Standing in the woods overlooking Xavier’s School for Gifted Youngsters, Logan says to himself that they call him Wolverine. He’s a mutant, a hero, an X-Man. But take away the mask and the fancy powers and he’s just like you. Well, almost. His past is a bit of a mystery, even to him. All he has is a name, a few jumbled memories and a whole truckload of pain along with his claws. He spent a big chunk of his life hunting for the truth, trying to figure out who he is and where he came from. And every answer he’s found only led to a dozen more questions. Now, he’s finally at a place where he might be able to piece it all together. He just has to take the first step which is always the hardest part.
Despite what the sign says, Xavier’s ain’t exactly a school in the traditional sense. But even though they don’t gotta do book reports and math problems, they’re still there to learn. Just then, Kitty Pryde rushes up to Wolverine and tells him that she’s been looking everywhere for him. Nightcrawler has the Danger Room prepped for a training session and…
At that moment, Wolverine cuts her off and tells her not today, he has some personal business to take care of. When Kitty protests, Wolverine tells her to look at the bright side, now she has twice as many robots to smash herself. Twirling her hair between her fingers, Kitty says yeah she guesses.
As he changes out of his uniform and into his regular street clothes and Colossus, Nightcrawler, Angel, Kitty Pryde and Storm are taking part in a Danger Room session, Wolverine thinks to himself that the kid’s heart is in the right place. She came to the school for the same reason the rest of them did. To find out what it takes to be a mutant, to test the limits of their powers, to finally find a safe place in a world that hates and fears them. Maybe even to make that world a better place along the way. But the real difference between him and the rest of the X-Men is that, deep down, they already know who they are. He’s still searchin’. Guess that means he has more to learn than any of them. And as much as he hates to admit it, there’s only one man who can lead him in the right direction.
As he reaches for the doorknob, a voice in his head tells him that he may come in whenever he is ready. The voice belongs to Professor Charles Xavier. Headmaster of the school, the world’s most powerful telepath and more than often, a huge pain in his… Xavier then warns him that it would be wise not to finish that thought. Walking over to Xavier, Logan tells “Chuck” that he thought he told him to stop pokin’ around in his head when he’s not invited. Xavier informs him that it doesn’t take a mind reader to pick up on emotions as strong as his. Taking a seat, Logan replies that he s’poses not but it ain’t what’s on the surface that brought him to see him. When Xavier asks if it is his missing memories, Logan admits that it is, same as always.
Xavier proceeds to tell him that he’s afraid he’s at a complete loss. Every method he’s used to try to tap into his fractured psyche has failed to yield any significant results. Logan responds that their luck is about to change, he can feel it. Today’s the day. Xavier asks what makes him believe that and Logan tells him call it instinct. Xavier informs him that when he welcomed him into his school, he promised that he would help him uncover the truth about his past, no matter the cost. He supposes there is one more option they have yet to explore. Logan replies see, he knew his positive attitude would eventually rub off on him. Xavier tells him that he can assure him that it will not be easy on either one of them. In the past, he has entered his mind alone. Trying to restructure the broken fragments of his memory was like trying to complete a jigsaw puzzle without the original picture for reference. However, if he were to join him on his journey into the mindscape, perhaps he could guide his hand and offer the perspective he’s been sorely missing.
Hearing what Xavier has just said, Logan quips so they’re going on vacation together. Xavier tells him to trust him, going anywhere near his mind is the furthest thing from a vacation that he can imagine. Logan tells him to watch it cueball, just ‘cuz his memories are blurry don’t mean his claws ain’t still sharp. As he attempts to enter Logan’s mind, Xavier tells him that trying to enter a mind as shielded as his isn’t an easy task. He will require his complete cooperation and his unconditional trust. Logan tells him that he’s earned that much, no question ‘bout that. Xavier replies good and adds that he needs him to relax and… Logan cuts him off and informs him that relaxin’ ain’t really his thing. He then tells Xavier to quit yappin’ and to get this show on the road. Xavier replies that actually, he already has. With that, the both of them are sitting on wooden chairs in a stone room and Logan is wearing his brown and tan costume.
Standing up, Logan asks Chuck where the heck they are to which Xavier replies inside his mind or at least the small portion they currently have access to. With his hand on the cold stone wall, Logan remarks that it could use a bit o’ redecoratin’. Xavier responds to say the least and tells Logan that his mind is full of elaborate psychic barriers to prevent anyone, even powerful telepaths like himself, from delving too deep into the memories of his past. Closing his eyes, Logan remarks that he knew Department H messed with his head, but…
Xavier informs him that not all of these walls were erected by his former employers. In fact, these first layers were put in place by him. And he must say, he’s quite impressed with their strength. Upon hearing that, Logan asks him? Why would he? Before he can ponder that thought any further, he is shocked by the sight of Xavier walking. Xavier informs him that the limitations of his physical form do not exist there in the astral plane. It is one of the few places he still has absolute control. Logan tells him that it’s too bad he ain’t got more room to stretch his legs. Xavier replies that can be remedied and begins to take out the bricks one by one with the power of his mind. He states that breaking down the walls is a delicate process that will take some time but it can be done. Logan tells him that one brick at a time ain’t gonna cut it but he thinks these might.
