Somewhere in Egypt, Cyber dares Wolverine to come on punk, pop the claws on me. I double-dog dare you! As Wolverine leaps towards Cyber, he tells him that they’re takin’ the two o’clock trolley to trauma town. Wolverine tells him to hold his ticket in front of his face and he’ll punch it for him. Cyber is able to block Wolverine’s claws with his adamantium arm and tells him “good repartee, bad follow-through.”
Cyber then proceeds to throw Wolverine into the wall and asks him ain’t he gonna hit him with them old chestnuts like “I yam da best at what I yam” and to call himself a canucklehead while he’s at it? Picking himself up off the floor, Wolverine tells him he’s meat. Cyber replies all the parts that ain’t adamantium. He tells him to c’mon short-stuff, savage my ankles. With that, Wolverine leaps towards Cyber and tells him it’s time to die. When Wolverine’s claws drive directly into Cyber’s chest with no issues, Cyber tells those watching that he hopes they caught that up there. The voice informs him that everything is monitored and recorded, continue.
As Cyber proceeds to beat Wolverine from limb to limb he says he sure wouldn’t want them to miss any o’ this. This is choice, like primo stomp-o-rama. Ripping the head off of the cybernetic Wolverine, he says of course, it can’t hardly compete with the real thing. But they get the point, don’t they? Up in the control room, they tell him yes they do and thank him. Inside the control room itself, Genesis mentions that the demonstration has been highly informative and asks Lifeforce if the readings are favorable. The reply is absolutely, tensile strength off the graph, Rockwell hardness off the graph, no impurities, no additives. It is pure, high-grade adamantium. Spyne replies that it’s too bad it’s bonded to some dreggy ugly stuff. Hurricane informs him don’t worry; they have plants to remedy that.
In a rough area of New York City, Logan walks down the street in normal street clothes and wearing a cowboy hat. He thinks to himself that they tell him he’s goin’ feral. They tell him the animal side o’ him is winnin’ out. That just may be the case. Lord knows the woods around the Xavier Institute up in Salem Center sure seem to tame for words these days. Hard to keep his edge up there with nothin’ more threatenin’ than bunny rabbits and bambis, sometimes he’s just gotta take a walk through the jungle. As he walks down the streets, a large, rough looking gentleman wearing a shirt with a red smiley-face on it calls him urban cowboy and asks him if he’s lookin’ for somethin’.
High above, standing beneath a billboard, James Hudson spies upon Wolverine, far below. Speaking to his wife, Heather, he tells her that Wolverine’s going to hurt somebody. Heather replies that they have to have a little trust in him. When James replies that he’s their responsibility, Heather says they’re not his parents for heaven’s sake, he’s older than both of them. James informs her that if they know he’s dangerous and they let him go out looking for trouble, the moral liability falls on them. Heather tells him he’s letting his own guilt consume him. She then says that he’s the most compromisingly honest and ethical man he’s ever known, and she loves him for it but they can’t police Logan for the rest of his life, and they can’t lock him up on the premise that he might do something. James turns his back on her and tells her nobody wins. Heather says unless Logan is better than he gives him credit for.
Down on the street, the man yells at Logan that he’s talkin’ to him. He says he didn’t come to this part of town to get no piña colada and a slice and asks him what he wants. Dirt Nap got all sorts of action. He got mind-expansion and stupefaction. He got fun and games and takin’ down names. He got bumpin’ in the dark and slumpin’ in the park. Anything he wants is just up the stairs in the dark alley. All he has to do is just take a stroll with ol’ Dirt Nap and he fix him right up, tighten him up. As Logan continues past, the large man grabs the shirt of Logan, who tells him to “leggo” and pulls away. As Logan starts to walk away, the man informs him that he don’t know what he’s messin’ with. Up above, Heather tells James see; he didn’t lose it. James replies that was his first encounter.
