Part 3- ‘A Lover’s Vow…’
Logan growled loudly, screaming out his frustration, his adamantium claws dripping with blood, it was red…it was all red. The sky was burning, a dark red set against the black, smoke making his eyes water, they had been close, so fuckin’ close.
He was tired, God he was tired, time drifting on endlessly, watching them fall, watching them bleed and feeling nothing, nothing but frustration and hate, they were weak, for fuck’s sake why’d they’d have to be so fuckin’ weak?
Their bodies littered the prison courtyard, the containment facility sprawling across the state, blood running down the hills across the barren ground, red set against black. Red against black…he fell to his knees, he remembered, he felt her again, her hips grinding against his, the hot wetness of her surrounding him, the way she moved with every stroke of his body inside her.
He remembered her lies, that beautiful lie mumbled from those heavenly lips…angel…my angel. Empty promises and destructive lies…lying angel, falling angel… my angel.
Red against black…his shirt torn and his body bloodied he stared at the three sentinels hovering around him, their guns primed, the reds of the cameras that passed for their eyes set against the black, their robotic voices droning over his hoarse screams.
Drowning…drowning in red and black…the feel of that kimono, the feel of that skin, milky white and flawless, softer than silk, smoother than air, five years he’d waited for her to come back, five years of living in her lie, of replaying the images of her in his mind, beautiful curves, soft skin, white streaks of hair framing brown, a white halo, a broken halo.
Leader of insurgents identified…prisoner X-3P4…Logan…codename Wolverine, present threat reclassified, action recommended…immediate extermination…’
‘Come on you fuckers…’ he screamed, ‘do it…’ he’d already been to hell, and he’d seen all he was ever going to of heaven…angel…my angel. His eyes held wide open, staring up at the deep red sky, he saw her once more, looking down at him, smiling and beautiful.
It was the last thing he saw before everything went black.
He spluttered awake as the ice cold water hit him square in the face, stinging his skin and soaking his ragged hair. He shook his head, spitting water from his mouth and prising his eyes open.
It was dark, a single light bulb swung above his head, casting and illuminating the shadows in the room, cold and damp he sniffed the air thinking he had been dragged back to his cell.
Nope, this wasn’t the cage, this wasn’t something else, he found himself chained to the floor, heavy bolts and chains pinning him to the stone floor, shirtless, drops of water ran down the ripples of his stomach, he growled as he heard quick steps moving in the dark, something was moved across the room, wheels squeaking, he turned his head quickly left and right, trying to make sense of the movements.
He stared as a shadowed figure placed a platform in front of him, a large television screen balanced on top, he watched as the screen flickered with static before it flashed with images ready to play.
‘The civilised was shocked today to learn of the horrific events surrounding the attempted assassination of Senator Woodhouse-Browne, believed to have been carried out by a militant mutant terrorist organisation.
Tragically both the Senator’s young wife and five year old son were killed in the incident when a bomb attached to the one of the enclave of family cars exploded. Authorities are said to be chasing down leads that involves theories regarding a contractual hit and a female assassin…
We have exclusive footage of the horrific moment of the explosion…’
Logan stared at his screen a small cold smile pressed on his lips, he watched as the news report was switched off and the screen rolled away, a tall man with a pair of red sunglasses stepped into the light.
A mutant, Logan knew instantly, his senses everything screamed at him about the guy’s true nature. He hadn’t lost any of the abilities he’d had as a soldier, if anything they had been heightened by their experiments, he could sense mutants, smell them, and yes still hunt them down if he had to, their kind, mutants…his kind.
He crouched down and Logan growled at him, the man adjusted his sunglasses, ‘take it easy Logan…this doesn’t have to get ugly not unless you want it to.’ He spoke with a clipped accent each word punctuated carefully.
Logan chuckled, ‘Big man with your threats there Skippy, how ‘bout ya loosen these chains and we see how ugly things can get.’ He lunged forward but the restraints held him in place and the guy in the glasses simply stepped away.
He ignored Logan’s threats, the slightest twinge in his jaw, he nodded towards the television screen, ‘You like what you see?’
‘Why, is that down to you? ‘Cause I’d give you a slow hand-clap but I’m a little tied up right now.’ Logan stared up at him, rattling the chains.
‘My name is Cyclops, and no we’re not responsible for that, we’re mutants, that doesn’t make us monsters, we don’t kill children.’ He spoke angrily and passionately, his face contorted with disgust, Logan’s words seemed to have offended him.
