Credits: Jeph Loeb (writer), Ian Churchill (penciler), Scott Hanna (inker), Richard Starkings & Comicraft (lettering), Mike Thomas & Graphic Color Works (colors)
Blaquesmith arrives at the mansion to discuss the problem of Nate Grey, X-Man. He comes across Sunspot and is shocked to learn that he speaks Askani and is immune to his psychic influence. Cable tells him to ignore Sunspot and come inside. Blaquesmith meets with Cable, Storm, Moira MacTaggert, Cyclops, Phoenix, and Professor Xavier and tells them that X-Man is unprepared to deal with his psionic power. Moira reveals that the psionic energy he generates rivals that of the original Phoenix. Shocked, the group agrees that something must be done. After Cable yells at Blaquesmith for keeping X-Man's existence a secret from him, Blaquesmith freezes everyone else and erases their memory of the meeting. He tells Cable that he has to go on his mission without them. Cable grabs some weapons, and then refuses to take Blaquesmith on the ship with him. He yells at Blaquesmith for altering their memories and leaves on his reluctant mission.
In the opening of the issue, Cable wonders, "I wonder if (X-Force) knew what I have to do…if they would ever follow me again." I don't know if this is a reference to Cable's vaguely defined mission involving X-Man that's later revealed (which is unlikely) or something else.
Blaquesmith tells Cable that "we've altered memories before", which would seem to contradict Nicieza's earlier stories that had Cable shocked to learn that he has telepathic powers. I guess "we" could mean the Askani in general, though. Or maybe Cable was surprised that he still had any telepathic abilities after dealing with the techno-organic virus for so long.
This is yet another comic that's only nineteen pages. The remaining three pages are taken up by a two-page letters column and a Cable/X-Man pinup that looks like a rejected cover.
We Get Letters
One letter writer cleverly points out that since all of Cable's friends saw Stryfe without his mask in Cable #25, someone should've told him years ago (before he came to this time) that they have the same face. The editors don't respond to his objection.
Here's a modern classic – an entire issue dedicated to characters standing around, talking about X-Man. I guess the X-Man roundtable discussion doesn't take up that much space on its own, but the rest of the issue involves characters either arriving for the meeting or discussing the implications of the meeting. I have no idea why all of these characters are meeting anyway, since Blaquesmith apparently has no interest in actually involving the X-Men with the situation. If he really wanted Cable to go on a mission to stop X-Man, why didn't he just personally ask him? The story reads as if someone wanted an explanation of who X-Man is in Cable before their crossover began, and somehow it turned into the entire issue. I almost wonder if Loeb had an entirely different story in mind that got cut at the last minute, so instead we ended up with this. I guess it is fairly successful in conveying how much of a threat X-Man could be, and realistically the X-Men would of course have meetings like this, but the end result is an extremely thin issue.