Standing in the stormy, torrential downpour, Wolverine retracts his three adamantium claws with a signature SNIKT! Cyber, standing across the way, does the same. He unsheathes the four finger-length blades that protrude from his fingertips. “Mine’s bigger,” Logan tells him.
Nearby, General Coy turns to the driver of the truck that carries the shipment of hallucinogens. He still wants the drugs. Don’t move, he shouts! Drawing his pistol, he fires a shot through the truck’s windshield, startling the driver. The old man puts the vehicle into gear and tries to drive away. Cyber decides to hitch a ride and leaps onto the truck bed. Not this time, Wolverine says to his nemesis as he springs onto the truck bed as well.
Tyger Tiger and General Coy suddenly find themselves alone with nothing but a pile of dead bodies to show for their night. They immediately turn their guns at one another. Well, General Coy says to his rival. It appears they have a problem. What problem is that, Jessan asks? They have a pile of dead bodies; their deceased henchmen, to be exact. It will not look good to outsiders. They are supposed to competent heads of the underworld. This mess does not cast either one of them in a good light. Coy goes a step further and says it’s a major embarrassment which can not go unanswered; there must be retribution. Is he speaking of a war, Jessan asks? It would seem inevitable, Coy answers. It is now a matter of honor.
Meanwhile, on the back of the truck, Cyber taunts the injured Logan. “Well, Logan,” he says, “…your stupidity was consistent with my expectations. You leaped onto this truck, didn’t have your guard up properly, just like last time…and I sliced your belly open. Just like last time. You always were a slow learner.” However, Cyber suddenly realizes he detects no scent of blood in the air. Something is wrong. Logan reaches up, grabs him by the throat, and tells him he will unclog his nose for him. Cyber suddenly realizes he has been tricked; Wolverine has a Kevlar vest beneath his uniform, which blunted his attack. He has to give him accolades for this ingenuity.
Logan springs to his feet and belts Cyber with an uppercut. The villain falls to the ground, at which point Logan pins him by the throat and holds his claws precariously close to his face. Pathetic, Cyber says; Logan is moving like a slug. After kicking him off, he speculates about Logan’s problem. He’s afraid. He’s lost his edge. He’s been living too long in a world he racks up easy kills like logs of wood. Logan lands on the truck’s windshield, once more terrifying the hapless driver. “You know jack about my world,” he tells Cyber. That may be true, but Cyber does know one useful fact: he just sliced Wolverine’s arm, and his claws still contain the same powerful hallucinogen he used to fell Logan earlier. It should kick in any time now.
Meanwhile, having returned to her penthouse for a cup of tea, Tyger Tiger and General Coy try to reach a friendly consensus regarding their gang war. They still keep their guns leveled at each other, though. Holding her tea in one hand and her pistol in the other, Jessan tells Coy a gang war would be most unfortunate. Certainly for her, he replies. Jessan believes it would be much more devastating for him; in addition to all the people he will inevitably lose, he will also have to face the humiliation of defeat by a woman. “You are that confident, Tyger Tiger?” he asks. Well, he is that stupid, she replies. “I am not that stupid,” he says. She apologizes; he is marginally less stupid than that. “That’s better,” he says.
A lull passes in the conversation. “What’s that I see behind you?” Jessan asks. Coy responds it’s presumably the same thing he sees behind her. They agree to have a look. They each turn and dump their tea out into nearby house plants.
“I saw nothing,” Coy says as he turns back around. Jessan saw nothing either. Coy imagines they saw the same thing, then. He tells Jessan her plants would be much healthier if she were to water them more often. Jessan thinks they get watered too much, actually.
Meanwhile, Wolverine clings to the fast-moving truck for dear life. The rain makes it harder and harder to hold on to the hood. The drugs in his body make harder and harder for him to hold onto himself.
Cyber punches a hole through the roof of the cab and rips out the driver. “Excuse me,” he asks as he plunks down in the driver’s seat. He can clearly see Logan clinging to the hood. He tells him they should do this more often. Are the hallucinogens kicking in, he asks? Logan doesn’t answer directly, but it’s clear they have. He visualizes himself clinging to the front of a giant, raging bull, kept up only by the mammoth animal’s nose-ring. Cyber asks him what he is seeing: the truth of things? His pathetic pretense of being the best? Is he ready to quit yet?
No, Logan answers, gritting his teeth. “No more of this bull!” He claws his way up to the windshield. He may admit Cyber has a mental grip on him, but he will never admit defeat. He puts his claws through the glass, obscuring Cyber’s vision.
Unfortunately, the combination of the rain, the windy mountain roads, and Wolverine blocking Cyber’s view of the road proves disastrous. Cyber drives the truck right off the edge of a rocky cliff, sending both screaming men plummeting to the hard earth below.
