In Logan’s thoughts:
The snow falls as Wolverine a.k.a. Logan trudges across a barren landscape. He has been shot, stabbed and cut. Beaten, blown up and tortured. He has had things done to him so awful they don’t even have names for them. He falls to the snow, and his claws burst forth. He arches back in agony, and realizes that there is one sure way to kill him though - metal poisoning, before collapsing face-first into the snow.
‘Are you serious?’ Hope Abbott a.k.a. Trance calls out from where she is tied to a chair, while Wolverine is chained to the floor. ‘Do I look like I’m making a joke, girl?’ Logan snarls at the young mutant. ‘You wanted to know, so I’m telling you. Take away my powers, I’m dead. The metal in my bones, it’ll kill me’ Logan explains, adding that he has been pretty close that way a time or two, and that it feels like someone coated your skeleton with gunpowder and then lit a match. ‘Ugh’ Trance, one of the Xavier Institute Students, mutters, adding that she takes it back - she doesn’t want to know. Blood pools around the floor where Wolverine is chained, he recalls that he came to save the kidnapped mutant, and tells her that he just got started.
45 Minutes ago:
The students were all sent home when the school was shut down. Sitting at the dinner table at the Abbott residence, Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, Hope looks at the food on her fork, while her father tells her ‘I thought they were supposed to cure you’. ‘Dad… please…’ Hope begins. ‘School for freaks…’ her father declares.
None of the students were particularly happy about being sent home. ‘You’re not going to let it happen again, do you understand me, Hope? That… that thing you do’ Hope’s mother exclaims. ‘I won’t, I promise’ Hope replies. ‘That thing? You mean the ghost that shoots out of her, that thing that gave me a heart attack?’ Hope’s father needles, adding that he almost died.
The Abbott family are unaware that Wolverine is outside on their driveway, crouched behind their black car. Logan recalls that a few days back, Blindfold starts talking, and make them think that a few of the students could be in danger - more danger - as they weren’t exactly safe before. Logan knows that there is a pair called Nanny and Orphan Maker, that they kidnap kids and kill the parents - Nanny’s special way of “saving” them. Apparently, they are back, and Trance’s name came up. Logan thinks to himself that in Trance’s case, Nanny may be doing her a favor. ‘I said I was sorry!’ Hope can be heard shouting inside at her parents. Logan has been outside for twelve hours now, listening to Hope’s parents - they are real pieces of work. ‘I might save Nanny the trip if she doesn’t show up soon’ he decides.
Suddenly, it begins to rain. ‘This is crap. Blindfold’s half crazy, this was a bum tip and -’ Logan thinks to himself, when suddenly, he picks up a scent, ‘Aw hell -’ he mutters to himself, before the Abbott home explodes.
In Logan’s thoughts:
Wolverine is in a rage - claws barred, he lunges towards Cyclops, who is armed with a sword. The White Queen, Beast, Rogue and Nightcrawler lay motionless nearby. Logan’s bones are laced with adamantium and can’t be cut. There is no normal wound he can’t heal from. But there are ways. If you have a magic sword, made of the right metal - and take his head off - that will do it, as Cyclops demonstrates.
40 minutes ago:
Hope stands amongst the flames and calls out to her parents - seeing them lying on the ground. She goes over to her father, ‘Please be okay, please…’ she prays. ‘Daddy, please, talk to me, I’m sorry…’ Hope tells him, when suddenly, a voice calls out ‘You’re better off without him. Your dad was mean’. It is the Orphan Maker, armed with a very large weapon. His purple and black armor protecting him from the flames. ‘Oh, God… please… don’t hurt us…’ Hope pleads, before asking ‘Who are you?’ The Orphan Maker’s visual receptors show the notes “Mommy: Kill. Daddy: Kill. Lost Girl: Save”. The Orphan Maker introduces himself as Peter, and explains that he is here to save Hope. ‘You can be my friend. Nanny says all the lost girls and boys should be friends’ Peter tells her, adding that he just has to quick kill her parents. ‘NO!’ Hope scrams, holding onto her father.
