Sarah was still trying to deal with the shock of the trauma with what happened that she had relived. Wanda was trying to council her, but she wasn't having much success. "I'm sorry Wanda, I guess I'm preoccupied by what I dreamed. I had thought I had gotten rid of my thoughts of killing people and being back in Hydra."
"I think I understand. I spent my days in asylum. It's not the same as being raised to be an assassin, but at least I can understand why you would rather not think of that place."
"That wasn't the worse part. Paige nearly died because she tried to save me from eternal sleep. She just barely survived and that was only by luck. If Dani's powers hadn't evolved to the level there at now she would be dead." Sarah still remembered the time she had a nightmare that caused her to lash out. She had accidentally slashed Paige with her claws but thanks to Husk's powers she had been fine.
That was just the second time the first friend she ever made had suffered because of her. She didn't say as much but it was one thing that was eating her up inside.
"But she isn't dead. She's alive and well thanks to you. Sarah you can't blame yourself for what happened in your mind. Paige knew what she was getting into when she volunteered for this mission and she chose to go ahead regardless. That's the mark of true friend." Wanda told her. She was doing her best to help out, she wasn't the most emotional person here but she was trying.
"You mean that don't you? I don't know what I do without Paige or my father. You think the others can save his life?" Sarah inquired. She gazed at her father lovingly. He was her only family.
In the Control Room Forge and Jean were sweating profoundly. That had been to close for them. They had nearly lost both Sunspot and Husk. The dreams were becoming more intense and the patients were reaching their crisis much faster. If the patients didn't survive their crisis they wouldn't wake up at all.
"I've gotten them into Logan's dream. According to the program they're in the Canadian Wilderness sometime shortly after Logan got those claws. If I recall correctly he's an animal then." Forge said tiredly.
"True and I've been monitoring the thoughts of the team. Their tiring Forge, I don't know if they can make it. But they have to. We only have Logan and Ray left." Jean replied.
"Don't worry they'll manage. Once Ray wakes up I'm taking all the dream equipment and locking it up till I can make it work right. I just hope the Danger Room can hold up a little while longer. The dream world configurations are putting stress on the structural integrity." He told her. The Danger Room had changed to match the perimeters of Logan's dream world. It now showed a forest and a mountain.
The team materialized inside a cave halfway up the mountainside. It was wintertime making it extremely cold. Their uniforms clung to them in dire need of repair. They were still exhausted emotionally and physically from Sarah's vicious nightmare. They doubted they could survive Logan's.
"Okay team listen up! We have a job to do and the sooner we do it the sooner we can go home. So let's try and find Wolverine okay?" Mirage said trying to lift their spirits, but failing miserably.
"Mirage if I may make a suggestion?" Kai spoke up, "We need a chance to recover fully from Sarah's dreams. Both Sunspot and Husk need to take it easy and we aren't equipped to survive in this environment. We have no food or water, our uniforms need to be repair if we are to be protected from the elements, and we need a fire to warm ourselves up. I think it be best if we did those things first before trying to locate Wolverine." Shadow suggested to her.
Mirage nodded her head. Shadow was right about that. That's why he made such an excellent second. "Okay you win. Let's set up base. Husk, Sunspot, you two go to the back of the cave and regain your strength okay? Magma try to find something you can use to burn, Daytripper I want you to find some natural materials to repair our uniforms with. Boom Boom you and Shadow go and find food and water. I'm going to scout the perimeter see where we are." Everyone nodded their heads and began doing their duties with no questions asked.
Half an hour later they had a manageable camp. Magma had found some branches she could burn for firewood and was attending to Sunspot and Husk. Both were still weak, but eager to help out. Daytripper had struck gold finding both plants and skins to use fix their uniforms up. She even made a thick cloak to block out the cold winter air using some pine needles and vines. By time she was done their uniforms looked like something out of the Jungle Book.
