When you're running, the number one thing is keep your focus on your target. Remember why you're running in the first place. You can't worry about anything else. You can't afford to look back. You have to focus on your mission. Who are you running for? Or from? If you get hit, you try like hell to keep going. I don't care if your legs hurt or if your heart feels like it's going to explode. They will. You keep running and don't stop until you've completed your mission or have died trying.
Forget about everything else.
What is your mission?
All of those children's names kept repeating themselves loudly in my brain. It was the only thing that pushed my aching lungs and burning legs to keep going. I couldn't stop. Not now. Not when they were so close. Charles face flashed in my brain as well. He was why we were here. We listened to him. He had a reason and I would die fulfilling that mission before I gave up.
I tripped over a tree root and fell hard but Logan quickly grabbed my arm and dragged me along, not giving me a chance to stop and focus on the pain. He gave me a push forward and I shook off the dizzy feeling that I felt. Sweat poured from my brow. My chest felt restricted but I ignored my body's protests and kept running. If we stopped now, neither of us would be able to help them. Though a small voice in the back of my head taunted me. How could I help them? Logan is weak but he is armed. I don't have anything except a gun and two knives. As far as I knew, my healing power was gone. I probably wouldn't make it through the day...but Logan's voice from long ago rings in my ears.
Don't stop until you've completed your mission or have died trying.
After running for what seemed hours, I saw Logan stumble and him struggling to keep up. I pushed him forward, trying to help but he didn't make it much further. His breathing was awful sounding and I could tell his head was swimming. "Keep going!" I yell at him as I drag him forward. He tries...god, he tries but there's not much he can do. He's body is failing him.
Logan falls hard and he cries out. "Logan!" I call out, stopping in my tracks. He pulls himself up against a fallen tree, breathing heavily. My breathing isn't much better and I feel shaky and lightheaded.
I go to his side and gives me a crazy look. "The hell are you doing?! Go!" He growls.
A quick flash back to my very first mission comes to mind. He chewed me out for stopping for him which almost cost the whole team their lives.
"Don't EVER stop for me again! You understand me?! EVER!"
"I'm not leavin-"
He grabs me roughly by the arm. "It's not different." He yells then pushes me away. "GO!"
I huff angrily then dig inside my backpack and grab the medicine. He gives me a look then takes it from me hesitantly. Suddenly, in the distance, we hear gun fire and children screaming. I give him a worried look and his breathing picks up as he shoves me away. "GO!" He yells and with one last quick glance, I take off running.
This time, anger fuels my entire being, forcing me to forget everything else and run as fast as humanly possible. I was angry at this whole situation. Angry at why I was running in the first place. Angry that I had to leave Logan behind. Angry at these assholes and all the pain and suffering they've caused. I probably wouldn't make it out today but I knew one thing. I would show no mercy.
When I finally came up on the battle scene, I decide to be as quiet as possible, sneaking behind every tree, waiting for my moment. Once I jump in, all my strength and anger comes out on the greavers. This takes a few of the children by surprise and as I snatch the knife from the man's brain, I yell at them. "RUN!" I scream then continuing on fighting along side all of them.
Everything is a blur. I can feel myself taking hits but adrenaline pulses through my veins, allowing me to ignore whatever injuries I'm taking. We continue to run uphill and fight. I run on the outside to look for more men coming. I hear the vehicles but don't see them just yet. I go to help a girl who falls down in front of a few greavers but she quickly proves that she can take care of herself by using the earth to shatter the men in front of her. I take out a man behind me and turn to help the girl who was tackled to the ground but Laura fiercily stabs him to death. I take down two more men, Laura covering me as we go.
Suddenly, we're cut off by the most animalistic roar that I had ever heard. "Logan." I whisper under my breath. Guess that medicine kicked in.
We hear more screaming from the other children not too far off as well as gunfire. "Run!" I yell at Laura.
We take off in different directions and I hear Logan fighting in the distance. How many were there? I wondered angrily. A sudden pain hits my thigh which makes me fall. I hit the ground hard and as I try to get up, someone hits me in the head.
