Rage at Cable

by Shockwave



He slammed his fist into the wall again and again. He needed some sort of release for the anger that burned inside and made it feel like something was crushing his chest. He didn’t exactly see red, it was more like everything hurt and he had to hurt back. Each time he hit the wall he got even madder. The next hit was always harder and harder. He couldn’t stop himself though. Deep inside, something was very afraid of this rage.

“What the @#$% do you think you are doing?” came and authoritative voice. Domino. He abruptly stopped pounding the wall. His fist ached and his pulse beat in his ears. The anger was still there. If she had been Cable...

“I’m not doing anything productive or useful, as usual,” he said in a harsh voice.

She glared at him. “You angry again, Rictor?” She emphasized the again. She asked it as a question, but it wasn’t really. She had talked to him about his anger before. They all had in one way or another. Even the man who made him angry.

“If you can’t keep your cool I’d recommend beating your head against that wall until you get some sense into your thick skull." Domino always talked to him like that. She knew it was the only language he seemed to understand. He didn’t mind if she told him these things. Well, yes he did, but it didn’t bug him like when Cable said them. He stalked out of the room. Domino wanted to help him. He didn’t want to be helped. He had good reasons for his anger and wanted to keep it.

Cable killed his father. If Cable hadn’t existed Stryfe wouldn’t have been cloned off him and he, Julio Richter, might have had a chance to turn his father’s life back to a good clean existence. Cable was so arrogant, so sure that he knew the right thing to do. Screw him! He created X-Force to be soldiers because he thought that he could do better than Xavier. Cable sure did think a lot of himself. He was a lawyer, a fighter, intelligent, and mysterious. You never knew what trick he’d pull next. He probably told himself that he was helping Rictor and his X-Force friends, but Rictor knew that wasn’t true. Cable had made them soldiers, but he hadn’t helped them learn more about themselves, become better people. He broke his promises left and right, and then he wanted to train kids to be just like him. Wonderful. Rictor couldn’t leave his friends though.

His thoughts drifted to the girl he loved. Tabitha. She wanted someone else. She adored Cable. She dated his golden boy Guthrie. The way she worshipped Cable made him sick. As did the scorn in her eyes everytime he challenged Cable and lost. He was so pathetic. Cable always set him down, over and over. The rage inside never went away, it just kept building. His chest was hurting again.

In his room Rictor attempted to deafen himself by listening to extremely loud music through his earphones, as he lay on the hard bunk. He tried to loose himself in the beat, let the jolting sounds take his anger away for a little while. It worked... for a while.

Rictor didn’t hear Cannonball come in. How could he as he listened to music in his headphones that Sam could make out clearly as he opened the door? Sam was worried about Rictor. He knew Rictor’s temper and he knew how much Ric hated Cable. Ric seemed to be mad at everyone recently. Sam knew that Rictor didn’t like him all that much, but Julio had always been ok with him and respected him. Things were slipping recently. Rictor was being devoured by some inner demons. He lashed out at everyone. It was only a matter of time before Ric did something that could get one of them killed. Cable wanted to deal with the problem now and had sent Sam to get Rictor. At the door Sam had second thoughts. Cable hadn’t managed to make peace with Rictor before. What he was proposing now could only make things worse. Sam turned around and left the room.

“Ah don’t think it’s a good idea, sir.”

“If I wanted your opinion on the matter, Sam, I would have asked for it. You know that Rictor is dangerous.”

Sam sighed. He hated having to talk to Cable. The man was stubborn to a fault and even if he knew that what he was doing may not be the best course of action, he would stick to it out of sheer stubbornness. “Ah know that, but he’s also mah friend. Fighting him never worked before. Ya beat him up and he’ll just get madder and then one of ya will end up dead.”

“And it’ll only result in tragedy if he looses it when we are in combat!”

“Ah know, but there are other ways of handling anger that don’t necessitate violence!”

Cable gave him a look. “You are sounding more like a pacifist than the soldier I trained you to be.”

Sam’s fists clenched at his sides. “These are mah friends, sir. Ah actually have some in mah life.” With that Sam stalked off, leaving the stinging implication of his words in the air. Cable wasn’t affected by what Sam had said. In fact, a small smile played around the corner of his mouth.

Tabitha was the one to go fetch Rictor for Cable. She had mixed feelings over the whole thing, but she truly thought that some good might come out of this, unlike Sam did. She hopped on to the bottom bunk of the bed in Ric’s room, and stood on the mattress, resting her chin on Julio’s stomach. Like most of her dealings with Rictor, she would take the casual bubble-head approach. It was easiest for her. “Yo washboard gut!”

He was startled when he felt her chin digging into his stomach, but he didn’t hear her words because of his music. He took off the headphones. “You say something?” he asked as if he hadn’t seen her lips moving.

“Yeah, I said yer gonna be a deaf mover and groover if you keep listen to music so loud.”

He rolled his eyes. “As if you don’t blast your trash music all over the compound numbing all our hearing,” he replied as he began to feel a little better about his day. Tabitha was wearing her sunglasses so her blue eyes weren’t visible, but her died blonde hair made her seem like a ray of sunshine to him.

“Ya, but I have more taste in cd’s than you.”

“No, you just buy more.”

She took out a piece of gum and popped it in her mouth. “Well anyways,” she dragged out, smacking loudly. “You can’t lie yer lazy butt around here all day, cuz Cable wants you to come for a team meeting or sumthing.” She saw his face darken at the mere mention of Cable’s name and watched him bite back a snide remark.

