Wolverine a.k.a. Logan trudges through a frozen wasteland. He fell there. A fall like that would drive most men mad. But Wolverine is not most men. He had fallen before. He had been freezing cold before. He knew the only thing to do was walk and keep walking until you couldn’t walk anymore. It was the glimpse of Heaven before he fell. The one he couldn’t get out of his head. More than the fall or the cold… that was the thing that was liable to break him.
Suddenly, ahead of him in the snow, Jean-Paul “Northstar” Beaubier lands with a FUMP. Northstar calls out to his teammate, telling him that he flew in every direction, as a far as he could - and there is nothing. Only more of this. ‘I could try flying straight back up, but as long as it took us to fall…’ Jean-Paul suggests.
‘We keep walking’ Wolverine tells his friend. ‘Until what? Until we both freeze solid?’ Jean-Paul demands, getting up out of the snow. ‘Until we find him. Until we find Kurt’ Logan explains, as both Canadian mutants trudge onwards.
Meanwhile, elsewhere in Hell: ‘Too many. There are too damn many!’ Angelica “Firestar” Jones, newest member of the X-Men, thinks to herself as she blasts demons with bursts of microwave energy in both directions, while Bobby “Iceman” Drake turns to slush at her feet. She knows he will be dead in minutes, if he isn’t already. Angelica wonders if she should put Bobby out of his misery, before the demons take her out. But she frowns, and realizes that Bobby wouldn’t give up on her like that. ‘He gave his all to try and save me. He froze this whole place over’ she reminds herself. Angelica grits her teeth: ‘If Iceman can freeze Hell, then by God… FIRESTAR can make it burn!’ she thinks to herself with urgency. She flies upwards and releases an enormous amount of energy, pouring it over the demons ina spectacular display.
Also meanwhile, aboard a pirate ship, Henry McCoy a.k.a. the Beast has a sword embedded in his back. He lunge and growls at Kurt “Nightcrawler” Wagner, pushing him back. ‘Henry. I’ve missed you as well, old friend’ Kurt smiles.
Another pirate ship has started to sink after crashing into this one, and the Beast growls once more, so Nightcrawler kicks the larger blue mutant off of him. ‘Kurt. There’s a sword in his back! He’s been driven out of his mind!’ Ororo “Storm” Munroe declares. ‘Nonsense!’ Kurt responds, pointing out that when one has as much mind as Dr Henry McCoy, there is little chance you could ever run out. Kurt explains that Henry is merely disorientated is all. He tells his friend that it is time to calm down, as he is among friends again. ‘We’re only here to -’ Kurt begins, but the Beast bounds against the ship’s mast, then leaps towards Kurt, who quickly teleports out of harm’s way, then re-appears behind Henry, ‘You may not be able to kill me since I’m already dead. But that doesn’t mean I want to spend eternity ripped full of holes’ Kurt frowns, telling Henry that he is sorry, but that this is for his own good. ‘Do not try to vomit on me’ Kurt adds.
Kurt grabs the Beast, and makes a quick series of rapid teleports, until eventually, the Beast grabs Kurt by his head during one reappearance. He growls again, while Kurt mutters ‘He did vomit on me. It seems to have made him angrier’. They fall to the ship’s deck, and Storm calls out to her friend: ‘Henry! Stop this before you -’ she begins, but the Beast kicks her back. Despite being strangled by the Beast, Nightcrawler manages to tell his friend that he knows he is in there somewhere, that he knows he doesn’t really want to hurt him. ‘Do me a favor and remember that, okay?’ Kurt asks. The Beast looks angry still, while Kurt utters ‘Remember… something’ as he gasps for breath.