Logan raised an eyebrow, ‘why not, they’ve killed enough of yours; I reckon you mutants were about ripe for a bit of revenge.’
Cyclops scoffed, ‘Us mutants?’ He marched up quickly towards Logan, ‘What does that make you then?’
Logan ignored his words and looked away, even as Cyclops laughed; jerking Logan’s head back by his hair he threw a file at his feet and made him look. ‘We don’t kill children…for the same reason you didn’t kill her.’
Logan stared at the picture pinned to the front of the thin manila folder, a young girl, nothing more than seven years old, full lips and thick brown hair, and those eyes, chocolate brown eyes, darkened with sadness, eyes that screamed out at him even in a cheap Polaroid, tripping his soul back into him. Renewing his faith, dragging him back to that moment in a forest, a few seconds of indecision that had gladly cost him everything, with you I died and with you I was reborn.
‘Marie…’ he whispered, angel…my angel.
Recognition filled his eyes, burning his insides with pain, a love embraced and within the same breath lost, falling at her feet, salvation a mere heartbeat away, a beautiful smile and a beautiful lie.
Cyclops paced across the room, his fists clenched by his sides, ‘You would have done us a favour, you should have pulled the trigger, so many lives…so many lives taken like this little boy.’ His voice shook with anger.
Logan growled, ‘What the fuck are you talkin’ about?’ he demanded, pulling at the chains, confusion and frustration raining down on him.
‘Weren’t you listening to the report Logan…a contractual kill and a female assassin, you need anymore clues?’ he threw a second picture next to the one of Marie, it showed the Woodhouse-Browne family caught on a security camera by the entrance of their house, the mother, father and child flanked by half a dozen heavily built guards.
Cyclops knelt close to Logan, tapping at the picture, ‘Look, you recognise her…?’ He didn’t need to ask, even in the black and white contrasts of the picture he saw her, and he recognised her, the two tones of her hair, black and white…angel and death, Marie.
But still he refused to believe, the fact she was there could have meant anything, or nothing at all.
‘This doesn’t prove shit…’ he spat out his dismissal. Cyclops shook his head, ‘fine you want more…?’ Walking across the room quickly he stepped into the shadows before coming back with a box.
Setting it on the floor by Logan he reached into the box and pulled out file after file, throwing them towards Logan, the sheets of paper, news clippings, and photographs hitting him in the chest before they rained down around his legs.
Logan stared at them, the pictures, victims, corpses, dead bodies and empty eyes staring up at him, women and men, old and young, twisted in their final images of death. Cyclops began to recite, and every word was a twisting knife to Logan’s gut, ‘she works for a covert company, they use their engineering and accounting credentials as a front, what they actually deal in is a unique establishment that hires out killers, trained assassins, filling out contracts. Known generally as The Firm…’
Cyclops paused, throwing more files down for Logan to look at, ‘The Firm is said to have a central core of mutants as their base, it’s what makes them renowned, they hire mutants to kill other mutants, or kill humans, it doesn’t matter, The Firm owns them and they carry out their contracts.’
‘Mutant…?’ Logan repeated, of course she was a mutant, but he had never thought to ask her, what she was, it hadn’t mattered to him, that night in his cell, it had only mattered that she was there.
‘You don’t even know what her power is…?’ Cyclops stared at him, seeming to contemplate the truth of Logan’s question. ‘She can kill with a single touch, if she holds on to anyone long enough, bare skin on skin she will bleed them dry, and if they happen to be a mutant, she’ll drain their powers as well.’
Logan simply stared at him, before his shoulders began to shake, and the confusion on Cyclops’s face only made him laugh louder, a full throaty laugh escaping him as he laughed loud and long.
‘We spent a night together, you dumb-ass, and trust me there was plenty of skin on skin, as far as I can tell I’m still breathing…’ Logan laughed all over again, ‘I knew this was all bullshit, but for a minute there you almost had me convinced.’
Relief flooded over him in waves, Marie, she wasn’t perfect, but she wasn’t what this asshole had said she was either…she couldn’t be.
Cyclops simply shook his head, ‘Dammit Logan, you really are as dumb as you look, what you never heard of the chip?’ He smiled as Logan’s face fell and the laughter faded from his eyes, ‘you know the inhibitor chip right? Like a good little bitch, The Firm has your Marie restrained.’
Logan growled loudly, ‘Fuck you…one-eye,’ he launched towards him only to find himself pulled up short by the chains, ‘you don’t know shit.’