With that, Logan pops his claws and begins to hack away at the wall itself. Xavier begins to warn him to be careful, this mind is a very fragile but Logan tells him that he has his methods, he has his. Breaking through the first barrier, Logan is surprised to find another wall. He remarks that Xavier wasn’t kiddin’ when he said these walls were strong and asks if he’s sure he put ‘em there. As Logan starts to attack the next wall, Xavier informs him that even though he actively seeks to uncover his memories, his subconscious mind seems to want to keep them buried at all costs. Logan says his own brain playin’ tricks on him. Figures, that’s why he usually listens to his gut instead. And right now, his gut is tellin’ him that they just hit the jackpot.
At that moment, Xavier and Logan enter another part of Logan’s memories. Upon seeing the large area with a bunch of images from his past, Logan states that he thinks he liked the little room better. Xavier tells him that he’s found that even the most organized mind can be quite disorienting. His is unlike anything he’s ever encountered in all his years exploring the mindscape. It truly is a sight to behold. Logan tells him that he’ll take that as a compliment to which Xavier says that of course he will. As they look around, there are a number of images:
They include a young Logan running with wolves, another of Logan in Japan, one when he was working with Captain America and Bucky Barnes back in World War II, the time when he faced the Hulk for the first time, and when he discovered as a child that he had bone claws. Other images appear as well such as when he and Ben Grimm worked together, when he left Yariko, when he worked with Guardian, when he faced Magneto for the first time as a member of the X-Men.
After seeing them, Logan asks what’s with all the pretty pictures. Xavier replies that he was hoping he could tell him. After all, they are his memories. Logan tells him that he’s gotta be jokin’. Some of them look like they’re from a hundred years ago. Xavier says fascinating, he knows. He had hypothesized that his mutant healing factor might have extended his lifespan beyond that of an average human but the period of time represented there exceeds even his expectations. Unfortunately, they don’t know how many of these memories are his own and how many were falsely implanted inside his mind during his mental conditioning with the Canadian government. He’s relying on him to help him separate fact from fiction. Logan tells him sorry, but he doesn’t think he’s gonna be much help. They may be his memories, but for some reason, the bulk of ‘em don’t even ring a bell.
Just then, a voice behind him tells him that maybe he can help him sort out the mess beneath that thick metal skull of his and calls him pup. That is, unless he’s already forgotten his ol’ pal Sabretooth too. Turning around, Logan sees Sabretooth and says that the one memory he wishes he could get ridda for good and it keeps turning up like a bad penny. He doesn’t know how he got in his head, but there ain’t no chance he’s getting’ back out in one piece.
At that moment, Logan leaps at Sabretooth and tackles him as Xavier calls out to him no, he doesn’t know what… As Logan continues his attack on Sabretooth, he tells him that he knows exactly what he’s doing. He’s saving them both from a world of hurt. Wherever Sabretooth goes, he leaves everythin’ around him in shreds and he’s not about to let him do the same thing to his brain.
During their brawl, Logan accidentally breaks some of his memories with his claws. Seeing this, Sabretooth remarks that he seems to be doing a pretty good job of that himself. It looks like he ain’t even gonna need to get his claws dirty. Finally getting a clear shot, Logan informs him that unlucky for him, he can’t say the same. With that, he goes to slash Sabretooth’s midsection but much to his surprise, his claws go right through him as if he were a ghost. Sensing his shock, Sabretooth tells him that he thought he woulda figured it out by now. But those enhanced senses o’ his never did him any good once he went all berserker.
Logan then asks Chuck what Sabretooth is babblin’ about. Xavier tells him that he tried to warn him, all is not as it seems. The man before him may look and act like the real Victor Creed, but he is merely a manifestation of his psyche, a fragment of his mind given form. After hearing that Xavier knew what ‘Tooth’s real name was, he asks him how he knew it. Xavier stammers at first and then states that he makes it his duty to keep an eye on his their fellow mutants, even the most unsavory of them. Looking over at Sabretooth, Logan says that he is as “unsavory” as they come and if that animal represents part of his brain, he must be the part he ain’t never gonna let himself become.
Sabretooth then pipes in and tells him to try the part he always wished he could be. Putting his fist under Creed’s chin, Logan tells him that he’s heard just about enough from him. Creed responds by asking why can’t they just be friends like they were back in the day? Logan informs him that he ain’t his friend, never was, never will be. Creed asks him if he’s sure about that. ‘Cause, the way he remembers it, they used to run in the same pack. Of course, that was a long time ago. Before he put on a fancy costume and decided to save the world. Heck, even before his bones were covered in all that unbreakable adamantium. Looking at a memory of the Team X days – Logan, Creed, and David North (Maverick) – Creed tells Logan that those were the good ol’ days. And even after Team X split up and they went their separate ways, he kept fightin’ the good fight. Much as it pains him to say it, he always was the best at what he did. They all knew it. And bein’ the best gets ya noticed by all the wrong people.
