At the Valley of Gates, Logan stands amidst the rubble and recants that trusting a pretty face, especially the pretty face of a monster hunter, always gets him in trouble. By the time his gunshot wound knitted itself back together, Elsa Bloodstone had a decent head start on him; enough of a lead, anyway, to get herself halfway across the world and into plenty of trouble.
People once thought this valley was a stepping stone to countless other worlds. They were right, too. More than a few “learned” men and women crossed through the gates to lord-knows-where. Maybe they found paradise; or a better world at least. Maybe they found an endless nightmare. The problem is: the route home isn’t always as easy to follow from the other side. Most of the people who went through the gates never came back. Like spirits on a crooked path, they simply got… lost. Still, despite the dangers, powerful men fought over the valley. They nearly tore the place to the ground, but in the end, one man claimed lordship of the area – Murderous Lion.
Just then, Murderous Lion appears, standing over an unconscious Elsa Bloodstone and tells Wolverine that he thought he was spending his days playing super hero, teaching children, and hopping from the bed of one concubine to the next. He did not expect to see him there. Snarling, Logan retorts funny, he didn’t think he’d see him again, either. Last he heard, he had gotten himself killed. Lion replies that death is a technicality, he can assure him. When Logan tells him that the Covenant types sure have a problem staying dead, Lion leaps at him and says “Let’s see how you manage it!”
As they engage in battle, Logan states that, walking dead man or not, Murderous Lion is one of the best fighters in the world. Case in point, it looks like he dropped Elsa Bloodstone without breaking a sweat. She’s no pushover, but she shouldn’t have come there alone. She should’ve waited for him instead of blasting him in the face with a shotgun. But the girl’s hard-headed like her old man, so he doubts this little setback will teach her a lesson. Amidst their battle, Murderous Lion is able to wrap his long hair around Logan’s neck. Once he is able to slice the hair further away from his neck, it starts to engulf Logan’s face. Dropping to his knees, he notices that the hair is alive, stronger than steel cable. It’s smothering him… constricting… He has to get free. There’s no time for finesse. With that, Logan uses his claws and slices the hair away from his face.
Now free, Logan leaps at Lion. As he does, Lion says interesting. Logan has had some training since they last met. Delivering an elbow to Logan’s gut, Lion points out that he still has some gaps in his style. Connecting with another blow to Logan’s face, Lion remarks that either his anger is getting in the way of his teachings or… Just then, Lion emits a powerful blast from his chest that knocks Logan back and into the nearby rubble. Landing awkwardly, Logan knows that Lion is right. He should know how to counter his more mundane attacks if not the spiritual mumbo jumbo. Master Po’s lessons prepared him for this kind of fight.
Leaping at Logan, Lion tells him that he shouldn’t have tried to hide the Dreaming Maiden from them. Such a transgression cannot go unpunished. Dodging Lion’s attack, Logan remarks that there are bits and pieces of his training that simply aren’t with him anymore. Just another example of something Dr. Rot took from him. So, he’ll have to rely on instinct, let the animal take over, let the killer cut loose. There’s no heart beating inside Murderous Lion’s chest. But there’s something inside him, something keeping him on his feet. Jamming his fist into Lion’s chest cavity, Logan says, whatever it is, let’s see how well it works once it’s shredded. After a number of slashes inside his chest, Murderous Lion falls to the ground. Standing over him, Logan knows that chances are, Murderous Lion’s not gonna play dead for long. And as much as he would like beating the snot out of him again, he doesn’t plan on being around for round two. It’s time to find what he came for and get gone.
Helping Elsa Bloodstone to her feet, Logan tells her that they have some business to discuss. As they walk, Elsa tells Logan that she knew he’d be all right. It was nothing personal. Gritting his teeth, Logan tells her that he can’t say the same about her. But they’ll see how the rest of the day plays out. First things first… Logan knows that only a couple of gates still stand in the valley. And he’s guessing Murderous Lion hid the Dreaming Maiden in one of them. Reaching one of the gates, Logan tells Elsa that the odds of picking the right path ain’t awful. The odds of making it back – about the same as usual.
At the New York Public Library, in the Karmahe collection, Melita Garner looks around at the multitude of books around her. Just then, the librarian wheels a cart in full of books. He proceeds to tell her that she made a most unusual request, and most interesting. There are references to the so-called Covenant scattered across dozens of texts, dating back more than a century. And references to the interests of the group can be found in many older texts as well. He’s afraid she has her work cut out for her, many long hours ahead. Perhaps he should bring her coffee.
After he heads down the hall, Vanessa tells Melita that, if she doesn’t mind her saying so, this seems to be a tremendous waste of time. She could tell her virtually anything she wanted to know about her associates. Peering over at her, Melita tells her of course. She means, she’s been such a wealth of information so far. Vanessa tells Melita that there is a right time and a wrong time to divulge information. The wrong time, obviously, is while she is still hung-over from all the wine she drank last night while she is still fretting over her station, or lack thereof, in Logan’s memories. Melita replies that the whole withholding information as a show of force doesn’t do much for her, especially while her friend is, in her own words, in trouble. Besides, she’ll trust anything she finds on her own more than anything she’ll tell her. But if she wants to spill what she knows, be her guest. She may take it with a grain of salt, but you never know. She might like the sound of her voice as much as she does. Vanessa points her walking stick to the books and tells Melita to please dig in. She’s there should she stumble across anything she doesn’t understand. Under her breath, Melita says “Gee… think you could try to hide your sarcasm?”
