Wolverine in Equestria

by Azera

First published

Logan finds himself teleported into Equestria without any memory of how it happened. To his displeasure, he meets the local populous–all the while wondering if he'll ever get back home.

The Wolverine finds himself teleported to Equestria. He has no recollection of how he ended up there–in a world inhabited by miniature horses, or as they so eloquently call themselves: Ponies. He seeks to find his way home, but in the meantime he must deal with a culture that is innocent to the eyes of death. And in turn, they will come to learn who he truly is.

This story will take elements from both the comics and the movies. (X-Men Origins: Wolverine will be excluded).

I hope you like it!

Comments and constructive criticism are welcomed and encouraged!

A New World

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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.

“—still alive!?”

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.

Move—move, dammit!

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?

Another Monster in Ponyville

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“Dear Heavens, that was positively exhausting!” Rarity said while blowing away a strand of hair that had fallen in front of her eyes. She sluggishly carried herself and some cleaning supplies behind her in a floating, blue aura.

Twilight glanced in Rarity’s direction, empathizing. Even with her talent for magic, she still felt worn out. They had been at the old castle of the two sisters since this morning. It was a routine thing now. Every other month the girls would visit the castle and tidy up a bit—it was at the request of the princesses. Twilight expected it to be laboring work since one couldn’t use magic for everything but judging by the soreness of her legs and her wings, she admitted to herself that she should probably get outside more.

Once it turned late in the afternoon, they had all decided to call it a day. They packed up all their supplies and began their walk home. Although tired, Twilight still tried to pay attention to her surroundings—this was the Everfree forest after all, no one could ever be too careful.

Twilight nodded in agreement with Rarity. “Yeah, I can’t believe how dusty it gets in there. And I swear, more and more rocks seem to crumble down every time we visit! Pretty soon there won’t be much left to call it a ‘castle’ anymore.” she complained. She was startled stiff when one of the rags that were floating in her magic fell on top of her head. She blinked twice then sighed tiredly, her body sagging slightly as she put more power into her telekinesis. Cloths and feather dusters glowed faintly brighter and then trailed behind her obediently.

Pinkie bounced around on all fours happily, seemingly unaffected by the day’s hard work. “Well I thought it was FUN! Especially when I scared Dashie behind that banner! You were all like ‘AHHHH! A GHOST!!!’” She giggled at the memory of her prank.

Rainbow Dash rebounded, wholeheartedly disagreeing, as she swooped down next to her, her fore hooves crossed. “You didn’t scare me! I was just. . . startled.” she tried.

“Nope! I got you goooood Dashie! Admit it!”

“Did not!” Rainbow argued.

“Did too!”

“Did not!”

“Did too!”

Twilight droned out their voices knowing that neither one of them was going to back down anytime soon. It was going to be a long trip back.

As they walked, the menacing trees began to thin and the air lightened again—the edge of Ponyville was just up ahead. Twilight smiled in relief and finally began to look forward to relax. Maybe she could read a few books, reorganize a few things and—oh! Maybe finally get a chance to look at those old star charts that Luna gave her.

However, after taking just one step in Ponyville, she realized her plans were about to change.

“. . . Where is everypony?” she asked aloud.

It was quiet and all activities had ceased. Blinds were shut and doors were locked. Not a single pony could be seen milling the streets, except for the occasional pony who would trot hurriedly and look left and right nervously before heading back inside once more.

Twilight hummed, suspicious. She squinted her eyes, scanning the vacant streets before her. “Everypony looks spooked.” she noted.

“Hey guys,” Rainbow called from her vantage point above the buildings. “Whatever happened here, I’m willing to bet it has something to do with that smoke over there.” she said while pointing with her hoof.

The girls’ eyes cast to where Rainbow pointed, and there in the distance was a thin cloud of smoke rising into the atmosphere.

Applejack turned to Twilight, concerned. “Ah don’t like the look of this, sugarcube.”

“Yeah, something’s definitely—“ Twilight stopped short. Her ears flicked up at the sudden but growing sound of fast paced trotting. It wasn’t more than a couple of seconds later when Berry Punch could be seen sticking her head around the corner of a building in front of them. She looked to her right and then her left only to flinch at seeing six ponies all standing there watching, surprised.

Her startled reaction faded as recognition formed in her eyes. She hurriedly trotted toward them, relief plain on her muzzle. “Twilight! The elements! Thank Celestia you’re all here!” she panted, then took one giant deep breath and spoke in a rush. “You just missed it! There was a bright beam of light from the sky! And it sent a giant shockwave of red energy that spread through Ponyville—which miraculously didn’t cause any harm—but that’s not the problem! A monster showed up in Ponyville again!” She practically screeched at the end. She ducked suddenly from the sound of her own voice, afraid that she had been too loud, attracting said monster’s attention.

“M-m-monster,” Fluttershy whispered, her eyes pinpricks. She plastered herself to the ground and cowered behind Pinkie Pie, shaking in place.

“Red energy. . .?” Twilight mumbled to herself.

Rainbow Dash landed on the ground with a groan. “What the hay!? We were only gone for a couple hours!”

Twilight looked at Rainbow and sighed. “Dash, at this point, we shouldn’t be surprised anymore. It doesn’t matter what time, Ponyville always ends up being the location for strange phenomena—mostly the bad kind. We end up saving Ponyville at least twice a week—be it from invasions, evil villains, rampaging monsters. . .” she trailed off.

Applejack nudged Twilight. “Looks like we’ve got ourselves a case of one ’a those,” she then muttered, “Hopefully without the rampagin’ part.”

Twilight turned to Berry Punch. “Can you to tell us everything that happened?”

Berry Punch calmed herself as best she could, composing herself. She made one last hesitant look around for the monster before speaking. “After the shockwave, a bunch of stuff appeared, all scattered like. It was. . . strange. We all went to check it out and found a bunch of weird, twisted metal and heavy rocks. Some ponies were sifting through the stuff—that’s when somepony noticed something alive was stuck under a huge metal beam—a creature we had never seen before,” She paused, trying to find the right words to describe what she saw. “It was. . . alive, but it sure didn’t look alive. There were burns all over its face and body—and blood, lots of blood.” Her coat paled a shade, as did the girls’. “We—we had to do something to help. It took a couple of minutes to get through the rubble and by the time we got the big stuff off, the creature actually got up itself.”

“What did it look like?” Twilight asked.

“It was . . . it had four limbs but it balanced on its hind legs. It also had weird hooves that had lots of digits at the ends—very much like a minotaur's—and its face was strangely flat. It was kind of hard to see any details with all the cuts and burns it had. Also," She paused, her eyes narrowed as she focused on the memory. "It actually spoke to us. At least I think it did. It was very hard to understand. Its voice was rough and scary—probably because of its injuries."

"It . . . spoke?” Twilight was surprised. "So it's an intelligent being? Maybe it can be reasoned with. Maybe we could figure out what happened and why." She was optimistic but the concern on Berry's face showed her that she didn't feel the same.

"Twilight, I don't think. . . look, what just happened was anything but reasonable. It almost . . ." Her eyes widened in fear at just thinking about the creature that had lunged at them. Eyes as wild as the Everfree itself stared back at her, and its gleaming blades flashed in her memory.

“. . . it almost,“ Twilight pressed quietly after Berry had become silent.

Berry Punch blinked harshly, dispelling the memory. She looked up at Twilight and shook her head. “Twilight it. . . it all happened so fast—one moment it spoke and the next it lashed out and almost killed Jasmine!”

They all gasped in shock. Twilight’s ears fell. Maybe reasoning with it wasn't going to be a good idea.

“That’s terrible!” Rarity spoke, aghast.

Twilight spoke quickly, “Was she hurt? Was anypony else attacked?”

“I—I don’t think so. As soon as its attack missed Jasmine everypony ran and—” She stopped abruptly then looked down at her hooves suddenly realizing something. Her eyes widened. “Oh my gosh!” Berry breathed suddenly.

