TITLE: The End of the Road [3/3]
DISCLAIMER: Most of these lovely characters belong to Marvel, etc. However,
Little Golden Bird a.k.a. Subject 47 is a figment of my imagination.
DISTRIBUTION: If you would like permission to archive this story, please
OFFICIAL WEBSITE ADDRESS: http://www.wxfonline.com
RATING: Rated R for language.
SUMMARY: Movieverse. Logan went to Alkali Lake searching for answers. What
happens when he uncovers some he wasn't expecting?
DEDICATION: Thanks and praise to Lady-T for suffering through this story
with me. It lived several lives before finally settling on this one.
Thanks for your patience LT.
Jean gnawed at her lip as she scrolled through the main directory of the
disk from Alkali Lake. She considered for only a moment before clicking on
a document entitled "MOP_N127_011178.doc". The machine whirred for several
moments before the file opened in a small window.
Her lips had moved soundlessly as she read.
Mutant Observation Program
Log 011178: January 11, 1978
0600: Subject remains in catatonic state. As have speculated in the past,
believe this due to trauma of bonding process. Have planned continued
probing using Subject 47. Must know level of consciousness and mental
functioning. Hypothesize that mental stability is returning. Must find way
to maintain control over subject. Mind is key.
0945: Subject fed breakfast through tube inserted into stomach. Must watch
nurse carefully, as attempted to insert drain cleaner instead of properly
1015: Nurse terminated for endangerment of project. Family to be notified.
1230: Telepathic bond established utilizing Subject 47.
1645: No apparent consciousness of immediate surroundings or events.
Subject still in deep coma. Subject 47 suggests that 127 is maintaining
life through dream state. Hypothesize that subject is, in reality, reliving
memories as way to dissociate from current situation. Memories may be key
to control of subject.
1800: Administered evening dosage of sedative.
Jean closed the window quickly and returned to the disk's directory. She
wondered if Logan was Subject 127. With the file's references to a bonding
process, she could only assume that he was. Even before opening the file,
she had decided to talk to the Professor about the potential ramifications
of showing the material to Logan. The minute details that filled the logs
were unlikely to help. She herself had felt ill reading their contents.
* * *
When asked later, Logan would say that he vaguely recalled watching Jean
flip through windows on the computer screen. He hadn't needed to ask what
they contained. The expression on her face told him everything. He had
counted every time her cheeks had lost color. Forty-nine times in one hour.
She'd cried twice.
Strangely, Logan didn't really care about what she was reading. He was more
concerned about her. He should have known better. Jean was a survivor, and
though the contents of the files pained her, she kept pushing forward in
search of some small clue that might lead them into Logan's past.
Cyclops and Xavier returned an hour later to release Logan from his bonds.
They found the other two mutants sitting alone in a companionable silence,
the clicking of Jean's mouse and keyboard their only form of direct
communication. Once Logan was free, the three men turned their attention to
Logan was the first to ask her to stop. His sentiments were echoed by
Scott. Xavier held his tongue. Having finally come across a series of
files that might prove useful, Jean refused to comply with their wishes.
"According to the files I've found," she said, gesturing for Logan to sit
down in the chair beside the desk, "telepathic exploration of Logan's mind
started long before he was taken. Unfortunately, we don't have those logs.
What we've got instead is the log of one of the lab techs."
"So, what you're saying is that it doesn't say anything about where I came
from or if I had a family?"
"No," she said, grabbing his hand, "it doesn't say anything about that."
"It's pretty ugly, Logan. We don't have to do the rest of this now."
"Just get it over with before Marie shows up again. I don't want her
"As I said, they were monitoring you for quite some time. I gather that
they tried this bonding process on several other mutants before they settled
on you. They tried telepaths thinking that they would be able to stop their
own bleeding. They tried shapeshifters thinking that they could just form
themselves around the metal. I guess no one told them it doesn't quite work
Logan nodded again, but said nothing.
"They took you in 1971. That much I do know. You were housed at the Alkali
Lake facility the entire time because they were too scared you'd escape if
they tried moving you. From 1972 to 1976 they conducted some kind of mental
conditioning using a mutant they called Subject 47.
"Subject 47 was a class 'A' telepath, like the Professor. From what I
gather, they'd had, for lack of a better word, 'it' for quite some time. I
guess that explains how they managed to get one mutant to do this to
another. Anyway," she said, noticing the glazed expression in Logan's eyes.