"Ah come on, Anna. Show me whatcha got!" A familiar voice taunts me. I growl as I turn around and am faced by Pierce. I push off the ground, ready to fight but once again am hit by something sharp. Pierce laughs as I struggle to get up. "Get up, sunshine! Fight! We all know you can!" He taunts as I'm kicked hard in the ribs. I swing with my knife and slice a man's throat while kicking another man's feet out from underneath them then imbedding another knife into his skull. I pick up a fallen gun and shoot a line of men before they can react, blood splattering my whole body.
"Is that you wanted?" I growl, daring someone else to try me.
Pierce laughs then claps. "Bravo!" He applauds. "That is what I'm talking about. The Anna we all know and love-"
"You gonna talk or fight?!" I spit, ready to take his head.
"Whoa!" He says sarcastically, holding his hands up. "So blood thirsty." He smiles creepily. "I just wanna talk."
"Yeah, bullshit!" I reply angrily, pointing my gun.
"Now I wouldn't do that if I were you." He warns calmly as he snaps his fingers and more men appear. More than I can take on I'm my own. "You wanna talk now?" He tries to reason. He walks forward slowly then stops just in front of me.
"Not so tough without all your men, are ya?" I say.
He smiles. "Well, I'm not stupid. It'd take a fool to take someone like you on, Anna. Now about that talk." He circles me. "You and your boyfriend have caused quite the fuss over these mutants. Innocent people have been killed."
"Yeah you look real torn up about it." I reply bitterly.
"Oh, I am, Anna, I am. See it didn't have to be this way. It would've been as easy as telling us where Gabriella was and then we would've left you alone."
I scoff. "Nothing is ever that easy with you people."
"Think what you like. What's done is done. We're here now, aren't we? We're just gonna take our stuff and leave." He gets real close then tips my chin. "Then maybe you and I can pick up where we left off.
My skin crawls. "Over my dead body." I snarl as I spit in his face then head butt him.
I try to get away but he quickly catches me and throws me to the ground then pins me down with his knees, gun pointed to my head. "You know I'm gettin' real sick of your shit." He whispers in my ear then yanks me up by my hair.
A kid comes running by and Pierce throws me to someone. "Excuse me." He says then points his gun.
"Rictor, watch out!" I scream but it's too late. Seeing him hit the ground makes me cry out and I try once again to fight but am shot in the shoulder. I cry out in pain but we all stop when we hear Logan fighting again.
"Throw her in the jeep, boys. We're gonna join the party." He orders. Both me and Rictor are thrown into the jeep and they take us to where all the other children are sitting.
As Pierce gets and other men get out first, my head spins and pain is radiating throughout my whole body. Breathing is getting harder. Rictor looks at me with a concerned look. "You're hurt really bad." He observes.
I nod, not disagreeing with him. "I've had better days." I reply honestly.
Before he can say anything else, the door is flung open and we're both snatched out and shoved forward. Rictor gets up easily but my strength fails. Pierce pulls me up by hair and drags me along, ignoring my cries of pain.
I look around and don't see Logan but I sense him nearby.
"Walk with the freak." Pierce orders someone who grabs Rictor. I fight him but my strength is giving in and he easily overpowers me. He drags me forward while keeping a gun pointed to my head. My breathing is ragged and my head swims. Not now, I will myself. Not. Now. Logan comes stumbling from the edge of the trees and the guards instantly react. Pierce though is calm and not alarmed at all. My face falls when I see Logan. His body is littered with bullet holes. His breathing is worse than ever. He fought hard and now it was taking it's toll.
"That green juice is wearing off, huh? You know for an old mute, it's a short high, huh? Be hard for you to keep them claws soon." Pierce taunts.
"Ahhh waste this dick, Logan!" Rictor yells out angrily but is quickly cut off and knocked out.
Out of the corner of my eye, I see a vaguely familiar face emerge. Once I realize who it is, my blood boils. "Please stop, Mr. Howlett." Dr. Rice says cooly as he approaches us. "Or I'm goonna have to tell these men to fire on these children. You don't want that." He tries to reason. My vision is blurry but in the distance I see Laura sneaking around the trees. "You can see the effects of the serum are wearing off. You will not survive further wounds." He looks at me. "And by looks of it, neither will your comrad either. Pleasure to see you again, Miss Burke." He nods at me. "I'm disappointed to see you in this condition."