Just then, a memory appears before Logan and he sees himself years ago in an old car outside a bar being approached by three men in suits. After the men shoot him, they attempt to take him into custody but much to their surprise, Logan fights back. A struggle ensues and eventually the men are able to take Logan down and put him into a van.
In his mind, Logan asks Creed who those goons were and where they took him. Creed tells him that’s where the memory ends. If he wants to find out more, he has to look in there – a large military instillation. Putting his mask back on, Logan asks him what they are waiting for and heads towards the instillation. Creed tells him this is the end of the road for him. He already knows what happens behind those doors and he’s not settin’ foot in there again if he doesn’t gotta. Logan replies fine and tells Chuck to come on. They don’t need no help from a coward anyway.
As they enter, Creed calls out to him that he ain’t scared but he sure ain’t stupid neither. If he wants to relive his past so bad, go right ahead but he’s warnin’ him, it ain’t gonna be pretty. When Logan walks into another room, he is shocked to see himself in a holding tube with a multitude of wires coming out of him and three scientists observing him.
In the Canadian wilderness, Sabretooth thinks to himself that there’s nothin’ for miles but peace an’ quiet. He hates peace an’ quiet. Looking down at a solitary log cabin, he realizes that there’s somethin’ else in the air that night, an energy that makes every hair on his neck stand straight up. He’s been ‘round the block enough times to recognize the calm before a storm. Taking a look at a letter he received that said “Dear Mr. Creed, your presence is requested to discuss important matters of you past and perhaps your future. Please meet me at …, Canada.” Sabretooth knows there’s a war comin’ an’ he has the strange feelin’ he’s about to be drafted.
Entering the cabin, a bald man with glasses is sitting at a table. He says to Creed that he wasn’t sure he would show up. Creed replies that he doesn’t get too many dinner invites these days. The man says that he can understand why not; he’s not an easy man to locate. Picking up a steak, Creed tells the man that when ya spend this many years huntin’ an’ trackin’, ya learn ta cover your trail. The man states that luckily, he has some unconventional methods at his fingertips.
Upon hearing that, Creed chuckles and tells him that he ain’t the only one. The man responds that he knows, that’s one of the reasons that he asked him there. Taking a bite out of the steak, Creed asks the man what else he knows about him. The man informs him that he knows about his military service record. How his special ops unit, Team X, was disbanded after he decided to go rogue on a mission. Creed says so he read a few CIA files. Big deal, that junk happened a lifetime ago. The man adds so did the abuse.
When he hears that, Creed is shocked and asks him what he just said. The man tells Victor that he’s sorry for what his father did to him. No child deserves to be treated like that. Chained up like an animal just because he was born different. Standing up, Creed shouts that he ain’t no animal. The man agrees but tells him that he is different, special. He was born with gifts that most people couldn’t begin to comprehend, abilities that make him more than human and make him the perfect candidate for his program. Creed asks “program” and tells him that he doesn’t know what kinda freakshow he’s runnin’ but he doesn’t want any part of it.
The man then asks him what he does want. To continue to bury his pain by causing greater suffering for others or to finally put it behind him and seek the redemption he knows he deserves. The choice is his. Creed asks since when. The world doesn’t want him. All they see is a monster so that’s what he’s gonna give ‘em. The man tells him that he can prove them wrong. He’s offering him a chance to hone his natural abilities in a way he never imagined possible. A chance to put his unique skills to use for the betterment of the world. A chance to prove himself alongside the very best of his kind. Sitting down, Creed tells the man that he obviously didn’t finish readin’ his dossier. Otherwise, he’d know he doesn’t play well with others.
The man replies that there was a time when he did. Creed responds not anymore and that if he wants a good little soldier, he’s gonna have to look somewhere else. The man tells him that he has and slides a file across the table marked “Classified: Weapon X.” He believes he knows him. He’s currently at the top of his list of potential candidates. Opening the file, Creeds sees a picture of Logan and a letter from Department H. Enraged, Creed asks why. ‘Cause he’s the best there is at what he does? That little worthless runt ain’t nothin’, an’ if he ever sees his smug little smile again, he’s gonna carve it right off his tiny head. With that, Creed leaps at the man on the other side of the table.
Touching his hand to his head, the man tells him loud and clear and that he obviously made a grave mistake. Removing his glasses, Professor Charles Xavier, in his wheelchair, tells Creed that by the time he regains control of his body, he will have already forgotten that this meeting ever took place. Be warned though, humans will continue to treat them all like animals if mutants like him continue to act as such. Should he ever change his ways, the doors of his school are always open. He truly hopes he will eventually see the light. Mutantkind will need to band together if they hope to survive the trials ahead. After all, the war has just begun.
Eventually, Creed is freed from Xavier’s control but not until Xavier is long gone. Walking outside, he feels like he just woke up from a bad dream, one that’s already startin’ to fade away. He’s all alone, no scent, no trail, nothin’ but the usual peace an’ quiet. But there’s somethin’ else in the air that night, somethin’ even his heightened senses can barely place, a faint whisper on the wind that tells him that somethin’ big is just around the corner. There’s a war comin.’ The funny thing about it is that it don’t really matter which side you’re on. If you ain’t the man pullin’ the trigger, then you’re just another weapon.