After being beaten up by Razorfist, Wolverine is seriously injured and unable to help himself. As he floats in the harbor, he begins to dream.
Wolverine staggers through a desert, in costume, with a yoke on his shoulders; his arms chained to either side. The sun beats down on him as he walks aimlessly. Hades isn’t as hot as this desert, nor this desolate. Nothing can possibly live here and each step beings him closer to proving that to be true. He should just quit and lie down; but he’s a fighter.
Sapphire Styx suddenly appears from nowhere and questions that assertion. She lifts his mask and says that she thought it was because he is simply too stupid to know when he’s beaten. She kisses him and everything goes dark. Because his healing factor effectively makes him like a super-charged, high-energy juice, his energy fills her like nothing else. It also enables him to break free from her grip and he falls backwards onto the desert floor. The trouble is he is so weak that he needs time for his body to recuperate and time is a luxury he doesn’t possess.
He looks up and sees Sapphire has been joined by Roche, Razorfist and the inquisitor. He becomes angry when he sees them and swears that all four of them are going to pay. He allows himself to go crazy and snaps the yoke in two. He moves into full-on bezerker mode and, for once, he welcomes it. He makes a move towards the three men but the inquisitor wraps his whip around Wolverine’s feet, sending him crashing to the ground. “This is the vaunted warrior; the man who boasts he is the best there is?” he asks. Roche replies, “That is his reputation.”
Wolverine knows they’re laughing at him and he charges once again, only to be stabbed clean through the stomach by Razorfist, who moves swiftly. He falls once more and Roche tells him that he out of his league. He was beaten from the start, with less chance against him than an ice cube has of extinguishing the sun. Wolverine lies precariously on the edge of the cliff. Roche says he doesn’t know why he chose to involve himself in his affairs and he confesses that he doesn’t much care. He was a minor annoyance, that’s now been dealt with, once and for all. Wolverine tumbles down the cliff face and lands with a splash in the harbor waters below.
Wolverine floats in the harbor. It is nighttime and a full moon lights up the high-rise buildings that dominate Madripoor. The salt water is murder on his wounds and he doesn’t know if this is real or simply another hallucination, like the desert. Maybe he is home in bed and this is nothing more than a bad dream. He looks at the moon and, in it, he sees the faces of his foster daughter, Amiko, and her guardian, Mariko Yashida. She is the woman he loves and he wishes he could hold her and kiss her just one last time. The shore’s not far away, but he may as well be on the moon. Nothing works, no matter how hard he tries. His body is made of stone. It sinks like one too and he slips under the murky waters to oblivion.
Above the water, Jessan Hoan leaps into the water from her small rowing boat. She knows she must act quickly before his blood attracts predators. She has watched Roche’s villa all day long, trying to find a way to rescue the stranger. Now she has her chance. She tries to lift Wolverine’s body into her boat and three hundred pounds of dead weight isn’t easy to lift, but she somehow manages to drag him aboard. She sees that his wounds are dreadful and wonders if she has risked her life just to rescue a corpse. In his daze, Wolverine sees Mariko looking down at him and asks weakly, how she found him. He then realizes it’s Jessan. Will wonders never cease? He passes out.
(The next day)
Jessan punts her way through the harbor, back to her hut. She thinks it’s remarkable that he’s holding his own, but knows it’s best to keep him out here on the floating village and care for him herself. Ashore, there’s too much risk of him being discovered. As she arrives at the hut, she hears a crash inside and leaps from her boat and enters. Wolverine suddenly lunges at her, catching her with his powerful fists. “You ain’t takin’ me again Roche!” he cries. Though heavily bandaged and in very poor shape, his survival instinct takes over and Jessan pleads with him. She tells him that she’s a friend but he replies that lies won’t save her. She sees the six recognizable blades sticking out of his hands but, thankfully, before he strikes, he faints and drops helplessly to the floor.
Days pass, as fever takes hold of him. Jessan works tirelessly to care for him, changing his bandages, washing him and feeding him as he slowly, but surely recovers. He reckons that he might have pulled through on his own but he wouldn’t have bet those odds. One morning, he watches a dawn, which he figured he would never see again. He savors the sights, sounds and smells of the world waking around him. Jessan looks pretty ragged as she sleeps. She’s had maybe ten hours sleep in as many days, without a mutant healing factor to help her over the crunch.
Wolverine rouses her and brings her tea and soup for breakfast. She bolts from her bed and smiles, thankful that he’s on his feet. “Blessed ancestors; you’re better!” she cries. He replies that it’s all thanks to her. He owes her. “No more than I do you, for saving my life, Wolverine!” Wolverine has no idea how she knows who he is as they hug one another.