Fifty-two hours ago, at CC&E Meat Co., Ontario, Canada: ‘You’re being paranoid! I never touched her!’ one of the factory workers tells his colleague. ‘So I’m being paranoid, huh, Eddie? Then why did Sheila tell me you’ve been seeing her behind my back for months?’ another man asks, pointing his finger at Eddie. The younger man, Eddie, tells his colleague, Rick, that he doesn’t know why Sheila said that, ‘Because you know, it’s not -’ Eddie begins, before Rick shouts ‘LIAR!’ and punches Eddie in the face, knocking him backwards, Eddie’s head strikes a table - and his neck snaps. Blood starts to seep down off the table, ‘Get up! I said get up, you son of a - Eddie?’ Rick asks.
Blood starts to pool around Eddie’s head, and Rick exclaims ‘No no no no!’, before dragging the younger man’s body across the floor, leaving a trail of blood behind, he hoists Eddie’s body up and shoves it into a mincer - boots and all, cracking and crunching Eddie’s body, the “meat-mix” pours out the other end into a large trolley of other meat.
Now, in Ottawa, Canada:
A fist knocks on a cabin door, and Heather McNeil Hudson a.k.a. Vindicator opens the door. ‘Logan?’ she asks, surprised when she sees Wolverine a.k.a. Logan on the front porch. ‘Logan!’ Heather exclaims, embracing her old friend. ‘Hey, easy. Nice to see you too, Heather’ Logan tells her. Heather remarks that she is really glad Logan is here. ‘I can tell’ Logan replies, before a phone starts to ring. ‘Wait, just… stay right there. I have to -’ Heather begins, reaching into her pocket, but Wolverine tells her not to bother, as it is his. He looks at the phone, an image of Iceman on the screen, and remarks that being in charge is not all it has cracked up to be. ‘Take a few days for yourself and everybody starts to fall apart’. He adds that Kitty Pryde was right when she called them “X-Babies”. Logan looks up from his phone. ‘Heather?’ he asks, and follows her inside, where Heather is staring at her phone.
‘You want to tell me what’s going on? You’re wound up so tight you’re ‘bout to snap’ Logan points out. Heather assures him that she is fine, but Logan tells her that she knows better than to try and lie to him. ‘It’s nothing, I promise’ Heather declares. ‘Are you aware of how many telepaths I know? You can either tell me what’s got you so upset, or I’m gonna have someone else do it’ Logan informs her.
Heather peers out over her glasses and tells Logan that it is James, that he went on a run for Department H, and she hasn’t heard from him in two days. ‘He didn’t call to check in. He’s not answering his phone…’ her voice trails off. Logan asks Heather why she hasn’t suited up and gone after him, to which Heather explains that they had a fight - a bad one - and that even if everything was fine, she is not sure he would come back this time.
Logan smiles and tells Heather that there is two things they can do here - either Mac is in trouble and they go get him, or he is being an idiot and they go beat some sense into him. ‘Either way, you’re in luck, because look who brought his party dress’ Logan jokes as he holds up his new costume.
Meanwhile, at the Jean Grey School in Westchester, New York:
‘KURT!’ shouts Colossus a.k.a. Piotr Rasputin as he embraces his old friend. ‘Urg! Peter! Crushing me!’ Kurt “Nightcrawler” Wagner gasps, wide-eyed. ‘Sorry’ Colossus smiles as he releases Kurt. ‘Do not worry, mein freund. I have more ribs where those came from’ Kurt assures his friend, rubbing his side. ‘I cannot believe this! You are alive!’ Colossus smiles. ‘Really? You really cannot believe it? Did I not attend your funeral?’ Kurt points out. ‘Well… yes, I… but you were dead! Recently!’ Piotr points out, rubbing the back of his neck. ‘So were you’ Kurt reminds him. ‘And my sister’ Piotr remarks. ‘And Scott. And Jean and Jean again. And -’ Kurt begins, to which Piotr suggests that perhaps some things are better left unquestioned.
