Around him what remains of the of the Canadian Special Operations Regiment, stood battle ready, waiting. They’ve followed him through a hellish mile, from the front gate of Magnetos Royal Palaces up to the top of the citadel. Looking at the determined eyes of his men, Logan pushes back what's left his instincts, his humanity, and draws up his most hated self. The final blow of the war is here, and Logan will deal this blow personally.
“Secure the perimeter and eliminate all stragglers. I want the medical team ready on my command.” the neutral tone of his voice and the calm expression on his face belies the cold rage in his eyes.
After decades of fighting, of war, these commands come to him automatically. Now only during these times does he feel truly free, no feelings of guilt, regret, pain, just cold calculated, destruction.
“Charge is set!” Young private bellows, and glances anxiously at him. Logan barely spares him a glance, doesn’t know his name, doesn't care, as long as he can do his job, the mission is what matters.
“Detonate on my mark, no one is to follow, I’m settling this score alone.” He stares each and every man still alive in the eyes, letting them know how serious his is. A flurry of nods responds to his command, he feels a spark of pride at his men. They all been through so much, and after this, they all have lives to return to.
“Three. Two. One. Mark.”
The Inner Sanctum door bursts, sending a shower of metal fragments into the room. What remains of the Magneto’s personal guards scrambles for cover. As the dust and fragments settle, Logan stalks in with measured steps, his uniform covered in dust, his face somber, but in his eyes, there is a wild and predatory gleam. He quickly scans the room, taking in the scene. Finally his settles on the figure next to Magneto.
“Rogue...” This is the first time in twenty years they had met face to face.
Something indescribable passes through him at the sight of her, for a brief moment, their eyes locks and everything fades away. The moment broke when Magneto placed a hand on her shoulder.
“No need to bother with trash like him my dear, the guards will deal with this; we must put the finishing touches on my grand plan.
With a hand on her waist Magneto guides Rogue toward the final room in the back, she glances back at Logan once, her eyes fill with something he simply can't understand. Cursing at himself for getting worked up over her again, Logan releases his claws, carbon composite coated, the sharp pain that shoots through his hands brings him relief from question he is simply not ready to ponder
Toad is first to act, kicking off the wall behind him; he launches himself into the air, descending in a drop kick. Stepping into toads dropkick, Logan redirects toad's momentum with a flick of his wrist, while casually dragging his sharp claws across Toad’s stomach as he flies past. Blood sprays from the three long gashes, the pain forcing Toad to lose control of his maneuver and tumbles. Crashing into the opposite wall, Toad slides into the ground. He was still frantically clutching at his entrails, trying in vain to prevent his guts from spilling out, as the light left his eyes. He looks at the five remaining followers of Magneto each in the eyes.
“I just want Magneto and Rogue. If the rest of you all start running now, I might be too busy to chase ya. ”
Mystique signals Sabretooth and the rest, hope to make a joint attack. Sabretooth gives her a toothy grin and nods. She draws her guns and rolls in front of Sabretooth, but before she can pull the trigger, a large fist crashes into her from behind, knocking her out cold. Pyro and Avalanche stares at Sabretooth in disbelief.
Quicksilver continues unfazed, using his speed, he tried to overwhelm Logan with a combo of kicks and punches. Soon Logan begins to match him punch for punch, and he ruthless exploits any opening he sees. A right cross sends Quicksilver flying into a pile of rubble. He climbed to his feet wobbling but smiling. Logan glances down and feels the hypodermic needle in his chest.
“Good thinking bub, but that series of cure haven't worked on me for over a year.” Logan vanished into thin air, and an inhuman gurgle is heard when three claws protrude from Quicksilver’s neck.
"Super speed is nice, I like it.”
Using his other hand has leverage, Logan rips his claws from Quicksilver's neck, the force severs the dead man's head and sends it spinning into the air, blood swirling around it as it lands with a dull thud. Pushing away the headless body of Quicksilver, Logan’s glare focuses on Sabretooth who now hold Mystique's limp body over his shoulder.
