Th. . . . . . . . thump.
. . . . . .
Th. . . thump. . . Th-thump.
. . . . . .
Th-thump. . . Th-thump. . . Th-thump.
Awareness slowly came to him at the annoying sound. It vibrated his chest, his bones, and it drummed in his ears—incessantly beating against his already pounding headache.
Th-thump. . . Th-thump. Th-thump.
The sound got sharper, louder, and it felt like it was bruising his already aching body. A lance of annoyance sprung up his spine suddenly. He wished, more than anything, for silence. For peace.
But his wishes were rarely ever granted.
The pounding was bringing him closer to wakefulness now. He could to feel the cold, sticky cement beneath his arms and face. His nose picked up the scent of blood and sweat that covered his body and matted in his hair. Beneath the pounding of his ears he could hear a fluorescent buzzing, an annoying sound much like a mosquito. His mouth tasted of raw iron and sickness. And over it all was the burning sensation of healing—a feeling he knew all too well.
He wanted to growl but his throat was raw—who knew what they did to him this time.
It’s been months, months he’d been torn to pieces over and over again—always trying something new each time, some new agony to test on him.
Th-thump. Th-thump. Th-thump.
He shifted his body slightly to get into a better position to breath, to maybe find some way to end the pounding in his ears, but all that graced him was a searing pain from his chest as chunks of something dropped to the floor—some still shifted beneath his skin. Bullets, he realized.
He felt himself floating in a haze agony after that, he was just about ready to sick all over the floor. He tried to still himself though, hoping the darkness would pull him under again.
What was the point in fighting, anyway? He had nowhere to go, nowhere to escape, and any conscious minutes that remained would only be spent suffering.
No. . . there was no point at all.
Th-thump. . . Th-thump.
Damn heart. Wish it would just—
A screech of metal hinges pieced his ears.
Th-thump. Th-thump. Th-thump. Th-thump.
The pounding sped up, and the unwelcome claws of fear gripped his heart.
Heavy sets of footsteps quaked the floor under him as they approached. The sound of guns cocking reached his ears along with a familiar scent that made his face grimace and his hair stand on end. It was a smell he hated more than anything.
One pair of boots stopped right next to his head, the man’s smell was repulsive. A few seconds passed before he felt the chain around his neck get yanked up forcefully, pulling his limp body to his knees. He choked as his eyes flew open. His vision was spotted with red and blinding white.
“My, my, Wolverine. Aren’t you a mess?” the bastard said. His words were slithery, dangerous. Logan only snarled back.
Stryker let go of the chains, and he fell to the floor without the support. The raw skin around his throat burned from the action, and he could feel a little bit of blood drip down his neck. Damn him.
“Just look at you. You’re a freak. A killer.” Stryker’s boot squished his cheek into the concrete, his jaw just about ready to beak. “After Vietnam, what did you expect? That you could just walk away?” He pulled out his pistol, the barrel pointed right at his head, his voice becoming eerily calm suddenly. “I guess a mutant animal like you wouldn’t know any better.”
Defiance sprung out of his throat and he bared his teeth, seething. “Damn you,” he rasped out.
The butt of the silver gun smashed into his face and blood pooled in his mouth immediately.
“Talk, you son of a bitch!” Stryker ordered. Logan stayed silent, absorbed in the pain flooding his system once more. Fury flashed in Stryker’s eyes as he gripped his bloodied shirt into his hands and lifted him up to his face. “TALK!”
Logan did not respond, his focus was slipping—his vision doubling, trippling. Colors and sounds were dimming. The blood in his mouth made him want to cough, and the burning healing took whatever energy he had left.
Stryker scoffed. “You’re nothing more than an animal,” The man let go and his body dropped to the ground with no resistance to gravity. The man’s face twisted in disgust as he wiped his hand on his uniform and straightened the fabric out. He looked down, his chin high. “Less than that.”
A swift, steel-toed boot rammed into his side. Blood filled his mouth once more. He couldn’t move, the agony too much. He was too tired—too tired to try.