Suddenly, it is Orphan Maker who screams, as Logan leaps into the flaming room and slashes at the Orphan Maker’s battle suit. Then, everything goes to hell.
In Logan’s thoughts:
He is in a park, night has fallen, as he fights a Nimrod. Big giant purple robots, sounds stupid. The Nimrod has Angel by his throat, so Logan lunges towards the Nimrod. Energy and tech that no-one would believe - it can burn right down to the bone. Then it burns the bone - there is no coming back from that, as Logan lunges at the Nimrod, who releases a beam of intense energy.
35 minutes ago:
Logan knows that apparently there is a brainwashed mutant kid in the Orphan Maker armor, or an adult that thinks he is a kid - Logan isn’t sure which. ‘Get away!’ Orphan Maker calls out as he swats Logan aside with ease. Logan crashes into the wall, and now, he really doesn’t care who is inside the armor. Logan moves forward and tells Trance to get up, but Trance is in awe of the Orphan Maker, and won’t leave her parents. The Orphan Maker aims his weapon at Wolverine, who turns to the wall he crashed into and sees a gas-fueled hot water tank now exposed thanks to the hole in the wall. He knows that this means he is about to get show and blown up. ‘#%$@!’ he thinks to himself.
‘Nanny says no adults aloud!’ Orphan Maker shouts as he fires his weapon, which sends shard of energy striking Logan and the hot water tank - causing another massive explosion which sends Logan careening into the air. Logan lands on the ground, his body in flames, while a voice can be heard over a communicator: ‘Peter…Peter, are you okay? What happened, boy? Peter, are you there?’ the concerned voice calls out. ‘I’m here, Nanny’ Orphan Maker responds, standing over Logan’s body, he aims his weapon at his face. Orphan Maker reports that he has Hope here, but that there was a problem. ‘And now I have to kill Wolverine’ Orphan Maker announces. ‘What? Peter, no!’ Nanny replies, explaining that they can use Wolverine. She instructs Peter to leave the parents, to just bring Wolverine and the girl to her right now.
Hope looks at Logan, tears in her eyes, as Orphan Maker asks Nanny if she is sure, as Wolverine hurt him - hurt him bad. ‘I think he needs to be punished’ Orphan Maker declares. Over the communicator, Nanny tells Peter to do as she says, while Wolverine looks at the weapon pressed against his face, ‘Explosive round though the eye, right into the brain. Not sure if that would have done the job’. He is glad he doesn’t have to find out.
20 minutes ago:
Inside Nanny’s ship, Logan asks Hope if there is any particular reason she hasn’t used her powers to go get help. Hope points out that she doesn’t know where the X-Men are. ‘And you’re here, right? You’ll save us’ she finishes. ‘Are you $%@#ing kidding me?’ Logan shouts. ‘In case you didn’t notice, Abbott, I just got my ass handed to me. And I’m chained to the damn floor! What do you want me to do, chew my way out?’ he snarls. ‘Yeah, but… but you’re Wolverine. I mean, we all heard the stories. You’re like… invulnerable and invincible! You’ll save us’ Hope insists. Logan tells her that he hates to burst her bubble, but that he can be hurt, and he can sure as hell be killed. ‘So you’d better get off your butt and get us out of here’ he tells her. ‘Whatever… you’re Wolverine! How can you be killed?’ Hope asks suspiciously. ‘Where do you want me to begin?’ Wolverine replies.
He starts to describe to Hope other ways in which he can be killed - by being shot into the sun - Magneto almost did it, and he cold feel his flesh boiling off - no way to survive that. And reality benders- they can turn him inside out and smear him across the landscape in the blink of an eye. Or some idiot can go back in time and make sure he never even existed by eliminating his parents. ‘Get a big magnet or something. Stick me on the bottom of the ocean and keep me there. Eventually I’ll die’ Logan tells Hope, who replies ‘Okay, you can stop telling me now’. Logan adds that he has not even gotten to the weird stuff. ‘There’s a million ways you could off me. But what’s about to happen is the nastiest’ he adds.
