April 28th, 1945, over German airspace:
Several small aircraft fly towards a larger plane and open fire. The pilot of the large plane is Lieutenant Jake Bugsby, who loved baseball and his apple pie with a slice of cheese. Bullets shatter the glass screen and plunge into his chest. At a machine-gun post, demolition expert Sergeant Ryan “Rags” Ragatello had an identical twin back in Brooklyn. Bullets are fired into his body as well. The plane catches on fire, and Medic Corporal Hank Stiggens jumps from the plane, his body engulfed in flames. He had a wife, Sara, who is 8 months pregnant. The body of communications specialist Frank Marshall is dismembered as he leaps from the plane but gets caught in the propeller blades. Only one lone figure makes it safely from the burning plane, which suddenly explodes as the enemy planes start to fly away.
However, his parachute catches on fire as he plummets to the ground below. He removes the parachute anyway, as it was just slowing him down, and manages to drop down onto one of the enemy planes. He releases three deadly claws from his hand and latches onto one of the plane. He thinks to himself that, after nearly six years of war, the Third Reich is finally on the ropes. Hitler is holed up in his bunker with a pocketful of cyanide and a luger just as the Allies are making a full push for Berlin.
His name is Logan, and he shoves his hand into the windscreen of the enemy plane, pulling it out. The Nazi soldier inside starts to fire at him, but Logan shoves his claws into the enemy soldier’s chest. Logan thinks to himself that Germany is a wounded animal, which makes this a most dangerous game.
Logan tells himself that in the throes of death, an injured beast can be unpredictable and surprisingly lethal. Even from the early days, the Nazis have run a clandestine program for advanced weaponry. “Wunderwaffen”, is what they call them - wonder weapons. The plane starts to plummet downwards, and Logan is knocked off balance, although he manages to shove his claws into the side of the plane before being blown off it. He knows that there is talk of giant tanks, cruise missiles, night vision, a sun-gun that uses light as a weapon, and even a bomb - a single bomb that can level a city. Logan climbs back up the plane, and shoves his claws through the back of the Nazi soldier. He then throws the soldier out of the plane, while recalling that the Allies are up to much of the same - they even have the walking, talking super-weapon himself - Captain America.
The plane nose-dives towards a nearby mountain, while Logan attempts to gain control and pull the plane up. He realizes that the Nazis are initiating a last-ditch effort for survival. They are trying to develop their very own Super-Soldier Serum. They aim to build a race of Aryan super-men to goose-step across the world. Logan and his team were sent in to stop them. The plane starts to give up. He pulls up as hard as he can and thinks to himself that they were good soldiers, good men, that he can’t let their deaths be in vain. ‘Come on, you pig!’ Logan snarls as the plane nears the mountain - but he manages to level it out just in time. ‘Taking out a Focke-Wulf with your bare hands ain’t easy. But this… this is fun’ Logan tells himself as he starts to fire at one of the other enemy planes, and it explodes.
Later, Logan has ditched the plane in the Elbe River, and makes it through the countryside on foot. To the east, he can hear Soviet tank cannon. He sees a Nazi solder on a motorcycle drive along a road - so leaps down towards him, killing him, and leaving his body on the road as he takes the motorcycle and his gun. Even with their transport getting shot to hell, Logan is still on the grid, the Harz Mountain Range. He has got to get to the top of the highest rock pile in these parts, it is called “The Brocken”. He gets on the motorcycle and rides away. It feels good to him to be silent and calm. To let the adrenaline pass, to center, if only for a moment. The woods are cold and the mountain air thin. It reminds him of Canada and how far away from home he is. He decides that when this war is over, he wants to get away from people for a while, to escape the stench of diesel exhaust, cordite and the machines of war. He wants to sleep under the stars without a fear they will fall.
Eventually, Logan ditches the motorcycle and makes his way towards a facility that is at the top of the hill, with numerous barbed wire fences surrounding it. He tells himself that the hard truth is, war will probably never be through with him. ‘I was built too good for it’ he knows. Logan admits to himself that he finds a rare thrill in a free-fire zone, free to be his worst - but knows that is a slippery slope. He recalls that the recon had them up against some heavy fortifications, and sees fix-position machine gun nests, tanks and infantry ahead of him on the field laced with the barbed wire fences. He drops to the ground and starts to crawl forward, realizing that this fortress is dug in and geared up for a big assault, which makes them vulnerable to a small one. Two guards have their backs turned - so Logan unsheathes his claws and shoves them into them.
Logan tells himself that when you bleed out, it is the loss of oxygen that the blood carries, not the blood itself, that kills you. He severs the arteries of his enemies then puts his weight into squeezing the body to push the blood out faster. He leaves their bodies in the blood-stained snow, then crawls onwards. He knows that the quicker the exsanguinations, the sooner the asphyxiation - but what may sound like mercy is merely expediency. Suddenly, there is a loud WUUUURWUUUR sound from above. Logan knows that sound, and looks up, seeing several planes above. He decides that his commander must have realized their plane was shot down and activated plan B: “Scorched Earth”.
Spotlights from the Nazi facility aim skyward as the Allied planes start to drop bombs below. Concern spreads across his face, and he rushes onwards as the bombs land, causing explosions, and sending Logan careening into the air - right in front of a Nazi tank. A soldier appears at the top of the tank, and calls out to Logan in his native tongue. ‘Oh, shi-’ Logan utters, before the tank fires at very close range, and Logan is engulfed in flame and smoke.
Logan spends a full day healing in a blast crater. He has never been shot by a tank before, and he felt every bit of it. There is a ringing in his ears and his balance is off - but he isn’t complaining. He emerges from the crater, naked, he moves forward as darkness falls. He has been in the field for two days now, which makes it April 30th, Walpurgis Night on the Brocken. He knows that it is said on Walpurgis Night that devils, goblins and ghouls come to this place to feast and celebrate before being banished at dawn, and that the night was named for Saint Walpurga, she is the patron saint of those infected with rabies. Logan takes a Nazi uniform from one of the dead soldiers, and makes his way the bombed complex ahead.
