Wolverine is alive and thinks it’s a pretty neat trick, considering all he’s been through. He stands, sporting an eye-patch over his left eye and bare-chested, due to the humidity on the front of a small junk. The lady in control of the junk had a lot to do with it. She is Jessan Hoan and is the last person he expected to find in a rat pit like Madripoor. They’ve been on the ocean for two days now; her way of celebrating his recovery.
He calls over to her, asking if this is her idea of a good time. The best, she replies. What greater challenge or more ultimate thrill, than pitting her wits, her skills and her strength against the power and majesty of the sea! He moseys over to her. He always knew she had the courage; he sensed that the moment they first met, but this wild abandon is new and he likes it. She struggles with the tiller and says, “Not quite what you expect from a Harvard banker?” Anything’s possible, he replies. She looks at Wolverine and says that she is proof of that, for better and worse. She recalls the events that led to this point, picking the story up just before she was rescued from the Reavers by Wolverine and the X-Men.
Before the X-Men rescued her, the Reavers managed to get their hooks into her. They wanted her banking skills but other aspects of her character, such as her sense of morality, scruples and decency, were considered liabilities that had to be erased. Pretty Boy tried to make her one of them and sank his wiring into her brain, remaking her in his image.
Wolverine says he didn’t know. Jessan replies that neither did she at first, especially since two of his companions stopped Pretty Boy before the process could be completed. She ended up neither fish nor fowl; not the Jessan that was, nor the Reaver that Pretty Boy was trying to create.
All she knew for certain was that she’d been caught in a nightmare. All she wanted to do was go home and, thanks to Roma, she did. She was returned to Hoan International Bank, which the Reavers had left in ruins. The fact that she alone, of all the bank’s officers survived, made her a pariah to her family. To her amazement, she discovered that she didn’t care. Even a near-fatal coming together with a large falling Hoan International sign onto her failed to elicit a reaction.
Wolverine places his hand on her shoulder and says they did this. It’s their fault for sending her back. They should have known. And done what, she replies; dealt with me as you did the Reavers? No, it was her choice to return, her responsibility to live with the consequences. The price will be worth it, for the chance to avenge her family. Wolverine reminds her that it’s already done; the Reavers are history. Jessan says that they aren’t the ones truly responsible. The attack on the Hoan Bank was no accident; they were hired.
At first, she had tried to put her life in order and needed a job. Despite her qualifications and reputation, no one would hire her. She had become as much an outcast to her profession, as to her family. Here, too, to her surprise, she discovered that she didn’t care. She was curious, however, as to the reason why no one wanted her. Those were the wild days. She felt like a butterfly, struggling free of its chrysalis, casting off one life to embrace another. She found within herself a myriad of new skills and no inhibitions about using them.
Her search led her to the Meridian Bank, the largest in Asia. She was discovered rifling through files by three security guards. However, Pretty Boy’s psychic reprogramming extended to every facet of her being - mind, soul and body, as the guards learned to their regret. She enjoyed the fight and was sorry to see it end. Her quest had just begun. The Meridian saw Hoan International as a threat to its pre-eminence. As a consequence, the opposition had to be eliminated. When legal means failed, they turned to Roche, and the crimelord of Madripoor in turn turned to the Reavers.
Jessan had visited Madripoor on bank business but she’d always stayed in Hightown, on the peaks above the port. Lowtown, the old city, was something completely different. She’d heard the stories, of course, that Lowtown was the ultimate abyss of vice and degradation, where nothing was sacred, no act profane. Now, she experienced that life first hand and felt, at last, that she’d come home. She watched, she waited, she planned, and when she was ready, she acted.
One evening, some of Roche’s punkboys were hassling two women on the street. Jessan leapt in and told them that the girls weren’t interested in their company. She knocked out two of them and shoved the third punk’s nose to some brickwork. She twisted his arm behind his back and told him to pass the word; Roche’s days were numbered. They could behave themselves and all would be well. Cross the line and they’d answer, to the Tyger!
She adds that it’s been war ever since. “You’re the Tyger?” asks Wolverine. Jessan replies that the Reavers gave her the name in fun. Now, the joke’s on them, for this tiger has teeth and claws and the will to use them. “Assuming you win, what happens then?” Wolverine queries. Jessan replies that she likes Roche’s life, his territory, his throne and his power. She becomes the crimelord of Madripoor. Wolverine points out that he fights people like her and she says that then they have a problem, because he owes her his life, and she means to hold him to that debt. She needs Wolverine and tells him that, with him by her side, she is certain of victory.
Their junk approaches a larger boat, lifeless and drifting aimlessly through the harbor. “Suppose I don’t play?” asks Wolverine. Jessan says that she cannot force him, or stop him should he choose to go. She steers her junk to avoid contact with the larger vessel. Wolverine knows she’s a smart lady, hitting him where it hurts the most; his sense of honor. He dumps her now, and he turns his back on all he believes in, but if he helps, won’t he be doing the same? Before he can ponder this dilemma, there’s no time for thinking and he leaps from the junk to the other vessel, followed immediately by Jessan. He asks her if this is her boat and, as she clambers onto the deck, she replies that it belongs to a smuggler chieftain who is pledged to her service. She suddenly lets out a gasp, as she lays her eyes on the crew of the ship, each and every one of them dead.
Wolverine informs her that he caught the scent as they pulled alongside; Razorfist’s handiwork if he isn’t mistaken. He guesses Roche wasn’t too happy with their choice of allegiances. Jessan asks if Roche’s butchers are still aboard and Wolverine tells her that they’re long gone. This happened hours ago. She asks if the crew are all slain but then she hears a groan coming from below deck. Jessan dashes towards the doorway leading downstairs and takes no heed of Wolverine’s warning to wait; he senses something else and says he should go first.
Jessan proves to have more courage than smarts and slams the door open, finding crewman Lee tied to a chair with rope. He mumbles again but he is gagged and his warning is incomprehensible. As she passes the door, she looks to her side and notices a stack of explosives with two burning fuses. The entire ship is then ripped apart in a massive explosion.