AoA: Logan vs Logan vs Logan

October 17, 2017:

Old Man Logan was sent to find Weapon X (AoA Logan) and he and his companions finally catch up with the younger man just as he confronts Prelate Cassidy (AoA Black Tom) and his bodyguard, the young woman known only as X-29.

Dark, evil swamps where New Orleans stood once


NPCs: AoA Black Tom Cassidy (emitted by Nate) and X-29 (emitted by Laura)


Mood Music: None.

Fade In…

'Please go find Weapon X and convince him to return to the X-Men.'

The question is why didn't Magneto send someone that already knew Logan? Quicksilver, for instance, could have done this in half an hour. Something fishy is going on. Why did Weapon X leave the X-Men in the first place?

On the other hand, who better to find Logan than another Logan. After all it is just… the whole America to hide.

Fortunately it is not so bad. Someone saw Weapon X in the ruins of Saint Louis a few weeks ago. So that is where the merry X-Company will start. They have an electric super-tech jeep, food for a week and a lot of anti-rad tablets. Hopefully a lycanthrope, a hyper-regenerator and a pair of half-Asgardians can't get radiation sickness. The doctors have no idea.

Saint Louis apparently was one of the first cities culled by one of Apocalypse goons. A psychopath that called himself Holocaust. His troops managed to kill a million humans in 36 hours, a record unbeaten until the great Kiev massacre in the 90s. Saint Louis still has piles of skulls three floors tall, the city is too hot to do much about those.

Apparently Logan went south from here, chasing after some war criminal. The locals (mutants all) were not sure, because they were scared shitless of the infamous mutant. They are not too fond of the older Logan, but that made them talkative.

All the way to New Orleans. Or what was New Orleans before it sunk into the black waters of the Gulf of Mexico. The place is now a nightmarish swamp/marsh thing. Radioactive to the point no one should stay here more than a day or two, anti-rad tablets or not. But the local Logan went straight into the swamp.

Delightful place! Looks like the mutant alligators are losing the war for dominance against the giant cockroaches. The local Breeding Pens must have had a particularly crazy head scientist. The whole region positively reeks to death and corruption.

Radiation, stench, death and decay. What wonderful smells they've discovered! Cloud wants out of this life-foresaken place - the entire world, not just 'New Orleans' - something awful. But while she is here, the leopard will do her best. Her poor little 'service animal' triple-kevlar X-vest and harness have definitely seen better weeks, thanks. But she'll keep wearing it until it becomes as much of a radiation hazard as the Hell in which she is slogging.

Frankly, a swamp should be home to Cloud, even despite the hyperpsychotic predators. And as it is, she likely makes some of the best time through here. But this is even worse upon her feline spirit, seeing what should be a natural place so akin to her heart and soul turned into a cesspit even worse than the rest of the world around here.

Get her the f—- out of here!

But as it is, as promised, Cloud is doing her best to scent and track, hypersenses attuned to every creak, snap and growl, each shift of wind. Find the other Logan. Younger. Meaner.

Maybe she can go home if she finds him? Cloud sure hopes so!

Logan stands looking at the scenery in front of him. He visited St Louis back in his world years ago, before it became a desert wasteland. He is not sure which he prefers. He feels radiation burning away at his skin, but at the same time his skin heels from the damage. Logan takes a whiff of the air, and gags. "Fuck! This place stinks." He begins to wade through the swamp. "This Logan… clearly has no taste for hide outs. I doubt there's a bar here for miles. At any rate we better be careful, we don't know how this place has affected his mental state."

Siege rides silently in the jeep. In fact, the mutant-Asgardian hybrid hasn't gone by Mattias to the locals. The name has been eschewed to not make 'play' with the simulation. The death, the sickness, the age hasn't touched his skin, save for the war scars he wears upon a physique so punished by physical exertion that it looks sculpted out of wood. His face, hidden behind the dark slits of the helm of an Einherjar, conceals his features behind curved horns of gilded metal, coming to silver-tipped points before his jaws.