‘I know this…’ Cyclops held up file, ‘her first victim, she was ten years old, and her first was a mutant called Havoc. He took her in, saved her life, and she bled him dry…he was my brother, Alex Summers, she killed my brother.’
Logan shut his eyes tightly at the words, not her…not her…not her. Angel…fallen angel…my angel…
‘What d’ya want from me…?’ he whispered at last. Why…why rip this away, I could have lived with my illusions, why open my eyes, why force me to see?
It was then she stepped into the room, he took in the scent of her, strawberries and cream, rich like the red depths of her hair. Logan stared up at her, and in her green eyes there was pity and sorrow.
She stared back at him, and he could feel it, that slow draining out as she shuffled through his memories, sifting through the pictures in his head until the images flashed before his eyes, that night in his cell, the briefest image of a bare body, of heated and damp flesh, naked skin, a cry ringing out, pleasure and fulfilment.
He stared as the image of her body turned, her dark hair shifting to the side allowing him to see his face, Evelyn. Logan struggled with the memory as the redhead drew it all out of him, pulling away at the locked vaults of his mind, dragging it all out piece by aching piece.
She stopped; he could see her pull away, a tell-tale blush creeping up her neck. Logan knew what she’d done, she was a telepath, and she’d violated him in the basest way possible, diving in where she had no business being, she’d stolen his memories.
He growled at the triumphant smile on Cyclops’s face as he went to stand next to her, ‘Scott…’ she spoke gently, as she stared at Logan, ‘you were right…’
Logan shook his head clear; he gritted his teeth, ‘Like what you see up there Red? How ‘bout you get rid of your girlfriend here…’ he nodded at Scott, ‘and I really give you something to blush about.’
She stood unmoved, flashes of his memory passing before her mind’s eye, Logan taking that woman up against the wall, making sweet polite Evelyn scream out loud in pleasure; the images had ignited a fire in the pit of her stomach. But on the outside she appeared as unaffected as ever.
The smile on Scott’s face slipped as he stepped forward menacingly, she stopped him with a hand on his arm. ‘You better watch your mouth…’
Logan laughed, ‘Come on Skippy, I just wanna find out if she’s a natural red.’
‘Show her some fuckin’ respect you sonofabitch…’ Scott practically shook as he held himself back.
‘What’s the matter Scotty, she your girl or somethin’?’ The silence confirmed it, Logan sniggered, ‘well I gotta tell you little man, you sure as hell ain’t doin’ it right, ‘cause I can smell her, can practically taste how wet she is from all the way over here, and guess what sweetheart, it ain’t you the little red-head is getting tight for!’
Scott lost it with that, pulling away from the woman he punched Logan squarely across the face, a large crack filled the air as knuckles connected with chin. He was thrown to the floor as Scott clutched his hand.
Logan laughed, ‘You feel better now…?’ he pulled himself back upright.
Scott practically screamed in agony as he held his hand, ‘You bastard I think I broke my hand!’
‘You’re lucky I rolled with that punch…a crippled hand wouldn’t have gone well with the red glasses look,’ Logan promised him.
‘That ‘s enough…’ the red head stepped in between the two Alpha males, she knelt down close to Logan even as Scott warned her to be careful.
She stared at him a while before she spoke, ‘We want you to help us find her, she has to be stopped, the damage she has caused is irreparable.’
‘No.’ Logan smiled and shook his head at her, ‘no can do darlin’, you want her, then you go find her…’
She nodded, ‘its hard…’ she whispered into him, ‘hearing the truth about someone you thought you loved, someone you thought was perfect…’ She seemed to be speaking right into his mind, her words a careful whisper of understanding, as she fought to make a connection with him.
He could feel the planes of his mind shift slightly once more, and could feel the pull, all at once there she was, Marie, smiling her face shining with an ethereal light as she looked up at him.
Logan growled loudly, ‘Back off red, back the hell off,’ he barked at her, ‘don’t think you get a free fuckin’ ride up there.’ It was too precious, what little he had stored away of Marie he wasn’t willing to share.
She stood and moved away, ‘Don’t worry Logan, I won’t touch those memories, I promise I won’t take that from you, but you owe it to yourself to find out the truth, about her and that child.’
‘I don’t give a shit ‘bout that kid alright…’ he cursed, pulling at the chains, straining against the restraints, he watched her walk around him. She stood behind him and leant in close, whispering into his ear.
‘You should care about that kid…he was your son…’