Traumatic images, even if you couldn't remember them. "For those five years,
they prepared you for the bonding process. The mental conditioning was
supposed to wipe away all vestiges of your former personality. I guess they
didn't do such a hot job, huh?"
A hint of a smile curled the corners of Logan's lips.
"Beyond the mental conditioning, there was some kind of physical
conditioning. Again, that log was kept on another disk, so I don't know
what happened there. What I do know is that on October 17, 1976 adamantium
was bonded to your skeleton.
"You may or may not be interested in knowing that you had the claws before
"I did," Logan said, unbelieving.
"They're naturally bone. I believe that your claws and your heightened
senses are actually a secondary mutation. They didn't manufacture them."
"Oh," Logan said, "I guess that's something."
Cyclops and the Professor exchanged a silent glance. Such subdued behavior
was unlike the Logan they knew.
"Maybe we should stop now," Scott said authoritatively, "Jean's probably
"No," Logan said forcefully, "that is, we can stop if you're tired Jean.
But, don't feel like you have to stop on account of me."
"Ok then," Jean said, "we'll keep going."
"As I said, the procedure happened in October of 1976. Another mutant was
brought in to assist with the operation. I don't know anything about them.
But, I do know that they were somehow related to Subject 47."
"You mean related related?" Scott asked.
"It certainly sounds like they were blood relatives. I guess they possibly
could have been husband and wife too. Anyway, I don¹t know what this
unnamed mutant's powers were. Maybe they had x-ray vision?
"Anyway, for five years following the procedure you were in a deep coma.
I'm not sure how much of it was a natural coma and how much was a forced
coma. They were giving you some very powerful sedatives, ones normally
reserved for large game animals, so that could have impaired your body's
ability to heal.
"During those five years, Subject 47 had daily contact with you. They
monitored your neural functions and maintained the mental blocks they had
established in your mind.
"You woke up on December 16, 1981, which is Rogue's birthday oddly enough.
I guess we won't go telling her that though or she'll get a swollen head."
Logan chuckled weakly.
"It took you two years to learn to walk again. It wasn't just because you'd
been in a coma for five years. You also had to learn to carry the weight of
all that metal."
"That leaves two years unaccounted for," Logan said, quickly doing the math
in his head, "I didn't get out 'til '85."
"I'm not sure about the rest," Jean said, "it gets pretty spotty from here.
The logs are more about Subject 47 than you. Something big was happening.
Whoever they used during your operation wasn't afraid of them anymore.
There were several escape attempts."
Logan nodded, remembering the shard of bone he had found on the shore of
"You were paying attention, though," Jean said. "You must have been because
you escaped. Subject 47 almost made it out after you did in '85. According
to the file, '47 was killed in an escape attempt in 1986. It's the last log
"There is one thing from the files that I don't understand."
"One thing?" Logan said, clearly bemused.
"Has anyone heard of The Little Golden Bird? Because, that's what the log
says, 'the little golden bird has flown the coop'."
"You're wrong," the Professor's voice rang out vehemently and all three
mutants turned to look at him. "You've got that wrong."
"No," Jean said shaking her head. "No, I got it right. It's the very last
entry in the log."
"You've got to be wrong," the Professor said, clearly distraught.
"Professor," Scott exclaimed, "what is it?"
"You can't be right, Jean. There's only one mutant that I know of that has
ever been called Little Golden Bird, and she's dead. She died a long time
"Who the hell is she Chuck?" Logan growled, springing from his chair and
moving menacingly toward the elderly man. "Who the fuck are you protecting?
Whoever the hell they are, they fucking took my life."
Logan grabbed the arms of the Professor's wheelchair and leaned over,
holding his face scant inches away from Xavier's.
"I want it back."
"Logan," Scott exclaimed, as he pushed him away from the Professor, "He
didn't do this. You can't punish him just because there's no one else."
Logan stalked to the window and looked out blindly. Fifteen years, they'd
had him for almost fifteen years. What could he have done with his life in
those missing years? He could have had a kid like Marie. Hell, maybe he
did have a kid like Marie.
"Professor," Jean said, her eyes on Logan, "please, even if you know this
Little Golden Bird died a long time ago, just tell us who she was."