Boom Boom and Shadow had found a small mountain stream nearby as well as some rabbits to eat. No one wanted to watch as Shadow used his katana to gut the poor innocent creatures. Mirage scouting mission had turned up no traces of civilization anywhere nearby. She had discovered some natural medicines that could be used to heal her friends. She was grateful she paid attention when her Grandfather tried to teach her some of the things of their heritage and some things that Gale even told her about.
"How are you two holding up?" Mirage asked coming over to them. "I found a plant that Gail told me about. It's supposed to relieve pain. Hope you're not allergic."
"I'll take being allergic to being dead any day. Thanks Mirage I feel a lot better then I did before. So do you have some idea where we are?" Husk asked sensitively.
"No clue, but it looks like a picture from one of Gail's book on Canada. Maybe we're in the wilderness," she said shrugging her shoulders. At this point she didn't really care much about where they were only that they would survive the night.
"Man how cold does it get at night?" whined Sunspot unhappily. He was tired of staying put. He felt completely fine, but Mirage insisted he rest a bit before trying anything to strenuous. He shivered in the cold. "Can I get something to warm up here? It's freezing in here!"
Daytripper tossed him a bundle of moss. "Don't worry its not poisonous or dangerous at all. It should keep you warm. Good thing Wolverine decided to teach us newbies about surviving in the wilderness." She said gaily. Still her eyes clouded for a moment troubled by something.
"What's wrong Amanda? You seem preoccupied by something. What's bugging you?" Magma inquired as she stroked the fire. As long as she kept herself partially heated she didn't suffer too much.
"It's these skins I found. I discovered at least a dozen or more slightly shredded halfway down the mountain. There were no animal tracks nearby and no beast alive would just leave the meat lying about like that. I think something or someone killed them all. We better watch ourselves or we could end up dead." She warned the group.
Her revelation left a pretty disturbing picture in their minds. A few of them looked a little sick. That's when someone spoke up and said, "Dinner's ready. Who wants rabbit stew?" They all jumped then laughed when they saw it was Shadow holding a shallow rock bowl full of stew.
"Let me at it. I'm hungry enough to eat anything!" Boom Boom said slurping down her share of stew, before it was wrenched away from her.
"We have to share. We have limited food and water supply. I've devised a rationing schedule. Each of us can have two sips of water and three spoonfuls of soup. After we eaten we can prepare for bed. We'll sleep in shifts, one to watch the fire, the other to guard the entrance. So eat up." Shadow said taking his full and passing the bowl.
"Hey Shadow I know we all took Wolverine's survival training course, but you seem to be more together about all this. How do you know about all this?" Magma asked curiously.
"It's all part of my training to become a ninja. I had to learn to take care of myself no matter what the situation. I assume that Vincent went through the same training when he became a samurai," he replied honestly.
"Well I guess were lucky you're such a good student then. I don't think any of us could handle the situation as well as you could." Magma admitted shyly.
Shadow smiled faintly before passing around the water they had collected to drink. He had to admit to himself this was nothing like the training exercise his sensei had drilled him in back in Japan.
Eventually everyone ate their fill and began to get sleepy. Lying down on the cave floor they huddled close to each other and the fire for warmth. Shadow and Magma drew first shift in keeping the fire going and watching for signs of danger.
"You really think there's any danger out there?" Magma asked an hour later. It was tough work keeping the fire going because the continued use of her powers made her so tired.
"Who knows? I'm just curious about what's going on in the real world. Wolverine is a very complex person. To be in his mind makes me nervous." Shadow replied simply.
"You're not the only one. Sorry I couldn't sleep. The sounds of the wild were keeping me up. Anything to report?" Mirage asked gazing up at the starry night.
Before he could respond they all heard a deep throaty roar. "That doesn't sound too good." Magma told them.
"Whatever it was it was big and it's close. Wake the others, but do it quietly. Shadow and I will check it out." Mirage ordered softly.