Recovered from shock of the gruesome slaughter, Avalanche spring to action, slamming his fist into the floor, the entire floor begins to shake before the ceiling above Logan erupts in an explosion. The force of the shockwave blown the entire ceiling clean off, slowly the dust in the room begins to disperse.
“Idiot now you don’t know where he is,” Sabretooth growls amusingly.
“If you get off your hairy ass and help-” Avalanche’s retort is cut short as six composite claws slide in from behind him, straight pass his ribs and into his lungs. A disgusting wheeze and a bubble of blood were the only sound that left his mouth as he fell.
Waves of flames towards Logan, smoke from the flames further reduces visibility in the room. Suddenly a figure flies out of the smoke and dust, charging straight towards the source of the flame, rolling to his right, Pyro barely managing to avoid the collision. Standing back up he notices a wet feeling on his clothes, looking down he see wide gashes that have been carved into his stomach.
“You always did like dodging to your right.” The sound of Logan’s voice behind him was the last thing Pyro heard.
Sabretooth digs through the rubble and retrieves a briefcase, still holding Mystique over his shoulder. Surveying the bloody aftermath, he smirks at Logan.
“How ‘bout we settle our score next time Jimmy”
“She needs to die.” Sabretooth follows Logan’s gaze to Mystique, who is still on his shoulders, he lewdly gropes her ass, a disturbingly psychotic grin plastered to his face, “Trust me, what I have planned for her is hell of a lot worse than death.”
“I'm holding you to that.” Logan’s gaze holds Sabretooth in place. Shuddering Sabretooth gives Logan a salute then in two giant strides dives off the side of the citadel.
Not bothering with a look back, Logan steps across the rubble following Magneto’s past. Past the last door, Logan sees Rogue standing on a very familiar looking contraption. Magneto stood definitely between her and Logan right beneath his giant countdown clock.
“Wolverine so wonderful of you to join us.” his haughty voice rings out, “Did you finally come to your sense, come to take back your girl.”
“I made a promise; I’m here to keep it.” For once the man, the beast, the weapon all agree, it is time to settle old scores.
“And what promise is that?” Magneto seems amused
“I promised to take care of her, one way or another.” That line seems empty now, was that the real reason that kept him going all these years, through all the experiments, all the atrocities, all the death.
Magneto’s eyes wavered for just a second. Then his is back to his arrogant self.
“She is mine; I won't let you take what's mine.”
“Is she?” Logan sounded empty; it's as if a corpse was speaking.
“Have you forgotten what happened last time Wolverine?” Magneto takes a step forward, with a contemptuous smile and raises his hand. Logan simply stands back. Every metal object in the room begins to vibrate. Hand still outstretched, Magneto’s smile falls from his face.
“I remember” An icy grin appears on his face as six smooth white claws slowly slide out from between Logan's knuckles, lines of electrical traces his skin like a circuit board.
“This ain’t gonna be like last time.” Logan’s lowers himself into an offensive stance and his grin shifts into a vicious snarl.
Realizing the depth of his mistake, Magneto rips every nonessential metal from its resting place. Logan springs forwards with a roar. Dodging and weaving through the tornado of scrapped metal, even with lightning reflexes Logan could not evade forever. Finally, a jagged steel pipe pierces him from the back pinning him to the ground, blood pours profusely from the wound.
But Logan was close enough, with a flick of his wrist a dart flew out from his outstretched hand, on reflex Magneto attempts to move the dart aside, but the nonmetallic dart flew faster than he expects, by the time he tries to shield himself it was already embedded in his neck.
“Latest batch of mutation suppressants.” Logan stood up as the whirlwind of metal ceases.
Pulling the metal pipe from his chest, he looms over Magneto. Logan aims few well-placed kicks on Magneto’s chest and stomach, before driving the metal pipe thru his shoulder and into the ground.
