Just a note: this is not required reading for this story. I just wanted something to connect this to my next story. Keep the universe going.
As much as Logan loved being out of that hot jungle, his squeaky-clean cabin on the helicarrier was no picnic either. Everything was so… sterilized. And his hearing picked up the sound of the massive engines; a constant low whirring. And the constant clanking of boots hitting the metal floors. There was no smoking allowed on the helicarrier either. Fury being the exception that enforces the rule. The fluorescent lights were annoying to his eyes that were so used to seeing daylight. The only peace he could find was out on the deck, but that was usually busy with choppers, jets, and storms that would come and go.
Other than that, there was the training room where the soldiers fought, lifted, and trained. With not much else to do he usually stayed in there and gave the kids a show. When the crowds got a bit too large he'd shine a bit of adamantium their way, and send them packing.
He had looked over the Predator's necklace at least a dozen times. It's loop was fur. It still smelled of the cat it had once been. The cat's teeth and claws were separated evenly around the loop. In the center on the front was a small skull; a lizard by the look of it. He threw the teeth and claws he had collected over the side of the helicarrier; sending them back to nature. After ten minutes of staring at the necklace he threw it into his bag and stalked down the hall toward the training room. He needed to let off some steam.
About two days after their unexpected guest, he finally got through the paperwork. Logan's encounter with the Predator was not kind to Colonel Fury's schedule. There were always aliens coming and going, but if they ever came into contact with anyone it was he who had to sort out all the paperwork. Gag orders, compensations for civilian interference, proof of incident papers, and autopsies. ALL to be filled out by him, and promptly too.
Fury rubbed his forehead. He was closing in on 100 years old. When he toured in World War II he was gravely wounded by a landmine in France. He was discovered and taken to a Professor Berthold Sternberg, who injected Fury with his Infinity Formula, which slowed down the aging process. Thinking about it reminded him; he needed to mark on his calendar when to take it again. He was forced to take it annually to keep the process going.
He had finally filled out the last of the forms, and lit one of his cigars. There was no smoking on the helicarrier, but nobody dared call him on it. He was the Director of S.H.I.E.L.D., and S.H.I.E.L.D. built the helicarrier. As he puffed away, he couldn't stop thinking about the old days. He had been part of the best squadron on the front line; the Howling Commandoes. All the good he and his friends had done made him proud to be a soldier, even if he did have to fill out paperwork every week or so.
After a minute of thinking, decided to go see Wolverine. He had been on the ship two days and didn't even know where he was going. He checked his sidearm, ensuring it had a full magazine. He was always prepared for the worst. The helicarrier had been attacked before, and it could be again. He locked his office door as he left. He walked down the hallways toward Logan's room, and found it empty. A soldier was passing by as he left the room. "Soldier!" The boy stopped and saluted. "Sir?"
Like every new recruit, he stared at his eye. He hated when people stared at his eye patch. He had lost an eye in WWII. He sighed. "Where's Wolverine?" The soldier looked backward anticipated, like he was waiting to go to the bathroom. "He's in the training room, Sir." Fury mentally smacked himself. He knew Logan better than most people. Of course he'd be in the training room. "As you were soldier." "Yes Sir." The soldier continued running down the hall.
Fury kept up a pace behind him and followed him all the way to the training room, where a huge crowd was watching something. He cleared his throat. They all turned around and made a hole. Even after 50 years as a commanding officer, he still enjoyed doing that. He saw that the crowd was staring at Logan, who was tearing his way through the Danger Room; a little piece of tech picked up from Professor Xavier's "School for Gifted Youngsters."
He hadn't seen Wolverine fight in quite a while. Still just as savage as ever. Claws ripping and tearing at everything. The hologram robots didn't stand a chance. He saw the danger level up to maximum. The crowd was still watching through the view window. "Alright, show's over! Back to work!" The crowd dispersed immediately. He turned the danger level off and stopped the robots. He looked through the window at Wolverine and pressed the intercom. "Logan, let's talk."
Wasn't that just like Fury to spoil a good time. Logan picked his jacket up off the floor. It was one of the replacements he had in his bag. He had thrown it off during the fight. He slipped his claws back in and left the Danger Room. He'd have to tell Fury to make the maximum level tougher. He had barely broken a sweat.
