13 years ago:
New Orleans, the sun sets over the New Orleans Forensic Center, where down an empty corridor, two figures can be seen – one slender, the other bulky.
'When are you living these days? Where are you calling home?' the slender figure asks. 'A few years from now. Doesn't matter when' the larger figure replies, holding a chair, which he places down next to a door. 'Oh yeah? What's “a few years from now”? What's changed?' the slender man asks. 'Not a whole lot' the larger man tells him as he starts to open a door to the morgue. 'Not a whole lot. Phones got smaller, then bigger again' the larger man remarks as they enter a room.
'You know, every time you see a coroner working over a body on TV, they're stuffing food into their face' the slender man remarks, causing the coroner, who is standing over the body of a naked man, to spin around, 'Hey! This is a closed -' he exclaims, as the slender man asks 'Always wondered if that were true. Is it?' to which the coroner asks 'What?'
'Do you eat sandwiches over the bodies while you do the autopsies?' Longshot enquires, folding his arms. 'What? No! That's... who are you people?' the coroner demands.
'Get out. We need the room for fifteen minutes' the larger, muscular man called Cable a.k.a. Nathan Summers orders. 'No. You can't be in here. You -' the coroner begins, before Cable interrupts him and asks him 'You see that gun strapped to my back?' to which the coroner replies 'The... gun?' Cable points out that it is big and hard to miss. The coroner, wide-eyed, looks up at the large weapon, and Cable tells him that the gun means they can be here. 'There's a chair outside... take a seat' Cable suggests, as the coroner rushes out the door of the morgue.
'Wow. Manners not a thing in the future?' Longshot asks as he closes the door. Cable flips through a book and then opens one of the doors to the units where the bodies are stored. 'I don't need a lecture on etiquette. I need your help' Cable replies, remarking that he followed a time anomaly here to New Orleans, but the trail went cold before he could zero in on who. Pulling a body from the unit, Cable announces that he doesn't believe it is just a coincidence that a few hours later she turns up dead, and brought in here as a Jane Doe, with fingerprints, dental and bloodwork having no match to any of it – on paper, she doesn't exist. 'You know her?' Longshot asks, looking down at the woman, bloodstains on her shoulders and around her mouth. Cable informs Longshot that her name is Candra, an External, member of both the Thieves Guild and Assassins Guild, and is supposed to be immortal. 'Doesn't being dead sort of negate that?' Longshot asks.
Cable lifts up the sheet covering most of Candra's body and sees that it looks like the killer took her heart. He tells Longshot that what he doesn't know is who or why, and that he is hoping Longshot could do that trick of his. 'That “trick” of mine?' Longshot asks. Cable frowns at him, 'Okay, okay!' Longshot exclaims, holding his hands up, before putting his fingers to Candra's body and explains that this normally only works on the recently deceased. 'Whoa!' Longshot exclaims, his left eye suddenly glows as he sees images flash before him.
Longshot's vision of the recent past:
Longshot sees that Candra was sleeping, but something woke her up. He sees her leave her bed and walk down a flight of stairs, where someone with long hair is waiting for her – someone who is there to kill her, possibly an old friend, but Longshot is unable to make out her face – but Candra knows them, she isn't surprised to see them. She put up a fight – but is thrown through a window. She fought for hours, but it wasn't enough, and she seemingly met her demise at the end of a sword.
13 years ago:
'That's all' Longshot tells Cable, explaining that she has been dead too long for him to get a clearer picture. Cable tells Longshot that he did good, and points out that this is already more than he knew this morning, so it gives them something to work with. 'We're done in there' Cable tells the coroner as they exit the morgue. Longshot thanks the coroner and tells him that he can have his office back now. As they walk outside, Cable declares that Candra should not be laid up on that slab, and that part and parcel of being an External is that you're immortal and don't die. A holographic projection of Candra is emitted from Cable's tech, and Cable states that Candra has been around for centuries and has more enemies than he has gray hair, so whoever took her down, has to be someone powerful.
