‘You ever hear of sense memory?’ Wolverine a.k.a. Logan asks. ‘They say that when you smell something… the sensation’s about a thousand times stronger than your proper memory’. He is on a beach, resting on his knees by the water, a man crouched beside him in handcuffs. ‘For me…hell, that’s probably about as true a statement as I ever heard. Time was, I’d forgotten more than a regular person could ever hope to remember’ Wolverine explains. ‘Like this place. What is means to me. Like you and me. Like what you did’ Wolverine adds as they sit on the beach of the small island, a building can be seen in the distance. ‘Course, sense memory being what it is, and you doing what you did… I could never really forget’ Wolverine declares.
‘I hate pirates’ Logan snarls on a small freighter boat. One of the pirates shoves the end of his rifle into Logan’s face. Logan grabs the rifle off him, then throws the man down. Logan lunges towards the others, who raise the swords and other weapons towards him. One of the pirates has a prosthetic arm. ‘All right…everybody back off’ Logan instructs the pirates. ‘Shoot him! Kill him now!’ the one with the prosthetic arm declares in their native tongue, and so one starts to fire their weapon. Bullets strike Logan in his stomach and chest, and he falls off the boat into the water. ‘Keep firing!’ the pirate calls out, so Logan tries to get deeper into the water, as more bullets strike him.
The pirates have taken over Japanese war boats, turned them all into modern day pirate ships, terrorizing his adoptive hometown, Madripoor, so he has set out to try and put an end to them. Best laid plans though…and Logan is left to drown as the pirates take off. Logan doesn’t know if he understands why he isn’t dead. He knew he was damn near impossible to kill - but still, that was a bit much. He washes up on shore, ‘There’s a man there…’ one of the locals calls out as two walk along the shore. ‘Leave him, Chin-Mae… he reeks of trouble’ the second declares. But Chin-Mae rushes over, ‘Sir?’ he calls out, cautiously reaching down to Logan, who looks up and grabs Chin-Mae’s wrist. ‘Father…?’ Logan utters, before collapsing.
Later, night has fallen, and Logan is inside a wooden home, laid to bed, a woman puts a wet cloth on his face. Logan stirs, ‘Where…’ he utters, while the woman calls out to Chin-Mae, ‘He’s waking…’ she announces in her native tongue. ‘You’re… Korean… where am I…?’ Logan asks. ‘Come quickly’ the woman declares. Chin-Mae kneels before Logan and informs him that he and Duck-Hwan found him on the beach, that he had washed up. ‘Thank you…’ Wolverine replies, before Chin-Mae introduces himself, and his wife, Byung-Soon, and explains that Duck-Hwan is their hired hand. Duck Hwan looks at Wolverine, holding a cup of warm food.
They all gather around a small table in the middle of the living area, and Chin-Mae informs Logan that their boy, Dong-Sun was taken by the ocean, and that his last word was “father”. ‘I…’ Logan begins, to which Duck-Hwan explains that Chin-Mae thinks Logan is the reincarnation of his son. ‘You speak English?’ Logan asks. ‘Yes, you never know when it will come in useful’ Duck-Hwan replies, a bucket of fish at his side, he starts to cut some of them up. ‘What lies are you telling?’ Byung-Soon asks. Wolverine drinks the rest of the liquid in the bowl he was eating from and replies ‘No lies from him, ma’am. I don’t want to be any trouble…and I’d like to repay you for your kindness’. ‘You speak Korean?’ Duck-Hwan asks, surprised as Logan replies to Byung-Soon in her native tongue. ‘Never know when it might come in useful, right?’ Logan smiles. Chin-Mae informs Logan that if he iwshes to help, tomorrow he can come with them to fish, as the weather changes soon, and this will likely be their last big haul. ‘Now we have your extra hands’ he points out, and Byung-Soon declares that they will be most grateful.
