Cable #7 Marvel Universe: Transformed
"Two Hands To The Sky" Part 2 of 6
Written by Karl V.
I ask myself why I'm here with him. Jack Truman, Agent 18, requiring the help of a man, and yeah he's also a mutant but I don't give a spit about that. Yeah, I have been stuck with grunts before...typically I was the only one that came back in one piece...often literally. But, he's here to tie a few loose ends, and he's a professional so he won't get in the way. I guess I don't blame him. Those guys in the SHIELD Helicarrier did something with his living virus arm....don't ask long story. But, from what I get, this stuff is rather nasty and makes Agent Orange seem like an aroma therapy candle when it's pulled off his arm. His doing his hero bit by making sure nothing is left after a previous battle some robots that went berserk after being infected with it. Considering current circumstances with these huge transforming ones running around, I don't blame him one bit for doing this.
So, I guess it's not why I'm here with him. He's just the hero on the same path that I'm going on...which is the path of the SHIELD Helicarrier. Last time, I got a taste of how Iccarus might have felt...except I didn't fly into the sun, it fell on me. Another long story, but let's just say some strange bed fellows bailed me out of being a deformed burnt zombie for just an even stranger token mission. It's done and over with, and now I'm here left wondering whether or not dusk will set upon me again. But, I have to push that back as well...but I have my reasons too....he's just here along for the ride.
"You're not focusing on the task at hand... If the flashbacks are too much..."
His words bite to the core of my being. I'm being chided like a rookie and probably deserve it. "I'm sure you understand, but I need to conquer whatever the hell it is that my mind is making me think."
He knows enough not the say the f word. Not the one that is a shortened abbreviation of for unlawful carnal knowledge either. The other f word, one that is a lot worse to a soldier than any other word you can possibly conceive of...because death is guaranteed to follow it. He just gives me a polite nod while I was thinking of this crap. He's right, I have to shove my thoughts to the back of my head and be fully prepared for anything. F word or no...I have to go in...for my own sanity. Meanwhile, I decide a little chit chat might help me to gather more ways to press the heroes buttons. Yeah, I still itch to finish one battle that we started. I was cheated twice. Skip the charm part because I don't want to hear it. Charm will have no involvement when I try to finish what I started. For now, I need to find avenues of weakness that will help me distract him from using those powers of his. He has no qualms about using it against any enemy, and I need to act buddy buddy for now. Problem is, by doing so I'm letting him observe me. I really hate that catch twenty-two.
"So you claim your not doing this for the heroics. Why exactly are you going after this robot prototype?"
He's asked this already...three times. I'd give him some half answer that would hopefully quell his curiosity, but tough luck there. But, I guess it's time to let the cat out of the bag. I want him fully prepared to survive this as well.
"There was a new Deathlok prototype built just for me...before I got healed. Those docs that played mad scientist with you were about to do the same with me...except with full legal permission."
His brow raised in slight surprise. "Funny, I thought no one would give a damn about mutant experimentation."
"Well, they considered me dead. And, the fact that you were a mutant wasn't the thing that put those quacks in the brig." I spot the docked Helicarrier in the distance. The sun's reflection has playfully tormented my mind with a couple of flashbacks, but I try to shove them back in and focus.
"Point. But, why even go after this thing? I mean, because of the other one that went after the President?"
Oh, did I mention he'd make a good politician? This mutant was good at the twists.
"Nothing to do with that. I overhead a lot of the specs about the hardware on that thing. It's hard to get that kind of stuff even on the black market."
"So, now you're just a low grade official Frank Castle for SHIELD?"
Okay, now he was trying to push my buttons. "Nothing like him. But, I can see the man's point, but I don't agree with the brute force methods. It's just plain stupid to get yourself in a firefight on purpose, Kevlar or not."
He doesn't respond but looks at the Helicarrier with blank eyes. Good, I'm not the only one. But, he has it more together. "Come on, time's wasting."
I keep pace while I'm asking stuff...why I don't know. "I didn't know we were on a schedule. So how many more soldiers are we getting in this little army of yours?"
