Of course, Logan doesn't remember
his past. But is that because he
can't -- or because he won't?
Title: Cage Match
Author: Pat Phillips
(for Violence and Ugly Implications),
Characters: Logan, Marie, Yuriko.
In that famous cage-fight scene in X1
where we first meet Logan -- he sure
seems distracted at first. Did he
just not care about the fight, or was
something else bothering him?
Also, there's one thing that's really
easy to miss about X1. Yeah, Logan
saved Marie. But if you look close,
Marie also saved Logan.
I do not own these characters. Instead,
they are the property of Marvel Comics.
As a firm believer in property rights,
it's only reasonable that I specify that
my use of these characters should in no
way be interpreted as a threat to Marvel's
ownership of them.
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
So far, it had just been another night's work.
Three men had entered the cage, willing to take on the Wolverine for
the possibility of winning a $500 prize. All three had been carried
out. One was still unconscious. The bar owner was trying to find
someone to drive him the hundred and five miles to the nearest
The fourth guy was glaring at Logan while pulling off his shirt.
Through the haze of cigarette and cigar smoke that filled the bar,
Logan cooly examined his next opponent. This one had the kind of
muscles a man got from hard physical labor -- which were subtly
different from those you got by pumping iron. Based both on that
and on how the new guy was dressed, Logan figured him for a logger.
Closer observation noted that the new guy had the battered nose and
the network of scars around his eyes of someone who knew his way
around a bar-fight. And there was something about the way he
carried himself that suggested some boxing experience as well.
A fat, elderly announcer in an old-fashioned hat was working the
crowd into a frenzy. The mob howled and screamed as the new guy
entered the cage. Logan slugged down another shot of whiskey, put
the glass down on the floor, and turned to face his latest victim.
The other fighter squared off against Logan, his hands raised in a
boxer's stance. There was a tattoo on his right bicep. It was of a
stylized geisha, slithering invitingly out of her kimono.
Logan hesitated, his eyes locked on the tattoo. The logger sensed
that something was wrong and moved quickly forward, throwing his
first punch -- a hard right to Logan's stomach.
The punch landed. Logan grunted, more in annoyance than pain.
There had been a flash of memory. A memory of another cage and
another fight. There was something about that fight that Logan both
wanted to remember and wanted to forget.
But thanks to that punch, Logan had lost the thread...
Logan snarled and went back to work. He blocked the next punch and
then tried to dodge the third. But he was still distracted and his
timing was off. The punch connected. Logan's absorbed a powerful
blow to the side of his face with no apparent reaction, but the
other fighter was now retreating -- frantically shaking his right
hand and trying to understand why it hurt so much.
The tattoo on the logger's arm seemed to dance slightly as the other
fighter's muscles flexed. Logan caught himself staring at it again.
The memory was slowly filtering back: Laughter and cheers from
outside the cage. Howls of rage and pain from within. They had
been doped up until they were utterly out of control and then thrown
into a cage together. A test. It had been a test of some kind.
Logan blinked as he came back to reality. The logger, having again
noticed that his foe wasn't paying attention, was barreling forward,
defenses wide open in his haste to land a left-handed blow.
Acting with inhuman speed, Logan lashed out a brutal one-two
combination. The first punch stunned his opponent. The second laid
The logger lay on the floor of the cage, unconscious and with blood
spilling from split lips. He didn't so much as twitch. The fight
was obviously over.
A chorus of boos filled the bar. Logan wasn't exactly Mr.
Popularity -- not that he cared.
"Ladies and gentleman!" yelled the announcer. "The winner and still
champ-een! The Wolverine!"
The announcer gave Logan a long look. He'd noticed Logan's
relatively poor performance. He carefully raised his eyebrows and
cocked his head, silently asking Logan if it was time for a break.
Logan shook his head and stepped away from his unconscious foe. A
couple of roustabouts from the bar dragged the guy out of the cage.
The announcer went back to work. Another idiot entered the cage.
Some kid in a red-flannel shirt who had no clue what he was doing.
Logan took him out in almost no time at all, trying to do the
minimal amount of damage. The crowd began booing again.
