Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

SHADOW MAN--CH3: THE MAIN DISH--3/15

Expand Messages
  • mainsmel
    Chapter 3-The Main Dish Sleeping? With a resigned sigh Logan opened his eyes and turned his head to look up at Magneto. Yeah, bed s nice and soft. You
    Message 1 of 1 , Jun 5 10:24 PM
    • 0 Attachment
      Chapter 3-The Main Dish

      "Sleeping?"

      With a resigned sigh Logan opened his eyes and turned his head to
      look up at Magneto. "Yeah, bed's nice and soft. You really know how
      to treat a guest."

      He had heard the other come in the lab and identified the man's
      particular cold, dirty-chimney scent under the smell of oil and hot
      metal as he approached the table, but Logan hadn't seen any reason to
      acknowledge his presence. Maybe if he just kept silent and still the
      guy would go away. After all, it worked for possums. Why not
      wolverines? Ha.

      Magneto's lips twitched. "I was certain you'd feel at home here," he
      thrust back. "Now this is what we're going to do." And he launched
      into a detailed description of body parts, incisions, ripping out
      certain sections of the adamantium, grafting on the revised segments,
      replacing the bulkier joint hinges with the newer models, etc., etc.

      Through it all Logan kept his eyes fixed on the man even as he choked
      back the scream rising in his throat and the surge of sickness in his
      gut. The guy was a raving lunatic! He seemed to genuinely believe
      that Logan would be fascinated knowing every gruesome detail of just
      how he was going to be broken apart and put back together like some
      motorcycle engine.

      "So you see," Magneto concluded, "when we're finished you'll be able
      to move much faster."

      "Just let me loose and see how fast I move, you bastard!"

      Magneto drew back, momentarily startled. The enthusiasm drained from
      his face and he regarded Logan with an expression usually reserved
      for when one finds something particularly nasty under a rock.

      "Small minded people." He shook his head in disgust. "No vision. No
      sense of the future, of progress. I'm wasting time explaining my
      goals to one such as you. We'll continue, then, without further
      discussion."

      He started to leave, turned back. His smile was like something carved
      in a Jack O' Lantern, one of the scary ones. "This may interest you.
      In addition to the program I just outlined, we will also be taking
      samples of your bone marrow." He waited for a response. Logan gave
      him the blank, impassive stare.

      "Humph. Since you're obviously so curious, I'll tell you. Not to get
      too technical, the reason is this: one adamantium-laced combatant is
      good. Two are better."

      Logan frowned, blinked. Pleased at having broken through, Magneto
      nodded towards the lab's door where the little creep was wheeling in
      a table identical to Logan's.

      "The difficulty, of course," Magneto was explaining, "is that the
      procedure I just described kills normal people. It's only your gift
      of nearly instantaneous regeneration that makes these enhancements
      feasible. I came here originally to learn if the scientists had done
      any research in that field. Naturally, they had, a Dr. Cornilius, in
      particular. And he kept most meticulous records, I am gratified to
      say. I was following his work, conducting experiments on animals my
      assistant brought in, when you appeared."

      He unconsciously rubbed his hands together like a man preparing to
      carve a gigantic Thanksgiving turkey. Logan's innards turned to ice
      and he wanted to shut his eyes. Instead, he clenched his jaw and
      stared at the man's forehead, trying to wipe out the picture of
      himself as the main dish.



      "Now my work will go much faster," Magneto said. "With your bone
      marrow I can analyze the DNA and see which genes have mutated to
      allow such rapid healing. I will then attempt to duplicate the
      mutation and induce it to flourish first in our lab animals, then in
      a human subject. If the experiment is a success, we can begin to
      reinforce her skeleton with adamantium as well."

      "Her?" The question was surprised out of him. Logan twisted his head
      awkwardly in order to see the shrouded form on the far table.

      "A runaway." Magneto dismissed his second 'volunteer' with a wave of
      hand. "Young people these days are spoiled. They don't appreciate
      their parents' sacrifices."

      He headed for the door, called over his shoulder as he turned out the
      lights. "As for you, get some sleep. There are only a few hours left
      of the night. We begin at dawn."

      In the faint ambiance coming in from the hallway, Logan peered at the
      still figure. A runaway. A picture in a post office. The image of
      Rogue came to him.

      "Hey . . . " He caught himself whispering and scowled. What the hell!
      They were going to cut him up tomorrow. Didn't much matter if they
      laid into him tonight.