He sees a woman in the complex ruins, and realizes he has seen the way she looks at him elsewhere. People tend to hate and fear what they do not understand. To her, he is an enemy, a monster. She raises a knife towards him, and in German, Logan tells her that he is not here for her, but what lies beneath. The woman tells him that in the basement there is a door, that men come and go. She explains that she just maintains the antenna and asks no questions. Logan tells her that it is going to be okay, to go home and be with her family. He keeps his eyes on her as he walks past her, but nevertheless, she is one of the rare people who get the drop on him, and swiftly plunges her blade into his shoulder. Logan knows that he is not at his best, but to her credit, she did fool him. Her thrusts are strong and true, she continues to stab him with the knife.
Had Logan been any other man… ‘Stirb!’ the woman cries, before Logan pops his claws and shoves them into her. ‘Wir sehen uns in der holle, bestie’ she utters, cursing Logan with her dying breath. She falls to the ground and Logan decides that she was an impressive woman.
‘Now let’s find these super-men’ he tells himself as he carries on through the facility. He goes down some stairs, the air is stale, dank, and it tastes like rust and rotten bacteria. He readies the rifle that he took from the woman, and enters a room with all sorts of jars stored on shelves. Strange items are in the jars, and he decides that this is no weapons factory, but a madhouse.
Suddenly, in another room: ‘We call on the darkness and ancient dread to bless this unholy ceremony!’ someone calls out in German. A Nazi soldier is strapped to an upright table, while a man moves about, wearing a wolf skin over his head holds up a syringe full of a red liquid, possibly blood. ‘We have listened to the abyss and weaponized this curse in your unspeakable name!’ he declares. ‘On the eve of Walpurgis hear us and bring forth the Olfheoinn, the Berserker, the Ubermensch!’ he boasts, waving his arms in the air. He turns to the soldier strapped to the table and calls out ‘Transform this frail vessel in your dark image and lend your strength to the Third and Final Reich!’ he exclaims as he holds the syringe to the soldier’s eye and injects the fluid. ‘No! No! Stop this!’ the soldier calls out.
‘Whatever the hell this is - it ends now’ Logan tells himself as he holds the gun up, ready to fire, while the man with the wolf skin on his shoulders exclaims ‘Let the nightmare be unwaking! In the Fuhrer’s name, let slip the dogs of war!’ But suddenly: ‘Stop him! Let nothing interfere here at our time of becoming!’ he declares when he notices Logan, who opens fire. ‘Kill him! Drown the interloper in your own spilled blood!’ the man with the wolf skin on his back orders as he pulls down a lever, opening a panel in the ceiling, enabling the moon to shine into the lab. ‘Buy us precious moments more for the curse to take hold!’ he orders the others in the room. The moonlight strikes the soldier on the table, as the man with the wolf skin shouts ‘Now behold the culmination of Operation Werewolf! Sieg Heil!’ he shouts, repeating it over and over as the man on the table starts to transform - into a werewolf!
Logan looks on, as the Nazi-werewolf lunges towards him. ‘Come on!’ Logan snarls as he unsheathes his claws, and engages the Nazi-werewolf in battle. His opponent is strong - real strong. Logan is doing damage, but the Nazi-werewolf keeps healing up. ‘So that’s how it feels’ he thinks to himself, realizing that it is now good, that he needs something - when, suddenly, the Nazi-werewolf breaks off his claws. Logan cries out, then clutches his wound. ‘The Americans turned a lousy 4-F into a Super Soldier, but Nazis - Nazis would only take the best of their best’ he tells himself, bracing himself for another attack. He knows they would only make the tallest, blondest, bravest, most decorated war hero they could find a Super Soldier. As the werewolf leaps at Logan, he grabs the Merit Cross medal that hangs around his foe’s neck, and pulls on it. Logan knows that it is awarded for outstanding bravery and service in combat - just shy of the Iron Cross, and is made of pure silver.
The werewolf looks pained as Logan tears the medal from around its neck, then wrapping the ribbon it is attached to around his fist, he shoves his fist, and the silver, straight through the mouth of the surprised Nazi-werewolf, sending blood and brain splattering everywhere. Logan pops the claws on his other hand and turns to the master-mind of this madness. ‘Stand down, soldier’ a voice suddenly calls out, and Logan turns to see Nick Fury standing in the room, while the scared man with the wolf skin lurches backwards. ‘Stand down, that’s an order, Corporal. I can’t let you kill that man’ Fury tells Logan. ‘The hell you can. My men died for this. It’s the damn mission’ Logan replies. Fury explains that the mission has changed, and they need him alive. ‘Captain America’s dead’ Fury announces.
‘How?’ Logan asks. ‘He was in action against Baron Zemo. There was an explosion - Bucky too’ Fury reveals. Allied soldiers enter the room and take the man scientist away in cuffs. Fury tells Logan that the next war will be fought against the Reds, and that it will be decided in the coming months by which of them can acquire the most Nazi tech to develop for themselves nuclear industry. ‘The V-2 Program. Even this insanity’ Fury explains. Fury tells Logan that their top scientist responsible for the Super-Soldier project was assassinated and his secrets lost with him. ‘We need this man to be part of a new program. They’re calling it Weapon Plus’ he explains. Logan turns and starts to leave, replying that he doesn’t believe that Cap goes down that easy. More Allied soldiers rush into the facility, as Logan emerges from the ruins and looks up at the sunrise. ‘This war isn’t even over and they’re already planning the next one’ he thinks to himself, knowing that the world turns, and he fears the fight is not over for him yet.
Crimson Falls, New York. The dead of night. Trees surround a lake that glistens in the dim light of the moon. A small rowboat floats in the center of the lake, a teenage boy and girl are in the boat. ‘I swear, we’re all alone’ the shirtless boy tells Betty, who starts to remove her bra and tells him that they better be. The boy smiles, when suddenly, ‘You hear that? Something hit the boat’ Betty mutters, turning around. The boy laughs and tells Betty to ignore it, that it is probably a trout, or a branch coming from the Falls. ‘So where were we?’ he remarks, when suddenly, there is another thump, and the boy announces that he heard that. He turns on a flashlight and sits up, shining the light into the water, he and Betty both fall back and scream as they see dismembered bodies floating in the lake, blood all around them.
