.

Sinister continues, explaining that had he rejected what Apocalypse proffered, his existence would be akin to the lives of the many test subjects he has dissected over the years in his undying quest for the secrets of mutation. Arms folded, Apocalypse asks ‘And what of Nathaniel Essex – the geneticist who you once were? Do you mean to tell me there are no vestiges of him remaining within you? Those qualities that define the human race?’ Sinister continues to bow his head and replies that he is defined by his work. ‘But what of Do these things bear no importance whatsoever?’ Apocalypse queries. ‘Were I to restore all this to you...would you not only consider it a bounty forty years in the making? A fitting reward for your servitude?’, but Sinister grits his teeth and replies ‘No, my Lord...I exist to serve you and you alone’.


‘I am here to offer you aid’ Sinister tells Cable, who is kneeling beside Blaquesmith, checking for a pulse. Cable immediately reject’s Sinister’s offer. ‘You’ve done quite enough. Besides, if anyone needs’s you – you’re a sick, twisted manipulator who has absolutely no regard for the personal lives of others’ Cable declares, adding ‘You knew where to find me – knew when I’d be out – somehow even by-passed my security system. You’ve obviously been spying on my for some time now’. Sinister tells Cable that is much like the parent who keeps a watchful eye over the child, and that it matters now how he knows these things, nor how he learned of Cable’s handicap, only that it affects him. ‘In addition to this, you suffer another unfortunate organic metal substance eating away at your body like a cancer. Furthermore, it is a constant telekinetic feat just keeping this virus in check, no?’ Sinister asks, before telling Cable that he can undo this damage, make him as whole as he were meant to be.

Checking Irene’s vitals, Cable replies that there is one hitch: ‘I don’t like you – or trust you. Must be the name...’. Sinister finds this amusing and points out that he never claimed to be anything other than what he is. ‘But this is not about me – only you’ he remarks, adding that he Apocalypse does not intend to watch helplessly while Cable prepares to strike against him – despite the loss of his psionic abilities, Apocalypse still perceives Cable as a worthy adversary. ‘So what are you getting at?’ Cable asks. Sinister informs Cable that Apocalypse has dispatched his fabled Emissaries to destroy him, and that they are five in number, and are as equally formidable as the High Lord’s other creations – his Four Horsemen, and his Harbinger. ‘You know the magnitude of inherent power that they possess, do you not? These Emissaries are every bit their rival, I assure you – and, as such, pose an equal threat to all life upon this planet’ Sinister remarks, explaining that he came to warn, and, perhaps, help.

‘I went to great lengths to engineer your birth. I do not wish to see Apocalypse destroy all of my work in one fell swoop’ Sinister explains. ‘Of course not...’ Cable replies. Sinister assures him that his offer still stands, but Cable motions to the garage door, and tells Sinister to get out of here, now. Sinister bows before Cable and replies’ As you command...good evening once more and my humble apologies for this intrusion’, while thinking to himself ‘Poor Cable – are you so stubborn and filled with pride that you would allow yourself to fall in combat against mere foot soldiers – while the general still remains? A most foolish choice, to be sure. I sincerely hope that angels – are watching over you’. Cable watches as Sinister strides past him, and walks out the door. ‘Uhh...say, what happened?’ Irene asks as she wakes in Cable’s arms.

Later, dressed in his gold and blue armor, Cable levitates on the rooftop of the safe house, meditating. Images for clearly within his mind’s eye: His parents Cyclops and Jean Grey, whose lives he can never be truly part of. His beloved wife, Aliya, whose time with him was far too short before she passed from this mortal realm. Rachel Summers, founder of the telepathic cult that raised Cable to adulthood. Though called Mother Askani, she was like the sister he never had. The mysterious woman called Domino, his onetime lover and confidant. And his former pupils, like Cannonball, Meltdown and Proudstar, who comprise the X-Force team – respectful enough to adhere to his teachings, and then emboldened enough to strike out on their own. His memories of them unmistakably illustrate to Cable the wealth of his existence – the many lives he has touched. He wonders if his war with Apocalypse will ultimately end up costing him all of it.