"Go to hell." I growl weakly and Pierce jerks me.
"Easy, Donald." Dr. Rice says then turns to Logan. "Allow me to introduce myself. I'm Zander Rice. I believe you knew my father on the Weapon X Program." He explains.
Logan gives him a murderous look. "Yeah. He's the asshole who put this poison in me." Logan replies, holding his claws up.
Dr. Rice's face softens. "Yes, he was one of them."
"I think I might have killed him." Logan says smugly.
"I-I think you're right." Dr. Rice stammers.
"Why don't you sure some respect, mutie. You're lookin' at the man who wiped out your kind." Pierce speaks up.
"My friend Donald overstates." Dr. Rice tries to reason. "He makes it sound more brutal than intended. The goal was not to end mutant kind but to control it. I realized we needn't stop perfecting what we eat and drink, that we could use those products to perfect ourselves. To distribute gene therapy discreetly through everything from sweet drinks to breakfast cereals. And it worked. Even on the strongest mutants such as yourself and Miss Burke. Care to demonstrate, Donald?" He says, nodding to Pierce.
Before I can react, shots are fired and I feel a terrible, blinding pain in my abdomen. I cry out and my knees buckle beneath me.
"No!" I hear Logan scream as well as several children cry out for me. Several men react and are ready to fire, causing him to stop.
Blood pours from my stomach and I shake terribly. I struggle to keep my head up and try to fight back but Pierce easily stops me. "Shake it off, Anna, shake it off." He says, shaking me from the lightheaded feeling trying to take over.
Dr. Rice gives me a look then steps forward once again. "Random mutancy went the way of polio. We embarked on the our next endeavor." He continues
Logan looked just as angry and disgusted as I did. Faces of friends, even enemies that I lost because of this man flashed through my memories and my hatred grew by second. "Growing mutants of your own." Logan finishes angrily.
"Precisely." Dr. Rice agrees nonchalantly.
Logan gives me a very brief glance and I know what he's thinking. As I'm shaking and fading quickly, I try to convey what I'm thinking.
"It's dangerous times, James, you can't-" Pierce is cut off by the sound of a gun shot which jerks me back to reality. Logan had killed Dr. Rice and shot Pierce in the hand. I kick his feet out from underneath him but in return he kicks me in the side then runs away.
Shots, yelling, screaming, all around me and I dig my fingers into the dirt, trying to get up but can't find my balance. I feel strong hands drag me and I start to struggle but then realize that it's Logan. I groan in pain as he props me up against a tree. He brushes the hair from my face. I wince as his hands press against the gunshot wounds on my stomach. He curses under his breath and gives me a sad and knowing look but I grab his arm and place my other bloody hand on his cheek. "Finish it." I say strongly.
Tears threaten his eyes but he wordlessly squeezes my hand then runs back into battle.
I trying focusing on my breathing, willing myself to get up but my legs refuse to get up. I hear a gun cock and I just give him a weary look, almost begging him to put me out of my misery. But he is cut off by Laura, brutally ending his life with a fierce scream. Making sure he's dead, she runs to my side, examening my wounds then giving me the same sad look Logan gave me. "Laura, you need...to go. You have to help him." I instruct her.
She shakes her head but I grab her hand as she cries. "You need to go." I repeat. I then remember something and dig into my pocket. I pull out the adamantium bullet and push into her hands. "Make it count."
Laura digs into her pocket and pulls out the green medicine. I shake my head but she quickly fills the syringe and injects it into my neck. I cringe as I feel the medicine enter my body but Laura finishes quickly then gives me a quick look then runs to help Logan.
"Showtime, boy!" I hear Pierce yell as he yanks a door open on the truck and my worst nightmare flys out of the back and tackles Logan.
"Logan!" I cry out, fearing for his life. I watch as he and his clone brutally fight each other and I have to force the painful of our first meeting aside.
As I feel the medicine working, I know I have to act quick otherwise it'll wear off too soon. I observe my surroundings and spot the other children finishing off the other reavers. I force myself off the ground, my vision blurring and my knees shaking and stumble my way over to them. Seeing me, they quickly come to my side and shield me. "I don't have much time so you need to listen." I say earning their attention. "You need to help Logan by taking out that clone and Pierce." I go into detail my plan and they listen intently.