"Be careful you two." Magma whispered as they took off into the night. Quickly she rushed to the back of the cave and shook the others awake. "Come on guys wake up. Something big and mean is nearby."
"What are you talking about? What's out there?" Boom Boom asked groggily.
"Some type of animal. Shadow and Mirage went to check it out. Come on they could need our help. Let's move." Magma replied dragging Boom Boom and Daytripper out of bed.
"Hey what about us?" demanded Sunspot angrily as they disappeared into the night. The three of them didn't even hear them. "This is just great. I hate being on the injured list."
"Close your trap and help me keep the fire going. Whatever is out there could come here and we need to protect ourselves." Husk bellowed.
Part way down the mountain in a particular dense part of the forest they found their mysterious guess. It was a huge grizzly bear and it was hurt. It had blood streaming down its face and it was trashing everything in desperate throes of pain.
"There's our mystery guest. I say we get out of here before it smells us." Mirage said urgently. She was having a difficult time controlling her breathing and she was starting to panic.
"Not until we know if it's going to come uphill. Besides look at that injury closely. Whatever hurt it has pretty good aim. It could be a threat to us." Shadow pointed out.
"I don't care I'm five minutes from a panic attack. I can't handle this!" Mirage said half crazed. "My parents were killed by a bear when I was little. That's why I lived with my grandfather. Ever since then I've been scared of bears."
Before she could continue she snapped a twig. Instantly the bear charged her. Drawing back one meaty paw it hit her right across the face nearly cracking her skull open. She crumbled to the ground in pain. The bear stood on its hind legs ready to throw its weight on her.
That's when something attacked the bear from its side. Shadow ran to her side just as the others arrived. "Are you okay? Don't move at all!" he ordered.
"Who is that wrestling the bear likes Tarzan?" Boom Boom asked incuriously.
"Don't know he came out of nowhere. Right now we need to help him and get rid of that bear."
"Leave it to us, you just make sure Mirage is alright." Daytripper said as they rushed towards the clearing where the bear and the mystery man where fighting. Both were roaring and stabbing each other with their claws. When they got closer they gasped in disbelief.
It was Mr. Logan! He was pretty much naked except for a pair of blue shorts. They had never seen him like that before he was extremely muscular and had hair all over his body. He had tubes and needles sticking out from his arms and backs. Blood was caked all over him. His face was that of an animal then the man they knew.
"Whoa. What do we do?" Magma asked as the bear got ready for round two.
"Keep our teacher alive that's what! Come on girls just don't stand there gawking, use your powers!" Daytripper fired her forcebolts at the animal flank. It turned to face her and growled angrily. "Oh man that was a bad idea. Eep!" she said teleporting out of the way as it charged her.
Magma created a ring of fire around the beast trying to keep it fence in. The bear roared and began to panic. It swiped helplessly at the flames in a vain attempt to put them out. Dirt piled on top of the flames smothering them out. "I could use a little help here!"
"Allow me it's time this bear took a hike! Get lost Grizzly!" Boom Boom shouted tossing a few bombs on the ground. The explosion scared the bear so bad it took off running through the forest. "Oh yeah that's what I'm talking about. Sweet!"
That's when she was tackled head on by a crazed teacher! Wolverine pinned her to the ground and tried to gut her again and again with his claws. She managed to manoeuvre out of the way, but she couldn't keep this up. "Will someone get him off of me!" Suddenly he collapsed to the ground as a forcebolt hit him in the back.
"Next time be aware of your surroundings. You're lucky I was there to help you out." Daytripper informed her.
"Yeah, yeah can we save the lecture for later? Man Badger looks hot. Maybe I should be calling him Stud he's so good lucking." Boom Boom commented as she started dragging Wolverine up the hill.
"Tabitha that's are teacher your talking about!" Daytripper hissed.
"Like you weren't taking a look either. Besides when are we going to get another chance to see him looking so sexy?" she demanded with an impish grin making the other girl blush.
