Enigmatic

BY : Wyzeguy
Category: X-Men: (All Movies) > Het - Male/Female > Logan/Ororo
Dragon prints: 2916
Disclaimer: I do not own any of the X-Men movies, or any of the characters from them. I make no money from from the writing of this story.

ENIGMATIC, Part 2
Wyzeguy

I am not sure how long I remain unconscious, but the feeling of cold rough pavement beneath me suggests that it hasn't been long. Amid the pounding of my head, I hear sounds of a struggle nearby, mingled with liberal doses of growling and swearing.

I open my eyes and find Logan with a raven-haired woman pressed face-first against a brick wall. The woman -- a girl in her late teens, upon closer inspection -- struggles against his hold, wearing only a black sports bra and blood-red pants that resemble the outfits worn by the assassins. The top half of the uniform is shredded, and hangs loosely around her hips. She shouts at him and Cyclops in a combination of English and Japanese. Half of the English words are swear words, and I assume the Japanese words are of a similar vein.

"Sorry, kid," Logan growls. "That kind of language ain't helping you at the moment. Now, you wanna cooperate, or--"

The girl reverses Logan's grip in a fluid motion, and somehow manages to spin him around to face us, using him as a human shield. Her fingers clamp around his throat. "One move," she informs us, her voice as icy as her gaze, "and I crush his throat." She could very well do it, as Logan's throat is only protected by cartilage, not adamantium.

Logan's retaliation makes the point moot. He grabs her wrist, pulling it away from his neck, while thrusting an elbow back into her stomach. Her breath leaves her, and Logan presses her against the wall once again, claws at her throat. He growls at her, livid with rage, and Cyclops and I advance toward him in an attempt to intervene before he kills her.

Then he stops, and his furious expression is replaced by shock and disbelief. The girl's expression mirrors his. They seem to recognize each other.

"Are you . . . ?" she whispers, studying his features. Then her face twists into another scowl and she struggles in his grip. "No! You're dead! They said you were dead!"

Logan strengthens his hold on her, and speaks to her in soft, low tones in order to calm her. Cyclops and I can only watch in amazement.

Finally, the girl musters enough strength to free herself and shove him away. Before any of us can stop her, she takes off running, slipping into the shadows and out of sight. Logan watches her go, sadness creeping onto his features.

As Cyclops guards Hank's unconscious form, I slowly walk over to Logan and place a hand on his shoulder. I ask him who the girl was, and if he's all right.

He shrugs off my touch and sneers, suddenly angry. "None of your damn business, Storm. Let's just go." He walks back to Cyclops, and the two carry Beast's heavy body back to the jet.

I watch them for a moment, then I join them as rain begins to pelt the streets. Whether the rainfall is natural or caused by my darkened mood, I cannot tell.

_X_

The jet ride back to the mansion is silent, as none of us are willing to press Logan further about what happened back there. He simply gazes at his gloved knuckles in silence, staring at the holes where his claws emerge. Apparently, this night has unlocked a myriad of secrets to his former life, or at least given him pieces to the puzzle. It seems as though not even he knows how the pieces fit together. Perhaps he is afraid of the very answers he seeks.

Right now I am far too angry with him to care.

_X_

Upon our arrival, Jean and Logan usher Beast to the medilab, putting him under observation and trying to determine how best to fight the poison in his system. Scott makes sure Hank is stable before reporting to the professor's office for a debriefing. Logan heads off to the Danger Room for some time alone to work off his frustration.

Normally, I would seek refuge in the forest or my attic loft among my plants in order to relieve my frustrations. But I find myself walking to the Danger Room anyway, to confront Logan.

This should come as a surprise to many who know me, as I have a well-known hatred of the X-Men's technologically-advanced training center. Scott, Hank, and the professor had created it in the wake of our encounter with Magneto's Brotherhood last year, having realized that Magneto's followers were more skilled at fighting than we. The X-Men's operations had traditionally been what Cyclops termed "black ops", involving shadowy missions in which conflict was avoided and goals were attained while attracting a minimum of attention. The Brotherhood presented a threat level which we were under-prepared to handle, so the Danger Room was built to provide us with a more versatile arena for honing our fighting abilities. It is an enormous metallic room located below the lower levels, filled with complicated machinery and controlled by a vast computerized network. With it, we can run sophisticated battle simulations with emphasis placed on unpredictability. In the handful of months since the Danger Room was finished, our fighting and teamwork skills has improved -- and again I'm quoting Cyclops -- "by a wide margin."