I watch in horror as Logan is stabbed and thrown violently. Laura is ready but I stop her. "Not yet." I order. She gives me a crazy look but holds her ground. Logan somehow manages to get the clone pinned by a door on his neck He almost has him but it catches sight of Dr. Rice's dead body. Pierce taunts him, encouraging him to finish Logan off. It works as Logan is thrown. I fight the urge to run to him but I know it would ruin everything else. "Laura, now!" I yell. Laura wastes no time and let's out a rage filled scream then begins attacking the clone.
I hear Logan cry out as a metal arrow pierces through his leg. I look behind and Pierce is the culprit behind it all. I growl as I force myself off the ground and sneak around behind him. It was time to finish him once and for all. No mercy. I would die trying. I grab a metal rod and taking one last deep breath, I force myself to briefly remember why I was doing this and let rage rip through my lungs and push my entire body to attack Pierce. He's caught off by surprise and I beat him hard with the rod but he eventually catches it and hits me in the head.
"I've had just about enough of you." He yanks me up by the hair then rams my body against the truck. Logan's screams in the background catch our attention and he smiles smugly. "You lose."
I briefly catch sight of the children waiting for my signal then I narrow my eyes at him. "I don't think so." I snarl then kick him hard and swing him out into the open. "Now!" I scream at them.
Just as he's about get up, he's seized by an energy and thrown onto the ground. One of them tries to hand me a gun but I shake my head. "No, he's all yours."I say looking directly at him. "You lose." Pierce gives me one more glare before he seized by the children's powers. It's a pretty gruesome sight as I see them take their anger out on the man that's caused so much pain and terror. I didn't feel sorrow or regret of any kind.
I notice Logan is struggling to get off the ground and the clone behind is slowly but surely getting up. "Rictor!" I call his name then point to the truck. He understands then with all his strength he picks up the truck with his powers and drops it on the clone. Rictor watches in shock and I squeeze his shoulder. "Good job." I smile slightly then limp towards Logan, my vision blurring. He meets me half way, coughing and breathing heavily. He grabs my arm for balance then looks at me with pained, bloodshot eyes.
Our victory is short lived though when we hear the rattling of truck. He looks at me worriedly. "Get them outta here." He says then shoves me forward before I have a chance to protest. The monster breaks free then charges towards us. "Go! Go! Go!" He yells.
"Get out of here! Run!" I yell as I try to run with them but my vision blurs and my swims violently. Laura takes my hand and tries to help me. We get only a few steps before we both look behind just in time to watch in horror as Logan stabbed brutally by his clone and dragged away.
"NO!" Laura screams frantically.
"LOGAN!" I scream hysterically, trying to figure out what to do. I try to run but don't get far. "Laura, the gun!" Laura quickly loads the gun but is not quick enough. I run with what strength I have left and jump onto the clone's back, stabbing him with a knife but he easily throws me off, making me hit the ground hard.
The next thing I witness knocks the breath out of me as Logan is lifted up like a rag doll and impaled on a tree.
I'm sure I screamed. Something escaped from me but I couldn't tell you for sure. My body went numb all over and my head flushed. With each hit that he took, apart of me died. It was the most brutal way imaginable to die. It paralyzed me. I couldn't even run to him.
Memory after memory of Logan flashed quickly through my mind. All our battles. All our good and bad moments. From when he first found me to waking up this morning. Times we trained together, taught together. The fights...romantic dates...car rides...Suddenly, that time didn't seem like enough. It was over.
The sudden ring of the shot gun brought me back to reality, making me jump. Laura shot the clone in head, putting a final end to him. I was glad but my victory was but a second when Logan's cries of pain reminded me of what was really happening.
Laura was the first one to run over to Logan. I watched as she examined Logan briefly and I could tell even she knew this was bad. "No, no, no." She whispered then looked at me with scared eyes. I still couldn't move. I probably looked just as scared.
"Anna..." Logan's pained whisper gets my attention. His eyes are bloodshot and filled with fear but acceptance. But I wasn't. I was just scared. I was nowhere near ready to accept this. I wiped my eyes and tried to get up but I was shaking all over and I couldn't find my balance.