Twilight’s ears straightened, alarmed. “What? What’s wrong?”

“We—we left Jasmine all alone with. . . with that monster!”

Twilight felt her heart drop. She spoke her next words calmly but with urgency. Getting everyone in a panic was not going to help anyone, especially not Jasmine. “Could you tell us where it happened?”

Berry lifted a shaky hoof and pointed. “Just across the river in that field, close to the Whitetail Woods.” She looked to the sky. “Just head towards that smoke.”

Twilight gave her a firm nod, then spoke to the group. “Let’s go then, we can’t waste any time! Rainbow I want you to fly ahead and report back to us with what you see, we’ll catch up as fast as we can.”

Rainbow saluted and was up in the air in less than a second, speeding across Ponyville.

“Also, one of us should go check Jasmine’s place first. Hopefully she escaped with the others.” Twilight added.

Berry stepped forward. “I’ll go check. Then I’ll meet you guys there.” she offered and then hurried to Jasmine’s.

The rest of the group fell into a gallop next to each other, heading for the wreckage.

They were half-way there when rainbow swooped back down and flew next to them. Her eyes were wide.

“I circled the whole place! There wasn’t a single pony there! No monsters either!”

Twilight felt the pit in her stomach grow and she prayed Jasmine was simply at home, hiding.

The field came into view soon enough and there they saw the devastation first hoof. There were large slabs of strange, flat rock in rather unnatural, rectangular shapes. And they saw thick metal beams scattered about. Some had gouged into the ground, sticking up with sharp edges. And in the center of it all was a large pile of the stuff with a mix of other strange debris. surrounded by a scorched ring of dirt and grass. Twilight watched as the thin smoke trailed into the sky.

“Horseapples,” Applejack swore. “Looks like a tornado tore through here!”

Fluttershy lifted both hooves to her face, frightened and worried. “Oh dear. . . “

“Twi, what do you think could have done this?” Applejack questioned.

“I’m . . . I’m not sure. Berry said it was unlike anything she’s ever seen and she’s lived here all her life—she’s probably seen most of the crazy stuff Ponyville has to offer already. And, to top it all off, some of this stuff is . . .” She shifted some debris with a hoof. “foreign.”

“What do you mean?” Rainbow trotted up next to Twilight.

“I mean, this stuff doesn’t look pony made.” Twilight’s horn glowed as she pried out a short steel beam that was stuck in the ground with her magic. She floated it gently over and placed it on the ground for the girls to see. “Take this metal, for example. Iv'e never seen anypony shape it in such a way before." Her horn glowed once more and the metal glowed in her aura but this time it did not move. Her eyes closed and the girls all watched as her face contorted in confusion. She opened her eyes once more after finishing the analysis. "Even stranger is what this is made of. It's like a combination of other metals and some other elements." She trailed off.

"Well," Applejack spoke. "Seeing as we're going to have to wait for Berry to come back, how about we look around for any clues that might lead us to this monster?"

Twilight nodded as she set about sifting though the pile of rubble. However, all she saw was more of the strange metal, dirt and that rather peculiar crumbling rock which was scattered about in large chunks around the whole place. Walking more towards the center, she saw where what looked like the creature may have come from. She saw some red liquid splattered on some of the metal sheets and couldn't hold back a squeamish sound from leaving her throat. She looked away for a moment and just then something shiny caught her eye. It glinted in the late afternoon sun. Curious, she leaned down, shoved aside some of the crumbling rock and lifted the item with a purple glow. It was a small pice of metal connected to a chain with a stamped message on it.


Twilight cocked her head, intrigued.

Wolverine? Like the animal?

She turned it in her magic a few times, looking at it from every angle with acuity. To her displeasure there was’t much to glean from it. Though she concluded obviously that it must belong to someone, and logic would say it was probably whoever showed up in this disaster in the first place, which in this case, was the monster. She hummed thoughtfully.

“Twilight!” Berry called out.

Twilight lifted her head and placed the strange necklace inside her saddle bag for later without looking. She turned and saw Berry galloping as fast as she could towards her. She looked more panicked than before and Twilight already knew what she was going to say.

The rest of the girls paused from their searching and investigating, lifting their heads to hear the news.

Berry came to an abrupt stop in front of Twilight, kicking up a cloud of dust. She panted heavily and looked distraught. She shook her head. “She wasn’t there.”

This was not good. Not good at all.

Twilight felt the reality of the situation kick in. Jasmine was missing—probably taken by this. . . this monster. Who knows if she’s even still . . . . . She ended that thought immediately. Thinking like that only made things worse. There was still a chance here, they could still save her.

Twilight’s face hardened and she looked up to see all her friends standing around her. They looked worried but there was determination there—they were waiting for action.

Twilight straightened and addressed a plan. “Okay girls, let’s split up. Four of us will go into the forest and two of us will stay in Ponyville in case this thing is still around.” She then pointed, “Rarity and Fluttershy, stay here in case this thing comes back, or if anypony else needs help. Pinkie and Applejack, you guys take the south half of the Whitetail while Rainbow and I will take the north—we’ll spread out our range and cover as much area as possible.”

Without another word, everyone claimed their duties. Twilight took to the air with Rainbow, ignoring the soreness in her wings. She wasn't sure what to expect from this point on but she kept forward.

We’re coming, Jasmine.

skitter. skitter. skitter.



. . .

skitter. skit—


Logan stood up from his crouch in the foliage and held up his prize like a shish kabob. Its brown fur had stained red, and its long floppy ears dangled lifelessly. Warm blood dripped from his claws and down his wrist. It wasn’t much but it was something.

He had been running full tilt for about twenty minutes when he couldn’t ignore it anymore. He was starving. His body craved energy, an overwhelming hunger that usually resulted after multiple serious injuries—injuries that cost his healing factor to work in over-drive, so he broke from his continuous run in favor of getting something to eat. It didn’t take him long to sniff out some stray rabbits, and even less time to catch one.

With a fresh meal, he wasted no time devouring it. Why bother cooking it? Setting a fire would create an obvious signal, and he certainly didn’t need any of those horses following him. So without hesitation he tore into the red raw meat. It disappeared quickly, disappointedly so, but his hunger did subside slightly. He felt better, but he still felt like he could raid the school’s kitchen right now. Though, considering it seemed he wasn’t exactly on Earth at the moment, that opportunity probably wasn’t going to be available anytime soon.

With his meal finished, he buried the bones and the fur in the dirt. Never hurt to be too careful.

He absently scratched at the now dried blood on his chest. He had gained quite a lot of ground already, he figured he had a couple of minutes to wash up. He could hear a small stream not too far from here. He could also smell a river farther north, one bound to have plenty of fish but it was quite a distance away. He settled with the stream for a now. There he could get a quick drink, wash up, and be on his way.

Logan moved silently through the forest. His steps were gentle but his demeanor was focused. He listened to the birds sing their melodic tunes and watched as a few stray animals scurried about lightly.

On the way, he paused to sniff at a tree, recognizing the scent of a bear and her cubs. Looks like he just missed them, which was a good thing. A mama and her cubs should not be messed with.

He reached the shallow stream in short time. It flowed almost silently and it was just deep enough to cup his hand under the water. He crouched down and leaned his head over to take a drink. It was cold and refreshing, it tasted pure—not that he could get sick from contaminated water but it was a pleasant surprise to him.

Leaning back from his drink, his eye caught the rippling refection in the water. His hair was wild, the points it came to on each side of his head frayed outwards and some pieces fell over his eyes. His skin was splattered with dried blood and dirt and over that was a light dusting of concrete powder. Other than that, there were no visible cuts or bruises. Just looking at all that dirt, though, made his skin itch like crazy.

He stuck his hands in and watched as the fresh blood on his hands mixed with the water and trailed down the stream. Not wasting any more time, he took off his jacket and tank top and set about washing off the dirt and crusted blood on his skin and body. Much of it was on his chest and arms; he had to scrub at it to loosen it up.

