By Karl V.
The rain beat down upon him with unrelenting hostility. The added weight of the water drenched attire didn't affect him much as he remained silent while he continued to walk down the street. Several that passed by him gave him an odd stare as though he seemed out of place in this world, and as well that they would really never get the chance to know how right they were. Despite his evidently strong physique, a metallic left arm, and left eye that glowed, there was a lot more out of place with Nathan Summers. Born to a cloned Mother and real father, Nathan Summers was thrown into the future by his parents to save his life. Ironically, in that Future his life was still threatened since he was infected with an Techno-organic virus. His mutant powers of Telekinesis kept the Virus in check throughout the years, but with an intense hurting sensation beating upon his brain all the time. To him, his pain paled in comparison to those who suffered agony through a tyrant in his future. He has come back to this time to stop that one threat which ruled it with an iron fist: En Sabah Nur, also known as Apocalypse. He was destined to be the one last vital link to the salvation of the future, one of the many reasons he also carries the moniker of Cable. Mired in this role to bring Apocalypse down, Cable made one final decision in the matter. No more tricks no more games and bring a final end to his mission.
He entered a small café a sort of last stop before he carried on fully with his task. The waitress was a polite, very attractive blonde. Nathan grimaced at the reminder of his short love fling with another waitress.
"Hi, I'm Jenny. I'll be your server today. Would you like the special?"
"Just a cup of coffee." Nathan interrupted before she could tell what today's special was.
She walked off to grab the pot of Java.
He sighed heavily as he noticed the downpour suddenly stopped. He glanced up to see an exquisite ebony woman walk in the door. The waitress almost spilled the pot of coffee as she entered. The woman held herself like royalty and beamed an aura that she was treated like a goddess. Unlike the rest of the dining room residents, Cable seemed to pay more attention to his cup of coffee than to this woman. She walked wistfully over to his location and sat across from him. He put down the mug and gave a stoic glance at the woman.
"Ororo." Nathan spoke her name then took another sip from his mug. "I suppose this just isn't a visit to catch up on old times."
"What an ironic use of words coming from you Nathan. As you have guessed, this isn't a normal visit." Ororo politely shook her head at the offer of coffee from the waitress.
Nathan coyly smiled. "I expected Scott or Jean to show up. But, as soon as the rain stopped, I figured it might be you."
Ororo glared at the man for a moment. "You know very well that I would not use my powers in such a trivial matter." For emphasis, she wrung her white water soaked hair as the fluid poured into Nathan's half empty mug.
The waitress saw the minor infraction and figured them for an arguing couple. She quickly switched the old mug with a new one. She politely smiled as Nathan made a barely audible thank you.
"What on earth brings you to such a lowly hovel?" Ororo noticed the run down appearance of the café.
"Nothing." Nathan sank his feelings into his next sip of fresh coffee.
"I don't need to be a telepath to know your hiding something. The way you look at that waitress reminds you of another. Perhaps a former acquaintance of yours?" Ororo tried to coax Nathan's feelings out.
Nathan nodded his head. "Long story. But, I think it has enlightened me to say the least."
"Ah, it gave you a reason to go kill yourself by charging headfirst into your destiny without thinking?" Ororo's bluntness was responded with a stare of shock.
"Don't give me that look Nathan Summers. As a battle hardened soldier, you should know full well the danger of rushing head long into danger."
He gave a defiant look that reflected his growing realization that Ororo was right. He wallowed in his mug of coffee.
"Well, it doesn't matter much now. Rachel paid me a visit a while back and filled my head with something about the Twelve. So much has happened lately, I can't think straight about what I'm supposed to do."
Ororo could only stare at the man in surprise. "You really must have been serious with this woman if your let your feelings be known."
Nathan sighed heavily. "It doesn't matter much now. I don't have time to gather another force up and train them to beat Apocalypse and his minions. I have to do it myself."
"Nathan this is a burden that was originally placed solely on your shoulders. You are blatantly ignoring the fact that you need help." Ororo said with sharp stubbornness. "And it's of even more importance since your sister gave you a premonition about it."