The door to the rooftop opens and Irene steps out, ‘Looks like Blaquesmith was right. You are up here’ she remarks. Cable turns to his friend and asks her if she is sure she should be up and about. ‘I feel fine, Nathan – whatever that Mister “Creepy” –’ she begins, ‘Sinister – he goes by the name of Sinister’ Cable informs her. ‘Go figure. Anyway, whatever he did to Blaquesmith and me – its effects weren’t long lasting. We’re both none the worse for wear’ Irene explains. ‘Lucky for him’ Cable replies, while Irene asks Cable what he is doing out here, and if it is something connected to those Emissaries he told them about. Cable stands up and informs Irene that he is preparing or their attack, as these beings have marked him for termination, and there is no telling when and where they will strike – as if on cue, there is a loud KFWOOM, and Irene points out that it sounds like an explosion. They see smoke rising from a building across town by the river. ‘What should I do?’ Irene asks. Cable tells her to call the fire department. ‘What about you?’ Irene calls out as Cable lowers himself and his psimitar to the ground below.

The sound of Irene’s voice is lost against the rush of wind that accompanies Cable’s descent. Her words inaudible to him, Cable doesn’t offer a reply. That’s fine by Irene though, she really didn’t need one. She knew the answer to her question before she had even uttered it. Cable was going to help. The hero rushes through the streets, as scant blocks away, a trendy New York City dance club called Disco Inferno burns in the night, and there is no doubt in the minds of its disorientated patrons, that their hot spot of choice has suddenly gotten much hotter. Some civilians have made it out of the club. But, for the unfortunate throng who still remain trapped within its blazing confines, have given way to frenzied panic. Imagine their plight – as every surface that the flames touch ignites, penning the crowd like a herd of frightened cattle. More night clubbers rush from the club, while every breath taken is like a thousand needles jabbing into each fragile lung – so acrid is the thick, black smoke. Every sound is pure chaos, their pleading cries intermingled with gut-wrenching coughs.

Suddenly, the wall caves in, and Cable appears, ‘Quickly – everyone this way!’ he calls out. No one knows who he is, or how he managed to punch an eight-by-ten-foot hole through a wall of solid brick using only what appears to be a spear. His strange outfit doesn’t matter either. What does matter, is the feeling of hope that accompanies him, as the desperate night clubbers help each other out of the burning club. As the last of the soot-covered club-goers emerge into the crisp winter air, sirens wail, signalling the arrival of the look hook and ladder heroes. Cable sees some fire trucks pulling up, and decides that he best use this “down-time” to remove himself from the vicinity. He reminds himself that despite his good deed, according to the United States Government, he is still a dangerous mutant “terrorist” – meaning a mutant who isn’t in their employ. As he slips into a nearby alleyway, Cable tells himself that on the plus side, there were zero casualties in the blaze, and wonders what sparked it in the first place.

‘Could it possibly have been arson?’ Cable wonders, as some figures drop down behind him. ‘We have his attention’ one of them calls out. ‘Wha -?’ Cable calls out, turning, he is struck from behind, hard, and his body bounces onto a nearby dock, over the river. ‘Arise to face your destruction, cur!’ one of them shouts. They all appear to be robots, or wearing some form of armor. ‘Arise to face – the Emissaries of En Sabah Nur, he who is called Apocalypse!’ the Emissary with a gold and blur appearance possessing a large weapon attached to one hand declares. Cable is in pain, the blow that struck him was super strong, he can barely catch his breath. He decides to focus his telekinesis against them using his psimitar, but as he fires a blast towards them, they scatter. The Emissary with a green appearance starts spinning around and around at lightning speed, simultaneously releasing a blurred volley of razor-keen stars and knives which imbed and slice – but Cable is a skilled fighter, and blocks the barrage of blades with his psimitar.