"Enough Boom Boom! If you keep talking like that you're going to get us in trouble. Now come on we have to get back to the cave." Magma told her crossly as the three of them carried their unconscious teacher back to the cave.
When they got back to the cave Husk was helping Shadow take care of Mirage's head injury. Sunspot was ripping a piece of his uniform to make a wet compress for the wound. "Well our three heroines finally return. I see that you brought company."
"Is that really our teacher? Man he looks like something right out of horror film. What did you hit him with a rockslide?" Husk asked gazing in astonishment at him.
"Come on help me clean him up. Once we get rid of all this hair and all these needles he should look at least somewhat civilized." Daytripper said already pulling out tubes.
"Shouldn't we be worried about what going to happen when he wakes up? In case it slipped your mind he was acting like a wild animal back there. He was ready to kill Boom Boom and I don't know many sane guys who go head to head with a grizzly bear for kicks." Magma reminded them.
"Will deal with it when that happens, right now he needs are help. Take a look at his injuries. I think he's been wondering around half mad for days. Those shredded skins I found could have been caused by him." Daytripper admitted.
Using Shadow's katana they sliced off all the extra hair and pulled the remaining tubes out. His mutant abilities healed his remaining injuries. Tilting his head up they forced some stew into his belly before he got to agitate.
"He looks so peaceful while he's resting. Hard to believe he was so crazy a while ago. You think we can help him when he wakes up?" Mirage asked wincing slightly. She had a major headache.
She bent down to examine him closer. Suddenly his eyes flew open and he went berserk. His eyes were bloodshot and he lunged at her windpipe knocking her to the cave ground. "I won't let you hurt me!" he screamed.
In the infirmary Logan was thrashing around crazy. Sarah watched in horror as her father's claws popped out from his knuckles. Instead of using his claws to harm others he started to mutilate himself with them!
"Logan no! Dad stop please stop!" she screamed pushing Wanda out of her way and leaping out of bed. She raced towards his bed only to be held in place by her IV. With a surge of adrenaline she ripped her IV off and crashed into his bed.
As he raised his claws up to stab himself again she blocked them with her own. With a lot of effort she forced them away. For the next several minutes it was all she could do to stop him from piercing his body. "Logan, Dad, listen! It's me, Sarah! You have to stop or you'll kill yourself!" she begged. Her hair fell in front of his face.
Logan took a big sniff of her hair. Suddenly he stopped resisting her attempts. His claws slid back inside his knuckles. He relaxed and started to breathe normally again. Sarah sighed with relief. He was okay her dad was okay. "I don't know what just happened, but I'm glad it's over."
"Is it? We still have no clue what's going on in his mind? For all we know he's still fighting in there." Wanda said as she carried her team mate back to bed.
In his head the New Mutants and X-Factor had managed to pull the crazed man off of Mirage and where attempting to reason with him. "That's enough teach. Stop fighting us we're not going to hurt you!" Sunspot yelled as he tried in vain to hold him down.
"Lies! You did this to me! Turned me into some kind of animal! You'll pay for that!" he roared.
"Enough Logan! If we truly were the people who did those horrible things to you do you think we would try to heal your wounds or save you from the bear? Use your head!" Daytripper yelled at him. But still he struggled.
"That's enough Badger. Calm down already. Do you really think a bunch of kids who are hiding out in a cave could have given you those claws?" demand Boom Boom angrily. That seemed to calm him down. Finally they could release him.
"Sorry, these last few days have been like hell for me. I don't know right from left anymore." Logan admitted tiredly.
"Believe us we know what you're going through. Were mutants too," Husk told him gently. She held out some water, which he gladly took. "Do you want to talk about it?"
"I can't really remember much. My memory is a big mess. Mostly what I see are flashes in my head. Some our in this lab and others are here in the woods. I can't remember really. Heck I don't even know my own name." He admitted gruffly.
"Your name is Logan, but you also go by the name Wolverine. You're an instructor at Xavier School for the Gifted. We're your students and right now you need our help." Husk stated simply.
