When ya live the kind a’ life I have, ya sort a’ get used t’ wakin’ up in strange places covered in a pool a’ yer own blood but that don’t mean ya gotta like it. The two goofs before him, Omega Red and Lady Deathstrike, are the guilty parties. They did a number on him an’ sure didn’t let the fact that he doesn’t have his mutant powers right now to stop ‘em none. But powers or no, he had no choice but t’ hunt ‘em down. What with the way they messed with his friends an’ loved ones like they have. Case in point, his foster daughter Amiko tied to the couch, the bait that lured him there. An’ while he knew she’d been captured for quite some time now, what he didn’t know until just now was that the man behind this whole nasty scheme is the most twisted S.O.B. he’s ever met – Sabretooth.
Opening up the curtains, Creed tells the runt to rise an’ shine, he doesn’t want to miss the party does he? Looking at Creed and Omega holding a bottle of champagne each, Logan thinks to himself no mutant powers, foster daughter’s life on the line, his three greatest enemies – nope. He wouldn’t a’ minded missin’ this party at all. When Creed puts his hands on Amiko and tells her that her “daddy” came fer her after all, Logan pops his claws and leaps towards him. Before he can get there, Omega smashes a bottle of champagne over Logan’s head, much to his surprise. Standing over Logan, Creed mentions that it’s a shame t’ waste bubbly like that, ‘specially at $500 a bottle but, hey, what’s the difference. There’s plenty more where that came from.
As Omega wraps him up in his coils, Logan thinks to himself that whatever it is that’s keepin’ them from rippin’ each other’s throats out sure can’t be good fer him. Raising his glass, Creed tells Logan here’s to him. Today’s a special day fer him in more ways than one. Fer one thing, it’s the anniversary a’ Mariko’s death. He wouldn’t want him t’ think he forgot. But even more important than his dead frail, today his ol’ pal’s startin’ a new lease on life. The days a’ him marchin’ t’ the beat of the Weapon X’s an’ Magneto’s a’ the world are over. Victor Creed’s about t’ become a big player in the game.
As he pours his champagne over Logan’s head he hears him muffle something. Sarcastically, he asks what’s that; he ain’t with the Weapon X program no more. Considerin’ he swiped the Director’s codes an’ accessed some a’ their tech an’ a truckload a’ their cash t’ make his life miserable, he’d have to say no. What’s more, that ain’t even takin’ into account whether or not they’ve found out about the disk he’s holding in his hands, copies a’ the program’s most sensitive files. What he has there is info on just about every friggin’ mutant there is – locations, strengths, weaknesses, what not. What he can do with this, the possibilities are endless. This here is his shinin’ moment an’ he wanted t’ make sure he was there t’ share it with…
Omega interjects that while on the subject of “sharing,” correct him if he’s wrong but neither Lady D nor himself has had access to the files yet nor their full share of the program’s money. If he has any ideas on cheating them, need he remind him outside of Wolverine, the person he wants to see dead most in the world is him. Creed asks him that he thinks he’s holdin’ out on him, ruskie? Don’t forget, he’s the one who put this little operation together. An’ while he needed Lady D to swipe those codes fer him, he’s just lucky he included him at all. So in other words, if he isn’t keen on the way things are going down, bring it on.
Before the two come to blows, Lady D steps between them and reminds them that they all agreed to set aside their differences for their common goals, so let them not bicker like schoolchildren. However, she must tell Creed that Omega does have a point. Outside of their initial payment, Omega and she have yet to see the fruits of their labor. As Logan crawls towards Amiko on the couch and frees her, Creed puts his hands on both Omega and Lady D’s shoulders and tells them to relax. They’ll both get copies a’ the files an’ the rest a’ the dough. This way Lady D can set up her new body shoppe and Omega can jump-start his Russian mob. Creed then adds that they’ll both get everythin’ that’s comin’ to them and promptly slams their heads together.
Heading towards Logan and Amiko with the teleporter in hand, Creed tells the big dumb commie the real reason he had him along fer the ride is that he wanted to screw him over one last time. With that, Creed, Amiko, and Logan disappear just before one of Omega’s coils and Lady D’s fists land harmlessly in the couch. Looking over at Omega, Lady D points out that Creed is gone and with him, the files, their money, and Wolverine. They have nothing. Enraged, Omega yells out Creed’s name in anger. Lady D responds, by the four winds, if they only knew where they disappeared to.