Cable scarcely has a moment to react before another Emissary is swiftly upon him – a slender grey and red appearing Emissary, who grabs Cable by his neck, renewing the hostilities, Cable feels every synapse in his brain suddenly explode, translating into an excruciating pain that rips through his body. The Emissary slinks away, as Cable collapses, before a red and gold Emissary punches him into a stack of crates. First, the agony is so great that he mistakenly believes the Emissary’s touch to have been the source of his extreme anguish. But as he feels the Techno-Organic Virus rapidly advancing through his musculature, unchecked and unable to be checked, Cable grimly realizes exactly what contact with his assailant signifies – that he has been completely stripped of his telekinetic power. That realization is immediately followed by yet another, equally as bleak, that without his mutant powers, Nathan Summers is quite helpless against these minions of an ageless enemy.

As the Emissaries close in on the downed Cable, there is a blast of energy, which strikes the dock and knocks the Emissaries backwards. ‘You emphatically resisted my attempts to succor you during this time of obvious need, Cable. How pathetically foolish’ Sinister thinks to himself as he strides along the dock. ‘To witness you laid low – humbled on the ground – is proof of your ultimate folly’. He decides. ‘Sinister...?’ Cable calls out as Sinister helps him to his feet. ‘Make haste, Cable – for if you are to survive this encounter – time is of the essence’ Sinister declares. Suddenly, one of the Emissaries rises, ‘Halt, interloper – this battle involves you not!’ they call out, and raises a harpoon to throw at Sinister. But, someone behind them on the other side of the dock starts firing at the Emissaries. ‘Eh?’ one of the Emissaries exclaims, turning to see police officers on the dock.

Sinister tells himself that over the years, homo sapiens – mere humans – have proven to be of little consequence to him. So he is understandably astonished at the considerable distraction these appointed officers of the local constabulary provide Cable’s opposition. But, as Sinister notes, the Emissaries’ aggression is not stayed for long, as they answer to an authority higher than the police, and one of them throws a harpoon towards Cable and Sinister, causing an explosion behind them, as a ship materializes out of the water, Sinister helps Cable into it. ‘What’re you doing...?’ Cable asks. ‘Saving your life – you will have occasion to thank me later’ Sinister replies, as he touches a control panel, and the submarine dives back down into the water.

As the submarine moves lower in the water, Sinister tells Cable that by now, he has no doubt gleaned that his mutant ability has been disrupted by the Children of the High Lord, and though he remains protected from their ultra-scanners while within the interior of the submarine, the Emissaries will next target those closes to him in order to coerce another confrontation. ‘Blaquesmith...and Irene...’ Cable utters, still weak from the attack and his Techno-Organic Virus. ‘Yes...them. Now will you accept my help, Cable?’ Sinister asks.

Flashback, 1859:

‘Do you accept what I proposed when last we spoke? Do you accept my offer of enhancement, Essex?’ Apocalypse asks Nathaniel Essex, who, sitting on a throne-like chair, replies ‘Yes’. He thinks to himself that the year is 1859, Anno Domini – the Year of Our Lord – but, what a cruel, twisted year it had been for him. For God was dead, was he not? Had he not been supplanted by a devil immediately more horrific than any the Good Book ever suggested? Had he not passed from Essex’s crazed existence, as had his beautiful wife, Rebecca, and Adam, his only son and heir? Perhaps, Essex had been blinded by his all-encompassing grief and was not sound of mind at the time of his fateful decision. He shall never know. He could look back on his choice with regret – but instead he preferred to look towards the future. Essex was strapped to one of Apocalypse’s machines, and as Apocalypse prepared to pull the lever to start the transformation, he announces ‘As you have chosen a new identity, Essex, so, too, shall you select a new name to signify your glorious metamorphosis into one of my chosen’. Narrowing his eyes, Essex replies ‘I shall be called that which I have become’. Sinister. And the dark pact was forever sealed.


Hell’s Kitchen, for the past four hours and counting, the aged mutant known only as Blaquesmith and his associate, Irene Merryweather, have found themselves unwilling captives in the sage house they both, in recent months, have come to call home. The Emissaries stand over Cable’s friends, as Blaquesmith remarks ‘Perplexing. One would think that Apocalypse’s servants would be better suited to tasks other than jailing old men and women!’, causing one of the Emissaries to spin around, and shout ‘Maybe my nature’s better suited to snapping your scrawny little neck, you freak!’ the Emissary shouts, raising a fist. ‘Don’t!’ Irene shouts, coming between the Emissary and Blaqesmith. The Emissary stares at Irene, who asks if it isn’t enough that they are prisoners. ‘Or maybe you’d prefer the term “bait”?’ Irene asks. The Emissary turns and walks away.

