Author: Notmanos
E-Mail: notmanos at yahoo dot com
Rating: R
Disclaimer:  The characters of Angel and Drusilla are owned by 20th Century Fox and Mutant Enemy; the character of Wolverine is also owned by 20th Century Fox and Marvel Comics.  No copyright
infringement intended. I'm not making any money off of this, but if you'd like to be a patron of the arts,
I won't object. ;-)  Oh, and Bob is *my* character - keep your hands off!   
Notes:  Takes place shortly after the "X-Men" movie, and "Mononoke".


His sense of anxiety began to ease when he made it past the first checkpoint.

No,that wasn't quite right:his sense of anxiety was buried so deep inside him even he barely noticed it,but that was necessary if this was to have any chance of working at all.Outwardly,and at the forefront of his mind,he had to have all the emotions of a doorstop.As far as they knew,he was still a zombie,and he had to act that way if he wanted to escape.

Ever since the latest brainwashing had been crumbling away,he'd been hiding pieces of himself deep inside his mind,like a prisoner being starved to death might horde little bits of food to hold on just a little while longer.But he had to hide any sense of self,any sanity,to avoid the telepaths finding out that the walls had broken down once more.It was not the first time it had happened-memories of past tortures had started coming back to him-but he did hope it was the last.

Logan kept himself in an outwardly dead state of mind as he continued down the adamantium lined corridor,passed by armed soldiers who never quite took their eyes off him as he walked by,headed for the second to last checkpoint.He had remembered some meditation techniques that helped him bury himself and any feelings beyond the blind,unfocused rage they wanted and expected of him.He could only hope they were enough,because if this was going to work it was going to have to be now;the annual telepathic screening was coming up,and he didn't know if he could survive it intact.

The second checkpoint had a soldier on it,and his pale,dead eyes scanned him instantly,with a sort of low grade contempt that was second nature around here.Even though mutants were the star of the show here,they were viewed with scorn and hatred:the 'normal' soldiers who held them in check loathed mutants with every fiber of their being,and saw them as just a step above rabid animals.They were the backbone of this organization,but the 'normals' never let them forget they were just freaks who had no reason to exist save for their use as living weapons of the state."Goin' off to your burrow,Wolverine?"The soldier said,betraying a thick Southern accent;Georgian,he guessed.

Logan simply glared as the square jawed soldier laughed at his own joke.The soldier held up the gun like contraption of the scanner,which flashed briefly red in the periphery of his vision and read the code on his dog tags,and then the soldier (his name tag on his breast pocket read 'C. Truitt',although in his mind Logan thought 'Trout' and had to work really hard to suppress a fleeting sense of amusement) glanced at his computer screen,built into the guard kiosk."Y'all can go,"he finally said,still giving Logan a contemptuous sneer that he burned to react to but knew he could not,not if this was going to work.
"Try not to kill anyone on the way out."

Logan growled-that at least was in character-and while Truitt remained unbearably smug,he backed up a step,and his hand dropped to the butt of his paralyzer he wore on his hip.At least the superior attitude got tempered by fear.

The 'blast' doors irised open,leading straight into the corridor that would lead to the final checkpoint,and then freedom beyond the walls of the compound.But he couldn't allow himself to feel anything-excitement,exhilaration,nothing.He'd come close to escaping before,but never made it.He had to get out this time,because his only other option was suicide,and that seemed to be almost impossible.His body wouldn't let him die,even when the torture never stopped.

He was through the door and half way down the adamantium plated hallway when he smelled failure.The Overseer appeared at the head of the hall,between him and the final checkpoint,flanked by a half dozen guards in full body armor, their paralyzers and guns out and ready.The Overseer simply stood there,arms crossed over his chest,smiling smugly as more armored troops filled the corridor behind him.He was trapped.

"Logan,how stupid do you think we are?"The Overseer asked."By the second escape attempt,we learned to scan you randomly.You aren't leaving,Logan-you belong to us."

"Fuck you,"he snarled,letting the anger out now.Sometimes there was no way to elude the telepaths;he'd have to find some way to do it,or he would be at their mercy forever.

The soldiers began to crowd in,paralyzers out,and Logan was so angry he was almost trembling.Bastards."The brainwashing never takes for long,"he said through gritted teeth,trying to hold back his rage and appeal to whatever logic and kernel of humanity the dickhead had left.It was the longest of long shots,but he knew he'd never fight his way out the door."And I'm never gonna stop fightin' you,so just let me walk.You'll never hear from me again.Let's just end this now."