Logan continues, ‘See, this armoured nut called Nanny is gonna come in here and turn me into a kid. She’s going to de-age my body, probably to about thirteen years old’. Trance tells Logan that will not be so bad, ‘You’ll still have powers, right?’ she asks. ‘Sure. Problem is, the metal on my bones won’t de-age’ Logan explains, telling Trance that it will burst through his skin, dislodge his organs - and even if he lives through that, then he will start to heal, and his skin will grow apart from his bones, maybe even through them. His brain will be too small, it will roll around in his skull. ‘Stop…just stop, I’m going to barf’ Hope replies, scrunching up her face. ‘You’re making all this up’ she adds.
‘I wish. But you could save both of us, if you’d just man up and get us out of here!’ Logan tells Hope. ‘I can’t!’ Trance exclaims. Wolverine reminds her that Cyclops has this whole big speech about having what it takes to be an X-Man and asks her if she slept through it. ‘Are you an X-Man or not?’ he asks her. ‘Not! I’m not!’ Trance exclaims, gritting her teeth, before asking ‘Oh, God, are they really going to kill you?’ when suddenly, Orphan Maker enters this part of the ship, accompanied by the small egg-shaped, bizarre Nanny. ‘No, no, no. This won’t do at all!’ Nanny calls out. ‘Peter, Wolverine is far, far too old. Let’s do something about that, shall we?’ she suggests. ‘…Nononono…’ Trance utters. Logan gives her some credit - she has been through some bad stuff at the Institutet. But there was always someone else around to step up - Trance never had to. So now she is going to see what she is made of.
‘WOLVERINE!’ Trance screams as she slips into her energy state form, leaving her physical body, this energy form darts around the ship, ‘No! Naughty girl!’ Nanny calls out, while Trance breaks the chains that keep Wolverine down. ‘Time to see if she’s ready’ Logan thinks to himself as he breaks free. ‘Can we go now, please?’ Trance asks. ‘Sure. But we go through them’ Logan replies, releasing his claws as he turns to Nanny and Orphan Maker. Nanny announces that this is unacceptable, and instructs Peter to punish them both. ‘Start with the girl’ she tells him. ‘Yes, Nanny’ Orphan Maker replies as he fires his weapon towards Trance’s body. Logan thinks that her astral power is “nifty” but it does leave her body vulnerable. ‘No! My body!’ Trance’s astral form exclaims. ‘Now I’m gonna get shot again’ Logan thinks to himself as he rushes towards Trance’s body and gets between the energy bullets.
‘The mean man isn’t playing fair, Nanny. I need to use bigger bullets’ Orphan Maker announces. ‘You need to shut up and die’ Logan snarls as he lunges forward, while Orphan Maker cries out to Nanny. Logan’s claws strike down the right hand side of Peter’s armor. He realizes that the armor is thick, as his claws don’t even touch whoever is inside. He keeps cutting, but Orphan Maker shouts ‘NO!’ and fires a weapon into Logan’s stomach. Logan falls backwards, and Orphan Maker releases more energy bullets. Logan is getting torn apart, but he has to do something quick. He sees Trance’s astral form, a look of horror across her face. Logan realizes that this is it for her, and have gives her the chance - her own moment of truth - always an easy choice on paper.
