~Opening the Scars~
The spray of the sea and the cold waters of San Fransisco Bay splash against me as I climb up the rocky shores of Alcatraz Island. The rocks are slippery underneath my grip, the years of dirt and grime turning to a disgusting slush between my fingers. But it's not the first difficult climb I've ever made, and the anger in the pit of my stomach drives me to the level edge above me.
I roll onto solid ground, continuing into some brush on the edge of the installation. Kneeling in the brush, I scope out the setup of the base, getting ready to break through their defenses. A few guards walking around the perimeter, not much else. They didn't think anyone would dare come this far.
Slipping in behind a patrol, I trail them silently like a predator. Their conversation is light, and gives me no information about what's going on inside. Just a lot of anti-mutant crap and how much they hate us. The old me would have popped their heads off.
But I have a more important mission.
They pass by my target, and I slide up against the building, popping off an airduct entrance and sliding into it. In 1962, three men used this duct to escape the prison and reach the mainland. The irony of trying to break in the same way isn't lost on me.
The duct is small, and I barely fit in it, but I manage to shuffle far enough to reach the next grate, and drop down into a utility hallway, which the men dug into to escape.
It's obvious that the military has done some serious infrastructure upgrades. High duty information cables run along the walls, and some power cables I'm not even familiar with.
I slide along the corridor, finding a door at the end, cracking it open ever so slightly. Not hearing anyone within my range, I slip into the industrial, spotless, white hallway I've seen in far too many labs. Which makes me realize I've made a bit of a miscalculation. I'm filthy from the approach. I'll leave a trail anyone can follow.
Luckily, I spot a maintenance closet out of the corner of my eye. Popping the lock off with my shoulder, I find a jumpsuit inside and slip it on. I also take the time to bring out a mop and bucket, cleaning up the tracks leading from the utility corridor.
As I'm sweeping the floor, a group of researchers pass by me, a single one sliding into a lab by himself. I follow him in after the others have passed, startling him.
"What are you doing here!? This area's restricted."
The handle of the mop cracks against his head, knocking him out. I bend down, making sure I didn't kill him, and snatch his access badge off his labcoat. Picking up his limp, unconscious body, I stuff it into a closet, and head back into the hallway.
Searching the rooms lining the clinical area, I come to a large door at the end of the hall. Figuring whatever is really going on here is happening behind that door, I swipe the access card through the reader, and the door hisses open.
Pushing it open, and slipping into a dim, cold room, I keep my eyes open as wide as they can, allowing my heightened sense of sight to adjust to the low light.
And when they do, I'm taken aback by what I see. It's a morgue. Or at least it seems to be. Plastic lines the walls and floor, bodies lie on cots and gurneys half dissected, and scientific testing equipment is on tables next to them.
I walk the rows of dead bodies, horrified at what I see. These are obviously the experiments going on that Xavier told me about. They're worse than I thought though.
The mutants that looks differently than humans almost look like they've been skinned, and more samples have been taken from them.
At the end of the row of cadavers, a lone scientist sits at the one illuminated computer in a row of them, typing away as if nothing horrific is happening behind him. He picks up a coffee mug and takes a nonchalant sip before placing it down and returning to work.
He notices someone is behind him though, and he says without looking, "Is that you, Jenkins? About time you showed up.
That's when the back of my hand cracks against his face, sending him to the ground hard. He looks up at me through a swollen eye and probably a few broken bones, backing away from me as he does, "Who are you? How did you get in here?
"I'm one of the guinea pigs, doc,
" I smile at him, picking up a scalpel , twirling it around deftly in my fingers. The anger coursing through my veins burns like acid. "Or do I not look like a freak enough for you to realize.
"God...how did you get in?
"The military isn't as on top of things as they think, bub,
" I respond with a smirk. "And I'm the best at what I do.
" he says as I get closer, inspecting me like you would a petri dish. "I know you. You're Logan. Your record doesn't lie. You are an impressive specimen.
"Well, I ain't no science project, but I'm glad you've heard of me,
" I respond, hovering over him. "And neither are the people you've butchered in the name of science. No matter how we look, we're people. Just like you. And it's scum like you that spreads the lies that keep us the monsters in the dark.
"No...not at all,
" he smiles and continues to back away. "I don't spread anything. I learn. I understand. I target. Your kind is a lot easier to understand than you think, Logan. And you'll be easier to destroy than you think. We don't make you the monsters here. We're here to kill the monsters.
With that, he goes for a silent alarm, but instead gets the scalpel through it, pinning him to the ground. He screams in pain, and I smile, "Now you're going to tell me where Katherine Pryde and Victor Creed are. And maybe I won't kill you.
He laughs in pain, his eyes locked on his damaged hand, "Never heard of either of them. The only mutants I've taken are in the room now. None go by that name.
I stand and turn my back to the man, allowing my anger to get the best of me. Another dead end. Another false lead and no clue where to turn next.
But I don't have time to think about that now. In my momentary lapse of attention, the scientist pulls his hand over the scalpel, freeing himself and hitting the alarm.
As I prepare to make my escape, the scientist laughs again, looking up at me, "Your kind isn't going to win this war, Logan. Soon enough, we'll wipe you out.
"No. You won't. People like you always lose. Always.
Taking the scientist's laptop, I head to the door and barricade it before searching for another way out.
Which is when a weak call draws my attention to one of the gurneys. I approach it, and find an emaciated blue figure looking up at me, "Brother...help me.
One is still alive. I must have missed him in all the death. And it wouldn't be hard to do. He's almost wasted away here under the government's watch. Skin and bones. Or should I say tail and bones. His eyes glow with a faint yellow tint, and a tail weakly swishes off the gurney.
"Do you know another way out of here?
" I ask, helping him sit up. He says nothing, but his eyes dart to the IV in his arm.
Bullets slam through the glass of the door, and our situation becomes more dire. My new friend paws at his arm with a three fingered hand, and I realize the IV must be stopping him from doing something. I pull it out, and instantly, the world around me goes black.
I reappear on the San Fransisco shore in a cloud of smoke. In the distance, searchlights illuminate the night, searching for me in vain.
Out of the smoke stumbles the mysterious mutant, and before collapsing into my arms, he mutters, "Thank you, mein friend. My name is Kurt Wagner.
Back on Alcatraz, Doctor Nathaniel Essex puts pressure on his bleeding hand as the military guard finally enter the room. Their incompetence has almost cost him his life tonight. He'd have to talk to Stryker about this.
Losing the computer is also a setback, but at least most of his research is in the installation's database. Only the most recent findings were on the lap top, and the samples were fresh enough to gather them again.
But the important thing is he's alive. Alive, and came out relatively unscathed against one of the most powerful and skilled mutants known to history.
The leader of the security team approaches, "Doctor Essex, are you okay?"
"I'll be fine, no thanks to you," the geneticist snaps.
"The one live specimen escaped, sir."
"I was in the room, corporal," Essex answers the obvious. "But it matters little. No one will listen to his story the way he looks. And we already know the X-Gene suppression serum works as long as it's given in constant doses. We have our first real trump card in this war."