Wolverine speeds through the streets of New Orleans in a vintage vehicle with Domino as his passenger. When he arrives at Belladonna’s mansion headquarters and parks the car, Domino has just one thing to say: nice—and subtle. She’s certain Logan knows that Belladonna is never going to go for this, she says. In his defense, Wolverine claims he’s an optimist.
“No, you’re an ass,” Domino says as they exit the vehicle. If that’s so, Logan says, he certainly didn’t hear her complaining last night. “I was distracted,” Domino replies. It was also before she heard his plan—and by plan, she means ‘suicide mission.’
There are a lot of people he’d die for, Wolverine tells her; she’s not one of them. Domino snorts; she’ll remember that next time she’s naked.
Wolverine and Domino approach the mansion’s door, unaware of the Hand ninjas lurking in the alley across the street, monitoring their every move. The Hand reports that the mutants have arrived; they must move quickly before they are discovered by the Guild. At that moment, however, they are interrupted by a sudden burst of white light and a familiar noise, although one unfamiliar to them—VT!
Inside the manor, Wolverine and Domino saunter through the main floor and into the grand chamber. Although Wolverine shows no signs of fear, Domino is clearly nervous to be so deep in enemy territory—and in such plain sight. He’s been there before, right? He tells her he has. She asks how it went. He told her he had to kill everyone. Of course he did, she sighs.
As they proceed, agents of the Assassins Guild equipped with familiar hi-tech suits emerge from the shadows all around them. Domino notes that their odds are getting worse by the minute—and not all of them heal as fast as Wolverine. She should have thought about that before she joined the Guild and stole their money, he replies. “Have I mentioned that I hate you?” Domino asks as she points her guns at the myriad assassins following them. Yep, he says, before telling her to get ready.
They approach Belladonna’s throne, where the head of the Assassins Guild sits concealed in the shadows, and surrounded by her agents Razorfist, Boomerang, Nakh, Black Mamba, and Bullet.
She politely says hello to Wolveirne and Neena. Before they say anything, she tells Logan that he should know she gave the girl a chance—out of respect for the X-Men. But Domino chose to ignore her generosity. Unlike her, however, Logan is a sensible man. Surely he’s come now to exchange the money for Domino’s life.
“Nope,” Logan tells her.
“Excuse me?” Belladonna asks, aghast. Ignoring her outrage, Wolverine lays out the deal: she leaves them alone, and they let her live. She asks about the money. Logan gruffly replies that it goes to charity. This stuns even Domino, who fails to mask her surprise. Wolverine repeats himself, reiterating that all of it goes to charity. That’s the deal, he tells Belladonna. What does she say to it?
Belladonna stands, points at Wolverine and Domino, and tells her agents to kill them. Without hesitation, Razorfist, Nakh, Boomerang, Black Mamba, and Bullet—along with the hordes of Assassins Guild killers in the chamber—lunge at Logan and Neena, who stand in defense.
Razorfist strikes first, slashing at Logan with his arm-blades. Behind Logan, Domino fires at Boomerang, who assails her with a barrage of sharpened projectiles. Although Wolverine easily dispatches the assassin on his right, he is suddenly gripped by the hypnotic Darkforce powers of Black Mamba. They make him hallucinate about his dead lover, Mariko. Fortunately for him, the effect is momentary, as Domino quickly frees him by firing a bullet into Black Mamba’s shoulder. Logan vows to kill Black Mamba as he regains his breath, but before he can react, Razorfist slashes him across the face, deeming it payback time.
Again, Domino tries to come to his aid, but the masked Nakh melts out of a shadow in near the ceiling and snares her neck from above with a chain. She fires indiscriminately into the air in response. As Nakh continues snuffing out her life, she continues firing round after round out of the barrel of her machine gun. One of the bullets travels across the room, ricochets off one of Razorfist’s blades, travels toward the ceiling, ricochets again off a chandelier, and, reversing trajectory, speeds toward the wall—right into the space occupied by Nakh. The bullet hits the masked villain in the face and explodes out the back of his head.
Nakh releases his grip on Domino, and she falls to the floor along with him. He happens to land right on top of Razorfist’s back. Domino, however, lands much worse: she falls on top of the razor-sharp boomerangs lodged in the floor, courtesy of the villain of the same name. One pierces her shoulder, and another, her left thigh.
Wolverine hoists her off the floor. They gotta move, he says. She screams as her body separates from the blades. Once upright, she gets a good lock at Wolverine. He’s missing his face, she says, noticing Razorfist’s handiwork. His face will heal, he reminds her—but her leg won’t. She’d better cancel those dance lessons. Still struggling to regain her breath, she says that she hates to say that she told him so—but they’re going to die there.
“You might,” he replies. “But I’ll be—”
Suddenly, a hand appears from the shadows behind them and brings a blade to Wolverine’s throat. “—fine,” he says. From the shadows emerges a squad of killers wearing the familiar garb of Hand ninjas: crimson martial arts clothing, crimson face masks, and eyes that glow red like demons. This is a pickle, Domino says as her arms are pinned behind her back. Wolverine curses.
As the ninjas force Domino and Wolverine forward, Dom admits that this might be her fault, too. Wolverine simply tells them they should have stayed out of this. Belladonna takes the opportunity to address the new interlopers. Their truce still stands, she says—for the moment. But if they do not release those mutants and abandon their weapons, they will die with them.
“You guys can totally take ‘em,” Domino whispers to the figure holding her hostage. To her chagrin, they drop their weapons to the floor in unison. The sais and katana clatter to the ground. Sneering, Domino turns back to the figure holding her hostage. “Really? Really?! Bad-ass mystical Hand ninjas and you give up just like that?”