Irene tells Blaquesmith that that was way too close for comfort, before asking ‘Say, you don’t have some kind of bizarre death-wish that I don’t know about, do you?’ ‘By the Bright Lady – no!’ Blaquesmith replies. ‘Just checking’ Irene tells him, while Blaquesmith comments that the Emissaries are curious indeed, as the prophecies never foretold of them. Suddenly, the ground around them begins to crack. ‘What the -? Hey!’ Irene calls out as she falls off her chair. ‘What’re you two up to now?’ one of the Emissaries calls out. ‘Nope – it’s not them’ another remarks. Gas pipes start to burst, and ‘It’s him – he’s here!’ the Emissary remarks. Lights begin to blow, and cracking sound scan be heard all through the safe house. ‘It’s show time, folks!’ one of the Emissaries declares. ‘Hot dog!’ another calls out. ‘Okay – now I’m stressed!’ Irene tells Blaquesmith as he wraps his arms around her. Suddenly, ‘Irene...Blaquesmith...find’ a voice calls out to them telepathically, before there is a huge explosion, and Cable appears. The hero holds his psimitar and tells the Emissaries that he played it their way once, and asks if they are game for a rematch.

The Emissaries start attacking Cable. One of them sends a barrage of titanium bullets towards him, but Cable deflects the attack with a telekinetic shield, while another of the Emissary’s fires a single energy projectile – a harpoon, but in a fraction of a heartbeat, it zigzags away from its intended target, to smite down a third Emissary, and then a fourth, the one whose insidious touch disrupted Cable’s telekinesis earlier, now feels the mutant’s voice invading his being – whispering a suggestion throughout the pathways of his mind – a suggestion so powerful, the fourth Emissary can’t help but comply. ‘Give your friend a touch’ Cable orders. The Emissary, complies, going over to the female Emissary, and taps her on the shoulder. She shrugs him off, ‘You idiot. Why’d you go and do that?’ she snaps, pointing out that now she is completely powerless. ‘I’ve got a good mind to –’ she begins, before Irene rushes over, ‘Uhh...excuse me?’ Irene declares as she punches the female Emissary in the face. ‘That was for not letting us use the bathroom for four hours’ Irene thinks to herself, while rubbing her wrist.

The two remaining Emissaries continue their assault against Cable, but he raises his hand, and telepathically tells them to stop, as it is over. Indeed, it is, as the five Emissaries find themselves lifted into the air telekinetically, Suddenly, Sinister enters the safe house, clapping, he calls out ‘Bravo, “son”!’, and Cable turns to him, announcing that he was wondering when Sinister would show. ‘Are you pleased?’ he asks. ‘Why shouldn’t I be, Cable? Your performance has exceed even my expectations’ Sinister replies. Irene asks Nathan what Sinister is talking about, and Cable telepathically replies ‘Long story’, while Sinister states that their alliance was the wisest of choices, wasn’t it. ‘How could I say otherwise?’ Cable asks, pointing out that Sinister was initially the one who came to “warn” him of the Emissaries and to offer his services against their “threat”. ‘And weren’t you also the one who rescued me from their attack earlier? And weren’t you then the one who not only restored my telepathy but cured me of the Techno-Organic Virus overtaking my system – allowing me to do this?’ Cable calls out as he telekinetically removes the armor from the five Emissaries.

