Part 6 of Tomorrow's Children.
|Dates run:||January 2-10, 2006|
|Read the logs:||Trinity|
It was almost impossible to force the words out. Because he knew. He knew what happened next.
Since spending a year undercover in Kazakhstan as a young operative at Mistra, Nathan had retained contacts among the Kazakh nomads. When those contacts sent him information that nomad children showing signs of mutation were being forcibly removed from their families and sent to a central training academy, he decided to investigate. In addition to Angelo, he invited Wanda along, because of her experience with non-sedentary peoples, and Haroun, ostensibly because Kazakhstan was a primarily Muslim country. (Really, the invitation was made in collusion with Alison, who believed that the trip would be good for the still-recovering Haroun.
In Kazakhstan, despite the seriousness of their mission, Nathan found himself reliving very fond memories of his time among the nomads, sharing stories with Wanda, and inviting Haroun to go hunting with eagles (a custom of the nomads) with him. The hunting expedition did not go quite as planned. When Haroun took a fall from his horse, Nathan left him on the steppes for some time, hoping to force him to break the subconscious inhibition keeping him from using his power. The tactic was somewhat successful, leading Haroun to switch his power on to keep from freezing to death and to fly - at Nathan, in a rage, when his friend returned for him. Although Nathan tried to point out the progress Haroun had made, Haroun was unappreciative, accusing Nathan of leaving him to die. The mood remained chilly between them for much of their remaining time in Kazakhstan.
Nathan and Wanda, posing as German journalists, went for a tour of the training academy in question, discovering that at least one staff member had something to hide and that some of the children had been sent away on a field trip in advance of the tour. They came back that evening, breaking into the school to take a look at the records, discovering a mention of a psychologist also mentioned in files that Nathan and Remy had stolen from Gideon's office earlier that year. Deeply bothered, they dug further in the files, discovering mysterious payments sent to the parents of students.
Meanwhile, on Muir Island, a busy but otherwise ordinary day was disturbed by a security alert. Moira was shocked and angry to see that Gideon had appeared at the docks and was heading for the castle. She put the clinic into lockdown and went out to meet him, to prevent him from getting close enough to the clinic to synch to any of the patients. A highly charged conversation ensued, in which Gideon expressed his interest in Rachel and revealed details to Moira about the truth of Nathan's departure from Alaska decades ago and his own involvement in Mistra. A furious Moira shot him in the arm, but Gideon vanished, teleporting away. Upon returning to the clinic, Moira discovered that one of her new nurses had likewise vanished, in the same teleportational effect. She checked the database and found out that a number of secure files had been copied, including the Pack's medical records from their checkups at Christmastime.
Back in Kazakhstan, Nathan and Angelo met with the Interior Minister, Aliayev, who was horrified by the implications of the evidence presented to him - not just the files taken from the academy, but also the testimonies from nomad parents whose children had been taken - and swore to investigate the allegations promptly. Later that night, their last in Kazakhstan, Nathan and Haroun mended fences somewhat over a meal, but the night came to an unfortunate end when Nathan had a violent but indecipherable precognitive episode that left him badly shaken.
Upon their return to New York, Nathan was contacted by Bridge, who had flown in to talk to him and some of MacInnis's contacts about the work the Pack was doing in Africa. Cheerful after another successful operation against a training camp, Bridge made arrangements to meet Nathan in town for lunch.
Inviting Cain along, Nathan headed into New York for lunch the next day. Bridge, waiting at the restaurant, was approached by Gideon, who waited until Nathan was within synching distance and then used his telekinesis to kill Bridge, inducing a stroke. Nathan, sensing it as it happened, ran the rest of the way to the restaurant but was only in time to be there for his friend as he died, and to promise, at GW's urging, that he would not go after Gideon for revenge.
Cain helped Nathan get Bridge's body back to the mansion, where Nathan told Moira what had happened and then got in touch with the Pack, urging them to abandon the Tunis safehouse in case Gideon had anything further planned. After their safe arrival at the mansion, they left again the next day, heading to Muir with Nathan and many of the X-Men to bury their friend.
Trivia and Meta
Because he was in telepathic contact with Bridge at the moment of his friend's death, Nathan retained a psychic echo of Bridge's personality for some time thereafter. Although the echo itself faded naturally, Nathan still frequently sees his friend in moments of stress.