He made a show of thinking about it,but Logan knew he was going to say no.Overseer gave him a terrible,cold smile,and drawled,"You didn't actually think that would work,did you?You really shouldn't flatter yourself,Logan:we've broken you before,and we'll do it again.It's only a matter of time before the truth gets through that thick skull of yours,and you stay broken.Now,do you want to provide sport for my men and go down hard,or are you going to return to your cell quietly?"

Logan growled,a deep rumble that seemed to well up from inside his chest,and the frustration seemed to pound behind his eyes like a migraine,except he didn't get migraines.He was just so angry he thought he was going to explode.

He started to turn as if he was taking the going quietly option,and the soldiers backed up slightly,giving him room...and then with a scream of frustration and rage he turned and dove at Overseer,popping his claws in mid-air.Maybe he couldn't fight his way out,but maybe he could hurt this fuck.

His claws had just sunk into his torso when the first paralyzer hit him in the small of the back,sending electricity coursing up his spine,and as he hit the floor,one soldier literally ripping Overseer off his claws,they began hitting him en masse.He got stung with so many paralyzers in so many places he lost count,and then began the kicking with their steel toed boots,with shots to the kidneys and the side of the neck really hurting,and because he was paralyzed he could do nothing but lay there and take it.Sure he couldn't hurt them,some of the soldiers began bludgeoning him with their gun butts,as they couldn't use him for target practice here.But later he knew he would;they'd pump round after round of bullets into him,wanting to make him so crazy with pain he'd be the raving,senseless animal they all knew and loved so very much.Also,it was just good for troop morale to shoot a mutie now and again.

He heard,distantly,the voice of the secondary commander barking,"Take him to the chamber.I think Wolverine just volunteered to test the cranial implants.Go!"

He didn't know what the hell a 'cranial implant' was,but it couldn't be good.Still,it would fail,like everything else they did to him.As his consciousness began to slip away,he swore he would escape from these people one of these days.

And they wanted to see him savage?Oh,they would.

One of these days,he was going to kill them all.

Logan woke up,somewhere between startled and angry,and found himself staring up at the water stained ceiling of yet another anonymous cheap hotel room,partially relieved and yet not all at once.It was still a prison,just a different type than the one he had once been in.He had just exchanged one kind of captivity for another.

But at least he hadn't clawed the bed this time.Chalk one up for him.

He got out of bed and stumbled blearily to the bathroom,sure he was done with sleep for the night,a real shame since it wasn't even four in the morning.It wasn't like there was a bar still open that he could go to and drink in hopes of drowning his sorrow for half a minute (well,with his system,if he drank a lot really fast,he might experience a buzz for a couple of seconds before his system compensated for it.Sad but all he could shoot for).

Oh wait,yes there was.It wasn't a human bar,so it didn't have to conform to the same rules as the Humans.But did he really want to risk encountering Bob?He didn't want to share this,he didn't want to 'talk',he just wanted to be left alone while the memory slid beneath the surface and sank along with almost all the others.Some things were just best forgotten.

He was splashing cold water on his face when he heard the people in the room next door arguing again.He was trying not to hear too,so it had to be to be loud enough that even people with normal hearing could've heard it bleeding through the plywood thin walls.That was the drawback of staying in cheap hotels-the fellow transitory tenants.

They were junkies;junkies had a sort of death smell coming off them that you could pick up from a half mile away.He had passed the man leaving the other day (Logan himself was just coming back),and he smelled not only of impending death but of blood, although the blood was not his own.Passing the door of their room,he heard the woman (girlfriend perhaps- the man didn't have a wedding ring) crying,although she soon left to get her own fix to take the pain away.Pathetic.It was bad enough they were crankheads,and worse that they had some kind of fucked up relationship psychodrama going that just had to play next door to him.Well,not anymore-he was getting the fuck out of here.He could find a room in any fleabag hotel in the greater Los Angeles area.

He wiped his face with a towel and tossed it on the floor,not caring where it ended up,and got dressed,which didn't take long:jeans,t-shirt,socks,boots.He shoved his flannel overshirt in his knapsack,as the temperature was hovering near eighty even at this time of night,and this hotel was too cheap to have functional air conditioners.He really wanted to take a shower, he felt sticky with sweat,but he really didn't want to have to listen to the dysfunctional family drama going on next door any longer than necessary.After thinking about it a moment,he folded up his leather jacket as best he could and crammed it in there.He really couldn't wear it tonight.