“Stay put.” Logan growls, then he stomped down on Magneto’s right knee, snapping it with a sickening crunch. He wants to hurt him more, but a voice from the back of his mind reminded him, that Magneto is not what's important
His eyes meet Rogue’s and he advances on her position atop the machine. To his surprise, Rogue floated down from the platform to meet him. As she descends Logan could not tear his gaze away from her, long chestnut hair, emerald green almond eyes, flawless complexion all framed in platinum streaks. She wasn’t tall but sinfully curvaceous and perfectly proportioned, the tempting body is all wrapped in green spandex that left little to the imagination. She lands a mere few steps away, eyes locked on to him.
“So you're here” Rogue's voice, soft like a spring breeze washes over him. Fighting back a strange shiver down his spine, Logan stood his ground. He reinforces the mental shield; telepathy was one of her confirmed, powers straight from the late great Charles Xavier himself.
“Like I promised” He can’t believe she still had this effect on him. However this was the Rogue, she is one of the most powerful mutants in existence, with possibly over a hundred different mutant powers under her command.
“I’m not that little girl anymore; I don’t need to be taken care of.” Her voice still reminds him so much of his Marie. He wishes he could just whisker her far away, away from all this.
“It's over Rogue. But I can’t, I won’t let them put you in the labs.” He couldn’t keep her safe all those years ago, he couldn't rescue her for all these years, he won't fail her now.
A haunted look came over her; Logan can see that she is remembering, of what he didn’t want to know. One hand outstretched, bare, she slowly, hesitantly, reaches for him. Her full lips curved slightly into a smile when Logan seems undisturbed. She arches an eyebrow, the expression he knows she got it from him. And her hand is so close now, just hovers a hairsbreadth away from his cheek. If he leans forward just a bit he would be touching her, his Marie.
“I'm not going to make this easy you know, you taught me after all.” Her hands finally touch his cheek, soothing strokes tracing the lines of his jaw. Surprise shines in her eyes when nothing happens, she tilts her head in curiosity.
“Been preparing for this for quite some time.” He could feel her eyes burn into him, see the thin translucent lines of circuitry, under his skin, behind his eyes.
“Why did you let them do this to you?” She did not take her hand away, almost hypnotized by the glimmer of power that runs just beneath his skin
“Why did you leave with Pyro?” Her touch is sublime, he almost feels real when she is here like this, near him, caressing him.
“I thought he loved me, I thought I loved him.” She declares, her eyes firm, but her voice was filled with resignation.
“And Magneto?” Anger and jealousy slipped into his normally calm voice.
“He can touch me, I thought it was enough.” Her finger draws circles around the edge of his jawline. “You?”
“For you, to find you, to rescue you, always for you, just for you.” Logan’s gaze is strangely soft and his smile oddly gentle. His left hand slowly slides down and grasps her by the waist.
“So we got about two minutes…” One of his hand traces down to the flare of her hips.
“You're propositioning me?” A familiar smile graces her face, which quickly erupted into a fit of giggles.
“Anytime is a good time to be with a beautiful woman.” He leans in closer, but she puts both her hands on his chest and shakes her head, her features hardened and her eyes are defiant.
For the first time that he can remember, Logan was reluctant to kill. She sensed his hesitation; Rogue draws two long thin blades in one quick motion and whirls into action. Her strikes are precise and fast, each one hidden behind bluffs and feints. At her aggressive action, bloodlust swept through him. Logan eagerly joins her in this dance of death, meeting her step for step, cut for cut. Gashes, lacerations, and cuts adorn both partners as they spiral towards each other.
However the victor of this contest was already determined before the dance even begun. Force to split her focuses between the operations of the machine and Logan, Rogue slightly overextended herself in a thrust, the mistake need not have been fatal, except it was the Wolverine she was facing. She felt his three claws pierce upwards through her abdomen. She gasps as his withdraws her claws He pulls her into an embrace and slowly Logan lowers her down the ground.
“I’m sorry.” The words slip out from his mouth unbidden.
“It’s okay and thanks you.” She whispers back, a finger traces across his lips and her eyes slide close for the last time.
A noise from behind draws Logan’s attention, crawling to his hands and knees, Magneto manage to free himself from the pipe, He looks between, Rogue and Wolverine, eye blazing with anger.
