As a plain-clothed Wolverine stands in the snow outside a building named Prophecy, flanked by the Beatles and Janis Joplin, he recognizes that he is in Ottawa. The last time he saw the dump, he was drownin’ in rotgut… pretzels in his eyebrows – the whole soggy bit. But that wasn’t too long ago… if last summer was the summer o’ love, maybe this is the winter o’ his discontent. The Tet offensive is still goin’ on an’ the Mets ain’t won the pennant yet. He wonders if it’s really been four years since JFK got taken out.
Inside the building is a sign that reads the Prophecy house rules are “No target practice in rooms,” No wounding of firing range personnel,” “No second chance,” and “No feeling sorry for yourself.” A man sits in the middle of the room watching a TV with “I Love Lucy” being shown. Richard Nixon is also there as well as other men. Walking up to the front desk, Wolverine tells the man that he’s fallen and he can’t get up. The man tells him that is their mission brother - to provide shelter to the fallen and to go where no man has gone before. As he speaks, he points to a stained glass image of Captain James T. Kirk and First Officer Mr. Spock.
Wolverine ignores him and begins his ascent of the stairs. The man mopping the floors asks him if he knows him and if he was “evah up in the see-erra-mah-estra down Cuber way.” Wolverine tells him that he’s goin’ up to #23. At the front desk, the Prophecy house rules have been changed to include “No alcohol,” “No smoking,” No visitors,” and “No profanity.” The clerk calls Wolverine a poor soul and mentions that he must have been speaking in tongues.
He asks what he meant by room #23. They don’t have a #23. Archie Bunker says there used ta be, back when Reverend Mike ran the place. All the rooms wuz numbered fer his favorite Psalms. Up on the next floor, a man tells Wolverine that hell is comin’ and that Prophecy is part o’ the apocalypse. That’s when they gets th’ big surprise, tha’s when they fin’ out all th’ secrets.
Back in Salem Center in New York at the X-Mansion, Jean Grey asks what happened in Wolverine’s room and wonders aloud who destroyed it. Colossus points out the claw marks, Wolverine must have done this himself but why. Why would he destroy everything he owned? Cyclops offers up that maybe he was trying to destroy his past. Professor Charles Xavier informs them all that on the contrary, he suspects his past caught up with him and consumed him. He says that Wolverine is not denying the past, he is obliterating the present by visiting the phantoms of the past. Jubilee asks how he knew this. Xavier tells her that it’s his fault, he tampered with his mind. He asked him to… he never asked him for anything before… he…
In Ottawa, the man from the Prophecy asks Logan why he came back. Logan informs him that he wuz playin’ pinball and an angel started whisperin’ secrets in his ear. When he asks the man if he has a crowbar on him, the man transforms into a puppet and gives him one. The puppet asks “pinball?” Logan begins to use the crowbar and peels up the floorboards. He tells the puppet that he was down at the Auger Inn, down in Salem Center – a nice place – level pool table, good sides on the juke and fresh sawdust on the floor. Logan recounts that he was playing pinball when he noticed that the ball didn’t look right. It looked like him!
One of the ladies on the machine asks him if he knows where he goes if he falls down the chute. Below him, the chute of the pinball machine has the words “Abandon hope, all ye who enter here.” Logan cries out no and hears the maniacal laughing of two red-haired women. When he comes to from playing the pinball machine known as Diablo, it is broken. The owner of the bar tells him that he’s payin’ for that. Logan doesn’t hear him. He only hears the voice of a blonde-haired angel telling him that it doesn’t have to be this way. He just has to resolve things with Terry Adams.
Back in Salem Center, Xavier informs the X-Men gathered around him that he was working in the psi-lab when Wolverine appeared at the door. He told him how he buried Silver Fox with his own hands and how he walked two hundred miles through the woods to get to a place where he could hitch a ride to the next bus station. He had a long time to think on that walk and he decided that he wanted a favor from him. Logan asked him to go inside his head and make things right.
Xavier didn’t want to do it. He doesn’t know which memories are the real ones. It would be as if he were trying to put together a jig-saw puzzle without knowing what the picture was. Logan told him that he didn’t want the deluxe job, he just wants the blocks taken away, he wants to see what’s been hidden. Xavier told him that he couldn’t do it because of the risks. Logan then asked him if ever tried to remember something and just couldn’t. Ya know, ya wrack yer brains for hours and it’s just out o’ reach, like an itch in the middle o’ your back. Logan informed him that half his life is like that, and asks him to give him a break.
In Ottawa, Logan tells the angel that he can’t remember anything about Terry Adams. The angel tells him that it will come to him like the score on the machine. The score – 23. As the angel begins to sing “Yea, though I walk…” Logan looks down at his handiwork and mentions that the last board just won’t level out. A voice from behind asks him to let her help him. Logan turns to see a dead woman beginning to decompose that resembles Janice. He asks her didn’t something happen in Berlin, something terrible? Janice tells him that hasn’t happened yet and assists Logan in breaking the last board in the floor with the crowbar.
In the hole in the floor Logan notices a large stash of money and guns. Janice mentions to Logan that is some stash he has there. Logan asks her what happened to the wino. Janice tells him that he died, doesn’t he remember? He spat and keeled over. Picking up the guns, Janice adds that he doesn’t need these things; he’d never get them through customs. Besides, isn’t he integrally packing these days with some built-in hardware? She then rises up a wallet and notices that he has a Federal Air Marshall’s badge – that will get him anywhere he wants to go. She adds that he also has I.D. cards for every major security agency in the world with blank expiration dates. K.G.B., C.I.A., GRU, M15, even Shin Beth. She also finds U.N. peace-keeping force credentials, a diplomatic pouch, bundles of Swiss Francs, and piles of Kruger Rands.