Meanwhile, Wolverine a.k.a. Logan hikes through the Adirondack Mountain area of New York State. Backpack slung over his shoulders, he admires his surroundings - an instant reason for him to creep out of his own head, to put the usual day-to-day psychosis aside and really enjoy what Mother Nature is serving up. Suddenly, on the road that cuts through the area he is walking through, a pick-up truck speeds along, and, comes to a halt ‘You need a lift into town?’ a woman calls out from the truck. Logan turns to her and tells her no need to worry, that he is heading for the Lionsgate Hotel, and that it should be coming up any minute. ‘Your loss. Oh… and you walk for around six more miles before you come to the hotel’ the woman calls back. ‘Really? I didn’t think I was…’ Logan begins, while the woman smiles, ‘Bye now! Have a nice walk’ she tells Logan as she drives off. ‘Yeah, you too… wow’ Logan utters.
Shortly, ‘Funny’ Logan thinks to himself as he arrives at a sign that says “Lionsgate Hotel. Open year round. Main entrance first right 200 feet ahead”. ‘Wanna give me a hand, or are you too out of breath?’ the woman with dark hair from the truck calls out as she pulls up in front of the hotel. ‘Very funny’ Logan mutters to himself. The woman has a sack of groceries, and Logan goes over and picks up some boxes. ‘Much appreciated, Mr Logan’ the woman smiles. ‘How’dya…’ Logan begins, while the woman turns and starts up the stairs to the hotel entrance, ‘Good morning, Thomas. Beautiful day, isn’t it?’ she calls out to an old man sitting on the porch. ‘…know my name?’ Logan concludes. The woman replies that she was expecting him, as he is the only new guest right now, so it wasn’t hard, more of a common-sense situation. ‘Right’ Logan remarks as he walks past Thomas on the porch, while thinking to himself ‘Down, boy’.
Later, Logan is in his room, relaxing on the bed, there is a knock at the door, ‘Dinner, Mr Logan’ the woman calls out. ‘Be right there’ Logan replies, waking from the first good sleep he has had in a month. He looks out the window over the darkening town, sp peaceful and perfect in everyway - almost. He frowns, before making his way downstairs. The dark-haired woman tells Mr Logan to sit wherever he likes. Seated around the table already are Thomas, who is busy whittling away at something, a young blonde girl who blows bubblegum and reads her mobile phone, while remarking that she hopes they have something besides beef stew for a chance, as she is sick of it. ‘I can have beef stew every single day if Alika’s making it’ a burly man with a beard and a backwards cap remarks. ‘Dude, you’re 80% beef stew already. Change it up with salads for a while, will ya?’ the girl replies. ‘Should be interesting’ Logan thinks to himself.
Logan pulls out a seat, and a middle-aged man in a colourful shirt tells him to excuse Ava, as she was left here for a bit while her parents are settling some family business in Austria. ‘It’s nice to see you again, though…what’s it been? Three, maybe four years now…’ he remarks. Logan replies that it has been a few more years than that, but that it seems like yesterday. He adds that the place has never looked better. The burly man is shovelling food into his face and announces that so far this year he put a new roof on, switched up the water heart, and fixed the deck out front. ‘It’s a never-ending cycle of fixing that needs to be done here’ he remarks, adding that it is a better job than working on those sites outside of the town.
Ava leans into Logan and asks him if he heard about all those dead construction workers they found off the Falls, that they say there was at least 24 men killed by werewolves, and someone in town even got a picture of one. ‘So, Mr Logan, I noticed no wedding ring. You got a girlfriend?’ Ava then asks. ‘No’ Logan replies. The older man announces that sixteen will get you twenty around here, and suggests that Alika is more in Logan’s ballpark. ‘I would go for her myself, but I think after one night of lovemaking I would just turn into a pile of dust’. The older woman sitting with him frowns, while he adds that there are worse ways to die, for the most action he gets around here is that mutt humping his leg during his afternoon nap.
Alika, the dark-haired woman, tells him to tone it down a bit, and tells Mr Logan that she is sorry about Mr Dirty Mouth, that it seems to her the older you get, the bolder you get. Ava leans against Logan and remarks that she has had enough of this funeral home. ‘Gonna put my fake ID to work tonight in town. Anyone interested in joining me? Mr Logan?’ she asks. Logan looks at her and tells her that he is going to pass. The older man reminds Ava that she knows she isn’t allowed to go out at night, and suggests she watch some TV or read a book.
After dinner, Logan stands on the porch, ‘Twenty-four dead…and by werewolves? That can’t be right. I would of heard about it’ he thinks to himself. ‘Fun crew, eh?’ Alika smiles as she approaches Logan, who asks her if it is true about those men who were killed. Alika drinks some wine and reveals that seven were killed, but Ava likes to exaggerate. ‘She loves nothing better than stirring some controversy around the table’. Alika tells Logan that they have been having some random bizarreness out here for the past year, but that it is nothing so different than any other towns this big. ‘I dunno, seven dead guys is pretty different. What the kid said about the photo?’ Logan replies. Alika tells him that it was some blurry photo taken from a black and white surveillance camera, but FBI and state police have not found a thing, and Ava hasn’t been allowed back into town at night for a while, as the town is under curfew. Logan remarks that the kid is just stir-crazy, that he can understand that, and asks Alika if she wants to go for a walk.
They set out towards the forest, with Alika hanging off Logan’s arm. ‘I tell you about the deaths and curfew and the first thing you want to do is go take a walk in the woods? Where have you been all my life?’ she grins. Further down the forest, Logan informs Alika that they are being followed, and hiding behind a tree, they see Ava running towards them. ‘Looks like “little Miss Jailbait” has a hearing problem’ Alika points out. ‘Seems to me anyone that age does’ Logan replies. ‘Maybe I should -’ Alika begins, as they watch Ava run past them, but Logan tells Alika to ignore her, and they make their way up a slope. ‘There’s something about you. When I first saw you… something primal’ Alika remarks. ‘Isn’t it my job to hit with the pick-up lines?’ Logan replies. ‘Fair enough. Shoot’ Alika tells him. They just stare at each other, before embracing, and kissing.
