From a rooftop, X-23 and Gambit watch chaos and fighting on the streets below them. Madripoor was never a city of angels, Gambit sighs, but at least there were rules. Survival has no rules, Laura points out. Sometimes it does, he insists. Everyone needs a code. A code implies restraint, Laura muses. Sometimes that’s what defines you, Gambit explains. Laura muses that she has come here to show restraint. The Weapon X project is being resurrected. Daken Akihiro, who walks in the streets below them, knows where to find the man responsible. She thinks it’s time to hunt, she states and jumps down.
Right, he’ll go look for some stairs, Gambit mutters, but then follows to complain about his bones a moment later. Is he hurt? she asks. He just jumped off a building! Apparently, he thinks he’s a sixteen year old girl with a healing factor, he replies. Instead, he is just… old? she teases. She doesn’t tell him that she fractured both ankles when she hit the ground. Healed in moments.
An ugly, leering man grabs Laura, cheering to his pals he found them something sweet, gonna pass her around like a prize! No, they are not, she replies and slices at him. She chides herself inwardly for forgetting about Gambit when she jumped. She is not alone.
He tells her he’ll catch up with her. Got a lesson to teach about hell. She follows Daken, noting he has Wolverine’s shoulders. She is the clone of his father. They are blood. But blood does not make family!
She almost touches him when she hears someone cry out. A small boy is kidnapped by two men and dragged into a car. She looks at Daken, then at the kidnappers and follows them, stabbing the first. She informs the second to get away from the child and she will kill him quickly. Otherwise there will be pain! She stabs through his hand, noting he smells like children. Boys and girls. Tell her why!
Gambit joins her to find both men dead. She could not restrain herself, X-23 states. They tried to steal a boy. She interrogated one of them. They work for Colcord. He directed them to take advantage of the chaos to kidnap children. He did not give them a reason nor did the man know where his lab is.
She checks the unconscious boy’s pulse, then carries him outside. What about Daken? Gambit asks. They will keep looking, she decides, after they take this boy someplace safe. Gambit suggests he knows someone who can help them. What with the chaos in Madripoor, he thought her hands would be tied, but she’s good people. He offers to carry the boy but she declines. She’s changed, he observes. No, Laura replies.
In another part of the city, military have the riot under control. One soldier reports the current state to his boss Tyger Tiger. He adds that this is not her fault. They all know this is not her fault, she replies darkly, but promises to fix it somehow. As the soldiers walks away, Gambit and X-23 join her. It’s so good to see him, Tyger exclaims and hugs him. They get into the car with Tyger who leaves the boy with some nuns who will take care of him till they find his parents. Gambit points out that there were more kids with the nuns. X adds that they smelled sick. They were experimented on, Tyger explains. She was ready to launch an investigation when everything went to hell. Now her resources are stretched so thin she has nothing left to spare, not even for hurt kids. She’s got an entire city to bring back under control.
What happened? Gambit asks. Daken Akihiro, she replies. He played her. He also murdered her friends. But she’s s till working for him, Gambit observes. That’s not her. It’s her, she replies because she loves this city and Daken knows it.
Laura interjects that they know who is hurting these children. His name is Malcolm Colcord. He wants to create a new Weapon X program. She believes Daken knows where he is. And she wants Daken, Tyger supposes and offers to help them with that. How good are her acting skills?
The next morning:
Laura and Remy appear in Tyger’s office. She pretends she’s not seen them before and haughtily asks what the cat dragged in. She tells Gambit they’ve picked the worst time to visit. Anything they can help with? he offers. Who’s “they?” The trained killer standing behind him, for starters, he refers to X-23.Tyger scoffs. She is a child! She was created by the Weapon X program, X-23 corrects her. She was never a child. Hear that? She is more mature than him, Gambit adds helpfully. Everyone is more mature than him, Tyger retorts unimpressed.
Laura insists they are wasting time. She has to find Daken Akihiro, now. Tyger claims not to know anyone of that name. X shoots back that she can smell him all over this room. He knows where she can find Malcolm Colcord. Never heard of him either, says Tyger. Laura explains he is kidnapping and experimenting on the children of her city. Testing a healing factor serum on their bodies. When he perfects the formula he will be able to design a new army of fighters. Like her. Like the man she was cloned from. Wolverine. Wryly Tyger points out that unless X-23 is hiding something significant in those tight pants she seriously doubts she is a clone of Wolverine. She thinks she is nuts and wasting her time.
Laura become angry, insisting Tyger knows Daken. Gambit asks her to stop and asks Tyger how far they go back. He wouldn’t come here unless it was dangerous. Tyger replies he can’t be trusted. He always has an ulterior motive for everything.
Enough! Laura shouts, threatening she can make Tyger tell the truth. No, she won’t! Gambit tells her and holds her back. Tyger shouts at both of them to shut up and forcefully reminds Laura she is in her city. No one threatens her. No one tells her what to do. Gambit should have known better than to bring her here. She orders them out, adding she won’t asks twice. Laura snarls she won’t get any warning when she comes for her. She heads outside. Gambit tells Tyger she is making a mistake about the danger. If she does know Daken… He trails off and slams the door behind him.
If she knows him… Tyger speaks to empty space, it’s already too late. Isn’t that right, Daken? Daken enters from another door, asking if he detects a note of melodrama in her voice. He admits he is intrigued.
On the streets at a food stand, Laura is trying out a noodles dish with extra hot peppers and garlic. If she wanted to drive him away, she only had to ask, Gambit comments. Laura explains that in the lab she was never fed anything but protein mix. No color, no taste. When she lived with the X-Men, the food was fast and always the same, pizza, hamburger. Everything here is different. She likes it.
The vendor tells Gambit they don’t look like tourists. Gambit replies they heard there were opportunities for certain skill sets given Madripoor’s new circumstances. He always knew the good times wouldn’t last, the vendor agrees. Rumor has it there’s new leadership. A man who wears a mask. Everyone calls him Akki.
Sitting down next to Laura, Remy wonders what the name means. “Akki” is Japanese for “demon,” Laura explains and adds she is fluent in many languages. Funny, so is he, Daken, in full costume announces. He wonders if it’s a family thing…
He sits down across them. Well, look, a man with a mask, Gambit announces. How subtle and devious. Laura right? Daken asks. Sneering, he asks if she really expects him to believe she is a clone of Wolverine. His father? Laura asks. Yes. Making her his… mother? Gambit suggests. Curtly Daken states he had a mother and that’s the last time he mentions her. And he might kill her for telling the most ridiculous lie ever.
She was made in a lab from Wolverine’s DNA, Laura states. That’s not a lie. He tells her to prove it. She unsheathes her claws. He hurls the table over, trying to strike them with his energy lash. Laura pushes Gambit aside. Commenting on his enhanced weaponry, she concludes Daken must be poorly skilled. Not at all, he tells her and takes off the glove. He just likes the look, but he is best, claw to claw…
Suddenly, they are surrounded by armed police men. Daken is amused. But X uses the distraction to tackle him. They fall through a shop window. Atop him, Laura threatens him with her claws and orders him to look into her eyes. He kicks her off and calls her a test tube freak. She thinks she can come here with his blood in her veins? Daken’s blood, too, she reminds him. He hits her, ordering her not to say that. They are nothing... She hits back before he can say “alike.” Is he sure? she asks as she slices his chest. The fight becomes more agitated. With a scream of rage he tackles her to the edge of a roof.
Momentarily, they both need to catch their breath. Ready to give up? he asks. Never, comes the reply. Good, he decides, then jumps at her, they both fall down the roof and land hard. Now, X-23 announces, where were they?