He also tired washing his shirt but the action was basically useless, it might as well have been a red shirt to begin with. He wanted to discard it but that would leave a trail. So instead he rung it out a few times before shrugging it back on. He wasn’t very gentle about it and as a consequence he heard a seam rip. He only grumbled at that. It was already torn to hell anyway.

Grabbing his boots he put off to the side, he laced them back on without thought. His mind wandered a bit and after all he had been through today, he couldn’t help but be reminded of his days in the northern Canadian wilderness—the time in his life he spent surviving day to day learning everything from the very beginning just after his escape from Weapon X. They weren’t exactly fond memories but he found his situation very reminiscent to that one. Just like before he was running, memories lost, seeking refuge in the woods, confused. Though, back then it was far worse.

It was pretty fuzzy but he recalled running though the snow, naked and blood slicked with no memory or anything of who or what he was. Everything was a new experience and he had to learn how to survive—the hard way. In the beginning, he learned from the wolves. They taught him how to hunt, to kill. And for a while, the only evils in life were hunger and the perpetual cold.

It was a simple existence.

Thinking back, it was a miracle he was brought back at all—he was little more than an animal then.

He had Mac and Heather to thank for that. Especially Heather.

But now, here he was again, running—running from those strange horses with no memory of how or why. It made him angry. It made him clench his fists as he felt the tips of his claws prick at his skin.

He had the fucking worst memory.

He took a deep breath, calming his growing anger. Getting frustrated wasn’t going to help him. He breathed evenly, centering himself—using a skill he couldn’t remember ever learning. The air was crisp and clean. Pure. It was the freshest air he’d ever breathed and the woods were pleasantly quiet. . . almost too quiet. That was another thing. Ever since he entered this forest there was something different about it that he couldn’t quite place. He couldn’t explain it in words but it felt. . . controlled, a little unnatural. He found that strange, but he shrugged it off.

Just then a gust came through, chilling his damp skin. He shivered automatically, but otherwise paid no attention to it. It had been worse. Much worse.

Shrugging off the cold he focused on what the wind carried. It brought him two new scents, and they were unmistakably that of the horses. And to his annoyance, they were headed in his direction.

He had been there too long already. Time to move on.

He took one last drink, having his fill, then he flicked his hands before drying them off on his jeans. He stood, planning on heading further north. The river was in that direction and there he could cosy up in a cave and figure out a game plan. Maybe rest on it for a bit and shake a few memories loose. That’s how he usually remembered things anyway.

He took one step then paused, angling his head slightly in the air. He sniffed once, then twice.

Wait, that smells. . . familiar. . .

It was a faint but it was definitely there. He frowned in recognition. It was the smell of the horse that he had almost sliced to pieces. She was following him.

He was ready to just hike out of there, she’d give up soon enough anyway—those other two would as well. If the Wolverine didn’t want to be found, he simply wasn’t found. But something made him stop, and suddenly he remembered. He recalled the bear he smelled earlier.

Ah, hell.

This kid was going to cross paths with a bear. . . and her cubs.

He hung his head and sighed. Looks like he wasn’t going to head north after all. He growled in annoyance. He didn’t know what she was thinking following him here. He thought he scared her shitless. He shook his head, then turned around, sprinting through the trees.

Stupid kid.


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As Jasmine walked deeper into the Whitetail forest, she came to the conclusion that this probably wasn’t one of her best ideas. At the time, of course, after she watched the monster disappear behind the trees, the feeling was clear. She was compelled to follow it, something in her gut told her to.

But why would she follow an evil monster—a monster with long, metal claws that had almost sliced her in half? A monster that had spoke to her in a rough, intimidating voice? A monster, for when she met its eyes, had looked confused. . .

No, this was no monster, at least not at heart. This was a creature that needed help. Perhaps her’s wasn’t the best, but it was all the creature had at the moment, and she was going to help in any way she could. It was just a matter of finding it first.

It was then, after twenty minutes of searching, that she realized her spontaneous plan was a bust. She had no idea where to look, what direction to go, or what to even say if she managed to find it at all. All she had was her determination, and that could only take a pony so far.

Discouraged, she halted her trek for a moment and found a particularly soft patch of dirt and grass to sit on. The trails were starting to look the same now and she was worried she may have lost her sense of direction on one of the many bends and turns she took. She sighed frustratedly, rubbing a hoof on her muzzle.

She glanced up through the trees. The sun was dipping lower, and soon Luna would raise the moon. She didn’t have much time left.

She looked left and right down the path, mentally deciding which way to go. She choose the right, hoping it was the way home. She travelled down the path for a couple of minutes until she suddenly heard something.

For a split second she thought it was the creature and felt her heart race, unsure what to say or do, but her worries were halted when she noticed the source of the noise.

There, a few feet in front of her, was a pair of bear cubs barreling through a bush excitedly. She felt her heart melt at the sight. They were adorable little fluff-balls of cuteness playing right before her very eyes! She ‘awwwed’ as she watched them jump and caper around the trees and foliage. She stood still as the cubs neared her, a large smile on her face all the while.

They got closer but paused when they noticed the stranger. They haltingly approached, tentatively smelling her and testing wether or not she was a danger. Luckily for them, they had nothing to worry about. Jasmine brought her nose down, nudging one of the the cubs softly as a reassurance. She giggled as the cub skittered under her, curious and lively. She turned to watch as they continued their playfulness.

Jasmine’s smile grew, but she knew she couldn’t stay long. Celestia’s sun was setting, and she didn’t want to be here at night.

With a small sigh, she walked over to the cubs to give a goodbye nuzzle. She eased up slowly getting one last look. Her eyes flicked to the distance for a moment as something moved. Her head snapped up immediately, alarmed as she watched the foliage rustle loudly. Without any warning, a massive body of fur and ferocity appeared.

She felt her heart stop. One thought rang in her mind.

The mother.

Jasmine simply stood there, frozen. The cubs in front of her cried out, running to their mother excitably. The mother paid them no mind as her nostrils flared and her head angled up to meet the stranger in the eyes.

Jasmine somehow managed to take a few shaky steps backwards. “I-I-I was just leaving. . .” she squeaked out. Her heart stopped when she noticed the bear started moving towards her.

She needed no further persuasion as she finally twisted around and bolted as fast as she could in the opposite direction, bobbing and weaving around trees and bushes—but it wasn’t to last. She didn’t make it more than a couple of yards before her hind leg caught between a branch on a fallen tree. Her body had soared over the tree, only to flop over the trunk of it painfully as her hoof stopped her momentum.

She squirmed frantically, trying to pry her hind leg free. It didn’t budge. Her heart hammered in her chest and her panic consumed her as she heard the bear come crashing through the forest. She felt tears in the corner of her eyes as she struggled fruitlessly to escape.

There was no time left as the bear came barreling right towards her. Then, suddenly, the bear halted to an abrupt stop three feet in front of her. Jasmine watched in horror with wide eyes as the mother reared up on her hind legs, her head blocking out the setting sun and casting a looming shadow over her. Jasmine simply froze, petrified. The bear rawred ferociously and Jasmine cowered, flattening her ears against her head and squeezing her eyes tight, waiting for the inevitable for the second time that day.

Only, nothing seemed to happen except for the ground shaking as the bear landed back on all fours. Jasmine felt the angered huffing breath of the bear and she shivered. She had half a mind to ease her eyes back open, still expecting death to arrive, but to her surprise, the bear wasn’t even looking at her. It was looking past her.

Jasmine twisted her head back around to get a glimpse of what the bear was looking at. Her eyes widened.

It was the creature.

It stood a few feet in front of her, its head bowed and its posture tight. Its eyes stared right at the bear, silent and intimidating, yet almost pleading.

The bear stared right back.

This staring contest seemed to go on for hours until a miracle happened. The bear backed up slowly, lowering her head. She huffed loudly as though irritated, her paws lightly scraping the dirt as she made to leave. One of the cubs cried out again, catching her attention. Apparently seeing there was no more danger, she turned around to tend to her family. She nudged her nose into them, sniffing them as if assuring they were all alright. With the danger gone and needy cubs to feed, she continued on her way, disappearing into the thick foliage.

Jasmine let loose a breath she hadn’t known she was holding. Her whole body wen’t limp over the trunk of the tree. As she attempted to calm her heart and shaking limbs, she heard the creature take a few steps closer.

“You got a death wish, kid?” came the rumbling voice.

Jasmine flinched at the tone. She tried to still her trembling as she lifted her head hesitantly, slowly, until she was met with a strange scowling face.

The first thing she noticed was how tall it was. Back at Ponyville, when she had her first encounter with it, it had been on all fours, and even then it was as tall as a pony. But now, on its hind legs, it stood far above her. Her eyes locked on its face for a moment. Seeing this creature for a second time now, she noticed the patches of hair on its face and head—it was all very strange but the creature looked like a male. She had no way of knowing, or course—well, unless she asked—but she took note of it regardless and just assumed for now.

Past the daunting figure and the angered frown aimed at her, she suddenly realized something. He looked. . .well. . . alive. He didn’t have a single scratch on him, and he was lacking a rather distinctive gaping slash she had seen across his chest earlier that day, which, if she had anything to say about it, was impossible. On top of that, there were no burns or cuts and the blood he was covered in was mostly gone. Instead, his clothes were now damp, clean and washed, and his hair was wet; she could see little droplets of water clinging on the spiky ends.

A bath? She wondered. In the middle of the forest? Did he jump in a river?

Oh. Apparently she had been staring too long because now he was glaring at her.

"Well? Are you deaf, or just stupid?"

She ducked her head, both slightly afraid of his tone and embarrassed at her silent staring.

She opened her mouth to say something but it felt like she was a fish out of water. "N-no I'm. . . I'm just. . ." she didn't finish, hanging her head down in shame as she didn't know what to say.

What do you say to a creature you know nothing about that almost killed you earlier that day accidentally yet happened to save your life that same day?

Maybe. . . maybe a thank you?

She glanced up at him again. He was still staring at her, his features increasing in irritation for every moment of her silence.

She had to say something, anything. Her ears perked up slightly, they set at determined right angles. She opened her mouth slightly—

But the creature shook his head with a scowl on his face as he folded his arms in front of his chest. "I haven't got time for this shit." he muttered to the sky. He grumbled and took an unnerving step forward and leaned down slightly. “Why are you following me?”

Her ears fell back down, frightened by his tone. She shifted on the trunk of the tree uncomfortably as she opened her mouth again, trying to explain. “I wanted to . . . to help you. You looked lost.” She felt stupid the moment those words left her mouth. Here she was trying to help him and all she did was cause him trouble—for crying out loud, she almost got mauled by a bear! Who really needed the help here?

He growled deeply, unsatisfied with her response. “Look, I don’t need yer help. And you shouldn’t be out here alone anyway—it’s dangerous, if you haven’t noticed already.”

She let out a noncommittal laugh, "Yeah, I noticed." She sighed tiredly. The position of her body on the trunk of the tree was really starting to get uncomfortable, and she began to notice a sharp pain in her ankle—the one that had gotten caught between the branch.

A small price to pay, she thought. She looked back up at the creature and noticed him staring at her leg. Yeah, the least she could do is give him her gratitude.

“Thank you for helping me,” she said quietly, but genuinely. “You came just in time,” she added, then she cocked her head as a thought suddenly occurred to her. “Yeah. . . how did you find—?"

There was a strange sound, it was slow and sharp and. . . almost familiar. It made the hairs on her back stand on end.


She looked down slightly and immediately the the blood in her veins froze. Red eyes and barred teeth flashed in her eyes and her fear returned in full force. She wanted to scream, to run, to hide at the sight of those three familiar blades that slid out from one hand. She watched in horror for the second time that day as they rose into the air, glinting dangerously—almost beautifully—in an orange sunbeam that had slipped through a gap in the canopy. She squeezed her eyes shut right when they swung down, about to slice her right in two—!

Wood splintered with a snap and she fell a short distance to the ground. She landed on her side roughly, the dirt cold against her muzzle. She shook slightly with the aftershock of fear induced adrenaline—somehow she still had some of that left.

“Calm down. When I told you I wasn’t gonna hurt ya I meant it.” the creature said with a surprising amount of gentleness in his gruff voice.

She opened one eye hesitantly and eyed him suspiciously. He was right next to her, crouching with his claws unsheathed. His attention was elsewhere, his head swiveling from side to side and sometimes angling upwards slightly with a scowl as if smelling something unpleasant. She gave one last look at his hands and finally relaxed once she realized he wasn't going to stab her with those claws. She tried to slow down her rapid pulse by breathing deep. Too many times today had she felt fear grip her heart—she wasn't sure how much left she could take before she actually had a heart attack.

Lifting her head slightly above the dirt, she turned and saw the trunk of the tree, cleanly cut as though it were butter. Oh sweet Celestia, she swore in her mind. How sharp were those claws? She gulped down her trepidation, reminding herself that he was just trying to help. And he was because she noticed with a blink of her eyes that she was free. Her leg was no longer caught.

With a thankful intake of breath, she shakily attempted to stand. Immediately after, she hissed in pain. She turned her head to look at her back leg. There were plenty of scrapes and gashes from her thrashing, and it hurt to move it in any direction. She must have twisted her ankle pretty bad. She silently wished her cuts and bruises would heal just like this mystery creature's.

Speaking of, she heard him sigh, apparently he was looking at the damage as well. She turned around to watch as he hung his head, muttering an irritated 'great' under his breath. Her ears fell, he was clearly unhappy about the situation.

"Sorry," she said, feeling like a burden. "I-I know I wasn't walking the trails for too long, so Ponyville shouldn't be very far. I. . . I think I can make it from here. . ." She struggled to stand once more, managing to spread her weight on her other legs. Her eyes darted around the darkening trees for a few seconds, her face scrunched in confusion a moment later.

She cleared her throat awkwardly, eyes trailing up to the creature. "I. . . I umm, may have lost my sense of direction."

He dragged a hand across his face. "Dammit," he grumbled, coming to a stand. She couldn't tell if he cared about a word she said. He kept looking at her leg and then the at the trees around them.

"Is uhmm, i-is something wrong?"

"Yes, there is." he said with considerable anger, his fists tightening. "Your little friends are right on my ass, and I don't think I can outrun them."

Jasmine cocked her head carefully, trying to ignore his frightening tone. "Friends? I don't think anypony followed me. . . unless. . . . . . oh."

"'Oh'?" he repeated dryly.

"They're probably—"


A colorful blur rushed towards them, its speed unparalleled. Jasmine’s eyes widened in recognition, she had to warn him—! But, without looking, the creature simply leaned out of the way sharply, flawlessly.

Rainbow’s body flew by, her hoof a hair’s breadth away from his face in a blow that she wholeheartedly believed would’ve knocked out even the toughest of ponies. All she could do was watch as Rainbow Dash, the fastest flier in all of Equestria, missed her target, which unfortunately for her meant she was headed straight for a tree trunk instead.

There was a loud Oooph as she smacked right into a tree, sending a shock wave rattling up the trunk and shaking the leaves. Her body fell to the ground, unconscious.

“Rainbow Dash!” Jasmine called out in shock and concern. She turned to face the creature in front of her.

His face was the expression of someone utterly unimpressed. “Saw that one comin’ a mile away, bub.” he said. He crossed his arms and looked over to Rainbow’s still form as if to assure she wouldn’t be getting back up soon.

She wouldn’t be.

Jasmine hurriedly moved to check on her friend, but in her quick movement she bumped her sore leg and she halted immediately, landing on her side.

“Now hold on a minute, relax” came his rumbling voice behind her. Jasmine looked at him worriedly. He bobbed his head in Rainbow’s direction. “Your friend’s fine.”

“Are you kidding?! She just slammed head-first right into a tree! She’s probably worse off than me!” she said, her voice bordering on a shriek.

"She'll probably just have a bruise for a couple of days, at most a minor concussion." he said as though it were a fact. "Besides, she deserved it."

"Deserved it?!"

"Look, she came barreling towards me, it's her fault she didn't think to fly in a direction that didn't immediately put her head-first into a tree. That's just bad offense."

Jasmine simply gaped at him. Neither had time to discuss it further as another voice joined them.


Jasmine immediately recognized that voice as well, and she had a sinking feeling that something was going to go very, very wrong.

"Rainbow?! Rainb—! Oh my gosh!" A purple coated pony came through the trees and bushes, object concern written on her face. She came running to her friend, shaking her slightly with a hoof to wake her up. A low groan escaped—hurt but alive.

Jasmine watched the exchange. Relief washed through her at Rainbow's movement. At least she was going to be okay. Only problem now was convincing Twilight that this was all just a misunderstanding.

No sooner had that thought run through her mind, she watched as Twilight turned her head around and locked eyes with the creature, and then with her. It looked as though a multitude of thoughts were racing through her mind as her eyes bounced back and forth and between the creature and herself, only to come to a stop as she frowned, her eyes focusing on the creature. She stepped in front of Rainbow Dash protectively and angled her head down slightly, her horn aimed with purpose.

Jasmine knew what was happening, and she attempted to de-escalate the situation, her limbs flailing uselessly as she tried to come to a stand. "W-wait! Wait! It's not what it looks like!" she stammered, looking between Twilight and the creature.

Jasmine's eyes widened as Twilight's horn began to sparkle, the energy in the air spiking—it felt like static on a dry winter day. She watched as purple energy congealed around her horn, her eyes flashing in anger. Next to her, the creature stood, resolute, the fists on his sides clenching. His eyes were focused in kind, but piercing and daring.

Jasmine squeezed her eyes shut as Twilight shouted with a wave of energy hurtling towards the creature, "No more!"

The Story

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Logan stood rigid as he stared down the purple unicorn—something was happening. The moment she aimed her horn the air had changed. It was electric, powerful, and also slightly familiar. The tingling static, the uncomfortable, intangible presence that made the animal wary inside him. . . yeah—it was magic. He should’ve guessed it from the glowing horn, but he’d only seen this type of power once before. It’s not exactly common anyway.

He watched as the energy began to focus to a point in front of her horn. Clenching his fits tighter, he readied himself for the blow. He couldn’t help the annoyed smirk that crossed his face as faced the oncoming pain.

With a shout, a massive ball of indigo, plasma-like energy hurled toward him. It blasted him right in the chest with an electric, fiery blaze, sending him backwards a couple feet right into the base of a tree. The tree shook violently from the force, but held. Some leaves, shaken loose from their branches, drifted down, falling through a thin plume smoke.

Logan coughed harshly, raking his hands through the dirt. The burning pain of his charred skin was already healing, but the same couldn’t be said for his shirt. He’d just washed that, too. He felt a growl of a laugh escape his throat at that. His amusement quickly disappeared though because he was still pissed. These fucking horses were jumping to conclusions, and now they were going to pay the price.

Growling, he rose from his mini crater in the ground, the last of his injuries sealing shut with a lingering burning sting. Through the fading smoke, he spotted the purple asshole. She was panting and wheezing with her head hanging loosely.

“All outta juice, huh?” he mocked, taking a heavy step toward her with clenched fists.

Her head snapped back up, lightening quick. She flinched visibly as her eyes caught his, taking a stumbling step backwards. “H-how are you—?”

He didn’t care what she thought or said. His anger was boiling now, bubbling up. His claws slowly slid from their hiding. Blood dripped from the brand new cuts for only a fraction of a second.

Her eyes widened, and, though weakened, she stood shakily with purpose again, her horn pointed at him once more, but there was no static on the air.

He smirked menacingly, his claws shining at his sides as he walked. “C’mon, try it, bub. I’ve never carved up a talking horse before.”

The purple horse squeezed her eyes tight, willing energy to coalesce. A little spark managed to pitifully form but it fizzled out a moment later as she gasped harshly in exhaustion. Her gaze then lifted to meet his in horror.

Logan stood in front of her, a menacing shadow, and raised one of his clawed fists, his anger boiling outwards.


Logan growled, his body jerking and his eyes snapping in the direction of the shout. He looked down to his left and there, on the ground, was the horse he’d saved earlier. She was crawling on the ground, her hoof stretching toward him with a pleading look in her eyes.

“S-stop! Please!” she gasped out through her pain.

“What for?!” he roared. “This bitch blasted me without fucking thought!” he snarled, pointing with a clawed hand.

She shrunk slightly, but her eyes remained the same. “Please! It was just a misunderstanding! Don’t—don’t hurt my friends, please. They were just defending me.”

Logan scowled, his bubbling fury somehow stemmed for the moment. In retrospect, he really didn't have time for this shit anyway. He had to get back to the X-Men, figure out what was going on and leave these insane, chromatic horses behind him. Besides, the one that attacked him was putting on an act now. She was through, and if she knows any better, she'll never get in his way again.

Casting his head sharply to the ground, he simmered his boiling rage once more and retracted his claws with a resounding SNAKT! He heard a sigh of relief escape the yellow one. The purple one looked surprised and confused at the same time. He only scoffed at that.

Turning around, he set his path to the north once more. He had to get somewhere quiet, and preferably somewhere without talking horses.

"W-wait!" came the annoying horse's voice once more.

He kept walking, his back turned to them as he growled out, "Leave me the fuck alone. Get yer ass home and don't follow me."

"No! Wait!" the horse pleaded again.

He ignored her.

"No! Wait!" Jasmine yelled desperately.

"Jasmine, we should—"

"No!" Jasmine cut in. "No! He needs my help! You don't know—I have to—I have to h—!" her frantic words were cut short as she attempted to stand, only to slide back to the ground with a whine, her forehead resting on the hard Earth.

Twilight quickly came to Jasmine’s side and tentatively laid a hoof on her shoulder. “Jasmine, just hold still, you’re only gonna make it worse.”

Twilight heard Jasmine let out a harsh, quick breath through her nose as she spoke to the dirt. “Twilight, I….” Her voice was thin and Twilight was starting to really worry for her. How bad was her back hoof? Were there more injuries? Did the monster do anything else to her?

Twilight shook her head shakily. All too quickly things had gotten out of hoof. The monster had almost killed them. She was still reeling on how it had survived her initial attack. She had poured everything into the powerful spell, all the magic she could, and the monster walked it off. It had healed almost instantly right in front of her! And its claws… those cold blades that were no doubt gonna cut her to pieces had slid right out of its paws.

She thought they were done for—the fiery blaze in its eyes had told her as much, but then…. but then…. Jasmine had told it to stop. And amazingly, it did. Just like that.

Twilight owed her life to Jasmine. For whatever reason, the monster stopped at her words. She just exhaled with relief at the thought, counting her lucky stars that the situation turned out the way it did. Right now though, she had to get her friends home. It was getting dark, the Sun right about to dip behind the horizon completely, and she didn’t want to be in the forest at night. Even if this wasn’t the Everfree, it could still be dangerous—especially with the mystery monster still around. She didn’t want to take any chances in case it changed its mind.

Taking a deep breath, Twilight prepared herself to summon what little magic she could spare to try and help her friend up, but just as she was about to ask how bad her friend’s injuries were, Jasmine’s head lifted from the ground with determination and her eyes locked on hers. “You need to go get him. He needs our help.”

Twilight couldn’t believe what she said. They just got lucky—the monster had left and they were all still intact. Now she wanted her to go after it?! What could she possibly be thinking? A second passed when Twilight suddenly understood. Jasmine wasn’t in her right mind, she was in shock, she realized. After such an encounter, she didn’t blame her.

Twilight shook her head and sympathetically adjusted her hoof on her shoulder. “I know you’re not exactly thinking straight right now—“

“Twilight, listen to me!” Jasmine’s eyes were hard now with a focus she had never seen before—she couldn’t look away. “I don’t know what you think happened, but I can tell you right now it’s not what you think. He didn’t take me, I followed him.”

Twilight blinked. Then blinked again. “ …What?” she managed.

Jasmine winced slightly, but continued slowly. “I followed him when he left Ponyville because.... because even though I was terrified, I could tell he was scared too, I could feel it. So I followed him into the forest to see if I could at least talk to him, get him some help maybe—however difficult that was gonna be, especially with everypony so afraid.

"I… I was stupid, though. I came out here all alone and I didn’t tell anypony where I was going.” Jasmine suddenly scoffed sarcastically, shaking her head. “I even played around with some bear cubs like an idiot. I almost got mauled to death. But then… “ Jasmine looked at Twilight again, a strange look in her eyes. “he saved me, Twilight. That bear was about to trample me but he saved me.”

Twilight didn’t know what to think right now, surprised by her story. She broke Jasmine’s stare, thinking about what she'd just heard.

“I know everypony thinks he’s a monster but he’s not. He saved my life, Twilight. He had no reason to come back to save me, don’t you think that means something?” Jasmine questioned, looking for understanding in Twilight’s eyes.

Twilight stuttered. “I-I mean—I don’t…” Twilight shook her head as the creature's sharp claws and petrifying stare flashed in her memory. “He almost killed me, Jasmine!” she said, exasperated.

“But he didn’t!” Jasmine reminded her firmly. “He didn’t.”

And she was right. Maybe…. maybe she was wrong about this one.

Twilight skeptically eyed Jasmine. “So he didn’t hurt your leg?”

She shook her head. “No. When I was running from the bear, it got caught on a tree. I think I twisted it in my panic.” She frowned in pain as she looked down at it again.

“And what about Rainbow?” Twilight glanced at her friend in the grass, still out cold.

“He dodged out of the way when she was about to punch him. I guess she didn’t plan on missing.”

Twilight twisted her head around, eyeing the place in the foliage the creature had left from.

“You believe me, don’t you?” Jasmine’s quietly asked.

Twilight watched for a few more seconds. She sighed quietly and turned to Jasmine again. She was surprised again by her pleading eyes.

"Yes, I believe you." She said earnestly.

Jasmine's body relaxed at her words. "So you're going to help him?"

"Yes, but first I'm helping you. I need to get you home and we don't have much daylight left."

Jasmine's eyebrows furrowed as though ready to argue for a moment, but after a quick look around, she realized Twilight was right about that. They just didn't have the time right now, so she relented.

"Okay." Jasmine quietly agreed. She winced though, suddenly remembering how painful it was gonna be to move.

"Just, hold on for a second. I'm gonna check with Rainbow really quick, see if she'll wake up."

Twilight went over to where Rainbow was slumped by the tree trunk. She gently moved Rainbow to her side and went to check her for a concussion. She sighed with relief once she saw her pupils dilate—no concussion, thankfully. She'll probably have a massive bruise on her head, but she was gonna be alright. Though there was still a problem. She didn't know how she was gonna get all three of them out of here.

Twilight looked down at her friend. "Rainbow?" She shook Rainbow's shoulder slightly. "Rainbow, you gotta wake up!" she said, louder this time along with more forceful nudging.

Twilight sighed with relief when she saw Rainbow's eyelids flutter.

".... huh...? wh... wha?" she mumbled almost incomprehensibly.

"Thank Celestia you're alright. How do you feel?"

Rainbow groaned. "Like I was hit by a manticore. What happened?"

"Jasmine told me you tried to punch the creature, but you ended up slamming into a tree instead."

Rainbow blinked a few more times, looking as though she didn't hear what Twilight said until she reared her head back slightly as the words finally reached her. "I what?! But I couldn't have missed! I had that shot lined up before it even knew I was there!" Even after she said that, the reality of the situation seemed to hit her more than the tree did when her eyes widened and she remembered the monster. She quickly rattled off question after question. "Oh my gosh! Is Jasmine okay? What happened while I was out? Did it hurt you too?"

Twilight calmed her down, filling her in on what happened and Jasmine's story quickly.

"It's getting dark , Rainbow, and I'm pretty exhausted from that spell still" she admitted. "We should head out. Well catch up with the others once we get back, I'm sure they're worried about us by now."

Rainbow nodded her head once, already on it without complaint. She wen't to help Jasmine pick herself up and to lend a hoof.

Twilight took a deep breath for a moment then took the lead out of the forest.

She made one more glance at Jasmine behind her, then at the patch of trees the creature had left through. She nodded to herself firmly.

She would be back to help.


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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.

Th-thump. Th-thump.

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.

Author's Note

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Hello everyone. It's been a long time–over a year and a half already... I suppose I have an obligation to explain the situation about this fic. Firstly, between work and school and finding an internship, I just don't have much free time on my hands. And unfortunetly, even after all this time, I'm still not sure when the next chapter will come out. It could be a few weeks from now, a few months, or more; however, even with that said, I don't want to mark this story as cancelled. This story is still on my mind every now and then, even with all the other stuff I've got to worry about. There's always hope in the future. I know that's pretty vague and probably not what you want to hear but I at least wanted to give some sort of idea of the state of things for those still interested in this story.

So, TL;DR, this story is still on a... hiatus of sorts. I don't know when I'll find time to really get back into writing again but, if it is any comfort at all, I just want to say that I don't plan on discontinuing it.

Since I don't know when this story will continue, I've deiced to post little snippets of conversations, situations and dream-sequences I've already written a while back. It'll be MASSIVE spoilers, though, and some of them are just WIPs––ideas I've had from the beginning that may or may not appear in the story.

Before I go, I just want to say thanks to those who liked my story and are still interested. It means a lot! Down below will be a section of the story snippets I was talking about. If you don't mind spoilers and you just want something to tide you over, I give this to you. Enjoy.

- Azera


**The Balcony – Logan and Luna**

He growled to himself, tightening his fist. He couldn't seem to get a single moment alone.

Luna landed lightly next to him, mindful to give a healthy distance between them. She wasn't the most social pony but she could tell when one preferred their own space. Logan was certainly one of them.

"Get a new balcony." he grumbled, his eyes unmoving from the horizon.

Luna frowned at his rude dismissal but choose to ignore it, her curiosity overruling fear. "It is very late in the night. Most of our subjects—if not all—would be asleep by now. We were just curious as to why you would be up at a time like this," She glanced at him, only catching the side of his face. She noticed his jaw tighten. She swallowed tentatively, but continued. "Surely you must be exhausted after today’s... events.”

His jaw clenched. "First of all, I ain't one one of yer damn ‘subjects’. Second, it ain't none of yer business.” His voice had a sharpness to it that seemed to pierce the night-chilled air. It made Luna’s fur bristle on her back. It reminded her of the days in which Tia and her used to speak with the dragons to settle “disagreements”. They, too, had the same tone, and in her own humble opinion, she bet his own attitude could rival that of the beasts’ themselves. Despite this, she gave him the benefit of the doubt. He had been through much and she could hardly fault him for being irritated.

“Then my apologies for asking, Mr. Logan.”

Logan sighed, dropping his head slightly. “Jus’ Logan."

She cocked her head at that for a moment then a small smile formed on her lips. Perhaps he wasn’t as fierce as he first appeared.

She took a careful step closer to the railing and finally noticed that he was holding one of those mysterious smoking sticks again, perhaps the same one from earlier that day. Curious, she watched as he put one end of the stick over his lips, inhaling deeply as the ember at other end brightened for a moment. A long second passed before he exhaled in a surprising puff of smoke. The wind graciously blew the noxious cloud right into Luna's face and she flinched. Her nose twitched at the stale, smokey scent. She waved a hoof around to dispel the awful smoke.

Blinking against the slight stinging in her eyes, she coughed once before saying, “If We may ask, what is that strange stick you are holding?”

Logan flicked his attention away from the dark, moonlit hills in the distance for a second. He let out a puff of amusement as he watched the Princess fluster over the smoke. “It’s a cigar.” He replied plainly.

Finally dispelling the cloud around her, she gave him a confused look. These couldn’t possibly be healthy. “I have never seen such a thing before. What is it for?”

“Calms me down.” He grumbled, looking at the stump of his current cigar. Not much left. “When I run out, you ponies are gonna be in a world of trouble,” He tapped a pocket on his burnt and shredded jacket with his other hand. “I’ve only got one left.”

She watched as he brought up the cigar again, taking another deep breath. She narrowed her eyes slightly, both concerned and curious by this behavior. Against her better judgement, she summoned her magic and delicately slipped the pack out of his front pocket. When he showed no outright reaction to the gesture, she continued, bringing the object closer to inspect. She examined it and noticed that one last stick had remained, wrapped in a clear plastic package. It was much longer than the one he was currently holding in his hand, she noticed. Her face scrunched up at the familiar smell that clung to the package. Curious, she performed a spell to identify its ingredients. Her curiosity in the object turned into abrupt concern and alarm, her suspicions confirmed. By the moon, the amount of harmful ingredients—

"You're gonna wake up tomorrow surprised to be missin' a few limbs if you don't put that back where it was."

She looked up swiftly from her concentration. His tone was even, not a single waver—it was as if he were talking about the weather. She couldn't tell if he was joking or not. Real threat or not, Luna decided not to risk her extremities over a death stick.

With precision, she levitated the package back into his jacket pocket. "If I can help it, I’d prefer to keep all my limbs attached.”

He smirked slightly. "That's the smartest thing I've heard all day.”

She watched him puff on his cigar once more, her face scrunching up in disgust. "You should know that there are many unhealthy toxins in there—and that is putting it lightly.”

He glanced over at her out of the corner of his eye, blowing the smoke out of his nose. He raised an eyebrow as if to question how she found that out until he realized he didn't really care too much and just shrugged it off. He averted his gaze back to the moonlit hills in front of him.

"That doesn't mean shit t' me." he rumbled. He leaned forward on the balcony railing, knocking off a few ashes from his cigar on its edge before resting on his forearms. His elbow nicked the metal slightly before he settled, creating a distinct chink sound.

Luna’s ears perked up at the noise. She squinted at him, wondering at the sound, before his words sank in.

“Pray tell, why would your health be of no concern to you?”

“I’ll heal.” he replied automatically.

She looked at him skeptically, but decided not to pry. If what she heard about his arrival to be true, along with Twilight’s letters, then his claim must be genuine—as hard as it was to believe. “I shall take your word for it then.”

For some time the two were silent, both taking some time to enjoy the quiet evening. The night was refreshing and clear, and every so often a gentle breeze would rustle the trees, the air carrying a sort of calm tranquility. The moon above them was full and bright—strong but warm. It cast upon the two figures encompassing beams of light, washing them with blue and purple hues.

After a few passing minutes, one of Luna’s silver shod hooves absentmindedly rubbed her foreleg. She had many questions she wanted to ask this strange, troubling creature, but now was not the time.

“Well,” she began, breaking the silence softly. “I best be going. I must tend to my night and the dreams of my little ponies. It was nice talking to you, Logan. Forgive me if I have caused you any discomfort. I bid you farewell and pray you have a good night’s rest.” And with that, she extended her dark blue wings and lifted off into the night, her form merging into the darkness like a shadow.

After her departure, Logan simply continued his smoke, not having moved. A few puffs later and Logan flicked away the stub of his cigar.

Finally alone, he mumbled in his head.

He inhaled deeply, taking in the scents around him. Everything still stank of Ponies and civilization but much less so. Now with no one watching him, he felt his shoulders relax slightly, his eyelids slipping close. Even now he could still feel the remnants of pain around his body, but it would disappear—fade into nothing more than faint memory. Just like it always did. But, unfortunately for him, though his physical wounds may heal, the mental scars always seemed to stick around. And this time he knew—he was going to have a hell of a time coming back from this mess.

**Dream Sequence – Roaring**


"Get down!" Logan snarled, grabbing the soldier in front of him and pulling him down as the planes passed overhead once again. Machine gun fire sprayed around them, cutting into the dirt, the brush, the trees. Shattered wood sprayed through the air, cutting any exposed skin. They covered their heads, knowing full well that it wouldn't do any good if they took a direct hit. Logan hissed, reaching down and digging one of the three bullets he'd bit out of his thigh while the private beside him looked up at the sky.

The shooting passed—the plane roaring up to turn around for another pass. Logan grabbed the soldier's collar, pulling him to his feet as he hollered at his other men to get to their feet, to keep moving.

Some of them didn't get back up. He didn't have time to check to see who it was.

Had to save his other boys. Get some of them out of there alive, get back to base.

Logan pushed past two soldiers, taking the lead. They ran low, half-bent. Logan had to turn more than once as he caught the whiff of a mine beneath the ground—he pointed at it as he passed, passing the word along to his men.

The roar grew louder.

Roaring, roaring. The young soldier next to him was coughing—choking on his own lungs as he screamed, and screamed, and screamed, and over all of it was the roaring, the screaming as the world exploded around them, burning them to white, nothing but pain pain pain pain as he tried to pull himself together, to fight, but he couldn't move. Fire ate through his pores and dug into his wrists like claws, ripping open his veins as if to bleed him to death. He writhed, falling to the ground, but he was cold. Cold as fire ate at him, slicing through his spine, paralyzing him as the cold seeped into his fingers, into his gut, freezing him stiff . . . .

"Staff, those braces can only keep the incisions open for so long, you know."

"Yes, doctor. The flesh is actually forming around the clamps, here. Amazing."

"Then work faster, man."

"Yes, sir."

Something was moving inside his wrist—like claws, picking away at his flesh, prying it away from his bones.

"Give me a right stem . . . short fiber."

Agony arced down his arms, and he screamed in agony as it drilled into his wrist. He strained to pull away, but he couldn't. Couldn't even twitch a finger.

"Ughhhh . . . ."

"Good God! He's coming around!"

"Don't get jumpy, professor. We have to keep him floating so we can trace the relay flux in his nervous system."

"Do you mean . . . he's conscious?"

Logan choked, but all that came from his throat was a weak gasp of air. Unfeeling eyes looked at him and shrugged.

"Yeah—partly. Add two pheno-B, staff."

"Yes, doctor."

"So he can feel what we're doing to him?"

"Most of it, yeah. Poor geezer's in a lotta pain."

"Pain is a principal of life, Doctor Cornelius."

"Yeah, sure."

"Not that I subscribe entirely to the dictum."

Pain zapped down his side, into his skull, cutting through his brain. He screamed at the pounding inside his skull as he managed to turn his head to the side, his bare skin sticking with sweat to the cold metal table. "Uhhh uhh."

"Four phenol-B, staff. And keep him from shaking, willya?"

"Yes, sir."

"Readings, Hines."

"Sensory cortex monitor is overloaded, sir. There are no readings."






His eyes flew open as his heart pounded against his metal ribs. He bolted upward, still caught in the nightmare. He wanted to howl, to rage at the horrible pain he felt. Echoes of agonizing pain resonated through his bones—it made his claws itch and burn in his forearms. They slid forward ready to pop, the tips pricking at the skin.

A creek of the door reached his ears.

His head jerked, facing the stranger in the backlit doorway—Jasmine.

“What the hell’re you doin’ in here?” he snapped.

Jasmine’s ears fell and she lowered her head slightly. “I heard you,” she murmured quietly.


Jasmine’s face creased in concern. “You were crying out in your sleep. I—I could hear you from my room. You sounded like you were in pain.”

He didn’t give a damn.

“Don’t ever come in here without me knowing, got it?”

She flinched at his tone but otherwise continued no further. She ducked her head submissively, nodding. She retreated into the hall without another word, closing the door. In her absence, a faint, bitter smell remained.

She was scared of him again.

Why should he care?

He didn’t care. It was good the kid was scared of him.

Of course it was good.

He sighed, wiping the cold sweat that had beaded on his forehead. It felt like ice against his burning skin. He looked down at his forearms as they shook slightly—the memory of them digging inside of them, splaying his skin down to the bone, doing. . . doing something, experimenting on him.

He had the sudden urge to rip back his skin, to pull back his muscles just to make sure they weren’t still in there—the wires, to control everything he did. To be their machine.

He brought a hand to his head, his fingers digging into his scalp as he dragged it to the back of his head. He squeezed his eyes for a moment, willing the images and feelings to disappear, to fade away.

Nightmares, he thought tiredly. Always the nightmares. Every night he was haunted by them. He couldn’t even tell the difference between the memories and the dreams anymore—it was all terrible. It made him sick inside. He couldn’t remember the last time he got any quality sleep.

**The Power of Friendship Speech**

“Well, my world ain’t all sunshine ’n daises.”

“There’s a lot more to this world than you see—some of it darker than it may first appear. I have kept many horrors away from my little ponies, but there is only so much I can do. I may be an alicorn, but I am not an all-powerful being, contrary to what many sometimes believe. There are very real dangers in this world—ones that I fear I may not be able to fight. That is why I tasked Twilight and her friends to protect us—to wield The Elements. They are strong, and with the power of friendship, they will bring harmony to the land.” she said.

. . . The power of friendship?


He wanted to laugh, to howl at the naïvety this princess held. She truly thought harmony could be achieved? She claimed to be centuries of years old and yet here she was, the leader of an entire country and she believed, wholeheartedly, that she could bring about peace?

He let out a gruff chuckle. “That’s quite the sales pitch, Princess. You almost had me at the ‘power of friendship’ line.” he mocked with a slight curl to his lips.

Celestia moved beside him, catching his eyes for a moment before focusing on the darkening horizon in front of her. “Yes, I suppose it is quite a farfetched dream for most, but It is what I truly believe. I have already seen what they are capable of. If it weren’t for them, my sister may have never returned to us.” She said strongly, undeterred from his ridicule.

Logan paused at that, her words resonating in his head. He couldn’t help but be reminded of Charles. Yeah, Chuck. The crazy son of a bitch that thought humans and mutants could live together in peace, and the same man that convinced him to carry on that dream, too…. maybe he was just as crazy as this princess.

His expression slackened at that thought, the amusement completely gone.

“You’re just like him.” He said quietly.

**Dream Sequence – Red**

He closed his eyes for a moment, angling his head upward.

The air was cool, and among the stars held a full moon. It hung over the roof tops, casting its blue-frosted hue across the land.

His feet were light on top of shingles, and in his hands he held a sturdy blade. It was comfortable in his grip, familiar, natural.

He breathed in deep. It was pure, clean, and it carried a faint floral scent.

The silent moment passed as the wind brushed his face, whispering danger in his ear.

They were here.

Shadows descended swiftly and silently upon him, their blades shining. With a flick of the wrist, his sword clashed with another’s. Then he crouched low, dodging a sweeping attack from behind. He twisted around, meeting a sword that had swung down on top of him. Another from his right, their blade twisting in, but he leaned back, jerking out of harm’s way.

The shadows were relentless as they came from every angle. When their strikes met his, the clash cracked though the air like lightening. Their movement was almost impossible to follow for any ordinary person, but he kept pace easily.

Back and forth. It was like a dance—fluid and beautiful. Each strike made by the dark figures was equally matched in grace. And as their blades sang in the air—the moonlight sharp as steel against the dark sky—he could smell the sweet scent of cherry blossoms.

His movements slowed, the dance slipping. Cherry blossoms. He smelled cherry blossoms.

The blades disappeared, shimmering away like a mirage. The fluidity and focus of the dance shattered. Logan felt something soft in his hand, the familiar, cool handle of his blade was gone.

He was kneeling now, on the soft Earth. The cool night sky had turned blindingly bright as he brought his right hand to bare. The pit of his stomach clenched as he opened his hand.

There were petals in his hands. Pink petals covered in red.

**Dream Sequence – Samurai**

“Get up.”

Wind rushed past him. The air smelled of blossoms and warmth and it carried with it the promise of a bountiful summer.

A strange feeling flowed through him.

“Rise, Logan-san!”

That voice—familiar, yet so distant.

He cracked his eyes open, the morning sun piercing through them. He squinted harshly, adjusting, and soon he saw the mixing colors of the sky. It was beautiful, calm. He was on his back and he could feel the grass between his fingers. . . something was in his hand. It was smooth and cylindrical. He sat up and looked down. It was a wooden sword.

“Do you expect to win this battle by lying on the ground?”

“No, Sensei.” he replied automatically. He rose to his feet easily—feeling lighter than he could ever remember being, lighter than air—and lifted the long blade before him. His eyes caught the man’s before him, his sword at the ready. He mirrored the man’s stance, ready.

He didn’t wait for his sparing mate to move. He stepped swiftly, his blade swinging with force. The man ducked effortlessly, dodging the blow.

“Focus, Logan!”

Logan twisted in again, his body like a coiled spring. He struck, but the sensei deflected his blade with a flitting gesture of his sword, and faster than Logan could react, the man struck his shoulder.



He grit his teeth, biting off the building rage that had arisen with his adrenaline.

He reset his footing and loosened up his muscles.

He gripped his blade and stepped in, his sword a blur. The sensei caught it once more, spinning and bringing it around. Logan lost his balance and stumbled sideways.


Another stinging blow rang against his back and he snarled, his sword swinging dangerously. The man danced out of range—balanced, calm.


There was no need for the word as Logan was already moving. Strikes clashed in the air, the sound like lightening. Blows reigned on his shoulders and arms—one even clipped his cheek, striking hard enough to leave a bruise, but not to draw blood. The sensei was in control.


Sweat dripped down the side of his face, he felt his arms shake. The master wasted no time and moved quickly. Logan fell into a defensive stance, barely managing to block a strike to his gut.




His katana rose, and with a snarl it cut through the air, striking faster than thought. The power of his swing knocked the sensei off balance.

Right cut, spin. The man swung his blade to counter the blow but Logan was aware—every centimeter of his skin was aware. Burning, festering rage boiled upwards and outwards, turning his vision red.

He struck down, shattering the sensei’s katana. He lashed out and grabbed his throat, slamming him into the ground. He brought his sword to the man’s throat.

He took panting breaths, the rage clouding his mind. It took him a moment to find the words to speak.

“Yield,” he growled softly.

Unfazed eyes met him, fearless above the blade. The man nodded and Logan loosened his grip, coming to his feet. His limbs trembled, and the world felt vibrant and wild around him. He took a careful breath and wiped the sweat from his eyes.

The sensei rose easily, as if he had just laid himself down for moment to rest. A dark bruise could already be seen around his neck and a trickle of blood dripped down his chin from a slash across his cheek. He didn’t seem to notice as he focused his piercing gaze on Logan.

“What have you learned, Logan-san? To fight? To kill? To win?” He shook his head. “You came to me because you wanted to learn control. Is that what you have shown yourself here?”

“Sensei—“ But the master raised his hand, and Logan cut himself off sharply, shame deep in his heart.

“Ask yourself, Logan, who won this battle? The man or the animal?”