In a forest in an undisclosed location, Creed stands over a beaten Logan and informs him that they’re alone at last. He hopes he doesn’t mind losin’ the dead weight. Ya knew it’d eventually come down t’ just them anyway. When Logan pops his claw, Creed steps on his hand and tells him that might not be the best course a’ action sunshine. Not if he wants to see Amiko alive again, it ain’t. Standing up, Logan holds his head and tells Creed that he’s got about ten seconds t’ tell him where she is.
Creed asks that they’re down to cases and proceeds to tell him what they’re gonna do. Bein’ the sport he is, he’s gonna give him two choices. Choice numero uno – them right now, right there fer the chippie. This happens t’ be his favorite by the way. Or ya got what he calls the “punk’s way out.” Li’l miss Amiko’s stashed away somewhere ‘round there an’ if he can find her before he can stop him, they both go home scot-free. Hell, he’ll even give him a head start. Plus, ‘cause he’s feelin’ extra generous today, he’s gonna let him in on a little secret, somethin’ he kept from Omega an’ Lady D. There were some other files he snatched from Weapon X, somethin’ called the Logan files. He took a peek at ‘em an’ all the answers concernin’ his lost memories he’s been lookin’ for all these years… Need he say more?
Logan thinks to himself that “Logan files” sounds like Creed jerkin’ his chain again. Creed then tells him that whatever way he chooses, the files ‘re his along with the frail. So, what’s it gonna be, runt? Standing face to face with Creed, Logan thinks that as much as he’d like t’ ram his claws down Creed’s throat right now, with no healin’ factor an’ havin’ just gone a few rounds with the gruesome twosome; he can’t risk Amiko bein’ left t’ Creed’s tender mercies. As he runs off, he realizes that this is the second time in as many days as he’s had t’ hightail it instead a’ fightin’. Ya can mark his words though, it’s also the last. Seeing his foe run off, Creed laughs and remarks the punk’s way out, he loves it.
At the Weapon X compound, Kane informs the Director that they’ve got Creed after he teleported again. The Director tells him excellent work and asks where exactly has that traitorous piece of sewage gotten to. Kane replies somewhere in Canada, he’ll need a few minutes to pinpoint the precise location though. The Director tells him a few minutes is all he has before informing the guards to prepare the air-ships and to alert every available agent – Victor Creed is about to pay the piper. Kane then tells the Director that he’s got the location although it seems a bit strange to him. When the Director asks how so, Kane replies that it’s in the middle of nowhere. Showing a picture of the location on the map on the screen, Kane asks him if he has any idea why Sabretooth would go there. Looking at the map, the Director simply replies ‘oh my…’
Deeper in the forest, Logan hides in a tree away from Creed. As he does, he thinks to himself that he’s gotta give the devil his due, Creed is good. They’ve been playin’ cat an’ mouse fer hours an’ try as he might, he still can’t shake him. Creed just knows him too well. Hell, after all these years, he probably doesn’t even need enhanced senses t’ know what his next move’s gonna be, he can just feel it by now. There’s a flip side t’ all this though, he knows Sabretooth, too. He knows that all this while Creed’s been busy pattin’ himself on the back. He’s figurin’ that after this whole scheme a’ his, after all he’s put him through – with him wounded an’ weakened, both physically an’ emotionally, that he’s as easy a kill as he’s ever gonna be. So right about this point, Creed’s gettin’ a little too cocky, a little too impatient, a little too careless – which all amounts to him bein’ right where he wants him.
Just then, Logan leaps from the tree downs towards Creed and proceeds to slash him down his back with his claws. Creed responds by tossing him into a tree and telling him nice one runt, he caught him nappin’ an’ all. ‘Course, his body’s gonna heal up mighty quick from that little love tap while his just keeps on gettin’ tenderized. Lying on the ground, Logan thinks that he can’t argue much there and goes to kick Creed as he charges.