The reason I loathe the room is that I am so attuned to nature that technology and confined spaces make me uncomfortable. I can only stand being in the lower levels and the Blackbird for short periods of time in the first place, and the Danger Room pushes my tolerance level to the extreme. I cannot attain the necessary level of calm required for functioning in the lower levels when I am busy fighting for my life against mechanical weaponry and hydraulic arms. In fact, the Danger Room had received its affectionate name when we first tested it. Some obscure glitch caused the system to run at the highest difficulty level, and we barely survived. I was nearly crushed by a large hydraulic battering ram. Its tendency to experience odd malfunctions at inopportune times caused Scott to name it the Danger Room, and the name stuck.

My only satisfaction when using the Danger Room is that I can vent my frustrations on it without worrying too much about destroying it. The room is well-equipped to give and receive heavy punishment. As I enter the Danger Room, I hear that Logan is giving it exactly that.

He growls fiercely as he scrapes his claws across the machinery, the durable adamantium blades leaving deep gashes in the metal. I notice he's only wearing the bottom half of his uniform, in a probable effort to give himself more freedom of movement. I watch him for a while, then he stops and turns to me, looking apologetic. "Sorry about earlier, 'Ro. Wanna go someplace quiet, where I can explain what's goin' on?"

_X_

After he shuts down the power to the Danger Room, we head outside to the duck pond, where most of our private conversations take place. "You looked as if you recognized that girl," I begin, trying to capture the fuzzy memory of what happened. The blow to the head makes everything vague. "And she certainly seemed to recognize you. Who is she?"

He frowns and looks at me, then looks out at the pond. "Remember the conversation we had a while back while we were sittin' here? The one about whether or not I might have family?"

My eyes widen, and I place a hand on his arm. "Logan? Are you saying . . . ?"

He nods. "Yeah, she's my daughter."

"What is her name?"

"I . . . I think it's Kenna."

I move my hand to his back and say in a soft tone, "you can't remember."

"Not for sure. I think I remember that name. But I know that kid's eyes anywhere. She . . . she has her mother's eyes."

I can see that the recollection of this is tearing him up inside. And there is no reason it shouldn't. "And . . . and her mother . . . ?"

"I don't know. My memories are so fuzzy. All I know is that I have a clear image of Kenna being about three or four. Now she looks like she's about nineteen or twenty. So there's . . . that means I missed fifteen years of her life . . . 'cause I didn't fucking remember her." He's on the verge of tears.

"How do you suppose she became involved in that group?"

"Shit, there's no tellin'. All I know is that I must've had dealings with 'em before I lost my memories. So after I disappeared, they probably recruited her, just to get back at me. And if they get to 'er at a young age, that's not hard t'do."

"I heard her say that . . . she thought you were dead. She was told that."

"She probably was. Maybe so they could have a strong hold on her. And that's probably what they thought about me at the time, anyway."

"Logan, who are they? What was that word you called her and the other assassins?"

"The Hand."

"No, the other word. 'Ninja', I think. What is that?"

He looks at me now. Genuine surprise colors his face. "You've never heard of a ninja?"

I shake my head, a little annoyed.

"A ninja is an elite form of Japanese warrior. The tradition dates back to Feudal Japan, or somewhere thereabouts. They practice armed- and unarmed combat, mysticism, enlightenment, espionage, and assassination. They can vanish like ghosts. They were the stuff of legend, to the point that historians still argue about whether or not they existed at all. But as you can see . . . ." He shrugs.

"They existed alongside samurai, "Logan continues, "but because they were in a low social class, they didn't have the same restrictions on honor that the samurai had, and could do whatever they needed to do to accomplish a goal. They were hunted by the Japanese government, then put to use as assassins, then hunted again, depending on who was in power at any given time. The ninja were forced into deeper hiding than before, and their numbers dwindled. Very few clans survive to this day, and most in altered form, but I guess The Hand can be counted as survivors."

"And so can your daughter."

"Yeah . . . yeah, so can she. But she hated the sight of me. As far as family reunions go, that one could've went better."

"But I promise we will find her again. Together." I wrap my arms around him and hold him close. He doesn't mind this, and oddly, neither do I.

He looks at me, into my eyes. His breathing has changed. "Wanna go inside where it's warm?"

Now I have difficulty speaking. "Yes, Logan, I . . . I'd like that."