"Don't you see," the Professor said helplessly, "it has to be her. Even
when they took her, he knew she had the gift. That's why we got along so
well. I reminded him of her. But she was dead. We were so sure she was
dead. He was lost without her. She was the only thing that he had left."
"Professor," Scott said, confusion readily apparent in his voice, "what are
you talking about?"
"Magneto," Logan said quietly. "How long have you known? Really Chuck, how
long have you known?"
The Professor remained silent for a time, his steady gaze resting on Logan's
"I didn't know until a few minutes ago. I had guessed the first time I saw
your skeleton. Fusing your bones with a metal alloy like adamantium would
have required a master of metal. Who better than a mutant to pervert a
"Oh God, Eric," he exclaimed, "now I know why. I finally understand why."
* * *
"Logan wait," Jean exclaimed, "there's something you don't know."
Logan stalked down the hall, a man possessed. He brushed past Jubilee and
Kitty not bothering to acknowledge their presence. He was going to find a
way into that prison. If it was the last thing he did, he was going to find
a way in. When he found him, God help the old man. Mutant powers or no, he
was going to make sure Magneto felt every ill he had ever visited upon him.
"Logan, stop!" Jean called as she hurried down the hallway behind him.
When she realized that she'd never catch up with him at his present pace,
Jean slowly began to exert telekinetic control over his limbs. He slowed
and finally pulled to a halt. She didn't need to hear the low growl that
reverberated in his chest to know he was angry with her.
She quickly closed the distance between them. She supposed that it made
sense for him to hear the news from her. Rogue was too young to deal with
this and she was the only other person on the compound that he truly cared
"Logan, Logan," she said, trying to break through the veil of anger that
clouded his senses, "you have to listen to me. There's something you don't
know. It happened while you were gone and, well, it didn't seem
particularly important then, but it is now."
Logan looked at her, his anger shimmering just below the surface.
"Logan," she said, her face creased with emotion, "he's dead. Magneto is
"No, I'm not. You know that I would never lie to you. He's gone, Logan. A
couple of weeks after you left, Mystique and Sabretooth tried to break him
out. She took on the form of a security guard, but somehow they figured it
"They managed to get Magneto out of his cell. But, they hadn't quite made
it through the plastic tunnel before the guards arrived. They put up a
fight, but they were simply out manned."
"He would have controlled the bullets," Logan said simply.
"They didn't use conventional weapons. We don't know the particulars, but
we're guessing they used some kind of laser weaponry. It may even have been
something like Scott's optic blasts.
"They have Mystique detained at the prison. She's in pretty bad shape.
Apparently she suffered head trauma and can't control her form anymore. She
constantly changes from one shape to another.
Logan nodded soundlessly.
"We're not sure what happened to Sabretooth. As far as we can tell, he
disappeared in the middle of the battle. He may have fallen into the pit
below the tunnel. We don't know.
"We do know what happened to Magneto, Eric," Jean corrected herself quietly.
"After his body was released, he was brought here. I did the autopsy
myself. It was the real Eric Lehnsherr. I'm certain of that."
"Where is he now?" Logan asked, a man defeated.
"The Professor had his body cremated. We flew to Germany and spread his
ashes in a garden in the small village that he lived in before the Nazis
came and took him."
"Shit, Jean," his voice trembled as he spoke, "what the hell am I going to
do now? I can't make him pay and the rest of them are probably fucking
dead. If that log was right, if he did turn on 'em after Bird died, that
probably means he killed them all. Right?"
She gently wiped a tear from his cheek.
"I don't know, Logan," she said simply. "But, I do know what you're going
to do. You're going to stay here and the Professor and I are going to do
everything in our power to help you get around the mental barriers Little
Golden Bird implanted." She grabbed his hand tightly and he was vaguely
aware that she had released her telekinetic hold on him long ago. "You're
going to stay here with your family. You're going to grieve with your
family. And your family is going to help you through this because they love
Jean tugged at his hand and together they walked down the hall, through a
door and out into Ororo's rose garden where Logan could have some privacy.
Through the tears that he refused to let fall, Logan looked up at the clear
blue of the sky. His nose twitched as it took in the sharp telltale tingle
of fall in the air. Winter was coming, but his running days were over.
He'd finally reached the end of the road.