‘You sure you guys don’t wanna come with us?’ someone asks Nightcrawler and the Beast, as they, Wolverine, Storm, Scott “Cyclops” Summers and Jean Grey stand in the foyer of the Xavier Mansion. Storm tells Henry and Kurt that they are just going to Harry’s Hideaway for a few drinks. ‘Wolverine even promised not to start another bar fight’ she adds. ‘We’ll see’ Logan remarks. Kurt tells the others to go and have a lovely evening, as he will be fine, there is an Errol Flynn marathon on cable. Henry explains that he has to get back to the Avengers soon, before Jean tells them that it is alright, that she knows why they don’t want to come. ‘You do?’ Kurt asks. ‘Yes. But no matter how people may stare… I hope you both know just how beautiful you truly are’ she tells them. Kurt and Henry smile. ‘Oh believe me. We do. Now have a good night’ Henry tells his friends.
Shortly, Kurt is leaping through rings of fire, while Henry hangs from some cables and plays a game of chess. ‘I thought they would never leave. Obstacle chess, round give. This time you’re going down, McCoy. I hope you brought a nice suit to wear to church with me in the morning’ Kurt calls out. ‘I think not, Wagner. I think you’ll be doing my laundry for another month’ Henry replies, before announcing ‘Checkmate!’ and Kurt exclaims ‘Verdammt!’
‘Checkmate. Kurt…?’ the Beast, wide-eyed, utters, horrified. ‘Henry. You’re choking me’ Kurt gasps. ‘GAAGH!’ the Beast exclaims, pulling away from Kurt as Storm pulls the sword from his back. The Beast grins, ‘KURT! Oh my stars and garters!’ he declares, wrapping his arms around his friend, who smile back, and utters ‘You’re still…choking me’. They get to their feet, and the Beast wipes a tear from his eyes, telling Kurt that he doesn’t know what came over him, and that he cannot believe this. ‘You look good, Henry. I like the new face. Do you think you might stick with this one for more than a few months?’ he asks. ‘Now that you’ve come back to life, do you think you might refrain from dying again?’ the Beast responds. ‘Henry…’ Kurt begins, until Storm interrupts, telling her friends that they can catch up while they are sailing. ‘The ship is ours’ she reports.
‘Indeed it is. And we haven’t a moment to spare. We must find the rest of the X-Men before my father does’ Kurt announces. ‘Bamf?’ one of the blue Bamfs asks, dropping down in front of Kurt, handing him a pirate’s hat. ‘Ah, thank you, little one’ Kurt smiles, before telling Storm and Henry that he hopes they have been studying their sailor’s knots. ‘The Bamfs…you sent them to the school, didn’t you? Did you tell them to steal my coffee maker?’ the Beast asks. Kurt replies that he told them to bring him, but now he fears their friends are the ones in need of it. Kurt takes the wheel of the pirate ship: ‘So weigh anchor and hoist the mizzen, my crew. And prepare for rough seas. We’ve XZ-Men to rescue. And if need be…we’ll sail right into Hel itself!’ he boasts, as the pirate ship starts to sail away, the other one almost completely sunken.
‘AHHH! My face is melting! Quick, freeze my eyeballs before I…’ Iceman shouts as he sits up, only to discover that he is not melting anymore. ‘That’s good. Not melting is good’ Bobby utters, before asking if this means he is already dead. ‘How do I know I’m not dead?’ he wonders, adding that he needs to pee. ‘Do dead men need to pee?’ he enquires, supposing that could be his hell - always having to pee. Bobby looks up and notices several pairs of yellow eyes gazing back at him. ‘Um, hello? Does anybody here know if I’m dead? Or if I’m about to be?’ he asks. ‘You’re not dead, Bobby Drake’ a voice calls out. Bobby looks up and sees Firestar standing over him. ‘Because if you’re dead, then I’m dead. And there’s no way I’m dead. Trust me, right now…I feel more alive than ever’ Firestar exclaims, with one of the Bamfs sitting on her shoulders, she thinks to herself ‘I just set Hell on fire. Please, let me be an X-Man forever’.
‘Angelica! Way to go, new girl. You saved us. You got us out of Hell’ Bobby remarks, standing up. ‘Well…’ Angelica begins, as Bobby asks ‘Wait, we’re not still in Hell, are we? Please let us not be in Hell. My eyeballs just got unmelted’ Bobby declares.
