In a dark AU, Logan, his lady
love, and their friends fight
for a better world.
Title: The Pack
Author: Pat Phillips
Rating & characters:
I don't own the characters of Logan,
Yuriko, or Marie. Instead, they are the
property of Marvel Comics.
Likewise, I've used some concepts from
the "World of Darkness" role-playing game.
That game system is the property of the
White Wolf game company.
As a firm believer in property rights,
it's only reasonable that I specify that
my use of these characters and concepts
should in no way be interpreted as a
threat to their actual ownership by the
All of my fan fiction, including this story,
is a not-for-profit venture. After all, when
you get down to it, who would pay for this
This is an AU which is a crossover between
the movie version of the X-Men and a cut-
down version of the "World of Darkness"
role-playing game background. It's a sequel
to my other fic, "X-V".
Nobody would ever know how William Stryker discovered the truth,
because everyone who knew the answer to that question was dead.
Colonel William Stryker ran an intelligence organization that
officially didn't exist. The organization theoretically answered to
the commander of NATO, but actually answered only to William Stryker
The organization seemed to somehow fund itself, appeared on no
organizational charts, used methods nobody wanted to be know about,
and produced results that nobody could dispute.
It was an organization that knew things that nobody else knew.
Parts, fragments, and elements of the world's intelligence community
at least suspected the truth. And a very few individuals in that
isolated world even knew the full, horrible truth: that the human
race wasn't really on top of this Earth's food chain.
Somehow, Stryker became one of those who knew the full truth. Did he
have a sudden flash of realization in which all was revealed to him?
Or did he slowly, over a period of years, piece together isolated
fragments of information that led him to an inevitable, terrifying,
There was no way to know. But in any case, Stryker found out about
The other men who had discovered the truth usually died quickly. The
few survivors either kept their mouths shut or groveled for the
opportunity to work for the vampire Clans.
But this was Stryker. And being who he was, Stryker went to work.
Stryker had learned (and lost men doing so) that a crucifix had no
effect on a vampire. But in his mind, the "X" in "Weapon X" was a
The death of Stryker, his wife, and his child was horrible. And the
last thing Stryker saw before the eternal dark finally, mercifully,
claimed him was the furiously puzzled face of the torturer who was
slowly killing him. His interrogator had no clue why Stryker was
laughing at him.
Stryker died laughing. Laughing at his killers. Laughing at death.
Laughing at what he had unleashed.
Sometimes the line between a hero and a madman is a thin one.
Two figures -- one a man, the other a woman -- staggered through the
blizzard. Both were as naked as the day they were born. An ancient,
untouched forest surrounded them and it was dozens of miles to the
It was amazing that the two had survived as long as they had, but
they were on their last legs. The only thing keeping either on their
feet was the hold they maintained on each other.
Finally, they could go no longer. In a small clearing, the woman
collapsed to her knees, frozen tears on her cheeks. She weakly tried
to push the man away. He might be able to make a few more miles
The man looked down at the only thing that made his life worth
living. And then he lay down beside her in the bitterly cold snow,
curling his body around hers as she pushed him again and murmured a
"Together," he whispered to her.
She was silent for a while, and then she nodded and put her arms
around him. The driving snow quickly began to cover them.
The wolf-pack that had been shadowing the two began drifting out into
the clearing. They surrounded the dying man and woman. Then they
began the ancient pattern of moving closer, and then withdrawing,
closer yet, and then withdrawing, and then closer yet...
The man smelled the wolves. Reaching deep inside himself, he
wrenched himself to his feet, scattering a spray of snow from his
No. She wouldn't die that way. Not fed upon while she was still
He howled at the wolves, daring them to attack.
The wolves paused.
The largest wolf moved forward. He and the man stared at one
another: dark brown eyes meeting blue.
Marie was running for her life when she found herself in a flyspeck
town in northern Alberta.
It was evening when they finally stopped. The truck driver who had
given her a lift held the door for her as she dismounted from his
truck, awkwardly pulling her bag out of the cab as she did.
"This is it," he said.
"Where are we?" asked Marie, looking around at a huge bar and a small
gas-station. "I thought you said you were going to take me as far as
"This is Laughlin City," said the trucker, just before he slammed the
door shut and headed for the bar. It was after dark and Marie knew
that she had to find someplace public -- someplace where she wouldn't
be alone. The bar was her only choice.