He hated the cold,but he longed for the frigid Canadian Rockies with something akin to homesickness.L.A. was huge and hot and polluted,with too many cars and too many people,and some sort of ephemeral but pervasive sense of sadness,as if the desperation of its people was so great it had sunk into the pores of the city itself.Logan supposed that meant,on some level,he belonged here.But that was high on his list of things he really didn't want to think about.

He was slipping on his watch when he heard the massive thud against the wall he shared with the neighboring unit,and the drab landscape painting of trees with fall coloring by a rather oily looking river seemed to jump off the wall,not quite falling off but hanging on by a single picture wire.It listed to a severe ninety degree angle but remained dangling above the threadbare brown carpet as the man began bellowing at the woman ("fucking bitch" was his favorite epithet,repeated several times,sometimes in the same sentence),and Logan heard what could only be the sound of flesh on flesh.He was beating her up.Great.

The smart thing would be to call the cops,if they even bothered to come down to this area (there were some neighborhoods in every big city where the cops never bothered to go;he knew that from experience),but Logan loathed people who abused others just because they could.And,honestly,he was just itching for a fight.It was almost considerate of the dickhead to give him an excuse.

He stormed next door and pounded on the door,giving the guy his last chance to escape the ass whupping of a lifetime. But he didn't take it.The second time Logan pounded on the door,hard enough to rattle the cheap door in its frame,the man shouted,"Leave us the fuck alone!"

Yeah,that was going to happen.

Logan didn't need to kick the door in;it was so flimsy he basically just gave it a sharp nudge with the toe of his boot and the lock fractured,rattling to the carpet as the door swung open,revealing the lovely spectacle of the shirtless and scrawny man looming above his sickly looking girlfriend.She was huddled in a corner near an overturned table (the lamp still surrealistically nailed to its surface),her face a crimson mask,and his balled up fists were covered in blood.Cute moment; would make a great Hallmark card.

The rangy man whirled to face him,and he looked almost as sickly as his girlfriend;too skinny by half,his ribs stood out in relief on his sunken chest,his skin an unhealthy sort of paste color,as if he hadn't seen the sun for years.His eyes seemed to large for his face,so wild they reminded him of a spooked horse,and he didn't need to be a detective to know this guy was majorly tripping."Get the fuck out of here,you freak!"he shouted,his voice raspy with hysterical rage.Wow,freak-what a poor choice of insults.

"Didn't your mother ever tell you about picking on someone your own size?"Logan wondered facetiously,and then smacked him hard across his pasty face.He didn't punch him;one punch not only could have knocked him out but fractured his skull. No,he was here to administer a humiliating beat down,not one that ended in a single punch,so he went for the open backhand across the face.In street parlance,a pimp slap.

The man-could he have been more than twenty two?-went flying,colliding with an upright nightstand on the other side of the room before falling over with it,hitting the floor in an ungainly sprawl.Really,it was almost too easy at times.Now he felt like a bully,but honestly he couldn't work up a single shred of guilt about it.

The girl,maybe a couple years younger than her boyfriend and Hispanic,looked up at him,dark eyes wide in her bloody face,and she didn't look all that sober either."Get the fuck out of here,and if you know what's good for you,never come back to this asshole again."

For a moment she just stared at him with her glazed,slightly swollen eyes,and he thought he'd have to give her an arm out the door himself,but finally she snapped out of whatever stupor she was in and stood up,using the wall to get to her feet.She wasn't dressed in much-a black leather miniskirt,torn fishnet stockings,a pink baby doll t-shirt that exposed her midriff-and he realized she might have been one of the hookers that loitered on the corner the next block over.Did that make scarecrow on the floor over there her pimp?Jesus christ,he really loved humanity sometimes.Why were demons so bad again?

She slipped past Logan warily,never quite taking her eyes off of him in case he went psycho on her ass,and grabbed a leather jacket off the bed before quickly leaving.Logan was roughly sure it was the man's jacket she grabbed,but why not?He probably had the money and the drugs.

"You're dead,motherfucker!"The man screamed,jumping up off the floor with a nine millimeter pistol in his hands.He didn't even aim,he just opened fire.

His first shots went wide and hit the door frame,splintering it in several places,but those were the only shots he got:Logan dove over the bed and popped his claws,shattering the gun to pieces with a single slash.The man screamed in shock-he didn't know if it was surprise from his gun breaking up,from seeing claws explode out of his hand,both,or the possibility that Logan had accidentally snagged the guy's skin in passing-and seemed unable to react as Logan continued with the tackle,withdrawing his claws and driving the guy into the faux wood paneled wall,hard enough that he heard something crack.He wasn't sure if it was in the wall or the guy.But the tacky oil painting on his wall fell and seemed to explode on impact with the floor,Logan stepping on part of the cheap frame as he backed away from the scarecrow.