‘So! I heard you were a wanted murderer and fugitive! How exciting! Are you still painting, too?’ Kurt asks. ‘Well -’ Colossus begins, before he sees Ororo “Storm” Munroe approach. ‘Welcome home, little brother’ Storm tells Colossus, before asking Kurt if he has seen Logan.
Ororo begins to question other X-Men and students as to whether they have seen Wolverine. ‘No, and frankly I’m offended that you think I would care where he was’ Jean-Paul “Northstar” Beaubier tells her as he and Megan Gwynn a.k.a. Pixie soar though the sky. ‘Look! I’m flying upside down! Can you do that, Mr Beaubier? Because I totally can!’ Pixie exclaims.
‘No idea, and I know what you’re thinking. And the answer is no. I’m too young’ Quentin Quire tells Storm, while Rockslide asks ‘Wait wait wait… Logan? Is he the guy with the claws?
Angelica “Firestar” Jones is tending to a horse in the stables and reports that she tries to avoid Wolverine in the morning because of the yelling - and the smell.
Henry McCoy a.k.a. the Beast ins hanging upside down in one of his laboratories and reports that he hasn’t seen Logan. ‘But if you see Logan please tell him I’d like to run some more tests’. He reveals that Reed Richards and he have had some thoughts about potentially restoring his healing factor - and reducing his personal aromas.
‘What? No! No, absolutely not, I mean, of course not. I didn’t see him leave. What? No, not leave, I mean I didn’t see him at all. If I saw him leave I would have said something because no, that’s just ridiculous! What was the question?’ Bobby “Iceman” Drake babbles as his Danger Room training session comes to an end.
‘Did I not tell each and every person at the school that Wolverine cannot leave without me knowing about it, Bobby?’ Storm asks. ‘Yes, you did’ Bobby replies. ‘You know how vulnerable he is’ Storm points out. ‘Yes’ Bobby frowns. ‘So, then tell me. Where did he go?’ Storm asks. ‘Canada’ Bobby reveals. ‘ROBERT!’ Storm shouts, asking if Wolverine has ever gone to Canada without being nearly killed. ‘Yes?’ Bobby replies. ‘The answer is NO! Why would you let him do that?’ Storm asks, shaking a finger at Bobby.
‘Okay, one - I forgot, so I don’t see how this is my fault. And b) he was really crabby and I think would have actually killed me if I tried to stop him’ Bobby announces. Bobby informs Storm that he has been trying to call Wolverine all morning, but that he is not picking up. ‘Which leads me to believe that he’s totally fine, and is being really, really cautious’ he grins. Storm covers her face, ‘I cannot believe Professor Xavier chose you to be an X-Man’ she mutters. ‘I know, right’ Bobby agrees cheerfully.
Meantime, Forrest, Canada:
The sky has darkened, a blaze of energy lights up the sky, as Heather, in her green and white Vindicator costume, touches down where Wolverine has pulled up outside some shops on his motorcycle. ‘Since when does Mac handle missing persons reports?’ Wolverine asks. Heather explains that it was somebody’s cousin - someone related to a higher up at Department H, who called in the favor. ‘And you believed that?’ Logan asks. Heather folds her arms and declares that Mac wasn’t in the mood for Q&A. ‘Like I said… we’ve had a rough year’. She adds that she think more than anything, James wanted the space. ‘Yeah, he always was kind of a jerk when it came to that’ Logan points out. ‘Look who’s talking’ Heather remarks, and as they start to walk the streets, she asks Logan where everyone is. ‘Gone’ he replies. ‘But I can smell him’ Logan announces, adding that Heather and Mac’s suits smell like burnt ozone. ‘He touched down…right over there’ Logan reports.