Angelica tells him that she doesn’t think they are in Hell, but that she didn’t get them out. ‘They did’ she announces, referring to the many, many Bamfs that have gathered around them in the dark caverns, illuminated only by a small burst of energy from Firestar. ‘Whoa. Okay, I don’t have to pee anymore’ Bobby announces as he looks at all the Bamfs. Angelica tells him not to worry, that they won’t hurt them, as they saved them. ‘I was…setting Hell on fire when a couple of these little guys popped up out of nowhere and just…bamfed us away’ Angelica reveals.
Angelica continues, remarking that she isn’t sure, but that she thinks they are somewhere on the outskirts of Hell - that she thinks this is where the Bamfs live. ‘I don’t suppose you speak Bamf, do you?’ she ass Bobby. ‘All I’ve ever heard them say…is “Bamf” and sometimes “Whiskey”’ Bobby explains. ‘Whiskey?’ one of the Bamfs calls out. Bobby remarks that if this is really where they are from, then maybe they can figure out once and for all just what the heck is going on with these things. ‘What are they and why they built the machine that brought us here. And why they were ever in the Jean Grey School in the first place’ Bobby states, peering through a hole in the cavern wall. He suggests to Angelica that they spread out and look for clues. ‘Like cave paintings. Or maybe a magic sword. There’s almost always a magic sword’.
‘You’ve been out for a while, Bobby. And I haven’t seen anything here but Bamfs and more -’ Angelica begins when suddenly, there is a BAMF and Nightcrawler teleports before them. ‘Thank Heavens you’re both alive. You are alive, aren’t you? Around here it’s sometimes hard to tell’ Nightcrawler smiles. ‘Ha haaa! Us alive? I can’t believe you’re alive, Kurt!’ Bobby exclaims, throwing his arms around his friend. ‘Still dead, actually, but it’s great to see you as well, Bobby’ Nightcrawler replies, adding ‘I think you’re giving me frostbite’. ‘Hi, I’m…’ Angelica begins to introduce herself, but Kurt takes her hand and kisses it, ‘Angelica Jones, Firestar. Yes, I’ve heard. My Bamfs tell me you nearly burned Hell itself to the ground’. Kurt congratulates Angelica, and welcomes her to the X-Men.
Kurt tells Bobby and Angelica that they must hurry, as he left Henry and Ororo in charge of the ship, and he fears they don’t know their port from their poop deck. ‘Ororo is safe? Oh thanks goodness’ Angelica remarks, while Bobby tells Kurt that he needs to know what is going on here. ‘You can start with all these Bamfs. What the hell are they?’ Bobby asks. Kurt strokes the head of the Bamf on his shoulder, and replies ‘Isn’t it obvious? Don’t you see the resemblance? They’re my flesh and blood. They’re all my little brothers’ he announces. ‘Little brothers? All of them? Your old man, Azazel…has been really busy’ Bobby remarks. ‘Indeed. Though the Bamfs didn’t begin life as my kin. They were born in the depths of Hell’ Kurt reveals, frowning as he crouches down beside the little Bamfs.
Flashback images, narrated by Nightcrawler:
Kurt reveals that the Bamfs’s mother was a giant maggot, and their father a changeling in the form of a face-eating lamprey. ‘It was love at first sight, I’m sure’ he jokes, revealing that the babies were forgotten as soon as they were born - left to die on the Brimstone Plains. But, the babies lived, they survived in the very shadow of pandemonium, as scavengers, as gremlins, as things lower than the lowest beast of the pit. And it was there that Kurt’s father found them, on one of his raids - he found them starving, living off the scabs of the damned, and the Devil’s sewage - and so, Azazel fed them. He fed them all the blood they could swallow. His blood, which changed them, remade them in his image, and bound them to his evil will. And thus, Azazel’s army grew, and the raids continued - which is where Kurt came in - he found one of Azazel’s little red soldiers left behind in Heaven - and made him a deal of his own.