So I crawled.
Laura started working on freeing Logan from the tree and each hit made me flinch. His pained cries tore through me and intensified the pain I was already in. Tears flooded my eyes and dropped onto my hands as I continued to make my way over to them. I reached them just in time as Laura freed him and Logan slid down. I situated myself beneath him and held him in my arms. He was trembling awful, his body was cooling down, and I feel his lungs struggling for air. I looked at his injuries, the tree root sticking brutally from his stomach. There was no way he was recovering from this one. A choked sob escaped my throat as I held him tighter, biting my lip hard and looking away. This was too much. I didn't know what to do.
Laura was crying too, which made it worse. "Take your friends and run." Logan says hoarsely to Laura. She shakes her head no, crying uncontrollably. "They'll keep coming and coming." He warns softly, looking her in the eye. "You don't have to fight anymore." He grabs her hand and squeezes it. It shocked me slightly. Logan rarely showed this kind of affection towards anyone but as I watched them interact, I didn't see strangers. I saw a father and daughter.
Another pained sob escapes my throat. I couldn't hold it back anymore. I squeezed my eyes shut as my whole body shook. I feel a rough hand caress my cheek. My hand immediately covers it and I lean into his hand. "Anna," I open my eyes as he says my name. "You look like shit." He says with a very slight smirk.
I let out a pained laugh and shake my head. "So do you." I attempt to say but more tears cut me off.
He gives me a somber but warm look. "You need..you need to go with them."
I give him a confused look. "Logan, I can't...I won't make it..." I say as I remember my wounds.
This doesn't persuade him though. "You try your damnedest." He swallows hard. I glance quickly at Laura and the rest of the children, who are watching us sadly. "They need you."
My lip trembles as I force myself to shake my head 'yes'. "Okay." I choke out, letting out a strangled breath. "I'll try." More tears fall, splashing softly onto Logan's shirt. "God, Logan, I'm so sorry. I tried...I-I couldn't...I-"
"Shhhh." He cuts me off as he wipes my tears with his thumb.
Tears form in his own eyes as he keeps eye contact with me. "It's supposed to be this way." He whispers.
I shake my head. 'No...no it's not." I cry.
"Hey..." He lifts my chin up and lets his hand linger there. "You kept your promise."
I cry harder as I brush back his hair and rub his arm. "I'm not going anywhere." I whisper as I kiss his forhead. "I love you."
"I love you." He says as he shakily strokes my hair then takes hold of my hand that somehow still has his ring on it. "I'll see you soon." He whispers so softly I can barely hear it.
As we hold each other, acceptance begins to take place in my heart. This was it. I really was losing my best friend and though I hated that it's ending this way, I was thankful that I was here with him. I was torn between wishing it would be soon so that he would be out of his misery and prolonging it as much as I could. But like I said before, I could spend another hundred years with him and it still wouldn't be enough.
Suddenly, Logan gasps for air, making hold tighter to him both to comfort him and myself. Laura though cries harder and holds tighter to his hand. "No...no..." she cries.
Logan brings her hand closer him. He stares at her for a few moments, communicating the same way he did with me with his eyes. "Don't be what they made you." He whispers.
The words hit me just as much as they do her. I look at her and the other children. I think about their purpose. What they were created for. Their futures that were supposed to be doomed and used for destruction. But I was seeing more and more what Charles saw in them. What he saw in me. In Logan. And I think...in these last moments...Logan was finally seeing that more, too.
Logan's breathing was slowing down but kept eye contact with Laura. A new loving, warm look taking place instead of fear and pain. "Laura...Laura..."
Laura's eyes soften as tears slide silently down her cheek. "Daddy." She whispers sad but lovingly.
He continues to stare at her lovingly, saying her name softly over and over. He glances one more time between the two of us and I see this peaceful look settle on his face as he focuses on Laura. "So...oh so this what it feels like." He says so soft but content as he releases his last breath.
