DISCLAIMER: I do not own Logan or any other Marvel character, and I make no money from this fan fiction.
Fifty years ago, all the super villains banded together to rid the world of superheroes.
They missed one.
Old Man Logan: Spiderwebs
I see a ruined city in the distance. The faded and rusted out road sign reads: WELCOME TO SHIT CITY! I think it may have been SCHMIDT CITY a long time ago, but the letters C, M, and D have either fallen off, or some jackass thought it would be clever to remove the letters on purpose.
Abandoned cities are great for scavenging clothes, canned goods, supplies, and whatnot. Unfortunately they're also commonly used as dens by street gangs, bandits, pirates, and other forms of degenerates. So when I ride my nameless horse into the city proper, I suspiciously scan the rooftops and alleyways for any sign of an ambush.
I don't find any. However, my heightened sense of smell is suddenly assaulted by the all too familiar stench of death and decay. I dismount, and consider tethering my horse, but I don't. She's fairly loyal to me, so I doubt she'll run off. And if we're attacked by whatever is responsible for all the death, I want her to be able to escape.
"Stay," I whisper to her. And relieve her of the saddlebag with the most valuable supplies. I also bring an empty saddlebag to fill with anything I can scavenge.
I cautiously advance on foot. Many of the buildings are covered in enormous spiderwebs! I take a step closer to inspect the webbing. And I am shocked to find that trapped within are hundreds of corpses! Some of them, recently deceased. But most are nothing more than empty husks.
I'm so horrified, I nearly trip over myself while backing away! Screw this! I don't care if I leave empty handed, I'm goin' back to my horse, and gettin' the hell out of Dodge!
"Help...me..." I hear someone weakly say from somewhere inside that tangled mesh of silk.
Someone is alive in there! The voice is so faint, a normal man would not have heard it. But I am not a normal man. I pop out the claws! Three long blades on each fist! Then I fight through the nausea, and cut through the webbing, working my way through the mass of dead bodies to locate the survivor.
I have no problem with death. My long, tragic life is surrounded by death. It's the stench I can never seem to get used to. Damn heightened mutant olfactory senses.
"Help me...please..." she mumbles.
I find her. She's barely conscious. I cut her free of her bonds, carry her back out, and lay her down on the sidewalk. She's a young woman, with rather short brown hair. There's still plenty of those silky threads stuck on her hair, blouse, and jeans. I quickly take my canteen from one of the saddlebags.
"Here, girl. Drink," I tell her, taking the canteen to her parched lips.
At first, she only takes a few sips. Then her eyes flutter open. She snatches the canteen from my hand, and guzzles the water. She looks up at me. I smile.
Then she screams.
"What?" I ask. "Somethin' stuck in my teeth?"
She shoves me back! I land on my ass! Then she fearfully scuttles away on her elbows and heels.
"What the hell, girl?!" I roar.
"Get away from me!" she shrieks.
Then I realize that I had forgotten to retract the claws.
"Oh these! Girl, I'm not gonna hurt you," I gently say, then retract the claws back into my forearms. "There. See? All good."
"No!" she squeals, her face pale with fear. "You can't fool me. You're one of them. You're a super-villain!"
"A super-villain?! What, you mean like Red Skull or Magneto?! Heck, no. I'm one o' the good guys! More or less, anyways."
"No! I saw your powers! You're one of them!"
Then I sadly realize what the problem is. She's too young. She's never seen or heard of a superhero her entire life. As far as her generation is concerned, only evil people have powers.
I stand up, dust my pants off, and sigh, "You can keep that canteen. I'm sure I can scavenge a replacement somewhere here. There ain't much water in it left, so you'll have to ration. Hope it's enough to get you home. Be safe."
I turn around, and head deeper into the city to look for supplies.
I get lucky. Which is rare these days. I find a grocery store with more non-perishable foods than I can fill my saddle bags with. Then I come to the grisly realization that it isn't luck. It's because some thing's been killing people in this city. Hell, maybe it's using all this food as bait.
I pick up her scent again. She's been following for the last thirty minutes.
"There's plenty for the both of us,...and for whoever else there is you have to bring food to!" I call back to her.
The girl reveals herself, still regarding me warily. She crouches down, picks up a discarded backpack on the floor, and starts shoving boxes of cereal, and canned meats inside it.
"What's your name?" she asks with a Texas twang.
She laughs. It's a good laugh. Good smile on her, too. "No. Lincoln. Lauren Lincoln."
She gets back up, walks towards me, and gives the canteen back.
"Thank you, Logan," she tells me.
I take it, and nod in response. "So Lauren, how'd you end up in that giant spiderweb?!"
She shivers fearfully at the memory, and starts rubbing her upper arms. "Steven and I came here to gather supplies."
"A friend. Well, not really. We come from a small community west of here. Wilder Hill. Have you heard of it?"