We both stand up, dust off the grass, and venture inside. Before we realize it, we are headed toward his room. He opens the door, and I prepare to go to my own room.

"'Ro . . . " he mutters, one hand caressing my arm. "Wanna keep me company? I mean, if you want . . . ."

I turn back to him, place a hand on his. My head doesn't hurt anymore. And I step forward, meeting his lips with mine. Our arms hold each other tightly as we move into his room he closes the door behind us.

I keep him company this night . . . and do not leave until the following morning.

_X_

Because I am in tune with nature, I am always up with the sun, warmed by the golden radiance like a flower.

Under normal circumstances, anyway. Unless I am in bed with someone to whom I had made love the night before. Then I want to stay in bed until sunset.

The first sensation I am aware of isn't the early sunlight, but a warm hand on my bare shoulder. "Mornin', darlin'," Logan greets, his voice thick with sleep.

My voice is even thicker. "Murrrrph . . ." is as coherent as I can manage. I slowly retreat under the covers and place the pillow over my head to keep out the light and the coldness of morning. It is as if I have a hangover, and yes, I know what that's like. I had one once, the morning following Jean's birthday because she wanted to "get smashed" and swore she wasn't going to be the only one. I am not currently hung over, but with me, sex is close enough.

"Sleep well?" he asks, apparently oblivious to the idea that my conversational skills are nonexistent at this moment.

"Mmmmphuuh. . . ." Translated: 'I want to sleep in.'

He chuckles, and runs a hand down my blanket-covered back. "Looks like I wore ya out."

"Mmmmuh." I recently had thorough intercourse with a man with a heavy alloy skeleton, Logan. What were you expecting?

"Yeah, I know you wanna sleep in, but we got stuff t'do. You got all those plants to water, f'rinstance."

"They'll live . . . " I manage to reply. Let the records show this is the first time I've ever said that about my plants. Usually, watering them is an enjoyment. But that would involve moving my arms and legs, so it is out of the question.

"Fine, whatever." I feel him moving off the bed and doing whatever it is he does in the morning. I stay put, my eyes closed u the the blanket. I am surrounded by the strong scent of Logan, in the blanket, bed, and everything else. Smells like oak and cigar smoke, sweat and leather. I can smell my own scent, jasmine and sandalwood.

And of course, I also smell sex. All of those scents are quite pleasant, so I am content to stay here under the covers, and in his room as long as possible.

I find myself both appalled and delighted that we had made love. Appalled because it would seem I took advantage in his moment of weakness and need for comfort. Delighted because the way he moved and reacted indicated that my attraction to him was not one-sided. I do not believe I was just another conquest for him. My head starts to throb again.

I hear the water running. He must be washing his face. I am actually dreading our inevitable talk about what happened, because then I might discover that I was indeed just another warm body to him.

And I don't know what this now means for our friendship.

Suddenly I find myself very alert. I can no longer tell where he is by the soft sound of his movements, and by his breathing. I am fairly certain he did not leave the room, but --

"Logan?" I ask as I remove the pillow and blankets from over my head and sit up to look around for him. I find him standing over me with a glass of water. The grinning devil is threatening to pour the water (cold, no doubt) on my head! "Logan! I am up, already!"

He snickers and withdraws the glass, drinking it. "Just makin' sure."

"Bastard."

"Not the first time I've been called that."

I sit up on the bed, arms folded, the blankets covering my lower half. Is he always like this the morning after?

He looks at me with a raised eyebrow. "What?"

"This changes everything, doesn't it?" I had hoped to avoid this, and here I am bringing the very topic up.

"What, you mean . . . you an' me?"

"Yes. Was it a mistake?"

"Not to me. Why? Do you think it is?"

"No . . . I . . ."

"You're havin' doubts."

"Well, no . . . ." Truthfully, I am not sure. I begin looking around the floor next to the bed for my clothes. And I realize I was wearing my uniform. That puts another spin on this, and makes me think of how this affects the team.

_X_

r, ar, after we shower, dress, and kiss each other, we report to a meeting in the lower levels. We realize we missed breakfast, and our teammates make note of this. Logan and I try to carry on as if nothing is going on between us, but the others don't look convinced.

Logan tells the group what he'd informed me of the ninja, then pauses, shooting a glance at Cyclops. "And before you ask how I know this, I couldn't tell you where I learned it. I just know it, for the same reason I recognize the Hand in the first place. For some stupid reason I don't recall many details other than a history lesson, and the smell of the chemical they use."