The man beside Wolverine on the beach starts crying. ‘Look, you gotta stop the crying. I get it… you don’t want to die. But you didn’t seem to care much back then, so don’t act all teary and whiney now. Besides…we got digging today’. Logan then tosses a shovel at the man’s feet and remarks ‘Now where was I…’ as he continues his story:
‘Every morning… before we fish, we give thanks’ Chin-Mae explains, his arms open out over the water, where he, Logan and Duck-Hwan stand. ‘Thanks to the oceans for giving us fish, thanks to the fish for giving us food, thanks to those that watch over us and for those who stand next to us’. Chin-Mae looks at Logan, ‘That means you’ he tells him. Logan frowns, while Duck-Hwan looks away. They stare out over the ocean some more, and Wolverine smiles - it does feel nice to be part of something, other than killing.
Soon, the three each have a side of a net and are in the water. ‘That’s it, Logan! You’re almost as good as my boy!’ Chin-Mae exclaims. ‘Heh’ Logan replies, while Duck-Hwan reports that they have never had a day like this before. ‘The fish heard our prayer, Duck-Hwan’ Chin-Mae explains, as gulls hover overhead, wanting the fish for themselves. Duck-Hwan tells Logan to be careful, as his line is tangling at the end. ‘Right, right…’ Logan replies, before asking Duck-Hwan where he learned English. Duck-Hwan reports that he went to university on the mainland. ‘Oh wow…’ Logan utters as a large fish tries to leap out of the net. Not wanting to get analytical, this is probably one of the top five happiest moments in Logan’s life - and that is saying something. He, Chin-Mae and Duck-Hwan drag the net out of the water, loaded with fish.
As they reach the beach, they see a man in a suit standing nearby. ‘Mr Ho’ the man calls out, holding a satchel. ‘Always at the worst time…’ Chin-Mae remarks, before telling Logan and Duck-Hwan to keep it up, as he has to talk to the man. Back in the water, Logan asks ‘Who’s that?’, to which Duck-Hwan informs Logan that it is Chul-Moo, a “land baron”, who has been trying to buy up all this land for months now. ‘For what?’ Logan asks. Duck-Hwan explains that he wants to put in a beachfront hotel. ‘I told Chin-Maw to sell, to take the money and go. But he doesn’t listen. He has more dignity than sense, sometimes’.
Suddenly:‘Hey!’ a voice cries out on the beach. ‘Get your hands off of me!’ Chin-Mae declares as he Chul-Moo tries to grab him. Chin-Mae shoves his fist into Chul-Moo’s face, but Chul-Moo forces Chin-Mae to the ground. ‘Not again…you see, Logan? He’s - Logan?’ Duck-Hwan calls out, but Logan is already running towards the shore. He leaps towards Chul-Moo, pushing him away from Chin-Mae, thinking that he is taking care of it, showing that Chin-Mae is not to be bullied. But Chin-Mae looks shocked, and tells Logan to stop.
‘But it was a mistake, I guess I underestimated all of you’ Wolverine remarks to the man who is waist-deep in a hole that he is digging. ‘Another mistake’ Logan realizes.
Logan is sitting on the beach. He suddenly picks up a strange smell. ‘No’ he utters, before running through the forest towards Chin-Mae’s home. The pirates have returned, and stand ready with their weapons. ‘NO!’ Logan roars as he sees Chin-Mae’s home on fire. He finds his friend, lying on the ground and picks him up, ‘Who did this…was it Chul-Moo? Who?’ Logan enquires. But Chin-Mae passes away, unable to give a response. ‘No’ Logan gasps, while suddenly, ‘Please let me go!’ a voice calls out. In amongst the smoke and flames billowing around, Logan looks up in the direction the voice was coming from. He rushes through more forest, and finds several thugs standing over Byung-Soon. Blood trickles from her mouth. ‘GRAAR!’ Logan roars, lunging at the man who on top of her. He starts attacking them all, punching them, and breaking one of their necks.