"The only thing she spouted off before she left was this would all clear up and fall into place." Nathan prepared to drink the last bit of coffee as he raised his mug.
Ororo could only stare blankly at the Nathan. "Everything would clear up?"
"OATH!" Nathan shouted out loud as the mug came crashing down on the table and the emptied its remaining contents upon Ororo's lap.
Without thought and out of pure instinct, Ororo quickly created a small breeze of arctic wind to chill the hot liquid. She quickly cursed beneath her breath as the rest of the café customers noticed the small altercation.
"Damn muties." One local muttered hatefully under his breath.
"Come on. We're no longer welcome." Nathan tossed a couple of dollars on the table as both exited the café.
"IT CAN'T BE THAT EASY." Nathan's yell caught the attention of some pedestrians.
"Calm yourself Cable." Ororo grabbed a hold of his right arm. Nathan relaxed as he backed off from Ororo's touch.
Nathan shook his head. "The Storm cleared up, it's so simple it's ridiculous."
"I know it does seem rather trite even for Rachel." Ororo nodded in agreement. "But evidently since my code name is Storm, we can not ignore the message. I'm meant to be the first of your so called Twelve."
"Well, if the first part of her message was so blatant, that can only mean the second part is as well." Nathan began to think.
Ororo already figured out Rachel's message by herself. "The only way to have everything fall into place for you is to have a mutant with such powers."
"Domino." Nathan said unenthusiastically.
Ororo shook her head as she could tell Nathan's demeanor. "That is the pang of a former love talking, Nathan Summers."
Nathan ignored her remark. "I have to track Apocalypse down. And to do that, I need to find his four Horsemen. He always manages to keep them around in some shape or form. I don't have the time to go find X-Force and get Domino."
"It seems that destiny has another path for me to follow. " Storm seemed to ponder her decision for a moment. "I can gather the Twelve for you." Nathan's blank stare was the only response given.
"Do I take that as a yes?" Ororo tried to focus Nathan on what she had just said.
"Fine. Tell the others then retrieve Domino. I have some Horsemen to dismount." Nathan walked off and disappeared into the night.
"Yes, sir." Ororo said sarcastically as she called forth the winds to whisk her away.
As Cable walked down the barren, broken down part of the neighborhood, he had the overwhelming sense that he was being watched.
"Looking for something?" A voice shouted from behind as the sound of an energy weapon made Cable jump for his life. A smoldering hole was left where Cable had stood.
"OATH!" Cable cursed as he thought an old statement that Jean and Scott had taught him. If you go looking for trouble, eventually it will find you. Those words rattled in his head as he faced the Four Horsemen of Apocalypse.
Famine, War, Pestilence, and Death all greeted him with their weapons at the ready. Cable immediately recognized the Horseman of Death.
"NEMESIS!" Cable shouted out loud.
The glowing skeletal figure laughed from within his new transparent armor shell. "The Dark Lord has sent me to end your worthless existence. Once I kill you, I can kill your younger mirror image!"
Cable's mind raced with thoughts as he wondered why Apocalypse sent his Horsemen after him. As he dodged a volley of blasts, he tried the standard procedure of using psychological warfare to get information from his enemies.
"I doubt even Apocalypse's improvements could help you." Cable stated coldly as he hit the specter of Death with a sharp left fist. The other Horsemen stood down as the two stood toe to toe.
"I don't need any improvement to defeat you or Grey!" Like the grim reaper, the Horseman swung his club like appendage at Cable. Nathan reeled from the blow as it swiped his face. "The Dark Lord now has greater concerns than you! So, you must be really getting weak!"
Cable was more shocked from the last statement than the hit. "What?" Cable stood up and rubbed his chin.
"You're no longer a threat to the Dark Lord, Cable. You've grown complacent and fragile. This will be almost too easy to kill you. Nate Grey will hopefully be more entertaining than you." The Horseman of Death pointed at Cable as the three others began to fire upon him.
Cable's thoughts ran as quickly as his legs. Apocalypse has BIGGER concerns other than me! Cable quickly scanned the three other Horsemen with his regained capability of telepathy. They were only standard constructs that were built by the madman. This meant Cable could go full-fledged and not worry about the consequences.