Creed immediately stops in his tracks, grabs the boot off of Logan’s foot and looks at his foot. He then asks if that is the little boo-boo Lady D gave him. Squeezing it with all his might, Creed asks him if it hurts when he does that. When Logan screams in pain, Creed drags his claws down his leg and asks him what about that. Grabbing hold of his leg, Logan continues to cry out in pain. Standing over him, Creed tells him that he might want to get that checked out, it looks kinda painful.
Amidst the pain, Logan thinks to himself that it’s more like unbearable. In fact, he’d be easy pickin’s right now if not fer one thing, a final trick up his sleeve. Taking the opportunity, Logan kicks Creed in the chest with his good foot and knocks him into a pit filled with pointed sticks. When the sticks jam into Creed’s back, he howls out in pain. Pulling himself up, with the sticks still in his back, Creed remarks that he played him right into a trap. He led him right into his “Rambo action playset” but now he’s…
Reaching the top of the hole, Creed sees that Logan is gone. Finding his blood on the ground and licking it off his finger, he says ‘but not completely’ an’ it’s only a matter a’ time ‘fore he comes an’ gets the rest.
Later, Logan continues to make his way through the forest with his right leg and his hands bandaged up. As he does so, he thinks to himself that he doesn’t know what’s killin’ him more, his leg or the fact that he ain’t run into Creed for a while. Normally, he’d be pretty happy about the latter but let’s face it, ain’t no way he’s gonna stay ahead a’ him this long with the shape he’s in. It’s his way a’ toyin’ with him, makin’ him play this sick game on his terms, havin’ t’ wait fer the other shoe to drop. He ain’t…
At that moment, Logan finds a large building in a clearing in the trees. He immediately recognizes it as the original Weapon X compound – consider that other shoe dropped. Entering the building, Logan determines that Creed’s master plan finally sees the light a’ day. In order fer him t’ find salvation, he has t’ take a stroll down tragedy lane. An’ since Creed can’t be trusted, he has to take into account two big ifs. If Amiko’s really there, an if these so-called Logan files really exist – very nice. He’s gonna have t’ see how this plays out an’ the room in front a’ him is as good a’ place t’ start as any considerin’ what those Weapon X bastards did t’ him in there.
Entering the room where he was transformed into what he is now, Logan hears ghosts of the past. “I thought I’d prepared for everything Professor, but who could forsee this?” “He’s got… like… spikes coming out of him!” “Oh my god – blood’s spurting out of his hands!” “Devil with that! It’s a mindless, murdering animal!” But I couldn’t tell if it was some animal blood-lust… or horror at what we have done to him!”
Searching through the wreckage, Logan says it’s funny, but this chamber a’ horrors might actually be of some use t’ him, maybe he can find somethin’ there t’ help him with his leg. Before he can search for very long, Creed crashes through a nearby window and tells him that it’s ‘bout time he showed up. Attacking Logan, he tells him that he was gettin’ worried. He thought he might a’ lost his nerve when he saw where their little get-together was at. Picking up a scalpel, Logan proceeds to stab Creed in the eye. When he does, he tells him nah, he just thinks it’s a real stupid choice fer a final showdown is all. Considerin’ how old an’ unstable it is.
With that, Logan cuts some power sources which causes the room to explode. Luckily for Logan, he is able to escape without any further injury.
Outside the complex, the Director arrives, flanked by a number of Weapon X agents and Kane. When Kane asks him if this is what he thinks it is, the Director replies that it is, it’s the birthplace of the original program. Battered, bruised, a shell of what it once was perhaps… As he walks through the gates, the Director’s mind goes back into the past where he recalls how he was brutally attacked by Logan when he escaped the facility. Seeing how the Director is acting, Kane puts his hand on his shoulder and asks him if he’s all right. The Director informs him that he’s fine and to get his damned hands off of him.
