Douglas Ramsey was captured by the Human Coalition, turned by his father in on the second amnesty program offer, and kept in a limited security prison on the Pacific Coast. Around this same time, Doug's father agreed to undergo voluntary sterilization as an X-Gene carrier, but his mother committed suicide a year later. Despite being pegged as a low risk, Doug was able to escape by subverting one of the guards, Eileen Haloke. She was part-Navajo, and Ramsey forged some sort of emotional bond with her by speaking to her in the Navajo tongue. She freed him from his cell and then accompanied him when he escaped from the compound. She was sighted with him on numerous occasions thereafter.
Haloke wasn't with Ramsey in the Finger Lakes area of New York State a year later when he was at ground zero for a meteor strike. First forces arriving on the scene found Ramsey apparently infected by some sort of carbon/silicon alien matter. This alien matter was able to replicate in a quasi-viral manner, and it spread through Ramsey's whole system in the space of minutes.
The units on site were waiting for the arrival of Hazmat teams so that they could apprehend Ramsey without risk of infection, but they suffered simultaneous failure of all electronic systems. Survivors of the incident reported seeing Ramsey "speaking in tongues", but some of them precised that they had understood the words "help me". Moments after Ramsey began speaking in an indecipherable language, the Exonim units turned on each other, discharging all their weapons in a three-second exchange of fire which caused a forty-meter wide crater.
Ramsey survived the ordeal seemingly unharmed. He later joined Magneto's forces in Fortress X at the first days of it existence. When the Avengers came to kill Magneto, Cypher fights back, and lost his legs against Captain America, but they grow back, probably by the intervention of his alien infection. He then operated in the resistance under Moonstar's and Tempo's leadership, under the code-name Warlock.
Cypher was at first a mutant with some power related to the acquisition of language, and was for example able to speak in Navajo tongue.
Once infected by the alien matter, Warlock was able to spread, modifying his powers:
- Multilingual (possibly Omnilingual)
- Possibly Disruption: It is possible that those languages have a disruptive effect on electronics, as the H.C. electronics all failed when they surrounded him during his infection, speaking in various languages and others not really languages.
- Technopathy: He was able to control Exonims and made them destroy mutually.
- Multilingual: He is able to speak a variety of languages, at least five languages, including English, Navajo tongue and '"some [... aren't] languages of all but high-pitched squeals like the data squawks of a modem."'