      "Hey! Kid!" His shout bounced back from the tiled walls. "You okay,
      kid?"

      There was no response. Probably drugged, he decided. He gave it up
      and tried to find a soft spot on the steel table. Just as well. After
      all, what could he have said? Don't worry? I'll take care of you?
      Have a nice day?

      It must have been the long hours on the motorbike that fatigued him
      or the dispirited exhaustion that only fear can bestow, for after a
      while Logan did sleep. And despite what awaited him in the morning,
      despite the fetters and the chill metal against his skin and the
      implements of pain and blood and fire all around him, he didn't have
      any nightmares.

      Instead, a tuneless thread of song running through his head, he
      dreamed he was a wolverine kit, warm and snug in the den surrounded
      by his littermates, watched over by the fierce female that was his
      mother. He smiled in his sleep. He was home.

      ********

      When the sunlight hit Logan's eyelids he yawned and tried to roll
      over, found he couldn't. Found also, when he squinted up, that it
      wasn't the sun but a fluorescent lamp hanging over him and that his
      wrists and ankles were pinioned. Yesterday dumped on him like a load
      of wet concrete and he lay there flattened by Magneto's fanaticism
      and the knowledge of what was going to be done to him today, and
      tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow . . .

      But Logan had drifted through the past fifteen years scraping along
      from hour to hour. If he knew in the morning where he was going to
      spend the night it was a rarity. So now he mentally stuffed all those
      unpleasant near-and-distant future events into the Postponed file and
      concentrated on his most pressing need at the moment. Damn, what he
      wouldn't give for a cigar!

      Craning his head he looked around the lab and saw he was alone except
      for the little creep. "Hey, squatty body! Yeah, I'm talking to you!
      Whaddaya got to smoke around here?"

      The creep looked up, his eyes huge and goggling behind his thick
      glasses. "Thmoke?" he lisped. It came out a twangy, nasal honk like a
      goose with a cold.

      "You know, you light it, it smokes! Gimme something and make it
      quick!"

      A gurgley hic-hic-hic of what might pass as laughter burbled out of
      the creep's no-neck body. "You want to thmoke? Yeah, okay." Turning
      to the workbench he fiddled with something a moment and came over to
      Logan.

      "Thmoking ith bad for you, ithn't it?" he honked, and the next
      instant he ran a lighted acetylene torch down the length of Logan's
      arm.

      Logan roared and thrashed. He smelled the stink of his own flesh
      burning and saw the smoke curling up in pretty little spirals, then
      the raw wounds closed and the red, blistered skin slowly faded to its
      normal hue. The arm felt and looked the same as it had less than a
      minute ago except there was a long, finger-wide track where no hair
      grew. Like a firebreak in a forest, Logan thought a little
      hysterically and choked back a giggle. His breathing was still ragged
      and his muscles continued to jump and twitch from the adrenaline
      surge. Blinking the sweat out of his eyes he glared at the goggles
      peering down at him.

      "Wha— What the hell did you do that for, you sadistic little shrimp!"

      "I thaid thmoking wath bad for you, didn't I? Didn't I?" the creep
      repeated, waving the hissing torch suggestively.

      "Yeah. Yeah, you did. 'Thmoking's' bad for me. Think I'll quit."

      The creep smirked, revealing a perfectly matched set of pearl-gray
      baby teeth. A smirk like that rates eleven out of ten, Logan judged,
      willing to give credit where it was due.

      "Next time, be careful who you order around," came the honk. "And my
      name'th not thrimp. Ith Toad."

      "Tooooaaaad!" Logan snarled, contorting his lips around the name,
      endeavoring to make it sound as repulsive as its owner looked,
      then, "Toad?"

      Logan scrutinized the wizen, warty features hovering over him. Surely
      there couldn't be two such godawful ugly bastards by the name of
      Toad. "I thought Storm killed you," he protested.

      The thin lips stretched and stretched in a too-wide grin. "And I
      thought I killed her!"

      The swinging lab door fwap-fwaped and Magneto strode cheerily into
      the room pulling on a pair of rubber gloves. "So how are we feeling
      this fine morning?"

      He halted suddenly, one glove half on, sniffed, and with a frown
      turned on his heel, giving the place a three-sixty. "Has someone been
      smoking?"

      Logan couldn't help himself. "Yeah, me!" And the repressed giggle
      burst out.
    Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.