The next morning, Logan walks down the pavement, people going about their business in the town. He reads a newspaper as he walks along, when suddenly, ‘Hey, buddy…’ someone calls out from their car. Logan ignores them. ‘I’m talking to you, ya hairy monkey!’ the ragged-looking man taunts. ‘You got to be kidding me’ Logan thinks to himself. ‘Hey, loser, didn’t you hear me? Do I have to get out and smack some manners…’ the man shouts as the car drives slowly alongside Logan, who suddenly spins around and pops two claws on either side of the aggressive man’s face. ‘Another word and I’ll make give the middle finger a brand new meaning. Understood?’ Logan snarls. The scared man glances sideways, then Logan sheathes his claws, and the man speeds off. ‘What the hell was that about?’ Logan wonders.
Shortly, inside a diner, Logan sits at the counter with a cup of coffee and remarks that it is the best cup of coffee he has ever had. He realizes that a tall, bearded, man who is taking another customer’s order starts looking at him. ‘Okay. I give up. What is it?’ Logan asks, without turning around. The bearded man sits down on a stool next to Logan and explains that there was another killing outside of town last night, and now only is Logan a new face in town, but he resembles a photo of the supposed killer. ‘Can I see it?’ Logan asks. ‘You can see how you might be one to fit the description’ the bearded man points out as he holds the newspaper photo up. ‘I see a bad photo of a blur of a man. Could be anyone… could be you’ Logan replies, as he looks at the photo of a man, near naked, rushing through the forest, snarling.
‘Maybe so. Saw you handle the local welcoming committee outside…you a hunter?’ the bearded man asks. ‘What exactly did you see?’ Logan replies. The other man tells him that he saw enough to know that if he isn’t the guilty party, he might be someone they could use to find them. He adds that there is a reward - the knowledge that he put to rest a mass killer and gave peace of mind to all the families of lost ones. ‘That it?’ Logan enquires. ‘And all the coffee you could ever want. On the house’ the man offers.
Later, Logan, the bearded man from the diner and local police are in the woods, with one of the officers remarking ‘Mike says you’re staying at the Lionsgate and that you’re a tracker. Whereabouts you from?’ he asks. Logan replies that he is from San Francisco, by way of up north, and as he examines a body strewn in the woods, declares that it looks like a wild animal did this, that nothing is missing, it is all just shredded. ‘Whatever attacked it was in a fury’ he explains. Logan smells alcohol and Italian good, perhaps pizza. One of the police officers reports that the victim was last seen at Tony’s Pizza and Brew last night around nine PM, he took a sixer to go, and that is the last anyone saw of him. Logan asks if he is a local boy, and the officer explains that he is part of the construction crew on the slope of the hill. ‘The killings start about when those crews began building there?’ Logan asks. ‘Somewhat’ the officer explains, adding that they have a history of unsolved deaths in these parts for years, and whatever it is doing all this killing seems to have upped the ante.
Later, ‘I heard you worked up an appetite today, Mr Logan’ one of the guests at the Lionsgate remarks as they are gathered in a living area. ‘Seems I’ve been recruited to help the local police find a killer’ Logan explains. One of the guests points out that the town has about 3,000 people in it, and add some summer tourists and such, you have yourself a decent amount of suspects. Flipping through some books, Logan replies that the woods seem to hold a lot of secrets. ‘There are thins older than man out there, Mr Logan. You’re having dinner with us, correct?’ the burly man who likes stew remarks. ‘Yup. Gonna clean up’ Logan replies as he marches upstairs with some books and police files.
Shortly, Logan is in the shower when he senses someone in his room. ‘You mind?’ Logan snarls as he exit’s the bathroom attached to his room, towel wrapped around his waist, while using another to dry his hair, he finds Ava in his bed, apparently naked, while wearing his hat on her head and flipping through the police files. ‘Not one bit. Listen, can I ask you a question?’ Ava replies. ‘No’ Logan tells her, grabbing the files out of her hand, and tells her that those files are not her business and that he doesn’t mess with undercover girls. ‘Cover yourself up and kindly skedaddle’ he instructs her. Wearing only some panties, Ava grabs the rest of her clothes and leaves his room, ‘Your loss’ she calls back, claiming that there are plenty of guys lined up wishing they could be with someone like her. ‘Make sure I’m at the end of the line then’ Logan declares.
Out in the hallway, Ava starts putting her clothing on, while Alika stands nearby with her arms folded and tells Ava that Logan is out of her league. ‘You can have him…he’s hairier than Bigfoot’ Ava replies, before storming off. ‘Took you long enough’ Logan calls out to Alika, who tells Logan that she wanted to give him some prime-time with the girl scout. She looks at Logan as he finishes dressing, then turns around. ‘Not buying what she’s selling. You, on the other hand…’ Logan muses.
Meanwhile, Ava has gone outside, and starts running through the forest. Logan soon follows her, she is wearing enough perfume to blind a skunk, and is heading right into town, like he suspected. He sees her enter the Motor Bar. ‘Classy’ Logan thinks to himself, and watches as Ava starts to flirt with some men. Suddenly, there is a terrible scream, and Logan spins around, to see a long-haired, humanoid creature attacking a young man. The creature roars at Logan, then turns and leaps over a fence. ‘What in Hell?’ Logan thinks to himself, before turning his attention to the young man, and detects that he still has a pulse, although it is weak. ‘Please help…’ the boy utters. ‘Dammit’ Logan utters as the mysterious creature is gone from sight.
