Note: For intro and info, please see Teaser
The pain was easing off, thankfully. Logan felt it lessen by
degrees, until he was able to breath again. Soon he found he could
straighten up with very little pain at all. He glanced down and saw
a small, circular piece of metal at his feet the Adamantium that
had dripped out of him had hardened as soon as it cooled. There was
less than a pound there, for all that pain. "Hmm," he said,
regarding it. "Doesn't look like it's working that great after
all." Sabretooth said nothing in reply. Logan raised his eyebrows
at the other man. "So, you were saying about a team?"
Sabretooth opened his mouth to reply, but whether it was to tell him
to go screw himself, or to give up the information he so desperately
wanted, Logan would never know. Just then, a stream of guards came
pouring into the room. Sergeant Leeson was among them.
"Hey, Leeson, old buddy, how's it going?" Logan was feeling quite
jovial now. Pain was just pain; it was over and he was still
The soldier came over to him and regarded the metal at his feet.
After a moment, he reached down and picked it up. "Well, it's a
start, anyway," he murmured, ignoring Logan's question. Leeson
turned to the men behind him. "Take that one," he ordered,
indicating Sabretooth, "to the Programming Centre. You, take this
to Commander Lyons." He handed one of the guards the shard of
Adamantium. "You tell Dr. White that we're going to need more of
the serum. The mutant's healing factors seem to be counteracting
its effects we may need to try a larger dose." With that, he
turned on his heel. Sabretooth was neatly trustled up and forced
out of the room behind him.
"What, I don't even get a goodbye kiss?" Logan called
sarcastically. The last soldier to leave was the one with the
Adamantium in his hand. He stopped at the door and walked back to
Logan at the smart remark.
The man raised the metal in his hand and brought it crashing down
against Logan's nose. It broke with a wet crunch. "Goodbye," the
soldier replied, smiling as he walked out the door.
Logan was left there, chained to the wall, with blood running down
his chin. "God damn," he said to nobody. The room seemed awfully
quiet without Sabretooth around. Logan suppressed a shudder at the
though of what might be coming; the memory of silver dripping out of
his hands hadn't quite let him go yet. He twisted in his chains,
but was still locked up too tight to move. Finally, he surrendered
and leaned his head against the wall. ~Please, Chuck, ~ he thought,
~tell me the Calvary's coming. ~
"The Calvary's coming," Charles said suddenly.
Storm looked at him like he'd just grown another head. "Pardon me?"
Charles shook his head as though trying to clear it. He looked up
at her and smiled faintly. "I'm sorry, my dear. I didn't mean to
startle you. I think I just picked up a projection from Logan."
Storm leaned forward, excited. "Really? Is he all right? Can you
pinpoint his location?"
Charles shook his head again. "It was just a passing thought," he
said, somewhat apologetic. "Logan is incredibly difficult for me to
read. But I'm certain it was him, which means that he is alive, at
Storm nodded, thinking. "The Calvary's coming," she
repeated. "Maybe Scott and the others have found him."
"I don't think so. I can read Scott fairly well, and I think I'd
pick up on that. But I should check Cerebro, to see how they're
making out." Just then Bobby and Kitty walked into the room.
"Okay, I think we're all set," Bobby announced. He was to take
Kitty into Boston, to the church where Kurt had once taken refuge.
It was all but abandoned; only one old priest remained in residence
and he was quite sympathetic. He had told Kurt that if they ever
needed a place of refuge, `God's doors were always open to them.'
Bobby just hoped that Professor Xavier wouldn't track them right
away from Cerebro, because he'd be caught out if the Professor did.
Charles looked up at Bobby sharply, and the young man realized that
the telepath must have caught a glimpse of what he was planning. He
felt a gentle tugging in his mind and knew that Xavier was trying to
get more information, so he took a deep breath and concentrated as
hard as he could on Ms. Munroe's tits. Professor Xavier's eyes
widened slightly and he looked away. Bobby suppressed a little
"Good," Professor Xavier replied at length. "Drive straight there,
no detours." Bobby nodded, and the two youths left the room.
"What was all that about?" Storm asked as soon as they were gone.
To her surprise, Charles wouldn't meet her eyes. "Don't ask," he
replied. "You don't want to know."
"Bobby, where are we going?" Kitty asked as Bobby turned off the
highway onto a secondary road. "This isn't the way to Boston."