“The reason I called this meeting is because this team has a problem.”

“Only one?” piped up Sunspot. He was silenced by a glare from Cable.

“This is one of the worst kind of problems a fighting unit can have because it involves one of our soldiers.” He placed his hands behind his back and went into lecture mode. “For this team to get the job done we need to work together, to follow orders, and not let personal feelings get in the way of what needs to be done.”

“This the part were ya tell us all to take a hike?” said Feral with a mixture of anger and barely concealed worry in her voice.

“I am not going to tell anyone to take a hike. We’ve all had our failings in respects to the team. We can work past things if we try to. There is one problem that doesn’t seem to go away though and it’s very important that we deal with it as a team.”

“What problem is that?” asked Siryn who had recently returned from visiting her father and wasn’t up to date on the team’s situation.

“There is no delicate way to put it,” said Cable. “Rictor has a problem with me. He has been trying to deal with rage over the choices I make and the things I’ve done and it’s affecting the team.”

“What don’t you just come out and say it?” came Rictor’s angry voice. “You think I carry this anger toward you for no reason. You know @#$%^&*! well what a sick bastard you are, Cable.”

“If by that you mean that I am not perfect you are absolutely right. I do what I can, what I must, for our cause. What more can you ask of me?”

“You are one self-righteous idiot, Cable. Who are you to decide what is right for the cause? And what makes you think you have the right to decide what’s best for the rest of us? Do you think a soldier’s life is so great that you just have to get a bunch of kids into it?”

“I may not be the best person to have to decide these things, and I know that I will screw up. I’ve never decided anything for you kids though. I gave you a choice in following me you chose my way of doing things.”

Rictor’s face was practically purple, and his fists were clenched at his sides. His teammates expected him to break out into violence any second now. They were extremely surprised at Rictor’s next words. “I sound like such a hypocrite, because I hate the way you are, your arrogance; but I’m arrogant and I stay here to take what you throw at me.” He took a deep breath. “I can’t help getting angry because you’ve manipulated me toward that anger. As long as I have this rage against you, this need for some sort of revenge I’ll stay close and fight for you. *&^% but I’m the idiot.” He looked at his teammates. “Jimmy is here because of a promise you made him that you never kept. Shatterstar is here for the same reason. Sam is here because you feed him your crappy ideals and pat him on the head like a good little boy. Tabitha just wants to cut loose and you have us kicking butt so she stays even though our battles change nothing! We are all here because of some kind of manipulation from you, Cable. All of us. I’m not going to let you do this to me anymore. I’m leaving.”

Tabitha had never heard Julio say something that actually sounded smart and well thought out. It’s like he had suddenly pulled it all together. She wondered if Cable knew it would end up like this.

“Leaving isn’t the answer, Rictor. You’ve run away before, are you just going to do it again?” Rictor wheeled around and punched Cable in the jaw hard and slammed him against the wall. Cable broke his hold and kicked him so that Rictor fell to the ground. “You know you can’t beat me in a fight.”

“And you can’t keep me here, Cable.”

“I’m only asking you to think about this. What’s going to stop you from coming back like you’ve always done?”

“I have thought about it. I come back because my friends are here and I can’t stand the thought of how your manipulating them hurts. How much agony have you brought us Cable? Sam and Tab question you because they are bothered by you. It’s the torture of doubt. But I won’t be coming back again because I won’t let myself. They can choose to go with me or stay here with you, but I’ve lost so much to this war of yours that I forget what we are fighting for and I can’t stand myself because of what I’ve become. I don’t think the X-Men’s way is better, but your way is wrong Cable. From now on I’ll find my own way.” Rictor got up and left.

Everyone else was stunned. They had watched a battle of wills, and if seemed to be fiercer than any physical battle they had witnessed before. Cable was silent. After a moment he turned and gazed searchingly at his ‘soldiers’ one by one.

“I think he’s right. What we are doing isn’t working. I can find the killer of my people without you. You’ve done nothing to help me in that. I can also find a better way to fight for our cause. Bigger weapons won’t stop the atrocities of the world, they breed them.” James Proudstar, AKA Warpath left.

“Physical battle is many times the only way,” said Shatterstar. “That is how my world will be freed. I needed your help to free my world, but you promised and never gave it. I will seek other warriors to abet my cause.” Shatterstar left.

“Maybe it is time that we find our own way. We are the ones who will inherit this world. Maybe we will find what others have been seeking on our own. Ah at least think it’s worth a try,” Cannonball gave Cable an apologetic look and left.

“Ye have ta admit, Cable, that they do have a bit of a point. Ye have nothing further to teach us and we must find our own path now.”

“What they all said kinda goes for me too.”

Finally the only one left was Feral.

“Well?” Cable asked looking at her.

“Well what? You don’t expect me to go with those milksops. Your way toward humans was soft. If it were up to me they’d all get what was coming to them. Let those wimps leave, they don’t know nothing anyway.”

“You may as well find your own life then Feral, for it seems that X-Force is no more and that the asylum you sought is no longer found with me.”

Feral hissed and Cable wondered idly if she’d attack him. But no, she just left. His job here was done. His soldiers had grown and realized that they no longer needed him. He was proud and rather surprised that this had ended up coming from Rictor than perhaps Cannonball or Siryn. He was originally from this time, but it was not truly his nor was they’re fight completely his own. He’d done his bit by helping those kids and planting his seed. Now it was up to them. He suddenly felt old. But other battles would await him and he went on.

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