But, all the blood, the noise, the bullets, the smell of it all is right in her face. In real life, this is not such an easy choice. Trance chokes. She wants to help Logan, but she can’t - not yet. Logan is done doing the teacher thing, he lunges back and shoves his claws into Orphan Maker’s neck. Peter’s face is exposed from the broken armor, and he cries out in agony as he falls backwards. ‘Peter, NO!’ Nanny exclaims as she fires a blast of energy at Logan, knocking him back. ‘Nanny, it hurts…’ Peter utters as Nanny helps him away, leaving a trail of blood behind them. Wolverine hopes that with any luck, Orphan Maker will bleed out, then he can catch up to Nanny and take care of her. But Logan isn’t known for his luck. As Nanny and Orphan Maker escape the ship in a small jet, leaving Logan and Trance to plummet to the ground.
‘What’s happening?’ Trance’s physical form calls out as she and Logan start sliding across the floor as the round ship is knocked off balance. ‘Oh, now you talk. Where the hell were you a few minutes ago when I was getting shot to death?’ Logan asks. ‘Are we going to crash?’ Trance calls out. Logan tells her not to worry, as it should be too bad. Suddenly, a recorded message announces that the self-destruct sequence has been initiated, and begins a ten-second countdown. ‘That, on the other hand is a problem!’ Logan exclaims as he holds onto Trance’s physical body, while her astral form hovers beside him. ‘Are you serious? I can do this. I can do this!’ Trance’s astral form calls out as she flies over to the self-destruct bomb, and disables it with her astral form. ‘She did it, alright…she disabled the bomb’ Logan thinks to himself.
But they still crash. The round ship bobs up and down in a lake, while Logan and Trance’s body are washed to the shore. ‘I totally saved us! Maybe I can do this!’ Trance’s astral form calls out. Logan sits up and points out that, for the record, he would have survived the crash and the bomb, but her body would not have. ‘Whatever! I saved you, and you know it!’ Trance’s astral form boasts as she flies around him. ‘Are you forgetting the part where you were going to let me die’ Logan asks. ‘Do I get my own costume?’ Trance enquires. ‘You’d better hope we get picked up fast’ Wolverine warns Trance. ‘Why?’ Trance’s astral form asks. ‘So someone can stop me from killing you’ Logan replies as he turns his claws to her physical form. Logan then thinks to himself: ‘There’s a million ways I can be killed. But there’s never one around when you need it!’
A snow-ski speeds across an icy terrain. ‘Disturbing consequences, they said. They send me down here to Antarctica. I’m roughly 220 klicks south / southeast of the Beardmore Glacier, checking out a secret research facility that abruptly severed all communication about ten days ago’ the man on snow-ski thinks to himself as snow blasts into the air due to the force of the vehicle. He is wearing a snowsuit, and recalls that he was told that they suspect the extreme isolation and cabin fever might have caused some, so they called in a favor, and said he was the only one for the job. But he thinks there is a lot more they are not telling him. He speeds off the edge of a cliff, and lands safely on the ground below, continuing to speed across the whiteness.
He couldn’t come in by chopper, and compromise the whole secret part of “secret research facility”. He has been on the snow-sled for over nine hours, and is relieved that it is not the standard issue sled, for it “purrs” at close to 200 miles per hour, is invisible to sonar radar, and has a heated seat. It also knows the way, as GPS is taking him right to it. Although he doesn’t know what he is heading into, so he gets off the sled, deciding it is best to go in stealthy and quiet-like. He steps into the snow and starts to remove the snow suit. He has been dying to peel it off since he started, revealing his yellow and blue costume underneath. He is Wolverine a.k.a. Logan of the X-Men.
Logan locates the door to the secret research facility, and makes his way through the complex. The place is a mess, furniture and equipment scattered throughout. The power is out, and that includes the heat. He wonders if perhaps he shouldn’t have shucked his snowsuit so soon, but it isn’t too bad for him, as his mutant metabolism reduces the cold’s effects. Logan sniffs the air and doesn’t pick up a scent of people, food, anything like that. ‘If they’re all dead, the low temp’d preserve them, keep them from turning’ he knows. He continues on, there is no sign of anyone - but somebody had a little “roid rage”.