"I know that," Bobby replied. He stopped the car and pulled
over. "Look, Kitty, if you really want me to drive you to Boston,
I'll drive you to Boston. But Rogue is out there and she needs our
help - and Jubilee too. These are our friends, Kitty. We need to
Kitty regarded him carefully. "Professor Xavier said to go straight
to Boston," she replied. "And right now, you're not a wanted
criminal. I am. What if we get stopped by the police?"
"I'll be really careful. I'll do the speed limit the whole way,"
Bobby promised. "Kitty, please. We aren't little kids anymore. I
have to go find Rogue."
Kitty tapped her fingers against the arm rest indecisively. "What
makes you think you can even find them?" she asked.
Bobby grinned. "You know how Logan's been showing us a few tricks
of the trade?" he asked. She nodded and he continued. "Well, one
day I caught him sneaking into Professor Xavier's files. He never
told me what he was doing, but I told him I'd tell the Professor
unless he taught me how to pick locks like he could."
"Logan taught you that?" Kitty was scandalized.
"Yeah, well, don't get him in trouble, okay? Anyway, I snuck into
Professor Xavier's office while you were packing, and I found
this." He handed her a map of New York, with a red circle drawn
around a patch of empty space about two hours North of where they
"That could be anything," she pointed out.
Bobby sighed. "I know. But I have a gut feeling about this, okay?
Kitty, we're powerful people we can help them. Whaddya say?"
Kitty sighed again. She knew that she should say no and make Bobby
drive her to Boston like he was supposed to. She knew she should
also contact the professor and let him know what Bobby was
planning. At the same time, though, she felt guilty as sin because
she'd been able to escape at the mall and none of the others had.
Plus she was worried sick about her friends. ~Ah, to hell with it,
~ she thought. "All right," she said out loud, "let's go."
Bobby let out a war whoop. "Now that's what I'm talking about!" he
exclaimed. He put the pedal to the metal, and they were off.
The tunnel was narrow but fairly well lit. With the exception of a
few twists and turns, it went pretty much straight East, cutting a
swath through the countryside. Scott kept one hand on his visor,
fully expecting a hoard of guards to cut them off at every corner,
but no one appeared. "It doesn't feel right," he said for the third
time. "They had state of the art cameras all around that warehouse.
They *must* be watching this tunnel."
Kurt smiled sympathetically. Scott took his duties as team leader
very seriously and he'd yet to see the younger man take risks
willingly, especially when other people's lives were at stake.
However, there was a point at which his caution crossed a line into
worrying. "You are probably right, my friend, but it does not make
sense for them to try to attack us in the tunnel. The quarters are
too close, and if they are watching us, they know what we are able
"No, they'll be waiting for us on the other side instead," Hank
"So what do we do?" Rogue spoke up from behind the three men, where
she and Jubilee had been following.
Scott shrugged. "Classic attack formation, I guess," he
replied. "Jubilee, get up here in the front with Hank and myself.
Kurt, your job is to grab people strategically and teleport them
back to Rogue. The rest of us will go on the offensive. Once we're
in, we'll split into teams and try to locate Logan. Kurt and Rogue,
Jubilee and Hank, and myself. Questions?" No one had any. "Good,
let's stay sharp."
They arranged themselves as Scott had ordered and crept forward. A
different kind of light was beginning to fill the hallway; looking
up, they could see that the tunnel ended in a set of double-planed
glass doors, behind which were a half a dozen soldiers, guns cocked
"Ready?" Scott murmured. The others nodded. "Go!" With a single
blast, he demolished the doors. In a flash, Kurt had teleported to
the soldiers' sides, grabbing the two closest to the X-Men and
teleporting them back to Rogue. Jubilee set off some impressive
sparks, forcing the others backwards, and Hank followed closely
behind her, bashing heads and throwing bodies with all his bestial
For a while, the soldiers kept coming, and they kept taking them out
according to their strategy. After a while, there were no more
soldiers. "See, that's just not right," Scott said again, shaking
his head. "That just seems too easy."
"Maybe we're just that good," Jubilee replied, emboldened by her
"Or maybe we're being set up," Kurt replied, looking around slowly.
Beside him, Hank tested the air. "There are a lot of people here,"
he observed. "We should proceed with caution."
"I agree. Stay out of sight as much as possible. Do not engage
with the enemy unless you're forced to. The minute you find Logan,
signal the rest of us your radios and stay put until we get to you.