With the armor removed, five familiar figures are revealed – ‘It’s just as I thought’ Cable declares as Scalphunter, Arclight, Harpoon, Riptide and Scrambler are telekinetically held above him. ‘Individually, losers all. But collectively, Sinister, they comprise your hand-picked cadre of personal assassins – the Marauders!’ Cable declares. Cable explains that he had suspected, but not until he used his telepathic abilities to perform a mental scan were his suspicions confirmed. ‘Indeed a deception, Cable – but surely you realize, by this juncture – one most necessary’ Sinister replies. Cable responds by using his psimistar to blast Sinister backwards out of his safe house. ‘Necessary?’ Cable replies, angry. He hovers in the air while letting the Marauders slam to the ground behind him. ‘Was it necessary to imperil the lives of those innocent people, out trying to have some harmless fun, in that dance club?’ Cable asks. ‘Was it necessary to endanger the lives of those police officers who were just doing their duty...or the lives of my friends...solely because they’ve had the sheer misfortune of getting close to me?’ he adds as he makes his way outside, approaching Sinister.

‘Absolutely’ Sinister replies as he fires a blast of energy towards Cable, who easily deflects the attack, sending Sinister’s energy blast into a car parked nearby, which explodes. Sinister gets to his feet and states that had he not illustrated Cable’s weaknesses to him, he would never have discerned that there were any at all. ‘Only when presented with a direct assault did you realize your limitations and the need for my assistance. Reflect upon all that I have given you, Cable’ Sinister adds, while Cable holds the flaming car telekinetically above him, and tells Sinister that he already has. ‘And also believe me when I say – I’d be only too happy to give it right back!’ as he casts the flaming car downwards on top of Sinister. ‘Wow’ Irene utters as she and Blaquesmith peer out of the safe house.

‘This is madness!’ Sinister boasts as he emerges from the rubble, ‘After all these years, I have enabled you to finally achieve your full genetic potential, Cable. Is this is the gratitude you wish to express?’ Sinister asks. ‘Rather than fighting, should we not foster our present alliance? Such an inappropriate display of your previously untapped ability – can only serve to attract the attention of the local constabulary, no?’ Sinister adds. Indeed, several police cars speed towards Cable, while Cable replies ‘As a matter of fact, yes it can...but as so aptly put it – for a psionic of my genetic calibre...mind-controlling the cops so they drive by in search of other quarry isn’t a problem in the least’, and Cable does just that, as the cops speed past he and Sinister. Cable traps Sinister in telekinetic bonds, announcing that he does agree with him about attracting unwanted attention, ‘But not with some laughable suggestion about forming some kind of unholy alliance! So what say we take our quarrel...elsewhere?’ Cable asks as he telekinetically lifts himself and Sinister higher into the air, above buildings.

‘Although you claim to stand on some kind of higher moral ground than’re no better than he is. He chooses to destroy the human race because he can’t manipulate it...while you choose to manipulate it because you can’t bring yourself to completely destroy it’ Cable tells Sinister. He adds that ‘After all, if mankind were wiped out, who would then feed your vile experiments? That’s the driving reason you engineered me to destroy him, isn’t it?’ Cable looks at Sinister and asks ‘Here I am. Think I’m up to the task?’, while admitting that Sinister has always been a mystery to him. ‘The mental blocks surrounding your psyche have prevented me from knowing your true thoughts...your true agenda...while it seems that you know everything there is to know about me. But now, that doesn’t quite hold true, does it?’ Cable points out. ‘You have all my secrets while I’ve got none of yours – is that really fair?’ Cable asks.

‘Who are you really? What’s your connection to Apocalypse? Are you his brother – his so0n? Here’s where I learn everything...’ Cable declares. ‘NO!’ a horrified Sinister retorts. ‘Yes’ Cable tells him, before suddenly, he keels backwards, the Techno-Organic Virus out of control, Sinister glares at Cable with glee. Cable falls down towards the ground, and Sinister follows now that Cable is no longer holding him up. The Techno-Organic Virus causes Cable too much pain, and he is unable to hold the virus back and keep afloat at the same time. He redirects some of his power, however to cushion the impact of the fall, as he and Sinister slam into the ground. Sinister gets to his feet, while Cable is still down on the ground. ‘’re a the last. Even your miracle cure...was temporary at best’ Cable calls out. ‘But a cure nonetheless. I’ve given you but a taste of what you can truly accomplish, Cable. With your unleashed might, you could create an age undreamed of the entire world over. Well?’ Sinister replies. Cable then swears to Sinister that when he is through with Apocalypse, he will go after Sinister next. That is the final oath that Cable spits at Sinister on this long night, similar in tone and intent to the one sworn at Sinister at the onset of the Twentieth Century, he recalls.