Elsewhere, Elsa jams her foot into another adversary’s face and asks Logan how many more of the blokes she needs to pummel. Finishing off another adversary nearby, Logan tells her that he’d say she’s just about done. Unless, of course, they’re waiting to spring some sort of death trap on them. That’d really spice up his day. As they continue their way through the building, Elsa mentions to Logan that she’s surprised he brought her with him. After what she did… Logan tells her that she’s there because he liked her old man. He was always a sensible guy. He’s hoping that he can talk some of that sensibility back into her thick skull. Elsa then asks about the Dreaming Maiden. He knows how dangerous she is, doesn’t he. Why didn’t he kill her when he had the chance?
Just then, they enter a room and see a statue of the Dreaming Maiden standing there. Upon seeing her, Logan remarks that it’s funny. He doesn’t remember her being there all those years ago. But if she wants to meet her, now’s her chance. There she is. Now tell him… does she look like a monster to her? Elsa replies that he of all people should know, monsters come in all shapes and sizes.
Back in 1934, in Marrakech, Logan entered the Dreaming Maiden’s sanctuary. When the Maiden saw Logan brandishing a knife, she asked him if he has come to kill her. Born so recently into this world, is she to be murdered tonight? Is his the last face she will see? Dropping his head, Logan replies that’s the gist of it. The Maiden then remarks that she supposes it is as good a face as any and sits down on the ground. Resigned to her fate, the Maiden asks Logan to tell her why she must die. What has she done to deserve death? Once she sees Logan’s hand shaking, she turns to face Logan and mentions it and tells Logan that he might be a killer, but he’s not looking for a victim. He’s looking for a reason to spare her.
Looking into her eyes, Logan says damn and proceeds to drop the knife. Grabbing the Maiden’s arm, Logan tells her to come on, they’ve gotta move now. He may not know why she’s been marked for assassination, but one thing’s for sure: they’re both dead if the Covenant finds out he’s double-crossed them.
In the New York public library, Melita continues to pour through books as Vanessa looks on behind her. Putting her hands to her head, Melita remarks that he wasn’t kidding about this taking forever, was he? Talk about a needle in a haystack. She’s a real reporter, not some hack for the Inquisitor. There are bits and pieces sprinkled throughout the books, but most of it is a bunch of golden dawn bull… Placing her arm through the pile of books, Vanessa tells Melita to try this one – the leather one, third from the right, page 262, she believes. Opening up the book, Melita reads aloud – “The Covenant… gathered at the urging of… preparing for the arrival of… the Maiden, whose dreams would summon…” Looking up at Vanessa, Melita asks her if she’s kidding her.
Upon seeing the statue of the Dreaming Maiden, Elsa asks that’s her. This is the thing he couldn’t destroy all those years ago. Logan tells her she’s not stupid. She knows not everything is as easy as it seems. For example, tell him this… her father was one of the best monster-killers in the business. Why would he need him to do his dirty work? Her old man had a conscience. So did he. Once. Pointing her rifle at the statue, Elsa says in other words, her father let doubt get the better of him, and he hesitated. This creature’s existence puts all the world at risk, and he hesitated. She won’t make the same mistake.
Logan tells her he doesn’t know what her father told her, but he’s betting he didn’t give him the whole story. She thinks the Maiden’s a monster – fine. But it doesn’t look like she’s going anywhere, does it? That buys them time to figure out why Murderous Lion went from wanting her assassinated to wanting her decorating his garden. Popping his claws, Logan tells Elsa that he’d tell her to put that hog leg away, but she’s gonna need it.
Just then, Elsa and Logan turn around to see a bunch of robotic creatures coming towards them. The head robot then informs units 2 through 6 to initiate retrieval protocols, secure the statue. As Logan begins to attack the robots, he recalls that Jefferson Chambers was the Covenant’s resident psychopath in a lab coat. This kind of technology reeks of his handiwork. Although it looks like he’s made some upgrades since his days of stovepipes and clockwork gears. Chambers liked to use human flesh and blood as the foundation for his creations. Some trick of the mad scientist trade he’s picked up in his travels. They’re like Deathloks, only even less human. Murderlocks. These robots are built for killing though, not extraction. That little bit of confusion in their programming might be the only thing that keeps them alive. For whatever reason, the individual Covenant members want the Maiden for themselves. They want her alive. Something’s changed. He’s caught in the middle of a life-and-death game of keep-away… that’s business as usual.
Continuing to battle the robots, Logan tells Elsa that they’re trying to take her. They can sort everything out later, but for now keep them away from the Maiden. Firing her weapon at the robots, Elsa asks what it bloody looks like she’s doing. Nobody is taking the statue anywhere until she gets some answers.
Leaping on top of one of the robots, Logan yells out “I know you’re watching, Chambers!” He knows he’s listening. But the Maiden is under his protection. He’ll rip up every one of his little toys before he lets him have her. What does he say to that, you little freak? Just then, the robot says “de-to-nate” and proceeds to explode, knocking Logan to the ground in a heap. After seeing Logan hitting the ground, Elsa calls out to Chambers and tells him she knows he can hear her. Her father always said the Dreaming Maiden had to die. What changed? Tell her what… Before she can finish her thought, Elsa is shot and falls to the ground next to Logan’s prone body.