On the floor of the chasm in Sauron’s citadel, Wolverine thinks to himself. This was supposed to be a real piece o’ cake mission. Ol’ Charles Xavier said “take Rogue and Jubilee, mosey on down to the Savage Land and root around – see if you can find out if anything suspicious has been happenin’ lately.” Didn’t get any specific than that, but he was worried. And Charlie Xavier don’t worry easy. Don’t ruffle no feathers he said. Don’t make no waves – easy for him to say. He’s snug in his anti-gray barca-lounger back in Salem Center and he’s stuck in Sauron’s basement while his barbarian buddies stampede a herd o’ dinosaurs down on his face. This is after Sauron hamstrings him, throws him in this fire-chasm and buries him in boulders. Good thing his mutant healin’ power is still workin’ at all – even in low gear, it sure does help in this damage control department.
As the dinosaurs continue to plummet into the chasm, Wolverine slashes them and calls out to Sauron to keep sendin’ down Barney’s big brothers; he’s slicin’ himself up a lizard meat stairway. Up above, Barbarus points out to Sauron that Wolverine is piling them up and climbing out on them. Amphibius adds for him to do something. Sauron takes the advice and orders one of the warriors riding a dinosaur to stop and turn them around. The warrior replies stop them? This is a stampede. They can barely keep them all running in the same direction.
Outside the citadel, Rogue follows the parade of dinosaurs. Rogue wonders why would someone want t’stampede a whole mess o’ dinosaurs inside a citadel. An’ how many do they expect to cram in there. This has got to be worth a quick peek. As Rogue flies into the citadel, Equilibrius notices her and calls out to the other warriors that another outlander mutant has arrived – Rogue. He gives the order to slay her before she can help the other one. Rogue thinks aloud that what tells her that “other one” is Wolverine. Same thing that tells her he’s at the bottom o’ that pit getting rained on by big lizards. She then realizes that there are too many spears to dodge, she has to get some altitude. She needs a little breather to formulate a plan. When she flies into the rafters, she comes face to face with Sauron. Sauron tells her that his earth-bound minions cannot pursue her into the rafters, but he can.
Below, in the citadel, the warrior “leading” the stampede thinks to himself that he can’t stop the stampede; he can’t even keep themselves from being swept over the edge. In the chasm, Wolverine wonders what’s goin’ on down there. They’re throwin’ the whole kitchen sink full o’ extincto-sauruses at him. No sweat! Adamantium keeps an edge better than a Ginsu. An’ he’s still the best at what he… In an instant, a dinosaur chomps down on him with his razor-sharp teeth.
Up in the rafters, Rogue tells Sauron that she can outfly him any day. She don’t have to move air with big ol’ leather flaps. Sauron replies that her particular mutant talent does make her more elusive than Wolverine. When he is able to finally connect with a slash to her face, he tells her that unfortunately she doesn’t possess his healing factor. As Rogue falls, she thinks to herself that she got too darn cocky for her own good. She realizes that she has to break her fall somehow but not with her head. It’s too late, as she falls on a metal rafter on her head, seemingly knocking her out.
When Sauron converges on her to make the final killing blow he tells Rogue that she is weak. She has no chance against one such as him. Just then, Rogue pops up and clocks Sauron. When she does, she tells him that she was just playin’ possum an’ she figured she could sucker him in for a Sunday punch. When she connects, Sauron goes flying through some rafters.
With Sauron taken care of for the time being, Rogue calls down to Wolverine and asks him if he’s all right down there. Wolverine tells her not so hot. It’s a regular chomp-o-rama down there. But he’s about had it with this bunch. At that moment, he uses his claws to slash away at the dinosaurs that are having him as Thanksgiving dinner. He tells Rogue that he’s about to quit this pop-stand. He aims to kick butt and take names. No more of this “Mr. nice-guy” garbage. Using the back of a tyrannosaurus, he finally makes his way out of the chasm. On the floor of the citadel, he asks the warriors what they’re gapin’ at – have they never seen a man takin’ care o’ business? After killing another dinosaur he faces them and asks who’s next. After witnessing Wolverine’s rage, the warriors take off. Wolverine is a little disappointed – he was just getting’ warmed up.
