I’m tryin’ to remember my past, but this is just a dream… a dream within a dream… I know I don’t have any memories this old, this must be… the never-time. The dream-time…
As Logan and the young Blackfoot Indian are tended to by members of the tribe, two men and a young woman, Logan thinks to himself that, sweet sin, he hurts. And he don’t hurt none too easy; sort of a gift. Whether the gift comes from heaven or hades, he doesn’t know. All he does know is that ever since he can remember, he heals real quick. But this time… Lord, this time that stinkin’ big monster bear about did him in. Still, he has to get well. Yeah, he wants to get well real bad.
Upon hearing the female Indian looking after him chanting “a-wah-heh,” Logan says he knows enough of their lingo to make that out. Means “have courage.” No problem there, little girl. No problem there.
Seeing that Logan has awoken, one of the Indians, Buffalo Snort, holds up Logan’s satchel with the initials HBC on it. He says they’ve seen this mark before, on the clothes of other white men who’ve come into their land. Is he English? In the Indian’s native tongue, Logan replies that he is Canadian. His chief is English. His tribe’s called the Hudson Bay Company, a big tribe, a strong tribe. That’s their mark.
Buffalo Snort says that his people have come before. Sometimes they’ve listened to what they’ve had to say and taken their gifts. Sometimes they’ve killed them. Holding up a knife, he asks Logan what he’s doing in their country. Logan answers that his chief wants to become friends with his people, to trade with them and bring them gifts. He knows that they have no love for the white men from the east who call themselves “Americans.” Well, his chief don’t like ‘em much either. Matter of business… and bad blood.
The spirit doctor, Old Wolf Heart, says yes, they saw the bodies of the American whites whom he rubbed out. See, they kept their scalps for him. Logan thanks him and then asks how the kid is doin’. Old Wolf Heart informs him that he’ll live but his sight is gone. He was looking for his vision so he could become a man, a warrior. He will never hunt again.
Handing Logan his knives, Buffalo Snort tells him they kept them for him. They know what he did for the boy. He saved him from the bear-that-was-not-a-bear, the monster child of the creature that their enemies, the Sioux, call Uncegila. They burned the monsters body, so that it wouldn’t defile the land. He helped the boy kill the American rascals who would have taken his hair. A good fight. Yes, a good fight. He then tells the Canadian that he should be dead, but their spirit doctor, Old Wolf Heart, says that he has a power that heals him. They, too, are a people of power. He’s welcome to stay with them as long as he likes. Logan graciously thanks them as they leave. Looking up at the young female Indian caring for him, Logan wonders if he has seen her before. Only in his dreams.
Months have passed. He never healed so slowly before. Maybe if his nurse wasn’t so blasted good at her work, he might have healed a bit quicker. When the young woman, Sparrow Hawk, gives Logan a shirt that resembles Logan’s future “Wolverine” uniform, Logan is very happy. He asks that she’s called… Silver Fox? No. Her name is She Watches the Sparrow Hawk. She’s… she’s really somethin’. Putting it on, Logan tells Sparrow Hawk that it’s real purty, about the purtiest thing he ever saw. As he gets closer to her, another Indian by the name of He Counts Horses, tackles him to the ground.
He Counts Horses calls Logan a white demon. He’s stayed too long in the lodge of She Watches the Sparrow Hawk and her father, Buffalo Snort. But his devil-medicine has made him strong, now. It’s time he found someplace else to live. Wiping the blood off of his lip, Logan tells him that it seems like that’s between her, her daddy, and him. Now, he’ll ask him real nice-like to step away before he forgets the kindness they have shown him and stomp a big mud-hole where he sits for supper. He Counts Horses responds by punching and kicking Logan.
Logan reckons he’s a little sweet on Sparrow Hawk. In short time, Logan snaps and takes over control of the fight. Standing over his foe, Logan holds his knives in his hands and tells He Counts Horses to stay down. Stay down or, by heaven, they’ll see what kind of blood and bone he’s really made of. Sparrow Hawk begs him to stop but Logan tells her to stay out of this. This has to do with them now. He…
Before Logan can strike further, Buffalo Snort arrives with Old Wolf Heart and tells Logan to stop the fighting. He Counts Horses has abused his guest, and the hospitality of his lodge. But they have more important things to take care of than their silly suitor’s quarrel. He then tells the tribe to come.