Let's move." They split into their teams and slipped away.
Logan knew what to expect this time and was better able to brace
himself for the pain, but it was still a shock to see the Adamantium
begin to leak out of him, dripping down to form a pool by his feet.
He felt like he was burning up from the inside and he was pretty
sure that his mutant healing powers were having trouble keeping up
this time. They'd given him a bigger dose of whatever nasty
chemical was heating his bones to the point that the metal melted,
and the process seemed to be working faster, which meant he'd lose
more metal before his healing powers kicked in than he did before.
Still, he didn't think he would lose enough to make much of a
difference to his overall functioning, even with the larger dose.
If they intended to get all the metal out of his body, he figured it
was going to take a few more treatments than he'd received so far.
What he didn't understand is why they didn't just kill him, cut him
open, and boil the Adamantium off his bones then. Obviously they
wanted him alive for something.
His mind drifted off, pondering the vague comments Sabretooth had
made regarding Logan's past. It had of course occurred to him that
there might be more mutants out there that Stryker had manipulated,
but he'd continue to hold on to the idea that he was somehow
special the ultimate weapon. Sabretooth, however, had mentioned
something about a team. The idea whispered inside his head the way
that almost-memories often did. There was something lying just out
of reach in his subconscious - something that had once been
significant and meaningful in his life.
Logan sighed. There was no point in trying to chase the thought
down; it would only disappear. He brought his attention back to his
hands, and was pleased to see that he'd healed up once more. A
chunk of metal about the size of his fist was hardening on the
ground beside him. Idly, Logan wondered at what point the loss was
going to affect him. He checked in with his body, scanning himself
from head to toe. He felt the same, though he had no way to check
and see if his claws were okay except to release them, and the way
in which his hands were tied meant that to do so would be to stab
himself in the thighs. He considered it was it worth the
Immediately after thinking that, Logan cursed himself. He'd been so
distracted by Sabretooth's presence that he hadn't even been
thinking about escape. With his hands tied at his sides, he wasn't
in danger of stabbing any important organs if he released his
claws. Sure, stabbing himself in the meaty muscle of his thighs
would hurt, but it would also heal and he would be free.
Snarling against the expected pain, Logan let his claws come out.
"Uh, Bobby, don't you think you should slow down a little?" Kitty
asked, her eyes glued to the speedometer. Bobby was putting the
speed limit to shame, racing down the road in the little black car
like he was on a race track instead of the highway.
He didn't take his eyes off the road. "Nope," he replied, pushing a
little bit more speed out of the engine.
"It's just that we're going
really, really fast."
" Kitty sounded like she was somewhere between crying and
"Look, Kitty, it's like this. They have *Rogue*. Out of all the
people in the whole world, mutant or otherwise, that those bastards
could have got their hands on, they took Rogue. I can't sit around
and do nothing and I can't spend two hours driving when she's in
trouble *now*. I have to get there, okay? Just, please, sit back
and shut - um, be quiet." Bobby's face was dark and hard.
Kitty sat back and closed her mouth, shocked. She'd never heard
Bobby talk like that, and especially not to her. They'd been fairly
good friends before Rogue had come along, and even now they remained
pretty close, although Bobby spent most of his time with the other
girl. She took a good look at him and saw the worry underneath the
machismo. Bobby was terrified of losing his girl, she
realized. "Okay," she said quietly. She reached over and patted
Bobby's shoulder. "Go on, then."
Wordlessly, Bobby pushed the gas pedal down as far as it would go,
and the car leapt forward even faster than before.
Hank crept up the dark hall, his superior eyes piercing the dim
light before him. He could smell people all around him, their
scents tinged with fear, but there was almost no trace of the
metallic stench of guns. Prisoners, then, not soldiers. Hank
suppressed the growl that was building in his throat.
Up ahead, he could see a faint light shining from around a corner.
Cautiously, he worked his way up to it, sniffing the air as he slid
around the bend, trying to stay in the shadow. Florescent lights
lit up a small station before him, a lonely desk surrounded by
security monitors. One very bored looking soldier sat slumped with
his elbows on the desk, resting his head on his hands.