Inside the complex, Logan finds the facility’s old exhaust pit. If he knows Creed, this is where he’s keepin’ Amiko. As he makes his way down into the pit he finds the Logan files and is shocked to find that they’re real. Holding them in his hands, he can’t believe it. Could it finally be, could the secret to findin’ his past really be in there? But if the files are there, that also means…
Turning around, he finds Amiko tied up against the wall. Cutting him down, Logan holds her unconscious body and pleads with her to speak t’ him but finds that she’s not breathin’. From his metal throne, Creed tells him that isn’t that a shame. When Logan looks up at him menacingly, Creed says to him not to look at him that way, he said he could find her, just not what kind a’ condition he’d find her in is all. With that, Creed leaps down upon Logan. When he does, Logan calls him a motherless piece o’… before Creed begins to beat him unmercifully.
Tossing Logan away as if he was a toy, Creed tells him that’s ‘cause he brought his mother into this. Picking up the Logan files, Creed says to Logan that he got so womanly over the chopped-up chippie but he forgot all about the files. They’re only the answers he’s been searchin’ fer his entire life after all. So, what’s inside – absolutely nothing. To prove it, Creed opens it up and shows him.
Entering the Weapon X compound, Kane informs the Director that he’s detecting Creed’s vital signs around the bend in addition to those of another which are fairly low – Wolverine’s. Whatever Creed’s doing to him, he can’t take much more of it. The Director states he won’t have to and calls home base to inform one of his agents to activate the M.P.C. and to aim it at the target, Victor Creed. The technician replies that with all due respect, Leech, the mutant powering the cannon is still in pretty bad shape from when the cannon was last activated. If they use it now, it may very well kill him. Putting his hand on the Director’s shoulder, Kane tells the Director that he’s afraid he’s right. After all, if the mutant dies, his powers would be lost to them forever.
The Director angrily tells him to tell it to someone who gives a damn and calls him a moron. He then asks him if he honestly thinks he’s going to allow that barbarian Sabretooth to rob him of what’s his? To have the final say as far as Wolverine is concerned? Slamming Kane on the floor, the Director calls base back and tells him that if he has to call back a third time he’s coming there and flamethrowing the entire facility. With that, the technician powers up the cannon and fires it.
Inside the exhaust pit, Creed tells Logan that this is his favorite part. The part the program never wanted him t’ figure out, they never had his memories. Weakly, Logan tells Creed that he’s lyin’ as usual. Creed asks is he? The program just dangled ‘em in front of him like a carrot all these years knowin’ how he blamed them an’ just about everybody else under the sun for his missin’ past. But the truth is, the only one t’ blame is himself. Logan tells him he’s a liar, a freakin’ liar. Creed says that he is, but not about this; an’ deep down, he knows it. His healin’ factor don’t just heal his body, but his mind too. He didn’t have the guts t’ deal with some a’ the heavy stuff that happened to him so instead, he healed over it all like it never happened. So that’s it, that’s what he’s been searchin’ fer all this time. When Logan tells him that it ain’t true, Creed jams his claws into his chest.
With one of his last moves, Logan takes the opportunity to stab Creed. Creed tells him that was a nice partin’ shot. ‘Course, it’ll just… He then realizes that he’s feelin’ weak and ain’t healin’ – what’s goin’ on? Pulling himself up by Creed’s shirt, Logan tells him that it sounds like the program gave him a taste a’ his own medicine and stabs him in the neck. When Creed falls to the ground, Logan knows that he’s dying. That last bit a’ damage Creed inflicted on him, it ain’t the kind ya come back from. But if that’s true, if he is checkin’ out, he’s sure as hell takin’ this bastard with him.
As Logan prepares to deliver the killing blow to Creed, he hears a number of guns surrounding him. He then hears the Director’s voice telling him that they’ll take it from there Experiment X. He then asks Victor if he honestly thought he’d get away with this. Turning his attention to Logan, whom he calls “Experiment X,” the Director tells him that he doesn’t know exactly what Creed’s told him about certain files for instance but he needn’t tell him how little he should regard anything he says. Creed tells the Director that he’s a regular honest Abe, right? Before he teleports away, he says believe him that he didn’t tell him anythin’ he didn’t already know.
As the Weapon X agents rush towards Logan, he stands up and prepares to battle them. Before long though, Logan crashes to the ground. The Director orders Doctor Windsor to go check on Logan. When he does, he informs the Director that they’re too late, Wolverine’s dead.