Cable concentrated with all, as his eye grew brighter as he sent a hail of telekinetic bullets at the three robots. The robots took the projectile head on as they continued lurching towards him. Cable writhed in pain as the Techo-organic virus took advantage of the opportunity to spread itself.
Cable cursed as the robots came closer and raised their weapons. He pushed pass his pain and shot out one more round of telekinetic projectiles. For a moment, they stood motionless, then they fell apart piece by piece. Cable grimaced in pain as the last Horseman of Death stood over him.
"What a waste." The Horseman raised the club arm at Cable.
Cable coughed as he tried to speak as he stared down the several holes in the appendage, meant for releasing the Horseman's lethal energy weapon. "The least you could do..." Cable quietly regained his composure, "...is tell me what is more important."
The Horseman only laughed sinisterly. "All that you need to know is that it could be right under your nose and you wouldn't even know it."
Cable had a sudden thought. "Well, in that case I'll just take it from your head." With a telepathic burst of energy, Cable entered the mind of the Horseman. The Horseman glared in shock at the intrusion of his mind but it was too late. The Horseman fell forward as Cable echoed one last command to his entire body.
Sleep well. Fortunate for me the psionic plane was 'repaired' and your armor didn't compensate for that contingency. It's just too bad you didn't know as much as you let on.
Cable bent down by the body for a moment, got back up, and left the comatose Horseman behind. He knew the Horseman would have to deal with Apocalypse for his failure. Cable stopped for a moment as he could still not help but have the overwhelming urge that he was being watched.
In one of many secret sanctums, Apocalypse pondered. "This was one of but many possible futures that could have unfolded Ozymandias."
Ozymandias, a man imprisoned in a body of stone by En Sabah Nur, walked over next the big blue armored figure. "I still do not get why you sent the four Horsemen after the Askani'son. Surely, they will fail in their endeavor to eliminate him."
"So be it. It has always been the survival of the fittest. If Cable wins, then he has proven himself to be the stronger. Eventually, he will succumb to that which is stronger than he." Apocalypse intentionally pointed to himself.
"And what of these new arrivals, what importance do they hold? Why are we to focus our attentions on them instead of the Askani'son?" Ozymandias changed the subject as he always sought to free himself from Apocalype's hold.
"Where Cable needs twelve to alter my destiny, they only require one. One that holds a link to the very thing which is a weakness to everything, including light itself." Apocalypse seemed to mutter the words than actually tell the man.
The incoherent babbling of his Master confused Ozymandias. "I do not comprehend your meaning."
Apocalypse slightly chuckled in a demeaning manner. "You are a fool trying to find a way out of something from that which you can not break free. It is late and I grow weary of this topic. Rest assured no one will thwart what is meant to be." Apocalypse departed into the shadows as Ozymandias teleported away.
He knew it was going to be one of those nights. After getting back to his temporary headquarters, he tried to explain to his decision on his completing role to his two friends.
"BY THE BRIGHT LADY! Have you gone completely mad?" The small squat alien asked Cable in a fury.
Cable shook his head. "Blaquesmith, I can't ignore this anymore. I need to find Apocalypse and end this now."
Irene Merryweather, the female reporter who documented Cable's exploits, spoke up. "Look, the bug eyed ingrate has a point. I mean, haven't you taken the time to notice what's going on lately? There's been some big inexplicable boom in technology. Some of the reports seem like something from your time than ours."
Cable glanced at Irene for a moment. "Well, this may have something to do with what that Horseman of Apocalypse said. Either way, I'm going to find En Sabah Nur and bring him down. I just thought I would be nice enough to ask for your support in my decision."
"Gee, how thoughtful." Irene replied coldly.
Blaquesmith shook his head. "You are unwise to tempt fate without the twelve."
"I have someone who is gathering them for me." Nathan retorted quietly.
Both responded with surprised stares.
"Look Apocalypse moves too much but he does leave a trail. By the time I find him, Storm will have gathered the twelve I need." Cable hastily explained.
