X-Men Mission: Alcatraz
|Dates run:||September 28, 2006|
|Read the logs:||Alcatraz|
How are you today, Remy? I'm sitting in San Francisco where we've got a telekinetic Chechen separatist with delusions of grandeur and a nuclear weapon occupying Alcatraz. I hope your day's been better than mine.
The X-Men's help is requested when a mutant terrorist takes over Alcatraz Island and threatens to destroy San Francisco with a nuclear weapon if his demands are not met. The situation, as usual, is more complicated than it first appears.
Storm received a call from Fred Duncan informing her that a Chechen separatist, Ilyas Saidullayev, had taken over Alcatraz Island, taking numerous hostages, and claimed to have a nuclear weapon which he was using as leverage for his demands. A powerful telekinetic, Saidullayev had other mutants on his team and had already repelled the government's first attempt to retake the island. Knowing that Cable had previous experience in such situations, she called him in and asked him to lead a team to Alcatraz. He agreed and selected a small team.
Upon arrival in San Francisco, they were met by Fred Duncan and briefed on the situation. Participating at the briefing was David Langstrom, CIA Assistant Deputy Director of Operations, who was clearly less than pleased by the need to call in the X-Men for help. During the briefing, Cable pointed out that Saidullayev had to have a teleporter at his disposal, in order to get off the island, and could thus take the bomb and go if the operation did not go smoothly. The X-Men were informed that they were working under a deadline; if they were unsuccessful, an airstrike would be ordered in eight hours.
Troubled by some of the implications of the SEAL team's failed attempt to retake the island and needing more information on Saidullayev, Cable returned to the Blackbird, calling the mansion and asking Storm to make it a conference call with Gambit. The three of them determined that there was in fact a very rare and sophisticated telepathic security system, called an Esper, at work on the island. Finding out that Gambit had beaten an Esper system once, Cable convinced him to come to Alcatraz and let Nightcrawler slip him onto the island.
After Gambit's successful sabotage of the Esper system, Cable sent Nightcrawler, Rogue, and Wolverine after the hostages, while he led Polaris and Gambit to Saidullayev and the bomb. Nightcrawler's team faced significant opposition, and Rogue was critically injured, leading Wolverine to force her to absorb his healing factor to save her life. Nightcrawler, reacting very badly to the near-death of his teammate, beat Rogue's attacker severely. Cable's team engaged the terrorists stationed around the nuke, their portion of the mission going considerably more smoothly. Polaris was able to disable the weapon before it could be teleported away, although Saidullayev himself escaped after a brief if fierce telekinetic fight with Cable. Cable was horrified to discover, upon closer examination of the bomb, that it was an American neutron bomb, something that should not have been in the hands of a Chechen separatist.
In a final twist, Nightcrawler slipped up and mentioned Gambit's name aloud on the coms, alerting Langstrom to his presence. Cable hurriedly created a ruse to suggest that Gambit had been there working with Saidullayev, staging an explosion in which he was supposedly blown out to sea.
Upon returning to the mansion, a distressed Nightcrawler left that very night, needing some time away. Wolverine remained comatose for a couple of days, while Rogue spent that time passing control back and forth between herself and Wolverine's psyche.
Trivia and Meta
Nightcrawler's departure at the end of this plot led directly to the events of Mommy Dearest Redux. This was also the first time Cable had led a team of X-Men in the field.
This plot was directly inspired by the movie The Rock; Polaris's last words to Langstrom concerning Gambit's fate were a quote drawn directly from the movie..