Scott just smiles silently, storing this information away for future reference.

"I saw their bodies dissolving," I mention. "Does that have anything to do with the chemical?"

"Yeah. Their uniforms are laced with it, and if they're defeated and can't escape, they press a hidden button, and the chemical is released into their bloodstreams. Poof, instant human spontaneous combustion. That way, they don't live long enough to be interrogated, and they don't leave behind bodies for autopsies."

Morbidly clever. "Is that why her uniform was shredded from the waist up?"

"Yeah. I had to get the top half off her before she could press the button. Her uniform has to be reasonably intact in order for it to work."

"How do the Talons fit into this?" Scott asks.

"Beats the hell outta me. Could be any number of reasons. One group could have been hired to kill the other, they could be working for the same boss, they could have double-crossed each other, it could be an honor thing . . . your guess is as good as mine."

"But you said The Hand did not have honor," I remind him.

"Not to anybody but themselves, really."

"It's gang mentality at work," Cyclops observes, crossing his arms. "You mess with one member of a clan, they all take it as an insult."

"Pretty much," says Logan.

"I've been doing some research on ninja since last night, especially on their organizational structure," Cyclops continues. Leave it to him to approach this from a strategic point of view. "There are three ranks of ninja: genin, chunin, and jonin. The genin -- like the ones we met last night -- are the 'low men', the field agents. They're the ones who carry out all the grunt work. The chunin are the 'middle men', the genin's superior officers. They organize the strategy and who does what. The genin report to them. But the chunin report to the jonin, the 'high man'. The jonin's the head guy, the commanding officer of each ryu, each clan. He has the most idea of whatoingoing on, and he holds it all together." All of that must have taken a while to uncover, which suggests he was up later than the rest of us. The dark creases visible under his glasses confirm that.

Logan smiles slightly. "Not bad, Summers."

The rest of us ponder this with realization dawning. "So in ninja terms," Jean offers, "we're genin, and the professor's the jonin."

"Well, Cyclops is a little bit like a chunin too," Logan replies, "but yeah, that's the general idea."

I look over to Xavier. "So as jonin," I ask, "what are your orders?"

Xavier gives a warm smile and subtly sits up a little straighter in his wheelchair. He seems rather complimented by that. Then he turns serious. "Logan's daughter is still out there, and we must find her, Hand or not. From what I can gather from all this, it would appear that her continued survival is now a dishonor to her clan, because she did not complete her objective."

"Wait," Jean says, confused. "I thought they accomplished their mission when they blew up the Talons."

"Not quite," Logan tells her. "Cyke and I caught a glimpse of one Talon escaping. No telling where he is now. That, and I was a Talon. So that makes two Talons still alive, and the Hand's list of enemies just grew to include the X-Men."

"It's a safe bet, then," Scott guesses, "that the girl will want to track down that last Talon to restore her lost honor. Either that, or she'll be hiding from the Hand."

Logan stares into Scott's glasses. "If she's any daughter of mine, she won't be hidin'."

"Then we must find both the hunters and the quarry," Xavier asserts.

_X_

Since this is the weekend, there are no classes to teach. Of this I am thankful. It gives me a chance to catch up on my morning chores, which consists of watering the plants in my loft and in the gardens around the estate. I do not trust the groundskeeper with this task, as gardening is one of the few true joys I have in this life.

The watering done, I lean against the wall in the lower levels, outside the war room. Logan and Scott are at the holographic table, mapping out the entirety of New York City, pooling their knowledge to locate both Logan's daughter and his former Talon teammate. The two men argue and bicker quite frequently, but not as much as they once did. I note the strong respect they have for each other that is evident in their voices and mannerisms toward each other. Once they rivaled over Jean's affections -- though it was clear that Logan was less serious about her than Scott was -- but now they rival over everything, and happily so. They're both possessed of strong wills and iron opinions, which makes their conversations fascinating to watch and listen to.

"Is it true?" Marie's voice asks, startling me. I stand up straight and look at her, and she elaborates. "I mean, is it true that Logan has a daughter?"

"Yes, we believe so," I tell her gently. "She was part of a group of assassins we encountered last--"

"She tried to kill you. An' Logan too." One thing about her is that she always gets to the point.

"I . . . yes. She did. She wasn't expecting to meet him. Or any of us, really. But especially not Logan."

"How'd she end up with a bunch of hired killers? And ninjas, to boot.?"

"I . . . I don't know, child. You will have to ask Logan. But then, I am certain that not even he knows."

