She had past cold a long time ago and was now on her way to frozen with just a hint of numbness. Marie didn’t remember it being that cold the last time she was in northern Canada. Sure she had been cold back then but she was surprised that she still had all her fingers and toes this time around.
About a hundred miles back she had been half tempted to pull over at a used car lot and trade in Scott’s motorcycle for a truck. She had even been ready to turn into the lot when, at the last moment, she had changed her mind. One, because she knew that Scott would be heartbroken to lose his beloved bike for good and, secondly, because riding the bike made her feel more connected to Logan. Considering what she was doing, the more connected she felt to Logan, the easier it would be to find him.
Not that Marie was the least bit delusional about the difficulty of her task. If he truly wanted to, Marie knew that he could keep himself hidden out there in the wilderness for the rest of his life. And she knew that he would do it too, just to annoy her.
“Ye couldn’t have gone searchin’ for yer past somewhere warmer, could ya?” Marie grumbled as she trudged through knee-deep snowdrifts towards the abandoned building about thirty yards in front of her. “Flor’da probably has just as many military places as northern Canada without all this snow.”
Regardless of the weather, Marie trudged forward, her determination spurring her on. Not for the first time in her seemingly endless journey, Marie wished that she had Ororo’s ability to control the elements. At least that way she could blow herself a path clear through the snow.
Keeping her attention on the vast remains of the government facility, Marie continued her slow trudge through the snow. She couldn’t wait to get inside, praying that it was warmer in there than it was out in the blistering cold. Even if it wasn’t sauna warm, Marie hoped that she could at least thaw her fingers and toes out.
First, though, she had to get there.
No matter how long she thought she was walking, she never seemed to be getting any closer to the building. She would stomp and plunge and wade her way through the deep drifts, but it was as though there was a treadmill under the snow that she was walking on. Invisible to sight, but moving nonetheless.
“This better not be a mirage,” Marie grumbled to herself as she tugged her hat down lower over her ears.
It felt like it was taking forever, but eventually Marie was able to see that the building really was getting closer. Not as quickly as she would have liked, but quick enough to keep her from thinking threatening thoughts about Logan. Not that she would have actually followed through on any of her murderous thoughts. She was just cold and irritable.
Marie’s heart began to ache as she thought of Logan doing this by himself for five long years. She’d left the mansion roughly a week ago and already she was ready to give up and go home. The thing that kept her going was Logan. Her desire to find him kept her wading through waist high snow drifts when she would have rather been curled up in warm, fluffy blanket with a good book. Somewhere warm where there was no snow and it wasn’t cold.
As soon as she stepped upon the threshold of the building, Marie let out a crow of triumph. She knew that there was no one around and enjoyed her little victory dance of hopping around on the doorstep of the facility, waving her arms in the air.
The howl of a wolf in the distance brought her screaming back to reality. Dropping her arms back to her sides, Marie placed her hand on the doorknob. To her complete surprise, the door began to swing open as soon as she touched it. Enough horror movies had taught her that doors which were supposed to be locked opening with only a touch was not a good thing. Still, if there was a chance that she would find Logan inside, Marie wanted to take that chance. The still rational part of her brain informed her that if Logan was there she would have seen footprints through the snow. Logan couldn’t very well fly. The hopeful part of her brain rebutted, reminding her more cynical side that it had snowed the night before so his footprints could have been lost there.
Whether Logan was in there or not, Marie was going in. Before she did, though, she reached into her bag and pulled out a flashlight. There was no way she was going in there in the dark. She might have been brave, but she wasn’t insane.
The room that she entered first was completely empty. No signs of furniture anywhere. There was a hallway branching off on the right side, however, and Marie decided to follow that. She kept the narrow beam of light her flashlight produced in constant motion. She didn’t want to be caught off guard by some twisted government official roaming the halls.
Each room that Marie entered was spotless. All that remained in each was a desk with a dust-covered leather seat, two chairs and an empty filing cabinet. Every single room was the same. No matter which hallway she was in, it was the same. Until she came to the room that was the meeting point of all the hallways.
The very centre of the entire complex.
The room that Marie found herself standing in was monstrous. It had a sunroof that allowed enough moonlight to filter into the room. Without it, Marie never would have been able to grasp just how large the room was. Her entire house back in Mississippi could have fit in without any difficulty. Three or four of them, even. There was many levels to the room, each containing either books, desks, technical equipment or cardboard boxes. There were some strange things on the floor as well. Walking forward, Marie ran her finger across a large glass cylinder.
Her body jerked as a rapid parade of images slammed into her head.
Men with champagne glasses.
Doctors covered from head to toe wielding menacing needles.
Water.... So much water.
Marie yanked her hand away from the apparatus and held both hands to her temples as she fought to shove the images from her mind.
This was it. This was where Logan had the adamantium fused into his skeleton. This was where the claws had been created. This was where Logan had lost his life. This was where Logan had been given a new life.
This was the birthplace of the Wolverine.
Glancing to her right, Marie noticed a hap-hazard mess of file folders and papers. Before she even picked up the first one, she saw a rough sketch of a human skeleton with three six inch claw protruding from each hand.
“This is what you were lookin’ fer,” Marie whispered to an absent Logan.
As she knelt down to gather them all up, Marie noticed something out of the corner of her eye. Something that made her blood run cold.
The tattered remains of Logan’s leather jacket.