The guy sagged against the wall,eyes glassy,breathing in gasps through his open mouth and looking like a fish suddenly tossed on dry land as blood trickled from his nose.As soon as he could speak,he asked,"What the fuck are you?Demon or mutie?"

So he wasn't as dumb as he looked.That was saying something."Does it matter?"Logan noticed the guy trying to reach surreptitiously into the back pocket of his jeans,and Logan pretended he didn't see it.His opinion on the man's intelligence just went down several notches,putting it back in the triple digit negative range.

"Nah,'spose not,"he agreed,and moved as quickly as he could,pulling out a butterfly knife that he opened with a single flick of his wrist and jabbed it right towards Logan stomach.

Logan knew he could take the wound with no lasting effects,but he really didn't feel like getting his gut cut open right now. He grabbed the man's hand and twisted,his wrist snapping like a twig,and he howled in pain as the knife fell to the carpet. Then Mister Genius drove his knee up into Logan's groin,the pain so sudden and savage that it made him even more furious. Before he could stop himself,Logan used the man's injured arm to fling him across the room,where he collided violently with the t.v. stand,and screamed in pain as he spilled to the floor.

But not enough pain;the amphetamines in his system cut it sharply,and he was flailing to get to his feet in spite of the broken wrist when Logan kicked him in the face,holding back enough that while the man flopped onto his back instantly,he hadn't quite lost consciousness.Logan knelt down,pinning the boy by placing a single knee on his nearly skeletal chest,and began punching him in the face."Maybe you should stick to beating on little girls,"he snarled,driving his fist repeatedly into the man's face.

It was the blood splattering on his skin that broke him out of his enraged reverie.

He snapped back to himself and saw he was holding the man's head up by his throat while he continued pounding his other fist into his face,which was a bloody ruin a thousand times worse than what he had done to the girl.He was no longer conscious,his nose was a pulpy mess,and Logan had shattered at least one eye socket.He let him go,instantly disgusted with himself,but still felt a frisson of disappointment that the dirtbag was still breathing.

What the fuck was wrong with him?Okay,arguably the prick deserved what was coming to him-but Logan hadn't really beat him up because of that,did he?He beat him up because he needed to beat someone up;he had some 'issues' to work out, and this asshole decided to go "Raging Bull" on his girlfriend/employee at absolutely the wrong time.

Shit,he needed a drink.Or maybe some thorazine.Something.

He wiped his bloody knuckles on the leg of his jeans as he left the room,and even though he didn't really want to,he stopped at a phone booth in the Circle K across the street and called 911 to let them know there was a bloody mess in room twenty five of the Pacific Court hotel.When they asked him for his name and how the man got the injuries,Logan hung up, and pulled the bottom of his t-shirt up to wipe his fingerprints off the receiver.Well,you could never be too careful.

Logan trudged the five blocks to the Way Station,wondering if he could blame his violent impulses on everything that had happened to him in his bloody,chaotic life (well,what little bits and pieces he remembered of it-and if all of those bits could be trusted),or if he truly was some kind of psychotic.He was starting to wonder if maybe the Organization wanted him so bad because they knew they'd never have to train him to kill:he already knew how to do that.Expertly,without a shred of conscience or human decency to hold him back.Unless he got his full memory-and his real memory-back,could he ever know for sure?

Round about four in the morning was one of the few times L.A. verged on quiet:there were more demons about,but they stuck to shadows and back alleys for the most part,and most avoided any contact with him,along with the drug dealers and hookers he often passed on this particular route.His reputation for being unpleasant (and a hard kill) was starting to precede him a bit,and he was glad,because there were just times in your life when you wanted everyone to leave you the hell alone.
So why was he going to the Way Station,where he was sure to get no peace?Because it was just about the only bar open this time of night,and where else could he go?The drawback of a bad reputation was it closed a lot of doors before you could get within twenty feet of the building.