And he rides, with heft of his ornate axe settled near the leather and armor plating of his boots and the tattered strips of leather that were once identifiable as a uniform. Bare chested, with black horse hair streaming from his helm and blonde streaks peeking from beneath, he wraps his mits about the top of his axe's haft and leans forward into it.

"This Midgardian is a nuisance to find." Mattias rumbles out from the slits in his helm. "Mortal or not, it vexes me that he would not have been in St. Louis. There was glory to be found there."

Much like the clouded leopard within their group Dani is having similar thoughts.

She'd prefer to be home. Since that's not an option all she can do is hope that they'll soon figure out how to get home.

That doesn't stop the Cheyenne from helping in this world as best she can. It's what got a bullet put through her leg and while the wound has been cleaned and sealed, she can still be found to have a limp. An annoying limp. Not that it matters when the group was asked to locate the other Wolverine within this world. So, Moonstar suited up with whatever was available and brought along bow, quiver, sheathed knife and handgun.

It's Logan and Mattias' words that draw a side-look from the woman, a faint crimp of her lips in agreement with all the two said. "Agreed - let's get in and out and be done with it then. The faster we find him the quicker we can get out of this forsaken place."

A look is now turned to the leopard and Dani offers a faint smile of encouragement.

Scents abound in the swamp, but with two expert trackers with enhanced senses the group moves fast even after having to abandon the jeep, avoiding quicksand and most other obstacles, and only have to kill a few hungry alligators and cockroaches along the way. A few hours into the swamp, however, Weapon X scent seems to mix with a few others. Whatever he was looking for must close.

And then the wind changes.

So it is Weapon X that comes to them. Quietly. Deadly. His outfit is black and red, and he has applied war paint on his scowling face. Strangely, he is missing his left hand, which should be impossible given his regenerative abilities. About to pounce, he sees Logan and stalls, instead stomping forward.

"Who the hell are you?" The claws are out in the right hand.

Logan has about five seconds to answer before they are interrupted. A mass of rotting vegetable matter surfaces few yards from the group. Large as a truck, vaguely quadrupedal, branches like giant tentacles flailing forward towards both versions of Logan and the rest of the heroes.

Cloud chokes and gags periodically, but keeps up her pursuit of that scent as best she can, until at last … there he is.

Naturally, the stupid two-foots rely on their silly mouth-sounds in a moment of crisis. Bah! So Cloud just snarl-roars shortly at the one-handed Logan, and then leaps past both Logans to another tree branch overhanging the swamp, taking up a protective position between the veggie monster and Dani, the only two-foot who understands her here. She has no giant metal claws - bah! - but she has claws, and she will not hesitate to use them.

What else is she going to do?

Logan watches as the man, who looks a younger version of himself emerges. He quickly notices the missing hand, and furrows his brow. "Another you." Is his reply.

Upon seeing the mass of vegetable matter, and the branches swinging towards him, he pounces away. He lands, and uses his momentum to roll forward into a squat. He looks back at the creature, though he can't be sure that's what it is. After all, it could be a result of telekinesis or some sort of magic. "OK, what the hell is that?"

Mattias tilts the slits in his helm towards the younger Logan, then looks to the older. The resemblance, uncanny and weird, strikes his blue eyes to a narrowed state. It's in this sideways glance he catches the movement from the fringe and begins to rise.
"Don't be a waffle about this, one-hand." Mattias plucks his axe up and plants a boot on one of the seats, muscles flexing in preparation to jump. "Just listen to the people, get in the fokkin' jeep, and be done with this."

Mattias leaps into the air over the flapping tentacles and explodes in a flicker-flash of flame, reappearing high above the plant beast. High enough to bow his back and bring his axe behind his head for a falling chop.

"FOKK THIS SALAD!" Mattias roars. As good a war cry as any, really.