Flashback, turn of the Twentieth Century:

In his laboratory, Sinister watches as Apocalypse declares ‘The Techno-Organic Virus that you bred and perfect at my quite remarkable in its efficiency, Sinister. AAs I said upon awakening one year past, you have served me well indeed. Apocalypse declares that all beasts, civilized or otherwise, must heed their true nature, or thus become casualties in the cycle of evolution, and thus, Sinister has seen it fit to infect Apocalypse, his master, with the virus. Sweating, Apocalypse turns to Sinister and tells him that he suspected his treachery from the onset, but mistakenly expected that Sinister, in time, would change. ‘Now, I see my well as yours’ Apocalypse declares, admitting that he was mistaken, but points out that Sinister was equally so, when he falsely believed the virus capable of affecting his mutant ability to adapt his molecular structure to an adversity.

Apocalypse suggests to Sinister that he flee while he is still able. ‘I now have the Techno-Virus to do with as I will...and you have my solemn vow that when next we meet, I shall abrogate you from the face of the Earth!’ Apocalypse warns Sinister, who goes wide-eyed, and rushes away through the complex, knowing full well that he would not survive that encounter should it ever occur. It would take a being produced as the result of an advanced type of mutation to challenge Apocalypse’s way – and that being was not he, but someone entirely different. He then escaped in a submarine.


Later, Cable is in the safe house with Irene and Blaquesmith, who points out that it has been several days since his encounter with Sinister. Cable is hooked up to a machine as Blaquesmith completes a battery of diagnostic tests to determine if Sinister’s devious machinations have had any lasting effects. ‘I sure hope not. I’ve never seen that kind of power before, Nathan. You were kind of...scary’ Irene remarks, while Cable tells his friends that he can’t begin to describe to them the feeling of absolute euphoria that he experienced, with his full potential finally realized. ‘Well, you know what they say about absolutes...’ Irene points out. ‘They corrupt absolutely. Yes, I know’ Cable replies. Irene begins to ask whether they have seen the last of Sinister, when Blaquesmith gasps ‘By the Bright Lady!’ Irene turns to him and asks him what it is.

Blaquesmith announces that according to the results of his findings, after a period of time, Sinister’s treatment would have proven fatal had Cable continued undergoing it. Cable gets up, while Irene remarks that she doesn’t understand. ‘With all of that sheer power you possessed – wouldn’t Sinister have wanted to keep you around?’ she asks. ‘Only for as long as Apocalypse was. After that – I would’ve posed as much of a threat to Sinister himself’ Cable explains. He goes over and picks up his psimitar, and there is a brief moment of silence as Cable’s friends watch, not knowing exactly what to say. Then, Cable carefully puts his psimitar back in its place on the wall, and grabs a coat, telling Irene and Blaquesmith that he will see them both real soon. ‘’re not going off after Sinister, are you?’ Irene asks. Cable replies that he just figured he would take a walk after all. ‘Stacey’s shift starts in about an hour...’ he adds as he walks off.

Characters Involved: 


Irene Merryweather


Stacey Kramer

Kenny Kramer

Mr Sinister

Arclight, Harpoon, Riptide, Scalphunter, Scrambler (all Marauders)

Police officers

Fire Fighters

Night clubbers

Customers at diner

In Flashbacks


Mr Sinister

In Cable’s thoughts

Cyclops & Phoenix IV

Jenskot / Aliya

Rachel Summers

Cannonball, Domino, Meltdown, Proudstar (all X-Force)

Story Notes: 

This issue takes place between Cable (1st series) #70 and #71.

Cable’s psi powers were weakened during the “Psi-War” crossover.

Cable learnt in Cable (1st series) #6 that he is the son of Cyclops and Madelyne Pryor, who is Jean Grey’s genetic clone.

Jean Grey was believed to have died in X-Men (1st series) #137.

Issue Information: 
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