I shake my head.
"Steven didn't make it," she says sadly, lowering her head. "I saw that thing...drain him."
"It's probably a Venom symbiote."
"Some kind of alien that acquired spider-like powers. Long story. Although, I never heard of a symbiote that drained people of all their insides. They eat brains, I think. I dunno. Anyway, it's gettin' dark. We best find a place to shack up before that thing comes back."
"Shack up?" she asks, one eyebrow cocked, and a corner of her mouth slightly curled upward.
"I-I mean we should find a place to settle down-"
"Settle down?!" she laughs now.
"I mean-! Heck, you know what I mean!"
We go to a building called the BH Old Planet Schmidt. Looks like one o' those swanky five star hotels. It's dusty and empty now, unless you count the occasional skeletal remains. She shrieks and winces at the sight of a few. Which I think is good. It means that, unlike me, she isn't that used to the sight of death yet. No one should have to be as desensitized to death as I am. It's not enough to scare her away though. She's far more afraid of what's out there than what's in here.
Awesome! The water works! And it doesn't seem radioactive at all. This place must have its own water tank. Maybe this IS my lucky day. I let Lauren use the shower first, while I rummage the luxury suite for... I don't know. Stuff and things?
"Hey, I found a change of clothes in the closet for the both of us!" I yell to her over the noise of the shower. "I'm gonna put yours down next to the bathroom door, alright?!"
"OK!" I hear her yell back.
The next things I find are a pistol with a full clip, and a journal belonging to a Dr. Paolo Peterson. He's most likely dead, so he probably wont mind me flipping through the pages while waiting for my turn at the shower. I'm skimming through all the scientific gibberish, when I spot a familiar name.
The journal reads:
Peter Parker was my college professor. My classmates thought he was boring and socially inept. They ridiculed and laughed at him behind his back. They didn't respect him. But not me. I recognized his genius. I thought he was amazing. And this was before people ever found out that he was the superhero the world knew as Spider-man!
Of course, by then, it was too late. He lost his life in that fateful war, where the super villains defeated all the superheroes. He never got the praise that he deserved.
I flip the pages to the next date.
I did it! I was able to replicate the accident that transformed Peter Parker, an ordinary teenager, into the amazing Spider-man!
I've become stronger, more agile! I can crawl on walls! And here's a surprise. While the original Spider-man relied on artificial web shooters, for some reason, I am capable of organic webbing! Which is good, because I don't have Peter Parker's technical expertise.
If I can perfect the procedure, I'll be able to create an army of Spider-men! Then we'll be able to take our city back from the super villains!
Holy shit! Is this guy for real?! I check the next entry.
The field test was a success. I defeated a gang of bandits that were trying to enter the building. It was so easy. It was like all my enemies were moving in slow motion. But something unforeseen occurred.
Oh God! I ate them! I don't know what came over me! I spat out some corrosive liquid, melted their insides, and sucked them dry! Oh my God!
I have to run some tests tonight. I have to find out what went wrong, and how to reverse it!
Oh my God is right! I skip some parts, mostly nerdy mumbo jumbo, then read the second to the last entry.
I'm going to kill David tonight. That womanizer's been flirting with my girlfriend, Aliyah, all week. Besides, I need to feed. I have to keep my strength up if I'm to defend these people from the super-villains. There's nothing wrong with killing one person, for every ten that I save, right? Fair trade if you ask me.
He's starting to lose it. The final entry.
I killed my girlfriend, and then ate her. It's strange. I feel neither sadness nor loss. I don't even think I'm going to miss her. The feeding is all that matters, now-
The bathroom door opens, before I get to finish reading.
"Hey, Lauren!" I almost shout. "You better read this. I think-"
She didn't put on the change of clothes I laid out for her. She didn't put on her old clothes either. As a matter of fact, the only thing she's wearing is a suggestive smile.
I breathlessly say, "I didn't think there was anything left this beautiful in the Wastelands."
She blushes. I drop the journal, completely forgetting about it, and almost run towards her, grabbing her by her waist. She wraps her arms around my neck. We kiss.
These are the Wastelands. Only fools would pass up on the rare, fleeting moments of happiness. And I am not an old fool.
"So there were...superheroes before?" Lauren asks, as we lie naked on the luxury king size bed, under the silk blankets, her head resting on my arm.
"Yup," I answer, staring up at the chandelier. "Lots of 'em. Every country had at least one."
"And you were one of them?"
"Yup. I was called The Wolverine."
"What?" I ask, looking at her, a little offended.
"Where I grew up, we called wolverines skunk bears," she answers, then begins laughing.
I give her a wry smile.
"I found a pistol. I want you to have it."
"You don't want it? Oh, right. You have those...knife things in your hands."
"They're claws," I correct her, as I get out of bed, and put on my pants.