The weird thing was you had to know where the Way Station was to find it.According to Bob,it was surrounded by a glamour (which explained that strange tingling sensation that seemed to crawl over his skin when he entered the building) which allowed it to look like the rest of the 'condemned' building that housed it,all the windows boarded up and the crumbling brick foundation visible through broken sections of the facade.Most 'normal people' (not his term,but that's what he meant) couldn't even pass through the 'glamour',which he also compared to a minor forcefield.It guaranteed almost exclusively demon clientele,and privacy,which Logan had to admit was pretty nice.But Bob didn't really need to go to such bother for privacy,did he?He could have a big flashy place,and just tell everyone he wasn't there.But Bob was a strange, strange man:even for a demon,he was kind of bizarre.

Yet he wasn't exactly a demon anymore,was he?Or maybe he was,the definition had simply stretched.Frankly he had given up on trying to figure out exactly what Bob was,but he wasn't buying that 'just a Belial demon' bullshit anymore.Maybe he used to be,but he didn't smell like one anymore.

As soon as Logan crossed the invisible barrier,he suddenly heard music he hadn't heard before (the barrier contained noise too?),and the heavy oak and brass door of the Way Station appeared before him,seemingly out of thin air.It had a marble plaque over the door,inscribed,"Abandon hope all ye who enter here",with a big yellow 'smiley face' sticker next to it.And below that,a small white plastic sign proclaiming:"No shirt,no shoes,no service."More of Bob's fucking twisted sense of humor.

He opened the door with the slightest shove,and was instantly assailed by Megadeth's "Hangar 18" thudding from the jukebox,and the somewhat offensive miasma of over a dozen types of demons.Not all of them smelled bad-Helga smelled nice;Lia didn't smell too bad for a Belial;and Bob smelled like nothing terrestrial,therefore extremely pleasant indeed-but together in a small room it seemed to accentuate the negative quite a bit.Still,he'd smelled worse,and after a moment he got used to it.

His eyes didn't need to adjust to the light;mostly soft yellow,it was hardly brighter than what the weak streetlights offered outside,and the dark wood paneling of the room seemed to absorb the light as soon as the rays reached it,so the bar almost seemed like its own pocket universe,a tiny rift in reality itself.It wouldn't surprise him if it actually was.

It was remarkably empty for the time of night:some big horned demon sat at the far end of the bar,appearing to sulk,while maybe a handful of other demons sat mostly by themselves at the small circular tables scattered throughout the front room, nursing various drinks,some of which apparently contained blood.

Anchoring the end of the bar nearest to him was a pair of girls who looked almost cherubic,far too young to be in here,but from the smell he knew they were vampires,so they probably weren't as young as they looked.They were exactly alike, identical twin brunettes with odd eyes and matching outfits,and they gave him a strangely sly smile (in stereo) as he walked past.They weren't ordinary vampires,he got that sense,but he wasn't completely sure what was so special about them.He gave them a warning scowl,in case they were planning to make a move on him,but their expressions didn't alter an iota,and they made no move to get off their bar stools.

Sitting on a stool near the center of the horseshoe shaped padded bar was a young man with spiky black hair and a 'hipper than thou' outfit of a black mesh shirt and black leather pants swiveled towards him,a big wolfish grin on his reasonably handsome face."All right,a human."No amount of cologne could cover up the fact that he was a vampire too.

But suddenly the girls at the end of the bar spoke up."No-"the first one (on the left) said.

"-he's-"the second one said.

"-the decapitator-"the first one continued.Was that some kind of act of theirs?Completing each other's sentences like that?

"-he kills-"

"-vampires quite easily."

Logan held up his fist,and popped his claws briefly,just long enough for the cruising Spanish vampire to see them for himself."Shit,"he cursed,turning back to his glass of goat's blood despondently.Logan thought he heard him mutter under his breath:"How fucking typical.I hate L.A.."

He wasn't alone.

Lau,the huge Samoan guy who used to be the bouncer at the now defunct Robin Hood's was behind the bar,covering the graveyard shift (actually,that term now made sense),and while he was human,he was so massive even the vamps decided that he really wouldn't be worth the bother of trying to take him down.Also,he wore a wooden stake in an extremely visible shoulder holster on his left side,and there were the water guns full of holy water underneath the bar,and perhaps the most discouraging of all,he worked for Bob.Bob was the one guy you just didn't want to piss off in this town.

"Usual?"Lau asked,cleaning a glass with a dishcloth.

Logan nodded."Beer."

There was something refreshing about dealing with naturally taciturn people.

Lau put the glass away and retrieved a bottle of beer from the cooler beneath the bar,pausing only to pry the cap off.Logan had shifted his knapsack to his other shoulder to get his wallet,but Lau said,"On the house."

"Since when?"

