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, Marie, or Hank. 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".
Logan and Yuriko walked Marie to their pickup truck. It had a camper.
Marie froze as two large figures crawled out from under the truck.
For a hideous moment, she thought that the things that were hunting
her had finally found her. But then she realized that they were
dogs. Huge, feral-looking dogs.
No, she quickly realized. They weren't dogs. They were wolves.
"Hold still. Let Mac and Heather get your scent," said Logan to
Marie as the two wolves moved forward and sniffed at her. Apparently
deciding that the girl was not a threat, the wolves proceeded to
ignore her and returned to greeting their friends. Logan scratched
the ears of the larger wolf, while Yuriko crouched and rubbed the
side of her face against the smaller one. Eventually, Yuriko rose
and reached for the door to the camper.
The door swung open and a small light clicked on automatically. The
interior of the camper was spartan and cramped, yet clean. A small
bed piled high with colorful blankets occupied half of the interior.
A camping stove had been bolted to one wall. Narrow cupboards were
built onto the walls as well.
Yuriko entered the camper, first carefully sitting in the doorway and
removing her boots. The boots were placed in a cardboard box at the
foot of the bed.
Marie hesitated for a long moment before entering the camper.
Logan looked at her, his amused expression only barely visible in the
darkness, "Kid, you do know that you're out of choices, don't you?"
Marie threw her bag inside. Then she emulated Yuriko by removing her
boots and storing them before she entered. Yuriko put Marie's bag in
an overhead storage bin.
Logan entered last. He closed the door behind him as Yuriko lit a
pair of candles. Marie could hear the wolves moving back underneath
the truck. It was cold inside the camper, and Marie huddled into the
corner and drew her cloak closer against her body.
Logan noticed and handed her a heavy blanket. Marie took it from him
with a word of thanks and wrapped it around herself.
"It'll warm up in here soon," he told her.
Yuriko started the stove as Logan extracted food and cooking utensils
from the cupboards. Then the two swung into the process of throwing
together a meal. Obviously, they had spent a lot of time in the
camper together. They both easily moved through the cramped space
without colliding with one another -- although there was a
considerable amount of casual touching.
Marie, staying out of the way near the back of the camper, flushed at
the thought that her presence would probably prevent these two very
physical people from having a normal evening together. She caught
herself staring at one brief moment of contact when Yuriko reached
past Logan to snag some ingredients from a nearby shelf. Yuriko
paused for just a moment to caress the side of his face, drawing a
quick grin from the Logan. Marie felt herself go hollow at the sight
of that simple lover's pleasure.
Within a short period, a bowl of soup, two sandwiches, and a cup of
tea appeared. With casual grace, Yuriko knelt before Marie and
offered her the food on a tray. The Japanese woman's entire demeanor
had changed once they had entered the camper. Outside, she was
deadly -- perfectly capable of beating men twice her size senseless.
Inside, she was a gentle and courteous woman, serving her man and
their guest in a manner that was almost submissive.
Marie noticed that a set of military-style identification tags had
worked themselves out from under Yuriko's shirt. There was just
enough light to see them clearly. They read: "458-25-243 Wolverine"
For a second, Marie's hands shook as she reached for the simple meal
on the tray before her. Then she made the food vanish in less than
two minutes. Yuriko didn't even bother to ask, she just ladled out
another bowl of soup for the girl and made another sandwich.
Logan sat cross legged on the bed, watching the girl eat. Yuriko
handed him a cup of tea. He accepted it with thanks and sipped
"Thank you," Marie said softly once she was done.
Yuriko bowed slightly and said something in reply in what Marie
presumed was Japanese. Then she got a cup of tea for herself and sat
next to Logan.
"Kid, we know that you're a mutant," said Logan. "And we know what
those marks on your neck mean."
Marie looked at him surprise.
"Tell us what happened," ordered Yuriko gently.
The presence of three people in such an enclosed space, and the heat
of the stove had finally brought the interior of the camper up to a
reasonable temperature. It wasn't warm, but at least Marie wasn't
It was insane, opening herself up to these complete strangers. But
Marie had lived with this for two weeks and she had to tell someone.
Marie began, speaking in her soft southern drawl.
"This will sound crazy," she warned.
"We know all about crazy," said Yuriko in a calm, but absolutely
Marie took a deep breath and began, "I come from Meridian,
Mississippi. Two weeks ago, my boyfriend and I decided that... that
we needed some privacy."
Marie hesitated again.
"Go on," said Yuriko quietly.
Marie swallowed, "My boyfriend was named Cody. He knew about a place
that was nice and quiet in the woods just west of town. We drove out
there after dark and found a place to park. Cody and I spread a
blanket out on the ground. I was scared and excited. And I could
tell Cody was too."
Then Marie stopped.