"Twelve all together, and I'm just the gatherer. There's a reason for that, but I don't want to explain." He put his game face on, and I know it's show time.
"Well, here goes nothing." I mumble like an idiot as we go for one of many blind spots close to an auxiliary hatch.
I reckon that Cable has got his reasons, but I still can't fathom any of them. I mean, it's already been proven that he'll become someone else. Not the father figure that I know, but someone worse than the guy that he was gunnin' for. Now, he thinks he can catch an old mummy that has been runnin' around for thousands of years and just about knows all the tricks in the books to escape. Of course, callin' Apocalypse a mummy ain't quite right. This guy is some kind of mutant...but from what I've heard Apoc isn't an Eternal like me...or I used ta be. But, I'm going off the beaten track here, and now I have someone to give the third degree: Cable's supposed mentor, and from what I found on Irene's writings Blaquesmith ain't really a mentor... more like the Askani failsafe if Cable don't do his deed that he was destined for.
So, I guess I'm here for him as well as me. And, I spot the small little man that is always on some computer or working on some type of device. Of course, I'm right and he's on that comp again.
"Samuel Guthrie, I have been looking for you."
I don't like his tone already, but I can't pass the opportunity up. It's rare that Blaquesmith would even let me disturb him, even rarer that he's looking for me. I go on the defensive just 'cause of that.
"What did I do this time?" I make my accent purposely heavy so I sound like a dense country bumpkin. Blaquesmith managed a slight sneer, as though he's going to loathe what is to follow. Good, that's exactly what I wanted.
"Don't worry, you haven't managed to break anything yet. But, it seems I can not reach Cable about his mission. This little journey into one possible future has allowed his mind to be clouded. I was hoping you might talk to him, and make him realize that Apocalypse is one that can not be held by any means."
I should have figured that was his game, but the even sadder part is that I agree with him. Cable's mind is clouded because of all of this, and that might get him killed. "Well, sir I don't mean to be rude or nothin'. But, if Cable wants to try to catch Apocalypse that's his decision. Question is, what are you and the Askani going to do with Cable if he ain't going to kill him."
Blaquesmith's face turned straight into a statue. Damn, I played my hand too early. For a moment, it seemed like he was about to shoo me away.
"I'll answer your question boy, as long as you talk to him. It will lay the first steps to getting Cable's mind back to the mission at hand."
Alright, we both put out our aces and we're playing blackjack. "Fine sir, I can do that. But, I'm sure you heard what Cable spouts out so many times: What is...is. I'm not guaranteeing anything out of talking to him."
"Be mindful of how you say one of the most highest of the Askani teachings boy. But, to answer your question there is another like Cable that has recently made his way here. If we can not convince Cable to kill Apocalypse, we will replace him with the boy."
I don't like the way he put the emphasis on replace. Usually, when a hit man is assigned a target he has to follow through or become a target himself. I guess what Irene wrote is right, and funny thing is Cable seemed to know about it. Well, I'll be doing a lot more than conversin' with Cable about Apoc that's for sure. Okay, I've just realized I've sat here thinkin' like an idiot for a minute or more. "You mean Nate Grey, don't you?"
He nodded with a sigh of relief. It kept the country bumpkin thing in his head, so I can get more out of him. "Yes, originally I thought the boy as a bad omen. But, now he may be our only other option."
"Well Yoda, I guess that I'm happy you have another Skywalker to do your duty. Nate should be pretty easy to coax since he came from a reality ruled by Apocalypse." I doubt he got the movie reference, but I had to vent somehow.
He gave me a snort and turned back to do whatever the heck he was doing in the first place. I guess I got my answers, and Cable is going to need us to back him up whether he wants us or not. I ain't about to let anything happen to him just because he's decided not to kill a man.
Am I weak? No, I am not. I live, and have been made stronger. I am Ra, and everything circles me. To think that something could even harm me long escaped my mind. It made me vulnerable, but not weak. I am strong because I survived yet another test. The accelerated mutation will make my essence burn bodies faster and I must replace my hosts more often. It is the price I must pay for letting myself be vulnerable to attack, and my punishment only makes me stronger. But, the image of the black barrel haunts my soul, much like the rock that fell upon me when I first manifested my powers. But, I survived. I became stronger, and now and shall always be the strongest. However, there is a power which ends everything, and its energies can be harnessed. And, there is only one that can harness the energies that can destroy even me.