Old Wolf Heart tells them to come and look. He’s said the proper prayers. But all must see this thing, so that they all know what has befallen their people and their land. What they see is a dead horse lying on the ground with a number of extra horse heads and legs protruding from it. The young blind Indian, Blind Owl, remarks that he smells blood and sulfur. What is it? What happened? Logan tells him that he doesn’t wanna know. For once in his life, just be thankful that he can’t see.
Old Wolf Heart states that this is not the first time that this has happened. But their council decided to keep this knowledge from them, until they could be sure. Now, they have seen too much – the monstrous bear-with-many-faces that was slain in the mountains, and now this. It is as their enemy-brothers, the Sioux, have warned them. Gaze upon the spawn of Uncegila. Look upon the monster-child of the witch-serpent who dwells in the heart of the world. She is coming. And always, her children precede her, warping and twisting the children of the earth. Uncegila senses that the time of change has come. She crawls through the earth, fouling its roots with her passage, sending forth her vile children as a warning. She comes, and with her comes the end of the world!
As they stand back to back to back, Cable, Ghost Rider and their unnamed female associate prepare to do battle. After Cable asks what they are waiting for, the young woman replies that it is one of their tactics. They’re trying to psych them out. Cable says not likely. He’s been through too many battles to spook easily, no offense Ghost Rider. But if this is the way they want to play it… Turning to the woman, Cable quietly tells her to stay.
Ghost Rider and Cable have only just met but, in their battle to protect this unknown girl from the underground race known as the Grateful Undead, they have learned to act with one mind. Demon. Mutant. With the life of an innocent girl at stake, they are prepared to do anything. And there is little limit to anything these two can accomplish. Ghost Rider has seen too much innocent blood spilled to allow it to happen again. Cable… he’s just Cable.
After Cable shoots one of the unknown attackers, Ghost Rider strikes it with his chain and tells it that the girl will not be theirs. All of a sudden, the attackers disappear. Cable asks where they went and then deduces that they must be real shadow warrior types. They fall as dead just as easy and you don’t have to look at their blood. One of the attackers in the shadows informs Cable that they prefer not to bleed, though he compliments him and his friend on their fighting techniques. Quite effective, but they will still not prevent them from taking the girl. Leaping into action, Cable fires his weapon and Ghost Rider swings his chain.
When the shadowy attacker does not fall and asks if they should continue their talk, Cable remarks “ninja tricks.” He’s seen it before and he’s seen better. The leader of the Warriors of the Dead says he somehow doubts that. The ninja of today are buffoons. They attempt to practice an art that has long been forgotten and now has been mongrelized by the inept. Long ago his people brought the warrior arts to the lords of China. Through the ages they were passed down and combined with lesser forms until today you have ninjitsu. But he is not there to give them a history lesson. He is there to collect what is theirs.
Pointing to the young woman, he adds that she is to be the bride of he who dwells beneath the cathedral of the dead. The priests were wrong in attempting to kill such valiant warriors. They will collect the girl and they may leave with honor. Grabbing hold of the leaders arm, Ghost Rider tells him the innocent will leave with them. Simultaneously, Cable points his weapon at the shadowy leader and asks him if he thinks he can dodge bullets from this close.
Engulfing himself in shadows, the leader tells them that dodging is not necessary. The shadows of the night are his to command. His warriors and he live amongst them. They move within them and act. He does not wish to spill their blood over a mistake. But he will. Cable states there is no mistake. They’re not going to let him throw the girl to that octopus creature underneath the bones. They’ll fight him. Ghost Rider adds that they will win.
The leader tells them that they seek to protect one who is already dead. Cable says they heard it all before. But she’s not dying if they can help it. The leader tells them they don’t understand. She is dead, she is theirs. He will prove it to them. With that, the Warriors of the Dead toss their weapons in the direction of the girl.
Enraged, Cable and Ghost Rider lash out at the warriors. They ask what they have done. Why spill the blood of the innocent? They cannot hide in the shadows from vengeance. Rushing towards the leader, Ghost Rider tells him that he must pay dearly for what he has done. He must feel the pain. The leader tells him and Ghost Rider that he will see that he has not lied to him. There is honor between warriors. After looking over at the fallen girl, Cable points his weapon at the shadowy leader’s head and tells him there is no honor in death. But he’ll know that firsthand real soon.
Before Cable can pull the trigger, the girl sits up with the knives in her chest and asks them to help her. What is happening to her? Why isn’t she dead?