Up in the rafters, Sauron begins to stir again. He tells Rogue that punch has earned her a measured dose of pain. A quick and merciful death will not be hers, perhaps a studied and careful flaying? Rogue answers that he ain’t skinned her yet, an’ it’ll be a cold day in Baghdad before he does. Sauron tells her that they’ll see about that. As they collide violently, Rogue tells him he can bet they will. When the dust settles, Sauron stands over Rogue’s body. He tells her now it’s time for…
Interrupting, Wolverine asks “For what, beak-face?” and grabs him from behind. He then points out that he’s not as boastful now, is he? Wolverine then takes Sauron over to the chasm and holds him over it. He tells Sauron to give him one good reason not to throw his scaley butt to the pit dinos. Sauron answers that he’ll kill him. He’ll… Wolverine wonders if he skims him down there like a Frisbee, would they jump up and… Rogue cuts him off and tells him not to do it. Wolverine points out to her that Sauron was gettin’ set to peel the pelt from her. Rogue tells him jus’ the same, they can’t lower themselves to his level. She adds maybe there’s a way to deal with Sauron by helpin’ him. Wolverine asks her that she thinks they can make a deal with the likes o’ this. He tells her she must be dreamin’ and reminds her that they got a job to do down there for ol’ Charlie.
Rogue informs him that she hasn’t forgotten. It’s all the same thing. They can help Sauron and carry out their mission all in the same place. She adds that it’s too dang hard to explain, just trust her. Wolverine tells her that she is trusted and tosses Sauron down. He tells him to call off his pack o’ yahoos and face the music. Sauron replies that he believes they can agree to agree. Yes, compromise and rational argument are the rule of the day. He then tells his minions to depart the citadel and let the outlanders do what they will. With his minions gone, Sauron asks Rogue and Wolverine what was all this about helping him. Wolverine answers that whatever it is that Rogue has got planned for him, she can do just as will with him unconscious. With that said, he punches Sauron out cold.
Later, in another part of the Savage Land, Brainchild continues to tell Gaza that they need to be prepared. When Rogue comes back, they have to have the advantage. Gaza asks what the plan is. Are they going to… Brainchild cuts him off and tells him to be quiet – she’s back. Gaza asks where. Up on a ledge high above, Rogue tells them both that she thought she told them to behave until she got back. Brainchild answers that it is apparent that her previous victory was due to blind luck. Between his superior intellect and Gaza’s brute strength, they are more than a match for…
From behind them, a voice tells them that they left somethin’ outta that equation, namely him. Wolverine continues that Rogue already went upside their heads today all by herself. As he tosses Sauron onto the floor below, he asks them if they are seriously entertainin’ the fantasy o’ tacklin’ him an’ her together. Brainchild freaks out and recognizes who the voice is coming from. Gaza recommends to Brainchild to just say the word, he’s not afraid of him. Brainchild tells him that he would if he could see the look in his eye.
Rogue then asks Brainchild how well that big ol’ machine of his works in reverse. Brainchild asks his genetic transformer? It can only return a subject to a previously attained level of advancement. It cannot extrapolate and make something more advanced than it originally was. After all, it was created to revert organisms to their genetic roots. At that moment, Sauron gets up and tries to fly away. As he does he tells them that he knows what they’re planning to do and he won’t let them… Wolverine proceeds to grab Sauron by the tail and slam him against the wall. He tells him they made a deal and orders Gaza to strap him down. Gaza is hesitant but Brainchild confirms the order.
As Sauron is being strapped in, Wolverine tells him that they’re gonna fix him up, make him all better. He’s gonna be human again. While the transformer begins to cycle up, Sauron calls them all hypocrites, self-righteous hypocrites. Sauron asks that they call themselves heroes and would kill him in cold blood? Rogue tells him that they’re transformin’ him back into Dr. Karl Lykos; they’re helping him. Sauron tells her wrong. They’re helping Lykos, but they’re killing Sauron. They are two separate entities. He is not Lykos in another body; he is Sauron and, although he is not afraid of taking that great step into external oblivion, he does not welcome it.
