The King (shall) take revenge for an affront to his very person. The right to punish, therefore, is an aspect of the sovereign’s right to make war on his enemies - Michael Foucault
Wolverine and the Sub-Mariner waste no time in laying into each other. Namor has come for Nitro, and intends to see him brought to Atlantean justice for the murder at Stamford of his cousin, Namorita. Wolverine fought Namor a couple of years back, but he wasn’t in his right mind at the time and doesn’t remember any of it. He’s pretty sure he kicked his @$*, though.
Namor punches Logan hard, but he brings the Atlantean down with a kick to the legs, before grabbing a pair of trousers and a S.H.I.E.L.D. shirt to cover his modesty. He understands that the three Atlantean sleeper agents were just following orders, but Namor is a king, and he expected better of him. Namor slams his elbow into Wolverine’s back, and replies that so did he. He tells Wolverine that he has a reputation for murder. How does he do that, exactly? Bore people to death? Logan picks himself up and replies that it’s something like that, ‘cept it’s gore people to death. He thrusts his claws through Namor’s shoulders and he drops to the ground.
Janus rushes to his liege’s assistance, but Wolverine grabs him by the throat and removes his facemask and air supply, making it difficult for him to breathe in his normal blue state. He then hurls the device at Paul and it sticks into his neck. He looks at Paul’s wife, who is still holding her dagger at Nitro’s sorry throat. Logan asks who else is bored. Namor then appears behind him and delivers a thunderous blow to his head. Logan lies dazed on the ground, bordering on unconsciousness. The last thing he hears is the Sub-Mariner offering him a piece of advice. Next time he wants to eviscerate someone, try hitting the major organs.
Logan doesn’t know how long he was unconscious, but it was long enough for Namor and his buddies to get out of Dodge. Fortunately, Atlanteans have a very specific scent, like sushi dipped in motor oil. They shouldn’t be too hard to track. He heads off in search of them in order to retrieve Nitro, but finds his progress halted at the water’s edge. This is a problem, and he needs to make a phone call.
It doesn’t take too long for Iron Man to show up. Logan informs him about the sleeper agents; Atlanteans who can appear human - another problem for Tony Stark. Stark suggests that Logan wanted justice for Stamford and now Nitro’s getting it in spades. Atlanteans punish their criminals by taking their skin off in strips. Logan wishes it were that simple. Nitro was yoked on Mutant Growth Hormone when he did Stamford. Someone supplied it. He also gave Nitro his word. Stark asks Logan what he needs him for. Logan replies that he can’t breathe underwater.
Soon, Logan dons Iron Man’s armor and descends into the Pacific Ocean. Stark wasn’t keen on lending him the armor, but Logan pointed out that, if there are three Atlantean sleepers, there are probably more, all over the country - an infection. He travels thirty-five nautical miles downwards until he reaches his destination: the Atlantean province of New Pangea. It has a population of nearly a million, but other than that there is little information available. Logan sets down amongst the people and asks to be taken to their leader. He’s always wanted to say that.
He is led to Namor, who immediately tells Logan, thinking he is the real Iron Man, to return to the surface. Transgression on Atlantean soil is an act of war. Logan responds by asking what he calls kidnapping a ‘surface dweller’ to an Atlantean city. “Water pollution,” comes the deadpan response. Namor tells Iron Man that Wolverine made clear his intent to grant Nitro asylum. Logan says he wished to grant asylum, not immunity. And this wouldn’t be for free, either. Nitro has information to trade - the name of the idiots who set him loose on Stamford. Namor replies that he’ll kill them too, but Logan says it’s not that simple. A bargain was struck. Namor might not like it, but there it is.
Namor replies that it was a bargain where a mass murderer’s life is spared, by Wolverine no less. He’d have expected him to have less mercy. He also expected Iron Man to have more sense and to keep Wolverine on a tighter leash. “So that’s a no,” replies Logan. Namor asks him not to posture. He knows any attempt to take Nitro by force won’t work. So, if he needs to be persuaded, then he should persuade him. Why should he release his cousin’s murderer to the tender mercies of the surface world’s justice? He asks for one good reason.
Logan replies that he’ll give him six. He snikts his claws through the armor’s gauntlets and Namor realizes that it isn’t Stark after all. He orders Janus to attack, but despite the unwieldiness of the armor, Logan takes Janus out in one solid elbow to the back of the neck.
He then attacks Namor, only for Paul’s wife, Amir, to attack him with a blade. Logan turns and grabs her head in his gauntlets. He warns Namor to give him Nitro, or his secretary is going to get some repulsor rays in stereo. Amir asks him to do it. He can kill her, her husband and their children, but the murderer of her princess will never go free. Namor asks why this murderer is worth his word. Logan slips the armor’s facemask back. “He’s not,” Logan replies, “But it don’t change the fact it’s still my word.”
Namor calls Logan arrogant, and tell him that his honor is at best hypocrisy and at worst a delusion. Logan replies that Nitro has information he wants and that Namor should want it too. Amir explains that they’re already getting it. Her husband, Politus, is extracting it right now. A concerned Logan asks Namor to take him to Nitro, right now.
The three of them head to where Nitro is being questioned by Politus, but Amir screams when she sees Nitro standing over her dying husband with a blood-covered dagger in his hand. He asks what a guy’s gotta do to get a ticket outta this burg. Amir rushes to her husband. He is weak, but manages to utter the word Stamford and the name Walter Declun. As he passes away, Amir tries to go for Nitro, but Wolverine holds her back. He’s got this. He snikts his claws once again and slices Nitro’s right hand off. He yells out in pain, and Wolverine tells him there’ll be no more bargains, no more reprieves and no more victims.
Logan stands inches away from Nitro with his claws at the ready, but he recalls Namor talking about his honor, Stark asking why he would want to kill Nitro, and his fellow X-Men reminding him that it’s not their fight. The words echo in his head, and he makes a decision to allow Nitro to live. It isn’t his place to kill him, he states, it’s theirs. He looks at Namor, Janus and Amir. He informs Nitro that he guesses he’ll soon be wishing he did kill him; probably the only thing they’ll ever have in common.
(some time later)
Wolverine is sitting in a bar when Namor enters. He asks Namor if he’s come to give him Nitro’s ashes. Namor replies that, for the foreseeable future, Nitro will be staying in New Pangea as their ‘guest.’ “Quite a show of restraint,” replies Logan. Namor feels it’s much like his own. Logan explains that it wasn’t restraint. He just realized that Namor was right, and he was just being arrogant.
Namor informs him that, before Nitro escaped, Politus extracted the information he’s looking for. His dying words to Amir revealed the identity of Nitro’s benefactor. It is an individual named Walter Declun, a man he knows from his days in corporate America. In Atlantean terms, he would be called a Peshach. It translates roughly into English as meaning an immoral person. His sources tell him that these days, Declun is the CEO in charge of Damage Control, Inc.