“You’re mine, Logan. In mind, soul,” The man looked down at his bloodied and broken form with disgust. “and body.”
The darkness was creeping in now, the corners of his vision blackening. A moment of relief washed over him as blissfulness finally greeted him.
The muffled sound of Stryker’s voice rang in his ears before his awareness completely faded away.
“Alright, clean him up. The Professor wants him.”
Logan bolted upright with wide eyes as his claws popped at his sides instinctively, leaving long scratches on the cave floor. His body shook and sweat poured down his forehead and chest. He felt like roaring, snarling, but all that came out was frantic, short breathing.
Th-thump, th-thump, th-thump, th-thump!
Over and over the pounding resonated in his skull. He brought a clawed hand to his head, almost spearing himself on accident with his shaking hands. He withdrew his claws with a SNAKT and gripped the back of his head with both hands, attempting to silence the dream that played in his mind, and the feeling of agony in his bones.
Stryker! That damn—! They were, they were—
Th-thump, th-thump, th-thump!
The frantic pattering of his heart did him no favors as his blood rushed in his ears. With a flash of anger he couldn’t contain, he finally managed to roar, coming to a stand and slashing at the cave wall.
He took deep breaths as he leaned against the wall on his forearms with his head limp against his chest, his claws remained in the deep gouges they had carved out.
Th-thump. th-thump. Th-thump. . Th-thump. . . Th-thump. . .
He continued to breath, in and out. In and out.
Th-thump. . . Th-thump. . .
The pounding receded, it was now nothing more than a muffled beat against his chest. Blinking a few times, the red haze faded away. His conscious thoughts returned as the dream’s horrifying grip on his mind started to slip away.
With a forceful yank of his fists to remove them and a loud SNAKT, he turned around and slid against the wall to the floor wondering what the hell that had just been.
Dreams, again. He shook his head at that. Dreams had always plagued him, since the moment he had conscious thoughts, since that moment in the white cold of Canada. In the beginning they were only flashes, feelings—nothing that made much sense. He’d wake up roaring, claws popped, ready to kill. But it was different now. They were more vivid, more real than he cared for—he felt he had to crawl out each time. And the things he’d see, the things he’d experience—or re-experience, he didn’t know—would shake him to his core.
They were just dreams, nightmares really, but now he was beginning to wonder how much of it was real.
Stryker, he knew, was real. The bastard had done something to him, he knew that much. Something so horrifying he could only remember it in his half-remembered dreams. He’d see his blurry face through a red haze and slash him to pieces in most of them, but now. . . now there was substance.
What that was. . .
And that last part, the last thing Stryker said. . . The Professor.
That name brought all his anger and rage to the front of his mind once more, but he smothered it before it took hold.
Whatever that was, whoever the Professor was he didn’t know, and he honestly didn’t want to think about it right now, lest he lose himself again.
He dragged a hand across his face and took a deep breath. He glanced around and saw a strip of orange light cut along the floor. He took a slight sniff and smelled fresh dew on the leaves. It must be dawn, he thought. Well, at least he slept through the night, he deadpanned thoughtfully. A full 5 hours. A new record.
Still a little shaken, he rose to his feet and made his way to the front of the damp cave. If there was one thing to fully calm his nerves, it was the sight and the smell of the forest. That alone lifted his mood considerably until he realized the reason why he was out here. He wasn’t on his usual bi-annual hunt in Canada like he thought at first, no, he was trapped in a world with tiny, sapient horses.
That sounded like a bad joke.
Groaning, he stepped out of the cave and walked to the river nearby to get a drink and maybe catch a bite to eat. He had to make a plan for the day, or think of something to find himself a way home. His hopeful thoughts of last night, thinking that maybe he’d shake something loose in his memory about his predicament, came to the forefront of his mind and it made him bitter.
The only thing he got from his hope was a messed up nightmare with Stryker.
So much for that.
Guess he’d have to think of something else. . . he hoped to god it didn’t involve anything with the horses.