Madripoor, where a bloodied Wolverine a.k.a. Logan stands inches from the deadly claws of Lady Deathstrike - only the villainess herself finds an arm phased through her body - courtesy of Kitty Pryde. ‘You remember me- don’t you, Deathstrike?’ Kitty asks. Deathstrike confirms that she does. ‘So you know what my powers can do. If I un-phase this arm… pfff. No more Yuriko’. Lady Deathstrike narrows her eyes and replies ‘You are no killer, Kitty Pryde’, before she flips backwards through the air. ‘HAI!’ she yells, freeing herself from Kitty, who quickly turns around, and as Deathstrike brings her claws down upon Kitty, she phases - but part way through Deathstrike’s hand, she solidifies her own hand, and punches out, breaking bones and sending blood spurting everywhere. ‘You don’t know who I am. Now go, or I will kill you’ Kitty warns Deathstrike, who holds her wounded hand, then turns and runs.
‘Unh. For a minute there, Kitty… thought… you were… gonna…’ Wolverine groans, before he collapses. ‘LOGAN!’ Kitty shouts as she rushes over to him. Kitty reaches into her back pocket, ‘Hold on, Logan’ she declares as she pulls a capsule out, and in the capsule, is a needle, with a glowing yellow liquid inside it. ‘Do not die’ Kitty exclaims. ‘You can’t’ she tells Logan as she puts the needle to the back of his neck, and injects him with the solution. ‘I need you’ Kitty utters, as she removes the piece of cloth covering his wounded eye. Logan slowly opens his eye and looks out at Kitty through the blood covering his face. ‘Kitty? How…? I thought I was done’ Logan utters, sitting up, he rubs his head. Kitty holds the needle up and reveals that it is Regen Serum - not as good as Logan’s healing factor, but that it will patch him up for a little while.
Standing up, Logan asks Kitty how she got it - and how she found him in the first place. Kitty tells Logan that he sounded terrible when he called her from Canada, and she couldn’t just let him march off and get himself killed. ‘And you always come to Madripoor when you get all reflective’ Kitty reminds Logan. But Logan tells Kitty that she has it backwards - ‘I don’t want to die’ he declares, revealing that there is a contract out on him - a big one, and he is trying to stop it. He adds that Viper was part of it, and by the sounds of it, Ogun was, too. Logan admits that he doesn’t know if Ogun is the one behind this, but Ogun does not work cheap, so he has to be near the top of the food chain. ‘Great. So let’s go find us an evil ninja ghost’ Kitty mutters, before turning to walk out of the room. ‘Let’s go…? Kitty, I -’ Wolverine begins. ‘Yeah, let’s go. I’ve got history with Ogun, too, in case you’ve forgotten. And besides - I love Japan’ Kitty replies.
Shortly, Logan and Kitty sit on the edge of a path in a large garden filled with colorful trees. Their legs dangle over the edge of the path above a pond. Logan smells the plum blossoms, and can hear the wind rustling petals, a city hidden. ‘So… what do you know?’ Kitty asks her old friend. ‘Not much’ Logan replies. He informs Kitty that someone is paying to bring him in alive - paying a lot - enough that every assassin and merc thug on the planet is after him. He tells Kitty that he took them out one after the other, but they wouldn’t stop coming, so he figured if it was ever going to stop, he would have to stop it. Logan explains that Viper brokered the contract for some client, that the guy is doing all sorts of stuff, according to Viper anyway, kidnapping people, stealing stuff from museums - it doesn’t make sense. ‘Yet’ Kitty interjects. ‘Right. And Deathstrike said Ogun’s in the mix, too - he’s hunting us. She wanted me to help her take him down, for half a minute, anyway’.
‘I’m surprised it even took her that long to try to kill you’ Kitty remarks. Logan laughs. There is silence, and that gaze out over the pond at the trees, rustling in the wind. Logan frowns and tells Kitty that he wonders if it will ever stop - just one fight after another, tearing him apart in slow-motion. He points out that Kitty won’t always be here with some magic potion, either - or McCoy, or Reed, or Tony Stark - and then one day, he will be too slow, and then he will be done. ‘Sometimes I wonder if it might be better to find some place where I can watch the sun set, then just…SNIKT’ Logan admits, holding his fist under his chin. ‘Don’t ever say that, Logan’ Kitty exclaims. Logan looks at Kitty and tells her not to worry, as he has plans. ‘I lost my haling factor, sure, but there’s a good side to that. It means I can get old’ Logan remarks. As Logan gets to his feet, Kitty asks him why he would want that. ‘Because. No more chances. No more doing something horrible and telling myself I’ve got until the end of damn time to make up for it. No, just one lifetime, where every choice matters’ Logan explains.
Petals blow through the wind around them, and Logan announces that he has just one chance and that he is going to use it - that he will get through this, and then he is gonna disappear, just live, maybe some place like this, quiet. He turns around as Kitty puts her hand on his shoulder, and pulls him closer to her - she kisses him on the lips. ‘Kitty, no. We’ve… we’ve never been like that -’ Logan declares, pulling away. ‘Not as good as Jean, or Rose, or Mariko, or the others? All those women, Logan’ Kitty mocks, narrowing her eyes and gritting her teeth, ‘All those DEAD women’ she declares.
Logan moves away from Kitty. ‘Ogun. How’d you get her?’ he asks. Ogun, possessing Kitty’s body, pulls the hood up over Kitty’s face and smiles, ‘Ms Pryde was very worried about you, Logan-san. She came to Japan to look for you’, adding ‘She did not find you, but I found her. And I took her. My soul rests well inside her. It always did’.