The interior of the bar could be politely described as "rough-edged",
or impolitely described as "a toilet". It stank of smoke and stale
beer, with a detectable trace of urine and vomit. The floorboards
were sticky. The customers were a drunken, howling mob, most of whom
were focused on the bar's entertainment.
Marie had stayed alive for the last two weeks by not being
squeamish. She found herself a seat at the bar. The giant tending
it raised an eyebrow at her when she ordered a glass of water, but at
least he didn't immediately throw her out. She ignored the long,
lingering looks that some of the men were giving her. Inevitably,
one of them would approach her, hoping that she was an unusually
young and pretty hooker for this part of the world. That had
happened before. So far, "no" had been good enough. So far.
Actually, Marie wasn't very scared of being raped. For one thing,
raping her would be a very difficult proposition. For another, her
definition of fear had changed quite a bit the night Cody died.
For a long moment, Marie stared off at nothing in particular. She
automatically undid the scarf around her neck and scratched at the
scabbed-over marks on side of her neck.
She snapped back to reality as the crowd's howling -- some cheering,
most booing -- reached a high point. Wiping her eyes, she glanced
towards the entertainment. A cage dominated the center of the
building. A man was being dragged from the cage, bleeding from his
mouth and nose. Inside the cage, a lithe, powerful figure leaned
unconcernedly against the bars, taking a sip from a shot glass.
Marie blinked in surprise.
"Gentleman, in all my years I've never seen anything like this!"
proclaimed the announcer -- a chubby, graying man.
Marie studied the fighter's tight body and arrogant, confidant stance.
The announcer was still yacking away, but Marie didn't catch what he
was saying. Apparently it was a call for someone else to enter the
cage, because some idiot promptly stood up and yelled that he would
"Ladies and gentleman, our savior!" yelled the announcer, working up
the crowd as the latest bruiser entered the cage to wild applause.
Apparently the winner of the last fight wasn't terribly popular.
The two fighters squared off, the winner of the previous fight
carelessly studying the new fighter with amused contempt. The
bruiser stepped forward and threw a strong, but wild punch.
It was over in a matter of a few, brutal seconds. The challenger was
dragged out as the crowed booed again.
The announcer again put the microphone to his lips.
"Ladies and gentleman, tonight's winner and still the Queen of the
Cage -- Lady Deathstrike!"
The booing continued. The Asian woman inside the cage didn't seem to
care in the slightest as she toweled the sweat from her hair and then
reached for her jacket.
As the bar closed down around her, Marie heard someone call "Lady
Deathstrike" by the name Yuriko. Marie thought that was a Japanese
name. Yuriko collected her prize money, not bothering to count what
was handed to her. Either she trusted the people who were running
the cage match, or they were too frightened to even think about
Marie leaned towards the latter theory.
The cage fighter sat nearby and ordered a drink. Marie stared at
her -- there wasn't a mark on her that she could see. It was
Sensing Marie's look, Yuriko glanced up at the young girl. The
fighter's eyes were a strange shade of blue-gray -- almost metallic
Marie looked quickly away. There was something terrible in those
A man walked up behind Yuriko. Yuriko seemed lost in thought as she
examined Marie. But she smiled when the man put a hand on her
Yuriko turned and stood, taking the man in her arms and exchanging a
long kiss with him.
"Hello, Logan," she said as she took her time nuzzling him.
"Yuri, did you have a nice day at the office?" he asked with a smile.
Marie was a well-bred girl. Despite the fact the world had gone to
hell around her in the last two weeks, she knew it was wrong to watch
a couple in such an intimate moment. She instead focused her
attention on an inviting looking tip jar that was sitting on the bar
next to her.
"Logan, I think this girl is in trouble She probably needs a meal
and a place to stay for the night," she heard Yuriko say.
Shocked, Marie realized that Yuriko was talking about her. She
looked at the couple.
Logan moved next to her and sat down. He carefully, but firmly,
shifted the tip jar some distance away. Then he examined her closely.
"What's your name, kid?" Logan asked as he fished a cigar out of his
Marie looked first at the woman to her left and then at the man
immediately to her right.
"My name is Marie," she heard herself say.