A tall, willowy young woman with long raven hair sat in front of Charles Xavier's desk. "Sabrina, I know you are relatively new to the team, but I need you to do something for me," the man behind the desk said in a cultured voice. "This is strictly between you and me. Please do not tell any of the other team members." The dark-haired girl nodded solemnly. Her teacher and mentor laid out what he had planned for her. She listened intently, and then left to prepare for her mission.
Four months later . . .
The night was crisp with dew as he lay awake in bed, gazing at the now bright moon through the window. Thoughts wandered slowly through his mind, keeping sleep at bay. He caught a flutter from the corner of his eye, and knew immediately that 'Birdie' was returning from her hunt. Birdie was a pygmy owl, barely the size of a robin. She came in a convenient travel size, but held the temper of a tiger. The little black owl landed softly to her perch on the post by his head. Logan ruffled silky feathers. "Didya have a good trip Birdie?" Emerald green eyes glinted at him, as she cocked her head. "I swear sometimes ya seem ta understand me," he chuckled. He always found it odd that whenever he woke from sleep "Birdie" as he had come to call her, was always perched in front of him watching him closely. He knew owls were nocturnal, but this was getting to be ridiculous.
The little owl had been a gift of sorts from Chuck before he left the mansion. From what the Professor had said, she was a rare black pygmy. One of a kind, a mutation of sorts, he had elaborated. Why Chuck had trusted him with such a peculiar sort, he didnt know. And truth be told, he didn't really care. At first he was just a little pissed that Charles would saddle him with something like this, but along the way, he had become attached to the little animal. She actually seemed to be the perfect companion for him. She took care of herself pretty much, didn't slow him down at all, but kept him from feeling quite so alone on the long, desolate stretches thru the Canadian wilderness. Of course, there were drawbacks to traveling with an owl. Logan absentmindedly rubbed his neck. The marks from Birdie's pecking were gone, thanks to his healing factor, but the memory of them stayed with him. At last sleep overtook Logan. Green eyes watched over him as he dreamed of fresh air and wildflowers.
He woke the next morning to find his small friend snoozing. After showering, he gathered up his gear. Careful not to wake her, he lifted Birdie into his bag; it was her home while they traveled. She didn't seem to mind it. Logan had a hunch that the rumble of the cycle helped her sleep.
That afternoon Logan pulled off the road. The next town was still pretty far away and he was getting a bit hungry. A little black head popped up when the bike came to a stop. "C'mon then," he said with a smile, holding out his hand. "Didn't think ya'd wake up, but you can come out for a bit." The small bird hopped onto his hand and looked at him intently. "We got a ways to go, Birdie. Might as well take a break." He took out a couple of sandwiches. Birdie pecked his neck from her perch on his shoulder. "Damn it Birdie! That hurts! Quit peckin' at me! If ya' want some, I'll give it to ya'." He tore off a corner and held it up to her. The little bird hopped onto the table with her prize and delicately picked at it. "Ya' even eat like a girl," the big man chided, as he watched her. "You gotta be the strangest little owl I've ever seen."
Birdie finished her meal and gave Logan a soft, kiss- like peck on the cheek, as if she was trying to say Thank you. "That's a helluv an improvement over you takin' chunks outta my neck," he smiled. With a soft screech like hoot, Birdie hopped down from the table to her sack. Logan watched with curiosity as the small lump in the sack moved around, as if searching for something. Birdie's head suddenly emerged from the opening, and in her beak she held a small fishermans fly, without the hook. Attached to the fly was a 45" long piece of clear fishing line. Logan arched one eyebrow quizzically. "What, you can't let yer food digest a bit first?" he said, letting out a loud belch that could probably be heard from miles
around. The tiny owl's eyes narrowed at the shamelessness of his behavior
and screeched loudly. Logan snorted and proceeded to light a cigar. This was
the last straw as far as Birdie was concerned. She launched herself high into the air silently and let the toy drop haphazardly onto Logan's head, drawing his attention. Dropping into a swift dive, she swooped down, snatched the stogie out of his mouth, and circling gracefully, dropped it into a nearby pond. A triumphant Birdie lit on the table next to Logan's hand. Taken aback by the whole scene, he could have sworn the little owl wore a smirk. "All right!!! That's it!! DAMN, that was my last fuckin' cigar! What the hell is wrong with you? PMS? Shit!" Logan shouted as he rose from his bench. He ripped the toy off his head where she had dropped it, yanking out a handful of hair in the process. Slowly turning around with a sly smile on his face, he said to the tiny bird, "You wanna play? Nuh-uh. You're gonna work for this now." He launched the fly into the air while simultaneously whipping the string in circles above his head. Now normally, this was a game played by falconers to fine-tune their birds prey drive and hunting skills; this was not a game played with an owl, but Birdie wasn't an ordinary owl,
either. Logan continued to whip the toy around until it gained enough velocity and with a flick of his wrist, let it go, sending it sailing into the nearby woods. With a vile screech, Birdie rocketed into the air and followed her beloved toy. "That'll take care of ya' for a while," he snickered and opened a fresh can of Molson's. Logan had only enough time to take a deep drink before Birdie returned with her prize in her beak. He sat down hard on the bench and let out a loud sigh. "Shit Birdie, I just wanted teh..." he began, but stopped short at the sight held before him. There was a ragged piece of material attached to the fly. Logan took what looked to be a scrap off a jacket and inspected it closely, mumbling something inaudible
under his breath. "What the...." he began again, and again stopped short by a scent assaulting his senses; the foul stench, the vile, putrid smell of old blood and death. This belonged to someone he knew.... and unfortunately knew well. This belonged to the most foul, vile, putrid person he knew of. Victor Creed. Logan felt his body tighten and tremble with the anticipation of a fight. He fought for control over the bloodlust that rose within him. His knuckles itched, the blades housed inside threatening to break through. He wanted to rip Creed apart and gut him like last year's venison. Logan sniffed the remnant again. The scent was old. Somehow he knew this was Creed's way of telling Logan he was watching. Logan lifted his nose to the air and sampled the breeze. No, he wasn't here anymore. The pussy bastard had already skipped town. But Logan knew he would catch up to him. "Oh yeah I will." he sneered to himself.
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