Just above the growing… living vegetation the canopy provides enough rotting cover and shadows to eil the passage of motion, leaving it to the "wind" or simply the creepy/crawlies of this mired wasteland. It is only fitting that predators are up, when prey is below - and that team is not the only one with trackers.

Another product of Weapon X… X-29 is in the branches, feet wrapped, reinforced and strapped in leather from the arches of feet to mid thigh, just abov the tatters of fishnetting loeave skin revealed until leather shorts of as much the same piecemealed attire cling, accented in the looping of a chain that ascends to cross with the X of a harness over her torso, a loop at the back where the chains ascent ends, crossing over her chest also bearing a halter-type top of V shaping that leaves abdomen bare.

Scars are evident, prominent, and also should not be on X-29, but they are, even across her cheek where black paint stretches across piercing green eyes in a stripe, framed by black hair that falls in a mix of dreds and silk. No weapons… She doesn't need them..

A flare of nostrils, and as the melee begins the closest target is another in the tress with this predator, a 'hail mary' step forward and she is plummeting down from the treetop to attempt a land upon Cloud, from the tops of bare feet those claws extend!

"Slogging through a swamp." Mutters Dani mid-way, "Really wasn't the vacation I was expecting."

And while she could kvetch more, she doesn't. Not as they find themselves walking deeper into this very foul-smelling land. It also doesn't help that they have to worry about human sized bugs. Not that Dani minds bugs, but human sized ones? Yes, she minds a great deal.

Thankfully their trek soon comes to an end and the four find themselves a Logan. This world's Logan, at least. Mattias' words about waffling earns a second side-eye from the Valkyrie. "Great diplomatic skills there." Is all she says, before her gaze turns back towards the one-handed Wolverine. She'd have offered more, if it weren't for the fact the group now finds themselves attacked by a mad tree. Immediately Dani's bow and an arrow are brought forth - she nocks the arrow and pulls the string back. It only takes a second to target the 'heart' of the vegetation beast and then the arrow is loosed - *twang*.

Then her attention shifts from the beast to Mattias, then Logan and finally turning to check upon Cloud. "Whatever it is I'm pretty sure it's not friendly -" And that look toward the leopard is done at such a time that she spies the tail-end of that drop attack from above. "Look out!" Comes the warning for Cloud, even as Dani reaches for a second arrow.

Weapon X stands his ground, slashing a the branches with his claws at they try to grab him. "A distraction. I am hunting a half-plant asshole called Prelate Cassidy. Black Tom Cass… urmph," for a second the savage mutant is tripped down, and goes under a mass of vines and braches.

Mattias axe cuts deep into the creature, but there are no internal organs, just wood, vines and shifting branches. A few hits and half of it falls apart, but instead of staying still it seems to animate into a humanoid amalgamation of mud and bark that staggers towards the Viking. Not a mind inside, so Moonstar arrow does little.

"Hahahahaa," cue in maniac laughter. Because Black Tom Cassidy went mad decades ago, when he accepted an offer from Apocalypse to become 'stronger'. The right side of his body still looks human, but the left side is covered by bark and moss, and the old tunic he wears hides little. The eye glowing red. "Fools to come into my playground! Fools and turncoats." He still has a faint Irish accent. Mostly, he sounds happy and angry.

He has a shillelagh in his human hand. And when Mattias proves to be strong enough to tear apart his vegetable critter, he points at the blonde and fires a powerful force blast.

It always amuses Cloud when two-foots attempt to stealth up on her in the wilds. In the constant noise and chaos of the city it's tauntingly easy to do so; she gets too overwhelmed, too overloaded to sort out her plethora of senses and figure out what's coming for her soon enough to react.

This is not the city. And as talented as X-29 of this world may be, it is impossible for those foot-wrappings to push off and leap without making a sound that does not belong, here. Not above her, not at that angle. True, X-29 has managed to avoid Cloud's sense of scent, which is impressive.