“You just kill the only woman you’ve ever loved. And for what? The humans?!” He sneers in contempt “You must be proud. Go ahead, finish it. Kill me.”
The detached emotionless expression that Logan slips back into is disturbing even to Magneto.
“You're going to the Labs,” Placing one hand on his ear, he clicks on his communicator “Med team, package is ready for pickup”
A gaggle of men, some soldiers many scientists enter the room and proceed to comb over every nook and cranny. Several men approach Magneto cautiously and secured him to a gurney. A young, but obviously high ranking scientist walk up next to him, his creepy eyes shining with excitement and a gleeful smile plastered to his face.
“You did well Weapon X, We would have like to have the Rogue alive as well but, her body is more than sufficient.” Logan glances down at the man, His name tag with Bob Zucker neatly hand written on it drew his attention.
“She’s not goin’ to the labs.” His voice was low but the entire room stopped at those words, it's if as though a tiny bit of noise could set off something. Bob, however, did not notice.
“It’s not your decision, I’m in charge-” no one saw Logan's hand move, but in a spray of blood, Bob’s head dropped from his body and rolls on the ground. His eyes wide open, unblinking. The nearest scientist spoke up after a brief moment of stunned silence.
“The uh... subject known as The Rogue, is unrecoverable. Complete the sweep as soon as possible. And um... we thank you for your cooperation General Howlett.” The pace of the work was brisk before, now it's frantic, many of the scientist and technicians casts nervous glances at Logan has they continue.
Logan carefully picks up Marie's body and starts walking back the way he came.
“You’ve been to the labs! You experienced what they're going to do! You would turn a fellow mutant over to them?!” Magneto struggles and scream at Logan’s back, his voice laced with betrayal, why Logan could not understand.
“I’m not one of you, haven’t been for a long time.”
A man is hunched over on a table, at one of the seediest bars in town, he looks inebriated barely conscious. Yet the countless number of scumbags and felons gives him a wide berth. No amount of alcohol can numb him, but that doesn't me he won’t try.
“Jimmy.” Logan turns his head, a person towers over him, fur covers the large frame. That can only be one person. He sits up, the booze already leaving his system.
“Vicky.” Logan motions him to sit at his table. “Long time no see.”
Victor still looks the same, physically, but something is different. Logan can smell it.
“What's going on, why’d you call me here, Victor?”
“Nothin’s goin on. Can’t I just want to see my little brother?” To his surprise, Victor smiled, “You never just want to see me, so spit it out.”
“I need four travel passes.” His face is immediately serious. Logan can tell he is nervous, he almost laughed. If Victor is nervous, this must be something big.
“What the fuck for?”
“Look, Jimmy, I uh… I got kids now.” Victor looked sheepish, Logan has seen Sabretooth nervous as rarely as it happens, but never sheepish.
“Kids huh? Who’s the lucky gal?”
“Yeah..., it's uhhh, Mystique” Logan throws his glass across the room. Everything quiets down, every eye in the room watches Logan carefully. When he goes and grabs another glass the entire room lets out a breath.
“You said-” Victor cuts him off
“I know what I said!” Victor’s hands worry over his hair, more strange habits he has picked up.
“Kinda got attached to her after a few years, she heals Jimmy you know how much that means to us!”
As much as he hates to admit, a mate that can heal is very rare. It’s one of the many things he loved about Marie. With her power, he can heal her at will.
“Things are getting bad here, so I had been thinkin' that I’d take ‘em to Africa.” Victor takes on a pleading tone when Logan stares blankly at nothing. “Come on, if not for me then for your niece and nephew.”
With a sigh, Logan throws a set of passes on the bar table.
“Take it and leave right away.” Victor, quickly pockets the passes, “Don’t you wanna meet them?”
For an agonizing second, Logan wants to say yes, but he know better, new orders to hunt the mutants, are coming down. He drafted them personally. So he gives him a warning instead.
“Border’s shutting down in two weeks.” Victor looks shocked; it’s unbelievable to Logan now much Victor has changed. “Fuck, thanks, Jimmy, I owe ya.”