"And Storm is?" Irene was at a loss.
"Leader of the X-Men. Well, was leader of the X-Men." Cable shrugged. "She decided to gather the rest since she is one of them."
"Oh great, I have to write a journal about twelve people instead of one?" Irene was horrified by the possibility of such a daunting task.
"No, that won't be necessary." Cable prepared more of his equipment for the journey ahead.
At a loss for words, the two remained quiet until an unwelcome visitor teleported in their headquarters.
"YOU!" Blaquesmith sneered in disgust. "Why are you here servant of Apocalypse?"
"Answer his question quick." Cable grabbed his Psimatar lance, a weapon that channeled his telekinetic energy and could release it in a powerful blast.
"I have come to tell you that even the great Apocalypse has a weakness." Ozymandias' voice of sincerity caught the attention of the trio.
"Well, if there's something let me hear it." Cable listened intently for the reply.
"All the Dark Lord mentioned was that it was a weakness of everything even light itself." Ozymandias teleported back out before Cable could ask any more questions.
"Oath, what on Earth could that have meant." Cable rubbed his chin.
Irene rolled her eyes. "Nothing on Earth. The only thing capable of taking light is a black hole."
Cable fumed in frustration. "It figures. Something we could never bring to Earth is Apocalypse's only viable weakness."
"Askani'son you think in too abstract of a term. We simply need to harness the very energies of the black hole." Blaquesmith sighed with the equal emotion of Cable.
Irene was puzzled by the reactions. "Did I miss something? You've found out the guy you've been after your whole life has a weakness and your not happy about it."
"Even in my future, there is no weapon that can harness the energy of a black hole." Cable stated in a stoic reply.
"Oh." Irene joined the pair in their silence as a bright light of hope quickly faded into the darkness.
Finally, Irene broke the long eerie quiet. "What next?"
Cable thought for a moment. "I'm guessing that this technological boom and Apocalypses' new concerns are related somehow. That would mean an alien presence."
"Whoa, that's one big leap there. How would you know if it was aliens involved?" Irene was a bit startled by the explanation.
Cable pointed to his head and spoke to Irene telepathically. "I got my other power back."
Irene glared at Cable and could barely reply. "So I see. And I guess you can detect them somehow?"
"Yes, but I can't get a fix on who or what they are, just that they are here." Cable said with a bit of sarcastic twinge on the last part.
"Ok, Fox Mulder." Irene shook her head at Cable's attempt to joke.
"We have wasted enough precious time." Even with his short stature, Blaquesmith managed to knock both of their balance as he quickly walked in between them. "We need to get more data about these aliens if possible."
Blaquesmith began to utilize his knowledge of Terran computer systems to the fullest extent. "This may take some time." He stated as he hit several encrypted files on his first search.
Elsewhere in a remote military base...
"Another breach has been detected." The Airman stated with much chagrin.
"See to it you impede their progress. This is becoming a very bad habit as of late." The Colonel angrily replied.
"Yes, Sir." The Airman began to work on defeating the electronic intruder.
"This is Colonel Sesimen. It seems yet another breach has occurred." The Air Force officer reported over the communications system.
"This rash of events is rather irksome." A feminine voice hissed back. "Resources are low since we have sent others to handle these blatant mistakes. You will need to send our cooperative venture out for his field test."
"The Canadian contingent will be severely depleted if he is sent too early." Col. Sesimen replied back.
"Give explicit orders only to engage and disable their hardware then have him return at once. We can not afford any loss at this point."
"Yes, ma'am." The Colonel switched the radio frequencies.
"This is Colonel Sesimen. I have explicit orders from the Overseer to have Weapon X released into combat readiness. His mission is to find the target base and disable all equipment which may present a high level of risk to the National Security of the United States."
"Mission parameters received and understood. The current Weapon X will be placed under your jurisdiction during the mission." The Canadian officer replied back.
"Excellent. A trace has been established and we are sending the coordinates now." The Colonel relayed the message back to his Canadian counterpart.
"Coordinates received. Weapon X will depart within the hour."