This is not a memory… it’s a nightmare… within the other-time.
As the Indian medicine man, Old Wolf Heart, puts black war paint around Logan’s eyes, he thinks to himself that he ain’t a man who falls in love easy. Sure, sometimes a need takes him. Just like it does any animal. Then it goes away, to come back next season. But, truth be told, there’s just somethin’ in him that doesn’t let him get too close to too many people, man or woman. So when he falls, it’s for good reason. He falls hard and stays that way for all his days. Yep, for all his days.
Once he has completed painting the black around Logan’s eyes, Old Wolf Heart calls out to the rest of the Piegan Blackfoot tribe to look upon a warrior. Look upon a black painted one, who has given his oath to them, through this mark to slay the serpent-thing that has destroyed their lodges, and taken so many brave souls to the land of death beyond the sand hills. To take that monster’s heart, or to die himself.
Logan proceeds to tell Old Wolf Heart enough of this fool witchery and holy talk. With all due respect, he’s got some killin’ to do. One of the other Indians calls out that he’ll go too. This white creature whom he sends to do their battles for them isn’t even one of their people. He’s going with him. He’ll kill this serpent himself. Old Wolf Heart tells him no. Trust his vision, trust his medicine. Only two will ride against the monster. Just like in the old story. And he is not one of them.
Surprised, Logan asks two? What does he mean two…? Old Wolf Heart presents the blind Indian, Blind Owl, and remarks that he is the one who must go. Otherwise, best not go at all. Logan scoffs and asks the blind boy? He then tells the old man that he ain’t got time for games. This is between that critter and him. He’s goin’ it alone. Old Wolf Heart defiantly tells him no. The blind one goes or so help him, Logan will never leave this camp. Reluctantly, Logan concedes.
As they begin their way, Logan recalls that there was no arguin’ with the old fossil, or he’d have the whole camp down on his hair. The ol’ feller was pretty popular with his people. He reckons they’d learned to trust his judgment. Especially about matters like this. So he and the boy set out. Truth bet told, he kept up pretty good. Leastways, he didn’t talk much and that was fine by him.
Eventually, the duo comes across a cave opening. When they stop, Blind Owl asks what is happening. Logan informs him that it’s the cave, just where the old man said it’d be. Entering the cave, Logan tells Blind Owl to come on if he’s comin’. It’s time to get bloody. Inside the cave, Blind Owl mentions to Logan what a stink. It smells like every dead thing in the world is in there with them. Logan tells him he smells it too, probably better ‘n him. Just feel along with his feet and hands and keep his mind on what he’s doin’. He’s doin’ real good so far but, so help him, he holds him up, he’ll leave him behind.
Logan knew the beast was down there, somewhere. He could feel her the way he always can with an animal he’s after. He could feel her breathin’ through the rocks. He could feel her blood pumpin’ ice cold through her greasy veins, her heart poundin’ cold across the wet air. Before the day was done, he was gonna hold that filthy black heart in his hands. Going higher into the cave, Logan knew they were close, real close.
Looking down over the log they are standing over, Logan sees Uncegila sleeping. Blind Owl begins to ask Logan a question but he cuts him off and tells him not to make a bleedin’ sound. Readying his rifle and putting a knife between his teeth, Logan informs Blind Owl that it’s her. It’s…
Blind Owl states that he can feel her too – Uncegila. Logan tells the boy to just stay tight and listen. He’s gonna hear quite a racket… Blind Owl cuts him off and tells Logan no. He doesn’t understand. Uncegila can kill him with but a glance. To see her face is to die. He must go first. Logan tells the boy that he’s crazier than a Yankee mule. What the heck is a blind lad like him gonna do against a devil like that. Now, be sensible. He can’t…
Blind Owl cuts him off again and says he can. He then tells Logan that deep in his heart, he knows it’s true. Logan says there ain’t no way he’s gonna let him… Covering Logan’s eyes, Blind Owl tells him that it’s too late – Uncegila has risen!
Attacking the God of the Dead, Ghost Rider tells him that he will not have the girl. She will live. Tossing away Ghost Rider as if he were a toy, the God says that is impossible. When the young woman calls out to Cable that he’s coming for her, Cable says not for long and begins firing upon the God. After causing some damage, Cable asks Ghost Rider if he wants to try again. The leader of the Warriors of the Dead exclaims no. None may touch their god. Ghost Rider responds by punching him out and Cable points his gun at him and tells him to not even breath. The load he just put in will take the top of his head off.
Rushing towards the God of the Dead, Ghost Rider punches his fist through the back of him. Stopping in his tracks, the God of the Dead remarks curious, pulls him through his body, and asks Ghost Rider what manner of creature he is. Ghost Rider introduces himself and states that he is the spirit of vengeance. When the God of the Dead asks who needs to be avenged, Ghost Rider says the girl. The God tells him he is mistaken. She is one of the sacred, one of the dead. She is to be his bride. Punching him away again, Ghost Rider tells him no, she lives.
From across the room, Cable says that Ghost Rider hit him with everything he had and their foe is still getting up. But it looks like a little damage was done after all, a hairline fracture in the skull. Let’s see if he can exploit the crack Ghost Rider created. With that, Cable shoots the God in the head and shatters his mask.
Cable remarks to Ghost Rider that he can’t believe all that happened was his mask broke apart. That slug should have torn his face off his… Cable stops and says holy… his face? He’s human.
Holding his hand up, the God tells them to please hold. He would understand this. Why do they wish to harm him? Why do they wish to prevent him from paying homage to the dead? He then tells the leader to step forth and asks him why he is wearing the archaic garb of their past. The leader tells him that the priests said it would please him. When the God tells him to remove it, the leader does so and reveals himself to be a human. Putting his hands up against the leader’s head, the God says he will learn from him.
The God exclaims no, this cannot be. His people have become assassins. This was not what he intended. Once, he was a magician, a necromancer, one who worshipped the dead. Tried to use them for his own evil purposes, but then he came down there and he was saved. He lived among the dead. He received the power. But he also received understanding. He became like a god to a small race who dwelled beneath the earth. This he accepted. All he asked was that his followers respect the dead, to worship them. Instead they have become assassins, death merchants. This is his fault for worshipping the dead instead of paying attention to the living. This will stop today.
With that, the God sheds his outer shell of bones and becomes a being of pure energy. Turning towards Ghost Rider and Cable, he tells them to leave now, leave him to his people. When Cable replies not without the girl; the God answers that her fate is her own. Seeing the young woman fall to the ground, Ghost Rider recognizes that she has chosen death, true death. Cable then suggests that, unless they want the same choice, they leave now. As they depart on the back of Ghost Rider’s motorcycle, the God tells them to remember they were not enemies. They are all three servants of the dead.
Later, at the Salem Fields cemetery in Cypress Hills, the ground rumbles. With the anger of a god, or with the roar of vengeance? Once they emerge from the ground, Cable gets off of the bike and says this is where he gets off. The last thing he said, about being servants of the dead. He was right. It’s time they both took a look at the living. There is nothing they can do for the dead. Ghost Rider says he serves only vengeance, to which Cable states that maybe it’s the same thing.
As Ghost Rider rides off into the night, they depart as allies. No one heard their conversation. No one witnessed their heroics. No one but the dead.