As it is, Cloud doesn't get a lot of warning. But thanks to herself, and Dani, it is enough. The hyper-agile and blurringly fast leopard bounds away and twists - gymnast kitty! - to instead fall on top of the half-vegetable man. It's not a proper pounce; he's just something more solid than falling into the polluted waters, and someone she wouldn't mind as much interrupting. Just a hundred-eighty or so pounds of flying, falling cat.

Then Cloud is twisting and bounding towards another solid spot, chuffing with annoyance as she prepares to defend herself and her persons. Vegetables, twisted half-vegetables, scarred femme-Logans. Whatever it takes.

Anything to get out of here!

"Like anyone brings me anywhere for diplomacy." Mattias grits as the axe sticks into the wood. With a few kicks, he helps separate it, rather prideful of his work. The whites of his grinning teeth can be seen through the slits in his helm. "You want a tree stumped? I provide. You want a car lifted? I provide. Want to be personally bench pressed?" Mattias kicks at the wood and turns to watch Black Tom form. "I provide. I am a creature of physicality. But if someone wants to diplomat this Jolly Green Ass-Butts-" Mattias rips his axe free and points to Black Tom…

The energy beam catches the distracted Siege in the center of his chest. Arms and legs outstretched, he hangs onto his axe as he flies through the air, creating a wake of muddy water and exploding trees as he sails out of sight. Unexpected lumberjack, Mattias becomes.

Logan watches as the others attack the vegetable creature. He stands up and draws his claws. He runs into the nearest part… a distraction? He stops short of taking a swipe at the creature. Logan watches as the mass of vegetation turns back into a human form, before Black Tom blasts Mattias. Logan watches as the he goes flying, "Well you certainly provide in the tree stumping department!" calls Logan. He turns back to the half-man- half-tree before him. "Hey! I knew a version of you too." Logan says gesturing with his right hand. "Yeah I didn't like him much either. But you sure don't look too good." He then turns to the other Logan, "So do you want this guy alive or dead? At least let me knock him out."

An edge is an edge, even a small element of surprise counts to her, because even if you expect a small 'SURPRISE!' party, someone unwanted shows up and makes you give pause. Keep anticipating..

Keep moving. Even as Cloud jump-drops away, X lands on the branch with a scrape into the bark from claws, a moment to anchor as the limb snaps beneath impact and the lunge there-after to follow up on Cloud. The training endured here, the memories, those faint triggers engrained in her to bring to end are abundant here, more abundant than she has sensed for years, the numbers more putting her at odds for once. Knock on Laura's door, and the chance of someone being home is slipping.

Cloud was the bulls eye of pin dotting pupils, but they yell from Dani has her follow up landing on the writhing plantlife Black Cassidy twisting. Twin claws extend from hands wrapped in similar leather and cloth straps to anchor the twisted path into the ichor beneath her, ripping across its surface.

Movements are irratic, a twisted drop that has her moving with a zig-zagging alacrity towards Dani, that energy beam burning just above her before she leaps at the Cheyenne.

A second arrow is pulled from the quiver that sits upon Dani's back. It's nocked, pulled back and released with a second twang. The target this time is X-29. Or, at least, where she was sitting upon that branch. Only now, she's gone.

That's enough to bring Dani's attention back around - there's enough time for her to catch sight of Mattias being flung back into the woods, Cloud safely upon the ground (er creature), and 'their' Logan looking to take down Black Cassidy.

It's also enough to catch sight of that zig-zag rush by X-29 at her. While she could try to hit her with an arrow, psionic or real, Dani knows it's already too late for that, and likewise too late to dodge. Especially with her wounded leg hampering her speed and maneuverability. So, instead of arrow, the Cheyenne reaches out with her psionic powers towards the mind of X-29. She intends to pull forth the woman's greatest fear -

"Kill that !&*%" is Weapon X muffled response to Logan question, the feral Canadian trying to keep his head over the water. Cassidy seems to be centering the plant-control abilities on him. At least until he sees the second, older Logan. "You brought yer daddy to the party?" He asks, shooting at Old Man Logan with his cane. "Fine, we will kill him too… agh." A big cat just fell on him! But the Irish mutant is pretty strong, so he struggles to push Cloud away with his wooden arm while protecting his face with the human hand. "Away, you mangy beast!"