"How old was she?"

I consider this for a moment. "She appeared to be your age."

"An' I bet she'd been in that gang for a while. They must recruit early."

"That's what Logan told me."

She studies me for a few moments with those large wise eyes. "So you an' Logan . . . are you two a . . .?"

I had been dreading this. "An item? Yes, I suppose so. Has it been that obvious?"

She grins unexpectedly. "It was to anyone on that end o' the mansion, gal."

Her comment incites the deep blush from me for which I am certain she was fishing. "I suppose we'll have to get that door soundproofed." More seriously, I add, "Are you going to be okay with this? I know that--"

"That I had a crush on 'im a year ago? Or that he an' I are like family? 'Ro, I have his personality in my head. I also have Erik's and David's. That gets a little bit weird sometimes. But it means I don't look at Logan the same way most people do. I'm him some days. I know more 'bout what goes on in his head than anybody has a right to. That kinds kills romantic aspirations, don'tcha think?"

I never looked at it that way. "So carrying his personality traits around in your head means you've had more of him than you can stand."

"Some days, yeah. I know he ain't really my type; that much I figured out. An' he acts toward me like a big overprotective papa, so if you're worried that'll mean you'll end up bein' like a momma to me . . . ."

"I can relax on that front?"

"Actually, you already are t'me. Well, maybe a big sister or an aunt. Yeah, I like that. You're Aunt 'Ro."

I can't help but smile at that. "Thank you, child. Now I feel old."

"Not as old as I feel on the days Magneto decides t'take over my head. Wanna know how funny it can be to wake up in the mornin', look in the mirror and expect to see a tall 70-year-old man when you're a short 17-year-old girl?"

"Or a gruffly handsome man of indeterminate age?"

"Bein' a 17-year-old boy is worse, believe me."

We start laughing so hard we slide into a sitting position on the cold corridor floor, and Logan and Scott peek out of the room to determine whether or not we've lost our minds.

The bewildered looks on their faces just make us laugh even harder.

_X_

It actually did not take long to locate Logan's old teammate, Smartass Wilson. Logan's fuming about that as we drive through the city: "out of all the Talons who could have survived, why did it have to be him?"

"You didn't like him?" I ask with a slight smile.

He frowns and shakes his head slowly. "I hated his jokes. He was a freakin' nutcase. Stop grinning."

"I'm not." But I am. Especially when she says that. "I'm sorry about the Talons. It must be sad to lose so many of them, when they must have been your friends."

"Friends? I don't even really remember 'em. And I'm not exactly fond of all this past history comin' up. If that's what my former life amounted to, I'd just as soon my past stayed buried."

I place my hand on his and gently trace my fingers across it. It's funny how casual this relationship has become in its short existence. It hasn't even been twenty-four hours.

He glances at my hand, then returns his gaze to the road. Suddenly he seems distant. Almost cold.

Before I can really respond to that, we reach our destination. Logan pulls up in a parking lot where a tall African-American male in a trench coat and sunglasses waits. He is our contact.

We exit the car, mutually deciding to put our conversation on hold. "Logan," I tell him, gesturing to our contact, "this is--"

"Detective Lucas Bishop, NYPD," Bishop interrupts, studying Logan. "So you're Logan." He doesn't seem impressed."

Logan seems equally indifferent to Bishop. "You figured that out from, what? 'Ro here callin' me 'Logan'? You really are a detective."

"Logan . . . ." I use my best 'be nice' voice. Then, to Bishop: "I told you about him. He's our new member."

This raises Logan's eyebrows. "Wait . . . he knows about the--?"

"Yes. He is our informant within the police department. He is a mutant himself, but has found it wiser to remain in law enforcement."

"Ah, great." He studies Bishop closer. "What's your power? Bein' able to see at night with shades on?"

"What's yours," Bishop retorts without missing a beat, "not knowing what a comb and shaver are for?"

This is ridiculous. "Bo I s I say to them with a sharp enough tone to get their attention. "You two can thump your chests later. As it is, we're here for a reason. You said you had a lead on Wilson's whereabouts, Lucas?"

Bishop nods, his businesslike calm having stayed intact the entire time. I am almost certain there is no other side to his personality. "Wade Wilson is holed up in the low-rent district not far from here. He uses this place as an occasional safe-house when he's lying low from the police--"

"And anyone else who might want him dead," Logan adds coolly.