Logan wasn’t told what it was they were researching, but looking at the equipment, decides that they were taking samples of the glacial ice, deep core cross-sections. He wonders why that would be so secret. ‘Minerals? Fossils? Or maybe they pulled something outta the ice that they shouldn’t have?’ Logan decides, before he picks up a scent, but is unsure of what it is - it’s acrid, like chemical, or kerosene. He turns around and sees a figure lumbering towards him. The figure growls, and attacks Logan with a pick-axe. Logan drops to the floor, then kicks up, knocking the attacker back. ‘What the hell is this?’ Logan asks himself, as the attacker growls again, and, as some light shines down on the attacker, Logan sees a man, his body deformed, and eyes glowing orange.
Logan picks up a large glass tube and hurls it at the attacker, knocking him backwards and rendering him unconscious. ‘Out. But what the hell is it?’ Logan asks himself, supposing that it is probably one of the researchers, while wondering what they got into. He realizes that the attacker is burning up with fever, but its scent is so alien, so bizarre, and its pheromones are like nothing human, not even animal - the attacker then gets up and throws the glass tube at Logan, who shatters it with his razor-sharp claws. Logan races out of the room, and seals the door behind him, trapping the strange man inside. He clutches at the door, unable to escape.
Logan rushes through a corridor, deciding that there is nothing human left in that anymore, and that some kind of parasite, virus, has cleaned him out, and realizes that whatever got him probably made him kill all the others, or infected them too. He wonders where they are, as he should be able to smell the decay - when suddenly, the tunnel leads to an opening in a cave that acts as an exit to the snow - and Logan gets his answer, as he finds the bodies slumped all over the ground. ‘That’s why they’ve been kept back here on ice, frozen after that virus or whatever it is killed them’ Logan realizes.
Logan steps out of the cave and into the cold, with a loud wind that roars around him as he approaches the drill site. A large drill-crane is surrounded by several large holes in the ice. Logan decides that this must be where they took their samples from, here in their own backyard. He wonders if they knew what it was, and supposes that they didn’t, but they must have known something was here, as they set up camp right next to it so they wouldn’t have to travel far and jeopardize the “secret”. Going over to one of the large holes, Logan wonders how aeep they had to go to pull up that little bit of hell. He can’t even see the bottom.
Suddenly, the deformed man lunges towards Logan, he knew that the door wouldn’t hold this thing forever. But at least now he has somewhere to go with him. The man strikes Logan, and they both plummet down the hole. Logan tries to twist as they fall, so that the man takes the brunt of the impact - a strange bile slobbers from the man’s mouth onto Wolverine’s face, and, as they fall, the man is suddenly, skewered on a piece of equipment part way down the hole. ‘Oh, this is gonna -’ Logan thinks to himself as he shoves his claws into the ice-wall, and screams in agony. He starts to climb up the wall by shoving one set of claws in and then the other, until he finally reaches the equipment, and sees the man’s body, with a large spike through it.
Logan recalls being told that he is the only man for the job, which is why was sent - because they knew what they were dealing with - some kind of virus, but only able to infect one person at a time, and it went through all of them. This guy was the last, which is why he was sent here. Logan continues to climb up, realizing that he had to make sure the place was secure and all the techs were dead, and that the virus is destroyed. He had to contract the bug and rely on his mutant healing factor to burn the thing right out - kill it for good. ‘Slimy weasels’ Logan thinks to himself, realizing that it wasn’t a bad plan. Logan’s skin starts to deform like the man’s, and his eyes glow orange. He roars as he continues to pull himself towards the surface.
As he reaches the snow, the virus is gone. Logan beat it. He can feel that it has been destroyed, and he pulls himself from the hole. The last part is to clean up. He starts tossing the bodies down one of the holes, and sets them on fire. Smoke billows into the sky, and Logan decides ‘So what if somebody flies by, sees the smoke, comes down to investigate, finds the installation?’ and as he walks away, decides that it wasn’t his secret.