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The New Mutants find themselves in the middle of two fights: Sabretooth and Caliban and Sabretooth and the Morlocks. Cable commands and the team follows and everyone makes it out alive. Well, maybe not Sabretooth.

Synopsis

Sabretooth and Caliban fight viciously in the Morlock Tunnels, but Rictor is unable to escape because of his wounds. Sabretooth seems to have the upper hand when he crashes a huge block of concrete on Caliban's head, but Rictor ruins Sabretooth's next attack back by using his own powers against the Marauder. This gives Caliban enough time to recover and spar with Sabretooth again, instead of letting him kill Rictor.

Cable and the New Mutants charge through the tunnels but soon encountere Morlocks who had all been maddened and deformed by Masque. Although they are surrounded, Cable's show of arms scares the Morlocks off enough for them to let the New Mutants pass. Wolfsbane quickly picks up Rictor's scent and the New Mutants come upon the fight between Sabretooth and Caliban.

Caliban warns them to stay away, but when Wolfsbane sees that Rictor has been injured she leaps into the fight. Caliban easily slashes upwards as she flies through the air, while Cannonball attacks, crushing Sabretooth against the tunnel wall. Despite Cable's warning, Sunspot enters into combat against Caliban. Cable has misgivings about how the New Mutants no longer operate well as a team and orders Boom-Boom to destroy the tunnel ceiling. She makes the concrete collapse above Caliban's head, burying him. Cable is impressed and Boom-Boom relishes in her moment of victory. However, they've lost sight of Rictor.

Sabretooth flees through the tunnels with Rictor over his shoulder. Once they are far enough away, he throws Rictor down and moves in to kill him. He taunts Rictor about how he shouldn't have come between a hunter and his prey. Rictor's fear subsides as his strength returns. He begins to vibrate so much that the tunnel collapses.

Feeling the earth shaking, the New Mutants decide to abandon Caliban and run to Rictor's aid. By the time they find him, Sabretooth has fled to a safe distance. However, he returns after Rictor has calmed down. With the rest of the New Mutants around him, Rictor is able to exchange banter with Sabretooth. Cable raises his gun claiming that when Sabretooth hurts one of the New Mutants then he hurts them all and would therefore have to pay. However, Masque intervenes, demanding that the Morlocks have more right to punish Sabretooth. While Sunspot begins to debate about how they needed to defend Rictor's honor, Cannonball suggests that they should leave while they still can. Cable agrees, which frustrates Sunspot.

Sabretooth threatens the remaining Morlocks, but Caliban bursts through the rubble. Masque is shocked to see Caliban's transformation and he quickly bows out of the way letting Caliban continue his fight against Sabretooth. Cable makes the team wait a moment, and they are repulsed when Caliban snaps Sabretooth's spine and leave him for dead.

Back in the school's underground complex, Rictor lies recuperating in the medical quarters. The others tease him, and he angers Wolfsbane when he says he hasn't changed his opinion of Cable. Wolfsbane points out how much Cable had already done for them and demands that he give Cable another chance before storming out.

Later, Rictor recognizes that he's been playing it too soft in the medical quarters and heads to the Danger Room to practice. However, he finds Cable in there training. Amazed to see a man of Cable's age continue fighting, even though he was outnumbered, Rictor is forced to admit to himself that he is starting to respect Cable.

Note: This issue is followed by the Annual cross-over event, Days Of Future Present which begins in Fantastic Four Annual #23.

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Tasty Tunnel Fights 0

This issue is a well-paced rock'em sock'em.  The New Mutants charge into the Morlock Tunnels and are confronted by various individuals: Morlocks, beefy Caliban, and Sabretooth.  The beauty is, there aren't any full fledged battles (like later Liefeld fights) but nicely documented confrontations.  Cable isn't all about total domination; he's about strategy and doing what's best for his team.  A hit or two here, a diversion there, and some more over here makes for a very enjoyable read.  Outside t...

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