He picks the boy up and kicks open the door to the bar. ‘Someone call an ambulance’ he shouts. ‘RYAN!’ Ava screams. An ambulance soon arrives, and people crowd around. ‘He and I are…were…’ Ava exclaims as she holds onto Ryan’s body. The police officer tells Logan that he thinks the boy will live, that he is a local, a good guy. ‘Let me guess… construction?’ Logan asks. ‘Yup’ the officer replies, adding that he is going to close off the area until forensics get here. Logan goes over to Ava and the other locals and asks her if she has any friends nearby. Ava tells him that she has a girlfriend in Brookville, about three miles away. ‘Go right to her place. No stops’ Logan instructs Ava, to replies that she can get Mike to take here there, and asks what is going on. ‘Complicated, kid. Trust me and get out of town. I don’t want you going to the hotel’ Logan tells the girl, who asks him what he is going to do. ‘What I do best, darling. Make a mess of things’ Logan replies as he rushes off, leaving Ava with Mike from the diner.
Soon, Logan arrives back at the Lionsgate and finds Alike sitting on the porch. ‘Beautiful night, isn’t it?’ Alika remarks. Logan tells her to “cut the crap” and asks what is going on here, that he wants an explanation for what he just saw back there. ‘What do you think you saw?’ Alika replies, narrowing her eyes. ‘You - but not you - ripping a man to shreds. Am I wrong?’ Logan asks. Looking away, Alika tells him that she won’t deny it, but adds that Logan is partly to blame. ‘Hear me out before you judge me. What you saw is my inner self…a part of my I am not proud of’ she explains, telling Logan that for generations they have lived among humans, a more evolved form of lycanthrope, less werewolf, more human and not ruled by moonlight or any of those other silly fairy tales. Alika informs Logan that there are only a few of them left and over the years, they have been pushed out of one place or another.
As Thomas, and the stew-loving guest walk onto the porch, Alika presses her hand to Logan’s shoulder and tells him that years ago, her family found this location and they have been living out their lives peacefully - until recently. She reveals that they had an offer for their land and decided not to sell, and since then a development company has been taking the woods down around them, acre by acre, to build more homes. She tells Logan that, as he can understand, they were feeling trapped. The other couple who were at the dinner table last night appear on the porch, and Alika remarks that, at first, what was to be just a warning turned into a murder, and it escalated since. The others behind to show their werewolf features, while Logan asks ‘All those men you killed…couldn’t you just move?’
Alika leans into Logan and points out ‘That’s all we do, Logan. We keep moving, and if it was just up to me, it would be easier, but we have older folks in our group that are set in their ways’. She adds that older people that feel they are within their rights to defend their home. The werewolves close in around Logan, who tells them that he understands territory better than anyone, before asking ‘Why yesterday? What that man today?’ Alika explains that, indirectly, it was because of she and him. ‘Part of the curse is after…interaction, our species goes on a blood lust. I just focussed my victims to help out with the bigger picture’. Alika tells Logan that they know he is di9fferent, that her parents have always known it, that it is why he feels comfortable up here. ‘The question is, now that you know… are you going to turn us in or let us be?’ she asks.
‘Darling, a lot of innocent people died. Someone has to pay and it’s not in my nature to walk away’ Logan snarls. Alika shows her teeth, and tells Logan that she really liked him, and that she is sorry it has to be this way. ‘Me too’ Logan thinks to himself, popping his claws. Like the flip of a switch, the werewolves transform, and lunge at Logan. He didn’t want it to end this way, and defends himself, forcing the front wall of the hotel down, as he pushes some of the werewolves through it. A lamp is knocked over and starts a fire. ‘Dammit!’ Logan thinks to himself. The werewolves are tossed about. One of them grabs a rifle, and aims it at Logan, but his claws force it back, and the werewolf fires, blowing his own face apart. Logan shoves his claws into another as the flames rise around them. Blood splatters across him.
The hotel starts to come down around Logan, who makes his way to safety. Eventually the flames are gone, ‘…and that’s all I know’ Logan tells the police officer who shows up with the fire fighters, who are dowsing the remains of the hotel with water. Mike from the diner looks on, while the officer replies ‘That’s one crazy story. But from what I saw in those body bags, I’m gonna have to say I believe it’ he remarks. One of the body bags is open, and a werewolf can be clearly seen. ‘Got a guest room at my place if you wanna crash for the night. Nothing fancy, bed and bathroom and such’ Mike from the diner offers. ‘Appreciated’ Logan replies, before asking Mike if he got Ava to her girlfriend’s place okay. ‘Ava? Haven’t seen her’ Mike replies, before asking Logan if he thinks she is all right. ‘I’m sure she is’ Logan replies as he starts off, telling Mike that he will catch him up later, as he has something to do.
Logan knows that there is only one loose end, and Ava wasn’t hard to find, as he can hear her crying from half a mile away, where she is sitting up a tree, looking out over the forest, she sees the smoke rising from the remains of the hotel. ‘You’re one of them, aren’t you?’ Logan asks her as he climbs up to her level. ‘Not like them at all. More like you, but I’m not a killer. I was sent her after my parents were killed in Utah’ Ava explains. ‘What now?’ Logan enquires as he reaches out to Ava, tears in her eyes. Ava replies that she will leave and find somewhere safe, to try and live her life as best she can. ‘That’s the answer you want to hear, isn’t it?’ she asks. ‘If it’s the truth, yes’ Logan tells her, before adding that he know Ava is pregnant, probably by that Ryan guy that got attacked.
‘How?’ Ava asks Logan ‘Common sense’ Logan replies, before handing her a card with a large “X” on it, and telling Ava that if she has any problems, to call this number, as he has friends that can help out - they are problem solvers. They climb down the tree, and Ava leans into Logan as they walk through the forest. Logan tells her that he will buy her some breakfast, then they can visit her boyfriend at the hospital. ‘Sound like a plan?’ he asks. ‘Best plan had in a long time’ Ava replies, before thanking Logan.
A red-haired girl lies on her bunk bed, while writing in her diary. Her room is covered in posters and news paper articles about Wolverine. Wolverine toys are scattered around her room, as she writes ‘I’ve been playing that game again. Imagining how much better my life would be if I had Adamantium claws’, and her mind wanders back to earlier in the day…
The red-haired girl stands before her inattentive classmates, ‘So, um, in c-conclusion, G-Gatsby’s green light symbolizes…’ her voice trails off, while someone yells ‘St-st-stutter! Freak can barely finish a sentence!’
If she was Wolverine, she would pop her claws and then everyone would shut up.
