Here we go again: Marvel interview with great X-Force writer Chris Yost. Some interesting information about Laura's future and the whole X-Force concept. Also - two more covers, X-Force #17 (variant) and X-Force #18. As long as there's going to be a preview of issue 18 I will definitely let you know.
As for why HAMMER has such an active interest in X-23, the result of an attempt to clone, Yost explains that this mission has its roots in the organization it replaced.
"It's a holdover from thedays," confirms Yost. "In X-23: TARGET X, we saw that himself put Captain America on the job of bringing in X-23. But he let her go, so theoretically S.H.I.E.L.D. was still after her. Agent Ali Morales was the S.H.I.E.L.D. agent that responded to the first Purifier massacre committed by X-Force. She connected the two, and has been after X-23 ever since. Mid-mission, she got a lead from an agent named Young from S.H.I.E.L.D.'s cold case division, Division C. S.H.I.E.L.D./HAMMER wants X-23 because she's an assassin and mass murderer. Nick Fury wanted to use her as a weapon; who knows what Norman Osborne would do with her."
"Cyclops made a horrible decision, but it had to be made," weighs writer. "He'll take some heat for it, but I think Wolverine knows the bind he was in. Cyclops was weighing three mutant lives over the hope of the entire mutant species. But Wolverine was the one looking the kids in the eyes when they got pulled away.""Craig and I are planners, so generally we know [how long the sub-plots will run]," confesses Yost. "Issues #17 and #18 wrap up a bunch of pre-Messiah War stuff, and launch the X-23 story and the next big, big arc. Huge stuff coming."