People call him Wolverine. He is the best there is at what he does. And that certain thing is “taking care” of low-life thugs. And right now, Wolverine is doing exactly that.
Swinging his claws with deadly intent, Wolverine makes short work of a horde of men, all decked out in Medieval chain mail, as if they were Christian knights of centuries past. These “Sunday school rejects,” as Logan thinks of them, are in the employ of the Crusader, who has just hijacked a federal treasury C-130 and plans to use the cash to finance the simultaneous bombings of hero HQs. It was a pretty good plan, Logan thinks, until it hit a snag: him. And now, that snag hits back.
As Wolverine makes his way into the cockpit, he is met by the Crusader, who quotes to Logan that, in God, he will praise his word and put his trust. He won’t fear what flesh can do unto him. Logan smirks that the day is still young. His sword already drawn, the Crusader starts fighting Logan, sword against claws. As he does so, the Crusader continues to quote that he will execute vengeance in anger and fury upon the heathen such as they have not heard. Logan, calling the Crusader by his name, Artie, mocks him that he isn’t much of talk, and his talk isn’t even all that original. Logan jokes that anybody can quote scripture. “Eye for eye” for example, Logan adds while slicing the Crusader through his face.
Lunging up to the pilot’s seat, the Crusader orders his pilot to crash this plane into the heathens right now! He quotes to behold how his anger and fury shall be poured out upon this place. Upon man and upon beast and upon the trees of the field. And upon the ground, he concludes, it shall be burn and shall not be quenched. Hearing Logan thinks that at some point, he really needs to read some of this religious stuff. He wants to find out how books that were written a thousand years ago have got something to say about crashing planes.
Logan pushes both the Crusader and the pilot aside, telling them to hold back, promising that the crash will hurt them a lot more than it will hurt him. Logan pulls back on the yoke as hard as he can, hoping it might be enough to keep him from landing in the cornfield below him. Well, not exactly “land”, because he didn’t exactly learn that in the Army. The plane lands in the cornfield though, and Logan jokes to Artie that this is his lucky day, because he gets to meet his maker. But Logan does find it a shame about the cornfield though, because he loves corn. Once the plane is down, it explodes, completely setting the cornfield ablaze!
Wolverine wakes up three hours later and scares the living daylight out of a FAA body-hauler. Logan knows it’s a story that the guy will be telling his grandkids. Recovering quickly from his wounds, is given an FAA jacket to wear over his tattered costume, as well as the name of the closest bar.
Walking there shortly thereafter, Logan is the only customer at the bar. He asks the waitress for a beer, but she wants to see three dollars first. Logan shows that he only has a hundred with him. The waitress can’t change that much, so Logan tells her to keep refilling the glasses until they reach the amount. When the waitress remarks to Logan that it’s a little early to be knocking them back, Logan disagrees, replying that he earned it after putting in a day’s work.
Suddenly, Logan’s Avengers’ signal on his jacket goes off. The waitress believes that since Logan has a pocket beeper, he must be a doctor of some kind and asks what kind. Logan takes a look at his Avengers’ signal, and declares that he is a surgeon. The waitress jokes that they really keep Logan busy. Logan admits that, and claims that it feels like he’s in ten places at once sometimes.
On that moment, Logan’s X-Men signal also goes off! Realizing that something terrible must have happened, Logan then noticed the television and asks the waitress to turn up the volume. She does so, and on the news, Logan sees a huge explosion that has taken place in a city. He asks for a phone to use.
Two mysterious men, covered in the night shadows, walk through the Latverian streets. One explains to the other that operations are underway and that plans are being made. The second man asks the first if he has the recording, which the first confirms. Addressing the second man with “my liege,” he warns that the images are disturbing. However, the superior already knew. Better than anyone, he says, he knows.