Down on the street, the man ignores Logan and sees some kid walking down the street. He walks up to him and says to him he looks pretty smart and he bets he does real good in school. He also bets he knows a good deal when he sees one. A little further up, Logan sniffs the air and starts to head back towards the man and the kid. James sees this and tells Heather he’s turning back; they have to stop him. Heather grabs him by the shoulder and tells him he hasn’t done anything yet. Down on the street, the man begins to lead the kid into the alley.
As they start to head into the alley, the kid asks the man how he can sell 8100 Power Macs for fifty bucks. The man informs him they fell off the back of a truck and leads him up some stairs. Before they head into the darkness, however, Logan stops them and tells the kid to take a hike. The kid replies that he’s not going to blow a deal like this. The man says smart kid and tells Logan, who he calls a “little doorstop,” to butt out. This ain’t his business. Logan pops his claws and says it is.
He tells the man that he specifically picked the kid t’get his attention and now he’s usin’ him like live bait. He says to the man that he wants him and he wants to know why. Up above, James calls out good Lord, he popped his claws and says it’s the bloodlust again, he’s losing control. Plummeting in Logan’s direction, James says that he told Xavier he should never let him leave the mansion grounds. On the street, the man pushes the kid away and asks Logan if he’s throwin’ down on Dirt Nap. He then tells him that he’s gonna chew him pup and spit out the hairball. Before Logan can attack the man, James slams him into the ground face first and tells him that he can’t do this.
On the ground, Logan sees the man running away but doesn’t see the kid anywhere. He points out that the kid bolted but Dirt Nap’s runnin’ off. James tells him to let it go, he’s just a bum. Logan proceeds to back hand James and tells him that he may be the Vindicator, but somebody’s gonna need a whole lot more than vindication’ if he gets in his way. He adds that he don’t know, there’s somethin’ about the man, somethin’ that don’t sit right. Heather walks over to Logan, puts her hand on his shoulder, and tells him to stop it. She’s not letting him go so he’s going to have to punch her too. Logan turns and tells her that she doesn’t know what’s going on there. Picking himself up off the ground, James rushes towards the two of them and orders Logan to step away from her and if he so much as….
Heather steps between the two of them and tells James to please stop over-reacting. Logan was trying to help the boy. She then asks him why can’t he stop jumping to conclusions when it comes to one of his closest friends? Logan pipes in yeah, for once in his life, why don’t he trust him? He then informs them both that New York’s finest are convergin’ on the scene, so unless they want to continue this chat at the precinct, he suggest they hat up and vamoose. With Logan holding onto both James and Heather, the trio head up into the night sky.
James tells Logan that he really hopes he has a good explanation for his actions. Logan says about as good as he has for his and asks them they don’t trust him on the street by himself. Heather replies that it’s more complicated than that. Logan says that if they’re gonna get into a jawin’ session, he needs a jolt o’ java. He tells them that he knows a place where the counter is always empty.
In Washington, D.C., in the offices of Senator Robert Kelly, chairman of the Senate sub-committee on mutant affairs, a copy of the Washington Times is placed on the desk that has the cover story – “Graydon Creed running for President.” When Senator Kelly sees it, he is enraged and asks why this wasn’t extrapolated in the analysis reports. He adds that he doesn’t pay a staff to let him get blind-sided. Just then, the phone rings. It is Showalter from the Times on line one. On the other line, Showalter asks Senator Kelly if he is aware that…
Senator Kelly answers that there’s talk that Graydon Creed is contemplating a run for the White House. An old rumor, he’s afraid. When asked if he has a statement about Mr. Creed, Senator Kelly says he’s the Ross Perot of the election and they can quote him on that. At the same time, Senator Kelly gets the phone call from Showalter, his assistant Noah gets a call from a Z. Culloden on line three. When he answers the phone, Noah tells Zoe that he told her not to use this number and asks her what she has to report. Zoe informs him that she’s working on their other project. She also says they sent the ‘napper out too early. She told them it was too soon, that the regression isn’t far enough along to begin to tempt him but they’re still set to rendezvous in the Canadian Rockies, so don’t be late. With that, she hangs up the phone.