In the school hallway, a jock pushes past her, ‘Outta the way, hotness coming through!’ he shouts as he wraps an arm around a blonde girl who giggles, while the red-haired girl’s books go flying everywhere. If she had adamantium claws, jerks would apologize, then beg for mercy, not laugh.
In the school library, ‘You’re obsessed with a guy who wears spandex? Lame!’ a girl dressed in black with pink streaks in her hair calls out. ‘You’re obsessed with a vampire who sparkles’ the red-haired girl retorts as she taps away at the computer, and, if she was like Wolverine, she would have the perfect comeback every time - it is called SNIKT.
Lying on her bed, she puts her arm to the wall, and from her sleeve, three pencils are extended, like Wolverine’s claws. She tells her diary hat the trouble with not being a bad-ass, is that you take a lot of crap. She is so used to taking it, that she feels like she is stuck in a trap and can’t get out. Like something would have t happen to break her out of her shell. But she never expected something big to happen that night, and her mind wanders back to earlier…
Walking down the road, rain pours down. She never expected to see him - but she does. She goes wide-eyed as she sees the familiar tussled hair, and she figures that she had two choices - she could stalk him, or walk away and miss the chance to meet her hero. She knew which choice she would regret more, and lugging her school bag behind her, she races through the rain after him. She crouches behind a car when she gets too close, not wanting him to see her. Unbeknownst to her though, he smiles. But, when it looks like she might lose him, she walks up to him, ‘Um, excuse me…are you Wolverine?’ she asks. The man turns to her and tells her that he isn’t, but that he gets asked that a lot. ‘It’s the jacket, isn’t it?’ he asks. ‘Actually, it was the hair’ the red-haired girl explains. She keeps telling herself not to be disappointed, of course it wouldn’t be him - Wolverine is a legend, but she couldn’t help it. She turns away, dejected, while the man asks ‘What do you want with Wolverine, kid? You the daughter of some evil ninjas he killed?’ the man enquires.
‘No. He’s my hero’ the red-haired girl confesses. ‘You know that guy doesn’t sparkle, right?’ the man replies. ‘Don’t even go there!’ the girl exclaims, raising her hands. ‘So. You like getting rained on?’ the man asks her. ‘Or you wanna continue this conversation somewhere that serves pies?’ he suggests.
Soon, inside a diner, they sit across from each other in a booth, ‘Wolverine, huh? That guy’s not much of a hero’ a look-alike remarks.. ‘Yes he is! He’s the best there is at what he does!’ the girl declares, handing the man a stuffed Wolverine toy. ‘But what he does isn’t very nice’ the man replies, before confessing that he read the Wiki, and remarks that he hears the guy is a killer. ‘You wanna tell me what the appeal is?’ he enquires. Playing with some drinking straws, the girl with the wild red-hair replies that she likes Wolverine because she wishes she could be more like him. ‘Fierce, you know? So people would stop messing with me’. She adds that it is pretty obvious she is not the type to fight back, that people take one look at her and they know they can walk all over her.
‘Kid, I’m gonna let you in on a little secret… there’s always gonna be someone bigger and meaner than you are. Even your pal Wolverine has to deal with monsters like Sabretooth’ the look-alike points out. The girl has turned the straws into claws now, poking out of her sleeve, ‘I know, but…’ her voice trails off as she glances out the window. The man tells her that bullies count on the little guys not standing up for themselves. He adds that he doesn’t know everything about her hero, but that he is pretty sure he has been called a runt a time or two, and points out that a runt has got to make up for size with attitude. He assures her that she doesn’t need claws to fight back ,she just has to believe that she is worth standing up for.
He sounded so sure of himself, and for the first time in a long time, she felt inspired - like maybe things could change. She smiles across the table at the Wolverine look-alike. They talk for hours, about everything. He knew so many amazing stories, she barely notices the time passing. ‘How did you know about his fight with Kierrok the Damned?’ the girl asks, surprised and impressed. The man rubs the back of his neck, ‘Heh, like I said. I’ve read the Wiki’ he claims.
Before she knew it, it was time to go, and she felt like a different person. Not sad, not angry… hopeful. And she didn’t know how to thank this man. How to make him understand what his words had meant to her. They leave the diner in silence, when they notice some thugs approaching them. One of them holds an empty glass bottle. ‘Yo, gramps! I got a date with your wallet. Hand over that handbag, too!’ one of the thugs calls out, while the other throws the glass bottle towards them. The girl swings her backpack, knocking the bottle aside, although her Wolverine doll falls out. She was so sick of being pushed around, sick of being a runt with no attitude. ‘you want my bag?’ she calls out to the thugs.
‘I didn’t have Adamantium claws. But I had four frigging heavy books in my bag’. Algebra II. World History. Canadian Mammals. The Grapes of Wrath. Her bag slams into the face of one of the thugs, and then, her steel-toed boots kick the shins of the other thug. She has attitude. The thugs then limp away, while the man picks up the girls Wolverine doll, and tells her ‘Not bad, kid. Glad I didn’t run into you in a dark alley’. The girl watches the thugs as they leave, ‘I did it! That was amazing!’ she exclaims, wide-eyed, hands to her mouth. The man tells her that he bets her hero would be proud. ‘Wombat. Whatz-his-name’ he remarks. ‘Wolverine’ the girl frowns, unimpressed, before thanking the man as he hands her doll over to her. The man turns and starts to walk away, so the girl tells him ‘Seriously. Just… thanks for taking the time to talk to me tonight’.
‘I’ll never forget the stuff you taught me’ she assures him. The man smiles, ‘Hmf… you’re welcome, kid’ he replies, as he goes over to his motorcycle and gets on it. Is it weird that she was sad? She felt like she had made a friend, that he had helped her believe in herself - but in the end, they were just two strangers. Or were they? As, suddenly, the girl hears a SNIKT! She spins around, ‘Oh. MY. God’ she gasps, as Wolverine smiles at her from where he sits on his motorcycle, claws glimmering in the moonlight.