Brainchild calls out that he lies, the stink of fear is on him. He adds that Sauron has all the memories of Lykos. Lykos the psychologist, Lykos the hypnotherapist. He warns that he is twisting their minds with wily words. Sauron answers that Brainchild is the liar. He asks Rogue wasn’t it him who was planning to use the genetic transformer on her. He asks her how it felt when it was aimed at her. Did it feel like it was going to help her? Did it? Rogue then asks him what are they supposed to do. Let him go? Let him go back to conquering the Savage Land?
Sauron answers yes. Somebody is going to be doing it at any given time. It is the natural order down there. There are no farmers or herbivores in the Savage Land. Every creature there is a predator, a carnivore, a hunter. That’s why they call it the Savage Land. Turn him into a puling human again. Meddle, like the self-righteous outsiders that they are. Then what next? Are they going to turn them into lawyers, tax-collectors, and drug dealers? That’s what they have in civilization, and they have none of them there.
Upon hearing that, Wolverine walks up to him, pops his claws, raises his fist up, and slices Sauron free. He then tells him to get his act in the wind ‘fore he changes his mind. With Sauron gone, Wolverine turns his attention to the metal statue of a fist. He tells Rogue that Charlie told them not to make waves and the statue is what they really came there lookin’ for, anyway. It’s rock solid evidence. Proof o’ the existence o’… Just then, Brainchild and Gaza run away. As they do, Brainchild calls out nooooo, they musn’t say it, they can’t even listen to it – his name has been blocked. Rogue tells them to come back there but Wolverine tells her to let ‘em go. What were they gonna do, read ‘em the riot act?
Above the citadel, a sensor scan locks onto the two subjects fleeing the citadel. Reading: mutates – identification match-up against known templates. Sort is running – it is Brainchild and Gaza. They have a positive scan I.D. on Wolverine and Rogue inside the citadel and a location fix. The request is made for a data-feed to the targeting computer. The information is given that the cutting angle is computed and the cyber-model withstood the stress analysis: structure will not collapse with arc segment excised. Wolverine and Rogue are clear of beam path. The laser then cycles and fires, blowing a hole in the citadel.
The blast comes from the Blackbird and the two pilots – Storm and Bishop. Storm announces to Wolverine and Rogue to stand by for boarding ramp deployment. Rogue mentions to Wolverine that she’ll bet that’s Bishop with her drivin’ – he’s a big ‘un for flashy entrances. Wolverine indicates that he’s a big one, period. When Bishop exits the Blackbird, Rogue informs him that they’ve got a couple o’ garage sale finds to throw in the back seat. Bishop answers that he picked them up on the first scanner analysis. Professor Xavier is going to be very interested in both of the artifacts. They may have a weight problem with the fist, but…
Wolverine cuts him off and asks him how he did he know they might be needin’ some help, an’ how did he know they were in this neck o’ the woods. Bishop informs him that the good professor was concerned about their lack or radio communication and that their long-range monitoring system also detected a malfunction in their force-field generator. The consensus was that a reconnaissance was in order. Immediately up on their arrival, the sensors detected what seemed to be a melee of pterodactyl riders. In fact, it proved to be a riotous celebration, a revelry unlike any he had previously witnessed. The focus of all that jubilation turned out to be none other than their own, aptly named Jubilee. He adds that there is little that transpires in the Savage Land that is unseen by the pterodactyl riders.
Once aboard the Blackbird, Wolverine asks Bishop that the pterodactyl riders told her that him and Rogue were in the ancient citadel? Sorta like prehistoric spy-planes. He then asks what all the deal was about the party. What was the occasion? Jubilee tells Bishop not to tell him. Bishop replies that it was an engagement party. They were rewarding their young hero with a choice spouse. Wolverine asks that she left the groom at the altar, did she. Bishop corrects him – bride. It seems that Jubilee’s newfound friends were rather mistaken about her gender.
Jubilee warns them that they better not laugh, no snickering either. She adds that she definitely has to do something about her wardrobe. Storm then turns and asks Wolverine what he thinks of the evidence they found. Wolverine tells her enough to know there’s a storm brewin’ and the X-Men are right in the middle o’ it.