As his hand in mind goes limp, I look at him frantically and shake him as Laura cries. "Logan?" I gently shake his arm but a knowing in my heart tells me that he's gone. I break then, painful sobs filling my throat. "Oh...no..no, no...Logan." I bury my face into his neck and hold him tight. The next few minutes are the hardest that I had ever faced. Between Laura and I, our cries filled the air. The pain was beyond what words could express. I didn't know what to do. I couldn't comfort Laura when I felt the same way she was feeling.
We stayed there for what felt like hours. Our sobs had quieted and numbness began to take place. As I looked at the ground, small feet began to surround us. "Anna..." Rictor's voice broke the silence. "We have to..." he trails off as I grip Logan's body tighter. He sighs the kneels down in front of me. "We want to help."
I bite my lip and swallow hard but all I can do is nod. Suddenly, the ground opens up and big gaping hole stares at me, taunting me. My breathing picks up and I have to look away.
I remember those who I lost before, the hardest being Marie. It was never easy saying goodbye then and it definitely wouldn't be now. Logan was the one who pulled me away from the bed or the grave, telling me it was time. Now there was nobody and I felt terrified. But after a few minutes, I could vaguely feel his hand on my shoulder. It's time to let go.
Turns out it was Laura who finally came over and laid a dainty hand on my arm. I look up and her tear stained face said all that needed to be said. I sigh heavily then place a lingering kiss on Logan's forhead. "I love you. Always." I whisper. I kiss him one more time then look at up Rictor and give him a small nod.
Rictor's look is somber as he nods to the rest of the children and they come around and carefully lift up Logan. "Easy...easy." I say tearfully as they pick up him up.
"Help me." I whisper to Laura and she quickly pulls me up and lets me lean on her as we watch them lower Logan into the ground.
They use the upmost care and respect as they lay him down. Laura buries her face into my side and I tighten my grip on her. Instead of just closing the ground, they one by one throw dirt into the grave, their faces sad, some tear stained. I help them a little bit until the final bit of dirt is thrown in. I breathed heavily, trying to keep tears back. I couldn't believe it was done.
We all stood around for a while, not knowing what to say. Not knowing what to say. I kneeled at the foot of his grave, trying to take in the moment. After a while, Laura stepped up, her tears now dried and her voice somber. She didn't have a long speech. Only a line from an old movie that Charles had loved dearly. "A man has to be what he is, Joey. Can't break the mold. There's no living with the killing. There's no going back. Right or wrong, it's a brand. A brand that sticks. Now you run on home to your mother... you tell her everything's alright. There are no more guns in the valley." I stared at the grave for a long time, crying silently as she spoke.
No one else understood. They never could. Though they respected Logan, they didn't understand. But Laura...she understood. And honestly, I couldn't think of anything better to say.
I looked up at the sky and I could tell it was getting late in the evening. Rictor finally stepped up and mirrored my thoughts. "We gotta move." He says hesitantly. "You can come with us...if you want."
I didn't want too. Oh no, I wanted to die right. I still didn't know why I was still breathing this very moment. My injuries was intense but I could barely feel them. I didn't understand other than just being numb and possibly still filled with adrenaline.
But as I looked at Laura, I remembered that I was given orders. By Charles...by Logan...I owed it to them. And though I couldn't promise that I would make it...I would try.
I got up slowly, groaning as I lifted myself up. Laura and Rictor appear on each side of me and let me lean on them for support. As we walk away from the grave, Laura turns around, walking back quickly. I watch as she wordlessly turns the cross on it's side to form an X. "Go ahead. We'll catch up." I say to Rictor. He hesitates but then starts leading the other children.
I limp over to Laura's side and lay a hand on her shoulder. We stay for a few seconds, not saying anything. I touch the X, memories flashing quickly through my mind. I offer a very faint smile and wipe my tears. "Thank you." I whisper, squeezing the piece of wood. "Goodbye, old friend."
Laura gives me sad look and I squeeze her shoulder then nudge her forward. She wraps her arm around me for support and silently, we begin the rest of our journey into the woods.
I could only hope with every last ounce of desperation that Eden was real and that all of this pain and heartache wouldn't be for nothing.
Well, there it is! :'( Man, that was hard but beautiful to write. RIP, Logan 3 I hope you all enjoy this chapter! There will be one more plus possibly an epilogue.
Thank you for reading! Leave your thoughts but be kind :)