Suddenly, a gun is fired, and Logan turns to see Chul-Moo, one of his arms in a sling, aiming the gun at him. ‘Now. Let’s just all calm down’ he suggests. Wolverine responds by telling the men that if they want to live, they should leave now. ‘Otherwise, stay. I’m not known for offering twice’ ‘He’s just one man…’ Chul-Moo tells his thugs, still aiming his weapon towards Logan. Some monkeys scamper through the trees above, while the thugs start to run. ‘I’ll shoot, God help me, I’ll shoot’ Chul-Moo calls out. ‘Be my guest’ Logan tells him. ‘Die, you motherless son of a whore!’ Chil-Moo shouts, pulling the trigger on his weapon. ‘Ain’t good enough, bub’ Logan snarls, the bullet striking his chest. Chul-Moo fires again, but still Logan does not fall. ‘What kind of monster are you?’ Chul-Moo asks. Logan glares back at Chil-Moo, who then shouts ‘NOOOO!’ which can be heardall across the island.
Logan picks up Byung-Soon’s body and walks out of the jungle. Chin-Mae’s home still ablaze, he is then confronted by the pirates. ‘We heard there was a stranger hanging around…a little short ugly guy with stupid hair and the manners of a dog’ the one with the prosthetic arm announces, adding that they thought they would come and visit. Logan holds Byung-Soon’s body still, and frowns, before asking the pirates if they had anything to do with this. ‘No’ the one with the prosthetic replies. ‘Good’ Logan replies. ‘Is she -’ the pirate starts to ask, before laying Byung-Soon down beside Chin-Mae. ‘Yeah. Let’s do this’ Wolverine declares.
And so it goes, he beats on the pirates for a while, until they manage to subdue him. They drag him off and he tears them a few new ones, and they never sail again - but that’s not really the story here, is it - there is something else.
‘Maybe you can fill me in…Duck-Hwan. How’s about I play priest to your pleading, kneeling, supplicating ass?’ Logan suggests, standing over the old Duck-Hwan who is in the hole. Duck-Hwan glances up at Wolverine.
‘I can help you get what you want’ Duck-Hwan tells Chul-Moo inside a bar, where sailors and soldiers are enjoying the company of women. ‘I’ll make sure that Logan is away so you may speak with Chin-Mae man-to-man’ Duck-Hwan assures Chul-Moo, who asks Duck-Hwan what he wants in return. Duck-Hwan announces that what he wants is some land of his own, a step up. ‘Now, I would bet your master doesn’t know you’re here’ Chul-Moo remarks, his arm in a sling after the encounter with Logan on the beach. ‘He’s not my “Master”. He’s my employer’ Duck-Hwan corrects Chul-Moo, adding that Chin-Mae is also his friend. ‘Whatever the case, you’re not welcome here’ Chul-Moo responds. But Duck-Hwan tells him that he is here to negotiate. ‘I agree with you. This town needs to move forward…progress. Chin-Mae doesn’t understand that…he never will’. Chul-Moo knocks back his drink, as Duck-Hwan boasts that he can help Chin-Mae see the light.
‘Please, Logan…I didn’t think…’ the elderly Duck-Hwan calls out to Logan, who stares down at the narrow hole in the sound that Duck-Hwan has dug for himself. ‘No. You didn’t’ Logan responds. ‘I thought he only wanted to talk’ Duck-Hwan claims, recalling how he, Chin-Mae and Byung-Soon fled the fire. ‘It doesn’t matter. We all gotta tone for our sins’ Wolverine points out as he starts shoveling the sand. ‘We gotta settle up for what we’ve done’ Wolverine explains. ‘I made these people’s lives better. I gave them water and power… I built an economy in this place…education their children’ Duck-Hwan shouts in his defense. ‘And you? You brought pirates and death… you reek of death now, just like you did then’. Wolverine replies that he knows, and remarks that form what he has heard, Duck-Hwan lived out the rest of his life as an honorable and good man. ‘Maybe you redeemed yourself’ Wolverine supposes.
‘But not to me. You ruined this place for me. This land stinks of death. It stinks of the blood of Chin-Mae’s body. Of Byung-Soon’s tears. This place should smell like happiness for me. There’s not a lot of places in this world that have that going for it’ Wolverine declares. More sand is shoveled into the hole, and Wolverine remarks that he cane back here once, a few years back, only he went by another name then - wore an eye patch, talked like an old movie star. ‘Even then…my mind all mucked up, not able to remember a damn thing…this place smelled like home. Almost’. Wolverine kneels down on the beach, several feet back from Duck-Hwan, who is buried up to his head in the sand. ‘See, like I said… sense memory’s a lot stronger than memory-memory’ Logan remarks.