He actually sounded grateful as he left another thing he never expected from Victor.
Logan picks up his phone and hits his speed dial.
“This is Director General Howlett, four mutants, are planning to cross the border, tonight.”
He hesitates briefly. “No. Quick and clean, and nothing to the Labs. Understood?”
There is no escape, not for him, not for Victor, or his family. If anything things are actually worse in Africa and the UN is getting ready to pass a resolution, one with actual teeth. A quick and painless death that is all he could offer to the last of his blood.
Twenty years since her death, and every day for twenty years he comes here to the observation room, overlooking the experiments. For twenty years he hoped, that watching Magneto suffer would alleviate the emptiness he feels, but same as every other day, he feels nothing. He watches them slice him open, hear him scream, watch him faint from the pain, only to be brought back for more tests, and yet still absolutely nothing.
But something is different today, something has changed. Magneto is the last of his kind now; all other mutants have been eliminated or neutralized, under his personal direction no less. Logan might not get any satisfaction from the vengeance he has wrought, but he can still inflict pain, not the physical kind, Magneto is used to that now, not the emotional kind, Magneto never cared about a person, not like the way he cares about his cause.
Logan has finally done it, this is the deathblow, Magneto’s hope his dreams, his future, all finished. Magneto is the last of his kind, he is causing will die with him. Logan has destroyed Magneto’s greatest love, just as Magneto had taken his. Victory at last, if only it wasn't so empty.
As he steps down the corridor, soldiers, technicians, and scientist alike scurry out of his way and salute him. Their deference brings him no joy; he really feels nothing, even on this momentous day. Still, the message will be delivered, even if he doesn’t get an ounce of satisfaction, Logan still wants to be there, out of spite if nothing else.
“Magneto.” Magneto looks up from his spot chained to the wall, at the sound of Logan's voice.
“Wolverine.” This is the first time in twenty years they had meet face to face, Magneto has changed and so has he.
“Why now after all these years, what more can you do to me?” Magneto is still proud, still defiant, still has hope.
“You're the last now.” Logan thought he would have relished delivering this news to see the hope fade from this old man's eyes, but like always he feels nothing. It took a few moments for Magneto to process what he had heard.
“What?” Something is changing in Magneto’s eyes, fear, Logan thinks.
“You're the very last now; every other mutant is dead or cured, complete gene re-sequencing.” He expands on his previous sentence, his voice still cold not a trace of emotion.
“Why?!” It should be satisfying seeing the desperation in Magneto’s eye, but it's not. Logan still feels empty.
“You cared for nothing like you did this cause, your dreams of mutant supremacy. It's over, all done when you pass on the mutant race dies with you.” Logan twist the figurative knife, he has been waiting for this moment, for so long, still nothing, he still feels nothing.
“This is still about her, all this, over just a woman?” Magneto sneers, but his heart does not seem to be in it
“She was never just a woman!” There it is! Logan felt something, sadness, anger, regret? Before he can process it fully, it is gone, only the emptiness remains
“I think I'm gonna let you go, cured of course, so you can truly experience this new world to its fullest.” No matter how much he digs at Magneto’s wounds, no satisfaction comes of it.
“How do you know I won’t just kill myself?” Magneto seems sullen, resigned.
“You're like me, a survivor.” If there is one thing he is sure of about Magneto it's his will to live. Logan saw it in his eyes, he struck true. Magneto won’t, he can’t kill himself. So it was a tiny spark of amusement to see Magneto make one last play.
“You would let me live? After what I did to her, all that I did to her? The Wolverine I know would never have let that pass” Magneto voice was even, but there hope in his eyes now, to see Magneto hoping for death, yeah nothing.
Had Logan been the man he was twenty years ago, before he had slain his only love, before he sent the last of his family to their death, that man would have sliced Magneto’s throat right then and there. But he's not him, that Logan is dead and buried, this Logan cares not, because he knows, no matter what he did, he will feel nothing.
“I’m not that man anymore, haven’t been for a long time.” Logan walks out without a look back.