Hank smiled. `Lucky me,' he thought, crouching low as he
approached. The soldier glanced up as he heard Hank's approaching
footsteps, but before he had the time to react, Hank had lifted him
up and out of his chair and punched him hard enough to knock the
guard unconscious. "Well, that was easy," he remarked, dusting off
his hands. The chair creaked under his great weight as he sat down
to examine the monitors. "So what do we have here?"
Scott's head shot up at the loud clanging noise. Instinctively he
pushed Jubilee behind him, his hand flying to his visor.
"What?" the girl exclaimed, indignant at being shoved aside.
"Shush," he hissed back, scanning the hallway. He could perceive no
immediate threat, but something in the periphery of his vision
caught his attention. He whirled around, prepared to send a blast
of light toward the attacker, only to be caught completely off guard
by a child, no more than 14 years old, who upon seeing him fell back
against the wall and began sobbing.
"Please, I'll be good, I'll go back to my room, don't hurt me!" she
wailed. Scott stared, shocked.
It was Jubilee that moved into action, pushing past her teacher to
kneel beside the younger girl. "It's okay," she whispered. "We're
friends. Were you were you a prisoner here?" The girl nodded.
"They wanted to know what made me work," she replied. "they did all
these tests on me
" she shuddered and collapsed against Jubilee,
"It's okay, you don't have to talk about it. We'll get you out of
here, come on." She helped the girl stand, looking up at Scott for
"All the cells are open," he said. All around them, former
prisoners were tentatively stepping out, looking at the two X-Men
with fear and distrust. "It's all right," he said, raising his
voice to address the crowd. "We're here to help, please follow
us." Grabbing Jubilee's arm, he whispered, "take them back to the
tunnel. I'm going to go find Hank and the others, get them to help
us with all these people."
Jubilee nodded, assuming her best tour guide stance. "If you'll all
just follow me, please
Logan panted against the pain for a moment before struggling to his
feet from where he'd collapsed against the wall. His next task was
to cut through the bars of his prison cell, but when he approached
them, he was shocked to find the door swung open all on its
own. "Very odd," he muttered to himself, stepping cautiously into
the hall. Then again, he'd never been one to look a gift horse in
the mouth. Whatever the reason, he'd just been granted freedom, and
he intended to use it.
He stalked up the hallway, sniffing as he went. All around him,
other mutants were stepping out of their cells, testing their
freedom. He paid them no attention; he had one person in mind, and
he was damned if he was going to leave without tracking the bastard
down and getting some answers.
As he turned a corner, he smelled something familiar but it wasn't
Sabretooth. Instead it was
"Hank!" he exclaimed. The man turned around, breaking into a wide
"Logan, thank heavens you're all right!"
"What are you doing here?"
"Looking for you, of course. I stopped by this station to see what
our fellow here was up to, and lo and behold, I discovered a way to
open up all the cell doors." He smiled, pleased with himself.
Logan didn't smile back. "Uh
is everything all right?"
"You opened all the cells?" Logan repeated. Hank nodded
uncertainly, suddenly feeling as though he'd done something terribly
"What is it, Logan?" he asked at length.
"He's here? Oh. Oh, dear."
Logan nodded. "I have to find him." He was about to say something
else when Scott came running up to the two of them.
"We have to get these people out of here," he shouted,
panting, "Logan!" he added as an afterthought, upon seeing the other
man. "Thank god you're alive!"
"Scott. Sabretooth's on the loose. I have to go find him." Logan
wasted no time.
Scott didn't either. "Right. Hank, help me get these people back
to the tunnel. Logan, as soon as we've got these folks secured,
we'll come back to help." The other man nodded and disappeared into
the darkness. Scott turned back to Hank. "Let's go."
"Wait a minute!" Kitty grabbed Bobby's arm to get his attention, and
he slammed on the brakes, nearly sending them into the ditch.
"What?" he stared at her. Kitty was pointing wildly to a side road
that wound away over a nearby hill.
"It's a back entrance," she said, indicating the map. "Look.
Here's where Rogue and Jubilee were pinpointed when Professor Xavier
used Cerebro. Here's this side road. See how it winds up behind
the main road? It looks shorter too. We can't just drive up the
driveway and expect everything to be okay."
Bobby considered it. "You're right," he replied at length.
Throwing the car into gear, he turned and sped up the hill.
Logan stalked through the halls, oblivious to the now gradually
decreasing chaos around him. His mind was focused on one thing
only picking up Sabretooth's scent, and beating the answers he
needed out of the other man.