"Ladies and gentleman, in all my years I've never seen anything like
this!" proclaimed the announcer as he began trolling for the next
sucker. Logan spat out some blood. A cut in his mouth was already
healing. He poured himself another drink from a whiskey bottle he
kept in one corner of the cage. The half-healed cut in his mouth
stung in reaction to the whiskey. Staring into the shot glass,
leaning with one arm against one of the cage supports, Logan tried
to recapture that brief whisper of memory.
The tattoo. The one of a Japanese woman. Somehow it had triggered
something inside of him.
Logan hesitantly touched the dog-tags hanging from his neck. The
ones that read, "458-25-243 Wolverine". There had been another set
of tags. A similar number. A different name. The tags had jingled
between a pair of firm, sweat-slick, breasts.
Another cage... Another fight...
Drugs. Some kind of test. Maybe an experiment.
Or maybe just entertainment.
Fighting like animals. A fight far more primal and savage than the
stupid, drunken, human, brutality of what he was doing now. It had
been a fight to the death if they wanted. A fight where the winner
did whatever he wanted to the helpless loser.
A shiver of revulsion passed through Logan.
He knew that he had won that fight. He had beaten his opponent into
submission and... and beyond submission.
Those eyes. Something odd about a pair of eyes that glared at him
in utter hate and bottomless despair. A pair of brown eyes that
were changing into something else.
But he couldn't attach those eyes to a face.
Those eyes welling with barely restrained tears. The tears that had
finally, finally shocked him back to reality...
Something hit Logan from behind and slammed him into the mesh wall
of the cage. Two quick punches then drove him to the floor. A pair
of kicks finished the initial assault.
Dammit, pay attention! Logan snarled to himself.
Completely pissed off, Logan clambering to his feet. He found
himself facing a bald, heavy-set man wearing a t-shirt bearing the
message, "The Strong Survive".
Yeah, they did, Logan thought to himself grimly. But sometimes
survival wasn't all it was cracked up to be.
The bruiser was cocky. It had been easy for him so far. He lunged
One block, one punch, and one head-butt later, it was over. Logan
kicked the latest tough guy out of his way and went back to his
The crowd howled again, but Logan wasn't listening to them. He
couldn't remember anymore. And already, the memories were becoming
less certain. He couldn't tell what was memory and what was
fantasy, dream, or nightmare.
Next to the bottle he kept in his corner of the cage was an
ashtray. In it burned a cigar. Logan picked it up and took a deep
He seemed to remember long, straight, black hair. And a woman's
scent -- unwashed and tinged with something alien, but still
exciting. But it was all colored by a haze of drug-induced rage.
What did I do? Logan asked himself, not really wanting to know the
What did I do... to her?
He would never win the Nobel prize, but Logan wasn't stupid. And a
man who finds himself without memories does some reading on the
subject of amnesia.
Sometimes, amnesia isn't about not being able to remember. Instead,
it's about not wanting to remember.
Logan looked around the cage. His cage. Where he belonged like any
other animal. And he knew that he would never be able to leave.
This has his place. Forever.
A flash of movement out in the crowd caught Logan's eye.
She was young. Pretty. Wearing some kind of hooded cloak. And she
didn't look like she should be hanging around this place.
Hopefully, whatever fool had brought her into the bar would get her
out just as soon as possible.
The announcer was still talking, still cajoling. Yet another idiot
decided to give the Wolverine a try.
The girl was now sitting at the bar, watching the cage with a
slightly horrified expression.
For a brief second, their eyes met. Logan was the first to look
Dismissing the girl from his thoughts, Logan turned to face the
latest challenger. He could already tell that this one wouldn't be
any harder to take down than the others.
The announcer liked to call Logan the King of the Cage. Yeah. Like
a tiger in a zoo or a prisoner in a cell were the kings of their
Logan knew he didn't have to do this. He could find something
else. Logging. Mining. Truck-driving. Something.
But when you got down to it, this was who he was.
This was what he was.
This was where he belonged.
This was what he deserved.
And no matter how much he hoped and prayed, Logan knew that there
was no-one who would ever be able to save him.