He stepped out to see Fury sitting on one of the exercise machines. He took a seat on the one next to him. "What do you want?" Old Fury's glare never changed, whether he was talking to foe or friend. "Where do you want to get off? We both know you can't stay here forever. And I don't think our Danger Room can take it." Fury joked. Logan tilted his neck and cracked it. He hadn't really thought about it. He was fed up with nature for a while, and needed a good bar. And he kind of wanted to see Chuck & his kids again. Now he had a new story to tell them. After staring into space for a minute he looked at Fury. "Well the best bar I know is in New York City." Fury nodded. "The Big Apple it is." They both stood up. He followed Fury out of the training room into the hall. "Wake me when we get there. I'm gonna catch some shut-eye." With that, Logan walked down the hallway to his cabin. He kept the lights off. He looked at the bed: cold, stuffy, starched, and sterile. He had slept on it for two days, and still hated it. He opened his bag and pulled a blanket out, laying it on the ground next to the bed. He put his duffel at one end and laid down on it. He pulled his jacket off and covered himself with it. He slowly drifted off to sleep. He didn't have many dreams. They were all nightmares. A blank sleep was better than none at all.
As he and Wolverine parted ways, his vibrating beeper went off. He looked at it. Even with one eye he had eagle vision and could hit a target at 300 yards. The message read S.D. He knew that stood for Space Department, and headed down the hall opposite Wolverine. The Space Department monitored anything happening in the planet's atmosphere above flying height. As he walked he wondered what the disturbance could be. It was probably just a meteor breaking in the atmosphere, or a satellite going off course. These things were everyday problems; nothing to worry about. Then his beeper vibrated twice. This time the message read URGENT. He took off running. Meteor shower? A rip in space or time? Or could it have been his worst fear: Galactus?
He arrived in the S.D. moments later. "Lieutenant Blake, what in blazes is going on?" The female soldier at the computer screen saluted. "Sir! There's something entering our atmosphere & it's not breaking up!" Fury prepared for the worst. "How big is it?" "It took out one of our satellites on its way down, so we have to channel from another one. Scanners say it's about the size of a two-story building." "Damnation! That could take out 3 city blocks! How fast is it going and where's it headed?" "It's headed for New York City and… wait a minute…it's slowing down, Sir. The atmosphere isn't breaking it, but it's slowing it down." "What in blue blazes is it?" He stared in awe at the screen. The feed was fuzzy because it was coming in from a distant satellite. It was visibly slowing down. "It looks… organic, Sir." "Organic?! You mean that thing is alive?" "It has an interior heat signature, and it's not mineral, Sir." Fury growled and clenched his teeth hard enough to bite his cigar in half. "Can we shoot it down?" "No Sir. No satellite will be in range in time to safely destroy it." "Damn it all to Hell!" He slammed his fist on the desk and breathed a few long breathes to calm down. "How long do we have until it reaches New York airspace?" The lieutenant punched in the calculating keys hard and fast. He saw her tense as she read the figures to him. "Just under 10 hours, Sir."
Fury leapt into action. He knew the helicarrier couldn't make it to New York in twice the time he had. He grabbed the radio in the room and adjusted it to call the Air Force Division and screamed into it. "Lieutenant Spears!" A young voice answered back. "Yes Sir!" "I want a goddamn F-35 on this ship and ready to go to New York City ten minutes ago! You got that?" "Sir! Yes Sir!" He threw the radio down and ran to the door. "Lieutenant Blake! Call the U.N. into emergency session! Codename is Eagle Eye 1. Code is Alpha Bluebird Capricorn!" He didn't even wait for her to salute before he dashed out and down the hall at top speed. He spat out the cigar butt in his mouth as he ran.
He was in the water tank. There were doctors standing over him. He felt needles in his skin everywhere. His whole body burned from the inside. He felt the claws come out, and his blood filled the tank, clouding his vision in red.
He sat bolt upright in a cold sweat. He was in his cabin on the helicarrier. Red lights and a siren were going off everywhere. "Son of a bitch" he said drowsily. First a nightmare, now an emergency. Fury opened his door. "Up and at 'em, Wolverine! We're hittin' the Big Apple NOW, before something else does!" He packed his stuff in his bag and followed Fury at a demon's pace to the deck as an F-35 landed. So much for a little shut-eye.