In Japan, Matsuo Tsurayaba sits alone and meditates. He realizes that it’s almost time. He is as respected and feared a crimelord as there ever was within the Japanese underworld and he is in the process of making out his last will and testament before his time. He wonders how it has come to this, this moment of such despair and defeat. Unfortunately, there comes a point in time when every man, himself included, must accept his fate and make his peace with it. Tonight is the night he dies.
He has not come to this realization lightly. On the contrary, it was only through living this wretched existence his life has now become by which the truth was hammered into him. How he dared to play with forces beyond his comprehension. How in his arrogance, killed the love, Mariko Yashida, of a man named Logan. A man who swore he’d take a piece of him every year on the anniversary of his beloved’s death, a man who’s made good on his vow time and time again.
Looking back, he cannot help but feel naïve at how little he regarded the threat that initial year. There they were, nearly midnight in his office, his men and he going some affairs when it happened, when Wolverine arrived. He has always been quite choosy when recruiting the men in his employ. Loyal, well skilled, fearless, in other words the best and yet they were but twigs before the fury of the storm that night. As for he, let them just say that he fared little better and lost most of his left arm.
The year following, he was a bit more cautious. Taking advantage of his association with the deadly ninja organization known as the Hand, he flooded his compound with their most highly trained assassins. And let him tell you, anyone would have stood in awe of the veritable army of skilled murderers that lay before them but of course, this was not anyone. Even so, he was confident enough that the odds against him were too high. So much so, in fact, that he turned away from his window, not even bothering to watch the ensuing battle. Needless to say, he should have. Perhaps then he wouldn’t have caught him so unaware and he’d still be in possession of his right ear.
He started taking the anniversary a bit more seriously after that. That year, he took the highest security measures yet. Armed bodyguards were stationed at every possible vantage point, video monitors installed everywhere, mounted lasers, motion detectors, snipers. You name it, he had it. There was no possible way he could get in without him knowing about it. So after the clock struck twelve, a smile came to his lips. Surely, he had outsmarted him, beaten him at last. Surely he was sitting somewhere enraged at how he’d finally made his deathbed vow worthless. Surely he was a fool, Wolverine came crashing up through his desk. To this day, he wonders if those around him ever noticed his nose was as false as his bravado.
Actually, he wonders about a lot of things these days like how unwise it was to get so irate that he made a vow of his own. If it was him he wanted, then it was him he was going to get along with the fight of his miserable life. He spent a good deal of his fortune determined to make himself as formidable an opponent as he’d ever seen. He had strength-enhancing cybernetic parts installed throughout the body he annually ravaged. He trained intensively in several forms of martial arts. He invested in the finest technology available – battle armor, energy swords, laser pistols, just to name a few. Yet, all he succeeded in doing was making him mad. Last year, his viciousness knew no bounds and he took his gall bladder of all things.
Earlier, he called him a man but in truth, he misspoke. He is no man. A man can be stopped. He is not unlike a mythical beast from ancient Japanese lore, a demon who comes to collect a piece of your soul as an annual tribute. He will tolerate it no longer. Thus, as the anniversary is upon him once again, he has decided not to wait and learn what he will part with next. Instead, he will ask the demon to show mercy upon him, to end his yearly torment, allowing him to keep what little honor he has left, to permit him to take his own life.
Once the clock strikes midnight, Matsuo closes his eyes and waits for the inevitable. When it doesn’t come, he wonders how it can be, he didn’t come. Every year before the clock strikes twelve, every single godforsaken year. He wonders what could have caused him not to appear this time, what could have possibly made him break his vow? Little does Matsuo know, Logan is dead and is in the process of being zipped up in a body-bag.
In Alabama, there are still plenty of nameless dirt roads cutting through the trees, going nowhere in particular winding quietly over defiled burial grounds, past lynching trees, and into the haunted hills littered with Union metal and Confederate bones. Rest assured, you’ll find a good deal of ghosts around there, holy and otherwise. He’s been through these parts before, a time or two over the years, as local legends will no doubt attest. And like most every other place, he never seems to leave on particularly good terms. Right now, he just wants to get the hell outta there before he kills anyone else. Exiting the woods, a shirtless bare-foot Logan happens upon an older African-American lady standing next to her car with a busted tire clutching her bible.