Am I weak? No, fear is not weakness. Applied correctly, it can make one stronger. I am the strongest, and none are above me. The test must continue, and as I said it was my turn. I lie here of my own will, and knowing that the sentient alien creature could harness the power of a black hole. But, I am here. I have survived, although the host body died. I must not perish so the test may continue under my guiding hands. Only then, will they be prepared for what is to come. Apocalypse is not the end, but simply a revelation of what is to come. And, I must prepare them all for it.
Am I strong? Yes, this test has proven that I still can defeat the light of the final ascension itself. I am forever, and I shall revel in the fact of preparing all of those who are strong. My final test is done, theirs shall be next.
They always place a veritable army around the important stuff. To a regular civilian, it's meant to impress and awe. But for me, it's the arrow pointing the direction of where I need to go. Of course, a lot of good Kevlar does within point blank range. The Hero is still by my side, doing his part of keeping quiet. Of course, flashbacks still haunt me as we draw near. I try to think of exactly how I am going to use this thing.
Fortunately while the hero was out gathering the troops, I made my own little side trip that he doesn't know about. There's the old Tibetan Mind Trick, and I already tested it out on the other Deathlok. The kid was completely out cold while I got used to being a cyborg. He took a nap in my body, and I made sure it was a simple blood choke so I was in top shape to survive this. The kid will wake up with a headache and back in that mangled body with that irritating computer droning in his head. I actually feel sorry for him in a way. But, this Lok prototype is different. It was meant just to take a brain and nothing else. And, the Tibetan mind trick I learned is only meant for human transfer and right now as far as I know there's nothing in that shell of a robot. Well, it looks like the hero is taking his leave
"I guess it's time to part ways. I'll see you back at the safe house." He gave a slight nod and disappeared around the next doorway.
I guess that leaves me with the Lok Prototype. I push the fear and the flashbacks away, and move forward to another destiny. And, I'll join up with the hero later, hopefully with the robot in tow. Jack Truman is about to get a whole new set of hardware.
Perfect, no one has spotted me. I manage to reach the lab area where the robots where tested, from the details Truman gave to me. It's not very heavily guarded, but that doesn't mean a thing. The two guarding the door are out with a couple silent well placed strikes. My techno-organic eye spots the laser beams and pressure plates, as I move my body to avoid them. I immediately start the search for the canisters of virus, as I am sure they pulled out a lot. Question is, I don't know what to do with them once I retrieve them. If I added the extra virus to what I already have, it may kill me. I figure out what to do with it later, first things first. I have to make sure that it out the hands of anyone that would abuse it.
I can afford the low grade telekinesis to lift the several canisters out. The trouble is each one has a pressure plate on it. Which means once I lose my concentration, everyone on the ship will be after me. I give a quick message to Truman and warn him about what I have planned. I make it out without alerting a soul, until I reach the hatch. I put forth all my concentration on floating down to the ground, as well as keeping the virus at bay. When I manage to catch my breath, I catch a faint reflection of metal darting away from the ship as alarms sound throughout the night. I give the canisters a look, and give a twirl of my hand.
"I see that you got them without my help." Her voice was sweet and caressing as she gave a big smile.
Ororo reminds me so much of Alyia, and deep down inside that is what scares me the most. But, I try not to show it. "I have been trained in many ways other than fighting. It's nice to know I still have skills of stealth."
She nodded in approval. "Well then, it is time we went back to the safe house. I trust Truman will join us soon."
"He will because he still wants a fight with me. And, he doesn't care if he wins or loses, it's just the fact that I'm actually back to normal again that matters."
"Nathan, I doubt you will ever be normal." She taunted with a wave of her hand as she took the canisters with a gust of wind.
"Hey, what about..." I realize that she is going to make me walk, as soon as she's out of earshot. "...me?"
What is, is. I started my hike in earnest, with no further complaints.