Cable then reveals that with Candra gone, that leaves Selene as the last of the Externals, and projects an image of Selene. 'The last?' Longshot enquires. 'Apparently' Cable tells him revealing that Externals are supposed to be telepathically linked to one another, so it is possible that Candra sent a distress call to Selene. Longshot tells Cable that he doesn't get it, and that if he thinks Selene might know who the killer is, asks him why he didn't go to her first, why he brought him in? Cable informs Longshot that before Candra was murdered there were seven other Externals, and that Selene killed them all, but that was years ago. He adds that he thought Selene had gotten it out of her system and that she and Candra had brokered some sort of peace.
Cable continues, deciding that, given Selene's past actions, not to mention her complicated history with the X-Men... 'You'd think she'd be cooperative' Longshot remarks. 'She'd sooner separate my head from my body than talk to me' Cable declares, to which Longshot asks Cable if he thinks that Selene did it – after all these years she decided to take out the only other External? Cable agrees that it is possible, and admits that he was hoping that Longshot would have answered that back in the morgue. Another image is projected from Cable's tech, and Cable announces that the only way to find out now is ask her directly, but that Selene is holed up at the Hellfire Club – apparently she doesn't leave too much these days. 'But, like I said...she won't be too happy to see us' Cable remarks, pressing a panel on his cybernetic arm, Cable declares that Selene is not one to be messed with, and although Candra was powerful, he wasn't half what Selene is.
A sky-cycle type vehicle appears alongside Cable, and he climbs onto it, before telling Longshot to hop on. 'Maybe I can talk to her? Women in this world seem to really like me. Let me work a little of my charm on her' Longshot offers. But Cable tells him that Selene is not the type of woman who you can just bat your baby blues at. 'She's pluck them right out of your face just for trying' Cable exclaims. He declares that they are going to need help. 'Help from whom?' Longshot asks. 'Don't worry...I know a guy' Cable exclaims as he takes off on the sky-cycle.
Hunts Point, the Bronx, where crowds have gathered for some street car racing: 'Yo, man. You lost or something?' a punk calls out to Cable, who announces that he is looking for a friend. 'Maybe you wanna go look somewhere else' the punk suggests, adding that the street is closed to the public. He reaches out to push Cable away, but Cable calmly grabs the man's hand and declares 'I said... I'm looking for a friend... goes by the name “The Street Scorpion”.' The punk goes wide-eyed and cries out in pain, before Cable demands to know where he can find the Street Scorpion. 'Please! My hand!' the punk pleads as his hand is crunched. 'Chill, man! It's all good. Look...' another punk calls out as a purple and green car with “Street Scorpion” branded across it pulls up beside them. 'The Street Scorpion found you!'
The window slides down, and Doop is revealed to be sitting at the wheel. He remarks something in his native “Doop Speak”, to which Longshot frowns and asks Cable 'This? This is your secret weapon?' Cable tells Longshot to give Doop a minute. Cable tells Doop that he needs his help, and Doop replies with something briefly, before Cable explains that he needs to ask someone some questions, and she is not going to be too happy about it. 'There's someone messing with the Timestream and she might be our only lead to finding out who' Cable informs Doop, adding that he needs someone with Doop's skills to help them get in the door. Doop tells Cable something, but Cable tells him that there will be no driving involved, that this is a stealth mission, and his car would draw too much attention. Doop goes wide-eyed and says something else, while holding two fingers close together, indicating he is hoping for a little bit of driving. 'No. The more time we stand here talking about it, the more dangerous the situation grows' Cable declares, before asking Doop if he is in. Doop pauses, then smirks, says something and gives the thumbs-up signal. 'He's in' Cable declares. 'I noticed' Longshot replies.
Later, rain pours down over the Hellfire Club in Manhattan. Cable, Longshot and Doop stand outside the building, when suddenly, Doop goes wide-eyed as a double-blade sword is pressed against him. 'Halt. Who goes?' a voice calls out. Cable pushes the blades away and tells the person holding them to be at ease, and that Doop is with them. 'Thanks for keeping an eye on the place' he adds as Shatterstar steps from the shadows and puts his blades away, 'This is the team you've been putting together?' he asks, unimpressed. 'You already know Longshot. The floating green thing is Doop. Doop, meet Shatterstar' Cable remarks, introducing them. Doop grits his teeth and shakes a fist at Shatterstar as he hovers before him, uttering something in Doop Speak.