‘A deal my father could never match. Now, please, we really must hurry’ Kurt tells Bobby and Angelica, who asks ‘So wait…you turned the red Bamfs into blue Bamfs, but…how?’ Angelica reminds Kurt that his father had them drink his blood to turn them red. ‘But you don’t have any blood, do you? Since you’re… you know… dead?’ Kurt hangs his head, and tells her that she is right - and announces that it wasn’t blood that he promised them. Suddenly, one of the little blue Bamfs teleports in. ‘Bamf. Bamf Bamf’ he exclaims. ‘I understand. But they’re out there somewhere. Keep looking’ he instructs the Bamf, adding that they have to find his friends soon, or he fears they never will. ‘Kurt…’ Bobby begins, but Kurt interrupts: ‘I’m sorry, but no more questions. We have to go. Now’ he urges, adding that war is coming, and they won’t be ready until all of them are out of the wilderness.
‘You’re not going to make it’ Northstar calls out to Wolverine as he hovers behind him, the snow continuing to fall down on them. Wolverine is knee-high in the snow, as Northstar hugs himself and admits that he isn’t sure he is going to make it himself. ‘If I fall…keep going’ Wolverine calls out. ‘That’s an order from your headmaster’ he adds. ‘Then don’t fall’ Northstar replies, before announcing that he is going to take another look around. He turns and flies away, while warning Logan that whatever he does, he can’t fall. Wolverine continues through the snow, but only makes it several feet, before he lands in the snow with a FUMP and it continues to build up around him as his mind wanders back…
‘I know how I’m gonna die’ Logan tells Kurt as they sit at a bar late one night. ‘Belly full of whiskey. Face full of arrows. Surrounded by piles of ninjas’ he explains. ‘Me alone… on a blood-drenched floor. That’s how I die’ Wolverine adds. ‘Surrounded by dead ninjas?’ Kurt asks. ‘Not by friends? By a loving wife perhaps, by children?’ Wolverine holds another shot of alcohol towards his mouth, ‘Me with kids? I don’t think that’d be such a good idea, Elf. Trust me, it’s better if I die alone’ Wolverine assures him. ‘And trust me, mein freund, when the moment comes…no one wants to die alone’ Kurt retorts.
Wolverine’s claws poke up through the snow, and Logan utters ‘You were right, Elf. Damn your blue hide. You were right’. Finding the strength to go on, Wolverine starts to crawl through the snow. ‘Can’t…die yet. Not ‘til I find Kurt…’ he utters. ‘Not ‘til I…save him’ Wolverine decides, gritting his teeth, one hand in front of the other, pulling himself forward. ‘Bamf?’ one of the blue Bamfs asks, cutely as it appears before Wolverine. ‘I hope you weren’t planning on dying out here, mein freund. Not when we’ve whiskey to be drunk and pirates to be stabbed’ a voice calls out. Logan looks up, and embraces Kurt, who smiles, and helps his dear friend to stand. ‘Is there really… whiskey?’ Logan asks. ‘No. Sorry. Just wanted to make sure you had a reason to live. But there are pirates. Lots and lots of evil pirates’ Kurt assures Logan, as Angelica appears with Jean-Paul, projecting a ball of heat around them both.
‘You’re real’ Logan declares. ‘You’re really here. You’re not dead anymore’ he adds. ‘Well…let’s just focus on the fact that you’re not dead’ Kurt suggests. ‘Pirates, huh? How we gonna fight that?’ Logan enquires. ‘Oh, just you want and see’ Kurt smiles, before teleporting everyone away.
Later, Wolverine, Iceman, Storm, the Beast, Northstar and Firestar appear to be in better spirits. Some of them have even added pirate attributes to their appearance. Several ships float in the distance. ‘It’s the entire fleet. With my father himself in command. This is it, the final battle. We lose…a madman will pillage the Afterlife for eternity’ Kurt announces, before asking his crew if they are ready for this fight. ‘You tell us, Captain’ Wolverine grins. Kurt peers through a telescope, ‘I dare say… I was born for this. Raise the flag, X-Men’ he instructs. ‘And let’s go be amazing!’