It was him. It was really him, she tells her diary as she lies on her bed. She knows that Wolverine is the best there is at what he does, and sometimes, what he does, is actually pretty nice. She snuggles up to her Wolverine doll, and tells her diary that is a secret she will keep, for reputation is everything - especially for runts.
Logan sits at a desk in a small office. Wide-brimmed hat covering his eyes. Glass of alcohol in one hand. A red-haired woman enters. The light through the blinds cast long shadows, stretching out like the bars of a prison cell - it brings back memories - painful ones. He decides that maybe it is good to be reminded, too easy, otherwise, to think you’ve made it out and now you’re free - because there is always somebody holding the chain, your boss, family, old debts, old pains - all else fails, you’ll always be a slave to your own instincts. ‘Me, I always had a weakness for redheads’ Logan thinks to himself as the woman, calling him “Mr Logan”, tells him that he is a hard man to find, but that she hears he is the best there is at what he does. Logan scowls, and doesn’t respond.
Suddenly someone calls out, ‘Just say the line, already!’, quoting the line: “Yeah, and what I do ain’t cheap”. ‘How hard is that?’ the director, one of the beings called “Spineless Ones”, possibly Mojo, shouts through a megaphone as his gluttonous form is held high on a crane. Other Spineless Ones and assistants go about their business around the set, where Logan and the red-haired woman are being filmed. ‘More coffee, Sir?’ an assistant calls out. ‘Mop your brown, Sir?’ another assistant asks. The Spineless One with the megaphone turns to a small being with a large smile, dressed in a suit and, referring to Logan declares ‘This prima donna act is simply too exhausting. See if you can talk some sense into your client. I’ll be recuperating in my trailer’.
The small being grins, then rushes over to Logan, while a technician opens up a panel on the red-haired woman’s back, revealing her to be a robot, he starts tinkering with “her”, while the small creature’s large smile turns to a large grimace, ‘I hope you’re happy! And just when your career was at a turning point!’ he exclaims. ‘Excuse me, Sir. Won’t be a moment’ a large man who appears to be a security guard remarks as he goes over and activates some handcuffs around Logan’s wrists. ‘Careers’ a funny word for it. Looks to me like I’m a straight up prisoner’ Logan tells his “manager.”
The security guard leads Logan away from the set, while the small “manager” replies ‘Now that’s hardly fair. All of us here in Mojoworld are working our butts off for your benefit’. ‘Right this way, Sir’ the guard calls out. ‘The Lifebringer thinks you have major breakout potential, Wolverine. All you have to do is play ball, help us find the right vehicle!’ he grins, waving his arms about. ‘Then your boss just lets me take a bow and walk off into the sunset, huh?’ Logan asks. ‘Um, well, we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it’ the small creature replies, before the door to the green room opens, and Logan is led in to a literal green room.
Several Spineless Ones are gathered around a small table, ‘Wolverine! So glad you could join us! Please, please, have a seat. We were just talking about you’ one of them calls out. Another explains that they have been brainstorming some new packaging concepts. ‘And we think you’re going to love them!’ another boasts. Several promo-images appear on a screen, each depicting Wolverine in a different scenario. ‘Two words for you: Western. Wolverine. He’ll teach you not to bring a gun to a knife fight!’ one of the Spineless Ones suggests. ‘No? Well, how about a shirtless barbarian hero? Primordial struggle in a savage world’ another offers. ‘Or you could be wandering through a post-apocalyptic wasteland… with a sidekick! A kid! No, a baby in a carriage!’ comes the third suggestion.
‘So, whaddaya think?’ one of the Spineless Ones asks. ‘Gosh, they all sound terrific! I think we’re really making progress here!’ the “manager” replies. ‘Hey, I’ve got one’ Logan announces. ‘We’re all ears, baby!’ one of the Spineless Ones grins. ‘Great to have you onboard!’ another adds. ‘So here’s the premise. I bust the hell out of here - and while I’m at it, I carve all you jokers into stacks of whale-blubber sushi’ Logan suggests, raising his fists. ‘Oh dear, now you’ve done it!’ the small creature calls out, waving his hands about. One of the Spineless Ones rubs his hands together, ‘Well, that wasn’t very productive at all. I think somebody’s going to be spending a little time… in development hell!’ he grins wickedly.
Wolverine knows that Development Hell is half-factory and half-prison. It smells like a burning slaughterhouse full of rusted metal. Cells line the edges of the prison, while platforms are all along the middle of it, with robots going about their work, repairing and modifying others. Logan is inside one of the cells, ‘They say this is where you go to be re-tooled into something more marketable. But it’s really just another cage’ he thinks to himself. But, there are a couple of things people tend to forget - first is, you put an animal in a cage, he gets mad. The second is, that a man has ways of escaping a cage than an animal doesn’t. He pops his claws, and his cuffs fall to the ground with a clanging noise.
Logan bursts through the cell bars, knowing that the third thing, which is a big thing, is that he is the best there is at what he does. ‘And trust me, bub, you won’t like what I do when I’m angry’ he thinks to himself, as he slices his way through several robots who rush to stop him. In an observation booth, an announcer covers his microphone and turns to one of the Spineless Ones, ‘Wait, that doesn’t sound quite right’ he remarks, but the Spineless One tells him to just stick to the script, and they can always fix it in post.
Logan comes to a sign that says “Transdimensional Transit Terminal”, while telling himself that nothing makes him madder than being caged. He calls out to a red-haired woman at a control panel, then wraps his arms around her, claws to her face, he tells how that this is how this is going to go down: ‘You’re gonna dial up some dimensional coordinates on that -’ he stops himself, and sniffs the air. ‘Freshly painted piece of plywood crap’ he realizes, putting a hand to his face. Suddenly, ‘Aaaand that’s a wrap!’ one of the Spineless Ones calls out, looking very pleased with himself. ‘Great job, everyone!’ he calls out, as Logan turns around and sees cameras and crew around him.