“Bring me the head of the Beast!” shouts the irate Lieutenant Commander Courage. His Were-Borgs comply and set off to find the troublesome mutant genius. Little do they know, their target stands directly above them on a catwalk, holding Dr. Jennifer Nyles in his arms with his hand over her mouth so she cannot scream.
After soon as the Were-Borg militia leaves, Beast hops down from the rafters, sets Jennifer down in a chair, and begins tapping away at the master computer. Jennifer asks him what he intends to accomplish using this computer program, as it is one of the most sophisticated in the world. He couldn’t possibly decipher the intricate codes needed to hack it. He quickly proves her wrong. She gasps as she witnesses the file he pulls up on the monitor. Hank, uttering his signature “oh my stars and garters,” is equally dumbfounded. On the screen, they see Commander Courage’s detailed plans to infect with his Were-Borg technology major five figures in powerful countries: Red Guardian in Russia, Henry Peter Gyrich and Tony Stark in the United States, Madison Jeffries in Canada, and Victor von Doom in Latveria. This can’t be, Dr. Nyles gasps!
Hank cocks his head, gets in Jennifer’s face, and forcefully asks what she means. As much as he hates to intimidate his old girlfriend like this, he has no time to spare. Jennifer explains to him that Commander Courage assured her the implants would be used only on non-living human beings. It was a condition she demanded when accepting to help him with his research. Hank doesn’t understand; what is the benefit of injecting these influential living people with Were-Borg implants when the implants just turn them into mindless monsters? Jennifer explains the models Hank has encountered are merely early prototypes. In fact, the Red Ghost’s Super-Apes represent the first successful variants she has created. Thanks to her naiveté, she says, Courage now has the ability to reprogram living beings, from their minds down to the basic structure of their cells.
Honestly, Hank finds the ingenuity of this plan impressive. Not many villains have tried to attain world domination by literally reprogramming its existing rulers. He begins tapping at the computer keys again. Jennifer asks what he is doing. Calling in the cavalry, he tells her as he examines the files on the Super-Apes.
The Constrictor, meanwhile, has just defeated the Super-Apes, but now has a group of Were-Borgs with which to contend. What he wouldn’t give for a machine gun, the exhausted assassin thinks. Suddenly, Hank’s Frenchman friend bursts through a nearby door with a machine gun, of all things, in his hands. As he opens fire on the Were-Borgs he asks if the Constrictor understands French. Certainly, the Constrictor says. One doesn’t get far as a globe-trotting assassin without speaking a little français. Is it safe to assume he is the inside man Hank mentioned earlier, he asks? Yes, he says. The Frenchman explains that he came to the ministry in search of information regarding his missing colleague. What he discovered is that his friend was killed by his own Techno-Organics experiments. Lieutenant Commander Courage then stole his research and created the very same Were-Borgs they are currently fighting.
Using his powerful adamantium coils, the Constrictor breaks down a nearby wall, revealing the holding room for Dr. Ivan Kragoff. Two Were-Borgs stand over his body, which is hooked up to several IVs. It would appear they are about to kill the ailing doctor. The Constrictor is enthused to see the Red Ghost; he still has a few questions for him regarding this alleged set-up. The Frenchman removes the attending physicians with a few bursts from his machine gun. Once the guards are gone, the Constrictor picks the dying man up from the stretcher and slings him over his shoulder. The Frenchman objects to this manhandling of a sick and elderly man, but the Constrictor reminds him he is an assassin; Dr. Kragoff is lucky he’s getting away with a manhandling! Besides, Dr. Kragoff is much better off with the Constrictor than he would be with Commander Courage, whom the Constrictor finally realizes was probably the man who hired him to kill the Beast and thereby frame the Red Ghost.
The Frenchman and the Constrictor turn the corner in the hallway. Standing before them, however, is Lt. Commander Courage, accompanied by his army of Were-Borgs. “Commander Courage, right?” the Constrictor asks upon meeting the villain for the first time. Indeed, the commander says, also confirming the Constrictor’s theory that he was the one who hired him to distract the Beast upon his arrival in Brussels. Who’s this guy, he asks in reference to the Frenchman?
Meanwhile, Hank continues plugging away at the computer terminal’s keys. Jennifer asks what he is typing. “Command Super-Apes…help Constrictor,” he says aloud.
Seemingly on cue, the Super-Apes appear behind Hank’s two unlikely allies and engage Commander Courage in combat. Perplexed, the commander asks why they have entered this area. He didn’t command them to intervene! “Maybe somebody else is pulling their strings,” the Frenchman says. “You want to bet he’s a big furry blue guy with a Master’s Degree?”
