S.W.O.R.D. (2nd series) #10

Issue Date: 
January 2022
Story Title: 
Triple Threat

Al Ewing (writer), Jacopo Camagni, (artist), Fernando Sifuentes of Photobunker’s Studios (colors), VC’s Ariana Maher (letterer & Production), Tom Muller (Design), Valerio Schiti & Marte Gracia (cover artists), David Go, Joe Jusko (alternate covers), Jonathan Hickman (Head of X), Annalise Bissa (Associate editor), Jordan D. White (editor), C.B. Cebulski (editor-in-chief), Joe Quesada (chief creative officer), Dan Buckley (publisher), C.B. Cebulski (editor-in chief)

Brief Description: 

On Mars, in the Diplomatic Zone, Storm has joined SWORD personnel and Shi’ar fighting the Lethal Legion. However, they can get no contact with Brand and things turn worse when Orbis Stellaris sends in multiple clones of the Lethal Legion. On the Keep, Wiz Kid takes out Cable and orders an evacuation of the station. By the time Cable awakes, almost everyone has left and, a moment later, the reactor explodes and the station falls toward Earth. Wiz Kid is watching this on Alpha Flight station with Henry Gyrich and Guardian. Gyrich is, by now, convinced that Wiz Kid is on their side. He does not know that Wiz Kid has smuggled aboard a miniaturized Abigail Brand, who has quite other plans.

Full Summary: 

Takeshi Matsuya (aka Wiz Kid) awakes in his quarters on the SWORD station and goes through his morning routine. He muses everyone has always tried to figure him out. He gets into his wheelchair and has breakfast. Krakoan medicine can’t help with a complete T11 break from long ago. And he won’t resurrect. Not before he has to.

On Arakko, Storm attacks the Lethal Legion with sub-zero temperatures.

Mr. Eloquent calls her royalist trash and tosses his atomic chainsaw at her. Frenzy interjects and literally swats it away, while Cannonball finishes him off.

Storm focuses on Half Bot. Orbis Stellaris orders him to play dead and so he pretends to be shut down by the icestorm.

Some distance away, Xandra praises Storm for always winning. Deathbird agrees but suggests they keep the distance a while longer. Storm agrees. She also distrusts such an easy victory. She asks if Frenzy is in contact with Brand. Frenzy replies that she is off-line. She is never off-line! Sensing something is wrong, Storm asks her to patch her through to Cable on Station One.

Cable announces, he doesn’t get anything either. He agrees it is worrying and he will keep her posted through the channel.

Taki watches him. He is still getting used to old man Cable. A few weeks ago, he was Taki’s age.

Cable notices him and greets him happily.

Taki thinks that, as young Cable, he got the job because he was mutant royalty and in no way ready for the job. Unearned confidence hiding a bundle of nerves stretched over a barrel of impostor syndrome.

He remembers meeting a nervous Kid Cable for the first time.

Since Kid Cable went to the future and his adult self was resurrected in the present, he is more self-assured. But he still treats Taki like he has all the answers. He guesses that’s who Cable remembers him as. It hurts a little to betray that memory… but that’s the plan.

Smiling, Cable states that he thought Taki was on the Keep. Something he should know? Taki replies that Brand put him in play here. She thinks the Lethal Legion situation is probably a distraction for something bigger and nastier. Cable asks if that is why she is not picking up. Total comms black-out, Taki agrees. They are almost definitely being monitored by the enemy.

Cable wonders why she didn’t tell him. Taki quickly explains that is why she put him here, to keep Cable in the loop. It is the safest way. With his power, he is a living surveillance black spot.

Cable agrees, adding if there is anyone he trusts, it is him.

Now Taki feels terrible. He figures, that’s the idea. Cable is testing him. He wouldn’t be Cable if he trusted him completely.

Cable adds he got word from Rocket Raccoon. The mission Taki helped with on Breakworld made all the difference against Dormammu. So don’t get a swelled head about it, but he officially saved the universe. Good work. He puts his hand on Taki’s shoulder.

Taki figures he is looking for a guilt response. Enough probable cause to use his telepathy on a friend. So let’s give him what he wants. Taki uses his power to have Cable’s techno-organic arm attack him. He turns Cable’s bionic eye into a taser that shocks Cable into unconsciousness. Taki then hacks into the station.

On Mars, Frenzy desperately tries to reach Cable. Storm senses something is coming. A long-distance transmission comes via the Lethal Legion members, courtesy of Orbis Stellaris.

Gladiator realizes the Legion are translation receivers. Before Storm can act, teleportation gates open showing multiple clones of the Lethal Legion members.

On SWORD Station One, an electric jolt awakens Cable. He shouts for Taki. What does he want him to see?

Cable calls the jump site and sees that the mass evacuation of all station personnel is under way. He demands to know what is happening. Vanisher replies. The last staff member is just leaving. They got everyone out, like Cable wanted. No golden eggs today.

What does he mean, like he wanted? Cable demands. What does he mean? Vanisher retorts. The order came from the Green Room. From Cable’s desk. If Cable screwed up and ordered an evac for nothing, Vanisher’s not taking the blame, he warns.

Cable tells him to take a breath. He is trying to find out what happened here, but he is not blaming him. So, he is no in any trouble. He takes that back a moment later, when he sees an alert that the reactor is about to explode, which it does.

Aboard the Alpha Flight space station:
Gyrich sees the explosion and tells Wiz Kid he is impressed. He was expecting Wiz Kid to try and trick him somehow, but the PEAK is leaving orbit, falling to Earth, and he blew up SWORD for Orchis. Why betray Krakoa for this?

Evasively, Wiz Kid replies he doesn’t see humans and mutants as all that different. Xavier and Magneto… they brought Apocalypse in to help run the show - Mr. Survival of the fittest himself! If that’s where their great experiment is headed, as far as he is concerned, it can all burn to the ground! Good. Gyrich turns around adding that’s exactly what he thought he’d say.

Taki smirks. That’s why he said it, he thinks. Well, he bought it, he sub-vocalizes. Triple agent unlocked. He figures that Gyrich believes him because it fits into his own narrow worldview. But Krakoan medicine helps him. He is second in command on space station! Would that happen anywhere else?

A voice warns him Gyrich will be scanning him constantly for new tech, anything Krakoan. And Taki needs to let him, or it’s a tell! It’s her plan, he subvocalizes. As long as Gyrich doesn’t catch what he did bring with him. He is not worried they are looking for that. They don’t understand: Krakoans make technology out of plants, out of mutants combining their powers. They can make technology out of anything!

The miniaturized Brand warns him to be humble. It’s not like mutants invented Pym Particle technology…

Characters Involved: 

Commander Brand
Cable, Forearm, Frenzy, Manifold, Random, Vanisher, Wiz Kid
Xandra Neramani
Fang, Gladiator, Manta, Neutron, Titan (Guardians)
Henry Gyrich
Death Grip, Electric Head, Half-Bot, Mr. Eloquent, Orbis Extremis (Lethal Legion)
Orbis Stellaris
In flashback:
Wiz Kid
Kid Cable

Story Notes: 

Text pages:
Personnel file of Brand’s logged movements
Advertisement for Orbis Stellaris’ Lethal Legion

Written By: