He burned. His muscles, body—all healing. It felt like a thousand ants squirming beneath his skin. A wave of nausea coursed through him, a feeling he never got used to. Something warm dripped down the side of his face—probably blood. His head ached with a dull throb that matched his pulse. And his ears rang with a perpetual, high-pitched sound. He felt worse than usual but this certainly wasn’t the first time this has happened. His body quickly knit itself together—just like it always does.
There was a sudden, sharp, alarming pain from his chest. He took a wheezing, short breath then coughed harshly. There was something heavy on top of him—a weight like a mountain held him down, pinning him. Any normal human would have been crushed to a pulp, but then again, he was hardly normal. He had his adamantium skeleton to thank for that.
“—som . . . ng . . . th . . .”
He started to hear snippets of syllables. It distracted him for a moment but the pain from his chest resurfaced. He grimaced. It was hard to focus on anything with this weight on top of him. He tried to move his arms but only one managed to slip out. With his free arm, he gripped the object on top of him weakly, lifting. It was rectangular—like a giant beam—and cold against his palm. Felt like metal, and it probably was, too. It was heavy as hell. And it didn't budge.
With a grunt he paused from his struggling and pushed the the pain to the back of his mind for now. He had no choice but to endure it. He had to let his body heal itself for a moment. His muscles were weak and torn—he just needed a little more time.
Suddenly, as if someone poured a bucket of freezing water on his face, his sense of smell returned and his brain was assaulted with all kinds of information. There was smoke, burnt grass, dirt, scorched metal, ozone. He also picked up the distinct odor of burning flesh along with the stale scent of blood—his blood—which made his nose twitch. To his surprise he couldn’t pick up any other’s. But he did smell fear, worry, hesitation . . . emotions. . . People. There were people all around him.
Wait . . . no.
Something was wrong. They didn’t smell like people.
He flinched—the ringing in his ears faded. He frowned. Whoever they were they spoke english and they stank of panic and fear. He cracked his eyes open to try to get a look at who was talking but he was immediately assaulted with a bright, warm light—sunlight. He squinted his eyes harshly, letting them adjust slowly. Once they did he found his vision was a blurry mess. All he could see were blobs of color and grey, mere outlines and shapes.
Heal up already.
He picked up more noises, sounds like metal scraping against itself. The weight on his chest felt heavier, and the pain got worse.
“Does anypony know where Twilight is?”
“Last time I saw her she was at the library,”
“—ony get the elements! Something’s alive in here!”
More voices, all around him.
What happened? Where was he? And who the hell’s Twili—
Abrupt pain and then relief. The weight on his chest felt lighter.
“—by the sun, what do you think it is?”
Something—or someone—was right next to him, and he could smell it. And he bet a million bucks, the it they were talking about was him.
He scowled, suddenly angry. He was weak—vulnerable in their eyes. He refused to be seen helpless again, not if he could help it.
He had to get up, healed up or not.
His eyes squeezed shut and with all the strength he could muster, he gripped the object pinning him, felt the cool metal against his burning palms and heaved.
C’mon, just . . . one . . . shove!
“ARRrrrrhhh!!” was that his voice? It sounded half animal.
To his relief, the metal object slid off of him, hitting the dirt with a THUD. His lungs greedily sucked in deep breaths of air. His breaths were raspy, but at least he could breath properly now. A few seconds later he could feel the torn skin on his chest seal itself up. The dark bruises faded away, too. His strength was coming back to him.
“Oh sweet Celestia!”
He forced his eyes open, seeing spots in his vision and rolled over onto his hands and knees. He wobbled, clenching his hands in the loose dirt as he rebalanced himself. He tried to find his voice.
“Stay back,” he managed, his voice a low growl. He shook his head slightly, straining for a louder sound. “Stay back or I’ll cut ya t' pieces.” There, that’s better. Now stare them down.
He leaned back, steadying on his knees. His head swam for a moment but then it cleared. Shapes and colors all merged into one focused image again. He looked around.
Through the thin smoke rising around him he saw faces—strange furry faces. Frightened eyes as big as soccers stared back at him. He saw colors, bright colors—he could pick any color from rainbow and it was in front of him. Some of the creatures were shaking slightly. All of them were gaping at him. They stood on four legs which were oddly uniform in shape. They had large heads, and ears that for many were splayed back on their heads. And they were quite short in stature. Their heads may have only reached his chest if he stood up to his full hight. If he didn’t know better he’d say they looked like. . . horses. . . miniature horses.
All in all, to his eyes, they looked weak, but he had been wrong before. He wouldn’t underestimate anyone; however, their scent alone told him all he needed to know. They were all horrified—not that he blamed them. He probably looked half dead. Felt that way, too.
For a few moments, Logan just kneeled there, staring, completely dumbstruck. They stared back.
There was pure silence.
Then, out of nowhere, he saw something out of the corner of his eye move towards him. Instinctively, he unsheathed his claws.