When she sees Logan, the lady thanks Jesus for sending her help. Sniffing the air and sensing the dogs coming, Logan knows he definitely doesn’t need this. He proceeds to tell the lady that he hates to rush her but she needs to be movin’ along now, this spot ain’t safe. The lady proceeds to tell him that she’s been tryin’ to get t’ the old church where they buried her momma. Done got this flat tho’ and she doesn’t know what she woulda done if he hadn’t come along. She then tells him he’s an angel of God, sent straight from heaven. Logan gives her a strange look and thinks to himself “angel of God” – that’s sure a first.
As Logan walks over to start changing the tire, the lady tells him that her Paul coulda changed that tire lickety-split. He was her husband, a good man. But it’s been years now since he went to be with the good Lord. These days, she ain’t got nobody else but Jesus. She sure is glad to see him tho’, what with the lightnin’ storm comin’ and all. She can tell it’s gonna be a bad one cause her knees been achin’ all day. See, whenever there’s storms a’ comin’ she can just feel it in her bones. Logan tells her yeah, him too and thinks to himself that she’s a real talkative gal but he really doesn’t have the time t’ chat.
Looking at his back, the lady asks him about the wounds on his back and asks what kinda trouble he’s runnin’ from. Logan tells her not to concern herself with his problems. They need to just worry about getting her on her way. The lady then tells Logan that he’s a good man, she can see that. It doesn’t matter what sort of trouble he’s in, she knows it ain’t his fault. She can tell he’s a good man at heart. Finishing with the tire, Logan tells her no, he ain’t. The lady then tells him that he’s got eyes that’ve seen more trials then she could scarcely imagine. She then says “you poor thing, how you must suffer.”
Putting the tire iron in the trunk, Logan is annoyed and thinks to himself that this little chat has gone on long enough. The lady says to him that the past don’t matter to Jesus and he’s the only one who can ease his sufferin’. All he has to do is let him, all he has to do is ask. She asks if he’s ever prayed. Logan thinks to himself that she talks to him like he’s a child. Has he ever prayed, she wants to know. He remembers a night of cold metal, screaming curses at the sky ‘til his throat was raw. He remembers a view of the heavens, looking out from the moon, the day an X-Man died. And he’ll never forget the smell of the freshly dug earth atop Mariko’s grave or the days he spent kneeling before it. Has he ever prayed, she asks.
Closing the trunk, Logan tells the lady that she needs to get in and get moving, they don’t have much time. Just then, two Dobermans arrive and lunge at Logan. He realizes that it’s too late and takes the dogs out with his claws. After he does so, he tells the lady to get outta there. Before she can, three men show up with rifles and go to shoot at the blasted freak. Unfortunately for the lady, she is caught in the crossfire and falls to the ground along with Logan. One of the men asks who the lady was and another one replies who cares.
As the lady lies dying on the ground, she weakly tells Logan not to die without knowing God. In his mind, Logan thinks this is exactly what he didn’t want to happen. He didn’t want the lady to die here, like this, because of him. He knows he’s hit somewhere but he can’t feel it. Doesn’t matter much though, he just feels the dirt beneath him. He also smells the wind, heavy with rain and hears thunder rumbling somewhere. The lady was definitely right about one thing, there’s definitely a storm on the way. As the men surround Logan, one of them tells him that he killed his dogs and calls him a motherless mutie scum. Another tells his buddies not to shoot it in the face, he might wanna mount it in his livin’ room.
A while later it has taken Logan a while to take care of the burials. And the whole time, he’s just thinkin’ ‘bout her. ‘Bout how she’d still be alive if she’d just never met him. He’ll bet wherever she is right now, there’s probably a bunch more innocent folks who could say the same. ‘Course, he’s also sent plenty a’ souls on their way who won’t be overly missed. But he takes no joy from that. Cause he knows that one day, sooner or later, he’ll be joinin’ ‘em. And it won’t be in heaven, that’s for damn sure. With that, Logan gets in the car and drives down the road as the three men lie dead on the street behind him.