Mangy! The only reason poor Cloud is anything less than pristine is because of this filthy, polluted, foul swamp, twisted out of true by two-foot arrogance and stupidity. Nature knows better. But the leopard is happy to roll off of Cassidy, and doesn't even much more than half-heartedly swipe at him with her claws, just enough to keep him distracted.

And then X-29 attacks.

Cloud doesn't hesitate; sure, X-something girl's claws are like Logan claws, and those could kill her. But Cloud doesn't want to live forever, damnit. As soon as she spots the girl leaping at Dani, the leopard responds. No roar. No warning. Just a leaping bound, a furry missile of intent, ready to body-block the already airborne killer, to deflect her from Cloud's person with the leopard's own fleshy body, shielded - if at all - only by her service-animal vest.

This, in case anyone missed it, is why Jean, Elizabeth and the others put Cloud up for X-person-hood. Hero on four paws, even if it costs her life.

"With pleasure", is Logan's response to Weapon X. He runs towards Black Tom, however, when he notices the cane pointing in his direction he dives to floor. The shot narrowly misses him. He rolls onto his front, "I told you… I have already met a version of you." He stands up, "And I ain't anybody's daddy, not anymore." He swings with his left claws at the cane, before striking with his right claws.

The more the sounds of fighting go on, the more the smell of sweat, the scent trained to bring to an end upon Death's Rattle beneath her hands and claws… The more that smaller X figure is moving and the true intent is pushing out of her mind, it is just survival in the end. HER survival, not theirs! They are not of the Age!.

Dani is seen through a filter now, her movements watched even in her own rapid approach, like a heatwave reflection in a Predator movie while the whites of X-29's eyes seem to redden with every heart beat, blood-shot? Teeth flash and grind, revealed when lips peel back and she leaps for the woman who seems unmoving.. all the better…

Her mind is a fortress, something walled up, protected… By a mind not finding its moment of trained 'broken'… Unhinged. Flashes rewind, flickers of imagery, sensation of pain - only to fast forward… …failure! …weak! Words echoing, then darkness. What is more to fear when you have nothing else, but death?

A racing heartbeat pauses, skips and before she blinks free to see Dani just before impact the massive frame of Cloud's body knocks her to the side, away, and in a Tazmanian fit for survival X-29 buckles in around the Leopard and buries blades like grappling hooks into the assault, hitting the ground and rolling with her, releasing a feral yell familiar to those who knew X-23.

Off in the distance, past the ruined trees, another flash of fire comes. Through the darkness, a forward rushing Siege joins Logan in his attack on Black Tom. With all of the speed of a freight train, a flash of fire belches the Asgardian hybrid out into the fray. Covered in mud and moldy water, he joins Logan's attack in a flyby elbow aimed at Black Tom's temple. He roars through the attack, using the last three feet of ground to dig his toes in and leap into it, throwing the full of his Asgardian bulk against the man-dryad.

Black Tom curses when his blast misses, and tries to bring in some vines to entrap the old Logan. Too slow, the first claw swipe destroys his stick, and the second fails to eviscerate him only because he backpedals quickly, bleeding.

Tom never sees the teleporting demi-god. The elbow to the temple sends him flying. He crashes hard against a rotten tree, and falls into the fetid swamp. Maybe unconscious, maybe dead. Hungry alligators are converging on him anyway. The moving vines, branches and shambling constructs fall down and go quiet.

The sounds where Cloud and X-29 land are a mixture of tearing, snarling and then silence wrought with the impact of Cassidy. The still in that corner of round two can either be foreboding, or good, but the Hunter of Ms. Sinister, a twisted Weapon X is gone back into the darkness of the swamp, the iridescent reflection of eyes red instead of green, blacking out and melding with a blink upon her silent exit.

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