Logan announces that he has his memories back, and he remembers the size of his first pair of boots, just as well as he remembers what Duck-Hwan did fifty years ago. ‘Now I’m never going to be able to come here again’ Logan states. ‘Why?’ Duck-Hwan asks. ‘Because it’ll always smell like you’ Wolverine snarls. As the building in the background is revealed to be a large, fancy hotel, Wolverine points out that the tide is coming in, and suggests to Duck-Hwan that they just sit quietly for a moment, and think about what they have both done. The water moves closer and closer, until finally, Duck-Hwan’s head can no longer be seen, and the water laps at Wolverine’s knees as he stares out over the ocean, glistening under the night sky.
An island, somewhere. A HYDRA agent has been on the island for 364 days. Every single night for almost a year, he wakes up, eats the same meal, puts on the same uniform and takes his position. He knows there are others here, but he has never seen them - and doesn’t care to. For eight, he watches a four mile strip of the island. He maintains the perimeter, concealed at his position, weapon ready. His position is slightly below the complex on the island. His name is not important. He is the best there is at what he does - and what he does is kill people for HYDRA. The rifle in his hand makes a cracking sound as it fires a bullet into the air - striking a jet that flies over the island, causing it to explode and its remains crash into the water. He knows he has made 42 confirmed kills since he has been here, all by rifle, one bullet each. He decides that this one has the fanciest coffin by far.
Looking through his telescope, the HYDRA agent sees that the jet was a modified Blackbird. He supposes it could be a SHIELD jet, assumed that they had visible eye cloaking. He wonders if it might be AIM, but decides that the generally don’t build for style, and realizes that either way it is a good bit of entertainment for his last night here - 42 kills all clumped together - a whole lot of time with nothing to do but - ‘Look at this’ he thinks to himself, seeing a man on fire climbing out of the water. ‘That’s one lucky bastard. That’s a miracle right there, surviving a crash like that’ the HYDRA agent thinks to himself. He knows that ordinarily, this guy would get famous for surviving a crash like that - do the talk shows, write a book, get a movie made about his second chance at life. ‘This guy’s second chance at life is going to last about three seconds’. He cracks his rifle once more, and fires a bullet into the flaming man’s skull.
It was a head shot, which should switch him off like a light. The agent reloads his weapon then scans for more survivors. He doesn’t know what HYDRA is doing out here, nor does he care. He cares more about the money they are paying him for a year’s stay here. He recalls that in that year he has killed fishermen, spies, a lost tourist, fellow terrorists, a few seals - all unlucky enough to pass in front of his scope. ‘Whatever HYDRA’s building, seems a lot of people want - what the -?’ the agent thinks, going wide-eyed when he sees the man he just shot get to his feet then start running up the side of the island towards him. ‘Can’t be the same guy. It’s another survivor’ the agent tells himself. ‘That’s some luck’ he adds, before firing his rifle once more - two bullets straight into the mans heart and a lung. ‘Keep it interesting. He’s got about forty seconds to live’.
Addressing himself as “Position Seven”, the HYDRA agent radios base, requesting a cleaning crew. The base maintains radio silence, as they always do, but he knows a clean up crew will show up and take care of the mess, then disappear back into the base. He assumes that HYDRA is trying to take over the world, or destroy the worlds governments, something like that, and what they’re doing here is simply part of it. ‘Tonight’s the night, I guess. Their big plan’ he thinks to himself. He remembers that he is getting paid in Euros, so he supposes he shouldn’t plan on going back to - ‘That’s not possible. It’s him!’ the agent realizes when, through his telescope, he picks up the same man, moving once more. ‘This guy should be dead’ the agent tells himself, putting another bullet into his rifle. ‘There isn’t a body armor on the planet that could have stopped those bullets. Let him try a couple of these’ the agent remarks, before firing once more.
