A two-hour drive brought Wolverine to the mountain turn-off he wanted. He followed the mountain road for a few miles, passing the over-grown driveway once before he found it and steered his bike up the steep hill to the awaiting compound.
Wolverine pulled up in front of the ruin of a massive multi-story laboratory with military-style outbuildings. This was the place that old Chuck had told him about. The place that might have answers about his past and what had happened to him. He cut the engine to his motorcycle and stared at the empty black building.
"Been puttin' this off too long," he whispered. "Got to get it over with sooner or later."
Wolverine dismounted and walked to the front doors of the place. Time had weathered away any sign of resistance to the place. The doors fell apart at his touch and he walked in. He stared everywhere at once, taking in the cracked ceiling tiles and the broken linoleum floors. Whole walls were missing in places and he could see through gaping holes in the ceiling to the floors above. Furniture and equipment lay broken and scattered about in every room, including the main hallway he was walking down. Wolverine reached the end of the long hall and took a deep breath to brace himself for what lay beyond the last set of doors.
Startled, Wolverine stopped. Air flowed through cracks and holes in the walls and ceiling providing him with scent clues of his environment. So far, all he'd smelled was dust and disuse with a slight hint of mold. He sniffed the air again. "What the hell? Something smells burnt, like someone fried a hole in the ozone."
He flattened himself against the wall and slowly pushed open one of the doors to the last room. He didn't see anyone in the great room, so he silently slipped inside. He gradually shut the door behind him and crept into the shadows of the room. Taking inventory around him, Wolverine realized that this was the main laboratory. The room was the entire width and height of the building. Something, an explosion maybe, had crumbled the roof in on itself and he could see the stars of the night sky above him.
"Damn it," a woman's voice cursed softly in the darkness.
A light went on just twelve paces to the northeast of him. He froze and then sunk to his knees to avoid detection. Keeping to the outer wall, he stole over to a better vantage point, one where equipment and fallen rooftop would not block his direct line of sight.
A woman stood with her lantern sitting on top of an old filing cabinet. The drawers were all hanging open and small piles of ash surrounded her. She was tall, wore a skintight green bodysuit with boots, and this time had pale green gloves on her hands as well. She raised a gloved hand to move a lock of bright orange hair out of her eyes.
"Well, well, well," Wolverine murmured. "Look who we have here. Looks like Glow can't find what she came here for either."
"Argh!" Glow grunted in frustration and slammed the drawer shut. The fire-blackened cabinet fell over with the force of her slam. "Damn, damn, and double damn. Everything's been destroyed or taken…_only one place left to try."
She paced over to the main computer and stared up at it. "If I can get it working..."
Glow turned to head back to the doors when she caught sight of a man-shaped shadow on the wall. She instantly stiffened. "Who's there?"
Wolverine almost sucked in his breath. He froze in hope that she'd think she was imagining things.
"Come out. The lantern is casting a shadow for you. I know you're there," she called again. "Either you come out, or I start firing."
Wolverine didn't see a firearm on her but didn't want to take that chance. He figured he could subdue her in closer quarters easily if it came to that. The leather jacket clad man took a step out from the pile of rubble he'd been behind.
"Hey, take it easy. It's just me," he told her, approaching with his hands held up. "Remember? The local wildlife?"
Glow crossed her arms over her chest in a defensive posture. "What the hell are you doing here? You followed me an awfully long way just to ask for a date."
"Date? I didn't follow you here. You just made better time than I did." Wolverine put his hands down still keeping them where she could see them. "What are you doing here?"
She pushed her sunglasses back up her nose again. "Looking for answers to something that happened a long time ago. I could do that much easier if you'd leave."
"I don't think so. I drove all the way from New York to find this place. I'm not leaving till I find my own set of answers." Wolverine moved toward her.
Glow stepped back for every step he took forward. "Well, I need the time to search alone. You can come back later."
"I don't think so," he said, standing in place, not wanting to chase her any further away.
"Then I'll just have to make you leave." Her voice went icy cold.
"Oh, I'd love to see that."
"Okay," she answered glibly.
Without any warning she bolted towards him with one fist raised. She swung and missed when he pulled back to dodge the blow. However, she'd kept her elbow raised and struck him with that in his chin instead. A swift knee in the stomach and a left cut to his cheek followed before she danced away.
"Not bad," he said, straightening up and cracking his neck. "But you're going to have to do a lot better."
"I'm just warming up."
"Good to hear."
Neither was sure who landed the next blow, but the punches were being distributed fast and furiously immediately afterward. Little by little, Wolverine's greater speed and strength began to show in the fight. He was pushing Glow slowly towards the wall. When Glow finally stumbled backwards over a small pile of debris Wolverine caught both of her wrists in his hands and pinned her to the wall.
"Give up yet?" he asked, his face just inches from her sunglassed eyes.
"You know, it's too bad you're so damned stubborn about all this," she told him.
"Oh? Why?" Wolverine inquired.
"'Cause if you weren't such a jerk, you'd almost be cute," Glow answered.
Her reply caught him slightly off guard, but he grinned smugly to cover. "Flattery isn't going to win you this fight. Do you concede defeat?"
"No. I still have an ace up my sleeve you don't know about," Glow answered cheerfully.
"About 30,000 volts of electricity."
"What the hell?!" Wolverine let go in alarm and took a step back as Glow became surrounded by a yellow halo. He bared his claws in defense.
"Looks like I'm not the only one with an ace up my sleeve. Are those things made of metal?" she questioned.
Before he could even respond, she raised a hand. Yellow and white energy crackled from her fingertips. "Metal conducts electricity, quite well in fact. Have a nice after-life."
The last thing Wolverine remembered was a lightning bolt flying at him and his body being paralyzed by the electricity she charged through him.
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