Belladonna tells them they made a wise choice. Wolverine, however, is not ready to concede. With a grin on his face—despite the shotgun held beneath his chin—he tells Belladonna this is her last chance. She merely smiles and says she’ll miss him; he was always the best at what he did.
“Still am,” Wolverine replies. Suddenly, a spigot of blood erupts to the side of him. The Hand ninjas throw off their robes and begin slashing at the members of the Assassins Guild, finally revealing themselves as the members of Wolverine’s X-Force. Warpath, X-23, Archangel, Elixir, and the Vanisher all begin hacking and slashing at the hordes of enemies surrounding them. As Wolverine slices the limbs off one member of the Assassins Guild, he reminds X-23 that he told her to stay out of this!
Warpath, never one to shy away from a challenge, rushes toward Belladonna’s assassin Bullet. As they reach each other, Warpath ducks under Bullet’s outstretched gun. He destroys the gun’s firing mechanism with one of his bowie knives, and pivots expertly with the other, sending the blade directly into the thug’s heart. “Didn’t anyone ever tell you,” Warpath says, taunting him. “Never to bring a gun to a knife fight.”
Nearby, Black Mamba uses her Darkforce powers to levitate X-23 into the air. As her ghastly Darkforce energy envelopes the girl, Black Mamba remarks that she tastes just like Wolverine did. They’re exactly the same, she adds. At that, X-23 unsheathes the Adamantium claw concealed in her foot and jams it into Black Mamba’s chest. “Not exactly,” she replies.
After X-23 leaves Black Mamba to find a new target, Elixir rushes over to her and lays his healing hands on her chest, assuring her that she’s going to be okay. “Foley, stop healing the assassins!” Wolverine shouts at him.
Foley’s temporary inattentiveness leaves him easy prey for Boomerang, who hurls a trio of his signature projectiles at the naïve mutant boy. Luckily for him, Archangel blocks them with his outstretched wings. He tells Elixir to get down. Then, with his wings pointed directly at Boomerang, begins releasing his deadly fletchettes. “My turn,” Archangel says. The fletchettes shoot across the room and pin Boomerang to the wall, where he goes limp.
Vanisher, meanwhile, finds himself ambushed by Razorback. The hulking assassin lunges at the reluctant teleporter, shouting that he’s dead. Vanisher doesn’t think so; he takes that cue to teleport away. VT!
Razorfists’s momentum carries him to the floor. Before he can regain his balance, Domino thrusts her handgun into his face. “Hi. Remember me?” she asks, aiming her sight between his eyes. From behind her, Wolverine orders her to cut him loose. “But we told Razorfist we’d kill him, remember?” she asks. Wolverine insists that it’s over, and that she is to let him go. “But—but we promised…”
She thrusts her finger into Razorfist’s pleading face. “You’re dead, cry baby,” she tells the humiliated assassin. “Dead.” With that, she leaves him alone. Razorfist hangs his head in shame, unable to hide the tears that fall from his eyes.
With her guards defeated, Belladonna finds herself face to face with the precision killers of Wolverine’s X-Force. They stand before her covered in blood, with their weapons outstretched. They’re—they’re the X-Men, she sputters. X-Men don’t kill…
VT! Vanisher teleports behind her and grabs her in a chokehold. That’s what he said too, he says into Belladonna’s ear. Wolverine approaches the captive assassin and tells her how it’s going to be: she doesn’t know Domino. She’s never heard of her and she sure as hell doesn’t know anything about any money. And if they even see her think Domino’s name—she dies. Got it?
In response, Belladonna asks who Domino is. Wolverine tells her she’s a good girl, and with that, X-Force departs with their teleporter, Vanisher.
Two days later, at their base in Angel’s Aerie, Wolverine screams into X-23’s face. She’s wrong, dammit! Laura, however, insists she is not. He would have died. He was not prepared for the Hand’s imminent attack. Had they not killed the Hand ninja, they would have—
“—sat back and watched them kill each other,” Logan says, interrupting her. “I can smell ninja just as good as you can.”
Warpath, holding the TV remote, tells Logan to give her a break. He’s been yelling at her for two days. “Better her than me,” Vanisher says while watching the news on TV. Wolverine tells them they’re both next.
Archangel interrupts them and tells them all to shut up; their news story is on. At that moment on the CNN broadcast, the anchorwoman announces that a Japanese orphanage was given a gift that day they won’t soon forget. An anonymous donor gave the group 200 million dollars.
“Two hundred..?” Wolverine says upon hearing the news. “I’m gonna kill her.” A car horn honks. X-23 tells him she’s outside.
Wolverine walks out the front door, and sitting in the driveway, he finds a classic Ford Mustang, like the one he just lost, in perfect condition. Domino sits proudly on its hood with a bottle of champagne in one hand. She cheerfully wishes him a happy birthday.
“What the hell is this?” Logan asks. “It’s not my freaking birthday.”
“It is now, mister grouchy pants,” she replies. “I figured you needed a new car, since your last one sort of blew up.” Wolverine reminds her that some orphans are short about 37 million dollars; the car’s not gonna change that.
“Okay, fine,” she says. “How about you and I talk this out somewhere private. Over dinner…or over me.” She unzips the front of her top suggestively.
Logan tells her that’s not changing his mind. Still, he gets into the driver’s seat and starts the car. “Whatever you say,” Domino sighs. Then, Wolverine hears it—a pounding noise from the back of the car, followed by the muffled cries of a man begging to be let out. Turning to Domino, Wolverine asks why Razorfist is in the trunk. “I have no idea what you’re talking about,” Domino replies.
As they begin to drive away, she tells him to relax—and just keep his eyes on the road.