Yuriko moved and knelt before Marie. She reached out and took the
girl's gloved hands in her own. For a split-second, it looked like
Marie might resist that. But then she relaxed and let Yuriko take
"We have to know what happened, Marie," said Yuriko softly.
"Do you want me to leave? It's fine if you just want to tell Yuri,"
Marie shook her head no and started again.
"This guy came out of nowhere and surprised us. He looked like some
kind of drifter. There are some railroad tracks that go through
Meridian, so I figured him for being one of the guys who ride the
rails. I didn't like the looks of him, but Cody was a pretty big
guy, so I figured we were safe."
"I was wrong. At first he just asked us for some pocket change. But
once he got close enough, he slapped me down and almost knocked me
out. Cody tackled him and tried to fight, but it was hopeless. It
ripped out Cody's throat while I lay there."
The first tears begin rolling down Marie's face, and her shoulders
shook, but she kept on talking in an oddly strong voice.
"Once it was done with Cody, it got up and smiled at me. It was
covered with Cody's blood. Blood was smeared all over it's face,
hands, and shirt. And it had these horrible fangs"
"Then it told me to run."
"I ran as fast as I could. I left Cody and I ran. But it was just
behind me. It was enjoying the chase. After a while, I realized
that it was playing with me -- like a cat with a baby bird. It was
herding me through the worst parts of the woods. The parts with
brambles and mud. Once, it let me think that I had gotten away, but
then it jumped out at me."
Marie stopped, quickly wiped her tears away, and then took Yuriko's
"Finally, I couldn't run anymore. My clothes were torn and I was cut
and bleeding from running through the trees. I fell down. Then it
grabbed me by the hair and pulled me up onto my knees so I could see
where we were."
"We were back where we had started. All the way back at Cody's body."
"It made me crawl over to Cody. Then it made me get on top of him.
Cody's eyes were open and he was staring straight up. Then it told
me to kiss Cody. And I did."
The younger girl stopped, her entire body shaking. Yuriko moved
closer, as if to take Marie in her arms. But Marie quickly reached
up and pushed Yuriko back.
"You can't touch me," said Marie, her voice savagely intense.
Yuriko nodded once, her strange, metallic eyes never leaving Marie's
Marie took a deep breath and went on, "It grabbed me by the hair
again and bent me backwards. Then it bit me. The fangs dug into my
neck and I suddenly felt strange and warm. It actually felt good."
"But then it screamed and threw itself off of me. That was my power
first appearing. If you touch my bare skin, I'll absorb you. I'll
take your powers and memories inside of me."
"Suddenly I could feel it in my head. I knew its name. I knew what
it had been thinking. I knew how it became a vampire. I knew how
many people it had killed. I knew about the Clans and the Camarilla
and the Masquerade and all that. I knew it all."
Logan and Yuriko exchanged a long, startled look.
"I just lay there, on the ground, thrashing around. It was doing the
same thing. I don't know why, but I recovered first. I felt real
strong when I stood up. And I could see perfectly in the dark.
There were some heavy rocks nearby. I picked one up that I normally
couldn't have lifted. It had some of Cody's blood on it."
"Then I beat it to pieces. It took a long time. It took a real long
time. It was screaming and begging, but I broke it's arms and legs
first so that it couldn't fight back. After that I kept on beating
it and kicking it until it finally stopped moving."
"But I knew it wasn't dead. I knew that because its memories were in
my head and I knew how hard it was to kill a vampire. So I siphoned
some gasoline out of Cody's car and I poured it over him. By then,
it was waking up. I saw it open it's mouth and it tried to say
something to me. But I just poured the rest of the gasoline into its
"And then I set him on fire."
Kneeling on the floor of the camper, Marie curled in on herself,
rocking back and forth, her eyes closed.
Yuriko took another blanket and wrapped it carefully around the
girl. And this time she did hold Marie, and slowly rock her until
the girl was finally cried out.
Logan, his face like stone, refilled everyone's tea.
"I'm sorry," said Marie after she was done.
"You're doing fine, honey," said Logan soothingly. "But how did you
get all the way up here? This is a long way from Mississippi."
"I know what that it knew. I know how much control they have. I
know that going to the police -- even the FBI -- would be suicide.
And I also know that they would be investigating what happened to the
one I killed. They don't like it when one of the cattle fights back."
Marie looked at the other two, hatred dripping from her
voice, "That's what they call us. 'Kine' -- it's an old and fancy
word for cattle. I looked it up."
Yuriko nodded. She was still holding Marie, but now she was staring
off into the distance.
"But there was something else. The thing that I'd killed had heard
that there was some kind of trouble up north in Canada. The north
had always been a problem, but now vampires were dying right and left
"That's why I came up here," finished Marie. "I'm ran to the only
place on the continent where they aren't everywhere."