‘Where are you going?’ Heather calls out. ‘He came this way’ Logan tells her. ‘Why? Logan, what happened here?’ Heather asks. Logan remarks that there are no fresh scents, that the way this place is, is the way that Mac found it. ‘Oh my God’ Heather utters, holding herself. ‘Darlin’…God’s got nothing to do with this’ Wolverine declares. He reaches for a door handle, just as Guardian did, ‘He saw it. Went in. Ready. Suit fired up, you can smell the adrenaline. The burning’ Wolverine announces, supposing that Mac might have seen something or heard something. ‘Is he alive?’ Heather asks. ‘There’s blood…’ Logan reports. ‘Logan, is he alive?’ Heather declares. Logan frowns, and adds that there is a lot of blood. Guardian entered the building, and heard a growl. ‘No!’ Logan declares, going wide-eyed. He pulls his mask over his face and informs Heather that they are getting out of here, now. ‘What?’ Heather asks. ‘NOW!’ Logan shouts. Heather asks him to wait, and what is wrong - to tell her what happened. As Guardian came across a room full of bones, Wolverine puts his hand across Heather’s mouth and tells her to fly out of here as fast as she can - to get Alpha Flight, get the X-Men - get everyone. ‘Logan -’ Heather begins, while in the past, Guardian was confronted by a Wendigo!
At the Jean Grey School, ‘What do you mean you can’t find Logan?’ Storm asks Rachel Grey, who sits at Cerebra. ‘I, uh… you know. Canada’s kind of a big place’ Rachel replies as she continues her psychic search. ’Don’t think I won’t replace you with your teenage mother, Rachel’ Storm threatens. Rachel then announces that she has got him. ’Thank the Maker’ Storm utters. ’Hang on…’ Rachel begins, to which Storm asks if he is still alive. ’He is, but something’s wrong…’ Rachel replies.
Back in Canada, Vindicator soars through a dense forest, ’Pick up… come on, Eugene… pick up’ she utters into her communicator.
And, on a bedside table, a mobile phone with the image of Heather on screen starts ringing. ’Don’t even think about it’ a voice calls out.
’PUCK!’ Heather screams as she flies forward, urgently looking back over her shoulder.
In the darkened bedroom, Eugene Milton Judd a.k.a. Puck picks up his mobile phone, ‘It’s Heather buzzing’ he states. ‘Again? You know I love her, but hasn’t she cried on your shoulder enough?’ the voice asks. ‘She’s had a rough year’ Puck reminds the other person in the room, as the phone continues to buzz.
‘Eugene! I need Alpha Flight in Forrest, Ontario! Right now!’ Heather screams.
‘I’ll call her back’ Puck tells the woman lying in bed. ‘My hero’ replies Elizabeth Twoyoungmen a.k.a. Talisman, as Heather hears Puck’s voicemail. ‘Puck! Puck!’ she calls out.
Suddenly, something slams into Vindicator, she moans, and then something grabs her leg. ‘GET BACK!’ she shouts, before firing a blast of energy at the huge Wendigo that looms over her in the darkened forest. ‘Move, Heather…move’ she tells herself, when suddenly, another Wendigo comes up behind her and bites down on her leg, causing her to scream. ‘No no no…’ Heather utters, blasting her second attacker with an energy surge, But, the first Wendigo then clamps its huge fingers down on Vindicator’s head, causing her to scream. And then, the Wendigos start to pull - one in each direction.
‘Tell me what’s happening!’ Storm demands. Rachel doesn’t answer her. ‘Rachel…what’s wrong with Logan?’ Storm asks. Rachel announces that she thinks Logan is scared. ‘What? Logan doesn’t get scared. Ever’ Storm remarks, before instructing Rachel to have Northstar prep a Blackbird - ‘We’re going to Canada’ she announces, adding that she prays they reach him in time.
‘HEATHER!’ Wolverine roars after hearing his dear friend scream. He pops his claws and rushes through the forest, when suddenly, thrashing forward in front of him is a horde of raging Wendigos!