After they enter a house, the superior views images leading to the Stamford disaster. He remarks at the point of the video when Namorita tried to take down Nitro and asks his aide who he is. The aid answers that he is Nitro, but the boss clarifies that he meant Nitro’s real name. The aide replies that it is as Robert Hunter, adding that the villain escaped from confinement two months ago. Interestingly enough, Nitro gained some notoriety for his connection to Captain Mar-Vell’s death. The boss, watching the screen with steely eyes, repeats the name of “Hunter” and declares that it would be ironic, were irony not already dead.
Wolverine is helping his fellow X-Men, Avengers and some other heroes with the relief work of the now completely destroyed neighborhood of Stamford. While trying to clear the area, Logan remarks to himself that nobody has said anything for over three hours now. He thinks it’s the best thing the super-heroes can do now to keep their lunches down. He notices that Rachel doesn’t quite manage to do that.
Logan overhears a conversation between Iron Man and Captain America. Tony has just received word that the police have a lead on Nitro. Word is the villain sneaked out of town in the back of a pick-up truck. Hearing this, Logan ponders that the first words spoken are those of punishment. Logan also notices that the Sentinels are still following him and the other X-Men around, even though they agreed to help on this federal emergency. When he points this out, the pilot inside the Sentinel replies that they’re just doing their jobs.
Port Washington, New York…
A mother walks to her backyard and watches her children play in the yard by the swimming pool. She’s on the phone with her friend Carol. She explains that her daughter Lily has soccer practice on Thursday. She’s doesn’t have piano lessons on that day, but still has homework to do and has to see her math tutor.
Their conversation is interrupted when the mother gets another call and she clicks over to it. Taking in the information from the new party, she asks if it is confirmed, and by whom. Having heard enough, she goes over to the swimming pool, and tells her husband to come up. Surfacing for the first time in awhile, Paul comes to the edge of the pool, where his wife explains to him that she just spoke to the Operations Directorate. They’ve got to get on a plane.
New York City, New York…
A day has passed. Logan sits in a Japanese restaurant, lost in thought at the sushi bar. He silently recalls that there has been no sign of Nitro and he’s getting the feeling that nobody is looking for him. People seem to be more interested in debating about the super-human registration act. Logan believes that smoke is rising.
The restaurant owner, Ishiguro-San, approaches with Logan. Logan greets his old friend in Japanese and compliments him on the unagi, which is delicious as always. With a pained countenance, Ishiguro wishes to Logan for anything but to ask him of this… When Logan tells him that he can ask anything, Ishiguro informs him that this is most uncomfortable… He explains that the customers… unfortunately, heroes are… out of favor, given recent events.
Logan looks up, and notices all of the other customers staring at him, and he realizes what’s going on. Logan can’t hear another word Ishiguro is telling to him, and he doesn’t need to hear it either. Ishiguro doesn’t even have to ask him to use the backdoor. Once he is outside, however, Logan finds members of the kitchen staff waiting for them, brandishing knives and a pair of nun chucks. One, speaking for the others, tells Logan, in Japanese, that his kind isn’t welcome here anymore. Logan sure hopes the thug isn’t meaning to Canadians not being welcome. He also hopes that Ishiguro isn’t involved in this.
Logan asks the thugs if they’re sure they want to do this. He knows that they think they do, seeing that they all carry knives. But, Logan tells them, they’d have to be pretty crazy if they want to fight with a former soldier of the Canadian Army, a former secret agent, a former SHIELD agent and a current X-Man and Avenger like him. Plus, Logan adds, he also has that adamantium skeleton and claws. Logan snikts out his claws, and the thugs all drop their weapons and take off quietly.
Logan calls men stupid. He also realizes that anger makes people stupid. And the people sure are angry nowadays. He can feel smoke rising.
Later, 6:36 PM, The Baxter Building…
Lots of heroes have gathered at the Fantastic Four’s headquarters. Wolverine is among them. He overhears the Falcon defending that the masks are a tradition, and that they can’t just let people strip their rights away. Yellowjacket believes Sam is kidding, because they are lucky people have tolerated them for as long as they have. He doesn’t see why they should be above the law. Wolverine defends that’s because the world isn’t so nice outside of this ivory tower. The Thing disagrees with Logan, asking him if Johnny would be in the hospital if idiots like him were trying to give people like the real heroes a bad name.
