~Opening the Scars~
"Welcome to the Sanctuary, Logan,
" my brother says as we pass through a cave and into a open atrium with pueblo dwellings lining the round area of the crater-like mountain we're now inside. Mutants mill around, tilling the earth in the large garden in the middle, while others tend to livestock in a pen. Around the place, armed guards stand guard.
"The guards with the guns,
" I say, inspecting them from afar. "They're human.
"Yea. They've been persuaded to help us out,
" he laughs maniacally.
Brainwashed, most likely. They sure look like soldiers. So the government did try an assault on this commune before. But when their people ended up as trained monkeys, they covered it up.
"What's with the cult, Victor?
" I ask as I continue to follow him through the area, the residents eying me suspiciously as we do.
"We are not a cult, Logan,
" he responds, a tint of anger in his voice. "We are the ones preparing for the mutants' ascension. We are preparing for the coming of the one that will lead us to greatness.
"And who is that?
" I ask impatiently.
"Who indeed, James," a weak, shaky voice says from behind me. I turn to find a frail looking old man wrapped in a cloak, draping all his features in shadows. "We do not know. Nor do we care. But when he soon comes, our race will finally become what we were born to be."
"Sounds like a load of crap to me,
" I respond.
"That's what they have been me and our people for thousands of years, Logan,
" the man responds as he moves towards me. Almost like he was floating, rather than walking. "Since the days of our founding in ancient Egypt...
And that's when the world around me twists and bends, and I'm transported to a location you'd expect to find in the movies. Egyptian peasants from thousands of years ago mill around a small village in the desert, very much like what I just saw in the cult's commune.
I turn, and find the robed figure standing behind me, "You're a telepath. You're the one that's indoctrinated all the people in your 'cult'.
" he responds. "But most have come to us on their own. They care about their people. And they care about their future. But this is meant to show you where our faith comes from. The humans...Well, they are useful as tools.
"Where are we?
"We are in the Egyptian village of Akkaba, where I was awakened,
" he says, pointing a cloaked arm towards a young Egyptian man preaching to the people around him, converting them to his cause. "I was brought here to spread the word of his coming. To tell the people that the first one, En Sabah Nur, was on his way. And he would convert humanity forever.
The scene shifts again, and now the village burns and the citizens are being slaughtered, "But even then there were the nonbelievers. They have hunted us down for centuries, trying to silence the true voice. But I have continued to spread the word. Now, finally we are close to his coming. The prophecy is close, he will be born soon.
And with that we reappear in the pueblo village, Victor still standing next to his prophet like a rabid guard dog.
"So why do you want me?
" I eye the two men suspiciously. As I do, I notice a building guarded by two guards. From the looks of it, it may be the place where they're keeping the girl.
"You will be one of the chosen warriors,
" he responds in a sweeping tone. "Pestilence, Famine, and War have already been found. And you will be the Horseman of Death, great leader of the chosen one's army. You, one of the greatest warriors of all time for our people will lead his armies across the world. I have watched you and your brother for so long, James. Watched you grow into the perfect warriors that you are. And now here you are, ready to take your rightful places in the world.
"And if I say no?
" I ask with a smirk.
"Then you will be consumed by his fire,
" the man snarls.
"Well...that doesn't sound too bad,
" I say as I kick through the cloaked man. But I hit nothing but thin air, and the cloak drops to the ground empty. Weird, but I don't have the luxury of trying to figure that one out. Not wasting any time, one of my metal-laced hand strikes Victor, knocking him off the structure we were standing, onto the ground below.
Smashing through the guards and the door to the building, finding a lab not unlike the one I saw at Alcatraz. But this isn't for dissecting and studying mutants. It seems to be used to brainwash them. To brainwash children.
But the only one currently here is a sweet looking girl no older than thirteen strapped to a chair with tears streaming down her face, and dark brown hair matted to her cheeks. Snapping the bonds that keep her viewing the propaganda flying by on the screen, she comes to her senses and looks up at me.
"You...you're the one. They said they wanted you. When they took me.
The words are full of innocence. Full of fear. And they break my heart. This was all done for me. All done to get me into this insane lifestyle. All to get me to become the weapon for some mad grab for power and religious fanaticism. There was no other reason for this. If it wasn't for me, for what U can do, this girl may still be living a normal life at home with her mother.
"Yea...but they're not gonna get me. Or you,
" I say in my most comforting voice, which to be honest probably ain't that comforting, and give her my hand. "Come on...it's time to get you out of here.
"I don't think so, Logan,
" Victor says behind me as I scoop the girl into my arms. "You two aren't going anywhere.
"And who's going to stop me, Vic? You?
" he smiles as the battalion of human guards fills the hallway behind him.
Looking down at the girl huddled helplessly against my chest, I ask, "Do you have control over your power?
" she nods weakly. "I can go through things and stuff.
Placing her down and kneeling, so I can look her in the eye I say, "Use it now. And keep your eyes closed. No matter what your hear. Promise?
She nods and closes her eyes, and as she does, my hand, which was on her shoulder, falls through her.
Satisfied, I stand, and face my enemies, "That's enough, Victor. You let this girl and me go, and I'll let you and your people go without harm.
"I can't let that happen, Logan,
" he responds. "We need you. It is your destiny. We're part of something so much bigger here. We must complete our missions.
"Is that worth the torture of children? The enslavement of people?
" I say, the anger rising in my veins like a monster ready to pounce. For so long I've learned to control the animal within. For so long I've kept it in a cage so I could lead a happy and peaceful existence.
But it's coming back. The return to the States, the government's heinous treatment of mutants, the meeting with Charles Xavier and the scared look in his students' eyes, and now the destruction and mutilation of a young life just to trap me here. It's coming back.
"It will all be worth it in the end, Logan.
"It's never worth this. Never,
" I say as my blood reaches its boiling point. "And, bub...It ain't Logan.
As I say that, I contract the muscles in my forearm. Long underused and set in their place, the bones and metal in my hands shift and crack, emitting a sickening sound that echoes off the walls. The blades begin to reach my skin, ripping through the scar tissue that has built up around my knuckles from years of ripping and tearing. Blood spurts from my hand as the claws I've tried to put aside emerge into the air for the first time in almost half a decade.