One bullet goes straight through the intruder’s neck, while the HYDRA agent recalls that he has been killing men his entire adult life, and a little before then. He has used his hands, knives, guns, explosives, and one time, even a hammer. And in his life, he has seen his fair share of strangeness - the human body is a hell of a thing. He has seen men walk away from wounds that should have killed them. He has seen men walking, scratching their exposed brains, trying to figure out what just happened, not realizing that they are already dead. Another bullet is fired, through the man’s stomach, while the HYDRA agent thinks ‘They finally drop, always the same expression in their eyes. The shock. No one ever thinks it’s going to happen to them’.
‘This guy’s no diff-’ the agent begins as he sees the man start to fall. ‘He’s no -’, but the agent is forced to fire again - in the kneecap, and yet, his foe continues to run forward, so he fires again, putting a bullet right in his mouth. ‘He’s dead’ the agent thinks, but the man continues to rush towards him. He fires another bullet, this time in his opponent’s eye socket. ‘No man can survive that’ the agent knows. But, he recalls that is what he said about the first bullet he put in his opponent’s head. ‘This is my last night here. Is this all in my head?’ he wonders. He tells himself that no one could have survived that crash - no one could have survived those wounds. ‘I’m the best here is at -’ the agent thinks to himself, when suddenly, there is a SNIKT behind him, and he sees three claws close to his face. ‘No…NO!’ the agent thinks, but his foe - none other than Wolverine - roars and lunges towards him. The agent fires bullet after bullet, before Wolverine shoves his claws into him.
Bloodied and covered in bullet holes, Wolverine picks up the agent’s rifle, as the moon shines down over him. ‘My name is Wolverine…I’m the best there is at what I do. But this ***hole was pretty damn good’ Logan admits, as he turns and continues on his mission towards the HYDRA complex behind him.
‘The look on Sauron’s chicken-face when I shredded his left wing, was almost worth the fall. Well, actually… the fall wasn’t all that bad. Payback was in the landing’ Wolverine thinks to himself as he falls through the air towards a small island seemingly in the middle of nowhere. He lands in the water just off the island and plunges deep.
Lightning crackles in the sky five days later. The X-Men haven’t come looking for him. He crouches in a cave to hide from the weather. A wild pig dead at his feet. One thing Wolverine can’t stand is being watched while he eats, but looking across from him, he sees several primates watching him. ‘Cantankerous, carnivorous hair-balls’ he thinks to himself. ‘Sounds familiar’ Wolverine decides as he shoves some more meat into his mouth, causing one of the primates to bare its teeth at him.
Two more days of big fat nothing, as Logan looks out over the edge of the island. He decides he could get used to it - but sniffs the air, and spinning around, sees that the primates are standing behind him. ‘The Fantastic… Five?’ Wolverine realizes, as he sees one more than there was before. He knows that the new one is different, has intent - which it makes clear, as the huge primate roars and lunges at Wolverine.
Logan slices the huge primate’s side, but it continues its attack, and Logan cries out in pain as the large primate bites down on his right shoulder - tearing away all of the flesh and muscle from his upper arm. ‘Feels worse than it looks’ Logan thinks to himself, before deciding ‘Okay, primate… bow you went and pissed me off’. Wolverine leaps into the air so that he reaches the primates face, and slashes the large creature with his claws.
Logan lands back down on the ground, and grins at the creature, who seems unable to continue its attack. Wolverine leaps towards it once more, and continues a frenzied attack with his claws, slicing the large primate into, what he calls, monkey-chow. Suddenly, a hand reaches out to Wolverine. ‘Huh?’ Logan thinks to himself as he sees the other four primates sitting beside him. One of them is pointing at Logan. ‘Oh, no way! I am not going to be your…’ he begins, before realizing that the primate was actually pointing into the air. They look up at a jet which has descended, and Nightcrawler can be seen in the jet.
‘Leave it to Kurt to come lookin’ for his good old pal… seven #$%! Days later!’ Wolverine thinks to himself, before deciding that this is goodbye. But, looking down at the primates, has seconds thoughts: ‘Pack your bananas, boys… you’ve just been recruited’.