‘Wolvie, baby! Congratulations!’ the Spineless One exclaims, ‘Just what’ll you see these ratings figures! “Wolverine: Prison Break” is a smash hit!’ the small “manager” cries, grinning. A security guard approaches Wolverine, ‘Excuse me, Sir. Won’t be a moment’ he states as he holds up the cuffs, while Wolverine’s “manager” tells him that they want to run some ideas past him for season two. ‘Season two, huh?’ Logan smiles. ‘Don’t you wanna see the surprise twist ending of season one?’ he asks. ‘Wait, I don’t remember a -’ the “manager” begins, before Logan picks him up and throws him into a large console where several shocked Spineless Ones look on.
‘What the hell?’ one of the Spineless Ones cries. ’I hate this kind of post-modern garbage!’ another declares, as suddenly, the cameras go offline. ’So pretentious!’ another exclaims. ’Worst cliff-hanger ever!’ one of them states. ‘Boo! Bring back the pictures!’ another calls out as they look at the blank screens. ‘Network Central on line, Sir. Apparently, the whole relay system just went down’ someone reports to one of the Spineless Ones. ‘Please hold for his Excellency the Lifebringer’ someone calls out. ‘Technical difficulties! Just tell them technical difficulties!’ one of the Spineless Ones panics. A servant approaches the Spineless One and informs him that the audience complaints are being forwarded through to him now, lines 17 through 162 - actually, 186. ‘Get this jerk out of here! Go home! Go to hell! I don’t care! Just go already!’ the Spineless One shouts.
Energies suddenly swirl around Logan, as Spiral appears, doing her time-dance. ‘Now that’s what I call an ending’ Logan smiles, looking at the Spineless One. ‘Eh, I’ve seen worse’ Spiral replies, unimpressed. ‘Sorry things didn’t work out. But maybe we can work together again in the future, eh?’ the Spineless One suggests. As Logan starts to vanish, he replies ‘I dunno about that. Tell you what…why don’t you talk to my agent?’ he suggests, while Logan’s tiny manager, a robot, lies shattered, a pile of scrap metal.
Ardennes Forest. Snow blankets the forest floor. Soldiers are huddled together around a fire to keep warm. They question why they are here, what they are fighting for. Logan is amongst them, and doesn’t blame them. ‘Zero visibility with this fog’ one soldier remarks as he looks through some binoculars. ‘Doesn’t mean they ain’t there’ Logan thinks to himself, he can smell their gutless scent from here. The enemy isn’t all he can sense, as he looks over at the soldiers, who are talking about him. ‘Where’d they get this piece of work?’ one of them asks. ‘I heard he’s a spy’ another remarks, while a third asks where his rifle is, and a fourth mutters that he doesn’t look like much. The men get up and move across the snow, they are uneasy around Logan, and the commanding officers don’t have a clue what to do with him. But they don’t question his arrival, as they need all the men they can get.
Shortly, the come to a horrific scene - several men lying in the blood-stained snow, their limbs severed. ‘If we remain in this position, we’ll be road kill, Sir’ an officer calls out to the squad leader, who replies that if they can’t hold the line here, it won’t matter where they retreat to. ‘But their mechanized forces will tear right through us. It’s hopeless!’ the officer points out. ‘We can draw ‘em out’ Logan suggests, stepping forward. He explains that they can make the enemy show their hand, then flank that heavy armor they are sitting on from the side when they are exposed. ‘They’ll expect us to stay clear of these trees with their artillery aimed at us. But we call their bluff’.
‘If we wanted your opinion - we’d’a asked you for it!’ one of the officers declares, while the commander tells Logan to fall back with the group. ‘Sir’ Logan replies, turning around. He thinks that the men deserve better, but knows they don’t trust him. He watches over them as they lie huddled together in a ditch, sleeping. He has heard the stories - they think he is a savage, a predator, only out for blood, and when push comes to shove, they wonder if he has their backs. The truth is, Logan admires their lack of faith in him. Men of character require more than words to believe - they want action.
Suddenly, there is an explosion - ‘Get cover!’ one of the men calls out as they emerge from the ditch. Logan tells the lieutenant to “spit his orders”, otherwise they are dead in this hole. ‘We need to pull back! We’ll never be able to hold them off!’ the soldier replies. ‘Enough!’ Logan shouts, leaping up out of the trench they are in, he tells the commanding officer to take them out of the trenches and flank their positions after he draws them out. ‘I’ll cut across the line. I’ll get their attention’ he explains. ‘You’re crazy!’ someone calls out. ‘Do it! Now!’ Logan shouts.
Running towards the enemy, Logan knows that the soldiers see him as a predator. ‘HRAAAH!’ he shouts as he unsheathes his claws, thinking to himself that sometimes, if more than your own life is at stake, you gotta be the prey to survive. Huge tanks arrive, and one commanding officer points forward. ‘He’s a dead man’ one of Logan’s fellow soldiers declares, wide-eyed as he watches Logan approach the tanks. Suddenly, at close range, one tank fires, and Logan is blown into the air, claws outstretched, he shoves them into the enemy officer. ‘Out of the trench! Flank their position from the west and east!’ Logan’s commanding officer tells his other men. ‘Move! Move! Now!’ he shouts. The men do as they are instructed, while Logan has moved on to another tank.
The enemy soldier pops his head out the top of the tank hatch, and Logan shoves his claws into him, ‘Not so tough up close, bub’ he mutters, while the soldiers look on. ‘It’s only one man! Fire!’ one of the enemy soldiers calls out in his native German tongue, raising his weapon, but before he can fire, he gets a bullet in the head, as more soldiers emerge from their positions in the forest, and close in on the enemy. ‘Give ‘em hell, men!’ Logan’s commanding officer calls out. ‘Bout time’ Logan smiles. The enemy soldiers start to fall, as Logan’s comrades close in. ‘The boys needed this’ he thinks to himself.
Later, the soldiers have made another camp, and gather together, telling stories, laughing. Logan knows that they needed this nor for the strategic victory, but for themselves. He checks his own wound from where he sits away from the group, when suddenly, ‘Hey, over there…cup’a joe?’ one of them calls out. ‘Yeah!’ another declares. ‘A victory toast!’ another remarks, holding a cup up to Logan. Logan gets up, ‘Trust ain’t given…it’s gotta be earned’ he thinks to himself as he walks towards the soldiers, ‘You got it!’ he tells them.