The men turn their attention to the Hellfire Club, 'Anything?' Cable asks, but Shatterstar reports that no one has come or gone from the building since yesterday. Cable announces that they need to go in quiet. Doop asks something, but Cable tells him 'Quieter' and informs Doop that he needs him to throw up a psionic shield. He adds that they can tiptoe in their all they want, but that it won't mean a damn if she can read their minds. They run across the street, and leap over the fence that surrounds the building, as Cable explains that Selene is like a vampire who can drain their life from them, so they should try to maintain their distance and make no direct contact. They crouch as they make their way under a window, as Cable tells his squad to watch each other's back, because if Selene gets a hold of any one of them, they need to break that hold as fast as possible, and if she holds on too long, she will have psychic control over that person. Cable opens the window, then tinkers with the old-school security system on the wall and remarks that the security system is a joke. 'And we're in' he tells his squad.
Sopping wet, they climb through the window and make their way down a hallway. Weapons at the ready, Cable spins around, but the corridor is clear. However, as they start to walk down this next corridor, the wall before them transforms into a large hand and reaches out to grab them. 'YOU!' a voice exclaims loudly. 'What is -' Shatterstar begins to ask before the large hand slams him into a wall. 'Did you think you could just walk into my home?' the voice calls out as Cable and Longshot leap into action, fighting back another hand, they try to free Shatterstar. 'That you could sneak up on me? That it would be that easy?' the voice asks as the walls grow more hands which grab the heroes, trapping them.
Selene the Black Queen then makes her appearance, informing the heroes that she has been waiting, expecting them. 'A little surprised the X-Men would send in their dregs, though' Selene remarks as she touches Longshot's face, and adds 'surely they know that I would have easily bested you'. Longshot tries to pull free, but she scratches his face, then slaps her fingers against the wound, splattering the blood across his face as Shatterstar warns him too late not to let Selene touch him. Selene turns to Shatterstar, distracted, enabling Longshot to punch her in the face. He thanks Shatterstar for the distraction and remarks that Cable wasn't kidding about her touch. 'Cable! Look out!' Longshot calls out as he fires a blast, freeing Cable from the large hand that was restraining him. 'Everyone fall in' Cable tells his allies as they prepare to fight Selene. 'Hit her from all sides!' Cable calls out. 'Listen to me!' Longshot exclaims, but Cable ignores him.
Selene throws up a shield to protect her from the blast Cable directs at her and declares that she will not go down as easily as Candra. 'Your psionic shields may have worked on her, but...her powers are a shadow of my own' Selene boasts. Longshot informs Cable that when he touched Selene he could see that it wasn't her – she didn't kill Candra. 'Yeah, I'm starting to get that' Cable replies as Shatterstar is knocked backwards by Selene. Cable stops firing at her and declares that they are not here to kill her, and suggests that they all take a breath. Shatterstar lands on his back and Selene turns to Cable, asking if he thinks she is a fool. 'Hear me out -' Cable begins, before Selene notices Doop approaching her, his hands in karate-chop type movements, she spins around and blasts Doop away with a psi-bolt.
'That's enough!' Cable tells Selene, striking her with a blast from his weapon, she falls to the ground, blood seeping out of her stomach as Cable stands over her and tells her that they don't want to fight her, that they are here to find out what happened to Candra and save her from a similar fate. 'LIES!' Selene protests, before Cable tells her that she knocked out their only line of defense against her probing their minds, so he doesn't need to lie to her – and that she knows it is the truth. Selene looks up at Cable then gets to her feet as he tells her that he is putting his gun away and suggests they just talk. He adds that he knows she and Candra were telepathically linked. 'We were hoping you might have seen who -' Cable begins, to which Selene asks 'If I'd seen who attacked her, do you think I'd be wasting my time fighting with you? That's not how it works. I know only that someone killed her' Selene declares.
Selene then warns Cable to keep his distance, to which Cable begins to say 'Listen, if Candra was killed because she's an External -' to which Selene declares that she has no doubt that is the case, and Cable points out that it is in her best interest to let them help her. 'You're the last External. That means the killer will be coming for you next' Cable tells Selene. “Last?” Selene quotes, before she begins to laugh hysterically and boasts that the Externals are immortal, that they don't die. 'But you can!' Selene exclaims as Absalom, Crule and Nicodemus appear!