"Yes. Now the reason I wanted to meet with you here, Ororo, is that when you find him, I want to arrest him myself."

"Understood," I reply.

"What d'you want him for?" Logan asks, suspicious.

"The murder of Maria Calasantos," Bishop replies, as if he's just been asked the most obvious question imaginable. "The upper brass might not care too much about mutants being killed, but the string of murders the Talons have been committing happens to be a pet project of mine. I've been keeping track."

Logan narrows his eyes a bit, as if he has a theory. "Your superiors don't know you're a mutant, do they?"

"The chief does, and I try to stay on his good side." He doesn't elaborate, but he's told me previously that his chief is afraid of mutants, but even more afraid of the controversy that would surround the descriminant firing of one. However, since Lucas is one of the better officers on the force, he is useful as long as he doesn't reveal his powers. Even so, he is often called to handle mutant-related situations.

"Now, we're wasting time," Bishop declares, turning toward a rundown apartment housing complex. "I'm not even sure Wilson is home right now, but there's no guarantee he'll stay there if he is." He leads us to the building quietly, and the three of us are wary of our surroundings. Logan and I are particularly nervous about the dangers the shadows conceal.

Suddenly, we hear shouts and sounds of a struggle on the rooftop. Looking up, we glimpse a handful of shadowy figures fighting and flashes of metal weapons. Or more accurately, four or five ninja fighting a woman in their midst. It's Kenna.

This doesn't please Logan at all. "Shit. She came here to finish off Wilson, but the other genin got to her first." He unsheathes his claws, Bishop pulls his pistol, and we quickly run toward the building.

Kenna doesn't seem to be doing too badly, as she fends off attacks from the other ninja with her own sword. She fights with a ferocity all-too-similar to her father's. However, the number of her opponents forces her closer and closer to roo roof ledge, and a well-timed slice to her side causes Kenna to lose her balance. Rather than fight to regain her balance and remain on the roof, she hops off and lands on a fire escape, moving down it to the window leading into Wilson's apartment.

As soon as she peeks in the window, bullets rip through the glass, causing Kenna to recoil to avoid getting hit. The ninja descend down the fire escape to reach her, and Kenna swiftly slices open the nearest one. In a novel move, she grabs the wounded assassin and uses him as a shield against the bullets while fending off the next ninja. At least on the metal stairs she can deal with them one by one.

Then I notice Logan is gone. He must have slipped inside during the confusion.

Bishop hasn't noticed, as he's aiming his gun at the scuffle on the fire escape, trying to decide who to hit. He finally decides to point his gun straight up and fire a warning shot. All that does is cause the Hand to send throwing weapons at us. We retreat behind a dumpster for cover.

"Where's Logan?" Bishop inquires, finally noticing his departure. "I knew I should've brought a bigger gun." He peeks out and fires a few shots.

The ninja surround Kenna on the fire escape. The genin she used as a window barrier is dissolving into a mist, leaving her once again vulnerable to gunfire. Except the shooting has stopped. Logan must have reached Wade.

I decide that hiding will not help the situation, so I summon a tightly-focused gale wind and direct it toward the Hand. They are blown off of the staircase, leaving only Kenna who is barely hanging on. I then race to the front door of the apartment and see if I can reach Logan. I notice he has gutted the door lock with his claws. I'm fairly certain I guessed the room he was in accurately. Three floors up. Room facing the alley.

I sprint up the stairs quickly and find the room. The door is closed, but it bursts open as soon as I near it. A human shape flies out of it and hits the wall as hard as possible without crashing through it. It's Logan, leather and denim ripped from the losing end of a battle.

I rush to his side quickly, and check to see if he's conscious. He is, but just barely. His eyes focus on me. "'Ro . . . get outta here. It's Kirigi."

That last mumbled word sounds so foreign I'm not sure I heard him correctly. But instead of asking for clarification, I turn to the doorway and see a seven-foot ninja carrying an impossibly long, blood-stained sword. His uniform is different from the other ninja, so I'm not sure he is even from the same clan. Beyond him, Kenna and the other ninja watch him from the window. Their gazes are that of fear and awe. On the floor next to the window is a bleeding man whom I assume is Wilson.

Logan rises shakily to his feet, growling at the ninja. Kirigi remains eerily silent, almost lifeless. Logan leaps at him, claws extended, but the tall ninja simply sidesteps and thrusts his hand at Logan's throat. Lifting Logan up by the neck, he then prepares to impale Logan with his sword.

TO BE CONCLUDED


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