In a coffee shop by the name of Hopper’s, Logan, James and Heather are reminiscing about the old times as somebody is lurking outside the shop, watching them. Logan says that they had some good times, but now Alpha Flight is gone and even the X-Men aren’t the same anymore. They all change; that’s all he’s tryin’ to tell them. James replies that doesn’t sound like him. It sounds like he’s given up on himself. He hasn’t given up on him and neither has Heather. There must be something…
Heather cuts him off and tells James to stop being so pedantic. She swears he’s more distant than he’s ever been. James asks distant, he’s distant, what? Heather informs him that she’s just saying that Logan doesn’t need a lecture right now. Maybe what he needs are some patient listeners. Hearing what Heather just said, Logan tells her she is a pistol and a firecracker… He stops in his thoughts and says wait, somethin’s out there, somethin’ hungry. Somethin’ that ain’t quite right.
Just then, Logan leaps out of his seat, through the window of the coffee shop and lands on a kid lurking outside. When he does he tells him he has Dirt Nap’s scent on him and asks what he did to him; how did he find him? Somehow he knows that rat bag is inside him and calls him a sonuva – he had to go and get the kid. Logan asks Dirt Nap why. Through the kid, Dirt Nap responds it’s like he said, the kid is the bait and he was hungry. He tells Logan he can understand that, the difference between the hunter and the prey. They’re a lot alike, Dirt Nap and Logan, they both enjoy the hunt.
As James and Heather leap towards the fracas, James asks Logan what he is doing. Logan doesn’t answer James but tells Dirt Nap wrong. He may end up goin’ back to runnin’ on all fours and howlin’ at the moon like some crazy animal, but at least he ain’t no low-life body snatcher. Dirt Nap informs him that he’s not just any kind of body-snatcher, he is more, much more! At that, the boy’s chest opens up and a monstrosity reaches out with its hand and grabs Logan, engulfing him.
Watching in shock and horror, Heather points out to James that it absorbed him and asks him what it is. James replies it’s some sort of parasitic life form, the likes of which he’s never seen. Heather indicates that it’s changing it’s… Before their eyes, the parasitic life form transforms from the boy wearing the red smiley face shirt to Logan wearing the same smiley face shirt. Through Logan, Dirt Nap says that was yummy – a nice, tasty mutant. Chock full of peculiar genes and interesting bio-anomalies. Much better than the fare they’ve been used to lately. You know what they say, you are what you eat. But now that Wolverine is his, he has exactly what the boss wants. Now all’s he has to do is deliv…
At that moment, Dirt Nap stops in his tracks. James exclaims that it’s changing again. Heather says no, it looks surprised, like something’s wrong. Before their eyes, Dirt Nap spits Logan out, saying that he couldn’t absorb him, he kept regenerating. Free, Logan pops his claws and tells Dirt Nap that he ain’t never come up against a mutant healin’ factor, has he. Now he’s gonna get carved up by his lunch. Dirt Nap tells him not by a long shot and proceeds to absorb a rat. Logan quips is that cannibalism, or what?
On the street, the rat with a red smiley face on his back says one does what one has to do. As it scurries away, Dirt Nap tells Logan that he still has the kid’s genetic imprint within him. Catch him if he can, and he’ll get him back – unless, of course, they catch him first. Diving into the sewers he tells Logan that the boss has big plans for him, big plans, very big plans.
With the rat gone, James asks Logan what he meant by that, and who that was. Logan tells him danged if he knows, but somehow, someway, he will find that kid. James informs him that they’ll help him track it down, it’s their fault… Heather adds that they should have known…
Logan cuts her off and says yeah, she should have trusted him. James says this just proves why he should come back up to Canada with them, they can help him lick this regression. If this character was any indication, he’s going to need all his wits about him. Walking away, Logan tells them sorry. Putting his hat back on, he tells them they just don’t understand. He doesn’t want to be rid o’ the wildness. After all these years o’ hatin’ the wild side o’ him, now that it’s taking over, he likes it.