Genesis and Oya drag young Iceman out to go out and get used to talking to boys. Laura, in the meantime, muses that being alone has never bothered her before. She spent much of her life in solitary confinement. A bullet in the chamber waiting to be fired. Alone meant peace of mind. That nobody had to die. But now, when she is alone with nothing to do, her mind races. Obsessing about things.
Stupid things, she thinks, as her estranged ex-boyfriend Warren Worthington enters dressed in a sharp suit. Milano fashion week, he announces. Who’s interested? Predictably, Scott Summers is not, while Laura just silently glares. Warren flies off.
It’s taking every ounce of self-control not to knock his pretty head off, huh? Scott observes. He notices things. She’s clearly going stir crazy on Hank’s forced X-cation. And Warren is just making things worse with his blonding. Laura doesn’t know what that means but agrees. Well, as luck would have it, Scott informs her, she lives with an OCD listmaker in a wheelchair. He made a list that might be just the thing… unless she’d rather stay and play video games with him. There’s a new one called Applebutter Murder Squad. Should be loads of fun.
Laura doesn’t know what to say until he assures her it was a joke. He’s been messing around with the settings on Hank’s threat trackers. It’s fun. You can set the probability filters and filter out stuff you don’t want to mess with. Anyway, he made this list of fun solo mission. They are all time-sensitive and he is in no shape to go on any himself but she might want to give it a whirl. Laura looks at the list and smiles. Maps, dossiers, threat assessment analytics. Scott even marked down all of the potential blindspots. Just when she was beginning to think nobody spoke her language. Scott Summers to the rescue.
And there is his secret weapon, he continues looking at a backpack to Laura’s surprise. She smiles when she sees Pickles and lot of junk food to keep him fueled up. Scott just asks her to bring him some detailed stories. He is stuck in this wheelchair for another six weeks. He touches her arm and she has to force herself not to draw away. She teleports off.
Next she is in the Amazonas, Brazil.
First mission: The Green Thumb. Scott’s info tells her this weird environmentalist offshoot of the Hand recently set up training facilities in the Amazonas. Aerial photos imply the group is planning something. Something big. With ninjas. And possibly sentient plants. She decides she has the element of surprise and because Hand ninjas are already dead, a reprieve from the no killing policy. She could slip in from the south and surgical strike the place in three minutes the X-23 way. But she is not X-23 anymore. She looks at the munching Pickles, whom she is carrying on her back. She is the %&/ Wolverine, she decides and swings on lines to the main entrance, claws unsheathed. And this is how Logan would do it.
Something, something bub! she announces as she lands inside. To find lots of dead Hand Ninjas on the ground. Someone beat her to it, she realizes.
Next stop: Downtown Toronto, Canada:
Toronto commuters have been reporting what sounds like Moloid sightings in the city subways. Yesterday, a transit worker was nearly beaten to death by a huge subterranean monster. Sounds to Scott like Mole Man and his people have gone north of the border.
Pickles teleports Laura into the subway, where she finds the Mole Man tied up and the subterranean monster taken out. Beaten again. Laura seethes.
Next problem: Cameron Hodge and the Right have been chasing the Terrigen Cloud around with a tanker truck vacuuming up samples. Scott figures they are planning to weaponize the M-Pox in their ongoing quest to exterminate mutants. Satellites tracked down the truck.
Pickles teleports her into the air and she floats down with a parachute, sure no one is going to beat her to this.
Come on, throw her a #+&%/ bone here! she swears moments later when she finds the truck destroyed and the drivers tied up. Pickles gives her a puzzled stare then shares a Twinkie with her.
New Port Ritchie, Florida
A voice proclaims to her goblin horde that they have hunkered in the dark long enough. It’s time to stretch their legs, leave their hidey-hole and scorch some Earth. The goblins obediently agree to the words of their queen.
The first one is immediately killed by Wolverine. She proceeds to battle the rest while musing about her violent urges. Mostly she tries to hold them back, but these are demons, meaning they are unkillable. Like her, they will heal. Only they are evil, so for her this is cathartic and extremely satisfying.
That moment, the goblins around her explode in a burst of flame, courtesy of Angel’s firewings. When she addresses him, his eyes glow and his face is full of rage until, he finally returns to normal and asks her name. What is she doing here? he asks confused. She returns the question. This does not look like Fashion Week. The perfect alibi, Warren grins. She always says nobody cares about his rich boy foolishness, right?
Laura is not amused. He is doing what he said she shouldn’t. What he made her feel bad doing. She was just trying to be Wolverine for him. Trying to be a normal person like everyone else.
Warren points out that Wolverine wasn’t a normal person and, even if he were, she is terrible at normal. Bad English dub terrible! Nobody expects her to be normal. Why would she even…
Why? she snaps. So she doesn’t have to spend the rest of her life as X-23 – socially awkward teenage assassin! Normal is hard for her and she knows she sucks at it. Contractions still feel weird on her tongue. But Logan said ‘fake it till you make it’. So, she was faking the hell out of it. Faking it for him. Her overprotective judgmental boyfriend who chases her around all day, whispering ‘reckless’ under his breath. The goblins regroup.
Angel defends himself: she told him she used to cut herself. All the time. He burns some goblins with his wings. She said it was the only thing that made her feel better.
This is not fair! Laura shouts. Angel mocks she doesn’t need any help. She is the invincible Wolverine, after all. He’ll just chalk up all the jumping through wire and eating bullets as ordinary superheroics.
As ordinary as his going deathwish on the Blob? Laura retorts as she rejoins the battle. Did she freak out about that? Did she say one word to make him feel bad? Or was he screaming at her? Shaming her in front of their friends? His broken cutter girlfriend who pushed him over the edge. She swallowed that. Took his cold shoulder for weeks. Mad as hell, but secretly hoping he would come apologize. Or forgive her or whatever.
She kicks a goblin in the head. But instead she finds him out here. All loose teeth and broken ribs. Dressed up like some kind of berserker fire angel. Doing all the things she was.
He knows! Angel shouts, his eyes glowing. And he hates himself for it! His wings flare as he shouts it’s that stupid Black Vortex thing. The wings are burning him up.
The fight is over and he turns away. He knows how it sounds but the wings, they are so hot. She reminds him he chose to keep them. Warren admits he was wrong. He screwed up big time and he’s sorry all the time. But these flames are messing with his head. It’s too much. And if he doesn’t find ways to let it out…
She touches his face and assures him it’s okay. She understands. They kiss.
Nearby, the goblins wonder if they should put themselves back together and take them out while they are distracted. They are ordered to leave the kiddies to their fun. Now is not the time. They’ll catch them on the flip, Madelyne Pryor, the Goblin Queen announces.