Lau simply nodded his head back towards the end of the room,and Logan glanced over his shoulder to see Bob sitting at a back table with his silver iBook,within the colorful corona of shadows cast by the jukebox.Bob was staring intently at his computer screen and didn't look up,but he waved anyways,obviously aware Logan had spotted him.

Logan grimaced,turning back only to give Lau a nod of thanks for the beer,and then grabbed the bottle and headed for the back.He might as well get this over with.

He had sort of been avoiding Bob since he took him to Tokyo to see Mariko's grave.It wasn't personal,not really...okay, maybe it was.He didn't like being that emotionally naked in front of anyone,even a guy like Bob,who knew everything whether you liked it or not.It wasn't like Bob rubbed it in or anything,because that wasn't his way.He didn't even ask him if wanted to talk about it,because that was implicit.But it just made Logan uncomfortable.In fifteen years,he finds squat about his past-Bob blows in,and finds heaps in less than two months.It was so unfair.And he felt a sense of obligation to him for it, even though Bob insisted there was none.But why else would he help him so much?There was no such thing as a free ride. If there was a price,Logan just wanted him to cut the bullshit and name it:didn't mean he'd 'pay' it,but he wanted to know what it was.He didn't like being dicked around.

Logan took the empty chair across from Bob and his computer,and once again,without looking up,Bob asked,"Bad dream?"

"I don't wanna talk about it."

"You never do."

Logan scowled at him,but Bob didn't look up to see it.

"Why are you here?"Logan wondered."I figured you'd be asleep or somethin'."

"Or you wished I would be,"Bob replied,looking up and giving him a small,knowing smile.In the white light glow of the screen,Bob looked more unearthly than ever,the harsh illumination making his face look almost too perfect,as if it was a mask.Only his eyes,too blue to be real,seemed fitting."Well,like most demons,I have a natural tendency towards night owl-ness."Logan almost pointed out he wasn't a demon,but let it go."Besides,it's quiet at this time of night.It's prime demon hunting hours;our equivalent of rush hour.The patrons don't really start filing in 'til near sunrise."

"Except for a few loser vampires,huh?"

"Well,yes,but don't call the Weird Sisters losers.They're just humoring me."

It wasn't hard to guess which ones were the Weird Sisters."Apt name.What's their deal?"

"They're a vampire/human/Kral demon hybrid.An impossibility in humanoid form,and as deadly as hell.You rather hope they humor you,because otherwise you're pretty much a goner."

"You got nothin' to worry about,though."

"No,but I'm one of the few exceptions.I wouldn't let them hang around at all,but they seem to have a crush on me,and often give me news on some of the goings on in darker parts of the demon world.Such as now."

Logan craned his neck,trying to see the screen,but it was such at an angle he couldn't see anything."Somethin' big?"

"Maybe.I've been getting some strange reports from some of my mates in Oz-Australia-about certain types of demons showing up that have never appeared before,and serious psychic disturbances,so I asked the Sisters to see if they could find out if there was a major player on the Pacific Rim up to something."


"I'm still collating the data.What they brought back doesn't make a hell of a lot of a sense when combined with everything else."

Logan knew he should probably let it pass,but his curiosity always got the better of him,and besides,it kept Bob from talking about him."What do you got?"

"Dimensional thinning along several ley lines in the Pacific,and some kind of demon uber-crime lord having some kind of ultimate fighting contest on his private island to find a champion.What the hell is the connection?"

"You're asking me?"He paused,then asked,"Ley lines?"

"Lines of mystical energy that run through the Earth."

Logan wasn't sure if he was serious or bullshitting him again."So what's the island,and why's the guy want a champion?"

"Island's called Dis,and I don't know why he wants a champion.Maybe he thinks he needs a bodyguard,or he just gets off on blood sports."The song on the jukebox had changed,and Bob began to sing along with it."I want somebody to shove,I need somebody to shove,I want somebody to shove me-"

"I didn't know you had a theme song,"Logan said wryly,and Bob gave him a tiny smile."Dis-like to insult,or Dis like in Hell?"

"Yes,"Bob agreed,still grinning.

"Never heard of it."

"You wouldn't-no human knows about it.It's a tiny blip in the ocean between Australia and East Timor,and is the only purely demon habitat I can think of.Well,beyond Disneyland.Not very human friendly."

"Ever been there?"

"Once.Pretty place,but kind of dull.At least when I was there.Maybe it's gotten more interesting since Volta bought it."

"Volta? The big bad demon owner?"