Holding up a briefcase, she mentions that it’s a mission cache – the goodies he’ll need to whack out ol’ Terry Adams. Janice then notices that Logan is looking out of sorts. She tells him that he better get with the program and that he’d better snap out of it. At that moment, Logan wakes up and wonders where he is. He’s supposed to be on a mission. He asks what he is doing there. He then realizes where he is. He’s at the X-Mansion. He lives there. It can’t be, it’s gotta be an elaborate implant. They’re tryin’ to throw him off, tryin’ to sabotage his mission. He can’t let this stop him. He has to get to his cache. He has to carry out his mission. He has to take out Terry Adams!
At the X-Mansion, Xavier tells the X-Men that, in all the years he’s known Logan, this was the first time he had asked anything of him. He gave in. He tried to unblock the locked away memory of this Terry Adams. They were already in the psi-lab and Xavier proceeded to strap Logan down and slathered electrolyte gel on his temples and did the same to himself. Xavier knew he couldn’t simply reach in and take away the memory blocks. He had to enter Wolverine’s subconscious himself. He had to step into his worst nightmare. A spiked, tentacled world of pain, stinging, burning, exploding.
Amidst enigmatic, horrific phantasms he had to locate the core of Wolverine’s self. He found it just beyond a monstrous fanged tree – a tree nursing a litter of radiators. He called out to Logan to remember Terry Adams. Logan snaps and screams Terry Adams and rips apart his room. The angel whispers Terry Adams to him. All he hears is Terry Adams…
In Ottawa, two men knock on room #23. They ask what is going on in there and that he can’t tear the room apart. The one man tells the Rev to stand back; he’ll bust the door down. When he does they find a large hole in the floorboard littered with guns. The men wonder where he went and decide to call the Mounties after finding all of the guns.
In Los Angeles, in front of John Wraith’s house, Storm informs Wraith that they have reached an impasse. Terry Adams does not exist as far as the C.I.A., F.B.I., and N.S.A. is concerned and she does not believe they are withholding information. They believe that Wolverine thinks that he is in the past, on a mission to kill this Terry Adams and they have to stop him. She asks Wraith for his help. Wraith tells her that he would if he could but all he knows is the code-name same as her. Terry Adams. It was an ultra-hush job. Magna sub-rosa, need to know and all that jive. He does know that the mission was scrubbed and Terry Adams got a rain check. Entering his cabin, he shoots a target and tells Storm that the guys who know are Sabretooth and Maverick. Sabe was back-up and Ricko was the control.
One week later, at the X-Mansion, Jubilee is taking a shower. As she does, she mockingly thinks that some help Wraith was. Like Sabretooth and Maverick have their numbers listed in the phone book. That tip they got from the Mounties sure didn’t amount to much either. All that told them was that Wolvy had the papers to go anywhere. How can they…
Her thoughts are interrupted when Jean Grey pops her head in and tells her that one of the aliases on the fake I.D.s found at the Prophecy turned up on a flight to Pakistan. The Swiss Francs matching the cache series were used to buy a train ticket from Afghanistan to Kazakh. He’s making his way to Russia – they found him. Upon hearing the news Jubilee is ecstatic.
Somewhere in the former Kazakh S.S.R., two soldiers witness Logan exiting the train. One of the soldiers informs the other, Yuri, that there is only one passenger. Yuri replies to his partner Ahmed that it’s not worth wasting bullets. Ahmed laments that the pickings were much better when they were in K.G.B. Yuri replies when there was a K.G.B. Democracy, he spits on it. How can border guards like them make living in democracy? Ahmed notices that there is a goat, some freight… Wait, the passenger is dressed like an American.
On the bus, along with a driver and a goat, Logan thinks to himself that there are too many people messin’ with his brain. He’s got memory implants on his memory implants. He can’t let that stop him from carryin’ on his mission whatever it is. He’s gotta keep the world safe. That’s his job. That’s what he does.
At that moment, Elvis, John F. Kennedy, Jackie Kennedy, Fidel Castro, and an unnamed astronaut simultaneously tell him that he’s the best at what he does. Logan thanks them. He couldn’t have said it any better himself. The angel comes to him and tells him not to be so smug. This mission is not going to be a piece of cake. Logan jokes angel food? The angel tells him that he’s going to have to make things right with Terry Adams. Logan asks how he does that. The angel tells him that he has to kill him. Logan asks kill Terry Adams? The angel tells him not to be silly, he knows what she means. Logan tells her that he was just testin’.
Their conversation is cut short when three tanks roll up on the bus. The order comes out for the bus to halt. They order that papers, identification, travel documents and bags are to be opened for inspection. Logan mentions that it looks like they’re bein’ rousted by the K.G.B. border patrol. When the soldiers enter, the bus the driver asks “yes?” but is gunned down immediately. The soldiers order the rest of the passengers to put their hands up. The angel tells Logan that he had better do something.
Logan steps up and asks the soldiers that they want papers? He shows them Glavnoe Razvedyvatelnoe Upravlenie. Military intelligence and tells them that they’re internal security boys are answerable to them. The soldiers laugh and blast him with their rifles. With Logan down, the soldiers begin to take his articles of clothing. Putting on Logan’s hat, Yuri asks Ahmed if he likes. He looks like John Wayne with it on. He will keep hat, Ahmed can have boots. Ahmed replies that he keep jeans too. Many dollars in pocket, they split dollars. He asks Yuri if he wants the jockey shorts. Yuri tells him no and asks if there are more American dollars in bag. Ahmed tells him no, just funny colored underwear. Yuri tells him to leave it.
As they get in their tank and drive off, Logan’s yellow and blue costume is tossed onto his prone body.