"A teacher, me? I find that hard to believe. With my temper I probably kill you guys."
"Don't think you haven't tried," Boom Boom joked. Magma elbowed her hard silencing her.
"But what kind of help can you offer me? You can't turn the clock back and undo what has been done to me. Also, you can't take care of me for the rest of your lives. I need to learn to live with the monster inside of me." He responded.
"Looks like you're already on the way to recovery. You're starting to sound like a normal human being. We might not be able to help you figure out your issues, but maybe we can find someone who can help you," suggested Mirage optimistically.
"And who are we going to find out here in the middle of nowhere may I ask?" Boom Boom challenged.
"We'll think of something. We just have to brainstorm."
"I have an idea. When we were looking for food earlier I thought I saw some human tracks. There might be some humans at the base of the mountain. We should at least check." Shadow said.
Everyone agreed that in the morning they would see if they could find the humans. For now they would sleep. Logan had the hardest time sleeping. He kept having disturbing nightmares of what had happened to him. But the team took turns waking him up. Finally daybreak arrived and they set out to find the humans.
After hiking for almost an hour they were tired, dirty, and smelly. Everyone was sore all over from sleeping on the ground and they were starving because they hadn't eaten anything for breakfast. "I.. certainly.. hope that there are.. humans on.. this damn mountain," puffed an exhausted Boom Boom.
"Will you shut up already? Complaining about the situation won't make it any easier." Magma told her hotly.
Before an argument could break out Logan halted them. He took a big whiff of the air and growled. "We've got company. It seems Mr. Bear didn't go that far away last night." Popping his claws he got down in a defensive position ready to take on his nemeses.
Suddenly the bear came barrelling straight at them. It ploughed them all over and then turned around to charge them again. The kids jumped out of the path of the bear, but Logan leaped on top of it. "Leave those kids alone!"
The bear stood up on its hind legs in attempt to shake him off. But
Logan just held on tight and dug his claws in. He merely grunted when
the bear bashed itself into a bunch of trees to get him off its back.
Eventually the bear lost its balance and they both went rolling down
"Mr. Logan! Come on we have to go help him!" Mirage ordered as they took off running. Their earlier pains had vanished on the spot after seeing their teacher save their lives. They only hoped that they could return the favor.
When they caught up with the two things were not looking good for Logan. He was bloody and practically beaten to a pulp. He was having difficulty getting his claws to sink into the bear. At the same time the bear's rage seem to augment its natural strength making it ten times as deadly.
"He's not going to survive this for long. We have to do something and fast!" Sunspot whispered. "Anyone have a clue what to do?"
"Hey I thought I saw something move that way. It could be those humans we're looking for? What if one of us leads them here?" Husk recommended. The others nodded and Husk took off.
Ten minutes later she spied a couple with tranquilizer guns observing a deer. They were talking softly and didn't seem to be harming anyone. Picking up a rock she hurled it at the deer causing it to run. The couple turned to see what had scared the deer away and spotted Husk. She took off running as she heard shouts from them begging her to come back.
Husk ran like her life depended on it. She could hear the two scientist keeping pace behind her. When she saw Logan and the bear she dove for cover. The couple appeared a few minutes later looking for her. When they spotted the commotion they reacted using their guns to knock the bear out. Logan turned to face him claws still out.
The team watched from the bushes as the couple talked Logan down. They couldn't make out what anyone was saying, but eventually they seem to reach him. Logan left with them and the dream sequence ended.
In the infirmary Logan eyes snapped open and got halfway up before he had to lie back down. "Dad! Your awake!" Sarah said happily. Tears streamed down her face.
"Of course I'm awake kid why wouldn't I be? Ugh what just happened to me and why do I feel like I was wrestling a bear?" he asked.
"It's a long story Dad. I'll be glad to tell it while we wait for Ray to wake up." Sarah told him.