A little later, Wolverine meets up with Stark separate from the rest. Tony explains that SHIELD told him they’re running point on the Nitro manhunt, but they haven’t exactly sharing their intel with him. Logan doesn’t believe SHIELD is going to catch the villain. It has been days now and, if SHIELD wanted to catch Nitro, he would have been caught by now. Guy’s is in the wind now. He reminds Tony that the villain killed hundreds, and kids were among them, and SHIELD still let Nitro go. Tony asks Logan to let it go, because they have enough problems already without one of them going on a vendetta. Tony takes off, and Logan sarcastically agrees with Stark.
Luke Cage approaches Logan. Logan warns Cage that he isn’t in the mood, but Luke only replies that he could tell. Luke wants to know what Logan meant when he said that the world isn’t so nice as they think it is. Logan explains that it means that the world has problems and giving out drivers’ licenses isn’t going to help much. Luke understands that, though he isn’t so sure he sees the harm. He thinks it’s like Logan said: they are already registering to drive around, so he doesn’t see the difference when some of the heroes can fly.
Logan defends the difference is that there is registration and there is registration. He reveals that a few years back, he had some friends in Germany. “Had” being the strong word in that sentence. And registration didn’t work out too well for them. Luke believes that there is some difference between the US government and the Nazis. Logan agrees with that: the US government should know better.
Luke wants to know if Logan is really going to compare the heroes to German Jews. Logan defends that the only thing he knows is that there is a Sentinel camped out on the front lawn of Xavier’s, and that Xavier isn’t there to sell girl scout cookies. When Luke remarks that the Sentinel is there for the X-Men’s protection, Logan asks Luke what his opinion would be if that Sentinel on the front lawn was a burning cross. When Luke is taken aback at this, Logan presses, angrily stating that that’s what a Sentinel means to mutants: a burning cross, a symbol of oppression. Of bigotry. Logan takes off to get a beer.
Some time later, at Westchester, New York…
Wolverine is in full argument with both Emma and Scott. He wants to hear one good reason why he shouldn’t fulfill his plan. Angry, Emma replies that she can give Logan two reasons: it’s not their fight and, even if it were, she believes that Logan can’t take out Nitro on his own. Logan believes otherwise. And, he wants Emma to explain to him, if this isn’t their fight, whose is it?
Emma defends that Stamford could make things even worse for mutants than it already is. Logan reminds Emma that mutants are super-humans. Scott explains that what Emma means is that mutants could easily end up taking all of the blame. Logan believes that’s all the more reason for a mutant to put Nitro under a new category. Scott begins to retort, but Logan interrupts, telling Scott that he doesn’t know if he is agreeing with Emma for real or if it is because he is sleeping with her. When Scott angrily replies that’s out of line, Logan jokes that Scott should be used to getting replies like that from him by now. With this, he storms out, over the protests of the incensed Emma.
Later, at the remains of Stamford, Connecticut…
Logan takes a look at the destroyed section of Stamford. He remarks to himself that the level-9 containment force SHIELD set up has done a pretty good job of preserving the scene. There’s plenty of old scents hanging in the air, too. Young scents, too. The scents are trampled over by rescuers and workers and bureaucrats, but the scents are still there. Logan concentrates. He focuses and breathes. He tries to draw the scents out.
He recalls that, before coming out to Stamford, he visited Nitro’s former cell at the raft, the hyper-maximum security prison. Until breaking out of the Raft a couple of months ago, Nitro spend years in that room. And the room holds Nitro’s scent pretty well. Logan finds some tracks of the truck Nitro escaped with in the dirt. The truck has a particular scent too. It smells like gas, motor oil and engine coolant. Plus, it leaves treads, which he now examines.