`Obviously, someone thinks its time to bring the team back
together.' That's what Sabretooth had said. The team. Logan
wracked his brains trying to figure out what that meant, but he came
up empty every time. He was certain now, though, that he knew
Sabretooth from his past, and that the hatred he felt for the
overgrown cat was personal. He didn't know if he'd been on this
team or not, but Sabretooth did. Sabretooth knew all kinds of
things that he hadn't shared yet, and Logan needed to know.
He paused, sniffing the air. He thought he'd caught a whiff
there it was. The other man's scent was unmistakable. Logan
growled, low in his throat, and plunged forward.
"Look, there!" Bobby pointed across the field at an old
warehouse. "That must be it, look at those cameras."
Kitty nodded. "How can we get in there?" she asked. "It looks
Bobby looked at her. "You've got to be kidding me," he replied.
Kitty just looked at him, confused. "Kitty," he said slowly, as
though she were a child, "tell me, wouldn't it be convenient if we
knew someone who could *walk* through *walls*?"
Kitty's mouth fell open for a moment, then she grinned
shamefacedly. "Right," she replied, blushing. "Let's go then."
"Wolverine," an answering growl came back to him from the
shadows. "I was looking for you."
"I want answers, Bub," Logan replied. "You got `em. Tell me about
Sabretooth chuckled. "Why should I?" he replied. "What's in it for
"Your life," Logan replied. His claws came out with a sharp sound.
"You haven't killed me yet," Sabretooth was circling him now, like a
cat stalking its prey. Logan stood still, letting the other man
move around him, tracking his movements with a keen eye.
"Tell me about the team."
"We were fantastic." Sabretooth was teasing him, and Logan knew it,
but every little bit of information could help him, could give him a
clue about his past.
"You mean I was fantastic," Logan replied as Sabretooth feinted,
laughing. Logan didn't take the bait.
"*We* were fantastic. We made quite a team, you and I. Don't you
"Very funny." Logan reached up and blocked Sabretooth's next blow
with ease. "You know," he said, cocking his head to look at the
taller man. "I may not remember much, but I have this strong sense
that I was the better fighter."
"You weren't the fighter, period," the big cat replied. They were
trading blows now. "You were reconnaissance. I did the fighting.
Wraith was transport, and Silver Fox was infiltration."
"Silver Fox." Logan paused mid-punch at the name. It was like a
cool breeze washing over him, a memory of such peace and joy that it
caught him completely off guard. Forgetting that Sabretooth would
never tell him, forgetting that he needed to play it cool or he'd
get no information at all, he asked, "Who was she?"
The other man laughed uproariously. "Wouldn't you like to know,
though?" he taunted.
Logan growled fiercely, suddenly understanding, from somewhere deep
in his gut, someplace without consciousness, that the reason for his
fury with Sabretooth was intimately connected to the love he felt
upon hearing Silver Fox's name. With a strength he didn't realize
he had, he pushed the other man against the wall, his claws laid out
across Sabretooth's neck. "Who is she?" he ground out between his
Sabretooth sobered up, feeling the blade cutting into his
skin. "I'll tell you," he promised. "I'll tell you everything."
Logan let up the pressure ever so slightly.
"Tell me about Silver Fox," he reiterated.
Sabretooth opened his mouth, but before he could speak, two bodies
materialized into the room, crashing into the men and knocking them
"Logan!" cried one of the bodies, who stood up from the heap and
turned out to be Kitty.
Logan sat up, a bit dazed from hitting his head. "Kitty?" he asked,
a sinking sensation in his gut. Before he'd had a chance to say
anything further, let alone find his feet, Sabretooth found his, and
brought the other body up with him. Bobby hung limply in the big
"Fantastic," Sabretooth purred. "Look what I've caught." He shook
Bobby a little, making the young man wince.
Bobby's eyes met Logan's. "S-sorry," he whispered. "Rogue
trailed off as Sabretooth shook him again, a little harder.
Logan shook his head, ignoring Bobby's platitudes. When he spoke,
his voice was low and dangerous. "Let him go, Sabretooth," he
The other man laughed. "I don't think so, runt," he replied. "I
think I'll kill him." Sabretooth's hands closed around Bobby's
neck, squeezing the air out of him. Bobby turned purple, hands
clawing uselessly at Sabretooth's grip, gasping for breath.