His vision tinted red and three cold, razor-sharp blades extended from each hand between his knuckles. He lunged, snarling, and swiped his claws wildly to the left.
Strands of cyan hair drifted to the ground.
“AHHHH!! IT’S A MONSTER!!!!! EVERYPONY RUN!” one of the horses screamed from somewhere next to him.
It wasn't a moment later when he heard a stampede of hooves galloping away, all fleeing as fast as their hooves could take them except for the horse in front of him whom had landed on its rump in terror. It scooted back as far away from him as it could before bumping into a jagged sheet of metal sticking out of the ground. It shook violently in its place, now petrified. He could hear its heart beating rapidly in its chest. Tears began to leak from the corners of its wide eyes and trail down its golden colored fur.
Tears . . .
And like a switch, the red haze faded. Logan breathed heavily, coming back to his senses. The creature was crying.
He had to get a hold of himself. He needed to calm down, he didn’t—didn’t want to let . . .
He calmed his equally rapid beating heart and pushed the raging animal back down—the berserker that urged him to kill. He furrowed his brow, shaking his head. He looked at the creature and noticed the mane in front of its face was cut slanted and glanced at the pieces on the ground. He almost just sliced up an innocent horse. . . thing. He really was in bad shape.
"Please. . . " sounded a desperate whisper in front of him. ". . . please don't hurt me." Its voice petered out to almost nothing. It slid down on all fours and covered it's eyes with its forelegs, shaking. Then it began to sob quietly in front of him.
Logan frowned and growled at himself. He was never good at handling this kind of stuff. He wasn't the most reassuring guy around. And he didn’t exactly give the horse a nice greeting. He sighed and slowly retracted his claws into his arms—the cuts where they priced through his skin sealed.
He leaned back on his heels. "Hey," he began but winced at his own gruff voice. The horse flinched, halting its own whimpers sharply. “Hey, kid . . . look, it's alright. It's alright. I ain't gonna hurt ya." He tried to soften his voice but it only came out in a low grumble.
Logan watched it carefully and after what felt like a minute, the horse shakily peered over its forelegs and glanced at his hands. It blinked a few times and then with either bravery or stupidity it trailed its eyes up to his face. Its impossibly large eyes that were red and puffy looked into his own. He was disturbed—he didn’t like the way it was looking at him.
It was at that moment it hit him.
A cold wave of shock crashed over him as he realized what was happening.
This horse was intelligent. This horse spoke English. This horse had yellow colored fur with a turquoise mane. This horse lived in a world filled with other absurdly colored horses. He was talking with said horse.
Fuck. Where the hell was he. . . ? How did he get here?
What is this place? Where are the other X-Men. . . ? How come he couldn't. . . couldn't remember what he was doing?
"Are. . . are you okay?" The horse looked up at him with slight concern which turned into abrupt fear again when Logan suddenly stood up.
Logan ignored its yelp as he surveyed his surroundings quickly. He saw scraps of metal and concrete everywhere and there was a radius of scorched earth surrounding him. It looked like it all had just appeared there. . . and he had a feeling it did—with him included.
He didn’t think about that for long and instead focused on getting away from there. Judging by the town he saw a distance away, he figured those horses would be back to investigate. Whatever their intentions, he didn’t want to be there when they did. So, he looked past the strange wreckage and saw, opposite of the town, a forest. He made a snap decision and headed towards it. He was healed enough to start a jog, leaving the weird horse behind him. He needed time to think, to be alone by himself without those creepy eyes staring at him.
As he jogged, he focused on his surroundings for any trouble. It was dead silent. He didn't notice any new horses, thankfully. Satisfied, he continued on his path.
After a few minutes he reached the forest edge, made one more glance over his shoulder, and entered without hesitation. He could see some paths trailing through but he avoided them. Instead, he ran straight into the thick foliage.
Even with bulky boots on his feet, he carried himself silently through the forest. Occasionally, his jacket would get caught on a bush and he could feel the scrapes it made on his arms but he wasn’t bothered in the least—he was at home in the woods. The smells, the sounds—it was a place he could be at ease, to let instinct drive him. And right now, it helped clear his head a little.
He felt better already.
He picked up his pace, letting his senses navigate him as he thought about his situation. He tried to remember how he got here. How he ended up in that wreckage. He tried to remember before.
. . .
. . .
Nothing—not a single inkling.
He grumbled. He looked down at the jacket he was wearing. It was the X-Men leather suit he wore on their missions. It was shredded and torn with a large slash on the front—he could see his chest underneath, all healed up. His eyebrows pulled together in confusion. When had he put this on? What sort of mission was he on? Where were the others?
He thought back on the wreckage. It looked a lot like the scraps of a collapsed building, and for the life of him he couldn't remember how he ended up trapped under a pile of debris.
He couldn't remember. . . couldn't. . . remember. . .
"Dammit." he swore bitterly.
What had he forgotten now?