‘Let her go’ Logan exclaims. ‘What do you offer instead? Yourself? You will come quietly if I release the Shadow Cat?’ Ogun asks. ‘No deals. Just let her go’ Logan responds, but Ogun announces that he will not. ‘Wrong!’ Logan declares as he leaps to Ogun/Kitty, but Ogun/Kitty knees Logan in the stomach, and tosses him aside. Logan gets to his feet and punches Ogun/Kitty in the face, before Ogun/Kitty hits him in the neck, chest and then kicks him backwards. Logan falls into a temple, backwards through the old wood of a building. He smells the lacquer, and notices armor and weapons displayed in a glass case. He knows they are steel, and puts the blue armor on, before grabbing the swords. ‘Yes. Very good’ Ogun.Kitty remarks, standing in the gaping hole in the building. ‘Not for you’ Logan replies.
Ogun reaches for another sword, and spins around to face Logan. Their swords clash together, before Logan pulls back as another sword almost strikes his face. He moves, and Ogun falls forward - and the sword phases into a wooden pillar and becomes stuck, ‘NO!’ Ogun shouts. ‘She’s fighting you, isn’t she?’ Logan smirks. ‘She cannot fight me. She is mine’ Ogun replies, moving backwards, hands ready to strike. ‘She doesn’t think so’ Wolverine points out, as his sword connects with Ogun/Kitty’s leg. ‘See, now you’re not just fighting me, Ogun. You’re fighting me and Kitty both. Two warriors, each trained by you’ Logan points out. ‘Stop talking!’ Ogun shouts as he attempts another strike - but Logan brings his sword down, ‘You could take me, I think. You’re good enough. But both of us? At the same time?’ Ogun’s fear is shown through Kitty’s eyes, as Kitty forces her hand up into her own face. ‘Never’ Logan declares, before Kitty drops to her knees.
‘Kid? You okay? Is Ogun -’ Logan begins, to which Kitty announces that Ogun jumped away, but that he must have found someone close by. ‘Go after him, Logan -get him’ Kitty declares. ‘You sure you’re -’ Logan asks, but Kitty interrupts him, telling him not to worry about her, just to go. She then informs Logan that when Ogun was in her head, she heard a name. ‘I know who’s going all of this - who’s after you, Deathstrike - the whole thing’ Kitty declares. ‘Abraham Cornelius. Does that mean anything to you?’ she enquires. Logan goes wide eyed, before replying ‘Too much. Old bones’. Kitty looks up at him, concerned, and as Logan takes off the armor and starts to rush out of the building, he announces that he will be back. ‘Just go, Logan! Ogun’s found a new body by now! If you don’t catch him soon, he’s gone!’ she exclaims.
Logan rushes out of the building, across the grass, past the trees blowing petals through the wind, until he makes his way into the busy city streets. He has picked up Ogun’s scent and follows a man in a plan black business suit. Logan watches as the man goes down an alleyway and into a factory-like warehouse. Logan follows him, and can smell the rot, the old blood and the rust - he then detects a heartbeat. ’Come out, Ogun. I know you’re here. I can hear you’ Logan calls out. He sees a large vat in the center of the room, assorted barrels and containers scattered about, a vapor rises from the vat. ’My God’ Logan utters as he goes over to the vat, and in it, some sort of acid has started to eat away at the body floating in the vat - ’Cyber’ Logan declares. ’Yes. He put up an admirable fight. Not an easy kill, even now, the acid works slowly. Strong in life and death’ Ogun declares, as the man he possesses stands on the other side of the vat, wearing a red mask resembling Ogun’s face.
‘Bastard deserved this and more, I’d say. But tell me why, right now. Or I’ll take that mask right off you and drop it in here. That’s what you deserve. Tell me about Cornelius’ Logan demands. ‘Ah, Ms Pryde was poking around where she did not belong, it seems’ Ogun replies, his mask grins, as he announces that Cornelius has become something of a collector - Cyber’s skin, certain swords, a statute of the Hulk - he is paying enormous sums for these items. ‘It is, as they say, a seller’s market’ Ogun adds. ‘and Deathstrike and me. All that stuff…he wants adamantium. That’s why he put our a contract on me. He wants my skeleton’ Logan surmises. ‘No - or at least, not right away. He has killed hundreds and will kill thousands more - but not you. The instructions were very clear. You were to be brought to him alive’ Ogun reveals. ‘Brought where?’ Logan asks.
Ogun climbs onto the edge of the vat of acid and reveals that Cornelius’s facility is in the American desert, in Nevada, the great emptiness, a place called Paradise Valley. He adds that is all he knows - he doesn’t know why, what or how. ‘But I do have a question for you, Logan-san. U could escape you. Just step into the acid. My mask would be lost, but I have others. This vessel would die, but I could find another’ Ogun points out. Logan tells Ogun not to do it, pointing out that the guy he is possessing doesn’t have anything to do with this. ‘In truth, I would prefer not to. My spirit is weak. The fight with Ms Pryde took an enormous toll. And so, my question. Will you just leave this place?’ Ogun asks. ‘If you do, I pledge on my honor that I will abandon this vessel unharmed and find another, one more suited to my needs, one who welcomes my presence. I will no longer hunt you’ Ogun declares.
Ogun continues, adding that he swears also that if Logan does not go, he will kill this man. ‘He is nothing to me’. ‘Damn you’ Logan frowns. ‘You know as well as I, Logan. I am already damned’ Ogun replies, before reaching into his jacket, ‘Here. Another incentive’ he declares, holding up three vials of yellow liquid, he tells Logan that they are his, if only he will go. Logan remains silent and looks at the needles, filled with Regen Serum, and grits his teeth, telling Ogun to keep them, as he is done with living forever. ‘But tell Cornelius something from me. Make sure he knows… I’m coming’.
And in Paradise Valley, Cornelius taps away at a keyboard in his laboratory….