With things finally under control, Hank takes a moment to ask Dr. Jennifer Nyles a few lingering questions. Namely, how did she get involved in this? She reveals that she has been obsessed with the reprogramming of the human mind for her entire life. When Commander Courage approached her in France, she was in a dire financial situation. She had exhausted all of her research funds, and her theories regarding Techno-Organics were scoffed at by the scientific community as a whole. So, when Courage presented her with the research notes of the late Dr. Meyer Hertzog, Jennifer suddenly felt she had all the answers to her life’s work. The catch? She didn’t know what the question was.
She recalls how she woke up in college one morning and felt as if her entire life had changed overnight. It was as if someone had taken a part of her soul during the night. She has spent the rest of her life trying to get the missing pieces back. Does this sound stupid, she asks? She looks away from Hank as tears pour down her face. He approaches her, gently places hands on her face, and tells her it doesn’t sound stupid at all. “Jen, I should have done this years ago,” he says, looking deep into her eyes. He leans forward and they kiss.
“H-Hanko?” Jennifer asks as soon as they finish. Nearby, the entire wall crumbles in an instant and the Constrictor, the Frenchman, and several Were-Borgs come crashing through. That figures, the Constrictor says; while he gets his coils kicked all over Belgium, Hank of course gets the girl!
Ghost Rider could care less that Cable is pinned to the wall. His purpose, after all, is to prevent the blood of innocents from being spilled. However, Cable claims he can help rescue the kidnapped girl, which apparently is all Ghost Rider needs to hear. Using his mystical chain, he rips away the mysterious webbing holding Cable in place. The burly, bionic hero falls to the ground but rolls to his feet with his assault rifle already in position. Thanks, he says.
Ghost Rider asks about the perpetrators of all this trouble. These creatures not only hurt the girl, Cable says, but they seem perturbed over what he did to their brethren. Ghost Rider cares not about their anger; their efforts at retribution will prove futile. Cable suddenly notices the assailants, members of the elusive cult known as the Ungrateful Dead, are retreating. However, they suddenly lob a couple of projectiles at Cable and Ghost Rider. They hit each of the heroes with a loud splat. Cable wipes the gunk off of his chest and identifies it as blood - the young girl’s blood, to be exact. They have been either marked, or warned; either way, it’s clear the Ungrateful Dead have no intention of letting the girl loose.
Ghost Rider mounts his motorcycle. Cable asks where he thinks he is going. They have spilled innocent blood, Ghost Rider says. Vengeance must be had. Cable reminds him the girl may not be dead yet, before asking if he can come with him. No, Ghost Rider says, as he pulls on the throttle and kicks his bike into gear. Cable does not give up so easily. He grabs on to Ghost Rider’s shoulder and is pulled along for the ride.
As they rip through the tunnels, leaving a path of fire in their wake, Cable takes the opportunity to ask Ghost Rider a bit about himself. Why is he so vigilant? Cable has read about him in the papers and is curious. Why is he so diligent about saving this girl? They have no idea who she is and she means nothing to either one of them. Ghost Rider says nothing in response. “I know what you mean,” Cable says anyway, before finally introducing himself.
The cavern proves to be so enormous it borders on unsearchable. Just as Cable begins suggesting they establish some sort of organized search grid, however, the girl they seek darts out of a crevice. Instead of asking for help, she implores them to get away and save themselves; it is already too late for her. Suddenly, she is snared around the ankles by a whip and pulled back into the crack. Cable and Ghost Rider dismount the motorcycle and look around the cavern. They notice they have wandered into the center of a rocky pit, and cryptically standing all around them are members of the Ungrateful Dead. Surrender, the leader tells them. They have witnessed forbidden sights, and for that, their deaths will be swift!
“Thanks,” Cable answers, “…but I was kind of counting on a slow and lingering one!” He opens fire with his assault rifle begins dispatching enemy agents. The leader, completely undeterred by the bullets, nonchalantly tells him either method of death can be accomplished.
Ghost Rider, meanwhile, hurls his chain at the legions of foes. Release the female, he demands! If not, the pain they inflict on the innocent will be returned to them tenfold. His chain spins through the ether and decapitates the heads of several cult members.
The screams of the innocent young girl emanate from nearby. Ghost Rider deduces they are dragging her away once again. Cable notices another problem: in the rocks up above, several of the Dead have produced heavy-duty rocket launchers. Time to take evasive maneuvers, he tells Ghost Rider. They hop back on the motorcycle just in time for Ghost Rider to dodge all the explosions, while from the backseat, Cable provides cover fire with his assault rifle.
They soon come to the bridge over which the Ungrateful Dead have taken the young girl. The girl will be saved, Ghost Rider declares, and her kidnappers will not escape his wrath. However, as he begins driving over the rickety, wooden bridge, the slats quickly crumble. It’s a trap, Cable realizes. They fall into the gaping ravine below. The cult leader observes from a nearby ledge. This trap, he says, will send them falling to the very center of the Earth!