"Where you going?"
"You get some sleep. I'll take the first watch."
"Nuh-uh. I'll take the first watch. You can go sleep. Everybody knows how sleepy men get after sex."
"This isn't right, you know," Jean Grey, the red haired X-Men telepath and love of my life tells me.
"What?" I ask, sitting on a bed of pure white. Everything in the room is white actually, including the room itself.
"This. Dreaming about me right after you slept with another woman."
"You mean Lauren? Well, I kinda' just met her. I really don't know if she wants anything serious or not."
"What about Agnella?"
"Agnella? She's a prostitute. The only reason she slept with me for free is because she was grateful I killed that Reaver, Justin Lake."
"Why are you doing that?"
"Doing what?" I ask defensively.
"Making up excuses not to get close to anyone."
"Logan,...don't lie to me. I'm a telepath, remember?"
"You're also dead, Jean!" I snap, surprising myself more than her. "You, Maureen, my children! And I am tired...of losing people..."
Jean sadly smiles. Then she joins me on the bed, and wraps her arms around me.
"You haven't lost me, Logan," she softly tells me. "I'll be right here. In your dreams."
We look at each other. We're about to kiss, when she catches sight of something behind me, and she screams, "LOGAN!"
"What?! What is it, Jean?!"
"LOGAN!" Lauren screams, followed by the sound of gunshots, startling me from sleep.
She's shooting at someone. And whoever it is, is doing an unbelievable job of dodging bullets!
"Parker?" I drowsily ask.
At first, I thought it was him. He moves like Parker, has that same lean build. Even wears a variation of Peter's red and blue spider costume, with one notable difference. The lower part of this guy's mask has been torn off, revealing a misshapen mouth with fangs.
It's Paolo Peterson!
That's the sound my metal claws make when I extend them through my fists. With a snarl, I leap out of bed, run right by Lauren, and rush towards the spider monster!
He shoots two web balls at me through his wrists. Thank God he doesn't shoot web from his ass like other spiders do. I slash the web balls in midair with my claws!
But when I swing the blades in my right fist at him, he leaps over it, and somersaults over me! So he has Parker's agility. But I've fought the original Spider-man before, so I'm prepared for that move.
I swing the blades behind me in a backfist! He catches me by my wrist. Then he grabs my forearm with both hands, and swings me off the floor!
The entire room starts spinning before my eyes! And before I know it, I'm sent crashing through the large bedroom window!
Thank God, we're only on the second floor. Shards of glass cut at my skin, and my old body bounces on the hard concrete before slamming into the wall of the building across the street. No big deal. Pain and I are old friends. It's the emotional, and mental torment I have trouble dealing with, as Jean so recently reminded me in my dream.
I feel nothing but relief when the spider monster leaps out the window, opting to come after me instead of Lauren. Gotta lead him as far away from her as I can. I use my claws to scale the wall behind me, punching holes in the bricks. He chases after me, as easily as he were walking on the ground.
High places go to his advantage, but as soon as he gets to the top, I'll be waiting for him. And the moment he peeks over the ledge with his little web head, I'm gonna lop it off!
I reach the top, turn around, and ready the claws. He doesn't peek. In stead, he vaults over the ledge, and hits me with a drop kick to the chest! My back is slammed against the surface of a big rooftop HVAC!
Before I even have time to say ouch, he plasters one of my hands to the side of the metal unit!
He slowly, hungrily stalks towards me, some kind of acid dripping from his mouth.
Then a bullet smacks against the roof top's ledge, distracting him! It's Lauren. She's shooting at him from below. The angle is bad, and we're too far up for her to hit him accurately. But she manages to buy me some time.
As soon as Peterson turns his head, I slash at the webbing, freeing my hand. Then I tackle him off the roof, trapping both his arms in a bear hug, so that he wont be able to use his organic web shooters!
We fall. He frantically shrieks at my face! With his strength, he'll be able to break free in two seconds!
Fortunately, we hit the ground in one.
Then all goes black.
"Logan? Logan?" I hear Lauren weep.
When I open my eyes, I see her beautiful face, her tears dripping on me.
"Y-You're alive! Oh thank God!" she cries, wrapping her arms around me.
"Of course I am," I answer weakly. "I told you. I'm a superhero."
As my mutant healing factor fixes my injuries, I turn my head to the side, and see Dr. Paolo Peterson, his skull cracked, blood pooling beneath him.
My loyal good ol' nameless horse never ran off. Lucky she didn't get stolen either. I reward her with a nice little snack, then we ride her out of Shit City towards Wilder Hill.
Seated behind me, Lauren wraps her arms around my waist, then rests her head on my shoulder. I gotta admit, this feels a whole lot better than riding alone, with nothing but the cold wind at my back.
Might even be the kind of thing I could get used to.